Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Enjoying the sun

I'm sitting here reading emails before breakfast and enjoying the sunshine outside the front window. Nice, but I woke up with a sore throat. With all the talking I do at work, this is not a good thing. And if I need to take time off, I have to see my doctor (who has just notified us she has to go to part time because of her medical issues so I have to find a new caregiver), get a prescription and documentation. Bush rewrote the FMLA so doctors can't prescribe basic care such as bedrest, OTC meds, fluids, etc. and order time off work. Now they have to write a prescription for prescription-only drugs - not acceptable for folks like me who prefer to use a minimum of drugs and use natural care practices only. Thank you, Bush-whacker, again! Encouraging the growth of drug-resistant bugs is not my idea of good health care or government practice.

On the knitting front, I finished the knitting on the body of my Rosemarkie vest last night and have set it aside until I can get together with at least of one of my students. I want to show them how I do a three-needle bind-off for the shoulders (which aren't going to match but I'm cool with that), and then crochet the steeks before picking up the ribbings and cutting the steeks open.

While I'm waiting, I'll work on my January Aran, which should finish up fairly quickly as I'm doing it from the top down FLAK style and I'm using Aran weight yarn on size 10 needles. At this point I'm down to working on the body - both sleeves are done and tied with yarn so they don't flop around and get messy.

DH just let me know breakfast is ready so I need to get off here. I did want to let folks know that Blacksheep Bingo is open for signups for those who are going to Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, OR. There is a group on Ravelry or you can go to the Black Sheep Bingo website http://blacksheepbingo.com/about/

I got off work early today to come home, drink chicken broth, take pills, and try to get ahead of whatever bug has finally bitten me. I was so happy having gotten through the winter without getting sick and yesterday afternoon my left tonsil started getting scratchy sore and this morning my throat is really raw - ah, poot!

Anyway, now I have some time while I lounge on the couch with my broth to add some pictures of what I've been doing. First up is my Nine-to-Five socks, pattern on Ravelry for free. I really love wearing these socks as they fit my feet so well and the colors go with almost every thing I wear. Definitely a great sock pattern, well written and easy to follow, and so comfortable to wear.

Next is a picture of the mini mittens I made for Christmas gifts for my family this year. The pattern is on Ravelry (actually there are several free patterns for mini mittens to choose from) and were great for using up sock yarn leftovers. I always save ten yards of sock yarn for repairs, feeling that if I need more the socks are history, and then find ways to use up any leftovers. I've made myself, my DH, and some of his family what I call oddball socks, where I knit both socks on two sets of dpns at the same time with each end of the leftover yarn. That way both socks have the same number of rounds of each yarn on them so they match. The family loved having the mittens tied on the ribbon of their packages!

This is my new Merlin Tree hitchhiker wheel I picked up from layaway at Woodland Woolworks when we got our tax refund. I also bought the travel bag that is designed for it. It is made in Vermont, with mixed hardwoods, uses an Ashford flyer and bobbins, and is single treadle direct drive. There are three black wheels you use to change the speed ratio, you can see the other two on the built in lazy kate. I got the wheel and Woodland Woolworks included a pound of white Corriedale top, a full bottle of oil, and a bottle of wood wax, along with a $20.00 Craft Cash certificate. Since my DH is now spinning with my original Louet wheel and hasn't found a wheel he would like besides my Louet, I decided it was time for me to get a second wheel so we could both spin on wheels at the shows and events we go to. While I drop spindle so had a back up, he doesn't like spindling because it's slower than wheel spinning, lol. So I picked this wheel out for me to use, with my Louet as a back up for plying large amounts. I love this wheel!

This is a pair of basic mens socks I made for DH's stepdad for his birthday in February. When I find the pic I took of his Mom's birthday socks, I'll post it but I didn't see it in a quick search. I did take a pic, just have to find it (and organize my photos into better albums instead of date uploaded).

And last but most certainly not least is DH's sweater. This is my version of AS' Norway from her 'Fishermens Sweaters' book, using DH's handspun white Corriedale worsted weight yarn and black CorriedaleXTarghee sport weight yarn. I'm sure you noticed that the weights are different. He didn't spin the two fleeces with the intention of them being knit together, so I had quite the challenge to get the tension even knitting this Fair Isle style. I started it on October 15th, 2008 for the Mara_class KAL on yahoo and finished it last week. He has washed and blocked it on the wooly board and will now sew the buttons on. He did have me swing by the fabric store in Portland when I was up there on Saturday visiting my Mom to pick up one more card of buttons, hehehe. I had suggested he buy more when we picked them out several weeks ago but he thought he had enough. So now when he decided he wanted the buttons closer together, they only had one card left. Trying to reorder buttons in the same color and style is just about impossible these days. I had talked with the button person at the shop several months ago trying to match buttons for a friend's coat, and she explained that they can never count on the colors matching, even with the same dyelot or production run, whatever they call it in button making. But as you can see the sweater fits him perfectly and he's totally happy with it.

Which is good, as my knitting for the next several months will be finishing up WIPs that have been languishing while I knit on his sweater. Let's see; Erin, Amphora, January Aran, Pacific Northwest shawl, and Rosemarkie for the class I'm teaching at a local yarn shop. Then I need to make several pairs of socks for myself. I gave away about all of the ones that had six inch legs, as I've found I prefer seven inch legs under my uniform pants. Also, the six inch ones were my oldest socks and starting to get thin in places. So I have some friends who love hand knit socks but either don't have time with small children to make them, or haven't learned to knit socks yet. I gift them the socks with the repair yarn I have saved and they are very happy campers. I get the perfect excuse to knit myself new socks so we all win!

Happy knitting!