Monday, April 30, 2012

The Bitter End

Usually I am happy to have something come off the needles but in this case I have been dragging my feet about the whole thing. I am blocking the Kide Shawl and it means that I have made the last of the wedding shawls for all of our beautiful brides that were married this past year. No more weddings. None. It is officially all over. I am sadder than you can imagine. I loved being the Mother/Aunt of the Bride/Groom. No matter what role I was playing it was all good.

Like all the white piles of string I have worked on for the past year and a half, I am amazed at how pretty they become when blocked.

This is Knit Pick's Gloss Bare and it always turns out lovely. Before the price increases it was a steal. Now it is fairly priced for the quality.

It was hard to get a decent photo of white on a gloomy day but I'm sure you get the idea.

 The sun finally came out for a few minutes so I went out and snapped a few quick ones in between the showers.

It's very pretty. Someday I'm going to have to make something like this for myself.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sunday Soup-Sort of

I am totally cheating today's soup by using a mix. By adding an extra cup of rice to the Zatarain's and extra water I get a soupy red beans and rice that is one of my favorite things to eat in the whole world. The only thing missing here is the Crystal Hot Sauce which I found out that I didn't have just when I was sitting down to eat a bowl. I was not happy.

I was happy about some kale chips made from baking some of the garden greens with a spray of olive oil and a dash of sea salt. They were good and crunchy. I think I may have cooked them a little too long. It was my first try at this trendy snack and the next time I am going to find a recipe to follow.

 Even though I have tried very hard to eat as vegan as possible since nasty Mr. Gallbladder went missing last year, I can't resist a tiny sprinkle of cheese on the gooey mess. Yum. Mo.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Count Down Begins

There is only one week now until this year's Maryland Sheep and Wool festival and the neon purple Maluka is finally finished and ready to be thrown casually around my shoulders as I parade around the fairgrounds next weekend. My camera can't even begin to capture the intense purple so that is why is looks like a different color in each photo.

Here is the official Ravelry mugshot. It was a very easy and fun knit but I dropped the ball on really making something that my handspun deserved. I had every intention to make a spectacular Haruni with all that pretty purple BFL but after a year of intense lace knitting I wanted something fun and fast. I could have done a better job. My short rows are sloppy and I goofed up the last 2 rows so now the top edge rolls. Even my stockinette leaves a lot to be desired. Oh well, there is always next year. I'm pretty sure I will bringing home something else to spin into lace for another shawl. It's become a tradition.

The one good thing is that I didn't run out of yarn this year and have to do some frantic last minute spinning as I have had to do in year's past. The entire shawl was made of only two tiny Bosworth mini spindle cops plied together. I have no idea how that could even be possible.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Daddio Update

Daddio has been passing the time making felt pincushions. His old fingers were having trouble with the little needles and thread so we got him some thicker things to play around with on days his hands aren't cooperating.

On the days he is in good form he is working on paper piecing a tumbler quilt. He has already requested that I order another couple of packs of the paper pieces so it seems he must be having more good days than bad.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Strange Obession

Yes, I am still washing and dyeing the last of last year's MD Sheep and Wool fleece. There is just a week or so left before I will be dragging home another, I hope.

 I am getting a bit tired of my deck looking like this all the time but if I go more than a few days without something soaking or being ready for washing I get fidgety. How long is it until the Tour de Fleece?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Life or Death Situation

My Jurassic Park of a backyard took quite a hit from hurricanes Isabelle and Irene. I was heartbroken to lose so many of my favorite trees.

 The yard is still littered with some that are so big we can't figure out how to remove them safely. The cats love them but they are getting hard to mow around.

 Things have recently become even more complicated because we noticed that some of them are coming back to life.

 My beloved giant black walnut that was nothing but firewood last fall is sprouting leaves! You can't take a chainsaw to something that wants to live so badly as that. I just hope The Mister feels the same way because I would love to have the walnuts for dyeing again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making Short Work of Short Rows

 I have come to the short row part of the Maluka. I hate short rows. Mine are always ugly and full of gaps.

 Then one day, while parked on the couch in front of the TV watching Knitting Daily I learned a nifty trick using stitch markers on the working yarn to make a little loop to use to wrap and turn without wrapping. I love it.

 It is brilliant. Who thinks of these things? Whoever you are, I thank you. You can find a tutorial here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Know Thy Fleece

This is all I have left of the Corrie fleece I bought last year. It looks like a lot but what's left is pretty yucky stuff.

