Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Wyoming Celtic Festival, again

Darla at the Wheel

Jenna at the Ceidhl

Some of the Rocky Mountain Scottish Atheletes at the Ceidhl.

Seven Nations on the Festival Stage

Furry Murray McDogal waiting for his family to come home from the supper.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Randomness from the Wyoming Celtic Festival

The Wyoming Celtic Festival
Seven Nations

Some of the Music, Seven Nations, Gobs O'Phun as well as Jenny and Tim Sullivan (Gobs O'Phun)

Ren Scots in various activities. Mark Reihm and Will from the Wyoming Pipe and Drum Band in the Pub entertaining us at lunch. Ren Scots lining up for the Opening Ceremony. The Chief, the Seneschal and the Wolves Fight Directors taking a meeting. The Ren Scots

Katte Judd and Jenny at the Ceidhl.

The girls at the Ceidhl.
Episcopal Church in Douglas, WY

Just a quickie to share some of the wonderful weekend up in Gillette. The musical line up this festival was one of the best I have experienced in a lang (long) while. The Muses (Traditional) played on Saturday and then Prickly Pair (Cowboy Celtic) played on Sunday along with Seven Nations and Gobs O'Phun on both days.

Me setting up to card some wool into a batt to spin it up. I relearned to spin over the weekend. More shall be revealed.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Grace and St .Stephen's Episcopal Church Garden

Today was gardening day again. Every Saturday morning and Tuesday at some time we all meet to work the gardens and get them back into shape.
It has been a joy and a challenge to watch the gardens come back to life after a few years of neglect. The fountain of course is working again, the peonies, clematis and roses are growing like gangbusters. The dandelion, clover and thistles are being overwhelm by the sheer force of will of our amazing crew. Here's some of the folk that meet together to work the wonder and some of the gorgeous peonies and such.
I must say the peonies smell like heaven.

We had cool, cloudy skies this morning, I don't think the temperature got much over 65 degrees all day. Here are some of the folks that can out to work. They were as young as fourteen and as old as eighty.

Even Sadie came out to keep company with us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quilt Guild Demo - Cloth Napkin Tute

First off, just let me say; I love cloth napkins made from cotton, linen and even silk. Having 4 children in the house made cloth napkins very useful. They sopped up spills, doubled as bibs and aprons, kept rolls warm, and generally looked prettier than paper and certainly are not as wasteful in resources.

I have napkins made by this method for nearly all holidays and also to match the quilted table runners I have made. Another benefit of cloth napkins is that they tend to stay were you place them and not slide off your lap onto the floor.

My biggest frustration with making my own cloth napkins was getting the hems done to my satisfaction. Sergers and me do not agree on what constitutes a nicely turned corner. I also don't have the proper foot for my sewing machine to make a rolled hem and again in the past I have had issues with turning those corners. What to do? What to do? I wanted to make my own napkins, but how to resolve the hem issue?

Enter a subscription to Martha Stewart's Living Magazine as a gift from the Dear Daughter, Erin. Without fail, if I wanted to do something like, oh say, make pierced tin can lanterns or make my own soft pretzels, the next issue of the magazine would have the instructions, sigh. It is a running joke in our household as it happened so often.

The basic instructions for making these napkins came from an issue of Living magazine, probably 10 years ago or more as my Christmas napkins are at least that old. Of course, Martha's team made them in linen and hand hem stitched them. Not for me, that hand-stitching business, if I can help it.

Basic instructions are as follows:

Step 1. Choose fabric(s) Squares can be as little as 10 x 10 up to 22 x 22 inches (I like big napkins, I did make a 4 x 4 finished just to see if I could, BTW)

Step 2. Press 1/4 inch fold on all four sides

Step 3. Press another 1 inch fold on all four sides (Get a good hard crease here, shot of steam helps)

Step 4. Open the 1 inch fold and fold corners into a point with the 1/4 inch folds aligned

Step 5. Measure for the 45 degree angle from the junction of the the crease marks

Step 6. Draw sewing line, repeat for the other 3 corners.

Step 7. Stitch on sewing line

Step 8. Flip corner to right side to check your angle (Ask me how important this step is)

Step 9. Flip back and trim point seam allowances on all 4 corners to 1/8 inch.

Step 10. Flip all corners and press, stitch hem. (this can be a straight stitch, hem stitch, decorative stitch or even done by hand)

Voila, you have made a napkin!

FYI: I just lay the cotton ones flat to dry and rarely have to press them. Be sure to make them from a good quality cotton.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fawkes Socks Redux

Here is the progress I have made on my Fawkes Socks on 2 circs. Picked up from the heel and finished the decreases for the gusset and now down to the toe. Jury is still out on knitting with two circs, but I am DOING IT.

