Tuesday, August 30, 2011

60 Watt Tea

Yep, that's what I call it! Most people make "sun tea" by just placing the jar with the tea bags and water in the sun. For some wierd reason, I prefer to just make it on my kitchen counter - thus the name, "60 watt tea."

And it'll even work on a cloudy day!

I'm sure you're all thinking that I must be hard up for something to write about - ok, I am! But, there's a reason.........

I've been working away on 3 items for a yarn company and since I can't discuss what they are, I certainly can't show you any pictures either! Hopefully, in a few months they'll place the finished items on my Ravelry page and then you can have a peek.

And if you haven't made 60 watt tea, give it a try!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tehachapi Mountain Festival....................

This past weekend was our annual mountain festival. With it comes the huge car show called "Thunder on the Mountain."

Our daughter and her family came up and even two year old Carter seemed to enjoy the day.

The cars were amazing and we all found our favorites from times gone by.

The weather was perfect and it was a good thing, because we must've walked at least three miles that day!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What, no power?

Living off the grid is almost always filled with a glitch of some kind. Wednesday we woke up at 5:30 to find our entire system was down. I kept telling me husband, "at least it isn't the dead of winter!" That still didn't make him feel any better.

We ran out to the pump house and checked the generator first. We noticed that the radiator was wet on the front. Hmmmmmmm Upon a closer inspection, my husband saw that the fan belt had broken. Fortunately, he had a spare and was able to replace it. The only thing he didn't have was a jug of coolant, but Auto Zone would be open at 8.

This Italian generator is huge and quite complicated and eventually there will be some things that my husband just won't be able to fix. Until then, let's hope that the glitches are small and manageable.

In the photo you can see the 3 extension sections that my husband added to the exhaust pipe. When the pump house was built, they didn't plan on proper ventilation for the exhaust and the generator has been coughing and sputtering on its own exhaust fumes - not to mention it clogs the air filter. This sure solved that problem.

On a lighter note, I thought you'd enjoy seeing these brightly colored socks that just came off Doris. The color is called rainbow sherbert and the yarn is from Pagewood Farm. That little bit of added bamboo sure makes them shiny and soft.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for your comments. I enjoy them so much and feel like you're all dear friends.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Photo Op...........

Sometimes a photo opportunity lands right at your doorstep. Or maybe I should say that one "trots" by your doorstep!

This is a Clydsdale named Gracie that lives just down the road. I couldn't believe how tall she was - not to mention gorgeous. Can't help but wonder what the food bill must be each month!

Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Fingerless Mitts on a Circular Sock Machine..............

Many thanks to Handwerks
for creating this wonerful pattern for the fingerless mitts on a CSM. I could never have figured this one out on my own!

What's really spiffy too, is that the mitts can be used on either hand.

I used the Bungee sock yarn from Plymouth for this mitt because of the stretch factor. It sure makes it easier to pick up the side stitches along the thumb.

Once you do one, then you get a better grasp for the method of construction. The thumb isn't "free" like a hand knit, yet you have complete mobility with it when worn.

Basically, you knit the cuff ribbing, then some stockinette and finally reach the thumb. At this point you place the back needles into non-working position and work only on the front needles for the thumb and gusset.

Weights are critical at the edges to keep the stitches from jumping off. Once, the thumb is knitted, then you add waste yarn and remove those stitches. The scary part now begins and you pick up the side stitches of the thumb and place them on the front needles.

With all the needles back into working position, you knit the hand portion followed by more ribbing at the top to keep the mitts nice and tight around your fingers.

It took me one practice mitt before I felt confident to make a "real" pair.

I get the feeling that the mitts are slightly more intense than making a pair of socks, but with time my confidence level will increase.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sock Yarn Winner................

Congratulations to Lorraine!  She's our winner of the Bungee Sock Yarn giveaway.  I just made a fingerless mitt on our antique sock machine with this yarn and will be sharing all about it on the next post.  I'll be sending you an email Lorraine to get your mailing address.  Enjoy your sock yarn.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Couple of Updates...............

