Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Casting on again

Last night found me casting on a sweater from my hand spun yarn.  This is a fingering/lace weight yarn which I plied back onto itself.  There is about 8 ounces of it and after working for 6 hours on the sweater I'm right around just below the bust line.  After making many bottom up sweaters I pretty much have this thing down. I'm doing a pullover as normally I find I don't unbutton my sweaters. I'm making a cowl as I love to have something to roll up around my neck and possibly head for those really cold winter mornings.
This is it, it's much better looking in person, more blue but isn't the yarn NUMMY!

     Of course my swappee needs something... all I'm sharing is the yarn. 


You gone!  :-)  

Ok, everybody else, this is going to my dear, beloved KK.  I love working with multiple colors and blending them throughout my work.  I guess I shouldn't say what my project is in case KK finds it.  So let me just show you this.
Remember my bead spinning bowl and my beader needle?  Well I believe I'm possibly using a ton of my 8/0's that are left over from the PB KAL.   OOOH actually ALL the KAL beads go with this shawl!  Gee, I can make my doodly do drops too with all the different shapes.  Hum,,, better not get so far ahead of myself as I have other work to get to as well.  All those patterns which are just needing a wee bit of work and lets not forget KAL's and Raven knitting. I probably bit off more then I can chew but then don't I always? and I don't have to use ALL this yarn.  KK's not THAT big after all. 
    Did you get to see DS with his monster Lego set?  Crazy man!  If you need me I'm recovering from shipping, I can be found in my nest.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bead Spinners & leather journals

     Have you seen them? Bead spinners come in wood that you twirl or plastic that's battery operated so you don't have to mess with the twirling... I got the wood one as I LOVE me some wood. Where ever I can I get wood over plastic any day. So there's a bowl resting on a platform. The bowl has a metal rod that you twirl and the bowl spins. When you use a bent hook/needle you can load it really fast with a bunch of beads. I thought it would be great for a shawl that uses like 3000 beads. :-)  

The plastic one runs about $40 
The wood about $20.  See the rough edge at the top?  That makes it easier to keep spinning.  They do sell them with smooth tops and I don't recommend that type as it might give you finger fatigue.
     These can be used with the bent needles or with a wire beader that holds a lot of needles which are used for beading shawls.  Or with Super Floss if that's your method of choice.
     While I'm sharing with you I think it would be fun to show you some leather journals I ran across.  Some of them are tied with leather straps, others hold together with fancy brass C slide clamps.
The black one on the left has a turquoise stone in it, you can't really tell here.  On the right the tree of life which I love and it shows up in a lot of my stuff I do.  These are imported from India and they came relatively fast after customs had to see them.  Just a small warning, make sure you double check the math when you go to make your payment.  ;-)
     AND it's off!  Sands of Time has been shipped.  The Raven is still in revision and sample knitting.  I believe I'm on chart 3 but had to put it aside to work on the Phase Changing Shawl which is the next KAL up.  DD and I are working on it now and we both love it!  If you are wondering, Tink is my Ipod holder, she's on a rope to hang around my neck and has a padding and a snap to hold the Ipod inside so it doesn't slip out.
     If you need me we will be kitting and then, after working hours, knitting on the Phase Changing shawl

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Deacon Sorcha Faris Gauntlets

UPDATE: here what she had to say about the gloves after reciept of them.

You know my love of Phillipa Ballentine, author correct? She sent me a signed copy of my favorite book of her's, Chasing the Bard, LOVED IT! So I wanted to do something special for her as a thank you and for being an all time favorite author of mine.  I go back to her books and audio - yes she's got them all over at Podiobooks.com  I read them over and over so I decided that the heroine of Chasing the Bard needed gloves... long gloves as authors get cold when writing. So last summer/fall I dyed the yarn, 4 different skeins and let her pick.  In the fall she choose the plum color over violet or black. I thought she might like the black as it was the color of Sive's hair sort of.  The plum though was in my Silver shot of course as she's into Steam Punk stuff and goes to the Cons and all that so I'd hoped they could possibly become part of a costume as well. 
        Perfect!  So I started to buy silver colored beads. MANY different sizes, shapes and so many lovelies I have now.  Next step was to start or hit the design software.  I cast on, started with a lot of stitches so they could be nice and long.  I start the gloves and realized that they needed corset shaping in case the metal was too heavy. So I started making holes up the back side to lace them. I asked PJ the other day if she'd prefer black velvet or hand painted silk for the lacings. 
      For Christmas the family bought me the rest of her books so I was able to work late into the night now, reading Hunter and the Fox and working on Pips gloves.  I finished the book and went looking to preorder the next one cause surely that didn't just END on me!  Nope and I found Kindred at Amazon for preorder and ordered another preorder for the series I went into next.  While there I bought the last book I didn't have of PJ's and I wrote a review.
     Then it all broke loose under me.  These are NOT Sive's gloves but Deacon Sorcha Faris gauntlets!  Check this out.  I had been reading this book and got almost all the way through when it hit me... the gloves I'm making a VERY like what's being described here!
Above is the front cover of Geist which is A Book of the Order, the first of the series.  See the corset lacing up the underside.  I thought hum, wow they are so much like my gloves.
So I pulled out the next book in the series Wrayth and see more lacing.  

