Lion or Lamb?

March has arrived. It’s a sunny day, but very cold. Does this make March a lion or lamb? Yesterday was quite a lion day. Schools were closed because of freezing rain. My driveway is now a lovely skating rink. I hope the sun is going to help solve that dilemma, because I definitely don’t have enough salt to melt the entire driveway.

A new business is opening soon in Waddington, a small town nearby on the St. Lawrence River, which is also the carp fishing capital of the world. I kid you not. A few years ago there were many international carp fishermen visiting for the world carp fishing tournament. The new business is called Grassroots Community Coop and their intention is to support home businesses and cottage industries. Their stated goal is to get back to grass roots: with neighbors supporting one another and their hard earned dollars remaining in St. Lawrence County. The space for the cooperative is huge, and I think it has wonderful potential. My yarn and fiber will be a part of the cooperative-very exciting. They are also planning to have art and craft classes. I have been searching for quite some time for a perfect place for a knitting group to be held, and I think this might just be the place.
Along with the coop there will be The Fireside Eatery. This will be a 50’s retro restaurant, and they are planning to have fun events like dinner and a movie featuring a classic movie and murder mystery dinners. I’m looking forward to a new restaurant to try. The chef is a recent Paul Smiths graduate, so I’m sure the food will be delicious.
Yesterday after the roads had been cleared and salted I headed to Waddington to check out the Coop space and help with cleaning and painting. It was my first chance to see where my products will be, and I was delighted with what I saw-a huge sunny room with views of the St. Lawrence River. I can’t wait to see it filled with beautiful things. It was good to meet Debbie and Suzanna, the two people bringing their vision to fruition in this venture, and to help a little in moving their plan forward. We did some cleaning, and I will go back again soon, once the water is turned on. It’s a little hard to clean without water. I do love the smell of Murphy’s Oil Soap!
I finished my hats for Warm Hats not Hot Heads, a group of knitters who have banded together to knit hats for members of Congress. The organizers are devoted to the idea that softer rhetoric would help our country to find better solutions to our challenges. Hats are being made and sent by the knitter or crocheter to a member of congress as a way of saying that soft words are appreciated, as is the person’s service to his or her country. I made two hats, one for my representative, Bill Owens, and one for a representative I much admire who is from Long Island, Carolyn McCarthy. Enough hats have been knit to send one to every senator, and the effort is continuing to send hats to every member of congress. Here are some not so great photos of the hats I made.
This is Meret by Wooly Wormhead, a hat I have made several times and really enjoy knitting. It’s lace, but an easy to remember lace pattern. This photo was taken before blocking. It’s made with Lamb’s Pride Worsted in the color Misty Blue, a color I love. It’s sort of blue and sort of grey and beautiful.

The other hat is Turn a Square by Jared Flood, another hat I have made several times and enjoy knitting. This photo is also before blocking. It is made with navy and grey leftovers I had-one is Cascade 220 and one Lamb’s Pride Worsted.

These two yarns are the old reliables in my knitting arsenal, and ones I turn to when I am low on colorways of my own yarn. What are your favorite yarns to knit with?
Posted in fireside eatery, grassroots coop, jared flood, Moonlight and Laughter, wooly wormhead | 2 Comments

Does Anybody Know What Day It Is?

I am confused as to what day it is , or even what date it is. This month has whizzed by, I’ve had 3 trips to the Adirondacks in the last week, didn’t work last week and then we had President’s Day, which took Monday away, all of these things led to my confusion.
On Sunday I visited Big Tupper with my sister-in-law. Big Tupper is a ski resort in the village of Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks that had been closed for several years. A group of local residents has banded together to try to bring it back. It was a gorgeous sunny, but freezing day. My brother Tim, the coffee roaster, is roasting coffee for the Big Tupper Brewing Company and the profits are going toward helping bring back the skiing to Big Tupper.


There was a coffee tasting, and that was the reason for our trip. I was amazed at how many people were skiing. Right now they don’t make snow and there is no night skiing, but the great thing about Big Tupper is that the lift tickets are only $15.00, which makes it affordable for families.





Here’s the view from inside the lodge. I sat in the sunshine knitting and watching skiers and snowboarders zooming down the hill.

Here’s a photo of our happy group shortly before leaving. That’s me, Lisa, Tim, and Lisa’s daughter Sarah, who had a glorious day skiing.

My final photo is of my grandkitty Sterling Battleship Sylvia who is living with a big black dog (my granddog Begonia) temporarily and is finding all sorts of places to hide, like this high shelf, behind the green beans. She is staring at the evil Begonia, who was lying on the floor underneath the shelf and had no idea there was a cat right above her head. Smart Sterling.

