Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surprise Delivery

When I got home today, after enduring the annual Mammogram, (always fun) waiting on my bed was my fleece from Zeilingers. This is a blend of brown shetland I got a year ago from a friend and the lambs first fleece Katie gave me at the fair this past August. The transformation from dirty, lanolin laden wool to soft and sumptous roving is amazing. I love it. The white is so soft and sort of surrounds the brown Shetland. The two colors should be great when spun together. Also it is so fun the way its packed into that tiny box and then just explodes into lovey loftiness--notice how it is so much bigger than the box it just came in?

I think I will have to put a handspun and hand knit hat on my queue for Katie. I have a pattern for a great hat for doing chores, it even keeps the neck covered.

I mentioned before how, now that the boys have both moved out I have become the designated farm hand. Now that Hubby has Bro-in-Law working on the room (one paint coat down, one to go. --no picture yet.), he is free to start cutting some of the slab wood he has piled up between the garage and barn. The path has been getting quit narrow, and dangerous to traverse in the dark, since it blocks the yard light. Since some of the pieces he has brought home are 12 feet long, or more, you just know who has been drafted into helping. Basically I just hold the end of the slab until he has it cut down to a more manageable length. He does have it down to a science. His buzz saw runs off the tractor, he puts the 2 wheeled trailer on the lawn tractor and cuts and tosses into the wagon. And remember the 4ft barn fan he had in the house to blow out the dry wall dust? He plugged that in outside so even thought it was close to 80 degrees and past my comfort level, we had a delightful breeze.

Paint and everything

Wow, can you believe it? The first coat of paint is hitting the walls today, after baseboard and window trim go up. Frankly I was hoping to have trim put up later, and painted white, but hey, if the work is getting done and even if it all ends up being green, at least I can get my yarn and roving moved into the room quicker. Maybe I better let Jane know she can get my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel stained and assembled. The room will be ready for it soon.
At knit night last night, Jane unpacked her new Majacraft spinning wheel and before it was even out of the


box, Cindy had claimed it. It is a Millie; an adorable little wheel, looking sort of like a chair. It is quiet and smooth running and Cindy was in raptures over it. Here is a picture, Isn't it cute?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Funky Post? Plus--Craft Room is Cruisin'

I have no idea why Sunday's post is so funky looking.  It is acting like I have several invisible pictures messing with the borders.  Humph. 
I neglected to mention some of the improvements on my craft room.  I think Hubby has given in and accepted the fact that I am claiming the entire room AND closet.   Even the extra drawers the boys left I am sure I can manage to fill. 
In all our weekend trips to Menards, neglected to state some of our purchases for the room.  We picked out a medium green with an egshell finish in a green called Green Silk.  And there was laminate flooring on sale, a natural oak color.  The paint guy was worried that the room would be too dark, since we are painting all 4 walls and the ceiling with the same color.  But since the room has two windows facing south and west, I think it will have plenty of light coming in.  Plus the flooring is a very light color so that will help too.
Bro-in-law Carl and his friend are back today sanding off the lumpy dry wall putty and putting on a finish coat.  Then--on to the painting.  I am hoping they will get into that mess this weekend when I am gone. 


I'm Still Knitting and Spinning

I have still been spinning and knitting. I just haven't had time to blog about it. With the "construction crew" here and with me making "go-fer" trips (3 times to Menard's in 3 days!) I haven't had time to type about it is all.

The Rose Green (or Green Rose) cardigan is going strong, both pockets are done and on holders waiting for the body to catch up. I am maybe half way there. I am pleased with the way the sloped, although perhaps could have decreased a little more in the beginning. I have been estimating the stitches needed for sleeves and the cuffs. I can't wait to see how it turns out. I am hoping it won't be crap when I am done. But either way, I am enjoying the process. I lay it out on the picnic table and you can see I have a way to go to fuse the pockets and the body yet. Tom Kitty seems to think it looks pretty good. And tasty too.

