Saturday, December 04, 2010

Be-Weave It

 OK, so I stole the title from Handwoven's e-newsletter.  Anyway, I've been weaving and knitting.  Much delayed projects that assorted activities conspired together to eat up time that I should have spent at the loom.

The blue and white runner is almost 60 inches long with plain fringe.  The green and gold runner is 48 inches long with twisted/knotted fringe.  Both are commissioned pieces.  How 'bout that?  Who would have thought that someone would order handmade stuff from me?

 She also bought the green scarf that was done earlier this year.  Love it and am glad that I have more yarn to make more of them.

 I've also been knitting many mittens to be felted:  3 down, 2 to go.  One pair was supposed to be for an adult, but felted a bit on the small side, so I'll just knit them again using the next size up.  Good thing there are children next door!  No pics of them yet as none of them have cuffs, not the best look for a mitten.

I've also got a few more projects to knit for Christmas presents.  Not entirely sure they will all get done, but we'll see.

I have all the decorating to do, but that actually goes pretty quickly.  A fair amount of shopping is done; need to do some online and then a few stocking stuffers.  Not bad for the first week in about you?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's a Grape Day in the Neighborhood...

 Last post was all about the peaches.  This post is all about the grapes.  DD has mostly green grapes, but has a few Concords, which we used for the pie filling.  Granted, the picture does not show the full extent of our madness:  7 qts. pears (OK not grapes, but I'm including them anyway), 30 qts. grape juice, 10 qts. grape pie filling and 15 pints of grape jelly.  I'm happy to say that there are no more grapes.  However, there are many, many apple trees and the first bushel is already in the garage waiting for me.

September is the month that our guild sponsors the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival.  I was really quite restrained this year:  one Corriedale fleece (already washed), 4 rovings, a couple of patterns, some honey and some beeswax candles.

Just so I don't have to find a home right now for my acquisitions, the indigo dyed wool is spun, the lime mohair/shetland blend and the brown shetland/mohair blend are both partially spun.

I finally decided to get a picker for myself; a box picker that should be coming in the mail this week. I will, of course, blog about it.

The skein & garment competition (which I coordinate) was as stunning as ever.  Our members and area fiber artists are truly talented and it is a pleasure to get to see their entries every year!

I'm still debating on whether or not to go to Rhinebeck this year.  I really don't need a thing, so it  might be fun just to go rummaging about.  The only problem is that the bus leaves very, very early (like 5 am and it's an hour's drive just to get to the bus).

Recently, we tried something new:  giant puffball.  They're OK, lightly mushroomy tasting and quite soft in texture.  This is one of 3 that we found and is about 12 inches across and about 8 inches tall.  Take it as you will, one way it's kind of heart-shaped and the other way is more of a full-moon shape.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I'm Peachless, Just Peachless

The town is doing a bit of maintenance on a nearby road.  While I appreciate the warning about loose gravel, I'm amused by the placement of the signs.  I know that I don't really need to be told not to pass while only about 50 feet from a stop sign, not to mention that you will run out of road shortly after that.

The last few weeks have been all about peaches.  Many, many peaches.  DD has about a dozen peach trees on her new property, so there has been much picking and processing.  We have done frozen peaches, peach jam, peach butter, peach syrup, peach bread and peach crisp.  For something completely different, 4 loaves of zucchini bread were baked today.

I can honestly say that I am very glad that peach season is over.  There are no more peaches on those trees.  Being peachless is a good thing right now.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I'm Melting...

Wow, it has certainly been a very warm, very humid summer this year.  It's about 90F with a humidity around 70%.  It's so hazy that it almost looks foggy.  The dogs have retired to the basement where at least the floor is a little cooler and the cats have melted.

I am not even going to attempt anything more strenuous outside other than dipping in the pool (water temperature is a balmy 87F).  This is a welcome break from the yardwork.  I'm going to try to get enough fans near my loom to weave for awhile today.

There has been minimal spinning as I just don't want to even touch wool when it's this warm.  I have, however, been knitting.  Not knitting anything hugely exciting:  dishcloths and swiffer covers.   I'm stocking up on these as they've been selling well.  I'm also almost out of catnip mice, so will spend an evening making more.

Other news is that I'm going to participate in a arts show for the first time this month.  Last year, it was billed as the Recession Art Show, so my inexpensive bits & pieces should go over well.  DH has a bunch of Victorian end tables that we'll take.  They are so reasonably priced and nice looking.  When I look at what we're taking, it seems that we are actually a bit on the trendy side...used, but fabulous furniture, repurposed materials into pet toys and cotton accessories made from US & Canadian yarns.  Hmph, how did that happen?

