The Musings of Meri

random thoughts to help me escape the ho-hum of everyday life...

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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Drive-by posting...

... but since it has been over a YEAR since I blogged here, I figured I'd better at least let you know that I'm still alive. That is, if anyone is still reading this. hm....

I've been teaching school the last year - but this week we finish up for the summer. There is so much to do in finishing something. So many little things that need to be wrapped up (and some bigger things that are the result of procrastination). My oldest is having a big week of his own - kindergarten graduation! I'm in denial, so we won't go there.

At any rate - my youngest is telling everyone that it is time to get up and get moving. I've got some final exams to give this morning.

Hopefully, I'll be back to blogging more this summer!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I am NOT ready for spring.

It is beautiful here today - gorgeous. The sun is shining, the skies are blue, squirrels and birds are out and about, and it is warm enough to leave winter coats abandoned for light jackets. The only dampers on the loveliness of the day are the brown grass and dirty leftover snow piles.

Well, those and the fact that it is almost too warm to wear the two WOOL sweaters I knit for myself last month. (I say almost because I wore one today anyway - and am really, really warm).

Both sweaters are the same pattern - the February Lady Sweater. There is quite the epidemic of this sweater on Ravelry. The last I checked, there were over 4500 projects for this pattern on Rav. That's a whole lot of sweaters! But it is a beautiful sweater - and surprisingly easy to knit. (which is good, because I have several more to make - for family and friends!)

My first sweater took me 12 days to knit. The yarn is Serendipity worsted from ZenString in the "Mariana" colorway - and it was gifted to me by a wonderful friend. I loved knitting it - the colors are very much "me." Navy blue, hunter green (hey, those were my wedding colors!), and a couple other shades. I found beautiful Celtic Knot pewter buttons to close the sweater, and I couldn't be happier. (well, I'd be a little happier with a better picture of it, but that is no fault of the sweater's!)

The second sweater took a bit longer, but I finished knitting it exactly 4 weeks after I started the first sweater - not bad! It is knit from some lovely gray cormo yarn. Now, this yarn is special in its own right. It originally came to me as fleece. About 1.5lbs of cormo fleece (for those of you that don't know, cormo is a corriedale/merino cross, and it is simply heavenly). I then sent it to the Fibers 4 Ewe mill to be processed and spun. The lovely 3ply yarn that came back to me was just a joy to work with. I completed this sweater with pewter clasps (I really hate knitting buttonholes).

As I mentioned, I've got several more sweaters to make from this same pattern - not to mention the other sweaters I want to make for myself in different patterns... It is most definitely the year of the sweater.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

yep, still knitting...

slacking on the blogging, but still knitting. ;)

Made these before Christmas - two scarves (for gifts), a pair of picky pants for my youngest - oh, and that yarn - yummy merino/cashmere:

abunchofpics 236

Also made a sweater for my sister-in-law, but not so sure that she wants her picture on my blog. ;)

Current projects? oh fun!! Well, um... this scarf for my daughter:

Emma's scarf

This sweater for myself - the February Lady Sweater - knit with yarn gifted to me by a very sweet friend:

FLS #1 - Zen String

(I'm actually a lot further than that now, but haven't taken a more recent picture).

And a sweater for my best friend's daughter... no picture of that - it is a cardigan with white Plymouth Encore.

Want to know how nuts I am? I have plans to make a total of five sweaters for myself this year. Not counting a sweater for my sister and my mother-in-law. Oh, and I'm planning to spin the yarn (a 3ply light worsted/worsted weight) for one of those... I think I might need to stop fav'ing and queue'ing things on Ravelry.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I've been Tagged!

Bonnie tagged me. :) So here goes!

7 Things Meme:
The rules:
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 7 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post.
4. Pass on the tag.

hm.... well....

1. I love to spin. LOVE to spin. If my wrists would allow, I'd spin all day - of course, that would require having a maid to keep up the house, a nanny to keep up the kids, and another knitter to keep up with my knitting orders. Since I have none of those, I do not spin all day. In fact, I don't spin nearly as much as I'd like these days - since little boy isn't going to sleep very early these nights.

2. I love crockpot chicken soup. My mom would call it cheater soup. It really is, but I love it. See, I'm a rather picky eater. Mostly, its texture issues, but I cannot stand veggies in my chicken soup. I like chicken, broth, and noodles. Yep - boring. But since I'm the cook in this house, I make it how I like it. And it couldn't be easier. Step 1 - buy rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Step 2 - eat some of the chicken for lunch. Step 3 - put whatever we don't eat (still on the bird - bones and all) into the crockpot and fill with water to almost cover the bird. Step 4 - turn on high and let sit for a couple hours. Step 5 - take out the bird carefully - being sure to get all the bones that may have come loose (those wings like to fall off). Step 6 - "pick" chicken off the bird, and throw back in the crockpot with the broth. Step 7 - add onion powder, garlic powder, celery flakes (so that my Mom will at least agree that there is some green in the soup), salt, and pepper. Put cover back on and let it all meld for a bit. Step 8 - cook noodles - I like small noodles - can't remember the name for them now, but they are kinda like elbows, except only like 1/4 inch long and don't curve. I keep the noodles separate from the soup - just put the noodles in my bowl, then add the broth/chicken. This way, the noodles don't get all mushy (texture thing, remember). Step 9 - enjoy! At the end of the day, put the crockpot bowl in the fridge. Next morning, pull it out, put it back on the heat, and reheat... we get two days of soup out of it (I don't like to reheat it more than the one time - just makes me nervous).

