It’s That Time Already?

Actually, in many ways it seems like it should have been “that time” months ago! 2011 was painfully long in many ways, but shockingly short in others. I’ve been doing battle with myself for nearly a week now about this post. I really didn’t want to face it. That doesn’t say much for my personal resolve to see my goals as just that – goals. They aren’t set in stone, nor a measure of failure vs. success. They are meant to be a guideline to keep me focused during the year – something I really need!

That said, 2011 hurt. I had a beautiful set of goals, clearly too big to accomplish everything there, but such delicious options! Despite the turmoil of the early months of the year, I managed to plunge into my list with enthusiasm, delighting in my projects. It’s a good thing I did. It turned out that what I did in those first few months was pretty much all that got finished the entire year. That is scary! I did get someplace new, set up a savings plan, lose those 25 pounds (which had morphed into 40 and are all gone), learn to double knit, and read 100 books, (though one of them wasn’t completing the Bible). I finished 3 UFO’s, just one pair of socks, and I got a fantastic start on Burridge Lake, though it is now classed as a UFO, since I’ve not been able to touch it since May. 😦 I worked hard on my stash and my DVD’s – for a while. I have a new toilet and installed shower facilities in my bathroom, but that was the end of making my bathroom wonderful. I wove a wonderful shawl. And I blogged regularly and learned my Bible verses – until mid year…

But I need to be kind to myself. I survived an amazingly tough year! I never dreamed on January 1 even half of what happened – of how my year was going to be reshaped. I didn’t imagine getting a new car, competing in 5K races, learning to set up an IV and give injections, or planning a funeral, nor did I think I’d lose two of my closest friends. I’ve grown and changed dramatically in the past year, and I’m thinking it might take another year before it all soaks in!

So, all that said, here I go again with the goals. This list is nearly a carbon copy of last year’s list. That was tough on me, as part of the excitement of New Year’s Goals is leafing through the files in my mind and deciding which of my life “wanna do’s” I’m going to try to tackle in the coming months. I had very little of that this week, and it’s disappointing. However, the goals I set last year are still very valid – still things I do really want or need to do, so I’m sticking with them with about a half dozen changes sprinkled through the list.

But truth be known, I really have just one REAL goal for 2012… that when it’s time to write my list for 2013, it’s a LOT different! 😀

Knit/Spin/Weave Goals:

  1. Publish at least 4 knitting patterns, including another KAL
  2. Complete Level 1 of the Olds College Master Spinner Program
  3. Knit a project from wool I’ve cleaned and spun, using a pattern I’ve designed
  4. Make another 2 pairs of handknit socks for myself and 2 pairs on my CSM.
  5. Finish at least 3 of the projects currently languishing in my WIP/UFO tubs – at least one item started before July 1, 2010, and the other two any time before July 1, 20111.
  6. Knit something tiny – size 4/0 needles or smaller – probably something for my future miniature yarn shop
  7. Weave something on something other than a triloom.
  8. Make a lovely sweater to fit the new me that shall be at the end of the year
  9. Learn Portuguese style knitting
  10. Attend a class teaching a skill that is new to me

Other Creative Goals:

  1. Finish at least one of the current remodeling projects – nook, laundry, sewing room, or kitchen
  2. Finish Reba – bisque porcelain doll
  3. Move one of my dolls from hospital patient status to display status – maybe Aaron, so he can show off his adorable knitted romper?
  4. Finish the interior and/or exterior of Friendship Cabin, a Real Good Toys Adirondack Cabin that we started several years ago, but which has languished untouched since sometime before the beginning of 2009
  5. Finish my Gail Wilson Hitty, which was started with enthusiasm during the online class, worked on for three nights, and now has the rest of the girls giving me “the look” for not getting their sister done
  6. Find the stories I started writing and complete at least one rough draft
  7. Finish a Hitty carving project
  8. Finish my Minstrel spinning wheel
  9. Create a photo book and a calendar
  10. Finish either a quilt or cross stitch UFO

