Writing with links instead of photos

We can see how it goes, right?

I decided that if I can’t post photos here, I can post links to my Ravelry project pages.  Please let me know in the comments if that got you to the photos. So far, Ravelry hasn’t put any limits on the photos we can post there!

 

I finished the Liverpool socks for my BIL, they are so bright and fun!  I am sure he will hate them, but he will appreciate them for what they are.  and maybe appreciate them even more on a cold morning.

I have been cranking away on my Hankshaw pullover.  I am loving how these colors look!  Of course, I have loads of each of the 6 colors left, not sure how much of the natural I will have left, but there maybe some hat knitting in my future with the leftovers.  Twice leftover, as they come originally from a shawl…

Durrow continues to plod along, but I have a motivating plan now.  First off, when I finished the previous square, I got a reward of casting on a sweater.  Now one of my Whorls and Purls friends gives me assignments each week.  So far so good, I do about 6-7 rows a week. At that pace, it will take several more weeks to finish the square.  But I know when the rows get shorter, I can do more in a week.  And so I am plotting and planning my next cast on reward. I am thinking of June, in either white and light blue, or light blue and navy. Yes, I know it isn’t a two colored sweater, but don;t you think it would be pretty with the lace in a different color? Of course, it might not be that at all.  there is no telling, and I have a few weeks to go before I need to know.  I think I will make a rule that Hankshaw has to be done also, if my next reward is a sweater.  I don’t want too many of them on the needles.

Then there is Biophilia. I plan to cast it on no later than July 1, joining in a knit along, which many of my Whorls and Purls friends are doing also.  But I think this wont; be tied to any reward system.  I have wanted to knit it for quite a while, so the time is right.  I have the yarn and beads, but Fiber Frolic is in a few weeks, so that whole thought might change.  They have yarn and beads there.  🙂

I also finished Droplet, it is drying now.  Hopefully it will dry and I can get a nice pretty photo of it before too long, but the weather is so awful, endless gray.

And did I show you what FINALLY came off my loom last week?  Fabric!  Not perfect, but usable.  It was intended for place mats, but still not sure it won’t be dish towels…

That’s it in knitting world…

 

In real life, today is one of our anniversaries.  We have two, because we had a lovely commitment ceremony ten years ago, not ever suspecting that we could ever legally wed.  But just a few years later, we could, so our other anniversary is on the 19th, 4 years later.

And I will say that BOTH of those days were sunny and bright and warm!  Imagine, in May, not needing winter clothes.  Glad we aren’t having a big outdoor party this year – we would freeze.  I think that flowering things are about a week or so behind this year, because the cherry trees were almost gone by for our ceremony in 2013, and they haven’t even begun to bloom yet.  Everything is slowly coming along though, I know they will bloom eventually.  It is an exceptionally good forsythia year, though!  It must have just been a slightly warmer winter this year.  Also, lilacs that have never before bloomed are covered in buds.  So maybe Spring will happen eventually?

I think that is all that I know right now –  thanks for your patience while I sort out how to share photos!  And do let me know if you were able to navigate to them.

 

 

 

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Knitting year in review

Thankfully Ravelry does all the bookkeeping for me!

I thought I would complete 18 projects this year. I remember thinking that would be 6 pairs of sox, three sweaters and an assortment of hats and shawls.

I actually finished 27 knit projects!

The sweaters

Really did three! Of course, I thought it would be three for me, but babies need sweaters, too.

(I am sure I have a photo of the last one somewhere, but can’t find it now!)

Socks:

Socks were not flying off the needles as they have in the past.

Again with the baby booties. 😉

Then shawls – there some epic ones finished!

And an amazing one a year in progress… maybe I will finish it in 2019!

Lots of scarves. I dislike knitting scarves, they go on forever! But I did several this year.

And cowls… lots of them! Don’t have photos of them all, even!

Hats are another category that I did lots of but didn’t get photos of them all:

And what do I dislike making even more than scarves? Mittens! So you know these were a work of love!

And a pair of mitts – not so disliked, but only made one pair this year.

Then there were a few special projects:

A group project, a blanket for a dear woman going through a rough time. I knit a few squares, but was especially proud of this one.

It’s sideways, don’t know why!

And some ornaments for Christmas this year:

That pretty well covers the projects.

Now, for the part that surprises me. Of these, only ten remain in my possession. So many knits have gone out into the world, finding new homes with people I love.

Next year’s challenge is set at 25, but I might up it to 30 to give myself a stretch. I still want to do three sweaters… one is on the needles, another is in my head. And socks are always on the needles, but who knows what else will happen?

I’ll do a spinning update in another post. I think it will surprise you!

It’s been a long time!

Sorry to be away so long, I have no excuse.  Just lazy!

