Monday, July 22, 2013

in progress and plans

 I haven't been spinning much thanks to work being a little busier and the temperatures soaring, but with just a little practice, I started getting more consistent:
It's been pretty hot here lately so wool just isn't drawing me in at the moment though I really want to get back to my spinning. So fun! =)

I have been knitting though. That skein I mentioned a couple posts ago
I started a wrap with it and yesterday was a lazy, hot day so I caught up on some podcasts and knit away in the comfort of my air conditioning. =)

This is what it looks like now:
I'm working on the 7th of 8 sections of my Wingspan. I'll have a finished pic for you soon!

Next up?
I picked up this gray/blue/white variegated cotton/acrylic (with a touch of sparkle) from the clearance bin this weekend and I'm thinking of a nice, lightweight summer cardi. Still deciding on a pattern.

I also finally caved and signed up on Instagram. Yeah, I should have done that a long time ago! If you're there, look me up... I'm stashless. =)

Monday, July 08, 2013

Christmas in July!

It feels like Christmas! =)

This is what came in the mail on Friday:
Christmas in July!

So... what goodies were in those boxes?

my new toy...

Yep, I finally drank the Kool-Aid. I bought a Hansen minispinner!! I've been looking at these and travel spinning wheels for ages. Even the travel wheels I think would be too bulky for in the rv and I kept changing my mind. I've had one of these electric minispinners in my virtual cart multiple times and always took it back out... but not this time! lol I decided I was worth a splurge... and I don't regret it one little bit. I've already paid off the charges on my credit card so it's all good. =) I also bought a lazy kate to make plying yarn simpler. Yeah, I could rig something up, but if I'm splurging, I might as well get what I want, right? lol Every thing is very compact and fits well in the rv. I knew too that these resell for nearly as much as they go for new so I figured if I bought it and hated it, I could sell it again and get most of my money back.

Of course it showed up Friday while I was still fairly early in my work day. *sigh* So I left it all in the box. Since it's Tour de Fleece (running in conjunction with Tour de France, of course), many shops were offering sales so I then went off in search of some fiber to spin. The first package was to arrive Saturday, but I wanted to start on some less expensive fiber since I'm a complete newbie so I headed off to Paradise Fibers here in Spokane and bought some fiber. I can't say I was overly impressed with Paradise Fibers, but I got what I needed to get started. I opened the boxes when I got home and the spinner came with a small sample of the same fiber I bought, just in a different colorway.

After a few false starts (there's a learning curve here), I got going and spun up the sample:
first ever handspun!!

Yeah, pretty much what I was expecting... overspun, underspun, thick and thin. LOL But I love it because I made yarn!! =)

So then I started on the fiber I bought:

A little better, but still pretty wonky.

I spun more on Sunday morning and things evened out a bit:

I think I might be a little underspun on a lot of this, but I'm finding my groove... and I love it!! I have 8oz of this fiber and plan to spin it on two bobbins so I can ply it together.

Once I get more consistent, I'll break into that awesome hand-dyed fiber I bought. =) I still need to get a bag to store it all in and I know the one I want, just deciding on a fabric. Now I just need my own sheep... or an alpaca. LOL

Sunday, June 30, 2013

sweltering sheep

I made it!

I was trying to get my sweater done by the end of June... and I made it!

I even really like it. LOL It needs to be blocked so the lace will open up more and I need to find buttons for it, but the knitting is done! =) I'll post pics later on once it's got buttons and it's not so dang hot outside that I can actually put it on for a picture without spontaneously combusting. Yep, 100% wool sweaters and 95-100 degree weather does not mix well. heh

I showed it to my friend and she said how pretty it was... then immediately went into what she would change. This is the same friend who's been suggesting I knit her a sweater. This one took me a month and a half to complete since I have had limited knitting time. Yeah, I think I'll stick to knitting for me. Totally selfish... and I'm okay with that. I do knit for other people, but I don't knit sweaters for other people. ;-)

Next up? Something with this:
Light and summery in both color and fiber content. =)

I've been in a much better mood this past week. Less work and more knitting... good for the soul!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

still slow... and not so steady

It's taking me what seems like forever, but I am making progress on my sweater...
I now have the body and one sleeve done and have started on the second sleeve. Once I finish that second sleeve, I'll be able to put all the pieces on one needle and work the lacy yoke. There's an end in sight! =)

Haven't played with the wheel yet at all, but I have been looking at spinning fibers online...

Friday, June 14, 2013

dancing with the wheel...

Since I'm guessing a lot of you don't know how a wheel like the one I got works (I didn't), I found a couple videos on YouTube of people using a walking wheel/great wheel similar to the one I found yesterday. It's like a dance:

And another view:

How very cool. =)

well, just look at that!

