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I’m at a loss this morning.  Over the last 23 days I have established a new routine that has been ceremoniously ended.  Considering there was a huge ceremony at the start and and the end, there was nothing UN-ceremonious about this process however there is now a gap in my day that needs to be filled else-ways.  I am, of course, speaking of the recently ended Winter Olympics 2014.

I have tried “Olympic” knitting in the past but generally set myself either goals that were too lofty or was not living anywhere where I could even watch the Olympics so it was difficult to get into the spirit of the process.  In 2012 there was a rather large kerfuffle with the USOC and the use of the term “Ravelympics”, namely they were put out that a legion of knitters would ‘make fun of the effort that olympians put forth’ and would, in general, bring shame to the idea of and word of “Olympics”.  There was a huge change on Ravelry to put the legal overkillers at rest and there was launched the renamed the “Ravelympics” as the “Ravellenic Games” and there are a barrage of teams and prizes and rules and basically a massive headache to those of us who, like me, tend to keep to the Yarn Harlots vision of The Knitting Olympics, since it was her invention.  I “boycotted” those games because I was just too angry at both our litigious society and the monster that had been created in people but this year I reclaimed the Knitting Olympics as my own.

My goal was to turn this beautiful yarn:

Seahawk Yarn

from Fancy Image Yarns in the perfect Seahawks colourway into socks for Mike who had been cheering the ‘Hawks all season and was still charged because of the SuperBowl win.

 

1.5 skeins to go around his wide feel later and we have a met goal!Seahawk Socks

I cast on during the opening ceremonies and cast off the second sock on the Friday before the Games ended.  These socks feature the “Fish Lips Kiss Heel” which was a first for my sock knitting but certainly won’t be the last, in fact I’ve already cast on another pair to use this heel with.  It fits so very well and looks beautiful on the foot, mine and Mikes!  Here is a cool interview with the Sox Therapist, creator of the FLKH.  If you are on Ravelry and knit socks, I HIGHLY suggest you buy this heel pattern.  Best $1 I’ve EVER spent on my knitting.

Because being a monogamous knitter is so NOT in my genes, I had to get into another project too and while its not strictly “Olympic Knitting” because it was started before, it was my goal to get it done before closing ceremonies.

This was the inspiration:  ITW Oct 2012

This was the roving:  Bodhi-5050-MerinoSilk

This was the pattern: Song of the Sea

This is the unblocked long cowl that I made from my handspun!

Song of the Sea

It is soaking in its bath of Soak right now and will be laid out to dry as soon as I finish this post here.  The true joy of this project is that it was sheep fluff and worm spit when I got my hands on it and now it is a beautiful, wearable and perfectly wearable object in so many ways.  I need to do more with my handspun because I always feel so accomplished when I have a finished project.

*sigh*

Now its over and instead of spending the morning with Mike on the couch watching CBC and the Olympics live, because the US coverage SUCKED, I have had to find some other way to begin my morning.  Good thing I’ve started running again, beginning again today, because that was the perfect way to put forth my own Olympic effort.  Getting up and going running in the rain and cold?  Yes, it was an Olympic effort and while I’ll not be anywhere close to the 26.2mile maintained 6 minute mile that I would need to qualify myself for a Summer Games in this lifetime, I’ll keep running all the same.

Someone recently said to me, “If you think that time flies now, just wait until you have children!”.  Well as there are no children, save for those borrowed from my friends and family in my future plans, I’ll just have to settle for time passing at my own appalling rate.

 

I have been…busy…since I last blogged in so many, many ways.

 

My joy of fibre continues. My spinning had been amazing and I’m working on this Into the WhirledDSC_6335, in Mandarin (an old club offering on BFL) and this Enchanted Knoll DSC_6345, in Johnny Jump-Up on Superwash Merino.  More on the spinning soon because , OH BOY, do I have something to show you!!

I have been knitting, but not so much in the last week due to an unfortunate injury:

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Pepper was rather put out that we left her at home when we went on our recent camping trip to Salt Creek Recreation Area 20130720_143925 and didn’t let her seen the pod of Orcas 20130720_161505 or chase chipmunks and get tangled up like Sisu did 20130721_142151 so she took out her vengeance on my leg, claws and teeth, after purring and rubbing into me 5 seconds before.  I swatted at her, missed, hit the wall and heating vent and damaged my fingers badly enough for x-rays, good painkillers and at least 2 weeks in splints to protect me.  Yes, they still hurt 1 week in but I finally have some mobility back though I cannot make a fist or touch those fingers to my palm without pain and actually, they won’t bend that far at all, pain or no.  I am not impressed with myself.

 

Mike and I 20130721_082240 have been exploring our area more than just camping too.  We went up to Hurricane Ridge and admired the view  DSC_6470

and I loved the wildflowers too DSC_6440  Lupines always remind me of my Mum and that view is to be admired! DSC_6406

The biggest part of what I’ve been doing?  Running.20130519_124750_2  Finishing the Rhody Run with my friends was the start of my real training for the Seattle 10k and my mileage has only grown from there.  So much so that I have these to proudly display:  DSC_6473  Bruised toenails #1 and #2.  They are my external display of my long runs and I couldn’t be happier or more proud of myself.  11 weeks ago I was dreading the idea of 8 miles whereas now, my last long run was 13 miles in 2.5hours.

 

Oh yeah.  And I’ve been cooking and kitchen experimenting daily, bought a sewing machine and have made pj bottoms, skirts and an amazing infinity dress that I LOVE, have a successful herb garden in my strawberry pot, been reading and listening with voracity and spent far less time with my camera than I intend to do in the future.  And intend to keep this blog going as I know I have missed sharing and need to write again.

 

 

 

Oh this project…

I bought this fiber back when I begun spinning and what a lucky purchase it was.  I had seen it on Etsy and messaged the dyer to see if she would dye it for me.  I learned 2 things from this exchange.
#1: You always should ask because the worst they say is no.
#2: You always should ask how much if you haven’t seen the original listing.
I was a little shocked when the bill came but chalked it up to learning and the cost of cashmere.DSC_4492

I would do it again instantly if I found another listing that sang to me the way this did.
This beautiful fiber came out of its packaging every few months to get pet and admired and then put away as I realised that I was no where near the spinner I needed to be to delve into this gorgeous stuff and give it its due.DSC_4491
After I finished Intentions, I needed a break from BFL and thought that, after all this time of spinning consistantly, it was time to get in there…and it was.
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The fiber spun as from a dream and the colours were beyond my hopes.  DSC_6147
The plying was perfect and preserved those colour repeats that I wanted to hold on to.  DSC_6170
The knitting was more bliss as I began a simple shawl with a 3 stitch garter edge with a YO and then YOs next to the spine stitch before YO next tot the other garter edge.

It worked up beautifully.
As I got to the end of my ball, I thought that simple lace faggoting would be the perfect way to finish.

It is.

I worked until I could feel the end was nigh and began my cast off with JSSBO.  I knew it would take a good deal of yarn so saved myself what I thought would be perfect.
I was close.

6 stitches close.

There was weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Ask M.  There was cursing too.
Lucky for me, I was binding off in the brilliant line-green section of yarn and I just happened to have some lime green yarn that is a very nearly perfect match.  You can’t tell unless I point it out to you.
The blocking was magical, as it always is, and the simple lace is perfect.

Perfection
I wear this scarf/shawl often and it is the project that I stick into my bag daily if I don’t wrap it around my neck  before leaving.  The cashmere and superwash merino couldn’t have been a more perfect blend and this project is sheer perfection in every possible way.

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Sometimes what you really need in your life is a jump start.  For me, this project is my jump start back into blogging so I hope you enjoy it.

For me, one of my favourite holidays has always been Easter.  The promise of spring, the joy of hunting for our Easter Baskets that were expertly hidden, the pretty new dresses all were part of it, yes, but there was something else:  The Easter Tree.

