Saturday, January 28, 2012


it seems that i've not been able to enjoy the process of spinning lately. guild meetings are a blur with activities, fiber friends, responsibilities, so when cc planned a spinning day i was ready.
i started getting ready last evening, remembering what it was that i was actually spinning and working with it again. i found the fiber, unearthed some bobbins and was ready to go.
it filled two bobbins and am energized to fill more. when i got home i separated the wool into 2 ounce balls so i could have a visual of how much more is left of my cape cod cranberry. i want to have it all spun and find a large chunk of time that i can devote to plying to improve my consistency.
then i''m looking forward to a hank of 'fiber-optix' wool.

Friday, January 20, 2012

finished projects

having my nephew try on the gator was genius! i can't believe i actually thought that one through. i took it off the needles and put in on a piece of yarn, then wrapped it ( around an itunes card)he is a gigantically tall, skinny dude, so i was spot on thinking that it needed to be longer..... around 2 inches longer. i finished it up, and sent it on it's way to him. we had a rare sunny day here, so i was able to get a great shot of it relaxing on the pine tree.
the lala. knit, blocked and resting in the cold wintry sun. this baby is big. really big and i didn't realize until it was pinned and blocking on my queen size bed. the colors in this is just amazing, sandy's fiber is perfect for this pattern. i'm relived that my 'to-knit' list is empty.... well sort of. still have a bottle cardigan on the needles and a vest that is chugging along, but all my must knits are done. i'll enjoy the lull before the next 'must-do' strikes!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

cause i'm just that stupid...

my family chose many years ago to celebrate our 'family christmas' on martin luther king weekend. we have grown into such a large, unwieldy lot, that it just made sense to find a time without all the insanity of the holiday bustle to come together and enjoy. now, my mom is in her nineties, my sisters share a large age range, their children have children, and folks live out of state, so it is a  huge deal to gather us all together. as is often the way, it is the estrogen owners that really make this tick. we plan the menu, choose the time, muster the troops and have passed down the glue to keep it together. this year there will be about thirty of us meeting in my big old house for an afternoon of food, drink and gifts.
the tradition has been for the ladies to craft their gift. back in the day, you crafted for everyone. when we were up to 15 gifts, we let that craziness tradition go and went to a simple name draw. we even added the option that while the gift had to be hand-crafted, it need not be by your hands. then there were the kids. they span in range from diapers to teenagers so we adopted the name draw for them.
anyone who has been reading knows that my name will be the happy owner of a wine cardigan. it was touch and go there for a bit as they were all being scooped up, but i saved an extra special one. i knit it with hand spun and used buttons from mom's button box. add in a lovely finger lakes wine and voila, gift!
here's where i went off the rails. the kid's name draw could have easily become a gift card exchange. in the true spirit of the season, i felt that we should try to mirror the ladies gift and craft at least a part of the gift. (it seems i was under the influence of a sassy merlot when i came upon this plan) the young lady we have will get a super yummy set of flannel pj's and a pair of hand-crafted earrings. so far, so good. the young lad, well young lad should say it all. i knuckled under and went the itunes route, but then learned that he has taken to the slopes, learning to ski. well, that was all the info i needed to decide that a neck warmer would be perfect. the family agreed, but what to knit it from? i searched, fondled, passed skeins around, debated about color and finally had to admit that i didn't have any yarn that would do. stop laughing! yes, there is un-tallied pounds of yarn, fiber, and so forth on the premises, but i needed something specific. so off i went to the yarn store today and found a lovely alpaca/wool blend in charcoal. ideal for a teen boy at a price point that won't break my heart if he hates it.
notice the use of my electronic device? i'm quite please with my leap into this century. if only it could knit it for me. by saturday.

Monday, January 9, 2012

La la licious

Done. Finished. Completed.
I'm feeling pretty content with this project behind me. Well, almost. Tomorrow I want to get this baby blocked and drying. Since my bed is the only one large enough to hold it, I'll have to wait til I'm not in it!
I stayed fairly true to the pattern. I did add a two stitch edge, I think it gives a less 'Lacey' appearance which works with this yarn. I also kept the center stitch completely in st. Stitch. I also added and additional two rows of garter stitch to the end, two reasons. To use up the remainder of the yarn and to give the appearance of finale.
The yarn really made this sing. I was not jumping into this project with enthusiasm. I just couldn't get motivated to wrap my brain around even an attempt at creativity.
With that said, I couldn't be happier with my finished item!
I'm still not a shall wearer, but I might make an exception with this one.

Friday, January 6, 2012

a knitted thank-you

my cousin is a marvelous stamper. her creations are beautiful and reflect not only her talent but her skill. i save every card she sends me in my 'special' card box. i can take them out for inspiration or just to enjoy. i keep a rotating collection on my kitchen windowsill to look at every day. i'm corny and sentimental that way. i love to have little bits and bobs around to remind me of the people in my life. there are those that i see often and not so often. linda is one of those special folks. i'll start admiring the card, then imagine her in her stamp space. i'll ponder why she chose those colors or that design, how she structured the project and then it will start me thinking about her. what her life is like, the people that she touches now and those from her past, the silly escapades we had growing up. the laughter we've shared, the silly, sweet, sad, goofy parts that make a family, a family.
she is my blog buddy. i don't always get her technical stuff, ( and heaven knows not many can get mine :) but it keeps us connected and i love that. she sent me a box full of stamp stuff and i needed to send her a thank-you. so i went with fiber. i love this pattern and will definitely be repeating it. the yarn is one that i have had for quite a while, one that i treated myself with and knew that it would get put to good use. the bright happy colors,  just say linda to me. so when she is dog walking, sidewalk shoveling, dashing out to do errands, i'll be keeping her warm. and how cool is that?!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

LaLa knit-a-long

i've been late to the party on this one. my spinning guild chose to complete a knit-a-long for our fiber fest display. for my non-fiber relatives... a knit-a-long or KAL is where a group of folks choose a pattern and simultaneously knit the same thing. in this case, a pattern was chosen that provided a frame that folks could follow exactly or add their own personal creativity too.
i am not a shawl or wrap kind of dresser. i think they make me look shorter and i feel like i've got too much stuff on my frame. call me crazy, but that is my story. it has made getting on board with this project a challenge. i've bought fiber, debated spinning it, tried to talk myself into it and just slid into something else. i've sincerely contemplated variations of yarn, plying,  yada, yada but still nothing.
just before the holidays i was in the basement, storing excess fiber to make room for the trim. i actually opened every bag and tote to see what i had lurking around. i started to sort out items for gifts, the guild auction and items to move into the spinning que.
one bag that i opened contained a february lady sweater that i had started, well i don't remember when. the yarn was handspun from sandy long fiber in my shades of greens. i think it was a wool and mohair blend, but really it's been so long i was stumped. i had a light bulb moment and knew that i would never finish this sweater. it was all wrong for me and i would never wear it. so i started ripping the blasted thing out. i located all the hanks of fiber and saw that i would have enough for the lala. i wrapped it on niddy-noddies and using my steamer (thanks neenee) it straightened out perfectly.
so with all that done, i just needed to slap this baby on a set of needles. it became my mission to start before year end and i just made it. super easy to knit, i will admit i'm enjoying our time together.