Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This is "Aunt Hallie's Lunch Pail" designed and taught by Charles Crenshaw. This basket is made entirely of leather! There is a wooden hoop at the top and bottom and a wooden handle, but all are wrapped in leather. Even the bottom is leather!! being the horse person that I am, I LOVED weaving this one, it smells so good! A nice change in texture from the wet, scratchy reed, to work with soft, supple leather. If I ever get the chance to work with this man again, I will do it in a heartbeat. A truly unique individual with truly unique baskets.
This is Dona Nazerenko's design, "Rectangle Colors".
This little basket is made entirely of birch bark she has harvested, pressed and cut herself. Another treat to work with for me! Aren't the colors just beautiful? The reds are achieved by simply turning the bark over and using the inside. If you peel the layers of the bark you get a different shade as well. Apply mink oil once your done and it really brings the colors out and gives the basket a beautiful sheen without being glossy. Another great class.
And then there was the shopping! Oh my, did I shop! But, I keep reminding myself, I sell these baskets so this is money well spent. If I can just find the time to complete them all!!!! Three of these kits are done, but the patterns! I think I bought about 20 from Laura Lee Zangler. Beautiful twills!!!
And best of all, I found my legs while at the convention!! Arrived in a wheel chair but was able to walk through the airport and off the plane when I got home, best treat of the trip!!! Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. I should be good for another 3 years now! Let's at least hope so anyway.
I have also been BUSY with demonstrations with my guild, Susquehanna Valley Spinning and Weaving Guild. This month alone we were at the Union County West End Fair, Montour De-Long Fair and the 90th Lithuanian Heritage Festival. All within 8 days!!! Thank you to all who showed up to help, I think we had a great time and had a lot of interest in our craft!
We also started up a sister guild here in Columbia County Pennsylvania open to crafters of all kinds. Our name is Spins and Needles Fiber Arts Guild. Anyone interested in joining us please shoot me an E-mail. We are still working out the details of when and where to meet, but looks like we will be doing a weeknight at one of the local church's community rooms the first week of the month. Dues are $15 month.
Oh, I also found out from one of my guild "sisters" that my spinning wheel, mentioned in the last post, is a Country Craftsman. These wheels apparently are highly sought after and are no longer made. Sounds like I made a good investment!!!! Next weekend it gets dropped off with Fred Hutton to have the treadle replaced and then I am going to refinish it I think. It's not and antique, so refinishing would not affect the value.
Oh, Oh, Oh..I almost forgot!!!! If I can convince my husband, I have already purchased two Shetland sheep!!!! We have the pasture, stall and hay, just need to reinforce our fencing a little bit and we are ready to go. One has a lamb at her side yet, so I have about 2 more weeks until she is ready to go. It may take that long to convince my husband, but I am not backing off of this one. I WANT MY SHEEP!!!!
Monday, August 3, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
My FIRST completed sweater made out of my FIRST handspun yarn!!! I am thrilled with the outcome! The pattern is called "off the hook" and is from the book "Total Crochet Fashions" by Gayle Bunn, A Leisure Arts Publication. I have to say, I was really surprised with the emotion I felt while working on this sweater. I have made things before with store bought yarn and it was fun, but this was more of an emotional journey. The roving I spun is called Silver Sparks and was produced by a fellow guild member, Phylleri Ball, from Steam Valley Fiber. It is a wool and kid mohair blend that Phylleri dyes herself. The wool comes from her own livestock. (I am so jealous)
On the basket front...these are a few I completed this week. The tote is a pattern from fellow Pennsylvanian Valerie Poirier, called Patterned Tote.
This is another small antler basket I completed. I has some dyed round reed, then my handspun Icelandic yarn, then seagrass and finally flat reed. Simple, yet cute.
This is my own design and is meant to hold straight knitting needles. It is woven over a hard shipping tube for stability. And yes, I am working on some for circular needles and crochet hooks.
