Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Knitting On Halloween/Fall Felted Bag Remarks

Since we've moved to the 'country' we no longer have children come by to trick or treat. We've not had a single child since we've been here. I do miss the fun of opening the door and playing the surprised and scared lady on the corner. It was always fun to seen the little buggers come by so excited and so sure they could never been identified in their costumes and makeup. So, tonight I shall knit in place of handing out treats. I should be able to finish a hat I've been knitting on and have it ready to felt tomorrow. I have yarn and pattern laid out for my Bag-A-Holic partner and still have a few rows on the entralac shawl to go.
The Fall Felted Bag Exchange has ended and the hostess are asking for feed-back. They have ask a few questions and would like answers posted on our blogs. Below is my input to the survey.

How was your experience in the exchange? Did you enjoy the folks you met? Did you just love the bag you received? Please share any thoughts, criticism, and things you loved!

This was a terrific exchange and so was the Spring Exchange. This one seemed to flow smoothly from the beginning. Our hostesses spent their valuable time really working on partner matches and mine were great, both upstream and downstream. I've met two wonderful ladies and I like each of them. In this exchange I had the most correspondence with my partners that I've ever had before and I loved it. It was great.

The bag I received is so pretty (see photo a few post back); I love the style and the colors. Katie did a wonderful job of felting and shaping it and she inserted a hard bottom also. Nice, I couldn't have asked for better.

My downstream partner, Claudia, nominated me for 'Best Spoiler' could I ask for more? I'm looking forward to the next round.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Knitting Swaps - SP-11 PKG # 2

I went to our local Guild Meeting yesterday and then took myself to lunch. By the time I got back home in the mid-afternoon I was tired and need a nap but I also wanted to knit some more on the Entralac shawl (it is almost finished) so I sat down in the lounge chair, stretched out and begin knitting. It wasn't long until I gave in to a nap and slept soundly for a short while. When I awoke, there was a box setting on the coffee table screaming to be checked out. To my surprise it was a second box from my Secret Pal and I couldn't wait to get it opened. SP tapes really well, all seams and double corners, what torture! When I finally got it opened, look what a wonderful surprise I had.

The new book, Bag Styles by by Pam Allen and Ann Budd put out by Interweave Press which I really wanted and wanted to join in the knit-along. There are a number of people already knitting their bags and displaying them on the blog, , have a look.

Also in the box was a couple of balls of Plymouth Baby Alpaca Brush in a gorgeous red colorway and some yummy smelling lavender soap. That wasn't all; also included was a Halloween greeting card as well as a box of snacks for Mr. Maestro and a stuffed pumpkin for sweet Dariana. Thank you SP for a wonderful boxful of goodies, it's a perfect spoiling package. I love everything and so does Dariana and Maestro.

The program at our guild meeting yesterday was 'Knitting and the Internet' . While it was rather elementary to me, many of the members, especially those who have never worked, found it to be really interesting and helpful. I was surprised to learn that most of the ladies didn't have any idea of what a blog is and many don't know how to do a search for a particular topic. I don't believe anyone had an inkling of the knit exchanges and swaps that are available to the 'knitting world' and only one or two knew about knit-alongs. I had taken my bag and socks from Katie (Fall Felted Bag Exchange) for show and tell so there was a lot of interest in the idea of swaps and exchanges. We have some very talented ladies in our guild with much more expertise than I will ever have. Several showed their items for ribbons won at the state fair this month. There is always lot to see and learn at our monthly meetings. Check our web-page out here: .

