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.