Wednesday, July 07, 2010

A commitment to working down my stash

One of the things I'm working on this summer, since I'm not working "a real job", is work down my yarn and fiber stash. My reasons aren't some much about money but the fact that I have have an astounding stash. If I manage to spin up all my fiber then I certinly wouldn't need any more yarn for a long time. To that end I've been working everyday on the SAL and KALs I've joined.

Tour de Fleece:
This spindle is slowly filling with what eventually be a fingering weight yarn. After I've finished this yarn I'm going to dig out my other (many) spindles to work off what I have on them.

On my wheel I've finished the first 4 ozs of this BFL. I'm not sure as of tonight if I'm going to spin the next 4 osz or switch to another batch of fiber just to have a change.

Sock Knitters Anonymous July KAL and Summer of Socks 2010
This is a fair isle sock designed by Chrissy Gardiner for Sock Knitters Anonymous on Ravlery.

This is a design by Anne Hanson of Knitspot. I've only been working on this sock for a couple of days but I'm loving how the sock is knitting up. I'm almost done with the first repeat.

I've also picked up a sock I put down last fall but I don't have any current pictures of it. I'll get a shot when I get the first sock done which Ithink will be tomorrow. There is one other sock on my needles but its a surprise for someone so you'll just have to wait until I gift the socks to see them.
Another thing I want to get going is a new weaving project but I'm not sure what I want to do yet.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Not quite a year

I'm about 3 months short of not having posted in a year. Its been intresting in that "OMG we're all gonna die!" sort of way. My RA had been getting progressively worse. To the point where I had to give up spinning, knitting and weaving. In the middle of November '09 my husband asked me for a divorce. A month later my Rheumatologist added a new medication to my regimen that finally did the trick of getting rid of most of my daily pain. By shortly before Christmas I was in my own apartment with divorce proceedings underway. Some time between January and February I started to feel strong enough to start knitting again.
Since one of my dreams (being married to someone I loved) was coming to a close I didn't want I decided to pursue another dream, that of traveling. From the middle of April 2010 to the middle of May 2010 I was sight seeing and hiking in Nepal and Tibet. Other than finishing college this was the best thing I have ever done for myself. The trip was hard and satisfying. I was in a lot of pain at times but there were times when I could put the RA thing aside and truly be happy in the moment. I made new friends that will be with me for the rest of my life. I've got a lot of pictures and memories of the trip that I want to share but I'll do that in other posts. My divorce became finale the week before I left for the trip.
After I returned home I bought myself a new spinning wheel and have been back into my fiber life. The wheel is a Schact Lady Bug. For those not familiar with it this is a double treadle wheel which means you use both feet to keep the wheel in motion. From an ergonomic standpoint this is a much better wheel for me since I'm not using just one foot the way I had been with both my Ashford Wheels. Yes, I could have gotten a new double treadle for my Ashford Traveler wheel, and I still might, but the Lady Bug also has bigger bobbins and well I just wanted something really new.
I'm still not working but that's not entirely due to my having RA. Now that I'm so much healthier I've been enjoying my time. I have to be careful that I don't over due anything. I've spent to much time knitting or spinning and have felt the pain for many days afterwards. The fatigue from the disease and the side effects from the medications I take are still with me. Most days I need to nap in the afternoon or else go to bed early in the evening. Eventually I'll start looking for a job but with the economy still in the tank and the fact that with some frugality I can live one my alimony payments I'm not in a hurry.
To keep myself busy this summer I've become involved with two knit-a-longs (KALs) and a spin-a-long (SAL). For all of them I interact with my fellow a-longers on Ravelry. The first KAL is an on going one thru the Sock Knitters Anonymous group. There are several choices for knitted socks each month. For July you can either knit a pattern by Anne Hanson of Knit Spot or do a Fair Isle sock. One of the choices is a mystery design, which this month is in the fair isle theme. I'm doing an Anne Hanson design called Flaming Desire. If I get that pair done then I want to do the mystery sock. As soon as I have something started I'll post pictures.
The other KAL is also about socks. Its the Summer of Socks 2010. From June 21 to September 21 you knit as many pairs of socks as you want. Some folks are doing a "wedding" theme. Something old, new, borrowed, and blue. I'm not sure how much that has to do with the fact that the founder, Jessica (AKA Zarzuela) who I am very happy to say is a friend of mine, is getting married this year. My something old is a sock I started before the whole divorce this started. I'll post info and pictures soon.
The SAL is the Tour de Fleece which goes along with the Tour de France. The idea is they spin so we spin. There are various teams inspired like the actual TdF such as Sprinters and the Peloton. In our case the sprinters work on fast spinning and or high mileage yarn like lace weight. The Peloton is the main group and we're all in this one at some point. There are also Wildcard teams which are just groups of people who are friends or are working with a certain type of fiber. I'm on Team CrankyPants because we're cranky, Team Schact Spinners because my Lady Bug wheel and one of the drop spindles I'm using are made by Schact, and Team Spindlers because I'm doing some of my spinning on a drop spindle. We are suppose to spin every day that the TdF is riding. There are rest days on July 12 and 21. I've done my spinning for the day so here are pictures of my progress:
The fiber is Superwash Blue Faced Leicester dyed by Spincerely. The colorway is called Raina. I've got 8 ozs and I'm planning on doing my usual navajo ply. I think this might become a small knitted shawl when it grows up.
This fiber is a merino silk blend dyed by Freckle Face Fibers. Again I'm planning on navajo plying. I havea similar colorway also in a silk blend that I bought from Pigeonroof Studios that I've already spun up. I want to combine the two some sort of project because each on its own might not be enough. I'm not sure what that project will be yet.

So there you have it. My not quite a year in a nut shell. I don't think I'm going to mention my divorce or my ex-husband except in passing because I need to put all of it behind me. I'm going to be going back to Nepal and Tibet next year for a hike around Mt Kailash, more details as I get them. I'm moving forward in my life and I'll try to share all the happy details.