Sunday, August 17, 2014

An Old Spinning UFO....Knitting WIP Progress...Cooking

Recently, I had gone into one of my fiber stash bins and was searching for something to spin.  None of my current in progress fibers were calling to me.  I found a bag with a skein of yarn and a braid of fiber.  It's Organic Merino from Spunky Eclectic in the colorway "Pie Toss". I bought this in December 2008.  The first braid was spun in February 2009, and, chain plied.  I just never did the second braid. Plans are to get it done this week.  Talk about taking a break between braids!

I did finish spinning the third braid of "Nolan" and spun the first one of "Tuscany", both from June Pryce Fiber Arts.  Two more bobbins (4 ounces each) of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hogget blend were also spun and are waiting for plying.  Plans are to have a ply-fest again with those two bobbins and the Pie Toss.  Maybe I'll try to get another in progress fiber spun as well and do the plying at Sue's monthly spin in. 

My Lacey Bias Scarf has seen a bit more love.  The "Fly Away Home" socks are also coming along nicely. I am at the gusset part of sock 2.  That can be a public knitting project once I'm into the foot part which is just stockinette until the toe decreases.  The Traveler Socks are finished and came out great.  Plans are to use the pattern again, but change the cable to a different one, or a lace pattern.  That's just so I don't get bored with the same pattern.

Last night's supper was bacon cheeseburgers.  I mixed the ground beef with the same seasoning I use to make my meatballs.  Pat had bought the 3 pound package of beef, so I made the burgers, and then shaped the rest into meatballs.  A small package of sausage was also added to them.  After browning, I just transferred them to the crockpot and left them alone.  While I cooked the bacon in the oven, he grilled the burgers.  We had a side salad to go with them.  It was a tasty supper. 

Tonight, he cooked his pasta, and warmed up some of the sausage and meatballs.  I just made a small sandwich and salad, and skipped the pasta. There's still plenty in the crockpot for a couple of days' meals. 

I'm going to spin for a bit and watch a couple podcasts and then call it a night. 

Talk to you soon.  Bye!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Socks, Shawl, Scarf, and Spinning

July has been a month of working on WIPs, both knitting and spinning.

I finished the Kalinda Shawl in time to enter the Classic Elite Yarns contest. No - I didn't win the yarn basket prize, but I have a pretty shawl added to my collection.

I've set my vanilla socks and leftover Gloaming socks aside to work on two other pairs.  One is Fly Away Home in Cascade Heritage Sock. It's my first time doing a project with a picot cast on so I've learned something new.  I'm at the toe decreases of sock 1 and should just finish that and cast on sock 2.  Instead, I'm working on the other pair which is Traveler Socks in Cascade 220 worsted weight.  I'm planning to make these into house slippers and put waterproof bathroom caulking on the bottoms to make them skid proof  I had to rip back to the foot since it was a tad too short when I put in the heel.  I added a full repeat of the pattern, test fit it, and am doing the heel tonight. 

My Lacey Bias Scarf has had a little bit added.  This is my public/group project since it's just a two row pattern and you can see right away if you make a mistake.  I do love how it's working up with the striping of the yarn.

Spinning has been about finishing up stuff as well.  I've spun and plied another skein of the Cria Alpaca / Hogget Merino blend.  That makes 7 skeins so far. There's still over half of it left in the bag.  This fiber reminds me of Mary Poppins bag. I keep refilling my plastic bag and there's still more.  It doesn't seem to be going down.  lol

I also finished spinning Crown Mountain Farm SW Merino in "San Francisco" and plied that with their "Wish You Were Here".  It really calmed down some of the eye searing pink in that colorway.

The second braid of Flawful Fibers "Bleeding Heart Dove" also got spun and the N. plied.  I then grabbed a random 4-ounce bag from the stash and spun that. It was Dyed in the Wool Handmades "Strawberry Sundae" which was 2 plied. 

Currently, I'm spinning braid 2 of 3 of June Pryce Fiber Arts Merino in "Nolan".  It's mostly blues with pops of orange and a little greenish gray every now and then.  A friend suggested plying it with a solid color.  Since I know I have more than enough Merino in my dye room, the plan is to dye 24 ounces in the same deep (almost Tardis) blue for the ply.  It's going to look so good when done!

The looms haven't seen any attention since hubby put stuff in my room and I can't get to them right now.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

WEBS Trip, Some Progess on Projects

The rest of May passed so quickly I never got around to posting here. 

After the retreat weekend, I finished the Honey Cowl I had restarted, and, a Reversable Big Cable Scarf knit in Malabrigo Rasta.  There was some spinning, but nothing was plied yet. 

One of my current projects is the Kalinda Shawl knit in Classic Elite Cerro in the "Watermelon" colorway.  There's about twenty-two rows to go plus the bind off.  

I'm also working on the Lacey Bias Scarf I bought at the retreat in Plymouth Yarns Diversity.  My Gloaming socks are still in progress, but on the back burner for a bit while I work on these two projects.
 
June started fine, but, I got sick the second week and spent 3 days in bed with a fever of 103.  I had an infection and was on antibotics which seemed to do the trick.  Currently, I'm on the second round of meds since the darn infection is still hanging around although I feel fine.

