One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Entries Tagged as 'Ballerina'

Finishing Things

September 28th, 2009 · 9 Comments

The last 4 or 5 days have been primarily about finishing off projects. ¬†Partly because it is a new year, but mostly because NYSW is coming up and I need to justify the purchases 😉

Thursday night at SnB, I finished the socks from the Into the Whirled that I apparently bought from Cris at the Clermont festival during the spring.  As a reminder, I spun it on the Victoria over the July 4th holiday.  I just loved working with it!


Full project details are here (Ravelry). ¬†This means I can buy more fiber from her 😉

Saturday, I spent the day with an old hobby that has gotten the short straw. ¬†Every now and again I really get the weaving bug. ¬†Well, I got it again. ¬†Nope, didn’t get the big floor loom out of storage, nor did I use the table top loom I bought last fall. ¬†I did get my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle out of storage and used that. ¬†As a matter of full disclosure, I’ve placed an order for a 20″ Schacht Flip RH loop with stand that should be delivered tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait. ¬†We’ll also ignore the 16″ Ashford RH that I have still in the box. ¬†I have since sold the Kromski and am debating selling the Ashford. ¬†But I might keep it for the kids to use. ¬†We’ll see.

Anyway, I had picked up at MY from the 50% off shelf a couple of skeins of Rowan Handknit Cotton. ¬†I know, Risa bought cotton. ¬† I still won’t knit with it, but weaving is a different story 😉 ¬† I warped up the Kromski using the 10 dent heddle with 160 ends approx 62″ each. ¬†That direct warping method is amazing. ¬†I had it fully dressed and ready to weave in an hour and a half. ¬†AMAZING! ¬†Even more amazing, I finished weaving by dinner time. ¬†I had a miscalculation somewhere and while I was aiming for two kitchen towels, I wound up with one 14.5″ x 25″ (plus fringe) and one that was quite a bit shorter at washcloth length. ¬†I ran it through the sewing machine on Sunday to zigzag the ends in place.



I’m pleased. ¬†Looking forward to the new loom to arrive so I can eat up some more yarn. ¬†I’m thinking this year’s teacher gifts will be woven scarf/shawls. ¬†I saw examples on Ravelry of gorgeous scarves woven from one skein of Noro Sock. ¬†I have a few of them skeins! ¬†Though I figure for teacher gifts that I was thinking a sock yarn that is soft and squooshy and kettle dyed. ¬†Tina, you have anything like that? 🙂

While I had the sewing machine out, I remembered the fair isle cardigan that has been moldering waiting for me to sew the steek.  So I pulled it out and finally did it.  After cleaning up the sewing area of lots of cut yarn (think fringe), I grabbed the button tin and picked out some lovelies for the sweater.  By dinner the bands had been knitted and the buttons sewed on.


I said I had been busy.  Full project details are here.

While I was busy finishing things, there was something else that needed finishing. ¬†Ballerina. ¬†Over the last couple of weeks I’d finished the last short row triangle for the front, picked up and knitted the front band. ¬†The only thing remaining was the white bands at the ends of the sleeves, sewing the arm and weaving in ends. ¬†By 1opm last night, I was done.


Now I have my choice of Rhinebeck sweater 😉 ¬†Project details are here.

This meant I had no active knitting projects. ¬†That just isn’t acceptable! 🙂 ¬†So today while trying to keep my mind off food, I pulled out the border leicester yarn. ¬†I spun this yarn on the Van Eaton wheel and plied a couple of weekends ago on the Womack. ¬†That was ALOT of plying. ¬†Two bumps of roving purchased last year at NYSW translated into 1500 yards of worsted weight yarn.


I pulled out my favorite book, A Fine Fleece, ¬†and cast on for Rhinebeck. ¬† It tickles me no end to be knitting a sweater named that with fiber I bought there. ¬†There’s an outside chance I could finish it FOR Rhinebeck. ¬†Now wouldn’t that be something!


Craft on!

