Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final FOs of 2009

I wanted to wrap of a few things before 2009 came to an end. I can't believe it is nearly 2010. I don't know where the year went!

First, some end of year fun stuff, NH Knitting Mama is having a contest over on her site, you have to go check it out! You can also check out her online retail store and her Ravelry group, which is way cool and has KALs and other fun stuff for you!

So to close out 2009 I finally finished a pair of stocks I had to take a break from after frogging them completely.

socks

Then we have a scarf and hat set. I was trying to recreate a scarf pattern from memory and didn't get it quite right, but I think the results are better than the original, a totally reversible scarf and matching striped hat.

FO's,hat,scarf

Plans for next year will include another attempt at knitting all my family members something for Christmas 2010. More charity work. I am still collecting hats for the homeless, and then I think I will do comfort shawls and blankets for cancer patients at the hospital. Your welcome to join me if you like.

And I think I will knit a few more things for myself this year.

I want to wish everyone a safe, healthy and joyous new year!

Lets go have some fiber fun!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in the Sheep Shack

While the turkey is baking and we are each having our turn on the phone with family and friends, time was spent creatively in the Sheep Shack.

First, there was some organization going on......

Waiting patiently to be spun.

roving,dye

Then a little craft project I have had on my mind for a while and finally had a few minutes to to do it. A little messy with the glue and corn husk wreath, but fun.

crafts,yarn

crafts,yarn

crafts,yarn

Great for those bits of left over yarn that are not enough for a hat or booties, but too much as a lead on the spinning wheel. And a scrap of ribbon.


What might the resident sheep non-herder doing while all of this is taking place?

Lily

You probably didn't really have to guess did you? I'm sure she will be awake in time for a little turkey.

We spent last night in traditional pursuits watching ghost/scary movies, including A Christmas Carol, the George C. Scott version, although I am partial to the Patrick Stewart version.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day and can feel the warmth of friendship today.

Happy Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

And the Total Is....

I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the Hats for the Homeless project, so far. We will continue to take donations through out the winter months so if you haven't had a chance to donate and would like to, please feel free. Hats, scarves, mittens/gloves, socks anything that might help warm a homeless person or family this winter is greatly appreciated.

We will be making the first donation to H.E.L.P on Monday so far we have collected:
20 hats
20 scarves
14 pairs of gloves or mittens
3 pairs of socks
3 earwarmers

Again thank you and if you would like to donate an item please let me know I will send you all the contact information you need. To sweeten the deal just a little, a donation of an item will put your name in the hat for 4 oz ball of Southdown Babydoll handspun.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Busy, busy

So many things are going it makes my head spin.
First, I'd just like to ask Mother Nature, to stop with the rain. I know water is important for the plants and everything, but my yard is underwater and frankly the trees do not look happy about it. If you must sprinkle something down on me I'd like to request snow, enough to close the office so I can stay home and catch up all this other stuff I have to do besides work 8 hours a day.

Okay back to fiber related things. It has been a week since I had the dye kettles singing but I haven't had a chance yet to spin any of that pretty roving up. I am planning to this afternoon.

This morning I have spent some time making updates to the Etsy shop. If you have time, stop on by, there are some new yarns. A little something for everyone. More will be added soon (as soon as I finish spinning it up).

I have a couple more Christmas gifts to finish and all of them to be shipped. I did manage to get the Christmas cards out this week though.

Today is filled with scented candles, Christmas music and more work in the studio.

Is there anything better than Bing Crosby singing Christmas songs?
Although I am partial to Mannheim Steamroller.

Do you have a favorite holiday song or musician?

Well, the weekend is upon, I hope you have something fun and fiber related planned.

Lets meet back here and share our weekend fun, shall we?

See you then!

P.S. Pictures are good!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Reason for this Year's Season....?

....is apparently to see how far my sanity can be pushed before I have to be confined to a room with rubber knitting needles. Seriously, how is it possible that Christmas is essentially two weeks away and I am completely, utterly and totally unprepared? Me, the queen of turning the house into a winter wonderland that would make Santa kick the runners off his sleigh! One that any elf would be proud to live and work in. But this year, instead of a wreath on every door of the house, inside and out, instead of cute little Christmas soaps in the guest bath, with matching Christmas hand towels. I have a room that is half den/half fiber studio, a half empty bookcase waiting to be relocated to another room in the house, a weight bench waiting for a new home (Santa if your short a weight bench, stop by on your way out I can let you have this one for a song), bags of newly acquired yarn from an LYC that went out of business, (by bags I mean the big green ones you use to put your leaves in when raking the yard) I have wonderful cabinets, a table and a futon, in the garage waiting for the aforementioned bookcase and weight bench to be re homed so they can move in. I have Christmas cards scattered all over the table, gifts staring at me daring me to go another day without getting them in the mail.

How did all of this happen and so quickly? I feel like everything around me is moving at high speed and I'm standing on the side of the road with my eye closed!