The third Saturday of June is our annual bus trip to WEBS. Luckily, I was recovered and still able to go.  I forgot my list at home, but remembered most of it.  Two skeins of WEBS Anniversary yarn, three skeins of pink yarn for another Sojourn Scarf  as well as the third skein of purple to finish the first one, three skeins of undyed fingering, and a sweater's amount of a pale blue yarn all came home with me.  I planned to buy a bunch of undyed yarn but couldn't find the ones I wanted.  I also forgot to pick up two magazines I wanted.

I have done some spinning, but, decided to skip participating in Tour de Fleece this year.  I also decided not to do Stash Dash after all.  Being sick for a week sort of left me not wanting deadline projects, with the exception of the Kalinda which has to be done by July 21.  My goal is to try to get five rows a day in, but, they are getting long now.  I'm going to try to get my sixth row in for today so I'm ahead a little bit.


Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 Knitting Retreat in the Mountains

The first weekend of May found some members of my knitting guild in the mountains of New Hampshire.  Eight ladies plus myself spent three days together at The Grand View Lodge in Randolph.  It's a knitting shop with accommodations upstairs.  There was much laughter, sharing, and a little knitting going on.  There was a requirement to work only on items purchased in the shop while there.  The accommodations were sufficient, but a bit rustic.  If you are looking for a fancy hotel, this is not the place for you to stay. 

The shop was over-flowing with yarns, notions, patterns, kits, and all sorts of goodies for knitting and crochet.  Every time I looked, I found something else I hadn't noticed before.  I think I ripped back as much as I knit while laughing and talking.  Only one of us finished her project while there. 

On the way there, we stopped at Patternworks in Meredith and ate lunch at Hart's Turkey Restaurant.  Yum!

A bit of retail therapy happened while in Patternworks.


Here's a picture of my purchases from the retreat shop.


This is the Honey Cowl I ended up frogging and restarting when I got home.  I could see too many slip 1/purl 1 mistakes.  And I didn't have any wine so that's not an excuse.  lol



Here's a couple pics of the mountains and one of the rivers/streams.

 









Busy Hands Knitting and Spinning

The last few months have just flown by.  Since my last post, I've finished the Monkey Socks, a snugly bulky weight cowl called Centered Stitch Mitered Cowl (I still need to buy the right button), Pettine, Bakersfield, Katara (all by Corrina Ferguson), and Brickless by Martina Behm. The four shawlette/scarves need pictures and blocking yet.  I will post those when I get it done.  I still haven't found the missing yarn I want to use to knit my Harvest sweater in yet.  I know it's here somewhere.

Currently, I'm knitting a pair of modified Pink Chocolate short socks.  I only had a half skein left of the "Gloaming" colorway from Play At Life Fiber Arts yarn I used in the Brickless.  I bought a mini skein in a pretty blue that matches the color in the the Gloaming and plan to do an afterthought heel and toe with it.  There's two ounces of the original yarn so I should be able to manage most of the foot with it.

So far this year I've managed to spin 68.8 ounces of fiber.  My goal is eight pounds spun and plied this year.  I think I'll make it with no problem.  I've got 5 different colors/fibers either spun or waiting for me to finish spinning so they can all be plied.  I plan to do another ply-fest at the end of the month during the Stash Dash 5K with the Knit Girllls.  It's a self challenge to see if you can use or spin 5K between May 23 and the first week of August.  Projects already count for full yardage as long as you don't ply the singles or bind off prior to May 23.  Tour de Fleece also falls in the middle of the 5K so that's an added incentive to spin.   I need to knit more before then too.  lol

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Little of This and That Crafting

Lately, it's been a case of finishing up a few projects.  The fourth pet blanket has been crocheted.  The Niyritt Hat came out cute.  I wish I had knit an extra repeat in the body of the hat before starting the cabling at the top.  It fits fine but I would have liked it to be a little longer in order to cover my ears better.  The Monkey socks are progressing well. I managed to start the heel flap last night.  I might still manage to finish these before the end of the month.

A couple of years ago, I won some fiber from a KAL on Ravelry.  It's very pretty but a bear to spin.  It's a little felted and has tons of nepps in it.  The dyer felt bad about taking a while to get it to me so sent me 8 ounces instead of the original 4.  The colors are very pretty pastel shades.  After fighting my way through the first 4 ounce braid, my hands hurt, especially the right pointer finger.  The most sore spot is right at the first knuckle which is a bit swollen.

Yesterday was a spin in at RI Handspun so I took it easy and worked on refilling a couple of partial bobbins with some more of my cria alpaca/merino hogget blend.  That stuff almost spins itself.  I hope Liz gets her mill back up and running some day.  I love how she processes my fleeces and blends.  There's plenty in the stash to keep me busy for quite a while if she doesn't re-open for a few years. 

Due to the sore finger/hand, I'm not working on anything today.

Here's a couple pics of the Niyritt Hat. :


 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Re-Visiting and Crafting Projects

It's been a couple of interesting months as far as perspectives are concerned.

In January I ran into a friend I hadn't seen in a while when I went to knit group at the LYS.  It was nice to visit with her for a few hours. 

That visit was part of my decision to re-visit a spin group and then decide to re-join it.  I've been away from this group for a few years and really missed seeing some of the people.  It was lovely to talk with many of them again.  This past Saturday was the monthly meeting so I went again and had a nice time. 

Yesterday, I learned the brother of a person I used to be very good friends with had passed away.  He was only 52.  I called to offer my condolences and might be re-visiting this person again after many years.  We have some stuff to work out first. If we resume the friendship, it will be different.