When we lived on Craw Drive, there was a forsythia bush outside the first house we lived in and it was HUGE.  Not just kid huge, like that thing you think was SO BIG but really turns out to be small once you get to be full size, but really big, like big enough that we had multi-kid ‘forts’ underneath its branches.  I clearly remember my mum going and cutting some branches from that bush as it started to bud and bringing them inside to put into water.  The warmth of the house would push those buds into bloom and we would have beautiful spring yellow blooms on the table. Pussy willows sometimes would be a part too and their soft little paws I remember with fondness.

But there was more.  We would decorate those branches with Easter ornaments too.  Some were store bought…like the wooden bunnies pushing wheelbarrows, bunnies holding flowers, fuzzy chicks…but the ones that I remember best are the hand-made marbled eggs.  My memories of making these are vague at best.  I remember being in a garage, most likely in Cali, with newspaper and coffee cans on the floor (which was odd because I don’t remember coffee being drunk in my house at all, only tea), my mum and friends and dipping eggs into the cans.

Thats it.

But, Oh, these eggs.  Beautiful.  Marbled and shiny with the enamel paint.  Tender and delicate and one of the special joys of unpacking those Easter decorations.

Last year, when I started buying duck eggs at the Port Townsend Farmers Market from various sellers, I started thinking about how else I could use these beautiful eggs and it wasn’t a far leap to thinking about marbling them.  The leap was figuring out HOW to do it.  As I said, I didn’t really have a clear memory of the process.  Lucky for me, my Mum came to visit at the end of February.  Unlucky for me, we bought the wrong kind of enamel paint so we couldn’t do it!

Fast forward a few weeks.  Yesterday I stopped at the local art supply store and bought the right kind of paint and today I got to dye-ing!

Step 1: Assemble the cast of characters.

Blown Eggs.  Here are some of the duck eggs but in another box there are more duck and also 6 quail eggs too…DSC_6265

Bucket with water…DSC_6270Drying box, skewers for swirling, paper towel for wiping…DSC_6271And, of course, the enamel paint!DSC_6269

I used Testors enamels that I got at my local art store.  You MUST use these type (small bottles) of enamel paint/model paint, NOT the “enamel paint” you can get at JoAnns or Michaels in large bottles with the acrylics.  They are different.  If you can clean up with soap and water, it isn’t the right paint.  See the note at the end.

Step 2:  Prep the eggs for dipping.  I wiped the eggs with the alcohol to clean them of any residue so the paint will stick better.  I then threaded the eggs with pipe cleaners to make “handles” as well as holders for keeping the eggs up while drying.  I used full sized cleaners for the duck eggs and half sized for the quail eggs.

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Now the fun part!

Step 3:  Float the paint:DSC_6273Black and Silver shown here.

Step 4:  Swirl the paint:DSC_6274 DSC_6275

Make sure there are NO pockets of paint after the swirling because this will mean drops of paint on your egg.  You can see the paint pockets in the above photo…those little round dots of silver?  Yeah, that you want to avoid.  I swirled a bit more after the photo but I liked the look with the smaller quail eggs.

Step 4:  Get your egg…DSC_6276Step 5: Dip your egg straight down…DSC_6277

This is when the paint sticks to the egg.  If you look carefully, you can see that the paint has stuck to the egg under the water.  A better photo of this is on the next step.

Step 6:  Wipe the surface of the water free of paint.  DSC_6279This is important because you will be lifting the egg up again, obviously, and if you bring it up thru more paint, that paint too will stick and muddy the marbling.  Do you see how the paint is on the egg under the water?

Step 7:  Voila!DSC_6278

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Step 8:  Place egg onto the drying box and admire your handiwork!  Play with the colours and have fun!  Swirl more or less, use only 2 or all your colours…DSC_6290

DSC_6289  DSC_6287

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I had a great time!

Step 9: Allow eggs to dry in a safe, animal-free, minimal dust place for as long as it takes for them to dry.  This may be a few hours to a few days, depending on the humidity of your area.

