Saturday, April 30, 2011

Short Post

I had a fabulous day at the quilt show at Sauder Village in Ohio.  Unfortunately I came home with an unbelievable headache so I've popped some pills and am going to bed.

Update to yesterday's post courtesy of Nicola Brown -- The wrap in the post was actually created by one of her students at last year's workshop in California.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Coming Up Soon

I'm taking a wet felting workshop on May 21st in Plainwell, MI with the fabulous Nicola Brown of 'Clasheen' fame.  I'll be making a Nuno Felted Mosaic Scarf.  If it turns out half as well as Nicola's Wrap version, seen on the right, I'll be ecstatic!  My friend Tanya will be taking the workshop with me and I can guarantee we'll be working hard.  There could be openings still for the workshop so contact Dawn Edwards at to see if you can get in on the fun.


Yesterday was a crazy day at the office.  It was our annual Take Our Daughters And Sons to Work Day.  The noise was unbearable at times since my cubicle is located beside the main conference room, where they met and played games.  Why did they think it was okay to run up and down the hallway?  Yippee.  The best part of the day was this:
I hate to break it to you but that's not a real beagle.  It's Georgia, my poor co-worker, stuck inside an insanely hot costume for hours while 'charming' little 8-12 year olds stood beside her for a photo.  I know there's at least one co-worker besides me who's glad that event is over.

I finished washing my new woven scarf and it dried yesterday at the office.  I took a couple of photos on my phone:

I'm very pleased with the way scarf turned out.  I've learned a lot and can't wait to start the next one!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Door to Door Organics

I just love getting my bi-weekly box of fresh, organic produce.  Even though Door to Door Organics sends me a  heads-up email the Friday before the Tuesday delivery, I still love to break open the box and see what sort of goodies await.  

And here is what they sent as my bonus:
Yep, a turnip.  I don't think I've ever bought a turnip.  I've eaten them a time or two.  Now I need to cook this one up.  What should I do with it???

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Done, Done, Diddley Done

Spell check does not like 'diddley' but I don't care!  I have finished my first woven scarf!!!!!  You know what?  It was virtually pain-free.

I have been sucked into the world of weaving.  If I had room for it, I'd get a floor loom in a heartbeat!  But alas, until that roommate of mine finds a) a girlfriend, b) an apartment, I'm afraid I will have to 'make do' with my rigid heddle loom.

Oh, don't feel too sorry for me.  I have a feeling that Emilia and I will be good friends.  Here are the pics I took of me finishing the ends.  The first one has the 'waste' yarn and the scarf before knotting the fringe:

The second photo is after removing the waste weft and tying the fringe: 

I've learned a lot from my first project but all in all, I love the scarf.  I've washed it in the usual Head 'n Shoulders Shampoo/Conditioner and now it's drying.  Looking mighty good, if I do say so myself.

Today after work I drove out to a quilting friend's house to relieve her of some unwanted yarn.  The best thing in the whole lot was some weaving yarn -- woohoo!  There was some acrylic yarn, which I dropped off at Judith's house since she's our knitting guild's charity project coordinator.

A man came by the house to give me a price for grinding down the stump in my backyard.  He wants $175 so I think I'll keep looking.  I also need some wacky wasp nest taken down from the tree in my front yard.  There's always something to do around here.  Wish I could just weave all day.................

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Vacuums, Turn Signals, and Looms

I bet in your wildest dreams you would never put those three items together in a thought.  I did.

When I was a teenager, my sister Renee was trying to teach me to drive a car with a manual transmission.  We went out on dirt roads (they're not dirt anymore) and she told me when I needed to make a right hand turn, pull the turn signal arm up -- like an upright vacuum (up, right).  I've never forgotten that and you know what?  It came in handy with my new loom.

The heddle is either in the up position or down position when you feed the shuttle across.  Guess what?  It needs to be in the up position when I'm passing the shuttle from the right side of my weaving to the left side -- up, right -- AMAZING!!!

For Eddie, and anyone else who's been wondering -- the warp is the lengthwise threads/yarns in a woven piece, and the weft is the crosswise threads/yarns.

Tonight I got another 20" woven on my scarf in about an hour.  Next time I weave I'll keep better track of my time and inches woven so I can tell if this is going to be a quicker method for making scarves than knitting.  My gut instinct says 'yes'.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Humming Along

I'm making great progress on my first woven scarf.  It's already 42" long and I've really only worked on it for about 3 hours so far.  I've found that I can weave standing up or sitting down so that might keep me from getting stiff.

Tonight when I told my friend Harriet how I was zipping along I had no idea just how much I'd woven, guessing it was about 20".  Way off!  I actually measured it to see for sure and now I'm about half way done.  Or as I said to Harriet, I'm done when I either run out of warp or weft, whichever comes first!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Another shop closes :`(

Sad to say that Woodland Woolworks is going out of business.  They have a lovely website and if you hurry you can take advantage of their sale, while things last.  I noticed a lot is already sold out but I still managed to score some weaving tools, a book, and a couple of cones of wool to use for warping projects.  HURRY -- THINGS ARE GOING QUICKLY!!

P.S.  The discount code you need to use on the order form is 'Going'.

First Weaving Attempt

I promised pictures of my weaving adventure yesterday at Kristi's house and here they are!  The warping process went reasonably well, although I got crooked and had to fix it.  I think the tension wasn't as even as it needed to be so I'm a little wonky but that's ok for a first project.  It might even itself out when I block it.

Like most new endeavors, I've learned a lot about how not to do things and fixing my mistakes.  I just wish I'd taken notes!  I used leftover Paton's wool for the warp and Colinette Prism for the weft.

I'm not sure if I chose the wrong size heddle (10 Dent) or if the Paton's wool is the culprit, but when the heddle was in the down position, the warp did not rise to the top of the heddle uniformly.  When that happens, I have to manually move them to the top so the shuttle can pass through.  

All in all, I think it's turning out pretty well and I can't wait to finish it and get it off the loom.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Glorious Day

Today was full of sunshine and we made it to the low 70s for temperatures in my area.  I was lucky enough to visit a new friend who lives on one of the many beautiful lakes in Oakland County.  Kristi offered to help me get my loom set up and show me how to weave.

Kristi's husband, Dave, also weaves, so between the three of us we got my loom put together, warped, and about 8" woven as of tonight.  I've move the loom and its stand into my craft cave and I'll get back to working on it tomorrow.  I had to re-load my shuttle so I figured it was a good time to take a break.

I'll post some progress pictures tomorrow.  Too tired tonight to do the photo editing.

I'm liking it so far, but man, there sure is a LOT to learn!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Make a Difference

Today is Earth Day and if everyone on the planet changed just one thing that would be 6 billion changes.  That's a big number and so easy when you think you just have to commit to things like using cloth grocery bags, drinking tap water, planting a tree or combining errands on the same day.

I watched this video and it made me really think -- how easy it is to make a difference in someone's life, even someone you don't even know.

Tonight I'm taking my quilting friend Carol (Carol had to bail on me, literally) Mary to hear the Detroit Chamber Winds play at Hagopian Rugs in Birmingham.  We're going to the new Olga's Fresh Market Grille restaurant first.  Then we can knit while the clarinet quartet entertains us.  Should be a nice, relaxing evening for both of us.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Done for another year............

Tonight, after work, I had my annual refrigerator test.  The radiology tech took one extra view so my fingers are crossed there's nothing wrong!  Glad I won't need another one of those for a whole year.  There was no one there tonight -- the waiting room was cleared out.  This was good for me since it was nearly 7 pm, but I hope other women are taking care of things.................  Say, have you had your mamm for the year yet????

I started Maggie out on a new version of Pure Vita dog food -- Duck & Oatmeal.  I'm mixing it with the previous variety, Salmon & Potatoes, so it doesn't upset her tummy.  She licked her bowl clean, even clanking it around, getting every last morsel.  I guess she likes it!

Tomorrow's Good Friday but we don't get the day off from work.  At most, they used to let us out an hour or two early, but this is a new team with new bosses and it's not looking too good for 'early release'.  I can't wait for the weekend -- I'm going to assemble my new Emilia loom, get it warped and finally make something!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I Smell a Rat

Literally.  I have slept poorly for the past several nights.  Last night I got home late from my quilt stitch group meeting, did some more work on the treasurer's report, then started my virus scan after getting a threatening pop up supposedly from Google.

Then the thunderous rain storm struck and I was in panic mode that the virus scan was still running and my computer could get fried from a lightning strike.  Thank goodness the scan finished without any clean up required and I headed to bed about 1 am.

But then, it started to permeate.  It wafted through the heat register into my bedroom.  The unmistakable smell of ........a dead rat.  Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.  It wasn't completely unexpected though it certainly wasn't welcome.  I live in the city, near restaurants, a Legion hall, and a party store -- duh!   I had Terminix come out on Monday to 'take care of things' and apparently it worked.

I hurried into the bathroom to retrieve the air freshener and sprayed here and there all over the house.  When I finally put my head on my pillow, the thunderstorm was still carrying on but I was tired enough to drift off to sleep.

Terminix is coming back on Monday to remove the carnage.  Seems my roommate, who was here when the exterminator was here, neglected to ask when they'd come back, believing HE would have to go into the crawl space to retrieve the carcasses.  I called today and got him off the hook.  Until then, my register will be CLOSED!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rocking Chairs

Yesterday I wrote about the PBS series, 'Craft in America'.  I really marveled at the talents of the late furniture maker, Sam Maloof.  Here's a collection of rocking chairs that he designed and crafted so meticulously.  I sure wish I had a chair that he made.  I would take hours to pick one out.  I'd have to try each of them out to be sure I picked the very best one for me.  Remember when I was picking out the carry on luggage last month???

They are positively beautiful and anyone who is lucky enough to own one sure better appreciate it!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Make yourself a cup of tea.....

......and put your feet up.  Tonight I gave myself the night off.  Except for a couple of loads of laundry, I just relaxed.  I poured myself a class of Chenin Blanc and watched three great PBS shows that I found by accident.  I discovered the 'Craft in America' series and watched episodes I, III, and IV.  I skipped II because it didn't interest me.  I hope you'll set aside time to view each of these shows -- there's a lot to learn and much to enjoy.  I especially enjoyed the piece with Sam Maloof, master furniture maker, who was still working at age 90 when this was filmed.  Sadly, he died nearly two years ago at the age of 93.

I did skip through the intros to each episode -- not fond of their version of the old Shaker hymn, 'Tis a Gift'.

I still need to view episode V, when I have another free hour.  Hope that is soon.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Knickers in a Bunch

I'll admit it.  My knickers are in a bunch.  My biscuits are burned.  I'm bent out of shape.

Why?  Because on Wednesday when my daughter finds out the sex of my forth-coming grandchild, she will not tell me the results.  Period.  Done.  I will have to wait until the baby shower to find out.

So that means that anything I want to knit up for the shower will have to be unisex.  I am so annoyed.  I have a million possibilities to knit and no direction.

I put my stand for the loom together today.  Probably not a great idea since I'm so upset.  But it's done and there was minimal swearing involved.

Worse yet, while assembling the stand I nearly burned my beets when the water ran out in the saucepan.  Ugh.  I made some white and sweet potatoes, just in case, to go with some baked Salmon.  The house smells SO good - NOT!

Today Kevin and I cleaned up the back yard and re-organized the shed.  3 hours of work in 30 MPH winds -- woohoo!  It snowed, it hailed, it sleeted (is that a word?!).  It's probably the earliest we've cleaned up the yard in years.

On the bright side, here's the knitted purse I bought yesterday at the Spring Fling:

Apparently, it was made by Lori.  Hope that doesn't confuse people in case I misplace my bag.  I love the rayon fabric and the fact that you wear it across the body -- keeps your hands free to shop, talk on the cell, etc.  

Well, I'm off to finish my dinner and try to relax before heading to bed early.  I want to get into the office early to try and get caught up after taking Friday off.  I have a one-on-one meeting with my new manager in the afternoon.  That should be interesting!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Such a nice day!

Despite the dreary rainy day today, it really was a nice day!  My friends Sue, Kate, and Harriet rode along with me to the Black Sheep Weavers Guild's Spring Fling in Highland.  There was so much to look at and it was really nice that items were grouped by color families.  That's Kate way in the back in the bright green jacket, looking over an item.

I really enjoyed perusing all of the tables, going back and forth and back again.  There was so much to see it was easy to overlook something!  Here are a few of my favorite things for sale:
 A much better looking Chicken Rug than my homely chicken rug.

  A beautiful quilted wall hanging -- love all the colors and the precision piecing!

 This woven wrap was stiffened to create its shape.

This woven piece was one of many by this artist -- absolutely lovely!

Isn't this 3 dimensional felted horse amazing??!!

Kate and Sue were successful shoppers:

I made a couple of purchases but haven't taken photos yet, maybe tomorrow.

After we left the show we stopped to turn onto Main Street and look what we saw:

You don't see this type of 'filling station' much anymore.  Notice the "lead" gas sticker on the pump??  The station has a 'No Gas Today' sign in the window.  Whoever owns it has kept up the building nicely.

We headed over to Cinco Lagos in downtown Milford for lunch.  It was MMM, MMM, good!  Sue and Harriet had Margaritas:

Kate and I did not.  I ordered the Two Fish Taco plate:

Here we are just before chowing down.  I swear I never take a good picture and this is proof positive:

Once we finished devouring our lunch we headed over the the Knitting Circle yarn shop to browse a bit.  Each of us found something that had to go home with us in this cute and friendly shop, just down from the restaurant.  I was looking for yarn to use when I start weaving and found some cottons that I hope will do the trick plus a couple of skeins of milk/wool blend yarn.  Yes, milk.  Made by Kollage Yarns.  Can't wait to see how it works up.

As we were heading out of Milford toward home, I spotted this Knitting Graffiti:
I don't remember ever seeing knitting graffiti in person before anywhere else -- a first!  After looking at the photo in close up, I think it's actually crocheted, not knitted.  That's the beauty of photo software!

See...I told you it was a nice day!

Friday, April 15, 2011

34 Seconds

Today I took my first PTO day since my 'vacation' ended on March 1st, just to do my taxes.  After several stressful hours I finally finished and e-filed them.  Glad that's done for another year.  

Do you have 34 seconds for a guaranteed laugh?  My sister Denise sent me this video and it made me laugh out loud.  Maybe it was because my dog's name is Maggie, too, and I could relate!

Tomorrow morning I'm heading off to do something fun (in direct contrast to doing my taxes!) -- attend the Spring Fling put on by the Black Sheep Weavers Guild.  I've never attended before but now that I'm going to learn to weave, I'm really looking forward to checking out the goods and maybe pick a few brains while I'm there.  I'm going with my friends Sue, Kate, and Harriet and we'll be dodging road construction and some heavy rain.  I better go find my rain boots and a sturdy umbrella!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Over the Moon

Tuesday night was knit guild and it was our Sneaky Sheep Swap reveal.  I made a scarf using KFI Bubbles and Anny Blatt mohair for my recipient:
I made it for member Sue Hall, who I don't recall ever meeting and who missed the meeting, so I still don't know her!  My secret knitter was Diane, who made this fabulous neck gaiter and matching fingerless mitts:

Diane used Fleece Artist's Blue Faced Leicester wool -- one of my favorites!

