Saturday, December 24, 2011


Episode 14: Tidings

Seasons Greetings Everyone! The title of this episode of the podcast is "Tidings," a word derived from Old English, German, and Old Norse meaning "news" and "information." Very fitting for this late-arriving podcast on Christmas Day, because I have boat loads of things to tell you.

Missed my pod-iversary on December 4th---hard to believe that I started podcasting well over a year ago and was truly unaware of the type of commitment I was in for. It has been fun nonetheless and I aim to continue as long as I'm able to.

Thank-you to all of you who have stuck with me through my erratic podcast schedule. As I attempt to keep all of the balls of my life in the air, 2012 will hopefully
include a more regular schedule of podcasts. Enough said, let's get on with it....

Fiber Conquests:
Knitting: Wintry Mix Sweater by Amy Herzog
Inspired by her "Fit to Flatter" class I took at Fiber College way back in September!!
Yarn: Berroco Blackstone Tweed (65% Wool, 25% Superkid Mohair, 10% Angora) in the "Steamers" colorway. Looking fantastic---have 1/2 of a sleeve to set in yet and then the collar to knit........almost done!

Also, crazy me! Knitting another Sizzling Hot Hat by Lucy Neatby. Yarn: Crystal Palace Mini Mochi in solid Black and colorway Feldspar (I think..........misplaced ball band---I think the kitties are conspiring against me by hiding my ball bands so that I'll pay more attention to them!) Hat is by request for a co-worker anesthetist who fly fishes in 40-degree water (brrrrrrrr)----well you know what your mother said about keeping your hat on (it's true---we lose quite a bit of heat through our heads---just a little anesthetist tid bit thrown in there ;-) Thought I would work a steel head trout motif into the patterning.......I'll let you know how I make out with that one!!

In Crocheting: In keeping with the season, I'm making my own (mine! mine! mine!) Snowflake afghan. Check it out: free pattern from Red Heart: The Dusty Snowflake Throw.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Color #8505 which is a creamy white AND
Cascade 220 Paints Color # 9848 which is a blue variegated yarn.

Purchased at Baker's Yarns & Fabrics in Springfield, VT. Owned by Bonny Andrews, a very nice lady and avid knitter---she'll help you with anything!

In Spinning:
Dog hair from my sister's Sheltie (now deceased). I gifted most of it to her for Christmas and have just a small amount of it left. Not greatly fond of it---just doesn't spin like wool! ;-)

In Felting: Finally got my sheep done from the "Baa" cla
ss with Amy Felske at Fiber College. The sheep is soft sculpture with wooden legs--mostly sewn by machine and hand---one needlefelts the fleece of choice onto the body of the sheep as a last step!

What's happening in the barn & around the farm?
Our chickens are producing five eggs a day---we have one free-loading slacker out there and I'll have to have a talk with her as soon as I figure out which one it is....

Our rabbits, Hershey and Midnight are fairing well with the drop in temperature--what with a nice angora coat on, wouldn't YOU be comfy? Their winter watering system is on and keeping their water ice-free. I think they're finally used to the chickens and all the chicken noises!

Big news with the SHEEP: we've added to our flock!! After a lot of thought & attempts to get a suitor for our Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) ewe, Sayda, we decided on buying a BFL ram. Our ram came from Vermont (Kat Smith @ Stonesthrow Farm in Wallingford), which we are very h
appy about and he arrived on our farm on November 2nd.

Our new ram lamb is the topic of my first-ever CONTEST on the podcast. We need a name for him---mind you, he came with a name, but we aren't too fond of it as it has 4 syllables and while we can shorten it, it's not in keeping with the general theme we have here on the farm of two-syllabic names.

So, here it goes LISTENERS: I'd like YOU to name our sheep. I have a picture posted of the cute guy. Respond to the blog or the thread in the Ravelry group (Counting Sheep Podcast) with the name that you think fits him. Some guidelines:
a) It should be a male name
b) One or two syllables please
I'd like to run the contest at least until the end of February so that I can catch as many of you listeners as I can. Of course, I reserve the right to extend the contest if the submissions are meager in number. I'll select the winning name via random number generator and the winner will receive 1200 yds. of yarn from our sheep. Your choice of color is dark grey or creamy white. The yarn is worsted weight.

