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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Y5: Self-Imposed Year of Projects - Update #30

Hello hello! Happy Sunday!

Lots to discuss so let's get mooooving!

FOs (Finished Objects)
1. Fire Socks: started April 15, 2015; finished January 6, 2016
2. Nottingham for Stormageddon: started January 12, 2016; finished January 14, 2016
3. Design proposal for Fire Socks: started January 13, 2016; finished January 18, 2016
4. Purple merino/silk spinning (singles): started toward the end of Tour de Fleece (July 4-26, 2015); finished January 29, 2016
5. Nottingham for Little Man: started January 17, 2016; finished February 1, 2016
6. Swirl Hat: started December 16, 2015; finished February 4, 2016
7. Swatch for Marly Bird class at Stitches West: started January 8, 2016; finished February 7, 2016 (no project page)
8. Fire Socks design (the actual pattern writing & photography part): started February 6, 2016; finished February 12, 2016 (link to the preview; pattern went live on Saturday, April 2nd)
9. Mountains Beanie: started February 9, 2016; finished February 17, 2016
10. Rathmore: started February 25, 2016; finished March 4, 2016
11. Dragon's Egg Socks: started September 2, 2013; finished March 9, 2016
12. Creeper for Little Man: started March 4, 2016; finished March 10, 2016
13. Mother Bear Project #1: started February 22, 2016; finished March 12, 2016
14. Asshole Corriedale (spinning project): started March 23, 2016; finished March 24, 2016
15. Pacific Waves: started March 9, 2016; finished March 25, 2016
16. Freeport Vest Frogging: started March 29, 2016; finished March 29, 2016
17. Pacific Waves: started March 31, 2106; finished April 2, 2016
18. Vanilla Latte Socks: started November 19, 2015; finished April 6, 2016
19. Snape's Stockings: started August 20, 2014; finished April 11, 2016
20. Pacific Waves: started April 3, 2016; finished April 15, 2016
21. Creeper Hat: started April 28, 2016; finished May 4, 2016
22: Finn & Suffolk blend (spinning): started April 1, 2016; singles finished May 27, 2016; plied May 31, 2016
23. Gex for Little Man: started April 8, 2016; finished June 5, 2016
24. Bridal Shower Lace Cloth: started June 20, 2016; finished June 27, 2016
25. TdF 1: 25%/25%/50% purple merino/silk & white merino (~ 540 yds; ~ 8 oz; DK/lt. worsted): started during TdF last year and finished the purple singles January 29, 2016; started the white last weekend, plied them on July 4, 2016
26. TdF 2: 25%/25%/50% leftover purple merino/silk & leftover kelly green merino (~ 20 yds; unknown weight; DK/lt. worsted): leftover bits that were plied on July 4, 2016
27. TdF 3: 100% merino, 50% hot pink, 50% grey (~ 50 yds; ~ 1 oz; DK/lt. worsted): started & finished on July 5, 2016
28: TdF 4: 100% merino, 50% rose pink, 50% navy blue (~ 50 yds; ~ 1 oz; DK/lt. worsted): started & finished on July 5, 2016
29. TdF 5: 25%/25%/50% leftover purple merino/silk & leftover hot pink merino (~ 10 yds; unknown weight; DK/lt. worsted): the purple was started during TdF last year and finished January 29, 2016; the hot pink was spun on July 5, 2016; they were plied on July 5, 2016
30. TdF 6: 100% merino, 50% leftover hot pink, 50% leftover navy blue (~ 10 yds; unknown weight; DK/lt. worsted): started & finished on July 5, 2016
31. TdF 7: 100% merino, rainbow gradient (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, and white) (~ 220 yds; ~ 4 oz; worsted): started July 5, 2016; finished July 6, 2016
32: TdF 8: 50/50 merino/tencel, Fat Cat Fibers in Razzmatazz (three different skeins: two skeins are three-ply, one is around 245 yds of worsted and the other is around 120 yds, also worsted; one skein is chain plied, probably also a worsted weight, about 25 yds): started July 8, 2016; finished July 12, 2016
33. TdF 9: 100% white merino (~ 446 yds two-ply, probably sport weight; ~ 15 yds Andean Ply, also around a sport weight): started July 15, 2016; finished July 18, 2016
34. TdF 10: Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon from Happy Hands Hand Dyed (~ 166 yds two-ply, probably Aran weight; ~ 14 yds Andean Plied, also Aran weight): started July 15, 2016; finished July 19, 2016
35. TdF 11: 60% BFL/40% Bombyx (Mulberry Silk) from Corgi Hill (~ 298 yds two-ply, probably DK/lt. worsted; ~ 25 yds Andean Plied, also DK/lt. worsted): started July 18, 2016; finished July 20, 2016

