Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of another year

Each year at this time, I do the usual review of the previous year's events--good & not-so-good. I'm releaved most of the psycho shoppers/drivers will retreat to their homes and post shopping debt--now if I could only outlaw the number of displays in the aisles at the grocery store & the race car grocery carts that get caught on the displays when zooming past me.

I spent some santa money on fiber stuff--went to the yarn sale @ Webs last week with the main purpose of picking up a part for my Louet wheel and bought a sweater's worth of yarn in purple & 2 scarves worth of cashmere/silk for $15/scarf (sorry no pics...spent too much time spinning this afternoon and it's too dark now).

I picked up my new spinning wheel on Saturday AM & I love it! It's a Kromski Sonata & it's so much easier to use. I'm much more relaxed at this wheel than the Louet. I originally thought I would continue to use the Louet for plying since it's bobbins are much I'm not so sure.

Well, off work on the deep breath sweater. It'll probably take me all evening to figure out where I left off in June.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Sunday Sleet

The weather today is complete crap. Although I must admit that I did have fun baja-ing into work at the hospital this morning & then back into my parking lot. I love my Subaru! The only thing that could make it better would be snow tires. I advocate practicing driving maneuvers in an empty parking lot when the weather turns snowy/icey. I feel more confident driving in wacky weather when I know how my car will respond under certain conditions.

I finished nearly all my holiday knitting!!!! I even got Salta to model the alligator scarf for me today! I only have a bath mitt & the other shadow knitting pot holder to go. I dropped the idea of making mittens for my BIL & FIL 'cause my hubby said "no one wears mittens". So, I'll make a pair of mittens for myself & possibly a hat for the hubby.

I am finding myself already thinking about what my next project will be. The urge to cast-on is strong! I think my will power is stronger. I have other distractions: laundry, making soup for dinner, finishing Xmas gifts. Crap! I just remembered that I still need to sew a lining into the small felted bag.

I've been giving some thought to resolutions for 2008. Usually I settle on something completely attainable & fairly simple to integrate into my life--drink more water, floss more regularly, etc. However, next year we are hoping to leave condo life & get a house of our own. That means that I need to de-clutter the craft corner of the bedroom, replace the carpet, and begin to pack little things. I started 2 weeks ago by packing up the fly tying supplies. Now I need to organize the yarn & finish up some loose ends. I'm still trying to formulate my actual resolution, so you will just need to stay tuned.

Here is the finished canadian hat(s) by Sallie Melville.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

How to stop non-knitters in their tracks

This week I transplanted the orchids. The one in the back of the photo still has the battle wounds from a hail storm this past summer.

I photographed the completed gauntlets.

I have been working frantically on the alligator scarf. I hate the acrylic yarn chosen for the project even though the color is good. I have been on a mission to finish this scarf so I can work on other gifts for the holidays. I take it everywhere & sometimes I don't work on it much due to showing it off to people who want to know what it is, who it is for, & answering the "did you make that?" in a way that doesn't make the person feel like he/she is the hundredth person to ask.

I intended to work on alligator this morning with my new knitting group that was meeting this morning, but I never found the meeting spot. Thus I got an early start to my day & I am using my time that I would have spent knitting with them writing this post.

This is where I was last weekend

In two days I got this far by working in public & @ home, even with the "help" of the dogs.

Stay tuned next week for the photo finish--I have to get back to knitting.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Twisted Gauntlet Conundrum

I realize that this is the wrong time to experience and induldge start-itis (the compelling need to start a new project when there is still a project or 2 on the needles). I must have been out of my mind going to a yarn tasting yesterday. However, the yarn I ordered is for xmas gifts AND I'm constantly wanting to start other knitted gifts even though I haven't officially finished ANY yet.

I thought I was making great progress on the alligator scarf. I switched to longer needles & it made working the ridges easier. I still hate the yarn--the price one pays by regularly knitting with good quality yarn. I was up to 4 rows of ridges & was ready to take a photo for blog & ravelry when I noticed that my stitch count was off....and had been off for the past 2 rows of ridges. So I ripped back. I haven't been able to pick up that project since last Friday.

Instead I've been trying to finish the fingerless mitts. I don't know if I'll reach my goal of finishing them today, but I hope to be very close. The green yarn is my waste yarn until I pick up for the thumb.

However, I need your help......I noticed that I worked the first 6 rows on the first gauntlet in stockinette, which causes the expected curling as seen above.

