Grrrrr - such a slacker on blogging

OK, here I am, a couple days before year end, and I realize I've been a terrible blogger this year.  I've used my blog in the past as a way to keep up with my projects and it makes me smile to go back and read what I've done over the past year.  Well, this is kind of tough to do when you don't blog for MONTHS on end.  OK, my hands are sufficiently slapped.

Since I have a new year coming (2016), I can turn over a new leaf and remove all guilt from the past year.  I have been active on Instagram but that is no replacement for keeping up my blog.

Let me start by saying that we have been without TV since July 31st and it's been great.  We watch a DVD every now and then, but mostly we eat in quiet, or we might play a Colorku game, and then I'll knit or surf on the tablet or read. DH will usually read on the tablet.  So it's been more productive in that way.  I don't miss the crap on TV either. For those of you who don't know about Colorku, it's Sudoku with colored marbles rather than numbers.

I have all kinds of projects floating around in my mind. That includes knitting, spinning, weaving and some sewing. I need to sew some tops for the office because I really hate what is out there in the shops right now.

Spinning is kind of tough for me right now, especially using my spindles, because my right shoulder is killing me. I've been putting off going to the Doc, but I'm going to have to break down and do it, probably in January.  I've been trying to knit more portugese style as that puts less strain on my shoulder, but it doesn't work so well for me with smaller needles. Maybe I need to take a class at Haus to get better at it. It probably just needs more practice as in everything else. In addition, I've started doing that on projects already on the needles and knitting portugese changes my tension and therefore gauge.  But I sooooo want to do some spinning, so I'll be making an appointment with the Doc and get the bad news.

One of the projects I have not mentioned on the blog are my new kitchen curtains. I have a kitchen with 4 large windows that span across one wall that overlooks the front yard. It's a wonderful view and one I've probably posted here at some point over the last 9 years.  The windows have the same mini blinds that were on it when we bought the house. I have finally removed the ugly valance that was on it so the windows are bare, other than the blinds.  The front only gets direct morning light so I can keep my blinds open more during the day. My project for window coverings involve the Zoom Loom.  I am making woven Zoom Loom squares that I will connect lengthwise and attach them to the curtain rod individually in panels. Kind of hard to imagine with just words, so I'll see if I can come up with a picture. I'm using mostly all cream colored squares with some bursts of color.  per window, there will be 280 squares. So, I'll have 265 squares of cream, 5 squares each of red, blue and yellow. I've been designing in Excel as to where I want to put the colored squares. It's been fun playing around with that. :-) 

I have to go for now. More to come, I promise.

Knitting, weaving and spinning

I have been working on projects galore. My mind is on overload with everything I want to work on. Do I want to spin today? or maybe weave? Knitting I usually reserve for evenings in front of the TV. However, at the end of July we are cancelling Directv and going without completely. I live too far away from town to get a signal without an antenna and we had decided that we were paying to much per month to watch 2-3 channels.  So we can stream maybe 2-3 movies a month and not overrun our allotted time from the internet provider. So I will be spending more time in the evenings hopefully doing a little reading, spinning or whatever. The main thing is no more wasted time sitting in front of the TV.

So, I was working on a project from a kit I ordered from the yarn shop in NY. I love the way the project looked at their page. I couldn't control the color of the yarn I received and that may be part of the problem. Anyway, I knit it up and I'm not feeling the love. I ran out of yarn before I was supposed to and I didn't even make it as long as the pattern called for.  So, I'm not feeling the love as to the way the colors went together. I've been letting it sit there until I decided what I wanted to do with it. I think now that I will take it apart and just add it to my on-going blanket. I just don't know what else I could do with it.  Your thoughts?

So I've also gotten on a weaving kick. Who knows why?  First off I decided to use up some cotton stash. I still have lots more cotton to go through. I must have bought a ton of cotton when I was making baby bibs and dishcloths back in 2006-08. I quit doing those and moved up to doing more for me and hence, lots of cotton in the stash. Well, this project didn't use as much as I thought it would but it was enjoyable. It allowed me to play a little with how hard I beat each row. some were more balanced, some were tighter and some were looser. I was playing to see the result. I used the full width of my Cricket, which isn't very big, and I forgot the length. Anyway, I made one long roll, and then I zigzagged with my sewing machine so I could cut it and make 3 individual towels. I then seamed the edges for a clean edge. It will make for a quick hand towel. Overall, I think it's a do over.

Then I started on a narrower piece using some sock yarn I've had for years. Wildfoote.
I made a long scarf and I really like it.

As for spinning, I finished a skein that I'm absolutely in love with. It's a merino blend in a deep blue that I bought at Stitches in Atlanta in 2014 from Shaky Fibers. This fiber was an absolute delight to spin.  I spun 2 singles and then plied them with a Japanese silk thread in white. I love it!!