Not the type to be put off easily I kept going and pulled out the next book.  WOW! NO WAY!  The same diamond shape I'd been putting into the gloves all this time!  Then they get on an air ship and they have the goggles which are the first metal detailing I put into the gloves.  These will be finished in short order now as I only have that last large diamond shape to bead and put into the front of the hand.  I have asked PJ if she'd prefer brown leather lacing instead as I have a spool of that already here.  
I just don't have anything flat or with a buckle... but man!  What are the chances that I would make a design that is on the front cover of these books?  Books that I saw for the first time ever when I got them at Christmas!  CRAZY making! when I think too hard about it.  YIKES!  So I like to just think I was trackin with PJ cause she's my fav and prefer to just go there instead.
Hope you are having a fantastic Fae day.  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Happy Day and free pattern for a book thong

     DH is on his way home from his out of town jaunt and all is well in my world.
     Here's the bracelet I have shared with a few of you.  A simple chain which you can hang your lobster claws off of from prior KAL's.  Left to right, Spring, 2 PB, M4, Chevy, Silken Web, PB crystal and Raven.

     WOW what a lot of stuff I have to share with you today.  Lets start with the book thongs!  :-)
First this tassel one,,, the tassel is from a good friend and it was on a present for Christmas.  I needed to do something special with it so I took some of the yarn she used from the shawl she made me and used it to make this book marker.  This thing is great! It will fit on large to small books as it's open at the top to slide up and down.  I even use these to keep the book open while reading it propped on my Lucite book holder.  Then I made this one out of the same yarn as it was going back to the party who made my shawl.  I thought she'd get a kick out of the same yarn and beads,,, then I added some lovely clear AB crystals and the hand made frog bead.  Isn't he cute!!
I really loved this bead below so then I made her this one below out of Minkie which she also gifted me with and I STILL have more of after making a hat, neck warmer, ruffled wrist warmers and so it goes.  That green glass leaf is also a tension reliever as it spins!
By this time I was really in the swing of things and realized that it could also be used as a choker.  From the new fleeces I have - I spun a super fine yarn (see previous post) and I made this one for me.
They are super easy to make as they are just a crocheted chain.  Here's a quick pattern for you.  First you make a hole to slip the end through.  The bigger the item on the end the larger the hole.  Then you make the chain while beading right at the hole (you can bead the hole too!) then after about 4" I stopped beading for the back of the neck (long hair) and continued when it came to the side again.  Finished it off with more crystals and a snowflake crystal.  VIOLA! Book thong or choker.  A fast, easy project which you can make out of literally anything!  I wanted to "test" the fleece for itch and there was none which is a good thing as the neck is a super sensitive spot.
       I'm sure I told you about this before but we love Iherb.com they have the best prices and we get all our herbs, essential oils and body products from them.  Well, they also carry Happy Camper which is something I have taken for a long time now every winter as I have S.A.D. along with everything else.  My "InValid" status and pain levels bring on more depression.  I haven't been able to take any of the doctors antidepressant pills and this stuff has been a life saver, literally.  I highly recommend it and if you go there use the coupon WEN537 and you will get a discount, not trying to sell anything, just really pleased with their products.
     Say hello to Aqua Man!  I didn't get a photo of it on him but this is my little dogs new winter coat.  Well, shirt and pants is more like it.  I made a welt at the top of the pants. :-)  Cute eh!  It's a good thing he's patient with me as I tried it on him continuously to make sure it fit well.  He's been wearing it all the time due to the freak storm we got.  It hailed, snowed and there was thunder and lighting!  CRAZY storm!  It hasn't gotten warm here but rather has been just above freezing ever since.  It's been nice to look outside and see a winter wonderland.
Another Christmas present that I use to cover my knitting basket.  It's from my D-I-L, I LOVE my girls!

