Archive for the ‘What’s on my wheel’ Category
Just been too lazy to power up the computer or to try to write a post on the phone (WHY is that such a tedious chore? Work on it, WordPress, please?)
Loads of knitting has happened and some spinning, and a day away from shoveling, and a long weekend.
Here’s the spinning:
Filled a bobbin with the second color of my planned three ply. Now the two filled bobbins await the third, which I started yesterday. This is going to be some crazy yarn! Or really awful, time will tell.
I worked on socks – plan to finish this one up before March 1, according to my 6 pairs a year plan.
I finished the Corrugated Hat to match the Corrugated Cowl, these will go on Etsy sometime soon. I still had yarn left, so I am doing a striped hat in the same colors. Not sure if this will be an Etsy listing or a donated item. Time will tell.
I finished knitting the Gloria del Sol shawl in Purple Fleece’s Aquamarine Radiant gradient – OMG , I love this thing. Wait until you see it blocked. It was a challenging knit, and I didn’t bead it, but if I ever do it again (and I am thinking I will when I forget how challenging it was) I will add beads, if only to help me count the crazy long endless repeats.
I have to dig around in yarn and queue to see what I will cast on next – or maybe dig out an unfinished something to finish it. I have a couple of things that could use some attention, I know.
Saturday I travelled down to Mom’s so I could hop in the car with her and B, and drive over to western Maine, Bridgton, to be exact, to have lunch with my two cousins who live there. Brother N and SIL D joined us as well, and it was a very nice time. So good to sit down with the cousins we usually only see at funerals. Afterwards, we went to visit a friend of Mom’s for an hour or so, then drove all the way back. A 13 hour day for lunch? Yup. But it was a nice change of pace, and of course, I knit the whole way there and back, as B drove. And let me tell you – I thought we had snow – they have literally two or three times as much on the ground as we do. Truthfully, mom and I both found it really depressing, even though the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful bright blue. It took us both back to the years we lived there, and how endless the winters felt. Mom said “This is why I moved to the coast” which I had never known, I knew she loved the ocean, but not how much she hated deep snow that never stops and there is no where to put it. So naturally, she moved to the part of the coast that regularly gets slammed by the coastal storms. But at least she has a bigger yard and some place to put the snow.
Sunday we finished cleaning up around the driveway and paths and decks, which was great, to let everything melt in the warm spring sunshine – amazing weather! Hard to believe this is one week ago: (That’s my car to A’s left.)
We were both glad to be done with it – A even has shoveling blisters – ugh. So yesterday we enjoyed our holiday by having me work on our taxes and clean the pellet stove while she worked on clearing out files and folders. Fun, fun!
As you can tell, it has been the same old low key life around here the past few weeks – and I like it that way – no drama, no unexpected surprises, and loads of fun with fiber.
How have you been keeping busy lately?
You know what I did this afternoon!
I filled the first bobbin of the big combo spin, Mountain’s Edge and started the next bobbin, Muted Reflection. Both are from Three Waters Farm.
We are supposed to get a lot of snow tonight, 9 – 16 inches at last forecast update. Normally I would think we have a chance of a day off, but it is supposed to stop tonight, so I won’t count on it. Pretty sure it will mess up tax day tomorrow, though. Supposed to be in Milbridge with three volunteers and I am thinking they won’t want to be on the road at 6 am.
More snow Sunday – Monday. They say that storm will be bigger.
Maybe I will be able to fill that other bobbin?
I told you I would finish something last weekend, and I did! In fact, this has been a week of finishes, it is pretty amazing! Gone is my feeling of tediously making no progress. Having a whole extra day off due to the ice storm was great for finishes. I declared it a pajama day and sat knitting and spinning ALL DAY. It was great!
I finished the shawl for Purple Fleece, and delivered it Saturday at Whorls and Purls. The wind was whipping when we took these photos! Brrrr.
I finished the Derry Cowl to go with the sweater. It might be too tall. I made it according to pattern, but with different yarn. My yarn isn’t as drapey, it seems. It’s been blocked, and still has loads of body – maybe it will soften a bit with wear? In this photo I folded it down, which works. And I am wearing it with the Derry sweater which I don’t think you have seen yet. You can’t see the pretty lace pattern on the sleeve , but it is there, and matches the cowl.
I finished the purple THING – second try at a scarf – for niece B’s Christmas (well, it turns out, birthday, still late) and delivered that today.
I finished these two skeins of yarn – yes, two! I dyed the fleece a while ago, and spun these both up in a few days. They are only about an ounce each, and came in between 90-100 yards. They will go with the two other similar weight skeins I dyed and become some kind of scarf or cowl. I am thinking linen stitch scarf, though I hate knitting scarves and I get bored with linen stitch. But they look so pretty when they are done… so who knows. I did one skein that was supposed to be predominantly yellow, one that is red, one blue, and then one that was supposed to be blue and green but when I spun it, it came out teal, which is actually really pretty. Still sorting out this whole dyeing/spinning/ what the heck will it look like thing.
