It’s Here!

Just popping in really quick to show you what Hurricane Sandy brought me this morning!

The view out of my back door.

Snow has officially arrived! And it’s not even November! Bryon, being true to form, is griping about such an early snow. Rumor has it we are going to have a rough winter here and it seems it is starting already. I have to say though that I’m glad Ohio is far enough from the coast that all we’re getting is a lot of wind and rain (and apparently a dusting of snow). My thoughts and prayers go out to those of you further east who are being flooded and hammered by Frankenstorm.

See you all later!

~Lacey

How I Do Love to Knit

I’ve been busy with a lot of yarny things lately and haven’t had a chance to share them with you yet! Before I do that though, I must share this stunning tree with you.

This park is just over a mile from my house. It’s beautiful in the fall!

The color of this tree caught my eye every time I went by. Anywho, on to the yarn!
I’ve had my arm warmers done for some period of time now and just haven’t posted about them. They’ve already been used many many times on the cold, dark mornings when I don’t want to wear a coat. They keep me warm until the sun comes up and then I stuff them in my purse until the next morning! Perfect!

I also had a chance to work up that super woolly Malabrigo Rasta I bought at the Wool Gathering.

My first mobius.

Have you ever made a mobius anything before? Super weird! I suggest giving it a try at the very least. If I managed, anyone can do it. Youtube tutorials are a wonderful tool ;) This cowl is very thick and snuggly; I look forward to wearing it this winter!

Something new also happened to me this past week. I had my first booth in a craft fair! I had a lot of fun talking to the other people there, seeing the other booths, and selling my wares. Nothing big, but still a nice experience.

My table

My delightful mother and sister came to keep my company throughout the day and to help with my table whenever I stepped away. Sara (my sis) helped me with something special while she was there.

She was wearing one of my scarves since the room was a bit chilly.

This multi-colored yarn was part of a wonderful package I received from Lucy at In the Sky. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to make with it, but I’ll figure out something. Along with the homespun came some adorable little wooden buttons and some very nice embroidery scissors! Thanks so much Lucy!

There were more buttons but I just grabbed a few for the photo. The scissors are freakishly sharp!

Now that the craft show is over and I can take a break from making up stuff to sell, I can go back to making fun little things for myself again. I’m still trying to de-stash a bit though…There are several balls of leftover wool sitting on a shelf in my living room that need worked through. I am excited to say I’m finally making something from my birthday book! The Little Book of Knitted Monsters is finally in my yarn bag :)

Don’t worry, I have other tiny balls of this yarn for when this one runs out!

I have started the body and I’m curious to see how my first monster turns out! I need to find some little eyes for he/she when my project is complete.

Ok, now that I’ve got all of my projects out there I can relax! I’ve been wanting to share them with you for a while. It’s getting harder to get good pictures due to the lighting in my dark little house. It’s that time of year when the sunlight is disappearing faster and faster as winter draws near! You can see how the change is affecting my poor Mina cat.

Face plant!

She is a very sleepy Mew once the sun starts to set. I do love having her around when I get home in the evenings. Bryon is normally in bed when I get home since he works night shift. She keeps me company :)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! See you all next time.

~Lacey & a sleepy Mina

 

 

 

It’s Been a While!

Hellu my bloggy friends!

So sorry it’s been so long. Life kinda happens, you know? I’ve been keeping up with the rest of you the past 3 weeks (has it seriously been that long?) I simply haven’t had time to do much posting. In that span, I have been thoroughly enjoying fall, went to a couple of parties, visited the county fair, and been working on my crafty things :)

These lovely morning glories come to visit every fall and I absolutely adore seeing them whenever I walk out to my car. Also beautiful are the many many leaves that line the city sidewalks.

.

The parties I attended lately consisted of a bonfire for our church (no pics there) and Bryon’s grandmother’s 80th birthday party.

Her party was held at one of the historic homes in downtown Lancaster. The Rising House was built in 1834 and it’s gorgeous! I wish I could have taken pictures of every room in the house for you, but I’ll spare you the tour and keep it to the outside shot and the front entryway.

This is the BACK entrance we used! The front actually looked similar but was blocked off due to construction.

There were more rooms in the house than I could count, but I had to be nibby and go check them all out. No way I’m going into a house like that without exploring!

Fall just wouldn’t be fall without going to the county fair. The fairgrounds are only about a mile from our house, so Bryon and I walked over (probably a good thing to help burn some of the greasy “fair food” calories). I won’t lie though, that cheese-on-a-stick was delicious! A big piece of mozzarella cheese dipped in cornmeal batter and deep-fried was something I was told I needed to try this year. Totally worth it :) Anywho, besides the food and art exhibits, there was a ton of livestock to visit. The animals are my favorite part. We visited the rabbit barn and found a few we really liked.

This little guy looked and felt like he was made out of velvet. I wanted to take him home with me!

This fluffy flat-nosed one was Bryon’s favorite.

This rabbit was huge, and very friendly to top it off!

A momma and her babies.

The poultry barn was next. The assortment of beautiful birds was remarkable!

This bird was beautiful! I don’t know what it was but it simply begged to be photographed.

Cute little chickens :)

 

I would name these two Mozart and Beethoven.

This rooster was so beautifully perfect he looked fake! Isn’t he gorgeous?

The cows were busy in the show area so I didn’t get many pictures of them. This was my favorite.

 

Don’t they look sweet?

I learned this year that I do like goats. At least a little bit. I’ve been rather prejudiced for years because a particularly mean one attacked my sister when she was young. Bryon really likes goats for some reason and they seem to really like him too!

These two snugglers made me smile :)

The sheep barn was in the back this year. They were in the process of being sheared for show.

Sweet little sheep.

I find myself drawn to the grey/black sheep. No clue why!

One of my favorites is always the horse barn with the big draft horses. They are huge! The pictures really don’t do them justice. I love to give them rubs and pet their big velvety noses.

This was the largest horse in there, a Belgian. He was enormous! I don’t have very small hands but you can see how tiny my hand is next to his big face. His eye was nearly as big as my fist!

Here’s a larger picture of him.

The boy in the red was about as tall as me. Five foot and five inches. His head about came level with Jay’s (you can see his name tag) back. If you look closely at the tag, you can read that the diameter of his hooves is a good 10 inches across!

Bryon was loving on a lady Belgian across the stable from Jay. She was a little smaller, but just as impressive. I got a good length when Bryon stopped rubbing her neck because she became moody and started kicking the stall until he went back to pet her again. He about jumped out of his skin!

Alright. I’ll stop boring you with the long post. A crafty post will follow later this week, I promise! I have much to share with you!

~Lacey

PS- Keep me in your thoughts these next few days please, I’m trying to avoid getting sick. I’ve been feeling kinda crummy and I don’t want it to get worse!

My Second Wool Gathering

It’s been longer than I expected to get around to writing this post. I blame Bryon and his decision to trade out his X-Box for a new video game system ;) I’ve been spending a bit more time playing video games than I should lately. But here it is! I shall try not to rattle on too much and brace yourselves for lots of pictures!

As you can expect with A Wool Gathering, there were lots of these types of creatures!

Don’t mind the colored butts! They were color coded for some reason. One gentleman said it was relevant to the upcoming breeding season.

The one in the front lost a horn somehow.

These goats were so woolly!

This girly was a huge diva! She kept posing for people :) I got a chance to pet her and her coat was so thick my hands just sunk into it.

This is a pile of 9 month old angora rabbits. It wasn’t that cold but they were as cuddled up as they could possibly get. You can only see three, but there is a fourth one in there too!

Besides animals, there were lots of crafting tools on display and for sale. Anything you wanted, you could find it.

Drum carders, spindles, and other assorted items.

One of my favorite looking spinning wheels. They had ones like this, smaller two-pedaled wheels, and one monster-sized spinning wheel taller than me!

Loads of fiber related books to peruse.

There were also a few booths set up with homemade things such as soaps, oils, lotions. Some of the shops used their own goats’ milk in their products!

And, as expected, there was loads and loads of yarn! Yarn and roving enough to make you swoon!

Luxury fibers that were seriously drool worthy to pet and cuddle.

There were also demonstrations to view. One of the favorites (especially for the children) is the sheep dog herding a group of ducks through an obstacle course.

Please ignore my thumb…

There was also a ton of spinning and weaving going on. I would LOVE to learn those skills but I have not the funds, materials, or personal instructor for such things. I don’t know anyone around here that does either of those things :( This festival is a couple of hours drive from my hometown.

This lady was actually weaving with plastic grocery bags cut into strips! The resulting purses were really cute. Talk about Reduce, Reuse & Recycle!

The amount of detail and pattern in this strip thoroughly impressed me.

This last one I found particularly fascinating. This lady was actually making bobbin lace by hand! See all of those little spindles? There are equally as many under the black cover to her open portfolio book. There were 30-40 of them total just to make that one design you see pinned down.

I have wondered how they created lace by hand centuries ago and now I know. I spent a lot of time talking to her and the other people in her guild. So much fun!

I came away with only a few items. I could have blown thousands of dollars worth, but I had a budget to keep…Darn responsibilities! Anywho, thanks for taking a little trip to my blog. I hope you all enjoyed A Wool Gathering with me!

~Lacey (who promises to do more crafty work this next week to make up for too much time playing Mario and Donkey Kong!)

Homegrown and Homemade

My concord grape jam is complete!

I am proud to say that I had my first canning/preserving experience this week :) I picked about half of the grapes off of the vines in the backyard to get a full 5 lbs.

It took longer than expected to pick all of them off the stems. The grapes were so ripe they nearly burst when I pulled them off! Nearly all of them split their skins and several slipped out entirely. Grapes that have popped out of their skins really are quite slimy, especially after being washed off. It was an interesting task to try to grab handfulls of them and drop them through the feeder into my food processor.

This slop is what I boiled down. I failed to get a picture of it sitting and straining after boiling. It’s probably best, seeing as it was nasty! It smelled perfectly delicious, but boy was it gross to look at :P

I never knew how much sugar went into making jellies and jams! The recipe I decided to use on the internet recommended using no/low sugar pectin so that is what I used. I managed to cut down the normal sugar amount (nearly 7 cups!) in half. This was my happy turn out after pouring and sealing.

Taa-Daa! Ten tasty jars of grape jam! I am a little embarrassed about one thing though. I added a bit too much pectin so it is really quite thick. Oh well, first time lesson learned. It still tastes delicious! So what did I deem appropriate for my first taste? I thought toast, jam, and some of those farm-fresh eggs gifted to me sounded excellent.

I do love scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast on the weekends :) The knowledge of how “homey” the simple meal was made my heart happy. If only the bread had been freshly baked as well! Maybe next time. I look forward to learning more about canning and preserving over the next year.

Thanks for stopping in and I hope to be back soon to share about my trip to A Wool Gathering!

~Lacey

Fun With Friends & Catch-Up

Hellu everyone!

I hope you other American folks out there enjoyed your Labor Day and the rest of you are having a good time with whatever is going on in your hometowns. I spent my holiday feeling very ill indeed, but a few days and a lot of chicken soup later I’m feeling much more myself. The fact that it’s starting to feel like fall has also helped to lift my spirits!

This past weekend a group of friends came along with Bryon and me to the Ohio Renaissance Festival and we had a blast! This was my 10th year in a row attending the festival and Bryon’s 5th. He’s been going every year since we met and it’s a big tradition for us. The weather was remarkable, seeing as it was pouring rain for about 2 days and about the same time the front gates opened, the clouds pulled back and the sun was revealed, warming us and drying things up the whole time we were there :) Highlights always include the full armor joust:

The stage performers Dirk & Guido, aka The Swordsmen:

The all of the colorful shops! Oh the shops! I could easily blow thousands of dollars in one day. I did manage to restrain myself and buy a simple glazework tumbler from a handmade ceramics shop. I spoke with the Sara and her husband (the owners of Hearthstone Arts) for a bit and she told me how each piece was made and what methods she used. The talent is absolutely stunning, so go check out their site!

After a day at the Ren Fair, the crew that road in my car (we had to take two cars since we had 9 people) decided to take an unexpected stop on the way home. Remember the vineyard I showed you a picture of last fall?

This is about 5 miles from my house and it opened to the public just this past May, seeing as the first vines were planted just 5 years ago. I commented as we drove past that I wanted, at some point in time, to stop inside and see what the place was like. My passengers decided it was time, so we turned around and in we went!

Rockside Vineyard & Winery isn’t very showy on the outside but the inside was very refined and welcoming. We sampled a few of their wines, spoke with the owners, and petted their sweet dog who was peering  at us longingly from behind a barrier in their office. Definitely a good choice to stop by :)

Speaking of homemade/homegrown, I was gifted some lovely eggs this past week! Eric’s chickens have finally started laying :) Well, all of the chickens except the one that decided to grow up into a rooster.

Mr. Rooster is quite impressive isn’t he?

Aren’t they lovely?

 

On the yarn front, I have been quite busy! I finished the gloves/mitts I was working on and still have two small cakes of the yarn left over. I’ll get that photograph at some point! I also started and finished another convertible hat in that run rainbow sequin yarn. I love the way it striped up!

I’ve been wanting to work on whittling away some of my stash for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m running out of room to store all of my yarn and Bryon shakes his head in mock horror every time he sees me rooting through it for something. Secondly, I feel much less guilty purchasing new yarn when I know I’ve been productive with the yarn already in my clutches! The Wool Gathering festival is this next weekend and I desperately want to purchase some woolly goodness without feeling any sort of guilt…

I got rid of one of two skeins of the rainbow/sequin yarn with the hat, I used up half of the Astral yarn with my gloves, and I’m using up some of the leftover yarn from this scarf I made last winter.

Here is my first mitten! It’s nearly done :)

The scarf was crochet and the mittens are obviously knit. I loved the yarn when crocheting and I love it when knitting. Malabrigo is officially when of my all time favorite yarns! Fluffy, stretchy, not splitty, and splendid colors. Hurrah!

Alright everyone. Sorry for the long post! That’s what happens when I miss a week’s post. My work schedule is changing next week and I will be working on Mondays so we’ll see what day ends up being my new post day! Have a wonderful week!

~Lacey

 

Knitting Cramp

Hellu Everyone!

I hope you are all enjoying the last week here in August. I realized that I missed a couple of things in my last post. Firstly, I missed my blog anniversary! I have officially been blogging for a year now! I have to say it’s hard to believe. A big thanks to those of you who have been with me since I started! I was also awarded The Beautiful Blogger Award by Karen at The Sweaty Knitter. She posts some of the most fascinating historical tidbits about fiber crafts and shares about her charming Norwegian heritage. You never know what you’ll learn when you stop in for a visit! Thank you Karen for your nomination!

In the course of the past year, many things have happened in my life. My beloved cat Mina has developed a taste for fabric.

A pair of my pajama pants is the latest victim. We are now up to 3 tank tops, 2 bras, 2 shirts, a dress, and the pants.

I have made friends living far from me ranging from the edges of my own country  (ie: Florida & California) to other countries all together (ie: England & New Zealand)! It is wonderful to get to know people who live in other parts in the world, hearing about their lives and local cultures. If only we could meet in person for a cuppa to knit and share stories!

I started doing yoga. I’ll admit I don’t do it as often as I should, but I thoroughly enjoy every session! My joints don’t enjoy impact exercises like jogging, but my muscles sure do love a good stretch. A yoga session seems to work well for my over-active brain as well. Any one else out there a yoga lover?

Our local studio.

And I learned to knit! My fiber world has grown exponentially now that I know how to knit. You all remember my very first knit project in my second post? A sad, wonky washcloth. I’ve since knit several things and here’s the updated picture of my very first sock!

