Monday, August 30, 2010

Fall in August

It will reach the 90’s today but Fall is in the air. The evenings have been cool – more like September weather. I love the cool evenings, though I don’t want them to be too cool over the next few weeks. We’ll be on the water in the evenings while on vacation. Let me tell you – temps that are comfortable on dry land are downright cold when on the water with a wind blowing. I am really looking forward to vacation, though, no matter the weather (except for non stop rain or a hurricane).

We were in NY this past weekend – a viewing for a friends’ mother who passes on at 88 years of life. We had a good visit with him and he and his family are OK with the passing of their mother considering her age and health.

We visited with my mother and brother (we stayed with Mom instead of driving 4 hours home after the viewing). We made a trip to Captree and checked out the fishing boats at the dock, then went to the beach for a little while. We love the beach and it was good to get Mom out of the house. She’s still a little under the weather since her fall over July 4th weekend.

We drove home on Sat. night, listening to the Raven’s game on the radio. We lucked out because they were playing the NY Giants and we could listen to the NY station broadcasting the first half and then the Baltimore station for the second half of the game.

I didn’t get much knitting done on this trip – I did most of the driving and we were busy with activities during our short time there. I did get some spinning done yesterday, in between chores. Last night I knitted on the sleeve of the Slinky Ribs top while watching the Broncos game. I think that sleeve will never get long enough. I’d love to have it finished for vacation but I think that won’t work. I still have the neck edging to knit IF the sleeve ever grows long enough. I want (I think) ¾ length sleeves. I have one knitted to elbow length and am trying to get the other one to ¾ length so I can try it on to see which I like better (since I am terrible at visualizing).

Vacation knitting is settled. I will have the yarn for the trade socks (with Molly at Celtic Swans) so that project will go, as will a simple non-patterned sock. I plan to bring the yarn (in Black Pearl) for the cover sweater from this book. I’ve swatched, measured, blocked and measured again. Shaping is accomplished by changing needle sizes. I hope that works for me. On Ravelry I have read that the neck opening is too large and fall off the shoulders, so I hope to adjust the pattern enough to prevent that, but otherwise it should be a nice easy knit, great for boating and just daydreaming on vacation. I will bring the afghan I’ve been working on for eldest son and my lace shawl (from Victorian Lace Today). That’s it. I will, I hope make a visit to the LYS there in Montauk called Purl By the Sea, but will only buy if there’s something unusual in the way of a pattern or yarn (or if I need to replace a needle or something, of course).

This will be a busy week. I will have a crown placed on a bad tooth, get my hair cut and finish up as much work as possible before being gone for 2 weeks. Is it Friday yet?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have a well rounded fiber life again. : ))

Lace is back in my life.

I am spinning, knitting lace, spindle spinning and finishing up projects on the needles. I finished the knitting of the V neck cardigan and it is blocking as I write this post. I can see myself in Montauk, going for a walk in the evening, pulling that sweater on to ward off the chill. (I hope it’s just a chill – we seem to be having signs of fall arriving and it’s only mid-August! I hope I won’t be wearing my winter coat)

The next thing to push to finish will be the Slinky Ribs sweater. So far one sleeve is elbow length and the other has about 2 inches knitted.

My lace knitting has not taken over my life but has a part in most days. I try to knit 4 rows each day and I am working on the shawl from Victorian Lace Today. It’s amazing how paying attention to my knitting avoids mistakes or lets me catch them right away. Giggle. I have to turn off my audio book when I knit on that shawl, but it’s worth it. I feel good that I am back to knitting lace again. I also picked up the falling leaves scarf I was knitting for Mom in the fall colors yarn with the silver thread.

Vacation is just a couple of weeks away. With Bob not working outside the home, he’ll be stuck with most of the prep work, but I have my share to work on. I haven’t settled on vacation knitting yet. I’ll be thinking about that over the next week or so.