Crafting has been going on during this time.  As I posted in the previous entry, time was spent blocking oodles of shawls.  I also got some pics of finished projects, some which need blocking yet.

On the needles right now, I have a pair of Monkey socks, a pair of vanilla socks, the Niyritt Hat, and Mortica shawl.  That shawl isn't seeing any love right now.  I just can't deal with the black lace yarn.  It hurts my eyes to work on it, even with the Ott lamp and magnifier.  The Monkey socks have a plain foot instead of patterned.  The Niyritt Hat has a flat top with lots of cables.  The construction is a new to me style.  Also on the side is Brickless to be knit with Play at Life's yarn in the "Gloaming" colorway.  I've got two skeins of this and plan to make matching socks.

I've also been crocheting pet blankets for shelter animals.  These are for the annual drive with the Yarnivore Podcast.  So far, I've finished three with a fourth started.

The wheels have been busy as well.  I've finished a a 4.2 ounce braid of DkKnits Merino/Silk in the "Don't Touch the Tree" colorway.  It's pinks and green.  The way she dyed it has the colors repeating four times in the braid, so I did a chain ply.  The resulting yardage was 283.8 which isn't bad.  Skein number 6 of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hogget blend is also on the wheel right now.

Here are some pics of unblocked items.  Artemsia Sweater, Molly Scarf and Cafe Au Lait Mitts, "Gloaming" yarn, and the finished pet blankets.  Molly and the mitts were done with the same yarn as a set.







Blocking Time

A couple of weeks ago I decided to get out my blocking boards and supplies.  The result was several shawls finally blocked and wearable. :) It took two rounds of blocking since Mystic and Bee Leaf were so huge, I ran out of boards and pins.

Mystic Delight Shawl, Bee Leaf Half Pi Shawl, 198 Yds to Heaven Shawlette, Zuzu's Petals cowl/scarf (in a handspun Loop batt), and Saroyan have all been added to the pile, ready to be worn.

Pics are in order of listing above.  I forgot to take a pic of Saroyan on the boards. 





Sunday, January 26, 2014

Whipping the WIPs and Planning Projects For 2014

There's been a bunch of progress on the leftover WIPs from 2013. In the last week of December, I managed to finish spinning the second braid of Spunky Eclectic fiber in the "Kites" colorway.  The knitting projects included my handspun socks, a pair knit in Opal yarn, and a "Twistygoo" hat in Malabrigo Rios. 

The first part of January has seen the finishing of my Mystic Delight Shawl, a "198 Yards to Heaven" shawlette to match the Twistygoo hat.  The shawlette ended up being 231 yards since I wanted to use the last of the hat yarn as well.  It is part of a one skein worsted weight yarn KAL.  I need to get that pic posted in the next couple of days so it counts.  The Molly scarf is finished as well.  While at the LYS a couple weeks ago for Sit and Knit, a pair of mitts were passed around using the same yarn.  I decided to make them to go with the scarf. If I have left over yarn, I'll just add it to the end of the scarf so I can use all of it up.  The first mitt is done and the second is cast on.  Plans are to finish them this week.

So far, I've crocheted two pet blankets a/k/a "Snuggles" for the shelters.  January and February is the annual KAL on the Yarnivore podcast.  Number 3 will be finished tonight.  I am hoping to finish a few more since I still have quite a bit of acrylic yarn to use up.  It's really old stash and it's good to use it for this project.  Ever since I broke my wrist in 2007, crocheting causes pain in my hand if I do it for too long so I have to take breaks.  

The wheels were busy too.  I managed to spin up another skein of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hogget blend, the first 4 ounces from a pound of the Ashland Bay "Diablo", and a 4 ounce braid of Frabjous Fibers Merino in "Verbena".

My next WIP I plan to get off the needles is the never finished "Ditto" sweater.  It's been hibernating since December 2011 and just needs to be finished so I can wear it.

One of the podcasts I like to watch is Twisted Strandss.  Jadee is doing 14 socks in 2014.  Now, that's not 14 pairs, just a total of 14 socks.  I plan to knit as many pairs as I can.  Another podcast I enjoy is Sockbunny Knit and Fit.  Last year, she made a sock advent calendar.  I would like to "borrow" that idea and make one of those, too.  The mini socks would be able to count toward the 14 total. 

My fiber goals/intentions for 2014 are:

4 hats
4 scarves/shawls
7 pairs of socks (might end up only being 5 but plan to try for 7)
3 sweaters
4 snuggles a/k/a pet blankets
Vivid blanket (knit in squares)
8 pounds of spinning
use the looms
use books from my collection/library for projects
finish most of my WIPs
frog projects I no longer like/love

I am counting WIPs as part of the listings above. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!! 

I hope everyone's day was wonderful with lots of yummy food, good company, and lovely presents shared among all.  I wish everyone a peaceful, and, joyous holiday.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

2013 Craft Project Tally and Other Stuff

I finished my handspun socks and really like the way they fit.  I just made up my own recipe instead of using a pattern.  They are toe up fraternal twins.  There was no way I could match the handspun, but I love the color transitions in it.  There's blue to green with a hint of purple near the blue.  I've also been on a hat knitting kick lately.  Usually I'm not one to wear hats, but lately have been gravitating to them.  It must be me getting older and wanting a warm head.  lol 

Today found me taking a look at what projects I had accomplished in 2013, even though there are still two weeks left in the year. 

