Interesting article in USAToday this morning. Read it here.

I would have to say that I am one of those people who values privacy a lot. That's why while I may write about myself, family and friends here, I'm never going to show a photo. I guess I shouldn't say never, but I will say that not for a long time. I want to keep that aspect of my life private.

So, I still owe my secret pal a big THANK YOU for the great package of KnitPicks yarn she sent me. I will take a photo at some point and post it.

I'm heading to Indiana this weekend, and won't likely be able to post again until July 5 - so have a happy and safe holiday!

P.S. Today is my 27th birthday. I'm now officially in my late 20's. Yikes.


Summer Solstice - one day late

Eek - summer is officially here, and I've become officially lazy about posting. Got a package with some great Knit Picks yarn from my secret pal, I just need to take a photo and post it! tomorrow is Pet Day at work - lots of fun!!

I'll post soon, promise!


The festival haul

I have to preface this by saying that I wanted today's post to have photos of the sheep shearing demonstration, but some of the photos might be disturbing. So, go here if you want to see them. That link is actually my whole photo album from the festival.

So, today I will show what I purchased at the festival.
This would be the total haul. Wool top roving (I'm not sure if that is the real name or not, but I know it's "wool top". Merino wool at that. Dyed silk hankies, a drop spindle, and two needles cases (one for me, one for a gift) made by Mango Moon.

This would be 130 grams of wool top roving (or whatever it's called.) The colors in the photo are right on - they're light and lovely. It's really soft, and I've tried and failed to spin it approximately three times already this week. I lack patience, but I know one day I'll get it.

This would be 21 grams of Mawata Silk Hankies. So soft, so pretty. I loved these colors. I was really drawn to them, and I'm not a huge fan of green. I have not tried to spin these yet. I bought this and the roving from the same place, Lone Tree Wools.

This is a close-up of the handpained drop spindle that I bought from Snokist Farm/Lamb Lane. It's of a Jacob Sheep! The owner, Kathy, gave me a demonstration of drop spindle spinning, and I thought it looked so easy, but I'm failing to master it at home. I told her that I would bring her some of my hand spun yarn next year, so I have to keep my promise!!

The needle cases are from the Huacaya Moon booth. They are made by Mango Moon. I love then - and I'd never seen them before. Got them at a great price, too - only $11.95 each! I would tell you what I paid for the other stuff, but I don't remember!!

Overall, I think the best part of the sheep and wool festival is the fact that people who run farms come to sell their wares, and you can find some very unique things. There's nothing like purchasing something that someone crafted with their own hands. The only thing that I didn't buy, but wish I did, was a dye your own silk hankie kit. Everytime I went to the booth that sold them, their were people talking to the owners. There's always next year!


Sheep Fashion Show

If you're a knitter and you go to a Sheep & Wool Festival, you're probably there for the fiber, not the animal. Well, I wanted to check out the animals, too. What I didn't expect to see what a bunch of sheep wearing clothes.

I'm sorry, but the white hooded robe thing is a little boring, and makes the sheep look a little angry and hateful. Definitely not my favorite look. Here we have a slender sheep in a nice blue speedo. Much better look. Does anyone know what the difference is putting the sheep in the tight swimsuit/speedo type outfits vs. the looser white robes with hoods? I know that both are used to keep the wool clean, but I think the speedos are a clear winner for style.

While I do think that this sheep is slender enough for a speedo, I have to question the stripes. Fashion has never allowed stripes to look good on someone.

Is it wrong to shear a sheep and then knit it a sweater out of it's own wool?


Iowa Sheep & Wool, Part 1

I don't know how many parts I'm going to have to a report on the Iowa Sheep & Wool Festival, but this is part 1 - an overview.

This was only the second year for the festival - and for the second year, I was quite impressed. It's definitely small, but the people are super friendly and the yarn goodies were UNBELIEVABLE.

These photos were from the vendor building. I would say that there were about 15 vendors total. It was smaller than I expected, but like I said, the yarn and other goodies made up for it!!

This is the booth for Lone Tree Wools. Those flat packages in the front are silk hankies (I bought some!!) They also carry wool roving (the top stuff that comes in a long string - I bought some of that, too!) The owner, Elizabeth Shreeves, was very nice and sat in front of her spinning wheel for quite some time spinning silk. They are based out of Lone Tree, Iowa.

Another booth that I really liked, and made some purchases from is the Huacaya Moon booth. This was like a mobile knitting supply and gadget store! This photo is only of the side of the booth - it was probably 20 feet wide. They had knitting baskets, rovings, dyes, needle cases, needles, swifts, winders, you name it! The company is based out of Bellevue, Iowa.

