Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring Fever

It's a bit premature. It usually starts near the end of April. I want time off from work to clean (major spring cleaning) garden and do fiber things. I frequently schedule a week of vacation for this time of year and have enjoyed it every time I did it. This year I can't do that because of the need to go to NY in the next few months for my brother but WOW do I want to! It's such a struggle to go to work every day.

I have been knitting away on my test knit spiral shawl. I have gotten to the point of adding the first of the two additional increase areas, which means that the rows are getting longer faster now. I suspect my "inches of progress" will slow despite my "number of stitches progress" growing. It's going to be a great shawl.

I have been knitting on Elis also, since I need a simple knitting project for walking to and from the garage, etc. I have just started the last repeat of Indian Cross stitches. Sock progress has been made - both the Riff and the SKYP socks are mid-heel/gusset. Yippee! I think the cashmere blend sock yarn staring at me each night before bed is a spur to knitting on those other socks. ; )

That is all as far as  fiber progress is concerned. I had 2!! migraines on Tuesday. Despite being home from work, I made little progress due to the pain. No spinning or plying has happened but I plan to change that over the weekend. The plying will be finished this weekend. I have decided.  I'd like to do my spring clean out and rearranging of my fiber and yarn but I doubt that I will have time for that plus the plying ......

Saturday, March 24, 2012

progress show and tell

This is  my Wurm hat. I loved the pattern so much for the neckwarmer that I decided to go ahead and make the hat for myself. It's a deep purple/blue. The band is folded over and knitted together with the live stitches.   

This is Elis, (Ravelery link because that's all I could find) being knitted with my handspun. I have been entranced by this stitch since I first saw it in a class put on by my knitting guild. After this  section with the Indian Cross stitch, I knit stockinette stitch for a while, then add another section of the Indian cross stitch. Then repeat, making it as wide as you wish. I like it a lot.

This is Topiary - about 4 feet long at this point, which is the half way point. Yippee! I made my Iknitarod goal!

This is the start of Wingspan, my other knit without much thought project. It is now waiting for me to go to NY the next time. The yarn is Colinette Jitterbug direct from the store in Wales, carried back to the states by a friend. Thanks, Sharon.

ETA I ripped this back last night and started again using a larger needle. I thought the fabric was a bit stiff. I am much happier now. 

This is my indulgence. I don't need or really want more sock yarn, but when I saw and felt this in my LYS, I couldn't resist. There is cashmere in it! I plan to make socks, but they will be indulgence socks - worn only in bed on those cold winter nights. I can't wait!

Bob's sweater is still growing, though slowly. It's my pattern. What do you think?

The Swirl sweater is also growing, though not as fast as when I first started it. I estimate that I will finish it in time for vacation in September. The yarn is lovely to work with.

This is my newest project. So far I really like it. It's a test knit for Erica Gunn at Designknit and is the start of a Spiral Shawl. Go to her website to see her version. This start was on size 1.5 needles but I ripped after a while because the gauge wasn't right. I am now on size 3 needles and it's just right. I have about 4 inches knitted. I am using Knit Picks bare lace weight, dyed by me 2 years ago. I used deep green dye with resist in some areas, which I then removed and just barely dipped the yarn into the same dye to avoid white spots in the yarn.

This is the garden. Bob and eldest son roto-tilled on Thursday. Now we have furrows dug and I'll be planting soon. I'll start the seeds and if it freezes and kills them, I'll just plant more. ; )

Have a good weekend, all.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Busy weekend

Phew! I am tired after a very productive weekend. I am almost glad that I have to go to work tomorrow. I need a break from the cleaning.
I scrubbed the window screens and put them back up after cleaning the windows. I weeded the veggie garden space ( about 10 ft. by 20 ft.) and two other shrub beds. I washed all of the dirty clothes and hung them on the line then put them away. DH and I cleaned out the bird bath fountain and the back water garden and got the pumps working. We hauled out a lot of the summer outdoor furniture and cleaned  it. The bathrooms were cleaned, the kitchen cabinets and appliances were scrubbed within and inch of their ...... Cords. ; ). Linens were washed, dinners cooked and cleaned up. I am TIRED.

I also managed to do a lot of plying - over half of the singles (Grafton Batt) are plied and what stopped me was the back pain. I spindle spun some Shetland and would have done more except for the back pain. I turned the heel on Brian's SKYP sock. I am working my way down the foot now. The end is in sight!

I completed 2 more welts on the Swirl Sweater (it doesn't photograph well) and played around with some fiber prep. I flicked some Tunis fiber, flicked and carded Hog Island fiber (thanks, Melanie). I flicked some teeswater locks, too. It was a cloudy, foggy morning but by mid afternoon the sun had come out and it was wonderful to sit in the sun and play for a bit in between cleaning. (oh, yes, the oven got cleaned, too).

I didn't get the pictures taken that I had hoped to get to. I am now settled comfortably in bed, getting ready to knit Topiary. Sleep well.

Thursday, March 15, 2012


This is Mushishi yarn. I was using it make the mushishi wrap. I just didn't like the looks of it, though, and frogged it the other night. This yarn is yummy, I love the colors (thanks, Angela)  and there is over 400 yards of it. It will make a very nice something else. I'm just not sure what yet.

This is my Grafton Batt singles, with the batt below. I have finally started the plying process. I think it will take me a month or so to finish (just because I hate plying so much that I won't get to it often).  The resulting yarn will be a very nice lace weight but it'll take a while to get there. Sigh.

