It has been a very long time…

Yarn Bowl

My beautiful yarn bowl

It has been a while since I have posted. A lot has happened in life. Unfortunately not much of that time has been spent doing anything crafty. Some, but not much. It is funny how life is sometimes. The good news is life has evened out quite a bit and I am making more time for things that I enjoy.

My ex-husband asked me a while back asking me for some new hand knit socks for work. I accepted the assignment and have (slowly) been knitting him socks. I don’t normally take this long to knit socks, but he wanted black socks. I mistakenly started out with a pattern that I know that he likes, but in black yarn it is extremely difficult to see the patterning as I am knitting. Add the splitty nature of the yarn and it means that I have to actually pay attention to what I am doing and no knitting in low light situations.

He wanted black socks so I went on the hunt for inexpensive but decent black yarn. This was a surprisingly difficult task. Not a lot of yarn brands have a black yarn in a sock weight, but I finally found some. I don’t hate the yarn but I am not in love with it either. Like I said, it is on the splitty side, but it has a nice feel to it, sturdy but soft. We will see how it actually holds up to wear. For the next set of socks I am probably going to use the same yarn but a different pattern and see if that helps any. I also was planning on knitting two at a time, but somehow forgot. Next time I will definitely knit them two at a time. Next time I may do a plain ribbed sock instead of the Gentleman’s Sock. It would cut down the time and frustrations with the black yarn. But since they aren’t for me, I will have to consult with him. At least they are finally completed.

I currently have the Renewal Shawl on the needles. Because I am a (mostly) monogamous knitter, I have painfully put it aside while I worked on the socks. It is currently sitting in my lovely yarn bowl. Y’all this yarn bowl is the most beautiful gift I have ever received. Not just because it is gorgeous, but because of the thought that went into it. It is probably the most meaningful gift I have ever received.

My wheel is in need of repair so I haven’t been spinning at all the last *ahem* year or so. I need a new drive band. So I am going to make one out of cotton yarn and we will see how that goes. Hopefully I will have a new blog post before too long with some new spinning.

I haven’t done much else crafty. I have some plans to get some sewing done eventually but it has not been a priority. Since my last blog post I have done a little but not much. I am planning on sewing a couple of weighted blankets. I would also like to sew a couple more project bags and maybe an apron. My mom and I did reupholster a chair and I have helped a small amount with some home improvement projects at my boyfriend’s house. Mostly I sit there and look pretty and keep him company, but I help where I can.

I have been reading a lot lately, but understand that this is a relative term. In the last several months, I have read a few very good books. Books that I have enjoyed:

  • Raven Black by Ann Cleeves
  • Doctor Who: Shada: The Lost Adventure by Douglas Adams by Gareth Roberts
  • In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

I have read a few others and enjoyed them as well, but not to the same extent so I am not even going to mention them. I am currently reading Outlander and am loving it. I highly recommend it. I am finding that I am too sleepy to read much, but again life happens sometimes.

Advertisements

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

Knitting therapy

Although I have decided that I will do no gift knitting this year, I have decided to immerse myself in knitting, spinning, sewing, and writing. My hubby and I were talking earlier and I think we agreed that while this year has been wonderful, there have been quite a few extremely rough moments as well. Our move here was very difficult on me. I love it here, but my heavy school load and spending so much time actually packing and moving all the while being so far away from my husband and I did not make it a habit of allowing myself the time to do anything to help relieve my stress. That doesn’t work well for me so now that I have a little more time on my hands and am even more in need of stress relief, I am making stress relief a priority in my life. What does that mean? Finished projects and lots of plans for hand-made items in the near future!

I drove up to Northwest Arkansas last weekend to spend a little time with my dad and I got a lot of knitting done. I finished one of the vanilla socks I am knitting for me and knit about a half-inch of the ribbing for the second sock. I also finished the Darkside Cowl, and worked a good bit on the second Gentleman’s sock for hubby.

The Darkside Cowl was different to knit. I am in love with the finished product, however the actual knitting was not exactly as loved. It wasn’t overly difficult, it was just not autopilot knitting for me because it isn’t exactly linear. I used some yarn that I spun and dyed a long time ago. I believe that it is BFL and bamboo, but I honestly can’t remember right now. I am very disappointed to see that I didn’t blog the dying of the yarn, but I did do a couple of little posts here and here, about the spinning. The squish of the yarn with this pattern is heavenly. The pattern is done in repeats of 16 rows. I omitted the first row (accidentally) which was a purl row and therefore left out the final row as well. I don’t know how different it would have made it look, but I am perfectly happy without it. I didn’t notice that I had messed up until I was a couple rows in and wasn’t willing to rip back.

IMG_3414

I had purchased some sock yarn with the intentions of knitting socks for my hubby for his birthday in *ahem* May. I have had a lot going on so we are going to leave it at that. I decided on Gentleman Socks by Kristi Schueler. This is a free pattern with multiple sizing. It is done in a 4 row pattern repeat and then a separate pattern on the instep. I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel as that is my current favorite. I like the ease of the knitting and I feel they fit well. I am using this heel for my Knitmore Girls Vanilla socks for me as well. I can’t remember what the yarn is that I am using for the KG Vanilla sock, but I used Patons Kroy for the Gentleman socks. I am pleased with both.

