Sunday, November 06, 2005

A Little Catch-Up

Can’t believe it has been over a month. But I don’t think this is a case of “time flies when you’re having fun”.


View of the midway. As close as I cared to venture.

Did manage to make it to the fair this year. As part of Best Friend’s birthday present, I bought her a ticket and offered to push her around in the wheelchair. Luckily, she really is a Best Friend and rented a scooter for our tour. I had even gone so far as to enter some of my jams, even though I knew they were too loose to be considered a “winning” jam. Oh well, maybe next year. But we had a wonderful day. Didn’t eat near as much as I had planned. Just a lemonade and Al’s fries. No corn on the cob or turkey leg.

Weather has been less than fall-like. We did manage to have about a week of cooler temps, but today is suppose to be up to 80 degrees. The leaves are changing though. I think they are doing it in spite of the lack of rain. We need several days of good, drizzly weather. I can handle that.



My orchid, despite my lack of care, now has 4 of the 6 blooms open. Of course, this may be the dying gasp of the orchid, but at least it gives me some pleasure. In reading May Sarton’s journals, she was a real advocate of having fresh flowers in the house. She is right, there is something about a few colorful blooms that makes the day better. Another friend had given me a vase stuffed with carnations last week. I am tenderly nursing them along and when they can’t make it any more, I will dry the flowers and put the petals in a jar or bowl.

Oh, off to go by Best Friend’s house and pick up stuff she is laying out for me. Have to do a little grocery shopping for her and Blewgo as she is running a fever. Won’t see her, as I can’t afford to get sick, but will leave packages on porch for each other.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Fall Arboretum Tour

Recently spent a couple of hours at the arboretum, enjoying the peace and quiet and the last of the flowers. Really, the peace and quiet was much needed. I noticed the bees and butterflies were still at work. I think because there are fewer flowering plants, so they are concentrated made them much more noticeable than they would be during the summer when they would be spread out over numerous plants. However, could someone explain to me something?

How come fat thighs on a bee is considered beautiful? The bees all had massive pollen globs stuck to their thighs. And piling on more.

Another thing that stuck me was the amount of color that was still present in the garden. Granted, we have not had a frost yet (or much cool weather), but the season is winding down.


Just plain old colesus makes a bold statement in the border. Who would have thought bright green and maroon could be so pretty together?

And then this is the season for the beauty berry to be in "berry". Purple, pink, white, clusters of small berries adding an unexpected texture and color to the garden.



Since I had dressed a little warmer than necessary, by the time I got to the rose garden I felt like the last rose of summer myself. The roses were still presenting a nice display and the smell was heavenly. I know there are hundreds of beautiful roses out there, but why would anyone grow a rose that did't have a fragrance? There is nothing like walking by the roses and getting a head full of the wonderful scents.


This is still some dew on the roses. On me it was sweat.

In the perennial border, there were still some colorful characters abloom, teeming with bees and butterflies.


I had actually grown lion's paw before in my old garden, but mine did not get anywhere near the almost 4 feet tall as in the border at the arboretum. Do you think they might take better care of them than I did mine?


And this glossy, red hibiscus bud still hanging in there even though the temperature for hibiscus is getting very close to being a little cool. It looked like a fresh tube of lipstick.

An unexpected pleasure while at the garden was to see an instructor that I had almost 14 years ago for Home Horticulture from NC State. Bryce Lane still teaches, but now has a gardening show on PBS locally on Saturday afternoons. He's still as cute as ever. I stopped and said hello and that I had taken his classes in the past. We chatted for a minute. I still remember a lot of what he taught me (which is remarkable since I have trouble remember my children's names).

One of the things he brought out in class was not to look just at one season of a plant, but all seasons and not just the flowers/foliage, but the shape, the bark, the seed pods, all aspects of the plant.


This was a stump that was sticking up about 6 inches in a section of the garden. It was so interesting and worn looking, it was almost like garden art deliberately placed there.


And you can't forget all the wonderful trees and shrubs with great bark texture. Flaky and peeling looks fantastic on birch (above) and crepe myrtle. Doesn't look well on my face. I did have to resist the childlike urge to pick the bark off the tree.


In the Japanese garden area is a big crepe myrtle. It has the most wonderful cinnamon and gray mottled bark. And then looked down and saw this gnarled root against the green most. Only Mother Nature could do something this nice.

Have a friend at work that is heading out for 3 weeks in Greece and Italy. I can only read about Italy. So this is the view from my imaginary Italian villa in Tuscany. I can dream can't I. Luckily they didn't have a chair there or I would have probably stayed all day.