I am also working on setting up and Etsy store. Hopefully it will be completed in August, if I can find the time to do it.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
These lilies come up all over our farm. in the woods, on the banks, in the lawn. By best assumption is that at one time ground was moved by past owners of the farm and these were taken for a ride and unknowingly relocated. Fine with me. I love seeing them everywhere.
I'm sure there are many land owners of old properties out there that share in the beauty of these. Wild roses. This bush is completely overrun with weeds, but the little thorns are so abusive that I just let the weeds go and be happy. This bush is growing along the side of our springhouse and is visible as you leave our house via the kitchen. So pretty!
Wild Phlox! These are literally EVERYWHERE!!! This is the first one I have seen this summer, but many are to follow. I LOVE when they all bloom, it smells so sweet outside. Surprisingly, and happily, they do not bother my allergies. We have these purple ones, also white and a light pink. The purple will bloom first, then the white and pink and then another round of purple. They pretty much keep going from now until September!
I guess these are blackberries? They are just starting to ripen. I was hoping to bring a basket full to a picnic this afternoon, but was out of luck, guess it has not been warm enough for an early harvest. Promise of things to come.
Golden wheat fields, just about ready for harvest. I would not be surprised to see the combines out this week harvesting the wheat, then baling the straw. One of these days I am going to teach myself how to weave wheat. Surely they would not miss a little bit! (oh, we rent most of out land out to family farming friends) It's their wheat!
Country kids! My two little gems hunting for the first of the peas. This is the first year we planted a garden and I left it completely up to them. We have peas (3 varieties), beans, sweet corn, green peppers, potatoes, radishes and brussel sprouts. Yes, they chose all of this. My kids love vegetables. Glad to know I did something right with them!
And lastly, my Bantams. These are my pretty chickens. Their sole purpose is to look pretty and make me smile! (oh, and hatch out new laying chicks when needed) They were released from their confinement three days ago and are quickly making friends with Abby, my horse. I have been trying to get pictures of them together, but keep missing the shot. They are eating her food, she is eating theirs, they have been "bathing" in the sawdust in her stall and settling down for a quick nap. I can sit and watch my chicks all day, they are just hysterical! I am waiting for them to be nested in Abby's stall and have her come running in from her pasture only to startle them. I'm not sure who will be more upset, but I can just see and hear the commotion that will follow.
Hope everyone has had a wonderful 4th of July. Let's remember all of those past and present who have fought and are still fighting for this country's freedom! And thank you to all those who fought!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
OK, finally gotten back to weaving. A friend of mine was able to make it to Country Seat, our "local" weaving supply shop, a few weekends ago to take a class with Ann Bowers. They were making all kinds of ribbed baskets including antler baskets. This is something I have wanted to try for years!
So we got together yesterday and got to work. Jenn shared all the tips she had learned and we both tackled our own individual baskets. See, people write all kinds of patterns for antler baskets, but I have found that patterns are really a joke. Since each antler is it's own shape, the patterns are really only guidelines. I am not saying anything negative about antler patterns, trust me, I have a dozen at least! They are merely just guidelines of rib placement. The antlers truly determine the size and basic shape of the basket. It's very fun and creative to sit and study the antler, how is sits, and determine where to start drilling. A little scary too!!!
I'm not sure if I am going to chance selling these as the laws here in Pennsylvania are really strict about the collecting and selling of antlers. But, I will be doing commission work. If you have an antler, send it to me, and I would be more than happy to make you one on your own antler!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I did manage to finish this pair of ultra warm socks! I mentioned them in a prior post, I fell in love with this yarn and had to have it. Being that they are crocheted and used the stitch that they did, these are probably the most expensive pair of socks I will ever own! they used almost 175grams of yarn at $9/50 grams!!! Don't tell my husband!!!! But aren't they pretty? And my feet will be so warm and happy this winter, it is justified in my book!
Remember the singles I was spinning in my last post? It is done and plied and I am thinking of using it as a last round edging on a circle sweater I will be working on while driving, yes, driving, with 2 small children to Florida next week. They greyish yarn will be the body of the sweater and has just a dash of color, the same purple and a touch of blue. Since we are planning this trip, I have been spinning like a mad woman to have enough yard to last the 5 planned days of driving. I think I am there, at least my husbands hopes I am! He wants his clean house back!!! Imagine the nerve!
