Saturday, January 31, 2009

Finally, the First FO

I thought January was going to end before I got my first FO off the needles in 2009 and it almost did. Yesterday I finished the scarf I made from my first handspun yarn and I think it came out pretty well. It's not very long, but it's very soft! I'm going to give it away and I hope the recipient likes it.

Here's the progression of this scarf: I took a spinning lesson in November. Here's the first bit of yarn I made:
My friend, Goatlady, sent me a box full of fiber for me to practice spinning. The merino/silk blend (top right corner) was soft and beautiful, so I got a couple of spindles and started to practice with that and some of the others.

It progressed pretty well, and soon I was humming along.

As I documented recently, I made about 185 yards of yarn out of this fiber, and it looked like this when it was done:

I decided to make the Yarn Harlot's One Row Handspun Scarf. I used size 8 needles, and it came out like this:

I'm happy.

Lots of WIPs to talk about, including the addictive Noro striped scarf, but that will wait for another day. Happy end of January, everyone!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby

The Princess turns 18 today!

I can't believe that a whole year has gone by since I commemorated your 17th birthday. At 11:35 am today, you will be 18. You are beautiful and brilliant, talented and funny. You're thinking about college, I'm thinking about holding your hand to cross the street. How fast the years have gone!

This girl started early with the phone (and look at the size of it!) These days it seems that it's permanently connected to her.

Birthday parties were always lots of fun. Sometimes there was snow; lots of times we interrupted the Super Bowl to celebrate.

Presents were frilly dresses and dolls. What will it be this year? (Hoping that the present I ordered will actually arrive with the mail carrier today.)

The party dress this year was still blue, and it didn't look much bigger than the one you had when you were three! You looked wonderful, as always.

And so as I think back over the last 18 years, I am thankful to be your mother. We don't always see eye to eye, and we certainly have our disagreements, but I love you more than you can ever know and am extremely proud of you. As you head off into your future, know that we will be here to back you up, to support you, and to love you.

We've had fun times together and there will be more.

Happy Birthday, Princess. You are one in a million.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Look What I Made!

This is the merino/silk that I was practicing my spinning on and I decided to finish it up. It's very soft! It's not the easiest yarn to work with; it's fuzzy and tends to tangle during winding, but I love the color. I came out with about 2-1/2 oz which spun up into approximately 185 yards. The WPI are around 10-12. My dear Goatlady sent me this beautiful fiber and she just had surgery, so I'm sending good thoughts her way as I entertain myself with this (now) yarn. I used my little stone whorl drop spindle that I got from Zebisis designs on Etsy.

It's a beautiful mix of colors that don't show up perfectly in the photo. I can't wait to make something out of this.

Tomorrow is the train trip from Seattle to Portland for the yarn crawl. Have to get up really early to get to the train by 7:00 (am!)

Enjoy your weekend.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


for the first time in many years, I am proud to be a citizen of the United States of America.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Back to Reality: From Palm Desert to Seattle

While I realize that our weather is pretty mild compared to much of the country, I still found that getting away from this

and into this

to be very nice. This is the view from the trail that we hiked on a little ways up into the mountains. From there you can see down into the lush green valley and across to the surrounding mountains. It was beautiful.

Our trees looked like this not long ago

The trees there look like this:

Fresh grapefruit and lemons every day!

Palm Desert in January was paradise this year. I did not want to come back.

Fortunately, there are things to look forward to. Next Saturday will be a train trip from Seattle to Portland which will include visits to at least three yarn stores. The middle of February will bring Madrona Fiber Arts Festival in Tacoma, which will include taking a lace class from Nancy Bush, meeting my separated-at-birth twin, Cathy-Cate, and more yarn shopping.

I can't believe that it's January 18th and I've yet to complete a 2009 project. I guess the fact that I'm working on 5 or 6 things all at the same time, plus spinning three different fibers, slows me down considerably. All that knitting at the pool last week got me some progress on my Swallowtail shawl, but I'm a slow lace knitter. It also took me a while to decide whether or not to try to enlarge it. I'm going to take a chance and see if I can get it done using beads and one skein of Wollmeise. Others have done it, but some have failed. I put in a life line at the end of the regular number of repeats and I'm going for it. You have to take a chance sometimes, I say.