Saturday, May 19, 2018

Another Sockhead Hat

Sockhead Hat #8 was cast off last night, wet finished, and put on the hat form to dry. Another Fishknits yarn, Strongheart again, "Mariner" colorway. The hats dry fairly quickly on Gladys with the box fan blowing on them. I just pull the hat all the way down with the center top of the hat on the center of the form, give it a tug here and there, and let the box fan do the work for me.

I also managed to knit up a brioche hat back in March. Lost the tag for the skein of yarn, but it was a DK weight yarn from 2 Guys Yarn that I received in a swap. Love the way it turned out. Had just enough yarn left for a pompom.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Here I go again...

So. Yesterday was a lovely day. I met a friend at a favorite coffee shop in the morning for coffee and knitting and catching up. Had a blast. Came home. Had lunch. Walked out across the back yard. That's when the rest of the lovely day began to go downhill. Stepped in an armadillo hole that was obscured by the grass. Hit the ground. Hard. On my left leg.

My ankle is fine due to all the hardware that was used to repair it when I fractured it so spectacularly in July 2016. Saw the chiropractor a few hours later. Got X-rays. No breaks, but I've messed up my left knee. Possible torn ligament. It. Hurts. Going in to see our primary care physician shortly, preparatory to seeing the orthopedic specialist.

Looks like I will be in the recliner for most of the day for many days to come. Hope this doesn't mean surgery. Hoping it's just a really bad sprain. Grateful I didn't break the other ankle. Wonder how many hats and pairs of socks I can get finished in the near future? We. Shall. See.

In other news: I now have a 20" inkle loom to go along with the 30" and the mini 15" from Jared at Wiener Dog Ranch. I see shoe laces in my future.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

FRP aka Fiber Related Pursuits: Why we do what we do.

It seems that I have some sort of FRP going on each and every day, and have for years! I take it in turns to work on one thing for awhile and then another.

For instance, lately all I seem to be interested in is knitting Sockhead hats. Now, decades ago, that single-minded pursuit might have had other connotations. I suffered from clinical depression, PTSD, and OCD. Fortunately, gone are the days of feeling a compulsion to engage in a particular activity to the exclusion of all else. Nowadays, it's simply that I really enjoy what I am doing. Plus, this pattern is dead simple! Also, I have an insane amount of sock yarn in my stash, lol. The pile of hats is growing and I'm not sure where each one of them will end up, but they are satisfying.

And yes, that is a lot of stockinette stitch to knit. But, it's not like I am sitting in my recliner all day doing nothing but knitting! Nor would I want to. Too much of anything is not a good thing. There are plenty of things to eat up my time in a day just keeping up with the day to day running of a household. And sitting down for an hour, or half an hour, multiple times during the day is a good thing!

I will get back to sock knitting at some point, but for now I am enjoying seeing the play of color and pattern that evolves from kettle-dyed, intentional flash, and semi-solid dyed yarns intended for socks. My sock drawer is looking a bit thin. I've worn out a couple of pair of socks. Another couple of pair are now too tight on my left ankle due to all the hardware needed to repair the multiple breaks. I've set aside two skeins of yarn intended for socks when I am tired of hats.

There are some woven scarves using sock yarn looming...yeah, pun intended...on the horizon. I've woven several fingering weight scarves on my 4-harness Herald loom. Let's face it! In this part of Texas, garments made from fingering weight yarn can be worn more often throughout the year: socks, shawls, hats, etc.

Then there is spinning. I love to spin. I love to weave. But for some reason, it's the knitting needles calling my name for the past few months. Such is life. Who knows why I am drawn to one pursuit over another at a given time? I've learned to just go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

4 Things

Today has been a day to write, apparently. My hands can't seem to stop typing. Here is one more post from my FB page:

There are 4 things people should know about me.
1. I am a Catholic.
2. I have God given talents and interests that I enjoy pursuing.
3. I am a modern woman living in a modern world and I like it that way.
4. I am a bit of a hermit.
So. As a Catholic I have no interest in indulging in pagan practices, even if they happen to be 'trendy' in some areas of our fiber community. No 'mother earth' stuff for me, tyvm.
I don't like dressing in period costume to do spinning, knitting, or weaving demos. The things I enjoy doing are NOT 'lost arts'. Spinning, knitting, and weaving are very much living, vibrant parts of the modern world and I think they should be presented as such.
And, no, 3 & 4 are not a contradiction, lol. I am an introvert who enjoys spending my time in solitude, honing my skills. It's not that I don't like to be around other people at all. Too much noise, hustle and bustle, wears me out and so most of my time is spent here, on our 86 acres, doing what I love. Doing what I do best.

