Jun 29
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 06 29th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

Just look at this!


Each stripe represents over 2 hours of knitting time.  Compare this to what I had done on Friday night in my last post.  Yup, that’s nearly 10 hours of knitting time this weekend on this vest.  This does not count diving through the skeins of yarn and winding the balls of browns and other rich, autumn colors.  That probably adds another hour and a half.

So, if I am to get any spinning done, I need to stop knitting on this in the evenings before I go to bed.  Starting tonight, this is lunch-hour, at-work knitting only (unless I need a portable project to go somewhere), and during my down time here at home, I will spin.

In today’s mail, a four-ounce lovely blob of hand-dyed Shetland arrived from Spunky Eclectic in a color way she is calling Selfish.  I call it heavently!!


Once I get done with the alpaca I am spinning, I’m going to be Selfish for a while…unless I get sidetracked by something else just as lovely.

Jun 26

Well, folks, things have been a bit off this week for me.  On the way home from work Tuesday night, I got rear-ended.  Basically, I stopped at a stop light and the guy in the pick-up behind me didn’t.

Which brings me to another reason why I love my PT Cruiser so much.  The guy hit me hard enough to land me in the middle of the intersection (Thank the Lord I was the first one at the light or I would have clobbered the person in front of me), and this is the damage to her.


Yup!  Just one dent and the crease in the bumper.  PT Cruisers are tough little cars – very solid!  The hatch still opens and latches just fine, too.

The funny thing about this dent is, because of the hatch latch being the shape it is, the dent looks like a pair of lips.  Sandy suggested that I put a word balloon pointing toward with with “SWAK!” in it.  I had to laugh.  I could have done that or put SMEK! in it, which is comic book lingo for the sound a kiss makes.  There’s even a nice cleft in the “chin” below the lips.

But, this does need to be fixed and as soon as the insurance adjuster lets me know what to do next, I’ll do it.

But the other bit of damage was to me, unfortunately.  The smack on the backside jerked me forward and back so hard that the x-rays show the second vertebra in my neck rotated, which is causing me some pretty intense headaches.  Also, the upper back and shoulder muscles are pretty sore and tight.

I’m glad I have a very good chiropractor, but this is going to take a few weeks to repair.  Right now the muscles in my neck are pretty inflamed, so lots of ice and ibuprophen as well as some therapy treatments are in store before he can begin shifting the vertebra back into alignment.  Also, since I was glancing into my rear-view mirror when I was hit, my left shoulder is lower than my right and my upper spine is about 23 degrees off center.  Which explains the pain in my upper back.

Wednesday, I made it to work, went to see the doctor, went to my BASK meeting and ran the shop since the shop owner is at Midwest Weaver’s Conference (and I am totally jealous!), so it was nearly 10:00 that night before I could get onto some ice.  And I paid for it yesterday.  I made it to work, but by the time I got there, I was in a LOT of pain.  I went home, took my ibuprophen and lay on ice packs pretty much all day.

Scott and I figured out how to keep ice packs on my neck and upper back and allow me to sit up enough to knit.  Listening to Jeeves and Wooster books on tape and knitting kept me down and quiet (and if you know me well, you know that keeping me down and quiet is NOT an easy thing to do) and today, I feel much better.

So, here is where I am on the newest incarnation of the naturally dyed sweater vest series (does two make a series?)  This one has a different cable pattern up the front, will be a crew-neck, and the stripe patterning will be different from the brighter one.


The brown at the ribbing is actually three different yarns, each knitted a row in turn, then switching to one of the browns for the first four rows of the body before switching to the 8-day in the pot madder red from the madder gradation experiments from a couple of summers ago.  On some of the days, I had second, larger samples pulled so I would have more of certain colors for other projects, and this is one of those extras.  I have enough of this red for it to show up at least twice more in this vest.

Again, I am having a blast digging through the yarn samples to see what I want in this vest.  Right now, I’m thinking this is going to be made up of rich natural shades of golds, greens, rusts, reds, browns, etc.  With this one not really having a deadline, or at least not one for a couple of months, I probably won’t spend as much time working on this as I did the last one.  Besides, I want the chance to spin in the evenings rather than knit.

Jun 24

Sighing up for the weaver’s swap is now closed and everyone has been contacted with their partner’s information.  We have until the end of July to get our fabric woven and to our swap partner and then until the end of August to get the bag/tote/satchel, etc., made and in the mail to the weaver of the fabric.

Personally, I can hardly wait until the end of July for the cloth and get to planning on what it is to become!

One more incentive to get the studio set up by the end of July 4th weekend.  We are so close to moving in looms, bookcases and all the paraphrenalia that goes with weaving, spinning, knitting, dyeing, sewing, etc., that I’m getting really antsy to get it started.

Thank you to everyone who sighed up for the swap – and let the fun begin!

Jun 22
Weaver’s Swap 2009 Deadline
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 06 22nd, 2009| icon31 Comment »


Wednesday at noon EDST will be the deadline for anyone wanting to participate in the Weaver’s Swap to email us at weaversswap@yahoo.com.  On Wednesday afternoon, we will assign swap partners and contact them with their partner’s name and email address.

