Friday, May 29, 2015

Spinning Friday: May 29, 2015

I took my Hansen spinner with me down to ABQ, and since we didn't start vending until 10 a.m. each day (and I was up at the "late" time of 5:45 each morning), I actually got a lot of spinning done in the mornings!

This week, I started a summery-colored braid of 60% merino, 40% bamboo from FatCatKnits in the Splash colorway.


I divided this braid in half and then stripped each half into random-width narrow strips (6 per each half), and then spun those into singles.  I then plied those for a lovely, light fingering-weight yarn.


Technical Specs:
Roving:  4 oz of 60/40 merino/tencel roving in the "Splash" colorway from FatCatKnits.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Light fingering.
Yardage: 450 yards/4 oz.


I'm going to use this as one of two colors in my Andrea's Shawl by Kirsten Kapur.  The other colorway I've chosen is from my Mythical Creatures club this year - Serpent - which I dyed myself a braid of on the same fiber base.


I've already started spinning the singles for that braid - more on that next week!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

WIP Wednesday: May 27, 2015

This week's WIP line-up:

Sekret Knitting:
  • Colorwork cowl is done!  I need to get the draft off to my TE and send it for a test knit, but the sample is finished. 
  • Now I can focus more exclusively on my project for Spirit Trail Fibers.  I'm actually thinking of including this piece along with a few others in a winter Steampunk collection, but mulling over the details of that currently. 
Personal Knitting:
Working on my simple 2x2 ribbed socks.  I finished the first sock and cast on for #2 while I was vending.  While these aren't really my colors, they are very fun and I think will be a great donation pair.  I'm going to toss these into my bag as well to take with me to the TNNA conference this weekend in Columbus.



Monday, May 25, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 21

I finished up The Joy Luck Club this week.  I enjoyed it - maybe a little bit more "chick lit" than my usual, but it was a great mother/daughter dynamics book and was entertained by the stories of the women of the Joy Luck Club.

I then started The Art Forger which is a fictious account of what might have happened to at least one of the paintings stolen from the Gardner Museum in Boston.  (The theft actually happened - March 18, 1990.  The paintings have never been recovered and I've seen a couple of interesting documentaries on the theft and ideas about the crime, how it was committed and by whom, so I figured I'd enjoy this "what if?" version too.)  I'm about 75% finished and racing towards the ending which promises to be a thriller.  Fun and entertaining - this is a great summertime read.  (Full disclosure: I neglected to pull some books onto my Kindle in my dash down to ABQ for the fiber festival, and since this was already on it for week 44, I just went ahead and got started on it.)  I plan to finish this one up and start my week 17 book for the upcoming week (and maybe see if I've got time to squeak in another week's read, although I'm undecided what to start there.)


WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.  FINISHED.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Spinning Friday: May 22, 2015

Another finished handspun skein to share:


Technical Specs:
Roving: 4 oz of blue-faced Leicester wool roving in the "Single Girl, Married Family" colorway from Two If By Hand.
Ply: 2-ply.
Weight:  Worsted.
Yardage: 187 yards/3.8 oz.

Despite the fact that the two bobbins of singles looked like they came from 2 different braids, I love how this one turned out!  It plied up beautifully with a lovely marriage of colors and since I kept the twist fairly light, it is lovely and soft and squishy.

No specific plans for it.  Probably a hat or some mittens to go into a donation box at some point, but another braid out of the bin for my Stashdown/Spin the Bin 2015 project!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

WIP Wednesday: May 20, 2015

This week's WIP line-up:

Sekret Knitting:
  • Working away on the colorwork cowl.  I'm about 2/3rds done, so I think with a few more evenings of knit-time, it'll be done easily by the end of the month.  
  • Started sleeve #1 of my project for Spirit Trail Fibers - Loving this yarn and I think this pattern is going to be a really fun, wearable piece.  I may have to get the sample back from Jen to keep for my very own wardrobe!

Personal Knitting:
I cast on a pair of simple 68-stitch, 2x2 ribbed socks to work up an extra gradiant skein of Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock I had dyed up.  I like to have something simple to work on while vending, and since I'll be at the ABQ Fiber Fiesta this weekend, this is that project. Nothing fancy with this - I just am enjoying watching the colors start changing down the leg. I've got these skeins dyed up in (mostly) matching halves, and I know if I get to the purple section in the ball, it's time to get the toe finished up - since that's the halfway point (although I will probably not need to knit the foot that long.  I'm thinking these will be a great donation sock for a female person based on the colors, so I don't need a huge pair.)