There will be a Step 10 in a few days…threading and hanging, but right now the eggs are drying, safe in the guest room!

An Important Note:

Enamel paint is not water soluble.  I feel silly mentioning this since obviously it isn’t because it floats on the water to marble but this is important when it comes to clean up.  You need more than soap and water…in fact, soap and water won’t do anything for you at all except give you clean, paint filled hands.  And a ruined manicure.  Plan ahead.  Wear gloves if you’re smart!  Unlike me…DSC_6283

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The best thing to use to clean up is mineral spirits.  However, I didn’t think that far ahead.  But I did have nail polish remover.  The good stuff with acetone and that’s the key here.  The non-acetone stuff will leave you with still paint-filled fingers.  So a little rubbing later, I was the proud human with…slightly still stained fingers.  What had I missed?  The oil.  Mineral spirits or Turpentine, is made from petroleum.  With the nail polish remover, there was no oil to help the removal of the paint.  I washed my hands to get rid of the nail polish remover and then I used a finger full of my favourite coconut salt scrub (coconut oil and salt, nice and simple), rubbed briefly and…DSC_6288

Voila!

On the final day of the 4th Annual Olympic Peninsula Fiber Farm Tour, I visited Compass Rose Farm and their Icelandic sheep.

One of the first things that grabbed me was the colours of the sheep.  Not just black, brown, grey and white but all types of shades that comes from different breeding.   Light brown, dark brown, brown-black, red brown, tan, carmael, brown with white/grey/black/different brown spots grey, silver, grey-black, white white, off white, white with brown/black/grey spots, black with white/brown/grey spots, black-brown, black black…the list goes on and on and on…

And, just for MORE variety, there were two guard llamas looking on.  Yes, guard llamas.  And, just as their sheep are different colours, they are too!

I had a wonderful talk about the sheep themselves and breeding practises in the US versus Iceland (for multi-coloured wool here vs meat and milk there) and the practises of Compass Rose Farm.  It makes me so glad to hear that breeding for colour and fine-ness are hand in hand for them.

After talking sheep for a while, I then looked around a bit more and admired their garden and plants and realised that I really like their set-up with the chip lined pathways…

but kept being drawn back to the animals.

It was a wonderful visit.  They also have bees, though I failed to photograph their 3 hives.  Like most of the farms that we visited, these lovely folks have chickens too, 4 different breeds, and I had to buy some eggs.

 

And yes, since you asked, some wool DID follow me home.  There was a beautiful black for Mike, much more black than the dark grey (dark brown) Romney we found yesterday but with enough character for me than I won’t feel like I’m spinning into an abyss.  26 ounces (1.625 lbs) in 2 bumps.

And a cinnamon tweed for me:

36 ounces (2.25lbs) in 2 bumps.  It was love at first sight and no, I’m not sorry at all that there is barely any room in the spare room wool room.  If I could have still fed my family and bought the rest of the cinnamon tweed, I would have.  Granted, if I had bought it, I would have needed less fiber to clothe us but I didn’t think it would be in our best interests.

All in all, this has been such a stellar weekend.  The weather has been lovely, the people super friendly, the animals beautiful and the fiber abundant.  While at Taylored Fibers, Barry showed me the rescue/freecycle llama, alpaca and random breed of sheep wool fleeces that he had washed and was ready for the carding machine in the next few weeks.  With glee I gave over the Shetland and two other alpaca fleeces and should have those in 6 weeks or so.  I am so very excited about getting started spinning all my new lovely wool so the real question becomes:  Which do I spin first?  Suri Alpaca? Jacob?  Romney?  Icelandic Black or Cinnamon?

So many choices came into being this weekend, we shan’t speak of the beautiful colours that are already in the stash or coming from the ITW club.  While I’m selling my Ladybug this weekend, I am sorely tempted to get another wheel so I can have multiple projects going at once!  Wouldn’t it be smart to have two though?  One for natural colours, one for those beautiful dyed woolies?  Makes sense to me!

