Thursday, December 29, 2005

Persevering

Despite the distraction of a very tempting little wheel in the house I am still making progress on the Feather and Fan Shawl. I am forcing myself to knit a minimum of 2 rows every day. That doesn't sound like much, but as I am nearing the outside edge of a very large circular shawl, the pattern rows (one out of every 4) take me a full hour to do, and the plain rows aren't exactly quick either. 1,272 stitches per round.....and growing. 16 more rounds and then a crocheted loop bind off.

Oh. And it looks like I may run out of yarn. 8-X

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ode to Little Gem2

Little Gem2, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

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I love your smooth spinning, the ease with which your treadles glide, your quick no-hands-necessary stops and starts, and your sealed bearings. I love your beauty, your pretty finish, your attractively turned post, and your no fuss design. I love your practicality too, your portable lightness, your convenient and protective carry case, the way you take up no more space than necessary, and your willingness to fold up and go with me anywhere. I love your big, no-rattle bobbins and your sliding flyer hook. I love your double treadles that allow me to sit straight and use both feet at once sparing me back pain and chiropractor bills. My lovely new wheel, you are truly a GEM. Welcome to the family.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Still Plugging Along

I haven't dropped out of the knitting universe. I'm still knitting on the Feather and Fan Shawl from "A Gathering Of Lace" and, with all the other busy-ness this time of year, progress is slow. It doesn't help that there are now 1176 stitches in each round. It shall not beat me though, I have perseverance on my side. In an effort to spur myself on I dragged out a few wardrobe possibilities that will coordinate with the shawl and did a photo shoot.

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The shawl doesn't look like much in this heap, but trust me, when it is blocked and the lace pattern shows, it will be lovely. I'm at row 161 of 190 and trying to knit a minimum of 2 rows per day. At that pace I will be finished in a little over 2 weeks. If I can slip in a few extra rows here and there it may make its debut sooner.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Hippo Song

Catchy little hippopotamus Christmas tune.

http://soe.hyperchat.com/newchat/u/yummy/~soe/hippoFAQ.htm

It was recorded by Gayla Peevey way back in 1953. Check it out. It should put a bounce in your step and a smile on your face.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Flock Of Cookies

When do cookies come in flocks? When they are Sheep Cookies of course! No, no....not made of mutton. These are regular sugar cookies in the shape of sheep.

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They are part of a gift for the exchange at the Spinners and Weavers Guild Christmas lunch tomorrow. The other part of the gift was purchased earlier.

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The candied citron bits are to add a bit more of a festive touch......in case the recipient decides to pawn them off on holiday guests.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

A Whole Lot Of Spinning

You may have noticed that I haven't been posting much about knitting this past little while. That's because I haven't been knitting much. I've been busy with this:

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That's 783 metres (approx. 856 yards) of 2 ply Coopworth wool, weighing 651 grams (approx. 1 pound, 9 ounces). I'm spinning it up at 11 WPI (approx. a worsted weight) in preparation for making an Aran cardigan for myself.

This batch (there is another 2 pounds not yet spun) is being prepared for it's post-spinning bath. If it doesn't bloom too much in the washing it should work out perfectly for the pattern I have in mind.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Christmas Table Runner

I finished the weaving of this Christmas Table runner at least a month ago, but the other weavers in the guild had to take their turn on the group warp and it was just cut off the loom this week.

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I really struggled with this one. Not due to the weaving itself, which was quite simple. No, I struggled with the old loom. The back brake was not holding for me and I had to get up every couple of minutes (no exaggeration!) to roll the warp back again.

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It is as hard to photograph as a black dog on a dark night! The whole appeal of this pattern is in the raised "tree" detail which is hardly showing up in the photographs.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sample Bear

Another little bear made from leftover scraps of handspun wool using the pattern in the Spring 1995 issue of "Spin Off".

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He's two tone because I ran out of the first, blue yarn. I think it still turned out well though. The eyes weren't crossed when I first embroidered them. That happened when I did the soft sculpting....it pulled the eyes down and inward. He looks like he needs a little bee on his nose or something. The nose and the whites of the eyes were done with needle felting. I didn't think the black pupils would show up on the dark colored wool with out that addition.

Monday, December 05, 2005

It's About Time!

Well, I finally got myself a round Tuit enabling me to accomplish a few things around here.

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You can get your own round Tuit here.

With this lovely Tuit (did I mention that it was one of the rare, round ones?) I was finally able to get around to posting on this much neglected blog.

Using the Tuit I finally found the time to hem a handwoven tea towel that has been languishing in my sewing room for weeks. All it needed was the hems! Please excuse the garishness of the color. It's the first weaving I've done in years and was part of a group warp used by the guild. The other (experienced) weavers were sensible and worked their towels in various versions of a plaid. I thought for my first weaving I had better just stick to straight weaving, no need to complicate things by adding in a few color changes. As it is I made enough mistakes. Who cares? It still does a mighty fine job of drying dishes.

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I was finally able to photograph this little, handspun, hand knitted, string jointed teddy. He's been finished for more than a week but photography was delayed until I got a round Tuit.

EDIT: The pattern for the little teddy is found in the Spring 1995 issue of "Spin Off". I did a little soft sculpture shaping on the face, which was rather pointy and "rat-ish".

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I also took a comforter in to be cleaned, mended a shirt, and got my Christmas cards ready for mailing. Vacuuming is next on my list, and with the round Tuit, I know that it will happen.

Just think what this round Tuit could do for you if you kept it in your knitting basket. Why, there would be no more unfinished objects! Every project would be finished on time. You'd learn all those new techniques you've been meaning to try. Never would a sweater remain in pieces, waiting for blocking and seaming. No, you would have a round Tuit right there handy to take care of these things.

Better go get yourself one, quick! I hear they are quite hard to come by.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

AWOL

I've been a little neglectful in my blog posting lately. No good excuses, just didn't have much to say and was a little on the busy side.

Last weekend we helped our daughter and son-in-law move into their new home, packing up the moving truck at one end and unloading it at the other. Unfortunately the carpets were being cleaned upstairs so all the stuff had to be taken into the basement suite and moved upstairs over the next few days. Here they are, the happy couple on moving day.

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Yesterday was spent putting up our Christmas tree. This year I had some help. Thanks Jordon! I really enjoyed the time we spent together.

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