A few weeks ago I shared my first roving from the Spunky Eclectic club. I finally started spinning at guild last Friday. I have about one ball finished and have this much. Probably will have not quite 2 full bobbins when I finish the whole bag. It has some more purple, but right now it is buried in the middle of the bobbin. I hope to get some more done. I have several bits I plan on taking with me this week to the Lamb and Wool festival in West Branch. Jane needed me to drive her up and we decided last week to leave Friday evening instead of at 4am Saturday. In addition to my Joy, I will also have either my sweater or a pair of socks along with me. I'll be sure to also bring a drop spindle, maybe an empty one so if (IF?--when) I get some fiber at West Branch, I can start to play with it. Maybe my Turkish spindle would be fun to play with. I haven't spent a lot of time with that.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Room Progress

My new craft room is progressing much more quickly than I ever expected. The dry wall is all done, with this picture taken while during the overnight break.

Brother-in-law Carl has given up on getting effective help from Hubby. He tends to wonder off to do chores, feed calves, spread manure...anything to get out of the way. So Carl has been bringing a bored, retired friend of his along with him. Not only is the drywall all up but they finished the first coat of taping and mudding. Tomorrow I suppose the house will be a mess of dust, but they do tend to shut the door when they work. After the dry wall was up, the floor was quite covered with gypsum dust. So good old Hubby had the answer. He brought in his barn fan to blow the dust out the window. Of course since the fan was WAY bigger than the window, a lot of dust just got kicked up. Cough cough, hack hack.

Family friends may recognize this as the same fan that Oldest Son took to school with him the last week or so of his senior year. One of his classes had no windows so the room was stuff. No doubt this stirred up a breeze.

Oh, dare I cheer just a little? Christy's fave driver Greg Biffle has won 2 in a row, and Kyle Busch has bombed out 2 in a row. AND, my man Mark Martin has, as usual, made another respectable showing. I am so excited that he is driving full time next year.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knitting Progress

I was able to add a lot of new and finished projects when I updated my Ravelry account last week. I should be able to add some more today as well. I finished by Patriotic collar scarf. It is the heavy worsted wool/mohair in the 1776 Liberty colorway by Lorna's Lace. I love it so much I have ordered some sock yarn in the same color.

I have also been making some progress on the Green/Rose cardigan. I have been putting in markers for the "side seam" and counted back stitches for starting the pocket. I have decided to make 2 slide pockets, similar to the Wallaby. I plan to pick and knit from the bottom and then when I add the button band, I can pick up those stitches through both the fronts and the pocket edge. And of course, the tops of the pockets will be fused by knitting the last row together with the body stitches. The little pink marker is where I have decided to start the pocket on one side. I would like to cast on a couple extra stitches and border the pocket edge with an I-cord. I still have to think about that a smidge. I would rather not have garter stitch because it tends to pull a little bit on my wallaby. I want to finish the ball of yarn I am on, almost anyway, then start the 2 pockets. Then they can hang on the stitch holders until I get enough rows done to fuse to the body.

Work Progressing

The crew of Mutt and Jeff (aka Hubby and Brother in Law) have finally started working on the craft room. Not much was done but they went on a shopping trip and got wallboard, insulation, some 2x4s and such. It is currently mostly sitting in the cattle trailer which they used to transport it.

But, at last work has commenced. Yea!

Rain Rain--Go Away

It is a dark and dreary day. I should count my blessings--Ike is greatly diminished and we are just getting a bit of the rain left from the Hurricane. I spent a lot of the weekend watching hurricane coverage and marveling at people who stayed on Galveston, having been told they were risking probable death.

We have been getting rain almost all week. However it did stop long enough for some men to stop by and make a big mess out of our yard. What are they doing you say? Well that mess on the yard is white steel and we had the upper portion of our roof replaced. It had been a bit leaky and Hubby wanted it finished before he started adding insulation and dry wall to my new craft room. The were rained out on Monday morning when they first started, but as you can see here Tuesday was sunny and clear. They got it all done and now we are sitting tight and dry. Hubby even went upstairs yesterday to check out the bad spots and everything was dry. Yea.

