Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Vacation

A short video from my last vacation. This is Rainbow Falls near Hilo Hawaii on the Big Island. We have been having a lot of rain and you can see the mud in the water as a beautiful copper color.

A couple of pictures. One of Rainbow Falls again and the other of what they call "Boiling Pots". It is further upstream from the falls.

I wanted to show the progress on my two current knitting projects.

The first is the Trench Coat from the Fall 2007 Vogue Knitting Knit.1. I have the back finished and one side about half finished.

The second project is my sock that I knit on planes. The first one is done and this is the second. I am very pleased with progress and working with this baby alpaca is always a pleasure.

I have also been making cookies and brownies. The recipes I have been using are from a retired White House chef, Roland Mesnier, in his book "Dessert University". If you ever get to hear him speak, go. He is a wonderful public speaker and I found him quite hilarious. His stories of twenty-five years with the White House are from a view not often heard from - within the White House itself. His cookies and brownies are mouth watering and very easy to make. The brownies are a chocolate-lovers delight. I make his Chocolate Pear Brandy Truffles to give as gifts.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Carlyle House, Alexandria Virginia (1st Virginia Regiment Event 1 December 2007)

Some pictures from the 1st Virginia' Regiment's Carlyle House event on 1 December 2007. It always seems to be cold and windy for this event. It was 37 degrees that morning. The previous day it was 54 degrees.

The Carlyle House

The laundress dressed for the cold weather with many layers of wool and linen.

Adam helps getting water using a yoke.

The 1st Virginia marching in line.

Soldiers - old and young.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Updated Website

Even though my Liberty or Death cap still doesn't have a bid yet on ebay, I still believe they are a great product and have added them to my brochure and website.

See Brochure

This weekend I believe that I will start work on the bathroom upstairs and work on my hand knit sock. I finished the one and haven't been working on its mate. The bathroom is showing some years of wear and needs re-grouting and new silicone along the tub. I will also fill a few cracks and holes and repaint. The tub will eventually need refinsihed as well. I would like to put a glass door on the shower/tub to make the small room look larger.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Selling Caps

I placed one of my over-felted Liberty or Death caps unto ebay - Child's Liberty or Death Cap Hand Dyed Wool 18th Century. I am advertising it as a child's cap in hopes that someone will buy it so that I am not out totally financially on this batch of four caps that I feel I messed up. You can't undo over-felting.

I also updated my sock brochure to include the caps as I was not advertising them before. But, as a Word document it is too big to post to my website. So, I am sending it to my husband so that he can convert it to a .pdf file since he has Adobe on his computer.
As soon as I get that .pdf file, I will post a copy here for you to see as well as updating my webpage.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ultimate Stash Addition

I went to Stitches Baltimore on Saturday 13 October. I have never seen so much wool in one place. I was a little disappointed because there wasn't a single vendor that sold any dye material. Almost everyone was selling their hand-dyed yarn so I guess they expected you to buy already dyed wool, not buy wool to dye yourself.

I did buy a few additions to my stash. One was a total treat and was the most expensive yarn that I have bought. The wool of dreams.

I bought a one ounce skein of 100% Qiviuk in color number 3002, collected and spun by the Windy Valley Muskox, Alaska. I think that I am going to knit it up into a scarf. Windy Valley Muskox was also showing some items that were knits with the wool. One was a sweater that would take three skeins. They weren't selling the pattern yet so I will have to keep checking back to their web site because the pattern was gorgeous.

I also bought a new PurlPod backpack that doubles as a yarn tote made by Elizabeth Garson. Not only is it beautiful and functional, it actually stays on my shoulder. It has a zippered bottom where you put your yarn. You feed it up through the bottom so that your project is actually held in the purse part of the bag. I then can stuff all sorts of stuff in there as well. She also includes a little bag to put your knitting accessories in that snaps onto the top inside of the bag. There are pockets for my blackberry, glasses, and keys. She has chosen beautiful material for the bags. I chose the Diamond Line in Honeycomb. Elizabeth was there at the show all the way from Olympia, Washington with lots of enthusiasm showing her product explaining why she has made it exactly as it is. I believe it is perfect for all my travels, especially on the plane. I do travel a lot and that is why the bag interested me. And, Gwen thinks it is a new wonderful toy too. What better endorsement do I need?

Last weekend I also canned up the pickles that I had in the crock for the last three weeks. I took a bite out of one of the cucumbers and it tasted great. Its got carrots, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts as well as cucumbers. Yumm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Bicycling Parrot

I bought a really cute yard decoration during a trip to Ocean City, Maryland. It is so me with a parrot, with a straw hat, riding a bicycle. Just great. The wheels move in the wind.

My backyard has been taken over by squirrels and chipmunks. Here is a picture of one of the chipmunks taking advantage of the birdfood that has dropped out of the feeder. Look at those cheeks.

I dyed up another batch of madder red to knit up some more Liberty or Death caps.

And Gwen got a new stainless steel cage.

While moving the stuff from one cage to the other, I noticed what she has done with "Fred" her snuggle buddy. First the eyes were removed. And now, one foot is missing and not much is left of Fred's face.

