Updates from August, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 5:20 pm on August 3, 2013 Permalink | Reply
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    Cleaning up 

    I have been busy cleaning up bobbins of old projects on my spinning wheels.  It seems that I have been a bit ADD with my spinning, starting the newest exciting colors before finishing something that was already in progress.  There always seems to be an excuse, a spin-along, Tour de Fleece, new arrivals…

    This is Emily, a pencil roving from Fiber Optic, 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Seacell; 340 yards, so good enough for a short pair of socks for myself.  The Tour de Fleece prompted me to finish spinning this up and ply it.


    Leftover Emily with some leftover purple/green fiber on the bobbin.


    This was spun for the Tour de Fleece, Fiber Optic gradient Honey to Fig.  It is 80% Merino, 20% silk.  1150 yards of 2ply.  My average these days for 2 braids of FO is around 1200 yards, that gives a good amount for a shawl.



    And I finished spinning the singles of this Shetland from Southern Cross Fiber, the color was a custom for the CAT spin-along in the winter, and I started it but too many other things got in the way.  The color is Storm’s Edge, 8 ounces.  This Shetland did not spin as finely at the Merino/Silk blends, and I know that it is uneven, need to start plying.



    On the knitting front, I have been working on a new baby sweater, Baby Ull from Dale of Norway of course.  Love these colors together.


    The thing that has been taking quite a bit of my time is organizing the basement after some new cabinetry is getting installed.  Here is a sneak peek, it is really messy still and a bit to go, but I am so excited!


  • knitting1105 5:14 pm on August 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Going, Going, Gone 

    It is so often true that you never really appreciate something until it is gone.  When we moved in this house we had 2 large spruce trees in the backyard,  the largest having been planted right next to the garage.  We took that done fairly quickly as it was ruining the roof of the garage.  The area under the pine trees has always been no man’s land, as nothing would grow there, and you didn’t want to walk in that area, the needles were painful on bare feet. Seating would acquire sap on it.  So, I tolerated it, then learned to love it for the beauty and nature that it brought, from the pesky little squirrels to the Cardinal family that came back every year, and all kinds of finches and robins that we would have in the back yard.  This spring, no birds moved in (how did they know that the tree was sick?), and in May the tree started dying.  Initially we thought that we would wait until the Fall to take it down, but the drought exacerbated the problem and we had needles everywhere in our yard, and the magnificent tree was now also an eyesore.



    But, with every change comes a new design problem to solve.  I have a larger area that is full sun, great for my tomatoes, and room to reconfigure that landscaping.  In the meantime, I have left the stump, and am using it as a table.  I have moved some planters over there to mask some of the barrenness.  Next spring will bring a new design, I have some ideas.

    • Andrew 5:22 pm on August 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my goodness! What a difference. Sort of sad to see it go, but you are right that it opens up a whole new set of options.


    • Barbara 11:51 am on August 31, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      We’re in a similar situation – we have a big pine tree in our back garden which has been there since before we moved in. I wouldn’t have chosen it, but it has been there so long and is so imposing that it’s kind of earned its place. It overhangs the road and drops pine cones everywhere, so it is quite well known in the neighbourhood – I see children collecting the cones sometimes. (Pine trees are not common around here.) And it drops pine needles all over the lawn and takes too much water out of the ground in dry spells so it’s not easy to live with. But I wouldn’t want to lose it.


  • knitting1105 12:57 pm on June 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mason jar   

    Blueglass jars repurposed 

    A few years back (before I had Pintrest to keep track of my inspirations) I saw a photo somewhere online showing a string of lights made out of old blue glass jars.  If you have seen my kitchen, you are familiar with the shelves holding all of my beans and grains as the end panel for the refrigerator.  The majority of these jars were from my parents farm, they used them for canning many years ago, then when the new & improved Mason jars came out, these were relegated to storage in the barn.  They were almost tossed out but for my creative sister Anita, who wanted to store grains in them and I latched onto that idea.  I can remember sitting with her on the patio at the farm divvying up the collection.  When the kitchen was being designed a few years ago, my husband came up with the idea of a shelf just for the blue glass jars, this also acts as the end panel for the refrigerator, and is the first thing you see when walking down the hall to the kitchen.

    This lamp was made for me by Ethan a few years back with one of the jars, it now holds their unwanted childhood rock collections inside.

    And, in my soon to be finished craft room, I have repurposed some of the jars with glass tops for miscellaneous buttons and such.

    So, last weekend, my wonderful son put together this string of lights for me.  I was short on the quart size jars, and had purchased these last year expressly for this purpose.  He made this while I was away at my spinning classes, and said it just took a couple of hours.  The porcelain cap in the zinc top had to be smashed out to allow the drill to go through to run the wiring and hook up the sockets.  He also added another hole to string a wire through so that the weight was transferred to the chain and not being carried by the electrical cord. Now I am on the hunt for a few more to have the string extend across the entire back porch.   Love the theme throughout the house.

