Friday, December 20, 2013


I have been having fun making these knitted CUFFS. The ones on the left are from a pattern by Susanna Reese on Ravelry
(if you like, you can read about the pattern and yarn on my Ravelry page "saradise").
I made up the other ones.
Well, that is dumb. What's to make up? It is a tube after all. How hard is that! The geometric color patterns came from Kristin Nichols. This pair also has slits for the thumb. The others do not.
If you are wondering why I used the same colors for these, it is because I bought 6 skeins of nice wool from Tuesday Morning to play around with. I enjoyed the change of pace. Unlike sock knitting, I was using larger needles and wool and these were small enough that I could knit one of the cuffs in an evening. Also, I could make things up as I went along.

These are the cuffs I started with (and a hat). The beige and black cuffs were made from a pair of my knitted socks that accidentally felted up a bit and then the heels and toes kept wearing through because really, they were too small with the felting and so forth. So, I cut them off right at the heel, picked up the stitches and added the garter stitch rolls. The garter stitch rolls, reminded me of my new hat which I knit from a pattern called "Wurm" on Ravelry, and so, I made cuffs to go with the hat. I have an obsession going on here. Last night, I started a red pair with a pattern of colored triangles.

On another subject---I was walking my dog, Tess, this morning when a Doe came walking straight at me. I was getting a little nervous (she was maybe four feet away from me) when Tessie noticed her too and started barking. The Doe walked a few more steps toward me, but then the barking was too scary and she ran off. She probably recognized me as the one that puts out vegetable scraps for them, but none of the deer have ever walked up so close to me, not to mention coming close to a DOG. So a couple of hours pass, and I drive down to the Post Office to get a package. On the way, a deer steps out in the road in front of me and just stands there looking at me. Naturally, I came to a complete stop and we contemplated each other for a bit and then she moved off into the trees. Now I don't want to sound too New Agey or anything, but I am left with the nagging feeling that I was supposed to notice something today. Too weird? Probably making too much of it, right?
Peggy? What do you think?
It reminds me of the butterfly confrontation I had after my daughter Robin died. A butterfly continually flew at my face and when that didn't stop me, it banged into my shoulder. You wouldn't  think a butterfly could "bang" into anything, but this one did.

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tessie In Her New Bed

Tessie has a new bed and she likes it very much.
It is light blue with a fuzzy white lining.
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Friday, December 6, 2013

The Sketchbook Project 2014

It is 28 degrees here at two in the afternoon. Unusual weather for the Texas Hill Country. We have had days and days of gloomy weather. What to do? I decided to work on my sketchbook for
The Sketchbook Project 2014
And then I decided to scan it and make it into a movie. Here is the movie with original music by Steve Coppedge. I hope you will take a look.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Helix Knitting

                                                                      I live to learn.
I read something about Helix Knitting and decided I had to try it. I thought it might be the perfect thing to do with some of the 1 ounce balls of yarn I made when I was first learning to spin. I rummaged around in the box and came up with four that looked all right together. Don't worry. I am not going to explain how to Helix Knit. Please look it up if you want to give it a try. Basically, it is knitting stripes in a spiral with consecutive colors. It is fun to do, but make sure the cast on is not twisted when you join the circle. I did that the first time and had to unravel it. That is OK because I needed a different size needle anyway. It is hard to see the stripes in the photo, but they are there. I hear you. What is it? I don't know. It is a "ring". It makes a fun Cowl or even a Headband/hat. Festive don't you think?
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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Doll Face


Knitting for Barbie

I know what you are saying. I can hear you now. Surely she has better things to do. There are pieces to embroider; tapestries to weave; sketchbooks to work on; socks to knit. But I really couldn't help myself. This Barbie resides in the toy basket here and sees the light of day whenever an appropriately aged child comes to visit. She has been played with for years and years. The basket (and it is a large basket) also contains articles of clothing made by my daughters, for Barbie's as well as other dolls. A year ago, Texas Barbie was put into play as the BFF of a Barbie who came visiting from Italy, in the hands of my granddaughter Robin K. All the clothes came out of the basket to be tried on by the dolls and scraps of fabric were draped around them to become new dresses. I found myself adopting a high voice and moving Texas Barbie about in the wake of Italian Barbie. Fortunately, they were both speaking English. Eventually, Italian Barbie went home with her handler and Texas Barbie went back into the basket. Sometime this year however, I saw a pattern for this dress in a package of Hiya Hiya knitting needles and I had some rose colored yarn with tiny sequins in it. Perfect. And then I found pages and pages of Barbie knitting patterns on Ravelry. Can you believe it? And I had some Mohair yarn that I had unraveled from an old sweater of my Mother's. If you really want to get into this story, you can see photos of me unraveling this yarn on my blog about "things to do with a broken neck". At any rate, this yarn has a little bit of a story and it made a nice snugly mohair coat (there is even a pocket) and hat for Texas Barbie who of course had to come out of the basket to be fitted. In fact. so many fitting were required, that the doll hung out in our bedroom for a good while. I finally finished the coat last night, prompting my husband to ask if Barbie could now leave the room!

