Thursday, May 31, 2007

Celtic Wisdom??

Have you ever had that special friend come into your life...yet, you've never met? A package arrived today...from Scotland! (This will be remedied in...12 mths)

I don't think I've ever told GourdonGirl that I have one of these:

This is my Charm bracelet that I've had ever since Jack and I met, soon to be 8 years.
It contains charms that were either gifts, from our travels and/or commemorating significant our wedding--note the horseshoe & the Bride & Groom charms.

I don't know if someone told her...or if she just has a crystal ball or uses Celtic Magic...

In my "care package" was this:

She knows I collect lighthouses! This charm is really opens at the bottom! Now, I'll have to ask her if it says "SOS" or "505"...but I suspect it says "SOS".

Along with this was the UK version of Weight Watcher magazine, with some great recipes...and some WW candy we don't get here in the US! YUM-YUM! Julia and I have already enjoyed a couple bars--and will be fighting--over the rest!

Thanks GourdonGirl...your ARE the BEST!!

Sorry to cut this so short...but I've got some other things to share with you later!


Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to the GRIND~~~'s true...
Reality is the pits!!

It's Monday on a Tuesday!! The whining began last night...."I don't wanna go back to work..."

I made it through my day...even stood in line to pay my personal property taxes, which by the way--if you live in the Roanoke Valley they are due May 31st!!

I want to Thank everyone for the "Welcome Home"'s nice to be missed! Gives one a sense of...belonging!

I promised pics of my Tofutsies socks...this is a great pattern, works up very quickly. And this yarn ain't too bad either! I really like it! I noticed this morning my buddy Nikki is knitting the same pattern! I'm way past the heel on the second one now!

Now for the real reason I bought this yarn....well it's made with 2.5% Chitin...what the heck is that you ask? Well, it's made from shrimp & crab shells! Hubby being from a "waterman" family I had to get it just to show him...his response when I told him what "Chitin" is? "You guys will knit anything!!" I can't wait to show my BIL!
I love how the color diagonally stripes on it's own...pretty cool stuff!

See "FatCat" in the picture? He's always sneaking in somehow!

Here's something for my new buddy Terri! She wrote on her blog back before I left on vacation about these "Pine Cones" in the Bunya Mountainsof Australia...

I feel much safer here!!

Well...better go get some other "stuff" done!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!!

MISS ME??? ****Warning—long post—lots of pictures!***
Honestly I missed keeping up with everyone and have a lot of reading to catch up on…but I really didn’t mind at all not having the ole ‘puter along! (More about that later)…
First let me “Thank” everyone who sent their best wishes for a wonderful vacation!

When vacation is over it’s back to the real world…and muggy heat! What a shock to the system….where’s the A/C? For the most part last week was spent wearing sweats and long sleeves shirts! During the daytime the highs were in the mid to low 70’s (F) and the nights dipped down into the low 50’s, a couple nights we were shivering in the mid 40’s!!

This is overlooking the small community of Rugby (Shona...see all the similarities...Highlands--Rugby?) where my Grandmother was born.

Did I tell you we were going to the “Highlands”? Of Virginia that is! Next year we will visit the Highlands of our homeland…Scotland. I have so much “Show and Tell” for you and very little pertains to the fiber arts, but don’t worry I do have some fibery goodness to share with you!

This was home base for the past week…we arrived last Saturday and from Sunday evening to Thursday evening we practically had the place to ourselves!! See my wheel?

Sunday morning we took a short hike (just under a mile) down to Big Wilson Creek for some fishing. Which means we had a tougher hike back up!

No, I didn’t catch anything but let me tell you…

To just sit here and look at this was satisfying enough!

We had plenty of exercise and entertainment…every evening we walked,on Monday we attempted (key word) to find Mount Rogers, the highest peak in Virginia at 5,729 feet.

After hiking 3 miles UP HILL this is where we stopped…just in the shadow of the summit. We were both wore out, I fell on the way back down and scraped up my shin…my legs were just so weak! For the next 2 days we walked like couple 90 year olds needing walkers!
On the way we saw plenty of the wild ponies…

In fact, after arriving on Saturday we rode up to the trail head, were we saw a small herd. I noted to Jack that the one older mare was pregnant and should foal any day…on Monday we were told by another hiker he had seen her getting the little foal up on it’s feet that morning! There had been several births in the past few days, there's one in this picture!

