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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The Week September 4-10

Last week:

  1. Work the final row (different from regular rows) in the bright colored yarn. The final stripe would be 1/2 a row taller than all the other stripes.
  2. Work another stripe of the dull colored yarn, with the final row being part of the stripe. All stripes would be the same height, but the stripe sequence would be off by 1 – I started with the dull yarn but I like the bright yarn better and would prefer that to be at the top of the shawl.
  3. Work another stripe of the dull yarn followed by another stripe, with final row, of the bright yarn. Risk running out of yarn. Ripping back would be especially tedious and cumbersome since the shawl is knit in wedge modules.

I went with choice 1. This shawl is big enough and I want to finish it and move on to something else (probably another shawl). I may incorporate the dull color in a wide band at the top, which would be totally off-pattern. But I haven’t exactly followed the pattern to the letter (colorwise, at least) anyway. Patterns are just gentle suggestions, right?

  • Publish This Is My Heart, the heart pattern that I came up with for Hearts for Cville and write a blog post about the whole heart thing.
    At least I did part of this. I posted it all over the place – Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram – but did not, in fact, write a blog post about it. Maybe this week?
  • Begin actual embroidery work on The View from Mt. Peg.
    Check! I finished the first two layers of mountains – so much satin stitch and so many french knots.
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The View From Mt. Peg: The First Two Layers
  • Decide on the next knitting project, which will use either a rainbow variegated yarn from Marigoldjen that I got at MDSW 2016 and the black yarn I got from Neighborhood Fiber Company at MDSW 2017 or yarn that I got from The Fiberists at Shenandoah Fiber Festival 2017. Or I may re-knit or crochet Jeff’s cat cave, which is currently laying collapsed and unused in my family room.This is still up in the air. I’ve been thinking about it, but embroidery & spinning & Imanara/Aranami have been keeping me busy.

I also finished spinning the Spunky Eclectic bump. Here it is on my niddy-noddy. It’s currently soaking it a tub, waiting for me to squeeze it out & whack before drying.

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Spunky Eclectic Merino & Silk, Calypso colorway

And my husband’s birthday was on Sunday the 3rd, so I baked him a cake. He used to be cake-averse, but since discovering he has type 2 diabetes (somewhat under control after 10 years), he loves it. This is Almond Cream Cake, which I’ve not made before. I’d bake again with some modifications; the cake was too dense (an egg white problem, I think) and the frosting looked broken/separated (perhaps I didn’t whip it enough).

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Almond Cream Cake. It has its faults, but still tastes delicious.

 

This 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.
  • Carry on with Aranami/Imanara. I’m almost halfway through the final row.
  • Carry on with the embroidery.
  • Choose and start the next spinning project.
    That’s right, I already did this yesterday. How nice to be able to mark something off on the new list. I’m spinning a braid of Dragon Fly Fibers Polwarth Silk (85/15) in the Salt Marsh colorway, which I think was the MDS&W 2016 exclusive colorway. I’m doing a fractal spin (divide fiber lengthwise into 3 equal portions, spin 1 length, divide next part lengthwise into 2 & spin, divide last part into 4 & spin). I already spun 1/3 of it – it’s going to be lofty thanks to the Polwarth I think/hope.
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Dragonfly Fibers is indeed the color of happiness. 

 

I feel like I’m forgetting something. Oh well – if I am it’ll make it into next week’s The Week. May your week be memorable and peaceful. 🙂

The Week August 28-September 3

Last week:

