Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Yarn along 5 - Sweaters are scary

I have been focusing on this sweater and it is really coming along. The title of this post is two-fold, one I have been focusing on this one as the color-work in the other sweater is scary and I don't want to screw it up and rip it out again, and two the armhole row of this sweater was terrifying! It made no sense. I eventually, knit a sample and went for it. It worked but I will think long and hard about knitting from a pattern by this designer again. It works and it is lovely, buut the pattern is confusing and now help ore clarification is available and while looking I found lots of people got stuck exactly where I did. I have four balls left and more to go, so I am hoping the yarn holds out! Until I tried it on I was thinking if necessary I could skip the sleeves but I think it needs them, so fingers crossed. After all the stress of the armhole rows and all the double twisted rib, getting to stockinette for a while is great. Photos by the girls.

I am still reading Aiden Amos' Big Book of Handspinning. I also have broken with not reading fiction and am re-reading the Sign of Seven Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

I finished my second video, this one shows me dyeing, preparing, spinning and ply wool into yarn.

Joining Ginny and the other Creative Ladies of the Yarn Along! ~ Julia

Monday, February 13, 2017

Monday Morning Musings- 13 Feb

My dishes are half-done and my house is half clean. I am on my second cup of coffee. Feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything I have to do today and this week. Best roll up my sleeves but I have multiple to do lists and not enough time.

Mouse has been sick so I ended up staying home with him on Friday while Jim and the girls went to our friend's for game. They came home in high spirits and Mouse slept through the night. I got some knitting and mystery watching done - and skipped the dishes!  Saturday Jim and the kids played board games and did some work on the school work Mouse missed being sick. I got together with friends from college and had a nice time, we do this event once a year. It started as a birthday party as a lot of the people had spring birthdays within the club, and has evolved into a get together. Very small turn out this year due to adulting and sickness, but those of us who did come had fun. The family is invited but it never works out that we all go. Sunday we got some chores done around the house and I got more knitting in, this sweater looks like a sweater now!

I have a show on the weekend and it always seems like there is a ton to do for that, especially as it has been a few months. Things always seem to wander. Time to track them down. I need to make new table clothes, in order to do that I need to actually clean up my studio, rather than shake my head and run out of the room! I want to organize it to be more work space and less storage.
I need to finish and up load a few new videos.
I have spinning guild this Friday.
The house needs to get all the way cleaned - my parents are staying the weekend.
I also want to finish cleaning the cellar.
We have 4H tonight, the kids are making Valentine's day cards for a local nursing home, so I have to get all that stuff together.
I need to update my budget sheet for Jim - we have a weekly budget meeting - and did not do that this weekend. We are trying this to curb my random spending - I am much less likely to buy junk if I know I will be telling him at the end of the week - and he needs a better picture of what we need to spend money on to help us plan and save. I think it is working we are not fighting about money anymore and I think having a spreadsheet of what we are actually spending money on (ex $19 on present, $3 on wrapping, and $1 on candy is likely more useful for planning next year than $23 target) One side effect is I have started my Christmas planning already.
And likely a thousand things I haven't thought of.

If I get some time to myself...
I will go to the gym, this has been sliding lately with other responsibilities getting in the way, but I need to make time to strengthen myself.

I am grateful for...
computers, paper, old friends, new ones, and coffee oh and Hedge-Kittens (we saw a set of pictures of a orange tabby cat who adopted hedgehog babies -CUTE- and everything has been Hedge-Kittens since. Badger loves cats and Bunny loves anything cute.)

Prayerful intentions...
I Pray for civility and understanding for the people and leaders of this nation. In that order, if they can't understand their opposition's view point they can at least be civil and polite to each other.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Yarn along 4 - Socks! a bit late.

I am a bit late! I finished my socks! and got through the decrease row on Mouse's sweater, So I will have pictures that are more interesting than endless stockinette in blue next week. I am pausing the book Bloody Old Britain as I have read about two pages since last week. Hoping that leaving it on the nightstand will prompt slow progress but a book about a breakthrough in the way archaeology was conducted through aerial photography should have more photography and less flowery turns of phrase. I am re-reading or perhaps reading as a novel instead of a reference book, Aiden Amos' Handbook Of Handspinning, working towards my COE.

I did this too.  (

I started a podcast on crafty- fiber-y goodness where I talk about what I am working on and challenge myself to stretch, there will be more working videos & tutorials in the future. 

Joining in on the yarn along a bit late week! ~ Julia

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Yarn Along 3 - Heels!

Yes ladies I have turned the heel. German Short Row with a small heel flap. I have one weird stitch on the first on I did the first row, I thought it looked wrong and tried to back up, quickly consulted the pattern video and decided it was alright. Backing up however had screwed it up a bit. I am really excited with how these are turning out and can't wait to cast on the next pair!

I have made progress on Mouse's sweater but four inches of plain stockinette are remarkably uninteresting. I have also made small amounts of progress on my sweater but my focus was on the other two projects.

I also haven't made much progress reading. A few more chapters with the girls in Anne of Green Gables, this is not my copy and the person who - I am sure typed in not the correct word but it works - it was not very careful, the book is bound prettily by there are lots of words missing or changed from my edition. I have also made slow progress in Treasure Island since I am reading it at the gym and with my husband out of town their have been less opportunities to spend time there.