The second gauntlet I actually followed the instructions and did the first 6 rows in garter stitch.

Regardless of the reason for my error (probably wine), I refuse to frog & start the second gauntlet over again. I can only see a few choices:
  1. The recipient will never notice
  2. This is a design element for designating left vs. right
  3. Crochet a decorative edging (I'm thinking scallop)


Monday, October 29, 2007

The Christmas Gift Countdown

Rhinebeck is the only thing to look forward to is warm wool in one's lap (and/or a cooperative pet) during a cool/cold day.

It's not even Halloween & I'm feeling the pressure of Christmas looming over my shoulders--too many gifts that I want to make. The good news is that I started a few gifts & have been making regular progress with the World Series. I'm probably the only person (besides Colorado fans) who wishes there were a few more games. I'm not really a Red Sox fan, but I'm glad that a New Engand team Won.

I'm looking forward to attending a new knitting meet-up in New Hartford on Thursday & Sunday this week. I hope to continue with gift progress during these sessions.

I tried my hand a shadow knitting with good results. I really liked this idea for a pot holder 'cause it uses up stash & is a little different. I had originally planned this as a practice piece for a tote bag. However, I think it will be too stretchy for the size I want to make. I really liked that I didn't need to sew in a bunch of ends afterwards either, I just dropped the "dark color" and used the "light" color for 2 rows & switched. I'm anxiously awaiting the bag knitalong from Ready Set Knit podcast as a possible quick gift.

Other things I've started are the CamoAlligator Scarf. I'm using the pattern from Morehouse Merino. I elected to use cheap yarn so I don't have a meltdown when the recipient looses it. HOWEVER, the camo yarn is wearing away my fingerprints while I knit! Has anyone else had this happen ever? Thankfully I have another project to switch off too--the twisted gauntlets from "Not Just Socks" done in Koigu.

Friday, October 12, 2007

7 more days until Rhinebeck

I went to my first Spinning Guild meeting last Saturday & had a great time. I got to try a Kromski wheel for the first time ever. I really liked it. I think I now have 2 choices...Schact or the Kromski Sonata. I like the smoothness that the double treadle offers. I plan on trying it again at Rhinebeck.

While at the meeting & not coveting other wheels, I was trying my hand at spinning merino. My first few feet were pretty bumpy. Things smoothed out as I got further along and even got nods of approval from fellow spinners. I realized on my way home that this is only the second type of wool that I have ever spun.

You may have noticed that my project list has changed. I'm finally finished with the commissioned childs sweater. It was 2 colors with stripes, too bad I didn't learn how to weave the second color in while I knit until a few nights ago while trying out shadow knitting potholders (hopefully pictures next post). Thank goodness I didn't have to sew in all those ends myself. At least now I know that if I ever can't afford yarn, that I can find someone who will pay me to knit their project for them.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Happy Fall

Where has September gone? How many more months until the Xmas deadline? I haven't really knit much this month. I completed my first century (100 mile bike ride--yes in one day). It actually took me 6 1/2 hours (it was a flat course). Anything after 90 miles was awful (except for the finish, of course). I've been holding off on this posting waiting for the picture. I could wait no longer so according to Murphy's Law as soon as this is public, the picture will be in my inbox. I felt pretty good considering my training was the bare minimum. I strained my left thumb from spending so much time in the hoods of the brakes. This is why knitting has been halted for a bit. Massage has been challenging. I'm mostly recovered by now.

I have begun seaming the Brilosso pullover--I only have the sides to go before having to figure out how to make it longer....that is if the armholes are big enough. I'm really hoping that I don't have to give this project away as a gift, but only the knitting Goddesses know the ultimate outcome of this project. In the meantime, I plug along one seam, one stitch, one breath at a time. I guess I'm not one of those "process" knitters who would rip the whole thing out & start over.

I also completed a knitted thong for Peter the Blow-Up Doll who found a new home with a newlywed. I used the Bottoms-Up Hootchie Kootshie Tasseld G-string Pattern ( Sorry no picture posted here--whatever you imagine is better, trust me or if you really must see check out the link. I made size Small. I wish real clothes were sized as appropriately as this....the small was so small I think it could only fit Peter. I used Lion Brand Glitterspun in Purple. If I was making this to really wear, I would consider swapping out the yarn. The glitter tread in the yarn would be irritating...then again a person wouldn't be wearing it long anyway....

