Tuesday, September 05, 2006

New beginnings

There's not much knitting news in here today....

Here in the U.S., summer is over. Today is the day after Labor Day and that means back to school for some. That includes me. This Friday, I'll return to seminary for my last year. I can hear the choir of angels singing now. Today marks a new beginning in that I begin my internship at the church where Hubby and I are members -- Good Shepherd United Methodist (http:www.goodshepherdumc.us). During this next year, I'll focus on adult education. From an early age, I have always wanted to be a teacher. I love teaching Sunday school and leading Bible studies. If only I can remember that teaching is not about the knowledge that you impart but about empowering others that everyone has the ability to learn.

Another new beginning, is that I have been asked to be a columnist for an e-zine published by Judith's Table (http://www.judithstable.org). I found this website a year-and-a-half and it was an answer to prayer. At that time I was really struggling with identifying with the teaching of some religious groups that dismiss the role that women have in the life of the church -- and most importantly -- in the world. My mantra during seminary has been that I was created in the image of God. To me that means that God is both male and female and so am I. My challenge has been with religious groups that teach something different. Judith's Table was one place where I learned to give myself permission to believe what I felt to be true. I hope you will check out the website where you will find amazing art, poetry, columns as well as an opportunity to support incarcerated women.

I posted several new items to my shop yesterday (http://www.sacredpathways.etsy.com). In the past two weeks the shop has done very well. I'm getting ready for a fall arts and crafts festival here in the area in late October. I'm into hats right now and will post some new pictures soon.

It's raining today and that brings back memories that everytime I have started a new job, it has rained on my first day. My this be a sign of good things to come.

Blessings today to you.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Allow me to introduce you to...

I realized yesterday that I haven't posted any photos of my three darling cats.

Achilles, a fifteen (16 next month) year-old calico. Nickname: Killie Willie. I discovered Achilles at the Richmond SPCA when she was four weeks old. She is the queen of the house. Don't let her petite size or her age fool you. She can jump like a kitten and roar like a ferocious lioness. She comes to you on her own terms but has never met a stranger she didn't like. Here she is helping her Dad play his nightly game of Spider solitaire.


Holly, aka Holly Louise or Holly Wolly, is a twelve-year-old grey, tan and white calico, with the exact opposite personality of Achilles. Quiet and shy, Holly will run at the first sound of thunder or a stranger's voice. She is however, the knitty kitty. Wherever I am, there is Holly. She tries to curl herself up into whatever knitting project I'm working on. Mohair is her favorite fiber. Holly was hubby's cat before we were married. She is still quiet aggravated that two other cats invaded her home, but she is quiet pleased with her Momma.

Last but not least, China, aka China Baby, is
a nine-year-old solid black little panther cuddle kitty. China is the shyest cat of the three, she never makes a sound, except for the occasional baby meow. She and Holly do not like each other - the sibling rivalry is intense. They sleep on opposite sides of the bed and walk wide circles around one another. China has a black spot on the inside of her mouth. She loves to sit on hubby's lap and watch NCAA basketball or curled up under his arm under the covers on a cold winter's night.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Happy Feet

I have happy feet today. I finally finished my first pair of socks and I love them.

The yarn came from Dani at Knitting Sunshine (see links to her Etsy shop and blog on the right). The colorway is earthy tones of mauve, brown, cream, green, teal, grey and combinations in between. While there is pooling on the right sock, I think it looks like a lightening bolt. I used the Magic Loop method and cannot say enough about how easy it was to knit with one needle. The first sock I knitted under the tutelage of Peggy Harvey at Unraveled (my favo knit shop - link to the right). The second sock I started during my trip to Bosnia in May and then put aside until a few weeks ago. The heal turn on the second sock was ripped out at least 4 times before I went to Peggy with pleas of needing help. In 30 minutes we had the heal problem figured out and off I went to finish the sock.
Yesterday I was looking for a small project to work on and out came the sock. I cannot wait to wear these this fall and winter.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

An amazingly accurate description of myself

This is too weird - I just typed in my birthdate and here is the most accurate description of myself. I need more coffee to help process this.

