Thursday, October 30, 2008

I just LOVE the Muppets

I have a new yarn series up, I should say Nearly up, on A Muppet Christmas Carol. I just LOVE the Muppets. We even planned to name a son sometime, Peter John Wyatt (the John and Wyatt after Doc Holliday and Wyatt Earp) and call him Pepé after the King Prawn muppet. LoL. Alas it hasn't happened.

I have nearly all my Muppet Christmas Carol characters up. I am lacking Marley and Marley, mostly because the yarn is the same I did Tiny Tim from and I have been putting it off the best I can. Also I need to do the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, and the Urchin Bunny that Scrooge asks to go get the turkey from the butcher shoppe. I have Generous Scrooge done but to put him up before the last Ghost would disturb the Universe.

So bear with me, maybe tomorrow will be the day!! I say that about a lot of things!! Meanwhile go take a look at the cast of characters who have made their debut and decide you can't live without some of them. LoL.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quickie Post

So where have I been? I would love to say I have been doing some more yarn, and I have, but not enough to keep up with demand. So today I want to do yarn.

I have been looking for my Civil War Churn Dash block components. I am in a swap my daughter is hostessing, that is due Friday. And since I will be going to her house on Friday, it would be a good idea to be on time with my swap. Can't expect a merciful deadline extension from a kid I never taught to be merciful. LoL (just kidding) And, I can piece these blocks together rather rapidly, so today isn't too late to start on it, especially with Richie off today... he can parent and I can sew. That is, if I could find my blocks. I cut out 20 blocks, 4 sets one evening at Des' house while visiting. Packaged them up, brought them home and lost them.

Now I can cut out 4 more sets rather easily and quickly. But it is the principle of the thing. Twenty blocks without sashings would make a 36 x 45 baby quilt, an even bigger lap quilt if set with sashings, and I just can't stand the thought of having wasted all that fabric.

When I get some yarn unwound and into the dye pot, I will look for those blocks again. I promise.

Friday, October 24, 2008

BIG News

So I have been looking over my shop lately, and I noticed something.

My first sale was 24 May, and I have had over 100 sales. And even though I have had recycled sweater felted items in my shop that whole time, and hand knit items (or offers for custom hand knit items) for a couple months, I have only ever sold ONE little felted cozy.

Apparently the people who come to my shop want recycled yarn, yarn, big fat handmade needles, and lots more yarn. Just about as fast as I can unravel it, dye it, and list it.

So I got to thinking, if I were looking for yarn, I wouldn't want to page through 5 felted items, a few yarns, then some more felted stuff, to get to more yarn. As a consequence of all these thought processes, I got a crick in my neck. No. I went and created a 2nd shop, call Heart Felt Fun. Oh what fun it was coming up with a new name. But since most of the items are felted (we who DO that really know the term is fulled), and most of them are just for fun, and some of them have a little felted heart sewn on them, I thought it was right clever. As a matter of fact, I might sew a little felted heart on everything from now on, as a trademark. Wow, am I smart.

So over there on the left below my regular Etsy shop feed, is a small one for my new shop. Stop in and take a look sometime!

Some completely different notes:
My 6mo grandbaby Hannah growls like a pirate. Now she also eats food. And my daughter says that while she feeds her, Hannah is the Cookie Monster. All growls and "num-num-nums." Which is pretty funny really.

Today I was riding shotgun in the car, knitting, while Artemas got to practice more driving, in the rain. The song "Into the Night" by Chad Kroeger and Carlos Santana came on the radio, and we were all riding along singing, with the rain streaking down the windows. Being a singer myself, I noticed that the lyrics are sung fairly rapicly, and then go directly into the chorus with no break in time or bridge of musical licks. So I said, "I wonder how he does that, sing all those really quick lyrics and then go right into the chorus without taking a breath."

Artemas said, "He is just gifted, I guess." To which I replied, "I am sure he IS."

The cheeky kid threatened to put me out of the car. Imagine.

Not my fault at all if a person is easy on the eyes. And it would be weird for a woman who has managed to make 10 babies in her lifetime to not notice that a person is easy on the eyes. LoL!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I got a new yarn done yesterday. One. New. Yarn.

This yarn disguised as a sweater is really gorgeous. It is a blend, with viscose (which I think used to be called nylon?)... but it also has wool, angora, and cashmere. Silvery gray, really lusciously soft and because of the angora, slightly furry. But it is also lace or fine sock weight, and because of the angora, really hard to unravel. The fuzz catches up with you and gets caught eventually in ONE little stitch that doesn't want to come undone and ... well never mind. So I got one little Tiny Tim 68-gram skein done. I have two more to do, around 100 grams each. And I am putting them off the best I can.

