Friday, September 25, 2009

Son of Dish Rag Tag!

This is the third year that I've participated in Dish Rag Tag (DRT). Emily is the brain behind DRT. There are teams all across the US. Each person on the team will receive a box that includes the pattern you are to use to knit a dishcloth, a ball of cotton yarn, a dishcloth already knit and a small treat for yourself. The idea is to keep the dishcloth and treat and use the yarn to knit a cloth for the next person on the list. The unknown part of the race comes in with the US postal service! We use a flat rate priority mail box ONLY.

This is what arrived at my house -

At the top of the picture, you can see the tiny bundle of goodies sent to me - some mixes to add to a water bottle, little packs of candy and some tea.

And pre-packing, this is what I sent off -

Here you can see the cloth I knit with the yarn, the new ball of cotton, and you can't really make them out, but there are stitch markers there for the next person. Which was a great thing to be able to include since they are so small! That small flat rate box is rather stuffed by the time we're through with it!

Well, on Emily's blog earlier this week, she ran a small contest. Leave a comment with a link or info on your favorite dishcloth pattern and you'll have a chance to win so cotton, needles and patterns. Well, I popped over to her blog this afternoon and found out I won! It's not often I win something, so this is wonderfully sweet.

Last year, my DRT team came in first place. We'll see how we fare this year, but it doesn't feel like the post office is being especially nice to my team this year.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Learning on a Lathe

We sell products to quilters at major shows. Organizers for rulers and thread is our main focus. Until recently, we had a local young man make wooden needle cases that we bought from him and sold in the booth. He was a pen turner and we asked him to branch out into the needle cases. Well, he's graduated from high school and started college. He's pre-med. So we really don't see him at all any more. But the needlecases were a popular item. So when a local store offered a pen turning class, we jumped on the chance.

Making the needlecases will be my job. Which is fine since playing on the lathe is fun! The things we make are made from oak. And oak isn't the best wood for turning because it is an open grain wood. But we have lots of wood scraps laying around. While learning what the different chisels would do, the scraps seemed the perfect choice. And I've been asking Bob to turn some of our scraps into "wooden irons." Quilters use them for "finger pressing" a seam. So I've been making wooden irons! My first batch sold last weekend at a quilt show in Marietta, GA. Bob took 12 with him and came back with only 3, so I would say they were a hit!

I don't usually have a mental image of what I want the finished product to look like. I just play around with the chisels and see what comes out! This picture is of the wooden irons Bob is taking with him this weekend to a show in Novi, MI.

The two pieces at the bottom of the picture on the left are ones that Bob made. I'm pretty sure I made all the rest. I think he throws something fancy in there just to see where I'll go with the idea!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Catching Up

Here's a peek into parts of what was keeping me busy! I was canning:

I made chow chow - a cabbage based relish with hot peppers.

I made some mild salsa and 24 hour garlic dill pickles.

And I had to leave the house while Bob made hot salsa. His main ingredient was habanero peppers. And I have an allergy to the oils in hot peppers - I truly can't even be in the same house while these are being processed.

And we took a pen turning class! Bob's is on the top in the picture. He has prior experience working on a lathe. I made the mistake of asking the instructor for help with what the different chisels would do. I should have asked Bob. The instructor was great with how to turn a straight sided pen - plus assembly, etc. But Bob has the chisel and lathe knowledge that the instructor didn't have. More work from the lathe coming next!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner

I know I'm a week late, but I'm playing catch-up. A number of years ago I lived in North Carolina. And while there, a fairly local house was rented to film a movie. During (or after not sure which), the homeowners were interviewed about their experiences. They were asked about Actor A and their response was how very nice A was - charming, friendly, etc. Actor B? Salt of the earth - just a "regular joe" kinda guy. Actor C? No comment. And while I don't follow any of the "popular" magazines, I've never heard anyone say "no comment" about Patrick Swayze. I don't remember ever seeing the movie "North and South," but the his reviews were good. I do really like the movie "Red Dawn." And I'll happily admit to totally enjoying "Dirty Dancing" and "Ghost" isn't too bad either. Swayze was a talented and professional actor. He did his own stunts - and his own dancing. By now, everyone knows he was trained as a classical ballet dancer and had to give it up because of knee problems. But you know that big dance finale in Dirty Dancing? Well, during filming, Swayze had blown out his knee and was wearing a knee brace while filming that scene. He told the director to make sure all the cameras were rolling because he was only going to be able to do that scene once. I have never read or heard one nasty, snide comment about him. Every single profession needs more people like him. He took his craft seriously yet was apparently a pleasure to be around. Don't you wish you could say that about all the people you work with!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

An Unplanned Hiatus

Well, I didn't mean for that to happen! One day I was just super busy and the next thing ya know, it's been almost a month. But the knitting was on and on. I have been diligently knitting away on my aeolian shawl. So diligently in fact that I have never stopped to take even a single picture! But then I ran out of beads. Waiting for new beads - they're here now but I haven't worked up the gumption to pick the shawl back up.

I am usually a monogamous knitter. That seems to be my best bet of actually finishing something. Right now I seem to have knitting ADD. I pulled out my Philosopher's Wool sweater from last winter. Sewed the shoulders together and sewed in the sleeves. It's currently laying very nicely across a chair. Started a new PW sweater since I am teaching a class at my LYS on the PW stranding technique. I have one sleeve finished. The start of the second sleeve is sitting in a bag in the chair. As one of two long-term projects, I am making squares for a Harry Potter inspired afghan. There's a ravelry group (of course!) swapping squares every few months. So I started my next batch of squares. And I had to be somewhere at a stupid early hour this morning which would then involve waiting in line about an hour. So while waiting, I cast on for a cowl.

I ran out of my herbal hormone pills several weeks ago. I haven't noticed an increase in hot flashes. I tend to get them in spurts. Lots for months, then none for just long enough I think they're gone before they start up again. But I haven't been sleeping worth anything. Coupled with being up about 5:15 this morning, I'm actually ready for bed - and it's only 6:15. The only thing keeping me currently out of bed is the fear of waking up at 2 am and not being able to sleep!

Some pictures and maybe less rambling tomorrow. I found myself composing blog posts in my head, so I knew it was time to get back to it! And it's not just my blog I've been away from. I haven't been doing blog reading either. People's blogs I've followed for years? Nope. New friends? Nope. Not sure what I've been doing. Oh, wait! I've been casting on new projects like that alone would bring about world peace.