I was test knitting two patterns for GirlFarFromHome (and they are turning out so very nice and I will show them to you tomorrow) and was also reading my emails.
There was an email newsletter from HeartStrings Fiber Artsabout a contest. I love her patterns (found hereon Ravlery) and have many of them on my list of One Day Some Day.
The Contest was the perfect excuse to finally put the Knitted Bunny first on the list. To enter the contest you simply have to knit one of the patterns in one or more of the Mardi Gras colors. Or have knitted one of them. What a great excuse to try out these beautiful patterns.
The contest ends Tuesday March 1 at noon and I would like to solicite your vote or at least tempt you into going and looking at the entries. To enter the contest yourself, to view the entries or to vote for any entry you like simply go HEREand if you are a fan (by LIKE-ing the page then you can vote by LIKE-ing the entry.
Now it back to test knitting Girl's cute little finny friends pattern. Since I was on a roll they are all done in Mardi Gras colors also.
So, maybe you remember me making these four motifs last fall. I made them a couple of times to get them perfect. I made them from one of Anne Bruvold's patterns which were designed specially to be the size and shape of shuttles. There is information about the shuttles and links to Anne's patterns on this page.
Well, here are the finished shuttles! They are terrific and much prettier in person than in this photograph. Chris and Erin Hinton run The Tatting Forums and own The Shuttle Shop. The Shuttle Shop is where you can have your own tatting made into shuttles - very cool tatting with your own tatting!
Aren't mine pretty?
And these are the winder shuttles that Chris invented. The one with the thread on it and the heart inside is the first generation. The heart pushes into the grooves on the wheel which is the top of the thread bobbin. The little hole you see in the top of the bottom shuttle in the bottom picture is where you insert a little wrench and you can wind thread onto the bobbin really fast. The little heart clicks as the thread is played out.
The shuttle on the top in the bottom picture, the one with the round black dot, is the newer version. There is a spring attached to that black rubber dot that pushes it into the grooves on the top of the bobbin in the shuttle, keeping it from spinning until you want it to spin. When you want it to turn, you pull that little black knob toward the point and it releases the bobbin allowing the thread to play out freely. I'm going to try to get some thread on the new shuttle to play with this afternoon!
You might remember that I was making this silk Annis out of the Fiesta La Luz Multi in the Wild Oak colorway when I ran out of yarn. The pattern calls for more yarn than I had, but there were a bunch of projects on Ravelry where the knitters said the pattern requirements overstated the yarn yardage needed. I love this yarn and this pattern and decided to give it a shot. Well, it didn't work.
So, Dena called White House Yarns in Oregon, where I bought the silk, and they had no more. So we looked at the Fiesta websiteand called any yarn shops that carried the yarn. One of the yarn shops said to call Fiesta because they have a yarn search where they send out a call to the stores that buy their yarn and ask who has whatever it is that is needed. Dena did that and Brad, the nice guy from Fiesta, found us a hank in Phoenix at Purl In The Pines. The nice lady that owned the shop mailed the yarn to me.
I said I wasn't worried about dye lot because I figured that where I am in the shawl it wouldn't matter if it changed just slightly . . . I've done the lacey edge part and the center part is just stockinette. I figured if I couldn't get the right variegated I could use one of the la luz solids (like the turquoise) and be ok. Boy was I wrong not to worry!
Um, it's the same colorway, Wild Oak, but it's a totally different color. The original yarn is turquoise, navy and golden brown. In the new one, the blue (which is navy in mine) almost matches the turquoise from mine. It's a pretty yarn with lovely colors, but it's not even close to what I had before. I was shocked at just how different the two yarns were - these pictures don't do it justice.
So, I went on Ravelry and found someone who had a ball that looked like mine. I read the notes on her yarn and discovered it came from the same shop mine came from a couple of months earlier than I bought mine. That was in 2008, so the chances of getting the same yarn were slim. I contacted the lady on Ravelry and she still had the yarn, hadn't used it, but had taken the label off and wound it into a cake. She was willing to trade, so this yarn started in Oregon, traveled to Austria and ended up in Atlanta. It matches perfectly - that's it in the center and you can just see my little ball above it!
Now I have to knit it! Now I get to knit it!
I finished the Family Jewels socks for Girl Far From Home. . . now to send them far from home so she can wear them!
And remember this sweater? This is the Blue Greenjeans that I made last spring. It doesn't fit me. It doesn't fit Girl Far From Home. I don't think it would fit anyone. The top fits me very nicely but the cabled ribbing makes the bottom pull in too much and even stretched it is too small for me. The bottom goes around Girl Far From Home, but the top is hugely and unattractively too big for her. So . . .
Late last night, after everyone else was in bed, I started ripping. First I took off the button bands - just unraveled those buggers. This yarn is very difficult to unravel because it's a one ply and wants to fuzz up and stick to itself. Then I raveled the 10 inches of cabled ribbing and took it back to just before the stitches were adjusted for the ribbing to begin. I put it back on a needle and then knit a bit to make sure the needle size was right - couldn't remember whether I knit it on a 7 or 8. I have it ready to start knitting again now.
I have two more projects on the needles, one that's been on hold for a while and one that just got put on hold so I could do the socks. Better get Knitting!
The Plum WineFamily Jewels socks are finished. I moved the bead up because with my big feet, the heart (where it's supposed to be put) is right where my ankle bends. I thought it should be higher to be safer. I like the way these socks fit and I like the yarn. I enjoyed knitting them.
