One HEPA Cat

It’s funny the things you think of when your purchasing a vacuum cleaner for your asthmatic cat. It has to have a bagless system, so I can take the canister outside to dispose of dust. Don’t forget the ability to vacuum both hardwood floors and carpet. HEPA filter, absolute necessity. Long cord. Multiple attachments. And be sure to ask the sales person if it picks up yarn and roving without a hassle!

After I have accomplished cleaning the cat room (half of it anyway) I feel I’m back on track with projects. I finished one pair of pedicure socks and still need to block them. This was a great self striping yarn – one of my favorites – Opal pullover & Sockenwolle. If I could read German, I would reveal more details. But the colors range from blue to violet. Sized to fit a women’s 9.5

And that brings me to my current pair of pedicure socks for my friend’s birthday. I’m writing the pattern as I go with the hope that it is error free. I start the sock on 4 needles and work down to 3 for the heel to the end. I’m trying to figure out a diagram set-up to make it easy to follow the instructions.

So tomorrow evening I will be knitting away while listening to karaoke – featuring Sing with the Band in Schaumburg, IL . Always a good time and hopefully some fellow fiber fiends will be there.

Until Super Sunday – keep on doin it! Whatever it is…

Oops another deadline…

Knitting has taught me that deadlines will not be found in the glossary of any knitters reference book. It isn’t part of the language.  So, I wave with a glum sigh as the weekend ebbs without a blog update or a loom being warped.


Friday night,  Shaker’s in Ottawa, Illinois... Despite the long and boring drive, I found most of the singers in Ottawa were quite good. There was a contest on with a guarantee of two winners of $25 each. The winner was bands choice.  I finished the second sock of a pedicure socks pair while enjoying an amstel light, cheese curds and good music.

Wow, that town was into the karaoke. Because after the winners were announced, the place cleared out. Jeez! All that was left were the “other” singers. Generous people those “other singers, kindly they let the winners sing first. So donning my earplugs, I spun the black alpaca for my weaving project. I’m not sure there is enough yardage so I may be spinning some more. And still have the blue wool left to spin.

Saturday night was altogether useless. We went to a place called Mickey Finn’s in a not so blue-collar area. It was crowded and I played security. Occasionally unruly drunk women  like to push the band around and this place didn’t have a “security” guard. So I got to help out.

We have an asthmatic cat, and he woke us up on Sunday with an attack. I’m uneasy about the severity of his asthma so I followed him around for a few hours making sure he was ok. And finally started on the “Birthday” pedicure socks. I have a friend who loves purple and tie-dye and her birthday is next week – OH CRAP – it is next week. And another deadline is in the gate ready to whiz by. Anyway the yarn is a warm violet in a variegated colorway called “burgundy” – fancy, huh?

Today finds me back on track, blog updated, one project in the works and pedicure socks to finish by the weekend – or maybe Wednesday so I can do another blog update. Oh, I still have to finish writing that pattern. I’m pretty sure I have a strange malady that I should be seeking psychiatric help for but I can’t take on basket-weaving, I’ll never have time!~

This is what vacations days are about…

I have 7 vacation days to use before St Paddy’s Day, so I took one today. Did some dreaming up new projects, spun some yarn and played some silly games. I feel like I could use another day of this!

Success! I’ve created a laceweight yarn. 26 WPI but I need to set the twist. I used an envelope box as a lazy kate. Next time I think I will add rubber bands for more tension. While plying the yarn I ran into a few issues that tension would solve. Oh, the fiber is a mohair wool blend, mill end from the Sheep Shed Studio. I can’t say enough about this wonderful source for roving. I buy 5lbs of white at a time, dye it whatever color strikes my fancy and spin the night away.

While this was on the spindle, I was having such a good time, I started a new project. I had some leftover bamboo blend from the Midwest Fiber and Folk Art festival. The fiber has tremendous sheen. The fiber is predominately purple with some light blue and maroon in the colorway.

Bamboo blend

As I was spinning this yarn, I saw an opportunity to get out my Beka weaving loom – I love being inspired. I’m in the planning phase of working out a color scheme for a woven scarf. I just finished dying some wool blend in a cornflower blue colorway. And this weekend I will be carding black alpaca with wool. The “big plan” is to have time to warp the loom on Sunday. We’ll see.🙂

Niko

The rest of my day was occupied with our newest furbaby Niko. Apparently he loves the yarn as much as I do because I had to stop spinning because he was a wee too helpful. Our other cats are content with watching and taking an occasional swipe. Not Niko. He was wrestling with my singles. Naughty kitty.

Sing with the Band

Still working on those pedicure socks. I’ll be knitting far away in Ottawa, Illinois this Friday night at a place called Shakers. If anyone loves karaoke… this is the place to be Friday night. Come check out Sing with the Band! As I’ve mentioned I spend a great deal of my weekends in pubs. My DH is a guitar player in a karaoke band. I do most of the driving and try to be a good cheerleader.  It’s funny how many people you meet that are fascinated by what I do. Sometimes people buy me a drink. Other times they tell me a story about their grandmother and how she used to crochet, knit, spin, whatever. LOL – It’s good to bring memories back for people but I usually make a mental note to color my hair,  some gray may be starting to show.

Always a Work in Progress

I recently purchased a lace weight spindle (.6 oz). I’ve never been a fan of the spindle. But that is the tool that I learned to spin on, and as soon as I had the money I bought my first wheel (a Lendrum DT). Having added a more portable Hitchhiker wheel so that I may spin in bars and pubs. (more on that later)

Every 6 months or so, I’ll force myself to pick up the spindle and give it a spin. Each time I do, I learn something new or my technique on the spinning wheel improves. Much like an accomplished artist will return to the pencil and paper, the most basic tools continually teach you fundamentals and improve your skills.

I’ve always held the skill of spinning laceweight as a benchmark. Being able to spin a lace weight yarn requires a fast flyer for my wheel or a very light spindle. As usually, I need to save  money for the fast flyer. But a spindle is affordable. I’ve spun a ball of single ply and currently working on the second ball while watching the AFC championship . I’m surprised to learn that I’m really enjoying this process and can’t wait to see the finished product.

If you’ve left your spindle in a lonely box somewhere, I urge you to pick it up and give it a try. If only to marvel at the craftsmanship of the woodworker. Grab some scrap fiber, relax empty your mind  and left your hands teach you something new. I’ll collect a list of vendors and instruction for anyone interested in spindles and learning to spin.

As with most crafty people, I have another project on the needles. I’m writing instructions on making a pair of pedicure socks. Super-simple socks and easily portable for those long evenings of karaoke at the pub.😉