And probably the biggest accomplishment, is that the car now fits in the garage.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Recent Acquisitions

I had a good weekend. Well, at least a good Sunday. I was sick all week from Wednesday to Saturday and Sunday was the first day I felt up to doing anything.

I did have to go out of the house on Saturday to go pick up my two pieces of art that I had hanging in the Alexandria City Hall since April for an event named "Art in City Hall". I hung them on my wall. When I need them again, I will have to take them down. Usable art on the wall - always nice.

I attended the Mount Vernon Craft Fair, always a great event, and made some wonderful purchases.

A beautiful basket that is really two baskets in one. The outside is in natural reed with a great marbled reed piece around the top. The inside is then another basket that is done in blue and prple rreds. Very nice. The artist is Kitty Frick of Rainbow's End from Charlotte Hall, Maryland. Kitty's email address is rainbowsendcrafts@hotmail.com.

And another new pot.

I was also able to start an indigo dye bath and a 5-liter crock of pickles (with carrots, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflowers).

Indigo wrapped up to hold in the heat from the heating pads.


I bought this 5-liter crock in Germany in 1994.

Oh, and I knit up a Liberty and Death Cap but I haven't sewn it up yet. It will then have to be felted.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Busy Weekend

I set a goal for myself this weekend to clean the garage. I picked a really bad weekend to do this project because it was 91 degrees out by 10 am. But, I am a stubborn one and once I have my mind set on something, it takes a lot to get me to do something different, even if what I am doing doesn't make any sense.

This is what the garage looked like before I started on Saturday morning.

And, I can proudly say that by 3 pm on Sunday, after two trips to the storage place and two trips to Lowe's, the final product looks like this:

Now the car may even fit in the garage.

I also installed an electronic thermostat and moved a TV into the bedroom armoire. The TV thing took some work as the cable connection wasn't complete and the armoire wasn't made to be an entertainment center and I had to drill a large hole in the back to allow the cable and electronic card to go through the back.

It has been a very productive weekend. Now I need to go get groceries.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Work comes first!

Work has really taken me away from my other interests this past month. But, I have to admit that I know where my paycheck is coming from right now, and since the majority is not coming from my knitting and dyeing, I have to concentrate on work.

I have been traveling a lot and have been able to get some knitting done on my baby alpaca cable sock. So at least there has been one benefit to my busy schedule. And I am racking up many frequent flyer miles as well. Someday I will use them for a great trip.

Gwen has been a real handful lately. I am not sure exactly why. This is her showing off on her new cage. She looks scary but she is a real softy.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Multiple Caps

I have finished knitting and felting three Liberty or Death caps. All of them have been sold.

I have decided that the price is now $45 for these hand-dyed beauties. What I am trying to do now is to find a revolutionary war relic of what a cap such as this would have actually looked like. I have found a couple text references to knitted Liberty or Death caps but none of these texts held any actual details. Are there any examples of these caps still left?

All of these are being delivered at Mt. Vernon during the 4th of July activities of the 1st Virginia Regiment. I know their new owners will be happy with them even though they will not be able to wear them until the weather cools down.

They look great all lined up together like this.

Monday, June 25, 2007

$35 Wool Madder Red Liberty or Death Cap?

On Sunday, I just finished knitting the second version of my Liberty or Death Cap. I love it. The lettering is much bigger and it didn't felt it too much. I knitted one on Saturday but I mistakenly felted it too much and it wouldn't even fit on my head, let alone try to stretch it to fit on a man's head.

I dyed the madder red wool yarn while we were at Bordentown 9-10 June 2007. The color is beautiful and the natural wool used on the lettering contrasts well.

I designed this hat to sell. With my labor and supplies, the cost would be $35. Would people be willing to pay $35 for a hand-dyed homemade Wool Madder Red Liberty or Death Cap?

I am weary about trying to sell the first on eBay as I never seem to get the money I want. I can't run a business without getting the cost of my labor and supplies. No matter how much I enjoy doing it.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Seven State Travel

My husband and I just returned from a whirlwind travel to see my husband's Mom in New York.

We started our trip with a 100-mile charity bike ride in Maryland. I took advantage of the trip to New York to travel a little out of our way to visit my girl friend in Cleveland, OH, and also to visit my sister in New York. We visited Saratoga Battlefield (really nice place and well groomed) and got to see the Benedict Arnold Monument (in which has only his boot and never lists his name - that will show him for being such a traitor). We finished it with a 18th century reenactment event at Bordentown, New Jersey.

(2007 Asthma Bike Century, Salisbury, Maryland) (Mike's Mom and Gwen)

(My sister, two of her boys, and my husband) (Gwen driving truck)
(Gwen at Saratoga)
(Gwen and I making lei's to give to everyone)

(Benedict Arnold Monument)

(Saratoga Battlefield)

(Bordentown, New Jersey)
(Dye Demonstration)
(Cochineal wool dyeing at Bordentown, NJ)
(Laundress demonstration at Bordentown, NJ)