Sunday, October 31, 2010

For Lace Lovin' Librarian

This great surprise came in the mail the other day. The decorated shuttle is beautiful. It is already loaded with thread for a project I had planned to start! The threads are both really pretty colors. The fine one looks like fall.
Thank you very much!
--Girl Far From Home

Playing in the Stairwell

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like . . . a Dulcimer!

Girl Far From Home and I managed to find some time to work on her arts and crafts during our visit. She has a ton of work left to do, but she now has something that resembles a musical instrument more than a pile of wood. It is going to be a pretty thing when she finishes it.
She has grown to be a fearless crafter!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One down, one to go

I finished the first mitten for Girl Far From Home. It was a lot of fun once I finally got it going. I have even worked in all the many, many ends - by far the most tedious part of making it. Now I am ready to start the mate, but I do not have enough of the charcoal yarn to finish it. I'm on the way to parents' weekend, so I won't be able to get more yarn till Monday . . . better not knit too fast!
(Fortunately I brought tatting supplies!)

Monday, October 25, 2010


 I've been wanting this last of the four Mary Konior books for quite a while.  It's the one that I never seemed to see for less than about $80 and I just couldn't afford to pay that for it.  It finally showed up on one of the used book sites for a lot less and I nabbed it quick as my little fingers could.  I did chastise myself because I really shouldn't be buying presents for myself, but I figured if I didn't grab it when it showed up, it wouldn't show up again.  (So when it shows up all over the place at a reasonable price, even better than I paid, you can thank me.)

This one is one that I'd also wanted for a while and I saw it for a really good price on Ebay when I was buying the Girl Far From Home her dulcimer.  So I nabbed it too.  Now I have lots of tatting to do, must go get out some thread and shuttles!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Third, no Fourth Time is the Charm

I'm not at all sure why this was so difficult to start.  First I tried with a size 5 needle and knit from the fingertips to past the increases and it was too small.  Then I tried with a size 7 needle and knit from the same several inches (had the first red section almost done) and it was too big.  You would think that if I did the same again with a size 6 needle it would be "just right" but you would be wrong because it was still too big.  What to do?  I did consider giving up and knitting a different mitten or with different yarn.  It didn't seem like this one could work.  But I persevered.  I knit the increase section (all but the last two or three rows of the blue) using a size 6 needle and then switched to a size 5 for the hand part.  It seems to be working.  I have to say that stranded knitting using worsted weight yarn on a size 5 needle is not the most pleasurable thing I've ever done.  And the gauge is still funky because the yellow stripe for the thumb opening was supposed to be way back near the beginning of the blue section before where it ended up being.  But, in knitting if not in tatting, the pattern is just a suggestion . . . .
Miss M went to a Sweet Sixteen party last night and all the young people carved pumpkins.  Two of them got together and came up with this creepy looking thing.  I like it!
This was Miss M's creation and I like it too.  She got there late and so had less time to put into hers and there were more people there to distract her.  I'm kind of surprised she even finished carving it.

And I still have passiflora blooming in the garden.  The first is p. citrina.  I sent D one of them - did it live?  Did it bloom?  And the lovely pink one is p. Kewensis named after the Kew Gardens in London.  It's one of the first ones I ever had and still one of my favorites.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Tatted Cross

I've done a little tatting the last few days.  This is the Large Cross from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns.  It's pretty large - over 6" long.  It's made in Lizbeth size 20 in Caribbean.

I'm afraid that my knitting has not been so successful.  I knit about 3" on one of  the mittens I was making for Girl Far From Home and then decided it was going to be too small.  So I ripped it out and started again on the next size up needle (a size 6).  That got about 2" and it was clear that it wasn't going to be enough bigger to actually fit a human hand.  So I ripped it and went up another needle size (we are at 7 now) and knit about 4", far enough to have changed colors on the background.  That was looking too big, so I put my hand in it.  Yup.  Too big.  Too big for a large man's hands, let along a young lady's small hand.  So I've now ripped it again and started over on a size 6 needle again.  I've only knit about 4 rows because these mittens are knit from the fingertips up and the increase rows take longer than the regular rows.  I'm getting really tired of knitting these fingertips over and over and the yarn is getting fuzzy too.  I haven't taken any pictures of the progress I've made so far and all of it has been ripped so there is no evidence (except the fuzz on the yarn).  Maybe I'll have enough done to get a picture tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Very Cool Mail

Girl Far From Home got this very cool box in the mail - she got it today, but it arrived in her p.o. box yesterday.  The very odd thing about it arriving yesterday afternoon is that it was only mailed yesterday morning.  I admit that it was just mailed from the next state, but that's still pretty remarkable!

Isn't this going to make just the prettiest Dulcimer ever?  I can't wait to see it come together and hear it play!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Tell a Little Yarn

First, these are the motifs for my Tatted Shuttles.  I didn't make a ring to go in the center, just these for the blades.  The colors in these photos are not exactly true, but I've been having a dreadful time with my photos lately.  I think I need to get my camera cleaned.  The first is Lizbeth size 20 Island Breeze and Bright Turquoise and the second is Lizbeth size 20 Salmon and Tropical Fruit. 

And these are the earings I won on Wendy's blog - Umi & Tsuru.  Wendy also offered up a Blinged Shuttle Exchange a couple of weeks ago for the first two posters.  She has her posts moderated so I thought I was the first, but I was the fourth or so.  She kindly got more shuttles and offered to let more people take part in the exchange and sent this lovely shuttle with the earings. It is lovely with it's delicate little flower - and it's the palest lavender pink, one of the new clover colors.  The shuttle I sent her won't have arrived yet because I couldn't send it till I got back from all my car trips to and from Virginia.

There is a Snowflake a Month challenge over on The Tatting Forums.  I didn't make one in September, but here is my October 'snowflake'.  Ok, it's not really a snowflake, but I'm going to use it as a Christmas Ornament anyway so I'm counting it.  I think I might make several more of these to put on Christmas Cards because they are so pretty and they are reasonably quick to make.  This is the Posy pattern from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior in Lizbeth size 20 Christmas Green Mix.  

There is also a Bookmark a Month tatting challenge going on The Tatting Forums as well.  This is my September bookmark - it is Kersti Anear's Floral Tatted Bookmark in Lizbeth size 20 in Island Breeze and Bright Turqoise.

This is my October Bookmark for the challenge.  It's another Kersti Anear pattern, Zahra in Lizbeth size 20 Salmon and Tropical Fruit.

And now, it's time for a little yarn!  On the way home from dropping the Girl Far From Home off at school, I stopped at a yarn shop that a friend recommended.  It's not your average yarn shop - it carries handspun and hand dyed yarn and much of it is gorgeous.  And naturally, since I drove a bit out of my way (ok, almost two hours) I had to buy some yarn.  
The first yarn is 200 yards of 40% Angora/60% Merino handspun dyed in lovely shades of blue.  It's so soft and so nice that I'm going to make Girl Far From Home a nice warm cowl to keep her little neck warm up there in the cold north hinterlands.   The tag on it says Under the Dark Star, Exquisite Angora Rabbits, Hand-Spun Yarns, Spinning Fibers, Sally Campbell,,  I might need help finding the perfect cowl pattern for this lovely stuff.

 This is lovely handspun in glorious shades of purple is 7 ounces, 343 yards of 50% shetland/50% silk fingering weight yarn.  I think it would make a lovely shawl for someone who likes glorious purples and lavenders.  I must think of someone who does.  This one's card says Lil Bit of Heaven Fibers; Roving, Yarn & Handspun;,

This last yarn is sock weight - also by Lil Bit of Heaven.  It is 412 yards, 4 ounces of "Coral Bronze" in a 50% Merino/50% tencel mix.  I don't think it is hand spun, but I fell in love with both the color and the sparkle.  I don't think I adequately captured it in either photo, but you can see a bit of it in the second one.  It is for me, but I don't think it's going to be socks cuz I never wear any of the socks I knit.  I think it is going to be a shawlette or a scarf.  Not sure - need help finding the perfect pattern for it.

And naturally, I had help while trying to take pictures.  My faithful helpers are always with me, where ever I go and what ever I do during the day.  You can see they both managed to pick up more than a bit of pine straw and leaf debris in their fur.  They helped me by bringing that in the house and depositing it on the clean kitchen floor.

The fierce tiger found a lovely hiding place in the jungle and protected me from all the dangerous creatures lurking about in the yard and gardens.  She was most helpful!

And last, but not least, this is the front and back of the free tshirt I get for helping with the Latin thing at the school tomorrow.  I will try to take a few pics during the day, but no promises!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

More Blue Ridge Pictures

Since we rode back up to Virginia almost entirely on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I have lots more pictures.  I also have some tatting and knitting and stuff but haven't had time to take the photos yet, so those will be for tomorrow.  In no particular order, here are some pics we took on our road trip:
Wildlife on the side of the road.  We saw turkeys (these same ones?) a couple of times.  We also saw something that looked like a muskrat and some other animals.

 Girl Far From Home with the view beside her.  Love that smile, think she was having fun!

We walked where Daniel Boone walked . . . maybe.

Loved this sign announcing the state line.

And just to make sure you knew you were crossing it, they painted the state line on the road! 

 Virginia just wanted you to know that you were entering, but you couldn't help seeing the NC State line.  Virginia decided you could figure out what it was on your own.

This is the cabin that the Girl is going to live in when she finishes college.  Perfect for a writer!

Dunno what this pig in the visitor's center was trying to tell us, but we thought it was cute!

This is one example of how the road was cut out of the mountains.  

The No Home Gnome came along for the ride - possibly looking for a home?  He seemed to enjoy the trip, in fact, he stowed away in the car and came back home with me after I dropped the Girl off!

Another beautiful vista . . . and a few more: