Sunday, October 28, 2007

Spinning and lace

It's time to show you my spinning. Here it is, my first yarn spun, plied, and washed to set the twist. It's lumpy and bumpy and has several knots that will be spliced together later.

Plus, it's loverly.

My spinning wheel sat, neglected, for several weeks after that. I'm in a "Catch-22" situation. What do I do with all the 4 oz. yarns that I'm making? It's enough for a hat, or a scarf, or....

I have a couple of hats (which I never wear), and a few more scarfs (how many does one need?), and what else can I do with bumpy yarn? I could make a striped vest, but that would require the rovings to all coordinate. (When I say "all", I'm planning for the future.)

When I get better at spinning, I might be able to make sock yarn (and then there will be no problem), but until then?

I could buy enough roving to make a sweater, but with bumpy yarn? Shouldn't I get better at spinning before attempting that?

So, that's why it sat around for awhile. I can't get better at spinning, though, unless I spin, so I went back to that option and yesterday I spun up all this purply roving.

See? I'm already getting better, and once it's plied, it should be enough for cuffs on wristwarmers (and it's getting colder outside, so it should be just in time.)

I have no idea what kind of wool it was, but it had a nice long staple length and I found it very easy to spin. (I'm sure it's still over-spun, but at least it's more even. Ignore the fluffy part that I think is the yarn end.)

I've also been knitting. Here's the Juliet sweater:

The lace pattern is a 6 row repeat that I've managed to memorize, amazingly enough. In another day or two, it should be done. Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Knitting Sheep Cake

Edited to add this note from my friend (and to fix the title spelling error. Geesh!)
Thanks for posting the cake on your blog. Tell the ladies I'm very grateful for all the kind comments. The cake itself was golden vanilla with a vanilla rich fudge, covered in buttercream then fondant. The yarn balls were malted balls rolled on fondant strings and the sheep, scissors and needles were made out of gum paste. Between set up, execution and clean up, it must have taken me about 10 hrs to complete it, but it was a lot of fun. My friend and the rest of her small knitting club were very surprised and love it.

A couple of weeks ago I knit a st st square out of yellow nylon twine. It was for a friend who was going to make a mold for fondant for a cake.

She went with a different idea and sent me a picture of the finished project. It's so wonderful I thought I'd share it with you.

I have no idea how long it took her to finish it, but it must be wa-a-a-ay beyond "a lot".

Check out the details:

The blanket even has hash marks to simulate stitches.

Who wouldn't love a sheep that looked like that?

The sheep even knitted a v-neck sweater.

Don't you wish your sheep could do that?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Poptart danger

Doing that whole "whiny baby" thing today. I burnt my finger this morning and have spent the last two hours soaking it in cold water. It's now better and has formed a blister.

This has seriously hampered my knitting for the week since it's on my left index finger and I'm left handed. (To add insult to injury, I burnt it on Poptart icing that had turned into a molten hot liquid. That's just stupid, since I knew it was hot, and I was almost mad enough to throw out the Poptart. But it was brown sugar/cinnamon so I ate it angrily instead.)

I haven't tried knitting with it yet, but since I can type with it, things are looking up.

I know you've missed my wood floor, so here's it in the background of my completed kid's vest.

This will most likely be for CIC, but since I'm not sure what the current challenge is, it might go somewhere else.

In other news, here's my Ravelry stats:

You signed up on September 16, 2007
You are #33397 on the list.
712 people are ahead of you in line.
13924 people are behind you in line.
65% of the list has been invited so far

Soon I can pick a name and sign in. Do you think with 33396 people in front of me, that there's any knitting names left?

Monday, October 22, 2007

40% done

Starting to work on this UFO again. It took awhile to get going, while I thought about why I stopped.

It was something to do with the sleeve being too big, but what exactly? And what size needles was I using, anyway?

Slowly it came back to me (I had increased every other row, rather than every 6)(size 8's).

I ripped out to the cuff (which is supposed to be belled like that), and continued on.

After getting this far, I checked out the pattern again. To my surprise, these are dropped shoulder sleeves, not set-in sleeves. I missed that totally.

It doesn't much matter at this point, but it just proves that
a) I don't read ahead in the pattern very well (or at all.) and
b) Apparently I also don't get a good look at the picture.

I'm enjoying knitting this again (especially since I see the end in sight), but since I only have one other UFO, I cast on for this project:

This is the Juliet sweater from Zephyrstyle (that apparently I can't remember to bookmark since I just searched for it for the third time).

It's for DD#2, and so far it's turning out lovely. The yarn is 2 strands Bernat Cashmere in a pastel pink on size 10.5's. The yarn is only 5% Cashmere, but was the only thing that DD didn't immediately think was itchy.

Since I bought 10 skeins, and have already used up 4, I should be 40% done, right? I'm hoping that's true, although I'm starting to worry. There's a lace pattern on the bottom half that's longer than the top half.

I started yesterday, and have used up 4 skeins in two days. At this rate, I should be done by the end of the week.