In case you haven't been able to sleep at night wondering how the plastic bag idea is working with our squirrel problem........................  Well, we still have fruit!  I've caught a couple of squirrels sitting near the trees just staring at them, but none have ventured up into them.  Probably, because they can't figure out how to get past the bags.  I placed a bag around a couple of the apples to see what that would do..........don't try it............it got way too hot inside and the fruit spoiled.  But, at least we've managed to bumfuddle the squirrels for now!

And of course, I'm sure last year's pumpkin is also on your mind.  It's still going strong.  At this rate, we won't have to buy one for this Halloween.  It's crazy ridiculous that a pumpkin can last this long just sitting on your kitchen counter.

Yesterday we visited two local farms and stocked up on tomatoes, red leaf lettuce, beets, onions and peaches.  My guys requested a pie of any kind, so peach it was.

Today there will be no baking on the to do list.  Instead, I'll be making some fingerless mitts on our antique sock machine.  Pictures to follow!

Tomorrow is our Bungee Sock Yarn Giveaway.  Check in then to see who the lucky winner is.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Wake Up Socks..............

Put these socks on in the morning and they're sure to wake you up!   Actually, they're much brighter than the photo shows.  Bet you can't guess the color name.  It's a bit obvious - "lime!"  The yarn is Yukon from Pagewood Farm which is a merino wool, bamboo and nylon blend.  We do offer several colors of this yarn in our Etsy shop if you're thinking about knitting some socks.  It's a wonderful fiber to work with and I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

I've had several questions on the book about bread baking. It's called "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois.  How great to make a large batch, keep it in the frig and just pull out a grapefruit size wad when you need it.  

It's funny, I've always equated knitting socks to baking bread.  Both give that huge "wow" feeling when they're all done.  I can remember telling my yarn shop customers that over and over again.  Guess that's why those two activities are my favorite.

Hope you all have a wonderful day................

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Two of My Favorite Things..................

Baking and knitting are such creative outlets and definitely at the top of my "favorite things to do" list. With the cost of bread rising in the stores, I decided it was time to make my own each day. I saw this wonderful new book on Crafter's Choice and I just had to have it.

They give you this wonderful recipe that you make in a large batch (no kneading and no gooey hands!) that you keep in the frig and just take out each day a portion to make your daily loaf. My husband and son love it, and now the house is filled with the smell of fresh bread everyday!

I finished the purple hand dyed sock and decided to try the pattern in yarn from Pagewood Farm, too.

Since this yarn is slightly thinner, I had to rewrite and test the pattern. As soon as this green sock is completed, I'll be able to offer the pattern.

What I love about it is that this decorative rib hugs the leg and foot very nicely and gives a yummy fit. Of course, the yarn is absolutely wonderful, too!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Country Outing..............

We all love a drive in the country, so yesterday seemed like the perfect day to do it.
We visited some country "garage" sales and then headed for Tangleweed Farm.

Someday, I'd love to have an old wagon sitting on our property.
Our grandsons would love playing in it.

Tangleweed's sunflowers were amazing........

As was their lavender.............

And how about their pond..............
Hope you enjoyed tagging along for a country drive.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Farmer's Market and Sock Making Day............

It was a typical Thursday for me here on the mountain. The afternoon was spent at the farmer's market getting some yummy corn, watermelon, red peppers and tomatoes.

And the morning was spent making this pair of socks on our circular sock machine. Doris (our antique machine) absolutely loves fiber that contains bamboo. She practically whistles a happy tune while cranking 'em out!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Yarn Arrival...............

My daughter and I decided that it was time to bring in some hand dyed sock yarn to our business. It's from Pagewood Farm and absolutely gorgeous.

This is their Yukon which is a merino, bamboo and nylon blend. Each hank is a generous 450 yards! It gives a gauge of 27 to 32 stitches to 4 inches on a U.S. 1 - U.S. 3 needle.

I wish that you could see the colors in person. They're downright scrumptious!

We're working on our regular website, so in the meantime, we'll be adding some of these skeins to our Etsy site.

And some of it we'll make into gorgeous socks and place those also in our Etsy shop.

Thanks for taking a peek at the new arrival.