Knitting Without Dog Hair Is Not an Option

Hi there - My name is Claudia. I live with my hubby and our two furry kids in Georgia, USA. Originally I am from Germany - southern belle from Bavaria replanted to the Southern US. I am very addicted to knitting - 4-5 projects going at the same time... What can I say...

My Photo
Location: Peckerwood, Georgia, United States

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Spoiled Me...

OK – I am totally, totally spoiled. My tote pal Lisa from the International Tote Exchange II outdid herself.


Let’s pretend that this post is from last Friday, OK? Her package arrived last Thursday with the SP9 package - funny coincidence.

So, here is what I got. Sorry for the picture overload – I just have to share my excitement.

International Tote Exchange II International Tote Exchange II International Tote Exchange II International Tote Exchange II

Besides a beautiful felted tote and a little pouch, Lisa also sent me some corn yarn, a novel "Knitting Under the Influence" (I like Martinis), wonderful black and white cards, Texas wildflower seeds and tools from her favorite yarn store. She also wrote me a long letter about all the adventures the bag had and where the goodies came from.

And since the bag came in time for SAFF, I took it with me and everybody loved it. Here I am at the fiber festival in Asheville, NC with the tote. It matches perfectly the Entrelac poncho I knitted for the occasion.

The New Bag from ITE2

Speaking of SAFF - I will tell you about my adventures soon. I am still trying to catch up. I got back really tired on Sunday - the fiber overload was a bit much for little me. Stand by. ;-)

First SecretPal 9 Package Arrived!

Woo-hoo! My SP9 spoiler really spoiled me. My first package arrived last Thursday. Unfortunately, I had to go to a fiber festival last weekend. I hope I will be forgiven that I posted so late...

Secret Pal 9 Secret Pal 9 Secret Pal 9

I got 2 skeins of 100% wool by the name of Quebecoise (100g/132m), roving, a candle that looks like a ball of yarn, a tea spoon and a sachet with lavender – how very thoughtful!

Secret Pal 9

The roving is 100g of Shades of Narnia from Narnia II Farms. It is sprinkle-dyed. Very cool.

And I found something out. He-he-he-he... My SecretPal lives in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been to Vancouver and I have to say, it’s one of my favorite cities. Very beautiful – close to the ocean and the mountains.

THANKS, my SP9 pal - you made my Thursday!!!


Halloween 2005

As you can maybe guess, this picture is from last year. It was funny this morning on MARTA. One guy boarded the train in a costume. It was really weird because everybody stared at him and nobody figured it out for a costume right away. He wore his jockeys over his pants - I guess you can see those outfits on the street any time. And then, all of a sudden, there was common is Halloween.

Happy Halloween to you – lots of candy and whatever else!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Weekend in the Mountains

Man - that was nice. Hubby and I had a great time in the Blue Ridge Mountains last weekend. And the dogs, too. When I suggested going away for the weekend our anniversary, Hubby insisted that we not kennel the dogs again. So, I found a pet-friendly cabin and we took the children with us. ;-)

It didn’t take long to get there – only 2.5 hours. The dogs were so excited to travel in the car. Too funny - it took them quite a while to realize that we were not just going to the park for a walk.

On the Drive to The Blue Ridge Mountains

Anyway, on the drive up, I finished the third and last piece of the Menorah Pillow. All I have to do now is connect all the pieces with an I-cord border and make four knotted I-cord buttons:

On the Drive to The Blue Ridge Mountains On the Drive to The Blue Ridge Mountains

Heh – can you see my socks? Another gift from Mama in Germany.

The weather was gorgeous. Here are a few pix of the cabin:

The Cabin The Cabin The Cabin The Cabin

We took advantage of the wonderful weather and went for a bunch of walks:

Walk on Friday afternoon Walk on Friday afternoon At Lake Blue Ridge At Lake Blue Ridge

And we enjoyed the deck:

Wine on the porch Claudia and Hermione
On the Porch - Saturday Morning On the Porch - Saturday Morning
On the Porch - Saturday Morning

I cannot believe that Hermione let me take such a silly picture. Usually she does not hold still for that long. Good girl!

While sitting on the deck, I also got some knitting done. I was working on the sleeves for the Harry Potter sweater and I also worked some on the "Flying Geese" scarf:

On the Porch - Saturday Morning On the porch - Friday Afternoon

We've spent several vacations in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and on each trip we get detailed driving directions to scenic trails. On each trip we can't find almost every one of them. This trip was no exception. Happily, the view from the cabin itself was gorgeous! This is one of my favorite shots from the weekend. I took it Sunday morning while the rest of the family was still buried under the covers and sound asleep:

View from the Cabin - Sunday Morning

If you're interested, you can find more pictures here.

