Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Clean Start

I managed to be home these last two days in a because I scheduled myself off, today because I awoke this morning to 12" of fresh snow.  Another snow day!  What to do? was one of those days when I had the urge to organize.  I never know when one of these is coming, and I am thinking that maybe year end is my excuse today.  First...the drawers in the little chest that sits next to my rocker.  Filled with old yarn labels, snippets of yarns, empty needle packages and literally stuffed with scads of circular needles...these were my first targets.  I dragged out the tape measure and needle gauge and set about putting all the circs back into their original packages, tossed the trash, put all the stitch markers back in the goody bag...and horror of all horrors, went searching for all the missing pieces of the two sets of Denise circulars.  (Note to self:  never, never, never buy another 16" size US 9 own 6 already.)

Finding this too satisfying to describe, I then headed upstairs to fiber world.  Picture a 48" square table with drum carder and baskets of dyed fibers and rovings for blending...and then picture the entire room with scraps of same all over it...not quite like confetti, but close.  Monte and I have compared notes about the other associated side effect of all this spinning stuff...finding sparkly dust bunnies all over the house (or hanging off my socks like little hitch hikers). 

Two hours later, I had put all freshly washed fleeces into bags, picked up all knitting mags and patterns that were strewn all around and organized them, and (ta da!) rinsed and blocked the Charlotte's Web shawl from last winter's group project with Joan and Linda.  It's made of several colors of Koigu handpainted yarns...a couple of solids and the rest variegated...and I must admit to being quite taken with it even though it was a nasty pattern to try to decipher. 

Last, but not least...I gave myself permission to stand at the ball winder and dismantled UFOs that I fearlessly admitted would never be anything but UFOs...sigh...and that felt good...I feel like I'm ready to face a new year of knitting.  How about you?  Do you have a year end knitting ritual?  --Martie

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Lucy in the Snow with Diamonds

Well, she doesn't really have diamonds, but the little snow crystals that clung to her wool were beautiful as I was taking her pictures this morning.Img_0128
She's rather on the petite side...I have the water heater turned up to scalding to wash fleeces and I think it may have caused her to felt smaller and faster than I had planned. She stands 9" high and is approximately the same in diameter.  A sweet size if you're not planning to drag all your projects with you.  I abandoned the plan for the knitted/felted flowers and vine...I decided they'd be too much for her small stature to carry.

The storm finally came, and we got close to a foot of snow here at home.  I haven't seen such a snowfall in years.  Today truly does feel like the first day of winter!

I'll close with a photo of my one and only holiday decoration here at home.  The Sunflowers and I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season...and happy knitting!  ---MartieImg_0129

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Waiting for the storm

There is a big snow storm's just not clear it's coming to Taos.  I bolted out of bed at 5:30 this morning, flew out the front door to see a winter wonderland...only to find the same patches of snow leftover from the last snowfall, a couple of weeks ago.  The national weather service is billing this as a significant winter storm...great for those of us who are able to stay near home, not great for our holiday visitors who may be traveling this way. 

Since I reported in last, 22 scarves were shipped from our shop to the St. Elizabeth's Homeless Shelter in Santa Fe.  Thanks to those of you who so generously donated to this annual event.  There may not be much snow, but it certainly is cold...and a warm scarf will be loved by the recipient.

It's been busy at the shop the last couple of weeks.   New yarns have come in, which causes a domino effect sometimes; the last few shipments received have caused us to move and rearrange several sections of the shop.  We put some more yarns on sale...see our website SALE page for more info on these.  We've also added a sign up block on the What's New page of our if you're not already, please take a minute to sign up for our e-mailing list.   

Today I hope to finish the latest version of the Lucy Bag.  This one is being knit of Brown Sheep Worsted weight in three colors.  I'm thinking about using one of the Noni patterns for knitted, felted, flowers to spruce it up a little.  I'll post a picture soon as I finish.  The Lucy bag is always fun.  While working on this one, I've been thinking this could be a great way to use up all the odds and ends of Brown Sheep yarns I have stashed...just random stripes, with no particular plan. My favorite projects always seem to be those using scraps.

A visitor from Boulder recently sent me these pictures, captured, no doubt, from somewhere on the internet.  I don't know who to credit them to, or in what context they were published, but thought it would be fun to share them with you.Motorcycle_cozy
If any of you knows something about these, please let me know.The picture of the knitted cover on the tank makes me think of the Snug Buggy


Project in Albquerque.  Please refer to our archives for more information on that project...wherein small squares are to be assembled


to make a cover for a Volkswagen and subsequently auctioned off to benefit a women's shelter in the Albuquerque area.


