Thursday, December 31, 2009

Belated Christmas

I know it's very late. I hope my regular readers will forgive the delay. We were busily celebrating with the Tiny Prince.

Every day is a celebration when there are little people in the house! Tiny Prince and his mama were able to visit for an entire week!

We had so much fun!

There were books to read.

And new clothes to wear (Santa brought socks.)

Aside: Santa always brings new socks. I never get new socks in my stocking (or new nail clippers or a new toothbrush). What do you suppose is up with that?

Uncle Cool brought most of the goggies to visit.

That's Belle, Katie, and Helen. Belle is the Forever Dog; the other two (and Beetle) are Foster Dogs, though, I suspect, they are really Forever Dogs, too.

Helen was badly neglected, but is regrowing her fur (how long do you suppose a dog has to sit in her own pee to burn all the fur off her tail?) She's settling in at the zoo.

Attention: You read it here! The Other Half and I are not adopting Helen!

Belle's place is right in the thick of things. She doesn't care what's going on as long as she's included.

Here's a favorite toy: Thomas the Tank Engine "starter" set.

I hear that these things can be a huge empty pit money suck.

They look so innocent!

Another favorite toy.

What did little boys do before there were Matchbox cars?

Was there ever a time before Matchbox cars?

Is that all??

Can I play now?


For me?

All in all, it was a wonderful Christmas and a very wonderful visit. The Tiny Prince has gone home. The house is very quiet and very empty.


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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Things You Can Learn From Books

Bedtime reading these days has been of a technical nature: Hands On Rigid Heddle Weaving (Betty Linn Davenport) and Learning to Weave (Deborah Chandler).

Let's say that I am learning a lot!

For example (eyes left): this is how I have been balancing my loom--on the edge of the desk and on my knees.

The knees part is working just fine, thank you, but here's a tip I picked up from Chandler:

That little leg. It holds things steady.


What an improvement! Okay "a lot" might be stretching things, but it really made a difference.

I have a stand for my Flip on order (or should I say, on backorder). Everywhere I looked on line, it was out of stock. I finally gave up expecting it in time for Christmas and just ordered it!
It's the Other Half's Christmas present to me. It will get here eventually and all will be even better.

And for those keeping score, here's the scarf. I discovered one knot in the ribbon that I missed while I was warping. Then the bobbly stuff broke (oh, noes!), but only one warp thread.

I fixed it (not entirely according to the rules) and it stayed fixed until I got past that spot.
The scarf is going to need a lot of babying to get the bobbles and the fuzz where they need to be. I'm not displeased.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Remember Fraggle Rock!

Intriguing, no? From the latest issue of Handwoven.

I started subscribing even before I had my loom, because it's all about the creativity.

This one attracted my attention because a recent grab bag purchase and some swapping and a tiny bit of Dollar Tree buying

left me with these "novelty" yarns. (Some of them are actually quite nice.) I got good value for my money as there were some gorgeous hand-painted laceweight yarns in the bags.

But there were also lots of fuzzy ones. The Other Half suggested that this photo looks a bit like a Fraggle Rock reunion. I see his point!

And the "winners" are (l-r) Online Linie 185 Smash-Irisee (fuzzy and sparkly), Katia Rumba Mix (bobbly), and Scholana Sangria (ribbon).

The turquoise is some very thready cotton stuff that I tripled up using my ball winder. I debating between it and a white Red Heart baby pompadour for the weft.

The loom is warped. Please note my new 8-dent reed! This was a royal pain to warp. It didn't help that the warping peg jumped ship mid-warp. Bad words were said.

I have woven the scrap border (that would be 5 picks--passes across the loom) and I am now anticipating that I will never again warp with bobbly, or fuzzy, or ribbony yarn.



Sunday, December 20, 2009

Really, Truly Finished

Well, except for the actual "finishing" (the washing and the pressing). And the fringe making. And such. Oh, and the removing of the scrap yarn at the very beginning.

Okay, it's not quite as done as I thought. I'll do the rest this evening.

There was tiny ball of the yarn (Red Heart Sport) left. The size is just right. There's no need for a button.

Though a shawl pin might be nice.

Here's a close-up of the woven fabric.The pattern (pseudo-plaid) is formed by the variegation in the yarn.

Have I mentioned that I really like the way it came out?


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Little Things Mean a Lot!

Just some odd ball useage to report.
Catnip mice made from scraps (not odd balls, true scraps) of worsted weight wool yarn.

These are a mix of Lopi and some recycled tweedy stuff.

Recipe: (as I remember) cast on 18 stitches on needles that are way too small for the yarn used. You want these TIGHT! Join and knit in the round for about 18 rounds. Decrease 3 stitches every other round or so until 3 stitches remain. Draw up weave in "nose" ends.

Stuff with the yarn ends you snipped off and good quality catnip. Sew "butt" closed.

Thread 3 12" or so strands of yarn through the butt. With 3 6" bits hanging on each side, and using 2 strands together, braid the "tail." Finish tail with an overhand knot. Trim.

Find a cat.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Weaving a Tale

or a shawl

As projects go, this one isn't taking terribly long (unlike, say, Hey Teach, or the Wallaby of Death), but I am really anxious to get it off the loom! I have projects swimming around in my brain and they Want To Come Out and onto said loom.

