Friday, February 29, 2008

Jewelry?



My first forray into necklace making. The middle bead is felted from drum carder leavings, those little bits that no matter how carefully you try to remove the batt, there is a little bit stuck in there. Hey, it's a garbage necklace!


The other day I was rubbing my elbow because it hurt. (Tennis elbow, or more accurately, hauling water, stacking hay, etc elbow) Mom saw me, sort of clucked sympathetically, and then asked if she should cut it off for me. Thanks for the offer, Mom!



Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Random

Mom was up several times last night. One time was at 5:00am. I wasn't ready to be up for the day, and managed to get her back in bed around 5:30. She was back up at around 6:30. She came into my bedroom (actually the house's living room, complete with large picture window), made my bed, (I was still in it!), and then sat down on the loveseat at the foot of my bed. She brought a blanket with her. I joined her on the loveseat, spread the blanket over our laps, and we settled in for the show.







Watched the school bus go by.





Watched the milk truck go by.



Watched the sun go behind some clouds,



and then emerge again.


And maybe we both closed our eyes in defense against the brightness of the sun. For several minutes.


To think that I could have been sleeping instead of leaning against Mom, sharing a blanket, watching the sun rise. Sometimes sleep is overrated.


In other news, I am in full on production mode.

I have just shy of a pound of this made up, plus more fiber dyed to make some more.

Wanna see?



Fiber seems to have overtaken my living room. (Actually the house's dining room.)

Maybe I should do some cleaning up? Nah!

Hey! Rick is having a funny contest. (Not a knitting contest) Go check it out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

"Ocean"

video

Music: "Ocean" by the sadly now defunct HannaMcEuen

Fiber: Alpaca, wool, silk, nylon

ETA: When I searched earlier, I couldn't find the song online. It helps when you spell things right! Here is their video for the song.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Kitchen Chickens

A couple of years ago, one of my hens disappeared. I figured the pesky raccoon I had been having problems with had made off with her.


One day I was looking out the kitchen window, and saw a hen with something around her. I could not figure out what it was. At least one of the things was white, and my first thought was that some mushrooms had sprouted up. The alpacas might eat them, so I went out to get rid of them.

Wait a minute, those mushrooms are moving! It was mama hen with 13 little chicks.




I don't know where her nest was, but I knew that she couldn't stay out there anymore. The coop wasn't secure against that pesky raccoon, so I hauled out the dog kennel. Mama hen seemed to understand exactly what it was for, because she herded her little brood right in. I closed it up, and carried them to the house. They spent the night in the kitchen.


And so it went. Every morning I would carry the kennel out to the pasture, and let them out.




Every night Mama hen would bring the brood into the kennel, and I'd go out, shut the door, and carry them to the kitchen. I kept moving the kennel closer to the house, because mama and thirteen babies were getting darn heavy as they grew. Eventually it got to the point that I was able to just move the kennel to the porch to let them out,


and bring them in at night. Even when Mama hen decided they were old enough to be on their own, and went to rejoin her adult friends on the roost in the coop at night, the babies still came to the porch and got in the kennel.

In the meantime, I was able to get the coop secure so that the pesky raccoon wasn't able to get in, so I tried to retrain them to go in the coop. This involved getting them into the kennel, carrying the kennel to the coop, and putting each chick into the coop.

Finally it got to the point that they didn't fit in the kennel anymore, they were too big and too many of them. A few of the pullets figured out to go into the coop straight off, instead of going to the porch.

It was just the band of roving cockerels (and one pullet) who couldn't figure it out. They kept going to the porch and roosting on my porch swing. I would have to carry them one by one to the coop. Such PITAS! Finally, I left them in the coop for two weeks straight, and didn't let them out. They got the hint, and no longer would I walk by the kitchen window and see this.

This whole extremely long post was just so I could show this picture. It cracks me up every time I see it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Chicken Hospital

I noticed yesterday that one of the pullets from the November hatch was looking peaked, and stumbling a bit. She is much smaller than the others from the same hatch, so I decided to pull out the chicken hospital and make her welcome in the house. She won't have to use her energy keeping warm, and can concentrate on healing instead. She also won't have any competition for food or water, and nobody to pick on her, so I am hoping that she will get better.


The chicken hospital is just a dog kennel outfitted with pine shavings, food and water. I put the bucket in there last night so she could roost. It is such a powerful instinct for them that she was roosting on her feed bowl, even though that only brought her about two inches off the floor! She was very happy to have the bucket, and be a whole 8 inches up. I took it out today to give her a bit more room to roam.

