Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Snowy New Year's Eve ..... Looking Back on 2009

When I look back at 2009, I think it was a good year. I learned several new things this year, went to a few new places, and tried some new foods and cuisine. I've also had a new perspective that will carry over into 2010 on many things. My craft room was finished, and, I started dyeing fiber and yarn on my own. The weekend trip to Rhinebeck was fantastic. My travel buddies/roommates were the best company. We had so many laughs and giggles together.

I'm also not making any resolutions for this year. I have wishes and hopes for next year instead. Of course, there are fiber and yarn plans in there. :)

Today started with a super fast snow storm. The first flakes had hardly touched the ground when they decided to come down in full force. It took the street in front of my house a whole 2 minutes to be completely covered. After a few hours we have about 2 inches of the white stuff, making it look like a perfect winter scene. It's a wonderful touch for New Year's Eve.

My plans for tonight include making a gluten free pepperoni pizza for Pat, sitting in my new recliner, and knitting. I've don't drink and have never been one to head out to a party on this night of the year. I'll toast the new year with a glass of Diet Coke at midnight.

Well, enjoy your evening and ....

Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spinning, Knitting, and a Sore Mouth

The wheels have been busy spinning away as usual. The 2 ounces of pink Merino/Angora and 2 ounces of a multi Merino/Alpaca/Silk are both plied and now waiting for their bath and will become a scarf of alternating stripes. Both fibers are from the dye workshop with the Painted Sheep last June. All 8 ounces of the "Holly Berry" from CJKopec is spun up as singles right now and waiting for plying which I will be doing some of in a little bit tonight. The purple Rambouillet from Rhinebeck is getting there too.

The second sleeve of my Ditto sweater is about 10 rows from being finished. Then it's on to the yoke.

Sadly, I had to miss Knit Night last night due to a sore mouth. I started having a problem last Thursday. By Tuesday morning, I couldn't take the pain anymore and called the dentist. I was in the office less than 2 hours later, having gum surgery. The painkillers are wonderful things. I can take one every 8 hours as needed. Today, I managed to stretch it to about 10 hours, so maybe tomorrow I will only need one pill. Anyway due to this little hiccup in my daily fiber plans, I've been a bit behind on stuff.

Pat is back to work after his 2 shoulder surgeries, so the house is extremely quiet with no t.v. playing. Even the animals are quiet except for an occasional snore from Hanna the dog.
Happy Holidays Everyone

It's that time of the year when everyone is busy with family and friends, getting ready for their celebrations of the season. Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice, and New Years are all upon us again.

My Christmas wish is for peace, understanding, and tolerance among all of us. With all the hustling and bustling around to get that special gift, sometimes the true meaning of the holiday season is forgotten. It's not about the presents, food, or decorations. It's about spending time with people who are important to you in many different ways.

Pat and I will be spending the day with my brother-in-law as usual. It will be a quiet, peaceful day. After the meal is eaten, time will be spent watching the t.v., talking, and I will probably be spinning on one of my wheels.

Well, that's my reflection of the holidays. I hope you are enjoying yours as much as I am mine. :)

Happy Holidays.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A-Humming We Will Go....

What has a long neck, big soulful eyes, a perpetual smile, fluffy dreadlock bangs and beautiful fiber, four legs and hums to talk to you? If you said an alpaca, you are right. I really love these animals.

Last Sunday was spent visiting and spinning at a local alpaca farm, Paradise Farm Alpacas. Ice Pond Farm, and, Rocky Ridge Farm were also there. As you looked around, you saw several areas with these sweet animals in them. Some of these lovely creatures were in the paddock behind our tent. We could watch them as we were spinning. Since we were at an alpaca farm, it was decided we would spin something with that animal's fiber. Some of us spun dyed blends and some natural fiber. I think my favorite part of the day was watching the children leading the young (1 to 2 year old) alpacas through the obstacle course. Sometimes it would be a contest of wills as to if the animal would keep moving at the guidance of the young lady or man. Every now and then the family pet turkey would gobble at us. The farm cats also made friends with everyone.

It was a bit cold as the day wore on. I finally gave in and bought a pair of nice warm alpaca socks. My toes were very happy to have these covering them within a few minutes.

My sweater is growing a little bit at a time. The first sleeve is ready to be attached, and the second one has progressed to the second increase.

Today, I dropped off a couple of fleeces to be processed at Fibers4Ewe Mill. I'm having the Kid Mohair I bought at Rhinebeck blended into one of them. That will be nice to spin. Tonight, will be devoted to laundry and maybe some dyeing.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What I'm Thankful For...

Since it's the day before Thanksgiving, and, I've been reading several blogs lately with thankful lists, I decided to create my own. :

1. I'm thankful for my husband who encourages me to do whatever I want with my life. Thank you God for sending him to me.
2. I'm thankful for my cats and dogs who give unconditional love and companionship to us both.
3. I'm thankful for my friends who I can share my interests and hobbies, as well as my thoughts and opinions with.
4. I'm thankful for learning to spin. It's opened up a whole new area in the fiber world to me.
5. I'm thankful for learning to dye. Sandi N. started me on a whole new path with this.
6. I'm thankful for not having to get up in the morning and go to work. Retirement is great.
7. I'm thankful for having a husband who also helps make retirement possible without a part time job. :)
8. I'm thankful for my health, which could be a lot worse than it is right now.
9. I'm thankful for the patience to deal with situations that are not always pleasant.
10. I'm thankful for the ability to cope with people who are not always pleasant.
11. I'm thankful for my house and knowing I will always have a roof over my head.
12. I'm thankful for knowing I will always have food on my table, clothes on my back, a car to drive, and heat to keep me warm in the cold weather.

I could keep going, but, will stop there. Do you have a "Thankful List"? Leave a comment and tell me yours.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Busy Fiber Week

Last week was a busy one with fiber related stuff.
Thursday night was my Ocean State Knitting Guild meeting where we had an ornament swap.
Saturday was my RI Spinners Guild meeting where we had plying and needlefelting demos.
Sunday was spent with a group of other spinning friends. Lots of laughter and fun from everyone, including a "visiting" husband. He came in to say hi and stayed, talking and telling us stories.
Monday was a rode trip to a mill in Woonsocket to pick up a huge pile of free cones of yarns. Ann R. had already generously given some to several groups and guilds. She isn't taking orders any longer, but, invited any of us who wanted to go up to the mill to help ourselves. I came home with some more of the mohair blend, wool, cotton, polymide blend, and something else. My loom and needles will be put to good use with these fibers. The dyes will be used on some of the white mohair or cotton as well.
Tuesday was knit night at Sue's.
Wednesday was the official beginning of another fiber arts group I belong to.
This evening, Thursday, will be spent washing some more fleece and maybe dyeing some fiber as I do the laundry.

