Friday, March 1, 2013

This Week

We received our second foot of snow within 5 days (which just doesn't happen around here) so this week has been incredibly strange- the city was pretty much shut down on Tuesday and some of Wednesday if you were in our part of the city. So I taught parts of 2 days and 1 whole day, but it was all very weird since so much of it was rescheduled from the snow days.

Ellie has been sick for a long while and this week got worse with a fever and other fun things- now it is an infection to fight off. The amazing thing to me is that she is still so very good-natured through most of this, still able to play and make the little jokes that babies make. It made her two really bad days this week that much more pronounced- to see our little happy girl so tired and whimpering was quite the sad sight. I'm glad she's on the mend now.

On the Needles...

I almost finished the first sleeve of Ellie's pink Baby Vertebrae cardi last night. A little more work tonight and it will be done and I will be on to the second sleeve. 

My "in my purse" knitting I take everywhere is a Looped Loop cowl in a really pretty mustard yellow.

Once I finish Ellie's cardi I'm going to force myself to focus on the sleeves of my Shapely Boyfriend Cardigan and get those out. If I would have just done those darn sleeves right away I'd be wearing that cardigan right now.

I also may have cast on for a shawl because I was feeling a serious lace itch earlier this week... 

I read...

Mysterious Benedict Society, An Everlasting Meal, and the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. Reading time has been hard to find lately, so I made only the smallest bit of progress this week.

Just Keep Spinning…

I shared my 2nd skein here yesterday and I'm working on that red wool blend still. I have a hard time stopping when I get started spinning this particular fiber. It is really easy for me to say "Just one more hand length" and then find myself saying that 10 times in a row when I *really* need to be getting to bed instead. Part of the enthusiasm is for the fiber, and partly because I can see such a difference in how well my singles are going now. There is still a lot to polish and work on to truly get them consistent, but I'm very pleased with the progress.

I've also been reading a ton on the Ravelry forums and on

Learning all the time…

I worked on a unit based on Roxaboxen to start next week and had a great time putting together a pack of "homework" for Ender for a trip. More on that later!

I didn't get to...

A lot of things with the sick baby this week, but that was okay. Sometimes it just works out that way.

This weekend...

I'm planning to catching up a bit over the weekend on the cleaning and laundry. Exciting, I know. Hopefully Ellie will be feeling well enough that I'll get an evening or two with consecutive hours to spin or knit.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Second Skein

I finished spinning up the little bit of Knit Picks roving** that I ordered and I had to force myself to finish that second single so that I could ply. I did not get along with that fiber well at all and I'm glad to see it gone.

I plied it about a week ago (I think...  this past week has seemed to last about ten times as long as any other week) and tried to keep in mind the whole time that beginners often under ply as I've been reading. I totally get that now. After setting the twist and letting the yarn dry, I can see a lot of under-plied places in the yarn. I think I got better at maintaining an even twist as I went as well as a  better handle on maintaining the tension between the singles.

I'm really happy with how it turned out for my second-ever skein.

I've moved onto 4 oz. of this really pretty dark red. The photo is not accurate to the color- it's less purple and much richer red with a blue undertone, not orange. My understanding is that it is a mix of 2 different kinds of wool, not identified by breed on the tag. It's a little more coarse than the previous fiber but has been SO much easier to spin and to spin finer. I don't know enough to really explain why that is yet, but I hope to know such things in the future.

I'm not using park and draft very often any more and now that I can actually let the spindle go I'm able to get into a good rhythm. I'm still working on not holding so much tension in my arms while I spin. I tend toward tendinitis issues after some pretty severe issues that cropped up when I was a young violinist and it took a long while to re-learn some playing technique so that I could resolve it. I had some issues pop up when I started knitting too and had to be very careful about technique so that my arms stay healthy.

If you're a spinner and you see anything wrong with what I'm doing, please tell me! I'm reading a lot, practicing a lot and watching a lot of videos. I'm hoping to make a trip back to the shop where I learned to spin a few weeks ago but it's a long haul from here.

** I'm new to this whole spinning thing and while I know a lot of terms as far as what the words are, I'm still mixing things up and I know from my reading that the whole roving/top thing is a contentious mistake to make. My apologies if I'm wrong and it is in fact top rather than roving.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Snow Day Knit Along

{Yarning Along with Ginny, sharing a knit and a read.}

Yesterday's snow wasn't as deep as last week's, but it was wetter and therefore heavier. Brian fell into bed around 9 a.m. after working all night, fortunately from home since so much of this storm happened during his working hours.

I started shoveling the walk and the driveway during Ellie's nap with the baby monitor on the porch. Who needs to cross train when there is snow shoveling to do? As I was shoveling a neighbor offered to shovel my drive for $60. I could hardly respond. Perhaps the dumbfounded look on my face was answer enough?

I continued shoveling until Ellie woke up and planned to go back out and finish up during her afternoon nap. Before that though my sweet brother-in-law paid me an unexpected visit and finished the job for me in no time. Who needs neighbors like ours when you have family this awesome?

And as much as I'd like to say I spent my snow day knitting, it just didn't happen yesterday. I *have* made some progress on the little pink cardi for Ellie though- the back is finished and I'm on the first sleeve. I'm forcing myself to just dive right in to these sleeves. This girl needs another cardigan NOW and I'm determined to finish before next week's Knit Along.

I'm still reading An Everlasting Meal as I catch bits of time, pencil in hand. I'm really enjoying this one, and can't wait for summer months when I have a bit more time to spend in the kitchen.

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