Wednesday, December 27, 2006

With Christmas and Fall semester out of the way I guess I will write a little something. It seems that since the last time I wrote that life has been out of control and so hectic. With homework, getting through the holiday's and then finals there has been no time for anything else (well except for knitting of course!!!!). I hope that everyone has had a nice holiday season.

We went ice-fishing for the first time in a couple of years last weekend. It was nice.
Nice and cold! We got up there a little late in the day. Notice my handspun, handknit hat and neck warmer. Invaluable ice-fishing accessories!!!!

We did catch a fish though. As my husband says, "At least I didn't get skunked!"

I have discovered in my many years of knitting and wearing handknits that you just can't beat them. Yes, you can buy knit hats, sweaters, mittens, socks, etc. from the store made from wool, alpaca, silk, angora, etc. but they are NEVER as warm, comfortable, or nice as my handknits. I made a wonderful pair of glittens (mittens that have a top portion that can be folded back to reveal a fingerless glove underneath) several years ago from some handspun english angora yarn. These marvels are windproof and water resistant. A warmer item to wear on your hands does not exist! No wonder angora rabbits can withstand temperatures of 5 below zero as long as their ears are protected. You know, I think that more of these mountaineers that go exploring glaciers etc. in freezing temperatures should find themselves outfitted with angora long john underwear, angora mitten, angora hats, etc. NOT the whimpy store-bought stuff either!! I'm talking the ultra-fine, ultra-dense, ultra-warm handspun english or german angora items. I keep threatening to make a pair of socks, for myself of course, out of some of my bunny fiber and just give them a test drive like ice-fishing or some other winter sport that requires you to just sit for hours in the snow and ice with a light, crisp, winter breeze blowing across a completely unprotected surface (like a frozen lake). Like this one!

I think I will conduct my own research project on this subject and publish the results right here on my blog. What do you think? Sounds like a fun thing to do until I go back to class in January. I will let you know the results.

Until then Happy Knitting!!!!

The Twisted Hare!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Did you miss me? Too much homework and not enough free time. I haven't even had the time to really do any knitting either. I did get in my order of "Hemp for Knitting" yarn though. WOW! If you like cotton or linen you've got to try this. I love it so far. The colors are beautiful and the quality is the finest. I especially love the hemp/cashmere/cotton blend. It is great for socks!!!!, sweaters, etc.

I picked up a couple of knitting magazines the other day. (Naughty, naughty!) Unfortunately for my grades the knitting magazines are far more interesting than my text books. I have to purposely leave the magazines at home when I go to school so I can get some homework done. The new Interweave Press Knitting and their Crochet version are both very good this issue. I would recommend buying both!

Well, I gotta run! Chem. test tomorrow morning.

Happy knitting!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Things have calmed down a little. I finally had my break-down, cried for 4 or 5 hours to my husband (who, by the way, told me it was perfectly fine with him if I quit school so I had more time to knit). Isn't he just wonderful, I guess that was all I needed to hear because things are much better this week. Now if I could just get over this cold thing I've had forever. I've noticed that at least 90% of the student and faculty at the college are now suffering with the same symtoms at various stages. I'm sure it's not my fault, but it started somewhere and I think I've had it the longest (oops!).

It has snowed on the mountains here in Colorado, already! I couldn't believe it. We are about a month ahead of schedule. I know for a fact that the trees in the mountains haven't even started changing colors yet. They will now though!!! Usually we don't see snow around here until after Halloween, if we see any at all, and the weather channel is calling for snow tomorrow night! Wow, I guess I'll have to dig out all those great socks, sweaters, and hats early. Not to mention think about all the great projects I could be making if I wasn't drowning in homework.

You know, I have neglected to put any patterns on here as promised. I forgot all about it. I will try to put something together for next week. I promise! Until then.....

Hope you get some snow too!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

WOW! Time sure flies when you are too busy to notice. In the last two weeks my daughter had her wisdom teeth removed, and turned a teenager, my son had his first official eye doctors appointment, I got really sick again (all the smoke in the air from the fires is making it much worse), took two Chemistry tests, and five Geology tests. And that has just been in my "free time". I am so ready for another vacation! Two or three months would just about do it.

