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.
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.
Hello! I hope you are having a good start to your week.
I had a great weekend, in part because we are “Trump-free” on weekends, which means we avoid all news. It makes Mondays hard as we get hit with it all at once, but we are strong and rested and can take it. Except when it is so grim as London’s news is. That is hard to take no matter the day. I just do not understand the darkness that is coming out of every crack these days.
My heart goes out to all who are impacted by the violence and hatred. Oh, and to anyone who was counting on us for sane, reasonable, responsible behavior on climate change. That man does not represent even half of this country, he just happens to think he is in charge.
It makes sharing all my fun pretties seem shallow, and perhaps it is. But I think we need soft pretty things in life and knitting and spinning bring me calmness, like meditating does to others. So I am going to try to distract you from news of the world and bring you to my happy place.
This weekend was not perfect, weather-wise. But as our local weather fool likes to say, it was not a complete washout, either. Saturday was gray and gloomy and sprinkly, except when the sun popped out in the middle of the day for ten or fifteen minutes at a time, then it was a bit warm and humid. But as that didn’t last very long, it wasn’t uncomfortable. And I got quite practiced at putting on the coat, taking off the coat, putting on the coat, etc.
As planned, I met up with some of the Whorls and Purls gang and we went off to the Maine Fiber Frolic, I packed (actually, emptied) my bags early, and found this when I got ready to leave:
Allie was all cuddled onto my day pack, as if I would take her to a fair. 🙂
I went with a decent amount of cash, knowing it would last if I was careful. And knowing I could easily spend ten times that amount without even thinking about it. We had a good plan – split up (or not) and wander the fair, coming back every hour to meet in front of the ice cream booth to make sure we were all good, talk about what was next. So I wandered the stalls and booths, scoping out what I wanted to buy. In the end, I was pretty pleased with the fact that I only got one ice cream at lunch, and this lovely assortment:
The burgundy is one of my favorite sock yarns, Caper Sock. It is dyed locally, in Blue Hill by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn and is a merino cashmere blend. It makes the softest socks! I actually had this on my list (yup, I try to have a list when I head out, or it is too hard to choose). Next to it is the purple-blue of Linda’s Soft and Silky sock yarn – 50-50 merino and silk, hand dyed in Denmark Maine by Pine Star Studio. I bought a skein of this last year and knit a shawl for sale, which I loved and almost didn’t put up for sale, hoped it wouldn’t sell and of course it sold instantly. This one will be for me. And I would never dream of using this luxurious yarn for socks. It is just too elegant to go into my sneakers. And no, it was not on my list.
Then there are the beads. Last year I went with snips of yarns planned for shawls and came away with some beautiful beads. This year I wasn’t that organized, but I knew what yarn I was thinking about for knitting shawls . Next year I will do the snips thing, it was so much easier. All the beads are beautiful! What I managed to buy this year will be useful, and the gold beads are the same ones I am using in my beaded yarn, so I know I will like them (and I still haven’t knit the shawl they were originally intended for.) The purple MIGHT go with the lovely blue angora/silk I got at Webs last month, time will tell. And the big clear beads could show up anyplace! All from the Bead Biz, she is online, though I haven’t checked out her website in a long time, she says she has upgraded her photos and so I will check it out.
That’s it – the whole budget spent. I went home with 41 cents after I bought a late day lemonade (and of course, lunch!)
Fortunately (or unfortunately) I did not find THIS vendor until I had depleted my funds – but look at all the great fiber my friends got, for $2 an ounce! We spent a good chunk of the afternoon guiding people over to this booth for deals.
All of this fun, and I was home in time for supper, even after stopping at the grocery store on the way, to do the week’s shopping (I have to do some chores around the house, after all!)
A and stepdad tried to play golf, but it was raining, so they shot a bucket of balls at the driving range instead. Since she got home early, she cleaned the house. She is a keeper, for sure! So I came home to a sparkling house, the groceries were all bought and set for the week, and that left us free to relax on Sunday. Life is good!
We did go up to Brewer on Sunday for lunch with A’s sisters, niece, great niece, and great-nephew and their cousin Sunday, and we had a nice visit, got fun cards and presents, and were home in the afternoon – we didn’t even try to think of chores and errands we could do in “the big city” while we were there.
I gave the pool some more attention, and then settled in front of my wheel determined to finish this spin. And I did. I did not fuss when I came to a knot that could not be undone, I just cut the silk and called it good.
