Weave, Spin, Knit, repeat as needed

We had a COVID scare at work a little over two weeks ago. One coworker tested positive despite only having a sore throat, and next thing you know two others are being quarantined. Then I caught a cold. I don’t know how but I blame the short people in my house. Many nose swans later, no covid. I did sleep around the clock for two days.

I’ve been hiding in my craft room, thinking more than I should, and cycling through my crafts. I have 1.5 scarves done, a few skeins of yarn spun and three more cowls knit up. Tomorrow we go look at merino fleeces!

Happy Fiber Friday

Welcome to Fiber Friday! Ok maybe just for me and anyone who is following Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair on Facebook this year. https://saffsite.org/ Check out the Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/MissingSAFF

I discovered this a few days ago and I look forward to visiting in years to come. In the last two weeks, I’ve gone from no new hobbies!!! to extending out my current hobbies through the roof. I picked up my spinning wheel and picked up some gorgeous alpaca roving. I dyed with Jacquard dyes for the first time. It was a learning lesson for sure and the dye the yarn did soak up looked great.

I spun up some white wool years ago. I added this to a bobbin of merino/nylon mix and grey alpaca. I dyed the single white wools separately in Jacquard 608 Pink Acid Dye.

I then hung it for a few days. I plyed the three together rather quickly and wrapped them around the knitty noddy. I washed it gently with warm water and Dawn dish soap. The fun part was thwacking it against the kitchen counter.

Now I’m knitting up a cowl for my coworker. I’m thinking about dyeing over it again more pink but we shall see.

In between all that, I brought my husband and kids to a local farm to purchase my first fleece. Technically it’s not a new hobby but I also ordered a hackle and comb set to be able to prepare said fleece.

Arbormeadow Sheep Farm raises Coopworth Sheep in Steele’s Tavern, Va. It’s a georgous area and we got to walk around and talk to the owners. I purchased a lovely natural fleece and immediately went home to clean it (Dawn plus hot hot water. We ever so gently placed the fleece in said water.) Rinse it (Same thing but no Dawn dish soap) and placed it on an old screen door to dry. It was a lot of work but I had a few helpers.

So that’s where I am. I may be a touch over my head but I love it.

Baby Knitting

My friend recently had a baby after many, many attempts at IVF. It’s her miracle baby. Unfortunately she didn’t find out the sex until after birth so I’ve had to rush knit. Here are my favorites!

Ten Years

I’m a little late but it’s been over ten years since I started this. So much has changed but a few things changed.

10 major life changes:

1. Master’s degree & CPA

2. Left Florida moved to Virginia

3. Lost IVF baby

4. Adopted 3 lively children

5. Left government job, started higher ed job, left higher ed job, started higher ed job

6. Sold a house, bought a house, bought a house, sold a house

7. Lost Mom, Lost stepfather (prior to ten years, lost dad)

9. Got spinning wheel (thanks mom), continually restart spinning

10. Picked up cross stitch- mom’s first craft

Another Year, More Hobbies

I cannot believe it has once again been over a year and a half since my last post. I had knit a whole baby blanket and posted the simple pattern in February of 2019. At that point, I was still home on leave after surgery. I returned to work shortly after and was back in the whorl wind of catching up at work, dealing with the kinds and then before I even knew what hit me, we were moving to Virginia.

Our family of 5 picked up and moved from Southwest Florida to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. It was hard but it is definitely worth it. So we had a medical crisis with our oldest, moved, started a new job, bought a house, started a new school, sold a house, had a wreck via deer, had a violent tragic loss of a family member followed immediately by a global pandemic.

How am I holding on? On a whim, I bought a sewing machine. I picked up quilting. I took a quilting class. I forgot how to quilt. I got chickens. I raised chicks from 1 day old. I started a massive garden. I got camping everything and we started camping. I picked up cross stitch. I made tons of projects. I researched backpacking. I planned a 5 day backpacking trip. I called my husband to pick me up less than 24 hours after starting said trip. I got a camper. I knit three sweaters, a blanket, a baby dress, five pumpkin hats and another blanket. I got a popup camper and redecorated and sewed some covers and decorations. The camper broke and now I’m waiting for our appointment to fix it. I got alpaca and picked up spinning again. I started researching carding wool. I may be unraveling but I certainly have the equipment to spin myself back together.

