The Week October 2-8

Last week:

  • Take fancy final project photos of Inamara, which involves getting Mr. Q & his photog skills.
    Ugh – I still need to do this.
  • Carry on with (S)urge, the new shawl.
    Making progress!
  • Spin, whether it’s handpainted or some of the fleece from my stash.
    I started and finished spinning fleece from my stash. All the details on it are here, but I spun 378 yards of a 3 ply sport-ish weight yarn, with a 2 ply and singles left over. I couldn’t wait for Spinzilla.
  • Ruminate further on a new embroidery project or, you know, actually start one.
    I ruminated and cleaned up my project basket, but didn’t start anything new.

This week:

I’m taking precious time away from the wheel to take care of some non-spinning stuff and then it’s back to the grindstone! What’s Spinzilla, you ask? All the details are here, but it’s basically a week-long spin-a-thon. (Hey! That rhymes!) I’m almost 2/3 of the way through my first braid of fiber and actually considering drinking some coffee so I can stay up later and spin more! (That’s probably a bad idea and I don’t think I’ll do it, but the thought is there!) Have a great week!

The Week September 25 – October 1

Last week:

  • Take fancy final project photos of Inamara, which involves getting Mr. Q & his photog skills. Use his camera this time, not my phone.
    I talked to him about it but we never got around to it.
  • Continue working on the new blanket.
    Finished. I started and restarted (twice) a shawl, and finally found a pattern that I like and started that over twice, going forward with different yarn.
  • Continue spinning the braid of Pigeon Roof Studios fiber.
    Finished.
  • Start a new embroidery project.
    Nope. I’m still stuck on the last one, but I have some ideas of what to do next.
  • Hopefully hear back from my friend and decide what to do with The View From Mt. Peg.
    Nope. She’s a high school English teacher in Hawaii, so that may explain why she’s not online much.
  • Saturday: meet Becky & her daughter Mia at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. From there, go to friend gathering in Martinsburg, WV. Sunday is free, so maybe I can get Ky to go to the Leesburg Fine Arts Festival (day 2) to poke around and maybe make some connections in this local artist world I’m trying to be more active in.
    We went, we saw, I bought stuff – spinning fiber and vintage buttons; I’m ready for Spinzilla. And I also had a really good afternoon catching up with Leticia & her littles. I slept on Sunday, pretty much during prime Fine Arts Festival time so we didn’t go.

 

SVFF Goodies
My favorite bump of fiber from SVFF; BFL, llama, seacell. I absolutely love this color combination!
  • Some sad news: Moose, our 12 year old big black dog, hasn’t been doing well and so we have an appointment on Thursday to ease his pain and help him across the Rainbow Bridge. It went as well as could be expected. The in-home vet was very compassionate, Moosie went out without any pain and with a dog bone in his mouth, very fitting for a guy who could never eat enough. We miss him but are all glad he’s not in pain anymore.
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Moose, the goofy noble beast

I also carded some fleece from my stash, so I have a batt ready to spin. Now if I could just find where I noted the breed …

This week:

  • Take fancy final project photos of Inamara, which involves getting Mr. Q & his photog skills.
  • Carry on with (S)urge, the new shawl.
  • Spin, whether it’s handpainted or some of the fleece from my stash.
  • Ruminate further on a new embroidery project or, you know, actually start one.

The Week September 18-24

Last week:

