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™‚

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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!

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Emerald City, Nanners, and Buttons

Last night I spent two hours plying and skeining the lovely merino singles I finished spinning Monday night. I ended up with about 210 yards.

202/365: Emerald City - 210 Yards
Emerald City, merino, 210 yards

Emerald City - 210 Yards
Close up.

I really need to get a wraps per inch tool so I can get a better idea of the weight of yarn. Looking at it, it looks about worsted weight to me. I also need a niddy noddy to make it easier to wind skeins. I’ve just been using my swift, which works okay, but it’s a bit of a pain in the butt to do. A niddy noddy would make it a lot easier! I’m thinking about getting this one since it’s a) cheap and b) the same company that made my wheel. Eventually I’d like a nice wooden one, but this would do for now. I’ve even considered just making one out of dowels. I don’t know that I have the tools to do that, though. I wonder if just gluing some dowels together with Gorilla Glue or something similar might work. Anyone ever made their own niddy noddy?

Tonight I’m taking my “day of rest” (supposed to be Monday – the day I spent 4 hour spinning!) for the Tour de Fleece since tonight is knit night. Tomorrow, though, I’m going to be spinning up the batts I have from Gnomegarden. I was going to spin up one of the bumps of fiber I got from All Spun Up next, but with the Tour de Fleece ending on the 26th I wanted to be able to finish up one more bump of fiber before it’s over. Plus, I did want to see the difference of spinning with a batt vs pre-drafting a braid. I might have time to at least get started on one of the ones I got from All Spun Up, we’ll see. Spinning definitely isn’t going away once the Tour de Fleece ends, so I can still plan out what I want to do next! πŸ™‚

I got the toe done on the second Nanner sock and started the lace pattern last night. I really like how these are turning out. The only modification I’ve made is that I did 2 x 2 ribbing instead of 1 x 1 ribbing. I didn’t even change the heel to a short-row heel! I will say, though, that this heel flap business seems to take SO much longer. After this pair, I’ll probably go back to short-row heels.

203/365: Nanners!
Golden Nanners!

Even though these socks aren’t done yet and I’m still working on both the Absinthe and the Open Flame socks, I’m already thinking about the next pair I’m going to knit. Me? Obsessed? Nahhhh πŸ˜‰ I’d like to do another “quick” pair (thicker yarn/bigger needles), so I’ve decided I want to use a skein of Vesper I bought from a Raveler in Pumpkin Spice (special sock club colorway) and do the Tadpoles pattern. I think they’ll go nicely together πŸ™‚

Pumpkin Spice
Pumpkin Spice Vesper Sock Yarn

I decided on some buttons for Hey Teach and the Button-Up Neck Warmer, which I received on Monday. These buttons are from The Button Shop – probably my favorite place to get buttons.

Buttons
The top buttons are for Hey Teach and the ones on the bottom left are for the Button-Up Neck Warmer.

I haven’t picked up Hey Teach in a week or so, but tonight is knit night and I plan on bringing it with me to work on. I’m up to the lace on the right front, which I think I can get done tonight and maybe even start on the sleeves. Hopefully I’ll have an FO to show you soon!

Happy Hump Day, everyone! πŸ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Spinning and Tour de Fleece Update

This past weekend, I finished drafting up the rest of the mernio from Zarzuela’s Fibers in the Emerald City colorway.

Pre-drafted Fiber
Picture taken using my iPhone since I forgot to take one with my camera before I started spinning – whoops!

Friday and Saturday I spent an hour each day pre-drafting. Sunday I spent about 20 minutes finishing up pre-drafting, then did some spinning for an hour and 10 minutes for a total of 1 hour 30 minutes on Sunday. I had about half of a bobbin full on Sunday.

Emerald City, merino
Sunday’s Progress

Yesterday, I spent 4 hours spinning. I couldn’t believe I spun for 4 hours!! Matt was playing a new video game (Red Faction on the Xbox 360), so while he played, I was watching and spinning.

Spin, spin, spin!
Spin, spin, spin!

I finished up the first bobbin…

Bobbin 1
First bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then the second bobbin…

Bobbin 2
Second bobbin, 2 oz of fiber

Then I realized it was 10:30 pm and we’d been sitting there since 6:30 pm! I did get the rest of the merino spun up (took 2 bobbins), though, and today I plan on plying it.

