A Handspun Win!

Spinning has been so good for my soul.   My second skein of my finished Targhee blend ended up at 52 yards, three ply worsted weight.  This gives me at total of 117 yards for mitts!

I think I found the perfect pattern for my finished handspun, Easy Fingerless Mitts by Maggie Smith.  The pattern estimates 120 yards, so I may need to adjust the cuff length slightly to ensure I have enough yardage.  I plan to cast on this week!

Until next time, be creative.

Sunday Musings: Spinning Up a Storm!!

Wow, it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you stay home.  For me I have been baking breads, spring cleaning and spinning.  Baking has been so awesome, and let’s face nothing is better than homemade bread or having the house smell heavenly.  

My husband has been feeling quite spoiled and enjoying everything I’ve been making, which makes me so happy. I feel since he is the one going out to work and the one getting the things we need, I can do my part by making more of our food from scratch. Not only has baking, and cooking, been so rewarding, it tastes so much better than bread off the shelf.  My goal now is to learn how to make homemade tortillas.

Now for spinning....

I love spinning, especially to Celtic music.  Yesterday morning I finished spinning my beautiful hand blended fiber that was sent to me as a birthday present from my friend Lara  ( mentioned here ).  It was so wonderful to spin and I absolutely love how it turned.  I think I will try two plying from a center ball for this handspun, which means I will leave it on my wheel for a few days to relax the energy before I start plying.  I also truly enjoyed spinning again on my Ashford Traditional single treadle.  This wheel was my very first wheel, and I am the third owner.  She’s a beauty and spins so wonderfully, which means she is going to get used a little more than she has been.

I also chain plied my Targhee blend that I finished spinning early in the week.  This fiber was so wonderful to spin and I absolutely love the chocolate colors!  I was so blessed to receive this beautiful fiber my friend Sherrill (a.k.a. the1764shepherdess ).

This ....

Turned into this ⬇️

65 yards oh three-ply

And into this ⬇️

Yardage to be determined soon
So even with the challenges of what is happening, staying home for me has been very rewarding in so many ways, not to mention the saving of money from not buying “things”. 

One thing I am upset with myself over is not participating in the a spin along hosted by Spin-Off magazine.  I had fully intended in spinning for mittens ( blog post here ) and even had both fiber and pattern picked out.  This spin-along finished about a week or so ago but I am still going to spin for mitts.  So this will definitely be my next spinning project!

This spin-along finished about a week or so ago but I am still going to spin for mitts.  So this will definitely be my next spinning project and I am going to stick to it!!

Until next, be creative!

New Podcast Love

I am a person who loves listening to podcasts while I crochet, knit, spin or work on embroidery.  Some podcasts I listen too are spiritual, some are informative and some are just plain fun.  I have updated my page of favorite podcasts, which you can find here.

I have recently discovered a new podcast, Aunt Jane of Kentucky, read by Frances O’Roark Dowell.  Since I am a Kentucky girl at heart, I knew this podcast was definitely for me and it is awesome!  Be sure to check out Frances blog at Quilt Fiction for more information on the this podcast.

Hello and welcome to Season Two of the Quilt Fiction podcast. In this season, I’ll be reading Aunt Jane of Kentucky by Eliza Calvert Hall. First published in 1907 and  set in rural western Kentucky in the late nineteenth century, the book recounts an elderly quilt-maker Aunt Jane’s memories of life in the rural south as told to an unnamed younger woman visitor. The book was hugely popular in its time, reaching over a million readers, and President Theodore Roosevelt was one of Aunt Jane’s biggest fans. —- Frances O’Roark Dowell

I also have discovered The Rural Woman Podcast.  While I am not a farmer, I find this podcast quite interesting and came across it by chance from following Kim Goodling, who raises Gotland Sheep.  I love spinning Gotland and enjoyed learning about it in a breed study I did a few years ago.

On this week’s episode of The Rural Woman Podcast, you’ll hear from Kim Goodling. Kim is shepherd to a flock of Gotland sheep on a hillside farm in Vermont. Kim and her husband began homesteading many years ago as a way to provide healthy food for their family,  live a self sufficient lifestyle, and participate in Vermont’s rich agricultural heritage. —- Katelyn of Wildrose Farmer
People listen to podcasts for various reasons but for me I enjoy listening to learn and to be part of a community of creative minds.  Do you have a favorite podcast?  I would love for you to share!

Until next, be creative! 

Spinning Update.... A Finished Spin Project

Yesterday I spent my morning before work finishing up my lovely Targhee blend.  I plan to chain ply over the weekend and can’t wait to see my finished yarn.

