Monthly Archives: April 2014

Our Spring/Summer 2014 Patterns have gone Digital!

This actually happened about a month ago, but things have been rather chaotic around here ever since then, and I somehow never got around to doing a blog post. You can find this seasons patterns and most of our greatest hits available right here for instant download.











Me Made May, 2014

I can't believe it's already May tomorrow!  I signed up again to participate in this years's MMM 2014 over at So, Zoe...What do you know? and here's what I pledged on April 1st on Zoe's blog...
I, Adri H. of Adri Makes a Thing or Two (, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May '14. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade item each day for the duration of May 2014.

Can't wait! Last year was so much fun. :D
...because I'm crazy, and I somehow forgot my official due-date is in mid-May.  My internal monologue at reviewing what I posted was this: "Adriana, have you lost the plot?!   None of your clothing fits you at this point!  ¡Qué locura! (What madness!)"  in that order.

Oh well, a pledge is a pledge, right?  Ack! Yes, it's time to bring out the hand-made accessories and start sewing up some summer dresses, but let's be realistic here, people.  At this point in the pregnancy, the circumference of my belly is nearly the same as my height (only slightly exaggerating) which means my clothing options are beyond limited.  For my own sanity, I'm going to attempt to wear 5 "me-made" items a week instead of 7.  I will post a weekly round-up, too.  ((oh gosh, I'm really nuts, aren't I?  Well, waiting for the surprise of labor is kind of taking its toll on me.))

There may be a gap in posting, too... cross your fingers that the baby is healthy and that we make it through labor in good working order.  I've already been hospitalized twice during this pregnancy, and am looking forward to the familiar faces of the nurses and doctors who already know me, but I would prefer we not have an extended visit.

Alright, that's it for now!  I'm looking forward to sewing some stretchy knits because that's all that fits! :D

Move Into The Light …



Tell Me Something Good Tuesday!

Tell Something GoodTuesdays

It’s Tell Me Something Good Tuesday, y’all! I will go first today– it’s my birthday today. I’m not usually a big birthday celebrator, but this year my sweetie has a surprise dinner planned for tonight, and I’m having lunch with one of my best friends this afternoon.

There is one thing you can do for me today, if you like. You can be extra kind to yourself. If you catch yourself being anything less than delightful to you, remember that all I want for my birthday is for us to stop being so hard on ourselves, and each other. Can you do that for me please?

Now, tell me something good!

P.S. We had friends over on Sunday to celebrate and I made the most amazing dinner. I made these short ribs (they take three days to make but they are totally worth it!) served over this polenta. For dessert I made this cake and this cake and this lemon curd. I put out bowls of strawberries and blueberries and whipped cream as well, and everyone made their own combos. Everything was really good and it was a lot of fun.

Flower Boxes On A Fence …




- by Joan -


“What I learned at the Washington State Sheep Shearing School 2014” by Patricia Ford

**** I am super excited today to bring you a blog post by Patricia Ford, the winner of our first ever The Shepherd and The Shearer  Shearing School Scholarship! Thanks so everyone who participated in the 2013 The Shepherd and The Shearer Project. YOU made this happen for Patti! We will have details soon about The Shepherd & The Shearer 2014. -XOXOXOX,  Susan****

Sheep Shearing is one of the oldest professions there are. It is a skill that does not involve any type of technology and it is a method that has not changed for many years. I’ve always dreamed of having my own flock of sheep and shearing them myself but for me this is not possible. I am a military spouse and our family moves around every few years. A couple of years ago, I decided to intern in sheep farms so that I could learn as much as I could about animal husbandry.  I figured if I can’t have sheep of my own, might as well be around them when I get the opportunity. It was this desire that led me to attend the Washington State Sheep Shearing School in Moses Lake on April 7th thru the 11th.  It was a five day class with the sixth day being an Advanced Tune-Up session for intermediate shearers to “sharpen” their skills.

I had been looking forward to taking this class for a long time and finally the day had come. On my way to the Grant County Fairgrounds, which is where the class was held, lots of questions crossed my mind for example, “How many women will be there?” “Will I be the only middle-aged woman attending?” “Will I be able to learn how to shear?”  The first day of class we had a brief introduction between everyone there including 16 students, instructors and volunteers. The age range between shearing students was majority 30’s to 50’s and there were students from all over the Pacific Northwest, California and Alaska. Plenty of women were involved in the school including eight students, the school’s coordinator and a teaching volunteer.

