Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Jaywalkers are Finished!

I am so glad to have finished these. The pattern is easy and well-written and every pair I've seen is beautiful, but it was so slow. By the time I got to the foot of sock two I was so wanting to be done already. I decided yesterday to finish them no matter what and I did. Know what that means? Three pair of socks done in a month. I'm kind of pleased with myself! Now I'm working on a pair of Fawkes in some merino/tencel that I dyed up as a sample - Jenny wanted to do some dying with me and I just can't refuse, you know!

Speaking of dye, check this out:

I hung a clothesline, and it's perfect for drying! See the one with the black? Boy child has claimed it. I guess it's good if he likes it, so I'm off to make some more. (I thought it was good, too!)

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We made yarn!

Sometimes it takes a couple of days to get it together, but here's the story....

At about, oh, five Monday morning I found myself with two children in my bed, scared to death, because there was a terrifying storm going on - hail, constant thunder, so much lightning that it looked like daylight. Then the power went out. The power stayed out until noon. My children were so bored - everything they enjoy is electric, of course. I wound up getting the polymer clay out for them to play with and baked it much later when the power came on. Well, even with the little lantern and a bunch of candles there wasn't enough light to knit on a sock, so I pulled out the kick spindle that I'm borrowing from Jenny and finished spinning the roving that's been on it. Khloe helped by actually spinning the spindle so all I did was the drafting. It worked out really well, so we got out my shiny new drop spindle and some new fiber and gave it a go. Well, it's not alot of yarn at all, but it's real yarn made by our little hands in the stormy darkness. Check it out!

I really enjoy spinning. It's very calming. The drop spindle - which I don't really drop but spin on a book on my lap - is a bottom whorl and is a gorgeous ceramic disc. No, I didn't take a picture - my ducks are never in a row. I ordered a top whorl from etsy last night (must remember to stay away from the daily chum on lime and violet!) to see how it works.

I don't think we'll be making anything with our little yarn. It's mostly a "look what we did" thing right now. I have more of the purple fiber, though, so maybe the second batch of handspun will become an item. No, it's not plied. It's the wonderful thick and thin single ply that costs a ton when it comes from a company.

In conclusion, I have another addiction. At least this one is shared by the girl child.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Woo! What a day!

Check it out - it's the goods from my awesomely fun day at the fiber fair! Lots of new yarns, batts, angelina fibers, dpn's, a gorgeous wood crochet hook, hair sticks, handmade soaps, and a beautiful drop spindle. Whew. I saw a couple of spinning wheels that were rather intriguing - but I need to work on my spinning skills alot first. And I met Anna right off the bat at the first booth. She's so adorable but I probably scared her by having so much to say to her.

I was going to tell all about it first thing this morning but A)I woke up so late that Eric came in to see if I had died in my sleep and B) when I came out to the living room with my morning caffeine he pointed out that our mailbox was on the ground because some rotten brats had driven around the neighborhood beating up boxes all over the place. We had to go buy a new one and it was so stinking hot today that we spent the rest of the afternoon floating in the pool. Now I don't remember everything that I wanted to tell y'all except that it was so wonderful.

Oh! Jenny bought me a skein of seasilk! It's called mineral and is a dark gray-brown. Know what I'm making? That's right - Montego Bay! Okay, I don't know how to get a picture from a magazine onto here, but it's from last summer's Interweave Knits and is written for exactly this yarn. Yay! I have to finish my clapotis and a couple more pair of socks first.

Uh-oh, the girl child is snuggling with the yarn booty. Off to save the stash from child germs!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Isn't it Gorgeous???

This, my dears, is a hand-knit purse. It's blue and silver with a big Ravenclaw eagle. Know how I got it? A wonderful friend from Norway, yes Norway, sent it to me as a RAK. I opened the package and almost fell down. It's so beautiful. She's even lined it, so it's ready for me to start carrying it around - but I'm a bit nervous because I'm a messy person and I don't want to ruin it.

I've been making some socks as planned. The Jaywalker was pretty easy but I'm not loving it. It's a very simple repeat - pattern row, knit row, repeat. Monkeys, however, are a longer repeat of pattern stitches - twelve rows - but I love it. I made the first sock full length just because the knitting was so fun. I'll be casting on the second one tonight.

