Maybe should have gone for a tad more depth of field so that the entire milking stool was in focus?
About a month ago, I started thinking about getting a DSLR. I wanted to improve my photography for my patterns, but I also just enjoy taking pictures. I emailed my brother, Rocky, asking him what I absolutely needed, because I was thinking about just buying a used camera. I didn't eed anything super fancy, and figured something a few years older would suit me just fine. Imagine how floored I was when he sent me his old camera, a Rebel xTi! I am still just so humbled by how kind and sweet that was, and truly a blessing for me!
So I have been taking pictures constantly! It's been a real learning curve even from the superzoom I used to use. I always seemed to be taking pictures of the same things; goats, Reagan, and knitting. Then I remembered something I had seen on one of my favorite blogs (got sucked in by the knitting, stayed for the hilarious American Idol reviews!) about a photo challenge.
So,I am starting the photo a day challenge, from the blog Fat Mum Slim. I thought I would post my pictures here in addition to posting them on twitter. Is that overkill? Anyway, everyday has a different theme, and you take a picture of that theme, and then share it with the world. Here are my first three photos for this month.
Aug 1: Outside.Still a goat picture, but who can resist that face! This is two of the three baby girls JarJar gave me this year. After the disaster of no baby at all the year before, I'd say she more than redeemed herself. I am keeping these two, Shorty, looking at the camera, and Rosie, focused on food! The third is Sweetie, and she is going to live at Heaven Sent Food and Fiber Farms.
Aug 3: Coin. Again, one coin was hard. We have these coins that my FIL brought back from China, and while I don't think they are old, they are beautiful.
So that is the first three days! Looking forward to the rest of August!
Everything continues here as usual. We are back in our homeschooling schedule after the Christmas holiday, and I am knitting and weaving. We are also waiting for baby goats to be born. Looks like JarJar is the only one pregnant. We know how that went last year, though, so I am definitely keeping my expectations low. She is being a bit of a bully to Sally, but I guess that is how pregnant goats act. I really hope if she is pregnant she has a girl, I just don’t have room to keep a boy.
The weaving is going well. I am getting the hang of keeping my edges straight. After considering many options for cutting fabric into strips, I bought a rotary cutter, a mat and a ruler. The mat and ruler are small, but I didn’t want to make a huge investment if I didn’t know for sure that it was going to work. It does make a huge difference after using scissors for so long. Simplicity makes a little machine that cuts strips, and I seriously considered asking for that for my birthday, but the reviews seemed to be 9 to 1 in the negative, so I just couldn’t risk the money. There is a little rotary cutter with the brand name of Gemsy that I am considering for about the same money, but it is a serious tool, and I wanted to try the rotary cutter first. I’ve only used it for a day or two, but it does seem to make things a lot neater and straighter. Also faster if I am cutting regular fabric and not these old dishcloths.
I do have pictures of the finished baby sweater to show. I actually knit two sweaters for Caleb and Heather’s baby, who will be named Adelyn. But the other one didn’t turn out beautiful, and I needed to make them a beautfiul sweater.
And here is the back of the yoke:
And the detail on the hem:
All these pictures were taken on a rug I wove for Jody for our birthday. I sure hope she likes it! I sent her Christmas present too, so she has a big box of things to open. It sure tickles me to be able to send her something, for once, cause she sure is good to me! God couldn’t have given me a better twin sister.
I am working on a little sweater for my soon to be born great niece. In actuallity, I have knit this baby three sweaters, but she will only be getting two. I had to rip out the first sweater attempt using this yarn because I ran out of yarn. It was knit mostly in garter stitch, so I am hoping that knitting in St. Stitch will give me more wiggle room.
This is of my own design, but I don’t think I will be publishing a pattern, although I may put the chart(s) up here if any one shows any interest after I put up pictures. I knit a circular yoke, using short rows, and a delightful little cable. Then I picked up stitches along the edges for the main body, and eventually I’ll do the arms the same way. Haven’t decided on edge treatments yet, I have got a few ideas in mind, but until I try them out, I don’t think I’ll know for sure what I am going to do. I’ve still got a ways to go, but I hope to have it done at least by the end of next week. That baby will be here before you know it, and I’m running out of time!!
