Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day!

I'm taking a snow day. We've had over 12 inches in the last 4 days and I really just don't want to drive it again. I had a vacation day saved, so I'm lounging at home today, warm, safe, doing chores that have been ignored recently. And goofing off a bit:) I have been knitting, just no pictures recently because it's been so gray. Onto snow day pictures!

Yesterday morning:
Picture 013

This morning:
Picture 019
(and I couldn't get the ruler all the way to the ground, too deep)
Picture 021
Picture 025
Picture 026
Picture 030
Picture 029

And this crazy little rose was trying to bloom last week:
Picture 028

Enjoy! Stay warm, dry & safe!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Long lost post...

It's been so long! This last month has just zoomed by in a blur. I spend my weekdays forcing myself through my workday, then coming home, cooking, relaxing with my husband, and going to bed to wake up and do it all over again. When I finally get to the weekend, I'm thrilled and all I really want to do is catch up.

But I have been knitting, and crocheting, and finishing projects, and a little bit of spinning. I have two finished projects to show you, but no spinning photos recently. I hope to get you spinning photos next week along with some of the beautiful fall scenes we've been having recently.

I finally finished an afghan I've been working on for nearly a year. It's crocheted on a P hook with a double strand of Simply Soft. It's heavy and warm and soft and lovely. And it's huge. I don't have any full pictures of it because I haven't figured out how to get a good photo of this spread out.



And I finished the handspun scarf. It's so soft and it turned out beautifully. I have enough yarn left over to do some handwarmers to match, I think.



Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sorry I've been MIA

But I've been knitting and spinning and it's been a bit gray for pictures. I finished up the BFL from the last post. It's luscious. The scarf is sitting at about 4 feet long right now. I'm going to go to 5 feet then see if I have enough fiber left for a pair of hand warmers.

And once that was off my wheel, I started this:

Bamboo/Merino blend. Kettle dyed by a little dyer down in Eugene, Or. I've since lost her card... I know it's around here somewhere but I can't find it. This is just about worsted. It's knitting to 4.5 sts/inch and it wants to be a little sweater. I bought just over half a pound, so I should have enough for a cropped sweater or something like that. And I have a partially finished February Lady Sweater to show you. Body done, just working on the sleeves. And once that's off my needles, I HAVE to figure out what is wrong with the sleeves on S's sweater so that I can finish that project that's been taking up needles for nearly a year. So I'm busy in fiber and I'm coping at work, even though I'm still bored and feeling frustrated. We've been busy lately, weekends have been quite full. Which is why I've been MIA. I'm hoping the tomatoes will finish ripening before we freeze. It got down in the lower 40's last night and my heater actually ran for the first time this morning. So I'm worried that they won't ripen any further. The bushes are still COVERED, but it hasn't been warm enough or sunny enough to finish them off. The rest of the garden has been a bit of a dud. My squash never started to produce. Lots of flowers, but no squash. Cucumbers put off a couple really nasty looking guys before dying off. Eggplants & tomatoes did really well though. But I'm off to work, so I'll get pictures of the scarf & sweater as soon as the light cooperates.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I think I'm in love

Need I say more?
Ok... If you really need more, it's my own handspun, BFL from my secret pal, about halfway spun up, at 150ish yards right now. On my new Ashford. I think I'm in love. I love the colors, the pattern, it's just fantastic. And I can spin so much finer now. Ravelry Link for those who want it. Enjoy.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Meet my new toy...

This is my new wheel. It's my biggest birthday present, and by far my most used so far. I've been using it even more than the new mixer. But that may just be because it is so very hot. She's a beautiful used Ashford Traveler that I got for just about half off the normal retail price at my favorite LYS on the coast, Nestucca Bay Yarns. I love this shop! And the wheel qualified me for my bonus free merchandise, so I ended up with two skeins of delightful Malabrigio in lovely greens. No pictures of that. It kinda got forgotten in the process of playing with the new wheel.

I'm working with the BFL that my summer secret pal sent me and I'm in love. It's coming out very fine, just under fingering weight singles. Maybe a heavy lace weight single? I know it's going to be 2-3 ply and will be used for yummy house socks. This wheel spins like a dream.

I was going to try out a Fricke at Woodland Woolworks on the way home from the coast, but... I stopped at the LYS after receiving all my birthday booty and this little girl was sitting in a corner with a price tag that I just couldn't miss. So I sat and spun. And I was immediately spinning more even, finer yarn than I'd ever done before. Instant love. I didn't want to try another wheel, I wanted to bring this one home. And my birthday booty nearly paid for it.

So she came home with me. And I've been spinning at every opportunity every since. Which is why there wasn't a normal blog post recently. I've been too busy with the yarn. Isn't it pretty? So addicting...

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Knitty Summer Love 2008!