One of my likely vacation projects will be a pair of socks for a trade. Molly at Celtic Swans doesn’t knit socks but likes to wear them. She makes beautiful knitting needles out of bronze (or silver) that I would live to have. I noticed a post on Knitters Review about the trade and apparently she has posted it on Ravelry, also. I have decided to take her up on it. She has chosen the Vampire Boyfriend socks from and Cascade heritage sock yarn in a kelly green color. I’ll probably work on those while on vacation. Cable sock knitting and vacation – I think that’s a great combination. ; )

I’ll have a shawl along. I don’t know if I will bring the one I am working on now or resurrect Laminaria and try to fix my mistakes on that one.

One requirement for vacation knitting (which is automatically also boat knitting) is a project that uses worsted weight yarn and has a fairly simple pattern. That may require that I start a new project. I have some yarn and ideas …. I did just order some yarn and found a pattern in a book I borrowed from the library that looks pretty simple to knit, though, so that might be the thing to bring along. Have to swatch before departure, though. If I don’t feel up to all of that, I can always bring along the afghan for eldest son.

Migraine prevention has been a goal of mine recently. I had so many migraines for a while that I used up my “allowance” of Imitrex. I tried Topamax but had some bad side effects and the doctor had me stop. I am now on verapamil and I have no side effects but I’ve had 2 migraines. The next question now is new medicine or up the dose? I’ll be putting in a call to the doctor.

My younger son has my camera right now, so there are no photos. Hopefully next week I can get someone to take a few photos of me in my new sweater in addition to getting some photos of my spinning projects and other things.

There has been no boating over the last two weeks. We had discovered a gas leak and Bob just finished putting the last seal in place yesterday over the gas tank. We may get in a couple more trips before vacation. I hope. : )

Monday, August 09, 2010

Blog Vacation

It appears that my blog has been on vacation. I can’t really say that life has gotten in the way, just that it doesn’t allow time lately for photo taking and blogging. Regular blogging will probably resume once the weather gets colder, vacation is over or some other thing happens that gives me time that I am willing to spend in front of the computer.

Meanwhile, there will be an occasional catch up post, like this one. ; ))

I won a ribbon for each of my entries into the county fair! I really was not expecting to do that well. I won a first prize ribbon for the Estonian lace scarf. That’s the one I thought I would do well with. Unfortunately, the person judging thought that I had left my ends too long and that kept me from winning champion or reserve champion, but that’s life. I won a first place ribbon for the Mondo Cable Pulli knitted in Angels Kiss yarn. I also won a first place ribbon for my vest. Bob’s cotton sweater took second. The funny thing is, one of the people viewing the entries (not an official) insisted that I must have machine knitted it because the stitches were so even, there was no way that I could have knitted it by hand! LOL. I don’t even own a knitting machine. Anyway, I also entered Purple sunshine socks, the heavy cabled socks that I knitted for bed socks and the basket weave mobius - they all won second place ribbons. I am very pleased. I’ll be sure to trim all of my ends down close before the state fair, though.

Mom is doing better. She has started walking every day and has fewer dizzy spells per week. She’s going tomorrow for a tilt table test to try to help diagnose whether her problem is with heart rate or blood pressure. I hope they get an answer.

The garden is producing but not doing well. I am not sure if it’s the soil preparation, too much water, too much heat or just my brown thumb. Usually my brown thumb only affects indoor plants and I do well with outdoor things, but if you look at that garden, you will doubt that. We are eating corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers and some green beans, but not in the quantities I expected and the size of the tomatoes has me puzzled about what I did wrong. I think we’ll send off soil samples for analysis – maybe we are missing some important mineral or have a very off balance pH.

“The boys” – my sons – are doing OK. Rob fell last week and hurt his arm – probably over-extended the elbow, maybe even dislocated it and it popped back in place right away. He had a lot of swelling and discomfort for over a week. That’s getting better now, there was some bruising noticed and we are hoping that there’s not too much permanent damage done. Health and job initiatives aside, my son still does not have a job or health care benefits and he has been trying.