Posted in Adirondack Mountains, Moonlight and Laughter, st. Lawrence Valley Roasters | 1 Comment

Silk has arrived in the North Country!

Yesterday was an exciting day. I received an order of recycled silk ribbons and pulled sari silk. I can’t wait to get them in the shop and will be working on it over the next few days. I can see so many possibilities for working with the silk ribbons-weaving, add ins for art batts, splitting them and knitting directly with the ribbon, or using the ribbon to knit along with yarn are just some of the ideas. I’m also thinking of making bracelets by wrapping the silk around a bangle bracelet. Having lived through the 80’s and not being good at getting rid of things, I may have a bangle bracelet or two hidden away.

I’m also doing a small shop update this weekend with some silks, milk fiber and superwash laceweight merino yarn.
Superwash merino laceweight yarn called “Red Hot Moon”.

Align Center

Milk Latte Fiber
Mulberry Silk brick


This is also an exciting weekend because it is Phat Fiber box drop day today. The theme for the month is Gems and Minerals. I submitted batt samples in Aquamarine and Merino, Cashmere, Nylon fingering weight sock yarn.

Here’s the amethyst sock yarn.
And the aquamarine batt samples.
I went to visit my darling children at the beginning of the week, which is their weekend since they work in the hospitality industry. I returned home to find this sight in my shop living room.


I’m thinking the cats had something to do with it. My poor table will never be the same after having such pressure on the leaf, but the lamp survived! Those darn cats.
Posted in Moonlight and Laughter, phat fiber box, pulled sari silk, sari silk ribbons | Leave a comment

Silk has arrived in the North Country!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

While reading a friend’s blog yesterday I was pointed to the online exhibition of an exhibit called Threads of Feeling which is going on until March 2011 at the Foundling Museum in London, England. The museum tells the story of The Foundling Hospital, London’s first home for abandoned children. When the children were left a small object or token was kept as an identifying record in case the baby might be reclaimed some day. The fabric was either cut from the child’s clothing or provided by the mother, and was attached to a registration form. It was fascinating seeing the array of textiles in this online exhibit, which gives a look at the fabric of 18th century England. I only wish I could visit the museum and see them in person. It’s also heartbreaking seeing the little notes some mother’s left with their baby. I can’t begin to imagine how horrible it would have to be to give up a child because you couldn’t care for it.



Posted in Moonlight and Laughter | Leave a comment

Snow, Snow, Snow

‘Tis a cold and blustery day here in northern New York. All schools in our county, and the neighboring county are closed, which is very unusual. It’s 12:30 and I have already shoveled the driveway twice and I imagine I’ll have to do it at least one more time before the storm is over. It’s finally looking like winter out there. I do love a snow storm as long as I don’t have to be out and driving. My neighbor told me that her vehicle had to be towed out of the bank parking lot because the lot hadn’t been plowed. I’m glad I did banking and went grocery shopping yesterday so I’m safely ensconced in my warm house with my two cuddly cat friends. Lots of time for knitting and spinning and watching some Dr. Who on Netflix.

I have no snowy photos from today, but I do have some from a stop I made at Cranberry Lake on Sunday. There was about two feet of snow, but I walked in and was able to get inside because of the way the snow had drifted by the door. It was very cold though and I didn’t get to walk around as much as I would have liked. I bet there is a lot more snow now and that snowshoes will be necessary next time. The big expanse of snow is the frozen lake.

Today my spinning group was supposed to meet at my house, but we have postponed it until next week. One intrepid friend came anyway and we enjoyed some lovely conversation, some delicious St. Lawrence Valley Roasters Cost Rica coffee and some of Aunt Hilda’s Stovetop Rice Pudding. My Aunt Hilda was a most awesome cook, and my recipe book is filled with recipes handed down from her, my Grandma Fish and my mom. I had forgotten about her rice pudding recipe and had been searching for a rice pudding that was made from uncooked rice, didn’t need to be baked and was creamy and delicious. My sister Jane reminded me of Aunt Hilda’s recipe which was published in 1981 in a cookbook put out by the First Baptist Church of Rome, New York, and the recipe satisfies all of my criteria.

Stove Top Rice Pudding

1/2 Cup Raw Rice (Arborio if you have it) 3 Eggs
1 Cup Boiling Water 1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Quart Milk 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Butter 1/2 Cup Raisins (Optional)
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg (Also Optional)

Boil rice and water for 7 minutes. Add milk and butter-boil slowly for 1 1/4 hours, covered. Watch carefully because it boils over easily. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Beat 3 eggs and sugar until thick and foamy. Add egg mixture to rice mixture and fold in real well till foam disappears. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla, spices and 1/2 cup raisins. Pour into a pan or casserole and cool a little, then refrigerate.

