Wednesday, May 31, 2006

What a WONDERFUL Weekend!!!

Hungry Mother State Park
is one of Virginia’s PREMIER state parks! We were there last fall when a lot of the amenities were closed. All you really had to enjoy was nature itself…and that’s not bad at all! This time…what can I say…It’s the best park we’ve been to in along time. The peace and serenity is still there and why…because gas powered boats are NOT allowed! Only canoes, paddleboats and electric motorized boats! I hate going to Smith Mountain Lake because you cannot enjoy anything with out the noise! We fished, and I only caught “bait” (a 5 inch perch was the maximum), we went to the beach area…which there were hundreds of people at and yet you were not crowded at all! There is a trail (just over 5 miles long) that encircles the entire lake which you can hike, run or bike.

Here’s a picture from the top side of the dam…I have another but I need to edit it. This one seems a little dark I may have to edit it further once I post this to see how it translates (click on the picture to enlarge it). Our campground—Camp Burson is in the background. This is the newest addition to the park, there are a lot of plans they have in the works for this being the 4th campground but I have no complaints!
The Canadian geese flew in each afternoon…

Julia and I took a paddleboat out…and when I got off my legs felt like rubber bands! Across from the boat rental there is an amphitheater where during the summer they have live music on Saturday nights from June-Sept (yeah, we just missed that one by a weekend). Everything about this lake is so wonderful! Our campground (which there are 4 total) was filled to capacity but while you sit at your campsite…you feel as though you are alone…peace and quiet!

On to the Knitting:
Yes, of course, I took my knitting with me! But Lammi Ewejean didn’t come along…she said “I’m not camping material” Whine…Whine…Whine.
So the WINE became the picture model! Notice the bottle is empty! Hey Lammi—want some cheese with that WHINE? I had some and it was good!!!
Here’s the front of my DROPS sweater I’m making with Classic Elite Silk. Our neighbors camping next to us noticed me knitting and were quite intrigued! Funny how knitting and spinning in public can draw a crowd! Anyway she asked me to knit her a sweater! Non-Knitters are always blown away at the cost of having a sweater hand knit…so my usual response is to offer to teach one how to knit! Well, I took her name and address just in case I can do something for her. No promises made!
It’s been too hot (95 degrees) to pick up the wool sweaters I’m working on finishing even though I only have a short way to go on the Moorish sweater.

Katrina, hurry up and get well soon! Jennifer…my deepest sympathies.

Till next time…

Thursday, May 25, 2006


I bet you thought I was going to post a FO....No, Memorial Day weekend is upon us and I'm going camping! I plan on working on some knitting by the campfire and hopefully have a FO to blog about...if not...I'll just keep working on it! I was trying to find a picture like this showing the mother knitting...maybe I'm the only one?! I hardly think so!
We're going to Hungry Mother State Park, about an hour and a half away from we can get there quick, set up and enjoy our weekend more! I have this rule that for a weekend camping trip we can't travel more than 3-31/2 hrs from home...otherwise I feel like we set up stay one night and take down!
We have many wonderful parks within that range to choose from...but If you've been following my blog since the beginning we stayed there in October and really enjoyed it--there are some pictures posted from that trip.
On Knitting:
I'm about 40 rows from finishing the Moorish sweater...Yippee! Cause I really need those needles for the Classic Elite silk I'm working on. Oh, I love my Lantern Moon needles I'm just so used to using the circulars that the straights seem to get in the way a lot! The turquoise silk sweater is wonderful...I really like that yarn.
On Spinning:
Still working on the mohair...but the "fluff" I got from Mr. (David) Simpson is calling out to me! For some strange reason this year I'm stuck turquoise and ice blue! Last year it was reds...what next? I have two different turquoise colorways I bought from David. I'm talking myself out of taking my wheel camping...but how neat would that be to sit by the campfire and spin?! But also Mr. Ace would get very upset with Mom for taking the wheel and not him--though I don't think he would enjoy it too much. Knitting is a little more portable...for now, I'm dropping my hints about the Lendrum folding wheel for my birthday!!

