Monday, July 30, 2007

Knitting Away

I was a knitting fool this weekend. Here's my grandmother's Christmas gift shawl (one ball of Rowan's cotton glace down/three to go).

The only thing my husband will allow me to knit for him (no, not even a scarf) are socks. This is my first attempt at a boot sock, as well as my first ever pair of socks for him. I have my doubts about this. It's a great pattern and I'm using Plymouth fiber, but Mohamed has "chicken ankles" aka the skinniest/boniest ankles you have ever seen. Add to that the fact that I have no clue how to "shape" socks to fit an individual. I'm a boilerplate sock knitter (size 6, 7 or 8?). Hmmmmmm, we'll see....

Blue Moon Fiber/Socks That Rock in the Rolling Stone Colorway. This is the "Lucky Sister" pattern I found online and at long last, I have finally cast on this gorgeous wool. Believe me, my camera doesn't do it justice.

And finally, two pounds (woohoo!) of this Copper Moose roving is on it's way to me compliments of my sister. Thank you Denise!

Happy Knitting/Spinning everyone!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Speed of Light

These last two weeks have gone by at the speed of light. I had mentioned a blog or so ago that my sister was keeping Thing 1 and Thing 2 for me for a week. One blissful week of having a clean house, no cooking to do, no refereeing [sic] and uninterrupted fiber fun. The week flew by and on Friday the 13th (how ironic!), the kids returned home with my sister and grandmother in tow.

Denise, my sister, and I had planned on taking my grandmother around town, to the lake and anywhere else she wanted to go. A fun "girls weekend" kind of thing. Then, I received this weird phone call. This husky, male voice asked, "You got any cars in your driveway?" I had no idea who was calling and I said something very witty to the effect of "Huh?" and the less patient voice replied, "This is your father. If you have any cars in the driveway, move them so that I can back the camper down."

In a complete and wonderful surprise, my dad and stepmother, Joan, drove from Mississippi to Virginia to surprise us with a visit. Fortunately for us, my grandmother was out on the back porch when Denise and I started squealing like little girls and dancing around the kitchen. Dad was 20 minutes away from my home and on his way.

Denise and I played it cool, moved the cars, set the table for dinner and sat down to eat like nothing at all was going on. I heard the front door open when Dad and Joan came into the house. Dad walked into the kitchen, leaned up against the island and said, "What are you eating?" My grandmother didn't see him or realize that he was there. I said, "Grandma, that guy over there is talking to you." She looked up and over and when she saw Dad, she squealed, "OH MY GOODNESS! EDWARD!!" Her face broke into one of the brightest smiles I have ever seen in my life.

We had a GREAT family reunion that weekend! Sunday arrived and to my complete shock, Dad told me that he was now going to take the kids for a week or so. At this point, I'm flabbergasted, but nevertheless, packing their bags. LOL

Week Two begins....

I spent most of the week cleaning Andie's BLACK HOLE of a bedroom, but I did manage to finish and start a couple of projects. (Now you're thinking...finally some pictures to break up this unending text! Me too.)

The completed "Crayon Blanket."

I started (at long last) Grandma's Christmas shawl. (I've tried and failed at Swallowtail several times, so I found this "you can't fail" pattern online).

Before I knew it, it was Saturday the 21st and lo and behold, look what was in my mailbox! Marianne sent me Peace Fleece for my upcoming birthday. Marianne: Thank you, thank you so much! The color is beautiful and I cannot wait to see it "bloom" as you described. I am so touched you would even think of me when you are in the middle of moving not one, but two houses. You're amazing and I appreciate both you and the fabulous fiber.

Kamchatka Seamoss (blue/green heather) Peace Fleece DK weight:

Sunday morning was spent S'nB'ing with Dianne, Linda, Nikki and Dianne's mother. That was a very good time and I enjoyed myself thoroughly! We had lunch, chatted, laughed (remember the country of "Malasha"/Malaysia?) and of course, knitted.

Sunday evening, I went to Jim & Linda's and then brought Baby No. 3 home!

Jim's explaining his latest innovations to the wheel (and boy! were they awesome) and I'm asking question after question.

(See "Village Idiot Grin" shown above).

Queen of Spinning? I think not...more like court jester and the above photo proves it.

