8/30/09

My favorite knitting needles, needle felting, and a pair of old shoes.

If I could only take one pair of needles with me, when I travel, it would be my wooden size 11 circular needles. I've made purses, hats, scarves, arm warmers, etc. with them. The wood needles work with all types of yarn, including wool, and items end up felting so nice with the larger stitches. I remember when a pattern called for circular needles so I put the pattern back on the shelf at the store, I couldn't imagine how to knit in a circle! I forced myself to learn the technique and came up with an amazing craft.


About the old pair of shoes. They were at the back of the closet. Not really forgotten, 'cause I couldn't make myself get rid of them, but others came along and fit OK, and served their purpose.

It wasn't a special occasion when I bought them, yet, putting them on gave me a sense of "homecoming," something familiar, fond memories of walks, shopping trips, shedding the motorcycle boots after a long days ride, slipping into comfort.

Lots of memories back there in the dark of my closet. So many other items have been pulled from their hiding place - taken to Goodwill.

Finding these shoes reminds me of reuniting with an old family friend last week.

We called her Trish as kids, everyone who knows her now calls her Patti.

I had a new technique I wanted to learn, started asking around, researching, and found out that a family friend from my childhood lives less than 30 miles from me, owns an Alpaca Farm and imagine this, teaches needle felting.

After some emails and planning, we met...
honestly when I saw her face, everything over the last 40 years stepped to my minds background and we were teenagers, pre-teens, little girls, friends, like-family reunited.

There was never a disagreement between us all those years - just "life in-between" knowing each other. How long did it take us to get started seeing the animals, and pulling out the roving for some needle felting - not long at all, it was like we were neighbors who saw each other every day.

I'm excited about what I learned, but more excited about my new-old friendship, kinda like my old comfy shoes, it just fits me right now.

Patti - you rock. THANKS for a wonderful day. What's in our future? I hope to attend some "Wool Gatherings" with her, art fairs and see what all-that is all-about!!

8/25/09

USPS came through with 2 of 3 boxes, OK its a Harrisville Floor Loom




OH NO!!

Well 2 out of 3 works, but I cannot get started without box #3 because it has pieces 1, 3 and 7 of the 100,000 pieces that have to be assembled in it.

Well, slight exaggeration there but oh, my, it's in pieces. I knew I bought an item that would need assembly but get-over-this?






Oh, well the carpet isn't completely dry yet anyway. I've sorted the pieces I have, missing pieces? Yes, about 1/3 of them, but I'm listening and watching for my friendly USPS man, any moment now. I'll be posting progress, leaving out the frowns and deleting the frustrations. I've read and re-read the instructions, so here it goes.

- check back.

me.

8/24/09

When rearranging a room - DO NOT MOVE THE THROW RUG



WHOA!!

I just wanted to move my throw rug about 2 feet toward the wall and 3 feet closer to the couch. Centering it under a window (preparing for my 3 boxes from USPS to arrive).

NEVER, NEVER move a throw rug, especially if you have "Off-white" Berber carpet - what were we thinking.

YEP it honestly looks like some one did a pencil outline around the rug, colored the Berber with charcoal leaving the off-white under the throw rug (5' x 8') a nice "remember what the new berber looked like?" rectangle.

The clean space is framed perfectly in a charcoal hue - ground in of course. Now you say, who got that on the carpet? Hm-m-m. Guess I need more throw rugs at the door and in the kitchen.

So-o-o today, I'm carpet cleaning. This machine does wonders, it's like a giant eraser, well almost. I do have to scrub back and forth A LOT, but the line is almost gone.

YUK. I think I need a dark colored carpet that doesn't show dirt so much.

Where is my mailman?

8/23/09

Warning Email. Don't leave your motorcycle at Granny's house.



What kind of paving would the street need to ride this treasure?


I'm not sure how to react to this.



My motorcycle doesn't look like this. I'm not even tempted to make seat covers or dust covers or to decorate a motorcycle,



but I did laugh pretty hard when I saw this and it hit home personally since I'm a grandma that rides a motorcycle and knits. H-m-m

8/21/09

It takes a lot of nerve. Knit Felted hat.

