Monday, December 06, 2010

The Duke's Quilt - at long last

It took me nearly two years, but last night I finally finished the quilt for the Duke. 

The pattern is from Tricia Cribbs' Turning Twenty Just Got Better

 I love this idea.  You can make a twin quilt (70" x 86") with only 20 fat quarters and fabric for the back.  You use almost every bit of the fabric.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Where is Yarnnation?

Well, friends, this my first blog and my baby has been neglected for some time now.  I even missed her birthday.  In October my little blog turned five.  Yes, I have been blogging for five years.  A lot has changed in my life over the course of those five year.
I became increasingly passionate about knitting and my obsessive nature kicked into overdrive.  Over the course of about three years I knit hundreds of pieces and became quite an advanced knitter.  I also learned to spin my own yarn and dye my own fiber.
My current WIP, a doubled headband in wool/cashmere/silk.

I went back to school to get my masters degree.  Knitting got me through that.  I knit in class.  I knit to keep myself sane.   I knit to relax and to challenge my mind in a way other than business.

I got pregnant and had my first child.  Now, we can really talk about knitting to maintain sanity.

Little Sir, a few days after birth.
My knitting time decreased as I navigated the parenting learning curve and embarked on a new adventure, adoption.  Another passion to add to my all ready overwhelmed life.  It's just how I do things.  I live and love with passion.  I became a mother for the second time through the miracle of adoption.

Lion Baby a few days after birth.

My knitting time dwindled a little bit more with the demands of two children.

There was one constant through all of this change.  Our home.  Our bright beautiful townhouse in Seattle.  The first house and home that the Duke and I purchased together, loved and lived in.  The house that, pre-blogging and pre-children we completely renovated.  It is where I knit, where I learned to spin, where I brought my children home.  I love that house.

The dining area of our eat in kitchen in our Seattle home.
Now my life is big mess of boys, a log house remodel, and adjusting to a new place and a new way of life.  Only my yarn and my spinning wheels (which fit in so well here) remain to remind me of the physical growth of Yarnnation.

My life does not revolve around yarn anymore.  While I would love more time to knit and spin, I go days between knitting time, and I am fine.  Previously I felt I had been cheated if I didn't get to knit at least a little bit each day.  I know that as my children grow, as my house comes together, and as I adjust to rural living I will find more time for my woolly love.

However, over the past month I have realized that while this blog has remained my home base and my personal blog for all things other than adoption (which would have taken over everything else had I hosted that obsession here) that along with our physical move to the country, I need to make a virtual move. Our home in Seattle was also the home of Yarnnation, and while the heart of Yarnnation is within me, I no longer live in the physical place we called Yarnnation.  Much of what made our house Yarnnation was the vast amount of yarn that lived there with us in such a small place.  Here, in this big log house, all of the yarn happily lives in one room.  There is no need for it to be stuffed into strange places.

Now, lest anyone think I am going to let Yarnnation die, (heaven forbid!) stick with me here.  I am simply moving my personal musings, my children, my cooking, my photography, the non-fiber aspects of my life to my new virtual home that matched my new physical home.

Apple House Revival I have all ready started posting there about life in the midst of an apple orchard in rural Washington.  I will continue to post my knitting, spinning, dying, sewing, quilting, weaving and other fiber related posts here.  I just hope that you will also join me in my move to the Apple House as well.

I hope that one day in the perhaps near and perhaps distant future to have a real home base where all of my passions can live happily together (ala Pioneer Woman.)

until then. . .

Much love and thanks to everyone who takes the time to journey with me through my blogs.

Megan - Duchess

Friday, October 08, 2010

Yarn and Fiber and Dyes

Yes, they do still exist here in Yarnnation!

This was over dyed from yarn that was left over from yarn I dyed a couple of years ago that my Mom knit into a Wonderfy Wallaby for Little Sir.

 Now the Lion Baby wear that Wonderful Wallaby, but I thought that he should have his own as well.  What do you say, Grandma?  You up for knitting another one?  Actually I think i may take this one, as I am needing some simple, just follow the pattern and don't think, type of knitting.

Some Superwash Merino that I though I'd throw in while I was at it.  I love how it turned out.  I don't really have a project in mind for it.

This is kind of a strange one.  I've never dyed anything black before, but it was a very dark purple color that I didn't care for.  I was hoping for a "raven" like look, but you can hardly see the purple at all.  It really just looks black.  Oh well, it will be useful for a hat or something.

And last, this was a big bundle of Cooriadale that I half submerged in order to exhaust the dye.  You can see there was still a lot of dye left in the pat.  I love spinning fibers that have a lot of white in them along side a dark color.  I can't wait to see how it spins up. 