I'm also looking ahead to the Tour de Fleece that starts the first week in July.  I'm trying to decide on fibers to spin for the Tour, so expect some more spinning-related chat over the next 6 weeks before the Tour officially kicks off.  (And if you are a handspinner and want in on some casual, low-key fun, please consider joining my Wooly Wonka Fibers team in my Ravelry group here - All Are Welcome!)

Monday, May 18, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 20

This week I read The House of Hawthorne, which I had been waiting to arrive as it's a recently published book.  This is just the kind of historical fiction I like.  I was engaged with the characters right from the get-go, and I wanted to carry on through the book's journey with them.  The main character is Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife, Sophie, who is a talented artist in her own right but suffers from crippling migraines.  The book starts at the end and then picks up Sophie's story from when she was in her late teens, and just beginning to perfect her painting craft.  The story weaves in all sorts of interesting historical tidbits about her trip to Cuba, the Transcendentalist movement in New England, and the Hawthorne's (she marries Nathaniel after a long courtship) relationship to prominent figures such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, as well as Franklin Pierce, and the political situation of the pre-Civil War years.  An engrossing read intertwined with a good love story.  Well recommended.

I started The Joy Luck Club this week as well and likely will have it finished in a few days, as I'm enjoying it too.  A very different sort of book, but another one that's been an unexpected pleasure so far.

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.  FINISHED.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Weekending

Courtesy of some not-great weather this weekend, we had quite a bit of quiet time, which was nice!  I was a bit under the weather this weekend, so I didn't mind having some extra hot tea and I made my go-to comfort food recipe of butternut squash soup.

For the first time in a LONG time, I also sat and did some focused spinning.  I plied up the BFL I showed you on Friday and got a nice squishy skein of worsted weight.

I also started singles on a braid of soft and lovely merino/bamboo from FatCatKnits in the "Splash" colorway.


I want to spin this up into a fingering weight yarn and use it for 1 of the 2 colors in a shawl.  I'm going to dye up a complementary braid of the same base - probably using my "Serpent" colorway from the last Mythical Creatures spinner's club - and work up Andrea's Shawl.

Speaking of which, have you seen the fantastic new book collection out from Kirsten Kapur of Through The Loops.  I've been a friend and fan of Kirsten's for a lot of years.  She's done many shawl patterns for my clubs over that time, and I can honestly say that there really is nothing she's designed I haven't loved and wanted to knit, but my time to knit for fun has been fairly curtailed this past year and I really wanted to get back into knitting things without a deadline that just sparked my interest.

I ran into another blogger's post (which I sadly cannot find now and didn't think to bookmark it) in which she is planning on knitting Kirsten's Mystery Shawl-Along 2015 (as am I) and then work her way through all of the Shawl Book One collection.  I thought that was a brilliant idea and once I get a wild hare like that, you know where I'm going with this, right? I thought it'd be GREAT fun to do up a handspun version of each of the shawls.  It'll challenge me a bit with the spinning (for instance, Laight Street is a bulky weight, which I rarely if ever spin) and that'll be good for me AND help me work down my stash, which is another goal of mine for this year.   I'm not putting any deadlines on this project.  I want it to be fun and not work.

I'm really looking forward to this as a long-term process kind of project but I'm also looking forward to a stack of hand-knit/hand-spun shawls at the end of the road too!

And PS - Just for Andi, a Lizzie picture.  She's almost 4 months now and is a bundle of muscle.   I've started thinking of her as "Tank".  Shown here with one of the bazillion sticks she likes to haul around when we go outside to play.


Friday, May 15, 2015

Spinning Friday: May 15, 2015

This week, I've been spinning a pretty 4-oz braid of BFL from Two If By Hand in the "Single Girl, Married Family" colorway.  The original braid looked like:


I divided the braid in half, and then split each half into 6 mostly equal sections.  I've gotten the singles spun up:


I have no real explanation for why these 2 bobbins appear to be so vastly different - they really are from the same braid!  We'll see what shakes out when they are plied together.  One of the fun surprises with handspun when you spin without a plan!

I'm also getting geared up for the Tour de Fleece which kicks off in July.  Anyone else planning on spinning with the Tour this year?  (And keeping my fingers crossed I will actually have some downtime that month.  I have no shows or travel booked, but I seem to keep having work pop up to fill my schedule I wasn't counting on......)

