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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Without Football

I love deadlines. I especially love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
Douglas Adams

One of my passions is thrifting and finding a great piece of discarded jewelry that I can turn into something new that will be loved and used. These little stitch markers, all 30, came from an ankle bracelet. they will be perfect for lace. They happen to be laying on my current sweater. The sleeve is progressing. I had to put it down for a while to get my Christmas knitting done.
How about a hand thrown pottery bowl and plate (reclaimed from a thrift store) with some pretty, blue, reclaimed wool, all beautifully wound by the woman who reclaimed it, forgottenfleece. She generously offered to wind ths lace weight for free. There are hundreds of yards, plenty for about any shawl I choose.
This cute little pillow was made by a good friend named Blyn several years ago. So wonderful that I thought you might like to see it. It is special to me because my Grandmother had a pear tree in her yard and I remember her pear jam very fondly. It is my brother John's favorite.

Why no football, you ask? We no longer have TV. We gave it up about 6 weeks ago and really haven't missed it very much.....well....except for my Eagles.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

"Out of the strain of the doing
Into the peace of the done."
Julia Louise Woodruff
It has been an interesting week. I learned to do something I never ever thought I would have to do, and hope never to do, and suffered the side effects. Luckily, they only lasted 24 hours and I only have to do it once a week. So, into the peace of the done lasts 2 more days before I get to experience the pain to the doing again....a very fit quote this time.
And now for something I really like (imagine my best Rocky voice here):Three of my favorite things, felted wool, hand thrown pottery and beautiful wool yarn for a scarf...eventually. These must be favorites of the many because two cats kept trying to help me take the picture. Apparently the yarn had to be just so in the bowl....critics everywhere.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Mother Of All Giveaways!

Check out the Rochester NY Street Team. They are having, as the title of today's blog might suggest, the Mother of all Giveaways!! Before they get to the big giveaway, Lauren's Lovelies (you will find a lonk to her on the sidebar) is the guest host this week.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Wool & Alpaca & Silk...Oh My

“The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest.”
William Blake
Yesterday, in a dim moment, I received a box. A plain white box. When I opened it, a bounty of colorful fiber sprang forth. They appear here in no particular order, as I could not select a favorite if I tried really hard. The first three were dyed specifically with me in mind.
During the dye process, my name was written on each loop of yarn. That story made me cry. The absolute best yarn dyer in the world, Qutecowgirl (and no, I didn't know her before purchasing my first skein of yarn from her and no, I couldn't tell you how many I have purchased from her...let's just say a lot), knew I was going through a difficult time and look what she did:
These first three will stay with me, as socks or mittens or.....whatever. They are mine.
I asked her if she could recreate beach glass. Bruce and I love to walk on the beach.
This alpaca is truly wonderful to just sit and touch....
"Every Color" & "Monet" are really quite incredible in person. Remember my favorite yarn dyed by a five year old young girl not too long ago? She and her sister had a hand in these. They can dye for me anytime. And I am sure they will be asking to....:)
And now, for what I have really been getting to, the caramel colored yarn I asked her to dye. I want to knit Anne Hansen's Honeybee Stole. Of course, being female, I may have changed my mind. I also have fallen in love with her Dovecote Shawl. Take a trip through her shop and see what you think. It really is hard to decide.
Ladies, I don't ever leave many skeins in Qutecowgirl's Etsy. Go often and take a peek, you just might beat me to a beautiful gem. Tell her I said Hi!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Much To Be Thankful For

A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.
Helen Keller
We all have our challenges. It has been a grueling two months of MRIs, a spinal tap, evoked potentials, EMGs, nerve conductions, being poked and prodded and blood letted. We won't count the falling down and the light-headedness, the dragging my left leg. Switching one neurologist who was too busy for me to one who cares and who has a staff who is amazing. Yesterday it became official and definite. I am the first person in my family to suffer from MS. I am so thankful I am not in a wheelchair and that I will soon begin a medication regimen that will hopefully prevent that. I am thankful for a good Doctor and a good Neurologist. I am thankful my family loves me. I am thankful Bruce does. I am thankful Penny does and we will all get through this together. They are very accepting and supportive. Now, I need to learn to accept help, plenty hard for a control freak.
On a much brighter note...I got the best box in the whole world in the mail today....I think it came from a little slice of heaven. I know the best yarn dyer in the world and her daughter's helped. You just have to see what I just have to. I will drag out my camera tomorrow and start taking pictures...just wait until you see......

