Friday, September 22, 2006

Brrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . . . .

Does anyone realize just how much it's rained lately??? The grass has greened up, the Manning Park fire is out & I've been cold all week. Part of this may be the remains of the virus that took me out last weekend but I really believe most of it's due to the sudden demise of summer.
I woke up the other morning with frozen feet! I've been too warm for most of this year - I show up sweaterless & jacketless with the sweat dripping off my forehead to most events. I've lived in shorts and thongs since January! I gave up wearing my own socks because I was too warm & now, with fall upon us, the rain is making everything damp & I'm cold! Is it the weather or have my hormones given up at last??? I'm knitting as fast as I can . . . .

Here's a pic of the latest pair of socks. The tops aren't really a different color, I guess I'm still not very good with the camera! The tops are the same as the foot but seem to be in the shadow so they look different. I was wondering what to do with the toes when Kathy whipped out the ball of purple that matched the purple in the socks perfectly - how does she DO that anyway??? I've already cast-on another pair in the BT's favorite black/white splotchy Confetti so he'll have some new snuggly socks for winter. I don't know what color toes they'll get but I will probably do the solid stripe of color before the colored toe like last time - he really loved those ones!!

Meanwhile . . . . the squares continue. I've picked out a couple of pink & grey ones which I think I'll keep for patch pockets on my grey handspun, Arvik sweater to be. And I'm debating whether to start knitting on the sweater as I'm spinning it or to finish my fuschia wool jacket that was started last year. The jacket is lovely but much heavier than I need right now. I'm wondering if I should just get it in gear & knit a light sweater quickly - I'll use a lace pattern to keep it light.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Best Laid Plans . . . .

My spinning & knitting buddy Gail & I had plans to go to the Ryder Lake Spin-In this weekend. We talked about little else this past week! We were dying to meet a fellow spinner/blogger of Wovenflame fame, Marlene. We even remembered to pack our favorite coffee cups. I woke up with what felt like a really bad hangover - hey, I only had a couple of brown cows the nite before!!! Dragged myself out of bed, took gravol & ibuprofen & managed to get some tea down . . . . got to Gail's house to find her in worse shape. I don't remember her being invited to the party!! I was white as a ghost but poor Gail was actually green. She was willing to go so she didn't spoil my day & vice versa for me. We decided to go back to bed! I know I slept most of the day. And I know where this came from. We are going to put Laura in a garbage can head first!

And the squares continue . . .

Just more of the bits & pieces I've been knitting up. Took a sampling to my sock knitting group & the gang told me I was nuts to think about putting them into a sweater because the colors vary too much, sigh . . . I didn't SAY I had any color sense or fashion couth! They're just too pretty to hide away at home on the couch . . . . . but I guess they're right. The Fashion Police would come & take me away.

The weekend got off to a lousy start but I have plans to spend most of today on my spinning wheel! And what will I do with all the money I saved from NOT going to the Spin-In??? Well, I just might buy some more CYAN & MAGENTA dyes so I can have some more great squares!!! Or I might dye up some yarn to knit pockets & collar or a yoke on my shetland sweater-to-be.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Nice Little Surprise

My knitting pal Gail sent this photo over the other day - I laughed out loud when I saw it! I met her little cat Evie one Saturday when we decided to have a spinning session at Gail's house. Apparently Evie is very shy & hides when people come over. But, I guess I smelled right & she made herself at home in my lap for most of the afternoon . . . . . Evie has good taste - this is one of Gail's felted bags!

Speaking of photos - Kathy sent over a couple of photos of her 'Fishing Socks' on the feet of her Fisherman!!
And the start of her current socks - I meant to get them posted but my Mail program crashed, taking with it all my addresses, saved documents & scads of unread mail!! Managed to fix the problem - it kept telling me I had 4000+ unread emails!! Not even I can get that far behind!! Sooooooooooo TADA!! Kathy's socks . . . This is the current sock in progress. She's actually turning the heels on these right now & I think she said these ones are for her daughter.

As for me - well, I'm trying to finish the current sock but other things keep getting in the way . . . like cold breezes & drafts! I keep thinking about finishing one of those damned sweaters in time for the fall weather - which seems to have arrived TODAY!! So, I've been knitting a lot of squares. I have a whole lot of unspun dyed batts in the basket as well as spun dye exeperiment yarn in balls. So, I've been knitting 8" dishcloth squares in handspun. I like the diagonal dishcloth pattern. Its simple yet elegant in its own way & the diagonals show off the color changes in the handspun. Not sure whether these will end up in an afghan or a sweater but they are on my mind, in my hands & on the needles these days. Maybe its like that finger itch you get in the early spring when you just have to go out & dig in the earth & plant seeds. Turning leaves give me that finger itch that means I have to knit something large & warm for the winter!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Cat Who Loves Fibre

Tigger loves fibre & anything made from fibre.
Sometimes I come home to find her head end rolled up in the latest project & her back end sticking out. Sometimes she just pulls the knit blanket off the couch or chair to lay on if she can't get on the furniture. Fresh fleece has to be kept in the bag or she'll roll in it. The bag of dog fur has to be put waaaaaaaay on top of something tall or she'll have the bag torn open & the contents made into a bed. Funny thing though . . . she doesn't go for yarn. No interest in the sock I'm knitting. Hasn't tried out the fluffy skeins of handspun. Doesn't play with stray strands of leftover yarns.