Completed knitting projects were: 
Hats - 6
Scarf/Shawls - 8
Socks - 6 pairs
Sweaters - 2

Completed spinning was just shy of 16 pounds.
Used skeins of yarn was 45.5.
Weaving saw no completed items, but there were a couple of projects that had ended with a snafu and got tossed.

There's a half finished hat, a pair of socks just needing toe decreases and kitchenering, and a shawl needing the last chart knit.  Two bobbins, (different colors and fibers) are also waiting for plying.  I had Pat set my Sonata up for me since I still have a weight lifting restriction.  It's ready with the jumbo flyer on it.  :)  I think I can finish it all before New Year's. If so, I will have over 16 pounds spun, and 25 completed projects.   

As for other craft stuff, there's been a small amount of activity.  Stained glass projects have not been completed, but a couple have been started.  I've got the patterns numbered and prepped, and glass all set to go.  Sadly, this happened after Rosebud kitty crossed Rainbow Bridge and I no longer have to worry about glass fragments/shards that can hurt her paws. 

The sewing machine is in the livingroom and will be traveling to the kitchen table after Christmas.  There's a small pile of mending to be done.  I'm also thinking of making a couple pairs of pj pants to wear when I am home for the night.

As soon as I can lift/move stuff without a restriction, I plan to tear my craft room apart and completely re-arrange it to be more functional.  This may include requesting my dear husband to make me some more heavy duty shelving.... (hint, hint, hint)  lol 

O.K. folks. It's time to head back over to the hat and try and finish the main body.  The whole thing might get done before I quit tonight.  I'm just waiting for Pat to get home so we can have supper.  He's on vacation this week and I'm enjoying having him around in the evenings. :)

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Another Kitty Goodbye :( Knitting & Spinning Progress; Happy Thanksgiving

Tuesday, November 19th, saw me heading out to the vet for another final visit.  This time it was Tucker.  It was definitely his time.  He was only nibbling at his food and drinking very little.  He was mostly just sleeping.  When he tried to walk he was unsteady and appeared a bit confused.  The vet told me he was in liver failure and there was nothing else to do for him. Tucker was 20 years old.  He was the last of my original six cats in my calicokitty6 name. :(  Now, we have the dog, Pooh, and the Maine Coone cats.  There will be no more additions to the family.

As far as knitting is concerned, I managed to finish my Bee Leaf Half Pi Shawl, but, didn't get it blocked and photo'ed yet.  I also knit a "Zuzu's Petals" from a handspun Loop batt in a pastel rainbow pallette.  It needs a light blocking and pics as well.  Right now, I'm trying to finish my first pair of handspun socks.  These are being knit two at a time so I can use every bit of the skein of yarn.  There is no way to match the color transitions so they are fraternal twins.  lol  The Opal yarn socks are resting while I'm working on the handspun ones.  My "Mystic Delight" Shawl is also back in the rotation.  I'm hoping to finish that in a couple weeks.

The Minstrel wheel has the other braid of Spunky Eclectic "Kites" waiting for plying.  The Sonata wheel will be used for that so I can use the jumbo flyer and get just one big skein.  I plan to make either a scarf, hat, or mitts to match my socks with this.  The "Diablo" fiber had to be set aside since it tends to shed. I didn't want it to get in one of my surgery sites while they are healing.  Plans are to resume that next week as well.

I still have a weight lifting restriction of no more than 15 pounds until I see the doctor next week.  As soon as I get clearance, I plan to tear my craft room apart and set it back up in a more functional plan.  Then I can warp the loom and start making panels for an afghan/blanket.

Thanksgiving was a quiet day of just Pat and myself.  I made chicken instead of a turkey. Last night was leftovers and we still have enough for tonight.  :) 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Life Interuptus, Goodbye Rosebud

It's been a while since I've sat down to write a post here.  As the title says, life has thrown me a few curves during the last couple of months.  There's been some medical stuff to deal with that seriously cut into knitting and spinning time.  At the beginning of September, I had to have an out-patient procedure.  The results from that led to a major surgery on October 29, which was also my birthday.  The doctors were able to use the robot so I have 5 small incisions instead of a big huge one to deal with.  I had to stay overnight in the hospital, which was another first for me.  Everything appears to be healing nicely.  My follow up is in a couple days when I find out the results of the pathology tests. 

There was a couple issues with my blood pressure and blood sugar during surgery.  I've been extra diligent and writing everything down that goes in my mouth, testing with my meter more often, and everything is fine now. I did lose 10.8 pounds in 3 weeks as of yesterday.  :))

When I came home the next day, Pat told me something was wrong with my old girl kitty, Rosebud.  I took one look at her and told him to call the vet.  It was time for her last trip.  She had a stroke while I was in the hospital.  I was well medicated for pain and insisted on going with him to the Ocean State Animal Hospital.  My vet couldn't fit us in and told us to call them.  The ladies were wonderful, caring, and respectful to us.  Tucker's trip is coming, possibly by the end of this week.  He's not eating very much now, but, still comes to me for petting and lovings. 

