Saturday, November 8, 2014

Project Portfolio: Fluff-to-Socks Sal/Kal

Remember when I blogged about the Fluff-to-socks Spin-along, Knit-along that I was participating in? We had the month of May to spin the yarn and the month of June to knit the socks. Initially I was confused and thought that we could use any pattern we wished. Then a friend kindly let me know that the sal/kal was supposed to be done using the Effervesce sock pattern. As you can see there is a great deal of cabling in these socks but with the cabling-without-a-needle method they fairly flew of the needles. I was also pleased with how closely the striping lined up. 
As I stated previously, there isn't an outfit in my wardrobe thay such wild socks will work with, but they will be warm and they were such a fun project from start to finish. 

From Where I stand: Spring, Summer & early Autumn

For some odd reason that I can't quite place I like to document where I stand by taking a foot photo. Perhaps it comes from not liking to take the proverbial "selfie" and plaster it all over the internet. And perhaps it's just the fact that foot photos can make interesting compostions, depending on where you are standing & what you are doing at the time. Each one of these photos brings with it a special memory. 
Sinking toes in a mossy carpet on the bluff, a late evening walk down the pebble strewn beach, an afternoon of climbing on sun-warmed rocks, fishing off the dock, a sunny afternoon reading & spinning in the sand....and then there is the various bounties of the summer...dill for drying, mulberries to turn into jam, mint for tea, and sassafras leaves to dry for making filé. Lastly, the glories of autumn which came and went so quickly this year.
 What about you? Are some of these scenes familiar ones? Or would your series of "where I stand" photos look quite different?






Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Project Portfolio: Quaker Yarn Stretcher

This was my first time making the beautiful Quaker Yarn Stretcher. When it comes to practical use, it isn't my first choice of shawl. The wierd slanting shape doesn't lay right nor wrap in a proper manner around your shoulders. But it is intended to be a kerchief I believe, and as such it would probably work fine. I had a good deal of handspun yarn in the stash so I clubbed it all together and just knit until I ran out! In the end it made a delightful, if somewhat odd, shawl. I meant to do a mini photo shoot and model all my newest knits down in the orchard this autumn. But the time flew, the leaves fell, and now everything is sodden and grey down under the apple trees. Maybe I will still get a photo or two in before the snows come. But don't hold your breath; winter looks to be just as busy as summer and fall were. If I can just blog every once in awhile I shall feel quite accomplished indeed! Meanwhile, be on the lookout for new puni sets in the shop. I've managed to squeeze some carding sessions in between work hours and on my days off. An update will be happening soon! 



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Looking back & ahead: Holiday snapshots



This past May we went on a family holiday to one of my most favorite places on earth, a little cabin on a spit of land in the middle of nowhere, smack next to a glorious body of water. It is sort of tradition to go there on Holidays and for a blissful week we are off the grid and living electricity and gadget free. It feels so good to unplug and not worry about anything or anyone. No obligations, no place to go, no phones ringing.....just nature and family, making memories and treasuring our time together. And time does truly slow to a crawl as the pace of life becomes less busy. We have time just to sit and read or be read to.  Or time to sinply do nothing at all if we wish! We poke about looking for driftwood, or knit quietly while looking across the gently rippling water.
We beach comb a lot, looking for rocks that strike our fancy, sometimes strolling slowly down the beach, other times sitting right in the piles of rocks and sifting throught them for hours at a time. We clamber over breakers, clinging with our toes and finding spots to sit on sun-warmed boulders. We poke feet in frigid water and wade out too far in the hunt for the elusive "perfect" rock. And then there are the huge driftwood bonfires on dark nights. Lying on our backs in the cool, almost cold sand, we gaze at the countless stars twinkling in a blue-black sky. Sometimes ghost stories are told around the fire, & then with a healthy thrill of delight & terror shivering down our spines we scurry back through the dark, over the dunes & bluff to the cabin. The haunting call of the loon & eagle float across the waters and at night the wind whips up with a lonely moan in the tops of the pine trees. Cozy around the table, under the light of the lamp we read, knit, play games, sip tea,  until dark sets in and we retire early to bed. Morning comes, sometimes foggy & still as glass, other times sunny & marvelous. A walk down the shore at 6am with coffee in hand is a glorious thing indeed. 
As we slowly swing towards the winter months it cheers my heart to look back over these Holiday photos and reminisce about that lovely week. More then once over the summer I have longed to be back there. And so we shall be again, if the Lord wills it. But for now I will dream of mist, rocks, sand, and moss, and of wind murmuring in the pines, as I eagerly await the return of spring. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I am back! Plus, Fluff-to-Socks news.

After a long hiatus from blogland I have finally returned. Spring was ever so busy and all of the sudden here we are in Summer already! 
The pace of life quickens during the warmer months; we scurry and flurry our way through a myriad of things, be it get-togethers, gardening, or holidays. The calendar is dotted with parties, weddings, family functions, birthdays, church functions, showers... Last year was an exceptionally busy year and I wasn't able to take the time for some things that I needed to. My shop, for one, didn't get the attention it should have. And I felt frazzled and worn out by the time autumn rolled around. This year, however, I have been working on managing my time & obligations better and, while busy, so far I am not running myself ragged and into the ground. Which has been a huge blessing and relief. I love summer and it is nice to be able to just enjoy it and take time to reflect on the goodness of God.

But onward to the brightly colored socks and yarn in this post! Remember the Fluff-to-Socks spin-along and knit-along I told you about in a previous post?  Well, the above socks are my "entry" for said sal/kal. Those of us who participated in the sal/kal were given 3 months to spin the yarn, and 1 month to knit the socks. June being the designated month for knitting, I am picking these up whenever I can and squeezing in a row or two. They are quite vibrant, and will add a splash of cheer to grey and cold winter days. They probably won't go with a single garment I possess but no matter. They will be warm, and that's what matters.