I’ve Got You Covered

I’ve Got You Covered

Last night I achieved a goal I really never imagined I could reach – I finished reading Knitlandia, and with it completed my Summer BOTNS Book Bingo card.

Book Bingo Card

A cover all, people! Twenty-five books read in eighty-seven days!

There were good books, great books, amazing books, and some books that were not any of the above. In no particular order, I present my summer reading:

  1. Knitlandia – 4 stars (With a one-word title)
  2. To Kill a Mocking Bird – 5 stars (Published the year you were born)
  3. 81 Famous Poems – 4 stars (Poetry Collection
  4. She Stoops to Conquer – 4 stars (From the Harvard Classics 5-foot shelf)
  5. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls – 4 stars (By or about a member of the LGBTQ community)
  6. It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons – 5 stars (BOTNS BOOK BINGO free square)
  7. Emma, Vol. 01 – 2 stars (Manga)
  8. Shear Spirit: Ten Fiber Farms, Twenty Patterns and Miles of Yarn – 4 stars (From the top shelf of one of your bookcases)
  9. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry – 3 stars (With a family member (wife, son, uncle, etc.) in the title)
  10. The Book Thief – 5 stars (Told by a child narrator)
  11. My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life – 5 stars (With food as the theme)
  12. The Inner Circle – 1 star (Hated by someone you know)
  13. Charlotte’s Web – 5 stars (A non-human main character)
  14. Doc – 3 stars (Western)
  15. The Summer Before the War – 4 stars (Most recently added to your TBR)
  16. Blue Lightning – 4 stars (Read another book by an author already used for this Bingo card)
  17. A Man Called Ove – 5 stars (Borrowed from the library)
  18. Hamilton: The Revolution – 4 stars (Nonfiction in graphic novel format)
  19. The Redbreast – 4 stars (A classic mystery)
  20. Still Life – 5 stars (Recommended by a librarian or bookseller)
  21. The Paris Architect – 5 stars (That you think you will dislike)
  22. The Goldfinch – 5 stars (With an animal on the cover on in the title)
  23. Written in My Own Heart’s Blood – 2 stars (Six words or more in the title)
  24. White Nights – 4 stars (Set in another country)
  25. The New Yorker – 5 stars (A literary magazine or journal of any genre)

This was a colossal undertaking for me. I have not been the most voracious reader in recent years, but this has truly brought my love for reading back to life! A huge thank you to Carole for talking about this all those many weeks ago – I would not have even known such a thing existed! It was a throwback to my youth and my local library summer reading programs!

And speaking of colossal – while nothing much looks fab in the gardens right now with much of it looking worn, weary, and burned out. Not so with the Coleus and the White Salvia we planted this year!! It is the King of the Garden right now and even the bees are paying homage!

That brings us to the linky portion of this post, enter at your own risk! You have been warned!

I will close with some incredible bloggy goodness, thanks to Kate Davies (who ALWAYS has the most phenomenal photos ever!) However, recently she shared some really incredible things:

That is all I have for you this week, the knitting continues – and last night I sat at my spinning wheel for the first time in almost a week! Have a fantastic weekend and I will see you back here on Monday!

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A Tale of Four Swatches

A Tale of Four Swatches

Happy FriYAY from a MUCH cooler, LESS humid Pittsburgh! The AC is off and the windows are open!!

Cranky Pants level has been dramatically reduced.

AND!!!

Dark Sky™ is forecasting temps in the 70’s next week, with overnight lows in the mid 50’s – low 60’s!!!! Funny how a little change in your surroundings can have such a huge impact on your emotional well-being (and FriYAY does not hurt either)!

That brings me to the Fiber portion of the post (if you are not a spinner, please feel free to skip ahead to the Friday Links below):

Last week’s yarn has become this week’s swatches, with some very interesting results! I knit up four swatches – two 2-ply swatches, and two single lace swatches. All yarns were washed in hot water with a little Soak Wash and laid flat to dry – they did not hang. The single yarns were fulled slightly by agitating them lightly in the hot water and plunging them into cold water. I repeated this process twice.

First up, the yarn spun and plied on my Matchless (details are here if you are interested):

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The first swatch with the finished plied yarn, the yarn bloomed some, but not so dramatically that it changed the weight of the yarn. The finished yarn is 27 WPI and 5.5 TPI. This swatch came in with a gauge of 8 stitches per inch and 11 rows per inch.

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The single yarn bloomed dramatically and ended up between 18-20 WPI and 1.25 TPI. It created a stiffer swatch, but it blocked out beautifully. Because I fulled the yarn, it has fairly good strength, however, it is still a fragile yarn. I do not think this yarn would wear well, but it does make a lovely open lace swatch.