Do you think the post office has an after Christmas sale for those of us who didn't get stuff mail before the holiday? hmm, perhaps not.

But I did get these finished since Thanksgiving....

Photobucket

A scarf for my sister-in-law and the hubby.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Live from Studio S

Okay, I'm not feeling quite so lively at the moment. But I did get a few more things done today. I finally got the old sofa and ottoman out of here, freeing up much needed room in the studio. But, it is from from finished. I went and bought a new work table, a table that I am working from this very minute. I got the spinning wheel in here in it's rightful place. But I have another table that will be here next weekend along with two cabinets.

I did however manage to get these little fellows settled. Yes, the Sheep Shack is nearly complete!

The Sheep Shack

More work to do tomorrow, but I think this will do for today. I have knitting to be done!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

As we rush to get the turkey in the oven, or that pie baked, or the kids in the car to get to grandma's house, lets remember to take a moment to be thankful for the kids, the food and grandma.

To be thankful for online friends that support our addiction to wool and cotton when our families and friends at home are checking the phone book for hospitals for the knitterly insane.

Be thankful for the smaller things like LYS sales, and the friendly staff that relieve our anxiety and stress.

Be careful out there as you travel to and from, we want everyone back here in blogland safe and sound!

Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. Don't forget to have your fiber!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Can You Believe?

Okay, I am so unprepared for the holidays. I can't even believe Thanksgiving is essential here. We will be dining with the family at my Aunt's so everyone brings something or a couple of somethings so no one person is responsible for cooking the entire meal. It is so much fun and we always have great food and fun.
So I went shopping this evening for what I needed for my dishes. I went later in the evening thinking everyone else would be done and out of the store, wrong, wrong, wrong! And they hadn't had a chance to restock so they didn't have all the ingredients I needed. So off to another store tomorrow. ug.

I am in complete denial that Christmas is 4 weeks away, yes, in case you haven't checked your calendar lately, because you have been busy knitting, I said 4 weeks away! Honestly I can't think about it. I am usually decorating for Christmas Thanksgiving weekend, and I don't think that is going to be happen. The studio is still in transition and I just cannot bring myself to decorate for Christmas without having the studio finished.

In other news, there is a Stitches and Stories group on Ravelry, come join us we are having a blast over there.

I am knitting the mate to a sock. A plain ribbed sock and also still working on the comfort blanket.

The Etsy shop is stocked and there is some roving looking for a new home.

And I am spinning some purple wool roving and thinking of plying of a strand of gold cotton in with it.

I hope everyone is having some fiber fun!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hard work and other fun

I have been working all morning converting our den to my new studio. I have been moving books for hours and bookshelves and other things and I feel like I am no closer to having this done than when I started. The hubby is wanted to add a new Internet drop for me today but I have to get some other things done first. He is so sweet. He bought me a new laptop yesterday so I can have a nice new one for the studio. I am loving Windows 7 and I didn't think I would.

I have finished a scarf this week and am steadying knitting some socks and an afghan still. I went to Knitting Sisters yesterday and bought some new sock yarn. Now I want to knit with that instead of what I am using. And the sock yarn I thought there last week.

We are finally starting to dry out a little from the Nor'easter. We have been running our submersible pump to help get the water off the patio. It is sunny and warm here today finally. I hope we have a few days of sun to help everyone dry out, so many people have water in their homes.

And update on the Hats for the Homeless project, I have about 8 hats so far and 19 scarves. Remember if you want to donate a hat or scarf, email so I can put your name in that "hat" for the roving or hand spun. And to send you the mailing address.
I anyone would like to donate a "prize" for the drawing please email me.

email: milly@stitchesandstories.com

Can you believe Thanksgiving is nearly upon, I have to decide what to make to take to the family dinner this year! Yikes!

Don't forget to have some fiber fun today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Launching Hats for the Homeless Project

The winter months are approaching fast here in southeast Virginia. And this week we are having a Nor'easter as well. It's cold, it's raining, flood warnings are popping up everywhere and so far we've had two nights with temps in the 30s which is unusual for us before Thanksgiving.

And during all of this there we have homeless individuals and families in our city, like so many other towns and cities. And like so many other places this past year we have seen and increase in homelessness. Many of these homeless are veterans too, which is a sad commentary on our society I believe.

I do what I can to help support the local charities and churches that provide, food, clothing and shelter, but somehow it just doesn't seem like enough sometimes.

So I have started a project to collect hats and/or scarves even gloves and mittens to try offer a little more warmth this winter.

This will be on on-going project, but I would like to try to collect 200 hats before Christmas.

Hats are a great way to use up that small amount of yarn you had left over from a project, or a wonderful one skein project. And they do not take long to knit up.

Please send me an email at milly@stitchesandstories.com to let me know if you would like to donate a hat. I will put your name in the "hat" for a random drawing for either 4oz of Southdown Babydoll roving, or a 4oz ball of Southdown Babydoll.

