I knit and knit and knit and spin and spin and spin and for so long, seemed to have nothing to show for the effort. My fingers made the fiber go round and round for days, weeks even, with little progress made. I stopped taking progress photos because they looked the same, day after day.
Or so it seemed.
Then suddenly one day, I had this!
Progress is being made after all. But I am re-learning a lesson I learned long ago and then let go by the wayside. Try to keep to two, or at the most, three WIPs. More than that, and even though I knit diligently on all, progress is slow. I need the gratification of a finished object now and then.
Right now I have a mitten and a half, half a sock, half a shawl, and half a scarf on the needles.
So I won’t be casting on anything new until I get my WIPs under control. Which should not be too long now – look at the progress I am making!
And of course I WILL start a new spin. I’m looking through my fiber stash in my mind to see what will be next. But I am knitting on that mitten while I ponder it. 😀
Today I had to go to Franklin for work. On the way there, I drove past what used to be my “LYS” (Local Yarn Store to those of you unaddicted to fiber), Shirley’s Yarns and Crafts.
There was a BIG sign out front “Inventory Clearance Sale 20% off January 9-14”
I kept driving.
In my family there is a funny rule about ice cream shops. You can drive to and from an ice cream shop but not past an ice cream shop. Long story how it came to be, but one of my aunts was giving directions, and said “go past the ice cream shop” and she was immediately corrected. Go to the ice cream shop, stop, get an ice cream, and then from the ice cream shop, continue on. Thus it has been evermore.
I am that way with yarn stores, especially those with signs like that out front. But I was on a mission, so I kept going. But I wondered… did they have some sock yarn that would coordinate with what I am spinning now, in case I don’t get enough yardage for my planned socks? I could do a different heel and toe if I had to…
On the way back, I stopped. They truly were having a big sale, and they had TONS of sock yarn, I am not kidding. For a small shop, the selection was amazing. I decided to show some self restraint and limited myself to what I could pay for with the cash in my wallet, which ruled out taking the whole section. 🙂
I tried to visualize the in-progress yarn, which has pink, purple, orange, and green. I knew I didn’t want green, and I didn’t want the wrong purple. I thought pink or orange could be fun. But there were no solids in those exact colors. I walked around for a bit with a pretty, brightly dyed multicolored yarn, but eventually put it back – I want my handspun to be the stars of this show, not fight for attention with this yarn.
I finally picked up this skein.
I know, not pink, orange, purple nor green! But the fiber content is close to what I am spinning, and so if I think I will need it, I will wind off some of this and dye it. Brilliant!
And if I don’t need it, I can dye it any color I want, right? And I needed some more sock yarn if I am going to knit 4-6 pairs this year. AND it was on sale. And I had plenty of cash to cover the price.
So I think I did pretty well going to and from the yarn store. And the clearance sale is still going on, through tomorrow in case any of you want to check it out. 🙂
“Will you send out these letters for me? If I do it, I will have to type up all the names and addresses.”
Whereas I will just use my magic skills and wrinkle my nose to make it so.
It started with meeting some new friends and seeing some old ones, at a Ravelry meet-up last Sunday. Due to snowfall Saturday night, there were only three of us knitters, but our hostess, Chefadina on Ravelry made us feel very welcome, we met her family and her neighbors (the old friends) stopped by. Her new place is beautiful, a big old house that most recently was a B and B. It sits high above the river, and is just filled with lovely light.
Monday started tax training, and as always it was, well, taxing. The software is new to us all, still has bugs, so things would suddenly work or not work, and the state returns aren’t ready yet. We were all glad when it was over on Friday. Now, in two weeks, we meet again, and hope to have some state software available to work on. The first of February is when we start seeing clients, we would like to have a clue what we are doing before than!
Because I was responsible for leading the group in the hands on exercises in the afternoon, I was not able to do my usual thing – knit hats! But we were in a chilly room so I wore lots of hand knit shawls and sweaters (not all at once) and got lots of compliments.
When I was home, though, I was knitting and spinning. Here’s a shot of my snow fling mittens in progress. They will get a soft lining, and so are taking a long time, but I now have two mittens that look like this. I’ll have to close up the tops, then do the linings.
Here’s a dark shot of my spinning. It is a merino/nylon mix from Three Waters Farm, in the colorway Garden Center. I am spinning this to make socks, so divided it in thirds, thinking I would do a traditional three ply. But then I started reading my two spinning books I got for Christmas, and I decided to spin a three ply yarn with one opposing ply. So for those of you who understand these things, I will spin two singles with a Z twist, and one with an S twist, then ply them all together with an S twist. I hope I am spinning thin enough that I will get enough yardage for a pair of socks, but we will see. I can always make the heels and toes in a contrasting color if need be. But I would rather not. PS that black is really a wonderful dark purple.
This week also marked the start of a new year of Socks with Sarah on Ravelry. If you have followed me for a few years, you know that the last time she had this activity, I knit socks like a wild woman, and finished 26 pairs in the year. This year, I have decided to purposely restrain myself. I am aiming for between 4-6 pairs this year. This is the start of my first pair – Stella Blue on Caper Sock base from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns. I am using my basic go-to sock pattern – Fundamental Toe Up socks . 64 stitches on number one needles, these will take a while to knit, because they are NOT my focus. 🙂 I swear it.
