Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Where has summer gone?

Where has summer gone? I guess I have been so busy with stuff that I think I just missed it all. I can't believe summer is almost over. My kids start school next week, which is a good thing, and a sad thing. This summer I made a point to spend more time doing things with them instead of the usual. We went to the YMCA a lot to swim and cool off. We went to the Zoo a lot too. Over all I would say we all had a lot fun throughout the summer but its now time to get back to the usual. My oldest daughter starts her senior year. She is really excited about all she has going this year. My middle daughter starts her 8th grade year in the same school but with a new building. My youngest starts the 4th grade in a new school. So this fall brings lots of changes for all of us. For me I have been working for month on fair projects. I have always been pretty successful at the fair but I have never been able to win the top Sweepstakes awards. Last year I won the Needle arts sweepstakes, but not the Grand Sweepstakes. So that has been my goal for the year. Well I am happy to say I did win both the Needle arts and the Grands Sweepstakes.

I have to say it was lots of work and I am not sure I will ever do that again. Towards the end I was beginning to really hate knitting. I know its hard to believe. I think what happened is I just got really tired of working on a deadline. So I think I will change my approach to knitting and all my needlework. I want to slow down and enjoy the projects more. I have a couple that I am planning for the fall that I am really excited about, I will talk about them in a late post.

One of the projects that I did this past year was a shrug that I hand spun for. I have never been able to spin a soft and light 3ply yarn so The was a real treat for me to be successful. I have also never won the best of division in handspun. So it was really nice to be awarded the ribbons for my effort.

One bummer of the fair is that I made a little needlepoint pin cushion that was made with hand spun yarns and it lost to a braid that in my opinion was not worthy of any ribbon. As a matter of fact its falling apart as its displayed. Oh well, you can't have everything.

At the fair I did see a couple of things that have intrigued me to try. Both of them are crochet which is nice as I have not been inspired by crochet for a long time. So I am on the hunt for these patterns so that I can give them a try. I think my mother inlaw would love the lighthouse so I think I will try to make it for her for either Christmas or her birthday. I think I will make the afghan from hand spun.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

It seems like forever ago

Well it does seem like its been forever ago that I have updated my blog. I do have an excuse. I have been really busy getting ready for the State fair. I have been knitting, spinning, crocheting, needlepointing, and even candlewicking. Last year I won the NeedleArts sweepstakes but not the grand sweepstakes so that has been my goal this year. Well now that I have everything all done. I am at the point where I just don't care anymore. I'm not sure I will even try for it again. By the end of July I really hated knitting. Which is a first for me. I decided that I needed to take a break and just make something for the heck of it. So now I am looking to the future. What will be my future projects, etc.

Also this summer I have been busy doing the mom thing. Taking the kids to the YMCA, helping them with their 4H projects. My oldest daughter went to Mexico on a mission trip. So as you can see I have been busy. One thing that I also did this summer that was totally fun was attending a spinning retreat. I am not a big camper. OK I really hate to camp. I just hate being dirty. Well last week I attended this retreat and boy was it worth all the dirt and cold nights. I had so much fun. I will update you all later on that.

I will also update you on what I plan to enter at the fair next week along with how I did.

But for right now I want to tell you about the Ravelympics. I did spin for the Tour de Fleece, which was a lot of fun, so I decided to join in on the Ravelympics. I have entered two categories. the Handspun heptathlon and the shawl relay. My local knitting guild is hosting a party tomorrow night at the local yarn store. We are calling it a cast on party. We plan to have a dessert pot luck and watch the opening ceremonies and cast on for a shawl. The original idea was to cast on a shawl from the book Folk Shawls. Which was what I was planning on doing, until. Until I couldn't decided what yarn to use for what shawl. So I am doing something different. My spinning group had a dye day back in June. We dyed roving from 4 different colorways that were shown in the fall issue of Handwoven. I fell in love with the fall colorway, which are not my usually colors. I really like jeweltones normally. Well we ended up with about 1 to 2 ounces of 6 different colors in the colorway. So what I did was spin them in order. Starting with dark brown, gold, orange, and green, then repeated until all the samples were spun up. I then plied the single with a chocolate brown single to tone down the colors a bit. My plan is to make the scarf on the cover of the current Spin Off. I plan to cast on more for a shawl. I ended up with 942 yards of a sport/ fingering weight yarn. So I think I will have plenty to make a wrap/shawl.

For my spinning project I have 3 pounds of a dark chocolate wool that I believe is Cooridale but I'm not totally sure. I bought it a few years back at a fiber fair and the receipt says top so I'm not 100% sure. Anyway its looks wonderful and is soft enough for a sweater, which is the ultimate plan. I want to use the yarn to knit the Back to Vermont Sweater that is in the book Nature Knitter.

So as you can see I will be once again a busy little beaver for the next couple of weeks. I am also working on some yarn on the spindle for some mits and I do have a pair of monkey socks going using yarn that I dyed as sock blanks. I will show you more as I get them going.