Knits & Pics & Favorite Things

A little bit of this and that….

Am I back?

I’m not sure yet.  Just trying out my water wings.  To say a lot has happened in the last 2 to 3 years would be an understatement.  After 26 years of living in the same house we moved.  What could possibly possess us to move and as far as we did can be explained in one word – grandchildren.  They have been the best part of the move.  The rest has been pretty much of a roller coaster.  But it will come out in bits and pieces.

One thing that has happened is many of my friends are having grand-babies.  Which mean baby quilts.  One of my favorite things to create.

July baby quilts 2015 _sm


I have two to three started but have been side tracked by all of the other things happening.  They are fun to look at on the daybed in the corner.  They keep things cheery.

Back to the sewing machine.


“Just when I think I have learned the way to live, life changes.”

Hugh Prather


turtle in a web

turtle in a web by cindratee
turtle in a web, a photo by cindratee on Flickr.

My shadow

I have had a shadow for the last few days.  At first the blind devotion is quite the ego builder, but as you find yourself having to watch everywhere you step…. it starts to become a little tiresome.  Indy is leaving today. I will miss our walks.  He keeps up a very good pace and although he feels the need to mark his territory quite a bit for such a little guy, it doesn’t seem to hinder our speed.

Yesterday I visited the zoo.  I haven’t been there in quite a while and it was the perfect day.  Stretch got to experience man’s best friend.  They were very happy sitting on the sofa together reading and watching tennis.

I think the rhino was having the same kind of day.  He did manage to snuffle up a dust storm while we watched and to move his right front foot.  I am sure he managed to get up at some time… it looked like he might have been thinking about it.

I was some what amazed to find that the baby was still nursing.  I’m not sure I would want those tusks poking me in the ribs.

It was definitely a lazy afternoon at the zoo.  The walkways were crowded with people.  I don’t believe I have ever seen it so busy.

I love this shot.  The birds were absolutely fascinated by the little boy.  Their heads would bob up and down and follow his every move.

These ladies were definitely the headliners.  They are relatively new to the zoo.  The boys that go with them are in a separate area, but the girls always knew where they were.  They took turns going up on a high branch to look over into the boys’ area and see what was going on.  Things are the same in all of the animal kingdom.

It’s a waiting game….

Yesterday I was walking through Target and saw the funny pet Halloween costumes they had.  My mind immediately went to Zeke, my son and dil’s black lab mix.  I had to call.  Mo answered and quickly told me she had had what she thought was a labor pain.  They were waiting to see when the next one would come.  AAAAHHH!  I had no bags packed and was not ready to go.  We made our purchases and ran home to pack (just in case) and check on flights.  As it turned out, there was no need.  The baby was just testing our response time.  The good news is it got me going.  I have my suitcases ready and clothes and baby items piled all around.  First thing to pack will be the quilt which is all finished.

You know how I love polka dots.  The colors work perfectly with the baby’s room.  I saw this pattern on a quilt magazine cover and just pared down the size of the polka dots a little.  It was quilted by a good friend in Noblesville, SueEllen Fletcher.  She did a great job!

We are also petsitting a cute little Yorkshire Terrier… I think that is what he is.. About 5 lbs.  He is my shadow!  

Last night he was whining a little in his dreams.  We may have to get separate rooms… I think the guest room would be perfect!  I have already made arrangements for him if we get a call.  He really is a sweet visitor.

A southern Melody!

Guess what blew in yesterday afternoon just in time for dinner?  Melody from Fibermania stopped in on her way to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  It was so wonderful to visit with her.   I felt bad that we had to jump in a car as soon as she got here, but we had dinner reservations at a great little restaurant in

downtown Indy.  We had a wonderful little feast at Zing!  It was a first time for me, but not for friend Kerrie.  The menu was interesting and we shared a couple of small and large plates.  The stuffed dates were yummy as was the artichoke/asiago smear, the zing!zing! shrimp, mahi mahi tacos and more.  The best part was the company.

Those of you who will be attending the workshop in Kalamazoo are in for a treat.  Melody is even more delightful and entertaining in person.  She was wearing one of her signature knitted kerchiefs and the colors were wonderful!  By the way, Mel, I had one of the heirlooms tonight for dinner…. hmmmmmm… delicious… I am going to have to grow some of those next year!

On the home front, we are still awaiting the arrival of grandchild number 9.  The good news is the baby quilt is quilted and just needs a binding.  The knitted blanket is still in process… sigh.. but so worth it.  Now to get back to the knitting.  Can’t wait to read about Melody’s week.