FullSizeRender

My hubby tried to fix my wheel last week and while he made a very good effort, it just isn’t cutting the mustard. Basically there is a rod that connects the treadles to the base and as I spin, the rod tends to walk out. I am going to look into some different options. I think that I am going to save up and buy a new wheel in the next year or two. I love my Babe, but I want something sturdier. Let’s face it I want several wheels. I have definitely gotten my money’s worth out of my Babe and I will probably never get rid of it. It isn’t a great wheel but it is a good wheel and it is my first.

IMG_3410

I purchased some Wizard of Oz fabric a few weeks back that will be turned into a new project back sometime soon. This makes me so happy. I may try to get that done tonight, or at least the cutting done, but I think I am going to go back up to see my dad again tomorrow so I may not have time to get much done. Just in case you were wondering, cancer sucks.

Spring, where are you?

We have officially made it to spring. Unfortunately the weather seems to keep forgetting that it is no longer winter. Here in NW Arkansas, we will have a couple of days of nice weather followed by almost freezing again. My solution? Finish knitting the sweater for my husband. That has to make the temperatures start rising, right?

20140324-111929.jpg
The main body of the sweater is finished and I have cast on one of the sleeves. I am happy with the way the pieces are looking so far. I do feel that the sleeves would have been better to have been knit in the round, but I chose to follow the directions and leave them knit flat. I am sure that this will make attaching them to the body easier. I haven’t been making enough time to knit lately. Shame on me, but that gives me something to work on.

20140324-112059.jpg This is what my evenings have been looking like lately. Staying up later than I should while knitting and watching classic Doctor Who.

My husband and I celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary. The weekend before, we went out to a nice dinner with our little fella and bought a couple of movies to watch at home. We also had wine and strawberries and chocolate while watching the movies. And of course I had my knitting!

20140324-112451.jpg

Who needs monogamy?

For the first time in my knitting career, I have cast on two projects within days of each other, with the intent of working on both projects at the same time. I have been known to cast on a new project if I get bored with a current project, but I only work on one at at time. I know that the sweater will take me a while to knit and I want to start adding to my sock drawer so I cast on a pair of Knitmore Girls Vanilla Socks. I have a feeling that I will end up working on just one project, but I’m going to make a conscious effort to knit on both regularly. I will post pictures at a later time. It’s pretty dark in this room and I have a snuggling baby so I’m not going to get up.
My knitting may be slowed down a little for the month of November, as I am planning on participating in NaNoWriMo. Believe it or not, I can actually write. I like to keep my blog pretty informal, especially since I usually post from my phone. That means there are the occasional autocorrects that I don’t catch, and punctuation errors. I’m excited for it, though 50,000 words is quite a bit considering I am a busy lady. It will take some scheduling time in, but I’m excited for it. If all goes well, I should have my first novel completed on my 31st birthday, which is a pretty awesome birthday present to myself if you ask me. I won’t blog much about it, but in case I don’t blog much in the month of November, you’ll know why!

Unraveled and cast on

Yesterday was a sad day as I unraveled the Fog sweater. I was very impressed that I had a difficult time finding all my woven ends. I had to make my own end in a few spots because I wasn’t able to find the ends! That is quite an accomplishment for me since weaving ends is my biggest challenge in knitting. I feel like no matter what I do, they are always obvious. Maybe it was just the yarn, but I will take it! I ended up with several balls of Cascade Ecological Wool to make a whole new project. I found an awesome sweater to knit and then started reading the pattern which actually called for a DK weight. Eco is a bulky so it was not a great choice for this pattern and really I felt the pattern would get lost in the color anyway. I did some more digging and found the Bethel Woods Cardigan by Lionbrand. It is a relatively plain cardigan which I like because it will be able to be worn with a lot of things. I might make a miniature version for Jonathan if I have enough yarn left over. Since we are having another sick day, I have managed to cast on the back and knit about an inch of ribbing so far. I foresee a lot of knitting in my future today. I’m feeling a lot better but I’m still exhausted. The pictures below are all of the balls that the fog sweater made and me casting in while watching The Chew while Jonathan played quietly.

20131021-134105.jpg

20131021-134115.jpg

Section Complete!

My beautiful Citron is nearing the end, but the last section has seemed to be slow going. This is not just because it has so many more stitches but because I had lots of distractions the last week. Last week I hardly slept so I was a little slow moving and I was having trouble making complete sentences let alone follow a pattern!
My weekend wasn’t filled with knitting either. Saturday I spent in bed with a headache. I love my sweet little boy, but he has this bad habit of throwing his head around when he’s mad. Long story short, he didn’t want to put his pjs on Friday night and head butted me in the eye and gave me a black eye. My head hurt so bad Saturday and I couldn’t open my eye half of the day. It finally felt a better late Saturday afternoon. Sleep fixes everything! Sunday we went for a little family trip. We live in Northwest Arkansas and live about an hour away from lovely Eureka Springs. We didn’t do a whole lot other than walk around, but I had a great time just hanging out with my fellas. I highly recommend Eureka Springs to anyone that is going to be in this area. If nothing else, the drive through the Ozark Mountains is worth it. If you do visit and you like fudge or taffy, be sure to visit Two Dumb Dames fudge shop. The Heath fudge is to die for. They also have an online shop, but they only ship 3 days a week to ensure freshness. Go buy some now. You won’t be sad that you did.

20131016-122402.jpg
After an exciting and restful weekend I finally made it through the last section last night after I finished paperwork. I had to catch up on the latest episode of Bones so I sat in the living room and watched Bones on Hulu on my phone and finished the last section. Now on to the ruffled edging! Just 11 rows left before I bind off! Hopefully I will get it finished in the next few days and will be able to take a finished picture!