Showing posts from June, 2015

Reading Challenge 2015: Week 25

This week, I started and finished India Black, which is a summery ready - a fun romp set in the late 19th century, featuring a brothel keeper turned spy for Disraeli.  Toss in a British military officer with a past, some stolen documents and a couple of Russian spies, and this was an entertaining read.  Great literature?  No.... not hardly, but perfect for a warm summer weekend afternoon to be sure.

I then started All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (and ditched Andersonville, which was NOT something I was enjoying).  I am thoroughly enjoying this book.  It's not a light read, but I am loving the intertwining stories of Wener and Marie-Laure set against the backdrop of the end of the Third Reich.  Definitely a story about the power of human survival during bad times.  I'm in the final 20% or so of it, and expect I'll have it finished up by next week.

My reading buddy, Laura, sent me her copy of Before I Go To Sleep, which I may or may not start this week as it…


We had a really nice, relaxed weekend here for a change!  D and I puttered around the house, cooked out on the grill and generally enjoyed our time together.

Saturday afternoon, I pulled out my Tour de Fleece fibers and did a little prep work.  I had a batt in the group I wanted to get pre-drafted and ready to spin, and I broke apart one of the rovings I plan to spin as well, and did some pre-drafting on that (with a little supervisory help, of course - she's actually more interested in the plastic bag than the fiber itself).

I've got a nicely organized project basket ready to go for the Tour, which kicks off next Saturday. I've got several books loaded on the Kindle to read while I spin, and I'm ready to get started!

Spinning Friday: June 26, 2015

Next Saturday (July 4th), the Tour de Fleece 2015 kicks off.  If you aren't a spinner, this is a month-long event where spinners spin along with the Tour de France bike race.  Participants are encouraged to challenge themselves with various goals and there are a ton of teams you can participate in if that's your kind of thing.  (I'm in a few - I'm on Team Wooly Wonka obviously, but I'm also on Team Spin Your Stash, which is another Ravelry group I participate in year-round, as well as the Hansen minispinner team.)

This year, I'm going to try to stay focused on my Spin the Bin project, so I went through and earmarked fibers I'd like to try to get spun up during the Tour.

I've also set up a TdF project page if you'd like to see specifics of what each of the above fibers are. This will be quite a bit for me to spin up in a month, but I'm going to do my best to do that.  (And no worries if I do blast through all of these -  have a sweater-sized spi…

WIP Wednesday: June 24, 2015

Sekret Knitting:  As per my weekend post, I finished up the Heroines shawl I had on the needles, so right now, I'm working on:
A colorwork yoke tee in Pandora pima cotton.  I started this this week, but even though it's on size 3 needles, it's a fairly quick and simple knit thus far.  I'm about halfway through the body and my goal for the upcoming week is to get to the point where I would need to put the body on hold and work the sleeves.The next pattern for the Mythical Creatures club.  I started this on Tuesday during a scheduled power outage when I knew I couldn't get much else done except knit (not that this is a bad thing, mind you).  I'm about a third of the way through this project already, and my goal is to hit the 50% mark by the end of the week.  Personal Knitting:  Nothing to report here.  Everything's currently on hold that's a personal project while I focus on my Sekret Knitting.  If I have time this week, I hope to at least get a few rows d…

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 24

Apparently after weeks of NOT reading much, I'm now on an intensive reading kick.  Maybe it's the summer weather?  At any rate, this week I:

Read books 2 and 3 in the "Clockwork" trilogy, the Clockwork Prince and the Clockwork Princess.  I thoroughly enjoyed this series.  I was 110% engaged with the characters, and wanted to follow all the story lines through to the very end.  Even better?  This author has several other books that explore some of the minor characters she created in this trilogy, plus another trilogy set in the same steampunk-y London.  I am so happy I've been able to find a group of new-to-me authors during this challenge who I know will now be on the go-to list when I need something great to read.

I also read Grave Witch.  It was a fun summer-type read, although I have read other books on witches/folks who commune with the spirits, and enjoyed several of those better.  A B- for me.  It was an easy, lite read, and entertaining, but nothing over-t…


I think my DH and I are finally both done with travel for a month or so - it's been crazy since about March, with one of us gone almost every week, and not a lot of downtime in between trips.  He flew in from a trip on Saturday, and was home mid-day.  So I worked in my studio on Saturday a.m. for several hours, so I could have the afternoon freed up to spend with him.  
We both are kind of worn-out and tired, so we spent a very quiet afternoon together.  I read and knit while he dozed and read the book he had started on the plane.  
We've been having hot and dry weather for the last few days, so I've been taking advantage of that and getting as much dyed as I can since it dries so quickly.  I've been working on several large wholesale orders, plus my normal club things right now.  This week I'm hoping to get one of the orders completely done and the other one mostly done, as I'm trying to clear my plate off as much as I can so I've got some time to spin dur…

Spinning Friday: June 19, 2015

This week I have another finished spin to share!  I dyed myself up a braid of BFL/silk (75/25) in the "Wine Country" colorway, which was from last year's fiber club.

I divided the braid into equal thirds, and I then spun each third lengthwise, leaving one third intact, to spin end-to-end; breaking the second third into 2 halves lengthwise; and breaking the final third into fourths lengthwise for a fractal spin.

Technical Specs:
Roving:  3.6 oz of 75/25 BFL wool/silk roving in the "Wine Country" colorway from Wooly Wonka Fibers.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Sport.
Yardage: 289 yards.

