Sarah Jane Humke

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

OMG!!! February 8, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 10:17 am
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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!])


Finished! January 31, 2012

I have been working on Althea by Dutch Knitting Design otherwise known as my friend Marleen Van der Vorst.  I started this at Woolfest on either the 24th or the 25th of June.  Well, that’s not exactly correct as I started this yarn as a different pattern but quickly decided to use Marleen‘s pattern instead.  I hauled this shawlette to Knit Nation with me where very little got done on it.  However, I felt that I needed to show Marleen the progress that I was making on one of her patterns.  Then I am pretty sure that I didn’t show it to her at all.

This project rode in my checked baggage on the airplane home, only to be ignored for weeks on end in favor of Christmas projects and spinning.  I packed it into the big white van and it rode to Florida with me to deal with the house and not one stitch was added to it.  Finally (finally!) it got packed to go to Sticks and String this past weekend with me which is where we made a connection.

I know everyone always says this, but it’s amazing how fast a project goes when you actually work on it!

At the beginning of the weekend, it still looked more or less like this:

By the end of last night it looked like this:

The finish was exciting on this one.  I had this tiny ball of only 3 grams left over and that was after deciding to not do the last row of patterned knitting!

I gave it a bath in Soak last night and pinned it out early this morning.  My blocking board is packed somewhere in the storage unit along with my pins so I sort of had to improvise.  That’s ok, I’m pretty good at improvising!  This is a cedar chest that is under about 10 layers of blankets with a non-slip rug pad under them all.  This princess and the pea set-up is to keep Malcolm and the rest of the crew from scratching the top as they look out the window.  On top of all these blankets is a massive towel that my mom sewed out of 3 smaller towels way back in the day to put on the seat of a couch (which we no longer have).  I usually use it as a dog towel, but it was pressed into service as a pinning base today.   There was no way I was getting a picture of this shawl today without Sweetie Pie in the picture in all of her adolescent glory.  She’s actually waiting for me to throw her toy so that she can go fetch it.  For real, this cat plays fetch.

I didn’t have my fancy quilting pins (in storage as well) so I used a random pack of safety pins.  They worked ok!  The little gold ones were the best for pinning out the points.  When I have all of my blocking supplies together I will give this puppy a much stricter blocking, but this works for now!

And here is what it looks like now, blocked and fully finished!  It turned out much larger than I expected.  I knit and knit and knit on this and it took 97 grams out of 100 in the skein and I, for some crazy reason, thought that it was going to be a lot smaller than it turned out to be.  You would think that by now I would have a goodly grasp on the idea that more yarn (usually)=More knitted item.  I’m actually quite pleased with how large it is.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one aspect of Marleen’s patterns that I just love!  She makes them in these little booklets that fit perfectly inside the plastic bags that they come in.  This means that you can just turn to the proper page in the pattern and pop it back into the bag.  My patterns usually end-up looking (quite frankly) like a hot mess by the time that I am done knitting the project.  They’ve been folded and refolded and stuffed into a bag so the ends are all curly, you get the idea!  This particular pattern has more than a few miles on it.  It’s been stuffed into my purse for weeks on end (never a good thing!), packed into suitcases and carry-on bags, the works.  It still looks wonderful all protected by the plastic bag even after a LOT of abuse.  The pattern contains both charted and fully written-out directions as well as multiple color pictures of various aspects of the garment.  How many times have you knit something and wished that you could see how it was put together, not just on a super skinny model?  Well, Marleen’s patterns have them!  I know I sound all gushy about a pattern, but really, when you see something like this done the way it should be done it’s hard not to get a little verklempt!

So here, with no more ado, are the glamor shots of the finished and blocked shawl!

Obviously no pictures of me wearing it as it is difficult (to say the least) to take a flattering shot of yourself by yourself from behind.  However, it goes all the way down my back to the top of my jeans.

Pattern: Althea by Dutch Knitting Design

Yarn: Supreme Sock by Yarn Addict in Earth.  50% Merino, 50% Silk. 97 grams used.


Woolfest Week August 17, 2011

Malin, Barbro and Tini all flew to London to join me in an adventure up to the Lakes District to attend Woolfest in June (BTW, there is a picture of the 4 of us in the photo gallery on the Woolfest site:-)).  The day that everyone flew-in was pretty laid-back.  Lots of knitting and a little bit of drum carding!

