Sunday, September 30, 2012

Back dating

I am back dating this post since I need my ten posts per month and my internet has not been cooperating. Yay internet is back I have missed you!

Anyways I was going to tell you about accomplishing a goal. It is one goal in a lifelong set of them now. I declared September start to exercise again month. I have a great elliptical machine that helped me lose weight before we went to England in 2009. I've used it off and on again once we came back but the commitment never came back.

So I decided to really look at my habits and see where I could start fixing myself. I know I have the time on the weekends, so why was I not using it? I learned that I must exercise before I shower on the weekends. We like having scones and tea accompanied by relaxing togetherness on the weekends, I am not willing to give that up so what do I change? If I have somewhere to be and take a shower I have just given myself the day off since I don't want to "waste water" by showering again.

This month I made the commitment to exercise every weekend day, no arguments or excuses. So I did. I knew I had to plan around my showering and I did. Sounds so simple but it took determination. On the days I had to be somewhere I showered again in the evening and had more time the next morning.

I used the same plan for my evening workouts during the week too. I am not yet a morning person so I had to give the morning workout thought a pass before I even told myself I could do it. I know I can get up early and workout, I also know I am not going to, at least at this stage in the game.

Now my week day workouts are tougher since I am away at night classes twice a week, but even they don't run too late. I just need to make myself do it and not beat myself up and defeat myself before I've even begun.

So I've started and now I intend to continue. Wish me luck? I'll need it if I am Turkey Trotting again this year. (I will be I know I will!)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Spinning along

The spinning bug has bit me again. I think it is because I am planning on getting another spindle at Rhinebeck. I just don't know what to get. I am leaning toward another Golding but what to get? What should my second size be? I have read raves about their tsunami spindle but how is it different? 

Anyways back to my current spinning, some lovely carmel colored roving from Spinner's Hill that I bought a while back. 

I am trying to spin this one a tad thicker but sometimes I revert to super thin. What can I say my fingers like thin yarn.

It is amazing how much spinning I get done while watching TV shows with my hubby. I don't know why it is an effective formula but it is.

Oh and I am getting pretty close on my RS too. Just in time for the cold weather.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New sock Thursday

Ah Sweet Georgia I do so love your stripy yarn. This was the last installment of my 3 month yarn club. This yarn showed up in the darling month of March and made me hum with anticipation.

Now these have been done a while but I'd not yet gotten to the story telling time. I'll save that for another time as I just finished my first ASL (American Sign Language) test and now I'm off to bed.

But dang aren't these lovely?

Adriene this heel shot is for you.

Monday, September 24, 2012

S ADK Fiber Festival Oh Yeah!

Well this festival was a great time. Perfect weather and lovely vendors with beautiful wares.

True to my word I stopped at Stitched by Jessalu first. (She may be working on her site.) Well I did visit the ladies room first, but she was my first purchase of the day. As you can tell I love sheepy project bags, she has other prints but me I need to see happy sheep and a touch of London too. 

I then made a preliminary run through of all the barns just to do a mental inventory. I kept saying "I'll be back" and I was too.

I was pleasantly surprised to find a couple of farms shared a booth and had I've been looking for but always seem to miss, Icelandic sock yarn. (It is from Icy Acres.) I've heard people rave about Icelandic sock yarn and soon I will be joining them. It is the lovely natural cream skein on the left.

In the same booth was Ensign Brook Farm whose name always makes me smile. D was an Ensign in the Navy when we married and I've always liked the word. Anyways they had lovely sock yarn too, called Great Scott cheviot. They had done some research and decided the sheep that are good enough to be used for kilt hose in Scotland is good enough for them. I am anxious to put this yarn to the test too. I bought both a dyed skein and a natural one. She used heavy metal free dyes too.

I did not buy any of their Romney sheep yarn but one of the funniest things of the festival was the lady telling me that people kept asking her if the yarn was from Mitt Romney's farm? I was then forced to ask her where her Obama yarn was. I'm guessing they were new festival people. Welcome to the club we take red and blue states. But we don't discuss politics on my blog.