Look what happened to make its way into my life...

She needs a little work (and a name), but she's a beauty! I'm told this is from the early 1800s but I haven't done any research. The price was right though and I don't mind adding a little elbow grease to get her back into fighting (spinning) shape. :-)

Sunday, June 02, 2013

slow and steady..

Nothing exciting yet, just lots more stockinette done...

I'm at about 10" right now and I have 3 buttonholes done so far. Getting close to having the body of the sweater done and being able to cast on and knit the sleeves before putting it all together and knitting the yoke. My friend had a BBQ last night and I brought along my sweater to work on. It was nice sitting outside chatting and knitting away. =) I need more of that...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


It still needs to be blocked, but my shawl is done!

I even started a new sweater:
Yes, it's almost the end of May and I'm knitting in 100% wool.

There's been entirely too much work in my world since last Fall and not nearly enough knitting. That's going to change! I'm taking back control over my time... expect more knitting! =)

Saturday, May 11, 2013


My friend took her baby to get pictured taken and used the football outfit I made for him. She took a quick shot of him with her cell so I could see.
SO stinkin' cute!!

I've been working on another shawl:
 Yeah, shawls don't usually look like much until you finish and block them. I'm finishing up the garter section and will be starting the leaf border in the teal. I'm adding a few extra rows to the garter stitch section to use up the remainder of the 2nd ball of brown since the border will look fine with partial repeats.

Not much detail yet, but there will be once the border's on. =)

I still have another shawl on the needles, but life has been so busy and knitting time very limited the past couple months, I really wanted something "brainless" to work on. Can't get much more brainless than garter stitch! =)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

for the win!

Why is it when I have the least amount of time to knit... I have the best luck winning free yarn?

Back in Feb/March, podcaster Lauren of the LemKnitCrochet podcast had a fundraiser in an effort to increase awareness and raise money for The Histiocytosis Association in honor of her friend Josh who passed away from Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis.

Bird Leg Bags was offering project bags in two different fabrics based on Josh's drawings with a portion of the cost being donated to Lauren's fundraiser. The purchaser also got an entry into Lauren's prize thread. One of the fabrics was this awesome turtle design:


How could I possibly pass that up? So, I caved and bought my very first real knitting project bag. I was playing catch-up recently on podcasts and, surprise! I won a skein of fingering weight yarn!! It's so pretty too! =) (Not the greatest pic, but it's raining here...)

I'm thinking of possibly using it with the skein of yarn I won from The Knit Girllls podcast back in January:

I was thinking of using them to knit up Piper's Journey shawl that my friend gave me the pattern for back in January, but it's written for sport weight and I'm not sure I want it this bright. It's a shawl so I could just make a slightly smaller version or maybe adjust it a bit, but I'm not sure I'd have enough yarn... and I do have alpaca in my stash that would be pretty perfect and oh so cozy. I'll have to think about that one. I've also been thinking about a Leftie using the green above for the leaves and something more muted for the rest. I've looked at a lot of the finished projects and those are my favorites. If anyone has any suggestions of other patterns for the variegated pink/purple/reddish skein, I'm open to new ideas! It's got a bit of cashmere in it so no socks or toys. =)

I'm finally getting the baby gifts sent out to my manager who is now officially on maternity leave and due very, very soon.

I found this football Easter basket on clearance and thought it would make a great alternative to a gift bag... and cheaper than a gift bag too! =)

Yesterday, I took some much-needed time away from the computer and went to the Women's Show in Spokane with a couple friends. They were doing some cooking demos during the show and my friend volunteered me for the "tofu" demo. LOL That's me in the middle (yes, my friend snagged my phone from my bag and took a couple pics, lol):

The guy on the left (yes, in the Utilikilt) is "Tofu Phil" of Small Planet Organic Tofu. He also had on knee socks that said "Tofu" down each side. He's committed! =) All I did was chop a bell pepper and then cube a block of tofu, but it was fun and the salad we made was pretty yummy!

And since I was downtown, I checked out a little cafe (Boots Bakery & Lounge) with tons of vegan options, many were even gluten-free as well. =) I bought a couple of items to try later since one of my friends was adamant we not have dinner there. =( The two items I bought weren't amazing and my own recipes are better... and cheaper to make myself. Nice to have the option though and I do intend to give them another try for lunch sometime so I can try the real food there (vs the baked goods I tried). I really need to get moved out to the coast where the options aren't so limited... or such a pain to get to since parking downtown is a bit ridiculous.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

baby kicks

And... baby gift #2 is now complete:
(Ravelry project page for details)

This project also gave me a chance to play with a new toy:

It sure sped up knitting i-cord!
Gotta love those 50% off coupons for Jo Ann's! =)

Monday, March 18, 2013

oh baby

I finished up the first baby gift for my manager last night!

