Friday, November 24, 2017

Thanksgiving Feasting and Knitting & Spinning

Yesterday was a quiet Thanksgiving for us.  My husband helped prep and cook our meal.  Since we both prefer the white meat of the bird, we bought a turkey breast instead of the whole bird.  Mashed potatoes, stuffing, carrots/turnips, butternut squash, and homemade cranberry sauce finished out the menu.  We skipped a few veggies, rolls, and dessert.  Of course, we both took long naps after eating.  lol

One of my Ravelry forum groups is having a "Big Giant Year-End Get It Done Challenge".  My five items listed are:
- Finish current braid of fiber plus at least 1 more 
- Finish current Vivid blanket square plus 4 more  (one left to do)
- Knit False Creek Cowl  (done)
- Knit Easy All Year Cardigan
- Add new yarn and fiber acquisitions to stash as the come in (done) 
Since I didn't go to the festival, there was a lot of online shopping as well as a bit at a LYS.  

My "Free Your Fade" shawl and another cowl were also finished this month.  I even made it to spinning guild two months in a row!  I'm looking forward to the next meeting now that I'm back on track with attending.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Sweater Weather Approaches ,,, "Duh!" Moments

Now the cooler weather is making an attempt to hang around, it's sweater wearing weather.  Both my Harvest and Miranda, as well as a couple others, are ready for the next few months of cold.

My "Duh!" moments are involving yarn weight.  Remember the Tappan Zee sweater I frogged because it was huge?  I misread the yarn as aran or bulky instead of DK as required.  The yarn is now being used for the Easy All Year Cardigan.  Another hand spun will be tagged for the original sweater. 

I also made my Decemberist Shawl a little bit bigger.  Again, I used the wrong weight yarn.  I thought I had a chunky weight and didn't realize that was just part of the name of the yarn.  It was actually aran weight. 

My Sorrento Shawl came out nice, even though I left off the picot bind off.  There's just something about that stitch I don't care for.  I think the little dingles of yarn bother me when they rub on my arms. 

Currently, my Free Your Fade shawl is about 40% finished.  There's also a couple of cowls on the side waiting to be cast on as quick projects.

There has been very little spinning lately.  A new braid of fiber was started on the mini-spinner, but only about an ounce is spun so far. The other two wheels are empty. Maybe the cooler weather will help me find my spinning mojo again.

Monday, September 04, 2017

Sweater Finishing, Shawl Progression

I am loving the cool weather of the last few days.  Of course, the heat came back today.  I was hoping to sit outside under my umbrella, but not in the heat.  It might be possible later when the sun is going down.  

My Harvest sweater is on the blocking board and almost dry.  Here's a pre-blocking picture. 

The Sorrento Shawl is progressing nicely. I started the second portion of short rows today, and hope to get that part done by tonight.  The third color (aqua) looks nice with the other two colors. This needs to be done by September 15 in order to enter it into the designer's KAL.  There's still two big lace portions and a picot bind off to do.   Here's a picture from when I was in the first short row portion.


Plans are to get two other shawls blocked today.  I am just waiting until the sweater is completely dry to I can re-claim the foam boards. Both shawls are long and take a lot of board.  I really should pick up a third set.

There's been no spinning lately.  I've been concentrating on finishing up some of my knitting projects.  The next fiber is picked out and ready to go on the Hansen soon.  My foot has been sore lately, so I don't want to inflict any damage by treadling on my other wheels right now.  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Spinning Like a Dervish ... Knitting Progress... New Computer

 The first thing that happened in July, was a new computer.  I'm still learning it's quirks, but I love it.  My old computer files are on an external hard  drive and I still need to upload the ones I want to keep onto the new computer.

July also saw me constantly at the wheels - Minstrel, Sonata, and Hansen.   So, in order not to put too much pressure on my sensitive foot, I alternated between a treadle wheel and the mini-spinner.  I have taken a break since Tour de Fleece, but, think I will pull some fiber out soon.  Here's a couple pics of the finished yarns.

