Thursday, December 9, 2010

Card Weaving

The Red River Fiber Arts group met today and our fearless leader, Linda Schuster...on the right,  taught us to do card weaving. We all had a wonderful time and I will be able to use my backstrap loom to do the card weaving, although it would be really neat to have a separate loom. We will see.....depends on how much use/fun I get out of it, lol.

Hats and more...

Working through my monumental stash is turning out to be quite enjoyable. I had 2 skeins of wool yarn I had bought at Tuesday Morning. The label says it is Granito and has been discontinued. Figures. It is a bulky singles yarn and 150 yds was just enough for this hat. I am working on a similar hat out of Lion Brand Landscapes to go with the scarf in this photo.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Back in Business!

Went to town to get my hair cut....came home to find a FedEx package waiting for me. I now have a case for my Singer 201 as well as a new foot control thanks to Jenny at Sew Classic, which is a great place to find replacement parts for your sewing machines. After changing the needle and adjusting the tension (the top thread was fraying) I am ready to sew....after I oil the machine that is. It has been sitting idle for a couple of years now. My sweet husband is going to refinish the original cabinet and in the meantime I can use it in the case.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

"The Cat Who Saw Stars"



I just finished listening to an audio book by Lillian Jackson Braun, titled "The Cat Who Saw Stars". I had read it many years ago and when I saw it at the public library in audio book form I thought it would be perfect to listen to while knitting.

There is a character, Barb, who is a knitter of one of a kind hand-knit sweaters made from her handspun wool and silk yarns. Also, there is mention of a float in the 4th of July Moose County Parade sponsored by The Friends of Wool. On the float are a shepherd playing a flute in the midst of sheep and lambs as well as several people knitting socks....two of them are men, by the way.

The main character, Jim Qwilleran, a columnist for the Moose County Something newspaper, wrote an article on hand-spinning for his twice weekly column, "The Qwill Pen."

I have been a fan of these books for over 20 years and finally decided to collect all of them in paperback form. I highly recommend them for anyone who loves cats and mysteries.

(This audio book came from the Sherman Public Library in Sherman, Texas and, as you can see, is well worn from use.)

Saturday Visitors

My friend Amber called earlier and asked if I would be home. I said, sure, come on out! Little did I know she brought a friend with her! I have seen photos of Oliver on her facebook page before and I finally got to meet him in person.

He is the neatest little guy. Not one of those annoying little ankle-biter-yappy dogs at all! He sat in my lap while Amber looked through my bead stash for stuff to use for stitch markers. (Thanks for thinning out my bead stash, Amber!) When I went to put him down he wanted to stay in my arms....seems the ceramic tile floor made his little toes cold. He can come visit with Amber any time!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crumbling buildings and old sewing machines

Time has a habit of eating away at man-made structures and this photo shows that quite clearly. This was once the Waples Platter building in downtown Denison, Texas before becoming the Katy office building and in recent years it has been home of an antique shop. I purchased an old Singer model 201-2 sewing machine from a booth in this building many years ago for only $75. I just sent off an order for a replacement foot control for it and look forward to using it again soon. Glad I salvaged the machine. Wonder if this building is salvageable?

A New Lace Knitting Book

I recently decided not to purchase any more yarn until I deplete my current stash, but I didn't say anything about books! I just got my latest purchase, Shetland Lace by Gladys Amedro, from Schoolhouse Press along with a replacement copy of my favorite sweater. I don't wear sweaters very often and this is more of a jacket with roomy sleeves. I still have a box full of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool (the new stuff is made in China....drat!) and I will see about starting a jacket after the holidays.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Priorities

Sometimes, when life gets a bit hectic, we all need to slow down, find a good book and have a cup of coffee. I am rediscovering the "Cat Who" books and I have a new coffee mug purchased at the Gourmet Yarn Co. in OKC. As you can see, I have my priorities in order.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baby Stuff

I was glancing through my copy of Mason-Dixon Knitting again and saw the bibs and burp cloths and thought I would make some to go with the baby blanket I am knitting. I like the slip stitch stripe pattern for the burp cloth and may make a matching bib.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Red River Fiber Arts

There is now a spinning group in the Sherman, TX area: Red River Fiber Arts. We are spinners, knitters, weavers, quilters, tatters, crocheters...the list goes on. We meet at the Sherman Senior Citizen Center on Thursday afternoons from 1 til 3pm. The group was organized by Linda Schuster and we have a member who has her own carding mill just across the river in OK, Gail White of Ozark Carding.

We had some experienced spinners and some new spinners today and we all had a great time. Linda and Gail are great instructors and I try to help out a little. I don't really feel comfortable as an instructor since I am self taught and I draft with my left hand, not my right which is how most people learn. Hopefully, I will become more comfortable and be able to actually instruct before long. Time to step out of my comfort zone I guess.

I had put my camera in my bag...and forgot to take photos! Oh, well. I will do better next time!

(edited because the name is Red River Fiber Arts...not Artists, LOL)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Using up some stash...

After going through my ENTIRE stash of yarn I have decided not to buy anymore yarn until I seriously deplete what I have lurking in the house...and the garage. So, I decided to knit up a lap throw using a machine washable yarn, Bernat Denim Style, and a modern log cabin pattern from Mason-Dixon Knitting. It will be the right size for someone who is wheelchair bound and will not require any special care. I had 4 colors to use instead of those in the book and I am enjoying a bit of no stress garter stitch in between the higher stress silk yarn for a half Pi shawl already on the needles.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hubby is Home!

My hubby just returned home after being gone most of the week to a law enforcement class/convention in Dallas. I managed to get most of the house cleaned and in better order while he was gone. Still on the list is cleaning out cupboards in the dining room and the utility room....oh yeah....and time to scrub floors again.

It will be nice to get back in our normal routine and enjoying evenings and weekends together. This is our favorite time of the year and we enjoy being outdoors when we can. The weather is great and the sun is shining.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tea Time

Time for a break and a 'spot of tea' on a rainy November afternoon. There are three Harney & Sons teas that I especially like and can be purchased at the Boiler Room in Sherman, TX: Peppermint Herbal, Yellow & Blue (chamomile and lavender) and Dragon Pearl Jasmine.

Since I needed a pick-me-up I chose the Dragon Pearl Jasmine. The teapot was a gift from my mom and I bought the cup at a Southwest Spinners & Weavers retreat many moons ago in New Mexico.

And so, tea pot at hand, I go back to my knitting and my audio book...and try to remember what pattern, sett and weave that hand-woven tea towel is in the picture. I remember I used mercerized cotton crochet thread. By the way, that is a plum in the photo, not an apple. I stopped by Kroger on the way home.

A Wonderful Rainy Day

After running a few errands and casting my vote in the election, I am enjoying a lazy, rainy day indoors puttering around cleaning, straightening and arranging things in a more efficient manner while listening to an audio book recording of Pride and Prejudice. It is about time to take a break and work on my knitting.

A Real Treasure!

I was gifted a book for my birthday by my sister-in-law, my brother's wife. The book had belonged to her mother, Lucy, who was an accomplished needlewoman and a prolific quilter. My jaw dropped when I saw the book, the same book I used to check out of the public library back in the 60's, McCall's Needlework Treasury published in 1964!

There is a pattern in the knitting section, which I jumped to first, of course, for a Sequined lace jacket that uses fingering weight yarn and gives instructions for....are you ready for this?...threading the sequins onto the yarn! OH MY GOSH!

I am really enjoying my stroll down memory lane and the patterns that I remember as a kid and a new knitter. Sigh. I have such a wonderful sister-in-law. Thank you, Susan! I love you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Time to Vote!

It's that time again! Time to get out and vote for the people who are going to be running things. I just checked the sample ballot listed for our area. Looks like I could probably just vote straight party this time around. In any case, lets all get out and do our duty and elect people who will make a difference!

Don't know about you, but I am not all that enthused about the so called 'change' that has occurred over the past two years. The good news is, we can always vote out elected officials who refuse to do their job, refuse to listen to us, the people who put them in office to begin with. If you are as tired as I am of elected officials thinking that WE work for THEM then GET OUT AND VOTE. Otherwise, you have nothing to complain about if things don't go the way you want later on.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I love Autumn!

This weather is wonderful! It was cool and nippy this morning...in the 50's....but warmed up into the high 60's and low 70's during the day. I have had the house open and have enjoyed not having the air conditioning on. Last year it seemed like we went from A/C to heating with nothing in between!

I am feeling the urge to get some Fall cleaning done. I like to have the house open when I clean behind furniture and chase down the dust bunnies. We are both allergic to house dust and it helps to air out the house while I clean. Time to clean out closets and toss out junk; clean out drawers and get rid of stuff that is worn out or doesn't fit anymore; move the washer and dryer out from the wall and scrub the floor and baseboards.

Then I take a break and work on my knitting!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I.....HATE....SPIDERS!!!!!

Went outside earlier today with hubby while he pruned some low hanging branches on an ash tree so we have a better view across the yard. I looked down and FROZE when I saw a big ol ugly orb weaving type spider on the front of my shirt!!!! ARRRGGGGHHHHHH

I started to knock it off my shirt and couldn't bring myself to touch it....so started yelling "getitoffgetitoffgetitoff" to my husband who very kindly knocked it to the ground while trying not to laugh at me too much. While thinking it over when I got back to the house, it probably dropped out of the tree on me when he was pruning.....which I asked him to do in the first place.

Branches removed, he went off to his shop and I returned to the house and remembered something I wanted to tell him and went out the front door to walk the 100 yards down to the shop....and.....you guessed it! Walked right into another bleepin spider web! The spider headed for the roof and off I went trailing spider silk.

Did you ever have one of those days when you just should have stayed in bed?

Half-Circle Pi Shawl

I started a Half-Circle Pi shawl with the skein of Schaefer Audrey in Indigo that my mom bought me for my birthday. The yarn is gorgeous, but very slippery! It is a singles yarn and will make a lovely shawl, but I can't work on it for long periods of time. Thank goodness I have other, simpler things to work on in between.

(Edited to add link to Ravelry project page and pattern, although the title of the article is also a link ;0)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blanky for Joshua

Our daughter is expecting her 6th child in Feb 2011 and, since this one will be a boy, she has requested blue and brown. I found some Plymouth Dream Baby DK at the Woolie Ewe in Plano, TX for this project.

Just Photos

Gourmet Yarn Co

I am off to the Gourmet Yarn Co. in OKC in the morning for their Yarns on Stage trunk show featuring Alpaca with a Twist, Cherry Tree Hill, Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Conjoined Creations, Dream in Color, Pico Accuaridi Dyeworks, Prism Yarns, Shibui Knits, Great Adirondack, and Twisted Sisters.

I am particularly interested in the Cherry Tree Hill and Prism Yarns. I love knitting with lace weight yarns and my mom bought me a skein of Schaefer Audrey in Indigo when we were in the shop yesterday. (It has joined the skein of Elizabeth Zimnmerman colorway I bought at the Woolie Ewe in Plano, TX.) They also have a great selection of Addi Turbo Lace needles which are the only needles I use apart from double pointed sock needles.

I am looking forward to meeting someone I have been chatting with on the GYC Ravelry Group when I get to the shop. We both knitted Wendy Johnson's Shetland Pi Shawl, but with a change of lace pattern for part 4.

Note: I am visiting my mom and snapped this photo on a table in the bedroom....didn't realize that my baby photo was in the picture, lol. That was only 56 years ago.

Can't think of a better way to celebrate my birthday than in a yarn shop!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grayson County Fair

Just got back from the Grayson County Fair to find that I won 1st place for the manos del uruguay shawl and 3rd place for the apple green Pi shawl. I pick them up Sunday evening and will post photos with ribbons!

Phase Two Complete

Took momma cat and kittens to the local shelter a couple of days ago. It was much easier to get her in the pet carrier after letting her relax for several days. I had been around them too much and was feeling like bronchitis was coming on. Lungs are clearing up nicely.

Entered three shawls in the Grayson County Fair today. Hope I win a blue ribbon on one!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A HUGE hunk of Pi

Finished the Pi shawl last night and used most of the 1,500 yds of Araucania Ranco Multi in Apple Green. It measured 48" across before blocking and pinned out to 64".

