Monday, October 25, 2010

A Stashing we will go

Wow, I'm in Dallas visiting with my honey who works here more often than at home and every time I come he wants to make sure I don't get bored in the hotel room. (Because, you know, I never get bored at home and there is no way I brought knitting with me.) So we went to Yarn Heaven, then off to The Woolie Ewe, a stop at the Shabby Sheep and one at White Rock Weaving to round out a weekend.

Let's see: I got Mountain Colors fiber at Yarn Heaven, The Woolie Ewe

was having a sale and that would have been dangerous, except for the good sense of DH who said "Hey, that's on sale. Are you sure you don't need some more?" There might have been 30 skeins that made their way to the car. The stop at White Rock Weaving gave me two more shuttles for my weaving looms and two ounces of carbonized bamboo along with 5.1 ounces of potluck roving in the Pumpkin Spice colorway that just called and called to me and a Kundert Spindle that spins like a dream. The last stop was The Shabby Sheep where another 16 skeins went into the car with me. (Really with DH since he was carrying the bag.)
I have been knitting, spinning, fondling yarn and working out since I've been here. (Those pictures are not all of it, but Blogger and I are arguing about pictures right now.)

I was talking to a lady at the Shabby Sheep who just bought an LK150 and doesn't know how to use it. I volunteered to go back on Saturday if her schedule permits and show her the basics.
I go home in a little over a week to an oven that seems to have decided that now is the time to die. I got a call from my son who said, "Hey Mom, the oven element is shooting sparks. Mawmaw (what they call their grandmother) was baking something and it just started." My response was to tell him to turn off the breaker and let it cool down and not cook anything in the oven til I get home. I might have added that there is nothing I can do about it from here. My vote is just to get a new element, but DH says that it might just be time to get a new one. The one we have is 16 years old and has been used heavily in those years. I have been coveting a flat surface stove fro a while, but have refused to buy one because mine works (worked) fine. I just don't replace working appliances. In the past year or so I have had to replace both the washer and dryer, the dishwasher, and the refrigerator. My kitchen is almost new. Ah, well. Life goes on.

Friday, October 8, 2010

a little update

So, it's a lovely day here and I have been enjoying it a lot.
I was sitting here listening to the SpinDoctor podcast since of course I needed more podcasts to listen too and I have just begun to spin on a spindle. Must learn more is my motto. I would love to have several podcasts that I could listen to about spinning like I have for my knitting. Of course, I get a little spinning from the Knitmore Girls and love it. As a matter of fact, Jasmin is the reason I thought about spinning to start with. Now I want to ask her dozens of questions about things spinning related on top of all the other questions that I think of when I'm listening. There are other podcasts that tied the knot tighter in the "You want to spin" rope that first tried to tug at me from reading the Yarn Harlot's blog, but Jasmin managed to make me think "Oh, I wonder if I could do that?". The answer is yes, I can. I can't do it well (yet), but I can spin something that resembles yarn.
On another note, I have the sampler off the loom, but haven't finished the ends so that I can wash it and get pictures of it. I have since put another scarf on the Cricket and it is sitting waiting for my trip to Dallas for some love.
I haven't made a lot of progress on the Einstein for my granddaughter, but there is a little more each day and the scrapghan is moving along slowly as well. Blame the lack of progress on the spindle. I was told that I needed to spend at least 10 minutes a day at it to begin to see progress. I listened and have been spending more than that at it. I have cast on a new pair of socks and a new teddy bear too. I just finished a dishcloth that is the 12th thing on my Mission Possible list for 2010. I'm already thinking about my list for 2011, but I have several things to finish before the end of the year.
In the garden: Yesterday I picked a small basket full of bell peppers. It wasn't all that are on the plants, but I did fill a second gallon size ziplock freezer bag with them. I will have peppers for use in soups and casseroles for the entire winter I hope. The lettuce, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage seem to be happy in the garden and are beginning to grow and it's almost time for me to fork up some sweet potatoes. I'm really looking forward to eating those. I love things fresh out of my garden.
Time to get back to the knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, exercising and reading. Nope, housework wasn't on that list. I will do some, but I don't want to talk about it.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

It's Fall and I'm busy

It feels like Fall here. At least it feels like Fall for those of us in the southern U.S. I woke up this morning to temperatures in the mid 50's. Yes! The a c is off for now. I'm a big believer in turning it off if we can do without it.
Over the weekend we planted lettuce, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli in the garden. The sweet potatoes are trying to take over one bed and the bell peppers are still producing. I will chop up the extra bell pepper and put it in the freezer for winter use. I also found three volunteer tomato plants in the garden. All the others had died and been pulled up so these were a surprise. I will leave them in the garden as long as possible and then I will see about putting them in pots on the back porch or in the house if I can find room.

This morning I plied my very first yarn. It's not a big skein and it isn't going to have anyone clamoring to buy it, but I made it.

I've begun an Einstein coat for one of my granddaughters,

a ten stitch blanket out of leftover sock yarn just because I can,

and a crocheted scrapghan to use up some odds and ends of yarn and make something useful too.

I also have a half completed teddy bear that I"m going to be sending off to someone who is going to Haiti to help with recovery. I need to finish sewing him up and stuffing him and he needs a face still. I don't have any pictures of him yet. I'm waiting until I get him stuffed. He doesn't want to be seen in his current condition.
I'm still working on my weaving. Right now I have a sampler on the Cricket. It's a turquoise and white color work sampler. I'm loving the way these colors go together, but really, doesn't everything "go" with white?

