Search This Blog

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Big Projects

A while ago I special ordered some fiber to do a rather large spinning project. This is how far I am:

Yeah, not very. I have one of my six singles spun. and hour and a half of spinning last night only got me the base layer of another bobbin started. I'm spinning it super small you see, because in the end I'm going for a 3ply sport, so it's taking quite a bit of time just to spin the singles, never mind how long it will take me to ply all that yardage. Wow, I think I just gave myself a shiver of trepidation.

On that note though I am looking to invest in a jumbo flyer for my trusty little sidekick. It has the sliding eye hooks and is capable of holding twice (8oz) the fiber that my current flyer and bobbins can. We'll see if I can swing the money for it since I went ahead and quit the real job. More on that later when it's less dramatic and I'm less angry about it all. Oh, and when I'm officially no longer an employee so don't feel tied by bonds of professional loyalty though I feel as that is a one way emotion.

Otherwise, I'm still rocking the part time job and I'm going to see if that can keep me going so I can keep playing with wonderful fibers!

Hope this end of the month post finds you all well and have a great February.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oh My...

I just saw on my morning Internet travels after writing my letter of resignation that I hit 5000 views. Thank you guys! I appreciate it. We'll plan the party later.

Sunday, January 27, 2013


On a walk the other day in the wind a friend shot this picture really quick thinking it was cute.. Of course the first thing I saw was my full poop bag glowing in the sun.

Just thought I'd pop in and say hello. Let you all know that I am working the next several days in a row but will give you a better post soon! I promise... Damn, why does life always have to get in the way of fun?

Actually Friday I had great fun when a friend and I ran to Laramie to pick up some Bobbins for my wheel and some wool careers. I behaved myself and didn't spend out the wazoo on a fleece I saw. I'm trying to save up for a bulky flyer assembly for my spinning wheel. I have a rather large project started there that I promise will have photos some day that the bulky flyer assembly would assist me greatly when it came to triple ply some fiber. My fingers hurt even thinking about it but it is coming along lovely.

Okay, to the shower with me and off to work a double. You all have a great Sunday!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Holding True

To resolutions. Well, decisions anyway since I don't make a habit of making New Years Resolutions.

I briefly considered last night when I learned the Superbowl is the 3rd of cleaning the house and inviting people over for an annual excuse to sit around eating, knitting, and perhaps drinking a bit. Then I recalled last years decision, and quickly put the kibosh on such thoughts. Besides, I do have other plans regarding a class I'm teaching that day and the only thing I truly care about regarding the Superbowl is the possibly new and entertaining commercials.

So that's one decision I made that I am holding myself too. The other is that I need to get some of these darn projects wiped out. I did get the prismatic scarf to it's recipient on Thursday night before I went to work (that fun little jaunt to collect a paycheck has spurned some more decision making but that's for another day).

I think she liked it... If you could see her shit eating grin (why anyone grins after eating shit I don't know but it is one of those sayings I grew up with and still use) you would agree. I decided that she probably didn't want her face put up randomly on the internet but I left the rest of her cute pose there for all to see.

I have a pair of socks that I am almost done with the gusset that is the next item to be completed then I can start earnestly working on a scarf that I was holding off on for the class it was to be used it. The class has begun, the students are off and running which means I can whip this bad boy out... After the socks that is. I hate socks. Last night I royally messed up the heel. How you ask? I don't really know, I can turn heels in my sleep but damn if I didn't find a way to mess it all up 7 ways to Sunday (It's just a day for little sayings, it's showing my true tiredness I think).

Then, after that scarf, I will allow myself to cast on another project. But starting some new fiber a spinning doesn't count for a knitting project, and I just got some wonderful BFL in as well as a special order from Huckleberry knits enroute. Hmmmm... Man, I better get cleaned up for work. Reality sets in once more.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hooked by Another... PBS You're the Devil

I knew I liked this show before. When Bob and I went on the New Mexico trip one night in a hotel we saw the very first episode of Call the Midwife on PBS. Well, I downloaded season one last night and I do really really like it. I don't know what my sudden need for television is but once again it's calling my name. It must be the wind. It's a wonderful show about the baby boom of the 1950's in East London. I don't know if it's true to form but it's a touching, often chuckle inducing accounting of the times based on a midwife of the times memoirs.