I think I have what the French call ennui (ahn-wee). The root word actually means to annoy. But it really is more a state of apathy, sloth, lay-on-the-couch, check-my-email-instead-of-doing-something-constructive.

I am normally a Get-Up-And-GO person (no, make that, I make get-up-and-go people get up and go). No really, I had a friend once tell me that my To-Do list for a day looked like hers for a week. I almost never sit down. Even if we are leaving the house in 10 minutes, there is *something* one can do in 10 minutes. After dinner instead of sitting in front of the TV, I put a tall stool next to the swift and unravel something. I knit in the bathroom or while I am walking. I have done so many loads of laundry while holding fussy babies, that my most recent baby thinks it is now her job to help do laundry. If I am practically dying with a cold or flu, I go lay on the kids' bed and make them clean their rooms. So , this is a very strange state for me.

I wonder if it will last!

Colossians 3:23-24
Do everything heartily, as if you were doing it for the Lord and not just for people, knowing that you will recieve a reward of inheritance from the Lord, because you serve the Lord Jesus Christ.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Yarn-y Yarns

Ok, Ok, I have been absent a couple days. I have been just swamped with orders. Well for a new shop, I think I am swamped. I have sold 18 skeins of yarn in a week. If I want a day off for "Shabat" that is 3 a day. Really I am unwinding sweaters and dyeing the yarns at just about that rate. Fortunately I did put in my shop announcement that I am mailing 2 days a week... good since I can use after-dinner time to prepare packets for shipping.

I am also behind in some other obligations... I have swaps that need returning to people and I am supposed to be in a block swap for quilting, that is due in 2 weeks. Need to get sewing.

I am knitting at just about every opportunity, including keeping a project in the bathroom, one in my walking bag and bringing one to bed. I can at least work on it until B is done nursing to sleep. She is SO not ready to wean yet.

I am also just about hooked on this spindling. The yarn I was working on the other day, that was so disappointingly mousy brown, turned out pretty nice actually, with a lot more navy in it and some nice red for interest. I have just enough of it to make a skiband or some other small project. Mittens for my 8 yos or something. Pic up there on the right...

And over on the left, you see the first hank of Crazy Batt. Wooo hooooo!! Is this one a wild ride! I bought the most awesome, random-fiber-and-stuff batts from WildThyme Yarns on etsy, and I am absolutely in love with them. As a matter of fact I bought 4 originally and went back and bought 2 more. Now I think I might have to go back and buy some more!! When I am done with this funky, colorful yarn I am going to knit myself a shrug.

Today was Birthday Party day for one of my daughters to go to, so I dropped the boys off at my sister's for an afternoon of unadulterated X Box and the girls and I ran around. I got 3 nice conservative short-sleeve plaid shirts for Richie at Jacques Penné for less than $5 each. And while I was spending money, got some Sculpey or the like, a soap dispenser for my kitchen, and a pair of deep plum brushed- denim jeans for me. Which will go great with a T and that shrug I'm gonna knit.

The "A Christmas Story" yarns are up. Sold some so quick I had to make new ones of them. I had goods in TWO Etsy treasuries this week, too! Stop by and see me, even if only to say Hey!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Yarns, New Yarns, New Yarn

Wow, this has been a yarny day. I sold 10 skeins of yarn and a felted eyeglass pouch since Saturday. It brought me down to like 5 or 6 skeins left in my shop! So with a sense of urgency, I went thru my sold items and relisted anything I had more of. And, I started putting up my A Christmas Story series of yarns.

I just love the classic movie A Christmas Story! This year is its 25th anniversary. You can look up trivia, see the restored house, and buy memorabilia at I am not affiliated but it is a lot of fun.

So here I am, I have like 7 hand dyed yarns ready and about 4 more in my head. I list 6 of them and sell 3 of them within 2 hours. The customer says she might get more of them but wants to wait and see what else I put up in the next couple days. I have Ralphie's Bunny Suit, Randy's Snow Suit, Dad Has Cursing Down to An Art, Fah-Ra-Ra-Ra-Ra and some more. Tonight I am too tired to list more, and want to get pics in the morning for natural light. So impatient needlers everywhere will just have to wait.

I started spinning another batt. The good ladies on Spindlers advised me to spin something that wasn't merino, because it is so soft and slippery. So I bought this gorgeous batt called Shenandoah and started to spin it. So far I am able to draft it better and the spinning is going quickly, I did about half the batt in about 1/2 hour last night.

