Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pattern Release & Lazy Saturday

It's here! It's here! The Mermaid Scarf pattern is finished and ready for purchase. It will be up on The Soap Plantation website shortly or it can be found at Knit N Stitch. It is a simple little scarf suitable for beginning lace knitters and will take about 300 yards of any laceweight yarn. This is the first little pattern I am sending out into the world and I hope you like it as much as I do. in other news, it has been hot and humid for the past two days. Blah. I have been watering the garden but it is getting to the end of the season and everything is looking a bit scraggly. I found some seeds for Coreopsis Tinctura or Dyer's Coreopsis when I was clearing out a cupboard and think I will put it in before "winter". I also need to suck it up and dig out all the sad sad rose stumps. I wonder when the right time is to put in new ones?

I have been weaving like a woman possessed by the need to make her hobby into a career and it is going well. I can actually weave and let my mind wander at the same time now. I can even weave and listen to NPR! And either my cotton spinning has improved or I found a better way to load it on the bobbin, because the thread has been breaking far less.
I am missing Wyoming and the fresh air (my skin never looked so good), the open spaces and the scenery. Here is the old chicken coop:

And I will leave you with a picture of some sunflowers. Who doesn't love sunflowers?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Haiku Thursday

"Tea Towels"
Spin and weave cotton,
Advance the warp - wind up cloth,
Too nice to dry dishes.

I hear Grandma:"Don't
put it down, put it away".
I find the house nicer.

It grows, but each week
The gardener whacks away
My little chive plant.

Fodder thin today,
No pictures no updates. Sigh.
Must play "Diner Dash".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

I am back from Wyoming and in one piece (one anti-social piece, but that is a post for another day). The rosary / funeral / burial were sad, but the rest of the weekend was nice. There was visiting with family and lots of eating. Several of us had never met before. We talked, walked, played games and I knit like the wind. Seriously, Mandy's sweater needs about 5 rows on the collar and the sleeves sewn in. I ran out of yarn in the Denver airport or it would have been done by now.
Three generations: Do you see what I see? Over a barrel... Sometimes a post is just a post...
The homestead. Grandma designed it and Grandpa built it. It took 5 years.
Thistle poppy - the fried egg plant. I saw antelope, but they were far away and very fast.
The trip home was exciting - take a car to Ft Collins, change cars to Denver, wait for my plane (forever), bus to Union Station, train from LA to Riverside, then the bus to my neighborhood, then a mile walk home. Whew. I can hardly believe I made all those connections. It is good to be home but I miss the emptiness of WY. I am suffering from closed-in-itis right now. It is hard to imagine why I couldn't just stay there. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life's Ups and Downs

First the bad news - my grandpa died Monday. I will be in Wyoming this weekend (for the services) and will try to post if there is access. He was my oldest grandparent (born in '18 I believe) and a rugged guy. He was a miner and then built the family home (which my grandma designed, as she was an architecture major) in the evenings after his shift. He spent the last two years in a home, with Alzheimer's. I am sad that I never managed to get out to visit. I think the last time I saw him was at the family reunion when I was in college ('95?). I am bad with the living but always manage to make it to funerals. How wierd is that? Anyway, my Aunt Margaret send the notice on Sunday morning that he had been failing for a few days and I got to spend all day Sunday and Monday thinking about / remembering him before I got the note that he passed. It was peaceful and full of morphine and there was family around him, which is really the best of all worlds.