Decluttering/Organizational Goals:

  1. Catalog DVD library and view those I’ve not watched
  2. Stash all my yarn on Ravelry – which will get done one of these years if I keep at it!
  3. Organize my computer photos, then print and label as I think necessary (okay, yes, multi-year!)
  4. Restock and reopen my internet stores, thus moving stuff, boxes, and packing material out
  5. Get loose knitting patterns into a usable system
  6. Have all books properly shelved. No stacks, floor rows, or double shelves.
  7. Clean out one of my email accounts, then maintain it
  8. Build and implement one of my storage solution plans
  9. Get my entire bathroom “wonderful” – tougher than it sounds!
  10. Scavenge all files off old PDA before I lose them

Personal Goals:

  1. End the year at my target weight
  2. Read 100 books, one being The Holy Bible
  3. End the year debt free – both money and promises made
  4. Go somewhere new – state or country
  5. Blog at least once each week
  6. Solidly memorize at least one  scripture verses each month
  7. Memorize one favorite hymn each month
  8. Spend time at least once each week working on a foreign language
  9. Spend at least a few minutes every week making music
  10. Walk 250 miles and participate in a 10k race.
Published in: on January 4, 2012 at 3:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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I figure that’s a good title, since it sort of looks as if I evaporated this past month. Now whereas I’d love to tell you I’m just home from some delicious, new foreign adventure, I make every effort to be honest here, so I won’t. Part if my MIA time did involve travel, however. 🙂 And although I had a wonderful time, I was doing pretty much everything BUT lazing about! I spent a couple weeks visiting my older daughter. This used to be something we planned often, but when she moved to Honduras, that became a bit more challenging, and when I went to see her there, the focus was a lot different. I do miss going to Honduras terribly, but it was a real joy to have our old times back again, too. 🙂

Since I just has my wonderful Fiber Adventure Week with so much “playtime,” when I packed for my trip, I took important stuff with me instead. To be quite honest, with what I packed, I could have stayed for 3-4 months before I’d have been in danger of running out of work to do. I had a few grand accomplishments and made some great progress on things. It’s amazing how much more gets done when there’s no internet, pets, housekeeping, and in-law attics on my daily schedule. I could use more time like that!

One huge, but no photo, project was working with my daughter to complete 15 pages in a scrapbook I’d assembled with contributions from friends and family in honor of her 16th birthday. The combination of trying to do both a scrapbook and quilt secretly while homeschooling the girls and the fact that there are a lot of procrastinators in the world kept me from getting it entirely done in time for the big day, and somehow we just never quite finished it. It’s very close to completion now, though, and we hope to see it done by the end of the year. One big sticking point is trying to locate a picture of Fairfield Elementary School, which was in Highland, Ohio. The school has since been razed, and hours of searching have so far shown me no pictures. I can’t believe that NO one has a photo, but whoever it is doesn’t seem to have posted it online, and all local sources I’ve checked have come up empty as well.

The yarn I started spinning during Fiber Adventure Week is plied, washed, and fantastic!I was counting on human imperfection causing the colors to change at slightly different rates in each of the three bobbins of yarn, with the hope being a very gradual shift in color over the length. This both worked and didn’t work. The imperfections exist, the shift is gradual, but it was a little bit TOO imperfect, and I reached the end with very unequal leftover singles, leaving me very little solid black yarn. I think I’m going to write to Kimber (Fiber Optics) and see if she can make me a bit of solid black roving.
I ended up with12 ounces, 860 yards of 3-ply yarn, about 11-12 wraps per inch, so roughly sport/DK weight. It’s soft and smooshy and absolutely gorgeous, and I’m SO wanting to cast it on right now! However, I’m trying very hard to be good. Perhaps it needs to be my reward for when I send in my completed Master Spinner homework…

Speaking of which, I spent hours making mini yarn skeins and then started the dyeing portion of that homework. Her stove was giving me fits, though, and I had a few unfortunate occurrences. I finally decided to pack that project in for when I was at home, and I’ve not looked at it since I came back.  Hopefully I’ll feel better about it for having been distanced from it for a few weeks now. No pix at the moment. I’m sure I took some, but must have missed them when I transferred things after I got home.

