Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Still Finishing

It's nice to be in a period of finishing. I still have a number of knitted things laying around waiting to be finished, but mostly they're very close to being done. The moebius bag is done, except for finishing the inside pocket, then it just has to be felted and I plan to use some of the yarn I used for the i-cord to embroider stars on it once it's done. The madder ribbed socks have been finished for a while- in fact, I'm wearing them right now.

The only bigger thing I have left to finish knitting is my 'ugly christmas sweater'. I still have to knit the back and one sleeve and then do the neckline and seaming. Then I have a number of new patterns lined up that I want to begin working on. Most of them are Knitting Pure and Simple patterns and all of them are sweaters. I'm stoked, these patterns fly with lightening-like speed.

I have about half of the yarn I need spun for the Henry done. There are 3 partially-done spinning projects taking turns on the wheel right now, and admittedly it's slow in coming.

I'm beginning to notice a pattern with my knitting and spinning. I tend to work on my knitting for a week or so, then not touch the knitting and be at my wheel for a week or so. Right now, I am (obviously) on a knitting binge. Which began right after finishing the Indian Valley Sock yarn. This yarn is currently available through my Etsy store- there's a link in the sidebar for anyone who is interested.

It turned out very lovely. I'm very tempted to knit it myself.

My latest knitting F.O. is the first of my Baudelaire Socks. I had to make several adjustments for these to fit my feet. I'm pleased with them, though. As I worked on it, I listened to Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie on tape. So far it's a very amusing story. I'm excited to see how it ends. On that note I've also been reading Dead Man's Folly, also by Agatha Christie. It's the first time I've ever read/listened to anything by her and I like it.

I think it's about time to get back on the wheel again. More spinning... more Agatha Christie. Sounds like a plan to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Enjoying the calm...

Last Friday my daughter Paige started preschool.

She's starting in the middle of the school year because back in September my husband and I were in mutual agreement that she was going to be home-schooled. However, my husband has recently been looking at a possible career change and if he does change jobs, it means that our family will be packing up, selling our home and moving to a small town about 50 miles away from where we are now.

On one hand, the school will probably be a bit less challenging (which is not a problem, because we are still going to work with her at home all the time to make sure she's getting a well-rounded education), but on the other hand, the school will be a far safer environment, likely to have much fewer social pressures and complications, as this small town is very friendly (the kind of town where people still go out of their way to be friendly and helpful to both neighbors and strangers alike). So we've decided it would be best for her to go to school, so that she can be around other children.

I really thought that this separation for a couple of hours three times a week was going to be very hard for me. With the exception of the hours I was gone when I was still working, I've been taking care of Paige non-stop, 24 hours a day, since the day she was born. But I have to say, I am enjoying the time that I'm alone far more than I imagined I would. I'm beginning to treasure it.

When she's in school, I come home and walk all the dogs. I read, or do some housework, and for this little bit of time a few days a week, it's totally quiet. I love it. This morning I went out with the dogs and walked just under 3 miles, and it was so beautiful. It was crisp and chilly, the way it usually is near the end of winter or in early spring, but the sun was warm on my face and the air was so fresh. It was just lovely. I have to admit, I really am not the kind of person who is nutty about gardening, but I almost want to right now. Just so I can have an excuse to be outside.

I think maybe I'll take Paige to the playground when she gets out of preschool, just so I can enjoy the sun a little bit longer.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Sometimes they're adorable...

Last night I caught these two cuddled up together on the sofa and I just had to take a picture. They actually get along pretty well, except for when Ollie (the cat) will beat up on Buddy and make him cry. For a big dog he's entirely a sissy.

Friday, February 8, 2008

One down...

One to go.

What I ended up with is completely different from what I imagined before I began, but nice none-the-less. I mentioned in my previous blog that I was aiming for 'sea nymph' and in my defense, that's very much what the singles looked like on the bobbins, but when I plied those singles together, I got something completely autumnal instead.

The rust really dominated the burgundy (which became mostly brown anyways). It turned out lovely just the same. I must remember that this is a learning experience- this was the first time I tried to dye wool using this method.

I am going to call this color combination 'Indian Valley' because it reminds me of all the colors there in the fall: deep browns, bright oranges and lots of green with all the evergreens we have here in Washington state.

The only thing I was disappointed in was the yardage. This is 2 ounces of merino and I fell short of my 200 yard goal by almost 25 yards. Though, I have to say this came out so nice I don't really want to spin it any thinner. As a 3-ply it came out at approximately 17wpi. I'm strongly considering dividing my roving into 2.5 ounce segments per skien to get the yardage I'd like instead. I hope to have any skien of sock yarn that I make for the purpose of selling to be at least enough to knit one average-size sock.

I anticipate (realistically) to be done with the second skien by the end of this next week. I think I need to take a couple of days off from the wheel... My eyes are getting twitchy.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Finally Done...

I am pleased to say that the Zigzag is finally done. It took about a year (though about 10 months of that year it was just hanging out in my closet) and it's done. Saturday night I finished the second sleeve while I was watching a movie with my daughter, and yesterday I seamed it up when we got home from church. I tried it on, and it fits perfectly. I love it. I love it. I love it. Yes it was knitted with inexpensive fisherman's wool, but somehow it turned out lovely anyways. This must be an act of God's kindness in my life.

I also spent part of the last few days finishing these.

They are both 2-ply handspun which were spun from Louet Northern Lights in the color 'icy winter'. The top skien is just over 290 yards and the bottom skien is just over 229. They are approximately 19 wpi (lace weight) and I've put them for sale (individually) on Etsy. If no one buys them before their listing expires I've decided to keep them and knit a small lace shawl or a delicate lace scarf. Mmmm... lace.

This is also something that will be in my Etsy store when it's finished...

It's a spun single of the merino I hand-dyed last week. It's going to be 3-ply handspun sock yarn when I'm all done with it. It's really, really pretty. I'm going to call this color Sea Nymph.

If this stuff doesn't sell, not only will I be very surprised, but also secretly happy that I can horde it all to myself.

On another note, I'm glad I'm at least mostly done with setting up everything on my Etsy account. It
really stressed me out. I love all the spinning, but the computer stuff drives me nutty. A couple of nights ago I actually had a funny dream/nightmare about Etsy. I checked my email and found, to my delight, that I had sold a couple of items on Etsy, but when I checked in to my account it said that I had sold two items that I had never even posted to sell at all! So of course my response to this was that I freaked out and woke up.

I think my mental health and general wellness benefits greatly from not having to do too many things involving computers on a regular basis. I think computers are wonderful, I enjoy using ours to do a number of things, but I don't speak the 'language' the way many other people do. If I had to choose between getting intimately familiar with computers and learning Chinese I'd take the Chinese without hesitation.