Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wool, pecans and mums

I've done some spinning recently. This morning I sat on the back porch and plied together two bobbins of singles. Then I wound that bobbin-full and some others I had done a couple of days ago off onto the skein winder. Here's what it all looks like.
It's all soaking now in some wool wash.

And here is some that I did a few days ago - actually sold some of it to one of my knitting group yesterday.
More fiberarts stuff before I move on to the nuts and flowers.
I may have posted a picture of this shawl a few weeks ago, before I washed and blocked it. This is what it looks like now, and below is a detail shot. The shawl is rather small, and one of the women at the knitting group yesterday asked if I was going to put a button on it to keep it from falling off the shoulders. I had not thought of that, but I think I will. A hole in the lace pattern can serve as a buttonhole.
The little pink thing in the picture of the shawl is a doll shawl. It was an experiment to see if I like working with this particular yarn I found in my stash. I don't know what fiber it is - silk or rayon is my guess. It bled dye profusely when I washed it; I had to do several rinses before the water remained clear. It's too big for Barbie, but maybe not big enough for American Girls. I think Rose and Kyra probably have at least one doll it will fit. Maybe I'll put a button on it, too.

Plant stuff:

My neighbor has a pecan tree that is bearing this year, and starting to drop its nuts. Here are a few I picked up off the ground.
I don't know much about pecans, except that I like the ones I've bought in the store. I think I've never been aware of them on the ground because they are smaller and don't show up as well as the black walnuts from my tree. Very few walnuts have fallen so far, but there are a lot up there.

This morning, Bonnie, neighbor Rob's girlfriend left to go back to Wisconsin. She'll be back in about two weeks. She bought some small mums yesterday and didn't have time to set them out. So I'm going to babysit them until she returns. With therm on that table, I should remember to water them.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bragging rights

We do have bragging rights for things our children do, don't we? In June last year, I showed pictures of the Hello Kitty cake my daughter made for Lexi's birthday. Here is her latest cake, made for her boyfirend's mother.

That's Barnegat Light in New Jersey. I guess that's Mark's boat. They often see swans there. Isn't it fantastic!?!

Now to what I've been doing. A couple of month's ago, Michael's had a sale on their balls of Sugar 'N' Cream cotton yarn. I bought quite a few, including two of this colorway:

It's bright enough, isn't it? I knit the two dishcloths, and had a little left over from each ball. Today I decided to weave mugrugs with the left-overs. I had a red and white warp on the loom, that I've been weaving off and on for a few weeks. I really like the way these pieces turned out.

Then I decided to see what the mugrugs would look like if I used my double boat shuttle with the warp thread on both bobbins.

I like it!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Contact Dermatitis?

Yesterday morning I did a bit of yard work. Several hours later, I noticed this

I was wearing the kind of socks that don't cover the ankles. There must have been something in those flower beds and weeds that didn't agree with my skin. There's no itching, just redness and feeling hot to the touch. I'm assuming it will go away in a few days.

Brady's blanket:

Great-grandson Brady is due in early October. His Mommy Alyssa requested that I use the hat from the Dr Suess book as the center of his blanket. I finally bought the yarn on Wednesday, August 15, before the shower on Saturday, August 18. Needless to say, the blanket wasn't finished in time for the shower, but I put it in a gift bag, needles and all, and took it. I had the center section and about half of the name at that time. This is what it looked like after I finished the name at the top.

I have now picked up the stitches along the bottom and am working on repeating the top border there. Then I'll pick up stitches along the sides and put his middle name on one side and his last name on the other. I did the hat using the intarsia method, so there is no yarn carried across the back. The names are done in shadow/illusion knitting, so you need to look at an angle to see the name. Looking straight-on, all you see is narrow stripes.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Day Without Knitting?

Well, not quite, but I did more weaving and spinning than knitting.

I put a new warp on the loom a couple of days ago, and wove a few mugrugs, but I decided this morning that I'm tired of weaving with this thick stuff:
On the sofa beside me as I did a tiny bit of knitting was the remains of a warp that came off my little loom - probably three dozen threads. I decided to use them all together as weft, and got one mugrug from it:
Terrible picture, but it's already past the front beam and headed for the cloth beam. (I know that means nothing to non-weavers.)

I like the way it turned out, so I decided to do more weaving with several strands held together. Several years ago, at an antique/junk store in Paducah, I bought many cones of thread that had come from one of the clothing factories in Mayfield (all of them long closed.) I put ten of them in a basket, pulled the ends out and wrapped them as one thread onto a stick shuttle.
This is the result.
The picture is a bit blurred, but I like the fabric. I got 2 1/2 mugrugs from the first shuttle-full and have wound another shuttle with the same ten threads to weave more. Then I think I'll use a different combination of colors. This will be fun!