I finished up three more spinning projects this past week. The white merino & the teal superwash merino/bamboo/nylon blend have been plied, washed, thwacked, snapped, etc., and are dry. I haven't taken proper photographs, however. The only photograph I have of any of the new projects is this one, which is a late-night, on the niddy-noddy photo of the BFL/Bombyx blend.

Not a very good photo. It doesn't show the subtleties of the color shifts and one of the colors appears complete absent in this photo (though I know it's in there).

This BFL/Bombyx was a pain in the ass, however. As it turns out I'm allergic to the Bombyx fibers while spinning, much like I am allergic to cat hair. I can rub it all over my face in a finished product, I can wear it....but spinning it and plying it caused a lot of allergy-laden misery this week. But, now that it's done......lovely. But I'm never spinning Bombyx again, if I can avoid it. Or I'm going to be very loaded up on allergy medication, which means probably doubling what I already take because I'm already on allergy medication every day. ::sigh::

The white merino turned out soooooo lovely. I'll have to do a proper post-TdF FO post wherein I have proper photos of all the finished yarns. I'm actually quite impressed with myself about that one. I honestly didn't think it was going to turn out very well and it's.....well, you're going to have to pry it from my cold, dead hands. Some handspun I'd be willing to give up. Not that one.

Moving ahead...

WIPs (Works-In-Progress) - carried over year-to-year
1. Wink: started January 5, 2015
2. Caffe Macchiato Socks: started May 7, 2016
3. Gex for Niece: started June 28, 2016
4. Tour de Fleece: July 2nd-24th, 2016

In addition to spinning, I've also done some actual knitting this week. I've finished the yoke on Gex (all the two-color wedges) and I've picked up to start knitting the body. I've not actually started knitting the body but I'm ready to go when I get around to it.

But, there has also been spinning. Tour de Fleece is winding down (as in: it ends today) so I'm on my last couple spinning projects.

I have the singles spun from an unknown BFL that I found hanging about with a drop spindle in a project bag. I pulled off the fiber from the drop spindle, weighed & split it, and I've spun the remaining portion on my wheel, all on July 21, 2016. I estimated that I only spun about 6 g onto the drop spindle, if it was a 100 g braid, and it probably was. I also suspect that the braid came from Yarn Hollow, probably during Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival 2010, right before Little Man was born and I didn't yet have a wheel but I did buy my first pseudo-Turkish drop spindle (which I'm missing pieces for - don't even get me started!)....but, I honestly have no idea. I do know that it was a little matted in places, making it difficult to spin...but it wasn't that bad. I've thrown out worse.

The colors include black, dark green, light green, purple, blue, and even little tufts of white here and there. I just spun it and it's going to turn out a muddled mess and I suspect I'm going to love it. But, we'll see. I just finished plying it before the post went live so it's hanging out on the bobbin right now. I might get around to putting it on the niddy-noddy and washing it later today...

The same day I spun these as singles, I also started spinning a 60/40 Polwarth/Tussah blend from Corgi Hill. I'm not having any issues with allergies while spinning this one. So, my best guess is that it's the specific type of silk and it's only during the spinning process.

I don't have any photos of this one, yet. Maybe soon. I don't expect that I'm going to finish this one today but I'll probably have it finished by next week. The BFL will probably be plied today but we'll see.


Children's Items
1. George's Vest (for Stormageddon - probably the largest size; YOTH Little Brother from Stitches)
2. House Hat (one each for Stormageddon and Little Man - worsted, two contrasting colors)
3. Arthur the Alien (for Little Man - worsted; any colors)
4. Holiday Countdown Stockings (for the family - Aran/worsted; four colors)
5. Mirkwood (for Little Man - worsted or bulky; any colors)

