Thursday, December 22, 2011

drippy birdhouse

I was so happy with this new birdhouse. I just received my inks and was happy with the way it came out over the pyrographed feathers. I sprayed it with a sealer and went to put it in the truck and then I saw IT!!!! The sealer had dissolved some of the ink and it ran and blobbed. WAH! Now I have to sand it and fix it.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cheap looms

This is one of the little frame looms I've been making for my weaving class. I've been trying them out as I go and actually made something on this one. Works really well. Just goes to show, if you don't have $700 for a small loom or $1500 for a floor loom, you can make your own!
I'll be putting up descriptions and pictures under the "Make your own frame loom" tab.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Miss Mousie's House

Miss Mousie's House is actually a dried pumpkin! Ramona is a whiz at drying things and she gave me this one to see what I could do....(with my fat fingers....)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A new project

 Meet Moss!
He is my new project. He doesn't live with me, but is technically mine. It was a sort-of, almost rescue situation. He's a sweetie and very smart. And, yes, he is a Border collie.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Undergoing another change

I know the name change will be confusing. It's just that I've changed blogs so many times and I don't want to change again. I just have to come up with a way to change names without actually changing anything....uh....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

First Hooking project

This is my very first hooking wall hanging from an old photo of my Sheltie, JoJo. I used yarn instead of wool strips because that's what I had and found out it's an acceptable material. I did use the wrong backing which made it more difficult to hook, but it did work. Next time - monk's cloth! I'd change a few things, but overall, I'm pleased with the results. The next one will be a picture of Sarah.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This is the gourd birdhouse that I made last week and sold on Saturday. I burned in the outline then colored with colored pencil and buffed like mad! Then 4 coats of varnish.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fairs and more!

The Artisan's Fair was a total hit, at least with me. I sold more than I have all year! A friend and vendor was so pleased that she rented an outdoor space for the Enfield Holiday event this Saturday. Hope the weather is nice because I'm going to be there!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ragtime Sarah 8/28/1998 - 11/21/2011

Sarah had a stroke a couple of weeks ago. Her dad had the same thing so I knew what was coming. She actually did better for a while. Started eating and walking with us, although her head was twisted to one side. She got steadily worse. Finally it was time to let her go.

Sarah was an accidental puppy and a singleton. I confess, as a puppy, I let her cuddle in bed with me on occasion and she would snuggle up to me with her head on my neck - a border collie muff! She wanted to please, but never could get the hang of an outrun.
She was reluctant to run on the sled team. She would go a few steps and pull back. I bought a "springer" device to attach to a bicycle and worked with her alone. She became a very enthusiastic little sled dog!

She may have had some annoying habits, but she was totally my girl and I do miss her.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Hooked on sheep

Here's one of the little ornaments I made by hooking with yarn. I just couldn't help myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

My Sarah-berry

Sarah had what I would call a stroke Tuesday morning. She was thrashing but settled pretty quickly. She tried to get up and do what she always does but she had lost all sense of balance. Later she seemed depressed and unable or unwilling to get up. She wouldn't eat but drank some water. She's gotten a bit better. She can stand up and, with help, can go outside to pee and even ate a tiny bit of food this morning. I don't have a lot of hope that she'll really recover. Her dad had some sort of brain thing that did him in and he acted the same way. But I'll gladly take whatever time we have left together...

Monday, October 3, 2011

A new craft - ONO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep. I broke down and tried rug hooking...I found directions in an old Spin Off magazine for doing these cute little sheep ornaments.

Since I didn't have a real rug hook I used a crochet hook. And I didn't have the burlap or monk's cloth so I found some rough weave fabric, but the hook kept catching threads. It slowed me down but I plugged on. I DO have a real rug frame, missing one side but dragged it out of storage and liked it much better than the hoop which kept slipping. I'll post the finished sheepies soon.

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Green Man - Clay on a gourd. He has a buyer....

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wise Woman

Finally, a minute to post...barely....It has been pretty busy around here with the craft and psychic fair and then a hurricane. But the sun is shining and I've caught up on sleep.
The fair was a hoot. Lots of things to see and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
The hurricane was mostly rain here. It went to the west of us and hammered Vermont.

I've managed to get a picture of one of my new gourd dolls. This is the Wise Woman Spirit doll.

She has a hand knit shawl and her hair is llama fleece (the long guard hairs.)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Llama yarn

I just made my first skein of llama wool. It's a longer process than usual because llamas are double coated animals.

If you look closely, you can see fuzzy down and longer guard hairs. These need to be separated.
I just hold a clump of wool and pull the guard hairs out.

The coarse hairs can be used for rugs or even ropes. The soft down can be spun as is, or blended with another fiber.

