I have been away from blogging for a long time …. I’m not sure why.  This probably happens to every blogger once in a while.  I love Instagram.  I live the immediacy of the pictures.  I love the immediacy of the community and the feedback.  It just speaks to me.

That being said, I was listening to the Playful Day podcast this morning and she inspired me to get back to this, so here I am! 

I will post pictures and continue to talk about my life.  I’ll share podcast notes and videos from my daughter on her Ichigo Abroad podcast.  So come on along!


The Follow the Yellow Brick Road shawl by Lupunownsjacob on Ravelry.  Love it!


The full moon from our back deck!


The Handbreak Cowl by Obiwanknitter!  I’m knitting this with yarn I won on IG and yarn I bought during the Washington County Fiber Tour!


Some spinning I will soon be listing for sale in my Etsy shop, SaratogaSpinning!

That’s all for now!  See you soon!


Back to socks!

I’m back to socks once again!  I’m working on the Pembrokeshire Pathways design by Brenda Dayne.  I’m not loving the yarn I’m using – it’s a little rough to work with, but I’ve completed one sock and it feels just fine when I put it on.  It will probably soften up once it is washed.  The pattern is great though and very easy to memorize.  I’ve done my own spin on it by doing it toe up with a short row heel.  After many years of experimenting, this method seems to work best for me!

My next sock is Hermione’s Everyday Sock for the Student Knits KAL!

And for not sock knitting, I’m working on Thrummed Mittens for the CraftStash KAL!

Yay for Spring!!

I think that maybe, just maybe Spring is here??? It’s actually been in the 70’s for a few days. I’m not quite sure I fully believe it though . . . So the BIG NEWS in Saratoga Knitting land is that Mark passed his Strength and Conditioning Coach certification test! WOO HOO!!! He has been studying for over a year. It’s a big deal because it is the only certification for Strength and Conditioning that is recognized by the NCAA! He worked soooo hard for this. He also took delivery of his new scull. He can concentrate on getting it ready for the water now!

I just finished a cute little hat in some delightful Angora that I purchased from Elann.com. The pattern is Capello Angora by Petra Hoy.

I’ve been spinning more of the luscious alpaca given to me by my friend Crista. It is sooo soft. I’ve got some crazy orange fiber pre-drafted and ready to go next for my Etsy shop!

This Just Pleases Me

A few months ago Sophia asked me to make her a long shawl to take to college. Since she is only a Junior, she said that I had plenty of time to get it done. Smart girl.

This is the pattern I have finally chosen after much debate. I am so glad that I did! It is the Crow Waltz Rectangular Shawl from Loop in London. There is something about this that just pleases me. Maybe it is the fairly simple 12 row repeat for the two ends. Maybe it is the way the yarn seems to work the pattern perfectly. Maybe it is the color. Maybe it is because I am making it for Sophia and I know that it will comfort her when she is away from home. Something about it is just perfect.

I am continuing to spin the wonderfully soft chocolate brown alpaca. It is so easy to spin and I’m hoping that it will be just as wonderful to knit with!

We have made a big family decision this week. We have decided to be a host family with AFS next year. We are going to host a girl from Japan! She will share a room with Sophia and hopefully will be able to attend school with her. We have a lot of experience being host parents from our many years of European au pairs. I am very excited about this decision and will post more info as we get it. We are especially happy to be able to open our home to a Japanese student now. Sophia and all of her Japan program friends have heard from their summer host families and thankfully everyone is well. But our thoughts are with them every day.

Etsy Friends

The weather is finally shifting to Spring!  Don’t get me wrong – there is still a TON of snow on the ground, but it is RAINING today and NOT SNOWING!!!

I’ve been having tons of fun over on Etsy – here are some of my favorites!

HippieChicJewelz:  GREEN with envy everyone will be when they see you wearing this Hand Sculpted Rustic Citron Cross Bracelet by Hippie Chic Jewelz!

OddBallArtCo:  Skulls can be girly, and cute as can be! Don’t believe me? Check out these tags and find out.

Ecofriendlyfreckles:   Cheer up on rainy day with this gorgeous, meticulously handcrafted, one-of-a-kind money tin “Sunshine on a Rainy Day”

Asiabateav: Have you ever seen winter playing with spring? Check it out 🙂

Labellechanson: Delicately hand made with freshwater pearls to adorn your hair for your wedding or any special event of yours.

Veraart2010: Rose in shades of grey…

Holeestars: What a great way to hide your toaster with class with my new Mr Toaster cupboard.

Angelinainspirations: Pod Pals – Great for children and parents on the go!

Ecochictotes: Red White and Denim…Does anything say welcome to summer better than this bag.

Gabbysch: Dreaming of a wonderful summer in the adirondacks with this wall hanging.

Johnniebelinda: Time and protection in a bottle

Yifatbareket: Are you a March B-day girl or just like blue? Those stunning earrings are especially for you!!

