Friday, December 31, 2010

UFO Challenge

Judy L is facilitating an effort to get some UFOs finished in 2011.  Here is my list:

  1. Red Gray and Black
  2. Barn Star
  3. Lincoln’s Platform
  4. 1930’s fabrics
  5. Lady Anne
  6. JudyL’s Star BOM
  7. Little Quilts Buck a block
  8. Y2K
  9. Jar Swap
  10. Treadle on Swap
  11. Hidden Wells
  12. Hummingbird

Many of these are finished tops that need to be quilted and bound. The Y2K was started at the turn of the century…oh my, has it been that long already?? I have since decided I am not happy with what I have done so far, so I will probably rip everything apart and try again. My intentions are good, I wonder how many I will actually get finished?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sock it to me….

I finished up a pair of anklets (KnitPicks yarn and pattern) at the end of October so that I could begin a new pair of socks and participate in JudyL’s sock knit-along this month, check it out at

I really enjoyed this pattern. It is toes up, which I prefer, but this pattern actually fit my toes the best of any I have done yet. I also liked doing the little lace patter on the top side. Not at all sure about the very different short row heel, I finally made a chart to check off row by row since I would loose track. In future, I may combine this toe with another short row heel that I prefer. This heel was odd, because they wanted it to come unusually high in the back so that it would stay up.

This was the first of seven patterns in a KnitPicks kit that I bought, a different pair for each day of the week. Wonder how long it will take to get the next 6 pairs done, given my track record?

anklet socks 008 anklet socks 001

Here is the start of the pair I am doing for the knit-along:

anklet socks 006a

I bought the self striping yarn at a lovely little shop in Asheville called Purls. I’ve done self striping before, but I liked a sample made up in a different colorway of this yarn because some of the stripes had a zig-sag  within them (see the pink row above the orange, and the green and white row at the top). I would have bought the other colorway, as I liked it better than this, but this was the only one they had left!  I hope that I can get these finished this month, but I have to pace myself, as my hands get cramped and sore holding the small needles.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

October escaped ………

October got a bit hectic around here. Aside from normal doctor visits there was an unexpected trip to the ER that resulted in an overnight stay and then follow up tests. Everything worked out fine, but it took a chunk of time.  October just slipped right through my fingers!

Then, we went camping to Bandy Creek campground in NE Tennessee for our camping group's Fall Rally. The first few days were awfully cold, but generally the weather was beautiful.  Bandy Creek is part of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.  I think the group will be going back there next year, we liked it that well.


Bandy Creek 036 Bandy Creek 024 Bandy Creek 041 Bandy Creek 037 Bandy Creek 040 Bandy Creek 035

Monday, August 30, 2010

A new toy…

More accurately, a new tool. 

dehydrator 006

That’s a food dehydrator. Over the weekend, I sliced up some fruit to give it a test run. Pineapple, cherries, grapes, strawberries and bananas on Saturday. Peaches on Sunday. All turned out well except the grapes. The grapes required a type of pretreatment ‘checking’ which I must not have done properly. It involved putting them in boiling water and then immediately into very cold water. I think I was so afraid of cooking them that I didn’t leave them in the boiling water long enough.

Each tastes pretty good in the dehydrated form and would make tasty snacks and would be especially good to bring camping. This morning I reconstituted a few slices of peach and strawberry to have with my yogurt. Yummy!

Now to look for what is in season or on sale…….

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A little of this, a little of that

I haven’t posted in a bit, but we are still around. We were supposed to be camping this week, but with temps in the high 90’s, we decided not to. We did take a day trip up to Tallulah Gorge State Park  to check it out. I’d like more time to explore the area, but I’m not sure this campground is “MOTH friendly”. We observed a person having a hard time using his walker, and MOTH was quick to point it out to me. It is an awfully pretty area though, and I’d really like to see more of it.