If/when I make another of these, I'll make a couple changes, but I think they turned out quite nicely. I just hope the bag is big enough. The baby is expected to be on the bigger size... I plan to write up my pattern notes soon. =)

And I started a pair of booties for him too:


Baby stuff is so fun! =)

Monday, March 11, 2013

what's this?

Actual knitting?! Sure, it doesn't look like much now, but it's a start... and the first knitting I've done in nearly 2 months! Funny what having a bit of down time will do. :)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

update on... not so much knitting

It's been two weeks and yet, there's been minimal knitting progress. Not enough to warrant a picture of the shawl. Yes, still working way too much OT and it's sucking my knitting mojo away. I do have one thing to share:


This is the skein of yarn I won from TheKnitGirllls podcast along with a few goodies thrown in - two key chain mini skeins and a Lo-Lo Bar sample. If I ever finish that shawl, this will be a wash on the yarn - one in, one out. =) And I didn't buy it, so it doesn't count. lol

I'm in for at least one more week of lots of OT so it'll probably be a couple weeks before I post again. Maybe I'll have something done by then... =)

Sunday, January 13, 2013

on a winning streak!

It's been slow going with the knitting this week... really slow.


Yep, that orange stitch marker is where I was last Sunday. Most of that (minimal) progress was made last night after finishing up another 80-hr work week. Ugh, I'm so over the OT. My rv payments have been made well in advance, my savings account is healthy... the drive to work more is greatly diminished. lol I won't be doing that again anytime soon. I've offered to still put in some overtime this week, but it won't be anywhere near what I've been doing. Hello, knitting time! =)

While working all those hours, I've been keeping up on all the knitting podcasts I like to watch/listen to and even checked out a few new ones. Podcasts keep me sane while working through all those charts! I watched the latest podcast from TheKnitGirllls and... I won yarn! Very pretty green yarn. =) They had a contest thread to enter items knit in December using old stash yarn. I posted the cowl I knit for my mom for Christmas since the yarn was from 2008. I'll post a pic of the skein when it gets here. And no, this doesn't break my plan to cold sheep this year! lol I didn't buy it, it doesn't count! My friend also has offered to buy me a skein of yarn from a LYS for my birthday. I'm thinking I might get fiber instead though since I really think I'll be ordering an espinner soon!

Speaking of spinning... I found an interesting podcast this week - Vegan Eco Fibrecast. Sorry, I haven't been able to find it online so I can't link to it. Sadly, there are only a handful of episodes and the latest was posted last June. It was an interesting listen though. The podcaster discussed her experiences spinning with different plant fibers as well as some of the reasons she doesn't use animal fibers. I'd really like to get away from using so much (if any) animal fibers in the future unless I know specifically where it comes from and that the animals were treated well. That pretty much knocks out any commercial yarn purchases. I've had this plan in the past, but have stumbled when I came across a deal too good to pass up. This year of not buying will help break that bad habit of mine. I don't plan to ditch the wool/alpaca/silk that's already in my stash, but I feel I have the responsibility to make more conscientious purchases in all areas of my life. How fun would it be to learn to spin with plant fibers though?! =)

I also received a free pattern this week. A mitten pattern was designed to match the hat I posted last week and because I took part in that KAL, the designed gifted me the pattern for the mittens. =)

I think I'll knit up a pair with the remainder of the acrylic I used on that last hat so I'll have a set to add to my giftable knit items. The pattern for the Intersecting Mittens is available on Ravelry.

Hopefully, I'll have more knitting progress next weekend! =)

Sunday, January 06, 2013

crazy payoff!

I watch a lot of podcasts these days and one of my new favorites is The Fat Squirrel Speaks. If you're up for some fibery fun, you should definitely go check her out. She's hilarious! Really. Go! I'll be here when you get back... =)

Over the holiday season, Amy Beth (of the above podcast) had a contest in her group on Ravelry for everyone to post their crazy. Mine? Knitting way too many things for Christmas! She did the drawing and guess what? I won an ebook! Such cute patterns too. This is the ebook I won:
I think that hat on the right will be the first one I try. Love it!

