Thursday, July 28, 2016

Life Has Taken an Interesting Turn

So, I was just running errands. Dropping off groceries for our daughter while she was at work. The grandkids helped carry the bags into the house. Then, with a bag in each hand, I stepped wrong, twisted my ankle and went down on the concrete in front of the porch. My left ankle snapped when I went down with my full weight, all 210 pounds, on it.

That was just before noon on Thursday, July 21st. I now have a metal plate, wire, and screws holding my foot on. Came home Monday evening, the 25th. No weight bearing at all for at least a month, then we will see how things are going. It was a VERY bad break. I have a heavy support boot on my left foot that I haven't taken off since Dr. Cranford put it on me. I see him on Aug 2nd to have the dressing changed.

I have a Cloud recliner with automatic foot rest and a bed with a firm mattress so I am able to get as comfortable as possible. I foresee some finished WIP on the horizon, knitting, inkle weaving, and some spinning on my little Turkish spindles. I can access books, daily scripture readings and Liturgy of the Hours readings on my Kindle. And we have Netflix, Amazon streaming and Acorn Online to watch. Needless to say, life just slowed down and there isn't anything I can do about it, lol.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Finished Project & WIP

Cast on for a pair of socks July 10th. Finished them on July 20th. I would like to cast on a pair and dedicate my time to finishing them as quickly as possible just to see how long it actually takes to knit a pair of women's socks. I scored some Knit Picks Felici  in Time Traveler colorway. It's not one they keep on hand so I bought plenty. I used Jo Torr's Vanilla Sock pattern for these, Vanilla Time Traveler Socks. Planning on a scarf and hat in the same yarn.

Having finished one project I dug into my pile of Works In Progress (WIP) and resurrected my High Tides Scarf using Fishknits self striping yarn in Aqua on Strong Heart base. It knits up fairly quickly and I am about half-way thru the skein of yarn and the scarf is 31" long. I am laying it out on a towel and giving it a gentle steam with the steam iron after every 40 row pattern repeat.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Blessed Relief

Definitely made the right decision to eliminate all political topics from my online sites like FB and Pinterest. Blood pressure is returning to normal. Inner calm is returning. Enjoying avoiding the news, choosing to listen to audio books while knitting. Hope that my spinning mojo will return very soon. Ordered some Cheviot from Paradise Fibers, never having tried that particular breed before now. If I like it I will order some of Bethanne's lovely dyed fiber soon.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Time to Reboot

I've not been able to enjoy Tour de Fleece like I thought I would. I am on overload due to all the violence against law enforcement and the Left Wing Nutters who care more about criminals than the men and women who put themselves in harms way to protect us from those very criminals. I can't spin. My fingers won't cooperate. At. All. I am able to do a little knitting while listening to audio books and avoiding the news on TV so I will continue with what works for me for the time being.

I've eliminated all the boards on my Pinterest account that contain anything about politics. No more posts or shares on Facebook about politics that just end up fanning the flames of anger and hatred. I'm done. It isn't helping anything. Only making things worse. I'm sick and tired of being angry and unable to enjoy those talents that God gave me as a way to exalt Him in my life.

God bless you all and keep you in the palm of His hand.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Tour de Fleece: Day 8

Totally forgot to post during the week. So, I will post my weeks progress today. I spun a braid of Allons-Y fiber,  "Sunlight" colorway on 18.5 micron Merino, and finished spinning the last 2 ounces of the second braid of another Allons-Y fiber, "Mid Air" colorway on Polwarth.

"Sunlight" measured in at 1,062 yds, 5.3 ounces. 

