Sunday, May 30, 2010

Up North for Native Plants

Since this was both a long weekend and the week of my dad's birthday, Paul, Jack, Tchazo and I piled into the car and went up north for an overnight at my dad's house. Paul and my dad worked on getting lumber measured and cut so that we can build pea trellises in our garden. The dogs frolicked and ran and peed and foraged. I was busy digging up native plants that I intend to transplant into our yard.

These columbines are $6 each at the garden store, but the grow like crazy all over my dad's property. I took a few of these, since I really like them.

I also dug up some ferns, lily of the valley, snow on the mountain and even got a few plants from the neighbors, too! They gave us hens and chicks, coral bells and a mystery plant they call everlasting.

The dogs were a bit crowded on the way home. Luckily they were so exhausted they didn't put up too much of a fuss.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

TrinKnitty on Etsy is born!

Well, folks. I finally did it! I have an Etsy store. Here is a link.

Paul says my banner looks like steak. It was actually cropped from the photo above, but now that he said that, I can see steak, too. What do you think: steak or wood?

I am really excited to finally have an Etsy store. This has been a long time coming. Creating things for money has always been an odd thing for me, but I've finally found the right venue at the right time. I love that I can make things as inspiration and time allow. So, please, head over and take a look. As promised, there are stitch marker necklaces, resin necklaces and assorted wrapped and strung necklaces. I have a lot more up my sleeve, including earrings. I'll post here to let you know when the next big shop update happens.

And, a huge thank you to my sister Jessy for modeling my jewelry! You can see many, many pictures of her neck in my shop.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Belated Mother's Day

Yesterday I gave my mom her belated Mother's Day gift. We collaborated on an earring display for her. She liked the concept of my burlap holders, but wanted hers to be a little fancier and a little bit lacy. This one is made from an 8"x10" picture frame, a sheet of fancy scrapbooking paper, some double stick tape and a panel of seafoam lace out of Buckingham (a lush blend of alpaca and silk) by Bristol Yarn Company.

Since she knew what she was getting, I also threw in a pair of earrings so she had a little bit of surprise, too.

This display can be used propped up like a picture or hung from the wall. Although I didn't follow it, there is a similar pattern here.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Etsy Incubator

For the past few months I have been hard at work laying the groundwork for opening at Etsy store. I am in the last phases of it and should have my store up and running soon. For now, here is a little preview of some of the things I will be selling in my shop.

I am really excited about these stitch marker necklaces. They will be available in many different color combinations.

As part of the preparations, I have been testing prototypes to make sure they are durable, comfortable to wear and functional. I can attest that the stitch marker necklaces work great as fun, fluid necklaces and perform their double duty as stitch markers quite nicely. All of the accent beads are wire-wrapped, so they won't snag on your yarn.

I am also excited about these resin necklaces. After a few false starts with some sub-par materials, these are now up to my standards and ready to go. I am really enjoying playing with the materials to create these pendants. I am using a variety of materials including photos I have taken, reclaimed fabrics, vintage buttons, stamps and shrinky dinks. Because of the materials I am using, each of these pendants has its own unique history and its own story to tell. There will be a lot more of these pendants as time goes on and I come across more fun images and materials to incorporate.

One of the jewelry techniques I am most fond of is wire-wrapping. It is a tidy and secure technique. I have recently taken to combining wire wrapping with sections of strung beads to create asymmetrical necklaces. The asymmetry thing has totally got me in its grips right now!

Also asymmetrical, but without the wire, I have been making necklaces that combine different materials such as this bamboo and glass necklace.

One of the most challenging parts of this process has been the photographs. I am definitely pushing my little point and shoot camera to its limits. I know the quality would be so much better if I had an SLR camera, but for now, I am working with what I've got. And, luckily, my lovely sister Jessy has agreed to model for me, so I can convey a sense of scale with pictures of her wearing the jewelry.

As soon as my shop is up and running, I will surely let you know.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting the Garden Going

Before the weather turned wet and cold, Paul and I made a good amount of progress on our garden. We potted a bunch of herbs (rosemary, cilantro, dill, spearmint, chives, parsley):

The chives were transplanted from my mom's yard and are already thriving. I used some in my eggs recently.

We also started basil in a garden box inside and are taking a stab at starting some cucumber seeds indoors. More onion sets (this time red onions) went in the ground. We planted seeds for beets, kale, chard, collards, radishes and 2 kinds of carrots. We bought and planted starter plants for cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts. The little plants have had it quite rough this week. One night we even had to scrounge around for assorted boxes and pots to use as makeshift greenhouses. They needed to be covered up because there was a threat of snow! The pumpkins did not survive in their new location, so I'll have to start those again.

The peas have come up quite nicely. I planted too many seeds too closely together. My thinking was that the seeds were given to me by my dad and he had said some of them were old. I didn't want to risk having lots of duds that didn't sprout. I planted a TON of them so as to increase my chances. I think they all sprouted, which is great. But, it also means that I needed to thin them out in order for them to be able to thrive.

I felt like such a meanie, ripping out these newly sprouted plants. Then, I ate one. And, I realized that they taste just like pea pods. Yippee! I was able to thin them and get a few good salads out of it, too. And, if I feel adventurous, there are entire websites devoted to how awesome pea shoots are and the many ways you can eat them.

