Sunday, June 24, 2007

Monday Knitting Group

Every third Monday of the month, The Knitting Corner has a Knit-In from 5:30-7:30pm. It's a gathering of different kinds of women from A-Z with as many levels of knitting skills too. I really enjoy the different women who come and go with every month. We talk about what they knitted since the last time we got together and what they are currently working on. Here are some of the ladies who were there last Monday the 18th.

Here is the shop owner, Susan showing off her newest top. We called it a tank top but then decided it's a shell. Either way it's totally Susan. It's a nice bright green with orange novely yarn.

Here are two ladies whose names I know I will get wrong, but they are fun and one of them owns the nicest crochet hooks I have ever seen. I think they are Rosewood. The tops of the hooks look almost like chess pieces. Such a nice set. If I crocheted more, I might try and save my money to buy a nice set.
Here are two more ladies who came. The lady in the white top tried to teach me how to do socks on Magic Loop. I honestly didn't get it, and sadly was a class drop out. I missed one class and never could get back up to speed so I just attended class to torment the rest of the group. Barbara is a wonderfully patient teacher, so it was this student who wasn't up to snuff. I did learn how to do socks but on dpns. The other lady, made the neatest coat/sweater but I will talk more about that in the fall. I think I am going to try and make one.
Here are two more ladies who come regularly to the group, Pat and Marlene (I didn't ask how to spell Marlene's so it might be incorrect). Marlene and Pat are both retired. Lucky women; they get to knit more than I do.
This is called a Shapely Shawlet. Barbara (the Magic Loop teacher) taught this class a few weeks back. I wasn't able to take the class but if she teaches it in the fall, I will do my best to take the class. We asked her how many beads are on the shawl and she said about 2,000. Several of us tried it on and it was heavy in just the right way. It laid nicely on our shoulders when we tried it on.

So that's the scoop on the third Monday of the Month group. If you live in the Virginia Beach area, you should stop in and have a chat, and maybe knit some too.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fields of Purple
Last weekend I was so lucky to have gotten an invitation to the first Open House at the coolest place. I met these nice ladies two years ago at a festival in Chesapeake. I have bought their lovely items twice now and have never been disappointed! Wonder where I was? I was in a very small little town in North Carolina called Harbinger. It took us over an hour to get there, but the scenery was so pleasant, I would move from here to there in a skinny minute!
Harbinger, NC has the privilege of being the home of The Harbinger Lavender Farm. The farm is family owned. The current owners inherited the farm from their parents and I am sure that if their parents were around, they would be so proud how the farm has evolved. This past Saturday the family had an open house and from what I could see, it was a wonderful success.

Check out all this color…
This table was set up so we could learn how to make a lavender wand. I was not so good at it but I got better the longer I sat there. The farm has about 2 acres of land with nothing but these beauties just grown' away. There is sand surrounding the whole field so each plant look like a purple spiked oasis. It's just something for the eye to behold.
Here is a better view of the field. It's just breath taking! And smells like heaven when the wind wafts by.
The older the mound gets the more spikes of flowers they throw. The taller spikes are great for the wands but all of them are wonderful for something.
I know that I couldn't resist the purple spikes, but here is someone else who loved them too.

The hubby and I cut together and we collected three bundles that cost us $8 each. They were selling the pre-made wands for $3 each, so $8 a bundle was a good price.
Here is the view from the back of the field looking out towards the house and the Lavender shed. Behind the house there is an old barn. One of the children told me that the little barn was cluttered and filthy a while back. The sisters who own the property now, went out one day and cleaned it out to have a place to dry the Lavender and create projects to promote the sell of their Lavender. The inside was wonderful, but I didn't get a shot of it. I was too busy looking around at the Lavender soap, baked goods, recipes, painted rocks, etc.
What has any of this Lavender picking day got to do with knitting? Well I figured that my hand spun and hand knitted items were worthy of some fresh picked North Carolina Provence Lavender to shoo away any wool eatin' critters! We had a fun drive there and back. I got to pick some fresh Lavender, make some new friends, buy some fresh produce and homemade fudge from a roadside farmers market and I got to eat some rib stickin' North Carolina pull pork BBQ. It was a perfect day and it smelled good too!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Handmade Memories
I wanted a nice new closet system in my office closet and the construction was slow but it finally got done and looks great. The only problem I had with the whole idea is, how on earth do I get all that stuff back into the closet?? I am a pack rat by nature, but for the most part it's organized. I love putting things into zip lock bags or boxes and labeling things. Okay, I do not have OCD, but I just hate having to look too long for something when a notion has taken hold. I hate waiting on hold on the phone listening to promotional miss mash and I hate standing in line at a restuarant. So instant gratification is a good thing. Hence the little bags and boxes in my life that have cluttered up my office closet.

So all that clutter came out and some is still laying on the couch and the rest is out in the hallway waiting for some decision on my part, what to save and what should go. This is the bain of my existence right now. Mind you, the majority of this stuff is NOT mine but my eldest son's things. Okay, well maybe it's mine, sorta. It's stuff that all mothers keep to remind them of a child's past. I have things in there like one of his first art projects in high school, a baseball tropy, his winning Pinewood Derby car, a bench he built in shop class, and on and on and on...and one very old suit case from the 60s.

I was on a cleaning jag this morning and was going to put all of this stuff in the hall closet when I decided it was too much for the little closet and now what was I going to do; dig through it of course! I opened the first box and almost teared up.

There on the top of the pile were hand made baby things and a pair of baby shoes from my first son. Now what mother wouldn't stop and pick those things out and admire them? So, I fished them out and had a thought. Why not blog about hand made things from the past? These items were not made by me, but were gifts from some lovely person who gave of her time and efforts to make a timeless keepsake treasure.
These are those lovely items that I found (except the shoes). There was a very small blue and white afghan, a little white jacket and only one bootie.

Here is a close up of the baby afghan. It seems like a very simple pattern but I do appreciate every stitch and the time it took to do everyone. I can't remember who made it but I do know that I saved it because it was made with love 25 years ago.
I feel the same fondness for the little jacket. Now that I look at this picture closer, it looks like it was crocheted. I know that shell stitch anywhere. I guess I put it on the oldest boy once or twice, because I can see stains on it that look like, well... you know-yak.

So my sort of Meme for all of you who breeze through here is to talk about some treasured hand made item, that was not made by you but an item from someone who loved/loves you enough to give it as a gift. Happy Hand Made Memories!