family, knitting, living

Posts tagged “knitting

Pictures

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Misc……

It’s been a busy summer here. I feel like I have spent the entire Summer behind and without enough energy to do everything I want. (or at least everything I think I should be able to do and still have time to enjoy life)
I spent the day with the girls…all day…a day they needed and I needed. We are together all of the time except for the 30 or less hours I work each week. But, I spend so much of my down time trying to play catch up that we don’t spend large chunks of quality time together. So today, we finished breakfast and were in Grey’s room by 10. Grey spent all day working on making American girl doll hammocks using her sewing machine. I was there for moral support and the occasional tech assistance or to talk her down off the ledge. Mycah cuddled up with me and I helped her with her hand sewing and we watched Julia and Jaques make desserts on Hulu. We all had a really good time. I also knit a bit between consultations. Grey said this was the best day ever and I have to agree. Here are pics of Grey creating and of her creations. I am also throwing in picks of the 16 pounds of zuchini I shredded, bread I made, sweater I finished a bit ago and the shawl I started. Busy, busy….but in a good way.

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J is for Just In

I finished my French Girl Knits Delphine lacy cap sleeve top last night.  Here’s the Ravelry link.   http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Slipping/delphine-lacy-cap-sleeve-top    I just finished it last night in time to wash it and dry it so I could wear it this morning for work  I may have mentioned…I work in a knit shop and I love wearing hand-knits in the store.  I get excited and that makes customers excited and it’s just more fun.  Anyway, I had to weave in the ribbon this morning and made it just in time to get to the store.  The top absolutely has to have the ribbon…if not, it is not a just a “French Girl” knit, it’s a “French Girl in a Bordello knits!”  The sleeves fall down to an off the shoulder type garment….not a good look for a 40-ish year old mom with chunky arms!!!!!


G is for Grateful

I have so many things to be grateful for this week.  As you may have noticed, I missed “G” last week.   We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains in GA with our best friends and their twins.  I have a number of photos to show you as proof positive that I have so much to be grateful for.  I’m grateful for a husband who is a better partner than I deserve and who is the father that the girls need; for my beautiful girls who find everything exciting and fresh; for my dearest friend who lets me be crazy while all the time gently nudging me toward a saner place;  for two amazing 15 year olds who are excellent role models and friends to my girls;  for my hubby’s best friend who is always there; and last, but not least, my snuggly bed, two cuddly cats and a cup of Earl Grey with my favorite cookies before bed.  

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PS>>>>> Check out more ABC Posts at the Accidental Knitter  http://accidental-knitter.blogspot.com/2011/06/h-is-for-hairband.html


B is for Big Brown Blobs

Let me say this….I LOVE my husband.  As proof I give you…the big brown blob.  Yes, I can even prove how much I love him.  I am 630 yard into a never-ending garter stitch outdoor sweater for him in ….wait for it……brown.  I have never knit Henry a sweater even though I have promised before.  This year is our ten-year anniversary.  (he say 17 years if you count the 7ish we loved together!)  Anyway, I desperately want to give him a sweater he will wear and love for our anniversary.  So around Christmas I started the search for the perfect sweater.  Most were met with great resistance.  In a last-ditch effort, I pulled three sweaters that I felt like we down his alley.  He saw the Adult Tomten by Jared Flood (original is Elizabeth Zimmermann) and he was hooked.  I brought home three different skeins of yarn fo varying weights and colors and nothing pleased him.  So, I said how about the yarn Jared used and of course he said yes but felt the colors were not what he wanted.  So, he picked out a brown  and with probably go with a green for the stripes and edging.  Here’s Jared’s version    http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/adult-tomten-jacket  .  Anyway, I have been knitting on this for a month and am only finally about ready to divide the fronts.  Of course, once I do get there, it should move along much faster….but boy am I slogging away in brown garter stitch land now!

