Friday, January 31, 2014

Loving Lace


Who doesn't love lace?  Or lace knitting?  I've been working on a bit of knitting lately.

Here is a shawl that I knit from a pattern that I'd been saving from Interweave Knit Gifts - Holiday 2010.  
It is called the Winged Shawl and was designed by Sarah Fama.  

My version was knit on US 6 circular knitting needles.  It was knit with one strand of Kid Mohair/Silk and 1 strand of hand-dyed Merino/Silk.  It is extremely soft.  An added bonus is that it was really a quick knit.   The end result wasn't a large shawl.  Perhaps because I did a gentle blocking?  The texture of the pattern is very defined; rather than the lace.


 I may knit another, using one strand of Brown Sheep Nature Spun fingering weight wool.  If so, I will use smaller needles (of course) and also double the pattern.   This should provide a somewhat larger version.  Also, a single strand of wool has less loft than the strand of kid mohair/silk present in the one pictured.




Do you have any WIP's that have been in your knitting basket?  Perhaps, for longer than you would wish to publicly admit?  

Ahem.  Well, here is my shawl.  Finally finished!  (Happy Dance!!!)  It is known only to myself as - The Shawl that Never Ends.  I have no idea why I didn't work on it more often.  A variety of reasons, I suppose.  Between the activities of daily living and my other art projects; there has certainly been plenty to do other than this one project. 

Without further ado, I submit for your viewing pleasure my version of The Lace Dream Shawl.

I washed and blocked this one.  It is safely tucked away in my cedar trunk.  This is unusual.  Normally, I just knit what the Spirit leads me to. Before it is finished, I always know who it belongs to.  I wonder who will enjoy this one day?  It pleases me that it is waiting for someone special.  

God is good.  


All the time.




Here is a close up of the lace detail.  
I think that the "waves" come from the light reflecting off the silk shawl that I used for a backdrop. 
A rather interesting effect.  Wouldn't you say?


What is on your needles?  

Whatever you have chosen.  It is guaranteed to be special.

Happy Knitting!


May God bless you.
The Old Farm Girl

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Out With The Old! In With The New!

Psalm 126:1-3

When the Lord restored the fortunes ofa Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

The Old Farm Girl is alive and well.  Just no longer in the cabin.  Nor, returning to it!  I have tossed the idea back and forth about returning to the corner property for my studio, rather than retail.  OR - Studio and retail with limited hours. We now know that we will not be using the buildings at the corner in the future.  My studio will remain at home.  Yes!!!  I will continue with vending and online sales.  I really do love the freedom to go with the flow, rather than be in the shop all day. Additionally, I no longer need to choose between hiring someone to watch the shop - or closing down for events.  My husband and I are both delighted by the recent turn of events.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

The property where The Old Farm Girl formerly had their shop has sold.  

Our Congratulations to Mike and Susan Penland of Midway Towing on their new endeavor!  

Mike and Sue have some wonderful plans laid out for the use of this property. They plan to move their towing &  repair and fabrication business to their new location.  Additionally, their daughter is hoping to use the cabin for a western shop. Son, Daniel, will be selling cars.

Our very best wishes to these fine folks.  May God bless them and cause them to prosper!



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

It is our great joy to announce the best news of all!
We are going to become grandparents in April!

Psalm 127:3-5

3 Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.




My friend, Sue Ann, made this beautiful, hand-dyed, hand-knit sweater for our precious grandson.
Praising the Lord for His Many, Many, Blessings!



Praying God's Best Blessings for You
Shalom

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Stroll Down Memory Lane

Psalm 126:1-3

When the Lord restored the fortunes ofa Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.


The Old Farm Girl began in a rustic, little cabin in White Cloud, Michigan.


My experiences in this little shop enriched my life in countless ways.





Farm Girl's Fiber Festival in May of 2010


 I was, and remain, truly touched at all the vendors who came and participated in our little festival.
The fortitude of the vendors at these festivals is incredible.  At our first "official" fiber festival we 
suffered with the heat.  At the second we had cold rain and high winds.  Some of the tents even
collapsed!  I have found this pioneer spirit alive at every fiber festival in which I have participated.
These women are NOT simpering fools.  They do what needs to be done in all kinds of conditions.


 These lovely ladies were among those who were kind enough to demonstrate spinning and weaving.
Yvonne, Rachel, and Gina.


 A sampling of Suzanne Higgs aka Hooked on Felt exceptional hats!
Pam and I had the  privilege of taking a felting class from Suzanne. Her class was so much FUN and we learned so much about felting.  Suzanne offers classes and workshops.  I'm looking forward to learning more from this talented artist!    
Update:  I just learned that Suzanne will be teaching a workshop at Bahr Creek Llamas and Fiber Studio in Wisconsin from January 24th-26th, 2014!  AND... there are a couple of openings left!  


(Hmmm.  Think I'll slip in a photo or two...of the hats we made in her class.)
Pam's Hat from Suzanne's Class.

 My hat from Suzanne's Class.


One of the gorgeous sweaters by Dianne Edwards of Annie's Sweet Handspun.


Linda Bennett.  A live wire if there ever was one!  We love her bunches!
She became a Grandma and moved away.  We won't let her "go" though!


 Two of my pals.  Betty Todd and Elsie Pykonen.  


 Fellow Prayer Warriors Pam and Sharon.  



The memories we have made!  The wonderful, wonderful ladies I've met!  They have become so much a part of my life.  A gift from God!  Each and every one!

