Friday, July 22, 2011

....a bump in the road ???

So...anybody think it has been w-a-ay-y too hot lately ? It certainly makes the ambition non-existent.....have tried to get some things done (I really want to make some fresh bread, however, in this heat kneading a batch of dough does not even get considered). About all I have managed to do beyond setting out some washbuckets for cleaning fleece, is getting my dyepot going.

The first dye-bath used the purple tablets and the blue ones (easter-egg dye tablets, I stocked up after the holiday). As always happens, depending on how much lanolin may still have been present on the fleece, the fiber does not take up the dye at the same rate...and sometimes too, the dye "breaks" so you find yourself with surprises once it is rinsed and dried. Well, no surprise here then because it did 'break' resulting in a deep pinkish-purple edging into royal purple and aqua going to a bright turqoise.....see:

And, since the dye had not exhausted, figured I could go ahead and dye another batch, so put in another 12-16 ounces of fiber in the crock (no new tablets)...this time I got the aqua shades.

And the dye is still not exhausted, so mixed in red tablets. Now I have a lovely shade of deep pinkish purple.

Still working this one….added green tablets, hoping to come up with a nice shade of brown. Ummm, no…but did get a lovely deep olive green/bronze out of it.

Ok…still seems to be some life left, so threw in the rest of the tablets (yellow and orange, I believe)…..This time I got what resembled dry grass (?hay) yellow/green. And with that, I considered this experiment DONE. Here is a pix of my lineup:

So, now the job will be to get enough of each color spun to do what I need….and at the moment, the old brain cells are working their way around possibly plying the white with either the grass or the aqua, and using a two-ply of the brighter tones for the entrelac bands (and since I like my socks on the shorter side, 3 bands will be sufficient). But, that will need to wait a bit, but in the meanwhile, only the Shadow knows…

Other than the above, have gotten some done on the Special Birthday surprise (I need to finish it as it will be presented next week). Have also been working my way thru the TestKnitting shawl (Cirque); have fallen woefully behind in my Scarf o’Year project, cast on for yet another pair of socks (yes, I know, still several in the works, but they are at a stage that evening/end-of-day-tiredness is not the best of time to be working on them so they are temporarily in a holding pattern).

..until the next time !

Monday, July 18, 2011

…and so…what have I been up to of late? On first glance, it appears to be not much of anything. With that being said, the summer muggies arrived and with it, ambition/energy to do much of anything at all went by the wayside. This has resulted in only a few buckets of fleece being put to soak in soapy water and rinsed, then leaving the rack sitting on the monkey-bars to dry – this morning only marked the second such batch that was brought into the house. Yes, it is dry; no, it is not quite spin-ready yet. The monkey-bars sits at the back end of the yard, under a pine tree – handles of fiber get shaken and pulled apart to lose their accumulations of dust granules, pine needles, and the occasional beetle that wandered in to check it out and got stuck in the fiber. So, AC has been running quite a bit, and once I sit down to watch TV at night, I am either working on something that does not require a lot of thought/counting of stitches/anything more than simple stitch patterning, or, after placing the old newspaper sheet at my feet to catch all the bits, I start in on picking the fleece apart/loose, a few handfuls at a time. Then pick up the spindle and spin away. Repeat from ‘picking…”

And just so you don’t think I am slacking…the fiber is from 6 sheep that average anywhere 6-12 pounds of raw fiber apiece – my wash buckets will only hold about 1 to 1.5 pounds each (depends how grubby the raw stuff is), and with only doing three of these at a time…..yeah, it takes a while to wash all of this, so expect to find notations on ‘washing’ – this will continue until the weather makes it not a good idea to be outside doing so any more (of course, this will also mean that the balance of this year’s fleece that doesn’t get washed before getting stored in the garage for the winter, will be in some of the early spring/summer wash buckets).

So, you may ask….what did I get accomplished, if anything, this week? In looking over my notes of what I have worked on (I have a notebook that I list how much time I spend on any fiber projects)….this week as previously noted, was not an overly ambitious one. Yes, fiber got washed. Yes, spinning did take place (the PinkLavender roving is completely spun). Yes, knitting did take place (working on a Test knitting project). On top of that, I have founds lots more, make that LOTS MORE, projects of various kinds that I would like to make (socks, shawls, and sweaters too!), so only time will tell which of the many will actually transfer from my queue to actual WIP…

…gotta run….lunchtime ends far too quickly for my usual verbosity…… So, will just leave you with a close-up shot of some of the spinning that I have been working on...just a little something to pass the time away while dreaming about all the wonderful items in my queue....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

...such a week it has been....