Helmerjewelry: Nothing like colorful skulls to brighten your day!

PlanetCalamari: Magical Sea Glass necklace from Salem MA

Storybookartifact: Rekindle your lover’s alluring memory with this original painting inspired by great thought into the hazy future of soulmate’s dream: titled “Is He the Man of My Dreams”

Barsoap: Celebrate St Patrick’s day with this deliciously sweet Irish Cream Soap. The lather of the soap is as soft and smooth as that first creamy cocktail of the evening but you can use this bar of pleasure any time of the day!

Oceliasjewelry: Don’t get caught not wearing green, or you may get pinched! Beautiful glass bracelet set, including free earrings!

Madhatter92: This Octopus is just too cute!

KCIADesigns: A blue burst from the sun to colour your day!

Winter Weekend Activity

Last weekend was  snowy, icy and cold in Saratoga.  But we were still busy!  We spend some time in the wine cellar (yes, we have a small wine cellar!)  taking pictures of a wrought iron table.  This will be the newest addition to the catalog of items my husband makes in his wrought iron welding shop. Elegant, wouldn’t you say?  I think everyone should have one!

When I get up in the morning, well before everyone else, I like to bundle up on the couch under a blanket with my coffee.  This is a closeup of the blanket I crocheted and crocheted and crocheted for Mark.  In my mind it took FOREVER to finish.  But it is very warm and snuggly.  Perfect for an early winter morning!

This is the book I’m currently reading during my morning quiet time.  It is really a fantastic story of hope, survival and sheer perseverance.  It really puts all of my day to day problems/annoyances in perspective.  And the writing is wonderful.  I highly recommend this book to anyone.


Oh, did I mention that it is deep winter here?  We have had an enormous amount of snow and ice this winter.  And that means backup on the roof.  Luckily my Dad has a roof rake, so Mark and I spent the morning on the deck pulling snow off of the roof.  But do you see that corner he’s working on?  The water and ice just build and build and build right there.  Our goal was to clear out that corner so that some runoff could happen.  That’s a large piece of wrought iron he’s using to get through the ice.  Whew.  That was quite a project.

Once that was done I felt compelled to relax!  A cup of coffee, a brownie (you can’t tell that there were two brownies on that plate, can you?) and my bookclub book.  The Housekeeper and the Professor is the Saratoga Reads book this year.  My bookclub decided that we should probably go ahead and read it.  It is a lovely book.  I enjoyed it and was intrigued by the way the author integrated all of the math into the narrative.  Once again, I recommend this heartily!


My friend Crista bought a skein of yarn from my Etsy Shop a few weeks ago.  When I delivered it to her, she made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  She has about 5 pounds of very soft llama roving.  She said that she would split it with me if I would spin her half into yarn for her to knit with.  Who could say no to that???  She also said that I could combine it with a different fiber if I wanted to.  This is my first experiment.  I’ve combined it with mixed blue face leicster top from Miss Babs.  I think it looks great!


And finally, Sophia decided to rearrange her room this week.  That entailed taking all of the books off of her bookshelf.  She didn’t quite realize how many she had!

The high school musical tryouts are today, so we are in the midst of another busy weekend!  Hopefully I can sneak in a little spinning or knitting this afternoon!




















Sophia asked me to read the beginning of her new story and I thought it was so good that I just had to share!

Don’t you want to know what happens next???  And you know that college writing class that she got to take this semester that she was stressing so much about?  The professor gave her a 97 on her research paper and asked her if he could use it as an example in his future writing classes!  Look for her novel at Borders in about 10 years!

I thought I’d show you how I’m preparing and spinning the 4 oz. of Enchanted Knoll Farm Superwash Merino in the Flannel PJ’s colorway.


This is how it arrives.  I could spin this directly but I would like to make a skein of striped yarn that captures all of the color changes.

I split the roving down the middle into two long roving.  Then I took one of the lengths, split in two and pre-drafted.  I rolled each into a birdnest making sure to start each one at the same end of the length.

I am spinning the first of these.  You can clearly see the stripes of color!

Here is the second half of the roving.  I’ll do the same to this half.  It is split in two and each half is pre-drafted and rolled.

This shows the difference before and after pre-drafting.

The fibers are all nicely spread out and smooth.  They will just fly onto the wheel!

So I spun one of the first half of roving and will now spin the first of the second half.  That will fill one bobbin.  Then I will do the second bobbin in the same order.  What should result is two bobbins with exactly the same striping pattern.  Then I will ply the two together to make a two ply yarn that is perfectly (or almost 😉 striped.   Then it will be off to my Etsy shop!

Oh yes, it also snowed again today . . . 🙂

Tomorrow it’s dinner with some friends visiting Saratoga for the weekend!  And more snow on Tuesday . . .