Thursday, July 31, 2008

"Spinning, Dyeing, and Knitting...."

I have posted the above photo before, but I do so again to show you what the pre-dyed skein of yarn (2 ply) looked like. I once again used Kool Aid to dye the yarn. For this yarn, I used Black Cherry and Grape. I also had some white singles leftover from another spinning, so I dyed that using Black Cherry as well. I figured I would incorporate it into the piece I was knitting for highlights. Unfortunately, I did not have a large amount of the yarn, so I knit an experimental piece/scarf, to see how the hand spun knit up. The close up below allows you to see the individual yarns and their colors.

I used the other previously dyed yarn to knit some baby hats and socks. Again, I didn't have enough of the hand dyed yarn, so had to incorporate some purchased white yarn to complete the socks. I have to knit one more sock to finish the green pair, then will have to decide what to do about the 2nd hat, since I have no more green yarn left. The hat actually fits an adult head (yes, I tried it on to see about the stretch), so I am thinking it will be offered to someone I know who LOVES know who you are. :)

I may have mentioned before about my spinning Icelandic Sheep roving, too......or was that in emails I have written? If not, here is the finished plied yarn on the bobbin of my spinning wheel. I spun 2 colors of singles, one of Grey and one of Moorit, then plied them together to get this yarn.

This photo shows my transferring the yarn from the bobbin to the skein winder. I am very happy with the skein winder. I am now able to measure exactly how many yards I have of spun, which in this case, was 362 yards.

The finished yarn after being washed/rinsed and then dried, to set the twist of the yarn. I plan on knitting a pair of socks for myself.....selfish aren't I? :)

This is another pair of baby socks that I knit out of purchased sock yarn. I have so many colors of "left over" sock yarn, that I decided to knit some up to see how they looked as baby socks. Personally, I like how they turned out. Anyone want to express an opinion? :)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Out to Dinner....'

On Saturday night, Don and I met former neighbors, Maniphone, Jonathan, Tim, Amy, and their broods for dinner at the Hilldale Pasqual's. Amy's brother, Nick, also joined us, as he had come down that day to attend his nephew and nieces baptisms, which were to take place the next day.

Tim, with daughter Lilly, and brother in law, Nick.

Left to right: Alex, in the car carrier (barely seen), Sam, Amy, Henry, Maniphone, me, Simon, Jonathan, Tim, Lilly, and Nick. Don was the photographer. :)

One more time from left to right: Sam, Amy, Henry, Maniphone, me, Don, Simon, Jonathan, Tim, and Lilly. Nick was kind enough to take the photo.

Family portrait: Maniphone, holding Henry, with Simon and Jonathan seated. They stopped at our house Monday night to say good bye. They were leaving Madison on Tuesday morning for Chicago, where they would stay for a few days, then fly back to Grand Forks, ND.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"2 Happy Hours and 1 Birthday......"

Poor Charlie, who turned 30 this year, had to postpone her birthday celebration because of school. She had some work that just had to be done, so we celebrated her birthday a week later. It worked quite well for us, since we were in Des Moines, IA, her birthday weekend. :)

Doesn't the cake look appetizing next to a can of "Off"? That is Anna next to her.......

Happy hour was also attended by Claudine and Michelle, along with son Pryor, whom we met through Tracie and Bridgett. They'd come to visit Tracie which, coincidentally, happened to be near Happy Hour! :) Copper was hoping for some "fall out" from the cake plate. :)

From left to right, "The Boyz": Michael, Lonnie, Rob, and Andy. Jillian is lying at the feet of Andy......

Former neighbors Tim and Amy dropped by that night, too, with twins Lilly and Sam, and newest addition, Alex (not shown in this photo).

Tim with daughter Lilly......

