Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hot Weather Knitting

It has been HOT and HUMID here in nothern NJ for the past week+...temperatures in the mid-80's (sometimes higher) and the humidity is off-the-charts...if this is a harbinger of what Summer will be like this year, I want to pass and go straight to Winter (although last year's Winter weather was nothing to write home about). I am NOT a hot-weather person...in fact, I detest it, and the thought of sitting and knitting on a wool item - even a pair of socks - doesn't work for me. So, what to knit? I have a linen sweater partially done (from 2-3 years ago)...but I don't really like the color and I mis-read the pattern so the row count is wrong on what is completed - don't want to go there. I have another linen/coton/silk shell finished except for the edging - that is from 5 years ago...can't seem to get around to adding the edging - especially since the arm holes are too large and I have to figure out how to make them smaller as I add the edging...too much work right now in this hot weater. And one can only knit so many wash cloths.
HJ's Linen Guest Towel
Maybe it is time to knit the Linen Guest Towel out of some of the EuroFlax I bought last year...yes, that sounds about right - the towel it is, now I just have to find the yarn...and the pattern!

Maybe I will just read instead.

What do you knit when it is too hot??

Monday, May 21, 2012


I have noticed that I am spending more time browsing for yarn and patterns on the Internet than I spend time knitting. I am always bemoaning the fact that I will NEVER knit through my stash (espcially of sock yarn) even if I knit 24-7/365.25...yet I spend hours and hours finding new yarn websites and searching Ravelry and other sites for pattens I will never knit with yarn that will just increase my stash because I will run out of time before I die to knit it all.

For example, so far today I have spent over 2 hours browsing and I have purchased 4 skeins of SOCK YARN!!! I MUST be crazy. I just found out that RedHeart (a yarn that I am not fond of) makes two sock yarns - 'Heart & Soul' and 'Stardust' and, since I am a push-over for sparkly and for brown (surprise) and since Amazon carries this 'Stardust' and I can get it delivered for free...what else was I supposed to do? I ordered 2 skeins - so I can knit 2-at-a-time toe-up socks. And then I have also just found out that Patons makes a STRETCH sock yarn - and doesn't that sound like a great idea - and it is self-patterning to boot and Amazon carries it - so  I HAD to order 2 skeins of that to knit more 2-at-a-time toe-up socks. I know you all understand...how many hours do you spend 'browsing' instead of knitting...probably more than you want to admit to:-) Now, I will post this blog post and really sit down to knit on a pair of socks I started months ago...but, who has time to knit when browsing and dreaming of the next project you will knit takes up so much of your time.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Welcome 2012

I am really glad to say good-bye to 2011...it was not a very good year for me and a lot of other people in this world of ours. I hope 2012 is better all around. I was reading a blog article (not a blog I would have normally read but I saw a quote from it on Twitter and I was intrigued) today about 'anchor habits' and how to add to them instead of just making New Year's resolutions that we (I) can never seem to keep and this resonated with me. Briefly, anchor habits are habits, preferably positive (or at least neutral) habits, that you naturally gravitate towards doing on a regular basis...like that morning cup of tea and doing the daily crossword puzzle. I thought about it and realized that, when I don't start a day off this way, I don't feel quite centered.  I recognized that I have a few 'anchor habits' and decided I liked the concept of adding a few more around them. To my morning 'anchor habits' I am going to add (actually, get back to) my 'Morning Cup of Yoga' routine and my 10-minutes of spinning. There are more 'anchor habits' I would like to form and I will try to gradually add them - among them, an almost daily walk and writing my blog. What do you think of this concept??
The beginning of the 'Turquoise Nugget' Shawl
Now to my knitting - lots of Christmas gifts completed and a few still to put on the needles :-( The list goes like this: 2 cowls, 3 pair of felted slipper/clogs, 2 pair of socks, a scarf and a shawl were completed (all during November & December-when am I going to start my Christmas knitting sooner?) and a pair of felted mittens and a tea cozy have yet to be started...but they will be, and soon or DH will NEVER stop harping at me. But, I am going to finish a wonderful, warm, bulky, brown sweater for me and a pair of glittery socks for me...
'Autumn Glitter' sock yarn - now on the needles
they are both started and the sweater is about 3 hours of knitting from being completed-Yea! The sweater needs some very special buttons since it is just solid brown (YES!!) and stockinette stitch and it just so happens that my dear cousin of 'Gourds Gone Wild' fame has added extraordinary buttons (as well as other neat and beautiful items) to her line of art gourds...check out the buttons by clicking on this link and scrolling about half-way down the page.
Well...that is enough time spent on my blog, now back to the real world of laundry, making dinner, writing Thank You notes and...finishing knitting my sweater! Hope 2012 is a happy and heathy one for all of you!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hello Again!

It has been a difficult start to the year 2011 - DH had a major back problem starting in January and my uncle has been quite ill since mid-February and then I have been spending more time at the doctor's & in physical therapy than I have ever wanted to do - so blogging has taken a back seat to my life...and now with the weather turning 'hot & humid' I lose lots of energy Yech! But I have been knitting and just finished up my 4th pair of socks this year - Yeah!
The above socks were knit 2-at-a-time toe-up with sport weight yarn and I am quite pleased with the results...they are quite soft (10% cahsmere) and I look forward to cold weather so I can wear them. Time to head out to Wednesday night knitting...what should I cast-on to take with me? So much yarn to choose from...how about a pair of socks in brown...for something different :-)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Many Projects Are Too Many?

