Thursday, January 31, 2008

7 Random Things

I've been tagged by Cindy to list 7 random things about me.

Here goes:

1. I would literally climb out on a limb to help a friend.
2. I was in attendance for all 6 of my grandchildren's births.
3. Don't mind ironing or washing windows.
4. Changed my name to "Lorenzo" when I was little. He was a TV clown that did a dance called the "Lorenzo Hop"! My kids think this is hilarious!!!
5. Must wash the dishes immediately after a meal.
6. Can't do step aerobics or dance.
7. Love to ice skate & watch it on TV.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bragging Rights

I want to show off the fabulous quilt my daughter is making. I think she has quite the eye for color, something I lack.

The peacocks are from a chenille bedspread she found at an antique store.

I'm not a quilter, so I don't know what all goes into it other than a ton of work & a lot of patience.

How does a mother of six find time to make a quilt??? You amaze me my talented daughter!

Skirt & shirt she made for one of the grand girls. I just love the pear!!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Monday Monday!!!

This is some Shepherd's Corner Merino Endicott that I purchased at SAFF last fall. It's a beautiful deep
purple with some blue & raspberry hues in it.

I don't know if I'm making sufficient progress or not with the spinning???

I do know that it's great meditation & before you know it an hour has passed & it feels like you just sat down.

I had to make mini skeins. My yarn kept breaking while winding it on the niddy noddy, cause I spun it so thin.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A Tribute to Jenny & the Snow

Jenny, Christmas 1967 wearing a hat my mother knit for her

Growing up in Pennsylvania there were many occasions to pull out the family 4-seater toboggan & head for the hills at Valley Forge.

My very best friend in the whole world growing up was Jenny Byrnes. We met in grade school at Tarelton & soon became inseparable best friends. After grade school she was sent to an all girls private school & I went to public school. This didn't hamper our friendship at just made the weekends that much more special!!!

Unless, we were in trouble for something we had done the weekend before, we were always at one or the other's house for the weekend. I liked going to Jenny's house cause she had 5 brothers & sisters & one of the brothers just happened to be 2 years older.......Phillip. Ah yes, Phillip..........

Anyway, one particular weekend when we were suppose to get together it snowed & it snowed big.... I remember snow drifts 3-4' deep. Our parents were not going to risk getting their cars stuck just so that Jenny & I could see each other, so we decided to walk. We lived roughly 3.5 miles apart & the plan was for us to leave our houses at the same time & we would meet somewhere in the middle. Once we met up we were going sledding, so I pulled the 4-seater toboggan behind me. We did meet up & we did go sledding.
If you've ever seen pictures of the Pennsylvania countryside, you know that there are beautiful rolling hills just perfect for "best friends" to go sledding on.

We walked on a ways looking for the perfect place to launch our sled.............we found it quickly!!!

It was the most wonderful untouched hill of snow with a perfect slope, not too steep & not too flat and it went on forever. So, we loaded up on the toboggan with me in the front & Jenny behind me. We were having the time of our lives, flying down that slippery slope just laughing & laughing when it abruptly came to a painful end. We had no way of knowing that there was a stone wall underneath all that beautiful snow with a drop off of about 5 feet. When the toboggan went over the wall it flipped nose first. I was burried in the snow with a toboggan on top of me and Jenny on top of the toboggan. I had the air knocked out of me for a few seconds & suffered a couple bruises, but other than that was okay. Jenny too had a few bruises but was otherwise alright.......thank God!

We decided not to do that again & as we were heading back towards the road & noticed a pond across the street that was frozen over. Well, we loved a good frozen pond to skate around on & headed towards it. It never occured to us that we might be on "Private Property" now or when we were sledding!!!

We walked out onto the ice in our boots & were sliding around when a man on a snow mobile came from out of nowhere. Apparently, we were on "Private Property" & it was his property!!! We were both expecting a tongue lashing & for our parents to be called, but quite the opposite happened!!!

This nice man told us we shouldn't be on the ice cause it could crack & we could go under, but that if we wanted, he would give us a ride on his snow mobile. We looked at each other, smiled & jumped on. This was a first for both of us & we were so excited. The man was wearing a very long knit hat that hung half way down his back. The hat came to a point & had a tassle on it. Jenny & I snickered about it & we took off slowly on the snow mobile. As the vehicle went faster, the tassle on the man's long ski cap slapped us in the face. This was sooooooooo hilarious to us, not to mention we were having the time of our lives flying through the snow that we laughed & laughed out loud. This was a perfect ending to our day & we had yet another "story" for our diaries.