So that's pretty easy right? So submit your idea for a name for our handsome newcomer---can't wait see your postings!!

Sleeping on the Job
This episode topic is not so much about my career and not about anesthesia. It's about the ties that bind healthcare workers together. Those that take care of others have a unique relationship with each other. When that which we fight takes one of us, the loss is that much deeper. Rest in peace, my friend, I will remember the happy times we had:

This podcast dedicated to Denise Comito-McGowan RN
April 9, 1955-November 12, 2011

Fall Re-cap

Well, it was a busy fall for me and here's where I was:

SOAR (Spin-Off's Autumn Retreat, Manchester, NH)

Was I ever glad I went to this which was literally right in my backyard!! Great mentors and great shopping for the spinning enthusiast! Sessions I participated in:

Mohair Boucle the Easy Way with Maggie Casey
Hand Carding with Andrea Mielke-Schroer
Cotton Spinning on a Tahkli with Sephanie Gausted
Navaho Spinning with D.Y. Begay

Stitches East (Hartford, CT)
Always a blast especially if you take classes! Went to the fashion shows and the Opening Day Session as well! Leaves you the good kind of tired!

Intro to Rigid Heddle Weaving with Deborah Jarchow
Seamless Crochet with Kristin Omdahl
Beyond Beginner Crochet with Drew Emborsky
Japanese Crochet Motifs with Myra Wood
Columns of Color with Knit One Below with Elise Duvekot
Thrummed Mittens Knitted or Crocheted with Marlaina Bird

New England Fiber Festival at the Big E (Springfield, MA)
Great turnout of fiber enthusiasts and a BIG special THANK-YOU to you podcast listeners who stopped by to say hello and give support---that meant so much to me---it's YOU who motivate me to turn on the mic!

And finally.........
To all my listeners, supporters, and friends: May you have a safe and happy holiday season------many, many wishes for a happy, but more importantly, a healthy 2012! Remember, until next time, keep your needles, hooks, and wheels humming, be kind to other folks, and I'll talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sum-Sum-Summertime!! Episode 12 is LIVE

Last weekend was warm & humid here in the Northeast---thankfully, we've had a reprieve---a front came through and we have much more comfortable conditions. Hoping that your summer is going well and you are able to find a cool spot somewhere.

Fiber Conquests:
Knitting: Well, unfortunately, my one-and-only sock from the first installment of the Rockin' Sock Club has two serious flaws........the first is that the heel does not line up properly with the toe and the other, more disconcerting problem is that the colorwork has made the sock way too non-forgiving i.e.: I can't get it on my foot!! All is not lost however, I intend to frog the sock (after I've had a couple of glasses of wine!) and re-purpose the yarn! The July installment (4th) has arrived and I'm liking the colorway.........maybe I should just leave it in the skein and adm
ire it.

In crochet:
the "I'm a convert sweater" from the book, Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution, DONE!! I decided to leave the lower sleeve pieces off and go with a 3/4 length on the sleeves---looks good. I'm pleased with the yarn as well.

Bi-crafty project: The Kristy cardigan from Green Mountain Spinnery has been set aside until the fall when cooler temperatures will prevail.

Petal Pullover by Robyn Chachula from the Spring 2011 edition of Interweave Crochet. After a few false starts, I'm on my way working
on the body of the pullover with Louet's MerLin---60% linen, 40% Merino. Hook size: F Colorway: Crabapple (a raspberry red)

Painted Desert Skirt by Kristin Omdahl from the Fall 2009
edition of Interweave Crochet. I've completed all of the motifs that make up the hemline of the skirt and I've sewed them together. Now I'm working upward from those motifs toward the waist of the skirt. This has been a really fun project and quite a departure for me---I've NEVER crocheted/knitted a skirt!! I hope it looks good on me!

Spinning: I participated during the 'Tour de Fleece' and I was quite productive! My goal was to spin one of the two alpaca fleeces that I have in my possession---I don't own them; they belong to a colleague. The fleece has been spun, plied, skeined, washed & set---DONE!! Yay! I'm thinking that I need to get back to my own spinning projects.........

