Saturday, December 30, 2006

DISTAFF DAY! - Coming Soon - Sat Jan 6th!!

That's right, if you haven't heard about it elsewhere, read it here!

The Orlando Knitters and Spinners are happy to announce again:

“The 3rd Annual Distaff Day”


Presbyterian Church of the Lakes
4700 Lincoln Ave.
Orlando, FL 32819

Saturday, January 6th from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Day’s Events
  • 10:00 -12:00 -Meet, Greet, Coffee, Goodies, Spin, and Knit
  • 12:00 - 1:00 - Lunch
  • 1:00 - 2:00 - Fashion Show
  • 2:00 - 3:00 - ‘Yankee Swap’
  • 3:00 - 5:00 - More Spinning, Knitting, Chatting, Sharing
If you have any questions please email Rhonda or Janette.

Additional information:

Cost: $5.00 – (Monies collected will be given to the church for the use of the room)

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. (cookies and veggies)

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!!)

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” – Bring an item you made this year and share with us your experience and talent!!!!

All activities are voluntary. Feel free to participate in all or none

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

It's a GIRL!!

Ok, so you knew all that....

...but what you didn't know is...

Ava Rose was born today, 12/26/06 at 7:11pm!

Grandma says she's "ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!"... Ok, so maybe she's biased...What do you think?

She was born at 38 1/2 weeks via C-section and entered this world at 5lb 15oz and 19inches. Mom and baby are both doing well and all (including dad) are currently getting acquainted. Here's their first "family portrait"...

Of course I'll be looking forward to a trip up to actually see them all!

Edited to add pics on 12/28. -kc

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter/(Christmas!) SP

Christmas arrived early today!! That's right, it's my Winter Secret Pal package!! Take a look at the package!

Ok, so unwrapping it, it looks a little more like this:

Yes, it was a wait, but oh, SOOO worth it! There were four balls of yarn, one of a Tahki yarn, one Alpaca yarn called Atacama (both in lovely Southwestern colors), and two balls of Baby Ull from Dalegarn!

The Dalegarn goes with the pattern book that my SP included - full of AMAZING baby patterns!! Really cute sweaters, dresses, hats, and even booties and blankets! Here's one of my favorites:

Definitely some good things to choose from for the impending arrival of Ava Rose - Due in less than 3 weeks!!! I do have the Wonderful Wallaby as a gift to take when I go up to meet her, but this will give me something new to make up for the future!

Oops, sorry, back to the box...Also in the picture above, is a HUGE tea mug! Even better, it's FULL of tea! A mix of TAZO teas...I think I'm most looking forward to the Refresh Herbal Infusion - A bracing blend of northwest grown mint leaves with a hint of tarragon. I LOVE mint teas, and this looks like a very interesting take on mint :).

Ok, so as for the rest of the box, I also got about 4 oz of Navajo - Churro roving! YUM! This was home grown in Albuquerque. Looking forward to trying it out! Oh, and the most important part...two bars of DARK CHOCOLATE!!!

What a WONDERFULLY thoughtful box! Thanks so much Let It Rain aka Applepieisyum!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Johnny, Tell her what she's won!

Well Ladies, today's gift #2 consists of two skeins of Prism yarn and a box of lovely holiday tea!

The first skein of yarn is a lovely skein of Andee - a 50% Alpaca / 50% Wool blend, in the colorway Tahoe. This 2 oz skein has an approximate yardage of 114 yds. Gauge: 4 1/2 stitches per inch on a US 7 needle.

The second skein, which complements the first so well, is a skein of Kid Slique, consisting of 66% Rayon, 26% Kid Mohair, and 8%Nylon. This is also in the colorway Tahoe and it's 2 oz skein contains approximately 88 yards. Gauge: 3 stitches per inch on a US 11 needle.

The lovely box of tea contained in this package is Celestial Seasonings Candy Cane Lane Decaf Green Tea. This is a very light pepperminty tea, based in green tea, but decaffeinated for those who are sensitive to caffeine. One of my favorites, I hope you enjoy it.

