How did I not share this with you?

After I posted that quick shot of my morning spinning, I realized I never shared with you the last skein I finished.  I really love it!  It spun up nice and fast (finn) and the colors are so pretty (Purple Fleece) and I can’t wait to knit something with it.

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This was a fractal two ply – 1:4 ratio, which means that there will be a few bands of solid colors in it, but mostly the yarn will have two colors twisted together.  I happen to have  some solid yarn of the same golden hue in stash, and the spin I am currently doing looks like it will match nicely with the red color.  So I might create some epic knitting project with it all.  But for now, I am just enjoying looking at this warm sunny yarn.

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Sunday spinning

I plan to ply this with some silk thread I have had for 1,000 years, then chain ply the remainder.

There might be beads, too.

Feeling neglectful!

I feel a bit guilty for not writing more and sharing what I have been up to.  I have sat down to write several times, but clearly, that hasn’t amounted to an actual post.

Things have been kind of chugging along in fits and starts, lots of work, lots of knitting, lots of spinning, lots of weather.

The biggest news is that a couple of weeks ago – on the MLK holiday weekend, A industriously went to work the day after the snow storm, and on her way home, she hit a deer.  She was going slowly to start with, due to the bad roads, and she saw the deer, and braked, but the road was icy, and she slowly slid into the deer. Deer and A were both fine (apparently – the deer rolled into the ditch, hopped up, and ran away) but the truck – ! Scotty needs a face lift.  So now we are in the whole insurance company, adjuster, body shop dance.  At least it runs, and everyone is fine.  It’s just one more THING, you know?

Last week was a good fiber week – it actually started the week before, when word went out that our local salvage store, Marden’s had truckloads of Classic Elite yarns at half off retail! I checked it out after work Friday. There was a LOT but not a wide variety of colors and not their very best fibers. Still, I found a few balls of Liberty that made it worth the trip!

I really only wanted to get the purple one, but the others called to me and I couldn’t leave them behind. 😉

Thursday I took the day off and spent it at Mom’s knitting and chatting with her and my sister.  Mom tried on the sweater, and I am glad she did – it needs some adjustments, so I had to rip it back to the waist.  Easy to do now, before trims and button bands and what not are added. So I did that ripping, and will add some darts front and back to fix the fit issues. Also, I gave my sister her pretty cowl and she loved it.  Whew!  I also brought my dye book over to have her show me what colors she likes and what colors she doesn’t like.  The girl who had her entire room – walls, curtains, bedspread – in purple is gone.  The grown woman likes no kind of purple now.  Glad I asked.  🙂

It was a nasty stormy (rainy) day with lots of road flooding, so going home was an adventure, but I made it with vehicle intact!

Saturday was our annual potluck party with the Whorls and Purls gang.  We added two things to the event this year – a yarn swap, where we each brought a nice skein of yarn in a brown paper sack, and played Yankee Swap.  But then we also all brought yarn and fiber that we would be happy to have out of our stashes, and piled it all on the dining room table of our hostess.  We drew numbers, and took turns choosing something.  We thought it would take forever, but it went quite quickly!  I brought home slightly less than I took there, which is a plus, and even more of a plus is that I brought home things I love and will be happy to use, and that was not the case with the things I took.    I managed to stick to the Whole 30 (day 22) in spite of all the delicious looking soups and desserts.  Thankfully, I brought salad, and someone else brought fruit, so I was able to eat just fine.

Sunday, A and I went over to Rockland and volunteered for the annual Pies on Parade event, held to support the local food pantry.  Mom is on the board there,  and is always looking for volunteers to help at this amazing event.  They had 27 venues, all serving pie in some form, and sold 700 tickets.  We were stationed at one spot and spent the afternoon greeting people, checking tickets, answering questions. It was fun, but exhausting!  Still, we both agreed, we would do it again next year if we are needed.  And if we aren’t needed, we think we will buy tickets and join the eating frenzy.  And for those of you keeping track, that was day 23 of Whole 30, and I had not one smidgen of a bite.  A brought some nuts and things, I picked out the cashews from her stash at the end of the day, when I was ravenous.  Instead of eating, I knit.  It was interesting, as always, to knit in public like that.  Most people paid me no mind, but several ladies commented that they were glad to see me knitting, and a pie vendor told me she was sorry she hadn’t brought her own knitting.  But you know me, have knitting, will travel!  I almost finished my second blue sock. I should have it done this week.  Not sure what sock will be next… but I have some ideas. I need to design and knit a Liverpool football team themed pair for my BIL… that might not be my NEXT pair,though.  I have to get just the right colors and pattern.