Saturday, June 12, 2010


For the first time ever, I actually remembered that it was Worldwide Knit in Public Day.  Not only is it WWKiP Day, but it appears to have grown to 9 days.  I'm sure there are many stories behind that.  Some of them probably involve knitters having no real sense of how long it really takes to knit something.

I think that sitting in the back of hubby's pickup, keeping daughter's dog company and me out of the way counts.  We had all been drafted to help load up auction purchases.  Luckily enough, I got to spend a fair amount of quality time with this summer's traveling sock...started out close to where I wanted for leg length and wound up well into the gusset.

Also learned something...when you knit on 11" circs and forget to grab a couple of dps to work the heel, it is quite possible to knit the flap and turn the heel with all stitches on the circs.  I thought about setting aside the top stitches on a string, but realized that I was also without a crochet hook.  Slightly awkward, but definitely doable.

Clearly, I need to do some restocking of the necessities!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Freight Trains

Saturday was our regular meeting day for the spinning guild (Genesee Valley Handspinners Guild) and is something I always look forward to.  Of course, I was running a bit behind and got behinder as I was stopped at a RR crossing for a 10-minute long train.  Would have been easier to wait if I had gotten around to starting another travel sock or if Tim Horton's were on this side of the tracks, not the other.  Finally got on my way, stopped at Tim Horton's and there despite many fey maneuvers by other drivers on the expressway.

When I went to leave, a friend said that I might just want to check one of my tires.  I did and it was close to flat.  I drove down the street far enough to get some air in it (which is when I found the rather large screw in it) and made some phone calls.  The air l put in lasted as far as the repair shop where the time estimate went from an over 2 hour wait time, to one hour to now.  Yeah, I wandered off and bought the crew some cookies.  I was real happy with that as I had a hot date with another freight train.

That train was the Freight Train Tour that had 3 really great performers:  Chris Young

Josh Turner (gotta love that low, low voice!)

And last, and definitely tallest,Alan Jackson

The people watching was almost as entertaining as the concert itself.

What a great evening...out with the hubby, daughter, her boyfriend, cold beer and some of the best country music you'll ever hear!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

How did that happen?

I don't really know where the time went.  It really doesn't seem that long ago that my girl baby came into this world.

It seems like I've been one step behind her (and often confused) ever since.  Meg has always chosen her own path with great determination and often finds success down that path.  Sometimes not, but she learns from it and moves on.

Most days, I'm still confused.  Where did this smart, funny, gorgeous, competent and responsible young lady come from?  Most of all, how on earth did she get to be 25 years old tomorrow?

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Finish Line!

There have been a number of projects around here, but I'm happy to say that I can cross a whole bunch off my list.

  • Finish painting the hallway, laundry area and bathroom:  Done
  • Wash & mend Sugar's blankets (DD's horse):  Done
  • Reinforce seams on Mom's PJ's:  Done
  • Scrape finish off 8 drawer oak file cabinet (1st step to repair/refinish by Hubby):  Done
  • Traveling socks from last year:  Done (SSS had set in, but I was really getting tired of the same old carry-around project.)
  • 2 scarves planned, woven, off the loom and look like what I intended:  Done

and, last, but not least,

  • Skew Socks for Knitting Olympics:  Done (A week late, but still done.)

In my defense, may I offer the following:

  • Painting:  Something else always seemed to get a higher priority.  By the way, if you paint inside in the winter, the paint dries so quickly that you can immediately start on the second coat...went much faster.  I can't tell you how pleased I am to be done.
  • Mending horse blankets:  Must wash first and it takes days for them to dry this time of year.  They have to dry outside as I really don't want the house smelling like a barn.  It's a good smell; it just has it's place.  There's already another to do...horses sure are tough on their wardrobe!
  • Scraping finish:  It's a dirty job and the basement is kind of cold, so it tends to get towards the bottom of the list.  Good thing is that there have been a few nice days so I've moved outside, weather permitting.
  • Weaving:  A highly addictive activity
  • Second Sock Syndrome:  I have developed a nasty case of it.  The traveling socks have been languishing in my purse since last summer, getting a couple of rows done at a time.  The Skew Socks for the Knitting Olympics fell prey to SSS and over-confidence...I have a week to knit one problem!
  • Wii:   DD wanted me to go along on a couple of excursions that I couldn't really knit during (it was dark).  She was after a Wii console, which turns out to be a bit more difficult to obtain than one would think.  She was also do you say no to "Play with me, Mommy!" (even if she is 24)?
  • Late winter snowstorm consisting of heavy, heavy wet snow.  Broke down and shoveled path up the stairs for our Gypsy.  Even after all the rain over the last few days, there are still remnants of snow.  And now it is mud season.  Gypsy really doesn't like playing "dunk the foot in bucket until clean".  