For two months (to the day) you have been patient with me as I worked from this
Just look at that silk shimmer and shine! And those beads glisten. 🙂 I got just under 600 yards of the beaded, and then I finished plying after the knot with no beads, and got about 130 yards of plain.
Plenty for a shawl, and then some!
It is all washed and hanging to dry (which it never will in this weather) and I now know why beaded yarn is so expensive to buy. This stuff takes forever to make. I am glad I did it and I don’t expect to do it again any time soon. At least not with this method. There is another way to do it, I wonder if it is faster? Hmmmm.
This week I will clean and oil the old wheel and carry her upstairs (where she will be my plying wheel), then prep some fiber to start a spin on the new wheel!!! I can hardly wait. But I won’t start a big spin for a few days, even though I have one in mind. I have some mini batts that I want to spin up so I get used to the new wheel without worrying about the quality of the yarn. I will also focus on my knitting, which has suffered the past few weeks as I worked so diligently on this yarn.
And there is a yard that
deserves demands attention. And the pool needs me to be brave and get IN it to scrub it. I’d really like the sun to be out when I do that, and the temperature of the air to be higher than that of the water. As the water is in the low 60’s that doesn’t seem too ridiculous a thought. Maybe next week?
Well, it is A who is away, not the cats… however, this mouse is still playing. 🙂
This morning I blocked the shawl. It was a major piece of work, but I think it is going to be worth every minute, and every pin! Which was most of the pins in the house.
The directions say that I might want to pin out the picots after pinning and blocking all the rest.
I decided to pin. Those picots made binding off take several evenings, as you add many stitches in the process – about doubling the number. Since I knit them all, I think it was worth the extra time to pin them out so they can be seen, don’t you? I think they are a wonderful finishing touch on this shawl, but I would think about replacing them with beads another time. That might get heavy, I suppose, but it sure would be easier and faster, and still pretty, I think.
So here it is – all blocked and pinned and drying. You will still get one more post of this shawl, when it is dry and I can take it out side so you can see the real color:
It pinned out to just about 6 feet wide and 21 inches deep.
A few close ups of the lace and beads:
And that’s not all!
Last night I planned some necklaces and strung the beads so I can cast these on sometime this week – using the beautiful silk I got for Christmas:
This is 6, which is far more than I will be able to do this week, but they keep very well. 🙂
And on my needles right now is this shawl for me. (keeping 1+1+1 project in mind, my goal is four shawls this year – two for me, two for sale. I am on target so far!)
This is Kate Davies Hap for Harriet. I have loved it since she first released it, and it is as perfect a pattern as I had hoped. The pattern is easily learned, and it is fun to watch it grow. This lace is much less complicated than the Pease Blossom – I won’t need the instructions for every stitch! The yarn is String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn in the Tinker Island Fingering weight, the color is called Ruby Slippers, and for once, this picture is fairly accurate, it is a dark rose color with a definite tinge of purple. The fabric is coming out a tiny bit stiff, but as it is garter stitch, I know it will loosen up and be soft and stretchy when I finish and block it.
A busy morning today for sure!
Actually, it has been a kind of whacky few days. Friday we had a real snow storm – and although it didn’t start as early as I prefer, my boss closed the office! HURRAH! A and I scooted up to Bangor for a car appointment. Her car needed a going over before her trip, and she had the appointment set, so we were glad the driving was easy in the morning. the worst of the snow came in the afternoon.
Saturday we had to take the car back, as they were waiting for a part, and it was Super Saturday Free Tax Prep day, so we got up early to shovel, then drove to Bangor, dropped off her car, she dropped me at the tax site and came home. I did taxes all day, hitched a ride with a coworker and picked her car up at the end of the day. So, my day started like this:
And ended like this:
and I understand it was a beautiful day in between that sunrise and sunset. 🙂
While I was gone, A and her electrician friend replaced the non-working bathroom fan/light! Very nice to get that working again.
Today we were up early, and I made her breakfast before she set off for Texas. Well, Pennsylvania tonight, to stay over night with her nephew, then Tennessee tomorrow night, then Louisiana the next night, and finally, Texas on Wednesday, for a work training session Thursday. Friday early she will hit the road, and come home. She is going to try to do it in two days, so get home sometime Saturday night or Sunday morning. Crazy to make people go to Texas for one day of training, but I am glad she was able to get permission to drive instead of flying. She enjoys it so much more, and plans to make stops along the way. She also took her golf clubs with her, so she can go to the driving range when she gets where there is no snow. 🙂
This means I have a week that I can fill with things that she doesn’t like to do – as she said, I can make all the messes I want. As long as I get them cleaned up by Saturday night!
