Monday, February 28, 2011

Stash Enhancement and Tea

This weekend was a little bit about stash enhancement. The Regia sock yarn is to make my honorary granddaughter a pair of socks. There is a part of me that thinks I have this yarn at home already, but since I have four granddaughters counting the honorary one that is not a problem. They all like pink. I got that at The Shabby Sheep along with this fiber from Funky Carolina. It's four ounces of BFL in the Purple haze colorway. The Shabby Sheep was having a spinning workshop this weekend. I wish I had been able to go, but I am a very new spinner and I just didn't have the cash to go. (And I would have had to drive in Dallas and I think I've already said how much that stresses me)
After the stop there, we went up to The Woolie Ewe in Plano on our way to my daughter's house to hang out. While there I bought some Online Supersocke Wellness in a stripey colorway and some Meilenweit in a tweedy gray. They are both to make socks for Elmer. I have had to darn three pair of his socks recently so it's time to make some more.

These purchases put me up to the amount to get my Ewe Money Coupon and since I don't get here that often and the coupon expires in 30 days I went back and got the Madeline Tosh that was calling my name. I ended up paying a whole dollar and eighty four cents for it. I couldn't pass it up for that price, but it was out of my budget otherwise so I'm now cuddling some ToshSock.

I've also been slowly knitting on the Blueberry Pi and have started the second part. The needle it's on isn't big enough to stretch it out so it's impossible to get a glamour shot of it yet.

I also finished the Regia ankle socks. The Wildfoote socks are still on needles and I've started the Regia socks for granddaughter from the yarn above.
We also made a trip out to The Stockyards Station so that I could visit the Spice and Tea Exchange where I bought five different teas. I got Black Chocolate, Cinnamon Spice, and Vanilla Bean which I've bought there before and I got Wild Blackberry and Green Tropical which I hadn't bought before. I find them all lovely to drink. I still have some Almond Cookie tea from my last trip out, but left it at home thinking I had brought enough with me. We also got some smoked sea salts (Hickory, Alderwood, and Applewood) Those are really good on meat that you're tossing on the grill. By the way, they will ship if you want or there are other stores around the country. There just isn't one close to me.
I've enjoyed my time in Dallas with the hubby, but I'm looking forward to be home. There will be a lot to do over the next few months and I don't think I will get back out here before October. We are supposed to close on our property on Friday and then there is clearing to be done, along with a septic system, electrical, water, fencing, moving the house, telephone and internet, satellite,and who knows what I'm forgetting. It will be very busy and I won't even really get started on landscaping or gardening for several months except for transplanting my roses and planting my citrus trees. I hope to get some "before" pictures on Saturday and then maybe some "as we go along" pictures after that. I don't see any "after" pictures happening for quite a while.
Time for a cup of tea and a Girl Scout Cookie. More later.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A little less blob, a little more shawl

We got word today that the title to the property is clear and we are set to close on March 4th. Yea! That's good news. There is still a lot of work to be done and I am not looking forward to the part before we move the house. I do rather look forward to the landscaping portion after we get moved.

I have made some progress on my Wildfoote socks and I still really like the yarn. I'm looking forward to wearing these and hop that they remain mine and don't make an unexpected trip home with the granddaughter.

I've made a little progress on my Blueberry Pi and it's a little less blob-like now. There is actually enough done to make it lay out a little bit and show a little of the pattern.

I do have some ladders in it that I'm hoping will even out in the washing afterwards. They are less and less obvious as I go along, mostly I think, because there are more stitches to be spread around on the needles and a little more to hold on to as I knit. I think blocking will be my friend on this one. If you look right where my finger is pointing in the picture you can see one of those ladders. Probably only I would ever notice it in the final product and I think that even I won't notice it later.

I've also made a little progress on the second pair of the Regia socks. These little ankle socks will be done before I get home from Dallas.

I spent part of yesterday with my LK150 set up and made a couple of hats for our church's homeless mission. I didn't take pictures of them because I use the same pattern every time and only vary the yarn. I'm using some Caron One Pound this time around. There is nothing special about it except for the amount of yarn you get for the price and that makes me able to afford to make more hats than I otherwise would. I have a commitment for 12 hats this year for my Mission Possible 2011 goal and have now got two of those done except for the seaming.
The Blueberry Pi shawl is also on that list as are the Wildfoote socks. Did I post my list here? I can't remember. Oh well, here it is...
  1. Twelve hats for MT25
  2. Knitted t-shirt
  3. Scrap Afghan (wip … less than half)(completed Jan 26)
  4. 10 stitch Afghan (wip … way less than one quarter done.)
  5. two woven scarves for granddaughters
  6. socks
  7. socks
  8. fingerless mitts
  9. fingerless mitts
  10. Pi shawl
  11. TBD (to be decided)
  12. Something with my handspun I have scarves promised to my granddaughters and the yarn already chosen. I’m not sure if I’m making patterned socks or not. I am thinking of a Cookie A pair. I also need to weave the curtains for my craft room and find an awesome pattern for my handspun as soon as it is finished and I know what gauge it is. There is lots of spinning to be finished here too in the next year. I want to try to get my stash down to about half of what it is now. The twelve hats for MT25 is a yearly promise that I usually try to surpass. I see this list changing during the year.
I am making some progress on that list by working on my 11 minutes a day commitment. I still need to do some fiber work today. I plan to spin a little, knit on the shawl a little, and maybe make a trip to a local yarn store here. I really don't need to go there, but I might anyway. They had fiber for spinning the last time I was in. That spinning thing was a slippery slope.
I will be glad to get home and get the house moved and settled so that I can do some weaving too. I know my loom is getting lonely there by itself.
Did you notice that I am thinking about a trip to the yarn store and right there on my Mission Possible list is an idea to get my stash down to about half of what it is now? I see trouble brewing.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on the WIPS