Friday, October 26, 2007

Guess What I Had For Breakfast

Guess what I had for breakfast this morning. Thank you Katie for the delicious Tim Horton coffee and I had a new coffee maker to go with it. I discovered that the old Bun machine had a small leak beginning after about ten years of use so went out to purchase a new one. Gosh, was I surprised at the price of good coffee machines, especially the Bun. $148 was the least I could find it for and although we love good coffee and have coffee daily in our home, I didn't want to pay $148 for a coffee maker. Gosh I may start boiling it on the stove again. After looking and debating, I decided to try a Kitchen Maid and hope for the best. The thing I like about a Bun is there is always hot water in the reservoir and you don't have to wait for it to heat every time you want a cup of coffee. The Bun makes good coffee too, and they last a long, long time. I think Mr. Rō would have preferred I buy the Bun and perhaps I should have, we've always had one and know they work well for an eternity, but $148 for the least expensive model. My age is telling on me, maybe I'm in a rut, or maybe I am beginning to find 'change' to be more difficult.
I haven't shared the package I sent to Claudia, my FFB partner in RI. Claudia mentioned she needed a bag to carry her knitting in and this one is certainly large enough for that. I have three skeins of yarn, plus one of sugar and cream along with other goodies in the bag and there is still more room. I hope she will enjoy using it as much as I enjoyed knitting and putting it together for her.
Also I finished another sister-bag, for the sister that is moving. The purple is to match a felted hat I helped her to make last year and she loves it. Purple is her favorite color. Five more sisters to go before I have them all one made. I ordered a couple of new bag patterns yesterday. For the most part, the bags I make for the sisters will be pretty much the same. After all what woman in her 70's and 80'w wants a jazzed up purse, this applies to four of the remaining five sisters (I'm the baby).

My entralac shawl is almost finished at last. I am on the last skein of yarn I think. I have two skeins left but have to make fringe and I usually buy an extra skein, just in case. I'm pleased with the way it is turning out and it has been a fun project to do. Once you get into the pattern I find it very relaxing but I do have to stop and think on each side triangle to be able to pick up the stitches from the right rectangle selvage to
turn an d knit in the right position for the next tier. The next project, for myself, will probably be Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande Vest. I bought the pattern last spring but still have to buy the yarn (I think red for this one), then I'll be ready to knit. I love the way the vest gathers in around the waist in back and I'll wear it with jeans; here in VA it should be warm enough without an additional coat except for the really cold days.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pirates Are The Thing

Beautiful 'D' chose to be a pirate this year for Halloween and here she is dressed and ready to pose for a picture. What a special little girl she is. When I was told she wanted to be a pirate I thought I had heard incorrectly or that little 'D' didn't understand what a pirate was. I was wrong on both counts and here she is modeling her costume, minus the boots, for her 'dress-up day at school'. Grandmama is proud to show her off.

Perhaps we are going to have some 'witching weather' Halloween. Yesterday we were lucky and the rains came. They are still with us today and the forecast is for more rain tomorrow. We're so thankful. We are really in a deep drought here and it will take lots and lots of rain before our water table returns to normal. Living in the country we have well water; so far the well hasn't let us down. Still, we try to be cautious and not waste any unnecessarily.
I'm trying to get back into my routine. I put everything away until my sister was more settled down. Today DH is driving her back to SC for me. I would have driven her had it not been for the heavy rain. Sister is much rested and in better shape to cope with life as she continues with preparations of selling her home and moving. I'm sure there's still going to be some rough days but hopefully she will be able to manage alone. She has her church friends which means a lot to her; to me too. They were able to pull off the second moving sale for her unloading two bedroom sets, sofa, freezer and a second refrigerator, a car, and loads of odds and ends along with tools from her late husbands shop and loads of fabric, books, and yarn. I unloaded a tremendous amount of 'things' when we moved two years ago, my intentions are to unload again as soon as I can get my routine straighten out and I've caught up with life at home again. I realize what a waste all these 'things' are and I'm anxious to get rid of them.
Our second bearing of tomatoes are at peak right now and we're have big, juicy, red tomatoes as if it were July again. DH took a bag full to our neighbors last week and I sent a bag full home with my sister this morning. I will have BLT sandwiches daily (for breakfast) trying to get my fill of homegrown tomatoes before they are all gone.
BTW, one of my previous swap partners gave me the book Truelove and Homegrown Tomatoes by Julie Cannon, which I read while I was away. Southerns who enjoy a light, good, read about the south - I recommend you reading it. The story takes place in GA and the scenes, the thought processes, and the verbiage are so real to me. It paints a good picture of Southern living, Southern Baptist and 'good folks". Even a 'Yankee' or "mid-westerner' or 'anyone else' should enjoy this humorous read.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

SP-11 & FFB-1 Packages Received

I've so much to tell and not much time to do it. First off, I received a package from my SP-11 partner while I was away. DH brought it to me while I was still at my sister's (I called him to come down because it was taking longer than I expected to be away). I was so thrilled when he handed it to me. I was totally exhausted after over a week of hard work and a day of physical and mental stress. Here's the contents, they did me ever so much good. This is a bag pattern that I've been intending to order, I love it's shape, and the button is a gorgeous added bonus to go along with the pattern and 'chocolate' Lamb's Pride yarn. Thank you Thelma for such a thoughtful surprise package. The card enclosed is adorable. Nine beautiful kittens playing in a basket of yarn until they have fallen asleep; I love this card. I'm anxious to know you better Pal.

