Sunday, May 24, 2009

A New Blog

I have enjoyed posting to my blog here at Fibres For Ewe. However, I have decided to leave it and start a new one at I hope you will come on over and chat with me there. This name is better suited for me, it matches my Ravelry name and business.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Portuguese Knitting at the Whiners Retreat

"Whiner's Retreat?," you ask, "What is that?" Well, in March, yes almost two months ago, my favorite spinning retreat took place in Tyler, TX. Several of us in the Texas Twisters spinning group didn't get to attend this year. We weren't very happy about it either, we kept whining at spinning about not getting to go. Liz decided to host us at her home for the day on the Saturday of the weekend, so we could continue to whine. Instead we had a great time. We had lemon bars, cinnamon crumb cake, and coffee! Oh, yeah, we did eat some nutritious food too.

One of the things that we did, was to watch a DVD on Portuguese Knitting. It is an intriguing way to knit. Click on the link and you can see how it is done. The movements of your hands and wrists are different than in continental or American/English style of knitting. You use your left thumb to pass the yarn around the right hand needle. Once you get the process down and practiced it is a very quick way to knit. You don't have to tension the yarn through your fingers, the pin does that.

One option is to have a pin to put your yarn through, and that pin is what tensions your yarn. Notice in picture at top and in the second picture. You are seeing my hands in the top and Laurie is knitting in the second. If you don't have a pin that is OK, we didn't either. We used safety pins. But, you can also put the yarn around the back of your neck for tensioning.

Laurie caught on quickly to this, but I was a little slower. Actually, I felt like a knittingly challenged person that day! AND I have been knitting for about 48 years. I would think I had it down, but infact, I was purling and not knitting! I would try again and end up purling. I think if I had a real teacher there, I would've flunked the class or at least been given a dunce cap. :) Or maybe received an A for effort. It was a lot of fun, trying something new, and I will succeed in Portuguese Knitting, one day.

Out of our group of 6, only Laurie and I ventured into the world of Portuguese knitting that day. The others watched, laughed with us(about my confusion), and spun yarn.

Liz has Whippets. They are great dogs and they were at our retreat. If you notice, the minute we got up they took back their territory! :)

We decided, after all, that we had a great time and want to have another Saturday spin day. However, we all hope to be able to return to our favorite retreat next March. Yes, we still whine about missing Wildflower Retreat.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

DFW Fiberfest

On April 26, I went to the DFW Fiberfest. It has been held for several years now. They offer classes and they also have vendors there to sell their wares. I attended for the vendor end of the show. The fiberfest started mainly as a knitter's event, but has also grown to encompass spinners.

I went and had a great time roaming around seeing folks I knew and chatting. I met up with some old friends that I haven't seen in years and it was great fun. I saw all kinds of tempting yarns and spinning fibers.

I did spend some money there, although, I was REALLY good. You see, I had just arranged my spinning and yarn stash, uh oh, so I knew how much I had. I am trying to use up some of what I have before I buy more.

So, even though I have about 10 sheep mugs, I found another one that I couldn't resist. Isn't it adorable? I met the potter who made the mug and she lives in the Houston area of TX. It is a wonderful mug and I just think the sheep is adorable. The potter has named her copyrighted sheep, Knitting Lagniappe. Lagniappe is a cajun(Louisiana) term and pronounced "lon yop' ". It means 'a small gift.'

We are drying out from 5 1/4 inches of rain that we received on Saturday night. Our ground is saturated. I am hoping my little seedlings in the garden will make it. They are a little scraggly looking, poor things. I keep telling them to be greatful for rain, we don't get that much and it is better for them than our water from the hose. They look at me and say, we may not get much, but why do we have to get it all in one night???? I told them that I didn't know. I haven't told them that we are to get more rain tonight. Shhhhhh. I don't want them to know. We'll just let them be surprised.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and Sock Machines

Wow! Who would've thought that we would be having to educate ourselves about the Swine flu?? Today life in the state of Texas has been interesting, to say the least.

Several schools are closed in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area. Some of them have children who definitely have Swine Flu and some have children who have been tested. The schools are not just closed for one day, but are closed from today, April 29, until May 11. School activities are being cancelled too.
One small town, south of Fort Worth, is actually shutting down its schools and daycare facilities. They have also cancelled many city activities and sports games. They have 3 cases.

Many of you, who venture to my blog, know that we have two FABULOUS daughters. :) One of them works in the health industry and sent out some links for us. Here is one that has some good common sense info, should you be interested. The link.
Have you ever seen a sock machine? Here are two antique sock machines! They are not mine. But, they belong to friends of mine. These machines are becoming more and more popular and more and more valuable. This is the way that socks used to be mass produced AND now some people are mass producing socks for themselves and for sale using these machines. I find the sock machines truly intriguing. They do take some practice in getting used to them, but once you get it down, the socks take a fraction of the time compared to handknitting a pair. The red one, doesn't have a sock on it, but you can see the hooks that go around the outer circumference. Notice the crank to the right? As you turn the crank, the needles will go up and down and the yarn will go around and be knit by the needles.

