Working Spinning Wheel!

At some point in the last two years, my monster sweet darling, adorable, tiny, innocent little boy decided to take my wheel for a spin. He stood on it and bent the rod that holds the treadles in place. I have always had issues with the rod walking its way out of place but after my son decided to ride on it, it has been near impossible to use. I decided then that I needed to just wait until I could come up with a good fix for it or buy a new wheel entirely. Yesterday we made a family trip to Lowe’s. My hubby needed to pick up some pvc to make fishing rod holders for his kayak and I decided that we would search for the right thing to replace the rod. I should mention that I tried cotter pins, but they walked themselves out just about as fast as the rod did. I finally found the fix. I purchased a 3 foot length of threaded metal rod. Basically it is like a screw without a head on it. I just cut a foot off of it and it works perfect!

I realize that it has been a little over 6 months since I last posted. I have had a lot of things happen in that time. Quick update. My dad passed away December 16, which was just a few days after my last blog post. I miss him very much. Some day I am going to make a big long post of memories with him, happy thoughts, and all that, but I am not there yet.

We also decided to purchase a house here in Hot Springs Village! I love our house. We have a neighbor right next door and beyond that, we are surrounded by woods. We are really settling in the area. I am starting to meet more people and making new friends. I still miss all my NWA people, but I do love it here. We are talking about converting a good chunk of our garage into an art studio/wood shop plus we have an office as well. We have also added to our family. We knew someone who had a kitty that needed a home so we brought home Lily the day before we moved into our new house. A week later we found out she was pregnant. We are now outnumbered by animals. She had two babies, a boy that I named Sebastian and a girl I named Daphne. We are keeping both.

In all the craziness of things going on lately, I haven’t made much time for knitting or anything. I have finished a shawl, save for blocking. I also have a cat toy to bind off and stuff. I have completed an entire pair of socks plus another sock that I will be casting on the second sock very soon. Since this is a lot of updates, I am going take some time over the next week or so to go into more details on things. For now I will leave you with a picture of a pair of completed socks for my husband and a sock that I started for my son. I have not finished the kiddo socks yet.

Sock family

Sock family

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When life gets in the way

I mentioned yesterday that I have had a lot of non knitting things going on and I thought I would make a separate post to go into, at least a little bit of what has been taking up my time from knitting. This will be a tad long. You have been warned. Sadly the bulk of what I have been doing is planning for the future and that means I have nothing physical to show for it so I feel as though I have accomplished nothing, even while I have accomplished quite a bit.

First of all one I am starting back to school this fall and because of that, I have been running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to get everything turned in and situated for classes and financial aid. This may not seem like that big of a task, but I had a hold on my account for not paying a fee that I didn’t have any clue was owed. Once I got that squared away and got my application put in again and all, I couldn’t log into the school website. It ended up taking me something like 3 phone calls to get that fixed only to find out that I couldn’t register for classes because I had another hold on my account. Apparently they sent something to an address I haven’t lived at in over 7 years and the mail was returned. They didn’t use the address that I had on my application, which would likely be a better address than one I used 10 years ago. In fact since that time, I have lived at other addresses and been registered for classes and have never had this problem. After several phone calls, I finally got it fixed. Then there is the financial aspect of it. Financial aid and applying for scholarships takes a lot of effort and time. I am still waiting (im)patiently to see how much this is going to set me back next semester. I honestly can’t imagine getting ready for school with a full time job and a toddler, because it has taken me weeks of being a stay at home mom with a toddler and having time to do things. A lot of it has been waiting on other people to get things done and now I am playing the waiting game on all my financial aid stuff. For once I didn’t procrastinate and I am so thankful for that. I know that all of this will be worth it in the end, because it will put me in a better position to do the things that I would like to do as Jonathan gets older and as it gets closer to my hubby getting ready to retire. We are hopefully looking at 15 years, give or take, so I should be able to be done with school and get a good career going by then. I hate that it has taken me until my thirties to get all of this going, but life is what it is.