Secret Pal emailed me to say that my first package is on its way....the mailman is going to hate me! I'll be camped out by the mail box like some crazy person! And with my luck it will probably be the week the regular guy goes on vacation...who always is promptly delivering MY mail at noon...the "replacements" are never there before 4pm...GRRRRR! Since I work part time at the library (7am-noon) I may have to leave early to catch him--DAILY!
I have the most wonderful Secret Pal...and with each email it seems like we've known each other FOREVER! So many really spooky emails have been exchanged! Thanks did a PERFECT job of pairing us!
Now, for my spoilee--I have her package together...I have one more thing I want to buy for her...I specifically asked her if there was anything in the States she longs to see...things we just take for granted...Cascade 220!

Okay...that's all for now---I'll be back on Tuesday of next week and hopefully with some great pictures!

Have a great Holiday weekend...and if you don't celebrate any holiday....MAKE UP ONE!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Show the World your Sticks!

Knitters Unite! Mark your calendars for June 10th...World Wide Knit in Public Day, of course I show my sticks and knit in public all the time...good thing they don't arrest your for that!
Many places have venues to meet at for this occassion...for me I may just take mine to the park!

Happy Knitting!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Adventures in Knitting...

Okay--As promised here are some pictures I promised of the latest projects! Sunday, though very windy I was able to convince Lammi Ewejean to venture out for a while---all the while she complained about her "fleece" getting messed up! There were a couple of times when she thought the wind was going to blow her into the pond. She's seen what I can do with the wash machine and is fearful that I put her in peril on these photo shoots!

Here's my Norah Gaughan-Moorish sweater from Interweave Press Winter 2003 progress...

This is a very fun sweater to knit...just enough color change to keep it interesting and it's KNIT IN THE ROUND!!! No seams to sew up--except the underarm!! You would think that someone who is a seamstress by trade would not mind that part of knitting but I HATE SEWING UP SWEATERS!! I don't know why--I just don't! I don't mean to repeat myself but since it has been a couple of months since the last picture--I'm making it from Knit Picks Merino and (drum roll please) my very own handspun merino/silk blend! I've been spinning for about 4 years now and this is the first thing I've made with my yarn! Like I've said before--I mostly pet the skeins! Oh--I have plans for all my handspun--I just need more time to knit!

Here's my slow progress on the Sari Silk...(displayed on my new "period" wheel barrow hubby made me for toting my wheel at living histories!)

This is one sleeve and I've cast on for the body...and I'm getting board with the garter stitch! IF I frog this thing I'm going to change a few things--#1 being the stitch pattern!


My latest dyeing project--I love this kool-aid dyeing! Unpredictable...(Think of Forrest Gump here) "Like a box of Chocolates"!

My latest Yarn Shop visit was a pleasant I had a heck of a time finding it because it's in the basement of a gift shop and not well signed. This was my second time trying to find it...the first time we drove past it 3 times! This time I told my husband to park and we'd walk the block in which it was to be located...when we almost decided to go on to our other engagements I SAW THE SIGN! This shop has recently changed of the new owners Ute Grzanna along with an employee Ann (sorry I terrible with last names). They were very nice to me and helpful, I explained that going to yarn shops is a hobby in itself when traveling...and I always have to buy something--souvenirs! They have a lot packed into such a small place. A very large book/pattern section and a very good selection of basic, sock and seasonal yarns. Though they didn't have what I had asked for they were quick to tell me where I could find it--You wouldn't get that here locally!
Here's my loot--Lammi Ewejean is beginning to wonder where else I'm going to put all this!

I bought Classic Elite Classic Silk and Louisa Harding Flotsam to make this -- Now, there are those out there who know this about me--I NEVER follow a pattern the the letter! I'm always on my friend Nancy about "knitting outside the box"...she's not there yet...I will NOT give up though! Love Ya Nancy!

