Monday, November 24, 2008

Grazing Sheep Bag

This is the story of my Grazing Sheep Bag. First, I was gifted with the book that contained the instructions and the yarn. I loved the idea of this bag from the very beginning. But it is designed to be a small, flat bag which is less useful to me than a bigger bag with a flat bottom. So I altered the design to have 4 sides and a bottom. This meant making new charts, which I spent quite a bit of time doing. Then I completely ignored the charts and just knit the thing. I not only didn't use the charts, I didn't knit the sheep in intarsia because I really hated having all those little bobbins. So, I knit the grassy hills in intarsia and decided to add the sheep using duplicate stitch after the knitting was complete. Unfortunately, when I finished knitting the bag and started putting the sheep on, I remember just how much I hate duplicate stitch. So I pulled out the 3/4 of a sheep that I had already done and decided to felt the bag and needlefelt the sheep on. And that's just what I did. It's all done now, except that it needs handles. I want something easy to put on and haven't figured out what that's going to be yet.

New Projects Underway

First, Miss S is making a scarf and a hat out of this lovely and very soft baby alpaca - Plymouth Yarns Baby Alpaca Grande Tweed that she bought herself. I think it will be lovely.

And, I decided that I needed a scarf and hat now that it's getting cold outside too. I used some money that came my way and bought 3 hanks of Malabrigo Worsted in the Emerald color for myself. The pattern was from a new yarn shop up near Mom's land that we stopped at on the way to Asheville for SAFF. It's a lovely cabled rib scarf that's soft and squooshy and thick and probably warm (hopefully.) More pics as it gets worked on.

Finished Items

So, been busy. This is one of the very popular Dumpling Bags that was in the Fall Interweave Knits magazine. I decided that Miss M needed a small bag to carry a cell phone in for all those formal dance parties she's going to these days. This only took a couple of hours to knit and even less time to felt. She's needlefelting flowers on it - more pics when it's done.

And these are the Yoga/Dance Socks from Charlene Schurch's The Little Box of Socks that the girl wanted me to make. They didn't take any time at all, possibly because they have no heel or toe to knit. I'm also making her a pair of gauntlets with the same yarn - this is the Needlenook Nosh Numma Numma Toasty that I won in the sock design contest.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

'Nother Flower

Another flower bloomed in the greenhouse! They must really like it in there - two blooms in 3 days!

Someone decided to help Ma Nature pollinate them.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Help Save Pushing Daisies!

Unless you hate the show, please sign this petition to help save it from the chopping block!

Last bit of summer . . .

This bud has been hanging on for weeks and I've been waiting for it to open. I moved the plants into the greenhouse on Sunday and it finally opened today! There is one more bud on a plant, but I'm betting it will fall off.

Monday, November 17, 2008

A little birdie . . .

Miss S made this little birdie from unspun wool that I had here. I got a copy of Little Felted Animals by Marie-Noelle Horvath and had the wool and needles. She had so much fun with the little flat tree and liked the chipmunk, so she got out the book and found something to make. It took several hours over two days, but it turned out to be quite a nice looking little bird. It's just a little over 2" tall.

Christmas Ornaments & Socks

These are the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern by Nancy Bush that I made from the Pesto Numma Numma Toasty that I won from Needlenook. I changed the heel on them and made them extra long for myself. They turned out quite nice and were a pleasure to knit.

Next, some needlefelted Christmas Ornaments that the girls made. I bought the kids when I was at SAFF from the Tailspinner booth which was together with the lady who taught the needlefelted chipmunk class. The duck was made by Miss M and the tree by Miss S. They seemed to enjoy making them - I'm going to make some next time too.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Just for fun . . .

take this 2nd grade computer test from China . . . it's not as easy as it looks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mom's House - Sequel

It is getting into our rainy season here, so it rains (actually drizzles) almost everyday. There is no real accumulation (about an inch a month) but it makes it damp and overcast all the time.

Mom has to walk down her steps, across the wet grass, around the front of her house and down the side to my house. So she put in a ramp so she can just put on her wheelies and skate down to my house.

When we get snow she can use a toboggan and slide on over.

There are two real cute guardians standing on the ramp, ready, willing and able to escort mom to and fro.

The ramp will have railings put in during the next break in the rain.

Where am I?

Where am I on all those things I have on the needles? Um, some of them haven't moved a stitch in weeks, I'm afraid. The Grazing Sheep bag is knit - well, all except for the bottom. I need to duplicate stitch the sheep onto the bag and then I need to pick up stitches and knit the bottom. As I said in earlier posts, I didn't make it according to the pattern because I thought that was going to be too small a bag. So it will be considerably larger than the pattern said it would - hopefully a useable bag. Need to get those sheep on it and soon.
Then there is the black and red norwegian sweater. This is nice to knit because the pattern is not that complicated and after you knit a repeat or two, it is fairly easy to remember with minimal chart reading. But I'm afraid that my gauge changed between the swatch (which was huge - almost two complete skeins of yarn) and starting the sweater. I think it's really too small and I need to rip it out and knit it on a bigger needle or add a few more stitches to the sides. So, it's in time out for now.
And, not on the list before now are the socks made from the Pesto Numma Numma Toasty that I won in the sock design contest. I started these just before I left for SAFF and then tore them out and restarted them at SAFF so I'd have some stupid easy knitting to do while I was there. They are being knit in the Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern by Nancy Bush from the Knitting Vintage Socks book. It's a really easy pattern to memorize and so it's nice no thinking knitting.

And I knit a bunch on the socks when we took the theater company to the regional competition last weekend. The cast and crew took second place in the one act play competition and our leading man was given the Best Actor award for his terrific performance. It was a long, but nice day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I made more . . .

Ok, so I lied about that being the last SAFF post. I have tried and tried to get better pictures of my chippy, but I just can't seem to do it. So here's the last post, really, the very last! This odd shaped thing is from the heel workshop taught by Charlene Schurch I went to. The heels are, from top down, the strong heel, a short row heel, the garter side heel (not sure that's what she called it) and the cuban heel which is just a variation on the strong heel.
Remember this picture of lots of fiber? From this pile of fiber, or one very much like it, I made my chipmunk. These pictures are not very good, but this is my needle felted chipmunk. It's much cuter in real life when the lighting isn't so wierd.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

What I made:

I think this is the last SAFF post. These are the things I made/did at SAFF, but not necessarily in the order I made/did them. Well, except the last workshop I took. First, the two hankies I dyed with in the Perennial Indigo Vat class. The first one I stitched and gathered to create the effects. I stitched diagonally from one corner to the other and then I folded the hankie two different ways, one on each side, and stitched in a sort of quarter round. The second one was just sort of wadded up in a ball and put in an onion bag. Indigo is a lazy dye and doesn't penetrate far if there is any obstruction, so you get a mottled effect. I took some lace weight wool to dye, but in the end decided not to dye it there.
This is the wool I spun in the spinning class I took. Once I got going, it came back pretty quickly. It will take some work to get really consistent, but that's not surprising. Since it did come back pretty quickly, the instructor gave me some rabbit fur and some silk to spin so I'd have something to challenge me. The small gray and white hank is the rabbit/silk plied together - the gray is rabbit and the white is silk. That is the softest, nicest yarn. One day, when I'm much better at spinning, I'll buy some rabbit hair to spin and make something lovely out of it.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Goodies I Got

Naturally, while I was at SAFF, amidst all that fibery goodness, I made a few acquisitions. Actually, I didn't spend all that much money, but I thought I got some good stuff.

First, I got two kits for needle felting Christmas ornaments. One kit makes a duck and the other makes a tree - the duck was for Miss M because she collects ducks like Miss S collects pigs. In reality, I figure the girls can read the instructions and make anything I have a cookie cutter for - and since I ended up with Mom's cookie cutters, I got lots.

I got a little sheepy keychain for me - for absolutely no good reason other than it's cute and makes funny noises.

And I got some premade needle felted Santa ornaments. They're probably too big for the tree, but they'll look nice on doors. I saw them last year and didn't get them and regreted it later.

And roving . . . after playing with the wheel, I decided I needed something to practice on at home. These balls are each 4 oz and because they were white and undyed, they were cheaper than the brown and gray balls. So I bought 4 - haven't done anything with them yet, but maybe Sunday I'll have a little extra time.

These are some cotton flowers that one of the vendors had. They charged a quarter a piece for them unless you bought $50 worth of merchandise. I not only bought from the vendor, I took a class from her, so I spent my $50 and asked for and got permission to get two. Just for the girls to see what they really look like. Maybe they'll want to play with spinning the cotton on a small spindle.

Got some Sock yarn from Miss Babs. She had the greatest colorways and the most vast selection of colors. I was tempted to buy several hanks, but I do have more than a bit of sock yarn already, so I didn't. But I did get some fine wool/mohair/silk yarn from Brooks Farm - I really loved the Primero I got last year and I really love this this year. I'm going to make EZ's Butterfly Vest (for me) with this lovely stuff. And I got some green and blue wool for a hat or scarf or who knows what, but it was pretty and inexpensive and I liked it.

And I know I haven't shown the stuff I made, but one thing I made was a needle felted chipmunk. It turned out very cute and fairly lifelike. The lady was selling the kits to make them at home to the class attendees. She only sold them to us because there are no instructions in the kits. I got one for each girl though I doubt Miss S will have time for anything like that for a while - maybe over Christmas break. The two bags are the kits and the raw wool is the contents. Hopefully, I'll have pics of what I did in the classes tomorrow. I keep taking pics of the items and they keep not looking good.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Finally finished the turquoise socks for the Divine Miss M. This is the elann sock yarn that Mom sent and I knit it in the Flame Wave pattern from Ann Budd's Favorite Socks book. I enjoyed knitting it - it was an easy pattern to memorize. I had to knit the socks two and a half times to get them the size that the girl wanted. But they are done now and she likes them.

And this is my favorite purchase from SAFF. It was kinda a last minute thing - bought it cuz I kept dropping my glasses everywhere. I saw this at a booth and it wasn't too expensive, so I bought it. I've worn it every day since then.