Sunday, January 30, 2011

Eggs and the Barn Man

These are the eggs I gathered this morning - just before the Barn Man again scared me half to death.I think the Barn Man is going to have to move again. Maybe I'll take him up to the store and let him scare the people in Hamburg!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pool Man by a Tree

The fellow in the photo used to stand by my hot tub/pool, the one we have removed from my soon-to-be sun room. He held my towels for me. More than once I've seen delivery men try to talk to him through the window and I firmly believe he chased away a number of people with ill intentions . When Joe was working on my new wall, he cleared the debris out of the room and put this poor guy out in the snow. He was standing by the tree for a couple days, until he scared me half to death twice because Gibby barked and I looked out the window to see a strange man standing in the yard. I decided to stop scaring myself and put him in the barn where he could be peering out of the barn door and scare away people who don't want to be seen.
I had forgotten how heavy he is, but I finally got him situated just inside the barn and forgot about him - until I was doing my chores in the stallion barn and stepped into the tack room - and saw him out of the corner of my eye. There is nothing scarier late at night when you are all alone in a quiet barn than a silent man just standing there!
I can see the headline now: Local Farmer Scared to Death by Mannequin

Monday, January 24, 2011

French Doors

My new french doors have been installed - well, sort-of installed, there's no hardware, trim or finishing touches yet, but the doors are there instead of the pseudo- plywood from the back of the cupboard that was donated to me through Freecycle Ann Arbor.
I have to keep boxes and chairs in front of the doors to keep Gibby from pushing them open, and I put one of my wool treasures - a gold wool blanket - at the bottom of the doors as a cold barrier. It's very cold here, been below zero all weekend, but I've still been able to keep the temperature of the house (well, three rooms) up in a livable range - french doors and wool blankets are on my list of the good things on earth.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clog Update

I'm working on another pair of clogs - using multi-colored yarn this time. I'm planning to use U-glue from Joann's and glue this pair to some hard soles. I think I'll use flip-flop soles since I haven't been able to find any inexpensive crocs. This pair of blue clogs was made using the unchanged **original pattern - it lets the heel area rise a little higher and I think gives the clogs a "mukluk" shape. I wore this pair last night while playing Scrabble with some friends, letting my feet do the final drying of the sole, since they were felted just the night before - they were so comfortable I forgot I was wearing them and the soles were completely dry by evening's end.

I'm calling this pair "Possums". The cuff was purled with a strand of novelty yarn and the main part of the clogs were knitted with the kind of yarn used for fisherman's sweaters. It became a little fuzzier than the Paton's yarn used for the other clogs.
**There is a change that keeps the heel lower, making it easier to slide a foot into the clog. This change is especially appropriate if the clogs are going to be glued to a hard sole - with the unchanged pattern, it's best if the sole is flexible while working the foot into it. The change is at row 33. Replace pattern row 33 with this row: slip1, K12(10,11/12,13), K2tog., K1, ssk, K12(10,11/12,13), ssk, K2tog., K to end of row. Do not turn and skip all other pattern rows to cuff.
Do not knit second sole, E-Glue to croc or other sole and clamp down all around.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Wall at Last!

AT LAST! For the first time since I moved back home, my home is entirely enclosed!
It's only temporary and it isn't pretty, but it holds in the heat. Yahooooooo!

After living with a completely open wall since mid-December, I called my builder friend and told him I feel like I'm a homeless person living in my home, that the cold is unbearable. Poor guy, it never occurred to him that the floor for the old pool room was a deck with spaces between the boards, definitely not built to hold out a Michigan winter - he came right out and used my chicken coop plywood to board up the wall - after measuring for the french doors I'm going to buy at Lowe's tomorrow. Now I can get the temperature in the living room above 60 degrees. Nice to be able to sit without being covered by blankets - maybe now I'll be able to get back to hooking.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Felting Knitted Clogs

In Nova Scotia, I watched Marliss and Barb working on knitted/felted clogs and decided I wanted to make some for Christmas presents. They are easy to knit on size 13 needles with double strands of 100% wool worsted weight yarn. When the knitting is finished, the clogs are HUGE.

The clogs are then washed in hot water in a washing machine with a little soap - the felting usually shows up after about ten minutes of washing. Then the gift recipient takes the funny, slippery, soapy blobs of yarn out of the machine and sees for the first time that they might have received a real gift. Then, the clogs are checked every few minutes to see if they have reached the perfect custom fit.

The washing machine shouldn't be allowed to go into a spin cycle or the shape might be stretched out. The soap can be rinsed out of the clogs in cold water - something you wouldn't do if you weren't felting.

The clogs can be rolled in a towel to help with drying.

Then the clogs should be carefully shaped - when they are left to dry, they will retain the dried shape. I found that the yarn I used tended to become fuzzy and the fuzz could be patted down at this point.

Plastic bags inserted in the toes help to retain the "cloggy" shape while the clogs dry.

It's important to play with the shape while the clogs are still wet. It generally takes two or more days to dry. Once dry and worn for a while, they will conform to the wearer's feet and become left and right clogs. They can be washed in cold water like fine woolens and they can be re-felted if they stretch out after worn for a long time.
It was fun giving these as gifts because the gift giving was then followed by another visit to do the felting - sort of a two-party gift!