Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The past few days I've been watching a robin trying to make her nest. It has been very windy. She chose the usual dried grasses and twigs, but also found something else to her liking.

Every shearing creates waste fiber (lower belly, legs) that I put on the compost pile. The wind scattered it about the yard a bit this spring. Ms. Robin decided it was perfect nesting material. She was probably thinking,"I'll have the warmest and softest nest EVER!"

Poor thing. She would land on a nearby branch, set the fiber down, and it would waft away in the wind. Sometimes it got stuck on another branch, other times it would eventually hit the ground. Each time, she would go about gathering it all back together, put it on the nest, only to have it waft away again. She did this for two or three days. I think she finally gave up. This attempt appears to have been abandoned.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


That green skein of alpaca/mulberry silk was calling out to me. Do something with me! Anything! Look, I am the same shade as the grass right now!

I answered by weaving it on my 18" tri-loom. It is the perfect size for a little neckerchief. I added ties to each end of the hypotenuse side. It looks good worn tucked inside the shirt or jacket.

Or out.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Itty Bitty Egg

I found this little egg when I gathered eggs the other day. It is about a third the size of the regular eggs, and is very dark. Quite pretty, really. Somebody had a misfire!

It is cloudy and rainy, a perfect day to settle in with some knitting!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Grief Isn't Logical

I woke up early this morning because the nightmares returned. They had abated for the past couple of months, but they seem to be back. Usually it involves me not being able to find Mom because she had wandered off due to the Alzheimer's, one of my greatest fears when she was alive. I wake up in a total panic and usually crying.

I'm not sure why they are back. Maybe because I've been having so much fun the past few days. There is still that twinge of sorrow/guilt for having fun, since it is only possible for me to do these things because she isn't here any more. Grief isn't logical.

Since I couldn't get back to sleep, I did a little dyeing in the wee hours this morning. Just one dyepot.

This is the Softie from the garage sale, pictured below. The yarn bloomed and softened beautifully. It is now a smokey blue. This is destined to become a shawl, perhaps a Danish Tie Shawl if I can get my hands on the Spin-off I need. Or I might wing it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Four Seasons Cow as Pre-Alzheimer's Art

I just wanted to share another piece of Mom's handiwork that also shows her sense of humor. She made me this plastic canvas tissue holder/cover dealy 15 to 20 years ago. I think she followed a pattern out of a book or leaflet. Well, she sort of followed the pattern.

Each side depicts a cow in a different season of the year.

You notice how I said she sort of followed the pattern?

I'm pretty sure that the pattern didn't have a nice brown cow patty on each one, most plainly seen here. Notice how the tail is also in the cocked and ready to fire position. She cracks me up!

I'm also pretty sure the pattern didn't have bald eagles flying around or landing on the cow. You see, every fall, the bald eagles return to my home town area for the winter. It is common to see them flying overhead.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Textile Center Garage Sale

Wow. That is the only way to characterize it. Imagine a giant room with rows of tables. The tables are piled high with yarn, fabric, notions, patterns. The area under the tables is also piled high. Then there is another room with books and magazines. A hallway full of weaving/quilting/sewing tools. Another room with silent auction items, many sewing machines, a couple of spinning wheels, a couple of looms. And that is just what I saw. Who knows what I missed! The items are all priced at garage sale prices. Now, let's say it is 3pm. Everything you can fit in a grocery bag for a dollar. Everything. So that bag of yarn marked at $35.00? Yep, a dollar! The original retail prices on that bag? Over $150.00. It was insane! I have photos of everything I got. I spent under $50.00. Yep, everything pictured here totaled less than $50.00. Most of them were in misc bags, which I have separated a bit by color/fiber content here.

Eight ounces of sport weight 25%angora/75%rambouillet Softie from Kimmet Croft Fibers. I will have fun dyeing this!

This is a bag of various mostly cottons and tape yarns. I think it might make a great summery Scrappy Lengthwise Scarf. (Ravelry link.)