My other really big milestone was finishing the first panel of my Burridge Lake Afghan. I was “only” six weeks behind schedule when I did that, and I’ve not made up any more time since. I’ve only done one and a half repeats of the center panel so far, and it’s supposed to be entirely done by the end of June. I’ll just say now that it’s not going to happen!

I did some other spinning, some knitting, listened to 3-4 audiobooks, put a lining in my first felted bag, looked at all the scrapbooks the two of us have created, had some great food, slept well nearly every night, finally got to hear her chorus perform live, was taken out for Mother’s Day, and traded what turned out to be a totally dead sewing machine in for an entry level Bernina. In other words, it was non-stop action – the sort of which I wish I could manage all the time! I had a grand couple of weeks, despite most all of it being “work.” 🙂

Then I came home.

It seems that as I was leaving town (and the internet), MyPhotoAlbum announced that they were closing the site at the end of May. I had so very much info stored there and nowhere else… Several years ago, in fairly rapid succession, Yahoo photos and Epson’s photo site both closed down, leaving me in photo-shock. People warned me away from free photo sites, saying that they are very unreliable, and that I should go to a paid set up. Enter MyPhotoAlbum. I spent untold hours setting up beautiful albums and moving all my doll stories to the new location, rewriting as I felt necessary, and when I was done, I was extremely pleased. I absolutely loved that site. In the past three years, hundreds of people have enjoyed my picture albums and stories. Now suddenly, that’s going to be gone as of midnight on Monday. It was obviously a priority for me to salvage all my captions and pix from the site, and it took many hours over the past two weeks to accomplish that job. At this point, I don’t know if I’ll ever put them back online. Twice burned; twice shy. And it’s so much work to get it all set up. On the other hand, I do so love sharing the stories… Anyway, I just thought I’d mention it here in case anyone wants to see the albums one more time before the site closes. There’s a link in the sidebar here.

I have a lot more pix I could take and much more to share, but we’ll have to see how things fit together. I’ve been really busy washing fleece and working on my MSP homework, have some new toys, found new treasures at the in-law’s… loads of things I can share, assuming I can finagle the time. 😉 Hopefully the next post won’t be a month coming… 😀

Fiber Adventure Weekend – Day 2

And the fun continues! What a shame I can’t do this EVERY weekend… but I have to say that the house is a total wreck with so much equipment out all at the same time. I’m having a blast, though. :o) You want to know what I did on Saturday? Okay, here goes!