I've got a hole in my sock. This is the very first hole I've ever had in any of my handmade socks!!! If you look really closely just above where the green square heel is, you'll see the hole where the yarn has broken & pulled away from the heel flap. I have no idea why this happened. Maybe I picked up a partial stitch, maybe there was a weak spot in the yarn, maybe this is a spot where I tug them on or off . . . Gives me a good reason to stay with the new heel style that I've learned where I DON'T pick up stitches at all - I increase 1 stitch on either side of my heel stitches every second row until I have a fan of increases which look just like a gusset. Sometimes I just short-row the heel - a la Jan - from there if I'm in a hurry or continue with turning a heel flap & then short-rowing - a la Queen Kahuna - if I have more time. I still use the knit1, slip 1 on my main heel stitches for that 'cushie' padded heel. This type of heel sure is easier on the aging eyes!!! And after the first couple of pairs, I can do it in my sleep!

As fall continues to creep into our lives, I'm trying to finish some of my sweater projects. My 'Ginny' is coming along. I got tired of the body & am now knitting rapidly down the sleeves on circular needles. I'm planning a 3/4 sleeve for this - hope it looks alright. And I've spun up another fat skein of Shetland for my handspun sweater.
I also have a growing pile of 8" squares of dyed handspun that I've made as 'swatches'. I wanted to see what some dyed yarns looked like when knit up or to feel the fabric that different plies make. I was going to make a blanket but I may just crochet them together to make a light sweater . . . . or put them between solid squares. I like portable projects & I may just get a sweater for myself sooner if I make it portable. Just a thought.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I hate travelling on busy roads on a holiday weekend so I always stay home & putter around the ole Hacienda. Washed the kitchen & bathroom floors, blew the dust off some boxes & peered inside, threw away some junk I've been 'meaning to get to' SOMEDAY. Discovered a couple of unfinished projects & picked some ripe tomatoes.

I dug out the "Ginny's" sweater I started months ago & knit a couple of rows - I think I'll just finish it. The pattern comes from Medrith Glover who designs for the Ample figure - she's really reasonable & I bought several of her patterns including a Voluminous Vest knit in one piece which I intend to knit soon!!
Ginny's is knit mostly in recycled Scheepsjwool Luzern in grape tweed although I've used some lavender tweed and that wild pink yarn with turquoise & hot pink blobs in it - I only found one ball darnit!! I've knit it from the top down to make that deep V in front, back & down each arm. I used a mixture of yarns for the top and the grape Luzern for the main body. The small pic of the bobbly yarn shows the actual color of the grape yarn - for some reason the sweater is much pinker in the photo!! I enjoyed wearing the two sweaters this recycled yarn came from. I knit them up originally back in the 80s when yarn stores were few & far between. I found a delightful one over in PoCo in a mini mall that discounted yarn at the end of the season & believe me, I bought plenty of it!! I think I have this Luzern in all three of the purples it came in as well as a light blue. I eventually just got tired of the sweaters & reycled them . . . .

I've also been spinning up some grey shetland wool from a sheep named Arvik - love that fleece!! It comes in greys from light to almost black which you can see in the skeins. The wool is so lovely I've been spinning it right from the fleece. I had 5 fat skeins hanging from the skein rack but I wound two up into balls so I could knit a swatch in two ply just to see what it would look like. Since I'd like to wear this sweater THIS year, I intend to knit it up in two-ply although I love the light, airy fabric it makes when knit as one-ply. It just takes too long to knit wool gauze to fit my very ample self!!! This sweater will also be a light cardigan that I can wear instead of a jacket since I drive everywhere & don't really need a cold weather garment, especially in our climate.

I was playing around with double seed stitch on the swatch but it isn't really visible in this yarn so I'll probably use a garter stitch combined with stockinette & let the color & the rustic quality of the yarn shine thru.

And thats what I did on MY holiday weekend!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


The Frankensocks are done! They were great fun actually - I started them off the same but decided to just carry on with the bits & pieces I could find that related to the existing colors somehow. Most of the scraps I have left have BLUE in common, not RED which is the recipient's favorite color. So, I've done what I could with the scraps I had left . . . I think they'll be satisfactory though.

Although I have another pair on the needles - I'm going to concentrate on spinning up my Shetland so I can get started on that fall sweater. Fall is in the air. I saw my first red tree this past week. Although the days are warm - even HOT, it sure cools down quickly when the sun goes down!! Fall, is my favorite season . . . I love the warm days full of sunshine, fruits & veggies. I used to produce a lot of canned fruits, jams, pickles & relishes this time of year . . . but don't bother now that I'm on my own. Sometimes I really miss canning & pickling. But, now I make fall wine instead!!