Saturday, December 30, 2006

Wish y'all were here and we could visit

Dear Gentle Readers, I appreciate all who have posted to this humble blog and I wish I could share a piece of this cake and some tea with you all right now. I have enjoyed getting to know each of you this past year. The support and encouragement y'all have given me as I have learned to spin has meant a lot to me. Can't wait to see you all in January.

So, I am blogging and eating a piece of this cake. Can't think of anything nicer that I would rather be doing. Blogging has given me an outlet to show off my new spinning hobby. I love looking at other blogs and learning from them and getting new ideas.

This chocolate cake recipe is from the new Barefoot Contessa cookbook. I read the recipe and got my cocoa out. Guess what? It is almost exactly the same as the recipe on the back of the Hershey cocoa box. The same except for the addition of coffee instead of boiling H2O and the icing is different. Absolutely divine!

I am now the proud creator of 4 skeins of the yarn spun from the chestnut roving. I set the twist in some hot water and spun them out in my washing machine. They are currently drying on my grandmother's 60 year old boxwood (oh, I live in her house).

I have a turkey in the oven that needs attending to. I can't believe that we are not sick of turkey yet. Great, cheap meat. DH is supposedly going to make mashed potatoes (I hate doing that). Gonna buzz up some cranberries and a tangerine for relish. so, I'm out. cate

Friday, December 29, 2006

I have a confession. I really didn't need to add to my stash. But, I couldn't resist. The LYS, is having their annual 25% off sale and I really had good intentions. You know what they say about the best intentions. At least I had a few things in mind before I went in (yeah, that will help dh understand, yeah). So, what did you get Cate? So, glad you asked!!!!

This is some yarn that the girls chose for scarves. It is really beautiful!! Kind of like a box of crayons or skittles. Instead of doing 15 st on a size 15 needle (I would be going forever), I did 120 st on a size 15 circ needle and will knit, maybe, 8 rows. See, I really am a lazy knitter. I'll show a pix after it is finished. I can probably finish this in an hour ,or so.

I found a sweater in the Winter Interweave Knit magazine that I really want to knit. It is called 'Arwen.' So, this is the yarn for Arwen!!! It is a pretty intricate celtic cable cardy with a hood. The back is a big rectangle, but, the fronts, sleeve and hood are knit in one section each. I wish I could be an elf like JRR Tolkien's character. She is so cool. I'll be satisfied with a sweater named after her.

This is a cool, mint alpaca that I just couldn't resist. I have NO IDEA what I am going to knit with this. But, I am thinking Spring!!! Not shown is some Doucier et Soie that I am going to knit ANOTHER 'Branching Out' scarf from The same red (for a young friend) and a plum (for me, finally). I can't believe that I give most of my knitting away. What am I thinking?!?!!!!

Well, I have been a very busy bee lately!! Spinning, knitting on the keepsake shawl, finishing up the Calorimetry hats for the girls............ So, much knitting and so little time. School, officially starts on Monday. So, I had better enjoy the rest of what free time is left.

The kids are safely watching Veggie Tales, so maybe I'll go spin some before I start dinner. Taco salad for us.

What are y'alls New Years plans? I'll post mine later.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

brain gender

Your Brain is 60% Female, 40% Male

Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female
You are both sensitive and savvy
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve

I thought this was really funny. The blog I found it on was 93% female and 6% male. Hmmmmm.

Ramblings about resolutions

Isn't that just luscious!! I love this chestnut roving so much. It is mostly cotswald wool that is dyed and the white stuff is silk. I am thinking that it is going to become a cabled sweater for my son. I am going to make it quite large, so he can grow into it. I already have 2 skeins, double plied. It is kind of knobby and rustic. My favorite.

Here it is on the bobbin. It always amazes me how all that fluff can turn into something so sleek and nice. I can hardly wait to get it on the needles.

So, today I have put down my book. Me and Amelia did a partial day of school. She is having trouble sounding stuff out. Not because she can't. But, because she doesn't want to. It is like pulling teeth to get her to do it. I am starting to refuse to help her figure words out (things I have already taught her), forcing her to do it herself.

I also have a couple of New Years resolutions.
1) No TV until school is done for the day!!!
2) Read to the kids EVERY day.

I refuse to say 'lose weight' again. THis is what I think of that (for me because I have no discipline when it comes to food and exercise) %$#^%$%&$^*%*&%^^$@^$#@%^$&*
Plus, I don't want my girls picking up my body image issues. So, that means I need to learn to accept myself just the way I am.

