Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Tour de Fleece and Project Updates

The Tour de Fleece is going pretty good. On Day 11 (last Tuesday), I finished plying the first 4 ounces of the Corridale from Zarzuela’s Fibers.

TDF Day 9 & 11
TDF Corridale, Plied

Wednesday was a day of rest, so I didn’t do any spinning. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I did some fiber prep, but no spinning. I think I may have lost my spinning mojo after that day of rest on Wednesday! 😦 I think I’ve been a bit distracted by knitting. I’ve been itching to finish some things that I’ve been working on, so I’ve been picking knitting over spinning almost any time I have the chance to do one or the other. I’ve also felt rather busy this past week and kind of worn out when I get to the point in the day that I can finally relax. Still, I’m pretty pleased with all I’ve done up to this point! Hopefully I can get my spinning mojo a kick today and get some spinning time in.

I’ve been busily knitting away on Daybreak in an effort to get it off the needles. I decided that I couldn’t start any new projects (anything besides socks) until it was done and since I have a few projects in mind that I’d like to start, I wanted it done. Last night I finished up the last few rows and did the bind off!

Daybreak (Pre-blocking)
Daybreak, Pre-blocking

I have no idea how many stitches I had when I did the bind off, but it took me almost an hour to do. SO. MANY. STITCHES. I’m pleased it’s done and quite happy with how it turned out. I’m glad I decided to only do 16 stripes and not 20 because it would have been absolutely huge on me if I had. It’s just the right size with 16 stripes. Now it just needs a wash and block before being completely done.

I’m participating in this year’s Summer of Socks (though I’ve been lacking in my posts in the Ravelry group), so I’ve been working on my fair share of socks. It seems like I’ve started and frogged more socks then anything else so far, but I finally have a finished sock! Tuesday I finished up the first Maelstrom sock. I think this might be one of my favorite patterns I’ve knit. I may need to knit a second pair after this! It’s just enough to keep my interest, but not too much that it needs a lot of concentration. I haven’t started the second sock, yet. I figured I’d make myself wait until Daybreak was done to go back to this project.

Maelstrom Sock (left)
Maelstrom Sock #1

In between finishing this sock and trying to finish Daybreak, I caved and started another sock. I saw someone’s Jaywalkers recently and suddenly needed to make another pair RIGHT NOW. I pulled out the MacKnitosh Skye Sock yarn in Camo Girl that I attempted to knit KawKawEsque out of. Turns out the Jaywalker pattern makes this yarn stripe!

Jaywalker
Jaywalker Sock

Here’s the part where I make a confession… I have totally been taken by knitting socks using the Magic Loop method. I used to hate it. I even blogged about how much I loved DPNs. Then I did one project using a long circular and “magic looping.” It wasn’t so bad. I tried a pair of socks after that, also done Magic Loop. Then another… and another… and now? I really want to do this sock Magic Loop, but I don’t have the proper needle to do it! I never thought I’d be into it and even after the first two projects I did, I wasn’t totally convinced I liked it. After the Maelstrom sock, though, I really like it. It definitely makes knitting socks a bit faster for me and I feel incredibly slow going back to DPNs now. Looks like I need to make a Knit Picks order for some circulars in sock sizes very soon!

I’ve got some projects that I’m thinking about working on, but swatching must commence first. Sweater season is not that far off and I’m already thinking about what to knit for Rhinebeck. Next time I’ll talk a little about what I’d like to knit in the upcoming months.

In a little while I’m headed off to knit with some friends at a local cafe. Should be fun! I love being able to spend time with other knitters. πŸ™‚

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Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Sewing, Spinning

Tour de Fleece

Tour de Fleece is in full swing here! πŸ™‚

Saturday I started out with what was left of the All Spun Up superwash merino (full braid was 6.2 ounces). I started on this fiber months ago. I managed to get two and a half bobbins done and even plied up the first two bobbins before putting it aside. I think I had about 1.5 to 2 ounces worth of fiber left when I started out the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up (Spinning in progress)
All Spun Up Superwash Merino

I didn’t spin that much on Saturday. We were busy getting ready for having people over on Sunday and we ended up going to see Knight and Day with some friends in the evening. I did get about halfway through what was left of the ASU fiber, though!