So knitters, get those needles warmed up, pull out that one ball of yarn you didn't know what do with, and lets help keep the homeless a little warmer this winter!

Thank you!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A New Scarf

I had my new fall scarf with the hand dyed yarns finished in time to wear for Halloween, too bad it was 80 degrees here. But, that is okay because in true coastal Virginia fashion it is only 57 here today with a strong breeze so there will be plenty of days to wear the scarf. I chose a lacey pattern for it, so that he could be worn more often than a heavy thick scarf (which will probably be next).

I wanted to be able to show it to you in a fun and creative way, keeping with the spirit of the day, but I had a very relunctant model.

Lily the super model

As you can see she is making her displeasure quite obvious.

So I gave up on the live super model idea.

Fall Scarf

Today will be a day for spinning.

Go have some fiber fun!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vacation Wrap Up with a Good Yarn

The rest of the vacation was wonderful. I spent two days spinning, dying and plying some fall yarn.

handspun

This is 70% Romney and 30% Mohair from a local farm owned by a dear friend of mine.

I then added some sock weight superwash to it that I had in my stash and made this:

3 ply

I'm whipping up a fall scarf with it and it is turning out wonderfully so far.

We also spent some time working under our house in the crawl space laying down some thick plastic to help protect the house from dampness and humidity which is a big problem in our area. It was hard work when you have to do everything from a kneeling position and then still bent at the waste. But it will help keep our home more comfortable and that is a good thing. But boy, did I have some sore muscles after that! Good thing I got the spinning done before I went under the house!

And now it is back to work, but that means carpooling which equals more knitting time! Hooray!

Hope ya'll are having some fiber fun!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Day Four, much improvement

Well, day three is over and I am less stressed, the truck is fixed all is right in the world. But, I felt I needed a "me" day. So no painting was accomplished, I will deal with that tomorrow. Today, Purl and I went out for some girl time this morning in the fresh morning air.

Purl
"Purl"

She and I had a wonderful time together. Then I came back and took the repaired truck to meet a girlfriend for lunch. We went to a wonderful Thai restaurant close to the office. She is a dear friend, but blogless. However, what she lacks in blog, she makes up for in a small flock that includes Romney's, Angora goats and an alpaca and we worked out a deal at lunch today to offer her roving in the shop of Stitches and Stories. I don't have pictures yet, but I do have the price list and will be updating the shop back, so remember to click the sheep to the right to go to the main Stitches and Stories site to check out the new inventory. I have spun up her roving before and it is a joy to spin, nice long staple. I have a mohair/Romney blend that is just wonderful. I am spinning some of that now and will dye it and put it up on the shop page as well. Lots of yummy things for your fall knitting projects.

Tomorrow back to the painting, but it will be the last day it will all be finished tomorrow. Hooray! One step closer to the studio.

Go have some fiber fun!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Two and a Three

Now when I took this week off I have plan, real plans, a plan to get the fiber studio properly set up if not actually running. But that involved painting another room first, okay no problem it is a small room. So on day two of the vacation I ran out of paint applying the second coat. Okay I can handle that. Also on day too I took my little truck, the one that will be bring home new tables etc for the studio to get inspected. But it needed new brakes, okay no problem, but it had to stay over night, and there is this little hole in the muffler. The garage where I take it doesn't do muffler work, so now I have to take it someplace else and then back to them to get the necessary inspection "pass" sticker.

So what will day three hold in store? I'm guess very little painting, very little fiber related activities and running all over town trying to get this truck fixed. See, I take it up the street because I can drop it off and walk home without it taking half the day. But there isn't any place out within a walking radius of my home, so I am going to have to go sit and wait somewhere. Not that it is the end of the world, but this is not part of the plan

I had a plan, and I had a plan for a reason, after all I am a professional planner, okay not an event planner, but a development planner, but still I like to follow a plan.

I have roving begging to be spun, dye pots dreaming of being used. Yarn just lazing about waiting to be knitted and I'm running around with the truck.

So if your doing something fiber related today, hug some fiber for me, it is as close as I'm likely to get today.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day One

I am taking a week off from work, I don't think I have ever done that before. Maybe a day here and there but not five days in a row. I have one simple goal, with multiple steps. Set up the studio. Sounds simple enough doesn't it? Wrong!
To set up the studio I have to first paint a room and then move the exercise equipment into the newly painted room and out of future studio.
Easier said than done. Because at the moment the only thing standing in my way of accomplishing the first step of this goal is a ceiling. Yes, it appears that at some point in the recent past I decided that it would be easier to paint the ceiling than to tape it off with painters tape and leave it white. I'm not sure why I thought painting it was easier than taping it. It is possible that wine was involved or an over abundance of wool fumes, I can not say with any certainty, though.
Although I know is that I am the shortest member of this family and I have a roller somewhat attached to the threaded in of a mop handle attempting to paint the ceiling. My arms and the blister on my thumb are begging me to stop for the day, but my fiber studio is calling and urging me on!

