Friday, October 17, 2014

An invitation

I am very busy getting ready for the 16th Prairie Found Open House, November 1 and 2, in Baldwin, Kansas. I'm so excited ~ it is always a great weekend event. I've written about some of the years that I have participated in the Prairie Found Open House, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wool Week

Commemorating its 5th year, The Campaign for Wool celebrates Wool Week 2014 with a host of activity set to make it the most memorable year yet. I will celebrate Wool Week at WilleWorks by sharing with you my gratitude for my shepherd friend, Barbara. I visited her last week and bought some beautiful new wool yarn provided by some of her sweet and rascally sheep.

In the photos : Wendy's Girl and Gracie are two ply worsted weight yarn the skeins have 250 yards. Mary Todd and McMurray (also known as Moorit Merino) are two ply fingering weight yarn.  These skeins have 250 yards. I also bought two skeins of grey Demeter yarn for more knit bunnies.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


This might be my most favorite time of year. I've been busy picking plums from the tree in our front yard, making plum sauce, visiting the sheep at Maggie's Farm, knitting animals, needle-felting and beading mushrooms, and getting ready for Pam's Open House which will be in a few weeks.

Such a lovely, busy time of year.

Friday, September 26, 2014

WilleWorks Fox

I finally got up the courage to finish this sweet WilleWorks fox's face. This fox looks like a lady to me. Maybe she needs a tulle skirt. I don't know....but I love the way she turned out. You can find her in my WilleWorks etsy shop.

Inspiration comes from the fox that I see in my garden and the foxes on Flickr here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

WilleWorks Fox in the works

I am almost done creating this WilleWorks Fox. Yay! His head is all knit now and I just have to embroider a face for him, which can be the most difficult part for me. I want him to look expressive and believable and the eyes can be challenging. I also have in the works 15 mushrooms that I've needlefelted. The mushroom caps and stems are waiting on my work table for beadwork to start. I love doing the beadwork most of all. A friend is coming over tomorrow to visit. She wants to learn some tips on how to needlefelt. I'm looking forward to this ~

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


The knitting of my newest fox is slow going. When I see mistakes, I unknit to the error and try again. I'm a perfectionist. When I'm tired of knitting I gather up my needle-felting gear, sit down at my work table, and start poking away at wool roving to make more needle-felted mushrooms. These red Amanita Muscaria were made in April and I have another request for a custom order. We'll see how many I can make before my elbow gives out. It takes me about an hour and a half to make one needle-felted mushroom.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wool Felt Hat

I've been gearing up for autumn and winter sales of wool felt hats. I finished this hat yesterday and have one more on my sewing table waiting to be finished. WilleWorks hats will be available at Essential Goods in November.

I will also be showing all of my new hats at Pam Carvalho's open house the first weekend in November.  These wool felt hats are so popular, especially when people have a large selection to try on and choose just the perfect fit. Molly at Essential Goods tells me that a customer from Kansas City was inquiring about my wool hats last week. The customer bought a WilleWorks hat last year and got a lot of compliments! So happy to get that kind of feedback. I still have 4 hats listed in my WilleWorks Etsy shop.  I understand it is harder for people to find just the right hat when they don't get a chance to try it on in person before buying. If you buy a hat from my shop online, I happily accept returns for full refunds if you are not happy with your hat choice.

Friday, September 5, 2014


Hello September! I'm looking forward to cooler temperatures and some rain. I've been working in my studio this week and I have a fox, a tan hat, and two more garlands in the works for this month. I'm also been photographing these two best friends, Sweet Kitty and Helen Kitty to have some more notecards printed for holiday sales.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Wishing you ~

Wishing you a very happy holiday weekend. Rain is in the forecast for this weekend. I'm not complaining though because we need the rain. These photos were taken in Western Nebraska in August while I was on vacation. So fun to watch the world go by while Oz drives.

Brisket :: meal of the midwest

When I'm not knitting, I'm cooking in the kitchen. Last week Grant texted me wanting to know what cut of meat do I get for brisket. I thought I would share my super simple recipe with Grant and all of you too. Here is how I do it!
I like to buy 3 pound beef brisket flat cut trimmed briskets at Checkers. Their butchers are very helpful when I want a special cut of meat. But brisket is not a special cut of meat in the midwest and I always find them in the meat cooler. First I preheat my oven to 225 degrees. I take the meat out of the packaging and gently rinse the meat in my big stainless steel sink with cool water for about a minute. One side of the brisket has a layer of fat and that side will go up in the oven. I put the meat fat side up, still wet with water, directly into a room temperature Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven. This cast iron pot has a heavy lid and is labeled as a risotta pot. It is 24 cm and holds 3.3 liters. I've also used my larger Le Creuset dutch oven as well. But this dutch oven is my favorite to use for brisket.  I peel 3 large cloves of fresh garlic and put those on top of the brisket. Simple so far, right? I cover the pot and put it in the oven on the middle shelf and let it cook for 6 hours. After 6 hours I turn the temperature to 200 and cook another 6 hours. Voila! The juices are very dark brown, the garlic has roasted, and the brisket has gotten smaller.
I let it cool a bit and then refrigerator the meat with all the juices for about 8 hours. The brisket will reabsorb some of the juices when it is in the refrigerator. I smash the roasted garlic and add that to the juices. I slice off the thin layer of fat on the top of the brisket and slice the meat against the grain. Put the sliced meat back into the dutch oven with the juices. For lunch today, I made a cold brisket sandwich with toasted a ciabattini roll, butter and sliced tomato from the garden. Yum!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wish upon a four leaf clover bunny

Clover Bunny is hand knit from hand dyed wool yarn. Original and one of a kind designed by Marianne C. Wille. Clover is now in my shop.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Colorado Postcard

Oh, summer vacation. How you flew by! Here are a few more photos from our Colorado adventures. We celebrated Logan's birthday this year with a big dinner. Richard, Dennis, Holmes, Candace, and Greco (from Brooklyn!) came by and we served smoked ribs, grilled chicken, potato salad, and Rocky Ford cantaloupe. I also made two buttermilk pies for my Logan since he requested them for his birthday dinner. We had a great evening and I ended up laying down in the bedroom listening to all the menfolk talk politics, fishing, and other important things. What a fun evening!