Sunday, December 31, 2006

Goodbye, 2006!
It is hard to believe it's going to be a new year in 30 minutes. In some aspects, 2006 seemed to fly by!
I took this photo while leaving work one evening in early December. We had just had a foot of snow a few days before. I could not resist using this as a farewell to 2006. Thankfully I did not have to work today {I've worked many a holiday on tech support help desk}, so I do not have a photo of sunset at work the last day of 2006. Our flag is probably still at half-mast in memory of our 38th President, Gerald Ford, who passed away December 26th at the age of 93. He was our longest living president.
May everyone have a safe end of 2006 and a healthy, happy 2007! I hear some fireworks now even though it's not midnight yet.
Carpe knitting,

Friday, December 22, 2006

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
I could not resist showing a few pictures of some houses in my area. A number of homes were decked out this season. The owner of this one tells me they currently have 40,000 lights. They start before Halloween and spend 3 months putting up the lights.

He went on to tell me that it will take them 3 more years to collect all of the lights they want. At that time, they will have 75,000 lights! Whew! Wonder when they will have to start putting their lights up then?!

Here's another home for those who prefer all white lights.

Are you a fan of Knitty ? For those not familiar with it, this online 'zine has knitting patterns for a variety of tastes.

Looking back at the Fall06 issue of Knitty, a pattern caught my attention that I had missed when this issue first came out. The Lizard Ridge afghan by Laura Aylor jumped out at me as I looked at those beautiful colorways of Noro Kureyon. {A friend with Japanese heritage tells me the English translation for the Japanese word "kureyon" is "crayon."}

Right above the pattern is an advertisement for Yarniverse's Kureyon Club. I contacted Yarniverse in Memphis, Tennessee and signed up. They have sent out 2 shipiments so far, so I asked for both shipments in the same envelope. They were very quick to send the beautiful Kureyon and patterns. Every 5 to 6 weeks you receive a different colorway of Kureyon, along with a suggested pattern.

Next I came across the Leapin' Lizards knitalong for this fun afghan. This is my first knitalong {KAL} to join. I am enjoying reading the posts and seeing pictures of everyone's progress. I have definitely found inspiration for a great project for the new year. My plans are for version 1 with the variety of colorways.

Carpe knitting,

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Whew! It's one of those days at work!!
Special thanks to my graphics guru friend Dottieb for this image.
Carpe knitting,

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Tribute to Bulgaria and their Knitters

DS {Dear Son} and DIL {Daughter-in-Law} spent a month in Bulgaria this summer. DS met his in-laws for the first time, DIL caught up with relatives she had not seen in a few years and the month went by way too quickly for them. When I told them I was going to blog a tribute to Bulgaria, DS posed for a picture in the neat jacket he purchased while in Europe.

They were able to travel all over DIL's birth country. Christianity was adopted as the state religion in 865. Monasteries were built as literary, cultural and artistic centres. This arch is on the road to the Bachkova Monastery, which was built in 1083. Bachkova Monastery, the 2nd largest monastery in the country and also one of the most visited, is 189 km from Sofia.

The monastery survived the first round of Turkish invasions, but later was looted and ruined. Bachkova was restored in the late 15th century.

This beautiful fountain is on the monastery grounds.

Here are some more scenic photographs, including one with the traveling couple in the mountains.

While visiting DIL and DS after their trip, DIL pulled out this neat hooded sweater that an outstanding Bulgarian knitter had knitted. This looks like it was a work of love ~ Check out the detail!

Before DS and DIL left for their trip, they asked me what I wanted as a souvenir from their adventure. Naturally I said "Yarn!" {Was there any doubt?} While in Levski, they picked up some fancy Kan Kan yarn for me to make a scarf or shawl. Here's a picture of two of the skeins they picked up for me. The third skein of Kan Kan is a different colorway and will be used for a yet-to-be-determined project. Another time I will show you the beautiful yarn they bought in Turnovo. {It's a secret project, so I can't say any more at the moment.}

I decided to make a shawl with two skeins of the Kan Kan yarn and I'm calling it "My Bulgarian Shawl." Since it is my first shawl, I am doing a simple pattern. {It did not take long to learn knitting shawls can be addictive!} I am randomly alternating between the two shades of yarn. Here's a picture of the shawl on my size 13 Denise needles with 52" blue cable {they now have pink cables in awareness of Breast Cancer ~ read the story on their website}.