When we arrived home on Sunday afternoon (our anniversary day), I got a gazillion very, very cool presents. I married a man who knows how to spoil. ;-)

New Knitting Books New Corvette - Teal Red Corvettes - His and Hers

In case you wonder why I got the cars – this Corvette is my favorite. And since I will never own one, Hubby got me miniature versions. He also bought me a model helicopter since I have a tendency to complain about my commute to work.

Beside a few other things, Hubby went on eBay and looked at over 25,000 auctions (yes, the number is correct) to present 118 charms to me. He bought charms of all my favorite subjects – knitting, cows, dogs, coffee, sushi, hearts, and German and Georgia stuff. He is in the process in putting them on bracelets. More pictures soon.

Oh – and here is a shot of the two of us. I know you were dying to know what Hubby looks like. He-he-he-he... He had bobbleheads of us made up – TOO CUTE!!!

Claudia and Irwin

OK – I am exhausted, despite a quiet and relaxing weekend with Hubby and the dogs in fresh mountain air. I need a break and a fiber festival. I am going to be a SAFFhole, according to Jen.

Be back after SAFF with pix and stories!

Two More Sleepless Nights...

... and we're off to SAFF! It feels like Christmas in October! ;-)

First, a reminder about the meet-ups during SAFF - in case you haven't seen notices posted on one of the knitting or spinning groups in the Atlanta area. We have organized a bunch of meet-ups for Friday and Saturday. Here is the information:

Claudia's Meet-up – Friday, 10/27/06:
Several of us are staying at the Holiday Inn at the Asheville airport (address: 550 Airport Road, Fletcher, NC 28732, Tel: 828-684-1213). It's within a mile of the SAFF fairgrounds. The hotel has a restaurant (Christy's Café – open from 5:30-9pm for dinner) and a bar (The Hanger – open from 5pm-2am). I thought it would be
easy for people to meet there for dinner on Friday night. I made a dinner reservation for 20 people at 6pm. Please comment here to let me know if you intend to join us so I can save you a seat. Afterwards, we could go to the bar for more knitting & socializing.

Pixie's Meet-up – Saturday, 10/28/06:
We will have a blogger meet-up during the class break, from noon until 1pm. All are welcome. We are going to meet just inside the vendor building. As you enter the building, you'll see a concession stand to the left and concrete steps/seats to the floor-level vendors. We will be meeting on those steps under the concession stand area in the general vicinity between stalls #25 and #74 (refer to the vendor/workshop map). There's no way for us to reserve the spot, so you may have to look around for us a little. Please leave a comment at Pixie's blog if you want to join us, so we'll know to look around for you too.

Jen's Meet-up – Saturday, 10/28/06:
Then on Saturday night we will be having a "Blogger Booze Blowout". Again, you do NOT need to be a blogger to come party! We will be meeting at Jack of the Wood starting around 7-7:30pm-ish, and lasting until...? If this party doesn't work for you and you want to plan an alternate hookup, please feel free - we won't be offended (tho' if you know of a compelling reason why we'd be happier somewhere else, let us know). If you want to drop by earlier or later, that's fine too. Casual, fun, and hassle-free are our goals here. But if you are planning to come, please leave a comment at Jen's blog.

Check back on our blogs to find out about any last-minute changes in times or venues. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

SP9 - A Random Fact About Me

I have a huge collection of CowParade figurines - actually I own every one that was ever available for purchase. Hubby procures them for me and I get them as gifts for Christmas, Valentine's Day, my birthday, etc. This is one of my favorites:

Island Cow

Monday, October 23, 2006


It’s been cold this morning (40°F, but felt like 34...) – and I was all bundled up in a scarf, mittens and a big, fuzzy wrap. I love this kind of weather. Finally it’s sweater time in Georgia. I don’t know for how long, but it’s been chilly all weekend and the forecast suggests more of this.

Blogger has been a nightmare the last few days – I have been trying to blog since last Thursday, but without luck...

Anyway – here are a few things that I wanted to share from last week.

My mom knitted another cardigan for me and it finally arrived on Wednesday. It was in the mail from Germany for over 6 weeks. She paid for airmail but the brainiac German postal worker didn’t put an Airmail sticker on the package. I am convinced the clerk did that deliberately because my mom wouldn't spring for higher postage to get the package to the US faster. But of course we have no proof, so we can’t do anything about it. Anyway – just wanted to get a little anger off my chest. Here is the cardigan:

Cable Cardigan

I think you can see how happy I am about her wonderful knitting. My mom truly knits like a machine. Her stitches are super-even. See for yourself.