But as delighted as I was about my exchange, I was over the moon happy that this arrived while I was at work:

This was inside:

Still wondering what it is that's got me so giddy????  IT'S A RIGID HEDDLE WEAVING LOOM!  I also got a stand to go with it and hopefully I'll be weaving on it before too long.  My quilting friend Kristi has offered to show me how to warp it and get going and she's also going to help my friend Kate warp her floor loom (hear that Kate?)  We'll be cranking woven lovelies out in no time, right?

Saturday morning I'm picking Kate up and then Harriet and we're heading out to Highland for the Black Sheep Weavers Guild Spring Fling, show and sale.  Woohoo!  It might be raining cats and dogs but I won't care.  I'm ready to absorb everything about this new-to-me craft.  I'm hoping it might help me crank out scarves faster and possibly (ok, I'm realistic, not likely) use up some of my yarn stash.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


My new job has me thinking waaaay too hard.  It's like playing a game of Concentration -- trying to remember where I read a little blip about one thing that relates to another thing.  Right now, everything I've been spending time on is in the process of being re-evaluated.  They were going in one direction, put on the brakes, and headed off in a different direction.

Tonight I had a nice meal with my friend Eddie at the Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak.  He gave me a great quilt book, full of Log Cabin quilt patterns but done with a modern flair.  We both had the delicious Mac & Cheese -- yummo!

When I returned home I got busy scanning my business receipts into my computer so I can get going on my taxes. I scanned in over 50 receipts - phew!  

Next up, the GLHQ guild meeting tomorrow night where we're having quilt historian, Beth Donaldson from the MSU Quilt Museum.  She'll talk about 1930's quilts, a new topic for our guild.  I'm taking a vintage quilt that belongs to my knitter friend Kim, so people can evaluate it's condition and advise on a possible repair job to the backing.  A co-worker is interested in having a pictorial quilt made of her dog so I'll be checking on that, too.

Busy day ahead.  Time for bed for me!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

About Me

I found this interesting Q&A in alphabet form on Courtney's Sassafras & Winterberry blog.  Here's my list:

Age: 50 Bed Size: Queen Chore You Hate: Raking the lawn Dogs: Wire Haired Fox Terrier Essential Start of Your Day: Hall's Cherry Cough Drop Favorite Color: Green Gold or Silver: Silver Height: 4'10" Instruments You Play(ed): Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax Job Title: Technology Liaison Kids: 2 great adults Live: Michigan Mom's Name:Verna Nicknames: Suz Overnight Hospital Stays: Baby deliveries, gall bladder surgery Pet Peeve: Cheaters Quote From a Movie: "Oh, Fiddle dee dee" Right- or Left-Handed:Right Siblings: 3 sisters Time You Wake Up: 6 am Underwear: Never wear thongs Veggie You Dislike: peas What Makes You Run Late: Trying to do too much in too little time X-Rays You Have Had: Dental, sinus, full body Yummy Food You Make: White Bean Stew Zoo Animal You Like Best: Polar Bears

Got a blog?  Your turn!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Kid in a Candy Store

I'm not sure how life could get any better.  Have you ever been dreaming about a knitting project and wished you could make up you own yarn?  You'll have to check out Yarnia and you won't have to keep dreaming. They have a multitude of fibers and colors for you to choose from and at a price that is very reasonable!  Be sure to watch the video to see the process of making cones of your very own yarn.  It could be your signature yarn!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Running out of time!

I have a lot of work to do to get my taxes done and got zero done today.  I put the kitchen back together and finished the laundry -- phew!  Spring cleaning done in the Spring!  It was 81ºF today -- beautiful day.

I went to the yarn shop to knit with the ladies this afternoon and finished my Sneaky Sheep Swap item.  No clues, no pictures -- you'll have to wait until Tuesday night, once I've given it away.

