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Sunday, July 31, 2005

great weekend, great fun, great fiber!

Secret Pal!!!
How did you know? How did you know that I have been looking at Wally (my spinning wheel) and craving spinning again? I even finished spinning some fiber that had been on my wheel for quite a while!

So when your most recent package came in the mail, I was ECSTATIC! What gorgeous GORGEOUS fiber! And the colors are so wonderful! Thank you!!

Also, it was a perfect way to get me excited for the fiber fair this past weekend!

Lambtown, Dixon USA

This weekend ervy and I headed out to Dixon to go to the lambtown festival. Of course, I mainly went to see all the wonderful sheep breeds and purchase some wonderful wool! But they also had sheep dog trials, mutton bustin', classes, shearing competitions, and of course lamb to eat!

We got to the fair early, around 9am ish. I of course dashed over to the fiber fair part. There were bags and bags and bags of fleeces waiting to be judged on their quality.

I had fun looking in some of the bags to drool over some beautiful raw fleece.

Of course, I have to admit, I really REALLY enjoyed seeing the fleece on the animals.

So cute!!

the little black one is named Cinco de Mayo. I bought hand carders (and was taught how to use them) by his owner. She was selling him (although reluctantly) because she has over 50 sheep and she told me it is costing her $11/day to feed them all!

evan and sheep

some really awesome Jacob's Sheep. They're so pretty!

more sheepyness!

there was even a PURPLE sheep! (LOL, ok, they actually dyed the ewe's fleece with a mixture of food coloring and citric acid after washing her). Then they sheared her so they could spin colored wool right there at the fair for the sheep 2 shawl competition. Here she is being sheared (I was amazed at how calm she was during shearing):

There were other animals there too! Like goats:

and funny sheared alpaca

some angora bunnies with large blocks of ice to fight the impending heat!

Mutton Bustin' was horribly amusing. I had no idea what it was before Saturday. I tried to take a picture, but I had a really bad seat so my camera wasn't able to get a good one. Basically, they stuck little kids (as young as 4 years old) on a sheep to see how long they could hold on as it ran into a pen bucking. The sheep didn't seem to like it to much (duh!), and neither did some of the kids who started crying as soon as they were stuck on the dusty animal.

Sheep herding was interesting too, although I kept hoping someone would enter a pig (like in Babe). The dogs and their owners showed how they could round up four sheep, separate two out from the group and move them around a ring and into an enclosure. I felt bad for the sheepies, but I was impressed how well the doggies seemed to be able to control their movements.

Not everyone sold lamb to eat at the fair, we saw this stand there as well:

I did end up buying a beautiful fleece from a Merino X sheep named "Alice" from Merry Meadows Farm. Alice's fleece is beautiful. The owners keep their sheep covered so the fleece stays very clean. I didn't see any vm, and it smelled fairly nice an clean. It has amazing crimp, and it was only $8 a lb ($28.80 for the whole fleece). It is so wonderfully soft, I'm quite excited to play with it! I'm glad I found them, because now that I know how wonderful their fleece is, I can order from them in the future!

The rest of our time was spent in Vacaville at the outlets which was also way too much fun!

Sunday we went to visit my family to celebrate my birthday. This is the first time I won't see my family on my real birthday, so my parents made a HUGE meal in their new kitchen. My mom even made me a gorgeous fruit tart from scratch!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


it's a really crappy picture (and it's with my 4 mega pixel camera, so I have no excuse but poor lighting), but LOOK! I've finished my cleaves! It's late and I looked horrible too, so I cropped my head out :)

It took 4+ balls of wool-ease chunky (color pumpkin) on US size 10.5 dpns

It's quite a heavy bulky fabric, obviously too warm for right now, but maybe if I go into the city at night or for the winter/fall :)

Friday, July 22, 2005

so darn busy

man, why does work have to be so busy it keeps me from BLOGGING! pooh.

on the plus side, it looks like I will be a coauthor on two papers for which I've been doing a lot of recent work on (WHOOPEE!). There's been a lot of talk about recommendations, and grad school applications with my boss which has been good (and quite encouraging), but has stressed me out extensively!

I've been so busy this week and evenings, that I haven't been able to knit either. So my cleaves is still ALMOST done. I have about 4 more inches to knit of the cowl part.

This past Monday was ervy and my 3 year anniversary (of dating). We celebrated by getting evan ourselves a smoker to make very tasty meats. Ervy has been wanting one for quite a while now, so I decided it would be more fun to put the money we would have spent on a really nice dinner out toward buying the new toy. So while I finished reading Harry Potter last Sunday, ervy spent the day smoking 3 racks of ribs and a huge pork butt. This is the smoked pork butt. We then had the task of sitting and pulling it into pulled pork strips.

