So, on to my list of Intentions from 2010 that I blogged about here. Let's recap how I did on those intentions. 1) good. I get on that bike 3 mornings a week, pretty religiously. 2) ok. Lost about 11 pounds, need to do better. 3) I'm hoping that the new job that starts in 2012 will be the one I love. 4) Yes, I have been. 5) yes, several lap blankets made and donated to Alive Hospice along with some preemie blankets. 6) haven't made much time for this one. 7) haven't done well on this one either 8) done well 9) doing better on this one too. 10) I did pretty good on this one until I started working at the law firm.
So, all in all, I think I did great on the important ones. It might seem lazy but I think I'll keep the same ones for 2012 and just hit them a little harder.
I welcome the new year with open arms. I think it's going to bring some good things to my family. I wish all the best to you and hope that 2012 proves to be a fruitful year.
I have been working on some charity lap blankets and that has helped get through some of my Caron Simply Soft stash that I purchased years ago. That stuff makes really nice lap blankets. It's soft, durable and most importantly, washable. Threads of Kindness is a little group of knitters and crocheters and we make preemie blankets and hats and adult size lap blankets. Most of our donations go to Alive Hospice but we also donate to Vandy NICU. Christina is very charitable with her time and organizes all of this, even in delivering the items. We do get lots of donated yarn but it's good to stash bust yourself. I found the Simply Soft doubled and then crocheted with that huge crochet hook about the size of your thumb goes quite fast and makes a cushy blanket. The lap size blankets are about 30"x 30". I've donated a couple already but I didn't take pictures, except in my head.
Other things I've been working on......I finished knitting the Summer Flies Shawl in the Asland Trends alpaca. I still need to block it. I also knit the first of a small triangle is some purplish Koigu, modeled after something I saw on display at a LYS. I think the sample was made on a large Triangle Loom, but I think I can mimic it somewhat. I had purchased this Koigu to make a twirly scarf, it was supposed to take only one skein. Near the end of the skein, I realized the pattern was wrong and it couldn't be done in one skein, so I purchased another. Near the end of the second skein, realization hit that it wouldn't be enough, so I purchased the 3rd. After finishing the scarf, I realized I didn't like it. So I frogged the whole thing and now I had 3 skeins of purplish Koigu. So I am making use of it. Pictures to come later.
Although I've done a good job in oganizing the hobby closet, I still have way too much stash. I'm working through on what to do with it all. Lists are being made, no timelines though, that would just add unneeded stress. My LYS is having a huge 50% off sale that I'm telling myself to stay away from, mainly because I have nowhere to stash it.
I've managed to clean the area around my sewing machine, so I will be working on some tops, generally for work. They are basic tops that I can accessorize with my shawlettes.
That's it for now. I'll be posting again at the end of the year.
Well they called 2 weeks ago and offered the position. I start Jan 3rd with very good benefits. So after Tuesday, I will have 2 weeks off to get some things done, relax during the holidays and get that ever desirous over-50 required colonoscopy over with. I've got some sewing to do, some knitting, spinning, etc. so I'm excited.
What have I been working on this past month........
1. Lap blankets and preemie blankets for Hospice. (no pictures)
2. Another Summer Flies Shawl, this time using Aslan Trends Alpaca Melange in an aqua blue. (gorgeous) I'm over half-way through.
3. Pie-Wedge Shawl in Lorna's Laces lace (purple) - I've made a mistake on this one but I'm forging ahead, mistake be damned.
3. Pie-Wedge Shawlette. I cast on fewer stitches for this one so it would be more of a shawlette size. This is in Suri Alpaca in aqua blue.
4. Raggi socks. I've finished 2 pair and making a 3rd.
5. Spinning. haven't had as much time to spin lately, but I'll be changing that very soon.
6. Fingerless mitts out of some leftover alpaca. I made them in 3x3 ribbing and extra long. Love them!
That's about it for now.
Happy Holidays to all of you.
I just finished teaching the Baby Surprise Jacket at Enchanted Yarn in Clarksville. It's a lovely store with an even more lovely store owner, so if you haven't been, check it out. While teaching the class, I had to get some class samples ready so that took time away from my other knitting. But the class is over, I will get both BSJ's done and put away and get back to the regular scheduled programming. :-)
I will be binding off on sock #2 of my 2nd pair of Raggi socks tonight. Yippeeee, these are wonderful house socks and totally machine-washable. They are a little thick for my "business" shoes but great for my houseshoes. I will need to start another pair of business socks soon though.
I'm also working on a pair of fingerless gloves in ribbing with some leftover alpaca, so soft and warm. Finished one preemie blanket for Hospice and have started another. The aqua shell got put aside while I was working on the BSJ's but I'll get back to it shortly.
As for spinning, yep still going at it. I finished spinning one single in a bright multi-colorway, now I'm doing a single in a solid ecru and will ply them together.
