Sunday, September 30, 2012


 I visited an alpaca farm today near Peru, IN.  Cute!

This is a fella.(to the right)

 A beautiful Indiana Autumn day.

Books on Spinning

While visiting the spinner/weaver guild yesterday, a very kind lady gave me the names of a few books that would help me in my 'learning to spin' journey.  I am going to list them here for future reference because there is a chance that I will misplace the list. If you are wanting to learn to spin maybe these books will be of interest to you as well.

If you are going to learn to spin on the drop spindle these books were recommended:

Spindle Spinning from Novice to Expert by Connie Delaney {ISBN: 0-9660952-0-0 Kokovoko Press}
High Whorling, A Spinner's Guide to an Old World Skill by Priscilla A.Gibson Roberts {ISBN: 0-9668289-0-9 Nomad Pub.}
Respect the Spindle, Spin Infinite Yarns with One Amazing Tool by Abby Framquemont {ISBN 978-1-59668-155-2  Interweave Pub.}

Good fiber books (both highly recommended):

In Sheep's Clothing 

Fleece & Fiber Source Book { Carol Story Publishing}

A recommended website:

The same kind lady gave me tidbits too:
  • All sheep will flock together except Shetlands.
  • Use a woven fence to keep fiber animals in.
  • In some sheep you will get better wool when feeding just grass, no grain.
  • Shetlands are relatively new to the United States and therefore are more susceptible to certain diseases than other sheep.
  • Have an idea of what types of things you want to knit with the wool you grow so you can pick out the best type of sheep to produce the product that you want.
  • Make sure you worm your sheep and have a good vet.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Wool and Wheels

 I took a trip up north today to Columbia City.  I was privileged to attend a spinning/weaving guild meeting.  I found the place o.k.  It was out in the country a bit but I had good directions.

She was spinning alpaca.

 This lovely lady was plying wool.

The alpaca spun and plied and put into a lovely hank. I got to let it sit on my lap.  It was so soft and pretty.

 There were several different brands of spinning wheels.  Kromski, Lendrum, Sickenger and Ashford.  The above wheel is the Kiwi model made by Ashford.

 I was lovingly corrected when I called these goats, sheep.  :)

 I asked a ton of questions and the ladies were all so gracious in answering them.  They were very knowledgeable about all things woolly and spin-ish.

The one question that I asked that didn't get a direct answer was this..."What (used) wheel would you recommend a beginner start with?"    Each person I asked said..."You must spin on the wheel as much as possible before you purchase it to find out which wheel works for you".

O.K.  I appreciate their honesty.   But are you thinkin' what I am thinkin?
I don't know how to spin.  I want to learn to spin.  I can't  try out a wheel until I learn to spin.  But I shouldn't buy a wheel until I try it out.  
So, which came first, the chicken or the egg?  Ha.

It is all great food for thought and I will think about it a lot!!!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bad Kitty, part two

Isn't he sweet?  Moses.

I must say though, I am as guilty as he is.  I KNOW he is capable of grabbing balls of yarn and running helter-skelter through the house.
I try never to leave my knitting unattended.  But, ironically, I was watching a DVD of Elizabeth Zimmermann, knitting an aran coat.  All the while he was in the other room....doing this.  :)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Bad Kitty

Margaret's kitten, Moses has been a bad kitty.  Following in the popular 'pet shaming' that is on the internet, I had to follow suite.
While he 'didn't get' what all the fuss was about....the little signs made ME feel better.
Margaret graciously cleaned up all of the crime scenes.   We are finding out that he is really finicky with the litter box.  So Margaret has been put on strict litter control.   Things have gotten better but he hasn't attained perfection in his potty habits just yet.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wool Samples

When I learned to knit a few years ago I was directed to read Elizabeth Zimmermann books.  I did.  I also watched her DVDs.   Her work gave me the desire to knit an Aran sweater.  "This is the YEAR".(the late Ron Santo would always say this over the Chicago Cubs.....that year hasn't came yet for them....but it has come for me).  While I am not knitting a pattern from Elizabeth I definitely will in the future.   I finally ordered the wool sample card from Schoolhouse Press.  After reading about Sheepsdown, Sheepswool and Icelandic wool, etc., I had to understand what they looked like and how they feel to the touch.  I certainly wasn't disappointed when I received them and I have been mesmerized by them all day.  :)   The picture doesn't show the alpaca/wool blend.  It is wonderfully soft.  The wool isn't offensive at all and it feels comfy against my skin, but there is just something about alpaca........

Out of all the samples I can't really narrow down my favorite yet....they all have their own appeal.
Have you knit with Schoolhouse Press wools?  Which one is your favorite.  What did you make?  I think will make an Aran coat (someday).

Until next time.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Two Months Today

I have been knitting sporadically on this sweater for two months today.  While it was intended for Chris in the size of small ( I guess I thought the gauge was right-but Not!) it will hopefully end up for Margaret.   I knit Chris a sweater last year while he was in New York too, went to Margaret.  She isn't big at all, but my calculations are just way off.  So next time I knit him anything, if there is a next time, I will exaggerate the size and if it is too big for him, then I shall wear it.  :)
The skein represents that it has taken one skein (465 yds) so far to get to this point.  The second sleeve is coming along much faster than the first due to great lessons learned from the first.  

The rose bush that we purchased at half price when the green house was closing has done really well this summer.   The weather has been unusually hot for Indiana so roses must like that sort of thing.     Yesterday and today have been fall-like and a much welcomed break. 

Until next time.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God...

 The skies display His craftsmanship.

Day after day they continue to speak.

Night after night they make Him known.

~Ps. 19: 1-2~

Taken at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana Sept. 7, 2012

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Cabbage and Potatoes with Kielbasa

This is a tweaked recipe from the Lorna Sass book Pressure Perfect.
I didn't have all of the ingredients so I just went with what I had (I am learning to roll like that...:)....)
 Having always turned my nose up to cooked cabbage, I was surprised that I liked this.  ( My mother is SURPRISED right now too-Hi Mom).  I used Johnsonville Keilbasa and it is rather high in Saturated fat per take care when eating this.
Here's the recipe.
1 C. chicken broth
1 to 1.5 pounds of kielbasa sausage {1 c. diced finely, the rest sliced in 1/2 inch pieces}
1.5 pounds of red-skinned taters cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 head of cabbage, quartered, cored and thickly sliced crosswise
salt and pepper

Combine broth, 1 c. of finely diced sausage, the taters and cabbage.  Bring up to pressure over 
high heat and reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 3 minutes.  Perform a quick release with cold water in the sink, removed lid and return the pot to the burner that has been turned to simmer.
Add the rest of the sausage that has been browned in a skillet, salt and pepper to taste and simmer 3-5 minutes if necessary to finish cooking.

It's pretty tasty.  SURPRISINGLY!

Until next time.