Saturday, April 26, 2008

Home for a Minute

We got home this afternoon tired but relieved. DD has been in hospital so we made a rapid trip to central Oklahoma. Thankfully she got to go home yesterday morning and has done fairly well since then.

She loves her yard and had a bad moment when she reached to the ground to pull some weeds from one of her flower beds. These lovely violets make me green with envy every time I see them...

We got to see our grandson before we left this morning ... always a good thing.
And isn't he handsome...grin

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spinning Chiengora

I suppose there's a fancy name for everything..grin I had our son keep the "fur" after our grand poodle Brigit was groomed and bring it to me. I've had a smaller amount in my room for quite a while, but didn't have a spindle that was light weight enough for the tiny strands of poodle fur.

I finally got around to making one and so.. here we go. I started with a bit of wool to give the poodle fur something to grasp and I have to admit, it was rough going to learn. I finally figured out that if I would use some spinning oil on it as I was carding it everything would spin much easier and there would be a lot less fly away going on. I pulled on the thread quite hard at intervals while spinning it and so far it seems to be quite strong. Perhaps will get it finished tomorrow and then I think I will ply it with wool...that will make it go much further and I already have some Corriedale wool going on my Bossie spindle. I can hardly wait to see how much it finally ends up being...

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Green Is A Wonderful Time of the Year

It is so nice to look out the back and see green and the colors of the flowers as they bloom to the tune of this lovely season. Spring has to be my favorite... the lovely colors and warming of the temps just does something for the last vestiges of winter's cabin fever.

I love it when the irises bloom. And the crepe myrtle in the corner is always a lovely red in early spring...then blooms with that lovely red again in the summer. There are irises all through the meadow...

MRI Results Good! Making Body Powder...

The MRI results came back good... no cancer. Will have to retest in 6 months to monitor everything. All is good...

This morning I ran out of powder. So a quick run through to make some more.... I knew I was getting low, so when I last went to buy groceries I found this corn starch that was cheaper, sooo I bought it just for this purpose.

I empty the corn starch into the large plastic bag. Add in a large serving spoon (about 1/4 cup) of rice flour. I added to the mixture in the bag a few drops of melissa essential oil, jasmine essential oil and a bit of some hair shine that has a nice scent. If you have a favorite perfume or cologne, you can spray several sprays into the mixture and close it up... the scent will adhere to the powder. After the additions of whatever you would like to scent it with, zip the bag up and shake to mix.

You may prefer to let this set up for a few days to allow the scent to disperse through the powder. Since I was completely out, I went ahead and put some in my powder container.
Yum, yum... and sooo easy...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Darn Socks!

DH came with his socks hanging from his hand asking "Can you fix this?"

These are the socks that I knitted a few months ago and it seems I should have done an afterthought heel so I could just take it off and put a new one on...not that I have a clue how to knit an afterthought heel... I can nalbind one, but not knit...

After a bit of time on the net searching for anything to do with darning, I came up with one that says to use a light bulb if you don't have a darning egg. Wow...who would've thought...

Then I found an actual video showing a person darning a sock... who could ask for more? So I followed what the video said and tried to copy her as much as possible. No one was more surprised than me when I actually worked. There are a couple of other places that are showing some wear on the socks, so I guess I had best get ready to make another pair.

I think I will find one of those egg shaped things at Hobby Lobby and see if I can smooth it down to be a darning egg....

Friday, April 11, 2008

How to Make a Beaded Wrist Distaff

Yesterday was laundry day. While I had 20 or 30 minutes between loads, that's not very much when it comes to instead of weaving I made the wrist distaff that I have been wanting to make forever... but just kept putting off.

It consists of about 20 pieces of yarn that are about 30 inches long. (Notice all the "abouts"... I seldom measure anything..If it looks "about right", then it's fine with me.) These are all held together and folded in the middle to find the center. Keep your finger in between the fold or you will find that you will be 10 minutes sorting out the yarn and have to start over... (guess how we know this!) Working out from the center, the yarn is "measured" to about twice the amount needed to circle the wrist and then tied of with a string at that spot on one end. With the string tie hooked on something substantial ( in this instance it was my big A sight to behold if ever there was one!), you divide the yarn into 3 equal groups and begin to braid the center. When it reaches the desired circumference of your wrist..making sure it will fit over your hand also... the braiding is then tied off on this end.

There should now be fairly equal lengths of loose yarn on each end. I trimmed 2 or 3 on each to be shorter and did some random cuts to put some of the beads at different levels.. This helps to hold the wool. And here comes the picky part. The beads can be any kind you want. Any color you want. The only stickler is that they must have a hole big enough for the yarn and the eye of the needle you will be using. Each length of yarn hanging from the braid is beaded. I used a single good sized bead with a knot tied at the end to hold it. You can use as many beads on each piece of yarn as you like, but each piece of yarn should have at least one. After the beading is finished on both ends, the braided wrist area is joined by putting the ends of the braid together, then wrapping a length of yarn around them.. joining both sides into one. Tie it off with a knot. I then applied super glue to all the knots. While I don't plan to be throwing it around much, I figure a little extra oomph on those knots couldn't be a really bad thing.