What made this spin even more fun was listening to Episodes 5 of the Modern Wool Podcast by Abundant Earth Fiber, The Secrets of Josef & Anni.  This episode was all about Targhee and was very insightful.  If you haven’t checked out The Modern Wool Podcast, I highly suggest taking a listen.

I am loving my new spinning project, my lovely hand carded wool by my friend Lara ( mentioned here ).  I want to spin this beautiful yarn for a pair of fingerless mitts and plan to spin as fine as possible.  Fingers crossed I will be able to achieve my spinning goal.

I brought out my lovey Ashford Traditional for this project 

There’s something so special about spinning on my very first wheel.  She still spins like a dream!

Until next time, be creative!

Wordless Wednesday.... Don’t Worry, Be Happy

When I took Cody for his walk in the park yesterday, I found this drawn on the sidewalk.  It made me smile and of course I started humming the song.

don't worry
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) it will soon pass, whatever it is
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) don't worry, be happy
(Ooh, ooh ooh ooh oo-ooh ooh oo-ooh) I'm not worried, I'm happy — Song released in 1988 by Bobby McFerrin
Whatever you are doing at this very moment, remember to smile and “be happy”.

Until next time, be creative.

Time For Ink!

Sometimes when I see certain things that grab me, I have to dig out my pens.  A few days ago while taking Cody for his walk I took this photo of a neighbor’s front yard. Not only is it a pretty landscape that has given me ideas for our front yard, but the main reason I took the photo was I thought it would be perfect for pen and ink.

I sketched out the scene and I have started inking ....

A little more progress...

I am going to take my time so I don’t mess it up, but so far I’m loving it.  I think once I’ve finished the inking, I will add a splash of color here and there.

On a side note, our Lady Banks rose is in full bloom and has such a soft sweet smell.  I love this rose and wish it bloomed more than once a year.

Until next time, be creative.

Sunday Musings..... The Sound Of Silence

I truly have to say that it is so strange when I go out now to take Cody for a walk to our park. There is no one out,  no children playing, no one walking to church and only in the very far distance can you see someone walking a dog, or just walking for exercise.  There are very few cars out too.  

It’s a very strange feeling to hear “the sound of silence”, meaning the silence of voices and laughter, but at the same time it is slightly refreshing to be able to think in peace.

Cody was happy he was able to run and walk without his leash

On a more crafting note....

I have frogged my Brush Creek Cowl because I just wasn’t “digging it” and somehow messed up two rows. So I re-ckaked my yarn, and caked the other package of gradient (mentioned here)yarns too and casted on a scarf using an older Rowan pattern designed for their Pure linen (free pattern download).  

I have doubled the stitch count and have casted on 70 stitches.  I plan to modify this scarf by working two panels and grafting them in the middle. The reason ... I want my ends to match. I know that might sound dumb, but I’m quirky that way. 

Simple lace stitch 

I love these colors!

I need to work on a couple of embroidery projects too, but for now I just want to knit and spin.  I am still working on my Targhee blend and may finish it up over the up coming week.  I am still hoping for enough yardage for a hat, or at least a pair of mitts.

I have been organizing and cleaning things up in my craft room, and on a few of my apps.  I have gone through all my digital patterns kept on my GoodReader App and have cleaned up a few duplicate patterns.  I have also organized my patterns by type, which is now making my life a lot easier when searching for a certain pattern.  I have a feeling I will be doing a lot of knitting and spinning over the next few months, which actually makes me quite happy and content.

Until next time, be creative!

Friday Baking Fun !

Happy Friday everyone!!  I don’t know about all of you, but I am so grateful that today is Friday and that have two days to recoup from a somewhat stressful week.  Work has been busy, which is good as it has made my days go by fast and has helped to eliminate some of the stress I have been feeling.

This morning I decided to start my day by baking a loaf of banana nut bread.  I only had two bananas but I didn’t want to waste them, so I searched for a recipe that I thought would work and found a simple recipe, Best Banana Bread, on Food.com  The only thing I did above and beyond the recipe was add walnuts.

My bread turned out perfect and taste great!

Until next time, be creative!

Thursday Happenings — When the Going Gets Tough

When life throws us a bump in the road it is to make us stronger.  This has always been my philosophy and it was something my parents instilled in me at a very young age.  

 There is a famous expression in English: When the going gets tough, the tough get going – meaning when the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge.”  ( EnglishLive).  

I don’t know about you, but the above expression is so very true and one I was thinking about recently.  We do toughen up with things get “tough” and again, it is to make us stronger and more resilient.  We are in a very unique point in our lives and everything seems to be changing so rapidly that we feel we can’t keep up.  But always remember God is watching over us and will guide us through what we are facing and even through the most difficult of times.  