I almost forgot to include one of myfavorite songs for me and Henry…

http://youtu.be/DHEOF_rcND8    


Knitted (sort of) Farmyard

In August our girls started a new school.  The school is a small private Waldorf school.  (for those interested in learning a little more, here is a Wikipedia reference  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waldorf_education )  There is a lot more to Waldorf education than a Wiki reference, but you get the picture.  Anyway, it is a very small school, only one class per grade in grades 1-8 and two mixed age classes of pre-school and kindergarteners.  The school does a lot of community outreach in order to keep things going as the tuition alone would not float the school.  There are two big fundraisers every year.  The first is the Elves Fair in November and the second is the Gala in the spring.  Part of the Gala is an auction……….I’m sure you can see where this is going……

I have decided to make a knitted farmyard inspired by Wernhard Hannelore.  Her book is here on Amazon   http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1844482170/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0855325763&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0SERHA50EK428SZ5JS6D

I say inspired because since I really got to looking at the book, I thought that the author had lost her mind.  The entire play mat is made on a base of latch hook rug canvas.  It is hooked and embroidered into the rug.  I had Henry draw out the portions I thought I’d like to have and then we sat down to watch a movie with the girls while I started the embroidery on the pond.  I worked for an hour and then Henry worked for the second hour with very little to show for the time invested.  I was getting vey discouraged when henry said….how about cutting up some Goodwill sweaters.  EUREKA!  I went to Goodwill yesterday and scored some great fabric that had no business being worn in the style in which they were made….so no great fashion has been harmed in the making of this object.  I have started piecing together the different sweater fabrics.  I will still have to latch hook bushes and maybe a field, but most of this will be a lot less labor intensive than I first planned.  The part that will be challenging is getting enough various little animals and people made.  I have several friends at school who have volunteered to knit something and one friend had volunteered to needle felt some animals for the farmyard.  I think the mixture of fiber crafts will make this project even more interesting than I originally thought.  I hope that it brings in some money for the school as well.  I plan to keep you updated for the next month on it’s progress…it should be interesting.

 

 

 

 


Waiting for the leaves to turn

I am waiting for the changes.  Some I wait for impatiently, some I dread, some have to happen, some can’t.  Changes are part of life.  The only end to change in one’s life is the end of one’s life.  I know this, but it doesn’t make some changes any easier.

We’ve spent all summer working on the new house…talk about a change!  The house is incredible and I cannot wait to move in, but I have to wait another week I think.  There are still a handful of things that need to happen and I don’t want to rush in where we are living in an uncomfortable situation.  It’s funny,  I am dying to move in, but I am nervous and worried at the same time.

My sisters are all having major changes happening in their lives.  I am standing on the sidelines waiting to see who needs to be picked up.  My stomach turns and churns watching and waiting for the last shoe to drop in all of these situations.  I know that at least two of the sisters will come out stronger on the other end, but I can’t stand to see them hurt, but the other sis…I’m not so sure about.

My girls have changed schools.  We put them in the local Waldorf school after three years of public school for the oldest and one for the youngest.  This was a very hard change to make.  We fell in love with  the school more than a year ago and have been planning this change for that long, but we still had tears from the oldest for the first couple of days.  It’s funny, she knows that this is where they belong, but she is still homesick for the other school.  They have both started to settle in and seem to really be blossoming.  They are wonderful girls (yes, I am biased, but this is true).  They are creative, curious, polite, full of wonder, adventurous, willing to try, and  good hearted….all of these things seem to help them fall right in with the other children and I look at their classmates and am amazed to find such confident, grounded little beings.  This has been a great change even with the challenges.

Speaking of changes, there are some I need to make (or I should say, Henry and I need to make).  On the health from the two of us are woefully unprepared to get older.  We need to clean up our diets and start exercising.  And I need to find a way to learn to let go of stress or at least not react so strongly to it.  The summer’s stress has caused me a hard summer and at least one minor exacerbation.  I need to get healthy physically, mentally and  emotionally to lull my MonSter back to sleep.  Once we finally get moved, the changes will be coming on that front.

Now I know most of you bother with my blog more for pictures and knitting than for the dribble above, so ask me how I meet all of these changes…  Well, I continue to knit.  As Elizabeth Zimmerman says, “Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises.”  I have not exactly produced a ton, but I have managed to continue to knit a little here and there throughout all of this junk and have a few things to show for the effort.  I made a baby jacket for a friend fo a friend and I knitted a big headed monkey for Mycah’s birthday.  I also started a vest for me for winter.  The only downside to the vest is that I have to borrow it back from the shop as Carolyn gave me the yarn to knit it for the shop sample!


New entry, without photos or finished objects!