There were fewer decreases than I am used to so I had to frog back two rows to get my 30 stitches on the one needle again. I had my knitting rhythm going and just zoned out. Thank the Gods for a life line. I didn't screw up the pattern across the instep when frogging as the life line was in place. You can just see the thread of dental floss that I used dangling with the needles. I move it every pattern repeat just to be on the safe side. One of the kewl things about interchangeable needles is that they have a key hole for tightening the threaded part and you can thread your lifeline through the hole and it pulls along through the stitches as you knit. The other advantage to 2 circs is that it is certainly easier to try on the sock for fit as you go.

In the background you can just see Erin's yardage counter (green wheel) and the new swift LOADED with the Sad Sack bamboo yarn. It's been through the ringer to put it mildy. First it arrived smashed flat in a torn and greasy Tyvek package from Singapore. Then it was washed to get the grease spots out. Then it was wound off the cone into skeins and caked and all manner of mayhem that can be committed on yarn. Read Erin's Journal of Impossible Things to learn more.

The ribbon yarn sweater is done but I haven't got a picture of it that I like yet. Will post later.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Why is There a Bicycle in the Bathroom?

Friday, sigh!
We are up to our asses in plants and patio chairs in the house and there's a bicycle in my bathtub. They are suppose to be power washing and painting the house today. It's 1:51 pm and they haven't even started up as of yet. Do we get taped inside while they work or do we go find something to do that doesn't cost a ton of money? the stair landing is covered in pots of plants. This is the only way up the stairs. Pan's napping spot is at the top of the landing. Pan has chive breathe from raiding my kitchen garden pots as he goes back and forth...

Here's one of the tomato plants and the chives. I am also sitting on some lilies that will go into the church garden when it is decided where the Return to Grace bed will be.

I have though, made great progress on the tee-shirt sweater, I am knitting from a Bernat Yarns pattern. I am knitting it from a variegated ribbon yarn I found for a dollar a skein. I am getting the same gauge, even though I am using a different yarn than the pattern calls for. This is what progress I have so far.I have used a skein and a 1/3 for about 10 inches. I did make one adjustment. I ground off the pointy tips to the bamboo needles to make them less pokey. Works so much better now, I can just "clicket" away without much attention.

I had to put down the Fawkes Socks as I need to frog the heel flap, as I am not liking the directions I was given and want to do my own heel.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Strong Woman Day - 10 June

"The Need for Change Bulldozed a Road Down the Center of My Mind". Maya Angelou

Today is Strong Woman Day, so declared by the Quilt Mavericks. We dedicated this day to all the strong women in our lives. It is for those that have been heavily laden and borne the burdens and prevailed.

Over the last week or so, we as a group have discovered something about ourselves that both surprises us and give us strength and hope. One of our friends is going through a really rough patch and we are sending prayers and strength to her this day. We are also dedicating this day to her and all our strong sisters who have prevail over incredibly tough times and assholes..

I have shared the experiences of many of the women in our group. I have survived. This day is dedicated to all the women who have survived.

Here's a link to a site with a list of Strong Women . Obviously, the list is incomplete as my mother isn't on it, nor is my daughter. The strong women pictured here today are Eleanor Roosevelt, a stateswoman and knitter; Maya Angelou, poet and actress; Veronica Franco, poet and courtesan and Freida Khalo, artist and writer.

Edited to include links to my QM friend's blogs. Here are the links to Margi's Blog and Deidre's Blog , which are also about this new day of celebration. Sarah, Cindy , JulieZS and Margaret have all blogged about Strong Woman Day as well. We are all long time members of the Quilt Mavericks and have laughed, cried, made loveys and threatened drive by basting and rotary cutter mayhem in support of our sisters in need. We have also used mention of it as our status on FB and we have even Twittered (or Tweeted) it.

Edited at 8:40 pm MDT
So, Anne where the hell are you? Been thinking about you all day! You are a Strong Woman too!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spoon Story & the Peonies About to Take Off

Here a link to the Spoon Story . It describes my experience better than I can. I still do what I can, when I can in spite of all. Thanks for the linky, Diana. She's also written about peonies today.

I spent a lovely day today. Knit club with Sheila and Shirley and the rest of the ladies. We did not have a "real" meeting as all the officers were elsewhere.

Some of the Knit club members..

Here's the Hairpin Lace Afghan.

We primarily did show and tell. Shirley showed us how to do hairpin lace. I haven't seen hairpin done in years, but apparently it is making a comeback like all the forms of needlecraft.

