Saturday, November 20, 2010

Wow - more things done!

I finished some more things - so want to post while I remember to.  First off, the Owl Hat for DGD#2...  This went really quickly - except sewing 36 buttons on.  It's cute and she loves pink and purple and birds... so I have 2 of 3.

Then with empty needles I decided I wanted something for me.  My feet have been cold - so socks...Hermione's Everyday socks by Erica Lueder. I downloaded the pattern from Ravelry and here is my progress this week:
Unfortunately the greens that are in this have disappeared and turned to blues.  And I've misplaced the label so I'm not sure who the yarn is from.  Bummer.

I don't really like doing top-down socks.  I'm always afraid I will run short of yarn before I get to the toes.  The only solution is back to the leg part and make it shorter then do the heel flap, turn, gusset and all that again.  Working a toe-up sock - well if you run short, the leg is shorter - no ripping.  I like the texture of this sock so may do the pattern again - but will go toe-up.

Last, spinning.  

First there was one... well I'm now at two down and one to go:
Now to start bobbin number 3 then re-wind and make a 3-ply yarn - for socks if the yardage is enough.  I've been reading and re-winding the yarn back to another bobbin evens out the twist.  I can get rid of the little twisty bits sticking up which can hose up the plying.

On a final front, I have wanted to get some bread going.  One that needed you to start one day and finish the next.  I groveled a bit and got a recipe for Ciabatta from Mark at The Back Home Bakery.   I started the Poolish last night and got up early today - just to see if it worked.  It looked just like the picture I saw.  Then I measured out the main bread ingredients today, mixed and folded and let it rise.  More folds and risings.  Cut into four, rose again and baked.  Voila!

Oh this is good - exactly what I wanted and tastes even better than I thought it would.  All I have to do is work on the shaping a bit - and not have to rescue baking sheets from the freezer.  So when these are cool, the 3 above will be wrapped and frozen - we can enjoy maybe 1 per week?  At least that is the plan until himself gets a taste...

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving to all in the U.S.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Monthly update?

Let's see if I can manage to update monthly and improve from there.  
I finished some socks.. and some others with photos not taken yet.  I started a hat for another Christmas present.  Have about 3 hours more work and the knitting is done.  Then I have to buy and attach a bunch of buttons.
Next task will be 2 more handknit gifts and some thoughts for gifts for other family members.

I've also been spinning...  This is some superfine merino and I'm almost 2/3rds done with the first 4-oz braid.  This will be a three-ply yarn suitable for socks I hope.
 I also have been using and trying to learn to use a supported spindle - Russian style.  The fiber is a merino wool/alpaca blend.  I'm learning but it is going slowly.  I'll try to get some better photos next time around.

The last entry is probably the most awesome to me.  Cheekwood Botanical Gardens has had an exhibition of the glasswork of Dale Chihuly.  The gardens were open both day and evening hours.  So I got to see these:

  This was truly a spectacular show.  Yesterday was the last day but the memories and photos I have will live with me always.  For those with a lot of time on their hands, check out the artist's website here.  At the bottom are links to see exhibitions, installations and schedules of what will be where.  Trivia - the ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio in Los Vegas was done by Chihuly.

The last photo is showing what we've been finishing up now.  The killing frost has hit and we have finally put up the last of our peppers.  These are mostly mini-bells - the gold and orange ones with a few others included as well: 

 So until next time, Enjoy

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Once Again

Here I go again - and let's see if I can stick with it a bit better this time around.  I've been inspired a bit watching a video blog - and I can't remember the name.  When I do I'll link it here.

So what have I been up to... Knitting and spinning and work and, and, and.  This may be a bit photo heavy but here goes...

First of all, Silk Hankies dyed by AllSpunUp.  It's been a really long time since I have spun hankies so I'm trying this again and hope the learning curve isn't too horrible.