Next, the spindle spun and plied yarns:

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The first swatch with the finished plied yarn, the yarn bloomed a bit, but this yarn was less consistent than the yarn spun on my matchless. The range of TPI went from 23 to 14, however, the TPI was consistent at 5. I knit both swatches on the same size needle (US4), and this swatch got 7.5 stitches per inch and 10 rows per inch. However, I like the fabric that I got with the Matchless spun and plied swatch much better. It is much more even and uniform.

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The second lace swatch with the finished single yarn is my favorite! The finished yarn has a little more twist (2 TPI) and it is consistent at 20 WPI throughout the skein. It created the most lovely, airy fabric! This fabric has beautiful drape, and it allowed for some aggressive blocking! While this yarn would not be perfect for a hard wearing garment, it would make a lovely shawl.

Now for those fabulous Friday Links:

That’s all I have this week, have an amazing FriYAY and an even better weekend! I will see you back here on Monday!

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Fiber Friday, June 24th

Fiber Friday, June 24th

The spinning this week continues. I have been working patiently though this gorgeous Targhee from Sheepspot Fiber Club.

This is a serious spin – as in counting treadles and lacing my flyer to get a nice lace-weight yarn – these things are not things I have done before for any project! I have half spun up and have half to go. This is such beautiful fiber – I have never spun Targhee and so this was a real treat! It has so much spring and the fiber drafts beautifully – practically by itself! Truly, this is drafting so easily, I am able to pull just a few fibers out at a time getting a nice fine single. I am using the 15:1 whorl on my Schacht Matchless, so I am putting a good bit of twist into the single. I love how my ply back sample looks and this is what I will be aiming for when I ply this up. This will bloom drastically in the wash so my goal is a light fingering weight, heavy lace weight and I think I will achieve it! Stay Tuned!

Friday Link Ups:

For the book lovers out there when a book appears in your vision, not once but three times in a week it is a message from the Book Gods! I heeded their call and have queued it up on my Kindle to read. I also finished Still Life and loved it! My bingo card is getting close to my first bingo! Summer reading FTW!

That’s all I have this week, have the Happiest of FriYAY’s! I will see you back here on Monday – and Tuesday there will be a special update on the Summer Knit Along that you won’t want to miss!

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Fiber Friday

Fiber Friday

Happy Friday! I would say that it took long enough getting here, but it was a short week. However, I have felt confused on what day it is all week long! Tuesday felt like Monday, etc. But, today is Friday and that means I am joining Rachel for Fiber Friday.

I have been faithful to spinning on my Jenkins Turkish Spindle when I am outside with Sherman. I am happy to report that I am more than half way through the bump! The fiber is Cormo from Sheepspot Breed Club in the December in Ontario colorway. This was a good choice for me to drop spindle as it is so easy to spin! My spindling has improved as well!

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I have not been spinning much this week on my Matchless, as I have been trying to get some knitting projects done instead, however I have so little of the Shetland to finish I will just sit down and get it done this weekend! (Perhaps while watching Shetland that I just picked up from the library!) We have rain in the forecast for the weekend so that might just work perfectly!

On a quick side note, my garden is going mad! There are peppers growing on the pepper plants, we have one tomatillo started, and (while there is not a picture) the potatoes are growing! My roses are crazy with blooms and buds right now too, as are my raspberries! It is a very happy time in the garden!

garden colage

As usual, I have a few links for you today…

Have a fantastic weekend, see you all back here on Monday!

P.S. Thanks for sharing all the books you did not like, I now have an awesome list to choose from!

A Weekend to Remember

A Weekend to Remember

I think it is most fitting that the first poppy blossom opened yesterday in honor of Memorial Day weekend. It was just gorgeous yesterday in the late day sun, almost as amazing as this field of 300,00 knitted poppies at the Chelsea Flower Show. Just.Stunning.

Carole shared a link to BOTNS Book Bingo on Wednesday and Kym shared her card yesterday, so like a good lemming, I printed my card out and am IN IT TO WIN IT! Well, perhaps not with Carole playing – seriously, that girl can read and read fast!! It boggles my mind. Regardless, it seems like a fun way to spend the summer and that’s my story and I am sticking to it!

I am so good with some of these; book set in another country – check! Read another book by an author already used for this Bingo card – check! Book recommended by a librarian – check! (Thanks Carole!!) Perhaps this will be easier than I think. If you wanted to up your reading game this year, this will help! And, I am feeling decidedly child-like, awash in memories of Summer Reading at the library. It was the best thing ever for the summer vacation!

Now on to the Friday Links:

Feeling left out because you don’t have flock of sheep?

The Book of Haps roll out continues, with Tom of Holland and Gudrun Johnston having particularly lovely haps!

And, today’s pattern reveal is just stunning by the Baa-ble Hat creator!

River Flow sounds like the perfect summer knit.

Joji has a beautiful little shawl that takes just one skein of sock yarn! Which also gave me an earworm.

I will be nice and share. Have an amazing FriYAY and an even better LONG weekend! See you all back here on Monday!

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