Monday, July 30, 2007

Project Roundup

We had a pretty laid back weekend here. My bookgroup did not share my affection for Water for Elephants. To each their own. I did meet some new knitters Saturday afternoon courtesy of meetup. All very pleasant and welcoming. Bill and I relived college days, leaving a party just before the cops showed up. A friend hosted a fundraiser for breast cancer research and invited a band to play in the garage. Apparently the neighbors did not appreciate the music. (Understandably so, it was quite loud.)

July is coming to a close, so I bring you, Project Roundup.


1. Spinning Designer Yarns – Class has finished. I’m still plying and blocking the last of it. Pictures soon.
2. Wood Sprite Socks – also finished!


3. Charade Socks – There is usually a long period of denial for me between the moment I realize that something needs to be ripped back and the day that I finally accept that it must be done. I picked the charade sock up on Sunday intending to rip it out and wash the yarn. I couldn’t do it. It’s coming along so nicely I’ve decided to give it another go, perhaps with a different needle.
4. Dolly Bag – I knit the handles and now I need to pop into the fabric store for supplies. We’re getting there.
5. Wispy Jacket – The swatch has been blocked and is drying. I’m itching to get started on this one.


6. Monkey Socks – See earlier comments regarding denial. I don’t want to give up because the pattern is really cute but they are clearly too big for me.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Book Recommendation

I just finished listening to Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. I love audible. It is my saving grace. Since I cannot read and spin or knit at the same time, my reading had dropped off for a while. In steps audible. Love it. It frees up my hands plus I like to listen in the car. I really enjoyed this book. It was well researched, emotionally engaging and entertaining.

My last spinning class was earlier this week. I'm glad to have some of my time back. (Harry Potter here I come!) I did learn quite a bit and my spinning has improved just from all the practice. I am going to try to observe Tuesdays are for Spinning a la Stephanie to keep up. I have a lot to learn yet.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Random Wednesday

I did make it to the fiber fest in Crystal Lake last weekend. There was a lot of beautiful yarn but no animals and limited spinning supplies. I restrained myself to one skein of much coveted sea silk since I was shopping for roving. I also saw some very cool baskets with lazy kates built in. Wishlist.

Oooooh! Handmaiden Sea Silk in peridot...

Some slightly ugly yet enticing cormo/silk...Blue faced leicester and merino/silk... (This stuff is much prettier in person.)
Also, I started some monkey socks. They are too big for me as written so I am going to have to decide if I am ripping out and getting creative or gifting them to someone with different proportions.

Lastly, take a look at my wood sprite leftovers. You can’t tell me the yarn isn’t so much prettier than the finished socks. Grrrr. I promise I am hereby letting it go.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Finished Object

Wood Sprite socks are finished! (I wonder if maybe I should have named them caterpillar socks.) As I mentioned earlier, I am disappointed with the colors. That said, they are very comfy and I will definitely wear them. And now I get to start a new pair with something more appealing from the stash.

I have a busy weekend ahead including schmoozing at the MBA reception and hopefully a fiber festival on Sunday (eeee!!!).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Not Knitting

I have one night left of spinning class (next Tuesday). My homework has been keeping me very busy and not left much time for knitting. I am one breath away from finishing the Wood Sprite socks. (Socks are portable. Spinning is not. I am squeezing rounds in while I am in the car with Bill and on my lunch hour.) I miss knitting. I have not bought supplies for finishing the Dolly Bag and my Wispy Jacket swatch is as yet unblocked. It’s bad.

In exchange for giving up all knitting time…

1. I learned how to Navajo-ply.
2. I was forced to crank out mileage like a mad woman and as a result my spinning is improving noticeably.
3. I discovered that blending fibers is really fun! Who knew? (Okay, I really shouldn’t have been so surprised by this one.) One of a kind batts of my very own? Yes, big time fun.

Last night we had dinner with my darling Sam, in from Chicago. Bill and her man met for the first time (an unfortunate side effect of Bill’s recent deployment). I do not get to see anywhere near enough of that lady.

Bill has left me for a couple days to attend orientation for his MBA program. I will join him Friday after work for a reception and other Saturday activities. I need to find something to wear that will help me feel charming and outgoing. This will be a bit of a challenge since I am shy to a crippling fault.

I spent a fair portion of my evening washing blueberries. We went picking on Sunday and I needed to process those lovelies and get the ones I won’t be using fresh into the freezer. My dad and I had a discussion about the pros and cons of washing the berries before freezing them. (By discussion, I mean he told me I was wrong. And in typical Jenn v. Dad fashion, I went ahead with my plan anyway.) In years past, I have frozen them unwashed so as to avoid damaging them and introducing extra moisture. Unfortunately, washing already frozen blueberries, in my experience, results in a frozen together clump or thawed mushy berries. Not good. Since, I generally avoid ingesting pesticide and bird poop whenever possible, not washing them at all isn’t an option and I have decided to give it a try the other way round. Dad, I think it will be fine.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Meet Sophie

Since I don't have knitting to show you, please meet Sophie. She recently went swimming for the first time and did not much like it. Bad dog mom that I am, I found the experience rather amusing.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Eye Candy Friday (sort of)

As promised, something tiny and cute. Booties for a coworker’s new baby.

Here we have my first cable ply.

And here, a swatch for the Wispy Jacket.

Have a great weekend all!

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Words fail me when I need them most. I am sick and angry over the Tory Bowen story. Thank you, Stephanie, for bringing it to my/our attention. Sexual violence is frighteningly common. It is extremely difficult for a survivor to speak out without having her words chosen for her.

If this upsets you too, please raise your voice. Attitudes and misconceptions regarding sexual violence aren’t going to change by themselves.

PS I tried to find an appropriate, unbiased news link. I was unsuccessful. That, in and of itself, is frustrating. Perhaps, (hopefully) my internet search skills are to blame. For example, I found nothing on using various permutations of Ms. Bowen’s name, Nebraska, rape, sexual assault, assault, etc. (Just so we are clear, there were links through the web search function, but no hits on CNN itself.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Challenge is a good thing

There will be no pictures tonight. No finished yarn. (Not even unblocked.) No knitting. No baked goods. We learned two new plying techniques tonight in class. Cabled and Navajo. It was not pretty. My cause was not helped by a general state of discomfort. (Hungry + Dry Contacts + Sore Shoulders = Cranky, Impatient Jenn)

On the upside…

1. Even though I did not produce anything photo worthy tonight, I was able to successfully execute both techniques. The pretty yarn is just around the corner. I can feel it. (Also worth noting, I did not foul either of the pretty singles I’ve already shown you. Just practice yarn.)

2. Tomorrow I will have something cute and tiny to show you.

3. Our air conditioning is functional. Enough said.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Work and Play

Bill and I had a really nice weekend. Our AC is on the fritz so it was a little warm in the house. We were productive. (The list of home projects is neverending.) We rearranged the living room. Of course what I really want is new furniture but this was a marked improvement for zero dollars. And we found time to relax too. I golfed for the first time. It was a lot of fun but I think we’ll pay a visit to the driving range before going back out. We went out to dinner afterward and ran into friends from our soccer team. That was a welcome surprise.

I finished spinning that pink merino top into singles. Spinning class meets again tomorrow night so I should have some finished yarn to show you.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Okay. The wood sprite socks, so named because the colors remind me of a forest and wildflowers. I really truly loved this yarn. Green and pink are my favorite colors. I loved all the different shades of green, even the slightly pukey, mustardy one. I dyed it myself and was so pleased with the results that I hung on to the skein for quite some time before I was ready to commit.

The socks are not living up to the yarn’s former beauty. I wish you could have seen the skein but apparently I forgot to take a picture. Now, ehhh. If I hadn’t been so jazzed up about the yarn, these would be perfectly acceptable. Do you know what I mean? You get so worked up about something that an otherwise completely satisfactory performance is disappointing. Just the same, we are way past the point of no return here. There will be no ripping out. And no, your eyes do not deceive you. I am, in fact, ready to turn the heel of the second sock and have not yet grafted the first toe shut.

Charade socks. I love the pattern and the yarn is doing this very fun spirally thing. Since the pattern is written on more stitches than my basic sock and the Schaefer Anne yarn seems a little thinner than most sock yarn, I went from my usual sock 1s to size 0s. This is not working out so well. I’m not sure if it is the joins in this specific needle or that the sock is too small to comfortably navigate the 12” Addis but I am constantly having to push the yarn over the join. This involves stabbing my finger with the pointy, metal, size zero needle repeatedly. It is not making for a pleasant knitting experience hence this sock is not moving along very quickly. I am also toying with the idea of ripping it out and using the yarn for a lace scarf. There is a little bit of mohair in there and with the subtle variegation I think it would make very pretty lace. Also this is souvenir yarn so I want to like the end product. (The red was a little hard to photograph. Thank you mister Bill for your valiant efforts.)

On a completely unrelated note, this afternoon I saw a momma turkey and three baby turkeys! They were crossing the road on my way home from getting my hair done. The babies were super cute. The mom was walking really slowly so the babies could keep underneath her and they all had fun little spotty feathers. I stopped to let them cross and watched them as long as I dare (didn’t want to irritate the big truck behind me). I love it! I’ve lived in Michigan for four years now and wild turkeys have in no way lost their charm.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Stall Tactics

Oh gift with purchase. I’m generally a structured handbag sort of girl. I appreciate the knitted tote but it’s not really something I would generally carry. Enter the Dolly Bag. It’s pretty stinkin’ cute. And just the right size for running errands. And it has cables, I had been jonesing for cables. Plus it’s summer, time to relax a little.

Both front and back panels are complete. Lovely.

After all those bobbles... in cotton... with bamboo needles... she really deserves to be finished. I know there will be a lining involved but I am sort of stuck on the handles. They are a little flimsy for my taste.

A few rows of stockinette is not going to cut it for me. I’m thinking I could encase some piping to give them a little more oomph. Option 1, work some i-cord with extra stitches and painstakingly maneuver in the stabilizer. Option 2, work handles as directed and seam in the piping, embracing the seam as a decorative element. I am very open to suggestions.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hello Hello

Welcome! I’ve decided to join the ranks of knitbloggers and I hope you’ll make room for me in your lovely community. I’m also a spinner, a beginning spinner. Let’s just say I am well on my way down the slippery fibre arts slope.

Currently on my plate…
1. Spinning Designer Yarns at the local art institute
2. Wood Sprite Socks
3. Charade Socks
4. Rowan Dolly Bag (gift with subscription last year I think)
5. Kim Hargreaves Wispy Jacket

I am really lean on knitting projects at the moment. I’m a bit stuck actually. Pictures and explanations to follow in due time.

Spinning, however, is moving along full force thanks to my class. I am loving these singles.

And I am quite proud of this top I blended all by my little self. A drumcarder has just made the wishlist.

In other news, I am now the proud owner of a food processor. I love it. I made a pie crust in about 90 seconds. Hello tasty peach berry pie.