I really didn't mean to be away this long. Somehow time just... gets away. I have been keeping busy! We had the knitting Olympics at Knit N Stitch last on the 9th and it was great fun. I registered Mandy's unfinished birthday sweater as my Olympic Challenge project (can I finish it by this Saturday, the end of the Games?). Last weekend was pretty quiet. Mostly I stayed home weaving and enjoying the weather. I finally broke the windows open where the painters painted them shut (or open, depending) *cough* 2 1/2 years ago *cough*. The cats enjoy laying on the windowsills and I enjoy squirting them with the water bottle. The weaving is progressing nicely and the cotton spinning is a nice change when I get tired of the weaving part. You can see the 5 or so tea towels that are already done filling up the cloth beam. Here Dozer is filling in as a footwarmer. I am still spinning on the wheel - I finished the "Yule" yarn and plied it up and found time to spin some bulky alpaca and some green/ navy /burgundy merino that has been marinating in the stash for a while (quarters included for scale). I guess both of those bits of roving were about 5 years old now. Geez. I also went through the box of finished yarns (stored in ziplocks) and have been washing / setting the twist on all of those this weekend. It is a great feeling to look and see skeins and skeins of possibilities instead of piles and piles of stash that is begging to be spun. Friday I went to the Pasadena Bead and Design show. Stash was enhanced! I went to pick up some cotton sliver, but there was none to be found. I did pick up some 60/2 laceweight (cobweb really) yarn from RedFish Dyeworks and some beautiful merino & silk roving too (it is a little washed out in the pictures). I grabbed that one straight off and did not let it go.

From Nancy at Chameleon Colorworks I acquired some Optim (stretched merino) in the "Ophelia" colorway. It is very soft and shiny and a real pleasure to spin. I am one bobbin into it already - the plan is to make a 3 ply (non chained). At Carolina Homespun I snapped up some yak & silk roving (words cannot describe the yum factor here) and some regular silk roving (not exciting enough for a blog picture).I even bought a bead for Emily's baby shower this weekend. It is all hush-hush though.

Well, I had better scamper off and start some laundry so I have something to pack. Does anyone think I can get a laptop, my knitting and 4 days worth of clothes into one carry-on bag?

Monday, August 04, 2008

My Life in Pictures

There are rovings for sale! This is "Blueberry Squishy" and it is a blend of Merino and Silk. There are 2 available at $24 (4oz each). Extremely soft and has a luster due to the silk. This is "Coral Beauty" and it is Blue Faced Leicester. This is a great beginner's wool. There is one available for $20 (4oz).
More BFL in the "Mango Mango" colorway. There is one available at $20 (40z)
There are others too, in BFL and a Merino / Tencel blend. I need to find some better light for the rest of the pictures.

This one I kept for myself! More Merino / Silk in the "Yule" colorway. The skein is 2 oz (half of the original amount) and there are 366 yards. I chain (navajo) plied it to keep the color changes very clear, and it came out to a fingering weight. I wish I had had a quarter to include for scale.
And close up you can see the shimmer.
See? I do spin! Last night I even got out the book charkha and attacked the pile of cotton. I need to get back to work on the dishcloth project so that I can get them off the loom, up for sale, and warp up some silk for scarves.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Sunny Skies

Things are looking up today. The most I have to complain about is the dog (mine) that barks incessantly. At something, at nothing, when hungry, when full, when outside, when in. At 4am I finally had to get her away from the door, to see a truck backing out of our parking lot. 4am!?! Maybe I will try walking her. The other dog plays fetch, but Sunny just... barks. You know what they say; "a tired dog is a good dog".

I put my spinning wheel in the car today and plan on toodling over to the knit shop to be distraction-free. Tonight is also movie / pizza night (come over and bring $10) and I think I am supposed to bring "Casablanca". If I can get the merino / silk off the bobbin, I can go back to spinning for sale. The distractions at home are endless; tv, dishes, knitting, cross-stitch, shushing the dog, napping. It is such a hard life.

No new pictures (sorry), but some knitting has occurred. The Rainbow Sherbet socks are in the car and they go with me to the therapist, knitting night and while waiting for the train. The Berroco socks (did I name them? I forget) are into the twill pattern. I am having some problems with it, mostly when i try to reverse the twill. Also, I have a feeling the pattern is not going to be stretchy enough. I will have to knit another inch or so before I will know for sure. I added a row to Icarus the other night and then promptly dropped a stitch and had to rip out that row and the one before. Note to self: do not knit lace during reality tv.

I actually made it to yoga last night (by accident, really) and it was nice. I apparently have forgotten how to breathe and how to relax, so I will have to keep going back if I expect any change. Such a sacrifice. We did get to do my favorite asana, which I can never remember the name of. An internet search isn't helping. Anyway, it is the one asana that I can do really well and looks fancy. I am sure pride isn't the point of a yoga practice, but believe me there is little self confidence in several of the other postures!