    And this big one (about 2 feet tall) I found years ago at an antique mall.  Must have been a store fixture for display, now filled with yarn scraps.

    • Diane 5:43 pm on June 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I love the way you use the jars in your house and what a great way to keep the memory of Anita fresh in your mind.


  • knitting1105 3:41 pm on August 4, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    Working steadily away… 

    I have been working steadily away on my Hanne Falkenberg cape.  I am almost to the 1/2 way point.  This is a good knit where not a lot of thinking or chart following is required.  Her patterns are extremely well thought out, and the math always works out perfectly (unless you make a mistake).   My only complaint would be that I have to read sections of the pattern at least 3 times to be really clear on what she is asking for.  I think that there is both something lost in the translation, and an issue of formatting the written pattern.  The first time that I knit with her yarn I was less than thrilled with it, but it has grown on me.  She uses a Shetland 2-ply, and I can attest that it wears very well.   The heat wave has finally broken here, so I don’t mind a bit of wool in my hands or on my lap as much.

    On the spinning front, I am having a bit of a conundrum.  I was plying my Fiber Optic Mad Monet with a beautiful Mediterranean blue merino.  The blue seemed to be stealing the show, so I tried a 3 ply with 2 plys of the Monet and one of blue.  Still didn’t work, so I am now plying the Monet with itself, and will do the same with the blue Merino.  I have wasted a bit of yardage in my experimentation.  I still have a hard time figuring out how the colors will look in a finished yarn.  I would love to get some more of this Mad Monet, but there is apparently a waiting list.  (left side is Monet on Monet)

    And on a house note, look at this cool vintage wicker light fixture (scored from a musty messy basement in Grand Rapids).   My husband is going to rewire this and the porch is set up with a new ceiling light box to accommodate it.

  • knitting1105 10:19 pm on July 25, 2011 Permalink | Reply

    I still do Knit 

    I have been posting so much about spinning lately that one would think that I only make the yarn now.  I do still knit, it has just taken a back seat lately.  My current, and almost finished project are the Orange Pekoe socks, another sock club purchase in the CookieA sock and cookie club.  The yarn is another that I had not tried before, Hazel Knits yarn.  I am liking this yarn, and the soft orange color, almost like an orange creamscicle (one of my favorite childhood frozen treats).  This is the harder of the 2 patterns this month, but I find it progressing much more quickly, and it is more fun for me to knit.  Sometimes when a pattern is too simple, I loose my motivation.  I need to catch up on my photographing, but doesn’t the yarn match the Butterfly Weed beautifully?

    On a different note, I am loving this new outdoor light that we bought over the weekend.


    • Mrs. Peterson 10:40 am on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Cool lamp. IKEA? 😉


      • knitting1105 11:08 am on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        No, not IKEA. It is from Green Home Chicago, I had a Groupon. Really fun store, mostly building supplies for the house, but accessories also. This lamp can sit outdoors, the fabric is Sunbrella, and it has an outdoor fluorescent bulb. Makes a beautiful glow.


    • Mrs. Peterson 2:22 pm on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I knew it wasn’t IKEA.


      • knitting1105 2:37 pm on July 26, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        I thought you might be trying to be funny…


  • knitting1105 1:00 pm on May 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Spring Magnolia 

    My backyard magnolia.  Even though it looks the same from year to year, I cannot resist taking photos of it.

    I usually have a magnolia party on a warm evening to celebrate this magnificent tree.  This year, I have been having construction done on the house, and every thing has been too messy or chaotic.  If you live in the neighborhood, stop on by and enjoy the beauty of the tree.  I wish that I could also capture the wonderful smell.

    On the knitting front, I have been working on the PB & J socks by CookieA, this is my third start on the pattern.  The first time, I did not read the instructions correctly.  The second time, even though I made the medium size, it was 80 sts/round.  I thought it would pull in more with the traveling stitches, but based on my experience and the comments on Ravelry, others thought it ran very big also.  The test knitter must have been a very tight knitter.  I finally got in the groove of this.  I hope that the foot length will be long enough with the size reduction, as I really don’t want to give these away.

    Last week was crazy: construction at my house (more about that later), an event at the Community College where we had to have Architecture activities for 162 middle school students (we bit off a big project, but it was very well received), and the local Kitchen Walk where we had this lovely kitchen featured (designed by JoBeth), it was deemed a great hit by all.  This is the part of my life that takes me away from knitting and spinning.  More of our work can be found HERE.

    • Diane Hamilton 10:41 pm on May 16, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      And so here is my answer about the magnolia tree–just as beautiful as ever. You and JoBeth do amazing remodels–Congratulations on another successful Kitchen Walk. Wish I could afford a major remodel in Michigan!


