Miscellaneous News

I’ll start today’s post with an update on what is on my needles. You may recall I am working on the Bensusan shawl in my Classic Merino DK yarn in the color Cypress. I have progressed to the main chart and added the second skein of yarn. I am enjoying the variety of the stitch patterns. It’s easily memorized but interesting. I love cables.

The other project I have going is my cowl using the yarn my daughter brought me from Ireland. I am about 25% done on it. I cast it on a couple days ago. It’s a pretty quick and easy knit so it shouldn’t take too long to make.

It will be August very soon and I will be back to festival vending. We are still working on restocking inventory. Within the last couple weeks we have added some more Undyed yarn to the website. I stock two Organic Cotton yarns (a sport weight and a worsted weight) and also small quantities of all our Merino wool yarns as Bare yarn for those who wish to use it that way or to dye themselves.

We have also recently finished some new Darning-Eggs in Cherry and Maple woods. We have some more Walnut in progress.

Last night two of the grandchildren were over and were given a fun ride around the property in my husband’s new cart he built for the lawn tractor. They had fun and didn’t want it to end.

Quick Knitting Update

I am having a busy week, so this will be a short and sweet update on Midlothian shawl.

I just finished chart 3 and am starting the second skein of Classic Merino Superwash Sport in Cerulean.

I am getting ready to begin restocking my yarn inventory asap. I have several days of preparation to do. I am also wrapping up the end of one school year and preparing for the next. We will probably take a couple of weeks off from school starting next week while I work on yarn. I’ll keep you posted as I can.

Holiday Preparations and a Christmas Miracle

I spent most of Christmas Eve Eve baking a cake for Christmas dinner. I have made hundreds of cakes but never one this fancy. It took me about 5 hours I think. 😚 The recipe is Chocolate Mousse Cake with Raspberries on King Arthur Baking website. I also made a double batch of cranberry sauce.

Today I roasted the turkey, got it deboned, and made a huge batch of gravy. It was a 26.6# turkey so ot made a lot of drippings. I also made a big batch of buttermilk potato rolls and deviled eggs for tomorrow.

So all I have to do for dinner on Christmas is make sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and a fresh veggie platter with dip. Oh and I’ll probably make a batch of cinnamon rolls for breakfast in the morning. Whew!

I referred in my title to a Christmas miracle. Remember that messy skein of yarn? Well, while I was making that cake yesterday, my husband spent most of the day untangling it.

I can’t believe he had the patience for it, but wonders never cease. 😊

Merry Christmas!

Carrying On

I have gotten very little knitting done in the past month since my last post. I am up to the foot section on my second sock and I have completed a couple more hexagons.

The main reason for my lack of knitting and blog silence is that I have been struggling with a death in the family. My Daddy passed away on 9-18-2020 after a surgical procedure. It mostly unexpected but his health had been on the decline since a heart attack in June 2017 and diagnosis of mild diabetes.

I felt like maybe God had been preparing me for this but it was still a terrible blow. I just haven’t been able to write about it but it didn’t feel right to blog without mentioning either. So, I am finally feeling like I can talk about it.

It’s funny because we weren’t what most people would consider “close”but he was a very big influence on who I am. I always thought my Daddy was the smartest person in the world and that he knew everything. He showed me how to think and do things for myself, even when I didn’t want to learn those lessons. He always encouraged my love of books and music by his own example. He showed by example that caring for people when they need help is a priority. He supported my choices in the way we raised our family (having 10 children, home schooling, home births, etc…) and never made me feel like it was as nuts as everyone else thought. He believed in me. I miss him very much.

Daddy and me — Norfolk, 1966
My brother and I on a hike with Daddy to the summit of Mount Washington, NH, 1975
Mama and Daddy – Jan. 19, 1965
Daddy – Navy circa 1965

I guess the one comfort in all this was that I got to have all 10 of my children here plus my brother who I hadn’t seen for many years. Having family around to deal with all the cleaning out of the apartment, and dealing with all the financial and legalities. We also have to handle what happens with my mom. She has advanced dementia and we have to find her a place where she can get full time care. So we are working on that situation as best we can with me here in Nashville, Mama in Murfreesboro and my brother now back home in Las Vegas.

Taking Daddy’s ashes to be in nature where he loved to be
The whole gang minus 2 sons-in-law and 5 grandchildren, in our back yard

Last Post of the Year

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

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

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

Happy New Year to all and be safe!

Winding Down

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

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

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

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

Have a Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

New Project Underway

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

Kassiani-pre-blocking (2)

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

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

cable-lace-blanket-new (2)

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

Portage-August2018 (16)Portage-August2018 (14)Portage-August2018 (4)

 

 

Final Preparations

Mimi-lightbox (1)

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

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

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

onesie

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

VedaMarch2018

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

Veda-Gerby

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

 

I know, it’s been awhile….

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

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

SMW-2017 (2)

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

LaceSquaredesignSummer2017

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

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

HoneydewLaceShawl (2)

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

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

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

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

Mimi-in-a-bowl (3)20180221_081431

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

A Couple New Things

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

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

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

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