Wednesday, April 09, 2014

It's Friday!!!!

It's Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend so much!

Spring weather has finally arrived (for the most part, anyway). We are no longer bundling up in many layers just to run to the store. The crocus and daffodils are poking their heads further out of the ground. The fish in the pond are coming up to beg food more often and the birds are singing and chirping like crazy! I love it!

Karen and Nancy came to visit on Wednesday as planned. I really did learn how to use my cards properly and to make rolags. ;-) Now I have a way to prep fiber that is not appropriate for flicking or combing or just because I want to. The Lebowski socks have been dissected and repairs will commence shortly. We chatted and I showed off several of my knitting projects and got some advice on what to do with my Cattails sweater to fix the collar. We were entertained by the cat and Nancy, who had endless patience for playing with him. None of us got a whole lot of knitting done but that's OK. It was more of a visit than a knitting event.

So, my excitement for fibery things is increasing. I find that I need a plan in order to get any significant progress done on anything. If I don't, I get sidetracked too much. I still get sidetracked sometimes, but not as much. ;-)
Projects on the needles are many. I want to finish, finish, finish. No new casting on for me for a while. I am trying to set reasonable goals, by month at this point, to get things finished. It's the right season to wear Cattails, so that front edging re-knit is high on the list. I'd like to have most of the body, at least, of the hoodie finished before the summer. I really want to have both leftover socks from last years Tour de Sock finished. I will finish the beaded Maze socks in April and the Chicane sock in May, ready for a fresh start on the TdS on June 1. I think those projects are enough to keep me busy but I want to start spinning again.

The Tour de Fleece is always a good jump starter for my spinning. There are so many options for TdF spinning that I can't settle on a plan. I could continue to spin my Shetland fleece. I probably should, but I am craving color spinning. I could, then, clear bobbins and plan on spinning as much color (braids, bumps, batts and dyed locks) as I can manage. I am afraid that I won't put as much thought into a use for them that way, though, and I don't want to spin without at least a general plan for the fiber. I need to spend a day with my fiber stash, looking for good combinations and potential projects or at least uses for the fiber (such as mittens or hat or part of a sweater) before I spin it. That leads me to thinking that my best plan might be to finish up the Shetland bobbin I am spinning now, wind it and the other full bobbin into a plying ball and then play with color for a little while as "training" for TdF. I could then concentrate on Shetland spinning during the tour and/ or spin another bobbin of a very nice wool blend in a soft green color that I started ages ago and ply those, clearing off another bobbin. Sigh. So much fiber, so little time. :-)

I didn't get this post finished on Friday as planned so it's Saturday now and I will be helping Bob to replace a thermostat on the Expedition today. It's windy but sunny outside so it should actually be nice to be outside. I will also be hanging clean clothes on the line to dry. I love the scent of line dried clothing. Knitting and/or spinning will be reserved for tonight. Oh, and I am due for a 2 mile walk today. It feels good to be back to walking.

Have a great weekend, all.

ETA I finally clicked on submit on Wednesay of the following week. The htermostat is in and we had a reat day on Sunday doing some spring cleaning in the garden.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The holiday stuff is away

Finally, the last of the Christmas stuff (dishes, decorations, etc.) is gone from the guest room. It's almost Easter! Mom is coming for a visit soon and we needed the room. The work that had to be done in the storage area is complete so the storage bins are gone. yippee!

Terraform is now my travel project. I decided to get back to working on WIPs, so the convertible mitts, the hoodie, a sock and a shawl will all be in the rotation. Once two of those are completed, I will add another WIP to finish. I would really like to finish the socks from last years Tour de Sock before this years episode starts. That means that the Maze socks will be first up, and hopefully finished by the end of April. The Chicane socks will be finished by the end of May. I never did start the last sock of that season so I feel no need to start and finish it before the tour starts again. I bought yarn for it, but no rush.

The hoodie is going well. I have knitted about 2-3 inches of body below the arm scye and it seems to fit well. I would knit on just that if I could. I like knitting with the cascade Pastazza.

It's raining. It is supposed to rain all weekend. Ugh. At least the temps are higher. It's actually good knitting weather. Unfortunately, there are other things to do. My spinning stuff - fiber, tools, etc - was all pushed into the guest room for the holiday. Now that Mom is coming for a visit, I have to decide what to do with it. I really don't want to just push it all out to the living room in messy piles like it was before. I have to think of a storage solution.