I carded the down. Some folks might just spin it as is, but I find I do a better job if it's carded first. My carding drum is in storage at the moment, so I used my hand carders.

Finally, I got to spin some gorgeous tan yarn. It's not my best spinning effort, but I love the color and texture.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Double trouble!

I finally figured out how to do a double bind weave. This is my first rug done in double bind. It's a pattern that you have to keep your attention on or it goes awry, but I managed to do it while sitting in the Gallery. It's also reversible. I've got it on Etsy for now.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RH Loom with a pick up stick

I'm so excited about this project. I'm weaving on my rigid heddle loom - usually you just get plain weave with a rigid heddle, but I started experimenting with a pick-up stick which gives a bunch of interesting patterns. The pickup stick is inserted behind the heddle with the slots up - then I went over 1 under 1. When I get to "pu stick" I turned the stick on end, creating a different shed. The weaving is up, pu stick, down, pu stick. I'm planning on making a vest out of 5 panels.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Between Projects

I haven't forgotten to blog. I'm just between projects right now. I'm warping the floor loom for a double bound rag rug and about to warp the RH Loom for another vest. I know I need to take pictures but my camera batteries were dead and I didn't find the charger until this morning. They're charging as I write!
I had a minor crises with my old blind Rueben dog. He went out to pee and bumping into the corner of the fence, hooking his eyelid on a bent piece of wire. I heard him moaning and ran out to see what was up. He was SO good, letting me fumble around trying to bend the wire so I could unhook him (dog eyelids are amazingly strong). Meanwhile Doc, the other male, came up behind us to see what was up presenting the possibility of a fight. Thank the gods he wasn't in a mood. He went back inside when I told him too. I finally got poor Rueben unhooked and stood shaking. Rueben walked away as if nothing had happened.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tiny Spinning

The first time I tried a small support spindle, I didn't like it much. My hand cramped and I had a hard time drafting. Then I read somewhere that they work great for slippery fibers. I have angora fiber and dog hair, both slippery fibers, so I thought I'd give it another try. Wow. What a difference! No trouble drafting and no hand cramps. I tried sheep's wool again and confirmed that it was very hard to spin on a tiny support spindle, but the slippery stuff spun like a cloud. I was so excited that I made a handful of spindles. These are made from African beads and the little dish is from polymer clay. I even made a small hole for "parking' the spindle. It really looks cute sitting on its little stand. I made some other types too but I'll have to take more pics.

Monday, May 23, 2011

I had a great time at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival this year - in spite of pouring rain. I got a lot done on my woven curtains for the demo, met some local Alpaca farmers, reconnected with a long-lost acquaintance from our Sheltie Club days and got to look at all kinds of neat stuff. My "leftover jacket" was displayed in a prominent spot right by the door!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I know I have been slacking lately. I've been working very hard on my recycled jacket and a little vest done on a rigid heddle loom. I'll post pics soon, but I'm in a mandatory class on how to use a to turn it on, how to click, how to...o my...
The little vest is coming out pretty nice. It's done in strips and sewed together. The weaving went fast, but the sewing and trimming is taking forever. Now I'm almost finished but have to find some more thread to match. Always something....
I decided the jacket was too short and hangs funny so I decided to use up all that leftover yarn and make 4 panels to sew around the bottom to make it longer. I had thought of doing one long panel around the edge but the selveges wouldn't have matched.
Opps. Class is over. More later.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hair Bear

I finally did something with all the dog hair I've been saving. I knitted a teddy bear and a big heart. The bear is all Border Collie and the heart is Border Collie and Sheltie. The bear is so huggable, just what I needed...

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The recycled jacket

It's done! Well, it needs something to hold it closed in front. If it hangs open, it also puckers out in back...but, hey, it's my first piece of wearable clothing that isn't just a flat rectangle. And, 100% recycled! Hope it didn't shrink too much with washing. It's hanging in the camper and drying as I write. I did wear it for a few minutes this morning and it's warm, warm, warm, like putting on a thick wool sock.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

This is the absolutely best part of weaving - Unwinding and seeing what has been done all at once! Unless you're working on a tapistry loom, you only see 6 or 7 inches at a time. The white strips are spacers to separate the two panels.

These are the two panels laid side-by-side. They will be stitched up the back and under the arms for a sort of vest, or jacket. I have short sleeves for it but not sure yet if I'm going to use them.

I really misjudged how much yarn I needed to spin. I have enough to make another one! Better too much than too little and running out before it was woven!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I gotta be careful of what I eat from the food pantry. I think I got a touch of botulism from an outdated can of soup. I never check dates, but I think I will from now on.

