Short Track Medal

Short Track Medal

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Fourth of July 2014

Well, it's been four long years since my last post and so much has happened.  Children growing up, I got a puppy, I've been knitting, I've been spinning, I can't remember how to add posts....

I have successfully completed the first Level of the Master Spinner's program offered from Olds College, Alberta Canada .  It's a course that you take, full time, five days.  There are five levels and each one concentrates on different aspects of spinning.  Level 6 is basically a final exam and a project (think thesis). 

For Level 1, the concentration is learning to spin both worsted and woolen yarn (long draw, for the most part) from fleece which you've scoured/washed and carded yourself.  There was written work (my paper was 10k words) and I think 40 skeins.  Granted, the skeins were only 10 yards each, but still, an incredible amount of spinning.  There was also a dye module.  We had to prepare 10 different natural dyes.  It was a ton of work!  Now that I'm done, I feel a bit relieved and I'm ready to start level two, which will be in four short weeks.  Hence, the reason for resurrecting my blog.  If I track, maybe I'll stay on top of my work.  My goal is to finish it by February.  I want to have time to knit and spin what I want.  I'm hoping we'll have a big enough group to do Level 3 next summer but we'll see.  This stuff is time consuming and expensive but there has to be life in retirement.  Having a Master Spinner certificate or even the knowledge will give me some options. 

As far as knitting, I just finished Crooked Cathedral!  A wonderful pattern, takes one large skein of fingering (I left off the last two rows and had only a few yards left of my 400 yard fingering skein.) and is a relatively fast knit.  Not blocked yet.  Doing that tomorrow morning. 

To catch up, let's see, four years.  I got a puppy from Maple Lane Shelties for Christmas 2012. 
Isn't she adorable?  She's one here and full sized.  We love her very much.

I got a Hitchhiker Spinning Wheel from Dave at Merlin Tree, 2013 Maryland Sheep and Wool.  We were off to a rocky start together but we're good now. 

Don't you love the color?  She's a custom. 
I also restored a CPW, also from Dave.  She came to me at a great price, all original parts, flyer is perfect.  I love her.  After reading up on Ravelry, I took the plunge.  I gave her a bath to remove surface dirt, scrubbed her down with Murphy's to remove dirt and some of the gunk.  The, I stripped her with denatured alcohol.  That was rough.  Down to the bare wood.  I used a fine grade steel wool, six pads, a lot of gloves.  After letting he be naked, I carefully sanded her smooth.  I the tacky clothed her.  She was thirsty so I oiled her with Danish oil.  Clear coat.
Here's the hub, before and after!
The flyer is off in this picture but you can see how beautiful she looks out there basking in the sunshine, a new woman! 
I also asked Tom Golding to make me a spindle.  This one is a shell cameo I got on Etsy.  Tom worked his magic to put it  in a holly inset on top of purpleheart wood.  Gorgeous.  The ring is pretty, too!  Sterling ring and hook.  Ahhh....  I'm having him make me another one, to be disclosed in a subsequent post.  It's more cutesy, whereas this one is 'elegant'. 

I got a bunch of yellow and white ribbons for my skeins at Rhinebeck this year!  YAY FOR ME.   Still, first place eludes me....The blue ribbon belongs to my daughter.  She spun a skein and entered it and got first place novice skein.  She spun this as a 9 year old!

For now, I leave you with a picture of my favorite dessert, chocolate mousse cake.  Next post, we'll discuss the After Thought Heel and a new spindle. 

MMMMMMmmmmmmnnnn, delicious.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Long, Hard Winter

It's been such a long time since I've posted. I really got alot of knitting done this winter and was happy that I was able to make my first shawl. It's beautiful! I also made a hat for my son which is a tad big.and FINALLY made a Clapotis.

The Clapotis is supposed to be for me but little girl wants to steal it.....

It snowed and snowed and snowed here. The front of the house looked like this.

In fact, it looked like that for a very long time. The snow came and didn't melt! We have had snow on the ground ever since the first blizzard back on December 19th! After about a week of 'spring like' temperatures, it is STILL there only it looks like this.

There are still places that there are MOUNTAINS of piled up snow, such as parking lots. That will all melt this weekend because we're expecting a deluge of rain. Well, at least it won't be white.

