Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Azalea Festival finds

We don't get alot of big doings in our little rural community, but one fun thing to do during the Memorial day weekend is to attend the Azalea Festival in Brookings, OR. They always have a quilt show with vendors and a couple of years ago I discovered the booths set up by the Webfoot Weavers in the VFW hall. Of course my interest in this group has increased as my interest in fiber and yarn has increased. They had several interesting activities going on in the hall and I'm kicking myself for not taking my camera with me. They had a loom set up that people could use to do a small project on. Several years ago, my youngest wove a bookmark at the festival. The also had several people spinning on their spinning wheels, some with wool from their own flocks of sheep. One lady was making socks with a sock knitting machine. They also had an Angora rabbit thatbelonged to one of the weavers. Those rabbits looked like very big stuffed toys!

At one of the tables I found a small kit with a drop spindle and some roving to practice my hand at spinning. I've been wanting to do this for some time, and thought this was the perfect way to start. On Sat. one of the ladies gave me a little demo on how to use the drop spindle. I went home and tried to do it by myself but the roving kept breaking apart, so I went back again on Sun. and got another lesson. Last night I spun some more.......... It was kind of frutrating, but I'm sure that just like anything else, it will get better with practice. So I bought some more roving to practice with....

I also found some mohair to try to spin when I get better at it....

The colors in these pictures are pretty true to life. I can't wait to see what it looks like when it is all spun. Now I need to find more info on how to do the 2-ply and set the twist. In case ya'll were wondering, I did find some yarn that I couldn't resist that was all ready to knit!

The colors were just too pretty to resist. I was thinking of using the smaller skeins as an accent - maybe on a felted bag?

I also completed my green scarf. As I believe I've said before, the texture on this yarn is interesting, but I think I'm becoming a yarn snob. I really like the natural fibers, and I think I will probably stick with them for most of my projects. This yarn snagged on every little rough spot on my hands while I was knitting. I do like the striped effect with the textures. This also counts for Project Spectrum. There, I've finished 2 things in the past week and learned one new thing!!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Two for One

Yeah, I finished my May socks. They are a gift for my friend Miss B (she's the one holding the socks, the mysterious arm belongs to my son N). She has never had a pair of hand made wool socks and loved them when she put them on. I'm helping her with her knitting so maybe by this time next year she'll be knitting her own! These socks also count for May's Project Spectrum. I hope to have another green project done before the first.

The socks were knit with Stampato Extra 100% Australian Merino, color #8014. There were knit with 2 Addi #3 circular needles. I used the Bubble Wrap Socks pattern from Sock Bug with some modifications. Since I was using a heavier yarn, I cast on 48 stitches which worked well with the pattern repeats. I only knit the pattern on the cuff, next time I think I'll carry it down to the toe.

I'm going to try to put do some stash busting for my next pair of socks. Now I have to decide which pattern to do next. Should I try the Pomatomussi?? socks?? I think that would work well with the Lapis STR yarn that I just got. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 22, 2006

End of the year rush....

This past week has been very busy. As you all know, the last month that the kids are in school can be very crazy. My oldest son is graduating from high school in a five short weeks, and then will be going on a missions trip with our church's youth group to the Bahamas and will be working with Champs International. He has been busy working part-time, finishing up some college classes, going to meetings to get ready for the trip, and fund raising. We spent most of Friday and about 4 hours Friday night putting on a dinner for the ladies of the church. All the kids worked hard setting up, serving and then cleaning up after the dinner. I'm very excited for them and their chance to serve and witness to others in another country.

Needless to say, with all the business, my work, and having to take a kid out of town for an orthodontist appointment (that blew a whole day), I haven't gotten as far as I would like on my knitting. I hope to finish the green socks either tonight or tomorrow night and will post pictures then. I also started working on a beading project last weekend, but didn't get very far. I really don't want to post any more pics until I have completed items. I don't know about anyone else, but when my life gets so hectic, I seem to have more trouble focusing on one project at a time.

