Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mish Mash

I should have known that as soon as I started wool socks and wool mitts that it would get hot again. I took pictures this morning but have to charge the camera battery before I upload them. It is always something!

Martha from knitting brought back a fox tea cosy and a sheep (black of course) wine cosy from Scotland. The website for the artist is here and her work is just spectacular. I don't read Finnish, but I sent an email in English asking about US distributors. Maybe we will get lucky.

Francesca finished her cashmere sweater and it is gorgeous. If I rememer right, she held 3 strands of laceweight together. It gives me hope that I can make something similar someday.

I am still working on the Halloween socks - number one is most of the way through the leg. It is a nice quick stockinette "plain vanilla" sock. I started a pair of mitts last night (I don't know if they will be gloves, mittens, or fingerless mitts) in some leftover sock yarn. It is loud but wears like iron, being a wool/mohair/nylon blend (Schaeffer "Anne"). I am trying out some new needles - DPNs in Ebony from Blue Ridge. They are brand new and Knit N Stitch and I love them beyond reason. They are very pointy, slightly flexible (unlike birch) but not too flexible (all my bamboo ones make smiley faces now) and super smooth (also unlike bamboo, which splinters), but not as slippery as metal ones. The 5 1/2 inch length is perfect - 6 rubs on my palms and 5 is just too short for me. At the moment the only drawback is that I am knitting with black yarn on black needles, but that is user error!

I made it to yoga this morning and am about to go into a workshop on using Iyengar wall ropes. It might be beyond my ken, but the instructor says I should give it a whirl.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back in the World

Presenting the Tea Towels! They are all woven with a handspun weft, using 100% cotton. These are the final 4 and each one is unique. They are all preshrunk and measure around 8" x 30". $25 each or two for $45. Please email for availability to sleepingfox16 at yahoo dot com. Teapot not included :) White with Blue Twill Border
Pink Twill
Green Stripe
Blue Stripe.
Today I joined "The Ladies" at quiliting and we got Christie's quilt up and running. I need to learn how to do the actual quilting before I can help, but I did finish pinning my little "Elements" quilt together along the stitching lines so I can machine quilt it. I also found sashing and backing fabric for the two 9 patch quilts that are in progress.
I have been knitting along on the Halloween socks and am well into the leg of sock 1. All other knitting is still languishing, but I look at it affectionately. The Halloween socks have the advantage of being plain stockinette, which makes them good travel / therapist appointment knitting.
Spinning continues on the gray cormo. I have been using it to practice my long draw / semi woolen technique. Since the Millie has a delta orifice, I have to use one hand as the "point" of the spindle and the other does the drafting. It makes more sense when you see it. It is time to pluck Olive (the angora bunny) again. He finally looks like a properly fuzzy bun - no big mats or areas which are half grown next to areas which are plucked bare. I had better get on it before it gets any colder, so his winter coat can grow in.
Steve McQueen is still the chubbiest mouse in town. He knows that if he puts all 4 feet on my hand he gets taken out, and then we have a nice little snuggle. One day he got to run around in the bathtub.
That's all the news that is fit to print! I updated the schedule and the blogroll over in the sidebar. Be sure to check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

House Arrest

I got up yesterday at 7 to the sounds of a sledgehammer on concrete. The neighbor is having her walkway replaced. This is fine. The concrete truck blocking me in my driveway until 2 was not so fine. While I waited to leave the house I pieced a whole slew of 9 patches for my quilt (and discovered I need to buy more fabric for the sashing) and listened to many people rant on NPR. I really like piecing squares and sewing straight lines. It goes so much faster than spinning and weaving! In the afternoon, the other neighbor took her turn blocking my car in, so I had to walk to the yoga studio to run an errand. The dogs made the trip with me and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I am also re-sleying the loom for a dimity pattern (in white). I finished another tea towel and realized I was totally ready to see what was on the cloth beam. 9 towels were edged, washed, dried and readied for sale on Thursday. Two are already off to a new home (Scott, I held yours back, not to worry). As there is still warp on the loom and I received my new Handwoven the other day, I am rethreading /resleying for something new - a pattern with texture in the warp pattern. It is a pain in the ass (PIA) but I suppose it is good practice for something.

Las Vegas Faire was fun, but I always forget how much damn work it is to work for 30 hours in 3 days, plus the 10 hour drive. The parrow show guy has motivated me to play with the birds more, I didn't pick up anything or anybody contagious, and I earned about half my rent money for next month. Wheee!

Knitting is lacadaisical: the halloween socks are my waiting-for-the-train knitting; the stripey socks (which have gone through about 20 name changes) are for knitting in the shop; the Preppy scarf is ambling along; MS4 is still on clue 4 (although I did work on it last night); Mirepoix is still on hold due to the sleeve issue. I haven't started many new things, but am not finishing anything very fast.

All in all, things are quiet here at the homestead and I am not feeling sad or lonely.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Smothering in Wool

Today I was moseying around the house and said - There is a box. I bet it has wool in it. I wonder what it is. My pretties, it was an entire sheep that I forgot about. A finewool fleece ("Jamocha") I had processed by Morro Fleece Works and split into light and dark sections. I don't even remember how long ago that was. It is a lovely fleece and I am glad it has floated to the top of the pile. But I think I may have plenty of wool now. I think I will be spinning tonight at Knit Night instead of knitting.

Things have improved since yesterday, which was just a down day. Today is happy and perky and lovely; almost-crisp and cool. Back at my alma mater (Smith) it was Mountain Day - a free day in the fall where we could enjoy one of the last perfect fall days. One year I went with Etta and her geology class and climbed Mt. Monadanoc in Vermont. That is the fun thing about going to school back east - it is easy to visit other states on a lark. I went back once to visit a friend in MA and ended up driving to New Hampshire before I found a drugstore / grocery.

There is no new knitting progress to report. Everything is in limbo. I did print clue 5 for the Mystery Stole, but I have not even started clue 4 yet. It will happen eventually. There are only 6 clues, so maybe I am extending the lace love subconciously. *snrk* I will make an effort to photograph the fleece picking process before I pack up the box to Wooly Knob, and to take some painfully boring spinning progress photos.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Let's Just Pile it All On, Shall We?

Well. It is one of those days. Mercury is Retrograde (will Oct 15th ever get here?), the Moon is void-of-course for the rest of today and most of tomorrow. Everything I have touched this week has picked today to fall to pieces. Sigh. I am really ready to hide under the covers, but on Tuesday I pretty much used up my allotment of laziness for the week. I was on a rocky road ice cream drip this morning, which did help a little.

Knitting on MS4 is suspended until I cease to be an idiot or until I make an offering to the YO fairy. Every time I end a lace row, I realize that I have lost at least one yarnover... somewhere. It should not take an hour to knit 116 stitches. I have been doodling along on the "Preppy" scarf. That is the one that is burgundy, navy and hunter was nameless the last time I posted about it. It makes good mindless knitting.

I kind of feel like I should be storing acorns for the winter. I have a credit at Wooly Knob and some fleeces that need processing, so I will send them off and get them back in the spring (or maybe next week), and getting wool in the mail is just as delightful to me as finding a long lost acorn is to Mr. Squirrel.

OH! The alpaca scarf made it to the mystery destination and the recipient is pleased. Whew.