Wednesday, December 10, 2014

WiPs Wednesday

It's December.  How did that happen?  And it's Wednesday; which means its Work in Progress day.

I've finished a few things over the last several weeks, I just haven't gotten the ends sewn in and photos taken.  So check in Friday for some FOs.

This week I am working on socks for me.  I also have the Emelie sweater and some finishing touches on other sweaters.

I just cast these on yesterday.  They're interesting.  I'm not sure about the colors.  Just not my colors.  But they're socks-so who cares.

The Emelie sweater.  I had to rip back 5 inches of this sweater because I managed to get off track on the lace panels.  The pattern is annoying.  It is over 6 pages with instructions scattered throughout in something other than order.  I have to flip back to page one, then 2 and back to 5 or 6 or wherever I may be in the pattern.  And because my postit note lost stickiness I lost my spot and guessed wrong.  I need to rewrite the instructions ignoring the instructions for all of the other sizes and lengths and put the lace charts on a separate page I can lay next to my instructions and then I think I will be on track.  It doesn't help that this is sock weight yarn on tiny needles.  What was I thinking?

I am also working on finishing up a couple of sweaters that have been hanging around way longer than they should.  The neckline is horrible.  I have to figure out what I want to do to fix it.  Maybe crocheting around the edge instead of knitting?  Maybe an Icord?  Any ideas?

For more WiPs check out Tamis Amis' Blog.

Have a great week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Unpacking Blues

Hi Everyone.  I would say Happy Tuesday, but alas today is not a happy Tuesday for me.  Work is not at all joyful at the moment.  At home I am still unpacking.  I lost most of my motivation to get unpacked.  I have most of a living room-you can even see the floor.  My bedroom/office/hallway are more like an obstacle course.  Boxes and bags of shoes are everywhere.  I have a lot of shoes.  I need to have less shoes.

That's the hardest part about moving-going through everything deciding what to keep, what to sell and what to give away.

I've talked about swaps before on the blog.  I'm a member of several groups on Ravelry that do swaps.  I signed up for a Christmas swap and knowing that my move was coming up and that I was going to be out of town more than I was in town I put together the presents early. Then I put them in a safe place.  Here's the message I just posted on the discussion page for the swap:

Dear Partner:
I was a good swapper-I collected almost everything necessary for your present before I moved. I put it all together in a safe place. I mean a really safe place. Now if only I could locate the safe place. Finding your presents is my new motivation for finishing the unpacking and organizing of my house. But never fear-should the unpacking not be successful you will still get an awesome package-just not the original one.
I love moving. Yup-I do. Fun times. Who wouldn't rather pack and unpack instead of knitting? Anyone? Anyone?
I promise to ship on time if not early.
-Frazzled Amy

I've unpacked all of my yarn stash and the bags related to fiber.  So far that package is being illusive.  I can replace the yarn easily.  The handmade won't be as easy-but still doable in my time frame before shipping.  I believe that I need to begin to write everything down.  Maybe I should look into one of those bullet journals people have been talking about over the last couple of years.

What do you do to keep track of your life?

See you tomorrow for WiPs Wednesday.  Oh and I am changing my mood-smiling now and pretending all is well.  I've heard that works to help change your attitude.  We'll see how that works out.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Challenge-Craft Friday, Scorn Black Friday

My family has always celebrated Thanksgiving during which we take a step back from our every day lives to give Thanks.  We spend the day together, creating a meal together and remembering and giving thanks for all of the things that we are grateful for.  Spending the day with friends and family.

There are several different stories to the start of Thanksgiving, from the Puritans celebrating religious matters to settlers near Plymouth Rock having a feast to celebrate the harvest.  In the United State Thanksgiving was proclaimed to be a National Holiday by George Washington.

As President of the United States, George Washington proclaimed the first nation-wide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789, "as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God".(Hodgson, Godfrey (2006) A Great and Godly Adventure: The Pilgrims and the Myth of the first Thanksgiving.)

In Canada there are just as many stories as to the origin as there are in the US.  From explorers celebrating a successful journey from England to celebrating a successful harvest.

In recent years, there has been a lot of discussion about consumerism and the disasters that have come with Black Friday (shoppers being trampled or shot).  And let's not forget the last few years how Black Friday has become Black Thursday.  

There have been calls to boycott stores that open early for sales by interrupting the holiday and there are just as many responding with arguments that people can make their own choices.  This year I came across a different kind of call.  One that turns the negative into a positive.  Instead of asking for a boycott, one blogger is challenging readers to have Craft Friday.