Instead of launching into a mass of reasons why I haven’t posted, what has been going on with me and my general life status; it should suffice to say that I have been floundering in an ocean of depression, have taken many mouthfuls of brackish water, dodged the flotsam and jetsam of plans, saved all the wool, planted a long awaited garden and finally, finally learnt to swim again.

 The Wool:

A trio of socks; blue for me, boy colours for the boy.

     

A shawl.  More specifically The Jubilee Year Shawl

…which I am calling “Happiness” both because it is making me very happy to use this skein of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn (188) which I have had in my stash since 2008 or so and happy because I finally feel like I have found the true calling for this yarn.  It has tried to be socks and mittens and a hat and none of those things looked…right.  And then I found this pattern purely by chance and it is perfect.

What you aren’t seeing in this wool section is something that is done and gone and I, being the forgetful Auntie that I am, forgot to take photos of said items first.  I made my new nephew (RGB) 12 single socks from KP’s Imagination and then knit him blanket squared with the remaining 22g of the skein.  Actually, what I did was a bit more complicated than that…I wound each 50g skein into a ball, knit a single baby sock using my standard baby sock pattern, weighed the remaining and split it into 2 22g balls.  I then used 22g to knit RGB’s baby blanket.  What you see here is the second 22g knit into mitered squares with a bundle left over on top.  As I finish this project, I’ll give you more details on it but the general plan is that this will be joined by 12 more colours (24 total), yes, I know you only see 7 here but the other yarn isn’t squared yet, and become a blanket and more baby socks.

Also in Wool is the beautiful Intentions yarn that I have been spinning and thinking through.  This project became so much more than I thought it would and while life got in the way and derailed my plans for doing the project in a year, I am so happy to still be working through it.

   

This is Patience and is perfect for the lesson that I am learning.  Thats part of what makes me love my Intentions project.  Though it is nothing like I planned, it is exactly what I needed and has been fitting into my life exactly as I needed it.

The Garden:

6 years ago, I made a plan.  I wanted a herb garden in a strawberry pot.  I knew I wanted rosemary on top, cilantro (coriander), dill, thyme, marjoram, oregano, chives and sage, all the herbs I love to use, in the pockets.  The only problem was that I was living remotely and the getting of said pot, herbs and soil was an insurmountable challenge due to cost and logistics.  Since then I haven’t lived long enough in a big enough town to have my dreamed of herb garden.

Until now.

I can not tell you how happy it makes me to have this wee garden.  Something that I have wanted for ages is finally mine and just the thought of it makes me smile.  And salivate because I can’t wait to use the herbs along the way.

I also planted Orange mint and Spearmint with a Chamomile between them:And two of a crazy plant that I couldn’t resist because of my love of and for them:

Artichokes.

Swimming:

In other parts of life, I have gotten back into running almost by force.  I say “force” but what I really mean is that I registered for the Rhody run (12k) on May 20th, the Seattle 10k at the end of August (again) AND the Seattle Half Marathon the Sunday after Thanksgiving and if I don’t “get back into running” then the registration monies go down the toilet and I embarrass myself when I try to complete any or all of these events.  So running it is and I feel great doing it.  Makes me wonder why I was foolish to ever let myself stop.

In all parts of life…I feel like I am…getting there.

Emotionally.  Physically.  Mentally.

I’m not quite sure where “there” is but, as always,

“It is the Journey, Not the Destination”.

 

 

 

I’m knitting socks for M and these, these socks are flying thru my needles.  Aran/Worsted yarn on 3’s…perfect for mens socks and I’m to the heel already.

This is my first ball.  Now, as I started knitting these socks, I KNEW that there would be a yardage issue.  KNEW IT.  So, since there were not 2 skeins at the LYS that I visited, I bought the single skein, came home and promptly jumped on Ravelry to search for a second.  Yes, the dye lots would be different but for two different socks, I wasn’t all that fussed and I knew that M wouldn’t be either.  He has a second sock that is 1/3 another colourway for heavens sake…he loves them and its not a big deal.

