Thursday, February 28, 2013

Bass Ackwards

The mathematical equations I used a few weeks ago to successfully divide a bobbin into two equal halves was off to a promising start with more of the same fiber.

The only problem was that it didn't work. At. All. I had way too much left over on one bobbin.

I broke off the 2 singles feeding into the bobbin on the wheel so that one end was longer than the other. That would making splicing the ends with the leftovers easier, I hoped. I wound off the leftover bobbin with the ball winder so I would get a center pull ball.

The splicing went well and so did the spinning from both ends.

I held my breath when I got to the inner "guts". If you are going to get a tangle, this is where it will be.

Whew. I made it.

Now I have a teeny tiny skein that was supposed to get my next shawl started. The only problem with this is that I forgot it is a top down shawl and I wanted the darkest of the colors on the bottom. Doh....insert head smack here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Out to Pasture

The outdoor rink season is sadly over and I just want to end it by saying how much I love my skates. I really, really do. It seems like only yesterday they were brand new, shiny and white and rubbing blisters all over my feet. It took a long time to break them in and no time at all to break them down. The outdoor ice was particularly challenging to the dear old things.

Every inch of them has had it.

Even the tongues are ripping off.

 Speaking of the tongues, just look at the insides. Yuck.

Working with groups of little skaters left the sides full of gouges. The kiddies skate right over you and kick you quite often.

 The blades died years ago. No one would sharpen them anymore so I have had to do it by hand.

I love these skates but I need to replace them. At about $700 (yes, you read that right-that's a lot of yarn) this is much easier said than done. I had always said that when the time came to retire these skates I would be done with this skating thing-but I am not exactly ready. It's a good thing I put all that money I made teaching classes this season aside because I know what it is going to be used for. Blisters-and lots of them.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Now that my baby knits are done, my knitting in public bag is empty. Daddio has three-count'em three-doctor's appointments this week so this is a catastrophe.

Wandering Cat was sweet enough to gift me this lovely sock yarn so it only made sense to cast on one of her lacy sock patterns. I really needed some lacy sock knitting after all the rustic handspun I turned into socks over the past few months. I am really sick of ribbing and these socks have NONE.

Just look at this. This is only one day's worth of knitting. I couldn't stop. I just had to keep putting on the rows every chance I got. I am already on the heel flap as we speak and this sock was born only yesterday. As a rule, I lose interest after about 15 minutes of knitting-but just look at those colors. Makes you think of early spring buds ready to burst into bloom. Of course there was a dilemma early on when I convinced myself they were going to be too small. For the longest time I thought long and hard about getting up and getting some larger needles and starting over. It was a good thing I was too lazy to go get the other needles because now that there is enough material to show the stretch, these are going to fit perfectly.

This is Undine and you can find the free pattern here and some of this gorgeous hand dyed yarn here.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Baby, Baby, Baby

It seems like it has been all baby, all the time around here lately. Daughter picked out this Knit Pick's Beanstalk colorway for a friend who is expecting a little boy in March. I had my doubts about it but as usual she was right.

The colors did some interesting things but I ended up really liking the crazy stripes.

I especially loved the little specks of turquoise that show up here and there. I suppose this marks the end of the baby projects for a while. Everyone we know already has one or two. Daughter is the only one of all the recent marrieds that is yet to give me a reason to knit for-which is perfectly fine by me. I'll be ready when she is.
Info on the patterns used can be found here.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


It all started with an idea and a sticky note.

Lately my blog has gotten a few more comments than I am used to getting and I wanted to say thanks to everyone who takes the time to let me know they are reading. It seemed easy enough but I wanted to include myself in the photo and this time I was aiming for more than just my hands or feet.

I've done this before. Just go in the bathroom, stand in front of the mirror and snap away. I do it all the time with finished knitted things. This time however, there was a small glitch. Hmmmm.....

OK. Let's just try that again. All right, but now the note looks great and I'm blurry. I need to go sit down and think about this.

Let's move this whole thing into the bedroom and....wait a minute. The tower of yarn buckets and the Christmas things I have yet to put away are in the background and the words are still backwards. Ugh. Another fail.

Just stick the note on your head and be done with it. You've made your point. You guys are the greatest. Mwah.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Winter's Worth

As I was putting away the last pair of my handspun Corrie socks, I decided to take a family portrait because it won't be long before they will all be packed away until next winter.

