Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Felting Follies

I've been making felted bags. My first one I made for myself. It was in reddish orange Araucania Nature Yarn with handles from Fiber Trends Fabulous Felt Totes pattern. I only used one kind of yarn and I loved the handles which are a special kind of I-cord. I made a purse for Anna using a lovely tweedy purple yarn which Marylen gave us. It was a shoulder bag with a flap, loosely based on a Two Old Bags pattern. At first it was too big and the strap was way too long and stretched out with use but I shortened the strap and refelted the whole thing and it is much better now. Anna used it all summer, which was pretty nice of her, since even having a wool purse can seem hot in a hot and humid St Louis summer. Then I made another one for myself, to use as knitting bag. This was a Two Old Bags pattern called double handle project bag. Here are pictures of it pre-felting and post-felting. The book is there to help you see the change in size. One of these days I plan to try some needle feling ornament on the green striped bit. Little sheep or something. Here it is big: Image hosted by Photobucket.com
And here it is smaller:Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Then, Mo decided ze wanted the Knitty Satchel . I knitted it somewhat more flaboyantly than the Knitty website did, putting contrasting color around the pockets and using it to reinforce the strap. Mo picked the colors, also Araucania Nature Wool. Here it is big:
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And here it is smaller:
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And here it is with its pockets exposed to view:
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The main learning experience from this project is that yarn shrinks vertically more than horizontally, or so it would appear. But Mo can probably run it through the washer a few more times and get it even smaller.

I also made a small "Boogie Bag" and matching cell phone cosy and am finishing up another Knitty Pattern, the French Market Bag. Next I want to try felted slippers!

I love the way that felting is so forgiving: mistakes just disappear in the felting process, you can pull stuff out of the washer and stretch it to shape -- even stretch it a little if it is too small. I love the way the fibers join together and make a solid fabric, almost unrecognizable as a knitted project.

Friday, October 07, 2005

On Target

Our new local Target store is open. The official ribbon cutting was Tuesday -- they had live music and everything. And it has been open ever since. The parking lot is packed. It is a LOT bigger than the old one. Sue, who has seen the garage, says that it is great. I walked there so I did not have to focus on parking. We were amazed that there was so much food. No fresh meat or veg. but loads of frozen stuff and a nice mixture of things at good prices. Quite a lot of Target's own brand stuff. Lots of stuff our family likes: delicious Alexius oven fries, Carrs Water Buscuits, brussels sprouts. It is the talk of the neighborhood. We walked all around it but bought nothing but usually we go there several times a week for stuff like printer ribbons and socks and cleaning products. If you think I am obsessed with the Hampton Ave Target you should look at the entries in this person's blog over the last year: Brick City:

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Celebration Sunday

Last Sunday was the Celebration Sunday for the Our Hope for Years to Come capital campaign. The decorators went all out with a festive balloon theme. Ann and others made a nifty balloon arch at the entrance to church. She is pictured here with her mom and members of the 7:30 congregation. You can "come as you are" to St. Mark's, but after this photo Ann changed into a dressier cute outfit to go to 10:00 church. Image hosted by Photobucket.com
Kelly made lovely arrangements of balloons in the sconces and had the "vision". Many many people were here at six in the morning to blow up balloons, set out refreshments, etc. so that the 7:30 congregation could enjoy the celebration as fully as the 10:00 a.m. celebration. At 10 we had a trumpeter which added a lot to the music. The choir and organist did a great job with the Vaughan Williams Old Hundredth and the congregation sang along when it was our turn. Here is a picture taken during the peace, which is often a joyful if chaotic moment, here enhanced by balloons.
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At the announcement time, Rod and Kevin, the co-chairs, announced that we were very near our goal and expect to surpass it. We received several pledges during that service (the rector is not the only procrastinator at St Mark's) so we probably will surpass it. Even as I type, the property committee is getting the roof consultant to draw up specs and get bids on the three "low" roofs (rectory, parish hall office and kitchens and archives/sacristy wing of the church) and on repairing or replacing the other two (church and main parish hall roof.) The last of these is only about 12 years old. Apparently, one of issues is that in the wake of Hurricaine Katrina, roofing materials may be in short supply or experiencing price increases. The oblation bearers brought up champagne and home made bread for communion. Ken, formerly a barkeep, did the honors, opening the wine with a resounding pop before we poured it in the chalice, a festive touch we usually save for the Easter Vigil. The main joy of this campaign is that the callers had such a great time -- they enjoyed their visits, some reconnecting with old friends, some making new connections, almost all hearing positive enthusiasm about the life of this parish. Roger Ricketts of Ricketts Associates was our consultant for the campaign. He did a really nice job of helping the callers to feel prepared and positive about the whole process. Before we started, he conducted a feasibility study and conservatively but accurately predicted what we could hope to raise. He probably was not including the children of the parish, however, who managed to collect $27.36 for the campaign. Here is a picture of Carter, proudly delivering the banks to the counters, with Celeste the Godly Play teacher in the background.Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Sock goes to school

On September 23 and 24, I went with Kathy and Jack from St Mark's to the diocesan Episcopal School for Ministry. Our team is in the congregational development track. The idea is that we will learn things about the dynamics of congregational systems and theories of leadership and of church growth which we can take back home and which will inspire us to grow and thrive as a congregation. This weekend we had a workshop with Michael Burroughs in which we looked at our leadership styles and at situational leadership. It is pretty interesting stuff although Michael does it from his perspective working with the military and with businesses (mainly in the health care field) and has not really given much thought to how the insights might translate into the church. Anyway, the TA for this class is Emily. I was disappointed that she did not bring any knitting -- she was travelling light. I managed to work on two knitting projects during the day and a half we were at ESM. In the timehonored tradition of knitting blogs: Here is a picture of Emily, me and my sock.
The sock in this picture is now finished and has a companion which is more or less the same size but has only made it to the first row of instep.