Monday, July 31, 2017

Just a few...

..more cria photos!

And his name is the Duke of Calypso (Calypso for short).

Monday Quora

*Best news of the weekend is…….really, do I have to answer this?
*Do you remember Mexican jumping beans? I do. Was it a worm in there?
*Does knitting a shawl sometimes feel like knitting a blanket? Sometimes, although I use lightweight yarn for shawls.
*Have you ever gone under a tipped canoe and had a chat? well that brings back memories!
*Did you know horses like to eat peppermints? No! Really?
*The last thing I was tempted to purchase, but didnt’….. Oh I don't know---let me think about it.
*Are the new school supplies out yet by you?  How does that make you feel?  Haven't noticed but Kim mentioned they go back to school in Georgia next week. It is only the halfway point for me so I'm covering my ears and going la la la la la.
*Give me a detail…any  tiny detail of summer I can walk through my neighborhood and collect fruit for a black berry pie.
*You are getting a box of yarn in the mail two  skeins ….what color/(s) do you want it to be?  White with grey speckles and grey.
*Have you gone so far as to unbuckle your seatbelt and search for a lost hook or needle during a car ride?  (you are the passenger of course) Probably! but it was probably a cable needle.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

It's a BOY! Now with pics

Tink gave birth to a beautiful and very very healthy boy this morning!

He was born while no one was watching (yes, it went that fast), Ann texted me, and I got out to the farm before he stood up. Once he stood up, he quickly learned how to walk and most importantly to nurse. He's doing great.  None of the planned names seem to fit him so stay tuned.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Another cria-less day

Tink's cria is still not ready to enter the world.
On the positive side, I used my nervous energy to vacuum, put away laundry, and install new solar lights outside.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Maybe baby?

Tink is so huge. So huge.

However, she was still eating eating eating yesterday, and 'pacas tend to stop eating when they go into labor. She even cushed (laid down) for a while yesterday and still ate--and she had to do a crazy roll maneuver to stand up. She had separated from the herd yesterday evening but as of this morning nothing seems to be happening.

I'm not sure you've met Tink's first cria, Georgia, who also lives at the farm. She is excited to be a big sister.

She was raised on a different, much smaller farm, and is much more used to people than most of the other 'pacas at the farm.We always exchange a good nose sniff whenever I go there.

In other news, I cast on for this Debbie Bliss sweater. I had some black and white yarn in the stash and came across this pattern when I was cleaning out a bunch of magazines (I'm happy to see that these older patterns are on Rav too). The yarn I have is worsted so I have made a few adjustments in the pattern. We'll see how it goes. Colorwork and I often have a difficult relationship but so far this seems to be going well!

Stay tuned!!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Maysie maybe?

I don't quite remember the name of this shawl, but it is done. It is cotton and so will be nice and light for the summer.

Here it is unblocked:

And then I just dunked it and stretched it out on the table. I got out the blocking wires but ended up not using them.

Notice I blocked them with using hand weights.
I think I kind of screwed up on the 'arrow' aspect but it looks great (imho).

Here it is close up

I like it a lot.

I'm off to the farm this morning to take over on Tink Watch while Ann has another commitment. She's ready to give birth (her back end tendon is really really soft) but now it is all on her.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Catch up

It is Tuesday morning (still early) and no cria as of yet. The birthing process tends to slow if it gets hot--and it has been kind of hot here. It is supposed to be a bit cooler (mid 80s as opposed to high 80s) tomorrow and Thursday, so I'm thinking it might happen then. But at this point--we really don't know. It is all up to nature.

So let's see-we had a nice weekend. We tried a new pub for lunch on Saturday (the Cannery) that we had avoided because for some reason we thought it was all pickled stuff (hey, it is hipster Oregon). But it wasn't, it was creative pub fare--Tim had a brat on a pretzel bun, I had a chicken panini with artichoke dip on it. It was good, and the french fries were great (our gold standard of french fries is Steak and Shake, and these were fairly similar to those).