Last week I wound up the TDF (tour de fleece, for you non-spinners).  I was pretty sure I was done on Friday, finished all the Three Waters Farm fiber I had, and as I was on their team, what we spun was to be at least 50% their fiber.  But I was having such fun spinning that I just kept going and spun one more braid, not TWF, so not in my official count, but still fun and pretty. I tried a traditional 4 ply.  Never did that before. It is an interesting yarn, quite firm and dense.

So here is all my spinning.  I figured up the yardage, and it is about .9 miles spun in just about three weeks.

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And the blue that I finished up on Sunday – sorry for the poorly lit photo – not sure what the phone was doing with colors…the blues are brighter than that, and the counter is gray. Go figure.

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I picked out a few more braids to spin up, but haven’t started them, time to get back to knitting.  Durrow has been sadly neglected, so I am plugging away at it.  I love how the medium purple is looking with the navy.  Can’t wait to link it to the squares done with the darker purple.

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That is really is for crafting since I have seen you last.  finished but haven’t blocked the frieze cowl.  I missed my window of dry days this week, we are back to the muggies now.

I have been trying to work in the yard a bit here and there, but the weather has been so awful to work with, I just do five minutes some times and can’t see for the sweat pouring off my head.  I did manage to get this to happen, with very little effort on my part – put the plant on the porch and water it now and then, and voila – a bright summery miracle!

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I planted sweet peas and morning glories beneath the trellis that you can see, and one on the other side of the porch.  On this side, that gets morning and mid day sun, they are literally 2 inches high and haven’t budged in weeks.  I water them, truly I do.

On the other side of the porch they did the same thing until about a week ago, now they are growing like mad, and have started climbing the trellis.  That side gets afternoon sun.  I am hopeful for some pretty, sweet smelling flowers there soon.

In front, I am working on clearing weeds and putting down soil and mulch along the outside of the new path.  I have literally gotten about 4 feet done. Many more feet to go.  Sigh.

The pool effort comes along.  I feel like I am finally making progress, though there is still al lot of sediment in the bottom that stirs up when ever it is touched, I think the amount is being reduced each time I get in and stir it up, them run the filter. I do that about twice a week, though with the weather so awful and hot again, I might do it more this week. It should be clean by September!  I am definitely getting the bigger, more powerful filter and vacuum for next year.

Other than that, I have been working. A lot again this week, enough that with only 2 hours of vacation time, I have Friday completely off.  I love when that happens, as you know! A is taking classes all week, culminating with a certification test Friday, so she is studying all of her waking hours.  We are not very exciting!

Last weekend we had a visit from nephew D and his wife A, they have recently relocated from Colorado to Vermont, and are taking advantage of the summer good weather to come to Maine fairly often to visit family while the traveling is easy. He is a teacher, so has been enjoying his summer vacation. It was great to see them and hear more about their lives and work.

This weekend looks to be a nice one – Whorls and Purls on Saturday, and then we are meeting Mom and B for supper on Saturday night.  We will go to a local seafood place and they will all have lobster.  I am not sure if I will have crabs or scallops, but I won’t have lobster, that is for sure.  🙂

And with Friday off, you know you get a bit of a list!

  • Laundry  – I will get it rolling, I am sure A will wind up finishing it Sunday.
  • Bathrooms – the darned things need cleaning every week and it is annoying.
  • Grocery shopping – I usually go on Saturday after knitting, but it has been really awful there the past few weeks, so I am hoping that Friday will be better. Maybe the morning?
  • Hair cut if there is no line.
  • Post office – while I am out, what is one more stop?
  • As much front yard gardening as I can get done before the sun is overhead and too hot.

That should be enough chores to get me hot and cranky, so I will jump in the pool to cool off, then come inside for knitting and spinning on the porch for the rest of the day. I want to make good progress on the Durrow square, and then start spinning the next thing. I should go upstairs and start cleaning and organizing in the craft room, but not sure I will have the energy.  Between work and the heat, I find that we are both just drained and don’t have a lot of energy for anything that doesn’t absolutely have to be done.  But maybe I will do as my friend Deb suggests and tackle one small section at a time.

Also, I have to think of something fun and celebratory to do for A after her test. She will be tired, it is 8 hours long, so the celebration can’t require expending energy.  Maybe I will bake her a cake or something.  Got any good ideas?

What are you guys doing to celebrate summer this weekend?

 

 

3…2…1… and we’re back!

Here we are looking at another weekend already!  I love how the weeks fly when I only work 4 days.  This will be hard to get over when five day weeks return next week, but it is worth it.

This week I took Friday off so that the bugman could come and eliminate the ants.  Rememberr I called him last Friday?  Well, this week he is coming between 9-11.  I decided to just take the day off.  So glad I have lots of vacation time stored up so I can do this kind of thing.

That means I will get up and dressed at the usual time.  A has to go see a client, so she will be out of the house most of the day.  That gives me loads of time to putter about and play with fiber.

