Sunday, July 26, 2020

Yopping Update #4 - Trusting the pattern

First things first - I finished the final two bobbins of my peruvian wool and then plied it with the silk I spun from the hankies.  I am very pleased with how it turned out, although I did get into a bit of a tangle plying when one bobbin ran out sooner than the others.  I untangled the mess and then chain plied the last 22 gms.

I had some silk left over that I chained plied also for a 18 metre mini skein of pure silk.

The rest of the week was spent on the Dahlia.  OMG people - this is the most confusing pattern (and I have knit Elizabeth Zimmerman's surprise sweater).  I am so glad I labeled all the pieces and I think I understand how it all goes together.

Here is my progress up to last night:

two balls of wool left of original five - I think Amiga will have to be frogged to finish sleeves.  Time will tell.

The lace is the back.  The white you see is where the afterthought sleeve will go on the right side.  I have finished the bottom of the back and I am almost finished the top of the back, then I will pick up all the stitches and carry on with the left side of the sweater.  Clear as mud?  I though so.  Maybe this picture from the pattern will help you.
Thank you to Interweave for this mind numbing pattern.  It is slowly starting to make sense, but it is taxing my poor left/right addled brain. My mantra these days - "Trust the Pattern!"

On the non-knitting/spinning front I did have two social distanced events.  I met with two friends at a local park for a couple of hours to chat, and then I met another friend at the plaza near my library.  I brought my own chair both times, and it was nice to visit with people after such a long hiatus.  I will probably give it a go again next week too.

I have been spending as much time as possible in the sun on the back deck, as well as taking my walks to feed the teenaged ducks.

Wishing I was there with them

I won two more prizes in the Tour de Fleece.  My husband says I should go by a lottery ticket.  I will post pictures of my prizes once they arrive - Two bundles of fleece for spinning and a 'mystery' gift.
I am feeling lucky these days.

Take care everyone - this pandemic is far from over and being cautious and sensible is the order of the days to come.  If you want to follow other yoppers check out their posts at the top right of my blog.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Yopping update #3 - Spin Spin Spin

Tour de Fleece ends today so I have been spinning every day since June 27th.  Sometimes spinning is carding, plying, washing, thwacking, weighing and measuring too. Today is the last day, although it sounds like we are going to go again in August when the actual Tour de France is happening.  Here is this week's progress:

two finished skeins - both chain plied

aiming for 3ply fingering - wish me luck  

first bobbin done - starting 2nd bobbin today

finished spinning all the silk hankies - plan to ply it with fingering (see above) to make a silk/wool blend

first time with turkish spindle

turkish spindle plying
 I was gifted the turkish spindle by the same person that gave me his mother's spinning wheel.  It was a bag of treasures of various drop spindles and two turkish spindles and some fleece too.  There was also some weaving paraphernalia which I identified most of, for example:

antique boat shuttle (bobbin missing)

However, these two 'devices'?  Any ideas what these are? 

made from gourds

I have done a wee bit of knitting on the Dahlia, two panels done for the back, but a picture won't really show the progress so stay tuned for next week progress pics. 

I did finish the hot water bottle cover and have taken it to bed with me more than once this past week.  I am so happy with how it turned out. 

my side -  cotton

Imy aunt's side with re-cycled yarn

I had enough of the green to join one side, and used some left over of her yarn to do the other side.  The neck tie was the original from her cover. 

Otherwise the week has been cooking, sitting in the sun, a little walking, laundry, sleeping in the sun, reading, exercise classes (sometimes on the back deck), eating dinner on the deck (and breakfast and lunch too), and visiting my brother and his significant other in the sun.  Yes, the sun and warmth has finally reached us, and I am taking full advantage until the rains return.  (Which I think is tomorrow). 

 We drove by the local beaches yesterday and I was dismayed at the number of people there.  No-one seems concerned with the pandemic.  We didn't get out of the car, that is until we got a flat tire and had to wait an hour for BCAA to come.  Luckily where it happened we were near a shady tree, and by that time away from the crowds. 