I'm back on my getting healthier bandwagon. I joined and I'm trying to remember to log my food and exercise. Hmmm, how many calories does blogging use? Not enough, I'm sure.
Off to have some lunch now. Happy Fall everyone.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Knitting and Weaving and Gardening, Oh my

So I looked back and realized that I hadn't posted since the end of August. Wow. What have I been doing? First, I need to apologize. I was looking over the blog and realized that I had comments that I have never responded to. I never think to look back to see if there was a comment and so I never respond. for that I apologize and I will try to do better.
I have been playing in my garden. The tomatoes are done. The cucumbers and cantaloupes have died out. There are sweet potato vines all over one bed. I sure hope they're producing potatoes under there. The bell peppers are still going gangbusters. I have over two gallons chopped and frozen. I'll use them this winter when prices are beyond me. Have you seen the price of them even now? Yikes!

I've been knitting. I do a lot of hand knitting when I can't be in my little room that my husband calls my office and I would like to call my fiber studio. I'd call it that if there was enough room to have everything set up the way I'd like. Mobile homes (or manufactured homes as they are now known) are not known for having an excess of room. Ours is a 16 x 80 and has four bedrooms. Three of those are in use as bedrooms and the other one is my space. It's about 8 foot x 9 foot. I have a desk, three knitting machines and two looms to go in there. That's not counting my storage cabinets for the fiber for my fiber habit. I still don't have it organized in a way that I like.

So on to the knitting ... I knit a wedding afghan on my Bond USM. There are five panels. Two have the names of the people getting married, one has the wedding date, and two are a contrasting (ha ha, contrast with white) color with cables running down the length. It took a while to do as the names and date are done in seed stitch. The recipients said that they loved it. I hope so.

I have also finished a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend for Christmas and the Landscape Shawl (on my Mission Possible list) is complete. The shawl still needs blocking, but the ends are woven in and that's half the battle. It took just over three skeins of the four I had for it out of Colinette Jitterbug. I don't know yet how it will wear, but the yarn was lovely to work with. I only have a dishcloth to finish to complete my list for Mission Possible 2010. There is a pair of socks on needles for my granddaughter. They aren't on any list but hers.

I've been weaving scarves out of a cone of yarn that has been in my stash for about six years now. They are (so far) just a plain tabby weave in a deep grey boucle type yarn that I love the color of, but none of my knitting machines liked it at all. All three tried to eat it and so nothing got made from it. Now it's being used. I have more yarn that will get used on the loom because it doesn't get along with the machines that it was bought for.

I wish someone would now talk me off the ledge I'm standing on. I want to try spindle spinning. I also want a floor or table loom, but that's more expensive than a spindle so I'm not about to jump off that ledge yet. Why do I want to spin with a spindle? Not a clue except that it looks like fun and would be a way for me to make my fiber habit more encompassing than it already is. Do I need to spin? Probably not. I can buy yarn and I know that I can buy yarn that looks a lot better than my beginning attempts at spinning could produce. Someone on one of the boards that I frequent said that it's not a new hobby; it's just an extension of the one I already have...fiber. I think I'm going with that. I don't know if I will like it or be good at it, but I'm going to try it. On the upside, spindles don't take up a lot of room. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time Flies

I can't believe it's August already and I haven't posted in over a month. Really though, my life isn't all that interesting to anyone else. I'm not consistently funny or insightful and I don't consistently have the kind of trouble that makes people gasp. That said, I have been busy with my life and my crafts.

I got pictures of the first table runner. My daughter liked it. The beading took what felt like forever. I think it was worth it though.
I have finished the weaving on the second table runner. It has the exact same warp on it. I just changed the predominant weft color. It makes an interesting difference. I just need to decide on the finishing for it. I think I'm going to bead it too only not in the same pattern.

I'm making considerable progress on the Landscape Shawl. I have begun the last pattern on it and it's moving right along. I work on it in the evening while watching tv mostly.
I'm working on a series of scarves on my Cricket loom. I've had this yarn for a while now. The original plan was to use it on one of my knitting machines. It's just too loopy for that. This first scarf is done on a 10 dent heddle and the warp and the weft are the same yarn. There were some issues with it, but it was do-able. I have another on now with this weft and a 3/2 cotton warp on an 8-dent heddle. The cotton is working better, but the other yarn might work well on the 8 dent too. I'll try that next and see. I find the first one lovely off the loom and need to get a picture of it finished.

I finished a pair of fingerless mitts for a friend for Christmas. This is a picture of them before they were finished. That's one gift that I don't have to think about later.
I have another project underway. Actually on my Bond machine. It was feeling very lonely up on it's shelf. I'll get pictures of that project later. Right now the white yarn on the machine against the white wall just doesn't make for very good photos.
In other news, the garden is still coming along. I think the tomatoes are about done, but the bell peppers are looking lovely. The cantaloupes are producing, but the bugs are getting them before they are ripe enough for human consumption. I hate to use pesticides and haven't figured out how to keep them away long enough for us to get some of the fruit. If it keeps up, I will pull the plants out and they will just be done for the season. I'm trying to decide what to start next for my fall crops. It's still a little too warm (okay it's hot) for lettuce. We're still in the mid 90's or higher and will be for a while yet. Today we are having a cool front. It's only supposed to be 95 and only about 70% humidity. It was nice this morning. About 76 on the back porch and I just wanted to stay out there for the day. It won't last.
Well, off to get some work done. Hopefully it won't be another month before I post.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A beautiful summer day

