Sunday, August 8, 2010

Before the rain

Before the rain
Originally uploaded by january spin
There is nothing like the approach of a storm in the mountains. You can watch the clouds gather and you still might not get wet as the rain could be in the next county. I saw a rainbow yesterday which was lovely and of course I didn't have my camera with me. So instead of getting a picture to show you, I just stood and enjoyed the moment. The dogs missed it entirely as the rabbits a few yards away were much more interesting. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Aunt Joanne

Aunt Joanne
Originally uploaded by january spin
Ever have a relative you just love to be around? For me it's my Aunt
Joanne. Any time I can get to see her is a great time. She is very
intelligent and her sense of humor and view of life has always been a
source of enjoyment to me.

She says we get along so well because we both have a "quirky" sense of
humor. Could be. We both find something funny in almost everything.

She traveled all around the world with her husband, had an
interesting career, and helps to hold our family connected. She has
always been true to who she is and that's something not everyone
manages to do. At 91 she is one of my heroes.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith and Patriotism

I started the morning by going to the Smokey Mountain Center for the Performing Arts (ok, long name but a beautiful building.). Dr. Dennis Swanberg was going to conduct chapel and since I had sometimes watched Swan's Place on tv, I knew it would be a fun experience. He was a Baptist minister for 20 years and then left to become a minister of encouragement. He has made it a point to bring his message to troops overseas as well as people all over this country. He is very funny and his message is indeed one of encouragement. The hour and a half passed quickly and it was a great way to start the day.

After this I grabbed a really good turkey pastrami at the Motor City Diner and then walked down a couple of blocks to the square where a Tea Party was being held. Contrary to what is often reported on the national news, there were no lunatics, fanatics, or dangerous looking people. What I saw were small town American people from all over the area who were alarmed by the direction their country was headed. That they loved their country was evident. Patriotic songs were sung and speakers said their piece. Nothing way out of line, just a general concern and lots of smiles for those driving by.  I do confess that I shopped during the speeches and listened to the music.

There was one sign  which I absolutely loved and wished I could have gotten a picture of it. The sign said "Next time read the bill before you vote on it." Ok, now that's funny!  I don't care what your political point of view is.  You know politicians don't read all the stuff they vote on and we get the results of their ignorance.

I also stopped in a store which had a wonderful display of quality crafts made in the area. The shop owner was very nice and we discussed how hard it is for small businesses to survive and get the word out about what they have to offer.

Franklin, NC

Franklin is a small town with about 3500 people here for the winter population and about 35000 in the entire county according to the helpful lady at the Visitors Information Center. I have found everyone in town to be extremely nice and I have realized just how much I miss living in a smaller community.

Saturday night was a Concert on the Square and there were 2 singles and a group featured. The music for the night was gospel and, I think, 13 year old Nathan Phillips stole the show. His voice is amazing and the fact that he sang some of my all time favorites was an extra gift.

A childhood friend has a place up here and MH was kind enough to spend Friday and Saturday showing me around the area before she returned home to FL on Sunday. While we were sitting at the concert, a very nice lady put her chair next to ours. Now, this is where it gets really interesting. We got to talking as people tend to do at small town events. She has a daughter in law who is going to apply for a teaching job in , as it turns out, the district from which MH just retired a couple of years ago as head of HR. Names were exchanged, of course. Then we did the usual "where are you from" and she was from Fort Walton Beach FL. She is a member of St.Simons Episcopal Church there. I commented on how much I loved their annual craft fair and mentioned that a friend of mine had a booth there for years. She asked the friend's name. I told her it was BC and of course she knew BC. We talked about how sad it was that she had passed away this year and how much we both enjoyed wearing her handwoven clothing . It gets better. I mentioned that I had attended Shalimar UMC when I lived in that area. She asked if I knew Roger and Bronie who of course I did as R had served on the building committee with H. How wild is that? I do love discovering connections!!!

The downtown area is decorated with red/white and blue bunting and quite a few of the houses in the area are similarly decked out for the 4th.

Sorry for the lack of pictures but I was having such a good time, I forgot all about using the camera.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Baby bird

Baby bird
Originally uploaded by january spin
This little one was discovered just a few feet from the villa. He was possibly 3 inches in length, if that long. He stayed very still . So still in fact that the dogs didn't even notice him--smart bird. I hope he made it safely through the night since he was gone in the morning . While I was taking this picture, without the dogs in attendance, the adult birds were giving me a very strong lecture about getting so close to their baby.