Friday, May 19, 2006

On Knitting...

Well, no pictures to post at this time but plenty of knitting going on! I'll try to get pictures to post this weekend...the weather has been so crazy here lately--cool, windy & off and on rain. Lammi Ewejean doesn't want to go outside to model for me--what a Prima donna! I'm currently working on my Moorish Sweater (look at my post back in March) the sleeves and body are attached now and I've started the yoke design. As for the Durrow, the front and back are finished--I'll start the sleeves soon. As I mentioned in my last post I also started the Best Friend sweater from Sally Melville's Knit Stitch book using my recycled Sari Silk...this is going to be interesting--we'll see if I frog it! One of the girls at work is expecting her first of course, I'm planning something for the little one. I'm just not sure whether to make a sweater and booties or an afghan?!
I'm having so much fun with the SP8--it's kinda eerie how much in common I have with both my pals! I can't wait until August--I feel that we will be friends for life! I'm working on my first package to send to my spoilee--there's so much I want to send to her, I know I can't do it all at one time...anyone who knows me I love to give gifts! And when I make something for someone I must make sure that it's going to be completed real close to the event or else I give it to them early.
I'm also working on some spinning--some of my loot from David Simpson and some mohair (for my secret pal). There is also a "Traveling Afghan" project being planned out---I'm going to Richmond tomorrow for a couple of "family" things...maybe I can get to Lettuce Knit and The Knitting Basket while I'm there! I know hubby is expecting me to "make the suggestion!" Till next time...keep those needles moving!
Check back for pictures!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Time Travelers...

I know this is a knitting-spinning blog but it’s also a place where I can talk about my other hobbies—to which I try to either knit or spin while participating! So—here are some pictures and information on our latest time travel.

WARNING--If history doesn't interest you this may bore you to tears!

The time was 1775 on the Virginia Frontier…my persona for this particular event is that of my ancestor, Catherine Rutherford…now, I add my modern name of Ferguson but during this time period it’s a very BAD name to have. Major Patrick Ferguson caused a lot of grief for the early settlers of this era and brought on his own demise when he offended and challenged the settlers who in turn eventually killed him at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. So, as Catherine (and let me tell you that it’s very hard to learn to answer by someone else’s name) I lived in Essex Co., VA where I met Mr. John Ferguson by way of my chosen profession…a seamstress…when he commissioned me to make him a new weskit (waistcoat—or modern day vest) and breeches. We married in June of 1750, with the looming tensions with Great Britain and upon hearing of the new land in “Kan-tuck-ee” we headed west to the frontier. Mr. Daniel Boone led many early settlers through the Cumberland Gap into the new land. We stopped off at Martin’s Station. Here we sought the safety of the forts walls…there were many Indian raids that have been taking place; many had already been captured or perished.
For the journey we were only allowed to take only the essential needs…my two luxury items are my spinning wheel and the china tea cup my mother gave me. I’m only hoping to keep them safe until we find our land.

Now…as for the pictures because I’m participating in the raid I didn’t get any pictures of the event but I hope you enjoy these relaxing shots from the weekend. I spent all day Saturday at the Station (Fort) spinning with the other ladies…that is until the savages showed up! The weather really held out for us, it only rained a little on Saturday night after we had gone to bed.

Friday night…enjoying the campfire with an old friend.

Sunrise on Saturday morning…unfortunately I didn't get to enjoy it. It was so cold I didn't move from under the wool blankets until later...and coffee was ready!

This area is so picturesque...simply breathtaking! This one is even kind of somber knowing what the day will bring!

I did get a lot of spinning done, I worked on spinning up my Jacob I bought last October...and on the drive down I was knitting up a storm! As soon as I get the sleeves and body connected I'm going to post an update on my Moorish sweater. I also started the Best-Friends sweater using my recycled sari silk I bought a while back...the only problem is I think it's going to be one heck of a heavy sweater. I might just end up frogging it! Those pictures yet to come!