But so far I don't like it! It just looks mousy brown to me. Some people are fans of brown... my dh likes it, says it is very calming (imagine my dh needing calm). But I am a Color person, and this yarn isn't turning me on at all. Not to mention that it isn't as soft. I could make Richie a pair of slippers I suppose, his feet aren't very sensitive and he likes BROWN. LoL.

First time in a week I didn't take any cold meds, vit. C or aspirin. Now my throat is sore and I am tired. So I think I will go prop up on the bed with some pointy sticks and string, and call it almost a night. Ecclesiastes 5:12, The sleep of a laboring man is sweet...

Stop by my Etsy shop and see the A Christmas Story yarns before they all disappear, ok?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Birthdays, Who Needs 'Em

Yesterday was dh's birthday. He is now 66, with an 18-month-old baby girl still running around the house. It doesn't phase him.

I took him to work... the plan was that I would come back to get him and we (just he and I, for a change) would go to the new Chinese buffet right up the street for a nice quiet celebratory dinner.

I felt better yesterday. And, when I got back from taking him to work and came in the house, it didn't stink. A welcome change, I'll tell you. But as is my usual habit, the minute I start feeling any better at all, I immediately do too much. So, I
  • unraveled, skeined and dyed part of a sweater
  • reskeined 3 other skeins of yarn to mix the colors
  • took pics of all the yarn and listed 2 of them on Etsy
  • made a triple chocolate cake from scratch
  • folded the last 3 loads of laundry
  • cleaned the living room

  • Meanwhile my eldest daughter called, and said, "Tony and Jeremiah stayed up until 1 AM making dad cookies for his birthday, so when the kids get up from their nap, we are going to come over so we are there when dad gets home to give them to him." And my sister called, and said, "We remembered that Richard likes blueberries, so Russ and I made him a cobbler and thought we might come by later to give it to him." Ok...

    So when I picked him up from work, I said... Change of Plans... and in his typical form he said OK... so I said, the Chinese place is probably terrible anyway.

    When we went to bed, he said it was a nice birthday. Really fun for everyone to be together (in our tiny little house) and talk and goof off and laugh. He was right. Sister reminded me that Thurs. my parents are supposed to be here and we are all going to a local BBQ place for dinner. So I guess that can be our little delayed birthday dinner out.

    Oh by the way, yesterday I also got accepted to the Etsy Knitters Street Team. And, by selling one of the new yarns I put up (within about 5 hours), I achieved 100 sales in my shop.

    So, a good day.

    Saturday, October 11, 2008

    A Moving Blob

    So what does a person do, who can barely breathe and therefore has no energy? Well I am not spindling today, and not unwinding yarn, both of which call for a more upright posture.

    I am taking it easy by sitting on the couch like a blob, with my trusty Dell beside me, and folding the 5 loads of laundry that were in the living room awaiting me this morning, and the 3 more I did during the course of the day.

    And, I am "letting" (let's just leave it at that) my 13yod, 10yod, 16yos, and almost-8 yos "change" their rooms. My eldest dd gave the girls a queen-size bed. They had a twin-over-full bunk but the 10yo said she thought she was allergic to the mattress. So in comes the queen size, which turns into a 3-day room-cleaning. The bunk bed parts come into the living room.

    Then 16 yos says, hey, Josiah and I could put the bunk bed in our room... so out come 2 antique metal twin frames and their mattresses, into the living room. Fill laundry baskets with shoes, stuffed animals, shoes, toys, clothes (wasn't I using those baskets?). Fill 3 trash cans with broken toys, junk, more junk. Move dresser. Find a home for the dumbbell weights. Trip to Megamart for underbed storage. Put the hulking bed together, cover mattresses with bed bags.

    All the while stirring up every air pollutant known to man. my keyboard in the setting sun looks like it snowed today, in the house. Maybe I should add antihistamine to the shopping list. Hopefully pretty soon my living room will look like a place one could live, too.

    Let everything be done decently, and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40


    I spent the morning at the DMV. My 2nd son is almost 17 and until recently was not really interested in driving. He said he wasn't ready. But we have to sign for new insurance on Monday and he has to either have a driver's permit by then or be excluded from the policy. So we spent 2 hours in a crowded DMV today.

    I looked like a hippie in my faded jeans with paint on them, Sonic Drive In shirt (which I earned the right to wear, on wheels, by the way) and long wild hair. But I sat there with my Dell and took advantage of the Free Public Internet like a Yuppie at Starbucks.

