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Little Monsters

A little bit of knitting to show this Monday morning. The first two were projects that have been sitting around just waiting for some little bits of finishing. They are made out of some left over stash (Knit Picks Felici Sport to be exact) and are just from my own mind. I started them quite awhile ago on a whim and after sitting down and just finishing the foot for one along with sewing on another eye and working on some arms and feet for the other they are finished.

I think they are quite adorable and pretty spot on for this time of year. I present to you my little monsters.

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Between the two of them I managed to knock out most of the remnants of the skeins which was perfect.

My knitting trend continued as I decided to try a pattern for another little critter. This time I decided to try something a little more familiar looking. Following the pattern by Linda Dawkins, aka Mamma4earth on Ravelry I made the Beans the Cat Pattern out of some left over Malabrigo Rios.

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This little guy is pictured sitting in my hand for scale. Despite my poor eye sewing skills and the fact that I opted for a knit nose instead of the felted one that she recommends I still love the little guy. It is a little hard to see in the photo but the cat even has a sweet little i-cord tail. I definitely see myself making more of these in the future.

I can definitely see the appeal of knitting up little creatures like this, in terms of time and general adorableness but not to worry about the dear little Sweet Georgia sock, it is still seeing quite a bit of progress,although it still looks similar to wear I was before (black hole knitting anyone?) The giant and I did make a trek out to one of the lys’s this weekend and I managed to get a second pair of Knitter’s Pride Karbonz for sock knitting (hurrah) I also picked up a lovely skein of Berroco Vintage Worsted in a fun and vibrant red for the Giant, well technically he picked it out, but it is destined to be a new season-that-is-impending-but-shall-not-be-named-right-now hat for him. I am given free rein when it comes to picking a pattern so my next task will be sitting down and browsing through Ravelry for inspiration.

Any one have any ideas? Any hats that you just love to make that you just feel compelled to shout from the roof tops about? Comments would be greatly appreciated. Until next time.

 

 

Fresh From the Needles Friday: Autumn Socks

The socks are finished! The socks are finished! I feel like shouting from the rooftop, which isn’t really safe when you consider it, from the rafters maybe, but even then I think the combo of insulation and general dust is enough to give most a serious case of hives. Ahem, right the socks. Remember when I lamented on the halfway point? Yeah, those babies are done.

What follows is the continuation of realizing the difficulty of taking accurate photos of one’s own feet. If you haven’t tried it before I suggest you take the opportunity to give it a shot. Just think of how you would want to display a pair of socks (while on your feet) and give it a go. Not that easy huh? Anyway here’s the photos in all their awkward posing on my end. The things we do for the blog, huh?

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The socks, are knit out of Knit Picks Felici Fingering (now discontinued) in the Maple Leaf colorway. I used my standard top down socks with a slight mod. I cast on 60 stitches and worked a 2×2 ribbing all the way down the leg and then split the stitches in half and did an Eye of Partridge heel flap and Dutch heel. Working my way through the gusset I kept the ribbing down the top of the foot until switching to straight knit for the toes.

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These are pretty dang comfy and with the cooler weather I have already given these a test drive with great success. The one thing I have noticed on most of my socks is that I seem to end up with a baggy portion right before the heel flap, any one else end up with this? Possible fixes? Give me a shout out in the comments if you have an idea.

 

Lastly a little more stash enhancement made its way to me this past week. IMG_0596This lovely 4 ounces of Polwarth from Moonrover yarns in the awesome colorway, Grand Budapest. Which is based on the fun and hilarious Wes Anderson Film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. I have been able to hold of spinning it, so far. No promises for the weekend.

 

A little color

I have been finding myself perusing the stash more and more as of late, born out of a somewhat sudden desire to knit socks. Unfortunately I seemed to find little in terms of inspiration within the confines of my well loved stash. Overall my buying has slowed considerably and what little I have been purchasing has been fiber or very project specific, this coupled with lower turn overs than I would have liked, has left the stash feeling a bit stale. So what’s a knitter to do?

