Christmas Knitting

Now that Thanksgiving dinner is done, and most of the leftover turkey have been eaten (small turkey this year), it’s time to start with the Christmas presents in earnest.

I started a scarf for Ian with some fawn colored alpaca yarn I had in my stash on Thanksgiving evening. I’m 70% finished with that already.

Sandy’s table mats are basically finished. I just need to finish twisting and tying up the fringe. I’m not looking forward to that. The first bit was pretty hard on my fingers. I know, I can spend $12 and buy a gizmo that makes the twists in the fringe, but $12 for 2 alligator clips on 2 pieces of wood? No thanks. I’ll continue to give my thumb and index fingers a workout.

Martin came along with me yesterday to the yarn store to pick out the yarn for Brian’s vest. Hopefully, it won’t take too long. I made a similar one for Martin’s birthday in about 1 week. Even with the shortened Christmas shopping/present making time, I should be okay.

Unfortunately, I remembered today that I’m supposed to have a present for the guild gift exchange in 10 days. Sigh. I think I build a little treasure bag. I got the idea from The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook (I love that book!). I’ve got some purple tussah silk leftover from a previous spinning project. I just need to spin it and knit it up.

Yeah, right, Ann. Just when are you going to do all that?

But if I make a really small treasure bag, it won’t take that much yarn …

Dream on.

We’ll see how it goes.

I also promised myself that I would spin a bobbinful of the blue rovings that I’ve been working on (I have a whole pound to work through!) before I spin anything else. This way, I’ll slowly get through that stuff. So, I finished up the bobbin that was on there and plied up 3 bobbins of 2-ply. Whew. Now I can play with something else.

I washed the (partial) fleece that I got from Deborah. It’s my first fleece that I’ve processed. I did not enjoy it. During the final vinegar rinse, I decided that I was going to put part of it directly into a dye bath. That way, I won’t have to soak the fleece twice. (I’m lazy that way).

I dyed it in a fall color mix of burgundy, orange and gold — aiming for the fall color mix. I know, I should be thinking red and green by now, but I’m running late. Nothing unusal about that.

Now, I just have to wait for it to dry … then card it … then spin it …

You know, this just seems like a lot of work to get to the spinning part. I think I will just stick to pre-processed rovings from now on. Why do the steps that I don’t enjoy?

Maybe I’ll feel differently when I get to the finished product. Sort of like selective amnesia.

I know I’m whining and it sounds like I don’t like this fiber stuff. I really do. I just get bored really easily. Sometimes, I don’t think I have the attention span to finish projects. This is why I like socks. Short and sweet.

I wonder if I really have the attention span to dye, spin and knit socks as described in the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook? Worth a try! Stay tuned.

Finished Object

A pair of anklets in green, yellow and white for Martin (leftover yarn from his duck socks).

Precious Lives

Life is too precious to waste. I was knocked for a loop last week and it seems that all I’ve been doing is marching in place. I think I’m finally back on track again. For a while, I couldn’t even think about Thanksgiving.

My 11 year old cat, Hemingway, went had a diabetic seizure last Sunday. For some reason, I couldn’t see it for what it was. I panicked. I rushed around the house, trying to get things together so that I could take him to the emergency clinic. Of course, when you are in a hurry, it seems that everything is preventing you from reaching your goal. I took the wrong turn, headed for the vet instead of the clinic. Once I got myself turned around, I hit every single traffic light along the way, then got stuck waiting for the Fremont Bridge to come back down.

All I could think of at that bridge was that I wasn’t ready for Hemingway to go yet, despite all the times that I’ve sworn at him for his picky eating habits and lousy potty manners. It just wasn’t time. And Martin wasn’t home to say goodbye.

It was then that I realized that it was a diabetic seizure. Tears streaking down my face thinking that I’ve killed Hemingway for sure because I didn’t give him Karo Syrup before leaving the house and now he’s going to die before the bridge comes back down.

