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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:

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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:

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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.

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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.

Make with the grabby hands

This past week has been a haze of firework smoke and attempting to unpack the seemingly endless supply of boxes. Add into the mix the fact that I seem to have caught some summer bug that is making its way through my work place and you end up with a little less than stellar 3-day weekend. The fireworks have thankfully calmed down, although we still hear the occasional one in the evening. It’s still better than the past two weeks leading up to the Holiday.

Luckily despite my sick-filled brain I can still share some rather wonderful highlights. This past weekend started with a rather fun lead up on Wednesday night at knit group. This week, the always lovely, Marja kicked off the evening by letting me borrow her Bosworth drop spindle. ( My desire to own of my own grows each time I get to have my hot little hands on it.)

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Side note, she was willing to let me borrow but any attempts to subtly (or not) keep the spindle were thwarted. That Marja is nothing if not quick. Luckily her sweetness continued as she passed a bag containing some of her wonderful hand spun, and let me just say that Marja produces some really lovely hand spun, but the fun didn’t stop there. No, because you see my dear readers, Marja is a rather rare breed, she is a spinner, with no and included. What this means, and the weaker among you might want to sit down, is that this past week, Marja brought her bag of lovelies not just as a show and tell but she also said we could take some of the yarn for our very own. Cut to me, making with the grabby hands (this is that instinctual gesture that we all seem to make when we are three and want something for our very own.) I managed to restrain myself to only two skeins.  A lovely green merino and a beautiful BFL. To clarify this loveliness was met with a promise from me (and others) to knit something for the wonderful lady, lest you think I am completely selfish.

 

P.S. This is all in addition to a wonderful skein of BFL I was given the week before from her.

 

P.P.S. No you may not have Marja’s contact information.

Distraction 2: Stash Enhancement

For my next trick I would like you all to direct your attention to the center ring. The dazzling, the beautiful. See how the light dances among the fibers, watch as the colors blend into one another. I present to you the newest acquisitions to the Introverted Knitter’s Stash. First up the lovely and talented, Thunderboom colorway, a beautiful 100% Polwarth wool, comprised of various shades of blue, teal, gray, and greens. It invokes the senses of a spring shower, the lovely thunderstorms that beckon forth the oncoming growth after a long winter.

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Not to be outdone we have another beautiful specimen a combination of greens, pinks, purples and lovely deep browns. Remember how I mentioned that oncoming growth after winter? Well this lovely and wonderful 100% Polwarth  is just the ticket. May I present the Garden of Live Flowers.

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Both of these lovelies come courtesy of the new to me, Dyebolical. I have a few friends who simply rave about her stuff and so I decided to take a chance and try these two out. The question now is just how long can I hold out before abandoning everything else on my fiber plate?

 

 

“Itteh Bitteh” Kitteh Commiteh of….2 er 3

It would appear that there a few key differences when moving into a house as opposed to another apartment. The biggest one so far? The sheer amount of space. We have such a drastic difference in space available to us that our main difficulty in unpacking (not that we are in a crazy big hurry anyway) is trying to figure out where it goes. So many options and that my friends is a real first for the Giant and I.

To be fair our new space has shrunk by just a little bit thanks to our newest addition. The Giant and I have always said (well it was more me saying and him being willing to go along with it) when we had a house we would rescue another little ball of fluff, and that is exactly what we did this past weekend. There was some debate as to the one to bring home (because the Giant wisely limited me to just one) but after meeting about 5 cats total we finally settled on the newest addition to our family.

Meet Toby.

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He is a 3 year old brown and white tabby and a big enough guy he can hold his own with our two other cats. He is a snuggler with a preference for headbutts. We brought him home on Friday and so far things are going well. He and the other cats are still getting to know one another but we are feeling good about their compatibility.

Feel free to say hello to Toby and in no way should you think that the pictures of him are a way to distract you from the fact that I have absolutely nothing in terms of knitting/spinning/writing or anything else to show you.

Look another photo of Toby!

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Blogus-interruptus

We apologize for any inconvenience but the blog may experience some slight delays, reductions and general lack of posting for the next little bit. Rest assured the problem is acknowledged and is being addressed.

To be fair there is a pretty fabulous reason:

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The Giant and I are officially home owners!

So how was your weekend?

To keep the chill out

So I have said in recent posts that I have finally started knitting with my hand spun and I have yet another semi-FO to show you. This time a simple hat.