Saturday night was the Symphony in the Park concert--it is a free concert the symphony puts on at Cuthbert Amphitheatre and while it is free, seating is limited so you need tickets--anyway, we got tickets and got some nice seats (it is open seating) and enjoyed a beautiful evening of music. It is basically a 'pops' concert---Blue Danube, Rodeo, West Side Story, Star Wars--you get the idea. We have a brand new Maestro and this was his first 'official' concert (we saw him conduct his audition concert) and he is young and enthusiastic and fairly charming. Yes, our own Rodrigo! (If you watch Mozart in the Jungle. If not, you should).

Sunday we hung out after a nice walk, and then went kayaking at the end of the day (around 5:30). I was getting pretty anxious, but the kayak calmed me down.

Yesterday I made good progress on my book (my co-author sent back a bunch of stuff). Around noon the electricity went out for a few hours (I think someone was digging and hit a cable).

And these socks are finally finished. I like PairFect---I'm going to see if they have new colors.

I read "Everything You Want Me To Be" (spoiler: it is not the next Gone Girl, regardless of what the cover blurb says) and now I'm reading "The Magpie Murders" which is intriguing. More on that as I get more into it!

Monday, July 24, 2017

That would be a 'no'

As in, no cria today.

Monday Quora

 Kathy wants to know some stuff!

*Do you remember a bad sunburn? Oh yes I do.  Until I was in my mid-20s, the only time I ever used sunscreen was in Mexico. I had some bad, bad, bad sunburns received under the assumption that the burn would change to tan. It didn't. It still doesn't.
*What is the last game you played?  (card game or board game) Probably bananagrams.
*Do you have a statue in your house of any kind? I'm looking around. Not in the house, no.
*Have you seen the new needle that threads your safety line for lace? NO! Tell us more.
*Why do they call them point protectors when they are really protecting the stitches from falling off? A question for the ages, Kathy.
*What kind of knitting or crocheting has dominated your summer? Shawls, I guess, although I'm ready to cast on for a winter sweater.
*Have you seen an ice cream truck this summer? I don't think so!
*Cold summer salad preference: Pasta salad or bean salad or fruit salad?  Fruit salad. Although I make a great salad with black beans (can) , corn and green salsa. 
*Your favorite summer sandals are made by _____ Teva, and they're flip flops.
*Do you have a favorite old photograph taken in the summer ? I have a photo of my mom, my brother and me (baby me) at an amusement park in St. Louis (Holiday Hills--it is no longer there).

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fiddly cubes are fiddbly

I'm working on Cubetcha by Casapinka and it is fiddly. The cubes are the reason I'm knitting it, and I've watched the video five times and still am not sure I am putting the cubes together correctly. But who cares? It is fun and it will look cool.

 I'm using one of the gradient sets I bought at Black Sheep--there are eight different colors and so far I've used all of the darkest and a wee bit of the second darkest.

Here you can see some of the fiddly cubes.

Anyway--it is a fun knit and I'm all about the fun. 

Tink is taking her time, but there is some activity in the back end.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Needing a Nap

Cria watch: nothing doing in that area. And it is 1:30 so we can pretty much assume today is not TigerLily's birthday (crias are usually born by 2pm).

I'm still feeling a bit sleepy and worn out, but the allergies/sinus infection seems to be abating. But doesn't a nap sound good?

I won this in one of my Twinnie's contests.

Yarn and a pattern book! Yay!

And the body is done and shoulders are joined (and the cables matched):

You can see I started one of the shoulders too--this pattern has you (and by that I mean me) picking up stitches and then knitting short rows for the shoulders. It is intriguing, and een though my picked up stitches are wonky I'm hoping that sucker blocks out.

How are you?

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Official Cria Watch

Tinkerbell's official 'due date' is two weeks from today, so that means we are on Cria Watch. It means for me that I never am too far from the phone, and it means for Ann that she checks on Tink every half an hour or so.
Ann puts bandanas on the pregnant girls so she can spot them easily (lots of brown out there!). I was at the farm yesterday and she's pretty big, especially on her left side. She is dong all the things a pregnant-about-to-give-birth girl should do, mainly eating and drinking. Her milk is starting to come in (but with Brownie, this was a few weeks before birth). So we'll see.  Of course, my blog readers will be among the first to know.

