Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Yarn is Coming, The Yarn is Coming!

Today is the day I receive my first shipment of yarn from Universal Yarn. Woohoo! Or should I say, OMG, where will I put it? My sister, Rheta, made the three-and-a-half hour trip with me Monday to Concord, NC to make my first purchase. I was so impressed with the kind treatment from the staff there. They were all very enthusiastic and helpful with the order. We were shown (and touched and squeezed) skein after skein of the most beautiful yarns. And then came the selection process. I think it'll get easier, but for the first time, there were some hard decisions to be made. Every type of yarn really wanted to go home with me; I could just hear them whispering, "Pick me, pick me." The Universal line is so extensive. If you can't find a yarn you'll just love from them, you're not looking hard enough, or at all. When the final order was completed, we realized that we'd been sitting for about four hours! We'd totally missed lunch and didn't have time for the yarns to be pulled before heading back to Goldsboro. It was just as well as we were exhausted by the time we got back to my house. Poor Rheta still had a little drive to get home. I can't stop thanking her enough for making the trip with me since she has been suffering from a bad cold. I'll start posting pictures of the yarn on the website, The Irresistible Ewe, and hope to have it fully operational within the next two weeks. I'm posting pictures of the conference room. Here I am, exhausted and overwhelmed, but extremely happy that I made it this week before school starts back again.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve at My Parents'

Christmas Eve is always spent with family at my parents' house. I wanted to share warm times and a special holiday greeting.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Wishes

I have to apologize for being so quiet over the past month. My husband and I have both been through minor surgical procedures and with school in December, and trying to set up the new website, I've been really swamped. Still, I wanted to wish my readers happy holidays and a joyous New Year. Hanukkah has already passed, so I'm late with the wishes there. We are still making latkes, so that stretches it out a bit longer:). Christmas Eve at my parents is always nice with the family together. If I can get rid of the rest of my cold, I'll be there eating my sister's sweet potato casserole and my mother's buttermilk pie. I've been asked to make the steamed spinach again this year.
I haven't forgotten to write more about this year's SAFF. I have great video footage coming up for the podcast viewers/listeners. The website - The Irresistible Ewe is coming along. I have an appointment with Universal Yarns December 28 and should come back with a carload of yarn which will immediately go up on the website. An open house is planned for January to kick off the new business.
Enjoy your holidays. Keep crafting. Spend as much time with loved ones as you can, even if they're the furry or feathered types. I'll see you in the New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Art Fire Sale

I've put everything in my Art Fire shop on sale, 10% off, through December 31. I have one of each of these items, so check out the sales. I tried to place one of the scarves on my new website: The Irresistible Ewe today, but google sites won't accept pay pal buttons. Hmmm... Do I need another host website?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Surprise Gift

I received a beautiful gift from one of the other Exceptional Children's teachers and her assistant yesterday. I was very taken with the thought that went behind the gift as well as the gift itself. The arrangement was done in an Apache -made pottery bowl. They had included hand-made soaps (made by my friend herself). What really struck me were the floral pieces included. There was a sprig of eucalyptus from her backyard and also, a couple of pieces of dried pine straw.
I grew up in North Carolina where pine trees and pine straw are abundant. Everyone here knows the value of pine straw as mulch for flower beds. I'd never considered it as a design element, but it did lend an almost zen look to the piece.
We tend to ignore, or take for granted, those everyday things in our environment. When I've gone on websites looking for gourd decorations in the past, I've always been drawn to items from exotic locations. I don't usually think of using items I could easily grow myself in my own backyard.
I love to tell the story of a time when I was living in Pennsylvania and was shopping in a floral shop for decorative items. There on the shelf was a box filled with Sweet Gum pods, being offered for sale for 3/$1.00. I still laugh about that. Here in the South, although the Sweet Gum tree is a wonderful shade tree (and was my favorite climbing tree as a kid), we Southerners tend to snatch up every Sweet Gum tree sapling that tries to grow in our yards. Why, you ask? Because those 3/$1.00 gum balls really hurt when you step on them. They're in the way when you want to cut the grass, and they can sprout up everywhere. We don't exactly consider the design elements they could give when the little spikes are sticking into the bottoms of our feet. But, maybe we should.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fixing a Problem on the Rectangular Loom

I had a recent question about how to fix a mistake on a piece which was knitted on a rectangular loom and which has already been bound off. I wasn't sure myself and found a nice website called Loom Knitting Help. I wrote to Rebecca who writes the articles for this site. She has sent me the following information:

"As far as corrections, if it had been for a round loom, I could have uploaded corrections right away as I already have these written up. Making corrections to knitting on a knitting board such as a purple Knifty Knitter is more problematic. As you know, the knitting board works double knitting with a single strand of yarn, creating two interlocked fabrics by knitting, slipping wyib and then purling. The two parallel rows are wrapped and worked at the same time. It's much easier to correct double knitting worked with needles that uses the knit, slip wyib, purl method since it uses two strands of yarn and you can correct each strand. (I am aware that you can create double knitting with two strands of yarn on the knitting board and that there are a couple of different methods to do this but most people just use one strand.)

I think you may have missed in my last mail that I asked that you send me the exact problem. At this point, all I know is that the project has been bound off. Without knowing the issue, the only thing I can suggest is to remember "knit, slip wyib, purl" as the basic two connected stitches (front->back) for correction. Depending on the stitch, you may have more than one slip. She'll need to use a crochet hook to rework the stitches and will need to intertwine the stitches properly. If you can send me more information, I'd be happy to try to work up step by step instructions for her. There are quite a number of other corrections that I should write up for LKH for knitting boards, too."

Since I don't exactly know what the problem was, this is all I can do right now. I'd welcome any more input from anyone. I like the way Rebecca has also included some stitch corrections. I'll have to keep these in mind. Thanks so much, Rebecca for the help.