More weaving….

Yesterday Nina, our weaving instructor, offered more time for those people who didn’t get a chance to get finished with their weaving.  I woke up so tired I didn’t even want to think of going.  I decided I would drive down, drop off the CD of photos I had taken and come back home and nap or catch up on rest.  [My body is having trouble adjusting to my new schedule.] Once I got down there I was lured into doing some more weaving.  There is something soothing and healing about the weaving.  You work the foot pedals in a rhythm that is very easy and because it is rag, there is only looking for a sense of balance of color for me.  As a result, my mind was very free to wander… and it did.  There were four of us working in the room and at most times the only sound was of the arms of the looms being brought back to tighten the weave.  (I know I am not using the correct terminology.)  The biggest problem I have with the rag rug weaving is that I can’t get the clean look I like the most.  I still go back to the fact I would be happier weaving with a yarn.  It seems it would almost be like doing intarsia with a loom.  I don’t know if that makes sense.

This is Judy’s rug she started this week.  She had the dark rug from last week.  She is an elementary art teacher and has a marvelous sense of color.  I do love her rugs.  I haven’t been able to duplicate the rhythm and balance she has.  I find it very frustrating… if I would let it.  I have actually let myself relax and  I am not trying to be the best student in the class.  (Yes, I do have that problem still!)

Karen finished hers.  She will do the fringe at home while relaxing.  Hers has a definite pattern.  She had a plan from the very beginning with hers.  It turned out very nice.

Nina started this one yesterday.  She had some paprika rags she was going to add to spice it up a little.  She told me the class she has planned for the fall will be more of a yarn wool type class with a definite pattern.  I saw one of the samples and it was very bold, which I like.  I am playing with the idea of taking the class.  There is also another zoo photography class scheduled and you know how much I love that.   Decisions, Decisions.

I am also taking an online course with Jude Hill of Spirit Cloth.  It is called Patchwork Beasts.  I love Jude’s work and thought I might try this.  So yesterday when I got home from weaving I went to my stash and started working on an assignment.  We were supposed to create our own cloth… sort of background for our beasts.  This was also very soothing.  Pulling out pieces of fabric, pressing, sewing and letting the color move me.  I made quite a few, but, no surprise, the brights were the ones I loved the most.  Most of Jude’s work is in beautiful subtle colors and indigos.

This is now basted to the muslin to prepare it for the appliqué and embellishment.  My beast will be a zebra I think.  The black and white will stand out beautifully I think.  Enough for today… time is wasting and I need to get the zebra on here.

Where did the time go?

I’m not used to working summers.  I’m definitely not accustomed to a five day work week.  And most of all not 9_5.  I am used to 7:15 to 3:30.  When five comes around I am tard… that’s a really exhausted tired!  But, I have been doing quite a bit and somehow fitting it all in, but exercise.  Well, something has to give!  I go up and down the stairs at work at least 10 – 15 times a day…. does that count?

Saturday I did go back to finish my weaving class.  I learned even more about the setting up of the looms.  Everyone but me was on a machine within the first couple of hours.  Did I say I learned alot about the setup?  With three hours left in class I finally got on a loom.  The good news is I set it up from start to finish!  Nobody else did that, so I am very pleased.  This Saturday the instructor is meeting me again so I will get a chance to actually do some weaving.  She is really great and I appreciate her patience.

This is Karen’s rug.  I really liked the colors she used.  I did decide through this process that I am not much for the rag rug weaving.  I used some of my different yarns in my weaving and liked them much better than the rags.  If I did weaving I would rather do it with yarn.

I did like this one.  The weaver is an art teacher.  She really did nice color work and I, of course, love the use of polka dots!

Before I crash and burn I will share with you the baby changing pad I sewed up in a real hurry so Stretch could take it with him to the Carolinas and give it to the new expectant parents.  Don’t look too close because you will see the errors.  It is that new little twisty gizmo and I made some mistakes cutting… it was a learning process.  But it goes well with the baby’s bedding!  I was also dealing with very limited amounts of fabric.  I had a fat quarter of everything and that doesn’t go a long way sometimes…especially when dealing with borders.

It’s a little wonky because I had just pulled it out of the dryer first thing this morning before trying to stuff it in a bag for Stretch to take with him.

Whew! Weaving isn’t for weanies!

