Thursday, November 26, 2015

Unfinished and Unruly Basket Project

This project has a mind of its own, and is currently in the “unfinished” project pile. It was started years ago on my birthday weekend. At that time in my life I had young children and was feeling the need for some “Mom alone time.” I decided to give myself the an unusual birthday gift of allotting the whole weekend for a project. With a trip to the grocery store for a large supply of cereal and easy foods that the kids could fix for themselves done, I now had to pick what project to work on. I decided I wanted the freshness of a new project. A twine weaving project sounded like fun, and I had been given this gorgeous multi colored yarn recently. A small, twine basket would be a fun, relaxing, me-time project for the weekend. The family was told of my plans and the basket was started.  The farther I twined the more it didn’t look like the image I had in my mind’s eye. Upon turning the basket over I discovered it looked more like a turtle shell. It just would not listen to me. This was to be a fun project with no pressure so it you want to be a turtle shell I am done fidgeting, and fusing with you. You have my permission to be a turtle shell. (There I am still in control.) Of course the weekend ended before I could finish a twined turtle so the project was put up.
Upon getting the project back out about a year or so later, I got the wouldn’t it look cool disease and decided to add brass beads to the edges. Adding the beads was a lesson in patience, and a awkward mixing of skills since I had to use a crochet hook and pass the threads through the beads twice. The first pass being doable and the second pass being a “why did I think this was a good idea procedure.” I must admit to really liking the end result though. The designing of bottom of the turtle shell needed to seep in my mind for awhile so the project was put away for a later day.

Time passes and a lot of pictures of turtles have been examined. A few were even printed off. The strands were divided  and about five rows were twined on, starting the bottom of the shell. The thought of I will need to make a turtle for in the shell occurs and the search was on for a thin, brown yarn that would work.  A small skein of a rich, brown, silk blend was bought. Thoughts of the turtle project were interrupted by life, and put off because it is no longer an easy twined basket “we” (Obviously it has some say in the matter.) are designing. If ever finished it will probably either be my lifetime twined masterpiece or a why did I ever think that was possible glob of intertwined yarn. I have thought that if displayed right it kind of takes on a jelly fish look, however it whispers, “Turtle, I want to be and am a turtle. Please help others see me that way too.” So it sits unfinished on the shelf waiting rather impatiently for me to interrupt my life long enough to either finished it or mess it up completely.



Globe Trotting Braintan Camera Bag

The need to protect my camera was what prompted the making of this bag. Deciding that I wanted something a little fancier than the regular poke style bags I had been using, I chose to work with contrasting colors of leather. Adding the laced edging to the opening of the bag was kind of an after thought, but I really learned to appreciate it later. The laced edge kept the opening stiffer and made the camera slip in easier. The abalone shells on the draw strings were from my small stash of abalone that my kids had drilled holes in with my pump drill. I was pleased with how it turned out and how perfectly it fit my camera, however it did not stay with me. 

Agreeing to help run an old high school friend back to the airport after her visit with family (Country folk, who don’t go to the city often, need moral support and an extra set of eyes to read signs.) meant that I would have to get up in the early hours of the morning because of the distance I live from both her and the airport. I asked my husband to set the alarm and trustingly went to sleep. I bolted awake for no apparent reason, looked at the clock and groaned. I was to meet her in ten minutes! This was not humanly possible. My alarm had not gone off! Praise God for His internal “alarm” that woke me up that day. I called them apologizing and reworking our routes so that I could meet them on the way.  My husband and I were rushing for the door with no thoughts or time to grab anything extra. Perfect timing at the meeting spot and I was off to the airport with them. Enjoying our ever shortening time together as she was headed to her home in another country and every one of us in the car living with the knowledge that her cancer had returned.

Upon arriving at the airport she smiled and whipped out this wonderful, unique gift for me. My heart swelled with her kindness and cheerfulness. I so wanted to give her something that was mine for her to keep as a reminder of our love even though we live worlds apart. Realizing that most of my “stuff” was left at home, I reached into my purse, slipped my camera out of it’s bag, and offered it to her. She refused saying, “That’s yours.” The battle was on. lol I won. (Being much more insistent than her) This little, leather bag now resides in another country as a link between two people whose friendship has endured both time and distance. (With no lack of leather, sewing skills, and ideas...the making of another camera bag is a new adventure to look forward to.)

Praise the Lord she is still battling on and I’ve had the privilege of seeing her again! Life with all of all of its ebbs and flows is most precious to those who have teetered on its edge.


Monday, November 2, 2015

My Original Elf Sock

Oh the joy and satisfaction of watching wool turn from roving into strands of yarn as it passes through your hand and off your finger tips, but now comes “the what do I do with it” part. I’ve plied the individual strands and made yarn, however my confidence in that yarn has yet to be tested. What to knit becomes the question. Socks? No, I don’t think the yarn will hold up to the wear.  A scarf? No, I hardly wear them. A hat? Do I really have enough spun for that? Plus, what if it doesn’t hold up to knitting and unraveling as I make up my pattern. A compromise is planned. How about a miniature sock? No one wears it out and I have a keepsake of some of my first “quality” handspun yarn. There is a learning curve that must take place before you reach the “quality” stage; well at least there was for me. Ok, a mini sock is the plan, but since I have more yarn than needed I feel comfortable with designing my own, because even if the yarn doesn’t hold up to being ripped out I know I have more.
How proud I am of my little, useless product. It reminds me of an elf with its pointed toe. That cuff needs something...think...think...   Aha! I have it buttons. Off to raid my old shell and bone button jar. Finished! Satisfied and smiling inside and out, my first project with my own homespun is done.
May I present to you the very first of my Elf Socks.


And it all started from the first few balls of "quality" yarn made and plied on my Jenkins Turkish Drop Spindles.