Friday, February 27, 2009

Yarny Goodness

Hey you all, go check this out: . It's a contest to win a skein of handspun yarn. I have no affliation, just thought it was too pretty not to share.

I am in love with this yarn. I might not have picked it out, ordinarily. For some reason it is very appealing to me. Maybe, because it is so Springy and I am so very tired of Winter?

The skein is about 115 yards of worsted/bulky 2 ply is a supersoft squishy merino in the “California Poppy” colorway. Dyed by Girl on the Rocks and spun by Kiriko Moth!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Creative Every Day - Altered Altoids Tin

I made this little piece today in response to the Creative Every Day challenge to use words and contemplation on the word "Dream".

I used a piece of blue wool felt for the base. I needle felted the amorphous design from the shed blue/grey wool from my big garter stitch shawl and a bit of the hand dyed merino that I purchased at the Sew Expo earlier this month.

I then took a piece of paper and hand wrote the word "dream" and coloured the paper with coloured pencils. I took a plastic plaque and place the word under it and then I attached the plaque with some rock crystal beads and sterling head pins.

I glue the plastic dragonfly on to the needle felted piece and glue that to the lid of the Altoid's tin and wallah.

This piece isn't quite finished as I am, wait for it, waiting for the glue to dry. After this step dries, I will then cover the sides of the lid and pretty it up some more before it is complete.

Again, I am sorry for the craptastic pictures.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dream - Creative Every Day

So, the latest word is DREAM from Creative Every Day.

I immediately thought of all the dreams I have had over the years. Some have come true, like my children and doing things I never would have dreamed of doing.

Some have been nightmares. Like the lost of so many that I love in my life.

I scribbled some words and sketched some ideas (thanks to the Moley in the purse) for art whilst waiting for various things today. I will refine them and there will be dream art and I will share those dreams shortly.

Ash Wednesday - Grace and St .Stephen's Episcopal Church Trial Update

I went to knit this morning at Knitter's Kove. We swapped war stories on our medical issues and shared our latest knit and quilt projects. I traded for yet another Size 2 Brittany DPN, cuz I snapped 2 over the weekend. BTW: I've got Dragonflies on the needles again, in a Cherry Tree Hill yarn, Colourway Blues and Greens.

We congratulated Barb (DragonFlyKnitter) on her engagement, way to go, Barb and congratulations again.

I then went to the Noon Service at our exile home, 1st Christian Church for The Imposition of Ashes and then out to lunch after, with my friend Sue for Chinese at Hunan Gardens (Thanks, Rebecca for introducing me to this restaurant).

I should have done this sooner for that I extend my apologies. Here is the link to the Diocese of Colorado website with the news items relating to the current case here in El Paso County.

After lunch, I then went down to the courthouse for the afternoon testimony in our trial. They had recalled the witness from Friday, sigh. Woo-hoo, he only used the word context twice today. Thanks the Gods, as I was ready to scream on Friday from hearing it SO often.

I did get to meet the attorney for our side, Mr. Martin Nussman, very nice gentleman and he does not an easy job ahead. He asked me if you had to knit to be an Episcopalian, to which I replied, no, but right now it helps as it does soothe our frazzled nerves and helps us to concentrate on the testimony. There are anywhere from 3-7 knitters clicking away during testimony. There does not appear to be any knitters for the other side...

I also got to meet the Canonical Lawyer (whose name is escaping me at the moment) for the Diocese of Colorado as well... I would venture to guess that his job is extremely interesting. He is also friends with my old parish priest, The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, formerly from Eagle Rock, CA who is now the Bishop of Iowa.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday

We ate pancakes...

Since my daughter harassed me about the brevity of this post, I will add that we ate cinnamon ginger pancakes with from scratch blackberry syrup and warm maple syrup. Yummy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Fern Clog Socks - Creative Every Day

I finished the Fern Clog Socks yesterday, which I started while watching the testimony in court on Friday. Obviously, a fast knit. Erin will take a pix of them later today and I will post them later this evening. They knitted up very nicely and I am very please with them. I got the pattern from Ravelry, of course. I did make a change to them in that I didn't like the published decrease on the left side of the pattern and did a different one that satisfied my sense of symmetry better.

For my Creative Every Day Challenge, I cast on a new pair of Dragonfly socks for me and dyed some cotton fiber with tea.