    He drove us home, about 12 miles. Then to the Home Depot, where I took over. No I-40 at rush hour in Knoxville at 70 miles an hour on your first day with a permit when you aren't on the insurance until Monday. No sir! But he took us from the church where I dropped one kid, to my daughter's house about 15 miles away, then to Walmart and back to her house, after dark. Did very well actually.

    This is my 3rd student driver, and he is a pretty level-headed kid. So I am not nervous. No, really. No REALLY!

    I am still coughing like Doc Holliday and the stench in my house has migrated from Burnt Sheep to Slightly Burnt and Kinda Sweet something weird. I am trying like mad to get some more yarns up, but I am plying this one and yesterday I was so dizzy from cough medicine that I couldn't sit on the tall stool without falling off.

    Maybe better luck tomorrow.

    And for a while, I can drive like a total nah-nah because I have a Student Driver sign on the back of my car. Just as well.

    Thursday, October 9, 2008


    I hab a code. But dot really, I do'd thig, because dobody else id by fabily is gettig sick. By daughter says it is just by body shuttig dowd agaid, requirig be to rest, because I hab beed doig too buch.

    Darlig Richie is off today. So I thig I will lie aroud on da bed ad play wid yard ad poidty sticks a little and sleeb. By house still stigs.

    Oh by da way... I hab da page up for da Weird and Ugly Fabric Challenge 14 quilts. Go see them and bote (vote!) Polls are oped until Oct. 15. Copy and paste:

    Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    Why Don't I Go Lie Down?

    Well to quote Dustin Hoffman as Hook, "I never lie... the truth is FAR too much fun."

    No, I don't think what I mean and what he means are the same thing, even though I love that quote.

    I am sick. I am coughing, my head is stuffed up, my throat is sore, I feel like I have a wad of stuff in the back of my throat and like I have a low-grade fever.

    So today I unwound and hand-dyed a HUGE skein of wool/angora, another of wool/nylon, a third, smaller (20 gram) of 100% cashmere and overdyed it, a fourth, 33gr of another 100% cashmere, and a fifth, 60-some grams of 100% lambswool in black. I am going to ply the cashmeres with the black (tomorrow!!) for selling.

    Also worked on pages and pages of webcode for the Weird and Ugly Fabric Challenge 14, wound 2 skeins into balls to fill an order (and wrapped them, and made the freebies to go with them). And cooked dinner... which also ended up including my sister, her dh and their 5yod. They "borrowed" my 16yos Artemas today and were returning him. While they were here, I made Strawberry Yogurt muffins from scratch. When they left, Darling Richie asked me, "Why don't you go to bed?"

    Well, I have to take meds again at midnight and I am too dang miserable to go to sleep for hours without them. So I will nurse the baby, check my Etsy, write my blog, sneak a little Black Raspberry Chocolate Chunk ice cream, and THEN go to bed... having had a full day, and feeling like I should curl up and die. (Though that ice cream made life a little more worthwhile, LoL.)

    Tuesday, October 7, 2008

    Don't Sacrifice A Sheep In Your Kitchen

    I had a yard sale Friday and started to have one Sat... Fri. night I started coming down with a cold or something (always do whenI go too long with not enough sleep) so Saturday I felt LOUSY.

    We closed up shop early and decided to take a drive... they do this thing twice a year here where there is like 100 miles of 411 that is one long continuous yard sale, so we decided to go drive some of it and see what we could see.

    While getting ready, one of my kids was in the shower so I put a hank of wool in a dye pot on the stove, thinking I would let it heat while she showered and in 10 min. or so turn it off and it could soak while we were gone. Got busy putting yard sale stuff away, grabbed the kids into the car and left.

    When we were out 2.5 hours I remembered the wool. We were half anhour from home; nobody we could call nearby to go in and turn it off and rescue me. Got here to find out house FILLED with smoke and the WORST stench (burnt sheep, or imagine taking 3.5 oz (100 gr) of someone's haircut and putting it on the burner). The wool was CHARCOAL.

    We opened all the windows, lit smelly jar candles, put fans in the doorways and stayed outside until church that night. Went to my sister's afterward, left some of my kids there (so they wouldn't have to sleep in the burnt smell) and came home. With my terrible lungs (respiratory allergies and having had pneumonia repeatedly) I don't need to breathe it either but dh wanted to come home to check things. So we shut our room off from the rest of the house with fans blowing fresh air through... I took some cough medicine. My house still REEKED of burnt sheep.

    Sunday I got up at 6AM and went to the local Wally World, bought 3 cans of Febreeze and another candle. Our room was actually worse than thebody of the house! When he went to work I went back tomy sister's house for the day.

