Monthly Archives: March 2008

Homespun Yarn Party

Yesterday was the first Homespun Yarn Party. All I can say is that it was crowded and lots and lots of fibery goodness. Knitters and spinners in the greater DC metro area are very lucky to have so many wonderful local indie dyers and spinners. Yes, I made purchases. And yes, I baked. For the photos, head over to the Flickr group to see if you can see yourself. It was nice to finally put some faces to bloggers who you read everyday online in real life. My photo set can be found over here on Flickr.

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Photo Friday

Here in Frederick, it seems that no matter where you want to go, you have to cross the Monocacy River. And depending on where you are planning to go, you may cross it several times. For me to go into Frederick, I have to cross it at least once. And if I am going downtown Frederick, the back way, I cross it twice. It is normally a low flow river and I have kayaked a few portions of it. These photos were taken near me at the site of an old river ford. If you look closely, you can see the old roadbed that was washed away over 25 years ago.

Now I am off to bake for Sunday’s Homespun Yarn Party. I hope my brother has my camera back. He is going to borrow it tonight, weather permitting, for some sort of night ops he is doing. I don’t ask too many questions.

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Spring All Over

Spring has invaded everything!!!! Well spring colors at least. The temperature this morning when I got up was a balmy 21 degrees F. Yet, it is supposed to warm up to the mid 50s by afternoon. I have been busy cleaning up and rearranging my studio yet again. I bought some new to me shelves the other week and have gone through every piece of fabric in my fabric stash and sorted it all out. The unquilted tops and every fabric that goes with them are on top of the bookcase now. I am still looking to match them up with backing fabrics still. I have discovered a quilt that I made years ago that is actually larger than a king size quilt that will be partially taken apart this summer and resized to something more realistic. I have discovered quilt blocks made from fabric that I hand dyed years ago. I will be framing them over the summer to display them as art quilts.

There is a large pile of fabric that needs to be boxed up and sent to a friend in a cold snowy place. There is a pile that will go to one of the ladies in my quilt guild who teaches middle school students life skills. Life skills is the new name for home ec. Her kids love my scrap fabrics. There is another pile that will be taken to the guild meeting next week and placed out for any one who wants it. Any fabric that is not claimed will go to the middle school students. This culling of the fabric stash has been very severe and I now have less fabric than I started out with it. And there is more room for yarn!!! But the yarn stash is next for the culling.

But there is a some what new stash in the studio as well. I have rediscovered embroidery. I can’t remember which I learned first – knitting or embroidery. I probably learned both about the same time around the age of four. Embroidery is almost as portable as knitting. I am starting out with tea towels. Everyone needs tea towels. And they will make great presents for the holidays. But the colors of spring have invaded my latest design that I am doing. Knitting progress will resume soon.

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Spring?

I saw this photo in today’s edition of the Daily Mail. Click on over to see how the feat was accomplished.

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Photo Friday

Since spring is not wanting to appear in several parts of the country, I will show what has shown so far here in the foothills of western Maryland. These were taken Tuesday evening during a slight misty rain. Of course, the forecast for tonight calls for a chance of snow.

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The Inside Loop Parcel

Have you checked out The Inside Loop yet? I will wait for you to go and check it out. It is a wonderful online magazine. The idea is to increase the presence of indie UK designers on the web. Basically it is a Knitty for the UK. The is a Yahoo group so that you can be notified when the issue goes live. And for the first issue, there were several prizes to be awarded for being on the list. I seem to love British designs and I quickly added my name to Yahoo group so that I would be notified when the first issue went live. I had no interest at all in the prizes since we are really lucky on this side of the Pond yarn wise.

Can you imagine my surprise when I received the email stating that I had won the grand prize? Yeah, grand prize!!!! Well, Monday when I walked down to the post office, I had two yellow slips in my box. Two yellow slips equals two packages for me. I was expecting one from P so I was curious about who the other one was from. And there was this very large parcel handed to me with all sorts of international marking on it. Yes, it was the grand prize!!!!

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And it was a wonderful taste os yarns that we rarely get to see on this side of the Pond. There were 4 balls of Rowan Big Wool in a color called Smokey. There were 4 skeins of Tess Dawson Suri silk in black and it is a lace weight. There were 10 skeins of Tess Dawson 4 play in a wonderful shade of teal. There is a skein of Cherry Tree Hill lace weight in Gypsy Rose. While this is a US based company, it is hard to find locally for me so this is a treat. There was quite a bit of sock yarn in the parcel as well. There was a skein of another US based yarn company. Dream in Color Smooshy is also hard to find locally so the Cloud Jungle is greatly appreciated.

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There are two skeins of yarn from Anni of Confessions of a Yarn Addict. There is a skien of Merino 4 ply (fingering weight) in a lovely lavender. There is another skein Merino Lace Yarn in Smooth Antique. I have always liked Anni’s patterns and now I have a chance to try her yarns.

There are two UK based indie yarn companies that I have been wanting to try but have hesitated due to the weak dollar. And both of these companies donated to the grand prize. I have always been fascinated with the colors offered by the Natural Dye Studio. They use historical natural plant dyes to create subtle colors. And the yarn from them is a mohair loop in a pale green which is actually called aqua. So soft and spring like in color.

The other yarn is from MiddleEarthKnitter Yarns. The shop’s owner and dyer lives in the Scottish Borders. There is a wonderful interview with Cairi in the featured business section of the current issue. The color in the package just happens to be the featured color in the sock pattern Jules. Vintage Denim really does look like well loved jeans. I can’t wait to cast on a new pair of socks using the Jules pattern and this yarn.

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The card tucked into the parcel was lovely. It was a close-up shot of lavender in bloom. Lavender happens to be one of my favorite plants and scents. This card will be tucked up on my studio wall once I am finally done redoing it. I am so in love with this new knitting site and the yarns!!! The yarns in the parcel make me happy that MDS&W is still several weeks away so that I can enjoy them all by themselves.

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Girl Scout Cookies

Can I just say that Girl Scout cookies are evil? I am generally able to limit myself to one of my favorite cookies at a time. My favorite cookie is the Samoa. (Even when I sold Girl Scout cookies, this was my favorite.) But I bought a box of the Lemon Cremes. Pure evil.

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Back

I am back but I can say that not much was accomplished during my break. Actually, I managed to make my studio even messier than it was to start with in the first place. I am installing new shelves in there and now have fabric pulled off the old ones and just stuffed into the one new one I have up. But I have discovered some fabric in the stash that makes me wonder what I was thinking when I bought it. But at least I can take it with me to the next quilt guild meeting and it will find a home in some one else’s stash. I will be doing a serious look at each piece of fabric as I handle it and refold it. There are two boxes already in the room that are labeled trash and guild. I have pulled out blocks that have never found their way into a top and they are going into the guild box. Hopefully when I am done, the room will be much nicer and cleaner. And there will hopefully be room on the shelves finally for my yarn stash.

Of course with spring almost here, I have pansies and lettuce to plant. Actually, I have 30 pansy plants to get in the ground. It was just too windy this past weekend to play in the dirt. But the bright cherry faces are sitting right outside my front door to greet me right now.

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Mini Break

Have lots of to catch up on this week. I have a few things to get ready for the accountant for taxes so I am going to take a mini break from blogging this week. But I will leave you with photos of Saturday’s weather. Early Saturday afternoon, the skies got rather dark and eerie looking. And yet, the crazy cat sat outside until the rain started to hit before she high tailed it indoors. Crazy cat!!!!

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I Read a Lot!

A book meme, found over at mixedupbeauty. Bold the ones you have read, italicize the ones you are interested in, and leave the ones you don’t care about reading alone.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)

15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Rowling)

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)

24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)

30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)

36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner(Khaled Hosseini)

43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)

56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)

60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez) in the original Spanish no less!!
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo) tried this one in French but my French wasn’t that good when I started it
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavel
l)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett) an all time favorite
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)

79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)

88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91.The Skin of the Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlem)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)

97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

It looks like I might read too much since I have read over half of the books on the list. But I don’t think it is possible to read too much. But I need to go back and reread a few since it has been years since I read them.

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