Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Spinning Extravaganza

Hello again. I keep thinking about my poor neglected blog but I just haven't gotten back to it. Handsome hubby was sick with a cold last week and demanded a lot of attention so I didn't get a whole lot of knitting or spinning time. Or time to myself really. When he wasn't home (which he was a lot, he stayed home a couple of days) he was calling me from work to talk about how sick he was. It's so funny how they seem like adults and really, in many ways, they're still very big children.

I did finally manage to finish the first bobbin of my Knitgirllls SAL fiber from Fiber Optic Yarns. It's the Rouge Violet Cerulean gradient in 80% merino 20% silk and while I love it so much, some of those colors seemed to take forever. It took me a long time to spin this bobbin, lots of spinning hours in there, because it spun so fine. The end is left fuzzy on purpose so I can find it again.

It really is lovely and I'm slowly working on the second bobbin but that won't be very interesting, it looks just like the first.

I did take a little bit of a break while spinning the Fiber Optic to turn this:

into this:

It's my Babydoll Southdown from My Little Sheep (I really cannot recommend them enough. A font of information about spinning the yarn, adorable pictures, great, reasonable prices and lovely, lovely stuff!) and I love it so much. It's not super duper soft like Merino and it's an unusual texture but the nature of the fiber, with the crimp going in all directions rather than straight lines, makes it a fun spin and a super bouncy yarn. I purchased it for the Expand Your Horizons Spinalong in the Knitgirllls group and have decided that Expand Your Horizons is Very Dangerous because now I'm daydreaming about a sweater's worth of this lovely fiber. Wouldn't it be beautiful with lots of lovely cables? I pulled the braid apart into 3 pieces (not the long way, the short way) and spun 3 bobbins, then did a traditional 3-ply. The second, smaller skein is what was left on 2 of the bobbins, navajo-plied. I can't decide what this wants to be but I can't seem to bring myself to shove it into the stash, I think it needs to be knit very soon!

I am doing some knitting too. I'm working away on my handspun Spoke Sweater but it really just looks like a bunch of jumbled pieces now. I'm hoping to finish it this week but we'll see how the knitting time goes and whether I run out of yarn. Eeep!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Getting a Little Bit Personal

I've been sitting here wracking my brain about what to blog about. That's the problem with simple, plain projects, they look exactly the same day after day. I could take another picture of the stripey sock but honestly there's about one more stripe. I could take another picture of the green shawl but it looks like a slightly larger blob of green right now. I'm not even on the second skein yet.

I thought maybe I should start a new project to show you something interesting. No, by the time I wound the yarn, I knew what I wanted it to be but I can't find the pattern right now so I guess that has to wait.

I even resorted to digging out the UFO (Unfinished Objects) bin to see if I could finish something up quick and show you that. Nope, nothing that's quick to finish or that I really want to work on right now. I guess that plan is out the window too.

The husband hasn't done anything funny and the pets are napping, not doing any strange antics so what exactly am I supposed to blog about.

Well, look out because it's going to get a teensy bit personal for a bit. This week has been a bear so far. You know that I'm gluten free because I talk about it here often and you may or may not know that one of the side effects I experience when being glutened is anxiety. Well, this week I had anxiety without gluten. It wasn't fun and it wasn't pretty. Last evening, the doorbell rang and I nearly had a heart attack. For most of the last two days I would rather have peeled my skin off than feel it. I wanted to hide and I wanted to not have to deal with it any more. I'm so thankful to have a very supportive family and it was mostly because of my wonderful husband that I got through it but I just want to say this: If you are feeling this way, it's not normal, it's not okay and you do need help. Whatever that means. For some people it's therapists and medications, for some people it's alternative things but ultimately, you are not alone, and help is out there. Please seek help if you need it.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

It Must Be a Plot

Do you ever feel like your little portion of the world is working against you? I certainly do. Last night is a perfect example.

Please note: Coffee figures somewhat largely in this story, my love for coffee is unfettered. I still love it and I'm drinking it right now.