I turned the heel on the Regia ankle socks for my grandson. The picture isn't good. It's cloudy and I couldn't get them to lay where you could actually see that they are both turned. I've picked up the gusset stitches and am in the process of decreasing them back down now. It's not really exciting except that it looks like these will be identical twins too and not just fraternal like most of my socks are. It took a little futzing around to get them to start at the same place, but it wasn't bad really. I'm not usually concerned about a perfect or even a near perfect match on my socks, but decided to give it a try this time around. Not bad, even if I do say so myself.
I'm still in Dallas visiting with DH. I got to go to Whole Foods this morning. That totally wouldn't be a big deal except that we don't have one at home and they have one of my favorite (365 Veggie) chips and my favorite (jalapeno, cilantro) hummus. I will have to take some of the chips home for one of my granddaughters too. She likes them as well. Funny that when I looked them up online they got a bad rating on the taste test. Ah well, everyone can't have the same taste or I'd never get to have the things I like. (Same issue with clothes... sometimes I look at something and say "Really? not on this body. Uh uh)
I have also turned the heel on my Wildfoote socks. I really like this yarn. It's squishy and not splitty for me when I'm knitting. (Of course, your mileage may vary.) The last pair of socks that I knit from this yarn got swiped by my granddaughter. I don't know how they are wearing now, but they were wearing well when I still had them. These are the two pair of socks that are my "don't pay attention to what's going on while husband is driving in Dallas because you will just freak out" knitting. I am unashamedly a small town/ country girl. I do not like to go eighty riding right on someone's bumper and don't like them doing it to me either. Meandering country roads are my thing. (yes, the new property is out of town.) I have no problem bebopping along at 15 miles an hour behind a farmer. I always leave early enough to take that into account.
This little bit of scrunched up knitting that doesn't look like anything yet is the start of my Blueberry Pi from the Wendy Johnson Shetland Pi KAL. I can't make it look like more than a blob at this point. (I spent over five minutes trying.) What is there to say about this? Well, I had a hard time with the start because I didn't have the appropriate size double points with me and casting on nine stitches on a circular needle was interesting to say the least. I ended up using this pictoral tutorial for Emily Ocker's cast on. It still wasn't easy, but it got done.
My plan for my 11 minutes today is to seam some hats for MT25 that have been sitting for a while and do a couple of rounds on the Blueberry Pi and carry along one of the pairs of socks to work on on the way to dinner tonight. Tomorrow's plan includes setting up the LK150 for some hat work. I need to knit 12 this year for my Mission Possible 2011 commitment. I haven't even done one yet. The ones I need to seam are from December. (Told you they had been sitting for a while.)
I spent 20 minutes on the elliptical here at the hotel this morning. The stride isn't really long enough for me so it is awkward. The treadmills were both occupied and that's why I was on the elliptical. I did a little weight training with the machines, but missed my Zumba. It will be March before I get to go back. I really need to order the dvds so I can do it on days I can't make a class.
Off to have some lunch and do some knitting.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's a pair of socks (and a half)

It's the day after Valentines day and things have changed since my last blog post. We made an offer on a different piece of property since there were some issues with the first piece. The sellers of the second piece accepted our offer and it's now in the hands of an attorney to get ready for closing in three weeks. This piece is slightly smaller and has a lot less pine trees. I'm happy about that. We will still have a lot of clearing to do and some other work before we can move our house to it, but I'm feeling like things will go pretty well.
I finished the first pair of Regia socks that I was working on and they match nicely. I'm glad. I hope the child that they are for likes them too.

