Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Crafty Flower Vase

I love cut flowers in the house. For years I was scared to plant flowers (Renting and moving.) Now that the ground is mine to plunder *wink* I'm learning how to grow a new type each year. Every time I see them they make me smile. But where to put them? Not in the HUGE rose vases and something nicer than a drinking cup...hmm maybe a jelly jar.

What you'll need:
  • Canning Jar with metal Ring
  • Net bag from Produce (Onions, Lemons, Clementines)
  • Scissors
  • Flowers
  • Miracle grow (just a pinch)

Place the mesh over the mouth of the jar and screw on the ring.
Cut off excess.
Add a pinch of miracle grow. (or other cut flower food)
Arrange flowers.

The mesh gives you a little control on how the flowers will group. (Like floral foam)

Love you,

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chiengora (Dog fiber yarn)

Freykja -German Shepherd

Brian works with another Brian (LOL we know about 6 of them) that has German Shepherds. FOUR Shepherds. So there's a goldmine of fiber in that connection.

His wife, Colbie, send my Brian home with a bag of combings and this is what they looked like.

 I was so excited till I spun up a sample and noticed:

It's full of guard hairs. (click for detail) Those straight pieces are what give wool it's prickle factor. My pug's coat is completely guard hair...that's why it's unspinable. There's no open cuticles to "grab" and it's so stiff that it won't bend into yarn. But the down of a Shepherd is marvelous. So I've got to figure out a way to get ALL that guard hair out of it. After some frustrated tweezing sessions, I wondered how it'd spin with the hairs in it. NOT WELL. It's so prickly that I think I'll knit this into a practice swatch and look for another way to separate the wool from the hair.

And last, but not least, this is Frekyja. Isn't she beautiful?


It's still hot here. It's so warm that even INSIDE the AC is having a hard time keeping up.

If you have any ideas about how to dehair fiber, let me know! LOL
Love, Ang

Handspun Shawl

I'm a new spinner...without a hands-on guru to mentor me...so I learn by mistakes. I'm trying to curb my spinning zeal and spin, knit it up, spin, knit it up, etc. That way I can find out what flaws I need to correct BEFORE I spin up all my fiber stash.

This is one of those projects. The brown is Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud laceweight. I held it doubled and knit till I was completely out of yarn. Then I added on my handspun and knit till I couldn't complete another full row. (I have about 6-8 yards left over. I'm going to crochet a coaster and use all of it up.)

Here's its journey:

It started out a braid of fiber that I bought ($10.75) at the Arkansas Fiber Extravaganza

I didn't split the braid in half...so one skein is lighter than the other.

Here it is finished and blocking out (you have to pin it open when it's wet to make the eyelets pop open.)


A Shawl Tab (Only interesting to about one person)

I'll upload a modeling picture of it when it's not a) dark or b) +90 degrees outside.
Love ya,

Sunday, July 29, 2012

GeekSquad / Knitting

Jesse just finished up another Geek Squad Summer Academy. This is his second year. (and is already talking about next year!) He befriended the head Geek? and was nicknamed the "Warden."

When I was introduced he told me: "I was so excited to see the Warden again this year. I didn't recognize him. He's so much taller and has so much hair!"

I have a picture of the two of them on Jesse's camera. It's old school and needs a card reader to collect the pictures. I'll have to wait till Brian wakes up and can download them.

Tweenbear and Henry. They met at the OMK:Operation Military kids 4H camp in May.

Quite a large turnout.

What is Geek Squad Summer Academy? Geek Squad Summer Academy is a community sponsored event by Best Buy. At Geek Squad Summer Academy, we partner with local non-profit organizations to teach students about the latest technology in a fun, interactive environment. Team building activities in classes such as PC Build, Programming, Digital Photography, Digital Music and Connected World build friendships and self-confidence.

I also used these two "days off" to finish one of my large projects. I love scrappy quilts. So I decided to use my sock yarn leftovers to knit up a wrap. My girlfriends also contributed to the effort. I got to use a lot of yarn that was outside of my price range. MMMM

I love it! It turned out fantastic.

I always love finishing up a HUGE project. After a while they feel like a monkey on your back. (*Laugh* but you have too much time invested to just set it aside...so you slog through it.)

Anyway...that's what we did this week. I'm ready for the heat to break. My garden is finally starting to take off. My peppers are flowering and my jellybean tomatoes are covered with goodies.