Tini making batts

Thursday we left bright and early for “The North” (that’s what all the signs say when you are heading North here).  The car was well packed and the journey took less time than expected due to lack of traffic.  I kinda decided that the ladies needed to visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home.  A visit to the Lakes District isn’t really complete without it in my opinion because of all the work that she did in preserving the area and the famous Herdwick Sheep breed.   

On the way to the cottage, we saw some of these lovely rare sheep doing their thing in a field with a handy parking area so we could stop and take some pictures.

I also caught a shot of the elusive Malin on holiday:-)

We then went to find our cottage, which was sort-of on the other side of the mountains.  However, it was a great deal for the 4 of us so we weren’t in the mood to complain too much:-)  When we got there, after a really lovely drive through the District, we found fresh scones with clotted cream and a bottle of wine in the fridge to greet us! The cottage had 2 bedrooms, a sitting room and kitchen and a bathroom.  Really, it was just about perfect for the 4 of us for the weekend!

The sitting room (you can't see the fireplace but there was one!)

The Kitchen

Bedroom #1 with the beautiful stone wall

Bedroom #2

That night we went down the road to a local pub and got fish and chips for dinner then came back and knit around the fireplace until bed.  The next morning we were all up bright and early in order to get into the festival first thing.  We got there before it opened and waited in que with a lot of other lovely fiber folks from all over the country.  One of them took a lovely photo of the 4 of us.

All of us were wearing the mini shawls that I had been knitting in the weeks prior.  From left to right:  Barbro in her Alyssum designed by Marleen knitted in Noro Kureyon Sock, Tini in her Peacock Shawlette by Kitman Figueroa in Wollmeise Twin (that ironically she had given me a few years prior!) Me in my Simple Things by Mary-Heather Cogar in Skein Queen Entwist  and Malin in her Holden Shawlette by Mindy Wilkes in Easyknits Twinkle.

Once we were inside, it was a mad rush to the fleece tables.  Now really, how often do you read about a mad rush to fleece tables??  Oh how I love wool festivals!  As you can imagine, there wasn’t a whole lot of picture-taking going on as the fleece area was decimated pretty quickly and we were all surrounded by 2-3′ bumpers of bags of raw wool:-)  I got (ahem) rather a lot of fleeces and the ladies got a few too.  I think that at one point we had 20 fleeces in the back of the car!  Here is a picture of us on the 2nd day at one of the fleece sorting tables:

Special thanks to Knit Magazine for sharing this photo with us. You can also find us on page 47 of issue #40:-) (Yes, we are everywhere looking like we are having fun!)

After we had done a thorough going through of all the fleeces we started taking in the actual event.  Not a lot of pictures of this either as there was a lot of fondling of yarn and wool and oohing and ahhing over the different types and colors of yarns and equipment for sale.  We met-up for lunch as we had brought sandwiches and fruit because I remembered how long the ques were at the food places years past.  After lunch, we all moseyed off in our own directions again, meeting-up randomly throughout the venue.  At the end of the day we all went to the Spin-in where we had dinner and met a lot of new folks.

That night we pretty much crashed at the cottage, admiring each others purchases and (trying) to pack all the fleeces into bags and such.

Saturday was a more leisurely morning as we didn’t feel the need to be at the grounds first thing.  We drove in and stayed until a little after noon, meeting up with some friends and checking out some things that we may have missed the first day.  That afternoon we went to the main Lakeland shop in Windermere for a late lunch and to do a little shopping.  On our way back to the cottage, we found another perfect spot to take some photos of Herdys with a parking spot nearby.