Here’s the yellow and red before spinning.
And here’s the yellow after spinning:
And the red (with a tiny skein of red plied with yellow):
I worked on socks and mittens at Whorls and Purls yesterday – came home and finished the mittens. These are the most luxurious mittens! Love the cashmere blend lining. The ladies at knitting threatened to snitch them if I bring back the completed pair. 😉
I am working away on my socks, as I will all year – trying REALLY hard to only do a pair every couple of months, it is amazing the fortitude that takes, to not whizz through them and start the next pair. 🙂 Especially because the next pair will be made with my handspun yarn. 🙂 This pair is in Caper Sock, colorway Stella Blue and I love the softness of the yarn and color. I’ll be happy to be wearing them. The leg is much farther along than this, only about an inch left to go.
As for spinning – I have several pretty braids to choose from for my next spin. I have been contemplating a BIG SPIN, for me anyway, using three braids of finn, dyed in different colorways by Three Water Farm. Two I got intending to ply them together, but as I was looking over my stash, I realized that the third one held enough of the same colors that they would look great together. So, I am thinking spin them all and ply them together. But then what to make with the pile of yarn? It won’t be enough for a sweater, but I don’t need a kazillion hats. Then I had an idea, and I went stash diving. Sure enough – I have an ancient pile of a solid teal yarn that matches it beautifully (if it comes out the color that I think it will, that is. 🙂 ) and I have about 950 yards of that. If I can spin this to roughly that same weight, I WILL have enough for a sweater.
But I also have a few individual pretty braids that I love – one a silk merino that I JUST LOVE but have no idea what I will do with – might ply it with some pure silk lace weight yarn I have, I am even thinking I could use one of my new books for inspiration and add beads to the yarn, but then what? …
and then this special braid –
This is the latest from the Purple Fleece Roving of the month club – and Debbie used one of my photos as her inspiration for the variegated one, so named it after me! Check it out! I love it and ordered a braid of the compliment so that I will have 6 ounces of merino blended with YAK of all things – OMG, it is so soft! I have no idea what I will make with this, but I am itching to spin it. Maybe a nice soft cowl?
It is so hard to decide – I prepped the combo spin and the gold and copper silk merino, let them sit in sight for a few days… this morning I decided, and started the big combo spin. It should keep me busy for a few months. 😀
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. 😀
So last week A got the truck of her dreams. She has wanted this thing the entire time I have known her. She has suffered cheerfully through not one, but two, efficient subcompact Toyotas which seem to never die (which is good, unless you want to replace them with the vehicle of your dreams.)
She is in love. I am surprised she doesn’t sleep in it.
But being the wonderful person she is, while she was getting this, she got ME the car I have long been wanting! Of course there is no photo of me in my beautiful new Prius, but trust me, it is gorgeous, a nice deep blue.
That is right, we bought two new vehicles last weekend. It is a bit alarming. We always knew we would get these two, but I did not think we would get them both at once! But the deal on my Prius was too good to resist (apparently when gas prices go down, so do Prius sales, so incentives go up) 0% financing AND cash back! That, combined with the fact that we had saved up a good deal of money toward the truck made it possible to make this crazy move.
So now we have to behave ourselves financially for the next, oh, five years, but at least we have fun cars to drive during that time!
Other bits of life –
This past weekend was busy – errands, of course, on Saturday, followed by knitting in the afternoon. Sunday, niece B came over for a visit, to do some laundry and get the suitcase she stores at our house. She will be heading for home this weekend, not back for a month. She only has one more semester of school! Oh, how we will miss her when she moves back home for good. She had us open her presents to us, and mine was a new cribbage board, so we played a few games to christen it before she left. She even let me win one of them.
Sunday evening we went to a “real” party – Debbie from Purple Fleece invited us to her holiday gathering, and this pair of introverts went, wanting to go but not sure we would really enjoy it. You know the drill. 🙂 Well, we had a great time! A met some of the knitting ladies, I met some of the husbands about whom I hear so much (all good, of course) and we both met some local people who were loads of fun. On the way home, we both commented how glad we were that we had ventured forth in our good clothes and party manners on a cold almost-winter’s night. 🙂
The Christmas knitting winds down, I did a couple of rows on a shawl for me last night, almost forgot what I was doing with it! Then it was back to gift knitting, I cast on some more of the tiny secret project, and a hat for a young niece. It’s to match the doll hat already knit. I love this particular yarn I spun last summer – I might need to get more, the colors are just so fun!