Items for ME (selfish knitting, FTW!!)
1. Vanillaish Socks (using one of my Harry Potter Yarns)
2. Paradiddle Socks (using a solid or semi-solid sock yarn)
3. Hermione Hearts Ron (sport weight; solid or semi-solid - Plucky Primo in Petunia?)
4. Hermione Hearts Ron Fingerless Mitts (sport weight; solid or semi-solid - Plucky Primo in Petunia?)
5. Classic Silk Mayfaire Camisole (Miss Babs from Stitches Midwest)
6. Stormont (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
7. Sockhead Hat (sock; any colors)
8. Moab Shawl (sock; any colors)
9. Prowl (DK; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*

Secret Sock Club Bags - Pick a bag at random; do pattern with yarn
1. Scotch & Soda Scarf (using Briar Rose Fibers Wistful, leftover from my Icarus Shawl)
2. Jabberwonky (using KP Felici in Abracadabra)
3. If You Know Where To Go (using KP Felici in Green Veggies)
4. Gardener's Socks (using Malabrigo Sock in Indiacita)

Stranded Knitting
1. University of Wisconsin Ski Hat
2. University of Wisconsin Christmas Stocking
3. University of Wisconsin Button Beanie
4. Xanadu Snowflake Cowl

Christmas/Charity Bin
1. 198 yds. of Heaven (worsted; any colors)
2. Phillip and Mr. Grum (sock yarn; any colors)
3. Comfort Food (Aran; solid)
4. Fine Fella (worsted; solid or semi-solid)
5. November Leaves (Shelter from stash) *need pattern*
6. Skinner Hat (sock; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*
7. The Shoemaker's Hat (bulky; solid or semi-solid) *need pattern*
8. Roll Out The Barrels (cotton; any colors)
9. Sweeny Todd Scarf (worsted; any colors)
10. The Snowmen Cometh (worsted; any colors)
11. Sunburst Dishcloth (cotton; any colors)
12. Starfish Cloth (cotton; any colors)
13. Seamless Circular Cloth (cotton; any colors)
14. Tombreck (Aran/worsted; solid or semi-solid)
15. Premie Spiral Hat (for hospital donations - sport or DK; any colors)

1. Ice Somethingsomething (knit prototype and pattern for submission)
2. Susan's Hat (make proper - photos, pattern, etc.; knit new prototype from Babs K2 from Stitches)
3. Little Man's Baby Blanket (make proper - photos, pattern, etc.)
4. Paradiddle Socks (knit prototype - see "Items for ME")
5. Pacific Waves Hat (knit prototypes in various weights/sizes, pattern for submission? self-publish?) *I've started this*
6. Stormageddon's Baby Blanket (design process, knit prototype, etc.)

1. Given that TdF happened and I SPUN ALL THE YARNS, I think I'm going to take a break from spinning for a bit...Viktor needs a tune-up anyway.

Other (for things that are fibery/crafty in nature but not specific to knitting or spinning)
1. Organize my handmade stitch markers
2. Make more stitch markers (to sell? donate? hoard?)
3. Organize my books/magazines/loose patterns. *started*

With TdF finishing up today, I suspect that I'm going to be pondering my next knitting project and with Ravellenics coming up in less than two weeks......well, I need to get my planning for that in order. I already anticipate a cowl of some sort, probably my own design, using the rainbow gradient...because that one is just mocking me and begging to be made into something. But I know I'm going to need something other than that. We'll see what I come up with.

In California life, I feel like not much has been happening, really. I know that's not true, but it's summer and that's just what it feels like.

Firstly, this is what happens when the parents ditch the children and have a night out. Granted, this is not all of us and it was quite early but we went out last Saturday night. Woo. And yes, I have an orange in my mouth because, of course.

On Sunday, I spent some time learning how to Andean Ply (I learned by watching the video from Mielke's, which is a spinning shop back in Wisconsin that I only knew from Wisconsin Sheep & Wool). That was the easiest part of my day. Last Saturday saw the decimation of our kitchen faucet, which we replaced on Sunday. Well, Husband replaced it...and that was not a fun time. We originally thought we might be able to replace a broken part. The part was right but there were other unforeseen issues, which led to buying a whole new faucet. ::sigh::

Because of all that excitement, Husband wound up working from home on Monday, which meant we went out to lunch at Famous Dave's. 

Yes, this is how we roll at Famous Dave's. The boys colored and actually did attempt to eat their food and, thus, earned their Oreos for dessert. 

