Wonderful Weekend Recap

I had another proper weekend and I tried to enjoy it to the fullest. Saturday morning I spent some time in the studio getting started on a recycled book project.

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This little guy needed some cuddling while I was waiting for glue to dry.

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Saturday afternoon, I went to the town festival with my mom and then went shopping with my husband. The town festival ended with fireworks which me and Raisin watched from the front yard.

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We spent today at the lake swimming and soaking up some sun. I love the feeling after a good day of swimming in the sunshine. Time spent at Jacobs Creek always clears my mind and soothes my soul.

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November So Far

It’s been awhile. Really, it’s been far too long.  I think about my blog often but the days never seem long enough to do everything I want to do.

Anyway…

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past few weeks.

I went to the Breaks Interstate Park with my mom.
Breaks Interstate Park 11/5

Breaks Interstate Park 11/5

Breaks Interstate Park 11/5

Breaks Interstate Park 11/5

I made a couple of commissioned baby things:

 

commissioned baby hat

 

commissioned baby sweater

 

I made a shawl for a sweet little lady that I’ve adopted as my grandma.

 

Mrs. Elliot's Shawl

 

And, I turned 30.

My Birthday Cake

A Likely Yarn on WCYB

Yesterday, a local reporter dropped by and did an interview with our owner and recorded a few clips around the shop and we were on the 6 o’clock and 11 o’clock news. The clip includes interviews with another shop in Johnson City.

The link is here, but I don’t know how long the video will be available.

Here’s a screen shot of me from the video. I’m teaching a toe-up sock class.

Me On the news 1-18-11

Fly By Post…

First of all, I LOVE my new job. L.O.V.E. I’m starting to adjust to the new schedule too, which means I may be able to get back to blogging regularly soon. Also, I love that I get to see my family much more now. I’ve been alternating having lunch with my mom and lunch with my dad & grandma on my days off. I’m also starting to exercise in the mornings before I leave for work. Now that the heat has broke for awhile, I’ve been able to get out and walk again.

Ok, now on to the post…

Between adjusting to the new schedule and the sun trying to slow roast us for over 3 months, my plants aren’t doing so well. My oregano cannot be stopped though. The “apple bush” was loaded this year and the rose bush keeps randomly blooming one or two blooms. But, I seem to have been infested with lady bugs. I had a small pumpkin on the porch that was nearly devoured by them in a matter of days. They ate the honey dew plant just as it was about to bloom and they ate all the pumpkin vine and I’m assuming the rest of the pumpkins are going to receive the same fate.

Apple Bush

Rose bloom 2nd blooming.

Right now I have 3 really large pumpkins (larger than basket balls) but their stalks have been the entry point for bugs. This saddens me because, although I don’t eat the pumpkins, I do use them as my yearly jack-o-lanterns and I don’t expect these three to make it until the end of October. You can see in the photo of pumpkin #2 the hole near the stalk where bugs are coming and going.

Pumpkin #1

Pumpkin #2

Pumpkin #3

I did have a random bush of poke berries sprout up near the pumpkins. I’m assuming that this was a gift from above (aka bird droppings LOL) since there aren’t any poke bushes near my house. When these ripen, I’m going to use them for some natural dying.

Poke Berries

I’m still working through my Wild Thing fleece and last week I picked up another fleece that is a Dorset mix breed. I washed up a small sample of it and it is a lovely butter color and is pretty soft. I can’t wait to start washing it up too.
This is some of Wild Thing drying on the porch today. It’s not completely clean but what is left will come out when I card it.

Wool Drying

I haven’t been doing much personal knitting lately but I have been working on a whole bunch of stuff for the shop. I designed this crochet stole/scarf as a pattern that is available with purchase of the yarn. I made it from one skein of sock yarn.

Crochet Stole

I’ve also been doing a whole lot of spinning. I spun CJ Kopec’s Indian Corn as part of the August SAL. When I split it in half, I thought I had gotten it pretty equal but I ended up with a whole bunch left on one bobbin after I plyed it. I spun up some black alpaca to ply with what was left. The two yarns I ended up with, I’m calling Withes Brew (which is photoed with the small pumpkin pre-lady bug infestation) and Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble.