Both bobbins
Both bobbins together (1st on the right, 2nd on the left)

Each bobbin I spin, I see my progress. The singles are getting thinner and more even with each one! I’m anxious to see how much yardage I’ll have once I ply these together. I’m hoping to have enough for the Button Up Neckwarmer from the Summer 2009 issue of Spin-Off magazine. Over in the Zarzuela’s Fiber Junkies group on Ravelry we’re doing a Spin-Along/Knit-Along for the Quant and Button Up Neckwarmer patterns in this issue of Spin-Off (Quant is also a free pattern from Knitty). I have to say, these singles feel like buttah! Really quite soft πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to get it plied and skeined so I can squish it! I’m looking forward to knitting with it, too πŸ™‚

Here’s my updated totals of how much time I’ve spent spinning throughout the Tour de Fleece 2009 so far:

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 “resting” on July 22nd instead (knit night)

My total so far: 24 hours and 55 minutes. Wow! It doesn’t seem like much looking at the list, but that total blows me away a bit! For a while, I just couldn’t really get into spinning. Since I was still learning, I just wanted to knit instead of work through my initial issues with the wheel and learning how to draft/pre-draft and how to join a new bit of fiber… all of it just overwhelmed me. I took on the Tour de Fleece challenge in hopes to overcome those things. I think you’d agree that it worked!

I finished my Nanner sock last night, too, but don’t have a picture of it yet. Starting the second sock today and hoping to have them done really soon so I can get back on track with the 52 Pair Plunge! I’ll update on my progress with that, soon. Another busy day here, but I hope your Tuesday is going well πŸ™‚

Posted in Spinning

Just keep spinning, Just keep spinning!

Yesterday I spent a good 2 hours unpacking and re-organizing things in the house. Our kitchen really doesn’t have enough cabinet space! I was able to remove a shelf from one cabinet and add it to another, so things fit a lot better, but we still have a number of boxes that have no place to go. I can’t wait to be able to re-do the kitchen and add a LOT more cabinets (and stove and counters and….). I think that if there’s one room I’m least fond of, it’s probably the kitchen, sadly. There’s a lot of physical space, but not enough storage space. Plus, I really want a gas stove! Anyhow, I got a lot done and the only things left to still unpack is the rest of my books in my craft room, a few kitchen boxes, and bathroom stuff. I’d say we’re about 75% unpacked now. Soon I hope we’re completely unpacked and can have our housewarming get together!

Since I did some work around the house, I didn’t feel so bad about spending time spinning. I knew that if I didn’t get to the house stuff soon after getting home, I wouldn’t do it, so I made sure I didn’t sit down to spin until after I felt pretty accomplished about unpacking and re-organizing. I was able to finish the rest of the fiber and filled the bobbin almost full.

Second Bobbin
Second Bobbin

I was half tempted to just keep them as singles after putting them side by side.

Both bobbins, before plying
Pretty Singles

But, I decided I wanted to ply it.

197/365: Plied!
Two Ply Yarn

I really like how it looks plied, so I’m glad I decided to do that. I haven’t taken it off the bobbins yet and don’t know how much yardage I have. Total, I spent 2 hours spinning yesterday. Next, I think I’m going to spin up this:

Zarzuela's Fibers: Emerald City, Merino
Zarzuela’s Fibers merino in “Emerald City”

And maybe after that, I’ll spin this:

Gnomegarden Fiber
Gnomegarden Fiber

I did do a little bit of knitting on Hey Teach yesterday, but no real progress to show. Spinning has become about as addicting as knitting! As if I needed another addiction! I blame all the spinners who’ve been slowly sucking me in with all their pretty fibers and yarns they make from them πŸ˜‰

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

Spinning, Hey Teach, and Round Toes

I spun for an hour yesterday. I really love how this is turning out! Can’t wait to ply it πŸ™‚

Tour de Fleece: July 15th
About half a bobbin full of pink and purple fiber.

I’ve been making some progress on Hey Teach, too. Yesterday at knit night, I finished up the left front and started on the right front. If I keep going at the pace I am, I could actually get it done this week!

Hey Teach 2 - Left Front
Left Front

Hey Teach 2 - Right Front
Beginnings of the Right Front

I’ve put aside other projects until I finish this up. I really don’t have all that much left to do, so I just need to get it done already! I still need to find buttons for this, though. I can’t decide what might look good with this yarn. I was thinking maybe wooden buttons. I’ll have to see what I can find from my favorite button shop.

