Monday, August 21, 2017

Done!

I claim a win on 'bobbin chicken' with this spinning project. Two bobbins, 4 ounces each, of singles on standard Kromski bobbins, plied onto a jumbo bobbin with not much room to spare. Mountain Colors Top, BFL. 8 ounces total. Yardage will be measured after wet finishing.








Saturday, August 12, 2017

Happiness

Happiness....is a full 4 oz bobbin of freshly spun singles yarn. Now, for one more bobbin of the same fiber. I picked up 8 oz of Mountain Colors BFL Top in 'Big Sky' colorway from Gourmet Yarn Co in OKC a couple of days ago. The shop is now carrying spinning and weaving supplies and I dropped by to see what they had in the way of fiber to spin.

This is not as smooth as most of the top I spin, but it is fluffy and spins fairly quickly. I first thought I would spin a soft singles yarn for a weaving project, but quickly changed my mind in favor of a soft two-ply yarn for a knitting project.





Thursday, August 10, 2017

Spinning Spots

We all have our favorite spots to sit and spin at home. I now have a favorite place to sit and spin while visiting my Mom. It dawned on me that there is no reason I can't simply move a side chair into the middle of the room where the light is better and I can see the TV while spinning if I choose. Also, I won't be in the way of Mom watching TV from her chair when she gets home from rehab for her knee replacement.

The light was fading, but just shortly before I snapped this photo the sun was pouring in through the patio door and it was so nice!



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Playing Catch Up

I've been busy lately and only just realized how long it's been since I posted something on my blog. Wow. Time flies.

I've been spending time with my mother while she recovers from knee replacement surgery (she is spending a couple of weeks in rehab and I am house sitting) and running errands and re-knitting a pair of socks. I've felt some stress from being away from Brad since July 21st and finally remembered to sit down and take Hedwig for a spin. Amazing how quickly the stress melts away while spinning. I've got some wool/silk blend I've had for a couple of years that I've been working with on one of my Turkish spindles and decided to get back to a bobbin of it on the wheel.

Thinking this would make a nice 3 ply for a pair of socks.



Thursday, July 27, 2017

More Sunsets to Spin

It's been a busy week and I've finished the fiber I was working on and started working on a tri-color batt that will be the second ply of this sunset skein.










Monday, July 24, 2017

Spinning Sunsets

My latest fiber on the wheel is a sample of Merino in "Purple Sunset" from Jeri Lynn's Farm in my June Spinning Box. Love the colorway and the Merino spins like a dream.






The flash on the camera gives me truer color on the skein I just finished.







Sunday, July 23, 2017

Finished! Well, almost...

I chose "Fruit Salad" Merino colorway from Alexandra's Crafts from my February Spinning Box for my first sampler spin. Then "Bam Huey Chloroplast" Merino/Bamboo colorway from New Hue Handspuns for the second bobbin, thinking the two plied together would be nice. I was right! Now I need to wind it off into a skein and wet finish it. I'll check wraps per inch and yardage after finishing.








Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bird Identification



I have identified the bird that built a nest on our front porch. It's a Carolina Wren. It seems they like to build nests in empty flower pots!


Spinning Box Spinning

I have purchased two sample boxes from The Spinning Box and I am in the process of going thru the 2 oz samples of dyed fiber from one I got in February or March....time flies and I forget. This box was from the June shipment and I am going to pair up a couple of samples for a two ply lace weight yarn.




I am plying these two bobbins at the moment...



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Stress Relief

So. It is nice to be back online since losing the internet at 9:00 yesterday morning, but the switch-over from TV Cable of Grayson County to Cable One (who bought them out) has finally taken place. Instead of a coaxial cable coming from the wall into the TV we now have the dreaded cable box. I managed to get it set up. Sort of. We can get the channels we signed up for but I couldn't get to the "Livewire Start Up Screen" and the mute button doesn't work on the remote. We now have a TV remote, a Roku remote, a BluRay remote AND now a Cable remote. The only channels I wanted were the local news channels, PBS, and EWTN, so I am good to go. The real plus with Cable One is.....drum roll please...150 Mbps internet speed. Which beats the fool out of 12 Mbps (if we were lucky), but more like 3 Mbps with Grayson Cable. BTW, I would like to state that Robbie with Cable One was great when he came out to trouble shoot our internet problems.