When you've had enough...

One more from my Facebook page:

Just dropped another group from my list. Tired of the back and forth over a symbol used in tablet woven bands from centuries ago that was hijacked by the worst mass murderer the world has ever known. I tried looking at it from the perspective of those who do reenactments, from the SCA groups, etc. Told myself, it's just a symbol and it's sad that a criminal madman stole it and ruined it for so many.

Call it a 'sun wheel' if you will. The fact of the matter is this: Whatever that symbol may have meant in centuries past, it will be a SWASTIKA for as long as there are people who remember the holocaust. Maybe, some day....that won't be the case. But, in honor of those who lost their lives in the holocaust, I can not in good conscience embrace the use of that symbol or be a part of a group that does.

No offense intended to the good people who do NOT mean it to be seen as antisemitic, I just can't do it. It hurts my heart. It hasn't been long enough for too many people. There are other, very beautiful designs that we can use instead.

Something to think about...

Posted this on my Facebook page earlier and decided it would be good to share it here:

Anyone who knits, spins, or weaves has most likely encountered someone who expects you to teach them how to do what you do. Which is kinda nice when you stop to think about it!
But, not all of us are talented when it comes to teaching others the things we love. I'm not an instructor. I'm mostly self-taught, figuring things out on my own. I'm the 'when all else fails read the instructions' sort of person.
Mom taught me to knit at a young age and that knowledge sat dormant for many years. Then I took it up again, explored new techniques and yarns, taught myself a lot of things. Which led to other things....
I am a self-taught spinner and weaver. Made a drop spindle out of wood scraps in Brad's shop back in the late 1980's. Figured out how to make it work. Finally found a wheel to buy. Then I acquired a floor loom from a friend. And another wheel. And another wheel...
I now own 5 spinning wheels, the 4-shaft Herald loom, 4 inkle looms, and almost a dozen well as an impressive yarn and fiber stash!
Again, that does not make me an instructor, a fact I have had to explain to more than one person over the years.
I'll never forget the woman who called me on the phone, explained that she had been given my name. Said she raised rabbits and wanted to spin their fur. She needed for me to tell her what kind of wheel to buy and teach her how to spin. Basically, I was informed that I had been chosen for the honor, lol.
I gave her the name of a shop and a suggestion for a good beginner wheel but explained that I was not an instructor. At which point she told me that I owed it to others to teach them the things I can do. That's when I launched into a lengthy explanation about having recently been hospitalized for clinical depression, was still being treated, and had NO intention of attempting to instruct her, or anyone else, how to spin! That shut her up for a few minutes, lol.
We met in person a couple of years later, by chance, and she introduced me to the friend she was with and announced to the friend that she had asked me to teach her to spin and that I had refused. Period. Yup. Every bit as arrogant as she had sounded over the phone!
My point in sharing this is to say that, just because you know how to do something, doesn't mean you are obligated to TEACH someone else! If you feel equipped to teach, then by all means do so! But, please! Don't let anyone bully you or try to shame you into something you aren't comfortable doing.
Moral of the story: Know your strengths AND your weaknesses and don't feel that you have to apologize for either! Do what you enjoy. Expand your horizons. Try new things. Mess some stuff up. Figure out how to do it the hard way. Learn. Enjoy. Do your thing. Live life!

Back. Again.

What can I say? Sometimes I don't feel like blogging. Sometimes days turn into weeks turn into months...

So. Here I am again. Been spending more time on FB since I created my own page, but I really need to get back in the groove on my blog.