I usually add a little bit more rice as I like the pudding a little more solid than soupy.

Enjoy!!!

I wanted to share a pair of socks I made from some of my handspun, hand dyed yarn. They were claimed by Travis when I was there this weekend. He said the color reminded him of the Razzle Dazzle popcorn at Maison du Popcorn at the Massena mall.

No blog post is complete without a cat photo. This was Gerard as I was leaving last weekend. I’m not sure if he was trying to sneak into the bag, or if he was checking to make sure I had everything I needed.


I now must remove Gerard from my right arm and repair to the sofa for a little knitting time. I’m still working on my Peace Fleece cardigan, having finished the Rosemary’s Middle Sweater I was making, so I am moving toward accomplishing my knitting goals.

Posted in Moonlight and Laughter | Leave a comment

Baby, It’s Cold Outside (and Inside Too)

The temperature has risen to a balmy -10. I discovered my shower pipes are frozen again, despite having heat blowing on them all night from a portable heater-not good. I was grateful that my car started though. It did a little bit of rrrring, but then started right up. I took it for a little drive to get the battery warmed up, and it’s supposed to get to the even balmier temperature of 0 today, so I think the car will be OK, I’m not so sure about the pipes. I think another space heater is going to be necessary if we are going to continue to have these freezing temperatures. Some insulating of the pipes would probably help too, but that would be entering a crawl space and that is not in my job description. I’ll have to corral a child the next time one is home to help with that.

This frost is on the inside of my side door.
I’m very excited.! I have my first customer coming to my little shop in my living room.

The most exciting part is that it is someone I don’t know. I have had friends come shopping, but no brand new customers. She is looking for wool for felting and I have a ton of that, so I hope she goes away happy.

I am working at getting some felting supplies to offer for sale. Living where I do, there is no one who sells felting supplies, and although they can be ordered online, there is nothing like immediate gratification and being able to purchase locally when you are in the mood to start a new project.
Spindies is officially no more. I packed the last of the fiber that was here to send back to the participating artists last week. I set the packages by the back door, left the room, and when I came back discovered that Gerard was making the final inspection to make sure the boxes were securely packaged. It’s good that I have such helpful kitties.

Posted in Moonlight and Laughter, Spindies | Leave a comment

BBBBRRRR!!!!!!


Right Now Next 36 Hours
Clear Tonight Tomorrow Tomorrow Night
Mostly Clear Scattered Flurries Light Snow
Clear Mostly Clear Scattered Flurries Light Snow
-13°F -32° -1°
Feels Like: -25° Low High Low
Past 24-hr:
Precip: 0 in
Snow: 0 in
Chance of Precip:
10%
Chance of Snow:
30%
Chance of Snow:
70%
Wind:
From WNW at 5mph
Wind:
W at 7 mph
Wind:
SSW at 5 mph
Wind:
E at 6 mph

It’s a chilly one!
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Baby Sweaters Needed for Newborn Lambs

I have an online friend who lives in Kansas and is in desperate need of newborn to child sized baby sweaters for her newborn lambs. Here is her appeal and where to send the sweaters if you are able to donate. If you can help, I know Brenda and her lambs will really appreciate it.

Hi to everyone, I have been quite absent here, there and everywhere as I am up to my ears in lambs since Christmas and with the frigid temps I am in desparate need of used baby sweaters and I thought this might just be a good place to find some since I know there are lots of mommies here.
I normally have a stock of these but last year I didn’t have much time to shop and with all the twins and triplets this year I am way short and its really harshly cold so these babies need sweaters. I normally buy these at local thriftstores but there just aren’t any there now in the towns near my house.. The other used clothing stores i haunt are about an hour away and I just can’t leave the farm for that long with all these bottle babies, I just don’t have the time as I only have about one hour before I have to start the bottle cycle over again so…. my plea is this, if any of you young mommies have old baby sweaters – the smaller the better preferably preemie or newborn size, even 3 months is good and you want to get rid of them and would be taking them to goodwill or somewhere and want to donate them to a fiber worthy cause and warm up some sweet and very cute little lambs, I would be happy to pay the postage. I can use larger sizes as well, but am in desparate need of the tiny ones.
They don’t need to be nice or fancy, so typical garage sale/thrift store stuff is fine stained, or damaged is fine too because i have to throw them away when they are done as they get pretty messed up. I would love to knit beautiful little fair isle felted sweaters for everyone but unfortunately its just impractical because they can only be used for a very short time and it would break my heart to throw them away when they get all lamby :o). I also have to trim away parts – so they can just be any old thing. Sweatshirts are fine too, but the heavier the fabric the better, some fleece is a little too thin to do much good. Just think below zero temps and they have a little bit of wool undershirt but not much yet.
Wool sweaters of course are the absolute warmest and best but are very hard to find – so I would love those in ANY child size and I can felt and shrink them into the perfect lamby sweater – I can usually only find a few of those each year.
The other thing is I need these pretty quickly so the sooner the better, and if you just have a couple, first class postage should get here soon enough. Please don’t send priority because the costs will just add up too high for me to compensate you. First class or pacel is fine. Hopefully I will get a few quickly, so I don’t need all of them immediately. If you will email me your postage costs and paypal address, I will paypal it back to you. Also if you need to be paid for the sweaters rather than donate them, just let me know as I can pay a dollar or two for each sweater if you want to be reimbursed for them, please let me know ahead of time so I can determine how many i can purchase.
if you just want to donate please send to
Natchwoolie Lambs
P O Box 523
Osawatomie KS 66064
and email your postage costs to wool at natchwoolie.com along with the exact paypal address you wish to be reimbursed.
Thanks to all and any help will be greatly appreciated by the lambs! Maybe I can do a flash mob lamb fashion show if i get a warm sunny day.
Brenda