With all the spinning, there was still some knitting accomplished.  I've finished the body and just have the sleeves left to do on my Harvest.  I also knit a Decemberist Shawl.  I used a thinner yarn and have decided to add more to it to make it a little bigger.  I also started my Sorrento Shawl in two shades of teal and a variegated yarn.  I'm also thinking of starting a Free Your Fade with the other three skeins shown below, but want to finish my other shawls first.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Crafting Slump, Tour de Fleece Prep & Computer Woes

For the last month, I just haven't felt like working on my current projects.  This may be because they are all larger ones and take longer to see progress.  Plus, ripping out an entire sweater after separating for the sleeves didn't feel too good.  It could have wrapped around my husband and myself at the same time.  I'm not sure my gauge was so far off.  All I know is swatches lie!

I have a different sweater on the needles (Harvest by TinCanKnits) and it's coming along nicely.  I'm into the straight stockinette portion that seems never ending.  I put a progress keeper on it so I can actually see the difference.  The yarn is Wool Pak from New Zealand in a pretty pink color.

I did finish my first pair of socks for 2017 in May. The Corgi Hill Farm Rambo/Silk braid in "Door to Monte Cassino 1" was also finished.  I decided to chain ply it instead of using it with a similar colorway.

Another LYS closed at the end of May and I visited it twice before it closed.  Yarn for an afghan, sweater, three shawls, a scarf, and felted slippers are now added to the stash.  I am participating in the Biggest Loser Stash Down but am going in the wrong direction!  There also was a visit to Mermaid Purls in Wickford where I used my gift certificate toward part of my purchase.  One of the yarns bought was my first Hedgehog Fibres.

My wheels are all cleaned and ready for Tour de Fleece to start  this Saturday, July 1.  If you don't know about this, it's a spinning event in which we spin on our wheels, spindles, charkas or tool of choice every day the competitors ride their bikes in the Tour de France Race.  We make our own goals and challenge ourselves during the event. Currently, I have three projects planned. - One for each of the two wheels and one for the mini spinner. 

Now, the bad news,  My 10 year old desktop  computer has quit on me.  It was a good faithful friend but it died last week.  We are taking it in tomorrow to see if the tech can pull my pictures and files off it.  I would hate to lose my knitting info and patterns as well as some of the pictures.  At least I have the laptop to use.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Keeping the Carrot in Sight

I've been monogamous in my project this past week.  The crochet bug bit me and I've finished with the mitts and working on the matching cowl of my Maniac Fingerless Gloves and Cowl set.  It's a free pattern on Ravelry.  I'm using Ella Rae Lace Merino DK but the yarn is more of a sport weight.  My set will just be a bit lacier.

The carrot reference is in regards to my current project.  The carrot is my Tappan Zee sweater.  I will return to knitting on it only after finishing a project, since April hasn't seen many items leave the WIP pile - only two squares for my blanket.

My back is messed up again so the regular wheel spinning is on hold.  Treadling pulls on my right side, causing pain.  Thankfully, I can sit and use the Hansen.  Plans are to finish the cowl and spin some later tonight.

My oldest WIP is  Swan Lake/Mystery Stole 3 and is 10 years old.  While looking at some of my hibernated projects today, I fell in love with this pattern all over again.   I think Ravelry started about the same time as I found this through a Knitter's Review (no longer available) post.  The KAL was hosted through a Yahoo group.  It was my first project involving charts, beads, lace, and a mystery.  I jumped into it with both feet.  lol   It's being frogged and re-started since my gauge is so different now. 

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Part Butterfly

I must have become part butterfly because I'm flitting from project to project and not finishing anything this month so far.  There's the hand spun Tappan Zee sweater, felted clogs, two different fibers on two wheels, a crochet mitt and cowl set, a pair of socks, and Vivid blanket squares all in progress.  

My foot is doing well as you can see from the spinning mentioned above.  The blue sparkle fiber is half way through the second braid on the Minstrel.  The little mat my husband picked up for me works great for keeping my wheel from "walking" away from me.  My Hansen spinner has some beautiful Rambouillet and silk blend on it.  I'm debating about spinning a similar color and plying them together. Both have grays, pinks, and a peachy shade. They are the same blend and from the same dyer. What do you think?

I did manage to finish my Garter Path Shawl and love it.  Two more Vivid squares are finished and a final decision made regarding the placement of them when it's time to attach them together.  All the pictures are unblocked items. The yarn pic is before I gave it a soak and set the twist.



