Sunday, November 29, 2009

New Stash

Well, I totally missed wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all had a wonderful time with family and friends, as you reflected on what you had to be thankful for. We had a wonderful day and had a homemade turkey dinner, made by me. Our younger daughter, Anna, came over and we ate, then watched the football game with her. I was knitting, what else do you do during a football game, I consider it quality knitting time. Like watching a guy flick with the UPS Store guy. You know, the kind that women usually turn their noses up at. Now think about this. When the movie gets tense, I knit faster! Yep, I really do. There are usually scarey parts, so I get to look at the knitting ALOT, too. So, I get more done. Anyway, back to my story about the Cowboy's game. Sorry, fellow Texans, I don't really care who wins the football game. So, I usually chear for the team that has the ball. :) Well, I was doing this on Thursday, when Anna looks at me and says, "Mom, I cannot believe you aren't rooting for the Cowboy's! You are rooting for the other team?!" I looked at her and said, "Oh, I root for whoever has the ball, less stress that way and I just knit happily along." She just sat there staring at me, shaking her head, muttering something about her crazy knitting mom.

OK, now onto the NEW STASH.
When I went to Kid N Ewe and lama too, I did buy stash. It was fun, I tell myself that I am supporting the local farmers. And, truthfully, I am. So, after a day of spinning and shopping, I purchased hand dyed wool/silk yarn, wool/mohair roving, bamboo/alpaca roving, the two balls
in the middle of the picture are two balls of alpaca lace weight yarn and then some beautifully dyed mohair curls in the very front. So, a friend was asking me to show her what I purchased and I said, Blue roving, Blue roving, Blue yarn, Blue yarn, Blue mohair curls, Purple(blue family) mohair curls, Teal mohair curls(blue family) and brown mohair curls. She looks at me and says, "Hmm, you like blue?" I said, "Ya think?" At which point I decided to step out of my comfort box.
Mary Ann wanted to know where we had purchased these oh, so soft, mohair curls. So, I said I'll show you. All the while thinking, how am I going to get out of this blue comfort zone. So, I was showing her some dyed wool, in a booth that I liked, and then we went to the mohair curls. While there I decided to buy RED mohair curls and then go back to the booth we were in earlier for some dyed red wool locks. So, I am now, successfully, out of my comfort zone, I think. I do love red, too, and today I started carding the wool locks. So pretty and soft.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bags and Purses

This morning on my etsyknitters list there was a great write-up on the history of purses and bags for women. I thought it was very interesting and decided to post it here. Then I thought, how much women LOVE their bags. You know, we have to get just the right one. As a knitter and spinner, I can be seen carrying 3 or even 4 bags somewhere. The joke is, "We are moving or we have enough stuff for a week," and we are only going to the grocery store or to a friend's home to knit for a couple of hours. But, we take it all. :) On a typical Wednesday, when I am leaving for spinning, I can be seen taking my spinning wheel, my spinning bag, my lunch bag, my knitting bag, an extra bag with show-n-tell AND any other bag that calls out to me.

Here are some bags that I have made over the years. I didn't put all of them on here, but just some.

I can only imagine what it was like for women before they had bags. Of course, they didn't live on the go like we do, but imagine how stuffed their skirt pockets were!

Here is the history of bags from the etsy knitters list.
good morning 11.22.2009 - Why do Women Carry Bags