Here is a little video of her. You can see how pale she is, and she looks like she is going to fall asleep right there on my arm.

video

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Too braindead to think of a title

Despite being the end of February, I still find winter pretty.

Last night.

This morning.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Spring Planting Timesaver

Is winter biting you in the a..uh, tush? Did the vent from your furnace to the chimney rust out and fall off, so your furnace was venting into the basement? Did you get that fixed, and then your water line from the well into the house freeze so you didn't have water for a day or so? Did you fix that, and then you run out of propane? Did you get that filled, and now your septic line is frozen and the tank alarm is going off? Well, call the honeywagon and while you're waiting, do a little spring planting preparation.


Spring is a very busy time on the farm. Shearing, barn cleaning, chicken coop cleaning, not to mention garden planting. Why spend those precious hours bent over the raised beds, sowing those tiny seeds when you can do it now, in the comfort of your home, sitting at the kitchen table?


This isn't my idea. I don't know where I learned it, but it sure has helped save precious time in the spring, and it is something to do on those long winter nights. Or while you're waiting on that honeywagon.


Gather paper towels (preferably white), glue, and your seeds of choice. I usually do this with lettuce, spinach and peas, the early spring crops.





I use square foot raised beds. On the back of this package of lettuce seeds, it says to sow them one to two inches apart, then thin to ten inches apart. I know that these little suckers won't last to maturity, so I am going to give them only about 5 inches to grow in.


I put dots of glue about 2 1/2 inches apart on the paper towel, and stick the lettuce seed on them.




This gives each seed about a 5 inch square to grow. I let the glue dry, label them, fold them up and we're all ready for spring.

Spinach around here is eaten mostly in salads, so I only allowed an inch or so between the seeds.

In the spring, as soon as the ground can be worked, I'll arrange the paper towels in the garden bed, sprinkle compost on top to the required depth, give it a soak if needed, and about two minutes later have the whole thing planted. I'll do another bed in a week or two to stagger the plantings, and when the harvest is done, it'll be time to plant the warm weather crops in their place.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Alternative Heat Sources

I ran out of propane the other night. I was on a "keep full" basis with the co-op, but since it had been so cold I guess we went through it faster than they expected.



It wasn't that big of a deal, even though it was to get to -10 that night. I have a back up source of heat in the form of a multi-fuel pellet stove. It can burn corn, wood pellets, and a few other things that I have forgotten. Within no time, it was a toasty 71 degrees in the living room.

The corn, wood pellets, or a new fuel DDGS (Dried Distiller's Grains with Solubles, a by-product of ethanol production. It has a higher BTU than corn or wood pellets, and is also used as feed for animals) are put in the hopper, which can hold a 40lb bag of wood pellets, enough for about 24 hours of heat, depending on the heat setting.

The auger at the bottom, feeds the fuel into the fire box.

All of the burning takes place in that little box. Just a few pellets, or corn kernals, are fed into the box at a time, and the stirrer (the rod with teeth in the middle of the box above) stirs the fuel periodically. My stove has five heat settings, and five stirrer settings, and can be connected to a thermostat.

It also comes in handy if the electricity goes off. This stove does use electricity, but very little, and I have a little battery inverter that can run the stove for about 24 hours before needing to be recharged. It has saved me on more than one occasion.

Before Mom came, I used the stove almost exclusively to heat the house. A 250 bushel gravity wagon full of corn more than took care of my needs for the winter. At that time, corn was cheap, I spent less than $500.00 for heat for the year. The stove paid for itself within one year of use.

Unfortunately, Mom wouldn't leave it alone. She was used to having a regular wood burning stove, so she always wanted to open the door and throw things in there. It was too dangerous to use. My heating costs quadrupled, despite keeping the thermostat at 67 during the day and 60 at night.

However, I discovered Thursday night that now Mom pretty much ignores it. I have been running it since then, and she hasn't touched it. She probably appreciates the warmth. The living room has been right at around 72-74 degrees, in order to keep the rest of the house at a reasonable level.

One of the best benefits? I can hang our jammies in front of the stove to warm before going to bed. Warmed jammies, a simple pleasure that I had forgotten.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

77


Will you join us in a birthday dance?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ever feel this way?

Do you ever just want to scream I want my Mommy!, rant, cry, stomp your feet, and just basically lose it? Yeah, me too.

Mom woke from a nap and didn't know who I was. I mean, there was no recognition whatsoever. She was downright frightened of me.

