Summertime!

Summertime has FINALLY arrived here in Central Oregon.  And we have been BUSY!  Late nights, weekend getaways, hiking with friends in from out of town, oh my!

So this past weekend, we went to the black sheep gathering in Eugene and I took my first spinning class with my brand spanking new matchless wheel.  I can’t say I was impressed with the class at all, even though the instructor is supposed to be an amazing spinner.  She didn’t really “teach” and I felt like it was really just an expensive version of a local spinning circle.

Soooo, after 6 hours of trying to spin, I didn’t really feel like I was getting anywhere, didn’t know anything new aboout how to go about spinning different thicknesses of yarn, or how to set up my wheel to do that, or how to stop over-twisting! ARGH!  But almost magically upon returning home it seemed to catch and I am now dreaming about spinning!

The sheep were adorable, and I’m thinking a couple of shetlands might fit in the backyard….. But first! ~Chris is hard at work on the rabbit hutches and I have an angora bunny living in my laundry room.

I think I really missed the best parts of the BSG because I had all the kids with me, so I’m thinking maybe a retreat next time.  I hear there is one over in the San Juan Islands, so that may be just the ticket!  I LOVE it over there and I’m just a tad sad we won’t be vacationing there this summer.  But instead, we’re spending 2 weeks in Montana in August, followed by a week-long midwifery retreat  in September for me and we’re trying to squeeze in a week  in Newport as well.  And I REALLLLY want to go to Orlando to see the harry potter extravaganza at universal.  But I’m just not sure the money is going to stretch THAT far!   Especially because I have a goal of paying for a month long internship in the Philippines next summer.  Priorities, priorities.

In knitting news, I have my first pair of socks OTN!  And man, it is slow going,  even on a size 2 needle!  I’m knitting them 1 at a time on a 9in circ.  And I bought 3 skeins of sock yarn at BSG.  I’d like to make a cowl too.  One that is kind of lacy & pulls up over the top of your head.  I’ll have to hunt down a pattern.  Something easy. 🙂  Patterns are hard for me.  I need brainless knitting with 5 loud kids in the house, one that is only 4 months old and usually being held while I knit!

May Flowers Swap Package

I received a great package from Jennifer yesterday.  Funny enough she sent me more Jil Eaton minnow merino, which is the same yarn I received in the last swap!  It’s a washable single, and this time in a lovely turquoise color.  I already have plans for it~ kid mittens!

Also in the package~

an awesome vanilla mint lip balm, which I’ve already tried out & love.  Can’t get enough lip balm around here! A vanilla scented candle, some coffee which I’ll soon be trying out in the moka pot.  It’s from world market, and I’ve been wondering about their coffee, so I’m so happy she sent it for me to try!  What else….pretty ribbons, G&B chocolate, seeds for a flower garden, the prettiest little journal, a postcard & magnet from TN. A neato flower pen & a pretty little flowered bag which didn’t make the photo, it’s already out in the truck with stuff in it!

I have to say, my favorite thing about this package was the awesome box it came in!  Can you see the flowered paper?  So pretty!

Spinning

Chris is buying me a spinning wheel for mothers day.  We pretty much have decided on the Schacht Matchless and when I went to the fiber shop yesterday to take it for a spin, she sent me home with a loaner!I’m going to have to go back to the shop for more roving to spin!  And she’s got some lovely bare BFL roving I’d like to try my hand at dyeing.  But for now, here is my first little bit of handspun~

Elm

Wrap Skirt

I’ve broken out the sewing machine again.  The baby is allowing me a bit of crafting time so I bought this lovely fabric, and found a few others too.  I’ve got another wrap skirt in the works that is reversible, and a 3/4 skirt with a loud flower pattern that I just adore, and lined in red polka dots.  Super cute!

Lovely Swap Package from Mercy!

LYS Package

Many thanks to Lauren for the lovely package I received today!  She knit an adorable little hat for Elm.

Elm says “Thank you, Lauren!”

And the rest of the package she sent:

The yarn is so soft!!  It’s a baby alpaca/ bamboo blend in a shade of pink that will make perfect legwarmers for my daughter.  Hiya 9in circs were included too, so I can start right away.  She also spoiled me with with some vanilla handcream, a pretty little note card, a sheep pin which is already clipped to my diaper bag, some wool wash, and a bar of chocolate.  Oh!  And the owl card is SO cute, I love papyrus cards. 🙂  Thanks so much for the great package! (Yours should be out Thursday or Friday.)

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

So my eldest is a total sucker for food that ships to your house.  For his birthday  last year instead of a cake he wanted an edible arrangement.  Of  course those things are overpriced and the quality is questionable, so Chris and I bought a mess of fruit and bamboo skewers and cookie cutters and made our own.  So for valentines, Alder saw an advertisement for chocolate covered strawberries “sent right to your door!”  Here was our version:

They came out so pretty and tasty too!  We did a combo of white choc & semi sweet with toasted coconut, & toasted walnuts.  My favorite was the white chocolate with coconut.

Valentine Colors

A felted bowl set for my buddy Baraka.  Stacked up like this it looks like a birthday cake!

And a coffee cozy for the reusable cup I received for Christmas.  Chris teases me about it.  I think he’s secretly jealous!  And boy it really works!  My coffee  definitely stays hot longer.

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