A View from Sierra County

Small town life and politics, lots of knitting, and travels with and without my five burros

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Location: In the Sierra Nevadas, United States

I blog about rural living and social issues, and the creativity that comes from knitting, as well as post random pictures of the Sierras and my burros. "In order to be an artist, one must be deeply rooted in the society" - Simone de Beauvoir


Sunday, September 10, 2006

375th Post and a Contest

Yes, I am still finding it hard to believe that I have actually come up with varied and interesting content for 375 posts!


There have been fun adventures, such as Death Valley, Black Sheep and Estes Park. There has been lots of Sierra scenery, knitting, and of course, burros, and even wild mustangs! There have been lots of good times and sad ones with my family. What I never would have guessed when I started on this blogging adventure was how many new and wonderful friends there would be! I have been fortunate to get to meet several of the bloggers I regularly read and exchange emails with, and some of my contest swag, displayed below, is even the handiwork of fellow knit bloggers.

Contest Rules

I decided that there would be multiple contests in honor of my 375th post, all centered around my desire to do a blog make-over in light of making it this far. Looks like I'm in it for the long haul, so I am sprucing up and customizing my online image (heck, I even plan to go shopping for new clothes next weekend, and might get a haircut or wax my eyebrows:). Later this month, I will be moving over to Typepad and introducing a truly personal blog-look.

Everyone who emails me before 9:00 PM (PDT) on September 30th (email: dyespringcolorATgmailDOTcom) will be entered into a random-number generated drawing.

However, there will be a special prize drawing for those of you submitting the best and most useable tips to help me make this changeover... I will be needing a button, a banner, and some changeover advice, as well as would appreciate those personal comments and pointers that show you are familiar with my blog and what I choose to write about, and how I can incorporate that into my new format. I don't fully understand Typepad yet, having only used it as a guest author, but can see that I have more possibilities ... I would like to add a gallery of FOs and WIPs to make things less redundant. These tips should also be sent to the same email address. So what's in it for you?

Contest Swag

This photo shows some of the prizes I collected on my trip last week, including soaps from Blessed Juno, a bee tape measure and a sheep ornament, as well as a beautiful abalone shawl pin (the grand prize in the "tips" drawing). In back is a skein of Knitpicks merino fingering, specially dyed by moi, with cochineal, which will accompany a few small other prizes for the "random" drawing. At the very front is a DPN case from Nana Sadie Rose, the business run by one of my longest-running blog buddies, Knitnana.

This photo shows more prizes: the accessory bag in back is quilted and sewn by fellow Mountain Harvest Crafts Co-op member, Peggy (and we will have a web presence just as soon as I can get to it, but she is only licensed to make a small amount of these bags each year, so they are only available by coming to Downieville - or winning this one!)

So what are you waiting for?! Enter now!

Status of WIPs

I spent part of the weekend diligently working on my two favorite WIPS.

Bianca's back is almost to the armholes.

This sweater will grow quickly, which is good, as I love the feel of the yarn and look forward to wearing it often, but knitting it is a bit harder on the hands than some things...

Susan's lovely Forest Canopy shoulder shawl, renamed "Echos of Hugs" by me in honor of what wonderful friends she and Margene (who dyed the lovely "Merlot" colorway, with Kool-Aid stolen from Susan, I hear), has been my favorite companion, spending time with me during Saturday's shift at the crafts coop... I have progressed to the point where pictures are no longer and it looks like a beautifully-colored blob. If you have not tried laceweight yet, this is the perfect pattern to do it with - the pattern is easy to follow, and to 'read' as you knit (remember the lace maxim: "admire your lace early and often"), and the shawlette makes up quickly, so that you can wear it and get lots of compliments on your awesome knitting skills, before leaping into more complicated lacework (you know you will).

There was also homework, as I began my handwork teaching job for Yuba River Charter School on Wednesday, only to learn that my first graders had not yet gotten the supplies to make their sets of knitting needles...