My mail delivery has been busy too. One of my favorite Etsy shops has been having a cleaning event. I've got some lovely goodies to spin and dye. So far 2 boxes have come in and there should be 1 more. I need to stay away from her shop now. lol

That's all my news for now. Happy spinning and knitting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

WIP Spinning, Ditto Knitting, Winning A Prize

This has been a busy few weeks of plying. So far I've finished some Flawful Fibers Rambouillet in lovely light purple shades, of which the name escapes me at this time. Also, my Tour de Fleece singles, "Cabot", from Creatively Dyed came out lovely.

Halloween was spent at RI Handspun where several of us decided to celebrate the day by either dressing in black/orange or spinning fibers that reminded us of Autumn/Halloween. I spun up the Witch's Brew I had carded at the spinners guild party earlier in the month.

The purple/teal/pink Rambouillet bought at Rhinebeck is spinning up and will be very pretty as a two ply.

"Ditto" is progressing nicely. I've finished the body and started the first sleeve.As I mentioned before, instead of short sleeves, I chose to modify the pattern and make it a long sleeved sweater. Thanks to Sarah for suggesting Elizabeth Zimmerman's book, "Knitting Without Tears". It was easy to figure out what to do.

Sock withdrawal has set in, and, one needs to be started soon. Through the Loops Mystery Sock was tabled so I could start my sweater. The yarn has been sitting next to my desk tempting me for over a month now. It might just be cast on later this evening. :)

Recently I went shopping on Etsy. I found some delicious Milk Silk Latte for sale from CorgiHillFarm. The fiber is so nice I ordered another shipment, along with a luscious batt called "Pomegranate Milkshake". Anna was giving away a $50 gift certificate to her shop with the 500th item sold. I never notice what item number I am when I place an order. I got a happy surprise when I went to check my email and found I had won the gift certificate. Everything in this shop is so tempting, making it hard to decide what to buy with it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Visiting Rhinebeck For the First Time

As we rode along the highway and roads of Connecticut last Friday morning, the Autumn foliage was breathtaking to see. My knitting needles were steadily moving along on my Ditto sweater as Sandi's car ate up the miles and Monet navigated. We had a detour to pick up some minerals for the sheep, but, this just added to the gorgeous views.

Our hotel was nice, quiet, and conveniently close to Rhinebeck's fairgrounds, which was only about 20 minutes away. There was a fabulous restaurant next door to the hotel where we had a delicious seafood supper on Saturday night. Friday night was spent in our room, relaxing with our friends, Marva and Beth, and spinning on our wheels.

As we pulled up to the fairgrounds and parked, the entrance line was growing. Since we had prepaid for our admission online, we got in very quickly.

The sight of all the fibers, yarns, and related tools and equipment were a sensory overload. I didn't know where to look first. I waited on a bench while Sandi dropped off her fleeces for processing with a mill. This gave me a chance to get my bearings and observe some of the booths/barns.

As we traversed the grounds, the smells from the food vendors was very intoxicating and tempting, especially the artichoke booth. I am very proud to say I didn't buy any fair food. We had made our lunches at the hotel and they were in the cooler waiting for us when we got hungry. The only time I went off my food plan was a little bit for the Saturday night supper. And I lost 2 pounds when I weighed in this week. Yippee!! All the walking helped too.

The food plan wasn't the only restraint I showed. The shopping stayed within my budget too. The only fleece I came home with was a .6 pound Kid Mohair fleece in a beautiful white. One vendor had some luscious Cormo/Bamboo blend that called to me, so I bought 8 ounces of that and a pair of size 10 DPNs. We walked all over the grounds and I didn't buy anything else until almost the last barn of the day where I found Spinners Hill and some lovely Rambouillet fiber. A pound of that came home along with some white. I also got 8 ounces of "Party in a Bag" to spin. On the way to the gate to leave, we stopped at Little Barn where I got some Alpaca/Silk.

Sunday was cold, overcast, and misting rain. We only stayed a couple of hours to do any last minute shopping we wanted. I ended up with another 4 ounces of the Cormo/Bamboo. In the Horticultural Building, I found a pattern for a hooded sweater I really liked. It's a very plain knit, but I am planning to spin for it and the natural shades of the fiber will look great in it.

The ride home wasn't too bad. We only had a little sleet/freezing rain in one area and some snowflakes in another.

Sadly, I never took the camera out of my bag, so don't have any pictures to share of my weekend. I plan to go again in the future. Right now, I am happily spinning my purple/pink/teal Rambo and smiling at the memories of the weekend. :)

Friday, October 02, 2009

Fashion/Trunk Show .... Assessing the Stashes

Wednesday night was the Slater Mill Knitting/Crochet Guild meeting. We were fortunate enough to be given the treat of a fashion/trunk show from Twist Collective. I have narrowed my "must have" list to 4 patterns. Now, I must resist buying them for a little bit. lol

Over on Ravelry, I have joined a group called "Spin Your Stash". The premise of the group is to start to spin from your fiber stash on the Autumn Equinox until the Spring Equinox. There is nothing saying you can't shop, but, I don't plan to. The only shopping exception is Rhinebeck. (New York Sheep and Wool Festival in case you are not familiar with this event.)

So far I have managed to finish plying 8 ounces to be used in the lace part of my February Lady Sweater, which is a free pattern available on Ravelry.

There's almost 4 ounces of singles waiting to be plyed of some lovely hand dyed Rambouillet I forgot wasn't finished. (That one actually frees up a missing bobbin when I finish it.) The next is a Superwash Merino fiber I haven't touched in over a year, which happens to account for another missing bobbin. I did the first 5 ounces, and the other 3 were deserted when some other fiber caught my eye. These last two items were in my WIP spinning bin, so I can now see the bottom of that with only 2 more bags in there. :) I have put a few knitting WIPs in the bin now. ;)

If you are on Ravelry, check out the group. It is a lot of fun. There really are no rules to follow. We are just encouraging each other with our stash busting endeavors.

I also signed up for the "Through the Loops Mystery Sock for October 2009". The pattern is given out in 4 clues. The first one came out today. I now have to go stash diving to find a yarn I think will work with this pattern. A semi-solid seems to be preferred. I do have some Cascade solids and semi-solids, as well as some Knit Picks sock yarns to select from.

"Mystic Embers" is the latest in the series of mystery KALs in the Mystic series. It, too, started this week. I almost missed signing up for this one. Some people are using Knit Picks Shadow Lace for this pattern. Again, I can go stash diving for a nice shade in this yarn. I think I have 3 or 4 different colors to choose from.

My "Ditto" sweater is almost up to the third decrease, so it won't be long before I am simply knitting straight stockinette to the armhole sections. This is my travel project right now since it's easy to work on and I don't have to really pay attention except to measure for the decreases when needed. I do plan to modify it a little and add longer sleeves so I can wear it in colder weather.

I think that is enough projects to keep me busy for a bit. Happy knitting and spinning folks. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My Finished Experiment

I took the photos of the alpaca batt now that it is dry.

Alpaca Batt 1 Alpaca Batt 3

Alpaca Batt 2

The color is more purple than it looks in the pictures. The flash made it look pink. The third picture is closest to the real color. You can see the original color of the fiber near the long end of the batt in the first and third photos. The batt isn't felted or flat as it looks in the pictures. If you pick it up, it's nice and fluffy. I tested a corner to see if it would draft easy and it does. There are 2 layers so I can get nice long color repeats. The plan is to spin each layer seperately nice and thin. The ply will either be Navajo or 2 ply to maintain the colors. It's already telling me it wants to be something lacy.

Also included is a photo of the Border Leicester locks you can see peaking out at the top of the second photo above

Border Leicester locks

This experiment was a lot of fun and I plan to dye some more of the batts at a later time. Right now, I'm in the mood to dye some Halloween colored yarn or fiber.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Ditto" is Started.... Dye Experiment... Craft room Pictures ...

My Shur'Tugal socks have been finished for a couple of weeks now. This means I was on the hunt for a travel project. I decided to venture away from having a sock as a travel companion for a little while.

After finally washing the yarn I had spun back in February and April, I started the "Ditto" cardigan sweater by Berrocco. It's free pattern and worked in one piece until you get to the sleeves. After you knit the sleeves, you attached them while working the yoke. For now, this will be my travel project until it gets too bulky to carry around. The yarn enjoyed hanging out in the back yard drying.

Wintechog Coopworth drying in the sun

Today, was spent in my dye craftroom. I have some alpaca which was processed as batts. I wondered if it was possible to dye the fiber since it was in this form. Well, if I didn't try I wouldn't find out. So, I took a layer, wrapped it in tulle, pre-soaked it, then laid it out on the plastic to dye. After dyeing and wrapping, it went into the steamer. It was a very tight fit, but just made it. I did take some pictures of the process. :

alpaca batt 2 ready for dyeing Alpaca batt 3 Alpaca batt 4 pre steam Alpaca batt 5 steaming

The bottom layer of the steamer was some Border Leicester locks I had dyed up as well.

I'll post some pictures of the fiber once it's dry in a few days. I just hope I don't have a big piece of pretty felt.

I also took a couple of pictures of part of the craft room. One is some of the bins and sink; the other is my waist high worktable Pat built me.

basement craftroom 2 bins basement craftroom 3 worktable

Monday, August 31, 2009

Yarn Washing Day and Spinning at the Arts Festival

I managed to wash most of the yarn I've spun recently. Here's a group picture of six skeins of them.

Bundle of handspun fibers 2009 summer

The blue skeins on the ends are from Into the Whirled's Falkland fiber I have named "Seashore". The green is the third skein and the last of my CJ Kopec's Envious Eyes. I love the sparkle from the angelina in this fiber although the camera didn't pick it up very well. The pink is Shady Fiber's "Pink Eeyore" which also has firestar sparkles in it. Peaking out at the top is one of the two skeins of rag yarn I did using one ply of alpaca from Safe Haven Alpacas in CT and one ply of Ashland Bay Merino. I think the color of the Merino is "Woodland".

My garden butterfly also had to get in the photos:

Into the Whirled Seashore with the butterfly 1

These were also some of the WIPs I've been working on since Tour de Fleece.

Saturday was the monthly spin in at RI Handspun. I took a break from WIP spinning and started another of my DkKnits fibers called "Irish Beach". I might decide to do a simple shawl with it to showcase the colors which range from greens to pinks, and some yellows. It's a very pretty, soft color blend. Sunday was another spinning day with my guild demonstrating at Slater Mill as part of the Pawtucket Arts Festival. Again, I took the "Irish Beach" fiber. I'm just about at the half way point with the first 4 ounces finished. Since the colors have stayed pretty separate while being spun, I'm going to navajo ply this one.

And, lastly, I have started the foot of the second Shur'tugal sock and should have it done in a few days. Another knitting WIP will be scratched from the list. Yay!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Playing With Dye and Other Fibery Goodness.....

With the sweltering heat of last weekend, I found a cool, comfortable spot in my craft room located in my basement. I turned on the fan, mixed the soak solution, and started the dye process for 3 yarns and about 7 ounces of fiber.

The yarns were all fingering weight. I dyed the first in graduated shades of a robin egg shade of blue from dark to light.. The second is done in 2 shades of pink which I used full strength and diluted. The third is done in 2 shades of purple and a yellow.

Here is the Cormo in different shades of pink. "Dark Pink Peonies"

Dark Pink Peonies on the dryer shelf

Here is some Corriedale in a shade of blue, yellow, and green. "Wildflowers in the Field"

Wildflowers in a Field

I have some more colors planned for the next dye day. I'm not sure which will be yarn and which will be fiber yet.

Currently, the Minstrel is empty. But not for long. I've decided to start spinning the bottom half of my February Lady Sweater. The Sonata has been busy. I'm getting ready to finish spinning and then plying the last of my sea shore fiber so I can submit it for Fiber 4 Ewe's August contest on Ravelry. Then, it's back to another WIP bobbin, of which I have only 3 left to go.

As for knitting, I managed to finish the first Shur'tugal sock and get the ribbing done on the second one. It's a fairly easy pattern and the heel is very different from the usual plain ones in most other patterns. It is holding my interest as I knit it, and works well as a travel project.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Busy Spinning Away

I've been trying to catch up on a lot of stuff lately, but it just seems the more I try to catch up, the more there is to do. I need 30 hour days to possibly accomplish more. lol

I didn't get all of my Tour de Fleece fiber finished. I managed 12 of the 16 ounces. This is really not a bad thing. If I hadn't been trying to finish it, I would not have that much done. My other goal for TdF was to finish some WIP bobbins. I managed to ply up 4 different fibers that have been languishing for weeks, months, and one over a year. It feels good to have them done. Now, I need to take them to the sink and set the twist in all of them.

Saturday was spent at the Foster Old Home Days with some spinning pals at a demo. I've been looking for something to decorate my Minstrel wheel with. A little angel with blue/purple wings and a flower now rides on the tensioner. Barbara and Polly were there with their sheep and were selling their fiber, yarns, and goodies. They also had the Rhody Warm blankets and yarns for sale. The angel was hanging in the shed along with lots of others with different colored wings and/or flowers.

I started a new pair of socks to go along with my Dragon Scale Shawl. I like the pattern picture, but, am not sure if I like the actual pattern as it works up. I might frog it in a little bit. Beads will not be going into the socks. Originally, beads were going to be used in the cuff and at the top of the diamonds in the leg if possible. After some consideration, I decided this might not be good for me since my legs tend to swell. Getting beads poked into me if I cross my ankles would not feel too good.

The garden is still giving me tomatoes, peppers, and cukes. The carrots are doing well. I will try to plant the new lettuce in the next couple of days. The rains have helped everything grow without too much work on my part. I do have to pull the weeds that keep popping up though.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Garden Developments, Spinning Challenges, Junebug's Fleece

There was a second harvest of cherry tomatoes a couple of days ago. Several more are still in the green stage or just starting to turn color. There are quite a few green ones on the big boy tomato plants as well. Sadly, the lettuce is not salvageable thanks to the rains we have had lately. The pot it was in didn't drain well, and the lettuce rotted at the roots. I've another envelope of seeds, fresh soil, and different pots to try again. The peppers are growing. I have one about 3 inches across, but, not quite ready for picking yet. There are a few small ones too. The cucumbers are about an inch long now. I do like the bush plants better than the running ones. I thinned the carrots a bit, but, will re-do that next week after they grow a bit more. The lemon thyme needs trimming again. I can dry that in the house and use it in some cooking. Pat isn't crazy about lemon, so I use it in dishes I make just for me.

It's great to have the canopy up in the back yard too. I sat under it the other day while we were cooking on the grill. It's very cozy under there with plenty of room. I need to drag my wheel out there soon to sit and spin.

Speaking of spinning, I'm still plugging away at the Tour de Fleece. I am just past the half way point with my Seawool fiber. I don't think I will get all of the pound done by next week, but, I'm trying my best.

Today, I went up to the Fibers4Ewe Mill to pick up my "Junebug" fleece. I'll try to take a picture outside in the sun tomorrow. The color is a lovely grayish brown with sutble color shifts in it. It's absolutely beautiful. I am thinking it will become a sweater at least. I might decide to dye a little and see how it looks. I also came away with 8 ounces of fiber dyed and processed by Liz at the mill. Of course, that has some sparklies in it. I took the scenic way home due to road construction on Rte 44. I was going to stop by Holidaze Glass, but, will save that for another day.

It's been a long day, so I think I'll go to bed now. It's after 1:30 a.m. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

First Garden Tomatoes and Tour de Fleece Spinning

I picked 4 cherry tomatoes from my garden Saturday. First Garden Harvest 2009
We washed them and just ate them still warm from the sunshine.

I've decided to spin for the Tour de Fleece again this year. I think I might have over extended myself with my project. I have a pound of "Cabot" Seawool from Creatively Dyed Yarns. So far, I've only managed to spin one ounce. It's definitely a challenge due to it's slipperiness and fluffiness. It tends to drift apart if you don't put extra twist in it. I'm using the smallest whorl on my Sonata for this. Here's a photo of how far I've got on Day 3 of TdF:

Tour de Fleece 2009 spinning seacell day 3

and a close up: Tour de Fleece 2009 spinning seawool day 3 close up

The original plan was to also finish some spinning WIPs on the Minstrel. I managed to finish the last of 4 ounces of Falkland from Into the Whirled. I think the seawool take precedence over any other spinning for this. Wish me good luck to get the whole pound spun. Tonight will be devoted to at least another ounce. I'll be spinning next to Pat who had rotator surgery today and is feeling no pain at this time. He is still medicated from the nerve block they gave him, and has pain medicine for later. Now starts the tough part for him - the recovery and not doing everything he usually does.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Latest Animal Pictures

I forgot to post the latest pictures of Pooh, Hanna, Tiger, and Megan. The one with Pooh is the front, was actually taken last. He had to get in there and see what I was doing.

Hanna, Tiger and Pooh Hanna Tiger and Megan

In this one, Hanna seems to be asking "What am I? A hassock?"

Hanna and Tiger relaxing
Dye Workshop, Re-Evaluating Things

The weekend of June 13th and 14 were spent with 25 wonderful people learning new ways to dye fiber and yarn. The Painted Sheep generously shared her techniques with us. We ranged from first time dyers to seasoned ones who dye fibers and yarns on a more regular basis. I fell into the occasional area myself. It was a fabulous two days and we all came away with new ideas as well as gorgeous fiber and yarns to play with. Here are some pictures of some of the fibers:

Dye Workshop 5 Dye Workshop 2 Dye Workshop 4 Dye Workshop

I also managed to finish plying up my "Envious Eyes" fiber from CJ Kopec. It was one of the May SAL fibers, but I was slow about getting it finished. Here's a picture of the fiber and singles on the bobbin. I haven't taken a picture of the finished yarn yet.
CJ Kopec Envious Eyes CJ Kopec Envious Eyes on the bobbin 2

I also managed to re-ply my batt from ShadyFibers which I've named "Pink Eeyore" in honor of the Coopworth sheep the fiber comes from. One ply is Coopworth, mohair locks, silk, firestar and some other fibers. The other is the same Coopworth dyed a light pretty pink. I got 308 yards from 3 ounces of fiber.

Shady Fibers Pink Eeyore 2 Shady Fibers Pink Eeyore

Some other news is that my container garden is growing like crazy thanks to all the rain we have had here. I'm thinking of moving the containers under the canopy tomorrow to give them a day to dry out a bit, though. Too much rain can be just as bad as not enough.

After much thought and deliberation, I decided to trim all my activities a bit. My reasons are personal, so I won't go into them here. Due to this, one of the things I've decided to do is resign as the treasurer of the Spinners Guild. I made the announcement at the meeting last Saturday. I hope to transfer the treasury to the new person at the next guild meeting in July. The sooner the better for me.

Pat is home for a while due to an arm and shoulder injury which needs surgery. It's going to be a long summer for him since he won't be able to do much with the arm. I will have find some things for us to do to keep him occupied a bit.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Fiber Festivals, Veggie Pots, A Rainy Day Makes For Snoring Dogs and Cats

The festival season for New England is just about finished with the exception of Maine this weekend. I will not be attending. In May I skipped the NH Sheep and Wool Festival. I did participate in the RI Festival Fleece to Shawl demo and some shopping was done. Amy's Alpaca's had beautiful fiber, as did the Biltmore Mill Barn. Judy, BallandSkein, was there as well and I bought my only yarn purchase of the festival from her. I also found my friend Gerry from Mar Ger Farms was there with his alpaca fiber. Had to have that one. :)

No plans were made to go to the MA Sheep and Wool Festival. Until my husband offered to take me to it as a day out together. This was especially sweet since it was his birthday. And I got the gift. :) We had a wonderful day together with me coming home with oodles and oodles of more fiber. Spunky Eclectic, Spinner's Hill, Foxfire Fibers, The Wool Peddler and Touch of Twist were some of the vendors I visited with that day. After walking around a few hours,and making two trips to the car to leave fiber bundles, and to eat lunch as the excuse for one of them, I decided I had enough and we came home.

This past Sunday found us at the flea market in Mansfield, CT. This is one of my favorite ones to go to. I didn't buy a thing, and had to go rest in the car. My back has been causing me severe pains for the last few months and I have trouble standing or walking for very long lately. The doctor thinks it's just arthritis and a bit of strained muscle. Anyway, I had noticed Safe Haven Alpacas was open when we drove by it on the way to the flea market. On the way home, Pat stopped and waited in the car. This was good and bad. I came out of the store with a huge plastic bag full of alpaca fiber batts. The total was 46 ounces, - 24 cream, and 22 dark gray.

