Thursday, April 30, 2009

Anna's Art Show

Both my girls are artistic. Emily loves to putter and build and make. Give her a box, string and tape and you will never know what she will end up with. I buy tape by the case! But it makes them happy and I love seeing them be creative. Anna made a picture in art class and it was in the school's art show...

it is the Panda way up high...and my girl? She happily refused to turn around so her mom could take a picture of her with her drawing. I threatened to take it of her back and post it on my blog and she still refused to turn around. So here she lovely 12 year old...talented and funny....and at the age where it is embarrassing to have your mom with you at times...especially if your mom has a camera.

I'm slowly knitting away, have the second lipstick sock about half way down the leg. Goal is to finish it by next Tuesday. Also added a few more squares to my growing pile. But nothing truly picture worthy.

I'm trying to get into a spinning class at the upcoming Sheep and Wool festival in Lake Elmo. I'm first on the waiting list, so maybe that will happen. I do love to spin, I just want to get better fast!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm a spinner, you're a spinner, wouldn't you like to be a spinner too?

Meet Julia. Isn't she lovely? Now I'm sure with practice, she will produce lovely yarn as well but at the moment, I'm finding I'm creating incredibly over twisted singles. But I'm thrilled.

I've wanted a spinning wheel for over two years, but never quite managed to find room in my budget for one. Still I read and dreamed, I learned to spin on a drop spindle and made pretty nice yarn with that. Yet I still longed for a "real" spinning wheel. My family planned to take a cruise this July after my niece's wedding. But we changed our plans a couple months ago and decided not to go on the cruise. Which freed up some savings. And so I made a really selfish choice and decided I would finally buy my wheel.

I contacted Detta of Detta's Spindle in Maple Plain, made an appointment and Monday I found myself in her home trying out several different types and models of wheels. I found I was totally incapable of operating a single treadle. I would treadle fine but as soon as I had to use my hands, my foot would stop pumping so the wheel stopped turning. Hard to make yarn when the wheel isn't turning. Next try was on a double treadle, much easier, I guess it felt like riding a bike so I didn't have the same issue with forgetting to treadle. Now I discovered that I can't keep the right speed with my feet to match my hands so I had way to overspun singles. But I was making yarn! After going back and forth between two different wheels I settled on my Julia, a Louet wheel. I'm thrilled. I also selected enough fiber to hold me for several months and returned home with a wheel in a box.

It only took 20 minutes and one misstep (bobbin on backwards does not turn) before I had the wheel together. I started practicing and while it isn't the lovely yarn I'm hoping for, it isn't awful either. So I'm happy to say I have my own wheel and soon will have my own handspun to work with.

Today is going to be a busy day, the van is in for repairs (again), Emily has her yearly cleft appointment, Anna is taking her standardized testing at school (and not feeling well on top of it) and I have to work at the nursery tonight. So little to no spinning will happen tonight. But soon, I hope to post pictures of my own handspun.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Loopy Ewe - Sock Kit

I tried to get into the sock of the month club at the Loopy Ewe. Not so easy, new people enter a lottery to try and get an opening. Alas, I did not win a spot in the club, so what Sherri does is provide a special consolation sock kit for all the folks who wanted to be in the club but haven't been able to get a spot. I ordered the kit last Thursday and Saturday the package was at my door. Amazing how fast the Loopy Elves package the orders. I unpacked the box and was delighted to see a new Loopy bag, a fun pen that I have to hide from my girls so I can use it, a nice sock pattern and the best yarn "W(h)ine with Roses" (Hand Maiden). So my colors, I love burgundy and deep purple...just suites me.

Other news on the knitting front, I've been working on the mitered squares, I'm really happy with such a simple project. I'm finding that while I love the challenge of lace and more complicated patterns, I really gravitate towards simple repetitive type work. Maybe it is the joy of how the colors really show off, or the simple fact that I can simply watch how my knitting is falling off the needles and enjoy it rather than stressing over a more complicated pattern. In an event, here are my squares so far... I think this is such a great way to use up your left overs. My left overs are put into a large glass vase in my bedroom, however, the vase was getting completely full and I sure wasn't going to stop knitting! So that meant I had to find a good way to use up more of the left overs. A good challenge in our economic times. So instead of having a medium sized ball in the vase, I'm using it and only putting in a tiny small ball in its place. So I guess I've gone "green" in my knitting!

Stay tuned....tomorrow will show you the next step I've taken in diving into the deep end of the knitting pool!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Beauties

My girls were at their Sunday best for Easter Sunday. We had a nice weekend. Not much knitting accomplished, but I've decided to not stress over it. I love to knit. I do not want knitting to become a chore. So what I knit is great. I am working on a mitered square "something". I don't know yet if it will be a baby blanket? A scarf? Still developing. But it feels good to use up my left over sock yarns. And it is becoming something like a memory quilt. One of the yarns I used to make some beautiful fingerless mitts for my friend's mom in Dallas. Toots treated me like her own daughter and that is a gift not easily found. She was starting to be bothered with arthirtis, so I made her a pair of mitts using some beautiful blue light sock yarn to keep her hands warm and help ward off some of the stiffness and pain she was feelign. Toots passed away last year and I miss her. So using this yarn in the blankie gives me warm memories that I cherish.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

All Emily all the time

First communion went well. Emily looked beautiful (no pictures until Easter Sunday), we didn't drop her goblet, we got there early enough to find a pew for all six of us. A smashing success. Her big concern was that she would burp after drinking the wine, again, crisis averted as the burp remained buried deep in her tummy. She was thrilled to get to join in communion with the rest of us. Now she doesn't want to go to Sunday school because she wants to be with the rest of us taking communion.

I also had major news re Emily this week. For the last seven months I have been fighting with our insurance company over payment of the charges relating to her surgery on her cleft lip. I know, who would have thought this would even be an issue. But I have been arguing for months that the surgery done on her nose was not COSMETIC, but due to her congenital defect. Again, crazy. But finally, Monday, I received the golden letter, stating that they were overturning ALL the denials and approving everything for payment. I cried at my desk. But that hurdle has been cleared. I will feel much better once I receive the invoices from the doctor's office as well as the hospital showing all their bills have been paid, but I believe we are there.

I've done little knitting, at least in getting anything done. Sadly, I have started a couple more things. What is wrong with me! smile....I promise to take pictures this weekend of knitting in all its unfinished glory, of my girls in their Easter finery, and of the Easter egg hunt that for the first time in years we can do easily outside in MN.