Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oooooh, pretty!

Have you seen the new template designer?  I did, did you notice?  Not much going on here, it's been rainy so no pics of crafty goodies.  I have a sweater to bathe and block and another started plus some handspun waiting for photo shoots.  Hopefully soon. 

Til next time, happy making!
Julie

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

School's out for Summer!

How does this sneak up so quickly?  Seems every year goes by faster and faster.  Oldest boy finished school yesterday and the little guy had just a half day today.  The weather is less than summer like, currently in the 50's and rainy.  Oh well.  So what better to do on the morning when your son has 3.75 hours of school but to finally make a gift for his teacher?!?!  I'm sure I'm not the only one, right? 
Preparations actually started last night, I decided a loaf of my favorite banana bread would be a worthy gift for all this teacher has done this year.  The fave recipe is from the book  A Homemade LifeBanana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger, yum, the house still smells of the bread.  Anyway, last night I peeled and sliced ginger, covered it with water and cooked until tender.  Then drained, weighed the ginger, added it back to the pan along with the same weight of sugar and a little water.  After boiling down til little liquid was left, I had crystallized ginger.  Yummy alone, even better in this bread.  This morning I mixed up the recipe and popped it into the oven.  The bread finished baking just as we left for school.  Perfect.  With the little guy away, the oldest and I enjoyed some French toast for breakfast.  A goal for summer is to have the oldest help/shadow at least one meal per week as it's prepared.  That didn't start today.
Oh yes, back to the teacher gift.  I've been wanting to transition the household to cloth napkins and wanted to use the pattern in Heather Ross book Weekend Sewing.  I found 2 cuts of fabric in my stash and went about sewing 4 double sided napkins for the teacher.  Again, rainy and gloomy outdoors so I apologize for the photos. 
Close up:

Wrapped: (bread was wrapped in wax paper first)
and little man with his teacher after school.  He wanted his hair buzzed for the summer so we did that yesterday.  So glad he has such a nice shaped noggin!
Now we're watching SpongeBob, the oldest is hanging out with a friend, they just stopped for his library card so I can trust they are staying out of trouble.  Here's to the start of a great Summer!

Happy Making,
Julie

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Catching up.

So, what's new?  Still haven't finished the sewing project I mentioned a few posts back.  1 minor delay that involved a seam ripper and it's at stall point.  Rain is in the forecast though so I really should buck up and get it done.  In other sewing news.  I finally made a Market Skirt and gifted to our niece A on her birthday.
That Dana over at Made is just amazing!  There are some other tutorials she has posted that are on my mental list to try.  The Market Skirt was fun though.  The patchwork fabric came from Joann's, the white I think was handed down to me from my SIL.  I doubled the white on the bottom and as you can see, skipped the pockets but think I need to make another with pockets.  One day!
On to spinning (as I don't have any knitting pics to show! )  Seems like forever since I dusted off "Spinny" (aptly named by my 6 year old).  I recently sold my first wheel, an Ashford Kiwi as it wasn't being used and it's such a good wheel, it needed a new home.  I have a knitting friend who was looking at wheels and coincidentally, she works with my hubby so we got to talking and she gave the Kiwi a new home.  The kids were sad, apparently they had dreams of spinning on her but if they hadn't in the 2 years the wheel was here, well, you know the rest.  Anyway, with some of the money from the sale I ordered some extra bobbins and a jumbo kit for my Kromski Symphony.  Makes plying huge bobbins full fun!  Let's see pictures, right?!?!
First we have Lame Duck Mallard, a Spunky Eclectic club color from some time back.  This was spun as a 3-ply and plied on the Kiwi, call it a farewell. :) 

The fiber is superwash BFL, came out at about 400 yards and is sportish weight.  Not sure what it wants to be, I tried socks but wasn't loving how they were going so thinking it may have to be a BSJ (Ravelry link) and put away for some future baby.
Next up, I pulled out 8 ounces of Romney in Spunky Eclectic "Castaway".  Romney is a nice, long wool, and after doing some homework by watching "Drafting: The long and short of it"  highly recommended, by the way.  I chose to spin in a worsted, forward draw.  My game plan was to spin as a 2-ply and hope for enough yardage to knit myself a Tappan Zee.  I might be a little short on yardage, the smallest size calls for about 580 and I have 536.  I'll probably start soon and if I run out, it will either be shorter or I'll order more fiber. 

Bobbins - 4 ounce on each.
 
Basking in the sun after a bath. 

Currently I'm working on a 3-ply project, 2 bobbins down, 1 to go.  I'm playing with using a modified long draw as well as playing with the colors of the fiber.  More info when I finish!
 In other news, we went up to the Whitefish Bay Shepherd's Market a few weeks ago.  No pics of the Market, it's small and it was hot!  Always neat to see what the somewhat local vendors are offering.  Silly me, I don't have photos of what I purchased but here are sheep.
  I was fortunate to have gotten through to the farm when they had their fleece sale so one of those sheep out there is having it's fleece processed into roving for me to spin.  I hear it's about a 5 month turn around at the mill so it will be awhile, that's ok, lots of time to practice and get through more of my stash.  
Lastly, I will leave you with this photo.
Little man finally lost one of his front teeth.  Yes, he does still have his tonsils too!  He's missing 2 on the bottom as well so no corn on the cob for awhile and that other top tooth is next.  
The kids finish school this week, one on Monday, the other Tuesday.  Tuesday is also our first CSA pick up day, can I just say that I am so overly excited for this!!!  Still need to get plants in our little garden, hope to do that this week also.  Finally moved and reduced our front perennial garden, it looks so much better now.  You'll have to trust me as I don't have photo evidence.  Feels good to have that project done.  So summer vacation is almost here, soccer, swimming lessons, tennis, biking, running (?), it's all in our near future.  Looking forward to that.  Of course there are the less fun tasks of cleaning the house too, it's time to purge.  A LOT!  Will be nice when it's done though.  
If you are still reading after all of that, congrats!  I hope you were able to stay awake. Til next time!

Happy Making!
Julie