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I promise no TMI fiber related content today. I finally have pretty fibery things to show you.

First of all let me present my rainbow ball o fiber. What was imagined as a primarily white roving with splashes of red, blue and yellow turned into some seriously bright rainbow roving after steaming. Not what I intended but kind of fun. This will be perfect for practicing on my wheel.

Rainbow roving

Then because yesterday was turning into a work nightmare I rushed over to Weaving Works before they closed and picked up 10 silk hankies to dye. I saw a knitty article about much fun it was to spin these on a drop spindle and suddenly I HAD to try it. I only dyed 4 since I had no idea what I was doing. Figured if I sucked at it I could find a home for 6 undyed hankies pretty easily.

Silk Hankies

While chatting to Artsyal today I was challenged to see how much yarn I could spin with a single layer from one hankie. Spun and plied yarn. Just so you know the hankie was 3gms and I got 6 layers out of it. I can’t imagine very much yarn coming out of .5gms of silk but we shall see which one of us wins.

Oh and just so you can see what 1 layer of hankie looks like. (It really isn’t much is it)

Single layer silk

In other fiber related news, the Swallowtail shawl is coming along, 10 repeats of the body pattern are done.

It was a good fiber night if I do say so myself. And it was finished off with a slice of strawberry/whipped cream cake and a big cup o tea. I went to bed happy.

30 minutes after the original post….

I just discovered that you can’t ply silk from a center pull ball with any real ease. It likes to stick to itself. Jas, can we rethink the plied part of the challenge? Or ply two layers? Oh and another thing I discovered, I am in desperate need of a manicure, silk snags on every single rough patch of skin. On the other hand I made a really pretty ball of silk yarn barf.

For some reason I haven’t made much progress on anything fiber related. Or at least not any progress I’ve gotten around to photographing yet.

But tell me this, does this not look delicious?

Cake closeup

Sadly it wasn’t for me, it was for this cake.

Desert Cake

It’s not the prettiest cake I’ve ever made, it’s all whipped cream and strawberries with toasted coconut ‘sand’ and fondant cacti. Sadly in the picture you can’t see the sparkle dust I brushed on the cacti. Oh well.

Any vegetarians might not want to look at this next food pic. What can I say, I like my steak.

Steak and Cider

That was Saturday’s dinner which was a step up from Friday night which was a plate of leftover BBQ chicken wings I had made earlier in the week. Ah the single life. Makes for an interesting classification of what is a meal.

I promise I will have fiber content soon. As soon as I stop working from home at night to catch up on my workload. I hope that will be very soon.

My new wheel

I saw a posting on craigslist yesterday and immediately fired off an email. Today I took off early from work and heading out into the country with Sharon while her husband Matt played chauffeur in Lady Tottington. It got the Sharon seal of approval, all it needs is a little dusting and some oil. All for only $200. And another whorl and hand carders are supposed to be mailed to me once they are dug out of storage.

I can’t wait to try it out but I won’t touch it until I can get some oil to pamper it a bit first.

Now if only I knew how to spin!

Writers block for knitters. That is what I had. The continued failure to produce a decent knitted sock was starting to destroy my faith in my knitting abilities. All I could think about was having to frog one more sock and the more I thought about it the more it messed with my mind.

I tried a different tactic this weekend. I knit something completely silly on Friday night. A brown acrylic garter stitch square that I sewed into a wonton and stuffed with catnip. Nicki approved. He didn’t say so in so many words; I measured his approval by how much drool he slathered on the thing. (I learned years ago not to touch his catnip toys right after he plays with them).

On Saturday I grabbed a skein of Artyarn Supermerino (#104) with the thought that maybe it was fingering sock yarn that was throwing off my game. Almost like my sock knitting mojo needed a reboot with something of a different weight to get going again. Plus the almost instant gratification of knitting socks from worsted weight might give me that finished project glow sooner rather than later. I dubbed the socks Spring Fling for the vibrant greens that reminded me of the new plant growth that starts showing up right around now. Maybe just maybe that name would signal to my brain that my knitting needed a fresh start too.

Then on Sunday I decided against the original gardening related carpentry plan and woke up with the NEED to bake. Now keep in mind I love baking. Heck I worked as a pastry chef for several years. Before knitting I obsessed about the pastry arts. If it was a bread, a dessert or a croissant I wanted to make it. This Sunday I wanted good old comfort baking so I baked my favorite sour cream chocolate bundt cake and a batch of scones.

Did all of this work? Did I get over my knitting hump? Did the Supermerino reboot my sock knitting mojo? Did I eat an entire bundt cake and batch of scones while searching for my lost knitting vibes?

Yes. Yes. Yes.

Spring Fling socks

And thankfully no.

I don’t know what is wrong with me. I have started and stopped 3 different socks since mid Jan. First it was the Blue Monday socks where the yarn failed to inspire me. Then the Happy socks where the color stranding didn’t turn out the way I imagined it would. Now the Fleece Artist Jester yarn that I have been saving in my stash for when I need a bit of fun color to inspire me is too freaking big-and I swatched damn it!

Socks were such a fun part of my knitting life last year and now it seems like they won’t even be a mild success this year. Last fall I was knitting socks at an amazing speed and now I can’t seem to get through 1 sock.