God promises us that He will watch over us throughout the Bible and there are many verses that state this.  For me, Genesis 28:15 is a wonderful reminder of how God watches over us ...   "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."  

Psalm 121:8 also tells us “The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”  These two verses are comforting and powerful, and verses to remember.

Please take comfort that God is here for US and He is always watching over US, and don’t let this particular point in time take you away from this understanding.

Now on a homemaker note ...

I have become domestic again!!!  I haven’t done as much cooking from scratch as I have been over the last few weeks and it has been so rewarding.  Today I am making French bread, and yes I am cheating by using my bread machine but I also plan to learn how to make bread by hand.  In my crock pot is boneless and skinless chicken thighs that I am cooking with a bit of chicken broth and a packet of La Torilla Factory Al Pastor skillet sauce starter.  This starter works really great in a crockpot, especially with a bit of broth added.

The house is starting to smell heavenly 

The chicken will be enough for about 2 1/2 meals and is destined for chicken nachos and a Mexican Chicken bowl.  The remaining will be for my lunch.  I truly love making things that I can stretch out and crock pot cooking really helps me with that.  I have even thought about buying an additional crockpot but will hold of for now.  The French bread will be for toast at breakfast and sliced for sandwiches.  I can’t wait for my hubby to get home to see what I’ve been up too!!!

On a knitting note ...

I have joined Brush Creek Cowl in the round and have added the next gradient color, which is so pale you won’t be able to make it out as I’ve only knitted one row.  The pattern states that the opening will stretch with blocking ... fingers crossed that will be the case or this will end up being a gift item.

I hope that you are having a wonderful week so far and have been able to take time for yourself, which is so important.   I want to cook and craft more this year.  One thing I have done for myself is join the Faith In Hand Stitchery Club by Jenny Reynolds of Jenny of Elefantz.  If you are interested in seeing what this is all about, visit her blog (most recent post ) today

Faith In Hand Stitchery Club

What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters to what lies within us. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Until next time, be creative!

Wordless Wednesday .... Yarn Love

Apparently I am not the only one who loves yarn.  I snapped this photo several months ago of Cody.  He was snoozing next to me while I was knitting and kept nuzzling the skein of yarn I was using. He’s such a sweet boy and such wonderful company.

“I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me, they are the role model for being alive.” – Gilda Radner (comedian)

Until next time, be creative.

Let the knitting begin !

“When you are knitting socks and sweaters and scarves, you aren't just knitting. You are assigning a value to human effort. You are holding back time. You are preserving the simple unchanging act of handwork.“  —Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
I think my knitting mojo has resurfaced, which delights me to no end.  I am once again very excited about casting on things to knit.  Yesterday morning I wound my yarn and casted on the Brush Creek Cowl.  I love the colors in this gradient pack, they rather remind me a bit of cocoa, hot chocolate and maybe a tad bit of a yummy truffle.  I seem to have a chocolate theme going!!!

I have the colors lined up in order of knitting
from the bottom to the top.

I casted on late in the afternoon and haven’t made too much progress, but I can honestly say that I truly love the way the yarn is knitting up.  I really think the pattern I chose is perfect for this gradient collection of yarn and I look forward to seeing how it looks finished.

This is going to be a soothing knit and one that will bring me peace in this state of restlessness I seem to find myself in these days.

Until next time, be creative!

When You Feel Life is “Surreal “

These are dark times, there is no denying. Our world has perhaps faced no greater threat than it does today. But I say this to our citizenry: We, ever your servants, will continue to defend your liberty and repel the forces that seek to take it from you! Your Ministry remains, strong.” - Rufus Scrimgeour/Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows

This  past week has been rather surreal for me. It’s almost as if I have been watching an end of the world movie unfold before my eyes.  Whether you believe in what’s going on or not, panic has set in, and when there is panic there is often fear.  It reminded me of the quote above, and while it’s not quite  “dark times” , it kind of feels that way.

My husband and I went out shopping a few days ago to find empty shelves at most of our local stores.  Paper products and cleaning supplies was not to be had, followed by food.  When you live in a large county that is made up of almost 5.5 million people, that can be quite scary.  Peoples faces showed a mix of disbelief and anxiety as they strolled up and down isles viewing nothing but empty shelves. It was scary and even quite stressful.  My husband and I prepared as we both saw this coming many weeks earlier and knew what would happen, knew that panic would set in and that fear would take hold.

For me personally it has drawn me closer to God and my belief that he will always watch over us, guide us and protect us.  It has also made me a better wife.  I am doing what my husband has asked me to do and what he feels is right,  and I am listening to him ( after 25 years of marriage I am not going against what he thinks we need to do for our family).

