Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dye Day

Dear Mom,
Last weekend MelissaWhoSpinsButDoesNotKnit and I spent Saturday in my garage dyeing wool and blending fibers.

We used thrift store crockpots and Greener Shades Dyes. We ended up with some beautiful results and colorful hands.

Melissa had some vintage wool to over-dye. In our excitement to get started, we neglected to take any before pictures.

While the crockpots were simmering, I blended some of my plain vanilla wool with two shades of the wool from my copper dye experiments. I added a little translucent nylon fiber for a subtle sparkle.

The photo does not do justice to the blended batts.  I cannot wait  to see how these spin up! (And let me digress here to say that the Tour de Fleece begins tomorrow. Much like the knitting Olympics, Tour de Fleece challenges spinners to complete a self imposed spinning goal on each day of the Tour de France. I haven't participated in a Tour de Fleece, but may, in a small way, join in the fun by taking a daily spin, even if it is for 10 minutes- nothing heroic or pressured- just pleasurable spinning. I learned my lesson from my first knitting Olympics. Making an adult sized, cable pullover in 16 days was challenging and exciting, but I don't think it is a coincidence that I had carpal tunnel surgery about a year later. Not making THAT mistake again! )
After blending all of the copper fibers, I took some of that same plain vanilla, blended it with some wool I had dyed a fuchsia color, mohair locks and a bit of nylon that were all in that same fuchsia family.
Melissa and I did a good thing, teaming up to purchase Fig, our drum carder. And our strengths in color sense, color understanding and dye math compliment each other. It was a good, productive, fun, educational day for both of us!


Monday, June 25, 2012


Dear Mom,

Bumper has gone above and beyond the Call of Duty for a Senior Dog by patiently dealing with a second youngster. His wobbly Senior legs and arthritic joints were in need of some help if he were to have any chance in keeping a young Spot of Trouble in line.

Aunt Cheri to the rescue. After witnessing his struggles and his undignified Bambi mishaps, Aunt Cheri sent me this link. I never knew something like this existed.
Bumper is now sporting a pair of Ultra Paw TrAction Boots, for Senior Dogs struggling to live with hardwood floors. He is a new Mighty Dog. He sounds like an old man shuffling around in his slippers, and the kids are a bit embarrassed for him, but it is all worth it to see how much easier it is for him to move around and get up.
And his first steps in those new boots?
Just watch.

He can figure anything out if food is involved.



Monday, June 18, 2012


Dear Mom,

Olive is the best thing I have done for myself and my family in a long time....
This house needed some Happy.

And Olive is just what we needed.

All is well.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Around My Backyard

Dear Mom,

( The End )

Bonnie Jo

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Dear Mom,
Olive Patsy Wagner.
Olive for peace. For mending our heartache.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Dear Mom,
A new design flew off my needles last spring and I had hopes of it being accepted by Knitty, but it didn't make the cut. Ah well. I can debut them here, instead.

I'd been wanting a little boot topper, but something lacy. Something that could be worn as a dressy accessory and something that would make a dressed down work boot look pretty, too.

I called on Bonnie Jo and my Young Lady to do some modeling for me, and Bonnie Jo gets credit for the clever name.
More details about KnitKickers can be found HERE.


Sunday, June 3, 2012


Dear Mom,
Emotional events have a way of marking time as Before and After, or at least the sad ones seem to do. And when in the midst of a sad valley, the Before seems to have happened a long time ago. Maybe because life really was different, Before.
But Before I lost Patsy, there were some happy things I hadn't had a chance to share here. Lots of little happy's can help conquer a great big hurt.
I had the absolute pleasure of participating in a "yarn bombing" at The Village Yarn Shop in Zionsville. Yarn bombing is the fiber world's equivalent of graffiti, but ours is not permanent and does not deface public property. Many many many knit and crocheted swatches were donated by customers. One evening, after the shop closed, several of us gathered together to stitch those swatches together and then to  a variety of landmarks outside the shop.

Some of the swatches seemed to have been created exactly for the items they were stitched to.

Like this Stop Sign cozy....

And the pretty addition to the shop's mailbox.....

That mailbox deserves a close-up.

Even the historic fountain got in on the action!
It was interesting to note that while we were stitching the items to trees, posts, and bike stands, the passersby made no comments, and seemed to take no notice of what we were doing. As soon as we finished our "work", families stopped and took pictures next to the tree, shoppers and diners made comments as the passed and complimented the new art.