I called "Dibs" for Alex when she was taken from her car seat. A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do! ;)

Tim with son Sam....Alex's taking a bottle from me!!!! :) (Copper hoping for some more "fallout")

Tracie with daughter Evie, Claudine, and Pryor. Last Friday was to be a "sleep over" for the 2 kids, but Pryor just couldn't get to sleep, so home he went to his own bed. It was a night to play "dress up", too.

Other former neighbors, Maniphone and Jonathan, came to happy hour last Friday. They came into town for a few days, making sure they would be here in time for the gathering. Jonathan, in the background talking to Anna, with his sons Simon and Henry, "striking a pose". :)

It was a special night for snacks. Maniphone and Jonathan stopped by Whole Foods on the way to our house for some heavy hors douvres, and I gathered some fruit, made a cheese dip for my favorite.....Frito Scoops Corn Chips! :)

Monday, July 28, 2008

"The Fiber and Folk Fest....."

Don and I went to the Fiber and Folk Fest, which was held a week ago Saturday, down at McHenry Community College, in Crystal Lake, IL. It was mainly a fiber festival, but also had numerous singing/music venues as well.

Susan, of Susan's Fiber Shop, whom I bought my spinning wheel from, had a booth at the festival. We stopped to say hello, plus I wanted to take a look at what type of drum carders she had available. I am trying out a Pat Green drum carder. I'd read about them on the internet, but had not seen one, let alone tried one out, in person.

Susan is giving me instructions......

Oh yes.....I would like one. :)

Fiber is laid onto the "feeder tray" ...................

and gently fed into the teeth of the drum, which then blends all of it together, making what is called a "batt".

The batt is then rolled off of the large drum and is ready to be spun.

The finished batt.

We didn't know what to expect in the way of animals at this festival, having never been before. The other fiber festivals/county fairs that we have attended, have always had a number of fiber animals "on the hoof". :) This festival had these 2 Alpacas......1 shorn and the other not, plus a few Angora Rabbits, but mainly it was just a "vendor driven" festival.

Both were quiet (with the exception of a little "singing/humming") and very friendly.

Beautiful eyes, eh? :)

I'm sure this little guy has beautiful eyes, too, which will show after shearing. :)

I didn't buy a drum carder, but did manage to find some roving that I was looking for. I had wanted some "superwash" roving to spin for knitting sock yarn. I found some superwash Merino/Mohair in 3 shades (sand/gray/and dark, almost black, navy). It is my 1st time spinning Merino and so far, I seem to be OK with it. :) I also bought some washed Coopworth fleece, that has to be carded prior to being able to be spun. I have opened up some of the locks, using a dog brush.....that too, seems to be working out fine. I'll have to make sure I take some photos of that, too.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Just 3 More....."

There are just 3 more photos that I want to post from our days in Des Moines, IA.

I felt this was a very good one of Don with his siblings and their families. They are standing in front of the house that Don's grandfather built for his wife and their 6 children.

From left to right: Sandra and Bob, behind their children Jennifer and David, Don, Bonnie, Seth, Drew, and Eugene.

Here is a photo of just the house.

As I went to get the car from the parking garage, Don happened upon Bonnie and her family checking out of the hotel at the same time. This photo was taken by Eugene, prior to my pulling up in the car. From left to right: Seth, Don, Drew, and Bonnie.

We found out the next day that we were the lucky ones (along with Drew) with our traveling that day. There were storms out east and Bonnie, Eugene, and Seth, had to sit in a plane for 3 hours, on a runway, before they could proceed on their way home. Drew's flight went as planned, since he was flying back to California. Don's brother Bob and family had it the worst.........they had to spend the night somewhere (without luggage) and made it home the following day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

"THE Gathering of the Clan....."

Saturday night was the big gathering of the "cousins". This is the "official" family portrait.....but wait.....some of the relatives aren't in it! They had gone outside and didn't hear the call to "line up"! The camera was aligned for this size group........