I ready this article and oh boy- if they thought 2016 was one hell of a year, I wonder what they are thinking right now!

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/why-knitting-is-the-best-form-of-mindful-meditation-240240

I’ve been thinking a lot about this rampant running through hobbies that I have been doing and why it is that I always return to knitting. In the most challenging times of my life, I could be found working on a blanket. I think this is because certain projects are mindless (moss stitch or K5 P5 are my favorite blanket stitches) but meditative. It was my bodies way of calming the mind down. I can’t just sit and meditative because I get antsy and start fidgeting if I don’t full blown get up and walk away. I’m trying to pick up on meditation again and I find it easier if I’m doing something, like taking a walk or knitting. I actually found some youtube knitting meditation videos that are great. I find my daughter does the same thing. She was in the middle of her behavioral therapy online and was twisting the belt of her dress to the point where it was going to rip. I got up, found a few lengths of yarn and tied it to the desk. It did the trick.

I don’t have any magic words except this time is stressful for all of us. I am so grateful to have these crafts and to continue to learn and practice.

Simple Cupcake Baby Blanket

cast on 146

rows1: k1p1

row2: p1k1

repeat rows 1 & 2

Row 10: K1P1K1P1K1 K5, P2K5* repeat til 5 stitches remain K1P1K1P1K1

Row 11: K1P1K1P1K1 P5, K2P2* repeat til 5 stitches remain K1P1K1P1K1

Repeat Rows 10 & 11

Row 16: K1P1K1P1K1 K till five stitches remain, K1P1K1P1K1

Repeat Rows 10-16 for x inches

Repeat rows 1&2 for 10 rows.

Bind Off

 

 

Post Surgery

5 days post surgery and I thought I’d be knitting a lot more.

1- you can’t knit on fentanyl. Or stay awake for long. You can order from zulily. Unfortunately.

2- you can’t knit well with an IV in you, especially if the tube goes across your body. It seemed cruel. I still tried

3- no matter how therapeutic, it’s hard to focus on knitting a row when they say cancer. And then tell you it’ll be a few weeks before you know what’s next

I have ovarian cancer and the surgeon may have gotten it all but we won’t know for some time. In the meantime I get to sit, unable to work or clean or even drive. I knit a row and think. I think too much to focus on even this sock.

What does cancer mean? It was caught early so I’m not investing in a casket any time soon. It means at worst, chemo. I’d be a horrible chemo patient. At best, a whole lot more filling out of doctors’ forms and not being able to put off said appointments. It means my body doesn’t function correctly, which I’ve known for years. It means I won’t hear- it’s just stress- when I get weird rashes or sharp pains in my stomach. It means everything changes.

And it means I’m knitting these socks for ME!

Mommy Needs A Time Out

2019 was supposed to be the year of me. After getting my master’s degree, CPA, fostering and adopting three kids, one special needs and two with medical challenges, I was ready to focus on me. I have gained 60 lbs in two years and have had some weird ailments pop up. Hives that don’t sway. Jaw infections. Cold after cold after cold. It turns out I have masses on my ovaries and am going in this week for some major surgery. I’ll be out of work for 3-8 weeks and already stocked up on my stash. I’m thinking a sock yarn blanket!

This sucks.

I hope the doctor is better at sewing than I am!

Knit Socks- a basic pattern/recipe

I’m back into knitting socks big time and giving them as presents. I can whip up a pair in a few days (or a trip from Florida to New York.) I don’t make them fancy and I’m back to the point where I don’t need instructions.

A simple pair of toe up socks is more like a recipe than a pattern. It’s easily modified to go bigger, smaller or adjust to yarn weight.

For my latest socks, I’m using sock weight yarn on size two circular needles.

