Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time at the Farm

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I grew up on about 40 acres and we had cows & horses. My Dad had chickens. I come from a line of people who know stuff about farming & gardens - both of my grandfathers were farmers. As much as I love living in the city, I really do miss fresh veggies & having some domestic animals around that aren't cats or yard bunnies. (although this guy was in my yard this morning & he wasn't scared of me at all).
Bunny in my yard
Bonus points that he is really cute & my cats were in the yard & never even noticed him. Apparently they are also city animals.

I honestly can't remember when I first met Cindy, but she was perhaps one of the sweetest people I have ever met. She lives out 30 minutes or so from me & she has a fiber farm in Parker, TX. My favorite Christmas present from Patrick this past year was a share in Cindy's farm, Jacob's Reward Farm. Here is a little info about the CSA program. Since December I have been wanting to go out & visit Cindy & the animals & meet the new sheep & alpacas that I hadn't seen yet. Cindy has a spin in type day once a month. People pile in her little red barn & spin, or for non-spinners like myself, knit. We went a few weekends ago - her recap is way better than mine. And I made the video AND blog photos.

Did I mention that I got a new camera? And I've been playing with all of the settings? How does that tie in to the farm talk? Because I took some pictures & had my camera set to "night" because I was busy taking pictures at the Grease Sing-A-Long a few weeks ago. The first 3/4 of my pictures at the farm look like they were taken in a dream state. Interesting though. I never claimed to be a great photographer!

The Little Red Barn (in dream state)

Alpacas! (in dream state)

Chicken (in a dream state)

Gizmo! (in a dream state)

Patrick & Kenny trying to pet Gizmo (in a dream state)

Jethro (who we named, poor Cindy) & other Jacob Sheep

Alpacas! And I finally figured out that I was on the wrong setting. See, it was a really gorgeous (and hot) day.

Gizmo - after petting. I think he is saying "back off right now, seriously"

The other sheep

I want to go back right now & often! It's a really fun place to visit.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Putting my great knitting skills to use

You know, I don't like to brag. No, really, I don't. But I'm a damn good knitter. I don't ever back down from a challenging project. I never look at a pattern & shy away because I think I can't do that. I have taken more classes than I can count. I have a ridiculously good knitting teacher that I know that I can go to when I get stuck & pay for a very reasonably priced private lesson. {Shameless plug for Alissa Barton aka Knitting Fairy who just opened a yarn shop/studio in Arlington, TX - go visit her}. So what I am I knitting with the years of knowledge & practice that I've accumulated over the past 5 years?


Yep-garter stitch washcloths. Not even a washcloth with any type of pattern. Just cast on 42 & knit knit knit. Turn & knit knit knit. I cast on the first one because my knit group was going to see Sex & the City 2 & I didn't have any idiot knitting that I could work on in the dark. So I finished the first one. Then the next night was Patrick's birthday & he wanted to go see The A Team - cast on for #2. I couldn't stop knitting them. I have a big pile of kitchen cotton in my stash because goodness knows I can't pass up yarn on sale & it goes on sale often. I think I parred it down to about 15 skeins of my favorite colors. When one was finished, I'd grab another & get to knitting. I think my last count of finished cloths was 10? I left a pile with my Mom. She will use hers for dishes; mine are for straight up washcloths.

The sad true confession? I've had to text & call friends to talk me down from hitting Walmart to buy MORE kitchen cotton. We are going to ignore the fact that I still have plenty in my stash. But those 3 balls that I secretly bought made me feel much better. (What do you want from me? I didn't have THOSE colors!)

I have no idea why I can't seem to do anything remotely complicated right now. I have two baby sweaters I need to be working on. I need to make a little critter for a swap by the end of July. I have 10ish active WIP & countless items in my queue that I want to make, but can't seem to start. I tried to cast on for a sweater & can't seem to cast on 110 stitches. No, seriously, I've had to rip out my cast on 3 times because apparently I have forgotten how to count.

I'm slowly pulling myself away from this new addiction & am working on my other mindless project - the nameless shawl. While not AS easy & mindless, it is really pretty & interesting because I keep getting to change colors. Please support me as I go through withdrawals of washcloth knitting. It will be a challenge, but I don't know anyone else that needs 17 washcloths.