Friday, January 09, 2004

pour it on Gran!

That is what you will hear everyone around here yelling to the person who is tending the stove. When my husband was a young man in his teens, whenever he had time away from school, he used to stay with a family and work on their farm. He once told me that the Grandmother used to stoke the coal stove early in the morning and late at night (when the boys were upstairs in bed). They used to yell out at her "Pour it on Gran!", whenever it was extremely cold. This was to encourage her to add MORE than the usual shovel or two of coal, and pour the bucket! So, that story stayed with us and usually surfaces when the tempatures drop. And drop they have! This morning it was 3 degrees on the "how low did it go" thermometer, and a reading of 7 degrees at the bus stop.

If I did not have to go to town after feed for the rabbits, I would have stayed close to the stove today. And if I stayed close to the stove, I would have missed the beautiful scenery along the river on the way to town. I counted seven bald eagles and 1 pheasant. The sky was a bright blue and all the waterfalls have frozen solid to the rocks along the cliffs. The river is starting to freeze over in the calm spots, and the ski areas are busy shooting show all over the slopes. Tonight we are expected to dip below zero...good thing I put the flannels on the beds!

Finally finished plying the dark shetland with the oatmeal color. This was a good exercise for me, because the contrast shows just how consistent the plying is. I used a method in Amos' book, combined with a method from Patty Z. I plied slower than usual, but it was worth it to take my time and do it right. The finished yarn reminds me of pine cones. It is a brown and oatmeal barber pole kind of twist, that when taken off the niddy noddy and turned into a skein resembles pine cones for some reason. I got 186 yards with a wpi of approx 12. I am happy with it and have decided that I will make more of the same.

As for those size 13 dpns ...I finished them. Price of dowels=35cents, time invested to sand them down and stain and wax=45 minutes. Knowing I saved myself almost $20.00=priceless! Lesson learned, if you need some wooden needles, make them yourself! When they were finished, I dug out the mitten pattern that started the whole project in the first place, and tried it out. It was definitely worth it. They were soooo much fun to make and went sooo fast. I found the pattern on Stasias Place of Grace. I will be making more of these, you can make a pair in hour or two! I used some Alpaca that I had spun last year around this time. I had spun it loose and lopi and had never used it for anything because it was rather heavy for anything large. IT was perfect for the mittens. They are very soft and cushy....and warm!

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