Then I started a pair of ankle socks for my grandson. He likes his socks short so I thought I'd make use of the rest of the Regia and fix him up.
My grandchildren seem to keep track of who got what last a lot better than I do.
I'm still working on the Wildfoote socks for myself and hope to finish them in the next week or so.
I'm still working on my spinning, but there is not much progress to show so I didn't take another picture. No one would have been able to tell any progress was made at all. I tried to spin on my spindle in the car while my husband was driving yesterday and I could spin as long as I went with the park and draft method. There just wasn't enough room for me to get the suspended spinning going. It was worth a try. It made me want to buy a Spindolyn, but so far I am holding out. I own three spindles now and don't really think I need another at this time.
My plan for my time in Dallas is to finish both pair of socks I have on the needles and start my Pi shawl. I also have some hats that need to be seamed for MT25. All of these things are on my Mission Possible 2011 list. I brought my LK150 with me and will try to make some more hats while I'm here and also do some spinning. I think this will cover my 11 minutes a day easily.
I will start hitting the exercise room tomorrow morning and try to get in at least 30 minutes a day while I'm here. There is no snow on the ground right now and I hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random knitting and spinning

It's been an interesting few days around here. I finally finished the second baby blanket. I'm so glad it's done. It's for the daughter of an old high school friend who is expecting twins and I was wondering if I was going to make it before she had the babies. The blanket was a lot of work on my Lk150 because of all the hand manipulation involved.

I am halfway through a pair of socks for an honorary grandson.

I started a pair of socks for myself in Brown Sheep's Wildfoote. This pair will just be a vanilla pair that I can work on in the car as I travel next week. Those two pair of socks are on my Mission Possible 2011 list.

On top of that I have been doing some spinning and I still like it as much as I did when I started. I am making slow, but steady progress on my fiber.

If all goes as planned, we will be closing on a piece of property on Friday. It will be an interesting few months while we get it cleared and ready for our mobile home to be moved there. The pine trees have got to go. I've seen first hand how easily they snap in even moderately high winds and I really don't want a tree in the middle of my roof or on top of my car. There is a pretty nice magnolia that I will keep and I heard that there are some fruit trees on the property. It's really overgrown and needs some work. We have a friend who is just waiting to take a crack at it. I will have to save some money for a riding mower because I can't see me mowing three acres with a push mower. I've never driven a riding mower so that will be interesting.
I'm deciding what to take with me to Dallas next week and I will take the spinning from the photo above along with both pair of socks that I'm currently working on and the Pi shawl that I want to start. I'm thinking about taking my first handspun along to make myself a cowl with. That would add two more things in progress on my Mission Possible 2011 list. ( I see a pattern here.)
I'll let you know how it's going on the knitting front as well as with the property.
I am a little bummed about not having a garden this year, but the possibilities for next year are making me smile.

Friday, February 4, 2011

11 in 11 How am I doing?

I'm still working on Baby Blanket #2 on my Lk150. The reforming of stitches is going slowly but steadily. I think it will be lovely when completed, but that is still at least a week away and that's if I can take the machine with me to Dallas for a visit next week.
I'm not even sure that I will be able to go though. Between the weather and the fact that we are trying to buy a piece of property to put our house (mobile home) on I just might not be able to go. I am not a fan of snow or cold which would explain why I live in the south and I mean deep south as in I'm less than twenty miles from the Gulf of Mexico. Our temperatures have been below normal and I am not a happy camper about it. On top of maybe or maybe not on my trip to Dallas I also cannot plant a garden until I know if we are actually going to get to move or not. Oh well.
I've also been doing some spinning. This is some dark gray carbonized bamboo on my Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. It really is a lot darker than it appears in this shot. I'm getting much better at it and I love doing it. I also have some Potluck Roving in Pumpkin Spice on my Kundert and some wool that I'm not sure what it is in a lovely teal(ish) color on the spindle I got on my last trip to Texas.
I still am not sure what I will make with any of the yarn I am making right now. The orange is such a stretch for me. It is not one of my normal colors. The teal is so much more me. There is more fiber waiting in the wings for a free spindle.

I also finished and got a photo of my latest crocheted scrap afghan. I am trying to use up my scraps and make them into something useful. These afghans are going to my church homeless ministry. They are not beautiful, but they are warm. I made one years ago and my son won't let me give it away. He says it's his favorite afghan.
Being the person I am, I have two pair of socks on needles too and I'm getting ready to start a Pi Shawl. The scrap afghan, socks, and shawl are all on my list for Mission Possible 2011. That's helpful.
As for the 11 in 11 process, I am doing fine. The idea is to spend eleven minutes every day in 2011 on something fiber related. All my work on my machines counts as does the time I spend spinning or knitting by hand or weaving or researching a pattern on Revelry. So far it's been easy going. I think the challenging part will be during the moving portion of the year.
The property we are looking at is about 3 acres and most of it is wooded. Those pines will have to go. The hardwoods can stay, but pines tend to snap in rough weather and I am in what we lovingly refer to as hurricane alley. We spend from June through November watching the weather here. Normally, we get a break in the winter and don't worry so much about the weather, but with the unusual cold this year... oh well. We are in trouble if the power goes as we are total electric and there is no fireplace in my home. Heat in the camper is gas, but it is a truck camper and I don't think I can be cooped up there with my mom and son for very long without pulling all my hair out. I really don't think I would look good bald.
Off to do something productive and get my 11 minutes in for the day along with some laundry and some exercise.