Outside of preparing for school, it has been a lovely, busy spring so far. Jonathan and I went with my dad and one of my best friends and her two boys to Silver Dollar City and Branson. It was so much fun. The day we came back from Branson, hubby and I took little man on his first camping trip. So far I have really enjoyed camping in the hammocks, though once the bugs start getting thicker, we will have to get the bug nets before we can do it again. Jonathan’s first camping trip was wonderful. He had a lot of fun. The campsite that we went to is in a lovely Arkansas State park nearby on the lake. We chose a site that was up above all the others so that we could have a little bit of privacy and it is now our favorite spot. We ended up going again the next weekend, just the two of us. It was wonderful, even if it was a quick trip. I think that if the weather keeps this up, we will be going camping a lot this year. While it was easier without the little guy, I sure don’t sleep well when he isn’t around so he will be.

I have been itching really bad to do some spinning. It has been almost a year since the last time I have gotten to use my wheel. Shortly after we moved into this house, some sweet adorable little boy stood on my wheel and knocked a nut loose so now it doesn’t treadle. It is a simple fix, only it requires a wrench which I haven’t made the time to look for. I will look for it tonight or tomorrow, because I want to get back to spinning really badly.

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A birthday and some knitting

I haven’t put as much time into knitting this weekend as I could have because my sweet baby boy had a birthday on Saturday. I will come back to knitting in a minute. Let me just tell you his party was doomed. I almost cancelled early on because of some issues and decided not to. Well we should have cancelled in the beginning because we ended up canceling on Saturday a few hours before the party. There were a few issues factoring in the decision and it turned out to be the best decision. The cake was terrible, I was feeling under the weather, the storm caused my hubby to be in a lot if pain, Jonathan took an early nap, and we were very content to just hang out and all pile in his room and play with his new toys. I can’t believe I’m the mother of a two year old.

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So playing with toys and hanging out with birthday boy in between feeling like poo only left me with a little while to knit. I have completed another section on my Citron so I only have two sections left. They are getting to be long rows though, so I don’t expect them to go by very fast. I think I will have it finished this week if I work hard on it and use my time wisely.
I am wanting to do some charity knitting this year. I am a slacker when it comes to knitting. I have all these huge plans on what I want to knit and then I start one project and frog it and then another and I find the UFO a few years later. I am very much a planner but occasionally my follow through is lacking. It’s one of those things I am trying to work on about myself. In the town I live, there is a homeless guy. Note me rephrase that, there is a particular homeless guy that I have wanted to knit for probably since I learned to knit. I don’t have money to give, but I would love to knit him a nice warm thick scarf and beanie for cold days. Maybe I will knit him gloves and thick wool socks too, but let’s face it, I haven’t knit anything yet. Maybe I should make a deadline for the scarf and hat. Then I can wrap it up with some food to give to him next time I see him. I have some other projects that I want to knit, charity wise, but I think I need to only commit to one or two at a time or they will never get done. I will be starting the scarf next weekend. I think that would be good.
I also want to finish my little monster I am knitting before too long. It’s a fun fur monster that I’m just winging the pattern on. It’s going to be cute I think. I hope. Fingers crossed. I hate knitting with fun fur and I love it at the same time. I love to touch fun fur. It draws happy feelings from deep inside, but then it’s impossible to see stitches, and it looks like a sad muppet so I don’t like it at the same time as I love it. It’s definitely used for projects few and far between and it’s always gifted to me. Anyway I can’t wait to have some finished project pictures.