Anybody feel like taking a break from their fall knitting to come paint a ceiling? No? Well it doesn't hurt to ask.

Until tomorrow...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

TaDa!

Well, I thank each and every one of you, dear reader, who has been patient with me this week. I was in turn not so patient with my web hosting company, but despite the fact we had more down time than I wanted, we are up and running again with the new website!
I am so excited, www.stitcehsandstories.com it will still include the blog as you know it. But I have added additional pages and features. There is an online shop that is at the moment small but we will be adding new products all the time for both, knitters, crocheters, weavers and a few completed items for those folks looking for something handmade, but perhaps do not have the time to create it themselves. There will be variety of yarns, most of which will be hand spun and hand dyed.
I am working on creating a studio this week as well and will share pictures of that with you once it is complete.

So please, as you enjoy the blog, feel free to browse around the other pages as well!

Go have some fiber fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little More...

I'm very sorry gentle reader, that the upgrade to the webpage is taking a little longer than expected. But I have spoken to the webhosting guru's and they assure me that in three hours all will be right with the world.

Thank you for your patience.

Milly

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Changes....

If you have had trouble with Stitches and Stories the past 24 hours, accept my apologies. We are in the midst of an upgrade and it is taking a little more time than I had hoped.
But the changes will be exciting and I'm sure you'll like them, please stay tuned.

Thank you,
Milly

Now that Fall is Upon Us

What are some of your favorite fall projects? Do you like to create something in fall that you do not make any other time of year? Or do you change a favorite type of project to match the season? Like knitting socks, I always knit socks but in the fall I like to change the colorways to match my fall mood and the weight of the yarn I am using. I start knitting more sweaters and wintery kinds of things. How about you?

I love everything about fall. The vibrant colors, the reds, golds, yellows, and oranges. The brisk temperatures, the smell of hot apple cider, a wood fire, the sweetness of maple candy. The sight of roadside pumpkin patches, colorful mums, pumpkin spice lattes at the coffee shop, you just can’t beat fall!

Of course, there are all sorts of fall festivals, everything from apple festivals to wine festivals. Not to mention a few fiber festivals as wells. But, there is more to fall than just fiber, I know it is hard to believe isn’t it?

But, fall is football and tailgate parties, the World Series and trick or treating! Bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving and celebrating the harvest from the summer’s hard work.

And speaking of pumpkin carving and bobbing for apples, look who came to visit me this morning.

Little Kitty

He or she is quite young, no collar. I have seen him around before but I don't know who he belongs to. He likes to hang out around our yard. He wouldn't come close enough for me to pet him but he wasn't complete afraid either. I hope he has a home and that they keep a better eye on him. Also, he isn't solid black, he has a white tummy!

Go have some fiber fun!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Off to the Races

Recently they held the Knit, Place, Show event for knitters at Colonial Downs Race track in New Kent, Va. It was the first such event that paired knitters and harness racing, and it was a blast. There were door prizes and raffles from the various knitters’ stores there; it was quite a good time. I actually didn’t knit a stitch once inside. I was enjoying watching the races and I did make a wager or two, lost both times, but it was fun to try it.

But, plenty of knitting did get accomplished by my friend Connie; she finished her first hat and started another while watching the races. And my friend Anna, made great progress on a hooded scarf from the recent edition of Cast On.

We had quite a little group there and three of us were standing on the rail cheering on the winner of the second race, when the driver came over and offered us the chance to have our picture taken with the winner. We jumped at the chance, and have a lovely photo taken by the track photographer in the winner’s circle with the winning horse and driver. Very nice man, they gave us a copy so we are having copies made and I’ll post that soon.

And another exciting thing that happened was that a little girl probably about 12 years old, was there with the her family and kept coming over to watch Connie knit. She finally started asking questions and came a little closer, she told us she wanted to learn to knit to she could help people. I told her there were so many things she could do to help others with knitting if she wanted to and told her about the Preemie Project, the Prayer Shawl ministry and also told her she could come up with her own way as well, the possibilities were endless. She also said she wanted to knit socks for her and all her friends! The best part, was when her mom came over she promised the little girl she could take knitting classes if that is what she wanted to do. Wow how cool is that! I bet she does great things with her knitting.

horses,harness racing

Here is the latest hat from the Hatteras Hatters on a somewhat reluctant model. But she was a good sport!

Hatteras Hatters
Go have some fiber fun!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Warping Board Explained

Some of you have asked "what the heck is a warping board"? I don't blame you I didn't know what one was six months ago myself.