I finished those green/purple striped socks a while back, but never posted.  I tried working on them while recovering from my knee replacement surgery-but I was still on painkillers. Do not operate knitting needles while using this medication…… In spite of a few ‘design elements’ that I added, they are finished and wearable.


This area is blessed with several nice yarn stores (as well as good quilt stores) and one of the friendliest is Only Ewe and Cotton Too in the next town. You walk into this store and feel right at home. There are always people sitting there, knitting and chatting, and other folks will help you find what you are looking for if the owners are busy with someone else.  Last month this shop had a knit-along doing the Annis shawlette. I joined in, learned how to bead and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The shawl is now finished and blocked, ready to use…well, if it wasn’t in the 90’s.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Boone, NC

We recently joined some of our camping friends in Boone, NC for a long weekend. We always enjoy their company, the food is good and everyone gets to relax- or not- as they choose. Since Boone is in the mountains, the temperatures were comfortable and there was always a breeze. Our campsite backed up to a brook/stream that babbled and gurgled and generally made its presence known throughout the day and night. It was wonderful to be able to open the windows, listen to the water and drift off to sleep. Some of the group went kayaking on a river. We also went to dinner at a charming local restaurant and visited a mine ‘store’ where you could dig through some buckets from the mine and see if you found any gems. Another morning we visited an old general store and post office, it has been a long time since I have seen penny candy and some of the other things that were on sale there!   

Some views of the office and the campground. (click on photo to enlarge)



Did I mention that we just happened to be in Boone the same weekend as the Highland Games? We not only enjoyed some of the sights, but in the evening we heard some of the sounds-music that sounded like fife and perhaps dulcimer.


Here are Doc, Pantless and Nightrider using Pie Irons to make our dessert-blueberry pie!

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A picture of my darlin’ MOTH, and then his ‘girlfriend’, that 94 year young woman keeps trying to steal my man!!


Saturday, June 26, 2010

Reed Bingham camping trip

Last weekend we traveled to Reed Bingham State Park to join some friends. We enjoyed our time with our friends, but the trip was one of those ‘good news, bad news’ things.

Good News: CS, Dix, BD made it, Pantless and the Amazing Erma stopped by on Saturday evening to join us for dinner.  Bad News: Bama had car trouble and had to cancel.

Good News: Dinner at the Catfish House was fun and delicious.  Bad News: Loooong wait time for a table while seated outside on the porch, in the heat, with the bugs.

Good News: The park is nice. It has big camping sites and and lots to do. You can  fish, swim, play miniature golf, hike,  rent kayaks and boats or bikes .  Bad News: It was in the mid 90’s most of the time, with humidity also very high, except when it was storming.

Good News: No mosquitoes  Bad News: Every gnat on the planet was in the park this weekend.

Good News: The swimming area was lovely, water temp perfect.  Bad News: A gator decided he liked the lovely swimming area with perfect water temperature.

Good News : The storms lowered the temperature and humidity for a little bit.  Bad News: The storms knocked out the power for a few hours– and one of the big rigs lost its awning to the storm.(all of us were fine, thankfully)            


That gives you an idea of how things went. I’d love to go back to Reed Bingham, but not during June, July, or August. From now on, we head north during the summer months, not south! 

Here are some photos of our adventures:         

Some of the gang kayaking down a nearby  river   (and yes, they encountered an alligator along the way)                             

Dixie (21) Cheryle (4) Cheryle (6) Cheryle (7) Cheryle (9) Dixie (13)

Gator country

Reed Bingham (52) Cheryle (14) Cheryle (18) Cheryle (22)

The storm produced some flooding – then we had  4” of water to bail out of that kayak!

Reed Bingham (27) Reed Bingham (13) Reed Bingham (15) Reed Bingham (16)

Monday, May 31, 2010

We remember

and we give thanks for your sacrifice. God Bless each of you, and your families.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And now for something I’d never thought I’d do…..

