Thursday, December 23, 2010

That Time of Year Again

It's almost Christmas, which means that Mom's hands have been busy making recycled sweater mittens and god knows what else. This is one of the most stressful times of the year for us, because neither of us know how to say no!

I haven't been quite so busy in Montana, but I did manage to make a hat that sold immediately back in Wisconsin.

I have been busy, however, playing around on Etsy. I've been making treasuries, and trying to get a little more exposure for our products. Which means I've also been trying to make product too! I have managed a few new scarves this fall, but not nearly as much as I would like.

One of my biggest Christmas presents this year was a sewing machine! I'm so excited, because it means I can do some of the things I've been wanting to ever since I left Wisconsin, where it was so easy to go down to the basement and use Mom's machine! As soon as I get in some squeakers I can finish up a few dog toys made from recycled jean material. I might even be able to help make some sweater mittens, but they might have to be stock for next winter, because I'm kind of slow at sewing!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and all that other such!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Another exciting day with Randy and Pam

I'm so glad it's time for me to sit!  I can't sit long I still have to make supper.  Tonight we are having chili.  I made bread in the bread machine and I think it is finished.  I was cleaning cupboards last week and discovered I had a whole bag of bread flour and then I remembered I have a bread machine in the basement.  I made a loaf last Sunday and it was good so I thought why not have it again this week.

Yesterday the rest of the hay for winter was delivered.  I meant to take some pictures because the barn is full.  We normally get small bales but this time they brought big square bales.  They brought ten of them and I think I'm good till next fall!  I still had quite a few small bales left.  A guy came and ground stumps scattered throughout the yard and then we moved firewood.  I have some orders for black and orange hats and I'm running low on black yarn so I thought I'd dye some yarn.  I don't have any black dye but I did have several colors I bought at Jefferson.  The colors are great and the label is from G & K Craft, I don't know if that's the name of the store I bought it from or if it is the manufacturer.  I need to find out who makes it.  The colors are very bright.  I made some skeins with yellow, rose, moss and turquoise.  The yellow is very bright and the moss almost looks black but the turquoise looks like it glows!  When I took the multi colored skeins out of the dye pot to rinse them I ended up with blue hands.  I never wear gloves when I dye wool!  My fingers are still a little blue and my fingernails look like I have baby blue nails!  I dyed several skeins with the left over  moss and the other skeins came out in a nice light green, the turquoise still came out turquoise until I had dyed four more skeins! 

So today we got up and we waited till it warmed up a little and we started moving firewood again.  We were using the jeep to pull the trailer.  We don't have a flat spot in our yard and a few times I thought Oh NO We're going to Tip!   Then I thought when they get me to the emergency room they would see my blue fingernails and think I was dead!  The jeep is very old and looks like a Barbie Jeep!  Except that it's mostly grey primer.  We had made several trips and we were picking up some scattered firewood in the back yard when the jeep wouldn't start.  Randy tried several different things and then we gave up and we were going to tow it to the barn with the truck.  I was waiting for him to come with the truck and he was starting to back up to hook up the trailer when the jeep started rolling down the hill.  Me being the strong brave person I am thought wait maybe I can stop it or jump in!  The trailer stopped it!  The mirror has made my upper arm match my fingernails!  Good thing it's winter and I'll have on long sleeves!  We were lucky it rolled when it did another minute later and we'd be calling Lori the insurance agent! 

It sounds like Randy has the bobcat started.  It's going in the little side garage so we're ready to move snow.  I'm  hoping it doesn't get here for months!  My hamburger is cooked and it's time to finish the chili!

Yes, it was just another day with Randy and Pam!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Harvest is over

We mowed  the flower and vegetable garden today.  The sheep are sad, I think fall is one of their favorite times of the year.  They love all the goodies I bring them.  If it looks like I'm heading to the garden they start to baa!

I've been busy knitting and making recycled sweater mittens but I need to kick it up a gear or two to have things ready for the upcoming season.  I'm making a few new things and I'll try to post pictures when I finish them.

A few of the baaad girls got together a few weeks ago and we went to The Livery in Eau Claire.  We had a nice time and hope to get together again soon.  We've talked about heading to Whitehall to attend a class taught by Christa from Christa's yarn shop.

Here's a picture of the sheep eating watermelon.  They love watermelon!

I was dying some wool last week and left an empty cone on the floor.  I have to include a picture of Spike stalking the Cone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bugged and Wet in Wisconsin

I can't believe how bad the mosquitoes are at our house this year.  We've had some other bad years in the 16 years we've been here but I think this is the worst.  In order to go to the garden I need to wear sweats and I have a "net" jacket that goes over my head.  There is a little hole by the mouth - I think it's for people who smoke but you can tear a raspberry apart and stuff it in your mouth! 

The grandkids and our daughter Becky are visiting us for about 10 days.  Since the bugs are so bad the kids can't go outside at our house.  We have taken them to see some Wisconsin sites and we took them to Fevolden Farms on Saturday.  They got to see lots of alpacas. 