I can hardly wait to receive the fabric I’m going to make into a bag/tote something.  I have lots of interesting ideas running around in my head.

Jun 21
Well-aged pillows
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Did you Know? | icon4 06 21st, 2009| icon31 Comment »

I read an article on line recently entitled “When is it time to change your pillow?”  Well, I thought about it and can’t think of when I last bought a pillow for my bed – maybe 5 years ago for my body pillow?

The test was this.  Fold your pillow in half width-wise.  Does it stay folded or does it spring back open to full-sized.  If it springs back open, your pillow is okay, but if it stays folded in half, then it is time to get a new pillow.

So, I tested mine.  My body pillow (the one I actually sleep on) sprang back open slooooly, but the other pillow (the one that sleeps on top of me – I use it to drown out any possible extraneous noises–like the ticking of my clock) stayed folded.  This pillow, on occasion serves as an extra prop behind my back when I read in bed, and has been known to act as a lap desk when I’m writing or have the laptop computer in use while I sit in bed.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m of the opinion that a pillow that springs back open quickly just hasn’t been well broken-in, yet, and the ones that stay folded or open back up sloooowly are aged to perfection.  What good is a pillow if you can’t pummel it into its proper, comfortable shape?  Give me one that I can punch and poke into place and it stays there.

Jun 20
One more completed project
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 06 20th, 2009| icon31 Comment »

It feels good to have this sweater vest done – and in plenty of time for the natural dye demonstration on July 14th.




And it’s going to be a nice, bright, warm vest for this winter when all is gray and bright colors are sorely needed around us.

I can hardly wait to make the next one, but for now, I’m going to get the spinning wheel out and work on the alpaca I started back at the beginning of May.

Jun 19
Almost there
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 06 19th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

As you can see, I am almost finished with the random stripe vest.  All I lack are the bindings for the armholes and the v-neck.  All the ends are woven in, even!


This vest is meant to be a natural dye demonstration piece for a program I am doing at Huddleston House on July 14th, which is why it has been the main project for a few weeks.  I want to use it to show people that natural dyes aren’t necessary browns, greens and dull colors, but can be bright and vibrant!

I really enjoyed knitting this, but I am ready to get back to work with the spinning wheel once again.  I know what my next knitted sweater vest is going to look like, but I need to dig through my sample yarns and see if I can find all the yarns in the colors I need – especially enough dark brown to do the bounded edges.  And if I can’t find all the colors I need, then I may just have to dye some more – DARN!!!

Also, the next one is going to be a size smaller.

Until then, I’m seriously thinking about finishing a pair of socks started a few months ago and set aside for more exciting things.  A person can always use more socks.

Oh yes!  We still have some room left in the Weaver’s Swap that Dave Daniels and I are organizing, so if you want to join us in the chance to make a bag out of someone else’s handwoven fabric, go to weaversswap@yahoo.com and let us know you want to join.  If you get the heebie-jeebies thinking about cutting into your own handwoven fabric, here’s your chance to cut into somone else’s!  Heh!  Heh!


Jun 18


When Dave Daniels of Handweaving Today showed his Sissy Bag on Tuesday, the idea came to me that it would be interesting to see what type of bag designs other weavers could come up with.  Dave and I had discussed a weaver’s exchange of some sorts a while back, but I thought, why not bags.

So, several emails and idea tossings later, we came up with the idea of the Weaver’s Swap 2009.  The rules to it is on Dave’s site, so click here to get there.  This is limited to the first 20 people to respond to us at weaversswap@yahoo.com, do if you want to be involved, please get your name in asap.

This is going to be LOTS of fun!!!

Here are a couple of buttons Dave came up with, so you have your choice of three buttons to use (including mine at the top).



Jun 15


We are still enjoying the fruits of our CSAs labors and am looking forward to the Wednesday delivery.  Scott and I are considering very hard what we want to start growing for ourselves – since our CSA provides vegetables and herbs, we are thinking more along the fruit line – grapes for sure, and strawberries are a definite possibility – both freeze very well and we can munch on them all winter, too.

BTW, if you are longing for something cold and sweet, just pop a frozen strawberry into your mouth and let it melt.  YUMMM!!!!!

Jun 14
Everything has been stained
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 06 14th, 2009| icon3No Comments »

The corner blocks are stained (as well as the one baseboard piece I had forgotten against the wall in Studio B) and as soon as everything has had the chance to thoroughly dry (and in this humidity, that might take a day or two), I’ll get it all poly-coated and ready for installation.

If everything works to schedule (and it rarely does), I should be moving everything back into Studio B and out of the rest of the house on July 4th weekend.  That, of course, means I’ll have everything poly-coated by the end of this next weekend and install it the last Sunday in the month.

To have everything together in one place, handy for work and planning, will be a grand thing for me.  I can hardly wait to show you what it’s going to look like!

And, Scott can hardly wait to get my big loom out of his studio.  That makes two of us.

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