The Good, The Bad, & The Swearing

February 6th, 2008

Well, I had a nasty surprise today. I went down into my studio, which is located in our finished basement, and the throw rug was wet. Sopping wet. Squishing wet. Wet enough that there was no possible way that my little 6 lb. dog had that big of an accident.

That could only mean one thing. Water.

Sure enough, upon closer inspection, thanks to all the heavy rain in the past week, water had come in (again!) under my yarn wall in my fiber room.

This, for anyone not paying attention, is The Bad of today’s posting. The only thing I fear getting in my studio more than water is *looks around to make sure they are not listening, the nasty things* is moths. Oh, I shudder just to think it!!!! Well, and fire. And mice. And little kids. And icky bugs. Okay, so that are a lot of things I’m afraid of getting down there. But this is the third time since we’ve lived here that water has come in under the walls. Not gushing or anything, more like very large, very inconvenient puddles.

After flipping out for a few minutes, running around frantically looking for towels and wishing with every fiber of my being (no pun intended) that Marcus hadn’t had to go into the office today of all days, I discovered that there wasn’t as much water as last time. The Good is that most of the water was absorbed by the throw rug (which prevented any water from going under my computer desk and chair) and by a large pile of fabric waiting to be washed. Lyssie’s pillow didn’t even get wet this time.

I did have tons of yarn on the floor in front of my yarn wall, but it was all in plastic bags, so it didn’t get wet. Thank goodness for plastic!

So, all in all, I decided that my fiber room really was getting a little out of control – Okay! Fine! A lot out of control and it really wasn’t taking me all that long to clean up since all the shelves are up on 2×4’s so most things were still dry. Mostly just of lot of putting away that I’d been putting off.

And then I discovered one bag. One oversized, paper bag that was filled to the top with novelty yarn. And the yarn was soaked. Completely and utterly soaked. A whole bag. And that, ladies and gentlemen, that was when The Swearing started.

Edit: I ended up only having to rewind seven balls back onto my yarn swift.  But still. Grrrrrrrr!!!!!!!

Knitting Needle Roll-Ups

January 23rd, 2008

I have recently begun making knitting needle roll-ups for storing knitting needles and crochet hooks. I have been looking for a smaller item to sell along side my art quilts when I have vendor booths at art festivels. I think that these roll-ups, as well as my bags, will work nicely for that.

Knitting Needle Roll-up

There are two versions. The shorter one (approximately 18 1/2″ wide x 19 1/2″ tall) holds DPNs (double-pointed needles), circular needles and crochet hooks.

The taller version (approximately 18 1/2″ wide x 24 1/2″ tall) that holds short straights, DPNs, circulars and crochet hooks. I am selling these for $34.95 for the shorter ones and $39.95 for the taller ones.

Both versions have eight 2 1/4″ double-pockets and four four 1/2″ double pockets. (In the picture below, the pink fabric is the taller pockets and the batik fern fabric is the shorter pockets.)

Knitting Needle Roll-up

This one was commissioned by my mom’s boss, who owns the Falconer Knitting Loft in Falconer, NY. She had me recycle some cute Victoria’s Secret ribbon as the ribbon ties.

These are available for commission as well. I don’t have a shopping cart set up yet for these, but I do accept credit card and PayPal so email me what fabrics you want and I will send you the particulars for payment and shipping, etc.

Lake County, Oh, Stitch ‘n’ Bitch

January 18th, 2008

A couple months ago, I managed to get on Ravelry, which perhaps is why there haven’t been many blog entries here lately; every time I hop on the computer, I get suckered into checking out “just one forum” or “just one pattern search.”

Anyway, there is a new group that’s formed: a Stitch ‘n’ Bitch for Lake County, OH! They meet every Tuesday at the Borders in Mentor, OH. The address is: 9565 Mentor Ave. Mentor, OH 44060. It is a really fun group, so if you are in the area, come check us out!

I finally got the Christmas pictures off my camera. This is the afghan that I knitted for my grandmother. She really liked it. I used about 35 skeins of various neutral-colored yarns including cotton, wool, man-made fibers, silk, and bamboo. I also did the math and there are approximately 150,000 stitches in plain garter stitch. 🙂

Nanie’s Afghan

I started this afghan back in September 2007 and finished it Thanksgiving weekend. Towards the end, in order to finish it time, my knitting goal was knit one skein every day, which isn’t as bad as it sounds because a lot of the skeins were only 100 yards. It turned out quite a bit bigger than it was supposed to, though. I meant it to be something to drape over the arm of a couch; instead, it’s big enough to hang over the edge of her queen-sized bed!

Nanie’s Afghan

Now, I just need to finish Mom’s afghan. 🙂

Valley Art Center Show

December 29th, 2007

This is “Staring at Eternity.” The picture was taken while it was hanging at the Valley Art Center juried art show a few months ago. The piece is back in my possession now.

Staring at Eternity

This is me, wearing the knitted stole I made to wear to the opening.

Meagan Weidner

I designed the stole myself and was really happy with how it turned out. I am trying to knit up various stoles to wear to art show openings, but it is slow goings since I keep having to work on Christmas presents. 🙂 But now that Christmas is over, I can start knitting for me again.

