Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oma time

Today our wonderful Oma got in from Germany.

Her visits are always passionately awaited.

They are thoroughly enjoyed - on both sides.

They always hold a lot of fun (last time the husband and me got to go to Las Vegas for five days!).

And they are never, seriously never, long enough!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

reading again

As my eyes have lost the sharpness they used to be famous for, my desire to read has decreased simultanuously. Imagine being reminded of your age every time you grab a book, because you have to adjust the distance at which you hold it in front of you (arms length!) or to reach for the reading glasses (after you finally gave in and bought them).
No fun.
I mostly switched to audiobooks with the added convenience, that you can knit/spin/sew/drive/you-name-it while you listen.

However, right now, I am reading a real book! One of my sisters-in-law wrote a book, she already mailed us a signed copy, sweet as she is, and I cannot put it down.
Apart from the fact that I am learning a lot about the family, how the husband and his sisters grew up, and life in the South in general, I laugh. A lot. This is the funniest book I have read in for-ever!

Thank you, Olivia!

The hooking in the meantime is suffering from growth pains. Look at the pile of wool strips, anything strike you as odd, when you compare it to the picture I'm working on?

I knew you'd figure it out - I'm pretty much out of pink. ---Thank God for great teachers with a humongous stash of wool fabrics!

So for now I'll be working with my yellow, blue and red. That's plenty.
On the matter of Earth Day, I'd like to share the insight of fellow blogger Sara, who says it (almost) all HERE. I thank her for getting me thinking and reducing our use of plastic even more.
Wishing us all a happy and green Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Remember the skunk yarn? Thanks to all of you who guessed!
I give you one more hint:
Some of you might get a real bad itch from this.... hmm??!!

Fiona had gathered the cat fur from brushing our two long haired sweeties and had long asked for me to spin the fluff.
It went very well, especially Lucky's fur is very fine. I guess Ike's by itself would have been too slippery.

They both sniffed it out real well, when I showed them.
Lucky said "how dare you combine my delicate fluff with that crazy young knucklehead's bristles?"

Ike was flattered.

Ike also liked the Goodwill scores of the day.

I know what I'll be havin' my latte in tomorrow morning.
Or even a cup of tea tonight.
The vintage flannel fabric - brandnew - will have to patiently wait for a suitable project.
I hope you all have a wonderful evening!
P.S. for Sara: The pink yarn, that I used for the loose girl cardi, is a blend with lots of cotton and rayon, cool and drapy for the spring/summer season and sadly not handspun!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

a loose girl and a girlie flower

Happy happy. The first rughooked picture is ....well almost done.

After being done with the picture in the skinny red frame, which was the original design, I decided to go with the ever-so-smart-teacher's suggestion and added a frame. That's what I'm working on right now, just a few more hours of hooking and some class time tonight!

The pink loose girl (HERE for Ravelers), however is done.

And I am happy.

Can you tell?!

Friday, April 16, 2010

time for change

Fiona's room desperatly needed a makeover. Seriously. Too much stuff. Too many toys, animals. Too much of it hardly ever used.

So we have been sorting, rearranging, donating and organizing, storing the currently not so popular stuff in the garage and creating a more airy and light feel in her room.

What really got us into the groove, was a new vintage little cabinet, that we found in a furniture store in Nob Hill (thanks for the recommendation, Ann, love the place!).

Now there is a designated space for precious little knick knacks, like Indian pottery and Kachina dolls.

For now this is also, where Soe's tiny paintings are, which I brought from a trip to Hamburg last summer. Soe's child geared paintings are beautiful and - as for now - reasonably priced, and if you are in Hamburg, you should check out the little store near the Bahnhof Altona in HH Ottensen, where she sells her artwork. She has also done a fantastic job illustrating my friend Dirk's book, which may be published in the USA hopefully 2010 or next year, I will let you know. Soe is to be found HERE on the internet.

I have yet to show off a recent thriftstore score, this tiny handmade quilt, currently decorating Fiona's table for a teaparty.

Can you see the long fabric strips with the turtle pattern? Oh, to have a yard of that, sooo lovely!

And hey, the ripple blankie, re-discovered and risen from the clutter, sitting on the vintage little doll crib with the sheep matress!

And here, last but not least, a vintage Scherenschnitt of Dornroeschen (what is that called in English, hmm?),which is probably more dear to me than it is to her.

And guess what? She spends so much more time in her room, the dolls that remained in her room got new outfits, and btw, Irmchen to the far left is still her favorite:

And at her little desk she started working on a secret project for big brother, who will be 11 in May. (Eleven..., hear the ring of that number...!)