TDF Day 1
TDF Day 1

Sunday we had a full house, but even while people were over, I got in a fair amount of spinning time between playing hostess to our friends and family. I managed to finish up the rest of the fiber and ply it!

TDF Day 2
TDF Day 2

I didn’t figure out how much yardage I had right away because I’d never written down what the first two skeins were. I took the time to calculate it on Monday and I figured out that I have about 776 yards. After thinking I’d lost it, I managed to find my wraps per inch (WPI) tool and figured out that I have about 16 WPI (14 WPI in some places) giving me 776 yards of fingering weight yarn. That’s WAY more then I imagined I’d end up with or even thought that I had! Not sure what I’m going to do with it yet. It’s pretty variegated, so something simple. Suggestions welcome!

TDF Day 2
All Spun Up Superwash Merino Fingering weight, 776 yards total

Yesterday I was finally able to start the fiber that arrived last week.

TDF 2010 Roving
Corriedale in a special Tour de Fleece colorway from Zarzuela’s Fibers

I split the first 4 ounces into three equal lengths and prepped the first bit by doing a bit of pre-drafting. I wanted longer bits of each color, so after separating it into three equal lengths, I didn’t split the sections further into 2 or 4 (split in half, then in half again for) and just drafting as I go or doing just a little pre-drafting like I have been doing. Instead I pre-drafted the whole length of the first section and just went for it. It was kind of nice because I didn’t have to pick up or add any fiber to it as I went. By the end of the day I was able to get through the first 1/3 of the first braid.

TDF Day 3
TDF Day 3

This is my first time working with Corridale. So far, I’ve found it to be a sticky fiber (as in it likes to stick together). I’ve been trying to spin it a little thicker and so far the singles by themselves are looking about a fingering weight. I’m going to ply it, but not sure how yet. Considering trying to Navajo ply it since I’ve never tried to do that before. The one thing that I’ve noticed about my spinning vs others that I’ve seen is that my yarns end up rather loose when plied. Not really sure what I’m doing wrong here. There are parts that seem tighter then other parts, but overall it just seems loose. From what I’ve read, it seems like I’m plying correctly and when I’m plying it seems tight enough. Maybe I just need more practice. The third skein of the All Spun Up superwash merino did seem like it was an improvement. The first two had more loose parts and the third had much fewer.

I forgot to mention my goals for the Tour de Fleece in my last post. My overall goal is to spin at least an hour a day. I haven’t been keeping track of all my times like I did last year, but I can estimate how much I’ve done so far, so I might from here on out. My first goal was to finish up the All Spun Up fiber (check!). Second is to spin up the Corriedale in the TDF colorway. Beyond that…. well, I’m not sure! I thought that 8 ounces of fiber would take me a good long while to spin up, but thinking about how many days are in the tour and how much I’ve done so far… yeah I think I’m going to have to find something else to work on after I get done with the Corriedale. I’ve got enough fiber in my stash that I don’t think it’ll be a problem to find something else do spin up after that’s done. Might finally get around to the CJ Kopec fiber I got last year.

Between spinning breaks, I’ve been knitting. I’m working on the heel flap of Malestrom, I frogged the KawKawEsque socks I mentioned in my last post (wasn’t liking the yarn/ribbing combo), and yesterday I started the Serpentine Socks for this month’s Socks From the Toe-Up KAL. I’m still working on Daybreak, too. The rows are getting quite long and seem to take forever, plus it’s been hot and sticky out, so I’ve been favoring the smaller projects. I haven’t worked on my crochet top or the Rippleghan in about a week since other projects have been taking up my interest. I think once I get Daybreak done I’ll focus on the top again.

Can’t wait to get more spinning done later today! I’m sure the Corriedale will be done in no time πŸ™‚

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Spinning

Chicken Clutch, Projects, and Tour de Fleece 2010

It’s been one of those weeks where all week I try to blog, but every time I try, I can’t figure out what to say. Today isn’t much different. I’ve sat and stared wondering how to start out this post or what to say. Since the words don’t seem to be flowing easily, I’ll keep them to a minimum and speak mostly with pictures!

