Have Ewe Any Wool?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Needle Cases and Other Projects

This month, I participated in a "Needle Case" exchange. I first had to figure out how to make one...then craft it, embellish it, and stock it with the tools that would be needed by any seamstress. I had a lot of fun looking through and researching different techniques for creating them and finally settled on my design.

 


I used the same technique when crafting each one. First, I cut out two matching rectangles of fabric. I then put iron-on one interfacing on the one sideand then hand stitched the two sides of the fabric together to form the out "case" for both needle books. On the inside of each needle case, I cut several felt pages...just a bit smaller than the "case". I then crafted a fastener using elastic and buttons on the red one and used ribbon ties on the floral version.

I completed a couple of little projects - an "Itty-Bitty Soap Sack" for gathering all the bits and pieces of soap together. Perfect for making sure you use ALL the soap. "Waste not, want not!" (not sure who coined the phrase, but it's definitely appropriate here! The "Penny Blossom Choker" was another little project I completed. It's part of my "Nerd Wars" entries on Ravelry....just as the "Itty-Bitty Soap Sack" was. The Nerd Wars challenges are fun...sometimes I'll explore a new technique...other times, I'll make a small project "just because" - it's very therapeutic!

 









In other "fibery news", I've pretty much completed a tea cozy....all but the ribbon embroidery. For some reason, I just can't quite make the ribbons "behave" properly, so it's not totally finished.  These photos show what it should look like when it's done, but it may take me a while! (This is my friend's finished cozy....I love it!)   I think mine is going to go in "time out" for a while...LOL!  I have a LOT to live up to!!! 




I also FINALLY started "Dark and Stormy"...I'm running a bit behind my intended schedule as I didn't really get going until after I returned home after Daddy's funeral.   I guess I was feeling a bit "Dark and Stormy", so I just couldn't start on it right away. 



This time of year is fabulous for viewing nature...the deer are out in force:










And you see the promise of new growth on the trees - new evergreen grown with their newly formed pine cones as well as maple trees full of "maple wings".




Sunday, March 25, 2012

Home Spun Yarn Party

March 25 was the "Home Spun Yarn Party" - an annual event that I love!   It's held at the Savage Mill in Maryland.   It's quite the appropriate location as it was originally a textile mill in the 19th century.






Each section of the mill had a purpose, so they were appropriately name after the following: sorting, carding, spinning, weaving. It'd now a shopping mall full of eclectic shops, restaurants, and an antique mall.



My friend, Lisa, and I usually hit the Ram's Head Tavern for "Annapolis Benedict" - basically "Eggs Benedict" with crab cakes instead of Canadian Bacon. It's delicious! The presentation usually includes an edible orchid, but this year, they had run out, so I had an unadorned plate. Ah, well....it tasted the same - absolutely delicious!!!


The yarn party is a relatively small venue that's big on indie dyers - something most spinners, weavers, knitters, and crocheter love! Supporting the independent dyer helps stimulate the economy, keeps things local, and provides a fabulous palette of fibers, yarns, and colors so we can all stimulate our artistic side and craft some fabulous one-of-a-kind creations! (Ahem....this is my justification for over-spending....I just couldn't help myself!!!!)









As you can see, it's pretty crowded as well.   One thing I really like (besides all the indie dyers) is that you get to be inspired by the purchases of the other attendees...as well as by some of the wonderful creations they're wearing!






And now for some natural "eye candy" - beautiful tulips....discovered while walking my dog once I got home from the yarn party.






And my personal favorite, the Red Bud tree in full bloom.   I just love this tree!   I wish they looked this way year round instead for such a short time in the Spring!


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Curling!!!




At the start of last week in Illinois, I took mom out for dinner at the Curl Inn in Triumph. It's a quaint little town that includes a curling rink....and folks from all the way up in Chicago have been known to rent the rink for their matches.













The night we were there, the Triumph Curling team was not playing, but instead, there was a group from the Chicago suburbs. Mom hadn't been to a curling rink since high school....and it had been about 30 years since I'd been here for a visit!



 






Check out this adorable hat! I just love it!!! (Of course I had to work some knitting into the post!) 









