Friday Round Up: WIP Review

I keep telling myself that I need to finish what I’ve started before casting on anything else but I can’t seem to focus on one project right now.  I try to rationalize this by thinking a variety of projects keeps me from getting bored, which is true to some extent, but the truth of the matter, there are so many lovely designs to knit, so many gorgeous fibers to spin and not enough time in the day, or even the week, to work on all of them.

I am actually quite pleased with myself that I only have two knitting projects, one crochet project and one spinning project.  My plan this month is to finish my second sock, finish spinning my #spookyspin19 fiber from last year and try to finish both of my cardigans, or at least make good progress on them.

So here’s a recap of what I have going on .....


The purple black color of this BFL is just dreamy!

I only have a small amount left to spin!

Once I’ve finished spinning this yummy purple, I will be starting the coordinating color, which is a mixed BFL in green, black and orange.  I have decided to chain ply both finished bobbins and hope for enough yardage to make a fun Halloween shawl.

In my knitting basket I have the beginning to my Vodka Lemonade cardigan.  I am almost finished with the collar and hope to start the increases for the body of the sweater later today.  Underneath the collar, is my Porch Light sock, which I have yet to cast on the mate for but maybe will get to it this weekend.


I really love how the moss stitch is looking, and 
so far I am really liking the Silky Wool.


I am also working on my Up North Cardigan too and have decided this crochet project will be perfect for me to keep on my desk for working on during the day.  It’s rather mindless crocheting right now, so this will help me move along quicker.  I really don’t have a new photo to share quite yet but hope too soon.

Tomorrow my hubby and I are planning a road trip up to Prescott.  We plan to hit a few antique shops, my favorite LYS, Fiber Creek, and have lunch at our favorite spot, Marino’s Mob Burgers.  We are so looking forward to getting out of Phoenix and can’t wait to have loads of fun!

Until next time, be creative!

Throwback Thursday- Kentucky

 

Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” “Daniel Boone



Feeling a little nostalgic today and thinking of Kentucky.  The above photos were taken October of 2005 at Long Run Park, Louisville Kentucky.  One thing I miss at this time of year is the beginning of fall, the fall colors and the cooler weather that follows the turning of leaves.  

My husband and I are seriously thinking hard about returning home to Kentucky.  If I have my way it will be very soon!  I miss the land, the people and the feeling of being home. Most of all I miss the climate.  It is so dry here in Arizona and we hardly ever get rain or any humidity, which is part of living in a desert.  I miss the dampness, the rain and the feeling of not being “dried out” all the time.

Soon.... very soon, we will be making a decision to return back home.

Have a wonderful day!





Happy Monday and Happy Labor Day


“Whatever you want to do, if you want to be great at it, you have to love it and be able to make sacrifices for it."

— Maya Angelou



It’s been a very lovely and relaxing Labor Day weekend.  My husband and I decided just to stay home and relax, and I am so happy that we did.  Life right now is very challenging and even a bit sad.  There is no joy, no happiness, no laughter, just sad masked faces.  I don’t enjoy doing things much anymore and struggle at times being in the public.  This is not “normal” and I am so heartbroken to see the county I love become what it is becoming.

Before I get too carried away with my thoughts, I will share what I have been doing the past few days.  I finished my Porch Light sock on Friday but haven’t casted on the mate yet, but plan to some time this week.




I have also decided to do a little crochet and have started the Up North Cardigan by Jess Coppom of Make and Do Crew.  This pattern is so well written and the tutorials provided by Jess are awesome!  For this project I am using Akari by Noro in the color #13 Hirosaki.



The colors are a mix of purple, gray, ice blue and black.


I have decided to incorporate more crochet this year and have a few cardigans lined  up to make.  I also plan to make a few more crocheted accessories using my growing handspun stash.  For me crochet, like knitting, is very satisfying but the best part, it is so much quicker than knitting!

I am also spinning and still working on my Spooky 19 mixed BFL.  I am so excited about the fiber I purchased from my friend Sherrill for Spooky Spin ‘20.  



Aren’t these colors awesome!  This is Falkland in the colors Winifred Act 6 and Act 7.  Spinning for Spooky spin starts October 1st and I can’t wait!


Until next time, be creative.

