Sunday, September 30, 2007

Remember That Little Trumpet Vine?....

In the spring of 2006 when DH planted his little trumpet vine, I don't think he really thought it would grow to be as big as we told him it would...grin Well, look at it now.... Click on the picture for a much better view...

Autumn Pears...

The days are cooling down and yesterday was no exception... perfect outside weather for company. Jim and Don, the twins , Don's mom, John and Tomomi were here for the day and what a pleasant day for this mom...
We made a trip to the meadow where the pear tree was weighted almost completely down with pears. After picking all the ones down low, we tried to find a way to get to the ones higher up.. as none of us had been wise enough to bring a ladder. Jordan and Cameron both tried climbing the tree and that worked a little, but still left many, many up there. Jim finally put Jordan on his shoulders where he could reach a hefty part of them. (This was tooo funny... just had to be there!)

Friday, September 28, 2007

First Batch Dyed...

It took me a while to work up the nerve... but here it is....

The picture is "antique" looking because my camera is acting up a bit... These skeins are....from left to right.... orange, lemon-lime, pina pineapple kool-aid dyed. The picture just does not do it justice.. the yellow is so perfect, the green is variegated a bit, and the orange is soft enough to be lovely. I can hardly believe it actually worked..grin ...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My Picture Puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

This is a picture that I took a couple of years ago. Jigzone has a place for you to put photos that will turn them into puzzles. This is one of mine..grin Click on the puzzle to work it..

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Here's the Difference...

The simple changes to the ratios of my wheel made all the difference....

Here is 300+ yards of 2 ply (the 3 skeins hanging on the right) and 200+ yards of 3 ply (the two skeins hanging on the left) after the water bath.
You can tell that the Navajo plied 3 ply was done before the lesson... and the 2 ply was done after the lesson.
The close up shows it a little more clearly. I can hardly wait to have enough to make something really
My 3 1/2 pounds of Corriedale is not showing any signs that any has been used out of's like a big bowl of spaghetti...the more you eat the more there is of it...grin Jim says he will come and help do the first batch of dying.. that should be fun too...
Way too much fun...
The pics are clickable to bring up larger photos...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Spinning Lesson

Wow... It's hard to believe something so simple can make such a difference in how easy it is to spin! By changing the ratio, it suddenly became as if I had been doing it all my life. Love that. I had my first experience with a ball winder...gotta get me one of those. As a result, I found that it is quite easy to do a double ply instead of a triple ply and come out with 1/3 more yarn ... wow. Linda, of Yarn Again, was a wonderful teacher. Patient and encouraging, and laughs a lot. This was more like old friends getting together than a lesson. If you are ever in the McKinney, TX area, I would encourage you to stop in and visit.. Not only does she have hand spun yarn, roving, novelty yarn...but also hand woven scarves, shawls. She also gives weaving Ok..won't go there yet...grin

She also teaches how to knit socks...grin Guess what's next so I can use this new, smaller, double-plied yarn?

Yarn Again is located inside Morningstar Antiques on Louisiana St. Great place. Jim and Don went with us... what a wonderful day. DH, Jim and Don spent the hour plus that I was having my lesson wandering the antique shop. The lovely wedding teapot in the pic is my surprise gift from DH that I was unaware of until we got home... Isn't it lovely? We also found a couple of pieces of Hall's for my collection...

We had lunch at The Londoner ... wonderful English pub atmosphere with real fish and chips... then wandered the many, many antique shops around the square. Jim found a lovely, great condition treadle sewing now belongs to him..grin

A wonderful day....

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Girl's Retreat

Well, it was a wonderful time away from it all. A friend and I decided it was high time for a bit of time away and a little re-acquainting time with each other. So we did....grin

We did a little research of the local resort areas and checked out pricing and etc. online and finally decided on Cedar Mills Resort. After the latest "100 year flood", the restaurant I was looking so forward to was boarded up with the windows broken and what a mess... I was told that it "just stayed under the water for too long".... but all in all was a terrific time anyway.

We cooked some of the foods that we only get to have occasionally since either the spouse or kids don't like it or for whatever reason we can't cook it. We had beans with ham hocks, relish, onions and cherry tomatoes. Cornbread. Gumbo. Vinegar cobbler. Brownies. Guacamole dip with chips. Sliced cold chicken with cottage cheese and tomatoes. Ahhhh... the food. Believe me... the pic was taken after we had put away almost all of the

We took long walks............. took in all the colors, the birds, the trees...

Over the next couple of days, I will add a few pics about our trip... what a wonderful time...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Did I Tell Ya...

that I've been religiously trying to kill all my plants....???

Well, I have.

One of my two African Violets has gone to that Great Garden in the Sky already. I did pinch the center out that still looked really good and plant it.. we'll see if it will root. The other is perking up since I bought a Gro-Light bulb and put it in a lamp near the flowers. A friend from Alaska told me about how she uses them all the time and her plants are wonderful...which amazes me since Anchorage is dark for about 6 months a year. Anyway, it seems to be working, so think I'll keep it...grin

that this same friend named Loyce will be coming to visit during Christmas this year? I can hardly wait. Just hope she brings loads of photos...grin

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pennys and Pleasures

Have I said anything about our Pennys store closing... moving to another shopping mall? Their last day where they are will be Sept. 22, 2007. They will be opening up in their new store Sept. 27... according to what was posted yesterday.