...So, now comes the time of updating my progress, such as it has been. First, let me preface this by saying it has been rather hot, or "HHH" (hot/hazy/humid) here for the past week -- the last thing I want in my lap when I am feeling sticky is sticky raw fleece...for that matter, a lap-full of a knitting project isn't always that desirable either, but it is either I have something to keep my hands and brain focused, or the heat just frazzles me and I end up catnapping in my chair....hmmm...not very restful nap or hot/sweaty palms......

That being said, have been busy when I wasn't working/cooking/cleaning. With the Tour de Fleece running concurrent to the Tour de France, have been trying to get as much spinning time in as I could (including time spent prepping fleece in wash buckets, etc).

The assorted small batts/rovings are being worked on in between washing and spindling of Dorset fiber (which will eventually have some in a dye pot....I have visions of perhaps an entrelac cuff in assorted colors later this year). I have also completely spun the bag of "Mystery Roving" (a mix of alpaca, suffolk, angora rabbit, and mohair), with yardage that I believe will do for a pair of socks

Have been plugging away at the Sky Scarf (apologies, no pix yet), as well as the SecretSurprise pressie. And, I went and added another project to my list, is where I stand as of Sunday morning, 07102011:

...and there you have it....the coffee bucket only holds a portion of the Dorset (I have at least a case-of-paper sized box full of freshly washed fiber (with at least ten times that amount stored in the attic from previous years), so have plenty to keep me busy Oh, and before I forget.....the previously mentioned projects that were is my Robin (still unblocked)

and my green alpaca socks:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Lights !!

....and just so you know I am still here.....while waiting for the show to begin, sat on the hillside watching this

(while spinning of course), and once it got too dark to see what I was working on, the main event commenced


Hope that those who celebrate it, had a very safe and happy Fourth of July

Friday, July 1, 2011

...on Your Mark....get Set.... and....G-O-!!!!

I knew it would happen --
…go on record and say “I will do A_, B_ and C_” and the next thing you know, something happens that throws a monkeywrench in the works, usually because:
I really have no interest in working on _B_ again, or
I have now found “IT” that must now be done, or
circumstances change such that I no longer NEED to do a certain project, etc, etc……

Case in point #1: When we first started talking about doing this, there had been a wedding afghan in the lineup which now is not happening and thus the afghan is on hold indefinitely (it will be made some-day, just not anywhere in the forseeable future). So, it was not posted on the list previously posted.
Case in point #2: In order to work on one shawl that had been spun for, I needed to finish a long-languishing shawl in order to use that set of needles. Well, with watching the Stanley Cup hockey playoff (lots of knitting time), I was able to get to that point of completion (it is not blocked, but Robin is DONE !)
Case in point #3: In terms of the rotating socks, the ones I said I would do first weren’t even touched – when I reached into the bin and grabbed a sock kit, it was a different pair (green Frog Tree alpaca), which was also some of my hockey knitting, and this pair is now DONE.
Case in point #4: Was just reminded that the Tour de Fleece begins shortly (July 2-24), so need to figure in spinning time as well as determine WHAT to spin (and determine end product for such spinning).
Case in point #5: Have added (and already CO for) a project that will take 365 days to complete (you only do 2 rows/day), and even though it is listed as a scarf, have already decided to ‘widen’ it a tad so that I may actually be a skinny shawl when complete.

Pheww !! So, all-righty-then…you know what this means, don’t you ?

....yup, "adjustments" had to be made, and here we go (again!):
- Tour de Fleece spinning (lots of washed Dorset fleece), eventual game plan on this fiber is a trip thru the dye-crock and then onto socks
- TdF spinning of lots of amall bits of assorted rovings I keep finding stashed all over the place
- Sky Scarf (Lea of Leafcutter Designs)
- Special Birthday (in progress)
- Grad.Silk shawl (spinning is complete, not CO yet)
- Baby gift #1: Emil’s Peababe
- Baby gift #2: longies (have washable yarn ready to CO)
- Wendy’s Summer Shawlette (ready to CO)
- Make Your Own Ending shawl KAL
- Wagon Wheel shawl (in progress)
- Saroyan (in progress)
- Cedar Wrap (in progress)
- Stitching of patches onto DD’s Girl Scout vest
- Socks #1: Alaine (in progress)
- Socks #2: Tabi sox (in progress)
- Socks ####, rotating between other in progress: CoffeeBean, Tardis, Fishing, Wensleydale, HospSox
- New Socks: Spiral eyelets for DD; Circle sox for me, and several more that I found I really want to do

….and I think this is all I want to commit myself to at the moment, because you know that even tho it l-o-o-k-s like I have totally lost my mind…maybe, just maybe, I haven’t….

….Change is good…Change is necessary…Change means there is re-evaluation going on….Change means growth…(..of course, it could also mean that my filing system is so bad I have to change in order to get anything done at )

Until the next time ...when hopefully I get add a few pix of completions and/or in-progress !