Is it spring?   33 comments

It kind of feels like it.  The days are quite warm, well into the 50’s, even 60… the nights are cooler, but not bitter. It could be a prank and we could be back in the single digits with snow blowing around us next week.  Or it could keep on like this and things could thaw out and it could be an early spring.  Only time will tell, but I am itching to plant flowers and start seeds.

I won’t do it yet. I don’t have a pick ax.

I keep knitting and spinning.  Both are creeping along, as you might expect from big projects, lots of time spent, not a lot of noticeable progress.  My fingers are itching to cast on a new project, anything bright and cheerful and fast. I won’t let them do it, I know that road.  That road leads to projects dragging on for years, even being forgotten.

Instead I just go to my queue on Ravelry and look at all the patterns I plan to make, and the yarn I plan to make them with and I rearrange the order of the queue, maybe add a pair of socks.  But I don’t wind yarn and cast on.  Not yet.

The next few weeks of work are tediously long, BUT I think I did the math properly and I might get a day off mid-week next week.  Here’s hoping.  Sunday we have a fundraising event in the morning, Monday is a tax day, Tuesday I have to take minutes at our board meeting, and pick up the sandwiches, etc for that.  The coworkers who usually do those two chores are going to a conference.  So that will be a late evening home.  And Friday is another tax day.  I certainly feel like I will need a day off to make up for all the extra hours! I wish it could be Friday or Monday, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

There really isn’t anything else new here, and no pictures of knitting that looks the same as it did last week…but maybe next week there will be progress to show?  I am almost to the heel of my sock – woot woot!  Good times.  Exciting times.

How about you?  Are you ready for spring and a change in your daily routine?

 

 

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Posted February 22, 2018 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, what I am thinking about

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Merino Yak – Complete   27 comments

Ta da!

Here they are in all their squishy beauty.

5.5 ounces of yak/merino blend, in two color ways, both by Purple Fleece. I spun each on separately, then plied about a third of one with a third of the other. The remains were plied on themselves. To the left is Salpal (who could resist such a lovely name?), in the middle is the combination, and on the right is the complement, Iron Ore.

They came out thicker than I normally spin, the very short staple length was a challenge for me. I do love the resulting yarn, so squishy! I did not weight this while drying, I think that made it really puff up a lot.

Here are some individual shots, in the same order:

And one final shot in a bit of sunshine:

I got about 250 yards total, mostly chunky weight. What to make with this soft wonder?

Posted February 19, 2018 by salpal1 in how it came out

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Plodding pays off!   38 comments

(whistles as she strolls along) Well, look at that, some things are finished!  How did that happen?

First up spinning –

This lovely blue yarn (not exciting, I know) is all done and the perfect yarn for A’s mittens.  It is a three ply, traditionally plied, and comes in at a heavy sport weight or light DK weight. I got 180 yards, just over 3 ounces. It is tightly spun, and so should be durable and warm, if the mittens ever get knit. 🙂

There were some leftovers, as always with traditional plying, and so I made a small skein of two ply, which is about 65 yards of fingering weight. There was still more left over, so I added that to my 2018 franken-bobbin.

I finished the first third of the yak/merino spin.  My plan is to divide both braids into thirds, spin one third of each and ply them together, then spin the other two thirds and ply them on themselves.  Essentially making a gradient set.  I have finished the combo part of the spin, and gotten about 100 yards of aran weight yarn that is SO PRETTY!  It is a warm chocolate color with lots of pink and gray in it. I am not deciding what to make with it until I see the whole thing together.  I had vaguely been thinking shawl, but I doubt I will get the yardage for that, so maybe a cowl and hat? This yarn is so soft, it deserves to be touching skin.

Of course, I already have a cowl knit from this same blend, because one of the knitting group ladies gifted one to me that she knit from the yarn she made, so I don’t need it to be for ME.  I am thinking I will pass this forward, but I will decide on that later as well.

Knitting – I have sleeves! Well, one sleeve completely done.  Just need to do the three needle bind off for the other one, as soon as I finish picking up 10,000 stitches from the provisional cast on.

