20 December 2011

Give the Gift of Learning to Knit

Give Inner Peace                  Give Life Skills
Give the Gift of Learning to Knit
Gift Certificates available (or treat yourself)
$65 for four knitting lessons (1 ½ hours each)
$25 for one Quick Knit mini class (2 hours)

29 November 2011

Cashmere and Wool and Silk, Oh My!

A cashmere sweater for $20? I've just unloaded a bounty of oh, so soft and cozy sweaters, hats and holiday goodies and there's more to come!

~ Warm handknit hats for blustery days
~ Yummy, soft vintage and current cashmere and merino wool sweaters
~ Sweet silk camisoles to layer under sweaters
~ Handknit Christmas ornaments
~ Vintage holiday decor
~ Retro knitting needles
~ Yarn and spinning fiber

24 June 2011

Home for Wayward Wildlife

Aparently I am now running a wild animal refuge center.

On Wednesday morning, I glanced in the compost bin to see two tiny trembling rats completely covered in mud. It has been quite dry in recent weeks and I have seen a rat climbing out of there at night. Not a bad place for a nest really; it's warm and full of food.

Mama Rat was clearly not anticipating the deluge of rain we had late Tuesday night that left her nest soaked and her babies in a swamp land. 

Drowned Rats
 I scooped the little ratties up on a big shovel and deposited them in a new nest of fresh pine shavings. They just sat and shivered for quite a while, but eventually took a few nibbles of the moistened cat / dog / chicken food mixture I offered them (we were fresh out of rat food I'm afraid). 
Almost dry.

By afternoon they had dried out and fluffed up and are actually pretty cute. I now fully understand the reference to looking like a "drowned rat."

Much better now.
On Thursdsay morning, I checked the compost bin to be sure I'd found all the rats. No rats. There was a baby possum in there! This one I was not so eager to scoop up. Even at its small size, it still hissed at me. I left it there. 

In the evening, I offered it the same cat / dog / chicken food mixture (fresh out of possum food too) which it happily accepted. I left some branches propped against the inside of the bin and said goodnight. 

Friday morning there were no baby animals in the compost. Little possum must have found its way out by climbing the branches. The rats are happy in their temporary home until they are big enough to be let out.

I fully expect to to find a litter of kittens, skunks or racoons one of these days! 

06 May 2011

O, The Chickens Have Been Busy!

O no, it is not a typo. Olivia, Olive and Odette have joined the urban flock and o do they have stories to tell. The blog has been silent for a while and there is much to say. I will take it in pieces. Today, the chickens.

Clementine on the set

The middle of March was full of adventure, good and bad. There was fame, fortune and demise. My beloved Clementine made her film debut in a fab commercial for North Haven Gardens.  She even got to sample some of the props.

Shortly before this, we had brought two new friends home to the coop, Olive and Olivia. They brought with them a nasty upper respiratory infection. Sadly, new Olive and dear Clementine were both lost to this ickiness. We took Olivia to the chicken vet for a proper diagnosis and were sent home with a prescription for ten days of chicken antibiotics (carefully measured and delivered by beak twice a day to 4 chickens). Olivia got well and the others (Celine, Sylvie and Coco) never showed signs of illness.

Once this saga had passed, we ventured out again to find new flock mates. We had a lovely trip to Burnet, TX to Mobile Chicken Coops and came home with Olive Deux and Odette. Both Olives are Welsumers who lay dark chocolate brown eggs. Olivia is a Japanese Bantam with long wings and very short legs. Odette is a sweet little Buff Orpington chicklette who promises to live out Clementine's film legacy and become a star herself.

Original Olive, with us only briefly.


Olive 2, carrying on the name.

Little Odette who peeps and chirps all the time.

14 February 2011

Open for Business!

Knits and Knick Knacks has things on the shelves - not very many, but we are off to a good start and more is on its way! Thanks so much to my dear, sweet contibutors - Laurie, Mary, Janie, Andrea, Cindy - your consignments and donations look fabulous!
Those empty spots will be filled up soon!

Cozy knitting area next to our space.

24 January 2011

Coming soon!

