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The Journey We Plan vs. The Journey We Let Happen

These last few weeks have been about family and learning to enjoy the time we have. I  spent a week in rural Nebraska with my in-laws helping out.  I was lucky enough to help my father-in-law recuperate from surgery and spend the week with my mother-in-law, Helen.  I had great plans for the week, like working with Helen on some quilting and sewing. She is suffering from memory issues and I was reminded that sometimes it is not the journey we plan, but the journey we let happen. Instead of working together to make a quilt, we spent the week outside raking leaves and enjoying the autumn days.  It became about the good moments, not the good days.  Having been down this road with my father years ago, I was reminded that any memory is a good memory.  As the week progressed and as I have been thinking about my time with my in-laws my creative side is beginning to develop regarding a textile memory.   Here is Helen taking the leaves to the neighbors.  What a great afternoon of memories

Being a good neighbor. What a great afternoon with my mother-in-law

When I arrived back in the Twin Cities it was just in time to see my brother and support him and his buddy Dave Lund run in the 31st Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Sunday morning.  My brother Gordon Cumming, manager of, in Portland, Oregon ran his first full marathon and completed in 3;23 minutes.

Looking good at Mile 8

Dave finished his first ever marathon in just under 5 1/2 hours.

Dave Lund at the finish line of the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Way to go guys.  These two ran cross-country together at Wayzata High School many years ago. A good time was had by all. Madison Tri watch out for these two next year.

I did manage to complete a needlepoint pillow and start the sleeves for a winter white sweater.  However, I have come back with some great ideas and some wonderful pictures with fall colors for future projects.  Until later this week.  I am off to lay out S’s black and white quilt.  I have to sew the red strips and then lay it out.  More on this by Friday.  Then I need to begin my Twin Cities Quilting, quilt challenge. Have a great week.

Cleaning and Rejuvenation


The books….

So, I promised myself that I would clean my bookshelves off of old history books and display my fabrics and yarn projects last weekend.  I did it….however, there was a little bit of reorganization of the new “studio” space.. My daughter S loved my new desk and set up so much she asked if she could do her homework in the space. I agree, however …that did not work for me as I work in my little corner also.  So, we hit IKEA up for a similiar set up,  I reorgaized the room and she set up her small space on the other side of the room and I took an old chiverobe out to make room.



S’s new space…the black tail belongs to our Gordon Setter, Duke 

I will also benefit long term as my goal is to have a studio in a house that we purchase in the next year – I will have two workspaces…one for cutting and creating and one for technical stuff

That meant more cleaning than I thought, but oh how liberating it was.  I finally gave those skeins of yarn to charity and put everything with the pattern. It goes without saying that I  have yarn that is still waiting for a project that I could not part with….the baby camel/cashmere that I picked up a few years ago for example.  I mean really, it is so lovely and soft.  The right project will come along.

Cleaning was the catalyst for some much needed rejuvenation.  I put the black and white together for the quilt that I am making for and I started organizing scraps for a quilting challange that begins in a few weeks.



S’s quilt choices

I decided that I am going to take these scraps with me when I go to my in-laws to help with post surgery in a few weeks.  My mother-in-law has demention. She was always a crafter and loved to sew, so what better plan than to have her decide what and how the scraps should go together and I can use her sewing machine to sew the pieces together.  I am hoping that she will participate and enjoy the experience.  Pictures for this project will come later.

Finally, it is not much, but more than I have ever had.  My mingled fibers have a home for me to work from



My mingled fibers…

The green box have the scraps for my quilt challenge.

All week I find myself itching to work, so when I have finished working each day I have worked on one little thing a day.  So, if you need to rejuvenate the creative juices, maybe a little cleaning is in order.  The benefits are wonderful.

Until next week… have a great weekend.


New Projects

Well I am back at writing and blogging again.  It was suggested to me a few weeks ago that maybe I should go back to writing with all of the activity that has been going on lately.  Well, I thought about it and decided that I liked the idea…more important I remember how I liked what I felt when I started posting a few years ago.  I let life get in the way of, well life.  How many of us do that without thinking about it I wonder?

I am back to working out of my house and I have set up a designated portion of a room for my textile passions.  While I have to say that I have not been very active with my knitting and weaving…you know life getting in the way of life…I am not totally without projects.  I will be finishing a blanket for my mother-in-law (H) in the next few weeks so that she can stay warm this Nebraska winter.  is always cold, so what better way to stay warm than with a hand made blanket made out of a combination of Malabrigo Merino Wool in the color Vaa, combined with Rowan Lima in the color Pampas. I must say that I really am loving this and it is Luscious, Luscious, Luscious. I am making a retro sweater out of off-white cashmere that my sister found for me a few years ago, and last but not leave the scarf that has been on my loom for about 4 months for my sister L.

Really, I have been working, just not finishing anything.  So, because I am crazy and have so much extra time I am beginning a quilt for my daughter S.  She finally decided on a black and white with some fun splashes of color.  The goal is her birthday in January.

I am off to work on one of the projects as soon as I finish this post.  I promise pictures in the next few months.  If I write it I have to complete it.

