Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unpacking Blues

Hi Everyone.  I would say Happy Tuesday, but alas today is not a happy Tuesday for me.  Work is not at all joyful at the moment.  At home I am still unpacking.  I lost most of my motivation to get unpacked.  I have most of a living room-you can even see the floor.  My bedroom/office/hallway are more like an obstacle course.  Boxes and bags of shoes are everywhere.  I have a lot of shoes.  I need to have less shoes.

That's the hardest part about moving-going through everything deciding what to keep, what to sell and what to give away.

I've talked about swaps before on the blog.  I'm a member of several groups on Ravelry that do swaps.  I signed up for a Christmas swap and knowing that my move was coming up and that I was going to be out of town more than I was in town I put together the presents early. Then I put them in a safe place.  Here's the message I just posted on the discussion page for the swap:

Dear Partner:
I was a good swapper-I collected almost everything necessary for your present before I moved. I put it all together in a safe place. I mean a really safe place. Now if only I could locate the safe place. Finding your presents is my new motivation for finishing the unpacking and organizing of my house. But never fear-should the unpacking not be successful you will still get an awesome package-just not the original one.
I love moving. Yup-I do. Fun times. Who wouldn't rather pack and unpack instead of knitting? Anyone? Anyone?
I promise to ship on time if not early.
-Frazzled Amy

I've unpacked all of my yarn stash and the bags related to fiber.  So far that package is being illusive.  I can replace the yarn easily.  The handmade won't be as easy-but still doable in my time frame before shipping.  I believe that I need to begin to write everything down.  Maybe I should look into one of those bullet journals people have been talking about over the last couple of years.

What do you do to keep track of your life?

See you tomorrow for WiPs Wednesday.  Oh and I am changing my mood-smiling now and pretending all is well.  I've heard that works to help change your attitude.  We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Challenge-Craft Friday, Scorn Black Friday

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving during which we take a step back from our every day lives to give Thanks.  We spend the day together, creating a meal together and remembering and giving thanks for all of the things that we are grateful for.  Spending the day with friends and family.

There are several different stories to the start of Thanksgiving, from the Puritans celebrating religious matters to settlers near Plymouth Rock having a feast to celebrate the harvest.  In the United State Thanksgiving was proclaimed to be a National Holiday by George Washington.

As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".(Hodgson, Godfrey (2006) A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the first Thanksgiving.)

In Canada there are just as many stories as to the origin as there are in the US.  From explorers celebrating a successful journey from England to celebrating a successful harvest.

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about consumerism and the disasters that have come with Black Friday (shoppers being trampled or shot).  And let's not forget the last few years how Black Friday has become Black Thursday.  

There have been calls to boycott stores that open early for sales by interrupting the holiday and there are just as many responding with arguments that people can make their own choices.  This year I came across a different kind of call.  One that turns the negative into a positive.  Instead of asking for a boycott, one blogger is challenging readers to have Craft Friday.

Craft Friday should be spent with friends and family (or by yourself) crafting whatever you'd like.  You can use the time to make handmade gifts for others or things for yourself.  There are pinterest boards with crafting ideas if you need some inspiration and discussion boards popping up to talk about Craft Friday.  

To see where the idea started or to get the links to pinterest and other related sites go see Pomo Golightly.  

Pomo will follow up with a Craft Friday Declaration Post Party where you can share your inspiration, why you chose to participate and what you made (unless that's top secret).

I remember, not too long ago, when Thanksgiving meant the majority of businesses were closed.  Few restaurants were open (most closed early-fast food type places), stores closed, and grocery stores closed early.  That meant most people were able to spend the day with family or friends.  It makes me sad to see how many businesses have stopped closing at all.  I'd like to see a return to a time when spending time with family and friends was more important than keeping a business open.  So I am in.  I will not shop on Thanksgiving day.  I will not be shopping on Black Friday.  On Friday November 28th I will craft.

What will you be doing?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WiP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I have a pile of WiPs.  Literally a pile.  See:

I know that there are at least 2 sweaters in progress and one almost done.  I think that there are a couple of pairs of socks.  As to the rest-no clue.  I moved a few weeks ago.  I put all of the project bags with WiPs in a pile in this basket in my new living room.  I have not gone through them.  I really didn't think I had that many ongoing projects.

Didn't stop me from starting something new either.  My latest-Mini Christmas hat ornaments.