First, I have an FO to share. After my friend Jessy saw this pattern, she said I should make one for her for her birthday, so I did. I’ve decided he’s a free-range chicken, since he’s not all white like the original pattern. πŸ˜‰

Chicken Clutch (Right Side)
Chicken Clutch

Pattern: Cluck Clutch (My Ravelry project page.)
Started: June 24, 2010
Completed: June 26, 2010
Yarn:Vanna’s Choice, 1.75 skeins in a heathered brown/grey (can’t remember the name of it), bits of red and yellow from stash
Needles: H/5.0mm hook
Notes: It was pretty simple to make and the only thing I didn’t do was add the button.

Chicken Clutch (Open, Side)
Chicken Clutch – Open

Yesterday was a Good Mail Day ™. I got 8 oz of Corriedale fiber from Zarzuela’s Fibers in a special Tour de Fleece colorway and she put in a skein of sock yarn for me in a Camo colorway as a thank you for doing the Summer of Socks 2010 group banner and button. Thanks Jessica! πŸ™‚ I also got June’s shipment of the Knitterly Things Sock Club (a four stripe colorway called Summer Hill), which matches the Tour de Fleece fiber quite well.

Good Mail Day 7/1
Good Mail Day!

Speaking of the Tour de Fleece… I plan on participating this year! The Tour de Fleece goes along with the Tour de France. It starts and ends the same day as the Tour de France. You spin every day, either on a wheel or on a spindle, for however long you determine as your goal. For the full details, see the Ravelry group here. I’ll be spinning up that lovely fiber above and hopefully finish the All Spun Up roving I started who knows how long ago. There’s probably 2 or so ounces left to do, so I don’t think it’ll take long. I plan on working that up first, but I’m already anxious to get the TDF colorway started!

I’ve been working on Malestrom and I think I’m up to 6 repeats of the pattern so far.

Malestrom Socks
Malestrom Socks

I was itching to start something new, so I started a pair of KawKawEsque Socks (Ravelry page) Wednesday.

KawKawEsque
KawKawEsque Socks in MacKnitosh Skye Sock in the Camo Girl colorway.

This weekend is a holiday weekend here in the US and on Sunday we’ll be celebrating the 4th of July (Independence Day), which also means a long weekend for most people I know since they’re getting either Friday or Monday (or both!) off work. We’re having some of our family and friends over to do the traditional grilling out and fireworks thing. Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. For once there isn’t a ton to do to prepare other then getting food and some light cleaning! Have a good weekend everyone πŸ™‚ Good luck to all the other Tour de Fleece participants out there!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Zypher Needles, All Spun Up SAL, & Knitting while Reading

Have you seen the new Zypher Acrylic needles from Knit Picks? Recently a few in my knitting group got together and did a big Knit Picks order (yay free shipping!) and Karen got a set of US 4 tips since she already has the nickel-plated interchangeable set and we were both interested in trying them out. I’d heard a lot of good things before trying them. Last night I got to try them and I have to say that I’m not a fan at all. The best way that I can describe them is that they feel squeaky in my hands and sticky. I was knitting with Knit Picks Stroll sock yarn and while it felt quite soft in the skein and knitted up, it felt awful to knit with on the Zypher needles. The yarn actually felt like Red Heart while knitting it on these needles (not that there’s anything wrong with Red Heart and I use it myself, but if the yarn isn’t Red Heart and is a soft wool sock yarn, it shouldn’t feel like that while knitting). I was rather disappointed by them. In fact, there were a lot of us at knit night that tried them and everyone was saying the same thing: they’re sticky, they squeek, and this lovely soft wool feels like Red Heart when you knit with these needles. After having a chance to knit with them, I don’t think I’ll be buying a set for myself. I still want a set of the nickel-plated interchangeable, though!

Earlier this week, I received my All Spun Up Spin-a-long fiber for August and September. It’s 50% merino/25%silk/25%bamboo and feels really soft. I can’t wait to start spinning it! When you order, you don’t know the color, so I knew I was taking my chances when I ordered 8 oz worth. I’ve received some beautiful rovings from her Etsy shop, so I felt pretty sure that whatever the colors ended up being, I’d probably like them. I surely wasn’t disapointed. Not normally colors I’d pick first for myself, but very pretty.

223/365: Spinning Along
All Spun Up SAL Fiber, close up

Merino/Silk/Bamboo
I think the color is closer to the previous picture, but here’s both 4 oz rovings.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I do something that some knitters might think is crazy: I knit and read at the same time. I haven’t really admitted this publicly because I’ve heard knitters who also like to read say that they’d never do both at the same time. If I have a simple project, I’m able to prop the book open and read while knitting. Right now I’m reading My Life in France by Julia Child.