After the pulling, ervy mixed it up with some bbq saucey flavoring he worked up, and we had DELICIOUS BBQ pulled pork sandwiches for a wonderful anniversary dinner!

On a more alcoholic note, ervy's new Esquire came, and both he and I were quite interested in what the magazine described as the original type of daiquiri. It takes some nice white rum (they recommend 10 Cane White rum as the best), half a lime and a little sugar shaken up with ice and you have a wonderful drink that completely shadows the overly sugary blended drinks that bear its name at restaurants and bars. Yum! Believe me, they're wonderful for taking the edge off when you get home from work. Mmmm...

My brother and family have been invited to the Dr. Phil show. My uncle Terril wrote an article on how teenagers use technology and it was featured on the front page of the LA Times. So the producers of the Dr. Phil show saw it, and now would like to do a show on it. None of my family has really watched the show. So my family is going to watch a few shows, and find out more from the producers about what the angle of the story is before they make any decisions.

I think it would be funny to see my brother on Dr. Phil.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Hufflepuff House

Hufflepuff House: "One of the four houses of Hogworts Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The founder was Helga Hufflepuff, colors are yellow and black, the house animal is the badger and the house ghost is the Fat Friar."

Even though yesterday's talk of the nation segment annoyed me (the one that had listeners call in and be 'sorted' into a harry potter house... THAT's not NEWS!! I don't expect fluff from NPR!), I'm still so so excited about the new book coming out!

I may make this wonderful harry potter bookscarf, but since I've decided I would be in hufflepuff, I would make mine yellow and black :)

Did people hear Jon Stewart pronounce Muggles incorrectly? He pronounced it more like "Mugg - lies." like "snuggly." You should have seen being being a dork yelling at the screen, "No, No! It's "MUGGLES!!" along with a few of his audience members. eh, I still LOVE the Daily Show!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Nikko likes the ceiling...ALOT

It's become quite apparent that we need to get Nikko a very tall cat tree. One where he can almost be at the ceiling. I'm sure asha might enjoy it as well, but Nikko NEEDS it. He's always jumping on counters and high areas no matter what we do to try to deter him. He wanders around the house doing sad meowing and long sighs staring at high places he cannot reach. If we pick him up and bring him up high toward the ceiling or whatever he's staring at, he gets much much happier. But then my arms start to hurt after a while, and I have to put him down, and he gets sad again.

Secret Pal yayness!!!!!!!
I cannot at all explain how very very excited I was to open the new package from my Secret Pal this week!
Right on top when I opened the box were these two wonderfully soft skeins of Knit Picks Shimmer yarn in a beautiful fall colorscheme!

I immediately ran to my old IK from last fall, and checked... Indeed! These will be PERFECT for the flower basket shawl I've been wanting to do! I wanted to cast on right then... but I'm still working through Cleaves (it's been going slower since it got warmer here. Keeping heavy sweater arms on your lap while you're warm isn't fun, although I'm almost done with the 2nd arm, and will be moving on to the cowl soon). but when I finish Cleaves, I'm casting on for my FBS!!!

And look at this cool little device:

It's a pretty beaded ROW counter. I had no idea they made these! I think it's such a wonderful idea. It's used like an abacus, and a plain pink bead stands for one row, and a striped bead stands for 5 rows. NEATO!

also look at this way too cute stationary:

lol! sheep butt! such a cute set of cards! I only wish I'd thought of such a cute card idea!!

Let me say my dear SP5 you made my evening. I had fun jumping around showing ervy the wonderful things you sent!! Thank you so much!

Friday, July 08, 2005

MIT Weblog Survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

ooh i love me some new patterns!

My new Interweave Knits was waiting for me in the mail when I came back from Missouri. Just yesterday, I got a chance to flip through its pages, and besides noticing that the IK model was used in many of the yarn advertisements this issue, I also noticed how much I actually liked many of these patterns (big difference from the last issue of IK). When I get home I'll explain which ones I liked, for now, I will speak about a few of the patterns I like in the new issue.

the first man sweater, hardcore, is ok. I'm not a fan of that style, but I think it's alright for some people. I do like that it has a hood. The graphic is kind of cute though.

the rest of the sweaters afterward through drunken argyle, either don't excite me, or just make me go "ick."

I DO love Cargo. The little pants are adorable, and the model is a cutie as well!

Tychus is interesting as a hat....I may make one of these and see how I like it.

Cigar amuses me, but as ervy doesn't smoke, I probably won't be knitting these.

Satchel looks like it could be fun (in the larger style), but honestly, I think I might just prefer to sew something like that

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Yay secret pal!!