I am so thrilled to be moving past this portion of the knit, though it isn’t hard, the rows are long and there is nothing going on during them.  Next up is some ribbing, which I hate, but which doesn’t last long, and then there will be some thinking as I work on the skirt.

I have one finished square of Durrow, and need to cast on the next one.  Truthfully, this one has been done for a few days, but I decided to focus on finishing up the spinning bits, and get past the sleeves of the Hitofude.  But I don’t want to lose the momentum on Durrow, either, so I will get on that ASAP.

Work has been draining, lots of taxes, unexpectedly in some cases, and regular work as well.   It was a long week, working all day Saturday really made a very short weekend! I took Sunday completely off from everything, A even gave me control of the remote!  WOW!  That meant that I got caught up on Victoria – though now of course, I am behind again as it recorded Sunday night.  And I found Create TV and went through the whole schedule to record anything remotely fiber oriented on that.  Won’t A be surprised when she sees the new shows pop up in the list?

This week feels long, but I am close to getting into my tax season groove, fielding random questions all over the place!  And still getting work done that needs to be done.  But having this weekend be a long one feels like a GOOD thing!  So glad Abe and George had birthdays in February so we get a holiday weekend.

A and I celebrated Valentine’s Day in a very low key way.  Cards, and small treats, and she made her special lasagna dinner for me.  I made her a coffee cake for breakfast, so we ate well (if not healthily!).  It was a bright spot in this long week.

Hope you are all plodding along getting things done and enjoying Valentine’s treats.

Plodding along   49 comments

I haven’t posted in a while, because it feels like there is nothing new to share.  Work is plodding along, tax season started Monday, so I have to get in the groove of that, but it isn’t what I would call noteworthy.  🙂

A and I have been spending our weekends quietly – Saturday we do chores and errands and I go to Purple Fleece for knitting group, and she either does something with her sister or the cats, or works on organizing the big closet.

Sundays we putter together.  This Sunday we watched the kitten bowl.  Cute but too long.  She fixed snacks for the big game, which we don’t watch, but do have a bet on.  We tape it, speed through the game, watch the ads (LOVED the Giants ad spoofing Dirty Dancing!) and eat snacks.  We go to bed before the half time show.

I had the Patriots, A had the Eagles.  We are both very happy that they won, because I do love an underdog.  🙂 Even if their win means I lose a bet or two!

Knitting and spinning updates:

Still working on

the socks

the Hitofude

the Durrow

the scrap blanket

the blue spin

As you see, they are all slowly growing but look the same.  Nothing exciting!  The spin should get done this weekend.  I hoped to finish it sooner, but I got caught up crocheting (it’s hard to stop doing that) and so it is a little behind.

Durrow is very well designed and well written, but so intricate that I am amazed that anyone ever thought it could be done.  I am near the end of the first square, and it is slow going now.  There are four sides to the squares, and right now I have to alternate between two charts to complete a row.  IE chart one for one side, chart two for the next side, chart one for the third side, chart two for the fourth side.  SO MUCH CONCENTRATION NEEDED.  But it is so worth it, and it isn’t HARD, it’s just slow going and not TV knitting.  🙂

Hitofude is easy knitting, but long rows, so I can’t pick it up and drop it easily.  This is why the crocheting has gotten so much love!

And that is all I have! Getting ready for another snowstorm immediately followed by a couple of tax days. Sunday will be LOW KEY!

Well, wasn’t that something?   31 comments

The storm that was supposed to graze us with an inch or three of snow and some wind drifted a little to the west, and we were slammed with lots of snow, and wicked winds.  I don’t know for sure, but I swear the windchills were below zero yesterday.

A good day to sit in front of the fire and knit.

Too bad it was a Tuesday.

I went to work.  No early dismissal. Lots of work errands to run, so I had to keep going out in it.

Does anyone know how many more days until spring?