A warping board is a square or a rectangluar wooden frame with pegs, similar to dow rods place all the way around it. It is design for you to be able to weave your yarn around the pegs in such a way that it measure out a yard or 1/2 yard depending on the size of the board. You typically hang a warping board on the wall where it is easy to access and use. It is called a warping board because, the yarn on a hand loom that is "warp" or threaded and are the vertical threads in a finished product are called the warp. The horizontal threads that are woven between the warp threads is call the weft and is wound onto a shuttle of one kind or another.

Here is a typical warping board...

Photobucket

So tonight I have taken the yarn from the warping boardand I am warping or threading it onto my loom. This process can take several hours and since we are closing in on midnight here I think I will finish it tomorrow.

Have you hugged your yarn today?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Warped!

Dudes, I bought a warping board today for $25! My mentor at Colonial Fiber Arts emailed me to tell me someone had brought one in to sell. It is a small one but you can get about five or six yards on it. I've been using adjustable clamps, which work well enough when you don't have anything else, but who can pass up a board for only $25. I was down there in a flash and bought, and of course I had to pick up a couple of other things too. Just a couple of cones of 8-2 cotton. I mean I was there anyway, right?

Where to begin?

That is what I keep asking myself, there is so much going on and still so much to do that it is hard to know where to begin. First, a little catching up. Last weekend we went on a book scouting trip to Charlottesville, something we do a couple of times a year. The day was good, we spent a lot of time in our favorite bookstore and a little time in some of the others.

Then on the way home we stopped by Stoney Mountain Fibers about five miles outside of Charlottesville, if you haven't stopped by there, you are truly missing out! The quality of the roving and yarns made there are very special! Barbara only carries the best, in supplies, parts and equipment. Everything you need is there, books, parts, wheels, looms, needles, roving, balls, skeins, hanks, and cones of wool and cotton alike.

She has a website as well, if you are not in Virginia. If you are in Virginia, it is worth the drive!

I know I stocked up when I was there! And you can't find a more gracious hostess/shop keeper. Ready to help, answer questions, chat about the craft, or just let you browse. I really can't say enough good things.

In other news, tomorrow is the Knit, Place, Show at Colonial Downs racetrack! A day for knitters to come and knit and watch a little harness racing. A group of use are going and it should be fun. This is the first time I have gone to the Colonial Downs and I think this is the first fiber related day they have had there, should be loads of fun!

And I may have mentioned this before, but changes are coming to Stitches and Stories, exciting wonderful changes, so stay tuned. With everything going on, and all the preparations, I think everything will be in place by the end of October to include a new webpage and an online store. The webpage should be completed before the middle of October, so please stay tuned, it's going to be so much fun!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's Hard to Knit in a Hot Tub

Seriously, it is. All that hot water churning around, your yarn could felt before you even had a chance to knit it. So while on vacation with 8 fabulous ladies, I put away the knitting and resorted to this...

OBX,Boots

A little later in the evening...

OBX,Boots

(I'm the one holding the camera) hehe

We had endless fun to include viewing some of the wild ponies of Corolla.

wild ponies

We caught these too trying to break into a beach house. I think they were looking for a party.

wild ponies

The scenery was beautiful too.

Blue Skies

Corolla Light

Saturday, September 19, 2009

So Much to Say

One of my favorite Dave Mathews Band and also my life this week. I am back from the Outer Banks and Charlottesville. I will be updating you tomorrow gentle and patient reader.
Please stay tuned many updates and changes are coming to Stitches and Stories.

Happy Fiber Fun!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So Much To Do....

so little time. Who ever came up with that one, would have better served humanity if they had figured out the solution. The blogging will be light the rest of this week I am afraid. But dear reader, I promise to reward your waiting when I return. I am headed to the beach this weekend and have many preparations to make in the mean time and I have no idea when I will get that done. For example today: This morning I Have an extra hour but nothing is open, I have an appointment at 9am, then a meeting at 11am, then lunch around 12, at which time I need to run and errand and pick up tickets for an event at the end of the month. Then back to the office around 1pm. Leave work at 5pm, but then I need to go to the grocery store, I've been putting it off and now the list is so long, I'll be in there an hour. We are out of everything. So I need to purchase items for my trip, which is girls only, so I need to stock up the house for hubby so he will not starve while I'm gone. (he wouldn't he cooks better than I do) but he has to have something to cook.
Then tomorrow, I want to go get my hair cut before the trip and I have more meetings tomorrow afternoon. So not sure if I will have time at lunch to get this done or not. And Thursday evening I need to come home and bake, I promised the ladies I am meeting at the beach to bring fresh baked goods.
Whew! Fun, but I'm tired just thinking about it.

There will be wonderful pictures to be sure and I have working on a couple of other goodies as well, but I don't want to spoil the surprise!

Happy Fiber Related Activity!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

One Thing Leads to Another

Okay, not only is that a pretty cool song, it is how my day has gone today. It started with doing the weekly chores, vaccuming, laundry etc. and somehow morphed into prepping the soon to be new craft room, for painting. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, it needs doing and badly. It is currently wasted space. But not the laundry isn't getting done, the hubby went out for some recreational hardware shopping. The dogs keep trying to follow me around the house, but they have finally given up and are now sleeping off in a corner somewhere. Well Lily is somewhere, and Rosie is under the computer table. She is the official supverisor and must be where you are at all times to make sure you are doing it right. Whatever "it" might be.