When I left home for my second visit to my sisters, I expected to be gone for a few day, possibly ten if things didn't shape up as fast as I was hoping they would. Well, they didn't and I was there for seventeen days. Remember my niece and I had gone the week before so add six additional days to that and I've been away from home 23 days. I'm not complaining, I'm so glad that I can do it but I needed to get back home. I was able to help her accomplish a lots but realized I had gone my limit and that my body had worn down; it was time to call for help. At age seventy-five, DS is trying to get her home of forty years ready for the market and move to Milwaukee to be near her daughter.

As I've mentioned before, this sister loves anything that has a thread of any kind in it. She had an unbelievable amount of yarns (acrylic and cotton) but the amount of fabrics she had/has, is unreasonable. She has boxes upon boxes of beautiful silks, wools, linens, and laces and even more of cotton fabrics with unique designs and prints in it. She had already given the local high school and collage four large black plastic bags of fabric to be used in their teaching classrooms and she had given her sewing friends material. Still, there was more than I could deal with. Each piece I held up to ask which stack I should put it in,( keep, donate, sell, garbage) was like tearing a piece of her heart out. Books were the same way. She had enough 'bible study' books to start a library (she had donated to the church already). Kitchen items were the same, never one of anything.

All this has caused DS to have to ' look at herself' and of course that is never easy for any of us to do. Add her having had breast cancer, and now myeloma, to the situation and it not an easy place to be. Tears and more tears ; this is part of the reason I needed to be back home; I brought her with me. Her church friends have taken over and will work with the real estate agent to get the house sold. A second yard sale was held yesterday and was very successful in getting many pieces of furniture, as well as fabric, books, and other items out of the house. I will try to pamper her as much as possible and hope her health will soon be somewhat restored so that we can return for whatever lies ahead.

When I arrived home Thursday night, exhausted after an eight hour drive, I had another wonderful surprise waiting for me. Thank you Katie, the timing was perfect.

Katie was my Fall Felted Bag partner and did she ever spoil me. I didn't wait until the car was unpacked, I tore into the box the minute I saw it. I thought I had figured out who my partner was (and I was right) and I'd been following her blog. I already had a feel for who she was and I liked her. The bag Katie knit for me is perfect in every way, color, size, and style, and it felted beautifully. The bag was packed full of goodies, a package of Chibis', three skeins of Paton's Soy Wool Silk yarn, a purse pattern, Canadian Living magazine and also a Christmas edition (great), some Tim Horton's coffee, I can't wait to try it, three bags of Canadian candies, yum, and the thing that I will treasure most in that package, a pair of hand-knitted socks. My first! Not only are they beautiful, they feel wonderful on my feet, I mean really, really wonderful. They fit perfect and the color and pattern are perfect too. Katie used Tofutsies yarn and the Tidal Wave sock pattern. How pretty and fancy they are. My sister tried to take them but of course I couldn't allow that. This was such a special touch, hand-knitted socks! Thank you. I know I will wear them out wearing them.

So see, the sun really does come out from behind the clouds and when it does, it is really good to see it and to take a breath of fresh air before beginning another day.

Friday, October 19, 2007

What A Bright Sunshiny Day

It is said, "when it rains it pours"; well we've been having a bit of rain in our family recently but it is also said "the sun will come out tomorrow", and so it has. So very bright and so warm, just what I needed.

I don't have time to blog and add photos today but I will be returning in the next day or two to share with everyone what I mean about warmth and brightness. I returned home yesterday bringing my sister with me, to find two wonderful packages from 'Pals' of my knitting world. Both were delightful and so welcome. Both are wonderful and I can't wait to share them with everyone. THANK You SP-11, Thelma and FFB, Katie. You ARE The BEST!