Tags: Adult · Ballerina · Socks · Weaving

Monday Again

July 27th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Well another week has begun. ¬†My birthday last week was very nice. ¬†I thank you all for your birthday wishes. ¬†I had a lovely lunch with Kim and¬†Deborah at a nearby Thai place. ¬†Thank you ladies! ¬†Mom made my favorite meal for dinner. ¬†The kids made birthday cards for me at school. ¬†Awwww. ¬†The folks took advantage of my Amazon Wishlist and bought me a new lens for my big girl camera. ¬†All in all, an excellent birthday. ¬†Much better than the ones with a bad ankle or coxsackie virus 😉

I even made some knitting progress:


I started the center of the sleeve stripes this morning on the train.  I would have been further along, but I spent the weekend without touching the needles once.  Or a wheel.  Or even spindles.  I know, totally amazing.  What did I do?  Well..

I took the twins to a dude ranch in Northeast PA to spend the weekend with the SMC (Single Mothers by Choice)¬†Multiple-Mom’s second annual get together. ¬†There were 10 of us mommies, each with twins or better. ¬†Two of the 10 have an additional singleton and one mommy has triplets. ¬†Doing the math, that was 10 mommies, 2 helpers, 9 sets of twins, 1 set of triplets and 2 siblings = 12 adults, 23 children.

Wow. ¬†It was fun! ¬†The bulk of the kids were about the same age, within a year of my kids, give or take. ¬†They travelled in little packs, enjoying the freedom the contained grounds offered. ¬†There was always at least one mommy with the particular pack so they weren’t totally free. And the mommies enjoyed the time together, being with others who totally get it.

Here are some pictures from the weekend:






It was awesome.

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina · Family

Busy pier

July 22nd, 2009 · 14 Comments

Last Thursday saw lots of activity on the piers of the waterfront on the lower east side.

First, on Pier 11, I decided that it was time to show that I actually do still knit.  So after my ferry docked, I delayed my arrival at the office for a picture of the current project.


Yup. ¬†Ballerina is back in active rotation. ¬†Though I shouldn’t really call it rotation because it is the only thing I’m knitting. ¬†Progress has been made beyond this point too. ¬†On the way home and at SnB that night, I finished the raglan shaping and started the short rows necessary for the sleeve. ¬†The back, she is now finis.

I was nearly late for SnB that night as my ferry was late to leave for Hoboken.  There was activity on the pier to the south of us.  That one is a heliport.  We had a distinguished visitor in town.



Sorry for the less than stellar shots. ¬†I was hoping for excellent pictures as the ferry motored past the heliport. ¬†Except the larger ferry, the Sea Streak, took off at the same time and forced us wide. ¬†The lighting was also less than ideal, but I think you get the idea. ¬†There’s Marine One (and the decoy), as well as some pretty big escort choppers. ¬†Cool, eh? ¬†As always you can click to embiggen.

Today is my birthday and I’m having lunch with Kim!

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina

Lap of Wool

August 21st, 2008 · 4 Comments

I’m certainly living a lap of wool these days.¬† Maybe it is a good thing that the temps have dropped a bit.¬† Ballerina is getting to be a big girl and taking more and more lap.¬† And she’s most definitely wool.¬† A nice hearty shetland wool.

I sat outside yesterday after having my lunch and finished the mid-back gusset.¬† Between the commutes and the ball game watching last night, I’m two stripes short of finishing the striped section.

I wasn’t going to finish the row before the end of the ferry ride so no lazing on the bench picture for her today.¬† You get the crumpled up lap-o-wool on ferry shot instead.

I’m heading to W.O.O.L. 2008 tomorrow for the weekend so I hope to make some progress on her.¬† I’m also bringing Ladybug and fiber.¬† I think I’ll leave the NZAK at home so I can concentrate on the actual projects I have going (Ballerina and baby sweater yarn).¬† The twins will be with my folks on a boat trip to Kingston NY for the weekend.¬† They’ll be going with another boat, the dentist, his wife and their two granddaughters.¬† I have the house to myself tonight as they’re heading to the boat after dinner.¬† I’ll probably hit the road tomorrow after a leisurely breakfast and miss the morning rush.¬† I’m really looking forward!¬† So no post from me until probably Monday when I’ll be enjoying a recovery day at home.

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina

Still Summer

August 20th, 2008 · 9 Comments

I know my calendar still reads August but apparently Mother Nature missed that memo.  It was COLD here this morning.  Cold for August that is.  Very warm for say, January.  Naturally my kids both had to wear shorts and Kat insisted on a sleeveless shirt.  At least I got them both to put on sweaters.  Weirdos.  This is what the car reported as I headed toward the daycare center..

