Archive for the ‘knitting’ Tag
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. 🙂
I know I didn’t post this weekend, I was not in the mood. 🙂 My whole plan for last week went kerflooey when I came down with a cold late on Sunday. I went to work Monday, hoping I could make it through the twelve hours, but I went down hill fast – came home at 1, went to sleep. Stayed home not doing much on Tuesday, tried again on Wednesday. Again made it to about 1, then headed home for a nap. So my day off for making things did NOT happen. In fact, instead of taking a day off to keep my hours under 40, I had to use some vacation time to get them up to 40! Even with two very long days on Thursday and Friday. The good news was, that by Friday, I could tell I was getting better, and by Saturday, I was really fine, just tired.
So – odd little things this week.
#1 As soon as I knew I was getting sick, I hopped over to the pharmacy and picked up some disposable masks. My boss, with whom I share a small office, was scheduled for some nasty oral surgery on Wednesday. I knew he did NOT want a head cold. I wore the mask while at work Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, because even though the boss was out Thursday, it was a tax day, and I didn’t want to share those germs with all the clients.
It amazed me the number of people who stopped to ask “why the mask?” and made a face when I told them “to keep my germs to myself” but not one of them said “Oh, don’t wear it on my account” 🙂 Today a coworker approached me at lunch time and thanked me for wearing that mask. I really appreciated that on her part.
I am of the school that says “stay home when you are sick” so that everyone doesn’t share it, but this week it just wasn’t possible, so this seemed the second best thing.
And HR has ordered a box of masks to have on hand! I might have started a trend. 🙂
#2 By Friday, even though I was getting better, I was really done with work, taxes, and not feeling well. And Friday was a Milbridge tax day, which essentially means 12 hour day. Sigh. I carpooled with the other volunteers, so only had to drive 2 miles. And it was a lovely, sunny day! So sad to be stuck in side with computers and more clients than we expected (last clinic there, we always get walk ins. But we got LOTS of walk ins!) so when the day was over, we packed up and cleaned up FAST, hit the road. It wasn’t until we pulled into the parking lot next to my car that I realized I forgot my coat and car keys back at the tax site, 50 miles away.
Ugh. My wonderful volunteer drove me home, where I convinced A that it would be a fun thing to hop into the truck, drive the 20 miles to Ellsworth for dinner at our favorite take out place, then continue on to Milbridge. It was nearly 9 o’clock by the time we pulled back into the driveway. I won’t be doing that again. I could have lived without the jacket, but not the keys.
So that’s why I was tired on Saturday. Not too tired to go to Whorls and Purls, though. 🙂 A few solid hours of knitting with people who love fiber is always good for the soul!
Sunday I just laid low – did a few household chores and lots of knitting. Oh, and some spinning. Did I mention that the new spinning project was kicking my butt? It was. I posted on the dyer’s Ravelry group and got loads of advice, some of it good, all of it well-intentioned. 🙂 I decided that the ones who told me to add twist were on target, tried it very carefully, hand turning the wheel at the start, until I got going. It worked! So Sunday I made sure I was going ahead properly on that project.
And, I finished my socks! They are so cute, and very thick and warm. In spite of me spinning the thinnest yarn I could they are still a bit thicker than commercial sock yarn. But not so thick I can’t wear them. 🙂
The sweater plods along, as does the shawl, although both show signed of progress. the shawl only needs one chart plus the edging, the sweater sleeves are near the top, decreasing now! No photos of that stuff as it looks the same as last week. But soon we will have more finished objects.
The blue foolproof cowl is also nearly done, I will show you that next week, all complete. After that I will knit a hat to match it. I have to hold off starting a new pair of socks until May 1 – self-imposed rule, only allowed one sock per month, or I will run out of sock yarn before the year is over, LOL.