I’ve spent most of my free time sewing with Lori today.  (the time that was not filled with making dinner, taking grey to a playdate, meeting with the contractor or the myriad fo other things that seem to happen over the course of a day)  Anyway, I cut out my pattern after extensive alterations to said pattern by Lori.  I happen to be very lucky as Lori is a fashion design and patterning instructor at a university in GA.  So, she worked on a commercial pattern that I purchased because it was similar to one of my favorite summer shirts.  I am very hot natured these days and I hate to wear unflattering things just because they are cooler.  So, I thought  I would make a few tops.  Lori have really worked on this pattern to get it to fit me and look the way I want.  Of course, i happen to like details…those little details  that make sewing something an absolute crazy pain in the ass and I am an adventurous beginner at best.  I made several error s this evening due to being tired and having a headache, so I have nothing to show you.  In the morning I will rip part of the neckline out and sew in the facing.  then I will hem tha shirt and I will be able to show you a beautiful finished object…………I hope.

On a totally different note, I started a pair of socks last night and they are going well.  They are infinitely more portable than the shawl that has to grow beyond comfortable portability!!!!


Randomness and Catch-up, again, again, again

I am determined to post tonight.  In all honesty I have wanted to post a number of times over the last month and have just become too irritated with the Mac to do it.  See, I have been a PC user until this past Christmas>  I needed a new computer, so Henry bought me the one I wanted terribly… MacBook Pro.  It is awesome, but I did not take a clas…I am not that kind of person, I like to figure things out on my own.  Unfortunately, the thing that would have helped me the most is what I need to post easily.  I need a simple explanation as to where to store things and how to access them easily so that I can load the photos into my post.  Agggghhhhh, I will beat this!

Anyway, onto the blog.  We are in the middle of renovation land at the moment.  The new house has had much work done to her and will have much more work to come.  Henry and I have painted the living room, the dining room, the guest room downstairs, and the girls playroom.  Now, while this may sound like no big deal, let me explain…..our gal is tall!  She has 12ft ceilings which required the purchase of a baker scaffold.  We have not turned on the air as we want the house to air out both the paint fumes and the order that she has acquired before our purchase.  Anyway, it is hot in TN.  It takes me and Henry 2 days per room to lay on two coats of paint.  The dining room took three days because we had to paint the poop-BROWN ceiling.  We still have the girls room, our room, two bathrooms and the yet to be completed kitchen to paint.

In addition to the painting, we will be ripping out the master bath due to some hidden water damage and not hidden hideousness and the kitchen will be finished by the contractor and a library will be built in the other guest room downstairs.   All of this is supposed to be complete by the end of July so that we can move in and get settled before the girls start school.  We are crazy!  We will make it.  Here are a couple of pictures for your enjoyment>>>

That’s the kitchen before.

Above is the before of the dining room.

In news unrelated to the house, I have been doing a bit of sewing, knitting and hand sewing.  I took a class with Lori at Textile Fabrics http://www.textilefabricstore.com/public_html/  .   The class was on reverse applique and was with Natalie Chanin.  http://alabamachanin.com/   It really got me excited about working on ANYTHING again.  I have barely knit in the last couple of months because of the house and because I had gone back to work temping for my old company.  I have been so busy and so tired, I have not felt like doing anything.  It was great to get my hands busy making something again.  The creating bug bit hard, so I took advantage of having Lori at hand and dug out two old unfinished sewing projects.  Last summer I attempted a dress for each girl and made some fatal errors in the construction.  This was before my week long sewing lesson with Lori.  I sheepishly dug them out to show her.  She said it was salvageable and we began to rip.  We ripped out most of my sewing, ironed and repaired.  Now, my girls each have the dresses I promised them last year.  I also cut out another dress for Grey last night and sewed it.  She was pretty pleased with it as well!

I would love to tell you more, but I will save it for later as this stupid post has taken an hour!!!!


Second Great Snow Day!

I am entirely too tired to write some long descriptive post.  So, you will have to deal with photos only.  I am starting a shawl with some local alpaca because I get to go with Lori to the Alpaca convention here.  She has several students who have placed well in their fashion design contest and I get to be her date for the tea!  Oh, forgot to mention….it is at the farm where I bought the alpaca I am making the shawl with.  It is a blend of 5 of their black alpacas.


Snow Days

Yes, folks…we have had a couple of real snow days.  By real, I mean we got about 5 inches of snow.  Now, I know for those friends of mine still in Iowa and now in MN, 5 inches is laughable……but in TN, 5 inches of snow makes the city stop, grown men and women turn into children and causes the grocery stores to run out of milk, bread AND toilet paper!