Now to the 'stress relief' bit. The only way to put the frustration of dealing with tech people over the phone behind me is to knit or sit at the spinning wheel.....and watch Big Bang Theory. I did some spinning on the Merino/Bamboo blend while waiting for Robbie to get here. Now that we can watch TV, and I have the Roku and BluRay connected to the internet, I am going to spend the rest of the evening knitting. Back to regularly scheduled Big Bang Theory on BluRay and my knitting needles...




Monday, July 17, 2017

What to Take When Away from Home

What do you take to work on when you are away from home? I always take knitting with me, and one or two Turkish spindles and fiber to spin. Depending on where I will be, and how long, I take my Sonata spinning wheel.

My Mom has knee replacement surgery coming up and I will be staying with her as long as she needs me. I need something that I can pick up and put down without worrying about keeping up with a pattern, so no intricate lace patterns this time around.

I've got the garter stitch scarf started and I might cast on for a pair of plain vanilla socks, but I don't want to end up with too many projects on the needles. Again.

I want to limit spinning wheel accessories so I will stick with the standard flyer and a couple of extra bobbins. I have a niddy noddy that will break down and fit in the carry bag that came with my wheel. The bag will also hold a fair amount of fiber as well as the extra bobbins.

I've got small amounts, a few ounces each, of several different fibers from  The Spinning Box purchases this year and it might be a good idea to work thru those. I've got one small bit spun up and working on another bobbin of a Merino/Bamboo blend in a gorgeous green that I will ply with the other bobbin.








Saturday, July 15, 2017

Weekend Off

Battling a headache, decided to take the rest of the weekend off. Back to blogging on Monday. Trying out posting on my Kindle. Meh.

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Perfect....Dishrag?

I'll bet that there are a lot of people out there with stacks of dishcloths knitted with Aunt Lydia's or Peaches & Creme cotton yarn....and some of them are not knitters, just grateful recipients. We have at least a dozen well worn dishcloths in the drawer and several that we use as facecloths in the shower.

I'm aiming for the perfect dishrag, and facecloth for that matter. I prefer a slightly smaller cloth for the kitchen and one that allows me to grab each end and scrub my back in the shower. I can do with a more loosely knitted rag for the kitchen, but I prefer something more closely knitted for the bath...closer fabric makes for a softer cloth, depending on the yarn. So, I'm experimenting with needle size and how many stitches to increase before starting the decreases, depending on it's intended use.

In stash diving a couple of weeks ago, I found several balls of Peaches & Creme in two shades of denim blue that is so soft! They should make great facecloths. Some of the cotton yarn I have on cones tends to be not so soft and I am using that for dishcloths. I'm almost finished with the second denim blue cloth and I think these are just what my daughter needs for her house...






Thursday, July 13, 2017

Not Enough Time in a Day

In attempting to get more exercise and lose the extra pounds, I find that I've done very little knitting the past few days. I did manage to sit down at the spinning wheel earlier and it helped loosen up my ankle. My fitbit reminds me to get up and move every hour (I am rather fond of my Cloud recliner), and the steps are adding up. I'm keeping track of what I eat and hoping to burn off more than I eat in a day.

Walking early in the morning is nice. It's cooler, but I can't do it without insect repellent. Getting up at 6am and going for a walk at 7am is my goal. I can't manage it every day, my ankle acts up. I'm basically trying to find that sweet spot where I get the exercise I need to burn off calories without crippling myself in the process. Yesterday I managed a 1/2 mile walk down the road and back. Took my camera with me and got some nice shots. Managed a little over 7,400 steps by the end of the day. Today I've only managed a little over 4,600 and my ankle is telling me to take it easy tomorrow.

