Bird in Hand Farm

Bird in Hand Farm is an imaginary place.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I needed a quickie

I am struggling with the sweater.  I can do it technically, but it just seems to be taking forever.  One of my Saturday morning knitting friends was working on the Susies Reading Mitts from Dancing Ewes Yarns.  I loved them.  So much so that I had to come home and make them.  Right then.  I grabbed the first yarn form my stash that might work.  This is an an aran weight alpaca that I picked up at the Empire Alpaca Association's Extravaganza.  I loved the yarn, but it came form one of the farms and was not labeled and I had no idea of the yardage.  It also turned out to be an odd color and I never found any yarn in purple or gray that would work with it.  So, it sat.
Susie's Reading Mitts call for DK weight yarn.  I went up a needle size and made them in small.  It worked, they fit.

These took just over a day to make and they were fun!  I'm already planning on making a second pair.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Raving Rabbids: Rabbids Go Home

I have not had much to say lately.  We are eating out of the freezer., so not much cooking.  The sweater is poking along.  It snows every day. 

We have been obsessively playing Raving Rabbids: Rabbids Go Home on the Wii for the past week.   Basically, you take two insane rabbits with a shopping cart through different places and collect stuff so that the rabbits can build a big enough pile to climb to the moon.  Each place acts like an obstacle course.  it is silly, fun, and suspenseful.  Kiddo and I occasionally scream like little girls.

Our pile is getting pretty big.
pic frum

Monday, January 24, 2011

Kiddo's Quilt: Week 2

A block before trimming
Sewing is in full swing! 
Blocks after trimming
She finished two blocks and four more are in progress.  She is listening to the machine and slowly gaining confidence.  Her seams are at least half an inch wide, and sometimes veer to the left.   At this point, I'm just encouraging her to try to sew in a straight line.  
Love those curved seems.
I am still cutting strips and will be trimming the blocks for her as she goes 
The basket of strips
 I really hope she is having fun at this.  I know I am.
Blocks in progress

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We lost the dog food.

Darwin's dry food lives under the kitchen table.  When I went to feed him breakfast this morning, it was gone.   It was not on the counters either.  Sometimes, it gets left up there.  We both go on a search for the bin.  The bin is not small.  It measures 14" tall, by 9" wide, by 5" deep.  It should be easy to spot.
It is not in any of the cabinets.
It is not outside.
It is not in the refrigerator or either freezer.
It is not in the dining room, living room, bathroom, sewing room, or either bedroom.
It is not in the basement.
It is not in the oven.
Darwin is not bright enough to hide it.
There is no evidence of spontaneous combustion.
There is no evidence that he ate the whole thing.  In fact, he sleeps through the entire search, blissfully unaware that his food is missing.
Where the heck is it?  We were robbed and all they took was the dog food?

Finally, we decided that the kid must have moved it.  She does wacky stuff.  Well, she did not like being blamed one bit.  She marches into the kitchen, goes straight to the table, lifts the Farmer's coat that is hanging over the back of a chair, and there it is.  Between the coat and the cat sleeping under the table, it was invisible.  I swear I looked under there at least 3 times.  Oops.
Someone smart once said: "It is better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."

If you have read this far, you  know.  I am a fool.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monogomous Knitting

Knitters practice polyamory.  All the knitters I know have multiple projects on their needles.   For the last 3 weeks I have only had one project in progress.  It's Cinxia from Knitty.  I don't know how to pronounce it, but I love the sweater.   I started this project last April but put it aside quickly for other things.  Now, I am back to it and I am 3.5" into sleeve #2.  It starts with a slip stitch pattern and it seems like all I do is count: "One, two, three, slip.  One, two, three, slip..."  I thought that if I focused on just one project, it would go faster.  Instead it is taking forever.

A little more love in the world would not hurt would it?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Canvas Tool Wrap #2

Oops.  The pockets on the first wrap faced the wrong way. 

So, here is is again.
It measures 29.5" long by 26.5" wide.  The flaps measure 6".  Each pocket is 5 and 3/8ths inches deep.  The center section between the pockets is 2.75".   For each row of pockets the far right pocket is 3".  The remaining eleven pockets are 2".  It means that as the tools are facing each other, the openings of the pockets are offset.  Tools will go in handle first so the blades of the tools will lie exposed between the handles of tools in their opposite pockets.  Does that make sense?  The blades are then protected by the flaps.  The ties are 42" long.  I didn't sew the ties on first so I had to secure them by over sewing the pocket seams.  

I got the ties 20 years ago.  They came holding a futon into a roll.  They have traveled a long way waiting for the right project.  I really try not to save stuff like that because I think I could become a hoarder of stuff that has crafty potential if I am not careful..  These have escaped multiple purges.
Placement of the pockets on this one was tricky.  What I did was cut the  canvas 1.5" larger than the finished dimensions.  Then I folded it in half and pressed a center crease.  Everything was measured off the crease.  It worked.  The machine actually went through 6 layers of canvas in a few places.  It went slowly, but it went. 
I like it.  I hope my Dad does too.  I wonder if he would give me the original back?  It would work really well to store my DPNs.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Now she wants to make a quilt.

A block in progress
Okay. I have made a ton of quilts. I still have more fabric than brains.  This is doable.

Here we go! Week one.

Actually, back up a bit.  She has been asking to make a quilt since we finished the pillow case.  We had to make sure that this was not a whim.  It's not.
First, we designed a pattern.  I decided on a string quilt with blocks.  It will be 5x5: 10" blocks with a 12" border.  Final size will be 74" square.  We drafted a few options on graph paper until she settled on a favorite. 

