Sarah Jane Humke

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

Sock Blocked June 4, 2013

I finished the pink and grey monkeys shortly after I finished the last post.  My sock blockers have been getting a lot of work lately, a lot more than they are used to at least!


There wasn’t a huge amount of yarn left over, but it only take about 5 or 6 grams to make one of the smaller squares.


I enjoyed making that pattern so much, I’ve decided to make it again.  I’m even using the same yarn (base, like I would have that much pink of any yarn in my stash!). I think that these are going to be for me as I wear a lot of the colors in them often.


It was a grey and rainy day today, as it has been much of the spring. Hence the craptastical photos. So far, Ames hasn’t flooded in any substantial manner, though given the amounts of rain that we have received, this is almost a surprise.  I don’t live in an area prone to flooding though there are areas like that all around the city.  Hopefully, this won’t be a repeat of years past

(Don’t worry, the Wollmeise is all in plastic bags and on a top shelf, just in case! [because I knew that y’all were worried!])




What I got January 30, 2013

So, I was asked to share what I got at Sticks and Sting this year.  I assure you it is modest in the most!  SAS2012yarn

The yellow yarn on the left is a custom dyed skein of Superwash Merino 3 ply yarn that came with my goodie bag (but that I forgot to photograph!) by Dreams in Fiber.  The middle blue and white merino/nylon superwash yarn is also by Dreams in Fiber and the colorway is “The Box”.  The bundle on the right is by Blue Ridge Yarns and it’s called Footlights in the colorway “Pansies”.

Yeah, I was that restrained.  But you see, I have this at home.


All those skeins in the plastic baggies on the top shelf? Wollmeise. The rest is an assortment of Blue Moon Fiber Arts and other various sock yarn companies.  I assure you that this isn’t all of my sock yarn, just what I’ve brought with me to Ames!

In other news, we had snow blow-in early this morning.  I fell on my arse twice in the parking lot just trying to get to Curtiss!  I was both wet and sore by the time I got to my office this morning.  Most, most annoying since I had even “prepared” by wearing my snow boots and was all decked-out for the weather. It is not supposed to happen if you prepare for it!!!! (Sarah’s Law)





The Flash Blogger January 25, 2013

I’ve been reading the ladies over at the Mason-Dixon and their lightning blog posts for the past few weeks and I’m thinking that this might be what is needed to get me back into writing here.  So, thanks Kay and Ann! (or not possibly:-))

My life here in Ames got busy in a hurry thus my abrupt departure from the blog.  School started taking up a lot more of my time what with projects and papers becoming due.  I also started getting to know my fellow grad students in my department and having this weird thing called “a life”.  Not a hugely glamorous one with red carpets and VIP lounges, but a life never the less.  Often we can be found at each other’s places eating, drinking, or just hanging-out watching Big Bang Theory.
Immediately after Thanksgiving Meara became ill.  She was diagnosed with an unusual type of anemia.  The second week of December she died.  This really took the wind out of my sails and the cheer out of my Christmas.  You should be glad that you didn’t hear from me during December as I was about as cheerful as a lump of, well, poop.

I’m hoping that this semester pulls itself out of the ditch that it’s in currently.  I have been ill, which never makes anyone cheerful.  It has the potential to be an enormously kick-ass semester.  I am taking a class called “Foods of Animal Origins” which, is basically what it sounds like.  For the lab on Wednesday, I spent about an hour in a meat locker and processing facility.  I think I will be spending a lot more time in there!  I’m also taking a class on how to do research as well as technology use in the classroom.  I’m not sure I could’ve gotten a more diverse class selection if I had tried:-)

I am also T.A.’ing an advanced agricultural communications course where I actually “teach” a section (sort of like a lab).  My first “real” teaching and so far I am enjoying it.

This weekend will be my second time at Sticks and String.  I won’t be able to spend as much time there as I have in the past as I need to get some assignments finished, but I am looking forward to it immensely.  It’s always good to be around other fiber folks!

My desk in my corner of the office now.  I think I've moved in...

My desk in my corner of the office now. I think I’ve moved in…


Yes, you can tell a horticulturalist resides here!


Little Surprises September 13, 2012

One of the things that is most fun about being in school again is the little surprises that you encounter on a daily basis.  Directly outside the building my office is in is what they call “central campus”.  It’s an enormous green patch with the campanile and a few trees, but mostly grass.  It was here that they held President Obama’s speech and where there are frequently concerts and the like.  I knew that today the university was having a luncheon-type thing for the installation of the newest president of the university as I had seen it in the paper.  I remembered it as there was free food (I know, I am becoming such a student!) so I wasn’t too surprised about the marquee that went up and the activity for it getting set-up.  However, when I came out of the building after finishing my lunch, I was a little surprised to see an entire pep band blaring away complete with cheerleaders, baton twirlers and a set of flag wavers cheering and playing to the crowd of very unimpressed students waiting in line for their free lunch.