I dyed up some new yarns this week, one of which is a tencel blend that is glossy and shimmery - and black and purple. I've spent a couple of evenings looking through patterns that I think will be perfect. This morning it hit me - Fawkes. I did some research and it's an easy repeat, kind of lacy, Harry Potter-inspired, and just all of the things I like in a sock pattern right now. I'll be starting that tonight, too.

Speaking of yarn, the Chaos skein from a couple posts down is sold already! I was really surprised. I wasn't thrilled with how it turned out and thought for sure that the purple one would go first. My new skeins are inspired by Johnny Ramone. We'll see how they go. I think they're wonderful. (Who's that, you ask? See the man in the sidebar!) Alot of my yarn colors are based around musicians, and it's not intentional. I see the finished work and think "oh, that reminds me of Janis Joplin" or something. Apparently music is more important to me than I really knew. Of course, lately the only tunes around here have been from the movie Hairspray - I hope I don't wind up having a skein for John Travolta-as-big momma!
Hand problem update - according to the blood tests, there is no inflammation, so I don't have arthritis. My problem is nerve-based, so I'll be starting a new medication. I really hope it works. I'm much too young to be this achy.
Tomorrow is the Midwest Fiber Fair! I'm going up with Jenny and it's gonna be so fun! I've never been to a fiber fair before. I'm taking lots of bags to carry my purchases. Anna, from Knitting in Nature, will be going too - maybe I'll get to meet her in person. I'm just so excited that I can't sit still. (I can't sit still normally, but anyway...) I'm going to try to remember the camera so I can share it all - but I'm getting picked up at 6 in the morning, so we'll see!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lawn Furniture Painting

I got a little tired of the plain old white table that we keep by the pool, so I spent a bit of time at the farm supply store (love it there!) in the spray paint aisle and came home to make it much more fun looking. I let Khloe decorate the chair to match. Unfortunately, I ran out of plastic primer, so the rest of the chairs are still plain old white and green. Guess I need to make another trip to the store!

Friday, July 11, 2008

The following is written by Khloe

i am a chef and i like cooking with my mommy!!!!!!

Okay, back to me now. Kerry has been in Chicago with his dad, so it's been a girl week. She and I have been having a good time, too. Of course, I'm sunburned again - we got to swim for two days, which was great. Last summer, when I worked, I only got to use the pool two or three times a month. Khloe and I just lounged back on the pool noodles and chatted. It was really nice.
I finished one Jaywalker and now am working on a Monkey. I'll have pics next time - this entry was spontaniously thought of by Little Girl. I've been experimenting with some new dye techniques, too.
Hmmm...I think the little chef needs to help her mommy make some brownies!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

RAKs, PIF, SoS....etc!

What a week. I've been very busy finishing up my first pair for Summer of Socks, which started on June 21. I'm very pleased with what I made. The pattern is from the new knitty - Spring Forward. It's apparently a very popular pattern and every pair that I've seen is pretty. Y'all should make it. The yarn is the Gatsby colorway from the KUAS club. You know, I'm not such a fan of green and yellow, but I really like this yarn alot and am looking forward to cooler weather so I can wear them.

The next pairs I'll be making are Jaywalkers and Monkeys. The plan is to alternate, but I tend to be obsessive, so we'll see.

I joined a Random Acts of Kindness group recently and have sent out several packages. The group is great - the gifts don't have to brand new, it can be stash that you won't use and other things like that. Of course, I have tons of stash, so some of it has new homes. One part of it is giveaways, so I have acquired some cool rainbow sock yarn, a handmade journal, and a sticker. I have a couple more boxes to send out today. Gotta spread the love.

Okay, here's a big one. I'm also in a group called Pay it Forward. Here's how it works - a friend is making a gift for me. I, in turn, make gifts for three other people, and those three make gifts for three more, and on and on. So, I would like three "angels" to make gifts for. Keep in mind how it works, though. If you would like for me to make you something, please contact me - comment here, email me, call me...however you want. I'll put up a post when the spots are full. Heh, now I'll know who my readers are! I almost forgot - there's a six month time frame. If I'm making something for you, I have until January to finish and get it to you, and it won't be your Christmas gift.

I picked a ripe tomato already! It was yummy, too. I get tickled by little things.

Stop by the store if you haven't already. We have new things going up soon, and feel free to make a request if you can't find what you need. Here are a couple of examples. They're called plumfetti and chaos. I'm very tempted to keep the purpleness, but I won't. I'll share. Besides, I can make more if I really need it.

Happy Fourth!

(sorry, I scrwewd up the picture placement, but I think you get the idea)