Friday, May 29, 2009

A Bit of Knitting News and My Visit to the Doctor

Today I swung by the yarn shop and picked three skeins of Cascade Pastaza that I had to order for Aunt Sarah's bag. I am hoping to finish it up this weekend so she can use it next week.
I'd say the bag is about 3/4 done. When the knitting part is finished I will felt it & then line it.

Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment. I was encouraged how that went. In case some of you don't know I injured my throat on the 2nd of December, 2008. It is a long story how it came about but the gist of it is that I burned the mucus linings of my throat. At least we think that is what happened.
Since then I have been on a liquid diet because my throat can not handle the slightest particle of food without extreme pain and irritation. I went to several doctors, including a highly recommended Otolaryngologist, but none of them had much success in figuring out what was wrong with my throat, let alone how to heal it.
Some friends of ours told us of a Natropathic Doctor who saved their daughter's life when she had an unexplainable illness.
We set up an appointment with him right away and yesterday was my second appointment. At both appointments I have learned an amazing amount of information on the human body and how we can use the natural things on this earth that God has given us, to heal our body. It is amazing what they have learned and can do with Homeopathics, natural remedies, Acupuncture etc.
My throat is gradually healing. There was quite a bit of swelling, an infection of sorts and scar tissue in my throat. This week I am starting on a new medicine to deal with the scar tissue. I'm pretty excited about it all because even though I am getting better slowly, I am getting better. Six months has been a very long time, and sometimes extremely difficult. But by God's grace I am surviving, and getting better.
Well I need to run for now. There is laundry to fold and dishes to do. Then I am going to sit and knit for a bit.
Hopefully when I next post there will be more about knitting. Cheerio for now!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Introducing Edith Iris!

Here is the sweet and elegant, Edith! She is very happy to be here at our house. What a lovely little face! I found that I very much enjoyed making her. I think I shall make more dolls in the future.
Up close detail of the tiered skirt. The pattern for this doll originally was designed in such a way that the clothes didn't come off. knowing how little girls like to change their doll's clothes I decided to come up with a dress that would come off.

This is the result.

Mother sewed on Edith's 100% alpaca hair. And she also did her eyes. Right now the mouth and nose are only penciled in because Edith's mama can't decide whether it should be embroidered on or not.
Back detail of Edith's hair. Look at her sitting, admiring the scenery. She is quite oblivious to the fact that her photo is being taken!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Day In A Nutshell

Look at these sweet little baby robins! They were in the crook of a tree in my Grandma's front yard. I snapped a few shots of them while they slept peacefully.

Mommy Robin was rather flurried and irate. She did not appreciate my taking pictures of her children even though I was doing it ever so quietly.

However, her being so close and concerned gave me some very nice picture opportunities, which I gladly took.

I am making this little doll as a birthday present for my sister, Hannah. The pattern is from an Australian quilting magazine. Mother picked up some toweling at the fabric store. We were looking for a thick muslin but they did not have any. The toweling worked beautifully though as it looks rather old fashioned.

I sewed the seams on the traced lines and then cut around them with a 1/4" seam allowance.

We had some lovely 100% cotton stuffing that seemed very appropriate for the project. It proved to be a little bit difficult to use however. It kept wanting to go all lumpy, and made it rather difficult to stuff the dolly arms soft and evenly.

At last she was finished. Well, not quite. She still needs facial features and an outfit. Mother is making her hair as I write. And when I am done posting this I will go and whip (hopefully) up a dress for her. I thought about waiting to post her until she was completely finished but I couldn't wait that long.

I played the piano for a bit this afternoon. I need to start practicing for a wedding in August that I am playing for. Plus I am trying to spend more time at the piano then I have been of late. I find I am nowhere near where I would like to be. Today all that I accomplished was some practice time on Chopin's 'Nocturne'.

We rotor tilled a space for the garden this past Saturday. A good chunk of the lawn is now missing but it is worth it considering the vegetables we will get from our garden. I love the feel of dirt between my toes so this afternoon I went outside, kicked off my flip flops and started raking. There are clumps of grass all over the place that need to be raked out. Not to mention a lot of stones, both small and large.

