Friday, November 19, 2010


Remember that sweet, little, puppy?

Well, she has spent the summer, growing, running and playing, and has turned into this:

Who got to play with birds for the first time last Saturday:

She quickly figured it out:

And would point at the birds when she found them:

This should come as no surprise, as she's been pointing at the cat and the cows for the last 4 months:

I do think she got a little aggravated at the birds that flew away when she got too close. But as Todd said to her, it's not your job to catch the birds, it's your job to flush them out of hiding so I can shoot them!

Todd didn't have the gun out there with him - he wants to take it slow and easy with her so she does not become gun shy. Believe me, a gun shy bird hunting dog is not a good plan.

But she is going with Todd back to PA for the next 2 weeks while he goes black bear hunting and deer hunting, so I'm sure they will find some birds to play with while they are back there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Ribbed Cape

Before you think that all I do is sit around and knit (as if - I wish!), this knit is big bulky yarn with big bulky needles. And I have been working on this one for the better part of a week, with an hour here, an hour there......

I love 10 1/2 and 11 sized needles. Things seem to fly off of them with no thinking involved on my part.

I have seen all these cute Capelet's out there in the stores and online.....but I'm not paying huge ssums of money for them.

So I found this pattern on Ravelry.

Knit in the round on size 10 1/2 needles, it flies. Simple ribbing means I don't have to pay attention to a pattern while helping the kids with their homework or watching TV.

The pattern is free, and you can make the short or the long version - this one is the short version. I thought about the long version briefly, but wanted to be done with it. I'm glad now I didn't make the long version, as it was 6" longer.

I have Christmas knitting and sewing to do!
Decreasing Rib Capelet - link directly to the pattern from the designer's website.
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Bulky - 2.5 skiens
Needles: size 10 1/2 and 11
Mods: I knit a cowl neck like seen here - rather than the turtleneck the pattern called for. I should have maybe knit the cowl a little longer - I knit to 7", and the last 5" I switched to size 11 needles. But I'm wearing it and I'm happy with it.
Size: range from 45", 50" and 55", measuring around your shoulders and bust. I of course am a 48", and while the pattern designer said she knit the 45" with a 48" measurement, I chickened out and made the 50". And I'm glad I did. I plan on wearing this to work, where I do actually have to type. So it's a little loose at the bottom, but I figure this way it won't ride up my arms as I'm typing and filing and copying. Maybe if I had made the 45" size, it would have been shorter cause the ribbing would be a little more stretched?

Have a great day!

Friday, November 12, 2010


I know I say this about every sweater I knit, but this one has to be just about perfect!

I test knit this one for Thea Coleman over at Baby Cocktails. All the cables kept it interesting and the size 8 needles made it quick. Can't get any better than that in my book!

I used Berroco Remix yarn and it is wonderfully soft and warm. Just a little tweedy, in a lovely dark brown color (we took the pictures this morning while waiting for the bus in the sun).

I myself am not a big fan of sweaters that hit right at the top of my hips, but this one may convert me.

I will make this again for myself at some point (perhaps in a dark red?) but will go down 1 size. It seems a little loose in my waist. But that could be just me too.....

I haven't blocked it yet - I at first thought I wanted it longer, but I am afraid that if I block it, it will grow wider - and I certainly don't want that happening to this. So I've worn it a couple times and am adjusting to the shorter length.

I will however block the collar - I think it needs that so it lays nice and flat.

All in all? Another great sweater by Thea. This is the 3rd one of her's I have knit and I can honestly say these are the sweaters I wear the most! The fit is absolutely perfect, and there is no guessing involved on what I should be doing.


Pattern: Collins, by Baby Cocktails

Yarn: Berroco Remix - 5 skiens

Needles: size 8

Size: 38 with 1" added in length.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Native American Shelter Project

As a 5th grader, Jessie had to do a report and Shelter model on a Native American tribe. She picked the Mowhawk Indians - they had longhouses instead of teepees.

Can we say UGH?????

The report included: 15 paragraphs, title page, table of contents, bibliography, pictures and illustrations. I think her's ended up being close to 20 pages long. Fortunately, she did the bulk of the work herself. Which included note cards, a rough draft and final typed report. Its worth 3 course grades (written expression, social studies and who knows what else). She just got the first grade back - for written expression she got 48/50.....I'm happy with that!

The Shelter Model was a little trickier. No larger than 20 x 24 inches, it had to include the shelter for whichever tribe she chose, landscaping, and at least 3 cultural aspects.

Definite UGH.

Our first model (a oatmeal can cut in half with bark glued to it) she didn't like. So another trip to Pat Catan's where I brought out the store again, and we had a shelter that was more to her liking (thin, flexible corkboard and dowel rods). Then she made actual beds to fit inside the house...

I love my new glue gun. It heats up to 400 degrees and uses the big FAT glue sticks. I did glue the house together, and then gave in and Jessie glued the rest down. I think we used something like 43 glue sticks.