We also wandered to Ikea for a few things. Stormageddon doesn't have a proper closet in his room. I mean, there's a closet there but we have used it as storage since we bought the house. It has our vacuum, carpet washer, the leaves for the fancy dining room table, my grandmother's accordion, all the baby clothes that don't fit or won't fit for a year or so, the baby swing & pack-n-play...blah blah blah. In short, Stormageddon needs someplace for his clothes and such that isn't the dresser. So, we bought this:

Brimnes three door wardrobe (image from Ikea)

I've not put it together yet I will probably get around to it this week. Or, rather, I hope that's what happens. We also picked up another Ivar storage system like this (but just one section, not two):

Ivar (image from Ikea)
We're going to put his beer stuff in/on it and turn the bottom part into a cooling system (not quite a fridge, but close) so he can make lagers. Exciting times. We've started staining this one, at least. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty benign days around here. Errands, spinning, lots of movies, playing outside, the usual things that happen. 

The boys and I went across the Bay on Thursday afternoon for a birthday party. When we moved to Alameda, California four years ago, I was taken in by a group of stay-at-home-moms that were also knitters. Of course, we've moved across to the other side of the Bay but we still get together on occasion (more and more rare as our kids are getting older and into schools and such)...but, we still have birthdays so we went over for a party. The boys had a blast. It was low-key, at a park (which had a PokeStop, bonus!)...the only downside was the drive because traffic is such a mess around here. It's only 20 miles away but it took an hour to get there...even longer to get home. 

I had to keep a closer eye on Stormageddon, hence photos of him from the party. The boys both required showers when we got home that night. 

On Friday morning, we took Husband to work, dropped off some chef's jackets for embroidering, and went PokeStop hunting....really, went to the cupcake shop but there were a bunch of PokeStops on the way, which helped.

No photos of the actual cupcakes because I accidentally tipped the box enough that we had a bit of a delicious mess. It could have been worse. I was hoping to take photos but....yeah, they weren't pretty when I opened up the box. ::sigh:: 

We also had a playdate with our friends from Fremont, which is always.....well, lovely isn't the right word but the boys had fun. 

Little Man also discovered a new box to make into....something. I honestly don't know what he did to the box but it involved cutting some things. Whatever. He's occupied and not causing damage. 

Yesterday, we went to the zoo for a little while. Again, the photos are of Stormageddon because he needs the escort.

After that, we had a proper cookout with brats and hot dogs, again with our friends from Fremont (they also went to the zoo with us). The afternoon found us in the pool for a little while, some laundry, the usual Saturday things. 

Oh, and I took this photo of the Pacific Ocean yesterday morning. Instead of parking in the zoo parking lot (for $12), we parked across the street, near some sand dunes. 

There were plenty of surfers out, as well as some fisherman, and lots of people with dogs. It was also pretty cloudy/foggy, the waves were awesome, and it was a little chilly, actually. We left our house and it was 70F; it was 58F where we parked the car. 

Oh, and Husband decided to make a little container of pear cider. 

Unfortunately, it was such an active brew that we had to switch out the ventilation system because the yeast actually bubbled up into the unit. So, we had to attach a hose into another container (just in case it leaks). It's still fermenting quite a bit. Once it calms down, he can put it into containers. We'll see how things go.

OH, I totally forgot to mention....speaking of Husband's brewing.....we had an accident in the kegorator this week. Husband and I both noticed a smell in the back room and we just thought the beers in the kegs were extra beer-y. Then I noticed something on the floor by the kegorator. It was wet...which means it came from something. Husband put too much pressure in one of the beers in the kegorator....and it went splooooosh all over the carpet in the back room. Five GALLONS of homebrew. We caught it early enough that it had only juuuuust started to mold under the wheel of the kegorator. I've washed the carpet several times and each time, the water comes out absolutely filthy, which I call a win because it means I'm dragging it up. I figure once the water runs clear when I dump it, it's clean enough. Then we can start putting the room back together. 

Exciting times around here. Husband is off from work this week (forced shutdown) so we'll probably do a bunch of random things...putting the armoire together, getting the beer storage figured out (if the carpet is clean enough), cleaning, maybe taking a day trip down to Monterrey, who knows. 

I hope you're all having a lovely weekend and such :)


  1. I'm very impressed by your spinning. Must be so rewarding to do all that spinning then to be able to sit down and create beautiful projects

    1. It'll be more rewarding if I actually get around to using my handspun...

  2. Look at all that spinning! How much work it looks to be. I admire spinners. (I think I have said that before LOL) Now to see what you make with all of your spun fiber. Beer making is an art too. My brother used to do it. Some of the best beer I have had, but it had quite a kick to it. Your boys are so cute. The youngest looks like he has a bit of mischief in him. But still adorable.