Here are pictures of the latest completed projects:
Kindness KAL Shawl, Oceanbound Shawl, Rippling River Cowl, and the Raspberry sparkle yarn.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Healed Foot, Wheel Spinning, Flying Needles

February and March have been eventful months for me. 

I did take some time off from spinning waiting to hear if my foot was healed and I could use my Minstrel and Sonata wheels. That happened at my March 7th appointment.  I'm taking it slow so as no to irritate the foot but have spun about 3 of 4 ounces of a Fiber Stash Merino and Twinkle braid in Raspberry.  I bought this at NEFF last November.  Plans are to finish it over the next day or so and ply it on the weekend.  The only problem is that my wheel slides on the wood floor.  I'm sitting in my recliner with it raised a bit so my feet can reach the treadles.  Pat picked up an area rug with a rubber backing for me to try with it.  That should solve the problem.  Here's a pic of the fiber.

My Oceanbound Shawl, Kindness KAL Shawl, and Rippling Rivers Cowl are all finished.  There's also been a Vivid blanket square completed.   I just need to block them all. (I've been trying to do Oceanbound for three weeks now)  The Kindness has an extra two repeats of lace because I had more than enough yarn and wanted the darkest shade of the gradient in it.  I had about 2 yards left after binding off.

Currently, I've pulled my Garter Path Shawl back out and am working on that.  This is also going to be much larger than the original because I have the second skein of yarn.  As I said before, it blends and continues perfectly where the first one ended.   My tote bag of yarn for my Vivid blanket squares is next to my chair on the end table so I can work on them as well if I want to switch it up a bit.  My next project is a Tappan Zee Sweater and maybe a pair of socks.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Slow Progress and Monogomous Knitting

January was a slow month for me.  I managed to finish both fibers I was spinning, and am quite happy with the results. 17.5 ounces and 811 yards was the total of them.  My Oceanbound Shawl has about 30 rows to go and that will be off the needles.  I knew it wasn't going to be finished in January.

My next spinning project has been chosen, but I'm thinking of waiting until I have my follow up with the podiatrist. My foot was declared healed and I was fitted with my custom orthotics at my January 31 visit. Lots of lotion is being applied to the dry skin now. Wearing socks all the time has become second nature to me.  I want to be cleared to use my regular wheels again.  I miss the meditative feeling from treadling. 

My Kindness KAL Shawl is sitting next to my chair and is ready to be cast on.  One of the ladies brought her finished on to knitting guild last night and it was very pretty.  She had to shorten it a bit because she didn't have quite enough yarn.

It's hard to be monogamous in my knitting, but I'm trying. Vivid squares are calling to me as well.  The corner2corner afghan is also whispering and tempting me.  I do still have a cowl I need to finish. One of these projects may become my 'group' knitting for when I get together with others.

Still no new yarn/fiber purchases since December 29th.  :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Question of Want or Need

I am participating in The Fiber Pusher Podcast Biggest Loser Stash Down, as I mentioned before.  So far, I'm doing well with no new yarn or fiber purchases since my last Knit Picks order on December 29.  It arrived in January but counts as December since that's when it was paid for.

Now, this has me being mindful of future fiber/yarn purchases.  I plan to ask myself "Do I need or want that?"  If the answer is "need" I can buy it.  If the answer is "want" I have to justify it to myself and have a project planned for it.  I have a gift certificate to a LYS to use and there's a planned festival (possibly 2) for later in the year.  Plans are to only purchase at those times.  It does help to close yarn websites and delete their emails for now.

So far I've finished 9.15 ounces of a spinning project, and have about 75% of a shawl done.  My January goal is to finish the shawl and get a square done on that Vivid blanket that seems to never grow.  Maybe, if there's time I can finish the second 4 ounce bag of Loop "Nebula", and get it plied.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Things are Looking Up

There's been many good things happening this week.  
1.  My foot is almost healed.  My next  appointment in a little over a week and it should be healed.  Until then, I'm in the boot.
2.  My first spin project of the year is done.  It was Spinner's Hill BFL/Silk in a pretty rusty red with gold and orange in it.  I did it as a 2-ply and got 461 yards from 9.15 ounces.  Here's a pic of the fiber.  I still need to get one of the yarn.  My current spinning project is a Spontaneous Cloud from Loop in "Nebula".  It's the blue pic below.  Both of these were purchased from the New England Fiber Festival last November.  I also bought a second 4 ounces of the "Nebula" from Loop's shop when I decided the original 4 ounces was not going to be enough.