Here's the snood I made for DD, one of her presents, she wears it with the hat I made from a tensil/silk blend.  There are real crystals and mother of pearl along the edge.
     Another DD present can be found here.  And one for DS here.  I have a few for DD that didn't get finished in time which will conveniently turn into b-day presents if I can finish them.
     Ya'll know how enamored I am of the author Phillipa Ballentine?  Well, I received the rest of her books for Christmas!  While I read them late at night I have been working on a pair of steam punk gloves for her that I call Sive of the Shining. Sive is a character I feel in love with from one of her first books Chasing the Bard.  You have to read this book if you haven't already.  The gloves are long, a plum color that she picked from 4 possibles that I hand painted for her.  They are done on my silver shot yarn of course!  Steam punk after all has metal in it!  LOTS of metal, so do the gloves.  The goggles are finished.  :-)  What would a Steam punk gauntlet be without goggles?  They have corset shaping up the back and I'm waiting to hear back from her if she wants hand painted silk or black velvet to lace them up with.  She's got two new books coming out this year so I'm sure she's neck deep in writing them.  I will get you a photo of them eventually.  They are 2 at a time as I don't like the SSS AKA Second Sock Syndrome which can and does strike at gloves as well.  They are about 6 inches long now.  I'm working on a lace diamond pattern which will grow larger until it hits the hand with a large metal and lace diamond.  These are done late at night while reading her books.  :-)
     I finished my sample of the Princess Bride gloves last night they are lovely!  Just need to block them now and I will have photos when the KAL opens in a month or so.  Been working on the pattern for the Winter KAL which we have already dyed the yarn for.  I can't wait to get back to work.  Speaking of... I'd better close.  
     Let me leave you with an ET photo... one of our beloved pets is in this melee.  Hope your year has started out GRAND!  I'm convinced that this will be a better year for everyone.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Raw fleece for sale

Our old pal Spanky has gone home to his old Mommy as we couldn't take care of him any longer, it's been sad and blue here.  
Right after Spanky left my beloved Coco was to follow right on his heals.  I haven't been able to tell you as time after time I'd cry my heart out while writing.  Poor Coco, I miss him so much it hurts. Our beloved Spanish Gaited Pony was with us for many years but was just a large lawn ornament as DH was fond of saying. He had health issues that we could no longer keep up with financially.  While at the vet he gathered women's hearts like horses normally gather flies.  The minute one customer with a loving soul saw him, she immediately proceeded to fall in love with him and spoiled him silly.  Enough that he's got 4 good and proper shoes on and can trot a bit.  He'd foundered badly and had diabetes, which is why we were no longer able to keep him.  He's got a lovely dream boat of a trot, that smooth, level, high stepping trot that is indicative of their bred.  I miss my boys though.  He's on to greener pastures though as my vet assured us that he will be doted on and well cared for with the necessary meds and everything he will need.  Heck, he's probably in a heated barn now.  Least wise I like to think so.
     If anyone has a daughter or granddaughter needing jodhpurs I have a brand new pair, never been worn, with the padded leather thighs for a size 10-12 child.  Please PM me as we also have a brand new western saddle and many other horsey items.
     Meanwhile Spanky went back to his old owner and now our bottom acres empty and lonely.  Part of me wants to ship in Ramboillet sheep, cashmere goats and have a go at their fiber but I full well know I can't take care of them and I can't saddle the children with their care.  While Spanky was there his year long coat was shorn and the dear woman didn't just give me his fleece but many more.  So many more that I will have to sell a few just to get some room back in the barn.  
Fleece facts - Pristine in a word.

The fleece weigh about 4 +/- pounds each.  The Suffolk/Hampshire cross ewes have a tremendous amount of crimp in the fiber so much so that the locks grow from what looks like 2 inches.  Opened and pulled out they are really measuring in at 5 inches, serious crimp which means it's great for newbies and beginning spinners.

