A Great Weekend

30 Mar

We went to Chicago for the weekend. It was a wonderful time. We stayed right on State Street. We went shopping, went to see the Broadway musical “The Book of Mormon” and just spent a lot of quality time together as a family. The musical was fantastic. The humor was a little adult for Gianna, but I thought it was a great play. We ate too much pizza at Gioradano’s – as usual! On Saturday night we ordered delivery food and ate in the hotel room and played board games all night. It’s been over a year since we took a Chicago trip and it was great to get away. 

I finished these socks.

 

Pattern: Petty Harbor

Yarn: Berrocco Ultra-Fine (which is a merino/alpaca blend. Really nice to work with)

I bought this sock book.

   

 

…which is sideways for some reason! And I started this pair of socks.

 

 

See how the pattern looks like small 3D cubes?  The pattern would look best in a solid yarn. I thought this was a solid but it’s a bit light and dark in places although it doesn’t show in this picture. All the patterns in this book are harder to knit than my usual mindless sock knitting. But I love all of them so I will sprinkle some difficult socks in with the easy ones. I’m not sure how much more knitting I’ll do. I usually stop around this time of the year. I can’t knit when the yarn starts sticking to my fingers. Knitting season for me is October-March.

Busy at work this week. Lots of meetings and grading that has to get some. Dj is home for spring break too. I probably won’t get much posting done this week on the blog!

Sick

22 Mar

I have not been posting because I’ve been sick again! All week! I got antibiotics on Wednesday and after an entire course of them, I’m only partially better. This cold/flu that everyone in Illinois seems to be getting just won’t let go of me. Ugh!

A few things have been happening here. Gianna qualified for the state science fair. Regionals were held yesterday at Northern Illinois University. Of the 400 entries that made it to regionals, about 100 qualified to go to state. State is 5 hours away at Southern Illinois University. 

On the knitting front, I hardly have any progress on some very easy socks.

 

These socks are simple texture socks and would have been done by now I wasn’t sick all week.

A while back I bought some raw merino from an Etsy shop. I have been washing it slowly – 2 oz at a time. Look at the difference between an unwashed lock and a washed and carded section.

 

Isn’t that transformation cool?  I’m just amazed at the process of taking something off the animal and turning it into yarn.

Finally, I’ve been spinning suri alpaca but it’s slow going and I need to step up and spin more of that. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better this week and my head will not be so cloudy!

Streaks

16 Mar

I’m all about streaks. I am learning Spanish through the website Duolingo. I had 180+ day streak going. Every day, 15 minutes or so. Then I missed a day. My streak was broken. I just can’t get going again on it. I’ve got a 3 day streak right now. The momentum is gone – the streak is broken.

I began walking again last week while I was off on spring break. I walked about 2 miles a day. The weather was gorgeous. I have a 5 day streak going. Can I maintain it? Probably not, but once I get the feedback from Map My Walk about the streak and I see the little bar charts and graphs, I want to keep the streak alive. But can I do that with working, kids, hobbies? 

And finally, I have a streak of socks going. 5 to be exact. So, although I want to start something different, I automatically cast on another sock project.



Something about me and streaks…

The Vacation Ends

15 Mar

I got almost nothing done on my spring break, but that’s okay. It was a nice break! I have a load of prep and grading that needs to get started today though. 

Knitting and spinning, however, was done in excess! Here are my second pair of completed scrap socks.



I still have a ton of scrap yarn left over! It seems to never decrease! I didn’t notice until I folded these up to put them away, but I’m missing a purple stripe on one of the socks. Oops… Not going to correct that. One will be slightly shorter in the leg than the other. I can live with that.

My gradient dye is still not completely dry but I love the way it turned out.





I can see more of this yarn in my future. But what to do with it?  It’s 160 yards of DK weight yarn. I will store it for now and see if I can find the perfect pattern for it on Ravelry.

Dyeing

12 Mar

I’m having some fun dyeing roving today.



This is Corriedale (or Romney – I ordered Romney but the tag inside said Corriedale. I’m told they are about the same and I really don’t mind). I ordered this wool specifically to play with dyeing. It’s inexpensive and medium coarse so if I mess it up, it’s not a great loss. So what I’m doing in that picture is this. I filled the pot with water and two packages of strawberry Kool-aid and two packages of strawberry-kiwi. I soaked the roving In plain water then wound it over the ruler. I set the stove timer and immersed 2-3 turns of the ruler every minute. I think it worked well for graduated color.





Looks like intestines or something, doesn’t it? I’m letting it cool now. Looking forward to n-plying it and seeing how it turns out!

Progress on the striped scrap socks.



I started with the white then added a gray for a few rounds. Then dropped the white, picked up the red but kept the gray. Then dropped the gray, kept the red and picked up a black tweed. See how that’s working? My goal was to knit until the color ran out, but the only one I’ve run out of so far is the red. These scraps from previous socks and scarves never end! 

Hump Day

11 Mar

Today is the middle of my break! Already! Where is the time going? 

Here is the two-ply yarn that I dyed and spun.



I think it’s sport weight. I’m not sure I love the way the colors turned out. I may overdye the whole thing violet. I’m not sure yet. I loved working with the Polwarth fiber. It’s up there with merino and  huacaya alpaca in my book.

I also started another pair of scrap socks.



They look like prison socks now, mind you, but they will look better once I add more colors. I am using up my grays and interspersing other colors in between. Next up is red. They are quick stockinette stitch so they should knit up fast.

Some Finished Socks

10 Mar



The above socks are called Monster Socks because there is no pattern and no rhyme or reason with how you put them together. You just use leftover yarn from other projects. These are Gianna’s favorite kind of socks. This is the third pair I have made  for her. The next pair will be from primarily gray yarn that’s leftover  in my stash. I will add other colors and maybe make them striped.

I also spun up some yarn. More on that tomorrow.

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