Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A New Toy or Tool?

After spending a couple of hours on the computer, working on a new baby sweater pattern today, I remembered that I hadn't posted out here in about a week. Time sure flies!

I had taken these pictures a couple of weeks ago and just didn't get to blog about this amazing toy. Well, it really isn't a toy, it is a tool, for work, or for PLAY. :) It is an amazing drying rack.
There is a fan at the back that blows out room temperature air, but the air is channelled up to the different layers of shelves.

I wanted to show you the box, so you would know what to look for, if you decide you like this toy.
The fan runs on regular electricity, not 220 like your dryer. Therefore, it is economical. You can just leave the fan off too.

The shelves are great, should you wish to wash wool sweaters and have a place to lay them, flat. The shelves lift very easily up and off each other, so it is easy to lay your items on each shelf. Also, if you are washing fleeces to spin and needing to dry fiber, or yarn, that has been dyed, this works great, too. Turn on that fan and you are ready to spin and knit in no time. (Hence the toy title.)

So, if you are doing laundry, the tool title, you can attach the side pieces and hang shirts there. You could use the side piece to hang yarn, too.

Several of us, bought them at Kroger. The Signature Krogers, actually. Well, really I didn't even find it at the store. Everyone in the spinning group was looking for them. Joyce found a bunch at the Signature Kroger near her. She called and ended up purchasing about 4 for us. Imagine she rode around with these things in her car for a week! The boxes were about 40 inches long, by 12 inches wide and 8 inches tall. She, and her family, deserve a reward for that!

They can be purchased on Amazon, too. But, Kroger had a special sale and we were able to get them for about half of what they were on Amazon.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Trinket, a Scarf and Shawl Pattern

I have finished a new pattern! We have been working on this pattern since November. Kay of Cordova Studios has helped me in the designing and knitting of this pattern. It was a delight to have her design ideas with this pattern.

There are four ways that you can make this pattern and all directions are included. The picture above is the scarf, in sock weight yarn.

This red one is the shawl, in sock weight yarn. Notice it can function as a scarf as well.

Isn't the ruffle wonderful? It makes it so feminine. I like the bell ruffle pattern, but that is worked backwards, so to speak, of the ruffle we needed. So, I came up with a ruffle that is sort of a bell ruffle.

The yellow scarf is from worsted weight yarn. There is a dropped stitch design in this pattern too. There are different amount of stitches between the dropped stitches, adding some great interest to the pattern.

Last, but not least, is the worsted weight shawl. This is such a great size. It can drape up and over the wearer's shoulder or hang down as pictured. Believe it or not, it can really be a scarf, too. It makes a heavy scarf, too. Great for cold weather, I tried it out during our snow this past week. :) The bias knitting and dropped stitches allow the shawls, both yarn weights, to scrunch up and be scarves.

This picture, is so you can see the differences in the widths of the sizes within the pattern.
If you decide you like this pattern, you can find it for sale in my shop on etsy, TerrificCreations. If you go there and don't find it, don't be afraid, it will return, it just means that someone bought the one listed and I will relist it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday's Doings and More Snow

Yesterday, March 20, 2010, dawned to be a fairly dismal day, weather wise. It was raining a cold rain. The rain that happens when the temperature is right above freezing. The temperature was 38F, with a wind chill about 28F. It was the Spin-in day at Jacob's Reward farm. I was scheduled to be helping people get to know their spinning wheels better and help them with any "tune-up" issues they might be having.

So, I loaded up the Blazer and off we went. I made it there safely, in the rain, after sitting on the interstate for a wreck between two other SUV's. One of them had ended up on its roof, the other was still on its wheels.

It was a fun time at Jacob Rewards farm, always is! Nothing like being with other spinners and knitters.

When at Cindy's we meet in the Little Red Barn. It is a great space with her fiber and yarns all around. BUT, behind the Little Red Barn is a small quiet creek. However, we had had so much rain during the night and that morning, that the little calm creek, had become a raging little river!

In the barn, Mary and Pam were hard at work on their knitting, while Smokie(the cat) had found a new lap to lay on.

Cindy is trying out a new drop spindle that was handmade by Cara's husband.

Here is some absolutely gorgeous yarn being spun on a Louet Victoria wheel. That is a cute little wheel and weighing in at only 7 lbs, an ease to carry around.