224/365: Knitting and Reading
I admit it: I read AND knit… yes, at the same time!

I’m not very familiar with Julia Child, but I’ve been meaning to get to know her for some time. When I was at Costco last weekend, I saw this book there and decided there’s no time like now! I’ve been reading this book and knitting Liesl at lunch this week.

Speaking of Liesl, I don’t have an updated picture, but it’s nearly done! I probably have another inch or to until I’m at the bottom, then I’ll knit the sleeves. I haven’t really decided on the length of the sleeves. I was thinking short sleeves, but I’m leaning toward 3/4 length now. It all depends on how much yarn I have. I think I should have enough for 3/4 sleeves since I haven’t even started on the 4th skein yet and it’s unlikely I’ll need to before I finish the body. Liesl has been the only project I’ve done much work on this week. I’m just really enjoying knitting it and even have plans to make a second one after this!

I still need to work on the Secret Garden Shawl. The final clue comes out tomorrow and I’m still working on clue #4! Ah well, I’ll get to it eventually, right? πŸ˜‰

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Designing, Neck Warmer, Spinning, and New Projects

Not long ago, I came across the Knitting Purls/Knit-a-While Cuff-Down Smack-Down. Right away I knew I wanted to design something. Didn’t take long for me to start having some ideas. I wound up some yarn and kept it near my desk as a reminder. I let the ideas simmer in the background until yesterday when I finally charted up the pattern I had in my head.

216/365: Designing
Lorna’s Laces in Old Rose

Tuesday I cast on and knit the cuff of the sock and Wednesday I began the pattern. I’ve done a little over one chart repeat so far and I like how it’s turning out!

My Sock Design

What do you think of it? I’m already trying to think up names. Plenty of time to decide on that, though.

I’ve been working on my Button Up neck warmer, too. It’s moving right along and it’s been growing pretty quickly when I actually work on it.

Neck Warmer
Guessing that I’m about 1/3 of the way done.

After a few days of not spinning, I started the second bobbin of the Scarlet Macaw fiber last night.

Spin Spin Spin

Didn’t do a whole lot, but that’s because something new was calling me. I decided I wanted to knit Liesl and I had 4 skeins of Louet Gems worsted in my stash without a project in mind. I love the color of the Louet Gems and I’ve been wanting to make this sweater for a while, so yesterday it was all I could think about after I’d decided I wanted to make it. I knit a swatch and while it was blocking, I went ahead and cast on.

Liesl
Louet Gems worsted in Eggplant (the color is fairly accurate in the photo)

Might have been a dangerous thing to do, but this morning I found that my swatch was dry and the gauge was perfect. I’m using US 10.5 needles, so it’s going pretty quickly. Few more rows and I’m already to the sleeves!

Yesterday I received the August shipment from The Yarn Bearer’s Sock Club. This is the Nightmares Club and this month’s theme was Blood & Gore. It’s semi-solid red and I love it! Another project I’ve been looking at is the Ishbel shawl, so immediately I thought this would be perfect for it. I have 500 yards to work with, which should give me a decent sized shawl.

218/365: Sock Yarn, Yarn Bearer (August)
The Yarn Bearer’s Uber Sock, Blood & Gore

As if I didn’t have enough projects going on or ones that I’m planning, I’ve also ordered yarn for the Little Birds cardigan, the Shipwreck shawl, and the Aeolian shawl! I also have beads coming for the two shawls. What about socks? Ummm… but I am knitting socks! See the ones above? I’m still knitting socks. I don’t think that will ever change, but I knit other stuff sometimes, too πŸ˜‰

The weekend is nearly upon us! It’s been a busy week. Tomorrow I’m going to head down to MainStrasse in the afternoon for the World’s Longest Yardsale with some knitter friends. I’ll probably be looking for shelving or other furniture for our house. Should be fun! It will probably be hot, too, since it’s supposed to get up to 90 degrees tomorrow, which hasn’t happened since JUNE! It’s been a fairly cool and rainy summer this year. Any fun plans this weekend?