"Mid Air" measured in at 1,224 yds, 5 ounces.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tour de Fleece: Day One

I am happily spinning along on the first day of Ravelry's Tour de Fleece. Decided I needed to get the jumbo flyer broken in and picked a braid of 100% 18.5 micron Merino to start. Working on singles for knitting yarn. Hoping for a nice lace weight yarn. This Merino blooms a bit and is lovely and plump when finished as a 3 ply fingering yarn. Excited to see how a singles spun yarn turns out. The photo of the braid at the bottom is the accurate shade of yellow. The colorway is "Sunlight", a limited edition from Allons-Y Fiber Arts.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Weaving and Blogging Mojo

I seem to have lost my mojo the past few months. Well, the weaving and blogging mojo at any rate. The spinning and knitting mojo is going strong and I am almost ready to start Tour de Fleece on Ravelry. Never done TdF before and I signed up with a team, Team Allons-Y Fiber Arts 2016. I've got a basket full of Bethanne's fibers and a couple of bobbins already started that I might as well finish up as part of the challenge.

I plan on blogging regularly while TdF is underway and after it is over I will try to stick with once a week so I don't get burned out. Again. I will also endeavor to get my studio tidied up so I can get to the loom. I have a warp wound and ready to go. I just need to find my threading notes.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Worsted Spinning

I have spent so much time spinning cotton or woolen long draw that I almost forgot how to spin a short, forward draw for worsted spinning. This dyed Targhee top really requires a worsted spin and thought I would also try my hand at a short video on the process. I will set the camera up on the tripod and get a better shot from a higher angle at a later date, but for now, this will do.

I like to spin fine singles for lace weight and fingering weight yarn and my fingers just naturally want to draft out the fiber as finely as I can. Old habits are hard to break...

Surprises in Dyed Fiber

I had a pleasant surprise a few days ago when I was preparing a purchased braid of dyed fiber for spinning. The reason I bought the braid was for the beautiful blues and because I love spinning Targhee. As much as I love blues, I love greens even more. So imagine my delight at the lovely green that showed when fluffing up the top to prepare it for spinning.

This is what I ordered from Allons-Y Fiber Arts.

This is what was revealed when preparing the fiber for spinning.

This is how the fiber is spinning up and I couldn't be happier!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Palm Sunday

Happy Palm Sunday to you all as we begin Holy Week. May Christ lead us in his footsteps and open our hearts to the message of the Cross to allow us to draw closer to The Father this week, and every day of our lives.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fiber Prep, Spinning, & Lung Health

After my second bout with bronchitis in four months I am rethinking my approach to preparing fiber and spinning it. Obviously there will be fiber floating about when using a drum carder, hand cards, blending board or wool combs. But simply fluffing up some commercially prepared fiber before spinning it can release tiny bits of fiber into the air. And when spinning there will also be some fiber floating around, perhaps bits that are too tiny to be seen.

I don't know that all the spinning I did during the week of Spinzilla 2015 last October contributed to the bronchitis I suffered the following month, but lately I am beginning to wonder about being more careful when handling fiber.

I've had asthma since I was a child. Pet dander is the biggest offender to my poor lungs and it is fairly easy for me to avoid being around pets,  but house dust is also a trigger. There is absolutely NO way I can avoid house dust and I used to wear a dust mask when cleaning. I believe that is something I need to do from now on. Which begs the question: If I should wear a dust mask when cleaning the house, and mowing the lawn for that matter, why shouldn't I be wearing one when preparing fiber? Good question.

As soon as I am over my current bout of bronchitis....and the weather permits....I plan on getting to work preparing fiber for spinning. I own a drum carder, blending board, and wool combs. I have pounds and pounds of fiber in my studio. There is a table in the garage. Time to get to work!

Feast of St. Joseph

Happy Feast of St. Joseph to you all. I hope you will enjoy the video and think of the foster father of Our Lord as Holy Week draws near. We have much to learn about love from this humble man.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Epic Knitting & New Fiber Source

Fini! I finally finished the epic knitting project that began in....2009. Sad but true. It's taken me that long to actually finish the bloomin thing. But I love it. This was the last of my Made in America, Lion Brand Fisherman Wool in brown and oatmeal. Still have oodles of the yarn in natural. Sadly, it is made in China now.