I have plans for food she doesn’t like to eat, plans for watching you tube spinning videos on the big TV, plans for making valentines at the dining room table…I might even put the smooth cotton sheets on the bed for a flannel-free week. Such ambition!
If I get really crazy, I might paint the loft.
Yea, probably not.
Why hello there! I thought I would stop by today with an update of the random variety. 🙂
It seems that I have not had the computer on in a long time – I think it has to do with the winter furniture arrangement – the couch is across the room from the wall with the internet connection – which means a cable across the room when I want to be online. Such a small thing, right?
Anyway, I’m here now.
Life has been sort of ordinary – plodding along on long term projects and working. We were THRILLED to be missed by the big blizzard! We know our luck won’t hold forever, but that makes it all the sweeter. And the days are getting longer – take a look – sunrise coming when we head out the door to work. 🙂
Can’t wait for the day the sun is up when we get up. I think that happens n May…
Last weekend we braved the bitter cold to attend a fundraising concert in Ellsworth at the Grand Auditorium. It benefitted one of my work programs, so it had a mandatory tenor to it, but it still felt good to get out! We stayed for the first two acts, both local. The first was a singer/songwriter named Bobbie Lane and the second a Celtic band named Friends of MacLir. Both were really good, and I loved the music, though I was disappointed that they each played only one set. We left after that, missing the rock and roll band. But we got home and back into our warm house before it got too late, which felt really good on that January night.
This weekend’s “entertainment” had to do with visiting relatives. A headed off to see her sister S yesterday. S had eye surgery on Friday that requires that she keep her face down (but above her heart) at least until Monday. She has sitting and sleeping contraptions, but as you might imagine, is uncomfortable and doesn’t sleep well, so tired. A brought her up some comfort food and they had a nice visit.
Meanwhile, I headed down to Mom’s, gathered her up and we headed off to visit my cousin B and uncle V. I think I mentioned that my uncle had a stroke just before Christmas. It was pretty darned scary for a while there, but he is working hard at rehab, and is able to live with B and his fiancée C. Everyone hopes this is temporary, but no one really knows for sure. B built his house himself, with help from his dad, and it is a great house. Not tiny, but small and efficient, filled with warmth and light. It wasn’t designed with an invalid in mind, but they make do. We had a nice visit, V did really well. I was surprised at how mobile he is – he had just come back from a walk outside with C when we arrived. He dozed a bit during our visit, but seemed sharp and clear minded when he was awake. Sadly, he has a hard time getting the word he means to come out when he wants it to, so he struggles to make his usual puns and jokes, and gets frustrated. B and C both seem really good at picking up on what he meant to say and helping him out. My aunt G stopped by – the family is a bit complicated, but she is Mom’s sister, V’s ex-wife and B’s Mom. She and her husband live down the road from B, they all get along now days, so it is a good set up for caring for V. It was nice to catch up with her as well, and there was a huge bonus surprise for me that I will share with you at the end of this post. 🙂
Mom and I headed home, and I must note here that we DID NOT STOP AT ANY OF THE YARN STORES ALONG THE WAY.
I think we deserve extra points for that.
Mom had to go to a fundraiser auction thing, so I went along home.
Today A and I are just hanging about working on household chores and our projects. I am determined to get through the Pease Blossom shawl today. Maybe not the bind off row, but at least the ninth chart.
I haven’t shown you my progress since chart three, I don’t think –
here we are at the end of chart 4 (I think):
And Chart 5:
And chart 6:
Look at how the color changes in those photographs! Yikes. The first one is the closest, and it isn’t perfect. It is warm soft browns and tans with rose highlights. The beads are clear with a copper lining. There are almost 700 stitches on this short needle now, so it is hard to get a shot that shows the pattern and beads accurately. This is very clearly a project where blocking will make it shine. 🙂
Shine like these beads – aren’t they wonderfully sparkly?
So, on to the big surprise. We were conversing about our fiber related projects (my aunt is a wonderful weaver) and my aunt asked me if I knew how to spin. I told her I intend to learn, and had tried drop spindle spinning but hadn’t given it enough practice. She asked if I had a wheel. No… did I want one? yes, duh! Turns out she has one, it is in the attic gathering dust, she never really got into spinning. I could have it on a long term lend if I was interested. No doubt about that!!!! So, we stopped by her house, she went up in the attic and returned with this!