I also was gifted a pattern from a friend for my birthday! Aren't I the lucky girl?! I've seen this shawl (Piper's Journey) on a few podcasts and love it. I'd planned to buy the pattern when I was ready to start it so had it in my queue. =) Isn't it pretty?
I've seen this done in two colors and love the effect! The garter will be nice and relaxing and that lace edging is just enough detail to keep it interesting. This might end up being the year of the shawl for me. =)

Speaking if shawls, I've started on the shawl I'm testknitting but all this overtime at work is killing any knitting progress! It's just far enough along to start showing the pattern well when stretched out, but it's still so tiny!
It's difficult to stretch it out and take a photo. I promise a good shot when it's completed and blocked. =)

I did finish the hat I posted last week:
Not a great pic, but it was dark already when I finished it up on New Year's Eve and had to take a shot to post for the KAL. =)
(project details on Ravelry)

Want a peek at some of what I plan to use use up this year?
The fingering weight yarn on top is what I'm using for the current shawl. The oatmeal color yarn underneath is destined to become a sweater, though I don't yet know which pattern. The cream wool on the left will become a sheep hat:
Isn't that adorable?? I plan to dye some of the skein green for the grassy part. No new yarns, remember? =) I also have a bag of baby-appropriate yarns:
Mostly cotton and cotton blends with just a two small skeins of acrylic.

And I just had to share my little goofball:

Reilly's a good distraction from all the paid work! =)

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy new year! =)

I hope you all had a safe and happy new year! Mine was quiet... just as I like it. =) Do you have any big plans for the new year? Mine are pretty similar to what I've planned in past years. 2012 brought about some big changes for me. I went from living in a nearly 1000sqft mobile home to living in under 200sqft in an rv. I made a trip to OR for work and was able to hang out there for awhile after. Not sure how much travel I'll be doing for work in the new year, but it's still a possibility. I do have some plans for this year though:
  • Use the stash! Yes, I'm trying to go cold sheep in 2013. I have entirely too many skeins of yarn stashed in my rv at the moment. Some are for specific projects, others are leftovers from projects past, but there are too many just picked up because they were pretty or "too good a deal to pass up"... Yes, falling into old habits and it's out of hand. So the goal for the new year is to only knit/crochet from stash.
  • Plan ahead! I knit way too many items in too short a time this past holiday season and that's just crazy. Although... my crazy did win me a knitting ebook yesterday! =) (More about that in my weekend crafty post.) This coming year though, I plan to knit/crochet/sew at least one gift each month and stash them away so next holiday season, I can knit for me if I want and relax more. =D
  • Unprocess my diet! Meaning, get rid of as much processed junk from my diet as possible. I went vegan awhile back and though I do eat a vegan diet, I haven't been making the healthiest choices... by far. The great thing about being in a small space... I don't have a lot of food on hand so making a change is fairly instant. lol I'll be avoiding over-processed foods and choose whole foods and organics whenever possible... I'll be cooking a lot more! =)
  • Be a more responsible consumer! I've made strides in this area already, but I need to really make a better effort in supporting things I believe in with how I spend my money. I've been buying too much commercially produced yarns, too many foods with excessive packaging, being too wasteful.I can't change the whole world, but I can make a small difference by choosing greener items for myself... or just not buying at all. =)
  • Decrease debt! *sigh* I wish I could say, eliminate debt, but I still owe too much on my rv to make paying it off completely this year a real possibility. I did make another large payment yesterday and finished 2012 having made all my payments due in 2013. Yes, I'm a dork. I made a special trip to the bank yesterday just so I could see that my next payment wasn't due until 2014 before 2012 was done. lol
  • Keep clutter in check! I'm instituting a one in, one out rule. This is a very small space and gets cluttered very quickly. Bringing things in without something going out turns into a problem really fast. This will keep things even, though I do need to go through things and see what can go in addition to just replacement items.
  • Travel more for me! I've done a lot of traveling over the past 5 years, going wherever work told me to... but I'd really like to travel more for myself while I have the rv. I have the opportunity, now I'm just waiting for better weather. lol I stayed here in Spokane too long and winter is upon us bringing not so great roads to be on with such a big vehicle. It's been good for the bank account being able to save a couple hundred dollars a month here at my friend's place, but I think next year, I'll head south!
  • Keep up the tiny house fund! The rv is good for now, but not my ideal. I still want that tiny home and have proven to myself that I can easily live in such a small space. Building my own would allow me to design it to suit my own needs, better than an rv designed for recreation. I've discovered I don't crave the constant mobility an rv offers, but rather the ability to move occasionally if I so choose. It will happen... hopefully sooner rather than later!
I've been doing a lot of thinking about who I want to be and doing some soul-searching to discover where I am now and how that relates to what I want in my life. I've made a lot of good changes (and had plenty of slip-ups along the way) and gotten closer to my goals, but life is a journey and there's always room for improvement! =)