Todd cut the board, Jessie painted it and we started attaching all the fun stuff. She made a canoe and cook pot out of sculpy clay, people out of small wooden clothes pins, and painted little baskets and put corn, wheat and mini pumpkins in them.

Then she wanted corn and trees.

The trees were relatively easy - cut branches off of the pine trees and Todd drilled holes down through the plywood and she glued them in there. The corn stalks? A dowel rod painted green and a corn husk from the corn crib cut into smaller leaves and glued on there......

When I took it into school Monday morning, I was simply amazed. There were some great projects that came in.

But I still wonder why in 5th grade we had to have something this involved......

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Natives are Restless

As with past Halloween's, my kids had varying wishes for what they wished to be for trick-or-treating.

This year in 5th grade, Jessie has been working on a report and shelter model for her Native American project. Let's just's been a trying month here at home. One or the other wouldn't have been bad, but when it's a 15 paragraph report with pictures, illustrations, table of contents and a bibliography AND a shelter model which includes the shelter, landscaping and cultural aspects all made out of natural materials....well......hmmm. More on that later - the pain is still to fresh....

But they FINALLY settled on being Indians. And I had a week to pull the costumes together. Plenty of time.

Tyler needed his for boy scouts the Thursday before Halloween. So I got up Thursday morning at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m. and whipped out his shirt and pants. Fortunately, the local costume store supplied the headdress and the tomahawk.

Jessie's? Trick or treating was at 6:00 on Sunday. I sat down about 3:30 p.m. and whipped up her dress. No pants for her - she wanted to wear her leggings and her boots. And again, the costume shop supplied the wig, even though I had to braid it. And the kids had friends coming over for pizza beforehand......

Jessie and Blair had to play cowboys and indians before we left:

And then we had to get a group shot:

We covered the entire town for trick-or-treating, and met up with other kids throughout the night. At one point we had 3 cowboys, a witch, 2 indians and a teen. We ditched the drunken rock star 6th grader as soon as we could:)
All in all we had a blast. And the kids have 2 more costumes to add to our ever growing collection!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I crack myself up sometimes

My Mom talked me into attempting to knit a pair of socks. For me. I will do the cuff, the leg and the foot - she'll take care of the heel and the toe. My problem? I don't like to do 2 of anything - whether it be sweaters, sleeves, quilts......

I have enough yarn to do a vest like I made for her last year. It's still in the skiens. One of Jessie's friends asked for a sweater just like Jessie's.....hasn't happened yet.

But after 4" into this sock:

I got the bright idea to try the 2 at a time on 2 circular needles. Especially after seeing Judy L's sock knit along. Figuring, I'd get 2 done a lot quicker than just one. I had a lovely greyish black skien of bugga sock yarn, and a ball winder. Which I used with great success the other day, even though I don't have a yarn swift.
Guess it works a lot differently on sock yarn vs. worsted weight yarn:

But I did manage to get half of the skien of yarn wound so I could start these as well:

Two rows into it and an hour later, I'm not sure which will be faster for me. But we'll see. I figure when I get to the heel shaping part, these are going on DPN's and I'm giving both of them to my Mom to do the heels. Then I'll attempt to put them back on the circular needles and do the foot.....

What did I get myself into?????

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Jefferson County Fall Spectacular steer show

Last Saturday we loaded up 4 calves, 2 kids and 3 adults and went to a steer and heifer show 100 miles south east of us. If our friends' heifer hadn't died unexpectedly last week, it would have been 6 calves, 4 kids and 5 adults.

Once we got there, it was so nice out we decided to tie out to the trailer and show out of the trailer. Rather than haul everything out of the trailer into the barn and set it all up, and then when we were done showing to pack everything back up, haul it out to the trailer and load it all back onto the trailer.

And if you're 10, you can slack off for a little bit and text your boy friend/girl friends while you are waiting around:

It was beautiful out, even if it was a little cold.

But the steers and heifers stayed cool and we didn't need to turn on the fans.

The kids started off with showmanship:

Jessie got 2nd out of 23 kids with Smokie in Jr. Showmanship.

And then Tyler went right back into the ring for beginner showmanship (kids 8 & under) and got 3rd out of 6.

We took a heifer and a steer for each kid to show. Tyler got 7th with smokie (out of 13).

Jessie got 6th with Jason's heifer Fabulous (out of 14)

Tyler got 8th with Huey (out of 13)

And Jessie took her new steer Tank in and got 10th (out of 16).

Our main goal for this show was to get everyone in the ring and walking and behaving well. And for Jessie to get in there with Fabulous and Tank, whom she has never shown. If all goes as planned, we will go back to Columbus over Jessie's birthday (she again this year wants to go to a steer show for her birthday) and we want her comfortable with these calves.
And we were happy that we were in the middle of the pack. There were some big names down there - kids that skip their county fairs and show at the National level......but we held our own.
It was a very long day (we left the house at 7 a.m. and got home just after 9 p.m.). But it was a good day and we are planning on going back down there next year:)