Wool Fumes

Last weekend was a gorgeous weekend here, which made going to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival even more fabulous than usual. Strangely, I did not take many photos. I was really trying hard to soak it all in and enjoy myself. The festival seemed a bit less crowded than usual to me this year, perhaps because of some issues going on in a nearby town. Their loss was our gain, however. I rather enjoyed walking around and not feeling claustrophobic.

The sheep, as always, were fun to see, especially the lambs!

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This Montadale is easily the biggest sheep I have ever seen.

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I bought a few things, but really not as much as I expected to.

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The highlight of my trip this year was hanging out with the ladies I came with and met up with. We had a smaller group than last year, but we still had a blast catching up.

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I worked like a crazy person last week to finish up this shawl so that I could give it to my friend in person. It is intended to be a wedding shawl and I can’t wait to see it paired with her wedding dress! The pattern is Pea Trellis by Anne Hanson and was made using Posh Audrey Sock yarn, which was absolutely luscious to knit with.

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All in all, it was a great day.

It Goes On and On

While I was busy getting the house ready to put on the market, I looked forward to being done so I could just sit back and enjoy my well-organized and sparkling clean house. I envisioned myself sitting on the sofa while knitting with a cup of tea nearby, just enjoying myself and relaxing. It has not quite turned out the be the idyllic dream I wished for, though, because, as it happens, I am no good at waiting around. I find myself constantly wondering why the phone isn’t ringing. Why aren’t people coming to look at my house? And then I look around and wonder if there is something wrong with my house. So, I take a little wander around. I go from room to room, tidying or dusting or just looking at it. Then, when we do have someone who is interested in looking, there is a little whirlwind as we go around putting everything away that indicates anyone actually lives here. We go away for a little while, feeling weird that someone is in our house looking at it when we are not there, and then we come home and wait some more. It is torture by waiting. I haven’t done this much waiting around since I was waiting for my boys to be born. And until it ends, I am sure it will feel like it will never end.

Thankfully, I do have some things to distract me. I was able to go back to a test knit that I was working on for Anne Hanson of Knitspot. Here is what it looked like a few weeks ago when I had to put it on hold.

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I was able to finish it over the weekend and got it blocked yesterday. Today, I sewed on the buttons. Aren’t they cool? They are made from antlers.

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When the husband came home, I made him do a little photo shoot.

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Doesn’t he look excited? Actually, he does quite like it and I am sure he will get lots of chances to wear it when we move. It’s generally much colder in Boston than it is here.

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I love the collar on this. And there are cables along the side, too. See?

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I love how there are cables along the raglan sleeves. This is one of those classy sweaters that would look great on anyone. For this sweater, I used the same yarn that I used on my Ommegang, Bare Naked Wools Kent Dk. This is the mussel shell colorway. When I asked the husband what color he wanted, he told me to get the darkest one they have, and this is it. This yarn is fabulous. It has a silky feel and is light and warm, but also very breathable.

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The pattern is called Gearhead, and I believe it is being released soon. Now, I have to find something else to distract me while I wait by the phone. No worries, there, though, I have plenty to choose from! I’ll tell you more next time.

Not Freaking Out

We have lived in this area for over twenty years and in this current house for twelve. My older son was one when we moved into this house. Neither one of my kids has really known any other home, so this whole moving thing is a huge unknown to them. It is safe to say that our feelings are mixed. Some days we are excited about this new adventure. Other days we are sad about the things and people we love that we will be leaving behind. In between, we are overwhelmed by the big task of actually selling our house, buying a new one, and moving our entire worldly goods to a place we barely know.

Right now, we are just trying to enjoy our time left here and take things one step at a time. Of course, we have to keep our house immaculately clean while we are doing it, which is SO not my nature. In between cleaning, going about our usual school days, and taking every opportunity to see our dear friends, I am keeping myself from freaking out by baking through my pantry and eating through the freezer.

