Thursday, December 31, 2009

What are you doin' NY Eve?

Tawny wants to know what YOU are doing New Year's Eve? He thinks being by the fireplace is a particularly good place since...

THIS is what Russ and I awoke to and have been taking care of. This is an inch and a half of the wettest, heaviest snow possible. Right now there's been a misty rain/occasional snowflake.

Hope your New Year's Eve is a safe one. Ours will be quiet. (Except for the valley idiots who will be shooting off guns at midnight and fireworks every hour on the hour from dark-thirty through about 2 AM, 2010.)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The green hint

from yesterday's post is...The Green Sweater.

This story and the desire for the pattern and newly found original yarn then the newly dyed matching yarn spread through the knitting world faster than fast! "twist collective", the online knitting magazine,told The Tale of the Green Sweater from two perspectives, that of the recipient of the original green sweater who was gifted it by her godmother, Elizabeth Zimmermann; plus, the story of the green sweater's recreation by Sunday Holm. There was so much interest that Sunday did work up the pattern for publication as a SHP pattern. The original yarn/kit was sold out in literally minutes from the time Michelle announced its availability along with the pattern. Such a response!

In this picture you can see the pattern and the original single ply Briggs&Little fir yarn. Because it is single ply and could torque, it is suggested by the mill that the yarn be rewound into center pull balls and let sit for a couple days. What's that little green sweater? It's a chalkware green sweater with a "Knit On" pendant that I found in Smicksburg several years ago. Now how appropriate is that?

There were other wonderful fibery presents this Christmas, too! Three books, gift certificates to World Wide Hobbies in Willcox from Yarn Vixen and Yarn Rat, some terra cotta and fun fur yarns for a rolled brim hat, two more three drawer containers to organize yarn! All are wonderful and will be seen later on.

...Guess I should get going on that turkey-filled turkey gravy and baking powder biscuits for dinner....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Do you suppose

that it is time to give the ham and turkey breaks to go here to eat? (Answer: No!)

There is a series of Cracker Barrel ornaments but this was the one I liked best when I saw them last year. This year only one kids' fantasy tree of their usual three was set up during our last visit in September so no additional ornament was found.

Santa brought knitterly goodness, stay tuned! (Hint: Green!)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

There was anticipation

for Christmas!

The Santas were on the mantel. On the left is the Fredericksburg, TX carved Santa I got on our honeymoon. Then the Coast-to-Coast (Willcox,AZ) Santa reminding me of the Northwoods and Scandinavia. Thirdly is the Jim Shore Santa from here which has my beloved sheep in his fold.

Sheep? Did we say sheep? The sheep tree is enjoyed from its vantage point on top the entertainment center.

The stockings were all hung by the chimney with care....

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Nikki and Tawny were particularly intrigued with unwrapping presents this year. In my hand is a MarroBone, which Nikki licked and Tawny scarfed down. Better doggie treats than his people's chocolate!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Sheep for Christmas

I got a sheep for Christmas!

Yarn Elf knit this mini-stocking for me. Very Special.

God Jul.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

First (real) Snow 12/19/09


Yesterday's lack of snow is followed by what started at 9:55 last night and continues lightly but steadily.

One to three inches predicted total has already manifested into over three inches and we have hours to go yet.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Friday, December 18, 2009

Really, I am here....

Barbar thinks the Faroese Stranded Footlets from Marilyn Van Kepple's KAL will be useful this weekend.

Yes, I really did finish them since the last blog post! This weekend, starting about midnight tonight, we are to have snow, a limited commodity this season to date. (That doesn't hurt my feelings any!) You can tell in the picture that there isn't any snow outside! We've had only a tad over a trace here so far. Snow will make it seem a lot colder and my feet will be so happy in the footlets.

My wrist is still irritating at times and painful when I overdo. This has not been fun at all.

Oh, and the vehicles in the picture? The yellow car is cardboard from Steak 'n' Shake for the little boy (DH) in my life! The blue police car is a radio that Mom got Russ our first year here. Very useful, it is.

Happy last weekend before Christmas!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

It's beginning

to look a lot like Christmas, at least in the house.

Later this week snow is once again predicted, this time to stick. Hasn't yet, so we'll see how the prognosticators make out this time!

Outside there are two dandelions blooming, the bee balm continues as does my happy little bluebonnet that's been blooming continuously since August!

It was a busy weekend with lots of Christmas shopping, all the Thanksgiving goodies, house decorating. Presents are to be wrapped and the only ones due in now are the SHP ones Russ called about to pay for yesterday. Shipping has been very quick so far this season. Still have Russ' stocking to finish buying for and a couple other things. Need to get Tawny's present and make Nikki's 2009 catnip mouse. Oh...then all the cards to write, too!

And the turkey? Tonight's menu is turkey in turkey gravy over biscuits.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lookin' Up!

Thank you for asking how the arm, wrist and hand are after the barrel won that round.
Things are looking up!
Today's progress is the following:

There are two of these pumpkin pies, now in the refrigerator.

These 7 custard cups, shown baking in the oven, are the leftover pumpkin filling. Custard cups with custard in them! Who would have thought that they had a purpose other than to be stacked in a cupboard?

One thawing 20 pound turkey is now nicely thawed in wait for tomorrow's bread stuffing. (That's chunked bread, 2 sticks melted butter, diced onion, thinly sliced celery, dashes of salt and lemon pepper.) Russ is moving the turkey around for me as the wrist is not ready to support the weight of a frozen 20 pound turkey quite yet.

Can you believe two matching slippers? Yes, I finally finished the second one as wrist and hand allowed.

Finally, but not least, Happy Thanksgiving Thursday to those of us living in the USA or Overseas who celebrate our many blessings.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Barrel 1, Nancy 0

Last Sunday when DH still had to rest due to his port being removed and stitches were still 'fresh', I partially emptied the old burn barrel onto the compost pile, turned the pile, added more, then pulled on the barrel to replace it with new barrel. Sigh. The top third snapped off and so did my arm and wrist. The swelling is nearly gone now, still some bruising and I should be able to knit again tonight....a little.

'Meanwhile back at the ranch', the weather has been beautiful and yesterday DH took the leaf blower and cleaned off the back porch (sweeping is a no-no for the wrist) and blew more leaves from the yard into the garden.

First up, Russ is at the back left corner of the fenced portion of the yard.
(Notice blue sky!)

Second, here's DH's close to the garden. (Notice new burn barrel's shadow. Russ whupped the old one into shape for Mother Nature to finish recycling.)

How deep the new leaves are on Russ' boots!

The garden has been lightly tilled for winter by Brian and his trusty Gravely. We'd put homegrown compost, two barrels'-worth of sheep manure on the garden, then leaves two weeks ago and again yesterday. Uh, no, I didn't help yesterday except to take the progress photos.

Here's a cropped photo of the Gravely at work. This is an older, still cast iron Gravely. Heavy? Oh, yeah. Impermeable? Absolutely. Reliable? Always.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Beautiful November

in November
in the low 60's!
Even though it has frosted heavily several times, lavender is still blooming! Trees have dropped nearly all their leaves, sparrows are raising their last fledglings. Russ' surgery went well yesterday for port removal and colonoscopy (clear), so we feel very, very blessed.

We'll enjoy this while we have it, knowing winter-like weather will also most likely be ours this month.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Footlet time

November in PA means slipper time and Marilyn Van Keppel's patterns being shared on the SHP KAL are just the slippers!

The KAL gives the option for stranded Scandinavian footlets or solid ones. Marilyn shares that Scandinavians often do not wear shoes in their homes so create these footlets to wear throughout their homes.

Here I'm sharing pictures of one of each. I've posed them in different positions to share that they do, indeed fit! Now, this is amazing considering that shoes and slippers and I have a hard time fitting comfortably. The acrylic ones are good for milder weather, while, the stranded ones are very warm right away. Sounds 'pretty good OK' for this 'grrl' who tends toward cold feet in colder climes.

Details (you do want details, right?):

Solid: Red Heart Soft Yarn (acrylic), Cherry Red

Stranded: Brown Sheep Prairie Silk "Buck" and Paton's SWS "Natural Green"
(Thank you, Yarn Elf!)

Needles: #5 16" circulars, 2 for each footlet;plus, straight #5 and crochet hook size D, tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

The solid ones have three stitches at the beginning of the foot top section while the stranded ones have seven stitches to accommodate the star pattern. The two footlets do fit differently because of this, but only in a good way.

These are welcome additions to my Ugg boots.