I have a mid week weekend coming up this week. I am taking Wednesday off to spent time with friends. Karen used to live here and we spent quite a bit of time together knitting and also walked 4 miles together 4 days/ week or so. She moved to California several years ago and I haven't seen her since. She is coming for a visit, staying with Nancy and they are both coming to spend the day on Wednesday! We have plans to knit and/or spin, I am going to try to learn to make rolags and I will also attempt surgery on Rob's Lebowski sock with Karens support. (I left out several rows of the pattern on the leg so one leg is shorter than the other). It will be great spending time together.

Have a great Sunday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Starting and Finishing

Cattails is finished! I hope to get photos once it is finished drying after a blocking that I hope will relax the front edging enough that it lays flat on my neck. Fingers crossed. I don't really want to rip out the front edge and have to knit it differently.

I did start the Chic Knits Hoodie, lace version. I just divided for the body last night. The pattern requires some adjustment for fit due to my yarn not being the same weight as the pattern calls for. So far, so good. I will have fewer stitches in each row now that the sleeve stitches are on holders so the body should grow fast and I like the lace panel. I'll try to get some photos tonight and post them.

I went to the Savage Mill yarn party on Sunday with Angela. I had never been before. They squeeze a lot of vendors into a small space which makes shopping a little difficult, but most people seemed to be considerate. I bought a snap bag for notions (I fell in love with the fabric and the opening) and a set of 4 buttons made with zebrawood. I have no idea where I will use them but they were too pretty to leave behind. My 1 yarn purchase was a skein of Dragonfly Fibers Djinni sock yarn. My colorway was Eastern Bluebird. I love it! Even though I kept picking up skeins of tonal or solid colors, trying to convince myself to stick with the plan, I couldn't put this one down and came home with it. Angela bought the same colorway but in a different yarn. :-)

I worried the whole way home that I wouldn't find anything to make with it due to the color variation and it would be forever just a skein of yarn. We made a pact to find a project and cast on that night so it wouldn't just be pretty yarn and would actually be kit into something. We both succeeded. I am knitting Terraform and Angela is knitting futur simple.

The convertible mitts for eldest son's girlfriend have gone by the wayside for a while. I just can't keep my hands off the new stuff! I will finish them, but apparently not soon. :-(

It's snowing right now. It looks like a blizzard out there until you get close enough to look down on the ground and realize that it is not (thank goodness!) sticking. Everything is getting wet but that's all. Big smile! Enjoy your day.

PS I have found the crocus and tulips. Yippee!!

Friday, March 07, 2014

It feels like it might be spring soon ....

The temps are finally rising out of the 20's and into the 30's. That's degrees F, not C. ;-) I hope to find some crocus poking their leaves out of the ground this weekend. Fingers crossed. It's the weekend of the home and Garden show at the fairgrounds and we can usually find some crocus poling up by now. OTOH, it has been really cold - I wouldn't blame the poor little things for hiding a bit longer.

The Cattails sleeves are finished! The next thing to do is pick up stitches around the neck and fronts for the edging. More seed stitch. UGH. It's a shame that I like the look of it so much.

I am still working on the swatch for Flaming June. It looks like I will be using a size 2 needle. Gulp. That sweater will take a long time to knit. As soon as I get the edging of Cattails finished I plan to cast on with Cascade Pastazza for the Basic Chic Hoodie (with the lace insert). That one should go fast! I plan to knit the lace insert version.

I am making a big push to finish the convertible mitts I am knitting for eldest son's girlfriend. Not only do I want her to have them soon, but I am also anxious to get back to my maze socks that became a UFO after the Tour de Sock ended. They are beaded socks, very pretty, in shades of browns and tans. I want to wear them and I want to not have any TdS UFOs by the time this years TdS comes around. The convertible mitts won't be finished this weekend but I can set Cattails aside for the weekend and concentrate on the mitts to get some visible progress going. I am ahead of my fellow KALers anyway. I'll give them a chance to catch up. ;-)

I did some Shetland fleece spinning last week as I mentioned but haven't done any more. I have had problems with migraines this week and I've just been too tired. I want to settle in bed with knitting in the evening, not sit up at the wheel. Maybe this weekend will see some progress there.

I am going to find the local Y this weekend and see if I can join and sign up for a water aerobics class. I need the workout very badly (physically and mentally) and I am afraid to hurt my foot so I'll give water exercise a try.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

We dodged that bullet!

We had snow, don't get me wrong, but only about 4-5 inches and that is so much better than what they were initially predicting!

I did get my snow day and spent it doing some cleaning and re-organizing, spinning on the wheel!!!!!, and knitting. I started the seed stitch edging on the second sleeve last night and expect to finish it tonight, rip out the other sleeve edging and re-knit that. Next up is the front edging! Woohoo!.

