Sarah Jane Humke

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

A Fine Day June 27, 2013

Yesterday I went down to Lake LaVerne and I remembered the camera.

First the fish started feeding (can’t really photograph them all that well).  Then the geese came.


These guys were literally eating out of my hands.  In fact, one kinda tried to hop onto my lap!




Then came the swans (they feel that they have to check out anything that the geese are into).



Swans are more elegant at a distance don’t you think?


There was also a turtle in all of this, but I didn’t manage to capture a photo of him.

Also yesterday there was good mail.


A letter from Tini and a little skein of sock yarn! Yay for the sock yarn blanket!

Still knitting on socks myself.  Still the Basket Weave Rib Socks.


I’m to the heel flap now. Have never made a pair of men’s socks before so it feels like it is taking forever.



Mail Call! June 12, 2013

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I adore getting mail. Not flyers or bills or anything like that. Real mail. Letters, packages, postcards really anything that comes from a real person.  So, today was lovely going to the mailbox to find this.


A package from my friend Tini in Germany with provisions for my sock yarn blanket!


Yay for mail!!!!



My birthday (a little late) February 7, 2013

You know you had a good time on your birthday when you don’t get to blog about it until a week later!

My day started normally enough until I got to the office where a very interesting box awaited me on my desk.  Given it’s dimensions, I was a tad apprehensive that my day was going to devolve into something Kill Bill-esque…


…until I opened it up.  It’s a beautiful tapestry that my friend Guang had his folks bring back from China for me:-)


When my friend Elise arrived, so did flowers…


doughnuts and a massive chocolate cake.


I also got another box in the mail when I went to the post office later.  It was a wrapped box…


…and it contained this.


It’s a Nexus 7 tablet.  A very kind friend sent it to me as a really big surprise.  A big surprise is certainly was!

That evening Elise and I went to Welch Ave. Station for dinner and drinks.  This is a college bar here in the Iowa State campus town that has been around FOREVER.  My free birthday drink was their Pissed off Japanese Minnow Farmer.  After that, well, things got a little interesting.


Yeah. That’s me. Putting away tequila shots like a full-on college student.  Which I guess that I am!


Believe it or not, after about 10 shots I still was able to walk out of the bar on my own two feet.  I didn’t get sick nor was I hung-over in the morning (in case you were worried).  I think the pizza, fried cheese balls, and cheesy bread that we had eaten earlier in the evening mitigated the potential for alcohol damage.  Don’t get me wrong, I was a rather cheerful Sarah leaving the bar that night, but honestly, I was walking better than Elise was and she’d not had a drink that night!

Today I received a package from my friend Tini in Germany.


In it was a sweet birthday card, 2 cutie sheep figurines, some lush spinning fiber, a bit of leftover sock yarn for my blanket and a little notebook that I am going to use to keep my spinning notes in, and a bunch of Tyvek bracelets like what you get when you go to a club or an event.  They are for marking yardage and such on skeined-up yarn that you are then going to wash.  Brilliant!


This evening I got yet another birthday present from my lovely roommate Des.  It’s the book Latvian Mittens by Lizbeth Upitis. Such a beautifully done book!

Weezy approved!

Weezy approved!

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday so wonderful.  Special thanks to Elise and Guang for a fantastic night out!  If this is what 35 is like, roll on 40!


OMG!!! February 8, 2012

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We’re FAMOUS!!!!!!


(Thanks to Tini for pointing this out for us.  This particular picture has really made the rounds.  I guess we really DO look happy [we were practically wallowing in fleece, how could we not be!])


The Mailman Always Honks Twice February 2, 2012

Today was another very good mail day.  Whenever there is a package too big to fit into the mailbox or one needing a signature, the mailman backs his truck into the drive and honks.  Usually twice.  In a house with 4 dogs in it, this is tantamount to declaring war.  You do not truly understand the saying, “the hounds of hell” until you have seen 4 dogs completely off their rockers from wanting to get outside and rip him to shreds for having the audacity to come onto their turf and honk.  Funnily enough, if they do get outside while he is still here they just bark for a little bit and then wander off and pee on something!

Anyway, we were treated to a full rousing chorus of doggie death threats today as there were 2 packages in the mail for me.  The first was from my friend Tini in Germany (who, by the way, has a bunch of new podcasts up that I keep forgetting to link to [naughty blogger me!]).  In it was all sorts of lovely stuff including a Eiki shawlette made in Wollmeise!

There was a partial ball of sock yarn to add to the blanket.  (Donations to the blanket are always welcome here even though it is on a bit of a hiatus as I still try to figure out where all my stuff is in the storage unit.)

There was also a long knitted tube that Tini gave me a heads-up on before I received it.  It was her gauge swatches from a number of different pairs of socks!  This is being put towards the blanket as well (though it’s almost too pretty to unravel!)

There was a beautiful butterfly pin.  I love jewelery with insects on it.  Someday when I am a famous entomologist (stop laughing!) I want to have something to jazz up my ultra boring wardrobe with.  I want to be the Madeleine Albright of the bug/horticultural world!

There was a solid handbalm (good for someone walking around outside in the middle of the night with wet hands after having made formula for a certain baby!) that smells yummy.

There was a cool lizard bookmark…

And the shawlette came packaged in a fun little clear plastic zippered case that is perfect for little projects!

And last but not least, there was a tiny package of GUMMY SHEEP!!!!  Oh my are these little guys cute!  I don’t know if I can actually bring myself to EAT them:-)

The other package is a bit of a mystery.  It came from Knit Picks and it contained 3 books. Knit Noro Accessories, Weekend Hats, and Interweave Knits Accessories were all on my wish list, so it would have been easy for someone to pick them out.  However, there was nothing in the box to give evidence to who they were sent from.  If it was you, please speak up and thank you!

Funny enough, I’ve been sucked into another Dutch Knitting Design project, this time it’s the Kaleidoscope Vest which was published in (what was then) Yarn Forward Magazine.  I stayed up far too late last night working on this (again) and this is how far I had gotten this morning.

It is an easy knit, but for some reason I frogged this piece before and I don’t remember why.  I think it might have happened around the time of my move, so who knows!  I had a chance to wear Marleen’s sample vest (I think it’s the one she’s wearing in the bottom picture on Ravelry) and it is really cute.  I got lots of compliments that day and I had to explain to many Dutch knitters that no, I didn’t knit it but the person who designed it was right over there…..  I’ve been on a serious knitting jag of late but I feel a spinning jag coming on.  So stay tuned folks!


Random Bits November 15, 2011

My friend Tini has a new podcast out!  Go listen!

This is another print that I would love to have.  Because, you know, someone living out of a storage unit (Mind you I didn’t say in a storage unit!  That’s a whole other level!) really needs another print to frame.  Still, a girl can dream someday of having an entire floor to use as a crafting zone (Thanks Martha for putting that idea in my head!)

We’ve already had a taste of snow around here which spurred me to get my winter car kit ready.  In addition to the normal safety items that you should have in your car already (ahem) such as jumper cables, bottles of water, a first aid kit, a gas can, a flashlight and the like if you are traveling in winter weather you should also have a little(ish) kit of items in the car with you.  Not in the trunk of your car (if you have one) as there is no guarantee that you will be able to get into your trunk when you need them!  In my kit I have 2 blankets, some more water (most of my water is kept in a gallon jug in the trunk), some snacks (I went with packets of cookies that expire in April rather than energy bars because I think I would prefer to eat cookies than energy bars any day!), a handful of candles and matches to light them, a spare hat, gloves and scarf.  I also bought a cheap bag of cat litter and threw it in the trunk for icy issues.  I was tempted to put in a book or knitting project as I know myself pretty well and I know that I would be most likely to do the stupid thing of trying to leave my car in sub-zero temps to look for someone else if I was seriously bored.    I didn’t as I usually have something of that ilk with me if I am on a long trip anyway, but it isn’t a bad idea to throw a trashy paperback in there too!  I also had a small baggie of dog food in mine as my dogs may be traveling with me.  Other things that I saw suggested but didn’t put in were a small shovel to clear your tailpipe of snow and a battery cell phone charger kit (I may still put that in mine)  One thing that I don’t have yet but I will as soon as I have a usable bank account is a AAA membership.  Very, very handy to have year-round.

I really like these light bulbs.  They are very sexy and could be used so many different ways!  I know that they aren’t cheap, but I hope that other light bulb manufacturers will take the hint and start making their products more interesting.

Ok hive mind!  I need help.  I’ve been cleaning the upstairs of the house out with my mother and have come across a lot of skirts, dresses and jackets that are beautiful vintage wool and have a few moth holes in them, usually in one specific area making them unwearable but there is still tons of fabric left that could be salvaged.  I need ideas.  Sewing isn’t my strong suit (and I don’t currently have a sewing machine unless I get one of grandma’s old singers running again) but I would be willing to try it.  Is wool good for quilting?  I could really use some suggestions for what to do with these items as I just can’t bear to throw them away!

This is a great site to get your yarny inspiration going!

I’m now going to jump into the fray about the whole one space or two spaces at the end of a sentence.  I use two for a very simple reason; it was the way that I was taught to type sentences and I see nothing wrong with it.  When I was in grade school the Ackley-Geneva school district looked ahead and actually saw the future was in computers so they made my entire class take typing.  We were the first class to be required to take it and it has actually served me in good stead all these years later even though I really sucked at it then and hated walking into that classroom full of typewriters.  However, the two spaces after a sentence makes practical sense to me as well.  When I hand write letters, I leave a greater space after a sentence than I do between the words in a sentence.  Personally I don’t understand why this has become such a hot-button issue of late.  Is there a world space shortage that I am unaware of?

Shepherd Susie sums-up something that I have thought for a while now more eloquently than I ever could.

Now, if y’all will excuse me, I have to go learn how to drive a semi-truck.  Pray I don’t get stuck in the field!



Random Bits November 3, 2011

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My dogs have adopted a kitten.

Please excuse the lack of sheets. I was washing the bedding that day. I didn't have the heart to kick them off they were being so damn cute!

I have to watch Weezy when she is around the kitten as she tends to get a little exurberant with her face cleaning sometimes flipping the kitten over!

So far, we are calling her Sweetie Pie as she is very much one.  Meara does not like her and wants nothing to do with her.  If anyone is interested in adopting her, I would love for her to go to a good home.  As you can see, she gets along with dogs:-)

My friend Tini is still podcasting.  Check her out here or on iTunes!

This week I helped my mom give a little talk about Finland to a local nursing home.  I would have never guessed 4 years ago that I would be a local expert on Finland!

I stopped-by a Salvation Army center this week to drop-off a bag full of toiletries that we found around the house.  Most of them were the little travel sized ones from various hotels that my mom has stayed at over the past few years.  These are good for folks that are coming to a shelter.  Anyway, I was there at lunch time and was amazed at the number of people coming in for a hot meal.  And most of these folks were elderly.  It’s almost time for the Salvation Army bell-ringers to start their work.  Don’t just pass these folks by while you are out doing your Christmas shopping.  If you have enough money to buy presents, you can dump at least a little change in their kettles.  Really, I got to see first hand what this money is going to.  I think that everyone should.  So get in the Christmas spirit and help someone down on their luck.  It is only by the grace of God that we are not there ourselves…