Has it really been that long?

One day more than 2 months since my last post. Wow!

I have gotten some knitting done. A couple of hats from the current Knitty. Easy, fun, but the one I made for myself I just didn't like on my head. So, I gave it to a friend. She always looks good in hats. I started on Ewan's kilt socks - one is done - I must say, it is gorgeous! This design has one split diamond and the marl colors change as well. Quite a bit of color going on. I made a really contact with a woman on dance.net who may hire me to do a pair of dance hose for her. Plus she gave me some really great information about ordering PV tartan direct from the mill. I want to make up some beginner kilties for the school.

In other news my hard drive is out of commission so I am having to borrow my husband's computer at night. No picture uploading going on for the next few weeks.

I decided not to do Craft House or the Curves craft sale this year. With my father-in-law passing away just over a month ago, I want to make sure that there is lots of time during the season to be with people I care about. I love to craft, but I have enough projects on my plate without adding more and turning the next 6 weeks into a frantic mess. Yes, I love it, but it makes me crazy at the same time. A number of the ladies at Curves asked about Erin's Brownie and Cocoa jars, so it good that she made an impression with them.

The tartan for the next kilt is on order. Julius is going to have the Antarctic tartan. Half the cost of the tartan benefits the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, so it goes to a good cause and it is a great tartan. Julius has always loved the emperor penguin so it has a special meaning for him that it would help them.



Originally uploaded by snickerdoodlestudio
The new kilt (and vest and hose) in action at the Green Lane Scottish Festival. I am very happy with how the whole ensemble turned out and so is Erin. The kids had a great time dancing. They were all excited to be able to do some new dances. These dances aren't ready for competition yet but they are fun to do in shows. More pictures of the all the kids dancing if you click through the photo to Flickr.


The kilt is finished


I'm pretty happy with it for a first attempt and the money invested. But, I am glad I won't have to make another one for awhile (Julius still has a hem to let out and has at least an inch in the waist.) I think Erin is wearing it just a little high in the pictures. There are a few little things that I can see at the top and the waist measurement in the pleats is .5 an inch too big, but all that will be covered by the yet to be finished waistcoat. As soon as the yarn comes in I'll be making her hose to match as well. Now, if she can just hold off on the growing so that the outfit will last her through the rest of Novice and Intermediate!


We are off to a competition near Syracuse this weekend, so she'll have to wait to wear this new outfit until September. I'm shooting for the Green Lane Scottish Festival performance.


Dress MacLean of Duart Progress

It's beginning to look like a kilt. The pleats are sew down and since this picture was taken I've basted the whole hem, sewed half the hem and basted some apron edges. Still lots more work to do. Soon I'll be delayed by the fact that I haven't bought hair canvas yet. I know where to get it, but that will entail a trip to Lancaster Co. The details:

Tartan: Dress Maclean of Duart
Length: 2.5 yds, double width cloth (could have used 3!)
Dancer: Erin
Waist 24.25"
Hip 31"
Splits: Waist 12.75" apron, 11.5" pleats
Hip 15" apron, 16" pleats
Length: 24" = 19.5" + 2" rise + 3" hem
Fell: 7 1/6"
Pleated to the stripe: 19 pleats
Pleat width at waist 5/8"
Pleat width at hips 7/8"


When I started the pleats looked like this:
DSCN2480.JPG Obviously a little uneven pleat width and some are off by a thread or two.

By the end of sewing the pleats, they were looking quite a bit better:
I'm trying to resist my perfectionist side and not redo the pleats that are off. From a foot or two away it isn't really noticeable and certainly won't be from stage. We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow. Hmm, the more I look, the more I'm thinking rip!


While they danced

I learned how do some Ukrainian embroidery stitches. During the kids Ukrainian dance camp there was an embroidery class for the adults. It was supposed to be 1.5 on three days, but it ended up occurring on four days and basically lasting as long as you were interested. The instructor is a multi-crafter and I hope to learn how to do Pysanky (you know, the eggs) from her as well. She was super nice as were all the rest of the ladies in the class. I learned so much about Ukrainian culture and they were eager to share. A lovely time....now that I'm home, I working on some little bookmarks before I start a shirt for one of the kids.

Oh, yeah, but before I do that, I need to try and turn this into my first kilt. I'm stressing a little bit because the yardage was short and there may not be quite enough!
But, it was a deal, so if not a kilt for the oldest then a pair of trews for the boy or an aboyne skirt and plaid.


