Sunday, December 11, 2011

My Shiny Balls

These balls actually do not belong to me.  I was trying to explain to Cookie what a small, boring town I live in by telling her about the big "haps" here in Holland, MI. 

It is a HUGE deal right now that the City of Holland spent approximately 50k on new holiday decorations for our downtown.  Now the very first thought when I saw these planters was "kids are gonna start stealing those immediately".  I don't think it's a malicious thing, but we're a college town (and a resort town really) and there are drunken young adults roaming the streets pretty much at any given time after dark.


Don't get me wrong, I totally love them.  In my book, there are very few things more fantastical than a big bucket of super shiny, colorful balls.  About the only thing that could ever make them better would be glitter and sequins.

Oh but you don't want to miss the hanging balls.  These are on every light pole.


Anyway, about a week later, FRONT PAGE NEWS:  People are stealing this shit.  And I am not even joking.  That was really front page, not like a figurative, metaphorical front page thing.

Well, no duh.  So because they are like magical, weather-proof, glass from the moon, blah blah or something, they had to spend something like another 2k to replace the stolen big balls.

This is really the big news where I live.  Now there are a lot of people who are PISSED about this money being spent on decor, and I do get it, but I also get that we live in a town where this area actually draws in dollars from outside.  On the Lakeshore, there is some seriously stiff competition for tourist dollars and if we look like we decorated out of your Grandma's basement, people will go elsewhere, truly.

Plus, it really is kinda pretty right?


*Next time we put wallpaper in our bathroom, it'll knock this off the front page.  

**Sorry about the tipped view.  The boy took the photo in order to make up for the accidental deletion!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Second Place is Still First Loser

And that's me apparently. I made it to the top two for the job. On Monday I had a second interview.

Let's just say; they didn't pick me.  So although I made it to the top two, it was a little bit of a disappointment.  I really REALLY hate one of my jobs (yeah, I have two), and I was really hoping to leave, but it'll happen eventually.

Also, if you came to see my shiny balls, come back tomorrow.  we got photos (the boy and I) but he accidentally deleted them on the way to his haircut.  I think we can do better anyway. 

In the absence of those balls, look at the silver Romney batts I dyed and carded last week for sock yarn.


I tried to fix the colors and ended up making the photos look weird.  I suck at this!

On another note, I did take a picture of some of that washed fleece I bought last Friday.  


It's love.  It's shiny and soft, but so fine I really can't drum card it. I guess hand combing will. be in order.  That is SOOOOOOOOO SLOWWWWWWWWWWWWWW, but hey what else would I be doing?  Working one of my two part time jobs?  Cooking or cleaning for my family?  Laundry? Shopping for holiday gifts and baking and dinners?  Trying not to freak out at the job I hate?

Oh right, I will be doing all those things.  


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Ollie's Skater Sweater

So, I'm supposed to find out about the job today.  We'll see.  I had a second interview yesterday.

And I was going to show this baby sweater I made.  I have been crap at photographing finished projects lately.  I've actually been cranking out lots of fun stuff, but not taking pictures.

John's great-niece had a baby about two weeks before Thanksgiving.  He is absolutely darling and his name is Oliver (which i love).  Anyway, she is young (17) and the baby daddy is a skater, so I thought the typical baby sweater I would make might be too cutesy.  Instead, I grabbed some schematics and designed him this little guy.

I had to put the buttons on in the car and weave in ends. I had blocked the evening before and it was barely even dry. Didn't it turn out cute? They actually loved it and the Zach (baby daddy) thanked me like three times. Kinda makes you think they might be ok even if Ollie wasn't planned.


Been dying and washing around here. Maybe I'll take pics soon (but don't hold your breath or anything).

Friday, December 2, 2011

I've Always Thought Cookie Was Magic

Because I have a second interview Monday morning!  And, apparently they are down to two candidates.

One interesting thing that happens to me is that every time I think I'm going to get a job offer, the job I have starts going swimmingly.  Until I have an option, it sucks.  It's a little bit like the haircut appointment phenomenon.  You know the one:  you schedule a haircut and day of the appointment, you wake up and your hair is perfect.  Then comes the big question, cancel?  Or keep the appointment?  And we all know what your hair looks like the next day if you decide to cancel.

It does make it hard to make decisions though.

Hey guess what I did yesterday!
I went to visit a sheeplady.  I bought three BEAUTIFUL (but small to those who think my stash is way too large) fleeces.  In fact one is already washed.  She had lots more.

And, when I was driving to work yesterday, this is what I saw.


It's tough to be pissed off about driving to work when you get to do it under that.  But I managed.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

But I just got used to 2011!!

