Saturday, April 30, 2011

Busting with news WWMDK, chicks, Coco and my new book

WOW all in one message.  Hopefully I will keep this brief as possible.
     First of all the book that I have a dye section in: What Would Madame DeFarge Knit, is soon to be released.  I have signed up for the % thingy but need a bit more time to get my URL and then you can purchase it from me and I get a sale commission on every sale.  Cool Beans EH!!!  Personally I can't wait.
     Next we gots CHICKS!!
     This is them still in their traveling box.
 

This is all our favorite,,, see that cream top?  He's going to be what we call a top hat!  CUTE AS A BUG!  Gee, bugs ain't cute in the country WHY on earth do we say that!  Country bugs is massive things!  Crane flies that are the size of the house.  Ok, so the size of a tennis ball.... but they are humongous things.
     Here's the baby's all set up in their temporary home.  They will stay in a box in the house until they are old enough to move to the Coop De Ville.  That will happen pretty rapidly but we want to keep them nice and warm until then.  As you can see they like the warmth.  They are in the bay window currently but that will change.  We had to kennel Boop as he's just a tad bit too excited for the chase.  Bark's a bit calmer and he's happy to just pass by on occasion.  The cats are another story.  Needless to say the box will move to a room with a door that can close when I'm not here.
This is Coop De Ville!  The children's old play house.  The horse paneling will get wired and then the area where they could get under the house will be shoved in with chicken wire as we had one die in that manner once.