And all this, brought to you today by KnitChick07.

Saturday, December 09, 2006


So, ran by Joann's today to pick up these...

And came home with this:

Yes, OF COURSE there is a good reason! Dale recently posted information on the Red Scarf Project to one of our groups. So...since this stuff was all marked down to $3 a skein, and Joann's was further discounting it by an additional 50%, I took advantage! Oh, and when I checked out, I had $40 worth of stuff...she said... You know, if you buy another $10 worth of stuff, you'll get a gift card for $10! Oh darn, twist my arm won't you...

So, back to the original goal... buttons... have you guessed that they're for? That's right, I'm nearly finished with the Vertical Vest!! Here's where it stands right now... just have to do the arm holes, sew on the buttons, tighten up the buttonholes, and tuck in a few ends!! It's coming along great!

Here's the closeup version if you want to see the detail better...

Was thrilled this week to receive my final package in the mail from my Spooky SP!! Somerset sent me these GREAT socks! Oh, and they're even made of very soft cottony yarn, so no hot sweaty wool here in Florida!

The same day my socks arrived, Orna and I went on the annual field trip to Prism Yarn studios in St. Petersburg! We had truly hoped many more people would be able to attend this year, but sadly 2006 found us with our smallest contingent yet!! For those who don't know, once a year, Laura Bryant opens her studio and sells ends of dye lots, test lots, and the like, to the public. It's become an annual pilgrimage, and this was my 4th trip! As always, you have to look carefully, but if you do, there are LOTS of fun things to be found!

Both Orna and I have a long term love affair with Laura's Peacock colorway. I found one skein for Orna, then I found this gorgeous pair of Andee skeins - Wool/Alpaca blend! I just couldn't pass them up! Even better, I have four or five skeins of peacock in other yarns that I purchased from Laura a few years ago, so am thinking they will go together beautifully to make a nice shawl or stole.

I also found these gorgeous green yarns...and look how well my boss's mohair goes with them!!

These lovely red yarns are a set that I picked up for a friend who was out of town and unable to road trip with us...

Ok, just one more...a set that I put together with Orna's help...found the KidSlick (mohair twist) first, then picked up the tiny accent skein, and finally added the peach one at the end...a little bit of a strange mix, but I think it works!

Of course, I was also able to find a couple of gifts for various exchanges I'm doing this year, but no, I'm not going to post those just yet...maybe later!

Well, have to wrap it to a Christmas party tonight on the other side of the city...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

My Boss Spent Two Weeks In Africa and all he brought me was...

This AMAZINGLY beautiful ball skein of Mohair!!

He was so proud of himself for getting Mohair - he even printed out the Wikopedia definition of Mohair - just in case I didn't know what it was... :) Oh, and it was my other boss who corrected him when he said "ball" and updated it to "skein". I'm so happy that I can be their small bit of Diversity learning once in a while...

Did anyone see Gilmore Girls this week? They had a KNIT-A-THON!!! Dozens of women, all knitting together in the same room, on TV!!

Last week was a great week - 10 year holiday party - see the pic? I thought it was a pretty good one, and shows off the mystery shawl quite nicely.

So, rumor has it that I will soon receive my final package from my Spooky Secret Pal... yes, it's been a wait, but I understand it will be TOTALLY worth it!! (She's been knitting me something, but since I don't know who she is yet, I can't even go explore her blog to find out what it is....) Next week...and of course I'll post pics as soon as it arrives!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

In the Nick of Time!

I got my first Winter Secret Pal package yesterday, and the timing COULD NOT have been better!!