So Rhinebeck is around the corner. I'm feeling the pressure to use my roving I bought last year. Now that I don't have to ride my bike for 4-5 hours on the weekend, I hope that I can at least get some of it spun up.

Monday, September 3, 2007

It's Fair Season

This has been a fabulous weekend in CT! I went to the Goshen Fair yesterday to see if I knew anyone who entered finished knitted objects & sure enough I think I know the person who received a few blue ribbons!

As you can tell, I saw some sheep. I bought some Goatboy Soap in Apple Cider scent (I can't wait to try it in the shower!) As I wandered around the fairgrounds & saw a few unruly critters--draft horses & a cow that didn't want to be shown. All in all, it was a nice way to spend 2 hours.
I finished the body of the commissioned sweater project. I will seem the shoulders & possibly start the sleeves after this posting. I also need to seam the sleeves of the Brilosso Sweater. It is presently being held together with pins on a large table in our living room. I may work on this this evening instead--depending upon my mood.
Next week the post may be a few days late....I bike my first century next Sunday (a century is 100 miles). People who have done this ride in the past say it will take 7 1/2 hours, not counting the time you stop to eat & to allow blood to return to one's posterior. Hopefully the weather will be good & I will have a tail wind the whole way!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Summer is back in CT

It is so hot & humid outside today (heat index of 100) that I decided it was a great day to upload stash to Ravelry, post to the blog, put my computer on my bike, and knit a bit.

I seamed the shoulders of my Brilosso Short Sleeve Pullover this morning. I set out the sleeves on the blocking board.

I tried on the pullover &

it's a crop top!!!! I suppose this wouldn't be to bad if I were 18 again, but I'm not. So I will be adding on a knitted border after I sew in the sleeves & seam up the sides. I also plan on taking my measurements so that I can avert this type of problem sooner in the garment construction process.

Until my Knitting on the Edge book arrives, I'll have to continue on the commission project, finish up another pair of yoga socks to I can start either a toe up pair of socks or jaywalkers.

I have started my list of holiday knitting projects. I'm hoping to focus on the commission project so that I can start on some of these gift knits soon. I would also like to get some spinning time in, but that will have to wait until after I complete my first bicycle century on Sept 9th.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Knitting in Nova Scotia

The trip was great! I got some great photos & we survived 24 hrs of gail force(90km/hr or 45mph) winds (picture on left just a day after me knitting on the beach)--no knitting got done that day. Too bad some pop-up campers & motorcycles didn't fair as well.

Vacation knitting project status: I finished knitting a felted bag on the ferry ride from Yarmouth to Portland (6 hours). Only one teenage boy commented on my project: "That's a great hat your weaving!" I did tell him that I was really knitting, but I didn't have the heart to tell him it wasn't a hat. One of my dogs helped me unpack the knitting, by trying to chew the double points thru the Ziploc bag the project is presently in. I think the needles are still usable (the knitting goddesses must have been smiling on me for some reason). I also finished a pair of yoga socks & got 2/3rds complete with the second pair. I did bring home one vacation project completely untouched.

I also bought yarn at a local shoppe It's from her sheep (I think they ran across the field just for me), dyed & I believe, spun locally by hand. I thought for sure the guys at US customs were going to rip our car apart when all we had to declare was 750ml single malt whiskey and yarn.
I got this really cool quiz in email this week. Answer all the questions & find out what kind of yarn you are! Please leave me a comment so I know what type of stash I'm hanging out with.
I'm Shetland wool!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Inbetween vacations

Getting ready to take off to Nova Scotia. Just discovered that I will have one less day there due to not being able to get the fairy on Saturday as hoped. I guess that means I have more time to get my vacation projects in order.

On the needles: I'm still working on yoga socks. I finished one sock & I'm hoping to squeeze out another one from the same ball of yarn. I'm about 1/2 way there. I had hoped to work on the "get paid to knit" project today, but my bike ride took longer due to a few missed turns, backtracking to find them, and poor average speed due to high humidity, hilly terrain, and my piggy road bike (she weighs 23 lbs! For the non-bike people reading this, a race level mt bike is about 23lbs or slightly more. Ok, so it's not really a road's a cyclocross bike so maybe that's why she's a pig). When I finally got home, I stretched, drank water, ate the last piece of my ice cream cake, showered, napped, paid bills, balanced checkbook, and did laundry.

