Archive for the ‘knitting’ Tag

ANOTHER secret fiber project   16 comments

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.


 

 

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Posted October 16, 2017 by salpal1 in what I am thinking about making

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A semblance of order   10 comments

After the big bang, we have settled down into something of a routine, and we have managed to recapture bits of our old routine that we liked or needed.

The ankles seem to be doing well, a trip to the surgeon on today will confirm this, we all hope.  There is not much pain now, so boredom is setting in – fewer pain pills to help sleep the days and nights away!

A is doing the lion’s share of responding to beck and call, and that is diminishing as time goes on.  But none of the three of us can wait until she can use the walker by herself, so we don’t all need to attend every change of position or room, if you know what I mean.

I did feel like I could and should go to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, it was good for everyone involved, lol.  So I had a long afternoon of knitting and chatting and there was apple pie and chocolate.  Just what the doctor ordered for THIS patient.  🙂

I managed a little spinning early both weekend mornings.  Still plugging away on that 36 ounces of a spin I started in July.  I took about 6 weeks off, but now am back into it. I would like to get this set of bobbins done by Saturday, not sure I will make it, but it will be close.  Then I think I will only need to fill the bobbins one more time and it will be done.


My reason for wanting to clear this section off the wheel is that we are starting a spinning/knitting challenge at the Purple Fleece, and we get our fiber on Saturday, which is a few weeks earlier than I had planned.  🙂 The challenge is to take a 4 ounce braid of Purple Fleece Roving of the month for October, and spin it in a way that is new to us, or that we haven’t done in a while – ie, not our usual spin. Then, bring that yarn in January, and have it pose for a glamour shot. Next step is to then knit something with that yarn, and have that done by April for a big reveal.  There are no prizes, other than a new skill and something pretty all made up.  But we are doing it as a community, and one of the members will see if she can pull it all into an article that gets published.  So it will be sort of fun.  It was the idea of a different member as a challenge to us, and it rapidly grew from there.  It will be fun to see how it all comes out.

But to participate, I need to empty the wheel first.  🙂

Knitting wise, I feel like I have lots going on and not much got done this week.  🙂  I did knit almost all of a pair of booties, but lost at yarn chicken.  So I ripped them out and will start over.  At least now I know exactly the yardage I need for those. 😦  I have a hat and a shawl on the needles as well.  And I started the October sock (which will match the September sock.) I finished the Rainbow Warrior shawl – well, the knitting.  It hasn’t been blocked yet, but when I have time to do that I will, and will share it – it is really bright and cheerful!  But it will take a long time to pin out all the picots on the edge, and I am not sure when I will have that kind of time all in one chunk again. So loads of little projects on the needles to be picked up and dropped as necessary. And it is necessary. That quiet little voice could call for help at any time.

 

Posted October 4, 2017 by salpal1 in how it came out, Uncategorized

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One week later   2 comments

This post is old, but I found it in my drafts – didn’t get to post it on time – but it has some PHOTOS in it – always a good thing, right? So, sorry for the stale news, but the cat is cute.  🙂

 

I have been home a week now, and back at work four days.  In some ways, the vacation seems like a distant dream, yet in others, I can tell I am more relaxed, more efficient.  In other words, I got a good break and am fully rested!

I spent the first day home doing laundry and just relishing not being in the car.  Oh, and cleaning out said car.  Friday I did normal weekend chores – post office, groceries, etc.  Then A and I had the weekend to relax and spend time together, doing important meaningful things.  Like starting to load the 5 tons of pellets she ordered while I was gone!  We got one ton into the cellar and stacked, and will try to get two more tons loaded in this weekend.  I think if we do half a ton a day from now to Sunday, it is manageable. that leaves us two tons for next weekend.

