Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Be Saavy, Not Fearful!

I've been pondering the whole "green" movement with all its trends and legislature. Perhaps its because I was raised conservatively that it seems rather silly to me that it has been made into a fanciful, lucrative industry. We were always taught to turn off the lights when we left a room, to reuse non-biodegradeable items and not to take more than we needed. The difference is that we weren't taught these things to "save the earth". We were taught to control our personal covetous and greedy desires. I'm not saying we were perfect and that there was never any waste, but the idea was to be a good steward of whatever we were entrusted to whether it be relationships or things. So for me, as an adult, its perfectly natural to save plastic bags for reuse. I use them for many things from insulating windows in my garage (small spaces at the bottom of the windows)to putting them over the kids' socks before they put on their boots in heavy snow (to prevent moisture getting into the feet). My "Tupperware" consists of old butter and/or sour cream tubs. I have only on very rare occassions used paper towels. For us growing up they were too expensive. We used kitchen towels or rags for spills or clean up. I do the same today. There's no need to buy expensive "all natural" cleaning brands either. I used vinegar, Dr Bronner's and water for my hard floors. I clean almost everything in my house with Dr. Bronner's castille soap. I use eucalyptus oil for flea and tick control and sometimes a bit of diatomaceous earth. When a heavy scrubbing is needed I use Bar Keeper's Friend. It has the nice side effect of polishing as you scrub. I sprinkle carpets with baking soda for a fresh smell and keeping fleas and ticks away. I use Borax for fleas, ticks, fungus, laundry, you name it. I use diluted vinegar for windows and mirrors, and used them all in the same plastic spray bottles for years. I know the spray bottle I use for Dr. B's is about 5 years old and still going strong. I used cloth diapers on my kids when they were little. Its less expensive, healthier and they just look so cute in them. I am a huge proponent of teaching my children never to take more food than they can eat. Waste is a sign of glutony and we don't encourage it here. That doesn't me we don't love to indulge them, give them gifts, etc.. We just want them to appreciate the value of God's creations and all His abundance. But I say this all to end with my own personal sentiment that remains. We don't do these things because we fear limited resources or that somehow God will forget us in the future. I have had times when I've had much and times when I've had very little. I've not been forsaken. Nor will I ever be. So, we opt to be responsible with what God has provided with the attitude and philosophy of good stewards rather than fearful people who believe their God will fail them. We're not perfect, but He is. Phew!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Summer!

Model: Bethany Bressler
Photo: Christine H. Wilkins

Happy Summer to all! I'm not a huge fan of the really hot days, but I like them better than I do the really cold ones. I guess that might be strange for a knitter. It kinda goes against all those lovely hand knits that sit in my cedar chest during warmer months, but I have designed a solution to that. My new design is a Summer knit that goes easily over tank tops or tees to give them that little extra something that they need. This pattern is available on Ravelry. The pattern is called "Giselle" and if you want to find me on Ravelry I'm Gertrudeperkins. The pattern is only 1.99 and is so easy and fast that it can be knit in a weekend! It is going to be a breeze for experienced knitters as well as beginners. Let me know if you try it and have any questions. I would be glad to help.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lynyrd Skynyrd

Here's the comment I left on their website.

I had to drop in and say that even though I've been a fan since I was very young I had never seen LS live before until last night. It was sort of a short show in a smaller venue than I'm sure they've played in years gone by, but LS was tremendous. Innsbrook was rocked by one of the very few (anymore) extremely talented group of musicians who actually know how to play their instruments and play them WELL. I wonder how many of the audience actually knew it. We did. My children were totally into it too. From my 16 year old to my 6 year old, they were dancin' and enjoyin' the talented performance that is Lynyrd Skynyrd. Not only was this performance noteworthy on so many levels that I cannot do it justice, but LS is also an iconic representation of southern rock n roll on the whole.

I was caught off guard recently when mentioning of few of my favorite bands, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Bros., Boston, etc. when I realized the young person I was talking to had no idea who any of these bands were. Yikes! In a current age of snot nosed, gimme gimme gimme a free hand out, Obama gets a nobel peace prize, Justin Bieber and Lady Goo Goo are somehow talented or artists kinda world I just have to ramble a little. I say make sure you go out and see these bands. Enjoy the sound of real instruments being played by real musicians, true artists who make ya feel the natural vibes of real life. Take a moment to spend 20. or whatever it is to see these guys (and gals) and grab a piece of musical history that just may spark a new generation of talented people who don't rely so heavily on effects, computers and synthesizers to make them sound remotely listenable.