Your Life Path Number is 6
Your purpose in life is to help others
You are very compassionate, and you offer comfort to those around you.It pains you to see other people hurting, and you do all in your power to help them.You take on responsibility, and don't mind personal sacrifice. You are the ultimate giver.
In love, you offer warmth and protection to your partner.
You often give too much of yourself, and you rarely put your own needs first.Emotions tend to rule your decisions too much, especially when it comes to love.And while taking care of people is great, make sure to give them room to grow on their own.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Spinning in more ways than one

Around here during the last two weeks of July and the first week of August, little gets done except the harvesting of the bounty from our garden. We live in a suburban neighborhood so you can imagine a pretty good size garden is the talk of the area. For the first time this year, my DH planted corn.

This is not the best picture, on the morning (July 17) I took this my digital camera fog up because of the coolness inside the house and the heat from outside. Not only did this small patch of corn produce more than 250 ears (!) it has also been a wonderful privacy fence. Behind the corn is a busy road that goes by our backyard.

Here is a look at one of the first ears - this is Silver Queen White Corn and it is the sweetest corn.

Back to the 250 ears, in addition to giving the corn away to just about anyone who came by, we also canned, froze full ears as well as ears cut off the cob. As life would have it, most of the corn came in while DH was out of town. Next came the cucumbers in which we canned 40 plus pints of 7 day (which became 8 day) pickles.

We have tomatoes too - 40 plus quarts of salsa were produce by these beauties.

This is a combination of Better Boy (awesome sandwich tomatoes) and Rutgers (amazing canning tomatoes).

As much as I love the garden and knowing that I rarely need to buy a vegetable from the store, by this time of the year, I'm earnestly praying for it to slow down.

I'm also spinning because I'm balancing finishing projects for the upcoming winter season, cardigan for DH to wear to the family Christmas dinner and a few of my personal projects.

Next week I will really be spinning as I take spinning lessons. One of the goals of mine for this summer was to learn to spin. Saturday at the Goochland Rural Market (http://www.centerforruralculture.org/rural_market.htm). I ran into local hand weaver, hand spinner and wet felter Cheri Hankins (http://mediablog.mail2web.com/maidensweaver/blog/ )and it looks like she has a spinning class for the next four Tuesdays. I cannot tell you how excited I am.

Speaking of the Goochland Rural Market, DH and I plan to be vendors there next year. He is a native of Goochland and while we live one county away, Goochland is still our home.

I'm also taking a Learn to Weave Weekend with her at the Visual Arts Center in Richmond (http://www.visarts.org/classes/summer/fiber#class_240). I don't think the class is full so if you are in the Richmond area check it out.

Finally, I'm spinning because I have one month left before I begin my last year in seminary - can you hear the heavenly choir singing! Next month I begin an eight month internship at my church. I'm excited to be focusing on adult education and feel it will be an excellent place to learn, grow, make mistakes and ask for a lot of grace.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

It's hot. Nothing more to say about the heat. I'm trying to cool off by getting winter items ready for a fall Arts and Craft Festival as well as my own open house in November. After looking at my collection of knitted items, it's clear that I am an earthy person. I read somewhere that you knit the colors of where you live. For me, I think I knit the colors of where my heart desires to be. It is beautiful here in Central Virginia, but I am a mountain girl at heart. There is nothing like the Appalachian mountains and I long to live there again. Until then, I will continue to knit the colors of my heart to satisfy my longing.

This is what I've been up to this summer... all items are listed on my Etsy site.

White Angora Scarf

This yarn was purchased at the Spring Fiber Festival in Sedalia, VA (see link to the right) this past spring from "Gatherings" from VA. When I find their card I'll post a link to their site.

Spice Neck Cozy

Another creation made possible by the beautiful yarns of Manasi from Monsoon Winds (http://www.yarnahoy.etsy.com)

Earthy Beaded Scarf

Again, from Monsoon Winds

At Waters' Edge Stole/Scarf - a blend of novelty yarns of blue and brown fur and a yarn with a blend of ribbon, fur and stretchy nylon.

All That Glitters Stole/ Scarf

A blend of metallic ribbon and fur yarn.

Until yet next time....

Friday, June 23, 2006

Peachy, Peachy and Waves of Fall Shawls

I love shawls and hope to have one for every day of the year. Even though we live in the south and the weather is hot to mild I can never have enough shawls.