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I used the Thorpe pattern and my first Hanks of the Hood batt from March. The shifting of the colors proved to be a little tricky and I had to manually mess with them in order to hit all the colors. The ends are not woven in yet nor has it been blocked, in part because I need some help from you my dear readers. I am debating whether I should had some braids and tassels to the ear flaps and either a braided tassel or a pom to the top. So I am turning it over to you all.  Take a moment to comment on what you think.The fate of this wonderful hat rests in your hands, try to use the power for good will ya?

 

Stubborn

I have been told that I can be stubborn. I would like to think of it more as being determined. I like a good challenge and enjoy the satisfaction that comes with a hard win. Case in point.

I am currently working on spinning up some fiber and it is proving to be a bit difficult. My goal for this fiber is to not only spin thin, but also to spin soft. I have finally started knitting with my hand spun and have noticed that I seem to have a tendency to produce things akin to wire. This time it is going to be different. This time I am going to produce some lovely, soft and thin yarn.  I had manged the softer part a few times before and I knew I could do thin, so with my goal in mind I set to work.

The fiber is a braid a Malabrigo Nube and is composed of 100% merino. I purchased this (and another braid) from my LYS a while ago and decided that it was time to take it on. Thinking it would be a rather simple and straightforward project. Unfortunately it is fair to say that this fiber is kicking my butt.

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The first bobbin is seen here, looking so innocent, but in reality it is about as difficult as trying to get a teenager up early on a weekend.  My big issues seem to be not only having the fiber slip out of my hands (as merino likes to do with me) but I am also struggling to keep the consistency of the singles going. The thinness sometimes gets too thin and snaps, or I end up getting a bit too thick and the spin just gets absorbed into the slub.  I had heard a little bit about how this fiber is often compacted (which is definitely true in my case.)  Of course I heard of this after I bought the braids and after I started spinning this one up.  Another big thing for me is that I am still not used to spinning on Gertie (my Honeybee double treadle.) I get the concept of treadling slower, but the actual execution proves to be a bit out of reach.

I had recently brought the wheel (and the fiber) over to knit night, in an attempt to not only publicly shame the fiber into behaving, but also to seek help from those wiser in the fibery ways. They had great suggestions, such as lowering the tension (which is apparently a big problem for most spinners.) The ladies were encouraging and helpful even as they watched me struggle with the fiber. . After the fifteenth time of  having the fiber get away from me I ended up giving up for the rest of the evening, and instead just enjoying the company of people who get what it means to be kicked around by some wool. I am not afraid to say that there was a suggestion of possibly giving up on the unruly stuff and either ditching it completely or perhaps threatening it a bit by moving on to something else.

While these were and are great suggestions, the fact of the matter is I won’t be able to give it up. At least not yet. I am determined to finish this bobbin at the very least. After I got home that evening I started spinning again, making a point to not only treadle slower (at least that’s what I attempted to do) but also making sure my tension was a little looser, and things seemed to be going  a little better. Although I will admit I may have taken out some other fiber and placed it nearby, you know, just to show the fiber who’s boss around here.

Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival 2014

This past weekend the Giant, Horace and I bundled ourselves into our car and headed east in search of all things wooly. Our destination, the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. Our goal(s) to see some sheep, to acquire some fiber, and lastly to have a good time. I can safely say mission accomplished.

Our escapades at the festival were a bit briefer than last year, but we still managed to see a lot. First we headed to the hall of breeds (well technically our first thing was to meet up with a friendly face, but more on that later.) Of course Horace was interested in seeing his brethren and so we wandered and viewed all the different kinds of sheep that were present. Unfortunately there were far fewer than last year, but we were early enough that I have to wonder if that was the reason. Despite that we still had fun. Clockwise from the top right side: These little sheep are known as baby-dolls and supposedly they get no bigger than this, and man were they ever adorable. Next we have a Rambouillet  sheep, the big guy (whose back side you see in this photo) had some truly magnificent horns, but alas he seemed to be a bit camera-shy.

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In the bottom left we have some sheep that I believe are Cormo (but I could be completely wrong) anyway they were a bit timid and eyed Horace with some skepticism. At the top left, we have Horace who wanted to take a break later in the morning. ( I love sheep and wool festivals, because this was one of those very few times that no one seemed to mind that I was taking photos of a stuffed sheep.)