Jenny & me, Tarelton School Christmas Program 1965

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bulky V-Neck Pullover

I guess like most knitters, I have several knitting projects going on at once. But, it makes me feel like I'm a VERY slow knitter!

I think part of the beauty of knitting is that you always know before you finish a project what your next 2 or 3 (or 8) projects will be! I get so excited just thinking about the next piece I'm going to cast on!!!

I've been working on this Knitting Pure & Simple pattern for a couple of months now. My goal is to have it finished by the end of the month so that maybe I'll get to wear it at least once this winter.

The yarn is Mission Falls Merino superwash & it feels so soft & warm. The yarn has suffered "ripping". Yes, ripping!!! It's a "neck down" sweater & I had knit down many inches below the v-neck & noticed a MISTAKE. Damn it all!!! It was one of those times where I had to take it & put it away for a couple weeks before I could look at it again.

Now, the band that goes around the bottom edge, which was knit with smaller needles than the rest of the sweater is curling up. I did bind off with larger needles though!!! Will I be able to get this to lay flat when I block the sweater???

The neck edge is also knit with the smaller needles & right where the arm seams meet the next edge it puckers.............I'm wondering!!! Do I need to do the dreaded dead again???

Shucks, maybe if I hold my mouth just right while I'm blocking it, it will work out......... you know like Cindy does when she's spinning.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spinner's Bag

I love to felt to the point that I will go to the thrift store & buy a dozen wool sweaters just so that I can bring them home & felt them to see if something can be made out of them.

Anyway, I've been wondering what to do with the "first" homespun. I knew it had to be felted whatever it was & there wasn't enough yarn to make much of anything. So, I cast on thinking I'll just knit a little square that I'll use as a hot pad once it is felted. Well, I started decreasing at the end when I saw I was getting low on yarn. What to do with this odd shaped piece of "would be" felt???
I sewed up the side & bottom & made an I-cord handle that loops over a vintage button my sister sent me. It's perfect for holding an extra drive band, little bottle of oil, wpi tool, etc.........

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

WHEN THE TIME COMES...................

I'm absolutely, positively, without a doubt, 100% certain, downright, indisputably, unmistakeably, cocksure (yes, "cocksure") "IN LOVE" with my Ashford Traveler.

I asked DH last night to bury me with my wheel if I go first. He looked at me funny & said "but you want to be cremated"? DH was "dead" serious (no pun intended). You gotta love the man!!!

My most favorite place in the entire world, the Pine Tree State, Maine.
This is on Ocean Drive in Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor.

Stephen King's House in Bangor, Maine.

Double click to enlarge the picture & check out the cast iron spider web with flying bats on the very top of the gate. The driveway entrance (not pictured) has gargoyles on the gate.

"Ladies in Hats"

This "lovely" shot was taken on Craigmere Pond in Orland, Maine. My great great grandfather built the cabin in the background with his own hands. Unfortunately, it is no longer in the family. The pond is an outlet for a fish hatchery. The water is crystal clear & the cleanest body of water I know of. You can bath in it with your biodegradable shampoo & soap. I swear, your skin has never felt so soft & clean. Unfortunately, it is no longer in the family.

My sister, Midge (standing), my grandmother, Minnie & "guess who" with RG, the penguin.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Happy St. Distaff Day

In centuries past, January 7th, the day following Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, was known as St. Distaff’s Day. It was not really a holiday, nor is there really a “St. Distaff”. But the marking of this day by common people indicates the importance of spinning in the days before the industrial revolution. The distaff, or “rock”, was the medieval symbol of women’s work. Year round, spinning was a never-ending chore. During the Christmas season, however, both men and women took a break from many chores during the 12 days of the holiday.

But on January 7, the festivities were officially ended, and women would resume their daily round of household tasks. Men, however, did not resume ploughing until Plough Monday, when their ploughs were blessed. That left young men with time to play pranks on the girls, as described by a poem by Robert Herrick. But whereas women would recommence spinning on Distaff Day, the men did not return to the plough until after Plough Monday when their ploughs had been blessed.

