Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lady Anne’s first outing of 2010

We have just returned from our first camping trip of the year. We went to McKinney Campground with a friend and had a very relaxing extended weekend. It was raining off and on the day we arrived, but we were able to set up  between rain showers. The first day was dismal, as you can see in the photos. (double click on photos to enlarge)

McKinney 004 McKinney 027McKinney 031

Saturday was glorious  but extremely windy. We did sit out for several hours while sipping hot chocolate, and we took walks. We also were bundled up against the penetrating wind coming off of the lake.

McKinney 019 McKinney 037 McKinney 043

Friday we put up the awning, that night I awoke to sounds that sounded like someone was thumping on our cargo doors. I thought we were being burgled! Turns out it was the wind grabbing the awning, lifting and dropping parts of it.  I was able to secure it (probably it hadn’t been properly tightened when we put it up) without any problems or damage. We put the awning down when with the assistance of our friend when it became obvious that the wind was only getting stronger; we needed all three of us to handle it under those circumstances. Last night , even though the awning was down, the winds off the lake rocked the RV so strongly that it woke me up again, I once or twice I was afraid we would tip over…..yeah, it was dark and I’m a chicken!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Do I really need another obsession?

Of course I don’t. Will that stop me? Hmmmmm……jury is still out on that one. But it isn’t my fault at all. Nope, not at all. 

It’s all JudyL’s fault. She started it .  I’ve always had a thing for any sort of fiber work. I’ve done embroidery. crewel, needlepoint, garment sewing, quilting, temari and back in college, I knitted my first project, an afghan. A while back Judy posted on her blog that she had knit a pair of socks.  Hey, that sounded interesting, I thought I might want to give that a try. I consulted an acquaintance that is a knitter, told her I had knitted once, 30+ years ago, did she think I could learn to make socks? She said that it was too difficult.    You KNOW what that means! I promptly bought a instructional dvd/yarn/needle kit for making socks- 2 at a time. I am on my third pair (they take me a long time because they get put down for long periods while I pursue other obsessions interests) and while I can’t claim to be an accomplished sock knitter, I am able to (and do) wear the ones that I have finished. So you see, Judy started it!

I do love reading Judy’s blog, she does so many interesting things and has a way of telling a story that makes even the mundane a hoot. And she tries so many different things. In that respect I think we are kindred spirits, if I lived four lifetimes I couldn’t try all the things that capture my interest and imagination. Judy not only quilts, lectures and writes quilting books, she now raises chickens, makes her own cheese and bakes her own bread from flour she mills herself. So, you see, Judy is to blame.

I have started knitting things other than socks. And, in the spirit of trying new things, from scratch, I took a few lessons how to use this:


spinning and aunt del's quilt 020 Yep, a spinning wheel….to make my own yarn. Under my instructor’s guidance, I spun and plied some roving. It wasn’t too bad for a first effort, but it was rather irregular. It is one of those things that you say you were going for ‘novelty’ yarn and wanted it to have different thicknessess. “I meant it to be this way”.

I purchased more roving, this time pencil roving and on my own spun it up. This was much more regular and uniform-not perfect, but much improved. This morning I finished spinning it and also plied it. The pencil roving was wonderful to work with, and the colors…….ooooooh, how I love intense color. The roving went from an yellowy-orange and deep lavender to a hot pink and dark purple.

spinning and aunt del's quilt 024 spinning and aunt del's quilt 018 Here it is while being spun:spinning and aunt del's quilt 019


I’m enjoying this. Of course, the sensible part of me (which can be found on the fingernail of my left pinkie finger) is telling me that to justify doing this I would have to knit a whole lot more. Added to that, spinning wheels tend to be expensive. So, along with researching fibers and techniques, I have also been collecting instructions for making your own spinning wheel—you know—so you can really do it from scratch……….

#1DS is now hiding, as he is the one that gets recruited to help me with all the ‘crazy mom projects’. In Momspeak, ‘help’ translates to ‘do’.

So, you see, it is really all Judy’s fault.    ………..(psssst, hey Judy, thanks!)

Is it time for design wall Monday again??

Well, the same  thing is on my design wall as the last time I posted – no changes, no progress. 

Why?? Well, the last time the grandchildren were here, #1DS came up stairs and asked “Mom, can you fix this?”

spinning and aunt del's quilt 027spinning and aunt del's quilt 030

You see, on weekends when he is the custodial parent, the kids use some old quilts to sleep with.  This one is older than I am, which makes it about the age of Wilma Flintstone’s grandmother.  It was made by my grandmother’s sister and given to my mom sometime before I was born. It has served at least 4 generations admirably, bringing warmth and comfort and sweet dreams. I think it is time to retire the old dear, the fabric is just disintegrating with age and wear. It’s nice to know my kids think I can work miracles, fix anything, but it is time to reveal the ugly truth to them. They’re grownups, they can handle it – there are some things even mom can’t fix!

So, what this all means is that I went up to the pile of finished tops, picked one out, stuck in on the machine and got it quilted. Today I hope to get the binding on so that it is ready when they come again on Friday  for the weekend.  I also picked out another top to do quickly, as the other old quilt being used is also on its last legs. That one we picked up at a yard sale.

Neither of these tops is a favorite, quite the opposite. One was an experiment in technique and the other was a lovely JudyL design that I executed poorly.

Leaf Season Flimsy stage 007

What happened was that while I was making the HSTs, I was merrily trimming them to exact size and was interrupted and didn’t get back to the project for a few days. When I was able to resume, I completely forgot about the trimming……you can guess what happened. I couldn’t figure out why I was having such trouble getting things to fit, all of a sudden. I fought all the way through the borders before the light dawned. By then, I figured the heck with it, I’ll use it for picnics or something. So now they will keep the grands warm and snuggly, and it won’t matter if the children make tents out of it, or play tug of war, or spill something.

That is why no progress on the design wall. Well, that and the fact that I have been taking lessons and practicing my latest great obsession………….come back soon to see what that is…………