Finished measurement: 62" square. Will easily cover the top of a full size bed or me and the entire recliner! I love it. Perfect weight. Didn't stretch it at all for blocking. Just smoothed it out and let it dry outside on an old bedspread in the shade.

And I recently found another Etsy shop for my fiber needs: Allons-y Fiber Arts by Bethanne Elion. Couldn't resist the name of the shop. Sigh. I'm a sucker for Ten. What can I say? Following her on FB, Twitter, & Ravelry. This is what arrived in the mail today...

Gorgeous, gorgeous Targhee fiber. Can hardly wait to spin some up on Hedwig. I would go out on the front porch to spin, but.....I can smell smoke from someone burning brush ( bronchitis doesn't need that) AND the bloomin wasps are back. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Texas Weather

We are getting spring rains a bit early this year...and some flash flooding. But, it is Texas after all and we are accustomed to extremes when it comes to the weather.  Just very blessed that it wasn't hail or tornadoes today.

Good day to work on knitting and spinning and watch something on Netflix. Made it into town earlier for coffee with a friend but the water got too high for us to get to our massage appointments so it will have to wait until next week.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Re-Knitting a Sock Top

When sitting down to do a bit of mending on one of Brad's socks it occurred to me that I should just re-knit the ribbing entirely.  This particular pair of socks were knitted on a size 0, 2mm needle. For the last pair I knitted him I used a size 1, 2.5 mm needle for the ribbing. I like the smaller needle for the foot because it makes a nice, firm fabric that wears well. He really likes the way the other pair fits him and when he tried this sock on he liked the way it fits compared to the ribbing on the smaller needle. This is a cotton/wool/nylon blend yarn and can be a little more difficult to get on and off than the wool/nylon blend socks.

After re-winding the yarn prior to knitting the ribbing over, I just dropped the little ball of yarn down into the toe of the sock to keep it under control. Worked like a charm. It slid down to the toe of the sock and didn't get all tangled up as I knitted.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Back to Spinning

Finally able to enjoy spinning for the first time since the week of Christmas. Tried a few times since the incident of the pulled muscle but it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I was able to spin without any pain in my left elbow. Which is nice because I really want to spin up "Smitten" from Loop! in a fine singles for chain plying a fingering weight yarn.

The fiber wants to cling to my denim slacks so I found a piece of satiny fabric, serged the two cut edges, laid it across my lap and tucked it behind me while spinning. Works very nicely.

I've had the house open most of the day, as soon as it warmed up. Gorgeous day outside.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Anniversay Today

41 years ago this evening I married the love of my life. Somehow I never envisioned us as a 60-something couple with a grown daughter and 7 grand-children. We were young, good looking and very much in love. Not so young anymore, not quite as good looking....and more in love than ever. Thank you, God, for bringing us together all those years ago. Thank you for the only man I have ever loved. Met him when I was 16. Married him when I was 20. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Pinterest Filter?

Love Pinterest. Wish there was a filter so I could choose what pops up on my feed. For instance: I would opt out of anything to do with 'pig meat' aka bacon, ham, etc., 'paleo', 'Obama', or 'Trump'.

eta: OK. I just found what I needed. Better late than never. There are little x's in the lower right corner of the pins. That will allow me to opt out of stuff that doesn't interest me. Yay!

Knitted Throws, Spinning Fiber, & Rosaries

Decided to post my progress on the Stonington Throw. Just reached the middle of the 3rd side. Slow going, but still enjoyable.  When this is finished it will easily cover most of a full size bed as a warm winter throw or completely cover me in my recliner.

After seeing some scrumptious fiber in the Loop shop I caved and ordered 7 oz. Had to sit down and start a bobbin after picking it up at the post office yesterday. Spins like a dream. As usual. This colorway is "Smitten" (contains Merino/Tussah/Bamboo), my third purchase from Loop after "The Grass is Always Greener" and "Smoke & Mirrors". There will be more....

