Monday, November 21, 2011

Eagles and Turkeys

What do eagles and turkeys have to do with knitting, you ask?  Nothing.  I am in between finished projects, so have nothing in a knitterly way to show.  But... Whenever we start complaining about how far we live from no-where, this shows up in the front yard. 

A pair of American Bald Eagles twittering on top of the highest pine tree on the property.  I was unable to get close enough to get a good photo, but I think you'll get the picture.  The female had already flown away.

This is not a black and white print; it was just one of those dreary Michigan days. 

The turkeys were also strutting through the yard, making an otherwise dreary day one to remember.

On the knitting front, I still have to finish my sideways cardigan knit with 6 ply sock yarn.  Click here for a photo on Ravelry.  I also have to block the From Dawn to Dusk shawlette.  Also on the needles are another shawlette, Water lilies and a cardigan knit with fingering weight Alpaca on 2.5 mm needles.  It'll be a long time before that cardigan is done.  At least I hope to live long enough.

Knit on Merrily!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

First snow - November 11, 2011

The Snow Fairy by Claude McKay

Throughout the afternoon I watched them there,
Snow-fairies falling, falling from the sky,
Whirling fantastic in the misty air,
Contending fierce for space supremacy.
And they flew down a mightier force at night,
As though in heaven there was revolt and riot,
And they, frail things had taken panic flight
Down to the calm earth seeking peace and quiet.
I went to bed and rose at early dawn
To see them huddled together in a heap,
Each merged into the other upon the lawn,
Worn out by the sharp struggle, fast asleep.
The sun shone brightly on them half the day,
By night they stealthily had stol'n away.

And suddenly my thoughts then turned to you
Who came to me upon a winter's night,
When snow-sprites round my attic window flew,
Your hair disheveled, eyes aglow with light.
My heart was like the weather when you came,
The wanton winds were blowing loud and long;
But you, with joy and passion all aflame,
You danced and sang a lilting summer song.
I made room for you in my little bed,
Took covers from the closet fresh and warm,
A downful pillow for your scented head,
And lay down with you resting in my arm.
You went with Dawn. You left me ere the day,
The lonely actor of a dreamy play.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Warm Toes

This makes socks #34 for the year.  The pattern is Dreamin' of Tulips from Thinking Outside the Sox. The original socks were designed to be knit with left over baby yarn.  Since I still am on the "house cleaning" kick, i.e. make odds and ends of yarn disappear, I used small samples of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarns with which my daughter experimented over the past few years.  This made for a pair of warm and rugged socks which will keep my feet warm and dry during this coming winter.

Knit on Merrily! 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Apple of the Eyelet

What do you get when you mix a skein of bright green hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn with a new book of sock patterns?  (You really didn't need the book since you have hundreds of patterns already, but gee golly you just couldn't resist because the colors in the photos were so gorgeous.)  You get a new pair of socks named "Apple of My Eyelet" from the book Think Outside the Socks.

I have lusted after this book for some time and finally gave in to those urges.  And here are the results:

Aren't they pretty? 

Knit on Merrily!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Socks #31 and #32

I knit two more pairs of socks during the month of September, but failed to show them.  As a first step to a thorough "house" cleaning, I decided to do "wool" cleaning. I've had dozens of partial balls of sock yarn laying about. In some cases they started out as full balls, but were partially eaten by some unidentified critters, be it moths, mice or cats. Others were spirited away by Sammy the cat to his own secret hiding place, only to see the light of day again when he was good and ready to share. The ultimate hope, of course, is that Fall cleaning can be delayed until Spring. So here they are:  The first one for the orphanage in Akkhol and the second pair for moi.
Knit with some ancient Opal yarn.

Knit with Brownsheep Wildfoot yarn left over from a cone with which I knit an EZ Pi Shawl ca. 2003.  Sammy dug it out of his favorite hiding place and regifted me with it.  What a cat!