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Phase One Complete!

I am happy to announce that Phase One of Pat's Operation Feline Rescue is a success! Some sorry individual threw out a momma cat and her three kittens and they have been hiding in the woods much to near the road for me. She is very skittish and wary of humans, who can blame her?

I went out with some canned tuna and the kittens came running. Momma wasn't there. I picked up the kittens after they had eaten and took them to the house and gave them some water. I went back out to the road to look for momma and didn't find her. When I got back to the house she was in the front yard with the kittens! Such a smart little girl! She most definitely does not like me any where near those kittens, but she did actually take a bite of food from my hand. Take a good look at the closer photo of momma....she is slightly cross-eyed! She looks to have a bit of Siamese in her.


My plan is to let her be for a few days and simply provide food and water until she calms down a bit and I can get her into a carrier along with her kittens and get her to someone who can provide her a home. I am allergic and cats just don't last long out here in the country unless there are dogs around to keep the predators away.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A BIG piece of Pi

As I already noted, I started with 1,500 yds of yarn for this project, which only called for around 1,400, and, not wanting to waste a yard of it, I decided to keep on going until I am out of yarn. The last two skeins have a bit darker shading and I rather like the way it looks so far shading darker toward the outside.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Almost there

I am on the last repeat of the last section of my Shetland Pi Shawl. I decided to do a different lace pattern for part 4 after I saw the Willow Leaf pattern for another Pi shawl on Ravelry. Photos to follow soon.....lots of stitches crammed on the needle make it difficult to take a good shot. I had 1,500 yds to work with so I have enough to do 6 repeats of part 4 of the Willow Leaf pattern....to be followed by a wide section of lattice lace to finish.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Do I begin to see a pattern?

In looking back over my postings of shawl photos I seem to notice a common theme here....GREEN! Well, it IS my fav color after all.

New Shawl

Inspiration hit about 10pm last night....along with a pretty good steroid buzz from the Medrol Dose Pack for my poison oak.....couldn't sleep.....couldn't turn off my creative side. The result is Crest of the Wave Half Pi Shawl. I have one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn in Solis colorway and will see how far that will take me on a size 8 (5mm) addi lace turbo. I may decide to buy another skein of coordinating yarn to finish it off.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Shawl Pin

I have a cute little shawl pin that I ordered from Romi a couple of years ago that looks nice with my Stonington Shawl.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pine Cones Anyone?

We have about a dozen pine trees in our yard and the 4 biggest trees have huge cones on them. I have to pick them up before I mow because they dull the blades on the riding mower and can be quite dangerous when they fly out from under the mower. I usually toss them out or burn them to get rid of them, but I am saving some for friends who do crafts. This batch is from the larger trees and they are as big as my hand.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More Pi

Wendy posted the 4th part of the Shetland Pi Shawl yesterday and I am happily knitting away on it.....576 stitches on the needle! Whew!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Fall Cleaning.....a bit early

It must be the lower temperatures. I have been enjoying working in the yard for the past few days and playing catchup with my cleanup chores outdoors.

Two words: Pine needles. Tons and tons of em. Love the sound of the wind in the pines, but don't care for raking up the dead needles. In late August we can count on a massive pine needle drop. The trees will be loaded with brown needles, then all of a sudden.....whomp! They are on the ground and need to be gathered. The piles in the photo came off of the roof!

I got the mass of honeysuckle away from the base of the largest pine and now, when it comes back out, it will be more manageable.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A New Look

I was playing around with template designs earlier and decided it was time for a change. I like the new look of my blog. Hope ya'll do too!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I love Pi

I am halfway thru the third part of the Shetland Pi Shawl. Really enjoying this pattern.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Black Bean Soup

My mom introduced me to black bean soup several years ago and now I make it on a regular basis. I have soaked dried beans and used them, but I have found that canned organic beans make the best soup. Kroger carries a brand I like, Private Selection. The only ingredients are organic black beans, water and sea salt. One 15 oz can contains 130 mg of sodium.