Monday was our very last tax clinic anywhere for the 2016 filing year, and boy were we all ready! It was a tough year with the new software. I hope they spend the summer making it easier for next year! We celebrated with dinner out in Ellsworth, and everyone made sure I had my keys before we left. I did. 😝
So now the week will be spent telling people other ways to get their taxes done, and working on reports. Oh, and there is a grant due this month. The boss told me yesterday that he wants to bring in a new partner on it, that the program manager will write it, I just have to “review” it. It’s due while I am on vacation, so they have less than 2 weeks to get it ready for my review. My experience tells me that after I review it, I will be doing some serious editing. I think I will be ready for that vacation!
I told you I would finish something last weekend, and I did! In fact, this has been a week of finishes, it is pretty amazing! Gone is my feeling of tediously making no progress. Having a whole extra day off due to the ice storm was great for finishes. I declared it a pajama day and sat knitting and spinning ALL DAY. It was great!
I finished the shawl for Purple Fleece, and delivered it Saturday at Whorls and Purls. The wind was whipping when we took these photos! Brrrr.
I finished the Derry Cowl to go with the sweater. It might be too tall. I made it according to pattern, but with different yarn. My yarn isn’t as drapey, it seems. It’s been blocked, and still has loads of body – maybe it will soften a bit with wear? In this photo I folded it down, which works. And I am wearing it with the Derry sweater which I don’t think you have seen yet. You can’t see the pretty lace pattern on the sleeve , but it is there, and matches the cowl.
I finished the purple THING – second try at a scarf – for niece B’s Christmas (well, it turns out, birthday, still late) and delivered that today.
I finished these two skeins of yarn – yes, two! I dyed the fleece a while ago, and spun these both up in a few days. They are only about an ounce each, and came in between 90-100 yards. They will go with the two other similar weight skeins I dyed and become some kind of scarf or cowl. I am thinking linen stitch scarf, though I hate knitting scarves and I get bored with linen stitch. But they look so pretty when they are done… so who knows. I did one skein that was supposed to be predominantly yellow, one that is red, one blue, and then one that was supposed to be blue and green but when I spun it, it came out teal, which is actually really pretty. Still sorting out this whole dyeing/spinning/ what the heck will it look like thing.
Here’s the yellow and red before spinning.
And here’s the yellow after spinning:
And the red (with a tiny skein of red plied with yellow):
I worked on socks and mittens at Whorls and Purls yesterday – came home and finished the mittens. These are the most luxurious mittens! Love the cashmere blend lining. The ladies at knitting threatened to snitch them if I bring back the completed pair. 😉
I am working away on my socks, as I will all year – trying REALLY hard to only do a pair every couple of months, it is amazing the fortitude that takes, to not whizz through them and start the next pair. 🙂 Especially because the next pair will be made with my handspun yarn. 🙂 This pair is in Caper Sock, colorway Stella Blue and I love the softness of the yarn and color. I’ll be happy to be wearing them. The leg is much farther along than this, only about an inch left to go.
As for spinning – I have several pretty braids to choose from for my next spin. I have been contemplating a BIG SPIN, for me anyway, using three braids of finn, dyed in different colorways by Three Water Farm. Two I got intending to ply them together, but as I was looking over my stash, I realized that the third one held enough of the same colors that they would look great together. So, I am thinking spin them all and ply them together. But then what to make with the pile of yarn? It won’t be enough for a sweater, but I don’t need a kazillion hats. Then I had an idea, and I went stash diving. Sure enough – I have an ancient pile of a solid teal yarn that matches it beautifully (if it comes out the color that I think it will, that is. 🙂 ) and I have about 950 yards of that. If I can spin this to roughly that same weight, I WILL have enough for a sweater.
But I also have a few individual pretty braids that I love – one a silk merino that I JUST LOVE but have no idea what I will do with – might ply it with some pure silk lace weight yarn I have, I am even thinking I could use one of my new books for inspiration and add beads to the yarn, but then what? …
and then this special braid –
This is the latest from the Purple Fleece Roving of the month club – and Debbie used one of my photos as her inspiration for the variegated one, so named it after me! Check it out! I love it and ordered a braid of the compliment so that I will have 6 ounces of merino blended with YAK of all things – OMG, it is so soft! I have no idea what I will make with this, but I am itching to spin it. Maybe a nice soft cowl?
It is so hard to decide – I prepped the combo spin and the gold and copper silk merino, let them sit in sight for a few days… this morning I decided, and started the big combo spin. It should keep me busy for a few months. 😀
You just never know when the local bank branch manager is going to want to come over with a donation. And arrives with the “BIG CHECK” for a photo opportunity.
Glad I was wearing a pretty hand-spun, hand-knit shawl today. 🙂
It started with meeting some new friends and seeing some old ones, at a Ravelry meet-up last Sunday. Due to snowfall Saturday night, there were only three of us knitters, but our hostess, Chefadina on Ravelry made us feel very welcome, we met her family and her neighbors (the old friends) stopped by. Her new place is beautiful, a big old house that most recently was a B and B. It sits high above the river, and is just filled with lovely light.
Monday started tax training, and as always it was, well, taxing. The software is new to us all, still has bugs, so things would suddenly work or not work, and the state returns aren’t ready yet. We were all glad when it was over on Friday. Now, in two weeks, we meet again, and hope to have some state software available to work on. The first of February is when we start seeing clients, we would like to have a clue what we are doing before than!
Because I was responsible for leading the group in the hands on exercises in the afternoon, I was not able to do my usual thing – knit hats! But we were in a chilly room so I wore lots of hand knit shawls and sweaters (not all at once) and got lots of compliments.
When I was home, though, I was knitting and spinning. Here’s a shot of my snow fling mittens in progress. They will get a soft lining, and so are taking a long time, but I now have two mittens that look like this. I’ll have to close up the tops, then do the linings.
Here’s a dark shot of my spinning. It is a merino/nylon mix from Three Waters Farm, in the colorway Garden Center. I am spinning this to make socks, so divided it in thirds, thinking I would do a traditional three ply. But then I started reading my two spinning books I got for Christmas, and I decided to spin a three ply yarn with one opposing ply. So for those of you who understand these things, I will spin two singles with a Z twist, and one with an S twist, then ply them all together with an S twist. I hope I am spinning thin enough that I will get enough yardage for a pair of socks, but we will see. I can always make the heels and toes in a contrasting color if need be. But I would rather not. PS that black is really a wonderful dark purple.
This week also marked the start of a new year of Socks with Sarah on Ravelry. If you have followed me for a few years, you know that the last time she had this activity, I knit socks like a wild woman, and finished 26 pairs in the year. This year, I have decided to purposely restrain myself. I am aiming for between 4-6 pairs this year. This is the start of my first pair – Stella Blue on Caper Sock base from String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns. I am using my basic go-to sock pattern – Fundamental Toe Up socks . 64 stitches on number one needles, these will take a while to knit, because they are NOT my focus. 🙂 I swear it.
I hope my second pair will be the handspun yarn, and I do have a skein of yarn I got at Fiber Frolic for my third pair. Not sure what I will do for the 4th or later pairs, but I expect something will turn up!
The other knitting I am working on is a cowl to go with my recently completed Derry sweater – no photos yet, but I will try to get some soon. And I frogged the last bit of secret knitting and cast on an endless scarf with the yarn instead. I hope to finish that this week. The first thing I was working on was an interesting finished garment, but a ridiculous amount of stockinette in a boring tube. And it kept snagging on things, because the thin yarn and huge needles left loads of holes. I figured if it was snagging in my project bag, it would be shredded in no time with normal wear. Not a nice thought, so I ripped it out. The recipient returns to town next week sometime, I would like to have it ready for her.
