Friday, September 29, 2006

There be Sheep Here

Nancy commented that she wanted to see my sheep. I only have 5 left. 4 ewes and a wether.


Emily and Gabrielle. Emily is a musket and her fleece spins up to a nice oatmeal color. Gabrielle is white and fine, she makes a beautiful lace weight yarn.


Titan is white just like his mom Gabrielle. His is the fleece everyone covets.


Here is Juno, she is all black and has kept a black fleece every year.


Athena is a moorit and has the most wonderful brown fleece. Yarn from her fleece comes out a nice heathered brown.

About Yurts

Sara asked about the Yurt and if its use was year round. The sad news to report is that the yurt inploded. My friend Kathy made the frame herself and I guess it had some problems and now has to be repaired. To get a piece of felt that big she had Zielingers woolen mill in Michigan card her wool into big quilt bats and she felted the big piece in her driveway. If you are interested in seeing more the current issue of Spin Off magazine has an article an picture on traditioinal yurts. You can find it at Barnes and Noble. Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Tetons are calling

The weather has been wonderful the last couple days and looks to be all week. I am in need of a mini retreat, so tomorrow I am headed to Wyoming. Plans are to get up early and drive to Jackson, spend some time there and then head in to Grand Teton National Park and spend some time in quiet reflection. I will being all my art stuff and maybe create some fun stuff and restore my soul. Talk to when I am back.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

A little bit of weaving

I tried to weave a little the other day. With my back I was a little afraid to try but it was fine. I managed to do a couple inches and I like it. These will be vibrant towels for sure.


I had the shot in my back yesterday and I really can't tell yet if it worked or not. Getting the shot was pretty painful so I am not fired up about getting another one. Last night I started having the strong pain in my calf and leg and it took everything I had to not cry a buket of tears over it. I decided to try and just wait it out. I feel better this morning but am still not 100%. Dave thinks I need to just let time pass and I may find I am ok. I really don't know if these shots are supposed to totally eliminate the pain or just dull it some so that you can function, time will tell. I go back to PT on monday so I will talk to them about it.

Its a beautiful day today. We've had rotten weather the last few days. I am ready for Indian summer. It is supposed to be nice all next week. Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 22, 2006

Laminate Swap

Someday I will figure out blogger and pictures. Usually I use Picasa to upload pictures which can do about 4-5 at a time. Then I publish and then go back an edit to add more pics. This has not been working lately so I just do another post. It is annoying but the only thing that I can think of.

I got the shot in my back this morning and yes it was pretty painful and still hurts s lot. I find that I need to sit up straight to be comfortable so my couch was not a good choice. Since I had to sit up I thought I might as well work on my collage's. I had most of the things I needed on a table already. The second swap I am in is using those laminate pieces you can get at Lowes. Our theme was travel so I did a few in both sizes. It was fun to play with those this afternoon.



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Playing with collage

I have 2 swaps I am involved in and they are just about due so it was time to get busy on them. The first was an ATC swap of my favorite movie, or in my case movies... Here are my renditions. Are you surprised, of course its the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.




Then that afternoon I starting missing my mom. She died 7 years ago. I got the desire to make a proper cup of tea and then create this journal page about having tea with her. I even pulled out my English teapot and drank from a cup and saucer instead of a mug. My Irish mother always made me prime the pot. What this means is that you would boil water and fill the pot and then empty it. Then you begin again with more hot water and tea. We would try and read tea leaves too. It was always a fun time I shared with her. That has been passed down to my daughter. She really learned to love tea when we were in England and Scotland 2 years ago. We now love to have tea together.

I recently purchased some rub ons which I have never used before and they worked great. Basically letters are on this sheet and you take a wood craft stick similar to a popsicle stick and rub over the letter and it transfers to your paper. I did the word Mother with them. I also tried some new alphabet stamps that I really like. I can see that I will want more sets of these. Lettering is always a problem for me so these new tools make it easy. I used pastels in the background and they act so different on textured paper. I need to find something else that will work in this journal.

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Back to some Fiber content


There has not been a lot of fiber content lately, so here is a pic of whats on my spinning wheel. I call it Gotland dregs. Basically it was what left from some Gotland fleeces that I spun for my cloak yarn. I recarded it and then spun it. Its has more noils than the wonderful combed fiber I was using so it is not as fun to spin. It will probably be thrown into a blanket someday.