And yes, I wore a sweater today too.  Ribby!

Another interesting site this morning.

My office is right next to the South Street Seaport and periodically there’s a mounted cop nearby.¬† I see him more often in the morning while I’m on my way in.¬† Usually they are walking along Front Street, but today, they were just standing there.¬† Hanging out.¬† Pretty horse.¬† Cop wasn’t so bad either 😉

Okay.. moving along.¬† I’ve hit the MIDWAY point on Ballerina now.¬† YAY!¬† Two weeks of monogamous knitting and I’ve done a quarter of this sweater.¬† Damn that’s alot of little garter stitches.¬† I slogged my way through first first half of the mid-back gusset while watching the Sox-Orioles game on the puter.¬† Figured out that i can configure my mac with a hot corner so that it disables the screen saver.¬† I got to sit back and watch while I knit, with ironically the 32″ flat screen tv behind the monitor.¬† Need to find if i can output my ‘puter video to the tv!¬† Anyway, here’s Ballerina during her photo shoot this morning.

This gusset is a twin to the one to the right.¬† After this will be another set of 17 stripes matching the previous one.¬† Oh yeah, the second half of the sweater is a mirror to the first with the increases now becoming decreases!¬† Doing some rudimentary math, if I can maintain this monogamy, Ballerina will be done in some 4 weeks.¬† Yeah, I don’t think I can focus that long either 😉

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina


August 19th, 2008 · 6 Comments

Call another section of Ballerina done. I finished the striped section before the center back solid blue gusset while on the ferry this morning. Here’s the requisite shot of her lounging on the bench alongside the East River.

I thought I’d get a slightly different angle to shake it up a bit. The next piece is another wedge shaped inset in the solid blue. After that, the second half is just a mirror of the first. At least I’m making progress.

Yesterday during lunch I took a field trip to Purl Soho for a little mitten yarn shopping. I’ve decided against the cable mitts from Vogue. I actually read the pattern and found two things that turned me off: slipped stitches in the palm and {gulp} bobbles. How I missed seeing the yarn zits in the picture is beyond me. I’ll either return the yarn I bought, or buy a coordinating color or two to make a few Zilboorg mittens. After surfing more, I found the mittens that I do want to make.

I picked up some Cascade 220 in a charcoal grey and the lightests of pinks.¬† For the lining, I selected a creamy white Blue Sky’s Alpaca Silk.¬† I neglected to get a picture of the yarns last night, maybe tonight.¬†¬† I’ll bring them with me to W.O.O.L. this weekend.

Finally, last night I sat down to knit and listen to the Sox game on XM.  Now, my bedroom is on the Southwest corner of the house.  Unfortunately, the antenna for the XM needs to face North/East.  I get signal to some extent, but it tends to cut out.  Alot.  I finally had enough last night and remembered an email I recently to try MLB.TV for free for 5 days.  What the heck, I decided to give it a try.  How cool is this?

I love my Mac 😉

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina

Mixed Bag

August 18th, 2008 · 7 Comments

This weekend was very much a mixed bag.  I was happy it was the weekend, but not happy with it all at the same time.  I woke up with a hearty headache on Saturday morning.  In all true, I went to sleep with it Friday night after playing the expansion pack to Puzzle Quest far too late.

I had an 11:45 dentist appointment that didn’t help matters.¬† My dentist is starting to replace my old silver amalgam fillings with new fangled material and I have a bunch of fillings.¬† Some of the Novocaine seeped into my jaw joint and stiffened the hell out of it.¬† I couldn’t open my mouth.¬† However, we were working on the last two lower teeth and well, the dentist had to force my jaw open.¬† I hate to say it, but it is still stiff and a bit sore, but nothing like it was on Saturday.¬† Add that to the existing headache.

While the kids played in the pool, I tried to ignore the head and jaw and took to outside for a bit.¬† Here’s the garden this year:

It is right up against the back of the house, across the walk from the pool.¬† Got a picture of bandit as a bonus.¬† This year we have basil, oregano (the two unruly plants closest to Bandit), peppers and a couple of varieties of tomatoes.¬† There really isn’t anything like fresh off the vine tomatoes!¬† And we’ve had some vandals this year too.¬† This is what some furry vandal left on the ground in the garden..

This vandal didn’t even bother to knock down the tomato!