The first pattern is Fiber Trends "Leaf Lace Shawl". I'm using a variegated mercerized cotton I found in Sarajevo (see earlier posting). I purchased the pattern from my fav yarn shop "Unraveled" in Richmond (www.unraveledrichmond.com). It will take forever for me to slow down enough to work on this shawl, but hopefully it will be finished by next summer. The pattern shows the shawl in a solid yarn and variegated yarn.

The next shawl will be of my own design. I've been collecting yarn for this shawl since last year's Fall Fiber Festival in Montpelier VA (link to the right). The first photo is of all of the yarn that will be in the shawl. What a stash. Manasi, you should recognize many of your yarns in here.

Here's the breakdown...

Handspun, handpainted boucle' from my favorite spinner at Monsoon Winds - link to the right. This is a blend of tomato, orange and rust. It is soft as downy.

Next.....Another Monsoon Winds yarn - a heavier weight boucle' with muted shades of peach, yellow and orange

And another Monsoon Winds - this one was a surprise within a purchase... The Monsoon Winds yarn is the small yarn across the Fuzzy Mohair by Dancing Leaf Farm (www.dancingleaffarm.com) from Barnesville, MD. The mohair was the first yarn I purchased at the Fall Fiber Festival. The green ribbon yarns were purchased at Unraveled and are Kristha nylon ribbon from Italy.

Another purchase in Sarajevo - this is Unitas' Mirabela. This yarn was made in Zagreb, Croatia (the Croatia photos in the previous posting were of Zagreb). This is a mercerized cotton and is a medium peach. To the right is another treat from Monsoon Winds - dark rust, red, cooper - thick to thin weight.

Another Fiber Festival find... 100% Australian Superwash Merino from Three Waters Farm in Carrboro, NC (www.threewatersfarm.com). To the left is the Monsoon Winds yarn mentioned directly above and to the right is the first yarn described.

A final Fiber Festival delight from Three Waters Farm - Alpaca/Wool 60/40 bulky boucle'

The final yarn is in the first photo. It is 11 yards of "Tango" that was in a stash from Monsoon Winds (I think?). If you click on the photo you will see it in the upper right nestled between the Three Rivers Farm yarns. It is a bright tomato red with a thread of gold metallic.

As for the design of the shawl I will cool some of these colors with a dark brown from Cascades. My idea is to use the heavier weighted yarns from the neck down gradually descending to the lighter weight yarns. I'll mix stitches to produce a sturdy but airy shawl. This will be completed by this year's Fall Fiber Festival. I may even enter it into competition.

Off to get ready for the 17th Street Farmer's Market in Richmond. Tomorrow will be my first day there. I'll be there a few Saturday's throughout the summer and fall. Hope to see you there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Where have I been for two months?

Two months. I can't believe it has been two months since I was last here. For 15 days in May I was in Bosnia - I saw sheep everywhere but this was the only photo I have of a shepherd with his flock. The man graciously posed for this picture.

I was also in Serbia, even though this photograph is
the idealic pastoral scene, Serbia still has remnants of the 1990s Former Yugoslavian war.

Croatia, ah, Croatia.

You may be asking why did I spend 15 days in a war-torn country? One of the requirements of my Master's of Divinity program is to participate in a Mission Immersion Experience (MIE). The trip in particular was perfect for me because the focus was learning about peacemaking and reconciliation. I am a long-time advocate of social justice (human rights, peace, women's rights) and this trip allowed me to bring together my passion for justice and my heart for peace.

I was able to knit and photos will be forthcoming. I started a cardigan for my husband and completed the back and right front before I ran out of yarn. I started the second sock mentioned in an earlier post, which is almost finished now. And I half-finished a Feather and Fan mohair shawl - now completed and waiting to be blocked.

Finding yarn was a little difficult but I managed to find this soft mauve/pink for a Feather and Fan scarf - hmm, can you tell that Feather and Fan have become my new favorite pattern?

The next posting will show yarn for two shawls.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

I found this while reading http://www.fibernut.com/blog. When I took the quiz, it told me I'm a "Plain Ole Cup of Joe".

You Are a Plain Ole Cup of Joe
But don't think plain - instead think, uncomplicatedYou're a low maintenance kind of girl... who can hang with the guysDown to earth, easy going, and fun! Yup, that's you: the friend everyone invites.And your dependable too. Both for a laugh and a sympathetic ear.

