Last Post of the Year

Here we are once again with Christmas passed and the new year about to begin. It’s another gray rainy day here in Nashville but at least it’s warm. I think we are going to hit 70 today, so there’s that. :-)

Here are some of my Christmas presents. I got a few more but these are all I happened to get a picture of. The one in the center was made by my third daughter, Meredith, from the sea glass she collected when she was living in Nome Alaska a couple of years ago. The watercolor portraits were painted by another daughter, Kyla. They are of all four of the children, including herself (top frame) that are still living here at home. She has promised the other six to be added to the collection as she completes them. I can’t wait to see the rest!

Here’s my progress on my Usonian shawl. It is coming along and I will probably get some more knit on it tonight since my husband has to work tonight so no going out. In the past he always had New Years Eve off but not this year. Boo Hiss!

Happy New Year to all and be safe!

Winding Down

Christmas is almost upon us once again and it’s time for slowing down and taking in the year that has passed. We normally take this month off from as much as we can get away with. We pause homeschool lessons and it’s a slower time for the business, in that I am not traveling and doing festivals. I like to work on new ideas and samples for the coming year. Of course there are family gatherings to prepare for and presents to buy and wrap. We have all the gifts done and the tree is up. We will probably start baking on Sunday afternoon.

As you may recall in my last post, I started a sweater for my youngest which I finished a couple days ago. He loves it and has worn it to the library yesterday, where we loaded up with Christmas story books.

Since my needles were empty, it was on to my next planned lace project. I wound the yarn and cast on for Usonian in my Classic Merino Bamboo yarn. It is gray and rainy today and I had to make due with indoor pictures but actually the colors aren’t too far off. Click through to the website for slightly more accurate ones; the names are Damson Plum and Sea Oat.

I started last night and have gotten half way through Chart 2. This one should be pretty fun and easy, possibly quick even. We’ll see.

Have a Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

New Project Underway

I have finished my Kassiani shawl! I bound off the edge on Tuesday evening, but since I was leaving for Michigan Fiber Festival very early on Wednesday morning, I won’t be able to get it blocked until I return home next week. Here is a pre-blocking picture I took fresh off the needles.

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I think it looks pretty good even before it’s blocked so it should really shine once it’s finished properly. :-)

After I arrived at my hotel last night I got a start on the new design I have planned in my Organic Cotton Sport weight yarn. I measured my swatch and decided on a size to aim for, 30×35; did some math and cast on. I thought about going with a fancier border like a rib or something but then decided that a simpler garter border would be better suited to the busy cable, lace, rib stitch pattern. I am doing a slightly wide edge to square up the edges since the stitch pattern would naturally create a wavy edge. Here’s my start.

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I had the privilege of spending two days with my daughter Meredith and her family after I left Chicago before going home. She lives near Lake Michigan so I took a quick visit there but spent most of my time visiting. Here’s a few pictures of the grandbabies. :-)

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Final Preparations

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I don’t know who coined the phrase about curiosity killing the cat, but Mimi has got to be the most curious cat I have ever seen. If any thing is going on, at all, she is right in the middle of it, as the above shows so elegantly.  Nothing gets past her, LOL!

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She graciously helped me on my photo shoot for the website a couple days ago. I now have the new stock of Mahogany and Walnut Yarn Boxes available on the website. I will have some of these and some Maple ones as well, in my booths at MKG Knit-In this coming weekend and at Stitches United the following weekend. I am madly doing last minute tasks and packing today, since I am headed out to Wisconsin in the morning.

I had hoped to get my shawl blocked in time but I am not sure that’s gonna happen today. If it does I will be sure and take a shot of it and post it in my next post. I do however have new interim project on the needles before I cast on for another sample. It is Tiriltunge and is going pretty fast so far.

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It will be for one of the new granddaughters, I suppose. Mostly it looked like a fun change of pace and a cute, quick knit. I may end up making two. My oldest daughter had her second baby this past week and my third daughter is due with her second in early May, both girl babies.  Here’s a picture of the latest new little one, Veda. :-)

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This is her very proud big brother, Gabriel. He is so far the lone grandson. :-)

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Okay, I will see you from the frozen north soon.

 

I know, it’s been awhile….

Well, here I am again after a shockingly long hiatus. I saw Needlefingers catch up post yesterday and was inspired to dust off my blog and get back to writing. I like to keep this little record for some of the same reasons Kristi stated. It’s a good way to refresh my memory of what happened when. That gets increasingly helpful at my age, LOL. Also it’s a good way to share with interested parties what’s happening with the business and my knitting. Sure, I can and do use Ravelry to record knitting projects, but sometimes, like now actually, when I am working on a design of my own that I plan to publish the pattern for, I tend to wait until it’s published to post it there.

Which leads nicely into what is on my needles anyway? Well I started this current project around the end of July I think, after I finished my Sprossling in Classic Merino Superwash Sock yarn.

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I had this idea to design a Shetland style lace square, but with some modifications on the traditional model. I wanted to make it using my one of my newer colors, Honeydew, in Classic Merino Lace. Time for a picture, yes?