Posted in Completed Projects, Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Busy (Fun) Weekend, FO, Spinning, & Lace

I feel like I have a lot to share today. Yesterday, for some reason, I didn’t feel like I did. I think part of it was that I don’t have good pictures of something I recently finished (I’ll get to that), so I was going to wait to blog until I had a decent picture. If I do that, though, I know what will happen. I’ll wait and wait, then have so much I want to update on that the post will be insanely long and I’ll put it off. Life isn’t perfect, pictures aren’t perfect, so on we go! πŸ™‚

Last week, my TLE Anniversary Kit arrived. I don’t know if I’ll use the pattern with this yarn, but I do like both. The colors of the yarn are even better in person then they were on the website. Sometimes, pictures just don’t do something justice! The kit came with 2 skeins of Lorna’s Laces, a TLE mug, sock pattern, and tape measure.

TLE's Anniversary Kit
TLE Anniversary Kit

This weekend felt a little busy, but not in the “running around everywhere” busy way that it had been feeling. It was busy in a “let’s get all this stuff done around the house and have people over” way. On Saturday, we got up fairly early and Matt mowed the lawn.

213/365: Mowing
Matt mowing the lawn.

I was the “helper” that got to sit and knit until he needed me to clear some branches that he didn’t want to mow over and sweep the grass off the sidewalk and driveway. It worked out well and didn’t seem to take too long to do. After that we spent some time setting up the rest of the game systems, unpacking boxes, and moving some stuff to the basement. Saturday evening we went to dinner with my family for my dad’s birthday (his birthday was Friday). We went to a Mexican restaurant and it was yummy. I swear I could eat Mexican food every day for the rest of my life and be fine with it! Sunday we were up fairly early again and finished unpacking and moving stuff around. We set up the shelf in the kitchen Saturday night, so I finally filled that with the rest of our kitchen stuff that doesn’t fit in the cabinets. Very glad that’s done with! I think seeing all the boxes around was getting me down a bit. It’s so nice to not see these piles of boxes everywhere anymore.

Sunday afternoon, we had invited a bunch of people over for a potluck/game thing. Karen, Than, Sarah S., Jessy, Brian, and Alita were able to make it and Lisa stopped by briefly and got the grand tour of the house. We ate good food and played Trivial Pursuit and Rock Band. I forgot to take pictures while everyone was there, though! I didn’t think about it until later, after Jessy, Brian and Sarah S. had left. I did get a picture of Karen, Than, Alita and Matt playing Rock Band, though! We’ll definitely need to do something like this again. It was a lot of fun!

214/365:Get Together!
Left to right: Karen on vocals, Matt on drums, Alita on bass, and Than on guitar

On to my most exciting knitting news… Friday, I finished Hey Teach! I took a picture with my iPhone, but since it was kind of dark, it didn’t come out too great. It’s done, it’s done, it’s DONE!! Once I get some better pictures I’ll do a full FO report with commentary. The good news is that it fits me and I really like it. πŸ™‚

212/365: Hey Teach, DONE!!
Proof Hey Teach is DONE.

Last night I finished up the first bobbin of the Scarlet Macaw I’m spinning up. I probably have over half of it left to go, but I really like how it’s turning out.

One Bobbin Done!
One bobbin done!

I also finished up one repeat of the lace chart of Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl.

One Chart Rep of Clue #4
Secret Garden Shawl

The next and final clue doesn’t come out until next Friday (August 14th), so I have some time to finish it up. Since this will be done soon, I’m already thinking about what lace I’ll knit next. Thanks to Karen, I’ve been reminded of two shawl patterns I want to do: Shipwreck and Aeolian. Since I was already planning on ordering new yarn for the Little Birds Cardigan from Knit Picks (going to use Palette), I decided that I want to use Palette for both of these. I love all the colors Palette now comes in! I don’t think I would have thought to use it initially, but then I saw a few people had used it for Shipwreck. When I looked at the colors, I just knew the color I wanted to do it in: Marine Heather. I’ve picked out beads for both from Fire Mountain Gems. I love having knitter friends so that we can do combined orders for things like this and get discounts! πŸ™‚

Today, it’s rainy out. It makes me wish I could just stay home and knit! Hope your week is off to a good start. I’m still trying to remember that it’s August now! (Can you even believe it??)

Posted in Current Projects, Gardening, Spinning

Garden, Matt Knits, Neck Warmer, and Hey Teach

I fully intended to blog on Wednesday and Thursday, but ended up not having time. I wanted to blog yesterday evening and planned to… then I ended up helping Matt with his school’s website which took up most of the evening. Ah well, that’s how life goes sometimes!

