Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sharing Needles

I've been dealing with tendonitis to the point where it's painful to lift or twist with my right arm. My Dr. said no knitting! Bah.

So I finally found a craft I can do with yarn - with my left hand! Needle felting. Meet a few of my new friends.

Sam:

Belle:

Maud:

Stonewall:

Branch

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Large Boned Leaf Shawl


I started a shawl using Kauni yarn a couple weekends ago in Bemidji. I was visiting my friend Amy. Her cat, Kegan, could not get enough of the yarn! He tried to stick his little nose inside the yarn. When I put the project down, he nested on top of the shawl and rested his head on the ball of yarn. So cute, wish I had taken a picture of it now.

Anyway, the shawl is done. I think it will be a gift for Amy because she also liked the shawl (but I don't know if she liked it as much as her cat did).

I have been in the mood for small, easy projects lately. I started and finished 2 last week and now this one this week. I think it's because of my low energy, the thought of making a sweater daunts me. Maybe next spring I'll feel like a large project again.

The Occassionals


Last Friday, author Susan May Warren came to town. A few people from our book club showed her around town (I had to work) on occassional weekend. I now have a Rollerderby name: Needles Norman.

Read about it on Susan's Blog!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nice Dye Job




I started a Scrappy Lengthwise scarf a bluesy type project for a traveling scarf. I put it away though, and started a different scarf. When I needed to grab a quick, fun and colorful project, I grabbed this, last weekend when we went to Emma Krombees for a fun escape.

I usually pull a skeinlet out of a bag at random and put it in. This time, I pulled out a lovely skeinlet that reminded me of the fall colors. I knew I had 3 more, so I dug them out and put them all in.

After that, I knew I needed something dramatic on the other edge. I wanted orange, but had no orange yarn. 1 1/2 packets of orange and blue Kool-Aid later and I had my yarn.


The finished result is so pretty. I love the way the tertiary colors blended together, even though it was all a happy accident. I wore it the next day, it was perfect weather for a slim decorative scarf.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Soaring!




The good news - I finished 2 of my projects that need to be done, and am 2 squares away from finishing the donor blanket. More about that in future posts.

What have I been up to?

I have learned to spin! First on a drop spindle where I discovered that I like top whirl best. And then Patty at Silver Creek Cabin let me learn on her wheel and borrow it for awhile. I had a 2 hour lesson at the shop. The next morning I sat at the wheel in my kitchen and it just soared.

Here are my first results:


Monday, September 14, 2009

New Plan


If you've been following my blog for some time, you know that I love to make up new plans on what projects I'm going to make and the priority that I have for them. And then, a few weeks or months later, I come back and act like I made no such plan. I go and start more projects that weren't on any list, scrap what I was planning and hide the evidence. Except of course, I had journaled here, so I can't hide ALL the evidence.

I admit it, I'm a flighty knitter.

However, I have made a new plan. Now, before you start laughing and making snide comments, this one is different - really!

Lately, I've just been tired of having a craft room that no longer has a clear path and I can't find what I need. I have too much yarn that I have no love for anymore. Plus, there are some patterns that I have been wanting to make for awhile and just have not been able to get to it because I am a flighty knitter.

Last weekend I pulled down 2 boxes and 1 large bags of yarn to get rid of. I'm currently in the process of listing it all as a destash on ravelry. I also identified patterns that I truly do want to make and am tired of putting off. I am keeping any yarns that I need for those patterns, of course.

What I have left on my shelves for yarn are the ones that I need, the truly yummy that I want to keep and some souvenier yarns. It feels good to have that sorted out!

And here are the patterns that I would like to or need to do next:

1. Pair of socks for my prayer swap partner (in process)
2. Blanket for niece for wedding (need pattern & yarn)
3. Pair of socks promised to husband (need pattern & yarn)
4. February Lady Sweater (will use the sublime)
5. African Adventure Bag (have the Kauni, this may be a fair project)
6. Milkweed Shawl (using the WM)
7. Baby Surprise Jacket to try the pattern (have the yarn & pattern)
8. Ogee Tunic (need yarn)
9. Rivendell sock (have yarn and pattern)

I really hope I can stick to this list because I think I need to. The good thing about this is that if an irresistable pattern comes along, I can fit it in between the others. The only things that are must knits are 1-3. And yeah, don't mention the fact that I said I don't knit for gifts anymore. I guess I'll eat my words.

