A Year of Projects 2015: Week 29

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Despite my modest list of goals for the week, I got little done.  I published my YOP goals of the week on Sunday.  Early in the evening on Tuesday, Chris’s mother told us her brother passed away and the funeral was on Friday.  We flew up to New Jersey late Thursday night and came home late Sunday night.  This morning (Tuesday), I’m flying to San Diego to attend The Knitting Guild Association Annual Conference and I won’t be home until Sunday night.  When I found out about the funeral, I immediately developed a long list of things to do in the two days before we left.  I knew that most of what I needed to do before TKGA had to be done before we left for NJ!

Chris’s Uncle Angelo was 85 years old.  His birthday was September 4, one day after Chris’s, so when Chris was growing up, the family often celebrated the two birthdays in one party.  One of the pictures on display at the funeral home showed Chris and Angelo cutting a birthday cake together.  More than 20 years ago, Angelo suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side.  Despite that, he lived on his own, mostly taking care of himself.  His sisters did his grocery shopping, but he prepared his own meals.  Around the time Chris and I first met 15 years ago, Angelo started doing 3D puzzles.  He completed more than 20 of these puzzles, using only his left hand.  Some of the puzzles were on display at the funeral home:

imageAngelo served in the Army (I believe during World War II, but I’m not sure), so he had military honors at the funeral.  I always find this ceremony — taps, folding the flag, and presentation of the flag to the family — touching.

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Now that I’ve lowered your expectations re: my completed goals, here’s a reminder of the goals I set last week:

Goals for July 13 to 19, 2015

  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit all the homework swatches for TKGA classes
  • Finish knitting the MHK1 swatches
  • Spin 1 color of the BFL / day (there’s 10 colors / 8 ounces total in Three Feet of Sheep)

On Deck:

  • Mittens for MHK1
  • Liquid Silver Shawl
  • Bubble Baby Blanket
  • Weaving with VCR tape
  • Color and Weave Study scarves
  • Begonia Swirl Shawl

I did not finish the Miranda Shawl.  I did knit several rows after Sunday, but I didn’t take a picture of it to include here.  The body of the shawl is all stockinette, but it is short rows.  While it’s not difficult and there is a regular pattern to the number of stitches in each row, I’m finding that I do have to focus to keep track of which row is next.  Once I learned about the funeral, I put this project on hold.  I did put it in my bag to bring to TKGA.

I finished all the homework swatches for TKGA swatches.  I knit a dozen of them before we left for NJ, and brought the rest with me to NJ.  Since each swatch is small, they made for excellent travel knitting.  I blocked them yesterday.

imageAll but one of those swatches is for the two-day Finishing class with Arenda Holladay!

As of last Sunday, I had completed 4 of the 17 swatches for the Master Hand Knitting Level 1.  I knit the 5th swatch and blocked the 5 finished swatches before we left for NJ.  After blocking, I found an error in one of them so had to reknit that one.  I also didn’t like the fabric I created on any of the swatches.  I knit them all with Cascade 220 on US size 8 needles.  I decided to reknit all of them with US size 7 needles.  Before we left for NJ, I did research and wrote answers to several questions related to swatches I hadn’t previously knit.  I brought the yarn and needles to NJ with me, and I’ve finished knitting 12 of the 17 swatches on size 7.  I don’t have a picture for you because they aren’t blocked.  I actually packed blocking mats and plan to block them in my hotel room tonight so I can bring the swatches for review during Masters Day tomorrow!  I also plan to knit three more swatches on the plane

Before we left for NJ, I finished spinning 4 of the 10 colors in Three Feet of Sheep.  Obviously I won’t get any more spinning done during the Tour de Fleece, since I’ll be away for the rest of the Tour.  I do hope to finish spinning the Three Feet of Sheep by the end of the month, however, so I’ll be working on it after I get back.

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As you’ve probably guessed, I didn’t even look at any of the projects I had on deck.

Goals for July 20 to 26, 2015

  • Sew the lining into my Quinn Bag
  • Finish the first 17 swatches for MHK1
  • Finish the Miranda Shawl
  • Knit at least 1/2 of the Bubbles Baby Blanket
  • Cast on the Begonia Swirl Shawl

I am bringing my iPad with me and I hope to blog from TKGA.  My next YOP post will probably be on Monday, as I won’t be home until late Sunday night.