And there you go.  Proof that, despite a creative recession, fiber is still of great importance in our house.  (Just ask the poor guys/gals that end up having to move my yarn stash. - Although, probably better that than all of our books.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


We won't be in our current house for Halloween.  Hopefully we'll still find something fun for Little Sir to do on the other side of the state (hopefully we aren't so exhausted from the move that we don't feign a complete lack of knowledge of the holiday.)

Before we knew we were going to be moving so soon I had started a makeover on my small nod to fall.  I finished it up today (as I'm trying to finish all of my in-progress projects before we pack up our lives.)

Little Sir LOVES pumpkins.  In fact his very first outing ever was to a pumpkin patch.

This is him at just over a year.

 And last year.

I'm betting that there will be a fun place near Omak to find pumpkins this year, but in the mean time, we can enjoy some that won't spoil if I forget to unpack them!

The biggest one was at Target, must have been left over from last year, as it was in their clearance section for a dollar.  I just dusted it with a little gold spray paint.

 The middle one I found at Ross.  It was kind of country-ish colors so I spray painted it copper and then dusted it with gold as well.

The small one came from Joanne's.  It was your typical orange resin decorative pumpkin.  Not my style, so it got a couple of coats of cream paint, then a dusting of copper, and finally some glaze.

With the delightful enthusiasm of a three year old, Little Sir thinks they are wonderful.  I kind of like them myself.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Seattle to Omak

Yesterday the Duke officially accepted a job offer in Omak, WA.

View Larger Map

I've known for several months that this move was coming.  As I go about my day to day life I find myself thinking about all the things in Seattle that I am going to miss.

Target (how will I live without a target down the street?)

I am a city girl, and I happen to love this city in particular.

I could write an entire and LENGTHY post about all of the things I am going to miss miss miss about my beloved Seattle.  Tonight, however, the Duke and I were talking about a few things that I am looking forward too.

 I've never been to a rodeo.  How did I grow up in rural Utah and have never attended a rodeo?  I don't know.  I look forward to small town parades and raising my own chickens.  I am looking forward to having a place for my boys to run to their hearts content without worrying about cars.  I'm looking forward to having more time with the Duke.  I miss him.

AND. . . I am looking forward to having my friends come visit me OFTEN!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Speechless. . .

My best friend, Sarah, has been working on what she called the "Big Secret Knitting Project" for almost 9 months now.

On Saturday at a BBQ that we held to celebrate the final stage in the adoption of our son she handed me a small yellow gift bag.

Inside that gift bag is one of the most beautiful pieces of knitting I have ever seen.

It is Snowflakes in Cedarwoods Shawl, in honor of my little Alaska Baby.

On Sunday the Lion Baby was wrapped in it as the Duke gave him his baby blessing.

Then I wrapped myself in it as I spoke in church (our church has only lay clergy and members of the congregation are asked to give the sermons.)

I didn't know that a shawl could not only keep you warm, but also let you feel loved.

One day I hope the Lion Baby's bride will wear it on their wedding day.

And I hope that Sarah is right there with me as we both bawl our eyes out just like we did in church on Sunday.

Thank you, Sarah.  It is stunning, and you are the best friend a girl (especially a knitter girl) could ever ask for, and the best auntie a Lion Baby could ever want!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Wreath Commitment (for the children!)

I'm not really a person who decorates for the different holidays and seasons.  It's not that I don't like seasonal decorations, my Mom always had cute decorations for the holidays.  I just have a hard enough time keeping my house dusted and vacuumed.  I don't want my valentines decorations still up at Easter, and I know that is what would happen, so my holiday/ seasonal decorations are minimal, very minimal. 

Little Sir is a very passionate and excited child, though.  Last year after he went to bed on "his" Christmas Eve I felt a little guilty so I threw up a garland, a strand of lights and a few ornaments.  (We celebrate early because we usually spend Christmas in Utah with family.)  He was in awe, I think it is the only time I've ever seen him (even briefly) demonstrate reverence.  He also LOVES pumpkins because of Halloween, and last year we didn't even carve them, we just put them out on our front porch.

So, I decided that I didn't need to make myself crazy, but I could still brighten things up a bit by at least changing out my wreath.  This means I either have to buy or make a wreath for every season except Christmas.  We always have an evergreen wreath at Christmas.  I LOVE the smell of the branches, and it is easy, so it's a tradition I embrace.

OK, so fall/ autumn/ harvest. . .


I do love fall leaves, but I wanted something different than the usual fall leaves on a grapevine wreath.  The wreath is a simple willow wreath from the dollar store which I spray painted a glossy black.

I chose a wreath garland from Joann's that was very neutral, no bright oranges and yellows.  I wanted something a little more subdued.  I dusted the garland with a gold spray paint, lighter in some areas, heavier in others.