Due to cost we are holding off on the bottom section right now, but this seems to have stopped the drips.

And just to make this rainy day even better....Kyle Bush is having car troubles. Awww. (Tee Hee)

Life is good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Cardi progress.

I have still been knitting up a storm and have about doubled the size of the rose green cardigan, but that still only makes it about 4 inches long.  I have been comtemplating pockets and how I want to make them.  I had thought about adding them by knitting the width of the pickets in wast yarn that I could later pick out and knit in the pockets.  Now I am considering picking up the stitches like I do for the pockets for a Wallaby sweater and fusing the top with the body of the cardigan to make slide pockets.  The front edge of the pockets could then be fused when I pick up stitches along the front body and neck for the button band. 
Hmmmmm.  This is fun making it up as you go along
I did go to Newaygo yesterday and made got the rest of the single ply yarn I needed for a shawl pattern I picked up in Charlevoix.  I am using a black/brown Boku and it needed about 250 yards of a solid.  I found a soft light brown that is wool/llama blend instead of the wool silk blend of Boku but I think it will look great together. 
And I thought my cute little great-nephew may need a cardigan with cool weather coming on, so picked up some Encore wool/acrylic blend in a spunky blue/green color to make one for him.  I am not above bribery to get a chance to get my hands on that little "punkin".  Of course if he comes up, I will have to maybe beat my sister in law off to get a chance at him! 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Keeping Busy

I have been busy with my knitting recently. I still am waiting to block the Cinnamon Wave Wrap, but aside from that, it is DONE. I hope the revised craft room won't take too long to complete as Hubby and his brother Carl are ready to soon start on that project. I can tell that work will commence soon, Carl left bunches of tools here.

I also last evening finished the blue green socks that I have been working on for several months. This pair has always been a back burner project, but they are now ready to wear. I have to the pictures up on Ravelry soon. They are Cherry Tree Hill superwash merino. No nylon--I hope they wear well, but I usually wear sandals or clogs, so that does help the heels

So, with all that being done, it was time to start new projects. I am still working on the rose-green cardigan, just past the ribbing and stitch increases. Not enough of a change to post new picture. It basically looks like it did in the August 24 post.

I mentioned last week that I bought a couple skeins of Bullfrogs & Butterflies in Liberty colorway. (Lorna's Lace) I had planned to make another of the ever versatile Shape-It scarves when I discovered that there was a updated version of it in the book Scarf Style. It is called the Wear-As-A-Collar Scarf. It is more tapered after the initial point, and actually doesn't have a point but has about 10 inches that are flat. Here is the yarn and the scarf at this point. I only have a few more inches, then cast off and wear. I really like the way it looks with the colonial red, blue and creamy white. I wear a lot of those colors so I should be able to wear it a lot.

So, having cast off my last sock, I had to get some more on the needles. I have here some blue veil dyed wool/silk that I got from Arbor Yarns. Hand dyed and no teal, just a soft pure blue. On my size one dp Harmony needles--a wonderful hardwood set of needles. They don't look like much, but they only have about 2 or 3 rounds of ribbing. I am thinking about a small cable for this pair. but I have plenty of time to decide what to do.

Then, for a new challenge I have unraveled some of the yarn out and started knitting from my kool-aid sock blank. It is double stranded blank so I am trying to knit 2 socks at a time on a LONG circular needle. I have a 47 inch Harmony size 1 2.25 mm. The jury is out whether I like using the 2 at a time style or not. But it would be a real pain knitting this blank on double points--I would have to keep switching from sock to sock on 2 sets of needles, or wind off one ply, then rewind to bet back to the same end to knit the second. I will keep that though in mind while evaluating the 2 socks on 1 needle technique.
Whew. That really makes it look like I've accomplished a lot. I better quit and get knitting.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blatant Political Message, Feel Free to Ignore

While I do have strong political feelings, I often do not bring them out in the open.  I hate controversy and arguments. 
However, that said, and with the above warning, I gotta say, I love Sara Palin.  She gave a strong speech last night and delivered it with style and humor.  After so long of being turned off by "that other female candidate", Sarah is a breath of fresh air.  Until a week ago, I was definitely not going to vote for Obama, wanting to be able to hang on to what little money I do have, among other reasons.  I was not thrilled with John McCain but saw no real alternative.  Now granted, Sarah is only the VP pick, but she represents many of my same values and if she is the message McCain wants to portray, I am energized and ready to vote. 
You go girl!   I may someday be able to vote for a woman for president after all.