I worked on halter training with my boy, Atom, yesterday, and he didn't like it much. It makes sense--the only time he's had a halter on is to either get sheared (not fun), move to a new farm (not fun as he got picked on a bit), or got castrated (yeah, not fun). Hopefully we'll get him better. He's a sweet one.

In other news:
  • had a fun weekend with walks and a fun brunch with the ex-grad students. They both leave this week. 
  • read a great book (I'm really hitting on the great books this summer). "The House Among the Trees" by Julia Glass. The story is about a woman who is the executor for the estate of a famous children's book author. Beautifully written and important themes of love, loss, and stories. 
  • We started watching two new series. First is one on PBS now--"My Mother and Other Strangers"--about how a small Scottish (Irish?) village survives World War 2. It's interesting--similar to "Home Fires" but focusing on a single family. And "The Young Pope". This was on HBO. It's something else.
  • And this is at the halfway point:
I did a good job with the yarn on this one!

Monday, July 17, 2017


My allergies are awful today---I think because we went to brunch out in the 'country' yesterday that something really exacerbated them. Brunch was great--so much fun to share time with grad students (oops, former grad students).

The Tefertillers are in the back, the Pittmans in the front, and Tim and I in the middle.

ON TO THE QUORA! Kathy has some great questions this week.

*Have you ever changed up a S’more?I don't even know what this means. I think it means made a smore with something that doesn't belong in a s'more. That would make it s'thing else.
*What yarn is on your needles?  (That you will work on today?) That cotton gradient yarn.
*You can have a gift certificate to Knit Picks, Etsy, or Webs.  Which do you choose? Ooh they all have strengths. KP you could get a big bang for the buck. Webs has the selection. I'll go with Etsy, though, to get something special and fun and unique.
*What’s your middle name?  Do you use it at all? My middle name pre-marriage was Ellen. Post-marriage it is my maiden name, Bartel. I use it in academic publishing.
*Last place you went that took cash only. Wow. Probably a lemonade stand in the neighborhood.
*Have you ever had Baked Alaska? Yes--on a trans-atlantic cruise.
*Give a yarn skein a name that reflects the nighttime Starry starry night.
*Bar soap, foam soap or liquid hand soap?  (in your bathrooms) Liquid by the sink and bars in the shower.
*Last time you got a ticket? More than 20 years ago.
*Last time you had a car-hop bring your carry out to you? The last time we were at the Sonic, which was a few years back.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Friday Random

  •  I finished the back of the cable sweater and now only have the front. Yay!
  • I also finished "The Heirs" and I actually wanted to read it to the end, and it has an ending where I thought "hmm, that's interesting" so that's a good thing. I wanted this book to be better but I read it without speeding through the last third, so I guess that's a recommendation?
  • Evidence as to why academia is nuts: This article tagged as "why-game-thrones-shouldnt-be-used-effort-recruit-future-medievalists". You don't have to read it. It is enough to know that some medievalists think GoT should be used to recruit others for their tribe.
  • Jessie Cat went to the vet yesterday. It was highly insulting. 
  • This is the third pair of Pairfect socks:  If you look in the lower right hand corner and think that's a big wipe off of a dusty table--you would be wrong. That's my arm:
    ENJOY THE WEEKEND! We're taking my PhD graduates and their families out to brunch.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

It's a Thing

That is, the big hunk of cable now is a sweater-ish thing.

Here's the front. One of the sides is done--it took maybe four hours one day when Tim was gone. I'm now working on the back--

The back needs about six more rows and it takes a lot longer than the fronts do (surprise). Please also note the color is much closer to the top picture--kind of dusty looking--than the bottom picture.

I spent an hour at the farm helping to halter train Stryder and Maxwell. They're both males about a year old. Maxwell did well and I had some nice bonding time with him. Stryder was---petulant.

He'll get there.

My friend Cindy, an alpaca farmer who is also an expert in animal communication, suggests that the cria will be born a week from tomorrow and will be a girl. We'll see. Ann is already calling the cria TigerLily though.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Catch up

I mentioned yesterday we had a fun weekend--walks and paddles and hanging out. At the risk of jinxing it, we're having a lovely summer after the very slow start: sunny and low 80's during the day, low 50's at night. We get up and walk the dogs first thing in the morning and enjoy the gorgeousness of the dawning day. This week my focus is on getting our book in some type of shape (it is due next month and we're in somewhat good shape, although I'm getting a bit stressed about my co-author).