The spindle with the hook is a Bosworth and has some of the silk above spun on it.  The other is a support spindle and the bowl it sits in to be spun.  I have an alpaca wool mixture on that one.    Below are two photos of a superfine Merino, again from AllSpunUp.  This was one of her mystery spin-alongs from last year, I think.  This one will be a three ply and hopefully, a pair of socks when I'm done spinning.

FireStarter Sock  Craftygirl83 Georgia Peach yarn
Next is the first of a pair.  The pattern is Fire Starter and the yarn is by an indie dyer, craftygirl83.  I know her   as Dana in Chattanooga.  The colorway is Georgia Peach and it's lovely.  I need to finish the other (I'm decreasing the gusset - that triangular area) and then have the cuff) and find my sock blockers.  These are for a Christmas present for someone.  Another Christmas present - unless I decide to keep it is Lacy Baktus.  This one is made of one of my handspun skeins.  This is merino, 3 ply, and I do like the way the colors move.
 The next photo is a group of handpun yarns of mine.  The gray and brown in the middle are Falkland Fleece.  The darker one to the left is Cormo.  The scarf is a Fiesta Ruched Scarf from Interweave Knits - last winter, I think.  It still needs to be blocked, but now I've found my Orvus paste, I can wash & block it.  
The yarn on the right is Blue Suede Shoes from Crown Mountain Farm - a superwash Merino.  Below it, the solid turquoise blue is a Merino - leftovers from a seaman's scarf I made for my daughter a long time ago.  Between the gray and the scarf are 2 skeins handspun from AllSpunUp again.  I'll be doing some beauty shots of these in the future.  Also below is Windswept.  This is a kit and included that beautiful silk/merino yarn in a colorway called Peony.  Somehow another photo was lost so we'll find it for next time.  

Take care everyone and I hope to return in about 7-10 days.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Time flies so quickly

Wow it's been a long time between postings.  Time is going by so quickly that I just ... well no time for excuses.

The first weekend of May saw 13.57 inches of rain in the Nashville TN area.  We came through just fine - one small leak near the chimney.  Neighbors had problems with lots of water - some in their homes.  I think we're on the high spot on the cul-de-sac.  

I used to think that the funniest thing I had seen was a soaking wet roadrunner.  Now I think it may be mockingbirds that are soaking wet.  All their feathers just hang down with all the water.  This one just sat on the fence, in the downpour, and sang and sang.

I did find one visitor after the rain... a blue-tailed skink.  He's been released into my garden bed where he (or she) has places to hide, places to sun himself and lots of things to eat.

In the back yard, our raised beds are starting to fill up.   DH has harvested some sugar snap peas for my dinner on Friday - Things have about doubled in size since this photo was taken a week or so ago.

I've been doing more spinning recently.  Finished a skein of Falkland dyed by AllSpunUp
I love the colors and the quality of her fibers.  I've moved on to some gray Corriedale that I purchased at Crown Mountain Farms.  Love the color but I'm going to play with it a bit more to decide how I want do spin this.  Meanwhile I have some more of AllSpunUp's braids that I can play with.  

Knitting has slowed down a bit.  I'm knitting a shawl called Windswept from Fiddlesticks Knitting  I love the Exquisite yarn which came with the kit - it's 50% mulberry silk and 50% merino.  I have other 50/50 silk/merino combination yarns but this one is so much softer.  Must be the bombyx silk instead of tussah.  

For more information about silk then you ever thought you would want to know see Worm Spit. Com.  This man's knowledge is awesome!

On another note - it is so great to get back in touch with people you haven't been in contact with for years.  That's happened to me recently and I'm really grateful for this.  My MIL had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and I have been really concerned.  I have not been in contact with her or DH's siblings in a long time.  Recent updates indicate she is doing better than I thought and I'm so glad of this.  Things will get harder down the road but hopefully we'll all remember these good times.

Off to enjoy the remainder of Mother's Day.  Wishing a Happy Mother's Day for all the mothers, today and always.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Another one bites the dust...

Whooo Hooo The Dragon Hat is done!!!