So that is what I have been up to –  still spinning 15 minutes most days, knitting, most days, though the work days last week were long, because of all that time off, I still managed to touch fiber a bit.

Finished the Aegean on wensleydale…

 

and began it’s solid complement, Oliver Twist, also on wensleydale.

 

I am spinning both of these “backwards” to see if I notice a difference when knitting. Instead of spinning the singles “Z” and plying “S” I am spinning  the singles “S” and plying “Z”. We will see if I can tell the difference when working it.

 

I told you how the brown sweater  and blue socks progress, and the Nymphalidae is coming right along as well. I am almost done with the increasing section.

 

And Durrow.  Durrow. Oh, it is going to be so lovely, but it moves so slowly!  It least I am done with all the squares that start inside and work out.  Now I have two to knit from the outside in. I have started the first and an slowly working on it.   I had made a good start on it,but somehow got it twisted.  Sigh. That meant ripping out and starting that square again. I am loving how the two colors of purple are blending together as i join the squares to form this one.  I can’t wait, because once these two are done, I introduce the third purple, a pale one, for the two end triangles.  And THEN I am done with the tricky parts!  There will still be a whole body to knit, but plain stockinette!  Yeah! And a lace border… not sure, I have to see it, but I am thinking of using the lightest color for that and the i-cord bind off.  We will see.  You know, in 6 or 8 months when I finish this thing! And when I do, this thing will be worn a LOT to show the world that I finished it! 

As I work my way through it, I am in awe of Lucy Hague’s ability to conceive and write the instructions for this beautiful, complex shawl.  Her directions are very clear, though involved.  The ONLY thing I wish she had done differently is combine some of the row instructions (and presumably charts, I am not using them for this project) differently.  I fear losing my place as I flip back and forth.  But that is it, the only thing I would change.  Well, one other thing.  I think I need a reader.  But that is not on Lucy.  Unless she wants to make an audio pattern, and read the row by row instructions to me.  That is what I need though.  Someone to say “knit one, ssk, knit three, cable 4 right, cable 4 left, knit 3, ” etc. slowly, as I knit.  Any volunteers?

The other knitting thing happening is that I joined a Japanese Lace Sampler Scarf MKAL.  It starts on 2/1, and I can’t wait.  I have my yarn (Swan’s Island natural colors fingering) and have swatched.  Now I just need the first clue!  Clues come out every two months, and there are 6, I believe, so this will be a long term project, over the course of a year. I have a Japanese Stitch bible, the patterns are so lovely!  I need to start incorporating them into more things.

This is my swatch, using a variety of needle sizes. I am going to start off with the top one, a US size 3. And I am in love with this yarn!

 

That is about it at this point –  life moves on, snow comes and goes, work seems ever present.  Thank goodness for knitting and fiber!

 

 

It’s been so long

I haven’t written in so long that I don’t think I will even try to catch you up.

On the whole life has been boring, when it comes to blogging.  Work is stressful and overwhelming at times, but not unmanageable, given enough time.  Home is fine and restorative,as always.

And fall is upon us!

The colors were so muted for such a long time, then we had a gray week and they all popped out.

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The morning glories are struggling to bloom now, the sun is so low they are in shade most of the day. But late in the afternoon, the sun makes it past the house and they seem to glow.

I have been making lots of apple crisp the past few weeks, which I love, and it is so easy to make, yum!

Still need to do the fall yard work – dig up the carrots and plant the garlic, spread a little cow manure and straw about… but the cosmos and zinnias are still blooming, so I can’t bother them, can I?

There was ice on the windshield this morning.  Not frost, but real ice, from the heavy dew and very cold temps.  So this fall is clearly not going to last, and winter will be here before we know it.

So, we ordered our pellets for the winter – 4 tons.  With help from our BIL, we loaded two tons into the cellar yesterday, and will work on them each weekend until they are done.  Left to our own devices, we do about a ton a day, but with help, we were able to double that.  We both notice that this time of year, a bag of pellets seems so heavy (40 pounds) but by spring we think nothing of hauling a couple of bags up the stairs to fill the stove.

I have been knitting and spinning – knitting very focused on two things – the Down the Road and Back Again shawl, which SHOULD get finished this week, and is already sold!  Yea!

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And of course, socks. One of the things going on at work this time of year is health fairs.  I knit a lot at them, in between chatting with people about the organization.  One of them was so crowded (free flu shots!) that no one could move, and so I sat knitting and chatting with people – it turns out the knitting was drawing folks to the table. I might start keeping on knitting when people approach, instead of tucking it away.  So I finished one sock and have made a good start on the second.

Spinning has also been happening –

I made this yarn which will join some scraps and leftovers to become a shawl.  It is a two ply, one ply is Tasman Comeback, the other ply is Finn.

Then this yarn flew off the wheel!  It will likely be a hat, as there isn’t much yardage. It’s a bulky 4 ply, in Falkland.

Next up is some yarn that I hope will be for some socks – I haven’t spun for socks in quite a while. This is merino, bamboo, and nylon.

One last photo – leaving Whorls and Purls on Saturday, I looked up and thought that it looked like someone had floated a piece of roving across the sky.

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That’s it from around these parts – I hope you have been having a good month so far! What does fall look like in your part of the world?

Made it through THAT week!

Like a good chunk of North America, the weather here this week was abominable. Normally I would look forward to work and the AC, but it was a bad week at work, and I dreaded going in. My merry band of coworker friends was reduced by one a week ago and it is sad and unsettling.

Saw a great t shirt the other day, on a fellow being interviewed on the news. “Sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come.” That pretty much describes it.

I know things will settle down there a bit, but not yet.

Anyway. At home it was too hot to do anything BUT sit in front of and under a fan and knit, so that’s what I did.

I fixed the cuff on the last pair of socks, and wove in the ends, so they are officially finished.

I finished sock #1 of my current pair, and wove those ends in while I was at it.

Cast on the second sock, so that is going.

They don’t look like a pair, do they? The yarn is a from Knit Circus in Wisconsin, two small balls packaged as a chromatic pair. This one starts as navy and gets gradually lighter, similar to the shading on the first one.

Cast on and knit a few rows of the next Durrow square. Sure looks like a blob right now! But those cable will begin to show soon. Loving using the medium color, can’t wait to see this one in place

And then while in the throes of all that casting on, I cast on the frieze cowl that I have been it hing to do since I saw it come to life on the needles of Nothingbutknit quite some time ago.

Which I already am addicted to! It’s so fun to watch the design evolve.

And this morning it was so much drier that I finally put my cardigan in to soak! It should be able to dry over the next few days.

But knitting must take second fiddle, because today starts the Tour de Fleece (TDF). I have no great ambitions this year, unlike last year when I started my epic sweater spin. This year I just want to try to spin as much as I can each day. So knitting will happen at lunch and on Saturday afternoons and otherwise just here and there.

This is what my bobbin looked like this morning, let’s see what it looks like at the end of the month!

And tomorrow J and his crew of parents return for finishing up the walkway. So not much fiber will be touched then.

Hope your week was better than mine! What are you doing this weekend?

Quick weekend report

The weekend went much as planned. The weather was absolutely perfect for all the things I had on my plate.

Saturday was sunny and very breezy, so I was able to work in the yard in the early morning without being tortured by black flies and mosquitoes. I got lots of weeding done, and planted the last of the seeds I wanted to. Likely too late to be really effective, but better to try than not! I also planted a six pack of zinnias that one of A’s co-workers gave me. She has a green house and is growing flowers to sell. I was hoping she had some tomato plants for sale but she doesn’t. She did suggest where I could get some, though. Maybe this weekend I will track some down. Need to get them in the ground if I am going to. Last year I didn’t even try. The previous year, for the first time here, we had those big ugly caterpillars. I am hoping by not growing them any food last year they went away again. So I am willing to try again.

Anyway, after standing on my head in the yard for a couple of hours, I cleaned up and went off to Whorls and Purls, which was fun and productive as always. Still plugging away on the body of my sweater, and did a few rounds on my sock.

Sunday morning I was back over at the Purple Fleece before 8 to meet a couple of the ladies to head off to Fiber Frolic. We gathered up another along the way, and got there a little after 9.