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Do You Eat Jellybeans?

You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans.
Ronald Reagan
The eBay gods have been kind to me. I walked away with my new toy for a song. I now have a new way to show off my completed socks.
Inside this cute little bag that I knitted on Magic Loop toe up, is my daughter's IPod! I got the idea from Bells Knits. No seams. Thanks, Mary!! You taught me well. I have made four of these little bags now, all from leftover sock yarn dyed by a 5 year old. I dearly love this yarn and it is almost all gone, just a few yards left.

A Global Force For Good

I have never posted anything political, other than footbal, here before, nor will I get in the habit. And who doesn't love them Eagles. Okay, today is probably not the best day to ask that question. This is definitely worth sharing, it is moving in the direction of showing the world what the Navy really does in times of peace and war.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordful Wednesday

To all the heroes in my life:
My Father,
My Sister and her Husband (the best darned martini artist in the world),
My Brother,
My Son and his lovely Wife,
My Bestest Friend Forever, Penny,
The brave young men and women I have the honor to work with everyday.
Each and every one of you make me humble and proud.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Magnificent Monday

"You will never reach your goal until you start to take action, any action."
Byron Pulsifer

My KoolAid socks are finished!! I really love the way they came out. You just never know what you are going to get when you take a chance. I need...I need to dye more.....more colors...
I am trying something new. Qutecowgirl mentioned to me how she could knit like the wind with her 9" circulars. I saw Judy at Athena Fibers knitting with 8"ers and had to try them, I love them. It didn't take long to get used to them either.
They are super affordable and definitely worth a try. I bought a second 9" today, you know, just in case. They have them in metal (my personal favorite) and bamboo.
Sorry for the blur, i thought I could get you up close and personal...ask you to take a few stitches to see if you like it.
Look at these beauties I found on Etsy!!! MadeForFun has a real treasury of beach finds. These buttons are to die for and will be just great on my next sweater!!
And now for something you will really like. Cathy over at Cath's Pennies has listed her very first pattern for purchase. Her pictures and tutorial is much better than my picture. Pop over and take a look. She is getting her second pattern ready for it's debut...I will try to be first in line again....
Take care and God bless.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Comes Back Around Again

Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves.
Albert Einstein
A long, long time ago, in a land still far from here, my Grandmother taught me to knit. It was the summer I spent with her and my Grandfather, the year I turned fourteen. I learned to knit socks some years later, in a tiny village in Germany. Almost two decades ago, I entered thirteen items in the Sioux Empire Fair and brought home fourteen ribbons. A sweater I knit for my young daughter with blackberries and cables took Best In Show. What a moment that was.
This is my sweater from a class I am taking through Athena Fibers in Sioux Falls. I still love to take classes. I always learn something new, like spit splicing, and I always enjoy the company of other knitters. I enjoy watching others knit as much as I love to do it myself.
I was lucky enough and smart enough to sign up for a sock class. Not just any sock class, but a toe up, short row heel, magic loop sock class. This was a class of many firsts for me. I learned how to do a sewn bind off. It was my pleasure to take this class from a lovely woman named Mary and I am hoping she will give another class soon. Do a great thing for yourself, I encourage you to sign up for a class.
And now...for something I really like. It is no secret I love hand thrown pottery. I have combined this beautiful yarn bowl with my current favorite hobby. Now, if I could just find enough time to get these KoolAid socks finished.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A Good Mystery Is Fun

