Postings and ponderings of a quilting and knitting addict!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Let the “Knit-Lympics” Begin!

Hello, knitting fans!  This is my first time to post a link on Judy L.’s “On The Needles Friday” because well… I procrastinate.  So here I finally am!

Yes, I am way behind on my goal of 12 pair in 12 months… but I have a plan. 


I am almost done with my JUNE socks.   These were cast on 2-at-a-time, toe up.  I get so frustrated by the tangling, twisting, yarn balls.  I know, there are folks that love that approach, but it is just not me.  So I took the second sock off, am finishing the first one, then will complete the second.  This yarn knits up quickly.  It is a cotton blend so it is a little larger size yarn.  I am enjoying the pattern on the solid-color sock.  Perhaps I will try the 2-at-a-time thing again with another yarn that is not as twisty-clingy as this was… we shall see.

Now, for my plan:

I am “Going for the Gold” and having a “Knit-Lympics” at my house.  I love watching the summer Olympic Games, but can’t spend that many hours in front of the TV without feeling guilty for “wasting” time.  So… I plan to  knit and watch, and hopefully finish the red pair and at least one more pair for July.  Perhaps I’ll even get the socks for August cast on?


My candidates for the next ones are:

Lion Brand Sock Ease.  This will be my first time using this yarn.  I still need to get it wound so it will be ready to knit.

August socks will be Felici self-striping from KnitPicks.  I’m thinking I may do something a little different pattern-wise for this.  I have an idea that will be simple, but yet different.  We will see.

Of course, in the middle of all of this, my spinning supplies will arrive.  Hopefully I can sit and spin while watching the Olympics, also.  Of course, that will greatly slow down sock progress, I am sure.

So that’s the plan, and we will see how things unfold.  Do YOU have a plan for accomplishing more knitting?  If so, I would love to hear it.  Just leave a comment, and TIA.


Monday, July 23, 2012

An Easy Target

I did it again… I got sucked into something I really had no intention of doing.  Saturday we went to the Natchitoches/NSU Folk Festival.  I wandered around, and then I saw it… something that had intrigued me before.

There in front of me was a lady using a drop spindle to make cotton threads, then weaving them into beautiful garments and home accessories on a loom.  She also had a spinning wheel, but I knew that was totally out of my means so I didn’t even glance at that.

I have lately been wondering about a drop spindle.  How do you use it?  Is it hard?  Can I do this?  I was bitten by the bug after she took about 20 minutes of her time and demoed the spindle for me.   Even though she did not have any spindles or fibers to sell she graciously spent time explaining the process to me.  It seemed she was speaking a foreign language as she named off the different tools needed, what the fiber was called in its different stages, so many new terms I was totally lost, but yet the fiber and her nimble use of the simple spinning tool really called my name… again and again.  I kept repeating, “I do not NEED another hobby or craft!”  My heart did not believe that and did not listen to me.

I dragged my Honey over to her booth to look at the spindles because I was about to ask him to make me one.  He looked carefully at the different styles and, “Yes”, he said, “I can to this”.  As I was about to leave she reached into a bag and pulled out a handful of green cotton seeds.  Yes, different varieties of cotton plants produce different colors of cotton fiber.  Who knew?  If all goes well, about a year from now I will have just a few green cotton plants producing a reasonable amount of green cotton.

Sucked in, I tell you.  I was totally sucked in!

When I got home I did some internet browsing.  That was such a dangerous thing to do in my weakened state after trying to fight this tug of my creative spirit all afternoon.  Oh, I was SOOOO sucked in, and SOOOO bad!  It turns out my favorite knitting site also had a lot of items for spinning at very reasonable prices. 

Wool roving,

 Wool of the Andes Roving

a book,

The Complete Guide to Spinning Yarn

a drop spindle,

Drop Spindle

and a niddy noddy

Niddy Noddys by PineCraft, Inc

are heading my way from KnitPicks.  I will surely post pictures when my new things arrive.

No regrets!  I will absolutely love trying to spin my own yarn for making socks or other knitted items.   Perhaps I was born in the wrong century?  NAAAWWW!  I love my AC too much to dwell in pioneer times, but I sure do enjoy trying my hand at old craft skills.