First of all, the triloom project is moving right along. I’ve woven half the pins now, which, although not half of the weaving work, is a landmark point anyway. I’ve also reached the point that I feel like I’m just going to burst if I can’t take it off the loom to see what it really looks like, but I’ve got a long way to go before that can happen. :SThe spinning continues to be utterly delicious. I think I could be stranded on a desert island, and if I had my wheel and about 50 pounds of this stuff, I might not even notice. :o) I’m anticipating the pleasure of working with the finished yarn almost as much as I am enjoying the current spinning. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but I’ve spun through the papaya and am into a rich red orange. Scrumptious!Today’s dyeing adventure was another theory busted, though I can’t call it a total loss, as I have some more pretty fiber to play with now. My concept was to try to create a gradient dark to light by VERY slowly lowering the wet roving into the dye bath, using the same Easter egg dyes I was using yesterday. I put 4 cups of hot water and 3 ounces of vinegar into the pot, dissolved the tablet, and wet down 1 ounce of wool. I then spent about 4 minutes doing the “slowly lowering” part. Despite the good effort I made, the first one came out the same color from end to end, so the rest I put in without wasting the 4 minutes. 😉 It was a good exercise to do these as solid anyway. I’m not sure what to say about the purple, though. I did it precisely as I did the others, including stirring it just as I put the wool into the pot. The water LOOKED blue, and the whole time it simmered, I thought it WAS a blue pot. I was most definitely surprised when I pulled out the roving and found it multi-colored! Still have 3 colors to do. Since it’s only one tablet per pot, even though I’m cooking them for just 90 minutes, it’s still taking longer than yesterday’s process.When my daughter called on Saturday evening, it was the perfect excuse to pick up my current Angela’s Fabulous Felted Bag. This is the third one this spring, and a definite addiction. The first is finished except for the lining, but since the sewing machine died, that’s going to take a while longer. The second is knitted, and I’m waiting for the rest of the group so we can have a fulling party. This will be a new adventure for them. Meanwhile, I’m well onto my third and have yarn for two more. Yeh, I like them – a lot! BTW, the actual colors foiled the camera, even outdoors. Whereas the burgundy isn’t too far off, at least on my monitor, that is NOT tan! It’s mustard, and I think it’s a lot prettier than the tan, even if it does work…Probably the scariest and most adventurous thing I did today was pulling out my circular sock machine – CSM. It’s not been touched since last May, and then there were people who actually understand the little beasties around to help me every step of the way. Although one of my annual goals includes making two pairs of CSM socks, that wasn’t today’s goal. Today I just wanted to actually use it successfully all on my own. The project I had in mind was to take 4 balls of Knit Picks bare sock yarn and turn them into two blanks for dyeing. It turned out that I had a few obstacles to overcome, the biggest of which was that the machine wouldn’t crank. 😦 I don’t know a whole lot more about sock machines than I do about overhauling a jet engine, so trying to avoid total panic was the first step.I finally figured out that the little metal piece sticking up – the V cam – was not supposed to be like that, and I wondered if it wasn’t supposed to be under the butts of the needles. So, I pulled out some of the needles, dropped the cam down, then replaced the needles… and voilà! It worked! Now I realize that in the world of sock machines, that was a pretty minor fix, and scarcely worthy of an Einstein award, but I have to say that I’m seriously proud of myself! It’s my first solo trouble shooting success, and I’m quite pleased. 🙂

With a little more effort, along with the dregs of my oil, which appears to have evaporated (can oil do that???), I got the machine cranking fairly decently, though it’s still holding stitches at times and not knitting as nicely as it was last year.And a little while later, I had 7 yards of not-so-perfect-but definitely-good-enough-for-the-planned-purpose tubing knit. Now I need to find out what sort of oil I have to go buy. I can’t do socks on it without that.

Last but not least, I watched the DVD How I Knit by Rita Buchanan while I was cranking out my tubes. It was light and interesting, but not as in depth as I’d expected from it being a 2 disk set. It also isn’t very good training toward my MSP certification. Buchanan obviously loves what she’s doing, and she makes beautiful yarn, but she works rather freely and organically, openly ignoring some of the rules and techniques and even terminology that I have to learn to manage in order to complete my lessons. A large part of this set is also a bit more simple than I need. It was nice to watch her make yarn and to see some approaches that are different than I’ve seen with my limited exposure to other knitters, but I’ll probably tuck this set on the shelf for a while right now and look for something a bit more technical. I’ll try to remember to post what I find.

Okay, that’s it for Saturday’s activities. There’s one more day to go yet, and I’m eager to get with it!