I should note our grand adventure was not completed alone, along the way we met up with our lady Marja. You may remember her as a key member in Horace’s fan club. She and I walked around and while I would have had a fun time regardless, having a fellow fiber person present made the experience about fifty times better.

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Marja can be seen here testing out a lovely (and giant/heavy) spindle. The spindle is a thing of beauty let me tell you. Suffice it to say Horace had to check it out as well.

The one thing I do have to say about  Marja  is that she can be a wicked influence when it comes to purchases. That lady has a great eye for color and she helped me pick out some lovely fiber, although it was so out of my usual palette that I think even the Giant was a bit shocked (in a good way of course.)

Speaking of fiber there were a few purchases made this year (and I am sure you are all thinking, well duh…) I did make a point to try to branch out and only pick up fiber that was new to me, either in type or color. And guys? I manged to do pretty well.

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From the upper right corner (working clockwise again.) The first is not only a brightly colored 4 ounces, but it is Rambouillet.  Purchased  at the Fiber Curio and Sundries booth. They had a variety of lovelies available, but this caught my eye and just begged to come home with me.

The next one was a lovely (and discounted) Polwarth (another new to me breed) mash-up. The color is discontinued, and I bought it in part because it reminds me of a muppet. Purchased at the River’s Edge Fiber Arts booth.

The next was a little less of a departure, but gorgeous none the less; it is a lovely 4 ounces of merino and the photo is not doing the colors enough justice. I bought from this vendor, Snokist Farm Girl, last year and loved it so much that I knew it was going to be on my list. The biggest problem I faced was which color to choose. You know me I am a sucker for purple.

The top left, was the big one, my first purchase of the day, and a key factor in acquiring the other bright colors. (Major points go to Marja for not only finding this braid, but actually finding two and not keeping them both to herself.) This lovely, lovely braid is four ounces of bright and sparkly colors, in the, oh-so-dear-to-my-heart BFL. It took all I had not to snatch most of their colors in this stuff up. The vendor, Yarn Geek Fibers, has definitely made my list to watch.

My last fiber purchase to show you is one that I have been coveting for the last year. I saw the fiber at the last Iowa Sheep and Wool festival and while I debated (and waited too long to pick up last year) I was keeping a clear eye out for it this year. It came from River’s Edge Fiber Arts and I almost completely missed it. I had given up hope of  finding the vendor (thanks in small part to the fact that I left my list at home.) And so I felt doomed to wander around looking in vain. Nope, I purchased the muppet fiber and just happened to glance over and spied the little bin of the stuff. I could hardly believe my luck. The fiber? 2 ounces of 100% Rose. Yes you read that right, Roses. I believe it comes from the stems (and is dyed) but yeah Roses. The stuff is soft, oh so soft. Now for me this was a bit of a luxury purchase, but I figured after a year of wanting it, I knew I would enjoy it. If only I can convince myself to spin it up.

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Lastly, but definitely not least(ly),  I made one more purchase for the day.  I mentioned in my last post that I was looking for a new drop spindle and after surveying the various vendors, I came across one that just had to be mine. Meet the newest addition to our little spinning family.

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1.6 ounces of pure love. (The tiny ball of singles is from the car ride home, yeah I didn’t wait long to break it in, you can’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same. It’s the muppet yarn for those that might be wondering.)

So how was your weekend?

Dropped

The spinning continues here at the home of the Introverted Knitter, there seems to be something in the air,(Or more likely I can blame the lovely knit night crowd) which is fine by me. Last week at my knitting group I was able to test out a drop spindle under some very helpful guidance. The fiber was some so called “crap fiber” from a friend, actually the stuff I used to practice with my new(er) wheel. Anyway the spindle was not mine, but it was lovely. Sadly no photos of the endeavor, but it did inspire me to pick up the drop spindle I had bought last year at the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival. The spindle is just a basic beginner one, which works out perfect because that is pretty much what I am when it comes to this.

I did manage to spin a little bit, although consistency still eludes my grasp. Fortunately I have had a little less trouble with the dropping of the thing, which is exciting.

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The fiber is the last Hanks of the Hood batt I picked up from the Knit Picks cyber sale last year. And like the other two I am struggling to come to terms with the fact that the darn stuff won’t be smooth and consistent and nice like I want. Plus this one might have a little silk in it which is throwing me through a hula-hoop size loop. I have come to realize my fiber stash is growing a bit thin in terms of content, which also works out perfectly as the Giant and I will be heading out to the Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival this coming weekend. (If you haven’t been and are in the area, definitely a fun festival to try out.)