Make a trip to the local yarn shops of course. Notice how I said shops, yes indeed my area is now home to three local yarn shops, yes it is pretty fantastic. A few weeks ago the Giant and I managed to visit one of the two newer stores and so this time we decided to visit the other new one and also check out the third shop as well. The newest LYS is a wonderful little store, filled with a variety of yarns and accessories, but little by way of sock yarn. Undeterred I did manage to snag a new set of DPN’s that have proved helpful for sock knitting. I find my hands were growing sore after only a few rounds with the straight (and inexpensive) metal ones and I only really had two pairs of wood needles in the right size. Unfortunately one of the sets of wood needles splintered, leaving me with just the one pair, which is by my standards unacceptable. So the hunt was on, the shop didn’t actually carry bamboo or wood needles and so I decided to be a bit brave and try out a new to me set. Knitter’s Pride Karbonz, in a 2.25mm (US 1) came home with me.

Since my efforts to procure sock yarn were a bust at the first yarn store, the Giant and I made out way to the second, more established one and right away I noticed some changes. I could tell I hadnobbession’t been shopping in a while because I was immediately struck by the desire to buy all the things. (Okay maybe that had nothing to do with the whole not buying for a while and more to do with the obsession I have with yarn. Let’s just say it’s Little column A, Little column B.) After looking at the lovelies for quite I awhile I decided upon four skeins that seemed like a great antidote for breaking me out of the stash ennui that had settled.

Lest you think I am completely heartless, I would like to point out that I did give the Giant the opportunity to pick out a skein for a pair of socks for him. Can I just say that man was quick with picking out his skein, leaving me no real room to even consider taking back the offer (not that I would, but you have to wonder if he might be itching for a new pair of socks.) My selection was a bit more vibrant than I usually go for (again I think this was a desire to break out of the muted tons that seem to occupy my stash right now.) I also branched out in my selection of yarn choices, picking up all new to me brands (or at least styles within a brand, but more on that later.) I did have a few moments of contemplation when we were driving home and realized that I have come a long way in the last 4.5 years since I started knitting again. What would have been an absurd amount of money just for my new needles back then, left me with little guilt now. The same can be said of the yarn purchases, I would never have considered spending that much money on one skein of yarn let alone four at once, but I have come to realize that my skill set has improved enough and I have confidence enough that I don’t feel as though it is a waste of money to spend that much on things for myself (or the Giant.) In the end it really isn’t about the money, I mean yes having a little more for the yarn budget is great and I know that I have to save for things like this, but in all honesty I really do think it has more to do with my growth as a knitter than it has to do with the growth of budgeted account.

Anyway, enough torture for you all. Here are the lovelies.

First up is Regia. This is the new style within the brand for me. I have worked with Regia before and have enjoyed the durability and feel of the yarn. This time I picked up the 6-fadig color style in the 6363 Leaves colorway. This yarn is a wonderful set of colors and promises to stripe up in just the way I like.

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The next purchase came from and is for the Giant. This marks the first time I will be using Trekking XXL and I am hoping it will be as good as others have stated it is. Of course because I seem unable to completely escape the more neutral colors, the Giant’s pick was a bit toned down for my taste. Maybe I will knit a bright stripe of something into it just to spice things up. Only kidding, of course.

IMG_0598The next in line was another new to me brand, I will freely admit the colors got me on this one. It’s Lang Yarns  JaWoll Color, in the oh so creative 902.0009 colorway. This was probably the first thing that caught my eye and definitely got held a bit as I walked around the shop browsing other things. I know that I am not alone in that so I have little fear sharing it with you all, but sometimes there is yarn that I am like, “yeah this would be nice and maybe I should get it,” so I will consider it, then put it back and look around for something else and maybe go back for the skein or not. Then there are the skeins where you are like “must have the precious, we loves the precious, it must be ours,” and you carry the thing around like it is a lost relic or something….no just me? Okay then.

Anyway this skein just really turns my crank and so I think it may hang out in the stash for just a little while, sitting a shrine on me desk. I can offer it lesser skeins as tribute and pet it as I check my email or just go in there to hang out with it. Ahem…right a photo.

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The photo above isn’t doing it much justice, it’s more deep tones with less of a reddish hue. Definitely a bit on the cooler side of the spectrum.

The last skein was a surprise for me in a few ways, first it marked the first time I actually saw this yarn in the LYS and it was the first time that I found a brand that I was actually really familiar with in the wild. It seems to be popping up all over the blogs and podcasts I check out and so for me ti was one of those, hey it’s a tiny world moments. Anyway this definitely marked my falling down the rabbit hole in terms of buying all four skeins. It is also the one that sent me into the reflective mindset as mentioned above. The yarn is Sweet Georgia, in the Tough Love base in the Midnight Garden colorway. This was in a hank which for good or ill (depending on how you want to look at it) was wound up right on the spot by the lovely ladies at the shop. Which of course meant combined with the fact that I had a new pair of needles at my disposal there was nothing standing in my way in terms of casting on right there.

