Thursday, February 2, 2017

Groundhog day

 February is officially here and I'm still waiting for winter. I love a good old-fashioned snow storm that lasts for days leaving lots of white snow... enough to romp in, go sledding, coat the yard white. So far this winter has been a bust. Yes, we've had a few snowy moments, but mostly mud. There are 12 paws that live in my house and that means lots of floor mopping. It's enough to drive someone to knit! I've reverted to knitting elves. again. I just can't stop. Such a quick and easy project to do ... and such a nice gift. My sister commented many times over our family celebration how much she would love to have one. Really, one? I'm well on my way to having another family done.
This is some lovely yarn, I think it's Malabrigo worsted, that I won in the recent guild auction. No tag and already in a ball it was perfect for an elf. and to save my sanity. As we entered the new year, my dishwasher (love it like a child) started to make some funky noises and was missing some spots. I took it apart, cleaned filters, ran the cleaner..... all with limited success. Mentioned it in passing to my partner and soon found myself trapped visiting stores to compare modes. We (and I use this term loosely) decided that it would be a simple homeowner project to swap them out.
All was going well until we discovered that the mounting brackets did not line up with the existing holes in the counter top. The granite counter top. Five drill bits later it should be finished tonight. Then the screws need to set for 24 hours and washing can resume. My hands are never good in the winter and this has just about sent them over the edge. I will say that every family member has taken many turns in the dishpan, and we can't wait to get this new one going!
Back to the fiber for sanity philosophy. I decided to join in the Miss Bab's weave-a-long.
Snagged some great Yummy 2-ply in Maryland this year so this was a perfect reason to warp the loom. Sadly this picture does not show the lovely colors of the yarn, so I'll get a better one soon.
This is an accurate picture of the yarn that I'm casting on next. Got a knitting request from my cousin. I love when someone in my family asked for a knitted item. She wants a bright pink hat, well really she wants two.... one for her and one for her daughter. I had no bright pink in the stash and could not find any online. Thank goodness for amythefibergoddess. We dyed several skeins and I snagged the two brightest. Can't wait to cast these on!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

So, it seems I'll do ....

anything to make knitting this cowl interesting. Last night I found myself agreeing to go to Lowes to 'browse' with my partner. Not only do I detest going to Lowes, browsing there is like being tortured. Yet, I went willingly, even pawed through the clearance holiday racks for lights, bulbs and new snow. yikes!!
This morning I resolved to turn it around, find the fun!
This lovely shaker knitting box was a gift several years ago. I've never used it (too nice) and decided that drastic times call for drastic measures.
loaded it up with the remaining small skeins - that I've put into balls - added scissors
threaded the next color through....
joined it to my current color. I really steamed through that ball in anticipation of making this work!
can't say I'm getting any farther any faster, but I'm determined : )

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

catching up and knitting on...

I loved the idea behind the manic panic cowl... using up lots of little skeins and having a wearable item at the end. the problem is that I want to do almost anything but knit on that cowl. Even though I'm at the half way point, it don't feel like I'm getting any where at all!!!!

not hard or tooooo monotonous, I just find that if there is a bit of distraction there is a fair amount of fixing. so what have I been doing instead?
this came off the loom and made my heart happy
I've resorted to using the yard decorations for models. After asking for all sorts of opinions on how and what to warp the loom with, I used two different colors that seemed very close. one is striped (warp) the other was a muted solid in a close color.
this is a more accurate expression of the colors. totally dig that vibrant green nestled in the dark purple. The yarn is a discontinued line from Blue Moon. BFL fingering that is surprisingly soft. I am so tempted to warp the remainder, but... still got that cowl to knit. I even resorted to spinning....
this a ITW rimfisher that needs to be off this wheel. Been working on it way to long and it needs to be a shawl before May.
this is all I have left to finish. Which leaves me lots of time to knit. on the cowl. Before I start any other projects. I swear!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

into the new year

Christmas was just right. snow on the ground, family and friends gathered, and time to finish up lots of fiber projects. believe me, I was thrilled that those naughty elves (and my addiction to them) had run it's course. Well, that's not really true, I just ran out of bells, yarn and fiberfill. there may be more of them in my future, but not for gift giving!
This finally came off the loom. it was taking forever to do because it's over 7 feet long. I must have wanted it to be long enough to wrap many, many times around my neck. My fringe was easy to complete with my handy fringe winder. What a great addition to the fiber tools. if you are ever thinking of getting one, do it! the fiber is: stone edge fibers in shades of grey. Did I mention that it's her cashmere blend?
With an empty loom, I had to get another warped.
the picture is terrible, but it is Blue moon fiber, BFL fingering in dark shades. I would love to tell you what the colorway is, but someone (with four paws and red fur) ate the tags. never hurts the fiber, just loves the tags. so, I'm going with dark shades! I made this quite wide so it can function as a wrap or a scarf. the best part was using the new technique my friend Jaye taught me. It worked like a charm and the warp tension is just perfect!
I've got a new knitting project on the needles. The manic panic cowl. I have thirteen small skeins of varying yarns so I know it will match every coat I own. I'm on skein 5, so just need to keep slogging along.
I do have one project left from last year, the sheep pillow kit that I purchased in Maryland. I dug it out during the holiday cleaning frenzy and made it through the tough part while I was trapped waiting at Ontario Honda for a service. Solid 90 minutes of knitting with zero distractions. Now to keep up the momentum.
I'm looking forward to see what fabulous fiber stuff awaits me in 2017. I promise to keep the blog up to date : )

