Sarah Jane Humke

The life of a traveling, reading, writing, spining and knitting shepherdess.

Lush October 15, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 6:16 pm
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So today I made this totally lush yarn.

By accident.


I guess that accident isn’t totally correct.  This yarn was made with the remainder of the leftover fibers that I had from Janel Laidman’s spinning class at Knit Nation.  There is (I think) some alpaca and silk, Merino and silk, BLF and silk, and BFL or Merino and Tencel in this yarn.  I had 3 bobbins with these leftovers, one with the alpaca, one with the Tencel and one with the Merino and BFL.  I then did a straight 3 ply of all the singles together.  The Tencel adds some serious shine while the alpaca adds a little bit of halo.  I really can’t wait to see if this blooms some more after I wash it.

To say that this is a seriously lush yarn would be an understatement.  I need to play like this more often as most of the time I think of the fibers that get as sort of individual yarns even though combining them gets me much more interesting yarns as well as more yardage on a single bobbin.

Now I’m going to be eyeing my fiber stash with a lean toward color combos.  Be afraid, be very afraid!


Going, going……. August 20, 2009

Last day here.  Tomorrow I will be getting up ass-early to haul my sorry carcass out to Heathrow airport (at least it isn’t Gatwick which is even further) to get onto an airplane to go to Dusseldorf.  I’m flying Lufthansa all the way there and United on the way home.  I am so excited that I am practically vibrating!  Which, is not such a good thing when one is trying to KNIT LACE!!!  

Anyway, my bags are packed and triple weighed and waiting in the entryway.


However, I’m a little sad to be going as well.  I’m going to be missing the bulk of my first Autumn here and I have a lot of plants that are looking very nice and are beginning to bloom.

My streptocarpus has one or two blossoms open and smells fantastic.


My dipladenia hasn’t yet stopped blooming.


I moved nearly everything that I don’t want to freeze back into the conservatory so it sort of looks like conservatories in the movies do.


I have finally figured out how to make the passion vine happy.


The best litter box screen EVER!

The best litter box screen EVER!

I have lots of happy flowers on the windowsills.


And I finally got the african violets sorted out!


For the astute IKEA fans out there these are the cheapy shelves connected by grow-bag trays.

For the astute IKEA fans out there these are the cheapy shelves connected by grow-bag trays.

My lemon tree has LEMONS on it!!


Honey, please don’t kill them!!!


13 hours and counting……..


Laced-up August 19, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 11:10 am
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So, in between trying to get everything as ready as I can for Tech Support while I am gone and trying not to spaz out from excitement I have been knitting on the never-ending stole.  


The Lace is ready to go!!

The Lace is ready to go!!


The hubby was originally kinda sad that he wasn’t going to get to see the end of the it but now he’s not too worried about it.


S-L-O-W Stuff

S-L-O-W Stuff


2 days of fairly concentrated knitting = about 2.5 inches of lace.


Gratuitous cute Meara picture (she's ready to go too!!!)

Gratuitous cute Meara picture (she's ready to go too!!!)


This is actually a great travel project!!  I mean, 2 skeins of yarn + 2 months = 1 project!!!  Woo hoo for lace!!!!


Block(ing) Party! August 12, 2009

I finished knitting the Feza scarf and immediately decided to block it a bit so that it didn’t look quite so much like a red, green and orange rope around my neck.

Here it is in it’s Soak bath.


Here it is about halfway blocked.


Here it is all pinned up.  I didn’t go totally nuts blocking this as soon enough it is going to be wrapped around my neck and, let’s face it, will probably get stuff spilled on it or snotted.



And here it is all done with the coat that it is going to be worn with!


I also finished the Flower Power blanket last week and promised pictures so here it is!!!!


Also, I turned the heel (not very gracefully, but it’s done and done!) of my first sock yesterday so I have to include a picture of it as well.  Alas, this sock is not going to fit on either of my feet (and yes, I did try it on both in the vain hope that one of my feet had significantly swelled-up and I had just failed to notice it) so I am going to have to either A.) use them as very boring stockings for the cats or B.) find someone with little feet to give them to.    Oh well, I’m just glad that they look reasonably foot shaped!  Just so that y’all know, it’s hard to take a picture of a sock!!


Today I worked in the conservatory, trying to get it straightened up and looking good.  This also means a rather lot of potting up and dirty work.  However, it is going to look great in the end!  No pictures yet as it doesn’t look great as of now:-)


WIP’s and FO’s July 27, 2009

So, I haven’t shown y’all a lot of what I’ve been doing of late and I think that it’s about time that I rectified that.  

First off, I finished the cabled embrace scarf.  It turned out nicely but I was just sooooo glad for it to be done already!  It wasn’t difficult once you got the knack of the cables.  I finished it one of the nights that Jiji was so sick and I was staying up with her.


I’m working on another scrapghan while sitting watching Buffy and Angel on DVD.  Yes, it’s another biggin!

Hanging from the 2nd story walkway

Hanging from the 2nd story walkway

The grey sock gets worked on sporadically.  It just feels like a good travel project of late (since everything else has gotten so big by comparison) and I haven’t been doing a whole lot of traveling.