Friday Finish: A lovely new handspun skein

am super excited to share a photo of my finished two-ply handspun, and even more excited to share that I managed to achieve 309 yards of fingering weight!!!!  I am very happy with the results, and found that if I spin thinner and two-ply, my spinning is more consistent and I get more yardage.


The colors are scrumptious too!


Color:  Patchwork Quilt

Dyer:   Created by Elsie B

Fiber:  100% Falkland

I am thinking this finish handspun will be just perfect for Close To You by Justyna Lorkowska .  I know that according to the designers pattern I will be shy of 100 yards, but I can modify as needed.

Until next time, be creative!


Wednesday WIPs: Knitting and Spinning Projects

I see to have been not open bitten by the knitting bug, but by the spinning bug too!  I have been highly motivated to cast on projects, plan out knitting projects for the next few months and have started two spinning projects.  

Why all this activity?  It’s largely due to the change of weather here in Phoenix and knowing that cooler temperature are drawing near.  I have also decided to knit all that I can during this time so that I will be able to enjoy my hand-knits even more.

On My Needles ...

I have casted on Vodka Lemonade using my recently acquired Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool.  I am very excited about this cardigan and think once I get going, it will end up being a fairly quick knit for me.  The best part of this, the yarn I am using is very light and airy, perfect for early fall and late spring for the desert climate I live in, as well as a perfect layering garment for road trips.

I am almost finished with my first Porch Light sock and truly love how it is looking.  I should have the first sock finished by the end of the week and will have the mate casted on too. 


On My Wheels ...

I am spinning my stash of Shetland on my new to me Matchless single treadle and have two bobbins finished.  The fiber I purchased is a gradient sample pack of sorts in natural colors, Shetland Brown to Fawn Shetland by The Sheep’s Company, which I plan to use for a simple striped shawl.  I also plan to spin the second pack too, Shetland Black to White Ombré.  Both packs are 5 oz each, and if I spin slowly and thin enough for a three play, I should have just enough for my planned striped shawl. 

Left:  Black to White Ombré 
Right:  Brown to Fawn

Here’s  two of my finished bobbins ....


I have also started spinning the first braid of last years “
Spooky Spin 15”.  The rich black purple of this BFL is awesome!!!


Once this bobbin is finished, I will be starting the second color of BFL.  I am thinking I will 2-ply each bobbin using the center ball method.  

What are you working on this week ?

Until next time, be creative ! 

Hello September!


I am so excited that it is September as it starts the countdown to cooler weather here in the Phoenix area, which means I soon can wear many of my handknits.

My hubby and I are also giving thought to what types of plants we want in our backyard.  We have decided to go 100% container gardening and will be incorporating hanging baskets too.  This makes me so happy and I can’t wait to get our hummingbird feeders back out too!

Until next time, be creative!

A Little “Spooky Spin” Time

Is it time for Halloween yet ?  For me it is as I just ordered my #spookyspin15 pack from my friend Sherrill of the 1764 Shepherdess.  I love the colors of the Falkland I ordered and can’t wait to start spinning but while I wait patiently for the Spooky Spin to start, I decided to spin my fiber from last year.





For this spin, I am aiming for fingering weight and around 300 plus yards. I think plied together, these colors will be awesome and perfect for a Halloween shawl.

I am trying to decide what I might make and have narrowed it down to the following:
Fingers crossed I will achieve the yardage I am hoping for.

Until next time, be creative!

A New Addition To My Family of Wheels

swore up and down I wouldn’t buy another spinning wheel, especially since I recently gave three of wheels away to a good cause but when I saw a vintage Schacht single treadle Matchless online at Goodwill, I changed my mind.  I could not pass up the possibility of owning this wheel, and my hubby agree.  So, I bid on her and won.

I had no idea if she worked, or how old she was but I decided to take a gamble and I am so happy I did!!  She was delivered today and other than being dirty and extremely dry, she is in awesome shape.

Born: June 1988

Came with the original flyer and whorls



My hubby helped tighten her up and I got her all cleaned, polished and oiled. I am so happy with the condition of the wheel, no scratches or dings, and in perfect balance.


Cody made sure to supervise too and still isn’t quite sure about having another addition to our sitting room.


I decided to go with scotch tension and used a spare poly cord for the band.  After a few adjustments, she is spinning like a dream!!