Until later.

On The Move…

So the month of June has disappeared in a flash.  We started out with the end of school, two graduations, five relatives living in our house for a week and a graduation party for J and R ( my son’s best friend) with 70+ teenagers and adults.  Oh did I mention that I started three summer school classes during that time and completed a toddler blanket for a client.  Thank goodness we are done with the first three weeks of the month because the last one is going to be a big one.  We are finally packing the house tomorrow, loading up the truck on Monday and pulling out of SoCal for a new adventure in the Midwest.  St. Louis here we come…this makes me think of Judy Garland and her movie… Meet Me In St. Louis. You just have to love those old movies and musicals.  On this journey we will be transporting three horses, two dogs and two teenagers.  Oh yes, I have one last project that I have to get off the loom before Monday morning.  I only have about 2 hours worth of work so I should be able to complete it.

Well enough for the moment we are out the door to have dinner for the last time with one of our neighbors.  See you in St. Louis…..

What a crazy time

Okay, so my goal of blogging at least a few times a week has not been as successful as I would like.  It has been a crazy first half of the year to say the least.  We, my husband B and I made a huge decision for him to change companies in these very uncertain economic times.  The new job would include moving to St. Louis, MO and me potentially give up my current part-time teaching load, and moving our daughter S just before her freshman year in high school. Our son J is off to college so the decision was not as important for him.  So…, he got the job finalized in February and we were off to St. Louis to search for a rental property and check out the new city.  I have to tell you I have never done anything but drive through St. Louis let alone visited it.  It appears to be a great place with lots of friendly people.  We found a house, saw the new job site for my husband and found a home for our horses. With this taken care of I could move onto trying to find a teaching job.

Searching for employment is truly a full-time job, and while this does not bother me I was teaching at my local community college, in my LYS and finishing projects for clients – weaving…what is that? I have been walking past my loom longingly saying soon.  I have one last project that has to come off before the moving van appears.  Oh right, I also had to get three quotes for moving and take care of horses, children etc.  I have been busy. Anyway, the hard work has paid off.  I flew to St. Louis in mid April to interview for a part-time teaching job and spend a weekend with B. Yes I traveled for a part-time job.  Anyone who is not willing to take what they can get in the present economy is, in my opinion….St*p*d. We do what we have to do.   The job panned out and actually turned into a full-time teaching position with the contract signed 10 days ago.  You never know what is going to happen, however, my willingness to travel for a part-time job payed off. YEAH.  So throw into this mix B leaving Mid April, J’s high school graduation in June and taking care of three horses, one acre and two dogs, teaching and finishing the school year and private clients–well you get the picture.

I will do my best to blog during this busy time as we move at the end of the month.  Have a great week and see you soon.

Mingled fibers and a little crazy at the moment.

What a Week!

It has been exactly one week since TNNA. What a great time I had with my Sister and the people I got to see. Nothing like visiting with fellow fiberists’s to get your juices flowing.  I was able to catch up with my weaving guru Deborah Jarchow and Gerry as they maned the local both for the spinning guild.  I was able to watch my sister work her knew business Urban Fiber Studios.  She had a successful show and we had couple of girl days together.  We will be hooking back up for Madrona in Washington next month – I can’t wait.

I was ready to come back from TNNA and get busy on my projects – but – life got in the way.  the new semester began at the local CC I teach at, I began teaching a class for an Online University and I began helping out at my LYS Pearl’s Knitting Parlor. Busy week, oh did I forget to mention that we found out that one of our horses broke out in hives as a result of hay mites.  With the SoCal rain – he blue up like a balloon.  My husband B and I spent 4 hours last night bleaching his feed bin, the mats, water buck, and cleaning out the hay barn, and also all of the storage buckets for the goodies!  WE have 4 more stall to do.  While we do keep a very clean barn, he must have had some hay dust in his bin when it rained (yes this year we are actually getting rain) and the mites came out.  A  fixable issue, but labor intensive as bleach is the only thing that kills them.  Oh the joys of having horses.  Did I mention the cost and vet bill to find out this information – needless to say we do carry insurance and hopefully they will cover 80%.

So, I am off for an evening hike with the other half and coming home to begin an afghan for my couch.  B would like the same pattern that I made for his Uncle J. Last time I am going to make this pattern for a while. It is fun, simple and double sided so it is perfect for a coach or baby blanket.

Have a great weekend and I am off to hike…..

I am off to TNNA

So I am off to TNNA at the last-minute to help my sister – Urban Fiber Studios.  She is giving a class and everything.  Wow am I proud of her and what she has done in the last year with her new business Urban Fibers Studio. I have wanted to go to TNNA for years and I finally get to go and actually help in the process. Also, it is official I will be working at my LYS – yes Debbie at Pearls Knitting Parlor in Thousand Oaks, CA asked me to start teaching classes and knitting at the shop.  I am also going to start helping in the shop a few days of the week.  I am truly blessed that Debbie and her wonderful, lovely Angela want me to come and help them – keeping my fingers crossed that we can get some classes going in the next few weeks and in the future.  I have my first private lesson tomorrow.