Just think .... wine, olive oil, pasta, crunchy bread, cute Italian!


Water lily makes for a peaceful moment. And that is why I went there after all. Just to sit beside the little water garden in the white garden area and meditate on the leaf.

Unfortunately, I had to leave, but it was worth the two hours I spent wandering around. I do admit that I removed my shoes and walked barefoot for awhile through my "private" garden.

Now reality intrudes as the hordes come downstairs for breakfast. Luckily, I have their favorite cereal in hand, so they can feed themselves!

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Updated At Long Last

Yes, I have been very, very, very lax in not updating either blog. In fact, I am just going to put everything in this one blog and stop trying to maintain separate blogs for separate interests. This summer I got a little down and didn't feel up to doing much of anything, but that is on the mend. I am knitting and cross stitching again. Reading and journaling like crazy.

This is what I did yesterday with a good friend. Blewgo has been wanting to visit his childhood town of Gastonia and go to RO's BBQ and eat there. Their big claim to fame is their cole slaw which is would famous (ok...state famous!). Best Friend (his wife) wanted GI Jane (formerly known as Trumpet Princess) to help out with some craft stuff she is doing for Christmas. So I dropped GI Jane and car off at Best Friend's and climbed in the car with Blewgo and off we went into the 7:45am Saturday morning. Our first stop, after all we did have to make about a 3 hour trip, was in Pittsboro for breakfast (we had gone about 20 minutes).


Two eggs, over medium, hashbrowns, country ham, toast

Al's is one of those wonderful little, hole-in-the-wall, everyone-knows-everyone-else type of place. Great food, good prices. Stuffed and ready for morning nap in the passenger side of the car.

We made it to Charlotte in one piece, laughing at some of the stuff on NPR radio and made our second pit stop---TO EAT! Oh, did I mention the reason I was willing to make the trip to Gastonia and spend most of the day in a car was the closest Jack-In-The-Box to me is in Charlotte and I went along on the condition we stop at Jack to get Monster Tacos? Ok, they're frozen, deep-fried tacos, no redeeming virtues other than I love them.


Two Monster Tacos!

As we were entering Jack, the manager held the door open for us and said hello. I told him we had just driven all the way from Raleigh in order for me to get Monster Tacos. We paid for the tacos, but he gave us our drinks, 2 double fudge cakes, and 2 of the little foam 'Jack'. One is still in the package, being saved for later. The other I stuck on a pen to use since I don't have a car antennae that stays up all the time.

We got back in the car, me munching away on the tacos much to Blewgo's dismay and off for the final leg of the outbound trip....RO's.


Blewgo is happy! One Hot Dog and one sliced BBQ with slaw on it's way to the car, along with a pint of cole slaw to take home.

RO's does not have a tradition drive through. You pull up out front and these cute little guys take your order and bring it back out to you. Fetch-and-carry guys are reason enough to go to RO's. Pity it's 3 1/2 hours away. However, they are probably safer that way. The fetch-and-carry guys did think it funny I was out of the car taking pictures. After the drive however, I wanted proof for Best Friend we did make it where we said we were going. (Actually, she was glad to have a day of 'peace' from Blewgo, I don't think she would have cared what we did or didn't do.)

So, with both of use suitably stuffed, we made a tour of Gastonia. Blewgo is amazed how much smaller the houses are that he grew up in and how much has changed in XX number of years.

On the way back we stopped at a roadside apple stand and I got apples and apple cider. Ok, the story is that I want to eat more healthy with these fresh apples. The truth....there is a great recipe for apple-caramel muffins in the September Southern Living. I will eat several off them as plain old apples. Mystery of the universe....if I sit down in the evening and cut up the apple, GI Jane and Goth Daughter both appear and will eat all the apple I am willing to cut up. Same thing happens with oranges and tangerines. So I guess "if I will peel, they will come and eat".

The weather was great for our road trip. We had a great time and Blewgo and I are plotting future road trips. He loves driving the backroads. We are discussing touring the wineries in North Carolina, but only if we can get away from Goth Daughter. She frowns on us having anything to drink. Policed by a 14 year old!


Beautiful day all around!

Sunday, July 03, 2005

This is what I've been doing....

rather than knitting. Growing tomatoes. All colors and kinds and sizes. But Tour de France is on now, so I will pull out a couple of small projects to work on while watching 189 men in spandex!


Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday, May 01, 2005

The reason for.......

not being able to afford to knit for at least the next 100 years! Two weeks away from being "fixed" and Helsing decides that at about 3 pounds he is going to rule the neighborhood. Now my two fat cats stroll around and everyone knows them and other cats look at them and go "if they sit on me I'm dead" and leave them alone. Helsing comes home last weekend with a right nasty bite/tear/big open place on his hind end. So for the past week I am been medicating him watching his $400 shaved butt trot/leap/jump/knock over plants/pick on fat cats. The vet was concerned I would have a problem getting his pain medicine (where's mine!) and the antibiotics down him. He's only 3 pounds! I've medicated horses! Your wrap a towel around him and stick him under your arm and open his mouth and the stuff goes right down!

And with every dose I seen skeins of yarn floating away!


"You have to sleep sometime!"

But on the other hand, he's not thrilled with me. "N" day is still a couple of weeks away (ha, ha, ha!) and I'm the only one in the household who is not "poor kitty". Poor kitty my ass! Poor Mom!

And then there is the fact that I reached into my bag to get out clapotis and found it had tried to slip its needles. I have it all back on the needles after holding my breath for what seemed like hours getting it back on. I haven't had the never to get it back out and knit another row and put the markers back on it. Call me a coward!

Charlotte's Web got a mini-dose of lemonade one day and I pulled it out to let it dry and haven't touched it either.

The major cause of my lack of knitting......Gardening! For those that are interested you can follow my progress on my gardening blog, www.knottyneedlegardens.blogspot.com

Hopefully in the next couple of days I will have a pic of the spindle a very talented co-worker made for me. Can you get jailed for fondling a spindle?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

What I've Been Doing Instead...or Long Sunday Post


What I've been doing instead.......

This was Sarah P Duke Gardens last Sunday. The girls and I have been "touring" the area arboretum and gardens on Sundays as that has been my only day off recently. First was the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh and the Sarah P Duke Gardens. Today it is too cold (after a week in the 80's!) to go anywhere. We have been packing a lunch and taking the camera and "playing". Of course, that leaves little time for blogging. Ok, let's see....time outside in springtime gardens....sit inside and blog....outside won!


Spring has sprung! I've learned (amazing what you can do when you read the manual!) how to do closeups of the flowers. Of course, the rest of the world walking by sees my hind end stuck up in the air. And I was out at the Farmer's Market early Saturday morning and the NC strawberries are coming in now. Fresh, not plastic, strawberries!

But on the knitting front I have finished up a couple of things......


Felted flowers to be sent to sister

I still have several to do. Am learning as I go along on better ways to do them and more and more different patterns. It's fun to watch them go from knit to felted.


Multidirectional scarf out of one skein of Mountain Colors (if memory is correct--too lazy to go check). This is just heavy enough to take to work and wrap over heck and shoulders as protection from the air vents, which tend to blow hot/cold with all the predictability of a menopausal woman. We are the only office that wears long sleeves in the summer!

This is what I'm working on currently...Charlotte's Web shawls. Have 2 to do, one for friend and another for me. Have started out several time and think I finally have the hang of it. It's really not difficult, just me being difficult.


Start of Charlotte's Web for friend


My colors for Charlotte's Web shawl. For myself, I must be on a blue kick, because I have some more blue Koigu for another shawl. Blue, blue my world is blue!

Actually, today my goal is to pick up the "big chunks" as far as housekeeping goes and move from couch to bed in random order, catch up on reading other people's blogs, and generally doing nothing. Last night was spent with cat at vet clinic getting his hind end stitched up where his "male ego" got over run by larger cat. So I have a six month old cat running around with a plastic collar around his neck and a shaved behind and there goes any yarn money for the next couple of months! Am also wearing my 'NO CRISIS ALLOWED TODAY. MY SCHEDULE IS FULL' t-shirt to ward off any other problems. And since it is a cool (very), grey day, don't mind staying in and "resting".

So off to refill coffee cup and read up on what others have been doing!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

First Yarn and a Revelation

I have wrapped my first yarn into a ball. I had a little green roving that I spun first, followed by some NZ Jacob. I think I'm getting the hang of it, but I seem to be stuck on "chunky". I have to work on getting "thinner". Guess my waistline isn't the only thing needing slimming!


My first "baby" ball. It is my green roving over my NZ Jacob. Don't feel it's too bad for my first. Does this mean I'm no longer a "virgin"?

