Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful time

I had the longest break from work since early summer.  Amazing how many things you can pack into a 5 day period!  Lots of family, food, and even rest.  We did some of this...since as a Hockey Cheerleader, one must show they can actually skate!  Emily's skates needed to be sharpened so she was content to running around the outside of the rink and having fun taking pictures of Anna and her friend.

This also happened, we got our first snow of the season.  Only a couple inches here, my sister got over a foot in the wilds of Wisconsin and were lucky they got plowed out in time for them to attend Steve's family Thanksgiving event.  We had to pass on that one as Emily had a wicked cold that morphed into a lovely case of pink eye.  Fun times at our house I tell you!

I did plenty of spinning, but have no pictures.  I have 3 skeins waiting to soak and dry, then they will be ready for their close ups.  But what I am excited about, is this.  I'm placing a big order from my favorite fiber dyer, Ginny.  I'm down to about 2-3 weeks of roving at the pace I'm spinning right now.  So with the holidays coming up and extra time at home, I will need some new stuff to work on.  It is a Christmas present to myself!  Once I've firmed up on my color choices, I'll share.  But I'm leaning towards lots of color, especially with all the winter gray that will soon be here...color is good! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Using my handspun

Last Saturday the girls and I went to the UMA Fiber Festival.  It was a good day as far as exposure and lots of people stopping by to chat.  I sold a few things, but frankly I had limited stock since I just sold a bunch of yarn to Lila & Claudines.  I had a good time, but clearly I'm going to need to spin like crazy between now and spring to ensure I have plenty of yarn for Yarnover and hopefully even Shepherd's Harvest.

Emily got bored and took a variety of pictures during the here goes a few the right lower edge of the shot you can see a wire basket that I labeled Hodgepodge - Yarn with Attitude.  I put small skeins, old beginner skeins, and my mishmash skeins of yarn at lower prices.  People laughed at these but had fun looking through them. 

The next shot appears to have caught Anna completely by surprise but made me laugh.  Anna finished reading a book during the day which drove Emily bonkers, since she didn't have anyone to talk to.  Hence Emily would try various methods to engage Anna away from her book and more to what Emily wanted to do.  Nothing like a little sisterly love!

I spent the day spinning some super saturated pinks/greens/yellows. I got quite a bit done however, the chair I sat on most of the day was much lower than what I usually sit on to spin. The next day my back went out. It wasn't awful like it has been in the past, but enough that I will have to take care in the future on what chair I use to spin with.

I've taken a break from spinning for the next couple weeks. I've been almost exclusively spinning which means my knitting has really taken a back seat. I miss the knitting time. And I especially miss knitting with my handspun. I promised a hat and fingerless mitt set to a good friend. We actually went to a local yarn shop and she picked out the yarn she wanted me to use.  Once I was done with last weeks festival, I knew I needed to get working on her stuff as it has turned quite cool here, there were snow flurries this week.  I started working on the mitts and the yarn we picked just did not work out at all.  It was too thick, I adjusted the stitch count etc and still wasn't happy.  So I took a chance.  I went through my handspun and found yarn that was maybe a shade or two lighter than the colors she picked for the mitts.  The hat is a stranded tam, solid color was brown, I had a beautiful merino silk blend in chocolate brown in my handspun as well.  So I started again, only this time using my handspun.  I think the problem is I love using my handspun and am finding commercial yarn just not the same.  Look what I've done...

Aren't they pretty?  I should have the hat finished this weekend, I'll block everything and have it ready to give her next week.  I need to weave in the ends on the mitts, but I'm really happy and I think she will also be happy to have some of my hand spun.  I sure hope so!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Work surprises

I work for a medical device company.  While our offices are in the suburbs, we are directly off a main highway.  However, our buildings are surrounded by woods and ponds.  We have wild turkeys, deer, fox, and other various critters roaming our grounds.  (sometime I need to tell you the story of the turkeys attacking certain cars)  The building I'm in is having construction work done on the parking lot.  Which means that I have to park at our other building and either walk through that building and then the sky way that links the two buildings or walk through the woods on a path that goes up and down some steep pitches while you are completely surrounded by trees.  You can hear squirrels and chipmunks chattering and scolding you as you walk through.  Imagine my surprise yesterday when I came around the bend and met him.

It was a young buck.  It has antlers and just stood there watching me.  I talked to him, trying to convince him that he should keep ambling across the path as I needed to get past him.  He didn't budge.  I slowly walked forward chattering away and still he stood there.  I got about 3 feet away before he turned tail and crashed into the trees.  I looked over and there was another young buck watching me from inside the tree line.  Funny that even though I'm smack dab in the city, even here I'm surrounded by wild life.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

14th Gotcha Day

Gotcha day is celebrated in my family much like a birthday.  14 years ago I was in China being handed my first child.  Yi, Zhi Hua became Anna Grace ZhiHua.  I became a mom.  And together we became a family.  So many decisions lead up to this day.  When I was a teenager I read books like "The Family Nobody Wanted".  I read and saw documentaries about the DeBoldt family in California.  They adopted many children for other lands, kids that needed a family.  It stuck in my brain and my heart.  20 years later I read an article in a magazine about a single female Pastor who adopted a baby girl in China.  And that was it.  I started looking and checking and thinking.  Four years later I was in China and my life was forever changed.  It hasn't always been easy.  But it has ALWAYS been right.  I'm so grateful that in spite of the many obstacles tossed in along the way, I found my way to Anna.  And through her, we found Emily.  So to my oldest daughter.  Happy Gotcha Day!  I will always love you.  Thank you for letting me be your mom.