The spindle proved just as interesting to one of the stash guardians in my home.

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The photos were snapped a bit before I headed to knit night this week. I noticed that after watching a couple of ladies and getting to dabble a little on one of their lovely spindles that better fiber and better tool might be in order…funny how that seems to work out, huh? Lucky for me I might have that chance.

So how is your knitting/spinning going?

 

 

Leftovers

When I spin there are times when I often end up with these random little bits of singles leftover. I know there are ways around of it, spinning from the same plying ball, chain plying, ect. Heck there are times when there might be enough left over to make a wee skein, which is always nice. The truth is that there are just going to be times, at least in my spinning career, when there are leftovers, and I am okay with that. I am okay with it because I always love combining a few random singles and seeing the results. Maybe it is the thrill of the unknown, or the fact that it will almost always be such a small amount that makes it seem almost special, whatever it might be I like it.

Case in point:

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This wee skein, a combo of some leftovers. The red from the first Hanks In the Hood I finished a few weeks ago and the gray/black combo from the Frabjous fibers I knocked out earlier in the year. photo 4 (3)It’s only about 20 yards of this brilliant burgundy-grayish color combo that I am in love with.

Which brings me to the downside of leftovers…when it’s really good, it often means there’s very little of it left.

 

 

What matters

I know that I promised to share a photo with you of the shawl that I finished over a week ago (yikes.) Sorry about that, but in my little bit of defense we have had a slew of cloudy days with some nasty weather sprinkled in between. All this meant I was attempting to figure out a good time to get some photos, which never really happened, so Sunday I decided to bite the bullet and attempted a photo.

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This isn’t the greatest, but here you go. You may notice that the ruffles remained, which I think looks pretty good. The shawl itself is a little small to be much protection, but it is a nice accessory piece that should provide warmth in a chilly air-conditioned office and act as nice scarf for Autumn and Winter.

It was interesting to me to knit with my hand spun, this yarn was definitely a bit on the over twisted side, and not nearly as soft of a wool as I am used to. A friend of mine has this wonderful habit of saying that ( and I am paraphrasing a bit) hand spun yarn isn’t meant to be look commercially made, the whole point is for it to have the uniqueness of being hand created. Which really helps bring it back into perspective, especially when your recently spun yarn looks a bit like something a cat may have hacked up on the carpet in the middle of the night, but maybe that is just me.

So while the shawl may not be the softest thing ever, it may have points where the thick and thin of the yarn produced a bit of a wonky fabric, hey might even be a little too small for some, I just try to remember that it was something I created on two different levels. Not only did I knit each and every stitch, but I also spun each and every yard, that shawl has a lot more of my time invested in it, and therefore it is a lot more special to me. And at the end of the day that’s what matters.

Terribly Simple and a terrible turn over rate

I started a shawl back in September 2013 (out of a desire to have a simple little scarf type covering to keep me warm on those chilly fall days.) Well here we are in June of 2014 and I finally finished it. To be fair I managed to finish it mostly in May 2014, with the binding off taking me over that threshold of midnight and thus into one more month, but more on that later.

The shawl was started based on the, Terribly Simple pattern. I say started because, well I had started knitting on it by following the pattern/recipe and yet, somewhere along the way I must have forgotten that little fact and just knit on the thing. Increasing with yo’s and switching to just at the beginning of every row and not at both ends. I don’t think it mattered, because in the end the shawl works. The intentional modification to it came at the end, when I ended up attempting to create some eyelet rows. I was just kind of winging it and decided to do a row of *k2,yo*, followed by a knit row, and then a repeat of the *k2,yo* before doing a simple ktbl bind off. And Bob’s your uncle…sort of.

Now I don’t think I mentioned in this post, but I was knitting the thing out of my hand spun, because I have a lot of it and I felt the need (back then and now) to actually use some of the stuff. I say this because, you all should know that this is one of those things where replacement/extra would be impossible to get (at least for me.) So trust me when I say that I seriously suck at measuring how much yarn I need to finish a row. Because that whole Bob’s your uncle bit from before? Yeah that was after I did another knit row before binding off and realized about 80 stitches from the end that I wasn’t going to have enough. So I tinked back (all of those stitches, and let me just say that there were a lot.) It ended up working although it cost me the chance to have the darn thing finished before the clock struck midnight and it therefore made the shawl to take a full 9 months to finish.

