Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playing catch-up....

Flamingo, from Miss 2 of these
So SAFF, this wonderful festival each year in Hendersonville, October.  Have you been there?  Make plans to go if you haven't and get ready for the schedule (whenever it is posted), because I will!  I go each year and love every minute.
I bought several things this year and here are just a few of my lovely finds :)
Tussah silk to add to batts, since I am going to drum up a few of my own....I'm so excited!

And a little batt I found on my way out that I loved.  IT is so soft!
I just have to order my drum carder.  I took a class on art yarn spinning from Jazz Turtle Creations and LOVED it.  I highly recommend this class if you ever get a chance.  I decided I want a drum carder and want to play with batts, so I am taking that plunge next year.
This is my yarn, MY yarn from this class.  I love it so much.  No clue what to do with it right now, but just look at it with such happiness.  It has sequins, feathers, fabric, strings, felted much fun!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowy days....

Snowy days to me mean finishing up projects or naps.  Since I don't have "me time" for naps (interrupted by others) I chose to work on some projects.  I finished plying some handspun from a few months ago.  Yes, that long ago!  Shame on  me for being so slack.  I think I have about 212 yards in this and don't even remember what it was....though it would be easy enough for me to go back and find, but alas I am lazy.
And snowy days also mean starting new socks with this KnitPicks yarn, Essential in Meadow Multi.  It is superwash merino and nylon and VERY splitty.  Oh my gosh, so splitty!  That is driving me crazy.  I have been wanting to learn how to start socks from the toe up, but have never found a class.

I am a visual/hands on learner, so hearing it and reading it are harder for me.  I want to see it!  I broke down and bought Toe Up 2-at-a-time socks to learn how and it worked!  I started my first pair of toe up socks. 
It doesn't look like much, but it is the beginning for this little journey and so far I am enjoying it.  I just hope I don't panic when it comes time for the heels and gussets, etc.  
Now I plan to go and spin a little on some roving I picked up at SAFF :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A few projects I have been working on...

 Just a few projects I have finished in the last couple of months...making gifts.

These are scarves I made for coworkers.  They are fleece on one side and fabric with ball tassels on top.  I ended up making 4 more too!  Great, warm gifts that help use up stash fabric.

 The 18 seconds to sunrise hat from Ravelry was another gift.  A fairly quick knit also and the end result a nice thick hat.  Used stash yarn on 10 needles.  Was a super bulky yarn, no clue from where, but worked great.  Might make one for me too :)

 Classic WWII Watch cap is also from Ravelry and made with Patons Classic Wool in Mercury.  I actually remember this yarn!  Took longer than I expected, but happy with the hat. 

This was supposed to be a headband, but wanted to use all of my handspun, so it is a little scarflette.  I need to block the lace pattern out, since it looks all scrunched up.  I dyed this roving last year and spun it up this spring.  Now I have knitted it into a cute scarflette.  Yes, needs to be blocked...
Baby Jester hat was made for a baby gift.  It actually has 3 points and is so stinking cute!  I plopped it onto a grapefruit to get a picture.  I hope they like it.  Haven't heard from them since I gave the gift....

The Hannah hat from Ravelry
I made 3 of these out of my handspun (the darker purplish color at top is one of them), then made 2 out of leftover yarn from other baby projects.  This was a quick knit and if I do anymore I will definitely make them longer, since they come just to the top of my ears.

So, just a few things I have finished.  Nothing major or fancy.  Just idle knitting that has been a stress reliever.
I have started another pair of socks, a sweater vest, and a fan and feather scarf too.  I really need to go clean house :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

And life goes on....

Terry Douglas Key, one of the greats....
I missed my blog, but my heart just wasn't in it for me...wasn't in anything really.  My grandfather passed away in August this year.  My uncle tragically passed away in October.  He was at work (his job entailed being on the lake at times) and he and a coworker went missing from there boat one day.  The next day they were found.  My family has had a tough time this fall and I have been angry and sad, but I am getting back in there....  I still think of them both and cry...can't help it, just do.  They were both wonderful men.

I have found solace and much prayer time in knitting.  I have tried to steal minutes here and there to knit and talk to God about what has happened and it has helped.  Knitting is such a stress reliever!

So on this snowy Christmas day I decided to visit my blog and start again.  I have completed a few projects over the last few months and of course I didn't take pictures of everything before I gave them away.  That is the forgetful side of me.  Anyway, I want to get back in here and breath life again with a happy heart.

