Friday, November 26, 2010

I am out of sorts today

DH decided to go to Best Buy at the horrific hour of 2 AM to wait in line to try to get eldest son a laptop that he had seen advertised. I admit that it was a really good deal, but I am very much against the stores opening at those terrible hours for shopping, so I balked. He was firm. We scoped out the situation at 9 PM and there were several tents and lots of people already in line. He persevered and I woke him as requested at 2 AM. Eldest son was also up - he had to be at work at 3:30AM! I could not get back to sleep, of course, and was awake until 5:30 when DH returned home, empty handed. I am, as a result, out of sorts today.

Normally I would have been out the door at about 9, try for the "not so early bird" specials. This morning I was asleep until 9:30 and slow moving when I did get up. Most of the good sales are over and I'm really not in the mood anyway. The grey day doesn't help. What I really want to do is to spin and knit the day away and try shopping tomorrow. Maybe it will be a more pleasant experience then - people will not be sleep deprived and crazed from it and the rush to grab the deal before anyone else gets there.

I knitted on my sweater front/back yesterday and have about 10 inches of knitting to show for it. I also plied the Wensleydale that I had on my spindles. I don't know the yardage yet - it's still on my plying spindle, but that will change today. I am not sure whether I will then spin my new fiber or keep up with the Wensleydale and finish it. I also knitted on my handspun shawl. Maybe today I will have the brain power to pick up the stitches for the neck band of Slinky Ribs and get that done. Picking up stitches is never a favorite thing to do because I always pick them up at the wrong ratio and end up with too few or too many. Then I rip out and re-do, sometimes multiple times. : (

I think a bit of spinning will help put me in a better mood. I am off to spin some back wool on my wheel for a while. Have a good day.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Thanksgiving for me is really a holiday. It's a fun day filled with eating and football and bringing the Christmas dishes out of storage to start the Christmas season. It's not that I am not thankful for things, especially this year. It's more that I am conscious of the good things in my life and thankful for them throughout the year. I don't feel the need to make this specific day a day of thankfulness. I can honestly say that I am consciously and specifically thankful for something each and every day.

That being said, I am looking forward to football, dinner, using the Christmas dishes for the first time this holiday season, raking leaves and time at inside to knit and spin. I may do a bit of holiday shopping, but maybe not. Both of my sons have jobs (yippee!) and so we will work the dinner plans around work schedules. That's not actually a hardship for us since either or both of us have had jobs for most of our married lives that involved working weekends, holidays and shift work.

Happy Thanksgiving, however you celebrate.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Catching up


We were out on the boat both days last weekend (caught dinner, too!) and one day this weekend. The days have been beautiful - sunny and warm (for this time of year) and as long as I had enough clothing along to deal with the dropping temps once the sun went down, I was comfortable. We've had lots of fun.

I have knit the two fronts (or backs, depending on which you prefer) of this sweater 3 times. I think the third time was the charm. On each previous knit I ran out of the yarn for each section. This time I added some Cascade 220 in black to the bottom edge and the shoulders (I thought that having the black in two places would look less like I ran out of yarn and more like I planned it that way. Did it work?) and I was able to complete each section without a problem. I used short rows rather than binding off as some others had suggested and I think I like it. Now it's time to cast on for the other two sections. Good football knitting, which is good, since it's Sunday. : )

This is the start of the Keelin Hat by Bonnie Marie Burns that I started on Friday for Mom. The yarn is a heathery olive green, one of her favorite shades. Her hair is really short right now, thanks to the two surgical procedures she's had in the last few months, and I am sure that in the cold weather, that will be uncomfortable. I thought I'd try to fix that fashionably. So far the instructions have been clear and easy to follow. The error that caused me to rip out 4 rows was my fault for forgetting to follow an instruction adding stitches despite having read the instruction.

Spinning silk - progress has been slow lately but I did some on the boat yesterday while DH looked for fish to catch. (BTW we did catch lots, but all too small to keep)

Vampire Boyfriend sock - heel flap just about complete and time to turn the heel.

