Thursday, January 2, 2014

Happy 2014!

I think this was probably the first photo I took with my brand new Nikon DSLR Sam got me for Christmas.  Surprise, I took a picture of Rowdy!

Yes, a new camera with a huge learning curve.  I ordered a book to help me with it and would love to take a digital photography class, since I have never taken one.  But for now, I just play with it and see what happens.

The Holidays are over.  No more deadline knitting and weaving.  Now we just have the cold of January and February to look forward to and as I write this the snow is coming down steadily outside my window and is expected to do so for most of the day.  
socks for Jill

So now I can share some of the projects I was working on for gift giving.

socks for Haley

socks for mom

a hat for Michelle
homemade vanilla extract

And I also made handwoven kitchen towels for my brother Larry and a last minute hat for my brother Mike.  I can't find the photo of the towels and I forgot to photograph Mike's hat.  

Christmas day we went to Sam's mom and dad's and then on the 27th I went to Dayton to my mom's and on the 28th we had another Christmas at Mom's with my brothers and brother Larry's family.  I don't know who liked their gift better, my mom:

Mom's Mah Jong Set

Or my nephew, Wit, with his .22 (totally approved by his parents before presenting)

Nephews Wit & Lawson

Both are more exciting than socks and kitchen towels I am sure.

I was home again on Sunday the 29th.  Monday was "take down the Christmas tree and put away decorations" day along with a day to finally get some housework done.  Now it is never boring at my house, even when it is just the dogs and me at home. Monday around 11:30 the dogs began to go crazy which means either someone is in the driveway or a strange dog is in the yard and it was a very different barking than usual so I suspected the latter.  Nope.  Here is what I saw:

 5 rather large hogs in my yard.  That was a first.  We have had deer, horses, alpacas and probably a cow or 2 in the yard, but never hogs.  I wasn't quite sure what to do.  I was certainly NOT going to let the dogs out of the house!  I have no idea what would have happened had they been outside when these sows came down the road.  Maybe nothing.  It is easy to be brave when there is a big glass door between you and the pigs.  Anyway, long story short, I discovered that when I went outside and called "pig,pig,pig" they would follow me.  So I ended up shutting them in the empty garage pasture where they spent an hour or so until their owners came with a trailer to take them home.  I think the son of our neighbor who owns them had likely spent more time than he cared to herding these pigs over his Christmas break (he appeared to be about 12) because he muttered "they are gonna be bacon soon because they have been out every day" in a disgusted tone as they loaded them up.

We rung in the New Year in a friend's brand new garage playing cornhole and eating and drinking and dancing.  It is a very large garage and even has radiant hot water heat in the cement floor.  I think I have garage envy.  It was fun and close to home.  This was the guy who put in our pond 4 1/2  years ago.

I have dyed some fiber to send off for roving this month, but it came out too green.  I need to over-dye it with blue since I wanted a deep teal color.  I had lots of dye left in the dye pot, so Tuesday I threw in 6 skeins of hand-spun alpaca/wool blend yarn that was a light fawn color.  I tied knots in the skeins before dyeing, hoping that the dye would not get all the way through the knots to give some color variation.  Well it kind of worked but not to my satisfaction, so yesterday I laid the skeins out and used syringes to dot them all over with 4 different colors, then wrapped them in plastic and microwaved them.
 I am much happier with the result, but forgot to photograph the skeins on my drying rack this morning.  I'll try to post a photo next week.  That is one thing I enjoy about dyeing: if I don't like the result, I re-dye and see what happens.  So far I have always been pleased.  So far.

I have a new project on my needles, a shawl from some gradient yarn I spun last January.  This was processed fiber from a dyer and is a blend of merino wool and silk.  I LOVE the colors. I  just hope the shawl will be large enough to get all the way through the color changes.  I am pulling the ball from the center and the colors will change from red to purples to blues at the end.  Definitely MY colors.

I will end with a photo I took yesterday evening of the sunset lighting up the trees on the hill above my neighbor's house.  I ran outside and snapped some shots with my new camera.  I love evening light.


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