I got my first knitting cramp this past weekend turning the heel on that crazy thing. I will say once and for all, wool is certainly my favorite thing to knit with. This sock yarn is a microfiber material and there is very little give to it, hence the tension. I’ll admit that I spent so many hours working on this over the weekend that I simply had to say, “No more knitting.” I took a break from my sock, decided to leave my arm warmer in the bag, and start a crochet project! I told Cassie I would make her a hat like the one I made Sara Lynn last winter and she could choose the colors. This was the perfect time to begin her hat.

Ahh. Soft, squishy worsted weight yarn, my default crochet hook, and swift, simple crochet movements. I do love crochet :) The fact that I love this yarn brand and I love this pattern also help!

I truly believe in the healing powers of switching projects periodically. My sock may sit for a while longer, but as soon as this hat is done I’m sure my arm warmer won’t be too far behind! The yarn for that project is much nicer to work with while knitting. The more I knit, the more I understand yarn snobbery. Synthetics tend to cause tension and cramps! Crochet doesn’t seem to be as bad. Any one else have those kinds of revelations or am I just overly sensitive to silly things?

I wish you all a wonderful week and I will see you in September!

~Lacey & Mina

Hats and Happy Surprises

I’m stopping by to do a post this evening because I have to share a little happy news with you! That and I might have to work on Monday (I normally don’t) and I don’t know if I’ll have time then to do my standard weekly post.

I have been busy, working away on those little hats for Lucy and her Project Rainbows. Mina had to help too of course.

Silly Mew. I now have 5 hats in each color and I’m wondering if I should make a few more before shipping them out. Suggestions? Is 15 good or how many is appropriate for a donation?

My happy little surprise came to me yesterday, or rather I stumbled into it. I park around the back of my house by a chain-link fence that separates my yard from my neighbor’s. I rarely pay much attention to all of the growth that weaves in and out of the fence. There are countless plants that grow wild around it, including my lovely hollyhock and lilac bushes. I noticed some pretty red berries growing along one side and went to investigate. As I got closer, I thought I saw something growing against the fence. “Surely not, ” I thought, but I pulled back the vines and what did I see?

GRAPES!!! Growing in my backyard of their own accord! I simply could not believe the odds or my luck.

See the little red berries that originally caught my eye?

Lots of pretty little clusters growing all over! I checked with my neighbors since we share the fence. It seems as though they planted them there about 30 years ago and got tired of them about 15 years ago. They thought they had eliminated all of the plants. It seems that over the years some of the root remnants have come back and grown up amidst the other plants unnoticed. I recently heard that this summer was ideal for grapes in this region due to the crazy heat and dryness, so that must’ve been what caused the fruit to finally pop out! Our neighbors said I could do whatever I wanted with whatever grew and I am so very excited! I have never done any kind of canning or preserving in my life but I have wanted to for years. This is my chance to learn :) When those purple beauties are ripe in a few weeks, I am making some grape jelly! I had rather a bum week this past week and this surprise was just what I needed to help cheer me up.

I hope your weekends have a happy surprise for each of you! God Bless!

~Lacey & Mina

 

Wrapping up Summer

Sorry I missed you all last week, but as my title suggests I have been busy wrapping up summertime. The school year begins this week for some and next week for most others. The time for summer fun is  coming to a close and my non-work days have been busy with things such as Family Fun Day with our church, nights as the drive-in theater while it’s still open, and bonfires with our youth group since they won’t have as much free time with school in session.

Our Family Fun Day is like a small carnival we put on for the community every summer, everything is free. We rent big inflatables for the kids: a giant slide, an obstacle course, a gladiator arena, and something called a bungee run.

Here is the gladiator arena. New and very popular this year! The two players stand on pedestals and try to know each other off.

Food is also available to everyone: hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones. I worked the popcorn stand for a while and seeing as it was already a 90 degree day, it got quite warm when the popcorn cooked! Luckily I was next to the snow cone machine so that helped to balance things out a bit when I didn’t have to man the popcorn.

Donna and Keith always man the grill for the hot dogs. Kudos to them for bearing the intense heat of day along with the heat radiating off of the grill. This is the delightful couple who housed Bryon and I when I power was out for that week in July due to storms.

