October 30, 2008
It’s not Wednesday but I didn’t get the chance to post yesterday. I have to copy a couple dozen of my spinning dvd for orders. It takes almost 9 minutes to burn one dvd. Kind of like tending to the toddler in the bathtub. May as well post a few more pictures.
We’ve had a glorious autumn with cool nights – a couple of mornings down to 32F – but warm sunny days with only a few days of rain sprinkled about the weeks. Sadly business work and fiber stuff tends to keep me inside most of the time but last Friday while babysitting the grandkids we went for a long walk to pick a couple apples and visit the horses down the lane.
“Where’s my apple?”
“There it is!”
To the horse!
Don’t forget to leave a comment telling what you think my DH, Ed Jenkins. listens to through his headphones while he works (See previous two posts) to get your name in the drawing for a pair of his #7 32″ Circular Pink Ivory knitting needles. These needles are perfect for knitting lace as well as any other types of knitting!
October 27, 2008
First up is the scarf I’d started last spring. After finishing Aurora’s broomstick lace vest in September the 2/3rds complete scarf and yarn came out of hiding and I stayed faithful to it until it was finished. Originally it was intended to be a present waiting for recipient unknown. I’m in love with it and will keep it. MC made reference to the fact that almost everything I make is given away. Her remark has made me consider why that is. Aside from a pair of socks made over five years ago and the Red Sweater that took a year to knit I haven’t completed anything personally for myself. (Nevermind the long, ongoing spinning, hairpin lace ruana which was seriously sidetracked months ago.
Pattern: Gust by Knitspot
Yarn: Ball and Skein Arequipa 80% Alpaca, 20% Silk (Wonderful stuff)
Please ignore the #4 needles! That join was an experiment of Ed. His newer model are much more refined, especially his method of joining the cord to the needles. I’m so spoiled with his sharp perfect-for-lace small circular needle tips! (go ahead have a peek, click on pictured tips to enlarge)
I bought roving at OFFF that I thought would be perfect for a felted bag. The first ounce sample was spun up on the 2.6 ounce Turkish Spindle. I rarely sample (shame, shame) but I needed to know how much it’d shrink. Or if it would. While spinning it at guild meeting one of the ladies recognized it as Abstract Fiber’s and said it was superwash. Demurring in slight alarm I dug into my bag and produced the tag. BFL SW. Rats! Someone must have fondled it then placed it in the nearest matching cubby instead of back into the superwash section. That sample was subjected to scorching hot water, soap, pummeling, and a plunging into a cold bath. Superwash does not felt. Not in the least.
What I did learn is my gauge started out relaxed but tighten about five rows in. And that the colors matched the autumn squash I’d put on the table for decoration.
I’m now wheel spinning some merino for the bag. Pictures in the future.
Meanwhile Faith celebrated her second birthday. It was a pleasure for this grandmother to make a sweet child a pair handmade socks. They’re a take-off of the first Sock Wars pattern. The cast on is pretty rough looking on the one sock and once again, I discovered the need to work on gauge consistency. The first sock is more relaxed and a bit looser. Made on #2 dpns using Fearless Fiber yarn
A little girl needs a pocket companion, don’t you think?
(Bunny did not want to sit still.)
My first venture into needle felting. Ed spotted Wool Pets at the Knit Crochet conference. He talked with Ken Sharp who was demonstrating how to make a wool pet. Next thing I knew Wool Pets by Ken & Laurie Sharp had landed in my bag. This was a fun Saturday afternoon project.
At long last there is weaving to be seen. Only two feet have been woven so far with another three feet to go but I’m ecstatic with the way it looks.
The colors are deeper and richer than on my monitor. Periodic threads of merino/tencel warp give hints of sheen – it’s easier to see on the unwoven part towards the top of picture. All of the warp and weft are my handspun yarns with the exception of the grey Irish wool that makes up less than 10%. (One of these days I hope to find my project work paper with all the yardage and weights.) About 8 inches were woven in this picture which shows the shoe string method for tying a warp onto the cloth beam (beam is out of sight). The shots (or picks) of white is the header. A header is used to get the warp spaced evenly since the knots bunch the warp threads. The two threads you see looking out of place on the web (the term used for the woven part) in the middle of the picture are where I had to start a new bobbin of yarn. Once the cloth is removed and wet finished they will be clipped.
A couple people wondered what Ed was listening to in the last post. Place your guess in the comments and I’ll enter all who make a guess into a hat for a drawing. What does Ed to listen to most when working?