I am so thrilled!!!! I will be hopping over to Youtube to look for instructional videos, and I will be saving pennies to take the lessons I have craved over at the Purple Fleece this summer.
When we talked about “payment” nothing was set concretely, but I suspect I will be knitting her something fabulous. Not promising her any spinning yet, but someday, maybe.
You can imagine the look on A’s face when I walked in the door… she sees money flying out the door and the house filling with fleeces. She might be right. But first I have to learn how to use it. 🙂
I am off to the Fiber Frolic in a couple of hours – so just thought I would document what I think I am getting – then we can check in later to see how I did!
I aim to find the Hidden Brooks Fiber lady, and get some of her luscious angora/wool blend – I have someone interested in my Chevron hat, but in a smaller size. Her website was our of commission the other day, so I need to see her in person. And see all her fiber. So sad.
Then I want to connect with the Purple Fleece, and talk about spinning lessons. And maybe buy some of her bright colored yarn.
My old favorite PineStar is on the vendor list, so I will stop by and PROBABLY get some yarn for another lace shawl, because really, you can’t have enough of them, right?
I’ll be on the lookout for some sock yarn, and new vendors and other exciting stuff, but I will be trying hard to stick to my budget.
Our plans for today have changed a bit – A has to work halfway across the state, and originally, we thought the timing would work that she could drop me at the fair, go work, then pick me up several hours later. But between the time she would have to drop me off and the fair would actually open is a couple of hours, and I just figured it made no sense to sit and hang out there for that long – even though I could knit, it is a bit longer than I want to be standing by the side of the road.
So, I will do a few things this morning, including going to the Post Office to see if any of the clothes I recently ordered have arrived – and if they have, I might come home and change, lol. I’ll head out around 9:30 or so, and stay at the fair for a couple of hours – if I have the energy, I will hang about until 2 when there is a Ravelry hook up. Never been to one of those, but I will give it a shot. Very silly, but it is a big deal to this introvert!
Tomorrow, I have no plans, I should do a bit of cleaning, of course. And yard work, since I will do none today. It will be tough to get off the couch with all that new fiber, though.
Here are some photos I took lately. The Trapper Cowl I took with my phone – aren’t you proud of me? Of course, I got it onto Ravelry and could not figure out how to get it here, so you will just have to follow the link to see it. 🙂
First up – yarn and knitting.
Here is the newly dyed yarn hanging in the rain – not drying.
And here it is all dry, with the first batch I did. I think these colors will work well for the lefty shawl.
Next up is the lace leaf shawl adaptation – I did not block it hard, so it has more texture than my purple one. And as you can see, I added one stitch when I cast on, and created a third section of leaves, for a different shaped shawl. This is the yarn I dyed using beets, and it just is too orange for me. But I like what the pattern did with the extra section.
Here’s the beginning of the Indian Feathers – I will likely wish I had used size 6 beads instead of size 8, but these are the ones I had that looked nice with the yarn, so it is what it is.
Now, onto the glass beads. Remember last month I took that class? One aspect of the Haystack day is a studio “tour” where everyone can look at what was made during the day. But our beads were still in the kiln, so she had us paint pictures of what we were making. I am not artist, for sure, and of course, I had no idea if what I thought I was putting into the kiln is what would come out! So here is the card I painted that day.
And here are the beads, which I was finally able to pick up this week. Definitely lumps, but some of them are pretty, if you don’t worry about what they were supposed to look like. I love the bubbly ones (that was on purpose!) and some of the purple ones – I was trying to get the colors of a mussel shell. Failed that, but they are still pretty.
Then there is the garden this week – veggie plants are sprouting like mad, loving the rain. Tomatoes are in a holding pattern though, waiting for warmer weather. Which will come eventually, right?
The strawberries look better than ever, and I ignored them this year. All I do is pull out the occasional weed. No compost, no mulch, no bird netting. I am disowning them, if they produce, great, if not, out they come. They take up too much space for the yield.
The tomatoes are holding on, but the squash popped right up!
Here we have radishes, garlic, lettuce, mesclun mix and peas all doing great. Carrots are in there, too, they will sprout soon among the radishes. Oh, and there is a small pumpkin patch in the corner.