As was suggested in a comment on an earlier post, my SP found me a BEAUTIFUL shawl pin - not sure, but it looks like it's made of Ebony...or at the very least Ebony-like materials. In addition to the lovely Shawl pin, she also sent me one of those great Sheep Tape measures (just pull his tail! :))

Here's a picture of the contents of the package:

The reason the timing was so good, is that last night was my 10-year anniversary dinner with the company! It was a good time, AWESOME food, and got to spend some time with a couple of friends, as well as a great excuse to spend the night at the resort! My room was pretty close to the party area, so that worked out very well...especially since the temperature is down in the 30's and 40's these nights... So, here's a picture with me and a few of my friends - note the shawl and shawl pin!

On another note, I got this cute PostCard today from my Spooky SP:

She just wanted to let me know that my final package is almost done and will be on it's way soon!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and have a wonderful and WARM weekend whatever way you can!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Knitting in Brooksville Area...

This link was posted in the Hurricane Knitters group's a meetup group that is attempting to organize in the Brooksville/Tampa areas. If you live in Brooksville or nearby, check out this link and find some nearby knitters!! Happy Knitting West Central Florida!!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

*I* Know what I need....

I need a Shawl Pin! Yep, it's true, I've been wearing the Grape Arbor Shawl - unblocked. Actually, I'm considering NOT blocking it...stretched out across my back the pattern shows up very well, and I really don't want it to be any bigger. Maybe I'll wet and lay flat to dry without actually stretching it...that might be the solution.

Regardless, I think I need a shawl pin. I've never been a big shawl person in the past, so I'm not used to this "keeping it on the shoulders" thing...and it's driving me a little batty. Oh well, just had to working on pictures, I promise...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pioneer Day 2006

Pioneer Day was awesome. Melody and I participated. We had a small canopy that we set up, and us with our two wheels, a rug for our feet, and a small table behind us with displays of fibers, spun yarns, and of course the recently completed Grape Arbor Shawl in handspun Colonial Teal Top.

We were there as demo only, did not have anything for sale. We did have a few of Melody's lovely baskets as part of our display. Coincidentally, we were placed right next to the basket weaver. We didn't really keep a count, but we had a large number of people come out. Sometimes it was one or two, sometimes it was 8 or 10 people all crowded around us. We explained the nature of the wools, talked about carpet wools vs garment wools, the differences in our wheels - my DT Lendrum, Melody's ST Traditional Kromski, what you can make from the yarn, the mechanics of how a wheel works, the "history" - ie drop spindles. Sometimes we tag teamed the conversations, other times we had so many people that each of us was carrying on a separate conversation with a separate group of people!

One of the re-enactors who came by early in the day was looking for information on Bobbin Lace. She wanted to learn how. We referred her to the Central Florida Fair. Half an hour later a woman came by, and was talking about how she used to spin up North, but doesn't now, would love to find a spinning group in the Spring Hill area, and pretty much just does Bobbin Lace at this point... M and I both perked up immediately at that, sending her off in search of the re-enactor. When I made my tour of the event a little later on, I heard that they had gotten together and exchanged info, and that the Bobbin Lace person was going to teach the re-enactor how to do it! She wants to have a bobbin lace project that she can display and work on at events.

We met a number of other people as well, looking for spinners or knitters in the Spring Hill/Brooksville area. I referred several people to the Hurricane Knitters list, so I'm hoping that they'll all show up at the same time and be able to connect up with each other. I know there are a couple of other people in that area, but I don't think there are actually any groups out there. Hopefully if they find a half dozen people who all want to knit and spin, one of them will be able to do some simple "organization" and find a library conference room or something to get together in. I suggested B&N and was quickly told that there aren't any.

It would be great it there was a group formed, then next year when we go, we could direct people to their local group! Ok, it's true, Interguild Liaison is the perfect title for me...I just can't help trying to get fiber people together with other fiber people!!

Friday, November 03, 2006



I have to say, this one's been a nail-biter all the way...when I was working on it during my vacation in NY, it occurred to me that I would not have enough of my handspun Colonial Teal yarn to complete the vines AND the leaves. So, I cut the vines short (you would never know if I didn't tell you) and "finished" the vines in preparation for adding the leaves. Then I put it down, knit 4 Guidepost sweaters, a Wallaby sweater, etc. Picked it back up last weekend and have been doing the edging ever since. And, well, each step of the way, I kept glancing at my remaining ball. When asked 4 days ago, I predicted that I would NOT have enough yarn to complete it.