One of the things that caught my attention was just how loud the cheerleaders pom-poms were.  I don’t remember them being that loud when I was a cheerleader in high school!

In completely unrelated news (to the pep squad at least) I got my hair cut this week.  It was the first week where it was consistently cool enough that I could wear my hair down and not get totally sweaty.  As I was wearing it down, I realized how long it had gotten and took measures to correct it. I was also procrastinating finishing a paper.  I also tidied my room.

Last weekend I had to fulfill one of my main duties as the Vice President of the Weavers and Spinners Guild which was have the member booklets put together by the time the meeting started on Saturday.  With some help from CopyWorks here in Ames and editing assistance from members of the board as well as some actual assembly help from them as well, they were finished.  The covers were made by another member of the guild and are just adorable.   She used actual yarn on the spindles so it came in all sorts of colors!


The Tomatoes are Running! September 2, 2012

One of the many things that has been keeping me busy in the past few weeks is the sudden deluge of tomatoes that we’ve had on the farm.  So far, I’ve canned about 25 pints of pasta sauce and 14 pints of salsa.  I also canned about a dozen pints of green beans, but those weren’t from our garden.

Things I have learned about canning:

-You are gonna get burnt, just deal with it.

-You are going to make a big fat mess.

-It’s really fraking hot.

-It’s good to have a really nice roommate when doing it (Thanks Des!).

The majority of the tomatoes that I planted this spring were Roma or Roma-type tomatoes.  Is that what we’ve mainly gotten thus far?  Probably if you looked at it from a pounds standpoint, but as the designated tomato picker in the house, it seems like all I’ve picked for the last 2 months are little cherry type tomatoes.  It’s all been about the little yellow pear ones or the longish little red ones or the proper little cherry tomatoes.  It is a pain to cut-up 6 pounds of little tomatoes to make into salsa (though it is tasty!).

Anyway, this is a selection of what I picked today.  There are still TONS of green tomatoes on the Roma plants which is kinda starting to scare me a little bit.  I think that they are all waiting for me to turn my back on them and then ripen all at the same time.  I think even my wonderful roommate might be a put-out if I came back to Ames with 2 or 3 bushels of tomatoes!

These are the “ripe and ready” group from today.

These are the “not quite ripe but ripe enough to pick as the grasshoppers will eat them by next week” group.

And this is the “little guys and peppers” selection.  After my whingeing, it seems like a really small number but I assure you, there are usually a lot more!

Happy Bruchetta-ing to you too!


What are you looking at?? May 18, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 5:32 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I’m sorry that I’ve not been on here much.  My internet at my apartment in Ames sucks big-time and the past few weekends I haven’t had a lot of time at the farm for stuff on the computer.  I promise that I have several posts that I hope to get up this coming weekend with lots of pictures of what I have been doing and where I have been going.  Suffice it to say, it is spring and I am busy!

However, I don’t have the time to do a proper blog post right now, but I am going to leave you with some fun goat pictures.




Underground February 25, 2012

Sorry for the radio silence of late.  The job has finally kicked into gear and I was out and about most of last week.  Also, my apartment in Ames is partially underground.  I don’t know if this is the reason that the internet has been slow for the past few days or if there is just some dork trying to download porn ahead of me or something, but it has been twitchy enough that just getting my emails has been a challenge some days let alone posting a big, long blog post!

So when I got back to the farm Friday I had a fun pile of mail waiting for me.  Most of it was too banal for you my dear readers, but there was one piece that I thought that y’all should have a look at because it is beautiful.  It was a lovely birthday present from Jon at Easyknits.

It is the first edition of his Spin Love fiber club.  Isn’t it lovely?!?!?  Honestly, I don’t think that I will ever be a good enough photographer to be able to capture these colors with all the intensity they possess.   Both of the braids are 100% New Zealand Polworth wool and are soft and squishy.  I am really looking forward to spinning these, though I feel I should really come up with aplan for them first!

My little Traveler wheel is going to be getting some more miles put on it in the next few weeks as I plan on taking it back and forth with me to Ames.  I don’t have a lot to do there at night since I don’t really know anyone in town anymore so I can see me getting alot of spinning and knitting done in the next few months!

In other news, I have ordered new glasses and contacts for the first time in a few years this past week.  I’ve needed to do this for a while now, but I wanted to wait until I had a regular paycheck coming in before I got them.  I’ve not worn contacts regularly for the past several years (read 10+) so the options out there have really changed a lot!  I guess this means that I will have to start paying more attention to my eyebrows than I do now as my current glasses more or less completely obscure them from sight!