She said: "Does this look like camouflage?" (yes) "This is a lot of work, so I have to start it early!"
Pssst, this is our secret.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


For a few days I had a little pile of fluff sitting next to the wheel and it did look indeed like a dead skunk. Well, at least from a distance. From close by it was just the perfectly managable amount for about a half hour of spinning for a tired mama on a late evening.

And that's just what I did.

Now, I am so curious, if you, my dear and faithful readers, are up to a challenge and want to give me a good guess on what fibers I have spun here into a lovely laceweight skunk yarn! Leave me a comment!

And here a sneak peak of the other project, here to be seen in the very first promising stages, and here in the very final stage:

Maybe I'll be done by tomorrow?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

this morning

It is all about the light.
Just like Visty I feel that the light has a special quality these days. But you have to hit the right moment.
On the breakfast table just before it got cluttered with the typical chaotic setting before school:

And this is what I see when I step out my back door. Especially gorgeous this morning with the sun just peeking over the Sandias (East would be on the right side on the picture - obvious, when you pay attention to the shadows) and the tips of the mountains covered in bright white clouds:

I can tell, this will be a beautiful day!
Silly Ike, rolling on his back, feels exactly the same way!

Friday, April 9, 2010

still not done

I keep finding things around the house that I had meant to show you and forgot about, so here they come:

This was Lewis' best Easter egg artwork and somehow it ended up in front of the computer. I thought it was too cute how he gave the bunny the two oversized nibble teeth.

Fiona made this for us:

She had been very ill and spent the day in our big bed, however she somehow still managed to gather some energy and crafted this -- on the nightstand!
In the meantime my pink "loose girl" (here on Ravelry) keeps growing, since I was sitting a lot with the sick boy.
He felt better yesterday, good enough to help with the first finished sleeve!

I am hoping that I'll be able to finish this on the weekend - on time for warm spring weather!
Wishing you a good weekend as well!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Not much happening here in the foothills.
Both kids sick, one after the other. I am glued to the house, however in that disorganized state, that I'm thrown in, when I am reduced to being the motherhen, that pampers the babies back to health.

Easter still held lots of fun - any holiday that grants you chocolate does, n'est-ce pas?!

We had the first outdoors breakfast of the season! It was still quite chilly, but we toughed it out. It seemed so suitable for the Easter Holiday!

Fiona really wants you to know that these are the best markers! They are indeed great.

Oh, how inspiring a new set of fancy markers and some nice artist's pad can be!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


When we color our traditional batch of eggs, they all turn out lovely. Of course I am thrilled when I get one just for myself, that honors my love of sheep.

But what I treasure even more is watching the kids create.
I see that look of total concentration, when they forget me with my camera.
I watch Lewis, who is getting ready to start middle school in September and I wonder, is it the last year, that he colors eggs with us?
My girlie is the one, who adores all artsy-crafty activities and dives right in. Oh boy, does she get messy!
I can never get enough of those little hands, I mean, just look at them in all their colorful gory!
She is eight now, but when I look at her hands, they remind me of the chubby little baby she was.

Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

No April Fools

A pleasant sight at the front door just a few days ago!

I did not open my package from Kid Hollow Farm right away. I knew it contained the strongly desired blue fluff!
I dragged the wheel out, where the kids wanted to bike and worked on the last bit of the roses, that I wanted done before going for the blues.

I finished the next day and while the last rosy skeins were soaking in hot soapy water, I was already working on sampling the blues.

Much better for me, don't you agree?!

With all the warm weather I have been drawn to the little pink wrap thingie since then. It is growing. The back is finished and I'm halfway done with one front.

I am working the shoulders my special way, which I developed and have never seen in any magazine, -however, with all the fantastic knitters out there, I'm sure someone else had the same idea somewhere.
I use it for slanted shoulders and this is how it is done:
Instead of casting off three times a certain amount of stitches, in my case it would have been three times eight stitches, I knit short rows:
At first I knit 16 stitches and leave the last eight stitches un-knit, wrapping that 17th stitch on the needle, purl back over 16 stitches. Then I knit only 8 stitches, wrap the 9th, purl back. Then I knit once over all my 24 stitches and keep those as live stitches until I am ready to graft my shoulder. (This covers the left shoulder on the back of my garment. The short rows on the other shoulder are done on the purl side!) And voila, my shoulder is slanted without a bulky seam.

It is much less complicated than it sounds and the turnout is beautiful - my favorite way of making a shoulder.

I want to close with an impression of the last handspun yarns, that are just dry after the final wash, note the last two rosy skeins on the outsides!

All those pretty colors seem to get me in the mood for the upcoming Easter celebration.
I hope they will brighten your day as well!