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

WIP Wednesday: May 13, 2015

Here's what's going on this week with my WIPs:

Sekret Knitting:

  • Finished up the next Heroines shawl sample.  I'm finalizing the draft and then that can go to my TE and my tester.  Woot!
  • I've picked up the colorwork cowl again and that'll be my focus project for this week.  I'd like to get it finished before the 29th, so I can take it along with me to TNNA to show The Yarn Guys (who I'm knitting it up for as a kit).
  • My next deadline project is a sweater for Jen of Spirit Trail Fibers to take to Rhinebeck, so I'll likely try to get some focused work done on the first sleeve this upcoming week as well. 
Personal Knitting: 

I finished up the Dustland Hat this week, using up my entire skein of handspun Corriedale.  I wound up making some "artistic changes" to the stitch pattern - one set due to the influence of a glass of wine and low sleep one night, and a few in the decrease rounds as I was worried about running out of yarn (and it was close, so I'm glad I did a few less rounds of garter stitch.)


This is a very straightforward, easy pattern and a great stashbuster.  I like the matching mitts too - I might make those at some point.  This hat, however, is slated for the Mittens for Akkol donation bin.



I am going to try to knit along with Kirsten Kapur's Through the Loops mystery shawl in June, so I'm thinking about possible yarn choices for that one as well. I'm leaning towards either a set of neutrals in handspun or possibly Arianrhod Sock in foresty colors from the shop. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 19

This week, I finished my nonfiction book: The Fossil Hunter. The topic was really interesting and I enjoyed that part of it, but here's my issue with the book...... I understand that there is little primary historical data to use regarding the life of Mary Anning (who is the young woman who discovered many dinosaur fossils in the cliffs of Lyme Regis in the early 19th century and is a very interesting historical figure).  My problem is that paragraph after paragraph started with things like "Mary likely did...."  Or "Mary must have been devastated about....."  Well... no... we can't really go there.  If there isn't some diary page or letter, or some other secondary historical source, I don't think you, the writer of a nonfiction book, should make the jump that Mary was devastated about some happening.  Maybe she was, but maybe she didn't care a fig about it.

Fascinating time and a really interesting woman - yes.  For me, I enjoyed the historical fiction book about the same group of fossil hunters in the same time period, Remarkable Creatures, better.  If you are writing fiction, then by all means you can make the mental jump someone was devastated about something.  That sort of writing was jarring enough for me with The Fossil Hunter, I had a hard time pushing past it.

At any rate, this week, I received my auto-download of The House of Hawthorne, for my book published this year selection.  I've become thoroughly engrossed in this story and am about halfway through the book already, enjoying it greatly! When I'm finished this, it'll be on to the The Joy Luck Club (and then I'll only be a few weeks behind......)


WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.  FINISHED.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Weekending: May 10, 2015

This weekend was all about photo shoots for designer clients.  Saturday a.m., we finished up a large collection of gorgeous Fair Isle sweaters - barely dodging an incoming snow storm and high winds (WTH?  It's mid-May and we are usually well done with snow by now, but it was COLD out in that wind yesterday for sure).  We had a ton of fun with the shoot - my models laughed a lot, which is usually a good sign, and we tossed in a few lovely shots with a friend's horse and our dog which I'm anxious to see.

Today, Sunday, I've got another shoot for a couple of different designers with various accessory-type pieces.  Hopefully the weather will cooperate a bit more for that - it is currently sunny, but it was in the 30s when we got up, which aren't exactly spring-like temperatures!

D and I have plans to meet for dinner up in town after the shoot for a little casual meal at the brew pub, and otherwise, will probably make it an early night here before the official work week kicks off. (We have transitioned Lizzie to sleeping through the night, which she's doing great with, but we are also getting up pretty early to make sure we get her out since she's still young enough we'd rather not chance having an accident overnight.  We're all about success for her!).

Upcoming this week, I'm back to the studio with a vengeance to work on more wholesale orders that arrived last week.  I'm also dyeing for the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Fiesta, which is in just under 2 weeks, and trying to get a few odds and ends tidied up as well before I go to the TNNA summer conference at the end of the month!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Spinning Friday: May 8, 2015

I have a finished spin this week!  I showed you the original roving last Friday, which was a 4-oz braid of shetland wool from Two If By Hand.