It’s been a crazy couple of months

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. Not because I haven’t wanted to, but because we moved and things have been crazy.
We finally moved to a bigger house. We have rooms for everyone and we even have a small office space and a nice backyard. We are very happy where we are at. It also meant that for two weeks, I spent every free moment moving boxes, packing and unpacking. It was worth it, but it been hectic. Now that things are calmed down a bit, I’ve been making more time for knitting and crafting.
Even since I started writing this blog post, things have been more hectic! I got distracted while writing this on Thursday and then Friday I wound up in the hospital with kidney stones. I had to have surgery yesterday to remove them. So please bear with me as I am medicated so sentences aren’t what they used to be!
I am almost finished with my bubble wrap cowl. I can’t seem to find the pattern so I am going to have to rely on memory to finish it, but I think that will be easy enough to do.
The Fog Sweater that I knit for my hubby a few years back is entirely too much sweater for him. It is beautiful, but is about 10 lbs worth of sweater and probably would be better suited for winters further north. I am looking for a better pattern to use the yarn for that he will actually be able to wear. To the frog pond it goes!
I have several different sweaters that I want to knit for myself, but I don’t know that I will get around to it any time soon. One of those being the Dahlia Cardigan. I just need some yarn for it. Soon. Very soon.
After years of feeling super guilty for spending any money on yarn and yarn accessories, I will finally have a yarn budget soon. It won’t be a lot of yarn budget, but better than none. I plan on stocking up on sock yarns and I would like to have at least 2 sweaters worth and 2 shawls worth in my stash at all times. So many things to knit, so little yarn!
I have also decided to learn to tat. This is an interesting venture and I don’t know how well I will do at it. I will probably make a tarred bookmark and never pick it up again. I have been wanting to get back into cross stitching lately and it almost satisfies that desire. Almost. Something about fall makes me love cross stitching. I don’t know why.

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Fiber Christmas in July

Well I haven’t had a whole lot of spare time to blog lately. I suppose that is what happens when you have a 9 month old who won’t sit still for 2 seconds. I have gotten quite a bit of knitting done lately though, at least considering I have a full time job and have  a sweet baby boy. I have no finished objects to show for my knitting, but I hope to have some soon. I’ll get to that in a bit. First a recap of my weekend.

I got to spend the weekend in the Tulsa area with two wonderful ladies. My best friend Jessica and our dear knitting buddy Cassie. Bethany was supposed to join the group as well, but she was sick so we missed out on her company. After a slow start (My alarm didn’t go off) we made our way to Kellyville, OK to the Fiber Christmas in July. This was my first event of this size and I had a blast. We started out at fiber festival and made a big loop around just window shopping then we headed over to Loops South for some more shopping. We each made some purchases at Loops, I believe each of us a sweaters worth of yarn, and then headed back to Kellyville to make fiber purchases. I have to say that we did so well. We decided ahead of time what it was that we wanted to buy and didn’t really need to buy. We made a full loop around the festival before making any purchases (well except for Cassie, but in her defense we were almost all the way around and it was a deal that was too awesome to pass up) and really stuck with what we needed rather than going totally crazy buying everything we petted. I wish I could have bought more, but I am so thankful for what I did get to buy. I will post pictures later, but I bought 16 oz of BFL, 8 oz of polwarth, 1 gorgeous batt and a bit of sparkles by Dawning Dreams, and 2 oz of charcoal bamboo/sparkle thanks to Cassie. Not a bad day if you ask me. So after all of the fibery goodness, we grabbed a bite to eat and headed back to the hotel to get comfy and knit for the evening. We went downstairs and hung out in some big comfy chairs and knitted while watching the Olympics and Ghost. Perfect kind of evening. Oh and we taught a little girl how to knit. She walked by from the pool and told her mom that she had been wanting to learn. We told her to come on and learn and they came back with yarn and crochet hooks. Well we improvised on some needles for her and taught her and her mom to knit. Both picked it up pretty fast. I hope they keep it up. Sunday we knitted a bit after breakfast, went to see What to Expect, and then headed to the Cheesecake Factory for lunch. Oddly we didn’t eat any cheesecake. A quick stop in at Babies R Us and Jo-Anns and we headed home.

After a weekend like that, I have to say I have some of the greatest friends ever. Some days I feel so lonely but then I look and see the wonderful ladies that are in my life and I am so thankful for them.

While on the trip I had a goal of finishing chart one of the Queen Anne’s Lace shawl and I actually achieved this goal! Let me back up. I had some issues with the shawl before and since I was too good for a lifeline, or so I apparently thought, I ended up ripping the entire thing out and restarted it a little over a week ago, I think it was. I have mostly been knitting on it during breaks at work, but the first chart is now done! I have been running lifelines every couple of rows because I am playing it safe this time around!

My treat for being so good and actually finishing the first chart was to cast on the Sidelines Top from the Fall 2008 Interweave Knits magazine. I originally bought the yarn to knit the Dahlia sweater, but when I was looking for my pattern, I came across Sidelines and realized that was what this yarn was meant to be. I have about 2.5 inches of the back knitted so far. I am excited.

