Tuesday, May 08, 2018

Sewing up a storm!

About a minute after I posted my last post, I got a PM from a friend reminding, welcoming, inviting Jacob and I back to an activity that i last participated in when i was 3 months pregnant with him.  The SCA.  Society for Creative Anachronism. In a nutshell, this is a participatory group that reenact the best of the middle ages.  Arts & Science (textiles,bookarts,sewing, and brewing...), Chivalry (sword fighting, archery), and Voluntearism...sorry, that a kinda snuck in there...its a Disney thing!

She made a lot of sense.  I can get back to focusing on many of the reenactment activities that I enjoy, and Jacob can have some strong male role models, friends, and activities.  It's a win for both of us!  I immediately signed up for the next event, coming up this weekend.  But, one of the things about the SCA is that everyone dresses in medieval clothes (garb).  I have mine from 10 years ago...which fit me better now than they did then!  Jacob is another story though.  Last week, on our way home from our first fighter practice, we stopped at Joann's and picked out some linen look Linen/Rayon fabric.

This weekend, I spent Sunday cutting and sewing.  There are pants to go with this, but they were not started when this was taken.  They're done now, he just needs to try them on.

Jacob was being very silly, but clearly enjoying his new garb.

Then, he surprised me.  He asked if he could sew something!  So, I grabbed some scraps from cutting out his pants, and over that evening and the next, we sewed this bag together!  He did all of the sewing machine parts.  Presser foot, thread minding, lowering and clearing the needle with the fly wheel.  All I did was feed the fabric while he ran the machine....and handle the iron.  He decided on the decorations for the bag.  Last night he chose to sew rather than playing on the XBOX!  And now he wants to make something else!  I'll be looking for kid fun sewing ideas so I can offer some suggestions and skill builders to help him progress.

While we're making garb and learning to swordfight, I'm also planning to pitch my first Mead (Honey fermented to alcohol!)  And we're 4 days away from his first weekend event!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Finding a "New Normal"

Wow.....  Nine years since my last post.  A lot has happened...

Jason and I got married.
We had Jacob.
We separated.
Jason's diabetes got worse and he lost a leg.
We worked through a lot of our issues so we could function cohesively together in separate homes.
Jason lost his second leg.
He spent nine months in Rehabs/Assisted Living/Nursing Homes.
We were able to get him into his own apartment with an aide.
We had a fantastic year of joint custody and cooperation.
He Died.
I cleaned out the apartment and took over full time 100% Jacob.
Distaff Day had it's 14th Annual gathering in January.

Which brings me to today's topic.  Finding a "New Normal".

So much has changed in 9 years.  You can't start back at the beginning.  You can't dwell on the past, recent or distant.  What to do....  It's been evolving in my brain for the past month or two, slowly taking shape.  Being molded like clay.  We need to find our new normal. 

For a long time, what I "needed to do" took precedence over everything else.  I needed to assist Jason when he had issues.  I needed to make sure that Jacob was cared for, had what he needed, went to school, etc.  I needed to work.  I needed to keep us afloat.  Doing only what you need to, sometimes because it's all you can do to manage that, is not living.

Now I'm realizing that I need to prioritize what's important, and make sure it happens!

  • Take control of my health and my eating!
  • Find a balance between eating out every day and only cooking at home!
  • Set schedules and rules!
  • Insist on daily showers (no, not for me....well, yes, for both of us...)!
  • Give myself permission to take a down day!
  • Give us permission to go play for a day - alternating between mommy play days and kid play days!
  • Find more time in my day, any way I can that doesn't involve less sleep!
  • KNIT!
Through many different methods, I feel like I can do this!  I'm motivated and not waiting until tomorrow to start!  If you read this, thank you.  I really don't think it will be another 9 years before my next post. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I know you are starting to despair that I've stopped writing entirely....not quite true, there's just so much going on...

First, for anyone who will be in the Orlando area this weekend, it's time once again for our annual Distaff Day event!

5th Annual Orlando Area Distaff Day
Hosted by
“SOCKS” - South Orlando Crocheters, Knitters and Spinners

Date: Saturday, January 17th, 2009
Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Presbyterian Church of the Lakes
4700 Lincoln Ave.
Orlando, FL 32819

Cost: $6.00 – We are being charged for the room this year.

What to Bring:

1. Spinning Wheel, Knitting, Weaving, Beading, etc. (whatever you have put away, or not, and want to work on)

2. Bag Lunch – There is a Publix and Albertson’s close by with a deli if any one forgets.

3. Coffee or Tea mug - The Hosting Guilds will provide the beverage and treats.

4. Item for the “Yankee Swap” Put in a plain paper bag and seal so the contents cannot be viewed. This item should have a value of up to $20.00 and should also be something that if you get you will be thrilled!!! (Because you might!!) NEW THIS YEAR - We have so many talented participants, please put your name inside your swap item, so we can give credit where credit is due!!!!!!

