Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas on the Hill

Episode 2 is up!
Yes, after almost 3 weeks----episode 2 is live.....thanks for your patience. Life events conspired against me in the process of getting the episode out sooner, but better LATE than never. The good news is, I'm going to try to get a pre-New Year episode out by December 31st (Episode 2.5 hopefully! Stay tuned my fellow listeners.)

With a layer of natural snow on the ground, temperatures hovering in the teens-twenties, and the ski areas humming away, winter is here and the "Hill" is no exception.

Let's start with the CORRECT contact information for me and my podcast endeavors!

The podcast can be found on iTunes----just type "Counting Sheep" into the search box; look under the podcast heading, then you can go ahead and subscribe. The podcast can also be found at:

My blog, well, you've found my blog, but here it is:
You can drop me an e-mail at:

The Ravelry group is Counting Sheep and my "ravetar" is Rabbitlady

Fiber Conquests:


Mayflower Vest by Donna Kay (e-mail:

Progress is slow but steady---2 repeats of the pattern are done (which doesn't sound like much in writing---but quite the accomplishment on the needles)

Gadget of note: the Knitting Chart Keeper by Knitpicks:
a knitter's "easel" of sorts; it allows you to view your pattern chart easily & keeps it in place with magnets. The magnets mark the row you are working on & you can move them as you go. The unit folds up & snaps closed for storage. WELL worth the price!

Another Vest: EZ's rib warmer; pattern can be found on Ravelry: Ribwarmer Revisited WG58 SO42 for $1.00. Also, if you keep back issues of Knitter's Magazine, it's in the Fall 1997 (No. 48) issue, pp. 80-82. All garter stitch with short rows (don't let that scare you---the pattern spells it out for you and it's easy) fast, fun. I'm knitting mine in my handspun yarn from my sheep Maple and Sugar.

Crochet Crazy!!!!!!

The Fiber Trends Crochet Felt Boot Slippers are done and have been gifted!! YAY!!
This project included my only foray into needlefelting for this episode!

Amazing Amigurumi: Lion Brand free patterns
1. The Weiner Dog (#70579AD)
2. The Penguin (#81012AD)---too cute for words
3. The Turtle (#81009AD)---an Christmas gift for a friend (and you know who you are!)
4. The Reindeer (#80971AD)---didn't get to this one, ran out of time, maybe next year.

These items almost crochet themselves. Check out other amigurumi patterns as well as load of other free patterns at Lion Brand's Website

Christmas Trees: featured in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Crochet Today, pp.67-68. Done in Red Heart Heart & Sole sock yarn. One ball color #3973 "Christmas" and one ball color #3931 "Berry Bliss" with a size D-3 hook. I used these as package toppers, but you can use as garland, or ornaments. Very quick and very easy.

Interweave Crochet Magazine Issue Winter 2010

Riverstone Cardigan by Mandy Moore on p. 14. My yarn of choice is the one used in the pattern, but I couldn't find the tweed so I made a substitution:
#4010 (straw)
#8509 (light grey)
#7822 (Vandyke brown) as a substitution for #7617 charcoal tweed

I purchased the yarn at one of my favorite LYSs: Baker's Yarns

This project is started and I have about 4 inches done already---and I'm in LOVE---more comments on this project in the future as it progresses......

The Frosted Window-Pane Pullover by Kimberly K. McAlindin is in my future as well.  I strayed from the pattern and bought Knit Picks Gloss DK in color Doe for this project.  I love the texture work of the bodice and the high empire-style of this sweater.

I'm also in love with Lily Chin's Mesa Pullover as well which is featured on pp. 18-19 and Robyn Chachula's Belcarra Cardigan on pp. 51-53.  If I wasn't completing a cardigan very similar to this one, I'd be all over this project as well.

Bravo Interweave for putting out a fabulous issue of Interweave Crochet!

Alpaca, alpaca, and more alpaca.............ho hum.

