small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

"Knit" & "Purl" Ambigram

I have long toyed with the idea of a tattoo. And boy this one just about tips the scales in favor. But in order for it to show well it would have to be a bit big. So now the question is-Where??

The beauty of this tattoo is that in one direction the words read "knit" but look in the opposite direction and those same words read "purl" How genius is that ya'll!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Final Frontier

I hope everyone has been doing well since my last blog posting. I know it has been awhile. It probably always will be!! Our weather has been seeing a nice rainy spell with slightly cooler weather. That does seem to energize me but it all has to get directed at the housekeeping chores. After all the house must look good all the time for the 1 whole potential homebuyer that has come by in the last month. Boy the next time Bush says the economy is still strong I want to cram those words back down his throat.
But I have been getting some nice knitting in. I have been forcing myself to try and get 5 squares done a day on Audry. Today she topped out at the 700 mark. Woohoo!! Right now I am planning to do another 51 squares and I hope to god that is enough. I am so ready to put the finishing touches on her and add her to my finished projects list on Ravelry. I didn't get to go take her picture today any place special. Although she might have enjoyed my trip to the commissary or to get my hair cut. Anymore that is as exciting as my life gets.
Well-I have finally done something I have always said I would not do, but secretly really wanted to. Knit 2 socks @ a time on magic loop from the toe up.. Oh and with short row heels to boot. I was about to work on a pair of quicky ankle socks for Katie and I was going to use some fairly bright fair isle Opal sock yarn. So I knew they would just be stockinette. What better time would there be than this to try out the new technique. So cast on I did. And the force must have been with me cause the first few rows felt like I was wrangling an octopus. But since I already did 1 pair of toe up magic loop, one at a time socks I knew what I was seeing, just in duplicate. The turkish cast on I use already looks wonky for a few rows until you get going, but with 2 on the needle at the same time you really have to have faith. But it took no time at all to start to recognize the toe shape and to be able to feel like I had some control over the bus. And as soon as I could weave my starting ends in it was even less of a struggle to find the correct yarn to knit with next. So now I am almost done with both feet, the fair isle stripes match exactly and I feel so accomplished. I am pretty sure it even goes faster than doing it one at a time since you only have to readjust the stitches on the needle once for each round. Where before you adjusted it once each round for each sock. And the pushing the stitches around is half the time it takes to knit socks no matter how you do it, DPN's included. I will be hitting the heel probably on Friday and that is something that could make me change my mind about the whole thing. Can I knit both heels at the same time or will I have to take one sock off the needles and work the first, switch out and work the other, put them both back on the needles and finish? I will let you know next blog post.
This pair of socks are some I knit for Maddy. They are the toe up, short row heels, knit one at a time. This is the first time I used the new Lion Brand Sock Ease and I am very happy with the end result. I bought this skein for $6.99 when they got the first few skeins into Hobby Lobby. Since then they have raised the price to $9.99 but I think that is still a great price for a decent yarn available locally. Well at least when they are not sold out of the stuff. I really liked the colorway with the random narrow stripes going thru.
I have not gotten much more natural dyeing done lately. But I have a pattern for a sweater all ready which takes 8 colors and I plan on using all natural colors. But unfortunately I don't have enough of the right colors so I need to order more yarn and whip out a few more batches. I am also going to order indigo and give that a try the old fashioned way. I am not going to go into that right now but if you google it you will either get a chuckle or a big "Ewwwwwww" so lets leave it at that.
There is finally something for me to look forward to at the end of the summer. I had planned on going to the Nashville quilt expo this August, thinking we would be living in Tennessee by then. But when that looked doubtful I gave up thinking about going. But I found I had just enough frequent flyer miles to at least get there for free. So I threw caution to the wind and booked a flight. I got a room off another lady who has ended up not able to come, so I got her reduced early bird rate. So Aug 19th I will be Nashville bound and staying at the 1 hotel I have always wanted to stay at-The OpryLand Hotel. Although I will not be staying in a room with a garden/atrium view. But I sure can walk thru and enjoy it while I am there. I really am not going so much for the show but to meet up with 12 of my on-line friends. Some I have met before and enjoy very much but I will be meeting many of them for the first time face to face. I won't go out and do too much outside the hotel. Since we hope to be living near by very soon I will just focus on the show and my friends. But I bet I will still get in plenty of partying with my dear quilting friends.
This is Pokeweed. Doesn't usually grow in my garden but self seeded this year. The plant will get gorgeous dark berries that are absolutely no good for dyeing.
And here is a lovely Dahlia blossom, perfect for dyeing a nice pale straw color

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Finally a Fix

I have been having trouble since day 1 with posting images here on blogger. It frustrated me to no end to have to deal with their method of choosing, placing and formatting images. The last post of my trip to the Wichita's just drove me over the edge. If I posted all large images the post would have gone on forever and eaten up a large amount of my free image availability. And when I posted small images you didn't seem to be able to click on them to open them up to the large size. It may have something to do with file size but I have played with that to no avail and have given up.

Well-In my email today was an invitation to Nikon's Picture Town photo storage site. I think it is available to anyone that has bought and registered a Nikon product such as my camera and/or my Nikon photoediting program. I can store at least 2000 images for free depending on their size and then if I need to I can pay for more storage. I have had this email several times and always questioned the need for another photo hosting site in my life. I already use Flickr & Snapfish for different reasons at different times. Heck I even still have an active account at Webshots but I never use it anymore.

Well-the light bulb came on this morning when I noticed that it talked about using Picture Town images on your blog, saving you from having to pay for file space for images. So I went ahead and signed up. I decided to see what would happen using it with Blogger. So I went ahead and uploaded all my pics from the hiking trip and started playing. I have now completely redid all the images in the previous posting. The upside-it is way easier to load my images now. And to place them where I want in the size I want. And then I can simply give a link to the larger photo stored on Picture Town. Giving everyone access if they wish to click on the link and see the photo the way it was intended. And now I will never go over my free limit at blogger-Whoppee!! The only downside is having to upload all my blogging images to PT but it really was easy and do-able. And also now my posts appear a little longer due to the links taking up space. I still have some playing around to do which may allow me to condense those a little but I just ran out of steam for this attempt. So go back and enjoy nicer pics of my hike in the post below and expect this form to appear in my posts from now on.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The beauty of the Wichita's

I have lived here in SW Oklahoma for almost 20 years. now And only about 20 miles from the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Yet I hardly ever get out there to see the beauty that abounds at every turn in the road. Alot of time in the summer I think it is just too hot, during the winter too cold but those are just excuses, lame ones at best. But who would guess that my knitting would actually get me off my butt and out to the mountains this last week. And boy am I glad it did.

What precipitated this drive to go out to the mountains you ask? Well-My sudden love for dyeing yarn with natural materials. After an amazing experience dyeing with lichen from my trip to N Carolina I wanted to see if our very own moutains had anything new to give. It didn't even dawn on me at first that the Wichita's would have lichen since I tend to think very little grows out on those barren windswept dry granite crags. All my previous trips out there left me with the impression all that grew there was cactus, prarie grass and poor little stunted oak trees. But I googled "Wichita Mountains" and every entry came up with "Lichen covered" so I knew I had to go out with new eyes.

So this last monday it was slated to be just a tad bit cooler, perfect for hiking. I packed up my camera, strapped on hiking sandals over hand knit socks and grabbed some baggies for collecting and headed out. The first place I pulled off was the picnic grounds next to Mt Scott itself. It was early and being monday the place was empty. Well except for the 2 very big buffalo sitting at the one way entrance to the grounds themselves. But they let me by, I went on a bit to be sure I wasn't bothering them and got out of the car to explore. I immediately saw that lichen was on every single rock in the area. A beautiful chartreuse green, the common gray and quite a bit of a rusty orange. I found quickly that only the common gray was going to come off those rocks and go into my collecting bag. I thought this was probably just the same Hypogymnia that I have already used but so many are similar and can vary alot even due to local and climate. So I picked little bits off here and there to not cause any damage. Now I did know that it is illegal to remove any materials from a National Park so I was careful to keep my eyes open, not only for those buffalos but for Park Rangers too!! Anyway I collected enough from that area and moved on hoping for better variety elsewhere.

Next was the Jed Johnson lake area. After getting out of the car I chose the quick trail to the lake first. I had to walk thru some pretty heavy vegetation to get to the water but oh my-what treasures I found to the eye!! I can not name either one of these flowers just right now but are they not amazing?? No I did not pick any of this, it was way to beautiful just where it was.

This is probably some sort of campanula*7QfNdFdJExw7d-xNDq7py6xR4K/item.jpg?rot=1

This is from a large shrub that seems to be everywhere around the water

Then I took the longer trail that circles the lake part of the way and works it's way up to the tower overlooking the lake. I am not sure what the tower is for, perhaps an old lookout post?*kJIDp%25zV0lzDRenZ-2rEQKjv/item.jpg?rot=1

All along the trail up to the tower, the oaks were covered with more lichens. I easily picked just from dead downed branches and filled up my baggie. And I found more rocks with the gray lichen so plentiful that I quickly had more than enough of that also. So I could concentrate on the scenery around me a bit more. Which was good cause the trail was a bit of a rough one and more than once I almost did a bad ankle turn. And I worried just a bit about rattlesnakes as one should in that kind of area. Lucky for me I never saw a hint of a snake but instead was blessed to see a number of these collared lizards who didn't seem camera shy one bit!!

Back at the trailhead my car was still sitting all by its lonely self. I had yet to see a single soul on my walks. What a glorious day the rest of the world was missing. I mused at where I should head next. The park headquarters still to the west or back to the east where I would find Mt Scott and also some food cause by this time I was starving. But I did head west and stop in at the visitor's center. I didn't find much in the bookstore and I have been thru all the exhibits before so I made a quick turn around and back to the east. I did make a few quick detours down a few roads along the way back. The one to the Holy City of the Wichita's was thick with Buffalo. At one point I had to sit with my car in idle to let the massive beasts cross the road both in front and behind me. They took their leisurely time and let me get a good look at those lovely coats that yeild some of the softest, warmest fiber on earth. Right now I do not own any Buffalo yarn but sorely want to soon. But I think I will let those expert buffalo wrangler's get if off the beasts for me!!

One last stop to make-the summit of Mt Scott. The drive is a short one winding you round the mountains a few times before coming to the parking lot at the top. I can not even begin to tell you how resplendent the rocks were lining the drive up the moutain. Every rock was covered in the bright yellow green lichen that I had hoped to be able to collect some of. And the colors of the lichen just glowed against the red of the sandstone and grey of the granite rocks. Add the crystal blue sky above and it is no wonder my pictures came out so spectacularly that day. I walked around a bit at the top almost alone in the parking lot. I took the time to snap a few more pics including a few of Audry II since I had dragged her along just for that purpose. I climbed down a bit and sat on a rock out of sight of the world for just a few minutes and drank in all the glory God had given me that day. But eventually hunger really was taking over and I needed to go back to my mundane life and every day activities. And of course I wanted to see what my new lichens were going to give me in the way of color. I was barely in the house before I was boiling water to test out my new finds. But alas the colors of the day would all be in my pictures and in my memory cause all I got was the same orange I had gotten with my N Carolina lichen, nice but I have enough of that for awhile!!*nJV.b0Iw8YgTN*a8rcXBUTcCQMS30MB5KvES8Kks3%25FWD8/item.jpg?rot=1*nwuDTmrjbp24DcgQNLP97dOMeWM4z*78TjH/item.jpg?rot=1*NrvHSXIUGPQi.qlotRiihaQg/item.jpg?rot=1

So after a quick trip back down the mountain, I headed home. Well at least with a pitstop at Burger King and then to the commissary on the way. And here are a few of the final pictures I took on top of Mt Scott-please enjoy!!*k%253a1/item.jpg?rot=1*R3bGj.JrOQRbKRUTC5MxZ%3D5ND1atUzA10dVdQ26Q6DLdM0ab2cfwVoSD/item.jpg?rot=1