Friday, August 31, 2012

What about my spinning you say?

My spinning has slowed down, pretty much to a halt for a time. But I've picked up my spindle again and plied this.

I still have a bit more to go but my spindle was so full it would not hold anymore. I think that may have been part of the problem. It takes a bit more force to get all this yarn moving.

Now what am I going to make with this crazy colored yarn? I think it is mostly fingering weight. Maybe some stop traffic mitts? You know people are going to see those coming.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


So the big town (according to South Dakota standards) that my parents live near is Rapid City (RC). It is close to Mount Rushmore which has four American presidents carved on it. Yes I know there is a whole debate about whether or not carving up natural beauty is the best way to memorialize people. Let's not get into that here, not that we would.

Anyways, Rapid City has decided to go with the presidential theme and placed statues of presidents on the street corners. The first one we encountered is George W Bush. Here is D with him giving us all thumbs up. I had forgotten that he too had a Scottie dog and initially thought man that looks nothing like FDR.

My nephew, who has lived near RC all his life did not get into the tourist act but graciously allowed a smiling picture for his Auntie. He gets good grades too. We're all quite proud of him.

Next we have D swearing in with William Taft. Well either swearing in or attempting to hold his hand. Sometimes it is best when you don't ask too many questions.

I got Calvin Coolidge because he has a saddle and a hat. I've always loved the story in which, Dorothy Parker told him she bet someone else she could get more than two words out of him. His reply? "You Lose." Yep that is still funny to me even now.

There are more statues but we moved on to the street fair, so that is all we got touristy with.

Turns out my brother-in-law and I have the same tastes for street food. Corn on the cob dipped in a crock-pot full of melted butter? Yes please!

Can you believe that I managed to eat it without dribbling butter all down the front of my shirt? I could not either but it did happen.

Here's to summer time in the great state of South Dakota.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

New Sock Saturday

I love a new pair of socks on the weekend! I took my Mockery Socks with me to South Dakota and they ended up being a great project to work on while visiting. I was not able to finish them while we were there but shortly after we returned home. 

Here they are not quite finished. On a side note see how our grass is trying to go from brown to green now that we've had some rain? 

And here they are finally finished!

Jack thought you needed to see some belly fur. The yarn is from a couple of years ago at the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. (Soon it will be fiber fest time again I can not wait!) Liberty Fibers sock yarn in the colorway Kimono. (The upper picture is more true to color.) The pattern is a free one Mockery Socks by Katie Grady. It was quite entertaining and easy to memorize. I am completely in love with this combination of yarn and pattern. They compliment each other without overwhelming the other.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


You know that feeling of new yarn calling to you? Hey Baby why don't you come on over here and read my label? See how woolie I am? You like wool. Don't you want to see how my colors change? Go ahead and grab your needles while you're at it. Oh would you look at that, it seems my label has slipped off. Go ahead a grab my tail and cast on, you just want to see if the pattern directions make any sense. Good, they do make sense. What's that just one more row, go ahead and take your time. Another row? Sure I have no where else to be. 

Anyone else have "Toucha, Toucha, Touch Me" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show playing in their heads? Just me? (Liars)

Anyhow I just could not resist starting Wingspan in my new Mini Mochi yarn. I knit the above portion on the recommended needle size, but then I remembered that I usually go up a needle or two since I am such a tight knitter.

So I found a set of the larger needles and cast on using another ball of yarn. Yeah that label just happened to fall off too. Hee hee. Aparently I liked this sample better since I kept right on going on it.

Any opinions on which is better? I obviously have my favorite.

Y'all need a close up to decide? I don't know if it helps but here you go.

I am falling in love with garter stitch shawls. They're such a comforting simple knit, and I think they're pretty easy to wear too. I especially love the look of this pattern with the short row shaping to create the colorful wedge/swirls.

I can tell you, I continued on the larger needle size and have knit four wedges with one ball. Since the pattern calls for eight wedges, it means I should have a ball of yarn left over. What do I make from it? I am thinking maybe a hat. But I don't knit very good hats... Anybody want to suggest a pattern for a multicolored yarn hat?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

As Promised New Yarn from SD

Well I am back to talking about yarn again. Look what I found on my unplanned layover.

I've been fighting the urge to knit a few more shawls/scarves. Particularly Wingspan has been calling to me to find just the right yarn. I noticed a sample knit of Wingspan and was able to try it on. Some of the smaller shawlettes are too delicate looking on me. I revert to my farm girl roots and look silly. But Wingspan was just the right size. So I found the Mini Mochi and played with colors, finally settling for this colorway. 

Since we had just spent the day before driving past wheat fields, I fell in love with a colorway that is totally not me. I asked D if he wanted another pair of crazy socks but he is going to let me have this colorway, well at least for now he is.

I thought this might make a nice Wingspan too but then I started looking and Hitchhiker is calling to me instead, or maybe Lintilla. Which will look better? I don't know either, that is why I started Wingspan with the Mini Mochi instead. Those two patterns can duke it out in my head while I knit along happily on garter stitch.

While I had sworn off single ply yarns for socks I am currently loving them for shawls. I may after these two yarns swear them off again, but I don't think so the colors are just too tempting.

I also found some roving on my Mom's side of the state. I don't know if it is bad to try to spin dark roving as a beginner. I do know that ignorance is bliss sometimes, so I came home with some lovely dark roving. 

It is so much fun to go into different shops and see what other yarns they carry. I try to find things that I can not find local to my home. I like to spread the yarn money around when I can, yet keep the home fires burning too. It is a tough job but I am willing to do it. Hee Hee.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


We had the honor to attend a wedding last night. I loved their arrangements. As a true romantic I enjoy all weddings. Mom always said I was in love with being in love. Turns out I still am.

