Saturday, February 28, 2015

Spinning and Sewing

It was so relaxing to ply the Shetland I have been spinning lately.   It is such a nice fiber to work with because it feels good in your hands and turns out such a nice stable yarn when you are done!
 The dyeing I did gave it just the subtlety I was hoping for.
 I now have a nice skein of fingering weight yarn for a shawl!  (320 yards)
 Isn't it just the right ripe Avocado color to knit into an accessory?!
 I also made the second dragonfly for my table runner.  It definitely went better with the second one but they are time consuming.   Yes, I ran out of the background fabric but blended the plain blue in the second block.
I rewarded myself with some incentive from the M & M's-they have the crispy ones back on the shelves!  (  I printed the second block with the 'fit' mode instead of the 'actual size' mode and it is slightly smaller then the first one!  Note to self-check out the pattern pieces before you begin sewing with them!!!!)  I will be able to hide the discrepancy in the seam allowance after a bit of strategic trimming!  I have been doing this long enough to know how to cover such minor problems!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Extreme Knitting

 I stayed up past midnight finishing that last mitt!  I was determined to get it done so Marsel could take it home to Bruce!
 I took very explicit notes so I could make the second mitt without a hitch and it worked!  I put the pocket right inside like the first one but they look like regular mitts from the outside!
Now it just needs the hand warmer heated up and it is good to go on a walk or just to keep his hands warm while at the keyboard!  Yes, my company all left today.  The house is very quiet.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Creative Company Time

 Marsel learned the finer tips and tricks to plying yarn.   She made a very balanced skein of wool.
 This was the little skein before its wash and dry.
 What a great accomplishment!  40 yards of beautiful yarn!
 The kids braved a swim-the water temperature was only in the high 60's.
Bill's sister, Barbara and her husband, Doug,  came for a visit!  It was so good to see them again!
We had a great dinner with my parents, too, and then a rousing game of cards!  So nice to share.
(Barbara had recent knee surgery, hence the fancy stockings! )
 The new shawl pattern is working out great and is fun to knit.   I have the shawl scrunched on this needle-it is a lot wider laid out flat but I need my circular #13 needles and I can't find them!  Grrr.
 I worked out my own pattern for the pocket fingerless mitts for Bruce.  I knit a cuff up pair of mitts as usual.
 Then when I reached the point for ribbing on the fingers, I added a M1 for every stitch on the needle so I doubled my stitches on the back of the hand.   I put the stitches on a waste yarn and finished the ribbing.
 Then I knit the pocket and added ribbing when I reached the cuff.   I left the tails long on the beginning and end so I could use them to sew the pocked down using the purl bumps so it would be invisible from the right side.   The hand itself holds the pocket closed so you can put in the rice hand warmer!  I am working hard to finish the second one before they head home!  Of course, the mitt can be worn without the warmer and it will just have a second layer of wool on the back of the hand!  I am happy with the pattern and the ease of the knit!
 We sewed four little heatable rice hand warmers.
 Here is the dimensions if you want to give it a try.  They are filled with brown rice and a bit of essential oil in your favorite aroma.  (I use an 1/8th cup of instant brown rice)  Sew the funnel hole shut and they are ready to microwave again and again.  (30 seconds on high gives about a 1/2 hour of warm!)
 We used the bevel soap scraps to make a sachet-this one in peppermint.
 Mom's back is out and she is marooned in her chair.  Marsel and I took on a very advanced paper piecing project and tortured enjoyed ourselves for several hours!
 We did end up with some relatively accurate dragonflies for table runners-we will compare completed projects next visit!
 Today, Marsel started her spinning skills on the new pink roving.  There was a bit of adjustment on the finer top instead of carded wool but she caught right on to the nuances.   I am a very proud mama!
 This afternoon we visited our patient.  We got a bit of knitting done but a lot more stories and laughter which is powerful healing medicine!
Tonight, like they do after a week of camp, we had a campfire and some s'mores and enjoyed each other for our last night of this long visit.  (Bill had the van at Tire Kingdom for tire rotation and alignment so he missed the Kumbaya songs!)