It's still really humid, even though the thunder showers came through a few times today. I can't bare the thought of having yarn in my lap or even near me. The carpet in my house feels wet (I've found myself checking to see if the dog made the wet spots, only to discover the whole carpet feels this way)! I probably should have added "buy dehumidifier" to my "do today" list.

Stuff I'm planning to take on vaca: One skein wonder by Stephanie Japel, small noro bag (intended purpose once complete is to hold spinning wheel tools on the back side of the wheel while I work), yoga socks, the second Harry Potter Book, and my Soduko puzzle book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bitten by Ravelry Bug

I got my long anticipated invitation to Ravelry this past week...I entered some projects, found a few friends, joined some groups, and knit absolutely nothing!

However, I'm now officially ON VACATION. If you are at the Pedros Mt Bike Festival in Hancock, MA this weekend, bring your bike & go on one of my rides (I'm a ride leader), stretch out at my yoga class on Sat or Sunday (check fest schedule), or stop by my tent (or the Tour de France broadcast area) & knit with me! Hopefully, the weather will hold out & the mud and bugs will be minimal.

I nearly forgot to mention that my Knit Picks Options needles came in just 6 days--even with the free shipping!! I'll be taking the entire set with me to Pedros so that which ever project I start, I'm prepared!

Friday, July 6, 2007

Lilly's last fleece

I recently learned that Lilly the sheep past away since I bought this fleece a year & a half ago. I'm not sure if she was shorn after the fleece I got or not. She hadn't been sick or appeared ill. One morning when her shepard went out to do the morning sheep routine, Lilly was found, after drifting away to sheep heaven in her sleep. I like to think that she decided to follow one of the sheep she may have been counting in her dreams.

I included some pics of the last skeins drying outside between thunderstorms. I ran out of empty plastic hangers & places to hang the yarn outside, so I had to resort to some drastic measures.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Today was some of the best weather ever!

I haven't done much knitting this past week. Real life tasks like taking dog to vet & cleaning the house/laundry had to be done. However, I have done a great deal of thinking about knitting & dying and catching up on podcasts.

The weather this past week was awful--too hot, too humid, just breathing caused sweat to drip done one's brow. My air conditioner could barely keep up at my office. Fortunately the weather broke into a lovely weekend--cool, sunny, breezy. I did some trail maintanence on Saturday for a Mt Bike Fest that's happening in 2 weeks in Hancock, MA (I'm a ride leader at the event).

Today, I had to get on the road bike (I barely rode in the past 2 weeks & there's that century that I signed up for in Sept....). My hubby & I went on a group ride that left from Sharon CT this morning. It was a great ride. Only one person had a flat & it was right infront of an alpaca farm!!! It turns out the person who got the flat knows someone that makes drop spindles & people that spin while hiking?! I didn't get to take any pictures, 'cause I don't take my camera on bike rides. I'll have to take a scenic detour back to the farm the next time I need more Harney & Sons tea.

Hopefully I can catch up on knitting time this week due to the holiday & the Passiflora (tea shop where I do chair massage) being closed!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

One hour to spare

I haven't posted in awhile due to being blessed by these pretty things outside my door & working on a gift project that is due today (I just finished with an hour to spare).

Two weeks ago I received an invitation for a christening for twins. I then did what any respectful knitter would for a gift project. I really wanted to do a baby kimono jacket, but I couldn't get my hands on a pattern that I liked (minimal seaming). After an evening of browsing the web for free patterns I found "Katja", a baby halter top, from

The following day I bought "Key West Karibbean Kotton" from The Sassy Skein in Beach Glass & Fruit Punch colors. I swatched that night I started knitting the next day. It took me about a week to complete the first halter top due to only 1-2 hours of much interrupted knitting time/day. I think the dogs wait until I pick up the needles to start their potty dance. Of course then we go out & all they do is eat grass. We come back in, I sit down & it starts again...usually with the grass that they ate coming back out.

I started the next halter top & realized that I missed 7 rows in the first one (there were two sections of "7 rows of stockinette" & I just jumped ahead in the pattern. So I finished the second halter top the correct way, then added the 7 rows into the first top & bound off again. After I finished the second top, I got out the measuring tape to check my dimensions 'cause the tops just didn't look quite right. Sure enough, they were 1.5" too wide! I should have measured sooner, but I was knitting in the round instead of flat (as the pattern was written). Normally I don't think an inch would matter, but on a baby garment the difference is readily apparent, even to non-knitters.

So I sat at the Tea shop (I was really supposed to be doing chair massage, but it was a very slow day), placed one of the tops on my head as a hat & did the is Thursday, I have (insert number of hours of knitting time here), projects need to be ready by Sunday at 9:30am. The decision was made.....frog them both!!

People in the tea shop asked me what I was doing. Then I started fresh. I finished the first top & frogged the second, and started on the second all on Friday night. I tried to finish the second on Saturday, but caught myself falling asleep with needles in hand. So I woke up early today. Bound off & sewed in the ends. Steamed them & gift bagged. So now I'm off to shower, 'cause I don't want to be late for church.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Getting "high tech"

I've been trying to figure out how to add buttons & links to my blog. So far I've learned that I need something called "basic html skills". At first I took this as a sign of aging & I have visions of becoming my grandmother who still refuses to use a microwave & watches TV that projects all humans as having purple lips & distorted faces (I develop a bit of a facial tic if I stay to long during a visit due to the screen scrolling like a broken movie reel--UGH, yet another sign of age--movie reel...).

I however will not allow my language barrier prevent me from becoming more dorky than I already am. I now ask everyone who I know who has been blogging longer than myself, how to add a button. I've searched google & read the help section of blogger. All the while thinking that I should bring my knitting over to the desktop so I can at least be productive on one project.

All I have learned thus far is that I have inherited 2 generations of stubbornness on both sides of my family. I will not give up until my blog is graced by vibrantly colored links in the side bar! Hopefully this will happen prior to employing anger management techniques to my PC (aka smashing). Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Stephanie the Knitting Rock Star

I just arrived home after 1.5 hours of driving. As I type this, I'm enjoying a "decompression" beer. Traffic, driving in strange lands, getting up at 4:30am for work this morning together has my adrenalin a little up--nothing a cold refreshing beverage can't remedy.

I've been looking forward to seeing Stephanie ever since I learned she was coming to Northampton as part of her book tour. In my excitement I have been telling anyone who will listen of my adventure. As all knitters know, it is impossible to get non-knitters excited about yarn...never mind someone talking about yarn, even if she is funny. I started explaining this event as a "knitting concert". I don't know why I chose to compare this book event with a midweek concert. Now, in hindsight, I can't even relate to how I thought this would be an amusing comparison. Eventually people nodded & fained interest enough that I would stop talking about knitting or they would just change the topic of conversation all together (last nights Yankee game was the most popular diversion).

I wasn't really sure what to expect this evening. No one in my small knitting circle seemed to know about the event. I've only read one of her books so far. I started to read the latest one last evening but only got through the introduction (had to get to bed so I could get up for work at the wee hours of the day).

It turns out that she is really funny. Her responses to some of the Q&A at the end were almost better than her monologue. I'm a new fan. Why? Because she is genuine.

Maybe it's because I live in the land of pencil thin eyebrows, tummy tucks, trophy wives/kids/cars, second homes,.... Maybe it's because it gives me hope that a normal person can be successful without playing politics.

Cheers! (please clink glasses with person nearest you) May knitters rule the world!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is it possible to knit & ride a bike?

Now that spring feels like summer, I feel compelled to be outside as much as possible. However, I also have resolved to exercise first, then knit. I completed a 75k road ride along the coast of CT this past Sunday & squeezed in another nearly 18 mile ride yesterday. I'm hoping for a mt bike ride tomorrow afternoon & then I'll be able to knit guilt free.

The downside of my enhanced fitness is less time spent clicking needles. I suppose overall this is ok, however, I have taken on a paying project that is due in 2 weeks. I received the project last week which I immediately swatch-ed & then started. However, as I knit the item I realized the gauge seemed off. So I stopped knitting it until I spoke with the designer & got the ok to proceed. There is no reason for any other knitter to not be finished by the deadline--most would probably be done by now. But I'm not sure if I'll make it. It's a simple pattern, luscious yarn, and goes quickly when I actually sit down to work on it. [While I was waiting to hear back from the designer this week, I started & frogged the first sleeve row of the Deep Breath Sweater twice.]

How do I find time for this you wonder? Maybe it's because I don't watch television, don't have children, and tolerate a higher level of dust than my mother might. It's not that I live like a pig. I clean the bathroom & the kitchen, do the laundry, clean the cat box, etc. I just don't dust as often as some people I know.