When I got home from Missouri, and our held mail was finally delivered, I found a wonderful surprise from my Secret Pal! My SP had Paradise Fibers send me some wonderful sheepy notecards and envelopes! How cute! I definitely love all things sheepy currently :) Plus, these will come in handy when sending out RAOKs and other things to knitterly friends. THANK YOU SP!!

trip story
There was only once this trip that I noticed anyone staring at me (I had expected more stares, given that Cape Girardeau doesn't exactly have a large population of Asian individuals, and evvy had said he wasn't even sure his cousins had ever seen an Asian individual beyond a Chinese restaurant).

Anyway, I was down at breakfast at the Drury Inn/Lodge thing, and this small child (maybe 5 or 6 years old) stood next to my table staring at me.

I looked up, and he was staring at me. I looked away and continued talking to Mrs. M.

I glanced back, and the child was still staring at me. So I smiled at him, and looked away continuing my conversation.

I look back, and he's still staring at me. So I wave, and look away again.

I look back, he's still staring at me. So, being silly me, I stuck my tongue out at him (I'm just a child at heart, I didn't mean it offensively). OMG. He started screaming at the top of his lungs, "STOP THAT! STOP IT!!!" Then he ran to his parents to tell them about the mean lady who stuck her tongue out at him. I apologized. And as he left with his family, he stuck his tongue out at me (which I found entirely amusing). Mrs. M said, "Oh what a little imp!" and stuck her tongue out back at him as well (which was also entirely too amusing).

That's my story, now ya know. Just an amusing thing for me to refer back to and reread and laugh about :)

reader responses
THANK YOU Nathania, for helping translate those swedish board things I bought at the flea market!!

And to answer Hollis' question, unfortunately there was no knitting in Cape Girardeau. I did bring knitting, but most of my time was spent at Grandma's house, and as she and the cousins seem to be chain smokers, I didn't want anything I brought back to get as smokey as I did during my stay.

my condolences

37 killed as Blast rock London top to bottom- The Times of India


after listening to kqed online for 4 hrs, getting majorly depressed, sniffly, and very prone to sighing loudly, I've switched to listening to the new Coldplay cd my brother loaded into my iTunes.

Still, my thoughts and prayers go out to those in London affected by this tragedy.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

My Missouri weekend

I'm back (about 15 bug bites later) from my visit to Missouri to visit with ervy's cousins, grandma, and uncle. We flew into St. Louis around midnight on Thursday and then drove 2 hours to Cape Girardeau.

evvie and me in front of one of the murals in cape by the mississippi

We had reservations at the Drury hotel (according to evvie's grandma, "those Drury boys did well. They tiled our bathroom too"), located right across from the Walmart supercenter. We crashed there until morning and then drove over to Grandma's house (evvie's grandma, but i'll refer to her as just grandma from here on). I met Grandma, Uncle Barry, his girlfriend Marty, Cousin Russell, Russell's girlfriend Christy, Cousin Lucas, pitbull puppy Jada, and large black lab puppy Cole.

Amusing things of note from this family trip:
1) Grandma's favorite and only swear word she'll say is "shit poop"
2) Uncle Barry has major beef with Sears over a rebates
3) Uncle Barry will always get angered over people shopping anywhere except Walmart and Sam's Club. (like when we wanted to go to Petco to get the puppies some toys that would last longer than 30 minutes, we got an earful of 'WHY ARE YA GOING THERE?' questions, statements)
4) Basements can be frightening
5) people seem to like to turn the tv on when they get up in the morning, and leave it on all day, even if they leave the house. I find this to be very odd as well as a waste of electricity.
6) people in cape girardeau don't donate much other than clothes to goodwill. My trip there to see what people give up left me empty handed.
7) the other side of the mississippi river, Illinois, has an old speakeasy (the Purple Crackle) but besides that, seems to just be miles and miles of farmland
8) there really aren't any coffee shops. There was a Starbucks in the Barnes and Noble, but the grocery store clerks looked at me pretty blankly when I asked about local coffee spots
9) there's so much porch sittin'
10) there are a bijillion religious/political billboards around Missouri

I went shootin' in Missouri. We went out to Uncle Barry's house in the country (near Jackson, MO) off some dirt road. Unlce Barry lives in a double wide (pre fab house) to which he has added a large family room and an above ground pool. I immediately noticed mosquitoes landing on me, although Uncle Barry loudly disputed that I had indeed seen a mosquito. I sprayed myself with OFF! as Uncle Barry and Marty told me what I really had to worry about was all the ticks they have right now. Eeeks!

I'm not a big fan of guns. I actually find them quite scary, which is why I wanted to shoot at least once. I used one of the lighter weight guns and shot off 9 bullets (there was a dud in the clip).

I didn't do too shabby. I hit the target each time, just not always on the black part. Looky! I got through the heart once! This is the only target I ever plan on shootin', just wanted to do it once.

Here's evvy loading a gun and cousin Luke in his shooting attire.