Monday, July 23, 2007

Miracles, great and small

Sometimes life seems hard and it gets discouraging.

I am way over extended in obligations so in an effort to make up time, I sometimes try to double book things, or schedule them too close together. But all that usually ends up happening is that nothing gets done properly and I prove that I am no longer able to multitask like I used to. Getting old sucks!

So I have been feeling a little blue and down. But I did some thinking and realize that everyone hits tough patches and making life good should probably be about being grateful. So I looked around and realize how much I have to be grateful for.

For example, who would have ever thunk that I ( probably one of the world's biggest screw ups) would ever have a lovely little yarn shop with talented people working there (1 who has darling puppies!), marvelous customers and more creative opportunities than can be imagined. It is a dream-come-true but I forget that because I get so immersed in paying bills, dealing with cooling issues, trying to keep paperwork from taking over, etc, etc, etc....... So I took some time to appreciate the miracle of being able to create fiber in all the shades of fuchsia, pinks & purples that I could ever want;

This is the result of my dyeing yesterday. The 2 lighter skeins will be used for the felted flowers for the new Noni Market bag. The deeper purple will be used in the Old Shale socks as the solid color. I will use Baywood Yarns sock yarn in Blackberry for the multi. How blessed am I?

I also have to appreciate the interesting things the universe throws my way. We live outside the city limits on some acreage with various assorted livestock all around. We woke up yesterday morning to find a Canada Goose in our horse pen. Now, I don't know anyone around here who has these birds and can't say that I have seen a lot migrating at the moment.
It spent some time communing with the ostriches next door, then hubby gave it some feed and water and it spent some time in the horse trough. When I got home that evening , it was gone. Now this may be too weird to put out there but the only person I know who adored Canada Geese was my Mom and she has been gone for about 1 year and 1/2. I miss her terribly because I always called her when I felt down and I wonder if this was her stopping by to tell me she is still with me and not to worry. OK, maybe not, but it was very odd and it did make me feel better.

I think the miracles are there, if we just look for them.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Dyeing We Shall Go!!!

Tomorrow is another dyeing workshop. Joy! I have been restraining myself from dyeing all the time, partly because I'm using up all the inventory that is supposed to be there for workshops, partly because I wasn't doing any knitting. So tomorrow I have an excuse to dye!! Wheee!!!
Yeah, like I need an excuse.......

People ask "but what do you need to dye for, there are already so many colors of so many fibers?" (like you can ever have enough). Ahh, I say, but I don't have what I need. For example, I might want to do these "Old Shale Socks" from but I don't have the right solid color so I need to dye a semi-solid.

I definately know I am making the Market Bag and I don't have the exact "fuchsia" shade so maybe I'll dye for the flowers.
Or maybe (hee, hee, hee, hee, snicker, snicker) I'll just have to dye for both!!! Oh joy, oh joy! I so love dyeing days.
And congrads to Cheryl- she won the Summertime Blues Dishcloth Swap drawing today for the skein of Laurel. Hope to see you tomorrow, Cheryl, so you can pick out your color.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Forget the keeper & Bring on Harry Potter!

OK, I've been told to quit asking for a keeper because I wouldn't listen to one anyway. (How did Bonnie get to know me so well?!?!?). Anyhoo...... I've just been accepted into the Hogwarts Sock Swap!! Woo-hoo!!

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

  1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into? Gryffindor

  1. Shoe size? size 8

  1. Foot Length? 10"

  1. Foot Circumference? 9"

  1. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

a. Plymouth Bamboo

b. KA bamboo

c. Colonial Rosewood

In all of them I like #1-2 and 6-7" length.

  1. Would you like to try a new brand needle? Sure. If so, which brand? Lantern Moon or any other wood. Size? #1-2 Length? 6-7"

  1. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference? N/A

  1. Allergies? Only the local air. Do you have any? Otherwise, no. Will your knitting be exposed to smoke or animals? No smoke, but animal hair included free of charge.

  1. Are you an international participant (outside US)? No. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal? I would love to have an international partner.

Just realized- this means I actually have to finish a pair of socks. Cringe. A WHOLE PAIR. Are you sure about that keeper business? Couldn't I have one just so I could say "But my keeper didn't tell me that........."!

But seriously, it should really be fun. Think about joining. The link is in my sidebar and signups started on July 14. They are enrolling up to 150 new 1st year students. See you there!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Presenting Baywood Yarns

I am very proud to present a new arrival to ABCs of Creative Pursuits- Baywood Yarns! We are privileged to be only the second shop in the world to have access to this company and Joanne has done a fantastic job of creating colorways that titillate and inspire.

We received 5 different fibers, 3 either all or half silk, 3 that are fingering weight, suitable for socks or lace work. This is the first project we have finished using Luxury Sock & Shawl stranded with a lace mohair to create a self fringing shoulder shawl. This is a soon-to-be-available free pattern on the website. I'll let ya'll know when it is available

This is the Accessory Club project for July 20, the Crystal Headband. Very quick and great gift idea.

And finally, the gratuitous pet photos. The heat has
gotten to everyone and none of my fuzzy kids are
doing anything even remotely cute. So here is what
I wish I was doing-napping!

And this is Uberdog. He is a Vizsla and belongs to Cass, my first upstream swap partner. Everytime I see this picture, I smile. All over. So I asked if I could borrow his image so I could share the smiles with ya'll and, of course, Cass said yes. She is such a doll. And so is he. Are ya'll smiling yet?

Oh, yeah. I got my invite to Ravelry. Now what do I do with it? I am so not a Geek-it will probably take me a month to figure it out. Any keeper offers yet?

Yipee-ki-yay mother......

OK, several months ago I was reading someone's blog and they were talking about guilty pleasures. In this case, it was liking (OK, I'm being polite and tactful-you know who you are!) Bruce Willis. I didn't pitch in because I thought, oh yeah, I totally am on board with the admiration train there but so what? I love his characters, his sense of humor and he is just easy on the eyes, ya know? However, I have to come out of the closet on this because the Bruce Willis Blues Band is playing up the road at Tachi Palace and I scored tickets!!!!!!! Joy, joy joy!

Now, tell me. Is it too weird that I am thinking about knitting him a bandanna, sending it backstage, asking him to use it that night and then send it back? It would be knitted and have the shop address on it for the return so it sort of has something to do with the business, right????? Never mind, I don't want to hear what ya'll are thinking-I don't care. I'll do what I want but don't come in asking to smell it, OK?

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Pusher (Wo)Man

The addiction continues and is spurred on by receiving mysterious and tantalizing hints from my Knitter Virtual Vacation Swap spoiler (see comments on previous post). This is even better than Christmas- because it can be year round! As long as I am interested in giving, someone wants to give back. Hmmm, kind of like life, huh? I have some pictures of the packages I have/am sending but I can't post them yet because some of my spoilees read my blog but as soon as they receive them........whoopee!

I am designing a mitered afghan pattern for Project Linus for the first meeting at the shop on Saturday July 14. Here are 2 of the squares-

The theme is "fish" and the colors are supposed to be blues but I'm finding myself drawn to the greens/aquas. What do fish know? Anyway, I should have about 6-8 of the blocks done by Saturday. This will be a free pattern with the donation of finished items or cash to PL. Hope to have a good turn out.

Finally, just to prove that I am getting more technologically advanced, here is my current paper shredder. Very effective and doesn't use a lot of power. Very important with the threat of power brown outs at this time of year.

And this is the shop security system. Her name is Antoinette and she is a Mi-Ki, she is just adorable and she is one of Bonnie's "pack" of many now, Bonnie? And you're getting how many more? I think she should bring them in all at once. How cute would that be?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

12 Step Groups for Swap Addicts?!?

OK, I have this problem. I seem to be spending more time on the computer checking out swap activity than I do most anything else. But it is so much fun to put together a package that you know someone will love and waiting for them to get it, knowing they are also anticipating receiving it. We call it "lurking", constantly checking the mail, to see if something has arrived. Are you impressed with my knowledge of swap vocabulary? You should be; I'm studying really hard. Oh, and did I mention you get these marvelous gifts in return? Remember the bit about lurking? That would be me, just waiting for my goodies to come.

These are 2 of my recent "spoils". Lots of nice stuff. And one skein of yarn isn't even in these pictures as it is already being incorporated into a prayer shawl for a dear friend.

We have 12 people signed up for the Summertime Blues Dishcloth Swap so if you are contemplating it be sure to get your questionaires in by July 18. And just to sweeten the pot, everyone who signs up will be entered into a drawing for a skein of hand dyed Laurel. Don't miss the fun.

And here are the answers for the contest over at the Dog Days of Summer Swap:

Someone who crochets-Tami W-

Someone who's never made a dishcloth before -Megan C-

Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for less than 2 years-Sherry M-

Someone who has been knitting\crocheting for more than 5 years -Sharon K-

Someone who is from a non-US country-Stephanie L-

And finally, some pet cuteness- the cat(tle) call at mi casa. And this is only half the cat(tle).

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Dyeing Workshop End Results and Tea Time

Moya participated in our very first dyeing workshop and dyed this roving. She then spun it and knitted this adorable, and very flattering, tam. Even though she didn't grow or shear the sheep, I'm in awe of the beginning to end process. Way to go, girl!

And a quick digression. Although I don't eat nearly as well as I would like to, I'm very picky about what I drink (odd, coming from a personal friend of Bill W, huh?). Anyway, I luv herbal teas, green, white, red, whatever, and I just found this very unusual brand. It is hand tied green tea with other botanicals. When you open the packet it looks rather like a little turd. You put it into the specially developed strainer/cup, pour boiling water over it, and, viola!, it blossoms! Way cool! It is bitter as hell if you over steep it, but I have developed a taste for it anyway and am fascinated to watch each different one open up. Course, I am easily distracted by bright shiny things too, so what can you do?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

Dog Days of Summer Dishcloth Swap Questionnaire

Do you knit, or crochet, or do both? How long have you been knitting\crocheting? Both-40+ years.
Have you knit dishcloths or dishtowels before? No.
What are your favorite cotton yarns? Is there a cotton or linen you’ve been dying to try but have not? Not particular; I haven’t gotten to try many linens.
Are there any cotton yarns you don’t enjoy knitting with? No.
What type of needle do you prefer using? (Metal/Wood/Plastic) Wood, wood, wood except Addi Lace and Denise circulars.
What other projects do you enjoy knitting or crocheting? Anything colorful and with an interesting pattern or texture.
Do you have other hobbies or enjoy other kinds of crafting? Most anything with fibers, beading, polymer clay, sewing.
What kind of treats do you like? Chocolate? Candies? Nuts? I like white chocolate, trail mixes (Trader Joe’s!!),
What colors are your kitchen and bath decorated in, if any? Huh? Decorate, you say?
What are your favorite colors and what colors do you dislike? I dislike black and neutrals. My favorites are greens, including lime, purple and, oddly enough, orange.
Do you drink coffee? Tea? Other beverages? Both, especially green & Kombucha teas. Occasionally juices but I stay away from carbonation and sugars.
Do you have any kids (human or pet variety!)? Fuzzy only. Horse, dogs & cats.
Do you have any allergies? Other than the local air, no.
Please share 3 tidbits about yourself that you think your pal and other swappers might find odd or interesting. I like novelty yarns (too bad!) and can’t wait for them to become popular again.
I love patchouli and musk scents, hate “heavy” perfumes like Channel #5.
I love earrings, eye shadow and lip glosses but don’t wear much other jewelry nor nail polish.