"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Friday, February 27, 2015

Hats for Troops and Wee Bunnies

I have a couple of links I want to share. The first is the actual pattern for the "wee bunny" I "test knitted" for Ann at Simply Playing. If you go to my first link above, scroll down and you will see my imperfect attempt at the cute little guy. Well, after I finished my bunny, gave my few thoughts to Ann, she put her finishing touches on the pattern and made it available here on Ravelry. Honestly, the pattern she designed is very clever, easy and makes such a little cutie. Here are some of hers - much better than mine. :^)

This next link is really exciting to me. I have been wanting to find a charity for which I could knit and maybe get some knitting buddies involved, too. Then just last week my son and I were visiting his grandmother and she was telling me about Trees From Home.org. It is an organization that ships small Christmas trees and boxes of goodies to American soldiers who are deployed. They have been trying to send woolen knitted or crocheted hats, as well. If you are interested in doing some knitting for a great cause, click on the above link. 

The patterns they provide are basic hat patterns and are very easy. Once you get to their web page, look on the right hand side for "Hand Made Knit Cap Appeal" or click here to view the pattern. This section does not have the mailing address for hats, but it can be found at the bottom of the home page. It is:
Trees From Home
2130 Brantwood Avenue
Glendale WI 53209

I'm eager to get started on some and to gather up hats from my friends to send to our troops. If you have any questions about the project, ask here. I have family involved and I can likely get an answer for you. If you are a knitting friend of mine, let me know if you want to get involved through me. Happy knitting.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Great Harvest Bread Company - Good Food and Room to Knit

Recently we took a little trip and found a wonderful place to sip coffee and knit or chat or eat delicious lunches or hangout and work on the ol' laptop. The place is called Great Harvest Bread Company. And if you look at the the above link and go to "Find A Bakery" you just might find one near you. They specialize in grinding their own grains daily and in using NON-GMO wheat without chemicals or pesticides. Their breads, scones, cookies, bars and sandwiches are sooo yummy. We were quite impressed. And if you think you might go again and again, they offer Bread cards and sandwiches cards - after so many punches you get a free one. And you'll want to buy more. They have Cheesy Garlic Bread, Asaigo Herb Bread, Cinnamon Chip Bread, sometimes a Cranberry Bread, and often have other ones, too.

They also have scones with cream cheese in them, like Cherry, Chocolate Chip, and Blueberry. And the coffee is extra good, as well. I just can't say enough about Great Harvest Bread Company. So I'll let the photos say it for me.

These are all from the first time I went,
with hubby.

And this is another time I went with
spinning buddies.
They love all the goodies, too.

And for some great pictures of some of their fare, here is their Facebook page.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Basement Remodel - And How it Effects Knitting

We decided that after 5 1/2 years of living in our new house we wanted to make the basement more like a part of the house instead of like King Tut's tomb. For these 5+ years, we have had boxes upon boxes (literally) everywhere in the dungeon and my husband wouldn't install shelving for un-boxing things until we had dry wall up. And we couldn't really get dry wall up without unboxing boxes. argh! So we decided to get serious and move boxes and STUFF around and around to try and keep ahead of our worker, keeping his path cleared out - and the walls reachable. And in all this "moving boxes" activity, I am creating a b-i-g garage sale pile which also has to be moved around. So you should see the mess now. Oh, wait, no you shouldn't.

Winter up here is a good time to get a basement work finished, both for us and for our worker. That leaves warm weather for his outdoor jobs and ours. But, it does cut into knitting time. I have to spend more evenings moving boxes. Granted, my husband has been doing the bulk of the lifting and moving. But there is plenty of work to go around.

I mentioned in a past post that I, like every other knitter and crocheter that I know, have a measurable yarn stash. (What I didn't mention in that post is that my nice photos and cabinet did not show a large portion of my stash that is kept in a spare bedroom closet for "soon-to-be Works In Progress." Very soon, I'm sure.)

But the cupboard that I had to move to the basement for lack of any decent space for it upstairs has become my yarn cupboard, for now. And for now, when I need to check for some yarn, I am forced to climb over boxes and a nice library table, all of which are sitting right in front of my YARN - except for what is in the spare bedroom.

Am I drumming up any sympathy yet?

But I have been knitting and getting things done. After I finished the boot toppers in this post, I made hand warmers to go with the toppers and cowl. They have been used many times to keep my cold hands during this cold, cold winter. The Ella Rae wool is so toasty. I made the hand warmers on straight needles and the pattern can be found here, near the bottom of the post.

And I discovered that my lovely vintage rhinestone pin with black filigree has some matching blue stones. It looks great on the cowl. I wore them all this weekend to church and afterwards to a nice knitting visit with a good friend.

I've also been working on a sweater and am very close to finishing. I will post more about it when it is finished but for now, I purchased the Dolman Pullover Pattern over at Patternworks.com. It is a fun, easy pattern and I think I'll love wearing the comfortable style.

And I have worked on a "Wee Little Rabbit."  I was a "test knitter" for Ann at Simply Playing. She has been making these little guys and selling them on Etsy so she decided to try and write up her pattern for purchase. She asked me, via the "blog-o-sphere," to test knit her instructions. I was nervous about it, thinking I had to do it perfectly - and I had never knitted an animal or toy. But as it turns out, testing a pattern with no experience makes for a decent tester. I had to read the pattern as it was written and not lean on any past experience. Which there was none of. So I think I made a couple of useful suggestions and her pattern will be available soon, I'm told. 

The pattern is fun to make but my bunny needs a little "sprucing up," before he's ready for the streets. Here he is tail-less and he need some plastic surgery on his face, ears and legs. Or maybe I should just make a different one now that I understand the process. :^)   
So these are the things I've been working on. I will be teaching a Fair Isle Hat class very soon so I need to get another hat on the needles to demonstrate that ol' Lativan Braid. That is the hardest part.

What have you been working on?

Friday, February 6, 2015

Memories of Hand Spun Hair on a Dear Doll

I've been dusting and vacuuming a little nook in our hallway where I have a vintage child's desk sitting with various vintage toys and books. I enjoy walking past this area and often get a smile on my face when I do. One of the sweet little things in this area is a doll made for me many years ago when I first began giving spinning demonstrations with our local spinning guild.

If you read an earlier blog post of mine, Summer Sewing Project, you'll remember my tale of early spinning demonstrations and the pioneer costume I made back then. Well, I had just made that costume with calico fabric when one of the guild members, who is now a long-time friend, Elaine of  Considine Creations said to me, "Why don't I make a doll for your mother with a dress from your leftover costume fabric and some of your dark handspun yarn so it will be like you. I will give it blue eyes, although I usually give them brown eyes." I was so excited to be able to give that doll to my mother for Christmas that year. So excited that when I received it, I asked her if I could pay her to make another one like it for me. So that little doll is in my nook.

I'll show you some close-ups of the doll and all the detail that Elaine put into her.

Her blue eyes have faded. They once were sapphire
blue. Now more like ice blue.

The big poofy hat is one of her great features.
You have to hold it by the tip-top and
gently sit it on her head to get
the full "poof effect."

Cute little pantaloons trimmed in lace.

And here is how she sits now in my nook.

 And the nook itself.

By the way, if you click on the link to Considine Creations, you will find felted pin cushions, leather thimbles, wool blankets and other products made from Elaine's corriedale sheep wool.

Happy dusting...or knitting...or spinning. :^)