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Good Pattern/Bad Pattern

 I found just the right pattern for the remake of the shawl for Marsel.   It is engaging and interesting and it works even with a major change to the yarn weight from lace of the pattern to bulky that I am using!  A good pattern works like that.  This pattern is free.  (The hem has a large rolled cable which doesn't show too much in the pic but shows a lot in person-also, an openwork design begins in the body of the tip to tip shawl!)
Unlike this kit that I purchased with high hopes for having a pocket to add my rice-filled hand warmers!  The pattern is so lame-make the mitts flat and then make a pocket and sew it to the back of the hand.  Oh, come on.  I am making a pair of standard mitts.  I am so disappointed in the pattern.  The yarn is delicious anyway!   (a merino superwash)

Friday, February 20, 2015

Treasures of Time

 Since we had a very hard freeze last night-24*F we had to bring in a few plants-my King Orchid was on the top of the list!  It looks so well in the diningroom, I will leave it there for a while!
 I finished a quick knit with two strands of worsted held together on # 15 needles-it is a diagonal scarf (k2tog, k1p1 to the last stitch and k1,m1, on the return row just k the purls and purl the knits.  Repeat until you almost run out of yarn, sew the ends together !)
 I used two partial skeins to make it so it was very satisfying!  I like it wrapped like a hug around my neck!
 Oh, are we having fun with this guy!  He is laying in front of the fireplace to have some good stretch and grow time!  (3 weeks old)
 Look who learned how to spin!
 It didn't take her long to get the feel and the rhythm.  She said treadling was so easy because she has been driving mine her whole life!  The hand coordination took a bit but not long!  
 Marsel says she wants perfect yarn but did agree that almost perfect was a more reasonable goal!  It was such a thrill to see her do this as I have asked her if she wanted to learn for YEARS!  The time was just right-she is taking this wheel home (it is my first wheel, a 1981 purchase of this used 1970's wheel) to live with her this return trip.  I am ready to downsize on my number of wheels and so it is a happy thing so see it go to her now.
 Ella had fun making things with Playdoh while watching Frozen for some down time after dinner and bath.   She is so engaging.  She has decided to own her Aunt Marsel and doesn't like sharing her with David and Abigail-so funny!
But...she does love owning them, too!   Cousin fun is so neat to watch!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Knitting and Kiddies

 This shawl has been sitting in my naughty bucket.   It was too heavy, too small and hateful to knit.  I ripped it out after showing it to Marsel, (it is for her afterall)  and told her all the reasons why it has to be ditched.  She trusts me.
 I have a cake of yarn to begin a new shawl, new idea and bigger needles!
 Marsel helped me make a new batch of soap-peppermint / oatmeal soap-the family favorite!
 Will came to join in with the Georgia cousins and my sister and Alicia!  They were watching Frozen together!  A visit was wonderful!
 Mealtime was so much fun-twice the entertainment!
Mom knit a pair of Boot cuffs-she used Chunky Paton's yarn-they are so soft!  These are heading north with Alicia!
Everyone is heading to bed early-we are all very tired from all the fun!
Ella says she feels sick-she ate some chicken nugget in front of the tv watching a movie with Abigail just before bedtime!  It is so nice to have kids time....

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Another Bonus-Family Abounds!

 Late Sunday night....while some of us had a hard time waiting for cousins...
Marsel and kids rolled in just in time for bed!
Not a happy occurrence after such a long trip!
but a rendition of Let it Go helps!
 Monday morning we took a drive to the beach!   It was very brisk and invigorating!
 The colors look good for a skein of yarn!
 Abigail was the first one in~
 Some of us stayed farther away!
 The waves were spectacular!
 But so were the dune huddles!
 We ended up going up by the cars in the parking lot where there was some protection from the wind-it was a LOT warmer!  Ella had fun with her little pile of sand!
 Kids find fun anywhere!
 We actually warmed up in the sun for a bit!
 Abigail had fun feeding the gulls even if it was a bit intimidating!
Alicia and David enjoyed tossing the football!
 I finished Ella's socks on the drive home.
She put them right one-she had been watching me knit so I would go faster!


I couldn't wait to sample a bit of the newly carded wool by using my favorite drop spindle.  Since it had been a few years since I used ...