Enough of that. I know the next five weeks will fly by,and THEN.....I fly to Texas to spend 2 weeks with my mom and sis. I am very excited! It will be "girl time". We all like to craft together and shop. Last year we made some dresses for my mom, listened to a book on tape, did some cross-stitching, baked different food (like Spanakopita and biscotti - things my teenage boyz aren't real interested in eating) and went to see a chick flick. At the end of our time together we made beaded bracelets. My mom had been collecting the beads for quite awhile. A few of the beads came from things that had been passed down from my grandmother. This bracelet will always be special to me and remind me of the time I had with my mom and sis (sniff, sniff). This year I hope that my mom will teach me more about beading so I That I can do some projects independently.

I have done a few bracelets since last summer. The bracelet with the leaves was fun to do. The pattern was from a magazine -Beadwork (August/September 2005). There were alot of patterns in that issue that I wanted to do, and there are alot in the present issue that I would like to do and have been collecting beads for. The bracelet with the pink faceted beads, pearls and silver beads was an idea from a bracelet I saw in a jewelry store. I sure like the way it came out.

So now you know- I am insane! I love to make things, and keep adding more hobbies to my list of things I like to do. Actually - I like anything with color and different textures. Now I need to add more closets.........

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day

I hope everyone has had a great Mother's Day. I told myself that I would try to relax and not dash around the house like a mad woman cleaning and picking up after everyone, and stressing out. It's hard, but so far all I've done is rotate laundry and start the dishwasher! I have also made some time to catch up on some e-mail business now that my computer is up and running again. We had to replace the hard drive and had trouble getting back online once we re-loaded all the software. So yesterday a friend came to the house and spent about 2 hours getting everything straightened out and running the security checks on the computer.

Enough of that "stuff" and on to the "fun stuff"! I have been finishing parts of projects, and starting new ones this past week. So brace yourself for a picture heavy post!

The top picture is the finished front of the bookworm tunic. It hasn't been blocked yet, and I'm hoping that the bottom hem will lay flat after blocking. The otherpicture is a close-up of the bottom detail. The front really looks like a basketweave pattern. And yes- I am going to wear some kind of shirt underneath! Everyone doesn't need to know what color bra I am wearing. Has anyone ever seen a red bra? I'm sure they make them. When it is finished there will be an adge around the neck that coordinates with the ribbing on the bottom.

This is the start of my Tangled Garden socks. It has been slow going on these since they are only my second fair isle project. Working with 2 yarn colors is tricky. I'm also trying to weave the yarns as I go, and not carry the yarn over more than one stitch. Needless to say I've done alot of tinking and re-knitting. I re-knit one row at least four times before I got it right. I kept coming up one stitch short at the end, then had to go back and find the dropped stitch. I tried taking it off the needles one time to frog back to my mistake. Boy that was scary, and I was missing a stitch or two when I put it back on the needles! This project is not for the faint of heart!

The sock on the right is for the May Project Spectrum. Isn't it a nice shade of green? It is the same yarn that I used for the red socks that I liked so much (Stampato Extra, 100% Australian Merino). This yarn is so soft, it is a real pleasure to work with. I have another green project that I started today that is NOT socks. Can you believe it? I am interested in other things than socks. This other project should be quick to do. Hopefully I'll have pics posted at the end of the week.

Yes, I saved the best picture for last. It's the gratuitous picture of yarn I received in the mail this past week. I don't usually mail order much, but have been doing alot of it lately. It comes in handy when there isn't much shopping for 90 miles or more. The yarn on the top is Socks That Rock in the Lapis color way. It really does have some beautiful shades of blue, purple and green that I think show up pretty well in this picture. The yarn on the bottom is Colinette Chrysalis Cotton in Sunrise #121. I had to search and search online to find this yarn. I finally found The Yarn Studio in Memphis that didn't actually have the yarn in stock, but was able to order it for me. I plan on making the spiral rib bag in the One Skein book as part of the KAL that I joined.

Stay tuned for more pics later this week. Warning: furture pictures may contain beading content!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Computer Catastrophe

Sorry I haven't posted in a week or more. My computer died, and I think the computer store is now holding it hostage. It was supposed to be done today so I called to check on it. Now they are saying it might be ready tomorrow. Honestly, I didn't realize how much I would miss a piece of equipment that just sits on my desk at home! But I have definitely been going through withdrawals. I'm sorry the last post was so messed up, but I think it was the computer's fault, not mine!!
In the meantime, I have been getting more knitting down. I have started 2 pairs of socks since my last post as several people suggested. Pictures will be in the next post.
TTFN (Ta-ta for now!)