Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two hands...busy hands!

We've had a lot of excitement around the place lately.  Perhaps one of the biggest was a sewer backup in the basement which resulted in thousands of dollars in clean up and ruined property.  One of my New Year plans was to get rid of crap in the basement - well....check that one off.  Not all of it was crap however.  I lost my blocking mats which I had neglected to put away from blocking my shawl, dining room chairs, some things from my dad, a nice drill, some other power tools, etc...  My hand made star quilt was on the floor by the washer for laundry day.  Unfortunately that meant that it was also by the floor drain.  So I need to find someone who will clean it from raw sewage.  Uck!

Better news is I've gotten a lot of knitting finished lately.  One of my favorite is a beret that I made for myself out of stash yarn.

Brambles Beret

Sock update - first one is finished !

I've cast on for the second and I'm going to make some adjustment for the next one.  The first had some laddering ( little gaps of yarn between stitches) on the gusset of the sock (between heel and foot).  My arch and instep are a lot taller than I thought.  Hopefully my second will be better!

The big new is that I finally have a spinning wheel.  I've been practicing for a week and getting my body used to doing many things at once.  I really enjoy the action and I'm really glad that I have some experience with a spindle.  Spinning yarn with a spindle is harder, but a different kind of hard.  I have a spinning lesson tomorrow with someone from my spinning group.  I hope that I can pick up some better techniques and get some questions answered.  Here is a short video of my early spinning attempts.

Of course I've been slowly adding fiber to my stash now.  I have some yummy alpaca blend, wool top from Lorna's Laces, some locally grown fleece from a hodgepodge of sheep, and two braids from Dyeabolical.  I am in love with Dyabolical yarns and fiber.  Rachel has a great eye for color and beautiful yarn and fibers are the result.  Feast your eye on Fruit Salad.  

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Survey of Projects

I've been knitting up a storm with my First Quarter Challenge
I'm almost done with my very first sock.  I've learned so much with this project and I have really enjoyed knitting it.  I'm working on the foot and I have three inches to knit before beginning the toe portion.  I knitted a lot of this sock while at the 2011 Joint Mathematics Meeting.  Mister was attending the conference for interviews and to present.  It was great knitting time for me!  I spoke with about six math people/knitters and had a grand time.

I've tried on the sock and it is a bit tight.  At first I was disappointed.  I felt that I'd finally gotten it.  Now I'm a bit more pragmatic about it.  This is truly my first sock.  I've done this on my own and I can't be good at everything the first time out of the gate.  Give myself a break for once, geeish.  So I think things will improve after I wash and block it.  My second sock will be better.  For one, I've switched to metal needles.  I grew tired of fighting with the bamboo and fuzzy sticky yarn.  Now my stitches are just gliding a long and the sock is more of a pleasure.  The bamboo was bowing and I was worried that I'd break a needle.  No worries now.  Plus the stainless steel needles glisten and are very fetching to the eye.

I have two more socks in the wings waiting for attention.  While I'm not really committed to a number for my year of socks I want to try for 12 pairs.  We'll see.  Between a sweater and other knits, I'm not sure how I'll time out.  While on our trip to New Orleans (which I plan to blog about soonly), I picked up a skein of Mardi Gras color sock yarn.  My husband will have Mardi Gras socks just as soon as I finish my cable socks.  Next I have the Loop Groupie gift of sock yarn and pattern.  It is a very pretty lace sock pattern and I'm looking forward to that one as well.

So I've been keeping an eye out for sweater patterns to knit.  So far I have two that I have earmarked as contenders.  Sweaters are tricky for fit.  They can add a lot of bulk to a woman's bits and I want to avoid that.  I want fitted, but not too.  I seem to prefer a pull over.  Suggestions?


Sunday, January 2, 2011

One Year

A year ago a series of decisions, consultations, tears and my father died.  Anyone who ever tells you that time heals wounds doesn't really know the complicated business of love and death.  Time doesn't heal.  You will heal, only to be shattered at moments not of your predicting.  You will heal, but long for the person.  You will heal, and your mind will start to go fuzzy random specifics.  You will heal and you will remember.

I love you dad and miss you so much.