I don't have much going on knitting-wise that you have not already seen. Everything is progressing but certainly not interesting enough to blog about at the moment. However here is a bit of my Shetland lace shawl. I just started it Sunday in the car. I love the pattern, it is fairly simple, but it will be quite beautiful, I am sure. These are my cutesy stitch markers that I picked up on my birthday. Aren't they so pretty?


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Birthday Books!

I am excited to sit down and dig into my new books! I received them for my birthday from my wonderful parents. I hear the novel is a tear jerker.
Books and a cup of tea. What more could one want?
I am pretty excited about this book. It is for designing knitted items, which I am longing to do. I just need the know-how. I only had time for a peek so far, but it looks excellent.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Scrumptious Alpaca

My first time spinning with alpaca. This is some of Mother's fiber. She had me spin up a bit for an upcoming project. Scrumptiously soft alpaca roving.

It spun up fairly easy. But it went so smoothly that I didn't quite know what to do with it! My tension seemed all off somehow.

My First Handspun Yarn

Hurrah! My first skein of hand spun yarn! Granted it is not that even in consistency, and I have no clue how many yards are here, but it is my own. And I am very happy with it. Sorry the picture is blurry, between the cream yarn & the camera I had a difficult time getting a clear, but not overly brilliant, picture. Last night I finished spinning it up. Then I plunged it in hot water for a moment, then in cold water to shock the fibers. I whacked it a few times and hung it in the pantry to dry overnight. I really have no idea what I am doing, I am just following what cousin Debi did. I really need to do some research on spinning, and what to do with the spun yarn etc. I also have no idea how to ply. I feel like there is so much to learn! But one thing at a time.
Now I'm off to spin up some more yarn. Unfortunately I only have a tiny bit more of this roving left. I need to order some soon. I am dying to try spinning in seems like it would be so much fun. Hmm....maybe I will go browse Etsy for roving first.

The Cheeky Squirrel

I found this little fellow while out scouting for a place to take pictures of my completed yarn skein. I crept up on him and took a few close ups. He still has not noticed me.

Alas! My cover is blown, I have been seen!

He followed all this up by scampering into a tree above me, where he proceeded to drop a wood chip on my head.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More Knitting Projects

This is the applique quilt that I am hoping to make for the 4-H Fair. Mother looked at it today and she doesn't think it will be too difficult. I'll have her to explain things should the going to rough. I intend to make it out of our scrap collection. Here is the beginnings of Aunt Sarah's bag. It is made with the same Cascade Pastaza that I used for Ri's bag. In fact it is even the same color! But it will be a large tote bag, Aunt Sarah does not carry purses. Doesn't it look so soft and fuzzy?
So far I only have three skeins to work with. I ordered three more through our yarn shop. I don't think I will need six total but I can always return one if need be. Better have enough yarn that too little.

Here is an up close of the lace detail on the shrug. I laid it in such a manner that the mistake is not visible. This bamboo tape has been a lot of fun to work with. But point protectors are a must when the project is not being worked on as it tends to be a bit slippery.

Right now I have so many projects going I don't know which to work on next! Currently on the needles are these two projects, the shrug for Mother, and a summer tote bag for Aunt Sarah. Aunt Sarah is anxious for her new summer bag, the one I made her last year is in a fall-ish colorway and she can't wait until her new one is done.

Mother's shrug was coming along beautifully. That is until I stopped to look at it yesterday and realized somewhere along the way I did something wrong and threw my lace pattern askew. Horrors of horrors, I shall have to tear back at least ten rows! This is a pattern that you can not work on while watching a movie full of action. I assume that was the case but I am not sure. It is a pattern for quiet knitting and chatting with the family. I will probably take it outside with me today when I go out for a bit of fresh air.

I still have not started on the lovely brown merino lace that I received for my birthday. Perhaps I can whip that up for the 4-H Fair. Hmm.....we'll see what happens with that. It might be a complicated lace pattern.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Nothing in Particular

It was a beautiful day today. The temperature was around 80 degrees.
I am at home right now. I came down with some mild sort of flu/cold combination. But even though it is mild the germs could be quite harmful to Grandpa while his white cell count is so low. I think I am home for the weekend, but plans seem to change quite often so we'll see what happens.
I have been planning what to make for the up-coming county 4-H fair. They have an open class that adults can enter. It is good, clean, friendly competition. A friend of Mother's told us about it. She enters the open class as well and the last couple of years we have had fun competing against each others items.
So far I have come up with quite the extensive list as to what I want to make. I probably won't make hardly any of it. But, for now, I have big dreams.
And even after all the difficulty my last applique project gave me, the quilt I found that I want to make is simply jam-packed in applique.
This time though it won't be a gift so I can get advice from Mother. That will be most helpful.
Well, even though I am home I don't have any pictures to post tonight. I am rather worn out from being sick. I think I shall go rest on the couch and catch up on my correspondences.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Etsy Store Coming Soon!