So when the "stragglers" came in and saw what was happening, they got into position, but unfortunately, Doug (Donna's son), was not totally in the cameras lens. Here is the result of the final photo taken.......everyone who attended that evening but only 1/2 of Doug. :(

It was mentioned numerous times, that this was a rare event and most likely would not be repeated, or if it is, in all probability, not everyone who attended this time would be there for the next one.

Don and I had a very nice time. I'm glad we were able to go to Des Moines early and have the opportunity to visit with Dolly in Cummings, and also go to Earlham, to see first hand, the stone house of his Quaker ancestors.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Friday Night's Picnic continued....."

Don's sister, Bonnie, with Jodie, and her husband Eugene.

Don with his nephews (Bonnie/Eugene's sons), Drew, and Seth.

Cousin Donna's grand daughter Jocelyn, and daughter Cindy.

Facing from left to right: Jonathan (Christine's husband), Eugene, and son Drew. Backs to the camera (L to R): Bonnie, Roy, and Jodie.

Don's nephews Seth and David, along side David's father, Bob.

Don's niece Jennifer, and sister in law, Sandra.

Henry (Donna's partner), Donna, her grand daughter Jocelyn, and son in law, Nathan. In the background talking to Carlton, is her son Doug, also of Colorado.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"More of Friday's Family Picnic....."

Sisters, Kim (Iowa, organizer, and whose home we were having the picnic) and Jeanne (California).

Don, along with the four of us (L to R): Christine (Michigan), me, Bob, and Bonnie, Don/Bob's sister (Maryland), walked behind Kim/Carlton's yard to see the sun set.

Don listening to Paula Sue (New Jersey), Jodie and Roy (standing), with Bob's wife, Sandra (seated).

Elizabeth (Illinois), Jodie's youngest daughter (Sherry and Christine's sister), and husband Michael.

Gathering around the family album (prototype) that Don worked on using his new book program, are: Bing (California, twin of Jeanne/Kim's brother), Paula Sue, Christine, Jodie, Beth, and Jeanne.

More tomorrow........

Monday, July 21, 2008

"The First Large Gathering of the Clan......"

Have I mentioned that Don's mother's family were Scottish? :) Thus my use of the word, "clan". Our first large gathering of the reunion weekend, was Friday night at Don's cousin Kim, and her husband Carlton's home. Thankfully, we had very nice weather, although hot, because the event was planned for outside. As you can see by the number of cousins and their families, it was a well attended event, which kicked off the weekends activities. Family members came in from both coasts and various states between. As you also might have noticed, Don is not in this photo......he took this photo with our small camera, due to the fogging up of his large camera's lens, which had been inside in air conditioning. The announcement to take the family photo was a surprise to him, otherwise, he'd have had the camera set up on it's tripod and acclimated to the heat outside.......

After the main photo, Don couldn't help himself and continued to take more photos. Here, from left to right:
Donna in the far back (from Colorado), her new son in law, Nathan, holding his step daughter Jocelyn, Donna's daughter Cindy (Colorado), Dolly (Iowa), me, Jon, and his wife Deblyn (Iowa). Jon and Deblyn live in Cedar falls, IA, which had also been hit hard by flooding this summer. Fortunately, their home is on a hill, and was not flooded, although their barn had 2' of water IN IT'S LOFT!! They were very lucky........many of their neighbors lost everything.

Deblyn, Jodie (Iowa), Don's younger brother, Bob (Virginia), and Roy, Jodie's husband. Jodie was married to Don's Uncle Herbert, who died very young from a heart attack. Jodie has become the "unofficial" matriarch of the family.

Siblings: "younger brother" Bob and Don

Don's cousin Sherry (Iowa) with her nephew's Nathan and Simon (Michigan)

On Thursday, Don and I drove to Cummings, IA, to visit Dolly, another cousin, who is a bit more distantly connected than most of the cousins that were to attend the reunion. :) She is a true genealogist and was able to give Don some photos to scan, and information about the family, that he did not have. We spent 4 hours with her and they seemed to fly....she a fount of knowledge and humorous, too! :)