Which led me to realize my turn over rate for hand spun projects is pretty terrible, I know it’s not great, because this is only my fourth project using hand spun, and I have been at this whole spinning thing for over two years now. Somethings gotta change folks.

Okay, finally let’s get to some before photos of the shawl.

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The interesting thing to note here (aside from the crappy photos with the terrible shadows from the window, apologies for that) is that there is a bit of a ruffle along the bottom. As I mentioned above, I attempted to create a few eyelet rows to throw some interest in at the end, but as with most things that are done on the fly (at least for me) it turned out completely different. I don’t think it looks bad with the ruffles, which is a surprise because usually I am not big on anything too “fancy”.

photo 2 (3)These are the shawl in its pre-blocked state, a storm came in yesterday afternoon/evening and ruined any chance of capturing post blocked photos. So you will have to tune in next time to see this terribly simple shawl in all it’s glory.

 

Until then, how was your weekend?

 

Adventures with Horace: Knit Night

Horace and I packed ourselves up last night and headed off to the semi-weekly knit night that I attend. Is it just me or does it seem like Horace is always up for a good time? Our inaugural meeting outside was a smashing success, with very little complications and even less bug bites (yay.) Despite all the fun, I actually manged to make progress on both shawl projects, one of which you may not have met before.

Suffice it to say that the night was a much welcomed relief from some rather hectic moments. Proof?

photo 5Horace can be seen here showing off one of the fabulous spinning projects.

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Horace showing off some of the beverages of choice (confession, I am a big fan of this wine…my fellow knit night people can attest to it) No worries both of us had a designated driver.

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Horace and one of his many adoring fans (names withheld to protect the fanatical)

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There was more spinning, and trust me when I say that fiber right there was enough to make me go all cat-like on it. As in roll around in it all day.

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Even he wanted to try a little of the wine, you may notice a second bottle in the background, rest assured it was not left on its lonesome for long.

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Project one, modeled by the always lovely Horace. A backtus shawl that is taking forever to finish. I suppose actually working on it might help?

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Proof that Horace didn’t have that adventure alone.

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Some delightfully smooshy finished yarn created by our hostess. There may or may not have been plans between Horace and I to swipe this loveliness, but we were thwarted rather quickly. Note to self, find stronger compatriot next time.

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Alas the last photo of the evening. Horace found his way into one of his fans Spinning boxes, note the ball of singles placed at close range. I feel as though this might have been his attempt to swipe something else to make up for our previous failures. Again the yarn was reclaimed and Horace and I made our way home.

All in all a wonderful night and another adventure for our dear Horace.

 

Sick

So the Giant and I spent our Memorial weekend on a whirlwind of travel and sickness. The travel came first luckily. Horace made the trip with us, making sure I got one of my standard requirements for early morning car trips.

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Iced coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. Have I ever shared my love of Dunkin’? Trust me there was a serious mourning period when we moved from Chicago, as I had developed quite a strong attachment to the place. Luckily a few locations have since made their way over to us and I am once again to able to satisfy my cravings. The  morning saw departing our fair city at around 6:30 am and winging our way across half of Iowa. We can be seen  here attempting to survive the car ride without going too stir crazy:

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We managed to arrive at my brother’s home and while this was only the first stop on our journey, it was totally worth getting on the road so early. Why you might ask? Well because I finally got to meet her:

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Meet my newest niece, known affectionately on here as Peanut. The little one slept for most of our visit, which I am told is a bit of a change and therefore much appreciated. I was more than happy to hold the sleepy one and get some Auntie snuggles. She’s still pretty small, having suffered some issues with feeding at the beginning, but she has started to gain some weight, which is great. Adorable no?

As with all good things, our time had to come to an end and we began our second leg of the journey which was just a ways down the road and involved the other set of in-laws. The Giant’s parents ended up with my sister-in-law’s family and us for the day, much to their delight. The lot of us spent time visiting and wrangling kiddos and dogs alike.  Eventually we all decided to take a breather and somehow this happened:

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Because apparently I am just that snuggly. The trip reached the end and the two of us traveled back home, enjoying the quiet after such a busy, people-filled day.