    1. I think Stormageddon's the one that's going to require trips to the hospital. He thinks he can do everything his big brother can, sometimes resulting in injuries. He's smacked his head on things more than once. Poor little monkey.

  3. The colours you are spinning are always gorgeous. Do you dye your own wool? Your kids are super cute.

    1. If I get into one of the classes I want for Stitches West, dyeing my own wool could become a thing.....which I don't think Husband will appreciate.

  4. Make some videos of you spinning. I want to see the process and also see how you 2-ply it or whatever it's called. Pear cider. That brings back memories; when my BFF and I used to have dinner at our homeboy family's Japanese restaurant, we would always drink pear cider.

    1. Oh just come over and you can watch it. I can't hold the phone and spin for video. I could maybe get away with plying on video...I think I did that at the beginning of TdF. I know the video posted on my Instagram but maybe it didn't work here.

  5. I'm curious what thwacking and smacking are (in reference to yarn ;). I suppose I could look it up, but it would be so much more interesting "hearing" you explain. Your yarns are beautiful!

    1. Basically, I soak the yarn in the sink with some wool wash (Eucalan, because it's what I have on hand), maybe 15 minutes, maybe overnight. Whatever. Then I squeeze the water out of it as I empty the sink (no wringing because you could maybe felt something and that wouldn't be fun), wrap it up in a towel, and stomp on it. It works best to do that part barefoot because otherwise you end up with wet socks or shoes. Once that's done, I unwrap my yarn, arrange it as if it were going onto a swift or someone were going to hand wind it, and then I just yank my arms outward, thus snapping it. I do it several times and I move the skein around in a circle. When that's done, I hold onto one end and start smacking it on the counter in the bathroom. I move it around for that, also. After that, I might give it a few more snaps, but usually I don't. Then I hang it up to dry, usually unweighted unless it's still trying to twist onto itself. Depending on how fat the skein is, I might have to shift it around so it dries properly. The idea is that it helps balance your yarn, fluffs it up, and evens it out...and maybe takes enough of the overtwist out so it doesn't twist back onto itself.

  6. I just love seeing all your spinning, you seem to get so much done. Sounds like you've had some exciting happenings but I hear you on the summer, far more relaxed so it feels like not much is happening.

    1. This is probably the only spinning I'll get done for a year. Don't be too impressed.

  7. That is awesome looking yarn you are spinning. Gorgeous colour. xox

    1. I hope I like it all when it's finished.

  8. I had no idea you were a spinner! Gorgeous fibers! I would like to learn but it will be with a spindle at first. You have been busy for sure and it all sounded like fun until the kegonator accident! But at least you have clean carpet now. I wish we had cool weather here but it is hot and humid...typical Southern summer. I can't wait for Fall and Winter! The boys are so cute and getting bigger. I remember when your oldest was just a baby.....time flies when you're having fun! Good luck in the Ravellenics!

    1. I don't spin very often because I'm not that good and I wasn't sure what Stormageddon was going to do with the wheel. So far, he's been really good about it. I do make sure to put it away when I'm not using it, however, in case he gets a bug in his pants to be like Mama. I started out on a spindle but I didn't like it. Too much stopping/starting for me.

  9. You are an eclectic family. Beer and spinning! Ever at the same time? lol
    Congrats on your Tour de Fleece accomplishments. I hope Victor's tune-up is easy-peasy!

    1. Husband is an engineer. He's always got ideas in his head. Sometimes, the ideas are good...execution, on the other hand, maybe not so good.

  10. Fantastic spinning, it all sounds splendid. And some knitting too, well done.

  11. Gorgeous spinning! Looks like you are making good progress. I'mg lad you are getting out just the two of you, sounds like it was a fun evening (the faucet issue later on definitely not fun). The boys looked so focused on their placemats at the restaurant, amazing! They are adorable.

  12. Hi Mama. Thanks for the 411 on room window air conditioners. It did pass the husband's mind recently as it was freakin' hot with that 100+°; totally whacked. I'm loving this 80 today. And test knitting sounds really fun. I've only done that twice looong ago with a stranded giraffe baby hat and a macaroon toy. I will make room for that next year.