Recently, I’ve had a lot of questions about how I knit the toes of my socks. Many people have noticed that they are more round then most of the toes of socks they see (or knit). A long time ago, shortly after I knit my second or third pair of socks, I read on the Yarn Harlot’s blog about how she knits her toes shorter to better fit her foot by decreasing every round at a certain point instead of every other round. Most sock patterns are written that you do the increases (toe up) or decreases (top down) every other round, so every other round you’re increasing/decreasing 4 stitches. My feet are wide and my toes are kind of round (more like a slant where my big toe is the “tallest” and each goes down from there), so this method of increasing/decreasing doesn’t fit my toes the best and makes them seem rather pointy. I don’t really find this type of toe to be that comfortable, either!

Typically, knitted sock toes look like this, with increases/decreases every other round:

Fuchsia Socks

The “rounded” toe I do looks like this:

Lucky Socks

And on my foot, looks like this:

89/365: Lucky Socks - DONE!

So, taking a bit from what the Yarn Harlot did, on my next pair, I decreased every round when I got to about 30 or so stiches on the needles. This made a rounder toe and fit better. When I started doing toe-up socks, I’d been doing this “decrease every round” thing for a while, so I adapted it to toe up.

Here’s my formula for toe up socks:

Cast on 16 (4 each needle if using DPNs, 8 each needle using Magic Loop or 2 circs) using your preferred method of casting on.
Increase every round for 5 to 6 rounds (depending on how round you want your toe).
Now, do increases every other round until you are at the number of stitches needed.

For top down, I usually do this:

When I get down to 36 to 40 stitches (36 would be 5 increase rounds toe up and 40 would be 6 increase rounds), I start decreasing every round until there are 16 stitches left, then I kitchner them closed.

Pretty simple way to make a change in fit that can make a big difference. πŸ™‚

Posted in Cooking, Current Projects, Spinning

Tour de Fleece (Spinning!), Stripes, and Cooking Class

The Tour de Fleece continues! Yesterday I spent an hour and a half spinning. I think I managed to spin up half of the 4 oz worth of BFL I’m working with, which filled up my bobbin.

195/365: Look at me go!
Pink and purple filled bobbin.

By the time I was done, my knee was actually hurting a bit. I think that was probably the first time I spun for over an hour straight! I didn’t really want to stop, but considering it was 10 pm and my bobbin was full, I set it aside for the night.

So far I’ve logged 13 hours and 55 minutes worth of spinning which averages out to over an hour per day. Last week I didn’t get in the hour per day I wanted to because I was feeling rather worn out from the week and even had a day that I didn’t spin at all. I was curious about my time and since I’ve been posting it in the Tour de Fleece group on Ravelry each day, I looked it up. Figured I’d share it here, too.

July 4th: 1 hr 5 mins
July 5th: 1 hr
July 6th: 2 hr
July 7th: 20 mins
July 8th: 20 mins
July 9th: 20 mins
July 10th: nothing
July 11th: 2 hr 20 mins –> Finished first yarn
July 12th: 3 hr
July 13th: 2 hr –> Was the scheduled day of rest, but I did some spinning since I “rested” on Friday, July 10th
July 14th: 1 hr 30 mins

A lot of days I did over an hour of spinning, but there are quite a few where I did less. Ah well, it’s been a lot of fun regardless! The best part has been seeing all my progress, getting more comfortable with spinning, and learning things as I go. Before the Tour de Fleece, I didn’t even know how to ply yarn! I got out my spinning book (Start Spinning by Maggie Casey, which came highly recommended by a number of people) and figured it out. Took a bit to get used to, but I think I did pretty good for my first try. Now I’m dreaming of all the things I want to get for my wheel, tools that would be useful, and fiber I want to spin!

I got in some knitting time yesterday, too. I’ve been working on the stripey sock during lunch this week and I’m getting close to where it’s time to start the heel.

Open Flame Sock
Stripey goodness!

The cooking class last night was pretty good. My only real disappointment was that I was pretty sure my chicken wasn’t cooked yet (it was really thick in one spot), but the instructor thought it was and told me to take it off. Sure enough, in that one part it wasn’t cooked all the way through. As someone who’s been through culinary school, I’d like to think that I know what I’m doing when it comes to cooking something. I should have trusted my gut that told me it wasn’t done yet. Half of it was edible and I wasn’t hungry enough to eat the whole thing anyhow. The class was called “For the Love of Garlic” and we had a shrimp salad with vinaigrette, stuffed chicken breast, and risotto with snap peas and asparagus. Of course all of those had garlic in them! I usually don’t care for shrimp, but it was really good and I liked the vinaigrette a lot. I just realized we totally forgot our recipes at the place, though 😦 Bummer. I’ll have to call and see if I can get another copy.

