February 27th, 2016 · Comments Off on Saturday Morning
Not sure when it happened, but over the last couple of weeks/months/years, I’ve taken to getting up early in the morning on a Saturday. During the week, the alarm clock rings at 5:45A.M., so it isn’t very surprising that I’m up at around that time on the weekends now. Today was no exception. I did have a little help from a friend. At 5:52A.M., Serendipity decided it was snuggle time when she jumped on my bed, meowed at me, and snuggled in loudly purring. I’ve since gotten out of bed and made a cup of coffee. Time for some *me* time.
Speaking of Serendipity, she’s been remarkably needy recently. It was not unexpected after losing Earl. The two had been a pair until very recently (as an aside, Earl seemed to go downhill very fast after he was diagnosed. It was like a switch was flipped and he went from what looked like an older cat who was losing weight but otherwise normal, to very not normal in the span of a few hours. My heart of hearts tells me that he’d been hiding his true condition from me and after we knew, he could stop the brave cover-up job.) when it became clear that he wasn’t doing well. Not very long after that (and not yet blogged) was the yearly family cruise. I’d post pictures here, but I haven’t quite downloaded them all from the camera yet. More on the cruise later but suffice it to say, we left on February 12th and returned on the 21st. A neighbor came in once a day to feed Serendipity, but otherwise, she was alone, and Twizzler the snake doesn’t make for a great companion.
In the days we’ve been back, she’s been stuck to my side. I don’t remember her ever waking me up in the middle of the night for attention. She did that Sunday night, and every night since. Poor thing. Wonder if this is the new normal or has she finally mellowed? Time might tell if I weren’t about to shake things up later today. But there’s time before that event and I’m off to snuggle with my cat and get in a little quiet knitting before the rest of the house rises.
…updates to follow
February 2nd, 2016 · 4 Comments
I had to say goodbye to Earl Grey today. Unfortunately the abdominal mass was growing and he was losing weight and getting weaker by the day. I made the decision to end his pain before he really suffered.
He was a truly sweet cat that loved everyone. Nothing made him happier than being pet, except maybe if they used both hands to do so. He was a regular fixture on my bed. Not sure if I’ll miss his hogging the pillow though.
He loved his cat companions as much as his human ones.
Goodbye sweet boy. I’ll miss you.
It feels good to be blogging again, though I don’t know how many readers are still out there :/
I spent the last of the time off before returning to work taking time to enjoy my spinning wheels. Yes, I used more than one of them. I finished up spinning that really pretty blue/green fiber that I showed in my last post on the Pegasus. Using the slowest ratio (12:1), I split the fiber in half and spun a thin single onto two bobbins.
I got scientific halfway through the second bobbin and weighed the first bobbin, weighed the second bobbin, weighed the remaining fiber, weighed an empty bobbin, did the maths and figured out which bobbin needed how much more fiber until it hit halfway.
When done, I set about plying it on the Golding, using the same ratio (turns out it’s middle ratio is 12:1) and the jumbo flyer…
When done, I wound it off. I now have 520 yards / 4oz of Merino/Silk to play with. Should be able to get a decent little shawl out of it. Might actually knit another Simple Yet Effective Shawl with this.
One 4oz bag of fiber down. Pounds and pounds to go 😉 I figure between being in the two fiber clubs (ITW and Spunky) I need to spin a tad more every month to keep my head above water and I drown in the accumulating stash. We won’t talk about the sock yarn clubs I’m in. Sigh. To that end, off to spin a bit before bed!
January 2nd, 2016 · 1 Comment
And so starts another year. We spent a quiet night at home with sparkling cider and appetizers while watching various tv shows. I actually made it to midnight, which isn’t the guarantee that it used to be.
Yesterday was a mix of old and new. We spent the morning alternating between marathons of The Honeymooners and The Odd Couple. I took the twins to the 1pm showing of Star Wars. We liked it. Might not have been overly original but it was good. It was worlds better than any of the three prequels. It was like visiting with old friends. Looking forward to seeing episode 8 to confirm my suspicions.
My current knitting projects are finally reduced to two active ones. I have a pair of socks that I work on while out and about. Used to be the train knitting but now that I hitch a ride to and from work, they are now car knitting as long as it is light enough to see :). The home project is Minetta in yummy MadTosh.