I wonder what I will get sucked into next?  I have discovered my heart/creative spirit does not listen to my pleas of “no time for new things”, so I might as well stop fighting it and dance with my muse.  Cue the music!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Retreat Report

Did you think I had forgotten?  Here you go… I can guarantee you “What happens in Vegas STAYS in Vegas” is NOT the rule when one of the retreat attendees has a blog!

Sixteen of us ventured to Coldspring, TX to the Red Barn Retreat.    Our theme was, “Don’t worry, sew happy!”   This was carried out with a beach theme.  That will explain the flowers and leis.   Our “stretching” song was that reggae hit from the 80’s, “Don’t Worry… Be Happy!”  

Here in no certain order are:  103_0556

Paula.  It was her very first quilt retreat.103_0560103_0558

Jan, and Vicki.  It was also their first retreat.


Carolyn.  I assure you she was plotting some sort of evil… or pondering her next quilt.  I’m not sure which it was.

103_0559     103_0561

Barbara and JoAnn.  We have not seen much of these 2 ladies lately so it was great fun visiting with them at retreat.103_0562

Gloria.  The maker of some most unusual and fabulous quilts! You will see what I mean later.


Suzanne.  Don’t let her quietness fool you into thinking she is harmless.  She unleashed a psychedelic frog on us (for the “Rippit” award)!  You just did NOT want to get caught ripping after we found out the rippee must display the frog in their area until they could catch someone else ripping.


Judy and Jan…  can you tell they were having fun?


And last but not least, Debbie W. and Debbie G.  Can you say, “Double-Trouble”?  Unfortunately I am missing pictures of a few folks.


We soon discovered there was a great danger of getting your sewing area or bed “flocked”, along with a note explaining your infraction.


What type of infractions?  “Indecent exposure at the beach!”  (Sorry I did not get a picture to show you the crime.  Just know it involved one of the Debbies…. ‘nuff said!

Other offenses… being an “over-achiever” at your first retreat and finishing about 6 projects.

Sewing Christmas things in July.

Having the rippit frog the longest, and ENJOYING it.

And lots of other silly reasons to prank your friends.

Some of our projects finished were:


Debbie’ W’s first quilt, a t-shirt quilt for her daughter.  She also finished a challenge project for her quilt guild.  They were to decorate a burgundy-colored apron.  Her apron features animal print, potholder pockets, and it will be finished with a “fascinator” hat.


Carolyn’s beautiful pink 9-patch.


Vicki (Miss Over-Achiever) finished a pile of projects!


Paula finished a quilt made from recycled men’s shirts.


Gloria and her Louisiana Quilt… wonderful!


JoAnn and her cowboy baby quilt in the background.  I don’t remember who the flower garden quilt belonged to.



My finishes were a “vintage” Stack ‘N Whack quilt from about 10 years ago and a lap-size throw quilt made from recycled shirts and cheddar fabric.

It was loads of fun!  We all got “flowered”, “leied”, attacked by flying frogs, decked out in button rings and flower bracelets…

I just can’t report all of our silliness.  Maybe what happens in Vegas DOES stay in Vegas, IF I want it to!


Friday, July 13, 2012


Sometimes it pays to get sucked into a project.  (See previous post if you have no clue what I am talking about.)


I now have 24 jars of yummy mayhaw jelly to show for today’s labor.  I really believe mayhaw is the absolutely best jelly there is, and second is muscadine, or scuppernong, as they are called in other places.

On another note, I STRONGLY recommend when you are cooking mayhaws you do NOT go to the other end of the house to get something, get distracted and work on a blog post, run back to the kitchen and discover that the mayhaws are boiling over and making a huge mess on your stove.  It was no fun.  UGGHH!  YUCK!!! Gee, what was I thinking? (Or perhaps NOT thinking?)

Now I need to strongly resist the urge to make some homemade biscuits to go with this.  Perhaps tomorrow biscuits will make the menu at my house.

Mayhaw jelly…. IT’S A GOOD THING!


Sucked In…



Today I was sucked into something I have been procrastinating on… making may haw jelly.  I have been putting this off for 6 years now.  I know this is so because the bags of frozen may haws are labeled “06”.

