Jan 31
Sneak peak and another FO
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 01 31st, 2011| icon33 Comments »

I’ll give you a bit of a sneak peak into February’s Fiber Binder Club selection.

The February slection should be going out in the mail tomorrow, if the weather will allow it.  We are supposed to get a lot of ice and freezing rain starting this evening, and if we get what they are predicting, they might be a couple of days late in getting mailed.  The state police are known for arresting people if they are caught driving when they’ve declared it unsafe.  I love you guys and want to get these into your hands, but not enough to risk jail time.  Sorry.  🙂

And then there is the third hat out of my ugly yarn (and, yes, it’s being modeled on a jar).

And I had enough yarn left over to make a pom-pom for the top.  This one went to one of my co-worker’s daughter to wear to the barn where they have horses.  It’ll keep her noggin’ nice and toasty. 

Stay warm!

Jan 30

Now that tax season is upon us and things have really gotten busy at work, I needed a day of no thinking.  So, Scott and I opted for a day at the Indiana State Museum.  There were a couple of special exhibits we wanted to see, plus it had been a while since we had been there.

The major exhibit we wanted to see was the war poster art from WWI.  For my homsteading friends, I offer the following:

It was considered being patriotic to grow and preserve your own food.  Why did that ever fall out of fashion?  This is still the best way to get the best nutrients for your body.  I think we have damaged our country by making everyone think processed, fast, cheap and junk food are what our bodies need.

While we were there we wandered around, and I am sure people thought us strange for taking pictures of the floors, the walls and other texturey stuff.  Well, Scott is in the process of collecting lots of textures to use in his computer art, so wherever we go, taking these types of shots are just part of the day’s activities.  But I did take some shots that did not consist of old wood, stone work and gravel.

These small glimpses into a world far into the past always fascinate me.  I love minatures and these little scenes make my fingers itch to make some myself.

I think it is a shame that this wheel isn’t in working condition.  How is anyone supposed to learn anything from a broken, non-functioning wheel?

After looking at the Civil War surgeon’s kit, all I can say is “Thank you, God, for modern medicine.”

“And thank you for the modern way to get a perm.”  When I saw this, my first thought was “Wow!  Tim Burton would love this thing.”

I have always wanted a chatelaine.  I don’t know what I would do with one in this modern age, but I think they were cool.  Not to mention, they showed who was boss.

Isn’t the beading on this dress top beautiful?  I wonder how long it took to do this?

I think I have mentioned that I like dolls.  Check this one out!  What’s that in her mouth?

Yes!  It’s a cigarette!  She must have been a fast, racy little lady in her day.

And then there was this nun doll.  Her state of shock in finding herself a nun hasn’t lessened in all these years.  Either that or finding herself standing next to that smoking, cheap broad next to her that did it.  Or both.

I have always enjoyed watching the pendulum as it goes back and forth with the movement of the earth.  What makes this one extra special is…

…who ever thought it would be cool to make the center a glass ceiling into the museum offices below. 

One of my favorite things there was this HUGE copper pot.  I forget what it was originally used for because all I could think was “How much yarn could I dye at one time in that thing?”  Do you think they’d notice if I had tucked it under my coat?

Going to the museum is always lots of fun for Scott and I.  We love history and we love looking at artifacts from the past.  I’m still disappointed in that flax wheel.

Jan 29

I thought I had made a mistake in my counting, and it couldn’t really be 18 weeks already since this started, but it has!  Time is flying, although these pictures are pretty monotonous at the moment.


We are supposed to get more snow tonight and tomorrow, but only about an inch total.  It’s the wind, right now, that’s the villain in this opera.  It is very sharp and my winter coat, as heavy as it is, is doing little to stop it.  I want a wool coat – maybe even doublecloth wool that is extra think and extra warm.  I’ve been dreaming of a wool coat to go along with my wool gloves, wool socks and alpaca scarf.  I have about thirteen 1/2 pound cones of Harrisville Shetland in a nice gray, and I keep looking at my 40″ wide, 8 harness loom.  I wonder how much cloth I would need in order to make a double-thickness wool coat?