good morning,from do women carry bags? History shows that, before purses, women did carry things in their pockets. Bags first came into fashion in about 1800 when the full skirts of the previous period gave way to the slender, diaphanous dress. Prior to that time, bags had been rather uncommon, since most women carried small necessities in the pockets hidden inside their full skirts. It was only when the narrow, gauzy neoclassical style of dress eliminated the space for pockets that came into vogue.A woman's life changed at the turn of the century. Middle-class women began to spend more time outside the home. Shopping became a popular leisure activity and shopping bags were more widely used. Women also traveled for pleasure. Small leather handbags were designed to be kept with the traveler at all times. In the early twentieth century, more women began to engage in paid employment.Since that time, women began to carry more and more things with them. Many women became attached to their practical bags, which function as a sort of life support system, containing items crucial to their owners' perceived survival. A woman will rarely allow her bag out of sight.When more women began working and new opportunities opened to them, their purses began to get bigger and fuller. Women began to create their own personal microcosm of 'home'. The purse and its contents often represent the three abandoned personae that once defined a woman: the survivalist, the curator, and the homemaker. The persona of the survivalist is clearly significant, since many women "boast of the readiness with which they could face unforeseen disasters." Journalist Betsy Israel says that, "With a well-stocked purse, we are theoretically set for anything." In The New York Times, Enid Nemy is quoted, "I could spend the night on the subway, if necessary. My handbag is a life-support system." What a woman considers essential is on different scale, a far grander and more imaginative level, than men could ever perceive. The purse of a woman is both a weapon and a shield. In it lurks the means for urban and suburban survival and defense, as well as the means for taking the world by storm.Nowadays men manage to walk around with the three essentials (comb, wallet, keys) tucked neatly into their pockets. Women, on the other hand, seem to carry everything but the kitchen sink. Men do, after all, carry briefcases and gym bags. A few men even carry - or wear - unisex utility bags. Nevertheless, it must be admitted that men do not habitually carry as much stuff around with them as women tend to. Society forces women to pay more attention to fashion than function. Women's clothes have skimpy pockets, whereas men's clothes have copious pockets for a wallet, glasses, keys or whatever. But even the most copious pockets would not hold everything that the average woman carries in her bag on a day-to-day basis.The bag is a kind of miniature house and a portable world which women carry with them. When asked "what one object do you travel with to make a hotel room your own?" the celebrated architect Zaha Hadid answered: "My handbag." Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher famously referred to her handbag as "my trusty companion." And when the rest of us might never express our relationship with our everyday bag in quite such emotive terms, deep down we would be hard-pressed to manage without it.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Early Morning and Knitting

I love taking a walk in the early morning. You can hear the birds waking up and see the morning dew on the leaves and grass. Just a wonderful and peaceful time to walk. One morning, recently, I opened the front door to go for my walk. I was so excited, because I could walk, the sun was out and rain had stopped.
Wow! Was the sun out! Look at the gorgeous view I saw as I opened the front door. Thanks to the UPS Store guy for this great photo, from a 6 foot perspective as opposed to a 5 foot perspective. :) Off I walked into the gorgeous sun and the beginnings of fall. Yup, November in north Texas, we still have leaves on trees.

Here is my little Gingerbread man doll. I really like him, he makes me smile everytime I look at him. He was a lot of fun to design and make. He stands 7 1/2 inches tall and wears a great vest. It is hard to see in this picture, but he has white embroidery around his entire body edge.

Then if that wasn't enough. I thought about Sugar Cookie! Here is Gingerbread man's friend, Sugar Cookie. Talk about fun, I love this cookie. Calorie free and oh, so sweet. Sugar Cookie wanted you to see that their vests can come off, so they can wear other colors.

Back in September, when I visited my mom in New York, I took a picture of this exquisite doily. This doily was crocheted by my grandmother or my great aunt. We aren't sure which one. They both made hundreds. I am serious. When we were going through my grandmother's doilies years ago we had....... I didn't count. :) I really loved this doily and wanted to share it with you. It was crocheted on a very small steel crochet hook, probably an 11 or 12, using a fine cotton thread. I was enamored with how it was made, of course. I always have to figure that out. If you can see it, there are 7 pieces made separately and then attached. When attached they form that center swirl. Separately, they are all a small swirl.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Kid N Ewe

Last weekend I went to Kid N Ewe in Boerne, Tx. It is a fiber festival and happens every year in November. This is the first time that I have been able to attend and I am glad I did. I rode down with my friend Terri and we had a great time.

The shawl is an absolute work of art. I just think it is beautiful, but my picture doesn't do it justice.