This is easier said than done. I’m the type to like a well stocked pantry because you never know when you’ll want to make a huge batch of chocolate chip walnut cranberry oatmeal cookies or date bars or a fancy layer cake. I have probably five or six types of nuts, the same number of dried fruits, not to mention all kinds of various flours and other ingredients. Then, there’s the stockpile of liquor that has to be used up since the movers will not take those. But, I am determined, and we are making some progress. In the past couple of weeks, I made three loaves of banana bread, three loaves of raisin bread, and three loaves of rum cake. Today, I was able to use up almost two pounds of dried figs by making filling for homemade fig newtons.

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For these, I used the recipe for X cookies in the Baking with Julia cookbook and shaped them like fig newtons instead. These cookies keep fantastically well and we all love them.

Yesterday, I baked all the Pepperkakor cookie dough that was left in the freezer. These are also really good keepers. We should have enough cookies to keep up well fed during snack times for at least a few days!

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With all this baking, it feels a little bit like Christmas around here, only cookies are shaped like bunnies and sheep, and there are flowers blooming outside. Believe it or not, I have even been able to do a little recipe testing and development, which I hope to be able to share with you soon. Now, if only I could just figure out how to use up the 5 jars of molasses that I have in the cupboard…

Spring Cleaning

My goodness! I never intended to be away from this space for so long! But, I have a good excuse; we are relocating. The husband has got a great new job in a different state that he has to start in June, which meant that we had to get our house on the market to sell. For the last three weeks, we have cleaned, organized, and fixed a bunch of little things around the house. I even spent one afternoon taking all my knitting notions, which looked like this:

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and made it look like this:

The boys got in some male bonding time with a nailer.

Now that we are done and just waiting for someone to buy the house, it seems strange not to be super busy every moment of the day. But, don’t worry, we are finding ways to spend our free time, like visiting all our favorite places before we have to move.

Spring has arrived here and it is very nice!

It seems like it arrived overnight, but I think it just seems that way to us because we were busy.

As you can imagine, with all that has been going on, I have not been able to knit much, especially because I injured my left hand again last week. Before that, though, I did manage to block my Rolling Rock.

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The back has a nice lacey panel.

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The yarn is Traveler Sport by the Plucky Knitter and it is fabulous. It makes a super soft and silky garment that has great drape and is really comfortable to wear. I want another twelve sweaters in this yarn! And the pattern was great, too. I made the sweater without making any modifications except bringing up the neckline by an inch or so.

There are lots of other things I have to show you, but I will wait until next time. Now that our house is super duper clean, I should have a bit more time for other things. Be back soon!

Yet More Madness

The past few weeks have been a little crazy around here. Between taking a crazy 4 day 1300 mile roadtrip that began with us driving through yet another snowstorm (spring, where are you?) and all the usual homeschool business, I have had precious little time to knit.

Round 2 of Sock Madness is half over and I have yet to finish the first sock. Here it is after a day or so in which I had a few hours to knit. Please excuse the blurriness. We were in the car and it was still snowing.

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Now, it looks like this.

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I hate to do it, but I think I am going to have to let this one go because I have another secret test knit on the needles and that has to take priority right now.

I did manage to finish one old sweater project early last week. It’s Rolling Rock and I will be able to show you more next week once it gets a bath and some buttons. For now, you’ll have to make do with this pre-collar picture.

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Today, we started spring cleaning. Five bags of trash and three bags of giveaway stuff, later I only managed to clean out the bathroom closet. Cleaning out a closet is kind of like doing an archaeological dig. Among the debris were baby bath toys, old plant pots, and four old watches. Does anyone wear a watch anymore? I also have about ten giant containers of Tums that I bought at a time when I thought I would eat them for calcium. This was before my doctor told me that the type of calcium in them is not the absorbable kind and before I realized that I don’t really like chewing on chalky things. I was amazed at the number of memories just one closet will bring back. I wonder what the rest of the closets in the house will turn up!

Do you spring clean?

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