Ya think?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Found needles

Finished a Christmas project (treated with the charcoal effect to disguise the color.)

And found some needles!

I'm pretty sure they are a size 9, just the size I needed for my hoodie sleeves (did magic loop for the whole sleeves, which I did not enjoy). I kept wondering why I never had 9 dpns, but the answer is that I had, just hidden away in a UFO.

I dug the UFO out to see if I can finish it up. It's getting to be sweater weather, so maybe I can.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A bit of sewing

Today I did a bit of sewing.

My hoodie now has a button, so now I can officially consider it done.

I'm not really sure that it goes through the buttonhole, but since I never plan on buttoning it, that shouldn't be a problem.

Now it's time to put away the leftovers--extra yarn, pattern, needles, bag. Sometimes they hang around as long as the UFO does--does anyone else have that problem?

Here's my cabled purse with its new lining (shown inside out).

For some reason, I assumed it didn't need a lining so it was used for several weeks. It sagged, and my keys and phone antenna stuck through the sides. What was I thinking?

By the time I got around to sewing the lining, I also needed to wash the purse. I had talked myself into doing the proper thing and remove it from the handles, to be sewn on again when it was dry. At the last second, I changed my mind, and just washed it with the handles on.

For those of you who assume I had a disaster, I'm happy to report that it all went well. I held the handles while dunking the rest in water and washing it with shampoo. The extra water was squeezed out in a towel, and the purse was set on the drying rack in my dryer to dry. It was put on the lowest temperature, and was checked on often, but it all turned out okay. So there. Sometimes laziness has its rewards.

Now it needs velcro and a new ribbon. Hopefully less time goes by before that gets done (or it might need to be washed again.)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Corn maze

On Saturday we went to the local corn maze. The family plants the corn, cuts the maze, has the fall "maze" season, then harvests the crop.

There are clues along the way, so if you know details about growing corn, or Cal Ripkin Jr. (this year's theme), then you will be helped. We didn't, but still the girls beat the boys! Yeah! (Not that we were racing, which we decided ahead of time, but still...we won!)

Here's an arial view of the maze.

And here's what it looks like to us:

(Even standing on the bridge, it looks like a sea of corn. Down among the stalks it's more so.)

There were plenty of activities for younger children to do, including a cornbox, instead of a sandbox.

It was definitely a John Deere kind of place.

What's a petting zoo without some lambs?

Definitely a fun-filled afternoon (did I mention that the girls won?).

Saturday, October 13, 2007


In a continuation of yesterday....

Suggested use #1: Trunk of car. This is not the trunk of my car, since my trunk is icky. However, this is the backseat where I put my afghan before putting it in a nice clean bag before putting in the trunk of the car.

We were on the way to a soccer game, but it wasn't cold enough to use it. Maybe next week.

However, I did wear my completed hoodie. (Completed except for sewing on a button, which I forgot.)

You can see in the background little green shirted people--our team. You can also see the results of our drought. The grass, what there is of it, is brown and crunchy.

My hood: which I knit a loooooong i-cord for, then sewed a seam to encase it. (The edge was naturally curling in, so I didn't really need either, but I made myself do it anyway.)

And, Janice: To counter that beautiful pampras grass, here's a picture of a cute purple flower. (Maybe a morning glory? It was smaller than a morning glory, and it was the afternoon....I dunno.)

Check out the ladybug on the flower.

Next time, they'll be pictures of where this was taken.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The thing in the box

(A word of warning to anyone tired of my floor: My lovely dining room floor enthralls me so much that I'll be using it as a backdrop for some time to come. When I get tired of that, there will be a living room floor to enthrall me. Just might want to get used to it if you plan on hanging around.)

DD#2 was sliding around the floor when she all of a sudden remembered her felted clogs. She's been waiting for the floor to be laid to try out the sliding. (If you remember from this post, she wore out my pair sliding on the kitchen floor. At least this time, they'll be hers.)

Here's a pose of her sliding:

Here's her actually falling from it being too slippery:

DH and I got a surprise package in the mail today. In it was a new afghan, knit by Janice! It's so beautiful and snuggly and I'm thinking I already have a fight going on with DD#2--"it's so warm and snuggly, mom!"

Back off, girlie, it's mine! (I'll share with DH, though, since his name was on the package.)

In the accompanying note, Janice lists 6 suggested uses for, as she calls it,

"The thing in the box".

Here's a couple of pictures of the afghan using her suggestions:

#6. Spread on new floor for board games or pictures. (I kid you not--it actually says that!)

#5. Put over head and find a quiet spot alone.

My personal favorite.

The rest involve the car and sports games, so I'll include them as they come.

Thanks, Janice!

Thursday, October 11, 2007


This weekend was spent putting down my dining room floor. I did the heavy job of "supervisor" and "gofer" while my neighbor and son did all the work.

All the tools are also my neighbor's, except for the staple gun (previously only used for yard sales signs, but hey! it also works for stapling the red paper!) However, this picture shows my new tool--a floor nailer! I was going to rent one, but this is more cost efficient (already halfway there comparing the rental with the purchase price, with more rooms to go.)