Well I've had a break now, time to get back to it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Another Sock Knitter!

Slowly but surely I am attempting to recruit new knitters and new sock knitters at that!
Cathy is this fabulously wonderful lady who works in the same building, she has a gift for getting the most difficult gi-normous plans scanned in the system. This is of course only one of many talents she has. She is most recently become an accomplished sock knitter! Hoorray! Three cheers for Cathy! This is only her third pair of socks! Isn't it gorgeous! She uses two sets of circs, which if you ask me isn't for the faint of heart, I'm lucky to be able to handle one.

Cathy's Sock

She has started the second sock in this pair and the colors are perfectly lined up! Don't you just envy people who do that!?

Next will be Lynne, she works in the same department as I do and is going out to buy needles and yarn this week so that I can teach her to knit as well. She will be starting with a scarf so we should have new pictures soon, stay tuned....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Feeling Cocky

We had a lovely day this past weekend. We went to a part of town called Phoebus. It used to be it's own city but many years ago it was incorporated into the city of Hampton. It has many lovely shops and restaurants. We started at a used and rare bookstore which is just full of all kinds of fascinating books. We walked across the street and enjoyed a peppermint patty latte at Phoebus Coffee House . The folks there are truly friendly and very knowledgeable. After that a stroll down the street for a little window shopping. But I hadn't gone far when this little fellow caught my eye. I don't know why exactly but I had to have him.

Chicken

I think he looks right at home up there. I have a couple of prints I am going to hang around him to give him some company.

I received a yummy fiber rich package in the mail today, more on that tomorrow.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Random Act of Corn

This year we expanded our garden to include more tomato plants, added cherry tomatoes, more bell peppers, zucchini, squash, string beans and cucumbers. But some how we also got this...

random corn

I believe a little birdy dropped a seed kernel in our cherry tomato patch and it grew!

It is feed corn, not anything you would want to eat, but it has produced three ears and I have shared it with my blogless friend Anna for her chickens and goats to feast on. Her chickens give us fresh eggs every week and her goats provide wonderful kid mohair!

I pay her for the eggs in tomatoes and other veggies we grew this year, it is a wonderful trade. And know we can pay the chickens directly.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Houston, we have a hat!

You remember the industrious ladies of the Hatteras Hatters...
Martha Scott Stocker,Connie Robinson,Knitting

Well, here is the first hat!
hat,knitting

Isn't it lovely! That is Martha's first ever hat, first time knitting in the round and first time using magic loop, rather than DPs. I think she did a wonderful job! And the best part is she is eager and ready to start another! Hooray a knitalochic is born. Martha is not new to knitting completely she has been making some seriously beautiful scarves for a while and decided they needed hat mates. I explained to her that all of the principles she has learn for her hat, the 2x ribbing the stockinette stitch, the decreases and the closure method at the top can all be applied to sock knitting. There the gusset of course, but that is easily learned now that she has all the other basics. I will convert her to a sock knitter yet!

Connie, is enjoying her scarf, and is moving right along. I think we will have some pictures to show you from Connie soon as well. Everyone is having a good time with their yarn and needles and that is the important thing.

Myself, well I have started yet another sock, I probably didn't have to tell you that, you already knew. But I am still at a loss for the wrap/shawl idea. I haven't found anything that really gets the mojo going. So this week, it is just socks.

The Entrelac socks in the August-October 2009 issue of Cast-on. I am using size 2 needles and Patons, Kroy Socks yarn colorway Flax.

socks,entrelac

They are very enjoyable to knit and not at all difficult. The pattern is very easy to follow with help tips to help along the way.

Also, my dear friend Amanda is opening her on-line store, please go and visit her, she is still working on some areas, so please visit her often and check for updates.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Making Progress

I finished the mate to a sock this week, I ripped out a wrap I was working on because I wasn’t liking how it was turning out at all. I started another pair of socks and looking for a more suitable wrap/shawl pattern that I will enjoy. I spun almost all day on Saturday, some very yummy Kid Mohair and Romney. I haven’t quite decided what it shall be, but I haven’t quite finished spinning it all yet either, so I need to see how much there is when I’m done and then I can plan for it’s next life as something wearable.

The Hatteras Hatters are going strong and making amazing progress, I think we will have one or two FO’s soon to share with you. These ladies are troopers and very determined! I think we definitely have two new/renewed knitters here!

I finished my first weaving project. As soon as I put a hem in it, it will morph into six mug mats. I have to say that my first weaving project went better than my first sock project! But, just about anything would I suppose. But I am encouraged that I may be able to produce some lovely woven items very shortly. Which is good because there are only 128 knitting days left until Christmas. (That includes Christmas Even, you know just in case)

Has anyone else started projects for the holidays?