I dyed the cotton yarn (bought on sale at Knitter's Kove, woot) that was too bright for what it's intended use is with tea. I have been saving teabags for about 2 weeks and had quite the bowl full. The yarn is going to be for a sock project I am doing for Erin as she has not learned to knit socks yet. She is violently susceptible to wool itchies, so I make her socks in cotton, bamboo or some other non-wool fiber.

These socks are a special project that I am not talking about until they are done as we haven't seen/found a pattern for them and maybe will want to publish it ourselves after it's all said and done. Stay tuned for the progress on them.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Grace and St .Stephen's Episcopal Church Trial Update

I attended the afternoon portion of the trial I posted about earlier, on Friday. It was an interesting afternoon, to say the least. I have attended trials before and I have never seen a witness who was allowed such free reign in their responses to questions. It was fascinating to watch the process. Having been a criminal trial witness and also a certified paralegal sitting in on witness instruction, it's my opinion, the judge should have told the witness to limit his answers to yes or no as appropriate and to ONLY answer the question asked. Both attorneys should have either objected more or cautioned the witness more. Maybe, the judge was giving the witness the rope needed to hang himself. Be that as it may, if I EVER hear the word "context" used again, I shall scream out loud.

I also ran into some friends from the Scottish community that I hadn't seen since last September and I was unaware that we belonged to the same denomination, let alone were on opposite sides of the aisle as it were...

On a lighter note, I got nearly a whole Fern Clog Sock knitted while listening to the testimony. I am that glad that I took such a small project, as the Court Room was PACKED... SRO and sitting on the floor type packed.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grace and St .Stephen's Episcopal Church Bible Study and Trial

I don't often relate what is going on in my life with regard to religion and/or politics but sometimes I have the need to express something about either topic and this is one of those times.
Here is the link to the church I attend:

If you don't care to read about church or church related things, you need read no further.

Here's the link to the national Episcopal Church:

In April 2008 I started to attend Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church here in Colorado Springs at the invitation of Father John Pahls, who has been a friend of mine for many years. We share a love of our Scottish heritage and Father Pahls, designed and wove the first iteration of our State Tartan. Every year we generally meet up at the State Capitol in Denver on the nearest Friday to the 6th of April, which is the National Day of Celebration of Scots and their contribution to the founding and building of America. It is celebrated with kilted ministers, bag pipers and HR and Senate members broken out in a Colorado State Tartan rash.

Due to some extremely troubling events at this church, we are meeting in small groups for 12 weeks. The meeting are held every other week. It was decided our church needed to have a small group Bible study and information session relating to matters of the church. If you care to read more about the events articles have been published in the Colorado Springs Daily Gazette. Here's the link to the paper: There have been a few articles, I am sorry I don't know the exact dates.

Last night, was Week 3 of our church's Small group meetings. These meeting are held in part to be bible studies on a series of topics whose topics started in the past and go forward to the present and then into the future. This study is called the African Bible study and was first used at a Lambeth Conference. The basis of the study is to to read a passage from 3 different translations of the Bible and then discuss what word or message you felt was revealed to you from the reading.

The groups are based on the Zip Code that you live in. About 10 families in my Zip Code are currently taking part. It is a very mixed group, clergy family, former and present Vestry members, choir members and me.

In part it is a Bible Study with the text being chosen by Father Marty Pearsall, with a specific purpose to guide us from the past into the future. The other important component besides building community and making sure the lines of communication are open is to impart information relating to the trial that started on 10 February 2009 to determine who actually has possession of the building that the congregation I belong to used to worship at.

In March 2007, the priest in charge broke away from the Main Episcopal Body and joined with a small, very conservative group based out of Africa called CANA. Here is the link if you want to further understand about CANA.

I do not pretend to to understand it all. Suffice to say, the congregation I belong to is worshiping in exile at First Christian Church in downtown Colorado Springs. We are very grateful to First Christian Church for their generosity and kindness to us in these troubled times. We will continue to meet there until a determination is made by the Judge as to ownership of the property in Tejon Street, in downtown.

In the case of the current trial, members of both of the congregations attend, in part to learn what is going to happen to the building and in part to show support for "their" side. Members of the exiled congregation also attend to support the Bishop of Colorado, who is helping to foot the legal bills. I will be attending for the first time, the afternoon session today with my neighbor, Sue.

The trial was separated into 2 parts. The legal term is Bifurcated. The first part will resolve ownership, the second part will determine damages. There is likely going to be a third part in that there will likely be criminal charges filed against certain parties involved with holding the building hostage.