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

those darn elves

I just can't seem to stop making these blasted elves. I refused to put myself into a 'must knit' situation and would not even consider gifting any of them. well, I relented.
I decided to use up the rest of the worsted weight yarn that I originally purchased for them. Then I had to make 'just one more'.......
This is the current batch. There is one missing from the photo (it's living in my honey's office). And there is the one that is currently on my needles. Several are being gifted and the remainder will be the hearth decoration. I've got to get another knitting project!
so about the weaving......
amythefibergoddess to the rescue. Not only could she identify the yarn, she even had some left. I came right home and with a bit of help....
got back into the groove. my little fiber pup was under my feet as I was balling the skein and wrapping the shuttle. I kept dropping it or the ball of yarn on her and she would not leave her warm, snuggly pad. I hope to get this scarf done. it seems the more I work on it, the longer it gets. With the holiday approaching I promised to make some space and get this loom out. I may be working on this until the new year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

since we were last together....

 I admit.... I shuddered when I saw the last blog post was July. sigh. no going back, no excuses, so just some catch-up. The endless warmth of summer carried over into fall and it took me forever to get my knitting mojo back. The Finger Lakes Fiber Festival was another wonderful event. It keeps getting better each year, and it is completely because of the volunteers who dedicate so much time and talent. The guild display was the Noro-shawl knit along. A wall full of stunning creations that festival attendees could vote for their favorite. There always is a run-away winner and this year is was amythefibergoddess. I will admit (and it's no secret) that she put a lot of thought into this project and is often the case, dragged me along! We spun the Hemlock Reserve in polworth silk for our main color and she dyed complimentary colors to match. she chose the oranger shades and I went with the greens. The top four winners were announced at the most recent guild meeting and prizes awarded. I came in a distant second to amy, but was thrilled to be in such great company!
 We made the annual trek to Rhinebeck, this year with two newbies. It was an absolute delight to travel and spend the weekend with fiber-pals. I found some great treasures-yarn from ITW (which I've never used) and their stunning roving.
We squeezed some fun during those last fall days, spending the afternoon on the Medina railroad for their wine train.
we visited the train museum and stopped at Spring lake winery on the return trip for dinner and a tasting. lots of knitting time on the train when I wasn't enjoying the stunning scenery. I still haven't finished that shawl because we've been busy with this.....
poor Etta started limping around Halloween. Wasn't sure what it was, but suspected a torn CL. The vet confirmed my suspicions and surgery was scheduled. Then she had a vicious reaction to the meds resulting in delaying the procedure. When she finally had it done, we found out that the injury was worse than we had expected with quite a bit of arthritis already in the joint. We obeyed the strict cage restrictions for two week post-op and are half-way through the extremely limited activity. Soon she can start building up that leg muscle with walks. So, our pup in training....
has been at the region coordinators. being back to two canines has been an interesting adjustment. I keep looking for miss sunbeam. The good news for fiber is that I've been knitting like a lunatic. Forced crate rest = cage sitting!
amy got me started on these 'Jolly Old Elves' and they have become my potato chips. more? you bet
I've got two more small ones in the works and then it may have run the course. Now that the holidays are here, floor space is at a premium so I've been trying to empty my looms. I completed the cotton dish towels and almost finished this scarf....
and ran out of yarn. I'm optimistic that stone edge fibers may have the other skein that I need. 
That brings me up to date so I'll try to stay there!

Friday, July 29, 2016

the dyeing has begun

Last week amythefibergoddess and I were looking at the calendar, realized that the month was zooming past and set a date to start dyeing. We usually try to choose a day that not only works into our schedules, but is a tad bit cooler. Of course with this summer, that is impossible! She had a plan to start with the yarn that would be come a sample shawl. Having had so much fun knitting Reyna, I jumped at the chance to knit another.
It is intimidating to look at all that empty yarn and see the color. Thank goodness that is not my job! We start with a set of colors, then more get added in..... or taken out and before you know it there is a bucket of beauty.
Since I was knitting the sample, I got first dibs on the skein that sang to me...

can you stand it? I could hardly wait for it to dry so I could cast on!
Not to worry, there will be lots more in  her booth at the 2016 Finger Lakes Fiber Festival!