I’ve got two more repeats of the decrease section left. While the cables don’t exactly pop I don’t think that they are completely lost in the colors.
I’ve also been spinning.
This pretty stuff is on the Pegasus. I’ve forgotten how very fast that wheel is.
This is using the largest whorl. Just looked up the ratios, 12:1, 18:1, 24:1. Guess I won’t be getting a worsted weight yarn off this thing with less than a billionty plies
I’m going to sit with my coffee and the Soap marathon on IFC and work on Minetta while I wait for the rest of the family to awaken. My 6:45 AM weekday departure time means that I get up early over the weekends too. I call it my me time.
Happy New Year
Tags: Adult · Knitting · Spinning
December 26th, 2015 · Comments Off on Crafty
Lets pretend that my last post wasn’t in May of this year. I won’t even attempt to cover all the things that have happened since. Suffice it to say that it has been an interesting year.
I finished a project that I started no too terribly long ago. It started with the acquisition of a new wheel on Columbus Day weekend. I went to a spin in that weekend at the Golding’s farm and studio up in Vermont, where I tried out a new style of their portable wheel. I loved it so much that I brought it home. Meet Golding Gossamer, signed #1 by Seth. A sweet little wheel.
Here she is sitting between her bigger sister and my Matchless.
She is indeed a tiny little thing. Unlike the previous portable style, this one isn’t foldable, though the flyer head is removable. Since she isn’t an accelerator wheel like her predecessor, she isn’t quite as fast, but I don’t really notice as I can spin fine on just about anything. She shares the same bobbins and flyers as her bigger sister and since I have the jumbo and regular flyers for the full sized, I opted for the lace flyer and bobbins for this one as the second.
My first project was a batt of Falkland wool that I got from my favorite crack vendor, ITW, at I think Rhinebeck this year. I spun the batt onto two bobbins after splitting it in half, maintaining the colors. I then plied both bobbins together to get a fingering weight yarn that was just squooshy and divine.
I never measured the yardage but figured it was enough for a smallish shawl so I got busy as soon as the yarn was dry.
I cast on over Thanksgiving weekend, took it on my trip to Texas and finished it up today.
Project details are here on Ravelry.
On another note, the blog is back on WordPress and actually at a new (old) hosting provider. I moved it all today and migrated back to the old WordPress platform. We’ll call the last year a failed experiment and I’m gonna blame it for the lack of posting 😉
Tags: Knitting · Spinning
Having now spent a couple of nights with the new Lendrum, I can truly say that I’m really happy I picked it up. I really did miss having one in the stable and with her multiple ratios and flyer options, she’s far more versatile than any of the other portable wheels I’ve been playing with in my quest for the holy grail. Of course, this wheel is bigger and heavier than most of the other options, but with the carry bag might just do the trick. I happen to have the carry bag since I bought it for the Wee Robin (which will probably be looking for a new home shortly). While the super fast flyer would be a nifty addition, I don’t know if I really need it, but then I didn’t need the Lendrum at all 😉 I finished up the first bobbin of the mystery purple bonus wool last night.
Does how I packed this bobbin bother anyone?
I realized that I never posted my favorite calendar picture from April. This made me smile every time I saw it, and I saw it a lot as the calendar hangs on the wall in my bathroom It was the reason I bought this calendar at all.
Kat and I went for the annual spring pilgrimage to the festival in Maryland. As is par for the course, there is absolutely no photographic evidence of the trip, other than a couple of the acquisitions and assorted miscellaneous. No pictures of sheep, or vendors, or even massive crowd shots. Not like that’s a change of behavoir for me. Can’t remember the last time I came back from a festival with loads of festival pictures for everyone. We’ll get by. K?
Anyway, Ms. Kat and I have developed the Saturday crowd coping mechanism of attending the used equipment auction. Last year, I got a little sunburned, so this year, I made sure to remember to pack sunscreen.
Next year, I’ll try to remember to actually apply it. That white stripe is where my fitbit charge sat during the auction. At least I remembered to use my facial moisturizer that has sunscreen in it. No facial burns this year. Yay me. We’ll ignore that both arms look like this, as well as my knees because I was wearing shorts. Heh.
I discovered a safety feature in my car. At the 4 hour or so mark, it popped a warning up on the dashboard:
Nice eh? I hit the OK button and continued driving And yes it was 83F on Sunday during the drive home. The weather was gorgeous for the whole weekend! It was really nice to be outside and enjoying the sunny instead of instead tanning by light of CRT.. or LCD screen these days.