I finished up my singles and got it plied this week:



Technical Specs:
Roving: 4. oz of shetland wool roving in the "Dr. Unicorn" colorway from Two If By Hand.
Ply: 2-ply.
Weight:  Sport.
Yardage: 354 yards/4. oz.

This fiber prep really was stellar - I didn't do much manipulation of it beyond splitting the roving into long thin strips to help break the colors up a bit.


I'm currently working on another Spin the Bin/Stashdown fiber, also from Two if By Hand, so I'll have some photos of that next week.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

WIP Wednesday: May 6, 2015

This week, I'm getting back into the groove of knitting, so here's what I'm up to:

Sekret Knitting:

  • I finished up the sample for the Jewelflower Cowl that I'll be releasing in a couple of weeks.  It will be available on Ravelry as a purchasable download, but if you love it and think you'd also like to order my up and coming Interweave book, if you preorder a copy on Amazon, I'll gift you the pattern for free!  More details on that to come shortly.
  • I started the colorwork cowl I'm working up for The Yarn Guys in Finullgarn.  I'm just getting the first border finished up, but my plan is to finish that and move on to the central motifs this week. 
  • I am also working away on the next Heroines shawl club pattern.  Just past the halfway point here, I've got one motif that I'm finishing the final 4 rows on, and then will repeat that chart before starting the final motif repeats.  My plan is to finish up the second-to-last motif and be ready to start the final motif next week. 
Personal Knitting:

I'm working slowly but steadily on the Dustland Hat out of my handspun.  It's a really straightforward pattern, so I pick this up when I need something to fill 5 or 10 minutes of waiting time of some sort. No specific goals on this for this week - it'll just be on the needles when I need something to occupy my hands for a bit.


Monday, May 4, 2015

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 18

My how the time flies past - whoosh - week 18 already and I'm woefully behind.

I did select a book of short stories to read.  I opted for ones by Charles deLint, knowing how much I enjoy his writing, to give me a little carrot to actually stay awake long enough to read at night.  I read Tapping the Dream Tree, and loved it.  There was only one in the book I had read before, so it was a lovely group of new-to-me enjoyable reads.  I particularly loved the last (and longest) story about Sarah Jane and the 'sangmen and bee fairies.  This kind of gave me a weird deja vu sense since it's exactly the sort of story my Gram would have told me (and her given name was Sarah, although she went by Jane).

I'm currently still reading my nonfiction book The Fossil Hunter.  I had read Tracy Chevalier's fictious account of the same time period/characters last year in Remarkable Creatures, so I was already familiar with the basic information.  I have to admit I enjoyed the fiction book a lot more - or at least that's how it's shaking out so far for me.  More details when I have finished this book and can think on it as a completed work.

The Joy Luck Club is up next - I'd like to jump along and try to read that simultaneously, but I'm afraid I'll not finish up my nonfiction selection if I do that.  I am going to try to get The Fossil Hunter finished up this week tho!

