My stories of jewelry making, spinning, knitting, and all things fibery.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hooray! Making Progress

Stella is finally complete.  Her beautiful fleece yielded four skeins that I will dye in the spring. I'm thinking a vest for myself. 

Melissa's black alpaca slouchy hat is almost there...but is looking a bit too large.  I see some ripping on the horizon.

The newest fiber on the wheel is a multi-color roving that I bought very long ago.  My other daughter Christine saw it in my stash and thought it would make a fun pair of mittens.  I'm spinning it loose and slubby.  It should make about four skeins, way more than required for the mittens. So I guess there'll be a neckwarmer or hat to go along.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thermostat Wars!

The little number on the wall never seems to be able to make everyone happy at the same time.  I'm usually walking about wrapped up in one of my knitted shawls (except for when a hot flash strikes) and Jody is always ready to open up a window.  The floors always feel drafty to me so I whipped up a few simple draft dodgers with fabric scraps and a bag of kitty litter. I cut wide fabric strips, folded them in half and stitched across one end and up the open side.  Next the strips were turned right side out and filled with dust free litter to within an inch of the open ends.

 A few quick hand stitches to close them up and they were placed in the sliding door tracks.  Hope they make a difference.

We'll see what this weekend holds as the weatherman is predicting a very cold next three days. I know I will be cranking the electric blanket to 10!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Snow Means Cupcakes

Snowy days are for crafting and baking around here.  I spent the day spinning up the last of Stella's fleece and my daughter Melissa whipped up a yummy bunch of cupcakes.  This batch was white chocolate macadamia nut with cream cheese frosting.

This weekend I will relax the yarn in a hot water bath and hang the skeins to air dry.  There are four good size skeins all together.  Looks like enough for a vest or shrug.  Time to start prowling on Ravelry for some pattern ideas.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Try This Again

It's really challenging to lose weight. It's even more challenging to get someone else to do it - especially someone with fur.

Jake is a twenty-something pound cat. He's large and intimidating, doesn't like men, bites and insists on sitting in your lap. A few months back, he and I had a discussion about our weight. We made a pact to do it together. I took him to the vet for a check up. He passed with flying colors and we were on our way home with a big bag of "diet" food.

The new food was a hit and there were no litter box issues. A few weeks passed and Jake started to look a bit slimmer. Then the holidays hit...and Jake, like the rest of us overindulged in carbs and goodies. The photo above is Jake after he'd had just a wee bit too much holiday!

So we will start again in eat a little less and move a little more!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Clean Sweep

The holiday decorations are packed away and the cookies are all gone. I've been tearing through the house like a, straightening and organizing everything in my path. The file cabinet has been purged and updated and I've finally located everyone's birth certificates! Perhaps I can keep them safe in one place for a whole year.

Stone and Fiber has been inventoried and all the paperwork is in order for tax time. I have many beautiful stones and beads just waiting to be transformed into the spring/summer line. The handknitted neckwarmers and scarves are almost sold out, so I will need to start replenishing them for next year. There are a few new designs in the works too, as well as cozy knitted wraps and shawls.

Thing are all quiet at the day job - until Valentine's Day at least. Looking forward to putting all my creative energies into Stone and Fiber.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Double Whammy!

Wow! Not one but two Etsy treasuries curated by Stone and Fiber were chosen to grace Etsy's front page today. Take a look at some of the wonderful handcrafted and vintage beauties below.

"I'm in the Mood for Love"

"Cyan in Her Soul"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Four Elements

Another Etsy front page Treasury for Stone and Fiber today! Curated by one of my Etsy Treasury League teammates, this beautiful blue collection featured my Four Elements Double Strand Necklace. Check it out below:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Back to Felting

On the last visit to my just discovered local knitting store, I stumbled upon this adorable heart clasp. It inspired me to try my hand at felting again. I've had some successful projects in the past as well as some failures.

As long as you use a 100% wool, the pattern can be pretty straightforward. I'm thinking of a simple shoulder bag for myself for this pattern, and will knit a much larger size in order to allow for the shrinking during the felting process. All the pieces are sewn together before introducing it into the hot water in the washing machine. Then process as many times as needed to get the desired results!

I'm debating whether to wait until my Karakul fleece is spun up or use some of my holiday gift money and pay a visit to the Cornwall Yarn Shop. The Karakul is rather coarse and the color is a very natural blend of brown, creme and gray, which would felt into a rather unusual pattern.

Think I'll use the will motivate me to spin all the other projects in line faster.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Snowy Day Dinner

Snowy days are the days when I feel most creative. I'm not tempted to wander out to do anything else, so I hunker down and knit, spin or bead my little heart out. I get so wrapped up in what I'm doing that I hate to stop to prepare dinner. Those are the times when a crockpot is indespensible! Just throw in all the ingredients in the morning and set the dial to slow. In a few hours the aromas will be wafting throughout the house...just like someone else was doing the cooking!

What you see here is my beef barley soup. I cut an average size london broil up into cubes and flour and brown in a bit of oil on the stovetop. Then add to the crockpot with a quart of low salt beef or veggie broth, a few cups of cut up carrots and celery, chopped onion, parsly, pepper and a cup or so of barley. Add more water or broth throughout the day if you like you soup with more liquid. Eight hours on low should do it. The serve with a nice rustic loaf of bread. You'll be amazed at how much craft work you get done when your crockpot does the work for you.