The Feza scarf is still getting worked on but I feel as though it is at the point that the Cabled Embrace scarf was for some time.  Basically, it seems as though the yarn ball isn’t getting any smaller no matter how much I work on it.  It’s a pity that the black hole of yarn that this “extra” yarn is coming from isn’t in existence all the time!  One ball of yarn for any project.  then of course, yarn store owners would just charge a lot more for that one ball I suppose….


I quickly crocheted a strap in recycled sari silk to replace the the strap that came with our Nikon camera.  Neither of us were comfortable with the length of it nor really the material.  It’s turned out fine until I went to wash and block it a little bit.  The water turned a bad shade of purple and smelled bad.  So I washed it more properly with Soak and it still smelled bad and there was even more purple in the water.  Now this yarn sort of smelled vaguely like straw when I got it.  That’s ok.  I like the smell of straw.  The smell after it got wet was nasty chemical yuck.  Between the idea of having a purple neck after sweating while having the camera on me and the thought that whatever made that nasty smell isn’t coming out of the yarn I am having to put this project on the backburner.  I’m thinking about trying it again only in some Noro Silk Garden, I’ll let you know how this turns out..


Last but not least is the Cesar and Pam blanket.  This one is still in sewing-up stage as I can only sew for about a half hour or so before I get a splitting headache.  Time for bi-focals maybe? Anyway, it’s because of this that this blanket is moving so damn slowly.  I’m not sure why I don’t get these headaches when I’m doing the other stuff but I suspect that it is because I don’t have to stare at them quite so much as I do when I am sewing.  As lovely as this blanket is going to be I am going to be SO GLAD when it is done (which needs to be before I go back to Florida).

I used an old photo here as Meara is SO DAMN CUTE!

I used an old photo here as Meara is SO DAMN CUTE!

I have still been spinning the Romney/Rambouillet fleece.  I am getting finer and finer to the point that some of the two-ply is pretty close to laceweight! 


That’s about it for now. 

(BTW  Listen to episode #84 of Cast On with Brenda Dayne as both the hubby and I are both mentioned on it.  How cool is that?!?!)


Narrow Boats July 26, 2009

Yesterday, the Hubby and I went to the Linslade Canal Festival.  It was a lot of fun seeing all the different organizations that had stalls set up to educate the public as well as sell everything from alpaca blankets (no I didn’t get any even though it was a really good price) to food to stuffed animals and pretty much everything in between.  There were also artisans there selling their varied wares as well.  There were folks who did the traditional painting that is found on the narrow boats (think Swedish flowers) as well as folks who made baskets and chairs and even a boat-bound blacksmith!


Lamas on call!

Lamas on call!


Turning a leg for a stool with a foot powered turning device.

Turning a leg for a stool with a foot powered turning device.


There was even a New Orleans style band playing on the bridge!

There was even a New Orleans style band playing on the bridge!


Gardening on the go

Gardening on the go


The floating blacksmith

The floating blacksmith


Boats were, of course, everywhere

Boats were, of course, everywhere







One of the funniest things that we saw was a bucking sheep, much like the bucking broncs that you see in western themed bars except that is was a wildly grinning ewe.



(Man, I totally dig this country!)

It was a fun few hours out and cheap as well as the only thing that we had to pay for was parking.


Finally! Pictures from Maryland Sheep and Wool! May 27, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 12:54 pm
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Yes, I finally got the hubby to release the photos from the cameraphone onto the laptop!  It is a win-win day for all of us.  Please remember that I didn’t have a “real” camera with me so there aren’t as many photos as I would have normally taken.  Also, it was pouring down rain a lot of the time that I was there.


This was the spinner’s auction that happened on the first day of the festival.  I didn’t get anything as the only thing that I was really looking for was a drumcarder and the ones for sale went for nearly as much as a new ones go for.  I didn’t get anything.


This is typical of the main building.  Most of the time it was so wall-to-wall people in this place that there was no moving with out feeling like you were mowing people over.  Part of the reason that it was so very crowded was that it was raining pretty hard at this point.


This is a picture of a felting booth.  Not only is there lots of yarn and wool to buy but there are also lots of finished objects on sale as well.  


This is sort of a picture for Terri.  These are felted rocks in amongst the wooden sheep and wool gloves.


More interesting felted objects.


This is of the main walkway outside.  I know I keep showing you pictures of it not raining, but I promise, it rained a lot that weekend!


These were some very patient alpaca that had recently lost their blankets (it’s what they call their fleeces when they have been removed).  Any time it wasn’t raining these guys were swarmed with people.


This is a yurt? I guess by a person selling felted rugs.


There were, of course, lots and lots of sheep around.  Alas, not many of them wanted to hold still so that I could get a good photograph of them but these pictures will give you an idea of what I saw.




Chilled sheep

Chilled sheep


It was after I took these photos that I went back out to the car and dropped my phone.  I didn’t realize that it was lost until the next time that I went out to the car and realized that it wasn’t there like I had thought that it was.  I then went to the lost and found and luckily someone had turned it in.  Even though it had gotten throughly wet, it seemed no worse for the ware.  But, because of that there are no more photos of Maryland.  Sorry about that.  I will make sure that I pack the battery charger for the camera the next time that I take a big trip like that….

This poor guy kept getting his head stuck in the bars.

This poor guy kept getting his head stuck in the bars.