Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting Crafty!

This is the sweater I finished for Hubby. Merry Belated Christmas Sweety!  It is knit in PeaceFleece ( local fiber) and looks very nice on him. Although I think it will be a while before I knit a whole garment in Double Moss stitch.  Hubby has never received a handmade sweater from me. Usually he gets machine knit.  So for Christmas he received a bag of wool and a promise.  
This is the beginning of a sweater for myself.  But given that it is partly cabled it may take a while.  I find that I can only do this during nap time or I mess up the cable.  Distraction is the bane of this pattern. The cable will go along the bottom and then it is knit straight up. So as soon as I reach  21 inches of cable it should work up quickly.
This is the beginning of a penny rug. I took the class this past weekend at my favorite Local yarn Store. I still need to finish it but it is fun and works up quickly.  Just what I need...another hobby.  But there are several things I would like to make up for the kids for Christmas so I needed to learn some new skills.
Speaking of new skills.  I have conquered, mastered, accomplished my first sewing project.  This is the teen with his new pair of PJ bottoms that I made ALL BY MYSELF.  The fabric was 1.99 at Goodwill and the pattern was 1.99 at Joann's .  I made them on my treadle sewing machine.  Low Carbon Foot Print PJ's! There is always the question whether there is any savings by making your own clothes. Fabric ( or yarn) can be expensive.   Sometimes it is worth spending a little something to provide a garment that one could not otherwise afford and will have lasting quality. A hand knitted sweater would be much more expensive if I had bought it from someone.  And a new pair of Pj bottoms would not have cost 4.00.
This is a little something I made for the wee one for next Christmas.  Winters are long here. There will not be much time after the snow melts off the garden, the canners get dusted off and fair season takes over to think about handmade for Christmas.  I usually find I am knitting day and night during the month of December for other people (hired knitter) and that my near and dears end up with bags of wool and a promise.  So I am trying to do a little every month.

All this creative activity seems to help keep the winter blues and mud season ick away. 

With all the doom and gloom that is out there, I think and hope that a return to hand made is seen as an affordable alternative for folks.  Building up skills  ( even it is just how to patch a pair of pants or sew on a button) has to be a better alternative than throwing something in the landfill or replacing something that might  still have some life in it.  When belts are tightening, it is easy to think that we have to deprive ourselves. But  knowing how to create something does not have to mean taking on expensive equipment or expensive materials.   I bought the yarn for my hubby's and my sweater through a yarn buying co-op.  It saved me 50% over retail.

4$ pjamas and the pride of doing it myself...

Need I say more?

Sunday, March 29, 2009


                                                             Gratuitous Cat Pictures

                                                         And  Sprouty Green Things!

Monday, March 23, 2009


We had a busy but nice weekend.  On  Saturday,  I went to work at the children's bookstore that I work at a couple of days a month.  Hubby took the wee one and ran errands all day.  We met at closing time to go to my midwife's birthday party.

When I was pregnant with the wee one we decided to try for a homebirth.  Every month of my pregnancy we would take the trip to her home on  a hill. We would drink warm herbal tea, discuss peak oil, gardening, unschooling, parenting and oh yeah...pregnancy.  My pregnancy was a great experience;but alas, the wee one was born in a hospital because he was too big to come the natural way.  

But the relationship with my midwife continues with her yearly pig roast for her past and current clients...and this past weekends celebration of her 50th birthday.

It was a great time.  Her adult children played the music for the contra dance.  Potluck was the menu.  And babies and children everywhere.  Fun, fun, fun.

I realized; while we were there, that there are moments of joy that I find in just watching my children.  This past weekend it was watching my 2 year old running around with all the other kids.  He was just lost in the movement  music and fun; giggling, color rising in his cheeks, engaged in a moment of play that is whole and pure.

It reminded me of a time when the teen and I were at the Common Ground  Fair back in 2003.  I sat on a hill watching teen play with abandon with other kids throwing hay up in the air and at each other while the drums of Inanna ( a woman's drumming group) beat in the back ground.  I had never seen him so lost in the moment, just playing; feeding his wild child, playing with abandon. No rules, no limits, for that moment.  I had the chance to see him do this again when we went to a family wedding this past fall.  I marveled at the fact that he danced all night long whether he had a partner or not.

Sunday, Hubby and I spent the afternoon working on transforming a spare room off of our workshop into a knitting studio for me.  This is a work in progress.  It was a room hubby was going to use to give private music lessons.  Instead it became a dumping ground for STUFF and then a nursery for baby chicks last summer.  Needless to say, it is a big job; but we chip away at it a little at a time.  I hope to be able to have it all set up by this summer and ready to knit for the fall fair season. In the meantime I play with my daydreams about this space.  I think it will make our living space less cluttered because there will not be yarn everywhere.  I will have before and after pictures when it is done.

