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Saturday, December 26, 2009

A Break From Cross Stitch

I've been taking a bit of a break from cross stitching lately. I think I needed to work on another craft for a while. The past couple of weeks I have been knitting like crazy. I found a nifty little set of knitting project cards for scarfs and decided that it was the time of year to work on such things.

The first one I completed was a tubey scarf. It was fun to work this one up on my round needles:

You might guess this is for a girl from the festive colors and the butterfly. That might be stereotyping. But you're right ;-).

My second scarf allowed me to play a little with my enormous knitting needles:
This one is a shawl scarf. There's a little blue butterfly - can you find it?

The third is almost finished. I'm expecting to complete it today :-). It has a fantastic ribbed pattern and will be about 6 feet long. It uses roving instead of fully spun yarn and has a wonderful felted feel to it as a result:

I have another scarf that I'm planning to start with a beautiful nubbly texture to it. I'm hoping I can get started on that one later today if I can finish this one up.

Yesterday I stopped by a friend's house on the way home from a Christmas visit with my in-laws. I saw a cross stitched mug on the counter and asked when she had gotten it. It had been a gift from her daughter-in-law, who was also the matron-of-honor at my wedding. She received the gift before her son was married to this woman. We got chatting about how wonderful it is to give and to receive hand made gifts. I noted that I find it sad when someone gives a craft as a gift and the receiver puts it away and never uses it. I feel that crafts, by definiton, are meant to be used. She had a wonderful response about what its like when, later in life, you come across just such a gift when cleaning out a disused room or a closet. That is just the type of conversation one should have at Christmas!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Awards and New Crafts

This week my Paradise Macaws project was on display at work for the employee's art show. I was excited to learn that I had received 1st place in the needleworking division for the juried awards! I was also thrilled to find out that the award was 2 oil/lube/filter changes at a local auto shop :-).

Today Jerry and I went to a beginning spinning class at a local Alpaca farm. It was very interesting. It was $40 for each of us for a 5 hour class. The fibers were provided and we could borrow a drop spindle for the class. The first part of the class our instructor, Elizabeth, told us about the history of spinning, different resources, local sources and demonstrated basic technique. After lunch we tried our hand at it. We ended up spinning using the drop spindles and plying the yarn we had created. We also got to try our hand at the spinning wheels she brought with her. Here's a picture of Jerry using the parking method to draft his yarn...

And here's my yarn after spinning, but before plying....

And here's some of my finished 2-ply yarn....

And with that I'll close my thrilling photo essay so I can make some mac n cheese n dogs for dinner!