This weekend I made bread, which is something I haven’t done in ages.  It was soothing and the house smelled so good!  I also got my copy of 52 Weeks of Socks delivered and I can’t wait to start knitting the gorgeous collection inside.  I have also started reading again and picked up quite a few books over the past few weeks.  I am starting the Shell Seekers today, which is an all time favorite that I love to re-read now and then.

I know for many this time we are in at this very moment is scary but please take comfort that God is with us, and will always be with us.  Don’t let the stress get to you and remember to do things that calm you and center you.  

Deuteronomy 31:6 .... “ Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Until next time, be creative!

Another Finish and A New Cast On

I have finished and blocked my second crocheted shawl, Among The Wildflowers by C J Brady, and oh my how I do love it!!!

This shawl is so soft, light and airy.  The colors are scrumptious in muted tones of purple and gray, with just a touch of dusty pink.  I can’t wait to wear it this fall paired with a sweater and a pair of jeans.

Now for the new cast on ....

I have had these two gradient collections for a very long time.  Each package contains 435 yards of fingering weight yarn in a soft merino was wool and nylon.  I have been debating what pattern (or patterns) I want to use to finally put these beautiful colors to work. 

Brush Creek Cowlette- Courtesy of Carina Spencer
I have decided to cast on the Brush Creek Cowlette by Carina Spencer and use the Barnwood collection on the left (above photo). I’ve had this pattern for six years, so it’s time to make it and I think this yarn will be perfect for Carina’s design.

Paintbrush Cowl - Courtesy  of Hill Country Weavers
For the Bordeaux collection on the right (above photo) I have decided to make the Paintbrush Cowl by Connie Devlin.  This is another pattern that I have had for a very long and like the Brush Creek Cowlette, it’s time to make it!

Now to decide which one to cast on first!!

Until next time, be creative.

Friday Finishes: A New Shawl!

Ok, I admit I truly love knitting but at times crocheting captures my heart.  The reason, it’s delicate, airy and so much more quicker than knitting.

I finished my Emily Scarf and absolutely love it!  The yarn is scrumptious and so yummy soft.

Yarn: Less Traveled Yarn, in the color Monument Valley and started

I have also started a new crochet project, another design by CJ Brady called Among The Wildflowers.  I am using my stash of Manos Del Uruguay Alegria, a blend of 75% superwash merino wool and 25% polymide.  The color is called Nobuk, a beautiful mix of purples that is crocheting up beautifully.  I started my shawl this past Friday and I am almost finished.  It’s going to be quite lovely!

Until next time, be creative!

On My Wheel Today: A Beautiful Continuation

I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel. (Young India,20-5-1926)

A few weeks ago I shared that I finished one skein of handspun in my beautiful Targhee blend from Sherrill of The 1764 Shepherdess.  I truly love how my skein turned out and have been inspired to start spinning the second half of my fiber. It is spinning up beautifully and I am hoping to achieve at least the same yardage or better (fingers crossed).  If I end up with a least 120 yards, I plan to make either a pair of mitts or a cabled headband (my own design from a few years ago).

Schacht Sidekick

My goal this year is to spin my stash, which I will admit is out of control.  After I finish spinning my Targhee,  I want to start the hand carded fiber my friend Lara sent me for my birthday last year.

Isn’t this fiber gorgeous!!  I can’t wait to spin it up and us it for something extra special.  It’s an alpaca blend and I am super excited about spinning it.

Until next time, be creative!

The Sewing Corner... Another Shirt No.1

Today I’m sharing my recently finished  Shirt No 1 in lovely blend of 55% Linen/45% Cotton by Robert Kaufman, the Balboa Collection by Erin Dollar,  in Lines in Rust and  Essex Yarn Dyed in Rust for the neckline.  

I used mock French seams , a reverse bias neckline in the rust and a split hem .  I also used the bias cut pattern that I learned in my Creativebug Class, Wardrobe Basics: Sewing Shirt No. 1 by Sonya  Philip.  I can’t seem to stop making this pattern but need to branch out and learn something new.  So, I am thinking it’s time for bottoms and plan to start Wardrobe Basics: Sewing Pants No 1. I am not sure about what fabric to use but think I might have something in my stash that should work.

I really love this shirt and it fits fantastic!  If you are wanting to start making your own tops and are new to sewing, I highly recommend the Creativebug Class for Sonya’s Shirt No.  This is a very simple top, the pattern is super easy to follow and Sonya’s tutorial is awesome.