This is 85%mohair/15%Vinyan. What the heck is Vinyan? I discovered it is probably Vinyon. A pvc fiber! I bought it thinking I could overdye it, but Vinyon melts at 170 degrees. I'll have an excuse to explore a new to me dyeing technique, cold dyeing!

This ball of novelty yarn was in one of the misc bags. I love the color, and can see plying it with a strand of black alpaca handspun.

Although these are by different manufacturers, they seem to have the same fiber content and construction. 50%merino, 50%acrylic. No plans for this yet. Did I mention that I was awake a good part of the night thinking of what to do with it all?

This grouping is by color only. It ranges from 3 balls of a blue variegated cotton/viscose to a sublime 50%alpaca/50% Mulberry silk in a nice green skein. What can I do with only 50 grams/123 yards?

Some browns, including at least one ball of 100% alpaca. The dark brown one. I suspect the lighter brown is as well, but is missing the ball band. Because you know, I need more alpaca!.

Six balls of Capri, 3 in a light denim, and 3 in a darker denim. I want to experiment with weaving this on the peg loom.

That is silk noil on the left, merino on the right. The drop spindle was $2.00!

It has cute little painted flowers? on it. I stood by the van and spun a little of the merino while waiting for the 3pm bag sale. It spins wonderfully.

I'm not sure what I'll do with 2 yards of this fabric, but it spoke to me. Maybe a tote bag or two? Some nice big potholders?

This one spoke to me too. Such pretty blues and purples. There is only about a yard here. Maybe I'll just hang it in my bedroom and admire it?

This rayon batik spoke to me too.

I have several bags of these rolls of fabric in varying widths. I want to try my hand at weaving a rug on the peg loom with this. Some of them are a burlap, some are more lightweight than that. They might also make great straps for purses or totes. Or who knows what I might come up with!

That is all I got. We had a leisurely lunch at Cupcake (but I didn't have one, what was I thinking?)just down the road, and also got lost in the Architectural Antique store for a bit. A couple of the people that went in our two van convoy were not spinners, but rather sewers. of the sewers came home with a spinning wheel from the silent auction. We'll soon have her spinning! There may have been some slightly hysterical laughter as we tried to fit all of our purchases and all of our people into the two vans when we left the Textile Center. Of course we also had to have each person show what she got as she came straggling out of the building.

We had a bit of time, so we also stopped at Depth of Field on our way home. The poor saleslady (bad me, I didn't catch her name. I admired her shoes though.) was gracious when dealing with us all, even though there may have been some maniacal giggling going on as we descended. I bought some yarn and some needles about I show you those some other time? Oh, I lied, I don't have photos of everything. I didn't show you the magazines I bought either. Later, ok?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

It's been a while

Hey there! Anybody still reading along? I wouldn't blame you if you weren't! Let's see what has happened in the last month. Kora graduated from beginning obedience, and we start beginning agility in May. We have a month to hone her obedience skills on our own. Should be fun.

Last Sunday I rescued a dog from the culvert across the road from me. I kept seeing a beagle out by the end of my driveway, causing cars to slow down to avoid hitting her. I finally walked down there to see what she was doing. She saw me coming, and disappeared. I realized she must have gone into the culvert, so walked down into the ditch. That is when the big black lab barked at me. I talked to him, and he melted. No more ferocious barking. He must have followed the little beagle in, but couldn't make it all the way through. The outlet side had filled in halfway with dirt. He couldn't back up. I went back home for the shovel, and shoveled him out. I managed to keep hold of him, and got the beagle too. They were my neighbor's dogs. I'm very glad the little beagle stuck around and I went to see what was up. I shudder to think what may have happened.

The other day I heard breathing behind me and turned around to see how Mom was doing. Then I remembered. That just sucks.

A friend is coming over tomorrow after work to stay the night, so we can head out at first light Saturday to go to the Textile Center Garage Sale. I have never been, but my friends have it down to a science. They know where to park, where to eat, etc. I'm looking forward to it.