Cable Cardigan

So, here is the story of this treasure. When I visited my family in Germany in May, my mom told to bring some of my stash and she would knit me something with it. That's great destashing, isn't it? I brought her a green cotton blend (it’s a German brand – Wolle Rödel) which I bought over 7 years ago. I never touched it - it sat in a box all this time - so I finally decided to give it to her for a cardigan. We picked out a pattern while I visited and she started on the project right away. And she ripped while I was there. She thought it would look better if she knitted the fronts and the back together. No wonder I don't like seams - it's genetic. ;-)

Mom told me that she still had yarn left over and it would be enough for a tank top. YAY - I can't wait. Then I will have a twin set - how cool is that?

Remember the drama with the hairdresser the weekend before last? I finally had an appointment - now it's super short and I am loving it.

New Haircut - 10/18/06 New Haircut - 10/18/06

I. love. my. hairdresser. He. is. so. good.

He had a field day. I sat down and showed him a picture of a haircut I found in one of the salon's magazines. He looked at me and asked if I was serious. Of course I was - he said I made his day. ;-) Since I am not one of these women that just want a little trim... At some point I looked in the mirror and, I swear, it looked like Edward Scissorhands was working on my hair, with it flying all over the place. If you live in the Atlanta area and want his number, let me know.

Then Thursday night, I spun some more yarn. It's one of Pixie's gifts, Olive Corridale. I really like spinning it. I tried to spin is even and airy, so I can knit it without plying it first. It turned out pretty nice.

Olive Corriedale
app. 55 yards (I still have some roving left to spin up)

Even Hermione thought is was good enough to model - well, OK, it took quite a bit of coaxing...

Hermione - The Woofmodel for handspun yarn

AHHH - and I got the latest issue of my German knitting magazine, Verena. There are some fabulous projects I am going to tackle in a little bit - probably after the holidays.

Here are some pix from the magazine:

verena1 verena2 verena3

Lots of luvly knits - I just have to modify them for the Southern US, no turtle neck, no heavy wool, ... ;-)

So, that's the wrap-up from last week. On Friday, Hubby and I went to the Blue Ridge Mountains for the weekend to celebrate our second anniversary. More about that in a little bit.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Happy Second Anniversary, Luv!

On Friday, October 22, 2004, we got married in the
Gwinnett County Courthouse in Lawrenceville, GA.
It was a beautiful fall weekend and we had
a lovely honeymoon in Highlands, NC.
This is my favorite photo from that special weekend.

Whitewater Falls - Our honeymoon in 2004

To many more wonderful years – LOVE YA, MA’ MAN!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Got Fleece!

Last night a package waited for me when I got home from work. It was from my sister-in-law in Vermont. Hubby said that it's interesting that I get a package from his sister for our anniversary - which is coming up this Sunday. He is a very funny man. ;-) It really was for me, but not an anniversary gift. Look what she sent me:

White Cotswold
app. 4 pounds of fleece

It came with a card that said the following:
dear claudia,
baaa – enjoy spinning my fleece.
(a white cotswold sheep)
from the sheep & wool festival pittsford, vermont

Isn't that fabulous? It looks soooo clean. The dogs were kinda interested. Hermione, our Border Collie, gave me a look that said "Mom, that is only part of a sheep - I can't herd this..." It was really fun watching her. That is probably the closest she will ever get to a real sheep. Poor un-employed doggie. ;-)

I snapped a bunch of pix while the dogs investigated my present:

White Cotswold White Cotswold White Cotswold White Cotswold

So, here is the story on the fleece. My SIL visited the Sheep & Wool Festival in Pittsford, Vermont. She went with her hubby and her best friend, who owns two Border Collies and sheep. Her best friend started spinning around same time as I did, so was a perfect consultant for my SIL. SIL actually met the sheep's sister, who didn't donate fleece at the festival - too funny. I was told that I would need a flick carder to prepare the fleece if I want to spin it from the grease. It looks very clean to me, so I don't really know if I should wash it or not. Tho', when hubby opened the plastic bag that holds the fleece, he made a funny face and closed it again pretty quickly. Well, it's a fleece and of course it smells a little like sheep. But not bad.

So, I did a little research. Since I am newbie to spinning, I have to learn about the different sheep breeds and the necessary tool. SO - what is a flick carder??? Here is what I found out:

Flick carders have metal teeth set into a carding cloth. The teeth are slightly bent toward the handle of the wood batt. Flick carders are smaller than hand carders and are used singly. They are simple, efficient to use and prepare wool for spinning worsted yarn.