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So I did. This yarn is producing more of a swirled pattern instead of a traditional stripe, which I find myself enjoying just as much.

There you have it my latest attempts at busting out of the “boring old stash.” It seems good to breathe a little new life into it every once and while. If nothing else I think this should tide me over for at least a little while.

Have you made any new purchases lately? Tried out the yarn I listed? Let me know what you think in the comments.

 

Fresh From the Needles Friday: In two parts

I realize this is the third time I am posting this week which is pretty fantastic considering my recent track record. Anyway the last few weeks have been pretty darn productive around here. Thankfully my hands seem to have been making a decent recovery and while I have been taking it slow (ish) I am definitely feeling like I need to make up for lost time. I have been working on some quick and dirty projects for that almost instantaneous gratification. Which has had the bonus ability of providing a much-needed boost to my confidence. Lucky you I get to show off not one but two projects fresh from the needles.

The first up is a simple cowl using some left over semi-mystery yarn in the stash. I know it’s from the Debbie Bliss line and it is a wool blend but beyond that I am not sure. I cast on a random number of stitches using a 1X1 ribbed cast on. I followed the ribbed pattern until I had just enough yarn to bind off. The yarn was a little rougher than the stuff I normally work with so I gave it a little soak with some conditioner and left it to dry. The result is a wonderful snug little cowl. The first photo doesn’t do the color justice so I have included a photo of it drying to show the contrast.

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The second piece to share with you is the result of the same set of techniques but with less stitches and less yarn. A simple 1×1 ribbed hat.

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Luckily this time I do know the yarn, it is Knit Picks Swish DK in the Marlin colorway. Way back at the beginning of the year I made a blanket for my newest niece out of the Swish DK and because at the time of ordering it I wasn’t sure how big I wanted to go I ended up with two of each of the colors. The skeins aren’t terrible, but at 123 yds my options are a little more limited. I ended up with a hat that fits more like a beanie than anything else, at least on my head. I am thinking for a kid or younger adult it might be a bit better fit (aka actually cover their ears.)

Spinning has continued as well, although I have no photos to share. Just imagine two balls of singles where there was one last time. I am starting on the third section with the spindle. I have made it a habit to try to spin a little before bed time, much to the cats enjoyment. It appears Toby is finding the Bossie of particular interest and will sit a foot or two away from me when I start spinning, but slowly inch his way closer until he can bat at the thing with a quick little paw. Luckily he hasn’t done any damage to the thing and after a while he gives up to retreat to the safer distance. Another cat is still fond of the polwarth fiber and will take the opportunity to rub his nose around in it while purring like a little boat motor.

In other news the weather is finally starting to feel like Autumn, a few cooler days have left me dreaming of more comforting woolies. I find myself dreaming of sweaters and cardigans, but I don’t think I have enough yarn of any particular shade/combo to do one justice, well unless you count some lace weight, but while I dream of snuggly cardi I am not crazy enough to try something like that at this point…unless I want it for next year (if I am lucky.)

How’s your crafting going? Do you have the beginnings of Autumn in your area? What’s peaking your interest in terms of crafting?

 

Wheels Wednesday

I am mixing things up a little (and not just by posting more than once a week :D) this weeks Wheel Wednesday is a variation on the theme. Instead of showing you the latest lovely on the wheel I am going to show you my newest wheel.  Yes you read that right, not only did I manage to snag an awesome new spindle (thanks again Ms. Marja!) but I also am now the owner of three wheels…Well sort of. You may remember that I have owned a lovely little Kromski Prelude for almost three years.

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My new wheel, Beatrice.

In the past year I managed to gain an additional wheel, a Honeybee double treadle.

20140219_130615Which brings the count up to two for those playing along at home. The newest wheel was in fact a belated birthday present from my in-laws. My father in law actually spotted it in a shop and managed to get it for a great price.

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The wheel is a little worse for wear, but nothing completely out of sorts. It came with tons of accessories, distaff, linen bowl ect. It also seems that it could be usable with a little TLC, but there is only one small problem… the wheel itself.

 

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It’s in fact a child’s wheel. I have put it next to the Prelude (a small wheel to begin with) as comparison. So maybe it would be fair to say I have 2.5 wheels?