It seems like yesterday that they were just piles of fluff drying in the summer sun. I am so looking forward to this summer's piles of fluff but I will be reminding myself to be less carefree with the dye. Fun colored fluff is one thing and an entire wardrobe of crazy colors is quite another.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Number Four

Yet another pair of crazy Corriedale socks are done.

These were my least favorite pair. The colors turned into a muddy mess proving that you most certainly can have too much of a good thing. Daddio and I had way too much fun with the drum carder that day. They have their moments but the overall effect is blah.

I was lucky enough not to have to spin more in order to finish. This is all I had left. Good thing. No way could I have ever matched these colors.

The last of the cast on socks are from the Easter Egg dyed locks. When these are done I will have no Corrie socks on any needles anywhere. This deserves a major happy dance. Of course this does not mean that I have no more Corrie sock yarn. I still have tons. Nine pounds is a lot of fleece but from now on, I will only ever cast on one pair at a time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Magic Word

 I have a very well known weakness. All someone has to do is mention the word "kit" and I will wholeheartedly throw money at you without blinking an eye. I confess it is because I am a lazy knitter. I just want to make little loops with sticks over and over and over. I want someone else to do all the thinking about color and patterns for me.

So when the author of a blog I admire wrote that she added thrum kits to her Etsy shop I couldn't get over there fast enough.

 I was lucky enough to get one. They were selling very well. Apparently I am not the only sucker for kits in the world.

 The package seemed a little heavy. Something didn't feel like the yarn and the fiber I was expecting.

Good golly, it was the cutest little sheep soap ever! It smelled just like a blueberry muffin and I so wanted to eat the darling thing but instead it is going to be carefully preserved so I can admire it forever.

As for the whole thrumming is going to be quite the adventure. I have always wanted to try this technique of creating a fiber lined mitten. I know we don't exactly get super cold weather here and rarely snow or ice anymore but if we do I am going to be ready. To see the video that goes with the enclosed pattern look here.

Who do I owe a big merci to? Zenitude, of course! If you haven't seen her blog look over on the right at my blog list and check out her post on her alpacas in the snow-it's guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Vraiment trés gentille mon amie!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Think Spring

Work on the Arietta is progressing uneventfully. Thank goodness. Here at winter's end I find myself with very little patience. I need sunshine and lazy days. The morning I took these photos out on the deck it was a blustery 27 degrees and I made myself so sick from the cold and wind that I spent the rest of the day in bed with a monster headache.

This was the first time I pinned it out and I was very happy to see a pattern emerge from all the crazy blue chaos. This is supposed to be what I parade around in at this year's MDSW so I needed it to be somewhat decent looking. Until now I never realized there was a subtle stripping of the blue going on. I think I like it.

The one hitch is that this is all the handspun I have left and it's not much. 27 grams. I get to knit on for 6 more grams and then I have to start decreasing so I don't run out. This may end up being a pretty small shawlette. I have plenty of this fiber left and I could spin more but I have too many more interesting spinning projects going on to be bothered.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Out of Hibernation

Way back in May, I had plans for this year's MDSW that included wearing a crocheted shawl made from mohair that I had just bought at the 2012 Fest. This is the #42 Motif Wrap from Vogue in case you are interested.

I worked like crazy on it for the rest of the spring-and then stopped.  First it was the TdF taking up all my time and then it was the Ravelympics (or whatever we decided to call it) and then it was Rhinebeck and then it was new grandbaby knitting-so it was put in hibernation and forgotten.

I pulled it out of hibernation and was tempted to lose it forever due to its extreme lop-sided wonkiness until I saw how darn pretty that mohair was. I couldn't waste it.

 The problem was that the joins were all in the wrong place. I tried to work on this as a lap project but it can't be done. It needs a table so it can be laid out properly.

 You can't frog mohair, it's too sticky so there was no choice but to cut off the lopsided second row and start over.

 It was scary.

I'm no crocheter so it took the better part of an hour to make another motif.

This time instead of joining it where I thought it should be joined, I laid it out, gave it a good stretching and actually counted the loops and compared it to the joining diagram.

It is still on the wonky side but at least it lays flat. Now to make those other bazillion motifs. Before May.