Thursday, December 29, 2011

A New Year and a new obsession

A new year deserves a new craft obsession, doesn't it?  I have been spinning every spare minute these last few weeks.  I love spinning, but sometimes the result was less than great.  I have a terrific single treadle Ashford Traditional, but after 15 minutes spinning, my back would ache and I would have inconsistent single ply's.  I'd stop, adjust my chair, re-orient myself to the wheel and start again.  The aching never stopped.  I recently sat down with a castle wheel, double treadle and miraculously, my back did not ache!  Something to be said for trying new things.

As much as I love the Traddy, I quickly swooned over a double treadle Schacht Matchless and also gave the Lendrum fold-down a good once over.  New, these wheels are pricey, so I made a deal with myself that if I could find a used one for a good price, I'd buy it and sell the Traddy.  After all, there were health risks of continuing to use the Traddy.

After finding a rare posting for a used Schacht Matchless for about half the price of retail on Ravelry, I thought for sure that I'd be happily spinning pain free before the new year.  That Matchless was not going to be mine since another spinner got there before me...

Fortunately another Raveler saw the discussion thread and offered me hers as a backup option.  And she was local!  And the wheel was newer!  And after giving it the first spin, I knew I'd be taking it home and bidding the Traddy a fond farewell.

It was love at first sight (sigh)
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Anything is possible

I happened upon this tutorial:  make-your-own-wooden-buttons and needed to share it!  If you haven't checked out the Zen of Making site, you need to.  As crafty people know, there is always a way to make something out of almost nothing.  This site has a lot of good ideas and a section of tutorials...although I think I'll pass on the rainbow sundress, I like the yarn project bag, especially the snap together yarn guide.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

It's November already?!

I was ok just before Halloween, having a nice relaxing run up into prime knitting season, then whamo!  It's now one week to Turkey and then not much more time until you-know-what...

Someone said there's only 6 weeks left and my heart skipped a beat!  I find I love and don't love this time of year more and more.  I love the spirit of people, the kindness of strangers and the general electricity in the air (plus the OTT house decorations!). BUT, I dread the lists, the crowds, the (gentle) pressure from distant loved ones ("what can we get you and the kids this year?"), knitting on a deadline and the cards...Oh the cards.

Almost every year, we make cards - with ink stamps and a handwritten greeting on each one, to get the kids involved and have a crafty night or three or four.... this year, I am taking the path of least resistance and will be going to an online photo site to produce picture cards, complete with a pre-printed greeting inside.

This year, we will slay our tree and decorate it and the house the day after the turkey is cooked.  We will bake until sugar and flour come out of our ears and give most of it away.  I will spend less time in stores and more time at home and with friends and family.

I will spin more of this:

And knit when I want and not because I have to.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Life gets in the way of doing everything you want to doesn't it? And can throw you curve balls when you least expect it.

I was sick over Christmas, 2010, which was the start of a journey I'd never expected to be on.  The remodel was still going on and finally, beautifully completed over the summer.  Vacations were taken and family and friends visited.  Work was good and busy, but all the while, I was on a parallel and stealth ride of tests and visits to doctors and more tests and research and questions.  Things are good now, I have my priorities straighter than ever before and I am knitting, cooking, working and momming with a renewed sense of purpose and commitment.  Sometimes life's hiccups are just the thing to get you going on the right path again.

Some pics over the last 6 months: Stripe Study, Pont Du Gard, Rousillon FR, fromage!, Circle Socks, Puget Sound Summer Sunset, Kids on vacation

And completed remodel:

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Tale of a Kitchen and Bath Remodel...

3 weeks ago we had a tired old kitchen and a very green bath, a dining room...
a pantry and a wall...

They are now gone and in their place we have a gutted kitchen, a gutted bath, cool solar tubes, & a beam where there once was a wall.

new plumbing and electrical
While this is going on, we have turned our half finished basement into a cozy kitchen, dining, laundry, family room. So far, so good...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Madrona Winter Retreat

I was fortunate to attend Madrona winter retreat this year and take classes from The Yarn Harlot (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee), Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed) and Judith MacKensie
I love that this gathering is 1) close to me 2) there are so many artists and other fiber afflicted people who come from all over to enjoy the camaraderie and reative environment and 3) the market is not too overpowering as to make you want to take a nap after making the rounds.
Have you attended Madrona? What's your favorite part?

knitters lined up for dinner

Not enough time...

I have been a lazy blogger. Actually, I have been a non-blogger for over a year now - there just too much going on to find the time to blog...I really intended to carry on as I go (or whatever the quote is from Elizabeth Z) but work and life continually get in the way.

My knitting is hampered by a numb thumb - a mystery that keeps me up sometimes but I did manage to finish the Traveling Woman Shawl by Liz Abinante in Madeline Tosh Sock - Filigree colorway - love this yarn!

This will be taken on a trip to France this spring! I am proud that I started and finished it in the same month without getting sidetracked by other even more lovely projects.

Next is a ruffle scarf for my friend in France...then maybe I'll get around to some UFO's and more blogging...