Saturday, July 25

Help name me, critters! & the garden

Designing, knitting, spinning, crocheting, and working on organizing my craft room are keeping me busy. (And I clean my house, shop for groceries, do laundry, cook, and lots of other things on top of this.) I can no longer stand how cluttered my craft room is. Last weekend, I packed almost everything out of the room and started over. I bought a bunch of stackable wire crates and created a wall for my yarn stash. (Three bins worth that I am not keeping are in my trade/sell folder on Ravelry.) I sorted all the scrap yarn I use for cat toys into some stackable bins I got on sale. I still have to sort through bins of fabric and decide what to keep and what to get rid of. Then go through my shelf of craft books (knitting, crocheting, spinning, sewing, and quilting). I have too many hobbies! I'll post some pics when I get everything whipped into shape. It will be nice to have an organized room where I can find what I need and have room to work. :)

This week I've been working on a crocheted triangle shawl. The pattern is finally worked out. I had some difficulty visualizing how the increases needed to work. Now I have to make a full sized version to see how much yarn is needed for the shawl.

Some projects in the works are a new scarf design that without a name. Here's what half of it looks like. It has arrows going up, down, sideways, a zigzag and a lace edge. I knit the sample with only one ball of Jojoland Melody. This will be a charted only design since the lace pattern is so simple. I'm working on instructions for turning the scarf into a stole to as an extra with the pattern. Any suggestions for names? Leave a comment below. If I choose the name you suggest, you'll get a free pdf copy of the pattern when it's ready to go.

Another one is a felted tote bag. Sigh, it doesn't have a name either. (Suggest away!) I'm actually working on several felted bag designs. I have so many designs in the various stages that I'm losing track of how many there are. LOL!

This is beginning to look like a year without summer for us. Our temps are probably 10-15 degrees below what they should be. Everytime we get close to normal temps, they take a nose dive again. We could really use some rain. We did get 4/10ths of an inch last night which helped.

Here's is some of the first veggies from our garden this year. I picked one zucchini earlier this week. I am so missing home grown veggies. By this time last year, we had been eating fresh zucchini and beans for almost a month and I had frozen bags of it. This year, the deer have eaten the tops off our beans. I purchased some Bird-x netting that we have clipped to the fence over the beans. This is keeping the deer out of the beans. Hubby has replanted and the bean stubs that were left are trying to make a come back. I don't know if we will have enough warm weather to harvest them. The deer are enjoying the cucumber plants too. The cucumber in the basket is the first one we've harvested this year. :( The plant it came from is growing inside a wire cage where they can't get to it. We've been seriously thinking about fencing our entire garden. Though a neighbor tells us that even an 8 foot fence will not keep the deer out.

Hubby was happy to see the first two ripe tomatoes. Though the tomato plants don't have a lot of fruit because of the cool weather. The potatoes, cabbages, brussels sprouts, and broccoli love cool weather and are all doing fine. The days are getting shorter and fall is coming. I don't hold out much hope that we'll get much of anything from our warm weather veggies.

Have you noticed how screwed up the weather seems to be all over the U.S. this year? The NE has been cold and wet. I've heard that the potato blight has shown up there. (Isn't that what caused the potato famine in Ireland many years ago?) It's been cool and dry here in the upper Midwest. Texas and points west are hot and dry with crops drying up in the fields. The Pacific NW has been warm too. This doesn't bode well for food crops produced in this country. A smaller harvest also means higher prices at the grocery store. Not something that any of us want to see.

The special intro price on the La Petite Fleur shawl pattern is good through July 31st. If you want the pattern, buy it soon before the price goes up.

Someone from New Albany, Mississippi recently sent me a small box of yarn scraps to use for cat toys. I'd like to thank her for her generosity. There was no note or email address in the package. I turn these short lengths of yarn into cat toys for my local, no-kill animal shelter, Pet Refuge. Some of my toys are sold to help raise much needed funds for them. This week I was able to give them $47 collected from the toy jar I fill at my vet's office. Animal shelters are having a hard time. Donations are down and shelters are bursting at the seams with animals dropped off by people who can no longer afford to feed their pets. I do what I can to help. I encourage others to do so too. :)

Friday, July 10

La Petite Fleur Shawl -- new pattern!

Here's the newest design in my collection of small shoulder shawls---La Petite Fleur (little flower).

This is a three triangle, wedge shaped shawl knit from the neck down. It's an easy knit with a row of flower motifs forming a pretty border that ends in a picot edge. Add beads to make it sparkle. Small enough to tuck in your bag, this shawl makes a quick cover up that’s great for summer evenings or chilly air conditioned rooms. This project knits up quickly and will have everyone asking where you bought it!

Knit this fun flower bordered little shawl with with one skein of sock or fingering weight yarn (350-400 yards) using size 6 needles. Great for showing off handspun yarn. Options are given for adding beads to the lace border (see picture) and edge and enlarging the shawl. This is a four page pattern with written line-by-line instructions and a lace chart.

The pink shawl was knit with Fleece Artist Sea Wool (382 yards) and the green one with Miss Babs Bamboo Baby Sock Yarn (400 yards). The green shawl is a test knit by my friend Jamie. The picture is used with her permission.

The pattern is available in my Ravelry pattern store. Have fun!

For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.