I love having so much of the outdoors close by without the city noises. I think I am a country girl at heart. 

From the Porch

From the Porch
Originally uploaded by january spin
I am enjoying the beauty of the North Carolina mountains while escaping the usual summer heat of lower elevations.

This is the view from the villa's screened in porch. Mornings were in
the 60s and the views while walking were wonderful.

The locals complain about how warm it is. HA! This weather is great.  Frequenting the pond are 8 Canada geese - 2 parents and 6 babies. They are a source of fascination for the dogs but only for watching. For some odd reason they don't bark at the geese--just the golfers. It could be because the geese don't hit golf balls in their direction.  I also observed 2 beavers who are working very hard to build a dam in this pond. It's amazing what large branches they can tow across the pond in their endeavor.

A large turtle with a shell that appears to be about 12 inches across was spotted yesterday and a couple of fair sized fish.  I have wondered if any of them have been hit by the golf balls as some of the golfers can't seem to make it 1) to the hole instead of past that to the water, or 2) tee off with a strong enough shot to clear the water for the next hole. I think I could retire on the number of balls in that pond if I could retrieve them and sell them. The birds spotted so far are lots of indigo buntings, finches, a rufous sided towee and of course the inevitable sparrows.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Knit in Public Day Great Fun!!!

BRRS at B & N
Originally uploaded by january spin
We came, we knitted, we ate, and we had a great time. We so need to do this again soon....after some rest.

We had several new people join our knitting group to celebrate WWKIP. Wonderful to have them and I think everyone had a great time. We started at the Farmer's Market, then went to Barnes and Noble bookstore. California Pizza Kitchen was the spot for lunch. We were supposed to go to the library for the next couple of hours but between work, dogs that needed to be let out, and just being tired, that didn't happen. We did manage to gather again at Brew HaHa for frozen lemonade / coffee and the most wonderful desserts--cake balls.

Since we had pretty much pigged out all day, we elected to skip supper and go home and collapse.
It might be noted that the 3 year old, Harley, hung in there all day and was in better shape than most of us at the end.

With all of that knitting activity, I am not sure how I only managed to get 4 rows done on the prayer shawl I'm knitting but that was the total production for the day.

Thanks goodness tomorrow is a day of rest. I'll tell you about the concert last night later.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Saints Pig

Saints Pig
Originally uploaded by january spin
Never let it be said that we miss an opportunity to celebrate a
winning team in strange and wonderful ways.

This pig was reclining in front of Magnolia Cafe which serves some
really great food at very reasonable prices. I would like to show you
the fabulous turkey sandwich on toasted pita complete with avocado
slices and sprouts I would show it to you but I finished it before I
thought of you and a picture. You're going to have to get your own.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Bit of Summer

A Bit of Summer
Originally uploaded by january spin
This greets me in the kitchen. I love having a bit of the outdoors to look at while I'm washing dishes or cooking. Ok, the cooking part is something of a stretch, but it is the kitchen after all and I might cook sometime.

The tall lacy looking flowers are curly leaf parsley that is going to seed. The purple flowers are Purple Coneflower and actually the green is the same thing. It just decided to be green in the midst of all the purple flowers. The green plant showed up about 4 years after I originally planted the Purple Coneflowers.

The vase was one I found several years ago and it and the orange dressed mermaid given to me by friends, make me smile. Not a bad way to start the day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hotter Than...

When it gets to be in the 90s without a lot of relief in sight, I find it is a great excuse to hibernate and knit. Hmm, yes I know, I rarely need an excuse to hibernate and knit but if I say that it's because of the heat, it sounds better. Maybe.

The day started off with taking the dogs to the veterinarian. Allie had managed to get something in her eye over the weekend and scratched it a bit. Fortunately I was able to get them there before it became roasty toasty outside.

I am "making yarn" for a shawl for a friend. She wanted something in red which of course is adding to the sense of warmth even with the a/c cranked on "just above really, really cold." Actually, after looking at my electric bill last year, I am using my 2 floor fans more this summer.

The yarns are a lot more red and less "pink" than this picture shows.

