Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Knit Sibs Update

     Well Kiddies, Mom's all moved in and the unpacking commences Yeawsa, Yeawsa,Yeawsa!  It's not so bad and eating an elephant is possible... just over time.  If I can only get Mom and DH to understand, things are slower and can't be done overnight like in the past. The children have been wonderful just trucking along helping out.  My entire office is in my bedroom, really need some shelves in there to get everything off of the ground as it's earwig time and they are all over the place.  I love getting organized too so it's fun to me to put things away.  DD got my bedroom set from when I was a child and finally has an organized room too.  Lets hope it stays that way.
     Yesterday I made a really neat belt for the wedding, I will have to get you a photo of it.  It's got three floral medallions in the front and back they are put together with 2 strands of chain, all of which is an antiqued brass.  In the center of the flowers I glued turquoise crystals.  Then I made a tassel from all kinds of beads and rocks.  I used headpins, loaded them with an 11, 8, large decorative bead and another 8, looped the pin around the chain and hey presto... after an hour or so I had a cool tassel of these turquoise and green beads.  The belt got us into beading and man did we bead!  DD made a lovely necklace to wear for the wedding which matches her bridesmaids outfit.  It's pink and lime with this hand coated real magenta flower in the center that matches the wedding flower.  I then proceeded to make a dozen tiny lace markers out of what? yes! flowers!!!  As well as another dozen in animal glass for size 10 or so needles that I never use so they will possibly become gifts.  Cute little things though.
     I have a quick knitting update for you... took all these photos rather quickly this weekend... so forgive the quality just wanted to show you what I am actively working on.

     I'm finally getting out a free pattern, it's this 2 skein shawl of sock yarn,,,, cause all of us probably have too much multi colored sock yarn!  :-)  Surely I'm not alone in this?  It's going to be a great winter shawl and what with using about 1000 yards you will end up with a lovely large enough shawl.  I just need to make a border chart and it will be done.  Next we have Indigo... this is a top made from a denim dyed yarn that I fell head over heals with.  This isn't as active as some of these project but she's still here.
       Here we have the EZ's February Lady's Sweater.  It also isn't as active as it could be but then I'm knitting like a fiend on a few other things around working on my book.
    This is Jane's Tippet from the What Would Madame DeFarge Knit... fell head over heals with the title long before I saw the finished product and then when I did LOVED IT!  New I had to spin up my cashmere and silk for it... this is a 50/50... SO SOFT!
 Here is Whispering Pines by Ann Hansen this yarn is my Trees in the Dark... also something I fell head over heals for immediately!  When I first saw this pattern I thought of dyeing individual balls for it... starting with night, then sky snow etc... but then I did up this yarn and knew it was perfect for this shawl.
     Here we have Uhura, BAD CAMERA!  yeah, bad photo as this is solid dark... wonderfully soft, nummy cashmere!!!!  I wish the photo would have come out correctly but it didn't.  {sigh} I'm making the shawl larger by repeating the 2nd chart many times.  Yes the stitch count is off BUT all you have to do is make sure you have a multiple of the border chart that will fit into this and VIOLA~! ~ instant success!  And YES! MMario said I could!  He rather encourages us to stray off of the path.  What with having all of this lovely cashmere there's no reason to shirk the pattern and I find I don't wear shawlettes.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


What's the best word in my world?  You got - it DONE!  Evenstar is blocking!!!!!  
sing it with me!
Yes the Hammer has dropped on yet another lace shawl, Pandorf's Da Bomb!!!  I need to get you photo's of it on the way it's meant to be worn.  This is a family heirloom which is intended to be a wedding veil.  What with out eldest wedding on 7-30 I needed it asap.  Ya know, what with all the work and pattern writing, waiting for beads, sitting on them for 3 months then getting more beads cause I didn't like them... what with one thing and another this could have been done so much sooner.  You really get into a rhythm with the border and you really can crank on it.  Yes there are 1000's of stitches and you are working many stitches of border and only taking off 1 stitch for every two rows you have to knit but come on... it's so worth it!  So if you haven't finished yours I highly recommend you just bite the bullet and go for it.
     DIL will be with DD next Saturday so I need to take care of a spot, fix a problem and find a good forever box for it to reside in.  Gee, I just realized that the coffee stain seems to have disappeared!  Cool beans!  I never drink the stuff and the one time I do wouldn't you know it landed on the shawl.  course it didn't help that the thing sat around for a YEAR!  You shoulda seen the dirty water WOWSERS! 
   This is the way it's to be worn for the wedding, then folded in half and draped down for the reception  Pretty eh?