My loom has moved into the craft room since Pat has almost finished putting my sink and counter together in the basement craft room. The majority of the bins are down there now. I'm getting excited about this room now. It's going to be the dye studio and fiber prep room. My drum carder and picker are also going to be in there along with the bags to wash the fleece and my drying racks. I picked up a drying system with a fan attached and 4 shelves. That will eliminate the need for a separate fan for drying fleece/fiber.

Now, I'm ready for this Sunday for the spin in at Sandi's farm. It's the official start of the Happy Handspinners Group. I also can't wait to see how big the lambs have grown.

I managed to leave part of my Sonata wheel at Sue's last Saturday after the spin in and didn't realize it until Monday night when I wanted to finish the fiber on the bobbin. As I went to pull the wheel out of the bag, I noticed I was missing the MOA pouch which fits into the wheel base when the wheel is folded. I was going up on Tuesday for knit night anyway, so I just got it then. I finally sat down with it last night and this morning and finished it. I'll start a fresh bobbin later tonight and try to get the rest done before tomorrow night so I can spin a different fiber for Sunday at Sandi's.

My veggies are growing in leaps and bounds with blossoms on the cherry tomatoes and peppers already. My first lettuce will be ready for picking soon. The carrots and cucumbers are sprouting new green growth as well. My friend, Monet, gave me a couple of tomato plants, but, one didn't make it. The other is hanging in there and about twice the size it was. When I pulled some weeds from the pots yesterday, I noticed a separate tomato plant in that pot. I need to pick up a small bag of soil and get it into it's own pot. Maybe tomorrow would be good for that. On Tuesday, my friend Sue sent me home with some Lemon Thyme. It's the first herb in the garden. At least thanks to Mother Nature, I don't have to worry about watering anything today. It's been a steady rain all day. It's been a dark, dreary, good napping kind of day. The dogs have succumbed to this and are snoring away on the sofa as I type. The cats are all snuggled on their chair or favorite spot snoozing away as well. I think I'm going to take their advice and catch a bit of a nap myself......

Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Late Post Due to a Busy Month

Easter has been celebrated. Fiber festivals have started. Warm weather seems to be making plans to stick around for a while. I've been busy lately and haven't had a chance to post.

Easter at my house is a simple quiet day. My meal this year was a stuffed pork roast, scallion and sour cream mashed potatoes, yellow squash, salad, and rolls. Fruit or apple pie and ice cream for dessert was served with coffee.

I decided to try a different way of preparing my roast for stuffing. I did a fillet method. The stuffing was spinach with garlic and cheese, which I've used in pork chops before. After filleting the roast, I seasoned some gluten free bread crumbs first and rolled both sides of the roast in it. Then stuffing was put in the middle, then rolled up jelly roll style, and tied with string.
Roast being prepped (left), and ready for the oven (right): The cooked roast and rest of the meal:It came out quite well except for the string getting a little stuck in the breading on the top. lol

A couple of Wednesdays ago was spent on Sandi N.'s farm during sheep shearing day. She had 19 of her flock left to be sheared. Monet, Marva, Sandi, and myself spent a few hours skirting all the fleeces. Mr. N. helped the shearer with the sheep and cleaning up the shearing board. It was a lot of work, but, we had a good rhythm going and managed to keep up pretty much. Only one sheep "tried to make a run for it" and gave up fairly quickly when she realized she couldn't get out of the barn. I came home with my Junebug's fleece. I've been watching her grow up since she was a day old and waiting patiently for her lovely dark brown/black fleece. I do plan to get some more of Sandi's fleece when she is ready to sell some. All of her sheep have wonderful, gorgeous fiber. It's hard to choose which one to buy. I really do love the gray one from Junebug's brother. :)

I've been spinning for the April CJKopec SAL. My "Midnight Desire" didn't get finished in time for me to post it for voting, but, that's o.k. I think it's beautiful and will make a wonderful yoke in my February Lady sweater. With the black fiber for the lace part, I think it will look better than the "Inquiry" from last month's SAL.

As for knitting, I'm still working on the same projects - Dragon Scale Shawl, a pair of socks and a special gift project.

The last Saturday in April was the CT Sheep and Wool Festival. I went along with Jean, Marva, Sandy C., and Beth. I only bought 2 things, some suri/silk fiber and a bag of alpaca which I split with Marva. I was planning to go to MA Sheep and Wool, but have changed my mind. RI is the week before and I think that will take care of my festival urges this time.

Last Sunday was spent planting my vegetable garden in pots and containers in the back yard. I have 2 cherry tomato plants (2 pots) 2 green peppers (1 pot), lettuce, and carrots. I forgot to get the bush cucumbers and green beans, but the pots are ready. Pat can move them to work on the lawn and put them back after. It's also much easier on my back when I tend to them. I'll put a few of my ceramic "critters" around tomorrow if I get a chance.

Tomorrow will be spent trying to get some organization done in the basement craft room. Hopefully, I can get the loom out of the living room finally and into the craft room on the main floor. Then the living room won't be so cluttered looking.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Finishing Fiber Projects and Starting New Ones

As I sat in the living room last night with my Sonata plying the last of my Coopworth, I thought of the other fiber projects waiting to be finished. "Inquiry" is next to be finished as soon as I finish blending the colors on the drumcarder. If the carder isn't set up tomorrow, there are still a few stragglers waiting for their turn as well. The "Pie Toss" is on the table next to the desk and the last little bit of "Bodice Ripper" Rambouillet is still hanging around. But I think since the jumbo flyer is still on the wheel, I will do some plying with my alpaca single and a wool single. They should be nice and relaxed since I spun them last May. lol

Tonight is my Ocean State Knitting and Crochet Guild meeting. We are having a guest speaker who will teach us Portuguese Knitting. Elsa is a member of my Spinners Guild and has shown us how to do this before. When I mentioned it on this blog, one of the OSKCG ladies asked about it. The result is tonight's lesson.

After I get home, the Coopworth is all heading into a big bucket for it's twist setting bath. In a few days, I can start my sweater. I had a pattern picked out, but now think I might prefer a cardigan. Guess it's time to go through my patterns and Ravelry queue.........
A Fun Mosaic and Game

Thanks to ShadyFibers for posting this. I decided to give it a try and here are my results along with the questions. I really had a good laugh when I searched for "domestic princess" and actually found something.

First, the rules:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into
Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page of results, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into
fd’s mosaic maker (register and log in first, if you haven’t already
Now, the questions:
1. First name?
2. Favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. Favorite color?
5. Celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name.

My creation

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Fun Times with Friends......Lovely Curling Locks of Fiber

Yesterday evening was spent with my two friends, Sarah and Marva at Sarah's house. Supper was prepared by her and was delicious. After eating, the wheels were set up and spinning commenced. Sort of. My jumbo flyer "screamed" at us through an entire bobbin. After some of the plyed yarn jumped the bobbin, tangling around the flyer, I took the bobbin off. Before putting it back I decided to oil the daylights out of it. Silence ensued. I hope the girls let me spin with them again after torturing their poor ears with the noisy bobbin. :)

I wanted to finish plying the singles of Coopworth today, but, the wheel never made it out of it's bag. Tomorrow will be another day and I will try to get to it. Maybe I'll sit outside in the warm sun for a bit with it.