I start by sauteing chopped onion, celery, carrots and garlic in olive oil. Then I add a cup of red wine and let it simmer until the wine reduces. I add 4 cans of beans, a 10 oz can of Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chilies after draining the liquid (if you like it hotter just add the liquid), a 15 oz can of Private Selection Organic Sweet Corn and 1 qt of Imagine Organic Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth. Grind a little black pepper and sea salt to taste. A little salt is needed since the ingredients are low sodium. Sea salt is best since it has trace minerals and lower sodium content.

Let the whole thing simmer uncovered for about an hour until it reduces to a good consistency. Serve with whole grain bread and some raw carrots for munchies and you have a feast!

Old Shale

I have used Old Shale several times in knitting shawls and decided to knit a triangular shawl with two different colorways of Malabrigo sock yarn. I have almost finished with the first skein and the garter stitch section and will be figuring out my repeats for Old Shale with the other skein.

Note: It couldn't have turned out better! I got to the end of the skein of Cordovan and counted my stitches.....I have one extra stitch on either side of the center stitch after my 12 st repeats of Old Shale. Not bad! I have 13 repeats on either side of the center.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

On the Subject of Stitch Markers

For those of you who like pretty stitch markers except for the not so pretty price.....they are quite easy to make. I use left over beads from rosary making for mine. I use 10mm jump rings and size 6 seed beads for plain rings. Just open the ring up, slide on a bead, close the ring and super glue the bead over the split in the ring. You can use the longer pins in the jewelry making section of your local craft store to make dangles for your markers if you like. Just thread on 2 or 3 beads, make a loop in the end and secure it over the jump ring with a couple of wraps. TA DA!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Shetland Pi Shawl

I had frogged another project multiple times and the yarn has been lurking in my stash for some time. I discovered Wendy Knits and saw that there is a KAL on Ravelry for her Shetland Pi Shawl and I have enough yarn for the project, so I cast on last night. She just posted the second section and I am working on that now.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Flora & Fauna

As I was leaving the house this morning I spied a white thistle alongside our drive and stopped to snap a photo. I was also fortunate enough to get a couple of shots of butterflies on purple thistles. It pays to stick the camera in my knitting bag before leaving the house!

Note: I looked up butterflies online and discovered that these photos are of a male (yellow) and female (dark) Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Cool!

Modified Trifolium

I have lost track of how many times I have frogged this project and started over because I didn't like the pattern I was playing around with at the time. THIS time it really seems to be working out. I decided to modify Marianne Kinzel's 'Trifolium' from the Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting and use charts A, D and E. In effect, I am leaving out the actual trifolium itself and using the ground pattern with the edge design. I want something open and lacy that will allow me to get the maximum yardage out of two skeins of hand dyed Classic Merino by Patons'.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Done!

After battling migraines for over a week I am finally finished with the Stonington Shawl. Whew! It blocked out to 59 inches square. The blocking wires made the whole thing painless and very quickly done. I will not dread blocking any more.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

4th side to go

Getting ready to begin knitting the edging on the 4th side of the Stonington Shawl. I love this piece, but I am so ready to be done with it and move on to another project.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Making Progress

It took me 10 days to knit the lace edging on the first side of the Stonington Shawl.....and 5 days to knit the edging on the second side. Does that mean that it will take me 2 1/2 days to knit the next section? I wish! We shall see.....

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On to the lace edging!

Forgot to snap a photo of the shawl with all 4 borders finished before I started the edging....oh, well! I am just happy to be on the last leg of this journey.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One more border



I just picked up stitches for the 4th border on my Stonington Shawl. YaHoo! I could have had the 4th border done by now if not for having to frog back several times on the 3rd border to find and fix a mistake in stitch count. Arrgghhhh. Hopefully, I can knit the entire border section today and be ready to start the lace edging tomorrow. I ordered a set of blocking wires yesterday and they should arrive by the time I need them. Don't you just love toys....er....tools?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bird Watchin

Had lunch at The Boiler Room today and was chatting with Kara when we noticed a little sparrow sitting on the base of a planter outside the front door in the parking lot. It sat there for the longest time, not even moving when one of the regular patrons left to go to his car. We decided the wee bird was just 'hanging out' and enjoying the shade while the temperature continued to climb.....after all, it IS July in Texas....