Friday, October 31, 2008

So Close

Believe it or not I have completed three checks on my checklist.

- completed leg warmers
- spun and finished knitting convertible mittens
- completed hat

All I have left to do before I can cast on the sweater is finish about 14 inches of my cotton scarf! I even spent time this morning winding balls of yarn to organize my tiny stash - and to prep one skein to begin my sweater! Hooray! So I'm off to finish the scarf - oh and buy wooden buttons for the convertible mittens!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

To Do

My yarn for the Wicked sweater arrived today so I have written up my "to-do" list that must be completed before I am allowed to start knitting....

- knit second half of cotton scarf:
this should move quickly because it is a woven knit, very fast

- complete decreases on black and white hat:
this can only happen after I complete my leg warmers because I need my double point needles

- finish last half inch of leg warmers and bind off:
I just need to DO IT

- spin for and knit the last inch of convertible mittens:
again, this would probably take a total of a half hour

My hope is to complete this list before Saturday so I can begin knitting my sweater - yay! Also, I can then list the cotton scarf, the black and white hat, and the convertible mittens in my Esty shop for November. All very exciting - I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Spinning Wheel Dreams

Lately I have been day dreaming about the Lendrum DT complete. I may have mentioned before that this is the wheel I hope to one day own, but it is currently on my mind because the question in my family is "what do you want for Christmas?". No, no, no, we do not buy each other gifts that cost $622 - this I know. But I am trying to decided if I want to start a Lendrum fund with Christmas gift money.

Truth is I'm leaning towards starting the fund after Christmas. Main reason - I really enjoy presents, even if I know what they are. And although I might be able to get a jump start on my Lendrum fund if it is all I ask for at Christmas, I know that I would be a little disappointed to have nothing to open.

So the result of all this typing babble is that I will save for the wheel starting in January and that I am probably a little selfish.

It's so pretty!

Back at it...

Today I'm jumping back into my second leg wamer. They sorta got put on hold for this house sitting gig. I have been enjoying house sitting, but there are so many chores for the animals and so many of them to play with that I really haven't gotten any knitting done at all. So this morning I spent time surfing Ravelry for some inspiration to finish my second leg warmer. I'm doing pretty well, I'm on row 56 out of 76 - then there will be 2.5 inches of ribbing.

The reason I must be inspired is that I have ordered some beautiful Cascade 220 Heathers in deep red to begin knitting my first "real" sweater. The sweater I'll be knitting is called Wicked and I'm planning to modify it by making it long sleeved and doing the collar ribbing on the bottom as well. I will also make it longer. So that is my upcoming project that means I must complete these leg warmers.

Oh I nearly forgot, I have some serious blocking to do for Christmas and two presents that I totally forgot about... time to go pattern surf.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Photos of Who I Am

So I was blog surfing and I came across this little mosaic creation and I thought I would enjoy trying it and I decided I should share it with you. David and I are house/pet sitting so I have no new knitting or spinning photos at the moment but there will be more to come this week.

So this is what I did for this mosaic...
* type your answer to each question below into Flickr Search
* using only the first page of results, pick an image
* copy and paste each URL into fd's mosaic maker
* blog it!
Photos of Who I Am

The Questions:

1. What is your first name? Emmy (but I typed Emmy Lou because that is what some people call me - and I like this photo the best)
2. What is your favorite food? stove top popcorn
3. What high school did you go to? Pensacola Christian Academy
4. What is your favorite color? Orange
5. Who is your celebrity crush? John Krasinski
6. What is your favorite drink? Chai
7. Dream vacation? Tour of Europe
8. Favorite dessert? Tiramisu
9. What do you want to be when you grow up? Mindful
10. What do you love most in life? Creativity
11. One word to describe you? Sensative
12. Your flickr name? emmylouhelmuth

1. Emmy Lou's Guitar, 2. popcorn, 3. Springfield Academy, 4. Green Tea Sunset, 5. John Krasinski, 6. Tea..., 7. Street sellers, 8. pick-me-up, 9. helping hand, 10. From above..., 11. Kevin Carter - Pulitzer 1994, 12. Etsy Front Page 8/25/08 utilemud

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

RMMC and Pike's Peak

As you can see here my weekend started with splitting wood. As a volunteer group whenever we want to go hike up around Colorado Springs area (near Divide) we spend a day volunteering at Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp and then spend a day hiking. This way we get free lodging and food. Well, my task on Saturday was splitting wood. Myself and two other volunteers worked on this for the majority of our day and by the end we had split about two and a half truck beds of wood - and my back.