On Thursday evening, our school system called off school for Friday.  I got up Friday morning to find the streets barely damp.  We were very disappointed, but not surprised as this is par for the course in Nashville.  At 9am it started snowing in a manner that seemed promising.  It was not bad and I had to go to my Nanny’s because she had an ice maker line fail and I (being the busy body, ex-claims adjuster I am) had to make sure things were going as they should.  I wound up spending about 2 and a half hours there calling insurance companies, condo association, er services, etc.  By the time I was ready to leave, we had about an inch and a half.  No problem, I learned a lot about snow in Iowa.  While this is true, I failed to take into account that not everyone in Nashville went to Iowa with me.  I got on Briley Parkway only to find it at a stand still because there were 4 accidents all within 1 mile of each other!

I finally made it home and spent the rest of the day watching the snow accumulate, doing science experiments with the girls, cooking and seeming up a baby sweater while the girls painted a bird house next to me in their craft/toy room.  It was so cozy and lovely.  We had a great time.

We did not go sledding yesterday as I really wanted the snow to get to the point that it was deep enough to sled nicely.  So, this morning we got up ready for some serious sledding.  I planned to drive down to the park a mile from the house, but could not get the car out of the drive because I closed the gate last night and the gate must be dug out before we can open it.  So, we sledded our street, then the green at Waverly-Belmont and then at the park.  Henry and I pulled the girls most of the way there and back.  We did not have sleds because we lost them in the Iowa flood, so I bought inner tubes.  They worked pretty good after getting out technique down.  On the way back home we stopped at the Frothy Monkeys for hot chocolate and a late lunch.  It was a great time.  Now we are in, warm and fed.  I plan to do some knitting and bake some bread.  The girls are enjoying taking it easy after playing so hard and Henry is playing WOW.

I LOVE snow days!

Here’s some pics of our two snow days.


French Socks

On my way to France I chose to work on my second sock of the Nutkin socks by Beth LaPensee.  I had finished the first one over a month ago and just couldn’t make any real progress on the second one.  I had managed to cast on and make the fold down top, but that is all.  I am seriously wondering if I will ever be a sock knitter, as the pair took over 4 months to complete and Wendy is on her third pair of socks after we started together.  Anyway, I knit through a good portion of our flight to France and some on the TGV.  By the time I got to Becca’s I was ready to turn the heel.  I finished the socks after three days of being in France.  I would have finished them sooner…but Christophe was busy making sure I did not miss anything of interest in the south of France.

The pattern is easy to remember and very intuitive, so I did not have t lug out the pattern when I knit.  I only needed it to remind me of the number of repeats.  I did change the heal to an eye of partridge as I had done the short row heel as suggested on the first sock and found it to be thin.  I had to rip that out.  I did not want a sock that I spent so much time on to crap out on the heel. I also did a standard toe rather than her toe.  I like the look better.  Of course, my Kitchener is less than spectacular, so the toe on the pattern would probably have looked better.  I used ShibuiKnits Sock.  Unfortunately I don’t remember the colorway.  The bright sun in the south of France make the variegation really stand out.  In person, the difference in the purples is much more subtle and not so distracting from the lace pattern.  I have not washed these yet, but my girlfriend made her first pair with the same yarn in a different colorway and they faded terribly.  The socks started out as vibrant as mine and after the first cold water handwash looked very dull.  I hope that will not be the case with mine.

Here is the Ravelry link for those of you on Ravelry.   http://www.ravelry.com/projects/Slipping/nutkin

Here are the photos that Becca took in her back yard….doesn’t it look like I’m at a resort!

I wore my socks on the plane coming home.  They are very, very warm!  I had to take them off for the last flight as I was about to pass out.  If I stick with knitting socks, I may have to find a lighter weight yarn!!!

 


Master’s Knitting

I don’t think I have mentioned it on my blog yet…but who knows!  I have started the Master Knitting Program offered through The Knitting Guild Association.  Here’s the link in case ny of you are interested.  http://www.tkga.com/mastersprogram.shtm

In short, one must knit numerous swatches demonstrating mastery of specified techniques, do research, answer technical questions and eventually design an Aran sweater and write the pattern.  I am on the first level.  There are three levels.  I consider myself a good knitter….not the best, but reasonably good.  I expected this to be somewhat challenging, but fun and informative.  Wow!  It has been challenging and I only have gotten through three swatches!  individually, none of the techniques have been particularly hard as far as being able to do them.  However, the level of perfection that I am finding myself in pursuit of is ridiculous.  Two months ago I would have knit the swatches below and called them great.  Now, I am wondering if they are even “good enough” to submit.