I also spun some lovely yak that is just about ready to be plied but I'm not sure if I want a three ply or a two ply. I'm thinking about what to do with it. I need a project that is worthy of this fiber. In the meantime, I MAY knit a pair of socks. I finished Cauchy awhile ago but I wanted to take a break from socks. If I do knit a pair they will be toe up. After making the shawl, I really like that I don't have to cast on many stitches and can be up and running right away. :)

Baby girl wants a Weasley sweater and I'm thinking of starting that this weekend in the rain storm now that my taxes are done and I can clear out my office today. I am home sick with DD who is also sick so I will clean the office instead of resting up....that's the life of a mommy, right? No rest for the weary.

In the meantime, off to shop online for a cheapie pot so that I can dye yarn in it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Off to the Podium?

Ta-da! I finished knitting Kiri last night and blocked her this morning. If I learned anything from this project it's to bind off looser. I didn't get nice pretty points on the edges and I was TRYING to do it as loosely as possible. Also, it grows and grows and grows. I could barely photograph this! It has a six foot wingspan. Imagine, all that out of 1.5 skeins of sock yarn.

Nice stitch detail, the color is gorgeous and it took me so long to pin it all out that it's almost dry! I can't wait to try her on!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Knitting Update - The Blunder Edition

Being we were celebrating the clearing off of the junk on the kitchen table, I decided that today I would assemble the pieces of my Shawl Collar Sweater. Remember it? I started it in October of 2008, had a fight with the directions, put it in the bag for a year, just took it out to finish and was all set to be seamed up. I knit the lovely collar on it last Saturday, all those short rows, big needles, went relatively fast. I was SO HAPPY that it was done. All I had to do was seam the shoulders, sides and sleeves, block and go. YAY!

Today, being I'm off for a week, I took it out to do a bit of seaming in daylight. I beautifully finished one shoulder and sleeve cap seam. Loved it.
Then, when I turned around to do the other side.....

Egad, all those stitches are sorta curved into the collar instead of going straight up the front. Who knit that??!! Furthermore, how on earth could I do that and not notice??? I picked up the stitches and vaguely remember carefully marking it all out and STILL I messed up.

To the pond the collar goes...this is all going back in the bag until I finish my lovely shawl. SIGH.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Olympic Knitting - Kiri Shawl Update

Hope everyone is enjoying the Olympics.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Enough with the celebration, gotta get back to knitting...
Here's what it looks like now. It's growing and I have 201 sts on the needle! OH BOY!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Olympic Knitting

Quick post, I'm knitting Kiri, a shawl, STR Lightweight in the lovely colorway Rosebud. Here's how it looked after last night's openning ceremonies.

Gotta go, commercial break over!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snow, Snow and More Snow

We were able to not get snow last Saturday but we were hit by latest blizzard and received a bunch of snow. I don't know what the official amount was but it was certainly more than a foot. It was up to my knees in the backyard and it's partially fluffy and partially wet.

The kids were ecstatic to have a snowday and didn't care too much that it was cutting into their Memorial Day vacation. That would be the one where I was planning on taking extra time and doing Ocean City, Maryland....In fact, they had TWO snowdays. Plus, they're getting so babies aren't babies any longer. Today she told me that she doesn't like Hello Kitty as much because it's 'baby-ish'. :(

I love the way the snow looks agains the blue sky and I couldn't resist using the macro lens.

There may be more snow on Monday! I hope we get 10 feet.

On the knitting front, I finished this pair of socks way back when. I know I used size 2 needles, Socks that Rock Midsummer's Night in lightweight and it's a Schurch pattern but I can't remember which one. I absolutely adore this colorway and may make him another pair from the leftovers. I'll remember or look in my notebook and then put it on Ravelry.

He picked out the yarn at Rhinebeck but I happened to have some in my stash so I got something else instead, one of the Raven ones, then, I knit these for him. I love, love, love them! They look good with anything.
Last week, I decided on my Ravelympics project: Kiri Shawl. It's a challenge for me because I haven't done too much lace knitting and I have never made a shawl. I was drawn to pink for some reason, a color I rarely wear. I bought 3 skeins of STR lightweight in Rosebud. Much to my dismay, one of them had a knot in it. I HATE that. You pay all this money for yarn and then they give you the dregs?
Any ol' way, I wound up two balls and will swatch tonight with size 7 needles to see how it goes. To pass the time in the meanwhile, I decided to knit a Clapotis. I am one of the few people who actually haven't knit one. It's a really fun pattern, very interesting and very easy. Piece of cake, in fact but the end result is very nice. I'm trying to stay away from socks and stay away from green so I chose Navy Blue for a change of pace. I'm about a third of the way done and will put it down to knit the Kiri and pick it back up if I finish Kiri in time, which I do expect to, of course. I will use lifelines, just in case. No need to have to rip and rip if I .... darest I say it? Make a mistake.
On the UFO front, thankfully, I have very few of these, I picked up the Shawl Collar Sweater. It is just about finished, just sewing it together now. Stupid directions. I will have pictures of it and the Clapotis next time. Then, I'll have a blocking party. Shawl Collar Sweater, Pink-a-Boo blanket, Clapotis and Kiri. YAY!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Knitting?

