I never did talk about how Christmas was in the end, did I? So I shall inflict in upon the world now. I actually did get everything finished and ready that I needed to. All my online shopping arrived (whew!) even though the post was all over the place, I finished the present I was making for Mum, and I even made chocolate chip cookies with moderate success!
The scarf for Mum was the Branching Out pattern [Ravlink], and I knitted it in a lovely Merino / Tencel blend that I spun on the wheel – the first time I’ve knit with my own handspun. I just left it as a single, and it worked really well (imo, anyway!) and I like the way the colour repeats came out. Mum says she really likes it too, which is the main thing!
I also joined two Christmas swaps, one through the Limegreenjelly group, and one through Plurk. The post was / is still being less kind where those are concerned. It seems to have eaten the parcel from the latter altogether, but I have now had my LGJ parcel from Cal, and a fabulous one it is too:
Two braids of LGJ fibre (one Merino/Silk, one Merino, yum!), a beautiful skein of Posh Yarn Elinor, an Orange Blossom perfume stick which I think is from Lush, mini Green & Black’s choccy bars (om nom nom!), a set of Knit Pro interchangeable needle tips and a cable for them (which spookily I’ve been wanting for ages), and an adorable Lego keyring. :-D I just hope she likes her gifts from me as much as I do mine.
Since I’m extremely tired today (I have new medication which is making me drowsy, hopefully just for the adjustment period, and every time I sit down somewhere relaxing I drop off!), I’m not going to say much again. I haven’t managed to finish the shawl yet, but just have the cast off edge to go. I’ve been setting the twist of some of my handspun:
(excuse the rubbish photo), and also marvelling over how the Xandermog can go from FULL ON PESTER mode to fast asleep, you-can’t-wake-me in under five minutes flat. Still when the result is this little face:
Today is my lovely friend Noxie‘s birthday, so much love and happy returns to her! We originally met through both being fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and are still friends twelve years on! Isn’t the internet grand?
As for me, I’ve spent the day plying and knitting again – some progress made, nothing finished as yet! Hopefully I’ll have more to report tomorrow.
I need an editor to stop me from making horrible puns, don’t I? But it’s true, today I have been applying myself to plying two bobbins of handspun together. I haven’t done the whole lot yet, and there won’t be pictures because this is for the Limegreenjelly Christmas swap. Which means I don’t want my partner to see what I’ve been working on for her, mwahahah… eek, hope she likes it!
Other than that, I’ve also been (still) working on the “Gap Year Travels” Travelling Woman shawl… and I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but I’ve called my particular version of it Gap Year Travels because the colourway of the yarn I’m knitting it in is called Byron Bay. Which is somewhere I visited while travelling in Australia on my gap year. Anyway, I’ve nearly finished the shawl – ten rows or so to go, and I don’t think I’m going to have enough of the yarn left. Fortunately, I do have some solid blue that goes with it well enough that I can use it to finish off. I hope! If that doesn’t work, well, I put in that lifeline, so it’ll be easy to rip back without dropping any stitches. If a bit of a nuisance. But then I’ll definitely have enough yarn to finish off the edging chart.
In other news, marmite rice cakes are delicious. That is all.
I’ve been doing housekeeping tasks on the computer all day1, and I still haven’t even scratched the surface. Or that’s how it feels – I’ve backed a load of ebooks and photos up onto DVD, and cleared up my podcasts folder… and I still have far too much to do. I need to grab one of those programs that sorts out all the broken stuff in the registry, etc. Although I don’t know if I have room to install one. Oh noes, it’s all so difficult! Heh. Shall I just do a reformat and reinstall? It’s about time I did anyway. My poor computer can’t cope with much as it is – it’s getting a bit elderly, relatively speaking. If only I could (no offence, ‘puter) replace it. Not all of it, since some parts are just fine. But the most important components could do with replacing or boosting, no getting around it. Time to start saving up!
1 OK, that’s a slight exaggeration, since I have been out to KnitJam this evening as well, and done a bit of spinning (while waiting for DVDs to burn, but never mind).
I did lots today, and even managed to get in a nap this afternoon. Well, I’d worn myself out! Of course, when I say “lots”, that’s “lots for me”, but still. I’ve been to see the Flower Festival at Mum’s church with her. Technically it’s over, but she has the church keys and all the displays are still there. Then I went to the dentist (everything fine; see you in 6 months), did tiny a bit of shopping, came home and cleaned up a storm. Whew! And since I’ve also got some spinning and knitting done, I’m feeling quite accomplished.
Tomorrow is another busy day, so I’m off to bed now. I’m expecting to sleep well!
So, I’ve started my spinning for the Tour de Fleece. As I said yesterday, I’m starting with two complementary braids from Limegreenjelly that I’m going to ply together. I’d actually spun up half of one of them already, so I have about 50g of that one left to do, then the whole of the second.
This is how much I already had spun:
and this is the remaining fibre, before I started spinning today:
As well as carrying on with the Big Clear Out / spring-clean / whatever, I’ve been preparing for the start of the Tour de Fleece tomorrow. I’ve got the wheel all set up, and the fibre that I’ll be starting with all ready. I’m basically aiming to spin every day for at least half an hour, more if I can manage it, and overall just get as much done as I can.
The first thing I’m spinning are two similar, but complementary, colourways from Limegreenjelly. Actually, everything I’ll spin will be LGJ, since that’s all I have! I’m spinning each of these into singles, then plying the two together. I think it’ll look nice.
Woohoo, I’ve completed NaBloPoMo for June. I shall give myself a pat on the back… and maybe check if there’s a “winner” badge or something. No big deal if not.