So that is how I got through the work week – and was so glad to see this weekend come! Yesterday I did some chores around the house, then took the trash, the grocery list and my knitting, and headed off to knitting group, stopping at the dump on the way there, and the grocery store on the way back. Got to drive the truck that way. And got credit for helping out around the house even while disappearing for several hours. 🙂
Today was a little more low key – cleared the snow off the cars and cleaned the pellet stove – two not fun chores. A couple of inches of snow on smooth ice is treacherous walking, but I got the cars cleared without mishap. Then we took down the Christmas tree and tossed it out into the woods. Now, this sounds like a lot of work, but here’s the thing – we never decorated the tree. We only put on it the ornaments we got for Christmas, no lights, no garland, nothing. We just ran out of energy and time, but I loved our minimalist tree! It was pretty and smelled divine. I was able to toss it to the woods from the deck, so the wasn’t too awful.. The birds are already using it to shelter while they hit the feeders.
Other than those big chores, this was a low key day, a pajama afternoon. Cleaning the pellet stove gets the stove clean and me filthy – so after my shower, I just decided that noon was a good time for PJs! I made a shepherd’s pie for supper for the next few days – back on the diet for real tomorrow. Life will hopefully return to normal now that last week is really over. 🙂
I have spinning and knitting to get done!
First off, a quick health update – feeling ever so much better now! Thank you all SO MUCH for your kind thoughts and comments, it feels good to know there are friends out there who wish me well.
I went to work all 5 days last week, although I only stayed all day toward the end of the week, and was SO glad when the week ended. Somehow I found the energy to go to knitting on Saturday, and made loads of progress on my sweater as I resisted a delicious looking cheesecake. Can’t eat while you are knitting (good thing, really.)
I am now past the body/sleeve division, and working my way through the waist decreasing. I really think I will have this done by the end of November at this rate. Of course, I can’t keep up this pace – I have an order for a hat from my Etsy shop – yeah! – that I need to make this weekend – just waiting for the yarn to come in. And a few Christmas gifts that need doing, some by the end of the month for shipping. But those aren’t huge projects, so then it is back to my sweater.
And spinning – I don’t think I ever showed you the finished skein of this yarn – September’s roving of the month from Purple Fleece – it’s corriedale. I totally missed on bulky weight but it will make a good warm hat anyway.
Or October’s roving of the month, as yet unspun.
Debbie is getting creative, trying to find fibers we haven’t spun yet. She thinks this one will make great mittens, and I can see that it might! Only one of us had spun it when we met last week, and she wasn’t a fan, but I will give it a shot, eventually. Right now I am working on finishing this spin:
which is cheviot in Hestia, from Highland Handmades. I think it will match nicely with this one:
Cadillac Mountain by Purple Fleece, and I have a plan to make a cowl with them. I got the pattern from Over the Rainbow when I was there this summer. You will have to trust me that the pinks in them both are loads closer than these photos show.
And the Christmas cards for this year are rolling around in my head – it is time to get started with those – November already! Some people take November off from work to go hunting. I think I need to start taking it off to do crafting!
Other news – I finished the first 30 days of Whole 30. Hurrah! I lost about 20 pounds, (eventually) found I didn’t miss much except my morning coffee WITH CREAM. In the process, I am holding tight to first place in the Biggest Loser game at A’s office. Big money prizes on the line, so I will take two days off from Whole 30 (sort of – turns out we have a whole fridge full of veggies to be eaten) and then return to it until the end of the competition and Thanksgiving. After that, I think it will be that I develop a lifestyle of eating that way and having occasional meals where I don’t worry about it. I have to say, it really works – I feel so much better, not just the weight loss. Knees feel better, skin is better, digestion is better. Rats. Why can’t eating cheese and bread and chocolate ever make me lose weight and feel better?
Tuesday marked the last day of my volunteering for Fair Vote Maine – I have been doing that for several months now, as they work to educate voters on Rank Choice Voting, which is on our referendum ballot this year. No more Tuesdays before the election, so we wrapped up our Tuesday night gig with a some sparkling cider, cookies, and lots of data entry and shredding! It will feel odd not to go there anymore – wonder what I will do with Tuesdays now? Well, I know what I will be doing next Tuesday – agonizing over the returns and knitting. After that, who knows?
Other than all of this, nothing much is new – A is away for a few days this week – working up in “the County” (Aroostook, for those of you not from Maine) which is far enough away that she stays there overnight. The cats are quite put out, as she is the favorite mommy. Last night they acted like I was completely insane to think they should go to bed when she wasn’t home. Zumba didn’t even want her bedtime treats. She wasn’t even really interested in breakfast! For Zumba to turn down food is amazing. Allie isn’t sure what to do – I don’t play right, but I do pat her nicely. So she was torn during play time this morning, finally decided to ignore the toys and get some loving instead. It usually takes them a couple of days to adjust to one of us being gone, and right around the time they do, A returns, and they forget all about me again. 🙂
What’s new in your neck of the woods?
Well, there has been a whole lot, actually.
But it all seems mundane and just busy work. Work has been a long line of not hard but very frustrating things – getting 400 invitations to come out of the computer with no streaks blips, blobs, or smears, and all lined up. Getting 400 mailing labels to do the same. And deal with division heads who didn’t know that I MEANT it when I said I needed their mailing lists at a certain date and time, and so going back and redoing labels and printing more invitations.
You know -around my other work, being special projects girl is not always easy. 🙂
But then there was a weekend, and a big finish! Just look at this yarn, I am so proud of it. This is just UNDER 4 ounces, and it is about 600 yards!!!! (601 before the bath. Don’t know the after the bath number yet.) That is lace weight, my friends, and it is what I have been striving to make since I learned to spin. It took forever to spin, and it is a good thing it is my favorite colors, I would have grown bored otherwise. Even plying it took two evenings, and I ply pretty fast.
I took it with me to Whorls and Purls on Saturday, for show and tell. 🙂 While there, I picked up 3 skeins of yarn that Debbie got sent “on approval” which I will use to make hats for her box. Not loving the colors but the yarn is OK. Other people must like these colors as they turn up everywhere. 🙂 Of course I cast on a hat immediately even though I have plenty of other things going. I needed a mobile project and wanted to get it done for her. And someone will be glad for a warm hat in just a few weeks, right?
I also finished my first Christmas present which I can’t show you yet because the recipient might read it, but I felt it was a nice quick knit and I hope she likes it. 🙂 It was knit in Ella Rae Seasons, again a yarn I would not normally choose (acrylic wool blend, chainette structure) in colors the recipient chose. Let’s just say it came out better than I would have thought. 🙂
I had hope to finish Mirno by the weekend, but that didn’t happen because I made a huge push on the spinning, so I am working in the last chart of that shawl, and then I will have two of the four done. The last two are slower going, but I work on them regularly, so hope to have progress worth sharing in the next few weeks.
Since I do try to spin each day, I put the next project on the wheel. Amanita was the September roving of the month at Purple Fleece, and I remembered some Lamb’s Pride I have in the hat yarn bag that will go nicely with it. So, I am spinning it to be thick – I will three ply it and try for a bulky yarn for the accent yarn on an alpine topper. We will see how it goes. The spin is going SO FAST! Finished the first bobbin, and am about halfway through the second one now.
I feel like I am missing something, but if I think of it, I will share it later.
This weekend coming is a long one – love it! The weather is so nice and warm, I am still getting cherry tomatoes from the garden, but I need to start putting things to bed, and plant some fall things like garlic, and maybe a bit of lettuce. I also need to dig up the remaining carrots. So I expect we will do some yard work, and I will definitely do some knitting and spinning. Maybe we will go on a little day trip someplace – can’t sit home ALL weekend, and the trees are so beautiful right now. Colors are getting perfect around here, and farther north, I think they are prime. Maybe I will see if A wants to go for a ride. Not that she doesn’t do that all week long…but this would be for fun. Haven’t been for a ride for ages. Think of the knitting I could get done.