On the house (garden) front, we had some bushes that were by the deck cut down. We need to dig up the roots but haven’t had the time (or desire, really!) to do that yet.

IMG_3162

More flowers are coming up in the garden, too!

IMG_3164
Pink flowers in the back yard.

IMG_3169
Not sure what kind of bug is on there, but I found it interestingly shiny, so I took a picture to share.

I posted about these before… still not sure what they are, but they’re some kind of flower. Matt and I walked around the neighborhood yesterday and found a few other people have them in their yards. Rose (one of my knitting friends) also has some on the side of her porch and said that many people in her neighborhood have them. I’m anxious to see them bloom!

IMG_3171

I’m not really sure what’s all growing in here, though I’m sure a number of weeds are present.

IMG_3174
This is the end of our driveway – no idea what’s all here!

On knit night this past Wednesday, Matt came with me and showed us what a good knitter he is and how to knit with just one needle…

While we were at knit night, I dropped my needle and it somehow disappeared under the table. Yes, a US 8 straight needle, fell to the floor, we heard it hit, but it could NOT be found. Thursday, Karen (who I sat next to) let me know it had somehow transported itself into the bottom of her knitting bag somehow! Mystery solved, but this left me with only one needle to work on my new project (I’ll get to that), so Matt decided to take over my project for me. πŸ™‚

Wednesday, I started a new project for the SAL/KAL in the Zarzuela’s Fiber group on Ravelry. I’m working on the Button-Up Neck Warmer. I have to say, I really LOVE knitting with yarn I spun!!

Button Up Neck Warmer
Button-Up Neck Warmer in Emerald City merino.

When I got home Wednesday, I realized that Hey Teach was dry, so Thursday I started seaming it up…

211/365: Time to Sew
Side seams on Hey Teach

… and it wasn’t long before it was all seamed up!

Hey Teach, sewn
Hey Teach is finished being seamed!

The best news?!? IT FITS!! I’m beyond thrilled by this after my last horribly failed attempt. If it didn’t fit, there was not a chance that I’d be knitting it a THIRD time, so I’m really glad it fits. I’ve knit the neckband on already and just have the button bands left to do. I’ll probably work on that this weekend if I don’t get too distracted by Clue 4 of the Secret Garden Shawl that I just received.

I’ve found a bit of time this week to fit in some spinning, though I admit not a whole lot. My hip has been bothering me since it’s been raining, so I don’t think I’ll be able to finish this up this week like I had hoped. I’m really loving spinning this, though, so I’m not exactly bummed it’s not done yet! I can really see how far I’ve come since I “got serious” about spinning this month for the Tour de Fleece.

All Spun Up - Scarlet Macaw
My so-called Scarlet Macaw superwhash merino from All Spun Up.

Have anything going on this weekend? We’re taking it pretty easy since it feels like we’ve been pretty busy every weekend this month. We’re going to dinner with my family tomorrow and have invited some people over on Sunday for a small get together since we’ve been wanting to have people over for a while now, but not quite up to the “big housewarming” thing yet. Happy Friday everyone! πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Hey Teach Blocks, TDF Wrap Up, Stripey Socks and Starlight

Last night I got out the blocking mats, washed Hey Teach, and it’s now blocking.

208/365: Hey Teach, Blocking!
Hey Teach, blocking!

I also finished up Clue 3 of the Secret Garden Shawl. The yarn is Green Sheep Fingering from The Unique Sheep and the colorway is Hearts on Fire. (Sorry, forgot to mention that yesterday!)