Another handmade drop spindle, made by Cara's husband. (So great to have husband's like this!)
The roving is what Cindy had wanted to spin. Isn't it pretty? Don't know if Cindy was able to get busy on that roving or not.

Then thismorning we woke up to SNOW! Yep, March 21 and we had snow on the ground. The sun hasn't really made it out yet. We expect the snow to melt, today, but right now, it is just being blown around by the stiff north wind.

Winter has not given up, yet, in north Texas.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Knitters Dream

What could be more than a dream for a knitter? A whole house turned into a knitted wonderland. :) This is a great commercial.

And here is how it was made.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wildflower 2010

JoJo loves to come on the outings with my spinner friends. So, when I decided to go to Wildflower, I knew she would have to come along. It is Friday afternoon, Liz and I are meeting up with Kay and Maryann and we are at Starbucks. All caffiened up and ready to go to the yarn store. OH, yes, there are vendors selling yarn and fiber at the retreat, but there is a fabulous yarn shop, Rosepath Weaving, in Lindale which just happens to be on the way to the campgrounds in Tyler.

Wilflower Fiber Retreat happens in Tyler each spring. There is a wonderful committee of women who put the retreat on every year for spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers and just plain ol' artsy people. We arrive on Friday evening, in time for a potluck dinner and to spin to our hearts delight. When we start to fall asleep at our wheels, we finally admit it is time for bed. :)

Then up on Saturday, for more spinning, and some workshop classes.

Cyndi, above, is spinning some of her homegrown alpaca from her ranch. With other friends in the background talking about a project or several projects.

Kay is spinning at her wheel, sorry it is a little hard to see her. Cindy from Jacob's Reward Farm
is actually thinking about spinning, while she talks to Kay.

Off in one of the classrooms, they are preparing for Inkle Loom weaving. You can make belts and straps with this loom. Very cool. They have a local gentlman, who has made all of these great looms.

On Saturday morning I took the opportunity to card a somewhat crazy spinning batt. You cannot really see what it looks like, but there is mohair, wool and firestar(sparkly stuff) in this batt. JoJo thought it was soooo soft, that she wanted to show it to you. The cloth is a lap cloth to use for spinning. Kind of like an apron. It is embroidered with Wildflower Fiber Retreat, 2010.

Ahhhhhh, the lake. Isn't the scenery gorgeous? On Saturday afternoon, the weather was gorgeous too. In the 60's and sunny. I sat out here and knitted on another pair of socks.

Here is Kate, Cindy and Rita.. YES, Cindy actually made it to her wheel and had a chance to spin at the retreat. She actually spun and plied a skein of yarn! Cindy is so busy with her farm and responsibilities there, that she rarely gets a chance to spin. We sure are glad that she came on the retreat, to relax and did just that. It is so rare for us to see Cindy spinning, that all of us were taking the picture. Rita is taking a picture of her too. :)

On Sunday morning, we had a visitor. Ouijan brought her llama, Bandit, to visit us. She talked about raising llama's and working with their fiber. Then Cyndi talked about alpaca's and their fiber. Bandit has a black face, making him really look like a bandit. He weighs in at 278 lbs and is one of Ouijan's smaller llama's.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Projects and Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off

It is a gray and dreary day here in north Texas. It has rained off and on all day. So, in order to get pictures, to post these newly finished projects, I have turned on the lights. The colors look pretty good for these pictures, you always wonder when using artificial lighting.

The first project is a 3-6 month size hat and sweater combo. The plan for this outfit, is to list it for sale on etsy. The hat is from cotton yarn and the sweater is from a cotton/wool blend. It is so very soft to the touch.

I added some embroidered trim to the neck, wrists and bottom of the sweater, as well as, the pockets to the front. The hat has some embroidery on it too.

The socks are done. I know I whined about the coloring, but now that they are done and I put them on, I am in love with them! They are a part cotton and wool yarn and feel divine on my feet.

I had knitted these socks from the toe up, if you remember. Well, Jeny Staiman, has come up with a great bind off, called the Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off. I decided to try the bind off on my socks and am very pleased with it. It looks wonderful and functions even better. :)
Here is the bind off being taught by Cat Bordhi.