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July 2006
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September 2006

Assessing

It's the last day of August...August!?  It's a little disconcerting how quickly summer flew by.  As I  look back over the last 2 months it looks like the Eyelet Cardigan and Trekking Socks took all summer to knit. (Actually I did knit the Vintage Victorian socks, too.) 

JohopoorjohoandmountainstreamThe road taken over the last several months has been paved with many good intentions. Intentions do not mean goals have been met.  It does mean the WIPs are now way out of hand.  Jóhö, poor Jóhö as she has come to be known, has languished, wallowing in neglect.  It would be wonderful to finish her up during Lolly's PS finishing up month of September, but I fear that is not to be. There are other WIPs that should be finished first. Mountain Stream, Susan's beautiful scarf design, that I thought would make a nice gift, really won't take long to finish up and will make a nice gift for Smith's aunt when we visit in October.

PinkalpacacutawayfrontbackhalffrontfloweWhen was it that I started Cutaway and what happened that she was abandoned? She was moving along well as spring brought warm temps and my  thoughts turned towards a cotton sweater. That is just wrong, but there you have it.  Thank goddess more progress was made than the WIP picture shows.  The back and one front have been finished, the second front is half way there, and one little flower, to use as embellishment, has been knit.  Again, she really shouldn't take too long to finish.

Trekkingsocksandseraphiminprogress The Trekking Socks have become my constant companion, as I work toward finishing them before Labor Day.  Sadly, they didn't make it on as many Trek's as was intended, but maybe Labor Day they'll be able to make one last Trek for a photo shoot.  The true object of my desire, at the moment, is Seraphim.  It is conceivable that I could have Cutaway AND Seraphim ready to wear at Rhinebeck, but my first choice is Seraphim.  This is pure and simple knitting and, like Jóhö, the wonderful yarn is from Plain and Fancy Wool Co. The intention is to not give her much time until the socks are finished and progress has been made on Mountain Stream. 
Don't hold your breath.


I Love Lizzy!

Lizzylikestohelpwithplyingoftwosindles

Humbleyarnismybestyet_1There she is, my beautiful Lizzy Kate.  She is just adorable, efficient and a more help than one could expect.  I do love Lizzy.  After spinning two full spindles of Angora Cottage's roving this weekend, I took Lizzy for a spin again.  She never disappoints and helped in the creation of the best two-ply yarn I have ever made.  In short order (longer than it would take on wheel, but that doesn't matter) I had plied 140+ yds, and left it in the bath, while I headed to the gym.  Creating beautiful yarn is certainly a thrill. The inadequacies of my camera are apparent in this photo of the yarn, but hopefully you can see my spinning has improved.  I'm humbled that I, me, I can spin, but is it OK to be a little proud, too?
Redmaroonskeinofyarnsolovely (click to enlarge)

The last two days have been spent spinning and plying a second skein.  The plan was to give them to Susan for her 'just past' birthday. Plying took right up until time to leave for SnB, so I didn't have time to bathe the skein or spin up the rest of the roving, which should make another skein about the size of the other two.  The two skeins total almost 300 yds so there should be enough for Susan to knit a scarf and wrist warmers or mittens. It's may not be the most perfect yarn (as yet), but I am thrilled to give the best yarn I've made to date to an inspired friend and sensei (of spinning and dyeing).  I think she likes it.

Susanlovestheyarn


Where Did The Weekend Go?!

As the old adage goes, "Time flies when you're having fun."  Those words become truer with each passing day, but certainly more as the summer weekends become fewer and fewer.

So, what did I do this weekend to make the time fly by? 

Up early to check blogland and post Saturday Sky picture.
Coffee and treats in bed with Smith and the boyz.
Spin until my spindle was full.
Plied the yarn and made a beautiful skein (my best yet!).
Worked out at the gym.
Ran to LYS (spinning supplies, too) and pick up plain roving for dye class on Saturday.
Shopped for groceries.
Got the mail! My STR arrived!
Do laundry while sewing up the Eyelet Cardigan. (I just had to pull your leg a little yesterday, but thank you for telling me the sweater looks good--you all rock!!)
Started Seraphim. (I just couldn't help myself.)
Enjoyed an 'end of summer party' in Val's backyard, with good barbecue and a classic movie ('Seahawks' with Errol Flynn). We were dress in warm clothes and under blankets as it was chilly (and fun!).