I teach knitting classes every other Monday. Well, this is not a good thing to do when you don't have any time to do any knitting afterwards. For two days now, all I can think about is knitting, how nice the yarn feels as it slips through my fingers, how nice the item feels as I turn it to work on the next row, etc. It is making me crazy. I also made the mistake of starting a lace sweater out of alpaca that looks like mohair. The pattern is great! The yarn is divine! AND I WOULD RATHER BE WORKING ON THAT THAN ANYTHING ELSE I HAVE GOING ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A word to the wise, do not go back to school to get your degree if you have several hobbies or at least one all consuming hobby. You will not have time to work on anything but school work and be miserable. I was telling my husband the other day what is wrong with school, as compared to having a job. You go to school all day, come home and do homework until you fall into bed (usually sometime after 11pm), then on the weekends do you get a break? no! Plan on doubling up on the homework load. So you spend your entire weekend doing homework as well, not to mention, the laundry, dishes, and other housework that has been stacking up all week because you were too busy doing your homework. When you have a job, you go to work, come home and have the rest of the evening to yourself to do with whatever you would like--housework, knitting, watch tv, knitting, go to the park with the kids and knit, go out to eat and sneak your knitting along, etc. Then when the weekend comes, it's even better. You have 48 plus hours to knit, avoid housework, knit, watch movies with the family and knit, etc, and knit!!! See what I mean? I really don't know what convinced me to go back to school. I thought it would be like when I was 18 I guess. You remember? You could scan a couple of pages in 5 minutes and remember everything you read for years afterwards, you could pass tests without studying, you spent more time running around with your friends than you did in class, but still got a B grade. That is NOT how it is when you go back as an older adult!! Don't fool yourself into thinking it either because it is simply not true.

Well, gotta go...homework is waiting, of course.
Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

That's it!! I am quiting school. Not only do I not have time to knit, I don't have time to remember the other things I enjoy doing either. I didn't remember to write yesterday until this morning when I realized that it was Wednesday. I thought that adding another 3-credit class to my schedule wouldn't make that big of a difference. Yeah, right!! I haven't even had time to watch a movie and knit once since school started. That's just not right. It's killing me. Here I sit at my desk, surrounded by tons (literally) of yarn and all I can do it look at it and wish I was caressing it gently as I turn it into some divine, luscious, wearable. BOO HOO!

Ok, now that that is off my chest. I really should get back to my homework since I have about 4-6 hours of it left to do.

Happy Knitting! I'm sure some of you are!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Well, as you can see I never figured out why my latest pictures didn't post. So I am trying again today to see if they will post. At some point I will figure out what is going on, I hope.

School started Monday, for all of us in my house. The daughter goes to middle school, the youngest - to elementary, and me - college. I am exhausted and it has only been two days. Science degrees are for the young I've about decided. I really love my classes, but at my age I need twice as long to learn a concept as the kids that are half of my age. Why can't we have all year to learn Calculus or Chemistry? Four months just is not enough time for me. And on top of classes, I decided to be a math tutor and teachers assistant. I feel a little frazzled after just getting all of the paperwork filled out. I am hoping that I will adjust to all the work quickly so that I will be able to schedule some very important knitting time. After all, I can't let myself get behind in knitting!!!!!! It's like the most important thing I do all day!

YEAH!!!!!!!My picture came up!!! It was such a gorgeous day! (sigh, sigh). It's not every year that this type of opportunity comes along--mushrooms, gorgeous day, plenty of time to hike in the mountains, and spend time with your family. I fully intend to go up there one more time before it snows to look for mushrooms. Just thinking about going back up there makes me feel all fluffy (a term I use because of my angora rabbit raising background. My angora rabbits were so beautiful and fluffy that to pet them or watch them play made me feel all warm and peaceful inside so "fluffy" became my way to describe that feeling).

