Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A winner and some Little Things to Knit

Alrighty then! I love it that so many of you came by to enter this giveaway! Thanks to every one of you so much. This morning I used the random number generator at random.com and the number it selected was 35....katjobson, who said, "Red is my favorite color and perfect for Christmas. I would love to win :))))))". So, katjobson, please email me within the next 24 hours at diannemac1010@gmail.com with your name and address and I'll get this box of goodies on the way to you.

I'll be having at least three more giveaways between now and Christmas, so I hope all of you will stop by to see what goodies I'll be offering. (Hint: more fabulous yarn and books!)

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program.

So, looking for some great little projects that you can whip up quickly? Here are a few I'm working on and loving every stitch (which, to be totally honest, I cannot always say about my knitting!)

The Melissa Scarf-I found this by visiting one blog and then followed a link on to another and so on and so on......you know how that goes. In the end, I have no idea how I got there! I'm not sure why, but this scarf is just plain fun to knit. (read...borders on addictive!) Something about those bobbles at the end of every row (this from someone not that fond of bobbles). Try it. I'll bet you your favorite set of knitting needles that you'll like it.

These mitts-A great gift and a reasonable amount of knitting time involved. If you make them with some of that chunky stuff you've got lying around, you'll be done in no time. I'm all about chunky stuff right now! And, here's another pair of mitts that are even more stylish and fun to knit.

This cowl is fabulous! This is a last minute gift from heaven. And there's a matching beret! Perfect. Thanks for calling my attention to this one, Mary!

Need a gift for someone who doesn't want to muss up their hair putting on something to warm their neck? Then this neckwarmer is just the one. Once again, practically instant gratification!

I love to give handmade gifts (even more than I love staying out of the mall!) and though these are all quick and easy, they are all gifts that I would love to receive.....which is my criteria for whether a gift is nice enough to give to a friend or family member.

Got any great, fast and easy Little Things to Knit that you'd like to share?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Giveaway!

So, did everyone have an awesome Thanksgiving? After days and days (and days) of cooking, it's all over in what seems like a flash. We were missing a few grandchildren this year and we missed them, but everyone else was here and it was great. Every year brings the noise level down because the little boys are growing up and are not so rowdy anymore!

It was weirdly warm (70 degrees---and that's just not right) and rainy and the prediction for a drastic drop in the temperature and a chance of some snow flakes actually came true. We woke up this morning to a dusting of snow! What a thrill for those folks lining up outside the big box stores at 4 am. Ha!

So, here's my plan. I'm thinking of doing several giveaways leading up to Christmas. I've got some nice "stuff" to send out to someone. All you need to do is leave a comment here sometime before 8 am on Tuesday morning, November 30. Then I'll either figure out how to do the random number generator thing or have a someone else pick a number and the lucky number will get all of the things pictured. For this go-round I've got 13+ balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino chunky in a beautiful red (color #17016 - 71 yards in each ball). Add to that one skein of Cherry Tree Hill Laceweight Possum (40% merino,40%possum,20% silk - 480 yards). Also, one skein of Mountain Colors 4/8 wool - color Firestorm - 250 yards. Lastly, a new copy of "Knitting New Mittens and Gloves" by Robin Melanson. It's a great book with lots of Christmas knitting ideas. Somehow, I have two copies. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with my lack of memory when it comes to my personal knitting library!) So, there you have it. Spread the word and keep your fingers crossed!

(the Debbie Bliss yarn color is closer to that in the first picture)

I don't know about you all, but my plan is to get back to my knitting today. It's cold enough to have a fire and there are plenty of leftovers, so no cooking required for the next few days. Perfect!

COMMENTS CLOSED. Thanks so much for entering. Check back a little later today and I will announce the winner!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In the outfield

It is seriously hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just days away when the temperature is 71 degrees, which it was yesterday. We had a big storm blow through early this morning and it is bringing a big change our way. Right now the forecast is for a chance of snow flakes early Friday morning. I pity those poor folks who are planning on getting up early to get some Black Friday bargains, which is one thing I can honestly say I will never do! I don't even like going into the mall or any of those big box stores on regular days!

Yesterday I took these pictures of the ewe flock grazing in what we call the outfield. It's the one farthest from the barn. Holly doesn't really like for the ewes to go there. It's bordered by the woods and coyotes often come into the pastures from there. I opened the gate to that area recently because there is so much good grazing there and practically nothing to eat in the other fields. During the day, Holly allows the ewes to go there for a short time and then she will move them back into their regular field. It's an interesting exercise to watch and it reassures me that Holly is doing her job.

I love watching what happens between these two. This old girl spends a lot of her day resting and Holly is usually close by, keeping watch. I like to think that the ewe is comforted by Holly's watchful presence.

(Edited to add: I'm planning a little giveaway for "Black Friday". Don't you think it would be the ultimate bargain to get something for free? Just check back here and I'll put up a post with pictures of the goods!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tiny distractions

Though knitting family Christmas gifts should be my focus right now, I am being distracted by these little bitty, fun things. I made a few of these Christmas ornaments or package decorations (whatever you want to call them) last year and sold many at wool festivals. I'll be participating in the Christmas Jingle and Mingle Gift Party on December 5th and thought these seemed like a perfect small item to offer. I've come up with my own easy to remember pattern and the best part is going through my stash of odds and ends to find yarn for each one. (It reminds me of being a little girl, going through scraps of fabric at my grandmother's house and finding just the right ones to make a new outfit for my Ginny doll.)

In continuing with my "one of these things is not like the others" theme, you may notice a tiny Einstein jacket amongst all those pullovers. The pattern for it came from the brilliant Sally Melville's (with her daughter, Caddy) new book, "Warm Knits, Cool Gifts". There are some lovely gift ideas in the book. I especially love the Ear Flap Baby Hat.

Anyone making progress on those Christmas gift knits?

Friday, November 12, 2010

One of these things.............

is most definitely not like the others! Remember that Sesame Street song? Having raised three boys in the early Sesame Street days, it is embedded in my brain. Every time I look at my newest Buff Orpington chicks, that song starts playing in my head! I can't take any credit for this mix up (unlike the Frenchie thing). I talked to the man on the phone, he set aside five Buff Orpington chicks and I picked them and brought them home. Honestly, for the first week or so, they did all look alike. Then slowly, but surely, this weird one started showing itself. I have no idea what it is (and I'm just praying it's not a rooster, but, you know, what are the odds?). Anyone else know?

In any case, they went into the pen with the big girls this morning. I think they are old enough to take up for themselves, but will keep a close eye on things to make sure they don't get picked on. Some good news about Frenchie...........she seems to be getting over her fear of the other chickens. I'm hoping she can go back into the flock and into the chicken house real soon. Then it'll be just one big happy chicken family! Right?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Creatures of habit

It was cold yesterday morning.......I'm talking ice in the water buckets cold. I love it!! I know I'll be complaining about the cold before it's over, but right now it is such a relief to be rid of the blasted heat we suffered through during what seemed like a never-ending summer.

About mid-morning, I looked out at the ewe's pasture and there they were, crowded together in the shade of that lone pin oak. Mind you, the temperature was still in the 30's, but the sun was shining and that must be the clue to head for a shady spot. I think it's going to take all of us a while to get over this past summer.

Because our pastures dried up during the drought, there is not much to nibble on out there. I'm feeding everyone once a day now and that means that they watch me constantly. The minute I step out the door, regardless of time of day, they're all hoping it means dinner time. I believe they actually know when it's not, but are hoping they can fool me into thinking differently. When normal feeding time arrives, they gather at the gate and stare hard! What does it mean when my sheep try to outsmart me every single day?

Holly, on the other hand, waits patiently. This is how she tells me she wants to eat now. Wish she'd teach the sheep to act like this.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

R and R

We had a chance to get away for a few days to our favorite fall location. We've been going to Snowbird Mountain Lodge in North Carolina many years now and it is always wonderful. It's a special, very relaxed atmosphere where the food is fabulous and the scenery breathtakingly beautiful. It's the one place I go where I can do absolutely nothing (guilt-free) for several days in a row! Mike got out and hiked everyday, but I only went on one hike and spent the rest of my days knitting and reading by the fire.

Just before we left, I finished my garter yoke cardigan and I really like it! It was an easy knit and relatively fast, but, as is often my habit, I got distracted somewhere along the way and it took longer than it should have to finish up the last little bit of the sleeves and then to sew on all those many buttons. I think this sweater is going to be a workhorse in my limited wardrobe. It's comfortable enough to slip on anytime and looks nice enough to wear with just about everything casual. Though I tried it on many times while in the process of knitting, it was not until I wore it for a full day that I discovered the sleeves were several inches too long. Now that I'm home again, I'll snip a stitch on the sleeves, pull out the bottom several inches and knit the cuff back on. I would love to make one out of handspun in a natural color and may plan on doing that....after the Christmas knitting is over. The one thing I might change would be to eliminate some buttons. Maybe just have buttons on the yoke part. I'll never wear this sweater all buttoned up, so why go through finding and sewing on ten buttons? We'll see.

Speaking of Christmas knitting......the time has come to get on with it! Are you knitting gifts this year? Have you started yet?