Sunday we had a lovely breakfast with the 'counter culture' at the Blue Plate Diner.
We did a bit more shopping and visited with Camille.

Laurasyummycurrentscones_1 Our afternoon was more relaxing...but I did bake the currant scones that were in the gift package Laura sent a couple of weeks ago.  All I had to do was add butter and buttermilk.  The only thing that may have been easier is to have Laura come to my house and bake them for me!  Oh my, they were yummy, yummy. While we enjoyed the treats we watched a movie and I knit on the Trekking Sock. I have now turned the heel and will be heading on down the gussets.  I do think I'll be finished by weeks end. 
Here's the proof of the above list.

Midsummernightstryarnfornamingprize
STR in Midsummer Night
The new STR Sock Club yarn for July was Peaseblossom and there were 6 other colors that needed to be named in the same theme.  This beautiful colorway, in shades of blue, reminded me of the long twilight of summer nights. Therefore I submitted the name Midsummer Night and won the contest (and the yarn!).  If you buy this color think of me when you knit your socks.

Zengardensocksandseraphim
Here is Seraphim's start in Plain and Fancy Wool Co.'s colorway Plum.  The yarn is so wonderful to knit and the color is fun to watch.  If I could I would knit on nothing else right now. But, the Trekking sock, which you can see just before the heel was started, needs to be dealt with first.

Softestcashmeretopforspinningfromjoan In yesterday's mail a little package of luxurious softness arrived. Joan sent two ounces of the most beautiful cashmere top.  I should learn more about spinning this fancy fiber at the Advanced Spindle class this weekend.

My KSKS pal notified me and the package should come shortly.  I'll not worry any longer and will be pleasantly surprised when it shows up. 


Finally Eyelet Is Fini!

The weekend was beautiful!  It was just under 80 degrees and cloudy off and on, which made it perfect sweater weather. The sky was so blue and the fluffy clouds looked like like they would be fun to run through and roll around in.  I wanted to reach out and touch them...squeeze them.
Cloudsyouwanttograbandhangonto

Yes, that is the finished Manos Cotton Stria Eyelet Cardigan.  She is finally finished, finally out of my WIP pile, and that feels almost as good as being able to wear this lovely sweater. The yarn is nice, soft and easy to knit. It's the best cotton yarn I've used in some time and I love the way the color shades and shadows in the finished fabric (which sadly doesn't show up well in the photos).

Sitttingonarockintheagarden Cardiganntheflowerbed

The soft cotton was comfortable even as the day warmed up and the fabric relaxed as it was worn. Two little silver buttons hold the sweater closed and are a nice subtle embellishment. Patterns with  texture are fun to knit and in the photo below you can see the stitch pattern and some of the color shading. Eyelet will be a nice sweater through the fall with blue jeans or when dressing up a bit, too.

Fronttextureandbuttons

When I started this sweater I weighed a little less and my thought had been to make the sweater smaller than it was pictured in the pattern to show off my grrlie figure.  But,  it's been tough to keep  ALL the weight off that I lost last year when dealing with back pain.  The resulting pounds will likely stay and that's OK (but must insure no more take up residence).  So, I need your advice as true grrlfriends (and guy friends, too)....does this sweater make me look fat?

Doesthismakemelookfat

Pattern: Eyelet Cardigan from Design Source Cotton Collection 2
Yarn: 9 skeins Manos Cotton Stria - Color Violet (Purchased at Black Sheep Wool Co.)
Needle: Addi Turbo size 7
Changes to Pattern:  Made 2" longer in body and sleeves.
Time to Knit:  July 5 - August 27, 2006


Saturday Sky with Bonus Thursday

While checking Bloglines early this morning what should I see?  Well, hardly a thing!  Everyone is apparently sleeping in.  Instead of a redundant sunrise/dawn picture thoughts of an afternoon picture crossed my mind.  But, the sky was pretty spectacular when I checked it about 8:00am. 

Saturdayskylastweekendinaugust

In honor of the Prezidents (you know the one) visit to Utah this week, and our fearless and illustrious Mayor (of SLC) Rocky (yes that is his real name), I bring you Thursday mornings sky. 
Flagflyinghighonwednesday_1
I am a Patriot

I am a patriot, and I love my country,
Because my country is all I know.