5. Items for the “Sale Table” Just like last year. Items that you have decided you might not want and would like to sell. Put a tag on the item with you name and price.

6. FREE TABLE – Some people prefer just to give things away, so get to the “Distaff Day” early “The early bird gets the worm!!”

7. The Fashion Show /Show and Tell– Bring an item you made this year and share with us your
experience and talent!!!!

Second, and on a more personal note, things with Jason have been going VERY well! We spent Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years together, traveled to Macon to visit friends, and Hilton Head Island for a weekend getaway.

Now the new year has begun and it's time to move on to the next step.... He got a job last week, and we're moving in three weeks!! If you happen to have a strong and able bodied man in your life who'd be interested in helping us move, D Day will be Sunday, February 1st. As for the move, it'll be close for me...we're moving to a bigger apartment in my complex.

I have been knitting, but I haven't had any time to take pictures lately. I'm knitting the Elizabeth I - Glorianna scarves for members of my wedding party. The first one is on the needles and about half done!

Monday, November 17, 2008

The BIGGEST news....

You may recall this statement "New fish opportunity tomorrow...we'll see how it goes!"... Made by me in my last post...about 3 1/2 weeks ago...

So, "the fish" was named Jason. We had a wonderful weekend on that first weekend. And every weekend since then. I'm thrilled to say that I've met that person that I never thought I'd find. The one who is sweet, kind, loving, supportive, a great communicator, makes me laugh... I could go on, but I've been testing too many people's gag reflexes these days, so maybe I'll stop there.

Jason is everything I've been looking for and wasn't sure I would ever find. He's also madly in love with ME! Finding all of those things, then realizing that the feelings are completely mutual...well, it's just AWESOME!

He thinks so too....which is why, on Friday night, he asked me to Marry Him! And I said yes, of course. So here are a couple of pictures for you...

My ring is a pearl, with a small diamond on either side and a twining white gold band twisting away from the pearl.

This was the "scene of the crime".... It's Lake Ella park in Tallahassee. Friday night he brought me out to the gazebo, we sat down facing the rosebushes and lake, and he proposed. This was taken on Sunday when we went back to get a couple of daytime pictures.

And here's a close-up of those roses...

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been Spinning, Really!!

I actually had a wonderfully productive weekend of spinning in fact! Friday night, I plyed off the single that was on the antique Saxony. I decided to try a technique several people have recommended - winding the single off into a center pull ball and plying from there. Now, had I held the ball in my hand, perhaps this would have been effective. Since I put it down in a box to free feed, I ended up with a bit of a tangled mess! I only lost a couple of yards, but it was enough to convince me to either stick with Andean Plying, or to be sure to hold the center pull ball in my hands directly. This makes skein #3 from the same bag of alpaca. I think there's enough for one more, but it's not all prime blanket, so I may decide to card it before spinning.

After the alpaca, I did spend some time on the white alpaca that I'm spinning on the Lendrum. I also took a break from that to spin this. It too is alpaca - dark brown Suri, spun thick and chunky with all of the VM still in it! It became the dreds for our Captain Jack pumpkin carving in our pumpkin carving contest. And....we won Best Overall Pumpkin!! I don't have a picture, but hopefully I'll be able to share one sometime soon.

After making the dreds, I came home to do some spinning on the Great Wheel! I had this lovely single, a mint and grey romney roving from Convergence that I'd spun into singles quite a while ago. So, it's now officially complete, and the GW is naked and ready for it's next big challenge!

And speaking of next big challenges. On Sunday I was able to take some time to work on the Minor's head I purchased a couple of months ago. Here's some of the mess from when I took it apart.

You can get an idea of just how much dirt and grime there was. Here's the barrel...half cleaned up.

And, all cleaned up and partially put together, it now looks like this: There are two new replacement parts here - the Capstans - those are the pieces at the top of the posts that the head sits in. I plan to seal the entire thing with Danish Oil to protect the wood.

The only outstanding problem at this point is that the hole in the bottom of the barrel is 1/8" too small for the post on my wheel. Which means I will not be able to resolve this issue immediately, but will need to take some time and do it gently. In the meantime, I'm still hoping to find a way to get the GW into my Saturn... so I can take it out to the Pioneer Days event in Brooksville next weekend. If you're in the area, we'll be there from 10-4!

