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February 2009
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April 2009

Spinning Desire

YAY! How happy am I that the feed issues are fixed!  I missed you all yesterday. 

Saturday was spent organizing, sorting and assessing the fiber stash. As a new spinner one tends to buy a little of everything in the hopes of trying different wools, understanding fiber, and becoming a better spinner. After a time, one finds favorite fibers, and thus, many of the less enjoyable bunches and braids make their way to the back of the closet or bottom of the bin. A few bumps, colors and wools that will never be spun, made up a small discard pile, and that made room for more favorites to come into view again. The rest of the weekend I spent as much time as I could with Emmylou and we created beautiful yarn together.

Rovingtornandreadytospin

Jennifer's Spirit Trail Fibers are some of my most favorite. Her colors and exotic blends are always a joy to spin. The latest offering, the first of this years club, was a Superwash BFL in a luscious colorway. This beauty didn't come with a name so I've dubbed it Sea Blue. The shades of blue and green vary, change and meld together in subtle ways. I'm not a big fan of superwash fiber, but this BFL spins more like "real" wool. One bobbin was finished before I knew it and I had a great desire to spin another. The plan is for a 3-ply sock yarn and we're one third of the way there, with more fun spinning to come.

Firstbobbinandroving

To keep things interesting, Emmylou and I started another long term spinning project.  We'll fill a bobbin of the BFL and then one of this luscious alpaca/bamboo from Anne. This is so beautifully prepared it just flows so smoothly through the fingers and creates a gorgeous single.  This will be come a shawl and we, Emmylou and I, have two in mind.  The choice will depend on yarndage.  We expect there will be oodles as we have a full 6 oz and will spin it in a light fingering weight.

Sparklyalpacabambooandbobbin 

The fiber is slightly darker than the photo, but you can see bits of sparkle and the shades of gray pretty well.  It's pure heaven to spin. By spinning as much as I can I hope to make a dent in the fiber collection. Spinning has become such an enjoyable part of my day.


Messed Up

It's not so fun posting in a vaccum.  Bloglines isn't picking up my feed, but it's my own fault. Typepad was helpful in helping me find the issue (for a change) and I hope all is well now.  If not, I may not post tomorrow.


Weekend Mixed Bag

Saturday spring returned with blue skies and warmer temperatures.  Sunday winter took over again with a vengeance.  Wind, heavy snow, and cold erased any trace of Saturday's warmth.  My favorite pansy had recovered from the last snowstorm only to be left wearing a hat of new snow.

Poorpansiewearinghatofsnow
Much of my weekend entertainment happened while spinning with Emmylou.  We had a blast with Funky Carolina Falklands Wool and made a simple 2-ply out of "A Simple Song". Two other long term spinning projects were started...more on that later.

Twoplyfunkycarlinasimplesong
Late in the the sun played across the mountains and above was a patch of blue sky.  The week ahead will take March out, and bring April in, like a lion.
Atouchofblueskyandsunlight
That's what springtime is like in Utah.

A Gem of a Fountain Pen

Truecolorofperidot This quick little diversion was worthy of obsession. As if the pattern wasn't enough to bring a knitter joy, the exceptional yarn provided the icing on the cake. Susan and I have both fallen in love with Handmaiden's Mini-Maiden yarn and have dubbed it the best yarn ever. It's has an unbeatable sheen, a silky, smooth feel and is very easy to handle. The colors we both used were exquisite and exciting. She knit her Hypergraphia in a spring green (Moss) and I used Peridot, a gem of a color. It was very helpful to have her Ravelry notes so I knew just how many rows to knit for this slightly smaller Fountain Pen Shawl.

Aperidotfountainpenshawl  

The color has been very hard to capture.  The color is modulating shades of a sage green, with blue over tones (you can see its depth in this link).  The color reminded me of a certain person and a strong desire to knit it, and give it, came over me. It brought me joy to follow through on the feeling.  May the shawl bring joy, warmth and peace to the recipient.

Acascadingfountainpen

Agemofanedgeonfountainpen

 Athesahwlinfullglory 

Pattern: Fountain Pen by Susan Lawrence
Yarn: Handmaiden Mini-Maiden – Peridot 1 skein
Time to Knit: March 16 to March 23, 2009
Modifications: Slightly smaller than the IK pattern
Verdict: LOVE it and must knit another, plus it is perfect for Project Spectrum North
More pictures on Ravelry


Your Mileage My Vary

Have you ever kept track of your yarn mileage….how many miles of yarn you knit in a month or a year? I've been thinking about keeping track for 2009. By the time Lily and the Cedar Socks are finished I'll have knit 6,788 yds. That's 3.8 miles for 2009, so far. This might be a good year to keep track as the yarndage as it will include 12 sweaters worth. Of course, I will also include the mileage of my crochet journey, too.

Tahkicottonclassic I ventured into a big box craft store and bought some Sugar and Cream. For the Potholder/Hotpad Swap we can only use cotton or wool, and a thick cotton potholder sounded like a good way to go. In my stash is a bunch Tahki Cotton Classic in pretty colors, too (used for face cloths). I'll play around with both, but the sturdy, thick SnC may make a little more sense.  Potholder designs and inspiration seem to be unlimited (at least on Ravelry) and there are loads of vintage patterns available, too.  I think I've found the one I'll use (TBA).

