Archive for the ‘What’s on my needles’ Category

Looking forward and backward   23 comments

Made it through another weekend of travel.  This one was different, as I warned you it would be – no yarn purchases.  But lots of knitting, thanks to my sister being willing to be the driver!

Saturday morning I was up and out of the house by 4:30, drove down to Portland, and together we left at 7:30 for Connecticut.  We must have done something very good, because the traffic gods blessed us, and we made it to my aunt and uncles in record time, arriving RIGHT on the dot of  11.  We had a nice visit with them, then the two of us headed down into the town we first lived, had a picnic on the village green.  It was SO NICE!  Of course it looks the same but different from what we remember.  It’s smaller and the trees are bigger.  But the beautiful old houses and churches look the same.

From there we drove past our old house (also smaller with bigger trees) and then on to visit with Dad and Stepmom S.  We stayed for a couple of hours, chatting, looking at old yearbooks, and then spent quite a time out in their yard – they have loads of bird feeders and an amazing variety of birds, which keep them and their indoor cats well entertained.

Then it was back on the road by 4, and home to my sister’s before 8, where we relaxed with delicious pizza – delivered!  Oh, the good part of living in a city!

I was wide awake, so though they offered me a bed for the night, I headed home.  I have had too many days away from home, between traveling and working every day.  Got home by 11:30 and when I tell you I fell into bed and asleep and didn’t open my eyes for a solid 8 hours, I am not kidding.

And I never moved out of low gear Sunday.  I did start a load of laundry (dear A finished it for me) and I went to the dump and the hardware store, but other than that I just sat and knit.

Well, knit and ripped out. I got to a point where I could try on the green and black striped sweater, and it just wasn’t right.  The neck opening was too large, and the front of the sweater too big.  So, I took good notes on my gauge, then ripped it all out, did loads of math, gave up the idea of the boat neck and cast on a crew neck sweater.  I did like the width of the stripes, so now I really think I am good to go on this one. No photo now, it looks just like the last time I started it.  🙂

I worked a lot on my socks on Saturday, so I ignored them Sunday, just worked on the Moon and Sky shawl, got past the first beaded row.  The beads on this are going to be pretty subtle, I think.  They are matte finish and close in color to one of the colors in the yarn.  But they do glow a bit in the right light, so I think when they whole is complete, they will be awfully pretty.

I did a couple of rows on the handspun vest as well, but no one except me would notice.  fingering weight takes a long time to show effort!  But I still love it and want to have it ready in the fall, so it stays in rotation.  🙂

I didn’t do any spinning, I was just too tired to move the wheel into position, it seemed like too much effort.  I’ll work on that this week, I promise! Last week, I did cake up the yarn I will be plying that with, so I am ready for plying should I ever finish spinning.

This week will be long, with the promise of a holiday weekend at the end!  Before Saturday I want to get the pool water tested so I can get the PH right, and the stabilizer and chlorine in – then I can get in and get the last of the leaves from the middle.  I can’t reach them from the edges.

I also want to work on that spin and get it off my wheel so I can clean the old wheel and move it upstairs, and give attention to the new wheel!  And I want to finish my May sock, so I am ready for June when it arrives (so soon!)

And my sister and I are both inspired to do some cleaning and clearing, so I will once again put that on my list, to start weeding out the craft room and organizing the yarn and fabric.  It won’t happen in one session or one week or maybe one month, but every bit helps.

This weekend I am on for ALL of the household chores and some serious catering to A’s wishes as she has been the solo person two weekends in a row.  Good thing I have three days, because I also want to get some seed sin the ground, and some yardwork done.

I might need a 30 day weekend to do all I would like to do and that needs doing.

 

 

 

Sunday   29 comments

Well here it is, Sunday.  Last day of vacation.  Back to work tomorrow.  Sigh.

How’d I do on my list?