This is for a swap.  They are slightly larger than a quarter.  Mini, tiny hats.  I used an i-cord to form the loops to hang them.

I've also done a bit of sewing.  Project bags.

And my current WiP that goes in my purse and therefore gets the most time are these socks.  I cast them on Monday and have spent an hour or so.

For more WiPs see Tamis Amis' Blog and all the WiP posts linked at the bottom.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WiPs and a Woolen Mill Tour

Happy Wednesday everyone!  It's been a bit since I've written a post.  I've been doing a lot of traveling in the past couple of months and moved somewhere in there.  Life has been crazy-lots of changes.

Wednesday WiPs:

I'm currently working on a pair of socks for my Dad.  They are so close to being done-just a couple of ends need weaving in and a tiny hole on one gusset needs closing.

I cast on a purple hat for my niece Hazel at her request.  For Christmas this year she asked for a purple hat with ear flaps and pom poms.  She wanted ribbing around the edge and some strings with more pom poms.  I am tickled pink that she knew what ribbing was and that she knew exactly what type of hat she wanted.  I did not show her any pictures, she just told me exactly what she wanted.  She is a very smart 4 year old.  Of my 31 nieces and nephews she is the only one who requested a knit item.

I'm still working on my Emelie sweater even though I haven't picked it up in weeks.  I've decided to add a rip cord and rip back to the end of the ribbed section.  I feel like I've gotten off track with the lace panel sections.  And I tore the pattern apart because it includes way too many instructions that aren't relevant to the size I am knitting.  And that was causing problems.  I couldn't ever remember where I was or what was next.

I've got a couple of fingerless mitts to cast on next.

I don't have any pictures of my knitting today but you can see all of the recent photos on Instagram if you'd like to check them out.  I am amylbingham on Instagram.

That's it for WiPs.  For more check out Tamis Amis' blog

I have been holding on to the rest of this post for a while.  When I traveled to Oregon for Oregon Flock and Fiber (OFF) with friends, we took a trip to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon.  The rest of today's post is picture heavy.  I don't think you'll mind.

The Mill originally opened in the 1890's.  A fire took it down to nothing a few years later and the town banded together to rebuild the brick structure that still stands today.  The mill stopped production in the 1960's.  However the daughter of the founder of the Mill opened a mill in Eastern Oregon as a spin off of the Thomas Kay Mill and that Mill is still in production today.  You may know it- The Pendleton  Woolen Mill.  Pendleton was opened by Thomas Kay's oldest daughter and her husband after Thomas Kay retired and left management of the mill to his son's and left out his daughter who had been an integral part of managing the mill.

I hope you enjoy the photos (in no particular order) and see somethings that you recognize.

This is a swing built by some of the original workers.

 Teasel wicks-to fluff up the fabric.

 Old time cards

 washing room

 One of the older weaving machines.  They turned this on for less than a minute.  The picture below shows you how much it wove in under a minute (about an inch and a half-see the top part of the blue yarn)

 Wheelbarrow to move raw wool

 raw wool into the machine to separate out rocks and veg matter

 Hand carder station-so you can try hand carding wool

 The red plaid is a piece of fabric made here.  

Some of the workers.  At one time my great grandparents worked for this Mill (found that out after the fact).  I was happy to learn that the workers at this Mill were treated fairly and well paid.  They had a good community that was supported by the town.

One of the old sewing machines.  Take a close look at the gadget they use to keep the blanket edging in place and turned before sewing.  Would be very useful to have at home.

 Bobbins in a pitcher at the window

 Dusty bobbin on the weaving machine

 Huge barrel of bobbins.  Hardly faded after more than 40 years.

 Yarn cones made here at the mill-They processed the raw wool, spun the yarn, dyed the yarn and wove blankets and fabrics at the Mill until 1962.

 spinning room

 Lisa and Bessie taking a closer look at some wool

 Weaving machines.  Back when the mill was in operation they used young boys to crawl in there to replace a bobbin or pick one up if the machine threw it.  Glad I didn't have that job.

 Lots of wool

 More bobbins-these were a mess of tangled threads

 Pile of raw wool waiting for its turn to be pretty

 Inspecting and hand sewing blankets after the machines were done

 sewing room

 The Mill supplied the US Military with blankets for quite a few years.  Each blanket was stamped here.

 Becoming a plaid fabric

The Mill was fascinating.  It was great seeing all of the machines and how they all worked.  I would recommend the guided tour if you are in Salem and have a couple of hours to spare.