On day one of instruction, each student received a binder loaded with information about sheep shearing, and everything there is to know about the sheep production industry including, handling and repairing equipment to wool packaging and care, animal health, physical conditioning, setting up a business and marketing plan and more. We were briefed on how the five day lasting class would go and then we went to the shearing trailer.

The shearing trailer is a mobile unit that has eight stations. It accommodates 16 students at two per station. There are four stations on each side allowing the instructor to observe everyone.  The trailer unit is constructed of 2 inch square tubing and is bolted to a flatbed trailer. It has a fold up roof, sides that fold down and a tip up wall and chute. The sheep enter on the left rear and circle around the front to the right rear. When set up, the trailer forms a 20 x 32 foot building with a wrap-around chute, with drop doors for accessing sheep easily and effectively. The trailer is set up each year and put away the day after the shearing tune-up session.

We were assigned two students and an instructor per station and all of the shearing equipment was provided by the school. There is so much to learn in sheep shearing and at first it seems so complicated to coordinate holding the sheep in place and properly shearing in the least blows possible and avoiding second cuts. The main instructor, Mike McWilliams has been teaching this class since 1993.

I have to admit I was a little bit intimidated on day 1. It seemed a little but much to take in at one time. I was being instructed on what to do while hands on a sheep and shears. We learned the New Zealand sheep shearing method with a goal to sheer in 48 to 50 blows per sheep. We also learned about shearing equipment set up, shearing moccasins as well as throwing, skirting and rolling a fleece. The first day I sheared three sheep and I was proud.


Day 2 was the most difficult for me because my body was sore from using it in a way that I was not used to and I was a bit discouraged at not being able to properly sheer on my own yet but I sheared six sheep anyway and continued to give it a go. Besides shearing instruction, the focus of day 2 was: handling sheep without hurting and exciting, quality wool clipping, preventing wool contaminates, wool packaging and care and physical conditioning. We also learned how to trim hoofs.


By noon on day 3 I began to gain confidence in what I was doing and suddenly I understood what the instructors were saying. We learned how to do maintenance and repair to the hand piece as well as sharpening electrical blades and hand blades. This was a very “hands on” exercise as we all had the opportunity to sharpen the blades.


On day 4, I had gained my confidence and still with observation of an instructor was able to sheer by myself. On Thursday we learned why sheep should not be fed for at least 12 hours before shearing. We got a flock of sheep that made a mess in every station of the trailer. It was a bit icky but it gave us the opportunity to see for ourselves how there must be cooperation between shepherd and shearer. After lunch on Thursday we also learned how to properly sheer alpacas and llamas. Some students were able to shear these hairy creatures but I didn’t. Instead I opted to go back to the trailer and continue shearing ewes, withers and rams. There was no telling what kind of sheep we would get from the chute when we reached in for one.

4_14_14 - 14

On Thursday we had a Shearer Dinner Recognition sponsored by the Columbia Basin Sheep Producers. Dinner consisted of all you can eat lamb chops and leg of lamb, it was quite the feast. The invocation was given by WSSP Director Jerry Richardson.

Friday we had a demo on shearing with hand clippers. Being the last day of school for us, we sheared for half of the day. We had a review and questions and our shearing school ended with the handing out of certificates. A couple of the students received a Junior certificate of achievement meaning that they have the ability to sheer 10 sheep per hour, but the majority of us received a Learner certificate indicating that we completed one week class and can properly shear sheep.

On Saturday the Advanced Tune-Up Session was offered in the trailer. Beginners were invited to attend the advanced shearing instruction. I attended this session until noon and I am glad that I did for it was on this day that I sheared on my own from start to finish from grabbing the sheep from the chute and shearing by myself. I was proud to have sheared eight sheep including one ram and one wither, all in a time lapse of three hours. I don’t know how other schools are offered for only two days, for me the second day was the most difficult and I am glad I was able to shear for six days.

Thanks to the Washington State Sheep Shearing School I am now able to shear a sheep within a time frame of less than 20 minutes. I am certain that with time I will get better at shearing. My next step is purchase my equipment and network around the Monterey and Santa Cruz areas to shear small flocks. I’m not certain where my husband will be stationed next, East Coast or West but I am certain that wherever we go, I will be shearing sheep.

