Monday, November 28, 2011

False Start

At the beginning of this year, I made a resolution to finish up my old projects that have been laying around for who knows how long. I have finished a couple. And as this year is drawing to a close, I feel pressure-ized to keep to my resolution. So I got out an old chesnut of a project. I had the body knitted of a 50/50 mohair and Border Leicester sweater. I started it 12 years ago. Yes! I said 12! The wool was from a ewe I had, named Angel. After I blew all the dust off this one, I realized I only had the part of the sweater pattern that I had finished. I couldn't find the rest of the pattern! So I decided to make it a vest, instead of a sweater, and make it up as I go (which you know I like to do anyway). So I put an easy finish on the armholes and then came some fun. I had to choose buttons. That was one whole evening as I got out every button I own, had them spread out on the table and tried to choose. I had trouble staying 'on task'. I kept wanting to organize the buttons more, by color, by shape, by decade! I think I get a little A-D-D disorder when the buttons come out. But by about 3 hours later, I had chosen 4 buttons. I am very pleased with my choice. You see, I couldn't start the front facings with the button holes until I had chosen buttons so I knew how big to make the buttonholes. I had many 'false starts' on the finishing of this vest. I couldn't decide how long to make the front facings. I ripped them out twice, each time going longer. When I got to the neck edging, I decided I wanted a shawl collar. I ripped that out several times until it suited me. It took me every evening for a week to get it finished, but I did it! I wore it yesterday to the Christmas Walk in Waterloo.
Oh yeah, I knitted pockets on it, too. The 4 buttons that I used match, but the top two are a size smaller than the bottom two. They appear to be bakelite (I haven't had them tested to be sure) in the tortoise shell color.

I definitely got in the Christmas Spirit yesterday! It was the 30th Annual Christmas Walk in Waterloo and I was demonstrating spinning at Raccoon Hollow quilt shop. I now have things for sale there. Yarn, knitting needles and stuff. I will start teaching beginning knitting there as well. I am looking forward to it! Stay tuned for more info.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, November 24, 2011


So what are you up to today? For us in the States, today is a day of thanksgiving. Counting your blessings. I am counting mine today, also. I am blessed in so many ways. With friendship and family. Thank you all for sharing my life with me.

I am also thankful that I finished one more of my 'old projects' last night. I'll be posting more on it later.  Eat some turkey for me.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

                                                     Diesel and Yahctzee

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hat Trifecta plus one

I have made  three knitted hats in the past week. Yes, alot of knitting. Alot of doctor's appointments and drive time. But I have some nice hats to show for it! The first one, the brown one, is alpaca with some wool blended in it  Its made from Roadie's fleece. A nice, basic watchcap with a little different knitted rib pattern. Instead of K1 P1, or K2 P2, I used a K4 P2 K2 P2 pattern which turrned out nicely. So much in fact, that with the second cap I knitted I used the same pattern. Its for my son and he wants it dyed black so in the dyepot it will go! The third hat, the blue one, is made of a alpaca/silk combo (80/20) and is very soft. I took a basic hat pattern and added ear flaps for warmth in the cold, windy days of winter. Right now I am just collecting them. Not sure where they will end up. It is fun making them.  I like to always have a project to work on.

The 'plus one' in the blog title is this one. I was remiss in posting this one last month! How could I forget this fedora? It was like Cinderella's slipper at the Weavers' Sale. It must have been tried on 6 times. I could have sold it 6 times, too, except for one person it was a little small, the next time a little too big. It is a natural brown alpaca with a black silk band. I am very pleased with the way it came out. I will definitely make some more of them. Some a little smaller and some a little bigger! lol  And who knows? Maybe Cinderella (or Cinderfella) will come along and snatch up this one.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Monday, November 14, 2011

Another Great Class!

We had another great spinning class on Saturday! The picture was taken by 'my lovely assistant, Darrell'. All the ladies left with hanks of yarn and smiles on their faces! We had a wonderful lunch and after this weekend I gained two pounds! Yikes! That food was good. and plentiful. and I ate twice. lol  At the end of class all the ladies got to try spinning on the different wheels we had available at the class. Several Louets, an Ashford Kiwi,  a Schact Ladybug, and a Majacraft Pioneer. Some were single treadles and some double treadles. Usually, you won't find this many different wheels in one place to give a test run on.

On another note, this is our grandson, Davin. He and grandpa pulled from the garden the biggest radish in Illinois! lol

Talk to you soon, Tammy

Friday, November 11, 2011

Here's To You

Here's to you, grandpa, on Veteran's Day. Grandpa didn't talk about WWII much, if at all. Grandma talked about it more. About how hard it was with two little kids and having to work in the factories. The world my grandparents lived in was much harsher, in my opinion, than our lives today. Sometimes, we may be watching our pennies (or dollars with inflation) and have to make cheaper choices at the grocery store but at least we always have an option. What I mean is, there is always food at the store. We haven't ever been faced with being hungry and there not being food you can purchase at the store. I can't imagine being hungry and no where to get food. I know it seems like I'm going off on a tangent here, but my grandparents grew up like that during the Great Depression. Followed by WWII.  It made them tough--sometimes hard. But I appreciate what they went through. It is what has made our country what it is today.
Grandpa told me he went through the war so that his family didn't have to grow up like he did. He wanted better. And I believe he got it.     Thank you, Grandpa! And Grandma! She'll tell you that she sacrificed, too.

For the fibery part of this message, this is a scarf I recently felted. Its a merino/silk.  Its alot of fun to wear! And looks nice against alabaster skin.

Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Free Kisses

I taught a beginning spinning class at my farm this past Saturday. And as with all classes at my farm, each participant receives a free kiss from Vienna. She loves to give away kisses when people come to visit. She is giving a kiss to Rebecca.

Here's the class with the yarn they spun. Everyone left with their own hank of their own spun yarn! How fun!  We had a great day.

Check out my barn cats. I had to take a picture of this today. They are hot on the trail of a mole. They were taking turns digging in its hole trying to catch it. Have trouble with moles tearing up your yard? I have mole-digging barn cats for rent. pm me if interested.
Talk to you soon,  Tammy

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Good Problem To Have

Last year, when my mom became ill, I spent alot of time in Missouri with her. As a result, I had to talk (and sometimes bribe) my son to help me feed and care for the pacas. As time went on, it got easier and easier to get him to help. This summer there were many days that he'd ask me if I wanted him to feed that day. He'd say I could work on some fiber stuff to get caught up. I thought, 'how cool!" Recently, I was in the barn feeding on a class day for him and he came home and came out to the barn where I was and scolded me that he said last night that he would feed for me that day. Sometimes, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer. This was one of those times. After another heart to heart talk with him explaining that I like to come out and spend time with the pacas. It settles my nerves and I think about things going on in life and the time in the barn in general improves my mood and thinking. It was then the light bulb finally went on for me. He explained that was the same reason he liked to feed them, too!
So now my problem is that I have to share custody of the pacas with my son! It is a good problem to have. As you can see, the girls like him, too. Little Vienna loves him. She can be across the pasture and see him coming toward the gate and comes running to meet him. She doesn't do that for me! The boys really like him, too, and he can scratch their necks.

This is a picture of Venus. I sold a couple of felted hats at the Weavers' Guild Annual Sale made from her fiber. In the above pictures, yes, Rendezvous was last weekend. You can see the tents and teepees set up in the background. Its been a busy time around here. But when isn't it?
Talk to you soon,  Tammy