Sunday, July 29, 2007

Trips, Eats and Knits

Yesterday I went to Lambtown with Kristine and Adrienne. They were super nice to invite me and do the driving too. It was fun, my first sheepy show and I got some cool stuff. There were interesting booths, some fiber related and some not. People watching and listening to music was what we did most. It was so hot, about 90 degrees in the shade. The blue is egyptian cotton from Joyful Colors, The purple (purple haze) a merino and silk mix from Chasing Rainbow Dyeworks and some Jacob that I got from Meridian Jacobs. All things I've never spun before, I'm excited!

On the way home we saw some cool cars at a Drive In and had to stop

Still working on the tank, it's amazing how tiny little yarn and tiny little needles give so little progress.

I've been working on my monkey (sock, that is), turned the heel and now on to the foot, I should be done shortly. It's amazing to think how fast I could actually knit something if I didn't have ADD and have to have at least 3 projects going at once. Actually that's a lie, I try to limit it to three. But still.

I decided to knit this lace wrap for the reunion, partly because it's cheap, and partly because it's easy. Hopefully it will get done in time. I'd like to knit a pretty shrug when time is not an issue. I'm not really into shrugs, but am slowly seeing their appeal with a dress. Especially when one does not have many coats.

Trying to watch what I eat, so that my "curves" will be less flabby I made this chili, which was very good. It didn't turn out very spicy, and I only used red peppers (I don't much like the green). I'm sorry I didn't take a photo, but it was really good and low fat to boot.

Fnished the Harry Potter book. I liked it. I'm a nerdy sap, don't tell anyone.

We are going away for a few days tomorrow. I'm looking forward to lounging by the pool....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It's a thin line between love and lace

It feels like for every row I knit, I have to rip out two. Painstakingly slow, but pretty. Lace seems to be a lesson in patience for me, I don't have very much so I guess it's a good one. If only I can get through a repeat with no mistakes, I'll be happy. If only I can lose 5 lbs., I'll be happy. If only...

I am at the heel of my Monkey sock and have promised myself if I get to the foot part then I can start a new project. Hmmm. It will most likely be the Chevron Scarf. I am wanting a mindless knit--a sweater perhaps? I'm thinking a stripey top down raglan. I have some brown sheep cotton fleece in my stash, I would only have to buy a little to make it stripey...maybe, mebbe not.

I'm going to my 20 year high school reunion next month. It is amazing to me that it has been 20 years. Also it is a bit terrifying, but I'm swallowing that and heading off, I already bought the tickets, there's almost no turning back. I was a bit reluctant to go, especially after having been to the 10 year, and having it be very disappointing. Now we've set up a site on and started relating to one another without the old high school hangups and it could be fun. I bought a dress. It's pretty cute, although it shows a lot of the "curves" I've developed in the last months. I am forever trying to maintain or control my weight, it's stupid, I hate it, but I do it. Mostly because I'm on the verge of what I feel is not a comfortable me. But I love food and cooking it and eating it. Especially sweet food.

Anyhow back to knitting, I bought this dress, and I'm thinking it would be good to make a shrug, as it does get chilly here in the East Bay in the evenings. Can I make a shrug in a month? Especially if I deliberate over what to make for a week or so, shortening my month, to mere weeks or days. We'll see if I find the motivation. My monkey boys are in camp next week, so that means I've have a bit of time to think clearly.

And of course Harry Potter. Yes, Harry..I tried to resist for many years but I must admit, I am excited. I'm reading the book, monkey 1 finished it already. This also may stand in the way of the shrug.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Energize me!

beautiful beach only for looking--no public access--so pretty though

knitting while camping

Well, I'm back from the first family camping trip. We went to Big Sur and it was a lot of fun. Sleeping on the ground really makes you feel old! I have 2 boys (W who is 10 and R who is 8) and they loved camping. Boy monkeys and fire are a match made in heaven. Well, not really, but it is quite amazing how attracted to fire they are. Our first foray was not bad, we got to figure out all the things we'd like for next time we go.

