Monday, July 30, 2018

As Calypso's birthday draws to a close---

--yes, today is his real birthday even though his party was Saturday---Kathy asked if we sang to him.

Today at the farm, Ann and I, warbling our love to Calypso. He was nonplussed. And in case your wondering, round the pasture he did NOT go.

A little Sanquhar for your Monday

A little what?

I have always love Sanquhar since the first pattern I saw: the Sanquhar cowl. The yarn I'm knitting with now was originally bought for that pattern, and maybe after I finish this I'll have to try the Sanquhar cowl again.

But for now, here's a little bit of Sanquhar:

 Clearly, it is too big for the needles. Here's a closeup of the Sanquhar portion:

There's a great history of Sanquhar knitting here, but the TL:DR is that it is a style of knitting that emerged in the Nith valley of Scotland in the 17th century and it is really, really neat looking.

If the cowl is too much, I might try some Sanquhar gloves.

The shawl pattern is Study Hall and I'm using a cotton yarn that is 'gassed' that is no longer available (I think) from Elann. This is the best cotton yarn ever. I just googled gassed yarn and here is what I found:
Gassed yarn is mercerized cotton yarn that has been exposed very rapidly to a hot gas flame. This process removes any fuzz or excess lint on the thread. This results in a brighter and smoother appearance. (more here, including what mercerized means).

And I have white and black alpaca yarn and that might be a great way to start my next Sanquhar project~

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Ain't no party like an alpaca party!

It was a beautiful and warm summer morning where alpacas met people and people met alpacas. Ten pounds of carrots and a few dozen carrot cake cupcakes were happily consumed.

I bought this banner on Amazon for almost no money--it is made out of felt and is so cute and I'm sure I'll use it on every birthday from now til the end of time.

 My staging area: cooler with lemonades, bucket of carrots, bucket of apples, random bag of stuff to take to the farm. Three boxes of cupcakes in the refrigerator. Off we went!

 Calypso got a special bandana for the party (it has cakes on it. He didn't seem to mind it at all).

 Tim passed out carrots--this one is going to Catalina (I think).
 My friend  and colleague Deb with Troubadour and one of the big black guys. Deb's husband Dan, a photojournalist, took many of these photos. I'm not sure how many alpacas get a real photojournalist at their party. That's a sentence you don't write often.

 I wore what I hoped looked like alpaca ears. They're really fox ears but needs must.
 With my guy!

 My colleague Jessica and her family.

 This is my Dean, Juan-Carlos. He brought four friends from Venezuela with him.

 Tim helped my friend Autumn's daughter feed the boys.

 And at the end of the morning, it is just exhausting to be at an alpaca party.

I think everyone had fun. Calypso was great, as were all the alpacas. His real birthday is tomorrow but I think he's partied enough (another group of 20 was on their way to visit as we were leaving). And we raised some money for the Northwest Camelid Foundation, a group that Ann (the farmer) works with, and so that's good too. 

Back to our regular knitting content tomorrow.

Friday, July 27, 2018

It is an F

The next letter I'm working on in the Australiana alphabet is an F. It represents the Flannel Flower. I had never heard of it so I took a picture off the Internet so you can see what is looks like:

And to the right you can see my Flannel Flowers blooming on the F. This one has a lot of straight lines and then some floweres, so it is going well. I have mostly the white bits to do (around the yellow bits) for this one.

Thank you for all the nice comments about the new property. Our immediate plans are to first, cut down the trees and then second, see if we can bushwack a path down to the canal that is the western border for the property. If we could launch our kayaks there, we could paddle all the way to the bay and then to the ocean or the river if we wanted to. However, it is really, really steep, so I'm not how well that will work. Stay tuned! We could build another house (or a little guest house) on the property sometime in the future, but it won't be easy (and hence it would be expensive) so we'll just figure it out as we go along.

I finished "The Bankers Wife" and it was good---it was a mystery/thriller that was quite engaging, and the three main characters were really interesting (and all women, and all reliable).  I'm now reading a memoir called "From the Corner of the Oval" about someone who worked for Obama. It is good too.

Today I need to gather all the things for Calypso's party tomorrow, and string his Happy Birthday banner (it came unassembled) and see if I can salvage a statistical analysis.  That last part doesn't sound fun.  So I'll start with that.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Fo and Quora and a bit of adorableness

Kathy has a Quora, I have a Fo.

*Have you ever written or designed a pattern?  Yes I have some ridiculously simple patterns for free on Rav: One has 130 hearts!! I did not know that til now.
*How does your family cook their corn on the cob?Either on the grill (with husks on) or in the microwave (with husks on).
*Are you embarrassed to purchase anything at a store? Oh lord no.
*Have you ever “kept” a goldfish (indoors…..not counting ponds here) ?  How long did it live?  Did you name it?Maybe as a kid, but I don't remember.
*Does your significant other have a super power? He is smart and strong and loving.
*What is the longest your hair has ever been grown to ? I truly believe each person's hair has a 'stopping' point. The longest mine ever got was for my wedding, and even then it wasn't considered what I think of as 'long'. I t was maybe four inches below my shoulders.

