Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost the New Year

Wow! How time flies. It seems like I was just wishing everyone a Happy New Year for 2008 and here it is almost 2009. We did have a busy year but I must say it was a very good year for our family. We got to see new sights, we all stayed fairly healthy (just the odd cold and such) and we had food and a roof over our heads. Pretty good all around.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas holiday and you were spoiled rotten! You deserve it!!

My wonderful husband bought me a spinning wheel for Christmas this year - yippeee! I've kind of waffled back and forth between wanting one and not. I could learn a new skill and make some more pretty fiber with it but at the same time, it means one more crafty project to take up space (and money) in our house. I guess that's the practical side of me talking. Don't get me wrong, I'm very happy that he gifted me with it! Also a big bag of unknown sheep fiber to spin into yarn. Here's my first attempt. Not too bad, but not very good either.

Ok, here's my second attempt. The grey is what I got with the wheel (and my second attempt at spinning) and the navy blue (my third attempt at spinning) I bought at Weaving Works in Seattle --- yes, we made a trip there yesterday! I also picked up some very pretty multi-coloured yarn to spin later.

I must say, the fiber makes all the difference in the world. The grey unknown wool is actually easier to spin than the navy. I'm not sure why, but it seems the navy fiber is more "kinked" and maybe has shorter strands than the grey.

So then I plied (is it plied or plyed?) the two singles together and got this. A whole skein of navy and white yarn. It averages out to about DK weight but I have no idea how much yarn is there. Maybe 150 yards .... just by looking at another DK weight ball of yarn I have here.

I'm pretty excited about it and want to knit it into something but I have no idea what??? It's not very soft since the grey single was really overspun but it doesn't look too bad. I'm probably my own worst critique.

As for knitting ...
* I finished two hats to send to Sandy for the Bridge Project. Last post I said I was knitting a scarf which I ripped out and decided to make hats instead. Didn't like the way the scarf was coming out.
* I finished the baby sweater I was making for my girlfriend whose baby is due anytime now.
* I'm almost finished my socks. Just working on the toe of the second sock.
* Gloves are still at the same spot they were last post
* Adult sweater is worked on just a tiny bit. Down to the ribbing in the body. Next are the sleeves.

Happy New Year everyone! See you in 2009.

Friday, December 19, 2008

We Have Snow

After all the hype last week of a major snow event we finally received a significant amount yesterday. At our house we have 9" when I checked last night. It was still snowing then so we may have a bit more than that now. It's nice powdery snow - not the wet slushy stuff we usually get - which means it's cold. Only 23 this morning and supposed to be even colder tonight. Now I know for a lot of you that's not cold, but here in Western Washington it's cold!

This is me, our Golden Retriever Rio and our Shitzu/Poodle Benji. I don't think I ever posted a picture of Sheep and Wool hat I knit last month, but here it is being used!

I have a couple of quilt pictures for you. The first - Starry Nights - was a Planet Patchwork free block of the month quilt that they had probably 3 or 4 years ago. Of course I changed it. I didn't like the middle of their quilt so I did my own paper pieced and appliqued star. It's a little small for a queen size bed but I like how it turned out.

The second quilt is one I am working on - or planning to work on that is. The top is finished, it's basted and ready to quilt. The problem is it's huge (96" x 92") and a little daunting. I'm also not sure how I'm going to quilt it. I designed the pattern in EQ6 and it's almost all 1/2 square triangles - yikes! Can you tell that teal and purples are my favourite colours? And I used almost all fabric from my stash (except for the white and one of the borders), yippee! Unfortunately it didn't seem to make a dent in the stash - how many quilts can you make from stash fabric anyway?!?

On the knitting front, I have too many projects "on the needles" again. Seems like almost every time I post I've started something new!

Every Tuesday we have a charity group that meets at Cultured Purls in Issaquah to knit for Operation School Bell. A couple of weeks ago we were there and the owner brought this basket of knit fabric to us and told us that this was to make socks. What a cool idea - I just needed to try it out. Flat Feet is a fun way to knit socks. You purchase the preknit fabric that is hand painted, unravel one end, and start knitting your socks. Here is the fabric I bought (teals and purple again) and the first sock knit up. What makes it fun it you have no idea what the colour patterning on the sock will look like until you start knitting. Of course I couldn't wait to start!

Also on the needles .....
* Baby sweater for a friend. Working on the last sleeve so should be done by next post.
* Adult sweater for charity. Working on the colour work at the bottom of the body and then need to knit the sleeves.
* Scarf for The Bridge Project. This is a project that Sandy started a few weeks ago. Her goal is to have 100 hats and scarves for the homeless in her area. Great idea Sandy!!
* Anemore gloves. Both the hands are knit and am working on the fingers. I think I will make mittens next time!
* And not started yet, but my daughter really wants a pair of these - Knucks - with the letters CRE8 LOVE on the fingers. Maybe next winter.

I also want to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends. Until 2009 ....

Friday, December 05, 2008

What I've Been Up To

Looks like I'm posting about once a month at the moment. Maybe I will have the desire to post more in January ... should I make it a New Years resolution? Probably not since we all know how long most resolutions last. You will have to bare with my sporadic posting at the moment (if anyone even comes here to see what I'm doing ).

Alright, onto the good stuff. I've been trying to cut up and sew up the wedding gowns I have here taking up space. At one point I think I had 4 gowns sitting in boxes around my room. In the past month one gown has been completely used up and another is almost used up. I think I will try to make a couple of small blankets from the rest of the gown I have. I seem to end up with lots of little gowns and not so many blankets.

The two sewn gowns are from the Newborns In Need pattern set #3. The pattern makes beautiful gowns to fit 2-3lb preemie angels. The other picture with 4 gowns is made from a pattern I designed. They open in the front so the tiniest of angels can be easily placed in the gown and then velcroed closed. These gowns fit approximately 1lb preemie angels.

The pink blanket is knit with two strands of yarn held together. I used Patons Astra and Patons Pearl Twist (no longer available). And size 6.0mm needles so the blanket works up fast. This one turned out to be 30" x 30". I also knit a blue one (which I didn't get a picture of) and it came out to be 29" x 29". The pattern is Brooke Baby Afghan by Ann V. Gallentine.

All these items were mailed today to a couple of NILMDTS (Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep) photographers.

Have I been doing anything for me? Of course! I always have stuff going that I want to make for myself but the charity items usually take the front seat so my stuff takes for ever to complete.

A while ago I bought the Selbuvotter book. It is full of mitten and glove patterns from Norway. My grandfather was born and grew up in Norway before moving to Canada so these patterns always have a special place in my heart. I chose to do Annemor #8 from the book using Jojoland Melody and Knitpicks Pallette for the yarn. This picture was taken a while ago and as of now, one glove is almost finished. This is not a "knit in front of the tv" project. It takes lots of concentration (for me anyway) and no interruptions.

Other projects (without pictures) that I'm working on are --- sweater for Mittens for Akkol, scarves for Operation School Bell, and a quilt for my bed.

If I don't get another post in before Christmas, I want to wish all of you a very merry Christmas and I pray that God will bless you with much abundance and health in the New year!!!