Craft Friday should be spent with friends and family (or by yourself) crafting whatever you'd like.  You can use the time to make handmade gifts for others or things for yourself.  There are pinterest boards with crafting ideas if you need some inspiration and discussion boards popping up to talk about Craft Friday.  

To see where the idea started or to get the links to pinterest and other related sites go see Pomo Golightly.  

Pomo will follow up with a Craft Friday Declaration Post Party where you can share your inspiration, why you chose to participate and what you made (unless that's top secret).

I remember, not too long ago, when Thanksgiving meant the majority of businesses were closed.  Few restaurants were open (most closed early-fast food type places), stores closed, and grocery stores closed early.  That meant most people were able to spend the day with family or friends.  It makes me sad to see how many businesses have stopped closing at all.  I'd like to see a return to a time when spending time with family and friends was more important than keeping a business open.  So I am in.  I will not shop on Thanksgiving day.  I will not be shopping on Black Friday.  On Friday November 28th I will craft.

What will you be doing?

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WiP Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

I have a pile of WiPs.  Literally a pile.  See:

I know that there are at least 2 sweaters in progress and one almost done.  I think that there are a couple of pairs of socks.  As to the rest-no clue.  I moved a few weeks ago.  I put all of the project bags with WiPs in a pile in this basket in my new living room.  I have not gone through them.  I really didn't think I had that many ongoing projects.

Didn't stop me from starting something new either.  My latest-Mini Christmas hat ornaments.

This is for a swap.  They are slightly larger than a quarter.  Mini, tiny hats.  I used an i-cord to form the loops to hang them.

I've also done a bit of sewing.  Project bags.

And my current WiP that goes in my purse and therefore gets the most time are these socks.  I cast them on Monday and have spent an hour or so.

For more WiPs see Tamis Amis' Blog and all the WiP posts linked at the bottom.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

WiPs and a Woolen Mill Tour

Happy Wednesday everyone!  It's been a bit since I've written a post.  I've been doing a lot of traveling in the past couple of months and moved somewhere in there.  Life has been crazy-lots of changes.

Wednesday WiPs:

I'm currently working on a pair of socks for my Dad.  They are so close to being done-just a couple of ends need weaving in and a tiny hole on one gusset needs closing.

I cast on a purple hat for my niece Hazel at her request.  For Christmas this year she asked for a purple hat with ear flaps and pom poms.  She wanted ribbing around the edge and some strings with more pom poms.  I am tickled pink that she knew what ribbing was and that she knew exactly what type of hat she wanted.  I did not show her any pictures, she just told me exactly what she wanted.  She is a very smart 4 year old.  Of my 31 nieces and nephews she is the only one who requested a knit item.

I'm still working on my Emelie sweater even though I haven't picked it up in weeks.  I've decided to add a rip cord and rip back to the end of the ribbed section.  I feel like I've gotten off track with the lace panel sections.  And I tore the pattern apart because it includes way too many instructions that aren't relevant to the size I am knitting.  And that was causing problems.  I couldn't ever remember where I was or what was next.

I've got a couple of fingerless mitts to cast on next.

I don't have any pictures of my knitting today but you can see all of the recent photos on Instagram if you'd like to check them out.  I am amylbingham on Instagram.

That's it for WiPs.  For more check out Tamis Amis' blog

I have been holding on to the rest of this post for a while.  When I traveled to Oregon for Oregon Flock and Fiber (OFF) with friends, we took a trip to the Thomas Kay Woolen Mill in Salem, Oregon.  The rest of today's post is picture heavy.  I don't think you'll mind.

The Mill originally opened in the 1890's.  A fire took it down to nothing a few years later and the town banded together to rebuild the brick structure that still stands today.  The mill stopped production in the 1960's.  However the daughter of the founder of the Mill opened a mill in Eastern Oregon as a spin off of the Thomas Kay Mill and that Mill is still in production today.  You may know it- The Pendleton  Woolen Mill.  Pendleton was opened by Thomas Kay's oldest daughter and her husband after Thomas Kay retired and left management of the mill to his son's and left out his daughter who had been an integral part of managing the mill.

I hope you enjoy the photos (in no particular order) and see somethings that you recognize.

This is a swing built by some of the original workers.

 Teasel wicks-to fluff up the fabric.