The trial is already behind in calling witnesses. Not only are there state legal issues to resolve there is also Canonical Law issues to contend with. The decision was made not to have a jury trial for that reason as it was deemed to be too confusing for the average person to contend with.

During the 2nd session, part of the exercise was to create a Collect or prayer. Each group wrote one. These Collects were shared with the small group leadership and we were told that it was very well received: I was the scribe for this exercise and I gave it, it's title, so forgive me.

Here is what I called:

The 80918 Prayer:

God, Our Father
Whose Mercy Endures
Grant Us Patience, Progress and Peace
That We may Grow Stronger in Love and Service
To You and Our Fellow Man
Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord, Amen

In spite of the current legal situation and the fact that many bitter feelings were engendered by the split, there seems to be a spirit of hope and a feeling of light with in the congregation. That feeling can only be attributed to God working in the lives of all.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today's Creative Every Day

Here's today's Creative Every Day. The challenge was to use words. With grateful thanks to the What's in Your Altoid's Tin Group on Ravelry. These are stitch markers relating to a comment from someone in that group (KnitsWithPenquins, you know who you are). She said I should hang a sign around my neck that said "Will work for Ginger Roos." So, in response to that jibe, I have created these stitch markers. One set says "Will craft for Ginger Roos" and the other set says "Will craft for Trader Joe's".

We, Daughter o'Mine and I love Trader Joe's. It a wonderfully eclectic food, beverage and sundry store based out of SoCal. When we lived in California, fully half of our food budget went to TJs and all of our party food budget as well. Sadly, there are NO Trader Joe's in Colorado. We have discovered that the nearest one to us is in Albuquerque, NM. It's an eight hour round trip from here and with the winter weather a trip not to be undertaken lightly. We do plan on going sometime in the Spring.

Erin has taken an empty suitcase to Las Vegas in order to shop at the TJs there. I have taken a cab from the Phoenix Airport to the one there, also with an empty suitcase in order to pick up a few things. Our favorites from TJs include among others: Chocolate Covered Almonds, GINGER ROOS, Ginger Cat Cookies, Danish Self Extinguishing Candles, Cotton Dish Towels, Expanding Sponges made from some vegetable or another, Raspberry Peach Blossom Juice, CRUMPETS, Mini Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies and I am sure there are others too numerous to name...

Send me some Chocolate Covered Almonds and I will send you the Will Craft for Trader Joes stitch markers. Send me some Ginger Roos and you'll get the Ginger Roos stitch markers..

BTW: Here the link to the blog of the Quilts Arts Edgar Allan Poe 200th Birthday Anniversary Post Card Challenge:
My postcard is here on my blog in an earlier post as well as on the QA Raven B.log

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finished Goddess Postcard - Creative Every Day

Here's the finished postcard that the beginning of is photographed in the previous post. I think it turned out pretty well.

It is made from green commercial wool, green and taupe hand dyed silk top and purple/green and orange/yellow hand dyed alpaca, which were then needle felted onto a purplely grey wool felt background.

I then trimmed it and glued it to a watercolour post card backing. It may go out into the world as a Random Act of Kindness to one of my friends. Who knows where it will land?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

2009 Creative Every Day Challange and the El Paso County Crafters Get Together

My friend, Anne has induced me to be Creative Every Day. Click on the Creative Every Day 2009 icon and it will take you to the blog that started this venture. I will post pictures of what I have done creatively today after I find the cable to my camera.

As for the El Paso County Crafters; we had a lovely time together. It was wonderful to see all the things that the others were working on. What a great exhibit of creativity was on display. There were Rebecca's Crazy Quilts, Sheila and Sue's spinning, Wendie's baby items, (loved that pink flamingo bib) Jean's husband's vest. Of course we all had to show off our socks as well. I really liked Sheila's pair of socks and her Montana Clog Company handpainted clogs (I want a pair, so very much, here's the link: I had on my Encore Scrappies which keep my tootsies toasty and I was glad of it as it was a frosty day yesterday.

I showed Rebecca, Anthea and Tara how to do needle felting and they each made a Valentine themed piece. Anthea also made a crown themed one as well.

I will also post photos of the El Paso County Crafters group craft day, after I find the cable to my camera. As promised here are the photographs from the El Paso County Crafters get together on 14 February, 2009

BTW: I am a Winner! I follow a blog that had a contest to Pay it Forward and I left a message and I got this in return.
Congratulations!  You're one of the winners from my recent...

