August 31, 2008

Keeping Busy

This has been a productive weekend so far. It's Saturday night and I've been working on my projects for the weekend.

First, I finished the hat and I was going to work on a scarf to match, but thought, why not gloves? No one ever sees a scarf when it's short and tucked into a coat collar. Gloves would be more useful.

It's a little frustrating and I've ripped the fingers back a couple of times because of the holes between the fingers. How do I avoid that? I'm thinking on it. These gloves may turn out to be a scarf after all.

While I was muddling over the holes betwen the fingers, and needing time to think, I spun a half spool. Notice the crooked teeth on my flyer? What's that all about? I should have straightened them a little for the picture, but what the heck.

I also did a couple of preemie hats for one of my circle buddies, but I didn't get a picture of them. Though they didn't use up a whole skein, the did use up a portion of my scraps, and they're as cute as can be.

The destashing continues.

August 29, 2008

Call Me Happy!

OK, so I was stuck on Mark's socks ... you know, 10 rows to go and no yarn left to do it. At first I was so frustrated, I sent the socks to the meditation pond to think over it's crimes against me.

Then I do what I always do, I obsessed on the needles holding the socks. Should I pull the needles out, or should I wait? Maybe I'm going to find that yarn I need if I look just one more day. Of course, I couldn't knit anything because EVERYTHING I wanted to make I needed THOSE needles for. (I know I can get more needles, but why?).

Of course, not everyone was impressed with my theatrics. Little Miss Kitty could care less and just wanted me to calm down so she could sleep. She's heartless!

Anyway, hope springs eternal. It came yesterday in the form of Carodan Farm who had several skeins of OnLine Holiday #1003! Yay! The yarn will be here over the weekend and I'll have my needles back by next week. Yay again!

I was so happy about finding what I needed that I immediately started on a hat:

It's called Palindrome and the free pattern can be found here. I also plan to make a scarf of some type to go with the hat with the 1-1/2 skeins left. The yarn is Plymouth Encore D.K. and here is a better picture of it in almost true color:

which is really a light gray heathered yarn with a bunch of other colors mixed in (blue, pink, tan). What that halo in the middle of the picture is, I can't guess, but I'm pretty sure the yarn isn't possessed.

Using up these skeins will represent 3 more skeins gone forever from my stash. I'd say the de-stashing is going pretty well.

August 25, 2008

One Down, One To Go (to the frog pond, that is)

Well, I did it! I found some more white yarn and I made the blanket rather large-ish which is way better than too small. The color isn't the best in this picture, but I managed to hang it on the fence since I hadn't washed it yet, and the light was better. It was almost too good to be true ...

My favorite part was finishing it since I don't care much for crochet. I chose this 'dropped stitch' because it's almost waffle-like in the end and it's cutesy, but my favorite part of the entire blanket was the tassels.

The edging was just an added little fancy to hide all the yarns going up the sides. And if this were a good picture, you'd know how well I hid them.

When I figure out how to hook my digital camera up to the laptop I'll get some better quality pictures.
And then came the worst news of all - Mark's socks. I was knitting away and making some serious progress. I was making the second sock and counting down as I went. It was all so PERFECT, only 10 rows to go. See, here's the picture:

Notice anything? I said I only had 10 rows to go, right? Well, there isn't enough thread left to do ONE row. Holy moly! I sent out an emergency call to LittleKnits to get some more. I even sent her a picture so she could see what I was talking about. She said, "I don't know what yarn that is, but we have nothing like it here". WHAT?! OH NO!

So I sent the socks to the frog pond to meditate, ferment and rot. I'm going to let them sit and think about how they made me lose my mojo. And when I'm not angry anymore, I'll THINK about what I'm going to do with them.

Meanwhile, I hope the OnLine folks will drop me a line to let me know where I can purchase more of this discontinued superwash merino sock yarn.

Now, I'm going to have some good thoughts about the Sheep and Wool Festival in October and I'm going to do a little spinning. And Sojourn, I'm going to need some donkeys to carry my roving home because I plan to buy 200 pounds of everything I like - you know ... to soothe my nerves about the socks.

Right now, this is what I'm working with, a lovely merino wool called Summer Camp, purchased from etsy and my favorite supplier, Muzzlepuffs. I sure hope she forgives me for featuring her wool, I certainly don't do it justice.

And if that doesn't do the trick, maybe I'll go to Ravelry to figure out how to get all my dream patterns onto my queue.

August 21, 2008

Try Knitting Quick

After all that hard work, I finally finished with the spinning and wound it into a pancake. The Navajo ply reduced my yardage, as I knew it would, so all those hours or hard work produced only 56 yards of this:

The color doesn't show up very well, but it's very pretty. And soft. And wonderful. I wasn't really happy with the BFL at first, but it ended up beautifully. Still thick and thin, but I'm working on that.

Then it was off again to Mark's socks. He's already seen the one sock, so he knows what to expect and he seems pretty satisfied with the results. I think he'll find them amusing as time goes by. I usually knit his sock on the train (if I get a seat), so my time to knit the sock is limited. In two days, this is as far as I got on the second sock:

It's not much, but it is progress. I'm usually faster than that, but I'm also working on this crochet blanket:

Everything was going along swimmingly, until I ran out of white yarn. Oh NO! I have two choices here. I can either go out and get another skein which will delay the finish, and defeat the purpose of depleting stash, or I can make a really, really, REALLY large border with the tons of blue yarn that's still available.

The whole point of making the blanket was to rid myself of some of the 150 skeins of yarn in my house. I'm telling you, if a cinder ever blew in the window, my house is FINISHED!

I hope to be finished with those two projects this week. I almost HAVE to be because my knitting group, The Soundview Stitchers, is putting the finishing touches on our sweaters for Guidepost's Knit for Kids, and we're planning for our trip to Rhinebeck, NY to the Sheep and Wool Festival in October. This will be my very first trip and I'm going to scratch off some lottery tickets and hope I win so I can buy as much fiber for spinning as will fit into my bag!

Next stop for my knitting team, hats for the troops. I found a perfectly lovely hat pattern which I'm sure will be wholly inappropriate for the male troops, but there ARE female troops there, right?

August 16, 2008

Spinning Saturday

Today was spinning Saturday. I don't usually spin on Saturdays, but today was different. I decided to put off laundry and weed whacking so that I could spin instead. It was so much fun! I'll be sorry tomorrow, but I'm happy right now.

I purchased this BFL from etsy and the woman who sold me this roving may never sell me roving again, but I totally loved the feel of this wool. This is what it looked like when it was braided and after I had pre-drafted some of it:

Then I spun it, did a Navajo ply (which I had never done before) and put it on the niddy noddy. It came out OK, but I was doing better spinning when I participated in the tour de fleece. I spun every night then so I was starting to get the knack. Anyway, this is what happened after I pulled it off the niddy noddy:

Not too shabby if I say so myself! When it's dry, I'll run it through the meter and find out how much wool I'm working with. Seems to me that after all my efforts, it should be enough for a sweater. In fact, it's probably only enough to make an iPod cover.

OK, so it's not so impressive, but I washed and whacked it and took it outside for this pic:

Well, it's time to go. I have to finish Mark's sock. He's a co-worker who had no idea that the socks I would make him are louder than a high school band. I bet he thought he could wear the socks I'm making him to work. Have a gander at these:

I would have taken a better picture, but I didn't want to hurt your eyes.

OK, that's it for today.

August 15, 2008

Day One

Today is day one in blog land for me, and I'm so excited! I'd like to thank my friends for all their encouragement, and the ladies in my knitting class (now a knitting circle), and my spinning buddy Irma who puts up with all my emails. Let me not forget my friend Aylin who helped a whole lot. I'm sure that if she hears me say "What does that mean?!" one more time, she may sever our friendship.

For the record, I am a knitter and I crochet (minimally) and I have been teaching at my local library on weekends for the past 3 years, or so. Most of the ladies in my class are intermediate knitters who refuse to teach because they say they can't - but they can, and they do.

I am also a new spinner, but not that new since I (foolishly) joined in on the Tour de Fleece competition this year. What was I thinking?! If I knew how to put it online, you would see what my spinning looked like. Oh brother! Not only does (did) my spinning suck, but my goal was to make it better. In all fairness, it did get better, but when the tour de fleece ended so did my true efforts.

I'd also like to thank the woman on who sold me the roving - it's beautiful and perfect and I love it - but I'm not going to use her name until my spinning gets better because if she sees what I did, she might not sell me any more roving!

Don't get me wrong - I love spinning, it's just that I haven't quite picked up the 'feel' for it. But I will. You'll see.

Pictures will follow (as soon as I figure out how to do that) and I'll be back. In the meantime, please, leave your comments, I'd appreciate your thoughts.