In reality I know very little about the wheel, the previous owner(s) ended up attaching these weird ornamental bell type pieces ( I can’t imagine there were put there originally.) The in-laws were awesome and had taken the thing to their local yarn shop and the owner wasn’t positive but thought that there was a strong chance it wasn’t a reproduction…so wise and knowledgeable readers out there. Do any you have any guesses? No markings, or if there are they are covered by varnish (I hope it’s varnish and not legit paint, but some people’s kids and all.)

Anyway happy Wednesday!

Where to Start?

Readers, I have a new pretty to show you. Thanks to the awesome magic skills of Ms. Marja I am now the proud new-to-me owner of my very own Bosworth spindle. You may remember my not so subtle coveting of Marja’s Bossie spindle a while ago (hpurchase new (which isn’t terrible by any means.) The hunt continued as I toyed with combos, although I (and Marja) noticed that there seemed to be a severe lack of zebra wood middi’s available. Now of course I didn’t have to have the zebra wood, a Bossie is a Bossie…is a Bossie, but I have always kind of liked zebras and the striping of the wood is just gorgeous. So imagine my surprise when Ms. Marja sent me a quick little note mentioning that she managed to snatch one off a destash and asked if I would like it. I can safely tell you I read the email about three times (very quickly) before responding with a very enthusiastic yes. Thanks to some birthday funds I was able to buy it from her and this past Wednesday I received my lovely.

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I had decided to bring along some fiber I had been saving for a special occasion and this seemed like a great way to break in the new spindle. The fiber is a wonderful braid of Polwarth from Dyeabolical Yarns in the Thunderboom colorway. Ironically this is the second fiber Marja and I managed to by the same color of. The first was at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival this past summer. This fiber is a wonderful combo of greens,blues and grays that combine to make some lovely and interesting singles. The astute among you may notice the small ball in the background of this photo, that is the stuff I spun Wednesday night and part of Thursday evening after work. I decided to split the fiber vertically into strips and that ball marked the first strip. I am hoping to chain ply and end up with a lovely striping skein.

I am loving the colors and the spindle and have been spinning pretty much every evening (or day on the weekend) much to the cat’s enjoyment. One seems to be in love with the fiber and another is fascinated with the spindle itself. I do find it funny that at least two of the cats seem to have discerning tastes when it comes to fiber of the three of them one is a sucker for BFL (me too) and now the second one seems to covet the Polwarth (which who could blame him, right?) The last one as of now just seems to think spinning and knitting are a game that he must get involved with and play until I have to chase him off a little ways.

Speaking of cats, the three of them are finally starting to get along fairly well. There have been a few squabbles along the way but 3 months in we achieved a victory. Here;s to some peace in our little corner of the world.

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Just a Hat

Finally something knitted to share! This is the Barley hat, a free pattern on Ravelry. I ended up using handspun and fulling it slightly. The yarn definitely softened with use and another bath, although the dye bled a bit into the water. I made the largest size which was a mistake for a couple of reason. The first being the garter stitch section is way too large for me. That was my own doing I made the mistake of not reading the patterns needle size suggestions well enough and decided to over compensate by making the large size. (With the idea I would full it later. ) Oh well, what can you do? The hat is still warm and I am sure it will be a fine addition to the winter collection.

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Randomly from Here

Cross Stitch In Progress

Just a little update from the land of the Introverted Knitter. The next round of cross stitch progress for your Friday. I have added the tree branch and the little owl along the top, and ended up shifting a bit from the pattern (again.) Essentially I added some length to the branch the wee owl is sitting on, and I am planning on turning the branch into a tree, forgoing the candy pieces that make up the rest of the little sampler.

So far the cross stitch doesn’t seem to aggravate my hands which is fantastic news as I have been itching for something to do besides reading. Which leads me into random thing number two. I have finished the Game of Thrones Book Two (Clash of Kings) I actually finished about a week ago and have already started on book three. I definitely enjoyed book two more than book one, I think having an investment in the characters made the book zoom along for me. Book three is longer by about 200 and thus far has been a slightly different flavor in terms of story lines. I won’t say much beyond that in terms of plots but I can say that the series itself is very fun and definitely a well thought out “universe.” I would recommend it if you are into fantasy and/or middle ages type of “history.” I will be the first to say it isn’t for everyone, but I do think that the if someone is into that kind of concepts that they should give it a try. As a history/religious studies fan I definitely enjoy aspects of the universe.