When we got back to the cottage, Malin realized that she had dropped her Holden shawlette on the ground during our Herdy stop.  So, into the car Malin and I went to rescue the shawl.  However, we decided to take a different route back that I had vetoed the first time it was suggested by the GPS unit as it just looked kinda crazy.  It was.  Malin was taking pictures of it all and even did a video at one point to capture the full insanity of it.  To say that it was some of the more interesting driving that I have ever done (and I have done some interesting driving in my life!) would be a gross understatement.  There was a warning of a 30% incline and decline on this road before we even got to the fun parts:-)  This road over 2 mountain passes was a single lane track for the vast majority of it with Herdwicks roaming on all sides and water flowing freely to boot.  There were numerous times where I wasn’t sure where the road went because we were doing 30% up and a corkscrew at the same time.  Oh, and since we were on top of the mountain was really, really foggy at some points!  I didn’t take any photos (that would have been suicide [no rails between us and 100′ drops]) but Malin did and when she has a chance to sort through them and send me some, I will post them here…

Anyway, the rescue party made it over the mountains and found the shawl right where it was thought to be and took the much less exciting route back to the cottage again as it was starting to get dark.

The next day we got up fairly early as we needed to get Tini to her flight home and we still had a full car to pack!  However, Malin and I are pros at packing my Toyota and we managed to get all 20+ fleeces plus baggage for 4 women into the car while still being able to see out the back window.  There was yarn in every nook and cranny though!  We drove back to the London area with plenty of time for Tini to make her flight out of Luton.  The rest of us then went back to the Old Chapel and unpacked the car, much to the amusement of the hubby.

The next day we drove down to the University of Southampton’s Knitting Reference Library.  This was seriously cool, as they have a large collection of knitting books and patterns from about as far back as written knitting patterns go.  Barbro did an excellent blog post about it here but I also took some pictures.

The older magazines were amongst the most interesting

It's interesting to see how Vouge Knitting has changed!

Some of the ads were so cute!

Love the graphics on some of the covers

The ads for wartime knitting sort of blew my mind. Some of them admitted that folks couldn't get their product but said that when they could again they should use their coupons to buy their wool because it re-knit the best!


There were lots of war-time patterns.  Many of them showed how to best re-use wool from a worn-out sweater or dress.  By the end of the war, these patterns were using fabric sewn in to make up for the lack of both yarn and fabric available.  Malin has an excellent picture here showing how the magazines also had to get smaller over a very short period of time due to paper rationing.


This is how we spent most of the afternoon:

The collection is pretty big and quite well-organized.

All of these are knitting or knitting related books

More knitting related books and magazines (in the archival boxes)

One view of the pattern collection

Another view of the pattern collection. It may not look that impressive, but most of those boxes were full and heavy with a LOT of old patterns.

The next day the 3 of us went into London on the train.  First we went to the Camden Markets, which I had never been to before.  Then, in the afternoon we went to Jon of Easyknits house for some retail therapy and Pimm’s!  I didn’t take any photos of all of this (sorry) but Barbro was a regular little Robert Capa so you should check out this blog post of her’s.

That night we came home on the train with many more goodies and very, very tired.  The next day was sort-of a free day.  Malin and Barbro’s flights left in the afternoon, so that left the morning for some kool-aid dyeing and fleece skirting in the courtyard and packing of course!  That afternoon I dropped the ladies off at Heathrow for their flights home with full (though not overly heavy) bags and lots of pictures on their cameras.


Still washing…. May 6, 2011

I finally finished washing a very large Jacob fleece that I got a couple of years ago (hangs head knowing that I should have washed them when I got them).  It wasn’t that difficult to wash, just that there was a LOT of it.  Most of the Jacob sheep that I have “met” have been pretty good-sized animals.  There are more than a few of them around here even, though I think that they are more pets and lawn mowers than normal sheep as they are fun to see with their coats of many colors and multiple horns.  I’ve moved onto a moorit Shetland that was purchased in the same batch as the rest of the British wool group.  It’s not nearly as nice as the fleeces that I picked-up in Lerwick from the special room at J&S.  Then again, the special room in J&S is a result of Oliver and his 60+ years experience working with Shetland fleeces.  When he sees a particularly interesting one, or a really, really nice one he pops it in there for the handspinners.  This Shetland of unknown provenance is nice, though seems quite dusty.  The water is less tea-like and more mud-like than I’ve seen to this point.  It also smells dusty.  Not like a barn like some of them have smelled but more like a shed where harvesting equipment is stored.  I know that is really splitting hairs (and that the majority of people in the world aren’t going to have a clue as to what the hell I’m talking about) but it is interesting.  It doesn’t smell particularly sheepy to tell you the truth.  Some of the Shetland fleeces that I got in Shetland had a lot of peat in them which made them “fun” to wash (more like I was dunking giant tea bags with wool in them over and over and over) but none of them smelled anything like this.  In fact, it makes me think that this fleece may have been from a Shetland sheep that isn’t located on the islands.  I have nothing to back this up unless I want to get all CSI on its ass (I could sample the “mud” that I am getting out of it and see what it’s composed of and then compare that to soil surveys taken of the islands…. Ok, wow, just geeked myself out there for a little bit!).