It's a beautiful summer day in south MS. (Don't look at the beach. That will just depress you.) It's hot, the laundry is on the line and almost dry, the little garden plot is producing lovely vegetables, the grass is growing and there are clouds building in the west. Now realistically, it's not as hot as it could be or as hot as it will be before the summer is over or really as hot as it already has been. I didn't really feel like I was melting as soon as I went out the door so it's almost a cold snap, but it's about 90 on my back porch. There is a breeze blowing and that helps. We've been over 100 already this year and I expect we will be again.
When I went to hang the laundry out this morning I found a partially constructed bird's nest in the clothespin bag. The sparrows and I already had a talk about this, but just like when my kids were teenagers I guess they didn't listen. I disposed of the nesting materials. Now this wasn't the only nest on my back porch. They had raised baby sparrows in a nest on the back porch already. No pictures as the birds are faster than my camera. I have since learned that there were four babies when they flew the nest while I was gone to Dallas.
I picked a cantaloupe from the garden yesterday and cut it a while ago. The amazing part is that I didn't eat the whole thing. I see tomatoes and peppers that need to be picked and there are more blossoms on the cucumber and cantaloupe vines. The potato vines (sweet and white) are growing so I expect to have potatoes in a couple of months. I can't wait for my home grown sweet potatoes to go with the turkey at Thanksgiving. Yum!
I have finished the weaving portion of the table runner and am now beading the fringe. It's a slow process because I am slow and need frequent breaks. During those breaks I have finished the Dishcloth Baby Blanket that was on my Mission Possible list;

I have about an inch of ribbing left to do to complete another pair of socks for the hubby; I cast on for the Landscape Shawl and have three hats ready for seaming for our church's homeless mission as well as a scrap afghan.
It's hot now, but it won't be and I need to think ahead to keep people warm when winter comes. I can't keep everyone warm and fed, but if I do my little bit and someone else does theirs then there will be less hunger and less people cold in my community. I have to believe that every little bit helps. I've also started another scrap afghan. This one will be crocheted and reminds me of my son's favorite afghan from when he was growing up. He still says it was cozy and made him feel loved. Isn't that what our needlework is for?
I really want a Kindle. I have the Kindle app on my iPod and love it, but the pages are small and I spend a lot of time turning "pages" on it. A bigger screen would help. I like having a collection of books with me and having them when I get stuck in a waiting situation. I don't do well when I feel like I'm wasting time. Now that doesn't mean that I can't just sit on my back porch and watch the world go by; it just means that I like to choose my idle time and I like to be comfortable when I am idle.
While I was in Dallas we went to the Stockyards in Fort Worth. I went to the Spice and Tea Exchange. I got three kinds of tea: a vanilla, a chocolate, and almond cookie. I also got some ground chipolte pepper and some dried minced garlic. It all smells so good and since they don't use any fillers you don't have to use as much to get the flavor you want.

Monday, June 7, 2010

June already?

I can't believe it's June already. For those of us on the Gulf Coast that means the start of another hurricane season. That very real concern is complicated this year by the oil spill in the gulf. What happens if we have a storm? How much more environmental damage will there be? The oil spill by itself is horrendous to those of us who live here and get to be concerned about not only a way of life, but about how this will affect the environment for years to come. The threat of a storm on top of that is somewhat mind-boggling. How far would a storm wash the oil ashore? How far in to the bays and estuaries? How far up the rivers? How many species will be affected? How far reaching will this be at the end of the day? How many years will it take to recover (for the people and for the plants and animals)?
On to another subject that is less traumatic. My garden is producing. The lettuce is gone and that is not surprising since it is in the 90's with a lovely high humidity and heat indexes at the century mark. Much fun is to be had when mowing the grass in this weather. I'm getting tomatoes and cucumbers on an almost daily basis right now. The peppers aren't doing as well this year so far. I don't know how much longer the broccoli will continue to produce, but for now I am still getting some. On the other hand, the cauliflower was a bust this year. I have sweet potatoes in and cannot wait to have some from my very own garden this fall. I plan to put out some regular potatoes in the next few days. I should have done it already, but I have been a little busy. I bought what I thought was a squash plant. Imagine my surprise when instead of crookneck squash little cantaloupes started showing up. I love cantaloupe so this is not a tragedy, but I will miss the squash. There is only so much room in my raised bed gardens and I will have to deal with the produce that I do have.
As for my crafty life, I have finished The Everlasting Blanket. Eight hundred forty seven squares later it is laying across the end of my bed where I can admire it daily. It fits my double bed nicely and I cannot get a picture of it all, but did take a halfway decent shot of it just after ends were woven and trimmed and it got spread across the bed.

The Christmas table runner is still in progress and is about 70 inches long on the loom right now. I think I have about 36 inches or so to go. The picture was from a month ago and it was only at 37 inches at that point. There is much progress on it.

