Saturday, February 18, 2017

Galveston and Knitting

When we went to Galveston last month, I took some photo's of things we saw and places we have visited so I decided to share some of them here.
As we drove out of our hotel parking lot, this was the first thing we saw! These beautifully painted homes. We saw a lot of homes painted in these and other pretty colors. What a joy and inspiration of colors!
We have been going to Galveston since 1991, but this is the first time we visited the Moody Mansion. It is an amazing home and was a great experience getting to see the inside. We didn't get to tour all 28,000 square feet of it, but we did get to see 2 of the 4 floors. This structure not only made it through Hurricane Ike, but made it through the horrific hurricane in 1900. Yes, it sustained some damage, but it was all repairable.

This picture, below, is of the bathtub in the master bathroom. The silver colored container was the gas hot water heater, so they had hot water to take their baths, or showers!! I had never seen a hot water heater like this before, have you?

One of our favorite things to do in Galveston is to walk along The Strand. Little shops and boutiques, as well as some eateries, line the street. We love to go browsing and to also buy some homemade fudge in the confectionary.


Our hotel room view was spectacular! It was windy when I took this picture and had actually been raining. So, the surf was a bit rougher than it normally is. The amusement park in the back ground, is built on a pier over the water..... It is actually the site where a hotel used to be built. The hotel was on a pier, out over the water and in that same location. During Hurricane Ike, it and the pier were damaged so much, that they had to be torn down.

My KNITTING!! I have finished my Kwoosh! I love it. The yarn looks beautiful and was a joy to work with.
I love how the automatic striping design worked in this project.

One thing that I realized when I finished, was that there wasn't one knot in the skein of yarn. It is very hard these days, to find a yarn that doesn't have a knot somewhere in the skein! Many thanks to Schachenmayr the producer of Regia -The Sock Wool, for producing a wonderful yarn.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Happenings and Knitting

Hello February and hello 2017!
We have had an eventful end to 2016 and I am still catching up! Maybe that is how life will be for a while, playing catch up.  But, I am catching up and that is a good thing, I  think.....

First off, last summer we decided to down size our home and move closer to work. So, we listed our house in the woods and it sold quickly. Then, we went on a hunt for a new home.  Wow! Talk about an emotional roller coaster..... There is a housing shortage in north Texas, so it was difficult to actually get a house.  We found plenty of houses, and we put in many offers on different homes, but there were usually at least 5 offers on the same house. The sellers don't take the first offer in this current market, but look at the offers and then decide which one they like the most. Great for the seller, but not so easy on the buyer. Our realtor actually told us to get prepared to make offers on more than one house at a time! We didn't actually have to do that, because we finally "won" this house. :)

We actually lost this house twice, before our offer was accepted! We love our new home and Jeff's commute is so short, that he calls to tell me he is on his way home and as I say ok and we hang up, he is here!

While going through the move out of the woods, we went into a hotel. It was our home for several weeks, before we could get into our new home, and I did have a chance to knit!! These socks are finished, but here is the picture of them in progress. I love these new socks! I knit them from the toe up and used the magic loop technique, instead of double point needles.

 My birthday was in January, and this year Jeff decided to take me to Galveston for my gift!!!! I love Galveston and I love the beach. It was a great trip and a wonderful gift. We left late on a Tuesday evening. We drove down I45 all the way onto Galveston Island.  Before we arrived in Galveston we had to drive through Houston.  When we made it to Houston, it was dark and this was our view of the city as we arrived and drove through. Isn't it gorgeous, lit up against the cloudy sky with the moon poking through?
A friend of mine was able to take a trip to Austria this fall and when she returned, she brought a gift to me!!! What do you buy a knitter and crocheter? Yarn! I love this yarn. I did start a pair of socks, but after talking to my friend Debbie, she suggested a Kwoosh which is a free pattern on Ravelry. You can click on the word Kwoosh and see the pattern. It is a scarf, and I am less likely to wear out the precious yarn wearing it as a scarf, as opposed to socks.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Sewing, Knitting, White Fluffy Things

Living in Texas, I have been appreciating lighter weight woven summer clothing, linen being one of choices. I was out on etsy looking for handmade linen clothing and found a beautiful jumper. It was designed to be worn with a tee shirt and leggings, and was darling. It was more than I had at the moment to spend, but one of my friends gave me the challenge of : "you can make that, you sew." :) Nothing like a challenge to get the creative juices flowing. I have several A-line dresses here and laid them out on the table, on top of some paper. Traced them, added a seam allowance, increased the size of the armhole, made a V-neck, added a pocket, and an asymmetrical hem. I went to JoAnn's Fabric and found linen, it was on sale and I bought it for a great deal of $17!!!

As I was getting ready to cut the dress, I had a thought, "maybe I should do this first from a sheet?" Good idea! So, I went scrounging around the sewing room, decided not to use the sheet, but to use a piece of white shirting. I didn't care, at that point, about it draping, it was after all the prototype.

