Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Spin-in Treasures!

Sometimes at January spin-in, I have time to shop--
mostly before the participants arrive in the morning
or after they leave in the evening.

I did find this lovely 50/50 merino/silk blend
at Dicentra Designs booth--"Russian Puppet"--
love Lisa's names for her fibers!

This was a gift from my partner (the other half of my brain!)
Handspun natural color cotton!

And a Cowl--although, not purple--it suits me just fine!

Another pretty from Lisa @ Dicentra Designs is
this felted reversible shawl--soft and drapey,
I couldn't resist!

The front side combines many techniques
and textures--wool/silk roving on
silk backing

Yummy! Yummy--colors just like the Gulf of
Mexico waters on Destin beaches

I have three sets of HiYa Hiya interchangeable knitting needles
and love them--when talking with lace maker extraordinary Fran--
 one who knit this fabulous lace shawl.
She said she uses ChiaoGoo Needles 

I just had to try them!  Amazon here I come!
and the needles arrive within two days!

I rarely use needles above size 8--this set is perfect!  
So anxious to try them out on my lace knitting projects.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Time To Say Good-bye..............

Yelp, it's rolled around again--time to say goodbye to our wonderful spin-in friends.  Treasures have been bought, prizes received, nonsense skits, pleasures held, learning experiences gathered and lots of hugs and laughter!  Vendors shelves are little more bare.  Packing is bittersweet--  we'll meet again next January-- and as the carts roll out of the conference room, we say many good-byes.

Just a short time ago, the room was full with laughter,
spinning wheels, and energy!

And this is the way it looked after everyone packed up--
sigh, the energy has left the building along with 
all the beautiful colorful fibers and spinners..
We go away with thoughts of next year's challenge--
Purple Cowl 
I imagine there will be alot of happy people!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Such Creative Folks!

One Hundred and Twenty folks all have the same interest at heart!
Here we are sharing our talents, experiences, creativity and

If a newcomer enters, a circle will widen up to
open their arms to those who do not have a group.

Vendors are enjoying the captive shopping audience plus
we offer 'blue light' opportunities for those sale features.

This booth has their Saori looms warped and ready
to be woven on--maybe you want to take one home.

The vendor is ready and willing to assist you with
your purchase.

One of the challenges from 2017 was 'Green Fibers'
Here is one example of how to combine four different
fibers into a wearable scarf--spun, blended and plied--
all natural fibers.

What to do with an outstanding colorful skein of yarn?  Crochet
this lovely pattern--"Virus"  a free pattern on Ravelry.
We also have a money pig that collects funds for charity.
you add to the pig, name your charity with your name.
on the final day, we pull one name and you get to take
the pig money to your charity.

How about this for creativity?  Embroidery floss jacket!!
She knit this rainbow of embroidery floss--this is the warm side

This is the cool side--how does a mind work that this?

Short Rows!  Knitting with handspun wool using short rows
creates this wonderful lightweight jacket

And the scalloped edge adds additional interest

Talk about lace knitting!!  What a lovely silk shawl worn by

Beads and all helps with the theme--"Baubles, Bangles, Beads"

What do I work on?  Knitting on this jacket--three days of work=
maybe an inch for the ribbing...
I'm not working on exquisite lace or embroidery floss jacket--
I don't feel so creative...................

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Let's Talk ....

Spin rolls around every year at this time and
we have a wealth of fun!  There is also a wealth of good
stuff that are door prizes.

Here is one table with door prizes--our participants are
very giving! Just look at this bounty of gifts on this
one table!

Here is the other table--not only are
the prizes on the table, there are many UNDER the
table.  We use an honor system--if you want to bring
a door prize, fine.  It is not necessary.  

And this is the give away table!!  Take whatever you want!

Lost!  This wonderful cowl was found in the parking garage--
so sad to be lost!  My partner and I were hoping no one would
claim it--it was so soft!  
But, alas by afternoon--someone claimed it!  
It has been a fantastic time with limited problems.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

30th Spin-in Anniversary!

It's that time of year again--and our 30th anniversary rolls around--Our Destin January spin-in is off the charts with laughter, merriment, skits, gathering of friends, treadling fibers through our fingers.  Ahh, Spin-in!!  Location:  Destin, Florida!
The white sugary sands along the blue clear Gulf waters
brings back many memories of times spent here--
this location is our favorite hangout for lunch--
 a view of the bay with fishing vessels and sailing

Sunsets are a delight!  When the sun hits the Gulf, it
flashes a tint of green--but, you must concentrate to view it.
Joy every night, but alas, we are not always here 
but here...........

in the ballroom of The Palms--spending time with our fiber
friends--thinking up ways to keep them on their toes!
Vendors line the walls as participants spin their time away--
making progress on their fiber stash!  

