Aug 16

I have started Cia’s Striped Vest and so far it’s pretty easy.


It’s not much to look at, yet, but the first sleeve is done and I’m on the first stripe of the body.  It takes about 10 minutes to knit one row at this point, which is better than I had feared, so I still think this is going to go pretty quickly.  I won’t get to work on it much for the next few days, lunch today, maybe a few minutes here and there on Sunday and not again until lunch on Monday.

Tomorrow, Sandy and I are driving up to the Michigan Fiber Festival to drop some fleeces off for processing and to buy more fleeces.  Also, just to spend a lovely day shopping and looking at what’s available.  I do know I need to buy more colored wool for the spinning classes I teach – I have lots of white wool, but need something with color in it, too.

Then Sunday, I am one of two judges for the Sheep & Shawl competition at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  This year, it is in the Sheep Barn, so come by and watch as the teams card, spin, ply and weave a shawl in 4 hours.  Then come back by at 3 for the auction.  All proceeds raised go back into the program for next year.

The mornings have been really cool here – the past several days have been in the low 50’s as I drive to work.  Some of the trees are already beginning to change.  If the weather keeps up as it has been this summer, we should have a lovely autumn with great colors.

Have a great weekend!

Aug 15

There’s a new fiber magazine on the news stand – Ply Magazine.


I picked up a copy at Starstruck Cat Studio, where I teach, and began reading it last night.  To me, it is a good cross between Spin-Off and Wild Fibers, both magazine I love.  In fact, the ability to sit and read it from cover to cover, be interested in what I am reading and learn something from it are key elements to what I want in a magazine.  Ply met all three requirements.


Lovely photography coupled with well-written articles means this is going to be part of my library from here on out.  It looks like it is going to come out quarterly, which is fine because there are a lot of ideas to experiment with in it and I will be going back and rereading parts of it again.

So, basically, if you are looking for a new magazine to add to your spinning and fiber library that will both entertain you and help you advance your knowledge base, get Ply.  I am looking forward to the next issue and have told Susan at Starstruck Cat Studio to always hold one for me when they come it.

Aug 13

I am ready to begin knitting the Cia’s Striped Vest from the August issue of Creative Knitting magazine (page 106).  This pattern is super simple and looks really pretty.  Sandy and I happen to have lots of the kind of yarn it calls for, Plymouth Galway Worsted, in many colors and pooled them together to get the colorways we wanted for our vests.  Our co-worker, Colette, is going to knit one as well, so there will be three different colorways and three different sizes involved.


Again, here’s the cover of the magazine to show you the vest I am talking about.  I like the colors they chose for the most part, but I really do not like that pinky color as I think is jars the eyes – it just does not fit in with the other three main colors, in my opinion.


Here are the yarn colors I have chosen.  The green I have is more muted and with more blue in it than the one shown on the picture.  Instead of that pink, I have chosen a nice light gray.  Instead of the blue, I have chosen purple and I have kept the dark red.  For the dark gray shown between the color sections, I have gone with a simple black.  This will make the smaller stripes on the inside edge of the vest gray and purple rather than the blue and pink they show.  I think that will work out nicely.  There is enough value difference between the two colors to show the stripes and gray and purple look nice together.

So, being a smart lady, I knitted a swatch, soaked it, blocked it and let it dry.  Time to compare the measurements to the gauge in the pattern.  The pattern gauge needs to be 20 stitches and 24 rows = 4″ (10 cm).  So what did I get?


With the rows, I was spot on 4″.  So far so good.


With the stitches, though, I got 4.5″ instead of 4″. Hmmm…  Obviously there needs to be some adjustment somewhere.  Since I was spot on for the rows, and the number of rows knitted determine the size, and the stitches determine the length of the vest, I decided to keep the rows and think about changing the number of stitches needed in the pattern to get the length I need (It is knitted sideways).

So, let’s look at the picture that shows how long the vest is supposed to be.


