Friday, January 27, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
I just turned on the pellet stove and will now crank out another sock to match this one. Rainy days are wonderful for knitting, but who needs an excuse to knit, right?
And then in a few hours I'll pop some huge baking potatoes in the oven to go along with some marinated salmon and a little steamed broccoli on the side. YUMMO
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Is it too windy? Should I turn it off? Can it take these rogue gusts? These are only some of the many questions we ask ourselves during high winds and almost always during the middle of the night!
Sunday night we had some pretty substantial wind gusts but we kept checking the turbine with a flashlight and it seemed to be doing just fine. It wasn't tilting backwards or at a strange angle (both being good indicators to shut it down).
And yet, by morning's first light, it was barely spinning even tho the winds were still strong. Finally, around 9 a.m., I walked down to the pump house and looked at the controls. We were getting a zero readout with no green or red light. It wasn't generating electricity. So, I shut it off and waited and tried again later in the day - still nothing. I finally called our wind turbine guy who came by yesterday afternoon.
I explained what had happened and he hit the switch and VOILA, it was up and running. My mouth just dropped open! Even tho we had no red lights flashing, which can mean that the winds are too strong and the batteries are filled to capacity, the turbine still shut itself off on Sunday night.
Phil decided that it was either just a fluke or indeed, the batteries were maxed out and the excess power was being thrown out through a special black box just for that purpose. I guess the bottom line here is that if we're going to keep it going during high wind times, we should get up in the middle of the night and vacuum the whole house! Use that power! My husband thought that baking a cake would be better!
We've been living off the grid now for 5 winters and still are learning the do's and don'ts of offgrid power systems.
Monday, January 16, 2012
The stockings that I designed for Your Knitting Life Magazine are now on newstands - my dear friend Charlotte just let me know that she saw this issue at Barnes & Noble. Here's a link.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
It's only about a 40 minute drive from our house, so we drove out for a few hours and had lunch with them.
And here's a photo of our dear antique sock machine, Doris! Leslie asked for a photo and I know that many of you are quite intriqued with these machines. Many owners give them names and when this machine arrived from Canada, I just knew that "she'd" be able to whistle a happy tune once I got her up and running. So, she was named after Doris Day!
Friday, January 13, 2012
This is our 5th winter in the California mountains and totally different than the first 4. We are close to 60 days now of zero rain, snow and sleet. While I'm loving this fantastic weather, I realize that we desperately need the moisture.
It really hits home when you drill your own well and want that water table to maintain it. We still have several more months of winter here, so we're all crossing our fingers and toes that some good snow falls very soon.
In the meantime, I'll continue to take my leisurely walks and enjoy the sunshine.
I'm back to building our sock inventory and just had to share a photo of this amazingly beautiful shade of blue. The yarn is called Yukon from Pagewood Farm. They're now in our Etsy shop but I really think they'd look better in my sock drawer!
Thursday, January 12, 2012
With this being an election year, I thought it would be nice to work up some patriotic scarves. This is a yarn that we get from Skacel and it's been quite fun to work with.
Now to some socks and we'll see if I can reach my goal of two pair today.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Since we do various arts and craft shows also, I'm always on the lookout for bags to place the socks in for our customers. They not only leave smiling because of the handcranked socks but because they've been placed in fun bags. Add some pretty tissue paper and voila!
Tomorrow I absolutely have to get my inventory done and bring last year's ledger to a close. Then, this year's fun will begin and I will get some serious cranking done and new sock yarns ordered. So much to look forward to for sure!
Friday, January 6, 2012
I have such high hopes for our little sock business this year. I'm hoping to increase the amount of socks made on our antique sock machine and hopefully add some new designs and patterns also.
One design line that I'm working on is called "Catghans and Dogghans - Tail Wagging Afghans." These are whimsical blankets for dogs and cats that will definitely make their owners wish that they were for humans!
So, I hope that you'll follow along this year on our adventure of socks and all things knitted AND of course our life of living off the electrical grid in the California mountains.
We hope to add chickens to all this fun and I was lead to a fantastic blog (thank you so much Heather!) called Tilly's Nest. If you want to learn more about raising chickens, this is a must read!
We will also be offering some little giveaways along the way, so be sure to watch for those.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
The boys couldn't resist this photo opportunity and either could I! In the background you can see the old school house. If you haven't been, it's really a remakable place to visit and take your family. On the way home, Spencer told me that Calico is better than Disneyland!
They just laughed and talked the whole way home and then we got on the subject of chickens and I told them that we've decided to build a chicken coop on our property. I told the boys that they could each have their own chicken. I asked Mitchell what he would name his and his answer was swift - Lucy!
I wish you all the very best in this new year and may your blessings be many.