Had this happen on my spinning – what?
Debbie told me it was OK, that I could wind what I had spun on to a different bobbin and re-glue this one, or ask A to do that for me. So have done that and moved on. 🙂 Except for the equipment malfunction, I am loving this spin. It is merino/silk from Three Waters Farm, planned for my sister – either the yarn will be her gift sometime (not Christmas) or something I knit her from it will be her gift. It is so SMOOTH, and soft! I am using my new spinnerz gauge to try to keep the singles nice and even to get a DK weight – my sister likes heavier yarn to knit with, I know. It’s all good practice and good for learning.
I split the braid in half, but not directly – first, I laid it out and found the pattern to it, then divided it so I got the gold in one half and the purple in the other. I will ply it together as a two ply. I hope the purple and gold won’t muddy each other, but I think it will be fine.
I love grays in this spin. I think I should do a tonal spin soon, like the “you red my mind” one I did last summer – I love to knit with them, I think I would like to spin more of them, too. But all the colors keep calling me. 🙂
Here’s some finished yarn – Cadillac Mountain – isn’t it so pretty? I love it!
And Wood Nymph – a hard spin, but it is done now. Not sure what I will do with 56 yards of bulky… but I know I can get more if I need it. Just am not in a mood to spin it right now – silk feels so much softer!
Hats have been selling! I brought them all to work one day last week, and sold several, plus some earrings and a bracelet, and then one sold on Etsy this weekend (thanks, Renee!) and this morning when I got to work one of the girls across the hall asked if I still had a particular hat she loved. I do. It is hers. This is all VERY good as this money goes straight to fiber stash cash, and what with new vehicles my beloved-wife-the-household-bookkeeper won’t have to make faces when fiber comes in the house, she will know I earned the money for it by selling other fiber stuff. It’s a great circle. And inventory is getting low, so I think I will be knitting more hats after the New Year. They are great to knit during tax training, I can usually do a hat a day that week.
This weekend promises to be busy – I am house/dog sitting for my brother Friday night, as far as I know (he will confirm sometime before then) and there is knitting to go to on Saturday. Sunday is a family gathering with A’s family for a birthday party. A Christmas tree will be procured and set up sometime soon as well (or why bother?).
We are on vacation next week – loads to do to get ready for the big holiday, plus Mom will come spend a night, so she can visit and watch sappy Christmas movies with us. (At her house, all channels seem to lead to sporting events, no matter the season.) We will be registering vehicles and maybe going for a ride or two to look at Christmas lights. Then there are lights and a tree to decorate at our house, cards to make (yes, I am SO FAR BEHIND on these!) that will likely be called holiday cards, not Christmas cards. 😉 I hope not St Valentine’s cards…
Before that can all happen though, there is real work to be done – 2 sessions of tax training this week… a few committee meetings… a few letters to send out, nothing slow and boring about this time of year!
First off, a quick health update – feeling ever so much better now! Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind thoughts and comments, it feels good to know there are friends out there who wish me well.
I went to work all 5 days last week, although I only stayed all day toward the end of the week, and was SO glad when the week ended. Somehow I found the energy to go to knitting on Saturday, and made loads of progress on my sweater as I resisted a delicious looking cheesecake. Can’t eat while you are knitting (good thing, really.)
I am now past the body/sleeve division, and working my way through the waist decreasing. I really think I will have this done by the end of November at this rate. Of course, I can’t keep up this pace – I have an order for a hat from my Etsy shop – yeah! – that I need to make this weekend – just waiting for the yarn to come in. And a few Christmas gifts that need doing, some by the end of the month for shipping. But those aren’t huge projects, so then it is back to my sweater.
And spinning – I don’t think I ever showed you the finished skein of this yarn – September’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece – it’s corriedale. I totally missed on bulky weight but it will make a good warm hat anyway.
Or October’s roving of the month, as yet unspun.
Debbie is getting creative, trying to find fibers we haven’t spun yet. She thinks this one will make great mittens, and I can see that it might! Only one of us had spun it when we met last week, and she wasn’t a fan, but I will give it a shot, eventually. Right now I am working on finishing this spin:
which is cheviot in Hestia, from Highland Handmades. I think it will match nicely with this one:
Cadillac Mountain by Purple Fleece, and I have a plan to make a cowl with them. I got the pattern from Over the Rainbow when I was there this summer. You will have to trust me that the pinks in them both are loads closer than these photos show.
And the Christmas cards for this year are rolling around in my head – it is time to get started with those – November already! Some people take November off from work to go hunting. I think I need to start taking it off to do crafting!