The 2by2 ribbing comprised the majority of my frustration and time.  I am a continental knitter and due to the way I purl, my purl stitches are looser than my knit stitches.  It really showed up in my first three tries at the 2by2 rib.  The ribbing was rolling open where the stitches went from a knit to a purl.  I found an article at the TKGA website about this very thing!  Apparently I am not the only one to be cursed by this phenomenon.  I think I have fixed it.  The remedy is basically tugging on the working yarn right after the knit stitch and then again after the first purl.  It sure does slow things down a bit….but it may be worth it if it keeps me from having to reknit them after being rejected by the committee.

The stockinette swatch with the 1by1 ribbing was much better in the ribbing section, but did cause me some problem again with the difference in tension between my knit and my purl stitches on the stockinette portion.  When the tension between knit and purl in stockinette is different, the result is a fabric that has a slightly rippled appearance.  I had to tackle this several times.  I think I am now satisfied with that.

I am hesitant on my increases on both swathces, but especially on the garter stitch swatch.  I think they show.  The point of this exercise, was that you make increase that are invisible.  I did a lot of research and found what I thought was going to be the most invisible increase for ribbing…the knit in front and back (vogue calls it the bar increase because of the bar that it leaves behind).  This happens to be the increase I use most often, but now I am wondering.

I have not blocked these yet and I have finished the seed stitch swatch, but have no photos yet.  I will block all three and repost.  I would love feedback from anyone who has any ideas on how to make my knitting better, words of encouragement or anyone who wold like to commiserate with me!  Hell, I’ll take any kind of feedback!

Anyway, here are the swatches.

garter and 2by2 ribbing

first two swatchs

And here is a picture Mycah drew of Henry on her Leapster game.  Isn’t it the cutest!!!!

mycah's drawing of poppa on the leapster


Calorimetry

I forgot to post a photo of Emmy in the Calorimetry I made. 

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Biscuts and Noro

Another post on the same day…no sleep equals time to do extra things.  Anyway, I was feeling a little less than inspired this evening when super time rolled around, so we had breakfast.  Grey has been asking for breakfast for dinner for weeks.  It’s one of those things that is kind of fun and definitely out of the norm for the girls.  I decided that we needed biscuits if we were going to have breakfast.  Mycah helped me make biscuits a couple of weeks ago, so she was ken on getting to do it again and Grey wanted t since she didn’t get to help last time.  They both have their own aprons for cooking and a different one for crafting.  Grey used her cooking apron, but Mycah used her craft apron because it is short enough for her to keep from tripping!  Anyway, they each cut in  a stick of butter (yes, the recipe calls for two sticks of butter).  I patted out the dough and they used my mother-in-laws biscuit cutters to make a ton of various sized biscuit.  We really had a good time. 

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Me and the girls spent this past weekend with my mother.  While I was there I started and finished a cablomintry out of about 1/2 of Noro.  I wore it today and the girls were kind enough to take a picture of it.  I also made one for Emmy out of red cashmere and a loose spun silk.  I had actually made that one for me also, but Emmy loved it so much that I had to give it to her.  She looked so pretty.  I did make a second one for me, but it is still in need of ties and weaving in the ends. 

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100th Post and a Give Away!

Believe it or not…I have been putting off making my 100th post becauseI wanted something worthy to post about.  I know…silly.  Well, I have something worthy.  This morning I spoke with an old friend.  D was my best friend in high school.  He is a year older than me and I thought he was soooo cool.  He went to college first and was responsible for me meeting Henry.  D was also my first room mate in my first apartment.  For a while D, Henry and me were always together.  We had the best times.  Then, about 7 years ago something happened and we just quit talking.  I think I was not as good of friend as I should have been and neither was Henry as the two of us got so involved with our lives together and we pushed D….not on purpose.  Then he was pretty unhappy with us and then I got my feelings hurt..and so on and so on. 

Today Henry called him for something else.  They talked and then I talked to D.  He sounded very happy, different, but the same and not angry.  When I actually got to speak to him it really made me realize how much I miss him.  It sounds like the three of us will get the opportunity to try to rekindle our friendship and THAT is worthy of my 100th post.

Just to make sure my knitting buddies celebrate with me….I am going to give away some yarn and a book to go with it.  So…leave a comment and I will have one of my monkey girls choose a name from a hat.  (I have no idea how to use a random number generator and do not plan on learning right now.)  You have until Friday to leave a comment!