Sad News

A little sad news, Mr Mocha S Bunny passed away yesterday, following the hottest day of the year. 
Although he had been given some frozen water bottles to cool off next to the previous day, when his person arrived home from work Wednesday at 2:30, he was gone.  His affliction came on suddenly, as the evening before he was as lively as ever.  But that morning when bunny chores were being done, he lay quietly but alert in his cage, not even hopping up for his morning papaya chunk.
Mr Mocha S Bunny leaves a sad group of friends consisting of his person, Linda and family, Mr Gilbert Armenus his best poodle pal, and a vast number of barn kitties to mourn his passing. 
Mr Mocha did leave a last will and testement, bequeathing all his remaing papaya chunks (almost 2 full containers) to the Angora Girls and their Blue Buddy.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fiber-Spun and Not

I mentioned earlier that I managed to finish Spinning the Venus Blue Faced Leister. Here is a picture, although it isn't quite as red as it seems here.

I don't there is enough for the fichu I linked in the previous post. But while I was contemplating the pattern, in walked a friend, Lorna with some PINK fingering weight cabled wool. Perfect for the fichu and plenty of yardage. Guess what I will be purchasing shortly?

I also mentioned a while back the roving I got in my first month as a member of the Spunky Club from Spunky Eclectic. Here is a look at that as well.

Hmmm, that picture is a bit funky too, but the colors show for the most part.

Finding a Fichu

Finished the Cinnamon Wave Wrap, except for blocking of course. 
Finished spinning and plying the BFL from Spunky Eclectic in colorway Venus.  Glorius, soft brown with wine accents.  I plied it on itself.  I made a center pull ball and plied from both ends.  Only problem was when I got to the very end--about 5 yards left or so.  But it gently untangled and I saved the whole shebang!  Now--what can I make with it.  I am thinking a lacy scarf as it is VERY soft and lush feeling.  Or a small shoulder shawl of some kind--what do they call them--a fichu?  I think that is it.  I found a pattern to purchase ( that has caught my eye.  I will debate that, althoght it takes more yarn than I have of Venus, I could find something else to make it out of.
The yarn is about dk weight and over 100 yards, but not sure exactly how many.  I will need to see what kind of pattern I can come up with.
I worked for Jane at the store yesterday.  I almost broke even.  I did spend $16 on yarn for a shawl, possibly to donate or sell.  It was colors that are not "mine" so it would be easy to give up.
I also splurged on the last 2 skeins she had of Lorna's Laces Liberty, in the worsted weight wool and mohair blend (bullfrogs & butterflies?). I have always loved that color way and am comtemplating a shape-it scarf or something similar from that.
Picked beans in the near dark last night.  I need to put a canopy over the garden if Hubby wants me to pick beans in this heat. 
I'm ready for a blizzard.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Spunky Roving Club

I am so excited with a new package that came in the mail the other day. I recently joined the Spunky Club--a roving club with monthly hand-dyed bundles of roving mailed right to me. My first delivery, called Thermograph is so new I haven't even taken a picture, but it is in "my" colors. It has pink and purple with just enough other colors (yellow, etc) for interest. I am currently spinning up Venus colorway of BFL on my Joy. This is also Blue Faced Leister and I am trying to decide if I want to spin on a Kundert, my turkish, or on the wheel. If I sat down at y Joywith the Venus, I could probably finish it up today. I have only 4 ozs of that so am planning to ply it with some white falklands I have spun already. My Spunky Club is for a double helping. That's why I got 8 oz this time--enough to make something when I get done.
I love getting surprises