Since I rarely if ever win anything it was a nice treat. Maybe a little of that French Good luck
on Friday the 13th Rubbed off on me...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Finished Socks - Encore Scrappies and Dragonflies KAL

Here are the two latest pairs of socks that I have completed.

The scrappy socks are made from leftovers. I had these colours leftover after making a bunch of hats for charity. The yarn is Encore Colors Worsted Weight knitted on Size 4s. I just used the yarns as they came along, which is why there are 5 different yarns in these socks. It is also why there is no rhyme or reason to the colour blocking.

The Dragonflies are knitted in a lace stitch that looks like a dragonfly. These were done in a Cascade Yarns Sassy Stripes sock weight yarn knitted on Size 2s. As you can see I didn't get the striping to line up as the yarn was wound different on the 2 skeins I had and I decided "screw it", I am not going to make myself crazy trying to get it to line up. Hey, they are my socks, therefore, it's my rules. I would only wish that my pictures would show the design better, however, sigh...

BTW, these Dragonfly in Amber KAL socks are going to have a felted bag in the shape of a thistle to go with. Green Pi in earlier post is the beginning of that project...

Knittar - New Knitting Toon from Dave Lowe

I had to share this. It was suggested to Dave Lowe that he do more knitting related cartoon art and here is the latest iteration. He actually took the suggestion. He is way too funny for words and I really enjoy his art and his blog.

Here the link to his site :


The Dragonfly Socks are DONE! I frogged them and cast them back on and knit like a bandit for two days and I now have a pair of lace socks. I am so very proud of them and I am so going to wear them tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Lost Wallet and Rude Acquaintances

I went to the Sew Expo in Denver with some acquaintances on Saturday. I had a wonderful time, as I got to see my Denver and Boulder friends while looking at all the goodies for purchase. I did restrain myself from buying everything I saw. I got some lovely new colours of wool roving though, to add to my needle felting collection.

I really coveted the attachment from Crawford with 5 felting needles for a sewing machine that the bobbin guts are removed from. I so want one, sigh... I can better justify spending $60.00 to $70.00 on an attachment and $20.00 or so for a used sewing machine than the $400.00 for the needle felting machines by the big brands. My Scottish penny pinching soul cannot justify all that money for a machine that only does one thing, but $100.00 and recycled/re-purposed as well, none so bad...

The rude acquaintances were the ladies I rode up to Denver with. One was over an hour late and didn't apologize for it. The other whinged about the headache she had all day. I was harangued for being too QUIET! Me, quiet? Well, the person who said it, never shut up, so how could I get a word in edgewise?

Rudeness in general, reigned. I don't know about you, but I was taught to say please, thank you and I am sorry when appropriate by MY parents. I would have been better off going alone or not at all on that day as I also lost my wallet, sigh.

The lost wallet may be in the back seat of the driver's car. However, I woke her up when I called to ask and left a VM. In return, I got back a cranky VM, but still don't know if my wallet is in her car, and I called her over 24 hours ago.

I now have to gather all of the paperwork that I can find and go to the Social Security office, the DMV and the bank. Ick, poo, waaah. Of course, after I do all this, she'll likely call and tell me she found it.

Thanks to my Clever Erin, the DD who gave me a new wallet for Christmas, I will have something to put everything in when I get the new stuff. I hadn't transferred my stuff from my old wallet to the new one as yet.

I did have some knitting with me, thank heavens. When we stopped at the Container Store for one of the ladies to purchase something for her closet, I had something to do. My friend, Katte had made a gift bag for me that was just the right size to hold a skein of yarn and the hat project. I hooked the drawstring to my jacket sleeve button and away I went, walking, looking and knitting. One person in the store (a customer) look at me like I had dog doody on my shoe for walking around knitting (I think she was jealous, LOL). I didn't have my Altoid's tin full of stitch markers with me, so I had to buy some paperclips to use, as I had gotten to the decreases and didn't want to stop knitting. Paper clips can be SO useful. Everyone else wanted to know what my project was going to be and wasn't I smart to have knitting along. I never leave home without it anymore...

Edited at 4:15 pm.

The finale of the story is this. I spent all morning and afternoon replacing everything. It's a challenge when you don't have ID to prove who you are. Fortunately, my picture was still in the database at the DMV and I could be photo ID'd from it. I answered all the questions correctly at the bank as well. SS was easier as I had my latest award letter to prove it was me. So, the day was spent taking care of all of this. I spent nearly 2 hours at the DMV. The bank, thank god, was pretty painless.