As for movies, watched The Rum Diary this weekend with Johnny Depp. Good movie, he always does a good job. Also watched Crazy, Stupid Love on PPV. funny and cute love story.
DH and I started watching the Ken Burns Prohibition show. It just continues to amaze me that people (even still today) think that if you pass a nationwide law that everyone will obey that law and all of the country's problems will go away. Prohibition should prove to everyone that that theory just doesn't hold up. Laws ONLY keep the honest people honest. There are lawbreakers everywhere and they will break the law no matter what. Which brings me to this Anti-Gun matter that everyone is so hot about. Seriously folks, do you really think that if guns are outlawed that all the guns go away? No, because remember the statement above, laws will be broken by bad people and do you really only want the bad people to have the guns in our country? Right now, the bad people don't know who of the "honest" group has guns. They rarely attack people in their own home because they don't know that you might not have a gun to shoot them when they come in through the door. If they outlaw guns and the honest people turn in their guns (cause that's what honest people do, we follow the law) well guess what.........now the bad dishonest people who don't follow the law will have the guns and can attack anyone, anywhere. your home, a bar, a restaurant, etc. Think about it folks. Feel free to discuss and leave comments. :-)
OK, I'll get off my soapbox.
That's it for now, will post pics when I get a chance.
Anyway, in addition to the de-cluttering, I've gotten some sock knitting done. These are worsted weight socks, perfect for wearing in the fall and winter, with boots or houseshoes. They are toe-up short row heel socks, very easy pattern. Christina was nice enough to write up her pattern and she's posted it here. These are knit with Jarbo Raggi. typically you would probabky use a size 5 needle, but I worked these on size 6. Love them! I'm not going to bother to block them, I'm just going to start wearing them. Obviously with size 6 needles, they went very fast.
I've got another pair almost done as well in a different colorway.
As for spinning, this is 4 oz of Falkland Fiber purchased on etsy. It's wonderfully soft and will turn itself into a gift.
Interesting the way it spun up.
Last year, one of my most favorite books that I listened to was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a fabulous listen, the voices were different for each character and the accents and inflections were superb. When I love a book so much, I hesitate to see the movie because it seems I get disappointed with the results. I was told by several friends who also loved the book that the movie was great. So, I did it. I went to see it with Christina who also loved the book. The movie was fabulous. The actresses who portrayed the "help" as well as the ones who played the "southern bitches" all did a fabulous job. I see some Oscars coming.
On to some spinning and knitting updates:
This fiber was purchased at the Dickson Fiber Festival in May 2011. Yep, I actually spun something I bought this year. It is a merino/seacell fiber from Frabjous Fibers. This was not a fun spin, it was packed too tightly which made it very hard to draft. I love the end result though so I guess it was worth it. I ended up with a little over 200 yards on a 4 oz skein so I'm thinking maybe a cowl or neckerchief, I haven't decided yet. I tried to spin this one a little thicker from what I normally spin. I think I achieved the result I wanted.
This was spun on the Hansen MiniSpinner and plied as a 2 ply.
This one is a Merino/Tencel combo from Daily Fibers. I love her stuff, spins like butter. Again, a little over 200 yards.
It was Navajo plied.
This little guy (Hoodie) is done and he's blocking. I need to add buttons and it'll be good to go. This is knit with Plymouth Coffee Beenz, a good soft washable arylic, perfect for a toddler.
I did get a little knitting done on the Arianna tank, which will be worn under a blouse or cardigan. It's in a light teal which is one of my favorite colors. It's interesting the way it's knit. The slipped stitches are what makes it look diagonal, very cool. The pattern calls for Berroco Glace but I'm using Kollage Delicious. Both are tape yarns and I think will show a good stitch definition. I've had this yarn in my stash for a little while and have already frogged 2 or 3 of the projects it tried to be, so we'll see how the life expectancy is on this one. My plan at the moment is to make the back in stockinette and the front with the diagonal pattern.
I finished Nola's slippers. these are very comfy and I'm waiting for cold weather. It's still up in the high 80's, albeit cooler than it was in August, it's still hot. These were fun to knit and an easy (and free) pattern to follow. Easily modifiable to fit the size foot you need. I used some stash yarn, maybe Lion Brand Wool? Gotta find that label......
That's all for now, gotta go elevate.
This gem is the Summer Flies Shawl (Rav link) knit with my handspun. I absolutely adore this pattern. I wore it to work on Friday over a white blouse and it looked really nice.
Speaking of the job. It's going great! I am kept extremely busy which makes the day just fly as you can imagine. I'm making time to knit at lunch and have even started to teach a few co-workers how to knit. Yep, I'm enabling.
The Patches Baby Sweater was done, it just needed buttons.
The Angel Sweater needed buttons and the neckline finished.
