Odds and ends

Nothing much exciting happening here. This week is tax training, so the days are long and the off hours are short. But no chance of being bored! So many changes! Yikes. Plenty of jokes about the “postcard” which has a bzillion new pages attached to it.

I have been keeping up with spinning 15 minutes a day, which is good for that spin I started in October and only half finished by the end of the year!! It’s being plied now, should be done this week.

Knitting has been slower. Finished a sock in class Monday, started the second sock, but nothing else has budged much this week. I finished the knitting on the cowl for my sister, but haven’t grafted it together yet.

And nothing else has moved enough to warrant a photo.

That’s all the news from here – hoping that tomorrow’s storm closes Bangor Public Schools, our training follows the school closures… my brain needs a break!

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Spinning in 2018

Ravelry isn’t as good about tracking spinning projects by year as they are knitting, but I will try to find them all for you.

My goal for the year was to spin more fiber than came in. Let’s see how I did! These are all 4 ounces unless otherwise noted.

I started this spin in July of 2017, but finished it in January of 2018. I think it is fair to say I spun at least 4 ounces in 2018.

I used this to knit the sweater I have no easily accessible photo of, but you can check out my ravelry project page to see it in all its glory.

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/fine-sand

I immediately started this spin, with fiber I got in Wisconsin in September of 2017. It flew by, finished in just 10 days.

Haven’t knit with this one yet!

Nor this one, designated for some mittens for A.

Then some combo spins:

Neither of which have been knit yet. The top one is 6 ounces of yak merino, and I haven’t decided what it will be. But mom loves it, so it will be something for her eventually.

The bottom one (8 ounces) will be a shawl. Also someday.

Next up I played with color drafting on natural fiber. And knit a hat with it. I had fun with it, but naturally the only photos are on Ravelry!

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/color-theory

And

https://www.ravelry.com/projects/salpal1/handspun-hat

I went stash diving and dug out this luscious blend that a friend gave me. All my favorite colors!

It’s in the too pretty to knit with category. But I might weave with it someday. Meanwhile I pet it.

Then this came in as the Roving of the Month and I dropped everything to spin it.

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/mandala

I also pet it regularly.

This yarn I had a plan for, it always was going to be a shawl. I got amazing yardage, definitely lace weight two ply here.

In September I cast on Down the Road and Back Again with some of the ladies in the Friends of Knitting Sarah group on Ravelry. Yet the whole time I was knitting it, I knew it would wind up with a coworker of mine, and I was right. It looks gorgeous on her.

The next spin was bfl silk blend, another combo spin of 7 ounces. I happened to have two very similar color ways and needed to knit a special scarf for my stepbrother.

I was on a blue kick, and next up spun this blue and tan braid, trying a new thing, traditional 4 ply. What a nice round yarn it made!

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/flutterbies

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/wood-nymph-herdwick was another quick spin, bulky weight. It’s herdwick, and full of guard hairs. It sheds! Had to get spun outside. I plan to spin some nice soft finn, and knit a herdwick hat with a finn lining. Someday!

Then I did an 8 ounce combo spin to make a baby sweater for the new grandson of a friend.

You can see more of this spin on Ravelry, of course.

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/bespoke-monkey

And another 8 ounce combo spin, wasn’t sure what it would be, but it turned out to be a shawl that went to the baby’s mama.

Then another spin of fiber I spun nearly as fast as I got it home!

https://www.ravelry.com/people/salpal1/handspun/handspun-wings

And that’s where it seems to have stalled. In October, I started this spin, and just Friday I finally finished the first half, so this is two ounces spun.

That’s 83 ounces spun! Wow! I had no idea until I just totaled it up. I definitely spun more than came in.

And this year for fun, I saved all the scraps from all these traditionally plied yarns. I just wound them into one bobbin until it was full, then started another. This weekend I wound all those ends into a cake and plied it with itself into a 2 ply yarn. It’s a crazy skein! Actually 2, as I ran into technical difficulties. But I am going to knit something – a shawl or cowl – that can handle the crazy colors and different weights. And I am going to do this again this year because it was so fun to see the colors all go together. It’s still damp after it’s bath, but you get the idea!

It was a good spinning year… or 3/4 of a year, as I seem to have taken the fall off!

Knitting year in review

Thankfully Ravelry does all the bookkeeping for me!

I thought I would complete 18 projects this year. I remember thinking that would be 6 pairs of sox, three sweaters and an assortment of hats and shawls.

I actually finished 27 knit projects!

The sweaters

Really did three! Of course, I thought it would be three for me, but babies need sweaters, too.

(I am sure I have a photo of the last one somewhere, but can’t find it now!)

Socks:

Socks were not flying off the needles as they have in the past.

Again with the baby booties. 😉

Then shawls – there some epic ones finished!

And an amazing one a year in progress… maybe I will finish it in 2019!

Lots of scarves. I dislike knitting scarves, they go on forever! But I did several this year.

And cowls… lots of them! Don’t have photos of them all, even!

Hats are another category that I did lots of but didn’t get photos of them all:

And what do I dislike making even more than scarves? Mittens! So you know these were a work of love!