All of the ends will need trimming and weaving in at the end of the project after it gets a good wash to set things. I'm looking forward to it being complete, because I have several more ideas in my head for the loom and it's next project.
I also completed the Scraps No More Afghan. I'm sorry to say that I still have scraps of worsted weight yarn left in the stash. To combat that issue, I have started a crocheted afghan to (hopefully) use up the rest of the current batch.
Is it frightening that I am seriously considering starting another sock yarn blanket? DH has asked for one to go in our camper and I'm really thinking about it. I do know if I do it that it will be another long-term project and something that I work on between other projects. I enjoyed seeing the first one come together.
I am over halfway through my Mission Possible 2010 list. I still need to complete the Landscape Shawl (not started yet), the Dishcloth Baby Blanket (about 1/3 complete), another 2 or 3 hats for MT25 to make the listed goal (I have the yarn for another 7 I think), and a dishcloth that I have not begun. That's not bad for the beginning of June. I have over 6 months to complete those last few things. I have a list of another 6 things that is the beginning of the next crafty to do list.
As far as my personal health goals go, I am still exercising on a fairly regular schedule and still trying to watch what I eat. It's hard for me sometimes, but I know it will be worth it in the end. I want a treadmill, but won't buy one right now. the one that I want is more than I want to pay right now so will stick with the Leslie Sansone walking videos. I love those things. I can pretty much do them anywhere that I have a dvd player and I don't need extra equipment. I work up a good sweat and when I do a new one, I can feel the muscles talking to me the next day.
Off to have some lunch and maybe get a picture of the Scraps No More afghan while the sun is shining.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

April Showers? Where are they?

I'm sitting at the computer in my "office" as DH calls it. I call it the craft room, but it works as both. Out the window I can see the garden growing. I'm wondering where my April showers are. I might have to go out and water the garden. I'm waiting ever so patiently for tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers to show up. I'm already picking lettuce and broccoli. Salads are my friend. They are especially my friend since I started working out and trying to drop a few pounds.
I finally took pictures and took stock of what I bought while in Dallas. I got 10 skeins of Rowan Denim, 10 skeins of Berroco comfort DK, 1 skein of Lana Grossa Meilenweit, 1 skein of Indulgence, 2 skeins of Regia 4 ply, and 8 skeins of Happy Feet. That's not counting the cotton 3 and 5 ply I got at the weaving store. I didn't realize just how much I got until I was counting skeins. 32 skeins of yarn added to my stash. I did send out 12# of yarn to go to another home the other day and about half of what I got at the weaving store will be used in the Christmas Runner that I'm making for the holidays at my daughter's house. We always do Christmas there so I thought I'd weave her a festive runner for the table.
It is red, green, white and gold. The gold is subtle and the red, green and white are dominant. I like it so far, but as you can see I just started so I may change my mind about it yet.
In other crafty news, I plan to make a belt to go with my Einstein Coat (which still needs ends sewn in and buttons found). I want to make a cloche to go with it for the winter too and have enough of the 220 to do both. I have yarn for 5 more hats for MT25, I've started a pair of socks for DH and am steadily working on the Everlasting Blanket. I have less than 130 squares to go and then need to do the border on it. I'm hoping to complete it within the next month. We'll see how that goes. The Scraps No More Blanket is waiting it's turn for some attention, but is on hold until the Everlasting is finished. I've been tempted to cast on the Landscape Shawl, but am holding out until I finish something else. So many plans, so little time. I am making slow progress on my Mission Possible list. I have 5 of twelve things complete and two are really close. If I can finish them before the end of May I will be ahead of the game.
Oh, by the way, I was actually able to give blood again on Tuesday. That's two times in a row. My iron and I fight over whether it's high enough for donation. It's fine as far as my health goes. I'm not anemic or anything; it's just sometimes too low to donate.
Time for some lunch. Exercise is done for the day. yippee. Always glad to have it finished. I may do another session, but that will be later.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

What's happening?

Ahh, back from my trip to Dallas and then to the Strawberry Festival. Since I've been home we have redone our bathroom(s). We did the floor and paint in both of them and they both really needed it. I also got some new accessories for my bathroom. My shower curtain was dismal and my corner caddy had seen better days some time ago. I hate to buy new stuff until the old is beyond redemption so I had been waiting. Add that to the fact that I wasn't sure what color I was painting and it just made more sense to wait.
How do you know you like a color? Well, for me it was the fact that I had painted a bedroom three years ago in a color called Dapper Tan and liked it because it was very neutral and yet it wasn't white or eggshell which I've seen enough of and then when we went to choose a paint color for the bathrooms I chose the exact same color (in a semi gloss instead of flat, but really the same color) and didn't realize it until after we'd had it mixed and brought it home. Three years and you choose the same color = liking a color. That's how I know that I like this color. I wouldn't wear it, but it looks good on my walls.
On the knitting front I have finished the Einstein except for weaving in ends and finding some buttons for it. I really like it so far. I think I will make a belt to go with it. Deciding on a knit or woven belt right now. I still plan to make a cloche to go with it. I will work on the Everlasting Blanket next week. (House to myself = doing just what I want to do) My son will be here, but he's never actually here. DH will be back at work and my mom will be gone on vacation for another week. I won't have to cook, things will stay clean (mostly) and there is knitting, weaving, reading, gardening, and listening to podcasts to be done. My only commitment is a blood drive on Tuesday.
I'm still working on my craft room. I need to rearrange some so that my new Flip loom has a spot of it's own. I think I have figured out where it's going so it's a matter of moving things and trying out the configuration.
I made new dish towels on my Flip while I was in Dallas. Here's a picture...

I got four towels out of my warp. I got four and not the three I expected because I forgot to weave some hem length on each of the towels. Duh. If you don't want fringe you need to hem and to hem and have towels the size you want you need to weave extra. Should have been a no-brainer and yet...
Off to knit or weave or play in the garden or just stand in the doorway and look at my bathroom.