My list is pretty standard, I think, this week.

  • SPIN! It is still TDF (Tour de Fleece), and I have been spinning as much as I can each day.  Somedays that is not much, but I think I can finish off the second bobbin of this spin and start plying. It is foggy fall morning from Three Waters Farm, and is destined to be knit up with the tree bark colorway I finished spinning last week.  This one is BFL /silk.  My next spin will be half Three Water Farm and half Purple Fleece.  And will be kind of amazing.  But I will share that with you when I finish this one!  NO getting ahead of myself. Though this photo shows only one bobbin full, I am about halfway to filling the second one.

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  • Knit.  Although I am focused on spinning, I have been making progress in small bits on my frieze cowl.  It is definitely potato chip knitting, hard to put down.  I already have yarn for another one.  This is Plymouth Galway, by the way.IMG_3035[1]
  • Garden.  Though the pathway is complete, I want to put a few pavers down at the start of it, to hopefully kep the nice pea gravel away from the glacial messy gravel that is the driveway.  I also wan tto start creating the beds on the ouside of the path.  Don’t have anything much to put in them, but I think it will look nicer with the pile of dirt and old blue tarp gone.  And if I am going to do that, I might as well clear out the junky volunteers and put down the good dirt and mulch.  Then next year I can move things into it and expand it.
  • Pool.  The pool guys came, and said I can upgrade the filter, yeah!  But not this year, as there is no pool budget at the moment.  So this year I have to keep on stirring it up and letting the filter run, and changing it when it clogs, as it does quickly with all the sediment I stir up. That means getting in it, which it makes sense to do AFTER the gardening, right?
  • Change the bed, change out the towels, start the weekend laundry.
  • Clean the bathrooms.
  • Not sure if I will go out, but if I do, I will go to the PO, and possibly the grocery store while i am out.
  • Oh, and I will let the bug man in when he arrives and follow him around.  And ask him how we get what ever is bowling with acorns in our bedroom ceiling all night OUT once and for all.

I think that this will fill up my day, and I will wind up in the afternoon in front of the spinning wheel catching up with season one of Victoria. It’s a little bit anticlimatic, as I watched season two already.  And spoiler alert – I knew before the show ever started that she would, in fact, marry Albert.  But I still like watching it.  Learning a lot about early Victorian times in England.  Afghanistan was an issue even then.  What kind of people can survive in a place where there is near constant war for more than  200 years? Yikes.

What are you doing this fine Friday?

 

Wish every weekend was three days long!

Well, that nice long weekend is over.  Sigh.  It felt really good to have three days off.  Just what the doctor ordered.

I feel like we were busy in spurts, and of course, I did not do all I intended, but I chose not to, in favor of knitting time.

I did get the bedroom and our bathroom dusted and basically cleaned, and A did vacuum them.  I am most proud, though, of the closet change over.  That basically means that I  empty the whole closet onto the bed, pack up the summer clothes, get out the winter clothes, wash them all (no matter how tidily I pack them, they get dusty) and put them all back.  I did that, and all the ensuing laundry, as well as the regular household laundry AND the bedroom curtains.

A and I also did return the trundle bad and have a short visit with SIL.  She is doing very well!  Ankle is extremely stiff, and it does get tired and swollen, but she knows how to manage that.  She can walk and she can drive!  Life is good. We put the bureau back in the guest room, and all the porch plants, too.  It is looking more normal in there now.

We brought in the last ton of what I like to call sawdust – we now have 6 tons of sawdust stored in the cellar!  Actually, it is 5 tons of pellets  and 1 ton of bio-bricks – all sawdust compressed into different shapes which we will burn up all winter long.  We can now park in the driveway again!

I also went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, and just kept knitting away on ornaments and hats.  The ladies seemed to like how the ornaments came out, which was gratifying, and they helped me sort out my pricing for them. I think I will have at least 8 ready for sale this weekend, maybe a few more?  Depends on how the evenings go.

(I think this is one of my favorites.  Can you spot the red bead on the nose?  🙂 )

I did NOT set up my display or do any signs or tagging, MUST work on that this evening, so I have time to tweak as needed before set up on Friday afternoon.  Debbie at the Purple Fleece was kind enough to lend me several Styrofoam heads and a torso (named Violet) to display things, she is making my display ever so much better than it would have been otherwise – since I only have one head!

I managed to do a couple of small things around the yard – like cut back the asparagus, and pull a few weeds.  Nothing too arduous.  🙂  The pool was frozen over yesterday, so I can’t scoop out any more leaves until it thaws.  Might be spring, but it might not be that long, right?

Oh, and yesterday I pulled out all the yarn and fiber that I have tucked around my seat in the living room so that A could vacuum that room, too.  (She calls it my nest.  🙂 ) I tucked it all back in again neatly, much to her dismay.  She seems to think I should get rid of it or something.  I guess it is almost time to move some of it upstairs to the craft room closet, but then I don’t have it where I use it, lol.  I think I will just keep knitting and spinning and pretend that someday it will be gone.

So, as I hoped, it was a weekend of puttering about and getting things done in spurts, interwoven with long bouts of knitting.  A perfect weekend!

That’s more like it!

My SIL went home on Tuesday, to everyone’s relief.  We were a bit nervous that she would not be able to handle it, but so far, all is well.  Another ten days and she gets that cast off, and then, we hope, begins rehabbing her ankles with USE.

Since then, we have put the house back together, mostly, washed TONS of sheets, and every pillowcase we own, it seems.  We just have to return her bed to her spare room – it fits in the truck, but it keeps raining (a good thing, really!) so it stays in our spare room, and the regular furniture that goes there remains in our living room.

I learned a lot about myself this month.

It is good I am not a nurse.  It is good I am able to live in a house that provides me with enough space to have my OWN space where I can go be grumpy when people overwhelm me. It is good that knitting calms me.

I don’t like my routines disrupted.

I don’t like worrying about money.  I don’t like when plans get thrown out the window with no plans to replace them. I don’t like coming home to people who expect meals to get made immediately, and I don’t like coming home to tons of dirty dishes.  A tried her best, but it was a losing battle.  It is amazing how one more person in the house can create this chaos in our eating and cleaning routine!

In point of fact, I was quite a cranky bitch a good part of the last month.

Now, as things return to normal, I wonder what I can do to prevent reacting that way should this need for us to care give ever arises again.

I haven’t come up with anything just yet.

But I am extremely appreciative of what I do have.  And I am appreciative of the fact that A is now able to work on her own business as we planned she would a month ago (she had quit her job and was working out her notice when the accident happened.  So we had a few weeks of no income from her as she was not able to do her own work and take care of her sister.) She will have a rough few weeks working to hit some deadlines, but it can be done.

I even made lasagna yesterday, and am THRILLED that it will last for a couple of nights worth of meals!


I finished plying a big batch of the combo spin.  And I knit all sorts of little fiddly things.




That is more like it!

 

ANOTHER secret fiber project

I am sorry about this, but I am going to blather on about fiber and not be able to show you anything for MONTHS.

I mentioned that some of us who get the Purple Fleece’s Roving of the month are participating in a challenge with the October fleece (which Debbie SO NICELY let us have early!)

The challenge is in two parts.

1.) Spin the 4 ounce braid with NOTHING ADDED in a way that is new to us, or that we haven’t done in a long time.  In other words, get out of our comfort zone. Do this without sharing until the big reveal (in January).

2.) Then, knit up something with the yarn, and keep that a secret, too, until the next big reveal, likely in April or May!

So, I have the fiber, and I love it.  It is a blend of targhee, silk, and bamboo.  Spinning this at all will be new to me, I haven’t spun with bamboo before!  Nor targhee, though I have some in stash.

Before I saw the braid, I was thinking of spinning it as a gradient, then chain plying it.  My chain plying still leaves a GREAT DEAL to be desired, so this would meet the challenge rules.

But now that I have seen it, and fallen in love with the gorgeous soft colors and silkiness of it, I think I won’t do either of those things. So what will I do?  Well, of course, I can’t tell you that.  But I can tell you that I spent the evening reading and rereading my two knitting books, Yarn-i-tec-ture and The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs. There are several yarns in there that I want to make, OF COURSE.  But for the first time, I was really thinking about the end product that I will reveal next spring.  I could spin a bunch of different yarns that would make good socks.  But do I want SILK and BAMBOO socks?  That does not seem the best use of this lovely fiber.  So (here’s a clue) no hawser for me yet. And probably not a 4 ply cable, though that also sounds fun, this doesn’t seem the right fiber for that.

And we can’t add anything, so I think this won’t be a boucle, though I do want to spin one someday. Maybe with the mohair I have in my stash…

I did narrow it down to a couple of possibilities, and so now I have to think about how I will handle the color.  Separate them so each ply is different?  Spin them end to end and see what happens?  Mix it up and make it random?  The possibilities are endless.

I do have a few ideas of the type of garment I want to knit, but until I see the final yarn, the weight and the yardage, I won’t really be able to decide, will I?

And you, poor folk, will have to wait so long, and read about me working on something I can’t share details or photos of.  I feel your pain.

Meanwhile, here is what I worked on over the past couple of weeks, and did get finished, mostly for the craft sale or to fill some orders.

I am feeling like I need color on my craft fair table table – I seem to have loads of neutral hats in inventory.   So this first one, I put in the Community Caring bin at the purple Fleece.  I really was just testing the pattern, and now I know how to do it, I will likely make some brighter ones to sell.