Here it is, in case you have forgotten it:

  • find a vest pattern and swatch for it, using the combo spin yarn I made. (in fact I did this before I even finished writing this post.  Galiano is cast on.  I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but I think I can win it) I have been working away on this, and have almost finished the pretty lace edge, which of course does not show in my crazy variegated yarn.  I briefly considered ripping it out and just making it plain, but decided to only do that if I have to rip it out for some other reason.  If I wear a solid color under it (and what else WOULD I wear, with all this activity going on with the yarn?) I am hopeful the lace will show.
  • IMG_1638
  • do the math after swatching and cast on the vest. (yes, well, I think I will be OK, I got gauge!)
  • cast on the next sweater, teal and black stripes. Did this – twice.  I knit quite a way (this photo s from that cast on) and decided that the neck was too big, so I ripped it out, started again.  I am back to this point again. The green is a little more blue than this.  I really like the color combination, and the yarn is nice and soft.  Too bad it is discontinued.  Sigh.

IMG_1646

  • finish spinning Copper and Gold, and ply it with silk and beads. Um what was I thinking?  I worked on this in some good chunks all week, and still, I am just over the halfway point, I would guess.  Maybe two thirds if you are feeling generous. It is going to be gorgeous.  Someday.

IMG_1649

  • figure out if the green/gray sweater is done or not – it’s blocked, and drying now but the button band remains a concern. It wasn’t done then, but it is now!  I redid the button band, and it is perfect.  Now I have to work on buttons.  I have some that work but I am not sure I like them.  I have some very special ones, but not enough of them.  So I have to ponder it a bit.
  • finish knitting the gray High Country Crescent shawl. DID IT! With a little yarn to spare, but not much.

IMG_1635

  • block the shawl. Let the photo speak for itself.  🙂
  • cast on the moon and sky shawl.  About a minute after I bound off the High Country Cresent, I cast on Moon and Sky.  🙂  I am up into the first lace section now.  Much better choice for this yarn than the previous pattern.

IMG_1648

  • and maybe the chain mail shawl with the Copper and Gold if it is washed and dried in time. Sadly not happening yet!
  • clean out the POOL!!!! I have been working on it, but it isn’t even close for human enjoyment
  • Hook up the filter so I can catch the rain that is sure to come to fill the top 6 inches of said pool. Filter is hooked up, but it didn’t happen before the rain.
  • rake leaves. leaves? what leaves? It rained for most of the week, I don’t rake leaves in the rain.  Nor do I rake soaking wet ones if I can help it.
  • weed the bulb garden. See leaves.  🙂
  • work on clearing out craft room. I did a small amount of this – sorted out yarn stash, boxed up tons of old needles and yarn to mail out to a woman who will be teaching knitting in Africa. I also started a “swap bin” for yarn whole skeins of yarn I won’t use but am willing to haul to Wisconsin in September, in case anyone at the knitting gathering wants it. So I will take this as a win, although the craft room is still in need of more attention
  • remember to go to the doctors appointment Monday.  🙂 I did. It was not worth the effort.
  • renew passport Check
  • get A’s birthday present. It was boring but I got her what she wanted. (Bungee cords and a first aid kit for the truck.  Oh, and her recliner is still on order, it will get here eventually.)
  • Celebrate A’s birthday multiple times with various family members. I got this one in spades!  We had a delicious brunch with Mom and B last Sunday, and yesterday, we celebrated with lunch and cake with a sister, a niece, a great niece and nephew, and a cousin.  All of this and none of it the actual day, which we spent together doing errands, but had a lunch at one of her favorite burger places in Ellsworth.
  • wind up the week at a dinner to honor niece B and her academic achievements in her 5 years at Husson University! Can’t claim this one as done yet, but we are on schedule to head out around 4 to go to this one.

I feel like I had a really nice, relaxing week off, spent so much time with my knitting and spinning, but not much else.  And I like it that way.  I told A if we ever have two weeks of staycation, I might have to retire, it would feel so good!

 

 

Wednesday   14 comments

The best laid plans…

Actually my plans are coming along just fine, it is A who had a spanner in the works yesterday.  She and SIL S went off to Augusta in the morning to visit their aunt and then the sister they seldom see.

I stayed home and worked on knitting and puttering and clearing out some stash to ship away.

I finished the shawl Monday night, actually with loads more yarn leftover than I expected, so I blocked that yesterday while they were gone.