One more picture of Martin's Station...

Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Have Happy Feet!

My Celtic Soul is dancin'! Secret Pal 8 is here and I'm so excited...This is my first time participating and I can assure you it's not going to be my last. I love making new friends...especially those from places in my heart! I received my first email from my Secret Pal and judging from her email she's in Scotland!! There are so many things I want to ask...but I don't want to spoil the surprise for myself. I'm one of those who patiently waits till Christmas morning to find out what my gifts are...I'm not a "peaker"!

Gosh...I guess I'm going to have to start my Celtic Poncho from Lisa Lloyd Designs. But I can't do any "modern" knitting this weekend. We are getting ready for our first event of the season, Martin's Station. I didn't get my Wensleydale in time so I'm taking some Jacob to spin and some blue face leicester yarn for knitting. Maybe I can sneak my modern knitting and knit it in the tent!?!
Yes, I know it's Mother's Day weekend...but the kids know Mom will be home early in the afternoon on Sunday. And my Mom knows we do wierd things like this! Hopefully, which I'm sure we will...get lots of good pictures to post.
Well, I'm at work so I guess I'd better get busy before I'm caught...Ha!

Oh...Happy Birthday Nancy!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Secret Pal 8 Questionaire

This is the first time I've ever participated in the Secret Pal...
I'm so excited! I'm ready to spoil and be spoiled!
I received an email about answering the Questionaire so here are my answers to SP8:

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not*
I love natural fibers; wool, silk and linen are the best! I might be
considered a yarn snob…but I can’t stand red heart acrylic or anything similar to it.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I display all my straights in an old antique pottery pitcher, I just hang my circulars to keep them fairly straight.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I’ve been knitting for 35 years and I consider myself advanced (there’s nothing I won’t try).

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
fresh, organic clean scents. I don’t care for perfumy or intense flowery fragrances.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
You name it I do it or I’ve tried it! My favorites are sewing, quilting and yes, I do spin!

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s?
(if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
I like all kinds of music…except for Hip-Hop or Rap! I love Celtic music
and bluegrass. No, I do not have an MP3 player

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette
you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
I’m very versatile…I like all colors, I guess my favorite is blue's and greens.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I’m married with 3 kids (1 is still at home, she’s 18 and graduates
High School this year), I have one very spoiled cat who I hand raised from
3 days old he’s now 13 years old. He thinks he’s a dog…

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
I just love to knit! I always have several projects going at once...
something mindless I can knit when in company or the car and something very
involved that requires my attention.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A sweater for my son…the Durrow from Magknits

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
I love addi turbos and am in the process of replacing all my old yucky
aluminum needles. I like both bamboo and metal

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Yes, I own both.

17. How did you learn to knit?
My grandmother taught me when I was very young on pencils.

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
2 months (I finished the oldest one during the Knitting Olympics)

19. What is your favorite holiday?
My anniversary…the day I finally said "I do" to the man I Love.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
Yes! Lighthouses, tea cups, wine glasses, antique buttons

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get
your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
I’ve recently seen this new book called “Knitting Nature” by Norah
Gaughan, as long as the yarn is beautiful…I love it, patterns…hard to
say there are so many! I subscribe to Interweave Knits and Spin It.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
I’d love to do a Fair Isle, Intarsia and Entralac (I know I can do it
I just haven't tried it yet)

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes…I wear a 7 ½ shoe, my foot measures 8 ¾ at the ball of my foot
and 9 ½ in length

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
August 7th

Monday, May 01, 2006

Where are my manners?

Where are my manners? I forgot to introduce you to a new member of “Blogland” so let me delay no further…While we were in Florida I brought home a new mascot…I’m pleased to introduce ‘Lammi Ewejean’.