3. Both my custom orthotic shoe inserts and my diabetes supplies are shipped and should be here shortly.
4.  My Outbound Shawl is about 60% done.  There's just one and a half repeats left before the final bigger lace portion.
5.  Chair yoga and other chair exercises has been getting done. 

The only "not good" thing is my back is acting up.  I'm not sure if it's from my walking gait being off due to the boot or the weather we are going to get.  I'm thinking it's a combo.  My "backometer" is usually pretty accurate.  I stayed home from knitting group today because driving for an hour in pain was not a good idea.  Hopefully, I can go again soon.

Friday, January 13, 2017

3 Steps Forward, 1 Step Back

It's only the 13th of January and already the year has had highs and lows.  

My appointment with my diabetes doctor was mixed.  The A1C number is down almost 2 whole points, but my thyroid med had to be increased as well as my insulin.

My foot ulcer was declared healed on December 19th.  It then re-opened a tiny bit on December 31.  So I'm back to the medication, dressing, boot and cane.  I was so looking forward to using my regular spinning wheels as soon as the spot had "toughened up" a bit more.  

This set off an emotional eating episode.  It got ugly.  I had my appointment yesterday with my nutritionist and was up 3 pounds in a month.  Yeah, not good.  

I had a hard talk with myself a couple days before the appointment, and have re-set my program. As she told me, I've gone 3 steps forward and 1 step back.   The chair yoga and modified chair exercises are getting done, every bite is written in my journal, and I'm offloading weight on that foot again.  Sleep is still an issue but I'm working on changing my routine to improve that too. This is steps forward.  :)

The final step back was the passing of someone I met through my job and I've known for over 30 years. He was very sick with cancer and is now at peace.  My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

2016 Project Tally and 2017 Projections

 The end of 2016 project tally is not bad.  Most of the year was spent concentrating on socks, but there were a few larger projects knit as well.  
Here's how the numbers look:
Socks - 16 pairs
Sweater- 1
Hats - 2
Shawls - 3 (2 huge and  1 regular sized)
Cowl - 1
Total = 26 projects and a few Vivid Squares for my blanket.
Spinning - I squeaked in 6 of the 10 pound goal.  (foot issues slowed this down some)

My 2017 project projections (subject to change) are: 
Current Projects
Outbound Shawl (in progress) 
Rippling River Cowl  (in progress)
Kindness KAL Shawl (waiting)
Garter Path Shawl  (in progress and making it larger so it's worked on sporadically)

 Also on the list are
Tappan Zee Sweater in Handspun (waiting)
Felted Clog Slippers 
Winter Waves Swirl Sweater
Flax Sweater
Vivid Squares  (on-going project)

Socks will also be added in between because I want to finish the yarns left in my YOSSRATS2016 bin. For now, the Outbound is a good 'group' project if I'm in the garter stitch part.  Otherwise, I take the Rippling River Cowl to knitting.  

Here's a picture of my last pair of socks which were finished at 11:58pm on December 31.  The picture of the two skeins is my Outbound Shawl and the one of the caked skein is my Kindness KAL Shawl.


Happy 2017 -- New Years Goals/Intentions

Happy New Year folks.  I hope 2017 is going to be a good year for everyone.

My intentions for this year are not as specific as I usually make them.  No number of items list this time.

Craft ones are:
Work down my yarn stash, spin 6 pounds of fiber, don't add anything to the stashes (New England Fiber Festival is the only exemption to this). 
Use my craft books.
Get back to languishing stained glass projects.

Life ones are:
Do my chair yoga video 3 or 4 times a week, do other chair exercises, walk once the foot is healed,  stay on my diet plan, (as per my nutritionist)

Re-organize my craft rooms again.  The basement one has to wait until I can manage the stairs safely. The main one was partially done when we put the book case in the room. 

I really want to do some house stuff too.  Paint the kitchen, put the rail on the back yard's deck. The Sunsetter Awning has to be put back up too.  It was taken down during a predicted high wind storm and never got put back up. (If I "start" these I know Pat will take over.  lol He doesn't let me do home repairs/renovations.)