I listed my knit felted hat on my etsy store. Check it out here JUDY'S ETSY STORE. This takes a lot of nerve.

I sure hope it sells, it is so-o-o-o nice and would fit just about lady.

I'm making and listing items all the time so Follow this Blog to stay informed.

Vogue Knitting has the pattern in the magazine and on-line.

8/20/09

Yarn I've stored for a long time.

I'm hoping to start making some projects out of the yarn I originally bought for Navajo style weaving several years ago. I checked with my weaving instructor and she said yarn is yarn, just wash the item once it's completed.

I've never felted with this but it is from Weaving Southwest. It's New Mexico Churro yarn, I think it will make up beautifully, and I know I'll be making smaller projects with it because it is much more expensive yarn and it will be in a class of it's own. I'm hoping to try some small pieces, with a native American pattern like phone and camera bags. Felted of course.




I bought colored pencils, graph paper and a drawing pad, I'm hoping to plan my work on paper first. Just something I've always wanted to try. I did it successfully with my 1st floor loom weaving ...

I did take NAvajo weaving several years ago, failed it miserably because I couldn't trust that the piece would look anything like it was supposed to in the end, the sides were pulling in so bad.

The instructor kept telling me when it is off the loom she can shape it and make it look good, but I didn't ever finish it it looked so bad on the loom. I'll probably be selling this loom (handmade by my hubby) soon. I had a "hand dye" weaving poster framed several years ago too, it hangs near my loom. I may keep it for sentimental reasons and to re-decorate an area of the dining room.

8/19/09

Watching USPS - where's my mailman?

It may come today. I made a large purchase on eBay last week, it was mailed (???) Saturday. It's in 3 boxes and has to be assembled. I'm really anxious to see it, assemble it and get pictures. I may be making a how-to video including unpacking and assembling, then all the way to the finished process because this is a definite learn as you go project for me.

OK I did take one beginners class, this is a true test to see what I remember.

Interested in watching from beginning to end. Click FOLLOW ME to the right!

8/18/09

Knit and Felt Bags - when are they truly finished?



OK - this is why I didn't want to get into lining bags.

The bag is never "finished."

The bag in my previous post, the hubbie calls it cranberry salad. And yep, the little flecks of orange, and dark red throughout the deep red/burgundy bag kinda looks like a bowl of cranberry salad.

I wanted it to have a fastener because of the wide opening, and I wanted to line it so that it would have a few pockets (because it is deep and wide) and I cannot imagine trying to find my cell phone in a bag this big (full of stuff).





So-o-o I lined it with a great bright swirling fabric, thinking this would be the bag I would try "cut-outs" and make a design so that the lining shows through.

Well, I don't have the nerve to cut the knit felt tapestry bag, I just know I'll mess up.

Next I decided even with the snap closure and the sweet strap fasteners on the sides, taken from belts I purchased at Goodwill, it needed something else.

Thus a quick trip to JoAnn Fabrics - and the search for trim. Yes, that's it, remember covered buttons? I covered some buttons various sizes with the lining fabric, excellent.

Sew those details on and it is FINISHED and ready for gifting. Finishing delays the gifting, but I'm glad for the details, it really sharpened the final project. Each piece when I finally call it DONE becomes my favorite - this one truly is, but I wouldn't carry it, where would I carry it?

Hopefully the gift fits the receiver!!

me

8/14/09

Bags 2 Riches - watch for a white box!!

Today I mailed it. Wrote my check for the contest application, made up new business cards, looked over the bag one more time, filled it with bubble wrap, put it in a huge zip-lock bag and gently laid it in a box. The post office said it will arrive tomorrow or Monday, priority mail.

I named it Thelma Jane because it had to have a name. I described it as "chunky rows of black wool separated by soft moss, sienna, olive and browns. A wide strap dropping the bag from the shoulder to the underarm with a comfortable fit, a simple statement, "fall into winter."

Here's one more picture of my
contest contribution. If my bag isn't selected as a winner, it will be auctioned at the gala. If it is grand prize there will be pictures, and magazine publications and a cash prize, if it is one of the final 10 runner-ups, it will be modeled in the gala (not by me).

