Friday, February 25, 2011

Ask Mac.................

Today is my day to blog! And I received two questions, so here's my answers:

Laura of Harvest Lane: Hey there Mac! Where did your mom buy the new yarn? I like the one with the pink dots on it. You're a man Mac of many talents sir!

Mac: Why thank you very much Laura! Sometimes I feel like no one appreciates my many talents! My mom said the yarn came from Skacel Yarn Co., and it's all "Step" by Austermann. It's infused with aloe vera and jojoba oil and makes your skin soft for about 40 washings. I wonder if my mom would make me some so that my feet will get soft, too?

Tracy: Mac, do you like the snow?

Mac: I only like looking at it from inside while I'm perched on the couch. It makes my feet too cold and then I have to tip toe around the yard. And it gets a bit drafty on potty breaks, if you know what I mean!

Thanks for writing to me Tracy and Laura.

My mom said that if I keep getting questions, that I can continue to blog. So, be sure to leave me some for next Friday. I usually give one lucky person a little "treat", but this week I'm sending both Laura and Tracy a little something just from me.

My mom has your address Tracy, but doesn't have yours Laura. Could you please email my mom with it? I think she'll email you, too.

Mac's returned the computer to me, so guess I'll wind up today's post. The snow storm is due to arrive by evening so Rick and I went and bought 20 bags of pellets for the wood stove and 4 jugs of diesel fuel for the generator. With prices skyrocketting now, we try to buy as much as possible because next time everything will be even higher.

I just finished these socks for our Etsy shop. They too, are made with Austermann's "Step" yarn. I did the leg portion in a 3 x 1 rib and then worked the remainder of the sock in stockinette stitch. Because the top edge was on waste yarn, I placed all the stitches on to two needles and worked Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off. It's a slow process, but gives a nice elastic edge.

I wish you all a warm and wonderful weekend.

Til next time.................

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Weather Outside is Frightful................

But the fire is so delightful...............I'll be singing this song over the next several days. I guess the storm is just off the coast of California and due to dump several inches of snow on us. Could it really flurry down to the 1,000 foot level? Time will tell.

This new "Step" yarn by Austermann that we get from Skacel Yarn Co. is doing well. We've already sold 3 pr of socks in it. Just working with it is delightful. It's the Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil that make it feel so cashmere-like and then to think that it softens your feet while wearing them! Well, that's just too much wonderfulness! The infusion of the aloe and jojoba lasts approximately 40 washings. I really need to make myself a pair.

My aunt received her birthday socks and loves them. I can remember as a little girl when she knitted my doll a hat. I can still see that hat and remember how thrilled I was receiving it. Now, as my aunt is in her 80's, I'm knitting for her. Isn't life fun?

Well, I have some socks to mail off this morning and I need to run to the food store with this snow storm coming in. I'm wondering since I just used the term "food store" if any of you say that, too? I'm originally from Michigan so is that a term from the midwest, or am I just weird? Everyone here says "grocery store."

More sock pictures will be coming................

Monday, February 21, 2011

Monday, Monday......

The local weatherman just didn't get the forecast right this time around. For days he kept calling for snow down to pass level and that the freeways would be impacted. It just never happened, which is probably a good thing for us. In fact, it wasn't even measureable - more like a splattering. Yep, that's a good word for it - a splattering.

The yarn arrived from Skacel Yarn Co. and it's dreamy! I love the "Step" line of sock yarns. They're infused with aloe and jojoba oil and feel almost cashmere-like. The yarn company claims this infusion will last approximately 40 washings and is supposed to soften your skin. A photo never does the colors justice. I sure wish you could feel these. I'll be adding them to our Etsy shop later today.

I had a milestone birthday recently and my dear, dear friend Kathleen, handcranked two lovely pair of socks for me. They are superb! Absolutely delightful to wear. Your birthday is next Kathleen!