Since I have a 5 pound weight restriction, and can't lift much of anything, I'm limited in what I can do.  Spinning is out since it puts pressure on my internal stitches right now.  I haven't touched a wheel since October 28th.  I bought some lovely fiber at Sue's spin in on the 26th.  It's an Ashland Bay fiber called "Diablo".  The Merino/Silk (70/30 mix) spins like butter.  I'm doing it from the fold and it's super fine gorgeousness.  My hands are itching to work on it, but I have to wait till the follow up and get clearance.  I didn't go to the New England Fiber Festival this year, so this was my "festival" purchase.  :) 

Knitting has seen some activity.  I took my Opal socks to the hospital with me and did a little bit when I wasn't too loopy from meds.  I've put the "Morticia" shawl aside and have been working on my "Bee Leaf Half Pi" Shawl.  I'm on Chart C, Row 115.  There's  between 150 and 160 rows total but the stitch count will double one more time to over 600 stitches per row.  It needs to be finished, blocked, and photographed by the 30th in order for me to enter it in the KAL thread in the Sockbunny Knit and Fit group.  I might just make it.  There's another pair of socks, 3 hats, The "Mystic Delight" Shawl (that's half done), and the Molly scarf still on the needles. 

I did finish my "Artmesia" sweater, the "Saroyan" shawl/scarf, and a "Zinnia Dahlia" hat. 

O.K. It's time to figure out supper then I plan to sit in my recliner, watch a couple of movies, and knit on my shawl. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Cooler Weather, Goodbye Megan

Summer is coming to a close with the cooler temperatures and breezes.  The humidity is gone as well so breathing is much easier.  My favorite spot is sitting on the deck with my spinning wheel or knitting in hand.  That's where I'm heading as soon as I finish this post.

July and August were busy knitting and spinning months for me.  I finished Tour de Fleece, and Stash Dash, meeting all my goals.  Scarves, shawls, socks, and hats have all flown from my needles and about 2 pounds of fiber has been spun on my wheels and a spindle.  I'm quite pleased with the results.  

Currently, on my Minstrel, I'm spinning a batt from Copperpot Woolies (no longer selling) fiber in lovely shades of blue with lots of sparkle called "She's a Renegade".  It's from my stash, bought in 2009.   The Sonata is empty right now, but I have a couple of braids waiting to go on it.  Again, it's from the deep stash. 

My current knitting projects are a Crafty class for Artemisia which is a beautiful sweater pattern with very different construction.  It's part of a KAL with the We Are Yarn Podcast group on Ravelry.  I'm also knitting a Saroyan scarf/shawl in Malabrigo yarn I've had in the stash since about 2008.  My Molly scarf is still hanging around waiting to be finished. I'm over half way there but want to finish other projects first.  My other half finished project, Mystic Delight, is calling to me to pick it back up as well.  Sadly these last two projects will wait a bit more.  I have two KAL shawls I need to knit first, Morticia and Bee Leaf Half Pi Shawl.  There's also a couple pairs of socks on needles for "public" or group knitting.


The only sad news is the passing of my old lady kitty, Megan.  She crossed over Rainbow Bridge last week.  It was expected but still hard to do.  She had gone into severe kidney failure at the end.  I had gotten her at 6 weeks old and had her for just shy of 17 years.  My 20 year old cat, Tucker, is still here, but not for much longer.  I think he will be crossing over before the end of the year.  I see him getting more frail every day, but he still climbs his "steps" and sits in the window, eats, drinks, and wants lovings from me, so I'm hanging in there with him.

O.K.  I'm going to close now and go sit on the deck with my knitting and enjoy the lovely afternoon weather.  I'll try to post again soon. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy July 4th, Tour de Fleece 2013, I Won a Prize!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Independence Day.  Pat is just about to start the grill for our supper. We are keeping it simple. I made Red Bliss Potato Salad, and a Tossed Salad.  He's cooking the hot dogs.  I suggested steaks but he wanted hot dogs.  It works for me.☺

I've been spinning for Tour de Fleece.  One of my challenges is to spin 4 ounces into 360 yards of sock yarn.  I really want it to be a 3-ply for this.  My first attempt, using a Corriedale fiber, ended up being only 233 yards.  Now, I have a BFL fiber on the wheel and it's coming out super fine.  It's taking forever, but I hope to make the 360 goal.  If this one fails, I'm going with the accepted option of a 2-ply. 

Another challenge is to spin 100 yards on a spindle.  This one is a real challenge since I don't use my spindles.  They just look pretty sitting on the desk.  lol

I'm also spinning some of my alpaca/merino blend I had Liz process last Spring for me.  It's gorgeous and spins like butter.  ♥

I entered my Jelling Rune Stones Scarf in the DragonflySoars Podcast Birthstone-a-long for the month of June.  We had the option of submitting natural colored items since Pearl was the stone of the month. I squeeked it in on the last day of the month.   She draws using the random number generator.  I won!! ☺ The skein of yarn is coming from Australia so will take a bit of time to get here.  I also entered the skein of Yak/Tussah Silk 50/50 blend I had finished earlier in the month.  Here's a couple pics of the scarf and yarn I spun.:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Currents Revived

I decided to revive this since it's been almost a year since I did one.

Listening: A/C running, Meatloaf's  "Bat Out of Hell" CD

Watching: Nothing right now.  Maybe a DVD movie later

Eating:  Nothing at the moment.  Maybe fish for supper.

Drinking: Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale

Wearing:  Purple t-shirt and gray shorts, barefoot right now

Reading:  Some new knitting books and PLY Magazine

Weather:  Sunny with temps in the 80's.  Showers possible later

Knitting:  Jelling Rune Stones Scarf, Sensu socksMystic Delight, Molly Scarf, a pair of self striping blue socks and a pair of plain vanilla socks.