But I have had a knitting revelation. It only took me four plus decades to realize that you don't have to actually finish a book when you pick it up if you don't like it. You can actually stop reading, close the book and the book police don't come and get you. I have had the same revelation about knitting. If I don't enjoy something or like it, I can actually stop knitting it and frog it and use the yarn for something else. Goodbye 1/2 Spiral Busters Sock! I was having to tink you anyway and I decided I would much rather use that yarn with some other that I have and make a striped, sleeveless top for summer since I am using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. It's so soft and I think it will make a fun top. So there! And I don't have to do the second sock that I have out there to do either! I have come, made a sock, and am leaving the joy of sock knitting to others......at least for a while.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Beautiful, beautiful Monday

Wish the 4 days of the Ren Faire had been as picture perfect as today was. Stayed at home (traded today for working Saturday...when it is suppose to be a crappy weather day) with Goth Daugher, whose fair face, meaning this in the sense of complexion, managed to get extremenly sunburned while the rest of us were freezing. She also had "fish lips" as she called them. So I was spraying her and dosing her with burn relief aloe and aspirin. Trumpet Princess had an upset stomach, or an overdose of socializing, but we all stayed home. Somehow they managed to nap and laze around.

I, on the other hand, (insert drum roll and halo) mowed my large yard, ran a couple of errands, started defrosting my large freezer which looked like a Siberian winter scene and pick up a little of the sewing mess in my kitchen area. Please note, no mention was made of getting to the mess in my room. I'm not that good!

But I did just happen to pick up the new Vogue Knitting and decided the tons of skeins of purple microfiber could be made into this
sleeveless top . So after all my tireless work of the day, I sat down and watched Oprah and started on it.


The start of my summer sleeveless "fix". I have this desire for sleeveless tops this summer and have been eyeballing several, so this is the start. Doesn't it look lovely amongst the violets.

Ok, I will admit, I am probably the only person in the state of North Carolina today who is not interested in the outcome of a certain game. Hang me. But could it be from this tree?


It's a beautiful spring day. Couldn't be prettier. This is the white peach tree in the back yard.


This is the whole peach tree, compliments of Trumpet Princess who is now over her upset stomach since I'm tired and can't really be concerned with her "doing" anything.

Ok, I did have a hot flash today. And Goth Daughter was right along with me. Have a new CD I have to get to knit to..... Il Divo. Saw them on Oprah today. And the CD won't be out until 19th of April. Who cares if they aren't singing in English. Four fantastic voices....and the bodies aren't bad either!

Oh, well off to knit and dream. Will need that sleeveless tee for my hot flashes!

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Faire is finally over!

Well, today the sun was out, along with the 90 mile an hour wind which still made it chilly. I have decided I know exactly the way to have beautiful, warm weather for next year......make myself a cloak! I will be prepared for a chilly time and it will be hot! Works every time!

But the great thing is the people I met. It is amazing the number of people that will come and stand and watch you knit and spin and ask a few questions. And can you imagine a more pleasant way to spend your time. Hopefully, over the next year I will have the "hose" finished and then I want to do a shirt with blackwork on it. We decided we needed cushions for the benches and we could embroider them in an Elizabethan style----no stumpwork on the cushions though.


Nestled down amongst the knitting, mug and roving is my new drop spindle. I learned to spin this weekend! Big, chunky strands, but I was spinning! The darker, brownish-gray is NZ Jacob and feels nice. The light gray underneath is alpaca which I was told to put up until I have experience as it is very silky and slippery.....but I can see it spun fine and done into a lacy shawl.

One of the greatest bonuses of the whole weekend (besides the free admission) was meeting this young lady....I can call her that because I have 10 years on her. She spun from 10-630 all four days of the fair, answering questions cheerfully except for the break she took to show me how to spin with my new drop spindle.


This is the spinning goddess! She spins and spins and doesn't knit much! She showed me how to use my drop spindle. And she makes dragons! The cutest little dragons. Her friend watched over her booth while she spun. My problem was she had a whole basket of finished skeins, roving, and all kinds of goodies and I tried to figure out if I could make it very far before she discovered them missing. Isn't it terrible when you have yarn envy? Or ability envy? She could spin away, not missing a beat and talk to people, to me.....kind of like me with the knitting. One day I too shall spin like that........

Sunday Of the Last Day of the Faire

Not only do I have to get up an hour earlier today, but no one told me about learning to spin and how your arms and back might be a little sore for holding up your arms for 3-4 hours on a wooden bench. But it is a pleasant feeling.

Trumpet Princess knows no strangers. I am thinking about placing a sign around her neck in public places "You talk to me, I'm yours!" Anyway, she took up with the Purple Fairy yesterday and they had their picture made with the tiger. (Proceeds to aid animal something-or-another) So this morning I had to rehook up my scanner so that I could scan the picture to get a copy to the Purple Fairy. If you give gifts to fairies, I hear, they won't make mischief at your house.


Trumpet Princess and Purple Fairy and Tiger. Trumpet Princess makes friends very easy, but which one should have I over for dinner?