I’ve also been seeing how I can do on the Monthly Scavenger Hunt on Flickr. This is my first month, and I didn’t get something for all twenty items, but I managed to do sixteen, so that’s not a bad start!
So, what next on the blogging front? Now that I’ve managed to maintain blogging through June, I don’t want to just stop again. The Tour de Fleece is coming up, so I think I’ll plan to post an update on how I’m doing each day of that… which will mean it’ll be very spinning-centric around here for a couple of weeks. I dare say I’ll ramble about other things though. I can only say “today I span such and such a thing, here’s a photo” so many times!
I can’t believe it’s come round again already, but the Tour de Fleece starts again on 3rd July. Which means I shall be spinning along with many many others for the duration of the Tour de France bike race. I probably won’t be actually watching the race as I spin, because I have other things I want to watch and listen to that interest me more. I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to be spinning yet, but I think “as much as possible” covers it fairly well.
Happily, I’ve solved the missing post button (and tags and categories areas) problem in the edit screen. Of course I went and did all the standard things first, like disabling all my plugins. And then it occurred to me to try changing the screen back to the default 2 column view, instead of the 1 column I had it set on. Oh look, there were the missing areas. I’ve now rearranged and reset it back to the way it was, and all is well. Hoorah!
I’ll probably come up with a really excellent topic for the letter H in a day or two, but right now I can’t think of a thing. Well, maybe I’ll be inspired while I’m writing, you never know! And if I do think of something in a few days time, I can always slot it in as the next “extra day” entry.
Well, since I don’t have anything specific to talk about for this, I might as well have a ramble on about life in general. I’ve been over on goodreads.com updating my booklist. Rather annoyingly, since it’s only been three weeks (and where did that time go?!) I have a gap of about a week where I can’t remember what I was reading, but I’m sure I read something. At least one more book, in fact, because I remember thinking that I’d had another one to count into May’s total right on the last day or two of the month. Maybe I can ask my Mum or brother if I mentioned reading any book in particular around that time. It was definitely something I finished, too. Hmm. And probably something I had on my Palm already, not something recently loaded on, since I know which ones of those I’ve read. Gah, frustrating! Did I re-read something on a whim, which is why it’s not sticking in my head as something new? I don’t know!
In terms of reading, I think I need to make an effort to finish some of the eight (!) books I’m part way through right now. That’s just too many. I bet I can finish at least one before I go to bed tonight. I’m more than half way through several, or they’re not that long to start with. Or I could read one more of the short stories in the David Weber anthology. The doorsteppers will necessarily take a bit longer, but I keep putting off reading them in favour of other books. I need to start treating them like I am my knitting: no more casting on new projects / starting new books until I’ve finished the ones I have on the go already. And talking of knitting, if I listen to more audiobooks (including finishing the one I have in progress), I can do the both at the same time!
As well as not having blogged since July, I haven’t done any spinning since then either. During the blogathon, I posted that I was spinning some gorgeous merino fibre. I got maybe 10g of the 100g braid actually done, and the spinning wheel has been in a corner ever since. I suppose I sort of lost my spinning mojo / motivation, then I was busy with other things. But I’m now feeling much more motivated, and I suddenly felt like actually finishing that. So, yesterday I hoiked the wheel back out of the corner, sat it in front of the telly, and spun all through Strictly Come Dancing and Casualty. And then, because I was on a bit of a roll, I put on the last two eps of Flash Forward which I still had to catch up on, and kept going. I’d split the braid into two approx 50g sections so that I could spin two roughly equal bobbins full, and I’d been aiming to finish the rest of the first 50g. In fact, I finished that first bobbin, and now I’m half way through the second:
I’m going to see if I can get a bit more done tonight before I go to bed. I’m still on a little bit of a sci-fi high from the new Doctor Who episode / special tonight, “The Waters of Mars”. Can’t wait til the next one at Christmas! But I need to wind down a bit more, so a bit of podcast listening and spinning should do the trick. Hopefully, I’ll get these singles bobbins finished and then plied within the next couple of days. I might use the remainder of my birthday money to get a niddy noddy, too. That’ll make winding the finished yarn back off the bobbin much easier.
As you can see from the collage picture, the original fibre was turquoise, navy, and red. I rather like the way the colours blended, both in the spinning and plying process, to give a blue-purple final yarn (with bits of red). The fibre is Limegreenjelly BFL … and I don’t know the name of the colour. Anybody have any suggestions what I could call the finished yarn?
It was a lovely yarn to spin with – not as soft as the merino I’m using now, of course, but I think that was good since I was trying to spin it a little thicker, and since I’m still learning. It came out bulky weight once plied, by the way. The one in the last post is aran weight. The meino should be lighter weight – perhaps DK after plying?
Still working on the bipolar post (I should stop faffing, really), and I’ve also realised that I seem to somehow be a post behind. So, here are a couple in quick sucession. I haven’t posted on here yet about the yarn I’ve spun, and since now is a good a time as ever… here is My First Yarn:
This fibre (Forest Fibres Corriedale Top) came with the starter pack I got with my drop spindle, but this is spun on the spinning wheel. I spun about 50g of the navy and 50g of the turquoise, then plied the two colours together. Ta-daa!
I’m still working on the bipolar topic post, so I though that this half hour I’d show you what I’m currently spinning. Well, not currently, since I’m typing right now, but you know what I mean ;-)
I am, by the way, very much a beginning spinner, so my results aren’t fabulous, but the whole two skeins I’ve produced so far are nice enough, and definitely usable. Which is the point, right? The fibre I’m spinning now is really really lovely, so I hope I don’t make any horrible messes with it. It’s 100% merino from Limegreenjelly in “Take Me Out”, and it’s really beautiful – see:
Charcoal, hot pink, deep jade green, and flashes of purple. Yum!