Jul 30, 2010

Dear Linda,

Thanks to you, I am diligently working on my gauge swatch hat, and am previewing the colors.  I'm not sure if I'll get it completed prior to leaving, but I am working on it.  Are you proud?

For the rest of you?
Hoping your knitting is going well. . .Soon I'll be seeing this:

Wish you were all coming with me.  Wish me good weather, good friends, and good fun--see you soon!

Jul 16, 2010

Pictures From Camp

The sheer amount of sweaters there are in our classroom is amazing.  Many were knit by Elizabeth, but others by Meg. . .I feel like I want to have about 8 different sweaters knit up to the yoke so that I can try out one of the interesting techniques that were taught today. . .it was sort of like a live version of "Knitting Glossary"!  Have a bavarian twisted stitch hat on the needles that I hope to make progress on tonight, but for now, it's nap time!
Wish you were here. . .

Jul 15, 2010

Road Trips, Dells, Curds and Knitting

On the road to knitting camp.  Promised to post at least one sentence and one picture each day--and it's midnight at home, but only 11:00 here, so I figure I'm safe.

Spent last night with a friend, Isabella wasn't too happy for the company, but Dorcus and I were pleased to be able to relax in the comfort of a home, rather than a no-tell-motel.

Today was a leisurely trip on the hunt for good shopping, good eating and full of laughter.

Went to Nancy's Notions, and bought some goodies. . .tried to take a picture with Nancy, but aparently she was camera shy!

Found a great place for lunch--or was it our breakfast? with an excellent view of a Piggly Wiggly!  Wanted curds, but wanted them fresh, rather than fried, so we're still on the hunt.

Found a local yarn store that will be celebrating it's grand opening this weekend.  Really, a super sweet shop, and the owner helped us plan the rest of our day.

We intended to head to three other stops, but time got the best of us, and we needed to get to our destination.  We drove past the Dells--and wondered. . .what is a dell anyway? Saw some bogs that were growing cranberries, and many other farms growing undetermined crops (we think they should put up signs on the side of the road for tourists), and a bit of wild life too.

Made it to dinner just in time. . . and ate with Michelle from Schoolhouse Press.  Found our seats in the classroom and were delighted to be sitting near Jennie the Potter. . .who had just gotten an email from Suzanne!  Several otther nice knitters who've all been to camp more than once made sure to give us the scoop, so we're prepared for tomorrow.

Lots of inspiration in the classroom, and we haven't even begun the instruction yet!  We feel like we've put in about a week's worth of a journey and have only been gone for a couple of days.  sheesh.  More tomorrow, with pictures of EZ's sweaters. . .


Jul 12, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole

I actually did accomplish many good things  in the past couple of weekends.  Construction is officially done--as in the poly coat was put on the floor on Friday, and after the floor cures, we can start moving furniture in this weekend--WAHOO!!  So that means that I can start to clean and move things back into our living spaces.  Over the holiday weekend, I touched washed EVERY surface in my kitchen and dining room including the walls, ceiling and floor.  This weekend it was the spare room, sewing room and living room that got our TLC.  We've set up the tents in preparation for MichFest, and have hauled all of the gear into a pile in the spare room to begin our packing.  We've pulled at least 5 compost bags full of weeds from the garden, taken 7 boxes of books to donate to the local public library, returned cans and bottles, and took a truck load of things to the recycling center and a bunch more to the Salvation Army. 

I taught a lace class for this scarf on Saturday morning. . .We've been productive, but I still have a number of things that are calling for my attention.

I should have been working on my nametag. . .Meg Swanson asks that we knit a nametag for camp.  Mine is going to be a mobieus sock ring with a letter of my name on each sock. . .obviously, it's not done.

 I could have been working on my sweater to take with me. . .I comleted the spiral yoked sweater (although I put in the alternative colorwork instead of the spiral), but wanted to try the steeked sweater too.  I'm not gonna get there before I have to leave.