Speaking of cleaning up....I have to take the dogs out & then sit down to knit.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Knit with Love for Mom

When I would get sick as a kid, my mom would bring my coloring books & crayons into my room so I could be busy between sleeping & sweating out whatever bug I had picked up at school. Even when I was in college (250 miles away from home), my mom would send me a new coloring book & a small box of crayons if she learned that I was sick.

Moms always know when something is mom called shortly after my back decided I needed a vacation or even just a day off. I told her the whole story, then on Friday of the same week I received an envelope her. I wasn't expecting anything. I didn't miss any religious or "Hallmark"/commercial holidays. I opened the envelope & out spilled a card that made me cry & the alpaca yarn she bought when we went to Rhinebeck last October. Here is an excerpt..."In the meantime, 'pet' the alpaca yarn enclosed until you feel better, then add it to your stash until the time for the right project comes along-it will be a beautiful work of art in your hands!"

I immediately knew what I would use the yarn for...a scarf for mom! I set aside all works in progress & focused solely on the scarf. I finished it on Wednesday and blocked it on Thursday. So here is the picture of the finished object. It was mailed on Friday, so it should arrive early in the week. Enjoy!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Wet felting 101

Last Saturday I took a wet felting class. I would have never even bothered except my mom, the voice of reason with me at Rhinebeck last fall, said "Don't buy a kit, just take a class. There is no mess in your house, you have a finished object & if you hate the process, you never have to do it again." So, like usual, mom was right....

We spent 3 hours rubbing angora with soapy water & a baggie. I liked the control that I had throughout the entire process. The excessive rubbing wasn't bad or overly tiring, but given my profession I may already be "trained". We used a water bottle with a sip top to drizzle soapy water over the fuzz to allow for felting to occur. Now I have to save those leaky workout water bottles that I picked up a health fair.

I was inspired by a movie my hubby & I watched the previous evening. It was a visual journey by an artist from Scotland who used found objects in nature to create sculpture within it's natural environment. One of is works is was in a tidal pool in Novia Scotia, one in a meadow. Another is laying of flowers &/or leaves in water pools. Another was a swirly icicle that glowed at sunrise & then proceded to melt. He photographs or films the work through the creation & destruction process. I think the film was called "Rivers & Tides". We are sending it back to Netflix now. Do not knit to this movie...sit back, enjoy your relaxing beverage of choice, and be wisked away!
Will I make another one? I haven't decided yet.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Knitting injuries

I think I've reached a new level of knit addiction--I've been wounded! OK, I'll spare you the drama. I experienced my first back spasm EVER last week. WOW do they suck!! I'll also spare you the IBS (irritable bowel) details. I left work after only 1.5 hours last Monday, went home, slept, received a massage, guided a yoga class, came home & slept some more. Over the next few days, I gradually nursed myself back into my normal self with the support of tennis balls, a hot water bottle, & LOTS of stretching. My animals thought this was a great opportunity to take advantage of me. I think I overheard them conspiring "OK, she's on the floor, on my count we'll". Although my personal favorite was when the cat was on my butt (hot water bottle was on my low back) & she was kneading my hamstring! This eventually was not fun when Zappa decided to paw/scratch at the back of my head. He must have been paying me back for putting him in this awful static sweater!

So how is this knitting related?!? From too much sitting! I have been so focused on trying to promote classes for work, decide if I should cut back my hours at my day job, & knitting to catch up with the Deep Breath knit-along, that I was getting to bed late, working too hard/many hours & not exercising when my back went @#$(&*^!

I took almost 5 days off from knitting to focus on work & self care. Worked on the knit-along Saturday & Sunday, after exercising during the day. I even started to ply "lilly", & got half way when my back started to talk loudly.

I've been focused so much on my back that I haven't addressed the knots in my shoulders that I got while working on the Aran braid socks in the cold garage when my car's water pump was replaced.

Now if I could just figure out how to knit while lying on the hot stones at the massage office.....

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Wool, cotton, & silk, Oh My!

I received an email on Thursday of last week inviting me to a new fiber arts studio in town! Of course I had to check it out. I wasn't in the market for any yarn, but as a fellow business owner, I wanted to be I bought one hank of Farmhouse Silk Blend dk wt called "rose garden". I considered this a very good exercise in control since I really want a double treadle spinning wheel & she is an Ashford dealer. This yarn is going to be perfect! I have this one skein pattern that I've been trying to knit up for almost a year but never seem to have the right yardage or gauge of yarn.