And a pair of mitts – not so disliked, but only made one pair this year.

Then there were a few special projects:

A group project, a blanket for a dear woman going through a rough time. I knit a few squares, but was especially proud of this one.

It’s sideways, don’t know why!

And some ornaments for Christmas this year:

That pretty well covers the projects.

Now, for the part that surprises me. Of these, only ten remain in my possession. So many knits have gone out into the world, finding new homes with people I love.

Next year’s challenge is set at 25, but I might up it to 30 to give myself a stretch. I still want to do three sweaters… one is on the needles, another is in my head. And socks are always on the needles, but who knows what else will happen?

I’ll do a spinning update in another post. I think it will surprise you!

Glad this week is over!

This was a long week! Tuesday was our annual meeting, and due to staffing changes it fell to me to plan and execute. That meant a couple of crazy days leading up to the afternoon meeting. One of my former helpers is still around, though in a different capacity; she organized the presentation, and did a beautiful job. Although it was a bitterly cold and windy day, we had a nice turnout, and I think everyone enjoyed it.

Wednesday morning when the alarm went off, A told me that she needed to go to the ER! She had been up all night in pain, and thought maybe it was a heart attack. That woke me up! We were dressed and at the ER by 4:30, we even remembered the health directive. There was a small bit of conversation about not waiting so long if this ever happened again. She didn’t want to wake me.

Sigh.

They fairly quickly determined it was likely not a heart attack… ekg and blood work normal. A bit of poking gave us the likely culprit, the gallbladder. Then we had to wait 6 hours to have an ultrasound to confirm. (That was because they had to wait until 8 hours after she ate, not due to hospital issues.) So there we sat. She got some lovely drugs for the pain, and went to sleep. I knit. And froze. It was really chilly there! They gave A nice warm blankets, but I wound up wearing all the outdoor clothes I had with me.

The drugs did the trick, and she felt much better when she woke up. Ultrasound confirmed the diagnosis, and we were sent home with a prescription and an appointment with a surgeon. That afternoon was all about naps and warm soup. She felt almost back to normal by evening.

So, back to work Thursday with a million things to do to catch up, and make up some of the hours from Wednesday. I had hoped that the long days Monday and Tuesday would mean a short day Friday, but no such luck. Friday was also a full day, with a trip to the Macias office thrown in for fun.

I am so glad that this week is finally over!!!

There was lots of knitting, a hat order is nearly complete, a sock is more than halfway done, another hat that really was giving me grief is sorted out, and Mom’s reknit sweater is almost to the arm divide. I don’t have pictures of any of it.

I do have photos of a test knit I did recently, though. The pattern was released this week so I can share it. This is Jenjoyce Designs’ Golden Fields Lace. She wrote it for three pieces, in four sizes each! A stole shape, a square shawl shape, and this cowl. It is lace weight yarn, and a pleasant lace pattern, easy to memorize. It only took me a week to knit, and it was not monogamous knitting. I used some of my early handspun, the first yarn I spun consistently thin, and I have enough for another, so this might be a Christmas gift.

I was hoping to finish warping the loom this week, but I think that will happen this morning. A helped me be holding the ends firmly while I wound it onto the back rail, very much easier than the last time without her!

Last week I told you we were heading to a little craft fair. It was quite small, but we found some nice things to buy. A even ASKED ME TO BUY YARN!! A woman she knows was selling some, and so we got three skeins, and A requested mittens.

I found this suncatcher, and am so glad I made the impulse purchase!

It sure brightens our dreary landscape! I love how it makes the candle glow even in the daytime.

Even in a hard week, there are little moments of peace and beauty if we take time to notice them.

Glad I looked at this before I scraped the windshield. Jack Frost is a brilliant artist.

How was your week?

Not so busy!

Yesterday went just as planned, and was lots of fun! A’s friend cancelled for today, though, due to the death of a close friend. 😢

So we have an off day. I plan to put my loom together, and A brought a ton of pellets in yesterday BY HER SELF while I was at whorls and purls, so today we stack them.

I did take a few photos for you of the finished objects:

So now I need to think of some new things to make!

Busy weekend ahead!

This promises to be a crazy weekend! Tomorrow we go to Ellsworth for breakfast, followed by a visit to the craft fair I am not selling at this year. Then we come home and I head off to knitting, where I will pick up my loom!!!! Can’t wait!

Then to the grocery store on the way home. It will be a big week because I have to get the turkey and all the trimmings for next week.

Sunday a woman A knows is coming over to meet me and watch me knit and spin, from what I can tell. A has told her about the fiber stuff and she is curious to learn more. I have fiber covered!

I expect I will be engrossed with the weaving, but if I find time for knitting, I hope to work on some mitts and boot toppers, the Durrow and who knows what else? I have a test knit I can’t share yet, and some Christmas presents to knit by Saturday… good thing I finished the blue scarf and the dangling conversation! I’ll try to get photos for you this weekend.

And I suppose we should do a bit of shoveling, since we got our first real snow of the season. But not our last, I am sure!

As I said, a busy weekend!

Will you have a busy or quiet weekend?