Today was the Open Shed at Maybe Tomorrow Farm in Chepachet, RI. Pat and I headed out bright and early to go to the farm and shop for a fleece. I went with the intention to buy a black Rambouillet I saw last year. Since this fleece was still on the hoof for a couple of more weeks, I chose a lovely white Border Leicester. It's 4 3/4 pounds of curly squishy goodness. The black Rambouillet is tagged for me when the sheep is sheared. There are actually two of these sheep, so I don't know which one I will get yet.

It's suppose to be a sunny 60 degrees here tomorrow, so I might decide to work with the Romeldale just to get it out of the shed. Since it's a left over from last summer, it really needs to get processed. I don't like to carry them over for more than a couple of months.

Yes, Spring has sprung with the arrival of freshly shorn fleeces.........

After returning home, I ran a few errands, ending up at the Yarn Outlet in Pawtucket for their Sit and Knit group. I met some lovely ladies as well as seeing a few friends. My current travel project is a sock, so I worked on the heel flap for a while. I actually turned the heel after I got home and am now ready for the gusset tomorrow evening.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Spinning For Sweaters, Knitting A Sock

Since I've spun all the singles of the Coopworth, the plying will be done tonight after I get home from a doctor's appointment. The drumcarder is still holding court in the kitchen for now. I need to finish blending the Inquiry so I can get the carder put away again. I'm really looking forward to spinning the black fiber after these two. The Coopworth needs it's dipping in Eucalan, then I can start knitting with it. There is a problem though. I need to finish a couple of other projects before casting on a new one.

It's time to head out to the doctor's office. My sock tote is ready to go, and a magazine as well. I know the routine with this office, and plan accordingly. I can have anywhere from a 5 minute wait to an hour or so if he is backed up. Bye for now.......

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Getting Brave With My Fiber, Craft Room Anticipation

I just didn't like the way my "Inquiry" fiber was spinning up. I tried spinning it straight from the end, from the fold, and even individual colors. Nothing was feeling right to me. No love for the yarn was felt. After a conversation with Sandi, I took out my Louet Jr. drumcarder and went to work. I was like the mad scientist with a "let's see how this works out" attitude. I tore off a piece of fiber, separated the black and purple section, drafted it to the almost falling apart point, put it through the drumcarder, and left it on. Then, I drafted out and put the orange, green, and pink through with the orange on top of the black side. A couple of turns and I took the whole thing off, drafted it out again and put the whole thing through one more time. Here's the results:
Inquiry blended 1 Inquiry blended 4 closeup

I'm very happy with the resulting batts which spun up into this yarn. It's 2.95 ounces, 148.5 yards of Navajo (chain) ply. The photos are prewash. It's drying now:

CJ Kopec Inquiry yarn 1 CJ Kopec Inquiry yarn 3

My plans are to spin enough of this to use in the yoke of a sweater. I'm thinking of the February Lady Sweater for the pattern. The other fiber I want to put with this is a black Coopworth Hogget/Alpaca Cria with a bit of Firestar blend. The "Inquiry" came out dark enough to not be glaring with the black, but, will be complimentary.

In other news, my basement craft room is almost ready for the big move in. Pat is building me a nice table the height of my kitchen island. I won't be bending over trying to dye or drum card this way. He's going to put a shop light right over the table so there will be better light than the current ceiling lights give. Pat wants to paint the floor before we actually put anything in the room. I plan to put an area rug on the floor since they are cement and cold on your feet in the winter. He also found a little white sheep wall plaque in a box of stuff that had belonged to his mom. It will have a place of honor on the wall above the table. Once the table and sinks are in place, I can bring the bins and stuff down. There is a kitchen table and chair set in the main basement room, as well as a t.v., stereo, treadmill, and exercise bike so I can keep myself busy while waiting for steamers/pots to "cook". There's also a rocking chair if I just want to sit and knit.

After moving everything that needs to go downstairs, the loom will hopefully fit in the upstairs craft room and I can clear out the living room. Right now, there is still a lot of stuff around it so the cats can't get under and play with the strings. They don't go in the craft room so this will not be an issue after.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

A Scary Start to My Weekend, and Taking Stock of Projects

I'm still nervous and won't leave the house empty for a while. As Pat was getting ready to leave for work Friday, we smelled something burning. We has an electrical fire in the basement. Luckily he got to the circuit box before actual flames came out of the box. The insulation is all melted from the wires and flames were eminent when he got to the box. Thank God he hadn't left for work yet. He disconnected the faulty wires and circuit, spending the better portion of the evening and all weekend rewiring the hot water tank. Everything is safe now, but, we still want to have an electrician come in to double check it. This was the weekend of my Ocean State Knitting and Crochet Guild's retreat. I was going to go for the day today, but, decided not to due to other commitments at this time. Now, I'm glad I decided this since I wouldn't have been able to go.

I decided to take stock of all my UFOs, on needles, hooks, and bobbins.

My Sonata still has the "Inquiry" fiber for CJKopec's Spin A Long "Put Your Twist On It". And my Minstrel still has the Merino on it for a sweater. I need to get the Inquiry done so I can get back to the Coopworth for my other sweater. When these three fibers are done, I need to finish my "Bahhhrahhccuda" color fiber from DkKnits and knit up some socks. I'm going to be the last one done with them, but, that's o.k. Of course that lateness doesn't compare to the wool singles and alpaca singles I spun last May and never plied together. They are definitely on the to do list next. And, then there is the other "Pie Toss" braid of roving from Spunky I need to spin and Navajo so I can make socks with that as well. The only other fiber needing attention is the last little bit of Rambouillet I was spinning as lace weight. I took a "break" from it since I had spent almost 4 months spinning with this 8 ounces of fiber. The last 2 ounces are calling me.

I'm also working on a sock, using a technique I had learned from Sarah. The whole sock is worked on a 12 inch circular needle, except for the heel flap and gusset. Once you get that part in, you go back to the circular to finish the foot. It's coming out nice and I like not having to fiddle with needles or loops. It was a bit of a learning curve to work with the small circs at first. Now, it's mindless. I'm just knitting a plain vanilla sock in some variegated yarn. The cuff was worked on size 2 and the rest of the sock on size 1. I want to be able to turn the cuff over the sock when they are worn.

I also pulled out some of the rows on the Dragon Scale Shawl to re-knit for the third time. Let's hope the third time is the charm and I can call this a FO instead of a WIP soon.

There are a couple of scarves I started in the bin as well as a lonely Butterfly Sock waiting for it's mate. That's it. Not as bad as I thought. I did frog a couple of projects along the way. The bin is next to the loom so I can just grab a project and work on it while sitting in the living room with the t.v. or computer on.