We definitely enjoyed watching the game - I still don't understand the rules, but I love watching it! It's a great diversion from the norm, which is something we definitely needed at this point! (It's also making me want to watch the movie, "Men With Brooms" again.)

The final moments of a stone....

video

Start to finish of a stone...

video





Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spinning, the Norway Store, and Sunsets





Of course, I managed to get a bit of spinning in as well.   I had some lovely alpaca that I'd purchased at the Lancaster Spinners and Weavers Retreat in January that I couldn't wait to spin.  It was absolutely gorgeous...and spun like a dream!   Of course, I have no idea what I'll make with it, but it's ready to go whenever I figure that out!!!



Of course, whenever I go to Illinois, I HAVE to go the the Norway Store.  It's the home of the first permanent Norwegian settlement.    They have a Norwegian Smorgasbord the first Wednesday of the month....lots of cod, meatballs, lefse, and other goodies.  I love the rooftop architecture - the Viking ship and the Viking ship weather vane.


 

I also love the unique way the store labels the  "Necessary" rooms...














....the warning to parents about unattended children.....and finally, the Viking standing guard over the wine and liquor section of the store. 

 

I also got to see some spectacular sunsets - and even managed to capture a few shots.    It's amazing what you can see when the land is sooooo flat! I did a series of photos of the sun going down.  I was shocked at how fast the fiery orb slips down past the horizon!  These two photos were my favorites....two different sunsets - one at the end of Feb (left), and one in mid  March(right).   (Some days, the sunset was a bit "lack luster" - you really need the clouds for reflecting the light and generating the magnificent colors!)





Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Booties


My cousin's daughter had a little girl just before Christmas...she's absolutely adorable.  I decided to make a pair of booties to accompany a cute little spring time outfit I purchased as a baby gift.  (I know...I should have sent a gift shortly after she was born, but I really prefer to give the gift in person...especially when it's family!)


These lace booties are one of my favorite ones to make...and it's a free pattern too - Lace Baby Booties.  I've made these for a number of family babies....and for the babies of some close friends as well. 



Here's  the precious bundle with her mom....and also with my mom.  She's modeling one of the booties...she didn't want to hold still so we could put the other one on!



Monday, March 05, 2012

Knitting Progress


I managed to get a bit of knitting in just before my unplanned trip to Illinois that I didn't get a chance to write about before I left.

I designed and knitted a felted pouch for holding stationery.   I made a loop closure that is secured by slipping a letter opener through the set of loops.  It was a lot of fun to make, and relatively low stress since it didn't require gauge swatches or precise sizes.  I think it's a great way organize some random cards and envelopes.



The last fun thing I did prior to leaving for Illinois was to get together with a bunch of friends at our Sunday afternoon knitting group.   Elizabeth and I met early to do our Christmas gift exchange - a little late, but we prefer to do it in person over lunch, so most years, we have to wait a while for our exchange.    I continued working on my tea cozy....it's no where near done!    The felting is done, but it's the embelishment that will take forever!

Elizabeth has been busily creating a number of adorable preemie caps...aren't they the cutest things you're ever seen?








Then, off I went to Illinois.  Of course, I brought a lot of knitting and spinning with me - I KNEW I'd need distractions!   The addiction to the lacy scarves continues.  I made two more of these fun scarves while in Illinois.  They were the perfect perfect therapy....mindless knitting.



Saturday, March 03, 2012

Thank You, Daddy


This poem is my tribute to my Dad....he passed away February 27th. I wrote this in memory of all the things he taught me and all the love he shared with our family...as well as with all those that knew him.  I miss him so much...but I take solace in the fact that he's now at peace.

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Thank you Daddy....
For being gentle, yet strong.
For showing me how to do things right,
Yet giving me the freedom to do them wrong, and never saying, "I told you so".

Thank you Daddy...
For taking my hand as a young chilld,
Guiding me through life's hazards,
And never letting go...even after I'd grown.

Thank you Daddy...
For teaching me to never give up...
To reach for my dreams...
And to laugh at my mistakes.

Thank you Daddy...
For showing me what true love is...
How a husband should care for his wife...
With respect and unconditional love, as you did mom.

But most of all...
Thank you Daddy...for being my best friend,
A  memory I'll treasure and carry in my heart the rest of my life.
Thank you Daddy.

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