Spinning: Empty wheels until midnight tonight when Tour de Fleece starts.  Then it's 4 ounces of a Spunky Eclectic braid for socks, 100 yards of my black Border Leicester fleece on a spindle, and about 8 ounces of my cria alpaca/hoggett merino fleece blend.

Wanting:  ice cream but not giving into the craving

Needing: to pick up a card and gift for Pat.  It's our anniversary tomorrow.  :)

Enjoying:  Feeling good the last few days.  Less foot and back pain.  (crosses fingers it lasts)

Looking Forward:  Spending time with Pat during his vacation next week.

Wondering:  if I can finish my Jelling Runes Scarf before Sunday so I can submit it to a KAL.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Items Starting With the Letter S.

My crafting has been productive lately.  There's been a few items finished or worked on, and they all start with the letter S.  Shawl, socks, spinning, sewing, and stained glass. 

Shawl:  Pimpelliese, Wingspan, Ceniza, and Color Affection are finished.  I just need to lightly block the Color Affection, which is huge, and take a pic.  I have a couple of mystery knit shawls started but haven't got too far on them yet.   Molly scarf is still getting worked on sporadically.  "Crosswords at the Coffee Shop" also finally got blocked.



Socks: "Dirty Little Freak", which matches the Wingspan,  and "Pink Chocolate" are finished. Again, I need to take a pic of the second pair. Right now, I have a pair of self striping socks in Fishknit "Blues", "Sensu" in Mad Color Fiber Arts in "Romance", and a plain vanilla pair in PacaPeds "Mixed Berries" all on the needles.  There were also a couple of hats knit.  "Seedling Dream" was fun and had some colorwork.  The cream alpaca one had cables in it.  
 

 
Spinning:  Currently, I'm rotating between 8 ounces of Fiber Optic in "Onyx to Crimson" gradient,  and 4 ounces of a 50/50 Silk/Yak blend.  Both are coming out super thin.  I've also got 2 bobbins (8 ounces) of a Flawful Fibers Merino/Bamboo blend called "Love in the Fog" waiting to be plied.

Sewing:  Don't get excited about this one.  This is not a usual addition to my crafting.   It's just been some mending and hemming pants.  There's some material on the side I want to make into simple skirts as well.  There might be a couple of light t-shirt type tops too. 

Stained Glass:  I've been looking at a few patterns and picking out sheets of glass to start a smaller project.  Since Rosebud kitty lives in my main craft room, I have to be careful not to leave any glass shards or tiny pieces out.  I don't want her to step on anything.  I think I will take the pieces, cutting board, and grinder outside for those parts of the project and work on the deck.  That should limit the possibility of anything being missed in the clean up.

 There hasn't been any time spent in the dye room lately, but, I plan to change that soon.  I've got a couple of colors in my head I want to put to fiber and yarn.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Helloooooo!

It's been a few months since I posted anything here.  It's been busy lately.  The holidays came and went without any problems.  It was a quiet time at my house as always.  Of course, Mother Nature has seen fit to dump lots of snow on us since the beginning of the year. Today the precipitation is in the form of heavy rains. That's helping to wash away much of the snow still hanging around.

Now, onto the knitting news. December, January, and February saw some started and finished items. I knit Crosswords at the Coffee Shop from Cascade Eco Duo. The drape and feel of the yarn is lovely but it sheds like crazy. To make the shawl/wrap a bit bigger, I did the math and increased it by 50%. Here's a picture pre-block.


Another project was Dark & Stormy  by Thea Coleman.  The only other project I've done with cables was the peachy pink scarf, and that was a simple cable.  This sweater is top down, has an assortment of cables, button holes, and a shawl collar - all new to me techniques.  It did come out a bit big since I lost more weight after starting it.  I should have made it a size or two smaller, but it will be a great layer piece.  Here's a couple pics, front and back, of the sweater.  The buttons are not sewn on yet in the pic.  This is part of the Knitting Samurai Plus 1 Podcast group KAL, and, Knitabulls group sweater KAL. It also was part of the YOSS Thea -along but I didn't finish it in time.  











There has to be  pair of socks on the needles, right?  My second pair of self striping with an afterthought heel came out terrific.  The yarn is from Fishknit in the "Shades of The Proverbial Knitter".  I did a full five color repeat for the 2 x 2 ribbed cuff and then knit the leg plain until I got the the color I wanted to split for the heel.  There's a smidgen of red on the very end of one of the heels but it doesn't bother me.  These are for a KAL in The Proverbial Knitter's group.


Currently, I'm working with the same yarn except this time it was dyed as a double gradient.  There's no way I can finish the Pimpelliese scarf/shawl by tomorrow to enter it in the KAL in the Fishknit group, but I'm enjoying the project.

BTW, the project bag is from lazysockmonkey on etsy.  Go check out her shop.  She has some really cute items.  I also have the "Baaaaag" project bag and notion pouch.

                                           

My next 2 projects are another self striping sock and matching Wingspan shawl.  One of my friends from knit group and I decided to knit this as an informal KAL.  We are both using Play at Life Fiber Arts  self striping yarns we had each bought during Christee's trunk show back in October at Eneri Knits.

There's been lots of spinning happening as well.  I'm not going to list them all here, but I finished 2012 out with almost 17 pounds spun.  So far, 2013 has 25 ounces finished and 16 ounces waiting for plying.  I'm wanting to get into my basement craft room and do some dyeing too. 