Here is the sock that I keep losing needles for. I decided to buy some 16" circulars and try that method and I also ordered one of these double point needle holders. The yarn harlot mentioned them on her blog awhile ago. I saw less expensive alternatives but the way I jam knitting into my purse I figure this was the best solution for me. The sock is almost finished so I hope there are no more needle casualities.
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Making a Yurt

My friend Kathy Caldwell is making her own Yurt. She used wool from her own sheep. She made the frame and some of the felt and then asked for help. So we got together for a camp out a few years ago. This was in Utah and I got to sleep in a Teepee, you can see it in the background. I ran with wolves that night. It was pretty cool.


Here is Kathy, Carole Miller and Judy Gunn taking turns at felting the rolled up piece


Here are Shirley Cyndi and Susan working on that felt. I know it does not look like they are doing anything but we were rolling it back and forth with our feet.


A felted panel hanging to dry.


Here is the panel as it will cover the Yurt frame. I wish I had pictures of the completed Yurt. I know we did not finish it that weekend but Kathy got a better idea on how to get it to work. It has been a lot of trial and error on her part. I need to find out if she has any pictures to share.

For more information on Yurts look here. Posted by Picasa

There is something special about Yurts

Over on Violette's message board we have been talking about yurts since violette went to stay in one. I offered to show my old yurt pics so here they are. This Yurt is at Harriman State Park. They have 2 that you can rent.


This is the view of the yurt from outside of course, you can see all our ski's propped up outside


Here is an inside view, you can see the beds, woodstove, table and more. There is another set of beds on the other side.


Here is a view of the ceiling skylight. That window can be opened.


Here is my sis Marianne when she discovered she brought her hair dryer to a place with no electricity... silly girl we all thought that was funny. Behind here you can see where we set up a coleman stove to cook.

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is the Universe Trying to tell me something

After my weekend in Salt Lake listening to the Yarn Harlot and increasing my stash I felt a great desire to find more knitting time. So I started working on the Mega Boots stretch sock. So I started taking it everywhere. I found I could knit in church and it was acceptable. So I take it with me to Johnny Carinos for lunch and when I get home I only have 3 needles...crap. So I take a needle from another project and keep going. Now last night I had the sock in my bag while at a friends house. During the evening she catches her little dog pulling my knitting out of the bag. I see no problem as it gets put away. Well it turn out when I get home and want to knit I find the sock has only 2 needles now. I imagine she'll find pieces of two knitting needles in her house today. Now I think perhaps I need to start knitting on 2 circulars instead. So I know I have 2 size 1's but do you think I can find them....not...Grrr this is so frustrating. I finally did find a couple more size 1 double points so I at least I can knit on the sock again. I am wondering how long it will be before I can't find one of them either. Why can't knitting be this smooth kind gentle SPORT....... Sorry to be so whiny but some days are like that.

I went back to physical therapy yesterday and they had me doing lots of different things, I had my ultrasound and a back massage so I felt good yesterday. I am just trying to manage the pain until Friday when I get a pain shot that is going to make me feel so much better.

The spinning girls meet today at my friend Debbie's house. Its too cold to do it outside anymore. Here's to a relaxing afternoon.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Birthday Fun


I met with spinning friends yesterday. It was way too cold to spin outside so we went to my friend Debbie's house. We missed Amy's Birthday last week so we decided to take her out to lunch. We headed to Jalisco's for some good Mexican food. You never know what will happen at a restuarant. They brought her dessert, the hat and took a polaroid of her. What fun!


Here is my friend Debbie, putting our pics in her cell.

I went to the Doc's and am going to have a steroid shot next Friday to help reduce the inflamation in my back. I go back to physical therapy on Monday. I am going to do the least evasive route. I do not want surgery so this is the first step on that journey.

Its gotten cool and we had thunder storms this morning and Flynn was going nuts. In addition to barking his fool head off, I caught him peeing on the floor. He gets so scared it is becoming annoying.

I decide that after reading a section in Knitting Rules that its time I organized my knitting patterns again. I have a slew of things I copied off the internet that are in all sorts of places. Plus patterns I have bought on the net. I think it will be nice to find things again. Well I am off to search high and low for all those patterns. Maybe I will be able to work in some knitting time too! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Map

I have just added a Frappr map to my sidebar. Click on add and let me know where you are reading from.

This cold I have is just dragging me down. I feel like my head is the size of Mt Rushmore.

The latest on the Stones concert in Missoula is that Sarah has a seat in the 3rd row. I told her she's so close she'll get Mick Jaggers spit on her. It turns out her friend who had the ticket has a mom who works for the promoters. That is how she got such a good seat. Margene I would love to go but tickets were sold out long before we ever heard about the concert.

I took about 3 rows out of the shawl, now I need to sit down with it and decide what row I am really on and so forth. I hope I don't have to take any more out. I am willing to do what it takes to conquer this lace thing. Everytime I read someones blog there is another lace shawl out there that I would love to have. This sorta reminds me of learning to spin cotton. I struggled with it for years but now I love to spin it and its easy for me. I think lace knitting is following the same pattern and we will be friends soon.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Breaking Rule No. 1

Rule No.1 is don't put soething on the stove, turn up the heat and go read your email. This time it was olive oil and onions, what an awful smell that is when that it is burnt. Someday I hope to remember rule no 1. Poor sarah had so many breakfast that had to be cooked again when I went off to do something else.

I cooked beans in the crockpot over night so now I am making some refried beans that I will poackage and then throw in the freezer. I started making my own frefried beans foir mexican cooking since commerciall ones have way too much salt for me, Now I definetly like the taste so much better.

I also have a pot of salsa going, this is the first time in several years we have had enough tomatoes to make any. I am looking forward to having good salsa again. Then I have got to get to the peaches I bought in Utah before I eat them all. I guess its harvest time. Dave has been making stuffed peppers all week. Soon the freezer will be full. I guess fall is around the corner. Its still in the 80's everyday so it doesn't feel like fall at all.

I have this desire to get back to my knitting. I have a mistake in the Leaf Lace shawl. So I really need to spend some time trying to fix it. I think I need to start using a life line. I was just going to fudge it but I think this time I would be better off just ripping it out. I also want to finish something. Yes, I got that desire again. I am going to pull out the green vest again and try to finish it up. Time to focus on one thing instead of twenty.

I had xrays done on my back which was not fun. They made me stand in a position that just is not comfortable. I see the Dr on Thursday. This afternoon I will go see my spiritual friend Kathy Chandler for some insights on why I am having such an awful year. Hopefully she will shed some light on it all.

It looks like Sarah is going to the Stones concert after all. She has a friend with an extra ticket. Her Dad says you know this is a once in a lifetime occurence, you don't know how much longer they'll be alive. He even offered to pay for it. What a guy.. I want to go too! The concert has been sold out for some time.

I have started to clean out the craft room to paint it. What a job that is gonna be. I have too much stuff!!! It is bound to be great when it is finished though. I just need to decide on color now. I brought a ton of paint samples from Lowe's so now its play the color game.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Yarn Harlot

I made the trip to Salt Lake City to see the one and only Yarn Harlot. I wasn't sure if I were feeling good enough or if it was smart to travel all that way just to hear an author speak. Then I remember that I traveled to Park City to hear Sue Monk Kidd last year and after all this was the Yarn Harlot. I had a nice drive down, stopped at the Needlepoint Joint and bought some lovely Alpaca/silk for a scarf. I debated 2 skeins or 3. I bought 2 but if I had Knitting Rules with me I could have looked the yardage up. I was planning on buying it at the book signing.

I headed back into the car and went to Three Wishes and visited with Kristine where she proceeded to entice me with yarns and books and more. I came out of there with a cone of blue pearl cotton and 2 Elsebeth Lavold books. I just love her work. Then it was on to Judy's and the rest of the evening of fun and frolic.


Here we are holding the traveling sock. I traveled the farthest so I got the honor.


Judy gave Stephanie some of her sock yarn so here she is getting her pic taken.


Judy and Stephanie all smiles for the camera.


Here is Laurel getting her book signed. More pics are here.

Stephanie entertained us quite well with her humor. I had not laughed so much in a long time. If you ever get the chance to see her don't hesitate. I confessed to her that I was one of those who did not finish the Knitting Olympics and met a woman who had the same experience. We shared stories and it was interesting to note that we were working on the same project The Highland Triangle, maybe its cursed or something. Strephanie said to her "Well you know what happens to people who do not finish" and then said, "Nothing" well you know not all Olympians get the gold. I just commented that its an honor to participate. I know that what all the other Olympian say. After all we all now know that Knitting is a sport.

While at the The Black Sheep Wool Company, for the book signing I managed to take home Knitting Rules along with 2 skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock yarn, some markers and a pattern by Anne Gilmour for a fun hat. After that we headed to the Oasis for dinner with Jill. Then it was back to the train for the trip back to Judy's house. That was uneventful and we were tired so we just went to sleep.

I did not sleep well and will now confess that I got out some of my yarn purchases which were close by to pet while I tried to fall asleep. Ok don't laugh I know some of you have fondled yarn or fleece on the way home from a long trip. It has a calming effect. Well all I could think that night was I should have bouight that third skein of alpaca. So I stopped at the Needlepoinht Joint again and picked up the skein along with that cashmerino. I haven't a clue what I will use it for. They only had 2 skeins, so its only a couple hundred yards of yarn but it really felt fantastic. Perhaps a pillow front, some sachet bags or add it to something else. It has to be aged before use anyways and by then I will come up with something wonderful. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 10, 2006

It looks innocent enough

Yes its a simple bathtub, well not so simple when you add me to the mix. Its at Janet's house where I stayed while I was at Great Basin. After thinking about it this really is a Yarn Harlot moment, It sounds more like what happens to her on her trips. Anyway I digress, you know that I am having these back problems so a soak in a nice big tub was inviting after a long day teaching. I had used the tub Friday night but did not know how the Jacuzzi worked. Janet said she would show me. You had to fill the tub so high and then push this button. Well I thought that will be easy. She had asked me if I would like bubble bath or bath salts. I told her I didn't care and she brought me some bubble bath. Now if you have never been in one of these tubs, the take a lot of water.

So here I am in the tub and I the water is maybe 12" high and I put bubble bath in and as the water fills up I am getting quite a nice amount of bubbles. I am starting to feel like a movie star or a singer in a video. With this many bubbles even my body looks good. Then the tub was full enough to turn on the Jacuzzi. Although it frothed all this wonderful hot sudsy water all over my tired muscles it also turned into a bubble factory. I looked about me in horror as the bubble multiplied exponentially. Off went the Jacuzzi immediately. All I could think oh I am someone else's house, I am going to ruin the floor or whatever. I try pushing the bubbles down nothing happens. They are not breaking up at all, they are about to froth over the sides of the tub. I thought what is this industrial bubble bath!

I get out of the tub and at this point I am covered head to toe in bubbles. I looked like the Michelin Man. Luckily Janet had a separate shower in the room so I went in there and took a shower while the tub drained. After I was all clean and de-bubbled I look in the tub and discover the water has drained but there is still 3/4 of the tub filled with bubbles. Ackkkk now what do I do. I added some cold water to the tub and once again tried to pop those bubbles. It hardly helped at all. I didn't want to fill the tub again as these tubs are big and I didn't want to use all of her water. Finally I resigned myself to having to explain to her in the morning. Of course by morning all the bubbles were gone and all I have left is this simple story.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Spindle Pics

Since blogger would not let me post pictures I just started a new entry. You have to figure a way to outsmart the system sometimes.


Here is the Spindle and the Optim Merino


I did some plying Monday night first there is some Merino/Bombyx silk I dyed, spun and plied into a navajo 3 ply yarn. I will add it to some other silk I have spun for a weaving project.


Now a skein of Alpaca/Merino/Silk that I dyed spun and plied into a Navajo 3 ply. It really feels wonderfully soft. I haven't a clue what it will be used for. Maybe I will throw it in a mixed warp. Posted by Picasa

Great Basin recap

Great Basin went really well. It was a fun festival, I met lots of new people and had a great time. I really did not take great pictures. So I suggest that you check out
and Susan's blogs for some great pictures. They were both in my dye class and it was a pleasure to meet them.

I did not sell a lot and I am sure that had to do with not being in the booth and having to raise my prices. I sent all the unsold fiber to Three Wishes so Kristine can now sell it. I came home with 2 treasures, a pair of Ebony needles from Carolina Homespun and a Monique from .Greensleeves spindles. It is the nicest spindle I have ever spun on. Its really light and spins forever. I am spinning some Optim Merino on it that I won at retreat. It is in beautiful ocen colors and spinning it is a dream. I tried posting a picture but blogger is being annoying and won't let me.

I have been burned out since the festival so I have not been doing much. I heard from my Dr that I do have herniated disk at l4 and L5. I will meet with a orthopedic surgeon to talk about treatment options. No wonder I am in so much pain all the time. Then that damn menopause has reared its ugly head this week too. I am supposed to go back to Salt Lake to see the Yarn Harlot herself tomorrow. I have been feeling so crappy I have been thinking about not going. I will make the final decision tomorrow.

I just recived the ATC cards from the Visual Journal swap I was in. Take a look!


That was a fun swap

Friday, September 01, 2006

Off to Great Basin

The car is packed to its limit, if I forgot it I just didn't know what it was. There is always something that you forget but that seems to be the way of it. I am ready to be in the midst of a group of spinners, knitters, weavers, dyers etc. They are always great people. I am sure it will be a great festival. I will report when I return.

Have a good weekend!