Here are some pictures of the Moss Agate Shawl that I finished up in New Jersey:

I used a skein each of Colinette Point 5 and Rowan Kid Silk Haze.  I used size 17 needles so it was a bit clumsy and slower than you'd think.  It's going in my inventory stash for the Fall shows.

As promised, here are a couple of items I purchased last Saturday at the Hook-In:
A hooked sheep pin made by Kris Miller of Spruce Ridge Studios

And a maple bowl made by the husband of my hooking friend Connie.  It's a really small bowl, maybe 4" across but it's adorable, just like the sheep pin!

And with that, I'm off to do some receipt scanning in preparation of Schedule C for my taxes.  It's a busy week ahead with both the knitting and quilting guilds meeting, so there won't be a lot of spare time for taxes.  I sure do wish I'd made more headway today.  But....taxes aren't due until a week from tomorrow so I should be able to get them filed on time, right???

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Duh Winning!

Not trying to keep up with Mr. Sheen, but I hit the jackpot today with the plumber Kevin had found.  He was prompt, good, and cheap.  When was the last time you said that about a plumber?  I even told Todd I had never met a plumber I liked until he showed up.

Todd snaked out the kitchen line and was done in about 20 minutes.  Everything is working great now and I've washed a bunch of dishes and several loads of clothes/towels/rugs.  I'm trying a new-to-me laundry soap from Method,  It comes in a really small bottle with a pump dispenser and you only need 4 squirts per wash load -- too darn handy!

I got a new floor mat for the kitchen sink (too many blotches of sewage yuck on the old one), a new dish drainer, and roll out organizers for under the sink.  The area has to dry out a bit so tomorrow I'll put it all back together and take a photo.

I went to the anniversary sale at Ewe-Nique Knits and picked up some sale yarn and a new sweater pattern.  It's called Lily Cardigan and it's a top-down, which I l-o-v-e.  I chose an oak shade of Elsebeth Lavold's "Silky Wool" and I think it will be a versatile sweater when it's done.

Unfortunately, before I can begin knitting this sweater I HAVE to get my taxes done.  They're due on 4/18 this year but I don't want to get too close to the deadline.  Normally I have them completed long before the deadline, but all of my left brain energy has been spent learning my new job.  If I don't have my taxes done by next Saturday, I'll be filing an extension - something I've never done before.  So if you need me tomorrow, I'll be in my craft room, pouring over my taxes!

Friday, April 8, 2011

We now return.... our regularly scheduled blogging.

I don't like when I miss blogging.  Even if no one even reads my prose, I still enjoy getting thoughts out of my head and onto paper cyberspace.  Several days on the road left me unable to write and that just led to clutter in my poor little head.

Last Saturday I attended the Hook In in Ann Arbor with my friends Jackie and Kate, and about 300 other hookers.  I bet you had no idea there was such interest in rug hooking but I assure you, that place was full of rabid, enthusiastic hookers.  The vendors were kept busy all day.  Because there are so few local shops to help enable hookers with their craft, everyone comes to the hook in ready to open up their wallets and help the small businesses who bring their wonderful wares.  I don't have pictures of the things I bought but hopefully I'll take some photos tomorrow and share them with you.  

Here's a shot of Jackie (the hooking new-bie) and Kate:

I got about 1/4 of the way around the Lighthouse rug with my corded binding but don't have a picture of my progress.  In the meantime, here are some of the rugs other hookers brought for all to enjoy:

So much creativity, right?  I liked the fireplace screen with the clever board it was mounted to.  The chicken rug is much nicer than my homely chicken rug.  And isn't Polly Minick's Pledge of Allegiance rug great?!

Tomorrow is a monthly Thrums & Chums meeting in Brighton but I'll have to miss it so that I can be here when the plumber shows up to fix the kitchen pipe debacle.  Pray for me that he can fix it fast and cheap!