This one is very unique and one of my favorites.

8/12/09

USPS I'm watching you!!

You Won!! I waited until the last 13 minutes to bid on something on eBay (watched it 4 days before I bid) - it was a big purchase so I wanted to keep the cost down as much as possible. Then I started doing the 1 bid thingy where when you're outbid you can go one more step ... (after I put in my maximum top dollar) only paid $10.00 more than I vowed, not bad for a big purchase.

Now I'm watching USPS - will they bring it to my porch or put a note in my mailbox - it's huge!! It may mean rearranging my living room and dining room. It may even mean selling some furniture - I cannot wait. I'll post a picture when it arrives. Can't believe the seller is using USPS, UPS I'd understand or FedEx even ????

Thank you hubbie for encouraging me to do this ...

me

8/10/09

Knit Simple free patterns

The Knit Simple magazine for Fall has some really simple scarf patterns, in fact I'm starting # 11 in the magazine tomorrow as we go down the road, if I can figure out how to cast on with a crochet hook. The scarf is knit in the round, but twisted 360 degrees right before joining the circle, and the crochet cast on holds the beginning stitches on a needle so that you can use the 3 needle bind-off. got lots of reading and studying to do in order to tackle these new stitches. But I love a challenge. Helps me mellow out my mind and avoid worry, every day has enough trouble of it's own, don't want to add to it.

I have an awesome gift arriving at my house in a few days - bought on ebay!!

8/8/09

Hail Storm in Sturgis '09

Well, I put on my running shoes and raincoat when the Severe Weather Sirene about 100 yds from our camper started blaring.

I grabbed my cell phone and put it in a pocket, and unplugged the computer, stepped out the door and a icy golf ball fell from the sky and brushed right past my head. Not just the sirens, but the low slow moving black clouds and the pouring rain just across the field from us in the hills drew me outside for a look. But one hail ice ball falling next to me bouncing off the metal steps of the camper and landing to the ground introduced an outpouring of an icy-hail storm that I believe lasted at least 4 - 6 minutes. Wow, the ice was piled up in the bed of our truck. I also taped the storm from another section of our camper, I'll try to download that video too.

Turn your sound on for this video.

We have small tables and chairs set up under a canopy, the red banner on the right of the picture waving in the wind is our ministry banner, you can see the hail against that waving banner. Our entire canopy is listing East, the flag poles are all leaning this morning.

video

Sitting here listening to stories of people having to get off the road for the storm. We had just returned from a ride in the mountains when the storm siren went off. It was getting dark in that corner of the sky where storms come from here (we've done this 9 years now and there always seems to be at least one bad storm during the event) so I grabbed everything off my bike that I didn't want to get wet. At least this time my bike was protected. The storm we had in April in Phoenix really messed up my bike. That was a "micro burst"

Do a search on micro burst in the upper left hand corner on search this blog to read that story. WILD WEATHER (must be global warming).

8/6/09

Off to see the new Harley Davidsons. Our annual trek.

Every year Harley Davidson introduces it's new models at Sturgis actually in Rapid City. We're heading that way in about an hour to see the 2010 models. I may sit on a few, and see if I have any desire to go back to H-D. (I currently ride a sport touring bike - Yamaha FJR1300). Don't think H-D has anything like that.

So got a few rows done on the knitting today, Very Pretty. Have a great idea for some scarves, too. Gotta get goin'.

So chilly in Sturgis - I'm thinking winter knitting.

It's funny how many spontaneous reunions we have had in Sturgis. Yesterday a younger man came up to get coffee, asked where we are from, and he is from Seymour, Indiana - the hubbies' home town. They knew a lot of the same people including Bruce Springsteen's family members - "Small Town Boy" is written about Seymour Indiana. They knew of a lot of the same people. Today a young man came up who has lived in the town right next to us in Indiana, Mooresville. A man came up while we were doing some extra set-up earlier in the week, he had been to the Johnson City, TN rally we were at a few weeks ago, and we had been camped within throwing distance that entire event. Some weren't surprises, but it was great seeing David and Brenda, a couple who contacted us 6 years ago about our ministry, went through the process of getting approved, getting the financial support and are now set up at Sturgis doing their own ministry.