Yay! My summer love package got here yesterday, and am I ever spoiled!
I don't know why some of these picture are aligned right and some aren't, but they all were before I uploaded them and now I can't get them to upload correctly... Just tilt your heads and I'll try to figure out what's wrong later.
Overall, we have... Pretty Noro, needles, and pattern for a tea cozy. Maple tea. A wonderful hand-knit bag by Midnight Farm, book and CD contained within (she burned the CD just for me!). Pretty pretty BFL fiber in berry colors. Lots and lots of touristy information about Yellowstone & the Northwest Territories (I so want to come visit you now. And my husband is convinced he's found his version of heaven on earth). And a very cute Pinocchio tape measure.

Pretty Pretty Noro. My tea pot will be so happy this winter. And so spoiled!

Mmmmm... I love tea. And this smells so very good. I'm excited to try it. But it's 92 out right now, and the only tea I'm drinking is iced. But I'm taking a few bags to the coast with me for our trip at the end of the month, where it's plenty cold for a nice cup of hot tea.

Mmmmmmmmmmm... There are no words for this fiber. I'm beyond excited to start spinning it. But I need to get the green from the previous post off my wheel first. And then I have to figure out what this wants to become. Something nice and thin to make the most of it.
And so cute! His nose pulls out to reveal the tape measure.

So thank you, Midnight Farm. I love it!

In which there's sewing...

My birthday is in a couple of weeks. Over the 4th of July sale, the DH decided to purchase the nice, shiny new kitchen aid that I've been drooling over. And he got a really amazing price. So I've been baking like crazy recently. (and with the outside temperatures, that's not necessarily a good thing)

But apparently that wasn't enough. We went to a thrift store yesterday in search of exercise equipment. This particular store usually has a great selection of lightly used stair steppers and such. And with us both sitting at a desk all day, it was sounding like a good idea to have something in the house to increase our physical activity. Well, yesterday they only had a few very sad looking nordik tracks and some rather ancient exercise bikes. No love for us there. But, of course, I had to check out the crafty section before leaving. Every once and a while, they have some really nice wool or fabric there. No wool, no nice fabric (some very 80's hot pink sweat suite material, though...) but this little baby was peaking out from under one of the tables:
It's BRAND NEW. The sticky things that cover the LCD screen hadn't even been removed. Had everything except the manual with it, which was easily attainable through the Brother website.

I bought my first machine in college. I was sewing like crazy for our wedding favors and for my veil, and anything else that I found for the wedding that needed to be taken care of. So for about 3 months, my $60 Singer got a hard work out. And then, mysteriously, the bobbin started snagging. It wouldn't pull smoothly. Nothing had been touched with the tension, I wasn't doing anything different. It just stopped sewing smoothly. And got very loud. So I put it away for about a year, between finding knitting again and getting married, and moving, and all that jazz, I just didn't think about sewing. It stayed in the back of my closet, happily silent. When we moved last spring, we were faced with some very oddly sized windows. And I had to pull the sad little machine out and make it work for a living again. I messed with the tension, and got a semi-smooth straight stitch out of it. But it was still very loud. But I got 3 out of 5 curtains completed before I couldn't take it anymore. When I saw this little gem in the store, at about 25% of it's original purchase price, I couldn't pass it up. It may not be a top-of-the-line brand. But it sews well. Very well. And it's so very quiet.

And my front door finally has a curtain:
Now I just need to finish up the Last Curtain for our bedroom windows. And the quilt that I don't have nearly enough fabric to complete the top...


I'm alive. Everyone's ok. We're tired. We're overwhelmed. We're frustrated. But we're alive and surviving. I have lots of posts for you today. The first is my most recent handspun!

First up, 100% mohair. This was a blast to spin. It gets so nice and fluffy. And the colors are really pretty. This went to my downstream summer love secret pal.

And second is some wool. I'm not sure what breed. I got this gorgeous batt in a swap and it just said wool. About dk weight, plied with a rainbow colored rayon sewing thread. I'm at about 150 yards so far and have about 1/3 of the batt left to spin up. Should end up just over 200 yards total, maybe slightly more. I'm hoping to do a baby jacket out of this, might end up doing some contrast trim to stretch it. No, we're not having a baby. But with the way that my friends seem to be reproducing, it seems smart to keep a few things going just to make sure that my gift giving is covered. And we will, eventually, be having one. We just have to figure out where we're moving & how to afford the move first. Then we'll get to the happily ever after, one big family, part.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

It's already July 1!

I'm not entirely sure where the last few months have gone, but they've just rushed by! They are just a blur of hotter and hotter days, learning a new job, sending out applications for more enjoyable jobs, spinning up a storm, and watching the weeds try to take over the world.

2 weeks ago I got a haircut, and I'm just now getting around to sharing. I love it. I think this is one of my favorite cuts that I've gotten in a while.