When I first started to spin, I bought all kinds and colors of fibers because I had in mind to knit a "tropical shawl". That never materialized and the handspun yarn has been sitting there, taking up space. Recently I decided to put it to use. I searched for a pattern and found a variation of feather and fan with cables in a Barbara Walker stitch dictionary that I really like. It will work in the horizontal format I want and show off the varied handspun yarns.

To the right you can see the other yarns I am considering for this wrap. To the left you can see the wrap progress to date.

I am still spinning the Wensleydale fiber. I am determined to finish this and start on a shawl. To the left you see the semi solid color that Amy at Spunky Eclectic dyed for me and to the right you see the original colorway (perfect storm). I had intended to ply the two together, but I didn't like the way it looked. I now plan to ply like to like and then use both in a project with the darker color as a trim or edging.

P.S The Ravens won!!!!! It's a good day. ; ))

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Signs of Fall

I love the Fall despite bad things that tend to happen during that season. These are some of the things I love about Fall.

This pot of dirt yielded this bowl of potatoes. Yum!

I don't know whether you can see the skim of ice on the surface of the water garden, but it's there. Brrrr

The bird bath is turned off - it's not good to let it freeze. The water garden is nearby, though, so the birds can get a drink there.

Blue skies with almost naked trees.

The leaves that are left are so pretty. I feel bad for people who live in areas that don't get changing leaves in the fall. It can be breath taking.

The Red Twig dogwood is really showing it's stuff. You should see it in the snow!
The purple grass we grew on the deck is fading but still beautiful.

Mums showing the bite of the colder weather but still brightening things up in the garden.

Sedum - I forget which variety. It's a small plant - you have to walk by it to see it, but I love it just the same

What do you love about Fall? Or do you love anything about it? LOL.

Common Sense vs I wanna make it

I was browsing though my list of blogs, trying to catch up and came across a pattern that I want to knit very much. It's called the Galileo Mittens . I really like them. Even more than in the picture on the designers website, I like the colors chosen by this blogger (scroll down). I actually have little use for more mittens (common sense), but I think I might make them anyway just for the joy of knitting them (I wanna make it). Surely I can find someone who would appreciate a pair of hand knit mittens.

Moving on to my life and projects, I had another skin cancer removed on Friday. It was a basal cell cancer, not the worst kind but not the best, either. This one was on my shoulder. DH tells me there is about a 1 inch incision there (I can't see it very well) and it was a bit painful by the end of the day. It's still sore today and it sits right on the top of my shoulder, where clothing seams are found. DH made a customized foam bridge for me to keep the clothes off the shoulder. So far it is helping. I look a little weird, but what's a little weirdness when is lessens the discomfort? : ) I am not sure what I'll do for work tomorrow, though ....

I did some spinning and plying on my wheel yesterday. I finished up the novelty yarn I was making with the fiber from the spinning retreat. I will wash it today but took photos before the soaking began. It's white BFL with mohair locks spun into it - some more blended, some left in lock formation. I tried to spin irregularly and that was hard.

I am not sure what I will do with it (if anything), but it's cute. I plan to go back to spinning black wool so that I can ply the rest of my Tour de fleece singles now that I've had some "fun" spinning. I want to see whether that shades of red yarn will look anything like what I envisioned.

I caught up on some of the Ravelry groups I joined in the spring - the ones that challenge you to try different breeds and ideas. I am already spinning Wendsleydale, which is one of the breeds of the month, so I'll concentrate on spinning that on my drop spindle this month.

One of the breeds for this month is the Gulf Coast Native. I found info about the breed but no one selling fiber. I'll try again today.

Another group (spindlers) chooses a theme for each month and each person chooses a fiber (colors, hand, whatever) that they feel expresses that theme. This month the theme is "understory". I found 2 braids of wool that do the trick for me, though each in it's own way. Now I have to "shop" in my stash to see if I have anything there that will work. If not, it's off to Etsy I go. One option is this braid. The colors remind me of what I might see on the forest floor. The other option goes lower than the forest floor - to the sea. DH prefers Neptune, and I think I might have a preference for it also. I will check the stash first, though. I might have something just right out there, saving money, using stash and avoiding a delay for shipping.