Do I want one? No, not really. I just like to watch them and find them fascinating. I still prefer to knit my socks, the really old fashioned way. By hand. :)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Look What I Found in the Pool! and some knitting, too

This morning, The UPS man and I were out looking at the pool. I had just checked the water temperature and he was working on the equipment and mechanical aspects. I was thinking of swimming and he was thinking gears, motors, blah, blah, blah. All that man stuff. Anyway, after I went back to work last fall, he was gracious and decided to help me with some of the chores and took over the pool. That has been a blessing. Since I was out there, with him, this morning I thought, I'll help him and empty the skimmer. If you don't know what a skimmer is, it is a basket, set into the return for the water, before it goes back to the pumps and big filter in the back. Leaves, branches, dirt, and critters will get caught there. They tell you to be prepared for anything, when you open the lid. Well, I wasn't thinking about the warnings today when I opened the lid. I should have been. After all, I am the one who has found frogs, frogs and more frogs in that thing. I have found the copperhead snake in there last summer. Talk about freaking out, but that is another story. Well, today, I opened the lid and jumped back as a TURTLE popped his little head up at me. Geesh! You know, we have a lake, not more than 30 feet from the pool and they come up the hill and go for the CHLORINE!! Crazy if you ask me. All I ask of them, is that they stay at their water and I will stay at my water. LOL! No, they think my water is just as good, but soon they find out, that I don't have a beach front like they do and by then it is too late. Well, this little turtle, was still alive. Thankfully, the UPS man was right there and rescued me from having to rescue the turtle. Oh, yes, that is a kitchen strainer that the turtle is in. You see, you also learn to turn ordinary household and kitchen tools into pool tools. This one has its personal hanger on the fence behind the pool skimmer, ready for such emergencies. After the rescue the poor turtle was placed in the leaves to rest for a few minutes, I imagine if turtles get dizzy, he was quite dizzy after spinning around in the skimmer, for who knows how long. He also had been fighting quite an under tow, since he was fighting the suction of the pump to pull him in. The UPS man then went down and placed him on the net and carried him back to the lake. He is back on his side of the water now, and we are on ours.

Knitting!!! Yes, I have been knitting. Yesterday, I started a new project. I had a new idea for a hat pattern, it sort of worked, but when it was finished, it would've fit a giant black bear. So, it was ripped out and started again. I am working on a pattern for a felted bag. I actually made the bag years ago and never wrote the pattern, so it is now being written. Also, I am working on a couple of other patterns too. Stay tuned, they will emerge eventually. It just takes a while, to get it all done correctly. You know, I knit a hat yesterday and today the hat is gone. That is how it goes. Today, I will knit it again.
I do follow other peoples patterns too. It is fun to just sit down and knit, without figuring out all the steps and knowing that someone else has done the prototypes and ripping. When we were in Austin TX, last summer, I went yarn shopping. Both of our hosts down there know that I love to knit. So, off I went, with Judy when we were at their home and then with Clyda when were at their home. With Clyda, I found some Noro yarn and a cute pattern for a mitered bag. The finished size of the bag is about 6 inches square. It was fun to make. I found the pattern at the Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe . The pattern is written by, Jennie Might.

before felting
after felting

Friday, April 24, 2009

Earth Day Moon

Jeff leaves pretty early in the morning for work. As he left, my cell phone started ringing and it was him. He wanted to tell me how pretty the sunrise was. You see, the sun was just rising and starting to light up the sky.

Outside I went, with camera in hand, and this is what I saw. I am thinking, with the little research that I did, that this is the moon(a given) and Venus. Because of the trees, I didn't see any other planet or star. Apparently, Mars and Jupiter could be seen at certain times, too .
What I really like about this, is that you can see the rest of the moon, if you look closely.
The sky was this gorgeous blue color too. Which just made my day! I love blue!

Sunday, April 19, 2009


I have been slowly taking pictures of spinning rovings, as well as knitting and spinning tools, to put in my etsy shop. I don't want to list things too quickly in there, but I need to keep going and steadily list my new items. I have a lot of rovings here, that I need to put in there and quite a few tools for knitting and spinning.

Yesterday, I was trying to get some good pictures of a Raspberry colored roving. It is a gorgeous deep, dark rich pink. But, in trying to capture it, the camera always lightened it. Even without the flash, which I wasn't using. One of the best things for true color is the natural sunlight. So, I had put the basket of fiber in a south window, then a west window, then under the skylight, then in the shadow under the skylight. Finally, I took it upstairs, and put it in the window next to my computer. This is an east window. I had to take down the curtain for this too, it was a major production. However, I FINALLY met with success and was able to list the roving with some great pictures. The first picture that I took in my office window, is this one, it too, is too light. But, to me it is such a gorgeous picture. You almost have the illusion that the roving and basket are flying.
All my efforts were worth it, the fiber has sold already. :)