Did you have a good weekend?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Happy Equinox!

Equinox. Even. Equal.  


Much needed change.

Yay Spring!  The days are filled with more light. The snow recedes from the house and the trees. The sap is running. The wee one splashes in the mud puddles formed in the drive. And the sheep are snuffling their noses to the ground; searching for any bit of green.

Today the wee one and I will start some seeds. Onions, marigolds, calendula.   We will take down the paper snowflakes from the living room window. And during the wee one's nap, I will trudge out to the garden and dig out the polytunnels filled with spinach sprouts waiting to wake up.

How will you be celebrating the new season?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So let's see....

I quit my job and I get a million dollar retention bonus.  Bonus!

The Federal Government hocked my children's future, so a few guys who helped to collapse the economy, could use it to pad their own personal balance sheets.  Bonus!

Bailout money gets funneled to Goldman Sachs through AIG.  Didn't Goldman Sachs get bailout money already?  Bonus!

Company legal department comes up with some fuzzy math reason for needing to give out the bonuses.   " Really , I had no choice I HAD (wink wink) to take the money" Bonus!

Does anyone think that any of these guys have a clue?  A sense or right and wrong?  A sense of decency? 

Wouldn't you say thanks but no thanks?  

Monday, March 9, 2009

Goat Update

Leroy brown goat is in surgery to have his leg set.  He will have a cast for eight weeks. 

Woo. Hoo.

Bad Goat!

 Leroy Brown Goat has had some spring fever.  The day time Temps have been in the thirties and sunny.  He is our Houdini.  This weekend, he got out of his pen on Saturday morning. Hubby was a way for the weekend, so our kind neighbor came over to help me get back into his pen and reinforce it so that he will stay in it.

Hubby was home by Saturday night. Sunday, that silly goat had figure out how to get out of his pen again.  Again, more reinforcement.

Today he got out and tried to get in with the sheep and got his hoof stuck in the gate. I heard goat cries while trying to get the wee one down for his nap.  Teen went to check on him.  His leg is broken.


Call the vet.  They think they can fix it.  Now is a time when our one car family is not convenient.  We wait for hubby to drive home before we can get him to the vet.  Today, hubby works per diem at a school downeast.  Three hours away.

All this comes on the heels of Ewe Girl's ( aka Button) death.  She died of a prolapsed uterus last week while giving birth to her first lamb. 

Life on the farm is not always so rosey.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This is life...moments of pain, beauty and joy.

We've been waging battle with beastly viruses for a few weeks now.  First momma and teen, then wee one.  

This is what happens when pride takes over.  Just the week before the onslaught, I commented on the fact that we have only had one cold this season. Last fall, in fact. Hubby had the touch of something in December but otherwise we've been pretty hardy.

Wee one had a visit to the doctor last week for ear infection and conjunctivitis and a listen to his lungs.   Wee one was also infected with some bad habits that resulted from feeling sluggish and cranky for a week.  Yup...too much TV and juice.

So alas, it falls on the Momma, who is home all day, to play the heavy.  Limited TV and one glass of diluted juice a day.  

Let's just say that someone has not been happy  with this turn of events and he is sweet, toe headed and stands about 3 feet tall.  

To top it all off ...not all of his systems have been a go.  We've experienced some regression.  One regression being the refusal to sit on the potty to poop.  You know it's bad when you can't remember when he last went.    It has been 2 days of coaxing, cajoling, and bargaining. He was really cranky this morning but he finally sat down and got the job done.  Poor guy.

And then like a ray of sunshine through storm clouds...

We put a little Putamayo music sampler on and there he was ....dancing. Shaking his head , swinging his arms , turning in circles, holding on to the coffee table so he could kick. 

 It was the most perfect moment.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Good Ideas!

I've found a few good ideas that I would like to share with you.  

First, we've planned on building a greenhouse but this little greenhouse might make a nice temporary structure that we could make in a weekend until we are able to make our dream greenhouse.

I will be starting seed soon and I think that I will be making my own starter mix.

And then I dream of starting my seed under something  as smart as this nifty set up( at least until I built my own greenhouse)

I received some yummy Noro Kuryeon yarn for my birthday and plan to knit this entrelac scarf when I finish Hubby's Sweater . I am nearly done with it and will have pictures of pride to share this week.

And Finally it is Saint David's Day; patron saint of Wales.  Hubby made Cawl Cunnin today. Oh yum, yum.  For dessert we had Welsh Cookies.