Saturday, March 4, 2017

Back at it!

I had a bad week last week. I got a cold that developed into a flu like illness. I didn't get tested but had all the symptoms without fever. I missed an entire week of work. However I did have some time with cold medicine that I could get some stuff done and I'll show you that a little later. First a fitness update! I did miss a week of workouts and gained 0.4 lbs. But I got right back on the wagon when I felt better. I finished up the 10 days of Workout 1 on the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred and started on Workout 2. When I weighed in this week I was down 2 lbs!!! for a total of 3.6 lbs lost. I have lost a total of 9.25 inches. The workout pants I had bought a month before on sale were TOO BIG! and sliding down like Hammer pants.... So I splurged and bought some new ones at Walmart. Super happy with the fit and they stayed up.
I did some sewing last week. I completed a top using a Colette pattern called Sorbetto. I need to wear it to see if I like it enough to make more, but I'm quite happy with the fit so far.

I also made the bias cut dress by Fabric Store online. It is called the Zina dress and uses their 5.3 oz linen fabric. The dress is cut on the bias for nice drape. The pattern file had both files to print on regular paper and on 36" wide printer. I took the file to Staples and got it printed on the wide printer for $9.
I need to work on the bust darts a little but otherwise I'm very happy.

I also completed the floral skirt from the pattern I made from an existing skirt.

I finished up two pair of socks, the knee high gradient self stripe dyed by Twist Fiber Studio
And the Traveler socks using Knit Picks Felici in the Traveler colorway

I had to restart the Lush Cardigan because I messed up on the lace band that makes the yoke. I got the lace panel finished. I have also done up to the neck band and down from the lace to putting the stitches for the sleeves on holders and knitting for the body.

Again this yarn is dyed by Twist Fiber Studio.

I'm working on socks I cast on Valentine's Day. This is the colorway Sweetness by Fibernymph Dye Works on her Bounce base. I am doing them toe up using the Blueberry Waffle pattern and the Fish Lips Kiss heel. I am currently doing the top ribbing on the first sock. But I don't have a picture of this. It is in my home made Japanese Knot Bag. Its a free tutorial on the webs.

Last but not least, hubby gave me an early birthday present! He got me a spin dryer from Laundry Alternative. I have been trying to find a used one but keep missing them. So he told me to order it. I'll be using it today to spin out my socks and hose from the past couple of weeks.
That is about it for now. We did purchase a 2007 Honda Element to use as a daily driver to keep the miles off the new Ridgeline. I'm excited as I always wanted an Element. They are so versatile! And we did the title and tag on the camper so we will be ready when it is warmer! Can't wait!!!!

Hope you had a great couple of weeks and until next time Be Creative!!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Keeping it going...

This last week was a good one. I worked out every day, even though I tried to wimp out last night. Hubby said I would be sorry if I did so I worked out... he was right! I am truly enjoying this Jillian Michael's Beginner Shred. I transitioned from Workout 1 to Workout 2 and have different areas sore. The most exciting thing is that I am seeing progress every week! As I approached the scale this morning I was telling myself that it was ok if I didn't lose any weight cause I know I am feeling better. My tight black jeans were less tight this week. So yeah, thats a win even if I didn't lose more weight. BUT I DID!!!!!!!!!  I lost 0.8 lbs.!!!!!! I also lost another 0.25-0.5 inches from my measurements.

I found buttons for my Clayoquot Cardigan by Tin Can Knits. I finished the button bands last weekend. I plan to steam the sweater to set the button bands and I'm planning to put it in the dryer with my towels when I wash them to see if I can get it to shrink up just a bit more. One thing I have learned with super wash yarn and sweaters is that I probably need to go down a size to account for the "grow" factor. My next sweater is the Lush Cardigan, also by Tin Can Knits. It already calls for 2" of ease so I will definitely go down a size. Pretty good match on the buttons, huh?

While I was at JoAnn's I picked up some yarn (cause I don't have enough). I got a skein of Scrubby which is used to make kitchen scrubby cloths. It is to be crocheted. I've looked at it several times and decided to try it out. 

And these two skeins of Deborah Norville Everyday yarn. I liked the colors, its soft, its acrylic and anti-pill. I know it won't be really warm but I could use a long cowl for a slightly warmer day that I am looking more for decoration than warmth. And its pretty... It is worsted weight. And its pretty... 