We have been in and out of there for about 3 days running and yesterday the "shoe horse" in me came out.... love those close out prices... Also found a set of Aramis men's cologne with the after shave, shower get ... etc... for $14.00! Am I in heaven! Have loved that scent since the mid '80s. I'm so tempted to start carrying a cloth hanky so I can sniff it all

On the 2nd or 3rd of Sept. every year we wake to a line of red spider lilies along the drive. It's so easy to forget they are even there since they do all their "leaving" during the spring, die back and are mowed over all summer until that day when... straight out of the grass ... comes this...

It's cloudy here today...I think the forecast calls for partly cloudy and possible rain.. we may actually get the rain... who knows.

I hope everyone has a lovely day today.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Practice, Practice, Practice

Someday I will be able to spin... I just know it...grin In the meantime, I can only say that I am enjoying the practice. I am trying with this yarn to learn to do the drafting while spinning and I must say it is verrryyy slow going at the moment, not to even mention the uneven yarn. But I think perhaps I will get there. I just wish there was a group nearby where I could actually watch some experienced spinners.

It looks like maybe rain today. It must have sprinkled some since the guy that mows our lawn left in the middle..grin Looks like my haircut the last time I had it cut...a few gaps here and there.

I have added some new videos.. some are Abby Franquemont videos...a marvelous spinner. There is also one showing how the Great Wheel of wayyy back there is used. Very interesting video... it's the one with the yellow thread on the pointed spindle... Have a look...

By the way... do you suppose the word wonderful was stuck in my brain for the last

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Found a Roving Source!

DH and I went with a wonderful friend to McKinney on Wednesday. The downtown area is chock full of lovely antique stores that we (of course!) could not resist wandering through. We had lunch in a wonderful English pub called The Londoner that sits right on the square of downtown... what a scrumptious lunch! And of course I forgot to take my camera... ughh

After lunch we decided to ask in one of the antique stores if they knew where a yarn shop was located.. The store owner was a lovely lady and pointed us to a store across the street where we found not only lots of wonderful roving and lovely yarn, but the Aladdin 12 cup teapot with the pristine condition! And what a wonderful place!

The roving in the bowl is the Corriedale that I found in McKinney. How great it is to spin! Then yesterday the 5# of roving arrived that I had ordered from Halcyon Yarns.. looks like I will have plenty to do for a while..grin

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Trumpet Vine and Seed Pods

The trumpet vine that Jerry planted last year has really outdone itself with all the rain we've had this year..

I've never paid close attention to a trumpet vine before and I know they can spread like wildfire, but I didn't know they made seedpods. DH came in a couple of days ago with these. I find them very interesting... they look almost like they were molded with a form and the brown thing (whatever it's called..) at the top looks just like a tiny bell.

These were the only ones he found on the whole vine. I wish I had been there to watch him jump up and down trying to reach them...grin

Monday, September 03, 2007

Yarn Preparation for Spinning

It seems as I continue to work with my spinning wheel that the yarn preparation for me right now takes about 2 times as much time as the actual spinning. I strip the roving, draft it into the bowl and then spin it.

The yarn skein has about 52 yards and the niddy noddy has 48 yards of Navajo triple plied yarn. With the spinning and the plying, each set took about an hour apiece. The prep work on the other hand about twice that long apiece. hmmm.... Do you suppose watching Midsomer Murders during the prep work had anything to do with that?

As I am still very new to this, I find it a bit amazing that the spot dyed roving in the upper pic can turn into this yarn that I am calling Old Fashioned Candy. It really looks like the Old Fashioned Candy sticks that can still be found in the big jars at Cracker Barrel restaurants..grin

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I Missed My Blogiversary!

They say it's blogging etiquette to link back to your first blog post on your blogiversary... Well, I made 3 posts that first time, so I will link back to the page they are on... That was August 13, 2005. I only missed it by 20 days or so...

This little embroidered sheep was done for the "Bags of Fun" denim purse challenge on Sharon Boggins blog in a minute ago. That challenge started my blogging adventures.

In the process of finding that first post... I had to read several early posts..(just had to... grin) Those short little paragraphs are just enough to jog the memory about things that were nearly forgotten. I started off making hard copies each month of the blog... then the big printer broke, so only have a few months actually on paper. I will eventually cough up the money for ink and print the rest of it off. I can't think of a nicer way to keep a "diary" than to share it with friends and family. And since it's shared (out there for all to see), you only blog the good things...then as you look back on a blahs kind of day there are lots of little thoughts that help put a little smile back on your face.

Just a thought---- Only 3 months and 23 days until Christmas! (I know you really wanted to know that...!)

Saturday, September 01, 2007

My Kromski Spinning Wheel Is Here!

It came Thursday... It had included with the wheel an extra bobbin and a Kromski niddy noddy. (Ask me if DH didn't get a lot of mileage out of that name! grin) We spent the afternoon putting it together...a 30 minute job (grin) Anyway, finally got it together and you should see my first 10 yards or so of mess.. ( I won't be posting pics..grin)

Ask me if I love it! DH tells me I have to be able to chew gum and walk to use Finally got it semi figured out yesterday and managed to finish the 4oz. of practice roving that came with it. It's the blue that is on the niddy noddy. The yarn is triple plied using the Navajo technique. I ended up with just over 50 yards not counting the 10 or so yards that I messed up in first try.

The yarn is not so great. Too much twist. I've seen someone on the net trying to get the effect I got with the twist on the single making a spiral after it is plied...grin If I try to do it again, it'll never happen.
We had company yesterday morning, waited around for someone who never showed up and finally gave up and went to the book store. I found several James Patterson novels (Alex Cross .. only!) that I didn't have. I looked for anything spinning, naalbinding or yarn related... not a single book in the whole store! (Half-Price Books) Anyway, finally got to work on my spinning in the evening.. I think I have found a new passion...