Thursday, January 17, 2008

Snow Day!!!!

After many weeks of hearing from Thing 1 and 2 "when is it going to snow?" We finally got a decent snow and thus school was closed today.

View from the front door

View from the deck

I love a good snow day as long as we don't get too many of them. Some of the magic of a snow day has disappeared since I've been telecommuting for the last four years and am home most of the time anyway. But it is nice to watch big fluffy flakes of snow fall quietly outside of my office/knitting room window. Even the piggie got to play in the snow though I can tell you that she doesn't like it nearly as much as she does the beach.

Piggie in the snow

Brrr. Let me in guys...

As I mentioned in my last post, I've been a spinning fool since the holidays. For some reason, I hit my spinning stride every January and don't slow down until late Spring. Robin told me about NaSpiMoMo - National Spin More Month that was started by Margene. Its cool to see what people are spinning up daily around the globe. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who tends to spin and pet the resulting skeins of yarn. I hope that this is the year that I actually figure out what to do with some of the yarn.

One of my spinning goals for 2008 is to spin finer weight yarn. After lots of practice and disappointing results, I've finally been able to harness the power of sweet Arwen, my wheel and spin fingering weight plied yarn. These two practice skeins came off the wheel within the last week. Both are 28 WPI (plied) with approximately 110 yards per ounce.

Woodbridge "Raja" gifted to me by Robin

Woodbridge "Raja" roving

"Creatively Dyed Corriedale"

Creatively Dyed handspun

I'm thrilled that I can spin this fine though its not something I want to do all the time. I feel like a spider spinning threadlike singles except not as fast. I have two ounces left of the Raja and about 6 ounces left of the Creatively Dyed fiber to spin this fine and then I think I'm going to take a break from fingering weight fibers. The fun part about spinning the Creatively Dyed roving is experimenting with how I split the roving. The first ounce was split in half and then torn into 8 inch sections in an effort to produce long lengths of color. The second ounce that I'm working on now was also split in half but then I split each length into 6 sections. I can't wait to see how different each ounce spins up.

Not much happening on the Jeanie front. I've knit almost an inch over the last day or so its almost mini skirt length.

Indigomuse's Jeanie - 6"

Since Jeanie will take many a fortnight to finish. I plan to periodically distract you with other FOs. Like these convertible mittens that were finished and gifted to a friend's daughter after the first of the year.

Convertible Mittens Convertible mittens (open)

I'm about to cast on a couple of Shaun the Sheep projects to help break up my current knitting boredom. Anyone have some ideas on what I should cast on next?

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First post of 2008

Sorry I've been mia from bloglandia even though there has been much knitting and craftiness since I posted last. If you're looking for knitting and pictures, skip to the bottom of this post.

As you know, 2007 ended on a sad note and it was very hard to get out from under it. There were and still are many tears. We ended the year with three fewer family pets than what we started with and I think it was too much for all of us. The ban on new pets didn't even last a month. I caved and let the boys buy two fire bellied frogs at PetSmart yesterday. They're beyond happy and that's all that matters. We're NOT getting any more dogs, guinea pigs or cute fuzzy critters. Those are the ones that end up breaking your heart in the long run even though we love them dearly.

Many thanks for everyone's love, empathy, tears and support through our pet crisies this year. We are so grateful to have so many friends both far and near. Your friendship is a blessing to our family.

And my promise not to knit anyone Christmas prezzies was not held this year either. However, I did not engage in any stressed out deadline knitting for the first time in many years. My motto for the holidays was: "it is what it is and nothing more". I think because of that attitude, I finished every gift that I decided at the last minute to knit.

A comfort lamb (knit before, during and after the loss of Mavis) for me

Comfort lamb full shot

A Tam for Mom

Tam for Mom

Handspun Socks for Hubby

Hubby's Handspun Handknit socks

Hubby's Handspun Handknit sock on my foot

Baby gifts for both of Thing 2's teachers who are expecting

IndigomuseSaarjtes Booties

Indigomuse's Pixie Hat

Now on the sewing front, I didn't do so hot and several things were finished after the holidays. I was lucky that I didn't see some of the people they were intended for until then. In addition to making and gifting well over a dozen wrist therapy wraps, my favorite sewing project for Holiday 2007 was The P3 - Pyramid Project Pouch.

The P3 - Pyramid Project Pouch (front view) The P3 - Pyramid Project Pouch The P3 - Pyramid Project Pouch (several styles)

These and the wrist therapy wraps will be available soon in my Etsy shop. The P3 is perfect for a sock or lace project or to tuck just a couple of things into and zip to the store. There's a detachable wrist strap toggle that can easily clip to a belt or to a larger knitting bag. I've got some yummy Anna Maria Horner fabric that I'll be making some out of before the end of the month. I hope that the recipients enjoyed them as much as I enjoyed making them.

After the holidays, I got in some much needed leisure knitting and spinning. I cast on for Jeanie using Prism Lace Wool in the Copper Penny colorway.

Indigomuse's Jeanie

The yarn is as soft as most cashmere but the laceweight is quite wispy and this is not a speedy knit. I did some math (in and of itself a major feat) and found that at the rate I'm knitting (8 rows = 1 inch/per two hours), I'll finish the entire project in 140 hours. I'm 6", 1 1/2 repeats and 12 hours in. I'm shooting for the end of March unless the magic fairies come and help me. (((Sigh))) If I finish Jeanie, it will be the first major project in laceweight I've ever completed. Stay tuned.

I now have a whole shelf full of handspun yarn that I can't figure out what to knit with. I love the process so very much that I can't stop but I know that I should commit these babies to projects. I added two more to the pile since Christmas.

Creatively Dyed Yarn/Roving

Creatively Dyed Yarn Handspun

My original hand-dyed yarn named "Mermaid"

Indigomuse Handdyed Handspun yarn - Mermaid

If you're looking for details on any of these projects, click on the photos or check out Ravelry (Indigomuse).

I only posted 36 times last year. I hope to do a better job this year. Thanks for continuing to read about my fiber adventures.