Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Mr. Photogenic......"

Last weekend while Dad (Andy) was up north camping with Rob, Benjamin, Becca, and Angela spent some quality time out in their front yard. I walked over to take a few photos because Don (after coming home from chatting himself) told me that Benjamin was wearing the little jacket I knit for him.

Andy and Angela have Benjamin trained! Tell him to smile and there is no hesitation! ;)

Full view with his hood up. Angela said that when it was washed, the jacket felted a little (I guess "someone" wasn't thinking about it being wool, eh?)

The playground setting.......

Once again "on demand". ;)

I wasn't able to get everyone to look at the camera at the same time, but all the photos looked good. Of course, with such good looking models, how could they not turn out great, eh? ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"Wisconsin Machine Knitters Guild's Annual Picnic"

The local members of the guild were hosting members from other parts of Wisconsin (some members live in Illinois, too!) for the groups annual picnic/gathering. They had quite a large turn out. Barbara, one of my mentors from the CSM group, asked if I'd like to come and bring my CSM machine for some of the interested flat bed knitters to see and possibly crank, so I spent last Saturday morning at the Verona Library with them. In this photo are Pat, sitting at her CSM, with Barbara next to her and chatting with Renice, who is smiling towards the camera. :)

Susan Forbes ( demonstrated her technique of dyeing socks blanks that she knits on a flat bed knitting machine.

A closer view of some of the "show and tell" items (dyed blanks, knitted socks/mittens) that she brought along.

Natalie brought her flat bed knitting machine so that she could demonstrate knitting "toe up" socks.

Another view of the machine...........

It was an enjoyable and interesting time. And in case you are wondering, no, there is not a flat bed knitting machine in my future. Where would I put it?! ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"A Little Dyeing....."

I did some more dyeing of sock yarn last week. Here is the 1st one ready to go into the crock pot.

In its water bath with white vinegar added as the mordant.

It was rather non-descript when it was finished........

So back into another dye bath with more color added.....Aztec Gold for some vibrancy. The finished skein is shown in a photo at the end of today's post.

I also decided to try "stove top" dyeing. I kept the pot purposely for this reason when we got new cookware, but this is the 1st time I have tried it. "Fire Red" dye was used this time and vinegar added as mordant, too.

The finished skein of sock yarn. Definitely a bright pink. I'm not sure if I will keep this "as is" or over dye it to get something darker/richer. What are your thoughts?

"Sky Blue" this time.......

The finished skein. This one was dyed specifically to create a pattern when knit, by tying the skein very tightly in one place so the dye would not be able to penetrate underneath the tie. When the yarn is knit, it will have a white/light colored stitch between the blue stitches creating a continuous, repeating pattern throughout the sock.

This is a skein of Lion Brand Sock Yarn that I decided to try over dyeing with something dark. I really do not know why I bought it in the 1st place, although the colors are nice, but a bit too "girlie" for me. I probably was thinking granddaughter, but since I don't own a compound cylinder for my CSM yet, I'll find another use for the yarn.

The over dyed pink yarn is the 2nd from the right. I think it looks sort of like a variegated mahogany. The center one is the other over dyed skein of yarn that I redid using Aztec Gold. Actually, the left one is also over dyed, too. I'd used a green dye and it, too, seemed "blah" when it was finished, so I put it back into the same dye bath and added some "Brown", so now it is a dark khaki.

I am glad that I tried stove top dyeing. It is definitely MUCH faster than the crock pot, but I also had to watch and check it more frequently, so both have their positive and negative points. I will continue to use both methods.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lonnie and Charlie's Baby Shower Continued....."

Krista came with the twins, Zoe and Kai, with Jacob meeting them at the shower a few minutes later. Lonny's sister (blue top/long brown hair), came from Iowa with his 2 nephews to attend the shower......and Lisa (lower left) is another friend of theirs that we know.

Matt and Emily have created a really nice play area for Addie, which Benjamin and Angela took advantage of while there.

Is this little guy having fun or what??!!

"Mr. Photogenic"

Lonnie with Phil and Sabine.

The baby shower was a very nice gathering. Good people, good conversation, good all round good time.

It isn't much longer until we have a new little neighbor boy, too. He is due the 2nd weekend of October........"if" he chooses to appear then. He may have other ideas as to when he will arrive. ;)

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Lonny and Charlie's Baby Shower....."

Yes, Don and I attended a baby shower. This is one for the records. ;)

Friends of Lonny and Charlie gave them a couples baby shower last Sunday. It was a very nice time and a great group of people......that makes perfect sense, since everyone there were friends of Lonny and Charlie, right? :)

Here they are opening one of their gifts.

Karen, with daughter Sabine, posing with Charlie. Husband/father Phil is back in the "far" distance.

Made' holding Becca............

FINALLY.......I got to hold Becca. ;)

Mary holding Becca........

And yes, we did allow Angela to hold her daughter, too........when Becca got hungry, of course. :)

I got to hold Sabine though, too. Karen looks on to make sure I'm "doing it right".

Hostess Emily holding daughter Addie, who is very close to Benjamin's age.

More of the baby shower in my next post.......

Thursday, September 23, 2010

"A Beautiful Day for IRONMAN!"

As Don and I started out on our bikes for a ride down to check out the Ironman Competition, we stopped to say hello to Andy, Angela, Benjamin, and Becca. They were enjoying the beautiful day lazing around on the front lawn.