Knitting is progressing well. The Vampire Boyfriend second sock gets longer every day.

The Mystery sock grows more slowly. The toes increases for the Zauerball sock are just about complete, so that will be traveling with me every where I go this week and should therefore grow also.

I'll save the saga of the vacation knitting sweater for another time, but I think it's back on track.

During football today I will be knitting on the sleeves of my Slinky ribs sweater. There's not much more to go for the length I want, and then I have to knit the neck band. The end is in sight!

Mom is doing well, eldest son has a job (we're pretty sure) and younger son starts a new job this week. Things to be thankful for.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I'm behind again

I wrote this post on October 25th but never got a chance to post it. I'll do that now, since it's written, then add on the latest at the bottom. so, here goes:

The weather was stupendous. That’s all I can say. It was chilly in the early morning and warmed up to T shirt temperatures by late morning/early afternoon. Clothes dried in no time on the line, the sun felt delicious on my shoulders but didn’t roast me and the turning leaves glowed with their reds, oranges, yellows and even some browns.

We should have gone on the boat on Saturday, but were preparing for my (youngest) brother to visit, and so stayed home. I didn’t mind at all until it turned out that he didn’t come but stayed in Philadelphia instead due to travel delays. Sunday DH went out on the boat, and it was a wonderful day for being on the bay.

I chose to stay home and sleep in instead. I had strawberries on cereal after a late sleep and then spun, knitted, watched football (don’t get me started on that subject) and completed washing and drying clothes on the line.

I did some spinning of some of the fiber I prepped at the spinning retreat. I am trying to spin a novelty yarn, but not too novel, if that makes any sense. It’s hard to be random and to add bits of color intermittently. ; ) I did get a good bit spun and hope to finish it this week. I’ll take photos then, because it looks pretty terrible on the bobbin. I hope it looks better once plied and in a skein, but if not, it will be a lesson learned.

I spun more Wensleydale on the drop spindle – I enjoy that so much!

During football I knitted sleeves for the Slinky Ribs sweater, I knitted a square on eldest son’s afghan and finished up the Vampire Boyfriend sock (the first of the pair). I also completed the cuff and started on the leg of a mystery sock I am making. I haven’t done that in a while and decided to try this one. So far, so good. Last but not least, I worked on the Eliina Shawl just before sleep.

I have a busy week ahead of me. Patient study visits in the morning, 3 days in a row, a study monitor visit on each of those same 3 days and the usual work to be done. Once I get to the weekend, we’ll be heading up to NY to see Mom. I’d like to spend 3 days there – one with Mom, one out in Montauk so Bob can fish and one (actually half) back with Mom before we head home. We’ll see how the work goes this week, but it’s possible if I am diligent.


Ok, fast forward to today, November 3. We did get up to NY for the 3 day weekend, and spent one day in Montauk. It was windy but sunny for most of the day. DH was brave and fished from the surf for hours. No fish, though. I sat and knitted in the nice warm car. We visited with Mom - she's doing better. The doctor gave her encouraging news and that helped her emotionally. We shopped together (that's always fun) and went out for lunch with my brother (the one who didn't make it down here to visit last weekend) for his birthday on Sunday. The drive home went well, so it was a good weekend over all.

I finished up the simple sock (stockinette foot and ribbed leg) I had on the needles using Zauerball yarn in deep purples, magenta and black. Now I am ready to cast on the second one. I knitted another square on eldest son's afghan over the weekend, and I have about 3 inches of the second Vampire Boyfriend sock knitted. I haven't been able to do any lace knitting recently because I've been on the move or with people a lot. I am looking forward to finding some time this weekend to do some lace knitting.

DH went out on the boat today. He is crazy!! it was 29 degrees when I left the house this morning and only a little bit warmer than that when he left. It was a worthwhile trip, though. He caught a 28 inch striped bass!!!!