Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Excitement Builds!

 Yarn Bombing 101...
don't get caught!
Or at least smile if you do.

Fast approaching is her official opening, and
Renee is putting her personal touch on every 
square inch of her fabulous yarn & fiber shop, including  
this playful yarn-bombed post! 

Spun Right Round 
official opening 
Friday, September 2nd

Every one is invited to attend the 
Grand Opening Celebration:
Saturday, September 10th

Bring friends!
Enjoy tasty treats & phenomenal door prizes.
Stay and knit, mingle, shop & have fun. 
You'll be so happy you were part of it all!

75 East Court Street
Cortland NY 13045

An idyllic late summer view out my front door.
Makes me want to knit. No wait, spin! Um, embroider?!
Gosh, Spun Right Round can't open soon enough for me.

How are you spending your late summer days?
I'd love to hear.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

I've wanted to make these baby booties for weeks now.
 Today was the day, and they were worth the wait.
I spent the whole day camped out on the couch 
watching back-to-back Miss Marple mysteries 
and happily embroidering. *sigh*   
Two more designs waiting to be assembled.
What do you think about these felt & fleece booties?
My other victory today: successfully baking yeast bread. 
I owe it all to my dear friend Tracy who put this book 
in my hands. After five minutes of prep time, 
I completed the starter, shown above. 
This photo is the starter two hours later.
Almost looks like I know what I'm doing.
Time to bake, so the dough went from this,
to this. Then into the oven and thirty minutes later,
Look Tracy, I did it!
If you want to bake yeast bread, get this book. 

This wonderful day has been brought to you 
courtesy of Hurricane Irene. If it wasn't for her steady 
downpour, you'd be looking at pictures of the piles 
of weeds I would have been pulling instead.    

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


 Simple pleasures, freshly picked. 

 Garden bounty turned succulent condiment!
Curious to try Pickled Green Tomatoes? Recipe below.

 Late summer surprises in my mailbox.

Right when I needed a friend's gentle touch, my dear friend
Cheri mailed me this delicate piece of vintage silk kimono.
The fabric is hanging in the studio because it's too beautiful 
to stuff back into the envelope, plus it reminds me of Cheri
(And, I'm not brave enough to cut into it just yet either!) 

Wait, there was more lovin' goodness in my mailbox:

 A white box & an envelope decorated with absolute TLC.
Inside the lovely box was this thick stack of pure potential! 
Rebecca Ringquist has the best goodie bundles for sale here
I've used her scraps with exciting results in everything from 
tote bags to post cards. Grab a stack and see what you can do!
I've wanted to stitch into her fun screen printed pieces,  
and now her new, irresistible Paisley Embroidery Sampler 
(foreground, above). I'm giddy at the thought of having
Rebecca's kind-hearted spirit with me as I 
stitch and sew into fabric she's already put her hand to.

I feel rich with the simple fruits of our (garden) labor, 
but especially with the fruits of friendship. 
Thank you my dear friends.


1.5 quarts white wine vinegar
1.5 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. sea salt
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 lbs. green tomatoes, any will do, 
sliced into wedges 1/2" - 3/4" thick
1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves

In a medium sauce pan, 
combine vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic.
Bring to a boil.
Add the tomatoes.
Simmer over low heat for 10 minutes, 
or until tomatoes are tender, not mushy.

Strain the tomatoes into one bowl, 
and the liquid in another bowl.
Add tarragon to the liquid.
Refrigerate until both are cool.
Spoon tomatoes into lidded glass jars,
then add liquid. 
Refrigerate up to 3 months. 

Serve with hamburgers, roast chicken, etc. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

I'm thrilled to say that this dynamite, 
one-of-a-kind bag is happily in its owner's hands!
As a knitting project bag, the light hearted 
Alexander Henry fabrics are heavy duty, and 
my dear friend Vickie can comfortably store up to 
a baby blanket sized project.
Knowing I'd eventually photograph these
mittens drying on the porch rocking chair,
camera-hog Stanley camped out all morning.
(Still a bit groggy.)
I look at these and all that comes to mind is packing snowballs.
So I moved the mittens over here to 
better show you this really fast mitten pattern.
I'd link to the pattern, but I'm having trouble finding it 
on her new site. I found it through Ravelry, Judith Brodnicki, 
Simple Woolen Mittens. 
A toasty warm thank you to Mary (dearmary on Ravelry
for encouraging me to use my chunky handspun yarn 
for mittens. After 6 hours of knitting on #9's, presto! 
Continuing to follow Mary's wisdom, I slightly felted 
the mitts for maximum toast. And what fiber did I spin 
to achieve the cheeriest mittens ever?! 
Spunrightround's Polwarth. 
 My mother-in-law Fran (L) and her sister Judi (R)
stopped by our house this afternoon.
Aunt Judi drove from Missouri to Ithaca, NY for 
a 10 day visit. Today is the first time 
Aunt Judi and I met in person. 
Drinking coffee & sorting through old photos for hours,
Fran and Judi kept the stories coming and 
kept us all in stitches. 
Just like old times.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

"The Great Spirit of Women" Indeed

4 days + 4 girl friends + Wiawaka at Lake George, NY= 
The historic Fuller House
One of Wiawaka's ongoing missions is to provide 
"a peaceful getaway for women in August,
...a respite from the hectic pace of life today - 
the historic buildings and beautiful grounds 
harken back to a simpler time." 