I was pretty sore the next day getting up at 5:45am to get some food, get packed up and start on the Peak. Hiking Pike's Peak was my second 14ner and I didn't quite know what to expect, but I was glad to find out that is was much simpler than hiking Mt. Blanca. As we reached the boulder field on Pike's the wind definately got more bitter, but we knew we were almost there. It was a little slow going, because of the lack of oxygen, but the boulder path was surprisingly clear. We reached the top in almost exactly five hours, and we were pretty proud of our hike when we saw all the driving and train riding tourists at the top of the mountain.

Tomorrow will be a knitting update - until then have a good one!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Listed Yarn

So the poll is closed and I took your advice - the fireball yarn has been listed in my Etsy shop. But never fear, those who voted for convertible mittens they are on their way.

I have one and a half mittens done with some super soft chocolate colored wool. Here you can see a photo of the wool before it was spun. Tomorrow maybe I'll have a work in progress photo of the mittens and I'll share some photos and details of my hike up Pike's Peak yesterday. So until then have a great evening!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Life Thoughts and Food

Where to begin... this morning I made my lovely cup of chai and sat down at my desk to read morning blogs as usual. One blog I read is indigirl and her post today was about the recession. Of course, this isn't the first time I have thought about the recession or buying local, but it did cause me to make a new decision.

I have always bought from our local farmer's market, and from our natural food co-op when I could. Recently I started purchasing my (and David's) groceries separate from the volunteer house shopping (for those of you who don't know David and I are full time volunteers with an organization called MVS). We are still on the joint budget with the house, but I was just realizing that though I only have $40 a week (which is for one meal for 7, three suppers and packed lunches all week) I can still choose to buy natural and support this small grocery co-op. I may have to spend a little more on some things, but since it will only be a portion of my groceries I think it is doable.

And so since today was so nice I took a little break from work and biked over to the co-op to get our snacks for climbing Pike's Peak this weekend - honey stix, fruit leather, and sesame cheddar sticks. Yup, we are heading up to RMMC, volunteering for a day and then hiking a day. Also, I am super excited to visit the "real world" and REI.

Anyhow, those are some of my thoughts and the photo shows some of the results from pickling hot peppers with onion, garlic, herbs, carrots, green beans, and cauliflower last Friday. Aren't they pretty?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Designer in Me - Leg Warmers

I had decided that though I have slouchy leg warmers I wanted some fitted ones. My reasons for this are comfort, warmth, and simply less adjusting. I really like slouchy ones because they are super warm llama and alpaca, but variety is the spice of life, right?

So I surfed around the internet and didn't find much in the way of unique leg warmers. A lot of patterns were simple ribbing, and most were slouchy.

Granted, most leg warmers go under pants so having them be cute is just a personal preference. I ran across a couple cabled patterns and stuck with this idea for warmth. From that point I decided, well heck, I guess I'll just design some of my own.

This decision may sound like an easy one, but there is something you must know - I HATE gauging/swatching (FYI for non-knitters - this means knitting a small piece and measuring to how many stitches you have per inch and how many rows per inch). Not only do I not enjoy swatching, but I always do it wrong anyhow.

Though this hate lays in my heart, I took up my needles and swatched anyhow. Not surprisingly part way up the leg of my first warmer it was clear that my row gauge was off by about two rows so I adjusted my plans and worked on.

I'm excited to say I really like the one completed leg warmer and it actually fits well, and I don't think it will slouch. The top, by my knee, is a little looser than I planned, but I think that is best for free movement without feeling constricted.

I am currently knitting the second leg warmer to double check my pattern that I wrote and then I will post a photo of modeled leg warmers, and maybe the pattern if folks are interested.

Don't forget the poll on the right is still open, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Snow and Fireball Yarn

Yup, that's right, it is Ocotober 14th and snowing. I'm not talking little dusty flakes either - big ol'wet ones. Snowing before halloween? I took a photo, but don't have it here at work. Last year our first snow was the day after Thanksgiving, which I think is perfect. I guess this year it IS the day after Canadian Thanksgiving - maybe God just got confused. Sigh. I just talked to my cousin in Virginia, they are wearing tank tops, and here I am sitting at my computer wearing my Endpaper Mitts. Truthfully I am more shocked than disgusted.

