Monday, July 4, 2011

Knitting, Spinning and Kitten....

I am back, yes it has been a while - I have been spending time cleaning and sprucing up the outside and the inside of our home.  The inside to me is a constant process because I love to paint!  I cannot paint a picture for the life of me or even draw - not even a stick figure - but I can paint walls till no tomorrow and I love it.  I have been in my home for 10 years and have painted the whole house over 3 times already and some already their 4th time - and still painting.  Love the fresh smell and new color - I love color and I love a new look - maybe too much  !  Good thing hubby doesn't mind - he comes home and never knows what color a room will be.  Works for me.
Another thing that has been keeping me busy is this little guy:

This is Junior - He is 8 weeks old now - it all started when my daughter went to the APF (animal protective foundation) and picked up a gorgeous kitten - his name is Jasper - and he is adorable - playful and full of personality - I just love him.  I was jealous and two weeks later had to come home with my little one - of course he was 6 weeks old when he came home with us - neutered and has his shots - but boy was he tiny.  I could hold him in the palm of my hand.  He was so quiet and not playful at all.  Then two weeks went by and now he is into all his toys and playing and just loves to cuddle - I think that is his favorite thing to do.  He purrs forever and ever.  Sweet little boy.
Here is a picture of my daughters kitten - he is now 4 months old - I really think he is a Bengal tiger mix cat - the vet thinks so as well.

Is he not gorgeous!  Here he is 3 months old.

Okay so now on to some fibery goodness:  I have been spinning some coopworth fiber that I purchased last year.  It is a pound of fiber .  I split the batch in half and dyed in two different dye baths.  One with more black in it and the other a little lighter - , black, yellow and a purplish color - then I put each batch in a separate bag- carded them with my hand carders (doing this as I go)  and spun a ply of each batch and then plied them together.
Here is the photo of the before and after dye process:

The top photo shows the original Coopworth off the sheep and the bottom shows the darker of the dye baths.  This is 8 oz in this bowl.

Here is the fiber all spun up and plied.  The Larger skein has 160 yards, and the smaller skein is 75 yards , it is between a sport weight and dk weight yarn

I was unsure how the yellow would do in this skein but I actually like the way it turned out.!  Now to keep on spinning and plying.  I have a way to go!  

Yesterday our family spent the day in Saratoga NY just walking around and looking at all the little shops .
One of the indoor mini malls has a new soap shop with hand made soaps.  Just opened two weeks ago.  What a nice surprise - someday I will make my own but for now this is what I purchased at McGillycuddy's

So on the left is Complexion Oatmeal, the middle is Lavender Vanilla Oatmeal
on the right is Tea Tree Dermal.  
All good for the skin. Cannot wait to try these.  
The large Celtic round soap is Rosemary Mint made with Schoharie County Milk Soap.  Smells divine!

Next up went to Common Threads - yarn shop in Saratoga.  I have not been to the shop in a long time.  I went straight to the section where the sock yarn is and found this:


I just adore this yarn , I have to say it is one of my favorites to work with.  I have a pair of socks on the needle right now from a previous skein I purchased that is a darker green colorway .  So soft and cushy.
I plan to make something very pretty with this yarn.  A shawl or something - this really needs to be shown off - I love making socks but I think this deserves a better showing! I love green and the golden rod color and all the orange (which is brighter in person) and all the different shadings of color makes this a fantastic colorway! 
Wish I could take a better photo of this .  I tried several times and this was the best I could get.  It has 440 yards and if my shawl is larger then I will add a yarn to it that I had spun myself for the edging that should compliment this yarn nicely.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Happy Feet and then not so happy ..

As mentioned in the previous post - I finished two out of the four pairs of socks that were in different stages of knitting.
The first pair - are "Plain Vanilla Socks" - originally I used size 2.5 circular needles so that I could try making them on one circular needles and see how I liked them and how quick they were compared to dpn's (double pointed needles) which happen to be my favorite.  I don't know what it is but I love dpn's.
As I finished the socks on the circular - my gauge was off  - sock was huge - casted on 64 stitches and knitting in plain stockinette stitch - created a wide - fabric
It took me a year but I finally ripped the whole thing out as I really love the yarn.  I picked up my 2.25 dpn and casted on 64 stitches, ended up decreases down the foot to 60 stitches which was a much better fit for me.  I tend to think I have fat feet - maybe I really do not.  I do have a size 8 foot though  - but I like a snug sock.
So without further ado:

Plain Vanilla Socks - using Regia - Kaffe Fassett - design line

Here you can see the heel - I picked up two extra stitches to prevent holes and it worked - I really like how there are no holes in the side - great technique - these are pre-blocking.
I have since blocked these and they are so cushy - really love this yarn.

