Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

Notice the lace on the edge of the hat in her hand. More pics tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Look What Came in the Mail!!!

The new Stitches Brochure came the other day! I've been reading it and marking this class or that class for hours at a time. Registration opens November 11th, so I have to finish ticking by then . . . I suspect that this year the classes will fill a lot faster than last year.

And this is the Earthy Rainbow yarn that I couldn't get a decent picture of yesterday. It's pretty, but has a bit too much twist in it. Came out as two hanks, each almost 150 yards. I haven't a clue what it wants to be and am thinking it might want to come live with you . . .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Today's Doins . . . .

So, it's still rainy and getting colder here - not nearly as much fun to be outside. I'm still working on the Bearfoot socks for Miss M and the Black Back Attack for Miss S but slowly. The Ishbel Shawl that I am knitting out of handspun is where it was two weeks ago. Yes, I finished spinning the bump that Dena gave back, and yes, I started knitting with it. Then I decided that I'd spun it too thick and ripped all that I had knit. I rewound the ball with the outside in and the other end seemed to be a bit thinner so I should have begun again with it, but haven't. I will and it won't take long to finish.

I've also been spinning. I finished spinning the 8 ounces of Earthy Rainbow from Fiber Fancy. I two plyed it and came up with a little less than 300 yards of fingering weight (about) yarn. I think it's going to be someone's Christmas Present - what do you think?

And I finished spinning the Mardi Gras BFL roving from Alaskan Sass but haven't plyed it yet. It was lovely to spin - and the colors are also lovely. The girls suggested that I navaho ply it to maintain the colors and I think they are right. I'm going to let it sit on the spool for a few days before I ply it.

So now I'm working on this lovely 8 ounces of blue & white superwash that Mom bought for me at Puffy Mondaes. It's different from any other prepared fiber I've gotten. It's not roving and it's not top - not sure exactly what it is. But it spins nicely and looks like old denim when it's spun. I really like the color. I'm spinning it fine so I can 3 ply it and not have a bulky weight yarn. I'm not sure what I'll make of it - bet it was intended for sock yarn but I don't know if I'll ever make socks out of handspun. It's certainly soft enough to be next to the skin. More pics of the spun singles later . . . .

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dog Days

It's cold and dreary here. We've had rain (again) for the last couple of days and today it's suddenly gotten pretty cold. I really hope there is no threat of frost tonight because it's too yucky to bring the plants into the greenhouse.

So, we dressed Casey up in her new Halloween cosume. She's going to be a Hot Dog (get it? Hot Dog!!!!) She actually doesn't seem to really hate this costume like she has hated everything else anyone ever put on her. I won't pretend she likes it even if my children are pretending that she does, but she doesn't try to chew it off. It needs some minor adjustments to improve the fit, but it will keep her warm when we go trick or treating!

And this is my new Casey necklace. There was an arts festival at the park near the girls' school last weekend and Miss M and I went. We found a terrific booth where they had mindbender type puzzles - Creative Crafthouse. We bought several many of them and have been having fun figuring them out since. Oddly, there is one that Miss S can do in about ten seconds but Miss M and I have much more trouble with it and there is another one that I can do in no time that Miss S hasn't conquered yet. Guess our brains must be wired differently.
While we were at the craft fair, I found a booth where they had all kinds of animal things - necklaces, earings, clocks, etc. They had the cutest Elephant necklace and the trunk held your glasses. I love necklaces that hold my glasses, but since I now seem to need them all the time, I don't need anymore of those. They also had this dog necklace (and matching earings but I was forbidden to buy those) that looked just like my little Casey. So I bought it in spite of the admonitions regarding how I shouldn't because of how much it cost. The little body is made in two parts and they move independently of each other - the head also turns and moves. Cute isn't it?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tatting and Hats

So the Mop Cap Tatting is done - it ended up being very long and lots of work, but the girl finished it. We blocked it yesterday afternoon and I sewed it onto the cap today. Then I took the cap to school and ran elastic thru the casing and sewed it shut this afternoon. It's an adorable hat but I haven't seen it on the girl yet. I will take pics of it on her as soon as I can and post them but it will probably be a week or more before that happens. Until then, these will have to do. The first is a closeup of the sewed on lace and the second the entire cap without the elastic.

Flowers, bugs and Nasty Neighbors

These are the bushes by the mailbox. They are just ugly old boxwoods that get trimmed into big round humps. Several years ago, I planted some passiflora vines on them because they are in direct sun. I planted Lutea there and it hasn't got much in the way of flowers, but it's native so it grows like a weed (because passiflora are pretty much all weeds.) Anyway, I discovered that the gulf fritillary butterflies didn't care if the plant had nice flowers or not, it will lay eggs anywhere and the cats don't care what type of passiflora they eat. So I spent all that summer (and each since) moving the caterpillars from my nice flowers to the weeds on the mailbox. This works nicely and each summer I have hundreds of butterflies in the yard. I usually have so many by July and August that you cannot get the mail without 3 or 4 or more landing on you as you walk down there.