Witch's Brew

Bubble Bubble Toil & Trouble

Right now, I’m spinning Poodle Skirt by Scarlet Fleece, crocheting a doily for my grandma, knitting two sweaters, a pair of socks, a shawl, a large tote bag, and I have some other things I’ve had to put on stitch holders like the Nightingale socks and the second La Vie de Bois sock. Also, I started buying yarn for my Christmas knitting/crocheting. I swore I wasn’t going to do it but, I came up with some really great projects and I’m starting early. I just hope the gifts are appreciated this year… sometimes I wonder if they are or not.

The Real Life FO.

I’ve finally quit my job. Those of you who know me know that I’ve been miserable at my job for a very, VERY long time (basically, since the day I started). I’m no longer going to have to endure the constant tension and feeling of panic while trying to do my job. I will never have to deal with the horrible boss again. No more tax season crunch or the Year End Payroll debacle.

I’m going to miss seeing my mom everyday and I’ll miss being able to just pop home whenever I need to. But…

I’m moving on to bigger and better things. Wooly things. Soft, squishy, furry things. Fun things. All while working with people I love in a wonderfully supportive environment.

I’m ready for my new beginning.

Wednesday WIP’s

Not much on the needles this week. A pair of plain vanilla socks made out of Intentions yarn in Courage. The Nightingale socks haven’t been touched since last week.

Plain Vanilla Courage

A few weeks ago I was asked to be a demonstrator at the local 4-H center. I was an avid 4-H’er so I checked my schedule and said a quick yes! Last night I gave four 15 minute demonstrations on drop spindling and a speech on where yarn comes from. I was pleasantly surpised that the kids were interested and asked really good questions. My biggest surprise was the interest the little boys took in spinning. I got a few really good kid comments that made me giggle. I had the kids name off animals they thought would be good for making yarn from their from and one little boy insisted that elephant hair would be great. At least one kid in each group asked if you could spin and make a sweater out of cotton candy because that is what the wool looks like. I had a wonderful time and I think the kids did too.

Lazy Blog Video #1

Ok, I had a big weekend and I didn’t want to type it all out so I recorded a video. Sorry about the bad edits and barking dog.

Edit: BTW, I said that the Scarlet Fleece did not have a colorway listed, I found it and it is called Poodle Skirt 100% Australian Wool Top 4 oz.

Edit #2: Also, I didn’t post yesterday’s Friday FO’s so I’m adding it at the bottom of this post since I’m wearing the FO in the video.

I finally finished the Tappan Zee!

After reading comments on other Rav project pages that the sweater comes out a bit on the small side, I opted to make it two sizes up. I like the way it fits and I’m in love with the buttons. I made it in Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in the colorway Roasted Coffee. It took five skeins and I have about a quarter of the last skein left.

Thoughts Dump Post

To elaborate more on the 10k Hours project that I talked about in the last post, I stated that I wanted to “do one creative thing a day”. That is somewhat vague. What I mean is: I didn’t want to say I’ll be binding books for 10k Hours because there is so much more to it than just stitching paper together. There are so many things that I am incorporating that I would have felt very boxed in by that statement. As, I have said before, I am no longer going to just make pretty journals. Not that I won’t make journals but that is not my focus anymore. What I will be making will likely be a piece of “art” and not a functional/useable book. I am not limiting myself to techniques on paper either. I do so many things that I do not want to just say something like “No, quilting, you don’t have a place here” because I can incorporate it into a book (and have big plans to do so). So, that is why I’m saying that I’m going to do one creative thing a day. They will all (most likely) be associated/incorporated into a book because that is what I want in life, to be a Book Artist.

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Yesterday, I took my camera along with me on my afternoon walk around town. The day before a gorgeous pink tree caught my eye (and nose) so I *needed* to take a photo of it. I wish I could bottle up the scent too. I don’t have a clue what kind of tree it is but I would love to have one in my yard.

blossoms small 2

blossoms small

I also snapped a few photos of the lilac bush outside my office and the churchyard gate across the street.

Lilac & The Rain

Lilac

Church Yard Gate Med

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I finished knitting the April Fools Socks that is the April pattern for the Star Athena Sock Pattern Club. This sock was fun! All that is left is to snip the scrap yarn and bind off. They look so cool that I just want to keep them together for a few days.

April Fools, Cleopatra

April Fools, Cleopatra

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The Everyday Adventures class started on Monday. I’ve had so much fun thinking about my surroundings in a different way and documenting them. I haven’t finished the first few assignments yet but I’m working on them. I’ll post photos of them sometime soon. This is the Goggles of Enhanced Perception which was the preclass assignment. I had so much fun making them.