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, laid out as best as possible

Secret Garden, Clue 3
Clue 3, close up

I did some spinning last night, though I forgot to take a picture. It feels like it’s taking a long time, but these are pretty thin singles, so I’m guessing that’s why it seems to be taking a while! I don’t think the rain has been helping, either. My knee, hip and lower back haven’t been allowing me to spin as much as I’d like to. When did my body get like an old lady?!? This morning I woke up sore and thinking, “It’s going to rain today.” Not 5 minutes later the radio said, “There will be showers and thunderstorms this afternoon.” I had to laugh a little at that! My body knows about the rain before the weather people tell me! Hahaha πŸ™‚

Speaking of spinning, I should do my Tour de Fleece wrap up! Counting it up, I did 30 hours and 25 minutes worth of spinning from July 4th through July 26th. That’s a LOT of spinning time! Here’s the break down:

July 4th: 1 hour 5 minutes
July 5th: 1 hour
July 6th: 2 hours
July 7th: 20 minutes
July 8th: 20 minutes
July 9th: 20 minutes
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hours 20 minutes –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hours
July 13th: 2 hours –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I β€œrested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 15th: 1 hour
July 16th: 2 hours
July 17th: 1 hour -> Finished second yarn
July 18th: 1 hour
July 19th: 1 hour 30 minutes
July 20th: 4 hours -> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I’m β€œresting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)
July 21st: 2 hours
July 22nd: rescheduled my day off
July 23rd: 1 hour
July 24th: 2 hours
July 25th: 1 hour
July 26th: 1 hour

Not bad! I was able to finish up 3 rovings and get part of the way through a third.

Tour de Fleece 2009, Wrap Up
Top Left: “Thinking of Fall” BFL from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 137 yards
Top Right: Pink and Purple BFL, 153 yards
Bottom Left: “Emerald City” Merino from Zarzuela’s Fibers, 210 yards
Bottom Right: Superwash Merino from All Spun Up, still in progress

I frogged the Fountain Pen Shawl last night. I decided I wanted to do it on bigger needles, so I frogged it and decided that I’ll try again later since I’m already working on a shawl right now. I would like to do it at some point, just not right now. Now that Clue 3 of the shawl is done and Hey Teach is blocking, I decided to get back to some projects I haven’t been working on. Last night I finished the heel on my stripey socks.

Open Flame Socks
Vesper Sock Yarn, Open Flame colorway

This morning, as I was thinking about what I’d take with me to knit at work, I decided on the Starlight sweater. Yes, THAT sweater. The one that I started in April 2007. My oldest WIP. The sweater I keep thinking about frogging, deciding I’ll frog, then deciding that I can’t possibly frog it because it will be so beautiful once I’m done. I’m going to finish this. This is my next “big” project that I’m going to work on until it’s done.

209/365: Starlight
Starlight Sweater in Rowan RYC Silk Wool, colorway Porcelin

I’ve been meaning to reply to the comments people have left, but recently, my webmail was blocked at work and I usually spend my lunch hour responding to emails when I have them. Since I’ve been busy at work, when I get home, I don’t even THINK about getting on my computer since I spend 8 hours sitting in front of one at work and I’m usually exhausted when I get home (or even on the weekend). As it is, it’s a struggle to make and dinner, do any house work that needs doing, and maybe get some time to relax and knit or spin, but most of the time I’d rather just come home and go straight to bed. I feel like I haven’t been sleeping well, but can’t really pinpoint why. Only thing that’s really changed recently is the stress at work, though I don’t see that changing any time soon – nature of the season and job I suppose. Don’t get me wrong, I do like my job quite a bit, it’s just mentally exhausting most days. This means that by the time I get home, my brain is mush! Anyway, all that to say I plan on getting back to you soon if you’ve left me a comment or emailed me recently. I haven’t forgotten, just been busy and tired lately. I think it’s a combination of moving and the new job and I’m just trying to get readjusted still. Though it doesn’t usually seem like it, there’s still TONS of stuff that needs to be done around the house to make Matt and I feel less stressed by the state of things. This weekend we’re planning on getting most, if not all, of the “To Do” list done so that we can get back to “normal.”

Hope your week is turning out to be a little less stressful then mine so far πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Secret Garden Shawl, Spinning, and Hey Teach

Wow, this weekend was a BUSY one. I feel like I didn’t get done anything that I’d planned to, but I suppose that’s the way things go sometimes. I’m planning on not doing anything this weekend except work on house stuff with Matt so we can stop feeling so dragged down by the things that are still disorganized and packed from the move. I did get in some knitting time, though!

Saturday I started on the Secret Garden Shawl. I started this KAL a bit late. It’s a mystery shawl KAL and while I attempted one other shawl, I fell way behind and kind of glad I did at the end because I wasn’t to fond of the design at the end. I tried to get in on another one, but I never ended up starting it. I was a little worried about this one, but I really want to complete a mystery shawl KAL and a circular shawl, so why knock out both at once? They’re up to clue 3 (released Friday), so I’m working on getting caught up. I got through clue 1 pretty quickly that evening. It’s a shawl worked from the center out, which is what makes the first parts go quickly (smaller number of stitches).