I hope my second pair will be the handspun yarn, and I do have a skein of yarn I got at Fiber Frolic for my third pair. Not sure what I will do for the 4th or later pairs, but I expect something will turn up!
The other knitting I am working on is a cowl to go with my recently completed Derry sweater – no photos yet, but I will try to get some soon. And I frogged the last bit of secret knitting and cast on an endless scarf with the yarn instead. I hope to finish that this week. The first thing I was working on was an interesting finished garment, but a ridiculous amount of stockinette in a boring tube. And it kept snagging on things, because the thin yarn and huge needles left loads of holes. I figured if it was snagging in my project bag, it would be shredded in no time with normal wear. Not a nice thought, so I ripped it out. The recipient returns to town next week sometime, I would like to have it ready for her.
So that is how I got through the work week – and was so glad to see this weekend come! Yesterday I did some chores around the house, then took the trash, the grocery list and my knitting, and headed off to knitting group, stopping at the dump on the way there, and the grocery store on the way back. Got to drive the truck that way. And got credit for helping out around the house even while disappearing for several hours. 🙂
Today was a little more low key – cleared the snow off the cars and cleaned the pellet stove – two not fun chores. A couple of inches of snow on smooth ice is treacherous walking, but I got the cars cleared without mishap. Then we took down the Christmas tree and tossed it out into the woods. Now, this sounds like a lot of work, but here’s the thing – we never decorated the tree. We only put on it the ornaments we got for Christmas, no lights, no garland, nothing. We just ran out of energy and time, but I loved our minimalist tree! It was pretty and smelled divine. I was able to toss it to the woods from the deck, so the wasn’t too awful.. The birds are already using it to shelter while they hit the feeders.
Other than those big chores, this was a low key day, a pajama afternoon. Cleaning the pellet stove gets the stove clean and me filthy – so after my shower, I just decided that noon was a good time for PJs! I made a shepherd’s pie for supper for the next few days – back on the diet for real tomorrow. Life will hopefully return to normal now that last week is really over. 🙂
I have spinning and knitting to get done!
29.4 pounds lost since October 3.
I can survive missing the 30 pound goal.
There’s always a new goal for a new year. More on that later.
Vacation went quickly, but this week is going even faster. Next week is all tax training, so this week is prepping for that, and trying to get all my “regular” work done. Yikes! I’ll take the computer and everything home today in case the “BIG NOR’EASTER” actually is as advertised, a big nor’easter.
This weekend will be a strange combo of finishing up the tax training prep (including passing the test!) and knitting. Saturday is Whorls and Purls at the Purple Fleece, and then Sunday I am going to go off knitting with a new neighbor and some other “ravellers” whom I have never met in person – should be interesting. I SHOULD have some finished objects to share with you after all of that!
Mom gave me some spinning books for Christmas, and I am slowly absorbing them. Haven’t spun in a few days – the merino/nylon blend that I want to make into three ply sock yarn was giving me trouble – or the wheel was or something, so I am taking a couple of days off from spinning to see if I can sort that out. I did a lot of spinning last week, and maybe I just was trying too hard. I’ll come back to it this weekend, maybe Saturday morning if I get up early. That is my best spinning time.
Because of the impending winter weather doom and my having knitting commitments this weekend, A made one of her famous deals. If I would do the grocery shopping before the storm, she would do all the other errands and laundry this weekend. She knows I hate grocery shopping, so she always makes a really sweet deal to get me to do it. I took her up on that deal and did the grocery shopping last night. And I cleaned the bathroom this morning, so technically my chores are done! Of course, there is still Christmas clutter to clear up, and a few other chores around the house that I might throw in to be a good doobie. But then again…. I really want to finish my sweater before the end of the year…
The other thing I want to do before the end of the year is lose about 3.5 pounds. If I can do that, I will have lost 30 pounds since October 3 when I started following the Whole 30 plan. It seemed like a good goal until I ate what I wanted on vacation. Now it will be a stretch. But I think I can do it if I am REALLY good. Hold me accountable, please. 🙂
So as you might gather, life is chugging along as usual, everything simple and mundane, things are getting done. No photos today, no drama, just living a quiet life, and so grateful that it is so. It seems 2016 was a really horrible year if you happened to be a celebrity (my heart does ache for the Reynolds/Fisher clan) and for big world events, there is some strange juju going on, but here in my little world, all is calm, all is bright. As it should be this time of year.
We had a busy couple of days, celebrating with A’s sister and her family on Christmas Eve day, then my family Christmas Day. Lots of driving, opening presents, eating, and visiting.
Today is the last day of our vacation, and we have declared it to be a pajama day.
I am looking forward to the knitting and spinning and reading. Oh, and writing the cards…I got them made last Friday, but did not finish writing them. I will eventually!
I completely forgot to take photos of several secret finishes in the real world, but I can tell you that the hats all fit on the heads they were intended for. 😉
and the scarf was deemed “perfect colors!”
And the seemingly endless pile of tiny mittens turned into garlands and ornaments as intended.
So today I can relax into some selfish knitting – finish some sleeves, cast on some human-sized mittens and knit up a hat in a pattern my brilliant sister invented. And peruse the two spinning books I got for Christmas.
In my PJs all day. I love a pajama day. 🙂