Progress on Fawkes Socks.

Then I paid forward a million gajillion mercies and kindnesses by giving Sheila a ride to the hospital to get blood work done.

After that, I drop Sheila back to home and went onto my LYS, Knitter's Kove and walked into CHAOS. They are re-arranging the whole store! Most of the stock was in BIG plastic sacks. I wanted some Brown Sheep Bulky, not on the shelves yet. Yikes, wonder what bag it's in, should I come back later? Saw a label for Bulky Brown Sheep peeking out of a bag and dug in and believe it or no, found the yarn I was looking for. WOOT! Hit the register and was out of there as there was too much chaos...

Off to the church to water the garden. Sun behind the clouds so it was not too hot. Communed with the birds bathing in the bath, looked at the robin's nest in the tree by the door. WRESTLED with the mighty black and green hose... Someone needs to learn how to coil a hose away, the nozzle was on the bottom of the coils (5, maybe 6 hoses strung together), what's up with that? Since the peonies are about to go full force in bloom, I couldn't stay upset for long. It smelled like Heaven and I was happy to just BE.

Of course, watering and the St. Francis Fountain burbling tend to trigger a certain response, so I was off to the Parish Office to use the Ladies. Marti, the Parish Secretary pointed me the way. I had never been in McWilliam House where the offices are, before. It's a Victorian and the wood work in the dining room is amazing!. I will get pictures of it at a later date. Father John, who retired on Sunday was there as well as a number of other members of the Parish. What a joy to see the church and it's grounds coming alive again. I even got the gift of hearing our magnificent organ being played as someone was there practicing on it.

This is one of the clematis vines tucked at the back of the bed. I took the picture through the lovely wrought iron fence topped with fleur-de-lis.

I don't ever recall seeing irises with these light green and white leaves before but they are a interesting addition to the shades of green in the garden. I want to find out more about them.

Monday, June 8, 2009

World Wide Knit In Public Day

Just a reminder, World Wide Knit in Public Days are, for this year only, June 13th and 14th and June 20th and 21st. Here's the link to : World Wide Knit In Public Day .

There are a number of events in Colorado Springs and surrounding areas to share the day with other fiber fanatics. I know that Joanna from Needleworks in Old Colorado City is sponsoring a knit in in the park. Here's the link to them: Needleworks. You might also check with Mary and the ladies at Knitter's Kove too.

My daughter and I will be knitting at a Sky Sox double header baseball game on Saturday. Here's the link to the Sky Sox. We will likely be knitting at the Colorado Renaissance Festival the weekend after as well.

So, all you sticks and strings fanatics, get out there and knit on either Saturday or Sunday for the next two weekends.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Gardening and Ravelry in El Paso County

Or how I spent my Saturday.

Today being the first Saturday of the month was also the regularly scheduled meeting of the El Paso County Crafters from Ravelry.com. We try to all get together on this first Saturday to learn from each other, share what is going on in our lives, show off what we are working on and listen to each other's problems. i.e. Stitch and Bitch!

Here's a picture of Sheila and me (in the hat).

Sheila has just got me started on the Knit One Below stitch which has been driving me buggy along with the Shawl from Hell. Sheila was working on a lovely ripple stitch afghan.

Here is a picture of the Knit One Below. It creates columns as you stitch. It's a kinda kewl technique. I am knitting this swatch from Noro Blossom and Encore Worsted in a mauve colour. I believe that it will be a sketchbook cover when it is finished. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sheila. It all now makes sense.

Here's a picture of Jean and her sister in law, Suzanne.

Suzanne was working on a latch hook rug and Jean was knitting a washcloth.

Here's Sheila and Wendie. Wendie was working on a few things. A hat, I know for certain.

We did miss our Rebecca, who's away in the Flatlands (Illinois) awaiting the arrival of her grandbaby, and Anita, who is finishing up her children's game season and Wendie's Mum. eta: I totally forgot our Mel, another waiting on a baby to come.

Photo of lupins in the garden.

In the morning, I worked in the Grace and Saint Stephen's Episcopal Parish church garden and communed with the plants, sunshine, observed the many faces of Pike's Peak as the hours rolled by and said hello to the church's neighborhood dogs who were watered in the St. Francis fountain. What a joy to see so much activity occurring on our corner here in downtown Colorado Springs. There was also a student piano recital in the Nave and a quarterly Altar Guild meeting in the Taft Hall as well.

Stacey in the garden looking over her patch.

Some of the neighborhood dogs enjoying the St. Francis Fountain. The fountain had been inoperable since before we got the building returned to us, but was repaired and put back in service this week. Thanks Be!