I went to Whorls and Purls on Saturday.  Though I only missed one week, it felt like eons since I had seen the ladies!  So much to share.  🙂

This week at work has been pretty crazy – we are merging, effective 10/1, and so have to get all the marketing and different pieces ready.  That’s my job.  So I came back to press conferences and sign measuring, etc.  And some of that meant that there were long meetings and car rides to Washington County.  Which meant knitting happened!  I actually ran out of mobile knitting at one point, can you believe it?  I wasn’t thinking about how long things would take, or I would have brought along one of the shawls I am working on.  They both are straightforward enough to be mobile knitting if I am sure I will have time to finish a row.  Oh well.  I did get these done:

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The hat still needs a pompom, which will have both the blue lining yarn and the handspun main color in it.  The necklace and hat are for the craft fair in November.  The sock is the September sock, so it’s mate has to wait ten days or so to join the knitting lineup.  I started another necklace, different pattern, but with the same yarn and black beads.  It always amazes me how different they can look with a simple change. Also, please note, that necklace is WAY more sparkly than is showing, it has loads of Swarovski crystal in it.

Now all I have on my needles are the two shawls – the chain mail from my beaded handspun, and the rainbow warrior with the Wisconsin yarn.  Chainmail was giving me fits because I could not wrap my head around the pattern, but I finally figured out what I wasn’t getting.  This is such a simple pattern, but I couldn’t “see” it.  Now I can and it should fly along. There were four stitches that were interfering with my vision, once I realized that, I now know I can easily memorize the pattern and I should be good to go. Rainbow Warrior is moving along, I am on the 6th section still, but expect to make headway this weekend. the ladies are starting to finish, I don’t want to be left in the dust! The pattern still annoys me that the line numbering is so far off from the stitch count chart, but I am to the point where I only need that once per section, so I will live. And there are only 8 sections, so I am getting close!

The cats have adjusted to me being home.  Allie was SO happy to see me, she followed me everywhere all weekend. Here we are doing some porch knitting.  🙂

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Zumba is glad I am back but clearly didn’t miss me.  She slept on the bed, I guess, because she gets annoyed with me for expecting her to move over and let me in at night. But I insist.  As I say to A “She’s a cat, I am human, and I pay half the mortgage. She either has to get a job or move over.”  🙂

This weekend we have no big plans – moving those pellets, getting haircuts, I’ll go to Whorls and Purls.  And it is supposed to be HOT on Sunday, so I might do a little gardening and then hop in the pool.  We MUST be near the end of that season. I don’t think I have swum later than this since I moved to Maine. But I am going to revel in that 80 degrees they predict for Sunday.

This is Common Ground Fair weekend, and for the first time in a long time, I am not going.  A few reasons – one is that I have no money, having just had my big trip.  Another is that I also just had a lot of time off, so asking for  Friday off didn’t seem the right thing to do.  And I refuse to go to the fair on Saturday.  I could go on Sunday, but it is supposed to be hot, and everything will be really picked over and I still have no money… so I will stay home.  But if you are around here, you should go, it is an amazing fair. And it has the BEST food and great fiber and so many other things!

I can’t believe September is nearing an end and fall arrived today. Sigh.  I do like fall but not what looms after it.  I will try not to think about that while swimming in my pool this one last time.  Maybe. Maybe it will stay warm for a few more weeks…

  25 comments

Another quick post, mostly because my big projects all look the same – how often I seem to say that!

Last night I got home before A and it was warm and sunny, so I did about an hour’s worth of the gardening project, then hopped in the pool.  It has been so dry  (until last night) that the pool was getting low – too low to run the filter!  I would have noticed if it had been nice enough for a swim, lol.  I ran the hose for a while and got the water high enough to run the filter, but I will have to do that a few more times this week.  Even though it did rain last night, it didn’t add up to much in the pool.  But the garden loved it!

I think I have hit the point of the garden project that an hour’s work shows progress.  It was depressing for a while the space was so big that I could work for an hour and it looked the same to me.  But last night’s work looks like it made a difference, which helps to motivate me to keep on going. Plus I spoke to A and we decided I could go ahead and order a couple of the oriental poppies I love.  Woot woot!  Those will come in the fall, and I will get to plant them in the new bed out back. Of course, they will probably come when I am in Wisconsin, but I will see if I can arrange for that to not happen.

After the gardening and a swim, I worked on a secret fiber project that I can’t share with you all yet – but let me tell you, it is FUN and really coming out like I hoped!  I am taking loads of photos, I will share with you in a couple of months, lol.