Sometime last evening: Decide I am cold and tired but cannot go to bed yet since it's about 6:30, decide it's worth the risk of not sleeping and make coffee. Drink the glorious elixir of life and wonder at the joy of it all. Fortified by stories from other family members of being able to drink coffee and still go right to sleep, I drink with unabashed joy.
10:30 pm: All the other creatures in the house are asleep, including adorable cat (Kiki) who is asleep in my lap. Hubby is snoring on the couch. I'm not at all tired and I'm a little pissy since I still need to wash the dinner dishes. I do not enjoy the dishes so I'm trying this thing where I do them every night rather than waiting until the next day because my attitude regarding dishes gets much worse. It's not unusual for me to be wide awake at this point though. I'm a stay-up late kinda person.
Midnight: I am now in my bed reading on my kindle, still not tired despite all the creatures being asleep again. Many of them on the very bed. I'm still not really worried about my non-tiredness but I'm starting to tell myself that it's okay to shut off the kindle and go to sleep.
2:30 am: Yes, I'm still awake. I decide that even though I don't think I'm tired enough to sleep, I need to try and I shut off the kindle. As I lie there I think about how, it'll be fine. I can still get up for church at 6:00 and then take a nap later in the afternoon. No big deal, I have done it before. I have existed on much less sleep before.
2:31 am: Adorable cat walks delicately up my side (I generally sleep on my side) and looks down into my face from my shoulder. I talk to her. Saying things like; "Hi Kiki, it's okay I'm here, just going to sleep."
2:32 am: I am slowly settling in to sleep. Kiki jumps on the dresser. She is not allowed on my dresser. She knows this, she has never been allowed on my dresser. It's somewhat messy right now and all she does is knock things down. She also climbs up onto this little shelf thing and stares at me while I sleep, I do not like this. She does not need to be up there. I sit up and chase her down.
2:33 am and every couples of minutes or so for the next several hours: She climbs on the dresser, I chase her down. She does this each time I slowly drift off to sleep. I then have to wake up, chase her down and lie back down, settle down and try to go to sleep.
Sometime during those few precious hours I was going to sleep: I get up and go into the living room, picking up the water spritzer which was used earlier to keep her off the top of the bookshelves. She scampers around my feet, happily thinking we are going to play and she has successfully gotten me up. When I pick up the water bottle she runs away. I do not think this is adorable. I think it is horrible, evil and malicious. I seethe with quiet, exhausted anger. I go back to bed and try to lie down again.
The rest of the time until I need to get up: I lie in bed, attempting to sleep while evil cat continues to wake me up. I do not know what her plan really is but it involves me not being asleep and I'm not okay with that.
5:59 am: I am awake when the clock turns to 6:00 and I listen to my alarm going off. I blearly think; What is that? When I realize, I shut it off. I don't think I'll be getting up for church.
6:01 am: Cat has stopped being evil. She lies down at the foot of the bed and goes to sleep. Instead of being angry, I fall asleep too.
Much later: I wake up (special thanks to Handsome Hubby who let me sleep for a bit. Feeding himself and the other creatures, not questioning me about why I wasn't getting up.) Cat is lying on the bed next to me purring happily like she's loving this time we spent together. I resist the urge to shove her off the bed. Cruelty to animals is wrong. I genuinely wonder what her plan was. Then I start to think about it while making coffee and write this blog post.

Seriously, what on earth was her plan? I'm a little afraid and I'm also tempted to keep her awake all day so she lets me sleep tonight.

Friday, January 04, 2013

Return from the Depths of the Holiday Madness

Sorry about my disappearance. I seem to have been struck by something large and heavy, I think it's called "the Holidays." I managed to get all my gifts finished and off to my family and friends except the Cool Beans socks. I knew they were going to be cutting it close and then I got worried about fit so I waited and had my mom try them on. I'll finish them soon and get them to her. She understands these things. I swear she's a knitter at heart, she just doesn't knit, only crochets a little. Don't worry, I'm trying to bring her over to the dark side.

I can tell I'm sort of burned out by my choice of projects. A plain shawl, although it's out of the loveliest yarn I can find!

It's some Dk weight Polwarth/silk from CJ Kopec Creations. I did a sample knit for her earlier this year and 3 skeins of this amazing yarn were my payment. They're one of a kind so they don't have a colorway name but they're a lovely softly tonal green. I'm planning to whack a ruffle on the edge of this shawl and call it good. In the meantime, it's all garter stitch.

What else am I working on? (You had to know I had more than one thing on the needles right?) Plain socks.

This is Vesper in Gemstone and I hand-wound it into one of those nifty balls you see sometimes where the colors are all separated. I'm not sure how I feel about it yet. The colors are very different but I love the knit and knit and knit without paying attention thing right now.

I am spinning too and that's really where most of my focus is going. Why?

Because this is what I'm spinning. (This photo is a little too blue, the outside color is really more of a true red) It's the Rouge Violet Cerulean Gradient from Fiber Optic Yarns and it's the Spinalong fiber for the Knitgirllls group. It's 80% Merino and 20% Silk and I cannot believe how much I love it. It's spinning so fine and so beautifully. I split the entire braid down the center and predrafted the first half thinking I would two-ply it. I'm questioning that a bit now because it's so fine but I'm thinking it might puff up a little once it's washed so I'm going to stick to the plan.
I'm afraid to take it off the wheel to get a picture in case I lose the end but here's a picture of it on the wheel.

Isn't it amazing? Despite the fact that it's not the greatest picture?

Speaking of The Knitgirllls, today was a Very good mail day.

I got some yarn from destashes, a club yarn, a book from Amazon and this:

In the Knitgirllls group they do something called Expand Your Horizons. They choose a different fiber every other month and encourage you to try it out. Not your usual Merino but something else, something you may not have tried. They have the entire list for 2013 up and I was thinking I wouldn't want to make a purchase to spin for it and then someone posted a link (that's where I purchased from. Very nice, reasonable prices and it got here very quickly). The fiber this month is Southdown and I have in my wool-piggy little paws 4 ounces of undyed Babydoll Southdown. What convinced me? The pictures of the sheep! They're just so adorable. I dare you, heck, I double dare you to click that link and not squee with delight at their adorableness. (Yes, I do think that is a word.) It's an unusual fiber and I'm very excited to try it. I'm hoping to finish the first half of the Fiber Optic fiber over the weekend and then we'll see if this somehow dives onto my wheel before I spin the other half.