She hasn't known who I was for a long time, but there was always the knowledge that we were connected somehow, that I was a person who loved her and took care of her, whether she thought I was her sister or her mother. She knew me, even if she didn't know who I was.

Not this time. Let's just say my heart broke a little more.

It didn't last long, but it shows the progression of this dastardly disease.

We watched the movie "Chocolat" last night. I really enjoyed it, I hadn't seen it before. Anyway, Mom's birthday is tomorrow, so I'm going to try to cheer up by baking a chocolate something for her birthday.

Enabling Continued

I said that I would show the results, good or bad. Bad, bad, bad!
I pulled out my "Spinning Designer Yarns" book, and discovered that I should have been adding the yarn bits in the plying stage. Ok, so I tried that.

It looks like something that should go into the compost pile, or has been pulled out of the compost pile. Ick.

So I turned to making a beaded yarn. I actually don't mind the color combination on this one. This was obviously a first attempt, so it didn't turn out so good.

The thing is, my sister really isn't a beaded yarn kind of person. Me either. I do appreciate an understated beaded fringe on a scarf or shawl though. If I thought the beads would really float her boat, I might find the patience needed to practice more and do it properly. But it wouldn't, so I won't.

I don't think I'm a novelty yarn kind of person either. Thick n thin is fine. Yarn with all kinds of stuff sticking out of it, not so much.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Enabling

A couple of weeks ago, my sister asked me when I was going to teach her to knit so she could make herself a scarf to go with her coat.



You could have knocked me over with a feather. Usually when I talk about fiber or knitting or spinning or anything fiber related, I can see the eyes glaze over. So I've learned to not talk about my passion, or at least, not very often, with anybody in the family, they just aren't interested.



So I set about coming up with a yarn for her to use. Her coat is a sort of olive green color. Black would go well, and I have some nice black roving from Elvis, but black is hard to see and not the best choice for a beginner.



Then I remembered that I have some merino wool/silk laps already dyed in an olive color. I dyed up some alpaca to go with it, and it ended up a lighter, more sagey, silvery olive color. I thought maybe one ply the olive color, and one ply natural cream would create a nice marled yarn for her to use. I blended the wool/silk and the alpaca on the drum carder, and ended up with this.









My sister has hazel green eyes with little brown flecks. Standing at the carder doing the blending, I was thinking that the green is just like her eyes. She was over on Saturday, and confirmed that it was a perfect match. If I were to cut up little pieces of brown yarn (leftover from the felted bag here), or maybe little pieces of brown felt? and sprinkle it through the green as I am spinning, it would create the fleck effect too. I also realized on Saturday that her coat has a brown collar. Hmmm. She liked the green, but I haven't run the brown fleck idea by her yet. I may have to do a mini skein and see if it turns out the way I have it pictured in my head.



Time to go do some experimenting. I'll show the results, good or bad.

UPDATE: Eeew, no, neither one of those ideas worked. The felt just disintegrated when I cut it up, and blended with the green instead of creating flecks. The yarn did better, but it was hard to get it to catch in when I was spinning. So I tried running it through the carder to blend them into the green, but no, that didn't work either. Then I thought, beads? Brown beads? So now I'm off to research how to add beads to spinning, which I know I've read about, but never done.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Snippets

Yes, yes, yes, Mom put those toys in the pan! The Easter grass and necklaces one was done after cooking, after the pan had cooled. The blue monster one was done before I had turned the burner on.

Trying to cook is an ongoing adventure in this household. Those pictures were taken before and after cooking. Let me tell you some of the things that she has put in the food during the cooking process.

Incident one: I had made stir fry, and rice to accompany it. As I was dishing out the rice, I found several dimes in the bottom of the pan.

Incident two: I had made a spaghetti sauce using a combo of italian sausage and hamburger. The plum tomatoes, oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil were all fresh from the garden. It had simmered for a good long time to let the flavors meld. You know how italian sausage gives off the orange tinged grease that rises to the top? I usually let the sauce cool slightly, and then skim off that fat. This time, the orange fat wasn't rising to the top. It was just sort of waxy and spread throughout the sauce. The lightbulb finally turned on in my head. Mom had been carrying around part (an inch or two?) of an orange/brick colored crayon (no paper), showing it to me and remarking on what a pretty color it was. Argh! I searched her pockets, all of her usual hiding spots, never found that crayon. Now I can't prove it, but I'm 99% sure that the crayon ended up in the sauce. We ate it. I figured kids eat crayons all the time. It didn't affect the taste at all. Although the thought of it did have me cringing on the inside.