I did get it sewn and the pattern did work, with a few tweaks. Then, I looked in the mirror and thought, I look like the Michelin man in this thing! The fabric had enough polyester in it to cause it to stand straight out from my body! I had to fix this.........Mind you, this was only to be a prototype.

So, I sewed on some doilies, thinking that would help, adding weight to the fabric, maybe it would hang instead of sticking out. Nope. Then in the middle of the night, when all people are to be sleeping, I was thinking of this thing(no longer jumper). I decided to dye it purple, I had cotton dyes! It became purple the next day, I also added tie dying to the effect. WELL, I knew this might happen, hoped it wouldn't, but it did.

The sewing thread was polyester......... It stayed white. My doilies took the dye beautifully, but the white thread looked terrible... Groan... visions of seam rippers danced in my head and it is just a prototype....... 

I thought about using a sharpie marker and coloring the thread. Hahaha!  I thought about leaving it, I thought about tossing it in the trash, or wearing it inside out, :)  and I thought about fixing it right. :) Even though I will probably only wear it at home and it is THE PROTOTYPE. Haha!

The next day, I went to the store and purchased purple thread and came home and started ripping and ripping and ripping and ripping, did I mention I used a zigzag stitch? I ripped out the center of each doily first and then replaced that portion of stitching with the purple thread. Next I ripped out the outer portion of stitching and replaced it with the purple thread.

I have to admit, the hours and hours were worth it. I have made the real one now and am enjoying wearing it.

I am taking part in a knit-a-long on Ravelry, with the Curly Girl group. The project has to be something for your head, hands, or heels. I have had the pattern for the Sheeps Heid pattern on Ravelry sitting on my desk for several years. The pattern is written by Kate Davies, here is the link.

This photo is from Kate Davies Ravelry listing and it is a Kate Davies Photo.  It is a picture of her, and her beautiful hat, not me or my hat. :)

Here are my little bags of yarn. I purchased Madeline Tosh yarn for the project, they had mini skeins available in their store when I was there one time with my friend, Debbie. 

Now this picture, below, was taken at Barnes and Noble, in the CafĂ©. We will go there to get Starbucks sometimes. We did that on Friday, because the drive thru and parking lot at the regular Starbucks was closed, they had just resurfaced it. 

Anyone have an idea of why there are these white balls, that look like they are handmade from cotton balls, hanging from the ceiling?  They look like giant snowballs, but it is 100F outside. Are they helping us cope, reminding us that winter will return? Hmmm.........

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Beautiful People and Beautiful Things

April ended in a stressful and sad time for me, as I had to say good-bye to my precious mom and friend. She was a confidant and advisor, a wonderful woman of God who's faith kept her strong all the way to the end, or should I say to the new beginning of the rest of her life. :) I will miss her, her words of wisdom and faith, her encouragement, and her friendship. I know though, that she is in a much better place, with our Lord and Savior.

I traveled to NY to help set up the plans for Mom, with my brothers.  One day, my oldest brother and I went to the First Presbyterian Church of Babylon, to speak with Mom's pastor.  On our way past the Education building we saw this beautiful tree in full bloom.  What a joyful sight.  Truthfully, I have no idea what type of tree this is, but it was so beautiful that I had to take a picture. If you know the name, please leave a comment, as I would love to know.

My brother was kind enough, he is used to humoring his sister in this way, to hold a bloom so I could get a close up picture.  It was just beautiful.

The church building, which I have pictured on here before, is always beautiful to see. History tells us that the tall steeple used to lead, and still leads, fishermen back to port. The clock in the steeple does have a bell to ring the hour.  This was the building I was married in, by the way, 42 years ago. :)

What was sooo pretty about this time, was the wreathes on the front door.  They were so pretty, full of spring flowers and colors.  Just loved the look against the white doors.

And here is my magic yarn ball shawl!!!!  (and me peeking out behind it, hahaha!) I love how this shawl turned out and cannot wait for it to turn chilly again, so I can wear it.  I suppose, I could turn the air conditioning down to 68 so I can try it out.  Hahaha!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Magic Yarn Ball Projects!

You aren't going to believe this, but the group that I attend on Wednesdays, is having so much fun making magic yarn balls that we have continued to make them for 3 weeks now!  AND we still have more yarn to use........ Don't know if that is a good thing, or an obsessive thing, that we STILL have more yarn waiting to go into our Magic Yarn Balls.  It does mean that we all have a lot of yarn, though.
Here is the show-n-tell from the last couple of weeks.
Edee has made a long asymmetrical scarf, she based her knitting on the Hitchhiker scarf on Ravelry.

Vickie whipped out her scarf right away and encouraged the rest of us to get going on our new balls of yarn! Isn't this scarf pretty??

This is my shawl, from that giant ball I posted about in the last post. I may actually have too much yarn.  I hope not, but I don't want a shawl to my ankles.  Why? Well, I would probably trip on it. :) It would be warm though.
Below is a shot taken from further away.

