Friday, October 9, 2009


Well Autumn is really here- the leaves are changing, I scraped frost off of my car this morning and I could see my breath... It is wonderful. In preparation for winter, I have been knitting myself a new scarf that actually matches my ski jacket and some glittens (flip top mittens with gloves inside!). Here are some pics!

I also made some kick-ass cupcakes for a work colleague's daughter's first birthday! Mmmmm...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Lovely Saturday

A mini-retreat at church today- a wonderful time of quiet. Plus, I just made some kick-ass scones- maybe the best scones ever... Orange cranberry and Lemon blueberry! The key is to freeze EVERYTHING and work fast!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Massive Update

Well I've been busy- just not posting. Part of the problem was that I threw out my back (again) but two weeks later I'm back in commission!
I finally finished the quilt- I LOVE it- it isn't perfect (all of my corners don't match perfectly) but it looks just like I wanted it to- Yummy, yes? Plus it's huge- like queen sized... I didn't origionally intend it to be that big but it just sort of took over...

I've got lots of other knitting and spinning projects going (yes, I said spinning!)

As for the knitting, I broke down and got "Socks from the toe up". Love the book- I've started one of the pairs for myself!

I've also started knitting Christmas gifts but no pics of those as "certain people" may be reading this blog!

I've also got baby gifts going... but again, no pics... it will be a surprise!

Last on the knitting front, I'm starting a scarf... I saw this pattern on Ravelry and LOVED it!!!

Gotta get it done for fall though with my fall colors! I've not cast-on yet but here is the yarn- Cascade 220-Mmmmmm my favorite colors!

Now, I mentioned spinning- Well my Grandma is quite supportive of my crafty endeavors and provided funding for my very own wheel!!! May I present my Ashford Traveller. I got it unfinished and oiled the wood before I put it together. I've decided to name it D.E.B. (My grandparent's initials- in memory of them!)- quarky, I know but there it is...

I also purchased a few other items that are neccessary for spinners including a niddy noddy (came with my wheel), a ball winder, a lazy kate and a swift. I'm now ready to SPIN!!!!

Here is a pic of my first skien. I got the wool (merino) from a local fiber store. it is three ply and I'm going for one long color change- from light to dark - you'll be able to see it when I knit with it!

Lastly, here is a picture of Smokers in the morning- all cute and curled up!!!!

Happy Fall Knitting and Crafting!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm still here!

Things have been busy but I haven't gotten myself together to post... I've almost finished my quilt- I have a bit of quilting to do and the binding- to be posted soon...
My spinning wheel (and accessories) also arrived and I have finished the wood and assembled- I've done a small amount of spinning as I've thrown out my back (from the quilting!!)
Knitting has also been happening- baby sweaters, socks, scarves, bibs and burp cloths!
Pics and updates soon- this weekend (three day!) will be a major catch up/finish up/ order live weekend so stay tuned!!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Friends and Progress....

Here is a pic of us single ladies at Todd's wedding and a lab pic! It was a wonderful wedding!

Plus, there has been some progress on the quilting. I have 6 completed blocks and 40 other center squares. I'm thinking that quilting may not be for me... though now that I've got the center squares done things are going much more smoothly. I'm determined to finish this one and one other smaller one that I've already cut fabric for.... Then I may stick to knitting, cooking, embroidery and crochet for a while!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tough Decisions Call for a Vote

I'm trying my hand a quilting but can't decide on a block pattern... vote for the one you like best !



Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Some Recent FOs

I've finished another baby sweater:

This is the last one for a while using this pattern though... I'm really bored with it so I got a new one!

ALSO, this is my first yarn spun on the rented Ashford Traveller. It is 420yds of superwash merino at about a lace/fingering weight. I was really quite pleased with myself though I'm sure when I get my own wheel and practice my yarn will be more consistent!

I'm planning some sort of lacy scarf with this... still not decided on a pattern though!

As for WIPs I've got a few knitting projects still going plus a mystery project that has quickly taken over my living room! Poor Smokey now has quite the obstacle course to navigate to get to the kitchen and his food!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What do you do while watching a Harry Potter Marathon? Sew of course!

In preparation for seeing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Monday evening, I'm watching Harry Potter 1-5 today! Now I can't just sit and watch movies- I have to be doing something creative!
I've been coveting the box bags that have been floating around on blogs and Etsy recently and decided to make a few for myself. I had purchased the materials over a month ago but the arrival of the spinning wheel put the box bags to the back of the closet! Sadly, the wheel has been returned and now I have time to try my hand at making some pouches for the numerous knitting projects I have on needles! So my apartment was turned over to sewing this afternoon:

Here are pics of the first bag:

I made three bags in all: I also made a needle case for my double-pointed needles. I have so many of them now and they are spread all over the apartment so I can't find the ones I want!

While I was digging around for sewing things I realized just how big my needle craft stashes are! I have 5 half finished cross-stitch/embroidery projects going plus materials for 9 others! Then there are 4 knitting projects on needles and yarn for another 50-but all neatly (and compactly stored!) Someday soon I'll dig it all out and take pictures.
I'll have pics up later in the week of my first skein of wheel spun yarn and another finished baby sweater with the cutest buttons!

