Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Knitting and Crocheting - A Few Fun Projects

I managed to get in some knitting this month as well. I made the "Felted Bag with Mitered Squares". It was a fun knit and only took 4 skeins of Poems yarn by Universal. I loved the colors - both prefelted (on left) and post-felting (right) Once I felted it, I realized that I should have had my squares turned differently to match the pattern - all the angles should join in the center.

Even though I didn't follow the pattern exactly (what a rebel!), I still like how it turned out. I also liked the way the designer incorporated smaller mitered squares around the sides and bottom of the bag.

I also tried my hand at a bit of crocheting and made a Tardis ornament with a snow covered roof. I embellished it with a bit of white felt to make the windows. It kinda looks like a snow covered Tardis...if you squint your eyes a bit.

I also made a couple more of the mesh scarves. I LOVE how they look! Both of these are for swaps. I hope they like them! I am planning to make another pink, green, and mauve scarf - this time for myself. I love that one...it reminds me of a rose garden. My mom saw me making the blue one...and fell in love with it. Now I have to make yet another one so my mom can have one as well! Looks like there's at least two more scarves on the horizon!

I'll end with the beautiful sunrise and sunset that I caught earlier this week. The colors are stunning. (You've probably figured out by now that I LOVE sunrises and sunsets!)



Thursday, November 24, 2011



This year, we kept it low key for Thanksgiving. With just the two of us in town, we decided to have Thanksgiving dinner out at the Blue Iguana. They had a great menu for Thanksgiving...and dinner was fabulous!

Dinner was enhanced by the addition of Woolomena...the "Monthly Adventures" knitter's equivalent of "Flat Stanley". Woolomena has traveled all over the globe...visiting her knitting friends at each stop and accompanying them to work or out on an adventure. Each person she "visits" creates a photo journal and writes about her adventures in a journal that accompanies her to the next stop on her "world tour".

Woolomena enjoyed her visit and seemed quite at home at the restaurant! (Thankfully, she doesn't eat much!)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy 80th Dad!

Last week, I headed to Illinois for a quick trip to help my dad celebrate his 80th birthday! When I arrived, I was just in time for a gorgeous sunset and a Kumla dinner. Kumla is a potato dumpling....mmmmm!!!!!! (Yes...more of that Scandinavian food!)

Happy Birthday Dad!!!!

It was a busy week - mom did a great job putting together the party. I helped with the setup and cleanup, but mom did all the planning and coordinating. We had a great time - lots of cake, punch, and visits with many friends and relatives.

(Yeah...I know it looks like the same photo, but they are slightly different. In the first one, I'm in the middle of the back row, and in the other, my cousin Pam is in the middle.)

While I was in Illinois, I got quite a bit of drop spindle spinning done as well as some spinning of the gorgeous Wool/Bamboo/Silk from Miss Babs on my wheel. (Sorry...I forgot to take pictures of my spinning!)

I even managed to work some knitting into my schedule. I knit a pair of bed socks for my mom for Christmas. I had to have her try them one while I was there - just so I could make them fit "just right". She was absolutely thrilled that she was getting another pair. (She's still got one unused pair in reserve, just in case!) I also had to darn two pairs that I'd made in the past. She definitely gets lots of use out of these socks!

I'm thrilled that my mom wears the socks - even to the point of needing darning. It shows they're well used...and well loved. I've made her some face cloths and dish cloths in the past. She's decided that they're "too pretty" to use! I was happy to see that the flower shaped face cloth in cotton velour is now being used. Not as a wash cloth...but as a doily - but hey...it's being used!!!

Oh...and a bit of "funny". I took mom out to dinner at a local Restaurant, Monari's 101, as an early birthday dinner. I just love the movie, "A Christmas Story" (set in the 1940's) and was amazed that the restaurant had a replica of the "Major Prize" proudly displayed in their window! Too funny!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Knitting Progress and Rug Hooking

I've FINALLY finished knitting my "198 Yards of Heaven" shawl with the handspun I purchased from Debbie. I just love the color - it's gorgeous!!! (Click on the photos for a closer look at the intermingling colors.) It's a bit smaller than I expected, but it will be perfect under my winter coat - providing much needed color and warmth once winter hits!