This is the Jacob Reward's booth. They had a couple of my patterns in there. I didn't go to sell my items, but to shop. AND shop I did. I will be having some fun spinning and knitting times, and soon too. Not only did Cindy have this booth, but Laurie and Mary shared it with her. On Saturday, several of us set up behind the booth and spent time spinning.

This is a booth with dyed bamboo rovings and bamboo blend rovings in it. Dyed and ready to spin. Bamboo has a gorgeous sheen to it and yes, it is from the bamboo plant. When spun it is very soft. I have purchased from this vendor before, she lives near me north of Dallas.

There is always a sheep to shawl competition there. There were 3 teams. These teams, card and spin the wool and there is one weaver. The shawls are judged when done and the nicest one is the winner. This is a very serious event. Pictured is part of one of the teams.

My friends Marlene and Peggy have sock machines and love them. Here they are demonstrating antique sock machines. They own these machines and do make socks on them.

And JoJo was able to attend to. She had a great time, but her favorite place was sitting on Laurie's handspun yarn, that was for sale in the Jacob's Reward booth.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We Went to the Race!

The NASCAR race, that is. We had a blast. The race was in Fort Worth, Tx, this past Sunday, November 8. We have been to several races and have enjoyed every one. We always come home with a great story or two.

We parked far out from the track, in the free parking section. Under the sign with the flags. We wouldn't forget where our car was that way. Below, in the distance you can see where we were headed to, notice the flags. The cars on the right are people driving in to the paid parking.

More flags, and more flags.

The UPS Store guy wanted to pose with even more flags.(Notice his UPS jacket)

We made it in. It took us a while, but we like to walk and it was fun seeing all the flags. :) Apparently, the campers put them up, so they can find where they are parked. Ok, I get that.
Below, is the inside of the race track from our seats.

The UPS Store guy, modeling again, this time with his UPS jacket and the UPS sign painted on the track. In the background are the condo's, you can purchase one of those and live there.

Here we are. OK, now I have to stop making fun of his jacket. You caught me, I am in a Jeff Gordon jacket. Yes, it is my jacket. Actually, I like the whole Rick Hendricks team. They not only have Jeff Gordon driving for them, but Jimmie Johnson, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Here's Jeff Gordon's car. :) In front. They are lining them up getting to start the race. He "won the pole." That means he starts in first place. Then the best part of this shot, below, is the US Army star painting on the grass. The race track had that done. You see the terrible shooting at Ft Hood, Killeen, TX was just a few days earlier. The base is about 2 hours south of the track. We had soldiers from the base at the race. They were the ones who unfurled the huge flags for the National anthem. You can see some soldiers walking around the painting. They had just noticed it. They were touched by the sentiment. Stood taking pictures and just staring at it. My heart goes out to our brave men and women soldiers who are trying very hard to keep us safe.

Well, below, we have the UPS Truck! It is parked on the race track. Sorry it is blurry, it was VERY far away.

OK, so we are sitting and talking watching everything get set up. We hear a loud rumbling and I mean loud rumbling. We look up over our shoulders and here comes a LARGE army helicopter. It lands on the track. What in the world is going on?????? The back opens up and out drives the pace car! The soldiers at FT Hood, had wanted to deliver the pace car. They wanted us to know that we should have a good time. When they took off the crowd was chearing and waving. The soldier in the very back saw, and waved back. I didn't get a picture, I was waving.

Back to the truck. Guess what, they raced the truck!! It went by so fast, I only caught its back end. But, that is a UPS Truck.

The race is starting. I put the camera away. Besides, I had plenty of pictures now.

Well, one more picture. They called for a caution flag, for debris on the track. The real reason was the black spot on the fence below. It is a hawk. It came swooping in and landed on the fence. Just sitting there watching the race. Looking down at the cars, as if he wanted one. The officials decided he could cause problems if he did decide to attack a car, that is driving about 200 mph, so they flew the caution flag and scared the bird off. We watched as he flew back up from where he came.

We had a great day at the race.