In other news my birthday is coming up this weekend and while I tend to avoid any real big celebrations I do think the Giant and I will mark the occasion in some small way, the decision probably being determined with how I am feeling. Anyway happy finally Friday to you all and I hope you have a great weekend.

 

 

What’s in a name?

I always thought that being able to know what was “wrong” with me would make it easier to solve. Well there is a name for what I have been dealing with for the last who-knows-how-long. Fibromyalgia  (a link for those interested) All the pain, tiredness and general feelings of blah do in fact have a name, which is some relief in and of itself, I suppose. Unfortunately knowing is not “half the battle” as some would have you believe. Having a name does allow for a better set of plans in terms of management, but at the same time it doesn’t make it go away.  I am still in the learning phase (and probably will be for a while) but for now it is just a matter of trying to come to terms with the diagnosis as well as the syndrome itself. But in somewhat other news….

Life is moving slowly here at the home of the Introverted Knitter, this past weekend the Giant and I finally found a couch we liked for a decent price for our “formal living room.” In order to prepare for this we had to actually unpack a fair amount of boxes or at least move some of them out-of-the-way. Me being me I decided to take it upon myself to try to DO ALL THE THINGS and promptly sent myself into an exhausted mess. Sunday found me napping/resting for most of the day, it didn’t seem to do much good, but the cats definitely enjoyed having a lap (or legs, or face in one instance) to rest on. Monday found us both at work and news that the Giant’s parents would be stopping by for the evening on their way back from visiting other family. No problem, except it meant attempting to clean and organize the mess from Saturday as well as make space for them to camp out for the night. The Giant certainly did the lion’s share of the work, but I stubbornly tried to help (and drove myself into a further worn out mess.) So Tuesday was a day of pain and fatigue and I ended up leaving work early to come home and sleep, and sleep and you guessed it….sleep.

Speaking of sleep the Giant made an interesting observation the other day concerning this whole diagnosis, after taking a three-hour nap he asked how I was feeling. When I responded that I didn’t feel much better (aka was still exhausted and tired) he said that it’s hard for him to imagine what it must be like to sleep that long and not feel rested. Which for me really drove home the point between healthy and chronic illness. Luckily he is one of the most understanding people I know and has been a great support system through this whole mess.

So how was your weekend?

 

Counting Stitches of a Different Kind

It would appear the desire to craft is still quite present although the method may change depending on the level of energy and pain (or lack there of.) The latest crafty adventure has been occupying my time at the moment.photo (8)

A wonderful little pattern from the lovely ladies at the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. The stitching on this is slow going to be sure (and the weird orange line is not present on the actual cross stitch, so yay for wonky photo skills?)

I have managed to stitch a little bit of the branch for the wee owl, but I might omit the candy bits simply because I like the little couple.

I did make a slight modification to the pattern (which is amazingly easy and wonderful even for a beginner like me) the Lady Frankenstein’s monster was originally in a long white dress, I shortened it by a couple of stitches and changed it to purple, because I wanted to. I also changed the pant color on Mister Frankenstein’s monster, because I didn’t have the original color.

Like I said this pattern is great for a beginner, and I can definitely see me picking up more of their patterns in the future.

How’s your crafting going? Have you branched out lately? Any tips or tricks from those of you who have done cross stitch before?

Until next time.

The Halfway Point

I finally have something to share and not only that, but it is actually fiber related (woohoo!) I have reached the halfway point on a pair of socks, which of course means that I have one whole sock to show you! photo (7)

This beauty was started back in June and has been languishing in the WIP pile for all of summer. I would take it out to be worked on whenever I felt up to the task (which wasn’t often) the sock represents a lot of frustrated moments and times where I cursed my hands for failing me at something like this, but despite all of that I am in love with the thing.

It is the prefect colors for fall, and it makes me ridiculously happy to know that it is finally going to be cool enough to wear it (and its eventual mate.) It’s a little bit of progress that comes out of a sea of a whole lot of nothing, but the sock is a sock, is a sock. Ya know?

Anyway just wanted to share my little victory with you all.

I hope your Monday is off to a good start.

When I don’t Knit

It has been a few days since I even last picked up my needles, even then all I managed was a row before the ache set in. Saturday evening found myself in the midst of watching a couple of movies with the Giant and my dear friend. I was struck once again by how often I really did knit. As we sat watching the movies I felt myself becoming anxious my hands were itchy to do something while my mind was occupied. I pulled out a hand spun hat I have been working on for quite a while now and attempted a row. I barely made it around before the ache set in and I had to place the project aside.