As Christmas is fast approaching each year DH always says , “We ought to cook up that may haw jelly and give it for gifts.”  Who has time for such activities when Christmas is just a few days away?  Does he not understand the craziness in a woman’s life when Christmas is moving upon you faster than you can get things ready?  Obviously, NOT!

Why am I doing this today?

1.  We are trying to make some space in the freezers.

2.  I should be quilting but we are having thunder storms so I can’t turn on the machine.

3.  Why not?  My day has already not gone the direction I thought it would, so why not just go WAAAYYYYY off the path I thought I would be following?

May haws are a tiny fruit that resemble crab apples, and they grow abundantly in river bottoms.  We used to live in Arkansas, very close to the Ouachita River.  The Felsenthal Wildlife Refuge was just one mile from our house, and the roads there are just lined with may haw trees.  In early May (thus the name “May haw”) the fruit gets ripe and smells wonderful.  Adventurous souls that don’t mind chasing away a few snakes and such can pick all the may haws they want.  That is how 4 bags of them came to reside in my freezer. 

I have been intending to cook them down since we moved to Louisiana in 2007 .  So here I am… sucked into making jelly today.  I’ve always heard you should not make jelly when it is raining.  I am hoping enough Sure-Jell and sugar will overcome that problem, because whether or not that is so, we ARE making jelly today!


So, I am off to the kitchen, back to cooking down berries.  So now you know… no quilt retreat pictures today for you, but the good news is they ARE now loaded onto my computer… that is good progress for me!

LATER!  I’m off to squeeze fruit!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

10 Things About Quilt Retreat

1.  It was LOADS of fun.

2.  I got LOTS done!

3.  I stayed up WAYYYYYYYY too late.

4.  And I got up WAYYYYYYY earlier than I usually do.

5.  I think some in our group are absolutely CRAZY!

6.  There were several quilters going on their first retreat this time, and that made it even more fun.

7.  What does quilt retreat have to do with frogs and flamingoes?  I’ll tell you tomorrow, or the next day, or sometime soon.

8.  I really DID take pictures!  YAHHH!  You’ll see them later.

9.  We shopped… 2 quilt shops on the way there, and 2 shops on the way home.

10.  I’ll be super-busy tomorrow and Saturday, so it will realistically   be Sunday before I will have time to post about retreat.  Stay tuned… you’re gonna love it!  And did I mention there are PICTURES?  Oh yeah, I did.  Sorry… I’m so whooped after all of this travel and excitement I clearly don’t know what I am doing. 

See you again soon!  It will be worth revisiting me… I promise!


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Another Whopper; Practicing for Retreat


I know… you thought it was another veggie, didn’t you?  This walking stick was clinging to the wheel well of my car.  It was 9” long!  This is the largest one I have ever seen, so I just had to take it’s picture.


We are getting ready to go to Cold Spring, TX for our annual quilt retreat.  One of the SILs will not be able to go this time so we had a “practice” retreat at the lake so we could spend time together.  Above is Mary Anne’s mystery quilt.  Absolutely LOVELY!


Debbie finished her Flower Garden quilt.  BEAUTIFUL!  She loved doing this so much I think she has another one in the planning stages.


And I finished this simple jelly roll quilt.  It will go to a local charity once it is quilted and bound.  It was a quick and fun project.  I also got a LOT done on an old (10-years-ago?) UFO.  This Stack ‘N Whack quilt from ages ago will go to the same charity when finished.  It will be my #1 project at the REAL retreat. 

We are leaving early in the morning and I will try to give you some posts while there.  I KNOW there will be plenty of things to show, so I am hoping the internet access works well.

And on the sock front… I did finally finish my MAY socks!  Sorry, I just did not manage a picture yet.  I have reached the heel turn on the 1st sock for June.  Yes, I am running behind, but I will probably be able to catch up this fall when there is less busy-ness in my life.  If not, the world really won’t stop turning if I only crank out 11 pairs of socks this year instead of my goal of 12 pair… will it?

So, there is all the news from the home-front.  The next report will be from the Red Barn Retreat in Cold Spring, TX.  WOO-HOO!!!  It’s gonna’ be fun!


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