The Ripe Melon Dyed by Danido from Danido Crafty are almost done. One is completely done and the other has about 26 or so rows left to be knit. All those twisted stitches really play havoc with my arthritis and I needed to take a break. You only had to have one sock of the pair completed for it to count in the prize drawing. The completed socks had to be posted to the Ravelry thread by 3:00 this afternoon, so I decided I can finish the last sock later. I posted them at about 2:45. Now I just have to hope my name is drawn instead of Dena's because I want the prize more than she does - well I want the knitting bag, if I win, she can have the yarn.
This is the second batch of Alpaca yarn that I was supposed to spin for a friend. This 4 ounces ended up being 132 yards of lovely 3ply yarn. It's the softest, most lovely and nicest smelling yarn ever. I got the fiber from Maple at North Star Alpacas. Her rovings are lovely and so nice to spin and she packs them with lavender sachets so the fiber smells lovely and the yarn retains the scent even after you wash it.
This really pretty hummingbird feeder and these two gorgeous, vintage (they are supposedly 52 years old and I don't think that counts as antique) teacups were my birthday presents. I asked for seat covers for the front seats in my car because Acura uses such cheap leather that mine look terrible. DH said he ordered them, but I think he just showed me a printout and is hoping I'll forget I asked for them.
Time for tea and bird watching!
The Divine Miss M got a haircut - the last one she'll get from the only hairdresser who has ever touched her (or Girl Far From Home's) hair. Chris, the best hairdresser ever, is moving to Indiana and we'll miss her terribly. But isn't this a great haircut on the girl? I think it's really, really cute and it's so easy for her to manage!
And, finally, after this long and cold winter . . . signs of Spring! These are the first buds of one of the hydrangea bushes.
The Daphne Odora is blooming - this is when I wish I could post smells as well as photos! There are two bushes together and they are waist high now - you can smell them all over the backyard!
This is the red camelia in the front yard. The pink and white one in the back hasn't started blooming yet, but it and the rhodos are covered with buds!
Remember those toys where you pull down the string and the arms and legs move? This is one that I made for Girl Far From Home to put on the door of her room. I left the face blank so she can add it herself. Maybe she'll take another picture after she's done that.
Teresa and I are doing a sock knit along on Ravelry. Teresa knits at least three times faster than I do and both of us have life that takes precious time away from knitting and tatting and spinning and fun stuff. So the race has been on to see if either of us could finish a pair of these socks by the deadline to enter the prize drawing (Feb 25th).
And to make matters worst both of us were knitting or spinning other projects that needed to be done last month.
And then both of us started not one pair but two pairs of socks.
And I won. Teresa should be posting any second that her first pair of socks are done but I got here first. Therefore I win.
My mother collects Nativity sets. This is one of her favorites and she keeps it on display year round. The tallest wise man, the pink one in the center of this picture, got knocked onto the floor and broken. Dena and I have been looking all over the internet to find this set to replace him. If anyone has seen this set, has this set, knows where we can get this set, or has any information to share, we would really appreciate hearing from you. We don't have too many readers on this blog, so if you feel like sharing this, please do.
I got to listen to a talk given by one of the world's great humanitarians yesterday. It was delightful. He was delightful. He spoke mostly of the things he has done and set out to do after his presidency. He is an amazing man and through his center here in Georgia he has accomplished amazing things. He gave the kids advice that was beyond fabulous. I'm glad that I got to hear what he had to say and even more so that my child got to hear him.
I haven't touched my tatting shuttles for weeks - feels like forever! Sometimes the rest of it begins to feel like a job. I'm knitting for other people and I'm spinning for other people and there are deadlines and commitments and it just sometimes loses the fun factor. Don't get me wrong - I love doing it and I won't stop. When someone pays for the supplies so I can have fun doing what I enjoy, that's a good thing. If I'm getting paid for doing what I love, so much the better. The theater department doesn't pay, but volunteering is part of being a parent and I do that with love and joy. It's the deadlines and feeling like I can't just do whichever bit of tatting or knitting or spinning strikes my fancy that gets a little wearing.
So, here today is some tatting - I had been wanting to tat this for weeks and finally got a minute to do it (ok, took a minute, still have theater knitting and have a Monday spinning deadline). This is Abigail by Fox of tat-ology. It's a lovely little pattern that was a joy to tat. The thread is Yarnplayer's hdt Garden Afternoon in size 10 Cordonet. Using size ten made this a rather large motif (close to 6" from end to end) - almost big enough to use as a glass mat which is lovely because I like to set tatted pieces under everything else on wood furniture.
Do you remember this? I couldn't tell you what it was before, but since today is the 11th, I can tell you what it is now. Girl Far From Home sent it to me and I opened it with her on skype last night.
I washed all the pieces up and dried them to get them ready . . . .
Then I put some water on to boil and measured some ground coffee into the carafe. I'm going to have to go buy some different coffee though because Steve likes the strongest coffee and I like mine a little milder . . . but I have a Starbucks gift card and I know how to use it!
After the water boiled, I let it cool just a bit so it wasn't bubbling and added the proper amount of water.
Then I let it sit and brew for four minutes while I carried it and my cup downstairs to the computer to get on skype. Girl Far From Home was already waiting for me.
I pushed the plunger down and poured my cup . . . . mmmmmm, tastes good!