I enjoy bird watching (I know that sounds nerdy) but there were plenty to be seen, many I haven’t seen before and others I’m very familiar with! During the wee hours of Monday Morning we were visited by a pair of Great Horned Owls…how do I know they were a pair? We’ve encountered them before and they have 2 very distinct calls…it’s funny to listen to them and when they are that close there’s no sleeping until they move on (there’s another story I’ll have to tell you later), I’m not sure if they were courting or hunting together but they chased each other all over that mountain side!

We had entertainment on a daily basis…

We called "Chipmunk TV"…these cute little critters kept us in stitches! I "accidentally" dropped my apple cores, which they promptly found.
It’s funny to come back and read about Robin’s adventure with a Pileated Woodpecker…when I had one visit me in camp, I was having my morning coffee when one landed within 10 feet of me! I’ve never been so close to one and had no idea how BIG they are!
Oh…I could go on and on boring you with all the wildlife I encountered…but I won’t!

Hubby was experiencing SERIOUS technology withdrawals! No computer (as mentioned earlier)…the cell phones barely worked, to get a signal you’d practically have to stand on your head!

So…I gave him a knife and a piece of wood and told him to make me a bird!

And he did!!

What did I manage to accomplish? Well, since I was in the Highlands, I finished up my Highlander colorway!

And….started “Setting Sun”

I worked on my Tofutsies socks….I’ll post pictures later—I promise!

All this spinning in camp opened up “Free Camping” opportunities! The Assistant Park Director came by to chat with us and offer us an opportunity to do some interpretive work at the park!! What better way to pay homage to my ancestry than to do a Living History at the park that towers over where my family came from?!?!?! All I need now is a sign that says “Will Spin For Free Camping”!!

All in all it was a VERY productive week...relaxation, exercise, knitting and spinning!!

Of course I missed my Monday weigh in with Weight Watchers but I did behave myself and watch what I ate every day…except for the day that Hubby made me eat that Ice Cream!!
And there is no meeting tomorrow night so I hope that next week I’ll have a REALLY good weigh-in!!

Keep on Knittin’ & Spinnin’!!!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Here At Last!!

Vacation is here at last!!!! Just a few short hours and we'll be pulling out...all the knitting and spinning goodies are packed--Oh yes....and the food and other necessaries too!

We are going to Grayson Highlands State Park, the highest peak in Virginia. This is also the area where part of my family came from...yep, this is where all those "mountainisms" come from in my family! My Granny & Granddaddy had a lot of the "old ways" about them. These days I'm hearing things coming into "vogue" (today it's refered to it as New Age) that my Grandmother used to tell me about. Some people would talk about "Old Wives Tales" and we used to poke fun at some of the things my grandparents would talk about, but some of those things have a truth to them. If you ever read any of those "Foxfire" books--that's the way my Grandparents lived even here in the city!
It has been told that there are wild horses at Grayson Highlands...I hope to see them! I have friends who have seen them! I thought the only wild horses in Virginia are on Assateague Island on the Eastern Shore.

Well...I'll be back in a week!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Believe It Or Not....I Have A FO!!

Yes, you heard me right...I actually have a finished object to show you! The *Thong Socks* are finished (I may have to work on the left toe some, doesn't quite feel right), I like the right sock better than the left...the both were made from the SAME ball of Trekking! They are just my fun socks...I won't be able to wear them until the fall, I needed a pair of socks to wear with my Chacos for hiking in cooler weather.

Things around here have been slow going on the knitting front...the Civil War Shawl really has gotten to the point where I knit and knit, yet I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere! I'm way off the pace, but ask me if I care? Don't get me wrong, I love knitting this shawl, I just have to have other things to occupy my mind! The second round is beginning June 1st if anyone is interested! Knitting on the baby blanket...and of course spinning! Oh yeah...and Spring Cleaning! The last room to work on is the---dat-da-da-dah...*Fiber Room*! I think I'll finish working on that when I get back from our camping trip next week! Hubby's going to put up some shelving for me...

I will be offline for a week beginning this Saturday till next the mountains camping! I'll be posting again before I leave.

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Judgement Day...

I hope all the Mom's out there had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Today is my first Weight Watchers *weigh in*....I think I've done well, but I'm anxious about it!

Wish me luck?!

I found a new poll/game to play on the blog! I don't know how many of you have read the Young Adult book The Golden Compass, personally I haven't read it but know the plot of the's on my *To Read* list will all the other thousands of books I want to read in my lifetime...the only problem is authors keep writing more good the list gets longer and longer!
Anyway this one will include your input! Some of you know me personally and others know me via my blog. I think my personality comes through pretty clear on this here blog...

Tell me what you the picture and answer the questions (there's only 5 to answer):

Well...the bird fits!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I've Been Tagged....

I've been tagged by Sue. This is when I find out just how boring a person I am! I won't tell you how long it took me to find some facts!

Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those tagged need to write in their blogs the 7 facts, as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven others and list their names on your blog. You have to leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog. Here are my facts:

1-I have lived in the same valley all my life!

2-As if you can’t tell….I LOVE to travel!

3-Being the REBEL I am…I’ve never expressed it outwardly, no weird piercing (I have 2 holes in one ear and one in the other), no tattoos, nor did I ever have pink (or any color for that fact) hair!

4-I’m arachnophobic….”the only good spider is a dead one”! Before you scold me, I know they are good for the garden, and I try to leave them alone there, unless in the case of the 2 Black Widows I found a couple summers ago. BUT they CANNOT be in my house! I can't even watch the beginning of Spiderman (the first one) because of the field trip they take to the "spider farm"!

5-(Okay…here’s a big—DUH for ya) I LOVE SPORTS, if I had to choose a favorite it would be baseball. The weather is perfect; you can knit (no gloves), drink beer (instead of coffee to keep you warm) each ballpark has a food that is indigenous to the area and get up close with the players! Sit back...relax...and enjoy the game!

6-My dream is to have my own knitting shop…it takes $$$$, I need to win the lottery…but, that means I need to start playing it to win it! I love teaching others to knit, my Grandmother taught me and for every person I teach I’m keeping her alive in my heart…and others hands! Granny always said…."Idle hands are the work of the devil!”

7-I met my soul mate in June of 1999 at a Civil War event...and married him in June of 2002 in a Civil War ceremony!
Now....I'm tagging:
Anyone else who wants to play!
Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Love & Loss...

Have you ever experienced the loss of a beloved pet? I have, and I'm not looking forward to it when Mr Ace of my blog buddies lost her beloved dog today. This was VERY sudden and unexpected. Go by and give Sue some love!!

With Sympathy
They will not go quietly,
the pets who've shared our lives.
In subtle ways they let us know
their spirit still survives.

Old habits still can make us think
we hear them at the door
Or step back when we drop
a tasty morsel on the floor.

Our feet still go around the place
the food dish used to be,
And, sometimes, coming home at night,
we miss them terribly.

And although time may bring new friends
and a new food dish to fill,
That one place in our hearts
belongs to them...
and always will.

– Author unknown

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Playing Catch-up!!

See why I love my backyard this time of year?

Sorry I've been *absent* from posting...a springtime cold has had it's grip on me! I'm beginning to feel better, so I'm trying to get things back to normal!

Needless to say there's not much progress on my knitting...on Friday & Saturday I was so achy I couldn't knit I slept!

DD-Julia and I have joined WeightWatchers! Loonnggggg wish us luck! I need to lose just over 40lbs. We started yesterday....and I'm STARVING! It's all in my head...I'm not really eating less than before, just the foods I should be eating! If someone had not told me I was "dieting" I would never really know...and wouldn't be so darn hungry! Really....I'm exaggerating, it's not so bad. One funny happened today, there are these *little* (and I do mean in size) cakes you are allowed to eat, and they are GOOD--well, Julia dropped a crumb in the about a mad rush to "hoover" that one up! We nearly bonked heads diving for it!
Meanwhile, while I'm getting back to my knitting here's a Knitter's Survey I found on MommaSusie's blog:

Mark with bold the things you have knit, with italics the ones you plan to do sometime, and leave the rest.

Garter stitch

Knitting with metal wire
Stockinette stitch
Socks: top-down

Socks: toe-up
Knitting with camel yarn

Mittens: Cuff-up
Mittens: Tip-down

Knitting with silk
Moebius band knitting
Participating in a KAL

Drop stitch patterns
Knitting with recycled/secondhand yarn
Slip stitch patterns
Knitting with banana fiber yarn
Domino knitting (=modular knitting)
Twisted stitch patterns
Knitting with bamboo yarn
Two end knitting
Charity knitting
Knitting with soy yarn
Toy/doll clothing
Knitting with circular needles
Baby items
Knitting with your own handspun yarn

Graffiti knitting (knitting items on, or to be left on the street)
Continental knitting
Designing knitted garments
Cable stitch patterns (incl. Aran)
Lace patterns
Publishing a knitting book
Teaching a child to knit
American/English knitting (as opposed to continental)
Knitting to make money
Button holes
Knitting with alpaca
Fair Isle knitting
Norwegian knitting
Dying with plant colours
Knitting items for a wedding
Household items (dishcloths, washcloths, tea cosies...)
Knitting socks (or other small tubular items)on two circulars
Olympic knitting
Knitting with someone else's handspun yarn
Knitting with dpns
Holiday related knitting
Teaching a male how to knit
Knitting for a living
Knitting with cotton
Knitting smocking
Dying yarn
Knitting art
Knitting two socks on two circulars simultaneously
Knitting with wool
Textured knitting

Kitchener BO
Knitting with beads
Long Tail CO
Knitting and purling backwards
Machine knitting
Knitting with self patterning/self striping/variegating yarn
Stuffed toys
Baby items
Knitting with cashmere
Knitting with synthetic yarn
Writing a pattern
Knitting with linen
Knitting for preemies
Tubular CO
Short rows
Freeform knitting
Cuffs/fingerless mitts/armwarmers
Knitting a pattern from an online knitting magazine
Knitting on a loom
Thrummed knitting
Knitting a gift
Knitting for pets
Knitting with dog/cat hair---not intentionally
Hair accessories
Knitting in public --all the time!

Well...I'll be back--I promise!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!!

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Happy Birthday!!

I interrupt your regular KnitBlog reading to announce a VERY special Birthday!!

Today is my "Baby" boy's birthday!! (he hates me to call him that--he also hates "Mama's boy", but we've always had a very special bond) He takes care of his Mom!

I just LOVE this picture of was taken at the beach when he was 3. This is the look he would always give when he had done something how could I scold let alone punish a face like this? I named him *my devil with angel eyes*!

Here's my handsome 24 year old! And he can still give you that grin that says...."I'm up to something!"

Happy Birthday Chase!! Love Ya!!

Back to knitting....

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Big News in Virginia!

I failed to mention this earlier and I hope to have some pics courtesy of my step-daughter later!

The Queen arrived in Virginia a short while ago! I wanted to go to Richmond for this today but instead I've been watching on streaming video. My step-daughter works only a block away from the Captial building....

This is all part of the 400th celebration of the founding of Jamestown...a year long event with events all over the state.

More to come later!

Blog Fodder...

I haven't done this for a while..."Blog Fodder"~~

You Are An ISFJ

The Nurturer

You have a strong need to belong, and you very loyal.
A good listener, you excell at helping others in practical ways.
In your spare time, you enjoy engaging your senses through art, cooking, and music.
You find it easy to be devoted to one person, who you do special things for.

You would make a good interior designer, chef, or child psychologist.

This is TOTALLY not what my Myers-Briggs says! I took it a few years ago and it says I'm a ENTJ!! For those who know me...know I'm an Extravert!! A chef...yes...A child psycologist?? Me??


I am a

What Flower
Are You?

More Garden/Flower stuff!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bloomin' Good Time!!

A break from knitting....
I want to start off by showing you my May calendar...with a wonderful quote from John Muir!

"Keep Close To Nature's Heart"

Here's what I did yesterday....

This is just 1 of 3, of course, they'll look better in a few weeks after they fill out.
Other flowers blooming in my garden...

My very pampered Blaze Azalea!

My Clematis I thought the freeze had killed!

