Friday, April 25, 2014

I think I have a plan

A Tour de Fleece plan, that is. The Age of Brass and Steam shawl has interested me for quite a while. I am not sure what it is exactly that makes me want to knit it, but I do. I am going to spin an as yet unknown fiber and make that shawl for my TdF project. It will be a challenge to spin intentionally, I might include dyeing in the project, and i will have a use for the yarn right away, possibly eliminating both yarn and fiber from stash in the process of making a pretty shawl. Even with work I think it's a doable goal for me. Yippee!! I have a plan!

It's Friday and I am so glad!. I am very tired after being sick on Monday and then having a busy week at work after a stressful week previously. I need some family time and some down time. DH and I are going our for dinner tomorrow to celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary! We will do chores around and in the house on Saturday and I plan to take it easy on Sunday. Spinning and knitting is all that is in the plans for that day. :-)

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Spring things

Knitting, knitting, knitting. That's all I want to do! I have so many projects going and I want to knit on all of them. There just aren't enough hours in the day! I know. We all feel that way, at least sometimes. I am feeling it very strongly right now.

My Chic Knits hoodie has a completed body and part of one sleeve. I am taking it to knit night with me, so I hope to get more sleeve knitted tonight. I *really* want to finish socks, though, so I might be adjusting my priority list so that socks are highest on the list. Last night I knit on Bob's Escalator sock. I have only about an inch and a toe to go - so close to being finished that I can't resist pushing on to finish that 1 sock. I picked up the gusset stitches on the Maze sock and have started those decreases. It will be tight to finish that before the end of the month but I am trying so hard .....

Sunday is my 60th birthday. I thought I would be more stressed about it than I feel. Maybe it's because I battled cancer last year and so everything is more valuable to me now. Maybe I have changed my outlook on things in general and numbers don't really mean much in the big picture. I like birthdays in general. I love a cake and cards and gifts. I don't feel that this birthday, significant number though it might be, is any more special or any worse than any other, so we aren't doing anything special. I have surprised everyone by asking for a strawberry shortcake rather than my usual chocolate but other than that I just want sunny weather and some time to knit and spin. (I hope to get pretty far down the foot of that Maze sock on Sunday). I hope to get some shetland flicked and maybe spin a basket of it, too. I enjoy doing it, plus I want to empty those bobbins in preparation for the Tour de Fleece.

I have yarn coming. I know that I said that I wasn't casting on for anything new but ..... The crackerjack scarf/cowl idea caught my interest. The idea is that you choose 4 colors for your baseball team. Each color represents home wins, home losses, away wins and away losses. You knit a row (or 2) of the appropriate color after each game, illustrating your teams win/loss record for the season in color. I have to say that I don't really care that much for baseball but my son and several of my friends do, so I have gotten caught up in cheering for the Baltimore Orioles. The scarf, however, will be for my son. The yarn is on the way. :-)
Each night I will knit 2 rows of the appropriate color on the scarf depending on the previous days game results and then move on to sock knitting.

DH is adjusting the size of the veggie garden down. Not only is the blue spruce tree growing into the garden space but the garden is also large and an odd shape. It will be smaller and rectangular, with an actual gate to open instead of having to step over the fence (which is just a bit too high for me to do comfortably). We have to change some of what we usually grow for this year - we had problems with lots of beetles on the green beans last year and some sort of mildew on the cucumbers. It might have just been the weather last year but the master gardeners told us to change the location of what we plant and to avoid some things some years. So the plan is to grow corn, tomatoes, green peppers for sure and possibly green beans, cukes and lettuce in another location this year. I hope it's dry enough to till the garden soon so I can get seeds started. Last year, despite my warning that I would not be able to keep up with the gardening, DH planted a full load. Sure enough, I couldn't keep up and he finally gave in and did the weeding. ;-) This year will be different.

Maryland Sheep and Wool festival is coming up shortly! I can't wait to spend a weekend immersed in fiber! I have no great plans to purchase anything major, though I have no intentions of saying that I won't buy anything. Maybe a skein or two of sock yarn for the Tour de Sock ..... I want to look at samples, feel yarn and be inspired by other people's knits. I want to see sheep and other fiber animals and just experience.

Well, that's all for now. Have a wonderful day.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

It's Friday!!!!

It's Friday and I am looking forward to the weekend so much!

Spring weather has finally arrived (for the most part, anyway). We are no longer bundling up in many layers just to run to the store. The crocus and daffodils are poking their heads further out of the ground. The fish in the pond are coming up to beg food more often and the birds are singing and chirping like crazy! I love it!

Karen and Nancy came to visit on Wednesday as planned. I really did learn how to use my cards properly and to make rolags. ;-) Now I have a way to prep fiber that is not appropriate for flicking or combing or just because I want to. The Lebowski socks have been dissected and repairs will commence shortly. We chatted and I showed off several of my knitting projects and got some advice on what to do with my Cattails sweater to fix the collar. We were entertained by the cat and Nancy, who had endless patience for playing with him. None of us got a whole lot of knitting done but that's OK. It was more of a visit than a knitting event.

So, my excitement for fibery things is increasing. I find that I need a plan in order to get any significant progress done on anything. If I don't, I get sidetracked too much. I still get sidetracked sometimes, but not as much. ;-)
Projects on the needles are many. I want to finish, finish, finish. No new casting on for me for a while. I am trying to set reasonable goals, by month at this point, to get things finished. It's the right season to wear Cattails, so that front edging re-knit is high on the list. I'd like to have most of the body, at least, of the hoodie finished before the summer. I really want to have both leftover socks from last years Tour de Sock finished. I will finish the beaded Maze socks in April and the Chicane sock in May, ready for a fresh start on the TdS on June 1. I think those projects are enough to keep me busy but I want to start spinning again.

The Tour de Fleece is always a good jump starter for my spinning. There are so many options for TdF spinning that I can't settle on a plan. I could continue to spin my Shetland fleece. I probably should, but I am craving color spinning. I could, then, clear bobbins and plan on spinning as much color (braids, bumps, batts and dyed locks) as I can manage. I am afraid that I won't put as much thought into a use for them that way, though, and I don't want to spin without at least a general plan for the fiber. I need to spend a day with my fiber stash, looking for good combinations and potential projects or at least uses for the fiber (such as mittens or hat or part of a sweater) before I spin it. That leads me to thinking that my best plan might be to finish up the Shetland bobbin I am spinning now, wind it and the other full bobbin into a plying ball and then play with color for a little while as "training" for TdF. I could then concentrate on Shetland spinning during the tour and/ or spin another bobbin of a very nice wool blend in a soft green color that I started ages ago and ply those, clearing off another bobbin. Sigh. So much fiber, so little time. :-)

I didn't get this post finished on Friday as planned so it's Saturday now and I will be helping Bob to replace a thermostat on the Expedition today. It's windy but sunny outside so it should actually be nice to be outside. I will also be hanging clean clothes on the line to dry. I love the scent of line dried clothing. Knitting and/or spinning will be reserved for tonight. Oh, and I am due for a 2 mile walk today. It feels good to be back to walking.

Have a great weekend, all.

ETA I finally clicked on submit on Wednesay of the following week. The htermostat is in and we had a reat day on Sunday doing some spring cleaning in the garden.