Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Babies need hats

A good friend just became an Aunt again. When her sister found out that she was having a baby girl and my reaction was, "oh, she will need a hat."

The baby was born about 2 months ago (ashamed, I admit that I don't know the baby's name) and it seemed about time to get that hat finished...

Bully Woolies has created Knit Kit In a Box and this came from their Tassel Tops in Grape Splash. It is a super quick knit and a great project to get your desire to knit colorwork going.
Note: Here is the link to Bully Woolies, but the site takes for-ev-er to load...even with high speed!

Knit in 100% cotton, this hat is sure to get use up until those winter-y breezes blow.

See it on Ravelry

Now might be a good time to start mom's Philosopher's Wool sweater!

Monday, July 28, 2008

More spinning and the yellow jersey

The prizes were posted for the 2008 Tour de Fleece and I get to share the yellow jersey for completing my goal. Spinning for this event gave me 688 yards of yummy yarn from Briar Rose Fibers roving in a beautiful green-blue. More importantly, confidence is gained in my semi-beginner spinning capabilities.

This fiber was off the wheel for less than a day when a tug to put more fiber on began. I really wanted to spin some buttery soft pencil roving gifted from Lisa awhile back, but there was a whole basket of mill end roving, drafted, sitting in front of me. The decision to experiment with this fiber had been made long ago and it was to be spun thick and thin then plied with thread.

I give you the results: This one is Straw into Gold plied with gold thread and after the bobbin was full, the rest was plied with wine colored thread becoming Straw into Wine

71 yards of gold; 59 yards of wine

Intertwined has given me all kinds of creative ideas about techniques to try. Traditional yarn spinning won't be abandoned, but the creative side of me is cooking up some interesting techniques.
Edited to add better photos of gold and wine

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Finished lace - Ring of Lace

This is another item that was finished during vacation. It waited until we arrived home to be blocked.

The pattern is Ring of Lace by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer and is available through Heartstrings.

The yarn was a gift from Kristy way back during the International Scarf Exchange 3. Kristy knit my scarf (which I dearly love).

Needles: Size 6

almost forgot...the crochet cast on was new for me and it worked beautifully.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tour de Fleece 2008: Paris Champs-Élysées

Proudly, I cross the finish line in the 2008 Tour de Fleece.

During the last Tour I did not possess a spindle, spinning wheel or nary a spinning skill. An argument would begin if someone suggested that I didn't train long and hard to accomplish spinning that entire wad of fiber in such a short amount of time.

How appropriate that this would be finished during the 18th stage of the Tour de France...a 122 mile ride through mountains. Mountains were no where to be seen around here, but it feels like Georgia and I did 122 miles!

Many thanks to Katherine for putting this together. My first Tour has been a wonderful experience that leaves me pleased with the best fiber I've spun.

Jumping for Joy...2 day car socks

Plenty of projects traveled on vacation and the gi-normous car ride allowed time to finish most. Once complete boredom set in, these little socks were cast-on.

Needles - size 3 and 4 DPNs
Yarn: Cascade Fixation; 1 ball each of color 2625 (blue) and 8001 (white)
This is the first time I've used this yarn. Admittedly, it always seemed cheap to me and the elasticity left me a little doubtful.
Cheap is ok at under $5.00 per ball as long as the yarn performs like this. I wouldn't swap all of my hand dyed yarn for this yarn, but it has created a fan. There is a place for socks that feel like this when you put them, sort of like terry cloth with a firm fit.
These are going into the sock stash to send to Bugg at college (gulp! - less than a month to go).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

ummm, a chocolate covered cherry!

Alice made this bolero a few months back and it went into my mental notebook for future projects. What great color combinations she chose and it seemed a quick, easy knit for my 4 year old niece. The colors remind me of a chocolate covered cherry.

It may be a couple of weeks before I can make the trek for modeled photos and once I'm able to get it on her, she might not stay still for photos...we'll see.

The details:

Needles sizes 6 and 7

Yarn - Patons Classic Wool Merino; 1 ball Chestnut Brown and 2 balls Regency

See it on Ravelry

Began knitting 7/6/08 finished 7/16/08

No big surprise - Bugg wants one of her very own!

I have more finished objects to post as the week progresses.

edited to include Ravelry link

Monday, July 21, 2008


It would be nice to proclaim myself rested after vacation, but that is never the case. It was an incredible feeling to climb into my own bed last night, but insomnia set in quickly. Miss Kitty was lonely after being left for a week on her own. She is Bugg's cat, but has adopted Hubs and I since KC has arrived on the scene. Anyway, Kitty stood at our door and meowed all night long -OMG! She was so annoying. Usually, I can pick her up and love on her for a bit and she returns to a normal state, but not last night - the resulting bags under my eyes are the proof! You think she could have just been let in and have been quiet, but a theory has developed that she may be contributing to my allergy issues.

Sleep was definitely on my list of to-do's because the plan was to tackle the second half of my Tour de Fleece goal. Did I ever officially state that? My goal is to spin the entire hunk of yummy Briar Rose Merino that Chris gifted me a few months back. Half of it was finished before vacation and with 6 days left, I think I can...I think I can.
There are finished projects and they will be posted later. My mailman is bringing all of our mail from the last week and there are packages....I love my mailman!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Family time

The weather is gorgeous! It is incredibly quiet for the first time this week. Bugg and I dropped the boys off for a fishing adventure this morning before slipping off to a French bakery for breakfast. The food was incredible.

Driving didn't go as poorly as anticipated. Shoving a 15 year old 6'3" boy into a car and driving for 9 hours worried me, but it all went well. Hubs doesn't like stopping once on the road, but years with Bugg and I have worn him down. We stayed overnight and ended up near Asheville the next morning (a great plan, eh?). Asheville is one of my favorite places for so many reasons. An added destination was the fanciest McDonalds in existence. Bugg had just seen on a television show that previewed various McDonald locations and they covered this one one in Asheville. Bugg and FYS posed for a photo and both smiled. Either McDonalds can bring teenage siblings together or they were just happy to be taking a break from the car.

We were just across the street from the entrance to the non descript that we had driven past many times and never known it was there. It would have been nice to have extra time to visit with Hubs and FYS. Bugg and I had such an incredible experience there over Spring Break.

Just so it happens, Yarn Paradise is just down the block from there. Someone had the insight to put a fly fishing shop next door to it which made my plight a bit easier.

Bugg nabbed some Malabrigo Lace in an apricot color and my choice was a bright violet blue. There were a few more purchases, but nothing very large this time. This yarn store is incredible and there is always something different to admire.

FYS finally chose some yarn for a pair of socks. His feet are so huge that it will take awhile and much dedication. This is a shot under the table of his foot next to Bugg's. Her feet are a size 8 1/2. He desperately wanted some bright yellow yarn, but was persuaded to settle for some Berroco Comfort Sock in a nice blue-grey.

With all of the driving time, lots of knitting has happened. The bolero will be finished once blocked and buttons are located.

Bugg's dorm pillow is coming along, but the loops are a pain.

The main focus has now been the Ring of Lace. The yarn is yummy to work with and it is small enough to take along when the kids are playing tennis.

We are taking a break from major activity today. Bugg has overdone it with tennis a little and my body is just plain tired from the extra activity. The beach is calling to us and we are off for a nice walk along the waves.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I think I see the Peloton...

Georgia and I were if-y for Stage 5 of the Tour de Fleece. Turns out, our second wind arrived late in the afternoon and we tackled some of the obstacles in front of us for Stage 6 the following day...ending up with an empty bowl

early on Thursday. This was essential due to the impending departure for vacation.

Before long, I was looking at two singles that begged to be plyed

It seemed we were through one of the mountain passes
and heading for the yellow jersey.

This is still so much fun for me. Being a relatively new spinner, I'm never sure what I'm going to get! to vacation and rest. The tough stages are waiting for my return!
Oh, forgot the little details: 308 yards and 17 wpi.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Fleecy Peloton?

Have you read about the Tour de Fleece? I finally made time to officially join today, but did begin with the rest of the spinners on July 5th.

My machine of choice, of course, is Georgia. Georgia and I have been practicing for an event such as this and she is well tuned. Her parts have been oiled and she was ready to roll in a moment's notice.

The chosen fiber has, admittedly, not been in my stash for that long. However, it was there and so qualifies as spinning from stash. The lovely fiber is merino dyed up by Chris especially for me. Gifts such as this are to be treasured!

...I know what you're thinking 'that is a big hunk of merino, can she possibly spin it by July 27th?'

Well, maybe, under normal circumstances - but we're leaving for vacation.

So, I've set my goal at a pretty manageable level. I will complete the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth stages, take my break days all in a row at the beach, then return to ride into Paris down Champs-Élysées to finish.

True to any great sporting event, there should be photos...

Stage One... 25% of fiber drafted

Stage Two...We're making progress!

Stage Three...MORE roving?

Stage Four...25% spun (not well, but it is spun!)

But...the Tour is on stage 5 today...

They are! Georgia and I suited up early and we're off!

Stage Five requires us to spin this today:

I must say, the food breaks consisting of ice cream and smores have really kept us in shape!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Satisfaction in completion

This week has been very good to me. The Zombie socks were a breeze to knit and fit well - they will go into the sock drawer for Bugg around Halloween. Some sort of sock counter or gauge for my sidebar would be nice. There should be 8 pair for Bugg and we are up to 3...I need to get knitting!

I know another pair of Zombies are in my future as soon as enough yarn for FYS's size 15 feet is acquired. He loves handknit socks.

Chris gifted me The Eclectic Sole and there are quite a few patterns that call to me. Some discussion has been had about the preference of patterns having 64 stitches, but I will look further into that once it is time to cast-on for one of the patterns. No decision has been made on the next endeavor, but some ideas are floating around

The Northern Lights is finished - yay!

This skein hung balanced immediately and feels so heavenly. I am in love!

567 yards of fabulous fiber. I started spinning it on 6/22/08 and finished 7/4/08. Pretty dedicated for me, but it went so quickly being pencil roving and it was difficult not to obsess.

There was no goal in particular for this handspun, it was just enjoyable to relax and experience pencil roving for the first time.

The only two wip's now are the Ring of Lace and the Feather and Fan Shawl.

Ring of Lace is most likely be finished over vacation. The F&F shawl languishes for reasons that escape me. With a lot of car travel coming up, it may be finished before winter.

We had company last week - my grade school friend who moved to California when we were Freshman in High School, her 3 little boys, and my dad. More on that later.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Remember that blanket?

The Hope blanket was a labor of love and so many wonderful knitters donated their time and creative energy to help me make that happen.

When it became time to give it away, I alphabetized all of the donor's names and asked for a number from

Amy won the blanket and soon after sent an e-mail that she has a good friend - Kendra - who is in treatment for colorectal cancer. Amy had made the donation in Kendra's honor and has gifted her the blanket. Kendra shares her amazing journey on her blog.

Please make your own journey over to read and know that by contributing in any way has helped. I pray that the Hope blanket will provide just that for Kendra.