Archive for the ‘knit’ Tag

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.
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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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!

 

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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But the big news here in my world is this:

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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.

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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.

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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!

Monday at home   33 comments

The joy of being an hourly employee – when the weeks get too crazy, you get to get a day off to keep from going into OT. For me, that day is today, yea!

So far on this special day I have done two loads of laundry, let the bug guy in to wander about and do his quarterly thing, fixed supper (it’s in the crock pot) and cleaned the bathroom.

So now I am sitting down with computer and fiber.

Ahh, life is good.

Other things I plan (or hope) to get to:

A trip to the PO.  Have a check to send off in relation to a Ravelry Gathering that will happen in September – IN WISCONSIN! – I can’t wait to meet some of the fun members of the Ravelry group “Friends of Knitting Sarah’  AND to start one of my bucket list items – to go to each state’s fiber festival. So far I have only been to Maine’s, but have wanted to go to Wisconsin Sheep and Wool for sometime now.  only 48 to go, lol.  Assuming of course, that all states do something fiber related.  They might not.  But I want to go to all there are.

Anyway, that event is going to be super fun, and I can be sure of that because I am one of the planners, lol.  A was thinking of going along for the ride, but she soon realized she would be bored out of her mind, so opted to stay home and play with the cats.

Other stuff to do today – knit, of course.  Working on sleeves of the sweater now, so that is moving right along.  I also am making progress on the gray shawl, and of course, the pink socks.  Loads of thoughts about what is the next “thing” when these are done – so I might go upstairs to the stash and see what inspires me.  Not that I haven’t got quite a bit of newer stash here around my chair, but… 🙂

Spinning – still working on the combo spin – almost finished with color number two, so could finish that bobbin today and start on the third one.  really want to finish this so I can see the yardage and figure out the project!

That’s about it – just puttering about on a gray and gloomy day.  What are you doing today?

 

 

Posted March 27, 2017 by salpal1 in how I plan to spend my day, what I am making

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Catching up   22 comments

Whoa, time is flying by!  And I seem to have little to show for it. Oh, I have a sock and a half, for sure – this hand knit yarn is so much fun to knit with that my socks are flying off the needles (it helps that it is also a tiny bit thicker than traditional sock yarn so inches happen faster.)

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And the sweater lengthens. But of course, because I am knitting both fronts and the back at once, it feels like progress is slow.  I expect to finish these three pieces this week, and then I will block and seam them and make sure it is all fitting before I launch into sleeves.

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I did a little maintenance around my chair this week, and discovered found dug out excavated was reminded that I have a half finished shawl from the great shawl cast on last summer (if you recall, I cast on 4 in a day.)

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This is High Country Crescent by Mary-Anne Mace.  I won the pattern in a blog giveaway, and love it. Not sure why I stopped working on it – Christmas maybe?  Anyway, it is back in the rotation, and so gets a row or two or three an evening, depending how exciting the basketball is.  The shawl is only mindless every other row, the sweater and socks are completely mindless. Some of the basketball is also mindless, other games require my complete attention.  🙂  And what of the other shawls, you ask?  Well, one was Mirno, and one was Oaklet, and those are both finished and worn regularly.

The fourth was Biophilia, also by Mary-Anne Mace.  I wasn’t loving it in the yarn I was using, so I frogged it, and will use that yarn in my next shawl.  That will be Moon and Sky by Jem Arrowsmith, which I received as a surprise gift not too long ago (thank you, Saffronk!) I think the yarn will work well for that one. And so will the pretty beads I was going to use.  And I have a lovely lace weight silk I could use for Biophilia… or not.  There is always some more yarn to try a pattern with, right?  I also am dreaming of creating a beaded silk yarn to knit a shawl – I have the pattern already for that one, too (Chain Mail, in case you are wondering).  And the fiber.  And the beads.  Just haven’t made the yarn yet, lol. Still working on the big combo spin. S-L-O-W-L-Y.

What else is happening?  Oh, just some work.  It is the crazy busy time of year – town meetings all over the map, tax clinics in the opposite direction, important but not exciting meetings, and the regular work as well. So last week, I was in Machias – an hour and a half THAT way – for a meeting in the late afternoon, making a twelve hour day. Tuesday it stormed, so I rescheduled Wednesday’s tax day in Stonington – on hour in the OTHER direction – which meant I spent the morning on the phone lining up all the appointments for the same time, a day later. Because Stonington is on an island.  To get there, you go over a huge high bridge and then a low serpentine causeway.  I don’t want to drive over either in a storm or even on a nice day following a storm if there are high winds, which there were. Thursday I did go to Stonington for a ten hour day.  Friday was a tax day in Milbridge, an hour back in the first direction, and an eleven hour day.

LUCKILY I reviewed my time sheet Wednesday morning, and even with leaving early for the storm Tuesday, I knew I would go into OT if I didn’t adjust, so I went home a couple of hours early on Wednesday, too.  That quiet time mid-week was much appreciated. Even if I did spend a chunk of that time shoveling.  I might have made this for the cats.

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They are indoor cats who are really missing their screened porch this time of year.  So I made them a  track, and let them out on it one at a time.  They really loved it – Allie bustled about looking at everything.  Zumba emulated Ferdinand, and just sat smelling the smells. And for most of the time, they acted like they knew they should not go over the snowy walls. When they stopped acting like that, in the house they went.

Saturday I did some household chores and went to Whorls and Purls and we had a rollicking good time!  There was so much laughing it was hard to knit.  And there was pizza – very unusual but a fun change.

Sunday we took my sister-in-law S out for breakfast to celebrate her retirement last Friday!! We let her choose the place – Denny’s was her choice, and we had a huge meal before going to her second requested stop – AC Moore.  She received bountiful gifts from her coworkers, including some AC Moore gift cards.  It was so much fun to watch her shop without having to worry about the cost.  She makes delightful crocheted and embellished gift bags, and so she spent a lot of time in the yarn aisle, tossing in some of every color when she found a yarn she liked. All of her life she has had to be frugal, and she looked so happy filling that cart.  We carried several large bags out to the truck, and the look on A’s face when she realized it was all yarn was priceless.  Even better was the look on her face when she found out it wasn’t mine.   I told A I was really looking forward to retirement if it meant I could go yarn shopping and get everything I wanted.

Apparently that isn’t going to happen.

I’ll let her think that for the next few years.  🙂

That’s about it – another crazy work week this week, and a good chance I have to go to a town meeting on Saturday, sigh.  I will knit there, but it won’t be like going to Whorls and Purls.  No pizza, no laughing. No fiber to drool over.  Next time I will share with you the latest fibery goodness I have acquired – I don’t think I have shared with you the past few months of Roving of the Month club.  They are yummy.

 

 

 

 

 

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!

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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:

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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!  🙂

Quick update   33 comments

Spinning is progressing quite nicely! After spending loads of time on it on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday:

I finished filling the three bobbins.  This beauty joined the first two.

 

Then I plyed them together until one ran out, got over 700 yards of thin yarn, lace or a light fingering.  I’ll know better when it dries.

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That yarn is now drying off from it’s bath, and I will commence filling singles bobbins again.  I should be able to fit all the remaining fiber on the bobbins now.

I will be so excited when it all has gone from this:

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to this!

 

There are so many pretty color combinations in here.  Of course, it came out thinner than I intended, so it might not get paired with that lovely yarn that is in the first photo, but I am OK with that.  I should have plenty of yardage to do something with it.  🙂

 

Friday I did most of what was on my list, and ALSO stopped at our local bookstore on a whim.  I saw the sign that they were having a Cabin Fever Reliever sale, that was all the encouragement I needed to stop in and pick this up:

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I read it cover to cover and then did the whole photo/body shape thing she recommends, updated my measurements, swatched the yarn I want to use and dug into rewriting a basic cardigan pattern to include shaping that matches my body – novel concept!

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The yarn is some Briggs and Little Heritage in Gray Heather.  I have had it for MANY years, but was pleased to learn they still make it.  I might order some more  if this sweater works out well.  I have loads of this color, and one skein each of a light and a medium gray.  I decided not to do colorwork on this sweater, but I still want to at some point.  So I might order a dark gray for future use. This sweater will be just this one color, which in fact is several colors, there is loads of green and gray in the skein.  I love how the fabric softened up with the first washing, it is becoming quite soft, which you would not guess from the raw swatch.

So, pattern rewrite complete, yarn swatched and (mostly) dry, I cast on the sweater.  It will be a while before there is anything to share, but it will happen, I promise.  🙂

Sock knitting continues to happen, I missed my goal to finish the blue socks in February, because I let spinning have my attention, but I will finish the socks before the weekend, and then cast on the next ones – out of my own handspun!  I am looking forward to seeing how it goes.

Last thing to share from the weekend –  the finished Soli deo Gloria shawl.  I took it with me to Whorls and Purls, and Debbie nicely took some photos of it and me for me.

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I am loving it and will get loads of use out of it.  And isn’t her gradient yarn gorgeous?

 

Loads of finishes this week, don’t get used to it, these things have been in progress for a long time.  🙂

 

 

Posted March 2, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out

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