Introvert battery restored we spent Sunday doing some light housekeeping and I worked a bit on some knitting projects. I am still at the point where nothing is really tripping my trigger enough to want to devote the time needed to finish a project. So in that somewhat vain effort to find something, I have started another pair of socks for me, working on them in the mornings before work, and made it to the heel. This time I decided to bite the bullet and try the fish lips kiss heel. To be fair I had to work it twice because of my own inability to manage the instructions. Victory was mine and I finished the dang thing. I don’t know how I feel about it, for a few different reasons, I am going to try to withhold much judgement before I finish the first one and can test it out. This was all done before the two of us decided to go on a bike ride. One that involved a few different terrains as well as the reality that we didn’t have to stop to walk our bikes at all. Now it was only about 3.5 miles, which may not seem like much, but it was still quite the accomplishment for me. Tired and worn out we made our way home to relax and enjoy our evening.

Monday dawned sunny and bright, but unfortunately the two of us were not feeling the same. Somehow we both ended up with a cold. Sleep, fluids, and a variety of Netflix shows helped us cope for the day. The viewing consisted of Firefly (so shiny) and some Star Trek: The Next Generation.  There is just something about those two shows that seem to inspire you to just lay still and watch, which is exactly what we needed. Although I am willing to admit it took a little while fore me to accept that fact. Knitting was limited, with nothing of accomplishment having. I have some hand spun that seems to be striking my fancy but no real pattern that seems to fit, because why not right?

So, how was your weekend?

 

Baby Steps

This past weekend consisted of a lot of little steps with a lot of large things. First up was spending some time with my best friend. Her and I have not had as much of a chance to hang out in recent months thanks largely to schedules and being introverts. The get together was one of our more “regular” set ups. The Giant and I make dinner and she brings a movie or two (or more) over and we eat and talk and watch movies. This works out well, in my opinion because not only do we get to hang out, but she gets a meal and we get to see a movie that we have often not seen before. As a side note, her tastes in movies and mine are almost always on the same page, so she picks out great ones. The exceptions being; I don’t like horror movies and she isn’t always impressed with the cop movies that I like.

As for baby steps, dinner was one of them. We tried out new wines, both of which were a success. The first wine, was a Riesling (one of my favorite types of wine by the way.) The second was another white, as both her and the Giant are less familiar/in favor of reds. It was my first time trying it as well and I can say it was tastier than I expected, but not my favorite. I can say the only reason I have developed any taste for reds, is thanks solely to my awesome knitting group, they have allowed me to try out new wines in a wonderful setting. I wholeheartedly recommend you get some friends like them to be able to expand your palate.  Anyway, the dinner was a steak salad,this was a significant baby step for the Giant as he tends to dislike salads (unless they are of the taco variety) and because it was one of the first times he actually used a salad dressing (he isn’t big on them, which works since he doesn’t care for salad.) He has as he would like me to note, started coming around to the whole salad idea. One of the best things about him is that he is willing to try new things, especially when it comes to food. Unfortunately for him I am not quite as adventurous.

The next set of baby steps occurred with a bike ride on Sunday. Now I have ridden a bike, in fact most of my summers during my childhood were spent peddling around my neighborhood, but as I have gotten older the whole biking thing has faded. In an effort to get in shape/become healthier, the giant and I tried the couch to 5k program and made it through a couple of weeks until my knee started acting up and we had to put a halt to our efforts. As I have waited for the thing to heal, I began looking at lower impact ways to still get exercise. Biking came up again and again, so we decided to give it a try to go out for a couple of miles. I am happy to report that for the most part I am not sore and feel like it might be a good method for us to try. Part of the reason I haven’t tried it until now is that I have a few friends who are cyclists, and you know how sometimes you hang out with people who are super awesome and into some hobby, and sometimes you feel like you can’t necessarily join in because 1) they are amazing at it and therefore you would only ever slow them down or 2) you don’t want to be seen as the person who has to do all the same things they do? Maybe those two are just me.

The last baby step does have to do with the fiber arts. I finally finished the spin I was working on for (who knows how long.) This was another Hanks in the Hood batt that I purchased from a Knit Picks cyber sale. The colorway is Timberline, and it was a brilliant combo of green, yellow, and dark brown, with a little golden orange in the mix. It was just as nubby as the last one, but I was more prepared which helped. In terms of baby steps this had to do with a trying to be more aware of my spinning. What I mean is that I made a point of actually trying to make the singles a bit lighter, and less wiry than normal. This was harder than I thought, because I kept wanting to go super tight and super thin, which did not work with this fiber. Like I said it took forever, but I managed to finish the singles and do a 3 ply for most of the yarn.  It’s a bit under spun in a few areas, which is annoying, but I will learn to live with it. I have no idea on yardage or weight, but I figure it will chill in the stash for a while anyway as I have no real idea of what to do with it.