Monday, April 5, 2010

I'm in Dallas for another couple of days and then it's home to get ready for the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula, LA. We will be gathering at my dad's house for fun, strawberries, the parade, a shrimp boil, and much family togetherness. By the end of the weekend I may have decided that it's too much family togetherness, but you know how that goes. I hope my mom has watered the garden.
After that, we are going to do some work on our bathrooms. I need some help with part of it and DH will help with the stuff that I'm not sure how to do and we will have a nice newly covered floor and freshly painted walls in our bathroom. The plan is to change out the flooring in the other bathroom too. When we bought our "mobile home" or "manufactured home" or whatever the current name is there was carpet in both bathrooms. I personally don't know why you put carpet in a bathroom. I totally understand a small area rug, but not carpet. A small rug can be taken out to dry and air, but carpet is just there. It doesn't make sense to me.
On the knitting front, I have about 3/4 of a sleeve left to knit on the Einstein Coat. It's going well and I love the color. I'll have enough yarn left to knit myself a cloche to go with it and possibly a little extra. The Everlasting Blanket has not seen much action since I've been here, but will as soon as I finish with the Einstein. I've bought yarn while in Dallas. I made the trip to the Woolie Ewe and to the Shabby Sheep so of course I have new yarn. Some is for knitting and some of it will be for weaving with. I'll write up what I bought in a future post.
I still plan to work through some of my stash this year. Some I'll be working into afghans for the next winter. I can totally use the acrylic yarns I have to make some very nice afghans that can be tossed into the washer and not need special care. I hope to have a few for MT25 by the time fall rolls around. I'm still working on hats for them too. Now that it has warmed up I plan to just slip a hat in between other projects over the spring and summer and into fall. I don't know how people are as productive as they are. I feel like I'm the tortoise except that it's not a race and I don't notice the progress sometimes.
I've enjoyed my time away, but I know that I am a person who likes to have her routine. I can and do go with the flow if I need to, but I really like my own space with my own things and to know what I'm doing when. Other than DH, who will come back to work after we finish the bathroom work, I will miss the treadmill in the fitness room here. I've been spending about an hour a day on it and we are now friends. That's a good thing since we have eaten out so much while I've been here. DH has been laughing at me because I'm wearing my pedometer practically all the time and I've been running up and down the stairs here at the hotel.
I actually raced DH up the other day. I put him on the elevator, waved, dashed around the corner and up the stairs and was waiting when the elevator got to our floor. DH can go down the stairs, but up isn't in the cards yet after his surgery. Three flights of stairs isn't bad. It's good cardio and it's fun to do something silly like race an elevator once in a while.
I want to get back to my knitting machines too. I still haven't really learned to use my Artisan 45B. I find it intimidating. Between the fact that it's a standard gauge and has a ribber, it is a little more complicated than my other machines. I don't have a really good basic book for using it and I wish I did. I'll just have to do it and learn it on my own. Time to go home and relearn what button does what on the carriage. I like to learn so I know I can do this. It will just take practice.
Off to work on the Einstein and listen to The Knitmore Girls podcast. Why yes, I am a multi-tasker, why do you ask?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A New Friend

I came to Dallas and went to a weaving store White Rock Weaving and made friends with a 25" Flip loom from Schacht. It's a little bigger than I pictured it, but not too big to use.
I of course had to buy some yarn to play with on it and now have three dishtowels on the loom. I'm only about ten inches into the first one and it will be just a plain weave. I've decided that weaving is just as enticing for me as knitting is. Those are Heather's socks laying on the warp on the new Flip loom. There's a window right there so the lighting is awkward. Hotels are fun that way.
So far in Dallas I have finished Heather's socks
and I only have a sleeve and a half to go on the Einstein Coat. This picture was taken before I started the sleeve.

Well, there's the seaming and buttons to find, but really not much to go. I'm still working on the Everlasting Blanket and I don't think it will be everlasting. There are about 700 squares complete on it and about 200 to go.

I might have another two months of work on it. It would be faster if I didn't have at least three projects going at one time.
When I get home I still have to seam the Purple Cardi and that set will be done too. I just haven't taken the time to do the seaming on it yet. Purely laziness on my part. I just lost interest in the project. I might have taken too long on it. I kept putting off finishing the knitting to do other things and just couldn't get back into it when I finished the other projects that I had going.
Time to sign off and go get my exercise in. I'm trying hard to keep up with my exercise routine while I'm out of town.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Another year older