So for the last time, it's back into the costume and today I am pushing a friend around the faire. Then my two hours of knitting/spinning duty (isn't life tough!) and then hour.....to a house.....which looks like a tornado went through it.....and then back again! You know it's bad when you are actually looking forward to cleaning house!

First knitting jobs on hand....tinking a sock and a scarf!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

What the "Hail"? or Ren Faire Part II With Pictures!

Ok, for the second weekend we started out. Once again I have drafted/inherited another child. Once again, it was overcast, but the clouds were starting to break up. Tricky, deceiving clouds!


The gruesome threesome. The one in the middle is not actually mine. One peasant, two gypsies.
Goth Daugther's costume was planned. And actually finished and looks great. Except for the blue bag. Please note blue bag. What you don't see is the bandaid around my index finger on my left hand where I "sewed" through it this morning making said bag at last minute. It hurt then and it hurts now.


Goth Daughter as Peasant Daughter

Trumpet Princess was a last minute gypsy. Today, the bottom 1/2 of her skirt was wet and muddy. Her chemise covered in mud and food and she managed to step on the bottom of the hem and rip it up past her knee. Next year, she's a fairy!


Trumpet Princess as gypsy. Next year I am putting her down for social fairy!

Now here is the scary part. I debated about showing/not showing the following, but decided we were all mature adults (for the most part). But part of the facts of life is that a Ren Faire there are certain parts of the human body which are exposed........


This is one of the reasons I am now in Weight Watchers. Other people have tops overflowing, mine slipped a bit!

But as we arrived at the Faire the clouds were breaking up, the sun coming out. Going to be great day. Then the lighting came with the thunder and the wind changed direction and it went from about 60 degrees to about 45 degrees in about 5 minutes!

We finish our duties today and came home through the rain. Got home and lost Goth Daughter on the way inside.....


What is Goth Daughter picking up?


Hail!

Monday, March 28, 2005

Ren Faire Part II ---10 Reasons I Will Do It Again

Well, there were suppose to be pictures. For the second time we got dressed, took pictures, group and individual, sit down to pull them off the camera and NOTHING!.......Could it be, like vampires, if you are in Elizabethan garb, your picture can't be made? So I will try again next weekend when the runs again.

I must say for someone who really doesn't sew, they didn't fall apart, no one laughed. But I am eyeing those vendors that sell ready-made items for the second weekend of the fair. Yes, I do have a whole year to make myself another bodice, but.......

So in their place, here is a picture of the hose that I am knitting as part of the display.


Top of hose....these are thigh high!

My 10 Reasons for Doing It Again.....

1. Trumpet Princess and Goth Daughter can actually get along and not fight while at the fair.
Which is different from today as we are attempting to get the house back to rights and they
are yelling at each other about how to clean each other's areas. I'm hiding in my room!

2. Since it is during daylight hours only and very well patrolled and there are some safeguards
the girls are aware of, I can "turn them loose" and say meet up here at XX o'clock and they
do it and I can let them out of my sight with little pain.

3. They enjoy it and have fun and I enjoyed by time spent on a porch knitting and getting paid
for it (not actually paid, paid, but since we were volunteers we got in free and admission
for 1 day is $12 for an adult, it was like getting paid!)

4. Can "escape" the mundane world for a period of time and pretend to be someone/
somewhere else.

5. My eldest has said that if I want to be a 60 year old "fairy" with a glittery dragon tattooed
on my wrinkled cleavage and it makes me happy, I can be a 60 year old fairy with a dragon
tattoed on my cleavage. Not that I'm 60 yet, or have a dragon tattoo (the wrinkled cleavage,
I'm not admitting to!) I'm raising such tolerant daughters! (This Ren Faire has a fantasy
contengent.)

6. I can walk around with no cell phone and not be scorned. (Do have a pre-paid cell phone
finally just for emergency use.) In fact, if my cell phone is showing at the Faire, I can be in
big trouble. Cleavage no problem, cell phone, problem.

7. All the people who volunteer, although I really don't know but a couple personally yet,
are the nicest people. They have made us "newbies" really welcome.

8. Plump is not bad at Ren Faires! Regardless of your weight, those costumes really level
ye olde playing field!

9. Got out and did something "different" for awhile. Not just as a spectator, but participated,
got involved, got up off my butt/couch.

10. ANY MAN IN REN GARB LOOKS DAMN FINE! I don't know what it is about some guy, who you wouldn't look twice at in "real" life, looks good all dressed up in Elizabethan garb. Or semi-Elizabethan garb. Or kilts! Yes, kilts are great! And capes....long black ones! Hair! Did I tell you I have discovered I like long hair on a man, even if it is gray? Beards and moustaches! Those work also. Did I mention kilts and bare knees?

Ok, (fan, pant, fan) I'm not going to stop traffic myself by any means, but some guy walking by, giving you a little bow and "Good day, m'lady" and I'm that little puddle on the ground. And if you should be somewhere and they stop and talk, you are showered with the most flowerly BS you have ever heard, but it sure is fun!

Oh, almost forgot, so, I have 11 reasons it seems......

11. The entertainment is great! They do have some "imported" entertainment, like "Mooney,
the Magnificient" and "Renaissance Man" (love that Mooney's show!) and some of it is put
on by the local guilds, but you can go from show to show and be entertained.

No, make that 12.....

12. Even the youngest of kids have a ball. And let a youngster buy a wooden/pretend
sword! Take them to watch the jousting! They can't see things fast enough between the
shows (which many are geared toward the kids) and people walking around in costume.

Now that I have done my bit to plug Ren Faires, if you have the luxury of having one near you and have never gone, go at least 1 time. Take the family/friends. It is a great way to spend a day.

13 reasons.....

13. Where else can you see Queen Elizabeth? So it's Elizabeth I, but whose counting?

14. And the greyhounds! They had a tent set up for the "Queen's Coursing Hounds". So
not only did you get to see them run, but they get to lay round on satin and brocade
cushions with fine covers on (because of the chill) and you can pet them and want one
of you own.

Was that a man in a kilt walking by................

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sunday, Part II, The Spinning Bug!

Since it is a few hours until we have to dress up again, I'm moving very, very slowly today and plan on a late morning nap before going back to Ren Faire, and I haven't posted in awhile, here are a couple of random thoughts.....


Spring is here and those "birds" are back!

This is my desk, semi-cleaned off , with the ball of Fiesta I made my shawl out of. Ok, so you got the "after" before the "before picture! Bug off! Despite the up and down temps, spring is striking North Carolina!

SPINNING..... I have been infected by the spinning bug. Symptoms include...

1. Desire for wooden things which "drop".
2. Desire for "fuzzy" stuff called roving, both in "natural" and "colored" forms.
3. Knowledge that drafting isn't something just done in Nascar races.
4. Want koolaid, but not to drink!

I have been toying with the thought for several weeks now and have gone so far as to purchase Spin It by Lee Raven. I do admit however, that making my own drop spindle from old CD's does not hold much attraction. At the Ren Faire, one of the girls was spinning on a wheel and she and I got to talk for awhile. Just watching her makes me see why people find it relaxing. She did show my how to spin with the drop spindle, but unfortunately, we didn't have a chance for me to try my hand at it. But there are a couple of stores in the area which I can take lessons from. One will do it one-on-one with me. Let's see, Mother's Day is coming up.....hey, girls, Mom wants spindles for Mother's Day!

Huzzah! No Pictures!!?!?!?!

Okay, there are suppose to be pictures of "maids" in Ren Faire outfits, along with this "Good Mother", however, guess our roles overcame the camera and when I went to download pics this am to show what I have been doing......NO PICTURES!

Two weeks of sewing my little fingers off....okay, really, only one week since I have been on vacation. But the last couple of days were chaotic as they needed more volunteers to hand out flyers on Easter Sunday at the gate and Trumpet Princess (already feeling left out) and Goth Daughter's friend were more than willing to help out. So with a package of Rit Dye (green) to dye left over muslin and a couple of old sheets (Anyone want to give me new sheets? Double Bed!) scarves and they became "Gypsies of Fantasy" and participated.

But we will be doning said costumes again today, so I will try yet again to take pictures. You will notice in my picture (when finally posted) why Weight Watchers I have now joined. 2.8 pounds last (and first) week I'll have you know. However, with the past few days I have not been doing as I should have. My only consolation is that I really haven't been eating correctly and I walked from about 10:30am yesterday until about 8pm. There was a period of sitting where I knitted......yes, I knitted at the Ren Faire......the start of a pair of hose!

On the home front, my kitchen/living/sewing room looks like a bomb went off in it. Monday (still off from work) will be spent at least reordering my house and getting my bedroom floor cleared off so I can walk into it without feelings of dread and doom.

I did manage to get this little shawl done with some Fiesta I had purchased last year. It looked so bright and cheery and it's been so back and forth weatherwise here, I thought I would knit my own spring.


Spring Shawl out of Fiesta


Close up of shawl. Doesn't it look like pansy colors?