Happy fiber everthing!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Alas the weekend

The weekend is finally here. I am ready to conquer, but it is midnight and I cannot sleep. I took a little power nap around 10pm and now I am ready for the rest of the night, but alas, I am the only one. So here I am, hanging out in blogland.
It has been a really busy week. I've been weaving every night when I get home at least for an hour, my first sample is finally done. I will have pictures tomorrow of that. (too late to try to find the camera at the moment).

But I do have pictures from last weekends visit to the Mariners Museum.
Mariners Museum 09

This is an actual light from a light house. There is a nice display and explanation of how things work.

Mariners Museum 09,1562
A map from the 1500s, can you believe that! It has been well cared for and the artistry of the cartographers are amazing, especially when you consider the time frame when it was created.

Mariners Museum 09,enigma
I took a picture of this just because you see or hear about it in old war movies and even a James Bond movie once, that is the German Enigma machine.

Mariners Museum 09

All of these bottles were found in the York River, from the 1700s, the time in the water and sand turned them into these fabulous colors, the picture does not do them justice.

There was very little fiber on this day but I did find this...
Mariners Museum 09
Wool suite worn by Admiral Byrd on his second trip to Antartica, there is a video of him trying to pet the penguins. The penguins were having none of it.

And this I thought was just freaky.
Mariners Museum 09

Mariners Museum 09

This is a display to show the inside of a submarine. My hubby loves war movies and submarine movies so I took this picture of the controls, the first picture was blurry, so I snapped a second one and that turn out fine. I have to tell you I didn't move or shake the camera in anyway. I took adjusted my position just a little bit and took a third picture.

Mariners Museum 09,Odd

I have no explanation. No other pictures had this problem. Just freaky.

The day was quite enjoyable, we have been there before and concentrated this time on just special areas we enjoy.

This week I also purchased a new ball winder, the Strauch Jumbo Ball Winder, my little red and white plastic ball winder has outlived it's usefulness and it was time for a serious upgrade.
This is a lovely well balanced piece of equipment and well worth every penny.
If you could only buy one ball winder, I recommend this one.
ball winder

I'm very excited to use this new baby!

I'm sensing a fun filled fiber weekend! I hope you are too!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Weaving and Poll Results

The votes are in and 60% of us describe ourselves as fiber artists of some type. Good job, now the question is how do you act on that? How many people know you are a fiber artist? Do you put it out there, say by wearing what you make or making things for others, or is it something you do in the spare bedroom and no one knows about it outside of your family? I'm a fiber artist! Say loud, say proud!

Thanks to everyone who voted! Your awesome!

I have finally attempted to use my table top loom. I started playing with it last week and when I got to the point that no youtube video was going to help, I schleped it down to the store where I bought and got my first lesson. The owner is so nice and patient. I was down there all day, she show me how to correct a couple mistakes and left me to it,so she could tend her customers then came back to check on me and helped me get to the next step and now I am weaving mug mats! I'm so excited! I'm already planning my next larger project, perhaps a scarf? hmmm. Maybe some table linens.

So much fiber so little time!
weaving

weaving

Saturday, August 1, 2009

How Do You Describe Yourself?

I was doing a little web surfing this morning and I found this great website and film, Who Does She Think She Is? and as I watched the trailer I started to think this how ironic this is, because just this week I had a conversation with my husband and a friend about how we identify ourselves. I identify myself as a fiber artist, not by what I do between 8-5 every day. There are a couple of reasons for that, the first, while at 5pm my identity that pays the bills ceases to exist, but I am always a fiber artist, finding ways to fit knitting or spinning on breaks during the day. I always have at least one sock project with me and sometimes my drop spindle. I often help others and they help me with my knitting in a variety of ways through out the day.

The second reason, is that I do enjoy what I do to an extent. It is certainly more enjoyable than many other jobs I have had, but it is not who I am and therefore, if I allow it to become such, I feel it would be a source of great stress. Now, if I did fiber related things between 8-5pm that would be a different story, but at the moment I do not and I am very careful to not let the day job interfere with who I am. I feel I am a much happier person because of this.

I encourage you, if you haven't already to think about how you identify yourself, when someone asks you what you do, what do you tell them? I have added a poll in the sidebar on the right, I hope you will take a moment to participate.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ever Wondered What Happened to....

Wonder Mike, you know who I'm talking about if you graduated high school in the 80s. I was listening to my mega mp3 player that has something like 200 songs on it everything from "What the World Needs Now" by Burt Bacharach to "Rappers Delight" the extended version, not the one they played on the radio. You know the one were you felt so out of breath from singing along by the time it was over it was like you just finished working out?

This is what happens when you blog after a work out and suffer from oxygen deprivation. You start thinking too much about the songs you were listening too.