    • Take Henry to load his locker on Tuesday, get him ready for the 1st day of school Thursday.
      The first day of school went swimmingly.
    • Help Ethan pack and move him in to JMU on Wednesday.
      My husband ended up taking him (long story as to why, but Ethan managed to stir up some drama before leaving, unusual for him). His first day of classes is today. He really doesn’t want to be there, but I’m hoping he settles in and starts to like it.
    • Work on Aranami/Imanara.
      Finished another complete row of wedges.
    • Make more hearts for Charlottesville.
      I made a total of 6 and created my own heart pattern that will work for any yarn on any needles – it’s knit bottom up in the round with short rows and a grafted edge at the top of the hearts. It’s in tech edit with my good friend Becky right now. I plan to release it into the wild for free ASAP.
Hearts for Cville
All the hearts I made for Hearts for Cville. Laughing Sheep Yarns, a Charlottesville LYS, is collecting knit & crochet hearts to hang around town for anyone to take in an effort to promote healing. I wanted to get my hearts down there ASAP because of the March Against White Supremacy that’s starting there later this week and ending in DC September 8 (I think).
  • Wrap & send Steph’s baby gifts. (Potential blog post.)
    Done. I didn’t write a post about the goodies I sent, but I could. Maybe this week.
  • Write a post about my Knit Together Square and send it off to Melissa.
    It’s in the mail! I had a lot of packages to send today!
  • Set up lunch with Cecily & Rachelle. (Putting it here so I don’t forget.)
    Done.

I also began spinning another bump of Spunky Eclectic fiber. The back of the label is worn away so I’m guessing that this is a merino-silk blend, 60/40. The colorway is Calypso and it’s dreamy to spin.

My #mdsw2017 haul: 2 skeins of @neighborhoodfiberco Studio Sock in Upton (to make a shawl using a rainbow yarn I got at #mdsw last year) Maple Sugar Candy from Justamere Tree Farm (hands down my favorite candy), fiber from @amyboogie/Spunky Eclectic (I'm
The fiber I started spinning is on the right – these are my Maryland Sheep & Wool 2017 goodies. Those maple sugar candies are long gone, but I wish I had some still.

In addition to that, I got started on my next embroidery project, The View from Mt. Peg. It’s the view from one of two small (very small) mountains in the Vermont town I grew up in up the valley to Killington peak. I got the embroidery floss before drawing the layers of mountains knowing I’d be limited somewhat by DMC colors. Also, I redrew the mountains from a better picture after I took this picture.

The View from Mt Peg
The Beginning of The View From Mt. Peg

This week:

  • Decide what’s next for Aranami/Imanara. The choices:
    1. Work the final row (different from regular rows) in the bright colored yarn. The final stripe would be 1/2 a row taller than all the other stripes.
    2. Work another stripe of the dull colored yarn, with the final row being part of the stripe. All stripes would be the same height, but the stripe sequence would be off by 1 – I started with the dull yarn but I like the bright yarn better and would prefer that to be at the top of the shawl.
    3. Work another stripe of the dull yarn followed by another stripe, with final row, of the bright yarn. Risk running out of yarn. Ripping back would be especially tedious and cumbersome since the shawl is knit in wedge modules.
Aranami
This is basically where my Aranami shawl is (I named the project Inamara on Ravelry), just so there’s a visual along with the options.
  • Publish This Is My Heart, the heart pattern that I came up with for Hearts for Cville and write a blog post about the whole heart thing.
  • Begin actual embroidery work on The View from Mt. Peg.
  • Decide on the next knitting project, which will use either a rainbow variegated yarn from Marigoldjen that I got at MDSW 2016 and the black yarn I got from Neighborhood Fiber Company at MDSW 2017 or yarn that I got from The Fiberists at Shenandoah Fiber Festival 2017. Or I may re-knit or crochet Jeff’s cat cave, which is currently laying collapsed and unused in my family room.

I hope we have a good week, all of us!

The Week August 14-20

Last week:

  • Saturday morning I have an appointment to have a cracked tooth pulled and an implant started. This is my first extraction since having my wisdom teeth out years ago and I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to not having a tooth that complains about cool breezes, much less hot or cold foods.
    Done – it wasn’t as bad as tooth-pulling nightmares, but it also wasn’t the most pleasant experience. I’m still not able to chew.
  • Brandon, my oldest, goes back to school on Friday, a day early because he volunteered to help the university/other students with move-in day. I think my husband is taking him & helping him move in, so I will have a day of quiet at home instead of spending 6 hours in the car.
    Done – we took care of all the last minute stuff and he’s all settled in.
  • Continue working on the summer top and/or Aranami.
    I ripped the summer top back to just below the bust so I can put waist shaping in and stretch the amount of yarn that I’ve got. I may still have to use another yarn for the ribbing in the collar, arms, and hem. Worked a little bit on Aranami.