Oh, and the 5 bins of fleece I had in my craft room are now living in the cedar closet in the basement. I was surprised to find the closet was much smaller than I remembered. You can still step into it, but, it's not as deep as I thought. I also put some comforters and bedding in there as well. At least I'm finally getting to use it for it's intended use.

O.K. I'm off to cook some chicken for tomorrow. Once it's in the oven, I can work on the sock or shawl some more......

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Fiber Goodies and News

In the last post I mentioned CJKopec's Spin-A-Long on Ravelry. I've decided to just spin the fiber from the end and see what I get from it. The plan is to possibly use it in the yoke of a sweater. This is "Inquiry":

CJKopec Inquiry 2 March SAL (2)

Other good news is in regards to the Coopworth fiber for my sweater spinning. Sandi met me today and the other pound of fiber came home with me. Yay! Here's some pictures of the yarn so far:

Sandispins Coopworth 1 Sandispins Coopworth 2

And this closeup:

Sandispins Coopworth 4 closeup

Between these two things, and DkKnits SAL/KAL with her fiber club, and her sock club, I'm so busy trying to keep up, and, I haven't really knit on anything else. With one exception. I did manage to finish a hat today while sitting at Weight Watchers waiting for the meeting to begin.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Spinning Away the Hours

This past Friday evening was the start of the plying for my Coopworth sweater yarn. I managed to ply the entire 6 1/2 bobbins by Sunday night. The result was 1.5 pounds and 996 yards of worsted weight yarn. I now need to pick up another pound of this lovely fiber from Sandi tomorrow. I don't know where my head was the night I bought the fiber. I know I need between 2 1/2 to 3 pounds to make a sweater to cover my fluffy body. The diet is going well, but, not that well. I know I won't fit into a size large or extra large sweater. Besides, I like them loose and comfy not body forming.

In today's mail, was the fiber for CJKopec's Spin-A-Long. I might start that tonight and see how it looks. Options for spinning are to just grab an end and go for it or tear of sections and spin from the fold. The possibility is a single of each and then ply them together for a different look. I don't know yet.

Well, I'm off to toss the clothes in the washer and dryer. It's the tale of the never ending laundry...........

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Snowy Days, Busy Hands, and Sock Woes

March definitely roared in like a lion this year. With the major snow storm last Sunday and Monday, the wheels and needles were very busy.

The Coopworth has almost all the singles spun. I'm finishing up bobbin 6 and don't think I have enough for a full bobbin 7. After switching to the jumbo flyer, I'll ply bobbins 1 and 4 together to see how much yardage I have and calculate how much more fiber i need to buy from Sandi. I'm estimating I should have about 1200 yards when these singles are all plyed. It might be enough for the sweater, but, I'm a plus size girl, so think I need a bit more.

Last Saturday was the monthly Spin In at Sue's shop. I decided to take Millie Minstrel for a change and worked on the Merino for the other sweater. That bobbin is now off the wheel and another started. At this rate I might have 2 sweater's worth of yarn before long. I'm not too worried about getting this one finished though. After all, I started spinning it in February 2008.

The hat is almost ready for decreasing and then that WIP will be an FO. It's coming out really nice. I like the way the natural shading of the fiber shows up in the knitting.

I have sad news to report. There are 2 wounded socks in my house. They are the first to need repair. I have a hole in one where it was caught on something. The other one has some stitches wearing thin and about to break. I made both pairs about 3 years ago, so I shouldn't be surprised they are showing some wear now. For now, they are in the mending basket waiting for me to salvage them.

The Dragon Scale Shawl has been calling to me to finish it. The mistake still looks wrong to me even though I pulled out 20 rows and put them back in. I need to pull them out again and knit it again. This is aggravating since I'm on the last of it. I just need to do the garter stitch rows and it's finished. But, it's calling me, so I guess I will be working on it again soon just to finish it.

The sun is shining even though it's cold. Enjoy the day and I'll post again soon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dragons and Spinning

Lately, I've been spending quite a bit of time at the Dragon Cave. I have several eggs and hatchlings right now. It's fun to "catch" or "breed" the eggs and watch them grow into very pretty creatures.

Today is a good day to spend with the wheel. It's a cloudy, rainy day, so inside activities are definitely on my list. I've spent the last few days spinning away at the Rose Gray Coopworth fiber. I'm starting bobbin 4 today, and possibly bobbin 5 by tonight. The plan is to spin all the singles by the beginning of March. Then I'll start plying for the sweater.

My knitting is crying for attention, too. So I guess I need to get to that as well.

I'm off to make some lunch and then sit at the wheel again.......

Monday, February 16, 2009

Look At All the Pretty Colors!

Saturday was our Drumcarding Party at the monthly Spinners Guild meeting. I forgot my camera, so don't have any pictures. (Grrr. I always forget my camera.) There was about 6 drumcarders all in action, along with a picker, several wheels spinning, and the creation of some sculpy clay name tags.

There was white with angelina, blue with a hint of brown which looked like the ocean at the shore, mango-orange sherbet, dark cranberry red, green with red and a hint of angelina, and a few other color combinations when everyone was finished. Each one was lovely, fluffy, and made you want to snuggle into them. I think my favorite was the ocean blue one. I have similar colors in the dye box and might have to try making this one myself.

On the wheels were reds, greens, white, and gray. I don't think anyone was actually spinning a multi color this time. On my Sonata, I started the Rose Gray Coopworth pin drafted fiber I bought from Sandi and it spins divine! I hardly do any drafting. This is going to be a sweater for me. The shades in the fiber are showing up wonderfully. I am trying to finish the first bobbin today. I plan to spin the entire 2 pounds before plying so I can mix the bobbins according this article from Knitty, written by Amy King a/k/a Spunky Eclectic. If I find I need more fiber, I can pester Sandi for it. My Minstrel is back in Double Drive so I can finish some more of the Merino I started last year for a sweater. In order to get both these fibers done, I'm going to alternate wheels as I fill bobbins.

As for the knitting and crochet, everything is mostly in the same place. Little progress has been made on anything lately. I need to incorporate the 10 Minutes a Day rule again here. The wheels have had all the attention with the finishing of the "Blueberry Hill Yogurt" and "Pie Toss".

The llama locks had a slight mishap. I was a bit too vigorous in the swishing during the rinse and several are tangled together. I have learned not to do this again. I keep separating some every time I walk past the island counter. There's only a small amount left to de-tangle so it should be settled tonight. The plan is to use the combs for it, then, the drumcarder for the shorter leftovers from the combing. I'll blend the shorts with some wool.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

As the Llama Turns......

Some of you may remember the fleeces I was given back in June '08. Among them was the blanket from the llama. It's a soft, dark gray fiber... I think. It's very dirty and dusty. It spent the summer, fall, and most of the winter in the shed in the back yard along with a Romeldale fleece I've yet to wash.