I think that does describe me pretty accurately. What kind of coffee are you? http://ynr.blogthings.com/whatkindofcoffeeareyouquiz/

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Three weeks left in the semester, nine days until Earth Day and it's Easter weekend. I've been knitting more than I've been blogging lately. I'm trying to get ready for Earth Day next weekend. This will be the first time I've been a vendor. For anyone in the Richmond area, we will be under the name, "Three Girls and A Dream". It's exciting and yet scary at the same time.

Some of the recent items I've knitted are listed on my site at:

A scarf I call "And Then There Was Water" - it reminds me of what the water might have looked like when the world was first created.

Another item is a scarf called "Fall in Appalachia"

I also finished a shawl called "Summer Dreamin' "

I've also finished two stoles that I've not taken pictures of because I'm trying to figure out how to best photograph them.

Still working on my socks with yarn from
http://www.sunshineyarns.etsy.com. I'm almost finished with the first sock. My hope is to begin the second sock before I leave for my mission trip in May. I also have some dishcloth yarn for the trip. I'm looking for small projects for the plane trip and van rides.

Last night started a scarf with the red silk I used in the "Let's Go Wanderin' " Purse posted in an earlier entry. I also purchased a boucle' from Manasi at
http://www.yarnahoy.etsy.com that is the same colorway as the jeweled tone silk in the purse. Hope to have pictures posted soon.

After this show, I'm ready to move beyond scarves -- but I do love them as short projects in between more complicated longer projects. My goal for the summer is shawls, more purses begin Donald's sweater and more socks. Everyone on my Christmas list is getting socks this year. Oh yea, I'm not finished with scarves yet - I purchased some beautiful mohair this past weekend at the Sedalia Spring Fiber Festival (more about that in another posting).

Got to go to class.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

I can't believe my Spring Break was last week. After being back in class for a few days, I'm ready for another break. I'll have new pictures up this weekend of all that my needles have been clicking away on - a new scarf/stole that is light as a feather, almost completed one sock - my first ever! I have about 10 other projects I'm ready to begin. Today my friends Mary, Renee and I found out that we are going to be vendors at the Richmond Earth Day festival on April 22 (www.richmondearthday.org) . We're vending under the name "Three Girls and A Dream". We're excited about the opportunity but panicky at the same time. So much to do.

Off to class. I'm going to Bosnia, Croatia and Serbia for 15 days in May as a part of my studies at seminary. Our group is meeting weekly to prepare and to learn more about the area. I can't wait to search for yarn while I'm there. I also hope there will be a knitter (or more) in the family I'll be staying with while I'm there. My heart breaks for the torture and treatment of the people, especially the women.

Feel a little scattered but my head is buzzing with trip and knitting projects. More this weekend.

Almost forgot - all green items in my shop
www.sacredpathways.etsy.com are on sale through tomorrow. An April sale will begin soon.

Monday, March 20, 2006

I haven't been here in a while and I've missed sorting through my thoughts. My brother and his family were visiting with us the past few days. What blessed fun having a three-year-old roaming around the house!

I was able to knit, a little. I'm getting yarn together to begin knitting socks. Hope to have some pictures up tomorrow.

Just finished the wildest thing I've knitted to date. I call it the "Phyllis Diller Get Your Purse" Bag. I know I'm dating myself but it reminds me of a hat or purse that Phyllis Diller would wear or carry. I came up with the name after thinking about the musical "Annie Get Your Gun". Here's a picture. I've listed it on my esty site at
http://www.sacredpathways.etsy.com. The bag is a combination of blueish green wool and blue green fun fur. I like the shape of the bag and will probably knit one for myself without the fun fur.

The handsewn lining is a cotton polyester blend with blue and green flowers trimmed in gold.

Having difficulty loading pictures today. All photos of this bag are on the etsy site.

It was a fun bag to knit. It was knit in the round. I learned how to knit an I-Cord for this purse. Once I figured out the method, it was easy.

The more I look at this bag, the more it reminds me of family gatherings - a little wild and hairy but strong and stable.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The red silk purse is finished! It's going up on the Etsy site after I finish this posting. The finished bag measures 81/4" L by 7 1/2" W with a 35" strap. I think it took longer to sew in the lining than it took to knit the bag - where is my mother when I need her???