That’s pretty long, and I am short, anyway.  The model probably is taller than my mere 5’1″, so…  If I were to knit this per the pattern, but with the number of stitches per inch that I got on my swatch, it would be over 3″ longer – way too long for me.  So, I set up an Excel spreadsheet and calculated the number of stitches I really need to get the right length.  Luckily, with this being such a simple and straight forward pattern with no decreasing for waste shaping or for the neck, just changing the added cast on stitches after the sleeve caps were knitted was all I needed.  This also means I will need less yarn than suggested.

Now, I am ready to cast on my vest at lunch today.  I am looking forward to it.

Aug 12

I was hoping to find many “K” shots at the state fair, but really didn’t.  Oh well.  I did get some interesting shots, though, throughout the week.


Okay, the easy one is knitting.  Actually, I need to get this finished.  It’s going to be time to wear it soon.


Knight.  This fellow hangs in Scott’s studio.


Kitties.  The reason Scott is holding Dylan for the picture is because Dyl hates having his picture taken and when he sees a camera, he usually goes into hiding.  Hence the look of long-suffering on his face.  If you’ll notice, though, Pete is smiling for the camera.

katanaKatana as held up by Scott.


Kaiju – Japanese for Monster or “strange creature” and Godzilla is a Japanese monster, so…


Kettle hanging in the fireplace in the log cabin in the Pioneer Village barn at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.  I wanted to go and wipe off that cobweb, but that would have meant crossing over the gate and I figured that would be frowned upon severely.


Dairy goat kid – after the lovely scritching behind the ears she got from me, she was more than happy to smile and pose.


Kids playing in a car at the Pixar exhibit at the fair.


Acorn to Oak

My Yellow Swing

Eweniquely Ewe

Delighted Hands

Ordinary But Interesting – make sure you check this one out!

Sanna’s Bag



Aug 11

Yesterday was much sunnier, and, consequently, much hotter.  It was supposed to be mostly cloudy and a high of 82 and we had mostly sunny and it was 89 when Sandy and I left at 6:30.  Hoo boy!

Also, there was more to see at the fair that Scott and I missed.  Too bad, too, because Scott would have loved this first thing.



I know of two Hover craft companies here in Indiana, one in Terre Haute and one in Indianapolis.  Sandy has been around hovercraft for over 20 years and she knows lots of people in the industry.


We watched this huge rig and trailer back into place, then they started unloading the horses.  My, and what horses they were, too.  There must have been 8-10 horses in there.  Isn’t this one a beauty?


At the SWIFT booth was this lady doing bobbin lace.  She explained how it was done in a way I had never heard before and suddenly it made sense.  One day, I am going to give this a try.  She had 27 pairs of bobbins here and was using 50/2 linen, which is thicker than normal, but it is for a specific project and needs to be done this way.  Fascinating.


Remember me telling you about Ruth Gerbig winning all those championships on hers and Allison Dobb’s fleeces?  Well, Ruth also wins big prizes on her handspinning.  Way to go, Ruth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


And, then, of course, there were the sheep.  These two Dorsets had fleeces I would have loved to just run my fingers through.


And a proud mama Suffolk with her 2-week-old lambs.


And, then there was this wee Shetland ewe lamb owned by friends of ours (Kris was one of the ones squished into my car with that 125 pounds of raw fleeces that we drove up to Zeilinger’s last January).  Want to see her fleece up close?


This is it.  I have already put my dibs on this fleece if I can talk them into selling it to me.  Kris’ daughter, who is the owner of this sheep, may want to keep it, but if not, I want it!!!  She won 3rd place with this fleece, but it has certain qualities that I want in a Shetland fleece – not too crimpy and with a nice luster to it.

We came home tired, and today we are getting together to get some custom order tie-dye done.  What a busy time this is.


Aug 10

Today, Scott and I went to the Indiana State Fair.  I was scheduled to demonstrate spinning from 2-6 PM, so we had the day before then to enjoy the fair.  Both of us love the Pioneer Village area and that is where we spent the majority of our time.  Here is what we saw:


Some good music.  My Dad would have love seeing this.  I need to get him and Kathy up to the State Fair next summer.


Woodwright shop busily making a mess – and enjoying themselves in the process.


Replica school room.


The roof of the new Glass Barn is very interesting.


A Hoosier Cabinet.


Wheelwright shop.


A weaver.


Blacksmith shop.  The man closest to me wanted to make sure his hair looked right before he let me take his picture. 🙂


Cooper making another mess.  Really, men make the best messes.  Actually, his buckets and kegs were beautiful.


Taking 40 winks after lunch.  He was really sleep and had no idea this was being taken, but one of his buddies sure thought it was funny.


Allison Dobbs and Ruth Gerbig of Westfield Woolies did it again!  We have dibs on everything they put into the state fair, so guess what Sandy and I are getting?  Woohoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Birthday boy!  David is 50 years old, now.  Where did the last 20 years go?  We all agree that we feel like 30 years of age is just possible, but 50?  Nope!  No way! No How!

Sandy and I are going tomorrow and we will be demonstrating spinning at the Home and Family Arts Building from 2-6.  I can’t wait to get more pistures – especially of the animals.

Aug 9

As you know, I teach a beginning sock knitting class at Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood, Indiana.  Well, I thought it would be a good teaching aid to have a sock that has each of the 7 sections in a different yarn so they can easily be seen.  So, I knit one.


I have been referring to this as the Butt-Ugly Sock.  Sandy added Well-Defined to it, so it is officially the Well-Defined, Butt-Ugly Sock.  Really I had so much fun picking out which yarn should go next to which yarn to make each section really stand out.  Then that turned into a rather perverse joy in making it as ugly as I could make it.  I think I succeeded.

But, ugly or not, it will serve the purpose it was made quite well, I think.

Aug 8

This is a picture I took of Pete this week.

Pete Shake

Isn’t he just the cutest little kitty?  I love how his paw is stretched out and his toes are spread.  That is his favorite place to lay.  It helps that that is where I sprinkle his catnip, too.  🙂

Aug 7

Sorry I am late getting my “J” shots posted.  It’s been busy, both at home and at work, so getting the opportunity to download the pictures from the camera and get them processed wasn’t there.

But, I had some fun getting my “J” pictures.  Most of these were found in Scott’s studio (and I found a lot of “K” ideas, too!).


Jingle!  And, yes, that is a dye jar full of water as the weight.  Hey, it works!

J hook

J shaped hook on one of the planters.


Jewelry – Specifically my Mom’s.  And yes, that turquoise ring is bent.  She got it caught on a door handle.  I am going to get it reshaped so I can wear it.  Mom loved silver jewelry.


Jambox in Scott’s studio.


Jaw bone on Hairy the Skull.

Japanese soldier

Japanese soldier from WWII.  Scott has the best props in his studio.  This guy has been used for a couple of comic books.


The Joker.  I love this guy – you can fill him up with water and it will squirt out his flower when you push a button on his back.  I had to show it to Scott – twice. 🙂

J Jonah Jamison

J. Jonah Jamison!  I got three J’s in that one!


And last, but certainly not least – Johnny Saturn!  This is Scott’s very first attempt at painting glazes onto a bisque plate and having it fired.  The man has too much talent.

Let’s see who else have their J’s up.

Delighted Hands

My Yellow Swing

Sanna’s Bag

Ordinary But Interesting

When other sites have posted theirs, I’ll update this post to add them in.

Aug 6
icon1 basicallybenita | icon2 A Little of This, A Little of That | icon4 08 6th, 2013| icon32 Comments »

I have some deadlines looming that I hope to be caught up on today.  I should have a chatty post tomorrow.

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