I just received a new book (I am so naughty!!! another book? Like I don't have enough already) called Andean Folk Knits. I saw it, or something very similar, a few years ago but never picked it up. However, I finally broke down and bought it. It is very, very good. If you are even remotely interested in anthropology and knitting this is a must-have. Beautiful pictures, facinating lore, great projects. Very distracting! when you are supposed to be working on Christmas presents (that you have already found patterns for and ordered the yarn for). Speaking of yarn for Christmas projects, I also received the yarn for a sweater I am going to make. It is by KnitPicks. I must admit, their "Suri Dream" alpaca blend yarn is a DREAM. I love it. I hate mohair!!!YUCK, YUCK! but I love the fluffy, furry, look that mohair yarns give a project. So..."Suri Dream" is like THE answer to a knitters prayer for something dreamy soft (not scratchy and itchy like mohair), fluffy, and furry. (Besides angora yarn, anyway.)

Oh, look another picture came up!!Yeah! So, the first picture is of my kids and some of the great mushrooms we found and the second is of a perfect bolete! (sigh, sigh). I love mushrooms!

OK, well I have to get back to my 6 hours of homework that needs to be done by morning.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Well, I don't know why my pictures didn't post, but there appears to be some kind of problem. Stay tuned and I'll see if I can get it figured out.

In the mean time Happy Knitting!! and mushroom hunting!

I had a great weekend!!!! Saturday we went to the mountains for the day. As you can see from the pictures, we found some great mushrooms. We found a lot of mushrooms! We found some we call beefsteak or King boletus, Hawks Wings or Scaley Urchins, and Chanterelles. My son had so much fun. He is a die-hard mushroom hunter. When I said it was time to go and that we didn't need to pick every mushroom in the forest he was very disappointed (we had been hiking for about 4 or 5 hours and I was starting to get a little winded at 9,500 feet elevation). He is getting pretty good at spotting them as we drive down the road too. My daughter didn't find it near as interesting and so she stayed at the lake and fished with her dad.

Just the hike through the forest was worth it even if we hadn't found any mushrooms. It was so beautiful. We also found tons of wild raspberries. It has been several years since we have planned it just right so that we beat the bears, deer, and birds to the berries (I promise! I don't take them all, only two cups or just enough for some jam). If you have never had wild raspberries (and I mean the kind you pick in the mountains yourself, not the things the store calls "wild raspberries") you really should make that a thing to do at some point in your life. It is better than a trip to the Carribean. Trust me!

I am currently making Christmas presents. I am so proud of myself for not waiting until December this year. I might actually finish several gifts in time this year. I have my husbands sweater all knit up, and now all I have to do is sew it (yuck! Sewing is not my favorite part!) I have all of the yarn for the projects, all of the patterns picked out, and high hopes of accomplishing every one of them. I will try to post some pictures as I finish them.

I am also knitting several raglan style t-shirts for myself. So far they are very cute! I can't wait to wear them. My favorite is made from a copper colored silk-wool blend yarn. I love it! Again, I'll post some pictures as I find someone who will take a picture of me in it, as the t-shirts look so much better on.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This is what every one thinks of when you say Colorado. I took this the other day (yes, my date is wrong on the picture and so is the time, someday I am going to fix it) when we went up into the mountains to look for mushrooms and fish. It was still too dry for mushrooms (don't know how the fishing went, you'd have to ask hubby about that). I thought for sure it would be wet enough after all the thunder storms we've had the last couple of weeks. I did find raspberries!!! When we got back home that evening the news said that a bear had attacked someone in their tent, right up where we were, earlier that day. He must have been looking for the raspberries I found. He definately would have enjoyed them.

I had a great conversation today in Border's Bookstore with a lady about knitting. She was going to be taking vacation in Europe and wanted some small knitting projects to take along. Of course, I recommended socks. Is there a better small, portable, knitting project out there? I don't think so! I have knit a lot of socks while on vacation and I have found them to be the perfect tavel project. Anyway, I was able to recommend a very good book by Nancy Bush (of course, she is the only other person I know who has knit as many pairs of socks as I have, and her patterns are always well done.). The lady said that she had never made a pair of socks (how can you be a knitter and never made a pair of socks?). I reasured her that if she could make a sweater that she could make socks. I then directed her to several excellent sock yarn sources; local and internet. I am sure Border's was delighted that I was there selling their books for them and not asking for an hourly wage.