So, since I didn't have enough projects on the needles, I bought yarn for a new project at my local yarn shop on Thursday.  It's a kit by Wonderland Yarns. Hand-dyed by Frabjous Fibers. I'm making the Asymmetrical Shawl which stripes garter stitch in a main color and a mesh stitch with a different color.   It's called the Messenger Shawl and you can see the store sample here. (link)
That's about it for now. The Tour de France (fleece) is almost over. It's been a good race this year, as always.  This may be our last year to watch it unless we break down some time during the year and sign back up for Directv. Who knows.

Long time, no see

Yeah, it's been 6 months since I blogged. I'm back now though. In the meantime, this week, I passed another milestone.........9 years I've been writing in this blog. So back to it I say!!!  Facebook and Instagram sort of distracted me but blogging is a different beast and I will try to do that at least 1 weekend out of the month.

In the 6 month leave of absence, I attended Stitches South which was in Nashville this year. I think it was very successful. I didn't overspend and I bought some worthwhile stuff. Some fiber, some yarn for specific projects and a woven poncho. I did not buy any miscellaneous balls of yarn just because they looked pretty, what I purchased had a purpose.  I also took a Dyeing with Koolaid class, how fun was that!  We packed a lot in that hour and I came away with a cake of yarn that looks like an Easter egg.
Memorial Day weekend was the Middle Tennessee Fiber Festival. We had great weather this year, not too hot and low humidity. Couldn't get any better than that! I came away with some fiber and a miniature niddy-noddy that measures 24" per wrap. Great for sampling.
Otherwise, I've been spinning and knitting. I was perusing the hobby closet where some of my yarn sits and I found that I had a lot of cotton.  So I started a blanket for me. It will be a mishmash of colors, mostly pastels, but with small bursts of other colors mixed in.  I'm using mostly the softer cottons like Cotton Tots and Hobby Lobby's I love This Cotton.  I don't find that the Peaches and Crème and Lion Brand Cotton is very soft, so I'll keep it for dishcloths.  I'm working on a couple of scarves, a small shawl that I bought at Stitches, and lots of spinning.

We also picked up 3 new kittens over Memorial Day weekend. They are 7.5 weeks old and just so cute! We've never had kittens this young for outside, so they are taking a little extra care to protect them.

That's it for now.

2014 - a video review of my projects in 2014

My first try at a video.
I have some spun projects that I didn't include in this video.

Blogger limited the size of the video I could upload, so for better resolution go to YouTube (link) and see it better.

2015 - A New Year with lots of possibilities

Wow, another year has passed. Time is flying and each year that goes by is just one year closer to retirement.

How I envision retirement:
  1. more time to spend with my hubby
  2. more time to work on my hobbies
  3. more time to do a bit of traveling
#1 goes without saying. We are planning to retire at the same time and that way we won't be limited to just weekends and long holiday weekends.  Evening time at the moment is limited what with commuting, cooking dinner, eating and then cleaning up, that leaves little time. I really don't see how people do it who have children.

#2. Hobbies. mostly spinning and knitting at the moment. I'd like to do some weaving, but weekends just don't have enough time for that. I look forward to not having to cram everything in 2 days.  On top of that one has to make time for Ravelry and Pinterest. I get on Ravelry to update my Projects page, but then I have to look and see what my friends are doing, then look at some patterns because I don't have enough of them, and next thing you know I've spent hours on Ravelry. Yep, could have been spinning or knitting instead, but you gotta do it.

#3. Traveling. Yes, we'd like to do more even if it's just a weekend away (or during the week)

OK, so on to what I've been doing.

I've been sewing a little bit. I bought some Bento bags on Etsy in wonderful linen.
I decided I wanted to make my own.

This cranberry one is a small one I purchased on Etsy. It's perfect for one project.  I also bought a larger one in a natural color linen.

 I made this one with a bandana. Again, perfect for one project.

 I also made the black and red polka dot one. I love them!!!!

I went by the LYS on New Year's Eve. I've been very good on my unofficial yarn diet. I've been burning through some stash and thought it might be fun to go to the yarn shop. I made some purchases. Imagine that.  1) I bought a new bag.  2) I bought some yarn for an infinity scarf 3) I bought some yarn for the Adama Cowl. 4) I bought some yarn on sale.  I don't have pictures of all the yarn yet.

So here are some pics to go with the above:
#1 - The Bag.  you can see that my little bento bags fit perfectly in the new bag. It has 8 tall pockets on the outside. Also has a nice carrying handle.

#3 - the yarn for the Adama Cowl.
I also purchased some yarn from The Yarn Company in NYC.  This is the wonderful yarn shop I went to last June when we went to NYC. It's a wonderful shop. I'm going to make the Zipper Scarf.
That's it for now.