The daughter arrived home and I told her the saga and she kinda got mad about my having to do all of this and spend $21.00 to replace my license as well. So, she called the person whose car it might have been in, and low and behold, that person, indeed had found it. She claimed to have left me a VM but I can prove that she did not. If she had, I wouldn't have had to waste my whole day. She was also VERY rude to my daughter and hung up on her. The gist of the coversation was basically to tell me to eat shit and die as I was rude to her and her friend. I thought I was being EXTREMELY patient and kind, even so, introducing them to my REAL friends from Metro Denver. She also LIED to my daughter. I don't do that very well, now I am furious. I'll have to see this person every week if I want to continue to knit at my LYS on Wednedsday Mornings. Gaaah...

If there is a silver lining, I will not have to renew either my license or my bank card until 2014. Both were due up next year. So, that is DONE!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Coraline, the Movie

We, the Daughter o'Mine and I went to see Coraline this weekend. We both thoroughly enjoyed it. It was her first 3-D movie and my first one since before she was born. Yikes! The only downside of the experience for either of us was the 3-D glasses didn't fit either of us very well and the bridge of my nose complained bitterly.

I hope that you do read the book by Neil Gaiman before you go to see it. It's a fast little read and can be found in the Young Adults area at either your LBS or your library. Do look also, for the little hand knit treasures from Althea at The blue sweater with stars, the cream sweater and the gloves were just lovely. I think I will get me a yellow slicker and some yellow rain boots and be Coraline for Halloween..

Someone over at Ravely has already designed a full size grownup pair of the gloves. They might be my first venture into glove knitting, who knows?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Colorado Clan Blair Society Burn's Supper

On Saturday Night, the Colorado Clan Blair Society celebrated the Birthday of Robert Burns the great Scottish poet. We used the occasion as a planning meeting for our CBS annual general meeting being held here in Colorado in August at the Colorado Scottish Games in Highlands Ranch, CO.

Torin Blair did a bang up job of reciting the Ode to the Haggis, that master of the Pudding Race, by Robert Burns. It was a lovely evening, enjoyed by all.

Attendees included myself and The Blair Family of Littleton, CO

We had a lovely meal, consisting of haggis and bacon tidbits, salad with dried cranberries and toasted oatmeal with whisky viniagrette, pork loins done on the grill and tatties and neeps (Smashed potatoes and turnips) followed by shortbread with pecans and chocolate chips and whisky soaked cake for dessert. Yummy! We do have some great cooks in our Clan.

We are well on the way with our planning for the AGM, we have our venue for the Clan Dinner and plans for events surrounding the visit of Blairs from all over the US and Canada.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Knitting Meme

  1. What kind of knitting needles do you favor? ChiaoGoo Bamboo
  2. What is the nicest thing you’ve ever knit? My Olive Green Shrug or maybe my Dragonfly Socks.
  3. What is the worst thing you’ve ever knit? A bag that refused to felt and went catty-wampus and ugly.
  4. What is the knitting project you most enjoyed working on? Encore Scrap Socks
  5. What is your most hated project? That damn silk sweater that has been through three iterations.
  6. Who is your favorite knitting author? Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
  7. What is your favorite stitch pattern? Any cable makes me happy.
  8. How many projects to you have on needles right now? 5 or so...
Your turn... even if you are a crocheter, just change the wording.


Who Supports You?

My friend, Marion, over the pond in the UK asked that question on her blog today and it got me to thinking about who supports me.

My daughter, Erin is my biggest piece of scaffolding. She lets me clutter the house with all the bits and pieces of stuff that help me to make my art. Be it yarn, fabric, beads, threads, papers, even bits and bobs of junk I find out and about.

My friends from all the different aspects of my life who support me in my artistic ventures by saying all the right things, even if I don't want to hear it. They are the knitters, The Ravelers, the quilters, The Quilt Mavericks, the fiber artistes of all sorts, the historical re-enactors, The Renaissance Scots, the paper artistes, the Scottish community, the Colorado Medieval Festival folks, the Rennies, the greyhound rescue folks, swordsmen, spinners, weavers and costume makers.

I also can never say thank you enough for all the friends that saw me through treatment for breast cancer 8 years ago and held my hand and kicked my ass when it was necessary. I have very little biological family left and my friends are the family I have made. Thanks to all for being the supports of my life. Huzzah, Huzzah, Huzzah (that's 3 cheers) to you for being there through the thick and thin.

On another note, I am way stoked about Coraline the Movie, opening this weekend. Neil Gaiman and knitting what could be better than that, I ask you?