Changing of the Guard

Nine months ago, in preparation for our trip to Alaska, I cast on Jared’s Noro Striped Scarf. My primary purpose at that point was to have a good piece of knitting for airplane time – dimly lit cabin, etc – and it was perfect. In the months since I came home, this scarf visited Chicago and Pennsylvania with me, kept me company during a 12 hour visit to the emergency room, visited hospital patients, kept me sane during the early months of settling my father-in-law into a retirement village apartment, attended meetings, and more. In short, it’s been the perfect travel companion. However, even a 7′ long scarf eventually comes to an end, and this afternoon while coaching my Knitogether gals, who were blocking their Concertos, I finally ran out of yarn and bound off. Of course, this would have happened a long time ago if I’d not so frequently found myself frogging a few rows here and there. 😉I’m really going to miss this piece of knitting. It was such a pleasure to work, and if I had a dollar for every person who commented that it was absolutely gorgeous, I’d have enough Noro to knit at least 3 more. I don’t think I’ve ever knit anything else in public that has garnered so much feedback! The camera didn’t do the colors justice on that first picture, but I like the way it showcases the color play. This close up gives an accurate sample of the warm, earthy tones of this colorway. It’s wonderfully mellow in person.I used all but 1 gram of four balls of Noro Silk Garden making this scarf, all four being the same colorway. I carefully chose two pairs of twin balls to be relatively sure that there were no color change knots hidden within the balls. If the color order stays the same from the outside of the skeins into the inside, then there is likely not a knot joining two colors abruptly – a frequent problem in long repeat yarns. Next, in preparation for this being a travel project, I wound the Noro balls into two cakes on my ballwinder, with each set of twins wound together into one cake. One skein of the twins I wound center out and the other skein from the outside in, creating a felted join between the two as I wound them. This resulted in two finished cakes that had echo coloring from the outside of the cake into the middle, and each of the two cakes started at a different point in the color repeat, so the stripes were constantly shifting, but still within the same colorway. I like the look, and I felt more confident in using just a single colorway instead of mixing two. By using the twin method as I did, I also avoided the potential problems of finding myself with the same colors knitting at once, and there are NO jarring, abrupt color changes messing up the finished project. It was a little extra effort, but it paid off in both the knitting and the final project, so I think well worth it.Completed measurements – 83″ long and 5.5″ wide. It would be equally suitable for guys and gals. Start one now for social/travel knitting, and you’ll have a Christmas gift finished in free time! 😉

Just realized as I was proofreading this post that this scarf was started before July 1, 2010, making it eligible as a completed UFO for my Goals 2011 list. How cool is that? Painless checkmark on the list, and only one more UFO required to have that goal accomplished. 😉

So, with this scarf off my needles, I need another item I can pick  up and put down without a thought, so… Yep! I cast on another project. I’ll be really honest, though. I’m not at all sure this is going to work as well as the Noro scarf did.

Yes, once the lace edge is worked, the entire center of the scarf is garter stitch, so that part of it is definitely perfect. The only thing that has me concerned is that the yarn is laceweight as compared to the Noro aran, so it’s definitely not as touch sensitive. That could become a problem in situations where a lot of eye contact is needed or the area is underlit. I like Motley well enough to try it though, and if I end up having to start yet another project and kit Motley at home, then so be it. 😉

I’m using Knit Picks’ new yarn, Aloft, which is an obvious copy of Kidsilk Haze. It doesn’t feel quite as wonderful as the Kidsilk Haze I’m knitting into Horai, but it isn’t too bad. The camera is again abusing the colors, making it look like I’m knitting purple and neon raspberry, or even red. That’s not the case at all. The two colors are a dark, blue purple, very appropriately named eggplant, and a red purple, with the color depth being nearly identical. It’s resulting in a subtle, deliciously rich fabric, and I hope I can eventually find a way to accurately portray what a great combination these two shades are. For now, I can tell you that in the photo, they are laying on a very rich turquoise background. Agree that the camera is a wee bit colorblind? 😉

Could That Be the Sun?

WAY back on February 18, I finally found weather almost good enough to block the shawl I finished on the 6th. Today, I finally saw the light – that is, that big shiny thing one occasionally sees drifting across the heavens when it’s not being obscured by leaden clouds, drenching rain, and February tornadoes. Finally I could take pictures, so I could share my excitement! 😀

This is my Jade Garden, and I so love this shawl! Knit with Dream in Color Baby in the Good Luck Jade colorway, using Sivia Harding’s Shetland Garden Faroese, it’s a treat from cast on to bind off and beyond.