This is my jeweled Cowl. It is on hold but not because I don't like it. I just have too many things going right now and have limited my knitting focus to a few things, trying to get some finished. This will be an awesome warm weather knitting project since it's so small and light, so it went into the postpone pile.
Teeswater locks. I love them and and dying to get to comb and spin them. Time. I need more weekend time.
My mawata mitts are now finished, though I don't have a picture of the completed mittens yet.
My gloves from Carol. One done, ribbing on the second started, but these went into the same postpone pile as the jeweled cowl for the same reason.
Spinning shetland roving on my spindle. I do a bit each night but some nights it's a very little.
Swirl sweater. I have to get to work on this. It's big and will not make a good summer knitting project.
Raw shetland fiber.
Combed shetland fiber. I want to spin this. It's so soft! Need more weekend time .....


It has hit at or near 80 degrees for several days this week. Wow! I don't mind a few cool days in between but I REALLY hope we don't have snow or ice at this point.

Bob and I went to a fishing seminar last night. It ws very enjoyable and I am now excited about starting the fishing season. It's strictly catch and release at this time of year but I'm OK with that. We even bought a rod and reel for me last night!

I've started knitting my Wurm hat on my way in to work each day. I started the heel flap of the SKYP socks but haven't had much time to work on it. maybe tonight at Knit Nite at my LYS. I've started on the 8th pattern repeat of Topiary. This weekends plans include some fiber prep time and more plying. I also hope to get in a few rows on Topiary and the Swirl sweater. We'll see how much energy I have since we'll be doing weeding and garden prep plus the usual cleaning. I can feel the ache in my back already!

I hope to get new photos of all my WIPs for the blog this weekend so you can see what progress I have made. Hmm. I just mentioned a lot of things I plan to do over the weekend, didn't I? Too bad the weekends aren't all 3 days long .....

Sunday, March 11, 2012

WIP off the needles

I had to do it. I picked up the second Mawata mitten and finished the thumb. It doesn't feel like a great accomplishment, but it is one more item completed and ready to wear, even though it won't be cold enough to be worn until next winter.

I started my marathon plying session, too.

Fiber fanatic again

I seem to be back to normal again. I have knitting in my hands whenever I sit down and pick up the spindle and spin a bit at every opportunity. Thank goodness!

Work is good - I have lots of it but have made great progress on getting rid of the backlog. I no longer feel overwhelmed when I walk in the door.

I enjoyed hanging clean clothes on the line to dry again today. For the past few weeks it's been too much trouble for the way I felt. I LOVE line dried clothes and sheets!

I finished 2 of my 3 Iknitarod projects! The test knit hat is complete. It's a great knit and wonderful finished project. Angels kiss merino and alpaca is the yarn. The color is a sort of rust color. It looks more orange in the picture.

My brother's neck warmer is also complete. I used Plymouth superwash merino in a pretty blue. I enjoyed knitting with it despite the superwash part. I haven't enjoyed the hand of several superwash yarns I've touched lately. I knew, however, that this had to be a superwash wool unless I wanted it to be ruined after the first wash. It's really very nice and there is little to no Itch factor, a major issue with my brother. I used the Wurm hat pattern as my inspiration. I added a longer ribbed section at the top rather than closing it as for the hat. This way he can pull it up over his nose in the really cold weather and it should stay there.

My third Iknitarod project is to finish Topiary. I already know that I can't make that goal, but I can get to the half way mark and will work towards that. I have 6.5 pattern repeats done (rather than the 3 shown here in the photograph)

I also cast on today. I saw Wingspan on Ravelry and went stash diving to find yarn. I am using Colinette Jitterbug in a deep semi solid green color. I am going to like this, I think. I chose this project and a Wurm hat (also in the Plymouth superwash, but purple for me) for simple projects for trips to NY. My brother was diagnosed with throat cancer and will be going through radiation and chemo. I expect to be going to and from NY a lot for the next few months and need simple knits to keep my hands busy while allowing me to talk and visit with others. Both of these projects will work and neither one is too large to travel easily.

Spring is in the air. We have been talking about when to get the boat ready for the water and the timing of the tilling of the garden. I will be pruning a few shrubs tomorrow and maybe planting a few seeds.

Time to get back to knitting. Have a wonderful Sunday.

Fun test knit

I can't wait for Melanie to make her pattern available! It's a very cute hat, and interesting and quick knit. I finished last night after casting on Thursday evening. It' blocking now and I hope to get photos soon, and Melanie's permission to post.

I cast on Steven's neck warmer this morning. I have decided to use the Wurm hat pattern as my guide and will just knit until I run out of yarn, though I am pretty sure I will use 2 skeins in order to make it tall enough for him to pull over his nose and ears should the weather demand it. He liked that option with the previous one I knitted for him.

I am working on Topiary as my other Iknitarod project and finished up the 5th pattern repeat a little while ago. I will really have to work hard to get this project finished in the next 2 weeks since 5 pattern repeats is only 1/3 of what I need.

My brother sent a new wool comb and hackle in the mail. This time he put the nails 1/4 inch apart instead of 3/8 as in the first ones. He shipped them unassembled, so DH has some work to do, but I am anxious to try the finer comb and hackle.

We have a leak. We had narrowed it down to the chimney area and DH put a tarp over the chimney cap before the latest rains. Sure enough, no water. So that locates the source, now we have to figure out how to fix it and/or who to hire to fix it. I think it's a good thing that the roof itself is not leaking.

I did a bit of spindle spinning this weekend and have been knitting a lot more than I had in the last 2 weeks. it feels good.

Well, I think that's enough break time. Back to Topiary.