Picture of my first plied handspun

I have finally gotten around to taking decent pictures of my first plied hand-spun.  Here’s the scoop.  My first hand-spun was a little iffy…if you know what I mean.  I don’t remember if I even posted a picture or not.  It was a merino tencil blend (50/50) that I had fell in love with at the Fiber Festival in Murfreesboro a few months ago.  My friend, Jan of Daily Fibers, had dyed it and I had to have it.  She was a little hesitant when I told her that I was just starting to spindle spin yarn, but finally let me have it. I will say…this… it was not the right fiber for me to start spinning with.  I did not use my spindlelyn, but started on my wheel.  It was a little slicky and the fibers are pretty short, so it would get thin and I would compensate with too much fiber.  This went on back and forth until I took it off the bobbin and tried again. The second time was more successful, but still really not what I was hoping for.  I feel like I wasted some gorgeous fiber. 

Anyway, I backed up and spun some shetland.  This was some pretty rawish fiber I got at the festival also.  The farm is in White Plein, TN, I think.  Anyway, it was cleaned and combed but minimally processed.  It was a beautiful full, dark chocolate.  There was no dye, it was completely natural.  This was so easy to spin that I thought I was some sort of spinning savant.  I got a really nice fingering to light fingering weight yarn.  Here’s a picture of what is left after I used most of it to ply. 

Then I spun some Louet Blue Faced Leicester.  This was a little tougher and while I wound up with a respectable single, it was a little thicker than the Shetland.  I did not get a photo of that alone.  Anyway, I was itching to try my hand at plying.  I haven’t had a class and am relying on a couple of you-tube videos, so I hope I did it right.  I am actually pretty happy with it.  The nice thing is that I plied the dark brown Shetland with the ivory BFL so I could really see what was happening wile I plied.  The yarn is balanced and does not twist back on itself now that it is plied.  Here’s a shot of it after it was wound.  Wendy hand wound it for me because I made my PVC Niddy Noddy so big that the hank was too big for the swift. 

christmas-205-and-janury-2006-0392

This leads me to the PVC Niddy Noddy.  I found a diy on   http://www.doctordirt.com/blog/niddy.html  .  I used her directions to make myself and Wendy a NiddyNoddy.  The total cost of the two together was about 3-4 dollars.  I decided to make the PVC one rather than getting a wood niddy noddy because I wanted to wet set the twist in may yarn as I had been reading.  The PVC can get wet without it deflecting or eventually rotting.  The brown and ivory yarn above was wet set on the noddy and it worked like a charm.  The only problem as the above mentioned trouble with the size of the hank.  I originally made the main portion of the noddy 18 inches long as suggested, but that proved to be too big.  So, I went back down to the basement and used Henry’s chop saw to cut it down to 12 inches.  This makes one full wrap around the noddy equal to one yard, which is handy and makes the hank manageable for my swift. 

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The next set of photos is 4 ounces of BFL hand painted by Jan of Daily Fibers.  I plied it with itself and am not as happy with it as I would have like.  My singles were a it over-spun and then the plying is a bit under-spun.  I think it will be fine once the twist is set and I knit something with it.  It is just not as good as I thought it would be after I felt like a super genius on the first plying adventure!  I have wound it onto the niddy noddy for its bath.

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I sat this morning and pun 4 ounces of Daily Fiber’s Wensleydale top.  It was tougher to spin, but easier to spin than the BFL (I know I contradict myself).  What I mean is that the fibers truly want to be together, so they grab onto each other with ease.  The hard part is that they are so grabby that I have to be sure to do some heavy pre-drafting to make sure I get the weight of yarn I want.  It took more time, but I really like my single. I am thinking of plying it with a commercial yarn.  I have some black lace weight that might be nice.  I have seen people ply with thread, but I think yarn will be more my speed. 

Oh…here’s a photo of my little spinning space.  I spin in the living room in the front of the house.  It is usually pretty full of light and just cozy.  I love it. 

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One other thing….does anyone have any idea what these things are?  Henry claims his mother used them to wind yarn.  I’m not really sure about that. I would love an expert opinion….anyone…anyone?

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New Hair, New Hats and Christmas Tree

I have lots of photos to share.  Hopefully they will come out in the gallery and not take too long to load.  The first ones are of our Christmas tree.  We put it up the day before Thanksgiving but did no decorate it until the weekafter.  This is our first Christmas in our new house.  We are pretty settled

and it is really beginning to feel like home.  There is nothing better than hanging out next to the Christmas tree in the morning, turning on the lights, everyone else asleep, hot coffee and knitting in the living room.  Amazing.

The photos also show both girls pre-haircut.  Grey has been begging to cut her hair for months.  Henry did not want her to cut her hair, but finally gave in after months of whining.  His only requirement was that she has to have enough to give to locks of love.  It finally measured 10.4 inches, so she got it cut.   The pictures show the actual snip.  Mycah wanted her hair cut just like Grey’s….so she did.  They are so cute!

The last set of photos show the hats I knit for Henry, Grey and Mycah.  Henry’s is made of Noro.  It has a double layer where the cabled band folds up over the main body of the hat.  This makes a very warm hat.  He really needs a warm one for Iowa.  Iowa is frickin cold!!  The colors are so Henry.  he loves i.  Grey’s hat is made Malabrigio worsted and in the Wooly Wormhead pattern, Meret.  It should be a little baggier, but I was afraid she would not wear it too slouchy.  Mycah’s is special.  She picked the yarn.  I hate the yarn.  The colors are every bit as hideous as they show up on the screen.  The yarn is about 90% artificial crap and shiny as all get out!   She wanted her hat to look like a flower….but wanted the teal color, not green for the leaf part.  I hate it and she absolutely loves it.  She is wearing it around the house.  Oh well….at least she likes it.


My First Handpsun

I am posting pictures for posterity…not because this damn yarn is any good!  Well, it is not terrible and does seem like it will work as yarn…just not what I envisioned. The reason it is two colors is that I was trying two different types of wool.  The brown is Shetland and the white is Blue Faced Leicester.  The BIG wound ball of brown is not my hand-spun, it is Eco-wool by Cascade.  Is that not the coolest thing ever!  It is not dyed, the sheep was that color and there is almost 500 yards there.  It retails for 16.50.  This is a great value and it feels pretty good due to the minimal processing.  The yarn is for Henry’s sweater.  I have been through three yarns and probably the same number of needles, but I finally have gauge and a fabric that we both like. 

I’m a little scattered right now.  The rough draft for Henry’s thesis is due the 15th and I am chief editor.  Ughhhh.  I am having he hardest time focusing on it because I don’t want to do it.  I just want to knit and bury my head in the sand!  Oh well, I’ll get it done. 

By the way….I have now been to the Y to swim 8 times in 2.5 weeks.  I am trying desperately to turn over a healthy new leaf.  I feel like I need to be in the best physical shape I can be in.  I don’t want the next relapse to send me into a tailspin again.  Dr. M says that the healthierI am, the better able my body can cope with the MonSter.  I’m taking him at his word….time for me to get my head out of my butt and take care of myself. 

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Busy Weekend!

I kept Allison’s three girls today along with my two.  We decided to walk to the popsicle place on Kirkwood.  It’s called Las Paletas.  They ahve the most awesome popsicles.  Bobby Flay challenged them to a throwdown and he lost!  Anyaway, the girls are crazy about the popsicles, so we walked.  It is about a mile…one way.  I had to take the wagon for Elliot (9 months) and Evans (3.5 years).  Mycah (4 and some change) decided she needed to ride as well.  So, I wound up pulling them in the wagon most of the way there and back.  I am exhausted.  But, it was worth it.  Don’t they look like sisters!  They are so similar that they look more like sisters than cousins.  Of course, they also all look like Allison…even my girls! 

Here’s a few pictures of the shrug I made Grey.  She needed a little something for school.  It had to conform with the color regulations for her school.  She would have rather had something pink, I’m sure.  Anyway.  She is very pleased, even though it’s hard to tell in the picture.  She was tired from walking so far and was not digging the modeling shots!  I made up this pattern myself.  It is top down and seamless.  I used Caron Simply Soft Chunky.  I used about 2.2 skeins, so this would be about 110 yards.  The best part is that it took me about 1.5 days to knit!!!!!! Talk about some instant gratification.   The back has an OXOX cables so that she has hugs and kisses from momma all day!  I know I can be a cheeseball sometimes.  Anyway, I am going to give the pattern to Wendy to try out and if it works for her, I will put it on my blog.  It is my first design!!!! 

 Here is a picture of me in the February Lady Sweater.  I have gotten to the point that I hate to be photographed.  But…I do love my sweater.  This picture was taken by Henry right before we left for the Fall Carnival for Grey’s school.  Henry and I helped set up and take down a booth and we both worked a couple of shifts in it.  I also baked a pound cake and 4 dozen chocolate steel cut oat cookies for the bake sale that went on during the carnival.  This past week has been quite busy and I am exhausted.  It was all worth it though.  I think our family made some great memories his weekend.


