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


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.