December 30, 2006

Let it Snow, Let it Snow

We are all snug in our home, while it continues to snow outside. The holidays so far have been quiet and cozy. Chris and I have been bumming around the house and making plans for next year.

The Kids have followed our lead and have been lying around with all their new toys scattered all over the floor. We are all getting fat and sassy.

Norwegian Hat

Finally cast on for my hat. Unfortunately I have ripped it out and started over twice. That is what I get for watching good movies while knitting a color work pattern.

I stocked up on some of my favorite movies: Pride & Prejudice, Anna and the King, Little Women. Why Joe? Why do you not pick Teddy? It is so upsetting.

Anyway, sigh, I made stupid mistakes like forgetting to change to the larger needle size when starting the color work. Then getting that right but then forgetting to add a stitch at the beginning. You think I had never followed a pattern before. I’m on the right track now and love the two colors together.

Two Pattern Books

I received these pattern books for Christmas and I love them. Thought I would share some of my favorites from the books.

Louisa Harding’s Winter Muse classics



Ella Rae’s Book Six



I received a gift certificate to The Knitting Garden. It is like a golden ticket, or a get out of jail free card. I am savoring the possibilities of what to buy with it. Maybe I should hold on to it for an emergency must have purchase. 8)

December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays

Webshots Photo

This is our first Christmas in our new home. It is so comforting to be settled in and starting new traditions and memories.

Memory Lane

When I was 7 years old I wrote a letter to Santa like I had done each year before, only this time Santa sent my letter to the local paper and it was printed on December 25th 1979. My family kept clippings of it.

It Reads:
Dear Santa, My name is Tami. I am 7 years old. I want a sweetie doll. I hope you’ll have fun on the ride. We may leave you some cookies and milk. You may have my picture so you’ll remember me.
Love Tami

This cracks me up. For starters the photo is hideous. I am missing my two front teeth. I’m not sure what is up with the hairstyle, not very flattering. My thoughts are on his long journey and to take the time to enjoy the ride. The cookie part is clearly not in my hands. But want to make sure if Cookies are a factor in his decision there is a possibility my Mom might leave some out for him.

I did get a Sweetie doll that year. I actually can not remember a year that I did not get what I asked from Santa. Often I would ask for the thing that I most wanted or was the most expensive thing on my list. This was a strategy I thought of very early on. Just in case my parents did not have enough money for what I wanted I would put the burden on Santa.

Christmas Gift

Of course there was the year I got Brandy for Christmas in 1994. Chris tricked me into thinking we were driving around looking for Christmas lights. I thought he was lost because there were no Christmas lights on any of the houses we were driving by. Finally he pulled into a home and turned to me and said. “I lied we are not looking for Christmas lights we are here at a Bassett Hound Breeder and they have some puppies for sale.” “We can go on in and pick one out or we can drive away.” I shot out of the car like a bullet and we went in and picked Brandy out of a litter of 12. We often refer to her as pick of the litter. It was not an easy decision and looking back often with how stubborn and bad she is we probably could have picked any of the other 11 puppies and made a better decision. But she is our Brandy and life would just not be the same with out her.

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you.

December 22, 2006

Just in Time

I finally finished my Christmas stocking. There were a few problems with the pattern or maybe with my interpretation of the pattern. I ended up ripping out the foot part and making my own modifications.

This pattern called for putting in a scrap piece of yarn for the heal then later going back pulling out scrap yarn picking up the stitches to knit the heal. This part went well. I just did it loop by loop making sure not to loose any of the stitches.

Overall I like the end result, and am so happy to move onto my Norwegian Hat.

Yarn Clearance & Sales
Has anyone else been tortured by all the emails about yarn clearance and holiday yarn sales. I have been so good up until I received the email from WEB’s with Rowan Classic Soft Tweed at only $3.99 a ball. I could not help myself; you know how much that yarn normally costs. Geez, I am weak I bought some. The good news is I already have patterns in mind to use it with so it should not sit in my stash long.

I thought I might make this Whiskey Hat & Scarf from the pattern book Rowan Classic Winter book 6.

I also plan to make these Log Cabin Socks from the book Handknit Holidays. This pattern is originally for Rowan Cork Yarn but Cork has been discontinued. I think the Rowan Classic Soft Tweed will make a nice substitute. I know I am a little late to the party and did not get a chance to knit them last year when everyone else was, but better late than never. Don’t they look cozy?

Holiday Scramble

I made a couple of sweets for the holidays. These are Lemon Poppy seed Snicker doodles. I also made some peppermint bark, both a big success the last day at the office. We closed down the dental office until next year, and will have next week off. I am excited about the time off. I am almost finished with all the holiday scramble and am looking forward to sitting back and enjoying the Holidays.

White Christmas

Looks like we will be having a White Christmas at our alpaca ranch. It snowed last Tuesday, and it might snow again tomorrow.

The alpacas don’t seem to mind too much. They sleep in the covered area at night if it is windy.

Kingsley our littlest one pictured in the middle is so dirty I can not believe how filthy he is. Boys will be boys I guess.

