Friday, October 31, 2008

Brrr baby, it's cold out there

We have definitely been experiencing the beginnings of winter. It has been in the 30's at night several times, and since I generally leave the house before sunrise, it's still that cold when I go outside. I have been wearing my winter coat and gloves (or at least fingerless mitts).

It rained a little bit on Wednesday night, so Karen and I did not walk, but I did get back to my 100 push ups . I had started it a few weeks ago but circumstances got in the way. I am back to it, though, and successfully completed day 1 for my level for the second time. I am really in such bad shape that I do each days "assignment" twice so that I can be sure to use good form before I move on to the next number of reps. I also did my back/ab exercises. That's the third day in a row for those. I WILL get back into better shape.

On Tuesday Karen helped me to get back on track with my Clapotis. I frogged back to where I should have been dropping stitches at both ends and then I couldn't figure out where I was or what came next. Karen saved me and I am happily knitting along. I am also pretty far along on Thelonious. I knitted the toe decreases last night at the Needle Exchange at my LYS and just have to weave in the ends . This will be a wearable sock very soon!

Bob's sweater sleeve gets longer by an inch or so each day. Even last night, though I didn't knit on it at the Needle Exchange, I did when I got home. Clapotis rows get shorter and shorter as I progress through the decrease section. I am really happy at the way this is coming out.

Today is Halloween. It totally snuck up on me and I had to send DH out last night to buy candy. We are prepared now, and that's all that counts, right? Hopefully Karen and I will get to walk this afternoon early enough that a) we walk in the daylight and b) that we walk before the trick or treaters come around. I hate to disappoint them by not being home.I also hope to finish Clapotis tonight in between jumping up to give out the candy.

I am looking forward to a nice calm weekend at home, doing chores, spinning and knitting and watching football on Sunday. I hope you enjoy your weekend, too.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Since Rhinebeck

I've had a cold. I was fine on Monday, spent the day with Bob around the house. We had planned to do some boating but we got started a little too late in the day for this time of year. It gets cold once the sun goes down, no matter how warm it is at 2 PM. I managed to work through Tuesday and Wednesday, and managed about 7 hours on Thursday. The characters were swimming in front of my eyes and I re-read the same paragraphs several times with not much comprehension and decided to call it a day. I spent the rest of it trying to warm up on the couch, watching recorded TV shows and knitting away. I was home on Friday, too, but I am finally better.

I started a Clapotis about 2 weeks ago, and between knitting time in the car (thank you Karen for driving) and my couch time due to a cold, I am into the decrease section.

However - you knew there would be a however, didn't you? I haven't frogged any of this project yet. I realized that I had a finished edge in an area where I hadn't yet dropped the stitches.
See the corner that should have dropped stitches but doesn't? 
Yup. I misread the instructions (I will blame that on the cold) and only dropped the stitches on one side of the project, not both as clearly instructed. Groan.

I completed the knitting portion of the seed stitch vest (Mountain Colors Mountain Goat yarn purchased at KDO) and did the 3 needle bind off at the shoulders, wove in the ends and sewed the side seams. Remaining to do - an edge treatment. I swatched over the weekend with my swatch for the project and settled on an I-cord edging. It will take forever since I plan to do it all around, but it is great watching TV knitting. I'll take a photo once I've actually knitted some of the edging.

Bob's sweater got some work last weekend and during Monday night football last week, but not most of the rest of the week. I just couldn't knit with cotton while not feeling well. I did get back to it last night, though, and plan on at least a few  rounds tonight.
The length is good. I just have to add the ribbing. I had to rip back the sleeve because I made it a little too snug. It's not bad, though. The rounds go so much quicker on the sleeve than on the body. It is now down to the elbow (again).

I was looking for something to knit on the boat yesterday. Boat knitting needs to be at least DK weight, not lace (the rocking and rolling on the waves cause too many dropped stitches) and able to be knitted without looking much (I get motion sick if I look at my knitting too much while on the boat, just as if I were reading, which I also can't do unless it is very calm). I had dyed some yarn about a year and a half ago to make a coordinated hat, scarf and gloves set but never knitted them. I decided that the hat, knitted in ribbing, would be perfect for this trip, and I was right.

I knitted away most of the day on that hat and made lots of progress. I really don't like to knit hats - they seem to take forever - but I was distracted enough by the beuatiful day that it didn't matter. I did some spindle spinning, too, since it was not humid, even on the water.

I also started (yes, I seem to have cast-on disease) a vest for younger son (27 years young). I am knitting with alpaca - one of my favorite fibers, I will knit the vest top down and have knitted the back of the vest to near what I expect to be the increases for the arm openings, and last night I did a few rows on the front. I have to have an active brain for this so I can reverse the directions given for the neck shaping. Photos once there is something to see. 

Thelonious got some attention last night. I am so close to finishing - I will push to get this sock complete this week. I can't wait to wear them.
Well, it's rainy and cold outside, so no walking tonight. I will do my exercises, a chore or two and then sit down to knit and watch Monday Night football. Have a warm, dry evening.

Friday, October 24, 2008


Karen and I made the trek to Rhinebeck this year - probably the last time we'll go. The drive went smoothly and it took about the "advertised" length of time to get there (as compared to the last trip, which was longer that it should have been by 2 hours or so).
We checked in, got changed and headed out to find the great steak place we ate in last time (2 years ago). We found it easily, and since we were there so early, there was no wait. After dinner we went back to the room and knitted the evening away.

