Friday, April 30, 2010

Lots of Knitting--No Knitting Pictures

I have done quite well with my Rayon Shoulder Shawl from Victorian Lace. After marking the stitch counts on the longer plain knit sections I am doing much better. However, it still goes back in the basket when Hubby is in the house and not sleeping. Luckily, he naps long and often!
I think I have about 4 or 5 of the 10 row pattern repeats done, and each one adds another 12 stitches repeat of the cherry leaf design. So I am progressing nicely.
As a result of the times Hubby is in the house and talking to me, I have also done a lot of wook on my second sock out of the wool bamboo mix Serenity yarn. I like it, and even though I made the leg rather long, I had oodles of yarn left. I am just a few rows of starting the heel flap on that sock.
I also started a stealth pair, sort of. I haven't blogged about them, but that pair was my" traveling" socks. I work on them at odd times at work and when I have to be the designated second adult in the children's Sunday School class. I am still on the first sock, but during one stint in the children's class managed to finish the flap, turn the heel and pick up the gusset stitches. That pair is in one of my fuzzy favorite singles sock yarn--Mini Mochi and the colors are blues and green. That yarn is very difficult to match stripes exactly, but come out what I call "close enough."
Also with reach of my "Knitting Chair", where I knit, blog and watch TV is my Homespun Raglan Yoke sweater. I am using that for carrying to Knit Nite, and occasionally pick that up at home too. I believe I only have about three inches left on the body and I can start the sleeves.
Well, I did come up with this picture from Knit Nite. Some snowbirds are back. Here Sandy has been helping Mary with her socks. I told Mary that when the socks are done I would help her with a sweater. I did warn her I am not as available as Sandy is for extra help.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fiber Festival Season

I mentioned that I finished my Pink Ball of Fluff and delivered it to Evelyn. I was under a crunch because that lucky Old Farm Girl is heading to the Maryland Fiber Festival with Mohair in Motion. Pink Fluff is going too.
Mid May is the Fiber Fiesta in Greenville that Theresa in Greenville told me about. Not sure if I will be going there or now.
I hope to go to Chickasaw Farm maybe next week. They are having a color workshop with Rita Pettys and I learned a lot last time I went to one of her sessions.
And of course The Old Farm Girl is having a Fiber Festival Memorial Day weekend. I am really looking forward to that one. I should be able to see my shawls in all their glory.
So much fiber, so little time!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

In Denial

I did have another event last week that I had briefly touched on a month or so ago. What with all my knitting, I never got a chance to blog about it.
That's right, my birthday. My boss inflicted great embarrasment on me--payback no doubt for a picture I posted on our department blog when she had surgery.
I survived, but I still hate those niner birthdays.
Bah Humbug.

Finished Fluff

I have had quite a week. And here is part of the reason why.
I finished the Big Pink Ball of Fluff. I got it off the needles and finally hemmed the last end. The above is the beginning hemmed edge. It turned out better. I delivered it to Eveyln today and she will block and stretch and hopefully make it all turn out right. I picked up a skeing of the same mohair, in a bright true blue as payment for this one.
It was hard to keep track of how long it was, as I kept it under wraps while knitting. I didn't want the mohair to pick up "debris" so I rolled up the end and tied a plastic bag over it. I remember seeing that Orenberg Shawls were tied up to keep them clean, so I did that and added the bag.
Below is the next shawl I am making for her. Or at least the yarn. It is a rayon blend and I am making the Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf pattern, out of Victorian Lace Today. It looks like a fairly simple pattern.
Except for the crochet part, that is. Not looking forward to that.
Don't you love the color? It is a single, which I always love working with.
Ahd this is what I am getting paid with for this shawl: Brown Sheep, handpaint, mohair/wool blend, white gray pink. 880 yards.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pink Blob of Fluff Finished

Well almost. It is off the just needles and that is the reason you may have missed my more regular posting.
I still have to sew the final hem. The attempts I made after 10pm last night left a lot to be desired. I am debating now whether to undo the cast off and try again to combine cast off (with fuzzy mohair on with a size 17 needle tip) or just take what I have, try to pin it together and sew.
Until that is done, no computer for me.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

NASCAR Withdrawal

Gloom. Despair. Agony!
I have not been able to catch a full race for over a month now, since Bristol!
It all comes down to spring rains. First off, a race got postponed till Monday. I worked until after it started, but then when I was heading in the car to Spinning Guild, I forgot to change the radio so I could at least listen to part of it.
The next week was Easter and I took that week off by gritting my teeth and watching the Nationwide race. I like them ok, but since Mark Martin isn't in them, they just don't get my blood boiling the same way.
Then the weekend, I hustled home from church ready to feed my farm men and settle in with a good race in Phoenix. That's when I found out the reason the Nationwide race was Friday night, was because the Sprint series race was on Saturday night. I had been out of town all day and hadn't seen any of the pre-race shows to clue me in and so there went another week without my man Mark.
Then Sunday, I knew I was in trouble when I came home from church, turned on Speed, and they were holding umbrellas. I watched the anchors on Speed and Fox try to keep the interest up. Finally I started playing leapfrog with the remote. DIY channel, then Fox, and back. Finally since Fox started showing other programming I figured it was futile.
By the time I heard the race was postponed I was in starting to get twitchy. It was starting to be as bad as the off season!
Yesterday I did listen on my way to spinning again. But the race was only half way. I hoped the post race wrap up would still be on when I got back to the car. However--one of the people who work in the building where we meet, came and turned on the tv after "The Big One" with 17 to go.
(Sign of contentment). I did get to watch the end of the race. And even if Mark didn't win, he is back in the top 12 in standings.
If it rains at Tallegada, I may not go to Spinning on Monday.
Just saying.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Pink Fluffy Blob