Winner will receive one pair of Jenkins #7 32″ Pink Ivory Circular knitting needles!
Drawing on Nov 4th in celebration that we won’t have to listen to anymore inane ads!
I don’t want to offend anyone but I feel strongly about putting in a plug for the person who would get America back to being America, defend our own borders, stop the endless craziness of having our men stationed all over the planet as if we were an empire. A true American, not a globalist who wants world power. This is a man who believes in the United States Constitution first and foremost, who will honor his pledge to uphold, defend, and protect that Constitution: Chuck Baldwin Constitutionist Party. We were able to see and listen to him at a public library in a Portland suburb. Excellent ideas and vision, honest (he asked for no campaign money or financial help!), humble, understanding that America is by the people and for the people – not the gov’t. We believe he is what America needs at its helm. I am so tired of the media thinking they can lock us into a two party system that is a stumbling block to the people.
October 17, 2008
We’ve had such a lovely autumn I long for the days to slow down so I can thoroughly drink in the colors, the smells and the sun before the long grey days of winter settle over us.
We’ve been putting up food for winter. I’m running out of space and still have beets that I should can tomorrow. (I’d rather weave!) And the lady at the farmer’s market told us that she’d be bringing in her next harvest of pole beans next Saturday so there’s still more to come. Umm, we love home canned green beans!
While we’ve put up some food from our garden this year most of it has come from other local sources like the two corner produce stands. Ed drove by last week and saw heaping piles of broccoli. Huge bright green heads of broccoli for $1.50 each. The heads each averaged 3 pounds. We froze about 2 dozen bag fulls. MC came over one day and helped with a marathon canning of green beans. We spent another hour dreamily wandering around picking up nuts and crabapples at her place.
And there’s the corn. For years we were spoiled with an abundance of corn selling at 12 ears for a dollar. I can’t grow it that cheap! But about three years ago it was 8 for a dollar. This year we were dismayed when we realized no one was going to offer it for more than 4 ears a dollar. Yet we understand the farmers have had to fork out huge amounts for fuel and labor this year. And we love having local farm families providing our produce so we gladly support them.
Last Saturday Ed, Aurora and I headed to the Salem Farmer’s Market. Aurora had been singing its praises for several weeks and we were in search of good carrots to can.
First we strolled around to check out prices and offerings.
Can you believe the size of this green pepper? Perfect for stuffing. (That’s my left hand which though small has a good span from years of violin playing – it seriously has a wider span than my right hand.)
Aurora can’t resist the leeks.
We found carrots and spent the afternoon canning them. Ed peeled all 20 pounds. The back porch is set up for canning with the two pressure canners a perfect fit on the large propane camp stove in the background. (No we don’t fire up the woodstove on the porch.)
Mandy’s sister got married last Saturday evening. We cleaned up and headed up the hill to the Meeting House where Justin met us with Wesley. Faith and Mandy were in the wedding but this time I wasn’t asked to help with Faith so we sat at the back where I could make a quick escape with Wesley if needed. Justin thrust Wesley at me saying that due to afternoon commotions preparations for the wedding, he didn’t get his nap. Four months old need their naps, desperately. So did a 23 month old big sister. When the processional music started so did Wesley’s cries. I tried to muffle them with a bottle but as everyone stood for the bride he cranked it up another notch. I was grateful for the short length of the Meetinghouse. Quickly gathering up car seat, diaper bag and grandchild I scurried out as soon as the bride reached the prayer rail.
A short time later Justin brought Faith down to our house asking if I could keep both kids for the night! Poor Faith was so exhausted she was too tired (and crabby) to eat. Her crying woke up Wesley and his wails joined hers. One advantage of being a grandma, we know these little crisis will soon pass. I found it rather amusing since the week before I’d offered to keep the children but was turned down. Once they realized food was warm and good, and they settled down, we had a sweet cozy evening. We made Faith a nest on the living room floor and tucked Wesley into a portable crib affair for the night. With the exception of two night feedings, we all slept hard after such a busy day.
October 5, 2008
Dig out that old family album, the one from at least several decades ago (preferably pre-70s). See those family photos? Do you notice a common thread running through many of them?
Need a clue?
Cars! I was reminded a couple weeks ago that for some reason lots of people pictures shot outdoors were taken in front of the family car. I suspect it has to do with waiting until the last moment before rushing to find the cameras and snapping family pictures as the visiting relatives head for their car. It was brought to my attention that one doesn’t see many pictures with a family member posing in front of the car so, tongue in cheek I posed my daughter by my Ford Focus.