We are having so much fun with this project and we are glad we did it.  I have 2 more large balls wound and another one started.  Plus, yarn sitting around the house with the new idea of "OH, I can put that in a magic ball." 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Finished Lacy Vest, Finished Cameo and Magic Yarn Balls!!!

Here is my finished Lacy Vest.  I used handspun yarn for this vest, gifted to me by my great friend, Debbie!!!  I wrote about the yarn in this post, this is the link,.
I am actually getting my crochet skills back.  It has been so long since I have crocheted clothing.  Actually, before I started crocheting the potholders, I don't think that I had crocheted in about 15 years.  I really thought that I could pick up that hook and just fly along like I had before.  Nope....... 
 I had to call my daughter and ask her how I had taught her to hold her yarn.  Then on my last visit to  my mom, she was crocheting something and I was able to watch her!!! After all, she is the wonderful person who taught me in the first place.  So, gradually, I have been working on my crochet skills.  I did rip out a bit of mistakes in this vest, as I got used to reading patterns again.
One day, I was so confused, that I asked a couple of gals who I help with knitting.  They were so excited to be helping ME for a change!!! LOL!  I was glad they were helping me too!
Here is Cameo!  I finished it.  I guess I should actually say, that this is my version of Cameo. Here is the link to the Cameo. I changed the lace portion of the scarf, used the Little Leaf lace pattern(in garter stitch), and then did a version of the Feather and Fan lace pattern.

Last Wednesday, at our spinning group, we started a FUN project! We decided to go through our yarn stashes and bring in unwanted, or better yet, yarn we didn't know what to do with and couldn't get rid of.  You know, the yarn that sits in that bucket, drawer or closet, that you love seeing, but can't imagine why you bought it, or why you bought 17 skeins when you only needed 12???  We also brought in those little portions left over from completed projects.
While we were playing in the yarn, we decided to call this a Friendship Ball of yarn. We have used yarns from our friends and it is extra special for that reason.
Below is ONE table of the yarn brought in by 7, yes only 7, people!!  Actually, this is 2 tables, we pushed 2 tables together!  LOL!! But, wait......

Here is the second table, the run-over table.  It is a card table, but was chock full too.

 We wound and we wound.  We all had our own idea of how long we wanted a color to be.  If a yarn was thinner than we wanted, we found something to compliment it and wound two or more strands together as one.  We had so much fun.
Some of us, like Laurie in the center of the above picture, wound HUGE balls. Some of us, like me, wound separate little balls.  I did this so that I could remember what colors I had used.  :) I have a shawl project in mind for mine.
This is my collection of little yarns.  Because I had decided that I wanted to use as many jewel tone colors as possible, most of what I used was from my stash, and I supplemented with other yarns. I have a mixture of wool, acrylic and cotton yarns in here.  I didn't use the gray to the right though, I decided to put those to the side for the next project.
After laying my little yarns out to rest, I organized them into an order that I liked.  I tried to have 3 balls of each colorway, so I spread each colorway a bit apart.
I then started attaching the ends together, by using the Russian Join. I also added long sections of blank in between the rows of my colors.
When done, my Friendship Ball of yarn weighs about 1 lb.  :) Here it is placed next to a 3.5 oz ball of yarn, so you can see the size. 

The funny thing about our Friendship Yarn project, is that we were having so much fun, that no one wanted to stop. But, alas, our time was up and we had to clean up and head for home. We decided that we would pick up where we left off this week and maybe another week after that. 
If you haven't done this yet, you might want to give it a try.  :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

A Penguin, An Owl and a HUGE Ball of Yarn

February is another month of birthdays for our family! Our oldest granddaughter, Nicole, turned 16 this year.  Where has the time gone?   One day, when she was out on Pinterest, she saw a cute French penguin and she showed it to her mom. Her mom, showed it to me and the rest is history.  :)  I found a pattern for a similar penguin and then added the mustache, scarf and beret.   This little guy stands about 5 inches tall.
Then, on February 14, Claire turned 13!  She loves owls, and I wanted to make her a fun owl.  Lots of fun colors for her owl.

My birthday was in January and I have a very good friend, Debbie, who lives in Minnesota.  She sent me two gifts!!! One gift is this wonderful skein of her handspun yarn and I immediately wound it into a ball of yarn.  My swift doesn't hold the size skein that it was, so I put the yarn on two chairs and wound it by hand.  I love this yarn!!!! Thanks, Deb!!

 Here is the ball of yarn all ready to go.  This color below is closer to the real color than the one above.

The skein measured about 440 yards of yarn.  I have decided to make a crochet vest pattern that is from Lion Brand. Here's the link to the pattern.  The pattern was written by Doris Chan and she has some very beautiful designs.

These mittens are beautiful!! They are the other part of my birthday gift.  I absolutely love them! Debbie, you are an exquisite knitter and spinner.