If It's Fiber...

Monday, January 30, 2006

My friend, Lindsley flew down from New York City for the weekend and spent Saturday morning and afternoon with us. Her brother was with her and we hit some of the thrift stores in Burlington. There are LOADS of thrift stores in Burlington. Here's a picture of my catch from Saturday. I found some really great books. (I'm always getting books. It's worse than yarn and fabric because you can find them cheaper!)
Make sure to click on the picture to get a closer look at some of the titles. They are:
"Fashions of the Times" by the New York Times Magazine - Aug. 22, 1965
"Children's Fashions" by the New York Times Magazine - Aug. 15, 1965
"The Family Book of Home Entertaining" by Florence Brobeck, 1960
"Knitting Made Easy" Barbara Aytes, 1970
"Pilgrim's Progress" John Bunyan - the written inscription on the inside flap has a date of April 28, 1915
"Two is a Team" Lorraine and Jerrold Beim - 1945 - this one is a kids book about two friends, a black boy and a white boy. What is great about it is that it is just a story about being friends and working together. There is no mention of race in the text anywhere.
"A Nature Book: Activities and Projects for Children" Helen Jill Fletcher - 1953
"The First Noel" a Golden Book illustrated by A.+M. Provensen - 1959 - I love this one because Mary and Joseph aren't white. They actually have some color to their skin! The illustrations are beautiful.
The lady I bought most of the books from also had a little french volume from 1900 entitled "Scenes de la Revolution Francaise". It was for free.

Other than books, I also purchased an embroidery kit from 1979, unopened. Also a set of 6 little ceramic bowls that will be great for Bruce's cereal and a great sleeve board.

All of that for under 20 dollars.

I still haven't figured out what I will start next, knitting-wise.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I finished the baby cardigan during our weekend travels. I also began crocheting up a little flower, but it ended up looking too big for the sweater. I look forward to finding some neat buttons to put on it!

Now I need to decide what I will start on next. There are quite a few things I would like to begin, but I need to just pick one. I'm not so good at working on multiple projects at one time. When I start doing that, the projects don't get finished.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

I mailed out the postcards today. I cut the dogs out of corderoy that I had in my fabric stash. It was leftovers from a meditation cushion that I made when I was taking a Tai Chi class. The pink yarn is leftover from my Kyoto, the first sweater I knitted. I carved the stamps out of some corks from my insane collection of corks. I just can't bring myself to throw away a cork unless it was destroyed in the removal, so I have a large supply of them. The paper is from a friend's stash. She sells the Stamping Up stamps and papers. This color is called "Certainly Celery".
So I completed my postcards while still keeping in the Stashalong theme!
I can't wait to see the postcards I will receive!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Here's the baby cardigan so far. I've screwed up a bit on the second sleeve, so I've got to go back and redo some of it. I was knitting in the dark in the car and didn't put in all of the increases that I should have. I'm happy with how it is looking.
I'll have to put the sweater a bit on hold so I can get in the finishing touches on my postcards for the swap. I'm very excited about it! After I've mailed mine I will post pictures.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Here's my progress on the baby cardigan from my stash. I was much farther along than this, then last night I realized I was thinking wrong as far as the age of the child during the seasons, so I had to rip it all out and start again. This is what I was able to complete last night after my sister and I put the kids to bed and watched her tape of the evening's "Desperate Housewives." I've never really watched it, so she filled me in on many details.
I've decided to change the pattern a little bit. I don't want garter stitch the whole way. I think I may also crochet up a little flower to add to it at the end.
During my travels yesterday I was in some completely stopped traffic, and I knitted. I don't think it could actually be called knitting and driving. It was more like knitting for a few minutes and then schooching up a foot or so and then knitting some more.
I want all of you stashalongers to know that I am here in Asheville, NC, just a short drive from Yarn Paradise, which really is a yarn paradise. Earth Guild is also here. Luckily, with watching the kids and trying to help my sister pack things up, there is really no time for me to go to either of these two wonderful stores and buy yarn.
(soft whimpering)