No progress (okay, I haven't even started!) on the Ski Sheep by Woolpets----but I did needlefelt two sheep already (one the crochet boot slippers) so that counts, doesn't it?!? 

What's happening on the farm?
Larry, Moe, and Curly are growing like weeds and eating like piggies!  They will be going to their own hutches soon as mama Midnight needs a BREAK!

Sheep introductions

Feeding the birds can be hazardous to your health---when you don't wear the proper shoe attire! :-)

Sleeping on the Job:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, wake up!!!!!!

Information for this segment is taken from:  Watchful Care:  A History of America's Nurse Anesthetists by Marianne Bankert and also from the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists.  Questions are gladly encouraged to be answered in future podcast episodes!!


WEBS Annual Year End Blow-Out Sale (on-line sale has already begun as of 12/22).  Take advantage and stock-up for the NEW year!!

Group Knitting & Knitting Groups:   try it, you'll like it!  E-mail me for tips on how to start your own group in your vicinity!!

Okay everyone, e-mail YOUR new year resolutions or goals!  Episode 2.5 will cover this old tradition of making resolutions.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Podcast Promo & Episode 1 now on iTunes!

Hello one & all!
'Tis the season to start something new! As promised, I have begun podcasting! I managed to navigate quite a few unexpected bumps in that road (because I'm basically a computer cretin)---but I'm happy to say that I've learned quite a bit from both the Libsyn & iTunes support people. Hope you enjoy listening!

Show notes: These will be rudimentary for this first go-around since I expended most of my time and energy into recording, uploading, etc. of the podcast.

Knitting: Mayflower Vest by Donna Kay
This is a fair isle vest done in two colors with an all-over pattern. The yarn is Rauma Finullgarn in off-white and maroon. I'm knitting it in the round with one steek up the center. Donna Kay's designs are fabulous and she spends a great deal of time getting the pattern right! I love her designs which can be found at Harrisville Designs right here in Northern New England:
Donna's contact information: and she is treeoflife on Ravelry.

No pictures on this one yet---perhaps next week!

Crocheting: Crocheted Felt Boot Slippers by Fiber Trends
These are a Christmas gift for my sister (who wore out her last pair). Crocheted huge on a big hook (size N) and then thrown to the washer on hot cycle. They shrink down to the appropriate size. The yarn is Araucania distributed by KFI in color #416. ( Can be done with double soles that you crochet and attach with a row of single crochet OR you can crochet one sole and attach a suede sole after the machine felting---this version tends to last a lot longer! Added bonus with this pattern: you can needle felt a sheep or other such item of your choice to the side after the boots have dried. My sister will probably be sporting the sheep. Fiber trends patterns & kits can be found at:
Suede slipper soles can be found at Patternworks:

Needlefelting: Ski Sheep from Woolpets
This little guy is soooo cute as are the other animals in this line. The kit comes complete with the wool, directions, and needle to make this adorable little sheep on skis! All the materials are packed within a clear acrylic Chinese-food-style package including the metal handle. To see this and others log onto the WEBS website:

Spinning: Alpaca, alpaca, alpaca
I'm spinning a friend's alpaca----trying to finish up last year's clip so that I may go onto THIS year's clip-------how did I get myself into this? Still I need and want to do my own spinning!

What's happening in the barn?
New bunnies!! Pictures to follow

Sleeping on the Job: Some background on the profession of nurse anesthesia.

Yammer: Those podcasts that inspire me!
Cast On by Brenda Dayne
CogKnitive Podcast by Dr. Gemma
KIPing it Real by Jacky
The Knit Wits by Carin & Rick
KnitCents by Rachel
Knitmore Girls by Jasmin & Gigi
Knitting Pipeline by Paula
Spin Control by Shilo
Ready, Set, Knit by Kathy & Steve Elkins at Webs Yarn Store
Yarn Craft from Lion Brand Yarns
Yarns from the Plain by Nik

Thanks to all of these talented folks who have entertained and inspired me for quite some time now!