Merry Christmas to each of you! I hope you have a blessed holiday season.  Safe with friends and family and wishes granted.  Hug those you love, tell them you love them!  Don't it now!  :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

and the world crashed...

My uncle died this weekend.  Not 2 months after my grandfather passed away, my uncle tragically died.  He and a coworker were in a boating accident at work.  They were missing for a day and were found Friday.

Our worlds have crashed here and I don't know what to say.  I don't mean to make people sad, but I am sad. We are all sad.  I feel myself sliding into a deep hole and asking why every five minutes. 
So, prayers are much needed in my family.  I know you don't know us, but please send us warm thoughts to get through this...we need it.
Thank you

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I hate unplanned breaks....

just wanted to throw out there that I have had to take a little break from all things loved.  Was on my way home from work a couple of Mondays ago when BAM....rear ended!  So, no fun here...aching neck, shoulders, back and wrist (hit the steering wheel).

Accidents happen, but I have to say I'm angry and trying to get over that feeling.  I STILL don't have my car back, having to deal with some nasty attitude people at the insurance agency, still aching, etc.  So, unplanned break.

Long story short...16 year old girl, license 2 weeks, car 5 days, wasn't watching the road (she said she had looked away and didn't see me, a lady that saw it said she was using her phone)....rear ends me at full speed :(

It is full of crazy things.  No one was seriously injured, so I am blessed....but still mad :)  I am getting over it and have knitted a little this week without a headache starting or my wrist flaring up.  Anyway, back in the game soon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

How do you down or toe up?

I finally finished my "as I'm traveling" socks, which are a generic Magic Loop Top Down sock, so have to start another pair :)  It made me stop to wonder about top down vs toe up.  See...(there is always a see...) I am magic loop socks (didn't jive well with the DPN method because I kept getting 2nd sock syndrome) and the only way I have done is top down.  But I always misgauge my yarn and have extra.  With these I had 144 yards extra.  (that will become baby booties)

I would LOVE to learn toe up, but I don't know anyone that does toe up and I am frightened by it.  Yes, I'm skeerd!!!  I may have to check out YouTube for some tutorials and encouragement, but I want any opinions you may have on doing toe up.  That way I won't worry about the yarn!! :)  Brilliant!
Since I finished the socks and finished a headband, which became a short scarf and is blocking right now.  I had to cast on something else and grabbed some of my handspun/handdyed.  I am now making a hat out of it.  The hat is from Ravelry and is called Hannah and it is looking quite nice so far....
I am getting ready to start the head part and was able to knock out the band last night while watching Hoarders on Netflix.  Let me say if you have not seen this show GO WATCH IT!  I was so terrified that I would become a hoarder that I started is a little scary.  Anyway, loving the hat and also getting ready to cast on for a sweater, ikes! 

Okay, let me know how you down or toe up and give me pointers for toe up please!!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Like Frankenstein....she is alive!!!

I am alive!!!  I have use of my right hand/arm, I can hold my coffee cup, I can dry my rear, I can knit for a few minutes before it starts to ache....but I can't turn a doorknob, push a stapler, carry a bag, lift anything, or hold a leash with it.  Bummer!!!  But I can knit :)  good times.

So, I haven't taken any knitting pictures because I am basically behind on that front, but I do have a few bellydance pictures to share.  Now, I HATE to have my picture taken.  I have lopsided eyes, my teeth are huge, one side of gum shows more than the other, my hair is flat, etc.  I just don't have my picture taken, except on recital night!  Then I want all the paparazzi in the world to snap away.

I think it is due to my love of costumes....LOVE them.  Love putting on make-up, big earrings, jewels on my face, feathers in my hair, LOVE to play dress take my picture.
I did one part of a tribal combo with the tambourine, which was so much fun and I got into shaking that bad boy.  And then I did the 2nd combo with feather fans...
I adore the feather fans, they are so gorgeous!  I have a thing for feathers.  You can't see, but when I made my coin bra and tassel belt I added feathers all cool!

And I had to throw this picture in, so you can see my enthusiasm for His Majesty's picture taking.  He usually gets about 20+ pictures of a blonde and brunette...that are not me....every recital.  I have lots of pictures of them....not me.

Since I won a bellydancer award this time (cool beans!!!) I was giving him the face...the one saying "you had better get a picture of me, not all the other gals up here!!!"  And he did...he got a picture of the face :)

But he didn't get a picture of this skirt...and I made it right before the recital and LOVED it.  Oh, I love bellydancing...we have a blast! off to take a picture of the knitting I'm not doing right now...