It's about 62" across the center, large and lovely.  You'd never know it but there's like 3500 beads around the edge in the border.  It's made from 100% tencel which is a plant fiber like rayon... strong and built to last... no moths so it's a permanent solution for a nasty little buggy problem, my nemisis.  :-)  I hope all the children get to use it... ONCE! Lord please!      
     Hope you are having a super dee dooper day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving Day

    Said it before and I will say it again and again....
       My husband is a Prince among men!  He orchestrated Mom moving in today... left  the house with the pack of folks from church at 8am.  Loaded all the cars and trucks and trailers in 1 hour!  Then he took them out for lunch which took about 2 hours and got here at 1:30.  It's 2 and they are all gone!  What a blessing our friends our, we are so blessed.  
     So now Mom gets to unpack the mess and try to find a home here for all her belongings.  The garage is chock full o' boxes and there are a few items of furniture which don't have a home but they will all infiltrate and settle in.  Our computer guru is coming tonight to set up the two computers.  Mom's is going to be the main hub and DD is getting the one from the old office (Mom's room) so she can do all her studying in private now.
     What with Mom moving in I had to move an entire 12' x 15' closet that was packed with fabric from my old business.  Then there was quilting stuff and all kinds of little things.  So all the fabric was packed into totes, photographed, put into a Word doc with the photos.  Then Shane and DH hauled  them all up into the attic.  They are all organized and numbered really well and hopefully when I need something they will be able to find it.
     What with all that time I had on my hands last night from insomnia, I found a shawl that I want to make as a free pattern. FINALLY!  So it's 2 skeins of sock yarn... multi colored and a solid to match perfectly.  All you do is knit up the multi in a st. st. and then add a lovely lace border in the solid.  So pretty, warm, snuggly and a perfect use of the sock yarn that we all have so much of.  Gee it sure would be fun to make a full shawl collar on it to.  Hum... that solid yarn after the fact?  Built in and before the fact?  Hum... have to think on that yet, what do you think about it?  Stay tuned for the pattern.
   Last night was weird... normal for me... I don't sleep, but I have GOT to tell you what happened though.  I finally got up after sleeping for 2 hours... waking the ENTIRE house.... screaming!!! from a nightmare where I was being abducted from the family by this great big man.  He lifted me up and drug me out backwards.  So I screamed in my dream.  Then DD came flying out of her room to see what was wrong and her bathrobe was flapping back and fourth and she turned into this hideous monster with great masses of black yarn, roving, dreadlock type hair hanging down and flapping with pin point glowing lights for eyes!  I screamed again and found myself propped on my elbows screaming!  Poor Kev was so freaked, "What's wrong!"  That was at 3, Shane was still awake at 4.  It's the morphine,,, makes for incredibly real REAL REAL REAL!  hallucinations.  Not sure if I woke with the first scream or only with the second.  BUT where the man grabbed me... from where my cat way laying and man I needed Depends!  How miserable is that!  HAHA
     Just had to tell you about my dream and my Prince.  ;-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mexican Beans, Taco seasoning, Cuban Black Beans and Rice and Stock