Yarn for red shawl

Now onto the knitting. I have about 5 or 6 red yarns that I am using for this shawl and will add more as I go along.  The CO will be about 140 sts and I'm using size 13 circular needles so once I actually start knitting, it should go rather quickly.

When I talk about "making yarn" I mean that I am cutting various yarns into 12-14" pieces and then just knotting them together with an overhand knot as I did for the blue shawl.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

From Momma's stash

From Momma's stash
Originally uploaded by january spin
I was sorting through my Mom's knitting needles and found these. No
telling how old they are as Mom passed away over 26 years ago.

I just love that there is that connection of knitting still after all
these years. It made those years disappear and once again I am a
little girl sitting next to her trying to learn to knit and crochet.

Miss you Mom.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Having a Sabbath Day

It's been a while since I have stayed home almost all day without doing a lot. I went out at lunch time to bring some food home but other than that, I have been hibernating. There is a whole long list of should dos but it is now late afternoon and I am just resting.

It's a day of resting on the couch watching the traffic, what there is of it, go by and generally just taking it easy. I don't often do this but every once in a while the allergies / sinuses decide to let me know they're around and rest becomes important and necessary. It's not a bad thing. Thus, the title of having a Sabbath day. It's a day of rest and if I think of it that way, I'm not chomping at the bit to get out and "do" something.  I don't know about the rest of you but I can let my life get to the point that extremely busy becomes the norm. It's only when I make a determined effort to rest that I realize the peace involved in a Sabbath type day.

I did a bit of knitting on a washcloth and , obviously, I'm writing on my blog but that pretty much covers the extent of my effort at anything today. I have found that when I am forced to rest like this, the mind wanders and I think of possibilities. Possibilities are exciting things. You may never actually DO them, but thinking about them provides great entertainment.

Oh, I have been playing Words With Friends on my iPhone today. If you have an iPhone, and don't have this app, be sure to get it. Lots of fun and a great way to stretch the mind. I think I am currently playing WWF with 5 other people but since a couple of the people I am playing with only make a move every few days, it's not a high pressure thing.

One of the things I have been thinking about is January Spin-in. I am so excited about one of the things Cheryl and I have decided to do. Isn't it fun to have a friend whose mind is as twisted as your own?

Hmm, sitting on the couch looking out the window has made me realize that although I would love to have a front yard filled with flowers and lots of mulch, I would miss the look of the grass in the shade. It looks so cool out there and I know it's not.

Did I mention that the mind tends to ramble during Sabbath time? Apparently mine does but it's restful kind of rambling, not frantic, "oh I have to get that done" type of rambling.

Ok, it's probably time to rest the fingers and the dogs are starting to make noises about being hungry---again.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Busting the Stash

Well, I am working on a project that is really going to bust the stash. I am knitting a blue / turquoise shawl out of anything cotton, ribbon, acrylic, or unknown fiber which meets the criteria of being in that color range. I cast on what seems like 18 zillion stitches as I am knitting the length. The needle size is 10 circulars and the Addis are working beautifully as the various fibers slide nicely along the shaft. This is important when some of the fibers you are using tend to cling together.

This shawl is going to be heavier that I had anticipated but I also think it is going to be a very fun thing to wear. ... in cooler weather.

Preparation for this shawl has involved gathering the yarns together (I've been back to the stash several times) and then cutting them into 12-14 inch strips. Some of the yarns, such as the ribbons, stand alone but other are put in groups of 2 or 3 . They are tied together using an overhand knot (yea for the days as a Cub Scout leader) and this is done without any order so no pattern of yarn use is established. That has been necessary as I am sure I am going to run out of a couple of the yarns before I'm finished. I have actually held back some of a couple of the yarns so I can reintroduce them later in the shawl.

I am probably half way done and am already to move on to another project. Yes, it has once again become apparent that I am a process person. I have figured out how to do this shawl and am looking for the next thing. I'll finish this one because there are several different stages to it and because I am sure I will enjoy the finished project but mentally, I think I have moved to something else.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Originally uploaded by january spin
The solid reds have already bloomed out and now the red and white ones
are blooming. I adore flowers that not only come back each year but
also multiply. It does make gardening easier.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Unknown tree

Unknown tree
Originally uploaded by january spin
Not sure what this tree is but it is really pretty. Similar to a
dogwood but the flowers are different. If someone can identify it
please let me know.