Grandpa has also been giving Jeep rides.  They like the jeep!
I'm off to put salsa in jars.  It's a little "hot" but the grandsons like it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thoughts on Knitting

Did you ever notice how some patterns seem to draw you back multiple times, while others are put on a shelf never to be touched again? I know my Mom and I have that dilemna, although Mom has a harder time giving up on patterns than I do! Sometimes I think that with a little knitting math and a little ingenuity I can 'fix' patterns I didn't enjoy the first time...and I have quite the pile going on there! I often wonder if the pattern itself is the problem, or simply where I am in my knitting career when I attempt it. Did I use the wrong needles? Or the wrong yarn? Maybe I just wasn't paying enough attention, and made mistakes I didn't see. Hmm, maybe it is time to take some of those patterns back off the shelf and try again....

Patterns that do work, and have time and again!

Monday, August 2, 2010


I have finished a project! It was a small quick project, but sometimes even the smallest victories feel good enough to celebrate! Even the Dragon himself is much as a stuffed animal can!

No really, I saw him hanging out with this guy the other day...

Jerry Bear #2

Anyway, happy Monday, and enjoy the last bit of summer we have left!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Norwegian Musings

Eating healthy isn't always easy, especially on a tight budget! Matt and I have tons of Ramen in the cupboard, and we've been trying to find ways to use the Ramen in a healthier way than the traditional method. A few days ago at the grocery store I found a bag of veggies called "Scandinavian Style Veggie Blend." I had to have it! Green Beans, Peas, Onions, Carrots, and Zucchini. I don't really understand why that makes it Scandinavian, but it was enough to make me giggle, and buy the veggies! Matt's idea was to grill a chicken breast then throw that in with some Oriental flavored Ramen and the Scandinavian veggies. Good idea, great way to use up Ramen in a sorta healthy way...but it was way too salty for me. Oh well, there's always next time!

While cooking the veggies however, Matt and I had a discussion about Norwegian food. He asked me if there were any real Norwegian dishes that I actually liked. (He of course was thinking about Lutefisk...and as we all know...that stuff is really nasty!) I came back with Lefse and Rosettes, only two of the greatest food inventions in the world! But, after that I came up empty. So, if you feel so inclined, let me know what some of your favorite Norwegian foods are! I know someone can come up with something good I'm forgetting!

And now for something completely different, another view of Montana to take your breath away. :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Motivation comes from different places, and I've had lots of it in the last two weeks!

Knitting: I tend to have lots of projects on the back burner, and even more ideas of projects behind that list. Sometimes it's hard to actually sit down and make something, or finish something you've started. This website and our Etsy page is helping, so is the prospect of upcoming craft fairs. I even had an order for a Dragon! The biggest motivation for my knitting however, was moving into a completely unfurnished apartment, with no money for new cleaning, bathroom or kitchen supplies! Thus came the search for cotton to make a dishcloth and matching handtowel for the kitchen, and a nice bright yellow handcloth for the bathroom. Next on the list of emergency (and non-emergency) apartment knitting is a felted wool oven mitt and pillows for the couch!

Job Search: Along with the new apartment come a lot of new bills...if I want to get on the internet in my own house I need to have cable installed, and since internet is like air to me...they are coming on friday. There's also an electric bill to pay every month, food stuffs, laundromat when our dryer isn't working (which it hasn't since we moved in) and of course the biggie, RENT! This turned my second job search into turbo mode, with interviews and applications increasing two-fold since last friday.

Exercise/Healthy Eating: Our new roommate has a wheat allergy, so to accomodate her Matt and I are trying new healthier options...sometimes. :) I do love my breads, grains and pastas! We've also been trying to go hiking at least twice a week at the M, but have only been making it about once a week or less. A friend of mine posted some pictures from our camping this past weekend, and after seeing myself I got the biggest spurt of motivation of all! Looks like more hiking, and fewer bagels are in my future! M, here we come!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Revenue Flats

Not only did Matt and I move into our new place this weekend, we also went camping! Our friend Zach took us to a National Park called Revenue Flats. Apparently there was a volcano a long time ago, and the ice shelf that moved through this area pushed the rocks from the volcano around, and now there are tons of rock formations all over this park. We spent one evening and one morning wandering around looking at cows and rocks. It was awesome! There's a lot to see at that park, so we're hoping to go back someday and maybe climb a few rocks.

I'm also working on some emergency knitting for the apartment! We need hand towels for the kitchen and bathroom, and a dishcloth for the kitchen. Lucky thing I have tons of cotton available for the job! Pictures to come! Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Almost Sunny in Wisconsin

We've had a long week of heavy rain and storms.  Parts of the area were hit very hard with lots of trees and power lines down.  We lost a few trees and branches.  Saturday was our 34th wedding anniversary and we spent the day working and playing in the Karner Blue Butterfly Festival parade.  We thought about going back to town for the evening festivities but another storm blew in and we stayed home.  I'm busy working on projects for the open house at Allen Creek next Saturday.  Besides the hand crafted items we are also going to have an area for yard sale items.  I opened a tub from the basement and found all kinds of treasures!  Some are even going to the yard sale!  I pulled weeds in my garden.  The sheep love weeds!  I found two cucumbers, several peppers and tomatoes are growing and I hope I'll have ripe tomatoes before Becky and the kids get here.  The mosquitos are bad in the garden, I put on bug spray but I ddn't were my mosquito net hat!  We have bats in the barn and you all know how much I love bats or anything that flies.  Randy reminded me about how many bugs a bat will eat in a night and our bats are huge so they should be eating more than the average bat!  They make a mess in the barn and we wish we could get them to move somewhere else like  the woods! 

Kirsten is in the middle of a move to a different apartment so she might not be writing for a few days.  Make it a great week and I'll get pictures up as I finish some of my projects.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Good Hike

Matt and I went to the M again today. The M is a great local hike here in Bozeman, Montana. You can take the hard side, which goes straight up, or you can take the easier side...but when you aren't in shape, it doesn't matter what side you take! We ended up taking another trail, which led away from the M itself. It was a darker trail, less traveled, and not as steep a climb! I might not wake up in pain tomorrow!

We found some really pretty flowers that gave me a few different ideas for yarn colors! There are a ton of purple flowers here in Montana, and the hillsides are covered in green grass, purple, blue and yellow flowers. Someday I will make some yarn that will do these hills justice! Now, I'm back to knitting, so hopefully soon I can post some pictures of said knitting!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Sense of Accomplishment

You know how good it feels when you finally finish a project that has been in the works for far too long? Well, I haven't had that feeling today. I've been working on Matt's Mitts, flap top fingerless mittens I designed especially for my smoking boyfriend to wear while outside in the winters smoking. (I keep hoping that by the time I finish them, he won't need them!) Anyway, I cast on in June of 2008, and they have been in a state of perpetual half-finished-ness since then. I got a great deal of work done on them this week, even with ripping out the flap top twice now, but realized today that I don't have any good buttons. So, they will wait some more, at least until I have proper buttons.

I did however attatch a button that fell off a pair of pants, so mini sense of accomplishment there!

Since I have no images of finished knitting, I will leave you with an image of our latest jaunt around town. The lovely Bozeman, Montana everybody!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I'm so excited that we finally have this up!

I can't wait to upload pictures of things we are working on and what's going on here in Wisconsin. 

The sheep and Gracie the llama are very happy! We were almost out of hay and I was worried I was going to have to take them to yards that need mowing. Happily, my hay supplier came thru for us and delivered enough to fill the barn! We are supplementing their diet with weeds from the vegetable and flower garden. Yes, I'm growing a great crop of weeds! I'm also growing a few other tasty things for the sheep and lots of tomatoes and peppers to make salsa for us.
Allen Creek Country Store is having a day on the farm on July 24th, several crafters have signed up and the event will be used as a fund raiser for the local boys and girls club.  Since I normally knit hats, mittens, slippers, and scarves I thought I should make something different for the summer months, so I'm knitting sheep and llamas using wool from my sheep and Gracie.  I also recently made a hot water bottle cover for my neice as part of her wedding shower gift. I got the idea while listening to Kelly's pod casts from Knit Picks, she has mentioned several times how much she loves her hot water bottle!  For a while I thought I was going to have to give my niece a combination hot water bottle and douche bag, which I found very amusing, but in the end a good friend found a regular hot water bottle for me! Why would I give a gift of a hot water bottle cover?  Because when she's climbing into bed on a cold Minnesota night she can warm up her toes and think about how nice and warm it was on the Caribbean Cruise honeymoon!   I have orders for a few more and I want one for myself! 

The other project I'm "dying" to get started on is dying some of the 40 pounds of yarn from our sheep that just came back from Blackberry Ridge.  I've been taking pictures of flowers in the yard and I plan on using some of them as inspiration for color ways. I was going to start today but I didn't get home until after 4 and Randy really doesn't like the smell of cooking wool when he wants to eat supper! Oh well, there's always tomorrow!


Hello from Montana! My name is Kirsten, and I am the daughter of Randy and Pam Bjerke who started this business venture in the early 2000's. We decided to start a blog so that any readers or customers will know what we are up to, and so Mom and I can show off our knitting to each other from a distance!

I'm relatively new to Montana, having only moved here in March 2010. My boyfriend Matt and I have become enchanted with all the beauty and all the things you can do here! It's difficult to focus on my knitting when I'm distracted by hiking, nature trails, steep mountains, and flowing rivers.

My friend Zach, a photography major at MSU, has decided that I should make special teddy bears for a special store in our hometown of Black River Falls, Wisconsin. I think these "Jerry Bears" will fit in nicely with the other items for sale at Funktional Junction or Funky Junk as the locals call it.

Happy Saturday Everyone!