Thankfully, the nice folks at the emergency clinic rushed him in and gave hime glucose IV right away (I called ahead so they were ready). It’s amazing how calming the act of filling out paperwork can be. The mundane acts during a crisis can totally focus you on something other than the crisis. I know I’m being completely redundant but I don’t have any other way of explaining it.

Hemingway is fine now. A little mad at me for making him go through all of that last week — all because he didn’t like the new cat food. (He was boycotting the new food and the regular insulin injections caused his blood glucose levels to drop.) To add insult to injury, the vets made him keep an IV catheter in his front leg for 48 hours, just in case, then followed by a bandage for another 24 hours. Not a happy camper.

I don’t care. I’m just happy that he’s still here and being a pain in the neck that he always is.

Finished Objects

Mom's Ribbles Socks

Finished a pair of modified ribbles socks (from Socks, Socks, Socks ) for Mom. I stopped the pattern on the top of the foot because I worried about the cables feeling like knots under the shoe. I did 1×1 ribbing instead along the top of the foot. I think it turned out pretty nice. I made the socks from Brown Sheep washable wool.

I sort of finished one set of weaving class projects — 2 table mats in different patterns but the same warp. I just need to finish twisting the fringe.

2 Christmas presents down. I don’t know how may more to go!

Lots of Weaving

Or not enough, depending on how you look at it.

I’ve been busy finishing up the samples for my weaving class (picture coming, really!). Now, I just have to warp the first project and get that done before working on the second project. The first project is going to be a set of table mats. Ssh, it’s a Christmas present, so I don’t want to talk too much about it.

The second project is a little more interesting — if I ever get it right. It’s going to be a black and white wall hanging, with a little stripe of red just to make it interesting. The warp repeat is, gasp!, 40 ends. I’ll need 4 repeats of it to make it the right size, plus 18 to make it balanced. The red will be slightly off center to make draw you in. I hope. My sample was off from several perspectives. First, I didn’t realize that the “use tabby” should use the same color as the warp thread, instead of the weft thread. Then there is just something slightly off on the treadling order. I’ll need to spend some time to dissect that before starting the real project.

Next Thursday is the last day of class, so I don’t have a lot of time to diddle.

The Fiber Guild meeting on Tuesday was on weaving a tam, so I’ve got that started too. I’m making it from some blue and green handspun. I’d better hold off on that until my weaving class projects are done.

I’ve also started on a pair of blue ribbles socks for Mom.

Reminder to self — focus on the class projects! So, what am I doing writing here?

Pictures from the previous posting … Well, the pictures have been taken, but just not downloaded from the camera to my computer. Maybe I’ll get to it this weekend. But there’s only so much time! I need to get the kitten pictures to MEOW!

First Log!

Well, I’ve installed my very own weblog. I feel a little arrogant for thinking that people will want to read what I have to say. The whole “build it and they will come” attitude. Then, there is the, do I really want anyone and everyone out there to know what I’m doing and thinking? How much of myself do I really want to open up for just anyone to pull apart, dissect, opine?

We’ll just wait and see how this develops. In any case, this weblog is primarily an offshoot of my fiber addiction. I want to track, share, and discuss my various fiber projects, and just plain — show it off!

Fortissima Mexiko - colorway 9071
To kick that off … I finally finished off the pair of Fortissima Mexiko socks that I started at the end of September during the fiber retreat at Ft. Flagler. This is the first pair that I’ve made using short-row heel. So far, I really like the results. I did not have little “holes” at the turns that I thought I would have. I used the wrapped stitch method and that appears to really have worked. I’ll take a picture of them tomorrow, before I wash them, and load it to the log. I have to wash my weaving sample anyway, so maybe I’ll toss them in together.

Then, there are the pictures of the Bond kittens that I have to take and send to MEOW. We are fostering two adorable little black and white tuxedo attired kittens that we’ve named for two of our favorite Bonds … Roger and Sean. Sean’s got this slightly more prominent left eye brow that makes him look like he has the perpetual Sean Connery eye brow lift.

And if I have any time left over, I’ll play with the display options of these logs.