* A couple of friends have let me know that the unidentified tree is a Tung tree--as in Tung Oil. The downside is that apparently it has large nuts or bolls that come with it and they are so hard they will tear up a lawn mower or put dents in a car parked under it. Ah, beauty seems to come at a price.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Anam Cara

Anam Cara is a beautiful sound. It just seems to roll off the tongue. The meaning is even more beautiful. It means "soul friend". It's no wonder so many of the Irish were poets. The language is musical.  I have started a study at church using a book called Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom by John O'Donohue. The first chapter talks about what a soul friend is and as I stopped to really think about it, I found I have been blessed with at least 3 soul friends.

How fortunate I am that they have let me in their lives. We can go for weeks without talking (although it's never really that long) and when we do talk, or even better see each other, it's like we have never been apart. They know my deepest feelings and yet they care for me anyway. There is a trust there that goes deep. I have often referred to each of them as the other half of my brain,  but Anam Cara is a much better way to describe what they mean to me.

I hope everyone has an Anam Cara.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's finally Spring

There are a couple of weeks in the South before the heat and humidity chase most of us inside . During these weeks we can enjoy the most glorious color to be found anywhere. Everything from cool whites, to delicate pinks, soft lavendars to hot pinks and vivid reds can be seen in the forms of azaleas, wisteria and spirea. The three together are a winning combination. This year I promised myself to take a day and just drive around enjoying the glorious sights. Once the rain comes, the blossoms will start dropping quickly so I decided that today was the day. It was made even more enjoyable because I had my sister in law with me and she loves plants as much as I do. We oohed and aahed a lot .

There was also a great tree with wonderful burls on it. I hope someday when it's time for the tree to come down, some woodworker will get to have that tree and make something spectacular with those burls. My friend Gus could have made incredible bowls from that wood. He really had an artisans touch.

I hope your Spring is as gorgeous as mine and that you take the time to enjoy it. God's creation is truly amazing. How sad if we are too busy to admire it.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Hobby and Old Joints

I drove Charlie today. He had been ridden too much last week so I ended up driving Chaz. Chaz made me sit up and pay attention to what I was doing. It was still fun but he required more effort on my part than Molly did. Even so, my joints were in better shape after driving him than they were today when I drove Charlie.

I tried holding my arms up in front of me more and holding my wrists correctly but I think I am going to have to go with what is comfortable rather than what is correct. Anyway, I like Charlie and I think we may rock along well together as soon as the body makes a few adjustments.

I need to find a knitting project other than washcloths but in the meantime, I am knitting away on washcloth number 9 for this month. At this rate, I'll actually make a dent in my Peaches and Creme stash this year.

Speaking of the stash, I came across 2 cones of yarn that are ugly. Have you ever bought some yarn, put it away, and found it later only to wonder "What was I thinking buying that?" I can't even think of anyone who would like these colors. Skeining the yarn and dyeing it is too much trouble and it would take some powerful dye to counteract these colors. Maybe our local group needs to have a White elephant sale. Surely I can't be the only one who has yucky yarn hidden in the stash.


To me there is something so restful about knitting washcloths. The pattern can be as simple or as complex as you want. It is a project that won't go on forever and therefore is one that you won't get tired of knitting about halfway through it.

I enjoy using my knitted items and I enjoy knitting functional items so it's a win-win situation. The other plus side of washcloths is that most people really like to get some. Great hostess or thank you gifts and a wonderful treat for yourself are more reasons to take the time to knit some. I usually try to keep several on hand. Right now I need some for myself so that, combined with just finishing a shawl which took several weeks, is the reason for the washcloth knitting marathon.

Eight washcloths in a week are some kind of a record for me. I made up one of the patterns (the basketweave) but the others were the Friendship Chain Cloth designed by Vaunda Rae Giberson, The Cotton Dishcloth (Once Removed or Dressed Up)designed by Marion Torgerson, and Petal dishcloth designed by Hazel Schrock.

So, I encourage you to treat yourself to a knitted washcloth. You deserve the best.