Snap shots from our self-made, fiber-filled respite:
 You may recognize two of these most talented  
spinning friends: Marjorie (back) & Vickie (center). 
Now, kindly meet Mary (front).  
This is Mary in action. 
I want to be Mary. She knows it.  
Wait until you see her prolific, beautiful 
spinning & knitting on Ravelry.

Say Hi! to the 4 of us on Ravelry:

Hmmm, one of those sign holders looks familiar.
Jackie and Daisy 
Daisy was our shooting star good luck charm. 
As soon as she arrived on the dock, 
in the dark of night, stars shot in every direction. 
Wearing a vase of flowers 
and telling spoofy stories at the camp fire,
Joe proved he's the entertainment king.
Kathy (L) Veronica (C) & Joan (R) 
The only thing that would make this staff meeting better 
is lemonade.
A moment to remember, walking in Georgia O'Keefe's 
footsteps. I've adored her and her work since I was in 9th grade. 

You cannot stay at Wiawaka without meeting 
amazing women with interesting life stories.

Getting to know Nancy, above, as she worked on her  
hand appliqued quilt. She and her best friend Sheila 
shared a girls' weekend before Sheila 
makes a life-changing move.

Getting to know Robin was a treat, too. 
She's knitting a gorgeous sweater 
lovingly inherited from a very dear friend
Visit robdob on Ravelry. 

More incredible women with amazing stories:
Casting For Recovery.
Sunday morning, these women lined the shore 
with their fly fishing guides; each woman with her own 
breast cancer story, and each beautifully casting her line.

Spinning a Grafton batt from black to blue to magenta.

Our spinning dries.

Best friends glow. 

Marjorie, Vickie, Mary and I noticed the same thing:
For each woman who saw us spinning, 
her curiosity drew her closer, then before we knew it 
she'd take a seat and tell us about her personal
connection to yarn. Whether knitting, weaving 
or spinning, or if her mother or grandmother taught  
her to knit when she was little, the stories flowed. 
I won't forget hearing about Kathy's 
(ballet) point shoe fitting career, 
DeeDee's new endeavor working with Casting For Recovery,
and Pam's quest to teach needle felting to her young art class.

I'm always in awe at the power fibers have to make 
meaningful connections that last a lifetime, or more.
That goes for Wiawaka, too.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Open Studio Sunday

An expensive roll for the thimble....guess who?! 
If you've played Monopoly then you know 
it's rarely short of a marathon.
This soggy weekend called for just such 
a family activity, and we happily obliged.
Nephew Owen, hubby Jeff (right)
At least my opponents are handsome, 
even if they did kick my pants.

The much needed rain also gave me an opportunity to
finish some projects for Spun Right Round's shop, 
like this Cool Cat sample canvas bag  
using Sublime Stitching's Cat-A-Rama pattern.
If you're looking for hip, fun, ready-made embroidery 
patterns, Sublime Stitching has a wide variety, and soon 
you'll be able to buy their patterns in person
at Spun Right Round in Cortland. 
(Word on the street: Grand Opening coming soon!)
Two more tiny sweaters for the growing collection of 
not-so-secret-top-secret shop decorations.
 The background sweater is knit from Noro scraps,  
and the front sweater uses my hand spun 
made from a prized Spun Right Round art batt. 

Wish me fun as I head to the Adirondacks with treasured 
friends for our highly anticipated spinning retreat. 
Meet me back here Wednesday August 17th 
for all the details!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Big Bad Wolf

This is not a story about the little girl in the  
red cape, or the little boy who cried "wolf!"
Instead, it's about my 13 year old, super 
talented nephew who said he wanted to make 
a wolf pillow. Thus began our Tuesday Studio Dates.
 Meet Bryce with his original design,
the Wolf Pillow. I asked if the wolf had a 
name but sadly, not yet. I remain hopeful that 
one day this amazing wolf will have a name -
he definitely deserves one. 
Bryce designed every bit of this wolf himself, 
and had help from Aunt Tierney only on the sewing because 
if you've ever sewn fun fur, you know it's not really fun.   
Bryce packed in lots of details, like these 
giant paws & claws. How about those teeth, 
and glowing yellow eyes? 
The ears were the finishing touch.
A lot of fur, a little felt and tons of personality!

Bryce's talents extend into the kitchen as well.
Last night we had our second Studio Date, 
and after our exciting photo shoot with the Wolf
 we baked Abby Dodge's Classic Crumb Cake 
from her book, The Weekend Baker. 
Bryce did the math for halving the recipe, 
and he measured, stirred & scraped. 
I was impressed, and he was proud.
I occasionally bake this for Bryce's family, 
and he melted my heart last night when he 
told me this is his favorite breakfast food.
(Everyone knows the crumb topping is the best part.)

Here's to more Tuesday Studio Dates with Bryce!