I also spun this...not sure what to do with it, but I really liked the color. It needs a project. I needed recuperation. I had minor surgery on my wrist 2 weeks ago and could not lift, bend, etc. So I had to spin...it was productive and therapeutic. Now that it has healed enough, I have to leave my yet unnamed spinning wheel alone and get back to weaving baskets. I have lots of shows coming up and WILL NOT get myself as stressed as I did in April. I will not procrastinate, I will not procrastinate, I will not procrastinate....yeah right!!!
Oh, I almost forgot...I also received this last week!!!!
Nancy, over at Basketmaster's Weaving sent me this. Thanks Nancy, I promise to have more basket related posts coming up!
And these are the rules:
Grab the award and place on your blog
Link back to the person you received the award from
Nominate 7 others with a link to their blog
Leave a message on their blog telling them they've been awarded.
so, here is my list:
Tammy @ Treadleworks by Tammy
Jill @ Jillblog
Cyndy @ Riverrim
Corry @ Dutch Blue
Anne @ Cottons n wool
Lynnette @ Dustbunnies under my Loom
I have not yet figured out how to set up a link to their blogs within a text, but you can find them all in my list of blogs. All are extremely talented and creative woman that I truely enjoy following.
Monday, April 27, 2009
So, I had to do my part to ensure the other vendors had a good day too, after all, it's only fair! Now I did not buy ALL of this, some was a birthday gift from my parents (the swift and ball winder). I turned 36 on Sunday the 26th. I LOVE my sheepy mug, too cute.
This, however, was my favorite purchase!!! I found my Sonata!!! And with some of the pretty purple, mohair blend roving I bought....
I've started this. I love the way this wheel spins, so smooth. And it looks so pretty in this picture with the Flowering Almond just starting to bloom in the background. Makes my think I may either find or dye my own pinks to ply it with. Did not think I was going to find color inspiration while staging a photo! I guess it just shows you can find inspiration anywhere, anytime. Enjoy the beautiful weather, get outside and spin, knit, crochet, weave, or just sit!
Monday, April 20, 2009
We have left the large "people" door open until they figure out how to use this one. At first they seem to have thought it was just a window. They are too funny all pushing and shoving to be able to peer outside at their new world outside the box. I love watching their personalities develop. They are finally starting to make chicken noises too, not just the sweet little "peeps". Can't wait for the roosters to crow.
Love this picture...the little Bantam peeps like to hide other the three larger ones in the box. We are not real sure what the larger ones are. We were told they were Dominiques, but I am doubtful. Anyone able to help in this department? We also have one solid grey bird with a black beak, all the others have orange beaks.
And lastly, I have to show my sweet old girl. She is after all, sharing her pasture. This is Abby, my 27yr old Thoroughbred. I've had her since she was 5. We have been through alot together and I hope she will live forever as I cannot imagine life without her!
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Here is a little peek at one of our new Bantam chicks .
Notice the feathered legs and feet? I have now added 6 of these to our flock, they will be keepers and most likely NOT going to the butcher. Of the first 13, we have now established that 7 of them are roosters. Leaving us with 6 laying hens, all of which are Rhode Island Red crosses.
I took the Easter weekend off from weaving and started a new project, as if I need more! I few months ago I had purchased two balls of Schoeller & Stahl's Limbo yarn. It is a 100% virgin wool superwash, worsted weight. I LOVED the color and had to have it! Before Christmas I had bought a book on crocheted sock patterns, Crocheted Socks by Janet Rehfeldt and Mary Jane Wood. I started their Pebbled Sand, toe up, sock and am in the process of turning the heel. It is going to be a very heavy, very warm, pair of socks as each row of a single crochet is the passed over a second time as you do a long single crochet into the stitched two rows down. Me feet should be very happy next winter wearing these!