February Lady Sweater

I finished my February Lady Sweater about a week to a week and a half ago.  Then I threw it in my trunk to show the girls at Haus of Yarn in Nashville. I purchased the yarn there and was very proud…so proud that I made the poor girls look at it!  Anyway, the actual knitting of it took about two months from cast on.  During that time, I knit the yoke once, ripped it out and reknit it because it was too small; tried three different cuffs on one sleeve;ran out of yarn;  finished both sleeves only to find they did not match; and then finally reknit them.  It took two stores, four different sets of buttons and the opinions of all near and dear to me…well some strangers too.  Now I have soaked it in wool wash and blocked it. 

This is the very first thing that I have knit for myself AND actually kept.  I have knit several items with the idea of keeping them only to find someone I love that I feel cannot go without said item.  I knit for people I love, babies and charity.  Mostly, I knit for those I love because it seems like a tangible expression of my love. 

Ok, I’m rambling.   The sweater was a joy to knit.  I used three skeins and a tiny bit more of Malabrigo in the Stonechat colorway and 1.5 of the brown (I don’t remember the name).  The buttons are a shell material and the color matches the brown of the yoke so they disappear.  I do plan on taking a modeled shot once the thing dries.  I’m posting a couple of photos just to show what it looks like so far because I am so excited.  I am also posting a picture of the bath tub after I soaked the sweater.  All I have to say is ….gross.  This sweater took many rips to the playground and to the backyard.  I also found both cats sleeping on it at different times……so it was DIRTY.  I expected a little dirt, but that is just yuck. 

 


Lace Swatch

Contrary to what one might think, this is not  the front of a knitted G-string.  This is a swatch for my swap partner (see below).  I was to swatch the pattern I picked for her and then post it on Ravelry.  I may have messed up because I am thinking I should have sent it to he.  I don’t know.  Anyway, it is the end of the tie on the Clementine Shawl in the summer IK 2007.  The pattern in so sweet that I may have to make one too.  It looks like a pretty quick knit.  It is a mini-shawl or shawlette.  I’m not sure I would where it as a shawl, but i might make a nice bunchy scarf.  One more thing to add to my ever expanding list of things to make!


Swap!!!!

This is my swap package from Piercy in the monthly swap group I am in in on Ravelry.  Even though it is monthly, I don’t participate every month.  With all that has gone on this year, I just have not been able to invest the time that the swaps deserve.  This time I really waned to be in because it was a lace swap.  I had a great time picking out my swap partners yarn and goodies….but I have to say, Opening this package was even better! 

I have been lusting after this yarn called Dream in Color.  All of you knitters know what I’m talking about…you non-knitters, let’s just say it’s a luxury car.  Anyway, every time I try to buy it, it is sold out.  This is some hot yarn.  So, imagine my total and utter surprise when I opened the package to find Dream in Color in a color that is absolutely what I would have picked!  In addition to that there was Blue Sky Skinny Dyed cotton with a note on it that it was for the Preemie Project!  There is a pattern for the yarn too.  Piercy did an amazing job picking out colors, patterns and really paying attention to what was going on with me.  She even put a note in saying she hopes we get settled in our new house so I can knit! 

This was such a lovely suprise and a sorely needed one.  She lifted my spirits and made me feel special.  I sure hope that my swap partner feels the same about her package.


Finished Object-Chemo Cap

My mom’s neighbor has had a drastic and sudden bought of leukemia.  That kind of “hmmmmI don’t feel good…hmmmmI feel bad, let’s go to the doctor” and then they don’t let you leave!  Her name is Lisa.  I don’t think I am giving anything away because strangers would have to do a lot of leg work to figure all this out and then why?  Anyway, she’s been very, very ill with the chemo and lost her hair.  Momma said she’s cool about it, but it is getting hot out and the sun is hell in TN, so I knit her a little something that should help with the sun a bit, warm her in the cool evenings and hopefully fill up her heart when she needs it.  I truly tried to think about Lisa with every stitch.  I got most of it done during a four hour wait in an airport on my way home.  I decided to not get upset about the plane or anything and just knit.  I hope that every stitch in that hat points her in the right direction.  Lisa, you go girl! 

Here it is, modeled, by Grey.  It’s a little big on her, but fits me fine and I have close to no hair after the hair was touching my ear episode!