The last 2 weeks has seen me not picking up yarn or fiber as much as usual due to illness.  Right now, I'm tired from writing this, so I'm going to take a nap.  Doing a half hour of anything seems to wipe me out right now. I'll be happy when my energy is back.  I know my wheels and needles will like that better too.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Fur-baby Tipper

Tipper decided to plant himself in front of the picture window in the living room. I couldn't skip the opportunity to get a terrific shot of him. I love how he has his front paws straight out in front of him.   Usually, he sits like this against a wall or door.  He stayed like this for 15 minutes. :)

Tipper is one of Maine Coone kittens we rescued 7 years ago.  That's a lot of fur as well as solid kitty.  He weighs 22 pounds, which is a normal size for this breed of cat. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Thanksgiving Meme

I found this on my friend Donna's blog and decided to answer the questions myself.

1. Where do you go for Thanksgiving dinner?  We stay home. Pat's brother comes over.
2. Do you buy a fresh or frozen bird?  Frozen and it has to be a gluten free one.
3. What kind of stuffing?  Two kinds, both bread ones.  One's a regular one and the other is made with gluten free bread and seasonings  I add onions,celery, and other stuff to both of them.
4. Favorite kind of pie?  My brother-in-law requested Dutch Apple this year.  Pat can't eat the crust, so he's making baked apples. I'm passing on dessert.
5. How do you prepare your bird?  I do a traditional roasted turkey.  The only thing I do differently is wrap it in bacon for the first part of the cooking.  It makes it moister, but not greasy, and gives a hint of  a smoked flavor.
6. Favorite side dish? The homemade cranberry sauce I make from scratch.
7. Do you save the carcass to make soup or stock?  Yes.  I make a soup and if there's enough turkey left, I make a pot pie with mashed potato topping.  Yum.
8. What new dish are you trying this year? I bought acorn squashes instead of butternut for a change.  I've never made them for Pat. 
9. Do you get up at the crack of dawn to have dinner ready in the early afternoon, or do you eat at your normal dinner hour?   We are doing the veggie prep work, and the cranberry sauce, tonight.  Then I get up early tomorrow to get the bird started and whatever is left to do.  Usually, we eat around 2 o'clock.
10. If you go to somebody else’s house, what’s your favorite dish to bring?  We don't go to anyone's house since Pat can't eat gluten.  If we go out later, I usually try to bring something I know he can have. 
11. What do you wish one of your guests wouldn’t bring to your house? I make everything. Nothing is brought.
12. Does your usual mix of guests result in drama, or is it a group you’re happy to see? No drama. Just nice and quiet.
13. What’s your absolute favorite thing on the menu? The turkey.  I only make it about twice a year.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving, however you spend it, at home or with friends or family. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WIP It!  Storm Thoughts.

I want to send thoughts and prayers to everyone who was impacted by Hurricane Sandy.   Not everyone was as lucky to not lose power or have any damage to their home as I was.  Sandy arrived on my birthday.  As the storm battered the East Coast, I said, more than once, that this was one "gift" I wanted to return to sender.  If only that had been possible.  My heart goes out to all who are dealing with the devastation left behind.

Now, on a happier note, I'll tell you about my fiber tasks of late.

There's been quite a bit of progress on the WIP pile.  This is a pic of the vanilla socks with the rolled top instead of ribbing.  

                                      

The Ply-Fest is going well.  Three fibers are finished.  One has one skein finished with the second one in progress. There is still one more fiber waiting to go on the jumbo flyer.  I have two other bobbins of similar fibers I plan to ply together.  They are from the same dyer and share a purple color which will make them look nice when plied together.

 






 


I plan to take the slippers on the road as car knitting this weekend while out and about.  Slipper 1 is ready for the toe decreases and will be off the needles tonight.  Slipper 2 will be cast on right after that. I really would like to get them done by the end of this weekend.

The jacket has seen some progress.  I didn't realize I had 16 rows to knit before the sleeve separation.  I'm 4 rows from finishing that part.

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Light At the End of the WIP Tunnel

If you look closely, you will see a dim light in the distance.  It's that ever elusive light at the end of the tunnel. In this case it's the knitting and spinning WIP tunnel.

I enjoy listening and watching to a weekly podcast called Knitting in Circles.  It's a husband and wife team who both knit.  Recently Aimee decided to have a "Clean the Needles" KAL.  This includes knitting, crochet, spinning, and weaving projects you have already in progress or projects you already have the yarn for and plan to gift to someone or charity knitting.  This is the perfect incentive for me to clear out a few projects.  It runs from October 9th until December 10th.

Here's my list, some with photos:

Neely O'Hara socks:  Done as of Oct. 14th.



Vanilla Toe Up socks: It's now almost ready for the short row heel to be started on sock 2.




Checkerboard Slippers #2: More than half of slipper 1 is done.


Top Down Swing Coat:  Just 1 more repeat of the yoke increases (2 rows) and I start the sleeve increases. This may not be finished in time.  This is the challenge project for me. Pictured, is only a few of the skeins.  There's lots more for this project.


Ditto Sweater: If I finish the coat, I would like to get the last little bit of this sweater done.

Totally Vanilla Sock from my Socktopus book if I can finish all the above knitting.