And I ain't no communist,
And I ain't no socialist,
And I ain't no capitalist,
And I ain't no imperialist,
And I ain't no democrat,
Sure ain't no republican either,
I only know one party,
And that is freedom.
I am...I am...I am...

I am a patriot, and I love my country,
Because my country is all I know.


Cool Friends

The mail box remains empty. Waiting for my KSKS, winning Blue Moon sock yarn, Yarn Aboard Spinning and Socks boxes. Oh, and a prize package, too.  I'm mostly concerned about the KSKS at this point in time. Knitting is continuing, but you've seen my Trekking sock and the Eyelet Cardi is nearing the end, so you'll just have to wait for the photo shoot. Once both projects are finished I'll decide what to knit next or which WIP deserves some time.  I'm spinning too and should have a second spindle of the fabulous maroon roving ready to ply soon. SO, while I wait out the mail and look forward to the weekend, I'll share some of my multi-talented friends with you.

Miriam is a lace designer extraordinaire and she won BIG TIME in the Salt Lake County Fair for her Mountain Peaks Shawl.  Deservedly so!!  Every shawl on my 'to do' list (save one) is Mim's and I especially like the one she is working on now. It will be worth the wait! Oh, and have you seen Mim's new Shop?

The 'one' shawl on my list that isn't Mim's is Anne's Wing of the Moth Shawl. After Seraphim I'll knit me a Moth Wing. Several knitters have started Wing of the Moth and Cheryl has lead them down the prickly path with a challenge to see who will finish first. Place your bet State your choice in her comments and you might win a wonderful, fibery prize.

And go visit another Ann.  Ann has decided to build her own chairs! This is quite an accomplishment! She hammers, she drills, measures, saws and KNITS! A Renaissance grrl if there ever was one.

Kim is multi-talented with fiber and beads. She has been embroidering a jeans jacket and knitting with wire.  Isn't that an amazing bracelet!?  You should see her darling pin cushions, too.

Utah Grrl, Laurie, is making beautiful soaps.  You can purchase them at the upcoming Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair or contact her directly.  It's such nice soap!

And finally, today is Sandy's REAL birthday. She's been stringing everyone along all week, but now is the time to head over and wish her a very Happy Birthday. It's a bittersweet day as she is taking her baby to college.

Enjoy your weekend!


Learning List

  • Sunday while walking into the plaza at Snowbird I tripped and fell hard on my hands and knees, bounced onto my shoulder and landed flat on my back.  My knees were a little stiff the rest of the day but are fine now. However, I won't be kneeling to pray for awhile....just sayin'.  My shoulder is sore which makes it hard to hold a spindle up very high to spin.  I survived. I can take a licking and keep on ticking, even at my age.

  • After spinning the BFL in Tuesday's post, and consulting Amy, the realization that this yarn is just too soft for socks was clear.  It's too beautiful to spin any tighter so it will be knit into something else. Time to try spinning up some super wash for socks.

  • Knee highs didn't attract me the way they did Cara until I saw Lene’s.  Both the gray and red pair are exceptional.

  • Sunday we could see a tinge of color change on the highest peaks in the mountains and Eileen noticed the same on her ride up Millcreek Canyon. It was very dark when the alarm went off at 6:30am on Monday.  This is the first morning it was very apparent the light is waning at both ends of the day.

  • Despite that, it was just under 100 degrees the last few days...not fall temperatures, and the nights don't cool down like they should. An impressive thunderstorm, avec rain, helped some, but mostly just raised humidity.  Summer is intrepid.
    *Breaking news...the heat broke and it was cooler last night. It felt so good! But, will it last?*

  • By reading Monday's newspaper I learned that Mitt the Twit R. and I share the same polygamist ancestor.  It looks like we are distant cousins. No comment.

  • Norma is setting up a blog for the Red Scarf Project. You can find buttons for your blog here if you plan to join her and knit Red this year.  It's a good cause.  Last year I knit a couple of scarves, but this year I'm on a scarf moratorium...just not that fond of knitting scarves and I'm swamped with gift knitting, spinning and swap knitting, too.  A grrl needs to know when to say no.

  • A good knitter listens to the voices in her head.  She realizes the process is sometimes forward and back.  She may not like it, but she accepts that this is part of the process of creation. With a good book on the ol' iPod, and a new beginning for the sock, the process continues. (One week and three days until the Trek Along ends.) Perseverance is a virtue (or so I'm told).