I won’t repeat all the details here, as I discussed the adventure of creating this shawl, along with the changes I made, including a totally new border, a few weeks ago in my Double and Done post. Just wanted to finally share the pictures. 🙂

Double and Done

Right now I feel as if I’m enjoying an embarrassment of wealth in terms of really grand knitting projects. I scarcely know which I want to pick up each day when I sit down with my audiobook. I’ve been really bad about sharing them here, mostly because when I get free time, it’s tough to keep my hands off my knitting long enough to write a blog entry. I can’t ever remember a time when I had FOUR pet projects! Don’t get me wrong; I have a whole heap of UFO’s, and I’ve frogged the ones I don’t like, so there aren’t any losers. But you know how you tend to get a bee in  your bonnet about one particular project and have a tough time putting it down for a few days or weeks – or until it’s time to do the finishing work on it?  I have four of those right now, and it’s about making me dizzy! Let me introduce (or reintroduce) you to two of them.

On January 1, 2009, I cast on a long anticipated project – Shetland Garden by Sivia Harding. I knew I had some busy days coming, but I actually thought at the time that I’d have it done in a few months. Not. In fact, a few days into the year, I tucked it away ’til the next day, and that day turned out to be January 1, 2010. Oddly enough, history repeated itself, and this much desired project mellowed for another full year. Almost a joke by this point, I pulled it out again on January 1, 2011, fully planning to purposely pop it back into the project tub by the end of the first week of this year this time. You know… fine tradition and all… However, the strangest thing happened… nothing weird, new, or unexpected. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this situation. As busy as my life has been, NOTHING got in the way of me knitting this shawl, and better yet, it began growing almost magically. I have this weekend off from working at my FIL’s old house, so I’ve dedicated some of the extra time to the things I love doing – sort of an in home (much needed) winter retreat – and about an hour ago, the unbelievable happened; I cast it off and sewed in the ends. Then I sat blinking in amazement. It’s done. What will I do next year on New Year’s Day? Should I have done this to myself?

No, I’m NOT going to frog half of it from guilt. I’m not quite THAT crazy… yet. 😉 Finishing this has also given me another quandary. I’ve been longing for some decent snow, so I can do some more snow dyeing. Now I also need a beautiful spring-like day so I can block my newest shawl. It’s liable to be awhile, so I’m posting pix of it unblocked for now, just to share the excitement of being this far with the project.

I did make a few changes to the original pattern. First, I know myself well enough to know that mirroring the decreases was mandatory for me, Shetland tradition notwithstanding. On a cobweb weight yarn, it wouldn’t have really mattered so much, but with Dream in Color Baby being a rather heavy laceweight, more akin to sock yarn, the lean of the decrease really makes a pattern impact, and I love the way those lines make a secondary pattern in lace, so I did the mental gymnastics to make them symmetric.

The second change is a lot more serious. I loved this shawl from the first, but I felt that the original ending to it was just a bit too abrupt, not contributing to the artistic flow of the rest of the shawl. SO I went out on a limb and charted a new finale to the piece, which added a good number of extra hours to the project, but which I also think looks really nice – at least so far as I can see it unblocked and in close quarters. Did I say I was eager to see it blocked? 😉 BTW, once it is blocked, I can mark one UFO off my 2011 Goals. 🙂

Another 2011 Goals item is to learn to double knit. I’m happy to say that this is coming along quite well. I also must confess that I’ve apparently developed a new addiction… After watching Lucy Neatby’s wonderful DVD, Double Knitting Delight, again, I jumped into the deep end, choosing a fun chart by tina13 on Ravelry called Spinnschaf. Tina doesn’t give instructions, but she sure makes some grand charts for double knitters, and she posts them for free. They are great for people with some experience – or anyone who is just a plumb crazy beginner. 😉 Why pick a simple, large scale geometric pattern for your first project, when you have the option to pick something with oodles of details that will tie your brain into a Josephine knot, right?