The picture below was taken on my parents' beautiful dining room table. I have temporarily set the shawl aside to work on a birthday gift {will show in future blog}, but will be eager to resume work on it soon.

I wanted to close this blog with a photo of my favorite Bulgarian knitter. DIL loves to knit in between college studies and work. She doesn't have much spare time, but enjoys the moments she is able to grab. I wanted a picture of her modeling her first scarf for my blog. She has made a number of scarves since this pic was taken.

Carpe Knitting and Happy Thanksgiving!

P.S. As with any of my blogs, click on photos to view only that picture, click on underlined text to links for more information.

P.S.S. My apologies for the long delay since my last blog. I have had fits with my computer. I finally upgraded operating systems {OS} and installed a non IE internet browser, only to discover it's best not to do that. Then I bought "name brand" antivirus software and learned the OS does not like it because it's not by OS's company. Sunday my hard drive will be reformatted so I can start fresh, leaving off the software aforementioned OS does not like. Yet another reason to save up for a Mac!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

With a Little Help From My Friends

Ahh, at last a moment to sit and do some blogging! Seems like life loves to throw curves just when I think I will have a moment to blog. Finally a chance!

First things first... I want to thank my computer graphics guru friend DottieB for my new Knitted Zebra blog button. I am placing it in a sidebar so it will be visible on the front page all of the time. Thanks, DottieB!

I love that sense of accomplishment when you finish something. That definitely holds true with knitting, so it seems about time I showed you a completed project. My first project was a simple scarf: knit and purl, alternating between the two. This scarf gave me the opportunity to practice my technique. I definitely improved as I went along. Having the variegated colors kept me going because I wanted to see how it all ended. This is the scarf in it's almost completed phase.

When I got to the end of the skein, I was going to add fringe. Susan {my Knitting mentor and Knitter with a capital K} suggested I enhance the scarf with a crocheted edge. Now if you thought I chuckled when I decided I was going to knit, you can only imagine the chuckling about me crocheting! I told Rori, Crocheter extraordinaire, that she would never believe what I was going to ask her. After she got over the shock, she graciously agreed to teach me. Our letterboxing, postcrossing, knitting and crocheting friend from N
ashville Barbara introduced me to a great group of knitters and crocheters in Broken Arrow when she was here on business recently. I told Rori that Barbara would never believe I wanted to crochet! Rori had her work cut out for her because I injured my index finger years ago and I just cannot hold my finger up in the air indefinitely to keep the correct tension. I told Rori she would have to teach me to do the edge of my scarf so that I did not have to hold my finger up. I'm sure Rori was thrilled (ha!), but she acquiesced and graciously taught me. Thanks, Rori!

My friend Kat, Knitter extraordinaire, sent me tutorials to study before my first blocking attempt. The tutorials were very thorough and I felt confident I was doing it correctly.
Additionally I was able to study the pictures of some blocking Kat showed on her blog Creative Popoffs. Thanks Kat!

{Updated note:  I am replacing the photo of the scarf so you can concentrate on the beautiful Noro colors.} It was fun to watch the various colors emerge on my size 8 Addi Turbo needles.

Variegated color: Noro Silk Garden Lite
{45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lamb'’s Wool}

Solid color: Noro Cash Iroha
{40% Silk, 30% Lamb's Wool, 20% Cashmere and 10%Nylon}

With a little help from my friends...
Carpe knitting,

Friday, July 21, 2006

Missing a Me!!
{A tribute to a special fur kid!}

When our son was younger, we would often go on family outings. On our way home, DH {Dear Hubby ~ pictured above with our special girl} would call out "All who had a great time say 'Me!' " We would all shout out "Me!" Occasionally DS {Dear Son} would jokingly wait a moment to say "Me!" and DH would respond, "We are missing a Me!" Then we would hear that awaited "Me!" from DS. As time went on and DS went away to college, DH and I would often say "I'm missing a Me!" when we went somewhere we thought DS would have enjoyed. Recently one of our fur kids went to Rainbow Bridge. If you have ever had a special fur kid and lost them, you know of the emotions you experience when that special loved one passes on.