One of my many Columbine varities...I even have a *double* that's so dainty!

Lily of the, the bunny isn't real!

And the first bloom from my Yellow Flag Lily...yes, the fish are real!

Now back to your regularly scheduled knitting!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

One thing at a time....

I have so much to tell you about and not enough space or time to do it! promised I'll give you the rest of our trip then tomorrow I'll show you what I did today!

It's so hard to get a good shot of the fort to show you, I borrowed this one thanks to the Maryland State Parks website.

The reason for our weekend trip was to attend Fort Frederick's annual Market Faire (click here for a little history lesson on the fort). This is an 18th Century event where a reenactor can stock up on supplies needed and/or indulge themselves into the time period. We, knowing the weather conditions of past 3 events we've attended, opted to camp modern and not dress out...I for one don't find it "fun" to be wet (no umbrellas during that time period) while shopping. The rain held out until we were finished shopping and on our way back to the campsite.
Hubby had more on his shopping list than I did, you see--my fabric stash is larger than my fiber/yarn stash, if that tells you anything! And I had other shopping ideas in mind...
At these 18th century events they are VERY strict about time period correctness for attire and impression...I like this because I've seen some real "winners" at events wearing NON-appropriate clothing for a time period. (For instance...modern ballgowns at Civil War events!) This is what they call a "Juried" event in other words, you have to provide a picture of your impression along with registration. the registration it tells you NO MOUNTAINMEN impressions (as you see that came in the early part of the 19th century...and out West), but this year we saw a different sort of impression...(and I wasn't quick enough with the camera) I saw a PIRATE! Granted this fort is well inland of any where did he think he was going? Needed new knee boots?
But I did find this little fella there...
I wanted one of those gold medallions so bad!

Like I said earlier...Robin had other shopping to do!!
After leaving the fort we headed into Hagerstown to hit a couple yarn shops....big surprise huh?
The first one I tried to hit last year but she was closing at the time. When I mapped out the address given it took us into downtown Hagerstown...which by the way is much larger than I thought it was. Hubby asked what street it was on, you should have seen his face...East Baltimore Street...for anyone who knows (and apparently he does--we'll be discussing that later) This street is FAMOUS in Baltimore for it''s...."showgirl" bars!! Remember we are in Hagerstown...we find it with no problem, only it's a residence...and not a real appealing one at that! So...I call the shop only to find out it's in Funkstown, just about 5 minutes or so outside of town!


Very easy to find...after we figured out the address given was wrong (I should have searched for their website before, they have a map-duh)!
The young lady working was very helpful. They had a nice selection of yarns. One I went looking for they had....Cascade Fixation. Since my buddy Bobbi hailed it's praises I decided maybe I should give it a shot.
You would think it's a pretty big shop...but it only had 2 (lower) rooms for yarn. Much smaller selection that I expected just from the outside. Great website by the way!! The owner designs and sells her own patterns, which I bought one!

Next~~I had to return to The Knitting Cottage in Leitersburg (MD)--no website, last year Susan stayed open for me to come shop...she's the Mennonite lady I spoke of. Again, I forgot to get "the official photographer" to get a picture of the shop, it's an old farm house converted into business. Each room holds different yarns, a classroom, a room for machine knitting lessons and packed to the brim with all types of yarns. And of course, I bought yarn here too! I wished I had been able to go, but she was telling me about the field trip they went on as a group to Kraemer Yarns in Nazareth, PA. That's on my list of places to visit!!

Anyway...wanna see my purchases?

Does sock yarn count as "stash enhancement"??? A new magnet for my yarn for a blankie...and 1 (yes, just 1) skein of Kraemer Yarn's Vintage Alpaca--I have an idea for it's use.

I did get some knitting done while riding...remember my "thong socks"? One is finished and the other is on it's way to being done, is it just me or does the first sock take forever and the second zips right on by?

With and without wearing my Chaco's!

Okay...I think I've bored you all enough now! Check back tomorrow for what I did today!

Oh...I almost forgot! I have to welcome a *new spinner* to the flock (pun intended)!
Nikki bought a spinning wheel!!! YeeHaa!!

Keep on Knittin' & Spinnin'!!!