Due to the heat, we always ask the local firestation to stop by for a short span of time to hose down anyone wanting the relief of water. It’s always a big hit for the kids to have the big firetruck come in.

The last of the kids cooling off. Many others had already run off to give wet, squishy hugs to their parents.

It’s always a great time :) Another summer favorite is going to the drive-in. When Bryon and I dated, we went nearly every weekend. We didn’t get to go at all last summer and it was very depressing. This year we were determined to go and we couldn’t have picked a better night to go. The weather was absolutely perfect and we got there early enough that we had a fairly good parking spot. There aren’t many drive-ins left in Ohio so we are very fortunate to have one in our hometown! Two movies show back to back and it’s only $7 for an adult ticket.

Waiting for the sky to darken enough for the movie to start.

We went to the drive-in also as sort celebration for us. Sunday August 5 was an exact 5 year anniversary for the Sunday morning I first met the man I would marry. Who knew?

The bonfire we went to was at the same house as always, so I got to see Eric’s laying chickens again. Remember that little spotty hen I told you all about? Well, it has grown into a massive rooster! Surprise! I forgot to get a picture for you, but I will get one. He’s really quite impressive.

I had some quiet time by the fire where I was able to work on my WIPs, which have been coming along nicely! I’ve got a steadily growing pile of preemie hats for Lucy, I met all the goals I mentioned in my last post so my first glove is done and the second one is comng along nicely, and I have started my sock. I have been reminded that if I sit down and truly dedicate that time to knitting something in particular, things work up rather quickly. My second glove is already more than halfway done.

And my sock is waiting for me to start the heel.

I prefer shorter socks.

I’m excited to see how the sock turns out! Mina has returned to sleeping either on my lap or curled up next to me as I knit.

Don’t you just want to rub her fuzzy belly?

She really is a great little companion while I knit and Bryon sleeps (he’s still working the night shift). I hope you all have a wonderful week and hopefully I won’t miss next Monday’s post! Thank you all for stopping by to visit us :)

~Lacey and an ever sleepy Mina cat

The Week of Ruffly Scarves

Hello Bloggy Friends!

I hope you all have had a lovely week. From reading many of your blogs it sounds as though many of you have just returned from vacations (for which I am exceedingly jealous) and many are enjoying the beginnings of the Olympics. My week hasn’t been nearly as exciting as all of that, but it has been a good one! We got a new receptionist in our office and she seems really nice. I’ll admit it’s interesting to train and be responsible for someone more than twice my age. It’s exciting to finally have some one in there to help me out :)

We also got some more rain this past week. Hurrah! It was another huge storm, but not quite as damaging as the one we had the first week in July. It rained more steadily for a longer period of time (still only an hour) after the first few minutes of insane wind and torrential downpour. The ground simply drank up all of the water faster than I would have thought possible. After the rain stopped the clouds had the most fascinating cloud formations. I love looking at clouds!

In relation to the title of this post, I have been a busy knitter this past week. I didn’t get to start my socks as I had anticipated; I got onto a bit of a ruffle scarf jag. I started the first one last Monday or so. You can see it in my last post. I finished that one after a period of time and I figured that I would whip up the other two fairly fast. I love to feel like I’m working my way through some of my stash, particularly when it’s relatively quick projects for my craft sale!

Scarf 1

Scarf 2

Scarf 3

Which one do you like? I love all of the colors in 2 but being such a big fan of autumn has me pondering 3. I think I might keep one for myself! You can’t really tell by looking at the scarf, but the yarn for scarf 2 is actually in a dark rainbow pattern. I’m nearly done with that third scarf, and that will be the end of my ruffle yarn. Then I can get on with my other knitting! I have worked a bit on my long-lost diamond mitt the past week and it will be done this next week. I officially set those yarn goals for the next week: finish ruffle scarf 3, finish diamond mitt 1, start diamond mitt 2 and start my first Lacey sized sock!

May your next week bring you peace of the sort that Mina exudes when curled up in her sunbeams!

~Lacey & Mina