When I raise up my hands

;) – I snuck up to the balcony

I know we’re due for the final installment of the Motif scarf but I have to show you what’s been distracting me from everything else.

Spinning!

2 weeks ago I got myself a birthday present, a Ladybug spinning wheel, and I have not been able to stop. I had one braid of fiber in my stash, I bought 3 more and a good friend gave me a giant bag of fiber for my birthday. Everything but the bag has been spun and plied. I offer you now, pictographical proof of the learning curve.

Yarn 1 – Sheep Spin from Sheep Shop Yarn Company (color Lime)

I  got this braid of fiber over a year ago in the hopes that one day I would be able to spin it up. I loved the colors.  Sadly, I have moved it around so much and fondled it so frequently that most of the outer fibers felted and it was a bitch to draft. Also, in my excitement to get-the-damn-thing-plied, I forgot to ply in the opposite direction.  Overspin, anyone?

Yarn 2 – Louet Northern Lights (violets colorway)

I thought this one would make a great second attempt since it was pre drafted and I could concentrate on getting my rhythm down between hands and feet without worrying about spinning a fiber to thick to fit through the orofice (Shut up, Kevin! That is the actual name of that part of the wheel. Shut up.) I did get better but I made the same mistake when plying – some direction plying equals wikkid curly-uppy yarn.

Yarn 3 – Coopworth Cross hand dyed by Sojourner Design

This was where I got it. I predrafted the fiber into 4 strips and spun 2 on each bobbin in the same order to get a plied yarn with a gentle transition from the blues to green and back. I rigged up a Lazy Kate and remembered to ply in the opposite direction and – Ah, Happiness!

Yarn 4 – Frabjous Fiber merino top(Green with Envy)

This stuff was like handling butter! So soft. I predrafted this into 8 different strips and spun 4 onto each bobbin, not really paring attention to color proportion or order. I ended up with one bobbin larger than the other by half. So, I plied until I ran out of fiber on the one bobbin and then I Navajo plied what was left on the other bobbin – Hence the 2 skeins.

Yarn 5 – wool/alpaca blend

This is a ginormous bag of fiber that my friend Annie gifted me for my birthday. I have filled this bobbin and the bag looks like I haven’t made a dent. I may need to spin all of this before I ply any of it. That may just be how I roll with this one.

We’ll finish up the crochet-along soon. Soon!

Toots

Car horns, corners and the gritty…

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I can’t believe January is already 1/3 over!

I designed Aurelia’s birthday invites today with a great little drawing she did last weekend. We had fourth Xmas with my Dad, Step-Mom, Debbie, and her Mom, Donna, last Saturday. When the girls were babies I asked Deb if she thought her Mom and Dad would be comfortable with my girls considering them grandparents since Dad and Deb aren’t ever having kids and who knows if either of her brothers ever will. So Grandma and Grandpa B were added into the family mix. I’m really glad I did that both for my kids and for Donna. Charlie passed away last year, they got to know him as part of their family and we have been lucky to see much more of Donna out this way since, besides, who doesn’t love a big family!?!

Anyway, Donna got Aurelia a spirograph and the kid sat transfixed for over an hour making all sorts of colorful circles and then turning those into animals and bugs – thats imagination for ya. (Saeb was just as delighted with her “flatscreen” lite-brite!) I used to just see how many different colors I could use till the whole thing turned brown. Somehwere in there she made this little ladybug with 7 dots. 7! She turns 7 this month, I thought it was just perfect. I’ll show them to her tonight and see what she thinks.

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Today I am also ironing yards of flannel to make more cozy nightgowns. I got these two prints at Joanne’s for a buck a yard the week after Christmas! The girls picked them out, brown for Saeb and pink for Re. I’ll see how much yardage I have after the pieces are cut but I should have enough to make matching nighties for their American Girl dolls.

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Finally a pic of this awesome sock kit that I won from Stitchy from way back in the fall playing Rhinebeck Blogger Bingo. I probably won’t get around to making them till this summer but They’ll be cool when I do!! hee hee. beer socks hee.

Toots

While visions of sugar plums…

My friend Kristin has just released another great book, going back to knitting with the fabulous Kristin Knits. This woman has a serious gift for color – all uses of color. I look at her yarn combinations, the pairings she finds in nature and I know that I would never recognize the beauty of those blendings but I sure want to knit them!
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She also has a great contest. You could win a similar assortment to the yarns pictured here (this is a pic I lifted from her blog so you can see some of the gorgeous colors available in her Julia line) So go, drop her your name, grab a copy of her book, hang out and read about life on her beautiful farm. You’ll have a good time, I promise, and you might win some awesome yarn!!

Toots

Barreling down the boulevard…

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We’re pretty low key when it comes to gift giving around the holidays. Even if we did have the kind of cash flow that would allow us to buy big expensive gifts I don’t think we would. We try to be thoughtful in our gifting, so there’s a lot of handmade gifts and of course, pictures of the girls.
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I don’t have a very long list of gifts to make and I’m quite confident that I can get them all done since our gifting meet-ups are fairly well spaced out over the last week of December.
I have some hats and scarves, mittens, socks, nightgowns, and jewelry to whip up. In a mere 2 hours this afternoon I was able to get this much done and I’m pleased with my progress. More gifty pics as they land on my needles in the coming weeks.
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Happy Chanukah!

Toots

Building a Mystery

A little extra fall color.  She’s for sale here. More pics here.
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She’s in the shop. I’d be happy to make a few “me” versions – a doll that looks like the recipient. Let me know if you’d like one. I have time and room in the schedule to do about 4 more before the holidays.

Toots

a place of my own

So, Marti wrote a few days ago about organizing her little crafty space and I know the whole; “show us your workspace” thing has gone around a few times. I even showed off my space in the garage awhile back but I’ve never showed you the craft cubby. About a year ago I decided that I needed to carve out a little space in our little house for me. So I did.

This is the north end of my living room.
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This is what hides behind it.
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These are my yarn bins – stuffed I tell ya! I may need more soon, time to start stacking :)
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And because its Halloween I will remind you of Halloweens past and show you the first jack-o-lanterns ever carved by the girls – all by themselves.
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Toots