Just typed this up for our soon to be DIL And thought ya'll might like to have a crack at this too.
t= teaspoon T=Tablespoon  when you shop for these seasonings make sure you get plain and not the "salt" types.
Taco Seasoning
6t chili powder
2 1/2t garlic powder
5t paprika
3t onion powder
4 1/2 t cumin
1/8 - 1/4t cayenne (to taste)
1/2t cornstarch
Mix well, store in airtight container for up to 6 months.
To Use:
 Add to cooked beef (ground or shredded) with a bit of water just like a the package type.  To make shredded just put a pot roast or tri tip-any beef into the crock pot on high for like 10 hours and then it will shred easily.  Then make tacos, burritos, enchiladas (canned sauce) etc.  If you use more medium cheddar and less of the mild it will go longer with the same taste and less sodium.
Authentic Mexican Beans
Clean and pick rocks from pinto beans, soak overnight-add water to about 1" above beans.  Next morning rinse and cover with water.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook till soft.
1 large can diced tomatoes or 3+ fresh (canned low sodium)
1 chopped onion
3 gloves garlic minced
2 jalapenos (optional)
2t ground cumin
    Cook forever.
Smash beans in skillet in 3T oil
add finely diced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic and cumin to taste.  Stir every 10-15 minutes to avoid burning.  They'll change in color and become thickened like bean paste.
Cuban Black Beans and Rice
Soak and cull rocks from a bag of black beans.  Above directions to before "Add".
Then add:
2tb olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 onion
1/4t oregano
1/4 t cumin
1 whole bay leaf
1T cider vinegar
Cook for about 30 minutes and serve over cooked rice
Great way to get calcium naturally. When ever making stocks and soups that have bones in them,,, add a T-3T of cider vinegar.  This pulls the calcium out of the bones and puts it into the stock.
Needed to replace all the high sodium canned broths to make beef stew and soups which freeze great.
Bones (any kind will do) I put them into a cheesecloth when making something I don't strain out later.
Add water over bones to just cover, add cider vinegar
Add celery, onion, carrots and garlic-these can be just cut in half.  Cook forever - that means about 2+ hours - till the house smells good then you know it's done.
Strain all pieces and presto! No sodium broth!  And you know what's inside of it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

GREAT DAY in the morning

     What a stupendous day I have had.  Absolutely fabulous!  I can't remember a more productive day.  Course that means that my bedroom is turned "Topsy Turvy" but ask me DO I CARE!!! NO WAY!  I'm so thrilled.  First, the book contract SIGNED book contract {yeah baby} came in today.   
       SNOOPY DANCING!!!     As if that's not enough DH allowed me to cry and hugged me out of a terrible spell last night.  I was just sooooo happy to be married last night.  I was crying my fool head off over opening my hands and having to trash a bunch of stuff... going through the past is NEVER nice.  Some stuff I'd not seen in years.... it's just got to go.  One is a white on white quilt... I did all of the penciling and have put about 18 hours of quilting into it but I will never finish it.  Stuff like that, some expensive, KWIM?  DH just held me and let me cry it off and then got me into a good mood... in which I ended up gently slugging him... always a good sign.
    Then today... I got to sleep 13 or more hours.  Later after warming up a bit, allowing my meds to work and limbering up, I went to work.  WORK a four letter word for me on Mondays back in the day,,, was just wonderful.  I worked non-stop except for a brief meal of the day at about four (I only get one meal due to my weight-lost over 10 pounds to date!!!) and then went back at it.  So here I sit in the middle of this mess! But oh my! I'm so happy.
     Pounded on the pattern for two versions of one of the shawls today and swatched all night.  Ordered the yarn for the two shawls (thank GOD for supportive yarn companies!) and need to line me up some test knitters.  What a great combination I found for this shawl.  Course I only have the first 25 or so rows done on one of them... but it's a start.  A great start!
     SO HAPPY!  So glad to be here and be alive today.  Thank you Lord.
     Quick knitting update.  Started and finished Clue 2 of AMS11.  Started on Uhura an MMario creation in a black cashmere with silver lined clear beads.  They so look like stars in space... perfect combination for this shawl.  This is for a KAL we are doing on ILS for this quarter.  Then I had a snappy idea for a scarf out of one ball of Kid Silk Haze... just happened to have in my stash,,, have I said I love my stash lately?  Well, I do, it's so wonderful to be able to go there and get just what I need for whatever project, including CASHMERE!!!  That and my beads! It's wonderful to have what I need... digressing! the yarn is rainbow and I'm using a rainbow of 6/0 beads and it's moving right along. Weird design but then ya'll know me.
      Coco got his boots tonight and Shane went right out there and put them on.  Great family, what a blessing,,,, didn't even have to ask!  Pretty good for a 15y/o!  They both finished schooling and are burning up the reading books.  Massive tombs (sp) of 300-600 pages each.  Nice to have fun light stuff after a year of homeschooling.
    ENOUGH! That's what I have been doing.  Hope you all are doing well too.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Blouse for wedding

