Sunday, February 16, 2020

Sad news

Despite my warnings, granddaughter left Dill on the couch and one of their dogs chewed it up. I haven't seen poor Dill in person yet, but from the pic daughter texted to me, it looks like most of the damage is to the top layer, not the core. I told them to save all the loose fiber - it can be reused. If I can repair Dill, I think he will come live with me, at least until granddaughter becomes more needle felting worthy.

Knitting: The program at last Tuesday's spinning guild meeting was how to waterproof one's knitting using OdiCoat. I applied it to the bottom of the L-Bag.
Needle felting: Work continues on the fairy house. I have been felting leaves for the tree.
Spinning: Still working on the Shetland, although I am having second thoughts about using it for the Main Squeeze cardigan. Maybe I am getting cold feet after the Veronika cardigan. (BTW, my SO claims the color looks *fine* on me but agrees that the style is not my style.)

Someone contacted me on Ravelry about purchasing some yarn in my stash. When I dug out said yarn, I (re)discovered a sweater I had knit from that yarn ages ago. The sweater was never completed - knitting done but not the construction - plus it wouldn't fit me now anyway. I think the yarn could make a nice area rug for my bedroom, so I have been completely undoing the sweater. Of course, the yarn is kinky from being knitted up. Today I tried de-kinking some using a handheld steamer. It worked pretty well.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Veronika cardigan

I'm not sure what it is about this cardigan that I don't like. Even though it came out fine, it just does not look good on me. It may be my lack of boobs makes it hang funny in front. Or maybe it is the color. I have worn brown before but that was before my hair turned gray. Black used to make me look like death warmed over, but now I can wear it; maybe the reverse happened with brown.


Pattern: Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in colorway 9408
Needles: US9
Modifications: None


One of the members in my weaving guild knit this pattern and wore it to a meeting. I could not take my eyes off it. The opposite direction of the pattern between the front and back intrigued me. If others think the color is okay, I might reuse the yarn and knit a regular cardigan incorporating these details. Maybe.

Folded in half

It is not unusual for one of my fiber projects to turn out fine but not look good on me. I get interested in a stitch pattern or a construction technique or something and away I go. Maybe I should stick with bags and rugs and things I can hang on the wall.

Saturday, February 08, 2020

I can walk! (sort of)

I no longer use the cane, even when out and about. Huzzah! There is still a bit of a hobble in my gait sometimes, but in general, I am doing better. I turned my dining room table into an exercise table - added the leaf and covered it with yoga mats - so I can do a few more exercises and some gentle stretching without getting down on the floor. I also can lay flat (savasana or corpse pose, for you yoginis out there) to open the SI joint in my hips. Ahhh!

Knitting: I actually finished the Veronika cardigan, mattress stitching the few inches that make this garment a sweater instead of a wrap (separate blog post to follow). It turned out fine... but I don't like how it looks on me. This happens all the time.
Needle felting: I'm adding a tree to the fairy house.
Spinning: Still working on the Shetland. I am also experimenting with cable plying commercial yarn AGAIN (results of previous attempts posted here and here). I'll post about that later, too.
Weaving: Still working on the tote bag. The warp is getting tighter and tighter.

This past week I had a "blue" day, where I didn't do much except sit around and think about Life in general and my life in particular. I think finishing and not liking Veronika brought it on. One conclusion I arrived at is that I like to experiment with fiber. I think that is what draws me to dyeing yarn with natural materials - the result is almost always a surprise - and trying things like plying commercial yarn. Whether I actually create a finish product from my experiments is moot... unless that is also part of the experiment. I am going to keep this insight in mind going forward, in order to stay motivated.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

A little progress

I saw my ortho doctor this past week. The x-rays look good, but I am still not putting my full weight on that leg. After the appointment, I realized my leg doesn't hurt when I to try to put weight on it; instead, it feels like the leg won't support me. So I have been putting a little extra oomph into my exercises, to make sure I am engaging the muscles in that leg and hip, especially when doing exercises that use both legs. Also, I think I have been overly dependent on the cane. After just a few days of using it less and less, I am able to get around the house without the cane and with very little limping. Progress!

Knitting: I felted the L-Bag. It was too big to put inside a pillowcase, so I was hoping the filter in the washing machine wouldn't plug up. (According to the manual, it is self-cleaning.) Lambs Pride yarn is purported to be good for felting, and felt it did, but the bag came out really fuzzy. The fuzz was enhanced by blue lint from one of the old towels I added to the mix. Ugh! I spent quite a while trimming the result with scissors. All that convinced me to purchase some nice leather handles for the bag instead of knitting up i-cord.
Spinning: Still working on the Shetland. There is a good article by Jill Moreno on the Mason Dixon site about "grist" - how dense yarn is.
Weaving: I think I worked on the tote bag this week, maybe once?
Dyeing: Two of us from the weaving guild are preparing a presentation for the March meeting about natural dyeing. We met up this week to discuss just what we are going to talk about. She weaves mostly baskets, dyeing the reeds with walnut husks. Our experiences are very different - even our collection of dye books is different - so it should be a halfway decent presentation.

I can't believe it is February already. One sure sign January is over is the tax documents are rolling in. That, and it is gray, gray, gray in Fort Rain, Windiana.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

If it's not one thing, it's two

This past week, I have been fighting off the respiratory crud that has been going around. Then, to top that, I picked up a 24-hour bug (probably a norovirus) that laid me low. So not a lot of progress on fiber projects, at least not what I had hoped for.

Knitting: The knitting portion of the L-Bag is complete. I started knitting handles in i-cord, but I am not completely sold on that idea. The purse handles at Jo-Ann were a bunch of nothing burgers, but I saw some nice ones on Etsy. Undecided.
Spinning: Still spinning Shetland for that cardigan.
Needle felting: I want to finish up the fairy house from the class I took. The roof is now attached but it looks more like a hat than a roof. Contemplating how to correct that.
Weaving: Still working on the tote bag. The back will have stripes that match up with the flossa stripes on the front.

A big thank you to Janice for her comment last week. Some people tell me they are "good as new" after hip surgery, so it is good to get a reality check from the other end of the spectrum. I am almost back to where I was prior to overdoing it, but am careful not to repeat that fiasco. I have been overly optimistic and impatient, which only invites setbacks. Lesson learned.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

One step forward, two steps back

A week ago, I was doing great, almost not needing the cane at all. Then apparently I overdid it. I went back to the walker for a couple of days, am back on the cane but not making much progress, let alone getting back to where I was. I called the phone nurse, who assured me this was normal. We'll see. The worry wart part of my brain assumes something catastrophic is wrong. I see the doctor in about ten days, so time (and x-rays) will tell.

A similar setback occurred with the L-Bag. First, my projected finish time was off because I neglected to notice that one of the final steps stated to repeat the previous two steps NINE times. Also, I decided to knit the bottom in all walnut, not noticing that there was a slight color change between 1-oz skeins. At first I told myself, It's the bottom of the bag; no one will notice. The problem is *I* notice. So I tinked back and am now close to being done for real, finishing in henna instead of walnut.

Knitting: Still almost done with the L-Bag.
Spinning: Basically done with the first "ball" of Jamieson Light Grey top; divided the next one into 1-oz bits. I find I can spin an ounce in about a half hour, which is my daily goal.
Weaving: I think I am finished with the front half of the tote bag, which is mostly flossa. I'm debating on whether to add another row of flossa, but frankly, I am flossa'd out. The back half will be plain weave, which theoretically should go much faster.
Needle felting: I've been working on a bag my granddaughter started, covering her previous embellishments. I think it is ready for her new artwork. I'm going to encourage her to sketch out a design first, like "professional" artists do.

While I haven't picked up my tapestry class again, I did watch a recorded webinair by Rebecca Mezoff (the instructor) about designing for weaving. She is basically flogging a new course she offers, BUT there was still some useful information in the video.

Saturday, January 11, 2020


I don't know why, but instead of suffering from startitis - the urge to start new projects left and right - I feel a case of finishitis coming on. I hope so. When I look at my WIPs in Ravelry, I'm a little embarrassed.

Knitting: I am almost done with the knitting portion of the L-Bag. I predict that by Tuesday, I could be felting.
Needle felting: Dill is done (see previous post).
Spinning: I purchased a lot more Jamieson Shetland top from Little Shop of Spinning, so I will continue spinning that for now. I think the last skein I spun is not super bulky, but that's okay because besides the cardigan, I plan to knit some accessories.
Weaving: I am hoping to commit to WEAVE EVERY DA*N DAY, just like I spin and knit nearly everyday.

Which WIPs should I queue up while I am feeling the urge to eliminate them from the to-do pile?

Knitting: There is the Veronika cardigan that needs just a bit of mattress stitch to be wearable. Also, a self-designed cape languishing in a bag by the recliner.
Needle felting: My granddaughter needle felted a bag, but now wants to redo the embellishments; I can cover up her previous work so she can accomplish that. And then there is the fairy house from the class I took that needs a roof... still.
Weaving: I have a tote bag on a loom that stalled. Also, time to get back into gear re the tapestry class I am enrolled in. Oh, and a pillow cover to finish. And a pillow top. And some triangle pieces to piece together. And will I ever return to inkle weaving?!?
Fiber prep: There is a scoured fleece to finish carding, plus three fleeces in the garage, just waiting for the right moment.
Dyeing: This is a must do - prep for a presentation to the weaving guild on natural dyeing. GULP! I also want to finish my experiment dyeing with false indigo.

Wow. That is a lot of work fun just waiting to happen. I may outsource some of the fleece prep. One thing I AM going to outsource is adding a zipper to my bog jacket; lucky me, a LYS owner does finishing work.

Do YOU have any fiber goals for 2020?