Tuesday, June 28, 2011


At least I know why I feel like garbage. I am on antibiotics but this is not a quick recovery illness. I won't go into details. Just Ugh.

I have been knitting. The back of the cardigan is complete and I've cast on both fronts, completed the picot edging and am ready to start knitting in pattern. (I also fixed the sleeve error I had discovered after I cast off.) The Calendula sock (that I have been ignoring) is now complete except for 2.5 inches or so of ribbing. The lace shawl is creeping along. I have to be careful when I knit on that - when I don't feel well, mistakes happen and I spend more time ripping that I spent knitting. Ask me how I found that out. : (
I also knitted several more squares for the blankets to go to charity. I want to try to knit as close to a half blanket myself as I can get in the time allotted.

Spinning the Icelandic is so nice .... I am now plying. Plying on the wheel is so much faster, but my wheel is on loan, so .... I am plying a bit at a time on the Turkish spindle. Tour de Fleece starts soon, and my Romney is ready. I'd like to get the plying done so I can start on the next batch of Icelandic with clear spindles, but I don't think that will happen by the start of the TdF. Well, the tour lasts a few weeks. I'll have time.

I'll be getting my wheel back in about 2 weeks. Angela and I went shopping for a wheel for her. She hopes to replace mine with one that she owns with no gap in the spinning. Boy, she has the spinning bug bad! ; ))

Do you have plans for Independence Day weekend? I am not sure what we will do but I hope to feel better, whatever we settle on, so that I can enjoy.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've fallen in love ....

with a new pattern. It's a Sivia Harding pattern, and that doesn't surprise me. I love a lot of her patterns. This one is a glove pattern and that does surprise me.  It's summer. It's hot out. The last thing I need right now is a pair of wool gloves, but there you go. Illogical knitting urges. I plan to get the pattern, check the stash for appropriate yarn, then go buy some beads and have it ready to go for a vacation knit. We'll see whether I stick to that timetable or not. ; )

I took a few photos of my resurrected lace project - the Curved shawl with Diamond edging. This first photo is just relaxed on the deck to show the amount of shawl I have knitted (which is much larger than it was about 3 weeks ago).
 This is a stretched out lace photo attempt to show the lace pattern, which is really quite pretty. I was not feeling well enough to get out pins and a board to take proper photos with.
 I also took a few photos of my Pogona shawl. I pick up this shawl when I want something light and easy to knit on.  I've knitted 9 inches (length) in the center (pictured below), and have to go to 14 inches for the next step.

There are increase stockinette sections alternating with reverse stockinette sections, and you add the increase sections at different time points. The shawl is supposed to sit nicely on the neck and shoulders. I'll let you know. Meanwhile, it's an enjoyable knit.

I am trying to finish off the last few inches of the Calendula sock for Sharon but not having a lot of luck. I keep going back to the cardigan I am knitting for myself. I have about 3 more inches to knit even, then I start arm scye shaping on the back of the sweater. The sleeves are already knit. : ))

Spinning efforts center around spinning this wonderful Icelandic fiber.
I had been aiming for lace weight but it will really be more of a fingering or sock weight yarn than lace, but that's OK. I love it. (There is my little sample skein in the bottom of the picture, just below the spindle)
I have the lighter grey, pictured in this photograph, and a dark, charcoal grey in a lesser amount that I will spin to use as a contrasting edging. I think. I don't know final yardage, and I haven't chosen a pattern yet, so it's possible it will be striped, but I think edging. ; )

Sunday was Father's Day. Bob and I thought of our dads often through the day. They are both gone now but still very much with us in our hearts. On Saturday we went with younger son and his partner Chris and Chris's dad out on his dad's boat. We had a nice time socializing and swimming to cool off. On Sunday Bob and I went out on our boat. I was sick, (actually, I felt like crap) so this was truly a sign of love on my part. Bob wanted to go so much, I didn't have the heart to tell him that I just wanted to go to bed. So we went, and had as nice a time as possible. He caught a few little perch and we found a new fishing spot to try next time.

Eldest son got a new-to-him used car yesterday. The guy was a real a**hole - misleading us (and not correcting the mis-information at several time points when it would have been very appropriate) about the inspection status, which is a big deal in Maryland. You cannot register a car until it has passed a very thorough inspection, which usually means some expensive repairs. I wanted to ditch the while thing but I was out-voted. The car is a Nissan Altima, 2000, and in outwardly pretty good condition. We'll see what the mechanics say at time of inspection.

The Seasons of Lace Summer 2011 voting should be completed today. I'll be heading over there a little later to see which shawl was voted in for the KAL this summer. I have already resurrected one of my WIPs (see above) but will knit the KAL shawl, too. Seeing the nominations also brought to my attention some shawl patterns that I had not noticed before, and I will be knitting Jared Flood's Juneberry for sure, with or without a KAL, in some yummy brown alpaca I've been hoarding for several years. I bought it the first year that Stitches was in Baltimore, so that's been hanging out in my stash for a while. I have two 500 yards skeins of it, so there's the potential for more alpaca goodies ......  in the fall. No alpaca knitting in the summer for me.

I plan to take part in this year's Tour de Fleece. I have not yet settled on all of my goals. For the Spinners Study group, I will take on challenge # 1 " To spin and present your findings on the fiber of a breed of sheep (or species) you have never before worked with. Any breed, whether it has been studied in the group previously or not. It just needs to be new to you! (This could include processing and spinning a type of fleece you have never before processed as well.) "
I have some Romney from Melanie that I washed last week. I can prep and spin that since I have never knowingly spun Romney before. For the Spindlers group, we set our own goals, other than to spin on a spindle. I may just keep up with spindle spinning the Icelandic for that group challenge, maybe a minimum amount per day. That will help with my divided spinning attention and allow me to make progress on a WIP. ; )
I was considering spinning some cotton that I  have at home on the two new akha spindles I just bought as my difficult challenge on the special challenge day. Maybe .... We'll see how my energy and frustration level is at that time.
If I get my wheel back (on loan) in time, I may try to finish up spinning the Corriedale pencil roving I had started a few months ago. I need to spin part of one more bobbin, probably another whole one, then ply it. I have N plied one bobbin already. That will be a secondary goal, though, and I may well not get there. That's OK. The spinning doesn't end with the TdF.

Happy First day of Summer 2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Knitting Lace

I'm back in lace knitting mode! Yippee! My shawls can stop being WIPs and become FOs (in time). I decided to sign up for the Summer 2011 Seasons of Lace blog. I hoped I would find inspiration and encouragement there for my efforts to re-enter the lace knitting world. ; )

I plan to knit one of the two shawls voted in for this season and to resurrect a WIP. The voting is still ongoing (the voting ends June 20) but I started on the resurrection project and it's working. The Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging has been resurrected first (mostly because the frogging is already done so I just have to knit now. The Laminara shawl still has to be frogged and I am not quite ready for that yet. Figuring out where I am is a daunting thought). It gets wider as I progress and according to the instructions I have to have 50 (6) stitch repeats in a row to be ready to knit the edging. I have 27 now, so there's a lot of knitting to go. I'm getting the hang of things, though and moving faster than I had been before.

We made it out on the boat on Sunday! First time for me this season (due to repeated mechanical difficulties) and only the second for Bob - that's very unusual for us. We are usually one of the first boats in the water and Bob is normally an early in the season fisherman. He was working ont he basement bath reno, though ....

We had a wonderful day, swam to cool off and enjoyed just being out on the bay. Our evening on the bay was foiled, though, by the warning we heard on the radio - tornado warning for our county! tracking in our direction. I have lots of faith in DH's captaining abilities but a tornado?! Not. We made it across the bay in record time and arrived at the marina in time to get the boat closed up. The skies looked scary but all we had was thunder, lightning and rain - no high winds or signs of a tornado (thank goodness). Everyone in our area was safe, even the people in canoes and kayaks.

While on the boat I knitted on Rob's afghan, which is my usual boat knitting project. I hope to finish it this boating season. I am on the 5th of 8 strips of knitting. I knitted the squares connected, in strips instead of squares to cut down on sewing, and I've sewn 3 of the strips together.

My Pogona scarf is growing slowly. I am not making a big push on this but it's a small project that does not require a lot of stitch manipulation or counting, so it's a portable project and enjoyable.

Bob's socks are finished and stored until cold weather hits. The Calendula socks that I am knitting for a friend are about 4 inches or so from being finished. I need to get on that. The Leaf and Picot cardigan is growing also - I have 9-10 inches for the back done and at 14 inches I start arm scye shaping. I haven't even felt a twinge of cast-on-itis, thank the knitting gods. ; )

Spinning - I wish I could spin more each day. Between work, household stuff and a shoulder that starts aching after a while (because I can't seem to remember to keep my arm below shoulder height), I am limited to about 15 minutes or so of spindle spinning per day. I love spinning the Icelandic. The North Ronaldsay

is a bit more challenging, but I'm getting there. I even spun on the boat!