Updated List of Goals for 2015

Knitting

  • Knit myself a sweater
  • Improve my finishing techniques
  • Finish MHK Level 1
    • First 3 swatches finished by June 24, 2015
    • Swatch #14 finished July 11, 2015
    • Swatches 1-12 knit on size 7 needles, finished by July 19, 2015
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Tribbles, finished January 18, 2015
    • Leaves, finished March 30, 2015 but never blogged
    • Heart Illusion Dishcloths (in progress)
  • Charity Knits
  • Do some test knits
    • Sand Tracks Scarf, finished June 16, 2015
    • Grisou Scarf, finished June 24, 2015
    • Raindrops on Roses Shawlette, finished June 27, 2015
    • Miranda Shawl (in progress)
  • Finish or frog all UFOs
    • Traveling Scarf
    • Bigger on the Inside Hat
    • Evenstar
    • Quinn Bag
    • Baby Blue Monster
  • Socks
  • Other Projects
  • Design at least one project from scratch

Crochet

  • Learn to read crochet patterns
  • Learn all the basic crochet stitches.
  • Make at least one non-granny square crochet project
  • Dishcloth Advent Calendar
    • Diagonal Crochet Dishcloths (in progress)

Spinning

  • Breed Specific Spinning
    • Cormo (in progress)
    • BFL (in progress)
  • Learn to spin on a drop spindle

Weaving

  • Continue playing with color and weave drafts
  • Learn pick up stick drafts
  • Learn Inkle Weaving
  • Learn Kumihimo braiding
  • Explore Twill weaves on the floor loom
  • Make items for the Guild Sale
  • Other

Dyeing

  • Finish dyeing the MAPLE LEAF Shawls
  • pH / water source experiment
  • Return to dye triangles project

Tour de Fleece 2015, Stage 10

My continuing mission is to seek out new life and new civilizations  um, I mean spin one color of 3 Feet of Sheep each day.  Today I spun through my one color and about 40% of the next color.  Unfortunately, my Tour de Fleece will be cut even shorter than I expected.  Chris’s uncle passed away early this morning and we will be going to the funeral.  This means I now have at least three more days with no spinning.  I do hope to finish 3 Feet of Sheep by the end of the month, even though it will be outside the usual Tour de Fleece time frame.

As usual, the picture on the left is my bobbin at the beginning of the day and the picture on the right is my bobbin at the end of the day.

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I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far.  This fiber continues to spin up faster and thicker than the cormo.  I can’t wait to see it finished!

Tour de Fleece 2015, Rest Day 1

During the Tour de Fleece, spinners rest on the days racers in the Tour de France rest.  July 13 was the first rest day for the Tour de France, so most spinners rested today.  I am not resting on the official rest days as I won’t be able to spin for the last week of the Tour since I’ll be in San Diego for the TKGA Annual Conference.

Since I finished plying the cormo yesterday, today was the day to start something new!  The next fiber in my spinning queue was 3 Feet of Sheep.  This is 8 ounces of Blue-faced Leicester hand-dyed by Frabjous Fibers.  The colorway I have is “Colors of the Capital.”  It is 10 bumps of fiber, each a different color and each weighing 20 to 21 grams.  The fiber comes packaged in a long tube:

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I toyed with the idea of fractal spinning this fiber, but decided to spin end to end so that when I knit it I’ll have a gradient.  I plan to Navajo ply to maintain the color sequence.  I didn’t do any pre-drafting, but I am splitting each color into multiple strips and spinning from those.  The colors aren’t solid; they are tonal and look like they are probably space-dyed, with concentrated dye applied in certain sections and then wicking out into the rest of the fiber from there.  The result is subtle striping within each color.  I spun each strip starting from the same end so that this subtle striping happens multiple times throughout that color.

My goal is to spin 1 color per day until I’ve spun all the fiber.  I’m spinning this fiber about twice as fast as I spun the cormo, so I had time this evening to spin up two colors.  Here’s how my bobbin looked when I stopped for the night.

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Looks like I’ll be spinning yellow tomorrow 🙂

Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, May 3 & 4, 2014

Back in February, I turned 40.  My parents wanted to do something extra-special for my birthday present.  They came up with the perfect idea: all travel expenses to Maryland Sheep and Wool for me and my friends Stacy and Beth!  We had an awesome time!

A 4-H girl took our picture. In the back, left to right, are Stacy and Beth.  I look ridiculously formal because I'm standing in a little ditch, trying not to lose my balance!
A 4-H girl took our picture. In the back, left to right, are Stacy and Beth. I look ridiculously formal because I’m standing in a little ditch, trying not to lose my balance!

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