Thesockisresurrectedandgrowingsmartly


Arrrrggggg!!!!!!

No this is not talk like a pirate day.  It could be WTF Wednesday, or to plagiarize mimic even further...which of these socks is not like the other?

Wtfmessisthissockarghhhhhh

Could this be chalked up to arrogance?  Stupidity? Blind Ambition?  Would a good knitter dismiss the niggling voice that said, "11 stitches per pattern? That doesn't seem right.  Are you sure?"  Wouldn't a good knitter have stopped to check the pattern and see which was right...9 or 11 stitches per chevron?  Would a good knitter knit on to the heel and then spent 30 minutes trying to understand why there were only 5 sections of pattern instead of 6? What was she thinking!?!  Or better yet, WAS she thinking? How the heck (Utah swear word) did the pattern work out at all!?!

Willsockvoodoohurtorhelp

Will the 'not so good knitter' still make the Trekking Along deadline of Labor Day weekend?  Will sock Voodoo help or hurt?   


Taking Lizzy for a Spin

LizzyloadedandreadytogoFourspindlesinlizzywhileplyingwithtwoIn last Friday's post there was a picture of my new toy/tool Lizzy Kate. Saturday I just couldn't wait to take her out for a spin. After spinning two full spindles of Chocolate Dipped BFL roving I loaded up Lizzy and started to make a 2-ply yarn.  It took some time to figure out the best way to work and how to attenuate the yarn for smooth spinning. After a short time, everything came together and I was on my way.  Lizzy holds up to four spindles, which sit in holes of ball bearings. The spindles smoothly turn around as you ply and the singles slide through two guides that keep them from tangling and catching.

Asthespindlespinsattenuatedbythelizzykat

SpindlefullofpliebflyarnIt was smooth spinning from two Greensleeves spindles to the large PGR spindle and plying took less time, had fewer (actually no) problems and created twice as much yarn was previously possible.

Here you can see me 'in action' as I spin and wind the plied yarn onto the spindle.
Watchingspindleplyyarnwithlizzy Windingonthespindleafterplying

The finished yarn is well balanced and looks fairly even.  I'm learning more with each spindle full and will be happy to learn more in the Advanced Spindle Class at the upcoming Great Basin Fiber Arts Fair.  Elizabeth, who IS Greensleeves Spindles, will be teaching the class.  There is so much to learn and the yarn I want to spin for socks just isn't happening, as yet. Still, creating any yarn is quite a thrill.

Redbfl126ydsnewlyplyedwithlizzykate


Q is for...

Quarry.

Little Cottonwood is a shorter wider canyon than Big Cottonwood.  The differences are visible right away as the granite cliffs tower over the road as soon as you enter the Little Cottonwood.

Granitecliffsabovequarrytrail

Camilleandsmithatthequarrysite
Largestonecutwithlayerofquartz At the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon is the little known Temple Quarry Nature Hike. Here you see Smith and Camille checking out the two large stones left by the quarrymen of the 1850s. This Quarry site is where granite stones were harvested for the Salt Lake Temple and the Utah State Capital. The stone is actually Quartz monzonite which is very similar to granite but has a different ratio of Quartz to feldspar minerals (granite contains more Quartz).  The quarried stone on the right shows the layers of Quartz clearly visible between the outer smooth surfaces. Scroll to the bottom of this site to see a good picture of the Quarry in action.  The picture below shows finger size holes along the edge of a stone where the quarrymen drilled in metal shafts along a natural crack. The shafts would act as wedges so that when the stone was hit with a sledge hammer it would cleave along that line. (This is a bit of an oversimplification but you get the idea, right?)

Holesthesizeoffingersusedtobreakstoneapa

Glacialrockcreekbed The nature trail is a short hike, but it's mostly shaded and runs along a dry creek bed that is still full of glacial stones.  After spending too much time looking for the trail we found it right where we started...to the right off the parking lot. (Don't ask.) But, it was a nice day to be outdoors and we had had a hearty breakfast at the Fork Lift Restaurant in Snowbird beforehand. My Trekking Sock came along on the journey and I even found time for some extreme knitting.

Trekkingupatreeonthequarrytrail

Today is Susan’s birthday.  She's away for a family vacation, but you could still leave her a Happy Birthday comment.