I promise that I will bring pictures back from TNNA and also post pictures of the baby blanket that is leaving for Africa in a week.

Have a great weekend.  I am going to go play.

Oh yeah…I just purchased my tickets to Portland to attend the Madrona Art Festival in Tacoma, Washington in February.  Yeah!!! Keep your fingers crossed that I might be able to get into Jean Wong’s class.  Here is hoping!!!

It is a New Year…

Before I get to busy working and getting ready for my new semester to start I just wanted to share with everyone a Happy New Year Wish.  I think that most of us were happy to see 2009 leave.  Here is to a better 2010.  My year started off with a wonderful phone call from the owner of my knit shop asking me if I would like to come and teach Knitting – I of course said yes.  We will be working out the details this week and I will write more about it once everything is finalized.

The holiday’s were great in KC – Uncle J loved his blanket and so did his wonderful dog Versachi –at any given time you could find this cute little dog snuggled under the blanket.  Outside of the fact that we did actually get snowed in on Christmas Day we did manage to see KC with the family.

I have been spending the remainder of the vacation knitting a baby blanket for charity that will be going to orphaned babies in Kenya in a few weeks.  It is really cute- pictures later after I finish work this morning.  This post is going to be short and sweet with a longer one later.  No S’s  scarf did not get done – that is going to be this weeks project.  My loom sits in the TV room and the family does not like to hear me beating while watching TV.  Oh well – Have a great first week of 2010.

Bah -da, Bah-da, Monday, Monday so good to me…

Do you remember the Mamas and the Papas?  What a voice Mama Cas had!!!  It is raining today in SoCal and for some reason that song came to mind today.  A quick update on the projects and life:

The projects: Uncle J’s blanket is almost finished – he is 5’11” and it has to be long enough to cover his feet – boy am I glad I am short.  Anyway, only 3 more balls of mochi plus and then crochet the edges and it will be in the mail by Saturday.  Yes, I have set a deadline because I have added another project into the mix – a simple scarf for my sister-in-law that is coming down to KC for the day.  She is so much fun that I decided that I had to make her something – okay, yes I am crazy – but I rationalized that I could finish this little project on the plane if I had to.

S’s Scarf on the Loom: I have finally started and have woven about 6 inches.  It is looking  great.  I promise pictures on and off the loom when it is completed before we leave for KC.  I only have to hand her this project ,not put it in the mail.

Outside of my projects the semester is winding down for me which means grading, grading and more grading.  I will be done with classes this week, but have finals to give and grade before next Wednesday.  Oh, the life of teaching.  I wouldn’t change it for the world.

The horses are doing great. We are training for one of our favorite endurance rides of the year –  Warner Springs.  We head down on Thursday, camp with the horses, get a cabin for the kids and enjoy the amenities of the resort.  My favorite being the heated hot springs pool.  Let me tell you, after a day in the saddle with friends and a great stead the pool leaves you as loose as a goose.  Okay, so the Bailey’s and wine help too.  Anyway, last time we did this ride it rained the entire time.

Other than that nothing new in the loop, on the needles or waiting to be warped on the loom.  I have an idea for a beautiful deep purple and grey scarf to put on the loom, however this will most likely not occur until after we get back from KC.  I am also trying to finish a Debbie Bliss sweater for my mother that I think that she will love.  Okay, so if I finish everything by the New Year I will be superwoman.  As usual I have to many fiber projects and not enough time.  If only I would win the lottery – after splitting with my sis – I would not lack for projects or goals.  I am off to grade some papers, start a fire and try and finish a ball of yarn on the growing afghan.

Until next time…

What a frustrating weekend

So…I had my weekend planned with the boys gone on a college tour  to the Pacific Northwest  for our son J.  I was going to spend the weekend horseback riding with my daughter S and a girlfriend, weaving and working on the new knitted afghan for Uncle J in KC.  Instead  I spent all weekend trying to fix my free loom.  After over 2 hours of tightening, repairing and re-warping I came to the realization that the brake wheel had been striped.  The wood on the wheel had been warn down unevenly from the previous owner and never maintained and/or adjusted.  So…no weaving and not much knitting either.B's brake job

Having said this I have a wonderful husband that is truly one of those “handyman” types.  He trucked down to the local hardware store and with about $20 he has rigged the brake.  Yeah!!! I can now weave the scarf for my daughter for X-mas.  The key here is to get everything finished by the 10th of December so that  I can ship everything to KC.  We decided to visit  Uncle J for the holidays so everything has to be in KC by the 20th.  I absolutely refuse to pay the airlines for the extra baggage.

Uncle J’s afghanThe first 4 skeins

I am loving the yarn that  I bought in two different locations: the solid color is a Prime Alpaca by The Heavenly Fiber that I purchase a few years ago at Knit-Purl in Portland,Oregon and the variegated Mochi Plus at Wildfiber in Santa Monica, Ca.

I actually have to get to work.  So see you next time with a finished scarf and a longer afghan.

As you can see I have figured out how to upload the picture from my new camera it the blog.  Cool!  Here is the warp for S’s scarf I will be weaving this weekend. S's warp for scarf