 I didn't do any knitting this week after the button bands on the Clayoquot as my carpal tunnel is acting up so I started wearing my brace at night again and gave it a bit of a rest from knitting. I am waiting on an appointment to see the hand doctor. Probably a steroid injection will fix me up.

That is it for this week. I'll leave you with a shot outside my office window. I love the view. Just as the sun came over the mountain. Be good to each other!

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Let's see where we are...

In November I started thinking about my goals for the next year. I knew that I needed to get back to exercise and diet and so started talking about fitness goals with a friend who is a personal trainer. I wanted to find solutions for some specific obstacles due to the remote, rural area we live in and our work schedule. So once again I'm jumping on the fitness bandwagon. I have tried lots of things over the past few years since it has become increasingly important to keep a fitness level that will allow me to function. I have some significant arthritis in my hands, feet, ankles and hips and its important to keep the weight under control and keep moving. Last year I bought a DVD and never used it. I pulled it out last week and started it. It is Jillian Michael's Beginner Shred. I'm really happy with it. I can do the exercises, was SORE the first couple of days but now just feel the work on the body. In the first week I lost 0.4 lbs. and between 1/4" to 1/2" off all my measurements. This is the DVD I'm using. After I finish it I will move on to the 30 Day Shred. 

In addition to that I started thinking about my crafting progress for the current year and goals for the next year. I thought about what I had accomplished in 2016 and how I wanted to move forward. I came up with the following goals:
  • Increase spindle spinning
  • Learn to use Russian supported spindles
  • Knit SAFF themed yarns
  • Knit a minimum of two sweaters
  • Explore Inkle patterns
That feels doable as well as challenging. So starting the new year I'm showing all my current projects in their current state. Going forward I will probably only show things that I actively work on in the time between posts. 

I spent some time today pulling out and photographing my WIP's (works in progress). I really don't have many, especially if I don't count the long term scrap yarn projects. Not that they are not WIP's but they are not intended to have a specific end. Just when they are "enough" they will be done. 

Gradient Knee Socks - Ashley gave me a set of gradient self striping skeins last summer to knit up into socks. Since I have small feet and short legs these are going to be knee socks to use up as much of the gradient as I can. I started with the darkest at the toes and I'm knitting toe up, two at a time. I added calf increases. Currently I have about 2" to knit until I can do the ribbing. I probably won't get all the yarn used up but I will be into the lightest of the gradient. 

Mountain Laughter Shawl - This is a shawl designed by Kristy Bryson and Ashley dyed yarn and designed a project bag to match. Its lovely and a very fun knit. It has sections of garter stitch both solid and striped separated by a beautiful lace pattern. 

Clayoquot Cardigan - This cardigan is by Tin Can Knits. Ashley dyed the colors for me and the body is the same DK weight yarn undyed. This is a stranded knit pattern and is knit in the round and steeked. I am done with the knitting and am ready to steek, and knit the button bands. 

Traveler Socks - This is Knit Picks Felici in the Traveler colorway. I really love the yarn. I can see why it is so popular. I will probably get more in future. I will do a traditional afterthought heel so as not to interrupt the color stripe. I normally do two at a time socks but with the specific stripe sequence which will help me make them the same size. 

Long Term WIP's - I have 3 sock yarn scrap projects. I am working on a Mitered Square Blanket,

and a Barn Raising Blanket...

and a Scrappy Cowl...

As part of my craft goals was to do more spindle spinning and learn to use a Russian Supported Spindle. The Russian spindle specifically because I have two that I haven't tried to use. The red fiber below has been on my spindle for a few years. I am spinning on the small lightweight spindle and plying on the turkish. I purchased a couple of old salt cellars to use as bowls for the supported spindle and have started playing with that. 

I have a couple of sewing projects in the works. The first is a combination of sewing and weaving. I am making a bag with leftover weaving and I found a fabric scrap that coordinated. Then I got some crochet cotton and wove an inkle band to use as a strap. The grinch fabric is for a Christmas stocking for my daughter's youngest. I have made one for all her kids as well as her and my son-in-law.

