Thursday, March 31, 2011

Oh Noes!

So, guess who forgot that she'd be a single parent this week?

Yeah, I'm that kind of smart spelled I-D-I-O-T.

This week, my husband is in training.  Man night is not called off, and apparently they have social meet and greets after class.  In the next state over.  If I see my husband before he leaves for work it's a victory.  But if shorty stays up long enough to see him at night it's a total complete loss.  Think soul-crushing exhaustion and then add in pre-schooler reaction.... you have a little atomic bomb of misery just waiting to go off the first time little man is thwarted.


So, in the afternoons/evenings instead of quality knitting time I get greeted with something like this:
I swear I did vacuum recently... just not today.
I'm sure you can guess who won this round....
Not bad for 4.
The rest of the week has involved knitting MORE sheep.  My husband apparently volunteered me to make little presents for friends he plans on visiting next week.  When I see him again, he will get his gifts and a few words about my time.  Loving words, but words nonetheless.

In recompense, I'm finally starting to knit this beauty.  Can't wait.....
I dyed this!
New pattern, new(ly dyed) yarn, and next week I will have a little time to myself.  Don't worry, I won't let it go to my head.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

It's been a while...

So, things have been busy at 200 Shawl Central.  I've been knitting, but it's been mainly knitting infidelity.  I should be ashamed.  I really should.

Some of this is for the show that was put off at the coffee shop.  They are waiting for Old Home day since their original weekend clashed with something else that was happening in the area.  Since I've hit 18 shawlettes, 8 felted bags, and 16 market bags I'm going to walk away from the show knitting for a while.  It sounds like a lot, but I'm sure they'd like more.  I just really want to focus back on the 200.  I'm up to 20 shawls out of 200, and I need to finish blocking and take pictures of the latest and then post them.  It takes me about an hour to take the pictures, about an hour to edit them (meaning cut them down to size) and at least an hour to blog about them.  So it may be next week before I get to them :(

Here's a quick photo chain of what I've been up to shawlette and shawl-wise.

First, these:
finally blocked out

there are 2 of these, one for the blog one for the shop
silk singlespun
These are some of the blocked 'ettes that are waiting for hang-tags.

Then this:
Was knit into this:
Which needs to be blocked.  But I thought it might be nice to show what it looks like pre-blocking.

These are also entering the blocking line up

While working on writing out the pattern for Autumn Glow, I realized that I hadn't explored fully what I wanted to do with it.  So this is a test-knit blocking out

Then I started on these:
Originally, there were 4 of these... guess who absconded with one?
I started a White Rabbit (have some great chessboard fabric that will become a waistcoat, and a pocket-watch button to go with it) as a gift.  Here, I'm deciding how to put the ears on.... looks a little intimidating
look out, he's got dpn's hiding in his ears
Then, there were these:
number 2 and number 3
The original test knit was done in an alpaca boucle that I had left-over from something else... but as with much I knit someone absconded with it.
I found the shaping of the head a little off in this test knit & have since modified it.
But, really... could you resist letting him have it?
Yeah, me either.

Anyway, computer troubles have been solved and work is about to become less frenetic.  I'm dedicating one day a week to the stuffies for the next ~ 3 months.  I'm hoping to get into a more regular blogging rhythm now that life is no longer creating fireworks.

Thanks to everyone who waited me out, and all those who make it to the bottom of this long post!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Spring can't be that far off

So, this is not related to knitting.  But it is related to Spring, which I've been craving like it were made of chocolate.

Today, I ran into my first skunk of the season.  She tends to hibernate under our shed, and this morning she poked herself out and trotted off.  This is not a picture of our skunk, I'm not brave enough to try a flash camera @ skunk... but it shares her markings:

Plus, it has green in the background.... it's a win-win.

Today, we're currently experiencing a small snow.  Nothing big, nothing that will accumulate.  Basically tiny specks of ice... a little harder and more slippery than snow, but not enough to be called actual ice. 

Seeing the skunk on the move again, though, lets me know that spring is waking up.

About our skunk:  I don't discourage her from camping out on our property.  Skunks are decent neighbors as long as you're a decent neighbor to them.  Occasionally, she and I will share grapes at my front steps.  She protects my rabbits from predators when they're in their outdoor hutches and in return I provide her with little bits of fruit and occasional cat food.  She is an inquisitive and intelligent animal who is content to live and let live.  I kind of like having her around.  She's a reminder that good neighbors can come where you least look for them.  Plus tiny baby skunks?  SO cute it's hard to remember they'll be stanky later.