Located in Old Town Village Antiques and Uniques
307 S. Rogers St, Waxahachie, TX

To my fellow Yarnies and Little Red Barn groupies:
 (and everyone else too)

I recently learned that there is no yarn shop in Waxahachie (horrors) so I am going to open one in a downtown antique mall. If all goes well (and with a little help from my friends), the shop will open in early February! The shop will be starting out on a shoestring budget so I am looking for beautiful hand spun / hand dyed yarns to feature on consignment. Let me know if you’d like to feature your wares in the shop and we’ll work out a fair system.

I also would like to nominate the shop as a recipient of the JRF Yarn Storming. I know there are some unique and wonderful yarns in your stashes that other knitters would love to have (especially those who are far away from larger yarn shops). Let Cindy know if you’d like part of your de-stash to be contributed to the shop. Of particular interest are natural fibers, organic and specialty yarns (in other words, it won't be found at the Waxahachie Walmart)!

If anyone is interested in teaching a class, I would love to know about it. I can teach basic knitting skills to get people started, but I’d like to offer some advanced and specialty techniques, spinning and so on. There is a cozy space in the antique mall with chairs and a couch where we can have classes.

If you have odds and ends of needles, notions, books, patterns, etc that you’d like to be free of, let me know. I can purchase things at a reasonable cost and donations are appreciated. If you happen to see interesting vintage knitting or sheep related items at estate sales or thrift stores, would you let me know? If they are a good bargain, I’d love it if you’d pick them up and I’ll buy them from you.

Save your yarn ends, scraps, feathers, lint, etc for Scraps for the Birds. A while back I received a large box of these from Cindy with the promise to donate initial proceeds to Ruthie’s Rags fund (and now also to the puppy transport fund). This will be the first charitable effort of the shop. 

The shop will feature:

Locally made specialty yarns: hand spun and hand dyed from the fiber of locally raised animals
The Stash Basket: re-purposed yarns donated by area knitters. The selection will vary, but will always contain unique and unusual finds.
New and vintage knitting needles, notions, books, patterns and other supplies
Hand Knit accessories for you and your home.
Scraps for the Birds: colorful bits of recycled yarn, fiber, fur and feathers in a mesh bag to hang in your trees for the birds to include in their nests.
Charity knitting collection - we will offer suggestions of projects for you to knit and return to us to be donated to area charitable organizations.
Knitting classes, groups and workshops: held at the shop or at our relaxing country property (with overnight accommodations available).
Knick knacks: you never know what else may be available in the shop - often with a knitting, fashion, country or farm feeling - we are always on the lookout for special things.

10 January 2011

2010 Harvest

This lovely, frosty, wet, cold morning seems the perfect time to reflect on my garden harvest for the past year and plan for a bigger one in the coming year.
I had success with bell peppers of different varieties - standard and mini. They kept on going through the hot summer and into the fall (the last stragglers are out there under a sheet right now). The Basil did well; it has dried in the cupboard and is ready for winter use. 
The big winner of course was eggs! Oddly enough, the "crop" that required the biggest initial outlay of both time and money ended up producing effortlessly with minimal further intervention on my part.
The monthly egg tally:
May (the 1st month of laying): 4
June: 25
July: 43
August: 51
September: 53
October: 50
November: 45
December: 37
Grand Total: 308 eggs
Just like fruits, vegetables and herbs, chickens and eggs come in many varieties. This spring, a few new chickens will join the flock to bring variety to the harvest.  

In planning the food crops, I am enjoying the catalog from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. The descriptions and photos are lovely and they offer a great variety of rare and heritage seeds. I will order some from them as well as shopping locally for seeds and starter plants. In December, I layed the foundation of a new garden, "lasagna" style with layers of leaves / newspaper / compost / newspaper / leaves / newspaper / leaves / hay, shavings, poop mixture from the chicken house. This will sit for a few months until I add several inches of soil and more compost before planting the spring garden. This should be an especially fertile garden which I hope will lead to much better yields than in past years. 

Here are some more garden photos from 2010.
Best wishes to all the gardeners for a bountiful 2011!