And while out walking Mill Creek after getting it cut, we found these HUGE dandelions. These things are massive!

But aren't they pretty? I have spinning to share with you, a really pretty mohair that I spun up this weekend. I'm starting to get a stockpile of hand spun around. I'm thinking about putting it up on Etsy... But I'm still not all that confident in my skills. Most of the hanks have at least one join in them where the yarn broke in the plying process, and I don't think I'm comfortable listing them that way. On the other hand, I'm never going to make my way through using all this fiber! I just can't decide if I feel "good enough" to sell it or not.

More pictures later this week, fiber ones next time!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's a mental health day...

And I've been spinning. I couldn't face work today. I can't really explain it. But every time that I tried to get ready, I started crying. Eventually, I decided it was time to just let myself off the hook for the day. It's been a long couple of days. And I hardly slept last night. So after contacting work, I went back to bed. Slept for 3 more hours. And felt half way to human.

And so I finished up this yarn. And I started a shawl. And I'm just picking up the hook to work on my skirt. And I have an entire box full of fluff waiting for me to spin up.

Isn't this stuff gorgeous? It's about 150 yards, dk-worsted, 80% wool, 20% Tussah Silk. And it's yummy.

This last picture is the most color accurate. I tweaked settings in photoshop to try and get a really close match on these pictures, and I'd say this one got pretty close. So now I'm going to go veg out on sappy tv shows and work on this skirt. I'm hoping tomorrow goes a little better.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

I promised pictures!

So I'm delivering.
First up, A pair of Tofutsies Socks. I love this yarn. The socks end up so lightweight, perfect for year round wear. These aren't colors that normally grab me, but they reminded me of a sunset. And I can be a little daring on my feet! Colors in my shoes don't necessarily need to look great next to my face, so I use my sock yarn to branch out, color wise.
One sock done. I'm not sure exactly what I did for the heel. I know how to duplicate it for the other heel, but it's not a heel that I've done before. I think I unvented something here, a box heel maybe? It's quite narrow and fits really well on my foot. It just looks and fits differently than any other heel that I've done and I really thought I was doing it exactly like I normally do...
Close up of the colors, isn't it pretty? I'm not a pink girl. And I'm not big on yellow. And the only orange I like is in the peach to deep russet shades. But the way it's blended in these socks, it just screams summer time. And since it's JUNE and we just now started getting above 70 degrees on a somewhat normal basis, I need a little bit of summer time.
My first squash blossom of the year! I don't actually remember what kind of squash this one is. I have Anna Swartz, Australian butter and Guatemalan blue out there.
And the roses are fully testifying to the fact that even though spring was dreadfully short, summer is finally trying to come. They are in full bloom. Our house is surrounded by color right now. And I'm a busy little gardener trying to keep up with keeping them trimmed back so that they don't get nasty looking.
I'm making a big bread salad for dinner tonight. And an Italian bean salad with flat bread for lunches this week. So if the salad turns out, you may be seeing some pics & recipes up later today.

In the job front, no news back about the interview. It went ok. Very nice woman who interviewed me, odd interview though. No longer than 5 minutes. After talking over they pay & position with the husbeast, we've decided that if it is offered, I'm going to refuse. It's closer to home, and a little bit better position, but it's less money. And Something about this job just doesn't feel right. I have two applications out, in particular, that I'm very excited about and I want to find out about those. I've got a job for now, it's not the best, but it pays well and I'm learning new things every day. I'm not going to settle this time around. I want a job that can turn into a career. And this position just wasn't it. So I'll keep looking. I know the right job is out there, and I'm hoping those 2 positions call me back, SOON!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I'm ok...

I'm still here. Doing better. My job is just very emotionally taxing and at the end of the day all I want to do is whine and complain and I don't want this blog to be about that. I am knitting. I have most of a new sock done. Hopefully pictures tomorrow or this weekend. But we've had pretty gray weather up till this afternoon, so couldn't take pictures.

In other news, I have an interview tomorrow (thursday) for a job that I don't even remember applying for. But it's with a very nice company, so much closer to home, and it's more in the general realm of what I'm looking to do with my life. So I've taken the morning off and I get to go interview. Now I just have to figure out what to wear... And do something with my hair that so badly needs to be cut that it's slightly sad.

Ok. I promise. Next post - Pictures!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

No pictures today...

Today it's just me, talking, trying to figure out how it all is supposed to fit together.

Sometimes, things happen and we can't figure out why. And you think you've just about worked through them, just about made it ok in your head. And then, out of no where, you're slammed right back into the situation and you feel like crawling up in a little ball and crying because it hurts nearly as much as it did the first day... week... or month. It's been over two years. And yet today it hurts as much as it did those first few weeks. All because yesterday someone poked the scab and it was all I could do to make it through the rest of the day.