Goggles Of Enhanced Perception

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April 9th & 10th there was an event at the Southwest Virginia Community College called Minds Wide Open Celebrating Women In Art that focused on the women of Tazewell County that are artists and makers and supporters of the arts. I had two pieces in the gallery and I did a bookbinding demo on Saturday afternoon. Before I went to the event I spent the morning at Thistle Cove Farm’s Sheep Shearing day and some little *Wild Thing* followed me home. I had so much fun and got to spend the morning with wonderful women that I love dearly. You can spot a photo of me on Sandra’s blog, I’m wearing my favorite green hat (photo #5).

There was a giant sigh of relief on April 16th. Tax season is finally over. Me & the hub cleaned the house from top to bottom. I started cleaning out my studio and already have a bunch of supplies that I want to get rid of. I also started cleaning the second batch of the fleece. I carded the first batch and it is so pretty. I’m torn between dying it first and then spinning it or spinning it then dying it. I’m not sure what color(s) yet either. I’m leaning toward spinning it first so I’ll know how much yardage I have, then picking a project to make (hopefully a sweater) and then dying it. That’s a long way off though, I’m on batch #2 and the bag is still overflowing.

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I’ve had great mail all week. Monday, I got the Intentions Yarns in Courage from The Loopy Ewe. Yesterday, I finally got my package from Jlist (things take forever to get here from Japan) which was full of Bento goodness.

great mail day

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I’ve been meaning to post the flowers in bloom around my house.

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers

Apple Bush In Bloom

Daffodil

—–
I’ll leave you with a photo of a very happy Raisin.

Raisin After An Afternoon Walk

Goals

As I mentioned in my new year’s post, I’m planning to set short term & some long term goals for myself instead of resolutions. I want to lose weight. I put on ten pounds in two months last fall because of a problem with my meds and a far to busy schedule. I’m planning on losing much more than the ten I put on but to motivate myself, I’m giving myself rewards that will all go toward a much larger goal. For every ten pounds that I lose, I’m going to deposit a certain amount of money into a savings account. If I’m at my goal by the time the next Rockin’ Sock club opens up I’m going to sign up. I’m already 3 pounds away from my first goal. I’m also going to be a part of the Team L&V challenge to keep me motivated to exercise.

My long term knitting goals is to not buy any yarn until I knit my way through most of what I have horded up. I have two sweaters worth that are or were sweaters that I have already knit but didn’t work out. There to be unraveled and reknit with decent patterns and true swatches. I also have another sweater waiting in the wings that I plan to cast on as soon as I’m done with the Sylvi coat. I have about 7-10 skeins of sock yarn and at least 3 shawls worth of yarn to knit through as well. I have one exception to my no yarn rule though. I’ve planned a trip with a friend to a new yarn shop and I do plan to buy something while I’m there. It will most likely be sock yarn, but I think this shop may have roving as well, so I’ll have to decide once I get there which to buy.

My short term knitting goals are that this week I’m planning on finishing the Sylvi coat. I’m 1/3 through the hood and if I knit 1/3 tomorrow, 1/3 Wednesday, block on Thursday, that would leave me to knit the petals on Friday. I would really like to wear it to the lys staff winter dinner. I’m also almost done with a pair of socks. I finished one last week and I hope to have the second one done tomorrow during lunch and cast on for another pair. Next week I plan to finish spinning the Soot roving I bought on my birthday. I’ve spun about 2/3 of it and I’m planning to ply it. I’ll post photos as soon as I have a FO to show.

Happy New Year & Decade!

Last year’s new year’s resolutions didn’t quite stick. This year I’m not giving myself such strict things to abide by. This year, I’m simply going to be better to myself by eating healthier, not taking on too many things at once, and reducing my stress. I want to simplify my life. I plan to get rid of many things that I no longer use that are accumulating in my house. I plan to unsubscribe from newsletters that I don’t read and not renew magazine subscriptions. I plan to set attainable goals for myself and not plan to do unrealistic things. Such as, The Crafty Kitten Studio is now closed until May 1, 2010 for two reasons. One, it’s very cold in my studio during the winter and Two, I shouldn’t plan to work on things during tax season because I’m usually too tired and overworked. During the next four months, I’ll still be knitting though.

I hope 2010 is a great year for everyone!

BTW, the Sylvi coat is almost done, one sleeve and the hood to go.