Back to the yarn you say, well if I must. I then stopped into the Liberty Fibers to show off my socks and pick up something new. I'll be showing you the socks again in another post since I now have better pictures so you can see how truly lovely they are. (I may be a tad biased.) And while I was showing off she even remembered reading about them here. You may not recognize my face but my socks can be fairly distinctive.

I wandered back to the front of the show to pick out a skein for D socks. That is a pretty handsome, manly blue right? While he likes the crazy colors socks he also enjoys a subdued pair. Subdued manliness courtesy of Ball and Skein. This one is called After Midnight.

Periwinkle Sheep is sometimes stocked in my LYS, but some colors can not be resisted, plus if we want vendors at the festivals we need to buy from the vendors. I was there when a few of her knitting group cohorts were there. I heard "Well if it is not enough you know where to get more." quite a few times. It made me giggle. Now when I knit this one I will be constantly thinking of a Frenchman saying "Your mother smells of Elderberries." because its name is Elderberry. It remains one of the most creative insults I've ever heard.

Ah Bittersweet Woolery you tempting seductress you! I picked up Beloved on the left first, in the Glamourous Gams yarn base that includes cashmere. Oh cashmere I am loving you so. Then I noticed Debutante on the right in the Guilty Pleasures yarn base. Finally I tucked the middle one Oxblood in to my arms too. I thought for a bit and reasoned I should put Oxblood back and get another color of the less expensive Guilty Pleasures colorway when I realized it was in that base. Oh happy day, since I absolutely adore my Terrible Lizard socks from last year.

As I thinking this would be a nice combo for the Color Affection shawl, the owner asked me if that would be what I was making. I said no and we both agreed that the two darker ones are too close to be a good contrast but hmm, I need to buy that pattern and get the yarn requirements before I go to Rhinebeck because I am so jumping on that knitting train.

And I bought my first knitting tea cup. I packed it safely in with all my yarn. It was either Yarn Diva or Yarn Snob but this cup fit my hand best to that is what counts the most. I have the potter's card around here somewhere but I'll have to find it before I can post about them.

Now I was headed for the car with my overpacked bag when I decided to peak in on St Mary's on the Hill. Boy was I glad I did, where else can you get an ounce each of silver Romney roving and Tunis roving for less than $5? What more can a beginner spinner ask for? Plus I got to relive my high school cashier days when I offered help in using the old school credit card imprinter. My cashier skills are still intact!

Lastly I found some lovely roving at Foster Sheep Farm. Dyed Romney roving on the left and natural Wensleydale X Romney roving on the right. So I picked up some fiber with my yarn. Thanks Honey for suggesting that I take up spinning.

I did see several beautiful spindles but I just don't have the experience to buy another one. I may just need to try a few out at Rhinebeck, who knows?

Well here is my haul, in all its glory.

A great mix of things to enjoy. I better get knitting as Rhinebeck is closing in on me. Oh and D correctly estimated the value of my pile. Dude may be getting too smart for his own good. Nah he knows how many hours of entertainment it is for me too.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rhinebeck sweater progress

Now that my first yarn festival is done I can switch my attention back to knitting my Rhinebeck sweater (RS). Last week I knit in the car while D and I ran errands. D of course was my trusty driver, since knitting and driving go together like alcohol and driving. I think it helped add some inches to the body. It is getting to the almost stage, the sleeves are almost finished, the body is almost done, and the collar is almost started. When I'm knitting on it I tuck the sleeves with their yarn ball still attached into the sweater body. 

The sweater itself becomes its own project bag. I must admit that I was not smart enough to figure out that I could close the neck opening with a couple of stitch markers and make it even more bag like, till today. Invariably I had a sleeve trying to escape out the neck hole, but I have ingeniously put a stop to the shenanigans.

Today we went and watched football at our local American Legion and boy, a nice cold beer and some football really encourage a sweater to grow. It made a great take along project since it is plain stockinette, I just go round and round, my favorite thing. Now I need to measure to see if I can start the ribbing, then the body will be done and I can go back to the sleeves or start the collar.

I need to keep in mind that Rhinebeck will be here before I know it. It is too easy to let a project lollygag along and let time run out. So if I do get it done for the festival we'll have the warmest weather ever for the festival, I just know it.