So I've been knitting a ton lately, but not taking pictures. Maybe I'm too wrapped up in my life to blog anymore? If only I could decide.

I finished that huge spinning project I was working on!


Sort of. After the 18th bobbin of singles (and that's not an exaggeration like bajillionth), I weighed what was left and it was just a teeny bit more than 4 ounces. Since I have lots of stuff in my stash that was bought purely to blend with wool, I figured I'd save that four ounce batch. You'll see them later.

Anyway, then I plied those 18 bobbins of singles into a nice 4-ply. Something like 2349 yards or something. Just today, finally washed and thwacked (finished plying 10 days ago).


It actually looks a little better now that it's washed and all, but whatever.


I also had a job interview for a position I really wanted. They took my references and acted like it was gonna be me. They haven't called any of my references yet (one week today) and I haven't heard, so I guess it's a no-go. Should I be disappointed? I can't quite muster up disappointment. Maybe tomorrow!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tomorrow is THE BIG DAY!!!

Ah yes, the opening of firearm season here in Michigan. I married a deer hunter (not like the one in the movie). He grew up hunting with his uncles, Dad and brothers and it really is a part of him. I know when he goes, he feels like he's connected to all those people and happy years at deer camp. And now, he's passing it along and taking my son and my third bonus son. Do I think it's barbaric to shoot and eat an animal? I guess kinda, but then again. I'm not all that sure that it's more barbaric than what we do to domestic animals that we eat. Am I gonna give you all the ecological arguments which actually have a lot of validity in our area of the country? Nope. BUT, would I kill an animal if it was really necessary to feed my family? Hell yea! Anywho, this was all a convoluted prologue to TRIGGER MITTENS CIMG2340 Now these are designed so you don't have to remove your mittens to shoot a deer, but you mostly still get the warmth of a mitten. (You know, like where your fingers can all huddle together and share body heat in a non-Broke Back Mountain style). They are made from handspun jacob lamb yarn and he says they're perfect. That's what counts.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Turns out Perception is NOT Reality (at least not for me)

Don't know why I don't post more often. I've been doing a ton of stuff. I'm working on spinning some Shetland right now. I took the photo below on 11/3. .


So far, I've spun 7 bobbins of singles. I showed John the bag and he was like "wow, you've spun a ton already!" meanwhile I was thinking, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh this bag is growing right in front of my eyes!"

This actually explains a TON about our relationship and why it was a good idea for me to marry someone who is actually grounded in reality. Draw your own conclusions.

I also washed a ton of fleece and dyed a batch of CVM. It turned out PERFECT. It used to be this:
but OMG I am so tired of spinning and knitting with gray! That was just NOT going to work for me, so I got out the big galvanized tub I wash and dye fleece in, mixed up a big batch of blue/black/red dyed (mostly blue of course)
and ended up with this:
(those little white spots are just water droplets reflecting flash. It's exactly what I was going for and the roving is still nice and fluffy. Must finish the tan Shetland so I can spin it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's like Personality Doppelganger

Every single time I read this blog, I think, "holy crap! that is so me and St. John." I have to allow that her cockamamie schemes have slightly more "cock" in them, but STILL. Well, and I guess it is different that every once in awhile, St. John will actually allow that some of my ideas are actually good and they WORK (which is to him is way more important since he is an engineer and they mostly care about how to make things work).

I wish she was my neighbor.


Saturday, October 22, 2011


Who missed St. John?


This sweater is not quite complete, but doesn't it look nice on him? I still have to put in the zipper and block, but it's almost done!

I got the lamb fleece from here: Sweetgrass Farms

The shepherdess is a super fantastic lady I met at the Michigan Fibre Fest a few years ago when I bought my very first fleece. I liked it so much, I emailed her last year and asked her to pick out two lamb fleeces, and a yearling ewe. Her fleeces are uncoated, and absolutely wonderful to work with. If you ever want a jacob fleece to spin, I can't recommend her highly enough.

Anywho, it's been washed, carded, blended to try to get the color variation as even as possible while still maintaining my normal level of lazy. (that means no more than four times through the carder). Then it was spun into a sport weight three ply. The pattern is a plain old seamless raglan (using EZ's seamless method).

The second picture makes him look totally drunk. I love it. He's still cute though.


I know I'm boring today, but still I thought some of you might be missing The Boss. Trying to get more regular on blogging again. Promise I'll make more of an effort.

Friday, September 30, 2011

What I've Been Doing

I've been doing a ton, but not taking enough pictures. Today, I took a BUNCH, but I won't be putting them up all at once.

Over the summer, I gave up my book business. I have two part time jobs as well as the house and family to take care of. That book biz on top was getting to be just too much. (Some days it's too much still without it;)). So, our big basement full of books was emptied.

