Monday, Monday…

Monday, Monday…

The weekend went far too quickly as it zoomed by at practically warp speed! (Beam me back to Friday, Scotty!! That Manhattan was so tasty as were the Friday eats!)

26625922215_9643b3ab75_b

It was a weekend with lots of some…

Some unknitting and some knitting – I had to unknit a few rows of my Pincha, I think I missed a wrap, which created a troublesome hole. No worries though, the unknitting of short rows is not overwhelming. I am back on track now and again breezing along.

Some spinning – I managed to spin quite a bit on my little drop spindle, it helped that the weather was nice for outdoor spinning!

Some gardening – After cleaning up the vegetable beds, I worked some compost in to the soil. I also got my potatoes started in the pots! And, the seeds I started last week are all sprouting.

And… some disappointment – Perhaps that has something to do with eagerly (anxiously even) awaiting the beginning of the farmer’s market only to be overwhelmed with sticker shock… serious sticker shock! And, thinking how ironic that everyone is charging exactly the same amount for things. Hello, I am not paying $5.00 a dozen for eggs!

We were not disappointed in our trip to Janoski’s though. Welcome back, Asparagus! You have been seriously missed!

Outside of that, it is a nose to the grindstone kind of Monday. I have a long list today and some extra caffeine to help me stay focused!

Tell me, how are you staying on track today?

Friday’s are for Fiber (and links!)

Friday’s are for Fiber (and links!)

It’s Friday and that means a plethora of things to everyone, but across the board there is a collective sigh of relief that the work week is over and the weekend has, again, arrived! (And, it is Earth Day)

Before the weekend begins, it is Fiber Friday at Casa del KatKnits – and we have lots of fiber for you today.

I was unbelievably fortunate to talk with a knitting genius this week and she gave me a good bit of fiber food for thought. Which has me thinking about the economy of yarn and knitting things you love and, more importantly, will love wearing! And, swatching. Lots and lots of swatching. She shared a new to me way of determining if you like the fabric of your knitted swatch…close your eyes and let your fingers decide. Fantastic advice, which I did with the swatch from last week. And, my fingers like the fabric better with the smaller needle. Knitting is such a tactile process, yet I never thought of doing this. Thanks, Ina for closing my eyes and sharing a new dimension.

Rolag production has been going very well, especially with the addition of a bit of “pre-combing” to remove the vegetation. Pre-combing before carding? Something new I learned in the last week. It not only removed the chaff it also made carding incredibly easy and as a result, the carding is going faster.

I know. I am pretty sure I do not experiment enough, especially with fiber prep and spinning. I need to give myself permission to step out of my comfort zone, which is not always an easy thing to do.

Soon the spinning can begin in earnest.

Speaking of spinning in earnest, I am going to attempt to spin the braid above entirely on a drop spindle. I am aiming for a dk weight single. I struggle with this on my wheel, because of the ease of spinning and too much twist. Hopefully this plan will help that a bit. Add to that the portability of the project with just a drop spindle and a bit of fiber and it seems like the perfect summer combination. So far, so good!

Now, for the enabling portion of this post!

Ever wanted to knit stained glass?

Thea’s been cooking up some fun with Jill

Summer cardigans are so much fun, especially when they remind me of an Eileen Fisher-esque design!

It’s just knitting squares!

Did you ever wish for a Big Sister?

That’s all I have for today, have an amazing weekend and I will see you back here on Monday.

Fiber Friday, Linked Edition

Fiber Friday, Linked Edition

One thing to take into account when trying to match a commercial yarn is the density of the yarn. I think that the Briar Rose yarn may be a worsted preparation. In fact I am certain it is. So, my Shetland in a woolen preparation is a much lighter, fluffier thing!

Before finishing the yarn

Before finishing the yarn

And, while I have matched the diameter, the twist angle, and the WPI of the Briar Rose yarn. My yarn feels much different. Some of you even noted the difference from earlier this week! As I was swatching – the yarn seemed much too light – and it almost seemed like I had more stitches because there were these ripples in the white fabric that really concerned me. I really did not want to spin this Shetland in a worsted preparation and I was brainstorming in my head about a fix, and my first thought was to go down a needle size. Size 3 needles were found and I kept swatching until I had a good bit more of the fabric.

IMG_2017

After finishing the yarn

Before soaking and laying it out to dry, I thought the smaller needle would be the answer, but after giving the swatch a nice bath and letting it dry overnight – I think the fabric on the same needle will be just perfect.

IMG_2143

The washed swatch

The Rolag Production Train is again underway, I hope to have them done shortly (Monday at the absolute latest!) and then spinning can begin.