With the weather nice and brisk, I made a big pot of homemade chili and we'll have seconds this evening. I love it when I don't have to cook, just reheat! And that means more time today to crank out socks! Pictures will follow for sure.

Have a great day out there and don't forget about this month's giveaway. Just read the "Doris Meets Otto" post for all the details. Someone's about to win a pair of handknitted women's mittens.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Ask Mac"

I told Mac that he had to rise and shine early because he had two questions to answer on his blog segment this morning! I'm afraid he was up late last night watching "The Shaggy Dog!"

Tracy: Question for Mac. Today your lady mentioned making lasagna, are you allowed to eat any and if so, are you like Garfield?

Mac: My mom lets me have a little but she picks out the onions because dogs aren't supposed to have those. I would eat the whole pan of it if she let me!

InJuneau: Questions for Mac. Since you're a boy dog, do you ever suggest to your "mom" that she should try to knit men's sized socks on Doris? Or is Doris a size that wouldn't allow her to knit large enough socks for men? Also, has she ever used Doris to knit anything for you?

Mac: My mom has made men's socks on her sock machine, but for some weird reason she likes to make them for women more. I keep telling her to make 'em for us guys, but she just smiles at me and says they take too much yarn! I'll keep working on her.

And no, she hasn't made me anything on Doris. Probably because the 72 needles that Doris holds won't make me anything that will fit around my "pleasingly plump" tummy. She has promised me a new handknit sweater tho.

Thanks Tracy and Rebecca for your questions this week. My mom said that since there were just two of you this week writing to me, that she thought I should send you both a little something. She has Rebecca's address but not Tracy's. If you're reading this Tracy, could you please send my mom your mailing address? She'll send you an email, too.

If any of you have any questions for next week, just leave a comment and my mom will make sure that I get them. See you next week and now my mom wants to say a few things........

My husband left early for work this morning and I got to see the most gorgeous moon setting in the west. Hard to capture a good picture in the dark, but thought you'd like to see it anyway.

Another pair of socks cranked out and ready to go into our Etsy shop. Did I tell you that we may be able to get a new NZAK machine later this year? I'm looking at one with a capacity to hold 64 needles and the ribber 32. That would allow me to use sock yarn that is slightly thicker than what we use now. Hold a good thought that we can make this happen as quickly as possible.

One more announcement: If you're like me, I totally enjoy Caffeine Girl's blog, but haven't been able to access it. I just heard from her and you can visit her new blog and read all about the glitch.

Mac and I wish you all a knittingly good day and we'll see you again over the weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Socks Anyone?

Isn't this yarn just downright yummy? We just got a shipment from Skacel of their "Step" yarns which are infused with aloe and jojoba oil. Today I'll crank out the second sock and hurry and get these listed on our Etsy shop. This yarn just glides through the needles on "Doris"! And boy do they feel wonderful to the touch. They're actually supposed to make your feet softer and the aloe/jojoba will last through something like 40 washings.

This is a colorpack that has 7 different colors ( 2 of each). Suzanne, if you're reading today's blog, there's a couple of fall colors in this batch that I will be making and will send you photos via your email for you to check out.

These 4 pair are ready to ship off to Loren in N.J. Hope she likes 'em!

And this pair were finished late last night and just listed in our Etsy shop. They're made with Plymouth Yarn Co.'s "Sockin Sox" yarn. It too, is a fabulous yarn.

Today I have a few errands and then I'll get back to making socks all afternoon. Somewhere in there I'll make a big pan of lasagna for my guys for dinner! YUMMO

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day..............

Today is one of my favorite days - Valentine's! And I wish you all a heart filled day.

My aunt's birthday is Feb. 29th, so she's not very old! She lives in Pennsylvania and absolutely loves my wool socks. So, today I'll mail off two pair to her for that special day. I think she'll be quite surprised and delighted.

This pair I'm handknitting for a customer from New Jersey. The first sock had about 3 yards of fiber leftover, so I'm crossing my fingers that this remaining skein will have the same amount and not less. There's options if that happens, but hopefully, it'll work out just fine.

