Archive for the ‘spin’ 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.

 

 

 

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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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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A rare Friday list   20 comments

I know you have missed these almost as much as I have missed having Fridays off from work. 😀This week was a bit unusual at work, with late meetings, and a fundraising event this Sunday. So, to keep my hours to 40, I am able to stay home today.

What will I do with myself you ask? Here goes:

I am doing a bit of spinning this morning, working on filling that third bobbin.

Have to go out and get a haircut, long over due. While I’m out, I’ll go to the PO, and maybe, if I am feeling adventurous, the dump. We’ll see about that last one.

Back at home, there is always laundry to get started, a few dishes and some general tidying to do.

Then knitting. There are some photos I need to take for you, if the weather cooperates. And I dug some yarn out of the stash for a sweater, so I will be working on a swatch and a plan for that. And winding lots of yarn.  The yarn is Briggs and Little Heritage, picked up many years ago in New Brunswick. The color labels say “dark gray heather” “medium gray” and “light gray.”

I get the latter two, but the first looks very green to me. It looks nice with the grays, though, which is all that counts.

I even found the pattern I was going to make originally – a simple yoked sweater with colorwork in the yoke and at the bottom of the sweater. It is pretty, but I think I want a cardigan, and I don’t want a round yoke.  I dove down the Ravelry rabbit hole for a while, and when I was done with that, I decided I want to make my standard raglan top down sweater, with stripes. I toyed with the idea of making a turtleneck sweater I have made before, but I realized that the one I have is almost the same color. Oops! So, I dug out the old pattern, an ancient Candide one. This is my second copy, pretty worn out, and it cost a dollar. I wonder if it is still available, and how much it costs these days? It might be time for a new one.

Anyway… I also will work on the blue sock, which is getting closer to done – working on the leg. My goal is to get it done by Wednesday, then cast on the next pair, which will be knit with the Garden Center yarn I spun with an opposing ply, can’t wait to try that! Which reminds me, i might cake that today.

That’s really all I have planned for the day – not a lot but that leaves me loads of time for that knitting and spinning. And thinking about yet another sweater…that turtleneck still seems like a good idea, I wonder what other yarn I have in my stash? Add that to the list – more stash diving!

 

 

I’ve been here, really.   34 comments

Just been too lazy to power up the computer or to try to write a post on the phone (WHY is that such a tedious chore?  Work on it, WordPress, please?)

 

Loads of knitting has happened and some spinning, and a day away from shoveling, and a long weekend.

Here’s the spinning:

Filled a bobbin with the second color of my planned three ply.  Now the two filled bobbins await the third, which I started yesterday.  This is going to be some crazy yarn!  Or really awful, time will tell.

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I worked on socks – plan to finish this one up before March 1, according to my 6 pairs a year plan.

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I finished the Corrugated Hat to match the Corrugated Cowl, these will go on Etsy sometime soon. I still had yarn left, so I am doing a striped hat in the same colors.  Not sure if this will be an Etsy listing or a donated item.  Time will tell.

I finished knitting the Gloria del Sol shawl in Purple Fleece’s Aquamarine Radiant gradient – OMG , I love this thing.  Wait until you see it blocked.  It was a challenging knit, and I didn’t bead it, but if I ever do it again (and I am thinking I will when I forget how challenging it was) I will add beads, if only to help me count the crazy long endless repeats.

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I have to dig around in yarn and queue to see what I will cast on next – or maybe dig out an unfinished something to finish it.  I have a couple of things that could use some attention, I know.

Saturday I travelled down to  Mom’s so I could hop in the car with her and B, and drive over to western Maine, Bridgton, to be exact, to have lunch with my two cousins who live there.  Brother N and SIL D joined us as well, and it was a very nice time.  So good to sit down with the cousins we usually only see at funerals.  Afterwards, we went to visit a friend of Mom’s for an hour or so, then drove all the way back.  A 13 hour day for lunch?  Yup.  But it was a nice change of pace, and of course, I knit the whole way there and back, as B drove.  And let me tell you – I thought we had snow – they have literally two or three times as much on the ground as we do.  Truthfully, mom and I both found it really depressing, even though the sun was shining and the sky was a beautiful bright blue.  It took us both back to the years we lived there, and how endless the winters felt.  Mom said “This is why I moved to the coast” which I had never known, I knew she loved the ocean, but not how much she hated deep snow that never stops and there is no where to put it. So naturally, she moved to the part of the coast that regularly gets slammed by the coastal storms.  But at least she has a bigger yard and some place to put the snow.

Sunday we finished cleaning up around the driveway and paths and decks, which was great, to let everything melt in the warm spring sunshine – amazing weather! Hard to believe this is one week ago: (That’s my car to A’s left.)

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We were both glad to be done with it – A even has shoveling blisters – ugh. So yesterday we enjoyed our holiday by having me work on our taxes and clean the pellet stove while she worked on clearing out files and folders.  Fun, fun!

As you can tell, it has been the same old low key life around here the past few weeks – and I like it that way – no drama, no unexpected surprises, and loads of fun with fiber.

How have you been keeping busy lately?

 

 

 

 

Finally!   20 comments

I knit and knit and knit and spin and spin and spin and for so long, seemed to have nothing to show for the effort.  My fingers made the fiber go round and round for days, weeks even, with little progress made.  I stopped taking progress photos because they looked the same, day after day.

Or so it seemed.

Then suddenly one day, I had this!

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And this!

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And this!

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Progress is being made after all. But I am re-learning a lesson I learned long ago and then let go by the wayside.  Try to keep to two, or at the most, three WIPs.  More than that, and even though I knit diligently on all, progress is slow.  I need the gratification of a finished object now and then.

Right now I have a mitten and a half, half a sock, half a shawl, and half a scarf on the needles.

So I won’t be casting on anything new until I get my WIPs under control.  Which should not be too long now – look at the progress I am making!

And of course I WILL start a new spin. I’m looking through my fiber stash in my mind to see what will be next. But I am knitting on that mitten while I ponder it. 😀

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