I've finished the second sock and another headband. The pattern was giving me fits but it looks fine once it's off and blocked. I'm only inches away from finishing the woven jacket too. I'm determined to finish it tomorrow and get it off the loom. That'll give me some time to sew it together and full it...oooo such excitement....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Knitting Like Crazy!

My knitting has just taken off. I'm not sure why now, but here's some things I've been working on.

My first Fair Isle - a headband. I've put off learning how to do this for so long. I did learn several things - 1. have yarns with more contrast. 2. Carefully track where I am in the pattern. It's r-e-a-l-l-y hard to back up (tink) and fix a mistake. And a few other things no one would really be interested in.

This little bag doesn't look too special, but if you could hold it, you'd discover that it is a double knit and the inside is twined yarn. It's a Scandinavian technique which I can't even pronounce, must less spell. It's knit with two yarns, one from each end of the skein. The yarns are knitted alternating and twined. It's thick and warm, but still soft and stretchy. It makes fantastic mittens, but I did this little bag as a practice piece.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I am so lucky! I get to bring my loom to work with me! Actually, it stays there at least until I finish this project. It's the jacket for the Weaver's Guild challenge. It's all recycled fluff, wool, mohair, angora, dog hair, pygora...I'm a fiber hoarder. I carded it all together and spun it and now I'm making a jacket for me! I seldom get to weave anything for myself. I usually make things for sale, but this is MINE! But it has to be ready for an exhibit this spring and they are collecting the items at the March meeting. I've got one panel finished and one 10" into it.It won't take long now.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where does the time go?

Whoosh. Time is just FLYing. I've finished about 3/4 of one large panel on the weaving project, but can't seem to get the mittens finished. I had to take off one of the thumb caps, (it has flip top thumbs) and redo it. It was too long and almost impossible to get open. Then two more flaps. One mitten has a smaller flap opening than the other one so I'm hoping that won't be a problem. I think once the mittens get wet they stretch a bit. I had one smaller than the other but I don't notice it at all now. In fact, the larger one has slipped right off my hand.
I'm trying to get into wordpress too. It seems everyone is using it for web sites now so I'm trying to set up one just to learn it. Unfortunately, I went through all the registration process and now they tell me that they're upgrading and I can't use wordpress. great.
I did put up a blog for my thoughts while I'm at the Gallery. It's I haven't quite figured out how to format it yet. Running out of time in the day....
more later,

Monday, February 14, 2011

Great day yesterday. Got to spend most of it weaving and then knitting. I'm making progress on the recycled yarn jacket, although I do think it made a better knitting yarn. It reminds me of an old grey saddle blanket.

I'm excited about knitting. I just learned something new! I've learned to do Swedish twined knitting. That's knitting with 2 yarns, but not together. You alternate the yarns with each stitch and they are twined along the back side. I decided to make a little treasure bag for a friend and naturally decided to use a fine yarn with teeny needles. Now the question is, can I finish it by next Monday when she's coming up to visit. Nothing like another deadline....Can't wait to get to the pattern part. I'll take another picture when I get to that.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's late and I've been computing and knitting and listening to audio books. I can hardly see.
But I'm finally camera'd again and couldn't wait to post some pictures. As much as I complain about winter, it's really beautiful up here. This is the logging road that I've been shoveling so we can walk.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The second mitten is finished, but it's smaller than the first one. I learned something. Since I didn't have 4 db needles size 3, I used 3 #3s and one #5. It made a difference - about 1/2 inch. I made a #3 dp needle out of a bamboo skewer so I'd have 4 matched needles for the second mitten. Shoulda stuck to the #5. It fits, but it's a little tighter than the first one. And I need to sew on a little tab of velcro. The thumb flaps keep popping open. Other than that, the are perfect! They are warm, don't hang open like my old ones and have even extra padding on the palms where I have to carry things. Now I have to figure out how to make a pair for our neighbor who has very tiny hands. Mine are enormous so I've got to cut down the pattern quite a bit. I can't go much farther down in needle size since I used a worsted weight yarn and it's pretty tight already. I've got an outline of her hand to go by. Hope I can calculate this right.

Weaving: I'm so excited! I get to take the loom to work with me! I'm working in an art gallery where members are encouraged, nay, begged, to come in and demonstrate their art. I don't have much room in the camper so I asked if I could weave a project and leave my loom there while I do it. YES! So it's loaded in the truck ready to go to work with me tomorrow. All the spinning is done, the warp measured out and chained, so I'll be ready to go, after I remember all the things I forgot to bring....

Saw weasel tracks in the snow yesterday. I really need to barricade that rabbit hutch. It has a huge gap in it.

Monday, February 7, 2011

I'm so clooose to finishing the second mitten...just a few rows now. I've been wearing the right one and really like the flaps that protect the slit where I can slip my fingers out when I need to work latches or what have you. I'm determined to wear the left one too tomorrow morning. My old mittens have gotten very threadbare. Time for a new pair.