Actually, now that Christmas is over, I will be starting the commissions I received this summer. I may take a bit of a break here in January and work on a Valentine’s Day throw for Marcus. We shall see. 🙂

Break from the Blog

November 9th, 2007

I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve got some family stuff going on right now so my blog posts are going to be pretty sporadic. At some point, I’ll write about what’s going on, but for now, I’ll be taking a bit of a blog break. Thank you for reading my blog and keep checking back.

Art, Lies, & the Truth

October 31st, 2007

I have been working very hard on my piece for the 2008 CoCA challenge: Words to Live By. I decided to use Picasso’s quote, “Art is the lie that tells the truth.” I am calling the quilt “Art, Lies, & the Truth.” 🙂 I’ve always liked that quote. It reminds me of something my friend Mary Urbas, who teachs classes on how to sell your artwork, tells her students. It goes something like, “Art is the ultimate smoke and mirrors because you take something worthless and turn it into something beautiful and precious.”

Here it is thus far, and for some reason, this quilt did not photograph well, so please forgive that:

Art, Lies, & the Truth

Obviously, it still needs work to be finished by November 19. It has been an interesting experience making this quilt, partly becuase of the odd shapes, and partly because I chose to use all hand-dyed fabrics, except for black, and with some of the fabrics I have been in danger of running out and since they are hand-dyed, once they’re gone, they’re gone. I am particularly worried about the next fabirc, the dark blue. Guess I’ll have to check my stash again and hope that I either have a little more of that fabric or can make a substitute.

I am extremely please with how nicely the colors are flowing and of course, I love making the crazy blocks. The center of the quilt will be black, with Picasso’s quote machine-quilted/embroidered in brightly colored thread.

I’ll post more pictures are it progresses.

Sit & Knit Day

October 30th, 2007

Well, yesterday Marcus had to go in to work for a meeting (usually he works from home) so I decided to have a Sit & Knit Day and watch Gilmore Girls. Actually, I kind of needed to knit yesterday because I need a new stole. (A stole is a rectanglular shawl.) I just found out that one of my quilts, “Staring at Eternity,” was accepted into the Valley Arts Center juried art show. The opening is this Friday night, November 2, from 6-8 pm. Since I usually like to wear something that I have made to art openings, I decided that it was finally time to knit up the Autumn Stole that I have been buying yarn for. I used to have a knitted black stole, the one I wore to the Fairmount Show opening, but I sold it. 🙂

This is very exciting because last year, I entered two pieces in the Valley Art Center show, and they were both rejected.

So, here is a picture of the Autumn Stole thus far:

Autumn Stole

I used a lovely hand-dyed skein of Manos as my color inspiration.

Autumn Stole with Manos

Now, where have I have seen these colors before? Oh, yes! I remember! In the quilt hanging in my living room!

Autumn Whispers

This is “Autumn Whispers.” I made it a couple years ago to be a focal point in our living room. At the time, we were living in an apartment and the carpet was mint green. Actually, the entire apartment was mint green. Let me tell you, it was scary! Now, “Autumn Whispers” looks much better in our new living room, and it is still one of the local points. 🙂

Now, I have to go knit some more. Darn! 🙂

London Broil

October 28th, 2007

Paul, this one’s for you. 🙂

*****

London Broil (this recipe originally from www.allrecipes.com)

1 minced garlic clove

3 tb. soy sauce

1 tb. Worcestershire sauce

1 tb. ketchup

1 tb. vegetable oil

1/2 ts. pepper

1/2 ts. dried oregano

Flank Steak up to 4 lbs.

Mix up ingredients in large sturdy zip-lock bag. Trim any fat off steak and place in bag. Refrigerate, turning bag occasionally, for at least 5-6 hours.

Marcus’s special grilling techniques: Turn grill on high and sear both sides for about 1 minute per side. Turn heat down to medium, then grill for approximately 7 minutes per side. Note: Grilling time varies depending upon thickness and size of steak. This cut of meat is best prepared medium to medium-rare.

You must serve this steak with sauteed onions and mushrooms. Absolute must. 🙂 Twice-Baked Stuffed Potatoes are fabulous with London Broil, too, but aren’t absolutely required.

Marcus and I like buy up the steak when it is on sale, trim it, combine it in a bag with the marinade, and freeze it. That way, we just take it out of the freezer and it marinates while it thaws. Clever, huh? Actually, that was a tip from my grandmother, who is an amazing cook. Anyway, that was some of our favorite recipes. Tomorrow, maybe some actual quilt pictures! 🙂

Some Great Recipes

October 27th, 2007

My Mom and I had a great time while she was here.

While Mom was here, Marcus and I made two of our favorite recipes, Potato Pancakes and Teriyaki Stir Fry. Mom said she had to have them, so I figured I’d stick them on my blog for a quick and dirty entry for everyone to enjoy. 🙂

*****

Potato Pancakes (This recipe is originally from Taste of Home, Marcus’s favorite magazine.)