In case you are not a spinner, but you are Jonesing for a new project, Ravelry has had a plethora of new patterns that are really making me itch to cast on one or ten:

Carol Sunday might have the perfect accompaniment for a Dress #2

The perfect sweatshirt sweater with lovely details – thank you Ysolda

The TTL Friday Fix has been just excellent this month, with things to fill a gift basket and more things to come before the month is over!

If socks are your fancy, these are so cute!

And, I have been spending lots of time thinking about Spice Market, Torquata, and Miss Babs.

And the details on this little sweater really shine!

And, some great thoughts on wool can be found at Rachel of Wool n’ Spinning, after all today is Fiber Friday!

There you go, Gentle Readers, have a great day and an even better weekend. See you back here on Monday!!

More reading, less knitting, some spinning

More reading, less knitting, some spinning

It’s Wednesday and that means Ginny is rounding up the knitters and the readers for her Yarn Along. I am about half way through Raven Black and I really want to get it finished today. I am not totally loving this book, but I have started it and I want to finish it. And, if you are looking for some titles to round out your reading list, yesterday’s 10 on Tuesday hosted by CaroleKnits was all about 10 books that make you D.E.A.R. and the participants all had fantastic book lists – if you are looking for a book to read, head on over there and you will be sure to find a more than a few good reads!

On the knitting front – I seem to have stalled on knitting projects recently. I still have socks in the works, but I have been kind of aimlessly casting on, knitting a few rows, and ripping out. Swatching that is not working – pattern and yarn are not loving each other.

However, this swatching is working out beautifully. My sample is knitting up nicely. I should have this done and washed today. I won’t know that my yarn will match and work completely until I have washed it. Once I am certain that my handspun will work, I will be back carding the Shetland to get ready to spin. This week is supposed to be lovely here and yesterday afternoon saw the completion of the Pergola – and we both lived to tell about it!! I will have pictures later this week, but it will make the perfect place to card that Shetland!

I have been putting the waste wool from the carding process out for the birds, because they don’t think it is waste at all! In fact, they are gleefully snatching it up to line their nests! I know this because of the war we are having with Mr. Robin (who every year wants to build his nest around the light on our porch) thus far, we are winning, but the collection of nesting materials that the wind is blowing all over includes bits of papers from the neighborhood, sticks, grasses, and my wool waste! I would love to let him stay, but the first year he abandoned the nest due to our activity – this is the only door out to our back yard, which we use multiple times a day. I am hoping that our spending more time outdoors will move his efforts to a more suitable place.

And, speaking of Shetland/UK – Ann and Kay are in search of the Knitter’s Holy Grail – Kay is knitting a Kaffe Fassett design and Ann has cast on a Jade Starmore sweater. A knitter’s battle for the ages and a rabbit hole for this knitter to avoid! However, it will be fun to see these projects progress. Kay wants to wear hers to Rhinebeck! What say you Ann? Will you wear yours too? While I might have pulled out my Alice Starmore book, I am in no means jumping on this bandwagon. I have other sweater dreams dancing in my head!

Anyways, enough rambling for today – I have a book to read! Tell me – what knitting successes are you having?!

Make it Monday

Make it Monday

After a very cold, snowy, blowy weekend a milder Monday has arrived. Milder temperatures, softer breezes, and gentle rains greeted my morning.

It was so bitterly icy and cold on Sunday morning I am afraid I may have lost my poppy and yarrow, which were growing nicely and this morning look quite miserable. I could just cry!

But, there was some fun this weekend!!

better april

There was a simple, but delicious Friday Cocktail Supper. A bit of hummus, salami, carrots, grapes, crackers, and Manhattans were perfect to usher in the weekend.

There were new herbs obtained. They smell so much like summer! I am itching to get in my garden, but these little beauties are a nice way to pacify that urge until the weather is more conducive to gardening!

There was some spinning. I think I did a fairly good job of replicating the singles in the Briar Rose Yarn, I won’t know until I have washed the yarn though. I hope to ply and finish the sample skein later today and maybe it will be dry enough to knit a sample with it tomorrow or Wednesday!

And there was an impromptu get away on Saturday night – a change of scenery can have a positive impact! And, confession time – I took knitting, but I did not knit one stitch! There was some discussion of Sheep and Wool in Maryland, and while I know Steve is not overly thrilled about the prospect, I think we figured out an option to satisfy (okay, maybe not satisfy exactly) err, make it work.

On our way home we stopped for lunch at Fathead’s – two words – Buffalo Cauliflower. The sandwiches and beers were fantastic (I mean, a Reuben with Kimchi?? YUM!!) but the Buffalo Cauliflower stole the show! The cauliflower was not at all over cooked, and it was not breaded! I think this might be a fairly healthy option if you are a fan of wings! There was much discussion of how we could replicate this for our Friday Night cocktail suppers. I think we might have figured it out, stay tuned to see.

I hope your Monday is like the weather here today – mild, soft, and gentle.

Pin It on Pinterest