Wish me luck!

Not So Simple

I was snuggling up to my husband the other night, just loving the companionable comfort of one another in a plantonic way. The phrase of "simple joys of life" went through my head. And then I thought, "simple? there's nothing simple about this joy!"

I started thinking of the joys that I have and have had and tried to find one that was "simple." I couldn't. As a result, I don't think that there is such a thing as a simple joy. The are all complicated!

Case in point, my above mentioned snuggle with my husband. Though the moment seemed simple, there was a lot that led up to that point. First, we had to meet, then date and fall in love. Then hash out ourselves in marriage. The peace and comfort I find in just being together, in being totally comfortable has been built on years of WORK. There is nothing simple about the joy that results because of it.

The same thing can be said about my relationship with God, it's not simple either. It's taken me many more years of learning about Him, myself, in trial and error. When I come to those moments of pure joy, they are not simple.

Joy is beginning to take on a new meaning to me as well.

At first I thought it was a feeling, first and foremost. That if you try hard enough to have joy (which as a good Christian you should have) then voila.

Then, I thought that joy was a response to what has been happening in life. It was a feeling that came upon me when everything lined up, like planets in a certain formation.

But now, I think that joy is more all of this but more complex. Joy is when you've worked on something; a part of your life, a relationship, a project. And then you learn to trust it, to love it and be content at where you are in it. Even if you're not doing good, have a lot more to do, you accept it all and yourself just as it is right then.

That's when Joy comes for me.

Joy is a fruit that blossoms after a season of growth and change.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

How to Knit a Shawl in a Week in 5 Easy Steps

Step #1
Sigh over a shawl pattern shortly before your anniversary. Say that you'll just knit something else and do this one later, when you have the money for the yarn.

Step #2
Have an anniversary weekend. Have a fantastic husband who gives you 1 skein of yarn - that has 1450 yards in it, perfect for above mentioned shawl.



Step #3
Have husband go into hospital for a kidney transplant. Also, must take week off of work so you can stay at hospital and knit.

Step #4
After husband is home from hospital, sit and watch movies with him and continue to knit.

Step #5
Complete shawl. Ask husband if he can take some photos. Have goofy husband continually snap pics so you have lots of them where you look pretty goofy too.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hospital Knitting


What do people do without knitting at hospitals?

They pace and get jittery
They try to sleep
They look bored
They try to find something interesting in old mag issues

And at the end, they have nothing to show for it!

Knitters, on the other hand, keep occupied and focused and calm. And at the end of the day, we have something to bring home with us. A little memory of our visit to the hospital, something tangible and wooly.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Problem of Being an Introvert...

...is when you are faced with dealing with people when you'd rather not.

Tomorrow is my husband's transplant surgery. Yay! We are excited (though a bit tired right now). You can check out my other blog for the latest news.

The one thing that I'm not looking forward to, is dealing with people. I do love seeing people, having them visit, show their support - yes, all of that is great! What my real issue is, I'm a simple introvert.

There are a few people who want to sit with me during the surgery tomorrow, to "be there for me." They didn't ask if I wanted them there, just assumed that everyone would. And I do appreciate the fact that they want to help in whatever way they can. But I actually had planned to knit, read, listen to my MP3player and pray. These things would help to relax me, keep me calm and unstressed. Having to have company now, makes me feel like I have to be "on" for them too. It takes more of my emotional energy and from what I remember of our last hospital stay, was quite draining. In effect, when people were trying to support me, they were actually adding more stress. (If people are coming because they are there for my husband, that is a different story.)

And I know that this just happens in times like these. Everyone needs different things, and some people need people around them to stay with them. So I will be trying to graciously accept what people want to give in support. And when I need to be alone, then it will be time for a walk and a change of scenery. It's a waffly line when you're an introvert and you need your space - and people want to be with you. So I will be trying to monitor my energy levels and recharge when needed.