Next up are the socks I made with yarn I won in a give away - it was hand dyed and 100% wool - not washable and no nylon but I wanted to make the infamous "Monkey" socks - this journey started like 2 or more years ago - but I picked them up and finished them

I made sure I worked on these with attention - came out perfect - but as I did soak them in the Eucalan wash and let them air dry - I did throw these two pairs in the dryer to fluff and finish drying - Big Mistake!!! These Monkeys felted - I was so upset with myself - I usually knit socks that can be washed - with sock yarn - but I thought I would remember these would felt - guess what - I didn't remember - I was so annoyed - so now these will fit someone with a size 6 or 6.5 shoe size - ugh
I guess I will have to make more Monkeys.....
till then.
have a sweet , wonderful weekend and enjoy the time with your family and friends.  Time is so precious!
Enjoy every moment.

Monday, May 16, 2011

So Proud....

I have been super busy the past month or so..
and this is why:

My daughter was in our local newspaper - she graduated friday 5/13/11 from Ellis School of Nursing in Schenectady, NY - her hat is being adjusted by her best friend / also her maid of honor in her wedding back in December.  I am so proud of her as she has had a tough time getting through this last rotation of nursing school - but she did it and I am so so so proud of her.
She has an interview this morning at Albany Medical Center  - Albany , NY  for the pediatric unit.  Her wish is to end up in the nicu  .
She will take her boards in July.  I am one proud mama - can you tell.

I have been knitting - really - I have - :) - I decided to take on smaller projects through all this - so I went back and found four pair of socks in all different stages of the knit process - I finished one pair and am on the toe of the second sock of the second pair - make sense?  ?  ha
I will share those with you tomorrow
Please , just share in my joy for now
Thank you so much for your patience and for listening !

Thursday, March 31, 2011

PurlSoho Loot

Last Saturday I took a train from Upstate NY to meet my daughter and her husband who were already in NYC for the weekend  - We had an awesome time,  visited the Bodies Museum which was totally amazing and will definitely go again .  My daughter is in nursing school and will be graduating in May and taking her Boards - her goal as an RN is to work in pedes in a local hospital .  Quite proud of her.

Onto the real deal of visiting the city - yes I wanted to be with my kids but planning a trip to Purl/Soho was an absolute must!  So I had it all mapped out and how to get there and everything from the Museum.  It was so crowded down in the city on Saturday (I should have known)  So much to do that by the time we actually arrived it was 15 minutes to closing time.  Ugh!  Good thing I knew what I wanted.  It is a small shop but packed with such goodness I couldn't even begin to describe it.

My daughter walked away with a yard of  "Innocent Crush" by Anna Maria Horner - Westminster Fabrics
a bit expensive but she fell in love with it and wants me to make an apron out of it for her.  So pretty!

Here is the little card I walked away with from the counter:

If one has never visited their webpage or their shop - One must!  I have no affiliation with them whatsoever except that I am a happy customer.
This is what I walked away with:

Sashiko Anyone???

A couple of Sashiko panels to work on - never done this before but I have done hand quilting and embroidery and cross stitch and love the look of Sashiko - so I am willing to play with this and make them into pillows for my bed.  Someday!  Hopefully soon.  Maybe a nice summer project.  I have all the threads and special needles that help make this project a success

The threads on the left will be for my birds and flowers and the two medium blues on the right will be for the design on the right in the above photo.  I am not a blue person - I prefer green but I think it will be a nice change and the color blue in person is so pretty.  Hard to depict in the photo the true color.

Anyone else enjoy doing Sashiko - any suggestions or comments ??  Please post :)

Thanks for coming and visiting me at my blog.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rose Hill Plantation = Finished!!

I am happy to say that I worked out the chart for 2010 and stitched it all up this morning!  Quite easy !

I am super happy 


I am super happy with the way this turned out!  The fabric is just a little darker than what the photo shows and it is hand dyed linen - 32 count - 
It really did not take long to stitch up.  I had started it back in Sept 2010 - ran out of one of the specialty threads and when I went to pick it up the shop was out of it.  Then I finally picked up the thread and didn't have the time.   Now that my daughter has been married three months I figured it was high time to focus on this project and get it completed.  So glad I did!  I already picked out the frame from the LNS - now all I need to do is give this a good pressing - - using a towel on the back side of the stitched piece and no water in the iron as there are dyed threads in the work and I don't want it to bleed  - patience will get me through the pressing .  Hopefully by Friday I can bring it down to the LNS to have it framed - .  Cannot wait to show you the final piece.

Next up:  I started the LHN  "Love One Another"  - moving quickly - quite cute - 

Isn't he sweet???? - Since there is no back stitching , I was afraid the little lions face wouldn't show up but it does - soft and sweet.  Cannot wait to work on the lamb - (sheep) since I am using Wisper - for the soft wooly look!  Stay tuned!