I handpun some of this gorgeous fiber way back when, Navajo plied it into a nice stripey yarn and knit a stocking hat for DD. She loves it so much that she even wears it around the house. This is from Moonlightbaker's Etsy shop and the colorway is "Candied Hearts". Very suitable for Valentine's Day Knitting.

After that was done, (after being prodded) I picked up the Shawl Collar Sweater, a Martin Storey pattern that has been annoying me and has been in hibernation for many moons. I was 99% done and had to frog the front because of the bad directions. The back is knit to a certain length but the front is knit to a certain number of rows. Dumb. I nailed stitch gauge but not row gauge (does anyone really check their row gauge consistently?) and...well, you know what happened. So, the sweater stayed in a bag on the floor, in the corner of a room since October 2008.

Being it's cold, DH said, "What about my nice sweater?" And so, last night, I finished the front. This morning, I knit the collar and all I need to do now is sew up the sleeves and side seams and find a button and we're ready to go. YAY! Pictures soon!

In the meantime, Elizzabetty came over last night for tea and knitting. She's working on her second Clapotis, you know the pattern that everyone in the world has knit except me. She says that I should knit it. My next project is going to be my Knitting Olympics project, the Kiri Shawl. In fact, I ordered 3 skeins of STR Lightweight in Rosebud just for the occassion, tracked it via the USPS as it crossed the country and ripped open the package on Friday night. I ten stuck my head in the plastic bag to breathe in the yarn fumes. All the while, thinking how much I love that smell, I was itching to start something new. Alas, I had to wait for the Olympics...a full week away.

So...a nice easy warm up project is in order. A pair of socks? Nah, taking a break from sock knitting. Not up to working on Heartland Lace shawl being I'm going to be doing chart knitting very soon for the Kiri shawl (which appears to be much easier). So, Elizzabetty jumped up and down, "Knit a Clapotis!!! A Clapotis!" Ok, ok...but out of what yarn? I don't have 900 yards of anything in my stash! (Amazing, but true. I really try to buy what I intend to use!) I have some beautiful Llama but only 550 or so. Hmmn...I thought about doing it on tiny needles with two skeins, alternating, of Dream in Color Smooshy. In Vino Veritas and Gothic Rose. Here they are entwined. I think that that would look REALLY SUPER COOL!

I even wound them into balls and then changed my mind. Not for long though, they could be knit together into something else. The colors are close enough to mix them up and acheive something. In fact, some of Gothic Rose appears in In Vino Veritas. They're both beautiful.

But no, fingering weight, big project, 4 days...

Off to get milk and eggs and fill the gas tank this afternoon so I stopped into one of the two LYSs that I frequent, Infinite Yarns in Farmingdale. I am so pleased (and fortunate) to have this store relatively nearby. They have been increasing the stockpile of yarns, they carry stuff that isn't readily available elsewhere and the selection keeps growning! They have tons of books, a nice knitting nook where people where gathered knitting around a table. And, on the table were some delicious chocolate chip cookies...and other delectable goodies. I must get there for knit nite sometime (Friday, 7PM!) but it's so hard when one has a family to take care of. We'll see.

So, after tossing my head and looking all over, i was thinking about how nice the Clapotis would look in Debbie Bliss Rialto. It's one of my favorite yarns and it knits up beautifully. However, I am trying to keep to my yarn diet (and fell off the wagon earlier in the week with the STR Rosebud.) So, I was a good Punkin and got 4 skeins of Cascade 220 Heather in Navy.

Ok, off to start this. Stay tuned. Snowstorm headed this way, maybe I'll be knitting more than originally planned.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, 2010 is well underway. This is the year that everyone is calling a 'Fresh Start". Let's not miss 2009 at all. The economy is so bad but I'm thankful for what I have, my health, my family and we're both working.

I've really been neglecting my blog, my photography, even my knitting to some degree. I have spun a bunch though! Over the past few months, I have actually some FOs...