Since, we didn't buy our house until June last year, this is the first time we have been here to see the apple trees bloom. The blossoms are gorgeous.

Shortly after they bloomed, the windy, rainy weather came through and stripped them of the blooms. I hope these ups and downs in temperature don't prevent them from having a good apple crop. I have promised Paul an apple pie from our own apples this year and I hope to be able to deliver on that.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dog, Plane, Park

We don't get to the airport dog park as frequently as we should. Tchazo really enjoys it and I find it quite pleasant, too. Especially on a lovely, sunny, spring, Sunday morning like it was last weekend.

Monday, May 10, 2010

May Day

I am definitely belated putting up this post. I didn't want to let May Day go by without a peep out of me, so it belated it must be. For an explanation of why I love this event, see this post from last year's event. This year's theme was Uproar! Here is the explanation of the theme:


A call to be fully present to the uncertainties of these shifting times

Uproar! MayDay 2010

In this Year of the Tiger, we stop to inhale the immense beauty of the world we share.

We exhale into a thunderous UPROAR! an embrace of multitudes joining together with collective strength for the present and future health of this world.

Here are some of my photos from the day (taken from a bit far back in the crowd, but you can click them to see larger versions):

Thanks to Missy and Todd for saving us a spot and enjoying the parade with us.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day with Hoops

After my mom finished doing the Walk for Cure this morning (yay, Mom!), we gathered at her house for a Mother's Day Brunch.

It was a potluck feast of large proportions.

After brunch, Paul went over to his parents house to spend some time with them, while my mom, sister and I headed out to the garage to make hula hoops. We had a new tool to use in order to cut the pipe. The PVC cutter had us stumped for quite a while.

"How does this thing open?!?!"

Once we finally figured out how to use the tool, we measured and cut the tubing with ease. We used hair dryers to heat the tubing and insert the connectors.

Finally, we added some electrical tape for aesthetics and identification purposes.

Voila! Adult-sized hula hoops!

Jessy wasn't in the hoopdancing class we took, but she is natural! I think the neighbors enjoyed watching 3 grown women hula hooping in the driveway on a Sunday afternoon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Current WIPs

After all those F.O. posts, I thought it worth posting what is currently in the works.

I am still working on the Bit by Bit Blanket. It is coming along sporadically and slowly, as predicted. With the stitch pattern I am using, it basically requires 2 rows of knitting for every 1 row of length gained.

I am also knitting a version of the Textured Shawl Recipe. I am using the cormo wool from my Spring 2009 share of Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm (now Juniper Moon Fiber Farm) yarn. Because this yarn is all that I can/will get, I needed to make due with the two skeins that I have. I realized when I was nearing the bind-off row that I wasn't going to have enough to be able to knit the edge I wanted to. I sucked it up and ripped it back to almost halfway.

These photos are pre-frogging. The ripping has taken the wind out of my sail for a little bit, so the project is in hibernation for a little while.

I am also working on the Swirl Shawl. I am knitting this with the one skein of Noro Kureyon sock yarn I had in my stash. The yardage is much less than the pattern calls for so I anticipate making this into a scarf that is 2 swirls wide. Watching how the Noro colors behave in this pattern is quite a bit of fun.

In addition to the knitting, I have been making lots of jewelry. I'll tell you more about that later!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

In furry news...

Tchazo enjoys taking sunbaths:

Jack can usually be found underfoot/in my way/right where I am:

Fanny takes an open bag as an opportunity to lounge:

And, sometimes its all just too much for her:

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trinity's Touch-Tronic

photo from Singer

Paul and I went to a garage sale on Saturday. I met a man who has been an industrial sewing machine dealer for decades. He happened to be selling this Singer Touch-Tronic 2001 sewing machine. I happened to have just enough cash on me (if you don't count the $3 I had to take from Paul). I happen to be in the market for a sewing machine as my cheapy new one from Target hasn't been working and I have been using my mom's machine in the meantime. So, I bought it!

I took it home, looked it up on the internet and found that it was made in 1978. That just happens to be the same year I was born! And, it is "the world's first computer-controlled machine", so says the Singer website. That's pretty cool.

The man at the sale took me into his basement and showed me his arsenal of industrial machines. I had no idea there were so many machines for sewing so many different kinds of materials and stitches. It was a neat little glimpse.

I am hoping this was a match that was meant to be. I've had quite the string of sewing machine duds and I would really love it if this one lasts me for a long, long time.

Also, the internet is an awesome thing. I was able to locate a scan of the original instructions during a search for an explanation about a mysteriously blinking red light. Turns out the red light is telling me that my bobbin is low on thread. Thanks for having my back, Touch-Tronic.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

4 Scrubs

In addition to the mitered towel I recently made, I have also been knitting these little scrubbies.

They are out of the same yarn (2nd Time Cotton) and are meant to be used in place of washcloths or dish sponges.

I knit some of these a while ago and have been using them to wash dishes. They hold up quite well at dish duty. And, when they get too yucky, they can easily handle being run through the clothes washer and dryer.

Plus, I just think they are so cute! Much like making washcloths, these appeal to me because they are ripe for playing with texture and color and, especially with the striping, they are great for smaller quantities of yarn.

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