I will post pictures of all my loot and maybe some in progress shots in a couple of days. I am so sleepy so I guess it is bedtime!

More blankie work and project planning

I am apparently not very observant on some things. I just found out, 2 years later, that there is a knit version of the Spiderman blankie. Yeah. I think once I finish with the crochet inspired version, I will knit one. All I have left to do is finish stitching on the web. As I am sitting here typing this, I just thought of a different way I could do it. I think I will go home and pull out what I have and do it the new way. Sounds like a ton of work wasted, but maybe it will be finished soon! Sunday I knit 1.5 dish cloths. It was just something to do. I need to work on finding new projects from my stash. My stash is not near big enough. I think that I need to work on an afghan out of scrap yarns. I also want to crochet a granny square afghan. This is purely thanks to Latisha since she is now crocheting! LOL! For the Dozen Shawls in 20Dozen, I am doing the easier of the two patterns, because I know I have needles for it. This is a sad reason to choose a knit, but I think the pattern is really pretty, too. I think I may start on that sooner rather than wait until January to cast on, but only because I have an infant and I am sure that I will have a difficult time keeping up anyway. I figure this is the only chance I will get. If I somehow manage to get it done before January, I will go ahead and do the other one.

I haven’t been spinning. It isn’t because I don’t want to, I just don’t have much fiber or much money to buy fiber, and even if I did, I don’t have much space to spin or much time. Lots of the word much in that sentence. I think that I need to sit down and schedule time to spin as well as to knit. Obviously flexible since I have an infant, but maybe 30 minutes a few days a week to spend immersed in my passions.

My handsome little man is 2 months old. I can hardly believe it. He weighed 9 lbs 3 oz and was 22 inches long at his appointment Thursday. I started back to work on Nov 30 (my birthday) and I am having a really hard time. I miss him so much. I know that he is in good hands when I am away, but I still miss him terribly. I am so glad that I got my tubes tied, because if I hadn’t we would end up with a whole houseful of kids. As crazy as people seem to think the Duggars are, I can totally understand why they would have that many kids. I am not in a financial position to have 19, 9 or even 4 kids, so I won’t even try. My heart goes out to the Duggar family after the loss of their baby recently. Jonathan is challenging. I am tired all the time, I have to plan everything around him and financially, I am WAY over my head, but I wouldn’t trade him for anything. I truly have the two best men in my life. One tiny little man and them my big handsome man. I am so lucky and feel so blessed to have both of them, even when they drive me a little batty!

 

The good, the bad, and the handspun

I want to start with a quick pregnancy update. For those uninterested skip to the next paragraph. I had a doctors appointment Friday. All is well, but the doctor informed me that since I am now “insulin dependent”, I will be having this baby early. I am not totally upset about this since I am anxious to hold my sweet little boy. We will have an ultrasound this coming Friday as well as the first of many NSTs (non-stress tests) and another doctors appointment.

On to fibery business. 

Saturday I got to go with Bethany and Cassie to a spinning guild meeting in Winslow. It was wonderful.  I chose to leave my wheel at home because I didn’t want to lug it around so I just took my spindle and some knitting. I am kind of glad that I didn’t take my wheel because it was very packed. It was difficult for this wide load pregnant lady to maneuver all the wheels!  I am pretty sure I am going to learn a ton, which excites me! I borrowed a book from their library, The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning that I would like for my personal library. It has definitely resparked my need to spin. Last night I Navajo plied a bobbin of Merino/bamboo singles I spun a while back. It came out pretty. Then I decided to Navajo ply the first set of singles that I currently have in process on my spindle.  Well something bad happened. I somehow forgot that I spin opposite on my wheel than I do on my spindle so plying on my wheel was the wrong direction causing a very kinky, curly mess. All evening long I drove myself crazy trying to figure out what I had done wrong. I finally woke up somewhere around 3 AM and it smacked me square in the face that I have ran into this problem before. Now I have to figure out how to fix this problem. While I try to figure this out, I will spin some alpaca! 🙂