Monday, October 29, 2012

Mittens & Hearts

The blue pair are now done, soaking and about to be blocked.  I've decided to design a pair with corrugated ribbing and hope to have the pattern available within a couple of weeks.  Right now tho, I really must concentrate on the upcoming arts and craft show on Nov. 10th.  I've been cranking away on socks and will have some to show you on the next post.

I wanted to share with you this heart shaped rock that I just happened to find.  It's really crazy, but I find these all over our property.  One day when our grandsons were here, we all spent over an hour searching for more and found oodles of them.  I have a feeling it's a very good sign!

A few days ago, we had a fire about 10 miles or so from our house.  Fortunately, they had 3 water bombers and a chopper on it in no time.  They were able to contain it to about 35 acres.  This is the time of year that we get our Santa Ana winds that come off the desert.  California has more brush fires during this time of the year than any other.  Needless to say, we stay very vigilent around here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mittens, Mittens Everywhere...........

The red pair of mittens are now finished and I'm so pleased with them.  I just love working this rib.

But, on the second blue pair, I wanted to see what they'd look like if I reversed the colors somewhat.

The color that I knitted in the first pair, I purled in this blue mitten.  The purled stitches hide more in the background, while the knitted stitches come to the front.

I also removed the lime green and replaced it with red.  A corrugated rib is quite fun to knit and you can experiment with various colors and make each set unique.

Remember tho, this type of ribbing has very little stretch so I had to cast on extra stitches to compensate and then once the ribbing was completed, I decreased on the last row above it to accomodate what the pattern was calling for.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Turkey Vultures

Our local newspaper had a great article in it by writer, Jon Hammond about the visitors that the Tehachapi Valley gets each fall.  In fact, he states that autumn doesn't officially arrive in our mountains until these giant birds fly through.

When I use the word "giant" it's because these birds have six foot wing spans.  They happen to be some of the largest birds in the Tehachapi mountains, with only a few other species that are of even greater size - Golden Eagles, Condors and the occasional Bald Eagle that comes.

They usually come down from Canada, Washington, Oregon and No. California and are in search of the warmer climates, not food.  Because of their huge wing spans, they need sunlight to produce thermals which are rising columns of warm air that these birds need to gain altitude.

If they arrive late in the day once cooling has begun, they can't clear Oak Creek Pass and make it out to the Mojave desert by late afternoon.  So, they spend the night in the Tehachapi mountains high in the trees.  When morning arrives and the sun warms the air, they continue their flight plan in search of warmer climates.

Each October, I enjoy looking to the skies to see these amazing creatures.

Friday, October 19, 2012

One More Egg Please

Yesterday I took a few minutes to visit some of my favorite blogs and checked in at "Getting Stitched on the Farm."  Kristin was sharing her Fall Harvest Cake recipe and of course, I'm a sucker for a great cake "pattern."  You can click on her link over there on the right sidebar so that you can make one, too.

The problem tho, it called for 3 eggs and I only had two in my refrigerator.  So, that meant I had to wait for Lucy to lay one more!  Right after lunch, she obliged and the cake was soon in the oven.  My husband and son loved this mouthwatering fall cake.  And I have to tell you, it was superb with our morning coffee.  YUMMO

I have to point out too, my beautiful amber cake stand.  It belonged to my favorite Aunt and it displayed the cake beautifully.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Proud Day

Yesterday the girls left 4 eggs for us!  Now that's something to shout about!

With our evenings starting to cool down, we've discovered what the girls absolutely love - warm oatmeal before going to bed!  I know, it's shocking - who would've thought that chickens love oatmeal!  I'm sure that it brings sweet dreams for them, too!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cranking Away............

For those of you who are new to this blog, I'm a sock maker.  Our socks are made on an antique sock machine named Doris.    The above photo shows "Doris" in the middle of cranking out a sock.  She has 72 needles and she loves fingering weight yarn that gives about 8 sts to the inch.

I think many sock knitters make their color sequences match up, but I prefer to just let the colors run as they wish.  I call them "Pipi Longstocking" socks!  It's much more fun for me and I always get a few giggles once the socks come off the machine.  I've made up to 7 socks in a day, but gosh is that hard on the ole back.  4 is pretty much my limit these days.

We have a craft show coming up on November 10th in Bear Valley Springs, so I'm trying to get ready for it.  With the cooler weather now upon us, our Etsy sales are just starting to pick up, too.

