Sunday, May 31, 2009

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happily Surrounded by Yarn

Have you ever had one of those days where you finished a project and wondered what you were going to work on next?  I have, and I really like to know what I'll be doing next.

Lately, I don't even have to wonder.  On Monday, I worked on four projects.  Yesterday, I worked on three projects. Filia also worked on one of them for me, and got it into proper shape for next Tuesday's knitting class (allowing me to work on another project.  Maybe, just maybe, she'll grow up to be my Twin in the Closet?  Just think of everything I could get done with a Real Twin!  But no, then she wouldn't get her socks done.  And she did finish one yesterday -- and didn't have yarn for the second with her, which is why I threw my sock to her.) 

The At Sea gansey is coming along beautifully.  I've one 'tree' motif to knit, and then I can start in on the back.  After the back comes the neck, and then the sleeves, and then ... it'll be done.   The lace scarf is about half-done, and the traveling socks?  Well, those are traveling, and don't count.

When I'm not knitting, I'm wandering through Open Office Base tutorials, dreaming of a nice and tidy way to keep all the records I need for my Customer Service, Editor, and Accounting hats.  I have much to learn, but it's nice to take a summer and see what I can figure out. 

There's other things on my to-do list, but these are the ones that give me the most delight. (Bringing order to the chaos of an unformatted book comes close, though.) 

What are YOU doing this summer that delights you?

Saturday, May 23, 2009

And the winner is ...

Eileen! Congratulations, Eileen. I've contacted you via your blog, and will get the yarn off to you when I know what to put on the address label.

I've made progress on 3 of my 4 projects this week. One class sock is two tail weaves away from completion, the gansey is less than an inch from the top of the armhole gusset, and the scarf is one orthodontist appointment (braces removal) further along.
We're wrapping up our school year, and the summer is stretching ahead of us. It's not exactly vacant, though. There are SO many things to learn. I could learn SQL and database design (spending lots of time to make bookkeeping take a little less time), or I could potter about in the yard, or I could practice harp lots, or I could completely declutter the house, or ... so many possibilities. I also need to at least pretend to plan out the high school years for my kiddos. What Spanish curriculum do I want to use for Filia? What will I do for Latin 3 for Filius? And then there's history and literature ... eeek! The reading of it isn't a problem, but the discussing thereof is another matter entirely. Now that things are getting 'transcriptable', I find myself staring at the large gap between my own high school history class (sit through class, do homework involving copying down sentences from the book, take multiple choice open book tests) and the possibilities inherent in homeschooling. My tendency is to expect a doctoral dissertation from a 9th grader, I fear. Maybe Filius could read some of Suetonius in Latin and write an original paper on it...

Thank goodness Math is easy. Singapore NEM 3b and 4a, and we're set!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What Happened?

I am a monogamous knitter. Those who know me know I have one, perhaps two, projects on the needles at a time. A project to work on at home, and if it's not portable, a project for traveling.

Tuesday night the realization struck me that I had not two, nor even three, but FOUR projects on the needles. How did that happen?

Let me explain. No, that would take too long. Let me sum up.

I love being helpful. And although in some areas of life I have no difficulty saying 'no', I'm a sucker for knitting things. And helpfulness collided with a design I am working on (despite the fact that I am *not* a designer), plus a traveling knitting project and a class sample ... well, there are four things on the needles. The 16x8" lace swatch on a spare set of needles doesn't count. My daughter is going to finish that (after she finishes her socks and sweater), or else it will get frogged. Except Frog Tree Alpaca doesn't frog well, so it may just quietly disappear. Or get bound off. What does one do with Unloved Swatches, anyways? Or even Loved Swatches?
You, spinning wheel, with the half-spun bobbin. Shush.

The Bohus mittens, at least, are finished. They were a slightly finicky knit (the palm sides are beige and unpatterned, and the mittens are worked in the round with no spare strands on the palm side), but knit up surprisingly quickly. The yarn came out of my stash and was acquired from four states - CA, OR, MN and MD - and three generations of my own family plus a friend. Does that make these interstate multigenerational mittens?