One thing leads to another. First, I learned to knit, then I learned to spin. When DS1 found me spinning, making my own yarn, he teased me that he expected to come home and find sheep grazing in the back yard, as the next logical step was to raise my own fiber.  hmmmmmmm. No, that’s not the next step, but I did take a half step and bought some fleeces. A farmer/sheepherder in Kentucky was willing to sell her fleece by the pound instead of by the complete fleece. So, I bought a pound each of Lincoln and Icelandic wool and a pound of Alpaca! Now this stuff is straight off the animal, vegetable matter and all. The dog loves all those good sheepy smells and tried to get into the box that the fleece came in.   
These are the fleeces, just out of the box, center bottom is the Lincoln, top right is Icelandic, top left is the Alpaca.  Since the fleece is right off the animal, it has to be ‘scoured’ (fiber speak for washed) to remove the debris and the lanolin.  First, you make a hot solution of water and detergent, put the fleece in, careful not  to agitate. It looks like this before the bath – tan, long and curly.  It looks like the middle picture while it soaks and the dirt and ‘grease’ are lifted to the surface. Look at the color of that water!
three fleecesscouring fleece 016dirty water after first part of Lincoln scour
Once it has been washed and rinsed several times, it gets laid out to dry. Even after washing, little Mac was trying to get at it! (double click on photo to enlarge)

Mac and Lincoln again
It took much longer to dry than I expected.  Then it was time to comb the locks. Please, don’t ever try to use a wool comb to comb your hair!  Wool combs are much more suited to Freddy Kruger or Edward Scissorhands. These are wool combs:
wool combs 002These are wool combs in action :wool combs 007
   The result of the combing is this delightful cream-colored puff of fiber that spins into this yarn:
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Can you believe that this  poofy white cloud came from this dirty mess of curls? Talk about a transformation!!
closeup of Lincoln crimps

Meet Elspeth

wheel 3a    My very own spinning wheel!  I found an ad on Ravelry for a used wheel and am quite happy to have it in my home, using it.  Unfortunately, Elspeth met with an accident shortly after she came to live in our house. Someone who shall remain nameless tripped and fell…right onto Elspeth. She was unhurt except for the rather fragile and (to me) inadequate little piece that holds the skein winder atop the wheel. That little piece broke. Never fear, DS1 came up with a fix that now makes Elspeth into a bionic wheel. I’m petty sure that with her metal replacement parts (something we have in common) she won’t lose her skein winder again.

the first several attempts

Some of my first attempts at spinning. The brownish and the turquoise are Blue Face Leicester, the others are Merino. I’m keeping a notebook on the different types of fiber that I spin, trying to keep track of  the differences and characteristics of each. I never gave it any thought before, but there must be as many different sheep breeds as there are dog breeds, and each produces its own unique wool. Some wools aren’t desirable for use in garments but might be ok for weaving or for use in rugs.  My first fiber purchases were guided by availability and color. I love color. But I have bought some fiber from different sheep as part of a monthly Ravelry study, and these are in their natural colors. The one that I am currently spinning is Black Welsh Mountain, and I am enjoying it immensely. Here is the first bobbin as well as some of the roving which I have predrafted. That ‘hank of hair on the right, after being spun on Elspeth, becomes that yarn. That deep black/brown color is natural. I’m hoping to have enough to make a peasant style shawl.

Black Welsh Mountain single and roving

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day tripping

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MOTH and I took a day trip to Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA.  It was a lovely day, perfect weather, and you can’t ask for a prettier place.  I hope you enjoy some of the pictures that we took.         Here he is, walking on the Rhododendron Trail and some of the other outdoor plants.

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Aside from acres of outdoor gardens, Calloway Gardens has a butterfly house.That large moth-looking butterfly is probably bigger than my fist! and some of the  butterflies were actually a beautiful shade of blue, I wish I could have captured one with its wings open, but you can get just a hint of what they looked like here.
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There are also indoor gardens of various types.
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