These antique sock machines can be found on eBay, Craig's List and I've seen them even on Etsy.  If they've been refurbished, they can be a bit pricey.  We bought Doris on eBay and was very, very lucky that she arrived in perfect working order.  She came down from Canada and it took me a good 2 months before I could make a decent sock. 

I still enjoy handknitting socks, but I also get the same satisfaction out of making them on Doris.  It's funny, I can part with a sweater that I've made, but sometimes I feel sad to see my socks leave!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3 Sources of Inspiration

One of my favorite designers is Kristin Nicholas.  Her ability to work with color is absolutely amazing and I'm always inspired by her work.  Her mouthwatering gloves grace the front cover of  the Webs catalog and you can visit her blog "Getting Stitched on the Farm" by clicking it on my sidebar.

After seeing these gloves, I wanted to knit something similar.  Last year I "refreshed" a cabled mitten pattern for Coats and Clark and immediately thought of what I could do differently with it.

Then I also remembered the long ago, award winning sweater called "Moose on the Loose" that was designed by Marilee Wyman.  Her corrigated ribbing was just downright awe inspiring!

So, I began thinking of combining elements from all 3 of these sources and here's what developed:


 Now to make the second one and start thinking of who will get it for Christmas!
And since today is Wednesday and I promised one lucky name would be drawn for a copy of our "Knitted Rag Curlers," I'll announce her now.  Stacy, you won!  If you would email me at, I'll attach a copy and send off to you.  Congratulations!
And now, back to my other mitten.................  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Our Newest Pattern..................


Yep, they're rag curlers, only knitted!  Back in the 50's, many of us found ourselves going to bed in rag curlers that our mothers made from old sheets.  Gosh, they were so comfortable to sleep in and when we got up in the morning we had lots of curls!
Well, why not a knitted version.  And this pattern is super, super easy!  I just listed it in our Etsy shop and hope to get it on to Ravelry later this evening.
And if you'd like a chance at winning a free PDF copy of it, just leave a comment on this post and let us know if you had rag curlers when you were a little girl! Please leave contact info to make it easy for me.
And Heather J., if you're reading this, you won the copy of our "Coffee Mug Sweater" and I just need your email address to send it off to you.  You can email me at
On Wednesday, October 10th, I'll randomly draw one lucky name to win a copy of our "Knitted Rag Curlers."

Saturday, October 6, 2012

And The Winner is..................

And the lucky name drawn to win a copy of our "Coffee Mug Sweater" is....................
Heather J!  Congratulations!  I felt the design needed a little "umph" and added an optional crochet or knit flowerette.  Heather, I don't seem to have your email address, so if you would be kind enough to email with it, I'll send this PDF file right off to you.  (

Last weekend our daughter had to cancel their visit, but hopefully will be able to make it up tomorrow.  Then I can do the photo shoot of our next little pattern that is strictly for little girls!  Then, we'll have another giveaway for it.

Today is "get ready" for the kids coming.  It's our grandson's birthday - Mitchell will be a big 9 years old and we've never had the kids up on one of their birthdays, so it's a big deal.  I think our fence gates will need some balloons and of course some extra goodie bags are in order.  He loves jello cake, so thought I'd make him that and we'll have a huge taco lunch.  But, before all of that, we'll pick pumpkins out of our own patch and then head over to one of the apple orchards and let them pick a bag of apples.  With 5 grandkids now, the time together can be quite lively!

Be watching for our next post when (hopefully) we'll have the next design and giveaway.  I'll give you a hint what this pattern is all mother made these for me when I was a little girl, but they weren't knitted, they were made from sheets!  Any guesses out there?

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Fingering Weight Coffee Cup Sock

If you're like me, you're always on the lookout for a quick and easy pattern that will use up your leftover sock yarn.

I just need to type up the pattern and then it will be placed into our Etsy shop.  If you'd like a chance to win a free copy, please just leave a comment on this post and tell everyone what your favorite farm animal is!!  (mine,of course, is chickens!!!)

On Saturday, October 6, 2012, I'll randomly draw one lucky name.  Be sure to leave contact info such as Ravelry, etc. to make it easy for me.

And speaking of chickens, our girls are doing so well.  Only one has started laying eggs and I keep telling the other 4 that they better start doing their fair share around here.  I even sort of hinted to them that there's such a thing as Sunday chicken dinners!!!!  They didn't think that was funny!  And no, don't worry - we're raising our girls strictly for their eggs.