Thank you, Marilyn, and SHP for the KAL. Guess I should try out the next footlets, too, right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

More Autumn Splendor

Today is even more gorgeous than the weekend! The following pictures are some of those promised when I'd said I be sharing more.

First up is a Canadian goose at Northmoreland Park with the boathouse in the background. This was all farmland when I went to school.

Fallen logs, mosses and ferns with the lake through the trees at Northmoreland call to me to photograph.

These next two are on Ridge Road, a lake that was built last year.

Right on the edge of Burrell Township and Parks Township, this area has been spectacular every year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Stranded Faroese Footlets

The other day I showed my solid red Faroese Footlet started for the KAL, the pattern shared by Marilyn van Keppel.
Meg added the written directions in a pdf. for a stranded version with the Scandinavian star pattern shared earlier in the week. I could not wait for the next KAL post or for finishing my first footlets after Meg posted. Plus...

just look at this mini-maple in its glory, peaking through the cyclone fence. I look out the window here in the living room where my laptop is currently resting and I see these leaves. They look like stranded or fair isle inspiration to me.

Details so far:
pattern from SHP KAL
#5 circular(s)
Brown Sheep Prairie Silks in "Buck" colorway and Paton's SWS in 'green'.

Sunday in the Park

Today dawned as sunny as yesterday was cloudy.

A trip to Northmoreland Park is overdue. Just ask Tawny. Just ask Tawny's Fan Club who have been asking for Tawny-Park pictures.

Look at those geese! As we were there, more Canada geese came in. Love those honkers!

Tawny is not excited about sitting pretty. There are too many wonderful, fresh scents to discover and in which to indulge.

Three Mallard duck males are in this inlet. See them? If you click on the picture to enlarge it, the details really show. It was so soggy here. Water was seeping across the brick walkway. I tried to walk down to the water's edge and I succeeded;but, sank into three inches of boggy grass.

On the way back to the truck, Russ and Tawny posed for this shot. Leaves have dropped off 80% of the woodland vegetation, but it is still a lovely afternoon.

We just couldn't resist this lovely tree by the parking lot.

A few more photos are waiting to be shared later on, too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Leafy, Sheepy Saturday

This is one heck of a burning bush! Isn't it gorgeous?

We've had enough rain, a half inch in the last 24 hours. No sunshine today for leaf peeping, but that didn't stop us this morning!

We needed to return a rope to Amy and the sheep were nearby; so, I couldn't resist a couple sheep pics. In the sheep panorama above, can you spot Chumley in the far right? Chumley is the guard llama. A most handsome fellow, he is. Amy and her Westie (who only wanted to herd and 'help' today, never when Amy wants him to) are feeding "the girls" a treat.

As Russ was driving Ridge Road, he stopped and backed up, saying, "I know you want to take a picture of that log." He's getting to understand a 'photographer's eye'!

This is another favorite spot of Russ' each fall. I showed this area last year from the opposite direction. Since we have been seeing the area the last five years, it is fascinating to compare how differently the leaves change each year. The woodlands are consistent in change. Their evolving micro-environments provide intrigue to those who watch. There are areas that had been farmed, logged, pastured. There are dry, rocky, swampy areas.

Along Chestnut Road near the creek, the ferns haven't been frosted yet and are being covered by leaves while still green. On top of the surrounding hills, the ferns are bronzed and becoming brittle.

Of course there were more photographic exploits. We'll share some more later. All photos are clickable for enlarging.

Friday, October 23, 2009

knitting and gardening

go together like the proverbial horse and carriage in my world. in fact, still have the holes in the garage ceiling from the hooks that held the surrey above the car! until the next footlet post is given on the KAL, the 'summer drooping elm' has had my attention. it has doubled in size since showing it a few days ago. (click pic to enlarge!)

it's been raining most of today, so the leaf pictures are from the inside looking out.

we are both so pleased to have gotten garden and yard work accomplished yesterday.
russ keeps saying how happy he is to have gotten the manure dumped...

and spread yesterday morning.

some prunings, a bit of leftover compost and some yard dirt start off the compost pile after i shoveled the old pile on the garden before the sheep manure. The sheep manure is mixed with chicken goodie and straw. this will give the garden nutritional elements it hasn't seen under our 'watch'.

today's rain after four glorious 'anglo autumn' days is depressing but is standing us in good garden stead.