I finished the heels on this pair of socks and started on the legs...hoping to finish these in time to wear them for St. Patrick's Day. And since it is the first day of March I decided to get my St. Patrick Rosary out to use thru Easter.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Making My Own

For several years I have been using Young Living essential oils, ordering online as a retail customer. I am considering upgrading to independent distributor later this spring. In the meantime I am making some salves using coconut oil as a base and blending in essential oils for different things.

I deal with respiratory issues, asthma and allergies, and I combined Peppermint, Myrtle, and R.C.  for those issues and added some EndoFlex for hormone imbalance as well. I put everything in a Pyrex custard cup and set it on the hot plate that I use to keep my cup of tea or coffee hot. In just a few minutes it is all melted and easy to blend together. Then I pour it into a small jar for storage.

Just finished a jar of salve for hubby's feet using Wintergreen Oil. It smells so good! His feet ache at the end of the day and I think he will enjoy a foot rub this evening when he gets out of the shower. The coconut oil will solidify and be easy to use in salve form later.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lace Edging

The lace edging on the throw is coming along. Slowly. I am now half way down the second side, 48 repeats of lace, 10 rows per repeat. Now it's time to work on socks.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Glorious Day in Texas!

Good morning, Texas! Another glorious sunrise! Will be off to enjoy a cup of coffee at C.J.'s Coffee Cafe in town later. Hope to be joined by a friend if she is free. There will be knitting going on....

Monday, February 15, 2016

Running out of ideas....

I am having a difficult time coming up with topics for daily blogging. I don't have any projects close to finishing. It seems all I am doing is knitting, knitting, knitting and not getting anything finished. Too many projects I guess.

I have managed to get out and do a bit of work in the yard for a couple of days. We have a truck load of pine cones to be picked up. Already filled one 50 gal leaf bag and there are STILL pine cones on the ground.

Hubby spent the afternoon on Sunday with our soon-to-be eighteen year old grand-daughter. They have a project nearly outdoor aviary for her birds. The weather is perfect and the birds will love being out in the fresh air. I will get some photos when it is finished and occupied.

On a side note: I knew one day I would be glad that I have slowly accumulated a DVD collection of the newer Doctor Who episodes. Netflix took the show off of streaming on the first of the month. I have started watching the whole series from season one with the 9th Doctor. I am now on season three with the Runaway Bride and the 10th Doctor. 

And now...back to regularly scheduled knitting...almost ready to turn the heels on a pair of toe-up socks...ready to start the legs on another pair.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2016 DFW Fiber Fest

This year the 11th Annual DFW Fiber Fest will be held April 1st thru 3rd at the Irving Convention Center. I will be attending a class on photographing fibers on Friday afternoon. Then, there is the Friday Night Event: "Mending Through the Ages" at the Marriott Las Colinas.

The featured Charity project is "Knit Your Bit", hand-made scarves for veterans. They can be knitted, crocheted, or woven using neutral colors. You can also follow Fiber Fest on Facebook.

There are still class available, but many have sold out. Take a look here and see if something catches your eye: Class Descriptions.

The Vendor List has not been posted yet, but I will add an update when it is available. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Beginning a Lenten Journey

It's that time again. Lent is upon us, beginning today with Ash Wednesday. It is a wonderful time in the Church's liturgical calendar when we have the opportunity to embrace abstinence and learn the value of sacrifice, for our own sake and the sake of the Church.

There is a good article to be found here: "Ashes to Ashes"  that explains the importance of Ash Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Changes in Lifestyle

After finishing my purification program with Standard Process I decided to try adding a few servings of wheat spread out over several days. End result: bloating, upset tummy, sleepless nights. The following week I tried adding a couple of servings of dairy. Same result. Ate a Mounds Bar one afternoon and wished I hadn't. Not as bad a result as the wheat and dairy, but I now have NO taste for any of it. I also put three pounds back on as a result of my little experiment.