But that's neither here nor there. And if the book is late, it is late. It is more important for me to have some down time this summer.

This is the Myndie scarf:

The yarn is a cotton gradient which seems like a good choice for this shawl. It is asymetrical and just the right amount of challenging for TV watching.

I read a really good book: The Jane Austen Project. I'm not usually a fan of time travel books but this one is interesting: a doctor time travels back to see what killed Jane Austen.  It was interesting and well written, one of the best books I've read in a while.

I'm now reading "The Heirs" which is pretty good too.

And tomorrow I"m going to the farm to help halter train some of the younger alpacas. That should be fun!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Much Quora-ing!

 Kathy has another quora and I must say these get my week off to a good start.
Sometimes I think "oh yay, I don't have to worry about not having any knitting to show" and sometimes I think "Oh yay, fun things to talk about."

We had a great weekend, a mix of activities (long long walks, kayaking) followed by good food (Tacos! Burritos! Pretzels!) and hanging out. Plus we figured out where we are going for vacation in September (Hood Canal) and got a place to stay. 

On to the Quora!

*I’m overjoyed that the mason bees are putting their eggs  in both pollinator boxes here.  What kind of crops do you see in your state?In Oregon, we have a lot of marijuana :-), timothy hay, grasses, probably other stuff that I never notice.
*This has been a question before, but it is a good one: When was the last time you wore a handknit ?
Well it is summer so that has slowed down, but I'm sure I wore a scarf or a pair of socks sometime in the last few weeks.
*Have you ever seen the Secret Service in person? We were attending our niece's wedding in Annapolis and we were walking around one afternoon and we saw 'official' cars leaving some official place and in the cars were the Obama daughters. So I'm sure that Secret Service people were with them! I also long long long ago was in Vail on vacation with my mom and brother and I saw the sitting President (Ford) playing golf (also saw Betty shopping in downtown). So I'm sure there were Secret Service people at that time too. Right?
*Do you know  a poem by heart? I do! I know "The Road Not Taken" and "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" and "Something like a Star" by Robert Frost. I know "The Night Before Christmas."  I know most of "The Lady of Shallot". Give me some time and I'll think of more.
*Do you attach a new ball of yarn to your knits at the end of a row or a few inches in? I try to remember to attach at the end of the row but that doesn't always happen.
*What is a rule in your house? Hmmm. Don't let the dogs out!
*Have you been stuck behind a cyclist, a tractor or a bus most recently? Probably a bus. Definitely not a tractor.
*What’s your favorite summer pie? Blueberry, although I'm not a big pie person.
*Do you know a clever yarn shop name? There's one here called Cozy. That's a good name. I think you're looking for a pun but they make me groan often.
*Are you still hearing fireworks? Luckily for Pilot, I think they've stopped.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Wound Up

I'm usually not a huge fan of winding yarn, and have been known to pick yarn for projects based on what is already wound (or comes wound in a ball instead of a skein) in my stash.

I'm not particularly proud of this, but whatever.

But today I decided to have a little winding party. I set up the winder and the swift and got stuff out and thought about knitting plans and wound.

This is going to be Cosmic Dust:

Yep, those are beads there!
And yep, I put little tas on the yarn so I could see what 'order' they go in--with this group I think I'd be OK but the two light ones are pretty close.

This is going to be Cubetcha:
And while Cubetcha isn't necessarily a gradient cowl I think it will look great with these yarns.

And just because everything was up, I wound up three other skeins:

CLockwise from the upper right hand:

1. Mystery yarn that is purple and turquoise and pink and sparkly (hard to see the sparklies). This has to be a scarf or a cowl, maybe another One and done!

2. Tanzanite yarn from STR. Probably socks. Probably cabled socks.

3. Multicolored yarn from Western Sky Knits. It is Aspen Sock in a colorway called Carnivale.
This might be a Close to you or a Willow cowl.

 Ready, set, knit!