*Name one way you helped the world yesterday….Oof. Did I help the world yesterday? I picked up apples in the park (but that was of benefit for me) but the apples can get out of control. I didn't drive the car, so that helped keep crap out of the air.
*What season is most difficult for you to keep your weight down? (im assuming none of us has trouble gaining..or rather, no prima ballerinas out there reading my blog) Winter, definitely. Summer, with long walks and gardening and other stuff, seems to take care of itself. Plus I'm not as hungry in the summer.
*Tell us something your father always said….I wish I could. My parents divorced when I was three and my mother had my father's visitation taken away when I was four or five. YAY 1960s!
*What one knit/crochet technique would you wish you could wake up and already know that’s new to you ? Brioche. And tunisian crochet. And heck, any crochet.

Now onto the FO. It is the Caprino Wrap which I am making into the Caprino Cowl.  Here it was before I did a wet block:

And after a wet block, which was just getting it wet and hanging it up.

You can see where the stretchy out part was on the hanger. Next I'll do a steam block and then seam it. Anyway, I love this and it will be a nice thing to wear as summer starts to turn to fall.

And the cuteness, part 1: Calypso and Onyx.

I'm sure they are discussing how annoying we are to put the halters on them.

And cuteness part 2: a neighboring farm. Pura Vida Alpacas, has three crias, the youngest 4 days old. So we went over to see them. Thank you Robben and Laura for the visit!
This little girl is the one who is 4 days old. 
This little fluffernutter is Rio, he's about two months old.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

You may uncross your fingers now

What we hoped would work out did work out.

In a nutshell: when we bought the lot on the coast in 2004 (where our house is going now), we had a nice view of the ocean  as there was an empty lot across the street (on a very steep incline) with a few trees but no big deal. Well, you can imagine what happens over 14 years. The trees are bigger and the view is blocked. And the lot is still empty.

The owners of the lot have tried to sell it a couple of times, but it was priced quite high and there were no takers (plus, steep incline--it would be really difficult to build, although it can be done). We even reached out to them once when the lot was not on the market, and they didn't return the agent's call. It has probably been on and off the market two or three times--most recently this past spring.  The for sale sign came down at the start of the summer.

When we were there on Saturday, I noticed the for sale sign lying on the ground at the front of the property (before, it had been stuck in a bucket with sand or something). So Sunday morning I checked the website for the realtors and there it was---at a pretty big price reduction. I called the broker, we put in an offer, we filled out the paperwork, the owners countered yesterday morning, and we agreed to their counter offer so we have the lot! I wire transferred the earnest money over at lunchtime yesterday so we're on our way.

We are feeling so very lucky that we got this (and I'm waiting for a shoe to fall because it was too easy, except when you think we've been thinking about getting this lot for a while). And the lot probably has little value to anyone except us. So yay! The view is going to knock your socks off, once we get the trees down!

In other news:
-the travelling socks are finished (so called because I knit on these in the car to the coast).
These are for Tim (he likes the mis-match), and they were done with Indulgence 6Ply which is really really nice yarn.  I think it might be discontinued--the Indulgence offered now is 55% merino and 20% silk  while this is 75% merino. There is quite a bit listed on EBay, which is where this came from.
-I'm reading  "The Bankers Wife" which is a mystery/thriller that is so far, so good and THE AUTHORS MOCKS BOOKS WITH UNRELIABLE NARRATORS so that's fun. I put the Adam Dalgleish on hold for a bit--the writing is beautiful but it is heavy.
-We watched an episode of "Collateral" on Netflix and it is a good British mystery series.
-I ordered the carrot cake cupcakes for Calypso's party. I have things to get on Friday but I'm just about set for that.

Stay cool! And thank you for the crossed fingers!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Monday catch up

Yesterday was a crazy day---there's something going on that if it works out it will be very good that we had to jump on yesterday. I'll let you know in a few days what that is, but in the meantime please just cross your fingers for us about this thing.

I was out at the farm doing another halter session with Calypso so he will be relaxed for his party:

I have been working on this as my mindless project---it looks bigger than I think it is:

Toe for scale.

I finished a book called "Dear Mrs. Bird" which was fine. It is about a young woman during the Blitz who goes to work for an 'agony aunt'. It is well written and interesting but I read another novel (can't think of the name--about a family that lives on an island in the English channel that is their own country--the girls have to go to London during the war? Does that ring a bell?) and it covered the same ground.

I'm now reading a PD James mystery--one of the Adam Dalgliesh books--Death in Holy Orders. It is the first one I read. I like it. Do you guys like those?

Have a great day!


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Happy House!

We had a lovely day at the house yesterday!

Our first meal:

The big room with the floors done:

The stairwell (which is behind the stove):

The utility room:

The handle are in! Here is the master shower (the floor is hard to see, but it is that pebble tile)

The upstairs hall closet (leading to the back door, to the fenced area for the dogs):

Said dogs on the deck:

The kitchen (which you've seen):

And a little video of my favorite thing in the house:

Thank you so much for your interest and for all the nice things you've said about the house!