Anyway, I am glad to see the back of the Jacob as I was starting to get a tad on the bored side with it.  After the Shetland of unknown provenance I have 3 colored fleeces that were sold as simply “Fine Wool Coloured £2.75” and a “Cheviot £4.50”.  Just to stave off the question that I know is going to be coming, the huge Jacob fleece was £3, the Coloured BFL was £5.25 and the Shetland of unknown provenance £3.75.  Now, for those of you in the US that are beginning to hyperventilate over those prices for fleece, let me explain something.  This is an island covered in sheep.  In some areas farmers burn or mulch the fleeces that they get from sheep because they aren’t worth enough to pay for the shipping to the market (though, hopefully this won’t be the case this year as fleece prices have gone up significantly there).  I also didn’t get to choose the fleeces that I got for those prices.  But (hopefully I don’t have folks after me with wool combs after posting this!) the total price for the 7 fleeces that I got from the British Wool Marketing Board in 2009 was £33.70 and that included shipping to my house.  This isn’t tooooo uncommon of a price to tell you the truth.  Last year I got a Leicester Longwool at Woolfest for around £9 and the year before that I got a really nice Herdwick for £5.  All of my Shetland fleeces from Shetland were between £5 and £10 (they were priced per kilo) and they were really really nice, like they would have possibly gone for triple digits at Rhinebeck…  Some of the more canny farmers are starting to mark their fleeces up a bit for things like Woolfest, but most of them don’t too much yet as it is just too easy for most spinners here to get fleeces for very cheap or for free still.

So, you might be wondering what brought about this wool washing extravaganza all of a sudden.  One word: Moths.  I found a few in the downstairs part of the house on yarn that had been left out for ornamental purposes.  It’s not too surprising to find them given that A.) the house has no screens on its windows so every Tom, Dick and Harry Moth can fly in when it gets warm out if they want to and B.) there are sheep (and wool) all around us.  When I go for walks this time of the year, it’s not uncommon to find bits of wool in places that I know no sheep has been around and lining the sides of the roads after the wool truck has come.  So there is plenty of food for the insidious destroyers of goodness just laying about.  Anyway, I had all of these unwashed fleeces in the attic which (thankfully) hasn’t yet seen a single winged harbinger of destruction, but I was just waiting for it to happen.  That many unwashed fleeces could just draw them like the One Ring drew power seekers to Frodo (sorry, been watching the LOTR trilogy the last few nights).

So last weekend the hubby and I made fleece bags (large, pillowcase-like bags to hold [in my case] clean fleeces) out of some old sheets that we had from Florida for covering plants when it froze there.   He did the sewing and I did the cutting and we busted out a about a dozen in a little over an hour.  Into these bags I put a small notecard with all the information I have about a particular fleece covered with a plastic baggie.  I also put any original paperwork that may have come with the fleece into this baggie if I can.  The plastic baggie keeps the paper from getting funky and makes it a little easier to find.  After I put the fleeces into the fleece bags I will then put a couple of fleeces in their individual bags into a large, IKEA Dimpa bag and zip it closed.  That way I have a couple of layers of defense between the fleeces and the dusty-winged bringers of doom (layers of defense: Clean fleece [moths like it dirty], cotton bag [not much of a defense, but it is a layer] plastic breathable bag [more of a defense {I do not believe the stories about moths eating through plastic bags, much more likely in my opinion that there was a small hole in the bag to begin with or that (and I know that no-one wants to believe this of themselves) they put the woolen product away with moths or their eggs already on it and they then had a feast inside the sealed plastic bag} though still not perfect], in the attic [have lots of the new type moth balls up there {not the nasty ones we remember from when we were young, these are sort of greasy and actually smell nice}]).  I’m glad to finally have these washed as I’ve worried over the past few years that I was going to go up to the attic and find big paper bags (that’s what the fleeces came in) full of little squirmy moth larvae with their parents fluttering towards the heavens.  Also, at least in this house, clean fleeces take up less space than the dirty ones do.  This is mostly (I think) from the rather intense skirting that I give to some of them.  I’m not going to try to scrub caked-in manure from a fleece unless it is made from freaking gold.  Life is too short, fleeces are too cheap and it’s just plain icky.  The manky bits that I don’t use go to a neighbor to either compost or use as mulch on her allotment.

I do plan on getting some more fleeces at Woolfest this year if I can.  I live in a place where some pretty rare breed fleeces can be had for a really reasonable price.  Even if I don’t spin them for a while, I am going to wash them ASAP this time so I don’t stay awake at night having visions of Tineola bisselliella chowing down on them.

In completely unrelated news, I had good luck (in my opinion, not so much in my husbands) at the Tring auction.  Since I was busy last Saturday I bid on-line, which is really quite easy, though I’m not completely sure that you will get the absolute best price you could for it.  One of the things that I won was a set of Gardening Dictonary from the 1890’s which is in excellent condition with all sorts of clippings and even a proper letter inside one!  I love books with extra bits of emphera in them.

I also got the rockingest little set of tables.  We currently have a big, long sectional couch that has no end tables or coffee table for visitors to set their drinks on when they are chatting with us.  This solves that problem with little tables that slide out and can be used for each person!  Score!  Also it is the perfect size for our printer downstairs.  Double Score!!

I also signed-up for classes at Knit Nation again this summer.  I nearly forgot about the registration opening despite receiving multiple e-mails reminding me about it.  I did get 2 out of the 3 classes I wanted and am on a waiting list for the 3rd.  The two classes I’ll be taking (for sure) are both by Judith McKenzie and are Spinning a Fine Thread and The Gentle Art of Spinning for Socks.  The 3rd class that I wanted was Franklin Habit‘s Photographing your Fiber which, if I read things right, sold out in about 5 minutes after registration opened.  (Me thinks he might want to offer more of that class in the future!)  So, I would never ever wish ill on someone (who wasn’t cutting me off in traffic [and lets face it, that doesn’t technically count as it would be physically impossible for them to actually do that]) so I’m wishing for really really fantastic things to happen to everyone in my way of taking that class.  Winning trips to Tahiti, getting married, having a baby (that they really wanted of course!), moving to Australia, whatever floats their boat so that I can take their mooring space when they leave.  It’s not bad for your karma if you wish good things for people so that something good can happen to you is it??

I’m also getting ready for 2 Finns and a Yank hit the road Part II.  Barbro and Malin are coming back over for (hopefully) a more laid back visit (for all of us!) again this summer.  We are driving up to the Lakes District to go to Woolfest as well as to check out the area.  We’re going to be spending 3 nights up there.  This will be the most time that I have spent up there and I am looking forward to having a leisurely look around for once.  They will be staying with us for about a week and we are all really looking forward to it.  Well, except for Kali, Malcolm’s girlfriend next door.  Malcolm gets so wrapped-up in Malin that he frequently forgets about his other blond!  We’re driving up the day before so that we can get there bright and early and I at least, plan on hitting the fleece tables early and often!  (I can hear the husband keening as he reads this tonight… Sorry honey!)

So that takes care of June and July and as of right now I don’t have any concrete plans for August.  There might be something there, but it is with the hubby so am keeping it under wraps for the moment.

On other unrelated news, I’ve had very good mail this week.  I got my first installment of Knit magazine’s sock club that was dyed by Skein Queen.  It’s a lovely yarn with a nice twist and colors that I like.  She named all of the colorways that she did for the sock club after books.  Mine is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.  It’s a great start to the club and I am very pleased with it!