To honor our new camper I am working on some embroidery. I'm nearly done with the counted cross stitch project. The other project is traditional embroidery and I will have to practice the stitches before I begin but I will be using the white cotton and will use the time old process of taping the pattern to the window and trace it onto the fabric. I used to do this on the x-ray light boxes at work in the old days but alas no longer have access to those.... 

I have weaving on the loom. I am making placemats for my table that will coordinate with my dishes. I have one finished and at the edge of the second one. There will be six in total. This is a draft I found on line and its is Bronson lace.

And last but not least I had a great mail day yesterday. I was looking to spend some of my Christmas money and saw Fibernymph's preview for her update. I fell in love with her new Valentine's self striping colorways and also was wanting to make the Flurry Cowl. So I set a timer to remind me of the start of the update and managed to snag the Sweetness colorway and the Flurry Cowl kit in the colors I wanted. This is special because I rarely order online. 

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2017 Wow!

I have re-started this blog several times over the years after a gap in time and this year is no different. Except that this time I am not putting time constraints on me, as in I will blog every X. That leads me to failure.

I do have a reason for restarting this and its accountability. Maybe that is my word for this year, accountability. I'm no different than a lot of people in that I do not like to work out. Ever. But I have noticed that a little bit of on and off again workouts no longer has much effect. I did all that workout last year on the elliptical and weight machine and felt more fit but didn't lose any weight. I have made a few more changes in the diet and now have started the Jillian Michaels Beginner Shred workout. I've just done day 2. It has 3 workouts that you do for 10 days each. We will see how much effect it has.

And while we are talking about weight let me just say something here. You do not have to be 300 lbs to be overweight. Many times I avoid mentioning how much I weigh because I get judged for ONLY being 128 lbs. STOP IT! Stop judging me because I don't weigh enough to make you think I'm fat. I am only 4'8" tall. At 128 lbs it puts my BMI at 28.7 and a healthy BMI is under 25. So yes, I am overweight. Much more and I would be obese. My ideal weight, and my goal is 100 lbs. Up until I was 40 I weighed between 85 and 90 lbs. For me that was a healthy weight. In 16 years I have gained about 40 lbs. So yes, I do need to lose even if I am "only" 128 lbs.

So this will be more than just about fiber arts. And may not be regular, but since it is for me I guess it doesn't matter. Maybe next time there will be progress pictures. Of me or my crafting. Who knows.

Happy New Year everyone! Make it a great one!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bring May Flowers... And Bees Cause June is Busting out all Over!!

Life got in the way and I completely missed posting for May. Now its June and I'm still working on it.... What kept me busy the weekend I would have been writing this post I was........

I got my bees on May 2nd!! I went to a beginner's beekeeping class the Sunday before and had my hands on class May 3rd. I picked up the bees and got them in the hive with no problems. I had requested a 5 frame medium nuc or nucleus colony. My queen is marked and I had no problems seeing her. I took the time to look at each frame and it looks great. I wasn't nervous at all handling the bees. Now to settle in and wait for the nectar flow! 

But... this is a fiber blog, so on to the fiber!
Finished Objects

I finished my Maize Mitts by Tin Can Knits. This was done with the left over yarn from the Bankhead hat. This is Twist Fiber Studio Madison Worsted in the Amethyst colorway. I had just enough and I love the size of these mitts. 

I also finished the Citron Shawl by Hilary Smith Callis. I love it! It is so soft and the ruching is awesome. I used all but a very small piece of the yarn. This is Malabrigo Lace in the Lettuce colorway. 
And I finished 3 sets of Knitted Knockers, one in size C and one in size B and one in size D. The C has gone to the recipient and the B's and D's will be delivered. These are quick and a wonderful project. I used Cascade Ultra Pima 100% Cotton in the Buff colorway.
Meter Update
Knitmeter is up to 3229 yards! The graphic is in the sidebar. And I only update as I finish objects.
In Progress
I'm still working on the Hitofude by Hiroko Fukatsu out of Twist Fiber Studio Montford Fingering. This is the MCN blend in the Tradewinds colorway. I LOVE this yarn and LOVE this pattern. But I've gotten sidetracked. I'm still on the sleeves/upper back. Oh well, I'll get there. 

I'm also working on Jaden's blanket. I'm using Little Yellow Uke's Ripple Afghan pattern. Its really easy to memorize. I  chose an acrylic yarn for easy care and its Sincerely by Purl Essence in 4 solid colors and a multi color. Its really cute and I think she will love it. 

I did a few more squares on my Scrappy Happy Blanket. I am using the mini skeins from my recent swap. I've also joined a Scrap Yarn group on Facebook and am signed up for 3 swaps that are doing 20 5 gram mini skeins so I should get great variety from that. 
OMG! Weave in those ends!
I cast on the Bonny sweater by Tin Can Knits in the Handmade in the UK book. I'm using Malabrigo Lace which is the same yarn I used for the Citron. Its a very soft Merino single ply yarn. Its in the Charrua colorway. Ashley, CarolinaSpinner, had this yarn and didn't like the color. I love it and love knitting with it. I am doing this for the 2 Knit Lit Chicks CardiTankTeeKAL. I'm really looking forward to wearing this.
I also have socks on the needles. I am knitting the Swirl E. Socks using Plymouth yarn Neon Now in the descriptive color name 5. As you can see its Highlighter colors. I'm using size 0 needles and have 56 stitches cast on which is the small size. I started off wanting to use the No Purl Toe up Crazy Monkey socks but the pattern repeats requires 64 stitches and as you can see in the last picture that was going to be too big so I ripped back to 56 stitches and switched patterns. 
Another new thing is some weaving. I'm using a black 10/2 cotton for warp and two different warps, both cotton slub Dragon Tails yarns from Earth Guild. I am doing a point twill and alternating the solid blue with the varigated blue. Its the first time I've really tried anything other than tabby. 

I mentioned Knitted Knockers earlier. These are knitted (or crocheted) breast prosthesis for women with partial or full mastectomies. You can find their information at I was asked to make some Knitted Knockers for a friend's relative. In the same conversation I found out one of my other friends is scheduled for a double mastectomy the day after Mother's Day. The first pair I am making is for her. I've made some for my other friend's relative. I'll probably make these periodically and donate them. If you haven't see these check them out. The patterns are free and its a good thing. If you don't have anyone to give them to you can send them to the Knitted Knockers organization and they will donate them for you. You don't have to stuff them when you send to Knitted Knockers, they will do that for you. I purchased the Pima Cotton yarn from Craftsy and its an excellent price.  
New To Me
I received a sock kit from Infinite Twist called Nishikigoi House Socks by Cate Carter-Evans. This was total impulse but I fell in love with the cute Koi faces. I have no idea when I may cast this on. What really amazed me is all the stuff that came in the kit. Not only the yarn and patterns for both the socks and the full Fish Lips Kiss pattern but also sets of DPN's in 2mm, 2.5mm and 2.75mm, a notions pouch with tapestry needle and locking stitch markers, colored pencil, and a KnitGirllls measuring tape! Plus I used the Knitmore Girls coupon code and got money off. Amazing!
The other splurge was 2 skeins of Be So Sporty Bamboo yarn in dark Teal from Kristin Omdahl to knit the Sweet Clara crochet top. I asked Ashley to get it when she was at stitches and said that Kristin was very sweet and awesome! Hopefully I will get to meet her one day.
New In My Queue
I added 2 patterns to my queue recently. The first is Soleto Vest . I watched Denise on The Knitting Den knit this and she was wearing it recently and I love it. I have a merino/linen blend I think may work well for this. The second is Looking Back . I love this sweater with the lace panel in the front and buttons down the back.
Coming Up
I am working on a list of patterns and yarn requirements that I can give to Ashley so that she can plan out my shop credit payment in a way that gets me  yarn to knit what I want to knit but doesn't completely drain her inventory. I'll keep you posted!
Great Ideas
I realized that I should be knitting during our commute to work. Hubby and I car pool. My boss is kind enough to allow me to work the same schedule as my husband. He works 4 10 hour days per week. My work week is 37.5 hours so I work 4 days per week. I drop hubby off at his shop, go to City Hall and then pick him up in the evening. Its a great schedule. But because we get home a little later I was finding that I wasn't always knitting in the evening like I used to do. But I have 30 minutes each way every day so I have been knitting in the car. I'm not the knitter who ALWAYS knits while waiting for things. But this is a good option and increases my productivity. That was how I finished the Knitted Knockers so quickly and now I have switched to my Bonny top. However, I think I will trade out projects each week to keep interest up.
That's it for now! If I missed anything I will catch it up next month!