Okay, now to share with you my Fireball yarn, soon to be listed in my Etsy shop. I still need to weigh and count my niddy noddy wraps for length. I spun this yarn from the fireball fiber braid created on my crafty weekend. This yarn is two ply (that means there are two strands spun together) and is super wash wool. I really like how the textured turned out and I'm curious what it will look like knitted. My current debate with self is to knit something with it for my shop or to sell the yarn.

That brings us to my latest poll (vote on the right). What shall I do with this lovely yarn? Please vote!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Odd and Ends

I forgot to take a photo of my latest yarn so I decided to share some odds and ends. I went nuts with contact paper a week or so ago. This photo is of the poppies on the bottom of my bedroom door. Sadly the only available color was this powder blue. I also put an owl in the kitchen and some funky stars on our front door.

Last night I went to bed in sort of a funk. I can't quite identify where this said funk is coming from, but if I don't identify it soon I think I make take a "mental health" day on Wednesday. Sometimes you just need to be home alone for a whole day doing whatever you want. The ridiculous thing is that work isn't even busy it just isn't home - a place where I never seem to be anymore.

David and I went for a hike this past Saturday, it had been a while. Oh and we had to hike back in the pouring rain. I was sort of prepared for this, but not exactly. We had figured it would rain some and definately did on our hike out, but it didn't pour. As soon as we turned around to hike back it just POURED! So anyhow, after hikes like that a hot shower is incredible (notice the plural there, this isn't the first time I have been drenched after a hike).

Oh I thought I'd throw in a photo of the bunny from the wool festival because he was really cute.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Taos Fiber Festival Goodies

I realized that I hadn't shared with you the fibery goodness I purchased at the Taos Wool Festival. Let us begin with this lovely skein of green and gold. I purchased this from a friend who had a booth down there, and her brand is called Prairie Falcon Fibers. My plans for this skein are to make some form fitting leg warmers. I have leg warmers that are slouchy, and I love them, but I decided this winter I would also like to have some that fit my leg more snug.

I also purchase some really snuggly fiber. This booth had 4 ounce bags for $7 so I couldn't resist getting two. They has some really cool fiber that was like candy somehow, ha ha - it had a dark fiber middle covered by a white fiber. SO pretty! So I bought a bag of that and some very nice dark brown wool.

Then we found out the Taos Sunflower was going out of business and had some sales going so we headed over there. I picked up some Clover needles size 6 for three bucks and some of this lovely Nature Cotton. The cotton doesn't have an exact purpose yet, but I'm thinking I might make a market bag for myself.

So those are all of my goodies, I figured I should give you a chance to drool too!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fiber Listings

The poll (on the right) is complete and as you can see Prof. Plumb definately won as the fav colorway. Because of this high honor of winning the lovely Prof. Plumb is now up for sale in my Etsy shop. If you missed out on the voting and are curious what your other choices were check back to this post.

Also, today I FINALLY listed one of my favorite hand spun creations - Autumn Barber Pole Merino Yarn. I think it is a beautiful skein and I hope others agree. I completed this skein in August, but I couldn't decided if I wanted to knit something with it or sell it and I have (obviously) finally decided to sell it. So please someone take it home and enjoy it!

I'm trying to think if I have any other Etsy news...well, I did just list a Recycled Silk Scarflette. It has been awhile since I listed a recycled silk object so if you were waiting for it go snatch it up.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My New Favorite Hat

I mentioned making a hat when I told you about my creative weekend a few posts ago, but I decided it was time for some photos and some details.

I realize the photos of me in the mirror sorta suck, but it isn't my fault that our bathroom door is dark brown - sorry. All of the brown wool in this hat is llama and they all the flecks of color are various fibers. I dyed some alpaca, silk, and wool mill ends a variety of colors - blue, orange, yellow, and a little bit if chartreuse.

The inspiration for this colorway came from browsing various batts and rovings online and jotting down color combos I like and then throwing different things together.

So I carded these fibers together which results in something called a batt, which you can see here on my kitchen table. So fluffy and snuggly, I decided to spin it from the fold (if you don't know what that means don't worry about it, but there is an explanation here if you are getting into spinning). I decided to spin aran weight and then ply it for extra bulk and softness.

