Celtic Cable

Celtic Cable

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Finished Socklets!

Finally finished some little socks I've had on the needles a while!


These are called "Coquette," from Socks 2 at a Time. I knit them one at a time, though. I have made 2aaT socks before, and it was a bit tedious.

I am also working on a simple one-piece shrug:


There's a pattern, but I don't have it linked. It's one of those large squares that you sew arms into. We'll see!

And here is my current conundrum:


I have 1,000 meters of this Noro. I was going to make a pullover, but those of you who are familiar with Noro ... well, it's kind of scratchy, isn't it? I'm currently scouring all of my pattern books and old Vogue Knitting magazines, searching for some sort of wrap to make with it. I thought 1,000 meters was a lot ... but turns out it isn't really.


I leave you with a cute picture of a cute kitty hanging out under the herbs and Black-Eyed Susan vine.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Sabbatical

Well, not a real sabbatical ... I just got involved in a big project and everything else went by the wayside!

I have been barely knitting, but I did at least start a second sock:


I just haven't been sitting enough to be knitting!

So what was my big project? Well, right after Tour de Fleece ended, I started feeling the urge to go through my house and de-clutter. REALLY de-clutter, not just put things away. I don't know what triggered this urge, but I am very, very grateful for it! I've made 3 trips to Salvation Army donation locations and put out 5 big bags of trash. I donated almost all of my CD collection, and half of my books (I'm a big fan of libraries, so it's no biggie). I've gone through every closet except one (and that one isn't too bad), and I feel so much better it's unbelievable. You know how clutter gets out of hand? Maybe you have a spare room and you just keep shutting the door so you don't see the mess? That's how I've been for years. I suddenly just couldn't stand it any longer! The clutter was controlling me, and it was winning!

I shredded a mountain of old papers, recycled another mountain, rearranged my living room, and went through my yarn stash. I got rid of silly stuff from college (just 10 years ago, I was a late starter) that I was hanging on to for no reason.

I emptied all the random bags of yarn and fiber, and now I can see how much I have. The stash is down to this:

The bottom is excess yarn or acrylic that will be made into cat mats for the winter. The top (it's a bit messy, I know) is the Tour de Fleece I just finished. I'm just going to make a big messy throw with the TdF yarn, to lay on the couch.

And here's the rest (excuse the odd angle, the bedroom walls are only about 5 feet apart), just the basket and the tall bureau. That's it! I feel so much better now that I have been through the whole house (1,000 sq ft) and I know what is in every drawer, and on every shelf. I even went through 9 photo albums and ruthlessly trashed most of the nonessential photos (random stuff I really didn't treasure--again, no biggie). I was just holding on to things out of habit, not need.





I still have to sort and file important papers for the file drawer and clean out the back porch, but other than that and a couple cupboards, I'm just about done! Next, I go shopping for new living room furniture. I have to get rid of my storage-capable coffee table, because that's just asking for clutter accumulation!

So that's been what has kept me busy since right after TdF ended. It was like a madness that just grabbed me and consumed me, and I am SO happy I did it. I was just feeling so pressured, and couldn't relax at home. I hated going into the "clutter" bedroom for anything. Now it's all tidy and neat! As pleased as I am that I decluttered, I'm irked that I let it get so far out of hand. I must be more vigilant about what I bring into the house, so that this doesn't happen again.


Molly Cat doesn't really care if it's cluttered or not, so long as she has a nice warm lamp to lay under.












I hope to catch up with what you all have been up to -- I've missed the blogs.

I'll leave you with a super-dorky picture of me running.


If I had a super power, it would be dorkiness


Of course, I kept up my exercise during the 'sabbatical.' This is a woman's 5k, for which I managed to set a personal record of 29:03. Right before my 45th birthday. The woman who won? 43 years old, came in at 19 minutes. WOW. 

Thanks for stopping by! I'm going to go right now and visit a bunch of blogs to catch up! 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tour de France Finale

Well, it's almost done, anyway! Just a couple more days.


I have been spinning everything as fluffily as possible, so this is all very plush, squishy yarn. No idea what I'm going to do with it, but I am really happy to have finally spun up all the samples I bought some years back. There are still a few days in the Tour, so I will be spinning up the odds and ends I have laying around.

It's been an odd summer here in the East. It hasn't really even been summer -- more like a warm spring. I love it, I have the windows open as much as I use the AC.

I have to confess something. I am getting afraid of these sunflowers.


How much bigger are they going to get?!


And who is this fella?

Everything else is manageable this year, thanks to the not-so-hot weather.

























I didn't know spiders were cannibals ...kinda disturbing.



Gotta keep an eye on the gate. Lord knows the dog won't do it. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Tour de France, Week II

The Tour, Week II. This is the total I've spun since the Tour began.


Zucchini shown for scale. 

Spinning at least one bobbin a day, I have worked through all the "crap" fiber, I think, and now I can turn to the nicer lot ... alpaca, camel, merino.  As I've been going through the house during the last week or so, rooting around for cheap yarn with which to make cat mats ... I've found a lot more unspun fiber. I just kept tucking it here and there, thinking I'd remember. Well -- I don't have that great a memory. So until the Tour is over, I'm going to spin a bobbin a day, at least. Today I spun 4 bobbins. I'm really hoping to get through most of my stash by the end of the Tour, and then I'll try to figure out what to do with it all!

I've been knitting very little. I've decided to rework one large WIP into something different, but the spinning has kept me busy so I haven't gotten to it yet. 

---

We have had a very strange summer on the Eastern Seaboard ... it hasn't reached average summertime temperatures yet. We have a few really hot days, then it rained and the weather went back to cooler-than-normal. It's been great for my electric bill, but my garden is not exploding like it normally would be in mid-July. 