No sock loom for me

Well, I finally tried to use the 64 peg sock loom that I bought last year (or year before). I had the Sock Looming Book, correct yarn, and the lovely loom. Folks, it's just not going to happen. It was very slow and frustrating. Although I can easily remember k2,p2 with circular needles, for some reason, if the phone rang or I got distracted, I just couldn't find out which stitch was next without going back and counting from the beginning. Talk about making haste slowly!

So, I ripped it out in the best froggy manner possible and I will sell the loom and the book as a set. I love the patterns in the book and the loom is beautifully made but it's just not for me.

Since the size 1 and 0 Addis hurt my hands, and the knitting loom didn't work out, I now have the perfect excuse to order some Harmony circular needles from Knit Picks. You saw that coming didn't you? Even if they don't work out, they are gorgeous to look at and I'll just put them somewhere highly visible.

I do use the plastic round looms with bigger yarn and will continue to make hats with them as it is a very quick process. I made some several years ago and it's a good way to keep knittting if holding the reins is causing some soreness the day after driving.

On a side note, I learned to use the whip (relax, you barely touch it to the horse's rear) to put Molly into a faster trot. This week I'll get to drive Charlie. He's bigger than Molly and with him I have to learn how to make him keep his head up and in the correct position. Oh, yeah, and not fall off that tiny little bench. Very important part of the whole process.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Molly and Finished Prayer Shawl

Had another lesson on driving with Molly yesterday. The trainer was really great and let me play for much longer than I probably should have, or Molly wanted me to do. I asked Marjorie (trainer) to take a picture of Molly and I and I managed to take one while driving so you could see her from my perspective.

Please notice the huge hat with a spf of 30. I've seen my dermatologist enough lately and this, hopefully, will help prevent another carving. I have a big shirt to wear when it is warmer. I figured this time the sun couldn't get through the heavy coat I was wearing.

I finally finished the prayer shawl done in the Feather and Fan pattern. I love the pattern but for some reason this shawl just seemed to go on forever. I really only took 5 weeks (and not steady knitting by any means) but it seemed longer than that. The yarn is Vanna's Choice so it will be washable and was done with size 8 circular needles. Next time I will use larger needles. It still needs to be blocked and then off to the family of the soldier.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sock Yarn hat

sock yarn hat 1 side
Originally uploaded by january spin
Just finished a fun and easy knit. Got the idea from my friend, Cheryl M, who got it from her friend, Judy, I think. Anyway, the hat uses scraps of sock yarn and you hold two strands together.. It's one of the beautys of working with 2 different variegated yarns at the same time. They blend beautifully through no extra effort on your part.

Now I am going to have to knit more socks (or use sock yarn more) so I can make more of these hats. Thanks, Cheryl for sharing.

I am still knitting on the current prayer shawl which for whatever reason, is taking much longer than previous ones. I am using smaller needles and this could be the reason but geez, I feel like I have been knitting on it forever. Once it's finished, I'm going to be doing some small projects for a while. Washcloths, where are my washcloth patterns? They sure seem to be my go to projects.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The iPod and fiber play

I enjoy listening to certain books. I particularly enjoy listen to books when I can knit or spin at the same time. I could probably clean house while listening but somehow, it's not nearly as much fun, or satisfying.

I just finished "Under Orders" by Dick Francis, one of my favorite mystery writers. His heroes are ordinary people who persevere and the stories are well written. All of his books touch, in some way, horses and usually horse racing. Growing up as a horse crazy girl, this just adds to the appeal of his writing. Even non horse people will enjoy his mysteries however as the main character usually explains his thinking and "horse terms" while not being boring about it. Before he became an author, Dick Francis was a steeplechase jockey and he brings a lot of knowledge to his writings.

I have now started listening to "Vision in White" by Nora Roberts and I am continuing to dye silk sliver while doing that. The silk dyeing consists of putting quart jars with Wilton cake dyes in them, water and previously wetted Bombyx silk sliver. I finished a batch on Sunday for the Ravelympics and decided to just keep dyeing the rest of the silk.

Has anyone ever figured out how to dye either cotton or silk sliver and keep the integrity of the sliver without using the microwave? I always end up with a flat squished sliver when I rinse the excess dye out and have to squeeze the sliver. After it is dry I can usually "pop" the silk and it regains some measure of it's former loveliness but cotton remains squished. I'm sure there's a secret out there somewhere but I have yet to discover it.