We have a series of storms that are heading our way with snow by late week and down to 3,500 feet. Since we live at 4,500 feet, there's no telling how much we'll get. That means that I better go fill the diesel jugs and maybe get more pellets for the wood stove. January was so spring-like that we got spoiled! I must remind myself that it still is winter on the calendar!

Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Another Day Off The Grid......

It's another gorgeous sunny day, but we're having high winds again. I just ran out to the pump house and turned off the wind turbine. It was starting to rotate up and back and they've told us when it does that to go ahead and put the brake on.

We've had such a mild January and February and now some of our plants and fruit trees are starting to get tiny leaves.

The Mexican Primrose is already starting to green up.

Even the fruit trees think it's spring!

But, I know better and went and stocked up on pellets yesterday for our wood stove! Actually, there's a chance of a snowstorm coming in sometime next week. Let's hope it heads another direction.

We also stocked up on 15 gallons of diesel for the generator, so we're ready for whatever comes our way.

Thanks so much for visiting today and now I'll get back to making some socks.

If you're wondering where Mac is today, he didn't receive any questions, so I told him that he couldn't blog today!

Have a great weekend and I'll be sharing some new sock photos soon.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mittens, Mittens In The Air....

Mittens, Mittens Everywhere!

I'm taking a break (well sort of) from making socks and have been knitting up mittens. Maybe it's the mitten giveaway that we're doing this month that got me so inspired. (just leave a comment and use the word "mittens" on the post "Doris Meets Otto" to be entered - on March 1st, I'll randomly draw one lucky name to win a pair of women's handknitted mittens) Thought I'd work up 3 different women's sizes and the winner can choose which size would be best for them.

I am finishing up 4 pr of socks for a customer and then will get back to cranking out some socks for our Etsy shop. I really, really need to build our inventory.

This morning I looked out the window only to be greeted by wind and clouds. Maybe I'll just keep the blinds closed and spend the day knitting!

Hope there's sunshine at your house!

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Ask Mac" - February 4, 2011

Hi, it's me Mac and today's my day to have the blog all to myself! So, let's get right to the questions....

Amy: Ok Mac, here is my question for you....I have a dog named Griffin. He will sit by me while I knit or crochet but does not seem to take an interest. He is a Bichon/Frise-West Highland Terrier mix. Do you have some suggestions about how I can get him more involed?

Mac: Have you knitted him something? That sure got my attention when my mom made me a sweater. Now I love yarn and on cold days I always wear it. Maybe you could keep some dog treats in your knitting bag, too. That'll get Griffin's attention!

Vanessa: Ok, I have a question Mac. I have a dog Saide May. She is a German Shepherd hound mix....when I tell her to sit or stay she ignores me. How can I get her to listen to me? P.S. She listens when I tell her to drop it when she picks up my yarn. So why not to sit or stay?

Mac: Well, if Saide May is anything like me, I have a mind of my own. When my mom tells me to sit, I can tell in her voice that she doesn't really mind if I do it or not. But, every dog knows that you never touch your mom's knitting!

Sue: Mac, thanks so much for the info on why I may be making misshapen triangles instead of rectangles when I knit. I am going to watch myself when I turn rows and see because I am probably doing a yarn over instead of just turning. Thanks!

Mac: You're welcome, Sue. Keep counting those stitches!

Tracy: Does Mac have many friends that he has around the house, or is he an only "child."

Mac: I have a "brother" named Bo and you can read all about him on my mom's posts from way back (A Dog Named Bo). We found him up here and he was abandoned and on the verge of going wild. It took my mom 2 months before he would even let her touch him. But, now he's part of our family and loves us all with his whole heart.

Thanks everyone for the questions. If anyone has some for me for next week, just leave them here and my mom will make sure that I get them.

