Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Yarn and Shrug Pattern

I got my yarn from Elann today, 3 balls of Peruvian Highland wool in Deep Sea Blue, and 3 balls of Highland Donegal in Cognac. I love the Highland Donegal; it's 100%, single ply worsted weight with little tweedie flecks and it feels so nice! I started this little shrug from CrochetMe in the smallest size. I must be crocheting too tight because I had to switch over to a size I hook to get the right gauge. I really think it will be pretty when it's done and it should go pretty fast because it's so open and lacy. I think I might make the pineapple scarf again in the blue; or maybe a hat and fingerless gloves. I haven't decided yet. I really like these fingerless gloves; again from CrochetMe:
I have a granny hat beanie hat pattern somewhere that would look really good with them.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Pineapple Scarf

I crocheted this pretty pineapple patterned scarf using Lion Fisherman Wool. I got the pattern here: However, I changed it a bit. I crocheted it in two halves so I could turn one half around and have the pineapples running the same way up either end. I crocheted the halves together in the middle.The pattern said to repeat the motif 11 times for a total of 12 motifs; I have 7 motifs in each half, for a total of 14 motifs. I also single crocheted up both long edges, and across the bottom of the edge that I ended at (if that makes any sense.) Then I added a fringe. I think it's really nice and it may end up as a Christmas present for someone. I ordered enough yarn from Elann to crochet another one, too.

Sio brought some of her yarn stash over from Chris'; she's throwing so much that she doesn't knit much anymore. She told me I could have whatever I want from it and then she might sell some on Etsy or store it in the attic. She had a ball that she had taken several different strands and put them together and made one huge ball, like in the 4th picture. I took them apart and am adding some leftover brown wool and am going to knit a random stripe scarf. It will just be stockinette stitch but the colors are so nice together, Sio has a really good eye for color.

I also finished another discloth and am almost done with one more.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Dishcloth Frenzy and Hat Pics

I made 5 dishcloths in about 48 hours or so; 4 of them are knitted, the last one is crocheted. I made 2 of them at moms yesterday and started a 3rd that I finished last night. I started another crocheted one this morning. I'm selling them in groups of 2 in my Etsy store; I have one set listed already and I'm probably going to list another set later today.

The hat turned out really nice too. This is the second time I've made this particular pattern. I made it from 2 different yarns; the grey one is Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks and the blue is a wool/hemp blend that I dyed awhile ago. The first time I made this hat I used Wool-Ease and I wore it a lot. I lost it some where; this one doesn't match my coat so I might make it again in a black wool. I'll probably end up giving this as a gift or listing it in my Etsy store. The link for the pattern is here:

Here's another TinWhistler video; this one is really beautiful: Hip Agus Hop/The Roaring Barmaid:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Second Biggest Fish and Zuchinni

John and I went fishing last night and he caught a 19 inch bass in almost the same spot that he caught the other big one in. I forgot to bring the camera so we didn't get a picture. He caught this one on a plastic worm, too, a burgundy one. I'm going to start using plastic worms; I want to catch a really big fish too!

I found this zuchinni hiding under some leaves and growing in the grass; I've been picking them at 6 or 7 inches so they are nice and tender; this one is over 12 inches. Irene cut the end off and it doesn't look woody so we are going to eat it. We've been eating fresh green beans, and I think the tomatoes will start ripening soon. The cabbage is almost ready; the broccoli kind of got taken over by the zuchinni so I don't think I'll get any. The pumpkins are getting flowers on them and I'm finally getting to eat some of the strawberries.

I am almost done hooking the wonky house mat; I might finish it tomorrow and if I do I'll post a pic. The sky is not quite what I had in mind, but that's ok; I'll just try again on another piece.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


I went through the last container of wool I had and I found a big piece of red/blue/white/yellow plaid I forgot about. I wasn't sure how it would work, but I think it looks ok. I also found a tiny black/turqoise houndstooth check that I am also using. So far I'd say it's looking pretty good.

I've been crocheting so much lately that my wrists and fingers hurt, so I think I may take today off. When I found the plaid last night I couldn't help hooking a bit even though my hand already hurt a bit; now it hurts a lot. I wrapped it in a hot towel and took 3 Advil, so we'll see how it is later. I'm a bit disappointed not to work on the mat today; now that I found the right colors I want to get it done!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another Rug Post

John played around with the dials on the camera and he got it to work again. So I took a pic of the mat up til now. I can't find the right multi color plaid to add the bits of color to the swirls in the sky, I've looked through most of the wool I have here. I may be able to spot dye something, I'm going to give it a try tomorrow. If not I'll have to go to Salvation Army and that probably won't happen til Siobhan comes home. I like the way it looks so far though; Carla and Melissa were right about the roof.

I have been crocheting a lot, too; I finished 2 more hats and started a scarf. Maybe I'll post pics of those later.

Friday, July 18, 2008

If You Don't Have a Bodhran.....

You play the couch!

