Monday, November 28, 2011

Going to be a Grandma!

I found out a couple of weeks ago, that my youngest daughter is going to have a baby....What a mind altering event for her and for me! She's my baby, and now my baby is going to have a baby of her own....I am really thinking back to being pregnant, and all sorts of memories are popping into my head...remembering the first stir of life, remembering the not so good memories of severe back aches, evening sickness, and all that crying--her and me! I remember the ride to the hospital, laying in the back seat of the car with labor pains and her dad giving me street information about our location on the way to the hospital. I was crazy pregnancy mad because he was telling me street name by street name and I just wanted to get to the hospital! (I waited too long to go to the hospital for her. We almost had her in the back seat of the car! ) 

But I'm also remembering the sweet smiles, the baby laughs, the joys of being a mother and I'm so excited for her! It's under difficult circumstances for her, she's going to online school full time, she's stuck at home in a city far away with very few friends for support. I'm going to do the best I can to help her along the way..can't do it financially or physically be there until the time of delivery, but I am going to send her little care packages each month of her pregnancy to cheer her spirits and ease her loneliness....I'll put in little things that she is going to need for the baby.....Here's what I'm working on now...little baby booties made from sock yarn...they aren't finished yet, but I love the way the sock yarn works up. I found the free pattern on the internet. These are from the pattern by Franky's Knitted Stuff. These are seamed along the bottom and up the back, but I don't think that is a problem on how they will feel on a baby's little feet.  I think these could be for a boy or a girl, but not sure how the yarn "speaks" to different people. Let me know if you think these booties say "boy" or "girl", would you? Thanks! We won't know until January. I think I might try Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Surprise sweater to match the booties!

So, it looks like Grandma Jeannie is going to be knitting up a storm of baby things along with socks and other gifts for Christmas.....It is fun to think about baby things and what she might need!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Talented Weaver

Every once in awhile, more than I'd like to admit, I go looking for yarn shops. I'm enjoying knitting very much, very excited about learning new skills, so now, instead of fabric stores, I'm leaning more towards yarn shops. I did a Google search for "yarn stores in Gulf Shores, AL" where we are now, and came up with only two in the area and neither one is in Gulf Shores. One was called Clara's Loom in Foley, AL just a few miles away, and the other one was called the Yarn Cottage, which is in Fairhope, AL.

I visited Clara's Loom today....I called to get basic directions and didn't ask the important question, "Do you have a good selection of yarn?" When I got there, it was a cute little tiny little store front, easy to find, and a sign was on the door, "If locked, I'm upstairs weaving, I'll be right down!" It was locked, and the owner, Celia Dionne, a fiber artist with over 30 years experienc, did come right down and let me in. The shop was stocked with shawls, weaving supplies, neckwear, "fashion bibs" and accessories made from ribbon and yarn fibers. She sold a variety of sizes of looms as well and she did have a very small portion of the shop devoted to Berrocco yarns and some other interesting fibers...She was a weaver, not a knitter nor a crocheter, but that's ok...she was a VERY talented weaver! She makes shawls, and something smaller like a shawl that she called a "fashion bib", a smaller version of a shawl that ties at the back of the neck and is a GORGEOUS neckware fashion statement...She graciously let me see her workshop upstairs where she weaves some amazing creations! Here is one of her beautiful shawls......

She graciously showed me her triangle looms of various sizes.....and she did a little bit of weaving so I could see the process....I LOVE seeing craftspeople work...She had an eye for colors and combinations of yarns that came together to make beautiful shawls and neckwear. She is an expert weaver and exhibits her work and sells in different parts of the country...I really appreciated being in the presence of a craftsperson of her talents, and I love to see new and different things being made...
Thank you, Celia, for letting me see your beautiful work.....