Crochet Shirret! I've ordered the supplies for the class I'll be teaching at Fiber College this September! Yay! Still working up sample projects for inspiration!

What's happening in the barn and on the farm?

Rabbits: Midnight and I lost her entire litter due to age and operator error.........lesson learned!
On a brighter note, our chickens, all six of them, arrived on 7/9 and have settled in nicely. We've gotten a few eggs already (YUM!) and we're hoping that they eventually will figure it out that they should lay the eggs in the nest boxes rather than on the floor!

Garden notes: We had a great harvest of salad greens this year---it was great to have fresh salad every evening for two weeks straight! The zucchini has come in and we've harvested two peppers so far. The string beans are just about ready for the pickin'----and our CSA box is keeping us busy!

I found a stud ram for Sayda---he will arrive this fall around Thanksgiving and stay on the farm until Christmas---hopefully, we'll be welcoming a lamb or two in the spring.

Cats: Ray is slowly becoming a lap kitty and Doora is still being stand-offish, but I know she'll carry her weight around here as a good mouser.

Sleeping on the Job: Hail to our 1st responders.

Yammer: SOAR (Spin-Off's Autumn Retreat) is being held this year at the Radisson in Mancheter, NH. After much himming and hawing, I have signed up to go to the retreat portion of the "Retreat." The retreat is made up of workshops that run Monday-Wednesday, and Thursday of the week of October 2, 2011. The "retreat" portion happens Friday-Saturday of that week. Due to work constraints and the fact that I've been dragging my butt about committing to the retreat, I've decided to partake in just the retreat portion and I'm happy with my choices of classes that I'll be attending. The vendor market consists of 35 vendors and will be open on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Other upcoming events: Fiber College in Searsport, Maine. September 8-11.
Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival @ the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, Tunbridge, VT. October 1-2.
SOAR (Spin-Off's Autumn Retreat) @ the Radisson Hotel, Manchester, NH. October 2-8.
STITCHES East @ the Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford, CT. October 20-23.
New England Fiber Festival @ the Big E in Springfield, MA. November 5-6.

Hope to see ya there!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm baaaaaack.............celebrating Bi-craftism

Hello everyone..........been a looooong time! So sorry, as I've said, sometimes I can't get out of my own way!

This episode dedicated to Buddy,
our cat, may he rest in peace! Thanks for the good times old friend! And thanks for sharing........

Bi-craftism...........a new term for me which refers to those of us who both knit and I suppose Tri-craftism includes those of us who spin?!?

Fiber Conquests!!

Sizzling Hot Hat!! Done! Done! Done! I've worn it twice since completion----once at the NH Sheep & Wool Festival and then again last night when I couldn't shake a chill! Your mom was right---if you're cold, put a hat on----you lose a lot of heat through
your head!

In celebrating BI-CRAFTISM, I am going to swatch and start the Kristy Cardigan designed by Maureen Clark of Green Mountain Spinnery. This cardigan utilizes BOTH knitting and crocheting---fun! fun! fun! I've gone stash-diving again and have come up with a pretty red (my favorite color!) yarn for this sweater: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light which is a 50% Super Fine Alpaca, 50% Peruvian Wool blend. Yay! Can't wait to get started!!!

Iris Crocheted Shawl
----made from 100% cashmere---I just have a photo of it as a
work in progress as it was no sooner done, then out of my hands to a worthy recepient--my mom! Pattern available from WEBS (America's Yarn Store).

Frosted Windowpane Pullover is on hold as I am making a baby blanket for a co-worker. I'm sewing the squares together now----another work in progress!!

Still in pieces, but essentially done is the I'm a Convert Sweater from Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution. I crocheted mine in Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton DK (I misspoke on the podcast and said it was a worsted weight---ooops!)

Crochet Shirret
--------remember I'm teaching this at Fiber College this September (8-11) in Searsport, ME. This the "Mexicali Tote" that I'm making as a sample of what you can do with this

What's happening in the barn? and around the farm?

Muckin' is done finally after figuring out why the John Deere wouldn't start---misplacement of the battery!