I won't be working on that tonight or tomorrow though... New fish opportunity tomorrow...we'll see how it goes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recipe for an AWESOME Weekend!!

What do you get, when you mix a professional knitting/felting instructor (Judy Pascale),

A pile of beautiful merino roving, locks, yarn, and silk hankies,

Some "good clean fun", and a bit of elbow grease...

...with seven amazingly creative women? Well, just look and see for yourself! You get seven beautiful, unique, original works of art!

Dry and filled, here's mine:

Here you can see it a little better. The handles are fully adjustable from the cross-body hip length pictured above, to the clutch length handbag shown here.

With the exception only of the interior frog closure, all parts of the bag were part of the original design. Embellishments were added to the wet wool and felted in. An interior pocket and small tab were built in as well. The tab allowed for application of a magnetic closure.

Here's the full view of the back when opened.

The class ended up being nearly a 12 hour class, but I can easily say that everyone who attended had an amazing time, came away with a GORGEOUS bag, designed to accentuate their own personality to the fullest! Even better, Judy's "sample" bag on which she demonstrated some of the techniques for us will be a beautiful "Florida" inspired bag. We had a hard time convincing her to break out and show her inner color, but once she got going.... I hope we get to eventually see how her bag came out!

After leaving the amazing class, I decided to drop by AC Moore to pick up a magnetic closure for it. Since they are going out of business, everything is on sale at least 30% right now. I picked up a couple of closures, a few miscellaneous bits of this and that, some beading wires... Then I dropped by and was looking at the Clearance section of floss. There were a bunch of different types of flosses thrown together in a bunch of bins. I picked out a skein of each of the different types... linen DMC, cotton DMC, silk DMC, #5 perl cotton, #3 perl cotton, etc, and visited with a clerk who was adding prices to things in the area. He gave me the prices, ranging from $.10 to $.89 per skein. So, I went back to the aisle and pulled all of the silk floss, sorting through it on the floor, trying to figure out how much I could afford. The next thing I knew, another clerk, Kathy, came by, mentioned that I was in her department and made me an offer I couldn't refuse. I won't name it here, but if you are in the market for floss, interested in purchasing in quantity, and in the area, drop by and see if Kathy is available. I think you'll be happy you did... I know I was:

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Dyeing to Show You This

The Four Corners Fiber and Craft group had a spontaneous meeting on Sunday...we had a Dyeing party! L was kind enough to open her home and 6 of us got together to play! We made up a full range of Procion dyes - Black, Brown, Blue, Purple, Teal, Green, Yellow, Red, and Pink! L also made up a bunch of Wilton's Cake dyes and played with those a bit. Here's me in my glamour shot, dyeing a KnitPick's Sock blank.

And here's the finished blank. It was funny, while I didn't intend it at all, it came out here looking almost like a landscape! Pat brought up an interesting idea when we were doing these...to dye a word into the blank. whispers - she dyed the word 'sock' into hers *giggle* Ok, so I thought it was a good idea. My word, in pink, is wish. And no, like making one a birthday cake, I'm not telling!! (C laughed at me and said I'd spill it in no time, but I WON'T!!) So here's my "ready to cook" blank.

Fast forward past two minutes in the microwave, cooling time, rinsing in water, then vinegar, then water, and two days of drying... And here it is, the final product.

Of course I'll let you know when I get it knitted up...and I suppose in order to make the wish come true I oughtta make it a priority and get right on that.

Threw a few other things in the dye while we were there. This is around 600 yards of laceweight wool boucle, doubled. It was one of the blanks from the dyeing class I took at FLFF last year. We had some yarn leftover, and the instructor happily passed it along. I had three skeins, so I passed it along and shared. This particular one started out a sort of drab light tan color. It was the start of a sample last year, so it had a bit of green and orange dye in it already. So I went Picasso on it...and look what I got!?! I'm actually really excited about this yarn now! Trying to figure out if I can make like a nice lightweight shrug or something out of it. What do you think?

And here's another FLFF stash from last year. This one is a Merino/Alpaca/Silk blend. And it's a LOT of yards.... I think the label said 1000! Thinking maybe even a little shell on this....

And finally, T had some extra Knitpicks Merino/Silk sock yarn (blank Gloss), so I did this one. It's a bit of a color departure for me, but it's actually kinda fun!! We'll see how it looks knitted up.

So here's the whole collection, all in one place. We had a great time, dyed a ton of amazing yarn, and shared some great foods too!

So I know you're probably wondering by now what's gotten into me. Three months of NOTHING, and now four posts in a row!! I can't say it will continue quite at this level, but I am at least trying to get all caught up, and I will continue to try to put out little posts for the various events going on.