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.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I Got the Blues, Yes, I got the Bluesssss.....

As usual, it has been a few weeks. I have been busy. Nothing unusual or new. Well, except for knitting projects. And dogs.

Let me introduce my dearest dog, Daisy. DBIL & DSIL brought her over from Chattanooga almost 2 weeks ago. Of course she remembered us and was happy to see us. But when Mary & Richard left she did seem a bit confused. And she hated our tile floors. But she has settled in without much ado at all. She had a couple of accidents in the house until she figured out how to let us know she needed out. She has never bothered the cats(their food or their litter), gotten in the garbage, barked much at all, or tried to sleep with us. We can have her out in the yard and she will run but not run away. She does not dig or chase cars. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it?? Well there are a few things that we did have to work on. She chewed a baby tree in half one day out in the yard. We caught her so she did get properly admonished. And for days she kept trying to get in our face constantly all day long. We solved that in just moments when we figured out how to use the "penny can". She will back off and go lie down as soon as she hears the noise. We have actually only had to use it a few times in one day and seldom since. Now she seems so much more settled especially in the evenings. I am working on training her. She sits, stays and comes pretty well. We just started on "lay" down but at the rate she learns it will be old hat in a day or so. The cats have taken their good old time getting used to it all. Especially old Lexi. But for the first time, tonight, Jack is asleep in a chair in the living room just about a foot from where Daisy is also lying. One of the reasons I wanted Daisy to be ours, was that she was a good walker. Turns out she is not able to go on our walks after all. She is awesome but the other dogs out here distract her too much. There are so many dogs that are not confined to quarters and come out when we pass by. There has never been any aggression between them and Daisy. But she thinks they want to play and it is too hard to drag her on by. So I go by myself and most days I walk further than she could anyway. And both DH and I get her out in the yard for plenty of play time. By the way-the picture of her on the love seat?? It is the only thing we can not break her of. She loves to sleep there at night. So we gave up. And everynight I cover the loveseat with her fleece afghan and she gets up there and sleeps like a rock.

The blues that I got?? They are these beautiful ones that I got when I used the liquid from black beans to dye some yarn. The first dip gave me the blues in the hat. Which will also be a sweater(already on the needles, another gathered pullover). The second dip gave me the lighter blue. I am not sure if it is lighter cause the dye was beginning to exhaust or if it was because the yarn was not superwash(takes color faster and better) or if it was cause I ran out of cream of tartar so I only used alum as a mordant. What ever reason, no matter. I am going to knit and felt some hotpads and the color works very well with my kitchen. The third dip was over an already dyed yellow yarn. I threw it in to get some green and although the pics don't really show it that well, it is a very pretty green. Some folks on my natural dyes Yahoo group say that black bean dye fades fairly fast. But so far the hat has been worn out on all my walks for almost a week. Probably at least 8 hours of direct sunlight and I have not noticed any appreciable fading. So I am going to hope for the best and accept any fading that may come over time.
I have several new knitting projects going. Of course you could tell from above that I am making a new Gathered pullover. In that lovely blue that is the same as the hat. This is DK weight yarn so it will have a bit more body than the same sweater knit in sport weight. And I plan on making several more adjustments in the pattern to make it a bit more perfect. The other project is one that I am doing to use up all the bits of natural dyed yarn I have on hand. No pics yet. Lets just say it is going to be gorgeous. More on that later.

We have finally started making real plans to take our 2 DGD's to Disney World over their spring break. We have our hotel rooms booked and most of our travel plans laid out. We haven't told the girls yet and hopefully we will do that this weekend. I can't wait to hear those happy voices shouting out with joy!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Awesomeness on this walk, on a gorgeous winter day, in the amazing state of Tennessee. I know, I do go on a bit too much about our new locale but unless you have been here, don't you roll your eyes.....
Awesomeness on this finished project. The tshirt I am wearing under the sweater simply does not do a thing for the look, but it was what I was already wearing. And DH is so not the photographer. But you get the idea. This is knit from sportweight yarn, hand dyed by me with husks from black walnuts. It is not as dark as I would like but I think I am not going to get it any darker. I want to immediately cast on for another one. But no yarn........must order......must wait for delivery........must dye..........must wash.......and wait for it to no new sweater til sometime next month. So I guess I will dig in my stash and start some quicky project to tide me over. I would start peicing a quilt but I can't seem to find my rotary cutter. I know I packed it to be in the car when we moved but I sure can't seem to find it now.

Awesomeness, cause I managed to get thru an entire week of healthy living. I was feeling a bit sluggish due to the 15+ lbs I had put on since summer. I am not exactly sure of how much it is since I have not owned a scale in many years. But I found a website that is proving to be very helpful to me in getting thru the weight loss. It is called Sparkpeople. It is not just a weight loss site but has tons of info, tools, inspiration and success strageties. It was started by a man who made a bundle with an on-line company that he sold to Ebay. He wanted to give back to the internet world so he started this site and offers it all for free. I joined a group that is doing a cyber walk across the US. I chose Portsmouth NH for my starting point. This is where DD will be living very soon. And I will end at the other coast, at my DS's location. I am using to help me track the journey. I am in Mass. right now and I do think this is going to be a very long term commitment!! But the group has been together a long time and are very supportive to us newbies.

