Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's Not too Early to Think December!

One December mitten finished this evening.

This is part of a kit I purchased last year from KnitPicks and my first project blending more than two colors. It has gone quite fast and I'm ready to cast on the mate tomorrow.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Don't you just love fall!?

It is a lovely and crisp day today. Perfect for throwing open all the windows and hanging laundry on the line!

Yesterday was beach day! It was a wonderful constant ocean breeze! Here are a few of my favorite pictures from yesterday:




Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Little Quiet Time

I have a little quiet time this morning. I got up early to walk down and take care of a neighbor's kitty while she is out of town. He is such a sweet boy, I wish I could bring him home with me. He has the loudest pur! He is a little camera shy, but he has beautiful blue eyes, too.



So my intent was to come back and do a little knitting, but I got wrapped up in watching a podcast and then got inspired to do a little blog work myself, so here I am.

The podcast was "Knitting Blooms I loved it. I wasn't familiar with Knitting Blooms until I saw it this morning in my G+ stream and thought I'd give it a try. I'm so glad I did. I highly recommend it. It is entertaining and informative. I have often thought of a podcast of sorts for Stitches and Stories, but I'm afraid I am not so photogenic and a little intimidated about putting my face out there. But, I do think it would be found to podcast our Tuesday knitting lunches at work. We have great discussions on projects, yarns and books. So it could be quite fun. I'll have to talk to the girls about it.

One thing I noticed in the podcast this morning and I have many knitting friends who do the same thing is, the obsession with the amount of stash one has. I mean converting it to miles, what to count as stash and what not to count. Knitters putting themselves on yarn buying restrictions because they have "X" number of yards/miles of stash? I mean no disrespect to any of my fellow knitters, but I don't get it.
I mean, why? Who cares? And I don't mean who cares in the sense that we are not interested in stash, we all are, I mean that is part of knitting, it is like little kids with baseball cards you always what to know what your friends have and what they are willing to buy/sell/trade. What I mean is who cares, if you have a lot of stash, having a lot of stash is a good thing. I mean you're a knitter and possibly a spinner and/or weaver as well, you're supposed to have stash! Friends, the more stash you have the better, it is like money, is there really too much? It is all in what you do with it right?

So fellow knitters and fiber lovers don't punish yourself for you stash, celebrate, buy or spin more! That is what the fiber life is all about! Have hundreds of yards/miles of stash and go buy/spin more! Do it now!

In other knitting news I am 10 rows away from finishing my Freya Shawl, you may remember that was my project for the Ravellenic Games. Yes, I know, the games are over and I am still out there trying to get it done. But the urgency left me when the games ended and I haven't worked on it in a couple of days. I also started a pair of socks, as the green blog that is the shawl has gotten too large for me to want to tote around. So at the Tuesday Knitting Club, I've been working on my socks. I will hopefully get some time to work on it today, especially if I get off the computer and go to it.

It is a perfect morning for knitting in the garden.

I hope you all have a wonderfully fiber filled day!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

A little gardening tip for cucumbers

Cucumbers are a wonderful thing, they can be used for all sorts of things, soups, salad, facial creams,  you name it. But what you cannot do with them is freeze them.

So what to do when you have made all the soup, salad and facials creams you, your friends and family can stand?

Drink them!


A simple drink Cucumber and basil slushy. Yum!

1 small cucumber

1/4 basil

1/4 vodka

1/4 water

3 tablespoons of honey (sugar if you prefer)

3 1/2 cups of ice.

Put it all in the blender and garnish with a cucumber slice.

A nice cool drink on a hot summer day and you can put those cucumbers to good use!

Cheers!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pin It!

Happy Hump Day!  Today in the Sheep Shack we are organizing some inspiration over at Pinterest. A little knitting and a little fiction. Stop by the boards and see what you think. I have one for a current work of fiction entitled "Engineered Murder" where I am collecting some inspiration and style for my characters. And of course the knitting board, that almost goes without saying.

See you there!

http://pinterest.com/inkslinger1450/knitting/

http://pinterest.com/inkslinger1450/engineered-murder/

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You Should Never Piss Off the Women with Pointy Sticks

So if your a knitter, spinner, fiber enthusiast of any kind, then you know by know about the cease and desist order from the US Olympic Committee, stating that the use of the term Ravelympics in a copyright infringement and that used in conjunction with terms such as scarf hockey and afghan marathon is in some way disrespectful to the athletes.

I wonder how many of them knit? But I digress. They have issued a follow up statement saying that they regret their insensitive statements, really?

Well I regret to inform you USOT that I will be boycotting your sponsors. I will not be purchasing London 2012 merchandise, or any other products associated with your little band corporate scrooges.

Please understand I can appreciate the need for copyright projection, but in your review of the Ravelry website that you were so found of quoting in your letter, did you see anyone profiting from the similarity of use? Was anyone selling their Ravelympics items? No, many don't even have logos on them. Team colors, country colors perhaps.

So here's to you Coca Cola, McDonald's, VISA (you will not be where I want to be this summer).

You talk about supporting the athletes through sponsorship and donations, well don't bite the hand that feeds you next time.

Here is a link to a complete list of sponsors should anyone else feel inclined to let the USOT how we feel: Sponsor List


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happy, Hot, & Home

It is a glorious summer day! A that started perfectly by hanging clothes on the line to dry and capture the smell of sunshine the only way cotton sheets can in the summer. Followed by lunch at Carrot Tree Kitchens - Yorktown with my wonderful Aunt. There I had the "Strawberry Fields" sandwich, which is

Honey roasted turkey,  warm brie, sliced strawberries and 
toasted almonds with lettuce and Debi’s Honey Cider dressing 
on a feather light croissant with a side order of Spinach Orzo 
salad.  


My Aunt enjoyed the "Tidewater" which involves a crab cake, obviously.


Our crab cake, made with a touch of country ham, is served 
hot on a toasted knot roll with tartar sauce, a little Cole Slaw,  
and a side order of  Potato Salad.

The we shared a Chocolate Ice Chest Pie.

My Aunt said it best, "Heavenly!"

Sadly, our visit ended too soon and she went home, but she is going to get to see two of my little cousins today, she is so lucky!

I went on to Knitting Sisters, I mean where else would I go if I was not at home on a Saturday afternoon but to Knitting Sisters. As always, it was wonderful to see the "Sisters" and chat with some other knitters!

I just needed a small fix today so just some sock yarn and extra pair of needles and some Lincatex metallic yarn in Gold Rush colorway (black and gold). I plan to use it with some lace weight in a light grey for a fabulous dressy shawl!

What a fabulous day!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

You Know What Really Bugs Me?

Flea Beetles.  Flea Beetles are the little critters that make the tiny pinholes in the leaves of your eggplant plants, and probably some other plants too, but they seem to be especially fond of my eggplants. So how do you get rid of these little critters without dousing the garden with chemicals that will also chase aware must wanted insects like bees.

So what to do you ask? Well I came up with a concoction that is inspired by Jerry Baker and a few other sites. I took one whole small garlic (about six cloves), one small onion and finely chopped both, then placed them in a pot with one quart of water and one tablespoon of cayenne pepper. I boiled it for about five to ten minutes on medium heat, be careful not to boil off all your water. I then let it sit over night. In the morning I strained the solids out and put the garlic, pepper, onion infused water into a spray bottle and went to the garden. I gently sprayed both the tops and bottoms of the leaves.

I will keep you posted on how well this works. But it nothing else, the garden smells extra good this morning.


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ravelympics Who's In?

Who's joining me for Ravelympics? I love the Olympics! I just hold my breath watching the gymnastics and the equestrian events. So to get into the spirit of things I am participating in my first Ravelympics, as a member of the Squint Squad. I haven't chosen my event yet. But looking forward to the fun and mayhem that is sure to ensue!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Walking on the Wild Side

A brief description before I begin my story. My building is in a government complex at our end of the street are two buildings one up by the road the other in the back and backs up to a very large field, with a recycle center off to the left. Some trees and a burrow pit are straight back and to the right.

My co-workers office is the last office on the hall next to the door, it is also on the backside of the building so she has a view of the field. We often seen deer passing by. Today as I was standing in front of her desk discussing a construction plan we are both involved in, something outside her window caught my eye. I had to look for a few minutes to see what it was, then I say a black snack coming out of the tall grass of the field into the grass that is kept cut that surrounds our building. He was headed for our building. We called to one of the other co-workers who got a camera and ran outside to grab a picture. But the snake was too quick and disappeared, we think into a crack in the brick of our building. YIKES! But we are all outside now and feeling quite brave since it was determined that the snake was not of the poisonous variety. We never found the snake but we did find this guy hanging our near the AC units.

We did see the snake later returning to the field but alas still no picture of it. I'm sure he/she will be back, I just hope he stays at that end of the building.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What are they thinking?

I am on the final count down to a major exam and I haven't had much time for anything else, really. But on my few breaks I have attempted to catch up on some of my favorite TV Shows that I have been missing this season. It is a rather sporadic diversion,  but all study and no play, give me a migraine, so.

But one thing that has really interrupted my brief moments of enjoyment have been the commercials. I know we all don't really like them we want to get back to the hear to of things, but I mean they are annoying in more than just the usual way.

