January 25, 2015

Some Finished Things for Twenty Fifteen

Wow! Two finished projects already! Never mind that they were started last year, finished objects are good any time of year.

First off the needles is the  Circlet in Blue Cardigan, begun last May.
This sweater was mostly finished months ago, but the sleeves were down-past-the-end-of-my-fingers long, and it was sitting around waiting for me to do something. I finally did. About 4 inches from the hem I snipped a loop and removed part of the sleeve.
Then I ripped back about another 3/4" of knitting, so I could make a new stockinet stitch rolled hem. The unknitting was a bit tedious and fiddly, and even more fiddly was figuring out which stitches were for picking up and knitting. Once that part was done, the knitting was easy.

After both sleeves were shortened it was time to add the buttons. I love the buttons. And I think I did a very good job of placing them. What I didn't do was realize that the chosen buttons end up very heavy on the sweater, especially as there are eleven of them. So it's back to the shop to find different, lighter weight buttons.

 The next FO is a pair of house socks, made from some of my handspun yarn. A pretty basic toe-up, short row heel pattern. This yarn is more like a sport weight, so just right for house socks, but a bit heavy for inside of shoes in So. Cal.
I finished off with a 3x1 ribbing, but now I wished I'd just stuck with stockinet and a rolled hem.

January 20, 2015

I'm in love with Hanalei

Just over a year ago, DH and I decided to go to Kauai for vacation. We'd been once before, when the boys were still in elementary school. We never got around to the north side on that trip, so we decided to go there this time.

The north side gets a considerable amount of rain and is lush, green and tropical. There is Princeville, and just a tiny bit farther along the road is Hanalei. The road from Princeville drops down into a valley, and crosses a one lane bridge and poof! A different world.

Town is maybe two blocks long, and a block from the beach. Sure, its touristy, but once you cross that one lane bridge, there are no more mega resorts, or traffic signals. (I'm sure there can be plenty of traffic, but it wasn't bad in November.)  And guess what? Hanalei has a yarn shop! Hanalei Strings is part yarn shop and part musical instrument shop. They carry beautiful colorways, which I'd love to share, but all my cell phone photos came out blurry.

First view of Hanalei Bay. Do they do this for all the tourists?
There are more one lane bridges, if you continue past Hanalei. A car will take you as far as Haena State Park, where the road ends and the trail along the Na Pali coast begins.
On the road to Haena St. Park. Good eats at Sushi Girl!
For this drought stricken Southern California gal, the days were a soothing mix of rain, sun, trade winds, and walks along the beach.  And no freeways.  I'm sure more visits to Hanalei are in my future.

December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

I wish you all a festive, joyful holiday, filled with blessings.

December 10, 2014

Don't You Just Love...

A project that knits up quickly? Especially when there is a due date? (I don't like the pressure of due dates on my knitting. I don't want more pressure.) Knit in somewhere around 15sts/4", this baby is flying along. Photo below from Monday. Now the project lacks only tail and teeth and blocking.

 Such a nice change from socks. Socks knitting up on US #0 needles.

Life's little victories? The Shark Hat calls for a bit of red yarn, and a bit of white yarn. I knew there must be some hiding in the stash, left over from the last Shark Hat. Currently, my stash is sort of organized, into the side with (mostly) animal fibers and the side with (mostly) plant fibers. (yarns only, unspun stuff is a different category) Further broken into groups like; project groupings, yarn weight, random hand-spun, color, and odd bits + leftover bits. I freely admit I don't understand my brain's organization style, but if I try and fight it, well, then I really can't find anything.

So I went right to the leftover bits box and didn't find my red or white yarn. Okay, maybe the other side of my brain put those yarns in a different box. I went through the next most likely boxes, although they were only likely by process of elimination. "Let's see, they shouldn't be in the hand-spun boxes, or the sock wt (not much of that left, maybe I should spin some more?) or the lace wt. (Hmm, lace-weight, I hardly ever knit lace-weight. Why do I have it?). I ended up going through those boxes anyway, because I still couldn't find the yarn I was looking for. Well, maybe a friend needed those bits , and I gave them away? I didn't remember doing that, but it could happen. I was running out of places to look. Over in the corner was a box with some warp ends and small weaving samples, things that haven't been sorted yet. Meaning, I not sure how I want to 'organize' them. Anyway, that is where I found the missing yarn ball bits. Yippee! No doubt, the yarns were tossed in the box when the box was still in the family room, then moved to the closet in a tidy-up moment. Really, the entire search probably took less time than it took to write about it. It was just as gratifying as finding all three sets of interchangeable needles the week before.

December 4, 2014

Not So Bloggerly

I'm pretty sure that's a made-up word, but I think maybe most words started as made-up words. Maybe someone else has already used this word and created a definition, or maybe I'm the first person. Well, lately you might have noticed I've not been very bloggerly. Very few posts. Nothing is wrong, I'm just not feeling bloggerly. Busy and introspective. The busy part is fine, but introspection, well sometimes it's not worth sharing, or even thinking for that matter. Apologies.

Thanksgiving was wonderful. We spent it with my BIL and his wife and the extended family from both sides. We are blessed. Everyone gets along, no drama and the biggest problem is too much food. I am lucky to have such good in-laws.

My spinning is set aside, I've ramped up my knitting projects again. Back to the brown socks, and soon I'll cast on another shark hat. Evan's girlfriend is quite fond of his, so she needs one of her own. She is a lovely person, and I know she'll cherish the handknit. (There is an entire future post here about graciously accepting the fact that another woman now holds great influence over my son. Since I like her very much, it hasn't been that hard.)

So, what's new(t) with you?
 (Sorry, I couldn't resist. We had some real rain this week, and I found this little guy in the pool. Where did he come from? )

November 20, 2014

Why Finish A WIP

When it's so much fun to start a new one?

I was looking for a little spinning project, something to work on whilst sitting with my spinning pals. Something that wasn't a huge project commitment.  So I grabbed a nearby roving. I don't even have a picture of that hank, or remember who dyed it up so nice and pretty.  It's mostly wool, with some sparkly stuff. Firestar, maybe. Here's a picture of the beginning.
 It started off purple, and then went into blue. (Maybe there is some silk in there too? I think I still have the label someplace.) After blue came green, and then silvery gray and then kind of mauve at the end. The color runs are long.  My plan was to ply this with a different colorway, one that isn't made up into batts yet, just sitting in color chunks of roving. But, I'm thinking of heading in a different direction now. I have this lovely, silvery gray roving, wool and tencel, and I think the two would look amazing together. So I started spinning that.

But then, for some reason I went back to the stash, looking for something else completely, and found another colorway that I like. So now I'm thinking about these together. Then I added some black alpaca. Here's what I'm talking about.

 All together, that's 19oz of fiber. To make... I don't know yet.

November 18, 2014

Random Tuesday

For the last eleven years or so, I've been a regular volunteer with Birch Aquarium at Scripps. I love the ocean, I love scuba diving, I love science, and I love sharing some of this with other people. What better place than an aquarium? Another cool thing? I'm pretty sure I learn at least one new thing every time I'm there. Usually more than one thing, actually. Today, from a couple of college students I learned about how swordfish super-oxygenate themselves before hunting, by speeding from the ocean depths toward the surface. Another thing I learned is that coral comes in this color;
actually the true color is even more vivid than this. A cellphone camera can only capture so much.