I was so green when I opened my little shop.  There are so many women to whom I owe thanks for teaching me countless things.  Tips and tricks about spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting...The list is endless. One of the truly lovely things about fiber women is that they are "real" women.  They live close to the earth.  Unlike so many other professions or interests where things can become a competition. These women share.  Their time, knowledge, experience, techniques, dreams.    With patience and kindness I was introduced to many different forms of fiber art.

Additionally, I was invited to join the local Spin Guild.  This is an exceptional group of women.  No gossiping, backbiting, and carrying on.  No sir-ee!  Praise the Lord!  Just a group of women who gather together to spend time sharing the love of the art.  What an honor to be included in their number!
(No photos of guild this time.)


~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


 Mary and Sue Ann are both spinners and knitters.  Mary also weaves.
Sue Ann is The Sassy Ewe. She raises Karakuls and Southdown Sheep.  Her dyeing skills are exceptional.
Considering that we have set records for our Arctic temperatures; allow me to share some information with you.  Using her Southdown wool, Sue Ann has batts custom made.  We are not talking about the thin type of batts that we use for quilting.  We are talking about thick, plush, batts that one - literally - sinks into.  I purchased 2 twin-sized batts from her and made them into a comforter.  I have slept under that comforter...
In an unheated room.  In the middle of a Michigan winter.  I was toasty warm all night long and slept like a baby.  One of the many wonderful things about the fibers that the good Lord provides us with?  They breathe!

See what happens when one starts going through photos?  The memories begin poring forth!

Thank you for sharing my stroll down memory lane.

The Lord has done great things for us!

Praising His Holy Name!




Monday, November 25, 2013

The Beauty of the Psalms

As I read my Bible, I am constantly led back to the Psalms.  I may be reading in Luke or Genesis...but always, always, I am led back into the beauty, might, power, and comfort of the Word in the Psalms.

Today I don't have some new event to share with you.  Nor some new item that I've knit, woven, or felted. Not today.  Today, what I really would like to do is share the beauty of the Psalms.
Shalom

Psalm 122:6-7
6Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
7May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”

Psalm 125
A song of ascents.
1Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.
3The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.
4Lord, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
5But those who turn to crooked ways
the Lord will banish with the evildoers.
Peace be on Israel.

Psalm 126
A song of ascents.
1When the Lord restored the fortunes ofa Zion,
we were like those who dreamed.b
2Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
3The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.
4Restore our fortunes,c Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
5Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy.
6Those who go out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with them.



Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Warming Up With Wool

It is that time of year, again!  After the very hot summer we have experienced, it is a blessing to look forward to cooler weather.  With that cooler weather comes the joy of knitting with the heavier wool's and natural fibers that so many of us enjoy.

I've been working on a sweater for a friend. This is the Colette cardigan by White Lies Designs.
The yarn is by Brown Sheep Company, which is a favorite yarn company of mine.  It is made up in  Lambs Pride (Mohair/Wood) worsted weight in the colorway Blue Heirloom. Soft and rich.  Lovely!

Though this pattern is perfect, I modified it a bit.  Like many knitters, I rarely make a pattern "as is". 

 Using the diamond lace design element from their pattern, I added a row down the center of the sleeves, and 3 rows down the back of the sweater.
The knitting was performed by combining the front and back, so there will be no side seams.
In the photos shown above, the sweater still requires blocking. 
The front lace edging has yet to be knit. Both sides will be worked simultaneously.

 Below are photos of the completed sweater.

You can now see the detail of the sleeves with the diamond motif added.

Here is a photo of the back with the diamond motif added.


Finally, the finished Sweater.  


This pattern offers wonderful shaping, which I chose not to do for this sweater.  My petite friend, who is frequently very cold, likes to layer. She will enjoy a bit more room without the shaping.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Frugal Housewife

Those who know me, know that I like to keep things as natural as possible.  Whether it is cooking, health, or cleaning products; I prefer to use what the good Lord saw fit to provide.

One of the things that I recently came across was a recipe for Mom's Super Laundry Sauce.  I found this on Budget101.com under the "Do It Yourself" link.

I whipped up a batch yesterday.  Naturally, I had to try it.  The results were excellent!
Considering what my "whites" normally look like, this is something to brag about!
*You may notice that my batch is a tad thick.  I believe that I let too much water boil off in the process.
Is this where I confess that I view recipe ingredients/instructions as suggestions?  :-)


You'll notice that there are 3 safety pins in front of my Laundry Sauce.  The fact is, I was also looking for an alternative to dryer sheets.  There are different ways that one can handle this.  The safety pins were my choice.  I tried them in 2- high-static loads.  A large load of towels and a load of whites.  Not one crackle!  Happy Dance!!!  And LOOK!  A link just for you!  In God's Economy  
I also learned that if you pin a simple safety pin inside your slip/skirt/pants...Voila!...No more static!

Another laundry option is Soap Nuts.  Your can learn about them from Kendra at Our Homemade Happiness.  This gal has many great ideas and recipes.  You may want to check out her ideas for facial cleanser and moisturizer using natural oils.  Thanks, Kendra!

For more great ideas, check out:
 Budget101.com 
Our Homemade Happiness
Andrea Dekker  



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Billy E. Carpenter
November 11, 1931 - January 19, 2012


My Dad was such a huge presence in my life.  I miss him more than words can express.
A year ago today, I had the privilege of being with my Dad when the Lord came to take him home.
May God bless him forever.  I love you, Dad.  Watch for me.  For one day I will join you and Mom.

Bill Carpenter Leaves Legacy to Community