Precious, our Lhasa Apso, loved her family and wanted to be a part of everything. If someone closed a door in front of her, she would hit the door and spin around. When someone left the house, she went to the door to tell them "Farewell," hitting the door and spinning around after the door closed. When they returned, she was right there to say "Welcome home!" Precious was always with me when I worked around the house, made stamped greeting cards, beaded or knitted. She was my "shadow" who followed me to the garage to make sure I was safe while I put the clothes in the washer or dryer.

No matter what Precious was doing, she was always willing to take time out of her busy schedule to play. "Play" was her middle name. She could entertain herself with an empty water jug or play with her "niece" and "nephew" who are staying with us while their "parents" work on their undergraduate degrees or her adopted big Sis. Here she was having fun running in the snow {Winter, 2006} with her niece, Gabi.

A few days ago when I came home from work, I noticed Precious did not come to meet me. I immediately went in search of her. To my dismay, I discovered she had passed away in her sleep. She had gone into the bathroom and stretched out on the cool tile floor. She looked so peaceful, so I know she was not experiencing pain at the time of her passing. In the days since then, I have thought of all the fun times we had together and I celebrate her life.
We cherish every moment we had with her!

Precious, we are missing a Me big time!!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Flat Stanley visits Oklahoma

We have had the pleasure of hosting my nephew Trevor's Flat Stanley for 2 weeks. What a fun time we have had together! The Flat Stanley concept was developed from a book by Jeff Brown, Flat Stanley. Mr. Brown's Flat Stanley was smashed by a bulletin board that fell on him. His family was dismayed but soon learned being flat could have it's advantages. Flat Stanley no longer needed a plane ticket to visit relatives and friends. He could now travel in an envelope. Thus began his adventures determined by those who host him.

Shortly after Flat Stanley {FS} arrived, we went to visit Margaret at
Hummingbird Hill Farms {Sapulpa, Oklahoma}. What a great time we all had there! Margaret gave me a spinning lesson and I was able to try my hand at three different types of spinning wheels, including a Schacht Matchless wheel and the Schacht-Reeves Saxony wheel shown below with FS.
{Hopefully I have correctly remembered the names of the spinning wheels.} I was so impressed with the quality of these wheels!

When we took a break from spinning, we went outside to meet the Alpaca and other animals. Here is FS with Margaret and Juerga:

I have been intrigued with dying wool (roving and spun wool), so
Margaret gave me a lesson using Jacquard dye. The roving on the right was color set in a microwave. When I got home, I spun the water out of the roving in my washing machine and hung them up to complete the drying.

The fun didn't stop there! We saw a baby Boers goat, along with sheep and other goats, plus the farm dogs and cat.
"Ewe" are right, FS! We had a great time!!

The next weekend FS and I went to a Renaissance Fair in Tulsa where we met a lot of people in medieval costumes. I did not have a chance to ask permission to post their pictures on the internet, so I will not be able to show any here. Each person was gracious to allow their picture taken with Flat Stanley so Trevor could add them to FS' photo album.

While we were at the Renaissance Fair, FS got to meet Jane of Angora Jane's Fibers. He was tickled to once again see his new friends, Margaret and Vince from Hummingbird Hill Farms.

For any spinners who might be reading this, I leave you with a "never die" joke I saw on the internet:
"Old spinners never die, they just whorl away."

{To get a closer look at any photo in this blog,
click on the image and a larger version will come up.}

Carpe knitting,

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Special Invitation for Saturday, June 10th
by Hummingbird Hill Farms and Angora Jane's Fibers

You are invited to a fiber-artsy market and play day. Do not worry if you do not know how to spin, just bring your love of fiber in any form. We are going to play games, share ideas and have a market day. For those of you who are familiar with Rock Day, this is going to be similar to that; however, the emphasis will be on having fun and The Playing of the Games. On June 10, 2006, we will be at Henry Zarrow Library from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The address is 2224 West 50th Street, in West Tulsa.

If you cannot attend all day, stay as long as you can. If you have anything that you would like to sell that is fiber related, there will be an area for Market Day. It can be fiber, yarn, roving, spinning wheels, drop spindles, spinning or weaving supplies, yarn, etc. You will also need to bring at least one item that you have purchased that you are not really sure why you bought it and do not know what to do with it. It does not have to be fiber related and you will NOT leave the library with it.