Incident three: By now, I was on to her wily ways, so whenever I cook, I try to guard the stove and get her involved in something else to distract her. It doesn't always work. A good 90% of the time, she has to be right there, two steps behind me. Argh! On this particular occasion, I was making a vegetable beef stew/soup. Everything was in the pot, it was just simmering. I was standing there stirring it, standing right in front of the pot, trying to block her away from the stove with my body. She came up to me, put her left hand in front of my face and sort of wiggled it to distract me, and slipped her right hand under my arm and threw something in the pot. Two dead ladybugs. At least, I think they were dead. They were certainly dead when I fished them out of the pot. They were those fake ladybugs, you know, the Asian ladybeetles that invade the house during the fall.

Each time we ate the food I was cooking. I'm just too practical, or frugal, or cheap, (or lazy?)to throw it out and start over. I figure I've had llama spit go in my mouth, nothing can be more disgusting than that. (By the way, if you are holding an alpaca to give it medicine, and he presses his mouth right up against your cheek, he might be giving you an alpaca kiss. Or, he might just spit at you. Luckily, it was just the saliva spit, not the full on green rumen juice. You sure do feel the force they can put behind their spit when their mouth is right there though.)

Bear in mind those are the incidents that I witnessed. If you are kind, you won't point out how many incidents I may not have witnessed. I don't like to think about it.

On a side note, February Yarnival! is up. Go check out Miss T . In the interest of full disclosure, she was kind enough to include my story of the garbage mittens. Hi to those who have made your way here from Yarnival. Well heck, Hi to everybody who has stopped by, however you found me!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Art of Alzheimer's-Easter Edition



It may be a little early for Easter, but I wanted to tell the story while the Aunt Teeter post was still relatively recent.

Every Easter, we would have a huge Easter egg hunt at Great Aunt Teeter's place. Mom and her sister, Mary Anne, would hide eggs all over the farm. They would always forget where they hid them, so eventually they learned to make a list. Back in those days, they hid dyed hard boiled eggs, not the plastic eggs of today. So if we didn't find one, the raccoons enjoyed a little breakfast.

Fast forward twenty years or so. My older sister carried on the tradition for everybody when her kids were young. She hid plastic eggs filled with candy, or balloons or little toys. Her kids are now all grown and have children of their own, but she is still hosting the Easter Egg hunt for all and sundry. There are usually 20 to 30 people there, all participate in the hunt, not just the kids. She spends days filling hundreds of plastic eggs. She also has little contests with prizes, like, the person with the most pink eggs wins a toothbrush or whatever. She doesn't make a list of where she hid them, however. (Do you sense the foreshadowing?)

We always open the eggs into a bag so we can leave the plastic eggs for next year. One year, I was dutifully opening an egg, and out came some foul, brown liquid, and a little package. It was an egg from the year before! The little package was the remnants of the tiny Snicker's bar in the egg. This little monster was my consolation prize for finding an egg from the year before.

One year, I hosted the Easter Egg hunt. She supplied the filled eggs, I just had to hide them before everybody came. I was up at 6 am hiding eggs. It was really windy that day though. I kept looking out the window and seeing little eggs rolling by. Oops!

That year was also a good one for garter snakes. The one field was covered with hundreds of tiny snakes. I still hid eggs there, and warned everybody not to step on my baby snakes! My brother, the trickster, caught a little one, and managed to put it in one of the large (like, ostrich sized) eggs. My nephew (17-18 at the time) walked up, and my brother handed it to him very nonchalantly. So we stood there chatting for a while, the rest of us eyeing the egg because we knew what was in it. Finally my brother told him to open it, just to see what was in that big egg. My poor nephew jumped about a mile high and screamed like a girl, while the rest of us held our sides from laughing so hard. (No snakes were harmed in the making of that practical joke.)

Now five generations later, we still celebrate the Easter Egg hunt started at Great Aunt Teeter's farm.

All Hollyhocks, all the time!

It sounds like a lot of you like hollyhocks too. Or your Grandmothers did. I aim to please. I think this one is my favorite color.







The corresponding batts: "Blush". Alpaca (Peach Boy) with merino/silk. You can't tell from the photo very well, but there is yellow in there too. 6 ounces.









The batt is white alpaca (Peach Boy) with the slightest bit of yellow alpaca, and yellow kid mohair from a friend's herd. These weigh in at 5.2 ounces.




