Saturday, February 28, 2009


My lovely daughter, Meredith, has decided to join The Servants of the Lord or Servidoras, a religious order, as a nun. To that end, we moved her home from college at Christmas and she has been hanging out at home since then awaiting the results of some psychological testing.
Well, apparently she is not completely crazy or is at least crazy in an acceptable way because she got a call to tell her she could pick a date to go live at the convent. So she has.
March 10th she will leave here, fly to Washington, D.C., and thence travel to Upper Marlboro, Maryland where she’ll begin living life as a postulate. Meanwhile, there are long gray skirts to be made, white blouses to be bought, prayers to be said, and a party to be planned . . . I’ll be busy.

Friday, February 20, 2009


In an earlier post, I mentioned that I love this shawl. It has cables.

I’ve done small cables in hats, socks and a scarf and I’ve thought they were nice, but– so what. I am now revising my opinion from a lukewarm “so what,” to an adamant “WOW!!” So much so that I am almost dreading the end of winter because in Oklahoma there won’t be any cold weather left by the time I get this completed.

NOTE– I did say . . . almost.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


This post recounts a planned trip and an unexpected one–both delightful.

Unexpectedly, on Sunday Kelly suggested that we drive to the Tall Grass Prairie Preserve which, taking the route we did, is about 85 miles from here. We traveled by way of Bartlesville where we stopped for lunch at the greasy spoon landmark of Murphy’s Steak House. The Prairie Preserve is reached by way of 7-10 miles of gravel road through ranch land and fields of nodding oil well pump jacks. We drove all through the Preserve and enjoyed the day but did not see a single buffalo. On the way out, however, we found the entire heard lumbering along the road and stopping our progress as one or the other of the animals determined that the grass on the other side of the road looked more tasty–this time of year not much at all is green, least of all the native tall grasses. Since the animals were so close, I could not safely get out of the car to take photos. So, the photos I did take are pretty boring and of poor quality since they are blurred from the car vibration and were mostly taken facing the sun. I’ll share these, though.

On the way back through Bartlesville, we stopped to look at the art exhibit at the Price Tower,

a Frank Lloyd Wright building. Lucky us–it was a free admission Sunday. Along the way, we took a detour to the Osage State Park, an area we had not previously visited. It has a great campground we plan to visit later this year.

On Monday was the planned trip. Why little ol’ Lawrence, Kansas should hold such delights is a mystery. As such, I do not have to understand it know it is true and revel in it. The trip started out as a trek of knitters to the Yarn Barn, that mecca of weaving, spinning and knitting wonders. Since I dabble in all three of those vices the Yarn Barn is, for me, a place of grave temptation. I succumbed, but avoided purchasing with reckless abandon by preparing sample cards with various yarns I have on hand. So, I was able (I hope) only to buy what I can (will?) really use.

I got several colors of dye to use on some bamboo I already have. And since the yarn I thought would be great for placemats for my mother was not, I got this cotton that will surely work.

My new inkle loom is pitifully bare, but soon to be dressed with some combination of these threads which happen to be the colors of my alma mater, The University of Tulsa.

I’m thinking these bamboos will work with some I have already spun and will spin with the yet-to-be-dyed bit.


Were the Yarn Barn the only attraction, the trip would have been a howling success, but wait . . . there’s more . . .

Just across the street is a fabric shop–Sarah’s Fabrics. I had noticed it on previous trips but had not gone in because although I do sew, I do not quilt and I thought the shop a typical quilt shop. Such shops are nice, but not very interesting to me. My companions, Kathy and Sue, are quilters so we ventured in. Well, my vocabulary of superlatives and similes fails me. Sarah’s must have bolts of absolutely every gorgeous cotton fabric ever made. In addition, she has nice wools and linens to interest the garment sewer in me.

Were Sarah’s Fabrics the only attraction, the day would have been a howling success, but wait . . . there’s more . . .

Next on the agenda was Footprints, a shoe store of some note that carries closeouts of Birkenstocks, Chacos, and Dansko clogs, the three brands that comprise the entirety of my shoe wardrobe. We three limited ourselves to a total of six pair between us.

Were Footprints the only attraction–you know the rest . . .