I finished the green sweater, button band FINALLY lying flat and not pulling or rippling.  Now to select buttons.

I dug deep into stash, packed up almost all my straight and DPN needles, only kept one of each size of my grandmother’s, in her needle roll.  And I emptied two bins of yarn I will never use, all to ship off to a woman who will be going to Africa this summer and will continue teaching people to knit.  I also filled a bin of “swap” yarn for my trip to Wisconsin in September.  I hope I remember to bring it.  I might find more such yarn as I go through things this summer, who knows?

I swatched for my next sweater, teal and black stripes.  I love how the colors look but I am not sure about all those ends…

And then around 2 I got a text from my SIL.  They were headed home, but did not get to see Aunt M because she had passed away that morning, a couple of hours before they arrived.

While they were not close to her, I know it was a blow.  So few of that generation left in her family.  She was well over 90, and not well, but I think it still was a shock.  I wish we had stopped on Sunday instead of whizzing by.  A dreads family visits, and hospital visits, but I think she would have stopped if she had realized how close to the end M was.  But she didn’t want to go without her sister, so we kept going.

They did have lunch with their sister, and met her puppy, which was a good antidote to the morning. They had lunch at A’s favorite pizza place, and her sister gave her some snazzy snowshoes for her birthday, so the day ended better than it started.

I felt a little guilty about having such a good day here at home with the knitting and craft room (and laundry, in case you thought I was ONLY playing) but it is what it is.

Today we are home, it is raining, so no photos for you of all my finishes.  I’ll do some knitting and spinning and see what I can cast on.  🙂

What I hope to be up to this week!   14 comments

The long anticipated vacation is here!

The grant is in the mail.

The marketing materials are all printed.

The meeting minutes are typed up and distributed.

The surprise last minutes tasks ( ad redesign, loan application review) are done.

I am exhausted.  🙂

But energized because NOW I can relax into things I want to do.

 

Here’s what I have come up with for a list for this week so far.

  • find a vest pattern and swatch for it, using the combo spin yarn I made. (in fact I did this before I even finished writing this post.  Galiano is cast on.  I’ll be playing yarn chicken, but I think I can win it)
  • do the math after swatching and cast on the vest. (yes, well, I think I will be OK, I got gauge!)
  • cast on the next sweater, teal and black stripes.
  • finish spinning Copper and Gold, and ply it with silk and beads.
  • figure out if the green/gray sweater is done or not – it’s blocked, and drying now but the button band remains a concern.
  • finish knitting the gray High Country Crescent shawl.
  • block the shawl.
  • cast on the moon and sky shawl.
  • and maybe the chain mail shawl with the Copper and Gold if it is washed and dried in time.
  • clean out the POOL!!!!
  • Hook up the filter so I can catch the rain that is sure to come to fill the top 6 inches of said pool.
  • rake leaves.
  • weed the bulb garden.
  • work on clearing out craft room.
  • remember to go to the doctors appointment Monday.  🙂
  • renew passport
  • get A’s birthday present.
  • Celebrate A’s birthday multiple times with various family members.
  • wind up the week at a dinner to honor niece B and her academic achievements in her 5 years at Husson University!

I hope A doesn’t have any plans for me this week, it seems I have a lot of things I want to get done.  🙂

 

Sigh. I’m just tired!   31 comments

I know I didn’t post this weekend, I was not in the mood.  🙂  My whole plan for last week went kerflooey when I came down with a  cold late on Sunday.  I went to work Monday, hoping I could make it through the twelve hours, but I went down hill fast – came home at 1, went to sleep.  Stayed home not doing much on Tuesday, tried again on Wednesday.  Again made it to about 1, then headed home for a nap.  So my day off for making things did NOT happen.  In fact, instead of taking a day off to keep my hours under 40, I had to use some vacation time to get them up to 40!  Even with two very long days on Thursday and Friday.  The good news was, that by Friday, I could tell I was getting better, and by Saturday, I was really fine, just tired.

So – odd little things this week.