When I was young… really young…. like six years old, I had a Nana.  Nana was not my grandmother.  She was a little old lady that lived two doors away in a little doll house of a house.  It was Victorian in style and teeny tiny.  There was a sitting room, a tiny kitchen with a little eat in area, a little bedroom with an attached bath.  Between our homes was a huge Victorian with all the gingerbread.  Her son Derby lived there with his wife Dodo.  (Seriously, these are real names… Dodo was short for Dorthy.)  Anyway, Nana owned our home and her son’s home, but none of that matters.  Nana was not my grandmother, but she was like my grandmother.  I would go over and play Chinese checkers with her, put together puzzles and sit and talk with her.  I loved her.  She used to make rag rugs.  They were amazing.    So when I saw on Art Center’s class list “not your great-grandmother’s rag rug” I totally didn’t see the NOT.  I was thinking the coiled rag rugs….  LOL!  We are talking weaving…. with a loom…. a big loom… with a warp and a waft… is that right?

Nina is the instructor and she is awesome.  Poor thing… I don’t think she was expecting six rookies.  And we were definitely rookies.

We started by wrapping the yarn (string) double thickness around the posts of a warp frame.  This is a way of creating a cross area where the thread crosses and getting enough length for the looms.  I know I didn’t explain that very well, but it was my first day and I am exhausted!

You click on any of these photos to make them larger.  This particular step was hard on the back.  I was using my chai tea moves… oops, no, I mean my T’ai Chi movements.  I transposed.  Not that I have ever learned T’ai Chi, but I have seen Calendar Girls twice and I can imitate the movements.  It made moving the yarn around the spikes much easier on the back.

And when I was done, I waved my hands and voila!  Finished rug!  I wish.  This is Nina’s.  Isn’t it gorgeous.  There is an old sweater, many cords as in corduroy pants, some t-shirts and assorted other fabrics in there.

Take a look up close!

And a close up of the “dark side”

There is a whole section of the procedure I can’t show because I was doing it.  Once the warp is done, you have to carefully tie it all so as to not get it all tangled and lose the cross section.

Here you can see Nina making sure each section is tied securely so we can remove it from the warp frame and carry it to the loom.

The part that is missing is winding and smoothing out all the tangles as you get the warp rolled onto the loom.  It’s a pretty neat process.  I don’t know how anyone could do it by themselves.  It took all six of us to do.  Two of us to actually do both sides of the loom, one person to run and fetch and three people to watch and give valuable moral support.    Once loaded on these ladies volunteered to work together to pull it through the spindles and tie it off.  This means alot of threading and tightening and then tightening some more… and then one more time just to make sure.  They then did a little bit of weaving of the thread on up, down, up, down weave.  This is with just more of the same thickness of thread.  You usually see it just above the tassels. (I got to do that on one of the machines before the class was over.)

This is a close up to show better what they are doing.

This is another loom with black thread that we were preparing.  This loom is a table top loom and operates with levers on the side of the machine.  I think I prefer the foot pedals myself.

So, finally someone is weaving.  You can see how the machine is set up a little better now.

Now a close up so you can see the actual weaving.  Most of that was done by Nina to show us how it is done.  Most of the day was spent getting ready to weave.  We have to wait a whole week before we can weave.  In the meantime I am going through closets and bins and bags looking for interesting knits and weaves to use.  I am still undecided how much I love it.  I think I love the weaving, but the set up is a killer!

And….. it’s the weekend!

I’m looking forward to this weekend for a number of reasons…. but that will come on Sunday.  First I will show you my office.  It is not really an office.  It is a cubicle.  I share it with Marcus… or, he puts up with me.  I need to personalize my space… I am just giving it thought.  I don’t want to bring a moving van full of “stuff” and scare everyone.

There it is!  For those of you who are Melody Johnson fans, yes, that is a piece of her work.  I needed color!!!  It is waiting for me to hang it … and I am sure it will be moved around as I add.  It is definitely a work in progress.

One of the many perks of working at this particular library is the sculpture exhibit.  Today they brought in this incredible bench.  I call it the Alphabet Bench… I will have to see if I can find out more about it.  Each letter of the alphabet is done in a texture that begins with that letter.

You can click on it to make it larger. It was fun to try and guess what each letter is.

Look closely at the x.  What is it?  Can you guess?

Don’t you love how the “P” is a drink holder?

Here is a, b and part of c.

And don’t you love H?  There’s a little of m and some of i.

And we will end with k.

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