Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Sock Progress, More Spinning

Today was a nice warm October day.  I planned to sit on the deck with my wheel but never got out there. Maybe tomorrow if the weather is nice.

Nothing has been finished as far as knitting is concerned.  I did start a pair of socks in the skein of self striping I dyed last year.  The stripes go from undyed white to dark magenta.  I made a mistake and should have done one more set of stripes.  I have enough for the socks, but wish they could have been a  bit longer.  I plan to use some of the same undyed yarn I have left over from another project for the heels and ribbing if necessary.  Since I started with the white for the toes, I don't have to worry about that part.  Once the toe increases are finished, these will be my "public" knitting project. This is a pic of the sock yarn.

Lacey Bias Scarf is almost finished.  I've got about 10% to go on that.  I'm about to start the third skein on the Sojourn Falls Scarf, so that will hopefully be finishing up soon as well.  I still have three other pairs of socks on the needles, and plan to start two sweaters soon.

The Sonata wheel has been busy.  Eight ounces of Frabjous Fibers Merino in the colorway "Mirth" was finished this past weekend.  I'm back to spinning the Cria Alpaca Hoggett Merino blend again.  After this skein I plan to take a break from the rest of this fiber.  One of the previous mentioned sweaters will be knit in the yarn I already spun from this.  I need to think what else I want to use the yarn for before spinning any more.

My Minstrel wheel is also busy.  October 1 was the start of the "New To Me" SAL over in the YarnRaising group on Ravelry.  I bought some Gotland fiber from Corgi Hill Farm a while ago but never spun it, so I started it last week.  After trying it out on a spindle, and not really liking the result, I decided to switch to this wheel.  I sampled some using the larger ratio of 12:1 on my smaller whorl and used the Double Drive setting for a change.  The result was a lot of fighting "pigtails", so I put the larger whorl back on and am using the smaller ratio of 8.5:1, and it's spinning nicely.  Since the Sonata doesn't have Double Drive, I won't be able to use the jumbo flyer for plying which is fine. This pic is of the whole pound of fiber.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

October Chill, Fiber Adventures

Brrr.  It's a bit chilly and damp today.  You can tell Autumn has made it's appearance.  This is my favorite season.  Some of the leaves have already turned and are so beautiful.  Pumpkins and mums are plentiful in the stores.  The pumpkin flavored coffees and pastries are back at several coffee shops. If the weather decides to behave, and not rain as predicted on Saturday, I plan to enjoy a nice fire in the chiminea in the back yard in the evening.  I'll just have to wait to see if that happens.

I finally got some pictures of some of my latest finished knitting.
Traveler Socks, Fly Away Home Socks, Honey Cowl, Everdeen Beanie, Kalinda Shawl, Quiver Full Hat, and Reversible Big Cable Scarf are the projects pictured.  Also included, is the Lacey Bias Scarf in progress.


There's also been some spinning progress with another 6.5 ounce skein of the Cria Alpaca/Merino Hoggett blend finished as well as 4 ounces of a Fibers4Ewe pink blend, and 8 ounces of Frabjous Fibers Merino in the "Kaleidoscope" colorway.  Right now, another Frabjous Fibers is on the wheel in the colorway "Mirth".  My goal was to spin 8 pounds this year and I've accomplished that so I bumped the goal to 11 pounds. 

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.