I knitted this hat in the round using a knit one round, then knit 1 slip one with yarn in front for the next round and that is what gives it this woven ribbed look.

I'm considering spinning up so of this yarn for sale in my shop, but I'll see what you all have to say about liking the colors and such.

And that's my new favorite hat.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Making Myself Interesting

MosaicSmith tagged me so I am going to do my best to make this interesting.

So I'm supposed to share seven intersting/random things about myself. I just finished reading PostSecret so I feel like I should share something juicy, but I doubt I have anything that interesting to share....

1. I love to cook, but even more I love when people love my cooking - does that make sense?

2. I miss living near family, but I enjoy living in the west - I guess they all need to move here (not gonna happen).

3. I have actually started enjoying working out, it only took a few years of just knowing I should do it.

4. As a kid I always wanted to make it as a musician/singer, and as an adult there is still part of me that wants that but the other part of me knows I am not even near good enough

5. I drink a cup of chai almost every morning at work, yum

6. I'm contemplating dyeing my hair red again.

7. I'm already getting super excited about going back to Illinois and Indiana for Christmas with family and good friends.

Here's who I'm tagging:

Extra Ordinary



My Name is Adam

The Coloradoyoh's

Hilo Verde

Easily Distracted

If you have been tagged just follow these rules, it's fun!

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Friday, October 3, 2008

On the Needles

So I thought I share what I'm currently knitting since it is bound to change soon - this Swiss Cheese Scarf from Ravelry. Truth be told I'm about twice as far as this photo shows. This is upcycled alpaca wool that I unraveled and will probably dye burnt orange when the scarf is finished.

The reason my current knitting is going to change soon is that the Taos Wool Festival is this weekend and I have given myself a list of permissible wool/yarn to purchase. I am allowed to buy merino top at a good price for dyeing/spinning, sock yarn for two Christmas gifts, possible cardigan yarn, and/or great leg warmer yarn in either worsted or DK weight. I'm so excited that I actually have a little $$ to spend at this festival, that never seems to happen. Also the trip to the festival will be fabulous because I am going with some great women so that equals a wonderful day no matter what!

For your weekend viewing I leave you with a photo of the flowers my hubby got me for our anniversary, and of the Etsy shipment I'm sending off today. Have a great weekend and cast your vote on the right side of this page!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I have a few anniversaries this week.

The most important is my three year wedding anniversary. My gosh, it really doesn't feel like three years.

Next year or so we are hoping to buy a house (maybe) and we were discussing how we will have been married four years or more by the time we own furniture, a bed, or a tv bigger than twelve inches. Yes, our current tv is from my eighth grade graduation! We do own a lamp and a cd rack - neither of which we even have with us here in Colorado. Just goes to show we don't really need stuff, but I will admit is nice to have. I miss having my matching dishes, and a bed spread I like - but I can hold out another year. But I'm getting off the subject.

I love David so much. He challenges me to be my own person, try new things, and he joins me in being lazy when I just need some time to slow down. In our time of voluntary service and community living he has been my peace and solace. My favorite thing is laughing together.

You may have already guessed what the other anniversary is, Etsy. On Sunday, October 5th, I will have been selling on Etsy for one year. I'm definately not as obsessed as I was the day I started (getting your first sale while your making your third listing cranks the obsession up!), but I do still really enjoy it and I have learned a LOT. My hope is that eventually Etsy will be a springboard into other things. I hope to explore other selling opportunities next year when our term of voluntary service is over.

So those are my October Anniversaries. I'll just close with one more photo of me and my honey.

Socks and Listings

They are finished and I am wearing them today! So comfy and I adore the colors. I am finding that this Monkey pattern has a really good fit, they don't seem to end up being slouchy like the Jaywalker socks.

Also today I decided to list my fair isle hat in my Etsy shop. I'm really excited, and I hope someone just falls in love with it. I would say it is in the top five of things I am proud to have knit. So go check it out. Oh and it is from all hand spun wool so that makes it super cool.

Yesterday I asked you all which of the color ways you liked best from the wool that I dyed, and while I did get some great comments I only got a couple opinions so I put up a little pole so please cast your vote. I want to make your favorite color ways available to you in my shop so please do share. (voting on the right)