I put your names in my "clean" doggy dish and drew out one name to win a little something from me (Ok, my mom really made it!). Amy is the lucky winner and my mom will send you an email so that you can send her your mailing address. She's going to send you a "mini key ring purse." For those of you who would like to knit one of these up, you can go to the Coats & Clark link at the right and download the free patterns. My mom designed these for Coats.

Thanks for all the fun and I'll see you next week. And remember, I'll be drawing one lucky name from the questions that I get for next week's blog. See you then!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Doris Meets Otto.....

It was love at first sight! For both me AND Doris!

Yesterday I spent the most lovely day with my dear, dear friend Kathleen. She set up her "Otto" who is an autoknitter sock machine, right across the table top from "Doris." What a pair they make! "Otto" holds 60 needles where Doris holds 72.

I learned so much from Kathleen and it was oodles of fun having our very own "crank-in"! While we chatted away, Kathleen cranked out 4 socks! Yep, 4 socks (two pair). Now how fun is that! And they turned out beautifully and it let me see how different a 60 stitch sock is compared to a 72. I have to really tighten the tension on Doris because there are so many stitches - otherwise the sock would be far too wide. And that can be extremely tiring during the cranking process. Otto whipped those socks out in no time.

Isn't he a dream? So, I've decided that this is my goal for our little (ok, micro) sock business. I'm going to save up and find a friend for Doris. As these machines get more and more popular, that task becomes a bit more difficult.

And then, you won't believe what Kathleen did. She left Otto so that I could practice on him and use up some of my thicker sock yarns. Only a dear and true friend would do such a thing! He'll hang out with Doris until Kathleen and her husband return to their vacation home in Bear Valley. Doris and I are in heaven!

Other news.....

I promised that I'd have an announcement today, so here it is: Instead of the usual giveaway each month of a pair of socks, I thought it would be fun for one lucky person to win a pair of women's handknitted mittens. I'll start working on them this evening.

So, this is how it'll work: just leave a comment on this post and be sure to use the word "Mittens". On March 1st, 2011, I'll randomly draw one name and announce the winner. The mittens will be made of Cascade 220 which is a 100% wool, worsted weight yarn. They'll be quite yummy! So, good luck to all.

And tomorrow is "Ask Mac" and he'll have a few answers for the questions that came in for him. You might want to tune in then and leave him a question for next week because he told me that he'll be doing a little giveaway for one lucky person who leaves him a question each week. Tomorrow he has 3 viewers who wrote in and one of them will be winning a little something.

Have a great, great day!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's Time to Announce a Winner...

It's February 1st and that means that it's time to announce another winner in our monthly sock giveaway. The lucky name that was drawn is Stacy AKA Scarletpurls! Congratulations Stacy. I just sent you a message via Ravelry.

We'll be having more giveaways, so stayed tuned, ok?

I just finished this pair of hand knitted socks yesterday and had them drying by the pellet stove overnight. The yarn is Encore Sock from Plymouth Yarn Co. It's a dk weight and I've fallen totally in love with this yarn. I love thicker socks and these feel so yummy. Can socks feel yummy? You betcha ya! I worked them on size 4 needles and they worked up very quickly. I'll add them to our Etsy store today.

Tomorrow my dear friend, Kathleen, is coming for a visit and she's bringing her Autoknitter antique sock machine. His name is "Otto"! "Doris" is looking so forward to meeting him. (for those of you who are new to our blog, "Doris" is my antique sock machine) If you're wondering, many of us name our sock machines!

We'll set him up right across from Doris on the workmate bench. My machine holds 72 needles where he has 60, so I get to use some of my thicker sock yarns on him. I can't wait!

Just a reminder: Friday's post will be from Mac and he'll be answering the questions that came in for him. I do believe he'll be doing a little giveaway of his own, so you might want to check in that day.

And Thursday's post will have a fun announcement, so that's a must, too.

Thanks so very much for visiting today and I'll see you all on Thursday and Friday, too!

Til then...............