I wanted to go to the Needle on the Square yarn sale today, but, alas......... no babysitting. Y'all get anything good? Post pix on your blogs. love, cate

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Post Christmas

Christmas is done. whew..... That was a lot of work. Had a great day, though. The kids were the most fun they have EVER been. Lots of squealing and 'thank-you's' and 'I love it' going around. We had bought the girls their very own mini tea sets. When I asked them at brunch which gift they liked the best, both of them said (they didn't know that the tea sets were from us, yet) that they liked the tea sets the best!!!!!! Amazing. I actually got them the gift they liked the best.

Now comes clean up time. The list of 'to do' seems endless. There are toys and decorations everywhere. We have been so busy that all my usual housework has gone by the wayside. I, however, have been very bad. I am reading instead of straightening up. Reading really is a 'bad' habit of mine. I love fiction and I get caught up in a story to the neglect of all the 'good' stuff I should be doing. I'm not even knitting or spinning. Very rarely, do I let a book get me like this. It's not even a good book. Just a relaxing 'no brainer.' I think I need to just zone out today, and get back to my usual productive self tomorrow.

Come next Tuesday, school starts for us again here at home. My New Year's resolution will be to get up at 6:30ish (before kids) and have some quiet time with coffee or a book (maybe not). Then, after I am not comatose any longer, fix the kids breakfast, and then get school done before the kids are allowed to play or watch TV. This needs to happen because I am schooling 2 kids now. One in 1st grade (Amelia) and 1 in Kindergarten (Madeline). As for Ethan, he is gonna have to fend mostly for himself.

Enough about me. Maybe, I will post some of my new wool I am spinning. Have a great day, Catie

Oh yeah, btw, mil and sil loved the scarves I had made them!!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Musings on waffles and spinning

This is my lovey husband's contribution to the cooking in the family!! In my opinion, he is a master, waffle maker. He does the WHOLE operation!! Then, I, get to eat. He even cleans up!! He does this about 1 or 2 times a month. We have been married 9.5 years now, and he is great at breakfasts!!

Here, dh, is adding chopped pecans to whole wheat waffles. I just finished mine with real maple syrup. yum. Have you noticed that food tastes better when you don't make it?

This yarn was spun out of some of David Simpson's merino and silk colorways. This blue is really bright, but it is really navy. I don't know how he dyes his stuff, but the colors are spectacular. They are almost alive and even a beginner spinner like me, can make it look good. This WAS a colorimetry head thing ( for my my friend Ann. But, you know who, DID NOT CHECK HER GAUGE, and it was 3 x's too big. So I ripped it out, measured my own head, and recast. Maybe, I'll model the finished product for you.

Ah, Koigu................. The pinkish ball is color #5 and the other is color #6 (out of 12). This might take me a year to finish, but it is sooooo lovely. Thank you again Diana, for sharing your pattern with me. Also, the ball of Koigu. That is going in soon.

Last, but certainly not least, some skeins that I have spun. I just love looking at them. I still can't believe that I can spin. Wow. And to knit up some stuff that you have spun..... I can't describe the feeling. Makes me feel like someone from the past, someone who is relatively self-sufficient. I can't think of any other way to describe it. It is not pride, not accomplishment, just a sense of .............................. If you can name what it is I am feeling then post. PLEASE!!

Maybe, it just a sense of connection to women who have gone before me. Kind of like making bread. maybe

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Handspun leftover yarn from dh's sweater. I named the yarn Ropa Vieja, which is spanish for 'old clothes.' My mil was a missionary in Ecuador and ropa vieja is a great beef dish that she makes!! The colors in the yarn are brown (beef), green (for the chiles), and orange (tomatoes).... as for the blue................ still looks like ropa vieja to me Branching Out scarf from Gift for mil this year. She is an autumn and looks great in oranges. Gonna have a hard time parting with it. Oh well, guess I'll just have to go back to the lys and get more!!
Cielo (blue) and Tropicana (pink/yellow) skeins and knit up potato chip scarves. The pinky is a gift for sil along with the matching mitts down below.
Matching fingerless mitt in Tropicana.

I am having so much fun with my digital camera. Hope y'all have a great day. catie

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Well.... That took a long time!! I think it took 20 full minutes for that to upload. Thanx Robin F. for your help. I just had to persevere.

This is a picture of some loose ends that I spun together and am currently knitting into a scarf for a ddaughter (maybe). The girls have a way of loosing things that discourages me from knitting them mittens, etc....

The other picture is (obviously) of my wheel. And that is the location where all my spinning takes place. In the middle of the house. I can spin with kids flying around and when one falls, briefly stop, pick them up, love on em, and then set em off to go run some more. Love that thing. Currently spinning a chestnut colorway in lamb/silk. I am sure pix to come. Enough for now. cate


You are a Black Coffee

At your best, you are: low maintenance, friendly, and adaptable

At your worst, you are: cheap and angsty

You drink coffee when: you can get your hands on it

Your caffeine addiction level: high

What!!!!!! No Splenda!?! No cream!?!?!
However, they are right. I do like my coffee at home. Eight O'Clock regular is my java of choice. As for anxiety............... well, the truth hurts sometimes. As for cheap. NO WAY!! Ask my husband and he'll let you know if I am cheap. If anything.... I save money of coffee to support my other addiction. Do I need to say it? Yes, yes, yes. Yarn and wool.

Monday, December 18, 2006

help, anyone

Well..... got the camera!!! I am so excited. I have been trying to upload an image onto blogger and CAN'T. I get all the way to the images uploading part and it like freezes there. I am wondering if my computer has a block somewhere or something. So, this is a request for help from anyone who knows what they are doing. How do you get a picture from your computer to your blog? thanx, catie

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Digital Camera

Digital camera here I come!!!! Been saving my nickels and dimes (not to mention Christmas money from mom) and I almost have enough. Gonna go ahead and get it, so dh doensn't have to. Save him some time *wink*. Already think I know what I want to get.

So, ladies, pictures are soon on the way. Very excited you know!!! Then I just have to figure out how to use it, transfer pix to puter, locate pix on puter, and upload onto blog. *sigh* Glad I am relatively smart.

As for knitting!!! Halfway done with the Branching Out scarf for mil. It is so pretty. Starting to organize what knitted gifts are being given and to whom. Gotta wrap, wrap, wrap.... Creatively of course. It'll be fun.

Hope all of you are having a happy Saturday!! cate

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas favorites

Stolen from Robin's Blog:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Both?? hot chocolate made with bodaciously high cocoa percentage chocolate
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? we'll see this year
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? white on tree. retro huge ones on gigantic holly bush that is 2 stories tall outside
4. Do you hang mistletoe? no, sigh
5. When do you put up your decorations? The first week or so of December.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? beef tenderloin
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? the year we didn't have any money and we cut down the pine tree in the back yard. It was very meager that year, but it was the best because we appreciated each other. That was what we had. It was great.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don't know. I just pested my parents and figured it out on my own.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, at my uncle's house. The kids get a present there. They are so good to us.
10. What kind of decorations are on your Christmas Tree? The ones my husband bought before we were married, the ones my dear 7yo made for me this year, some knit socks that didn't fit my kids, and a few from my mother.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread? I love it now. But when my kids were babies, hated it because we couldn't get out in it. I have 3 kids and this is the 1st year in a long time that I CAN'T WAIT!!!
12. Can you ice skate? Hurts my ankles
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Don't have a favorite gift, but a formula.... Something to read, something to wear and something to play with!!
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Christmas AM with my kids. We eat a little something, open presents, and then have a brunch with homemade sweet rolls with orange cream cheese icing.
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? pecan pie
16 What is your favorite holiday tradition? Christmas Eve at my uncles house
17. What tops your tree? A lit star
18. What is your favourite holiday movie? Easy. White Christmas.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? O, Holy Night
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yummy?Yum-Yum

A little knitting/spinning jig

I'm back!!!!! Yee Haw!!!! You don't know what you got until you lose it. Health!!! Thank you God!!!! Today is the 1st day that I am not chained to the ........... (sorry, tmi)


I can knit, I can spin, I can eat, I can drink!!! I have so much to be thankful for this Christmas. God is good.

And I have been knitting again. Excuse me while I do a little knitting excitement jig around the room. On second thought, maybe not.

What have I been up to? Thank you for asking. I knit some of the Cielo (my very first novelty yarn) into a potato chip scarf. I am quite disappointed in the results though. The yarn is prettier spun than it is knit. In 10 more days when I have my digital camera.... I will show you!!

I am knitting up the Branching Out scarf in Dulce something or other in hot orange for my dear mother-in-law. Very gorgeous. Gonna have a hard time parting with that one. Except plan on doing another one for self in plum maybe.....
Can't finish the Koigu Keepsake Shawl until I get that scarf done. Then, back at it.