It took me more rows than I would have liked to figure out just exactly how one does the edges correctly, and I’ve had a decent amount of experience, now, fixing various sorts of mistakes, but overall, this has been a really great experience, and I love the magic of knitting two sides at once, watching them come out as negative images. I’m also really loving the Stroll sock yarn from KnitPicks. I’m working with two lovely shades of the tweed, and I’m losing at least 5 minutes per work session just enjoying the way it feels.

Okay, enough for now. Wooly little voices are calling me…

No Requiem for the Beast!

I said yesterday that it’s been an eventful week, and yes, getting two great new looms would qualify a week as eventful, but that’s not the whole of it. Working toward another of my 2011 goals, though I’d have done this goal or not, I have another wonderful, new treasure in my life – the first thing I bought with my Christmas money. Are you sitting down?

If I’d bought only one item this year with Christmas dollars, it would have been…

Yes – a new toilet!!! And after battling to get a plumber here to install it, firing the first and hiring a second, it was finally installed yesterday. I’m SOOOOOO happy! This toilet actually does what a toilet is supposed to do – flushes and takes what is in it away when it does! 😀 I bought a Toto Dartmouth, which flushes with less than 1.5 gallons of water, has a higher rim height, which means it’s easier on my long legs and bad knees, and is styled in the way I want for my future fantasy bathroom remodel. (Think I could use a new floor for starters?) I also opted for the Sanigloss finish and the Toto soft close seat. The seat is actually the only thing I don’t particularly like. The soft close feature is nice, but the seat itself is sort of funnel shaped, sloping down into the bowl from the high outer edge, and I don’t find that to be especially comfortable. I’m also used to being able to sit on the closed lid, and this isn’t as solid as the wood I’m used to having. Toto has a wooden soft close seat, but it cost half again as much as I paid for the toilet, which I found for the best price online at BTW, my purchase arrived very promptly and extremely well packed, and the service rep I spoke with was friendly and well informed. I’m definitely planning to deal with them again.

Do I feel any remorse in seeing this go?

Not a single tear shed! This Eljer has been hateful from the moment it was installed. It could barely swallow paper on a good day, and non-liquid flushes have required 3.2 gallons of water from the tank, and auxiliary bucket, perfect timing, and a bit of luck. To say I’m currently fascinated to have a toilet that works perfectly every time and with virtually no water is an understatement. Quality of life just went up dramatically here! Am I weird for loving my new toilet???

And in case you are keeping score, yes, I got a Dorothy loom and a Toto toilet this week. Gotta wonder what’s next… and I’m hoping there isn’t a wicked witch involved!

A Riddle

Okay, so what has 5 reeds,

6 treadles,

8 harnesses,

a zillion heddles,

and no floor space???

How many of you guessed me? Yeh, I know… Wasn’t too much of a stretch, was it? 😉 Let’s just say I’ve had a very eventful week, and part of the eventfulness involved not one, but TWO looms. Having wanted something beyond a rigid heddle loom for years (which I just found out during the last couple weeks is a tool I’ve apparently grossly underestimated), I’d actually relegated that dream to totally fantasy. After all, how long can you wish for something before the thought of having it becomes more fairy tale than possibility? But reality happened for me, and when it did, it happened in mind boggling proportions…