 Old time cards

 washing room

 One of the older weaving machines.  They turned this on for less than a minute.  The picture below shows you how much it wove in under a minute (about an inch and a half-see the top part of the blue yarn)

 Wheelbarrow to move raw wool

 raw wool into the machine to separate out rocks and veg matter

 Hand carder station-so you can try hand carding wool

 The red plaid is a piece of fabric made here.  

Some of the workers.  At one time my great grandparents worked for this Mill (found that out after the fact).  I was happy to learn that the workers at this Mill were treated fairly and well paid.  They had a good community that was supported by the town.

One of the old sewing machines.  Take a close look at the gadget they use to keep the blanket edging in place and turned before sewing.  Would be very useful to have at home.

 Bobbins in a pitcher at the window

 Dusty bobbin on the weaving machine

 Huge barrel of bobbins.  Hardly faded after more than 40 years.

 Yarn cones made here at the mill-They processed the raw wool, spun the yarn, dyed the yarn and wove blankets and fabrics at the Mill until 1962.

 spinning room

 Lisa and Bessie taking a closer look at some wool

 Weaving machines.  Back when the mill was in operation they used young boys to crawl in there to replace a bobbin or pick one up if the machine threw it.  Glad I didn't have that job.

 Lots of wool

 More bobbins-these were a mess of tangled threads

 Pile of raw wool waiting for its turn to be pretty

 Inspecting and hand sewing blankets after the machines were done

 sewing room

 The Mill supplied the US Military with blankets for quite a few years.  Each blanket was stamped here.

 Becoming a plaid fabric

The Mill was fascinating.  It was great seeing all of the machines and how they all worked.  I would recommend the guided tour if you are in Salem and have a couple of hours to spare.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WiPs and an Accomplishment

Happy Wednesday Everyone.

I don't have a lot to show you.  There's been a ton of stuff happening in my personal life and a lot of trips lately.  So while I've been knitting on things I don't have a lot of photos.  Oh and in between all of my weekend trips and work trips I moved last week.  So everything is still in boxes.  Who needs a hay maze or other Halloween related mazes when you have you very own box maze instead?  I have one project that I've been working on steadily over the last week or two.  A pair of socks.  And the only reason that I've been able to work on them is because I leave socks in my purse for travel knitting.  I found my stash.  I haven't found my WiPs.

These are Guardian of the Galaxy socks for my Dad.  He specially requested a pair of socks in the colors of the main characters space ship.  It has a name, I've forgotten it.  I did see the movie; however I am not a super fan and names escape me most of the time anyway.  (It is a good movie).

I finished the heel turn during a CLE (continuing legal education) lunch seminar today.  Now I'll be working on the gussets on the ride home tonight.  If someone would figure out how to type and knit at the same time I'd be set.

Forgive the blurry shot.  The socks are blues, oranges and a tiny bit red.  They look great in person and I promise to get a better shot when I show them off on FO Friday.

Also I have to brag [honestly there was a point between mile 9 1/2 and 12 on a hill from hell that I wanted to sit down and never move again (the ditch on the side of the road would have worked wonderfully for a grave)] because I FINISHED!  I ran the Nike Women's Half Marathon.  I ran the full marathon there in 2007 and wrongly thought a half would be a breeze.

The finishers medal is a Tiffany's Necklace.  And yes there are firemen at the finish line.  They should be at the start line where we look better.  Not bedraggled and sweaty and close to tears.  This is a fun race.  There is a lot of music and tons of spectators cheering us on.  I recommend it to anyone half crazy out there.

For more WiPs check out Tamis Amis' Blog

Friday, October 3, 2014

Curious Collective Shawl 2014 is my FO this week

TGIF!  I'm so excited that it's Friday.  It's been a long long week.

I finished my Curious Collective Shawl for 2014.  It's absolutely GORGEOUS!  I highly recommend this shawl.  You'll love it too.  It's got garter stitch, cables and lace.  It's something a beginner can handle and is interesting enough to keep an experienced knitter happily knitting through to the bind off.

I blocked it last night (in an unusual place because I'm in the process of packing up to move in a few weeks-so please excuse the mess in the background).

And Ta Da!!!!!

Here it is draped over a railing at the train station this morning

Cable close up

Pretty Lace Close Up

I LOVE it!

For more Fo's check out Tamis Amis' Blog and other finished objects by other bloggers.

If you're in Southern California this weekend come take a break from the heat at Yarnosphere in Long Beach.  Find the schedule for classes and more at