And of course our friends Mark and MaryAnn walked up at the free bike wash downtown Sturgis. They work this event each year (volunteer) so we had hoped to see them there. Mark has switched loyalties though, he seems to hang out more at the free oil change bay, and MaryAnn is now involved in the kitchen. This is a neat group out of Minnesota that brings volunteers from the area, sets up in a church parking lot and washes bikes for free. They have tons of volunteers that put on the ministry's t-shirt and help out, so everyone working has on matching shirts.

Meguiar's Car Care is set up at Sturgis for the first time - this year, they filmed "Car Crazy" from Sturgis. Barry Mcguiar has been a great friend of our ministry through the years, so neat to see the new line of motorcycle products and their awesome display. Met one of their Event Representatives, Mary, and had a great encouraging conversation yesterday. We love what we do for a living. www.meguiars.com Check out Car Crazy for their new products. WOW.

We stopped in to see the Indian motorcycles and ended up talking to a guy who is organizing a ride to raise the awareness of suicide in youths of America. We ended up praying with him ... what a sweet gentleman.

So chilly and rainy, I'm taking a break from making and serving coffee and starting to knit some wrist warmers. It's a pretty simple pattern I found on-line. I actually made some from this pattern last year, and sold them on Etsy. Pretty simple, but very attractive, only this time I'm making them out of Rowan Felted Tweed, (they won't be felted). Do a Google search on Super Value Wrist Warmers by Bernat, if you want the free pattern you need to register with www.Bernat.com, but that's real simple. Then you can download this pattern. Here's a pic of the ones I made last year.

Super - cannot type and knit - so gotta go. Love knitting on rainy days. me!

8/5/09

Ride a Motorcycle in Sturgis, end up in Wyoming.

Well, nice day for a ride yesterday. Let's do some of the black hills riding, then go to the races, he said. Hmmm, thought we were headed East, but with the afternoon Sun in our eyes everytime we rounded another s curve, we knew something was awry!!

One thing for sure, most bikes were headed the opposite direction. Yes we had the GPS, but we were just wandering.

After a stop for ice tea, we headed a little further, got behind a semi good indication that there was life up ahead. Traffic really thinned out. O.K. turn on the G.P.S. Hmmm. it keeps telling us to turn left (on dirt farm roads) go back, make a u-turn, etc. Our destination about 30 miles from Sturgis, Rapid City Black Hills Race Track.

Sky getting very black 5 pm. Stop again, look at a map (not to scale) ask directions. We are WEST, in Wyoming, I mean way west, but only about 35 miles from the interstate if we keep going North West. I say that to say this. We were gone about 5 hours, and traveled 117 miles. Not bad for a lazy day on the bikes in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Saw an accident, but no-one was hurt bad, other than some egos!!

8/3/09

A friend wanted me to post a review of all my bags.

This was my first attempt at making a polymer clay closure that matched the yarn, It turned out great. Also, my I-Cord straps were much chunkier than my first bags. I believe this was my 4 th bag. It was small maybe 10" by 11" high? But very roomy because I made it deep and sturdy with the stronger straps. A gift for Denise.







This laptop sleeve is one of the hardest to capture the colors there is a lot of turquoise in there, but the camera is stubborn on picking it up. It fits an Apple notebook, or small notebook by others usch as HP and Gateway. (still for sale)







This one I called Neopolitan Blended, as it reminded me of neopolitan ice cream stirred up in a bowl. It had a brown tweed felted pocket inside, for small items, sold as soon as it was displayed.






My Warm Tones bag was dsigned as a smaller version of my first Market Bag with the wide bottom tapering up to the opening. This one had a very nice jasper stone I picked up in Tuscon.











Emily's Bag was a gift for Christmas for my Sis's D-I-L. I made the polymer clay closure, thought it turned out real nice.
















Sold this on Etisy to a lady in New York City- so much fun.












Mauve handbag is still for sale. I love the simplicity and details on this one, I may keep it for myself. (that would be unique)

















When my D-I-L saw this she snagged it. I called it Froo-Froo because it's a little over the top, a unique blend fo yarns some that felt others didnt. It turned out to be a solid fabric, very feminine and unique.