If anyone needs to borrow a nailer, just let me know!

The room is done except for the finishing work. I can hardly bear to move the furnature back in. Maybe I'll hang some paintings on the wall and call it an art gallery.

The kids are finding it a great place to do homework. (I'm for anything that gets them to do their homework willingly!)

It's getting winter, and time to sew some pajama pants. The floor looks like a perfect place to lay out the material and cut it out, but alas! I might scratch my floor.

Stayed tuned for updates that might even include knitting. (My hoodie is blocking and my purse is inside out.)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Seven truths

I've been tagged by Valeria to do a meme. I'll give it a try, but under pressure I have a hard time coming up with anything. (Oh, the pressure....)

These are the rules:
1. Link to the one who has tagged you. (See above. Valeria so kindly writes her blog in two languages for all of us one-language-speaking people. I thought I'd check out the one that tagged her, and the one that tagged her, and apparently I'm the only one that only speaks one language. Sigh.... Another example of lazy Americans.)
2.Tell 7 truths about yourself-something funny\different.
3. Tag 7 people in the end of the blog. Leave a message in their blog and tell them they have been tagged.

Seven truths about myself:
1. I talk to myself all the time. The kids will occasionally talk back, but I'll tell them not to interrupt me.
2. I had a math/computer science major in college. I try to keep it quiet at work, though, since I can't do math in my head very fast. I was always much better with Calculus than figuring out percentages. (Not that I can do Calculus anymore, but at the time I was good at it.)
3. I knit a lot. (Now really, to the average person, this actually IS something different or funny. Not to you, of course, but to the rest of the world, it is.)
4. I'm tall--5' 9.5". I used to be the tallest one at work, including the guys. I was the person to call to get something off the top shelf. They finally hired a guy about 6'7"--boy was I happy!

(Okay, this is hard. Most of you know all the odd things about me already.... I'm really pretty ordinary.)

5. (You guys will love this one!) At work I'm becoming the one to check for correct spelling--can you believe it? As bad as I've been with spelling, I can still get some words correct. Last week I could spell "necessary" and "attendance". Who knew I still I had it in me?

6. I can take a nap almost anywhere at any time, even during the pounding of a nail gun this weekend. (Pictures will be coming....) I was sitting up, and didn't sleep for a long time, just a couple minutes of shut eye. I thought I was fooling everyone, but apparently I was caught.

7. Hmmm.... one more and then I'll be done.... Something about my personality maybe? I'm laid back, non-confrontational, and pretty quiet. However, I've had two jobs where my supervisor has made the comment "well, we'd better see what Ruth thinks before we continue" so apparently I make my opinions known.

Phew, done. I'll just tag whoever wants to be tagged--you're it!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Sleeves are done

A year ago this month I bought wood flooring for 3 rooms upstairs (that is, if you count the hall as a room, which I do). We're getting about ready to put it down, so we cleared out the dining room again. (It was cleared out a year ago, but slowly things have crept back in.)

The kids have decided that this is the perfect room to play golf pool.

It's been okay with me, as long as they stay away from the sliding glass door.

The dining room table in the living room has the surprising effect of us playing games in the evenings.

We dug out the Trionimoes.

(I won. Even while knitting the hoodie's sleeve.)

Then, we played Dominoes. (Not a chance of me beating DH. He'll sit there and figure out what each of us has in our hands. I counter by playing Dominoes just to confuse him. It rarely works.)

As the sleeves got closer to the wrist, they became faster to do. The second one only took 2 days once I saw how fast the first one went.

Finally, the sleeves are done.

Next time I'll remember to take a picture of me wearing it before the rest of the family are in bed. Hard to take a picture of two sleeves, with that whole "holding the camera with one hand" thing that needs to happen. The dog is around, but he's only really good at barking and keeping my lap warm. Taking pictures, not so much.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Socks in the mail

Two packages were mailed today.

This one had the smaller socks and is going to CIC.

This one had the bigger socks and is going to Mittens_for_Akkol.

At the moment I think I only have one active project on the needles, and two forgotten about UFO's. Hmmm...that doesn't seem like enough. Maybe I should cast on some socks for me!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Cascade socks

The socks have been finished, so I thought I'd post a picture.

These are three sets of socks. Each set is made from one skein of Cascade 220. The solid color, textured socks were knitted first, then the leftover yarn was dyed. The variegated socks are all Magic 28, while the larger ones are either 32 or 36 sts.

In the last pair, I even had enough for the toes!

This was a lot of fun, and kept me from getting bored.


Proof that I not only knit at soccer practice, but I also knit at field hockey practice:

Proof that I really am at field hockey practice, and not just sitting behind a net:

(Which is also proof that DD#2 is becoming quite an athlete.)

No time for a long post today....I must finish my CIC socks. The challenge ends today and I must get them in the mail.

What? The post offices are closed? Well, there's always tomorrow. My box would be incomplete without this last pair.

Knit on!