All of this is, of course, interfering in my knitting/spinning time. Just about the time I'm making progress on a knitting pattern it's time to get up and walk . I can make a lap thru the house, from one room to the other and back to the living room, in around 100 steps. So, to get 250 steps every hour takes 2 1/2 laps thru the house. I am aiming at 8,000 steps each day. There is no flipping way I am going to reach 10,000 steps anytime soon, but I think 8,000 steps per day is doable.

Pics from my walk...






Wednesday, July 12, 2017

A Nice Surprise

I went out to the front porch to water my poinsettia plant, and my remaining pot of herbs (the other one got tossed because I couldn't find the friggin spider that was spinning it's web all over my thyme, oregano, and mint).

When I opened the door, a small bird took off from the area of a small metal plant stand. I investigated. I found a nest! Didn't get a good look at the bird, it flew off too quickly. That stand is near a south facing window and I might be able to peek out the window and catch the bird on her nest at some point.


I had taken the plant out of the plastic container to let the air circulate better in this humid Texas summer weather. Bird took it for an invitation. Nest is made from grass and pine needles. You can see a couple of pine needles poking up from the red plastic container.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Slowly But Surely

I started the second mini skein in my scarf last night and I have the third skein wound and ready when I need it. This is a very relaxing knit. I like the eyelet row where the yarn changes. This is an adaptation of a pattern I found on Ravelry: Mini Skein Sampler Scarf. The pattern called for 65 sts on a size 3 needle. I decided on 45 sts on a size 4 needle. I like a long scarf..


Monday, July 10, 2017

Assessing Social Media

I came to the realization that I am no longer using some social media sites and decided it was time to cut my ties so to speak. I used to be so active in several Ravelry groups, but I have rarely used the site in months. I was down to one small group and I can keep up with several in that group on FB, so I decided to delete my Ravelry account.

I encountered a minor amount of negative feedback, but I guess that was to be expected. Still, what point is there in having a social media account that I don't use? I already have a long list of downloaded patterns and I will never get them all knitted up! My hat pattern wasn't selling anymore so I closed my Rav shop. I will be setting up something else online to sell patterns, with the help of my daughter, very soon.

I also deleted my Twitter account. Very little of what I saw was of interest and I can get the same sort of thing from the same sources on FB. Again...why have an account I don't use?

It feels good to clean house via social media....and speaking of cleaning house...virtual cleaning is one thing....actual physical HOUSE cleaning is another. Catch you later. My housewife guilt just kicked in. There is a pile of dirty laundry waiting on me and I can't see the top of the dining table for the clutter piled on top of it, and the clean dishes need to be put away!

And my husband just got home with dinner...

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Creativity as Stress Relief

Obviously, anyone can see I've been in a blogging slump for months. Same thing for spinning, knitting, and weaving. I have momentarily lost my mojo. So, I decided to freshen up my blog, streamline some things and get rid of the 'clutter.' Then, I asked an online friend to tell me what she thinks. One of the things she liked about the old look was my rambling 'no excuse to be bored' comment on the header, so I will revisit that later. She really got my attention when she suggested I blog about how spinning helped me get over a serious injury last year. So. Here goes...

So many times I hear, and have experienced it myself, about spinners, knitters, weavers...crafters in general...having to take time off because the things we love can impact us negatively over time, i.e. carpal tunnel, lower back and knee problems while spinning...the list is long.

I knew last year that my spinning time would be limited, for quite some time, to one of the single treadle wheels I own. It was the left ankle I broke, so treadling with my right foot worked until I was able to get back to the double treadle Sonata, Hedwig, when I began my physical therapy. The Sonata is easy and smooth to treadle and added no stress to my rehab. Never imagined I would end up with a badly broken ankle in the first place, or that the thing I love so much would actually help me regain flexibility in my ankle.

