Right Now

Right Now

We had a bit of a wonky weekend – Steve had a work function Friday and Saturday, so there was no usual Happy Hour. It made for weekend that did not feel like a weekend at all, but I did get some reading and knitting done.

Drinking: Iced Coffee – warmer weather makes me very glad because I really love iced coffee to start my day.

Watching: Game of Thrones (along with the rest of the world, I am sure!) and Call the Midwives. Two shows that are the exact opposite of each other, and I love them both!

Contemplating: The Me Made May phenomena – I consider myself a serial maker. I have been a maker as long as I can remember but, do I need a month to point that out to the world around me (or at least my Instagram feed!) I don’t want to take any of the wind out of the sails about those participating, but I think that helping new makers along their way is the approach I would rather take. So, I am going to commit to fostering new makers in their journey and there is a group at my church who want to learn to knit so I am going to help them. Hopefully, by the end of May there will be a new flock of knitters in the Pittsburgh area!

Knitting: Socks, Pincha, and using some stash to knit along with Simone (OwlCat Designs) in her wedding shawl knit-along.

Cooking: All things asparagus – and it is so good! Grilled, roasted, in stir fry, and I am going to try this recipe for Asparagus Pizza!

Anticipating: Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival! Steve and I are going for the day on Saturday (he is thrilled beyond believe, I assure you!!) I will try to foster his excitement during the week so that he enjoys himself (oh the food! and the sheep!) I might challenge him to a little photo contest, which I am sure he will win!

Planting: Our “safe to plant date” is Mother’s day, so I will be getting more plants in the garden very soon! I have been watching Mr. Knitspot expand his garden beds with great interest. Gardening and the expansion of the garden is one area that Steve and I are in complete agreement on!

That is all I have for this list filled Monday, but tell me – what “right now” thing are you loving?

Friday with Merchant & Mills

Friday with Merchant & Mills

Whatever plans I had for today went right out the window when the mail-woman brought this gem to my doorstep yesterday! A huge thanks my dear friend for loaning it to me! Fabric stash contemplation is commencing in three, two…

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But, before I go, I do have some amazing links to brighten your weekend!

If you count yourself a maker, then perhaps this will interest you!

You still have time for a Whistle Stop

Interested in some color work that is modern?

A metronome for knitters

Do you fear yarn pooling?

Perhaps a quick trip to Etton is in your plans

Are you multi-craftual, then Kollabora might be the spot for you!

It’s a beautiful day to honor Mr. Rogers, so put a sweater on!

Have a good one, gentle reader! See you back here on Monday.

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.

Oh, Hi Monday

Oh, Hi Monday

I don’t know about you, but it seemed like the weekend sped past.

And, there was no carding completed.

I know.

But, there was so much other stuff that got done, I am almost not upset.

Almost.

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There was also no laundry getting done over the weekend so this morning I was greeted by Mount Kilimanjaro – the laundry version.

But, there were days of Al Fresco dining, cocktails, and lots of yard work – even a little bit of sunburn was obtained!

I hope your weekend was wonderful and that your Monday is not harsh!

P.S. Rhubarb experts… do I cut the flower out now, or wait? Help!!

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?!

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