I did some swatching over the weekend. I like knitting with Cascade Pastazza. I am going to make the basic hoodie from Chic Knits, the lace version. It's just a bit of a lace panel right near the front bands so it will still be a simple knit. I am not sure that I will have enough yarn for the hood but I am OK with having to knit a collar if that happens.

I also swatched with louet linen yarn that has been in my stash for quite a while. I tried size 4 needles first and that didn't look right so I am swatching again on size 3. We'll see. For now I am content to swatch. I really liked that Pastazza and am tempted to buy more from people's stash. I can see a very nice felted bag with some of those colors ..... Oh, but I am on a yarn diet, so No. I will not do that. sigh.

I had a great time spinning! I stopped after about 15 minutes so that I wouldn't over-do and that worked well. I spun just a little of a pretty, fun batt and then went back to my shetland spinning, which I have missed. It took a little while for the spinning from the fold to come back but it did and was so relaxing. I get home late tonight and tomorrow but I hope to fit in a few minutes each night so I get back in the groove. ;-)

While cleaning and re-organizing, i reviewed my WIPs and in house yarn stash. Last year I missed both my spring and fall review of yarn stash, and I haven't gone though any of the yarn that lives in the shed but it felt good to go through what was in the house and what I re-claimed from the frogging of projects during the Ravellenics. Once the shed is more accessible i will go through all of that yarn, possibly de-stash/give some and then try to find projects for the yarn I have instead of finding projects and having to buy yarn to match. I also plan to look the stash over with an eye to finding projects for the odd balls or small yardage items rather than hoarding them forever. When I need an instant gratification project, that's where I will go.

Spring frequently makes me feel this way and I am glad to see that even though there is (more) snow on the ground, Things in my life are returning to normal from the previous get though cancer treatment stage. :-)

Friday, February 28, 2014

It looks like March will roar in

Right now the prediction is for 4-8 inches of snow on Monday. I could use an extra day off but .....

I knitted 2 stripes on the second sleeve of Cattails yesterday between appointments and knit night at the LYS. Not as much as expected but I read part of a book and visited quite a bit at knit night. It felt good.

I spent more than I ever have on a pair of sneakers yesterday. $115.00!!!! But The foot doctor said it would be good for me to have a good pair and I have been hard on my feet lately so I decided to go for it. I hope the secure, stable foot ware helps avoid accidents. My husband's comment, other than taking a deep breath, was that they are unprofessional looking. I don't care. ;-)
They feel good. I am out of the boot but still have tendinitis so have to be careful and can't yet start on my walking for exercise. I crave it. I need to get moving. Sigh. I suppose I can be a bit more patient.

I am now vacillating between Flaming June and Sarah for my next sweater possibilities, both out of stash yarn. Summer or winter - I haven't yet decided.

It's Friday and I am very thankful. I hope you have a good weekend.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

One Sleeve Finished

Cattails is moving along nicely again after taking a back seat to Ravellenics projects. I finished the first sleeve last night and hope to pick up the stitches for the second sleeve tonight. It makes great TV knitting. I rented Season One of Chicago Fire from the library. I watched 2 episodes last night. I hope to catch up on the earlier history that I missed. I can also knit on the North Sea socks while watching TV, and I plan to take Whippoorwill out of the closet and try to figure out where I am. I might be able to work on that one while watching, too.

I have other socks to knit but those require attention to the chart and watching my knitting instead of TV so that knitting will happen at another time. I can listen to audiobooks and podcasts while knitting cabled or beaded socks, so I am saving those projects for when I don't want the TV on. I don't usually watch much TV when it's not football season, so that time could be soon.

Eldest son loves his new hat. The Highland Duo Drekkar hat worked well. It's a bit bigger and I like that. I had planned to add some ribbing to the original test knit hat but I think I will rip it out and re-knit it. I don't think I want the ribbing right near the face to be off set halfway up. It won't take long to re-knit and I will feel better. Mom loves her sweater vest and that makes me feel good, too. As I near the end of cattails I plan to swatch for my next sweater. I am determined to knit a sweater from stash yarn and I think Sarah might just be the one. I have had this yarn for a loooong time. It's time for it to come out of the storage in and into the daylight. It's a pretty, bright blue and I think it will make a good winter sweater. I have to verify yardage and swatch to be sure I can do this, or select and non-cabled sweater instead. Fingers crossed because I want those cables. ;-)

We had snow this morning! It snowed for about 2 hours and there was about 1/2 inch on the deck. I was sort of excited because I like snow but also feeling rather let down. I am ready for spring, and my search for crocus and/or daffodils was fruitless. Sigh. I keep reminidng myself that it is really only the end of February and I need to be patient .......

Have a good day, all.

PS I am not really being lazy about posting pictures. I just can't get them to load without a battle, so linking is the next best thing.