I can’t stand the thought of frogging yet another sock and winding yet another skein up just to have another false start. At this point I almost feel afraid of my yarn. Maybe I’m overthinking it but I look at the stash and see yarn I want to love and knit but I’m scared I will fail yet again.  This is also the longest I have gone in a year without an ongoing/successful project on the needles. You know the mojo is gone when you start to wonder IF you will knit again.

It wasn’t that many years ago that I could be on my feet for 12-13 hours a day running around in a hot and crazy commercial kitchen without complaint. Now either it’s age or the fact my body is acclimated to cube life but spending 11 hours at the Flower & Garden Show working the Edelweiss Perennials booth has me beat. My feet ache on a whole new level.

I was so good though. I only bought two small plants today ($10 total) but got to come home with 6 free plants for helping man the booth. We won’t even go into the money I spent on a bag of caramel corn and a loaf of double marble chocolate bread. Every girl needs a treat sometimes.

Oh and some bad news for my yarn diet. I found out Paypal is running some sort of “Spend $30, get $15 back” on any website that offers paypal online. And Blue Moon has paypal. That is like almost getting a skein of lightweight for free. Shit!

What are your thoughts? I don’t need anything and I could probably buy as a gift for someone else. I just got a big Blue Moon order in a few weeks ago however I didn’t spend nearly anything at Madrona like I had planned. And I think it’s pretty damn obvious I am looking for any excuse to buy. Help me please.

The worst part of being sick? Not being able to knit. Well ok truthfully I am physically able to knit but between the volatile temperature swings from feverish to freezing, my brain liquifying into snot and my body attempting to hack up my lungs I haven’t WANTED to knit. (Sorry for that TMI)

I’m also not feeling my happy socks love right now, the pattern is coming along fine but the colors aren’t showing the pattern the way I wanted it to. When I look at it I have trouble picking out a defined pattern which is probably due to using white instead of a dark color. I went against my instincts when picking white. I think it may be time to frog and move on.

Happy sock

Thank you Sneakie Pie!!! I love my SP package.

SP package

That is some Mountain Goat in Berry (yum), the biggest Crunch bar I have ever seen, M+M’s and Starburst (yum, yum and YUM).

And guess what I did about 5 seconds after opening the package?

I love mountain goat

That is the face of one happy knittingkitty. The package was just what I needed after work today so the timing was perfect. Do you think M+M’s can be considered dinner?

The English Bay socks officially came off the needles around 9pm last night. I love them so much I didn’t even want to risk washing them in case they weren’t dry by morning. Check out what made going to work today worth it (well almost).

English Bay EB Closeup

I have to admit I am not typically a fan of mis-matched pooling when it comes to my varigated socks, they don’t have to be identical but similar is preferable. In this case I really don’t care that these don’t match. I love the way the yarn knit up, the way the colors looked and the pattern was just what this yarn needed. I can’t wait to knit with the other Sweet Georgia yarn I have in my stash.

After finishing the EB socks I went back and forth on what I should do next. I got all that STR but until I get some good sunshine to take photos of the skeins I don’t want to use them. Then I looked at the Socktopia themes for February but none of them screamed “Knit me NOW!”.

The idea of not knowing what to knit next when my stash is at an all time high was worrying. Was this what my knitting life would be like from now on? So much yarn I couldn’t figure out where to begin? The idea began to stress me out.

Then I remembered something; the socknitters.com sock design challenge. Something I signed up for a while back but haven’t made any progress on. Then I remembered something else.

Happy Stripe

It’s bright. Oh so very bright. This is Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock in Happy Stripe, got it last fall in a great sale of grab bags (worked out to be about $10 for two skeins). My first reaction to this color was “Sheesh I don’t think I can make socks that color” but then I started imagining a color stranded sock.

We shall see how it goes. It could be bad.

About a month ago Terri showed me her little tape measure that she got from Top Ten Toys in Greenwood. It took me a while to get over there (even though I live maybe half a mile away) but today I came home with this fella.

Dino measure Dino 2

How cute is he? And get this, he was only 95cents!!! I picked up a few more, an elephant and a teddy bear for some friends.

In other news, I have one English Bay sock down and one more to go. I’m already antsy to start the next project but I have no idea what it is.

EB 1

And many thanks to those of you at VY&T on Saturday who made me feel like the bestest knitter in the whole wide world when I brought in Icky.

Flickr Photos

blackwork sampler

More Photos

Dragonfibers

On the needles

February Fitted Pullover

Sapphire Waves of Grain

On the Bedside Table

The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (ok not really since I can't find the book anymore)

on the wheel

Absolutely Nothing.

Stashdown 2009

January 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 233 Total Weight:33.13lbs Total Miles: 27

February 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 213 Total Weight:30.09lbs Total Miles: 26

March 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 218 Total Weight:31.95lbs Total Miles: 27

April 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins of Yarn: 217 Total Weight:31.45lbs Total Miles: 26.5

May 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 229 Total Weight: 33.8 Total Miles: 28.4

June 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 210 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.7

July 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 201 Total Weight: 30.5 Total Miles: 26.5

August 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 228 Total Weight: 34.0 Total Miles: 28.8

October 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 254 Total Weight: 38.2 Total Miles: 31.8

November1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 224 Total Weight: 34.9 Total Miles: 29.9

December 1st 2009

Balls/Skeins: 206 Total Weight: 31.9 Total Miles: 27.1

KAL

World Bread Day '07

February 2007
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