Or so I thought.
I usually dig through the bag and pull out all the big chunky locks like the one on the left and ignore the stringy looking ones on the right that are so dirty they appear to come from the back end of the beast. Daddio had stuffed some in the bags the day he was helping me wash and not wanting to make a big deal of it, I went ahead and washed them. When I spun them I was surprised by how different they felt. They were soft and fluffy, something Corriedale is not usually known for. It just goes to show you how little I know about fleece. Before I spend anymore money on one, I think it's time I learn.

In the meantime I have more of this yucky fleece to wash. Four bags full...and them some.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Soup

Navy beans, bay leaves, onions, celery, carrots

This Sunday we are having my favorite white bean soup. It is more like a meatless cassoulet than a soup because it is so thick.

I also attempted to make some hard dumplings. Daddio always talks about how his mother made the best hard dumplings in the world so as a surprise I tried a recipe I found on the internet. I found them yucky but Daddio loved them. Go figure.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Knitting Daily

I am always late to the party so it is no surprise that I have just discovered Knitting Daily. Here, it is on channel 268 and although we have hundreds of channels, I rarely go above 60 since it has been my experience there is nothing much worthwhile up there in the big numbers. Lo and behold, one rainy morning while surfing around I found knitting on TV!

Not only was there knitting but there was crocheting too. I am not much of a crocheter but after seeing this shawl on Kristin Omdahl, one of the hosts, I intend to become a convert. It is the Sprouted Chains Shawlette and I really, really want one.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Destination Unknown

The dregs of the Corrie fleece are finally being hand carded and spun.

I am pretty terrible at hand carding so I went to You Tube for help. The two most important things I learned there were that less fiber is more on the cards and that you need to treat the wool like baby hair. Easy does it is my new carding motto and it does make a difference.

I still can't roll the rolag with the free carder the fancy way I saw everyone do so I have to roll them by hand.

I used to hate hand carding but now that I have calmed down about the whole deal and stopped fighting with the wool I find it kind of relaxing. I feel very Little House on the Prairie with that big pile of wool on my lap.

I am spinning the rolags longdraw and I am trying to be calm about that too and just let the yarn happen. I've got tons of handspun that I slaved over to make into my vision, this time I am letting the wool take me where it wants to go.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Labor of Love Part 3

There is no getting around the fact that when you finish a paper pieced project the paper pieces must come out.

It's not easy. It might be if you did it right but since Daddio makes stuff up as he goes along they were all in there pretty darn good.

This was his first project ever and it's been in the works for a long time. He made it out of old remnants he found in my mom's sewing basket. He just put them together willy-nilly and now we are finally going to applique this center piece onto a backing, add some borders and call it a day. Mom would have thought this all very funny. Dad sewing? Hilarious.

You can read the whole story here and here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


 I've been lying to myself again. I just wrote about how I was never going to make rainbow colored clown barf again and then I went and did it anyway.

  Not like a few weeks later but more like later that same day. Maybe it was the power of suggestion or maybe it was all those brightly colored locks that made me want to card up yet another bunch of rainbow batts. Whatever the reason, I now have a another skein of chain plied psychedelic yarn waiting for a project-and I'm not in the least bit sorry.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Sea of Green

The garden has been putting out tons of green stuff for weeks.

 We eat it for dinner almost every night. In order to get rid of it I have to put it in everything.

I even put it in the dog food this week. I shouldn't be complaining but at the moment there are still two bags full in the refrigerator and I haven't even been picking yet today.

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Very Good Start

The weekend quilting bee at Dad's was a big success in spite of my absence on Saturday. I got over there bright and early on Sunday morning to help. Tea and coffee on the porch watching the sun come up over the bay was first on the agenda along with a good chat.

 Sister was able to follow my directions and was eager to show me the blocks they completed.

They are gorgeous. I can't wait to see the finished quilts.

This being the magical Serendipity quilt means that she will have two quilts when she is done.

The weekend  wasn't without its casualties. A few blocks had some boo boos.

Daddio tried to rescue the unlucky blocks to no avail.

 No matter, we still have lots to do and lots more stuff to do it with. By time she comes down for another visit we will be well on our way to having this done.

We always measure our success by how much we wear Daddio out and by the afternoon he was really worn out. We even wore out Sister's pooch. I am sure he was happy to see us all go home.