We maybe older and not as able to "whoop" as loud as we used to, but here in Virginia we appreciate Lynyrd Skynyrd for all their musical talents and their heart. Thanks for coming to my town. Hope to see you again!

For tour dates.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ballet and Knitting

Last night I jumped in on the Adult Ballet II class. Wow, what a workout. I knew all the movements and steps. I just wasn't used to executing them that fast. The combinations were so fun and challenging. My pirouettes stink, but I have already made it my goal this year to be able to perform atleast a single, clean pirouette from fifth and fourth positions. Also, I will be moving up to Ballet II. Our instructor is so sweet and really gives attention to her adult students which I hear is pretty rare. I don't know how one can get so addicted to an activity that causes so much muscle soreness the next day. I read where a company member at our school said he was addicted to the sore muscles. I think there must be some truth to that for me. I can see my body getting stronger. My daughter is getting stronger too. People at the ballet keep telling me how gifted she is at ballet and how graceful and beautiful she is. She really loves it. I am so grateful to the Lord for leading us in this direction. I admit; she is a joy to watch. I am so looking forward to her performance in a couple of months.

I am excited about my newest pattern published again in Cast On Magazine May-July 2011 Issue. I hope someone (anyone?) will knit this pattern, and let me know what you think of it. Feedback is important. :-)

Happy Spring!!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Keepin' It Simple...Keepin' It Real

Sometimes after knitting tedious projects such as three stranded colorwork, complicated celtic cabling, a sweater coat large enough to fit your XXL husband or ANY type of lace work your hands need a bit of a break. I would say they need a stretch of the legs, but I think you take my meaning. Sometimes you just need to knit something simple in between mind boggling patterns, something your hands can just fly through, something that can be completed in a day or two. I've been designing now for a while, mostly for Cast On Magazine. I am such a perfectionist (not to be confused with "perfect") that I go over and over and OVER directions, stitch counts, etc. that I almost can't even see the pattern anymore. So I sat down and decided to knit myself a pair of Lion's Brand Fisherman's Worsted Weight
2X2 ribbed socks to put on over my ballet shoes when its cold and my feet need to warm up fast. I can't tell you how rewarding they are. They aren't pretty. They're even a little scratchy against the skin. They're the color of dirt. They don't make anyone say, "Wow, you made that?" They're purely functional. Ahhhh! :-)

You know what I mean...don't you???

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Little Catching Up

I guess I'm just in a sock period. I am working on designing a sweater coat that I am very excited about. I'm gonna try for my first pattern (for sale) on Ravelry. We'll see. It has been sorta slow moving. The socks, however keep flowing. I was published last quarter in Cast On Magazine for a pair of socks called "Deco Socks". The colorwork in this pattern is so easy, fun and great for a beginner to colorwork. I was worried at first that the top of the sock wouldn't hold up without a proper ribbing, but this has not been the case. Actually, they hold up great. I can't stand sinking socks. Bleh. I have a lace sock pattern coming out in the next issue of Cast On that was very fun to design. I happen to love these socks. They are so feminine. I will post a picture after the issue is out.

I'm so busy these days with homeschooling, ballet and my 5 wondeful kiddos that I don't have much time for blogging. I guess this is my token blog since its been about a year since my last entry. I can hardly wait for Spring. Around here we have one cold day followed by a warm one, so I can tell its trying to break through. I wonder how I could give it a little push? :-)
My daughter laid claim to the felted clogs I was making for myself at Christmas time.

This pattern is much easier than it may look. I did have to wash them a couple of times in order for them to shrink properly. But I love the end result.
I also put up a new FREE pattern on Ravelry. Its called "Tendu". It was designed for my daughter who takes ballet. The pattern is very easy to size up for an adult. Just add more length. I strongly recommend using cotton for that project if it will be worn for functional purposes.

You can message me if you are having trouble sizing up or down. I'd be glad to help.
Happy End of Winter! :-) ...hopefully soon.