I am happy to be at home today, on my own deck in the sun and away from the crowds.  I am obviously not ready for being around crowds! 

Yesterday visiting my brother was our first social distancing visit since late February.  Progress. 

Okay, the vacuum is calling my name - time to do a wee bit of housework before hitting the back deck again for some serious spinning. 

Don't worry dear readers I haven't forgotten your weekly pic fix:

So carry on all.  Stay safe.  Stay social distanced.  Stay calm (are you listening Mary-Anne). Stay well.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Year of Projects Update #2 - Tour de Fleece ftw

This week has been all about the spinning as I continue with Tour de Fleece.  Sunday was a challenge day and I got up my silk hankies and gave it a whirl.

many hankies

one hankie

poke a hole in middle and start to draft

8 hankies spun super fine

I spun 1/2 of the hankies I have and I will spin the rest on the next challenge day which is 16th.  Thanks to the random number generator in the team I am on (Team Pride, Queer Revelry group) I won a prize for my silk spinning.  I will be getting six different sheep fibres to spin.  I can't wait - it is like waiting for Christmas.

I spun, plied, washed and thwacked 200 gms of natural roving that I think was Finn fibre.

and I also spun some recycled raw cycle:

I have 100 gms of peruvian wool that I am going to chain ply this afternoon.

I finished the one side of my hot water bottle cover which was knit with the recycled wool.  There were so many ends to sew in but I am pleased with how it looks.

and then last night I started the 2nd side with some cotton I have.  I had to change stitch count to make the gauges match.

It is going quite quickly since I am not having to stop and start to re-join yarn as I come across thin spots like I did on the first side.  You can read about my thoughts in re-knitting this project here.

Between spinning and knitting the hot water bottle cover I didn't do very much on my Dahlia sweater.  I have started one of the back panels, but I don't think it will get much attention until Tour de Fleece is over.

I realize how quickly my spinning improves when I do it everyday - and I will have lots of new stash to dye once the Tour is over.

There have been many video chats with dear daughter and grand-daughter and I caught this snap of the wave good-bye.

Happy Yopping to my dear Yopping friends, and to everyone else have a good week.  Be safe.  Be well.  Be kind.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

I don't know why I thought this was a good idea

I posted a few weeks back about deciding to reknit a hot water bottle cover that I had been using.  My aunt, who died in 2008, knit it many, many years before she died.  It was getting holes, I had tried to mend the holes but they were getting too numerous.

So what was my good idea?  I decided to frog the whole thing and reverse engineer the stitch and put it back together again. 

Because of the holes, and frayed yarn it came apart in many, many little balls. 

Did that deter me?

No, it did not. 

So I started and after knitting about 8 inches I realized my gauge was way off,

so I go some smaller needles and cast on again.  Sometimes the little balls allowed me to knit a few rows.  Often the little balls displayed a very frayed piece of yarn so I would break it and rejoin.  This has been going on for several nights.  It is good tv watching because it is a simple k2, p2 basket s stitch, but still there are going to be a LOT of ends to sew in. 

I knew going in that I would only have enough rescued yarn for one side of the cover.  I will use some stash for the other side. 

Why. Am. I. Doing. This?

Why can't I just admit that sometimes things just wear out, and are no longer useful.  Sometimes I just need to let things go.  (hmmm. I don't think this post is about knitting, or hot water bottle covers anymore.)

I could blame it on my thrifty mother who taught me to repair frayed cuffs and collars on my blouses.  I could.  But that isn't it.

I could blame it on my tendency to be cheap and not want to spend money.  I could. But I won't.

I could blame my Scottish/Irish heritage to not let things go to waste. 

I look around my house at the three rugs that I made oh so many years ago that are tattered at the edges thanks to a cat of ours.  Well, that and age.  My father died in 1973 and the rug he had started in 1971 I finished in the late 70s.  I made the blue rug sometime after that and the brown one in 1984.  Those rugs don't owe me anything. 

Except in each hooked strand of those rugs are so many memories.  My father, my aunt, my sister, my son, my daughter, the cat. 

When I am rejoining yet another short piece of yarn on the hotwater bottle cover I think about how that yarn went through my aunt's hands.  Her DNA is in that yarn. 

And I just want to hold onto it for some time more.  I want to remember sleeping in her double bed with our feet on that hotwater bottle cover, giggling and reading Little Women. 

I just want to hold on. 

I can't fix everything that is tattered in my life.  I can't hold on to every memory.  But this month it seems it is what I need to do.

Just. Hold. On.

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Year of Projects - The List

Welcome to the new Yopping Year.  Here we go dear Readers.

First of all my new header.  This is a painting I did two summers ago and it stands as a reminder that I want to paint more this year, and be brave like the dear hummingbirds that come to my feeder year round. It will also serve as a reminder to me that it is okay not to be perfect. 

I am entering this year with two wips.  Both sweaters.  Both in the same yarn.  I am serious about this stash busting dear readers!

 I finished the lace back on Dahlia last night:

I have spun everyday since Tour de Fleece started so this, of course, will add to my stash for Year of Projects 10!

I don't really have any stash except for a lot of homespun(which I am adding to by the minute), and many little balls of this and that left over from projects.  I have plans for it all, or at least most of it.  I will have this list up in my pages, but for today you can have a look, and then if you want you can check back periodically as I tick off things from wish list to done. 

Knit Wips:
hot water bottle cover
Dahlia Cardigan

Crochet Wips: 
Spice of Life
Wrapped in Jamie - CAL

Waiting for release of large Claire square for the middle

slippery slope socks
Advent socks

Fingerless Mitts of the Roses

Mary Jane Slippers

Long/ Caterpillar Cardigan

Small Knits:
opsy Turvy doll
Vera Viking
miniature surprise sweater for christmas tree ala elizabeth zimmerman
Nativity Scene

Woven Baskets:
Wedding plate
finish Small Basket

Spinning and Dying
Spin up natural fibre and kool aid dye some of it.
Spin Silk Hankies

Ravelry Queue:
creatures from either or both Amanda Berry mobiles
Kangaroo and Joey
Weebee Doll and clothes
any of the socks 

Since I have joined Tour de Fleece this year most of July will be spent spinning and when not spinning working on my Dahlia cardigan, and if I win at yarn chicken with Dahlia then I will finish the Amiga cardigan. If not, then Amiga will be frogged to finish Dahlia.  With me so far? 

I have decided this year to tag all my YOP projects on Ravelry so they are easy to find when it comes time for my wrap-up.  I will also keep a dedicated album for YOP10 in my Google Photos folder.  It was so time-consuming counting up my projects and then finding the pics I wanted for my wrap-up post.  

Of course I could make a lot of different albums for my photos - since going digital my photos are not properly sorted, named or filed on the cloud.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I can add this to my things to do list since I think I will be tied to home for many months still to come.  

I didn't mention in my wrap-up post my progress on my novel.  I did get it editted and I did get it out to a dozen beta readers.  I attended a web seminar last Monday on self-publishing.  It is a lot, but I think I will consider this with some seriousness in the coming year. 

Here is a sneak peak of my spinning for today - which is a challenge day in Tour de Fleece.  My challenge - spinning from silk hankies.  This is the spun single from two hankies.  It doesn't look like much, but it is thread thin.

Last night's start

There have been lots of videos and video chats with my daughter and grand-daughter, but not any still photos so I will leave you with this from a couple of weeks ago. 

morning kefir

If you want to join, or follow other Yoppers and you are not a Ravelry member you can link to their most recent posts at the top right side of my blog.  If you are a Ravelry member (and it is free to become one) you can check out their posts here. 

So raise a glass.  Here's to Year of Projects 10!

PS:  if you have any suggestions for colour of that large middle square of my Wrapped in Jamie Blanket please post in comments.  I am leaning towards purple.