Or not….

The plan to wheel spin the Burning love fiber has come to naught….I started spinning it but it wouldn’t cooperate so I decided to spindle spin it instead.  I’ve been working on it for the last few days and I’m almost done spinning it. 

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The first half of the fiber; I spun it 7 years ago and plied it a few days ago, is done. I spindle plied it, soaked it and finished it the other night.

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I really like this yarn. It’s 254 yards, not sure the weight or wpi yet. I’m thinking that it’s not going to match the yarn I’m spinning now; I think the singles are bigger this time around.  Can’t wait to see how it all comes out.

School House Rocks

I have fallen in love….with Craftsy!! I signed up for a few free knitting classes, then bought a few spinning classes and I am more than impressed.  The format is amazing and the instruction is clear, concise and easy to understand.  For the first time in….well, ever…I don’t feel like I have to exclude patterns just because they have short rows in them.  Wrapping the stitches has never been a problem, but until the short row mini-class I had no idea how to knit the wrap with the stitch.  I do now.

The spinning classes are even better.  For the first time I’m using my wheel instead of my spindles and I’m enjoying it.  I have some great hand-dyed merino in a color that looks just like Sully from Monsters Inc. and I really want to get it on the wheel and see what I can do with it.

Hue Shifting

This Hue Shifting Afghan pattern is great.  I was nervous about it as I had never made a mitered square before.  The pattern when first printed out was daunting looking, but after slowing down and doing a little reading on Ravelry and a video on YouTube I was ready to give it a go.  I jumped in and it was a success!!

So I’ve currently got 3 active projects on the needles: The Hue Shift Afghan, The Moderne Log Cabin Blanket and a pair of vanilla ribbed socks that I’m attempting without any real pattern.  A bit nervous about the last one, but I’m familiar enough with sock construction to be able to work out a simple sock that way.  Everything else is on hold for now.

I’m also back to working with my spinning wheel.  I’ve mastered spindling but the wheel has always eluded me.  I’ve signed up for two separate Craftsy classes for spinning and drafting.  That’s going to take up a lot of my crafting time for awhile.  I want to be able to spin the yarn that I want for projects.  Lord knows I have more than enough fiber to double my stash. LOL

Yarny joy

I just got the biggest box in the mail from Knit Picks…YAY!

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The whole kit and kaboodle…
Here are some close ups….

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This is going to be a Moderne Log Cabin blanket. I think it’s going to be dark but beautiful.

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This bunch is a Hue Shifting Afghan…I’m in love with this pattern!

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Sock and lace circs. Galore.

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Finally sock yarn and some fingering weight Chroma yarn for a shawl.  I’ve still got a new spindle (Turkish this time) a niddy noddy, some roving and a starter kit of Jaquard dyes Togo with the bare yarn I forgot to photograph. 

Spinning the Day Away

I spent the better part of the day prepping and spinning.

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This is Merino that I dyed with my nephew a few months ago. We were going for rainbow and got it, just a little more pastel than I planned. I love it though!
I split the fiber in half and then halved each of them. I’m planning to spin them 2 at a time together, first from pink to purple then back from purple to pink. Then I’ll ply the two singles together. I’m hoping to end up w it a sport to DK weight yarn. This is the first time I’ve tried to plan a yarn from the beginning. Fingers crossed.
Here is what it looked like when I put it up tonight…

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Love the way the soft colors blend together. Can’t wait to knit it.
I’ve also started a scarf for the same nephew using this crazy acrylic yarn I’ve had forever. It’s called TCL Wiggles. It’s loud and garish and gorgeous.

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The Valkyrie yarn is put up until I figure out what will suit it. I would love suggestions for a shawl that can be knit with 2 skeins of Socks That Rock medium weight and that is right for a yarn that needs to be the star of the show.

33 Weeks and Great O.B. Appointment

I actually had a good O.B. appointment!!  You could knock me over with a feather.  I’d come to expect the worst from every appointment that having things go well never even crossed my mind after the last few weeks.  First was the NST and he passed it with flying colors.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t with flying colors, but he passed and that’s the thing that really matters here.  Next was the actual appointment where my blood pressure was the lowest it’s ever been (110/62), there was only trace amounts of protein in my urine and everything looks really good.  Even my blood sugar seems to be evening out.  Just an all around good day.  Of course I’m taking nothing at all for granted and I realize that at tomorrow’s appointment  it could all go to hell in a hand basket.  But for today I’m going to be confident that this pregnancy could actually go all the way to 39 weeks.  I’m really not sure, though, that my belly can take it.