The only downside to the Ren Faire is that there is suppose to be rain today.....like at the time we are handing out program guides. Like I froze my butt off yesterday and am hopeing the sniffles I have this morning are sinus/allergies and not COLD! Yes, we experienced Elizabethan weather yesterday......overcast, cool (low 50's) and light wind.

Hopefully tomorrow I can be back at posting regularly and knitting regularly and walked through my room! With no COLD!

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Little knitting, not enough sewing

Although my "Faire Speak" class isn't until next Saturday, I have figured out that chemise is Elizabethan English for "you, the kids and a couple of tent poles". I will publicly admit that I am between a size *& and @% and that I went with the @% as I wanted it to be "loose". Don't have to worry about shrinkage with this muslin. In fact, praying for it. But this is my life recently....chemise, bodices, skirts, capes.....little knitting. Reading up on Elizabethan life, watching Elizabeth and Shakespeare in Love while at the sewing machine. Luckily, Spring Break is the week before everything has to be finished, so it will get done....hopefully....maybe....sure it will!

Chemise

But my little sister sent me a box of "goodies" last week. She works in the administrative offices for a large craft store (cough, cough) and went to one of their sample sales and picked this up for me.


Stash enhancement via little sister.

The blue and white "plushy" Polarspun in the center has already been tagged by Trumpet Princess for her own. The Woolease in denim and navy in the front is suppose to go toward some of the knitted flowers. The rest are all mine! But since I have Ren Faire costumes to make and the acceptance for band camp came in the mail yesterday, this is as close to stash enhancement I will be getting for a llloooonnnnggggg time.

But I am really on the look-out for a sleevess, mock turtleneck sweater I can knit in cotton (or something similar) for the summer. That is my one thing I'll still "put out for" in the next couple of months.

So, off to finish putting in the sleeves in Goth Daughter's Faire outfit and then onto skirts!

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Renaissance .... or no time for knitting

Yes, I have put aside the needles for a few days (or weeks). Of course, since everything I was knitting was going to the dogs and I have 2 things now I have to frog or tink, it is probably a good thing.

But Goth Daughter has been wanting to go Elizabethan and taking good old Mom along for the ride. So it's 2 costumes for the Ren Faire at the end of March (thank goodness for Spring Break and vacation the week before) and the first weekend of April. Not only am I in charge of family costumes (ie Mom sews), but I am also going to be volunteering at the Faire and will be dragging out some blackwork. Hopefully, I will have an extra "chemise" done so that I can embroider around the edges. Or at least a kerchief or two.

Finished up the first chemise this evening. Will post pics as soon as the daughters are back to assit. Do you know how much muslin it takes for a floor length chemise? Let's say I could sail the cast of "Lost" off the island with it! Thank goodness for Joann Fabrics $$$ off coupons. But it's two chemise (or is it chemouse?), 2 skirts, 2 bodices and maybe a couple of capes if the weather is cool. Goth Daughter tried to take the hurt off the project by reflecting on the positive----she will have a Halloween costume already. What's going to scare people is tomorrow when I lug in my chemise to do the hem around the bottom. They'll start looking for tent poles!

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I Have "Startitis"!

I took Thursday and Friday off since I am working today and Sunday. It was a good trade on Thursday as it was a cold, drizzly rain most of the day. I curled up on the couch, watched movies and started a Market Basket Bag (pics sometime shortly). And read. And napped. Did do one load of wash though.

Friday, I was up getting the kids off to school and had plans to do much of the same. But our crazy morning news traffic guy has started on Fridays going to various businesses and broadcasting from there. This past Friday was at our Farmer's Market Resturant and they were giving free breakfast during the 6-8am morning news! Trumpet Princess shoved me into jeans and out the door. I really think part of it was motivated by the fact she wanted to escape to school in 40 degree weather in t-shirt and jeans and no jacket or sweater. I watched her flee in my rear view mirror, but free food won over running down my 11 year old. To hell with the possiblity of a cold! Someone was going to cook ME breakfast and serve it to me and clean up afterwards! Actually I have eaten there a few times and it is great. However, some people really don't like you calling them at 630am to tell them about it. What's a little sleep over free breakfast.

But the downside was that I was stuffed and came home and was forced to nap a bit.

Then I read most of the day. By the time I finished the book, my eyes were bothering me (the trouble with reading in a dim room so if you fall asleep the light won't bother you!). Didn't want to work on the Market Basket Bag. Didn't want to tink the Stashbusters Spiral Socks. Didn't want to work on the pieces of the flowers I'm making for my sister. Wanted something "springtime". So I pulled a huge ball of Fiesta I had gotten on sale last year out of the bag and decided with the bright yellow, purple and blues it looked like pansies. Perfect for a springtime shawl. So I started a simple pattern of stockinette, increasing 1 on each end of the knit row. I will just knit until I run out of yarn.


