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Benny is Spun and Done!

22 Aug

   
    
   
I am most proud of that last picture because it shows a few of the skeins close up.  It’s my best quality so far in spinning and I was consistent with the yarn gauge throughout the eight skeins.  There are a few thick and thin spots (I’m not a machine) but overall it looks good! Such a great feeling when you finish a huge project like that!

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Yellow

22 Aug

I finished spinning and plying the last of Benny the Alapaca’s fleece last night.  Pictures will have to wait until tomorrow because the last two hanks are still drying.

I retrieved some superwash merino from storage that I hand dyed and set up my wheel in double drive and started spinning that. Here it is after dyeing:

   

Here is the first 1/3 spun on the wheel. The colors blended nicely. I like semi-solid yarn.

 
I wanted to try double drive tension instead of scotch tension because I watched a video that said I can get thinner singles (resulting in thinner 3-ply yarn) with double drive.  I’m not sure these are thinner but it does seem to have more twist. My very unscientific spinning comparisons say that the yarn is about 45wpi (wraps per inch). That’s right in the middle of fingering and light fingering weight yarn.  But that’s when it’s spun up tightly like this. Once I ply and set in water, it puffs up. 

Since this is combed roving from a mill, it spins up quicker than Raw fleece.  I should have the other 2/3 done this weekend and plyed early on next week so I’ll see what kind of yarn it turns out to be.

School

19 Aug

School has begun for DJ, Gianna, and me. We all started on Monday and seem to be off to a good start. 

DJ moved in on Saturday. He likes his classes and is very excited about his programming class. It’s in Java (which I teach for my college). He’s programmed a bit in Java before and I think he will take off in this area. He’s got great logic and has really enjoyed programming in the past.

Gianna is a freshman and seems to be adjusting. Only one other boy from her grade school is attending this school. She knows some girls from softball teams she has played on. She joined the golf team – there are only 5 girls total on the team. The girls are nice and are taking her under their wing to show her the ropes of golf team play. She is “okay” at golf and seems to be holding her own at practices so far. Subject-wise – she has homework in every subject. That’s very different than her previous school where she rarely had homework. 

Me? I’m doing alright too. I put in a lot of work in July and August prepping for my classes. I have a lot of new or newly-formatted classes. I think the summer work is going to pay off.

On the knitting front, I have about 30 rows of the shawl left to do.

  
It doesn’t look like much because it’s all bunched up but will be a nice large shawl when done.

I bought a new book detailing different top-down and toe-up toes and heels. I started to experiment.

  
The toe doesn’t look that much different than my usual toe, but it’s supposed to fit better for my angled toe-line. Here is the finished sock.

  
Simple and functional.

I am spinning away at the last of the alpaca fleece. All is carded and I’m down to my last bag to spin.  I will get eight hanks of about four ounces each from the fleece in total. Half will go to the farmer and I get to keep half. I already have a hat/glove pattern in mind for my half. 

Peaches

11 Aug

  
Ten pints canned. Enough for ten more. Or some peach jam! Wouldn’t that be good? It will have to wait until late tonight. Work, school shopping haircuts, and pitching lessons all have to come first.

Not Sure About This One

9 Aug

i started a new project – 3 times. I like the pattern. It’s called Reyna. But I’m not sure about the yarn choice.

  
I saw some finished projects on Ravelry that were from striped yarn and they looked good. But I’m not sure about this striped yarn. 

So why did I start it three times? Cuz I’m psycho. That and I sat on my needles, which are wood, and promptly broke one.  No replacement in my stash. Ripped out what was done and I went up a needle size.  This morning I ordered new replacement needles. But I had to get $50 in my cart for free shipping and $5 needles didn’t cut it. So, of course, I ordered “stuff” to fill the cart.  Great marketing, Knit Picks. 

Finally Finished

8 Aug

  
Took a month to knit these because I put them aside so often. Usually that means I don’t finish them at all because I forget where I was in the pattern. But these are finished and finished is good.

The pattern is called “Gladys”. It’s cuff down which is not my favorite. I like this sock designer and will knit more socks from her. But not next. I’m socked-out! 12 socks in 7 months. That’s enough socks for any woman (and her daughter).  So what’s next? No clue. I am still spinning the alpaca fleece so maybe I’ll concentrate on getting that done and not have a knitting project at all. 

School starts Monday with meetings. The following Monday is when the students start. I’ve been back to work for  three weeks – half days – trying to prepare. Still a lot to do though.

Road Trip

26 Jul

We took a short trip to Chicago and did the tourism thing. 

   
    
    
    
 
My family likes their backs to the camera more than their fronts. I didn’t take too many pictures – I tried to stay in the moment. Both kids seemed to really enjoy spending time with us. DJ and I played at least 3 games of Gin Rummy during our down times in the hotel. No electronics – just talking. But there were plenty of phones and ear buds during the 10+ miles we walked each day!

I did a bit of sock knitting while in the hotel. Not much though so there are no progress pics to share. 

Then we got home and had to break into our house so because we all forgot our house keys!

  
Dan and Gianna were fairly good at that. 😊