“You must on St. Distaffs Day:From the plough soon free your team;Then cane home and fother them:If the maids a-spinning go,Burn the flax and fire the tow.Bring in pails of water then,Let the maids bewash the men.Give St. Distaff’ all the right:Then bid Christmas sport good night,And next morrow every oneTo his own vocation.”

So St Distaff’s Day, or Rock Day, as it was sometimes called, was a final opportunity for some playful high jinks,with the lads setting fire to the flax and in return, the maids soaking the men from the water-pails… Life might have been difficult during the middle ages, but there was still some room for fun.

Elizabeth, a fantastic spinner, dyer, & knitter was kind enough to offer her home for local spinners to gather & celebrate "Rock Day".

Thanks Elizabeth for fine food, drink & the Neil Young "fix".

From left to right - Tonni, Cindy, Darlene & Wendy.

Sorry, I know the picture is blurry......... but it was taken before the glass of wine & I tend to wear my glasses on my head like a hood ornament!!!

Grace, alias "Boobs McGee" in her spectacular Central Park Hoodie minus hood. Fab job on the sweater Grace & the buttons look great on it too!

I know better than to shoot into the sun......must have been blinded by the boobs! LOL

Look, Grace's eyes are smiling too!!!

Our gracious hostess, Elizabeth & Wendy.
Only in Alabama - Forsythia was in bloom across the January!!! It was warm enough to sit outside & we had the a/c on in the house.

Carrie of the Etsy shop Funky Carolina showing Wendy a few "tricks of the trade".

Cindy with her Christmas "Minstrel" holding that mouth just right!!! It really helps with getting just the right tension.

Jessi giving it a whorl on her Ashford Tradional (it too was a Christmas present).

Grace & Elizabeth in their "element"
I think this picture says it all......

Tonni (right) trying to decide what to spin next on her Kromski.
Jessi in the background.

What a fantastic afternoon we had! It was so easy & I thought the energy was really great among us.
This was my first time to meet several of these ladies & to really talk with others I had met briefly before. Everyone was sooooo nice & so eager to share their assistance & knowledge.

Thanks all for a wonderful day & I'm ready to do it again!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Okay!!!! Here it first homespun.

The fall colored yarn was some Merino roving from Wooly Treasures & the in the front some Wool/Alpaca sliver from Fleece Artists.

It's just like they talk about in the books............."beginner's" thick 'n thin yarn. The twist is way too tight in places & in others, way too loose. There's much room for improvement, but I'm getting more of a feel for it now.

I wish I had taken a picture of the unspun fleece cause that's the part that most fascinates me.......the transformation that it goes through. At each stage the yarn takes on a different look. I really can't judge ahead of time what it will look like in a yarn state. I'm sure some people have an eye for this, but I'm not one of them.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

The "Assistant"

I think I'm gonna rename my blog "The Dysfunctional Blogger"! What do you think??? I'm so terribly inconsistent with my postings. Not to mention they are far & few between. Hey, I could make that one of many New Year's resolutions.
On with the blog...........
I was asked right before Christmas to cane a chair for a lady who wanted to give it as a Christmas present to her mother. Of course, I said "yes", but after saying so wondered how in the world I would have it finished for her in time. Then I had a "brainstorm" or a storm in my brain is more like it............I can get the "Outlaw" to help me. That is if I can pull her out of the loving arms of her nurturing father.

I did manage to distract her long enough to e-mail HH Perkins & order the right size cane for the job.
The cane arrived within a few days, so I asked her to get off of her "fat duff" & help me out.

This was the "Outlaws" first attempt at caning & she felt compelled to unwind all the cane for me in an attempt to be helpful!!!
Oh so helpful...................

We secured all horitzontals & verticals strands with pegs to hold them in place.

This wore the "Outlaw" out & she had to take a cat's nap.

Horizontal weaving begins. At this point pegs are no longer necessary, the weave keeps the strands in place.

Seventh & final step: applying binder cane around edges to cover up all 70 holes.

The finished chair in Little Professor's parking lot awaiting the drop off. Forgot to take a picture of it completed at home.
The chair's owners were very pleased, and the "Outlaw" is hoping to get an apprenticeship position in the near future.