Sunday, January 15, 2006

I have no pictures today, but some odds and ends to cover. The lack of knitting pictures results from me leaving my knitting bag at a friend's house last night. I will retrieve it today, when I head out of town to visit my sister in Asheville. Bruce and I are headed up there to try to help with her move. Maybe I can at least take the kids while she either sleeps or packs.
I have made progress on the baby cardigan. I have changed some things in the pattern though. It's not going to be garter stitch the whole way.
I discovered that the cookbook I just posted about is going to be published by Project Gutenberg. This is a great project that is publishing free ebooks of works in the public domain. They have thousands of titles. I had first come across them a few years ago when I was trying to find "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll. I have an old record of Boris Karloff reading it that I have put onto cd and I wanted to see the words. (I'm a bit visual) My son loves listening to it. So anyway, go there and peruse their holdings. If you read other languages they probably have something in that language. It really is a great project.
Until they get the "Compendium of Cookery" entered in and published, those of you who enjoy old cookbooks may like reading "Recipes Tried and True" by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Marion, Ohio. It was published in 1894.
For those interested in the cat pattern, go to Crafting Japanese and scroll down to the pictures of other people's cats. It gives links to their sites and some of them give help on reading the pattern. There are also some other great amigurumis on that page, and links to a couple of patterns.
And finally, I've joined Myra's postcard swap over at My Little Mochi. I've started working on the dogs for my cards. The finished product isn't completely envisioned yet, but I'm trying out ideas.
I don't know if I will be able to post while in Asheville, so I hope you enjoy these links while I'm away!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

My older sister gave this book to me over our Christmas weekend. The book is completely falling apart (at some point someone duct taped the binding together) and about as brittle as can be. But it is great. I will need to scan it in so that I can really take the time to go through it. The pages crumble as you handle them. (Make sure to click on the picture to get a closer look.)
The copyright is 1890. It has so many recipes for food, but what I am enjoying most are the instructions in the second part of the book, the part entitled "The Book of Knowledge: or 1000 ways of getting rich". The first section of this part is "Secrets of the Liquor Trade." There are recipes for all kinds of homemade alcoholic concoctions, and how to repair your leaky cans and bungs. It goes on with different sections covering everything from the druggists department to toiletry and perfume, to ways to save money around the household.
My favorite one I have found so far is this one from the "Manufacturer's Department":
"Magic Copying Paper. - To make black paper, lamp-black mixed with cold lard; red paper, Venetian red mixed with lard; blue paper, Prussian blue mixed with lard; green paper, Chrome green mixed with lard. The above ingredients to be mixed to the consistency of thick paste, and to be applied to the paper with a rag. Then take a flannel rag, and rub until all color ceases coming off. Cut your sheet four inches wide and three inches long; put four sheets together, one of each color, and sell for twenty-five cents per package. The first cost will not exceed three cents.
Directions for writing with this paper: Lay down your paper upon which you wish to write; then lay on the copying paper, and over this lay any scrap of paper you chose; then take any hard pointed substance and write as you would with a pen."

I just love it. Phrases like "upon which you wish to write" you just don't hear anymore. And, I mean, copy paper. Remember back in the day in elementary school when we had carbon copies? All of those layers and the messy carbons? It reminds me of all of that. I especially like the multiple colors and the suggestions on how to sell it.
As I go through this book more, I may post other items that I find interesting. I noticed there is a whole section on dyes for cloth.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The cat has come through the procedures quite well and is now sleeping off the anaesthetics. Maybe after it wakes it will be able to tell us its name. Until then, the patient is being referred to as cat.

Monday, January 09, 2006

My cat has been crocheted and is awaiting connective surgery for arms, legs, head, tail, ears, and muzzle. Then the patient will undergo some constructive facial work for eyes, nose, and mouth.
I hope he (or she - I'm not sure yet) pulls through it all okay.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Here are the last minute sweater ornaments for my family's Christmas this weekend. I finished them up last night. The C is a green sweater while the M is dark blue. I used some of Brown Sheep's Nature Spun that I had on hand.

Now I can get back to work on the cat and start on the baby cardigan.

It's too early for me to say much else, but I wanted to post before we left. In the spirit of my family's weekend, I wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

I decided to make this baby cardigan out of my left over Pachuko organic cotton from the Chevron Tank, with the color accent yarn coming from pink leftovers of Goddess yarn from my Kyoto. The Goddess yarn in the picture is actually pink, even though it looks red. If there is enough yarn I will make the matching hat.

But - before I can start those I have decided to make two (maybe three) more sweater ornaments for my family's Christmas get together this weekend. I've started one already. I like being forced to go back into my stash for things. There are yarns I had forgotten I had back in there!

