Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spinning epiphany and a Knitting FO!

I had a minor epiphany today while spinning. I have been spinning with the short draw technique for a while, but I've not been very pleased with it. So I did some research on ravelry, google and youtube. I love the youtube videos that you can find for spinning. There are some that explain things and there are those that just show.

I read up on the long draw and tried it. Disaster. Couldn't make it do a thing. I watched the videos of it. It worked a little better. But the epiphany came when I loosened the scotch tension so that it wasn't pulling the yarn up onto the bobbin until I "helped" it along with my left hand. I also learned when to tighten my fiber holding hand and when to loosen it up. Wow, what a difference it made. I'm now spinning softer thinner yarn! Very cool.

I apologize if I've had few FOs lately. I know they've been few and far between, but that happens when you have kids around during the summer.

For the record, I'm soooooo ready for school to start. Aug 7th is the date for the Eldest to start and the Youngest will begin pre-school just a few weeks later. I can't wait.

I do, however, have a FO for you today. I know that I said that the Kitty Pi would be distraction knitting only, but it turns out that I can't knit the wedding shawl with the Youngest around. It's just too complicated and the Youngest is a huge distraction.

This is a good example of the kind of distraction he is:

The cats are ready for school too. Their tails are sore.
But there is some cuteness to be found. Especially at naptime:
Sound asleep with a trader joe's balloon for company

So, Kitty Pi was complete as of last night.
Inverted Kitty Pi
When upright, all you see are the pink sides, not the white and blue stuff on the bottom. but only because I ran out of the white and blue.

1 out of 3 kitties approves.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

before, during and almost finished

The cedar chest is proceeding slowly, but fairly well. Want to see what it looks like now?

First here's a couple of befores:
Before w/ Stripper on it

After Stripping

And here it is now:
After one coat of stain

Big difference huh?

I sanded it down again and have applied a second coat of stain. I'm ready to start the polywhateverthane next. I've also been working on the lid and I'm almost ready to thane it too. I've got some rough spots to sand down and restain on it first though.

I can't wait to get this thing finished and put my stash in it!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Knitting Want List

There's so much that I want to accomplish with my knitting before I die.

Here's my want list:

I want to design a custom sweater.
I want to knit well enough that I can get gauge - both stitch and row, every time I pick up a needle.
I want more time to knit.
I want to be the knitter that can make a sweater that fits her every time she sits down to knit a sweater.
I want to be free of extra WIPs.
I want people to be in awe of the finished products.
I want to design a shoe. No, really.
I want to learn how to write a pattern that will fit multiple sizes. (No clue on that one).
I want to knit fast. then faster.
I want to be a better blogger about knitting.
I want to work with all types of fibers.
I want to knit with what I spin.
I want to have the money to knit what I want, especially silk and cashmere.
I want to knit things that have no deadline.
I want to be able to knit without a lifeline being a necessity.

I should have done this list in January, but as a New Year's resolution, it would fall way short. I need time, more time! One day, I will have accomplished everything on the list and then the list will morph and I'll still be left with a list. It'll just be a new list. I hate lists.

Anyway, I have two new WIPs to show you. This now makes for about 6 unfinished projects.

The first has a deadline. My cousin is getting married in September. So, I am making her a wedding shawl. It's the Baltic Sea Stole. I'm doing this with SRK Ovation, a kid mohair and silk mix.

The second is something that I've been wanting to do for a while now. The Kitty Pi. I'm using all of my beginner hand spun for it. Most of it is singles that were incredibly bulky. So bulky that if they were plied with anything else they'd end up being ropes. I'm also adding in a few leftovers from other projects and some of the hand spun yarn that I made early on as well. I don't have much more to do and it will be a great mindless knit to go to when I'm about to scream from looking at all that lacework.

Oh, and just for smiles, look what I found in the Living Room toy box today:

Monday, July 07, 2008

Dog Crisis

At the end of last week we had a dog crisis. Cessna,

Wishing the photographer would go away...
a 16 year old (that's right, 16 years old) spaniel mix who is incredibly cute, has a couple of slipped discs. She was walking like she was drunk and she was in so much pain her back was arched like a spooked cat's. I found out that this is the fetal position of the dog world.

This lead to a major dilemma. There were three choices:

1. operate
2. drugs
3. euthanasia

At this point the important thing is quality of life versus quantity of life. It would be crazy for us to operate on a dog that is 16 years old. Not going to happen. I decided to go with the drugs. At best, its only a temporary fix. Her spine will never be fixed and she will be in pain again. I don't want her to live in that kind of pain again. It won't be long before we have to put her down. I'm gearing up for it. She's been in our lives as long as we've been married. We rescued her from the pound about a month after the wedding and that was almost twelve years ago. So sad.

To offset the sadness, how about a 9 month old puppy?

Silly puppy

News tomorrow about two knitting projects!