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

I never said I was graceful....

heck, I'm a clumsy mess most times!  I proved this over the weekend while hiking with the poopies and His Majesty.

Okay, it happened like this...but first, this is where I grew up and where my family still lives.  I live about an hour away in an actual city.  This is Wilson's Creek, also known as "the gorge."  Gorgeous place full of mountains, trails, water, and rocks.

We pulled over in a little spot and decided to climb down a trail that was not an official trail.  It was steep, but I made it down the gigantic hill, wondering how the heck I would get back up??????

His Majesty has the poopies at this point, we had taken them off the leash so they could descend.  He is about 20 feet ahead of me climbing out on rocks. 

Well, I proceed to climb across these rocks here...and step on a little trail of water.....BAM, down I go sliding down the rocks, heading for the water, unable to stop...just like a movie!  (I slipped on the bleeping water trail!)

I yell for HM and finally grab an outcrop and stop.  I am freaking out, thinking I am plunging to my death.  (see below these rocks is actual water with more rocks, but when flying down the rock you don't think about think "crap I'm going to bash my skull in and I can't pay my deductible!")

Anyway, I survived, HM grabbed my backpack and helped lift me onto the big rock.  BUT I landed on my right hand and couldn't move it....AT ALL.  No knitting or spinning...that's what I was thinking...and I can't pay my deductible so no doctor visit!

I told him no ER or Urgent Care, I would be fine...and I didn't cry!!!  I wasn't being brave, I was being care sucks! But today is the first day I could move my fingers or hold a coffee cup....and actually dry myself!  (Imagine, trying to dry yourself with your nondominant hand!  Go try it, it is near impossible!!!  You will get a bladder infection from trying not to tinkle, cause you know you can't get dry!)
My wrist is fat (really swollen) and bruised and gross, but I have movement....yay!

Though I tumbled, we did have a good time, the dogs LOVED the water and he wrangled them for me.  Afterwards we stopped and saw mammaw, then headed back to town and had shakes (peanut butter fudge for us, hot dogs for the poopies....yummy Cook Out).
This is how they played, don't you love it!!!   Then Ava was spayed for her pain. 
Oh, the whole reason for my babbling about this....I am not able to sew, knit, or spin!  It hurts too much!  I can't open a Diet Sundrop bottle either......travesty! 

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Where to much to share!

A co -worker brought me these lovely old aprons from her grandmother's collection.  Geez, what a treat!  I love aprons and these are so wispy.  They are hanky aprons and I washed them, hung them up to dry and they are waiting to be pressed and hung in my sewing room.  Love it!  (and I do wear them too...I feel like I'm on Mad Men :)
 If that wasn't enough of a sweet deal...I went to a fiber event...fiber yard sale to be exact.  It was about an hour from my house and well worth the trip, though it poured buckets and was cold.  Anyway, got this lovely little pile of unknown batting for spinning. (10 little puffs for $10.00)  Then...
I found a bag of handspun and a bag of bias tape and quilt binding...grabbed it up (2 bucks!)

Then... I found a table with fabric samples from a furniture store and they screamed tote bags to me!  Fifty cent each...I was elbow deep, fighting other tote bag fabric lovers.  I thought I was going to have to throw an angora rabbit on one lady, she was after my squares!!!
But I managed to grab a few and turned around to grab these two fabric bundles for a whopping $2.00.  No clue what to do with them, or even why I needed them, but $2.00 for about 6 yards....I just couldn't say NO!

I loved every cold, wet, fist fighting minute and will go again!!!  I finished it off with a Wendy's chili and side salad and headed back down the mountain :)  Good times.
...and a little pic from the Saturday night recital....all decked in my tribal gear...loving tribal.   I have to go through all the pics and share a few from the event.  I survived and as you can see I even smiled!  I didn't look constipated, like His Majesty says I usually do!  I made half of this costume and even have some of my handspun in my hair ;)  what fun!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sewing to calm my stage fright...

You would think after so many years of taking bellydance class and performing 3 to 4 times a year I wouldn't get nervous, but I do!  Terribly nervous.  So nervous I dreamed last night I was on stage without my costume or make-up and messing up...I cried.  To combat nerves today I thought I would try making dog collars.  

