Friday, August 29, 2008

Off again!

The kids and I are off on a three day weekend at the lake while Daddy goes out with his drinkin' buddies for a guys' weekend. He hasn't had one of those in years. He's so excited, it's kinda cute.

Have a safe and fun Labor Day! See ya Tuesday.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fleece fun

Well, I played hooky with the knitting last night. Didn't pick it up once. However, I did play with other sheepy stuff.

I decided to go ahead and wash all the rest of the fleece from the fleece study that I'm doing. Every time I would open the cedar chest, it smelled like a farm. I really don't want all of my yarn and fiber smelling like the farm, so out it came.

This is what my dining room table looks like now.

And it stinks to high heaven. Smells like wet, stinky sheep fur. Yuck.

Here's what I've learned so far with the fleece study.

1. Most raw fleece is gross. It contains, poop, urine, dirt and various vegetable matter.
2. I used extremely hot water to help melt the grease off of it. That worked best for me. I've read all sorts of stuff about using cold or luke warm water, but the hot did the job. On most of these I had to do three washes and three rinses.
3. I don't like the power scour or fiber wash stuff. The one product that really worked to get the dirt and grease out? Dawn dishwashing detergent.
4. If you are doing a bunch of samples, have more than one lingerie bag handy (I did) so that you can do two at once. Takes forever with just one.
5. Be ready to shoo the cats off the table at least a hundred times. They are incredibly fascinated with wet sheep fur. The dogs prefer the disgusting poo filled fleece. Cats are definitely more intelligent than dogs and that's just more proof of it right there.

I've only spun up two of the fleeces in the study so far. As soon as the samples on the table are dry, they'll go into a labeled gal. size ziplock bag and will be put away until I can get around to carding or combing.

A card came in the study for each type of sample fleece. You are supposed to wash and clean the fleece, card it, spin it, knit a swatch from it and then attach the sample to the card. That's what you're supposed to do. I don't know that I'll do that.

I will spin it up and I will take notes on the cards. But I feel like swatching would be a waste of perfectly good yarn. I will probably use it in some small projects instead. I would rather do the work and have a product to show for all the work I've done. Does that make me a bad student? :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Free at last, free at last, etc...

Oh Glorious Freedom! The freedom of having all the children in school (for at least 3 hours twice a week anyway.) You have no idea how great it feels.

The funny thing about it? Another mom, who happens to be my best buddy and has a kid in the same 2 year old class as The Youngest, hooked up with me to go play while the kids were in school. We dropped them off and then looked at each other as said, "Now what are we gonna do?" We were completely at a loss. Neither of us are used to having zero children hanging on us!

We opted for coffee and a pedicure. What fun! Caramel lattes, Massage chairs, Pretty toes and Adult conversation, who could ask for more?

As far as knitting goes, I have just a little more to go and I'll be finished with the first half of the W tank top. I'll have an in depth report on that tomorrow. For now, I'll leave you with the Youngest's first day of school pic. It's the only one that I was able to get, he's not one for standing still and smiling. Notice the lovely bruise above his right eye. A big brother, a ride-on bus, a beanbag and a plastic table were all involved. Don't ask. :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Selfish Project!

After knitting lace for someone else for the past month and a half, I began a purely selfish project for myself:
I heart these colors
This is one quarter of the W sweater by Kristi Porter. I'm using the Debbie Mumm Traditions yarn in Heather Haze. This is knit sideways with tons of short rows. I love how this is striping, how the colors fade into each other. And, a bonus of sorts, how the stripes are vertical. Gotta love slimming vertical stripes.

There are two pieces to the tank. I'm about halfway finished with the front (or the back depending on which side I like better.)

I had to frog a portion of it. The pattern isn't quite clear on the short row stuff. If I had been paying attention and remembering how to do short rows on socks, I wouldn't have had to frog and start over. I forgot to pick up the wraps on the stitches and the wraps stuck out like a sore thumb because of it. Oops. So, after a few colorful words once I realized what had happened, it got ripped back and I began again, this time remembering to pick up the wraps. Can't I have just one project go without any mistakes made in it? Just once? Please?

It feels like I'm flying through this pattern. Of course, that could be because I've been immersed in lace weight yarn for the past month and a half too. Let's hear it for the instant gratification projects! Yay!
Ride like the wind Bullseye!
The Youngest has discovered Toy Story 2. Notice the Woody doll on the back of the horse. :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

'Tis Done!

The Wedding Stole aka Baltic Sea Stole is finished! I'm so proud of this project. I hope the bride loves it as much as I do. I'd keep it, but I can't fit into my wedding dress anymore, won't even fit over my thighs. :)

Here's two shots I managed to get with all the poor weather that hurricane Fay has dumped on the Southeast. Please click to enlarge for a more intimate view!

Artsy Pose

Atop the table pose

Details: Baltic Sea Stole by Faina M. Letoutchaia
Needle Size: US 8
Yarn: Ovation by S. R. Kertzer, colorway: 2140, used 3.1 skeins
Beads: white pearl glass E beads purchased from the evil WalMart.
Made for: my cousin Emily's Wedding
Began: July 7, 2008
Completed: August 21, 2008