It was an absolutely perfect day again! Less windy, but sunny and very dry and cool. And the crowds were very small compared to Saturdays in the past, so we were able to walk around and talk to vendors without being crushed. It did feel like there were fewer vendors there, but there were plenty of them, and most of my favorites were there. I only noticed I was missing one in particular.

My budget was just the right size, letting me get a few things here and there, but not going wild and dreaming crazy dreams of future projects.

I got (from the top) some sock yarn from String Theory Hand Dyed on the bluestocking base, which is BFL with a touch of nylon. I usually get her merino cashmere base, but I thought I would branch out. And I need more dark blue socks.

Then some lace weight yarn from PineStar Studio. I love her colors and can never resist a skein of her lace yarn. She also packages up gorgeous kits of yarn for patterns that don’t require full skeins of a few colors, like a linen stitch scarf or a fade style cowl. And this year she had mini skein bundles as well. I could literally spend thousands in her booth. I still haven’t knit up last year’s purchase (a skein of a silk blend destined to be a Reyna shawl) but that didn’t stop me from adding to the collection.

Next is a ball of blended colors on a silk and merino base. Last year I missed a super deal on this stuff by running out of cash before I found her. This year I went there first. 😊 She didn’t have quite the same super deals, but I got 5 ounces of this. It is very similar to some I got in Wisconsin, so I think I will spin them all together, someday, and have enough for something fun like a vest or something.

Last up are some pretty little handmade brass buttons. Not sure what they will go one, but I will think of something. The booth that had these is one I visit every year to drool. It is an LYS shop in the Portland area that I haven’t visited yet, but intend to someday. She always has this lovely camel and silk, yak and silk, merino and silk, blended fiber for sale. It is all gorgeous! I love touching and ogling it. But my wallet has kept me from trying it out. One day I will. I found the button rack and had a hard time choosing among the selections, they were all so beautiful.

So with these purchases, the gate fee, lunch, lemonade, and an ice cream, I came home with 18 cents to get me through the week! Luckily I have a full tank of gas and a pot of chili for lunches. 😉

We finished the day at the festival by watching some sheep shearing before heading for home.

When we dropped of one of the ladies, we got out for a visit at her wonderful house. She has a perfectly sized house on a lake, so it was fun to see the place she is always talking about , and see her fiber den. It is very cozy and lovely, complete with a friendly cat.

On the whole it was an excellent fibery weekend!

How was your weekend? Did it go as planned, or were there surprises?

Here it is Friday again…where does the time go?

Last weekend was lost to the couch, and this week is not a whole lot better – work and home, a bit of spinning or knitting and then early to bed.

But this weekend promises to be better!

Tomorrow I will go to Whorls and Purls, first time in a few weeks.  I can’t wait to see the ladies! Lots has happened to us all, and we need to catch up.

Sunday, some of those same ladies and I are going to Maine Fiber Frolic. I was feeling badly about this on a few levels – not really having spare money… not spending the time at home with A.  I was thinking of skipping W and P this week, but A said I should go to both things.  It seems that she remembered that I asked for the bookcases in the loft to be finished for my birthday.  She is running short on time, and thinks it would be good to have me out of the house two days in a row.

To the point that she even came up with a modest budget for me for the Frolic.

You don’t need to tell me twice!

This week I worked on the handspun sweater and have at last gotten back to where I was before I ripped it all out.  The sleeves are essentially done, though I saved the actual finishing of them until I can try it all on and see how long I really want them.  I think longer than the pattern calls for. So now I am working on the body, and I figure though it will be pretty easy, it is a lot of stockinette, and it will take a while to finish.

I also worked a bit at a few meetings on the sock I started at Niece C the younger’s graduation – I like how it is coming out, though I was thinking it would be striped… my feet are too wide, and so stripes turn into spirals.

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Especially if I keep stopping to spin!  I spun this Romney up this week – in just a couple of hours! It is this month’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece, Mandala. I will ply it tonight or tomorrow morning.  It is much thicker than I usually spin, but I wanted a thick yarn from this colorway so I can make a warm hat.  This one will be a traditional two ply.

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Then I started this spin – the color looks nothing like this shot, it is a browninsh gray.  Polwarth/silk blend, I am going for skinny as I can, also two ply, and I have a complementary bfl silk blend that I want to spin the same way, so I get some seriously good yardage, possibly for a shawl, but maybe, it there is enough, a vest?

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That is it on the crafting front.  Can’t get much done when I was in bed by 7 more than one night this week!