Posted in Natchwoolie | Leave a comment

Resolutions

Wow, it’s been a month since I posted. I think about writing every day, but then time just whizzes by and the day is over with no blog post having been written.

I have noticed several knitting blogs whose writers are making knitting resolutions . I am not much for making resolutions, as I’m pretty sure I’m not going to keep them, but have decided to take stock of what is on my needles and make a plan with some nebulous deadlines.
I found two bags with abandoned projects in my Fibber McGee yarn closet when I went looking for yarn for another sweater I started this week.

The sweater is Rosemary’s Middle Sweater from Green Mountain Spinnery made with Cascade 220 that I bought years ago. I have started and ripped out at least three sweaters using this yarn. I think it may be because the color of the yarn is outside my color comfort zone. It’s an easy pattern, and I only have the sleeves and collar left to do. I think I stopped knitting it because I thought I wouldn’t have enough yarn and I knew it would be hard to match. I’m going to be optimistic that there is enough yarn and knit fast, because somehow knitting fast makes it seem more likely that there will be enough yarn. I know that makes no logical sense, but so far it has worked. The actual color of the sweater is more the color in the tote bag above.

These are a few of about 60 granny squares completed for an afghan I abandoned at least a year ago. I guess I was just fickle and moved on to another project, although I know I will love the afghan when it is completed. There is a lot of blocking, sewing together and weaving in of ends in my future. I chose random block patterns from the book 200 Crochet Blocks, and much of the yarn is either Harrisville Shetland or Elisabeth Lavold Silky Wool. Both yarns had the color palette I was looking for and the tweedy texture that I wanted for this project.

The sweater that I started this week is a Knitting Pure and Simple Neckdown Cardigan for Women pattern. I am very fond of Knitting Pure and Simple patterns. They are well written and easy to follow. The yarn I am using was bought for another sweater that was abandoned last year. It is Peace Fleece worsted, one of my all time favorite yarns, both because of the merino mohair blended yarn and the idea behind the company. Their mission statement is that they are a yarn company committed to helping historic enemies cooperate and prosper through trade. They offer yarn made from a blend of Russian, Romanian, American, Israeli and Palestinian wools.


I hope to have all three projects completed by the end of February. Perhaps making this commitment in such a public forum will make me actually stick to the deadline.
I also have several pairs of socks using my Moonlight and Laughter yarn going at all times. I don’t really count socks as part of my UFO’s because as soon as I finish a pair I cast on for another pair, almost always with my handdyed yarn. Right now I’m working on a pair using my merino, cashmere, nylon blend and I’m loving working with the yarn. The colorway is called “Twilight Time” and is a beautiful blending of blues and lavenders, all the shades one might see as night is falling.
I’m also making a commitment to knit more with my handspun yarn. I tend to spin and not use the yarn, and my collection is becoming quite large and unruly. I thought I had it all contained in one closet, but when I was in the yarn closet searching for the sweater yarn mentioned above I discovered a whole bin of handspun I had forgotten about. Oops! Maybe it’s time to start thinking about adding some handspun to the shop.
Here is a picture of my supervisors Seamus and Gerard. They were helping me fill some orders, making sure I didn’t make any mistakes. Right now Gerard is supervising the writing of this post while lying on my arms, making it practically impossible to type, but he is very warm. I appreciate the warmth on this cold January day.

Posted in Harrisville Designs, Moonlight and Laughter, sock yarn | 1 Comment