I started my first sock toe-up so if I couldn’t find a second skein at the very least I would have two socks with matching toes and then switch at the same place for heels and legs.  Brilliant plan.

However, I got very lucky right off the bat and the lovely Sarah came to my rescue and she sent me her leftover skein from a hat that she had crocheted in 2009 and it arrived yesterday and I squeed and M cheered (he was happy not to have oddly striping socks again) and we opened the box.

Look!  Isn’t it lovely?  Isn’t it perfect?  Oh, I am so glad to have Ravelry and that Sarah was willing to part with her other skein!

But…take another look at those photos…do you see it?

Here, I’ll put them side by side:

 

See it now?

Yup, they are VERY different.  The new skein is much more green than the first and no where near the brown and seems to have much longer colour repeats.

Is this a problem?  Not at all.  We knew that there would be a very good chance that the colours would be slightly different since, of course, I was buying a skein of yarn circa 2009 to match my skein circa 2011 and since they would be making two different socks and since fraternal sock twins are embraced in this house, both M and I are happy, very happy, to have that second skein.

Want to know the REALLY interesting part though?  Take a look at the ball bands, particularly the part about colourway and dye lots:

2009 then 2011

 

Yup.  Identical.  Colour 1580, Dyelot* 38362

Curiouser and Curiouser.

 

*Interesting aside…”Parti” in Swedish = “Party” in English and I get this incredible visual of the hanks of yarn just having a party in their dye bath or the dyers just having the best time at work with music and dancing at the dye table.  Run along now and leave me to my delusions.

This whole ‘work hours warp’ is still getting the best of me.  I work the evening shift, from 2-10pm and that means that 2 main things are out of whack for me.

#1:  “Lunch is Dinner”
Since I only get half hour ‘lunch’ break while working and that generally comes between 4 and 6pm, if I get it at all, I don’t really have time to have a real meal.  One of the most important parts of my day is having a meal with M, knowing that I’ve made this lovely, healthy, nutritious meal for us…so that means that I make our big meal lunch.  Since its more healthy to have a large meal earlier in the day than later in the evening, this is a good thing.

#2: Time in general
General Poll:  Who goes to bed within an hour of getting off of work?  Yeah, me neither.

I get done with work and get home between 1030 and 11pm and then spend the next 2-3 hours decompressing and relaxing and chatting with M.  That means that I don’t get to bed before midnight any night of the week because I have to TRY to keep some semblance of routine in my scheduled life.  I also am a morning person so that means, being sick with a cold notwithstanding, I am fully awake and up by 830am.  That would be the time for coffee and BBC world news podcast.  And food needs to be on the table by 1230 so I can relax and eat and get out the door by 140 so I am planning a full dinner at the midnight previous and getting things moving by 10am, a scant 2-3 hours after getting up.  Somewhere in there I also try to get in 30 minutes of running (though not as faithfully as I intend to), knitting on various projects and, oh yes, spinning time too.  The best time for the knitting is in the mornings and the spinning is the evenings and in between cooking and laundry and cleaning, it all gets worked on.  Except for the blog.

But here is a photo list of what I’m working on!

Socks for M.  In Boy Colours.  In Aran weight yarn.  On 3’s. Because a knitters man always has substantially bigger feet than the knitter herself.

This first sock is toe up and the plan is for me to knit until there is 50g of yarn left and then do the second.  Hopefully this works as a plan but I have a call out on Ravelry for a second skein of this colourway (Jarbo Garn Raggi in 1580) so hopefully the de-stasher will get back to me soon!  In the meantime though, I bought some more boy colours too:

   

A vest for myself, which, despite making calculations to get the fit right, I totally made it too big.  So it may be a Christmas gift so I shan’t give more detailed photos than this.

My second attempt at Nanny Ogg Mittens (real name: Hedgehog Mittens by Spilly Jane who blogs here)  You can see my first attempt over here but, I’m warning you, it isn’t pretty.

I’m liking this second attempt much more than the first and I’m actually using two solid yarns and the pattern as written (to a point) this time.  Not that those are connected at all.  Ahem.

My Rimefrost socks using Fiesta Baby Boom in Arctic.  Yes, I know they haven’t gotten very far yet but I can only do one charted knitting pattern at a time without madness ensuing and I need warm hands more than new socks so the mittens come first and the socks wait their turn.  Not too long if last years attempt at the Nanny Mittens are anything to go by!

There also has been some spinning going on and I do promise that I will update you as to my progress thru the Intentions line.  I bought some beautiful merino, alpaca, silk/bamboo blend on Friday that is singing its sirens song (along with much more of my other stash) and I want to move into a new project soon but I am dedicated to my Intentions and give that my focus.

I’m on to ‘Joy’ now and am remembering the joy that spinning gives me and being mindful of all the joy I have in my life.

I know that I am blessed and hope you feel the same way today and everyday.

 

I have been temped, so very sorely temped, in these past few days to spend money on yarn.  Sheri at The Loopy Ewe just got in some Amazing colours in bases that I really enjoy and crave, especially the new line from Fiesta, Baby Boom Spirit of the Southwest, and wouldn’t a few skeins of that make some lovely socks?  I swear, just about each of those colourways could find a very loving home here with me.

And then I remember:  I have a few skeins of FBB that are waiting to be knit…2 of Surf, 2 of Alaska, 2 of Arctic Ice and 1 of Spring Chill to be exact.  Each was bought at a different time and for a very specific reason.

The Arctic Ice is to become the Rimefrost socks from Knitspot because it seems that I have more than a soft spot for Anne Hanson patterns since I knit Sprossling and have Bel-Air ready to be knit and would love to make a handful of her other patterns besides.  There is something about her patterns that just takes me away and makes me want to knit more of her functional lace…which is what I love about her patterns, the functional, sensible garment that have such beautiful lace in it.  Getting my copy of Rimefrost for my binder was the beginning of the love affair with Knitspot back in September 2009…but sadly, that is where that pattern has been since then.  Often looked at, often moved to the front of the binder but always moved back a bit to make way for something else.  The yarn sits in its icy-blue coldness staring at me from the sock yarn bin.

The Spring Chill came from a blog friend, Muddy Moose who was doing a de-stash back in February.  It was a special colour that was part of The Loopy Ewe club for March 2010 but there was just something that called to me in its blue-green-purple-cream amazingness that I offered to take it off her hands and, once she found it, she sent it on its way.  It was the perfect timing because I got the yarn just as spring began its slow creep into Nelson Lagoon…a process that takes more than a few months and I thought that I would have socks to celebrate the spring when it fully came on.  Other projects have gotten in the way though and the skein sits, completely forgotten, in the sock yarn bin.

Alaska came to me in December of 2008 for obvious reasons of being called “Alaska” and being a lovely blend of purple, blue and teal.  A very cold colourway and certainly says “Alaska” and reminds me of visiting the Mendenhall Glacier, knitting in front of another Southeast glacier in between running gear and wearing all of my cold-weather gear while walking in a blizzard with my best buddy M and still getting frosty eyelashes despite feeling toasty warm.Yet the yarn sits, untouched, in the sock yarn bin.

 

 

 

Surf called to me with memories of the waves lapping against the boat and made me thing of capturing the beautiful surf crashing against the beach in Nelson Lagoon that June of 2009But has yet to become anything other than beautiful string sitting in my sock yarn bin.

Why?

Why do I have the craving for more of something when I have never knit a stitch with what I have previously bought?

I don’t feel pressure of a “One Time Only!” or a “Limited Edition” or “Buy More”.

I’m not scared that some fluke of genetic nature will cause all the sheep in the world to lose their fuzz so I need to stockpile for the fleeceless apocolypse.

I’m not worried that the artists over at Fiesta or any other yarn company or indi dyer will go on strike or will encounter a world-wide shortage of dyes.