When it comes to creating a handmade wardrobe, this super-simple shirt will be your go-to pattern, featuring a casual fit and a contrast bias facing that comes together quickly. Known for her pattern line "100 Acts of Sewing," Sonya Philip demonstrates how to make her famous Shirt No. 1 pattern, plus three new variations: a contrasting yoke, a kicky bias-cut bottom, and a sweet button-front version. This pattern is designed to be simple enough for an absolute beginner but with enough customizations to keep an advanced sewist engaged. Shirt No.1 is an addictive wardrobe staple, with PDF patterns provided for all variations.  - Creativebug
 I love the classes on Creativebug because they are always simple, straightforward, fun to take and so many creative things to learn.

Until next time, be creative!

CQ, CQ... Is anybody out there?

CQ is a code used by wireless operators, particularly those communicating in Morse code, (— · — · — — · —), but also by voice operators, to make a general call (called a CQ call). Transmitting the letters CQ on a particular radio frequency is an invitation for any operators listening on that frequency to respond.

About  a week ago I made a decision to completely leave Facebook and redo how I was handling Instagram.  It’s a decision that came with a lot of thought and truly has been something I personally needed to do.  I feel that God has been  gently nudging me to leave the things of the world behind and focus on Him and my family.  

I strongly feel that a post I saw on Instagram (right before she closed her account) by Jenny (Jenny of Elefantz) was a sign from God that I needed.  Honestly, this simple act of shutting down, and deleting my Facebook account has brought me an overwhelming sense of joy and peace.  

I plan to continue my blogging as it is a way for me to reflect upon things I care about and share my crafting love. 

If you are reading this post today, I want to thank you and hope that you pop in now and the to see what I have been up too,

Until next time, be creative!

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. - John 14:27

The Sewing Corner ... Oh I Do Love Batiks !

Stitch your stress away.  ~Author Unknown

I have a tremendous love for batik fabrics.  I’m not sure if it’s due to the colors or the designs, but whatever it is I can’t seem to pass up buying batik fat quarters or yardage. 

A few weeks ago I cut up a few squares leftover from a layer cake I bought into squares.  I started laying them out and moving them around until I came up with a layout I liked.

My layout cloice

I pinned my squares together and decided to hand stitch them.  As I got ready to stitch, I drew a 1/4” seam line in hopes that everything would line up nice and even.  In other words, I wanted all my corners to line up perfectly.

I finished my stitching late yesterday afternoon and I am very pleased that I only had a couple of corners that didn’t quite match up.  My goal now to add embroidery to this top before I sandwich it with batting and backing fabric.  I need to go through my floss stash to see what colors I want to use and then think about a design.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: Project Photos and Thoughts

As promised in yesterday’s post, here are photos of my finished crocheted Spring Petals Scarf, a free pattern by Ragamuffin,( I forgot to mention this pattern in my earlier posts 🥺).  This is a simple pattern and it can by tweaked in size by adding additional stitches.  For my scarf, I added 20 more stitches so I could have a wider scarf.

I can wrap it around once or .... 

Pair it  nicely with my shawl cuff I purchased from  my friend Zonda.  Check out her Etsy shop,  JaneZ Place by zknitter, for a great collection of shawl cuffs.

I am still working on my toe up sock.  Honestly not much knitting has been happening lately as my knitting mojo is rather shot but hopefully that will change soon.  

Patons Kroy in Clover

Last week I started my Emily Scarf  and I hope to work more on it this coming week.  My goal is to have it finished in two weeks, which is quite doable for me.

Thoughts ...  

I have come to realize I have too many “creative” loves.   This is not a bad
thing, it just means that I have many things I want to explore and try.  I personally think when you focus on just one thing, it’s an easy recipe for burning out. 

I have been crocheting for over 44 years, knitting for over 25 years and spinning for over 11 years.  Let’s just say the fiberarts have been a big part of my life for a very long time, which means I’m rather weary of it. 

I’m at a stage in my life where want to explore other things, mainly embroidery, sewing and art.  This doesn’t mean I’m giving up the fiber-arts, it just means I need a change.  I want to explore other creative endeavors and not be so focused on one thing, and one thing only.  

I do get quite distracted when I go into my craft room, too many fun things to make and to explore, leaving with the thought of  “what to I want to accomplish today”.  With this simple thought in mind, the possibilities become endless and each day I have the possibility to create something new and explore other crafty venues.

So my thoughts.... Change is good, change is healthy and change always gives us a breath of fresh air.  Without change, I feel that I would become dull, and unimaginative, even stagnant.  So for me, having one creative love ( or outlet ) is good but having many is even better.

 “The whole secret of a successful life is to find out what is one’s destiny to do, and then do it.”– Henry Ford

Until next time, be creative.