Monday, June 17, 2013

All dressed up

Dear Mom,
Donna Reed (my Baby Wolf loom) is dressed up. It took me a few days to get from winding the warp to weaving. I am such a rookie at this, that this time I derailed myself when I ran out of 8/2 cotton while winding the warp. Detour to Tabby Tree Weaver for more cotton. I haven't the skills (yet) to judge whether that cone of fiber is enough to do what I expect it to do. But I am learning. And this time I am taking careful notes and writing my own recipe for kitchen towels. I am so in love with the few inches of weaving on the loom right now, that I may only weave towels just like this but in different colors for the rest of my weaving days.
The inspiration for these towels came from the book Sixty Scarves for Sixty Years. I figured I could double the 11 inch wide scarf and turn it into a towel.

I moved Donna Reed into our family room about a month ago, in an attempt to reclaim the dining room as a (mostly) dining room. ( My sewing machine and a corner for knitting still reside there.) Now when I walk past and see this it is hard not to stop everything and sit down to weave another pattern repeat or two. Or just stand and stare at it, marveling at the magic that is weaving. Seriously, when I started weaving this, I stopped My Hero and the Young Man as they passed through the room and had them take a look. I was like a 5 year old riding her bike the first time.... watch me!!!!! See this? Look at what I can do!!!!

I am also thinking that this pattern would be nice napkins. From Day 1, My Hero and I have used cloth napkins- with our only exceptions being huge cookouts and lunch boxes. (But modest cookouts? Cloth napkins) Some of our cloth napkins are looking a bit exhausted and until now I really hadn't considered weaving their replacements, but yes! I think I will!

There is no logical explanation to the contentment I've felt the past several weeks. I should be crazy with school out, but I am not. There is a quiet to my days. My garden is growing well, the days have been sunny, mild, with just enough rain. Laundry dries on the clothesline most days and our windows are open. We've enjoyed good, simple, healthy meals at home, and while the house is never spotlessly clean (we do live here, after all, and with a big black dog) I feel like I am maintaining my daily chores and keeping time for my creative pursuits. I have given myself the freedom of not assigning imaginary deadlines to my knitting, spinning and weaving projects, which may be the biggest factor in this inner calm I feel. This feeling may not last long, but I am enjoying every bit of it and I'll hang on to it as long as I can!


Friday, June 14, 2013

One Year Ago

Dear Mom,
One year ago today, in the midst of heavy grief and under a cloud of worry, a very happy thing happened to this house at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Olive came home.

She met Bumper.

Bumper was  happy.
We didn't know it when she came here, but Olive turned out to be the easiest puppy I've ever had the pleasure (or misfortune, depending on the day and the dog) to raise.  (For the record, Bumper was the naughtiest and, as we all know, Patsy was off the charts.) Olive was exactly what this house needed. Something happy in the midst of our sorrow and worry. Our reward for all the hard, horrible stuff that happened with Patsy.
In too short a time, she became our Only Dog. She has helped my broken heart to (mostly) heal. 

Olive had her moments. She is the first dog in this family that needed the Cone of Shame.
She grew up quickly,

June 2012
June 2013
 and learned to play tetherball...

She likes to chase squirrels, and checks the trees frequently.
Tennis balls are her favorite toy.
Our happy dog.
We love her.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Shawl

Dear Mom,
When it comes to lace knitting, blocking is magic. Fresh off the needles, lace looks like a hole-y rag. One could look at it and wonder why she fussed over it for so long. But when it is blocked and off the pins....oh my.
I am unable to take any photos that do this shawl justice. And photos cannot let you feel how whispery soft and light this shawl is.

I used one of my favorite yarns- Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. The pattern is Claire's Shawl.

This shawl is intended for a most knit-worthy soul sister-in-law. I cannot wait to put it into her hands.


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Sharing the Love

Dear Mom,
Button Love.
I offered a Shrinky Dink button class at the yarn shop on Monday. Only one person signed up, but she made some very cute buttons for her Alpine Tweed sweater.

Outlander Love,
For a cherished sister-in-law and fellow Outlander fan.
Claire's Shawl (inspired by the books)- off the needles and on the blocking wires as I write this.
The shawl measures @ 62 inches, square. I had to clear floor space in the Young Lady's bedroom to block this. I needed a spot behind a closed door. I could just imagine Olive deciding to nap right in the middle of it. A large fan is blowing to speed up the drying process. This pitiful photo was taken with me standing on the bed. I'll take much nicer, detailed photos when the shawl is dry.

Labor of Love.
The Young Lady wants a Dr Who Scarf. The yarn has been purchased. The scarf is started. Eleventy two miles of striped garter stitch. The only thing worse would be eleventy two miles of plain garter stitch. Thank heavens there is no deadline on this one. I've fallen asleep twice while working on it and I've only managed about 8 inches. Not even photo worthy at this point.

Gardening Love.
Not Rabbit love.
Apparently, the peas, spinach and lettuce I planted were for the rabbits. grrrrrrr.
Yes. Those beautiful, healthy, 18 inches high pea plants are nothing but naked stubs. The spinach? Gone. I don't know how those varmints got in, but they were rewarded for their efforts.