PS. I have tried to post this several times... apparently this program does not like word... blagh...hopefully it works this time as I've retyped the whole thing!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the Burgh

It has been a few weeks since I posted! I had a lovely time with my rented spinning wheel-but sadly it had to be returned. I spun about 5 oz of lovely superwash merino into a nice lace-weight two ply. I'll have pics up soon and I'm thinking of turning it into a lacy scarf... I've not knitted lace before so that should be interesting!
Right now I'm at the parents house in Pittsburgh. I had planned the trip to coincide with the wedding of my oldest friend- (we played together before we were four!). The wedding was lovely- I have to snatch pics from some of the people who were there to show you all. It was really wonderful to see old family friends.
We've been spending lots of time with the grandparents and had a great family picnic on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately I lost the beanbag tournament- but in fairness, Kelly and John, who won, owned the cornhole set- they have an unfair practice advantage!
More time with friends and family for the next day or so then back to Minneapolis!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Misc Update

It's been about two weeks since I've had blogging time! Never fear- I've been busy crafting and creating. Last week I made a cake (using my Wilton Skills, of course) for a work colleague's birthday as per her request: chocolate cake, peanut butter fondant filling, vanilla buttercream frosting and covered with peanut butter cups- Mmmmmm...

Now for the real excitement in my crafting life... as you know, I've been experimenting with spinning yarn using a drop spindle. Well, recently I've felt frustrated with the slowness of the drop spindle process and have begun coveting a spinning wheel. Now, spinning wheels are expensive and I'm not going to drop that kind of cash without one, finding the perfect wheel for me and two, figuring out if this is something I really want or just a passing fad... Just outside of Minneapolis is a wonderful woman named Detta- she has a "shop" in her home with lots of different wheels (and looms and wool, and books....) so I took a trip out to visit. I spent three hours trying different wheels and have found one that I really like. Unfortunately the one I really want is not rentable... so I rented my second choice for two weeks to try it out and see what I think. Here is the Ashford Traveller....

This is the fiber I am spinning- a superwash (meaning it won't felt- see previous post- in the wash) merino (very soft) wool from the Fiber Studio in South Minneapolis

This is my first attempt- there were some consistency issues and my plying (twisting two strands together) isn't perfect but I'm really pleased with my first attempt- I'd say that there is about 90 yards of sport weight yarn here. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it though- maybe just keep it as a reminder of my first spinning wheel experience...

This is my second attempt- much better- I'm waiting to spin all of the fiber I have to ply this- I'm not sure if I'm going to go with two or three ply but I'm hoping to get it fine enough to knit a pair of socks with it!

Finally, this is for Els- your sweater orders are, in fact, in progress- I hope to have them done, along with Dad's Father's Day socks, when I visit in July!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fun with Felting

I've finished my first knitting projects ment to be "felted" or "fulled" One is a pin and the other a bowl. Here are the before and after pics!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Morrell Mushrooms

One of the spring culinary crazies in Minnesota is Morrell Mushrooms... I had heard about these jewels of the forest and had seen pictures of them but never encountered them. Now, as you have read previously, Smokey took up chewing plants so in my search for pet grass (without having to trek to a Petsmart in the suburbs) I went into my local, organic co-op and what do I see staring me in the face at the front door???? You guessed it, Morrell mushrooms... Now at over $30 a pound I purchased only three....

I sauteed them in a little butter, salt and pepper and boy they were worth the $5 I paid for the three of them... SOOOOOOOO good. I can't even describe the flavor as I've never tasted anything like it- I highly recommend that if you ever encounters these decedent little bits of goodness you get yourself some- they are definitely something to experience (but not to share!)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Smokey Eats Grass...

I recently purchased a new house plant to replace the one I let die.... Shortly after purchasing the plant and placing it in a spot where it would get the most of the limited light that enters my room, I began to hear a crunching noise at night... Smokey was eating my plant!!!

Caught in the act!!!

I even got him this pet grass to eat instead of the house plant- but he still prefered "my" plant to "his" so I had to find a new home for it (the plant- not Smokey)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm on a Busy Bee Crafting Spree

My latest projects have been gifts...
The weather is warming up here in MN and the trees are green!!! Hurray for summer!!! Now I just have to get my summer clothes out and put away the winter sweaters- hmmm... when was the last time I said that?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Obsession Deepens

I went to Shepherd's Harvest this past weekend. It is a fair sized fiber/knitting /sheep show. It was totally wonderful and I was hugely tempted to spend LOTS of money on the beautiful hand spun and hand dyed yarns but I was good... I only got two skeins of sock yarn.
The problem came when I saw how fun spinning (actually taking wool and making yarn) could be... because, really, I don't do enough crafty things already- must add one more to the list..... So I bought myself a cheap drop spindle and some cheap Merino wool... I got home and thought I'd break out my new toys.... and here is the result:
Predrafting the roving:
Setting the twist:My first skein of yarn- single ply, heavy worsted weight, 50 yards:
I'm now obsessed. I LOVE IT. I will say that I was given fair warning... many blogs and websites say that it is easy to get caught up into spinning- well now I am. You can put me down in the "crazy lady who has a cat and spins yarn" category of nuts....