Well, I had a birthday and am now a year older. Shouldn't I feel older? I really haven't noticed a difference unless you count the fact that my children are grown and I have grandchildren. I don't feel any different than I did several years ago.
On to something you might care about or maybe not, but it's what's been going on lately.
The 2010 Mission Possible list:
  1. Momof4’s Black and White on the loom now.completed 1/20/2010
  2. Momof4’s Everlasting Blanket over 500 squares so about 2/3 done.
  3. Bella’s socks. completed 1/21/2010
  4. Momof4’s Scraps no More barely started. I have about 24" and am aiming for about 60
  5. Momof4’s MT25 hats I want to get at least 12 done this year. #10 complete. I have one hat that needs seaming and one on the machine.
  6. Einstein coat from the yarn I got for Christmas Bottom complete and bodice started.
  7. Landscape Shawl also from yarn for Christmas
  8. Aiden’s socks started 1/21/2010, completed 2/12/2010
  9. Heather’s socks One sock done and one at the halfway point.
  10. Dishcloth Baby Blanket
  11. 2 Woven scarves 1 completed 3/13/2010. Pink cotton shawl/scarf on loom for granddaughter.
  12. Dishcloth
That means that I am making some progress on my list. I will hopefully get something complete while I'm in Dallas next week. I'm over 600 squares on the Everlasting Blanket and will probably take that with me along with Heather's socks and the Einstein Coat. Three projects (especially since two are rather large) should be enough to keep me busy for the week and a half I'll be there. It would be awesome to complete all three, but I will be happy to just make some progress. Hopefully, I will come home with one of them finished. My days will be my own since DH will be at work. That means that I will knit and go to the workout room to try to keep myself on the right track.
I got my car out of the shop last week and was happy to have it back. There was a bit of work that needed doing. Most of that work was maintenance. Some things just need to be done when your car has 104,000 miles on it. If you don't do said maintenance work, you get stuck on the side of the road and if you're smart you saw it coming when that happens. Cars won't go forever without someone taking care of them. (neither will anything else really)
Okay, so I have three knitting machines, a vase full of knitting needles, more than a closet full of yarn (most of which no one would give me a nickel for),one loom with another in my sights now, and I really need to know why I'm looking at Spindles and fiber. I don't spin. I don't need to spin. I don't have room for more fibery stuff. That is a slippery slope that I don't need to be on. Nuff said.
I still don't have the Purple Cardigan seamed up. Why? Just can't bring myself to do it. The measurements are correct according to the schematic. I really need to pin it together and try it on to make sure it will fit before I seam it up. It should. I should just go ahead and make myself do it. I wonder if I haven't because I didn't put it on the "list" for this year so it won't count toward my 12 items finished. That's not a good reason not to finish something. I could just add it to the list and have 13 things finished. okay. This week. Seam sweater. I'll report back and let you know if I actually did it.
No new pictures. I should get out camera and take some. I should finish something to take pictures of.
Gardening news to come. Soon I hope. I want some fresh vegetables.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Is Spring here yet? My roses are starting to get buds so I think that spring is almost here in the deep south. I have tomatoes waiting for our last freeze of the year to go in and there is broccoli and cauliflower in the garden along with lettuce and spinach. It's lovely here today and makes me just want to sit on the back porch and watch the birds at the feeders while I knit.
I tried out my daughter's Kindle the other day. I really like it. I read quickly and it would be so convenient to have access to that many books at one time. I might even get to read and reread some of the classics. Ah well, that's another day.
I finally have my purple shell and cardigan off of the LK150. Seems like it took forever. I still have seaming to do on the cardigan and buttons to find for it, but I really feel like I've made some progress. I'm also plugging away on the Scraps No More Blanket which is based on a Stephanie Pearl-McPhee "Traveler's Life Afghan" from her Casts Off Book. I'm using scraps of acrylic yarns and getting them out of my stash. They aren't beautiful yarns, but they will make a lovely afghan for throwing on the ground for picnics or for the grandkids to wrap up in to watch tv without me having to worry about spills or stains. Warmth is more important in this case and these yarns will do the trick nicely. The Everlasting Blanket is still coming along. I had put it aside for a while and picked it up for WIP Dancing in the Ravelympics. I made some progress, but it's not finished. I got about 60 squares done during that time and I could only work on it at home as it's gotten too big to carry along. My carry along project is a pair of vanilla socks for my oldest daughter. I've now started them three times. They weren't originally going to be vanilla socks, but I cannot do a short row heel on toe up socks that I like so I ripped them back two times and finally caved and I'm working cuff down. I really need to figure out the toe up short row heel or another toe up heel that I like. My Einstein Coat is almost halfway done and granddaughter has asked for one. I told her she would have to wait til I got a couple of things finished and them we would go pick out yarn for one for her. (Something machine washable so her mom won't kill me.)
My Mission Possible 2010 goals are still clicking along even though the purple set wasn't on the list. I have four of the projects on needles and one of the woven projects is on the loom. I have 10 of the charity hats complete and one that only needs seaming leaving one more of those to do before I can mark that off my list too. (I will probably do more hats, but I only put 12 on the list for the year.) I do have a few more projects on an unofficial list in case I finish the first list. I'm hoping to knock at least two things off the list by the end of March. We will see how it goes.
I have decided to get another rigid heddle loom. I really like weaving and I think I can use up some of my stash and then I'll have room for some of the things I've been wanting and won't get because of how much yarn I already have. One of my granddaughter's already wants a shawl. She's not quite four so I think I will weave a small one for her. I can also weave some blankets for Project Linus if I get the bigger loom. I could weave panels on the Cricket and sew them together and still might do that, but it would be easier with bigger panels to start with.
I hope everyone is having a good week. I am. It didn't cost as much as I feared to get my car fixed and out of the shop. I feel blessed. Oh, and the IRS finally listed my return as accepted. I was beginning to worry that they lost it. Some glitch wouldn't let me e-file it so I had to send a paper return. Off to the knitting and to listen to some Craft Lit or WeaveCast.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