Jan 28

Lately, all sorts of good things have been happening to Scott and I, and we are very grateful for every one of them.  They range from little things like finding a $5 in one of my bags just when I needed exactly $5, to big things like Johnny Saturn getting mentioned on i09 without our knowledge and our wondering why the numbers of unique visitors and page view jumped 5 fold. 

And this morning, I knew I needed to fill up with gas on my way in to work.  The BP and Pilot at my exit had both jumped from $2.97 to $3.19 overnight.  So I passed them up and drove on into Indianapolis.  All the gas stations I passed were $3.19.  Then, at the corner of Allisonville Road and 82nd Street, the Speedway station was showing $2.95 on its sign, even though the Shell across the street was at $3.19.  So, I slid on it, and filled my tank up at $2.95.  There is one other station just beyond that usually has the cheapest prices in town, but something told me to not go on, but to fill up at the Speedway.  And I am so glad I did, because that other station was at $3.19, also.  God is good!!!  And I thanked Him all the rest of the way to work.

There have been other good things happening, from small to big, and I have been giving thanks and praise where thanks and praise are due.  Am I waiting for the other show to drop?  Nope!  I am expecting more good things to come my way.  The Bible says to ask, believe that you will receive and receive.  I have asked for only good things to come into my live, I sincerely believe that only good things will come to me, and by golly, I am receiving good things in abundance.

This is, in part, of what I meant last December that this was going to be a year of spiritual growth for me.  I cannot change others in the world, but I can change me and how I look upon everything.  I can stop complaining about things and start praising and being thankful.  I can look for the silver lining in the cloud instead of the rain.  I can give everyone I meet a smile and a cheery “Hello!” rather than a frown and a grumble.  And if I get a smile in return, I am well rewarded.  Life is too short to be looking at the negative things in it.  I’m looking to the good and positive things, and I’ll find more and more of them as I go.

So, let me ask one thing of you.  If you are finding in your life is strife and conflict, disease and misfortune, try putting a smile on your face and being thankful for something – even if it is just being thankful that you are alive.  Look for things to give thanks for, and when you are feeling down, do something that will lift your spirits – whistle, listen to fun music, go and watch kitten videos on the internet, whatever it takes to bring a smile to your face.  Ask God for good things to come into you life, and start looking for them.  The next thing you know, you’ll be finding them, too.

Jan 27
A Couple of FOs
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 01 27th, 2011| icon34 Comments »

Slowly but surely, I am getting projects finished.  I took more of the ugly yarn (although this was much better all the way around – you could tell I was getting the hang of things by the time I got to this one), and made another hat for Scott.

Here is my goof-ball hubby modeling it.  You should have seen the first picture I took of him.  He was even goofier looking because he was trying to look cute – he ended up looking scared silly.

The top of this one ended up this really bright orange.  I think the astronauts at the space station will be able to spot this one.    I do have enough yarn to knit a smaller hat, and since it is more feminine in color, I’m making a smaller version of this hat for a co-worker’s daughter to wear to the barn.  That will use up this yarn and get it all into useful items.

And then, I finally finished the Christmas socks for a good friend who just happens to also be my old college roomie.  Yes, I know, I’m over a month late, but she is patient and when I told her she was getting hand-knitted socks, she was thrilled and willing to wait.

I still have three balls of this sock yarn, so my two co-workers and I are going to make matching socks out of it.  That will be fun.

That is what I have finished.  I still have two more projects to finish, but this weekend, I am wanting to get out the sewing machine and get a few of those projects off my list.  I’m itching to sew up something.

Jan 25

It’s been a while since I posted a current picture of me on here, so I had Sandy take one of me last week and here I am in all my glory.

You haven’t seen how long my hair is getting.  I still have a couple of inches to go before Locks of Love want it, but at this point, I’ll wait until the end of April to get it cut, if I can get it to grow two more inches by then.