We now have room for our home office, a scrapping table for me, a reloading and brewing storage area for The Chief and I have wall of shelves. For fleece.

In the photo, you can see about half the fleece on the wall. My dirty little secret is that I still have just as much put up in my laundry/sewing/yarn storage room. And that half is in space bags so it's compacted. I know there are bigger wool/fleece stashes in the world, but I am a little embarrassed. It's all clean, and in various states of "ready-to-spin-ness".


I just finished prepping this:


Some beautiful CVM I bought and washed at least a year ago. It is so soft, you almost feel like you aren't touching anything when it's against your skin. Weird feeling, but cooooooooooool.

Anyone who wants to come over and crank a carder or wield some awesome combs will be paid in either molasses cookies or pumpkin bars plus all the coffee or tea you can drink and some home brewed beer or hard cider. Any takers????

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

If It's Fall it Must be Football!

So I don't even love football, but my son does. That means I spend a chunk of time in the fall at games (and washing stankass football clothes). Plus this year, my stepdaughter is on Sideline Cheer so I am going to even more games! (different grade)

I even yelled a few times tonight. I never yell, but it's ok because we won!

Anywho back to the cockamamie schemes.

I mentioned my husband built me an electric spinner. I spun a whole sweater's worth of Shetland in SIX DAY. that's about 4,000 yds of tiny singles, plus 2k yards of plying. During a really busy week. Where I worked more hours than normal.

Pictures of the yarn later.

Anywho, Deb commented and I got two messages on Ravelry asking for pictures. Instead, I decided to make a video. i think that would actually be faster than me trying to explain and label the picture.

Monday, September 5, 2011


So the past couple weeks have been crazy.

The topper is that my husband has finally brought one of my schemes to life and built me an electric spinner. Now the reason I even wanted one is because I don't have a lace flyer for my wheel and this way I can spin R.E.A.L.L.Y.F.A.S.T. (PUHLUS, it was all for a total of $25.) (Sorry, if you read my Rav post. i said $15, but in true John fashion, he reminded me of the $10.00 bag of hardware he bought. I feel like that doesn't count because money he paid is like free, but he disagrees)

Like a full bobbin of singles (for two ply sock yarn so pretty thin) in 65 minutes.

I'll be back with a lot of knitting and some spinning on the new wheel. Apparently i jumped the gun starting to blog without getting in the swing of doing it more like daily (or even weekly for the love of God).

School starts tomorrow which means I am already breathing a sigh of relief that we've finished getting ready and going through the first weeks of football practice. Someone made first string offensive guard (not me) and even though I would rather he do something safer like chess or something, this is really what he loves so I'm on it.

Hey! Remember when i dyed my hair red and John told me I looked like the bastard child of Bozo and Ronald McDonald? I did.


but then, it was mostly ok because he took a leftover burger, split it and stuffed it and cooked it for me again and it was amazing?


I remember that too. Life really is a trade off isn't it?

School starts tomorrow. I just needed to say it again so i could really start to believe it because I think this summer fell in a wormhole or something.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Beech down!

When you live in "the woods" or what used to be woods before the 60's. Our neighborhood is full of Oak and beech (mostly) trees that are 100+ feet tall. that means when a storm comes, they self-prune (which means they actually drop so many huge branches that our insurance companies hold their breath.

One of our beech trees dropped a bigggggggggggg branch, but there was no damage.


And yes, that is my mini-van. What of it?


I haven't had much time to be creative this week. A new Feather Duster has been knitted but not blocked. Hopefully soon on that.

I know i say this every year, but when does school start again? Our "still at home" kids are 17, 14, and 13. having three full size apes sitting around the house and hoovering out the refrigerator for 12 weeks seems long. But, still the best summer I can remember.

Friday, August 5, 2011

No tears today

At all. In fact, I have a photo of the sock yarn blankie to share. This is totally made up of sock yarn leftovers. Some of them have been gifted to me, and som were sent to me by the lovely and fabulous Cookie. If you don't read her blog, why the hell not . .

Which reminds me, why the heck didn't anyone tell me how AWESOME Sons of Anarchy is? Wow, it's so well written, and kind bullshit, but still SO enthralling.

But back to the sock yarn blanket. Basically, every once in awhile, I just knit a few rows of squares onto this blanket. And I did promise to go ahead and post a photo once in awhile.


it's the width of our King sized bed, and I hpoe to make it the length eventually. It's perfect football game knitting (and believe it or not, practice starts in less than a month!