New Month and Mission Possible Update

So my list for Mission Possible 2010 was:
  1. Momof4’s Everlasting Blanket over 500 squares so about 2/3 done.
  2. Bella’s socks. not listed on my project page yet, but have started second sock
  3. Momof4’s Scraps no More barely started.
  4. Momof4’s MT25 hats I want to get at least 12 done this year. I’m on #6 so that one’s good to go.
  5. Einstein coat from the yarn I got for Christmas
  6. Landscape Shawl also from yarn for Christmas
  7. Aiden’s socks
  8. Heather’s socks
  9. Dishcloth Baby Blanket
  10. 2 Woven scarves
  11. Dishcloth
  12. Momof4’s Black and White on the loom now.completed 1/20/2010
Since I posted the list I have hat number 10 of my 12 that I wanted to accomplish on the machine now so that means that I will get more than 12 done this year. Yea! The Einstein Coat is moving right along. I have almost all of the bottom done. There are probably about 30 to 40 rows left to do on that part and then I'll move on to the bodice. (Side note: Granddaughter asked if I'd make her one too. At least her's will be smaller than mine.) I'm decreasing for the toe of Aiden's first sock so I'm almost halfway done with that. I've picked out the yarn for Heather's socks and just want to clear one of the projects off the needles before I go full tilt at that one. I'll be working on the Everlasting Blanket for Ravelympics. There is some WIP Dancing in my future. That will be what? a ten or twelve day push on the Blanket? That should help it along nicely. I'm still deciding what yarn to use for the edging on it, but I have some here and will choose from what I have. I also completed one of the two woven scarves that I had on my list and Bella's socks are completed. How am I doing so far? Let's see of the 12 items on my list two items are complete, five are at about halfway, four are not started at all, and one is barely started and might as well be on the not started list. Still, it's only the second of February so I'm still in the game even though half of my projects are large projects.
I've been watching my grandchildren so that has cut down on my knitting this week. On the other hand, I have been exercising and I rewired a lamp today. I've also used my Dremel tool and a wire brush to clear off some rust so I can paint the cover for our stove in the camper.
On the exercise front, I bought Jillian Michaels 30 day shred and it's been kicking my butt. I have no upper body strength so push ups are killers for me. I'm doing better aerobically though and I'm still breathing at the end of my workouts. I'm down 5 lbs since the beginning of the year and working on the rest of it. I may have to increase my workout time to get the results I want. That will be easier when it warms up some. I'm not fond of being cold. Did someone say "Southern Girl"? Yep, that's me.
Off to get some work done. Maybe another workout since I only did my walking workout today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Feeding the fiber addiction and a rambling we go

DH came home last night with the other two heddles for my loom and a rather glazed look from having been in the weaving store. He's a dear though since we don't have one near me and he took the time to go to one in Dallas where he was working to get what I needed. This after buying me the loom I wanted for Christmas so I could try out this "weaving" thing that I'd been thinking about for several years.
If you could see me in my "office" as he calls it, you would see me turning from one machine to another. 15 to 20 minutes on the loom, turn to the Bond and knit 15 to 20 minutes on a hat or two, then turn to the LK150 and work on the cardigan a little. I'm in the process of relatching ribbing on the cardigan so that is why it's up for short periods of time. I love the machine and hand manipulating the stitches, but I'm working on tension 4 with a very dark purple cotton using 3 strands and it's hard on the eyes after a few minutes and on the back even with my chair lowered to it's lowest setting.
I'm looking around at the stash of acrylic yarn I have and deciding what to do with it. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against acrylic. I've used lots of it and used it at times when it was all I could do to afford even that. When I had $5.00 in my pocket and needed gas, bread and milk and needed to do laundry and didn't have a washer or dryer. Acrylic saved my sanity on more than one occasion. These days I am lucky that I can afford more expensive yarns at least some of the time, but this acrylic was given to me and will make wonderful blankets, hats, scarves, and mittens for the homeless in my area or children in our local schools who don't have enough. It's a tough time in this economy and I can help in some small way to make someone's life a little better. Or at least I hope I can. The fact that I get immense joy from playing with the fiber is a bonus.
I don't know if you've checked the Yarn Harlot's site today, but when I checked a few minutes ago the total for Doctors Without Borders was up to $913 711. That's a lot of knitters saying "Hey, I can help a little." and that little adds up. I donated $20.00 myself. It wasn't much. It was what I had at the time that wasn't already allocated to someone else who wanted my money. Oddly, the mortgage company, phone company, and electric company wanted the money we owed them even though there were people who needed it more. So, I paid the bills, set some aside for groceries (cuz I like to eat, I really like to eat and my hips will vouch for me.) and checked to see how much I had that I could give. I've never not had a roof over my head, although it's been close a couple of times and I've never not had clean water to drink (even after Katrina we had water because we had prepared early for the situation), but there have been times in my life that I lived on mac and cheese and potted meat (won't touch the stuff now because of that time in my life) with the occasional can of tuna thrown in and whatever little bit I could get to grow in the little space I had where I could stick a 5 gallon bucket.
Wow, let's get off that train now. yikes! On to better things. I finished Bella's socks last night and started Aiden's. I have three inches done on the Einstein Coat. I'm ready to cast on another hat for MT25 and I'm giving thought to Heather's socks and looking longingly at the yarn for the Landscape Shawl. If I were an octopus, I'd be much further along than I am. I'm thinking about what to warp next on my Cricket. ( I still want to call it Jiminy even though I know it's rather a cliche) I still have money to spend from my gift certificate at my LYS and have no clue what I want to get with it. I've been stalking Webs for weaving fiber and made myself back away. I know that that would not help sort and use what I already have so I closed the browser and didn't save anything in my wish list.
Off to some knitting and to decide what I want to do for the Ravelympics. I think I'm going to work on some WIP's and see if I can get them closer to completion. If I can just keep myself from casting on something else I'll be good to go.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Mission Possible?

So, I joined the Mission Possible group on Ravelry and had to make a list of 12 things I wanted to complete this year. And the list is:
  1. Momof4’s Black and White on the loom now.completed 1/20/2010
  2. Momof4’s Everlasting Blanket over 500 squares so about 2/3 done.
  3. Bella’s socks. not listed on my project page yet, but have started second sock
  4. Momof4’s Scraps no More barely started.
  5. Momof4’s MT25 hats I want to get at least 12 done this year. I’m on #6 so that one’s good to go.
  6. Einstein coat from the yarn I got for Christmas
  7. Landscape Shawl also from yarn for Christmas
  8. Aiden’s socks
  9. Heather’s socks
  10. Dishcloth Baby Blanket
  11. 2 Woven scarves
  12. Dishcloth

This looks even more ambitious typed up. Yikes!