#1 As soon as I knew I was getting sick, I hopped over to the pharmacy and picked up some disposable masks.  My boss, with whom I share a small office, was scheduled for some nasty oral surgery on Wednesday. I knew he did NOT want a head cold.  I wore the mask while at work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, because even though the boss was out Thursday, it was a tax day, and I didn’t want to share those germs with all the clients.

It amazed me the number of people who stopped to ask “why the mask?” and made a face when I told them “to keep my germs to myself” but not one of them said “Oh, don’t wear it on my account”  🙂 Today a coworker approached me at lunch time and thanked me for wearing that mask.  I really appreciated that on her part.

I am of the school that says “stay home when you are sick” so that everyone doesn’t share it, but this week it just wasn’t possible, so this seemed the second best thing.

And HR has ordered a box of masks to have on hand!  I might have started a trend.  🙂

#2 By Friday, even though I was getting better, I was really done with work, taxes, and not feeling well.  And Friday was a Milbridge tax day, which essentially means 12 hour day.  Sigh.  I carpooled with the other volunteers, so only had to drive 2 miles. And it was a lovely, sunny day!  So sad to be stuck in side with computers and more clients than we expected (last clinic there, we always get walk ins. But we got LOTS of walk ins!) so when the day was over, we packed up and cleaned up FAST, hit the road.  It wasn’t until we pulled into the parking lot next to my car that I realized I forgot my coat and car keys back at the tax site, 50 miles away.

Ugh.  My wonderful volunteer drove me home, where I convinced A that it would be a fun thing to hop into the truck, drive the 20 miles to Ellsworth for dinner at our favorite take out place, then continue on to Milbridge.  It was nearly 9 o’clock by the time we pulled back into the driveway.  I won’t be doing that again.  I could have lived without the jacket, but not the keys.

 

So that’s why I was tired on Saturday.  Not too tired to go to Whorls and Purls, though.  🙂  A few solid hours of knitting with people who love fiber is always good for the soul!

Sunday I just laid low – did a few household chores and lots of knitting.  Oh, and some spinning.  Did I mention that the new spinning project was kicking my butt?  It was.  I posted on the dyer’s Ravelry group and got loads of advice, some of it good, all of it well-intentioned.  🙂  I decided that the ones who told me to add twist were on target, tried it very carefully, hand turning the wheel at the start, until I got going.  It worked!  So Sunday I made sure I was going ahead properly on that project.

And, I finished my socks!  They are so cute, and very thick and warm.  In spite of me spinning the thinnest yarn I could they are still a bit thicker than commercial sock yarn.  But not so thick I can’t wear them.  🙂

IMG_1589

The sweater plods along, as does the shawl, although both show signed of progress. the shawl only needs one chart plus the edging, the sweater sleeves are near the top, decreasing now! No photos of that stuff as it looks the same as last week.  But soon we will have more finished objects.

The blue foolproof cowl is also nearly done, I will show you that next week, all complete.  After that I will knit a hat to match it.  I have to hold off starting a new pair of socks until May 1 – self-imposed rule, only allowed one sock per month, or I will run out of sock yarn before the year is over, LOL.

Monday was our very last tax clinic anywhere for the 2016 filing year, and boy were we all ready! It was a tough year with the new software. I hope they spend the summer making it easier for next year! We celebrated with dinner out in Ellsworth, and everyone made sure I had my keys before we left. I did. 😝

 

So now the week will be spent telling people other ways to get their taxes done, and working on reports. Oh, and there is a grant due this month. The boss told me yesterday that he wants to bring in a new partner on it, that the program manager will write it, I just have to “review” it.  It’s due while I am on vacation, so they have less than 2 weeks to get it ready for my review. My experience tells me that after I review it, I will be doing some serious editing. I think I will be ready for that vacation!

Lots of in progress things to share, and one big completion!   30 comments

I know I haven’t written much lately – no excuse except that nothing seems worth mentioning.  I work, I watch basketball, I knit, I spin.

