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Fiber Christmas in July

The funny thing about time is how fast it can get away from you. I realized today that it has been a while since I have posted. Almost a year. Amazing what all can happen in such a small amount of time. The biggest thing that happened is that our family status has changed a bit. We decided to celebrate the new year by getting married at midnight.

In July, I got to go to the Oklahoma Fiber Christmas in July. I took some muggle friends of mine on the trip. I have been meaning to blog about it for *ahem* 7 months now. I picked up several lovelies while I was there. I went to the event several years ago and was very excited for the opportunity to go again this year. There were so many wonderful vendors.

I had a plan going in. I was going to make a lap through the whole building before I made any purchases, I wanted to find a new drop spindle, and I was going after fiber only, not yarn. After the first few booths, there was a lady who had a SpinOlution wheel. I was ecstatic since I have been drooling over them online for years. I got to ask some questions and try one out. I realized that as much as I would love to have a sturdy full sized wheel, I am not at a point in my life that I can have one that isn’t portable. I hope to have a space some day that a wheel can have a permanent spot but right now I have 3 kids and a 3 bedroom house. She let me try out a King Bee. It was love at first sight. Even more so after I spun on it. I very much appreciate greentarafarm.com for allowing me to play around on it for a bit. When it comes time to make that purchase, it will be from her. I did pick up a super lovely pair of alpaca socks at the next booth because I couldn’t make myself put them down.

I turned the corner and there it was. I didn’t know what I was looking for in a drop spindle, but I hoped that would find the right one. It was staring me right in the face. It is a beautiful spindle with a Tardis on the top! It was fate. I did manage to only buy the spindle from that vendor. There was so many gorgeous batts and it was so difficult. I thought I was going to go back and if I hadn’t had people analyzing my fiber purchases, I would have done it. I did make it through most of the rest of the booths before I made any other purchases. I found one that had somewonderful soap. That was obviously a need.

After more browsing, I walked into apothefaery’s booth and couldn’t say no to a beautiful batt and some dyes that I have been wanting to try. It was another time that I could have spent way more there than what I did, but I managed to hold out because there were still booths to hit.

I was almost through all of the booths when a pretty little bit of roving caught my eye and then a sock blank. I know that I wasn’t going to buy yarn but it was the only yarn that I purchased. Right around the corner was the vendor I was hoping would be there. I was very excited to walk in and see Dawn with all of her pretty batts. I might have gone nuts. So nuts. I couldn’t make decisions and I have loved her fiber in the past. I was not at all disappointed by my purchases there.

It was a great fiber acquisition trip with twowonderful ladies. We had such a wonderful time, even if they don’t quite understand the draw of knitting and spinning. I may not have made two new knitters or spinners out of the trip, but they do have a deeper appreciation for my art and that is all I can really ask for.

All over the page · Finished Projects · move · WIP

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
Finished Projects · knitting · sewing · WIP

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

All over the page · School

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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Finished Projects · knitting

No second Sock Syndrome here!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas and general holiday season. I love Christmas, but with a toddler, this year it was slightly stressful for me. We managed to only have a few ornament casualties and we didn’t put out presents until the evening of Christmas Eve. I finally finished knitting the second sock in the pair I was knitting. All that’s left is weaving ends. I think I may have to do that today.

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I haven’t been doing much other knitting lately because I have been letting life get in the way. Honestly my stress levels go up drastically when I don’t knit that it makes me not feel like knitting and then we end up in this vicious cycle that sadly doesn’t involve knitting. No worries, I have several projects being planned out right now. I did start knitting on the Bethel Woods Cardigan for mg hubby again this week. I am still not completely sure that I am comfortable with this while uneven number of stitches in a 2X2 rib, but whatever. I am hoping that I don’t end up with some weird seam trying to hide extra columns of stitches. The Lionbrand site says that the pattern is completely up to date and I haven’t found any other posts of people having an issue, so either they are making a different size that has even numbers of stitches or I’m just crazy. I’ll knit it like the pattern says but I am not going to like it! Lol! If I get it finished and it looks funky, I’m ripping it out and knitting it in one piece. I’ll update more on that as I make more progress. Hopefully it won’t involve ripping things out.
I am wanting to start spinning more, but I am running into issues with my wheel and children. I still haven’t fixed my wheel from the last time my child broke it (no permanent damage, just loosened the nut holding the actual part that turns the wheel) and now I watch another child during the day, so I can’t always be in one room and I don’t trust either of them near it, even though she is older. Right now it is hidden in my storage closet which the kids aren’t allowed to get in to. It makes me so sad to have it locked away, but I don’t want it broken more permanently. I need to work on my schedule so that I can work more on things that I want to work on.
Speaking on scheduling, I am spending a lot of my time trying to learn a new skill (non fiber arts related). I’m one of those people who want to do it all, but I have had to sit down and look at life realistically. If something were to happen to my husband or he decided that he wanted to retire one day, I’m not in a very good position to jump into a career. I don’t have a ton of formal schooling and while I have a lot of experience in data entry and customer service, It isn’t my first choice of ways to spend my life. I’d love to write, but I don’t think I have the drive to do that, at least not at this point in my life, although I will always write. It’s what I do. By the way, my blog should not be any indication of my writing style! Lol! So what I am trying to say is that my spare time is being pulled yet another direction, as I am doing a ton of independent studying right now. I am not planning on quitting knitting or blogging, but my progress and posts probably won’t likely be as often as I’d like. Who knows. Maybe I will surprise myself!
Now since today is Saturday, I am going to spend most of the day laying around knitting, so I better get to it!

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Uncategorized

Being crafty is a fine art

In the last few weeks, I have really been trying to make more time for the things that I love most. It has been a little hit and miss. I love spinning, I love knitting, I really enjoy sewing, but more importantly I love my little boy. I am still trying to find the best balance between doing the normal chores around the house, raising my son, and enjoying my passions. I haven’t touched my knitting in days, but we have gone to the splash pad and celebrated my hubby’s birthday, so I am calling this a victory. I have also cut out a rough pattern for my next sewing project. It isn’t super secret or anything, but I don’t want to reveal too much until it is done. Mostly just in case I decide to do something different with the fabric. I am still trying to hammer out the details of my design so it will be a while before it is finished. I may end up picking up another fabric for the contrast, too.

The thing that I enjoy more about sewing than knitting or spinning is that, while I know how to sew from a regular pattern, I prefer to do my own designs. I am basing this one off of a bought pattern, only for the basic shape, but then there will be many modifications to it so it is loosely based on it. My friend Bethany pinned a pattern on Pinterest the other day that I fell in love with and will be making at some point in the near future. She made one and it came out adorable. I am afraid that the fabric that I bought may end up being used for this bag instead. You should check out Bethany’s blog, Pretty Little Fiber Co. She is an amazing knitter, spinner, photographer, and is a pretty awesome person in general. I am thankful to have friends like her in my life. We have a wonderful group that gets together every other week to knit, talk, and enjoy each other’s company. I love that I get to see my best friend, Jessica, every other week, and recently her newest addition to the family, Mae, as well. Without Jessica especially, and the other ladies in the group, I don’t know where I would be right now.

Progress may be slow on everything I am doing, but I will have more updates coming! Have a wonderfully yarny day!

Finished Projects

Almost counts in spinning, right

Almost only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades, but I think it counts in spinning too. I started plying up the singles that I’ve been working on forever. I forgot that my sweet little boy threw my bobbin I use for plying and broke it the other day. It’s plastic and just the end broke off where the two pieces were joined. I’m pretty sure that the super glue that I have will do the trick. I stuck it back together and am going to let it sit overnight to be on the safe side. I only got about 3/4 of the bobbin filled when the bobbin started popping apart so I went ahead and washed it so it is hanging to dry now. I first did a few yards as a sample to see how it’d come out and I knit it up. I am in love. So the entire amount that I have is not done, but because I can see what it’s going to look like and I will finish tomorrow, I’m calling it almost finished and that makes me happy.
I did complete my sewing project during nap time today. Jonathan is the proud owner of two toddler pillows! Now I understand that he is 19 months old and is not really supposed to have a lot in his crib with him, but we started putting small baby blankets in with him since he was about 14 or 15 months old. I’m a scardy at when it comes to my baby. Some things are not worth the risk, but I feel confident in the pillow that I have made for him. They are one inch thick and are foam so they shouldn’t be all fluffed on his little face. I had so much fun with this little project. It made two pillows. I am barely more than a beginner in front if a sewing machine, but these turned out well. There are things I would change for next time, but I am very pleased with how they turned out. I did a hem around the open end edge and they matched up perfectly. You can’t tell where the seam started and ended. I have a few more sewing projects planned, but they will have to wait until I can get more fabric.

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