Fortunately they’ve left more than they’ve damaged so we’ve gotten to eat a goodly bunch of these red yummies.¬† I spent the winter putting Bandit’s droppings in the soil so it is nicely enriched this year.¬† He’s earning his keep.¬† Sorta.¬† And now he’s blowing his tiny little fuzzy coat so I’m going to get some fiber from him too.¬† We’ll see how much that works out to be 😉

Saturday evening the twins had a birthday party to go to.¬† With a DJ and clown!¬† Not great with a headache.¬† But it wasn’t so bad.¬† First party for a 5 year old that really took into account that the parents stay.¬† Had tasty adult beverages for us, as well as yummy adult food on top of the juice and pizza for the kids.¬† I hung out with a couple of the other mommies and had a pretty decent time.¬†¬† AFter getting the kids to bed, I finally felt good enough to knit and watch some TV.¬† Saw Michael Phelps hit the 8 medal milestone and turned in for the night.

Sunday was a bit better, but I still had the headache.¬†¬† I hung by the pool knitting while dad swam with the kids.¬† I’ve made significant progress on Ballerina and here is where she is now. The requisite East River bench shot.

Notice that I finished the back raglan striping.  I also did the first of three blue gussets on the the back.  The current striped section calls for 17 stripes and increases on 3 of them.  Thank goodness for the new swiss army knife like gadget that now lives in my purse.

Thanks to the help of StitchMinder, I’m tracking on the top counter how many stripes are left to do (can set it to count in reverse), stripes between increases (second counter down) and on the last counter, the number of increases I’ve done!¬† I loves this app.¬† BTW, you don’t need an iPhone to use it, but can also get this bad boy on an iPod Touch!¬† The next thing I need on my iPhone is the equivalent of the spreadsheet I’ve been toting around on my Palm Pilot for years, yarn yardage requirements…or a quick cheat sheet for the kitchener stitch since I can never remember how to start it.¬† I think I’ll develop something like that for my Learning to Program for iPhone¬† project.¬† Any other suggestions as to what would be good in a knitting app?

Oh and the pink Sony headphones?¬† I realized in the car this morning that I’d left my Sennheiser earphones at home.¬† Kat loaned me these.¬† They are hers for using with the DVD player in the car.¬† What a sweetie?¬† But yes, I’ll be using the apple earbuds I have at the office for the ride home.

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina


August 15th, 2008 · 7 Comments

So yesterday I mentioned that I was thinking about doing mittens. Seems like a good idea yes? I need a small purse project and I’m somewhat out of love with socks again. And we can always use new mittens. I headed for my knitting bookshelf in the basement and came back with this small selection:

Why yes, I do have a few mitten books. I spent the next hour flipping through, getting all excited about a pattern, mentally reviewing stash and what Modern Yarn carries only to pile em all back up and move em back to the basement. I also sort of decided to let the twins have some voice in what I make them this year. I went back to knitting Ballerina and took it happily off to SnB last night.

I mentioned my mitten book excitement and how I couldn’t settle down on a pair at SnB. I was also looking at a newly restocked collection of Rowan Felted Tweed. Paige suggested Jared’s mittens in the new Vogue Knitting. So…

+ = mitten project.

I actually bought enough of the Felted Tweed so that I can fudge a coordinating hat and perhaps neck wrap of some sort.

While I was at it, I flipped through both Vogue and the fall IK.¬†¬† I have to admit, I’m underwhelmed by the IK and am not sorry that I’ve let my subscription lapse.¬† As to Vogue, I’ve never been a big fan as there were far more of the “what where they thinking” kind of projects as compared to something that I would actually knit.¬† I have to say, I really like this issue.¬† There were at least 4 sweaters that I’d love to make and a whole collection of mittens.¬† Awesome.

No, I haven’t started the mittens yet, need to dig out the DPN’s, so I worked on Ballerina during my commute.

The short rows are getting quite long!¬† I’m this close..

.. to finishing up this striped section and working the solid blue gusset that sits next to the middle back stripes.¬† You know, that sentence makes no sense even to me and I KNOW the pattern! Suffice it to say that that little clump of blue stitches on the needle are what are left to be eaten up in the “short” rows.

