Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 in Review

Going through my photos for 2011, I have come across a few that I have either neglected and/or forgotten to post, so I am liberating these from my hard-drive and plastering them here for posterity.

In no particular order, and with no particular theme, here are a few images of 2011:

The new super-deluxe, double-decker, twice-the-fun cat bed.  With 3 cats, do you think any one of them would have adopted this as their favorite resting place?  I even put it in front of the wood stove, with limited success:
Ohhh.  I have a taker - it's little Schatzie. For about all of 5 minutes.
January sunset over the cut corn-fields.  This is the view out of the living room window, facing west.  (I don't know why I state that - it should be obvious).
Awwww.  We lost our Popina in 2011.  That made me very sad.  Here she is sitting in the kitchen window, AKA my wide-screen TV, sniffing the wilting blooms of my Christmas cactus.
I waged a (hopefully) winning battle against anything that had thorns or spines in the garden.  This thistle would have grown to 6 feet tall had I not eradicated it:
And in a stark contrast to the spiky thistle, here's some mullein, also know as bunny's ear or flannel leaf.  This plant was spared:
My favorite Elm tree survived another year.  It's a favorite perch for crows and hawks:
Two of the four barn doors on the front of our barn.  One day we're going to have to pull the Elderberry bush out.  But every year, it gives us so many berries, it's a hard call.  Eventually...
Awww.  More Weenie Popeenie photos!  Popina was always on the prowl.  I have never seen a cat with such a huge prey-drive in my life.  She was unreal:
Moss on the side of the barn.  Under the same category as the Elderberry bush, one day we'll have to clean all of this up.  Until then, we'll enjoy the verdant fuzziness:
Another glorious sunset:
And yet another front moving in.  It's so nice when the corn starts to grow, and things get green again.  At this point during the season, we've had enough of cold weather and dormancy - give us green and give us growth!
I was going to post about these horseflies.  For the first time in years, we've had huge (no, let me repeat:  HUGE) horseflies.  These rip out a piece of flesh.  These are more common in the higher north, but this year,we had 'em.  For scale, the orange flasher in the photo is about 1.5" high.  Who needs a fly swatter?  Give me a sledge-hammer:
Little Tessie is enjoying the new cat basket.  Again, for all of 15 minutes:
Another glorious sunset.  Why do I spend so much time staring out of the window?  Well...the same reason you spend so much time staring at a TV set probably.  Just the stuff I watch is probably prettier, and isn't interrupted by commercials.
Another big, fat gratuitous cat photo.  BobCat's such a motivator:
And again on Channel 4, another glorious sunset scheduled for exactly 6:17PM, sponsored by Mother Earth:
The construction of Highway 30.  This huge overpass is going to link Highway 20 to Highway 30 and Highway 540.  Those cranes were enormous.
As the metal girders for the overpass were trucked in, they caused massive traffic jams around the Montreal area.  They must have been about 150' long, and were hauled on these gigantic dollies with tons of pilot and police cars.  You couldn't miss them, and they were impressive to watch rolling down the highway:
The nightly news on Channel 4, brought to you by Shim Farm Central:
Oh my dog.  We finished the floor in Eric's office/atelier.  It's been months now, and it still exciting:
If the floor weren't enough, Eric finished the window frame and molding.  Gorgeous, just gorgeous, I tell you!  A Hallmark Moment of Home Renovation.  This room is officially DONE!
I wanted to show you how I machine-steek my Lopi sweaters.  I made yet another one.  Actually, I made two, but who's counting?  Here I hand-basted my sewing line beforehand.  Had I not done this extra little step, I would not have been able to tell where to sew.  Unfortunately, my machine-sewing tutorial stops here.  You'll just have to wing the rest.  I did.

Freezing rain.  Beautiful in just the right quantity.  Photo credit goes to Eric:
Time to haul out the Christmas lights.  Unfortunately, I keep these lit until, what...maybe March?  My winter sanity depends on these lights.
Finally!  I found a use for my frogged Malabrigo!  Behold, the GAP-tastic cowl.  This wonderful pattern, using 2 strands knitted together, nicely mitigates the wild variation in colour of this hand-dyed yarn.  Brilliant!  And wearable?  You have no clue.  It's like wearing a hug.  Cast-on 131 stitches on an 8mm needle and knit in a K1P1 pattern for 15 inches.  Cast off and fall in loooove!
Yeah.  So I'm obsessed with the window frame.  I want you to stare at it as much as I stare at it.  Stare away.  It's finished.  I can hardly believe my eyes.