Next step was to clean out the sewing room.  Most of that was taking boxes of Christmas decorations up to the attic and just putting random stuff away.  The sewing room tends to become a "catch all" for just about everything in the house that does not have an immediate home.
Holy mess Batman!
More mess!
Finally, it was time to pick out fabric.  The first attempt was a bit overwhelming.  She decided that she loved just about every color in the bin, regardless if they would work together or not.  We did a bit of resorting by theme and then after a few days, she decided that she preferred the really bright colors that "pop."

The calico bins

Then, we went though 7 more bins.  I do not even know how many fabrics she chose.  More than a hundred.
The basket of fabrics she chose
I cut this old ditzy pink fabric into 11 inch squares.  Then I started cutting strips.  Kiddo does not get to cut yet .  She cannot cut a straight line and rotary cutters are for grown-ups. 
Fabrics that have been cut so far...
She is sewing the strips onto the foundation square.  She is still a bit afraid of the machine and she really does not like the iron.  I press for her.   Her seems are huge.  It doesn't matter.  Once she sews them, we press them open and all evidence of big seem allowances and wonky, curved sewing disappears.   Her confidence is growing and she is getting excited.

This is going to be fun.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Knitting needles for kiddo

My friend Amy de-stashed and set aside some pink and purple yarn for kiddo.  I think she likes it.  Of course, she wanted to start knitting with it right away.  With my needles.  Apparently, I am somewhat possessive about my needles.  Who knew?
This afternoon we made her her very own set of needles out of chopsticks she found in her room.  Why does she have chopsticks in her room?  
First, she painted them with watercolors to stain them.  She went with purple/pink/orange.  A few hours later and they were dry.
Then, we used a pencil sharpener to sharpen the points.  We probably should have done that first.  
Next step was to rub them down with a itty bitty piece of glycerin soap that has been hanging out in the shower.  After that she rubbed them down with a washcloth.  They are smooth.
Last step was to glue on these little blue koala pencil toppers that came in her Christmas stocking.
I think they look cool.  My needle sizer says they are perfect size 8s.  Now, to transfer her scarf off my needles and on to hers!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snow Ice Cream

Sounds like fun to me!

Start by putting a clean bowl outside when it is supposed to snow.  We did that last night.  Then we went looking for recipes.  The two with the most ratings were at :Allrecipes and Paula Dean.

We went with the Paula Dean recipe because we have had a lonely can of sweetened condensed milk kicking around the pantry for a few months now.  I have no idea what we would have bought it for.  I think I probably asked for evaporated milk for pumpkin pie and the farmer brought home condensed.  We probably had a conversation that went like this:
Me: "You bought the wrong kind of milk."

Him: "You asked for milk in a can.  That's what I got.  What's the problem?"
Anyway, we used the milk.  It worked, but it was waaaaaay too sweet.  The easy bake oven cakes that we made to go with it were good though.  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Pink socks for me!

I knit a lot for myself, but it is a seasonal thing.  Starting in the summer and increasing through the fall I shift into gift knitting.   By November and December it is an all-out mad dash to get everything done by Christmas.  I like what I make and I like making it.  But, I have to admit that selfish knitting is really fun.  So...for the first time since September, I made something for me!

These are My Basic Socks from  They were quick and easy and used a bit of the kool aid yarn.  The original idea was for kiddo and I to have matching socks.  We ended up with "sort-of" matching socks but that's cool.  I really like the kool aid yarn, but the pink does not smell of cherries like the purple smelled of grape.   I also really want to know what is Spinster Beth's favorite flavor to dye with?  She said Grape is her second.  What can be better than grape?

Oreo and Moon Pie say "Hi!"

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Learning hand sewing

Kiddo was still talking about wanting to learn how to sew.  I went looking for children's sewing projects and was a bit disappointed.   There is not much out there, and most of what is, is to sew stuffed animals.  We DO NOT need any more stuffed animals in this house! 
I found this pattern on Martha Stewart's website.  Regardless of what you might think of Martha, her projects are decent.  It's really small, so hand sewing won't take too long.  It's supposed to be made with wool suiting material.  I think I have wool in the attic, but when it came time to start we decided that it was too cold to go look up there.  We went with some scraps that I had leftover from a project that uses felted sweaters.  We used the gray thread so that she could see what she was doing.  Our hand sewing is a bit primitive.  That's okay.  We stuffed them with catnip that we found in the pantry and some fiberfill.  We used yarn for the tails.  She was very excited to learn how to braid.
It was free.  She is proud of her work.  The cats adore them.  Hurray!

Friday, January 7, 2011

How much is too much?

I don't know know what to knit next.  I have yarn.  I've been reading posts on Ravelry about stash flashing and Yarn Diets.  I honestly did not think that I had that much yarn.  I know people who have entire rooms for yarn.  My stash is austere by comparison.  Isn't it?  I'm not so sure anymore about when "enough" becomes "too much" or even "Holy Cow!"

I have acrylics.  I use them for critters and projects for children.
I have a little pile of alpaca.  I love alpaca.
I have cotton.  The pile of pink balls is earmarked for a tank top.  The bag of blue might become a second.  The rest is leftover from two baby blankets and bath mitts.
I have a few wool blends.

I have a LOT of wool.  It's Elizabeth Zimmerman's fault.  There are balls for two sweaters.  The rest is random skeins.  Mostly Paton's Classic Wool.  I cannot resist it when it goes on sale.
I have even more sock yarn.  I love Zauberball and Happy Feet yarn.  I also bought two skeins of Cosmic Fibers Yarn last week.  Basically, I have yarn designated for 4 pairs of socks.  The rest is for the blankie or random.
Is it too much?  I looked at all of it and I still have no idea what I want to work on.  Sigh.