The pumpkins are foam pumpkins that I Modge Podged aluminum foil to and then glazed.  (This took WAY longer than I should have let it, but I just love how those little pumpkins turned out!

 They are simply hot glued to the willow wreath after the leaf garland was carelessly wrapped around and secured.

The little nests are made from corn husks.

Which got lightly dusted with a cooper color.

So happy and fallish, it even inspired me to buy a small fall decoration for my home.  Details coming soon. . . .

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Buying a Sweater

Do any other knitters out there have problems buying sweaters?  I know I can knit anything that I find with very few exceptions, so I feel like it is silly for me to buy a sweater.  However, the reality is that I've completed a grand total of ONE sweater for myself since Little Sir was born nearly three years ago.  My knitting time and my ability to think about complex knitting patterns have both been drastically reduced since my two little guys have joined our family.

My second problem with buying sweaters is that I am (like most knitters) very particular about the fiber that I will wear.  I hate the feeling of acrylic yarn and I also hate that acrylic and cotton sweaters begin to look much worse for wear after only one season of wearing them.

My third issue is that I don't have a lot of money to spend on clothes.  I buy nearly all of my clothes second hand, both for financial reasons and personal reasons.  I have found a few lovely second hand sweaters, but they are very few and far between.  Wool sweaters are also dated by the time they find their way to a thrift store, because people who wear wool sweaters know their value and keep them around.

OK, now that I've written way too much about how hard I find buying a nice wool sweater for myself, I thought I'd show you a few that I am considering purchasing, as I have a special event coming up that I would like to wear a nice sweater too.

Peregrine by J.G. Glover Merino Wool Cardigan Sweater- Shawl Collar 

Simple, classic design.  I love the collar.

J.G. Glover Merino Wool Turtleneck Cardigan Sweater

Similar, simpler cables, less fitted body.  This one obviously looks good open, which is important to me.

Neve Designs Sweaters - Pia Retro Snowflake Zip Cardigan

Isn't this pretty.  I love the color and the simple bold color work.  I am also a huge fan of zippers in cardies, but NOT a fan of actually putting them in.

With a Twist Amiar Warp Cardigan 

Gosh, isn't this pretty?  I love the smocking, the length, the collar. . . I'm not in love with the price, though.  $144.00.  It's one of the very few over $100 I would eve consider.  (I'm pretty sure I've never spent $100 on a single article of clothing ever.)
Icelandic Design Knightsbridge Jacket
Isn't the neck on this one incredible?  And the vine detail just dresses up this simple sweater.

Have any of you purchased a wool or cashmere sweater?  Where from?  Was it worth the cost?

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Some Yarn

I know, there hasn't been a lot of yarn or spinning or knitting showing up on this blog as of late.  I have been knitting and spinning, but in short spurts and with long breaks in between.  A three year old who makes the Tasmanian Devil look lazy and an adorable six month old that I can't stop looking at make for scarce knitting time.  And that doesn't speak to the lack of brain power or the fact that I often fall asleep if I sit still for too long.

Anyway, someday soon I'll show you what little I've been up too.  In the mean time, I've been wanting to show you this beautiful afghan that my grandmother gave me a while ago.

It was made by my great grand mother using a technique called Hair Pin Lace, which is actually a crochet stitch, not a knitting stitch.  I absolutely love it and may be tempted to try it myself some day.  If any of you with a greater capacity to think and fewer small creatures relying on you want to give it a try, here is a great looking tutorial.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Spoonflower Contest of the Week

Windows and Doors this week over at Spoonflower.  There were a lot I liked this week!  The next two weeks are tractors and carouselsI think I'll be spending a little time at my computer this week! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Drain Pipe Planters

I want to share some of my favorite projects from Sarah's garden individually.  That last post was a lot to take in all at once, and there were some really fun projects that got skimmed over.

On one of my trips to pick up broken concrete I also found five old concrete drain pipes.  I thought they were very structural and cool,  I knew just what I wanted to do with them.  I think a few of my friends though I was a little off my rocker, but I had a vision ****ahhhhhhhhh*****

I'm not even sure who painted them, it was on the list of things to do, that just always got done while I was away running errands.  (Did I mention how awesome these woman are?) I left a can of spray paint and came back to bright red cement cylinders.  So cool.


Sonya and I spent over a hour moving them around the garden and arranging and re-arranging them before we found the perfect spot and the perfect tableau.

Then they were filled with rocks, a bit of potting soil, and each was planted with a different sedum or succulent, each of which came from a friend or neighbor's yard.   Again, so cool.  I'll be on the lookout for more pipes to do something like this in my own yard.

I'm sharing this project with friends at the linking parties listed on my linking page.