Other news – I finished the first 30 days of Whole 30. Hurrah! I lost about 20 pounds, (eventually) found I didn’t miss much except my morning coffee WITH CREAM. In the process, I am holding tight to first place in the Biggest Loser game at A’s office. Big money prizes on the line, so I will take two days off from Whole 30 (sort of – turns out we have a whole fridge full of veggies to be eaten) and then return to it until the end of the competition and Thanksgiving. After that, I think it will be that I develop a lifestyle of eating that way and having occasional meals where I don’t worry about it. I have to say, it really works – I feel so much better, not just the weight loss. Knees feel better, skin is better, digestion is better. Rats. Why can’t eating cheese and bread and chocolate ever make me lose weight and feel better?
Tuesday marked the last day of my volunteering for Fair Vote Maine – I have been doing that for several months now, as they work to educate voters on Rank Choice Voting, which is on our referendum ballot this year. No more Tuesdays before the election, so we wrapped up our Tuesday night gig with a some sparkling cider, cookies, and lots of data entry and shredding! It will feel odd not to go there anymore – wonder what I will do with Tuesdays now? Well, I know what I will be doing next Tuesday – agonizing over the returns and knitting. After that, who knows?
Other than all of this, nothing much is new – A is away for a few days this week – working up in “the County” (Aroostook, for those of you not from Maine) which is far enough away that she stays there overnight. The cats are quite put out, as she is the favorite mommy. Last night they acted like I was completely insane to think they should go to bed when she wasn’t home. Zumba didn’t even want her bedtime treats. She wasn’t even really interested in breakfast! For Zumba to turn down food is amazing. Allie isn’t sure what to do – I don’t play right, but I do pat her nicely. So she was torn during play time this morning, finally decided to ignore the toys and get some loving instead. It usually takes them a couple of days to adjust to one of us being gone, and right around the time they do, A returns, and they forget all about me again. 🙂
What’s new in your neck of the woods?
Well, there has been a whole lot, actually.
But it all seems mundane and just busy work. Work has been a long line of not hard but very frustrating things – getting 400 invitations to come out of the computer with no streaks blips, blobs, or smears, and all lined up. Getting 400 mailing labels to do the same. And deal with division heads who didn’t know that I MEANT it when I said I needed their mailing lists at a certain date and time, and so going back and redoing labels and printing more invitations.
You know -around my other work, being special projects girl is not always easy. 🙂
But then there was a weekend, and a big finish! Just look at this yarn, I am so proud of it. This is just UNDER 4 ounces, and it is about 600 yards!!!! (601 before the bath. Don’t know the after the bath number yet.) That is lace weight, my friends, and it is what I have been striving to make since I learned to spin. It took forever to spin, and it is a good thing it is my favorite colors, I would have grown bored otherwise. Even plying it took two evenings, and I ply pretty fast.
I took it with me to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, for show and tell. 🙂 While there, I picked up 3 skeins of yarn that Debbie got sent “on approval” which I will use to make hats for her box. Not loving the colors but the yarn is OK. Other people must like these colors as they turn up everywhere. 🙂 Of course I cast on a hat immediately even though I have plenty of other things going. I needed a mobile project and wanted to get it done for her. And someone will be glad for a warm hat in just a few weeks, right?
I also finished my first Christmas present which I can’t show you yet because the recipient might read it, but I felt it was a nice quick knit and I hope she likes it. 🙂 It was knit in Ella Rae Seasons, again a yarn I would not normally choose (acrylic wool blend, chainette structure) in colors the recipient chose. Let’s just say it came out better than I would have thought. 🙂
I had hope to finish Mirno by the weekend, but that didn’t happen because I made a huge push on the spinning, so I am working in the last chart of that shawl, and then I will have two of the four done. The last two are slower going, but I work on them regularly, so hope to have progress worth sharing in the next few weeks.
Since I do try to spin each day, I put the next project on the wheel. Amanita was the September roving of the month at Purple Fleece, and I remembered some Lamb’s Pride I have in the hat yarn bag that will go nicely with it. So, I am spinning it to be thick – I will three ply it and try for a bulky yarn for the accent yarn on an alpine topper. We will see how it goes. The spin is going SO FAST! Finished the first bobbin, and am about halfway through the second one now.
I feel like I am missing something, but if I think of it, I will share it later.
This weekend coming is a long one – love it! The weather is so nice and warm, I am still getting cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I need to start putting things to bed, and plant some fall things like garlic, and maybe a bit of lettuce. I also need to dig up the remaining carrots. So I expect we will do some yard work, and I will definitely do some knitting and spinning. Maybe we will go on a little day trip someplace – can’t sit home ALL weekend, and the trees are so beautiful right now. Colors are getting perfect around here, and farther north, I think they are prime. Maybe I will see if A wants to go for a ride. Not that she doesn’t do that all week long…but this would be for fun. Haven’t been for a ride for ages. Think of the knitting I could get done.