But with all that said, I did wipe out a couple projects!
I got the prismatic scarf complete! WooHoo. She blocked last night and I snapped some shots this morning.
I also finished up my Wensleydale fiber from Huckleberry Knits. Lovely stuff as always! I don't have any ideas for this stuff yet but I'm sure something will come. It's only about 200yards and has more of a handspun feel than my other recent fibers. I thought that was going to deter me away from liking it but it gives it a charm that truly appeals to me. But not being able to get a color true picture of it has reaffirmed that I need to make a light box for finished projects. There are some lovely teals in here you just can't see...

Now I get to dip into some fiber that a friend bought me for Christmas from one of my favorite shops in the whole world! Thanks Rocky Mountain Mens Knitting Retreat for introducing me to more addictions... A bunch of wonderful enablers.

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Somewhat Productive Snowy Morning

Yes, you did read that right. It has actually been snowing here in Casper Wyoming (I'm praying and hoping for more than we'll get, but that's healthy, right?), and I've taken the chilly air as an excuse to be productive this morning with the sidekick.

I went a whole day (only about 14 hours) without a thing on the needles. It couldn't have lasted, for anyone in this houses sanity, before I cast on 4 projects. That's right, 4. I broke my own rule of three things on the needles right out of the starting gate. But to be fair three of them are for classes. Okay, to be really fair, only two of them are for classes I'm teaching, the other is a long term project that after watching some frustration (totally called for frustration) in another class I thought I might cast on and show my way to do things that helps with my own frustration level with this particular technique. I can't tell you more or show you pictures because the finished item will be for a friend who occasionally stops by this blog. I will however down the road give you some visuals.

Two of the remaining projects are just barely cast on so I can use them for teaching the classes they are for. If you recall the beautiful creamy braided reversible brioche cabled scarf that I made I am repeating in a wonderfully lofty charcoal that will be for me when completed. I loved that finsihed item so much I needed one for myself to replace the aging scarf I wear that was the very first item I ever knit. The other item for class is a green version of the carribean blue rippled scarf I made. Once class is over think I may post that pattern here to share depending on how well it goes. I made this pattern up based on a stitch pattern I saw another knitter who wouldn't share the pattern name with me(I know! But then I don't share certain recipes with others either). Since then I have discovered the original pattern myself but mine is slightly (only slightly) different. I am actually quite proud I was able to figure it out so closely. This is truly only two lines of knitting and a cast on the needles so there is nothing to truly share as far as a picture goes.

Then I have this, which is another gift but I don't think the person will figure out who it is for.
It's my Basket of Plums fiber from Huckelberry knits that I got all spun and plyed and am now working into the Prismatic Scarf. So far I'm liking it and hope to get back to working on it tonight. I'm already feeling the itch to get something off the needles! Even knowing that an item is a long term project that can sit on the needles in the background for as long as needed doesn't make me feel at ease. I would never call myself OCD, but this little quire seems a little OCD'ish to me. The finished yarn has been absolutely wonderful to knit with, if I do say so myself.

But the true Production of the morning was this...
I got all eight ounces of my Rain on the Fjords yarn spun up. The fiber is again a Huckleberry Fiber named The Far Side of the World that is 100% Falkland Combed Top. I broke it down to give fractional knitting a shot. I don't know what I think of it quite yet as to how the colors broke out but I'm reserving judgement until I knit with it. It's a lovely feeling yarn, no matter how the colors play out.
But before I do much of anything else, I need to get the kids out, get active myself and get a couple errands taken care of. I hope everyone stays warm this fine snowy day.

Monday, January 7, 2013

She Got It

But I promised no face shots. It's a shame because I think she's beautiful and the green makes her eyes stand out.

Check, Check, and Check

I started this new post Christmas knitting year with three goals. To finish three projects that were still on the needles. Previously you saw the socks. Now I finished these little bad boys.
I am teaching a "Mistakes, Mishaps, and Oh Craps!" class at Blooming Needle, one of our Local Yarn Stores (LYS) this next month and these are the screwed up swatches that I will be using to teach how to fix some basic issues and/or demonstrate such techniques.

The yarn was remaining Christmas Stocking yarn that I did as a commissioned piece last year. The 10 swatches of red and green on the bottom are all dropped stitches. The two green swatches to the right are just demonstration swatches of what twisted stitches vs normal stitches look like and how they can be used as a design feature as well. The batch of white swatches to the left are checkerboard patterned that all have a mistake that I hope to show them how to drop down only the needed stitches and reknit them back up. the green one is my demonstration one for this technique and the blue one is a demonstration swatch to do this same technique with cables. Then the top ones are accidental yarn over swatches that we will approach tinking and or tearing back and re-inserting needles through stitches properly. The little white tube is just a ribbed cuff to show two of the most common ways I've seen for accidental yarn overs to be created and how to eliminate some of this.