Knit on Merrily!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wash Day

 I decided that I also needed to start knitting socks for us; our feet need to stay warm this winter as well.  Particularly, since we are in a La Nina weather cycle which means that in the Great Lakes region we will experience more snow and cold than the average season, at least according to the weather forecasters.  I hope they are wrong.  So here is a photo of all the socks hanging on the line drying and then the pair I knit for my youngest daughter.

 Just the way she likes them.  Loud and mismatched.  This is an old ball of Opal. Neither of us has any idea from where the ball came or when it invaded the household. But they sure will be useful on Halloween.

Knit on!

Same old, same old

I haven't posted much, but have been busy knitting socks for the Kazakhstan orphanage. So here is September's output.
Knit with Opal, Harry Potter

Knit with the dreaded Hobby Lobby yarn with cuffs, heels and toes from Lang Jawoll.

Hobby Lobby sock yarn

Ancient Opal and Knit Picks sock yarn

Blauband sock yarn

Knit on, Merrily!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Baby Blankets

I do not like knitting blankets, but everyone in the Yahoo group Mittens for Akkhol was knitting blankets for the babies.  The size needed was only 20x30" and I had various amounts of odds and ends of hand-spun yarns; so, of course, I had to join in. Here are the products of this co-dependent behavior with the enabler being the members of the Group.

and this one
The oddments were some of the earliest hand-spun and hand-dyed yarns which my in-house spinner, aka daughter, produced.

Knit on, merrily!

Message to Lori Pall

Since Blogger is not allowing me to post to my own blog, here is the answer to your question.  The doggie is a Rat Terrier, variously called Pepe Le Pew, Pepe or Sir Rat.  I found him In July 2000 on a prison yard where I worked; one of his legs was injured.  It looked like he had been caught in a trap and worked himself loose.  He usually pretends to be an attachment to my left hip when I sit in my recliner and always wants to be covered up. He is now between 12 and 13 years old and is getting gray hair. He's also spoiled rotten.  And just because I love him, here is another photo of him, one of his previous "brothers" who is now dead, and the Siamese when he was a baby.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer around Michigan

Rather than taking a vacation in another State this year, we have been exploring closer to home. There are many nooks and crannies in Northern Michigan that we have never visited although we have lived in this part of the State for 11 years.  During the unbearable heat wave in July, we booked ourselves into a nearby hotel. Taking a drive around the area we ended up in Rogers City, Michigan and found homes built with field stones gathered from the fields many years ago. I have only seen these homes in Michigan although I understand they can also be found in New York State. I find these buildings fascinating. So here are a few photos of such buildings collected over the past few years.
 Rogers City, Michigan

  Rogers City, Michigan

 East Jordan Michigan - El-Jirah Farmhouse

East Jordan, Michigan - El-Jirah Barn 

 Private Home on the way to West Branch, Michigan

    St. John's Church, East Jordan, Michigan
Built in the early 19th Century by Czechoslovakian Immigrants

Back to knitting.    

Monday, August 8, 2011

Socks No. 24 for 2011

Another pair of socks is labeled and waiting to be shipped later in the year to Mittens-for-Akkhol.  The pattern's designer is Regina Satta from Germany.  You can see her designs here.  She has a number of free designs.  Patterns can be downloaded in both English and German.  This is an alternative to "Stinos", simple to knit but looks quite dressy.  A pattern that is unisex and would look just as good in a solid colored sock yarn.  The pattern's name is "Jeck."  I don't know if the word means anything.  Regina is originally from Berlin and I lived 49 years ago in the Northern Black Forest.  Two different times and dialects. The yarn is ONLine Supersocke Butterfly Color, 4 ply.  I bought it at Little Knits from Seattle, Wash. at a very, very good price.

Knit on Merrily!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Socks: Pairs 22 and 23

I can't believe it but I haven't posted since the middle of July.  The extreme heat in July caused us to spend a few days in a Motel.  My daughter's asthma and heart problems said thank you as did my arthritis.  The dog was pretty pleased as well and felt at home as you can see from the photo. 