I asked Benjamin if he had a bike and wanted to go bike riding? His answer was to excitedly RUN into the garage, having me follow him, so that he could show/bring out his bike. I "suggested" he ask his Daddy to take him out for a ride....receiving a "dagger look from Andy, but "all's fair" in child and parrot raising, right? ;) Maybe some day he'll be able to go riding with us........sigh........

The weather for the Ironman Competition couldn't have been nicer. It was sunny and warm (but not too warm), with no humidity. A perfect day for such an event. That, of course, is my humble opinion.......

The finish line for the riding part of the competition......

The crowd was out, anxiously awaiting the riders. I am in the crowd.....near the corner of the upper white tent (blue shirt).

Don took this view from the top public area of Monona Terrace. The competitors had to ride up the circular ramp with a burst of speed as they got close to their finish line for the riding section of the event.

A close up of one competitor.........

Here he is after handing over his bike to a volunteer. Notice his riding shoes are still connected to his bike? The switchover to the running part of the competition begins with their dismount from their bike, so some of the competitors make use of every partial second by jumping from their riding, you may ask?'s a mystery. ;)

Don was enjoying his time taking numerous photos of the beautiful day. The sky was so blue!

A view of the Capitol from the top of Monona Terrace.

The parking area of Monona Terrace is ready with bike racks to receive all of the competitors bikes.

The final leg of the competition is running. This area is also the end of the race with the finish line down the street after going through the arch.

Again, it was a perfect day for the competition! We certainly enjoyed ourselves on our ride........maybe someday, Benjamin will be able to join us. ;)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Back to the Loom and Fairy Yarnmother""

I started getting my Harrisville floor loom ready for more weaving. I ordered more "loopers" from Great Northern Weaving supply, but also had them include some "rag" material so that I will be able to try a rag rug, which I have not done before. Truthfully, my loom is not designed to weave rugs, as I will not be able to beat them as tight as recommended (the frame being too light), but look as it as a chance for some "experimentation". When I begin on that, I will hopefully remember to take some photos.

This photo shows how I attach the warping frame to my loom with "spring clamps". How did I ever set this loom up with out them? They are terrific!

In this photo, I am winding the warp onto the back beam, using my Harrisville Tensioning Device. It really has helped me with making winding the warp on much easier. As those of you who weave can see, the warp is being wound onto the beam in a very strange way. I "think" I hadn't done this for too long and somehow messed up my cross while measuring out the warp. I guess I will see if I have made a non-salvagable error as soon as I thread the heddles and begin weaving..........

I also attended the annual Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival in Jefferson, WI last week. I hadn't planned on buying much, but was on the lookout for knitting patterns. You never know when you're going to feel the need to knit for a grandchild. ;) I am pleased to say that I did purchase some nice patterns and also a couple of skeins of yarn specific to one of the patterns.

I stopped and took this photo of Susan Forbes booth, also known as the Fairy Yarnmother. The 2 racks (middle and right in the photo), are her "one of a kind" sock blanks. Her dyed sock blanks are knitted with 2 strands of sock yarn so that when pulling the yarn to knit, using 1 strand for each sock, you will have 2 identical socks when finished. Her color combinations are so varied.....striking, vibrant, or subtle colors...........ALL beautiful!

A "Business Portrait" of Susan with her wares. ;) Notice her Moebius/Mobius (I found it spelled both ways....) shawl?

Susan will be demonstrating how she dyes her sock blanks at the annual Wisconsin Machine Knitting Guild (a flat bed knitting group) picnic this coming Saturday at the Verona Library. The local CSM "crankers" have been asked to bring their machines to the gathering and demonstrate how they work.....and allow some "hands on time" for those who have never seen or worked on one before. It should be fun. :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

"A Successful Happy Hour....."

Megan and Sara are new neighbors. They've moved into the house that Erin and Seth moved from a number of weeks ago. They were told about happy hour by Erin and Seth, and were encouraged to stop by. We're glad they listened. ;)

A blast from the past, too! Here is Michael (right) talking with Rob. As Don and I were having coffee, I saw Anna and Henry walking down the street from Glenwood's Children's Park. Not long afterwards, Michael drove up to join us. They moved out to the country this past Summer and we'd not seen them for awhile. It was very nice to catch up......and HOW HENRY HAS GROWN! Unfortunately, no photos got taken with him in it.

A larger group shot. Starting with me on the left and going counter clockwise are: Daria, holding Tala, with Dad Ben in the lower right, Krista holding Kia, Dan, Jamie and Zack, our new neighbors from across the street, Michael behind the patio heater pole, Jacob holding daughter Zoe, Rick, and Rob in the far background.

Also counter clockwise starting on the lower left is: Megan, Sara, Brian, Erica, Krista holding Kia, and Dan shielding Ben from the photo.

Rob's window well is a great hit among the younger set, which, of course, draws their parents, too. Here are Ruby (in green) Zoe, Jacob, and Kim.

Jacob exchanged places with Krista when Kia wanted to join the group in the window well.......

Here I am, holding Becca, chatting with Daria, who is holding 3 week old Tala. This was their first time at happy hour, too. They live across the street from Jacob and Krista and have known about happy hour for quite awhile, but as you can see, they've had some important things happening in their lives and happy hour just wasn't to be a part of it until life calmed down. We're glad they were able to come and visit.