Each time I do a cleansing diet I find I lose my appetite for the things I shouldn't eat anyway. I think  it will be a long time before I am tempted to go back to old eating habits. I am determined to get the excess weight off and I really enjoy the morning smoothies, green salad for lunch and fish, chicken or lean meat with veggies for dinner.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Making Progress

I got the lace edging done on the first side of the wool throw I resurrected from my WIP stash. It took just over an ounce of yarn and about 6 hours of knitting. I'm making an effort to keep track of how much yarn I use and how long it takes me to knit large projects like this. I kept track of how long each pattern repeat took and multiplied by 48 repeats, which came out to between 5 1/2 and 6 hours.

My gauge is slightly different, more open, on the lace section from when I last worked on it, but I don't think it will matter a lot after wet finishing.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Two Pair At A Time

I usually have several projects going at a time, quite often more than one pair of socks at a time. I am ready to start the leg on one pair...

And I am 1 1/2" from being ready to start gusset increases on the second sock of this pair...

Didn't care for the pattern I picked so I am doing Vanilla Socks for Ten instead.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Longest WIP

I have started several sock projects over the past month, always nice to have small projects that can be tucked into my purse when I am away from home. But, I also have a WIP (Work in Progress) that I began in November of....ready for this?....2009!!!! OMG! I had no idea it's been that bloomin' long!

The thing is, it's a heavy wool throw out of Lion Brand Fisherman Wool and I really don't enjoy working on it in the warm months. It is a Stonington Shawl pattern from Elizabeth Zimmerman that I thought would make a nice afghan to use in the winter.

I am going to see how much of the edging I can get done along the first edge this evening. It's a simple pattern that doesn't require many brain cells and is perfect for TV knitting. And when I am tired of working on it I can just let it lay across my lap and grab a sock to work on for awhile....or read my email... or check my Facebook page...

Thursday, February 4, 2016

And....I'm Back!

After taking a month off from blogging I am ready to get back to it. Health issues are resolved  after a three week purification program thru my chiropractor on top of medications from my pulmonologist. The pulled muscle in my arm is mending nicely.

While on my break I intended to set up a website with Word Press and transfer my blog thru Blue Note. Mistake! It was very confusing and frustrating. I thought I was going to be billed monthly only to be told when I got to the verification part of the process that I was expected to pay the entire amount up front. That convinced me the whole thing was a huge mistake. I was transferred to billing to cancel  and ended up with someone who wanted to argue with me about it.Then, I didn't get my email verification and called back to check on it. Seems that they had a 5 min power outage and the email didn't go thru! THEN, while filling in the pertinent data on the form from the link in the email that was resent, I got an error message. The whole thing sucked. Big time. Never again. blog will stay a blog right here. On Blogger. No confusing website hosting thingy for me!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Need a Break

I've been dealing with high blood pressure due to asthma medication lately and as a result I am fighting daily headaches. Until my doctor and I can get it under control I am taking a break from blogging.  I will be back as soon as I feel better.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Worsted Yarn From Wool Combs

Decided to go ahead and comb another little bit of fiber before putting the locks into soak for conditioning. Spun a little from combed top drawn off with a diz as well as directly from the combs.

Loading the comb.
Combed locks.

Starting fiber thru the diz.

Drawing off combed top for spinning.

Worsted spinning from combed top.

Worsted spinning directly from the comb.

Fingering weight singles yarn.

Wool combs and diz.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Fiber Prep

I was looking for something in my cluttered studio room and spied my wool combs. Then I found a bag of gorgeous, scoured brown wool locks....forgot what breed of wool it is....and decided to do a bit of combing to see if I remember how.

It is a fairly fine wool and combs up beautifully except for a teensy bit of static. I have never actually heated the tines of the combs as some people do but I think the process would be improved if I gave the rest of the wool a soak in conditioner and let it dry before attempting to comb the rest of it. There is a small coil of combed wool laying beside the second comb that I pulled off without a diz. Need to go find the diz for the next time I do some combing. Glad I sat down and did a sample before committing time to processing the whole bag of fiber. It's always more enjoyable when I know what to expect from the way my fiber will behave before digging in!