Our Sunflower Bennie is now back...she was gone for a few weeks, after suffering the unexpected loss of her father.    The pain of her loss affected all of us in a way I don't have words to explain.  It is not my story to tell, but to say it is great to have her back with us.  --Martie

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Success (no knitting content)

Img_0100 I got word today our humble little tree took a winning bid of $300!!  Woo hoo!  Again, these funds will go directly to New Mexico Canine Rescue and Safeguard, a NO-kill rehabilitation facility for homeless and abused dogs.  Anyone interested in making a donation to this deserving organization may do so as follows:

New Mexico Canine Rescue and Safeguard, P.O. Box 2739, Ranchos de Taos, NM  87557

They are a 501(C)3 corporation and your donations are tax deductible.  If you would, please mention we sent you.  Thanks. 

Please remember that even the smallest donation helps cover food and medical expenses for these poor dogs who, for whatever reason, have gotten a lousy deal in their lives so far...and with our help, will go on to good homes and have the lives they deserve. 

Just this last week I received this in a message from NMCR&S:

Lastly, some "un named" animal activist people brought me a little
emaciated Pit Bull early this week.  He had spent his life chained to
an atv with no shelter, starving right in full view of animal
control, right on a busy road.  He's *never* been fed.  His little
feet are flat and practically boneless from no nutrition when he was
growing up and he looks a little bit crazy right now.  He has scars
on his head and I don't even want to think about that right now after
my experience with Screech. 
(NOTE: Screech was a Pit Bull NMCR&S saved after his owner shot him in the head, after he had tired of abusing the poor dog.) So, the vigilante angels took over and
into New Mexico Canine he came.  He would have frozen to the ground
this week wondering why his humans didn't want him near them and by
the fire; no doubt about it.  It gives me so much joy in my life to
be able to offer refuge to creatures like that.  And, it's because of
people like you that I am able to carry on this work. 

I'm going to end this posting with a picture I took last week of our two dogs, Meika and Behr.  Behr was rescued from a breeding kennel at age 3 and came to us five years ago, short on love but with a heart as big as all outdoors.  Meika was a 7 mo. old "reject" from another breeding kennel (don't let her hear that...she thinks she's a princess).  I can't imagine our lives without these two! --Martie


Sunday, December 3, 2006

Holiday season

Img_0096_2 Needless to say, it has been too long between postings.  It's just that time of year.  I tried to post from home last week during the storm, but my satellite was coated with so much ice I couldn't download photos to make it interesting. 

By now, our storm of last week has become a national story.  What was pretty here turned into a monster as it moved eastward.  We got about 4" of snow here at home (we're at 7,900 ft. above Arroyo Seco).  I got to indulge one of my favorite winter past times...seeing who has been out running around in the snow while we were all sleeping.  I usually only find rabbit prints, but it never ceases to be fun for me.  On Thursday morning I found these tracks from someone who had fun racing down my otherwise pristine driveway.  And P.S.:  it was -15F that morning.

Friday night brought the Festival of Trees and Wreaths sponsored by our local newspaper.  It was quite an event!  I believe there were 40+ trees and wreaths for auction, all benefiting many of the well-deserving non-profit groups here in Taos.  Last I saw, our tree had a generous bid on it by one of our customers...but not sure if she was the final recipient or not.  While it was small and humble by comparison to the many decorated with fabulous, no doubt expensive, had a quality of love to it that was unmistakable.  I took a few pictures to share with you.Img_0087 It had clear glass globes, sort of pearlescent, with paw prints painted in gold.  The piece de resistance was the little bags, knitted of yarn with a slight sparkle, embroidered 1-24 for advent.  I baked dog cookies, shaped like little bones, and one was in each pocket.  Next to the tree was a note to Santa Paws, with a container of dog cookies for him and his reindogs.  Img_0091 I have to tell you something funny...between Sat a.m. when we decorated the tree and Friday evening's auction, someone had taken half the cookies for Santa Paws.  We had a good laugh, wondering how many actually made it home to someone's dog and how many were eaten by humans who didn't get it.  At least they were probably tasty, made with cheese and bacon drippings and lots of good grains and whole wheat flour.  I am sure they were full of good fiber.  :0)Img_0090_1

What about knitting?  Well, I'll be mailing a box of scarves for the homeless to Santa Fe on Dec. 12, so I'm knitting as many scarves as I can between now and then.  We've had a number of great scarves donated already and I'm so pleased at the support we always get from all of you.  Thank you so much.  Getting to know you and share with you is one of the greatest parts of being in this business.  ---Martie