The Wilton dyes tend to have a somewhat pinkish red but I am trying to counteract that by putting in some brown. No particular reason for the brown, it just seemed like a good idea. Studying color charts would probably help but I love the playing and since I am usually happy with the results, this way is faster. (This carefree attitude probably comes from having as much silk as most spinning shops. You spend enough years developing a stash and you have extra to play with when you want.)

Note: I'll add pictures from the second batch of dyeing later. Just so you know, and I remember, the brown did make for a much richer red--who knew? Well, I suppose if you study those color charts you would know but I like to feel I have discovered something on my own.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What great fun!

With the encouragement of a friend, I did something this morning that I have wanted to do for years. I took my first lesson in driving a horse.

Molly is a beautiful Haflinger Horse with great patience but enough life to make the entire experience fun. I was in a sulky and although we stayed at a walk and then a trot, it was wonderful, awesome, and I can't wait to do it again. When you are driving along and the horse is moving as you directed and the breeze is on your face, it is one of those glorious moments that is meant to be treasured.

Although I grew up riding horses, this was the first time I tried to drive one. I'm a convert, addict, and totally hooked. Next week I'll try to actually have someone take pictures. I brought the camera but was so excited (like a kid in a candy shop) that I only remembered the camera after I was ready to go and by then someone else was riding Molly. I did get a shot of her beautiful head however.

Oh, I also rode Molly for a bit and I'll pay for that with sore muscles tomorrow. I am already feeling the aching in the joints from the driving but it was worth every twinge. I don't think I had ridden with an English saddle since I was in high school. I feel more secure using a western one but I think the driving is going to continue to win out over everything.

It was everything I had imagined it to be and more. It required some extra awareness since I wasn't used to the sulky and so had to remember not to take the wheels off as I got next to the rail and to allow more room for turns but Molly was patient and we both survived the experience. The trainer, Marjorie, was very encouraging without being demanding and when she suggested riding as well, it just seemed like a natural thing to do. (I'm not sure "natural" will be the word for it tomorrow.)

The driving was a high like I hadn't experienced in years and I am so glad that I decided to try it. I think I may go take the dogs for a walk now while I can still move and then I see a warm bath and several Tylenol in my future.

And to answer your question, yes, I have already booked my lesson for next week. Surely I can pull the body together by then.

Friday, February 12, 2010


Whether you participate as an athlete or a spectator, there is something magical about the Olympics. Canada's opening ceremonies were beautifully presented. The native tribes were incredible, both the costumes and the dances. It wasn't as splashy as China's but I enjoyed them so much more. Well done Canadians!!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


The CBSG group out did themselves To the tune of "hey, hey we're the
monkeys" they performed a hysterical routine. This is a very creative
group and each year they bring us something special.

The stockings are handknit and some are even of handspun yarn. It's
fun groups like this that make January Spin-in so much fun.


Decisions, decisions

T'is hard to decide whether it is nobler in spirit to knit or to spin, ah, to spin, perchance to finish the silk, or to knit and thus to complete the prayer shawl (which is barely started), or to take up needles against a new project and thus by doing so finish something.
*My apologies to Shakespeare but it raining today and therefore waxing poetic is allowed--mildew on the brain and all that.

The problem with January Spin-in is that I end up with too many projects I want to rush out to try and there's only one of me which is why I have been trying to promote a fiber clone for years. Well, several clones and then I could bounce from one project to the next without guilt and when I moved on the clones could complete what I had left behind. Have I mentioned I am a process person?

Ok, I am now going to seriously do at least 5 rows on the prayer shawl and then reward myself by knitting with some of my handspun cotton...or maybe spin some more silk on the wheel, or on the Trindle spindle, or perhaps spin the BFL on the other wheel....Hey, you didn't expect total reform this early in the year, did you?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

First socks finished

Yes, they were actually finished the first day of Spin-in. 3 days
early as I didn't need them until Sat. I LOVE deadlines. I always seem
to function best right up against them.

I found the size 1 needles a bit hard on the hands but a friend
suggested that the problem was with the metal needles rather than the
size. Next time I'll use wooden needles and see if that helps.

Yes, there will be another pair of socks at some point. Right now I'm
looking for my size 13 needles.