However I am still in love with the cable I chose for the arm. Looks like I have braids running down both sleeves.

Plus they sort of look like hearts so I can always say I wear my hearts on my sleeves. Which I think I truly do.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Well that was fun

I just completed round one of my fiber festival season. I can tell you that the tendency to buy yarn the same color as the shirt you're wearing did not hold true this year. This year I wore a candy apple red T-shirt and bought a lot of purple/plum/dark raspberry colored yarns.

I was proud of my self for not worrying about buying fiber. As a new spinner, the urge is there but the knowledge is lacking. I bought breed specific roving but didn't go crazy. It is mighty tempting when you see beach ball sized balls of beautifully colored roving. I don't even want to know what one of those is worth.

I did find a cute knitting related cup, but my cute T-shirt vendor was not there this year. There were a few vendors missing that I would have liked to buy from again. Alas as much as we would like to we can't all own a yarn shop. Businesses fail that is the sad fact of today's economy.

On the plus side I hope I helped a few to make ends meet, today.

Pictures to follow as tradition dictated. Don't worry either I still have money in the bank for Rhinebeck too. Hee Hee.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Choosing my next books

I had something happen to me for the first time last week. My audiobook in the car and my lunch time kindle book wrapped up on the same day. Usually my books are more staggered but this time, nope. Now I am floundering around a bit with two decisions to be made. Well sort of, my kindle book had an excerpt of the next book to tide me through lunch today.

Choosing your next book is a bit like choosing your next knitting project. Are you having fun with what you just finished? Did you like the characters/yarn? Was it what you needed at the time, challenging or comfortingly mind numbing? Is it time for something completely different? Is it season appropriate?

You see how these things play into making the decision, right? I would even say knitting and reading cross over each other. Sometimes a book holds your attention and all you can do while reading is mindless garter stitch, the same thing over and over. Sometimes a book is there to keep part of your brain distracted while the majority of it knits complex lace.

The problem is that I am in a transition period now. Twice a week I am driving to my ASL class and spending time away from my knitting. While I enjoy my class, I am missing my knitting. So I am looking for a great audiobook for my drive time something fun but complex. Do I want to continue on with a series or meet new characters?

Currently my first six choices for audio are:

1. Book 7 of the Pink Carnation series Betrayal of the Blood Lily
2. Book 3 of the Lady Julia series Silent on the Moor
3. A choice between the first book of two different series by Charles Todd (A Duty to the Dead or A Lonely Death)
4. First book of a series The Cater Street Hangman by Anne Perry
5. Bossypants by Tina Fey
6. 40+ hours of The Stand by Stephen King

Now my thoughts are:

1. It has been so long since I read book six of the series... maybe I should do a quick refresher, but then that is something I already read.
2. I fell asleep listening to this one on the plane back from So Dak, maybe my subconscious has forgot what happened and I can start over?
3. New books yay, but I don't know if I will like them.
4. Same as number 3.
5. D read this in one day laughing the whole time, he is a very slow reader. But maybe it is to diverting for driving.
6. Now that is a time commitment! Nothing new for two or three months. However, I did love Under the Dome and that book was about the same length.

You know I am just going to end up listening to the next book that starts on the ipod, because I am an indecisive weenie. By default it will be Betrayal of the Blood Lily, which means I will be lost for a time first.

Ok now I just found a program with Audible and Amazon where you can get both versions of the book and use them simultaneously. Crap I knew all my devices would start talking amongst themselves soon, is a revolution to follow? Do you think they're judging me on my reading material? If they are my kindle thinks I am smart because I downloaded free classic literature. We're talking Les Miserables and Don Quixote. Audible has Blood Sucking Fiends and Her Royal Spyness, while I loved both of these books, Audible may think I like to laugh rather than think. I think Audible knows me better.

I went ahead and downloaded The Mysterious Affair at Styles just to see how it works.

If you want to leave a comment on which book I should start, I am all ears. I can not promise not to over ride you vote but I'd love to read the arguments.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Getting schooled

I've went back to school, sort of. I am taking American Sign Language 101 from a local community college. I am trying to catch up to D since he's already been through three levels. He says it is different going through schooling rather than learning from our friends. I agree with the idea as I am always in need of help with my grammar.

I can tell you that college has changed and it has not changed. The students seem so very young from my perspective. Technology is everywhere, but in my class it will get you kicked out of class. I should be doing homework but I am talking to you instead. (Somethings never change)

I went to a technical college so there was not as much writing of papers, plus technical writing is its own genre. We like facts and data, it can be dry but it is our kind of dry. I don't really know how to tell a story if knitting is not involved.

I am the only one so far that knits while waiting for class. Do you think I will lure anyone else out into public? Yeah me neither.

Well I have some homework to do so I'll be seeing you.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Hello and goodbye

Well I am moving right along on my Rhinebeck Sweater (RS). I now have most of two sleeves and am half way down my bosom. I tried it on and it seems to be ok so far. This is of course the really awkward portion of a top down raglan sweater. It looks like a super short football practice shirt but it is wool and has almost full length arms. Have you ever seen a baby fuzzy yellow chicken during its change to a sleek white adult chicken? It goes through one of the most unattractive transition phases, not fuzzy and not sleek either just a bit of both fighting it out. My sweater is in that stage now, a crop sweater this short is just...not good.

But I have now knit enough of this type of sweater to know it will eventually grow out of this phase. It just needs to get past the what-is-that phase. The good news is that it is moving along nicely. Yay.

Now I have new confession, I am no longer going to fight (even only in my mind) with my Central Park Hoodie sweater. I talked a friend of mine into taking a class, she finished hers last year, mine is still in hiding. I am officially calling it quits on that sweater and I am looking for a pattern to repurpose the yarn. I still like the sweater but it is just not for me.

I think I am a seamless sweater knitter. Well at least for now I am. I really had a feeling that the sweater would not fit when I finished it. I could not shake that feeling and I love the yarn way too much to have to give it away. I am also a person that does not knit something that does not fit. I like the process of knitting but I am in my heart of hearts a product knitter. If I don't have the thing I want at the end of the process I have failed.

So we can say farewell to the Central Park Hoodie and long live to the sweater that will replace it.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Planning and dreaming

Well it is September again which means the start of festival season for me. I now have a couple of festivals that I attend. Lucky me! In a couple of weeks I will be going to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival. It is a small but fruitful festival. All of the festival fun with way less crowd pressure and presence, which makes it more enjoyable and laid back. 

I've been saving my money and have a few repeat vendors I need to see and a few new ones to check out too. I am totally getting another knitting bag from JessaLu. I have barely been able to wait a whole year since I fell in love with last year's bag.

Come on cute sheep knitting on a knitting bag, what's not to love about that? And we all know I have enough projects in progress that I can fill a knitting bag or two. I don't think I will make the same mistake as last year and turn down a smaller accessories bag. I may even get a bag for my spindle, I just don't know, but I am giddy with excitement I can tell you that.

Then in October the mac daddy of fiber festivals on the east coast, Rhinebeck, more formally known as NY Sheep and Wool Festival. It is big. It is popular. It is wooly!

I love Rhinebeck for all its wooly fumes and goodness. I may even use it a girls day out this year. Do you think Kisknit would come with me if I promise to make her scones and tea? 

Some people have a tradition of knitting a new/special sweater for Rhinebeck. I've never done it. I've knit sweaters but never in time for an event. I just don't like that kind of pressure. This year is different though. I started this sweater earlier this year but then it was too warm to work on a sweater and I knew I would not be able to wear it when I was done so it went into a bag to bide its time. 

It is wool that I bought last year at Rhinebeck, the only time I've bought a sweater's worth of wool at a festival. Don't you think that earns it the right to be my first Rhinebeck sweater (RS)? Yeah me too.

When I pulled it out a week ago it was what you see of the body and a few inches on one of the sleeves. I would not even have considered it as a RS but I've managed to knit most of a sleeve in that week and still have six weeks to do the other sleeve, a collar and body. 

The lovely cabling down the sleeves is the only thing slowing me down, but since I am only slow and not yet defeated I am going to make a run at it. Hey the body will be straight stockinette stitch, I can do that in my sleep. Now I just need to remember what I learned about waist shaping and I will be all set.

SAdkFF and Rhinebeck here I come!