     Well, I found a very neutral blouse that I like for the wedding.  WHITE, ruffles of chiffon at the shoulders... crochet down the center.  Pretty little thing that will look nice even if I have to buy new fabric and can't use the turquoise with the magenta.  Deb Menz told me that they look very nice together but as large as I am in all that color! WOWSERS!!!!  might be a force to be reckoned with.  But hey it was Deb Menz who's an authority on color after all.  ;-)
     I always wear skirts and just can't see myself in a dress without actually trying one on I can't see how to do it so I thought to stick with my turquoise and white... then add a splash of magenta in the scarf/belt? and purse, stockings? hat? sooooooo much color.  Know what I want?  I dreamed of this lovely silk confection!  It was cream and magenta and had a long tall ruffle down one side that went from small at the shoulder down to a bit larger at the floor.  It was lovely and all cream and like strawberry purple and well it was soft and lovely.  All this turquoise and magenta such a peacock,,, just not sure.  I should just make the skirt and be done with it.  My Dreaming will go over the top of this blouse at night.  If you remember I dyed it dark turquoise.
     Just WAIT Till you see the bag... it's form is made but I need to get some magenta now for the handle.  I have a blue and cream one all worked up but think I should now dye the magenta up... gee, I should just dye the handle and be done with it... what a great idea~!
   The family wedding veil is the Evenstar circular knit shawl... I did mine up in 100% tencel so it's good for the LA July... been working on it steady for the last two days and got half way round the border finally! :-) 
      When everyone gets together to get the children their clothing Kev's going to go on the big shopping day. :-)  He has no suit and needs to rent one with the boys.  I much prefer he look nice for the wedding as these are photos for a life time.
     Other then that I have been working on the book,,, ordering yarns and knitting up swatches and working on my chart program.  I am a very strange bird.  I work for a day, hate all that I did and then have another go at it.  Turns out the 2nd or 3rd time so far has done the trick.  Still the major items not coming together like I had hoped it would.  From what I understand of the creative type... I fall right in with the ranks.
  Hope you all are having a wonderful day.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Chilly Willy!

Chilly Chilly Willy the Penguin!  Yikes, it's May in So Cal and I'm freezing!  Just brought out my lovely Tibetan Clouds and thought of all my friends on Icelandic Lace Shawl group on Yahoo and was grateful to have them there for me.  I'm wondering which shawl we will knit for June.
     Gee, I'm so bad, anything to get out of work.  I even cleaned out the homeschooling closet, again!  I would like to be able to make nice boxes from Mom's closet to pack them all into the homeschooling closet so that my fabric doesn't get too inaccessible.
     Then we moved the chicks to CoopDeVille, they are so cute in their big house.  Their light, food and water is on the bottom there on the left... this was taken before we moved them in.  They seem totally happy in their new home.
Here's my In Dreaming by Susan Pandorph,,, this is the one that used to be pink, remember?  Pretty huh?  I'm planning on wearing it with a satin turquoise skirt and magenta (wedding color) accessories.  Deb Menz said that she thought it would be smashing together... you can't fault her so if I look SCREAMING it will be all my own fault.
On the left we have my light pink I dyed up in the silk merino lace, LOVE it!  This is AMS11,,, it's 3/4s of a square that if you block the front edge straight will turn into a ruffly frilly foo foo... ya'll know me and ruffly so this is a good match.  It's a LOT of knitting.  Normally I can finish the first clue on day one and I didn't finish it until day 2 so you can imagine how it will be come clue 5 UGH!  LOL but I love it.  Really looking forward to the end of ILS's vote on the June shawl so that I can dig into that.  Yet another thing to keep me from my work right?!!!  BAD DOG, that said, I must get back to work, hope you are having a smashing day.  I'm surrounded by colored pencils and page after page of designs I have colored in.  :-)  Color my world beautiful.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Hello my kiddies.... I have a PDF of all the items (full color photos!) in my book.  If you would like to see it, just e-mail me at Wendy put PDF in the subject line and then I will e-mail you an 8 page PDF of the projects.   This is free and so does not include the patterns but will give you a more thorough look at what you are getting when you purchase the book.

Along with the pre-order of the book, in any venue, comes a large web site which will go live when the book hits the public.  This site has probably twice as much information as is in the book.  I do believe the book was 500+ pages at first edit.  On the site you will find more details on the projects as well as recipes which go along with them and much more goodies. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Featured in cooking up faith

We have been featured in Cooking Up Faith.  Mostly I have tried to keep our difficulties off of this blog but today I have to share. Kev's had the money to pay the mortgage and utilities but in the food area we don't have the funds.  So DH wrote to BFM and here's what she's "cooked up". 
     Dear Friends and Family of Wendy and Kevin,
I'm Big Fat Mama!, from the blog cookingupfaith  :) As many of you know Kevin's job has been hit hard with the economy. He is working hard and with God's grace they are pulling through. Also by God's grace you have the opportunity to help them pull through even more. Wendy and Kevin are currently being featured as part of a ministry on my blog called A Meal in the Mail. I want to encourage you to send Wendy and Kevin a gift card to a restaurant/fast food place or simply a Visa or American Express gift card for ANY amount. This is so much more than helping a family go out to eat, or buy groceries. Did you know when you help someone you also allow someone to sing praises and thanksgiving to God?? :)
2 Corinthians 9:11      I ask that you would pray and consider sending Wendy and Kevin a gift card today! Thank you so much!

WWMDfK sales code up

Ok Kiddies, to the best of my knowledge (need someone to make a trial run) I believe my book sales code is now up and running.  Which means to those of you who wanted to buy the book I was in that you can now do it and I will get a part of the proceeds.

What's the book you ask?  It's a great knitting book, with at times crazy knit wear designed by people who love CraftLit.  I didn't get in until the end so all I have is a dye section (which I can't find!) and I designed an alternate ending for the What Would Madame DeFarge Knit shawl.  There are recipes, essays, knitting patterns and I believe one crochet pattern in the book.  The book goes with a web site where you get even more information.  I believe the site needs to be made more public and it's waiting for the print copy to actually hit the shelves as it's not complete.

So what do you do?  See the yellow "click for more details" just to the right... that's where you go.  When you get there you will have 4 different formats for which you can purchase the book.  Do let me know if you have any trouble.  Then after you purchase one, please write me so I can see if I can find it.  Thanks ever so much for supporting this venue as you will be supporting not only me but many designers in this co-operative event.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Peeper's passed

