Wednesday, February 28, 2007

It has been a week since I last posted, and a lot has happened in that week. I haven't been able to get much knitting done, mostly because I've been distracted by babies and beautiful weather. I was out today in just a sweater and t-shirt and was only a little bit chilly. Either I'm better adapted to the cold, it's really warming up (the weatherbug says 38 degrees farenheit, but I don't believe it), or it's a combination of the two.
Oh! - babies! If you haven't heard yet, Saturday the 24th at 1:20 in the morning, my nephew Thomas was born. He weighed 8#9oz and was 22" long. Dad, mama, and baby are all doing very very well. I still can't get my head around the fact that my baby sister is a mama, but I'm very happy for her. She's going to be a great mom.
The last several days, it's been gorgeous outside. There's a warmness to the sun that wasn't there before and you can tell that the earth is about to burst forth into spring. We're right at the point now when it's no longer winter, but not quite spring yet. Mostly I can't wait for the flowers. I can't wait to plant in the garden and get my hands in the dirt again.
See how I am distracted?
First some spinning updates:
I've started spinning the wool I got last week from Peaceful Pastures and I have decided that I really really for real tho' want a drum carder. I just don't have the spare $300-$500. Perhaps in the future, non? Hand carding is some hella hard work and I've started to get blisters and scrapes on my knuckles from it. I don't mind terribly much because I'm trying to do it little by little, moving from one part of the process to another so I neither get bored nor suffer injury to my poor wrists. The end result is beautiful, though. The yarn is naturally variegated and soft as well. I spun up a small one-ounce sample of the yarn first, but I spun it entirely too tightly. Not even washing relaxed it. So, I adjusted the tension on the wheel and came up with something usable the second time around.
In other spinning news, I finished a ply of the bamboo I've been spinning on the drop spindle. It's a nice break from the plain brown wool I've been spinning on the spindle for what seems like forever. You can see in this picture how there's still a little frost outside, but the sun is quickly melting and evaporating it away.
Now on to the knitting. I did manage to finish one Mock Croc sock. Here it is. Since March is for Making Mates (and tomorrow is the first of March), I'm still doing alright. I want to hurry up and get these done, though, because I want to make a pair of socks for my former doc. She has a multitude of medical problems including metastatic cancer and lupis and can't get insurance. She's really in a bad way right now and this is one way I'm able to offer her comfort. I can't really send a whole lot of pennies, but I can make a pair of socks. Once the Mock Croc are done, it's off to the LYS for some navy blue sock yarn. It's her favorite color.
Moving on, Project HN, the green and black soysilk scarf is...well, it's getting there. I have eight stripes done and a ninth started. I'd like to be able to do twelve total, but I'll go until I run out of one or the other colors. I do like how it's turning out and how the soysilk knits up. I'm going to work on it some today so maybe I'll have another FO for February. Here's hopin'.
No progress on the flower basket shawl since last time. I've set it aside to focus on other things. And by "focus" I mean "be completely distracted by new wool, babies, and sunny weather."

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It came! It came! It came!

This is the wool I ordered from Peaceful Pastures and it came today. They're a farm out in Hickman and they also sell meat. I'm all about buying locally when I can, so I'm thinking about also buying some meat from them. The only barrier there is the amount of freezer space I have.
It occurs to me that I am easily distracted by shiny new wool. I have yet to actually knit anything with anything I've spun. I did manage a gauge swatch with the rainbowdey soysilk/wool and I'm planning a pair of gloves from that. This here is intended for a woven himation and I can't wait to start spinning it. It's super soft. I'd make things for my new nephew out of this it's so soft. I've also got some bamboo fiber on the drop spindle and some wool I got from the Knaughty Knitter on the wheel. I've almost spun all of that up and when I sit down to it again, it should go pretty quickly.
But it's February for Finishing and I've finished one entire thing. There's been no progress on the flower basket shawl since last I posted, some progress on the scarf, and some progress on Kell's sock, but nothing yet finished. Becky, you are totally kicking my butt.
I need to focus.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