The Verdict?

I have one the order of *2 YARDS* of handspun yarn left upon completion of this shawl!!

The Picture?

While I didn't block the "2nd" one, because it was a linen-silk blend and really wasn't necessary, this one is wool handspun, and DOES need to be blocked. Hopefully I'll be able to find a time or place to block it next week. Once it's done, I'll take some lovely photos to share it with you. Also have photos of the Wallaby and Guidepost sweaters, but they are on my camera which is currently packed in preparation for an early departure tomorrow morning.

Melody and I will be spending the entire day at the Pioneer Day event, in costume :) It will be nice to spend an entire day spinning, and getting the opportunity to spend time chatting and relaxing as well. I have decided I will spin up some fiber for my newest Secret Pal...a win-win...I get to spin, and someone else gets to figure out what to do with that lovely wool yarn!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Do You Believe in Psychics?

Normally?...well, normally I'd probably say no, but look at this:

Now, you all know that I did a counted cross stitch for DB and DSIL as part of their shower gift... But, what precious few of you know...ok, maybe 3 people tops, is that I struggled hard with the French Knots on that piece! I ended up at the Monday night meeting getting assistance in trying to learn them for once and for all! I've never been great at French Knots...but here's my chance - Entire landscapes done entirely in French Knots.

(And yes, this was another package from SP :))

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Who's your Enabler?

This question came to me a few days ago...but before I get into that...

I was at Barnes & Noble this evening for a knitting group, and went upstairs to the knitting books. Glanced through them, looking for a couple of things - a neat little book on felting...still looking for this one - and anything I could find on Dyeing. Checked the whole section, couldn't find anything on dyeing. So, went up to the clerk at the desk and said "Do you have a section on dyeing?"

The clerk sorta stared at me as if he wasn't really sure how to respond, so I quickly added "As in 'changing the colors of things'..." There was a definite relieved look on his face! :)

Bad news is he took me back to the exact same place I had been (it wasn't far), I explained I'd already looked there, we went back to the computer - I spelled dyeing for him so he wasn't looking for dying ;) Anyhow, looked it up, nothing in stock, back to the books, another scan, and nothing. Oh well, it was a nice idea. I do have my lovely SP book from Tundra, and I'm definitely excited about that. I also have my handout information from the Natural Dyes class I took at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival as well.

My friend and I were plotting in email today how we'd like to pick a day and get together and do some dyeing in her driveway. She's dyed reeds for basketry before, but not much with wool or fiber I don't think. We'll have to focus in on a short range of colors we're interested in, since I think 3 dye pots sounds like our max at this point. Will definitely have to do some research and see what we can drum up. Has this wacky idea to see if she can find a big pan full of black walnuts to soak and ferment for a few weeks...yummy browns!

Ok, so back to my original question...Who's YOUR enabler? We each have at least one...some of us have more than one I think. Definitely today I would have to put Tundra in the enabler category with that great book of dyeing recipes. Among other things it's got me thinking seriously about actually DOING some natural dyeing at home.

Janette is DEFINITELY my enabler. Ok, well, Janette is an enabler for many people, but strongly for me as well. I have only to say "I want to make a... but I'm not sure what pattern I want to use." Within minutes I find myself with an email with links to photos, blogs, and patterns. She's doing the research and FINDING all of these fabulous patterns, so all I have to do is knit them!

So, I too have been accused of being an enabler, though I'm not sure I'm as powerful at it as Janette. I think perhaps my greatest strength in that department is in believing that anything is possible, and for just about anyone. So, if someone says "I was thinking about trying ...", I'm right there saying "Go for it, that's not that hard!"