The real focus of the picture should be the vest.
I was too aggressive when wet blocking it. It shouldn’t hang quite that low on her. When I’d tried it on for size it seemed so short. I’ll have to reblock it for Aurora.
It was to be the Hourglass Jacket by Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios. Broomstick Lace and crochet. I’d already missed the birthday deadline and I really wanted to wear it to the hook signing at Stitch Diva’s booth but the sleeves hadn’t been begun and I was looking at less than a skein of yarn left. The Debbie Bliss silk didn’t appreciate frogging. How do I know? Well now. The back was completed down to the bottom of the armholes and I was about to start on the two front sections. Though the pattern indicated that the material will generously grow lengthwise when blocking it just didn’t seem long enough. For the third time I studied and puzzled the instruction trying to figure out where I may have gone wrong. Ask me if I can read the difference between sc and dc. Apparently not. I don’t know how many times my eyes saw the dc but my brain read sc. For non-crocheters sc is single crochet which basically adds one loop of height, dc is double-crochet which would add two loops of height, tp is triple-crochet, three loops, which is what comprises the fitted waist section of the vest. (To add to the confusion of the above, this is the American way of deciphering stitches though in my opinion the British have it laid out correctly in terms of counting the loops.) Oh yes, my story. Carefully I gingerly tinked it all and started over. I won’t use DB silk again. If I’d paid attention to the skein of yarn when I bought it – it took all my mental efforts to figure out how many skeins I needed but eventually that figure proved wrong – I’d have seen the yarn is only singles, no plying to give it strength.
So, between having only one night in which to get it blocked and dried before the signing and possible lack of enough yarn to complete two sleeves I took the easy way out. Besides, vests are very handy to have when working in an office.
I really shouldn’t have worn it. It was made for my daughter. She’s 5’9″ and slender as a rail. I’m shy of 5’3 and more like a stout post. It hung really bad on me. Jennifer was gracious enough not to notice.
Jennifer! Yes! We finally met. She seemed like a dear young sister. It was wonderful to meet her. So full of zest and energy, all sparkle, intelligence, and creativity. I went up to the Portland Convention Center to The Knit and Crochet Guild Show three days in a row, first to deliver the hooks to Jennifer’s booth, then I took Jennifer’s hairpin lace workshop – if you ever get the chance to take a workshop from her, do so, and back there on Saturday with Ed to do the hook signing event. We ended up staying all afternoon and had a grand time.
I was delighted that Willow stopped by and said Hi.
Willow, who lives in California, was being recognized at the show for obtaining her “Master Knitter” certification. I wish we’d taken the opportunity to spend some time together. It was only later that I realized I should have left the booth for a long cup of coffee or tea and a good chat with Willow. We would have had lots to share.
After the show closed for the evening Jennifer, Ed and I headed for a Vietnamese restaurant. We feasted and talked the evening away. It was so good to spend real time together.
We’ve finally resolved our internet service provider woes by going with a satellite dish. After more than three weeks very very sporadic connection I made that call. In this age a quick, reliable internet is important to efficiently run the office end of Jenkins Woodworking without relying on a whimpy dial-up that cut off phone calls and takes ages to accomplish everything. Even four years ago operating on dial-up wasn’t as onerous. Think about how most websites now have lots of pictures, bells and whistles, the flasher the better. Motions, sounds and videos all take a heavy toll on loading time.
It took several days to iron out a few bugs and then a few more days before our techie friend came over to get the modem that talks to the satellite to also communicate through the router so I could use the laptop during my personal computer time. Yesterday morning we were slightly thrown for a loop shortly after booting up the computers when the internet connection slowed to a crawl before a last gasp. It wasn’t until I dashed through the raining dogs and cats downpour to get some produce to put up. While there I mentioned our nonworking connection and was informed that a copious amount of drenching, drown a cat in a moment – seriously I got soaked running the few steps from my car over to the tarp covered truck with corn ears covering the flatbed – rain will overwhelm the reception of any signals brave enough to make it through. And we live in western Oregon. sigh
There’s so much else to catch up on after a silence of almost a month. Now that I have access to the internet during personal time maybe I’ll make up for some lost time. After all, we did go to OFFF, I finished knitting another project, there’s spinning, and trying to put a bit of food by for the winter. One great thing about not being online in the early morning or evening is that it’s a wonderful time for productive fiberworking while listening to books on tape. After reading of Jo‘s visit to PEI I had to borrow the Anne of Green Gables set from the library to “read” again.