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Monday morning blog giveaway!

Aren't these pretty? And "these" happen to be Spud & Chloe, a lovely worsted yarn in superwash wool and cotton from Blue Sky Alpacas. (Don't ask me where the alpacas are in this. I think maybe they watch.) ((Spud and Chloe also comes in a fingering weight and a bulky weight. But these are worsted weight, aka 'Sweater'.)

If you'd like the yarn, leave a comment by Friday, May 22nd. I will use my handy-dandy, much-beloved HP11c to generate a random number, multiply it by the number of commenters, and that person will be the winner!

Monday, May 11, 2009


When I'm making a pointed attempt not to knit (an unusual event, but necessitated by being between projects and not having the yarn for the next project yet), SOMETHING has to be going on. Reading books is one way to pass the time, or cleaning, or decluttering, or organizing ...

but if one is just back from Shepherd's Harvest and has roving, the obvious thing to do is SPIN!

Yesterday, I spun. I think the yarn is heading for a lace shawl. A Knitted Veil is in the running, but I'm not sure if it will work with the variation in color, or if I'll have enough.

Today, I will knit. (Dances in glee) Three boxes came in the mail today -- one with books, one with cassette tapes about books, and one with yarn.


Saturday, May 09, 2009

Back from Shepherd's Harvest

What is Shepherd's Harvest, you ask? It's a sheep and wool festival! And what do you get at sheep and wool festivals? Wool fumes!

But before I show you the wool fumes that came home with me, let me show you how far we live from Shepherd's Harvest. (I should have taken a 'before' picture ... it would have showed one ball of yarn and two needles.)

Yup. About that far - minus one meal eaten in the car, plus reading the mail we picked up on our way out of town. And some time just watching the road go by. (I probably spent some of that time knitting ... my hands may have forgotten to tell me they were occupying themselves)

I was a good girl this year. (I usually am. Some people tell me I'm disciplined and have self-restraint.) I didn't have anything particular in mind to buy -- unlike last year, where my quest was to find White Laceweight Yarn for the Sanquhar Gloves. The quest ended with an order to KnitPicks. Laceweight just isn't a good seller, apparently. I can't really complain, as a skein here and a skein there last me a good long whlie.

So this year, knowing that I have OODLES of knitting just waiting to descend on me, I didn't want to overload myself with projects. And yes, a yarn purchase means a yarn project. Stash is for leftovers. And since I have plenty of yarn to play with - I could probably knit mittens for 2-3 months out of my stash (with no guarantees as to authentic colors for ethnic patterns) - I knew I didn't need to buy yarn. Really. So that left me with buying roving. Like I bought last year. But of course, roving must be spun before it's knit, and that takes time, so I don't need a LOT of roving. Just enough for a project or two.

And I didn't get the merino/silk blend in a dark charcoal. Ahhhh... that was gorgeous.

No, I got another ball of roving that called my name. See this? It says Shetland on it. And I like Shetland. Shetland Lace, Shetland/Fair Isle patterns, Shetland sheepies, Shetland weather.... all good. I get a bit sea sick, so if I lived there I like to think I could knit all winter and listen to improving lectures. One has to dream, right?

So, this called me. To show you just how LOUDLY it called, here's a bit of the ball draped over my arm. Yes, I was wearing that. (And yes, that's the shawl I spun and knit last year).

Spinning doesn't count as knitting, so when my knitting projects begin to arrive, it won't count as a project on the needles. Isn't that clever of me? (Nods head) I thought so. I rather like it.

In the meantime, I have a dishcloth to finish, and the second of these. Green Meadow Mittens, from Poems in Color. (A Knit from Your Shelf project!). It's not near as fiddly as I thought it would be, but I would much rather knit a sweater than a cardigan or mitten. The palm side is plain, and the colors are Not Carried.


Wednesday, May 06, 2009