The larger version of the Market bag. Also made as a gift.














Lee Ann's Bag ordered and bought on Etsy. Thank you Lee Ann. I wove the clay strips for a woven look closure - this one was fun. Her order said Mauve, with denim, khaki, and olive, did I do it right?






Candy Corn was one of my first attempts at mixing colors. Burnt Orange and Yellow, with a copper finding. My sis got this one.

This is just a sampling. I think last count was 32 bags.

Now they are evolving and I'm designing some very unique techniques that I've adapted from various resources. I read patterns, and pull the chart or the specialized knitting technique out and place that unique piece into a bag.
Still having fun. me

8/2/09

Alpaca Farm, Stormy Acres, and Needle Felting

It's been quite awhile since I mentioned one of my goals is to learn needle felting. I'm also wanting to learn nuno felting.

My sis and I were at a local yarn shop, talking about roving and alpaca, etc. to one of the employees, and they mentioned a familiar name. Oh, my goodness, our families grew up together, her parents were in my parents wedding. The moms great friends from before they were married.

I did some research, contacted her - she lives about 20 miles from me - imagine that. We haven't seen each other in many, many years, we double dated in high school. And got together some when we first married, but have lost touch all those years. Now we're going to get together - tour her farm and learn some felting with raw roving, Another goal met in 2009, and with my sister and an old friend, she's a little older than me, so it's just a bunch of old ladies getting back to the land and renewing friendships.

I actually made the felted slippers last March out of alpaca. They turned out great. When our son got these in the mail they were too big, so he washed them again and sized them himself. They were a hit!!

slippers blog link (clogs)


Looking forward to it Stormy Acres.

my dot com back up and working

Wow, a whole week I didn't have my web page www.3knittingsisters.com. Yahoo cancelled it on me. I was perplexed, because it was a new expiration date on my charge card, and an email to an account that I don't use anymore that caused it, but when I went to Yahoo to fix the problem it showed I didn't have an account with them - because they cancelled it.

I went through calling, using their "automated" series of questions on-line, and finally tried to buy back my dot com. When I went through the back door like I was a new customer, through "Go Daddy" got the info - that's pretty cool, you can go to WhoIs and put in the web page and find out who owns it. Funny - it showed that I owned it until July 8 2010. But it wasn't up and running. Yahoo help really stinks. Sometimes it really helps to have someone to talk to - wasted a good 2 or more hours on this total.

I now own www.3knittingsisters.net too, incase someone is looking for me????

Anyway. With that said, now I have some knitting time.

Just finished the gift I'm making, except the embellishments.

Missed seeing Mary in Rochester this year - last year I was just starting to make bags and she suggested I make them with lining and pockets. Guess what Mary - I'm graduating to your higher calling. Love ya girl. (Are you out and about motorcycle camping?)

8/1/09

More Butterflies

OK - what a strange week.
subtitled "Divine Appointments for us"

First of all we selected a campground for our overnight in Iowa the first leg of this trip to Sturgis, SD. We chose it from a Camping Directory that is about 3 years old. Called and made reservations.

We arrived, got camp set up and a man walked up to the hubbie and called him by name. He was on Run For the Wall with us this year as one of our volunteers across country. www.rftw.org

We had a little mini-reunion and said to each other - God is so good, that's so neat to run into people we know in unusual places.

Day two. We're packing up camp, I bend over at the waist to rearrange some things, and to pick something up off the ground while I'm down there (this is what older people do - while you're there you take care of other things in the area). I cannot stand back up straight. My back is either locked or my hip is out of joint (which it has been known to do since a bad motorcycle wreck in '97).

I make my way to the truck under the influence of ibuprophen (max dose) and sit there about 2 hour before the pain is so unbearable we decide I should ride in the 5th wheel trailer while going down the road, on the bed on my back, till we can stop, set-up and find a doctor or chiropractor.