I decided to use my stash of Shetland for a test run and I am really happy with how it is spinning up.  I have decided to continue with my Shetland as I keep fine tuning the tension and trying out my new to me wheel.

Until next time, be creative!

Friday Happenings, Spinning Finish !

I believe that the yarn we spin is capable of mending the broken warp and woof of our life! Mahatma Gandhi

I love this quote I believe this is so true, spinning does have a way of mending us.  For me personally, spinning, like knitting, is very meditative.  While I spin, I can clear my mind and sort things out.  It’s soothing to my soul, like yoga for my brain. 

……………………………

So I spent most of yesterday spinning and it was absolutely heavenly! I am so excited to finish spinning my Falkland and so far I am very happy with the results, two beautiful bobbins full of color.



I started plying my yarn shortly after finishing up my second bobbin.  Gasp, yes I really did but understand I am not a conventional spinner and I don’t always let my spinning “rest”.

I love how my plying is looking and I am so excited as it is looking like heavy lace weight to light fingering weight.  I think this might be the best spinning I’ve done in a very long time, and this makes me so very happy.

Until next time, be creative!

Keep It or Pitch It ... The Outcome of a Full Bobbin

I have spent the majority of the day cleaning, dusting and re-organizing our sitting room, which is where I spin and keep all my wheels.  I really love how everything looks now, especially where I am now displaying my collection of Turkish spindles.



I think this is the perfect spot for my spindles and I love being able to see them from where I sit and spin.

While going through my Schacht bobbins I came across a bobbin of cotton I had spun up a few years ago and was about to take it off the bobbin to throw out when I stopped myself.  

This was the first ever cotton I had spun and I had actually done a decent job of spinning it, so I decided “why not chain ply it and see what happens”, after all I had absolutely nothing to loose but to end up throwing it out.

Cotton Silver in the color Prickly Pear - 2 oz

Purchased from Buchanan Fiber on Etsy - February of 2018

Photo courtesy of BuchananFiber



The result was quite amazing and I absolutely love it!  Please keep in mind this is not perfect by no means but the softness of the cotton and the outcome of my finished spun yarn makes me totally delighted, so much so that I now think I might try spinning cotton again!!

I will be skeining this today and look forward to seeing the amount of yardage I have ended up with from 2 oz of cotton sliver.  I am so happy I took a gamble and took the time to chain ply this beautiful cotton.

Until next time, be creative and by all means, take a chance on things!

Off to the Frog Pond and Spinning Love

I have decided to frog my Gloam cardigan simply because I just didn’t care for my choice of yarn for this project and will contemplate what yarn I want to use for it at a later date.  Honestly I think this design is better suited for worsted weight and not dk weight, but that’s my humble opinion. Do you ever frog a project over the yarn that you chose ?

As for my Silky Wool, the skein I was using has been recaked and I have decided it would be better for a Vodka Lemonade, a design by Thea Coleman.  I made this cardigan several years ago out of Madelinetosh DK but only had enough yardage for a short sleeve version.  Depending on my day, I may go ahead and cast on today or at least in the next few days.

Off My Wheel...

Yesterday I finally plied the Wound Up Fiber Arts Merino in Nest Egg and I am madly in love with the results.  I can see this as a shawl and I have my fingers crossed I can be consistent with my spinning for the remaining 4 oz that I need to spin.


The colors in this fiber is so soft and the fiber is scrumptious to spin.  This by far has been the best spinning project for the beginning of the fall season.  I will be starting the second 4oz soon, but need to finish spinning my Falkland so that it can be two plied.

I am also excited about finding SheepSpot on Mighty Networks, where I also a member of Louise Tilbrooks group, Everyday Knitter.  I enjoy sharing but in a more relaxed environment.  Both groups have been very inviting and chatty.

Until next time, be creative!

Spinning Love

“I believe that where there is pure and active love for the poor there is God also. I see God in every thread that I draw on the spinning wheel.” Gandhi (Young India,20-5-1926)


So I have changed my mind about the Falkland that I am spinning.  It is turning out to be quite beautiful and so soft, and the colors have even grown on me.  I have managed to finish the first 2 oz and my bobbin is almost completely full.  I am in love !

Just look at those colors.... 




I am also enjoying spinning on my vintage Ashford Traveler.  She is spinning like a dream and is quiet as a churchmouse. I am really looking forward to starting my second round of spinning today.

