August 13, 2013

Spin, Knit, Win

I know I've been spinning a lot since the Tour de France, but I can't help it.  In keeping with the theme of spinning fibers I've never spun before, I spun up some Rambouillet from Widdershin Woolworks (Etsy).  Oh. My. Goodness.  I love it!  It would be easy to go on and on about the spinning experience, but it's not yarn yet, so I'm going to hold tight until then.

Here's what it looks like right now:

Some parts of it are solid, some parts had the barber pole effect and contrary to the picture, it's more matte in color.  It doesn't have a colorway, but if I were going to name it I would call it "Zombies in Springtime".

Now, I said there would be some knitting and there is.  From the Knit Your Socks on Straight by Alice Curtis, I'm making the Wrapped in Hugs socks.  The yarn is Plucky Knitter OOAK (one of a kind) in no colorway (beige), using US #2 straight needles:

The picture came out kind of bright, but if you tilt your screen you might see the little wraps on the side of the sock.  When you put the sock on, it looks like this:

How cute is that?  The only modification was the twisted rib at the top of the sock which I did not do because it was too fiddly.  It'll be under my pants anyway, so it's fine.  I must say that making my socks on straight needles is not nearly as satisfying to me as a knitter as making them on double points.

Now on the wheel is a Loop batt and I'm really excited to be spinning something with sparkle in it.  I wonder what I'll get because I never know until the final wash since sometimes what I end up with is not what I dream it will be.

Lastly, I won a prize!  I participated in a spin along on Ravelry with Diane of the Knitabulls Podcast and I won some of her fiber - from her own stash.  Yay!  It's Into the Whirled merino/superwash merino/silk - a luxe blend.  Woo hoo!   I was so excited to hear her announce my name on her podcast I kind of felt like a rock star.  Thank you, Diane!

Finally, I must confess I forgot something.  I've been forgetting something every year for years now.  It was my blogiversary!  Five long years - can you believe it?  I'd like to thank my followers (and lurkers) for tuning in.

August 11, 2013

The Joy of Summer

Most people consider 'the city' to be Manhattan, New York (aka New York, New York).  And in Manhattan there is Central Park which is not only huge, but highly populated by bikers, hikers and sunbathers.  You can almost forget you are in New York City while in Central Park, except for the crowds.

I live in the Bronx, which is still considered 'the city', but it's north of Manhattan.  And in the Bronx we have beautiful parks, one of which is Barretto Park.  Yesterday was the first time I'd ever been there and what a surprise!

There's a walkway with water views:

And there's a boat that is used as a traveling swimming pool.  They wouldn't let me on board because I wasn't in a swimsuit (you can thank me for that later):

There are flowering bushes all over the place, and there was fruit growing on them.  They looked like grapes and they looked ripe, but I was afraid to pluck them.   Don't they looked downright juicy?

There were a lot of people in the park, but as you can see, the place wasn't crowded - at all.  You could see the children running through the sprinklers and hear them laughing, and there were delicious food smells coming from somewhere, but they don't allow open fire in the park so I didn't see anything cooking.

The sun was shining, there was a cool breeze blowing and I was there until almost dusk.  There wasn't a beautiful sunset because there were too many clouds in the sky, but if there had been it would have been the perfect end to a perfect Summer day.

Yes, we have grass and trees and space here in the Bronx.  You can sit on a bench and watch the water, or swim on an old barge or lay on the grass and read a book.

I know I said I'd have some knitting to show today, but the spinning isn't quite done and the one sock I'm almost done with is still only almost done.  I'll get to the knitting ... tomorrow.

August 10, 2013

Bon Chance, CC!

Our little knitting group ebbs and swells, but there are a few people that come faithfully almost every Saturday.  One of those knitters is C.C., who is leaving our group and headed to the weaving capital of the world, in California.

We wish her well, we wish her happiness and we sure wish her joy as she spends her days learning, and possibly teaching, as she graces her new group of friends doing what she loves - weaving - surrounded by a group that loves it as much as she does.  We will miss you.

I see Maria hit you up for some last minute instructions:

And we can't thank Joanne enough for introducing you to us in the first place:

And the afternoon's refreshments were pretty delightful, too.

Safe travels C.C. and drop us a line sometime while you are surrounded by weavers and the sheep that you get your weaving wool from.

After the library I came home and saw the prettiest flowers near my front door:

These flowers grow in my front yard every year, and usually they are all pink, but this year they have blue tips.  Does anyone know what these flowers are called - besides just pretty?

And then I went to my back yard looking for signs of life and found this:

This flower was growing all alone in a bush.  I don't know what it is, but it sure was happy all dressed in pink with a ruby red ring around it's white center.  I don't know what it is either, other than just pretty.

My chicks and hens are just starting to bloom, not much to look at, but they look so nice in the front yard:

Pink flowers seems to be a theme in my yard.  At least I know what these are.

I have been knitting and spinning and I hope to have something to show tomorrow.  I'll have at least one sock and some spools to show of the Rambouillet I spun which I must tell you all about.  I love it!

August 06, 2013

Day Off

You know that feeling you get when you have the day off and the only chores left to be done are the ones that don't require your total attention?  You go put the laundry in the washing machine and then you walk away for 30 minutes or so.  That was my day today, it was glorious!

On Sunday I finished some plain vanilla socks while helping my mother entertain family visiting from out of town.  They are plain vanilla socks (no pattern) in Vesper sock yarn in the meadow colorway using US #2 needles:

I had no sock blockers with me so they're not at their best, but they're finished.  Yay!  My niece will get to enjoy wearing them - even if they weren't the most enjoyable to knit.

With the leftover yarn I'm making a preemie hat:

When I got bored with that, I started spinning some one-of-a-kind fiber from Into the Whirled superwash merino on my new Turkish spindle which I purchased from Diane at Sistermaide  (Etsy):

When I got bored with that, I went to the fiber cabinet and found some more fiber that I'd never spun before Rambouillet from Widdershin Woolworks (Etsy):

Nice pretty colors, but it's been a bear to spin!  I don't know why I'm having a problem spinning it.  I think my timing or tempo or mojo is jacked up, so I had to step away from the wheel and I'll try again tomorrow.

Then the mail came and my fiber of the month from Paradise Fibers arrived: 8 ounces of Polwarth/Silk blend:

And 8 ounces of bamboo top in Aegean Blue.  When I took this fiber out of the box, I thought the blue was tissue paper, but it turns out that the blue you see is the real color of the fiber!  Yikes!  It's bright, shiny and there's a lot of it.

I'm also working on some other knitting, but I think I have to rip it back and start again because my stitch count is off.  You shouldn't be surprised because you know that math is the enemy.  Gauge is also the enemy because it lies right to my face.

And by the way, here's a snippet of a conversation I had with mom on Sunday.

Mom:  Where's my hat?
Me:  What hat?
Mom: Then where's my scarf?
Me:  You never asked for a scarf.
Mom:  I know you're supposed to be making me something, and I'll remind you as soon as I remember.

(Ha!  I remember what I promised - but I'm not telling her!)