Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving Knit/Spin Recap

It's been a busy and yet relaxing week - is that even possible? I enjoyed a two day school week and luxuriated in spending Wednesday morning spinning up the rest of the Cotswold, purchased at the Frontier Culture Museum in Staunton.


Merry enjoyed it too, as she got to show off a little new jewelry - just in preparation for the Holidays, mind you! This was made by Jennifer at Felux Fiber Crafts. Merry lurves it!

Merry Jewelry

The boys & I (DH was already there for work) left for Northern Virginia on Wednesday afternoon after an oil change and unanticipated brake job for my car - but now the brakes work and that's important when you live in the mountains! While waiting for the car, we heard the terrible news from Mumbai - not knowing at the time that a group from our county was there on a spiritual retreat - including my workout friend Lisa. Sadly, two members of their group were some of the first killed in the siege.

We spent Thanksgiving Day at DH's brother's house in Great Falls. This has become a tradition of sorts. You see, they have a really big living room which doubles as a dining room for family gatherings. Here's my mom-in-law, Scamp on Ravelry. Friend her - but be warned - she'll ask you to knit dog sweaters for the Heritage Humane Society! Doesn't she looked so pretty in those colors?

Mary Joan

We also got to see nieces and nephews who flew/trained in from all over: two from San Francisco, one from Portland, and this one from New York. Here are DH & New York niece- two smarties- discussing the election - they are cut from the same cloth, those two!

Philosophocal discussion

Yep-smart, pretty - and oh yeah, funny, too!

On Friday, m-i-l, s-i-l, and I went to a nearby yarn shop, Alyin's Woolgatherer, where I scored this:

Aylin's Wool Gatherer purchase

...which is turning into a pair of mitts - to be followed by matching socks.
Mitts for Lisa
This is Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks. I'm doubling it for the mitts.

I knitted all the way home & arrived to find this:


SQUEEEEE! You know how I LOVE packages! The top two are Christmas pressies, so they will remain anonymous, but here is the content of the big one on the bottom-

DIC Starry2

Dream in Color Starry in Flamingo Pie and Ruby Red.....wait - do those colors look familiar? I seem to be on an apricot/magenta kick. AND WAIT! The Ruby Red might be a present too....oh poop...but aren't they beautiful?
AND WAIT! - there was more from TLE....apparently, I'm a Loopy Groupie! WOOT!
I'm a Loopy Groupie!
I wasn't keeping track of my orders, so this was a nice surprise! Sheri certainly does know how to make her customers feel special!

Then it was time for Lights Out....really...

Blue Ridge Brewery Holiday
...a Holiday brew from our local Blue Mountain Brewery.....and with that - the Holiday season is off and running! How will I ever catch it?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Almighty WIP

Every now & then, when I pause to think about what's impending, due, or overdue in my life, my WIPs will rear their beautiful little heads and I end up with a case of knitting guilt. You see, I have several WIPs that have been WIPs for y-e-a-r-s....some of them could be least none are approaching my grade level yet-5th grade- where I teach 9 & 10 year olds. My problem in finishing my WIPs isn't that I dislike the pattern or have grown tired of the yarn. Oh NO! Not at all - like this one for example:


This is the De Colores Jacket by Ginger Luters and it's almost old enough to be in Kindergarten. With this WIP, it seems that I'm going to have to modify the back by leaving out one panel - made the wrong size. I don't think that's going to problem, but it will mean that I have to pay attention. I've actually finished all the body panels and have started the sleeve panels- only eight to go! What I've learned by knitting this WIP is that I don't like finishing very much. I'm pretty sure I'll never make another modular sweater...if i ever actually make one!

Then there are younger WIPs like the Shawl with Cables

Cable shawl progress

...nothing wrong here...but oh look! It's another modular project that I'm not in any hurry to finish.

And my Plurk Socks ....

Slave to the Plurk

I messed up the heel on these and had to frog back a ways. I keep putting off turning the heel because, again, I'll have to pay attention and that seems to be hard to do these days.

It seems my knitting mojo has been on the fritz or vacation or down with the flu...or something. Today for example, I started some Handsome Mittens by Cheryl Niamath from this quarter's Interweave Knits. It's not a hard pattern - just reverse what did I do? I just knitted right through the increases and found myself wondering why they were so RIPPIT-RIPPIT-RIPPIT they went- all the way back to the cuff...sigh .... I hope my whole "knitatude" improves soon - or my "Almighty WIPs" might have to become "Eternal WIPs"!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Perfect Day

Today, despite the pouring rain, I bundled up a fully loaded Merry in a blanket and a trash bag, along with various fibers, a knitting project, spinning books, and my camera, and headed over for an afternoon of spinning at Janice's house.

Loaded Merry

I even brought lunch...mmmmm!

Chirio's veggie pizza

Then it was time to spin! We started by looking at my first attempt at plying - done with the first and second roving I'd spun on Merry. I needed to reply it, so Janice showed me how. Here it is just before we washed it:

My first plied yarn

One of my student raises alpacas and had given my this little treasure to play around with -

Alpaca from Jamie

I managed to turn it into this -


Meanwhile, Janice was spinning up her BFL.....isn't it beautiful?

Janice's BFL

While we were busy spinning, one of Janice's kitties got into my knitting bag and made off with a hand wound ball of practice merino - pesky little creature!

Cats' merino

It ought to have looked more like this!


Janice knitted on her sock project and I spun a little Cotswold from the Frontier Culture Museum and then knitted a little on my Eternal sweater. By then the rain had stopped and the day had turned as beautiful on the outside as on the inside!

Janice's yard

It was a perfectly beautiful ending to a perfect day - don't you think?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Addition to Family

OMG - my life has been so whacked, I haven't posted for over a month! Have I subconsciously been waiting for a momentous occasion - like today - in order to have something half-way interesting to blog about? Who knows...? In any case, today was truly momentous because I witnessed the birth of my spinning wheel, an Ashford Traveler. Here's a photo diary of the day's events. I'll add a little commentary, too!

After the great eBay defective wheel debacle/disappointment earlier in this week, I decided to go to a nearby fiber shop, Stony Mountain Fibers, and purchase a wheel from shop owner Barb Gentry. Barb has a great little shop with a wide variety of spinning wheels to choose from and one particular wheel kept popping into my head after the Majacraft ordeal - an Ashford Traveler. Stacey & I made a quick shop visit on Friday afternoon, but didn't have enough time to play & purchase, so decided to make to 45 minute trip again this morning - 11-8-08.

When we arrived, Barb had begun putting together my wheel.

Birthing b

Brithing a

Wheel birthing #2

birthing c

Meanwhile, around the shop, Stacey was busy trying out wheels of her own. She settled on a Kromski Sonata, only in the lighter wood. Here she is playing around with its cousin!

Stacey spins

birthing d

Finally - the wheel was ready! Isn't she beautiful?

birthing e

Here we are - all loaded up & ready for the trip home. I made Stacey promise to drive v-e-r-y carefully!


Now it's time to think of a name for her.....and practice, practice, practice!