The red is so intense it appears to glow on this.  The blue background is more of a dark royal blue with the ribbing a navy blue.  So it gets mailed off this week with the AAAAAA is for Wallaby and hopefully the kids will enjoy them.

Next up - finish the Ruched Scarf - and the swatch for Nana's Sweater both from Interweave Knits Winter 2009.  I've also pulled out some Opal Yarn and the Nutkin Sock ( pattern to play with.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Three down - a hat to go.

Sweater #3 for grandson A is now done.  Finished last night and now I have a hat about half way done for the baby.  Dragons are not always easy to knit.  I've started the flames he's breathing and have about 2/3rds of the wings to do.

Fire Ruched Scarf is done - well the knitting is done.  The finishing will probably take as long as the knitting.  I LOVE the colors of this one.  Photos when it is completely done.

I went to the local spinning group last weekend and had a ball.  Watching what others are working with is always an inspiration to me.  One lady had brought a Shetland fleece she had cleaned and was spinning straight from the fleece.  The fleece was a rich chocolate brown with golden tips and the spinning was preserving this wonderful color mixture.  Two ladies were spinning for a class held Saturday.  Next month I'm looking forward to seeing what they created.

My next project will be another from Interweave Knits Winter issue.  It's Nora's Jacket - the cover one.  I have Ultra Alpaca in a heathery blue that I'll be using.  

I've also been spinning.  AllSpunUp's November/December Spin Along was Falkland dyed with beautiful blues, greens purples - I have one bobbin done and another started.  I think I'll do a simple 2-ply and see what happens from there.  Once I'm finished and know what my yardage is, I can see what I can knit.

The Jan/Feb SAL is Wensleydale colorway called Blaze.  It's awesome and when I can get some good daylight photos, will post here.  That one will probably be a single.

Posting a photo from a few months ago when DH was putting down the floor in our bedroom.  The flooring is stranded bamboo and it's really nice.  No carpet in this house!  The tape holds it in place until the glue dries.  Wall color is called Tigereye from Sherwin Williams.  I love the color!  We also used Lemongrass and Basket Beige.    


Monday, January 4, 2010


Happy New Year to one and all. I think things have settle down a bit so maybe more can be written and I can accomplish a bit more than last year.

In 2009 I finished 2 pairs of socks and two sweaters. I think I would have finished at least one more sweater except for a family member's emergency surgery Thanksgiving weekend. What could have been tragic wasn't and he's home and
recovering. Hopefully the surgeon will release him to light duty at work tomorrow.

This time of year is a time for remembering - remembering friends and family who have passed, remembering good times and thinking. Not so much regrets or what-if's but trying to make sense of events and determining what route I think I want to follow.

Right now we're having snow flurries - and it's cold enough that they will stick around for a while. It's just a dusting - like the sprinkle of powdered sugar on a chocolate cupcake - the cake still shows through. We're at 15°F right now with the wind-chill taking it down to 4. It would be a great day for a fire in the fireplace and a mug of tea or chocolate and a good book. I haven't found gas logs for the fireplace yet - so that takes care of that one. I also have to leave for work in about 30 min. so that takes care of the mug and book. It's the thought that counts so I can feel snuggly.

Knitting projects pending right now are the third sweater, a dragon hat for the youngest grandson, and the Fiery Ruched Scarf from the Winter Interweave Knits. I have about 5 rows for the scarf, the sleeves, yoke and hood for the sweater, and about half the hat. I hope to finish all three this month. Then I plan to start the Nana sweater from the cover of IK. I have some beautiful yarn from Haus of Yarn in Nashville and will post a photo as soon as I get a good one taken.

My orchids bloomed this year - in fact the 2 orchids, 3 Christmas Cacti, and 3 African Violets were all in bloom at the same time. That's a first for us. I thin the orchids had a total of 14 blooms and one is shown here. They are both dendrobiums - one standard and one miniature. Both are the same coloring and the blooms are actually the same size.

So until later, enjoy now!