Thursday night was the monthly Goose Creek Ruggers meeting. I was so inspired! Wow...there were two door prizes of hand hooked rugs from conference up in Lancaster...and both were won by members of our group! I am constantly inspired by all the variety of designs and techniques. Aren't these rugs gorgeous?

I found the finishing techniques used on the rugs to be fascinating. Both artists finished their rugs a bit differently - one folded the edge under and covered it with the binging and the other whip stitched around the outside and then added the binding. I loved checking them out and analyzing the differences between the finished rugs. Each technique has it's strong points...and as a newbie, I'm definitely intrigued by these different methods and have so much to learn!

Of course, there were also the many gorgeous rugs and rugs in progress by our members that truly inspire me as well! I took photos of the front and back of two of these as well to show the different finishes that each used.

This "1781" rug used the same finishing type as one of the rugs from the conference.

The "Stars" rug had a very different finished edge. There was braiding that was attached to the main rug. What a fabulous finish! The braiding adds a to the appeal of this rug!

Here's some closeups showing the prep work and the results. Oh, my do I have a lot yet to learn!!!

A couple of works in progress...

My favorite "non-rug" item was this gorgeous sheepie pin - I just love it! Isn't it darling?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Solomon's Retreat with Margaret Fisher

Once again, Marie has outdone herself with the wonderful retreat she put together featuring Margaret Fisher. As always, the venue was fabulous and so was the food. Marie definitely has perfected the art of providing everyone with perfect meals. I can't think of a single thing I'd change! (Except to get Marie out of the kitchen more so she can participate more in the classes.)

I love the water...the view is just fabulous - I feel very much at home here. It's a very calming and comforting place. Everywhere I look, the view is gorgeous! And the house where Marie hosted the classes - "The Maples" - was just gorgeous!

The sunrise wasn't a brilliant as it could have been...there weren't any clouds to reflect additional colors, but it was beautiful none the less.

The sunset Saturday evening was beautiful as well. The bridge makes a nice contrast to the darkening sky and seems to cradle the fading sunlight.

Margaret was a fabulous instructor - patient, knowledgeable, and very detailed. I learned so many new techniques and methods for finishing that I feel like my head is going to explode with all the new knowledge. I just can't say enough good things about her.

She had gorgeous samples that she showed for each technique shown and all the scarves and garments she wore were absolutely stunning. Our only disappointment was that she hasn't written out the patterns for her sweaters or scarves - we all would LOVE to purchase them...if they existed (hint! hint!).

There were a total of four classes held during the weekend (summary below). Of course, I signed up for all four! I have photos of my completed swatches for many of the techniques I learned, but the flash really washed them out. I'll update this post later - once I'm able to re-take the photos in the sunlight!
  1. Seven Things that can "Make or Break" a Sweater - wow! This class was chock full of all kinds of info from increases and decreases to buttons/button bands and blocking. I highly recommend Margaret's book of the same name! Definitely a keeper and a great reference!
  2. The Long and Short of Knitting Alterations - This fabulous class taught mehow to lengthen and shorten the various parts of a sweater and also covered repairs - something that I definitely needed to learn!
  3. Zip, Button, and Tie: Creative Closures - I learned several new closures as well as interesting twists on closures I was already familiar with. I'd never done a zipper before, so I was very intrigued by that process. (Keep in mind, the "Samus" from Knitty is on my list of projects-in-waiting....and it's a zippered cardigan!)
  4. Special Techniques for Beautifully Finished Sweaters - This class also covered a number of techniques - cast ons, bind offs, grafting, duplicate stitch and a special method for doing shoulder shaping.

I forgot to get a photo while the whole group was here, but I did manage to get one of Margaret with a few of the "stragglers". (It's so hard to leave...such a beautiful place...such a wonderful hostess...and such a fabulous teacher.)

I'll end this with more photos of the beautiful view. Whenever we took breaks from the classes, we'd gaze out at the water. The sailboats were out in force on Sunday. It was an absolutely beautiful weekend - in every way possible.