It is always so much fun to find someone to talk knitting with. It is one of my most favorite subjects. So, let's talk knitting!!!!! By the way, Joni, I don't have an e-mail address for you so if you read this again put your e-mail address in the comment section and I will get back to you.

I am currently working on some patterns to post on here so stay tuned.
Happy Knitting!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

I missed writing yesterday. I have been sick for four days with a cold. Who knew you could get a cold when it is 105 degrees outside? The weather has been a little better the last two days because of clouds and some rain, but I think it has every intention of warming back up just as quickly as it cooled off.

I finished the socks I have been working on for the last couple of months. It always takes a while for me to finish a pair of socks because I have to make five or six other project at the same time or I get very bored. I love that self-patterning sock yarn though! That was a great idea who ever thought that up. I have made probably 50 pairs of socks over the past couple of years since that yarn came out. No, not all for me or even my family, though my husband wishes they were all for him. He swears by his hand knit socks and refuses to wear any other kind.

We have begun the count-down to the first day of school. 17 days including today. Where did the summer go? We started the painful process of school supplies and clothes shopping today. At least my kids agree that shopping early in the morning is a good idea. That way there are a lot less people out. It is still a painful process. I feel like I've been inside a tornado, spinning around and around for hours, when we get done. Especially right now with this stupid cold I've got.

I hope to do some serious knitting soon. My daughter's birthday is coming up and she has picked out several dozen things that she would like for me to make for her. I think the socks I just finished will be a good start since she has been begging for them since I started them.

Well, Happy Knitting!! Until next week.....

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Here it is!!! This is the lace project I have been talking about. As you can see I don't have much done. I need to create 20 of those little "mountains" and there are only six done. Then, when I have 20 little "mountains" and I have joined them into a ring I have to pick up some eight hundred thousand stitches around the straight edge so that I can begin the rest of the project. Piece of cake! I should have it done sometime in the next 10 years or so.

What is sad is that each pattern repeat does not take that long; half an hour or so. But at the rate I am working it.................If I could just keep the house quiet and not have any interuptions (like the phone ringing, or the dog wanting attention, or the kids moaning about how bored they are, etc., etc., etc.) it probably wouldn't take much time to make some real progress.

This is a close-up of the pattern in two of the "mountains". The yarn is a soft, powdery, baby blue alpaca laceweight. I love it! It will definately be a keeper when I finish it.

I also wanted to post a picture of the baby bolero that I made for my friends new baby boy. The picture really doesn't do it justice because you can't feel how soft that pima cotton yarn is. If you have not tried Knitpicks line of yarn called Crayon (100% pima cotton) I highly recommend you purchase some soon and try it out!!!!!! I have to think up something to make for myself out of this stuff soon. It would make a great little nightgown or something that would be worn next to the skin!
Anyway, I hope all of you are enjoying your summer. If it does't cool down here pretty soon I am selling my house and moving to Alaska. It has been over 100 degrees for two or three weeks straight. Last night at 10:45 it was still 90 degrees outside (normally it has cooled off to 75 by that time) and when I got up this morning it had only cooled off to 82 degrees (if you call that cool). I am ready for autumn!!! It can come anytime now.

Hope it's cooler where you are!!!
Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

It is way too hot outside, here in the deserts of Colorado! Yes, there is a desert section of Colorado. We have the plains on the east and the desert on the west and the Rocky Mountains through the middle. Which provides all sorts of geologic and biologic variety. I love it here! Washington was a great state to live in because you could spend everyday, all day, day in and day out, knitting. There's not a lot of outdoor activities one can do when it is pouring rain so you find things to do indoors. That's my only regret for moving to Colorado. Sometimes there is too much to do outdoors and it gets in the way of more important pursuits, like knitting of course.

I can't believe I FINALLY figured out how to add links to this blog site!!! It's a party! Saddly enough I worked almost two hours yesterday on this site trying to figure out how to do it. I finally decided this morning to just try a different template, and viola! that's all it took. I am so happy I think I'll knit something special to celebrate the moment.