Aranami

  • Start spinning something new.
    Nope. This week, maybe.
  • Decide on a yarn for my Knit Together project square and start. I’ve pretty much decided on a stitch pattern and square construction, and I’m sure I’ll write about that, but I’m not sure that it’s going to be this week.
    Done.
  • Continue with the new embroidery project during the day when the light is good.
    Finished. Here it is:

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  • Go to TKD Tuesday & Thursday.
    Done.
  • Start strength training again, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
    Kind of done.

This week:

  • Start chewing soft food.
  • Get Ethan, middle son, ready to go to his first year of college 8/23.
  • Continue working on the summer top.
  • Start spinning something new.

The Week August 7-13

Last week:

  • Carry on with Aranami.
    Done, though only a little.
  • Embroidery: finish the top half of the fox pillow design.
    Done: I finished the whole thing and bought a pillow form to fill the case!
Finished fox pillow
Finished fox pillow!
  • Spinning: carry on.
    I finished spinning and finishing (washing & whacking) all the in-progress stuff, counted yardage and weighed everything and put it all in my stash on Ravelry. I even wrote about it all here yesterday!
  • Go to TKD at least once to practice before testing, go Thurs or Fri to test. Practice form right before test to warm up.
    Done. I went Monday and practiced at home Thursday and Friday before the test. I had Henry (my 13 year old 2nd degree black belt who recently started teaching) check my form right before the test. Ethan, my middle kid who’s leaving for college soon, helped administer the test. I was shaky during my form, forgot to kiap (shout) while sparring, but broke the board with a side kick on the first try.
  • Go to the gallery. Take Ky or Becky, but go.
    Nope. I’m going to have to take this off the list.
  • Decide on next step for gallery/artist thing and stuff down all that doubt.
    I finished the fox embroidery so I feel free to do other stuff now, namely my own embroidery and other fiber projects that would be for a gallery type setting, stuff that doesn’t really fit anywhere else except maybe my etsy shop. I even started a new piece using fabric from a felted sweater and handspun singles! Anyway: the plan is to do a handful of more pieces and noodle through my goals and (maybe) an artist statement.

I also started another summer top using free-to-me yarn that one of the knitter’s in my Wednesday group brought to share/donate. It’s Garnstudio’s Bombul/Lin (Cotton/Linen). Details will be on Ravelry here once I settle on what I’m doing with it; I already ripped it out once because it was way too small.

I got a package from Melissa of Knitting the Stash fame with DPNs and instructions for a really cool group project. You can read all about it on Melissa’s blog, but I’ll definitely be posting more about it. I started thinking about what I want to do with my square and which yarn to use.

And I lucked into/bought/donated money for a print of a new mural that’s a public art project in my town. I just started following the town’s public art organization on twitter and to pay for a new fabulous mural on a building, they were offering prints of the mural for a donation. I really like the color and style of the mural so I jumped on it, and even bought a frame, cut it (carefully using my rotary cutter!) to size, and hung it in my kitchen yesterday. You can see a pic of the mural on the building here.

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The new print hanging over my pantry doors

This week:

  • Saturday morning I have an appointment to have a cracked tooth pulled and an implant started. This is my first extraction since having my wisdom teeth out years ago and I’m a little nervous, but I’m looking forward to not having a tooth that complains about cool breezes, much less hot or cold foods.
  • Brandon, my oldest, goes back to school on Friday, a day early because he volunteered to help the university/other students with move-in day. I think my husband is taking him & helping him move in, so I will have a day of quiet at home instead of spending 6 hours in the car.
  • Continue working on the summer top and/or Aranami.
  • Start spinning something new.
  • Decide on a yarn for my Knit Together project square and start. I’ve pretty much decided on a stitch pattern and square construction, and I’m sure I’ll write about that, but I’m not sure that it’s going to be this week.
  • Continue with the new embroidery project during the day when the light is good.
  • Go to TKD Tuesday & Thursday.
  • Start strength training again, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday – I worked out just before sitting down to write this, so I’ve begun. I hate starting over, but it has to be done instead of just thinking how great it would be if I did start lifting again.

This list is getting a little out of hand again, but I think I can do it all. That’s how it always starts but maybe, just maybe it’s a busy week and not me having unreasonable expectations.