Well, basketball is nearly over – one more game tonight.  It was a thrilling weekend, and while I am happy for Mississippi, I wish they hadn’t beaten my UCONN team.  A says it is good for the women’s game to have a year like this, and I am THRILLED for South Carolina – been following Dawn Staley for a very long time, so glad to see her hard work pay off. But still…I wanted to see the Samuelson girls play against each other, and neither made it to the final game.  The flukey thing is that A and I have these bracket bets, and I beat her on the men’s.  Not the women’s that we actually watch and know something about.  The men’s, where I almost throw darts to determine my picks. So that is $25 more toward my spinning wheel.  And if North Carolina wins tonight, that’s an additional $25, lol  New spinning wheel is happening next month, for sure.  Go Tar Heels!!

So in this last week, I have plugged away on the sweater sleeves.  They are getting wider, so slower.  Can’t wait until we reach the part where they start getting smaller again!

IMG_1581

The High Country Crescent shawl grows even more slowly, rows take an hour or more!  I can’t take it anywhere to work on now, it is too complex and slow.  Which means it won’t grow very fast at all for a while.  The colored threads are the lifelines marking the end of each chart.  I don’t actually need them all, just the last one, but I like to see the progression of the pattern through the charts.

IMG_1579

Socks – they continue so grow, and I struggle with my commitment to only make 6 pairs this year, to keep me from knitting all socks all the time.  This pair isn’t going to make it until May, this is the second sock.  But I will follow the good advice of some fellow Ravelers – I’ll just finish them and then not cast on any more until May.  Hmmm.

IMG_1580

So when I finish the socks, what will be my traveling project?  Well, perhaps this cowl?  It is knit out of ancient stash of Bartlett Yarn and a mystery hand-painted skein, both of these have been in stash for many years.  The pattern is Foolproof, and I was intrigued by the description – no casting on, no picking up stitches, no purling, no binding off, no grafting, no knitting in the round, yet you wind up with a cowl.  It is very clever, and I am loving it.  This is a heavy worsted weight, almost aran, so it grows fast.  It might carry me until May.

IMG_1583

But the big news here in my world is this:

IMG_1569

I finished the big combo spin.  It is my biggest, most adventurous spin to date ( and truly it is not very big nor adventurous).  I spun up three different braids of fiber from Three Waters Farm, and then plied them together.  It took FOREVER.

IMG_1571

But I love it.  I love that from a distance it is all soft brown and green, but when you get close, there are so many other colors in it!

I had hoped to get a DK weight, and then knit a sweater using it with a commercial yarn I have.  But I am not yet a good enough spinner that I can get the yarn I want, so I have 1000 yards of fingering weight loveliness!  I will dig out a vest pattern and make that instead. Just look at the pretty colors.  🙂  And the tiny skein is 86 yards of two ply, using up the leftovers.  The two braids were the brighter of the three, so it really is a different look for this bit.

IMG_1573

Isn’t it pretty?  I can’t stop looking at it.

On to other stuff – tax season is also about to end – hurrah!  Have a crazy week this week, then Monday is the last of our tax clinics.  It went fast, as it always does – February was really scary with the new software, March we were starting to get the hang of it, and could tell when the problem was us and when it was the software acting up.  Now it is April and we just want it to be done.  I hope next year is easier, that the software won’t be as tedious and error prone.  But I won’t think about that until November.  🙂

Between taxes Thursday and Friday, and a late meeting today, I have a day off this week sometime – either Tuesday or Wednesday.  Which is good as I am coming down with nasty cold.  My boss is having oral surgery on Wednesday, and so I am in a different office today, wearing a mask and wiping down everything I touch.  And praying that he doesn’t get this thing, it will really complicate life if he gets sick.  I had planned to have off Wednesday, but I think I might change that to tomorrow so I minimize contact with him.  Whatever day I take, if I feel up to it, I will start my next spin, which involves adding beads to a commercial silk lace weight yarn and plying it with my handspun for some serious bling.  I hope to make a shawl with the resulting yarn. But that is ages away, I know it will take me some time to spin the singles.

Off to work now – hope you have a good week!

Quick shot of a finish and a few random things   28 comments

I finished my blue socks, and don’t think I shared them with you.  Time to remedy that!

IMG_1528

They are made with Caper Sock in the Stella Blue colorway from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns in Blue Hill, ME.  The pattern is Fun-damental Toe-up Socks, which you have seen before if you have been reading for a while.  Love that pattern!