     DH is going to get 2x4's and make a double layer roost.  Me, I just want a chair in there!  I love being "Chicken Lady" and it's been sooooo long.  About 10 years I think.  Back in Bear Valley, I would set in the coop just as the sun was going down after I'd done the dinner dishes.  Within 15 minutes I'd have them everywhere on me!  Including my head!!!  Can't wait!!!!  I just need a walker/chair or a cane/chair.  Something light that I can carry and set down on when my back goes out on me... about 15 steps.  Any idears?
I have been wanting to show you our gardens but there just hasn't been much to speak of yet.  DH found a great sale and we put in like a dozen pony packs and then there was a hail storm that destroyed it all.  These are the bulbs the children planted last Fall.  Well a few of them.  They planted about 150 of them but we are on 2.5 acres so you know what that means.... they are spreeeead out.  We will do it again if the Lord allows, or should I say finances? in the Fall.  
     Here is the front porch, you can just see my rocker there on the left.  These are tulips DUH right!  What you can't see are all those green lumps are flowers.  They are just taking hold again after that hail storm.  Even the massive Jasmine had to be cut back, see it there just to the front of the half barrel (grey).  It used to go up the post and out on all edges.
This box is my veggie garden.  I know... not much here either yet.  YET!  DD planted everything in here.  The stuff on the right is vines, center is pole beans, left is lettuce.  We plan on allowing the vines to go over the ground in every direction.  We have 2 layers of thick, tiny hole, rabbit wire under ground so that the voles and such don't get the veggies.  It's about 24" off of the ground so that I can do a bit of tending... I hope.  :-)  If this test works then we will build another each year till we are done.  We keep adding trees and the like as well.  I have been taking clippings of our squiggly tree that came from valentine bouet a few years ago.  We have 2 large trees in the back from them and about 5 around the house with more to come that are in water and dirt inside.
     SPRING HAS SPRUNG!  I have a new dye method that I ADORE!!!!!  It makes for no white spots the first time you dye and I can do very pale colors which is AWESOME!  I don't have shawls in these colors and I'm waiting for my FMG order to come in.  I split it with a friend so that we can get better pricing.  Gee, I love them all but I will have to decide which to use before the 7th with Renee's new FREE KAL starts. My lace you see here is a merino silk blend that's sooooooooooo soft and nummy.  One of my friends said she wanted to bring it to bed with her but knew it would tangle and thought better of it!  Best compliment you can get.  If you need my base yarn list just e-mail me.
        Second to LAST but not least.
DRUM ROLL PLEASE
RAT A TAT TAT  RAT A TAT TAT
My colorwork book is chugging along!  I'm was so happy.  I got the green light and two thumbs up from the publisher and sent off ---the first of the --TOO MANY--- patterns to a test knitter.  PHEW, been waiting so long to do that and I'm so happy to have it done.  WHAT FUN!  Now it's back to the design program to hit the next one.  FUN FUN FUN I'd rather do this then just about anything.  Yarn companies are great when they find out your are an author as they want you to use their yarns.  It's quite an experience.  I only hope that Fine Things (book) can be done when this one is through as I ADORE seed beaded silk bags and want to write patterns for so many fine, usable items.  Anyway, LOL ain't even done with one and I'm on to the next.
     I was given the green light about the book then not one hour later the shoer came with some very serious and very bad news about our pony Coco.  Which is why I didn't get a chance to even get happy about the book. You all who've been with us for a long time know who he is but for those of you who are new... this is Coco.
     Isn't he just the living end!  I love and adore this little guy.  He's a Spanish gaited pony who's been with us for about 10 years now and we all adore him.  Well I haven't been down to see him for a really long time and those who have didn't notice that his hooves are in seriously bad condition.  We got the shoer out, he came in and said he's foundered and he's in horrible pain from twisted bones in his legs.  You want me to shoot him?  HELLO!  That would be like shooting a child.  I just couldn't see this.... specially without even trying.  From what I understand founders really bad.  BUT I can't believe it.  I think he's going to be much better then he is now on Monday when our shoer comes back and takes good care of his hooves.  He's got to put him on tranqs and only then can he work.  We have him on Bute (horse aspirin) and already he's up and about.  I just wish he'd lay down again as I know he's causing more damage.  Regarding the founder, he saw him laying down, not getting up even with us climbing all over him and he saw alfalfa and a yellow horse pucky.  Course he's not a vet.  I'm praying that it's just his hooves, a feed change and not a founder at all. Yes, he should be at the vet but remember we can't afford to buy food any more so... we are doing the best we can.  It will be about $250 (NO idea where this is going to come from, no credit cards left) on Monday to get him cut all the way back to the quick, padded and shod.  He's never had to have shoes, poor dears in agony though.   Prayerfully.... this will be the end of it.  He's such a character.  I remember when we moved in (I could still walk then) I was walking the property picking up trash.  I put it into this green plastic box that I also found out on the property.  Coco was following me eating and nose in about - before you know it he had the green box in his teeth!  He tossed it high in the air where the wind took the trash and tossed it all about again.  He snorted, kicked out one hind leg and whinnied as if to say HAHA gotcha!  Back in BV I remember going out to look at the stars with him before bed.  He'd always (never fail!!!) rip off my headcovering and then the chase was on!  What a fun part of our family he is.  Please please pray for our precious Coco.
     About a week ago we'd started to change his food from all 2nd & 3rd cut alfalfa over to alfalfa in the AM and 3 way (mixed seedy grasses) in the PM.  I'm wondering if that's not the cause of the wrong colored poo.  BUT one thing at a time.  Please pray for him if you think of us.  We none of us could stand putting him down but if someone has to pull the trigger it will be me... I knew better.  The problem was that ONE year he went with NO hoof growth, none at all.  Then this growth was put on like wild fire.  I really don't see how it could have happened.  The only thing we changed was the mineral block.  If I could get down to his corral I could have foreseen this and taken care of him.  But what's that saying about wishes, ifs and buts? I can't remember but ya'll know what I mean.  That and crying over spilt milk.
     Here's the deal... one HOUR after I'd heard about my book I got bad the news.  To me it's like... ok here's a gem... but here... let me take it back from you.  I'm really sad.  You know that thing about the other shoe dropping.  So much very bad stuff has been going on that I'm not allowed to even have a shot at happy.  That might as well be a foreign language, the word "happy".  It's just not in my vocabulary any more.  Neither is "laughter",,,, both are rare and precious when they do hit.... but so short lived.
      God please bless us... everyone.  From my heart to yours. 

Please no condemning posts... I don't think I could take it.  Normally I don't allow much of my "real life" here due to too much judgmental PM's.  Please know that I can't take it right now.  Just encouragement and prayers which I covet at this point.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Knit a thon update

Well Kiddies, been knitting up a storm around here these days.  I know I need to make a blog post when my desktop is so crowded that it takes forever to load!  Either that or it's time to get a pattern out.  :-)
Ya'll know who this is.... my darling daughter... out in the front patch of flowers again.  These are a few of the 150 bulbs she and Shane planted last Fall.  The top is her own design what you can't see is that those are cables going up the front, key hole opening and a pewter closure.  Pretty little thing, just like her.  I love her so much that it's bound to show here.  Forgive me. 

Yes I finally cast on for a February Lady's sweater, I must be the only person on Ravelry.com who hasn't cast this on yet.   Those buttons are really old they are abalone and they are covered in a steampunky metal.  Cool eh!  I loved them and thought them perfect for this project.  Course you all know me, couldn't make a pattern the way it's written to save my life.  I changed out the gull lace (looks like an up arrow) for the porcupine stitch which is just lovely and looks more like porcupine quills. 
 
The other night found DD and me in the garage with wood sticks trying to get this bad boy out of the garage.  He's lovely!  Under his wings when you spread them they are PINK!!!  What an unexpected surprise.







 On the left we have my Sailor Top, so called due to the yarn's name Filate's Sailor.  It's drying now.  LOL leave it to me to take a photo before blocking right!  This is from a pattern which no one but the designer had made on Ravelry, sad so I had to post it there.  If you need more info it's up there.
Above is my Indigo top, also named for the yarn.  This is my design, you like?  I'm current much further along on this and the February Lady's, that ones at the first repeat of the lace which is just under the arm and Indigo is at the separation for the V-neck.  I can't work on Indigo as much as I'd like to due to my mental faculties not being up to par.  Funny but true, you have the proof above that they work from time to time.  I despise ripping though so if I find I can't do the braid I will stop.
Speaking of ripping... dropping more like... I had a horrible mess in this clue... made an extra leaf and had to drop that down.  Course that left me with a bunch of extra yarn as the leaf turned into a K3tog.  What did I do?  This is sticky yarn so I just wove it in!  Ya'll know me!  Imperfect as the day I was born.  Looking forward to the weekend when I will be finally!!!! able to finish this puppy and it's pound of beads!
      Also OTN is a purse for the wedding of my eldest.  It's a hand dyed hand spun turquoise wool.  I've made it about 1/3rd the way up the bag, just a standard rectangular shape so far, nothing special.  I will be felting the bag and then doing this what to call it... tree shape?  Not really but sort of.  It will be done in the outline stitch then it's going to be beaded at the ends of each of the "branches", probably rainbow bright beads in a size 6.  Should be really fun.  Then of course I will line it in the turquoise satin of my skirt.  More then likely I will put it up for sale as I have all my other bags in the past.  Dear things... I hope that they are being used to this day. 
Well kiddies, that's enough!  NO!  I have to tell you one more thing that's digging at me.  Late last night I pulled out my Interweave Crochet mag for Spring cause the Dahlia Shawl has really been pulling at me something fierce.  See I have this merino silk base that's just to DYE FOR!!!  (Yes! PIn)  It's the softest stuff you ever dreamed of, silk like.  Then I have this new dye technique which puts dye throughout the skein with no pale spots and leaves behind the color in a very pale shading.  Together these two are just unbestinkingleaveable!  You wouldn't believe how wonderful this stuff comes out.  I'm going to be casting on for the AMS11 with a pale pink and I can't help it... pale yellow has been SCREAMING at me!  So I was thinking... I could do the Dahlia in the pale yellow.  :-)  See I have long wanted to make a lovely crocheted lace shawl and well... I didn't like the Dahlia the first time I saw it due to all the repetition of the center of the shawl.  On closer inspection and perqulation I find that it's really very lovely.  The border is just nummy so I will have to cast on.  In the same magazine is the cupcake top.  DD recently was gifted a certificate and bought DK weight cotton.  She has been trying to c/o for a top for three days now.  I'm going to show her this and see if she wouldn't like to learn Tunisian crochet and make this top instead as I can so see her in it.  She's got a cotlin blend I believe and it's a tan-beigey color which would look lovely with one of her little white tops under it.   PERFECT BLEND!  sigh 
I have two patterns which I need to get out to ya'll.  One's a pair of socks and it's at the test knitters.  The other I haven't gotten off yet to the test knitters as it needs a border which is perqulatin as well.  So off to my manic knitting and perqulation.  I wish you peace. 
DON'T FORGET Three more days to send in your name for the contest!!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Contest

Ok down to the wire for the contest and I have a new rule for you....Initially this was only for friends of followers... BUT if YOU aren't a follower then yes that will count now that we are down to the wire and there are only TWO people who have e-mailed me! :-)  We are now down to just last week and a half for the contest!


There will be many more contests as we go along as I have tons of goodies to give away and lots of fun to come.  Don't forget to e-mail me after you have signed up.  wmdress@sbcglobal.net



Monday, April 18, 2011

Contest Anyone?

I have a big fat ZERO entries for that lovely yarn.  Is no one going to get it?  Such a shame but I'm sure I can put it to good use as I have been dyeing (LOL) to c/o a plain pair of socks.  Well, those would look better in cables and lace though.  HUM... need some other yarn from my stash.  So it's not too late.  Just have a friend sign up as a follower and e-mail me their name to wmdress@sbcglobal.net

Why haven't I written for so long?  I have been deeply depressed.  Not sure what that's all about other then I LIVE!  When I dye (yes it's spelled wrong) then there will be no more depression.  I look forward to that day with relish.  Speaking of food, I'M SICK TO DEATH OF BEANS AND RICE!!!  I know, I should be grateful that we even have them but understandably I'm loosing more weight.  Mom's coming up next weekend and I thought it was this weekend which could account for why I slept all weekend.  I was so confused and sad that she wasn't coming up this weekend when DH told me.  So I went to sleep... ALL WEEKEND!  

Remember I told you I was suffering from castitonitis?  Well the result has been:

INDIGO

Which is made from 100% cotton denim in the Indigo colorway which is where it gets it's name.  They are saying it will shrink and shrink the swatch did.  So I made it a bit large.  This photo was taken some time ago as I now have 5 repeats of the braid and have the sleeves ready to be joined on.  Course Indy's got a braid going up the sleeves...no make that two, because lifes not hard enough... I have to make my knitting tough too.  It's a top in DK on size 3's in case I hadn't said that.  I'm tired of all the WW one pound tops I have been making.  So I should be really happy with this when done.

Then there's....SAILOR
Which is named after the yarn, again.  This will now be split for working front and back as the top is a drape neck and so can't be knit in the round as it's got a twist to it.  I plan on adding sleeves, just little cap sleeves like Indigo has.  I need some plain knitting now though as working on these all day is enough to make one BUGGY!  I really need some plain knitting!

I finished up the Vines in the Trees and it's with the test knitter as soon as she's done I will get photo's from her and be able to put the finishing touches on the pattern and that will be up at Ravelry.

Then there's Jungle Vines... anyone see a pattern here?  LOL That's all designed, yarn, beads, charts all done and ready for the test knitter but I'm waiting the go ahead from the publisher who's under great stress doing the galley's for 3 other books and traveling on the weekends to promote other books.

Got the IK stuff back and have put the hankie back OTN... it's thread and size 11 beading which has gotten me looking into thing like this purses  and this How To . Someone please PLEASE shoot me before it's too late!  The thing is,,, I have all the supplies to get going on this.  My dilemma is that I can see a way of making them EASIER! and with bits of fancy work in there with them.  Granted it's not historically correct but it's sure Wendism correct.  ;-)  I keep thinking of 00, 000, 0000, 00000 sized needles... magnifying glasses and size 11 beads and where does one get very find silk and what does one call very fine silk?  I know what to call cotton, 40 thread,,, DMC pearl is 12 or so on but silk?  And were do you get it.  It's all the fault of that hankie which started it all.  Speaking of which,,, if I can find a test knitter for it... that too will hit Ravelry.  It's a hankie from the Romance Era.

Well, enough!  For one Monday anywhoo.  I hope you are having a great day and can refer someone and get that yarn!  Come on peeps, lets see some turn out here.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cast it ON!

We have a very BAD cases of castitonitis!  DD is not soothing my itch as she's finishing and starting new stuff like mad.  She's VERY disciplined and doesn't go around casting on like crazy, unlike someone I know.  
So, I finally finished that afghan! I keep saying it cause I keep saying it here!  I will get up and holler, finished that afghan!  I still can't believe I did it in so few days but there it is I surely did, da did, da done!!
 SEE!  Here's the proof!  I c/o 3-16? and b/o on 4-1 and no fooling this April 1st! afghan

I finished clue 6 of In Dreams
http://afewstitchesshort.blogspot.com/ its all Barbs fault that I'm doing this one!!!! she was the tipping factor-hear that Barb!  :-)  She kept talking about it and I was already dying to do it.   It's really heavy at this point... must be at least 2500 beads on it now.
The children put up the garden already!  I'm so pleased.  We might actually get some veggies this year.  DH got a new softener when the other bellied up this year and it has a button to turn it off which they do.  He's running potassium in it instead of the salt which is better if they forget.  MY GARDENS IN!  So pleased with what all they got accomplished this weekend.  DS did the 2.5 acres of grass on the riding mower.  So happy for him that he's got that thing.... so much work what with having to beg it off of the neighbors before.  Then we put in about 12 little flower packs, DH got them on sale.

Ok, so back to the knitting.  I finally finished the knitting for the newest sock pattern, Vines in the Trees.  It's lovely!  I love these socks.  I just have to photo shoot them and get it test knit then I will load the pattern into Ravelry for purchase.

Finished up a pair of vanilla socks that I had OTN for at least a year.  These were my night time knitting when I wasn't working on something special.  Classic Elite?  Alpaca sock in teal... nice winter sock.  So of course I had to c/o a summer sock right?  I mean you have to have night time knitting, right.  These are lovely... I didn't like the color of this stuff when I bought it but I got it super cheap... like $3.00 per skein!  So what dyer could pass that up right?  It's the perfect summer sock yarn, Panda Cotton by Crystal Palace Yarns, Crystal Palace 59% bamboo, 25% cotton, 16% elastic nylon.  Now the first time I knit with this stuff I didn't know how to make nice not rice.  Now that I do I'd happily knit with rope!... not saying this stuff is.  Actually it's making a lovely fabric!  It's their Vanilla cream so it's white, pale yellow/orange and pale orange... you see the problem right?  I can't stand orange! LOL  BUT I'm really pleased as the fabric is stunning and really soft.  I keep thinking I really should make a pattern on the legs but some times you just have to make up some plain Janes, ya know?  They dropped the color ... I keep thinking overdye in pink would make this really swell.

Remember that island paradise sock yarn we made up?  I keep wanting to make this black foreground of palm trees and hammocks with that yarn.    Then there's this Cherry Tree Hill select lace that's been stretched... so it's super soft and wonderful.  This yarn was a limited run and they ran out really fast as it's Optim,,,
lovely stuff if you have ever had the chance to feel it.  You can still find a few skeins on Ravelry destash.  Stashes   I just got this one... MINE! all gone :-) I have like 1400-1500 yards of this pale to dark turquoise and I'm going to make up a nice plain lace pattern that doesn't have to have a solid yarn.  Something that's a triangle but more... so that it hugs and doesn't fall off.  Have to brainstorm with DD over that as I'm not wanting a Faroese.

What else? Oh my little Sailor!  Sailor Top  We are doing a KAL on my best friends list, there's only 4 of us but it's the BEST!!  We pick whatever summer yarn we want and whatever pattern we think would look best on us.  I have been wanting to try this drop neck one for ages so here's my chance.  Then I realized how much I loved this Filate Sailor yarn.  It's a cotton that's DK so it makes a lighter top then all the WW yarns do.... which is all I have in my stash so I went and got a bag of each of these.
Gee I haven't ordered from Elann since 08!  I wanted to show you the black yarn.  It's Reynolds cool cotton
Fibre Content: 90% Cotton/ 10% Cool Steel Made In: Italy Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat Gauge: 25 st/ 4 inches 3.75 mm (US 5) Yardage: 104 m (114 yards) per 50g ball Size: Bag of 10 50g (1.75 oz) balls
It's so chic in the black!
Fibre Content: 60% Cotton/ 40% Linen Made In: Italy Care: Machine Wash, Cold, Gentle/ Dry Flat Gauge: 22 st/4 inches 4.0 mm (US 6) Yardage: 105 m (115 yards) Size: 50g (1.75 oz) ball
Elle True Blue Pure Indigo Dyed Cotton Full Bag Sale
Fibre Content: 100% Pure Indigo Dyed Cotton Made In: South Africa Care: Hand Wash/ Dry Flat or Machine Wash and Dry, allowing 5% shrinkage in length Gauge: 22 st/4 inches 3.25 - 4.0mm (US 3-6) Yardage: 108 m (118 yards) per 50g ball Size: Bag of 10 50g (1.75 oz) balls  
I'm really looking forward to getting them to work them up so if you see another top that looks smashing holler!

Mostly what you can see here is just blubs which DD planted in the Fall... about 150 of them!  :-)  Later I will have a better photo for you of the flowers growing like mad... I hope Hope HOPE!
 That's enough for now I'm guessing.  OHHH that lace video!
Artisaneuro  In case you haven't seen it have a peek.  Incredibly talented women and children... all the way up to the grandmas.  Due to this video I pulled out some navy cashmere just in case I have to cast on again! :-)


Leaving you with a pet... so lovable.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Contest time!

Ok Kiddies, time for a contest.  During the entire month of April for each person who you send over here,,, that signs up as a follower, you get one entry.  Yes, you could sweep the thing!

PRIZES!! cause we all love them.  You will receive this lovely skein of sock yarn (superwash 460 yards) hand painted by the Yarn Fairy.

Which my camera didn't do justice too but you get the idea... AND one sock pattern from the list of my patterns which you can find here.    Patterns

Remember, for each entry all you have to do is bring a friend.  :-)  Notify me AFTER they signed up for the blog.  Send me your followers ID here on Blogger and your e-mail address to wmdress@sbcglobal.net Please feel free to share this post around, the more the merrier.

So far the only rule.  (If you can think of another LMK)
You may not sign up for yourself so please do not sign up from another computer in your home.  ;-)


Contest ends April 30 and results will be posted and mailed out within the first week as the winner responds.


Let the games begin!