And I finally finished the Rockefeller Shawl by Stephen West.

I won't trash talk it today. I'm just glad it's done and I can hand it over to the only reason I finished it. A friend fell in love with it and offered to buy it. Otherwise I think I may have burned it in the fireplace one chilly evening just to make myself feel better. I'm just glad it's done and off my list.

For those who know this pattern you can see I did not stay true to the pattern. I won't dive into my issues with it but I decided to modify the first sections wedges and made it a slightly asymmetrical wrap instead.

As I type this post I have Phillip Phillips playing and I just figured out what I like about his voice. He sounds so much like Dave Matthews. I used to love climbing in the morning's at the Alaska Rock Gym with some friends while Dave played. His sound brings back many good memories.

Now, I'm going to go watch the premier of Downton Abbey. I stayed up late last night in part to finished the shawl, but I also was trying to finish the last of season 2 of DA. Episode 9 ended just as I finished blocking out the edges of the shawl. Talk about good timing.

All I will say so I don't spoil anything for others is too bad Thomas is such an ass because he is kind of cute. But damn is he a jerk!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Green Toes

Good Morning,

Well, I worked all night and just got up from a nap so it's my morning anyway. And the great news it was my last night of full time employment at the hospital. This is great for many reasons but I won't get into them here. Now as nice as that sounds, I'm not just tinkering away my extra time knitting and spinning. I am instead working a second job but it's better for me at this time.

Last night though I was able to finish these doozies.
I have torture myself with socks a couple times a year it seems. I don't know why I do it but I do.
I have to admit that I enjoy wearing my own hand knit socks, even if I don't care for knitting them.

Now I have a dirty little secret to fess up to. Wednesday night I sat up spinning the last of my "Rain on the Fjords" singles. Pics to come when they're all done. But as I spun I pulled up the first season of Downton Abbey on Netflix to keep me company late into the night. It was a great time but I got hooked. Yesterday I logged onto iTunes with my Christmas gift card and bought season's one and two. I have about half of season two watched now in hopes of getting them all watched before season three starts on Sunday.

Now, for those that know me, you may be aware that I hate feeling like I'm stuck to the television waiting for a show. I would rather own it on DVD and watch it at my leisure, or just rent it. But this time I'm looking forward to it. I think the show is wonderfully written and can't wait to be excited as the story line continues, even if I want to take the two eldest daughters by the scruff of their necks and knock their heads together. Maybe it's just that, it's a show that shows we all have our good qualities but we also have those aspects of ourselves we wish to keep hidden from others. Like those two daughters that on their own do selfless acts, or at least don't always act in their own self interest (yes, those two things are different), but put them together and you have to watch for hair pulling and face scratching.

Anyway, I'm hooked, but I have a lot to get done so better get to it (sadly none of it involves fiber at this time). But before I go, here's a bit of gratuitous furry beast.

He was blocking my shot for the socks. Needy little fur ball.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Basket of Plums

Well, that's what the fiber was called when I first got my hands on it. And though I normally change the name once I have my finished yarn, it still reminds me of the color of ripe plums and I can almost taste the sweet tang of a beautiful summer plum on my tongue.
So I think the name will stick.
In the end I ended up with 320yds of wonderfully soft 2ply polwarth and silk DK weight yarn. I love it. I can't wait to dig into it for it's intended use, but these damn socks just won't ever end. I knit on them today for three and a half hours and I swear they only grew half an inch. Why do I always torture myself with socks? Why?!? I swear, some people never learn, and yes, I am speaking of myself. I admit it. My shame threshold is really high so if you want the gossip on me, just come sit by me. I tell the best stories about myself.

As for finishing up the basket of plums...
This is the closest I have ever gotten my single s to match up in yardage. EVER. I hope this means that somehow in all of this, I am getting slowly better at this spinning stuff. I hope.

Now that I just had a huge goat rope of a fight with blogger to format the layout of the last picture correctly and put it in the correct place (really blogger, why do you occasionally have to have this spaz moment? It's really irritating) I think I'm done with computers for the night. Way to go blogger... Computerized bastard.

I hope you all have a good night now that I'm worked up.