I also did some spinning. Yesterday, after finally getting a lawn mower started and mowing the fenced area of my back yard, I took a spinning wheel out to the back porch to cool down from that exertion. (We've had two days of beautiful weather - temperatures in the low-80's with low humidity. The A/C is off and the windows are open!) I spun one bobbin about half full and plied it with a half-bobbin I had spun a long time ago. Today I took the wheel out on the front porch, spun two bobbins half full and plied them together. Here's one of the bobbins of two-ply yarn.
While I was spinning yesterday, I though of one of the conversations my sisters and I had during their visit, about differences in boys and girls. When I have demonstrated spinning at various events, I've noticed that the men and boys (even quite young ones) are usually more interested in the mechanics of the wheel than in the fact that I'm turning that bunch of fluff into string.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Three sisters, times two

The old ones:
My sisters  visited me a few days ago. That's me in the middle. (I don't smile as well/naturally for pictures as they do.) We had a wonderful time, mostly just talking, although we did visit both of my granddaughters.

Pauline is two years, four months, and five days older than I am, so from the time I was old enough to play, I had a playmate. We got along as sisters usually do, with our share of fighting/arguing (Mother didn't allow physical violence). I remember at least once when I was six or seven that Mom made me stay home and let Pauline go off with  the older girls. I wasn't happy of course, but Mother was right.

Renee is seven years, five months and about ten minutes younger than I am. That's enough age difference that we weren't playmates. She was just the cute little sister - the baby of the family.

We spent most of our adult lives widely separated geographically - Pauline in Florida, me in New Jersey and Renee in Kentucky. Often several years went by without our seeing each other. Now that I'm back in KY and Pauline spends summers in the state (although I'm still 250 miles from either of them and they are 90 miles apart), we like to get together at least once a year.

The young ones:
A blended family. Kyra is 13 1/2 months older than Rose. They've been 'almost sisters' for two years now. They play well together. Kyra is sometimes a PITA (I have little patience for fussy eaters), but she has beautiful, sparkly eyes. Rose is one of the most delightful children you could meet (she has a nicer smile than in this picture - this one looks forced, doesn't it?). And Lily hasn't shown her personality yet.

Sara said Rose ignores the baby much of the time, and Kyra tends to bother her too much. I imagine in a year or two they'll be saying, "Mommy/Sara keep her away from us; she's messing up our things." Such is life!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Getting rid of things

I had an appointment for next Monday for an 'annual physical.' Someone from Dr Pat's office called on Tuesday to say that she has been called away because her mother is very ill, but they wanted to do as much of the physical as possible without her. The nurse asked me a bunch of questions over the phone, and they asked me to visit the office for a bone density test. I did that yesterday morning, and took with me two pairs of glasses to put in the 'recycle glasses' bin there.

Then I went to church and took with me two 'WalMart bags' of books to donate to a halfway house.

On my way from there to knitting group, I went to the recycling center and dropped off a large trash bag of plastic bottles, a lot of glass jars, and some aluminum cans.

At the knitting group, I gave away three balls of yarn that I discovered recently I don't like working with.

After knitting, I went to Alyssa's house to take her a small table she had left here but now wanted.

So I got some things out of the house. But I brought back two skeins of brown yarn, and four of orange, that I will knit hats or scarves for the Seaman's Church Institute with.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Once again it's been ages since I posted. My excuse is that I've been a little bit sick. I finally went to the doctor on Tuesday. She thinks it's either diverticulitis or a bladder infection (but my urine has not been burning), so she prescribed Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole. She also scheduled a CT scan to make sure there is nothing else going on. I had the scan yesterday and should get the results Monday or Tuesday.

In the meantime, I have been knitting most days. There were a couple of days when I didn't feel like knitting or like reading - that's really bad. Here are the things I've completed.

It's a semi-circular shawl made with some cotton that has been in my stash for at least twenty years. I wanted to make it bigger by adding a border around the edge, but the other ball of the yarn has a greenish tinge to it and didn't look right. I started this on May 31, and finally finished it on July 22. Of course I did a few other things in between as well.

This is one of my diagonal pinstripes shawls. I've done several this way. It's easy and I like the look. This one I started on July 9 and finished on July 13.

I probably shouldn't say that this one is finished, because it definitely needs a good blocking. I'll get to that next week, after my sisters visit. This yarn is also some that has been in my stash for a long time, although not twenty years. I started it on August 1 and finished it the next day - some days I do little else.

And then there are dishcloths. The one on the left I did mainly in the doctor's waiting room on Tuesday (she was doing walk-ins only that day, so you just had to wait your turn). After I finished it, I just sat there. The one on the right I did here at home yesterday morning. Can you see the heart?

And to make sure I don't run out of yarn, I picked up this today. Betty Ann, whom I knew only slightly, died a few months ago. About three weeks ago, I learned that she had left loads of yarn, most of it Peaches & Creme 'dishcloth' cotton. She had stopped at the mill in North Carolina several times, and she had stocked up, although she really didn't do much knitting. I spent a week or so debating whether I wanted some of her stash, and finally called her husband last week. There's plenty more where this came from, but George said he has had calls from others about it, too. He's also going to send some to a niece in Maine.