During that time I did get two pairs of socks finished, one with ONLine Wellness II and one from an in-house hand-dyed ball of commercial sock yarn. As  always, these socks are for the orphanages in Kazakhstan.  If you have some time and the inkling to knit something for these kids go and visit the Mitten's for Akkhol group on Yahoo.  All kinds of knitted articles  are needed.

 Mock Cable - ONLine Wellness II
Herringbone - Hand-dyed commercial sock yarn

Knit on merrily!

Friday, July 15, 2011

More Socks for Akkhol

These are socks #18, 19, 20 and 21 for the year 2011

More socks for the orphanage in Kazakhstan. The first pair is knit from some old yarn in the short row pattern. Not my most favorite pattern, but the hand-dyed yarn calls for it. Regular 4 ply sock yarn.
Just enough yarn left from a skein of ONLine Supersocke Wellness II to make a pair of 16 cm long socks. 

A skein of 4-ply sock yarn dyed by that fabulous in-house dyer, aka youngest daughter.  The pattern is called "Fluss des Lebens" (River of Life) and is by the German designer Sonja Koehler.  It can be found free of charge on Sonja's Ravelry site called "Sonja's Sockenland."

And finally a pair of socks knit with another skein of ONLine Wellness II yarn.  These socks have a foot length of 22 cm. The pattern is based on the "XOX Socks" by Wollhuhn (literally translated wool chicken).  She offers several free patterns on Ravelry.

I'll close with Porky Pig's famous saying: "That's all folks" for today.  Knit on Merrily!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The tale of the gooseberries

We're getting our first gooseberries.  Finally!  After 4 consecutive summers of the fruit disappearing over night., we were able to fool the cedar wax wings by putting netting over the bushes as soon as the blooms turned into fruit.  Now the eating starts although there is plenty for freezing and making jam as well.

I am still knitting socks.  Just have to post photos.

In the meantime knit on merrily while we enjoy our gooseberries.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Bald Eagle Sighting

We almost collided with a bald eagle today.  We were driving west on US 10 close to the village of Baldwin, Michigan when 2 feet in front of us a bald eagle swooped down with claws extended.  It was an awesome sight.  The photo, of course, is not of the bald eagle we saw, but "borrowed" from Google images.  I hope he found his meal.  In researching it on the Internet, I found that a good no. of eagles in Michigan get killed in collisions with cars.  Who would have thought of this!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Since Holland, Michigan was settled by the Dutch, it has an annual Tulip Fest in May.  It's an extremely big festival for such a small town, but when we first moved to Michigan we would venture out into the crowd of half a million and ooh and aah over the fields of tulips.  Well, we discovered last year an Iris farm between Traverse City and Empire, Michigan.  It's a centennial farm and has been in the same family.  I've searched for a web site to which to send you, but alas while there are hundreds of hits in Google, the farm itself does not appear to have a web site.  So I hope the photos will make up for it.  While the colors are breath taking, I was most touched by the accidental meeting of the patriarch of the family. 

As always I had to rest my back after traipsing among the blooms; so I sat myself down in a chair at a table with two elderly gentlemen.  Well one was, the second one was just a wee bit obnoxious once he figured out I was born in Germany.  He kept trying out his "Minnesota German" of which I could not make out even one word.  So I did what I do best.  I smiled.  Thankfully he left and the patriarch of the Iris Family Farm and I got into a conversation.  He was sent to Germany as a young man toward the end of WWII.  I couldn't help but thank him for his service and told him how a bunch of American soldiers kept me from starving in 1946/1947.  He started getting tears into his eyes and was mourning the carnage he lived through.  We shed a few tears together, laughed a little, and shared some war stories. I think when we parted we both felt a little better.

And now some photos of my favorites:

I hope you liked the photos.