I also took advantage of my self proclaimed vacation and dug into this pile of roving I had purchased from Phylleri Ball, of SteamValley Fibers. It is a colorway of hers called Silver Sparks and is a blend of 55% wool, 40% kid Mohair and 5% Nylon Glitz. The little card she gave me with it says the goats names are Neville, Lavender and Lily. I think it's kind of neat to know the names of the critters who shared their wool with me! It is a beautiful blend of natural greys, pink, blues and purples. Very subtle shading to say the least. I've been longing for the time to get to this.
While catching up on all the of the TV shows I had stored on
my DVR, (You know, all the shows that the husbands don't want to watch (Ghost Whisperer, Legend of the Seeker, and sadly, General Hospital) or in the case of the latter, shows the kids cannot watch) I spun two bobbins full. Now this is where wanting my own wheel is really stating it's case. I only have one bobbin with my "borrowed" wheel. So in order to ply, I have to spin a bobbin, then wind into a ball, spin another bobbin, wind into a ball and then ply from two balls which are rolling all over my floor. The dog chasing them and getting all tangled up just pleads my case for me to my husband.
But here is the end result. I am pretty tickled with it. My consistency is getting better. It turned out to be a sport weight. or maybe DK. I need one of those little gauge gadgets, add it to my wish list! I am not ready to spin to a desired weight, it is what it is. I let the roving decide what it wants to be and then just try to spin consistently until I'm done.
But the best part....I got the go ahead to get my wheel! I will be vending my baskets at a Fiber Festival in Conn at the end of the month. If I can find the wheel I want, at the price I want, I will be bringing one home with me. Otherwise, I think I will be ordering one when I get home. Yippee!!!!!
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
My "borrowed" wheel and a basket of roving, all packed up and ready to go. I am so looking forward to an excuse to sit and spin all afternoon!
A closer look at all that roving....have I mentioned how hard I have been bitten by this spinning thing? This only represents a small amount of what is in my closet. Don't you just want to dive in?! The grey fiber is Romney purchased at Mad about Ewes in Lewisburg (my current spinning project). The autumn colors and the grey with pink are both mohair blends purchased from Phylleri Ball from Steam Valley Fibers. The "white" is BFL top that I received free in a lot of basket weaving supplies I purchased on E-Bay! Free is always a good thing!
On the weaving front...these are just a few of the baskets I have been feverishly working on the past few weeks. Show season is here and I am far from ready...
Monday, March 30, 2009
We bought our peeps on Saturday from a man at the Channel 16 Expo. We were going to get all Rhode Island Reds but then he showed us these... The larger white bird is a Deleware Chicken, they apparently are on the the endangered species list. They are supposed to be very docile birds that lay about 1 egg a day right through winter. Mature weight is around 6lbs, so it is a good meat bird too. We are hopeful that this one is a hen, it was the only one he had left on his farm. The other larger birds are the Rhode Island crosses, I forgot to ask what they were crossed with, but I assume, as these are the only breeds he had, they are with the Delawares. The little black guys, or gals, are Dominiques, also an endangered bird. The grow up to be these beautiful speckled black and white birds. They are more docile than the Rhode Islands and also lay about 1 egg a day. Again, we are hopeful that at least 1/2 of our 13 birds are hens, but with my luck, they will all be, and I will have eggs coming out of my ears!!!!
For right now, these little guys are living in our garage under heat lamps and out of the cold. We are building, or rather collecting, our hen house. We are lucky enough to have many farmers in the family and between them all, we have been able to collect an abandoned backyard shed, about 20 nesting boxes, feeders, waters and assorted other necessities. We just have to put them all together and build a completely enclosed pen for them.
Wish us luck, there is no turning back now!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Yesterday she gave us two more, both males. The smallest of the two has the extra toes. One extra on the front feet and one hind foot has only one extra, the other has two.
If you have ever experienced one of these cats, they have a very distinct personality. The know how to use these toes and are hysterical to watch. They can literally pick things up almost like a human! There are so many toes, they just wrap them around, and without the nails, pick up whatever quarry they are after. Imagine throwing a ball to someone wearing a catchers mitt. Now imagine a paw outstretched to catch that little mouse you have just thrown across the room, it's almost as big.