I feel the need to knit a new shawl coming on. Hmm…wonder which one? I have some malabrigio lace, but only one ball. I also have one ball of some Arucania Cashmere. I have two skeins each of Knit Picks Shadow. Decisions, Decisions…..
The Ephemeral Wrap, the latest Janice Garrett Design, was published December 5. It really took a while to get this one just right. I knit the prototype, and then after playing with it a little, I tweaked it. That meant I had to completely reknit it, but I am so glad I did! Using detachable buttons and strategically placed button holes made it so much more versatile, and it really opens up the possibilities for using this wrap.
Completely reversible, this is not just a shawl. You can configure this wrap several different ways, and you can get so many more uses out of it. This makes using a luxury yarn more of a bargain. Instead of investing $100 worth of yarn in just a shawl, just a cowl, just a hood or shrug, you can invest $100 in yarn and have all these things and more!!
Wear it as a shrug-
A cowl, either snugged close to your neck or loose enough to even wear around your upper torso-
Wear it as a warm and snuggly hood, with the ends wrapped as a scarf around your neck, or tucked under your jacket…
Wear it as a caplet to dress up an outfit, or just to snuggle into..
As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Instructions for how to form each of these configurations are included in the 9 page pattern. I’m really happy with how it turned out! I hope you find it interesting!
This week has been a whirlwind. It was a long, wet trip back from WV, which made the fact that I was sad to leave my mom and sister to come back to Oklahoma that much more miserable. I already miss them. We pulled in at dusk. Unloading the suitcases and things is pretty routine, but by the time we were ready to unload the loom, it was pitch black. We were making due with flashlights when FIL pulled up and used his car headlights to illuminate things a bit more. With all that light, it was no problem getting the loom off the truck and onto the porch.
Getting the loom from the porch into the living room was another story altogether! You’d think with all the weavers on the internet, someone would have a step by step illustrated blog post about how to do that, but if they do, I couldn’t find it. I emailed my friend Coleen a few times, and had a general idea of how we might make it work. My plan was to take off the three boards that brace the back of the loom, take off the sectional beam, (with the warp on it!) flip it up over the top of the loom and then ease it around the door jamb like you might a sofa. It was a great plan. However, we couldn’t get the screws on the bottom board that braces the back to budge at all. I mean, they weren’t moving anywhere!
So we turned our attentions to the front of the loom. We took off the breast board, loosened the treadles and tried that, but it didn’t give us enough wiggle room. We were going to have to take off the take up roll. The first time we tried, I didn’t think that was going to happen either, but we loosened the bolts that held the cross beams, and the next time we tried, we could spread the two sides apart far enough to get the take up roll off. It still took some maneuvering, but we did it. The we slid the loom around the jam like we had planned, no problem! Once it was in the house, it all went together lickety split. Then I just had to readjust some things, like the connections to the treadles and unsnag some of the warp, and it was good to go.
That doesn’t mean I know how to use it, however. Learning to weave is going to take some time that I don’t have right now. Maybe next week I will have time to play with it a little bit.
Isn’t it pretty? This is a Leesburg 102 loom. I love it. My Uncle Pete made the bench, and I love it too! That rug on there, I didn’t start, it is a rug my cousin Charlie started. I am probably just going to pick up there, and see how I do. I need to get a feel for it before I start a project.
So this weekend is the Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza! I will be there with Sue from Heaven Sent Food and Fiber, so if you’re there, come say hi!
There is so much going on around here, it’s a whirlwind. We are getting ready to head to WV to see my family over Thanksgiving. I haven’t been to WV in two years. Actually, we haven’t been anywhere in two years. To say I am anxious to get on the road, to get there and wrap my arms around my mom, my sisters, my nieces, well, it’s an understatement. I know the week there is just going to fly,
but all that matters is that we will be together, and we are going to have a wonderful time.
Then, a few nights ago, my friend Coleen called. There was an opportunity for us to go as vendors for the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza. Did I want to go? Well, to tell you the truth, I had to think about it for a while, and discuss it with Sean. It is the first Friday and Saturday after our trip to WV, with the previous two weekends spent on the road traveling. It is after the first week of Christmas activities with the homeschool co-op, the church Christmas dinner is that Sunday, so I can’t miss that. That Monday is a field trip. Did I really want to go? In the end I decided it would be a good way to get my name out there. Maybe I’ll sale some patterns, I’ll pass out some business cards, and I can always sleep later, after the field trip!
I am just now getting ready to release my newest pattern, it is still in the test knitting phase, although I think that I only have one knitter left who hasn’t finished or said she is close to finishing. I’ll have to do that after we get back from WV, because I refuse to think about it while I am at Mom’s. I plan on taking knitting projects with me that I don’t have to think about!
Another picture, though!
This is the wrap in it’s hood configuration! So, so cute under a jacket!
I have just finished my newest design, the Ephemeral Wrap. I have been working on this design for over a month now. I finished the first prototype, and It was just a little bit off. Now that I have done some tweaking, and reknit it (whew, that’s a lot of knitting!) I think it is just right!
Right now the pattern is being test knit. Test knitting is interesting. I always dread it, but it is always worth it. My test knitters for the Ephemeral Wrap are phenomenal!
So, a picture?
As you can see, the Ephemeral wrap does more than just lie across your shoulders or around your neck like a scarf. Detachable buttons make it possible to wear it buttoned up like a hood, with the ends tucked securely in your coat for warmth, or as a capelet worn with the opening at the front or over one shoulder. Wear it as a cowl on a cold winters day, or as a shrug over a long sleeved t-shirt. with the Ephemeral Wrap , you get a lot of pay back for your knitting investment! It has been fun to work on it, but I’m glad it is almost ready for release.
Since I finished the wrap, my knitting has been mostly back to mittens and hats for the kids. I am working on Reagan’s mittens and can’t wait to show them to you. I decided instead of getting fancy with the stitches, I would knit the mittens plain and then embroider them. I don’t have much experience with embroidery, but I checked a couple of books out of the library, and I am making progress. I really like the way they are turning out. Still a work in progress, though, so I will wait until I am done to show you the finished objects.
My newest design, the Honeysuckle Vine hat, went live on Ravelry today! I am really excited about this design, because the yarn I used was produced here locally by Heaven Sent Food and Fiber. It is a sportweight yarn, comprised of 70% Merino and 30% Bamboo. It has an unbelievably soft hand, it just flows through your hands like silk. I have knit with a lot of yarn, and I have to say, I thnk it is my absolute favorite yarn of all time.
My model, though is starting to have illusions of grandeur. She used to work for free, but this morning as I was taking the final pictures to put in the pattern, suggested maybe she should get paid. I think maybe she has a point, she sure does make the knits look good.
Naming a design is always the hardest part of the process for me, and that was the case with this pattern as well. I love the way the ribbing twists and turns up the brim of the hat, but Ivy was already taken as a pattern name. By a lot. There were a lot of results when typing Ivy into the ravelry search engine.
So I started thinking, about plants that are like Ivy, and it wasn’t long until I had hit on Honeysuckle Vine as a name. I hope projects from this pattern are just as prolific as honeysuckle is here in Oklahoma and back home in West Virginia. It was always one of my favorite flowers, and I love the way it smells. I think it’s a good name.
designed by Jan Garrett
Heaven Sent Fibers Natural Taupe Yarn
70% merino/30% bamboo
Sportweight-200 yards/skein-1 skein
Size US 3 circular needles, or needles for your preferred method of knitting in the round.
Gauge: 24 stitches and 30 rows to 4 inches in St. Stitch
with optional button band, which can be permanent or convertible!