Also started a HUGE - project - it is a freebie I found on the web - by HAED  called "Dreaming" - will post a photo as soon as I put some stitches in it.  I also have all kitted up another freebie by HAED - called "Stolen" - done in mostly blacks / greys / .  I have the notion of changing the pointy ears so it is more human - I am not into elves - or things of that nature - to each his own :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cross Stitch Update and Stash

Hello again,
Yes I have been busy but I have caught up on my "Rose Hill Plantation" piece by LHN -
I had to graph out the chart so that I can put "Smith Hill Plantation" - and I still need to graph out the chart for 2010 which is the year my daughter got married - Dec 2010 - she went from a Jones to a Smith now! Gotta love it.
All I have to do is finish the flower in the lower right hand box at the bottom and to graph and stitch 2010 in the upper right.  I went to my local cross stitch shop and picked out the frame - it is gorgeous - it has roses carved out in it - cannot wait to have this framed - It is a surprise - my daughter has no idea I am making this and she never ever checks blogs  .  Not even mine :)  That is good I suppose!  I am really happy with this piece!

While at the shop I picked up a few things :  My next project will be "Love One Another"  also by LHN
This will be done on 28 -ct  Cashel linen - in natural - which I purchased today along with DMC 3865 which is winter white and Wisper - which will give the sheep a wooly look and feel.  Excited about that!  I love sheep!

Here are two new charts I picked up as well  

I couldn't figure out how to rotate the photo  - if anyone knows - please tell me :)  Thanks in advance
Anyway this is Just Nan - Bluebird Alphabet = and I purchased the two specialty threads that was needed - I just love greens - this is greens and blues.

OOoops!  Here it is again - turned sideways - cannot figure out how to change that...bummer.
these are really cute charts by LizzieKate - I fell in love with this one as it has a retro feel to it with that mushroom  - sweet!

I sure do hope you have a great weekend - I will be spending the day in Newburgh, NY at an all day Bible Assembly - cannot wait!

Friday, February 11, 2011

amy a la mode

amy a la mode

Check out this blog - and enter to win awesome fabric by the 2/28/11

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


I have had this awesome quilt top that a friend of mine gave me back in the fall - it is a 1930's quilt top that was given to her grandmother and her grandmother has had it in her possession for fifty years plus - she never did anything with it - I was shocked she would give it to me ( I am friends with her grandmother as well)  - She said since you like to quilt that I would appreciate it and could have it.  Wow!
I had it appraised and it is worth about $100 as is without being quilted  - it is all hand pieced and the pattern is called "Hummingbird Pattern" - Quilted it would be worth $500 or more - but I love it so much I am keeping it.
I had the appraiser who is also an avid hand quilter come back and show me how to quilt it and how it would have been done to match its time - larger quilt stitches and 1/4" away from seam - so that is what I am doing.
I am using wool batting which is a dream to quilt with and I am loving every second I can work on it.  I am using quilt quality muslin on the back.
Here it is:
It took me a week to hand baste the quilt.  One of the issues I had to deal with is that some of the blocks were not flat - so no matter what I did I could only baste it the best I could - that is the human aspect of hand quilting - love the fact that I am continuing on with what someone started oh so long ago - this quilt was appraised at the 30's - I am tickled!  I have such a warm feeling and sheer delight that comes over me every time I just look at it!  Handling it is awesome - has such a cozy feeling to it especially with the wool batting - nice loft!  Please slick on the photos to really appreciate it:

Just wanted to give you an idea of the different prints included in this quilt.  I am not a fan of yellow but I love it in this quilt and the white is refreshing .  There were no holes in this quilt at all - a few fingerprint stains which I tried to get out with a special cleaner from the quilt shop.  It didn't fully remove it but it is so light , it is hard to see it.

Now to keep with the vintage theme - this is a fat quarter piece of vintage sheeting that was sent to me along with a pincushion .  I just adore this fabric and now I have started my own collection of vintage sheets and pillowcases to make a quilt.

So many photos to share I have been so busy - but will work on updated this blog more often.  I have a new computer and trying to get used to how to upload photos from my phone to the blog.  It is easy , I just keep forgetting what I need to click on.

In reading news - I am trying to read Romeo and Juliet - never ever read it - time to catch up !  Also an interesting historical book - "A Midwife's Tale"    I am in for some good reads I think!

Please do leave comments :)  Love them!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Awesome Fabric Give A Way

Come join the fun if you love to sew or quilt.  Alamodefabric is having an awesome giveaway.  Go quickly it ends Monday 1/31/11

Best Wishes to you all!