  • Weave in the ends of Aranami/Imanara (there are lots even though I’ve been weaving in as I go), and wash & block, then sniff & squish.
    All done!
  • Choose and start a new knitting project. Will it be a blanket to give away or will it be a shawl to keep? I have ideas and yarn for both.
    Done. I’m knitting a blanket of my own design (nothing fancy, really) for the Welcome Blanket Project (HT to Shirley for making me aware of this project!).
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Welcome Blanket Project blanket. Guess how many rows are purled! 😉
  • Carry on embroidering The View From Mt. Peg. It’s ready for all the background mountains and the sky. It occurred to me that I could use the gray background color for clouds, so there’s that.
    I think it’s done without the sky, maybe. I queried the always helpful and funny Mildly Offensive Fiber Arts group on FB for advice about pricing because I have an old friend inquiring about it or a similar commission piece. I gathered my thoughts, made my calculations and came up with a reasonable-to-me-for-the-situation price and am just waiting to hear back from the old friend.
  • Decide on fiber to prep for Spinzilla, if any, and get started while trying not to spin all the braids I’ve got. I have clean, undyed locks I can dye & card or just card, but I also have some alpaca fleeces that need to be washed that would be a joy to spin if I ever actually get around to doing that.
    Instead, I started spinning a braid of fiber from Pigeon Roof Studios. I should do a test spin of those locks and wash that alpaca fleece, but this seemed much more fun.
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The braid of Pigeon Roof Studios fiber I started spinning – these aren’t my usual colors.
  • Plan the weekend: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is this weekend, so is parents weekend at both my sons’ schools. We’re going to skip it and take Ethan (who’s at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA) hiking on Sunday in the Shenandoah National Park instead. That leaves Saturday for SVFF, except some of my roller derby friends are getting together and I haven’t seen a lot of them for a few years. I have conflicts.
    We visited Ethan this past Sunday, which opens up my Sunday. All other plans are settled.
  • Try to sleep Wednesday night after seeing IT at the Alamo with Becky. Avoid clowns.
    No problemo! It was startling in a few spots, but I realized it’s most like Stand By Me but with a scary clown demon instead of a dead body. Also, there’s a kick-ass girl, but the groups of kids is as close as the group of boys in Stand By Me. Can’t wait for Chapter 2, may need to re-read the book or start reading King again in general.

This week:

  • Take fancy final project photos of Inamara, which involves getting Mr. Q & his photog skills. Use his camera this time, not my phone.
  • Continue working on the new blanket.
  • Continue spinning the braid of Pigeon Roof Studios fiber.
  • Start a new embroidery project.
  • Hopefully hear back from my friend and decide what to do with The View From Mt. Peg.

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    The View From Mt. Peg, probably in its near-final form. 
  • Saturday: meet Becky & her daughter Mia at Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival. From there, go to friend gathering in Martinsburg, WV. Sunday is free, so maybe I can get Ky to go to the Leesburg Fine Arts Festival (day 2) to poke around and maybe make some connections in this local artist world I’m trying to be more active in.
  • Some sad news: Moose, our 12 year old big black dog, hasn’t been doing well and so we have an appointment on Thursday to ease his pain and help him across the Rainbow Bridge. He will be dearly missed by us all, but it’s time – he’s having problems just getting up from lying down, along with having problems with the stairs to the back yard and some so far minor potty problems. We’re treating him like a king this week.
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Moosie posing nicely for the camera. He’s a beautiful, smart dog
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Moose asking if it’s time for dinner yet

The Week September 11-17

Last week:

  • Order from Campus Cookies for Ethan for his birthday Thursday. Eat more of Ky’s cake to celebrate in Ethan’s absence. Our first birthday apart and his 18th.
    The cookies & balloons were a grand success – Ethan, his roommate and the guys on his hall feasted. I think it was a pretty good birthday for him.
  • Carry on with Aranami/Imanara. I’m almost halfway through the final row.
    Finished, except for weaving in ends, washing & blocking.
  • Carry on with the embroidery.
    I’m about halfway done with the canvas, but only 1/3 of the way through the colors, so the funnest part is still to come.
  • Choose and start the next spinning project.
    I chose and spun a braid of Dragonfly Fibers polwarth & silk roving and did a 3 ply, with 2 ply and a single left over. I think it’s the squishiest yarn I’ve spun; I seem to only be able to do a short forward draw, alternated occasionally with a long back draw, which makes for a pretty tight twist. This time around the polwarth was sticky enough that I didn’t feel like it needed a lot of twist to stay together, so I adjusted accordingly and I love the yarn I got. The color, Salt Marsh, is really awesome too and I’m glad I got to spend so much time in it.
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My latest spinning project. I hope I have braids left for October!