3. I'm a teacher, and love it. Well, I WAS a teacher, before kids. I'm slowly getting back into it. I've started substituting a bit for our Christian school this past year - love it. Last week, I taught 3rd/4th grade one day, and High School the next day. I was actually kinda surprised at how un-different the grades were. The biggest reminder both classes received was to STOP TALKING!

4. I'm the choir director and pianist at our church. I love both ministries. This Sunday was like Christmas for choir - we got two boxes of new music in the mail. FUN!!! I spent Sunday afternoon listening through the cd with the new music, and was so excited to get to choir practice and share it with everyone.

5. I'm a fiber-a-holic. Admitting it is the first step, right? I used to think it was just yarn. And then I started spinning. Oh. my. word. There is soooo much pretty fiber out there - and did you know that handpainted fiber is often cheaper than handpainted yarn? uh-huh! danger! danger! I probably have enough yarn and fiber in this house to sufficiently insulate for the winter - except that it is all in protective Rubbermaid containers (okay, that's not true - I have a couple Sterillite containers as well - have to be unbiased).

6. I'm positively desperate for my baby boy to start saying "mommy." He says "daddy" very well. He calls EVERYONE Daddy. But no amount of coaxing gets a "mommy" out of him. However, he makes up for it in cuddles - and I do so love my boy's cuddles. He is totally what keeps me from going back to teaching fulltime right now. I'm enjoying being home with him, and don't want to miss out on his toddler-hood.

7. I'm totally in love with chocolate and coffee... not necessarily together. I am totally craving a Pumpkin Spice latte right this second, though a chocolate milk will probably have to suffice. I'd spring for a Peppermint Chocolate Mini from Schwan's except... oh, yeah - my darling husband ATE THEM ALL!! I'll give him some credit, I did get a few of them. But next time I buy a special treat for me, drastic measures will ensue - either eat them all on the spot (could certainly use the weight, but not the bellyache that will no doubt accompany - nor the brainfreeze from so much ice cream), or hide them in the very back of the freezer (which does run the risk of forgetting they are there... but just think of the delightfully delicious surprise I'd have in six months when I clean out the freezer!).

So, who to tag now? Hm... how about...
Sharon, Theresa, Patti, Tif, Katie, Sarah, and Marnie.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Handspun by SweetKnits

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? It is the new branch out of my knitting business, and I'm soooo excited about it! There will be more info and new things as the next couple weeks go by. After much time and practice, and lots of friends "testing" for me, the first two skeins of yarn will go up for online sale this Friday, June 6th. (click on the pictures to be taken to the YINIA listings).

"Cafe Mocha" Merino 2ply

"Afternoon at the Beach" Merino 2ply

There will be more coming as the weeks go by. I'm far too much in love with spinning to give it up, or stop long enough to knit up everything I spin!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A wonderful weekend!

This weekend was MA Sheep and Woolcraft Fair up in Cummington. I never even knew there was such a thing until recently, when I started spinning. So, I made plans to be there. Bright and early on Saturday morning - we made it a family event (though I'm not sure it was enjoyed by others as much as it was by me).

The weather was gorgeous - a bit chilly with a breeze, but the sun was warm. The kids loved seeing all the sheep (and there were lots of them!). I thoroughly enjoyed seeing all the lovely dyed roving, yarn, and the many different spinning wheels and spindles. It was just amazing. I came home with some lovely stuff.

First - 4oz of beautiful merino top in "Nova Scotia" dyed by Spunky Eclectic, and an extra bobbin for my new wheel.

Next is 8oz of merino from The Wool Peddler in "Neopolitan" - I was drawn to this color as soon as I saw it, and as much as I tried to get something rainbow-y, I kept coming back to it.

And this just made my entire weekend:
Third place in the Wearable Art Division! I'm so stoked!
These pants are available for sale at YINIA - they are currently part of a set, though keep an eye out as they may be available individually soon.

Friday, May 23, 2008

And then, there were two

Well, at least for now...

Meet the newest addition to the family - a Louet Julia S11 spinning wheel. I've named her Julia-Morgan (just Morgan for short).
The yarn you see on her was a 3ply merino - I spun the singles on Rory, and then plied them onto Morgan (the Louet bobbins hold more yarn).

This is my first yarn that was done on the Louet start to finish. It is a batt from CopperPot Woolies on Etsy - with lots of different fibers in it. It was definitely fun to spin, and I love how it came out.

And this is the current on the wheel project - well, one of them. This is merino from All Spun Up on Etsy - in shades of browns and natural, and I LOVE it!!!
Back to spinning!!! Hopefully I'll have some finished skeins to show you next time.

Oh, and if anyone is interested in a great starter wheel, Rory is looking for a new home (by necessity - but I will miss her!).