In fact, we had lunch at the Mad Greek, dinner at Jason’s Deli, stopped at a liquor store to buy beer not available in Tulsa, and shopped at the World Market too. After being held up by a train parked on the tracks in Coffeyville, Kansas for half an hour, we arrived home just before midnight.

The sole disappointment of the trip was that Old World Pottery, a shop that sells Polish Pottery and which was having a 30% off sale, was not open on Monday, thus proving that you can’t have it all–I think I’ve come close lately.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Whoo Hoooo Bamboo

My new spinning love is . . . BAMBOO. I bought some of the most luscious bamboo fiber artfully dyed by Gwen of FiberCloud which turned into this

and this.Unfortunately, there is not enough to use as weft for weaving a shawl or scarf. Soooooo, I've ordered a POUND of bamboo top with the idea I'll dye it a color suitable to coordinate. That kind of thinking usually leads to a big mess and inevitably to the purchase of even more crafty stuff. At the very least I'll have to purchase different dyes, 'cause the dyes I have for wool won't work on plant fibers.

In January the Tulsa HandSpinners held a ROC DAY celebration, which I'm told many spinning groups do. The day grew out of the tradition whereby spinners put away their work during the 12 days of Christmas. After the Feast of the Epiphany the women resumed work. The men, however, laid about for a few more days and, in the days before television and football bowl games, amused themselves by setting the flax on fire. Apparently this substituted for flirting in some circles. So, the women dumped water on the men, or something like that. Anyway, now days men are busy with television sports so the women spinners get together, have lunch and play spinning games, which fortunately did not involve either fire or water. It was great fun--we spun tinsel icicles and Easter grass among other things. All of that to say, I won an Inkle Loom during the festivities, which I haven't had a chance to play with because I don't have any suitable thread to use.

And that leads to the next topic. . . . ROAD TRIP

Some of the beer knitters have Presidents' Day off work, so it's off to Lawrence, Kansas we go to the weaving, spinning, knitting mecca of the Yarn Barn. Word is, one of the shoe stores there is a Birkenstock Outlet chock-a-block with good Birk deals. AND, there is a World Market store in Lawrence, so maybe I'll also get the chance to satiate my endless desire for Dutch Licorice.

My newest most favorite-est knitting project is this shawl.

Probably my least-est favorite project right now is this pair of socks. The yarn is Tempted hand painted sock yarn in the Koi in a blender colorway. I loved the way the colors pooled in the first sock,
but the color repeats changed and the second sock is just horrible.

I have actually completed something . . . . my first ever toe-up socks.

LOVE the yarn--an Opal self-patterning affair and LOVE the technique so much that when I get finished with my socks-in-progress, I'll knit them all that way.

Now I'm off to collect little snippets of some of my spinning yarn so I can actually get something I will use at the Yarn Barn.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crafty bits

Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh was the theme of a swap on Back-Tack. The idea was to make/give something sparkly (gold), sensory (frankincense), and gifty (myrrh). I was paired with a clever gal in Western Australia. she sent me a straw wreath she made of wheat she cut from her own fields, pounded/coaxed into a circle and decorated. It is still hanging inside my front door. She also sent an apron decorated with appliqued birds, some quilted birds, a felt-it-yourself hat, and some hand-made lavender soap and knitted cotton face cloth.

Here are photos of the apron, birds and pre-felted hat. The soap was used before it got photographed, I haven't gotten a good shot of the wreath, and no one here (the brats!) will model the hat for me--I wore it a LOT on our ski trip.

The gifts I sent strayed from the fiber arts into an old hobby--beading. I was going to make just one bracelet, but got carried away and made two, and earrings to match.

I made several batches of biscotti to send. But, I was using a new pan I was overly excited about and every batch turned out so pitiful looking I had to eat them all myself. I noticed my partner had mentioned in her blog that she was not able to find the orange oil she needed to make homemade granola (which I highly recommend). So, I bought some oil and threw in a pair of save-the-tatas socks for good measure.

