Location: Crescent City, California, United States

I love to make things with my hands. My current passions are knitting and spinning.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Holding Down the Couch

About once a year I get sick. This past 1 1/2 weeks I have more than made up for my normal good health. I had a virus with a fever and sore throat that lasted 4 days, felt better for a few days, then goat a nasty sinus infections - which finally entitled me to some antibiotics. I think I just may live!
On the upside, I got a fair amount of knitting done and finished a book. The book I was reading was PILLARS OF THE EARTH by Ken Follett. It was almost 1000 pages in paperback form, but what an interesting book. The book even talks about buying and selling wool, spinning, and weaving!! Since it is set in the 1100's, there are a few gruesome parts that I skimmed over pretty fast. It is an epic novel with a sequel that was just released - WORLD WITHOUT END. I'm waiting for that one to come out in paperback.
As for the knitting, I finished another pair of gift socks for a very good friend (and forgot to take a picture of both socks together).....
The yarn is Trekking, and they were knit on US 1 Bamboo DPNs. I uses a standard 2X2 ribbing and carried it down the instep to the toe decreases. These were a nice, no-thinking, knitting project.
I have also been knitting Chemo Caps out of Cascade Fixation yarn that I am going to donate for patients in Eureka. Here is one site with free patterns to make your own to donate to your favorite place. I was told that Cascade Fixation is more comfortable for those who have lost their hair from chemo since it isn't itchy. I finished one cap........
And started another when I had my relapse.......
While I was holding down the couch, I started on the Market Bag from Weekend Knitting. The Fair Isle seems to be going along pretty well, and I think I am developing a rhythym with the color changes.
I have stitch markers to indicate pattern repeats and that really seems to help. I got tired of the plastic ones though, and decided to make my own...........
When I went cruising the net this morning, I visited Lolly's site. She just took a weaving class, and her projects are amazing. It almost makes me want to give it a try.......In the meantime, I think I will perfect my spinning and knitting skills!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Well, As you know from my previous post, gift knitting didn't stop with Christmas. My Hubby's birthday was Jan. 13th. With some trepidation, I made him a pair of felted slippers. I didn't know if he would think they were too hot or not. Luckily, he really likes them.

Slippers before felting (they look like they would fit Sasquatch.......................
Slippers after felting.......................

Specs: Pattern - Fiber Trends - felted clogs

Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted by Brown Sheep in Charcoal

Needles: Bryspun Circulars - Size13, 24 inch

Time to finish - Aprox. 2 weeks. (or less if you don't have to worry about someone seeing their present while you are working on it!!)

Below are 2 books that my husband recently gave to me. He gave me KRISTIN KNITS for Christmas. I guess he asked the owners what I wanted, and they pointed him to the book. The Ultimate Sock Book was a special request from me for my birthday (Jan. 20th.) I planned it pretty good. My husband can't forget my birthday since it is only one week after his. And he can't forget our anniversary since it is engraved on the inside of his ring. Although I really don't need to worry, my husband is better than I am about remembering people's birthdays.

I love Fairisle patterns and am anxious to complete some other projects so that I can start something from the Kristin Knits book. We went OOT for my birthday and just happened to go to one of my favorite yarn stores - Websters. I wanted to try some of the different color combos that are used in the book, bu couldn't quite do the bright colors, so I chose more muted colors, but the green and yellow are still color that are a little out of my comfort zone. I amd thinking of knitting these mittens, as I have never knit full mittens before, only fingerless mitts.

I was also thinking of making these socks to coordinate with the mittens....

I think they are a good, fairly simple choice for beginning with the two-color (or more) knitting. I'm sure the pattern will be easier to follow than the Tangled Garden sock that I started in May 2006 and never finished.

Wow, I didn't realize how similar 2 of the colors were until I pulled up this picture. Isn't that interesting?!!!!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I last posted. I did finish a pair of socks for a friend that were out of a sokotta cotton. I even had pictures of it on my son's camera, but didn't get them downloaded before someone erased the pic. By the time I noticed they were gone, I had already given the socks away.
Instead, we have pictures of some merino/silk (80/20) roving that I purchased when I was in Arizona in November at a Merry Cox workshop with my mom and sister. This roving felt so wonderfully soft while I was spinning it. I was happy with how the singles came out, but I made the mistake of plying with the jumbo flyer, and didn't get enough twist going. I was having alot of trouble getting a good tension with the drive band. Oh well, live and learn.
I was hoping to make a pair of socks with this, but I don't think it will stand up to that much wear and tear. I think instead I will make some kind of scarf or maybe some fingerless mitts with it ....maybe something lacy or with cables? I do so love lace and cables!

I got an early birhtday present from DH this past week. I have been wanting to take some classes to learn more about spinning and wool preparation, and there isn't any formal classes in my small town. So, I signed up for some classes in Eureka. I had my first official spindle spinning class last week.The fiber was included in the class fee. I don't wear very much purple or lavender, but have been more drawn to these colors lately. I have only had about a 2-minute class in spindle spinning in the past. My teacher last week was wonderful. She really broke the instruction down by steps and focused on individual skills. The main focus was more on letting twist build up in the fibers, and then slowly drafting the fiber and letting the twist travel slowly while holding the spindle between your knees. I liked the fact that we didn't even practice standing and dropping the spindle. That will be saved for when we are more comfortable and better at the other steps. My next classes isn't for 2 more weeks. By the next class I need to have 2 balls of singles so that she can teach us how to ply on the spindle. I'm hoping that I can take a spindle with me for spinning when I go to visit family this summer.

I have still been busy knitting late Christmas gifts. Above is the first of a pair of socks I am knitting for a good friend. I have also started on a chemo cap....The list of to-do projects is endless, but that's what keeps me going!

I have another project that will be finished in the next day or two. Look for more pics soon.