Spring Shawl in Fiesta

Then I pulled another skein out of the stash I purchased last week, some Mountain Colors. I haven't used it before, but have read others comments about it. Plus I loved the black and red combination and it does feel so soft. Didn't want to do socks. So pulled out the Multi-Directional Scarf several people have done and will carry that and the shawl off to work with me today and tomorrow.


Mountain Colors in Firestorm

To heck with the fact I have several other projects in various stages of completion, like one sock. What I am really looking to start is a sleeveless, mock turtleneck sweater for summer. Don't have a pattern, don't have yarn, just want to start it.

Well, better get some housework done before off to work.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

It's been a lllooonnnngggg week......

but I have been busy. I finished fringing a simple poncho that I started before it ever got cold. Just two rectangles. Got to the fringing part and stuck it in a bag and had forgotten about it. It was just a skein of black Caron's worsted weight and 2 balls of Dazzle from AC Moore, garter stitched. Couldn't have been simpler. Meant it for Goth Daughter, to get a little color in her life. She is now wearing it full time because it is the perfect weight over a t-shirt on these mild days we are having. It's also cushy balled up into a pillow.

Finished fringing a poncho from ages ago.

Then......since my sister's birthday is in March, I finished her a scarf she had picked out from Stitch and Bitch Nation...the Butterfly Scarf. Did her's in black cotton chenille from Rowen and the butterfly, mutant that it is (sorry Debbie) from Crystal Palace cotton chenille left overs from doing the Flower Petal Washcloth. Will have to do another butterfly because that one looks like a cactus with giant fungus growing on it. The scarf calls for a loop on it, but I think I am going to leave the loop off, and make some interchangeable flowers and butterflies for it. I have a couple of crocheted flower patterns that I want to try with the cotton chenille and see how they behave. But the cotton chenille is great idea for scarves for the spring/summer and being so narrow, it is an accessory rather than a winter necessity.


Butterfly scarf from Stitch and Bitch Nation.


Closeup of butterfly

Sister also has me on a binge of "flowers". I am doing the roses from the Premier Issue of Knit.1 and doing them in Paton's Wool. Then I had the great idea to felt some of them. I have done one in a solid color (dark purple) and it is currently drying out. Was a little nervous about it falling apart during the felting, but it is hanging in there. Now we will see how many days it will take all those layers to dry out. But I really like the look of it felted. Now I am on to different colors. Quick project, just time consuming because you have to knit all the little pieces before you do anything else. Makes all the back and forth of a sweater look good at times. Will show some before/afters when I get more colors and combinations done.

Well, off to supervise homework. After a 10 hour day I am more of a door stop than a help at homework.........

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sunday Morning and the TX Chainsaw Massacre

Yesterday I had agreed to work for someone from 12-4p, so I fixed "brunch" for the girls and a sleepover friend (theirs not mine). Halfway through preparing hashbrowns I realized that I was fixing brunch with the accompaniment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing in the background on the VCR while they awaited breakfast. And the sad part is that not one of the four females in the house were affected in the least......we still managed to down bacon, toast and hashbrowns with the greatest of ease. And I'm the person who NEVER watches "scary" movies.....at least I didn't until I had children and they wanted to watch them, but I have to stay in the room. I can now knit through aliens, ghosts and whatever. The lot of a mom!


Two skeins of pale gray "Dexter's 100% Mohair" found in the dark hole of Calcutta--or the storage room. Now what to do with them!

Anyway, on the bright note, this morning I go into work and finish up the second gauntlet. Come home, hand it off and pick up my copy of "The Knitting Goddess" which I ordered. Trumpet Princess walks up and holds out her arms and goes "why is this thumb different than the other?" Sure enough, one of them was stockinette, the other garter. Somehow I had confused my "instructions" as they were. But being the brilliant mother that I am, I answered "it's to tell your right hand from your left hand". She's happy with the answer and I look good. Until she comes back and asks, but which is which!

So now it's off to finish up the skinny black scarf out of Rowen Cotton Chenille for my sister's birthday next month. It is the base for the Butterfly Scarf in Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I did do a butterfly, but it looks really mutated....more like purple and orange blobs stuck to the side of a cactus....guess I should change my colors around. Will try to get a pic of the mutant butterfly so it can truly be appreciated. Also going to do some of the "flowers" that are being knit and crocheted everywhere. I want do to some of the knitted roses and try felting some of them. No matter what they turn out like, she'll look great in them....she's one of those people who look good no matter what!