After such a good report yesterday, we went out to celebrate.  Nothing too big, I am still on modified bed rest afterall.  We took Jacob to the mall for pretzel dogs from Auntie Anne’s.  They are one of his favorite “junk foods” and frankly the air conditioning felt good and nobody felt like cooking in the heat last night.  Walking around felt pretty good once we found a nice slow pace that worked for me.  I broke the G.D. rules and had a pretzel and a Coke for dinner (it was delicious and worth every extra carb.)  The exercise seemed to help, though, b/c my blood sugar was still really good when I checked it.  It was like a charmed day yesterday…LOL  We also went to Target to look for some nightgowns that I could wear in the hospital as I don’t think my c-section scar is going to go well with pajama elastic.  Maternity and/or nursing gowns are so expensive for something that you only wear for a short time relatively speaking.  I found a couple of cute gowns that could easily be pulled down for nursing and they weren’t expensive at all.  I also found a really adorable maternity dress that was more expensive and we’re going to get next week.  YAY!!  I’ve come to love the concept of the “maxi dress”.  They are very comfortable and they are very cute; if you like the whole someone put a beach ball under my dress look, which I happen to adore…LOL  We also bought a starter package of baby bottles yesterday.  New bottles for us.  They are called Breastflow and they are very different from regular bottles, or so they say.  They are supposed to be very much like breast-feeding so that they won’t cause nipple confusion.  The baby has to not only suck on the bottle, but compress it as well in order to get any milk.  I know that my mother is going to want to be able to feed the baby and Jacob  has been talking about feeding him from the beginning so I thought that once we’ve got nursing well established (after the first three or four weeks) I can put pumped milk in bottles for them to feed Connor.

On a more fibery note:  I am almost done with the second of the diagonal lace socks.  Two pair down, two to go.  I don’t think that I’ll get four pair done before the big day, but three is a possibility.  I also got the spinning wheel out for the first time since we got back from Arizona.  I’ve been using the spindles to spin a bit, but my arms tire so easily these days.  I’m spinning the pound of karaoke fiber that I have in the playful colorway.  I’m spinning it as thin as I can, which turns out to be pretty thin.  For the first time I’m using the smallest whorl on the wheel and I’m not having the trouble with it that I was when I first tried it.  I really haven’t spent the time playing with/learning how to use the wheel that I should have.  I’ve read the books, I know the different drafting techniques but I’ve never really tried mastering them.  I have more fiber than I know what to do with and I tend to hoard it.  OMG, I’m a hoarder…LOL!!  I’m going to keep working on improving my spinning technique; oddly, while I do well with the finer yarns, I have trouble with maintaining consistency when I try to do anything thicker.  I’m hoping to buy and dye the fiber to spin for a Lady Eleanor Stole eventually.  I’ve wanted to make it for a while but haven’t found yarn in my price range that I love enough to make the effort.  We shall see.  Let’s get some smaller projects done first…:)

Adventures in Sock Knitting

Sock knitting has been one of the things that I’ve always been most intrigued as well as most intimidated by since I learned to knit.  I’ve tried to knit a simple sock on a few occasions and have failed rather spectacularly.  I’ve always been terrified at the thought of a toe up sock – the top down was more than difficult enough for me.  So I got this New Pathways for Sock Knitters book out of the library a few months ago (I’ve renewed it twice now; I really need to buy my own copy) to check it out.  I was so impressed with the Coriolis sock that I was emboldened to try it even though I was sure I was going to fail just as horribly as I have in the past.  I did the practice sock since I hadn’t knit on 2 circs before and even though I’ve done several things with Magic Loop, I didn’t want to deviate from the instructions at all since I knew I was going to be intimidated enough to begin with.

I used Socks that Rock Medium Weight in the color Hot Flash which I bought as a gift for a friend (I was going to knit her something with it) that I never got around to doing.  I thought the color was WAY too pink and bright and I really didn’t like it much – until I wound it and realized that it was actually a gorgeous color.  I started a pair of Monkey socks with the yarn, but frogged it when I decided to try the Coriolis socks.  I decided to use the Spiraling Coriolis master pattern and got started.

What I’ve discovered is that toe-up socks are much easier for me than their top-down counterparts and that sock knitting is not the frightening concept that I thought it was.  It took me about two weeks of working a few hours a night to finish sock #1.  The biggest problem I had was binding off in a way that made the sock go over my foot.  After tearing out several different B.O. methods, I settled on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Sewn Bind-off, and that worked for me.  I just finished the heel turn on the second sock (no “second sock syndrome” here) and I’m hoping to have the pair done before I leave in a few weeks for three weeks in CA with Jake, visiting my mother and going to the David Cook concert (which I’m so excited about I’m like a 14 year old teeny-bopper….mmmm….David Cook).

The thing that I found most intimidating was the short rows with the wrap and turn and then concealling the wraps as well.  I think I’ve finally mastered it, though, or at least it’s not so scary for me.  I think the heel turn is my favorite part of sock knitting; there’s something magical about it to me.  I simply love sock knitting and now I completely understand why there are people who are so obsessed with it.  I love having a project that is small enough to take anywhere, yet interesting enough to keep my mind occupied.

What I really need to do is to get back to spinning.  I look at my wheel every day and I never seem to find the time or energy to pull out fiber and spin.  I think I’ll take the wheel with me to CA.  I’m sure I’ll find time at Mom’s house to get some spinning done.  I have some great bamboo batts from Loop that are deep brown, scarlet red and amber colored bamboo in layers.  I have 15 oz. of it and I think I’d like to spin it to fingering weight in a 2 ply and then make a shawl for myself out of it.  We’ll see how that goes since I’ve never spun bamboo before.  Maybe I should grab some bamboo in a single color that I don’t love as much as these batts and give it a go first.  Any hints/tips on spinning bamboo would be appreciated.