I know this is a long post and you think it is about knitting for Barbie's, but really it is about memories. It is about remembering fun times with my daughters and granddaughters. It is about remembering fun times with my Mom--she and I made doll clothes together and in her later years, she wore that mohair sweater that is now a Barbie coat, a lot. It is about missing my girls, Bonnie in Italy and Robin J. gone since 2006. Robin Jeanne would have been 49 tomorrow. It is about remembering my Grandmothers. Visiting at my Grandmother Duncan's house, I once found a drawer full of doll clothes made by my Mom and her sisters. What a thrill. There was even a negligee made by my Mom with fur around the neck--fur from one of her slippers. My Grandmother Crittenden stayed up all night to make a real fur coat for one of my dolls, rushing to the train station with her nightie under her coat, to make sure I had it to take home. Priceless. Home was a long way off, in South America.

So, in the end, I don't have anything better to do. My projects will still be waiting for me tomorrow, but the Barbie clothes will be in a padded envelope on their way to Italy, because I think someone there will be surprised and happy......

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Fall Color?

Steve, Tessie and I drove out yesterday afternoon to look at the Fall color and to take some pictures of trees and such. We saw many beautiful trees, but the sun was too low and bright for good photos. However, these guys were happy to be photographed. Tess didn't like them much!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Linen Stitch Cowl

This is what I made with the wool that I dyed in October and then spun.
There were two colorways, green (Meadow) and orange (Blood Orange).
They just naturally went together since the same colors were used on each yarn in differing amounts.

This is a Half Linen Stitch-ish Cowl by Nicole Nehrig of Nerdyknitting

I am already wearing it as we had our first freeze last night and it is cold in the studio! 
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Monday, November 11, 2013


On the right is what I bought at the Kid N Ewe show this weekend--another Hokett loom (the large one, I already had the small one) and some tapestry bobbins, also made by Jim Hokett. I noticed not too long ago, that you can now buy his products at The Woolery, but they don't carry everything he makes, so it was fun to visit his booth and see what was new.

Meanwhile, back at the studio, I am working on this tapestry. As usual, it is a design as I go project. I have no idea what will come next. The magenta colored part is supposed to be the hem. I need to remember not to make the "hem" part in a distracting color! Of course I need to remember a lot of things like not winding the warp strings so close together. These are so close I can barely weave . I think close warps are good for making shapes, but not so good for regular weaving. My hands and wrists are getting a work out. 
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Sunday, November 10, 2013


Here is the decoration I decided on for the Gourd Basket. These are Teneriffes. Jo showed me how to make them at basket class and they are just like making Suffolk buttons. I know how to make the buttons (thank you Karen), so these were easy to learn. I made several of them in the car on the way to Kid N Ewe yesterday (don't worry, my husband was driving) and attached them to the basket when we got home. I them painted the inside of the gourd so that the designs would show up a little better.

Teneriffe lace is a needle lace from the island of Tenerife. Sometimes called Sol lace, sun lace, similar to a lace from South America called ñandutí (meaning spider web).
The lace is created by weaving thread on a ground of radial spoke threads, creating distinctive roundels.

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Friday, November 8, 2013

The Gourd Basket


This is what I did yesterday. It was time for another Basket Class with my friend Jo Evans and for this class, we decided to make Gourd baskets. We cut and cleaned out our gourds ahead of time and started class by staining or dyeing the outside. I rubbed mine with Decorator's Gilt in a couple of different colors to give it some depth. I had also previously collaged the inside with rusted rice paper. When our gourds were dry, we went on to drill the holes and apply the pine needles. I was weaving along rather sedately, when I suddenly decided to jump across the space with a "rope" of Pine Needles. I like that a lot and wish I had done it more than once. Last night, I added some stones between the pine needles and the gourd, but I didn't really like that and so took them off this morning. Remember, I have to tear something up at least once before I like it! I don't know if this is finished or not. I like the simplicity of it but I may play around with it a bit. I have another Gourd basket in work as well..
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Saturday, November 2, 2013

10 x 13"

I finished the weaving on this piece, although it is not completely finished.
I want to add a little embroidery and push something interesting through
the slits around the top two squares.
It is not the best thing I have ever done, but it is not the worst either! 
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Monday, October 28, 2013

The Weaving Project Continues...

I am weaving on the new Pipe Loom that I made and considering that I started weaving yesterday and worked all day, you might ask,

Is that all you got done?