Unlike my knitting projects, for which I have dozens of tools (needles), I have only one loom (and that's quite enough, thanks, to anyone who might be reading and hoping for a gift hint) unless you count the potholder loom I acquired for sampling. (Let me tell you how well that's working out. . .)

On the other hand, I wouldn't turn down a stand. . .(okay, it's already ordered--and backordered)

The last two issues of Handwoven have had wonderful looking scarves that just scream for some of the (very small) stash of novelty yarns that I have on hand. And I want to weave a wool rug (okay, a wool mat) and I can't do either (any?) until I free up the loom.

This time, I was determined that I would track how much I have woven. You know, so I'd have an idea of how much I still have to weave.

All on my own (really), I concocted the idea of tying on a string every 6 inches of woven stuff.

What I failed to do was ensure that the little bits of thread I used as my markers stayed on the outside of the rolled woven fabric.


So I really don't know for sure how much I still can weave, though that will also be dictated by how much weft I still have on the shuttle.

If the woven length isn't sufficient for wrapping (around shoulders, thrown around the neck), I have a Plan B in mind (button closure on the front edge), but I'd really rather not go there. You know?


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scrappy Things

The leftover blues and greens from the last scrapghan are put to great use in this newest version. I added some warm tones to brighten it up.

This one will be donatedto the annual Casino Night at our local residential rehab hospital.

Rotary sponsors the event and donates the prizes for the residents. It's lots of fun and laprobes are in demand (as are those tote things that attach to walkers).

Particulars: Mitered squares based on 15M15 and 30M30. Yarn is all acrylic, mostly Red Heart. Needles: size 7. It will be about 32"X36". I am debating an edging to neaten it up. Perhaps i-cord. Or maybe not.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thirty Nine Years and Counting

Thirty-nine years ago today, the Other Half and I tied the knot. The weather, as I recall, was miserable. Central PA in December can be! We forgot to make plans for the drive to the reception (!) and almost wound up walking. Fortunately, OH's brother gave us a lift.

It was a quiet day (and evening). We started the day at the diner (as we do every Saturday) and had breakfast with our Younger Son.

Then we made our annual trek to The Mall (I hate in-person shopping, so it takes something pretty special to get me there). It was my hour (11-noon) to Ring Bells for the local Salvation Army, something my Rotary Club has done for years and years.

I was fortunate, this year to be teamed up with Father F, an Episcopal priest, who is former military chaplain, and has travelled around. I was set for interesting networking/bonding and conversation.

What I wasn't expecting was that Fr. F is a singer! Oh, my, yes, and soon, we were singing in 2-part harmony. All the old carols and Christmas songs, people (donors) were singing along with us! The hour flew by!

The Other Half refused to join in, so we sent him to the other side. Do Not Rain On This Parade!


Monday, December 07, 2009

How We Spent Our Sunday

The train exhibit at America on Wheels was every bit as wonderful as we expected.

There were several separate set-ups, one a coal mining town, one a small village. There was a circus (yes, complete with tiny animals) and a very Wild West (complete with teepees) display.

Everybody had lots of fun (Daddo included). It was so tempting to touch. But touching is not safe.

Perhaps Santa might bring the Tiny Prince his own train.

We shall see.

Whooooo whooooooooooooo

Of course, there's more to wheels than just trains, so the Tiny Prince took an opportunity to drive a race car!

This car runs on imagination. We have lots of that!

And what could be more fun than gravity and matchbox cars?

There's opportunity for hands on play at America on Wheels.

There's also a party room where there was a birthday party in progress. What fun!

AoW hosted the train exhibit to benefit Toys for Tots and Second Harvest Food Bank.

The exhibit runs through December 27.

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

It's a good thing we went to the playground yesterday! Today the weather has been cold and pissy (technical term) from start to finish.

Ther was no playing outside, and then, it started to snow!

Good thing Mammo had a hat On the Needles! Yarn: Patons Classic Wool in your choice of colors. Cast on 80, join, and rib for about 5 inches. Stripe (or not) decrease at 8 points down to 10 stitches. Draw up and fasten off.

Then, pick up some stitches (I did 15) twice, about 20 stitches apart (10 stitches each side of the center back) on the inside where the ribbing ends. Make earflaps (I ribbed them), end in i-cord.

Weave in all the ends.

Find a head that needs a hat.


(It's really hard to get a good closeup!)

((Even the secondary flash doesn't help.))

(((But we still think he's pretty cute!)))

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Friday, December 04, 2009

They're Here!

The Tiny Prince and his mama arrived!

We had a busy afternoon, fighting sleep even though we (imperial "we") clearly needed a nap. So we went to the park and played instead.

Dinner was cozy, but the Tiny Prince was ready for Bath and Bed, so his Loyal Subjects complied.

Good night, Tiny Prince.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

End Of a Long Week

Yes, I know it's only Thursday, but for me, the week is over! I am off tomorrow and
all most of next week. Hooray for vacation time!

And of course, aside from the obvious very pleasant down time, the Tiny Prince is arriving noonish tomorrow.

We have a full long weekend planned!

First thing Saturday morning, we'll have breakfast at the diner with Uncle Cool, then, it's off to the Farmers Market to buy meat and chix and veg for the week. Maybe we'll get bacon (mmm, bacon) for Sunday breakfast. After that, depending on how sunny the day and the Tiny Prince are, we might go to the park and play on the swings and climby things.

Sunday is special. We are going to see the trains!

There will likely be pictures. There will definitely be fun!

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