The wedding cake was fabulous! I love cake almost as much as I love Love.

Best wishes J and C. I hope you have a long and happy life together. Wait a minute, did I just give a Vulcan toast?

I may or may not be guilt of knitting while waiting for the ceremony. There may or may not be photographic evidence of my crime knitting. What can I say? I love yarn and am not someone who can wait patiently without it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

South Dakota wants me to buy yarn

After our most recent trip I have come to the conclusion that South Dakota wants me to buy yarn there. Our flight was canceled the night before and as always I put the time to good use. My great Father in law allowed me an extra day of use on the car, Hubby and I headed off to the yarn shop

I don't feel comfortable taking pictures inside stores but I got one of the sign outside. Now I know I should have taken one of the building too. It is a big old house that started out as a parsonage. It was relocated from downtown Sioux Falls to its current location. It had been a Bed and Breakfast and a Tea Shop too. Hey if you're going to lose a tea shop it might as well be turned into a yarn store.

Hubby was very happy to have a large sitting area to relax in with a nice clerk to talk to. She kept him entertained while I shopped. Good thing too because I am an indecisive color picker. D says the sitting area was so nice because it was in a large pleasant room. Some yarn stores are no bigger than closets.

I managed to narrow down my choices and I will show them to you in another post. I'm still trying to decide if they will work with the patterns I thought or if I want to change it up a bit.

If you have to spend an extra day in South Dakota I know where you should go for stash enhancement.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Look what followed me home from SD

One of the things that I most enjoy about our visits home is how my sister and I connect over books now. We had to share a room while growing up, and it did not help us to see eye to eye. 

But now she is introducing me to books I never thought to read. And on the plus side she let me take home her duplicate books. She introduced me to Lawrence Block and now I will try Ed McBain. I don't think she will take up my victorian romance novels, but then again I've never offered them to her. Hmm, I wonder? Sis, you want me to send you a sample novel?

My lovely Mother in law was thinking of how I like to wear sweaters when she picked this out for me from her late Mother's jewelry box. This is a local type of jewelry called Black Hills Gold. It is usually three colors of gold (gold, green and pink) containing leaf and grape motifs. I think it is based on a prospector's dream, or at least that was the story I was once told.

I thought it was very nice to pass on a piece of Grandma's jewelry to me. I hope my hand knit sweaters can display it properly. She was such an elegant and lovely lady.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I said stop it!

Stop messing around and settle down OR ELSE!

Oh sorry, I was not talking to you I was threatening talking to my shawl. You remember my Holden Eggplant shawl? Well it seems I should forget it in a closet somewhere. With as many times as I've knit and ripped it back, I should have three shawls by now.

I started it back in May thinking I would have plenty of time to finish it and block it properly before a wedding in mid August. Well I was wrong, so very wrong. There is something about the yarn and pattern combo that makes me forget how to knit and count properly. 

I took it to South Dakota with me as a good on the plane knitting project. Many people talk about how lace is a great thing to knit while flying because it holds your attention and concentration. I now know I am not one of those people because I like to fly early in the morning and am still mostly groggy. I managed to knit a few lace rows before I gave up and gave into some sleeping.

I also knew that it was not a sit and visit with the relatives project either, so I did not even try that. I may have made some headway in the car but now we all know that I prefer to drive so the shawl made a meaningless trip to SD.

So I'm finally home and have an opportunity to do some meaningful lace knitting and the shawl is not working with me. After knitting, unknitting, knitting, ripping back and reknitting the same section this weekend I am throwing in the towel and have now accepted the fact I will not be wearing a new shawl next weekend.

So take that Eggplant, I'm going to go find a nice sock to knit on! Anybody on the needles have any Cashmere content? I need some comfort!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Drive across the state

Since our families live on opposite sides of South Dakota we end up driving to see one of them. I used to begrudge the time but now it is a little oasis of together time. Turns out it can be nice if you let it be. 

Hubby obliged me as my photographer while I did the driving. It cuts into my knitting but I think we both prefer me driving for some odd reason. 

We started out on the western side of the state which is mostly grassland and wheat crops. We actually have National Grasslands

There were plenty of hay bales along the interstate. You can always tell you're in a agriculture state when you see the bales. We usually make use of all the grass land we can, most people will cut and bale hay right up to the interstate. You never know, that may be one less bale that you have to buy from someone else. With the droughts everybody needs as much hay as they can get.

I must admit it makes my heart happy. I still think SD is its own kind of beautiful.

We passed a group of long distance bikers on the interstate but my photographer was a wee bit slow. It did not help that we were almost passing them before we realized what was going on. So it sparked a debate in the car, is it illegal to bike on the interstate or is that only on the east coast? I know I would not be comfortable with traffic whipping past me at 75 mph. Can you imagine what a semi truck feels like? Wow!

SD is cut vertically by the Missouri river. We just get to see a bit of it here.

But then you get to drive right over it, and let me tell you it is a big river. Well at least in this farm girl's eyes it is.

That is the railroad crossing out there. 

Once you cross the river the crops begin to change, you start to see corn fields. Wow was the corn suffering this year. We saw quite a few that looked like someone had toasted them. There is just no coming back from the scorching that some took. What do you do when a crop fails and there is nothing that you can do about it. 

Soybeans seem a bit more drought resistant but we even saw some suffering on that end too. 

See we do have trees on the prairie too. We need some thing that slows down the wind out there. I was struck by the wind there I had forgotten how strong it can blow. It takes your breath away and knocks you off your feet. Oh how the wind can blow across the prairie!

Well how did you enjoy your drive across the state with us? Much quicker this way, right?