Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Chix Packin Stix Retreat

It was a hot 106 degree Fahrenheit day in northern Texas on this sunny day in August. It was the day I went on a crafting retreat, held in Gainesville, TX and located at a wonderful campground. One of the fun things for me, was to see the Texas cowboy them throughout the facility.
Here is our hotel. Clean and neat with comfortable beds!
Here is the view from the porch. This let's you see the typical Texas country view. Can you feel the heat?
Every guest room door had a sign of a famous cowboy. I stayed in Gary Cooper's room.

The western them was even carried into the public meeting room's bathroom.  This is the light switch cover in the Ladies room. :)

 When entering the building from the side door, you are greated with John Wayne. At least we think the statue is John Wayne.  He did protect us and was nice enough to let JoJo sit on his rifle.

One of the projects we worked on at the retreat, was a charity blanket. Each person was asked to bring a piece of fleece fabric for a blanket and then crochet an edging onto it. Here is mine. It is for a children's hospital in Dallas, and I decided that there are older children in the hospital who may not was a Minion blanket, so I used a plaid.

We had classes and they were all so much fun!  This is Astrid's hooked rug project. Astrid taught us about traditional rug hooking and how to do it.
We received supplies for drawing our own design and to start hooking.  After much thought, I drew a sheep. :) I still love folk art and I still love sheep, even after all these years.  I did start my rug, as you can see, but decided to finish it at home, with the wool strips and yarns that I have here.

We learned pine needle basket weaving too. Here is my little basket. It is about 4 inches in diameter and 1 inch tall. The center is a walnut. I did finish the basket!

All during the weekend, Sara, would put on her feathery hat and the room would hush. Imagine, 50 women hushing. :) Yes, we did.  Because Sara would call out names for door prizes. Everyone received a door prize to take home.
We also had a class on making shawl pins. We shaped the wire and then hammered the design. Hammering the wire caused it to set in place as a hard design, so it will hold its shape! Wonderful. We made the posts in the same way and then used a fine sandpaper to sharpen and smooth the end of the post.

I had a great time, meeting new friends and visiting with long time friends at this retreat. The atmosphere was very relaxing and the food was great too!  I have put my deposit down to attend the next one, in March 2016.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Shawls and More Shawls

Fall is here and summer is over. In north central Texas that means that the 100 degree temperatures are gone and most of the days are now even lower than 90 degrees.  We may occasionally have a 90 degree day, but most are in the 80's. It is amazing how cool 80+ degrees or even 90 feels, after 106. 
During this summer I spent a lot of time making shawls. Seems that a lot has gone on in my friends' lives calling for a couple of prayer shawls to be made.
This shawl is one of the prayer shawls. It was actually for a friends' sister.
Here it is pinned out and blocking, the light for this picture is better, than the other pictures, it was daylight. The other pictures were taken before the sun came up, so it was dark in my front hallway.
 Here is the back. The shawl was made out of different yarns that I had on hand. Different textures add an artsy look.

 This shawl is made from handspun yarns. I had never used this shaping technique and was really happy with the outcome. Sorry, there isn't a close up picture of this one.
Now, onto the other shawls I made.
I own a small triangle shawl loom.  I have been having fun using it and then crocheting or knitting an embellishment around the edge.
 The next two shawls were each made using a woven triangle center. For this one below I crocheted an edging around the triangle. I used a K sized crochet hook and several different lace stitches.

This shawl used the same yarn for the center triangle, but different yarns for the embellishment. I  knit the embellishment for this shawl, using several different lace stitches. This shawl sold almost as fast as I finished it, so there isn't a close up picture of it.

I did get to go to NY last month, there will be a post on that trip in the near future, but while I was visiting my mom, my brother brought in this little newspaper picture to me. Seems there was another overgrown Merino lamb, this one is named Chris. Small print says Chris yielded 89 lbs of raw wool, an equivalent of 30 sweaters!!!  Amazing.