I arrive home, search for the pattern (which is buried under UFOs & patterns for the "next" project), find it & is for bulky wt yarn. So now I need to find a yarn to knit with it to beef it up so I can still use my pattern. I can't get out to any LYS until possibly Tuesday. UGH!

I'm also waiting for some hand dyed yarn purchased online for the Web's knit along. I'm beginning to fear that the knit along will be long gone by the time my yarn arrives.

This is all really an act of a higher spiritual power, because I still need to finish the sleeves for a short sleeve pullover then seam it up. I finished the back (which was pictured 2 posts ago) --it's the blueish yarn that's sideways. The next time I include photos, I will orient the pictures properly. If you got a stiff neck from viewing them, I know a really good massage therapist in New Hartford, CT who might be able to help you out. Oh, gotta go, the sleeves are calling.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The poisoning!

I came home from teaching yoga yesterday & Matt, my husband, couldn't wait to ask me what was in the pot on the stove. See, I had a touch of the stomach bug that has been going around the hospital where I work. So I decided that I should have steamed veggies & rice to go with my soup for lunch at work(nothing spicy, yet packed with vitamins). I steamed the veggies in the afternoon, got my plastic lunch containers ready for the week & left to workout & teach yoga.

While I was away, my husband came home from work & noticed a pot on the stove with an oddly colored liquid in it. He decided that the liquid looked like the color of my bicycle. Then, being more curious that most cats, he decides to taste it. I don't know why he would want to taste something that reminded him of paint, but that's Matty for you. While he was savoring the lack of flavor of the mystery juice, he realizes that the pot may have contained something for the knitting & might even be poisonous! He promptly spits the juice into the kitchen sink & rinses his mouth with copious amounts of water.

Roughly an hour later, I return home. He tells me of his poisoning scare & he's greatly relieved when I inform him that the pot did not contain poisonous dye...only juice from the steaming of beets, carrots & zucchini for my lunch.

Now I know why the little white packets in my wasabi peas are labeled "Do not eat".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Works in progress

Getting ready to ply!! I finally finished spinning the last of "Lilly" (the name of the sheep) that I purchased last year in Lewisburg, PA after learning to spin. I'm looking forward to totalling the 2 ply yardage (completed skein shown below on left) so that I can determine what to make. I'm curious about the consistency of the gauge due to the long stretches of knitting time between actual spinning sessions.

Last week while attending local SnB groups I finished the back & started the front of a short sleeved Brilosso top. The yarn was purchased at Webs after a snowboarding lesson at Mt. Snow, & has been living in the stash until last fall when I began the project. My goal is to have it completed before the end of April (I would prefer before Easter). Pictured to the right is the front of the top...I just don't feel right about calling it a sweater with short sleeves.
Not pictured is the Knit Picks aran brained sock. The reason for this is that I believe that it is a cursed project (thank you Brenda Dayne from Cast On for putting words to this phenomenon). I have started it twice & un-knit 1/2 of a row twice due to starting the pattern in the wrong spot. Plus, it makes my fingers hurt. Well, ok not really, but I stretch a great deal after completing each row. I'm hoping it gets better.
Maybe one of these days I will follow my own advice & not have 2 simultaneous projects that use small needles. The next time I need a break from the socks I just may catalog my stash, for a baseline. My stash is by no means large which is intentional...small houses save on heat & have limited space for stash.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My podcast addiction

Hi, I'm addicted to pod casts. It all started when my husband left me a ski widow a few weeks ago. Before he left, he showed me that he found a knitting podcast for me. He showed me how to copy it to my ipod so I could listen, subscribe if I wanted too, and look for others. I started at episode 2 of Cast On & was hooked! I now subscribe to about 5 knitting/spinning pod casts.

I'm glad that the art of storytelling is still alive. I'm more grateful that there are thousands of other people that are as addicted to yarn as I am and who also subscribe to or create knitting pod casts. Now that I'm aware of this culture, I'm joining in with my blog (besides my dictionary was lonely--just kidding).

The name for the blog comes from my desire to have a pet alpaca. I first learned of alpaca at my knitting guild 2 years ago. Since then I know search out & pet alpaca yarn whenever possible. I save newspaper articles about alpaca farms in CT. I found out that 2 other people I know also want an alpaca. I dream that some day I will have an alpaca to knit all my own.