The V neck cardigan progress has gained momentum. One sleeve is within a couple of inches of being done. Slinky Ribs has one sleeve at the length that I think I want and I need to pick up the stitches for the other sleeve. I will knit them both to the same length, try it on and decide whether I want longer sleeves or not. The Spiral square stole is stalled. It is lace and I haven’t been able to work on lace. Maybe soon, though …. I feel the need for some open work. The Mata Hari socks are moving along after my latest frogging episode. I just could not get the fit right on these for some reason. They are staying on the circular needles so that I can try them on at will.

I am thinking that after these two sweaters are completed that I might work on lace and socks for a while. I’d like to finish up some of the things on the needles, and, as I said, I am starting to feel the lace love again. On the other hand, there’s a KAL at my LYS that I’d like to do ….. Probably I’ll just work on what I have, but I’d like to knit that cabled cardigan …..

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Heading to NY tomorrow

Mom has an appointment with a cardiologist to try to find the cause of her loss of consciousness last month and I am going to drive up there tomorrow to go with her. I'll feel much better if I can make sure he gets all the info about what happened and also get all of the info he gives her about his thoughts and plans. The only way that will happen is if I go there. I will drive up in the morning after rush hour, spend the night, go to the appointment with her on Tuesday and drive home, planning to go into work a little bit late on Wednesday.

My dye has arrived so I'll be heading out to the storage area in a little while to find the fiber to be dyed black. This black fiber will be spun and plied with the other spun fiber from the TdF to as the third ply for two nice three ply yarns with good yardage for some still undecided project this winter. Also, the almost solid Wensleydale fiber arrived yesterday and can now be spindle spun, to be plied with the perfect storm into (I hope) a lace weight yarn for a small shawl. I am still spinning the silk, but not as fast as during the TdF.

On the knitting front, I finally bit the bullet and figured out the sleeve on the Slinky Ribs top. It went smoothly despite my concerns about not really understanding the instructions and I have several inches of sleeve knitted up. I plan to knit 3/4 length sleeves but will try the top on several times to see what I think.

The V neck cardigan sleeve is growing but not as fast now that the weather has gotten a little more bearable and we are spending more time outdoors. It's a large, warm project to sit in my lap out doors, so I only work on it inside.

Rob's afghan grew some yesterday while we spent a gorgeous day on the boat. I knitted 2.5 squares.

I frogged the wrap/laprobe with my hand spun yarn. I wasn't happy with the look of what I was getting and I like the yarn too much to make something with it just to use it up. I'll have to rethink that idea. On the other hand, I cast on another project. Apparently I have a case of startitis, although in this case it was balanced by ending a project, so maybe that doesn't count. ; )

I have some hand dyed cotton rayon yarn by Roz Houseknecht that I purchased at MD Sheep and Wool Festival one year. It is dyed in deep jewel tones of blue, purple, bronze and green. I am making the Eliina Shawl with it. It looks good and it fits my needs right now. I want easy to knit - apparently lace knitting doesn't fit into my life right now, though I have no doubt that it will again. This shawl starts with lots of stockinette stitch with a few rows of decrease yo thrown in. When I get to the lace edging part, I hope I'll be ready. Otherwise it will go into the lace-in-waiting queue with Laminaria and the Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging from Victorian Lace Today.

I am hoping that October might be a finish up the lace month as well as finishing up socks on the needles or one of a kind that didn't get completed while on vacation in September. Vacation knitting is funny - I need small, portable projects, but I also need projects that are simple and that use at least sport weight yarn that can be knitted with little attention to needles or pattern for knitting on the boat and/or in the dark.

I can't update the blog very often these days. Blogs are blocked at work (I don't like it but I don't blame them) and it's hard to find time to sit at the computer in the evening after dinner, dishes, spending time with DH, doing some knitting or maybe a chore or two and getting to bed in time to get up at 5:15 and be at least semi-conscious on the drive into work. So, it's pretty much just weekends, and I don't even have pictures this weekend. there's not enough progress on anything to show off. I will have news about ribbons from the county fair knitting competition next week, though, or maybe I can sneak in a post from Mom's house tomorrow .....