Have Ewe Any Wool?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Mini-Mittens.....Round Two!

I decided that I REALLY liked the idea of mini-mittens....the ultimate goal is to make them ornaments.   As I mentioned previously, the pattern was great, but it seemed to take nearly as much time to finish the mittens (stitch up the seams) as it did to knit them in the first place.

I took the pattern and modified it a bit to change the stitch counts and alter a couple of rows to create a mini-mitten done in the round.   It took a few attempts, but it was definitely well worth the effort!   I LOVE how it turned out by doing it in the round.   Check it out......all I had to do was cinch the top of the mitten and the top of thumb and tuck the ends in and it was done!

I completed 5 more pairs of these mini-mittens.   I just love them!

I decided that the mittens all needed a bit of embellishing, so I added a button and ribbon on some of them and then added a snowflake button on the remaining mini-mittens.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Cactus

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I find this intriguing.   I have three Christmas Cacti.....last year, only one bloomed, and it was in February 2013....NOT at Christmas 2012!   The year before that, one bloomed at Thanksgiving time - the other two did not.

This year, I have one that bloomed today - just in time for Thanksgiving!   The other is just a step behind - it looks ready to bloom any day now!

My largest one is getting buds as well!  This one was a gift from my friend Tina W. about 2-3 years ago.   (That was the one that bloomed at Thanksgiving two years ago.)

On the crafting front, I've knitted a couple of dish cloths to add to my stash of hand crafted items for my kitchen.   I'm attempting to replace all my dish cloths and towels with handmade ones as each of the store bought cloths "give up the ghost".  This is just one small project toward that goal.  (I have the warp wound for some purple kitchen towels....I just need to find the time to warp my loom and weave them!!!!)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I love a Celtic band called "Iona".   DH and I have attended their concerts at the Old Brogue in Great Falls for several years.   We thought we were seeing them tonight.   However, when we arrived, we found we were a week too early....and instead, there was a band called "Ayreheart" performing in the Snuggery.   We decided to stay and listen to them.

Wow!   I am so glad we stayed!   All I can say is they were FABULOUS!   Our mistake turned out to be a very happy surprise.   The music was fantastic.   The variety of musical instruments...and variety of lutes was amazing.  Ronn's skill with the lute was phenomenal.   Brian's voice was mesmerizing - he has a fabulous voice!

Willard was very skilled in a variety of instruments  - including a white 5 stringed violin!  (I'd never seen one of those before!)   Mattias's was very skilled on a variety of percussion instruments....including the Cajon (drum box).

What a fabulous concert!  Hopefully we'll catch this band again soon!    (I plan to listen to a lot of lute music this week as we picked up some fabulous CDs.)

Jacey Boggs Workshop

Wow!   What a fabulous weekend!   Two full days of classes with the very talented Jacey Boggs!  I had a lot of fun.

There were about 16 of us that filled the Purcelville Train Depot with spinning wheels...ready to learn techniques to create textured yarns.  This photo almost captures all the wheels.

Jacey was a fabulous teacher.   She broke down each technique and had us come up in small groups.   We stood behind her so we could see what she was doing at the proper angle.   (So much easier than trying to view it from the front and then reverse it!)  We then had the chance to re-enforce what we'd just seen again...after we'd tried it ourselves.

It's amazing....the things that came so easy when learning to spin years ago seemed hard now!  Of course, when I was learning I didn't WANT the "textured" yarns.   Thick and thin was a staple for me when I was a beginning spinner....and I strove to teach myself to spin evenly.  My "art yarn" became a mere memory......

As an experienced spinner, I'd become stuck in a rut.  I'd spin pretty much the same thickness and the same texture all the time.  I longed to  create  textured yarns....but in a contolled manner and and of course...on purpose!  Jacey did a fabulous job of breaking down each step in the process of creating a number of styles of textured yarn.  I'll  no longer be stuck  spinning boring, predictible, one sized yarn.  She's opened a whole world of spinning options!

Ideally, I can create consistent yarn in the thickness and texture I desire.  Yes....I learned a lot, took lots of notes, and understand the process of creating several styles of texture yarn.  BUT....I found I definitely need practice!   It's hard to break the old habit of "spinning one way".   It's hard to break habits too....positioning my hands or fingers differently from how I normally spin.   There were a few times where I longed for a third arm.....I just needed a little more help.  Other times, I simply suffered the awkwardness that typically accompanies learning a new technique.    Yes....I DEFINITELY need some additional practice. 

My cocoons actually came out much better than I expected....so I'm sharing photos of that yarn.   The others definitely aren't ready for prime time!   (I need more practice to create "view worthy" samples!

Jacey got a hole in one of her socks on Saturday and joked about needing a new pair.   I'd made a few pairs over the past few months in preparation for winter, and I knew that one pair was a bit too long for me.   I needed to tear them back and re-knit in order to shorten them.  I HATE tearing back and re-knitting something I've already completed, so I went home and brought her the "too long" pair on Sunday.  They fit!  Her feet are a tad longer than mine, so it worked out perfectly!  It was a win-win - Jacey got a new pair of socks....and I didn't have to tear back and re-knit after all! 

Jacey is fabulous teacher.....and tells wonderful stories as she teaches.  It was an incredible weekend - but it ended too soon!  I highly recommend her classes - you'll have a blast!!!!

Friday, November 15, 2013


I found the cutest little mittens pattern from RedHeart.  I modified it slightly to use the yarns I had on hand.   These were knitted flat and came out rather cute.  They were quick to make and a fabuluos use of left over scrapts of yarn - primarily DK and worsted weight yarns.    Nice and simple on two straight needles.  

Here's what the mitten looks like BEFORE stitching it together:

My only complaint is the it's pretty time consuming to stitch up.  In fact, I found that it took me nearly as long to stitch up the sides and thumb as it did to knit the mitten itself!   I also was not that thrilled with the bulkiness of the seams.  I love the basic pattern, but I'll definitely make some changes before I knit any more of these.  

I completed 5 pairs of these mittens for this holiday season....


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rug Hooking Inspirations

Jeannette taught provided a pattern for a rug hooked Christma Tree this past August. at our Guild Meeting   The goal was for all of us to finish hooking it by the October meeting and she'd show us how to finish it.   Well.....that we've all been working on it and a few of us actually finished!  Last month, two people had managed to finish theirs.   This month, another one was finished.   I love the stuffed felted birds she added as embellishments.

I''m still in progress on mine.   It definitely won't be finished by Christmas!   I have too many other things on my plate.  This one is making me want to add some additional embellishments to mine.....hmmmm.....that will take me even longer!   Perhaps by next Christmas?

Knitting and Fulling

I've made a couple of projects for a swap partner....I hope she likes them!

First up, a couple of fulled coasters - perfect for the hot cocoa, coffee, or tea that one drinks on a cold winter evening.   (I chose some of her favorite colors.)

The second project was a cowl in jewel tones....some of her favorite colors.   This was an easy and pleasant knit.   In fact, I think I'll make another one - perhaps for myself or one of my sisters.   The pattern makes it interesting, but it's not difficult to follow, so it makes for great TV knitting.   The pattern is "A Noble Cowl" by Emily Kausilik.  I definitely recommend adding this to your project list!  

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Baptism

DH and I took a quick trip to Texas for the baptism of our precious grandson.   He gets cuter every day....and he's so full of personality!

We had a lot of fun with him, but this trip was just too quick!  I wish they didn't live so far away!  DH and Henry are so cute together!!!