I’m somewhat amazed at how much progress I can make on a particular project when working solely on it.¬† Project monogamy:¬† who knew?!¬† I haven’t touched anything since Ballerina returned to¬† active duty.¬† I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I’ve made this much progress, but I am.¬† I do need to put something in my purse as Ballerina lives in my small tote bag and doesn’t go everywhere with me.¬† I’ve been caught sans knitting recently, like on the iPhone line, because of that state.¬† I did pick up some new sock yarn last night as well, and nearly started the a pair this morning, but I hates the circs that I brought.¬† Cable is far too enthusiastic for me.¬† I might have to venture out at lunchtime and pick up new ones.¬† Maybe Century 21 for a new purse and then to Seaport for DPNS.¬† sounds like a plan.¬† Then I can knit this yarn….

I know, socks??!¬† What a concept 😉

Craft on (and have a wonderful weekend!)

Tags: Ballerina · Socks · Stash Enhancement

Ballerina Fatigue

August 14th, 2008 · 2 Comments

…not for me mind you. I’m still worried that ya’ll are tiring of this, maybe not now but another couple of weeks as it slowly creeps along fatigue will creep in. I’ll have to toss in something else to spare ya. For some odd reason, I’m not feeling the sock love. Shame since there is all that sock yarn, but that won’t go to waste, not with the NZAK sitting next to me. Oh yeah, I’m working from home today.

For probably the first time ever, I had a thought yesterday on the ferry that perhaps I should start working on hats/mittens/scarves for the shorties (and me) prior to the cold weather setting in. Instead of waiting for frozen fingers to start th projects, I could really start now and actually be prepared. I know. Shocking. Scared me too 😉 I wonder if getting Folk Knitting in Estonia from the IK Hurt Book sale probably has something to do with the desire to knit cute mittens eh?

While we wait for warm accessory inspiration to settle down into actual project, I’ll continue making progress on Ballerina.¬† I had extra knitting time yesterday between lunch with Kim and Deborah (who I had yet to meet!).¬† Lunch ended all too soon as I had a 2pm technical conference call with a client.¬† At least I was able to knit while on the phone.¬† Befuddled my coworker who was in the room with me while she watched me knit as I explained the configuration requirements of the software program I’d written.¬†¬† And then last night, after finally getting some late work done, I settled down with Ballerina and the Sox game on ESPN.¬†¬† I think I made decent progress, what do you think?

I think she’s coming along nicely!¬† It continues to grow one stitch at the hem edge every 6th ridge.¬† I’m tracking that with the help of this new app on my iPhone.¬† StitchMinder.¬† It’s pretty good.¬† Good timing too.¬† I was planning on trying to write something similar myself.¬† Picked up a couple of books on Saturday from B&N on coding for the Mac.¬† Signed up with the Mac Developers group and downloaded the iPhone SDK (software development kit) only to find that I needed to have Mac OSX Leopard installed.¬† I was still running Tiger, but fortunately my MacBook came with Leopard in the box if not on the computer.¬† I dug it out from where I had stashed the disk and got to upgrading. All is installed and I’ve started learning the language.¬† It isn’t much different from the others in concept, just the syntax.¬† Shouldn’t be too hard.

SnB tonight so expect more progress on Ballerina, even if I am working at home today and will lose the commute knitting.¬† I hope to make it up at the store 🙂

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina · Geek Stuff

The Will of the People

August 13th, 2008 · 5 Comments

I gave ya’ll a chance yesterday, but it seems that Ballerina is a fan favorite.¬† Maybe not quite the appeal of Kauni Damask (which should be back in work shortly – I do want to wear her to Rhinebeck), but popular nonetheless.¬† Okay, this morning I stopped knitting a row short of where I could have on the ferry so as to get a good flat picture.

I finished the sleeve bits last night, including binding off the provisional cast on.¬† At some point, I’ll go back and sew the seam.¬† I’ve moved on to knitting the back, restoring the side seam stitches that have been hanging about on a spare needle since starting the sleeve.¬† With that done, I am now finally back to using ONE needle 🙂

The back IS longer than the front.¬† Every couple of ridges, there is an increase at the hem edge.¬† That is what I’m tracking with that pink yarn running in and out.

And a closer look at the striped raglan seam progressing on the back.

That’s about it, I’ve got to go finish up a custom SQL script for a customer who totally screwed their implementation last year after being warned a number of time who now want it cleaned up.¬† Sigh.

Craft on!

Tags: Ballerina