Acquisitions you ask? Yes. There were a few. We were rather restrained this year as the stash is beyond SABLE at this point, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t do our part for the economy. Kat and I each got two spindles from the Bosworths, a couple of batts from Cris/ITW and some other assorted things. The bigger purchase was something that I’ve had before and have really missed.
Yup. A new Lendrum Upright has joined the herd. I got the complete this time. It came with that big ball of purple wool blend that Kat picked out. I started spinning it up last night.
I should have a nice worsted weight three ply out of this, with enough yardage to make the little (not so little) miss a sweater. I might be on the prowl for a super fast flyer for the wheel. I didn’t even know he made them, color me surprised when I discovered them!
Yesterday I introduced one of the new spindles, a Bosworth Baby Moosie (have the details at home but its somewhere around 20g), to the commute. Did some spinning at lunch and on the train last night before it pulled out of the station. The fiber is some alpaca/silk (70/30) that I picked up from Gale’s Art at the festival.
April 7th, 2015 · Comments Off on Done
As predicted, the socks, they are finished.
I bound off on the train home last night. After dinner I wove in the ends and proclaimed them finished. Most definitely fraternal twins, of which I am definitely partial 😉 It was definitely nice knitting with my handspun again and I must remember to do it more often. Having to go sifting through the stash to see where I hid it all. Project details are here.
So. After finishing those, I needed a purse project for today’s commute (and to continue along the 12 in 15 plan). A quick dip into the yarn basket next to my nightly knitting chair revealed this pretty:
The yarn is from itw, colorway is 221B in a SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. This had to be a festival purchase. Your guess is as good as mine as to which festival, though if forced to guess, I’d say MDSW 2014. I wound it up last night while helping Kathryn with her homework and explaining Operator Precedence. I don’t remember learning that in 5th grade. She was having problems getting the order right based on the mnemonic that she learned in school that had multiplication taking precedence over division and addition over subtraction. Fortunately, I was able to guide her to safety, and had a wound cake of yarn ready for this morning’s commute. I cast on after getting on the train and took this picture as the ferry was approaching the pier. These socks will be 56 stitches on a US0.
And I have to say, awesome game yesterday!
April 6th, 2015 · Comments Off on Almost…
Last time, I had just bound off the first sock with plans to cast on the second. I did just that. Thursday night on the way home, the second sock was started. Then on Friday, I had a bit of extra knitting time. First was a scheduling thing for the ferry. Didn’t realize that they were running a holiday schedule on Friday, so instead of every 15 minutes, the ferry was only running every 30 minutes. I’d been standing there knitting the sock for 15 minutes before I noticed. Yay bonus. Friday is also team lunch day so I knit during lunch. Then on the way home for the first Seder, I muffed the train schedule and had a somewhat long wait in Hoboken. Long story short, I was well past the heel before the weekend started. Here’s the sock this morning on the train:
I didn’t even touch the thing over the weekend. I was busy doing other stuff, like support spindling, starting a secret project, fixing the Pegasus and a pile of laundry. I made pretty good progress this morning and when I head home this evening, I shall be starting the ribbing.
And in celebration of opening day (which should be a holiday!), I changed my wraps last night.
Craft on! Play ball!
April 2nd, 2015 · Comments Off on One Down
Woot. Thanks to actually concentrating on the sock, and a bonus amount of knitting time last night as we went out for dinner, I finished the first sock while on the ferry this morning. Here it is lounging next to the ferry pier after I got off the boat.
Thanks to the early A.M. sun actually shining, the colors are a bit washed out. The blue reads a much deeper blue. I’ll cast on the second sock on the way home tonight.
Thanks to a couple of Jamberry parties on Facebook a few weeks back, I found a nifty way to “polish” my nails without giving up the drying time, sitting idle. As someone who barely bothered with the nails (pedis are a totally different matter), I’m really enjoying these wraps. They’re just cool. Here’s what I’m wearing now. The wraps come on a sheet with enough for two manis and two pedis.
Less than an hour later I have this:
I took these pictures Sunday and the wraps are still going strong. No lifting, no peeling, nothin! Best yet, I have ridges that run the length of my nails that I don’t need to buff off in order to get these babies to stick on properly. I’m sold