Once again, the talented Tinwhistler and his brother JJ, this time playing Blackthorn Stick/Swallowtail Jig/Swallowtail Reel. I can't help it, they've posted over 40 videos and I'd say more than half of them are really good. Plus I want to keep them at the forefront of my mind to show Sio when she comes home from Disney. She's been bugging me for months to play my bodhran and I just haven't. If she faithfully practices the whistle I will faithfully practice the bodhran and maybe we'll have a couple of tunes under our belt to play for Melissa when she comes home next.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Broken Camera and Toss the Feathers

The digital camera broke today, and Sio took hers with her to Disney so I can't post any pictures. I also can't list on Etsy which sucks. I have a few things that I already took pics of but not many. We will probably just look for another camera. We bought one for Sio and we gave one to Melissa, so now it's time to get one for us.

In the meantime I can only say I didn't do much rug hooking today because my hand hurt. However, I did do one of my other favorite things which was to search YouTube for more music videos. So instead of posting a pic of the mat, here is the Corrs from 1999 doing Toss the Feathers:

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Great Cover Songs

I haven't read Melissa's blog in a few days so I didn't realize she had tagged me and Jimmy for our versions of great cover songs until Carla told me yesterday. Melissa, I apologize sweetie; the last time I read your blog there was food on it. Anyway, I read it, and I also read Jimmys response. I have to say that I agree with Jimmy about Patti Smith's version of Van Morrison's Gloria. I think it is, hands down, one of the greatest cover songs ever. As far as I'm concerned she does a great cover of the Byrds Rock 'n Roll Star too. She does it with so much more feeling than they do.

It's really hard to pick out good covers; so many of the bad ones come to mind. I recently heard some one doing Aerosmiths Dream On. The song sucked when Mr Tyler and Co. recorded it and it sucks even more in it's new incarnation. But there are some good covers. I like Jimi Hendrix doing "All Along the Watchtower" , it's excellent. And I also like U2 doing the same song, maybe just a bit more than Hendrix:

Moving out of the realm of rock, the Irish band Altan, does a wonderful cover of Bob Dylan's Girl of the North Country. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh has a wonderfully sweet voice which I love. Johnny Cash has covered this song too; his version is passable, but I like Altans better.

I recently heard a cover of Solas doing Darkness Darkness which was written by Jesse Colin Young and recorded by the Youngbloods. I always liked the song; it was one of those that I would occasionally hear and think "Oh I should get that song" and then it would slip to the back of my mind until the next time I heard it. Until Solas, that is. Then it was "I need that song in my Celtic music line up" and it has joined the playlist of my favorite Celtic songs. I couldn't find a video of them doing it on YouTube, but I found this great video of then doing "Coconut Dog/Morning Dew". It is a cover of traditional Irish music, and if you ask me any of a number of the really good Celtic bands covering jigs, reels and old ballads are every bit as good as rock covers. (Melissa, did you really think I could do this without mentioning traditional music?)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wonky House Rug

Well, I started the wonky house rug from Deanne Fitzpatricks book. I actually took a picture of the pattern in the book and then enlarged it to just over 10 inches on my computer using Fireworks. I did a mirror image so the house faces the other direction.I don't think there's any definition in the roof tiles, I hooked black lines in and I was going to take out the plaid I was using for the actual tile parts out and do something else but I was over at mom's with Carla and she said it was very subtle and I should leave it. So I am at least for now. The house itself will be red. I am following Deannes coloring to some extent because it looks really good, and it goes well with the night sky.However I don't have the same colors she does and I don't want to dye anything for this piece unless it is sky. A picture of her finished piece is in the last picture. I can hook land and sea, and my hill will be in greens, but darker than hers because that's what I have and because I want it to look darker because it's night.
Mom was pretty excited about making this little mat, and looking at the books I had with me. She said she thought she could probably still make one, and since there is only one stitch which is "Pull up a loop" I think she's right. She told me (again, although I like to hear it) about how the mat frame would be set up in one corner of the kitchen when she was a little girl, and how Nan would be working on her mat while my grandfather would be working making and repairing fishing nets. Mom used to help her dad with the nets sometimes. She also talked about how some one would just drop in and pull up a few loops. There would be tea and always something sweet. Anyway, I think I am going to draw up just a little something; maybe a rose and leaves on a 10 inch circle or square, cut up some wool for her, buy her a hook and let her go to town. It will give her something to do in the evenings and who knows? She may enjoy it enough to want to do more.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Rug for Sale and the Butterfly

I put the stained glass mat up for sale on Etsy and I kind of feel like I'm putting a child up for adoption. I have never tried to sell anything that I have spent so much time and energy on before. It basically is a scrap hit-or-miss thing, but I still feel a bit over putting it out there. But on the other hand I will be sad if my child gets no attention, so I guess there's no pleasing. I think I'm going to do a smaller piece before I go back to the sheep mat. There is a pattern in one of Deanne Fitzpatricks books that I think I'm going to do; it gives me a chance to play with a night sky.
I have been listening to more of the TinWhistler on YouTube; this kid is really amazing. Here he is doing The Butterfly with a young lady from Germany on the harp.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Further Musical YouTube Wanderings

