Posted by: Mare F | October 3, 2017

Autumn again…

Another busy summer has passed me by. My hours at work have been increased and there has been a definite reduction in my crafting and deck time. I certainly need to find some balance soon. I’ve also had a couple of fairly big orders so maybe my crafting time hasn’t been as affected as I think it has. Anyway, to get myself back into the crafting mode I signed up for Spinzilla which started yesterday.

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These are the result of Tour de Fleece in July. I didn’t get as much time to spin as I’d hoped, but I did get some done so it’s all good.

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This is what I managed to spin yesterday afternoon when I got home from work. Boy, was I rusty to start!

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This is waiting for me at home and I might just try to move it out to the deck for a while. It’s a lovely day and it’s been too long. Pretty soon I’ll be spinning and weaving on the deck with a coat on. How was your summer?

 

 

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Posted by: Mare F | July 10, 2017

Dyeing and carding

A few summers ago I used some “mystery” wool for a solar dyeing experiment and I was quite pleased with the outcome. I had large mason jars, and a few Yankee Candle jars, which I used to dye the wool out on the deck. It did make for a colorful display and I was almost sorry to finish processing it, but it was time.

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This part is slightly embarrassing. This delightful job has been hanging out in a basket upstairs on the shelf under the carding table for 2 years. I discovered it, and many other things fibery, while going on a purging tear. Downstairs it, and the carding table came, to the studio and this past weekend I decided that it was time.

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So, I queued up a string of Charlie Chan movies and settled in to do some serious carding. I have hopes of either wet felting or needle felting this batch up into embellishments for my felted hats and perhaps some felted beads.

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There are a few more batts added to this tote now, but I finished the last of this lot yesterday morning, this time to Miss Fisher Mysteries. I have such a lovely feeling of accomplishment that I have to wonder why I wait so long to do these things. Happily, even though I didn’t get to do any plying this weekend, I still participated in the spirit of the Tour de Fleece by doing all of my carding. Perhaps this afternoon will see some plying….I have 4 out of 5 bobbins full, so it will be plying before anything else. Do you find yourself putting off some chores?

Posted by: Mare F | May 4, 2017

Thursday chat

I have long been a fan of Knitpicks and I think I’ve probably mentioned that fact once or twice. Last week I put in an order for yarn to make up an owl afghan and since I was ridiculously close to the $50 free shipping amount I decided to prowl beyond my original items. I added a $10 yarn grab bag. The tracking notification estimated that it would arrive at my home on Friday which was perfect in my mind as we are forecasted for a soaker of a rain day…perfect for starting a new project. Imagine my surprise and delight when it arrived yesterday! This is the yarn grab bag….the $10 yarn grab bag…

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I’m just a little more in love with this company than I was yesterday at this time. I’m thinking about one or two more….

Posted by: Mare F | April 27, 2017

Thursday chat

This book was sent to me by a lovely lady in England and has become my favorite for my personal sock experiments. I’ve been taking bits and pieces from different patterns for some very fun and comfortable results.

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It is easy to read, has some lovely photos, and is very user-friendly in my opinion. If you’re looking for some fun sock pattern, I suggest you give this book consideration.

Posted by: Mare F | April 24, 2017

Latest case of startitis…

Over the past weekend I was battling the ick and as a result my projects got less and less complicated. On Wednesday afternoon I started the crocheted shawl Serene Shells from Lion’s Brand in Red Heart Symphony River Blue. It’s a delightful 2 row pattern that didn’t tax my tired mind.

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By the time Friday rolled around I was home sick napping on the couch with a pot of lemon tea at hand and decided that the dark color was not working well will my itchy, swollen eyes so I started a poncho in a bright variegated cotton.

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By Saturday afternoon I didn’t want to crochet any more so I started a mariner’s scarf in Red Heart Super Saver Dark Sage thinking that cold weather is coming and it never hurts to have lots of scarves about.

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I now have only about 3″ left on the scarf, the edging on the poncho, but lots to go on the shawl so guess what I’ll be doing after work between naps. When is the last time you experienced startitis?

Posted by: Mare F | April 20, 2017

Thursday chat

Seeds, glorious seeds. I’m not usually very good at starting seeds in the house and actually having plants to put into the ground weeks later. Well, unless I plant coleus seeds, then they all come up. This year I am going to trying planting them in the ground and see how that goes. A lovely friend let me piggyback on her seed order this year so I’m armed and ready to go…once the last frost is past or I plan really well for place and protection .