The school is sponsored by the Washington State Sheep Producers, the Washington State University Cooperative Extension and the Columbia Basin Sheep Producers Association.  Further information about the shearing school is available on the WSU Grant-Adams Extension web site,

Another FO: Red Rosita Mittens

Finally, I finished this long unfinished object!  This red version of the Rosita Mittens, a knitting design pattern originally published in Knitscene Accessories 2013, was a prototype.

I had finished the first mitten in red and white to conserve the yarn that was for the planned colors.  You can see in the magazine photo below that the green and white yarn was planned for the final design.

A bit about knitwear design...
When you receive yarn for a project, you don't know how many prototypes it will take to get the design right, so you conserve yarn as best you can.  In this case, I swatched and conducted all tests with the red and white, then went onto create the deliverables in green and white with red and pink details.

I'm so glad these are finally done!  The design rights to this pattern return to me this summer, but if you'd like to knit them in the meantime, I think the digital download of the magazine is still available here:

Tunnel Lights …


- by Joan -


Getting Ready for Summer (Late Spring) 2014 TNNA

Summer TNNA is now quite a bit (over 1.5 months!) earlier this year. It seems like we just had winter 2014 TNNA (see my post here).

If you’re a designer going to your first TNNA, read my Designer’s Guide to TNNA post here.

I’m now with Stitch Sprouts, and will be sharing a half booth with Mindy Wilkes.

Until this time, whenever I’ve had a booth, I’ve always been able to drive. This will be my first time bringing my stuff on the road.  I’ve bought a couple of items from Ikea that will fit into checked bags, though I’ve not fully decided what I’m bringing.  I’m planning a dry run set up in my dining room again before packing. Yay for Southwest - I can bring 2 checked bags if I so desire.  I really don’t desire to do so, but it’s nice to have the option.

I’m planning on bringing samples from CRK, Hitch, some old favorites, and a bunch from The Wild West Collection.  Although I don’t have individual patterns from The Wild West for sale on Ravelry (expect them late summer) I am planning on doing exclusive print for Stitch Sprouts prior to that.

Like I’ve noted other times, I don’t really have much of an agenda.  I’m going to be checking for yarn for a few projects, touching base with yarnie friends, showing off some samples, and hanging out with designer buddies I don’t get to see but once or twice a year.  I am going to bring out some order sheets for custom buttons, but that’s about the only new thing.

If you’ve read this far, here’s a teaser for The Wild West: Stranded, which will be coming out in May…. 4 stranded designs, 2 mitts, 2 hats.  Thanks to the Arizona-Sonora Desert museum for the pic of the Ringtail Cat, and to NPS for the pic of the Organ Pipe cactus.

stranded promo collage

MV T’s …

Since I mentioned t-shirts in my last post I thought I’d carry the subject through to this post.  Almost all of us collect t-shirts and I’m no different except that almost all of mine are from the Vineyard.  They’re a good way to not only have memories of places but have new clothing as well….. when it comes time to have to get rid of them I sometimes take pictures of the ones I know I can’t replace.


These three are from events that I went to.Illumination Night in Oak Bluffs which takes place this year on Wed, Aug 20, 2014. The Harry Connick Jr/Carly Simon concert at the Tabernacle on Sep 16, 1990. And also at the Tabernacle, the Boston Pops on Aug 4, 2001.

This grouping is of places on MV. The Flying Horses in Oak Bluffs.Espresso Love in Edgartown. Midnight Farm store in Vineyard Haven. The old Tivoli building in Oak Bluffs.
100_6715  Black Dog t-shirts are very popular of course  but this red BD shirt is from around 1987, which is before the well known image of the BD appeared.


Miscellaneous shirts including the Vineyardosaurus.  A Chappy shirt because our dog is named Chappy. The “It’s A Vineyard Thing” shirt because well, with me everything becomes a Vineyard thing.

100_6301 I like the MV map with all the towns shown on it.   The black one because of the design and the word ‘Vineyard’ at the very end of the spiral.

As for the orange one… anyone know what the *a  stands for ?  For a long time you had to be in the ‘know’ to know it?  Care to venture a guess ! :)

Unlike the above mentioned t-shirts, this t-shirt has a story. Okay, some of the others have stories too… but not quite like this one !

CLICK HEREto find out what is so eerie about this shirt !!!!!!