I've finished my energized single socks! I'm very happy with them. I dyed the fiber in an indigo pot in a dye intensive/weekend class I took in June. It is all spun on my drop spindle, and is my first handspun drop spindle project.

Needles: Size 3

Pattern: Ann Budd's sock pattern from The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns: Basic Designs in Multiple Sizes & Gauges.

Other than that, I've tried three types of plying with two strands of yarn.
1. plying from 2 bobbins 2. andean plying (instructions from here
(no, I haven't been in the spin a long, but think it's really, really cool) and 3. plying from a center pull ball which I believe is described in The Spinner's Companion, by Bobbie Irwin, basically just making a ball and then putting it in a bowl and plying with the yarn coming from both ends. I have to say that plying from a center pull ball has been my favorite so far. I only tried Andean Plying once, so I should give it more of a chance, but I felt with more than 1/2 a bobbin that it would be hard on my poor middle finger. You never know when you might need that one. I had to work at keeping it from turning blue. Maybe I was not doing it quite right. Still working on the Victoria Tank, on repeat 10 of 29. My lonely Monkeys have been neglected, I made myself start the second one and have left it unloved and unknit. Now that one pair of socks are done, I'm having trouble not starting another project. I have the yarn for the Interweave Bonita Shirt, and the yarn I've spun for my Chevron scarf. I have promised myself I would put in some good time with the Monkeys before I get all distracted with something new.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Something I love

I just have to share the love and satisfaction I get from making a knitted item from my handspun, from my drop spindle and hand dyed no less! It goes from: fiber to yarn to sock--

It's so much different than going to the store and buying your yarn and casting on. Now that has it's own merits, of course. I've done that plenty and will do it many more times, no doubt. It's just that there is a completeness about it that is so exciting and satisfying. I really didn't think I would like spinning all that much, but it really is becoming one of the things I love.
My next big goal is to spin enough yarn for a sweater. That will have to be later, I'm still working on the Victoria Tank, Monkey Sock (1 done, 1 to go), and energized single sock (1 done, 1/2 to go).

It's amazing how different it is writing the blog, rather than reading the blog. It's a lot of work and time consuming, I really have a better appreciation for the bloggers out there. Not only does it take a lot of time and energy to try to make it look nice, but also to write something meaningful. Especially when you're like me, stealing time when the kids are watching tv or busy with video games.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

I think I can, I think I can

Okay, so I have wanted to knit the Victoria Tank from Interweave Knits
since I first laid eyes on it (only 3 years ago). I'm just getting around to starting it, I was searching for the yarn or what I could sub for the yarn when I came upon Knitting the Blues and saw that she had done hers with brown sheep cotton fine. I have that! I was going to make a beautiful lace coverlet for my mom and only got 3 panels of a billion I needed to do and figured it wasn't really going to happen in this lifetime. So anyhow, I cast on 288 stitches, no gauge swatch for this knitter.....and those stitch markers at every lace repeat they suggested? Ha, I don't need training wheels, I can knit, I can knit lace, I've done it before. So after many rows of "fixing" my number of stitches, because they did not come out right, I realize that I must rip it all out and start over. So then measure just to see how I've done and it's huge. Huge. So I looked back at the Knitting for blues and realized she used a smaller needle. So I re-cast on the 288 stitches on a 2 and started once again. Ha. After the first lace repeat, again I was off and "fixing" again. And by fixing I mean, adding a stitch here or taking one away to try to make it right. It didn't. So avoiding casting on once again, I took it back to the start of the lace and put on my training wheels, and so far so good.

I'm spinning yarn to make my second Chevron scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts,

my first one did not turn out quite like I wanted it to. Being new to spinning, I have a lot to learn about how my yarn will look knit up. Evidently, I have even more to learn about this blogging thing and making it look nice, but for another time.