Knit night tonight! Looking forward to it πŸ™‚

Posted in Current Projects, Spinning

House Updates, Spinning, and Socks

Since the last time I blogged, I feel like I have a ton of stuff I want to share or say! I suppose that means I should just blog more, but other things keep getting in my way lately.

This weekend was good. Spent time with friends and had a good time with that. We bought lamps at IKEA that have their on/off switch on a button attached to the cord at the base of the lamp. I really love this idea, especially for the living room where the light switch isn’t connected to any of the outlets. We bought two for the living room and one for my craft room. We use CFL’s in all the lights we possibly can, but I’m always worried about breaking them. Well, I finally broke one. I was trying to fix the lamp shade for the lamp going in my craft room and while looking for a place to set the bulb, it broke! 😦 I was really stressed out about it since Matt kept telling me horror stories about people who broke them and had to have hazmat teams come out (CFL’s have mercury in them). I quickly looked up what to do. I found this very helpful article on the Environmental Protection Agency’s website. Now if it ever happens to you, you know what to do! It’s really not as big of a deal as I thought it was, thankfully. I also looked up how to dispose of them for Ohio and found EPA Ohio’s website that said to throw them in with your regular garbage. I was a little disappointed that we don’t have recycling facilities for this, but we did find out after a second trip to IKEA that they do accept CFL’s for recycling there (though it didn’t say anything about accepting broken ones, so I’m not sure if they do). We have a few others that aren’t useable anymore, so the next time we go to IKEA, we’ll be taking those there for recycling.

Anyhow… enough about broken light bulbs! I now have lamps in the living room and a lamp in my craft room. I’ll have to take a picture – I love the lamp shade I picked out. I bought a chair from IKEA for my sewing table, but we couldn’t get it together. One of the bars wouldn’t allow the screw to go in. We took it back and I didn’t bother getting another. It was on clearance and I didn’t want to chance getting another broken one that needed to be returned. Oh! And blinds!! We got blinds for the house, finally. We have them up in the living room and downstairs hall. We bought enough to also put some up in the bedroom and office, but I didn’t understand how you should measure for blinds, so we ended up with blinds too small for the living room. As a result of buying cheap blinds, we have two others that need to be returned on top of the two that are too small. One of them had holes and stains on the slats (near the top, so they can’t be removed) and I can’t remember what the issue with the other one was. Slowly, we’re getting there!

I took some pictures of the backyard and uploaded them to Flickr. You can see them here.

This weekend, just as the power went on Saturday evening, I finished spinning and plying my first yarn!

192/365: First Yarn!
Yarn I made!!

My First yarn :)
All skeined up.

I ended up with about 137 yards worth. I’d say it’s bulky weight, sort of thick and thin. I love how it turned out and I’m quite proud of it! The fiber is from Zarzuela’s Fibers, BFL in the “Thinking of Fall” colorway.

Speaking of Zarzuela’s Fibers… have you seen her Luxury Sock Batts? This one was so beautiful, I had to have it! It’s BFL, mohair, and silk. I love the color and pictures just don’t do it justice. So soft!! I can’t wait to spin it up πŸ™‚

Luxury Sock Batt

Now that I have the other fiber off my wheel, Sunday, I started pre-drafting the next thing I wanted to spin. I picked up this BFL a while back at a fiber fest and I believe it’s from Twisted Stitches. Monday I finished pre-drafting it all.

Pink and Purple Spinning
Box full of pre-drafted fiber.

Then, even though I’d said I wouldn’t spin any of it since it was the Tour de Fleece “day of rest,” I ended up spinning a little anyway!

194/365: Pink and Purple Spinning
Pretty pinks and purples.

This weekend I spent 5 hours spinning and did 2 hours on Monday. I feel like I’m really getting the hang of spinning and find that I want to do it more and more! πŸ™‚

I’ve been working on my Absinthe sock and have started the increases. The pattern is going along pretty smoothly so far, no issues. It’s been a while since I’ve done cables, so that’s been a nice change of pace for me.

Absinthe Sock
Limey green Absinthe sock.

I haven’t worked on it much in the last few days between spinning and starting this sock…

Open Flame Sock
Vesper Stripey Goodness

It’s been a while since I knit a stripey sock and the recent sock club shipment was really calling to me, so Saturday morning, I cast on for a plain stripey sock. The colorway is “Open Flame” a four stripe colorway. I love it πŸ™‚

I’ve been working on Hey Teach. Pretty close to being done with the left front, but no pictures yet. It keeps getting put aside for other things lately! Ah well, I’ll get to it.

Tonight Matt and I are going to a cooking class at The Learning Kitchen. The class is called “For the Love of Garlic.” Should be fun! I’m looking forward to it. It’s almost mid-week again. Sometimes I just can’t believe how fast the time goes by! Later, all.

Posted in Gardening

So Long On-Hold, Absinthe, and the Yard

Happy Friday everyone!

Remember how I started those On-Hold sock earlier this week? I got to the 3rd lace repeat and I really wasn’t loving the yarn, so it’s been frogged. It’s something about the color. I’ve tried to knit it into a sock twice now and each time the colors don’t excite me. The first time, I started knitting the Lacy Rib pattern with this yarn. I thought it was just the pattern I wasn’t loving, so I frogged it. Then I tried again with this pattern and I really love the yarn itself. It’s soft and very nice to work with, but the color just made me feel kind of blah when I knit it. I’m thinking about maybe over dying it with some Kool Aid… or just knitting a plain stockinette sock with it. I’ve been feeling so indecisive lately!

Since I frogged the On-Hold sock and nothing else in my WIP pile was really enticing me, I cast on for Absinthe.

Absinthe Socks
Lime green Absinthe sock.

I started these on US 0’s while I debated frogging the On-Hold sock, but the row gauge was off and I really didn’t want to mess with the pattern so that the chart lined up right. I decided to frog the On-Hold sock, so my US 1’s (2.25 mm) were available to use. I frogged the little bit of toe I started with US 0’s and started over. I just started the foot chart of the pattern. It’s going fairly quickly. I’m loving the color a lot more then I thought I would!

I’ve still been going on the Tour de Fleece, though not as much as I’d like. I’ve been so exhausted lately. Last few days I’ve only got as far as drafting for about 20 minutes each day and no actual spinning. Still something, though! I need to find my spinning book so that I can figure out what the next step will be after I finishing this last bit of fiber.

I’ve been exploring the things that are growing in our backyard and I found that more and more things keep coming up. First the daylilies came up and then I noticed these coming up in our yard…

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)

Wild Onion (Allium Vineale)
Lots of these are coming up! They look like garlic bulbs before they bloom.

I asked my Twitter friends if they knew what they were and Rose let me know that the looked like Wild Onion (Allium Vineale). When I got home, I smelled them and found they smell like onions! I think they’re really pretty looking, interesting, and different. I can’t wait until they all bloom!

For a while there was a group of plants that I couldn’t figure out if they were weeds or not. I finally saw what looks like buds coming up, so I’m pretty sure they aren’t weeds, though there are some weeds coming up beside them. No idea what it is, though. Anyone have any ideas as to what they might be?

What is this?

Closer - what is this?

There’s going to be lots of garden work that needs to be done. I’d like to get some flowers for the front porch and maybe the deck in the back (potted). This summer/fall, I want to get the bushes on one side of the deck pulled up so that I can plant veggies there next year. There is a LOT of weeding that needs to be done, but I’m waiting until I have a better idea of what needs to be pulled up and what doesn’t. I need to take more photos of the backyard to share! πŸ™‚

Last night we finally got the living room set up. It feels cozy to me! We just need some lights in there. We thought that the living room, like every room in the house without a light fixture so far, would have two outlets that have the top one connected to the switch. We tested all 5 outlets in the room and NONE of them are connected to the switch! How strange. We speculated that either there used to be a light fixture or they intended to put one in, but never did. Seems like we’re learning things little by little about the house and it’s quirks!

190/365: Living Room
Sorry for the low light photo of the living room.
We don’t have any lamps in there yet and there isn’t a lot of natural light in the room.

Have any plans this weekend? We’re going out with friends Saturday night for dinner and Sunday we’re going out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. I’m sure in-between that we’ll spend time unpacking, setting up the house, probably a trip to IKEA for some light fixtures, and hopefully some relaxing time on the deck (I really need to get some candles to keep the mosquitoes away from us, though). Have a good weekend πŸ™‚