Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Vintage Christmas

 As I have been helping my mom decorate my childhood home, I longed for my own decorations. 
 I found my box of Christmas decorations, and started unpacking. 
 Lets just say that my tastes differ from my moms (and not in a bad way)
 All of my ornaments and decorations are antique, vintage treasures.
 I bought a live tree and put it on display on my windowseat.
 Added in vintage Shiny Brite ornaments and light reflectors.
I love my tree.  Although this year I don't have a house to decorate, at least my corner of the world is decorated in my style.

Spinning and Knitting

It seems lately that I have had a lot of time for spinning and knitting.  Understandably, there is an abundance of free time while not running my own household.  I don't have to get up at 5 to go milk a goat (although I miss it terribly).  I don't have after work farm chores, grocery shopping or cleaning to do.  My evenings are free to knit and spin to my hearts content.  At this point in my life I am trying to enjoy the extra free time, in hopes that soon enough I will be busy again.  I also constantly have some knitting project stuffed in my purse.  Yesterday I had to pick up a prescription at Safeway and it wasn't ready.  Right there is 10 minutes of knitting!   Yesterday was a treatment day for my mom, which meant 5 hours of knitting next to her.  At this rate I don't have time to get bored with a project because they are finished so quick.
    Right now on my wheel I am spinning up some purple fiber. I am unsure what it will want to be knitted into, but I am sure that I love the colors!  The roving is mostly a shade of dark purple, but also has hints of fuchsia, blue and pinks.  So pretty!

  On my knitting needles I am working on a scarf by Stephen West, Spectra.  I recently flew out to Maryland to visit Tim.  While there we went up to Lancaster (one of our favorite spots) and of course stopped by Lancaster Yarn Shop.  The owner Wendy had this shawl on display.  Its been on my queue (my list of projects to make on ravelry) for a long time now.  I decided to get the yarn and make it up in blues and purples... I am seeing a purple theme today.  The wedges in the scarf change colors while the edges remain in blue.  I have to do over 80 wedges and don't think I am even to 20 yet... Hopefully with all this knitting time it will fly by!
You can see my mom's feet in the background while getting treatment.
The scarf is curvy and hopefully will hang that way once all is said and done.
I hope you all enjoyed my knitting update.  I can't wait to show off the finished items.  

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A misperception

When one thinks of California they typically picture beaches, sun, tanned bodies in bikinis.  When one thinks of Santa Cruz, they think surfers, organic "crunchy" living, and hippies.  Heck, the Beach Boys even sang about surfing in Santa Cruz.  I grew up in this town but I don't consider it "my" town.  I left after college for a reason.  I am trying to make the most of being here (its not a bad place to be in at all!).  I am trying to see more positives than negatives.  I love driving up the coast at dawn and watching the sun on the ocean.  I love pulling out of our driveway and looking out over the entire Bay.  I am not sure if things were different when I was growing up, or if I just wasn't aware of the other side to the town.  I don't mean literally, like once you cross the railroad tracks you are on the other side.  I mean that there is a huge undercurrent culture of people that are homesteading.  Maybe because Santa Cruz is a totally modern town and very into organic everything(!) that there is a demand for locally grown products.  In Maryland what we were doing was commonplace.  Most people had huge gardens and chickens to say the least.  I had homesteading friends and a community of like minded thinkers.  I assumed when I moved back to Santa Cruz that there would be none of that.  I assumed I would be the only one who pines for chickens and goats.  I stand corrected!  Once you get on the outskirts of town, people have hobby farms.  gasp!  One of the families I babysit for have a humongous garden, chickens, bees and are interested in goats.  The mom cans, makes food from scratch and the kids think it is fun to see who can pluck a duck the fastest.  Another friend I met has a farm daycare (can we say- my dream job?) complete with sheep, alpacas, goats, a hog (or at least there was a hog) and the requisite poultry. 
  Yesterday I responded to a craigslist ad about some wool.  This is what the ad said " A wonderful, SIXTY-SIX (66) ounce coil of loose rovings from our own flock of registered Southdown Sheep; skirted, washed, carded and drawn into loose rovings, ready to spin or use for crafts, just in time for Christmas! We are offering this natural, buttery-white wool fiber at much less than our actual costs for sheering and processing, not counting raising the sheep! That's over FOUR POUNDS of fine wool! Wool processed by Morro Fleece Works of Morro Bay, California."  I was on it like a hawk on a mouse.  I went to their house and was so excited to meet more of "my people".  Not only did they have sheep, but poultry and a daycare as well!  I talked to both the Mr and Mrs and fell in love with their sheep.  Just look at the pictures and tell me how you can not love them. 
  I brought the wool home and can't wait to spin it up, and even try my had at dying!  Most of all I am excited to see that there are people here who are like me!  I still miss Maryland.  Its hard to think about not getting snow for the winter here. But at least I am not the only one who wants farm animals, or their wool!