Until next time, be creative!

Sunday Musings: New Art and A New Cast On!

"Sunday is a time when you sit back and reflect on all the blessings that you have received. Smile at all the good things that you are enjoying." ~ Sera Train

There is something special and magical about Sundays, well at least for me it is.  It’s a time to rest, a time to think about the upcoming week, the projects I want to work on and the meals I want to prepare.  It’s a time of reflection.

Today I am thinking about my husband.  Tomorrow we will be celebrating 25 years of marriage, which seems like we were just married only yesterday.  Time no longer stands still for us but seems to zoom by faster and faster each year that passes.  Today though it’s as if time has stood still, allowing me to take in the past 25 years of joy and happiness, and to ponder what will be over the next 25 years. 

We don’t do too much for our anniversary, we just enjoy our time together over a wonderful meal, often made by my husband,and reflect about the time we have spent together.

I am so grateful and blessed to have such a wonderful, caring, supportive and loving husband.  He does so many things for me, but it’s the little things he does on a whim that I always cherish.  One such thing he did, was coax me into buying the following original watercolor that I have loved for such a long time and I am so glad he did.

As a spinner, and as a art lover, this painting spoke to me.  Better yet, it pictures an Ashford Traveler, which I own.



This original watercolor is painted on 11”x15” acid free 140# watercolor paper. This figure painting features a woman in period dress with her spinning wheel. She is doing a spinning demonstration at a Fort Festival. With a mat and frame, it will make a medium wall hanging. The mat and frame are not included. I had taken photos of various country fort activities and particularly enjoyed this lady sitting in her tent door and quietly spinning despite all the activity going on around her! ~ from the Etsy listing by the artist. 

A new cast on ...

I have discovered a shawl KAL (knitalong) hosted by Louise Tilbrook that I couldn’t pass up.  I will be casting on the Fuss Free Festival Shawl using my very own handspun that I finished a couple of years ago, Anzula BFL in Forest.  I have a total of 266 yards ( both skeins were chain plied), which will be a little shy of what the pattern calls for ( 350 to 450 yards ) so I may either have to adjust the width or find something in my stash that would compliment the colors and do a striped shawl.


What’s on my needles:

 I am also working on my Porch Light socks, as well as my Gloam sweater.  I hope to have enough knitting finished my sweater to show progress photos by the end of next week.

What’s on my wheels:

I am almost finished spinning my Falkland by Created By Elsie B in the color Patchwork Quilt.  I wasn’t quite sure about the colors, but it seems to be growing on me and I am starting to envision mitts, a hat or scarf.

I still need to ply my first 4 oz of Wound Up Fiber in Nest Egg.  I love this color so much and I am hoping that between this finished round and the next round I will have enough yardage for a shawl.

What are you doing today ?

Until next time, be creative!

Happy Friday !

 I am so excited that today is Friday.  It’s been a long work week, and a bit tiring.  Stress levels have definitely gone up and the associates I’ve been helping have been very tense, upset and grouchy.  I always smile when I’m on the phone, hoping this comes through to the other side, and I have found the tone of the call changes dramatically when I do this. Fingers crossed that today will go by quickly and that I will start the weekend off with a big smile 😃.

On a lighter note, I have casted on my Porch Light socks (from 52 Weeks of Socks) and I am in love !!  This pattern is super easy, very well written and seems to knit up very quickly.

For this project I am using my stash of Patons Kroy Sock in Genry Grey and a mini skein from the monochrome sparkle collection by Spin Up Yarns in a blend of merino, nylon and sparkle.


I really think the color I chose for the leaf pattern is a perfect compliment to the gray black solid.  I have finished the entire pattern repeat and will be working of the leg and heel today.  Fingers crossed I will be able to knit a little in between my calls today too!

Until next time, be creative!

Another finished pair !

 I have officially made my very first pair of knitted handspun socks!!!  I am so excited and it is truly satisfying to be able to spin, ply and knit socks from my very own handspun.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I spun the yarn I used two years ago and I have no idea why I waited so long to use it for socks, but I did.  I really like how this pair fits, especially the heel,  as well as the length.  I was quite skeptical about knitting with my Targhee, but soon after I started knitting with it, I found it to be quite soft. The stitches seemed to show more definition too after my socks were given a little bath in Euclulan wash.


Sock details:

I casted on 56 stitches and divided the stitches over two size US 2 16” circular needles (28 stitches on each needle).  The cuff was worked in a K2, P2 rib for 1” and the I knitted one round before starting the short row heel.  

The stitch pattern used was a simple broken rib:

Round 1 -2 = * k1, p2, k2; repeat from * ending with a k1 

Round 3 -4 = knit

I worked the pattern over 14 stitch repeats ending with one knit round only.  From the heel to this last row, my foot measured 7 1/2”.  

The toe was decreased to 24 stitches (12 stitches on each needle) and then grafted using the Kitchener stitch.

This is the second finished pair of socks for August, which makes me quite happy.  Now I will be able to cast on my Porch Light Socks , and maybe even cast on Brambleberries by This Handmade Life.

Until next time, be creative!


Sunday Musing: Spinning is my thing!

 Sundays have always been the day that my hubby and I spend at home.  We don’t do anything special, just rest and enjoy our time together.  It’s also the day that I enjoy the most as I have time to spin and knit a bit.

I have been spinning my Falkland in the color Patchwork Quilt. I am determined to finish it up over the next couple of days and chain ply it, with high hopes to have enough yardage for mittens or even a pair of handspun socks.  




The colors are a mix of deep burgundy, turquoise, gold, pink and cream, which reminds me in a weird way of a Mexican blanket.  I am rather excited about spinning again, which always seems to happen the end of August and I will spin full speed ahead until May.  Once it gets hot, I seem to fizzle.  I guess spinning for me is a bit seasonal, but that’s ok as it gives me a break and time to pursue other loves.

I have also been going through my fiber stash to see what I want to spin next.  I am thinking about spinning more of my Abundant Earth Fibers so I can finally start my Half Hap Cowl, a project I’ve been working on this project now for 2 years.  Guess it’s better late than never, right. 

I am also excited to share that I finished one handspun sock and I have casted on the mate.  I absolutely love my sock, it fits perfectly and oh my gosh I have finally found a heel I like!!!

I definitely will have enough yardage left over from both of my handspun skeins to use for a color work sock project of some kind, such as the Porch Light socks by Lindsey Fowler from 52 Weeks of Socks by Laine Magazine.  I have several skeins of sock yarn in solid colors, which mixed with my leftover hand  will make a perfect pair of Porch Light socks.

How do you spend your Sundays?

Until next time, be creative!

It’s Friday!!!

What is it about Fridays ?  The last few months I’ve noticed a little change in the calls I’ve been taking (I work from home) and everyone is dreaming about Friday.  It starts on Wednesday, then Thursday I receive many “Happy Friday Eves” and then Friday, is “I can’t wait to start the weekend”.

For me Friday is the beginning of rest and fun.  I am quite blessed to have the ability to do many things before the start of my work day, but when Friday hits, it is a big sigh of relief and a evening of planning with my Husband of what we will do over the weekend.

So what am I doing this Friday ...

I am looking at all my current works in progress.  Keep in mind my projects include, drawing, embroidery, knitting and spinning.  Even with all the time in the mornings I have, I still can’t seem to get certain things finished.

This morning I brought out an embroidery project I started at the beginning of the year, an adorable design by LiliPopo called “The Stitcher”.  

I have decided it’s time to work on this piece and I plan to incorporate a smattering of hexies using my Japanese cotton fabric.  I have also looked through the embroidery floss and found a good sampling of colors that I think will be perfect.

On my Flatiron wheel I still have my lovely Merino wool from Wound Up Fiber Arts in the color Nest Egg.  I am almost finished with my first 4 oz and hope to get it spun up this weekend or at least by next week.


I also started spinning on my Ashford vintage Traveler using my stash of Falkland wool in the color Patchwork Quilt by Created by Elsie B.  The colors are turning out to be quite vibrant and I am thinking this wool might be good for socks.


I am also working on my very first pair of handspun socks and I have to say that this is by far the most satisfying knitting project I’ve had in a very long time.  It’s so wonderful to knit socks using my very own handspun!!


I finally found a tutorial on short row heels for socks that I actually like and I really love how my heel looks.  I tried on my sock and it fits perfectly on my heel.  I am so looking forward to wearing this finished pair of socks!!

What do you look forward too on Fridays ?

Until next time, be creative!