I've been knitting Sockhead Hats, working my way thru a mighty stash of sock yarn. Most of what I am working with is Fishknits Yarn. Found quite a number of single, one-of-a-kind skeins of sock yarn that looked like they would make nice hats. Some of them are strictly 'hand wash only' but many of them are machine washable. I'm steadily adding to the pile of machine washable hats so I have several to send off for door prizes to Mountain High Camp in August. Our massage therapist, Brian, and his wife, Barbara, of Serenity Day Spa of Sherman, make a yearly trip to Red River, NM to volunteer and lend support to the campers and staff.

These are some of the hats I've knitted since March of this year. The one on the far left and the one in the middle are destined for Red River. Both are knitted with Fishknits Strongheart. The second one from the left was knitted with Fishknits Serenity. The second one from the right was knitted with Fishknits Stalwurthe and the one on the far right is Araucania Ranco that has been in my stash for ages. It's a discontinued yarn I believe...

Here are some close-up shots of the individual hats shown above...

FK Blackberry Creek Kettle Dyed on Strongheart, 80/20 SW Merino/Nylon

FK Cranberry Mojito on Serenity 70/30 Merino/Silk

Fishknits Maize on Strongheart 80/20 SW Merino/Nylon

FK Woodlands on Stalwurthe BFL 85/15 BFL/Undyed Nylon

Araucania Ranco, 75/25 wool/nylon, not SW, and it fits Brad perfectly with the brim folded up.

This one is for a friend who loves PURPLE! I will meet her for coffee this week and hope it fits the way she likes. I have begun knitting my Sockhead Hats on a size 3 needle so that they are not so tight. Hate tight hats...and I have a small head! By using a size 3 needle I end up with a hat that my husband can wear comfortably with the brim folded up. This was knitted with Fishknits Blackberry Creek, Intentional Flash, on Strongheart. Machine washable.

This one is Fishknits Divine yarn base, 80/10/10 SW Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. NOT machine washable because of the Cashmere. This dye lot didn't come out the way Jo Dee planned and is called Spilled Milk #7.

I am now working on Sockhead Hat #8. Another Fishknits yarn, Mariner, a semi-solid blue on Strongheart. (Edited to add beginning shot of hat)

Monday, March 5, 2018

A little fresh air.

I've had both the front and back doors open today. It's in the mid 60's with a nice breeze blowing. Got the big leaf rake and cleared a path around the southeast corner of the house so we can actually walk without stepping on broken twigs and pine cones. The ground is still damp and it will need to dry out a bit before we can drive the pickup around the house and gather up all the downed limbs and the bits and pieces of small stuff that came down in the ice storm.

This view is looking east toward Brad's shop. Some of those limbs are bigger than they seem in the photo. One of them is easily 6" across and would have been deadly if it had come down and hit someone.

And I spied some daffodils blooming! Nice sight on a gorgeous day in March.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

One finished, one in progress...

Got Josh's hat finished and finally thought to get a photo of it. I'll wet finish it in the morning and get it to him on Tuesday. It is soft and snuggley and it should fit him for quite some time.

I've got 2" done on my own hat. The DK weight is working up quickly and is super soft and a blend of my favorite and purple. Tomorrow I will see about getting the loom warped for a couple of scarves.

I'm still working on cleaning out shelves and the built-in's in the dining room. Cleared three shelves for Brad to use for books he wants to keep. We both have books to get rid of and some assorted clutter that has been lurking in the bottom of the built-in's for the last twenty years. He started on some stuff in boxes in the master bedroom and came across two plastic containers of old VHS tapes. 

We both still have work to do, but it is going surprisingly quickly. The little we have done is nothing to what our daughter has had to tackle in her grandparent's farm house since Brad's sister passed away the end of January. And, on top of that the renters, who have been in Brad's younger sister's house after she passed in 2005, are moving out and there will be one more home to clean! Yikes! It might be time to call in some professional help...

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Still in love after all these years...

Today is our 43rd wedding anniversary. When Brad and I got married in 1975 it was sleeting when we left the church, lol. Today, it is the high 60's and sunny. A truly gorgeous day. I was 20 and Brad had turned 23 a week to the day before we were married. We were all but running when we went thru the door after the reception, lol. I was 16 when we met and Brad was barely 18. This photo makes me smile every time I see it.

Edited to add this photo.