Brandy loves the snow. She is 12 years old but once it snows she runs around like a puppy. Dashing around and stopping to gulp a big bite of snow.

December 12, 2006

A New Day

We made it through our first week with the alpacas. I put out a half a bale of hay and they still have not eaten it all. They tend to graze all day out in the pasture. They are just now starting to eat the vitamin pellets we put out and they eat about 6 cups in two days.

This week I have been working on getting them use to me. I have tried many different treats to lure them into loving me. One day I brought out baby carrots and they looked at me like I was the devil and wanted none of anything I had to offer. The next day I brought out apple cut up into little pieces. “No thanks we don’t like you”. One of the days we had a plumber come out to see about getting our automatic water system hooked up. I brought the plumber to the gate to go inside and once the alpacas heard his voice they came running over to spend time with him.

WHAT, a complete stranger. What am I chopped liver. I think they might have thought he was someone they knew. Anyway my feelings were hurt a little. We did some more research and bought a bag of sweet feed. It has a bunch of stuff in it including molasses and proteins.

We walked out into the field with a couple of cups of the sweet feed in a bucket. Yippee they love the stuff. Tasha prefers to eat it out of your hand and Satine prefers to stick her whole head in the bucket and gorge her self. Unfortunately it is so rich you can only give them about a cup each of the sweet feed.

The best part is now when I go to change out their water and check their food supply they come to me and say hello and check if I have any treats.

The dogs are starting to get use to seeing the alpacas in the pasture. Here is Brandy watching them from the front porch.

Kingsley is the smallest of the babies, and he is such a Mommas boy. He will skip and run around the field, but as soon as we get anywhere near him he will run to his Momma Satine, and bury his head in her fur. So Cute.

Christmas Stocking

Here is my progress on the stocking. If you look closely you can see the strip of waste yarn where I marked for the heel. I am at the part where you decrease for the toe. I will be joining the green and purple for the toe. I had planned to finish this last weekend because I am anxious to get started on my Norwegian Hat.

Unfortunately I burnt my left hand doing something totally stupid. I had an oven mitt on my right hand and I was pulling out a hot pizza from the oven. I must have gotten steam inside the glove and my hand began to burn, so not wanting to drop our dinner on the floor I instinctively reached for the pan with my left hand with no hot pad. I only burnt my middle finger and thumb and it hardly looks like anything at all, but man did that put me out of commission for knitting that evening. I must say nothing is worse pain than a burn. The next morning my hand was fine due to quick thinking and tending to the burn when it happened. I surely will not be opening the oven again with out having both hands protected.

Stash Enhancement

My Heilo yarn arrived for my Norwegian hat. Oh so excited. This knit along is going to be so much fun. I have been obsessed with checking out all the members’ blogs. There are so many great knitters in this group. If you check out the latest post on the KAL you will see the hosts made a list and broke every one down into groups by which type of stranded knitting they will be doing.

I finally got the tree up and decorated. You can see that Cosmo has claimed his spot under the tree. We do not really have a theme for the tree although the majority of the ornaments are Disney characters. Pretty much whatever we like goes on the tree.

This month is flying by. I hope everyone can catch there breath and take some time to relax and enjoy the moment.

December 04, 2006

Can't Help Myself

There is a new knit along that started Dec 1. It is called Stranded the colorwork challenge. I really enjoy knitting with multiple colors and enjoy the end result even more. I could not help myself but to join this knit along.

I plan to knit this two color hat with flaps. I have been very cold these last couple of days outside getting ready for the alpacas so a hat with flaps is a necessity. If I am going to look like a dork I might as well do it with style. There is also a sock and mitten pattern that matches the hat that I might knit also.

The Knit hat pattern is from this pattern book Dalegarn NR 130.
I ordered some Heilo yarn in a cranberry color and an off white color. I ordered them from Bea Ellis knitwear.

This will not be my first Fair Isle knit. My first large Fair Isle project was the Rowan Tote. I use this bag all the time.

Christmas Stocking Progress

The stocking is coming along nicely. The top flap looks great. I just need to knit until I reach 13 ½ inches then put a strand of yarn in to mark the heel. Then it gets tricky if I can remember how to do short rows.

Alpaca Arrival

Chris and I went to the feed supply store and bought our first 10 bales of hay. We also picked up a couple bags of pellets and a bucket that plugs in so their water won’t freeze.

The transport arrived Sunday late afternoon. They had been on the transport since Tuesday. The transport went all over the place picking up alpacas and dropping them off. They were in Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Texas. There appears to be alpaca farms all over the place.

Here is a photo of the 6 of them. They seem to like it here. I am so glad we decided to set up the pastures in the front, because we can see them out all the windows. It is hard not to pass a window and not stare at them. I can see them real good out the kitchen window. Cleaning up the kitchen never was this much fun.

On the left is Momma Sateen and the little white one is her baby Kingsley.
In the middle the little black one is Zissou and his Mom to the right is Emmy Leigh.

Lying down in front is Tasha she is Momma to the little brown one Miss Bianca.
Emmy Leigh is behind.

It is such a thrill to finally have them here and they like their home we set up for them.