Oh..... Got my newest wool from The chestnut colorways which is a cotswald lamb/silk blend is TO DIE FOR. Got a whole pound. Have no idea what I am going to make with it, just gloat over it. Run my hands thru it and watch it magically turn into some very lusciously soft yarn. Also got Robin's (nistock robin, that is) Spring Meadow (also lamb/silk) and some natural colored brown lambs wool. Ooh La La. Santa has been good to Catie this year. And I have been a Very, Very Good Girl!!!!

After being quiet for AN ENTIRE WEEK, I have lots to say. So, more later. me

Saturday, December 09, 2006

struck down, but not destroyed

Well............... I had a great time out at our annual Christmas gift exchange with our local spinner/knitter group (BTW, do we have a name? I think I forgot). Got to play D---- Santa, got to steal back my gift. Had a great time!!! Came home went to bed and all was well until midnight. Then we were struck down.

The vomits had arrived.

Ethan (2 yo) vomited all night. Took a break and vomited all evening. Went to sleep just fine though. Then another midnight happened.

Madeline (5yo) vomited all night the next.

I have been dosing all 5 of us with pepto as a 'just in case' as prescribed by my MD aka favorite aunt, Faith. So far, only 2 out of 5 have been struck down. I haven't had a shower in 3 days.

In between cleaning up, I am knitting a no brainer, potato chip scarf out of the yarn I just spun. I have named it Cielo (Heaven). Robin, thought that the yarn had 'scarf' written all over it, and she is right.

I have to just say.......... Knitting gets me thru a multitude of crisis. Child raising, boredom, illness, depression, even happiness!!! I am so enjoying getting to know all of you out there in Roanoke and the rest of you I haven't met in knitting land.

God is good. I have not only survived my children being ill, but am not ill myself (yet). Hope all of you are well.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My spinning wheel

Let's see if this works. This is a picture of my spinning wheel. Here goes nothing.....

Did it work? I'm gonna post and check.

My life, today.

It is 10:26 AM here in Roanoke, VA. It is approx 36 F. Cold and winter is approaching. I am busy decluttering. 5 years ago my mother and grandmother closed housekeeping. Needless to say, I am inundated with STUFF. I cherish most of my grandmother's things, but mom's..... well, she has a serious mental illness so I am getting rid of most of that. It is taking me a long time though.

As for knitting. I have to say that knitting, next to prayer, is a serious comfort. It keeps my hands busy and me out of trouble (shopping, gossiping, or whatever that tempts me). Since I spin, that really is a good thing. It really slows down my knitting because the spinning takes much longer. And, best of all, if the pattern is easy, I can knit away while interacting with the kids.

Oh yeah!!!! Finished Andy's sweater. Looks great. Wish I had made it longer though, so when he bends over, oooppppss... It took me about 3 months to spin and knit. Not bad. It was a straight forward, no frills, raglan sweater. Deep brown lamb, with autumnal colors shooting through. Orange, blue, and yellow (actually the roving was green, but is yellow in the sweater). It does have a 4 stitch cable at cuffs, and at crew neck. Again, as soon as I have my digital........

Andy is working OT again today. THat will make my day with the kids 12 hours. Wow. God help me. They are great kids. But we can't really be outside because of temp. The good news is that I can do all things thru Christ who strenghtens me!! amen. catie

Monday, December 04, 2006

Mommies little helpers

As I have mentioned before, WE ARE TAKING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER OFF SCHOOL!!! Ahem.......... Need I say that I get so much done when the morning is free from lessons. Wow. The house is starting to get decluttered, cleaned, and (even) decorated for the holidays. The girls are just the right age for really helping!!

Speaking of helping...... This morninig, I sprayed the downstairs b-room with scrubbing bubbles. I went upstairs to dry my hair. WHen I came back down,..............dum dum du dum du du du du dummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. My wonderful 6 year old dd, had wiped it out with a kitchen towel. She was helping the little dear, but, if you read the back of the ingrdients on the label........... Well, sodium hydroxide (aka, lye for all you soapers out there) is an ingredient. I was a bit sharp with her. Sorry Mia.

Then off to the grocery store we went. It went quite well if I may say so myself. How much do y'all out there with families spend a week on groceries? I aim at $150/week and today I hit the $140 mark. However, that is without the Fresh Market's organic milk. *sigh*

I did knit some today. I cast on and knit 4 rows of a 39 stitch fingerless mitt. I WILL get a digital camera if it kills me for Christmas and show all of you. Did you read that dear husband!!! ha ha ha

So, if I have any readers out there. Just a question, I am curious about a couple of things. 1) How much do you spend at the grocery store per week? Include # of people.
2) What are you knitting? Do you have a blog? CAn I come see?

Have a happy, calm day. Love, catie