I dropped off the finally finished Angel Sweater to Enchanted for them to use as a shop model. It's such an adorable little sweater, it was hard to let it go.
I also brought along my Summer Flies Shawl to knit-on after the buttons were done on the other projects. After the tires were done, I had to head another 30 miles to get my oil changed. They said it was a 2 hour wait so more prime knitting time. They got it done in under an hour but that's a whole 'nother story.
The man from Australia, Cadel Evans, who I have been watching for years, has always been the bridesmaid, never the bride. This year, he did it and I am thrilled. He won the Tour and he deserved it. He worked so very hard and I am so proud of him. The below images are compliments of AP.
As for the Tour de Fleece, I didn't do well after the first week. Part of it is I'm now working again. So not only is my time more limited, my body is also getting used to getting up at 5 again and hitting that long commute. However, I have been getting some spinning done, lots of knitting and still quite a bit of reading done.
I have been enmeshed in the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I have just finished the 4th book and getting ready to read the 5th and 6th. These tomes are not for the faint of heart as they are EACH about 600-800 pages. I have to tell you that I am thankful everyday for my Sony eReader. I have 2 of those tomes, in addition to other books and knitting patterns, on my eReader at one time, and it still only weighs less than 1 pound, it fits neatly in my purse and I can hold the book with one hand (you cannot do that with an 800 page book). So, if you haven't jumped on the digital reader bandwagon yet, I strongly recommend it.
The Pie Wedge shawl is coming along slowly but surely. The Summer Flies shawl with my handspun is glorious to knit and is also coming along nicely. Pictures will come later.
Yesterday was a fabulous day spent with the knitsibs. We had a most delicious brunch at Vicky's & Michelle's. I'll have to say Michelle is a great cook. We had french toast casserole with some strawberries ladled on top (yummy), some dates filled with a goat cheese mixture then baked, some yummy swiss cheese balls, fresh fruit, chocolate truffles, grand mimosas and a little goodie bag which will also serve as a project bag. Then we had some knitting time, we watched a gazillion hummingbirds on the back porch and just laughed and had fun. It was a good day.
On the knitting front, the Pie Wedge is coming along. I am almost done with the first wedge. The pattern calls for 6 wedges, but several Rav members did 7 and 8 because of all the yarn leftover in the Lorna's Laces ball. We'll see how I feel about it when I get to the 6th wedge. My Summer Flies shawl in my handspun is also coming along nicely. There is something special about knitting with your own handspun that I never realized before. It's very cool! I wore my new socks to work on Thursday, very comfy, I love them. I completed another lap blanket for Hospice and gave it to Christina yesterday at brunch. It was fun to knit as I knit it like the back of the Patches Baby Sweater. I did the columns with 45 stitches.
Other things accomplished: DH & I have hung up one set of curtains in the office. This is a big accomplishment and we are very pleased with the results. It's keeping the office cooler already. The bushhogging is nearly done and the hay bales still look peaceful.
As for new knitting projects, I will be doing a Shawl-a-long with my knitsib Christina. We will be doing the Pie Wedge Shawl from Lorna's Laces. (Rav Link) I'm using the Lorna's Laces Helen's Lace yarn and it's so lightweight it's going to be fabulous. This is what I'll be using for the Pie Wedge.
That's it for now. I'm off to cast-on.
DH and I have been watching the Tour de France of course and yesterday's win by Cadel Evans was awesome. It was a photo finish and he just barely won. I would love it if he would win this year, he deserves it. He has come in at 2nd so many times and so close too that I just want him to win one.
On the job front, I had an interview last week with a legal headhunter and they are sending my resume to a client for a contract paralegal job. Not sure how long the contract will last but it could turn into something permanent. We'll see if I like it. :-) It's really going to cut into my knitting and spinning time though. This has been a very enjoyable time at home, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Have I missed the additional income? Sure I have. But I can't ignore the time at home as being wonderful because it has truly been wonderful.
They started mowing the farm last weekend and now I am gazing on hay bales. I love the look of hay bales in the field, so serene and peaceful. They won't stay long because they have to get them into the dry, so I'm gazing at them now while I can.
Off to spin!
So I'll share with you this delicious and simple dessert. It's best eaten warm (not hot) so bake it when you start dinner.
What you'll need:
~First, don't buy the pre-made pie crust in a tin pie shell, buy the pre-made unroll and fill Pillsbury pie crust usually found in the dairy section.
~11-14 ripe red plums (this will depend on the size of your baking dish)
Yep, that's it.
Unroll and place in a large quiche dish. I used both of the pie crusts in the box as my quiche dish is quite large. I placed one of the pie crusts on the bottom and then I cut outer circles on the second one and placed them around the sides of the dish and melded the crust together at the bottom. (hope that makes sense) I forgot to take a picture of that.