4 cups frozen shredded hash browns (The grocery store Aldi’s sells refrigerated hash browns that you don’t have to drain, just open up the bag & dump ’em in. Much faster.)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup minced fresh parsley (1 1/2 – 2 tb. dried)

2 tb. milk

2 eggs

1/4 flour

1/2 ts salt (Originally, it was 1 ts. salt, but we decreased it because you can always add some later)

Place hash browns in a strainer and rinse with cold water until thawed. Drain thoroughly; transfer to a large bowl. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Heat 1/4 oil in large skillet over medium heat and drop batter by small spoonfuls. (You can do bigger spoonfuls, but this way makes them crispier.) Fry until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Makes 4-5 servings.

Now, Marcus and I like to have these with sour cream, maple syrup, and homemade applesauce. They are delicious!

*****

Teriyaki Stir Fry Sauce (This recipe originally from www.allrecipes.com)

2 ts. Cornstarch

2 ts. cold water

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tb. & 2 ts. Cider Vinegar (We usually just use white vinegar)

1 hefty ts. minced garlic

1/4 ts. ground ginger

1/8 pepper

Combine all ingredients in small saucepan and simmer, stirring frequently, until sauce bubbles and becomes thick.

Marcus and I usually stir fry the following our wok (in heated vegetable oil and sesame oil): onions, mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, corn, and peppers. When the veggies are almost done, we add in the cooked, thick teriyaki sauce and let it all get nice and covered. Sometimes, if it seems a little watery, we add a little cornstarch mixed with water until it is thick enough.

You can add meat, or not, to this stir fry. We usually use boneless, skinless chicken breasts that have either been baked or grilled in the same teriyaki sauce (doubled recipe of sauce, of course). We are going to start cooking a double batch of the chicken, too, and freeze half for later so we can just thaw it and toss it the cooked stir fry for an even faster meal.

*****

Well, that seems long enough for today. 🙂 Tomorrow, I ‘ll post our famous London Broil recipe. Yeah, I know, not much fiber stuff lately, but what can I say? I can either write about quilting, or actually quilt! 🙂

PlaceColorSwap

October 24th, 2007

Sorry I haven’t written. My Mom unexpectedly came to visit us last Friday and we have been knitting up a storm! Actually, I have been quilting, too. I’ve working on a last-minute entry for a challenge in my art quilt group, CoCA. It is coming along great so far, which is good it is due in less than three weeks. 🙂

I recently joined a swap group I heard about on Ravelry. (Yes, I am one of the lucky people who has got in, thanks to my wonderful mother who signed me when she signed up. Love ya, Mom!) Anyway, the swap is called PlaceColorSwap. Here is a link for their yahoo group page. It seems really fun.

According to the rules, I am supposed to post the “Fun Stuff” part of the questionnaire on my blog. And since I’m a little pressed for time at the moment, today’s the day. 🙂

What is your favorite color(s)? Green. I LOVE Green, all shades, all variations of green EXCEPT mint. I also like really bright colors. I like green, blue, & purple; red & black; autumn colors

What are your least favorite colors? Pink, brown, white/cream, and pastels

If you have a favorite brand of yarn, what is it? Schaeffer 🙂

What weight yarn do you prefer? Doesn’t matter. I seem to be knitting with a lot of lace-weight yarn right now

Is there any weight of yarn you’d rather not have? I’m not doing much with super-bulky right now

Do you enjoy novelty yarn? If so, what kinds do you like and dislike? Yes! I like ribbon yarn, fringy yarn, sparkly yarn, shiny yarn – basically, I’m not picky as long as it isn’t scratchy. 🙂

What are your favorite fibers? Definitely Silk. My other favorites are rayon, cotton, bamboo, and soy

Do you have any fibers that you dislike or worse yet, have an allergy to? No allergies, but I’m not very fond of wool. Too itchy.

Do you have pets? If so, what do you have? I have a wonderful little Yorkie named Alyssa. She is 11 years old and a rescue dog.

Do you spin? Yes, I have an embarrassingly large collection of drop spindles, and I am always buying more! (I don’t have a spinning wheel by choice. I love my spindles!)

Would you enjoy receiving spinning related items, such as roving? Definitely! I love spinning silk caps, silk, and soy. I enjoy spinning wool as well (especially hand-dyed) but prefer that it have some non-wooly fiber mixed in, too.

Do you knit, crochet, both, or other? Just knit. But I am a fiber artist (I make art quilts) and that’s what I do full-time for my profession.

Is there anything within your craft that you haven’t tried yet that you’d like to try or learn? Oh, lots of things. Scribble Lace, for one.

Is there anything that you enjoy collecting, aside from yarn? I am an art quilter, so fabric. 🙂 Especially hand-dyed or batik (Not Joanne’s fabric. Yuck!). I also collect dragons, antique glass Christmas ornaments and vintage postcards.

Is there anything else that your pal should know to help her spoil you? I am a huge “Lord of the Rings” fan. I love to read, especially science-fiction and fantasy. I really like knitting with old metal knitting needles. Of course, I love chocolate, and my husband and I like to cook gourmet. My username on Ravelry is “KrazyQuilts.”

So, there we go. And just for fun, here is one of my favorite pictures of Lyssie:

Did Someone Say ‘Head Pet’?!?!?