2 hours on that bed going down the road, I was in a lot of pain, but I also had fond memories of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez taking a vacation in a camper. All the racket in the camper, honestly, no blinds were swinging, as ours are all cloth pull-down blinds, but the dishes rattling around in the cabinets, there's a distinguished squeak on the mirrored glass closet door, hangers banging against wood in the coat closent, toiletries dancing on the floor of the shower, and pantry items sliding from side to side. At one point a decorative piece fell from the wood trim in the living area, I thought about jumping up and checking it out, but I quickly came to my senses

Besides that, I couldn't jump up.

About an hour after returning to the truck to ride in my normal seat, we had a blow out on the trailer - highway side. We pulled off to the shoulder on the interstate, lots of trim and some wiring were messed up by the flying tread. The hubbie walked to the back of the trailer and a man in a truck had also stopped. He was a Service employee at an RV Dealership nearby. He called some other employees and got our tire changed speedy fast. He was a great Christian man who really encouraged us. Thank you Robert.

That evening in the campground, I called a friend who is a Physical Therapist (thank you so much RS) and she stepped me through some adjustments that would help if it was my hip. More advil, much more. The ladies in the camp office gave us the name of a Chiropractor.

Day Three

Well, we needed a new tire, and I had a horrible night, not being able to move and by then not able to put weight on my left leg at all. Russ had a walking stick from our hikes in Arizona, so I was able to shift my weight to the right and use that stick to get to the truck and go see a specialist in owies.

The Chiropractor wanted to do traction on me but the table wasn't available until after lunch, so after an adjustment and xrays, everyone went to lunch, we picked up a new tire, I took more advil and we waited for lunch to be over.

The phone rang. Hello, my name is Mary B and I'm calling from Morning Star with Rick Joyner, we need to verify your current mailing address and email for your subscription to our newsletter. I gave her our info. as we really like their music and newsletters, then she closed with, "Is there anything I can pray with you about before we hang up?"

YES AS A MATTER OF FACT!

Wow, she prayed a powerful prayer. I went in for the traction (OH NO THE PAIN WAS WORSE)... the Doctor and the hubbie both had to help me up. You know that things are bad when you start thinking of all the thing that area bout to change because of your current situation ... I kept fighting letting my mind go there, no more motorcycle riding, surgery, laid up for weeks, cancelled schedule, no lifting, no normal everyday stuff, and the EXPENSE - nope didn't want to go there.

After several minutes, I made my way to their version of the TENS UNIT for a 1/2 hour treatment, stood up and was able to relatively pain free walk out of the Chiropractors.

Day Four

On the road - into Sturgis, no one is at the campground we always use. OK not to worry, finally contacted the owners, yep they are coming, go ahead and set up as usual. (Whew)

Day Five

Owners show up, everything is cool, we're set up, I'm 95% pain free (Sturgis starts in 2 days)

Day Six

The hubbie offers to help the owners of the campground with port-a-potties and picnic tables - setting them around camp. He came in for lunch and said,

"Well, I have no doubt God is watching over us." My mind went back to the rattlesnake we saw in this very camping spot 4 years ago, then raced to look him over to see what was bleeding (cause he comes in bleeding sometimes and is so calm, I almost have to guess why he's stepped in from his project).

He told me he had been unloading picnic tables from a utility trailer, stepped off the trailer into some soft dirt, lost his balance and turned his ankle, heard it pop and saw it deformed like it was dislocated. He prayed, "Please don't let this be bad." Popped the joint back in and although there is some tenderness at the sight he's walking around normal immediately.

Ya know God is watching over us. We know we have a mission at this place, and we know there is a battle raging in the heaven's. But God always wins the battle ... please remember us in your prayers this week. Our goal - that people see Jesus in us and are drawn to His love which points to the Father's love. We're all about redemption, (thank you Pastor Wayne).

By the way. I posted about butterflies - this thing I have with them. this afternoon sitting under our canopy, camp all set up, reflecting on the week. I saw several yellow butterflies in the field in front of us, the one that will be filled with tent campers in a few days. Two of them came under the canopy, did a figure 8 over our motorcycles and raced back to the field. Well, guess I can call that my own personal butterfly anointing. I'm not superstitious at all, but I believe in the supernatural, and I know who holds my future. PTL - me

You can buy this poster.