Two pairs of socks are done. (I actually made three but .. more on that later.)

This is Charlene's Bluebell Rib. An easy pattern, good TV Knitting. Very nice in STR Goody Goody Lightweight. I made them during some of the world series.

Next up, we have Cauchy, a beautiful unisex pattern by none other than Cookie A., available in Sock Innovation. I love these and they fit me but I made them for hubby who loves them, too....sadly. I also knit a pair of socks for my son in a powder blue STR but I can't seem to find them! AND, they've never been documented in Ravelry. I've been neglecting that as well; however, I'm going to try and get back into shape and update things that need updating.

Speaking of getting back into shape, I'm weight watching and doing quite well. I even joined the Weight Watcher group on Ravelry. It's been nearly three months and I have lost 14 lbs. I'm thrilled! More knitting and spinning, less eating. This is part of the reason that I've been neglecting things. I have been spending the mornings on the treadmill and not on the computer or at the wheel...Also, I was getting up before 6 but since around Thanksgiving time, I've been utterly exhausted. This year has been a rough year at work, I've been working my tail off and put in a lot of time during the last 6 weeks of the year. Only now do I actually feel recovered from the end of the year work. So, I'm trying to go back to getting out of bed at 5:45 and getting on the treadmill and getting knitting and spinning in before work!

I've decided that my knitting olympics project is going to be Kiri, a shawl. I just haven't chosen what to knit it out of. I have 486 yds of Reynolds Soft Sea Wool in a nice Cherry Red color in my stash and I am wondering if that is enough. I would like to have hand spun something suitable; however, I haven't spun anything or enough of anything that would be lace or fingering weight other than the beautiful camel that I have been working with. I also have some Yak/Merino on the bobbin but I don't know if this is Yak worthy. That fiber is just special to me for some reason and I am not sure that I want it to be a shawl. Mostly because of the color. It doesn't look like it would make an interesting shawl. I want an ecru, cherry blossom or maybe a Dream in Color Smooshy color. I am afraid to use DIC Smooshy because it grows and I could wind up with a gown. Also, it's nearly torch time, I MUST decide!!!! I think that the Reynolds isn't enough. Other users of fingering yarn for this used about 600 yards. What to do other than buy yarn?

More to the Blue Moon website...sigh...

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Been Awhile

I know, I know, I've really been neglecting my blog. But now that winter will be settling in, days are shorter and I should be on my treadmill, I will be knitting and spinning up a storm. I bought three new skeins of STR lightweight at Rhinebeck and I am on the foot of sock number one. I'm knitting bluebell rib from Charlene Schurch out of "Goody Goody" on size 2 needles for DD whose feet grow daily. I picked an easy rib pattern because of this as well as it'll have alot of stretch. Before long, she'll be up to grown up sizes. This is a 54 st sock! I couldn't resist having her pose on a blocker amongst the fall things being it's November 1.

I have been spinning away and I have completed a grab bag skein for my spinning guild holiday grab bag. (can't show you that one but it came out loverly!) I also got tons of fiber to spin so I'll be busy. I'm spinning some powder blue merino and white bamboo now and it's beautiful. That came from Creatively Dyed.

On the knitting front, I finally finished two UFOs. The pinkaboo blanket and the infamous remind-me-never-to-knit-in-black socks! No pinkaboo picture yet because it has to be blocked for a few weeks now...but, here's the black socks in my pumpkin studio.

I still have hubby's sweater to finish up though, the one that was supposed to be his Rhinebeck sweater for last year. It's oversized and he lost a bit of weight so I'm going to have to make larger than expected seams whenst I do finish this. I didn't like the way the pattern was written. I never seem to get row gauge. The back of the pattern had me knit a certain number of inches and the front referenced rows after the armhole decreases. My pieces didn't line up and now I have to redo the front to make it match the back. Frustrating....

My Knitpicks Harmony needles are the bestest provided that they don't come in anything smaller than a 2. I've consistently had the problem of the join breaking. On one of my 1.5's, the join came off the second time I used the needle and it came off on BOTH ends. I have to call them again. This is also frustrating to me. I'm being converted over to wood and can't have this happen all the time.

I'm still in Rhinebeck glee and can't wait until next year. Only 49 more weeks! I would love to go to MD S&W but that's not going to happen this year. DS is making his Communion that very day so we'll be home. Looks like I'm not going to get to another festival until Rhinebeck 2010. How dreadful.....
Well, time to get things in order for tomorrow and watch the World Series.