On another note, today is the day my sister and her husband close on their new home.  The first house she has ever bought.  It is very exciting for all concerned.  It is something like three times the size of the apartment they have lived in for ten years or more.  It is old (like 1700s) and well maintained and lovely and has a YARD and a barn and in ground SWIMMING POOL and room for fruit trees and chickens and a girl to play in. It seems like it was worth waiting for.  Worth the cramped fingers they will get from signing here and initialing here for an hour or two today.  🙂

Good times.

Posted January 31, 2018 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about

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some works in progress and some finishes   45 comments

 

First, the WIPs.  Durrow is moving along.  It is slow, but enjoyable.  Just need to pay lots of attention and follow the row by row instructions.  Really, the stitch by stitch instructions, as it is not intuitive, but amazingly elegantly designed.  This square is about halfway done.  There are 6 more, plus two triangles before the simple stockinette body.

IMG_2449[1]

Then there is the Hitofude sweater.  That pattern is easy to memorize, and I am chugging along on it.  But the rows are very long and the yarn is thin, so I could knit all evening, and maybe have an inch of progress done!

IMG_2445[1] It’s a little farther along than this shot shows, but not half way through this section yet.  It will get there. No hurry.

 

The big finish since we last talked is the spinning.  I really had fun with this spin, and it really flew, for me.  Less than two weeks from first fuzz to finished skein! I bought this braid when I was in Wisconsin last fall, and I purposely chose colors that were outside my comfort zone, wanting to see how this whole spinning color thing works.  I also wanted to see what all those white chunks did to the color.  I have told you before how I divided it up, planning on spinning three roughly equal sections that would then be plied together.

img_2406

I did everything according to plan.

Before too long, I had three bobbins full, ready to ply.

I thought the colors were interesting as I spun them, they blended, and the way the fiber was dyed lent itself to lots of marling and shifting colors.  The three bobbins look very different, and the one that I thought would have long color runs, looked really different from the other two.  (It’s the one on the left in the photo on the left.)  Look at all those yellows and browns!  I could not wait to see the skein of finished yarn

Here it is on the bobbin after plying.

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The colors are really mixed up now, and so pretty!

 

Then I wound it off and skeined it, and washed it and I was astounded to find that I had made

IMG_2443[1]

Green yarn.

This was totally unexpected, by me at least!  There are pops of other colors in there, for sure, and a healthy amount of blue, but very little yellow or brown.

Color me befuddled.  I never expected this result.  I am happy with it, and will experiment with colors again, but it is clear to me that I have a WHOLE LOT to learn about colors and drafting and spinning.

Take another look.  It’s still hard for me to believe.

I can’t wait to see what happens when I knit it!

Endless week!   35 comments

Even though I just had a nice long vacation – or perhaps because of it – I am really struggling to want to be at work these days.  Sigh.  There is so much change going on, and unexpected fallout from our merger last autumn.  Some things I expected, but others just keep hitting me upside the head.

It makes me want to stay home and spin and knit.  I do that in the evenings, and for a little bit each morning.  I have two big knitting projects happening, so even though I work on things faithfully, there isn’t much to show for it.  But the spinning is seeming to move fast! This whole 4 ounces divided across three bobbins thing is really working for me right now, lol.  I am halfway through the singles already, and I have only been spinning this for 6 days.  I might finish it this weekend.  At least the singles, anyway.  I am eager to see how this yarn comes out, so far it looks NOTHING like I expected.  Here I thought I picked a braid that was outside of my comfort zone… so far it seems to have loads of soft greens and some blue.  There is yellow and orange but they are not as dominant as the braid led me to believe they would be.  So far, anyway.  Who knows what the yarn will look like?

The full bobbin

The second (partial) bobbin

We got more snow this week, but it was the soft pretty kind – not a storm like the rest of the country got, no wind, temps cold but not crazy. It just quietly fell from the sky and covered the brown muck that was left after last weeks rain.  It is light and fluffy and very pretty.  I wish I had a camera on my dashboard, this morning my commute to work was just LOVELY – the sky was all pink and that reflected off all the new snow.

It’s almost enough to make me want to get up and go to work each morning.

But not quite.

This too shall pass.

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