Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summertime fun?

I'm not sure if I have ever talked about my feelings when it comes to summer. I hate it! OK so I don't totally hate it there are a lot of fun things that go on during summer, but I really do hate the heat. So the month of July is usually never really fun for me. I don't mind when it gets in the 80's and even the lower 90's but I really hate it when it get 95 or higher. Which in Idaho it can be over 100 for a couple of weeks.
A couple of years ago I found something to help me get through the month. The Tour de Fleece. If you have not herd of the Tour de Fleece its, for me, a fun way to not think about how hot it really is. As you may know for most of the month of July the Tour de France is going. So the Tour de Fleece is where spinners ( not the cyclists) set some type of goal to work at during the Tour. A bonus for me is I love to watch cycling anyway. Each year I have tried something that I would normally not do in the 22 days of the race. This year my goals are to:
1. Spin for the Einstein coat ( a totally garder stitch coat that can be found in the The Knitting experience - the Knit stitch book by Sally Melville- about 1200 yards of a bulky weight
2. Spin for a top down sweater - about 1100 yards of a worsted weight yarn I also want to dye the yarn once its complete- (I will talk more about that later)
3. I want to spin and knit a scarf in one day.- my version of a sheep to shawl.
Now that is a lot of spinning so I have been in "training" I have been working on carding the wool for the Einstein coat.
This picture isn't all that great. The wool is really a darker grey.
For my top down sweater I will be using a moorit brown that I plan to dye bright yellow once I am done with the spinning. Now you may think I will end up with a weird yellow yarn but really it will end up a very cool green.
There is also a two fold plan for both of these projects. I want to wear the coat at the fashion show at SOAR later this year. I want to take the top down sweater to work on while I am at SOAR.
While I am doing all of this spinning I don't plan to neglect my knitting. July is usually sock month. I usually teach knitting socks and this year is no exception. I will be knit three pair this month. A plan vanilla pair which I use for beginner sock knitters. I also plan to knit a pair of sock from the new Knitty. The mermaid, which I have gotten started tonight which is my advanced sock knitter pattern. For my intermediate pair I will be knitting a cable sock. My plan is to have one of each of these done by the 11th so that I will have samples when class starts. That will give me three weeks so get all three second socks done, we will see if that happens.

In the mean time I am also knitting the fair isle hat that is in the current Spin Off. But its take a bit of time because the pattern calls for a size 5 needles and the yarn is bulky, so my hands are a bit soar knit it, but I do love the pattern. I did change one of the colors a bit. My oldest daughter will be attending BSU and I want to make the hat more to her school colors. So the red is now orange. Not the bright hunter orange that BSU is but its as orange as I can stand.

Finally I do need to share with you one more thing. When you join the Tour de Fleece you can join via a wild card group. I was in Team Moneky Fart last year so I decided to stay with it. Now I know you are asking where the heck did that name come from. As you all know I am a member of the Spunky Fiber club. Monkey farts is a colorway of Amy King. (yes Spunkeletic is the same Amy King of the new book Spin Control).
Now on Ravery we all have whats called a ravatar so there is mine for Team Monkey farts

Monday, June 08, 2009

Summer Time goals and plans

Well I have really wanted to keep up with the blog but it just seems like there is one thing after the other going on around here. Last week my oldest graduated from High School which means we have all kinds of family here. It was a great week and all was fun but I am glad to have everything all quiet again. Our middle daughter is starting summer school tomorrow so we will be busy with all of that for the next couple of months.
Knowing that I would be having a busy summer I decided a few weeks ago to get all UFO's completed. So that pretty much what I have been up to. I have to say its a great feeling to have everything done. I think for about 8 hours I had nothing on needles, wheel, or spindle. Then I did cast on for the Back home in Vermont sweater that can be found in the book, the Natural Knitter. I have also start to spin some lace weight yarn on my Matchless ST, I am using the High whorl. I have 6 ounces and I want to see how much I can get from it. Its a really nice superwash merino. At the same time I am working on getting some fleece carded for Tour de Fleece. I plan to spin again this year. I had so much fun last year that I think this will be a annual thing. This years goal is to spin for two sweaters. One is for a simple top down that I plan to knit while I am at SOAR this next fall. I want to take something that will be easy to knit as the drive to Bend takes about 6 hours and then I know there will be down time to knit. The other is from a fleece I bought for my birthday. My plan for that is to Knit it into an Einstein coat. I will be teaching a class on it in Sept. so I really need to get it all done before that. I will, I promise, pictures as soon as I get some batteries for my camera on all my progress.