Hon Fest Prep

On Saturday, a friend and our daughters are heading to Baltimore for the Hon Fest. This is a slightly belated fortieth birthday celebration. At first I wasn't going to do the whole dressing the part thing. I was hoping to find something at the Goodwill that might work, but if I didn't, oh well. But, the more I thought, the more the bug bit. This could really be fun. So, yesterday I went to Joann's and found a vintage pattern and the most perfect fabric (in my opinion) and made this. Today we stopped by a different Joann's and got some fabric for a cute scarf and some flowers and butterflies and things to stick in our hairdos. One more stop to Payless for some black sandals tomorrow and I should be set. I'm hoping Trish has some big earrings and I've located the perfect set of faux pearls for around my neck. Pictures on Monday!

You've got to visit the Hon Fest website to see all the kitsch.


German Heritage Tartan Socks

Originally uploaded by snickerdoodlestudio
Another pair of kilt socks for Rocky. These match his own design German Heritage tartan. All the colors in the tartan are in the hose. I think they are rather striking and are going to look perfect with his kilt (which he didn't have finished the last time I talked to him, so it may be awhile before I snap a picture of the socks with the kilt.)

All my pending kilt socks are now finished, until we decide what tartan Ewan will wear, then I'll get to work on his.


Kilt Hose extravaganza

Julius wanted his hose by the Fair Hill Colonial Games on May 19th. I got them done in less than a week. His were easier than some of the others because his legs are still small and there is no reduction down the back of the leg. I was really well with how well the colors match his tartan. I also made a change to Sadie's socks and duplicated stitched over the black that ran through the purple and made it white. (Not that you can really tell in the picture above.)

The Purple Stewart hose that I made last month were in use on Saturday as well:

And, while I was at the festival I picked up a pound of lovely Romney/Mohair roving. The farmer had yarns and knitted items available, but way in the back were the bags of roving...and he said he almost didn't bring them!


Rocky's socks

The first pair of kilt hose are done for Rocky. His only complaint was that the feet were a little small. Yikes! I'm not sure how hard it would be at this point to try to take them apart and rip out the foot and redo it. He sounded as though he thought they would work but asked me to do the next ones bigger. So here are the pictures:

On the azalea:


In action - I caught one of Rocky while he was changing a sign during the Phoenixville Celtic Fest. Because of how the kilt is pleated, the white stripes are really highlighted in the sock:

Posed - he asked not to have red in the socks so that he could wear these socks could match other kilts:


Dress Purple Stewart Hose

They are finished!!! Hooray! I am really happy with how they turned out. They seem to fit well too. I deliver them tomorrow and hope to get a shot with the whole outfit on Saturday at the competition. There were some troubles with the gauge on the first pair. I actually ended up cutting (!) them down to size. The seam is a little bigger than usual on the inside, but that is the only evidence. I didn't notice it when I had them on and neither did the dancer. We'll see what she says after dancing in them for a day.

Here it is on the machine:

And finished!


More highland wear

Another accomplishment of Feb/March was completing a new Arisaid or Aboyne outfit for Erin. And a new highland vest for her as well. She had quite a growth spurt and nothing fit her very well. With three competitions in March, I needed to get her outfitted.

Too long

It's not as though I haven't been busy, especially on the knitting end. I bought a knitting machine and have been figuring out how to use it. The sole purpose for which I bought it was to make those highland dancing socks for other people and make a little money at it. These competitions can get a little expensive and it would be nice to have some cash. A friend at the dance school asked me to make some for her daughter and that was the beginning of it all. So far, I've finished a pair for my youngest daughter.

I showed one of these to the great folks at USA Kilts and I have a commission to make two pair for him in exchange for something (to be negotiated) at the kilt shop. And another dancers grandma is also interested in a pair. Too bad I've got the flu right now or I'd be knitting.

The machine is a different animal than needles but the second sock was much faster than the first and I am hopeful that my speed will increase (and mistakes will decrease)!


Sew Busy

I've been sewing up a storm, but don't have any pictures to share yet. Mostly roman shades for the house and potential costumes for Erin for Highland dance. I finally got the right combination of velvet and plaid for her outfit! As soon as the buttons come in I'll post a picture. I'm happy to have sold a couple of rovings on Etsy. That has inspired me to have a go at dyeing some more.

In the meantime, if you haven't seen the mockumentary "Wooly Bullies" go to Whipup and check it out - it is hysterical.


Highland Headbands

I've been busy making tartan headbands to sell for the benefit of the highland dance workshop that we'll be going to in a couple of weeks. Thirty at $5 a piece will bring in a little cash if they all go. They are reversible and made with real tartan that I bought from the scraps of our local kilt shop. Fun stuff and my girls love them too. I've got a couple over at Etsy which I'm selling for bit more than at the Workshop ($5 is a nice round number to collect at the table). If they go I'll be making more. It would be a nice way to pay for all the competitions we'll be going to in the coming year! I basically used this tutorial, although similar ones can be found. Super easy, just looking at one should be enough to figure it out.