     I don't remember the last time I got this attached to anything this fast.  Remember my last post about the chicks?  Well, one that was the "runt" didn't seem to have been born with the natural instincts that all are.  He - no idea why I gendered what was supposed to be a hen into a rooster but I always said "he" - was very vocal and I while I was showing each of the others where the water and food was,,, he was different.  They went on drinking and feeding but this little one (much smaller then all the rest) would just sit there in the corner and peep VERY loudly.  
      Each morning I pulled him out to care for him.  DS powdered up some chick feed for him in a coffee grinder and I found an eyedropper.  After watering the feed down I would then feed the "baby" 5-6 times a day.  Between feedings it would lay on my left side wrapped in a cloth and then covered with a warmed rice bag.  He seemed very happy after 2 droppers full of food, then tucked into my shirt.  But was only really happy when something was resting on him,,, a weight.  So we got out the rice bag, warmed it and put that over him in my shirt or skirt and only then would he quiet down.  Something about the weight that made it comfortable, I have never felt more like the Chicken Lady as I have these last few days.  Once he was comfortably settled he would just peep soooo quietly and trill which just about broke my heart and made me love him more.   I'd not heard a chick trill for years.  That trill that seemed to say even though I'm going to die I thank you so much for the care you are giving me Mum.  Yup, like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.
      Every day I brought him out and took care of him and every night I  put him back in the cleaned box with the others under the heat lamp.  Hoping and praying that they would take care of him, not pick on him and that he'd live to see another day.  When the others would be preening their feathers and pecking all round not to mention feeding and watering... he would just fall over.  The poor dear couldn't even keep to his feet let alone jockey for a position in the middle of the huddle or even feed himself.  I said that when natural instinct was given out he was left holding the door.  It's a poor joke and it's very sad as Kate found him dead today.   Somehow I knew last night was the last time I would be able to look into his bright eyes and adore him.  I tried so hard to keep the little guy alive and I'm just broken hearted that he's not going to be following me around my house for the next 10 years.
The one DD calls Lacy Jr. is my little Peeper-the one with a yellow stripe down each side on black.  Sort of doesn't move much when you are seeing him in the box.  He's the first one she pulled out of the box at the store he's the one she picked out so she feels doubly bad.  Now she knows why he was the "runt" and that sometimes you don't want the sad looking ones.... as they only break your heart.  I seem to be more upset then her, for that I'm grateful.  She made him a little box and I made his shroud in blue satin.  RIDICULOUS!  I know, I can't help it though.  She wants to bury him near our old dog Lady.  Normally, before I got so sick, they would holler, "Mom! we got another dead chicken what should we do with it" then I would say, "toss it in the trash!"  Callous, as living on a mini ranch, well death is all a part of it.  I feel more then slightly unhinged today.  I cried for a few hours and then went back to sleep.  I'm not fit for service and so serve I will not.  
      Here you can see everybody eating and happy BUT my Peeper... still trying to teach it to eat and drink... to no avail.  The others picked up fast as you can see.

      I think I will try to finish In Dreams.  I don't like the edge the way the finished ones are coming out, think I'm going to pull a Neibling if I have enough yarn.  I want to just crochet chain loops around it for a more finished look.  Or perhaps my beaded picot cast off with work well here.
     Facing a huge mess here of yarn and reference books for the book I'm writing, really need to get organized and put all this stuff in one place as it's taking over.  A private place where I can think to actually get some stuff written.  Perhaps I should reorder my bedroom where my office stuff has landed.   Then I could close the door and then folks would know I was writing.

     To those of you who wanted to go to Sock Summit I hope you got in.  Have a great day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ok so here's Spanky!  He NEVER talks BUT since Coco was out of sight he had a lot to say about it.

     Seems Coco has a "recoverable" founder as he's only at about 3 degrees currently so now the work begins.  We have an excellent shoer and I trust him, we all do.  We all thank you for your prayers and well wishes. 

     So the work... we have the Poor Mans shoes on... plastic and duct tape!  Every week Kev has to go down there and pull it all off, bleach the hoof and retape it back up.  No one here can do this. I can't for obvious reasons.  Kev - last time he went to clean Coco had his back wrenched and he's never been a horsey person... the children are scared of him.  So, ??? I dunno but it WILL happen though as it's GOT to happen.  Then our shoer will come out again in 6 weeks and trim him up again.  He's got his heels shorter then the toes so that the ligaments will get a break and hopefully (prayerfully) spring back to where they should be.  
      Meanwhile Coco's styling with his duct taped shoes!  He's so funny and cute... you ever see a cat with something nasty on it's paws?  Goes like mad trying to flick it off?  Well, Coco feels funny and he tried to shake it off!  He's walking really tender even though he's pumped up with all the pain meds.  
      I feel so bad for him but the good news is that he's going to get better!  PHEW AND PRAISE THE LORD!  Even the shoer said it. :-)  All I can say is AMEN!

Contest Winner

We have a winner!  Diana Castillo of Keeper Sisters!  She has a great siggie line.

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” – Romans 15:13 
CONGRATULATIONS Diana!  I will PM her for her address and she will be the recipient of my "I've got the Blues" sock yarn.  ENJOY
More from me later.  ;-)