I am just amazed at the number of young people who seem to be into traditional music! It's a great thing to know that the music is being kept alive for another generation. I remember when I first became excited about Celtic music, I was a young woman, 22 or 23 and was on my first trip to Newfoundland as an adult. Even now, a visit to Newfoundland means hearing traditional music, but in the very early 80's it was something very new to hear it being played all over, not just as part of a movie or historical re-enactment. I didn't know it then, but that was the early days of the Celtic music revival. As part of that revival I brought home an album of recordings done by 2 families who performed at the Conception Bay Folk Music Festival. The album is long gone, lost in a flood in the basement and thrown out by mistake, but I still remember the tunes, my 3 favorites being Si Bheag Si Mhor, Rocks of Marasheen and a little ditty called Give Me a Match to Light My Pipe and I'll Be Off to Ryans Cove that my kids made up words to. I have been a dedicated fan of the traditional music scene ever since, but it's really exciting to see something like this video, 2 young brothers playing 2 reels together, Rainy Day and the Ale is Dear. PJ known as TinWhistler is pretty amazing! Reminds me of Flook a bit, another of my favorite Celtic bands. Hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Music Heritage

I was just kind of nosing around YouTube and came across this young pair of Newfoundlanders, Mike and Renee Batten. They both seem to play several instruments including accordian and guitar, and Mike plays mandolin as well. They look really young, and it's a very cool thing that they are keeping their musical heritage alive. I was hard put to choose which of the videos to post, so I think I may revisit them every now and then and post something new. I hope to hear them in their own band some day, but until then this is Puffin Island Jig.

Friday, July 11, 2008

West Country Lady

I don't have the slightest idea who this fellow is. He sounds just like the singer from the Newfoundland band Fine Crowd, there is a video of him doing their song "Days Gone By" so it might be him. Whoever he is, here he is doing one of my all time favorite Newfoundland songs "West Country Lady". I have Ryans Fancy doing it in my music collection, but this fellow does it very well.

Busy Busy Busy

I put the stained glass rug back into the frame and had it done in next to no time. It actually is very nice. I didn't hem the edges down yet because I don't have any twill tape for the edges; I'll get some today. Sio said I should sell it, but I have to ask at least $120 for it, so I don't know if I will.
I came across an excellent article called "Zen and the Art of Stash Diving" here: The gist of it is just close your eyes and dig in; I did and made this pretty scarf with some reclaimed yarn that I had leftover from a couple of scarflettes I made to list later in the year. The yarn is a thick/thin acrylic with a metallic thread running through it. It's a simple v-stitch and I used a size M hook so it went very quickly. After I finished the scarf I just picked up the yarn closest to my chair which was brown Red Heart and started this ripple purse. It ends up being pretty small, 7x9 about, but the ripple flap is cute. I'll be done with that too, in a couple of days.
I got the sheep rug back into the frame and started the barn but I lost my nice hook and I don't like the back up one I have. I think it's in the computer room some where.
To top it all off I got 2 pairs of shorts made for Sio's trip to Disney and I have one more to make today. If I can get her to put them on I'll take pics. They came out cute, and fit her which is always a bit of a problem with pants. I might make myself a pair from the same pattern.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Big Fish!

John, Chris and I went fishing over the weekend, and John caught this huge bass in the little local pond by Chris' house. I think he was using a purple plastic worm but it could have been red. This is far and away the biggest fish that any of us have caught in years. I think John has the biggest fish of the year bet pretty well tied up.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Washing Wool and Contrast Problems

I spent most of the morning washing wool and working on the sheep mat. Here are some pics of some of the dirty fleece, a pic of it in the sink on it's 3rd washing, and the drying rack I rigged from 2 window screens. I've always been a firm believer that it's ok to use anything that you have lying around in or on your house in the pursuit of the fiber arts and the screens just prove my point. I am going to buy a dog brush until I get cards; Melissa said it should work ok.
I'm not sure how I feel about the mid section of hill that I hooked into the rug. It looks better than it did now I have more finished, but I'm still not really happy with it. I have so much done I don't want to take it out. I think maybe there is too much contrast between the lights and darks in that section. I like the foreground though; it turned out very nice.
Sio is going to Disney in 10 days and so I am making shorts for her for the rest of the day; and then we are going to pick raspberries. They are finally ripe.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

More Gardening

I was talking to Melissa this morning about the garden and she wanted to see pics so here they are. The zuchinni is huge! I planted the cabbage too close to the zuchinni.The peas and beans have blossoms and there are some tomatoes although I don't have pics of those. The birds are getting the strawberries and I'm not sure what to do about that. There is a nice bonus here with the mulberry tree. I've been picking and freezing them as they ripen. I've found a lot of mulberry recipes online. I'm going to make mulberry jam maybe this weekend. The raspberries are late this year because of the cool spring, but they should be ready soon. We've had some nice weather lately.

I'm also posting a pic of the sheep rug. I'm going to work on that a bit more today.