Here's the picture of the finished product. Manasi (creator of the yarn), I hope I did justice to your spectacular yarn.

Next projects to finish: the fuzzy blue green felted bag as well as the hot pink and black purse for a special teenager!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It's sunny and cold here in Richmond. The birds are dancing outside my window - it's as if they are saying "Let us in!" I'm almost finished with the red bag. Of course, it is not turning out at all like I thought it would. I imagined a lovely clutch evening bag, but as the pattern began to emerge,

it has become a 7x7 bag with a skinny shoulder strap. I have three more rows to knit and then I can block and sew together and add a 36-48" shoulder strap. I'm lining the bag with a dark blue lining.

The vibrant colors remind me of Tibet, Afghanistan or India (The native home of Manasi who created this silk yarn). I love that this bag has an international flair and that each stitch is tightly held together by another stitch. Knitting really does represent life. I shouldn't be surprised that the bag has turned out to be something more wonderful than I imagined, because isn't that how life is? Life never turns out as I imagine and when I let God take control, I just need to hang on for the ride!

Off to class. I can't wait to finish this bag. It should be on my Etsy site by the weekend. I hate parting with items such as this but I know the owner has already been picked out, even if they don't know it yet.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I've resisted knitting all day because I'm suppose to be working on a paper for theology class. Just as I suspected, as soon as I picked up my knitting needles the structure of the paper came to me. There is something mysterious about the power of slowing down and focusing while knitting.

I wanted to post these photos before I went back to the paper. The yarn I'm using came from
www.yarnahoy.etsy.com. The first yarn is called "Almost Bloody Mary" and it is handspun Silky Ingeo vegetarian yarn. Ingeo is corn fiber. I agree with Manasi's description in that the color is a shade somewhere between wine & tomato! The second yarn is called "Jewels of the Nizam". The color in this handpainted silk yarn are red, purple, blue and green. I can just see a royal crown made of these colors.

I bought this yarn a month ago and have been sitting with it contemplating what it would become. The longer I wait the more I see an evening clutch bag. I knitting the two yarns together because silk yarn is very fragile and I do not want it to split or not be able to withstand use. I plan to line the bag with black silk.

Attached is the first photo of the swatch I made a few minutes ago.
At first I thought I would use a size 6 needle but the swatch is too bulky. After switching to a size 4 I like the tightness of the stitches and the way it lays flat. I only knitted two rows of stockinette stitch but I can already tell that will be the stitch I use for the bag. It is difficult to see in this photo the difference in the stitch size. Also, the photo makes the yarn look a little orangey but it really does look like a blend of dark red wine and a juicy tomato!

The colors are so vibrant - I can only imagine how stunning this will look with a summer linen dress or silk shawl.

The second photo shows my notes on how I determined the stitch to use.

Okay, I'm really going to finish my paper - it's due at 11 tomorrow.
March 1, 2006

This is the first blog I've ever written. It has taken me a while to enter into the blogging world but I wanted to create a space where I could journal my thoughts about my knitting. I began knitting seven months ago as a way to grieve the loss of my brother Alan. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I made scarves, hats, and blankets for family and friends. I soon realized that in order to continue purchasing yarn, I'd have to sell some items that I make. I've opened my own shop on Etsy -
www.sacredpathways.etsy.com and I'm having a blast. My prices include the cost of the yarn and a nominal labor charge. For me, it's not about the selling of the items. Instead, it's about creating something that will allow the receiver to have an opportunity to enter in a personal space to meet with the Sacred. That's how I came up with the name SacredPathways. We each have a pathway waiting for us, it is our choice to enter the path.

Today I'm beginning a multicolored silk purse. The colors of the yarn are red, green, blue -- with red as the predominant color. I purchased the yarn from
www.yarnahoy.etsy.com. Manasi has the most beautiful yarns, mainly because she draws from her native India as she creates the most vibrant colors I've ever seen. I'll post a picture of the yarn tomorrow as I begin to knit the purse.

Two of my dear friends, Mary (www.divinelydesigned.etsy.com) and Renee (still working on her shop's name) are or have opened their own shops as well. I can't wait to hear about the blessings they receive by sharing their creative creations with others.

I look forward to connecting with others, those who are knitting, grieving or just celebrating life.