Kilted Bear and a' that

My husband returned from a men's conference that was held by our family of churches on Saturday. There were many interesting stories, testimonies of God's grace and meaningful conversations with other men. However, one particular story demanded a response, really. Our pastor provided the comic relief for the retreat and on one evening he donned a kilt and took issue with the small contingent of men from Wales. Lumping the Welsh in with the rest of Great Britain he apparently made fun of tea, the queen, kilts and sporrans. (Please understand that this was all for effect, he doesn't seriously have a beef with the UK or its culture.) The children and I had visited our local kilt shop (yes, we have one) that day to pick up some tartan scraps for making headbands to sell at a upcoming Scottish Dance event. Erin recalled to Ewan that there was a bookmark at the store that said the MacFarlane motto is "This I'll defend!"

We talked for awhile and came up with a plan. A kilted bear, a basket of goodies from the UK including a Wallace and Gromit CD and a book by the Scottish theologian Horatius Bonar. And finally, since I had some sheep liver in my freezer, I'd make a little pot haggis (as best I could) and Ewan would challenge him to eat it!

We presented it to him after the service, where he was shocked to learn that Ewan was married in a kilt. He was such a good sport and tried the haggis - and said it wasn't bad. We hope that rest of the goodies will be enjoyable to the whole family.

The title for this post was a riff from the Burn's song "A Man's A Man for A' That".


Quilt Show

I was a member of a great quilt guild for a number of years. The members of this guild, Loose Threads Quilt Guild were recently invited to select their best quilts to be exhibited in a brand new gallery space at a local community college. I posted some of the pictures on my homeschool blog - it was a learning experience, you know.

If you want to see more photos from the show please click on the mosaic below:

Quilt Mosaic


Add Another Animal

Add another animal to the list of animal hairs I've spun this week (sheep, alpaca, goat). There wasn't going to be enough of the alpaca to do a 2 ply yarn of the amount I wanted. I had some dark brown llama fiber that I bought in NC back in October. So, I alternated that on one of the plys and came up with this five oz. of soft loveliness:
Want to see my new custom made lazy kate?


Sea Mist

Remember the roving from Twin Ponds Fiber Farm that I bought at the Farm Show on Saturday. Well, last night I turned a good portion of it into this:

Currently spinning up the other roving from Saturday, the suri alpaca. Hope to post pictures of that soon!


Alpaca, mohair, and wool oh my!

I love the PA Farm Show and I love the opportunity to buy fiber for spinning directly from the farmer (especially when I have a little Christmas money just for that purpose given to me by my husband!) Yesterday we visited the alpacas of A Suri Farm. They had a bit of roving and some hand-spun yarn to sell right there alongside the animals. Since they are not far from my dad, I hope we can visit the farm when I have this all spun up. The roving I bought comes from a suri alpaca named Alice and it a very beautiful natural shade of "dark fawn". It is unbelievably soft.

Later on in the day I stopped by Terry Kunst's stand. My Kiri shawl came from her fiber that I bought last January. This time I chose a wool/mohair blend called Sea Mist. I just love the blues that she got in this one. She had some raw fleece as well and, at only $5 per pound, I was tempted, but resisted. Three years ago that was how I got started in this whole thing. I went to her booth and bought raw wool. She told me how to wash it and a little bit of the idea of spinning. I know she exhibits at other fairs and fiber festivals. If you get a chance do try to catch her.


She's got spin!

So how a fellow knitter could come to my house for a 2 night visit and not bring her yarn and needles, I have no idea! You come with no yarn? You learn to spin! I'll let her show you the pictures. Click on over to Potpourri.

I'm enjoying some of her zinfandel jelly right now. Mmm, thanks Jen!


Etsy Shop

Well, I'm starting the new year with a new venture. The Etsy shop is up!

Jennie came up for a visit this week and helped me get started. I've since added more pictures and a bio. I've got lots of ideas of things to make, just gotta get busy. I have ideas for the kids too. Well, mainly the oldest, but my nine year old son got a whittling book for Christmas and if he practices we might have some twig roosters and hens to offer. I think Erin could come up with some creative kid kits for Valentine's Day. Fun little things to do with wee ones and all the paper already cut out for you!

All that is in the shop so far is hand-dyed roving. I love playing with color. I think I'll be working on some this week - getting some of the stash dyed so that I can purchase more wool at the PA Farm Show on Saturday! In the meantime, I expect to put some bath salts and lip butters that we made in December into the shop!