Using magic loop, cast on twenty stitches (10 each needle). Knit first row. Next row knit 1 make 1 knit to last two stitches on first needle make 1 knit 1. Repeat on second needle. So you’ve added four stitches. Knit the next row. Repeat this until you have 22-26 stitches on each needle or 48-52 stitches total. Continue knit to the ankle bone or about 7 inches for a woman’s size 8.5 foot.

Start heel

Slip 1 knit

Slip 1 purl

Continue for half the number of stitches on food. (22-26 rows)

Start short rows

Row1: Knit half the rows stitches (11/13) knit 2 together, k1, turn

Row2: slip one, purl 2, purl 2 together, k1, turn

When you’ve knit all the stitches, pick up the heel rows (slipped stitches) usually 11-13 stitches on each side of the heel.

Ankle:

Row1: knit

Row 2: knit 1, knit 2 together, knit to end of other side of heel, slip 2, knit together, knit rest or row

Repeat these two until you are back to 48-52 stitches (fewer of you have skinny ankles)

From here you can add ribbing, create a short ankle socks or add more design.

I’m trying to write this on my phone, so I’ll update it later.

It’s worked for the last six pairs of socks and I’ve added a different design feature into each, including ribbing and seed stitch.

Maxi- cozi Blanket

I started a simple but beautiful blanket pattern a few months ago for my soon to be five year old. I used Woolf of the Andes superwash wool from Knitpicks. Then I finished it! Finally! I trimmed the loose pieces and sewed in bits. I had to wash it because when we returned from our road trip it was covered in cat hair and had dried cat vomit.

I put it in the washer machine carefully. I set it to gentle and came back a few hours later. I was hanging it over the banister and I saw a huge hole right smack in the middle. I walked away and cried and cried. When I told the husband I had destroyed $180 of yarn and months of my time, he asked if I knit it too loosely. 😡

When I woke the next day, I posted it in a Facebook group and they suggested I knit bottom up and graft it in. It worked.

I will never wash it again!!!!

Continuing the blanket and socks

This week we gave two pairs of socks and had time to work on the blanket in between wrapping presents and packing for our upcoming trip.

The socks were a hit and another pair was requested. I have plenty of driving time to whip them up.

We are approaching the end of the blanket. Finally!!! Thank goodness. I still love the yarn and the feel. I already bought brown yarn for a second blanket.

Knit Socks – ‘tis the season

So with my travel knitting, I decided to make a few people socks as Christmas presents. I’ve finished three pairs of socks in less than two weeks. I knit simple toe up socks with short row heels on two circular needles. I can do anything but two at a time socks. Seriously, that magic loop method has my brain scrambled. I’m looking at Pinterest for new twists on the simple socks.

Traveling while Knitting

I had a conference in Arizona and had to come up with a travel worthy project. I seriously considered bringing my blanket but it would have taken up the entirety of my backpack and just think of the looks I would have gotten. On second thought, the flights to Phoenix were pretty chilly. It’s day 5, and I’m in Houston International. I’m currently working on the foot of sock #4. I pulled out some yarn I bought in December of 2011 in New York City for the first pair. I can’t remember the name but it was something sister. . . Twisted sister?While in Phoenix I took the light rail and then walked to Tempe Yarn. The shop was cute, the people were crazy friendly but everything was so expensive. I picked one skein of sock yarn that were the colors of the desert (but I wanted so much more.) They also had roving for spinning and felting as well as a loom.

So I kept it simple. I ate some good food. I didn’t care so much for Phoenix downtown but loved Tempe. I rode the light rail from end to end. It was probably the friendliest area I’ve been to with some quirky but nice people. I went to Papago Park early Saturday morning and walked up to the left most peak. All in all, I loved Tempe and Phoenix area and if it weren’t for the lack of water, I’d be pressuring hubby to move. But the drought is extreme and with today’s climate changes, unlikely to improve.

Getting Ready for Christmas

Despite the long weekend, I don’t get as much done on the blanket as I hoped. After thanksgiving we pulled the Christmas decorations out. My mom passed away last year and this is my second Christmas without her. I have so much Christmas decorations given by her, made by her and inherited from her. It would be impossible to post them all, so I’m going to share a few favorites. I am floored at how beautiful the stockings and pillow are. She had no idea how truly talented she was.