Stay tuned for whats coming.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Local Yarn Store Changed Management/Knit Night On It's Way Out

I've been slow in posting recently because life is so busy. I've been home five days; I'm getting ready to 'Go' again.

In the meantime I've taken time to finish knitting the bag for my Fall Felted Bag partner and gather the goodies to go in it. My plans are to get it felted today and I'll ship it out from 'where-ever' late this week or early next week. I probably won't be home when the post-lady knocks at our door, but DH will be and he'll contact me to say I have a package. When that happens I'll want to fast-forward my time away to get home and tare open my surprise. I'm pretty sure I know who my FFB partner is. I like her and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better. I can't wait!

Other Swap News:
  • My SP-11 downstream partner has received her package according to the post receipt but she hasn't let me know and she hasn't posted about receiving it. I'll wait and see what happens before sending out anything more. Perhaps I completely missed on her 'likes and dislikes', if so I'd like to know so that I can swing in a different direction next time, I'd really like to please. I haven't heard from my upstream partner other than a couple of post on this blog but I'm sure she must be out there someplace.

  • Received my Christmas Around the World assignment and after viewing her blog I think I will like her; she seems to be an interesting person. I have sent an e-mail to contact her. Likewise, I had an e-mail from my upstream partner and have sent a reply to let her know that I'm looking forward to meeting Santa's cousin.

  • The Bag-A-Holic group over on Yahoo decided to have a bag exchange for its members that were interested. I received my partner's info and sent her an e-mail but haven't heard anything in response. I am partnered with my partner for this exchange; should I think that she isn't interested after all and I will be left hanging, or should I think, that she thinks, I automatically know she is participating and that it's not necessary to contact me?

On to other things.

Papa and I took beautiful granddaughter to the Children's Museum on Sat. DD had taken a fall on Friday night and hurt her knee. It is bandaged and she is on crutches waiting for the swelling to go down enough to see what damage has taken place. Hopefully it isn't serious.

DH made me a couple of new plant beds while I was visiting my sister last week and I spent Thursday planting it. It was so nice to dig in a loose soil. The soil in our area is so compacted and the most awful clay of any I've ever tried to dig in (and I'm originally from Georgia known for its red clay). DH got a load of compost from his friend and worked that in with the pond soil we purchased earlier this year and added a bit of lime and phosphorus. Now if it would rain I'd be set and so would the plants. I planted a gorgeous bright blue salvia, Black and Blue Sage and put in some digitalis, a perennial Fox Glove and added a few geraniums that I'd moved from our previous home. We also dug and planted a few small shrubs I'd brought back and rooted from my family in GA when I visited them earlier this year. Finally, we are getting a bit of gardening work done other than for the iris.

Tonight is 'knit night' at my friend Patti's home and I'd like to go since I'll be away for the next couple of weeks. Our LYS has changed ownership and there is a bit of a ruff taking place because last week, only one person showed up on Tuesday night to knit and no one placed a courtesy call to say they wasn't coming. Now the new owner isn't sure she wants to keep the store open late if no one is going to let her know they can't make it. Does this make sense from a customer's point of view? Either you will have 'knit night' or you won't have 'knit night'. Probably those of us that are considered 'the regulars' will start our own 'knit night' and rotate between our homes. That may be more pleasing anyway leaving one free to use whatever yarn and patterns they choose rather than being tied to the shops inventory. Most of us love supporting the shop but sometimes you enjoy knitting with something other than their inventory.


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DH'S Cardigan

Ruffled Shawl

Ruffled Shawl
Knitted Prayer Shawl with Crochet Ruffle

Knitting Class

Knitting Class
Teaching Co-workers to Knit

Wave & Shell Shawl

Wave & Shell Shawl

Plum WIne (SDB-Iris) 04/01/07

Plum WIne (SDB-Iris) 04/01/07

Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat
Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat

Chemo Hat
Peaches & Cream Yarn

Felted Hats

Felted Hats
Gray Hat Before Felting

Felted Hat

Felted Hat
Gray Hat After Felting

Baby's Hat

Baby's Hat
Dariana's Hat