That's my thumb, balancing the hacksaw while cutting one of 60 lengths (can you see the dowel held in the wooden vise?) that the children will begin sanding tomorrow during their lesson time with me... betcha didn't know I could manage basic woodworking skills too... me neither!

Teacher's homework also includes fixing mistakes. This basket, perched behind the pickup's front seat, contains my second graders' workbags, with needles they made last year, and some have WIPs from the end of first grade (yup, the WIP pressure starts early).

The piece on top is destined to be a recorder case and one of my more advanced students brought it to me for another student, tellling me "There's a dropped stitch, but it's too far down for me to get" (isn't that too sweet!). This basket represents the work bags of 29 students, sitting atop a pile of small, colored balls of Lambs Pride bulky wool yarns, for those ready to start a new project.

You will notice that there was no sky photo this Saturday... our usually bright and blue sky has been obscured by lots of smoke from a big wildland fire in Foresthill (as well as a smaller one closer on Thursday, still putting out smoke, although controlled), and I just couldn't bear to take a photo. Plus, there were air quality warnings to stay inside! DD and I took an late afternoon hike along the North Yuba for about a half hour, as we needed the exercise and the conditions have improved today; keep your fingers crossed that things don't get any worse here in California, where there are dozens of fires burning. DH is on the Day Fire in SoCal; Ventana Wilderness, working long hours but relatively safe, while one son is on the Foresthill one...


Anonymous caroline said...

Stay safe, Birdsong. I've been on Typepad for 2 1/2 years now and it's been pretty good. I use the cheapest and easiest pre-formatted blog template so I can't help much with banners, etc. But I can tell you about setting up typelists and photo galleries etc. They are easy as pie. However again, if you're using the pro level typepad, things may be different. Give a shout if need be. And for a suggestion for your banner? How about one of your property framed by that big, lovely sky? In other words, some of that Sierra County view... Big hug.

8:57 PM  
Anonymous susan said...

I'm glad to hear you're still enjoying the shawl. I just took my fourth one (a square this time) off the needles and I already feel the need to cast on another.

8:58 PM  
Anonymous DebbieB said...

Enjoyed the details about your handwork classes - you're giving the next generation such a gift!

Praying for the safety of your family...

4:06 AM  
Blogger margene said...

You have jumped right into the classroom and your students are going to love all the knowledge you share with them. You have a fabulous prize to give! Can't wait to see the 'new you'. ;-)

7:06 AM  
Blogger KnitNana said...

Wow. You're moving UP in the world! I'll be emailing...and thanks for the plug!

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Julia said...

Oh, you are going to love Typepad. I have used it for a couple of years now and I tried several others. Even Moveable Type which you have to install and configure - ugh! I'm not abackend kind a gal. I'll try to think of tips, but honestly, it's really easy to use. Missa made my banner - she is great - cuz, I am not a graphics person. find her here:
I love how I never even have to think about spam any mroe - really! Happy blog-moving.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Purple Fuzzy Mittens said...

375! That's quite an accomplishment. You have motivated me into going back and counting mine: only 40 so far. Perhaps I will celebrate when I reach my first 100.;-)

6:03 PM  
Blogger Jane said...

I've been using Typepad since I started blogging. I think you'll find it relatively easy to use, although getting the typelists set up always takes me a bit of trial and error. I'm on the second level plan because I like to post a lot of photos, so you might want to think about that before you start (although they make changing plans very easy.) Their customer support system is very good - fast and efficient. I have used both custom and Typepad standard templates and both are easy to set up. Can't wait to see your new look!

8:45 PM  
Blogger green-eyed grrl said...

hi, sweet friend. I'm a typepad grrl from way back, so call on me whenever you need anything. my current banner and template were uber easy and i could do anything like that for you if you have a photo you'd like to use. this is my third incarnation since i've been with typepad and the first one that's mainly monochromatic--which i love.

anyway, your wish is my command. let me know.

(i also created the blessed juno site if that suits your fancy)


10:54 PM  

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