That beautiful lace project sure looks sad and lonely. I really should work on it again someday. I know I have promised to put a picture of it on here and still have not. I think I am embarassed at how little I have done since I told the world I was starting it. I will try to get it on here next week. I have a new good excuse for not working on it though, a friend of mine had a baby and I just had to make him the adorable "baby bolero" from the new book "Oneskein" by Leigh Radford. I used some absolutely divine pima cotton I got from Knit Picks and it turned out so nice. It's a great pattern if you need a quick baby gift. Very easy, very little sewing, great results! If you haven't taken a look at this book yet, I recommend it. I had to laugh though, yes all of the projects are made with one skein of yarn. However, some of those "one" skeins have 1250 yds of yarn on them (Lorna's Laces).

Well, until next time,
HAPPY KNITTING! and I hope it's nice and cool where you are!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Last weeks post was a little short because we had family coming in to visit from Washington (state). I didn't get to knit one time all week until Saturday Morning. It was bliss to sit in my living room, in the peace and quiet, before everyone was awake and knit for about two hours straight. When I don't get to knit for a day or two I start getting withdrawals. I feel like I've forgotten something or something is missing. The feeling is similar to when you are at the store and realize that you left your list at home. You buy what you are sure was on the list, but at the register you have that nagging feeling that you've missed something important. Anyway, I spent quite a bit of quality time with my knitting over the weekend (no, I did not work on the blue lace project). I had cleaned the house so well in anticipation of having guests that I didn't have to do any housework for four days. I have been known to neglect housework in favor of knitting before, however this time it was ok because the house was already clean.

Summer is speeding right along and before we know it school will be back in and the weather will start cooling off. I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cool weather means warm fluffy clothing!!! My personal favorite. Not to mention, with the kids in school I have more time to knit because I don't need to entertain them. Public school does have it's advantages over home schooling (though they are few).

Happy knitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

We spent the better part of four days fishing and exploring the back country of Colorado and Utah because my husband had a four day weekend because the 4th of July fell on Tuesday. Of course, while he fishes I knit. I love when he says, "Boy, it's a perfect day to go fishing." Because what I hear is, "Boy, it's a perfect day to sit in the warm mountain sunlight and knit, watch you switch out bait and lures, and observe the flora and fauna of summer." It's almost the season to start looking for mushrooms and wild raspberries, which means that knitting will take a back seat, when we go to the mountains, until I have enough of both to last until next year. My children are finally old enough to either be excited that we are going fishing and mushroom hunting or complain and pout because they, or rather "she", would rather go shopping and stay with a friend. Yes, I am about to be the proud mother of a teenage daughter.

Not much else to write about, I haven't done much else. You know what it's like when everyone is home. Mom becomes the all around entertainer.

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

This is a picture of a capelet I crocheted recently. I had spun some absolutely gorgeous yarn, a blend of angora/silk/cashmere/and merino wool, then hand dyed some of the yarn for the motifs. The fiber was sooooooooo nice to spin!!!!!!! I am sure there are softer fibers out there but I can't think of any right off the top of my head. If anyone would like the pattern I could post it on here. It's pretty basic except for the flower motifs.

I finished reading "Yarn Harlot...the secret life of a knitter". It was fantastic!!! Two thumbs way up for this. If you like to read about knitting and great knitting stories, this is the book to pick up. I will read it again.

I recently received some hemp yarns and twine that I had ordered. WOW! The hemp twine is really cool to work with. If you haven't ever worked with hemp, try it! I crocheted some sandals with the twine that are awesome. I will try to have a picture of them the next time I write. I plan to sell the hemp yarn, twine, and things made from it on ebay and on my web site (if I can ever get the dang thing figured out). I will post pictures here as I complete the projects.

Well, I am still working on the lace project. I haven't done much the last week, ok, so I haven't even picked it up in the past week. At this rate I don't think I will ever finish it. It is beautiful!!! but who cares if you never get past the edging? I did show it to a friend of mine who had taken a lace knitting class a couple of weeks ago. She believes that lace knitting just isn't in her future after taking the class. However, she agreed that what I had knit, so far, was beautiful. Lace knitting is not for whimping, quick gratification, knitters that's for sure!