I do have to remember sometimes that we're all at different levels...but then maybe I've always been an overachiever. Since we finally got our first day of "winter" today - it was in the 60's during the day!, I wore my cabled tunic sweater. This was the third knitting project I ever did, right behind the patterned tank top I made myself with relief designs in K's and P's, and the 3 color not quite fair isle Lopi ski sweater I made for my mom! Ok, so I didn't start small. The good news is, 16 years later, that sweater still looks gorgeous! I'll admit, the seaming techniques, well...we just won't discuss the seaming techniques...but for a knitter of 4 months, it was a pretty great effort.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My FIRST Secret Pal Package!!!

Woo Hoo, it's here!!! This is my very first Secret Pal Package and oooohhhh, what a good one!!

So, left a knitting meeting this evening - my mom called about 5 minutes down the road, so we had the half hour drive home to chat. She's persuing a new career possibility and took a civil service test while I was up there in September. She got a message Friday afternoon that she got 100% on her test!! As if that wasn't good enough news, she called the woman back today, and she has an interview on Wednesday! She was reading me the details of the position, benefits, etc, and we can't really see any's a great opportunity, and a perfect time to take it. So, we'll see how the interview goes on Wednesday.

Anyhow, we were just about finished with the guts of this conversation by the time I reached my find a very stuffed looking package in it!! I said "Oooh, it's a package from my Secret Pal!" Well, then I had to explain what a secret pal was, of course :) Told her a bit about the exchange, about my downstream and what I'd sent to her, as well as her reaction (glowing is a mild word for it!). So anyhow, finally made it in to the house, sat down, carefully slit off the card from the top and opened the package...then the FUN began! (Did I mention that I LOVE my new Bluetooth - handsfree and WIRELESS!!)

So, first thing I slit the top, and out popped this LUSCIOUS roving...ah, but not just ANY luscious roving... 8 1/2 oz of ALPACA luscious roving! YUM! Beneath the roving, the rest of the package was wrapped in tissue paper - with blue and green starbursts on it! ;) Further digging found all sorts of nifty toys! 4 Notecards - each with a photo of a knitted item on the cover and a PATTERN for said knitted item inside! You know, while this would be great as a card for someone, I'm just not sure I want to share!

Yarn - 4 balls of Bernat cotton - and yes, you might have noticed, those are my colors! Also a lilac scented candle and incense, as well as a nifty little set of bath gels.

Also lots of TEA! My SP heard my desire to try White Tea and got me a whole box of it! Also, a tin of bulk Formosa Oolong tea, and the special treat - a little sack of Maple Tea!! I'm sipping a cup of it right now! Yummy! What a great Canadian Treat.

Some of the little trinkets in the package included paperclips with flowers on the ends, embroidered tags proclaiming the work to be Hand Knit and Made with TLC, and a small package of tissue paper with baby hand and foot prints on it - for all the stuff I'm making for Ava Rose of course!

Oh, and as for treats, she got me a couple of chocolate truffles - with no carbs! Well, they're really not chocolates - they're actually better - they have lip gloss in them! Chocolate, Vanilla, and Mocha! A pretty amazing gift, since I don't think I mentioned to my SP that I am a total Blistex/Lip Balm junky!

There is also a lovely little sachet - with hand-beaded stitch markers and two lovely buttons!!

Oh, and the coup de grace... a book... Vegetable Dyeing - 151 Color Recipes for Dyeing Yarns and Fabrics with Natural Materials!! AWESOME! And it just so happened the lovely Alpaca in my package was natural white...just perfect for experimenting with Natural Dyes :) Even better, what my SP didn't know, is that on Saturday, I went to a community yard sale, and picked up a two pot ceramic glazed canning pot set!! For $5! So, now I not only have the fiber (as if I didn't have any before - *cackle*), I have the pot, AND I have the cookbook!! Watch out world!

The best part, as I mentioned, is that I got to share it all with DM as I was exploring the package. It was definitely a treat, and even better to get to share it! Off to peruse my book in further detail now...and enjoy the COLD weather! Yep, you heard me...temps supposed to go down to the *40's* tonight!! Will it happen? Hard to say. But, I shut off the A/C and opened the'll be COOL in here in the morning, that's for sure!!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Baby Shower Pics!!