I never did post a picture of my brand new nephew's snake sweater. I've already listed it as finished, so it doesn't count for February for Finishing, but I did sew on the buttons today and finally take a picture. He's not here yet, but it should be any ol' minute now. I'm making progress on the other stuff, but haven't finished anything yet. My fleece is on its way here. I'm very excited, though not as excited as I am about little Thomas's birthday. I'm getting a nephew!
Nothing else of note, so I shall get back to knitting like a fiend.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Holy cow, that is cute. I have got a seriously cute kid.
Oh! erm, knitting and finishing and...right, got distracted by the cuteness. Sorry about that.
So, here's the sherbet hat and sherbet mittens, all finished and in use. (I think I've already said this, but...) It's made from microspun and some fluffy thing from Yarn Bee stranded together and knit on #7 bamboo dpns. Note the pompom. It's huge. I asked her what kind of top she wanted her hat to have and she picked pompom. She even opened up my handy-dandy knit patterns book and pointed to it so as to make sure I got the right one. The girl knows what she wants. Well, as you can tell, she really likes the hat and mittens her mommy made for her. I totally score good mommy points.
So, we got some cash from the father-in-law as a late Christmas gift and what do I do but go to the Knaughty Knitter - on accounta 'cause. I got some Northern Lights roving in a colorway called "Teddy Bear," a 100g skein of Opal in a blue that translates to "Dreamcatcher," and Iris decided that she wanted some yarn, so she got a skein of pastel acrylic/viscose. She was very excited about all the different yarns and wool and had to show me everything. She even decided that she wanted to pay for everything (with my money, of course), so she gave Miss Meredith the dollars and I used it as a math lesson. Teaching moments are everywhere.
So I already started spinning the roving and it's a bit coarse, but spins very very quickly. I've already got one skein of about 1 1/4 oz., 100yds, 3-ply, and one half ounce single all spun up. It's kind of a brownish-grey with some cream and white and really does remind me of teddy bears. I'm even considering knitting a teddy bear from it, though I've not made my mind up about that yet. I will post pictures when I get the chance.
Well, it's off to bed for me. Little bit has school in the morning.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I am weak. I cast on something new on the 1st of February. I am ashamed. It was the new sock from the 6-sox list, "Springtime in Paris," but I ended up not liking how the fabric was turning out, so I ripped it out completely. So far, I've finished bupkis other than a dice bag for my sweetie made from his underwear. I have, however, made progress on a couple things and other than my brief infraction I've been moving right along. Here's a list of the knitting uFo's 'cause the complete uFo list is entirely too intimidating. the complete uFo list is also in the sidebar, but I try not to look at it too much, lest I hide under the couch and cry.

  • Mock Croc socks for Kell
  • sherbet hat for Iris
  • flower basket shawl
Three things. Okay, three knitted things. I'm easily distracted by shiny objects and actually have about a dozen other things that I ought to finish as well. But there's my knitting uFo list. The knitted list is totally doable in the month of February and if I finish other objects, it's a bonus.
So, here are some in-progress pictures. First, the Mock Croc socks. I'm about a pattern repeat away from the heel of the first sock and if I bust butt on it, I can totally get it done before the end of February. I just need to remember not to try and knit while I'm watching other people play video games. I turn into a drooling zombie that can't knit even the simplest lace pattern.

Second, the sherbet hat. I made a pair of sherbet mittens for Miss Iris because she lost her yellow ones I made for her. I know, they had a string between them, but she lost the entire jacket they were strung into. I haven't got a picture of those and can't really take one right now because she wore them to school. They're not stellar, but they're cute and she likes them. After I finish the hat, I'll be making a scarf to match. All the yarn is in various colors of Microspun that I traded to Becky for some fat quarters. I'm not sure what I was thinking there, but it's stash and I'm using it. It's stranded with some pastel fluffy thing from Yarn Bee - also stash. Iris and Kell are the best people to make things for. Both of them are very excited about their things I'm knitting.

Thirdly, the Flower basket shawl by Evelyn Clark. I made a rather terrible mistake involving a dropped stitch and ended up ripping the entire thing out, but I was only a few repeats in and recovered quickly. I'm now five pattern repeats in out of an intended twelve. I'm not entirely sure who the recipient is going to be, but I'm rather enjoying the process. It's a simple knit and the lace pattern seems to follow a logical progression of sorts. I barely have to glance at the pattern to know where I am and what I'm doing.

I've also got some embroidery in progress, Gretta's cocaine Katie pants and a butterfly handkercheif. For some reason, everyone seems to like the butterfly ones best of all. Fortunate for me, there are enough varieties of butterfly to keep me interested. I try to depict real butterflies as best as I can because they're more beautiful than anything I could invent. I'd like to do a black swallowtail eventually and Miss Kell wants a tiger swallowtail. Iris wants a hanky of her very own as well, but I don't know if I'm going to make her an embroidered one. I may just pick a fabric she likes and hem the edges. We'll see.

So, anyhow, I do feel like I'm moving along and I'm pretty hopeful about February is for finishing. I'm not entirely sure what's on the docket for today's needlework. Perhaps hat, perhaps shawl, perhaps sock, perhaps, perhaps, perhaps...Sorry, slipped into Cake for a minute.