When I was young, I said to God, 'God, tell me the mystery of the universe.' But God answered, 'that knowledge is for me alone.' So I said, 'God, tell me the mystery of the peanut.' Then God said, 'Well, George, that's more nearly your size.'
George Washington Carver
Kirsten over at Through The Loops is having a Sockoberfest Mystery. It is a fun little lace pattern, very well written. It was very generous of her to share. She just uploaded the heel, week 3, last Thursday. I really do need to catch up. I need to take a better picture of the little pottery yarn bowl to show you. I found it on Etsy in the Soaringstudios Shop. This beautiful little bowl is perfect for the sock knitter and this one was made specifically for me. She will make them in different colors for you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Mr. Woolly Bear

When the bold branches
Bid farewell to rainbow leaves -
Welcome wool sweaters.
~B. Cybrill

It is all about the wool......I was sure happy to see the picture my daughter took tonight of the woolly bear. We have had some pretty dire predictions for the coming winter, including what may amount to measurable snow this Saturday. Nice to know one species is scoffing......maybe I should make some woolly bear socks......

Friday, October 2, 2009

Friday Mutterings

Estimated amount of glucose used by an adult human brain each day, expressed in M&Ms: 250
Harper's Index, October 1989

Free association (because these days, not much is free):

  1. What pleases you? :: Family
  2. Whatever :: Arrrrrggggg

  3. Chime :: Ding

  4. Pleading :: Desperate

  5. Simulate :: 7 of 9

  6. Flashing :: Lightening

  7. Directional :: One Way

  8. Pink :: Grandmother

  9. Access :: Denied

  10. Ugly :: Beholder

Just for fun. Give it a try.....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October Scarf

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy." -- Anton Chekhov

I have a new friend. She has just moved to South Dakota from California. I doubt she has ever seriously needed a scarf in her life. This one is a little wider than usual with pockets, made just for her. Welcome to this cold, snowy, windy, beautiful State, Lydia!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sock Yarn & KoolAid

"Every artist was first an amateur."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

These socks are very special to me. I dyed the yarn myself. This is the first yarn I have dyed that I am actually turning into something. The big secret? It was dyed with KoolAid!
This KoolAid to be exact. A little strawberry, a little grape, I threw in some cherry and berry and I am thrilled with the outcome. I purchased a couple more blanks because I really think I am starting to get the hang of it.
While I was at Athena Fibers in Sioux Falls picking up my needles for a class on Saturday, I asked about a sweater above the fireplace and came home with the book. It is a wonderful book with more patterns in it than I could ever complete.
But I am adding this one to my list of sweaters I will be day.....
This sweater is the next one, though. They are offering a class starting on the 26th and I may have been the first to sign up for it. It will keep me motivated to finish and the two shop samples are beautiful.
Garage sale finds. My friend, Penny, and I took off during lunch on Friday and found a couple of sales. I got this new leather purse for $3 and the doily it is sitting on for less than a buck. Must have been my lucky day!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September Socks

"Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours."
Swedish Proverb
Great biopsies are all negative!
My September socks, Lilac Seeds. Made from another beautifully dyed yarn by Qutecowgirl. These took me forever and I even tinked the whole first sock. That means I actually knitted three socks. I changed the band up a little to make it wider.
Milkweed Shawl. I made this while I was down in Florida, it just took me a little time to block it and then to take pictures. Another great Alpaca-Merino blend hand dyed by Qutecowgirl. This was a breeze to knit.
And now....for the unblocked state:
I read something interesting just before I blocked this, tuck the ends in after you block it....I did! I am just thrilled with the way it turned out and how soft it is.
This lovely basket was a thrift find. I prefer to think the animals are not giraffes as my daughter thinks, but llamas or alpacas.
This is replacing the little basket next to my rocker to hold my socks that I work on at home. No way will it replace the cute sock bag my friend made for me that lives in my car for doctor's appointments and just general waiting time anywhere.
Back to my KoolAid dyed yarns. This is another attempt to come up with something I like.
This one is definitely interesting, but I am not sure I will like it as much as I like the ones I get from Qutecowgirl. Maybe I should just leave the dyeing to her.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's Roll

Today is a day to remember where we were, what we were doing, how we felt, the absolute horror that shook our foundations.