Did I make anything this week? Nothing new, still working on my scarf from last week, waiting to get some more yarn to add to the scarf.....working on my "Crayola" socks with one of the prettiest colorways going...I threw away the ball band that tells the name and the care of the wool! What a dummy! That's not the first time I have done that. I don't know what I was thinking!   I'll have pictures next week of this beautiful yarn.....Until next time.....  Jeannie and Lyle

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Mixed Bag of Crafts

A little bit of everything this week....felt ornaments with little felt pockets on the back to tuck in a candy cane or little bit of cash for the grandkids...The pattern is for a snowman family-Mom, Dad, two kids, and a dog and cat. These are the snowkids and little dog finished so far....

And what else have I been up to?  Making a scarf....It's been a real challenge...I've ripped it out three times because of having trouble with a simple yarn over that moves over one stitch each row. The yarn is Lion Brand "Amazing" in the color vineyard.  The other challenge to this yarn is, it sticks to itself.  Arrrrggghhh! After ripping it out twice 25 rows into making the scarf, I thought, OK, if I use a lifeline, I won't have to rip out to the beginning. Wrong! The yarn stuck to itself so badly, almost like Velcro, the lifeline was useless and back to the beginning I went again....This time, it's working well. I understand what I did wrong on the yarnover. I didn't do it correctly moving from a knit stitch going into a purl stitch. Once I got that figured out, I was well on my way, and here it is so far.....Not sure I like the gray that showed up in the colorway, but that's the way the yarn knits up....The pattern is off the web and called Eva Elongated Scarf pattern (free) and there's a hat that matches the scarf that is a separate pattern. 
Got my second sock done...these are for me...somehow they fit differently in the heel than my last pair...My last pair was made with Kroy sock yarn, slightly thicker and I made them on one size bigger needles. This time, the sock yarn is Deborah Norville's Serenity Sock yarn, I came down a needle size, but the heel is a little too loose! Sure wish I knew how to adjust numbers on the needles to get socks to fit better! I'm still stuck on one basic sock pattern--Lisa Knits Basic Toe Up's the only one I understand so far using two circular needles. Guess I need to commit to watching Youtube videos and reading some of my sock books. I don't understand how to switch a DPN sock pattern to two circulars, so that's holding me back. Maybe I'll try the DPN's for the next pair!

Wonder what I'll feel like making next week? I've got some pretty crayon colored sock yarn calling my name...maybe I'll try and experiment with a different leg pattern!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A New Medium

WOOL! I love wool...I've been collecting old sweaters from Goodwill and various other thrift stores...I'd like to figure out how to make mittens for the winter from recyclables...Also bought a pattern for a laptop case made from recycled wool jackets--it looks really cool!  My "stash" collection is growing--yarn, fabric, and now wool sweaters and very little space to keep it in in the motorhome, so I'd better start making more stuff SOON!

I made some wool ornaments this week--not for a mini tree, as these are about 4" in diameter...These are from a book called Rustic Winter, 9 ornament designs for three projects, by Marilyn Gash. These 4" ornaments are pictured on the cover placed on an evergreen wreath. Beautiful! Here's what I have made so far....
They are too big to go on our little mini Christmas tree, but I think I might hang them from the upper cupboard door handles, if that doesn't drive Eldy crazy!

I made one last trip to a knitting shop in Shipshewanna for some yarn....I saw this gal making a scarf using these HUMONGOUS needles! I could never get the hang of those, I don't think, but bet she can crank out a scarf in no time! I bought some beautiful bamboo and silk sock yarn. I think I have enough sock yarn for my stash that I shouldn't have to visit another yarn shop for quite some time. THAT will never happen! The yarns are just too beautiful not to touch and buy for future projects!

Besides, I'll be using some of my sock yarn for making more ornaments and mini gifts to hang on my family's trees. I love decorating for Christmas and I love making things that I hope will be passed on to my children, so they will remember that I loved to create and make things for the home and for others.....It's a little harder to decorate a motorhome, but we'll have a few things to show it's the season.  Until next time.....