A Ply-Fest with at least 3 different fibers I've spun already. I decided to finish the spinning part and then set up the jumbo flyer for plying everything one after another.


If I get all of this done and have time, I still have some alpaca to finish spinning as well. I'm not counting the project on my loom since I have no idea how long that will take me.

I think that's more than enough to keep me busy for the next month and a half. :)

I never posted pics of the"My Wish" shawl or the "I Love Fred" socks. I'm really happy with the way both projects came out.  My dyed variegated gray yarn is a nice contrast to the natural white in the shawl. The striping in the afterthought heels of the socks came out nice too, especially since it was my first attempt at this technique.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm Still Here

It's been a while since I posted here on the blog.  I'm still knitting and spinning.

Here's a re-cap of my latest fiber adventures:

Buttercup is finished. It came out well.  I chose to leave the sleeves fluttery instead of doing the banding.

I'm knitting my first pair of self striping socks with afterthought heels.  I just have the heel portions to do. I decided to do a short row heel instead of the toe heel with the side ridges from the decreases.  I think it will feel better on my sensitive feet. The yarn is black, white, and a thin stripe of light pink. It named after Darth Knitter's cat, Fred.  It was dyed by Canon Hand Dyes and feels wonderful to work with.  Part of the purchase price was donated to Alley Cats, which is a no kill cat rescue/shelter.

My first sock from the plain Vanilla toe up with a short row heel pair is finished.  I'll get back to the other sock as soon as I finish the "I Love Fred" sock heels.

A pair of Checkerboard Slippers has been finished.  The pattern was a simple stranded knit.  More of these are in my future.  I think I will sew a slipper bottom to mine because I don't have carpeting in my house, just wood and tile floors.

My Top Down Coat  has been started in my handspun.  I'm about half way through the yoke rows.  I had to up my needles from 10s to 11s to get a better feeling fabric.  The 10s made it too stiff.  Since it's a swing style coat, it won't affect the fit. Plus, I plan to wear a sweater or sweatshirt top under it.

Since spinning the Peruvian Alpaca, I've spun 7 other fibers - Corgi Hill Farms colorways "Frosted Roses", "Roses", and "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".  Also spun was Fibers4Ewe colorways in pink/purple/sparklies and one I named "Raspberry Dreams".   Frabjous Fibers "Chromatopia", and, Fibernymph's "Primordial Sea" also are finished.   Currently on the Minstrel wheel is Corgi Hill Farm's "Talisman" which is brown, bright blue, and a golden yellow/orange.  This is a merino/silk/baby camel blend.  Since I have 8.7 ounces of this fiber, I plan to ply it on my Sonata wheel with the bulky flyer.  I still plan to get 2 skeins but don't want to fight to squeeze that .7 ounce in.  Not including the fiber on the wheel, I've spun 201.55 ounces since January 1, 2012.

Craftsy had a special on their classes.  I wasn't going to add another one, but, they now have one for floor looms.  My table loom is warped.  Yay!  Now, I just need to sit down and weave on it.  lol. BTW, check out Crafty if you haven't yet.  They offer more than just fiber arts classes.  There's beading, baking, sewing, photography, and more.

Healthwise, I'm doing good.  More weight has melted off, dental issues are almost completely resolved,  and the feet are feeling better since being on the Metanx medicine.

Pat and the animals are all great.  Pooh has been on "patrol" at the window lately.  If he hears a noise or kids playing, he has to investigate.  lol

Well, that's it for now.  I need to try to get some pictures tomorrow and will post them soon.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Currents Update

Listening: Megan kitty growling at Pooh dog

Watching: nothing

Eating: waffle fries with cheese

Drinking: Diet Coke

Wearing:  shorts, tank top, slippers

Reading: historical romance on my Kindle

Weather: overcast, humid, occasional showers

Knitting: Buttercup Top, Toe Up Vanilla Socks

Spinning:  "Frosted Flowers" from Corgi Hill Farm on the Minstrel and some Fibers4Ewe on the Sonata

Wanting: a nap but it's too late in the day

Needing: to go to the market with my husband

Enjoying: the quiet now the animals have calmed down

Looking Forward: warping one of my looms this week

Wondering: if I can get the loom set up without messing it up this time

Friday, August 17, 2012

Goal Progress and Review

It's been a few months since my last review, so I decided to re-visit my New Year's 2012 goals.

1. Get healthier - after fighting a few months of dental infection issues and all the havoc that brought, I'm finally on the mend side, weight is coming down. :)

2.  Walking/Exercise - treadmill is still not set up, done some walking around in the yarn, playing with my dog, Pooh.

3. Spinning/Knitting Down Stash - extremely well with this. 
Fiber:  48.5 ounces added and 162.70 ounces spun.   
Knitting:   47 skeins added and 38.75 skeins used.  I'm working on a summer top that will use another 6 skeins when finished, as well as a pair of socks.  :) 

4.  Finish my 2009 sweater - Nothing happening yet.

5.  Finish spinning second sweater - Nothing happening here.  I spun another entire sweater/jacket instead.  (2000 yards of bulky yarn).

6.  Use handspun -  just the one shawl so far. The jacket with the bulky handspun is one of the projects up next on the needles.

7.  Use spindles - used one of them a little bit while my foot healed a few weeks ago.

8.  Use looms - nope.  nothing new yet.  I've been watching videos though and plan to warp the table loom this coming week.  Hopefully, I don't mess this try up like the last one.