By the time I sat down to knit on the vest, it was nearly bed time!  I am almost done with this project – I am working on a skinny little strip that is the back of the neck.  It seems like I should be able to knock that out tonight.  Then the armholes.  I had in my head that they were finished with an I-cord, and I was not really looking forward to that element, but I re-read the directions last night, and they aren’t, they have a very simple (and fast) garter edging. I know I have said this before, but I REALLY think I am almost done with this thing! I have the buttons already, and so I should be able to get it soaked and blocking this weekend.  In fact, I will be really disappointed if that doesn’t happen! And I am purposely not spinning until this is done, to give me some push in the finished direction. I feel the need to finish SOMETHING.

My sock knitting has also slowed a bit, but I am on the foot pattern of the second sock, so I am confident I will get it done before September.

I did just sign up for a craft fair in November.  This frightens me a little bit, I need to knit some hats and small things that will not cost a lot, and I have so many big things I want to knit instead!  But I will get it done, I am sure, and have plenty to offer the customers. now to get them to want to buy my things…

That is about all that is going on around here this week – same old same old, as they say.

 

Now THIS will be a weekend!   18 comments

After working so hard last Saturday that it was hard to move on Sunday but we did, we are both looking forward to this weekend.  The weather, of course, having been beautiful all week won’t be this weekend, but that is OK.

A plans to do her annual strawberry jam making extravaganza.  I leave her to it. I prefer jelly (all those seeds get in my teeth) and I don’t eat a lot of jelly, so it is far easier if I just get out of the way and let her make jam. That will take her all weekend, and she will do quarts and quarts of berries.  Fresh strawberries and some frozen raspberries. Yum.

While she is doing that, I plan to continue the yard work, but at a slower pace.  I picked up a lot of mulch, and need more.  I also have to haul dirt in the wagon from the front of the house to the back where I was working, and put that down, then mulch that.  On the advice of a good friend, I am going to put some newspaper down between soil and mulch, to help keep the weeds down until I plant there – likely next year. I probably won’t get to it this weekend, but I need to keep weeding where J made such a good start, so I can put soil and mulch on the rest of the front garden.  And yes, it occurred to me to not weed it, but put newspaper there as well.  Right now that is not my plan, but it might become my plan if the work is too slow and back breaking.

But that is for mornings only.  Saturday I intend to go to Whorls and Purls, which I missed last week.  We are all spinning for an unofficial Tour de Fleece.  But I expect I will be close to plying at that point, and if so, I won’t bring my spinning over, I will just bring knitting.  I have enough of that to manage to keep me busy! The wheel I ply on is all set up in the craft room, and I don’t feel like hauling it up and down stairs, it is rather bulky.  If I am still working on that third bobbin (or by miracle have already plyed and so am ready to start again) I will bring my new small wheel and some fiber and work on that.

Sunday mid-day is a Ravelry gathering in my town!  Woot Woot!  I plan to bring knitting to that, as well as something for the potluck lunch.  That will be fun, even if I see half the people on Saturday.  🙂

Monday there is a potluck lunch thing at work, so Sunday evening will be spent fixing something for that.  I am thinking a tossed salad, but not sure.  Might do my mini salad bar so people can have what they want in their salad and not what they don’t.

I have been doing well on the Whole 30 this month, and Tuesday is day 30!!!! I plan to eat all the things on Wednesday.    Wish some of these potlucks were next weekend.  🙂

I promised you some more photos of the yard work we got done – here you go!

Here’s what mom got done, and another shot of it after I mulched tonight. This was blackberry thicket burying the roses, and she trimmed the trees so we can walk around the deck.

Here is a photo of what J did, with mulch added.

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And while they were doing that, i dug out this bed. Still have to add soil and mulch, and some sort of edging.

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And because you know I can’t stand to leave without a little fiber photo or two, here is my sock, coming along.  The flash of pink is the waste yarn where the heel will go, the socks are just blue.

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And here is a spinning update – this is bobbin two, nearly full

IMG_1846Which, if you recall, gets plyed with this:

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and an as yet unspun third ply.

 

It should be interesting.  🙂

 

 

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!

 

 

Wednesday   14 comments

The best laid plans…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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