Harvey came down with a serious case of bloat aft
er gorging himself on grain------a very worry-filled time on the farm, but we got through it and learned from it!!

The damaged boards from Fergus' 'renovation' have been removed and now the sheep have an even bigger window to look out. The damaged boards were re-purposed into laying boxes for-----you guessed it---CHICKENS!!! Waaaaaa-hoooooo------the farm-fresh egg is
on the way! We're looking at a delivery of 5 or 6 pullets in July or August. The chickens will make their home in part of the rabbit annex of the barn----we have two rabbits left---Hershey and Midnight---thanks to a referral from the Green Mountain Spinnery folks and the NH Sheep & Wool Festival. Hopefully, Midnight will give us one more litter (with hopefully a female in there!) and then I will retire her to a leisurely life on the farm.

Our gardens are planted. The vegetable garden is featuring Brussels sprouts, Mesclun lettuce, carrots, bush beans, two kinds of tomatoes, a pepper plant, zucchini, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, and two kinds of pumpkins this year. I've done my usual flower planting as well since I'm in need of a color besides green---- of which the summer gives us plenty. My irises are blooming and my peonies are just on the verge of blooming------GREAT time of year when everything is waking up!

May I introduce you to Ray and Doora, our newest editions t
o the household. Since a house is not a home unless you have a cat (it's true), I went to the Lucy Mackenzie Humane Society to see if I could offer two of their cats a "forever home." Ray and Doora came to the shelter after a barn rescue of quite of few of their kind. They were the last two left of the barn group to be adopted and had been living at Lucy Mac for almost two years----so they got pretty used to shelter life. Since coming home, they've been a bit put out by Bentley's effusive hospitality, but they are slowing adjusting, and I'm happy to say that both of them have been out today spending some quality time with me and Bentley. These photos were taken at the shelter (they are the two on the right)----I don't have any of my own photos of Ray and Doora yet---I didn't want to spook them with the flash of the camera----so we'll all have to wait for that opportunity!

Sleeping on the Job

Just long HAVE you been doing this...............? And what does having "experience" mean anyway?!?


Events past and present!

New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival was a blast (May 14 & 15) as was the Jamaica Fiber Festival on May 21st----thanks to Margie Miller-Silva who organized the Jamaica event!!

Upcoming: World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday, June 11, 2011 at the Hartland Public Library in Hartland, Vermont. 10 am - 2pm. Bring a drink and your knitting and let's show the world what we've been up to!!

Fiber College: September 8-11 in Searsport, ME
Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival: October 1-2 at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds, Tunbridge, VT
Stitches EAST: October 20-23 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT
New England Fiber Festival: November 5-6 at the BIG E in Springfield, MA

Hope to see ya there!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spring Thaw

Busy weekend, what with not one but two knitting skills classes!! I'm NOT complaining---can't think of a better way to spend a late winter weekend in New England. We had some warm temperatures and rain which has caused some melting of the snow pack; some ice jamming on the rivers and some flooding. An ice storm earlier in the week made for some interesting travel to say the least. Not ready though, to knit cotton or linen---still likin' my wool!

Fiber Conquests

1) Double Knitting Class at the Elegant Ewe in Concord, NH. We're making the Sizzling Hot Hat by Lucy Neatby. The hat incorporat
es double knitting, a technique that makes a double-sided fabric. Yarns by Crystal Palace: Mini Mochi and Mini Solid. Yarn is 80% merino wool/20% nylon, machine washable, and k
nits to 7-8 sts/inch on size #1-2 needles. My swatch:

2) Shawl collar Vest class continues at WEBS (Class #3 was last week, Class #4 today). We crocheted the 3 steeks and cut them open last week. Today, we finished off the armholes with garter stitch and I-cord bind off.

3) Rockin' Sock Club---okay glacial progress here, but at least it's progress! I'm past the zip line heel and onto the foot. MUST GET SOCK DONE!! Next installment of the club is probably on its way to my pressure.

1) Frosted Windowpane Pullover from Interweave Crochet Winter 2010. Swatch--done. Started the foundation single crochet.

