Archive for the ‘spinning’ Tag

Not my birthday   25 comments

but this happened.

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Due to schedules and budgets and things, my new spinning wheel arrived a month early.  I just finished waxing it and putting it together last night. I have to adjust the drive train (I need a third hand to do that) and then it will be ready to test out!

I still have copper and gold on the old wheel, so I will finish that up before I start a real spin on this one, but I have some little batts I have been saving to learn the new wheel. Plus Ashford nicely sent a few balls of fluff to practice with. Then I expect to be flying high!

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!

 

 

Early Release! Due to Snow…   25 comments

You know what I did this afternoon!

I filled the first bobbin of the big combo spin, Mountain’s Edge and started the next bobbin, Muted Reflection. Both are from Three Waters Farm.

 

We are supposed to get a lot of snow tonight, 9 – 16 inches at last forecast update. Normally I would think we have a chance of a day off, but it is supposed to stop tonight, so I won’t count on it. Pretty sure it will mess up tax day tomorrow, though. Supposed to be in Milbridge with three volunteers and I am thinking they won’t want to be on the road at 6 am.

More snow Sunday – Monday. They say that storm will be bigger.

Maybe I will be able to fill that other bobbin?

I promised   37 comments

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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And here’s the yellow after spinning:

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And the red (with a  tiny skein of red plied with yellow):

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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. 😉

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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.

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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.

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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? …

 

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and then this special braid –

 

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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. 😀

 

 

 

 

Why it pays to dress neatly on a Monday   8 comments

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.  🙂

Posted January 23, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day

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Well, that was a week!   21 comments

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.

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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.

 

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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!

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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!

 

 

 

Posted January 8, 2017 by salpal1 in how I spent my day, Uncategorized, What's on my needles

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What I have been doing while I haven’t been posting   22 comments

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.)

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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.

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Or October’s roving of the month, as yet unspun.

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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:

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which is cheviot in Hestia, from Highland Handmades.  I think it will match nicely with this one:

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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?

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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. 🙂

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