In this photo you can see all the crimp in the fleece. The ONLY VM in is is what you see, little particles of an unidentifiable item, most of which is dirt that dissolves in the wash. All in all it's a lovely fleece which will require little prep. They are all white in color, single fiber (no guard hairs). I was told by the sheerer that they were skirted but I'm not positive about that and can't be.  If I opened each one up I Know I wont want to let them go!!!
Washed and fully fluffed up-see what I mean?  It's all gone now and the crimps still there.  I love that it washes out so clean.  This was washed just once!

Not fluffed taken so you can see the VM... see that tiny bit of what? Broken straw? It's so small like 1/8th an inch, these are VERY clean fleece. AND... now I want to keep them all. Terrible! This is a high end fleece in the medium grade category. We have 2 Southdown and Spankies fleece which is also Southdown and we have about 10 high crimp fleece which are Suffolk/Hampshire cross ewes.  After washing that first lock I spun it up.  It only wanted to be a 2 ply lace weight, nothing else.  I have NEVER had a yarn scream at me the way this one did.  
Here is it after plying and after making into a crocheted chain  So what is that? You could call the above a 4 ply then.  See how bright white and the halo?

Here's the same yarn made into a quick bracelet to test for itch factor.  I am normally very sensitive to wool but this one... I wore it for 24 hours and forgot it was on me.  :-)  See WHY I want to keep them all?  But I can't spin them all up on my own.  If you would like some raw fiber please PM me.  $10 per 8 ounce bag.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Princess Bride KAL

Can't tell you how happy I am to finally announce that the Princess Bride KAL is open!
There are three patterns in one and you can order 2 kits to complete all items in the pattern.  FUN and games will be had all the way through this pattern.  
     Check out the Princess Bride KAL page, then order from the drop down boxes on the right, ENJOY!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Winter Camp

     WOW I just kissed my almost adult children and sent them off to Winter Camp.

Speaker: Bobby Blakey
Topic: “Give your life away”
     One of the hardest things I have ever done in my entire life.  Granted it's time, they are 17 and almost 16 but still!  They are my constant companions, they feed me and take care of me.  I can still shower but need help after I get out and so my DD will comb out my hair when my arms are too heavy to work the comb.  Enduring excruciating pain has NOTHING on sending those children out the door and not seeing them until late Sunday night.  Trusting in the Lord that He will protect them from harm and danger.  It's just flat out painful. I didn't want to tell them that or let them see me cry so I kept it together.  Falling apart will commence shortly.
     Granted I scheduled a great deal of work.  I have the Princess Bride KAL kit thingy to write up and figure out exactly what the kits will contain and look like.  I have a bunch of TWIST photos to shoot, load and play with.  Then there's the Winter KAL and the Spring Fae Festival which were dyed along with all this other stuff so I have plenty to keep me company.  
     BUT... anyone who's a parent will understand what I'm going through.  This is my boys first time away overnight and my girls third time out.  They have 2 nights and three days away.  This is the first time they have been away without my personally knowing all the people whom they will be with.  We don't do this sort of thing, camps.  Never have, we have always kept them close to protect them but it's time for me to begin letting go... this process is really hard on me.  Not only do they take care of me but they are my best buds and we really get along well.  I wonder if I will laugh at all while they are gone or if I will just cry for the entire weekend.  Or sleep, there's always that option as I haven't been sleeping well for the last few nights.  I toss and turn for about 2 hours before sleep finally takes me.
     ENOUGH!  TWIST needs me as does a few skeins of Raven with beads and SM's that I made special for a friend.  Two days worth of e-mails and some sample PB kits for the TKers are needing to be packed up as well.  
     Sigh.  Parenting is hard work.  No, parenting my teens is easy, a joy and I have NEVER understood the whole "teen angst" thing as we don't have it here.  We have had a few hormonal imbalances but they don't last long and they are always so chastened by the Lord and themselves that the apologies fly freely afterwards.  I have long said that we are raising adults, not children and so have treated them as such.  But this,,, this letting go... this is TERRIBLE and don't let anyone fool you who says it's not, or that they can't wait for them to fly the nest.  It's just awful!  Unless, through a nice courtship they move in next door and raise a slew of children that I can dote on, that would be worth it.  I have long had this feeling that I don't have much longer with my youngest, she's lovely-beautiful really, a great cook, funny, charming, intelligent and my best friend.  I have this terrible premonition that she's not here for much longer and that a great many tears will fall when she departs... perhaps with my heart.



     Just as these fairies are hard at work so must I be.  
Do I have any distraction out there? Anyone who's available do let me know and in what venue.  Gone through this?  Write me.