Archive for February, 2012

Winter Blues

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I thought I had better put in a quick appearance.  Thanks to a mild case of the winter blues, my motivation level has been almost non-existent.  It’s been a few years since I’ve had a legitimate case of the blues, and I hope it’s the last for long time to come.  I’m dreaming of sunshine, warmer temperatures, green things, and dirt under my fingernails.

I’ve been getting organized, and all of my seed starting paraphernalia is ready to go.  Egg production in the chicken coop is on the rise…. a sign of days lengthening into spring.  Speaking of chickens, I was cheered a little by a sight outside my window.  Not exactly the kind of bird I was hoping to attract to the feeder, but a bathing beauty all the same!

The girls enjoy grazing on the dormant rye/vetch cover crop I planted in the fall.

Chunky Knitted Hat Project

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Do you remember this yarn from a previous post?  I said I was going to make a hat for my niece for Christmas, and I did. It ended up being a  big hit with my mom and sister.  I think my niece tried it on when she opened it at Christmas, and then again when this picture was taken.  Apparently, my sister has  stolen the hat and wears it a lot.  My mom put in a request for her own.

The pattern is not my own. The yarn I used was wool hand spun and  hand dyed by my friend, Maggie. I used size 13 double-pointed needles, and stuck to the pattern. I hate circular needles, and avoid them whenever possible.  I was able to complete the hat in about 2 hours.  The original hat is neat, but I love the crazy nubby texture I got using Maggie’s yarn a lot  more.   This was the first time I had worked with a single ply yarn.  I’m hooked on it now, and have put in an order for more.  It just so happens Maggie has been spinning up a storm, and listed a bunch of her single ply yarns this week.  I’m going to shamelessly plug her Etsy store, because a little bird told me she’s renovating her kitchen right now, and is trying to raise some funds to pay for new flooring.  Maybe I should have titled this post “Fundraising for Flooring”.  So, go now!  Buy some yarn from Girl With A Sword at Etsy. Make this hat. Or, something else.

Grandma’s Vintage Linens

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

This is my grandma.  She’ll be 93 next month and she’s one of the feistiest girls I know.  This past week has been rough for Grandma.  She and Grandpa had to move from their condo into an assisted living apartment at the “Big House” (as Grandma calls it).  Grandpa has been fighting cancer for a couple of years, and came out of remission this past fall.  Just before Thanksgiving things were a little touch and go, but he’s doing much better now.  However, they and my family realized it wasn’t a good idea for them to continue to live completely independently.   So, this past week my parents, aunt, and uncle have been helping Grandma and Grandpa go through all of their belongings, choosing some things to go in the new apartment, some into storage, and some to get rid of.

Apparently, Grandma has been hoarding linens for about the last 70 years.  My parents had loaded up most of her linens, and although it was tearing her up, Grandma agreed that it would go to Goodwill.  I’m so glad my mom called to give me an update, and I was able to stop the train!  I wonder if there is a gene for fabric/fiber junkies?  Everyone (except Grandma) thought I was nuts for wanting a bunch of  “junk”, but they happily agreed to give it to me.  Do you have any idea what 70 years of collecting household linens looks like?  I can tell you that Grandma had to buy one or two sheets a year to explain what I got. I found almost a couple dozen vintage sheets that appear to never have been used.  Can you say gorgeous!

Here are some closeups of a few of the patterns. I’ve decided that I’m going to have to learn how to quilt, and get over my fear of sewing.  Check out this quilt tutorial at Pins & Thimbles.

There were also some small retro, card table sized tablecloths with floral patterns.

There were a few random pieces of lace Grandma had tatted.  There were four of these.  I’m not 100% sure what they are, but I think she may have used them on the arm rests of a couple of upholstered chairs.

Aside from the vintage sheets, I think some of my favorites are these striped tea towels.  I already own a few, and I’m always on the lookout for more.  I now have a lifetime supply of vintage tea towels that look like they are brand new.  The scary part of all of this….. there’s more to come.  My mom told me they found some more sheets and another whole box full of tea towels.  I’m really glad that I’m going to  have some of my Grandma’s favorite things.  There is so much here, that I’ve decided to share some of it with my very creative friend, Maggie.  It would just be sinful to keep all this fabric-y beautiful-ness to myself.