This patch is sister-in-law L’s. Not sure what all she has planted besides beans, but I do know that she is also getting grass and morning glories (which she did NOT plant.) and the beans look great!
This is the asparagus – we ate a lot of it this spring, but I am letting the rest go to grow and fill this planter bed.
Mother Nature is working hard to get all the things caught up to their normal bloom time. We have lupine (and a fine example of what we have for soil in this yard)
and wygelia both getting ready to pop with color.
Here’s a gratuitous sugar bomb picture. Last weekend A was craving sweets, so I baked brownies. then she asked if we could frost them. We could, we did, they were delicious but an incredible pile of sugar, couldn’t eat too many of them in a sitting!
That’s it – the camera is empty now. 🙂
But I DID get the cool weather seeds planted – two kinds of peas, lettuce, mesclun, carrots, radishes, and some experimental pumpkins (might be too early for them, only time will tell.) Got them all in their tidy raised bed and watered them so that it could rain today. It is amazing to me just how dry the ground was – all that lovely snow melt is long gone.
I did cook up the first stalks of asparagus and they were delicious! I can see that we will be eating a lot of that over the next few weeks, the plants are throwing up stalks every day!
I also finished the endless scarf! I finally decided that when I block it, it will grow in length and enough is enough. 🙂 I have some of the beads and yarn left, so will likely make a small bracelet to match it.
and avoid working on the blue linen monster I strung beads for a blue, yellow and green collar style necklace – a modification of Laura Nelkin’s Butin Collar. Sounds hideous, no? I think it will look prettier than it sounds when it is knit up – nice and summery. I had three tubes of beads in those colors, in three different sizes, so I am adding many (like 130) size 11 beads to her pattern so I can put one between each cast on stitch. I hope it will make a nice, sparkly outer edge. If it works, I may be sorry I didn’t add more so I could the same on the bind off edge, but I think that would be a bit much. And as I always do now with the pattern I added enough beads to do one more row. I do this for the simple reason that I am LAZY. If I do the pattern as written, both the starting and ending tail are on the same end of the necklace, and I have to anchor a thread on the other end with which to sew the clasp. BUT if I add one more row, then I have a yarn tail at each end of the thing, and I can use them to sew on the clasp, which in turn means less end weaving. It took a bit of experimentation to string on the right number of beads in the right size, but I think I have it now. 🙂
The kids had a mouse last night. No clue where it came from, but I know where it wound up! They both were acting like something odd was going on when we went to bed, but they sometimes go gaga over a fly, and we hadn’t seen anything running around, so I ignored it. Until 4:30 when the light was snapped on and A was moving books off the bookcase in our room. “Whaaa?” “I think they have a mouse” Sure enough, they did, and she caught it in a margarine tub. It is outside now, the cats are sleeping it off. I guess they played with the poor thing ALL NIGHT. I hate that they are so mean to a creature, I wish they would just go ahead and kill the thing. But at least they have remembered that they should be hunting. Now if they would just get the giant creature that runs through the soffits and into the bathroom ceiling.
Today we are doing fun things like going to the dump and grocery store – but we also are going out to breakfast, and then I hope, to the hardware store. I need some dirt, tomato plants, and they had a nice little trellis that might be just the thing for some sweet peas, and they carry fabric dyes which I want to check too. See if I can make a nice fuchsia that doesn’t smell like root vegetables. 🙂 But I bet when I get there and start reading labels I change my mind and come home and see what I can do with Kool Aid and food coloring.
Since A is going golfing (it is supposed to stop raining shortly) I might just stink up the house with dyes and wet wool. then I will go outside and work in the yard so I don’t have to smell it either. 🙂
Still no sun, but these photos give you an idea of the non-shawl KAL things I am working on.
This blue is something that has been on my needles for a while. It is linen stitch, so the going is slow.
This scarf is for my niece C – I mentioned it the other day, but thought you might like to see it. It is hard to see the beads in these photos but they are there. Every 1st and 9th row. 🙂
These bracelets and necklace are ready to go off to the shop and hopefully sell. A pair of earrings will join them in the bag on the table, as soon as they dry. 🙂 Tomorrow I will take them all over there and let the world at them!
Cast on another necklace today – salmon pink and cream, with ruffles. As always, the patterns are based on those of Laura Nelkin, although lately I have been tweaking them and making them my own. It was just a matter of time, right?
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