My particular pet peeves are the Arby's commercials any of them that end with that annoying little jingle at the end "it's good mood food" Okay maybe it isn't the words, maybe it is the guy singing I don't know but I swear I really dislike that commercial and it makes me not want to go to Arby's.

Arby's commercial

Then there is Dunkin Donuts. And with this one it is not just the commercial it is the whole company branding. The grammatical incorrectness of it all gives me a twitch. I refuse to encourage this branding by dining at this establishment. I have never in been in one of their stores, nor will I ever, because frankly I do not "run on dunkin" that is like nails on a chalk board to me. I just cannot handle it.

Dunkin

This one annoys me because it seems to ramble on, the first time I saw it I didn't realize it was a freaking car commercial. Please someone just get to the point!

Audi

Okay, I won't annoy you with my entire list, but seriously am I the only one?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Frogs in Bloom

Things seem to be moving out of control here at the Sheep Shack recently and I have had a hard time reigning all the madness in. I was 10 rows away from finishing my Clappy and frogged the whole thing. I just wasn't happy with how it turned out. So do-over! Don't you wish you could frog a day, a week or a month? Wouldn't it be nice to have do-overs.

Spring is a kind of do-over, each year the earth renews itself and we are treated with new beauty.




Saturday, April 21, 2012

April Showers - a Little Late

Our April has been pretty dry and the western part of the state has had wildfires already, but this weekend we are expecting a little "mini nor'easter". The clouds started rolling in last night.

You can see the wall of clouds on the horizon



This morning it is a bit overcast. 




But, the roses are still promising to bloom!  






Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Review of Things New

Hello Dear Reader,

  Today's installment of Stitches and Stories includes a book review and a tech review.

I have recently borrowed Mr. Sheep Shack's Kindle Fire because he had downloaded the Hunger Games to it and I wanted to read the book and see what all the excitement was about.

First, the Kindle Fire, I know a lot of people have said they love it as an alternative to the iPad and I was eager to check it out and see why. I'm still waiting. I don't see it as something I prefer over my iPad. Mr. Sheep Shack prefers the size of the Fire over the iPad, but I do not. There is glare on the screen when reading outside, I thought Kindles weren't supposed to have that issue, but maybe I am confusing that with something else. Also, my biggest complaint is the battery life. Holy Cow! This thing has hardly any batter life at all. I put it in sleep mode when I finish reading and still I can't go a day and a half without the thing beeping about a low battery. So it loses points with me on that, I could live with the other things, but not a short battery life.

Second, the Hunger Games, I am about half way through the first book in the series and it may be pre-mature to offer a review, but there is a possibility I might not finish it. It is a good story and I do not have any complaints per se, other than it is not a gripping story for me. It is not something that I can't wait to pick up and read again. Not one of those books I read on my lunch break and then am late returning to work because I just couldn't put it down. I know I am probably one of very few who feel this way since this book and the movie seem to be wildly popular. But, it is just not really holding my attention at the moment. But in fairness I am only half way through the book and so maybe things will change.

Third, being a fan, albeit a recent one of Apple Products, I have made the transformation complete this weekend but dumping my Samsung Intercept Droid phone for the iPhone. It may be an unfair comparison as my carrier was one of the pay as you go plans and now I'm on a "sign on the dotted line" contract carrier, but the difference is unbelievable. I love love love my iPhone 4S. Siri is truly one of the handiest things ever. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to adapt to the onscreen keyboard, but it hasn't bee that hard, but with Siri, I don't really need to use it either. I let Siri send my text messages for me! That in itself is worth the phone's weight in gold to me. Also the "notes" program which I use for making my shopping lists is also voice activated. Apps that I tried to use on my Droid phone work a lot better on my iPhone as well. So overall two thumbs up. Plus, I have total compatibility now with my other apple products for access to playlists, mags, books, and other apps.

*Disclaimer: By offering this review of Apple products I do not discredit other products such as Windows and/or Droid. If you are happy with those products, I think that is wonderful!

Personally, once you go Mac you never go back!

Cheers!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Comfort Knitting

I have not been as productive in my knitting lately, so many other things have been demanding my attention. I am studying for a professional certification, which is practically like going back to school, I even dusted off my old stats textbook!

Everyone has a comfort food, like grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and most knitters probably have a comfort knitting project, something you go to when you need to relax, don't want to think about the pattern too hard. Mine comfort knitting is socks. I love to knit socks when I'm stressed, they can be as challenging as you want them to be, but even just a plain vanilla sock requires just enough skill to distract you from your stress, but not too much that it taxes your already over taxed brain.