206/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 1
Clue 1

Sunday I started on clue 2, which also went pretty quickly. I started clue 3, but then realized I’d missed the last row of clue 2, so I had to tink back the 2 rows I’d knit on clue 3. The below photos are of the shawl through clue 2, minus the last row since I thought I was done with clue 2 when I’d taken these pictures.

207/365: Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2
Clue 2, full

Secret Garden Shawl, Clue 2, Close Up
Clue 2, close up

I’m still working my way through clue 3. With almost 200 stitches, each row takes me a while! I’ll be sure to share photos once clue 3 is complete (and after each clue is complete).

After my not-so-great attempt at spinning that batt on Thursday evening, Friday evening I pulled out some superwash merino I got from All Spun Up to spin.

All Spun Up, Superwash Merino
This reminds me of a Scarlet Macaw
(I really like birds and have had a number of them, I always wanted a Scarlet Macaw)

I tried a different way of drafting this time. Instead of doing a lot of pre-drafting, I took sections and just separated them into 4 to 6 strips of fiber and only drafted as I went. I found that this seems to give me a nice even single! I still need some practice, but I’m already loving how this is turning out.

205/365: Today's Spinning
Superwash Merino in what I’ll call the Scarlet Macaw colorway πŸ˜‰

I had hoped to finish this up this weekend, but I ended up being really quite busy and hardly home at all, so I didn’t get in much time to spin. I spent time prepping the rest of the fiber and spun a tiny bit more then what you see on the bobbin above. I’m hoping to finish this up this week, though!

I’m so very, very close to finishing Hey Teach! I finished knitting all the pieces on Saturday, but I haven’t blocked them and I haven’t taken an updated photo yet. I had to get some blocking mats first, since it’s just about impossible to block anything on hardwood floors! I knew Costco had some of those mats a lot of people use for blocking for $15, so I went there on Saturday with Karen and we got the last two. Now I just need to set them up and wash Hey Teach. Maybe this will be the week it gets finished!! πŸ™‚

Hope your week is going well so far and your weekend was a good one!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Not so Great Fiber and New Project

Aren’t Friday’s supposed to be “easy” days at work? Usually less stressful? For me they’ve almost always been the “easy” work day, but not today! It was one of those Murphy’s Law days where anything that could have gone wrong, did. Since I’m pretty wiped out this week (yet again it seems), I’ll keep this post fairly short.

Yesterday I went home and tried to spin one of the batts from Gonmegarden…

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Batts

…only to find it was pretty matted. I tried drafting some of it up and was mostly successful, but there were what I can only call knots or lumps in the fiber that was messing everything up when I tried to spin it. To make things even more frustrating, the sparkly bits were in knots some places, which didn’t spin well at all. I spent an hour attempting to spin it up and got only a little done. I was not enjoying it at all, so I pulled what I’d done off the bobbin and put it all away until some other time that I feel like dealing with it.

Instead got out the Green Sheep Fingering in Hearts on Fire from The Unique Sheep

Hearts on Fire
So pretty!

…and knit a swatch for the Secret Garden Shawl KAL.

Swatch
Swatch done using the first chart in the first clue of the pattern.

I knit the swatch on US 4’s, but I think I need to go up to US 6’s. I’m not super worried about getting the right gauge with lace. For me, it’s what the fabric looks like and if I like it. I know I’ll have plenty of yarn, so if it’s a bit bigger then the pattern calls for, I don’t need to worry about it. I can’t wait to get caught up through clues 1 and 2 (the pattern is put out in clues each week) and started on clue 3 which was sent out last night. I have to say, I really like this yarn and it gets even softer with washing! Hopefully I’ll have some progress to show you next week πŸ™‚

Do you have any plans this weekend? I’m going to Knit On! (LYS) tomorrow with Karen. It’s their first day open at their new shop, so we’re going to go check it out. Later in the evening, Matt and I are going to Game Night. Sunday morning I’ll be spending some time with my mom and any other free time this weekend has to go to getting the house clean and more in order. Will it ever end?!? I think I need a vacation!

Have a good weekend everyone!