Ernest Hemmingway made these cats famous. There are still polydactyls running around his farm. It's a genetic trait, so once it's in the gene pool, I guess it is there to stay.
I will post pictures once they are a little older, I don't like to handle them too much the first week they are with us. Both of these little guys will be up for adoption the beginning of May. Anyone interested?
Monday, March 16, 2009
I think I may have mentioned this one other time...but I have MS, multiple sclerosis. I am very lucky that, for the most part, it does not effect my daily life. My stress level right now is so high that I have been forced to back out of some prior commitments and have been told to learn how to say "NO".
But, then I read this blog written by my Aunt Tammy, Treadleworks by Tammy. There is a link belowin my blog list. She was talking about paying it forward, this was not something I could say no to! Therefore....
Here's how Pay It Forward works:I've signed up with Treadleworks by Tammy and committed to send the next 3 people who sign up here with me on my blog a hand-made item and goodie package within 365 days.By accepting my invitation, YOU agree to Pay it Forward to the next 3 people who sign up with you, on your blog, and send them something within 365 days.Want to join the fun, create some positive energy, a Blessing and Pay It Forward?The first 3 people to leave me a blog comment, telling me they would like to Pay It Forward is in!I will leave you a comment on your blog and you let you know if you are one of the three and then we will go from there.
Sounds like fun, doesn't it? And the prospect of a "gift" showing up, unexpectedly, anyday over the next year almost stirs up childlike giddiness! What a wonderful thing to look forward to, both the giving and receiving. How could you say no?!
So, how bout it? Who will be the first to sign up and "Pay it Forward"?
Monday, February 16, 2009
I am finally spinning! I've been working on it for a few weeks now, but as I am unschooled in these things, I was unaware that the wheel I was borrowing needed all the little adjustments adjusted. Once that was done, things clicked! It is far from perfect, but I love it just the same.
I am addicted to the creaks and crackles of the wheel, the whirling of the bobbin. I could just sit and listen to the wheel, but what fun would that be. I want to spin. I have said before, there is just something about taking a pile of fluff and turning it into a usable yarn and then creating something usable from that yarn. It has been calling to me for some time now. I have been spinning on a friends borrowed Ashford single treadle Traditional. But, I have decided I want top purchase an Ashford double treadle Traveller. It just fits my household better as it takes up less room and there is less of a chance of the little ones running into it. Now I just need to decide when and from whom I will purchase it.
This is a photo of the new roving I purchased this weekend in Lewisburg at Mad About Ewes. It drafts beautifully as it has a longer staple. The color is beautiful too. I have enough of this to eventually make a sweater and will keep you posted on the progress. But for now, I must return to basket weaving as I have orders to fill and shows to prepare for.
Friday, February 13, 2009
This picture is of the gifts made more my children's teachers for V-Day. Yes, I probably go overboard but they have wonderful teachers and at this early stage of their education, a bad teacher can have a huge effect on them liking or disliking school and they both have a LONG way to go.
Find someone you love, say thank you, and give them a hug. Wish a total stranger a happy day and see what happens.
Monday, February 9, 2009
I've also started a wool scarf for my son. His neck is way to exposed for my comfort. He had a scarf in the beginning of winter and is very careful about these things. You do not need to worry about him forgetting or loosing things at school. Instead we lost ours to some poor person who felt it neccesary to steal it from the neck of our first snowman of the season. I figured he, or she, must have needed it more than the snowman, so I'll make more!
I also found the time to finish another pair of
socks, my feet are really becoming happy! We
live in a 200 year old farmhouse with mud, stone
and horsehair walls. There is no insulation to be
heard of and these cold days and nights make it
almost unbearable. To make matters worse, our
equally uninsulated kitchen is build on a crawl-
space not deep enough to crawl through, the floor is freezing, even with a carpet! My feet, which
are happy all summer being bare naked, are only
happy in the winter dressed in wool and slippers