    While at her house I finished my 2ndhandspun... 4 oz. of supersoft green/blue/brown/copper merino that I started out in the yard Saturday. Got it washed to set the twistand it looks like I got 97 yards but I still feel I am REALLY bad at this spindling.

    Plus I unraveled and skeined 2, 100-gram components of different sweaters. However I did NOT get my webcode written for the W/U Fabric Challenge. Blek. So much for getting anything done here. Here it is Tuesday and my house still smells slightly. We slept with all the windows open @ 53 degrees for the last 3 nights too.

    Next time I want to make a burnt offering, I think I will do it on the gas grill...

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008

    A Bad Day and Some Yarn-y Explanations

    Yesterday was an exhausting day. So today I got up with hopes it would be better, but no.
  • U
  • nwound, hand painted, and reskeined a new yarn and got the biggest tangle in it... turning a 15-minute job into a more-than-an-hour job.
  • Eldest ds calls from work (11 miles away) and says, By the way, I forgot my lunch AND the belt to my pants, can you bring them?
  • On the way out of the house, my eldest dd calls and says, that saw and sander Tony was gonna borrow? Since you are going to be out, can you meet me and give them to me? (Always a joy to see my grandbabies, so sure!)
  • Called the bank to ask for a new debit card, my old one expired yesteterday, and they tell me I am overdrawn. WHAT? turns out a draft that was scheduled to be taken out of my account on the 3rd (scheduled that way to be sure to always be covered by an automatic deposit that goes in on the 1st...), the bank decided to pay for us "early"on the 27th, when the auto-deposit wasn't in there yet... 2 Overdrafts @ $35 bank charge each... and the bank says, "Oh well!"
  • Our ins. just called, the renewal is in 2 weeks... they finally added eldest ds's Reckless Op from last year, and the premium went UP over $700 for 6 months... bringing the total to almost $1800 for 6 mos. WHAT? so she drew up quotes, Progressive was cheapest with $1200, but unlike the other companies, make you insure a kid as soon as they get a permit, not regular license. So now she has to requote with 2nd ds on there, since I just got the paperwork from their "school" to get his permit.
  • The quilting deadline that was like a guillotine yesterday, feels more like an Iron Maiden today. Gonna be a late night tonight, I can tell ya already.

    So, I got the very last of my Thanksgiving yarns up today. I didn't add Thanksgiving in the title, because this first one is a good lead-in to Winter. Also I have used a wicker chair as my background for my yarns, because it is earthy and visually interesting, without being distracting from the yarns. But for Winter, I am going to use white fluffy batting to look like snow. I am not sure yet if I like it or not... jury is still out on this one.

    I say all that to lead up to the yarn. I called it "Early Snow," and it is nearly white, with little hints here and there of the palest blues. A wonderful yarn, very fine but warm, with wool, rayon, angora, and cashmere. YUM-MAY!

    The first year we moved up here to E TN from FL, we came in October. Didn't know anyone, didn't have an umbrella school or regular church or any social connections really. We really only got 3 TV stations (badly) too, so entertainment was limited to what the 8 of us in our little pod could dream up, or videos. Our first Thanksgiving, we had our feast, spent the evening in pursuit of hobbies, and I put the kids to bed. Went to do the rest of the dishes... looked out the kitchen window (our entire house was on the 2nd floor), and there it was... SNOW! Big, fluffy flakes floating silently and peacefully down, covering the side field and irridescently lit by a distant neighbor's sodium light. After having not seen snow in nearly 20 years, it was like magic.

    I have recently posted a few yarns that have more acrylic than I usually pick up on my sweater-scrounging expeditions. I am not a yarn snob (REALLY), but I am into the finer fibers, and like to recycle them so that other dirt-road-broke people like me (WHAT? see 1st paragraph, LoL) can actually afford to knit with something nice.

    But these few new yarns still have some wool, or silk, or mohair. And really, really, I don't go to all the bother of unwinding a sweater, skeining, weighing, hand dyeing, reskeining, and listing yarns that I don't LOVE and think other people will love too. I personally knit at least a guage swatch out of each sweater I "rescue", just to see how it knits, if it breaks, is it wonderful?

    So if you are a yarn snob (you know who you are, LoL), don't look down your nose at some of the yarns in my shop. Really if they feel wonderful, look beautiful, and are a joy to knit with, I am going to harvest them and sell them. And if having a little acrylic makes them easier to care for, isn't that kind of a bonus? I still promise, these aren't your "megamart" yarns.

    So come visit my Etsy shop sometime, I am sure you will find a yarn that calls to your heart. The link is right up there on the left! :D