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Of course my plans for continued fibery goodness were slightly thwarted by the fact that I somehow managed to get a blood blister on my thumb (thanks to a poor attempt to get my fitbit on after a shower.) Having never had one before,(the blood blister) I am not afraid to admit I was a little freaked out by it. Luckily the Giant was familiar enough to 1) know what the hell was wrong with my finger and 2) how to help out (ice and ibuprofen.) The thumb still hurts, but I am feeling better. It does mean that knitting was put back on hiatus as I wait for the thing to heal, because of course it would happen.

How’s your Monday going?

Suddenly makes sense

Or at least I think I will pretend it does at this point. Between the stress of home life and the new(er) job it appears I may be coming down with a cold. So you might be asking what makes sense? Well i have noticed that when I tend to get ill the knitting in my life can take a nosedive, add in the decreased amount of hours I have to do my job and lo and behold the possible explanation for the dip.

I do want to say a hearty thank you for all of your suggestions and tips in regards to finding my knitting mojo. I do think I might have to find something new to tempt myself soon, for now I managed to “force” (read actually sit down and pick up the needles, instead of trying to knit with the power of my mind) myself to knit a bit on the Bactus shawl.  Even better (for you all) I remembered to take a photo. Keep in mind it was later in the evening and I don’t know all the fancy features on my new phone.

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I had to do some folding and what not to make it fit in the photo, but you should be able to make out the tonal change through the yarn. I am using up some Knit Picks Chroma in the autumn leaves and bittersweet heather, alternating every two rows. The bittersweet is a non tonal (or at least crazy subtle change) and I think it helps to break up the changing colors a bit better. The color shifts remind me more of the shifts in sunrise/sunset than the whole autumn leaves color changes, but what’s in a name right?

The pattern is easy but the color shifts are enough to keep it from being completely mindbogglingly boring which is great because I think color shifts are about as technical as I want to handle right now. (That whole being sick thing.) As of now I am just about to finish the first repeat and I have used a little over 23 g of a 100g ball (bear in mind there are two) so the thing should end up being pretty large and excellent for wrapping up in on a cool morning (which we still seem to have from time to time) or at the office where I am told they like to crank the air conditioning on.

I did take  lollyknits suggestion of spinning a bit to kick-start my mojo and it seems to have helped because I managed to knock out a few more rows on this thing before calling it a night. So thanks for the suggestion! (Also a sign for all of you that I do read your comments, even if I tend to fail at responding to them.)

How’s your week going?

Wanted: lost mojo

So the sad fact is there has been hardly any knitting going on here at the home of your local Introverted Knitter. Well technically that isn’t true, the knitting that has happened hasn’t actually happened at my place. My favorite knitting group got together about a week ago and I managed to crank out a few rows on the bachtus shawl (which is still missing photos.) I don’t know if it is because I am feeling so burnt out after work or if it is because all of my knitting seems like crap right now, but for some reason I just have no real desire to pick up the needles.

I have experienced a lack of interest in knitting before, so I know it will pass. Perhaps I just need to cast on something knew, maybe stash diving is in order? Do you have any ideas of unbelievable patterns that I should just knit? Any thing you do special when you feel like you loss your mojo?

Here or There

That is about how my brain has been feeling for the last few days. Between work, home, family and friends things have been a random mix of stress, excitement, pressure, despair, hopefulness and frankly I am feeling a bit stretched. Knitting has been occurring, although in small doses. Of course it adds up, but that adding up is a lot slower than it used to be, when I would just gun through a sock. For now the hand issues are still present, bummer.

Projects wise there are only two that have been seeing any of the meager action that is going on. The first is another plain vanilla sock for the Giant, I have yet to hit the first heel for this pair, but I am toying with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel, I have had it kicking around my patterns for a little while now, but haven’t brought myself to knock it out. As I find myself “rapidly” approaching the heel point I am thinking the decision will need to be made sooner rather than later.

The other major project is a simple shawl. The Baktus to be exact. It is an easy and simple little knit that allows me to zone out which is prefect for me right now. I do plan on showing photos later, but I can never seem to remember to take them when it is still light out.

That’s it for now. What projects are you working on?

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