Angela is loving having the use of my spinning wheel. I think we have another spinner in our midst. We might have to start a spinning guild/group. ; ) 

The veggie garden is doing OK. I need to plant more corn and green bean seeds - only some of the seeds I planted have come up. That might be because I used last year's seeds or for some other reasons but I plan to buy fresh corn, green bean and sunflower seeds this week and get them planted. The tomato

, cuke, watermelon , green beans

and asparagus

that were planted previously are all loving the sun and hot weather we've been having. I planted a raspberry bush, too, but that will not produce until next year. I am tending it carefully because I really want fresh berries in my cereal next year. The blueberry bushes that we planted a few years ago don't do much.

Eldest son's car died. It's a mechanical problem that would be too expensive to fix on a car in the condition his is in. He is now in the market for a used car in good condition and meanwhile DH drives him to work or he uses my car on the weekends. It's weird looking out the window and not seeing his (or any) car in front of the house. It's just another of the mechanical issues we've had to deal with in the past year or so that has been expensive and not possible to avoid. As a result of those issues, I have cancelled my campground reservation for Rhinebeck and have now started to plan for next year. I'll have more time to save more $$, right?

Have a great day wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Saroyan is bound off!

I still have to weave in the ends and block, but the knitting is done and there aren't many ends to weave. Now I can go back to knitting the back of the cardigan. Yippee!

Monday, June 06, 2011

So much better

Last week was a rough one for me - not feeling well and things (like the boat motor) not working. It's over, though and I feel much better. We had a great weekend despite spending a lot of it working on the boat motor. Thank goodness it is now in the driveway at the house - makes things much easier to do and allows me to tend to other things between motor testing.

My spinning wheel has been loaned out - I plan on a month or so, so I am limited to spindle spinning. I like the limitation, though, as I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that I am trying to do. I did some thinking yesterday and have come up with a Plan. ; )    I am going to concentrate on spinning my Icelandic fiber into (I hope) a lace weight yarn. This project is spindle spinning, though once I get the wheel back I'll ply it on the wheel, I think. I am nowhere near being ready to ply, so all is well.  When I feel the need for a change, I will work on the silk spinning, also spindle work and also a WIP.

Knitting project wise, I've been working hard on Saroyan, which will be finished by the end of the week. I plan to get back to work on my sweater knitting once Saroyan is finished, and to finish up the two socks on the needles (finally). I have registered for the Season of Lace Summer this year and plan to participate in the KAL shawl project, plus make use of the Project Resurrection KAL to get me back on track with one of the three lace shawls I have on the needles. I am really excited about this! If all goes well, I'll have 2 or 3 finished lace shawls by the fall.

I am going to observe and encourage the spinning testing and challenge events going on at Ravelry in the spinning groups that I belong to but not participate (with the exception of the Tour de fleece) - I want to get caught up and have some finished projects to feel good about. I've gotten too scattered and right now it's not feeling good.  I hope to finish, by the fall, the Icelandic spinning, maybe half of the remaining silk spinning, the cardigan knitting and two shawls. That would be awesome, and that's my goal.

If I ever get my camera back from younger son, I plan to post pictures of where things are now and then progress pictures one a month. Lace just doesn't grow fast enough to post photos more often than that. LOL. It's the same with spinning - one spindle full looks pretty much like the previous one, though I do have two colors of Icelandic to spin.

Some times I want to work on fiber but don't feel like knitting or spinning, so that's when I pull out the tools and work on prepping fiber that I've washed. Right now I am working on the Jacob, and will work on that until it's done.  The fiber prep really has to be done outside - I don't want all of that vm to float around the house or get ground into my carpet. When the weather is pleasant, I really enjoy sitting out on the deck combing or carding or whatever. It's a different zone to get into but therapeutic in it's own way. The Jacob is less therapeutic and more frustrating than the BFL because of the quality of the fleece, but it's still fiber. : )
I am determined to finish this and use what I can from the fleece. Lesson learned.  Next up will be at least some of the Black Welsh Mountain because I want to see what type of fiber I can get from it and figure out what I want to do with it. I hope it's going to work for a vest (outdoor type) if not a sweater. Then I'll move on to the BFL. I am not even menitoning the Scottish Blackface (unwashed at this point) or the Gulf Coast Native (will be arriving on Thursday) that I haven't touched. Oh, yes, and the Romney that I am getting from Melanie in exchange for some of my BFL. NO MORE FIBER, LINDA. (not until Rhinebeck, anyway. giggle)