Back to my creativity slump. I found a bag of mini skeins from Jo Dee Fish of Fishknits Yarn in my stash and decided to find something to do with them in the hopes of getting back in the groove. I cast on for a diagonal scarf in garter stitch...something easy that doesn't require a great deal of brain cells to knit. I'm actually making myself knit a little every day. Seems like it's taking forever, but at least there is progress. I will post a photo of the scarf when I have begun knitting the next mini skein.

This one is for you, Steph. Thanks for the input!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Saturday, 4/8/17: DFW Fiber Fest 2017

Got to the Irving Convention Center at 10:00 am this morning and found Jeri Brock and Auntie Dawn. Bought my large turk from Jeri, as well as a lovely shuttle for inkle weaving. Also got two more bags of Texas Cashmere from Dawn of Four Hens Fibers. Scored some Doctor Who stitch markers from Knitting Lagniappe and 3 pounds of Easy to Spin natural cotton from Brookmoore Creations.


The Turkish spindle is made of Spalted Maple. The inkle shuttle is made of White Oak.


(7/8/17: edited to add photo of stitch markers)


I had a full, medium spindle and started plying it on my new large spindle. Love it! Jeri does such a good job on her spindles and all the wonderful things she makes.



Thought I had snapped a shot of the other sided of the booth where the spindles and yarn are displayed. Oh, well. Really enjoyed visiting with Jeri and Dawn. Also picked up a couple of jars of Everything Balm from Goodies Unlimited, but forgot to bring them in the house...they are still in the van...I've got my feet up with ice on my sore ankle so no picture, lol.


Dawn designed a shawl and I just downloaded it from Ravelry. It's a one skein shawl: Jasmine Shawl.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Friday, 4/7/17: DFW Fiber Fest 2017

DFW Fiber Fest begins this morning at 9:00. I'm looking forward to attending Market tomorrow morning and seeing some familiar faces. Decided to forgo classes and Friday Night Event this time around. No staying over at the hotel. Just a drive down first thing in the morning, then back sometime after lunch.


Monday, April 3, 2017

Spindle Spinning

Recently, I decided to break out my spindles. I have several nice Turkish spindles from Jeri Brock Woodworks, but I don't use them as often as I should. Not being in the mood for sitting at one of my wheels, I am enjoying working with these little jewels and my spindle spinning is improving.



I carry one with me when away from the house and pull it out when I have a few minutes: doctor's waiting room, coffee cafe drive thru, when I am early for a massage appointment. It adds up fairly quickly.  Need to weigh my singles when the spindles are full to get an idea of final yardage and check my wraps per inch of plied yarn.

DFW Fiber Fest is coming up very soon and I will be looking for a large Turkish spindle to add to the collection. The larger ones are great for plying and will hold a good amount of yarn. I did a Navajo ply on one of the medium spindles and was well pleased with it. Now doing my best to get as much packed on a spindle as I can before plying.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Step One Taken

My darling husband has purchased a camera for me! Step one taken toward getting back to blogging. Can't blog properly without a decent camera. Needed something that can handle landscape photos outdoors as well as indoors for knitting/spinning/whatever else photos. Went to Best Buy and found exactly what we wanted.


It has wifi so I can connect to the wireless printer as well as my laptop. All I need is my awesome daughter to help me figure out how to use this thing. Battery pack is charging, downloaded pdf with users manual. I'm all set!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Reassessing Blogging

Been away for quite awhile. Camera bit the dust, lost my writing mojo, thinking about a different site for my blog, not sure what I will do. But, it just so happens that I have a secret weapon in my arsenal....namely, my totally awesome daughter, Audrey Blankenship.

She has launched an online virtual assistant business, The Practical Assistant, and I have a feeling she can help me decide what I need to do.