2) Seamen's Church Hat (check previous blogpost for link--free pattern) DONE!! Nice construction on this hat---made from my handspun.

3) Crochet Shirret: Cut up some strips from a new fabric---a white and pink checkered fabric. Will add this to the rug-in-progress (see last blog post for pic).

4) Want to participate in a really neat Crochet-along a.k.a. CAL? Check out Crochet Me--the e-newsletter (free!) put out by Interweave Crochet. The CAL (hosted by Sarah Read) is Sidney's Sideways Socks which you can find in Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010 (special edition) which came out last year. Find your edition at the Interweave website.

Spinning: Check out this BFL hand-dyed wool on my Mongold spindle.

What's happening on the farm?
No new redecorating, but now I have sheep walking on snow and jumping over the fence!
Shearing this week---YAY!

Sleeping on the job: The language we speak

Yammer: Fiber College update

Check out Robyn Chachula's blog and her website.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Episode 6: "Barn Fever"

Hello folks! Sorry for the delayed Show Notes----life and farm sometimes conspire to get in my way or, sometimes I just can't get out of my own way!

Thanks to lasknit2 & Byshyp for wonderful reviews on iTunes!! Yay! A big welcome to all the new folks who have joined us on the Counting Sheep group on Ravelry. Great pics of some great projects---check it out if you haven't gone over ther
e in a while.

Fiber Conquests

Knitting: Shawl Collar Vest Class at WEBS with Annie Foley. We've had some time for homework (3 weeks) and I have knitted up to the shoulders after forming two armhole steeks. Along the way, we are decreasing at the neck to form a V in front where we will be knitting the shawl collar eventually. The picture will probably look a little wonky to you as the armholes have not been cut open yet. Next class, this Sunday, March 6th. Pattern can be found in Meg Swansen's Handknitting.

Rockin' Sock Club: Still on the leg but making progre
Loving the colorwork!

Crochet: Riverstone Cardigan is DONE!! Yay!! A fun crochet project done in Cascade 220--a great yarn. Had lots a good times with this one.

Now on t
o the Frosted Windowpane Pullover on page 48 in the Winter 2010 issue of Interweave Crochet. I'm swatching for that project right now.
Timely tip: Make c
opies of patterns you are using---less wear and tear on the magazine and/or book!

Crochet Shirret: a Uniquely American craft that combines shirring of fabric strips onto a special hook and crocheting the folds of fabric into an array of projects. Check out my rug in progress:

Spinning: Nothing new---2010 alpaca clip is spinning like a breeze thanks to the folks who professionally processed the fiber for me!!

What's happening on the farm?
Fergus redecorates......much to my chagrin. Bentley is hoping the snow NEVER melts.

Buddy had his thyroid hormone levels
rechecked this past week and we found out that we're over-medicating I went back to the vet to get a proper dosage of medication---he'll need a recheck in a couple of weeks. Good news is that he gained over a pound in the last month---which I'm happy about----he was getting to be quite skeletal in nature.

Sleeping on the Job: Do YOU believe in a full moon?

Check out the latest edition of Knitting Traditions from the folks at Piecework Magazine. You can find it at the Interweave website.

I've submitted an application to be an instructor at Fiber College which is held in Maine in September. Hoping to teach Crochet Shirret there. Also hoping to be a vendor there.

Until next time!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Winter Quiet: Reflect in the Stillness

Clear your head, problem-solve, gain perspective, or just groove on the season!

Fiber Conquests
Mayflower Vest
---on hiatus (as well as
EZ's rib warmer) due to the start of the Shawl Collar Vest Class @
Instructor Annie Foley is excelle
nt---learned several tips/tricks already. Vest's cables start in the ribbing (I haven't done THAT before). Need to knit up to the armholes by next Sunday's class! Time to get cracking!

SOCKS!! Check it out:
Rockin' Sock Club by Bluemoon Fiber Arts!! Yay! How did I miss THIS for 6 years?!? Please let me NOT have Second Sock Syndrome during this!!! Sorry, can't post pictures of yarn as some participants may not have received their shipment yet---I promised not to be a "spoiler."

Riverstone Cardigan by
Mandy Moore
Up to the armholes on the body--this part is 'resting' whilst I work on the arms which will be joined eventually with the body. Stay tuned!