I love that people want to help and support us. And I do want people to visit and stop by. It's just that small percentage of people whose well intentions aren't easy for introverts to deal with.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Husband Rocks!

Last weekend, my hubby and I spent 3 lovely nights in southern Minnesota. I'll have more about what we did in my other blog, but here, I wanted to show off my yarny goodness that he got me.

It all started awhile ago when hubby kept asking what I wanted as I gift. I gave him a few ideas:

  • Vera Bradley Purse
  • Yarn, yarn, yarn
  • Jewelry made from recycled knitting needles
  • Jewelry, simple and functional
  • A Kindle (he laughed at that one)
  • A couple books I was eyeing.
He insisted not to get anything for him, he already got some things this last summer. And so, I didn't worry, but I did start on a pair of plain white socks for him. I'm hoping to get them done for his recovery.

And so, I opened my gift...

A huge skein of 1450 yards of Mountain Colors Weaver Wool yarn! I had no idea that it even came this big. This will be perfect for my shawl. I had been trying to get Patty at the yarn shop to help me find yarn, and this is why she was stalling - my hubby had already bought it!

But wait, there's more! Inside the yarn ball, were surprises! Here's hubby helping me, partway through the unwinding (it took awhile).

At the end, he had gotten me:

  • Mega ball of yarn
  • The necklace & bracelet made of recycled knitting needles
  • Cash!
  • A Princess Leia figure (long store of how I felt I got gipped by another little girl who took the LAST Princess Leia figure before I got there and I must have told this story too many times)
  • A silver bracelet he picked out himself, on my wrist
What an awesome husband! Any one of them (besides the Princess Leia figure) would have been fine. But he got me all of these things. I was so overwhelmed. And we had a lovely weekend away. I got to buy more yarn too, but that's another post.

I'm planning on making the shawl starting during his transplant surgery. I only have to wait 1 1/2 weeks!

Does my husband rock, or what?!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twisted Socks

Meet my newest pair of hand knit socks! The pattern is Knitty Twist Socks from knitty. I was surprised to find that there were less than 100 projects up on ravelry. It's a great toe-up knit, the cabling pattern kept my interest. The yarn was a hand dyed with a Knit Picks sock base, dyed by a fellow raveler.

Revisions:

My feet are a lot shorter than what this pattern was for. I should have done one less diamond section near the toes, but I did the full thing. So when it got to the 2nd chart, I just kept going and made the socks a little longer.

The cabling instructions were fidgety. So I followed what I did for the Printed Silk Cardi:

Right Twist - Knit2tog, then before pulling the new stitch off the right needle, insert the right needle into the 1st stitch and knit it. Pull stitches off left needle.

Left Twist - Knit2tog through he back loops. Before taking the new stitch off the needle, knit into the 2nd stitch again. Pull stitches off left needle.

This seemed a lot less complex and faster than the way the directions were written. But to each their own method!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Farmhouse Yarns


I am so in love with the colors of Farmhouse Yarns. I've had this yarn for about a year now. Haven't made anything with it, still deciding.


Can you believe that this is the same colorway as the first pic? If I had seen this one first, I would not be in love with these yarns. The lady at the shop that I bought the next yarn from said that lately, their colors have been less saturated. Let's hope they get saturated again soon.


Got this one a couple weeks ago. Luvs it! It's so pretty, just have to pet it.

I wish someone close by sold these yarns. Scratch that. It would be too dangerous. Better have it available only for souvenier buying.

Preparation



I'm teaching a class in the Water and Ink medium. It's been years since I've done this, so I had to practice so I wouldn't look stupid. Not so great results, although once I got into it, I started remembering how to do it. It got better.


This flower is my fave. IRL it looks better, there is a deep purple with a gentle fading upward. It faded in the flash.



One of my stand bys. I made lots of cards with this motif!


Random drawings and color disbursement.

Hubby said that it looks like I was having too much fun tonight. I told him that I was studying for a class.

I don't think he believed me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Priorities, priorities, priorities.

It's come down to this again. Too many projects, not enough time. I am overcomitted!

And so, I jot down my list of To Do's so I can actually see them.