I also registered with Team Spin Off for Spinzilla, which is happening October 2-8. This was the thing I forgot to mention last week. I’ve never done Spinzilla – it started the same year I got caught up in roller derby, which is kind of all-consuming, and I just haven’t gotten around to trying it until now. Let’s see how much I can spin in 7 days!

This week:

  • Weave in the ends of Aranami/Imanara (there are lots even though I’ve been weaving in as I go), and wash & block, then sniff & squish.
  • Choose and start a new knitting project. Will it be a blanket to give away or will it be a shawl to keep? I have ideas and yarn for both.
  • Carry on embroidering The View From Mt. Peg. It’s ready for all the background mountains and the sky. It occurred to me that I could use the gray background color for clouds, so there’s that.

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    The View From Mt. Peg
  • Decide on fiber to prep for Spinzilla, if any, and get started while trying not to spin all the braids I’ve got. I have clean, undyed locks I can dye & card or just card, but I also have some alpaca fleeces that need to be washed that would be a joy to spin if I ever actually get around to doing that.
  • Plan the weekend: Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is this weekend, so is parents weekend at both my sons’ schools. We’re going to skip it and take Ethan (who’s at JMU in Harrisonburg, VA) hiking on Sunday in the Shenandoah National Park instead. That leaves Saturday for SVFF, except some of my roller derby friends are getting together and I haven’t seen a lot of them for a few years. I have conflicts.
  • Try to sleep Wednesday night after seeing IT at the Alamo with Becky. Avoid clowns.

Did I say clowns? Here’s a palate cleanser: the Dragonfly Fibers Salt Marsh single on my hardware store niddy noddy. Those colors!!! Have a great (clown-free!) week!

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TBT: My Mother’s Darning Eggs

Darning Eggs

My mother is a retired seamstress (in that she no longer takes customers, but will still help me with projects) and was often offered sewing-related items by her customers. She’s also the only daughter of a seamstress, who is the daughter of a seamstress, who is … well, you get the idea, and all the old tools and fabric stash end up with her. She also loves to sift through a good antique shop now and then. This is her collection of darning eggs, which she passed on to me a few years ago. Two of the eggs, the lighter ones, are of a more recent vintage; I think a customer gave them to her. The two painted ones are my favorites.

Darning Egg 1

This one is my second favorite darning egg. The worn painted design lends itself to the imagination in trying to reconstruct what it once looked like. The design somehow looks Dutch to me, or perhaps like something from the Arts & Crafts period. I also love that this one is shaped differently, a little more like a foot than a traditional darning egg.
Darning Egg 1
The back of it certainly shows some wear and use – yes, those look like darning needle marks to me, where the needle slipped along and scraped up the paint.

Darning Egg 2
This one is my favorite; it’s the one I remember my Mom having when I was a kid. Perhaps it was my great grandmother’s? In any case, I love it because it shows the most wear and is obviously a well-used and (if one believes such an object can be imbued with love) the most loved object. The paint is worn away in layers down to the wood both on the egg and on the handle, and the wood itself is even worn down to only the strongest fibers in place. I can’t help but think of all the socks this one darning egg saved, the nights someone spent at their last chore of the day, darning socks. It harkens back to a time when even socks were valued, saved, and worn as much as possible instead of discarded at the first sign of a hole – it’s such a contrast with our current consumer culture and sped up fashion cycle, it’s the original slow fashion.

I have these darning eggs, but I have to admit that I’m terrible at darning socks. I asked my mother for one of her darning eggs when my first pair of hand knit socks developed a hole in the heel end of the sole. It’s something I expected to be good at right away because I’ve imagined myself in the place of that person darning socks at night (while listening to a program on the radio?) after all the other chores were done. I mean, how hard could it be? I really just need more practice at it; what I would really love is an afternoon with my great grandmother Ada to have a patient and steady presence help me learn.