Hold the cut end of the staple of wool in your left hand. Place a piece of leather on your knee and flick the carder at the tips of the wool. This is a hitting, not combing action. If necessary, turn the staple over and flick the other side.

Very interesting - I think I'll put this tool on my shopping list for SAFF. Dear readers, let me know if you have any suggestions/comments.

Here is what I found out about the Cotswold Sheep breed:

The Cotswold breed originated in the Cotswold Hills of Gloucester, a south midland county of England touching the Bristol Channel. The Cotswold Hills cover an area of about 280,000 acres, have an average elevation of between 500 and 600 feet and are not particularly fertile. The soils do contain considerable lime, and the area raises fair crops of small grains and roots. Because of its mild, temperate climate, the area is well suited to sheep raising. The name "Cotswold" was given the breed because in the early days they were folded or housed in shelters known locally as "cots" or "cotes" and they were pastured on the wild, treeless hills of the area, called "wolds".

It is suggested that sheep were in the Cotswold Hills at the time of Caesar's conquest of Britain, and sheep were mentioned in most of the early agricultural writings of the area. Professor David Low, in On the Domesticated Animals of the British Islands, suggested, however, that the Cotswold breed was not an outgrowth of the early sheep found in the hills, but that the Cotswolds of his day represented selects from the sheep that had been brought into the area from the lowlands. He based his opinion on the fact that the Cotswolds of the middle nineteenth century were a long-wooled breed of sheep, whereas the sheep that had formerly inhabited the hills were noted for their fine wool. It would thus appear that the Cotswold breed had inherited little more than a name from the original sheep that inhabited the area. Breeders of the Cotswold Hills started in about 1780 to introduce Leicester rams into the area to improve the carcass quality of the sheep. During the following fifty years much crossbreeding was practiced, which resulted in a reduction in the size and improvement in carcass quality. After 1825, Cotswold breeders started to select sheep for larger size, a part of which the breed had lost, and for heavier fleeces.

The first Cotswold imported into the United States of which there is record was brought over in 1832. Apparently the breed had been introduced earlier, because when Christopher Dunn of Albany, New York, made his importation, sheep of similar type were already quite common in this country. The breed has served about the same purpose as the other long-wooled breeds in the United States. It has been used for crossbreeding, as a means of increasing the size and feeding quality of lambs, and of getting increased staple length in ewe bands without losing fleece weight. Several large flocks of Cotswolds have been maintained in the western states for production of range rams. Some of these breeders have not kept all their sheep registered, as they have been chiefly interested in the production of rams for the range trade.

To the casual observer, the external appearance of the Cotswold and Lincoln is similar, but there are several differences that are apparent. The Cotswolds are somewhat smaller than the Lincoln, although mature rams in good condition will weigh about 300 pounds and ewes usually around 200 pounds. Cotswolds carry more foretop than do Lincolns, and the fleece is carried in rather bold locks and is usually from eight to ten inches in length. The fleece grades braid but is somewhat finer and softer than that found on the average Lincoln. The fleece will mat or become cotted rather easily and unless it is kept clean and in good condition may become somewhat unsightly. The fleece parts along the back, is rather open and in hard cold rains does not offer a great deal of protection to the sheep. The average ewe flock will shear about twelve pounds annually, while rams should shear appreciably more wool. The fleece of the Cotswold is white. The Cotswold has a white face and white legs, grayish-white color is not considered objectionable, and small black spots on the face or legs are not entirely unknown. They will also exhibit dark pigmentation on the skin of the nose, inside the ears and on the hooves.

Sorry, if that was too much information on one little sheep - I find it fascinating. I am sure I won't remember all of that. But that's why I put it on my blog. ;-)

And - since my last blog entry, I finished another gift from the slowly shrinking Christmas list. Here is the Fair Isle Skiing Hat. Gosh - I am glad this project is done - it only took me three tries...

Fair Isle Hat - Finished Fair Isle Hat - Finished

Yarn: Nashua Julia (Midnight Blue & Spring Green)
50% Wool, 25% Alpaca, 25% Kid Mohair - very yummy
Needles: US #5

And I spun some more Corriedale. This time I tried not to twist it too much. I would like to not ply it and knit with a single strand. We'll see how it turns out once I take it off the bobbin.

Olive Corriedale

I have noticed that if I spin before bed time I get very relaxed. That's great because I sometimes have a hard time falling asleep if I have too many things to think about.