Finished fiber is earmarked for a pair of socks.

Next Friday, we'll be at the 1-week mark before the 2015 Tour de Fleece starts, so I'll be back to show what I've picked to spin for the Tour this year!

WIP Wednesday: June 7, 2015

This week I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:
I've finished the body of the next Heroines shawl, and I've started the edging.  This is my priority this week, as I'd like to get it off to my TE and then on to testing.  The Spirit Trail Fibers sweater:  No progress on this right now.Summery cowl in Pandora pima cotton:  Started on this and I'm hoping to have it finished up in the next week, if I can get enough time after I'm done the Heroines shawl.  Personal Knitting:  The Through The Loops mystery shawl.  Finished clue 1 and clue 2, and clue 3 is now released.  I am going to try to work on this, but it'll take back seat to the other 2 priority sekret projects above. Details on my project page on Ravelry here.Gradiant socks:  No progress on these currently.

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 23

A bunch of books to talk about this week!  I finished up Anne Bronte's Agnes Grey.  This was not Anne's "masterpiece", but rather, the first book she wrote and it is heavily based on her personal experiences as a governess.  I suppose I had in my head that all of the Bronte sisters wrote very heavy, dark kinds of books, but this one is sort of "Bronte lite."   To be honest, not a lot that happens in this book either with plot development or character development.  Agnes starts out as a fairly sheltered but basically kind and good young woman and she continues to be both those things throughout the book, despite dealing with absolutely rotten and spoiled children. I was happy to see that Anne wrote Agnes a happy ending with her curate that she didn't have for herself.  I liked that this story ended on a positive note - I liked Agnes.

I then turned to my "book based on a true story", The Wild Princess.  And when I say "based on", I mea…

Spinning Friday: June 12, 2015

I have a finished spin to share this week!  The last Spinning Friday post showed the FatCatKnits merino/tencel "Splash" fingering weight I spun up.  I wanted a complementary color to go with it for a 2-color shawl, so I dyed myself up 4 ounces in the "Serpent" colorway on a matching fiber base.

I didn't do much to prep this lovely fiber blend - just divided the braid in half lengthwise, and then spun end-to-end.

Technical Specs:
Roving:  4 oz of 60/40 merino/tencel roving in the "Serpent" colorway from Wooly Wonka Fibers.
Ply:  2-ply.
Weight:  Fingering.
Yardage: 382 yards/4 oz.

I'm currently knitting up Kirsten's Through The Loops Mystery KAL shawl right now, but this project will be next on my personal knitting list once I've finished that. 
Next up on the wheel, I'm working on a 3-ply sock yarn with a BFL/silk roving that I dyed in the "Wine Country" colorway.  Details on that next week!

WIP Wednesday: June 10, 2015

This week I'm working on:

Sekret Knitting:
The next Heroines Shawl project, which is not-quite halfway completed.  I'm taking this with me on the plane to Austin, so I'm hoping to have the main body finished and maybe even start on the edging. The Spirit Trail Fibers sweater, which I'm sort of waffling about the cable motif on the back, so this piece will likely get frogged and restarted.  A summery cowl for The Yarn Guys in a super-soft pima cotton fingering-weight yarn, Pandora. Personal Knitting:  The Through The Loops mystery shawl.  I've worked thru clue 1, and clue 2 just released Monday.  You can see the details on my project page on Ravelry here, in case any of you are working on it and not quite this far along yet.  I'm using Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock in Azalea for the main color and Dusk for the contrast color.  (side note: I really want to make a sweater for myself from Azalea.  I should just get off my keister and dye up the yarn for it.)
The ongoing …

2015 Reading Challenge: Week 22

This week I read Botelo.  I am still kind of mentally processing this one, but let me see if I can summarize some of my thoughts on it.  First off, the writer either has trained horses or knows someone well who has.  She "gets" it.  I found myself nodding in agreement through a lot of passages describing Will, the young man, who purchases a young filly destined for bigger and better things. Will has grown up in a typical small ranch family, the youngest of 3 boys.  His mother has recently dodged a bout of breast cancer.  His father is unhappily working in town to make ends meet to pay for the ranch, and Will is philosophical about the fact that the ranch will be run by his older brother and he needs to find his own way in the world.  There were parts of this that reminded me of Pilgrim at Tinker's Creek - the writing is beautiful and the description of the Wind Rivers is very evocative. Will's a thinker too... so a lot of time is devoted to what's going on insid…


Mostly just trying to get caught up on things this weekend, post-TNNA conference in Columbus. Elizabeth, my partner at Stitch Definition, and I decided to go to advertise our venture, and it was definitely a successful trip - we got a chance to meet several folks in person we only knew from emails, and to reconnect with a lot of other folks we hadn't seen in a while.  I would have really liked NOT to have been stranded in Denver overnight on the way home, but so it goes.

Losing that extra day coming back kind of threw my planned schedule into a tizzy... so.... mostly just trying to get caught up before I head off to Austin this upcoming week to teach and do a book signing/trunk show at The Happy Ewe in Jonestown.  I shipped class materials and samples out yesterday, and Misty ordered a bunch of book copies, plus yarn so I think we'll have a great turnout. Her shop is very fun and so welcoming - kind of hard to beat it!

After this tour out, I'm hopefully done with travel u…