And I’m not limited to just the FBB.  I have some yarn from my very first Loopy Ewe order back in August of 2006!  To that end, I am SO on a yarn purchasing restriction.  Not a diet because we all know that diets never work, but a “Use It” mantra.  The pope isn’t coming to admire my beautiful collection of string and I’m not even Catholic to care but if I show off knit socks?  Everyone admires.

I bought these beautiful skeins because I wanted to wear them, not stare at them.

If you have the answers, I would love to hear it.  Until then, I’ll be here…

knitting a pair of Rimefrost socks in Fiesta Baby Boom in Arctic Ice and planning my next projects with my other FBB.

Because only then can I buy more.

I am getting back on “a schedule” and am LOVING IT!  Not only does my day have a rhythm again focused by work but that means that my crafting life can merge too.  While I am still in the early stages of scheduling, there is a smoothness that I really, really enjoy.  Let me catch you up on what I’ve been doing:

 

There is a “guest room” that is in shambles

and will be tidied tomorrow on my day off 🙂  I had a hard time at Jo-Annes on Saturday…learning what size of fabric could work and what couldn’t but I finally came away with

patterns

 

and fabric for PJ trousers for Mike  and I 

and fabric for skirts… 

and for a jumper

Just let me tell you how excited I am about getting into these….VERY.  I finally live in a place where I can wear skirts and my oh so comfortable heels on a regular basis and not worry about sand and wind and now, all I have to wait for is an iron and then I can get started in making some very nice new skirts to wear!

The sewing machine hasn’t been idle though…First up was a duvet cover that I did when making sure that the machine worked.  It would be folded but needs to be washed because I am pretty sure that the sheets were last washed in Tide and I do NOT want a full body allergic reaction…my hands were itchy enough.

I had planned to hand stitch a small market bag from leftover tulle and old ribbon at the end of June but, after a few failed attempts due to darn slippery tulle, put it aside until last Saturday when it finally became this:

Sorry for the overexposure but you can see the flower edging there around the bag and the handle too.  I also, while sorting thru the odds and ends I rescued from dry-rotting away, I found a cut out (what I though) leg to cotton trousers.  Since I can’t wear just one leg of trousers with the blinds up, I thought that I would just lay the fabric on the remains to use as a pattern and just make another and then sew them up…and I did :

and then I talked to my mum and found out that PJ patterns are Fronts and Backs, not just legs…so the excess fabric in the front of my new trousers isn’t because I mis-sewed, it’s because I don’t have a rear on my front.  Go figure.  I’ll wear them regardless because a) they are my first adult garment and b) I like the stamp fabric. 

 

On the spinning front, I have been happily plying Intentions and I’ll have a few of those in specific posts.  I am still working on them and still loving them and I’ll update you all ASAP.

 

On the knitting front, I finished the top for E

and, despite thinking that it would be ribbing hell, it wasn’t that bad.  I knit mindlessly while watching Season 7 of Greys Anatomy, which is my form of TV crack, and finished it yesterday.  I’m going to see E on Friday and we’ll see if it fits.  If so, YAY!  If not, well, its a good thing that she has a little brother, C! 🙂  Yes, it does look small and skinny but remember, ribbing stretches and what gets wider also gets shorter so it needs to be oddly long so it fits.

 

Since finishing, I began a Karin Kurbits hat (that is Johanne, the designers, blog and photos) (Rav link) (Loopy Ewe Link) in Spud and Chloe in “Popcorn” which is nearly white but just this side of cream and Noro Kureyon Sock in 188 which is gorgeous purple and green, both of which I bought at The Loopy Ewe from the fabulous Sheri.  I love colourwork and can’t wait to get thru this ribbing and onto the stranding.  I’m using my Kollage square 2.25mms to rib and think that I’ll switch to my KP’s 1.5’s (2.5mm) to do the colourwork but as the hat is ‘slouchy’, I may stay with the smaller needles to make it less slouchy and more of a fitted hat but we’ll see!

 

Thats all for now as I’m off to make lunch.  One of the biggest changes in my life is that lunch has become the biggest meal of the day since I am working from 2pm-10pm but I’m enjoying that change.

TTFN!