The cat is on hold until I finish these little sweaters for this weekend. The head and body parts are finished, so I hope I can complete that by the end of next week.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

The first step is to admit you have a problem.
Here is a picture of my stash. It fills up over half of a closet.
Inside are 3 boxes of yarn, three bags of yarn, 5 boxes of fabric, 2 bags of fabric, some stacked fabric, my old hiking boots, a picnic backpack from my MIL, a pair of roller skates, and a Mah Jong set from the 1920s.
So there it is.
Last night I began crocheting this cat in some Lamb's Price worsted that I had bought to use in the Fair Isle workshop I took at the beginning of December. We made a headband in the class, but I took it apart after making it. I don't really wear headbands like that right now. Then when I saw the cat, I knew how I would use the yarn.
I'm looking for a nice little cardigan pattern for a baby right now. That will be my first knitting stash reduction project.
I finished making my Dad's DVD last night. I'm quite happy with how it turned out. It's only 2 1/2 minutes long so hopefully it won't bore everyone. Today I will start on the DVD for my nephew.
It's great to have projects set out for myself!

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

I've joined up with a couple of groups and need to make links to them on this page. The problem is I haven't yet figured out how to get the buttons in the sidebar. I also am very busy this week trying to get some presents completed for my family's Christmas get together this weekend. (They spent Christmas cruising Hawaii!) I'm making a DVD for my dad with pictures of the before, during, and after renovations of our house. He helped us so much with it and I thought a DVD that flips through the stills might make a nice gift. I am alos going to try to get all of our video footage of my nephew from the past year and make a DVD of him for him and his parents. Their camcorder stopped working at the beginning of last year, and they didn't get a replacement until a month or so ago. It's a lot of computer work to do, but I hope I can get it all done before we see them on Saturday.
If Bruce would take a nap I could get a lot more done!

So these are the groups I've joined:

Kim's Stashalong

I am exceedingly excited about this knitalong. I will buy no yarn (and I'm also going to include fabric into it) for three months. I may only work from my stash. I have so much yarn and fabric and so many projects I could make with them. This is just what my creativity and finances needed!

Month of Softies

Each month, a different theme is chosen and everyone makes a stuffed creature/thing in accordance with the theme. December's theme was "under the tree", and I made a stuffed mushroom out of Christmas colored fabrics. January's theme is fairy tales. I've been brainstorming many ideas, I just need to choose one and begin.

Those are my current involvements. I hope to get started knitting something from my stash by this weekend. I may start with a baby garment. I have some leftover organic cotton yarn that would make a great something for a baby due in March!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

These are the two Brioche Helmet Hats by Kelly Bridges from Fall 2005 Interweave Knits. I made two of them out of two different yarns, neither of which were the ones called for in the pattern. One aspect of the pattern that was extrememly frustrating is that Bridges gives no stockingette stitch gauge, and she doubled the yarn called for, so that finding a substitute yarn was next to impossible. Then, the stitch set she uses uses for gauge is a fifth of the way up the hat.

Interweave should really make stockingette stitch gauge a REQUIREMENT on all their patterns!

The two hats are for my son and one of his friends. I think I will let the mom choose which one she would prefer him wear. Bruce can wear either one. I don't care.

Last night, before midnight, I finished up my last two projects of 2005. I completed my last Weasley sweater ornament, and put the buttons on the 1962 Weskit. I'm wearing it today. I'll have to get my husband to take a picture for me.

So I thought I would look back and try to remember the items I created this year.

- Andean hat for Bruce that ended up not fitting becuase my stranding was too tight

- Fuzzy Feet

- Two baby blankets for my home church to give away to new babies

- Quilted square pictures of old transportation for Bruce's room

- Curtains for our kitchen

- Curtains for the upstairs bathroom

- Recovered the seat of a chair for my mom

- a pair of pants out of motorcycle fabric for my nephew

- Chevron tank

- Shrug

- HiP scarf in Gryffindor colors

- 7 sweater ornaments

- 3 Airy scarves

- a stuffed dog

- a stuffed mushroom

- Steve's socks

- Two toddler hats

- Toboggan for SIL's boyfriend

- 1962 Weskit

- a crocheted snowflake

I think that is all. It feels good to see it all written out. I wish there had been some more sewing on there. Once I get my machine and sewing area set up here I hope there will be more.

Happy New Year!!!