Gratuitous hollyhock shot.



I have a huge bag of seeds from these plants, all mixed together. If anybody wants some, drop me a line at annie at maplecorners dot cahm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Hollyhock batts


I finally did some blending on the carder. This hollyhock was the inspiration.
This is what I ended up with.

It is plum/pink and yellow alpaca (Peach Boy) blended with some pinky merino/silk laps. The laps had some small bits, so this will probably create a slubby yarn due to the neps. However, it is heavenly soft, and the silk lends a nice sheen. Six batts totalling 4.8 ounces.

We're under another winter storm watch, so this little bit of spring helps. This will go up for sale on Ravelry or the Etsy shop eventually. I have another "hollyhock" colorway I am working on, it might go together. (I apologize if this sounds like a big commercial, I hate that!)

Mom still isn't sleeping. My sister is coming over on Saturday so I can go to my spinning group. I'll probably just want to sleep!

Mom cracks me up sometimes with what she "hears" me say. Last night I said "Really?" and she said, "Millie? Who's Millie?" It just struck me as funny. Maybe I need a nap.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Time Flies


Simba has been limping lately when she gets up; arthritis is kicking in. It's hard to believe she'll be nine in April.


Ursa, her little buddy shown in the background here, will be nine in December. They still act like pups though, romping through the snow is their favorite pasttime. I love the snowbeards they had today.

I am tired. Mom hasn't been sleeping well, and thus I haven't either. She gets up two or three times a night. It can take a half hour to an hour to get her back into bed, and then my bed gets all cold. I shiver for a half hour until the bed gets warm again, and then Mom is up again. Argh! My sister says I need an electric blanket. Might just have to look into that. My greatest fear is that one night I'll be so tired I won't hear her get up, and that will be the night she manages to hurt herself somehow.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Great Aunt Teeter

Her real name was Elizabeth, or Lizzie. She was always great aunt Teeter to us. I don't know what it means, or how she came about that name. She was Mom's aunt. She lived on a farm near Ellsworth, Wisconsin, all alone. You see where I'm going here?

She had a big white farmhouse with a wonderful front porch complete with davenport, great for summertime naps. The kitchen was the biggest room in the house, and she also had a walk in pantry about half the size of the kitchen where she baked bread and kept all her stores. Across a short boardwalk was the summer kitchen. A little further off of that was the outhouse. That's right, she had no running water in the house. She had the manually operated pump off the front of the house. For toilet facilities in the winter, she had a little room upstairs with a sawdust toilet.


She also had a big red barn, and a henhouse. She didn't have any animals, at least when I knew her, except for the semi-feral barn cats that wouldn't let anybody else touch them, but would come running when she called. I spent hours in that henhouse trying to pet a cat!

She was an avid AWA fan. I remember falling asleep to the glow of the little black and white TV showing Vern Gagne, The Crusher and Nick Bockwinkel going at it, and Teeter yelling right along with them.

She made the best ring macaroni salad, with shredded carrots on top that she always served in this bowl.



It is among my most treasured possessions, along with this rocking chair.




When I had a new floor put in my living room, I made sure it went well with the rocker.



I don't remember the exact year she died. I was maybe 8 or 9. I wish I knew her when I was older, you know? She obviously made a lasting impression on me. Most of my earliest memories are of her and her place. When people say you must be crazy living there alone on that farm, I just smile. I had a great role model, and come from a long line of spinster farm ladies!





Saturday, February 9, 2008

MapleCorners: The beginning

After 10 years in Minneapolis, I finally couldn't stand it anymore. I needed to get out. My neighbors were nice enough, but looked askance at me that the clothesline was actually used. Growing vegetables in the garden? No, it seemed gardens were supposed to be used for flowers only. According to them, anyway. I grew up in a small, Mississippi river town in SE MN, and worked on my cousin's farm during the summers. I wanted to get back to the country. I got approval from my employer to work from home two days a week, started my search, and moved to the farm in the summer of 2000.

The former owners didn't bother to do any mowing, so the grass and weeds were waist high when I moved in. Due to the long grass, the mosquito population was incredibly bad, so much so that I literally ran to the house from my car when I got home from work, and couldn't venture back out again. Every night before bed, I would go around the house with the fly swatter, killing them so they wouldn't suck me dry overnight. Even so, they called me measels girl at work due to all of the bites. There were times that summer that I cried, thinking I had moved to my own personal hell filled with the blood sucking minions of Satan!

