Dec 30

You have to admire a bank that gives out chocolates in the shape of dollar signs.

And they are pretty tasty, too!

I’ll be back after the new year!  Have fun and be safe, please.

Dec 29
Made to Order
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 12 29th, 2011| icon34 Comments »

We keep our house pretty cool year round.  Scott, being a free-lance illustrator, works out of a room at home and he is rather hot natured.  So in the winter, the daytime temps are set at 60 degrees, whereas he still wears shorts and T-shirts.  But on those occassions in deep winter when the wind is blowing, the snow is swirling and the temperatures outside are hovering around zero degrees, Scott begins to feel the chill, especially in his hands and feet.  Last winter, I bought him some merino hunting socks and that fixed this cold feet troubles, but his hands still got cold.  This winter he asked that I knit him some mitts.

He was pretty specific about the mitts he wanted.  He wanted long cuffs and complete freedom for his fingers and thumb.  In fact, all he wanted was a tube with a slit for the thumb.  Pretty easy order really.  So I measured his hands and thought about it for a minute or two before I began.  Through the first mitt, I would have him try it on once in a while just to make sure all was going well.  The second one is just a reverse copy of the first.  I finished them last night.

I started by casting on 64, then did each cuff with an inch or so of 2-2 ribbing, then switched over to a 6K-2P ribbing for the rest of the mitt so that it hugged his hands nicely.  Also, I stopped the mitt at the first knuckle of his pinky finger so they wouldn’t be in the way whether he was on the computer or had a brush in his hand.

On the palm side, I went with plain stockingnet for smoothness on the palm portion until about an inch or so from the top when I went back to the 6K-2P ribbing just to snug them up a bit for a better fit.  Then I loosely bound them off.  They are 64 stitches from cuff to top and were completely knit with size 2 DP needles.  Really a simpler pair of mitts couldn’t be had and Scott is very happy with them.

Scott is very easy to make things for because he appreciates the work that goes into them.  This is the 6th project I have knitted for him (others include a library shawl, a 6′ X 4′ blanket, 2 hats and a pair of mittens) and I have woven him a nice scarf and he treasures them all.  How can I not make things for this guy?  Once he loses weight down to his goal, I want to knit him a sweater – and maybe I could knit the Johnny Saturn symbol on it for good measure…

Dec 28

Here’s your “cute kittens” fix for the week.

This is now my wallpaper at work.  Neat how some things work out, eh?

Dec 27

Well, Scott and I had a pretty good Christmas, really.  I still had my cold to deal with, so kept pretty quiet Saturday – in fact I read and knitted on the second fingerless mitt for Scott most of the day while Scott worked on one of his deadlines.  Ahhh…  the life of a free-lance artist means that holidays don’t slow down deadlines and he still had work to get done.

Christmas Day itself was spent with Scott’s family and we had a lovely meal and lots of laughter, teasing and relaxation.  I continued knitting on the fingerless mitt while we visited and Scott drew sketches of his sister’s dog, Moxie.  Moxie is such a cute little dog – part long-haired Chihuahua and part Dachshund, and she was laying next to his owner looking adorable.  When Scott and I got home, he finished his work, meeting his deadlines and I got to within a couple of rows of having the mitt finished.

This is the kind of holiday I like most.  No rushing, no stress, no anxiety.  We don’t really do gifts anymore, because that isn’t the real reason we celebrate Christmas.  Family, time together, sharing laughter and jokes are what is important to us, and we had that in spades this year.

Woke up this morning to snow falling, so while we didn’t have a white Christmas, at least we have some of the white stuff I was wishing for.  It won’t stick for long, but we can enjoy it while it is here.

I hope your Christmas was everything you hoped it would be.

Dec 22

Unless something comes up that I can’t wait to share, I’m taking a blogging break until after Christmas.  I wish everyone the happiest of holidays!

Art by Scott Story.

Dec 21

Scott and I both received our Christmas gifts via the UPS man yesterday.  Scott’s is a Kindle, which he is very happy to get, and mine are these:

This is really a good representation of the color of this blanket, too.

My tea mug has a shrug!  This will help keep my tea hot longer.

I found out about Faribault from the WeaveTech Yahoo group, and once I learned more about them, I realized that I needed to help support them and what they are doing.  There aren’t that many US wool weaving mills left and this one is special.

The blanket is very warm without being smothery.  I hate polyester or microfiber blankets because I just end up a sweaty-clammy mess sleeping under them.  In fact, when I go to hotels, I take my own blankets because I hate theirs so much.  This 100% washwable wool blanket kept me toasty warm, but I never got hot under it, which is a miracle as far as I am concerned.  I have the feeling this won’t be the last one I order from them. 

And, did you notice that it is purple?  Yeah!!

Dec 20

Do you remember these pictures of Dylan and Pete from when we first got them?

Dylan looking small in Scott’s hands.

Pete looking tiny on Scott’s shoulder.

Well check out how big they have gotten now!

Pete is very quickly catching up with Dylan, and I believe he will end up being a much bigger cat when they are full grown.  Look out Dylan!

Pete’s getting too big to sit on my shoulder anymore.  Check him out in the mirror behind me and you will see how long he is getting.  Our boys are growing up.

Dylan still has the most incredibly softest fur I have ever felt on a cat.  He feel more like a bunny than a cat.  Dylan also is still the sweetest, most laid back cat I have ever seen.  He just loves to be loved.  Pete’s Siamese personality has really come out and a more friendly, fun cat I have never met.  While I was quarentined in my room with the head cold, Pete kept sneaking past Scott to come in and see me.  Unfortunately, I think he has recaught a cold from me, and I am very sorry for that.  Pete just missed me so much that he couldn’t bear being separated from me.  Goodness I adore that cat!

Dec 19

Sorry I was so quiet here last week.  I had been trying to out run the cold viruses that were running rampant at the office and among my friends, but it caught up with me and, starting last Wednesday, I was down for the count.  I’m feeling better today.  I am back at work, but I have the feeling it is going to be a loooong day.

On the plus side, I had the opportunity to do a lot of reading, figuring our more things on my Droid, and played with my new-to-me Kindle (thank you MIL for giving me your old one – it’s pretty cool!).  Other than that, I slept.

I cannot believe that Christmas is less than a week away.  These days don’t creep up on you as much as ambush you out of nowhere, don’t they?

Dec 12
Repairing the studio
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Work-in-progress | icon4 12 12th, 2011| icon36 Comments »

Among other things this year, I allowed other activities and “things” interfere with my weaving time.  In fact, my studio just became a storage room for all my other activities.  It was piled with Tie-dye supplies and equipment, natural dying supplies and equipment, fleeces and nothing was organized or in any particular order.  It was very broken as far as a working studio goes.

One of the things I have learned this year is that the state of your home is a reflection of the state of your mind, and mine, obviously, was a cluttered, unusable mess.  I want 2012 to be different, so I did the first thing that needed to be done so I could make 2012 the year I really want it to be. I clean and reorganized my studio.  Keep an eye out for two special guests.

Now I can get to the two main looms that I use, the Harrisville and the Herald.  The video above shows you just how bad things had gotten, but by the end of the day, I could walk completely around the Harrisville, and can pull out the Herald to get them warped.  This felt very good to do and I have set out the yarns for the first projects on them.

All those white boxes next to and in front of the steel, wire shelving unit contain items to be dyed and sold in Dyed in the Wool this next year.  So, slowly, they’ll be going away as we get them finished and put into inventory.

The last shot in the video shows my weaving yarn stash – at least the vast majority of it.  I hope that those shelves are as close to being empty as I can get them this next year.  There are some really sweet yarns in there and they deserve to be taken out of their limbo state and be made into something beautiful and useful.

The first two projects I plan to do this year is to weave some waffle-weave towels on the Harrisville and the Shetland wool coat fabric on the Herald.  If things go the way I want them to, I hope to have them both warped and ready to go by New Year’s Day.  Of course, I have several other things going on during this time as well – work, several dyeing sessions with and without Sandy, fleeces to be washed, and my household chores.  But with the additional days off around Christmas and New Year’s and one more vacation day on the 28th, I believe I can accomplish all of this.  Pray for me.

And I want to challenge everyone to put up a short video of themselves telling a little about what they are doing and so on.  We all get to see photos and read text in these blogs, but Sharon recently posted something so that we could hear her voice.  And I really liked that, but I want to go one step further.  I must warn you, though, I just finished cleaning the studio so I was a bit tired and badly in need of a shower, but here you go.

That’s all folks!!  I can’t wait to see videos on other people’s sites.

Dec 11
I’m on Twitter!
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 Uncategorized | icon4 12 11th, 2011| icon33 Comments »

Follow me at @basicallybenita.

Yes, I know – I’ve finally joined the rest of the world.  Sill fighting the whole Facebook thing, though.

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