My other book- Bloody Old Britain by Kitty Hauser is kind of dull. I had not heard of the man that it is effectively a biography of, before picking up the book. It seemed like more of a discussion of the history of Aerial Photography in British Archaeology, which it is kind of. She crafts beautiful sentences. However, she is trying to describe pictures and could have used more photographs in this book about photography. It is interesting but not compellingly so, or gripping. She tells the story of the archaeologist/photographer and discusses his work without focusing fully on either. I am not enjoying this book, and it doesn't help that as Jim is off on business again this week I am knitting until very late, then still unable to sleep, picking up this book.

Joining Ginny at Small Things with the Yarn Along today.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Stalled Monday Morning Musing

Jim normally does the cooking so I don't usually plan the menu but here is our week:
Sunday: Baked Pasta
Monday: Breaded pork chops and baked potatoes
Tuesday: Homemade chicken strips and macaroni & Cheese
Wednesday: Pasta Carbonara
Thursday: Ham and Cheese Calazones
Friday: Spaghetti & Meatballs
Everything will have a salad with it.

 waiting for the kids to eat and shower to go to my mom's to help build a shelf. Drinking a cup of coffee.

I am feeling a bit stalled at the moment, the limitations of everyone schedules and the time constraints of the things I want to work one are not lining up. I got very little done with weekend but that was ok, Jim was home for slightly longer than 24 hours. We cuddled him and played lots of board games. He will be home late on Friday.

If I get some time for myself...
I will go to the gym. I wish I was organized enough to have this scheduled in.

I am grateful for...
My husbands company flying him home for basically one day when it would have been cheaper for them to just make him stay. They are really family focused - for a corporation - and I appreciate it.

Prayerful intentions...
I Pray for civility and understanding for the people and leaders of this nation. In that order, if they can't understand their opposition's view point they can at least be civil and polite to each other.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Yarn along - socks and sweaters #2

Joining Ginny at Small Things and the other creative ladies in the Yarn Along! I am really looking forward to seeing what is in everyone's work baskets!

 It is knitting before reading here! The Pikachu sweater is coming along. I want another 2-3 inches before I do the decrease and begin the color-work. I am thinking I should have made it a little looser on him and plan to add a few inches around to the girls' sweaters when it is their turns. My husband and daughter designed Bunny's next sweater during dinner the other day. It will feature a large bunny playing a violin (my daughters both play) in the center body of the sweater and have a circle of carrots decorating the yoke. Thankfully, my husband is actually interested in this, so as soon as I decide on yarn and can give him the gauge he is going to design the bunny/violin section's chart. Also this weird thing happened Monday night, I ran out of the ball of yarn I was using on this sweater, no worries I have four more, but they were all down in my studio and I was tired, so I switched to my socks.
 My socks are coming along, I am about where I want the heel to start. So Monday night after I switched to this project I am knitting along and that's it I am out of the yarn. I am knitting up stash yarn and started this with only one ball. I went to Joann's and managed to get a ball of the same yarn but it is a bit brighter on the ball, I knit five more rows and can't really tell. I am doing the heels and toes in a grey.
My husband is away this week for business and I never sleep well when he is gone. Which is why when I ran out of yarn on Monday for both of the above projects I did not go to bed like a sane woman, I pulled out my very sleeping Milk fiber sweater, this is the Gyre pattern and is for me. After awhile I realized two things 1) twisted rib is easier continental 2) I was going to run out of my ball of yarn soon. I have never had that happen where three projects all needed joining on the same day. I took it as a sign and went to bed!

Reading-wise, I have been fitting my reading in around things and not finishing much.

I did finish Libations of the Eighteenth Century last night. I enjoyed it and will likely try some of the brewing and punch recipes, I might try some of the coffee replacement ones while camping. I do wish the author had looked into the herbs he suggested a bit more thoroughly, in other aspects he mentions things used or methods used that are not considered safe practice anymore, he points that  out but give the historic mention for information. I dislike that pennyroyal and comfrey are listed as flavoring for beer and tea without warnings. The first is traditionally used as an abortificant and the second is strongly linked to cancer and not considered same for ingestion anymore.

I am finding Bloody Old Britain to be slow.

I started reading Treasure Island - never have before - as my treadmill book, I read 70 pages the first day but haven't managed the treadmill since!

Bunny and I are re-reading Anne of Green Cables as a bedtime book. We read through to the third book before but didn't finish and Bunny wanted to restart for continuing on.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

How does your garden grow... Yes I Know it is January

With mung beans and radish seeds... and seed catalogs all in row...

Okay, the meter is terrible, but the seeds are sprouting and the catalogs are mounting up. It is cold and rainy out but my mind is on garden plans and greening things.

I want to simplify the plan in the garden so I am still thinking about my direction there, but to bring a bit of fresh in the house, I am doing up some sprouts in the kitchen. We use opaque recycled plastic containers one inside another with a bunch of holes punched into the inner one for drainage. I am rinsing them about every three hours or so. Yes, even when I get up in the middle of the night.

The green is the mung beans and tiny reddish ones are the radish. The holes are a bit too big on the radish contain so I have a circle of paper toweling down in there.