Great (Cat) Balls of Fire!!! November 2, 2009

A couple of nights ago the hubby and I were setting up for an invigorating game of scrabble (I know, we are the most boring couple on the planet!!) and we had lit a few candles on the dinning room table.  Now, I’m not sure what Jiji thought that I was doing up there, but food (her usual motivator to do anything that requires, you know, moving [Jiji is our personal incarnation of Jaba the Hut {but without the hot, ill-fitting metal bikini clad Carrie Fisher on the end of a chain}]) wasn’t part of the package.  So, she hops up on the table to nose around and, well, not to put to fine of a point on it, sets herself on fire.  Now, something that I learned from watching the fire woosh up her side is that cat fur does not have the same flame retardant/resistant properties as wool!!! She wasn’t hurt at all, just had a bunch of her hairs singed which caused her to clean herself for hours after we brushed the cat fur charcoal off of her so that she wouldn’t ingest it.  Ahhhh, the smell of burning cat fur right before bed….

Tomorrow night is Yarn Therapy here in lovely Ivinghoe Aston.  I know I haven’t mentioned it too much of late but it seems that everyone decided to join a knitting group while I was traipsing around the US and Canada.  So, to that end I will be in the pub two nights in a row as tonight is Quiz Night!  Woo hoo!  On the first Monday of each month we have these down at the Village Swan.  Neither Tech Support nor I are any good at them usually, sort of a cultural relevancy issue mostly.  What I mean is that people who are famous here are quite often not the same famous people as in the US.  That, and we didn’t really learn Prime Ministers in the US:-)  Anyway, it’s a fun night for us as we usually learn a great deal about recent the history of our village from one of our team mates as well as it being a really good time to pump people for information about, well, stuff around here as most everyone in the village without small children tend to attend.

I also want to give a great big shout out to my friend Terri Pike who got a huge mention on Cast-On today!!  Go check out her very cool website with tutorials on how to felt.  Just remember Terri, we were on Cast-On first 😉

I am sending to the pond once again, the gray sock.  Not only does it not fit my feet but while traveling home from the US an entire needle slid out dropping all of the stitches which, pretty bad on it’s own, was then compounded by the motion of the baggage being moved around and such making all of the dropped stitches run like wussies back down the foot of the sock until they came to the heel.  This sock is not only being frog-ponded but it will have the added pleasure of being put into the time-out corner as well!  Since that left me sans a sock to knit on, I got out the Krafty Koala sock yarn that I got at Woolfest this spring.  It’s called Tui Sock and is a Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend in the colorway “Undergrowth”.  To say that I nearly had a yarngasam just balling it (get your mind out of the gutter!) would be an understatement.  This stuff is so soft and smooshy I really would love to knit a pillowcase out of it.  The color is a dark green with just hints of blue-ish in it.  I will post a picture when I find a time that I can stop fondling it.  Until then, I have some yarn to molest 🙂


Almost fraking done! August 1, 2009

So, the Flower Power blanket, otherwise known as the blanket for Cesar and Pam, is very nearly done.  I finished sewing it together this week (thank the Gods) and am working on putting the edging on it.  I’m so happy that this project is done I could (and have) done a little dance.  It’s not that I didn’t like making it.  I really liked crocheting this one up.  Well, except for that whole unexpectedly ran out of the yarn that I needed for the center of the flowers when I’m several thousand miles away from a place that sells it thing.  That kinda sucked (thanks again Lily!).  Honestly, it wasn’t even the sewing.  It was the headaches that I got from the sewing.  I know that I should go see an eye doctor but I just can’t bring myself to go through all of that until I am back from my big trip to the states.


Speaking of the trip.  I realized that I haven’t yet put up an itinerary for where all I am going and roughly when (I don’t even know all of it yet!).  So, here it goes:

I start off flying from London, Heathrow to Chicago on the 21st of August.  I will be staying in Chicago from the 21st until the 26th when I take the California Zephyr (Amtrak train) to Osceola, IA where my mother is going to be picking me up.  I will then be staying in Iowa until the 28th or the 29th when my parents and I are leaving by car for Alaska.  We will be gone on this part of the trip for anywhere from 4-6 weeks, not really sure yet.  So when we get back, sometime in the end of September or beginning of October, I will then make my way down to Florida for a few weeks.  There is a trip in the planning for Key West with a bunch of hookers the weekend of the 10-11th of October.  The next Friday, the 16th, I’ll be making my way up to Rhinebeck for the NY Sheep and Wool festival.  On the 18th, I fly from White Plains to DC and then back to London, Heathrow.  I will have been gone approximately 60 days.  I will also be spending a LOT of time on United Airlines (gag).  I wish that I could take Amtrak a little more (luggage restrictions and all of that are easier) but it really wasn’t feasible at all.  Now, a few things in this itinerary…  I plan on being at the Ravelry party on Saturday night so if anybody wanted to meet me this would be a good place to do it.  I may or may not make it to the Ravelry meet-ups at Rhinebeck as I always mean to and then get too excited about everything going on and totally forget.  Maybe I’ll have more control this year (snort!).  I’m also thinking about taking a class at Rhinebeck if I get in early enough on Friday.  Annie Modesitt is teaching several classes this year and, shockingly, they aren’t sold out yet.  (I think that this is sort of a Sock Summit “shadow”.  It will be interesting to see if the crowds at Rhinebeck are thinner this year because of it as well since so many people only have enough money to do either one or the other…)

I have at least finished one thing this week.  The traveling baby blanket that I made out of leftover Cottontots is completely finished, even the ends are woven in.  I plan in taking it over to my neighbor sometime next week for her church to use as a fundraising tool.  Here it is:


Today has been…rough.  I couldn’t sleep last night at all.  I was still perky and awake when the birds started singing this morning.  At around 7am I took the dogs out for a good walk.  I wasn’t tired for any of it and the Hubby got up and joined me.  I then abruptly became really tired and more or less passed-out for about 4 or 5 hours.  Ugh.  Then I got up and made banana bars and managed to overbake them.  I won’t say burnt as they are really only just a tad too brown.  Still, it was annoying.  Then I made banana bread (are you seeing a theme here?) where half of the batter went into a normal sized loaf pan and the other half went into 4 tiny little pans.  The little ones turned out ok, the big one, not quite so.  I’m not sure what happened there but I guess I’ll just have to try again!

Last night while I wasn’t sleeping, I designed and ordered some mini “business” cards with Moo.  I saw a lot of these at Woolfest and thought that they seemed much cooler than traditional business cards.  I decided to get some for myself as I noticed that at gatherings of fibery folks I was always asking what folks Ravelry names were and then forgetting it before I had even gotten home.  I put my electronic contacts on these cards and then an assortment of photographs on the other side of them.  I figured that I will probably be meeting a lot of folks on my trip and pulling out one of these cute little cards was way easier than trying to record things on napkins or scraps of paper that always get lost.  I totally suggest checking out the site as you can order 10 normal business sized cards for free.

One cool thing that happened today was that I finally got my actual paper degree from UF.  It looks quite official and fancy.  I was surprised that they put a little thing on the actual degree that said “Cum Laude”.  How cool is that?!!?  Now I just need to find a frame for it!


Making the Case July 17, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Sarah Jane Humke @ 1:01 am
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One of the things that has been “made” recently has been a Knitpicks/Knitpro case for my Symfonie wood and Nova interchangeable circular needle set as well as for the DPNs.  The set came with a nasty vinyl case that stuck together and smelled funny and was sort of hard to find anything in and was already really full feeling with out the DPNs or the Novas in it.  

So, my lovely husband decided to take up the challenge.  He has sewed a lot in the past and now that we have a sewing machine it really isn’t a big deal.  So I looked around for fabrics that I liked and I found a quilting cotton at Hobbycraft  for the inside and a heavier almost cotton duck at IKEA for the outside.  The hubby and I discussed strategy and he came up with the first one.  It was perfect except that the cotton fabric on the inside was just too thin and literally started falling apart.  

The first case with the too thin fabric

The first case with the too thin fabric

At Woolfest there was a lady selling odds and ends of woven woolen cloth.  Pretty heavy stuff, really quite nice for a pound so we bought it in order to take another try at making this case.  We also got some really cool buttons from the button lady and we were back in business.  Here is what it looks like now…

The current version in wool.

The current version in wool.

The outside of the case all folded up

The outside of the case all folded up


With it's current closure method

With it's current closure method

I’m thinking about making a matching project bag from the leftover IKEA material.






I know he’s awesome and no you can’t have him……