I don't give up that easily though. I immediately began to research something to keep the grass down in the pastures. I stumbled upon llamas and alpacas as being easy to care for, intelligent animals. What with still working in Mpls, being away from home for 12 hour or more stretches with the commute involved, easy to care for was very important. The first four llamas came that fall, and alpacas followed the next spring.

So now I had all that fiber, I needed to do something with it. I took a class in drop spindling in May 2001, and haven't looked back since. I had learned to knit in Germany on my junior year abroad oh so many years ago, but hadn't done much knitting since then. Having all that yarn made me start knitting again. Dyeing, weaving on the tri-loom, felting, all followed after that. I learned mostly from books, or from websites.

That all means the lowly mosquito is responsible for my fiber addiction!

Do I miss anything about Minneapolis? Chinese food delivery. Walking the dogs around Lake Harriet. Saturday mornings at the farmer's market on Lyndale. Rhubarb bars from the French Meadow Bakery stand at the farmer's market. Going to shows at Lee's.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wink Wink

Mom is a first class eye flutterer. She always was. She smiles coyly, then she flutters her eyes.

So she was fluttering her eyes at me last night, and I did it back. Well, tried. She laughed, said Look, and then made a big show of blinking her eyes, contorting her whole face. Then she laughed again, and pointed at me.

It was obvious she was making fun of me.

I like to share these little things with my sister, so called her right away and told her Mom was making fun of me. While on the phone, my sister told me to try it again. So I fluttered my eyes at Mom. Mom sort of squinted her eyes and blinked back at me several times, like she was caught in a dust storm in the Sahara.

I guess I've learned not to try to flutter my eyes at a man. He'd probably just ask if I needed an appointment with an opthamologist.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Socks and a Story



I've been working on a sock. It couldn't be anything complicated, but wanted something besides the usual stockinette. I used the pattern browser on Ravelry, but didn't find anything that worked with my gauge that I thought I could actually do. I pulled out the Harmony Guides to Knitting Stitches (I and II), and looked for a stitch pattern that I might be able to convert to in the round. I settled on the Slipped Rib stitch. It is very easy, but adds a little textural interest to the sock. The rib pattern is extending down the top of the foot of the sock too.


The yarn is handspun about 60% alpaca (Starburst) and 40% Targhee wool. I dyed it in roving form, spun it, then plied it on itself.

The Story.

Friday Mom and I went to the drive-thru at the bank. (So much easier than trying to get Mom in and out of the truck.) As we were sitting there while the bank lady did her stuff, Mom said thank you.

I have learned that I had better be forming the words "You're welcome" almost before she's done with the "you", or else she will look at me and pointedly say thank you again.

I had no idea why she had said thank you, but I automatically said you're welcome. About 30 seconds later, she said thank you again. I bewilderedly said you're welcome again. This went on the whole time we were sitting there, about every 30 seconds.

The bank lady finished up, sent my receipt out the little door, we exchanged a few pleasantries, and Mom and I went on our merry way.

As I was pulling away from the bank, I saw the "Thank You" sign posted by the driveway.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Project Bag

I wanted a bag to hold my Rakestraw spinner and plying paddle. So I made one.



I wove two squares using my square loom, sewed them up the sides and bottom, and then sewed across the bottom at an angle to make my bag.




This is the best representation of color of all the photos. It is snowing to beat the band right now, so I'll apologize for the bad lighting in the crappy photos to follow.



Then I felted it. Now I wish I hadn't, I think it would have been fine unfelted, especially since I ended up lining it anyway. It still works fine.



Perhaps because it was woven and not knit, it was pretty floppy and didn't have a lot of structure. I was trying to figure out what to do to beef it up a bit. A bit of cardboard in the bottom might work, but what happens if it gets wet. Eeew. Plastic would be better. Then my eye fell upon the 2 gallon water jug.





I cut out the side, and it fit perfectly into the bottom of the bag, giving it some structure.




I also knit a strap, felted it, and then sewed it to the lining with the machine, and then to the bag by hand, using the yarn so it blended right in. The finished product, showing the lining which I sewed from fabric from my stash. Stash is good. I also added a magnetic snap closure.





With the intended contents, the Rakestraw spinner and plying paddle. The bag is big enough to hold both, plus the fiber to spin, and a knitting project or two, if I want.




This one shows the original bag that came with the spinner.

I'll sew a small bag out of the lining fabric. I'm just not a red velvet and gold rope kind of gal, know what I mean?