Still working on the Pinebark Hood!

Started a crocheted hat from my hands
pun ragwool from my sheep. Pattern: Crocheted Seamen's Cap by Beth Hall. Download the pattern free at The Seamen's Church Institute cares for the personal, professional, and spiritual needs of mariners around the world. Founded: 1834.

Alpaca!! 2009 clip is done and delivered!! John, owner of the alpacas, surprised me this we
ek by showing me a hat he had knitted (on a round peg loom) from the yarn I had spun. 'Back to the land' at its best!

Northeast Fiber Arts Center

Felt Boot Kit......

and Fitzwolle Slippers Kit
What's happening on the farm?

are getting grain on the frigid days (when there's a minus sign in front of the number). Grain is crack cocaine to sheep---get out of the wa
y when administering.....

Mr. Squirrel
@ the bird feeder.

Buddy survives a trip to the vet and is surviving his medication regimen! Thanks to all the vets and vet techs of the world and all the good that they do! :-)

Sleeping on the Job

Anesthetizing children can be a say the least.


Marrying knitting with papercraft----creating a container for your knitting needles. Brought to you by Knitting Daily.

My blog:
My e-mail:
Find me on Ravelry: I'm rabbitlady
Join our Ravelry group: Counting Sheep Podcast
Find the podcast on iTunes by searching for 'Counting Sheep'
If you like what you're hearing, leave a review on iTunes; helps me and it will help others find the podcast.
You can also find the podcast on Libsyn:

Until next time.........stay warm, go play in the snow if you have some, and be kind to other folks.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Warm Woolie Weather!!

Episode #3 is Live!
Getting out during the winter---to stave off Cabin Fever, I'll be taking the Shawl Collar Vest class at WEBS in Northampton MA starting this Sunday, J
anuary 23rd. Looking forward to knitting up this Meg Swansen design from her book, Handknitting. Check out other WEBS classes:

Camp KIP: Check it out----a knitting retreat sponsored by Jackie at KIPing it real Podcast. Day passes still available. I'll be donating a sweater's worth of yarn from my own flock of sheep as a a door prize. Find Camp KIP at:


Knitting: Work continues on the Mayflower Vest despite a disconcerting needle faux pas!

EZ's rib warmer knitting up in handspun:

Crocheting: Riverstone Cardigan by Mandy Moore featured in Interweave Crochet Magazine Winter 2010 issue. Loving it!

Also: check out Pinebark Hood by Shannon
Mullet-Bowlsby. I'm making mine in KnitPicks
Gloss, color: Fedora.

Finally, made two of the Blooming Hat by Robyn
Chachula from the Mission Falls goes Crochet
booklet. Stunning little hat do
ne up in 7 different
colors with texture.

Spinning: Alpaca clip from 2009 almost done---yay! Onto 2010 clip which was processed by Zeilinger's Wool Mill.

Also spun up some ragwool f
rom Robyn and
Dugel's fleeces.

Felting: not much done on this front. New kits in the future.

What's happening on the farm?
Robyn's epiphany----Robyn learns how to eat in a flock of sheep who are not fond of him!
Feeding frenzy----watch your knees while feeding these ovines!
Rabbits----more protein needed for a small-ish babe
Bentley the SNOW dog!!
Birds: welcoming the sighting of a male cardinal!

Sleeping on the Job: Do you talk in your sleep?

Yammer: Sunflower Yarns
Fiber arts by Amanda Dahl
check out the DK, fingering/sock, sport, and worsted weight dyed yarns (formerly NH Knitting Mama) She's on Facebook and Twitter too!

In the news this week: Tuscon, AZ shooting rampage. Thank goodness for the miracle of modern medicine, but REALLY, should it be THIS necessary?

"It's important to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking to each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds." -President Obama

Contact info:
I'm Rabbitlady on Ravelry and our new podcast group is "Counting Sheep" on Ravelry.
Find the podcast at iTunes by searching for Counting Sheep or at Libsyn:

So until next time, keep your needles, hooks, and wheels humming; be kind to other folks and I'll talk to you soon!