And the jacket?  Goodwill for $4.50.  Fully-lined and hardly ever been worn before, you can tell.  Goodness I love that store!  And, yes, I just happened to have a turtleneck in the right color to set the jacket off.  I have an impressive collection of turtlenecks and there are very few things out there I can’t match.

And, because of working out with the Wii nearly everyday (and for an hour last Sunday), I lost 3.5 pounds last week!   I never thought exercising could be so fun, and I love my little Mii character.  She’s so cute and upbeat and I hate disappointing her.  I know, I’m odd, but I can live with that.

Jan 24

Well, I have the info sheet all completed and printed up, and, now Sandy and I just need to attach everything and get the fiber for the samples bagged and ready to go.  For those of you on the month by month plan, expect an invoice sometime this week.  The second selection will go out on February 1st.

If you have not joined the Fiber Binder Club, yet, there is still plenty of room.  We can either start you with January slection and send you monthly the new updates, or, if you want, you can be shipped the first two months at one time and be caught up.  This is the last chance to do this, because starting in March, new members are just a couple of months behind, but will still receive everything in order and in due course.

With shearing season just around the corner, Sandy and I have been contacting several breeders and arranging the purchase of high quality fleeces and fibers for the club.  The more we talk to people, the more fun this gets.

Remember, in order to join the club and get your hands on some interesting and fun spinning fibers to try out each month, email Sandy and I at dyedinthewoolbiz@yahoo.com and we’ll get everything set up.  The cost, for those in the US, is $10 per month or $110 per year.  For those in Great Britain, it is $15 per month or $165 per year.  For those of you in other countries, we will need to adjust the fee to cover the additional shipping expenses, but we are more than happy to accomodate your membership as best we can.  For more information about this club, go to www.dyedinthewool.biz and click on the Fiber Binder Club tab.

We have received nothing but praise from current members, so hurry today and join before this limited membership club is full.

Jan 23

Yesterday, Scott and I both woke up feeling tired and completely unmotivated for the chose list that we had created.  Also, since Scott works at home, he was ready for a day away from the place, and I don’t blame him.  So, we went through several ideas of what we could do that wouldn’t cost a lot of money, and decided on several hours at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.  I love the Textile Arts and the Contemporary Art departments, and Scott wanted to take his sketch book and wander through other areas making sketches of things that captured his eye.  So, off we went.

When we got there, we checked our watches (or cell phone in Scott’s case because he can’t wear watches – they quit working on him in just a few weeks) and split up.  I entered the Textile Arts department and they had the coolest display of bathing suits, dresses, suits and such all that was considered “ultra modern and futuristic” for their time periods, so I retreated, found Scott and took him to it.  If he every needed some inspiration for superhero costumes and how cat suits fit a body, then this was the place he needed to be.  We went through it together and I left him making some sketches.

After a tour through the Contemporary art section, where I fell in love with two mind-bending paintings (both of which I’d love to recreate in weaving or in silk painting or do something that is fully inspired by them) and a mobius ship, I took myself down to the first floor where I had seen a comfy couch off in a corner for people to rest their weary legs on.  What really caught my attention about this couch was the lighting.  Several direct eyeball lights in the ceiling meant I would be able to see my knitting.  Yes, I took my knitting (the nearly completed sock if you’re asking) because I wanted Scott to be able to wander around without worrying about me, and while I like certain areas, the rest I’ve seen time and again, and didn’t feel like seeing them this time.

So, I plunked myself down in a corner of that couch (there were two matching chairs  facing it, too), got myself comfortable and situated, took out my knitting, and proceeded to knit.

I love people watching, and I have knitted this sock pattern so many times now that I don’t need to pay close attention to my hands.  This gave me the freedom to watch people as they passed to and from the restrooms nearby, the food court, the gift shop and the room where you can hang up your coat.  I don’t stare, just glance around between the sights around me and my knitting.  People are so interesting, don’t you think?