What I wound up doing was making hexagons. Lots and lots of hexagons. 

They've become so addictive, I fear I cannot stop.  I'm not sure if it's because they're like potato chips, and I can't crochet just one. . .

Or if it's because they're so colorful. . .

Or if it's because they remind me of the granny square afghans that my Gramma made me (that, I should point out, are sitting unused in a cedar chest, so why do I need another?)

All I know is I can't stop making them.  I'll let you know when I need an intervention.

Jun 5, 2010

Basement Update and More!

THIRTEEN weeks into the project, it's still not done.  Close, but not done yet.  We keep hearing it will be just another week. . .Here are some pictures to keep you entertained. (from our older camera, apparently my POS camera needs some TLC to upload pictures)

I now have more cabinets and storage in my basement and bar area than I do in any other room in our house.  Maybe more there than in any three rooms combined!  I LOVE it!

Notice the new sink?

Our fireplace was refaced, and a few tiles from Pewabic Pottery in Detroit were added as accent pieces.
It still needs a good cleaning, they just grouted yesterday, but here's a closer look at the Pewabic tiles:
 The tile in the shower is great--

And my favorite part?  The bathroom sink.  The sewing machine was Joanie's grandmothers, and we lucked upon finding a beautiful stone bowl for the sink.  When the faucet is on, it looks just like an old fashioned water pump!

On the crafting front, I've recovered a few chairs to place in the basement when it's finally finished.  LOVE the fabrics we used! And I've uploaded some patterns into Ravelry for simple bags and hats.  One pattern isn't an original design, but rather a modification of Danielle LaFramboise's Windmill Bag.  Check them out, you may find something fun to knit!
The yarn I had processed at Stonehedge arrived on Tuesday, well ahead of schedule, and I'll start swatching with it this week while my friend Linda begins to play with color and see how it takes dye.  We may have some fun kits ready before long!

So, what have YOU been up to?

You Spin Me Right 'Round

Last week, Joanie was able to score three fleeces--nearly 30 pounds of freshly sheared fleece--from a co-worker!  I quickly made some phone calls to find out where I should have it processed--and since I was headed to nearby MacMullan Conference center, it was decided that our car would take a side trip to Stonehedge Farm to have it evaluated for processing.

I was told the sheep was a cross between a Suffolk and Cheviot--both are meat sheep, rather than fleece sheep--but the fleece looked okay to me. . .very clean of VM and not too dirty.  Deb at Stonehedge thinks it may have some Romney in it. . .and thinks it will spin up nicely into a very usable yarn.  I've asked that 1/3 of the wool be processed into roving, and 2/3 into yarn.  Rest assured, I'll be asking for friends to share this yarn when it comes in!   By the time the wool is washed and processed I'll have in excess of 20 pounds of wool. . .start thinking about aran sweaters. . .

Kate took some photos of the farm, and we were given a mini tour!  Enjoy! Our guild is already planning a trip there next year.

I held this post for awhile trying to upload pictures, but my camera has been a problem for me!  I'm posting without. . .sorry!

May 10, 2010

One Less Knitter

Mayme J. Olson was buried last Friday.  She didn't write patterns, or create new and innovative ways to increase or decrease. . .she just knit.  She made hundreds of pairs of mittens. . .maybe thousands.  None were fancy, and most were made out of Red Heart acrylic yarn.  She actually scorned wool (I know--who could think it?).  Each of her grandchildren were blessed with at least a granny square afghan made from scraps of yarn left from the mittens, and many received a "good" afghan made in a ripple stitch pattern in the colors of their choice.

She taught me to knit and crochet, and though I didn't enjoy the knitting, I do remember her chastising me to "stop knitting on the tips" so that my stitches would be loose enough to be knit into on the next row--they never were.  When I last saw her, she was proud to tell her friends that she had taught me to knit, although she didn't actually remember who I was. . .her memory and mind were failing her, but still, she was knitting a scarf for the needy.  Her hands remembered what to do, and her kindness continued to reach out to others.