One of my long time dreams is soon to be realized. I am going to finally open my own Etsy store! Currently I am in the process of getting all my ducks in a row for that, as well as making up the items I will be selling. Naturally it will be knitting related! I hope to some day branch out further, but, for now, will be starting fairly small. Or so that is the plan, but who know where the Lord may take it! I am excited about it. I have long wanted to sell some of the things I make.
There is a lot for me to learn about the whole process, I feel like I am making slow progress. But, Lord willing it will all come together soon.
Anyways, that is my most recent news.
I am at my Grandparents, where I just realized, I can still post! My blog will just be devoid of pictures until the weekend. So you will have to bear with my words, minus the pics!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mother's Day Token Quilt

I wanted to make something for Mother. But unfortunately I was about a week behind and discovered to my shock that Mother's day was only a week away! I had thought it two weeks away. This was while I was at my Grandparents so thankfully I had brought, fabric, thread, machine, quilting magazines and the like. One never knows what one might feel like doing, so I always come prepared for anything. Just ask anyone in my family, or various close friends, I can not pack light. I hurried through the magazines, trying to find something that I could feasibly do in five days, yet it still be something meaningful. I stumbled upon these little token quilts that I know mother has always liked. I would put the name of the magazine but it is still at my Grandparents. If anyone wants to know just ask and I'll get it for you. This Token Quilt was one of four designs. It was the first time I had done such small applique. I will freely admit I did struggle with the tiny pieces. Some of you might be thinking, "Tiny pieces?" Okay, so maybe it isn't that tiny, but for me it seemed minute.
I plugged away at it all week, (including the afternoon of Mother's Day) and got it finished on time. Mother loved it, of course. She has it framed, of all things, and sitting on the shelf of our bookcase. It actually looks quite nice I think. And since all of the fabrics were from our scraps they all have memories attached to them. A lovely little keepsake, if I do say so myself!

The Dpn Case Is Finished!

Technically it is not quite finished yet. I need to attach either a ribbon on the side, or make a fabric ribbon, to tie it closed.

Please excuse all the little threads sticking out everywhere. I was excited an in a hurry to take the photos. I should have taken time to clip them all!

At last, the product of my busy afternoon! I wanted to hurry and post this before tonight. I spent all afternoon sewing this up and now here it is! I am very excited to have it finished and all my double pointed needles safely stowed away. It was fun using up my scraps and figuring out how to best piece it together. The reason I was in a rush to post this is that I will be leaving tomorrow for the week and will be unable to update my blog until this coming weekend. My Grandpa, whom I mentioned in an earlier post, is having his second round of chemotherapy this week. Grandma has Rheumatoid Arthritis as well. So they both need quite a bit of help. Grandma is in a lot of pain and Grandpa is weak and suffers from the side affects of chemo. I have been staying with them Monday through Thursday to help care for them. I'm glad to be able to spend this time with them and be a blessing to them.
That is the reason I won't be posting anything new except on the weekends, for the next couple of weeks at least.

Ri's Bag

This is how it looked before felting.

Here it is at last! The lovely crocheted/felted bag. I made this for my cousin, Ri. The purse is one that I saw at the yarn shop. It was from an interweave crochet magazine, but there were no copies left. So I pulled out paper and pen to quick sketch it. Later on at home when I was brushing up on the sketch and instructions Ri came by and saw it. She asked if I could make it for her. Now my general policy for family is, I will make it for them if they supply the material, no added cost. The yarn I made this with is Cascade Pastaza. It is 50%wool & 50% lama, it is a dream to work with. I did find out that it sheds excessively when felted. But that is no problem if you pick all of the fuzzies out of the washer before doing a load of laundry. I am starting another bag out of this exact yarn, but with a different pattern, for Aunt Sarah. I have to save a little piece for Debi, she wants to have some roving dyed up in a similiar color.