Norma's Needle Adventures

This is a journal of my adventures with knitting, crocheting, needlework and fibers. It may also record bits of information about other aspects of my life.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Long Time

It feels like it has been forever since I have written anything here. Life has just been busy. We have geared up academics now that the end of August has arrived. This means me concentrating on being organized and preparing lesson ideas a few days in advance. Even if they are not written down, they are in my head.....What a scarey place to be. LOL! For the past few weeks my only knitting or crochet time is in the car with my husband on the way to and from work. Mostly I am making some MDK Ballband dishcloths. Not only are they an addiction, but since I make them using 33 or 39 stitches, they fit my hands easily and well. There are more than a dozen in my kitchen. This way I don't hesitate to be particluar about changing them often. Today I realized that the last week of August is approaching. This means that I had better get busy and start making some dishcloths as Christmas gifts for some people on my gift list. I can't name them in case they happen to read this. It is also time to get busy making some red scarves for the Orphan Foundation of America. Last year I did not learn about this until a few weeks before scarves needed to be dropped off for them. This year I want to be prepared for this event by having some scarves made in advance. Once it gets to be a little bit cooler my needles will start having red yarn them. I have rambled enough for now.....More will come later.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

My Mom

It feels a bit selfish and extremely egocentric to write about myself, but it seems apporpriate to do so in order that you know where I am coming from when I write about fiber related subjects. First, you must know about my mother. I grew up as the oldest child of working class parents in a major metropolitan area of the Midwest. From what I understand, my mother worked from the time she was able to return to work after I was born in the very early 1950's. Life was not and has not been easy for her. Growing up I was aware that her life was not like that of most women of her time. She worked long hours outside the home followed my long hours after work and on her days off at home. She is dignified and proud and at the same time a very independent person. These are all qualities I deeply admire and respect. From the time I can remember she has sewn. She has made marvelous outfits. When I was Kindergarden or first grade, she made me a pumpkin costume for Halloween. This was no ordinary costume. When I wore it, I actually looked round. It was stuffed and designed to look like a pumpkin. I had an orange hat with a green stem on the top of it to complete the outfit. If memory serves right, she made this without a pattern. Another time she made my oldest cousin and I matching balloon skirts with hoops. These were the kind that were popular back in the 1950's. She also made my younger brother and I matching coats when we were very young. She made shirts for my father to wear to work as well as a lot of her own clothes. The list of items she has been in my lifetime seems endless. Sometimes she used a pattern and sometimes she did not. It varied. To this day, and with a huge assortment of patterns on hand, if she doesn't like the way an item is made she will revise the pattern. She is also a perfectionist in almost everything she does. This is especially reflected in the way she sews. I remember her ripping out a seam because it didn't look right. She continues to do this to this day. As I tell you these things I hope you can hear and feel the respect and admiration I have for this very intelligent, independent and caring woman I have the honor and privilege of calling Mom. She has passed on to me some of the character qualities she possessess such as independence and perfectionism. She has also taught me the value of frugality and when to splurge on materials and tools. I wonder why I am a perfectionist and lover of fiber arts.....Do you think it is passed on from one generation to another?? I wonder and think perhaps it is. What a treasure it is to pass on. With love to my Mom, her older daughter.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

I haven't been knitting or crocheting much at all in the past few days. There a some squares with loose ends waiting to be woven in. The stack needs to be finished tommorrow so it can be mailed ASAP....Hopefully my family will be open to the idea of Family Reading time this evening. If they are, then I will weave in the loose ends during this time. We have plenty of books in our 'To be read' pile for such times. The hard part is choosing which one of many to read. Once the squares are completed I will move on to completing the Ball Band cloth that is on my needles....I look forward to posting a picture of it. The colors are nice. The yarn so soft!! It may end up as a facecloth rather than a washcloth. After that is done, Ihave not decided what to make......Perhaps another dishcloth. I don't know yet.

Monday, August 07, 2006

New Site
I decided to move my new site Dish and Wash Cloth Mania to a new home because of the difficulty finding a template that fits my goals for it. You may find it here : Dish and Wash Cloth Mania. This is still my main site for fiber arts. and other topics. I haven'tdone much knitting or crocheting done in the past few days. I spent a bit of time on Saturday evening weaving in loose ends on some squares that need to be mailed in the next or so. I have also been working on another Mason Dixon Ballband cishcloth. I'll post pictures of that when it is done. At the rate I am going, it will be a few days. This evening after my husband gets home from work we are spending the evening mowing the lawn and doing some basic yard cleanup. Today is being spent working on blogs, doing dishes and straightening the house. They aren't exciting things, but still need to be done.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Busy Day
It's been a busy day in terms of Blog activity. There have been a few changes made on the side bar of this blog. I changed the order of the links around to suit my sense of organization. I also added some links, such as Star Gazer's. I also created a new blog devoted strictly to dish and wash cloths. It will eventually be placed on the side bar. For right now you can find it at Cloth Mania. My goal is for it to be a comprehensive resource for all dish cloth lovers. Another addition to the links is a web site having to do with web site accessibility. This is of special interest to me because of personal reasons which may be explained later. Please take a look at the site and consider the issues it discusses.
Time Flies
I can't believe it has been so long since I have posted here! The weeks have flown by in a blur of activity. There have been several times when I have wanted to sit down an write, but have not been able to do so for a number of reasons. My hooks and needles have been very busy. I made a bunch of crocheted 8 inch squares for a project I was involved in on Bev's Charity Challenge. They were made with some of the abundance of worsted weight acrylicfrom my stash. It was a good way to use some scraps for a good cause. I am amazed at how much scrap yarn I still have afetr this project. I have done 11 MDK Ballband dishcloths so far. The first batch of 9 out of1o were made by casting on 33 stitiches and making 9 bands. They looked like the right size for my hands before washing. Unfortunately I neglected to take into account the shrink factor and the fact that everything is normally dried in the dryer. Needless to say, they shrunk. They are still usable. I have learned to stretch them once they are wet to make them a bit larger. Dishcloth #10 was made with 33 stitches and 11 bands. It turned out to be the right size for my hands in terms of length butis not quite wide enough. I am now on #11 which has 39 stitiches and I am planning to make 11 bands wide. This one is an experiment because it is being made from some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece which was a gift from a friend. It is the first time I have ever used this yarn and I am loving it.Since one of my concerns using this yarn for the first time is how much it will shrink. After it is finished I will measure it before and after washing to see how much it shrinks.