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Road Trip!

I love road trips--planned road trips that is!  We head NE--first stop Waco, Texas!  I know that's not a very interesting place to stop but we are finding the local coffee shop--Common Grounds

Well, look at that--just down the street from Magnolia Silos--

 we'll take a peek and see what all the fuss is about.  And there is even
a bakery on site!  This couple has certainly built a special place in Waco! 

Okay--only 10 minute wait--I've heard stories of waiting an
hour or more to get in the bakery.
Now, that we have our fill of favorite beverages and delicious cupcakes from
Magnolia Bakery--we hit the road again

Our next stop, outside of Waco, is Brazos Valley Cheese--
they were making Ghost pepper cheese when we arrived.
Somehow, four different varieties fell into my basket--
love the horseradish pecan on huckleberry cheddar--
oh, the ghost pepper cheese is delicious too!

Fort Worth here we come!!
Our main purpose from visiting:

Bass Performance Hall is presenting "Something Rotten!"  Broadway play that is a must see
again!  We saw this hilarious play last summer and were glad to see it was coming to a theater in another Texas town-- .

A great road trip so far--now, we venture onto our next destination--
Jackson, Mississippi!  We are on our way to Florida and January
spin-in gathering.  

Friday, January 19, 2018

Birds + Paper = Quilt!

As you see, I've changed my blog background!  Enough of the cold, snow,
wind, ice, sleet, freezing temperatures--onto the beautry of
Valentines Day!

Do you like to PP (paper piece)?  Then, this project is just right for you....

An immediate sewing adventure on paper leads to a year of
"Into The Wild" with our host, Janeen Van Niekerk, giving us her
vision of Charley Harper's work.  Harper said he was "the only wildlife artist who has never been compared to Audubon," 

Each month Janeen will give us a free bird pattern (till next month's
pattern is posted).  
This is a great way to 'sing' our way into Spring!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

It's A Mundane Chore!

I HATE ironing!  It's that one chore that I will put off till
the pile to be ironed is higher than my ironing board!
Yesterday I ironed five blouses, two 
shirts and a box full of small pieces for the Bonnie
Hunter's latest mystery "On Ringo Lake"

It seems to never end--just lots and lots of small pieces
that have to be pressed before the next step.....

There are 200 brown ones, 200  coral ones, but
that's not all--you must press one side, sew on the
next 2" square and press that side!

And then there are the 100+ longer pieces that have two 2" 
squares on each end--oh, and make sure you have the
squares going the right direction or you are doomed
to begin again!

You think you can see the end in pressing, you have
all the triangles to press..............
it's such a mundane chore that I HATE!
When all said and pressed--I hope the block is worth it!

Monday, January 15, 2018

This is Something A-ccoking!

We are using that IP (Instant Pot) !  Yay!

First up:  Steel Cut Oats!  On a cold day, there is nothing like a bowl of steel cut oatmeal for breakfast. The previous recipe I used from Alton Brown called for overnight in the slow cooker.  The oats were always ready for the breakfast, but OMG in the IP we can have Oatmeal in 3 minutes--not instant oatmeal either--the Steel Cut Oats!!  Delicious!

The IP recipe called for Almond Mlk or non-dairy--you could also use Coconut milk--we don't usually drink almond milk but sometimes, if I have it on hand,  I make hot cocoa -nice and rich and less calories too.  -

Next up:  Butternut Squash Soup!  Cooking the squash in the oven was my go to thing. The IP makes it easy peazy!  Cut up the squash into small pieces--add to IP, add liquid--I use chichen broth to get started.  This time, I had mango on hand and added it to the IP--First, I sauted onions in the IP--soo cool that you can do it all in the one pot!  Set machine to 8 minutes--I don't have an immersion blender so I transfer it to my regular blender, add some heavy cream (left over from pie days), salt, pepper, agave nectar for sweetness, little ginger and gram marsla,  blend!  Yummy good!  Drop a dollop of sour cream on top--

I love split pea soup--here we add onion, carrots, smoked sausage
instead of ham, little salt and cook 9 minutes--
and we have the most awesome split pea soup!  
Yummy!  and I didn't even need to put it through a blender
to puree the peas.
I know all I've made so far is soft stuff--I'm working my
nerve up to cooking meat!