I don't know if I'm crazy or what. Uh, okay so votes would be taken and people who know me would just laugh and say "Yeah, you're nuts."

Picture of Black and White completed (woven scarf).

The Everlasting Blanket at 593 squares.

I am casting on the Einstein Coat today. It's almost 70 degrees here and I'm happy to see it because I'm a southern girl and really am not happy when I'm cold. Will it make sense to be knitting something heavy and out of wool when it warms up for the season? (this temperature right now is just to remind us why we live in the south.) No, it won't make sense, but we've already established that I'm crazy. I"m still working on The Everlasting Blanket which is at a whopping 593 squares right now. I probably only have another 300 squares and the edging left to do. At approximately 30 minutes per square that is about 9000 minutes or 150 hours or 6.25 24-hour days. Since I don't knit 24 hours a day and don't knit on only one thing during the course of a day I figure it will take me until September at the rate I'm going and that doesn't count the edging.

I have to finish Bella's socks and make Aiden's so they can go in the mail sometime in February so those can't be pushed back. Heather pointed out that I haven't made her a pair yet so they really need to be done by May so she can have them for Mother's Day. Her birthday is next week so they have to be for something else as there's not enough time in my day to finish them by the 25th. I could put the Einstein Coat and the Landscape Shawl on the back burner for a while I guess, but I'd really like to work on something for myself. Luckily, the MT25 hats are done on my machine (Bond USM) so those go quickly and I can whip a dozen out in a week or so including the seaming. The Scraps no More Blanket is not urgent and is barely begun so it can be put aside and the other things on the list are not on the needles yet so they can be pushed back too. I might make it through most of the twelve this year if there are no emergencies that take me away from my knitting and weaving for very long.

On the gardening front, I have started some lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, bell peppers, and cucumbers this week. The lettuce is peeking up and will be ready to go out in the garden in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, the spinach won't be far behind. I'm hoping the tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers are ready for the garden sometime between my birthday in March and Easter. I want some broccoli and cauliflower to go in early, but haven't found any yet.

It looks like my desktop computer is about to bite it. Odd noises and curious glitches abound. Since DH and I both have laptops I have decided not to replace it when it goes. I will re-purpose the computer desk and move it into the craft room or as DH calls it my office. I've already been thinking out how to position the knitting machines, desk and storage cubbies that hold my yarn and other supplies. Maybe by the end of the year I will have made enough room to actually put the luggage in a closet. Not holding my breath though.

Off to cast on the Einstein, knit on Bella's socks and decide on the yarn for Aiden's socks.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to the knitting machine

I have been busy dealing with my husband's recovery from surgery for the last couple of months so the only thing I've been knitting on my machines has been the hats that I do for my church's mission group. Last night I finally went back to a project that I started way back on June 26. It's a twinset in a deep purple cotton. I got the shell off the machine last night (still needs seaming) and started the cardigan. No pictures yet. Finally. I'm looking forward to wearing it in the spring and spring cannot come soon enough for me. I am a "southern girl" and don't really like the cold and really sweats are not that attractive on anyone.
I don't know what my next project on the machine will be. I've not taken stock and laid out a plan for the year. I always have something on the hand knitting needles and now I have the small weaving loom to play with too and am trying to figure out how I want to rearrange my knitting room (or office as my husband calls it). Right now both my laptop and my loom are on tv trays so that I can slide them out of the way when needed, but I don't like this idea for the long term. My desktop is acting like it's getting ready to go to computer heaven (or hell. It has less than a gig of ram and the other dead computers are going to make fun of it when it dies.) It has a nice corner desk in the living room that we got back when we had teens at home that we wanted to oversee while they were on the computer and that desk will fit in my knitting room. I think the desk will move into the room and the laptop will have a place of it's own and have it's printer on the same desk. Hey, if all the cords are together does that mean I won't have to search for the cord to my camera or my ipod? Not sure I'd know what to do.
I heard last night that my niece doesn't have a scarf that she's willing to wear so my next weaving project will be a black and white plaid scarf for her.
I do have to finish the dishcloths and dishtowels that are currently on the loom first though. They are pretty much a practice piece with peaches and creme cotton so that I have something useful while I'm practicing on the loom. Really, how "good" do dishcloths have to be to be useful?
I plan to get the 10 and 12 dent reeds for my Cricket for my birthday in March. I hope I can hold out that long. This might be as addictive as knitting is. Yikes. I've already caught myself looking at wider looms. No floor looms as those just take too much space that I don't have since I have 3 knitting machines set up already, but maybe a Flip with a stand in maybe the 20" or 25" size. Oh, how quickly we fall down that rabbit hole.
I am also back to my walking routine. I do the Leslie Sansone Walk at home DVDs and try to do at least 30 to 45 minutes five days a week. I'd gotten out of the habit while my husband was recovering and getting back in the habit is a work in progress. I eventually want to get a treadmill so I can push myself harder. These 20 lbs have got to go. It really should be more than 20, but we have to start somewhere don't we? I don't have the stamina I used to have and there are health concerns in my family that I don't want to have myself and losing some weight will help with that. One step at a time.
I'm going to try to get more regular with my posting here and remember to get pictures, but in the meantime my Ravelry page is Momof4. Talk to you soon.