I'm down to 26 rows on the Feather Duster (which I made WAY bigger than the pattern). Come back and see it!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Holy Shit

So, I've been having a hard time at my new(ish) job. It's been four months and my confidence is slowly eroding to pretty much jack (which is redneck for squattola) and on Friday, I hit a wall. I realized I had made a mistake on something that affected us all. I'm pretty sure letting everyone know in a timely manner stopped it from being any kind of real problem but guess what?

I cried.

I almost never cry (unless it's hormonal) and my mom hasn't seen me cry IN YEARS and she was over for waffles. Anyway so i really had a pretty good breakdown and my husband happened to be hollering questions at me as he walked up the basement stairs. As i answered, he realized I was crying and ran up the last few. Then he walked in the living room where I was crying in front of my mom (and she was frankly looking frantic which is weird because she's a mental health professional. I mean hell, she has seen some serious emotions)

He looked at me with a very similar frantic look on his face, then at her, then at me. Then he put his hands on his hips, narrowed his eyes and semi bellowed at MY MOM, "What did you DO?????" hahahahaha. Omg so funny it took the sting out of my tears.

But seriously, I used to think I was so awesome at my job(s) and this is making me feel like such a loser. What do you do? Hang in, work harder and cross your fingers?

Friday, July 22, 2011

One Man's Old Crap

Is another man's new crap.

Actually, have you ever logged on to Craigslist to look for a bargain on something you want or need and been astounded by what people seem to think their old crap is worth?

Happened to me too.

We're sort of half assed looking for a set of french doors. Kinda of a long story. . that will eventually end with photos of our remodeled basement.

The other day I was browsing through some old photos and found one I thought I should make a stamp out of. it's roughly two miles from our house (as the crow flies) on Lake Michigan and is the lighthouse known as "Big Red". I don't want to brag or anything, but it's kind of a "big deal" in lighthouse circles. I guess you probably don't hang out in lighthouse circles.


See, I have that Theresa Collins stampmaker everyone is all agog over. In fact I got it for Christmas (and have yet to make a stamp that doesn't suck)

I'll show it when it's done. (even if it sucks AGAIN)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ah Knupps, How Can I Love You Soooo Much?

It's been a rough week for me. See, I have two part-time jobs, plus I have a family and house and it's so crazy! I work for a family owned business (where the "family") was on vacation this week as the bookkeeper/office manager. I was alone in the office when I got a text from my 13 Year old son. "I just puked"

Wow, aren't those 13 yo boys eloquent?

Now when I was growing up, my mom didn't care to be bothered with sick children, and I remember that didn't feel great. So, I make sure I'm there when he gets ill. He's turning into a man though (you all know what that means during the flu).

So anyway rough week. I've been working a ton and starting to think about a full-time job instead of two part time ones. If I go back full time, I should definitely get a housekeeper right?? RIGHT??? It's ok. Silence implies consent, ya know.

Moving right along. About 18 months ago, I bought some merino/bamboo from Hungry for Handspun (I believe her etsy shop is closed right now) and spun it up into some nice laceweight. The color was mossy pond or something like that. The laceweight is similar to Zephyr so not super thing (which I like when knitting a garment) and it turned out just beautiful. The sheen is very pretty and the colors are not my usual cup of tea, but gorgeous.


The pattern was quickly memorized (after the edging).


Not showing the bamboo sheen.


Since I finished this shawl, I haven't had any lace on the needles. In fact right now I have a sock. That's it!!! I have spinning going though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'm back! (and I'm Better than Ever)!!

I confess. I've blogged before. In fact, I even co-hosted a podcast for awhile years back. Unfortunately, my life took over, and my interests broadened (read: my short attention span got me interested in a billion more crafts). Thus the name of my new, multi-crafty blog was born. My husband constantly jokes about my cockamamie schemes and shenanigans. Big deal! Sometimes they even turn into something (not usually though so don't hod your breath or anything).

It's true that I really do have a crazy life, but if you come back, you'll be finding that out (maybe more than you want to).

Anyway, the point of THIS post is that we have friends having a baby boy soon, so I designed and knitted him a sweater (which you'll see later). In order to get myself motivated to get the sweater designed, I made the card to go with it!


The inside sentiment just says "Congratulations on your new little monkey!" Basically the whole color scheme stemmed from the plaid paper. I picked that first and then rummaged for everything that would match it. That plaid paper is just SO pretty.


In order to create this card, I used the products listed below. Come back and see the sweater!

Turquoise paper: Hallmark Core'dinations Cardstock (sanded)
Lime green and plaid paper: Martha Stewart Essentials Paper pack
Ribbon: Random $1 roll from Michaels
Image: Cuddly Animals file from
Sentiment: Stampin' Up!
Frame Stamp: 7 Gypsies
Ink: Stampin' Up! Summer Sun and Tempting Turquoise

Baby Card1