Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter Greetings

I hope your day is filled with chocolate bunnies, marshmallow chicks and jelly beans! 
I know mine will be.

Saturday, March 30, 2024

I Give Up


Every year I get fired up about planting stuff and every year it's a disaster. No matter what I do the deer keep pulling all my flowers right out of the pots. My pansies are goners. 

Look at my hostas. They've already eaten them to a nub. I'm sick over them. They were my grandmother's. I brought them with me when we moved here. I know they aren't dead but they will look terrible this year. They are usually safe until mid August but the deer got started on them early this year. The poor things are barely out of the ground. 

They haven't eaten my fancy new rhododendron-yet. Isn't it pretty? It looks like an azalea doesn't it? I have a new azalea too but it's not blooming yet. 

My new Alberta spruce looks happy. It's got a lot of new growth. I should have just bought a bunch of these and put them everywhere. The deer don't seem to bother the prickly things. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

Friday Fluff


This yak is a done deal. 

It took me a while to get used to the yak down that was mixed in with the merino but it all sorted itself out. I was hoping it was neck worthy but it's not so it won't be the cowl I was was hoping for but it will be something, someday.

Now I'm working on that merino I carded last week. 

I thought it needed a bit more contrast so I bought some darker roving to add to the next batts I make. 

The handspun Garter Squish is much happier with the lighter yellow and green mix. It grew about an inch this week.

And....the second handspun sock is on the needles. I didn't have a great time making the first on to be honest but I'm determined to see it through. Then I'm going to dive into my glorious sock yarn stash and find something fun because this sure isn't. 

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Ready, Sett, Go...


Remember this? I was happily threading my ends through the dents in the reed. A 10 dent reed to be exact. The one I almost always use for this size cotton which is 8/2.

Now it looks like this-only that's not the same reed. That's a 12 dent reed because when I got to the end of the line I was out of slots to pull the yarn through. I was baffled. I've done this particular draft many times and it always works out. Not this time.

Upon closer examination, I discovered that I had added an extra rust colored section on the right hand side. The symmetry is off. I could rip it all out and unwind it to fix it but I'm not. I just changed the reed to give me more slots. What that's going to do to the fabric, I have no idea so I took a crash course on how it might affect the sett but the math made my head hurt. Sett btw is like a knitting swatch. It's how many ends are in an inch of fabric so this should be a more compacted fabric. It also might cause some breakage in the warp because it's a tighter fit. After a lot of thinking, I decided I'm just going to use this as an experiment because.....

...I'm more interested in getting to this. It's my sock yarn scarf waiting for its turn on the loom. I sure don't need another dishtowel but I could really use a new scarf.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wednesday WIPs


I'm so happy I fought the battle of Riddari and came out on the other side. The light brown adds a lot to the design. It was worth ripping back to make it right. I'm also not working on a section with three colors at the moment so it's been smooth sailing for a change.

One of the handspun socks is finished. It's big and baggy but it's supposed to fit over my regular socks for extra warmth when it's too cold for my Crocs alone. 

I finished attaching the fifth row of Audun and have a pile of squares ready to go for row six. former co-workers met for lunch on Monday afternoon in Annapolis. We haven't seen each other since before the Pandemic. Several of us, me included, are not too fond of eating in crowded restaurants anymore but we found a place that was practically empty. We talked and laughed and then talked and laughed some more. It was a good time.

One of my them had recently discovered the Diamond Dotz thing so I had to show her the light house that The Mister's been working on. She showed me photos of her portfolio. She keeps her finished projects in a binder and I wish I could show you how many she had. 

She even brought us each a Dotz magnet as a gift and took orders for some really beautiful bookmarks. They are not a particularly crafty bunch so for me to be able to share someone else's excitement over their work made the day even better. 

Finally....I know you've heard of the bridge collapse here in Maryland. I woke up to the alert at 6 am which is just about the time that my new found brother goes over that bridge to work every morning. Thankfully it happened late at night and thankfully there was some warning but still.....what a mess. What a heartbreak for those who lost family members. I watch those cargo ships go by everyday heading up to the Bay Bridge and it never crossed my mind that such a thing was possible. It sure makes you think. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Tiny Needle Tuesday


We had a rainy Saturday so I have a bit more than usual to show off this week. Village Quaker has a new flower vase and a pointy blue thingy that's a part of the big corner section that comes next. 

The first border on Patchwork Printemps is done. I had to rip out and re-stitch those leaves THREE times before I got them in the right place. It seems that counting is not my thing. Thankfully, I now get to stitch the fancy edging. I always like doing that. little Sheep from the Heap has more of its berry patch to trample. Those are NOT the same berries I showed off last week. Like those leaves on Patchwork Printemps, I had to rip them out and put them in the right place. The best part of our collective Tiny Needle Tuesday and is finding out that I'm not the only one that is numerically challenged from time to time. It seems it's just part of the process. 

And....the beer soap turned out better than I expected. It's a bit softer than my regular soap but I'll just give it a longer cure and see what happens. Happily, it does NOT smell like beer. It has a very light, nutty scent that's not terrible. Now I have to figure out where to put it. My drying shelves are full. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

More Leftovers


Who has leftover beer? We did. For one reason or another we had two cans of expired beer in the back of the refrigerator. I was going to dump them when I remembered.... can make soap out of beer. You have to cook it down first to get the alcohol out and then let it cool so that's just what I did. 

All of my soap stuff has been cleaned and packed away so I ended up having to measure everything out in the kitchen this time around. I had to use a lot of my cooking oils because I was pretty much out of everything else so the location worked out well. 

It's a simple soap to put together but it STINKS. So much so that I mixed it all up and poured it into the mold outside. I had been warned about that smell in the videos that I had watched. 

By the time I had everything cleaned up and back where it belonged that smell was gone. Since my incubator was crammed full of stuff that I had put away, I had to make one out of a dishpan turned upside down. This soap, being made primarily of soft oils, will have a longer time in the mold. I'm giving it 48 hours instead of my usual 24 before I try to unmold it. 

And.......after my soap making adventure we took a walk and lo and behold, all the construction fencing was gone from the new library down at the beach. We could walk right up to it and take a look around the grounds so we did. It's going to open on the 16th of April with a ribbon cutting. I know The Mister can't wait. He gets panicky if he doesn't have a pile of books and our dinky old library's been closed for a few weeks now as they prepare for the big move. 

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Short Line


In spite of it being very much spring here, I'm still finding a few minutes here and there to work on the February quilt. This is my fourth block so far and I don't have the slightest urge to pack it up yet. Imagine that.

I've finished all the blocks for Charming Stars and now have to figure out how to do the sashing. I've never done those corner stone things before so it's been interesting. 

I have two more sides of the lighter little house borders to machine quilt and then I have to figure out what to do with the skinny brown edging. This is where things always get ugly for me. The machine likes to eat up those edges and make a mess of them. I do a lot of ripping out but if I don't quilt them they get weirdly puffy after washing. 

Oddly enough, even though I have plenty of sewing work to keep me busy, this week I've been obsessed with the quilt on the right, Scrappy Short Line by Miss Rosie's Quilting Company. I've searched high and low for the pattern with no luck but I did find and buy this one.......'s her pattern for the mini version called Slice. I'm not saying I'm starting one anytime soon but it couldn't hurt just to play around with a few scraps now and then, right? 

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Playing Chicken


I think I did the right thing with Spiral Chicken. I made one trip around her with the darkest color and I think it's going to work. 

For reference, here's the designer's vision. case you are wondering, here is the designer. 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Friday Fluff


The yak singles are finished. Now they get to sit for a bit before I can ply them.

Now I'm thinking "what comes next" so I went stash diving and found lots of bags of solid color merino. 

There's a lady in the UK on Tik Tok Live that cards up batts to order using a method I'd never seen before. She bypasses the bottom roller and just lays the fiber on the top as the carder spins. Since the fiber has already been processed you can do it this way.

What she gets are custom colored batts that you can watch her make while she chats with you over color choices. It's pretty cool. 

I had loads of fun adding layers of colors to a base of light green. Now I want all the colors. I'll have to buy more. 

Since I have a small carder, I only got about one ounce out of my first try. I'll have to do this four more times to get enough for a project which is not a problem since it was fun and not at all messy. I usually have to take my fiber stuff outside but there wasn't a speck of fiber where it shouldn't be when I was done. 

And.....since we are on the subject of spinning, here's my handspun Garter Squish getting ripped back yesterday. I had added an orange section and I HATED IT. It was too bright and looked all wrong so off it went to the frog pond. 

I didn't have any problem finding something else for that section. I've got boxes and boxes of wonky handspun that up until that awful orange, played very nicely together in the Garter Squish. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

All Wound Up


All the yarn I had ripped back from the fingering weight Gray Blob was a kinky mess. I had taken care of some of it but the rest of it needed to be skeined up, washed and hung to dry to straighten it out so I could use it again.  

I also had the loom looking like this which means I'm getting close to actually weaving which means...'s time to be doing this which means.....

...I had to do a whole lot of this. 

All the new skeins of sock wool I wanted to use for the warp got wound up but now that I am about halfway through winding that warp I realize that making a scarf takes a whole lot of yarn. I might have to put in another order.