  1. Blanket for kidney donor
  2. 2 Squares for the Flying Squirrels charity group
  3. Traveling scarves sections
  4. Kidney Flutter Cardigan - to be worn after kidney transplant
  5. Helmet liner for soldier
All that and under a month to go. And I want to start a new project. Ack!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sock Yarn - Eye Candy

Posting for the benefit of sock knitting. What to knit with each yarn? What to trade? Most of the pics were taken at night with a flash so there is some washing out of color.

Hand dyed


Cherry Tree Hill (washed out in the flash, a little deeper IRL)

Hand Dyed

Hand Dyed

Hand dyed - there are 6 balls, about 500 yards total

Happy Feet (bad pic, it's darker)

Serenity Yarns

Tulip Sock Yarn




Sunday, July 12, 2009

Flora or Fauna


Yesterday, our art group went the Clemens Munsinger Gardens in St. Cloud. It was the perfect day; good weather, flowers were in bloom and they had a string quartet playing by the river.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fiber Anniversary

Our 14th anniversary is coming up and we've been thinking about gifts. There's also a thread in ravelry that got me to thinking. Why not gifts for the fiber lover by year? Here's what I've come up with.

ANNIVERSARY BY YEAR

TRADITIONAL

MODERN

FIBER LOVING

1st anniversary

paper

clocks / plastics

Patterns and books

2nd anniversary

cotton

china

Cotton yarn

3rd anniversary

leather

crystal / glass

Drop spindle

4th anniversary

flowers

linen / silk / appliances

Silk yarn

5th anniversary

wood

silverware

Sock blockers

6th anniversary

candy / iron

wood

Niddy Noddy

7th anniversary

copper / wool

desk set

Animal fibers

8th anniversary

bronze / pottery

linens / lace

Fiber bowl

9th anniversary

pottery / willow

Leather

Blocking mats & pins

10th anniversary

tin

Diamond

Needle or hook set

11th anniversary

steel

jewelry

Lace blocking wires

12th anniversary

silk / linen

silk / linen / pearl

Cashmere and/or quiviet

13th anniversary

lace

jewelry / textiles / fur

Designer knitting bag

14th anniversary

ivory

pearl / gold

Dyeable yarn and dyes

15th anniversary

crystal

glass / watches

Crystal row counter bracelet

20th anniversary

china

Platinum

Spinning wheel

25th anniversary

silver

silver

Yarn measuring tool

30th anniversary

pearl

pearl

Craft Room Addition on house

35th anniversary

coral

coral / jade

Loom

40th anniversary

ruby

ruby / garnet

Spinning Wheel

45th anniversary

sapphire

sapphire

50th anniversary

gold

gold

Fiber Cruise



Maybe this gift lift will help strengthen marriages. I'm holding out especially for years 30 and 50.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy 40th, Amy!


My friend, co-worker and pastor moved back home yesterday. The church let her go and she decided to take the opportunity to go back to school and get her M Div. But before she packed up and left, we had to celebrate her 40th birthday. (If you've been reading my blog for awhile, she's the one who had a pirate party last year.)

I made her a bundt (boont) cake with a flower in it. With a nod toward My Big Fat Greek Wedding. A lot of people turned out to tell her that she was old.


We went to her favorite restaurant, El Molcajete. Great food, yummy cake and a wonderful celebration of her life mixed in with a little bittersweet good-bye.


Happy Birthday, Amy! I wish you a beautiful journey of transition; a banner year of walking closer with God and most of all - true joy.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not much going on

I haven't had a lot of time to devote to knitting with taking care of hubby and trying out new BP meds for myself. Energy level fluctuates and sometimes, I just don't feel like knitting. Which is a sign that I'm seriously wiped a lot lately.

Here's a few things that I've managed to do.

1. Gather & pet my sock yarns (prep for a future project)


2. Started a scrap sock.

3. Got warped

I haven't had a lot of time to devote to knitting with taking care of hubby and trying out new BP meds for myself. Energy level fluctuates and sometimes, I just don't feel like knitting. Which is a sign that I'm seriously wiped a lot lately.

Here's a few things that I've managed to do.