Monday, March 7, 2011

post, post, postedy-post

So this weekend was a marathon of cold-related symptoms and fending off the rough affection of a (much better feeling) 4 year old.  As you probably guess, this means I didn't get anything on my honey-do list done.

So here are some random pictures for you.  This first is what happens when you consistently pick up the incorrect size needles.  The resulting fabric becomes stiff, unmovable, and improper for the pattern.  So you take this mess:

To the frog pond.

You might take a poke at this as well:

A sample for me to keep.  Here's a closeup of the beads/yarn:

And finally, you might fall off the sanity wagon and do a bit of this:

So, that's what I did with my weekend.  How about you?

Friday, March 4, 2011

If you haven't found this site yet

Ok, so this isn't about MY knitting.  I know most of the folks out there are more knitting blog savvy than myself, but I want to share one of my personal favorite blogs

Kristin Nichols' Getting Stitched on the Farm

Okay, so if you don't recognize the name, Kristin Nichols is a pretty amazing designer who advocates and teaches classes on the use of color.  In my head, I call it "love your color" classes and someday I hope to be able to do one of her retreats (or many, y'know how that is).  This is a direct link to Kristin's shop, she does amazing things.

But in addition to being an amazing designer and color visionary, Kristin and her family raise sheep.  A LOT of sheep. 

What is amazing about this family is that they manage a large flock in the middle of some pretty aggressive landscape.  They feed their sheep in the most natural way possible, and you can tell from Kristin's blog posts that the family loves what they do.   I also appreciate that, although she doesn't stick the sadder parts of farming in your face, Kristin does approach it in a respectful and understanding manner.  Farm work is dirty, hard, and under appreciated.  Good farmers do a service for the land, above and beyond the services that they provide to an 'end user.'  These folk are more than merely good farmers.

I know I'm probably the last person to have found her, but if you've got time on your hands and want to read about the real life, day-to-day living with sheep you have to try this blog. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

wait, where did Wednesday go?

Wow, this week has just zipped by.  Or maybe not, I have been kind of swamped at work (but in a productive way for a change).  I am gathering together my various lobster pots and am going into the dark and rarely trodden section of my crafting supplies to fetch out my dying stuff. 

The lobster pots were a yard-sale find and I ended up with 3 of them in decent dying sizes for $5 USD.  They were still in their plastic wrap even, so they were a good deal that has helped me out over the years.  I like to use Dharma Trading Company's dyes for both cotton/linen/rayon types and for protein based stuff like silk/wool.  It's not what I'll be using today on the cotton bags, though.  I have some RIT left over from a fund-raising project, so I'm going to use that up since it's already paid for.

Yeah, not the most exciting combo but it does an acceptable job on cottons.... where I should theoretically be focusing. 

Not sure how much dying will be accomplished today, but I'm going to take a solid stab at it.

I have these waiting in the wings for acid dying:

From right to left, single spun tussah, fingering weight wool, mid-weight alpaca/silk lace, and light-weight lambswool lace. 

I'm looking for a particular tint and haven't been able to find it for sale.  I figure since I know what I want I should take a stab at creating it.  Anyhoo, if you see someone who has dye marks that end at suspicious glove demarcation lines... just pretend I'm not as crazy as I suspect this makes me.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

so wow....

Deadline knitting.  Not as much fun as it sounds...  well not if it is all one color like this:

12 bags, one week.  tired knitter
 On the other ... hand...  ugh punnery...  anyway, my hand is doing much better.  I tend to be both a "shover" and a "poker" when moving around yarn this heavy.  Worsted weight or heavier, and I end up with bruises on my fingers from putting the needle tip on one of them to move the fabric. 

hard to take pictures of your right hand with your left hand....
So, yeah, to crank those out, I have been wearing bandaids on my thumb and finger to protect them from relentless poking.  It looks darn shabby, but works pretty well.

Aaaand I have 12 more of those suckers to knit... but I've scheduled Thursday as dip-dye day.  So, I'm looking forward to dying those suckers something other than bleached white.  Yay color!