Weaving: I've gotten the warp wound into balls so I can start measuring out warp. I've managed to set up the warping mill so I think I'll be able to use it. THEN it's moving the loom down to the Art Galley where I'll be warping, demonstrating, and running the store at the same time! YAHOO!

Back to knitting....

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I'm feeling a little cranky today. Don't know why, other than just being tired. I set the alarm and got up at a proper hour. I've been sleeping too late and staying up too late. The joys of electric lights....So I'm trying to cure my mood with chocolate. I read, in a funny little knitting book a GREAT way to keep track of rows. Instead of a clicker, or a counter, you set out m&ms in the same number as rows to be knit. At the end of each row, you eat an m&m. When they're gone, you're done! I thought it was so brilliant I just have to try it.

And, yes, the mitten has finally submitted and is coming along. I even checked out the audio books on knitting. (see previous post...)

And the spinning is DONE! Now I have to wind them into usable balls and start measuring out warp. The last batch was so pretty. All my leftovers from hand dyed roving in all colors. I almost don't want to waste it on warp, but I MUST. No faltering now.

I must sign off now. The m&ms await me.....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ten Below

It's supposed to warm up today, but it was 10 below when I went out to do chores. That's cold. I thought I was going to get frostbite on my toes! I ran inside to warm up for a minute and realized I still had on my thin nylon socks under my wool footies. NO WONDER my feet were so cold. I changed into heavy hand knit WOOL socks - SO much better. When I went back outside, it really was starting to warm up. Thank you Sun!
The spinning is coming along. I've started the plying. I had to use up all my scrap roving. Now I'm totally out until I can either wash all the fleeces I have stashed, or buy some nice roving. I can't wait to see how my handspun holds up as warp. There's a lot of tension and abrasion on warps so they need to be strong. I tried to spin it tight and smooth.
The second mitten isn't starting well. I cast on, knit a couple of rounds, and somehow picked up the tail end and knit with that for a few stitches...duh... I had to just rip it out and start over. Couldn't even tink it (that's knit backwards...) Speaking of which, I've seen some audio books in the library on knitting. I've been a little mystified about this. I mean, what good is a knitting book without pictures? Well, I saw an ad for one of the books and It seems it's a book to listen to about knitting WHILE you are knitting. I guess I'll have to check one out and see.
Now off to get ready for work. It's the afternoon shift today.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

She's Baaaack...

You know you've been offline too long when you can't find your own I'm starting a new one and bookmarking it.
After the trauma of losing my house and mini farm, I put a ton of stuff in storage and the dogs and I moved into a 25 ft camper on a friend's land. I wintered once before in a camper and was a frozen pop-person, but this time it's really pretty nice! The floor does get cold when the wind blows, but otherwise it's warmer than my house was. I do have to weatherstrip the door when it gets warm enough-the snow seeps right in. I have a heavy curtain over it, but if it gets too cold, the door knob freezes.
I thought I wasn't going to get online for a while, in spite of having 4 computers crammed in here. Two don't have modems, one has everything but won't stay on. The old computer had all my files on it but didn't seem to work with the newer monitor. For some reason, last night it gave in and is working. It's slow as molasses in winter, but I'm connected!
My camera died too so I will have to replace it when I can. That means no new photos for a while.

And as for projects, I'm furiously knitting some new work mittens with flaps so I can do chores without having to remove hand coverings. I discovered that when it's really COLD (like below zero during the day) it HURTS to take your mittens off....
I'm alternating knitting with spinning. I started a project a couple of years ago that now has a deadline. I looked around my studio and realized I was hoarding bits of fiber. I couldn't throw away pretty little handfuls of wool, angora, mohair, dog hair and what have you. In a fit of practicality, I filled a two-pound bag with the stuff. Then carded it lightly to keep the colors strong and started spinning. I decided that, since I almost never make anything for myself, I'd knit a sweater, but since I've never actually finished a sweater in my life, I ripped it out and decided to weave a vest or jacket. I made the mistake of taking the yarn to the Weaving Guild meeting and presented it for the "Green Challenge" in which the membership was challenged to weave something recyled, reused or otherwise considered "green." I only got as far as spinning but everyone seemed to like it and asked if I'd have it ready for an exhibit this spring. Sure, I said, casually....
After careful calculations, I realized I had enough for the weft, but nothing for warp. I'd need twice as much as I had! ACK! So I've been spinning like crazy to get this finished this month and ready for the meeting in March. I did cram my small floor loom in here, but didn't count on having to bring in a dog crate too. It's tight, but I can warp the loom and weave. Looking forward to building a studio shed this summer.