Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spinning up north

There will probably be long delays in blogging right now. My office is moving to a new location. Which means so much packing and filing and archiving while I'm trying to do at the same time doing my normal work tasks. However, this weekend my girls and mom and I traveled up north to my sister's lake home in Barnes, Wisconsin. They really have a lovely spot. Their home is perched high a hill overlooking the lake.

They have two decks that overlook the lake and it is just amazing. I happily sat there for a bit on Saturday afternoon and worked on my spinning. I'm making better progress with this new batch of roving. And with the light breeze, the humming birds attacking each other, jostling for position at the feeder near by I was so content. We had two evenings at the camp fire making s'mores and writing in the night air with our ember tipped sticks. I also helped repair a dock from major damage done during the winter ice heave. Now that is fun, to be in waders, lifting up dock sections while you pull the metal posts out of the lake bed and reseat them, drill and bolt in the dock sections, while in 50 degree water. I was blessed in that my brother in law took pity on me and I got the waders while he was in the cold water in shorts. All in all a great weekend.

And to top it off, it was Emily's seventh birthday. My girl was so excited and anxious to see what treasures awaited her. She is my ultra crafty girl and many of her gifts were things for her to paint and make and cut and sculpt. She was thrilled.

And finally, to see my mom, happy, with her family is the best picture of all.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Revisit my goals

I read back in the archives and found some of my professed goals for the year. To knit 12 pairs of socks, well I've done 2 complete pairs, have 2 single socks waiting for their matching pair, I reserve the right to count singles to reach 24 socks by the end of the year.
I also wanted a spinning wheel - yippee that has been accomplished. My new goal is to take a spinning class before the end of the year.
Which leads me to my next goal, I wanted to knit more lace. Well call me crazy, my niece is getting married in 66 days. And I'm going to knit my first shawl in that time period. Yup, that is what I'm doing. I picked Anne Hansen's (Knitspot) Wing O' The Moth shawl (not exactly the right title but the best I could remember it) I had suitable yarn in my stash, wound it up slowly (REALLY slowly) Monday night. And last night before heading to piano lessons, I started the set up rows. According to Ravelery, many people finished it in under 2 months. So there is hope. I seem to do well with pressure knitting--see my Christmas schedule. But by moving this up to the top of my priority list, I decided not to take a planned 5 week spinning class in June/July. I need to focus on the shawl during this time. I can wait on my spinning class until fall. So stay tuned. The countdown has begun. Pictures to follow.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First skein

So my first effort at creating a skein of yarn was a bit well all over the place! smile...

there are sections that are reasonable and look like yarn, then there are sections where it appears absolutely no twist managed to make it through the skeining process. Or as I'm telling myself, I have some really lovely "designer" yarn. All lumpy and bumpy goodness. I do love the colors of this roving, so remind me of Neapolitan ice cream. My youngest daughter, Emily, picked it out for me. She does have good taste.

I've also been working on a fair isle headband which is turning out very well. The picture is lacking, but that isn't the fault of the knitting, it is the fault of the photographer, oh ya, that is me. The hands with the lovely blue polish are my Anna's, and the coral is mine, you would think that with both of us trying to show it, the picture would be a bit better. Oh well, I was trying to show the picot edging, but white on white and you lose details, note to self, try to figure out a better source of background for next pictures.

But this served a good reminder for me, I bought the headband and a matching pair of mittens as kits on a yarn hop last year. I had never done fair isle knitting at all and while it intimidated me I loved how it looked, so I dove in and bought both kits. A year passed, I've taken fair isle classes and successfully made some beautiful mittens in fair isle as well as this headband. And they look great. So when I look at my wonky skein of newly spun yarn, I can't wait to compare it a year from now with the yarn I will be spinning then. Because in a year, who knows what I will have learned in my knitting evolution.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lessons learned from spinning

My wheel has already taught me something. That I need to slow down. In many ways actually. Working full time, having 2 girls, and sharing a home with my mom, usually means from the moment I get up until the moment I go to bed. I'm the only driver, so after work I'm the one chauffeuring kids from each activity. When I do sit at my wheel I find myself having to consciously slow down my pumping of the can I make that wheel fly, however, it does not create the type of yarn that I want. It produces highly over spun, twisting on itself with coiled energy, yarn singles. Instead of the springy, soft type yarn I want to create. So I think a wonderful by product of my wheel will be to slow down, take a breathe, let the fiber slid through my fingers rather than being pulled frantically and wound tightly on the bobbin. A good lesson I remember to go slowly and methodically through all things, not just in spinning.