First Socks

Traveling scarf exchange

Aren't these gorgeous ? They were done by some of the participants of
the January Spin-in and were made using handspun yarn.
I have been a participant in this type of exchange before but never
experienced this level of beauty. I look at these and want to
participate but then I look in the bottom of a couple of drawers and
see why I don't.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Fiber, fiber , fiber

I am surrounded by fiber and some of the nicest spinners in the world. What could be better? January Spin-in started on Wednesday and it has been fiber overload ever since.

So far I have purchased another Trindle and some Blue Face Leicester and some incredible dyed Bombyx silk mawatas. ....and I'm just getting started.

a few hours later...I purchased more BFL in a slightly different colorway than one I usually use but it has enough blue in it to keep me happy.

So far the January Spin-in precision niddy noddy drill team has been awesome in their performances. A 3 foot stuffed lamb has been kidnapped and is being held for fiber ransom, and we have had a Spin-in Sit-in complete with flower children and music from the '60s. "We Shall Overcome" was converted to "We Shall Overspin". You just never know what to expect and that is what I love about this event.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hooray for Friends

Thank goodness for friends. They came to the rescue this weekend. I am trying to finish the 2nd sock of the first pair ever. How in the world it can be easier to knit the first sock than it is to knit the second one of the pair is beyond my comprehension but that's exactly what has happened.

I took a break in the middle of the second sock--holidays and all that. Well, my count got off and the heel ended up going off at a really, really weird slant on one side of the heel only.

Off to one of the local knitting shops for help. They helped me rip back and get back on track with the short rows. I came home and happily knitted away--until I really, really looked at the thing. It was at this point when I realized that what was throwing things off wasn't the short rows but rather the start of the heel flap. Apparently it does make a difference as to the number of stitches you have on your needles. So much for my cavalier attitude.

Another friend to the rescue. Stephanie is a sock knitting genius and a great friend. Who else would come out on a rainy Saturday afternoon, patiently get the stitches back on the correct needles and then wait while I slowly knit rows in the correct manner.

I finished that portion and will do the rest of the sock early this week--"Lord willing and the creek don't rise."

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dr. Who scarf. Season 15

It's finished, it's finished!!!!! This was an easy knit if a somewhat long one. I used Vanna's Choice acrylic yarn and large needles (size 11) so that it wouldn't become a lifelong project. The total length is over 18 feet. I didn't use the entire pattern and quit more than finished it but it was long enough to give the "look". We were going for fun rather than "authentic".

This is definitely an act of love knitting project as it takes so long but on the other hand, it's great for visiting since there isn't a pattern to remember.

I know there are people who have actually knit several of the Dr. Who scarves. I won't be one of them....unless Favorite Son needs another one for some strange reason. Before you begin to wonder, Favorite Son is also our only son so no one else is being neglected. Actually since birth he has been know as Number One Favorite Son and remains so years and years, and years later. (Sorry to digress but he's got a birthday coming up and I couldn't resist.) I on the other hand, am not aging.

So, 2010 is off to a great start knitting wise as I have now finished the Dr. Who scarf and also a prayer shawl for the Prayer Shawls for Fallen Soldiers group. More on that later.

On the needles are the sock yarn hat mentioned earlier and the First Socks ever . The FSE should be finished this week if the hands don't freeze from our over the top weather. It it's going to be this cold, we should have some of the white stuff at least.

On a side note about the weather--just because you live in an area of the world that is used to cold weather, and you have lower temperatures than we do, doesn't mean that you shouldn't at least try to sound sympathetic when we complain. Cold that is unexpected and not the usual thing, is colder than cold that is a regular thing. It's a well know fact!

Cheryl's Big Knit scarf

Roc Day is a great excuse for getting together with friends you don't see nearly often enough. If you aren't familiar with the history of Roc Day, be sure to look it up on the web.

I got a great idea from Cheryl for using leftover sock knitting yarn. I'm going to have to make more socks to have the yarn but I loved the idea. I forgot where she got the idea but you are knitting on size 8 circs and using 2 strands of sock yarn to make a simple hat. Just change to another yarn when you run out of a strand. Naturally I have cast on for the hat but need to actually finish the socks to have "leftover" yarn.

Catchup--the holidays were wonderful and I actually finished a couple of projects which will be in the next post.