WEEKS & TOPICS
1. a book with more than 500 pages: Bitter Greens by Kate Forsyth. FINISHED.
2. a romance: Katherine by Anya Seton. FINISHED
3. a book that became a movie: The Hours by Michael Cunningham. FINISHED.
4. a book published this year: The House of Hawthorne by Erika Robuck.
5. a book with a number in the title:  The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. FINISHED.
6. a book written by someone under 30: Eragon by Christopher Paolini. FINISHED.
7. a book with nonhuman characters:  The Greyfriar by Susan Griffith.  FINISHED.
8. a funny book: Bossypants by Tina Fey.  FINISHED.
9. a book by a female author: Fever 1793 by Laurie Anderson.  FINISHED.
10. a mystery or thriller:  Séance in Sepia by Michelle Black. FINISHED.
11. a book with a one-word title: East by Edith Pattou.  FINISHED.
12. a book of short stories:  Tapping the Dream Tree by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
13. a book set in a different country: The Winter Palace by Eva Stachniak. FINISHED.
14. a nonfiction book:  The Fossil Hunter by Shelley Emling.
15. a popular author's first book: The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan.
16. a book from your favorite author that you haven't read yet: Forests of the Heart by Charles deLint.  FINISHED.
17. a book a friend recommended: Botelo by Alyson Hagy.
18. a Pulitzer-prize winning book: Andersonville by MacKinley Kantor.
19. a book based on a true story: The Wild Princess by Mary Hart Perry.
20. a book at the bottom of your to read list: Before I Go To Sleep by S.J Watson.
21. a book your mom or dad loves: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.
22. a book that scares you: The Blackhouse by Peter May.
23. a book more than 100 years old: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.
24. a book based entirely on its cover: Twilight of Avalon by Anna Elliot.
25. a book you were supposed to read in school but didn't: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.
26. a memoir:  Two Rings by Millie Werber and Eve Keller
27. a book you can finish in a day
28. a book with antonyms in the title: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.
29. a book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit: Iceland by Betsy Tobin.
30. a book that came out the year you were born: Mary, Queen of Scots by Antonia Fraser.
31. a book with bad reviews: Moon People?
32. a trilogy (the first):  Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke.
33. a trilogy (the second) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clarke.
34. a trilogy (the third)  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clarke.
35. a book from your childhood: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.  FINISHED.
36. a book with a love triangle: Muse by Mary Novak.
37. a book set in the future
38. a book set in high school: The Small Rain by Madeline L’Engle.
39. a book with a color in the title:  A Cavern of Black Ice by J.V. Jones.
40. a book that made/makes you cry
41. a book with magic: Grave Witch by Kalayna Price.
42. a graphic novel
43. a book by an author you've never read before:  My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
44. a book you own but have never read: The Art Forger by B.A. Shapiro.
45. a book that takes place in your hometown: Magic America by C.E. Medford.
46. a book that was originally written in another language: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.
47. a book set during Christmas (or similar holiday): A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.
48. a book written by an author with your same initials: Silver Lies by Ann Parker.
49. a play
50. a banned book: Beloved by Toni Morrison.
51. a book based on OR turned into a tv show: Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
52. a book you started but never finished:  The Heresy of Dr. Dee by Phil Rickman.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Weekending: May 3, 2015

Lots going on this weekend - it's been definitely trending towards warmer temps and while this is normally not our rainy season (in theory, when we aren't in a drought, that's the summer), but we've had gray clouds and spits of rain the last several afternoons and more forecast for the next several days while the temperatures hover in the upper 60s/low 70s.

I took advantage of the nice weather and weeded our front yard which we xeriscaped a couple of years ago.  It's got landscape cloth under the rock, but the weeds here are tenacious, so I went through and pulled all of those, and tidied up the bed I have all my daylilies in by the front steps.

I worked on several wholesale dye orders and cleaned up my studio space a bit - it definitely needed it after that huge wholesale order I had been working on for months, plus all the show and club dyeing.  I can actually find things on the shelves!

I also did some spinning, and finished up the Shetland I had on the wheel from Friday's spinning-focused post.  I pulled a braid of really deep rich colors of BFL out for my next spin, which I may start today.  I also cast on for a new Sekret Knitting project, since I finished up the cowl sample I had been working on.  That'll be ready for photography this week and to head off to my tech editor.  My test knitter has already started on hers.

And finally, since I'm still on my stashdown quest for this year, and I wanted a yellow or green project to go along with my Stashdown KAL in my group for quarter 2 of 2015, I cast on a Dustland Hat using a worsted-weight handspun from my stash bin.  (This was a Wooly Wonka club fiber from a couple of years ago - "Harvest Vines" colorway on Corriedale.)  The pattern definitely benefits from a mostly solid yarn, and while I'm actually not a huge fan of yellow for me personally, I love how this is knitting up and it'll be a great gift for the donation box to the orphanage!



Hope you weekend is equally wonderful!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Spinning Friday: May 1, 2016

I have actual spinning to share today!  (Not a lot but I'll take what I can get!)

This is another braid from my Spin the Bin 2015 challenge - from Two If By Hand, 4 ounces of Shetland in the "Dr. Unicorn" colorway.  The original braid looked like:



As I tend to do, I'm spinning this one fairly fine, shooting for a fingering-weight yarn.  I'm just about finished the first bobbin of singles (and tonite! I have spinning and wine planned while sitting on the back deck and enjoying our warm weather!).


The grand plan for this one is to spin up this braid and then do a coordinating tonal dye braid to get somewhere around 750-800 yards, or enough for a 2-color shawl.  I have several on the radar in my queue, but it'll be a while before I get the tonal chosen and spun, so I've got time to think about the project for the finished yarn!

Stitching Update: January 16, 2018

I rotated back to my Winter's Encounter project for the past 5 days and made some good progress on it. I managed to finish all of p...