Love, Ang

Happy 11th Birthday, Tween Bear

Haha I'm not allowed to call him "Babybear" or "LittleBear" anymore. So he's stuck with this...

I do NOT like the heat...either do the boys. So we've been hibernating in the house this summer. I couldn't get TB interested in anything (4H, Chess Club, Swim club) so we made a whole day of his birthday. His best friends are down in Louisiana, and he didn't want a party.

We took him to the Children's Science museum here in LR. It was a win/win deal...Brian got us all in FREE with an Active Duty military ID card. (until Labor Day, I think) So we took our time and saw EVERYTHING. They had a tornado exhibit that was scary. Basically it's a mockup of a basement and they simulate a tornado. (Booms, lightning, crashes and the sound of a piano getting thrown around) I could feel my heart start thumping...gosh, I hate those things.

How many is a Million?  This exhibit really puts that into perspective.

Afterwards we went to lunch at Bosco's Brewery and had the best stonebrick pizza since Italy. I love a really thin cracker crust pizza. mmm

Then off to the Archery store to get him his present. He's been wanting a bow for a while. I just wish the weather would cool down so he can go out and enjoy it. Today it was 107. And in the sun it's just intolerable.

Finally an icecream cake (:o( he didn't want a home made one) with BLACK icing. ***Gah***

Yes, I realize how bad my icing skills are and that I put a 12 on there. Jesse was talking to me about his 12th birthday and what he wants to do. So I wrote what I was thinking: twelve...duh

Happy Birthday!!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Crap I know!

It seems the older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know. So when I finally learn something important...it makes my day.

Here's what I learned today: I really hate knitted doilies. I would prefer to knit lacy, beautiful pieces of art instead of crocheting them, but they suck trying to block out. (stretch out) Crochet doilies are perfect. You get them wet, lay out flat, and they stay that way.  ::Laugh:: But these are, as my girlfriend would say, VERY first world problems. A knitted doily will keep scratches off of furniture just as well as a crocheted one.

I also found my local Asian food market. YAY! I've been out of Jasmine tea since Italy. (I'm too snobby to drink it in bags.) Jasmine tea always reminds me of Paris. The park around the Eiffel Tower is covered in Jasmine bushes and they were in bloom when we were there. I remember closing my eyes and thinking: "How freaking cool is this?! A little podunk girl from Nebraska here smelling the jasmine in Paris."

The blurry object to the lower right is a pair of training chopsticks. I'm going to teach Jesse a life lesson. hehe

Stay cool and go leave a butter tub of water outside for the critters.
love, Ang 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Jesse's Cheshire

I'm working on massive projects right now. And in the depths of summer, my knitting mojo starts to dwindle. So I turned to fiber spinning to fill the creative void until fall comes to rescue me.

-My fiber back story-
When we were first married, we had a German Sheppard that would blow his coat yearly. I remember sitting in a three inch pile of combings thinking “This has got to be good for SOMETHING…I wish I knew what to make from it.”

Fast forward 11 years….my cat, Patches, was dying of a cancerous mass on her spine. For the last two weeks of her life she loved, and allowed herself, to be brushed. (I think she gave me those weeks as a goodbye gift.) I was shattered. I still have that bag in my fiber stash, waiting for the day I have enough skill to spin it properly.

So although I spin wool because it’s so easy to get your hands on….my passion is spinning companion animal fiber (rabbits, dogs, cats) My girlfriends tease me about trying to “pluck” their pets. shrug They’re not too far off.

Anyway, that’s my journey to where I am today. I enjoy the process of spinning, but I feel that I’m just fumbling around (in the dark) with it. All of my instruction has been through Youtube videos and books/videos.
-End of Spinning back story- (copied from my introduction on Ravelry.com -Central Arkansas Spinner's Guild)

Well, I've been saving my cat fur combings for a while now.  And I had enough spun up for a small project. I finished the little cat (of cat fur..lol) a few days ago and kept noticing that she'd go "walkabout" from her place on my dresser. So, of course, I had to make the little thief one of his own.

He chose the eyes. They were leftover safety eyes from when I knit him a snake. And, according to Jesse, is called "Cheshire" from Alice in Wonderland (but he doesn't have a grin...go figure!)

(Um yeah, I still haven't convinced him that he needs a haircut.)

So, do I have my mojo back....no. But I'm getting closer.

Stay cool, everyone. 
Love, Ang