Please don't faint. I know, two posts in one day...who would have believed it possible?? Well, as it happens there's a variety of fun things on TV and video, so I'm watching and writing...

As you all know, I put a lot of time into preparing things for my DSIL's baby shower. I arrived in New York (Rochester) two weeks before the shower for a nice visit with family - mom & DH, dad & DW, brother and DSIL... It worked out really well actually, since it gave us time to prepare last minute details, make a few decisions about what we wanted to do, etc. The shower was held at the Lodge at Woodcliff, where both DB and DSIL work (kitchen and front desk respectively). We decided on Rose and Green as the colors - decorating was very classy - cream table clothes and alternating rose and green napkins! In addition, we picked up balloon bouquets for each of the three tables from Wegmans (Never heard of them? Check it out - this was my "hometown grocery chain" growing up - now it's #2 on Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For and #1 on Consumer Report's Best Grocery Store Chains list! Ok, enough bragging, but suffice it to say I LOVE WEGGIES!)

Anyhow, balloon bouquets from Wegmans. Cake from a private baker that often does cakes for the University of Rochester where DM works. We had 29 people come to the shower, including my brother, father, and an uncle! Look at all the pressies!!

Visited a little, introducing the new mom to all the people in the room. She did have three friends from work and a friend (Diana) who drove down from Michigan for the party! The food was great! Lasagna, salad, garlic bread, fruit punch, iced tea, fruit bowl... We ate WELL that day!

They got great gifts...pretty much all of the major things that they needed, as well as a few things they didn't. They also did GREAT on hand-made items! Aunt Liz commissioned a friend who quilts to make a baby quilt. Sheena's theme for the baby's room is "Pink Poodles in Paris - Ooh La La!!" What do you think?

In addition, she received three crocheted afghans - one from her friend Diana's mother, one from an old family friend, and one from Aunt Liz, as well as a baby bunting, overalls, sweater and cap.

And then there was all of my stuff :) Bibs, burp clothes, hats, booties, afghan, scarf, and wall hanging.

We did decide as a team (DM, DstepM, and I) that we really weren't interested in playing any "Shower games"...bleah... We did however want to do some kind of door prizes. We settled on a random selection - taped diapers under 6 of the chairs...find a diaper, win a prize! What were the prizes you ask? Well, I should have really taken pictures, but sadly I forgot to. Anyhow, I made two dishclothes with the Mason Dixon "brick" pattern in opposing colors. Also planned to make a linen hand towel... until I finally hunted down the linen yarn - and realized it was $18 a skein!! So, bought one of those for me, and bought a much cheaper cotton yarn to make a hand towel - also M/D.

The other three gifts were courtesy of my dad who is an AMAZING baker! So, he made a loaf of white bread, a loaf of chocolate zucchini bread, and a half dozen homemade cinnamon buns!! So, all door prizes were handmade by one of the two of us. We also "made sure" that Diana got one, since she traveled the farthest to attend (aside from me anyhow) - she got the white was 1/3 gone by dinner that night :)

In addition, Liz and Mary (the Aunts) were kind enough to fashion this lovely bow hat for her! It was pretty funny, since neither Sheena nor Paul had ever seen a similar ritual - so she kept glancing over saying "I really want to know what you're doing over there..." To which we all replied that she'd find out soon enough...

Finally, my dad packed everything into Sheena's Ford Escape, we drove it home, unpacked it, and chatted for a while before everyone else made it back. Later that night, when my brother made it home from work, they started sifting through the piles, sorting, organizing, was quite fun, though admittedly I fell asleep while they were doing it. The next day I headed home, but I understand that once Diana left, they spent an entire day moving everything out of the "office" and transforming it into the nursery. Can't wait to see it when I go home in January (Ava Rose is due January 5th).