Well yes, in a way. At five O'clock yesterday, I was more then half finished when I realized that no matter what I tried, nothing looked good, I would have to


If you read this blog or know me at all, you will know that starting over is not too unusual for me. In fact, it seems to be part of the process. As I have said before, nothing seems to work for me until I have torn it apart at least once. So, I ripped out all the weaving down to the bottom two stripes and started from there today. It is nothing special, but I do like it better!
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Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Copper Pipe Loom

I finished making the loom, warped it and started weaving.
Thanks to my husband for cutting the pipe!
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Parts Is Parts

What now!
Yes I am trying to make one of these pipe

Tapestry Looms.

I know.

Don't ask.

Just because.
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Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Shawl Named Shadow

I finally finished this shawl. It was a long haul. I love the pattern (you can find it on Ravelry), but I have to say that it was sort of boring to knit. The stripes were OK, but the rest of it was just solid color garter stitch and it was absolutely necessary to find a good movie to watch or a book to listen to! I like the pattern enough to make another one, but not anytime soon.......
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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

October Yarn

Remember that orange and gold wool I dyed this weekend?
If not, you can look up and see it in the "header" photo.
Here you see it spun and plied.
I plied it with a commercial sock yarn that had similar colors.
If the terminology is not familiar, plying is simply twisting yarns together to add stability.
I like it a lot, so yesterday, I dyed some more of the yellow wool and
carded it this morning. I put it through the drum carder several times so,
as you can see, the colors are more blended.
For non-spinners, the carded wool is the fluffy stuff you see in the background.
That "fluff" will magically turn into yarn on the spinning wheel.

I would like to spin it today, but I think a trip to town for new tires is on the agenda.
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

All Over Yellow

Everywhere you look in the Texas Hill Country it is Yellow. The Sunflowers are having a whole new season and the Yellow Bells (Esperanza) have doubled in size and in number of blossoms. Our house and studio are presently surrounded by fields of Sunflowers full of Monarch Butterflies. The butterflies visit us every fall on their way to winter in Mexico (nice huh?). The Deer also like to bed down in the Sunflowers and when they do, they are completely hidden from view as the plants can be 3-4 ft. tall. It is a magic place for my Jack Russell, Tess as well. She likes to get lost in the Sunflower Forest.

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The Dyeing of the Roving

Yesterday, I finally got around to dyeing this roving.
I have had the acid dye powders (a step up from Kool Aid) for a while
but I felt like I needed an afternoon with no interruptions to actually do the deed.
I had to soak the wool, mix the dyes, paint the wool and then steam it.
The only part I was really concerned about was the steaming.
I was trying hard not to visualize a mat of hot felted wool.
Think only positive thoughts.....
Finding the right pot to steam in was an issue, but I found to my delight
that we had inherited a black speckled canning pot from one of my husbands relatives.
It was hiding in the back corner of the closet in the garage.
I put the rim of a tart pan in the bottom to elevate the rack and
low and behold,
I had the perfect vessel for steaming wool.
And yes, it all came out all right.
The white roving is painted with green, blue and yellow.
The orange and red one was dyed over some gold colored roving.
After it was mostly dry, I hung it over the shower rod for the night and here it is,
Ready to spin.
I can hardly wait.
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Sketchbook Project 2014

A change of pace. I am working on my sketchbook for
The Sketchbook Project 2014.
My friend Bobbie got me started on this several years ago.
After the first one, I swore I would never do another and yet here I am,
working on this one for 2013. I have lost track of how many I have done.
Four? Five?
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Once Upon A Time

Once Upon A Time
13" x 14"
Remember this Piece?
It took First Place at the San Antonio Fiber Artists Exhibition.
I am so pleased.........

Friday, October 11, 2013

Lifesaver Sock

I started knitting a new sock. I wanted to use up small bits of different colors and I wanted a fairly simple design. These "rings" worked out well (they look like Lifesavers to me) and I like the stripped sole. The dotted toe is a little wonky. But, I just love this sock. It is knitting up quickly too. I am reminded that I always finish things lickity split if I design them myself.
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Gourd Baskets

It is time for another Basket Class  and this time, we are going to make gourd baskets with pine needle edges. Consequently, We needed to clean out some gourds. Mindy brought over gourds as well. We had quite the morning. Every saw I own was out on the table including two or three of the same kind. I mean you never know and one might have a sharper blade then another. We also had out  other implements including Dremal tools, pocket knives and Japanese scrapers. Blades flew off of the Dremel tools, blades were so hot they burned through the gourd instead of cutting it. Some serious surgery was going on. I won't bore you with the details, but we did get the tops cut off  and the insides cleaned out so we are ready for class in November........
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