Today is a day we should never forget but too many have.

Today is a day we honor our fallen and those heroes that came to their aid.

Today is a day to honor our heroes who go forth and do battle. Support our troops, our loved ones and our friends who chose to serve this great Nation under God.

Lest we forget.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


T Does Wool is giving away the most delightful hooked bag for HER birthday! Happy birthday!! Good luck.

Smile of the Week

Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
Leo F. Buscaqlia
I saw something great over at A Ball Of Yarn And A Remote Control. She asked a wonderful question....what made you smile this week. A lovely question and I began to think of all the blessings that had been bestowed on me this week. I spoke to my parents on their 62nd wedding anniversary. In a day when nothing lasts, imagine being married for that long. These two people are the glue that holds my sometimes dysfunctional family together. They always make me smile.
I am missing one huge hairy mole on the right side of my chin. Now, I have to tell you, apparently I am the only one that saw it as the largest witch's mole ever. Bruce (I just love this guy) said "What mole?". How awesome is he? That really made me smile.
Look at what I found so unexpectedly in my mailbox from my parents this week. My Mom is the Garage Sale Queen and she knows how much I love teapots. It was accompanied by a beautiful white sweater and and Dad tucked in a box to hold my printer cartridges for the Canon printer. Jackpot! This all made me smile,too.
I found this at my local favorite thrift haunt. It is so cute, my daughter hinted that she wanted it...
On the way back from being surgically separated from my Siamese twin sized witch's mole, I saw a garage sale sign, but drove right on by. I stopped in at work for just a couple of minutes to water plants and told Penny about the sign. It was her lunch hour so off we went in search of treasures. Boy, did the two of us make out. Above are three cones of Hochwertige Qualitat fur hochste Anspruche mohair yarn made in West Germany. My German is just good enough that I know this means it claims to be the highest quality. Each cone has 600 meters. I happily paid a mere $2 a cone. My luck did not end there.
I have no clue what this is, but there has to be enough for a scarf or two. It has the most incredible feel and it was cheaper than the mohair. Add to this a basket full of dishcloth cotton for 50 cents a ball. By this time, I had started a rather large pile, making both the sale owner and myself smile. She had crochet cotton and antique blue glass quart jars with the zinc lids for $1 apiece ( I bought all 11 of them).
I can't wait to see this wool fabric felted....maybe sometime this morning. For $3 for the lot, I got a supreme bargain.
The toille was the icing on the cake. Deb over at Homespun Living makes the neatest bags out of similar finds. Some of that dishcloth cotton yarn I got was red....
The biggest thing that made me smile this week was not material. It was something so priceless. My soon to be 5 years old Granddaughter decided she wanted to sit on my lap and watch her show and she wasn't even sick! I am truly blessed.
So...what made you smile this week?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday Again

"Success is following the pattern of life one enjoys most."
Al Capp
My employer sent me out to Florida for a couple of weeks, but I am home now. It was a good trip, but I turned into one of the statistics CNN is talking about recently. I, along with a full plane load of people, sat on the tarmac in Florida just long enough to miss my connecting flight in Atlanta with no more flights out to South Dakota, or anywhere that could have gotten me home, that night. So, I spent a night there. I have to tell you, the people I met in Atlanta were all very nice and helpful.
Meet Bruce's little buddy, Henry. How long has it been since you have seen one of these? I know for me, it has been way too many years.
Yesterday, I attended a workshop at Athena Fibers in Sioux Falls on dyeing yarn with KoolAid. I met some great women, including a young lady who was 8. Her yarn was just beautiful. The yarn above is Treadsoft and I dyed it with orange, lemon-lime and lemonade. It smells as good as it sounds. The ladies in the group named this "Melon" and it should be mottled. The color that looks white is actually yellow.
My first attempt was with grape, lemon-lime and pink lemonade, this one should be self-striping. I haven't come up with a name for this one and I am open to suggestions. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole process and learned a lot from my teacher.
I do love hand thrown pottery. I picked this beauty up at my favorite thrift shop recently. It may be the prettiest piece I own.