Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Holiday Knitting, 2006

I'm done. I'm crispy. I have 22 people coming to my house on Sunday. I've had 3 finals this week, one of which I know for a fact that I did awful on. So, here's my holiday knitting, in a fancy-smancy mosaic tile form:

I should do 1 more hat. I'm going to chicken out on that one. I should be working on Hubs' sweater, but I'm not. I'm saving it for vacation, where I can constantly measure and remeasure and re-remeasure, just to make sure it fits.

So to: Greenery hat, Forest Canopy Shawl, cashmere/merino scarf, mittens, Sienna Cardi sweater, Eris sweater, (and hat, for the father in-law, missing from photo) thanks for the fun.

I'm going to give my wrist a break and say no knitting until the weekend at the very earliest.

Yipee! I'm done!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

2 More Down, 1 To Go.

Greenery Hat, designed by Lilith Parker.

Go get your own pattern (check her archives- November 17, 2006.) The pattern is free! I love those.

Quick, fun, somewhat easy (you need to know cables) knit.

And another finished Forest Canopy Shawl, designed by Susan Pierce Laurence. Although it's not a free pattern, it's worth getting because it's beautiful and a very easy lace project. I can bang one of these babies out in about 2-3 days.

No, you can not see the whole thing finished. It's for someone who might just be reading the blog...

And, as a side note: I'm about THIS close from cancelling my blogger account. I know it's a free blog for goodness sakes, but blogger beta is really difficult to get used to. I'm having so much trouble with it. It's impossible to reallign photos anywhere and you have to fiddle with it alot. If I could only go back to the old blogger I would in a heart beat.

Edit...notice something missing? Yeah, like, where's Susan's name and what I wrote after it??? (It's there now, because I fixed it.) Grrr.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dear Person Who Finds My $30.00 In Target's Parking Lot.

Dear Stranger,

I know I went to Target the other night with atleast $30 bucks in my pocket. It might have been more like $50 (gulp) I don't know. Anyways, I put the cash in my back pocket and when I went to pay, it was gone. I checked my wallet, the car, the diaper bag. No luck.

Use it well. Buy yourself something good, don't spend it on Aunt Helen's favorite stinky perfume or towards a stupid overpriced video game that you'll only end up ignoring your wife and kids if you had.

I have a feeling that you needed it more than I did. Fate, kharma, prayers answered- whatever you believe in- has a way of giving and taking.

It was "extra" money. I babysit for a 2 year old once a week and his mom asked me to watch him twice. I was going to use the money to buy gifts that we really don't need anyways.

I hope it cheered your day up. Oddly, somewhere inside me it cheered me up knowing that I lost it and hopefully go to a needy home.

Happy Holidays, oh stranger who finds my money.

I'm trying not to obess on how much *roving* that could have bought me.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Locks Of Love

Yesterday I took The Boy for his first haircut. He was looking like a mix of Bo Duke and a hippie. The hair next to his ears was past the bottom of his earlobe. But his hair had a bit of a curl in the back and that makes my heart melt. So I procrastinated.
I want to take photos of him for the holidays. But not with the long hair, my in-laws would have had a cow. I took him to my hairdresser yesterday.
He sat on my lap. He kept trying to grab the comb and scissors. She cut a ton off, the photo is just a few of the curls. I want to make a mother's locket. Maybe I'll make one for each of his grandmothers also.
He's growing so quickly. Part of me wants to put up my hands and scream, "STOPPP!" as loud as I can. Part of me has day dreams of him running around, of him playing outside with other kids, of him going off to preschool....
He looks so mature with the new 'do. Someone told me he looks three. He's tall for his age, which I think makes it that much worse.
Ah, well. What do they say in that commercial? Oh, yeah.
Life comes at you fast.
Indeed, it does.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Spinning and Roving.

Lots of photos to share!

This is the first time that I'm using my "good" roving. I bought it in Rhinebeck and I have no definative idea of what type of wool it is. I know it's 70% wool and 30% acryllic. It's soft and really wants to zoooooom away from you. It's teaching me lighter, slower pedaling.
Without a flash:

With a flash:

Yes, you can see the different colors- the blues and greens mixed with the brighter pinks. I love the color!

These are 2 things I picked in a grab bag. I love grab bags. I was hoping for more roving.

Beautiful cotton: Someone once told me that if I ever needed to see how things would spin up, pull gently on the fibers. If they break off easily, it will be tougher to spin and likewise- if you can pull on it and the fibers stay connected, it should be easier to spin. Cotton is one of those fibers that you pull on and it immediately breaks. It will be a pulling-my-hair-out-crazy way.

Pencil roving:

I can't wait to use it and I'm almost tempted to knit with it as is just to see what would happen.

I have 2 holiday things left to knit and 2 weeks to finish them. Plus, for the first time ever the family is coming to my house for Christmas Eve. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time. It's alot of pressure and I'll admit that it's all my fault. And honestly, I'm putting the pressure on myself and my family's not expecting too much.

Got any hints for me?

Monday, December 11, 2006

Damn You January One.

Lovely Cara over at January One posted about being stuck on level 3 on Weffriddles.

On level 14, staring at it for days, then asked for help, moved along to 16, then was told that I skipped over 15.


Don't start this game until after your holiday gifts are complete. Seriously.

Looks like I might be buying some gifts after all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Second Sunday Fiber Guild

I went to a spinning guild meeting today. I met a few lovely women, all who spun so fast it was amazing (and dizzying) to watch. I didn't get to speak to them all, but some where spinning angora (rabbit and mohair both) which just looked beautiful. I can't wait to get more experienced so that I can finally start to do these fibers justice. I got a grab bag full of yummy fleece- some pencil roving, some natural colored wool and creamy dreamy cotton- which oddly enough I had my hands on in Rhinebeck, but put it down when I was told that it was difficult to spin. I won't attempt it anytime soon, but I'll keep it packed away!

Holiday knitting is in full swing. I haven't finished yet, although I'm getting closer. I'm dying to start a sweater for me, but refuse to until I finish up the stuff for others.

I also got a ton of handmade soap from my mom so if you are a local snb-er (you know who you are!) you might just be getting some. (Check out her site- Lovely Lathers. I can vouch that her stuff is beyond heavenly.)

How is everyone else's holiday knitting coming along??

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I Forgot.

How could I have forgotten all about it? Was it the spinning? Was it Thanksgiving? Was it The Boy's big birthday celebration?

My new washing machine was installed on the 20th of November!!

I hate doing clothes. Well, honestly I don't mind laundry, it's where my washer and dryer are located that freak me out. I'm completely phobic of spiders and it seems like they love that area of my house. (hey, atleast it's not my bedroom. shudder)

When the washer broke I had literally a week's worth of wash down there- ok, maybe more. We had no clean towels. I had 20 people coming over....bad, bad, bad.

Hubs and I went to Lowes and picked out a new washer. We picked one out that had the bear essentials- but I wanted one with a big basket. I swear I could fit in this thing. We go through towels like crazy in my house. Thursdays alone we go through 5-7 towels, depending on hockey games and baby swim class. It's a well known name brand with a great warranty. It was in our budget too.

Let me tell ya, I can do laundry in a flash. This thing has to hold 12 towels at a time. I can do over a week's worth of laundry in a day. Not even a day- how about 4 loads??

Anyways, I've always dreamt of getting a front loader with all the bells and whistles and lights and buttons and auto detergent thingy...dream on.

This thing is all anyone needs for a quarter of the price. No, it wasn't cheap but I think it will last.

That reminds me...I got laundry to do.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


My first week of spinning is coming to an end. I've learned some things:

1. Don't spin when you are tired. This is hard for me as I only spin when my son is in bed. While he naps I usually either nap too or do homework or knit. So, after 8 p.m. is when I spin. It's a fine line between a couple more yards (and saying the next morning-) "Yeah, that looks good" or "Wow, that looks awful".

2. When you want something so badly that all you do is think, dream and yearn for it, trust me when I say that when it comes- you will love it so much that you want to sleep in bed with it.

2 b. Husbands do not agree with the above.

2 c. Nor do they allow it.

3. Practice makes perfect.

4. Do not try to remove the bobbin without taking the break off first. Bad sounds that give you a heart attack happen.

5. Reaching out to other spinners for advice, questions or just some lovin' helps immensely.

6. Books from the library that were published in 1954 don't have information about recently manufactured orifices in them.

7. Your husband will laugh every time you say the word, "orifice". Every-damn-time.

There's more, that's for sure. I've learned that I can knit pre-tea at 7 a.m. with only 6 hours of sleep- but spin? Hell no.

I wish they still taught fiber arts in schools. I wish they would teach boys and girls how to knit. The Boy will knit. I have a feeling he will spin too.

I dunno. If you had told me at age 15 that I'd be a spinning-knitting-fiber-nut I would have laughed at you. It's not what I imagined myself being and yet somehow, I can't imagine myself as anything else now.

People have called me "a natural" at knitting. I laugh when they do. Typically I knit between 4-6 hours a day! Do you know how much practice that is??

When I sat down to spin they called me one at the spinnery where I picked up the wheel. I thought they were blowing smoke. But as I see the progression of my work I smile deep inside.

I don't think I'm a natural, I know it.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gray, Again.

I'm almost of out gray wool. I've spun and spun and spun.

And improvement can be seen.

Atleast by me.

I knitted yesterday. I started Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby sweater (from her almanac.) It's for my brother's baby-to-be.

And finished a merino/cashmere scarf for someone very special for the holidays. This stuff makes me want to knit with this yarn and only this yarn. It is delicious. I've never knit with a "luxury yarn" before and I can see why it's tough going back to regular wool.
I got 2 skeins of it during the birthday sale. I used one skein, and have one left. Ummm, I need something for me made out of this.
I have a feeling that I'm going to make another christmas gift out of the other skein.
How's your holiday knitting going?
P.s. Yes, my kid brother is having a baby of his own next month. Ekkk!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gray Yarn For A Gray Day

It's raining here.

There's nothing worse than rainy fall days in New England. It's cold, but not cold enough for gloves and a hat, everyone has their heat on so you sweat whenever you go into a store. It's just yucky.

The issue with the too much spin and not enough take up is fixing itself. I messed with the tension a bit, practiced more and it's getting better. I still have to stop sometimes and hand-wind the yarn, working the kinks out, but it is improving. I spun into the night, stopping when my eyes felt like they were crossing. This morning I sat down and looked at the yarn. Notice the bottom left hand side nastiness? I kept pushing the roving into the flyer before it was spun. Just like knitting- don't spin when you are tired.

And can I call myself a spinster now??

Thanks for all the kind words. And welcome to the new commenters!