And it's not just nice, it's gorgeous.  Eric swore a lot finishing it.  He should have his mouth washed out with Varsol.  Once again, Eric nearly met his paint-finish Waterloo.  But lookit that shine, baby!
And just because it actually snowed before Christmas, here's another photo of the fields across the street.  Note the snow on the road.  When the tractors leave tread-marks like this, the roads are cold.  I think it was -18C (about 0F) the day I took this photo.  Unless you're used to driving in these conditions, take heed.  We don't call them greasy roads for nothing.  And since our road was just repaved and the ditches were dug out and they're even deeper, you'll go in further if you drive off the road.  This combined with the fact our newly paved road doesn't have a shoulder anymore should make for some interesting extrications this winter season:
I have been so good bashing away on my Lopi haul.  I'm about ready to place another order...but wait!  Isn't one of my resolutions for 2012 to use up my stash first?  Maybe Lopi isn't considered as stash wool anymore, but a staple, something like a major food group in my knitting world?  Can't we make an exception for Lopi?  Since it's my resolution, I'm making a new rule.  No new wool until stashed wool has been used.  Except for Lopi.  And if buying new wool to combine with stash wool is allowed...well...let's just play my knitting resolutions for 2012 by ear, shall we?
This "Ranga" pattern from Lopi book 29 is gorgeous, if I may say so myself!  I also just realized I wanted to re-sew one of those little claps that's a bit off-kilter and forgot to!  Another ridiculously quick knit, save for the yoke.  Somehow, all those purls in the yoke combined with the steek purls threw me off a bit.  Stitch marker or no stitch marker, I had a mental block when it came to following the chart.  If you're a knitter and your eyes aren't glazing over yet, go back up to my photo of this sweater being machine steeked.  See what I mean?  It's like a forest in there!
And here's a photo that proves that those crazy Icelanders love their floats, and with good reason!  Lopi is super-wool, remember?  No need to twist those long floats, just let them float!  It has nothing to do with lack of craftsmanship, or laziness, but more with practicality and time-saving.  Those floats will felt with wear, and make an almost double-lined fabric with time.  Warm?  You think?   Super-freakin' warm is more like it.
Never again will I make a surprise sweater for Eric.  NEVAR, did you hear me?  (That's more of a mental note for yours truly).  Moving right along.  Okay.  So I knit this Fugl (code name:  Birdie) for Eric in like, 5 days.  Super-easy.  Just super-not-the-right-size.  My Dad's getting this one instead.  Eric's got biceps that could fix your clock.  Next one's going to be an XXL modified for Eric's arms.  I also used his old sweaters his Mom knit as a template.  Guess what?  All the arms are too long.  That'll teach me.
So, remember the part of my new year's resolution to use my wool stash before buying more new wool?  Part of that therapy involves spreading wooly goodness all over the floor in the living room whilst one's spouse is away and can't observe hoarding tendencies the likes of which are shamefully displayed above.  The good news that I consolidated 5 Rubbermaid containers into 3, and expropriated one for Victoria's guts, which were somehow unceremoniously spread around under the staircase.  It also soothed my nerves a bit, and organizing my stash made me realize that I had blown things out of proportion.  I think.
All my sock wool in one happy container.  See the P-touch label maker?  Everything is labelled now too!  No more opening lids in search of what again?  Sock Wool.  I better get cranking again, and soon.  Maybe tomorrow.  Another plan for 2012.  Even more socks.  This stuff was bought in July when I went to Germany.

So there you have it.  2011 in photo review.  A Good Year, all told.  Next year will be even better, I always say.

With time comes experience, the more you know, the better you do.

Wisdom is the saving grace of aging.

Happy 2012.  Health.  Happiness.  All that is good.


Miriam said...

Not being a knitter, I am agog at your gorgeous creations! Did you knit the sweater your orange cat is lying on? Can mere human beings do something like that?!! I am gobsmacked, and might not be able to speak until tomorrow...

Happy New Year to all at Shim Farm!

Shim Farm said...

Hello Miriam!

Happy New Year's Eve. I am happily ensconced beside the fire, cat on one side, dog on the other, things could be worse!

Yes, I did knit the sweater Bob was lying on. I have no clue how I made it, as a matter of a fact! Just kidding - it was actually my first stranded (2 or more colours) project I had ever knit, added to the fact it's cut open once knit to add a zipper or buttons. This is called steeking and it involves alcohol. I have to admit it - Bob helped me.

Truthfully. I finished it and could not believe I made it myself. I gave it to my Mother for her 75th birthday, and she tells total strangers in the grocery store her daughter made it. How funny is that? Hand knits as icebreakers LOL.

All the best in 2012 to all at Mucky Boots Farm, and thanks for the virtual visit. Hope it stops raining before you float away...


Demelza said...

Hi Ann,

Love the idea of a 'review of 2011' post. Why didn't I think of that??? Those knits look gorgeous, not to mention warm, but I guess you need that at this time of year!

Happy New Year to you and yours.

Shim Farm said...

Hi Demelza!

Thanks for your comment! That was the first time I posted a year in review, but I think I'll opt for it every year from now on! Sort of a melting-pot of things I wanted to post, but didn't. It eases the guilty conscience a bit, too!

Yes, we're well into hand-knit season, that's for sure. We've got a forecast low of -15C tonight. It'll take a few sweaters at those temperatures LOL! Enjoy your weather!

All the best in 2012. Keep posting!


Robin said...

I like the year end review you did as well. That snow picture outside your house is amazing. That horsefly is SCARY! The floor and window frame molding is super cool. I would be staring at it all the time if it was my house too. :) I can't imagine being anywhere where it was zero degrees. O_o How often does that happen? All of your sweaters turned out lovely!! That is super awful that Eric's christmas sweater didn't fit. What a cute story about your mom's sweater.

Robin said...

Hmm...that seemed like a lot of fragmented comments. Sorry about that. There were too many pictures that I wanted to comment on. :)

Shim Farm said...

No worries about the fragmented comments - it was fragmented post, so it's fitting LOL.

Robin, that fly WAS scary. Eric knows them from his days of working in the high north, but really...they were unreal! many times does it go to 0F? So far in January, we've had 5 days where it was colder than 0F, our coldest day was -24C, or about -12F. That kind of cold, well, it's disgusting. Nothing is made to withstand those temps! Personally, I have a really hard time with it, and check the weather forecast frequently when we're in a deep-freeze.

Thanks for your compliment regarding the sweaters - they're turning out pretty nice, I'm quite happy with my progress.

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