The next morning, since we really wanted to get a Rhinebeck T or sweatshirt, we arrived as the gates opened. This was no easy task, given Karen's feelings about being up and about before noon, but we did it. It was much more crowded that we expected.

We were not pleased with the choices in that booth, however, and so left there empty handed. We headed to the back to theMayan Hands
booth because we remembered from the last trip that were were very happy with the products they sold there: linens and baskets made by Mayan women.

We did a lot of damage to our back accounts there. See the little fuzzy animals on the table? That's about the only thing I resisted. LOL.

It was cooold in Rhinebeck - the car windows were covered with frost each morning, and we wore jackets, gloves, hats and scarves. It is awesome that this festival takes place at a time of year when wearing (and buying) wool things is fitting (and necessary). It is wonderful inspiration and I came home wanting to knit everything in sight.

We saw sheep, llamas, alpacas and bunnies.

On Sunday we saw the Fleece to Shawl contestants. The costumes and projects were great. I wish I could have gotten good photos of all of them, but here is a sampling:

We had books signed by a couple of our favorite authors. This is Karen with Franklin author/artist of "It itches".

This is, of course, the Yarn Harlot with both of us. A wonderful souvenir of our trip to Rhinebeck.

We ate and fondled and petted and drooled. We rested our weary feet at a table in the food area, which was populated by famous bloggers and designers and everyday knitters. The sights were amazing, and I think I could have been happy just sitting still and watching the people and their knitting go by. Well, almost. I did have to look at what the yarn and fiber vendors were offering, didn't I? It was the least I could do. giggle. I actually kept my fiber purchases quite reasonable. I wanted yarn and fiber - there were a lot of yummy fibery things that were beautiful, soft, lovely, etc. but I waited until something really called to me before I considered bringing it home with me. I can't even tell you exactly why it called, but it did. I purchased fiber - iceland wool blends in a deep charcoal grey (4 oz) and a lighter, two tone grey (2 oz.) from Frelsi Farm

I purchased a spindle - I had hoped to get another one so that I could have two spindles to ply off of rather than have to wind the singles onto a temporary holder. It's another square one. I tried a few others but this one did the trick.

I also purchased some llama fiber from Rhodie Hill, shown here with my new spindle nestled comfortably in it's fibery softness.

My sole yarn purchase was from Sliver Moon. I had seen a sweater I liked in another booth but the color choices didn't thrill me. Just next door I found yarn that I couldn't resist. It wants to be a cardigan, mostly stockinette but with a nice wide lace bottom edging, and probably 3/4 sleeves. I love the color, it's nice and soft, and it's worsted weight. A lot of my projects lately (except Bob's sweater) have been with finer yarn than that, so this will be a nice change.

At the Mayan Hands booth I bought presents for others

and something for me.

I loved this little bag so much, I went back the next day and got another one in a different color. The colors, patterns, little zipper compartments, and the size (big enough for a sock project but not too big or heavy) sold me. I used mine the rest of the weekend and a few times since.

We headed home at about 2 or 2:30 on Sunday, had a pretty smooth trip, and got home before 8PM. It was a good way to spend a weekend. ; )

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Spinning Weekend

Perhaps I should have titled this post Eating and Spinning Weekend. LOL. We did not lack for food - both healthy and non-healthy food varieties were available.

We had a great weekend - good weather, good food (the stuff we brought, anyway) and good company. There was lots of spinning and catching up on recent events, and the sharing of knowledge. There is no formal presentation but I always learn something at this event. I didn't remember to ask permission to post photos - sorry. I can, however, show you photos of socks.

There was a great collection of hand knit socks, and I can share those since even I can't tell whose feet they were after the fact.

We have socks that are related, but not closely. Cousins, maybe.

We have identical socks. These were hand dyed to achieve this rainbow effect.

Look twice - this is a different pair of socks.

We had sunset socks

and spring socks. At least that is what they looked like to me. Pretty spring colors.

What do you think? Are these Pretty in Pink or Hot Mama socks?

And then we had confused socks. Or were they confusing me?

We even had some weaving going on! How cool is that! The little sheep pin was the gift for this year. We get a gift/momento each year, and this one is the cutest so far.

All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a weekend. I hope yours was as good.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Knit, Knit and more Knit

My vest front pieces (I work on one of them on the way to and from work and the other at home) are growing. I have almost 20 inches knitted on one piece. The other one is at home, but close to the same length. I believe that it's time to do some shaping for the arm hole. Maybe over the weekend I can cast on for the back!
Bob's sweater is chugging along. I didn't work on Thelonious at all so the leg is not finished. ; (

I am going away this weekend for a spinning get-away. I am happy to be going, I'm just not really prepared. I thought it was to be next weekend. Karen shocked me by telling me that it was just a few days away. I'll be ready, though. DH is not so pleased - he thought he'd have help putting down weed cloth and mulch in the garden this weekend. He can have help, it just won't be me. giggle.

The spinning weekend is full of fun spinning (mostly), knitting, food (both healthy and non-healthy but yummy)and admiring other peoples fiber work. There are some real artists in this group. There are spinners, weavers, knitters, dyers, jewelry makers and I don't know what else. We stay in a dorm at a women's college. The accommodations are not plush but comfortable enough, and we are there for the spinning and away from home time more than anything else. I leave tomorrow afternoon and return late Sunday afternoon. See you then!