As funeral arrangements were planned, no one knew where to direct memorial donations. . .but no one asked me.  I know what Mae would have appreciated.  Teach someone to knit. . .and if you feel moved, knit a pair of mittens, or a hat or scarf. . .and donate them in the memory of my grandma to someone needy.  And use Red Heart, that's what Grandma would have liked. 

Mar 8, 2010

Construction Begins

The weekend was spent moving things from the basement to the garage and from the bedroom to the attic in an attempt to clear things for a major basement remodel. In 6-7 weeks (or so I'm promised) an old, partially finished basement will become a highly efficient, eco friendly living space complete with bathroom and steam shower! I cannot express how excited I am for the change. We began the remodel project by getting quotes more than a year ago. . .and then had the driveway re-paved and a privacy fence installed. . .and adopted a puppy. . .our focus has been scattered to say the least. Finally, this morning construction began. I left a basement that looked like this:

And came home to a basement that looked like this:

It's going to be a long month or two.

In the midst of the chaos this weekend, I was able to sneak in some knitting time. Some at the cables class I taught at PK Knit Yarn Over, the new yarn store in Clawson, and some while I was watching the school play this weekend. God bless being able to knit without looking! I finished most of the foot to this sock while watching a HS production (and very good, I might add) of "The Crucible". The sock will be a sample for the class I'll be teaching in April, if you know of someone in need of instruction on double point needles. Loved the yarn--I used Raggi, and size 4 needles. All adds up to a quick knit!

Feb 28, 2010

Looking for Prizes?

And maybe a blogger who posts more often? Join Suzanne and leave a comment for a give away. . .lots of good prizes to be had there. I'm slogging away at the applied i-cord edging of my graduation afghan. . .and watching the closing ceremonies for the Olympic Games! You can find Suzanne here. . .

Feb 22, 2010

A Curious Thing

The internet has made such changes in our lives, it's hard to remember how we actually functioned prior to it being a household staple. I have boxes of books that were kept as reference books, but have been packed away for the past 18 months in hopes of home repairs happening. Now that they are about to start, I'm realizing that I can probably just donate the books and never really miss them. Any research I'll be interested in can just as easily be done on the internet or at the public (or school) library. Can't I just release my belongings and gain a little bit of space in my home? We'll see how much I've been influenced by my family and how much I can actually let go of.

Some research I've done lately has been to look up people I was once friends with. . .due to a variety of circumstances we've drifted apart, and I have no real desire to strike up a friendship with many of them, but I'm interested none-the-less. I found a college roommate has divorced, remarried and apparently has two children and is now a SAHM. . .another is struggling with weight loss. . .another had a significant weight loss and is now married. . .and yet another has done some amazing freelance print designs for companies like Coach. . .While I enjoy finding out what former friends are up to, I find it somewhat creepy that I can learn so much without actually contacting them to let them know I'm looking. I find it a curious thing to be able to be curious. . .and stealth. Google yourself. . .see what you can find out about YOU. . .and then change your security settings.

Feb 19, 2010


Really? a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. Editing my posts suddenly became a HUGE Challenge with this new background. . .what was I thinking? Now I have a whole new learning curve to deal with.

Indecision Abounds

Chelsea Fleece Fair tomorrow? Not sure.

No Casting on for Lent? Not sure. . .but I cast on a new hat today just to see how I felt about it. . .no guilt here!


Feb 18, 2010

Craptastic Acrylic

I cannot complain enough about how hard acrylic yarn is on my hands! Even so, here is the Moderne Baby Blanket--upsized for a teen aged boy. All it needs is a few ends woven in and an applied I cord edging and I can call it done.


Here too is the completed gray afghan started at the beginning of the Olympics. You'll find me with a darning needle in hand tomorrow attempting to finish these both!