Except the sunflowers. They're going nuts. 


Black-Eyed Susan vine. They don't really look like the traditional Black-Eyed Susans, but they're very pretty. 


Elephant Ears, lost in the Hosta flowers. 


Annabelle Lee, Georgie Girl, and Spot (in front of Georgie) enjoying a cool summer evening! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tour de Fleece, Week One

This is only my second Tour de Fleece ... it's difficult for me to get into spinning when it's in the mid-90s outside!


My TdF goal is pretty small ... I just want to spin up some slubby, vm-filled roving I bought when I was too new to spinning to understand what to look for. Once/if that gets finished in time, I'll start in on the nice stuff, like alpaca and merino! I have a lot (a LOT) of fiber, plus a lot of already-spun fiber needing a project! It seems like for years I just accumulated the material and didn't actually do anything with it all! I figure I'll make a doggie mat with the substandard yarn I make from the slubby roving.



I'm currently massively destashing all my acrylic/part-acrylic yarn into cat mats. Once that is done, I'm going to work on some sort of massive project to use up a dozen or so skeins of sample yarn in various colors. Then I'll tackle the handspun. I want to get to the point where if I want to knit a project larger than a square, I'll have to actually go out and buy yarn. I don't want to be a hoarder any more.

In other news, my sunflowers are doing great...


A friend of mine and I went to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival last weekend. It featured Kenya and China.


While in D.C., we also visited the Botanic Gardens. It was a beautiful day to be out in our nation's capital. 


I'm not fat, I'm big-boned! (No, she's not preggers. Just fat.)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Grandmother's Quilts


I recently visited my Dad in the Great State of Texas, and while I was there, my Aunt Sandy offered me the last couple of my late Grandmother's enormous cache of hand-made quilts. My Grandmother won ribbons at the Calcasieu Parish Fair back in the 80s (she died in 1989), and she made many, many quilts throughout her life. She had a quilt frame suspended over her bed, and when she wanted to quilt, she lowered it on its pulleys and sat by her bed and patiently -- so patiently -- stitched. I remember baskets of cloth remnants by her chair in the den (I don't think she used store-bought quarters).

I tried to quilt, I really did, but I am just a terrible seamstress. I once sewed an article of clothing onto my own pant leg. And my quilt squares were just never even. Anyway, I am now lucky enough to own four "Grandma quilts." A diagonal-patterned red one that I got when I was too young to remember getting it, another with a sort of pinwheel pattern I was given when I was a young adult, and now these two:








I don't know what these patterns are called, sorry ...



Aren't they gorgeous? I am looking for a quilt rack, so I can display them until winter. I can't imagine how many hours it took to make each one of them, then to sit by the bed and carefully stitch it all together.

Creativity runs in the family, though. My first-cousins-once-removed, young adults themselves, have a fabulous Etsy store which I am shamelessly going to promote. It's called The Evergreen Nest and is focused on fairies and that which pleases fairies!

I got these lovely items from Evergreen Nest:


I took the mushroom and the three ladybugs to work, and set them up on my desk with two of the ladybugs crawling around the mushroom cap. I swear they come alive at night ... when I come in most mornings, the biggest ladybug has moved a little! 

So, on to knitting issues ... 


Well, spinning issues. Tour de Fleece is starting the day after tomorrow. I did it once before, a few years back, and haven't since. To be honest, I haven't used my spinning wheel in quite some time! I think it's time to dust Esmerelda off and give her a good oiling, and then spin up some fiber for TdF. I do have a lot to spin. A lot to clean, card, and blend, too. I don't know that I'll want to do that in July, but I think I should have a go at some spinning.


In closing ... a sweet little recipient of one of the many cat mats I've been making lately. This little sweetie is at the Petco in Columbia, MD, snoozing on the top left. They had six kittens in the adoption cages. Very sleepy, smug kittens.












Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Mad DeStash

Greetings! I know I haven't posted in a couple weeks ... this time of year, the knitting just slides for the gardening and other summer fun stuff.

The garden is doing great!


I'm ready for some tomatoes now, though. Getting a bit tired of the zukes.

I am currently knitting two projects, but the other day I was looking for something and came across a plastic bag full of yarn. I'd relocated a bunch of half-assed finished projects to this bag and dumped it in a closet. I decided that enough was enough. Enough yarn hoarding! Enough undone project hoarding!

I went through the stash and gathered every bit of acrylic, part-acrylic, fun fur, eyelash, everything I bought mostly when I first started knitting because I thought it was cute, and didn't realize it was impractical. For example, knitting with fun fur is so awful, the only thing that kept me from outright pitching it is my frugal Yankee nature. (I blame that nature for my pack-rat tendencies, too). I gathered it all up, along with the Lion Brand Thick-and-Quick half-skeins, and went on a massive cat mat bender. I donate these cat mats to a local no-kill shelter.


I made eight over a few days. I've got two more done, and I think I could make four or five if I go through and really shake the stash. All the little remnants, the old Red Heart and Vanna's Choice, the part skeins...when I first started knitting, I wanted everything. So I bought everything, even if I had no plans for it. I bought armfuls of acrylic, because I was practicing and had big plans. I did the same with unspun fiber, so one day soon there will be a massive spinning-knitting marathon, once I figure out what to do with it.

I will be so glad to get the stash down to just a few choice, higher quality yarns. Then I can work on de-stashing that! A few years back I bought a Knit Picks sampler. Fine yarn, almost like sock yarn, but 100% wool. I've got to come up with something fabulous to do with that. That won't be for cat mats.

Thanks for stopping by!