Thursday, May 31, 2012

Knitting All Over Shreveport

Knitting All Over Shreveport (and surrounding areas)

Our knitting group has grown by leaps and bounds and spread out. We are now knitting at 3 libraries and we are not the only knitting group in town.

Shreveport Chicks with Sticks started out at the Hamilton/South Caddo Library branch of the Shreve Memorial Library system several years ago. We used to just meet on the 2nd Thursday of the month after work.  A couple of years ago we also started meeting on the 2nd Wednesday of the month, also.  Some knitters could only meet on one day or the other. Some lucky knitters could meet on both days. Hooray for me.

Eventually we realized that our once a month knitting fix wasn’t enough.  Last year, Peggy, our original facilitator suggested meeting on Saturday mornings at the Pines Road branch of the Shreve Memorial Library.  We start around 11:30am and go until at least 1pm. 

The thing about the Shreve Memorial library system is that a lot of branches have meeting rooms and they are free. You only have to sign up ahead of time.  Then you won’t get shushed as much because you can close the door.  Sorry, did you think knitting/crocheting is a quiet affair?  NOT !!  We are a very enthusiastic group and really get into our techniques and um, projects.   We are also making Christmas decorations for the Hamilton/South Caddo branch whose staff has been so gracious to us over the years. We really appreciate all of them.

Another expansion of our group has begun at the North Caddo Vivian branch of the library on the 4th Tuesday of the month.

Dates, places and times are on our blog:

which hasn’t been updated as much lately since are meeting almost daily on facebook

We are also on Ravelry.  If you are a knitter/crocheter/spinner or other fiber artist or wannabe come and check us out at any of those places.  We are a fun group ready and willing to share what we know and it doesn’t cost a thing to join us.  Well, that’s not exactly true. Once you get hooked on knitting or crocheting you will be looking for inexpensive ways to expand your stash and buy better needles.

For the past couple of years we have made doll blankets for a Christmas charity project for underprivileged kids.  Last year we also started an Honoring Our Seniors project which meant picking a local nursing home and making lapghans (lap blankets) for all the senior citizens.  This year we have picked another local nursing home and hope to have lapghans made for all the seniors residing there before Christmas.  Our group also makes scarves for the homeless and chemo caps.  A few members do charity knitting for other groups. We also take yarn donations for the charity knitting we do.  It takes a lot of yarn to make 100 lapghans. So, grab a ball of yarn and a crochet hook or knitting needles and come join us. We have fun!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's a Matter of Semantics

It's a matter of semantics.

I was out of cracked corn. Did I tell you I have birds in my yard? I have all different kinds of birds in my yard. I don't even know what half of them are. Well, I know the colorful ones, the unusual ones and the exotic ones. But there are so many warblers which don't even come to the feeders and then there are the sparrows. When I was little I used to feed the sparrows much to the chagrin of the neighbors who thought only the colorful songbirds were worth feeding. My grandmother always said the sparrows had to eat, too. So they always got the breadcrumbs and they peeped their thank-yous.
Now that I have at least 7 bird feeders out at any given time I find out that there are all different types of sparrows and they are hard to tell apart. They say a lot more than peep.

Anyway, I was out of cracked corn which my husband usually picks up but he has been too busy. Right now we are also feeding the ducks. We live on the edge of a lake. Well, we like to call it a lake but we are actually on the edge of what looks like a mysterious Louisiana swamp or bayou. There are actually are two bayous that feed into the north side of the lake up here – a part of the lake called Mallard Bay. There are all sorts of exotic birds that come into our yard. I soon discovered that one feeder was not enough. In the summer I have a lot of hummingbird feeders and oriole feeders around but in the winter I worry about them freezing and since there aren't many hummers around during the winter I change them out of for tube type feeders.

I went to the feed store to ask for cracked corn. How hard can that be. The man behind the counter said he wasn't sure they sold cracked corn. Hmmm – this is where my husband gets it. The lady behind the counter said “she wants chops.” I do? So I paid for 200 lbs of chops. I went around back to have it loaded into my car. I told the fellow back there that I wanted cracked corn. He didn't seem to know what that was. I explained to 2 or 3 of the fellows back there that I wanted chopped up corn for feeding ducks. One of the said we have steel cut corn. Ok, that sounded like the right thing. Another of the fellows said she wants chops. I told him I paid for chops so I guess that is what I wanted. They loaded 200 lbs of chops into the car and I left hoping I didn't have 200 lbs of ground corn meal because that would make a big mess and would the birds eat it anyway? I got home and started to unload the 4 bags and what do I see on the tag at the bottom of the bag? Yep – cracked corn. Agggh!!!