And... you don't absolutely have to bead your distaff. The beading gives some weight to the lengths of yarn and helps to allow the wool to fall off the distaff easier as you can twirl the weighted lengths of the distaff as you spin.
However, the first distaff I made was not weighted and I found it nearly indispensable for holding plenty of yarn on hand as I was spinning and also for keeping the wool away from the spinning yarn. (Hate that when the wool becomes tangled in the spinning yarn...)

I should add here that you can make a wrist distaff of almost anything... from crochet cotton thread to strips of rags... but the use of a woolen or semi-woolen yarn will give something for your wool to "hold" to and be less likely to just slip up and down on the distaff.

This is really a post that should be on Fabric Follies Two.. hmm May just copy and paste it over

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Waiting, Weaving and Trial & Error

I played with my loom some more yesterday. Didn't make it too wide because I wanted to try some different things with it (in other ...still have it on the loom so will try some other things today. I want to see if I can put little random sprigs of red in it without the long ends of the red sticking out. I read somewhere that the weave is tight enough to hold small lengths of different colored yarn... will have to look that up again...hmmm

When I look at the fabric on the loom, I can barely see any difference in the fabric..except for where the weft is more heavily beaten. It shows up much better in the photo..

Getting a bit frustrated here... finally called the doctor's office to see what was going on with my MRI testing... It seems it has not been read yet..or at least has not been put into my file on their computers... and our doctor has not received a report... Ahhh.. the wonders of the best medical system in the world.... sigh

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Cream of Wheat

Remember those days when you'd get up in the morning and fix a quick bowl of Cream of Wheat (hopefully without really huge lumps) for the kids ... then you'd sit down and scrape the pan for your own breakfast after they were off to school? No?... well that's what happened at our house... About a year and a half ago I came across some "instant" Cream of Wheat, had to have it and it has sat in the cabinet all this time.

Today was the day... had to have it.. (and yes, the diet is in the trash until some of the stress is over... I know ... I know... any excuse...whatever...) so I made me some...

Either a year and a half in the cupboard or my dead and dying taste buds have done something really bad to Cream of Wheat....! This will be a not again happening thing!

Oh.. and one more thing... It would be real good if you just think of those chips in the bowl as highlights from the flash on the camera... ok?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Do We Ever Appreciate Them Enough?

This is one of "those" posts... you know... the ones that either come across as "mushy" or "heartfelt"....

Either way, it's one I want to post...

I went for a mammogram a while back.. no prob... the yearly thing... But they called me back for some more pics... then immediately did a sonogram (think stress here)...then the Dr. wanted to come see for himself (only a little increase in stress here) ... then as he rolled his hands in front of him and looked at me wide eyed (increase that stress level by a bit here), he "suggested" very strongly that I have either a biopsy or MRI as soon as possible (increase it a LOT here)... As the sonogram tech walked me back to the waiting room (so I wouldn't get lost), he kept asking me if I was ok...what's up with that??? So I had the MRI on Friday... now it's just a waiting game. (Can we say LOTS of stress here? )

During this "waiting" time my DH has been the most patient, supportive person I have ever known... I don't think I ever tell him enough how much I appreciate him.

He came down "feeling bad" a week or 10 days ago... weak kneed... but it wasn't until Saturday evening that we took his temp and found it to be over 100. Still, he had spent an hour or so in the shop with me...and has spent the whole week making sure that I had enough hobby things to do that it would keep my mind busy and off the "waiting"... Finally it has gotten him down enough that he went to bed at 8pm and spends most of the day leaned back in his recliner. He has begun the "sweating it out" process, so here's hoping it will soon be over...

So, it is with absolute resolution that even tho he lives for NHRA racing (not NRA) in the spring and summer ... John Force...yayyy... This cartoon says it all... and with appreciation....and no complaints from this wife...

I love you, Hon... Thanks for being my DH...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Made My First Fabric Yesterday

Saturday was a busy day in the shop. DH put together a lap sized tapestry loom for me. We made it of oak and he used dowels to hold the corners...

It ended with me sanding it down and using the dremel to shape the shuttle and shed stick...will think of the real name for this as soon as I Then spent some time using a finer sandpaper to finish it... dampened it with a wet cloth to raise the wood again and re-sanded. Then used boiled linseed oil to seal and finish it.

This tabby weave is my first masterpiece... I am so amazed at making my own fabric from my own handspun Icelandic yarn. Gives me a whole new respect for all those generations that "came before"....
I finished this weave last night and took it off the loom. It feels like "grandpa's old suit"...grin I think I will use this small piece to make a coin purse... we'll see...