Since I have not been able to knit nearly as much as I would like and so I have been forced to figure out other things to do with my time. The most recent has been reading. I had picked up the first book in the Game of Thrones series back at the end of July and had been reading it on and off for a few weeks making pretty decent progress the more my hands hurt. I managed to finish it already and have started on the second one. No, I haven’t seen the television show although I want to, but I picked up the book more out of a desire to have something pretty thick to sink my teeth into. Growing up I always read. I can remember having multiple books on the go, kind of like how I now keep multiple projects on the go. I would have my easy comfort reading (often something I had read before) which is like how you have a pair of socks going as almost background, something easy light and just enough to keep you busy. I would also have my short reads, which are like those quick projects you knit up for the near instant gratification of having something come off the needles. I had books where you had to have darn near complete silence, like a complicated lace pattern or color-work, and books where it was fun and interesting and seemed to be going great until the next thing you knew you were almost done, just like a prefect project.

Do you ever have multiple books on the go? How about knitting projects?

Holiday Knitting

There are few things as demoralizing as having to rip back a nearly finished sock because of an error way too far back to fix. (I suppose having to rip back two socks might trump that, and in which case I consider myself lucky and should just move on, but we all know I won’t.) This is in addition to the fact that the sock in question is/was meant for the Giant. I can say that having some wine and good friends around does help, but marginally so when one takes into account the fact that I haven’t been able to knit nearly as much lately and so that sock felt even more hard-won than usual. Color me a little bitter.

There is still no word on the cause of the hand issues, although one big thing was ruled out (for now.) Any knitting or spinning has been moving at a glacial pace which is okay, but still frustrating. Reprieve came by way of an unrelated reason, in terms holiday knitting, the  list has shrunk considerably thanks to people opting out of exchanging gifts this year. There are still a few people I plan on knitting for this year which means it’s time to break down and actually see what I have in the stash that would be usable for gifts. As far as I can tell from a cursory look there shouldn’t be a reason to go out and purchase anymore yarn which is good, because I really would like to start using up some of the stash.

Normally around this time I could be found gearing up for (or already in the middle of) holiday projects, but that is also when the list was quite a bit longer.

So far the plan is as follows:

1. Pair of socks for the Giant

2. Pair of socks for MIL

3.Bearded hats for the niece and nephews (4)

4. Dino hat for nephew (1)

5. Some type of hat  for niece (1)

No idea if I will actually be able to accomplish it all this year, between health issues and work there seems to be little time for actual knitting, or even a solid will to knit. This lack of desire has left me feeling rather odd; not quite like myself even. As someone who turns to knitting as way to de-stress and engage my introverted-ness I have felt something serious lacking. Which brings me to my next pointing serious  apologies for the lack of posts, content seems to be running thin and I sometimes wonder if it is better to not post as opposed to posting about nothing in particular. Thoughts?

Thanks and welcome to all the newest followers, I appreciate you taking the time to check out this little corner of the internet.

Blocked Writing

I had a professor who liked to say that there is no such thing as Writer’s block. They elaborated by stating that what we consider writer’s block is some combination of boredom, distraction, or a lack of actually trying. Essentially stating that writer’s block is an excuse. The first time I heard that, I will freely admit that I went from utter joy (believing that the secret to unleashing my creativity in written form was about to be discovered) to a little bit of annoyance (at the simple thought that they were telling me, and all the other students that we were sucking at the whole writing thing) to finally understanding what they meant (at least as far as I can tell.)

I can’t say I wholeheartedly agree with the fact that there is absolutely no such thing as being blocked when it comes to writing, but at the same time it is a little freeing to think that the whole writer’s block is just an excuse. If you are only using writer’s block like an excuse, then, in theory you can over come it, right? As an aspiring writer, who has fallen down the rabbit whole of being blocked I can say that (when not in the moment of sheer frustration because you can’t seem to come up with a single idea for this story) it makes sense. If I am not liking the way my writing is going, because I have either written myself into a corner or (as is more often than not the case for me) when I feel like my writing is utter crap and never going to get published anyway(despite the fact that it is only a first draft and in all actuality you don’t suck as badly as you think,) being able to have a reason for stopping writing can be mighty appealing.