So with that being said. . . . I can't study 24/7 and I need to give my brain a rest. My comfort knitting is socks! I am knitting the Laurel Socks from Wendy Johnson. I am nearly done with the second and also intend to start the clapotis from Knitty tomorrow as well.

What is your comfort knitting?


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Winter/Spring, Spring/Winter

Today it is in the 60's and sunny, with the promise of spring! I have clothes on the line and took a little walk this morning while collecting food for our neighborhood food drive.

Tomorrow's forecast, SNOW!, Seriously. And then it is supposed to be in the 60s the rest of the work week.

Well as usual if we get any snow it won't hang around, but February is like that, and March will be cold and then April will be soggy and warm one day, cold the next. I can't wait for June!

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snow....snow....snow

Last night we had thunder snow, lightening, the wind was blowing so hard it was snowing sideways!
And this is what it looks like this morning......

It is a bit disappointing for all of the nature dramatics, don't ya think?

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Namaste Boardwalk Bag

I just brought home my newly adopted Boardwalk Bag. Love. It. It is a Valentines Day gift from Mr. Sheep Shack!

I was at first worried about roominess, but it has plenty of room for knitting and non-knitting gear.

Fresh from the store


Rear view, with zipper pouch


Open, notice zipper pouch on the back panel and two open pouches on the front


My Macbook Pro, iPad and two balls of yarn


Closed with all my gear inside

I purchased my wonderful new bag at Knitting Sisters, they have the best price on this bag too!
The ladies there are always wonderful. I had my name on the call list for when the bags arrived. They called me as soon as they came in and held one for me to pick up the next day! Thank you so much Sisters!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Cool Blog of the Week

I met Jenn on G+ and from there found her website. She has a wonderful site and blog:

Midnight Sky Fibers
Stop by and check it out and tell her hello.

And if your not on G+ yet, come on over! I have met so many new and fun people there! You can look for me under Milly Story or millyknits@gmail.com

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You spin me right round.....

Today, I adopted two lovely antique but functional spinning wheels.







The two wheels and the cobblers bench were made by the father of a friend of a friend about 50 years ago. I just need to get a new tension band, some extra bobbins, and give them a little love and oil and they will be spinning again in no time.

Olive approves.



Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sockupied!

Just bought and downloaded the spring Sockupied emag. I can't want to dive into it! But there has been so much going on here and I have so many WIPs it really is quite sad.
I did finish a cute little pony hat and matching scarf for a co-workers little girl, knitted all in pink and white, so cute.

I am now working on socks, a shawl, a cardigan, a languishing mitten, and have this beautiful red variegated yarn just begging me to knit into something cozy and warm.

But, I am also taking two online classes and have to spend as much time studying as possible that cuts into the knitting time, although I have downloaded the lectures that are available in audio so I can listen and knit at the same time.

Plus, the part time bartending gigs are heating up, I worked last weekend, I'm working this weekend and next, I think I have one weekend off and then another event is scheduled. Plus, things continue to be busy at the full time job.

So right now things are crazier than normal around here, so I apologize for the lack of pictures.

But I found a lovely new blog to share:

My Corner of Life is a lovely blog by Christine, stop by and say hello to her. And hey, she is new to spinning to let's cheer her on!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No Fear

If you are not familiar with Imogen Heap, I highly recommend her music. I just recently discovered it myself and I love it!

I especially love this song. It could really apply to so many things. But I think it is such a beautiful song.

Enjoy!

Minds without Fear

We should never fear the unknown, it is an opportunity. We never fear honesty, for the truth really will set you fear.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Something Fishy

I delivered a dead fish scarf and hat for a co-workers little boy today. She was very excited.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, Fresh Start

Dear Reader,

  I'm not one for resolutions, I kinda like myself the way I am and if I need to change something well it's best not to wait until January 1 to take care of such things. I wanted to share with you my feelings on 2011, overall it wasn't a bad year. I mean sure globally things could be better, economy, war, yadda, yadda, yadda. My philosophy is I can only effect change in my corner of the world and if everyone managed their corner of the world all the corners would then add up, and the positive changes would spread and eventually, poof global change.

I do not believe that standing outside a bank building, the capital, the UN and screaming my protest of something will change anything, no one inside of those buildings are going to hear me and even if they did, they aren't listening. So I quietly effect change in my corner of the world and encourage you to do the same. That kind of change will be heard louder than any screams or protest signs ever will. Change by action not by voice.

You can also choose how and where you spend your money either by choosing to shop local or handcrafted or free trade items. You can vote out the people who you think are doing a bad job, vote in people you think will do a better job, you can choose to live green or greener you can volunteer to improve the lives of others.

Just think if everyone did just one of these things in the new year, what kind of changes could we bring about 2012?

"Things that make you say mmmmmmmmm."