Time to unwind with some Garth Brooks and "Friends and Low Places" or whatever pops up next.

On the knitting front, it is sort of just playing catch up. I am finishing up number 3 of 4 placemats, a sweater and a second sock. I don't like having this many unfinished projects, because it prevents me from starting anything else new.

From the Diary of a suburban farmer...

It has turned hot with a vengeance here. We have had (up until this past week) a very mild July, I may have mentioned this previously. Well July decided it was going to go out with a bang and it has been hotter than hades here. I know because I had to go out this afternoon at work and do field inspections. A new residential area with very little shade and a lot of pavement. But on the bright side, the tomatoes have started taking off and turning red finally, but I fear I am going to suddenly having all my tomatoes at once. I think I will be giving plenty of them away. No point in canning them, I still have a cabinet full of tomatoes I canned last summer.

The string beans are doing nicely and the cucumbers and also exploding off the vine, the only thing that hasn't caught up yet are the peppers but it is only a matter of a few days and there will be ready as well.

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

FO, Weekend, Placemat Pattern and Time Flies

Is anyone else shocked that we are entering the last week of July? Where has the summer gone? I know it's not over yet, but holy cow! I feel like it just started. I haven't even had a little vacation trip yet this summer. I've hardly taken Purl out for a spin and she is getting lonely in the garage. But it is hard to bring home yarn stash on a motorcycle, it really is.

I do not feel like I am getting all the knitting done I wanted to but I don't know how I could fit more knitting into my day, well that is not true, if I quit my job I could knit all day but then wouldn't be able to buy anymore yarn, so you see the dilemma.

But I do have an FO to show you. One created out of necessity.
placement,FO,knitting

Look at is posing there shamelessly in an unblocked state, really!

I needed new placements and this cotton just looked like the perfect cool summer green. I'm on to the second one. This is my first foray into table items and it is simple and fun. I didn't know what I wanted at first but I came up with a quick down and dirty design.

Needle size: US 5
Yarn: Bernat 100% cotton 400g
Colorway: Country Green
Gauge: 5 stitches per inch/7 rows per inch


CO 48

~Slip the first stitch of each new row~

Rows 1-6 garter stitch (K 48)
Rows 2-90 Even Rows K48
Rows 3-91 Odd Rows K6, P36, K6
Rows 92-97 garter stitch (K 48)

BO

This cotton splits easily so be careful.

I have the second placement on the needles with plans for matching coasters.

It is a quick and easy project, very portable as well.

Still have a second sock to cast on for a mate for this one. I need to get a larger set of sock blockers.

sock

Until next time, Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Introducing......

The Hatteras Hatters!

Martha Scott Stocker,Connie Robinson,Knitting

These wonderful ladies are my neighbors and we have decided to get together and learn a few new stitches and techniques. Martha wants to make hats to with her fabulous scarf collection. Connie has come back to knitting after being away for a number of years. I've offered to share what little knowledge in those areas I have.

We were accompanied by Memphis, a very handsome tabby and Daisy, a sweet yellow lab whose whole body just wiggles when she greets you!

Three and a half hours later, we were on our way to a new hat and a scarf and I have no idea where the time went!

Happy Knitting Ladies!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Cabled FOs

As promised I have some FO's to show you. First, basic cable scarf:

cables,scarf

So big it takes two sheep to model it!

Then the hat, the hat is not very photogenic and this is the best picture, but it still doesn't show it's best side for some reason. But matching cabled hat:

hat,knitting,cables

Next will be cabled mittens to match. And on the needles is still more socks.

Til tomorrow happy knitting!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing....

Remember when Coke was a Coke? I read an interesting article in Garden and Gun about Mexican Coke. And then I happened into my local Fresh Market and there was a Mexican Coke in the refrigerated section. I just had to try it. It is made with the original recipe of Coke with real sugar and not artificial sweetener. It was in a glass bottle with the old cap. I saved it until I got home, put it back in the refrigerator and got it nice and cold and then savored every minute of it.

coke

All I can say is if you have the chance to try it, it is like reliving your childhood on a hot summer afternoon, It is kids running through sprinklers and hula hoops, using a cloths pin to attach a playing card to the spoke on your bicycle, climbing trees and going crabbing, good!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't you justlove the smell of summer?

What does summer smell like?
petunias,purple

Flowers, my favorites are petunias. They are such a happy flower.

tomatoes

Is it just me or do you not love the smell of tomato plants in the garden?! I'm not sure I'd want it as a perfume, but it is so nice on a warm evening when you walk through the garden and can smell them.

cumber,garden

This little cucumber will smell wonderful once it has been harvested and sliced! Cucumbers in the store dream of smelling as fresh and wonderful as this little guy.

summer,stripes

Sunshine itself! The smell of sheets or blankets dried on the line! Nothing can beat that at the end of the day!

Coming up....
Mexican Coke and FO's

Happy Knitting!