My kids are whining about needing breakfast so I better cut this short.

Happy knitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I have had several people ask about the name "The Twisted Hare" so I thought perhaps an explanation was in order. For as many years as I can remember I have had an incurable habit of twisting my hair. Whether it has been long or short, the hair right at the base of my neck, preferably on the left side, has suffered hours of twisting. Of course, learning to spin yarn was a snap! After all, I had been "spinning" my hair for YEARS! The Hare part is because I love rabbits. I raised angoras for eight years and miss having them. Some day I intend to have one or two again. I put a picture on the last post of Blueberry. He is from one of my does first litters. The person that purchased him sent me this picture of him at the ARBA where he won "Best of Breed" in the French Angora division. I think he deserved it!!! He is beautiful.

So, now you know.

I decided to try lace knitting the other day. It is going well so far. However, I probably will still be working on the project 10 years from now. It certainly isn't a technique for those looking for instant gratification. I intend to post a picture of it as soon as there is something worth seeing. Right now it just looks like a bunch of knotted yarn. It is out of some of the most divine yarn (100% alpaca).

I am still working on the web site. I will have my hemp yarn in sometime this week so stay tuned. Hopefully, the site will be up and running by next week.

Happy knitting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

June 13, 2006

So, I think I am finally figuring this blog/web site mess out (I think). I have come to the conclusion that my generation was robbed! Where were personal computers and cell phones when I was growing up! I can just imagine the fun I would have had as a teenager with the technical toys that kids have today. Yes, I realize that it has taken me two weeks to finally post another message, but it's not like I was taught computer stuff last year in High School (not to mention the demanding job of entertaining two children during the longest first few weeks of summer vacation). Finally, camp has started for us here in Colorado, and the children have something to do again. I'M FREE! I'M FREE! Actually, it's very quiet, almost spooky.

I went shopping yesterday and (though I have been very good about not buying any patterns or books over the last few months) bought the sixth book, in only two weeks, on knitting. I don't know what happened. I guess they just hadn't come out with anything exciting for a while, or maybe it was because I have been purposely avoiding places that sell knitting books. Anyway, so now I am trying desperately to hide my sins by racing to the mail box each day so that my husband doesn't discover what I have done with his hard earned money. And, as they show up, I have to find a spot on my "already over-weighted, stuffed" bookshelf to hide the book so that it just blends in with the rest. I am so naughty!!! Wait until my yarn order gets here! It's a good thing my storage shed is really cluttered right now, he'll never notice the two extra boxes of yarn. Ok, so back to this book I bought yesterday. It is "Yarn Harlot-the secret life of a kniitter". If you haven't heard of Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee and read her blog or books yet, rush out right now and buy one!!! This is my first book by her and I am still giggling over just the introduction to the book. I can't seem to put it down either. I swear, she truly knows the inner mind of a knitter and yarn addict. She is the Erma Bombeck and Patrick McManus of knitting and yarn experiences. If you want a small taste of what the book is like I recommend visiting her blog site to sample some of her writting talents.

Another book that I purchased, that showed up yesterday while my husband was at work (thankfully), is the "Vogue Knitting Ponchos On the Go!". If you are in to knitting ponchos, and I don't know a knitter that isn't right now, this is a great collection of patterns. The patterns are anywhere from simple to challenging, and all are beautiful. I love it when a book is FULL of patterns that make me want to sit down and knit every item featured at least once. So, if you haven't added this book to your library yet, I recommend picking one up soon.

Well, only a few more books to find hiding spots for as they show up and I will be in the safe zone once again. As I explore the books I will post my reviews here. So stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This site will feature knitting and crochet tips, free knitting and crochet patterns, pictures of current projects, trips, exciting new yarns and fibers, knit and crochet fashion news, a yarn critique so you know what is good and what to stay away from, etc. This site will also be linked with my web site and new store front on the internet So if you like what you see, or read, stop in for a visit. Or write to me here.