In addition, I answered an ad on craigslist for some pencil roving.  I love this stuff to knit with as the garments are just as light as a feather.  When I got there, I found that there was 6-1/2 pounds of the stuff in three colors (white, light gray, dark gray).  He also had a set of hand cards, a metal clamp-on Nilus LeClerc Swift and a ball winder.  Yep, all of it went into the truck.  Looks like a pretty good reward to me!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

2010 Winter Knitting Olympics

Our Yarn Harlot is at it again, but this time she has help.  Good thing, keeping track of this sort of thing is monumental!
beauty shot
I wasn't really paying much attention to the fact that time was running out for me to choose, if I was going to choose, a project for this year's Olympics.

Today, when checking out Winter Knitty's surprise patterns, I found one for Skew Socks.

They will be perfect for the Olympics.  Socks for winter, strange socks that offer many opportunities to become a better instruction reader and that also support Stephanie's idea of creating one's own sock club.

All I need to do now is to go stash diving and choose a yarn!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

I'm Still Here...

I still don't know where the days go.  They just run one into the other; each one much like the other.  That actually sounds kind of depressing, doesn't it?  Well, I'm not depressed, just trying to become a bit more efficient and effective.

My only New Year's Resolution was to make myself To Do lists so that time didn't just waste away.  It is working, but this is the first time I actually thought to put "blog" on the list.

It's winter here in western New York state, so that does involve a lot of gray and snow occurring at pretty regular intervals.  No storms, just an inch or two or three at a time.  February may be the shortest month in days, but the longest for those of us in the north.  Even tough-girl Gypsy has decided that a coat is not a bad thing when the wind gets to howling.

There has been some business planning, end-of-year paper arranging, errand running, spinning, weaving and knitting.  Actually a fair bit of all of those.

Knitting projects have ranged from mittens (lots of mittens/mitts) this year, a shrug and a vest.

These are a pair of mittens for SIL...the final project in the hat/scarf/mitten series.  Next year, I'll actually have to think of something for a Christmas gift!  Wouldn't you know it, she was just ecstatic over mittens...said that she could stop darning the ones I knitted for her years ago.  I reminded her that all she had to do was ask and there would be mittens for Christmas.

I've even finished our guild's exchange project for this year.  This year we exchanged fiber to spin, then knit into a gaiter/neckwarmer.  A new twist for this year is that we know who we are creating the gaiter for.  This helped me quite a bit to decide on a style that would work for the recipient.  Can't show a picture as there is a chance that they would read this post.

Weaving is still quite new to me, but I still think that it's magic.  I wove these table runners/dresser scarves recently.  I'm quite pleased with how they came out.  This one is an overshot pattern, the others were point twills.  Currently, I have a more complicated (at least to me) project on the loom that is almost done.  It is a 3/1 reversible twill.  I made many, many mistakes, but learned much (including how to fix mistakes) along the way.  I think it will be a computer case (likely to show up on Etsy).

A few years ago, I purchased a Border Leicester lamb fleece at Rhinebeck.  Well, it's finally yarn.  14 skeins, just over 3 pounds of 2-ply, light worsted weight.  Some of it is destined for one of those sweaters from Knitter's Arans & Celtics.  No, I have not decided which one...there are many in the running!

I may even wait a bit to knit it up.  Our Fiber Fest has an entry where you spin a pound or more of yarn, describe the project and display nicely as the first year's entry.  The next year's entry is to have a finished item.  We'll see.  I do have 2 sweaters in the queue that the yarn is ready and one that I've just started to spin up.

A bit of felting has happened in between larger projects.  My SIL's dog got skunked just before Christmas, so what better way to commemorate the event that to needlefelt a skunk?

I've also needlefelted a little something for Valentine's Day.  Mini-garlands that are just plain cute (and available on Etsy).
On that note, Happy Valentine's Day to all of you that still had faith that I was lurking around the blogosphere somewhere!