I still say that I have writer’s block, in fact I did just the other day. I suppose in reality what I was trying to say is that I want an excuse for not actually blogging. That work and home had taken a lot of my time and the few hours I have in the evening not working was spent doing something other than thinking of things to blog about, or writing up posts. I wanted to be able to have some real and honest reason that I wasn’t living up to this goal I have for myself (of blogging twice a week.) If I can’t think of content then I can’t think of content and really should I be blamed for that?

What are your thoughts? Is Writer’s Block a real thing? Do you just see it as an excuse? Does your perspective change if you are in the midst of what you consider writer’s block, or after you seem to have broken through?

Let us know what you think in the comments. I look forward to hear from you.

Randomly on Wednesday

Despite my best efforts I seem to suffering from a serious case of writer’s-block and as such the blog has been..well it’s been about as barren as the Tundra in the middle of winter. Apologies for the long absences, the lack of actual knitting/spinning/crafting in general content has caused me to fly low under the radar, that and the fact that there seems to be some sort of lock on my ability to actually come up with anything that I think would interest any of you. I have been told that I can be a bit hard on myself (read critical) and so in an effort to make it up to you (and for a lack of better organization) I present to you all a random list for your Wednesday.

1) I currently have three pairs of socks on the needles, all in various stages of completion.

2) To the previously mentioned socks-in-progress only one has its mate and it is far and away the one I want to work on the least.

3) I also have a shawl, a cowl and a hat currently on the needles and although this doesn’t actually complete the list, they are the only ones that seem to be in the more immediate progress section

4) I say more immediate progress section because the reality is there has been little actual knitting going on over here.

5) Spinning has also become halted, I have yet to start a new braid of anything because I feel my hand spun stash (and well my commercial stash…well no really just my yarn stash in general) has expanded to the point where I need/want to knit some down.

6) This proves a problem because of the whole not knitting much thing.

7) The Giant and I have been working our way through the television show the West Wing lately and while I often lament that I didn’t have a chance to watch it when it was on, I am also realizing that I am understanding and appreciating the wit and brilliance of the writing a lot more as an adult.

8) The writing on that show makes me want to write stories like that. Not necessarily politically based or for a television, but something that grasps the fast-paced intelligence and humor that seems to so subtly creep up in almost every moment.

9) I have also found myself wishing that I would have studied more Political Science in college (I did minor in the subject at least.)

10) I really don’t have much else to say at this point (see lack of content comment above.)

11) Do you have anything you want me to talk about? (See lame attempt to help generate content :) )

 

Finally Something

It seems to have taken forever (okay more like a week and a half) to have something to share with you all. With the laptop being MIA (the giant swiped it for a work trip) to staying busy with work stuff it seems as though there has been little time for much blogging. Crafting on the other hand continued, although it has definitely hit a lag in speed. My latest and greatest piece to show off is my single contribution to TdF (Tour de Fleece for those playing along at home) while I wasn’t officially participating or anything, the amount of time it took me to finish this spin coincided pretty well with the dates of the Tour. The fiber was part of my latest acquisition, I managed to snag two braids from Dyebolical during her pre-Tour sale. 

I chose the Garden of Live Flowers colorway because I felt I needed something completely different than the blue merino that I was (and am) working on. Additionally our Lady Marja (a semi-regular here on the blog and part of the we love Horace fan club) ended picking up the Thunderboom colorway as well and I wanted to see what her’s looked like before I took the dive on mine. 

This braid (and the Thunderboom one) are 100% polwarth which is a first for me. I know that BFL will always hold a dear place in my heart (because why wouldn’t it) but this stuff is seriously hitting a close second for me. I was a little unsure of it in the beginning due in large part to my fear of it being too scratchy/too difficult to spin. Guys? This stuff is like buttah. I don’t know if it was just the awesomeness of Dyebolical Yarns (which I can not rave enough about) or if it is the magical properties of Polwarth, but this fiber produced probably the best skein I have ever made. Seriously. It’s soft and squishy and lovely and I just want to hug it and squish it and call it George..ahem. Anyway trust me when I say that this stuff was wonderful.

And if you don’t trust me just look at this.

garden of live flowers 1 

The yarn itself is seen here in it’s post washed state, and can I just say a good bath did wonders (so did a good thwack to distribute the twist) but the best part was the water came out clean. Yes, you read that right, clean as in there wasn’t extra dye to get all over my hands (or my sink.) 

Want another photo of the lovely skein? Of course you do.

 

garden of live flowers plus kitteh

 

This one you can see the edge of some Tabby cat toes, one of them decided they just had to take a nap on my desk and no matter how many times I attempted to move him out of the way I couldn’t manage a decent shot. So let’s pretend this was just for scale and reference…yeah see that totally works. 