Christmas knitting this year consisted of a pair of slippers for my mother-in-law and what was supposed to be two hats. These are the same hats I knitted for the calendar contest. I remembered them to be a fast knit. I did NOT remember that even knit to PERFECT gauge, the hats turn out to be smallish and therefore require even a loose knitter like me to go up 2 needle sizes and add 5 rows to the pattern. Nor did I remember that I recorded those changes on my Ravelry project page. So, one hat was knit waaaaay too small, one was knit waaaaaay too big and felted to a near approximation of the correct size and two were actually knit to size. Note to self: LOOK AT YOUR NOTES.

Anyway, here's my nephew graciously wearing the too small version.

As long as I had the pattern and sizing down, after Christmas I knit Alex a hat too. Then, I began a scarf for Meredith out of a great Mountain Colors worsted, but she probably can't take that to the convent with her, so I made her Grumperina's Shifting Sands scarf out of some great Debbie Bliss Cashmerino SuperChunky. (It is black, not gray)
and finally, here is the chemo cap I made of alpaca and silk

I've been also spinning and weaving, those delights await another post.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Where does the time go??

Looking through the stuff in the bowels of my purse that used to consist of candy/gum wrappers, grocery receipts, and stolen pens but now mainly consists of yarn labels, fiber scraps/tufts, crumpled knitting patterns, and paper scraps bearing blog notes, I realized that I haven't written a blog entry about any of the clever stuff I've jotted down.

So, I guess you'll never see my essay about why Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE day of the year--any year--EVERY year because it involves Mom's gravy, Matt's smoked turkey, the usual pies, and the people I love the most--but especially this year when the celebration also involved a pile of 12 puppies, 3 llamas, several goats, and sheep.

It was pretty much a dead heat as to who was cutest--Harper, the flirty male llama, Alex and Meredith, or the pile of puppies

My tirade about how much I HATE to decorate for Christmas, but love it when it's done and so (aside from laziness) do not take the stuff down until almost February will have to wait until next year. Musings about the chaos of Christmas Eve and the thirst brought on by the ton of deer jerky and summer sausage I ate are lost to the ages. I'm sorry to have deprived the world of all that, but I do have photos.
Anyway, this would be the chaos.

And, this would be thrift store and as-seen-on-TV silliness

Kelly thinks we are laughing WITH him in his new beekeeper duds

Grandma Schneider bought the kids these great blankets with their own photos on them. Meredith's was a photo taken in Yellowstone Park and Alex's was taken on his climb up Longs' Peak in Colorado.

For the record, the ski trip to Red River we took after Christmas was everything we hoped it would be.

As is our way, we left Tulsa early in the morning at a time everyone else would say was the middle of the night and arrived in Amarillo for a early lunch at the BIG TEXAN--

It was as corny and kitchy as you would expect for an iconic Texas tourist trap.

After a detour to WalMart we were equipped with spray paint for our visit to the Cadillac ranch.

In Red River we stayed at the Deer Lodge in a dinky, but charming built-in-the-late-30s cabin where the space between the door and the frame was almost big enough to stick a finger through, and the kitchen sink leaked in what was pretty much a steady stream that required a mixing bowl catching the drips to be emptied on a regular basis. It had a microwave and coffepot, but no electrical outlets in the kitchen area to plug them in to. . . and the foolish act of using the hair dryer with the lights on caused the breaker to blow.

We spent a day at the Enchanted Forest Cross Country ski area. I've been cross-country skiing before and really loved it. However, it's been 20-some years. So, after the cursing occasioned by my stepping into the skis on flat ground subsided, I promptly traded in my rented skis for snowshoes. Snowshoeing was fun and something I'd really like to try again, perhaps at an elevation just a bit lower than 8-9000 feet.

Kelly graciously waited a LOT while I fumbled for camera equipment and air to breathe.The kids managed to get around on cross-country skis without the benefit of lessons. Meredith LOVED it, Alex a little less so. (I think Meredith was probably better at it, and that explains that).

The kids snow boarded one day at Angel Fire and two days at Red River. They liked Red River better. They could walk to the lifts from our cabin and didn't have to wait in long lines.

The latest any of us stayed up was 9:30. I think the evenings were my favorite part of the week -- having the four of us all together in one room, each with a book, must be a little bit like heaven.

There has been knitting, AND spinning, AND weaving, all subjects for a separate post.

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know