Yarnforpotholders
An account executive dropped by our office yesterday and brought some goodies. The cookies look better than they taste (they might have benefited from a bit longer in the oven, imo), but they were so pretty I just had to share.
Prettycookies
Yes, this post is to distract while I finish up another project.  Tomorrow something beautiful this way comes.

Oh No! Please Grow! FASTER!

Whilst the garden outside is covered with snow, the garden inside continues to grow. Hey, how cool is that bit of poetry!? Norma said snow is poor mans fertilizer, and that is certainly true...snow outside means I stay warm inside and spend more time nurturing the knitting. The third time has been the charm for Lily (knock wood) and she, in turn, is charming me.

Lilyisdancingwiththehippo
Lily is dancing with a Hippo Kritter Case.  I'd never seen a pink hippo until this one arrived via Cindy! He holds tons of handy knitting supplies and he makes Lily smile.  We need Lily to keep smiling (and growing).

Nuppsdelupps

Lily's got nupps! I call them one row nupps as they aren't created with the back and forth knitting used for bobbles. And, because the Venezia is soft (perhaps softer than the original Lily's) my Lily's nupps don't stand out as prominently. They are subtle, little nupps that suit Lily and me just fine.

The downside of MoDo has the constant (self) pressure which creates and feeds obsession. As a way of taking a break from sweater pressure I turned to lace, but found it wasn't the distraction I'd hoped...rather it turned into another obsession. The feeling that I MUST finish the shawl and get back to the sweater was constantly with me. To stop the obsession and angst I took a step back, sat with a pot of good tea and enjoyed each cup, sans knitting. Just me, the tea, a quiet room and I sipped every drop of tea, relaxed fully and didn't think beyond that moment. It was a lovely break, a good vacation from obsession and it helped me find focus.  The goal now is to stay balanced and enjoy the process of cultivating Lily with a little lace on the side.


Springy Spinning

Poorlittlepansiesinthesnow

As predicted, it did end up snowing for much of the day yesterday and it may do the same tomorrow. However, I say let it snow, it won't last long (and we need the water!)...while it may be cold and snowy outside, inside I've been spinning gorgeous spring colors.  Friday afternoon I finished plying the Wooly Wonka Kelp merino/bamboo.  This Ravelry link will show you all the incarnations from roving to finished yarn.  I did a happy dance when it proved to be just over 500 yards, as that is enough to make a nice sized shawl....a shawl that may or may not be for me.  Not sure that lovely spring color would be good close to my face, but it matters not, as the yarn is so pretty, shiny and screams spring.  The true color is closer to the first picture.

Greenkelpskeinyummy
Whether I wear this color or not, you can color me pleased.
Kelpcloseupoftwist
So pleased, in fact, that I started spinning another roving immediately.   This is Funky Carolina's February club fiber, Falklands wool in the color "A Simple Song".
Spinningfunkycarolina
I may have too much roving on hand, may have joined too many fiber clubs, but I'm enjoying spinning for the pure enjoyment of it and hope to make good progress by spinning daily. Emmylou (my wheel) and I are enjoying spring together.

Before I forget (again)...Lisa is having a very cool contest. Run over to her blog and make a stab at the date the HUGE pile of snow completely melts away. You could be the winner of a very cool bagg.

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

This weekend it was evident everywhere I turned that spring had arrived in our fair valley. Trees were beginning to leaf or bloom as their hearts desired and the bulbs that had the luck to doused with full sun were showing their best faces.

Abunchofdaffodils
The front garden was planted with a multitude of pretty pansies.  The next morning their faces were turned up in a happy way. This one is my favorite, but early this week they all could be covered with snow.  Spring is more fickle than a knitter.
Happyorangefaceofthepansy

It was a good weekend for yarn, too as a package arrived from Ruth (she ships so quickly!).  With every order of yarn this month you will receive a handcrafted shawl pin, a copper pin!  Ruth dyes yarn in such amazing colorways and I could not resist Blackberry.  The pin she sent is exquisite.
Beautifulhandshapedshawlpin
Oh, you want to see the yarn?  Oh yes, it's a beauty.  The color is so deep and rich it's hard to capture in pictures.  This color would make a beautiful Andromeda.
Beautyofthecolorsarehardtosee
The weekend went to quickly, as did our little hint of spring. Sprinter has arrived, but its nature is to be the harbinger of true spring.


Outside the Box

Since I'm knitting outside my color box, I may as well stay on the outs. Before I was a knitter I was a hooker and I made everything from crochet.  Sweaters, vests, granny squares, lace, afghans, slippers...baby stuff, tons of other stuff.  In 1974 I learned to knit and rarely went back to the hooks.  This pineapple afghan is the only piece of crochet I've made since 1974 (made in 1986), except for the most recent hooked adventure, the Larger Than Life Bag (Rav link).

Afghanhookedyearsago

It took me two days of deliberation (with myself) to decided to join in the Potholder SwapAdrian has gone a little over the top for crochet as of late, as has Maryse. I'm always enticed, but never drawn completely in...until now. The potholders must be crocheted and that gave me pause...thus the deliberation, but in the end it sounds fun and a little different.  Time to oil up my rusty crochet skills, dust off the hooks and jump in. You have until tomorrow to do the same!

Blogbuttonhotpadswap

I'm spending the weekend with Lily. Whatever you do have a good one!