Well, two years ago, one of the neighbors down the street found out what I had going on down there. They waited until Steve, Miss M and I walked down the street past their house one evening and then headed to my mailbox and stole a few caterpillars and every leaf off the vines to feed their borrowed bugs. They left several dozen (or more) cats to die on my leafless vines. Miss S caught them in the act and begged them not to take every leaf, but they did anyway. We moved the remaining cats to the weeds that I have growing in the backyard (maypops - passiflora caerulea) so they wouldn't die and let them grow into butterflies.

So, you'd think that was the end of the story, but you'd be wrong.
This year, I planted this lovely seedling that my friend sent me (the same one that sent you the water lily) down on the bushes so that I'd have some lovely and colorful flowers as well as the bug food. It worked - they are lovely and bloom profusely for me.
The cats have thrived down there this summer in spite of the rain and I've had butterflies for most of the summer. I haven't had as many this year as usual for some reason - maybe the rain, maybe not - but I've had plenty. I still have dozens of cats and several chrysalis (you don't ever see as many of those as many of the cats hide before they start to change). The other day, the same stupid neighbors walked down and let their kids start pulling the cats, leaves and chrysalis off my bushes. I happened to be driving out of the driveway when they did it and told the kids to keep their fingers off my plants and critters and explained to the parents that they are MY critters and I don't want their kids hurting them. I thought I was pretty clear but about an hour later they were back and had the gall to tell me that, even tho the kids pulled the chrysalis off the bushes and put them in their pockets, they were not hurting anything. This time, I explained in very clear and concise terms that my property is off limits to them and their brats. I suggested that if they wanted it explained better, perhaps the authorities could do it for me. So, I have 5 flowers blooming today and this chrysalis was moving side to side to let me know that there is something living in there and it might be ready to come out for me!

Spinning and Max

Several little posts as opposed to one big one tonight - to make posting all this easy for me.

First, the bump that D sent me has been spun, plyed, washed and partly knitted but then I ripped out the new knitting. Here's a pic of the spun, plyed and washed yarn:
Next, two pretty bad shots of the girl in her Max suit. The suit is much cuter in person and so is the girl. I'll try for better pics if the girl ever manages to be at home when there is sun shining or some other kind of natural light. That doesn't happen very often lately. The suit is adorable - the girl can be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Can anyone tell me why Blogger has decided it needs to rotate my pictures? This picture should show the tatting going from side to side but Blogger has turned it so that the tatting goes up and down. Blogger turned several pictures in the last few posts too. I don't guess it matters too much but it irritates me anyway.

So, this is the tatting that Miss S is doing for the fall play - Sleepy Hollow. Her character has to wear a mop cap (a big circle with elastic sewn all the way around about 2" in from the edge.) The costumer made the hat and told Miss S that if she'd like to, she could make lace for the edge and then after the show, keep the hat. Since it's just a large circle, she can keep it as a hat or take out the elastic and use the circle as a table cloth. Girlfriend needs 75" of tatted lace and has probably close to that now. I get to stitch in on the cap (yeah, I'm loving that idea) after it gets blocked. It has to be done by Tuesday, so I need to get it blocked soon - hopefully she'll be done tatting today after practice.

Any tips on blocking (hopefully stiffening it just a bit) would be helpful. Also, if I have to cut it, how do I treat the ends?

And, as always, there will be pics of the finished goods when they are finished . . . .

Friday, October 16, 2009

Spinning, yarn and fiber . . .

This is the first bobbin of the Earthy Rainbow Corriedale fiber from Fiber Fancy on Etsy. I adore the colors of this wool and normally I like spinning Corriedale, but I'm not enjoying spinning this as much as I would like to, more because the arthritis in my hands makes it difficult than anything else. It's making some lovely yarn tho - I bought 8 ounces and am on the second half of the first four ounces.

This is more of Maple's lovely alpaca roving that I bought to spin. I really love this stuff - it's the softest thing ever and so nicely processed that it practically spins itself. (No, I haven't spun the blanket that Nancy gave me yet - I haven't really had time to clean or card it.) And I love the smell of the fiber that I get from Northstar Alpacas because Maple always packs it with lovely lavender sachets.

This is the Berroco Lustra that I bought to make Mr. Greenjeans for myself. I had a gift certificat to the local yarn store (Needlenook) and used it for myself. The yarn is lovely and oh-so-soft. I will start on it when I finish the socks, costumes, shawl, etc . . .


There has been knitting going on here in spite of all the rushing. First, the tail that Miss S knit for her Halloween costume. The senior class theme this year is Wild Things and of course, there is the movie coming out today. So Girlfriend went out and bought herself a white hoodie onto which she plans to sew a tail and ears. I made the ears because she was sure that they wouldn't work and wouldn't look right and she didn't know what else she could do for ears. I told her that they'd be fine and would get the idea across but she wasn't sure. So I made them. The sweatshirt is in the wash right now (got a little dirty somehow) and as soon as it's dry, I'll sew these on and take another pic to post. No, it won't be exactly like Max's outfit, but it should still be cute.

This was the beginning of a previous incarnation of her costume. She was going to be Donna Noble from Dr. Who - Donna with that strange alter-time creature on her back. This will be the alter-time creature when I finish it. I'm not working on it a whole lot right now.

And, some socks for Miss S. I had to pack her up to go camping in the mountains of North Carolina in the cold and rainy weather and the packing list said she needed some nice wool socks. I told her to go get some that I had knitted for her and she said she didn't have any. I'm not sure how that happened, but I started working on the remedy right away. I sent several pair of my own socks with her on the trip - and haven't gotten them back yet.
And, lastly, this is my shawl. The pattern is Ishbel by Ysolda Teague from the Whimsical Little Knits booklet (which I love). It's a pretty easy shoulder shawl and I really like the shape. The yarn is my handspun from those two bumps I bought at the White House in Oregon when I was out there. I have about a 1 inch ball left which isn't enough to finish the shawl unless I just bind off now. However, I remembered that I bought Dena a
bump as a gift and so I called her and did the Indian Giver thing. I've spun the extra that she sent me and plyed it and washed it and it's drying now. I didn't even check to see how much yardage I got, just hurrying to get it ready to knit so I can finish the shawl and block it. More pics later . . . .

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Non-Club Club

So I really liked one of the Oddish Creations samples I got in an early Phat Fiber box . . . . and I stalked her store until I found something I liked. A couple of months ago she offered a Non-Club fiber club - it was just a one time only deal, not a you-get-something each month for 3 or 6 months. It was two custom dyed hanks of sock yarn (or lace), a bag and miscellaneous other goodies. Mine came, but I've been to busy to show you what I got - still don't have pics of everything. I told her I liked jewel tones and she sent lovely purple and jade yarns - the colors in these pics are so not right, but I couldn't get it to come out better. The yarn is incredibly soft and squishy and I'm thinking that I probably won't make both into socks.

And this is the project bag I got - can I tell you how much I love it? It's just the right size for a pair of socks and it's perfect to ride along in the car. It's square with an open top, so it sits where I put it and holds the balls of yarn so they don't run around. It keeps them clean in the car (not the cleanest place in the world) and I can just toss the socks & needles in on top of them. The handles are just the right length for both carrying and sitting. Most of all I absolutely love the skull fabric - perfect for this time of year, but cute always. Heck, even Steve liked it!
This really cute (and useful) bag came from HeidiMonkey on Etsy. She doesn't have any of them listed right now, but I'm sure she'll make more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My 20th Anniversary

This is the lovely bouquet of roses that I got from my husband on my anniversary. It's hard to believe that we've been married twenty years and even harder to believe that we were together for so many years before that . . . time flies! I love the orange color of the roses and especially love it set off by the purple status.

Since I haven't posted in such a long time, I have a lot to post. And since it would take me more time than I actually have (at least in one sitting) to post all of that in one post, I am just going to post a bunch of little posts as I have the time. I took a bunch of pictures so you can see what I'm actually working on and I'll post those as well. More later . . . .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Late post . . .

I thought I had posted this two days ago when I created it, but apparently not.

Here is the baby blanket I made for a friend's new grandson. It's very thick and cushiony - perfect for putting on the floor to lay baby down on. I made it with the Pound size ball of acrylic yarn and it's soft enough, washable and has no ends woven in. I double stranded the yarn so it would be really thick and nice.

And I finally finished the second February lady. Actually it's been finished a while but needed buttons and I had them specially made to match it. Then it took several weeks for my friend to come see me so I could give it to her. She loves it and the weather is starting to cool down here so she'll be able to wear it soon.

And last, for your viewing pleasure, some of my blooming passiflora. They love the end of summer and early fall and are blooming like nuts. First is a kermensina seedling that is growing on the bushes that surround my mailbox. The vine has gotten huge and has tons of blooms everyday - usually no less than 6 and as many as 15 a day. Gotta love that!

This is Star of Surbiton - which has grown all over a rhododendron.

Blue Bouquet and violacea in a rainy and slightly blurry picture.

I'm pretty sure this is Jeanette, but the flower is blooming in the middle of a neighboring pot so it might just be an amethyst with wierd coloration.
And the lovely Lady Margaret - a blooming fool.