She will help me with modeling and introducing new purchases and finished projects. She has already aquainted herself with my stash; she’s been to one group meeting already and life in the Ferguson household. Lammi loves the backyard particularly the pond!
So…here’s the latest of the finished projects! Are you ready (Jennifer)? Miss Maggie gets another gift! There were a lot of projects in Vickie Howell’s “New Knits on the Block” but I chose the “Twirly Tank” for this one. Maggie has seen my son’s girlfriend wear “belly shirts” and so she’s getting out her old t-shirts that are way too small for her and wearing them saying she’s “Jecisa” (Jessica). So when I saw this pattern I knew it would be the one to make for her.

I used Moda-Dea’s Beadnik for the tank and the trims are various “fluffy” yarns I had in my stash. I’ve got to start making my own buttons…they cost me more than the yarn! When Maggie finishes growing she’ll get something made from more expensive yarns but for now I’ll stick with the cheaper stuff…so long as it looks and feels good—I hate crappy yarn!

Now…this past weekend was the Fort Frederick Market Fair…we went…we shopped but we didn’t dress out for the event. We took all our clothing but when I woke up on Saturday morning I had such a bad allergy attack there was no way I could have enjoyed myself. We didn’t even take our camera’s in…can you believe that! There were so many people…heck we didn’t even get past the first few tents till we had to make a run back to the truck to empty our arms!

I’m borrowing this birdseye view of the fort from the State Parks of Maryland site…there’s no real good way to take a picture of this fort so you can get a good idea of how immense it is! The walls from the outside are 23 feet tall and from the inside they are 17 feet tall and 3 feet thick!
There were hundreds of tents and two-three times as many people!

There were hundreds of tents and two-three times as many people! The Indians would make you “scream like a little girl” as one of our friends put it. I bought fabric (of course) and we found a beautiful 12 qt cast iron dutch oven…which I have been shopping antique stores for months now and found no cheaper than $65 bucks…for $35.00!!

Jack always knows when we go somewhere that at some point I’m going to bring up the “Yarn Shop” idea…and as it happens I did this time too! Now I didn’t get to Frog Eye Fiber Emporium like I wanted to because by the time we came through Winchester they were closed! I had my list of potential candidates with me and when we were finished at Fort Frederick I called them to see who was still open (this was about 4:00)
So here’s my very brief “Yarn Shop Review”.
I first called the “Knitting Cottage” in Hagerstown (well this was a little confusing because it’s located on Rt. 60 just past Leitersburg—but they have a Hagerstown address) the lady there was VERY nice on the phone and said she closed at 3:30 but if I would come on she’d be there for me. Now we did take one wrong turn and it took us about 30 minutes to find her…she was still there waiting on me! This nice little Mennonite lady, Susan Hostetter, stayed open for ME! She had a wonderful selection; the old farmhouse was turned into a really well stocked yarn shop. The main room carries all the yarns, there’s a local lady, Beth Skroban, who sells her yarn there--pretty much a generic yarn but would be good for sweaters, the colors were a little muted (for my taste). She has a great book and pattern selection. One room is devoted to machine knitting another room is the “social” room; it has a huge farm table where you and several friends could spread out and spend the day. On June 17th she’s having a KNIT IN on the lawn of the cottage from 9-4, bring your lunch, your chair and of course your knitting and spend the day! She offers knitting classes, workshops and group projects…the next project is the Einstein Coat.
I wanted to buy more but knowing that David Simpson is coming this Thursday night I needed to be reserved! So I bought some sock yarn and some baby yarn…

Boy Lammi seems a little surprised! I don’t know whether it’s the sock yarn or the fact there’s more going into the stash. It will be used…I’m buying up for Christmas projects!

The other shop I called “Y2Knit” in downtown Hagerstown was closing at 4:30…so I’ll save that one for later.
Well…that’s all for now! Happy Knitting/Spinning!