I graduated in a class of 8 students. We'd all been together for 2 years, doing everything together. We had our little 2 and 3's within the group who were closer than others, but we all looked out for each other. We all went on class trips together, had classes together, most of us went to the same college for the first year. And then we all started drifting apart. Our parents would keep us up to date on the ones who were far away. And we always said, this will be the year that we get everyone back together. 3 of us are married now. We have 2 college graduates, and 1 or 2 graduate this year. And 2 years ago one of us committed suicide. It was March 31, we got the call April 1st. We all thought it was some demented April fools day joke and we spent the day calling each other, trying to figure out if it was true. Within the week, all but 2 of us were back together in our little church beside the school. Trying to figure out how we'd let him get so lost. And we talked and remembered and laughed and cried. And then we moved on. We kept living our lives because that's what you do. And sometimes a song would come on the radio and I'd be floored, immediately crying and hurting again. But it's faded with time. I thought I was ok. I really did.

Yesterday I had a customer call in who's son had tried to commit suicide a month ago. And the pain in her voice... It was like being told again that he is gone. And all I want to do today is curl up in bed and cry and remember him. But I can't. I have to pull it together and go to work. Because it's been over 2 years and I should be ok by now. A part of me still wants to believe that it's a really elaborate joke. But I know it's not. And that really completely sucks. I don't understand. I don't know if I ever will.

But I hope our love gets through to him, in some way. Because we all miss him... So much. And today it's just a little harder than most to put him away.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's spring


And I'm sick. I spent all day friday coughing. About half of yesterday coughing. I've only coughed a couple of times today, but that's because I don't think my abs have enough strength left to make me cough. As long as I sit still and don't talk to laugh or move, I don't cough. Unfortunatly, my job is talking all day long (hence, I took Friday off). And the house kind of looks like it hasn't been cleaned in a month (even though I did it last weekend). And there's very little food in the house. And the bathtub appears to be a science experiment on different kinds of soap scum (we ran out of daily shower cleaner 3 weeks ago and I can't seem to remember to refill it). But the cleaners make me cough on a good day... I may have to make the husband clean that today. I said I would definitely take care of it this weekend, but I'm pretty sure I physically can't.


The pretty pictures are so that this post isn't all whine. I hate not feeling well. I normally only get sick once or twice a year and this is the second time in 6 weeks that I've felt like a train wreck. I know my immune system will get used to the recycled air eventually, but for the time being, I'm picking up everything that goes through the building. And it kinda sucks. It's gorgeous outside and I wanted to enjoy it, to get the irrigation laid in my garden, air out the house, clean, cook, bake. Instead, I'm staring at my computer screen, wishing I could breathe without feeling like I need to cough. But it is spring. Completely and totally spring. Everything is in bloom and it's beautiful. It's finally warming up. I need to switch out the closet next weekend or the weekend after. It's just plain wonderful out (if you ignore the wind).


So I'm going to stop complaining, pull myself together enough to get to Andy's Market, and leave you with the pretty pictures. I have been knitting a bit again. I'll report back on that when I feel a little more alive and a little less like a walking cough.

Monday, April 28, 2008

I am SOOO Nervous...

I start doing my job, for real, today. The last 4 weeks have been training. Lots and lots of classroom training. And I go live today. And I'm so nervous. There is so much to remember, so many steps we need to do, so many things we need to say. I know the stuff in my head. It's just that we haven't had any practical application of it, just simulations, and today we go live, with real customers. I'm freaking out just a little. I am absolutely THRILLED to not be getting up at 3:30 am anymore, though. Getting up when it's light out is a fabulous change. I'm not excited about loosing all that afternoon free time that I had, but I think the sleeping till it's light out makes up for it.

No real news on the knitting front. I'm just really burned out. And I've lost the driving need to keep my hands busy. Once I settle into a routine at work, I will probably do more again. But right now, I've gotten about 5 inches of Clapotis and about 10 rows on a dishcloth in the last 4 weeks. I've cleaned my house. I've cooked a lot. I've learned a whole new job completely unlike anything that I've ever done before. I've spun up about 2 oz of fiber. I've met a lot of new people and found a few new friends. But the knitting just isn't happening. I'm still on Ravelry and Knitty too many hours each day. I love looking, planning, imagining. But when I sit down and pick up the needles, I just don't feel the calm settle over me anymore. I knit so much at my last job, several hours a day. I lived and breathed fiber and yarn and knitting and crocheting. And most days I really enjoyed it. But without that driving need to keep on top of things in the fiber art world, I've stepped back to more of an observing role. I want to feel driven to pick up my needles or hook and create something. I miss the calm, brainless, relaxing rhythm of it. But it's just not coming right now. We all need a break sometimes, right?

Anyway, I'm just a couple weeks out from my Blogiversary, so I'm thinking of doing a contest. I'll update you on it when it's closer. It's the end of May, the 28th. So be looking for a give-away that week!