Linda and Jim also sent me home with the "practice roving" on the left and the Stony Mountain Fiber/"When you're comfortable spinning" roving on the right.

And to cap it all off, Jim even packed the car.

There simply are enough words to express my gratitude. The wheel is beautiful, the skill and craftmanship with which it was made is immeasurable and the people, Jim and Linda, are a gift, a pleasure, a blessing and priceless.


- - - Postscript - - -

The kids are now home, the fridge is empty, the floors are dirty,

the litterbox needs emptied, but leave me alone....

I'm sitting and spinning. :D

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Eye & Heart Candy

Here, my friends, is the "Heart Candy."

Jim wrote, "Today, I completed your wheel and Linda took it on a test drive. She was pleased with the wheel and the latest innovations. [I] ...had fun building the wheel and incorporating the new features into this model. We hope you will like it. Here are a few pictures of the wheel. You and Linda can determine when you want to take possession. I am looking forward to seeing you operate it."

Jim said things like, "We hope you like it," and "...had fun building the wheel." This is just another indicator of what amazing, kind and generous people Jim & Linda are. Me? I'm floored - - positively floored. The offer to make me a wheel was a complete surprise and I certainly didn't imagine that the wheel would be completed in a mere two weeks. Just two weeks! Once again, they have knocked my socks off and left me overwhelmed by being the wonderful people that they are. Jim and Linda - THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

Now for the "Eye Candy"....

The "Windy Meadow Wheel.".

The Skein Winder

The Lazy Kate and Skein Winder

The wheel in all it's glory!

Oooooohhhh Ahhhhhhhhhhh!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Pinch me, I must be dreaming!

I had a perrrrrfect day and there's pictures to prove it. Last Saturday afternoon, my daughter, Andie, and I went to visit my sock sister, Linda, and her husband, Jim, at their home for a spinning lesson.

[We break now for crowing] Yes! Yes! I have spun fiber! [End crowing].

I sat down on the spinning chair and Jim expertly described the mechanics of the wheel. I knew "terms" from my reading, but to actually see it done clarified so much. For example, the mystery of ratio became clear, single versus double treadle mechanics, and how/why the fiber gets twisted as it's spun. I now understand plying, how to achieve fiber thickness, what a Lazy Kate is and a multitude of other things.

Then, Linda taught me how to spin. "Now you do it," she said. I broke the fiber numerous times, I spun at the speed of a snail (when I wasn't breaking the fiber) and I had an absolute ball! It was so much fun and as if the spinning weren't enough, Andie and I got to visit with the adorable critters that Linda and Jim have adopted. The flock includes a goat, a ewe, ducks, chickens, two sweet little dogs and a rabbit.

To cap an amazing day off, Jim and Linda made my day/week/month and year. Jim offered to make me a wheel.

I am getting a wheel!
Jim is making me a wheel!
I am sooo incredibly thrilled!

When they offered, I was floored, misty-eyed and just so surprised and delighted. Jim's wheels are lovely, handmade, strong, and an original. Here and now, four days later, I still go weak at the knees and smile like the village idiot when I think about this.

Jim and Linda: There are no words to thank you enough for both the lessons, the visit, and the wheel. Andie and I had a day that we will remember and cherish forever! THANK YOU!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Odds, Ends & Goodies!

This is a photo-heavy blog. I've been knitting furiously lately due to several impending births and the Christmas holiday season. That said, I'll let the photos do most of the talking....

The most recent Christmas gift bowls:

The three bowl styles(Ginger, Mesa and Standing):

Three new baby hats:

A new baby blanket (this is nothing more than a giant dishcloth/168 stitches at longest point):

Finishing touches on Miss Chicken:

And now, the goodies! Dianne greatly surprised me with souvenirs/gifts from her trip to Pennsylvania (The Mannings yarn store). She brought me the beautiful chunky Mauch you see below, as well as the Andes sock yarn. Thank you so very, very much! I cannot wait to dive into them. Again, thank you, thank you!

And for Nikki & Marianne. Here's the eye candy hubby. :) LOL

P.S. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are going to my sister's home in Maryland this Monday for a week. Hmmm, what's a mother to do when a) she doesn't have to cook, b) pick up after kids, c) clean the bathroom, and d) launder six tons of clothing? I shall be soooo lost...NOT!