Anyway I ended spinning part of this on a drop spindle (I can’t recall if it was Marja’s or mine…let’s be honest if the Bosworth was anywhere near me I probably spun it on that) mainly it was just the first section of green and then the rest was done up on my little Prelude, Beatrice. It’s been a while since I took her out and all and since she is still mine for the foreseeable future I figured why not. I debated chain plying this but in the end due to the color combo and the simple fact that the braid ended up being split pretty evenly in half, I thought why not and went for a 2 ply. 

Yardage clocks in at just around 310 yards which is by far the best for 4 ounces that I have had in awhile (possibly ever.)

I am debating about turning it into a nice squish cowl, a little shawl, a hat and mitten combo or leaving it as is and using it as a threat for any fiber that attempts to give me grief (I am looking at you blue merino, you bet your subtle hue changes I am.)

 

 

Question for the Audience

Sorry for the absence. My laptop is Mia for the time being which means that to type I am relegated to my phone, which sucks. Rest assured I have not disappeared completely.

I request your patience in the mean time.

For now a question for you all. Are you participating in tour de fleece, if so what has been your greatest challenge so far? If you aren’t, any reason why not? For those that don’t spin would you participate in something like this for your respective craft, why or why not?

Let us know in the comments.

Until next time dear readers.

To the wayside

It would seem that my attempts at blogging keeping getting flung to the wayside, abandoned with posts only half finished and pictures not taken. I realize that summer is a busy time for a lot of people and it would seem that I have fallen in with that as well. It has felt as though every night the past few weeks has been booked, whether it is visiting relatives or unpacking boxes, moments of simple relaxation seem harder and harder to come by.

This has led to my reserves being depleted. I like to think that for every so many hours I get to spend alone and recharge factor out to how long I can keep up social interactions. And with less and less time for alone time, I find myself staying up later and later (despite having to get up at the same time every morning for work.) A desperation for some time to claim as my own. The result means I am tired during the day which seems to drain my “batteries” quicker which leads to the desire for more alone time and thus staying up too late. A terrible cycle to be sure. Unfortunately there seems little chance of breaking free for a little while longer. There was a chance to carve out time Sunday, but it was not enough by a long shot.

What did I do on my brief recharge time? Well of course we are still in the thick of Tour De Fleece and so as an attempt to show some solidarity (realistically it was just because I wanted to spin up the newest fiber acquisitions.) I worked on this:

photo (6)

The first two ounces of one of my Dyeabolic braids. This little beauty is The Garden of Live Flowers colorway in 100% polwarth and it is just about as beautiful to spin up as it looks.

In terms of what to do with the other half and the whole mess together. I have been thinking either a chain ply of the whole thing, or to try to just mash it all together. (although I am open to other ideas)

1) Chain plying means less yardage which always sucks

2) Mashing it together means I don’t get (or at least won’t likely) get as good of a color preservation.

Those are my main points against the two different ones. Reverse them and you get my pros for the other one. Essentially I mean this:

1) Chain plying means color preservation

2) Mashing means an increase in yardage.

So dear readers, what are your thoughts on the matter?

 

Preparedness

If you may recall in my last post I mentioned I received some lovely  hand spun yarn from one of my knit night friends. Well what I didn’t mention is that it took me all of one day before I cast the thing on (and mind you there was sleeping and work for most of that.) I had it in my mind as soon I felt the yarn that a cowl was in order.

To be fair, I had been persuaded to the ways of the cowl by another knit night friend. She had recently finished a lovely hand spun creation and was willing to let us fondle it a bit. I scoured Ravelry for a little while (the night I received the yarn) trying to find the right pattern, but unfortunately I was unable to find exactly what I wanted. So like  someone with money burning a hole in my pocket I decided to just cast on and begin knitting. I stuck with a simple two by two rib and went until I was out. The result? A lovely squishy wonderful cowl. Perfect for a cool autumn day.

So here you go:

photo (9)

 

The post blocked product, the colors are showing a bit more blue in this photo, when in fact it is a lovely shade of green. You can see a bit better in the photo below, not just in terms of colors, but also in terms of squishiness.

photo 2 (9)

 

This cowl is all I could have hoped for and more in terms of a warm and snuggly thing. Of course it isn’t much help when we are in the upper 80’s to mid 90’s. Well I suppose there is nothing wrong with being prepared.

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