Guess I'll scoop up a couple of gallons of it and go put it down by my dock – oops, I mean pier. That's what they call it in the south.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pioneer Day at LSUS

I will be out at LSUS today for Pioneer Heritage Day. I will be spinning on my spinning wheel and probably a spindle. There will be quite a few local artisans from the area demonstrating living history. There are expected to be spinners, quilters, weavers, woodcarvers, blacksmithing and people demonstrating what it was like 100 - 200 years ago in the area. In previous years the cannon was even shot off hourly. I expect that will be the same. It should be a fun day for children and adults alike. It is located on the edge of LSUS campus where there are several historic buildings that have been moved from other sites around the state. It will be from 10 am until 4pm.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Baby Doll Blankets

I get to be one of Santa's elves. How cool is that? A group of knitters and crocheters from the Shreveport area are knitting (and crocheting) baby doll blankets for toys for tots. Santa finds help where he needs it. There are a couple of other groups involved in this project. I'm just one cog, er, elf in the wheel. I tend to do more spinning than knitting so I am not the fastest knitter in the world. Crocheting is faster but I have always liked the look of knitting better, except for fancy crocheted edges on things. I should probably learn how to tat.
I knitted one baby doll blanket which took a couple of days in my spare time. Then I crocheted one in an afternoon – much faster for me. It occurred to me that whipping them out on a sewing machine would be fastest so I got out my trusty sewing machine which I have had for 17 years. We replaced a belt and a few other things last year so I was surprised that it looks like it needs a new belt again. The replacement belt isn't the same number as the original but I guess replacement belts are made by a different company now. I am waiting for a belt to come in the mail probably tomorrow.
I got one quilted baby doll blanket done before the sewing machine started growling at me. I finished a couple more by hand – those probably took as long as they would have if I had crocheted them. Hmm, well itty bitty quilts are cute. They are easy to make if you find some material which looks like it is already quilted. I only had to put batting between and stitch the sides and then quilt a little square in the center. If my machine gets fixed tomorrow I will be able to whip out several more of these quickly.
Here are some pictures of the finished products. We are working, Santa.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Buttonhole, Buttonhole, Who's Got the Buttonhole?

Okay, so I found out I am having a beautiful little granddaughter. I have had my eye on that beautiful February sweater of Elizabeth Zimmermann's and was hoping for a girl so I could make that one. I think it is probably too feminine for a little boy.

I made two baby surprise jackets rather quickly but this pattern looks a little more complicated. I started the yoke and after 27 rows realized that I was supposed to put in a buttonhole approximately every 8 rows as I went along. Ummm, ooops. I checked other samples of this sweater on flickr and could see that I am not the only one. This is a common mistake made with this sweater. My fault for not reading the whole pattern first - lol. There are lots of clever adaptations I could make. After debating for a couple of hours I ripped it back to the first 4 ridges . I know I could have "fixed" it but with a baby sweater the whole thing shouldn't take very long.

I should write down step by step notes for this one. I should check to see if someone else already has notes. I should maybe buy the dvd. lol I love the way this cute little sweater looks. I should practice the pattern with some scrap yarn first. I can make some very odd mistakes. Sometimes they look great and sometimes they look -- interesting. I have already thought of a way to make the yoke a little different than the pattern calls for. We shall see what happens.

I have seen some very pretty adaptations I would like to try, but really, how many sweaters can one baby use? I should make some hats or booties. A girl can never have too many hats or shoes.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

In The Night Kitchen

My youngest daughter is a hit and run baker. That is not a bad thing - we reap the benefits. She has always been a night owl. When she lived with us very often she would get out the bowls and pans and make cookies or some such in the middle of the night when everyone else was fast asleep. In the morning the cookie jar would be brimming with fresh cookies. How cool is that.

Now she is married and doesn't live too far away. She still comes over and bakes or cooks something and leaves. This last batch of cookies (chocolate oatsies) was actually made while we were still awake. They didn't last very long. Hey, Courtney, our cookie jar is empty again.

Courtney is also a pirate. :)

Finished Baby Surprise Jackets

I managed to finish both baby surprise jackets before Christmas. Then I decided to add collars to both. That wasn't hard with Meg Swansen's video to look at. I made collars for both jackets but don't have a picture of both together. I can see why people get addicted to making these. They are quick and fun. I have to get on to knitting something else now. Baby Anja needs booties and socks - and maybe hats.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

No Time To Blog

I admit it. I am a pathetic blogger. I have really been too busy the past few months. I have found out I am going to be a grandmother for the first time. How cool is that? It's about time at my age.

I haven't been spinning as much. I have been busy knitting instead. I am working on my second Baby Surprise Jacket. Elizabeth Zimmermann has a wonderful pattern here. All you have to do is look on Flickr to see all the variations - well, not all the variations because they are endless. I am almost finished with this second little jacket and want to start a third. This pattern must have some addictive qualities to it. I think I will move on to another pattern of hers immediately and see if the same holds true. For all of you on Flickr who are also on Ravelry, if you want to show your projects to the group but don't want a prospective giftee to see it, all you have to do is bury your photo deep in your Flickr stream. How do you do that? Thought there wasn't a way to organize your pictures in Flickr? There is a place to change the date that you uploaded the photo. I didn't figure it out - another of my brilliant children did. I know the preggers one doesn't have the time to digging back through my old photos for fun.

Dawn Adcock has some wonderful notes for this pattern and I have the pattern in two of EZ's books but I broke down and bought the wonderful DVD that her daughter Meg has showing how this pattern breaks down and some wonderful variations on it. I think I will have to get more of her videos from Schoolhouse Press. This is a truly wonderful DVD. This video takes all of the guesswork out of it. Not only that, it is filmed mostly in the upper midwest which makes me think of my wonderful Michigan. We were transplanted to Louisiana in 1995 and while I love the deep south in the winter, I miss Michigan in the summer. No fire ants. No fire ants. No fire ants. lol Sitting on a blanket under a tree just doesn't seem like an option down here. I can't complain too much, though. I was able to plant pansies and snapdragons a few days ago. The few nights we have in the 20s doesn't seem to hurt them much.