If just gets better from here. If you have something for show and tell, please bring it with you. Bring supplies (if you have them) for the activities, like fiber to spin, a spinning wheel, ball winders and a pair of scissors. If you do not have a wheel or drop spindle, we will be playing games that do not require a spinning wheel, and there will be several extras to share.

Please bring at least one item to offer as a prize, it does not have to be fiber related. In the past we have had jelly, soap, honey,...... The list just goes on and on...... If you would like to bring more than one prize ----- Oh Goody.

We will be playing dirty rabbit exchange. To participate in this game you will need to bring one wrapped present. Again, it does not have to be fiber related. (You will have to attend to find out what this is, but I promise that it does not need to be fed...)

Special thanks to Hummingbird Hill Farms and Angora Jane's Fibers for this invitation!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Who Me?

Chuckling was heard the day I decided I was going to start knitting. Least you decide these sounds were emitted from the Peanut Gallery, I should quickly confess I was the one chuckling. Until the moment of decision arrived, I had no desire to learn to knit. When the idea began to spin {yes, pun intended!} around in my head, I found humor in the thought that I suddenly wanted to learn how. Even more surprising was the realization that it all made sense to have the desire to knit. After all, I had always enjoyed fiber arts and I needed some projects that were more portable than the more complicated bead projects I enjoy so much.

To those who have knit since childhood, it probably seems strange for someone to say they had no desire to learn to knit. While growing up, no one I knew ever mentioned knitting, so there was no enticement around. Nor do I remember any yarn shops in the towns where we lived. Weaving with fibers is intriguing and I have spent countless content hours bead weaving {on loom and off loom}. Additionally when I saw my first spinning wheel, I knew it was something I wanted to investigate. Yet knitting was just not in my plan ~ until two months ago. So what possibly could entice this Southern born gal to seek out knitting needles?

Being a very tactile person, I have always enjoyed creating things. Fibers and colors brighten my world. When I was in college, I enjoyed macramé and string art. Then I progressed into embroidery, needlepoint and bobbin lace. While making hand bound journals, it was fun to add fibers and beads to the spines. I have always enjoyed embellishing my paper art creations with fibers. It was only natural to move into making fiber and bead necklaces. {A side note for macramé enthusiasts: Micro-macramé with the beautiful cords now available makes wonderful modern bracelets!}

Having the privilege of growing up with parents who enjoy reading, I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. Having read a couple of books centered around a knitting shop, I was searching our wonderful library system’s website when I discovered some “cozy mysteries” that continued the theme of the knitting shop. {I will review these books in future posts so you can enjoy them also.} In these books, the men and women were really enjoying knitting ~ some spinning ~ and the camaraderie they found in sharing these creative endeavors.

Before I knew what had happened, it was all making sense for me to learn to knit. Having taught paper arts and beading for a number of years, it was only natural to seek out a teacher. Having purchased some beautiful fibers and glass buttons from Naturally Needlepoint and Knitting in Tulsa, I remembered they had some beautiful yarns. I went in on my next day off and signed up for beginning knitting classes with Susan, a delightful and talented Knitter {yes, Knitter with a capital K ~ for those who have read Yarn Harlot}.

I just had my 5th knitting class this morning. Here’s a picture of my in-progress first scarf that is my practice for knitting and purling.

Knowing I would need to use yarn that was very appealing to me if I was going to want to finish my first project, I chose a skein of Noro Silk Garden Lite {45% Silk, 45% Kid Mohair and 10% Lamb’s Wool}. This skein is getting smaller and I am getting faster in my knitting and purling. The solid color is Noro Cash Iroha {40% Silk, 30% Lamb’s Wool, 20% Cashmere and 10%Nylon}. I will be using it for fringe and embellishments. When the skein has been used up, I want to learn about embellishing and blocking. {A side note for the curious in nature and for those with Knitting Attention Deficient Disorder ~ yes, I have other knitting projects in the works!} My crazy work in Information Technology has slowed my progress down, but I have learned a lot during this time and look forward to sharing more of this part of my tapestry with you.

Carpe knitting,