I did and it worked, easy peasy, piece of cake!  I took an old (very stinky) collar apart and kept the hardware.  Then I took my hot pink webbing and made a collar...and sewed "Ava" on it, since Ava will be wearing it :)  Finley refuses to wear pink and gets mad when he gets the purple leash.
She really was thrilled with the collar, you just can't see it in her face right now.  We went on an hour hike through the woods and they were so tired.  It helped my stage fright to hike and focus on sewing....but I still got nervous as I drove over this my full tribal garb.  I need to post some pics so you can see what fun it is....If you have bellydance classes near you, take them!  Run and sign up. You will love it!!!
You will love the classes as much as Finley and Ava love each Truman looks on...he was finally too disgusted to stay any longer and jumped down.  Oh well, soulmates they are...they can't help it!

Go make some collars, you will love them and remain calm in the process!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Now when does summer vacation begin again???

In my area, school starts back for students tomorrow.  I'm not ready!!  In the past the school nurses (that is me) worked 12 months.  We had 6 weeks off this summer and it was so nice!!!  But I didn't get all the stuff I normally would have if I had been working.  So the past 2 weeks I have frantically been playing catch up with staff training and getting ready for my wee ones to return and I just don't feel ready!  I need summer vacation again.

Thus, I have not been doing the fun stuff that relaxes me; reading blogs, baking, sewing, spinning, knitting...I have been fretting and working :)  I need to just get 15 minutes of my fiber therapy in and I will feel better.  Know how that is???

Oh yes, and getting ready for my bellydance student performance!  Yes it is this Saturday and I am so nervous.  Though I have been doing this for almost 6 years now I still panic. 
I will be in 3 tribal "numbers" and one Egyptian....I love the sparkly costumes for Egyptian.  Hey, I just like playing dress up, who am I kidding?????  And getting to wear lots of make-up and false lashes :)  What if you are in Newton, NC on Saturday at 6pm come on out and see us!  It is a blast!!!  

I will be the one trying not to vomit from nerves or looking constipated (as I have been told I do) from concentrating so hard.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Skinny Ruffles Shawlette....she is done!

I am very pleased with the outcome; simple, fairly quick, feels great...I used Araucania Ulmo Multy and it took 2 skeins.
I blocked it out for a couple of days, though after one night it was dry.  I just got too busy to take out the pins...or you could say I forgot!!!

I love the ruffled edge, it really sets the pattern off, as does the center line...can you tell I loved this shawl pattern???
This is the pattern and I do recommend you try it if you want a simple pattern (great for car travel, waiting in line, walking around the home improvement store with your husband) that is very pretty.  I might make another!!!  But I have a few more things to conquer in the world of knitting first!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A red letter day....

My teachers came back to work today, which meant I had to get up in front of them and provide health training.  Ugh....I get so nervous speaking in front of groups.  It is worse when I am teaching people that teach for a living...very self conscious don't you see?

I calmed my nerves with my new red $3.00 tennies to be exact.  I just love these little shoes so much and for 3 smackers I bought them in navy blue as well.

They must have worked to calm my nerves, for no one threw food, pencils, books, or rocks at me.  I wasn't booed...not laughed it was a red letter day for me :)

Now my kids come back next week.  Think I will sport the navy shoes for that day, break things up a bit.  Let them see how cool I am :)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

You have to try this bread!

I love bread, man I love carbs...all carbs, but really love bread.  I found this recipe and tried it and LOVED it and now making it again...and again...and again... Cheesy Focaccia Bread.  It is so simple and quick and delicious. 

Here is the lovely bread rising for 20 minutes, right after my tender kneading of the dough...actually it was more like a beat down!

Tonight it will be the crust of my BBQ chicken pizza....the only change I made this time was used half whole wheat flour and half all-purpose flour...we shall see how it turns out.  Oh, and threw in some red pepper flakes. 
I further had my way with the crust when I spread it out on the pizza stone.  Shhh, I forgot to preheat the stone to give it that extra crispy bottom...don't tell His Majesty, he won't be happy.
Then I slapped on some BBQ sauce and scrambled for my toppings, which happened to be grilled chicken, sauteed onions and green peppers, and cilantro.  I think it looks rather tasty....oh yeah, I did cook the little devil pre sauce and toppings for 10 minutes...just to speed it along.  Then slung it back in the oven post toppings for about 15 more minutes.  (light on the cheese please, so I can justify ice cream and Diet Pepsi cupcakes later!!!)

Ta-da beautifully baked and crisped pizza with this amazing bread recipe.  Now, you may hate it, but I love it :)
***post eating time remember to preheat the pizza stone then molest the dough all over it....that might help crisp it more, since the sauce stops a lot of the crisping process.
When you make this focaccia following the recipe and eating as a bread, it has a wonderful texture...go try it!

Now I can go spin some fiber and pick out a little project to use up 85 yards of my handspun...that means pattern search!