Well, while I was measuring the foot of the sock against its completed mate to see how much more I had to go before I could start the toe, another woman came over and sat opposite me in one of the chairs.  And I realized she was watching me!  So, I continued working and knitting and she continued to stare at my hands as they knitted one needle, then the next, then the next and so forth.  One of the reasons I love knitting socks with five needles is that it looks so cool and complicated to the uninitiated. 

So many times, I have had people come over and ask me what I am doing, and I will show them the sock, usually its mate, and then when they say the inevitable “That looks so hard!”, I explain what I am doing and how easy it actually is.  I’ve had people who have knitted scarves but said they were afraid to try socks come over, and when I show them how easy it is to make socks and show them that even though there are lots of needles there, you work with only the familiar two at a time, just moving on to the next needle with you’ve finished one, they leave saying, “I can do that!”

But this lady did not approach me, nor did we ever make eye contact, but she sat and watched my hands knit round and round on that sock for a full 10 minutes.  While she was there, two young ladies (in their early 20’s) came over and one sat in the other chair and one sat on the other end of the couch, and they, too, watched my hands as I worked.  They tried to keep up some sort of conversation, but it kept trailing off as they watched me knit.  Again, no eye contact was made, but I did quickly glance up from time to time and I had to smile inwardly at their interest and concentration on my hands. 

Luckily, I still had had quite a bit of work to do on the foot, and when it came to transfer the 4 needles over to three to start the decrease for the toe, all three ladies had left.  But it made me think.  It was like, for a space of about 15 minutes, I had become some sort of moving exhibit at the museum.  It made me think a few other things, too, but I need to let them simmer a bit before I am ready to see what can be made of them.

And I will be able to finish that sock and pass it and its mate off to their new home this week.  Yesterday was a fun day and educaional in more ways than one.

Jan 21

Okay, now that I’ve teased you for a few hours, I’ll tell you all about that very nice person I mentioned yesterday.

Susie Gibbs is the owner of Juniper Moon Fiber Farm and she is the very nice person.  She has opened her website, which gets something like a bazillion hits a day and has been written up in such magazines as Country Living, for small retailers and craftspeople like Sandy and I to advertize on her site.  Not only that, in order to help people find out our on-line stores, she is helping each of us hold a contest so that lucky winners can win cool stuff.

This week is our turn to have a contest on Dyed in the Wool.  Just pop on over there, read today’s post and follow the instructions.

Then pop over to Juniper Moon and put a comment on their post about this contest telling them your top two choices, so that the winners get what they want.  Then check out all the cool stuff Susie and her crew are doing.  They have the nicest yarns all dyed there on the farm.  Also, Sandy and I split a Fall share from her and the Cormo fiber for spinning was absolutely wonderful!  Soft, perfectly clean and lovely.  We really enjoy reading all about her farm, the animals, those that work for her or visit her and there is always something new and interesting to read about or learn.  She is just the nicest person!  Actually, her whole staff are the nicest people, so kudos to all of them!

Jan 20

January in Indiana!  What did you think I was going to say?

The snow is coming down very finely today, and it is hard to capture it on camera.

Driving to meet a friend for lunch today was interesting.  Notice how the sky is the same color as the snow on the ground?

The weather service is predicting 3-6 inches of this before it peters out tonight, but I think we will be on the light end of that.  If the flakes were larger, then we’d be in trouble, but they aren’t.  Not that I’m complaining, however. 

It would be fun to just drive around in the country and take snow pictures today.

So, here is your week 17 picture.  I’m a bit disappointed that it looks foggy like a couple of weeks ago, which is another reason I was hoping for large flakes. 

Now for some great news!  Oh, wait…  I guess you’ll have to come back tomorrow for that part.  I hate to make you wait, but there you are.  Let’s just say, that there are some very nice people out there and tomorrow, I will tell you all about a very nice person and what she is doing for me and other small fiber retailers.

Until tomorrow, then!

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