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I picked out a lace pattern from Barbara Walters Treasury and tried swatching from the written directions just to see if I wanted to pursue it. I got about eight rows into a thirty-two row repeat and gave up on that idea. I could see I was never going to make it through the swatch without a chart. So I then spent several hours charting the design and got back to my swatch. I liked it and calculated by gauge how many stitches to cast on and got started. This picture above is taken about a month after I cast on and before I started the border.

What I did that was different from traditional lace squares, AFAIK, is work my center square from one end to the other rather than on the diagonal. I realized after awhile of knitting that I could see the wisdom in the diagonal square for actually producing a square. In order to make the stitch pattern come out even mine is slightly taller than it is wide. I didn’t want to be work mine diagonally because of the pattern direction. I proceeded hoping for the best. :-)

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Finally I reached to point of picking a border design, and went with an Ostrich Plume. By the time I had done one repeat of that I had well over 1000 stitches on the needles I think and decided that was quite enough and time to pick an edging. At this point I and on the final side, having passed the third corner this weekend, and heading to the finish line.

I am not completely sure how big this thing is but I am on the seventh skein of yarn, heh heh. Is anyone going to want to make this? LOL! We shall see, but it is pretty impressive if size counts for anything. This has been my exclusive knitting except for a quick foray into baby sweater knitting around Christmas and New Years for some of the grandbabies.

We are also hard at work in the woodshop this winter/spring making a huge, and I do mean huge, batch of mahogany and walnut boxes. We are finally to the sanding stage. We have to sand all the insides of the box pieces before we do the glue up/assembly, which is to come next.

Oh, I told you back in June how we had gotten a couple guinea pigs, right? Well in September we added a kitten to the mix. Here’s Mimi. :-) She was rescued from someones car engine and we adopted her. She was around 7-9 weeks old I think when we got her which makes her around 7-8 months now.  The top picture is from October 2017 and the bottom one was taken last week.

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Okay, I’ll close for now and see you soon. Thanks for reading!

A Couple New Things

I have no idea what came over me on Tuesday, since I have always been firm on no pets in the house, but here we are with two of them. 

Allow me to introduce you to Leo and Rex. Leo is the light tan one and Rex is the dark one.  This is their play pen for going outdoors and for while their cage is being mucked out, LOL.

Emma is such an animal lover and is 12 now so I guess I felt like she was finally getting old enough to take on the responsibility. I love animals too but my plate is pretty full already with business and family responsibilities and didn’t care for the idea of adding animal ownership to that load. The children are of course very excited and I hope they remain so when the new wears off, LOL. 

In other news, I am in Franklin, IN today and tomorrow for the Hoosier Hills Fiber Festival. I am off to the booth shortly. After I return on Sunday I will have a 8 week or so break in traveling since I didn’t take on any early summer shows. No doubt we will be busy on production and new stuff for the second half of the show season. More on that as that it develops. 


Catching Up

True to my word, I shall proceed to catch you up on some of the goings on around our place.

This time of year has been for several years running the season for home improvements. I am not sure why we tend to follow that pattern but here we are again spending lots of capital to spruce the place up.

So, this was slated the year for new entry doors and windows. We began with the back entry door which used to look like this.

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This was the only old picture (from 2008) I could dredge up of it. I guess you don’t tend to take pictures in front of places that are an eye sore. Open-mouthed smile I didn’t get a chance to take an intentional “before” picture because Jerry changed it out while I was doing a show. Here is the new improved back door.

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We still have work to do on the back windows. They were more complicated to do because the were not built with a standard casement so we have to build that in first before replacement windows can go in.

On to the front entry door. Here is an old picture of the front door inside and out from within the last year or so.

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Notice the ugly hunter green (my least favorite green) and the white porch awning support. Never knew I disliked it until Jerry replaced it with this.

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I adore this red!

Jerry bought a pressure washer and washed the whole house before we started installing the new windows and wow did that make a difference. I bet it had never been done. Our house was built in 1958. We bought it in 1998 from the second owners and I assure you they didn’t do it during their time here. The house was filthy when we moved in. But I digress.

So I do have a few pictures of the front of the house from about 5 years ago versus now. This was taken in May 2011. Notice the cut stone siding in the middle? Also the dark green shutters.

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December 2016:

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We will probably do some sort of planting/landscaping in the front to replace the huge shrubs Jerry cut down. It definitely helps let more light into the living room now. I was quite reluctant about losing my original wood windows and there are some aspects that I miss, but overall the new ones are an improvement with more pros than cons.

We had storm windows on our old windows but they all needed re-glazing and quite a few needed new panes here and there in the sashes. The replacement windows are better sealed and by far easier to open/close and keep clean. I like that a lot. I think they look pretty nice from the outside as well. We installed these ourselves with very little trouble and saved thousands of dollars.

I was planning to write about my knitting today too but this is a pretty long post already and I need to close and serve lunch so I will save that for next time.