 

I immediately cast on my next pair:

IMG_1531

These are the same pattern on the foot, but the leg pattern is the stitch pattern from Hermione’s every Day Sock. The yarn is my own creation.  The toes are Plymouth Happy feet that I dyed hot pink, and the rest is yarn I spun.  The fiber is merino/nylon, and the colorway is Three Waters Farm’s Garden Center.  I spun it with the intent of making socks, spinning two plies with Z twist and one with S twist, the plying it with S twist.  What does all that mean?  It means that two plies are balanced and soft and the third is crazy energized, full of over-twist.  The end result is supposed to mean a harder wearing sock – we shall see!  But I can tell you that the yarn feels a little bit harder than typical merino sock yarn.  It almost feels like it has some cotton in it.

I notice that the stitch definition is more pronounced than with my usual sock yarns, which is why I decided to put a bit of pattern on the leg.

These socks are so bright and cheerful, it makes me happy to knit on them.  I might speed up my one sock per month schedule if I keep working on them for the fun of it.  🙂

Other knitting and spinning:

I haven’t done much spinning this week, I have been tired.  I had a sleep test Monday night (so didn’t sleep as much as if I just slept!) and that has thrown me off all week, I am really tired after work. Luckily my cardigan is pretty easy straightforward knitting at this point, so I plod along on that.  No photo at this time, but I will get you one soon, I promise. I did have to rip back to the waist on the front section to better space out my bust dart increases, but now I have done that, and am back on track.  Soon it will start going much faster as I decrease for the armholes and v neck. I can’t wait to try it on and see if I got the math right…

This weekend we are going to meet Mom and B for dinner Saturday night – her birthday is Sunday, so we were surprised she was available Saturday night.  Usually she gets all booked up with celebrations, so we lucked out!  They are spending the weekend at some local cabins for a change of scenery, so they are closer to us than normal, which is quite nice.  Sadly, Mom was hoping to be able to get out and walk the trails and beach and get some fresh air, but we are going to have a weekend just like last weekend – temps below 0 over night, never out of the single digits, and howling winds.  That means windchill is projected to be MINUS 50 degrees!  Crazy!  I hope her little cabin is warm enough. I don’t think she will really be leaving it.

Other than that, I think it will be an ordinary weekend – I’ll go to knitting at the Purple Fleece on Saturday while A stays home and “does chores”  (read: plays with cats and watches basketball.)

Sunday we will both be watching basketball – it is March Madness, in full swing now.  We have seen a few of the women’s games this season, but not as many as we would like to.  That will change this month, and I should get LOTS of knitting and spinning done as I watch my UConn Husky women go forth and do what they do so well – WIN!  🙂

Saltwater Hill Knits

Musings of an avid knitter, middle-of-the-pack runner, and native New Englander

notewords

handwork, writing, life, music, books

21st Century Spinning

Exploring a new age of an ancient skill

judeknits2

Knitting, photography and cats.

The ways of the whorl

wherever the spinning takes me

U N D I I N

k n i t t i n g is my c h o c o l a t e

Mewkittie Creations

Wearable art and other interesting things.....

makebelievegirl

Textile & Pixel Design

Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches

classic cables with a modern twist

Blog

random posts about things I am doing or thinking

accidentlykellystreet

sewing, knitting and life

ericka eckles

handsewn bespoke and heirloom quality textiles

The Wisdom of Knitting

Miriam knits and thinks and seeks enlightenment in yarn

Celia Ladygarden's lifestyle for ladies

Trimming the bush of life...

thefibrealchemist

My Rabbit Hole of Fibre Experimentation.

A Little More Abstract

Crafting For Those Dedicated to Experimentation

Knitting in New Guinea

A Linguist Takes on Life, Faith, and Cross-Cultural Living

Nutmegknitter

random posts about things I am doing or thinking

Dramatic Lyric

A Soprano's view of life, music, and handcrafts

Here and There, Now and Then

Wanderings, musings, and knittings with a dollop of food and wine

%d bloggers like this: