Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Such a nice girl. So sad about the crazy, though.

Evidently I've gone insane and joined the Tour de Fleece 2009. From July 4th to July 26th while the Tour de France winds its way, I've committed to spinning for 15 minutes a day, every day. My main target is going to be the Blue Moon Sheep to Shoe kit; I'm a little over halfway through the second bobbin of singles, but I'd like to finish it.

Not that I'm hating the process; BFMA roving spins like well-behaved silk, and watching the colors change makes the 15 minutes go by like the wind. I'm just anticipating the cool socks I'm going to get from the three-ply sock yarn that comes from this:

I'm just wondering when I think I'm going to chisel 15 minutes out of my overloaded evenings. I managed to get in 15 minutes tonight, but it took me until after 11:00 p.m. to do it. I guess the bookkeeping and the yoga DVD can wait one more day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Morning

I have a rare unscheduled Saturday morning, which is good for blogging because lunchtime blogging is now impossible. Our corporate Mothership has decreed that we shall have no internet access that isn't 100% business-related. Unfortunately I don't think I can justify Blogger or Ravelry access for my accounting job.

My Saturday morning, the way I wish all my mornings were spent:

Good coffee from the french press, blogs on the laptop, a sunny day to enjoy through the back door window, and Cat In Bowl(tm). Well, I enjoyed it until the laptop battery crapped out ten minutes later. It's about time for a new battery.

I have an FO! Well, 50% of an FO. I finished the first Opal Southwest purse sock last night, grafted the toe and even took notes in Evernote so I can theoretically create an indentical mate.

This is a dead simple top-down sock with an alternating twisted rib, regular 50% heel flap, round heel and round toe, knit magic loop style. I'm almost done with the twisted rib on the second one. I love the colors, the blues and faded greens with just a touch of brown grounding it. It reminds me of an old pine forest.

Spinning has been hit-or-miss, depending on how well the air conditioning is working. At 99 degrees and high humidity here at the Meeting of the Rivers, it's way too hot to spin on the porch now. The wool would felt in my drafting hand if I tried. I'm still working on the BFMA Sheep to Shoe roving, which seems to magically propagate in its bowl when my back is turned.

We are supposed to have cooler weather tomorrow for my birthday. Eighty-six degrees should feel refreshing after this week of dangerous heat advisories and heat indexes over 120 degrees. Hopefully I can get outside tomorrow morning to flick-card the sandy fleece I washed last weekend; I want to see if it's going to be usable or if I'm going to have to crank up the hot water heater and try to wash it again.

Monday, June 01, 2009

All right, let's get this show on the road...

First, I'd like to introduce my porch companion, Kira.

We rescued her a week before Halloween about two years ago. I'm sure she's grateful for the warm, dry house (if not for the other feline resident's existence), but she still loves sitting on the porch with us and getting a little sun. When she sees the harness, she jumps up on the arm of the couch to "get dressed" to go out.

Proof that spinning on the porch doesn't always mean hauling out the wheel:

This is medium "mutt" roving from eBay, crockpot dyed with Easter Egg tablets, on a Kundert spindle. I love the wood inlay; I think this is the "Taos" one, but don't quote me on it. The roving isn't the softest, but it was cheap for four pounds. Note the colors; they're my favorites, so you'll see a lot of them.

Finished Objects report:

I actually finished the first two pairs of socks before we moved over a year ago. They recently came to light when I was unpacking something else; evidently I shoved these in a box during the move and completely forgot about them. First pair:

These are Fortissima Colori in some colorway for which I've lost the ball band. I call them "Delft Socks" after my favorite china. I think these were done toe-up, with a 3&1 broken rib cuff. I really need to take better notes.

The green socks are my "Expansion Joint" socks in Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway "Happy Forest". For a bouncy yarn, it seemed a bit on the non-stretchy side while I was knitting it, so I added the "expansion joint" ribs up the foot and leg. And since I have generous calves, I also added a few expansion joints in the back:

These are just simple purl ribs, with a few of the upper ribs spawned from increase stitches. Toe up, with Wendy's gusset heel. They fit well, but I wish I'd made them longer now. Oh well; the leftovers have already become a camera case for my mom, and Barbie shawls for little girls.

The last pair were finished in May. I started these right before my husband had a heart attack in March. I'd barely established the toe and the pattern (WendyKnits Waterfall Socks, Lime & Violet Sasquatch in "Rose Gelato") when everything in our lives went insane. 75% of the pair were knitted in the ICU Waiting Room or the ICU/CCU/Telemetry of St. Joseph Health Center. (I highly recommend this hospital, if god forbid you ever have a heart attack in St. Charles, MO).

"ICU Waiting Room Socks" pictured here on the front porch; note sexy rolled-up jeans to show off lace cuffs and picot hem. I'm lucky that my Mom had her crocheting with her when it came time to sew down the hem; for some reason I forgot to bring a darning needle that day. (4:30 am wakeup call to help with a 5:00 am pre-surgery prep, then a 3-hour surgery. I'm lucky I remembered my shoes that day.)

Next time, I'll make the picot hem more than four rows deep; it wants to flip up, and doesn't have as much stretch as I would like.

That's enough for today (in other words, my lunch break is over), so next time I'll go through some of the spinning and knitting Works in Progress littering my office/craft room. In the meantime, grab some fiber and head outside before it gets too hot to touch wool!