I haven't posted because I am still plugging along on the Pink Fluffy Blob. I have no new pictures because it doesn't seem like I have made much progress.
Partly, I suppose that is because I have been rolling up the bottom and tying it into a plastic grocery bag, to keep it from getting dirty or tangled in the working yarn. You know how clingy mohair can be! I think the shawl is between 4 and 5 feet, I need to unfurl it and measure it again.
When I need a break from mohair, I have worked on a couple socks. On is the second of a pair, I just finished the ribbing, so will turn to that more often. The other I just turned the heel on and am zipping away on that. It is a little more portable than the other pair, so may get done first, even if it is the backup pair.
Of course, my fickle mind also keeps jumping to additional projects, forgetting about the purple handspun yoke raglan that is waiting for me as well.
And did I mention I unearthed a black mohair shawl that I started in maybe 2006 or earlier? That is definitely daytime knitting, and most definitely not for travel knitting.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Frankie and Joni go to a Show

Once upon a time, a little girl bunny named Joni and a little boy bunny named Frankie went to a rabbit show. Their owner plopped them in their divided travel cage and off they went.
Both bunnies put up with their owners craziness and managed to have a good time. Frankie found out that he wasn't a plain old blue or even an agouti colored rabbit. He was a "blue otter" and as such, a fairly rare color pattern. His judging group only had one entry--Frankie--entered in both shows, so blue otter Frankie got two blue ribbons.
Broken blue Joni, even though she does had a Leg from a previous show, came in 3 out of 5 in her divisions. Not bad though considering the last time her owner showed rabbits they were both disqualified. (Ahem. I might add that one of those same rabbits, Christine's Cisco was placed as best over-all Jersey Wooly at this show, with Christine showing.)
For the bunnies however, the highlight was when their owner opened up the cage to take pictures.

Hey, there good looking! Want some company?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Book Review--Sweater Quest

The subtitle of the book Sweater Quest is "My Year of Knitting Dangerously". It is an enjoyable trek through one year of the author's life (Adrienne Martini) as she sets herself a goal to knit a Fair Isle sweater.
And not just any sweater. She chooses a pattern in an out of print book, calling for out of production yarn, by a designer (Alice Starmore) who Adrienne portrays as having a reputation of suing anyone who makes any little change in her designs, including changing the yarn. She follows her dream and also during the course of the year talks to many well known members of knitting royalty (Mason Dixon Knitters, and the Yarn Harlot for two.) She even talks to a local knitter/dyer who I have met and taken a class from, Rita Petteys of Yarn Hollow!
All in all, I do recommend the book. I enjoyed reading it immensely, at least until the final chapter or two when she felt it necessary to inject her politics into it. But aside from that, a great read.
I was inspired by the book, and ready to set myself another knitting challenge. After all, I survived last years self challenge, to knit and steek (EEK!) a sweater. Maybe this time I will try Fair Isle. After all I do have my own Alice Starmore book. But I think, instead, I will start small.
Fair Isle Mittens anyone?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Attack of the Pink Fluff Ball

I had a weak moment the other day.
My friend Evelyn called pleading with me to knit a shawl on consignment. She was supposed to knit one for another friend who dyes and sells mohair. She had promised to knit this for Betty and her Mohair in Motion business. (Betty doesn't have a website that I can find, but she is a frequent vendor at regional fiber festivals.) Since Evelyn opened her store she has been a little swamped and desperate for knitting time.
After she groveled a little, I let her talk me into it. After all, I can get paid with more yarn! After a slight glitch with the pattern we got the "yarn overs" and "k2togs" to balance. I added a 6 stitch lace border with another 3 garter stitches at each end of the feather and fan repeats. And with the large needles, you end up with lacy pink fluff.
This is after my Saturday/Sunday knitting; you can see the feather and fan developing. It is so different from my usual smallish needle knitting-- this is on size 15 KnitPick Options.
Oh well, my sweater was getting very hot on my lap. I'll need to wait for either cooler weather, or AC weather to go back to that full time.
And no Sandy, it's not for sale. It is a display model.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Attention Snowbirds

Today, for the second day in a row here in Michigan the temps are in the 80's. I am about ready to do a snow dance. I've already turned on the AC and the fan is blowing too.
Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Tractor Day

Even though my farm boys are out of school now, today is still my favorite day of the school year: Drive Your Tractor to School Day.
I forgot this was the day that our local FFA group hosts Tractor Day. It has been going on for 5 or 6 years now. I didn't get my camera in time for pictures this year so these are some from last years group.
Every year the Case International, John Deer and "other colors" enjoy the rivalry and the attention. The last few years, they even have tee shirts to commemorate the event.
The local TV channel had coverage about them on the evening news. (I tried to find a link, but it wasn't on their site at this time. ) (edited--I think this will take you there.)
This event is the last day of school before Spring Break and besides helping to ease the "verge of vacation" antys, it is a day that puts the focus on the area's agricultural heritage.
One thing though, you definitely need your sun glasses. The students--boys and girls, and teachers, who drive a tractor to school spend days polishing and shining these beasts for the show. Even the older ones look showroom fresh.
But with the weather we have been having, I am sure in a couple days most of these will be in the fields churning the soil, getting ready for planting corn and soybeans.