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I have some vegetables, some flowers, and some natural dye plants. It should be an interesting yest and  I will keep you all in the loop as to how the seed experiment goes….finding room for the pumpkins should be a treat!

 

 

Posted by: Mare F | April 17, 2017

Deconstucting a fairy circle

I missed posting last week because I was awakening my yard muscles by raking and moving bricks. The bricks were laid out around a row of shrubs we have at the side of the house mainly to make a straighter mowing path for the summer months. The year before that was done we set up the stone circle around the wisteria in the front yard. Bad idea.

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I mistakenly thought that it would help contain the runners from the wisteria, but no, they are very tenacious and not only did they snarl up the area inside of the ring, but they also charged farther out into the yard introducing themselves to the hostas. This did not please me and made walking, and mowing, more interesting. I swear that the runners sneak up and wrap themselves around my ankles….

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So, my Spring Break focus this year is to move the rocks from the fairy ring to the row of shrubs along the yard. I really am looking forward to tomorrow’s forecasted rain. There are a lot of rocks in that circle!

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It didn’t really rain much so I got more done than I expected to do. There are still a few more rocks to move, but since I don’t know just yet where I want to put them, and I certainly don’t want to move them twice, they will remain in place for just a little while longer….don’t need to mow just yet.

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And I still have the beds to tidy up. I shall be much more vigilant this fall…and I shall certainly start earlier in the season. When do you start to put your gardens to bed for the winter?

Posted by: Mare F | April 6, 2017

Thursday chat

I love Workbasket magazine. It is a sad thing that we don’t have anything like it now. If you haven’t seen any of these magazines you are in for a nostalgic treat. They cover plants, recipes, bazaar items, queries for missing patterns, and of course, patterns. I can spend hours looking at them and I never pass up the chance to grab them when I find them at thrift shops or estate sales. I’ve revived many of the old patterns with a good deal of success and a few of the recipes as well. My oldest date back to the 1930s.

 

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So, if you happen to stumble across one or two and have a bit of time on your hands, I highly recommend that you brew some tea and enjoy traveling back in time for an hour or so.

Posted by: Mare F | April 3, 2017

Shawls, lost in shawls

At Rhinebeck last fall, one of my fibery friends mentioned that she would like to knit lace and planned to start with worsted yarn to make it less stressful. I hopped on board with the idea and got myself a lovely DK weight yarn that I cannot find now. That is a story for another day to  which I hope that there is a happy ending. I don’t recall her first piece, the simple transition piece, but her second was absolutely lovely. It inspired me to make the Sausalito shawl with Cascade 220 Superwash in Mossy Glade that I purchased at Marji’s Yarncraft in Granby, CT. This trip was to get the 60″ cable to make the shawl, but you know how it is when you get inside a yarn shop….

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The Sausalito shawlette, Designed by Gail Tanquary for Crystal Palace Yarns, was quite comfortable to work up even for someone who has the attention span of a fruit fly. The body of the shawl was just enough to keep me interested, but not fussy enough to annoy me. The edging was quite fun, but not intensive. All in all it was a lovely transition into lace for me.

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Now to find the original hank of yarn and the next lacy pattern to work. I might just try a rectangular shawl this time. If you have any suggestions for a novice lace knitter they would be greatly appreciated.

 

Posted by: Mare F | March 20, 2017

Softly wrapped

I’ve spent a bit of time this year making up warm wraps and ponchos. I found a number of wonderful bulky yarns on sale on Black Friday – online,  I’m too much of a coward to brave the stores on that day – and then started to play with patterns. It was made easier by having a series of bitterly cold weekends and I enjoyed the foray into bulky yarns more than I thought that I would do.

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The above shawl is 3 large granny squares in a variegated yarn. It worked up quickly with an “N” hook and I enjoyed it so much that I made a second just like it. Now I have to sew one button onto the front of it as a closure and I’ll be all set to post it on my studio. I think the closure will square it up and make it balance out a bit better.

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Then I went back to my old triangle standby once I thought about button closures on shawls and made up the following shawl. Now to find the buttons to work with the blue. It’s very soft and very warm. I’ve always enjoyed Red Heart Symphony yarn. Such interesting colors.

studio pics 012So, what has the cold weather inspired you to create, other than comfort foods, that is?

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