Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Fastnacht Day!

Happy Fastnacht Day!

For those of you that don't know about this time honored Pennsylvania Dutch (german) tradition, here's a great website that includes a recipe for making Fastnachts. Sure, New Orelans has Mardi Gras, but that doesn't fly with the Pennsylvania Dutch--too much drinking, carousing, and generally wasting time. We pair our pre-Lent festivities down to one day--one morning actually--Shrove Tuesday-- and, given our traditions, you shouldn't be surprised to find that the celebration is all about eating in great quantities. I was in southern Germany a few years ago during Shrove Tuesday and they celebrate a version of Fastnacht--Fasching--sort of a carnival. Most Pennsylvania Dutch folks came to the US in the 1600s/ early 1700s--most of my family arrived early in order to escape religious persection--so the tradition in the US is distinctly different and far less celebratory (religiously tempered perhaps? All those Mennonites) than that in Europe.

When I was a little girl there was a rush to get out of bed on Fastnacht day--last one awake was the fastnacht for the day. My Mom would mix up and fry the donuts and we would dunk the ones right out of the fryer into a brown lunch bag that held powdered sugar. A bit of shaking, and they were ready to eat. The donuts are cakey, heavy things due to the mashed potatoes, flour, and lard. The leftover donuts were dunked in Lion Brand golden table syrup and a smear of butter. Of course, I don't have anything in the house to fry donuts in and the whole lard thing scares me. But hey--it's Fastnacht day! Eat some fattening foods!

And in Texas we are moving on to spring:

Spring in Texas
Originally uploaded by amyeetx

Time to get those gardens planted (tomatoes should be in soon... the husband planted berries last week). All thoughts of winter are gone. Well, I guess there should be some explaination of the Olympic knitting conclusion (or mid point in my case). Here's my first picture:

Taking pictures
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Someone wanted to be in the picture, but we mostly ended up with two sets of feet and a mop of early morning hair. Here's the completed back:

Olympic Knitting
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

So I don't get a medal, but I am one step closer to a finished object! This has been fun to knit and you should expect more in the near future!

Thursday, February 23, 2006


So look:

Texas Pasture
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Hamburger and Steak have moved on. Not to the butcher, to a new pasture across town. Spud came to pick them up and return them to the herd. What a relief.

You might be wondering what happened to my Knitting Olympics. Here you go:

Back of Voyage
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

That's the back. There's nothing else to see. Sad really. I have sorely miscalculated my time allotment for knitting over the olympics. I'm a participant, but there will be no medal here. I expect that the back should be finished within a day or two, which will be nice.

That's not to say that I haven't enjoyed the challenge. Here's what I've learned. I love charts. I've worked with charts in the past but not really figured out how they can enable easier knitting. For whatever reason I now get it. I can put the chart on my lap and see the knitting. This is actually a big deal for me and opens up additional knitting possibilities. The other really neat thing for me is how much I am enjoying knitting a pattern at a smaller gauge. Voyage is going to take a good amount of time to finish and usually that makes me a little impatient. Not so with this one. All good fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Open Range, Texas

As if having a child throwing up for 5 days (yes--today we are doing better!!) wasn't bad enough, we ended up with some visitors.

These two:

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I've taken to calling them hamburger and steak. Actually, hamburger is kinda pretty:

This is Steak and Hamburger
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Texas has an open range law, dating from the 1800s, for livestock. That means that unless a local county or portion of county changes the law by election, the landowner is responsible for keeping animals off their land, not the other way around. Our county hasn't changed anything. So, in the case of these two beasts, if the owner has a broken fence and doesn't fix it, he or she is not responsible for the damage the animals do once they get out. The landowner is responsible for fencing in their property to keep the animals out. Check out the legal code (from Texas Cattle Raisers):

"The Texas Supreme Court is very clear on this subject. In their 1999 decision on Gibbs v. Jackson, the Court ruled that a livestock owner has no duty to fence his livestock unless such a duty is created by statute."
Um. Well we have fences around the entire property with the exception of the entrance and the heavily wooded front. These two decided to just walk in the driveway. My neighbor knocked on the door last night to say that these two were peeking in her back window, scared the beejesus out of her, and ran toward our barn. Another neighbor arrived and we all ran the cattle into our horse paddock.

Now, what do we do with them? I was all for sending them to the slaughter house and having a big neighborhood party, but that won't work with the open range law. We called the sheriff, who did a report and has to try to find the owners. If they can't, they hold the animals for 90 days (fed and housed by the sherriff's department) and then auction them off. You know, Texas is another country. Really.

Oh-you want to know about the olympic knitting? Here you go:

Closeup of Voyage
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I haven't made a lot of progress, but I like the denim and the pattern. I find the chart easy to follow, but curse Rowan for going for the trendy blue color in the chart. Why couldn't they use a plain white box, rather than blue, for knit on RS/Purl on WS? It wouldn't look as pretty, but I could read it without squinting!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


The horror--I've been sidetracked. By a sick child. Apparently the child has the nasty stomach virus bug. Poor kid. She's been ill since Saturday and just wants to sit on me. Since she has been sharing with me (ugh), I'm sure to get this thing. Wonder how fast those virus bugs take to mature?

I have knitted a bit, but I'm pretty behind. I'm about half way through the back, which probably is going to put me endlessly behind the deadline. Call me the Herminator--he had the flu and didn't compete up to par.

At this point, any progress toward my olympic goal will be my own personal victory. On I stumble.

BTW--Jo made a super cute Team Texas button and suggested that I add it to my site. I looked at it and it dawned on me--that's a longhorn. An orange longhorn. A University of Texas Longhorn. I work at that other school up Highway 6. I live in that other town. I think I might be run out of town if I put that button on my blog. That hatred runs deep. I wanted to Jo! I wanted to--but I live in fear...

Friday, February 10, 2006

Let's Go!

It's that time. The olympics. The knitting. Are you ready? (Cue that annoying Are you ready for some Football music).

I'm making Rowan's two color Voyage from Denim People using the pattern recommended colors of Rowan Denim--Memphis for the main color and Nashville for the accent color. Here's the picture:

I chose this as a challenge because it used cables, a chart, and a fine gauge. Plus I want to test the yarn to see if it will work for the hubby sweater. All that makes the pattern challenging to complete in 16 days. I'm still not sure that this is even do-able given how crazy my work life is, but I'm willing to give it a go. Ultimately, any progress in the sweater is a victory, regardless of finishing the item.

Where am I at? I've swatched, copied the pattern and blown up the chart--I can't see the small print! I haven't ordered the buttons--I'm going to do that this weekend. SO, here it goes.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Introducing Mousie

When I was a kid, I had two imaginary mice named pinky and blinky that would live in my pocket. Apparently my mother was quite concerned that her daughter was talking to these imaginary friends and she tried to divert my attention to other real stuffed animals. While my daughter has had an imaginary cat friend (a purple cat that likes to come with her to restaurants), she has always wanted a real mouse. After some negotiation, we agreed on a stuff mouse, from Lucinda Guy's Designs for Kids: Handknits & Things.

Webs had Debbie Bliss' Baby Cashmerino, which is washable and the right gauge. The child request a pink and purple mouse. You stitch the mouse in lots of little pieces and then sew up the body. We had a stuffing session last night:

Stuffing Mousie
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Add the ears and some whiskers and mousie was ready to play.

Introducing Mousie
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

For once an item I knitted for the child is happily accepted. Mousie went to sleep with the small one and off to school as well.

I love my Mousie!
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I know you haven't heard much from me this past week. I was taking care of a very cranky cat. Rollins had to have one of his bottom long teeth removed since the enamel was completely worn away. After surgery he wasn't feeling really great. Mousie wanted to keep him company. Isn't that too cute!

Mousie with her friend, Rollins
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Friday, February 03, 2006


I did receive the lovely Mission Falls buttons that I bought for Tipi, so I sewed them on and wore her yesterday. Here she is:

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Pattern: Tipi
From: A Season's Tale by Rowan
Size: 36 with suggested needles
Yarn: Rowanspun Chunky, Fern
Buttons: Mission Falls Carved Horn

I just adore this sweater. The chunky yarn is warm and casual, a good look over jeans and a tshirt. It fits nicely--perhaps the best fit of a sweater to date.

Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

Here's a closeup of the button band and buttons. I think they look like little suns, my hubby says Inuit. The color is warm and picks up the light brown flecks in the yarn.

Buttons on Tipi
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The back:

Tipi Back
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

This is a great basic cardigan. It knit very, very quickly --just about 2 weeks of inconsistent work. I think that I might actually be learning how to finish, as my seams look much nicer. All in all, a satifying project and the first FO of 2006!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Dalarna Sock 1

Sorry for the long silence. I had a horrible cold (from the child) for a few days and then a major computer hardware failure. Eesh. I'm now back on track, I believe.

Knitting? Well, there is my long neglected Dalarna Sock from Nancy Bush's Knitting on the Road.

Dalarna Sock 1
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

I LOVE this sock. Now it needs a friend. The Guernsey yarn is stiff, but should soften when washed and looks like it will wear very nicely.

I wasn't sure how the little clock pattern that runs down the side of the sock would look, but I am very pleased with the result. I made a heel flap and picked up stitches, as the pattern suggests:

Heel of Dalarna Sock
Originally uploaded by amyeetx.

The heel also came out nicely, perhaps my best heel ever. Now if I get to cast on for the other sock...

Gallery of Finished Objects

Gallery 2007
Gallery 2006
Gallery 2005
Gallery 2004

On the Needles

Cable Cardigan

Faroe Island Sweater

Rowan Denim Seahorse


Future Knits

Lisette from Rowan

Lorna's Laces Socks

Backyard Leaves Scarf

Eloise from Jane Ellison


The WeatherPixie


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