This booth is another place I bought things at (do you see a trend here?) This is the combined booth of Snokist Farm and Lamb Lane (no web address). These farms are in Southeastern Iowa, one in Fort Madison (strange fact: my boyfriend used to live in Ft. Madison and knew the farm's owners' cousin!) and the other is in Oakville, Iowa. Great hand-spun yarn. I wanted to buy some, but Kathy Blackett of Snokist gave me a lesson on spinning my own on a drop spindle. So I bought one!!

So that's kind of an overview of the vendors that I really, really liked. There were some other vendors, but I don't remember their names or didn't really talk to the people there. I will say that vendors should always have a business card or brochure available - that's why I had information about these vendors!!

Later this week, I'll show my actual purchases, photos of a sheep shearing demonstration, and a little more about some of the sheep I saw at the festival.


It's working!

O.k. - had a bad time with Blogger yesterday. Seems to be working fine now.

No knitting to report, but I've been a busy girl. I seem to have found my inner-gardener and have been planting, watering, weeding, etc. all week after work.

This weekend will bring some fiber love. It's time for the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. No, it's not Maryland or Rhinebeck, but I think it will be fun, and it's my first time!

I'm so excited to go that I had a dream about it last night. I dreamnt that I got there and it cost $27 to get in (don't think that's true in real life) and that there were no fiber vendors. I know that's not true either, because it says so on the Web site.

So next week will be a full report on what I saw, purchased and did at the Festival!


blogger having issues

I'm sorry people - blogger is acting up - I'll try to post tomorrow. But if I don't, hopefully I'll meet up with some of you at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival in Adel. I'll definitely have lots to post about that next week!


How does your garden grow?

O.k. - here is the photo of the area with its plants in it:

While it may not be insanely-take-your-breath-away beautiful, it'll get there. I have to water it twice a day because the soil is super, super sandy. I hope the flowers survive and thrive!


Not so lazy weekend

Boy, did I have a busy weekend. On Saturday, I went and worked out with a friend, had breakfast and went shopping. I got home around 5 p.m., and found this:
That would be what people see when they pull up to my house. Weeds. So, I went to Home Depot and filled the trunk of my car with this:

Flowers!! Lots of annuals, which I've never planted before. We have marigolds (yellow and orange) petunias in white, purple, and a mixture of other colors, and white and yellow geraniums and some flowers called Volcanos. I planted them all, took a photo, and apparently forgot to upload the photo to flickr. Oops. I'll post that soon.

I actually planted these on Sunday morning, then I cleaned the grout on the tile in our kitchen, hallways and entryway, then I watered the garden. I was feeling quite domestic.

I actually did knit a little bit on the Blue Sky Cotton my secret pal gave me. That stuff is so soft when you knit it up. I'm not sure what I'm making with it - it's just really a swatch right now. I guess I'll figure it out at some point.

Tonight, I'm going to Kathy's to knit and watch the Apprentice finale. Fun. Have a happy Monday!


We have progress!

Despite my near-death sickness, I managed to go to work yesterday and knit a bit at home. My throat is still killing me, but I think I'll make it. I feel well enough that I'm going to go on date tonight, which would be exciting except that I'm going with the man I've been with for 7 years.

Just kidding, it's always exciting to have time alone with my man!!

So, I did knit last night while watching the Office marathon. That is just a great show, isn't it? Here is the progress on the log cabin baby blanket. Notice any sort of (unintentional) pattern?

The purple, pink and yellow have lined up on two sides and orange, green and blue lined up on the others. I'm actually pleased with that way that turned out. Obviously, I chose six colors and I wanted it to be as a-sexual of a blanket as possible, and since it's turning out this way, the baby's momma can fold it to look more girl or more boy!! It's nice when good accidents happen. The blanket now measures about 20 by 20 inches, before blocking. I'm not sure how big I want it to get - maybe 40 by 40? I'll have to check out the measurements of baby blankets next time I'm at Target.

For the weekend - date night tonight, Saturday is marathon exercise morning (kickboxing class, resistance training and 3 mile walk/run) and then rest/clean the house, and I don't have plans yet for Sunday, but we'll see. Have a great weekend!



I have strep throat. I survived a weekend with 9 family members in my three bedroom house. There were people sleeping in all bedrooms, plus both living areas. There was no where to go if you needed to be alone.

When Monday came, I cleaned like a madwoman. Then when I sat down Monday night, my throat hurt. Badly. Missed work on Tuesday and Wednesday. Am back today, but still not 100%. I'll survive.

Tonight is knitting night, but I'll be at home watching The Office marathon on NBC. I'll take a photo of the progress on the log cabin baby blankie if I remember.