Lately, I have been dreaming about new knitting & spinning projects to do...instead of actually knitting & spinning on the projects I already have on my needles and wheels (or writing in my blog about dreaming on new projects to start). I don't really want to work on any of the projects I already have going...I just want to START more projects. Now, I know that makes no sense because how will I ever finish the projects I have started so I can, in good conscience, start more projects. A true conundrum! Yesterday during the beautiful 10"snowfall, DH and I spent almost 3 hours on the swift and ball winder converting 14 skeins of yarn into balls so I can start new projects. Of course, if I had spent that time knitting or spinning on projects I already had going. I would have made a nice head-way into finishing at least one of them. Now, it is not that I don't like what I am knitting or spinning...I do. I like them all very much and I am not bored because each project is different (socks, lace shawl, spinning llama fiber) and each is enjoyable and satisfying in its own right. So, WHY am I spending more time dreaming of other projects and surfing the web for pattern and yarn options or searching on Ravelry for pattern suggestions...instead of actually working on the projects I have started. My question is...do you do that too?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy - Belated - New Year!

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday...we certainly did. Our niece and her family joined us for a NY Christmas (they live in Albuquerque, NM) - something we have wanted to do for a very long time. We had a wonderful whirlwind of a time...even being in NYC on the day of the Blizzard.  I spent  December preparing for their visit and my annual Christmas Eve Tea and then early January getting back on track with normal living...and writing in my blog is one of the 'normal' things.

Before the holidays I was doing a lot of knitting - but everything was for gifts - now I am back to knitting for me in a much more relaxed atmosphere (alright, I will still knit for others but for right know it is for me) and I am trying to get my 10-minutes of spinning in every morning. I am also thoroughly enjoying this Winter weather...snow and cold - just loving it!
The view from my 'spinning window' today
I am spinning up some Llama fiber for a project for my cousin (the llama rancher and gourd artisan in CO). I had spun some before Christmas and realized there wasn't enough for the project I am planning ...no, I am not going to mention the actual project because it is supposed to be a surprise!

And I have been knitting on my Parisienne Shawl and a pair of socks for me. I love both the sock yarn (Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20)...you will never guess what color they are - and the pattern - Fluted Banister by Laura Gregory. The socks are knitting up fast and the yarn is so soft and warm that I am anxious to get these socks done while the weather is so wonderfully cold!

I had better start knitting these socks faster as I am awaiting delivery of a few more skeins of sock yarn...Yes, I admit it! I am a 'Sock Yarnaholic' - I already have more sock yarn then I will be able to knit in this lifetime but there is so much more out there- I am powerless to resist; but it is partly The Yarnarian's fault, her yarns & patterns are lovely. I will be using some of the sock yarn to knit lacy small triangular shawls (this has become another obsession of mine...it's all Rita's fault :-) ...but there is still TOO much....and then I have some wonderful BROWN yarn to knit a perfect sweater and then there are the felted clogs & socks for DH and a project for DC (dear cousin) and fiber to spin and.........OK...stop typing and start knitting!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Spinning Afternoon

Spent this past Saturday afternoon at a friend's (Helen) lovely lake-side home spinning and chatting and sipping tea...afternoons like this replenish the soul and help to lower the stress level that has been building for weeks now. Helen was spinning some lovely Romney she purchased at The Spinnery after her spinning lessons there. And even though in this picture it looks like we are very serious about the task at hand...we were really enjoying ourselves!
I finished spinning the Alpaca/Romney blend I had been working on:
and then I plied it (that is what I am doing in the top picture) with the brown Jacob I had just recently spun (shown in the previous post)...at least, that is what I thought the brown singles were...until I realized that this was some other brown roving I had spun...oh, well - one brown yarn looks like any other brown yarn, right? At least it was brown!  I LOVE the result and hope I have enough yardage to knit the Reversible Plaited Scarf that Helen knit from her first hand-spun yarn...you can see the scarf, a matching pair of fingerless mitts and the rest of the hand spun on the table in the front of the top picture. Below is the Alpaca/Romney/Jacob plied yarn at 12 wpi (a heavy worsted):
I have really gotten my Spinning Mojo back and am now plying Border Leicester that The Fleece Connection [you remember us from an earlier posting :-)] got last year. I had actually spun the singles sometime last year and they had been sitting patiently on bobbins waiting to be plied all that time. Plying this yarn reminds me of why I don't really enjoy spinning it...it is very coarse and rough on the hands...but it is beautiful to look at when it is finished:
When that is finished this afternoon I will skein the Alpaca/Romney/Jacob yarn and determine the yardage. Why the crazed rush to complete all of this just now you ask...and even if you didn't ask I will tell you...I am hurriedly plying and skeining because I am selling my Louet S-50 this coming week and I will no longer have a skein-winder available or a spare spinning wheel to use for plying. Also I need to empty some bobbins now that I am spinning almost every day. Add this to the hours I am spending knitting potential Christmas presents and you can see where the stress is coming from...and isn't all of this supposed to be a way to lower stress?? Not in my world!
PS...The yardage of the Alpaca/Romney/Jacob(?) turned out to be about 210 and the skein is now drying after a lovely washing where it 'bloomed' beautifully :-)