  • knitting1105 8:23 pm on January 8, 2011 Permalink | Reply  

    Getting Organized 

    I have been putting my knitting room together for the past few weeks, and I am very excited to have a space for all of my yarn, most of my books, and my creativity.  I just wanted to give you a sneak preview:

    This is my Baby Ull by Dale of Norway yarn.  I think that I have enough on hand.  No local stores carry it, so I would purchase it whenever I saw it online or in a store on sale.  And my good friend Linda gifted me quite a number of skeins last Fall.  I am starting a new baby sweater, and needed to show this beautiful array of colors before I pulled some out.

    I hope to have the room all together next week.  It has been a few months in the works, and still a bit to go.

    • Rae 12:58 am on January 9, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      I can’t wait to see what colors you pick out for the sweater.


    • Mimi 4:38 pm on January 11, 2011 Permalink | Reply

      You might want to erect some type of sneeze guard-type structure to prevent visitor saliva from ruining your yarn. Just sayin’…


      • knitting1105 12:21 am on January 12, 2011 Permalink | Reply

        Mimi, you are too funny. If only you knew the danger of my stash collection, although I have been good about knitting from what I have. It is just that this spinning is causing a new problem…


  • knitting1105 5:53 pm on November 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Harvest bounty 

    These shelves just got finished today in the laundry room.  Plenty of space to increase my canning next year!  I am so excited about them.

    • Janet 5:55 pm on November 24, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Almost as pretty as a wall of yarn!


    • Andrew 12:23 am on November 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful! Tonight we opened Grandpa’s sauce and ate it on steak. Delicious. Also, I am loving the second shelf from the bottom as I assume that is Berwyn Grape Jelly.


      • knitting1105 8:01 pm on November 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Yup! That is definitely Berwyn Grape Jelly. Hopefully the harvest will yield even more jars next year.


    • Rae 2:23 am on November 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Can I come swipe a few jars of your canned yummies lol.


    • tricotreat 10:01 pm on November 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Gosh that’s pretty.


  • knitting1105 4:37 pm on July 4, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Kitsch or Art? 

    I was in western Illinois yesterday looking at a new project that I am involved in.  We arrived early, so explored Mount Carroll, Illinois.  Saw a beautiful old college, Shrimer College, long since abandoned.  I wish that I had the funds to refurbish this as a retreat area.  They don’t build buildings like that anymore, and 30 years of abandonment and neglect is taking it’s toll on them.  Then we saw the Carnegie Library in town, where someone in the 60’s or 70’s convinced them to cover every surface with acoustical tile panels, obscuring the original beautiful buildings.  There is a dome, that I am sure has something amazing behind it.

    But, by far the most memorable viewing was a quick drive by to Raven’s Grin Inn, a “haunted house”.  Here is the photo that I found at the Dairy Queen in the local attractions:

    And here are my photos, a very bizarre place.  The proprietor came out and talked to us, explaining how he had been “working” on the place for 22 years.  Admission was $12, and I would be tempted to go by just to see this next time I am in the area:

    The last image has writing on the left that said “The shroud of Turino”.

    Then we went to Iowa’s only island town, Saboula, for a pizza dinner, at Bombfire Pizza.   They have an eclectic atmosphere, albums for menu covers, quite a cast of characters, and a tile decorated wood pizza oven.  It was a hippie haven, should have taken photos there also.  Good pizza though.  Quite a day of interesting visual images.

  • knitting1105 10:10 am on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Patterns and kitchens 

    For a very brief time (I think less than a week), some sites selling Dale of Norway yarn were offering free downloads of books.  This didn’t quite make sense to me.  I know that there is a huge interest in the older Dale patterns, and even the new ones sell out extremely quickly (Vancouver for instance).  I have always loved the patterns, especially for children, so I snag the booklets whenever I see one that I do not think that I have (friends have been the recipients of my double purchasing).  I downloaded all of the patterns that I saw last week, and was going to post a link to them here.   They are all gone, with the exception of some more mundane ones at Bea Ellis Knitwear.  I got the Vancouver and Whistler designs, and 2 cute kids books.  I already own both adult books, but thought that the electronic copy would come in handy, as I always copy the patterns to carry around with me anyways, and this way I could print the charts at a larger scale.  Now, the patterns are available for free with purchase of yarn.  That makes more sense.

    I wish that DON would publish a book with the best of their patterns.  They did a kids book a few years back, and I did not purchase it as I had most of the patterns already.  Kind of wish that I had anyways, as the patterns can get worse for wear over time.  I don’t understand what the logic is not to print a retrospective.  Just look at the prices on eBay.

    I didn’t do a lot of knitting the past few days.  My business partner and I had a kitchen on the local kitchen walk, and it appeared to be very successful.  Even though it was one of the smallest, it was deemed a favorite by many.  They always have these gross monster kitchens on the walk.  One was a 4,000 sf Bungalow that they doubled in size and redid the kitchen, creating 2, yes 2, kitchens side by side.  The designer said that one was the messy kitchen.  I guess the other was just a show piece.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Here are some photos of our kitchen on the walk.  My friend Andrew will have better photos on his blog, as he staged the entire house for us.

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