A few weeks ago, I decided it was time to share this lovely llama fiber with the 3 ladies who spent those 100 degree days helping me sort and re-bag the fleeces. Then it sat in my kitchen until today. With the temps in the 60s and the sun shining through my window, the temptation to do Springtime fibery things was too much. The snow is still on the ground, so I had to soak it in the house. Right now, part of it's in 2 pans on the counter in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weekend Spinning and Catching Up

I don't know where the sudden burst of spinning energy came from. "Millie" Minstrel was very well loved this past week. On Thursday, I finished Navajo plying the "Mandy", completing the third skein. Then, I immediately started spinning the fiber from my DkKnits fiber club January shipment, "Blueberry Hill Yogurt". The 4 ounces of singles were finished by Saturday! I never spin 4 ounces in 2 days, so this is a record for me. :)

Just so "Esme" Sonata wouldn't feel lonely, I also finished up the 4 ounces of "Pie Toss" singles on Sunday. This is also good since I can now pop the Jumbo Flyer on and ply each of these up. It was a tight fit at the end of each of the singles' bobbins.

My Morning Surf Scarf also saw some love yesterday. It was time to wash the comforter and blankets, so I had to head off to the Laundromat. I managed to get about 6 rows in while the machines did their thing. I hate to just sit and read at the laundry. My hands need to be busy. Plus I get to talk to my friend when she's not busy with customers.

Tonight, it's back to the wheels to do the plying and then whichever needles call me for the knitting. The shawl is still here along with a scarf in chunky baby alpaca I sort of started but am not happy with. The pattern is developing as I go along and not quite what I want.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Spin In With Friends and Fiber Shopping

Yesterday was our monthly Spin In at RI Handspun in Oakdale, RI. It's right across from the Burriville police station. I managed to get about 3 ounces of my "Pie Toss" spun up. It seemed to be a "red" day with several shade of reds and pinks in the room. A few other colors were present as well.

After the Spin In, Sarah drove Marva and myself to visit our friend Sandi's farm. After a delicious supper at the Green Onion, we went back to the farm to fiber shop. I came home with some rose gray Coopworth pin drafted roving to start a sweater. It's so soft and squishy. Marva and Sarah also got some beautiful fibers. In my opinion, Sandi has the best sense for colors and blending. She knows just how much of each color and what fibers to put together. Sometimes there is a little glitz in her stuff, but some is non sparkly like my recent purchase.

The Fabulously Late KAL started knitting sweaters in January. The plan is for me to use the Coopworth for that as well as for the Spinner Central spin for the quarterly SAL for sweaters which started in January. My Merino hasn't been heard from in a while, but will be back on the Minstrel soon. I was thinking of that fiber yesterday and how it needs to be finished. I still have over 2 pounds to spin.

My wrist has been acting up again, so I have to take a break from working on my crochet and knitting projects. Spinning doesn't bother it. Unfortunately, I won't finish my Dragon Scale Shawl by tonight. I had to pull out 20 rows of lace knitting the other night due to a mistake. I thought I could hide it, but it was too obvious. The scale was not diamond shaped at all. That's what I get for trying to knit with a distraction. Four rows are back in already. I will finish it this week though, once the wrist feels better. After putting those two repeats back in, one more might be enough and it will be ready for blocking.

I need to finish my Morning Surf Scarf from the Ply By Night KAL, too.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Darn Snow Storm.......Shawl Progress.....

Thanks to the lovely snow storm my plans for tomorrow are off. The first meeting of the Slater Mill Knitting/Crochet Guild has been postponed until next Wednesday night, February 4. I was looking forward to it. Oh well, I guess I'll just have to keep working on the shawl at home by myself.

I've spent quite a bit of time on it today. I may even be able to get away with only 17 repeats instead of 18. Pat helped me stretch it out over my back today. With me holding it over my shoulders a bit, he pulled the point down as if to block it. It hits my behind. I'm excited to get it finished. I may be doing a happy dance of my own for Super Bowl with it wrapped around me if I can get it cast off in time. Back to knitting......
Snow, Snow, Go Away.....Spring Wishes and Dreams

The ground is still white with the left over snow from our last storm. There's still plenty of ice on parking lots, steps, sidewalks and drives to make walking dangerous if you are not watching where you are stepping. Now, the latest weather report says more is coming tonight and tomorrow. I have a meeting tomorrow night at Slater Mill for the opening of the Knitting/Crochet guild. If the weather is too bad, I will be staying home.

Can someone please tell Mother Nature we want a few warm days to get rid of some of this? For me personally, I'm ready for Spring and I know we have about 2 more months of this nasty to deal with.

We enclosed the back yard last Fall and I really want a couple of raised box flower beds along the fence near my neighbor's side. I'm thinking of planting a few perennial plants that stay on the small side. One part would also hold some veggie plants. Pat plans to build a deck this Spring as well. I can picture me sitting out there under an awning, with my wheel, spinning in the shade or knitting. We still have one more section to put up to block off the back of the garage so the dogs can go out loose and play. I have several ceramic animals I want to decorate the yard with as well. Then of course I have some candle holders you use for the little tea lights. They will look cute out there in the flower bed too. My plan is to hopefully be able to have a couple of friends over for spontaneous spin-ins in the back yard as well. The dogs just don't allow for this in the house, unless you wear industrial ear plugs to block the barking.

I am about 3 repeats away from having the Dragon Scale Shawl finished. I could quit now and it would be fine, since it's about the size of my Swallowtail Shawl already. Being a queen size lady, I think the additional 3 repeats will be better.The goal is Superbowl Sunday. I might add a different edging to the outside later. I need to think about that. The one on it now is worked as you knit the shawl. I'm thinking of adding the edging from my Swallowtail Shawl, but with beads along the way in certain spots. That would represent the points of the dragon's scales and wings.

Sunday was spent with Sandi and Marva. We were going to get pizza and spend the day knitting and visiting at the farm. Instead, we ended up at the Mohegan Sun Casino where we indulged in the buffet. No gambling took place. Then we returned to the farm for a bit of knitting. Since Sandi lives a good distance from us, and thanks to inclement weather this past month, Christmas gifts were exchanged. She gave me a gorgeous handmade beaded shawl pin/broach and a big bag of different natural fibers for me to spin. I'm going to have so much fun learning about these sheep breeds. She loved the fiber and container I gave her. She also spins with a spindle and liked the idea of the wine containers for toting a spindle and fiber around in.

A few days ago, Sandi and I placed an order at Crown Mountain Farms for white Bamboo, Carbonized Bamboo, and Black Alpaca Silk. Of course, I had to get some dyed stuff for me too. It all arrived yesterday, so I met her in Hope Valley to deliver it to her. She brought the dogs with her for the ride. It was great to see them again so soon.

Lunch is left overs from yesterday. I made pork chops stuffed with spinach, cheese, garlic, and seasoning. Real mashed potatoes finished out the meal. Pat has enough for today too. I barely could eat one chop yesterday. They did come out great if I say so myself.

I'm going to sit and knit on the shawl for a bit, then load the washer and dryer again......