Any non-awesomeness in my life right now? The cold we are getting ready to have the rest of this week. I do not do 8 degrees, even at night. But what's a few frigid days deep in the month of January. I have my knitting and my friends to keep me warm.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Last FO's of 2008, On to 2009

I think I am the only blogger in the whole entire world who did not post a "Good Wishes" type entry for the holidays. But I sure enjoyed everybody else's. I watched lots of great YouTube Christmas Carol videos, saw tons of holiday picture montages, read a good bit of New Year's Resolutions, and laughed over The Panopticon's "12 Days of Christmas" with Delores the randy Sheep. Me-I just sat on my lazy bottom and knit. And for once I actually have pics of a finished object. Of course I had to wait until someone else took the picture, download it onto his computer and then send it to me.

That someone was my dearest brother-in-law, who with his wife(hubby's sister)came from Chattanooga for dinner the day after Christmas. It is the first time they have been over to our new house. Heck, it is the first time they had ever been to our house at all. In 32 years. But now that we are much closer we all vow to make up for lost time. Now maybe we will visit, oh, maybe every 6 months?? We are such a close knit family and all!!

But I did make one heck of a great Christmas dinner for them. I had appetizers. Fresh strawberries, blackberries and 2 kinds of amazing cheeses. We had a soup and bread course. With homemade breads, rustic brown and french. And Curried Pumpkin soup. Well with out the curry cause I forgot to make sure I had some on hand. Then it was the smoked turkey they brought, killer Au Gratin potatos and roasted Balsamic Brussell Sprouts. Oh-and I forgot to say wine. We did have wine. I would say it was good wine, but little did I know that under the foil at the top, instead of corks, they had screwcaps. It is hard to call a wine with a screwcap a good wine. But we made up for it in quantity. Dessert was a homemade Cranberry Cheesecake that did it's damnest to not come out of my ancient springform pan. But the food gods must have known that if I am making a once in a 32 year dinner, nothing should go really wrong.

In between courses, we took walks over our property and up the road to see the view. Richard(DBIL) is doing our landscape plan. I love to grow things, but I have absolutely no idea of how to make things look good. I have no flow, no vision, no clue. But Richard does and I pretty much twisted his arm to help me out. So we photographed, measured and drew out the whole property and hopefully within a few more days, we will have a plan on paper to start implementing.

So while the camera was out he took pictures of Ken and I in front of the house. It just so happens I was wearing my latest finished project-My "February Ladies Sweater". I wasn't sure when I knit it that I would like using the Nashua Creative Focus yarn because of its inherent fuzziness. But you know, it worked up just fine. My only regret is making the sleeves about 4" to long. They come almost to my wrists and they really need to end just below the elbows. I could probably take them out and reknit the cuffs. But you know what?? I am not. I will just wear it like it is and when I knit it again, I will make adjustments. But it is warm and comfortable and well worth the time I put in knitting it. Wish I could say that about every garment I make.

The first project of 2009 is my Gathered Pullover from the IK library. Right now I am in the middle of the cabled area on the front. I have both loved and hated this project at one time, sometimes only minutes apart. I love that I dyed my own yarn, from native black walnuts, hated that it is not dark enough, Loved that I got gauge the first time I tried, hated that it was way to loose looking. Loved when I recast on with smaller needles, hated that I had to take it back out cause I let it twist when I joined in the round. Loved that the sweater will not have cost a fortune to knit, hated that the yarn is not the very best quality, with little breaks coming way to often. Love that it is an easy pattern with lots of stockinette, hate that I can't knit for long without arm pain. Hopefully I will have more loves than hates when all is said and done.

I also managed to get pics of my finished indigo Firestarters. This was the first time to use this base yarns from Catnip Yarns. It is a very soft 100% wool superwash sock yarn that dyed up so very pretty. I could not wait to get these socks done and on my feet. To bad that the first time I wore them they showed serious signs of wear over my big toes on both feet. So I will have to save these for delicate wear and make sure those dagger toe nails of mine are always well clipped before donning said socks. Still they are very pretty. Even if the blue still crocks off just a bit turning my feet a very worrisome blue color..

There was one place in the neighborhood that I did not have a photo for in my last post. I talked about it, but I still had not grabbed the camera any time I was headed in that direction. So DBIL stopped and took this photo of the large billboard right by the side of the parking lot. I tried to convince him to wait til dark so he could also take pics of the christmas lights at the adult bookstore that is also at our interstate exit. They look like fireworks exploding. I love those lights!! It is so much fun living a mile from such interesting landmarks!!

So now for my New Year's wish for all of you. I can only hope that everyone will find peace in their hearts, joy in their lives and happiness in every thing that they do. And that no matter what the differences, that they can lay down together and take a nap like my 2 beasties!!