A few weeks back, one of the women on a fiber groups I enjoy on Yahoo posted that she had a LeClerc Dorothy table loom and folding table for sale. Wow! A 4-harness loom at a price I could handle – and with Christmas money in my pocket! No, I simply couldn’t resist. 🙂 I fired a check off to her and settled in to wait impatiently for my new toy. Noodling around online looking for info, one evening I found myself on Craig’s list. I got to wondering if there was any chance I could find the big triloom I’ve been wanting, but instead of that, I discovered a 36″ Harrisville Designs floor loom for sale in the next town north. Dare I? I mean, how crazy would it be to get both? I don’t have room for either at the moment, but… well… I went with a friend to look at the floor loom Wednesday, and it sort of followed me home. It was a great deal, as she sent along the warping mill, a bobbin winder, and two tubs full of warp thread, mop yarn, and fabric strips for rug weaving, too. We spent the rest of the afternoon rearranging things just so I could have it in the house, and thankfully I figured out at last how to fold it. 🙂 Of course, what I want to do is figure out how to weave on it!

Meanwhile, FedEx showed up at my door a day earlier than they’d predicted – late Wednesday afternoon while we were still untangling rag rug fabric strips – with a 41 pound package. Yes, I ended up getting both looms the same day! It’s a bit mind boggling, to be quite honest, and my choice would have been to spread out the excitement over a bit longer time. Little Dorothy folds up ever so much smaller, even with her table, and she’s going to be my first playmate for sure. I’ve got some big work to do before I can work on something as large as a floor loom, but the Dorothy sets up in a space smaller than a card table. That I should be able to manage fairly soon. She brought some lovely yarn along with her, so my biggest challenge at the moment is to arrange space and decide exactly what I want to weave. I’ve been busily ordering books and DVDs to help me get started, so I know what I’m going to be watching during knitting time this coming week.

I do wonder if I’m ever going to get my triloom. I guess it really wasn’t a good idea to buy the yarn 2 years ago for the project I designed to do on a loom I didn’t even own, but… 😉

The Year of the Cable?

I suddenly realized that I have FOUR fairly big knitting projects planned for this year that have cables as the main feature. What is happening? My first love is lace… I think! I may be so sick of cables by the end of the year that I don’t knit another one for a decade! 😉

Or… perhaps there will be a new addiction? Sigh…

Anyway, on my Goals 2011 list, I have “Knit Burridge Lake Afghan,” and when I started doing some math the other day, I realized it was an excellent idea to cast on for it right away. I want to pace it throughout the year – maybe… if I don’t totally obsess over it, which is a definite danger. It divides neatly into 4 sections – the three main panels each being one, and the two end panels and sewing up being the fourth. Currently, my “plan” is to finish one section each quarter of the year, with this being primarily a Sunday knitting project for me. With that in mind, this past weekend I cast on for Panel A, and Monday (yes, already cheating!) I finished the second of this week’s two repeats. I’m madly in love! I love the pattern; I love the yarn; I love the way it looks!

What was it I was saying about an addiction? 😉

The yarn is the Green Line Worsted (organic merino) from Lorna’s Laces that I bought last fall from Jimmy Beans. It’s incredibly soft, and people are giving me a disbelieving look when I tell them it’s 100% wool.  The photo is just the center cable with a hint of the Trinity Stitch panels. There is a Basketweave on each side of this as well, and when the piece gets big enough that I can fill the frame with the entire width of the panel, I’ll post it for the full effect.

The pattern is by Anna Dalvi, and it’s available for free HERE or on Ravelry. Anyone else up for a 2011 Burridge Challenge? This is going to be so much fun – and I’d love to have some company and see your project updates if you do!

One Down

Just a quick celebratory post. No matter what 2011 brings, one of my goals will be accomplished. 🙂 I’ve sent in the paperwork to set up an automatic investment deposit. It’s not much, mind you, as paying off debts has a higher priority for me, but I did the math and discovered that if I’d done this back when I opened the account in the first place, it would be thousands by now. Oh, the joys of procrastination. 😦 However, I don’t have a time machine, so I will just have to relish the fact that this little need that I’ve put off for over a decade took me about an hour of effort in the end. One goal down; 39 to go!

Published in: on January 9, 2011 at 2:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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