Then, poke some fork holes on the bottom so that the pie crust stays flat when it bakes. (I did about 6-8 pokes with the fork) Sprinkle the crust with granulated sugar. Pre-bake the crust at 450 deg F for 10 minutes. (this will keep the crust from getting soggy) Do this in advance so it has time to cool. I did it in the morning.
Then cut your plums in half and take out the pit. You should have two nice halves. (Do not peel the plums)
Place them in the pre-baked pie shell dome up as seen here.
Sprinkle liberally with the sugar. Remember plums are tart.
Since the crust was pre-baked, I cut some foil and covered the edge of the crust before baking the pie as I didn't want to burn the crust edge.
OK, so in my adventures out on Wednesday to get some free wi-fi, I decided that I needed to find a produce stand so that I can start getting my fill of tomatoes and those delicious little pickling cucumbers that I love to eat.
I bought several pounds from one that I used to go to a lot on my way home from work. It's a little outta my way at the moment since I'm still not working, but their produce is consistently good so I headed their way.
On the way home I decided to drive around closer to home to see if there were any nearby. I found one that is a little closer and their produce looked ok, what I loved was this sign.
I've never seen zucchini spelled that way and fell in love with it so I had to go back to the car to get my camera, luckily I always carry it with me for moments such as this. I then proceeded to have a unique and confusing conversation with the vendor which I will try to re-cap here.
Me: Where do the tomatoes come from?
Vendor: Arkansas and Florida. Now you know we're closing on July 2nd, right?
Me: Closing, yeah. You're just closing early for the Holiday weekend right?
Vendor: No, we're closing.
Me: Closing? as in for the rest of the summer?
Me: ummmmmm, aren't local vegetables just now beginning to ripen and ready to sell?
Vendor: uh huh
Me: Soooooo, you're thinking that people won't need to come to the produce stand because they have their own vegetables to eat?
Vendor: Yep! that and we're tired. We've been open 7 days a week since Easter.
Me: OK, I understand about the 7 days a week thing, but not everyone grows their own vegetables and now would be the time I would seek out a produce stand, not in March or April. (what are they thinking?)
Vendor: Yep, well, we're closing.
Me: hmph.Anyway, I only bought a few tomatoes from him and I definitely didn't buy any "zukennie". Even though I live on acreage, I have never been one to like to play in the dirt. I don't have a garden and I love fresh tomatoes and cucumbers. Now is when I truly look forward to going to produce stands. Am I the only one?
Anyway, I have taken the opportunity to work on some knitted projects. Two of which the knitting is complete but now need to do some seaming and some blocking.
Also still spinning on the polwarth, I love that stuff. I need to finish this one before Saturday so that I can start the Tour de Fleece on Saturday with fresh empty bobbins!
I'll hopefully have internet back by the 4th so I can post some updates to the Tour de Fleece.
The Guidelines (not rules) for participation as shown in the TdF Ravelry group:
1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 2nd through Sunday July 24th. Days of rest: Monday July 11th, Monday July 18st. (Just like the actual tour)
2. Spin something challenging Friday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage over the Col du Galibier for the second time, and finishing up on Alpe d’Huez.)
3. Wear yellow on Sunday July 24th to announce victory.
The personal challenge I have selected is to spin this glorious 8 ounces of Polwarth that I purchased from Greenwood Farms on Etsy. The colorway is called Arcade. My other challenge is to practice spinning with Batts. These are mini-batts weighing in at 1 oz a piece. I have 4 of them and they are gloriously soft!
This is going to be a fun challenge. Not only is this part of the Tour de Fleece challenge but I am also a member of the Team Footloose 2011, which is the Hansen MiniSpinner TdF group. They have their own mini-challenges with prizes.
Updates will be posted during the Tour.
The first skein I did was with the Magenta colored YLI Rayon. I ended up with about 180 yards.
This one was purchased from Creatively Dyed Yarn. She has beautiful work, both in hand dyed yarn as well as fiber. This is from a 4 oz braid of 20% cashmere, 20% silk and 60% merino. Total of 380 yards.
This next one was purchased from Jazz Turtle Creations. This 4 oz braid is a combination of alpaca, merino and mulberry silk. The precentages of each were not on the tag. Total yardage came to a little over 400 yards.
A long term project that I am involved in is the mini mitred square sock yarn blanket. This is a project that I keep in my purse at all times. It's done on small dpn's, maybe 4-5 inch long, size 3, so they don't take up much room and anytime I'm stuck somewhere, they are easy to pull out of my purse and work on. They don't take much brain power and I always have leftover sock yarn. Some of my knitsibs have even given some leftover sock yarn to me. I did an inventory today of what I had completed and I have 50 small squares done. I'm not even a quarter of the way there, but that's ok, I'm in it for the long run. Showing my squares so far: