Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Project Portfolio :: The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief

On Instagram recently there was an 'Age of Brass & Steam' Spin-along, Knit-along that I participated in. It actually landed at a timely point in my summer/autumn transition. I wasn't quite in the mood to do Autumn or Christmas knitting but this sal/kal gave me the push to get going. Now I'm excited to begin Christmas projects and I am  working on my third shawl since mid-September. But back to the Age of Brass.
Since it was a spin-along the first question to decide was what fiber to spin for it. I rummaged through my stash and pulled out an assortment of Autumn colors to card into punis. The fiber content of this shawl ended up being various blends of Merino/Corriedale/Dorset/Fine wool/BFL. I had about 7.2 ounces total after carding all the different blends. They were each spun individually,  some on my wheel and some on the spindle. Then I Navajo plied them at the end. The resulting yarns were heavy-worsted to bulky weight in thickness.
The Age of Brass is a super quick knit. It is free on Ravelry, and would make a great first-time shawl project for a beginning knitter. I am very pleased with how this one turned out. It was my third time making this particular pattern so I knew what to expect from it and tweaked the pattern accordingly for my yarn needs.
The Saturday after I finished it I blocked it aggressively in hopes of wearing it that  Sunday. It didn't dry in time, and I have yet to wear it out and about. But maybe it will get it's first airing tomorrow while I'm running errands. We'll see.
Until next time, my friends! Take care.

Summer Hiking

This Summer we went on several hikes in the surrounding countryside. The first ten photos here are from a hike that I went on with my brother and his then fiancee. It was a new hiking trail to us and we really liked it. Unfortunately we were on somewhat of a time schedule so we didn't go as far as we would have liked. Maybe if it's accessible in the cold season we can do a winter hike there. It was certainly very pretty in the summer! The beginning of the trail ran along a lake. There were lots of pine trees, wildflowers, patches of moss, various fungi, and other vegetation that made for an interesting hike. 

The last four photos are from a short hike we took the day of our church picnic. The picnic was held in a park with plenty of wooded areas and a swampy pond or two. We tried some trails I hadn't been on before and all in all it was a lovely hike.

Although fall weather has hit and the temperatures are dropping, I am still hoping to do some hiking. My favorite trails (aside from the AT in Tennessee) are about an hour and a half north of here. We've only been up that way once or twice this summer, and I've never been in the autumn. 
How about you? Any particular places or times you prefer to hike?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Summer in Snapshots :: Part One

1. Haybales in a nearby field. Nothing smacks of summer like the sight and smell a freshly baled hay field
2. Late evening mist over the fields.
3. Brunch on the front lawn. Tea. Oatmeal. Knitting. It was pretty much a perfect morning. 
4. My flower patch was a profusion of colors this year. This is year two for the perennials and they really took off. Purple Cone Flower, Black-eyed Susan, Painted Daisy, Miniature Sunflowers,  Sweet William, Coreopsis, and I know not what else. It was quite lovely and I picked many a bouquet from here this summer. 
5. Knitting. I didn't do as much this summer. But I did design a pattern or two. And I gathered lots of inspiration for the winter months when I do more knitting & designing.
6. Painted my toes aqua. Collected rocks on Holiday. It's impossible to go away to our secret cabin and not bring a few home. Well....we bring a few more then a few. *ehem*
7. Spinning. Lots and lots of outdoor wheel spinning. Out in the cement patio is my favorite place to spin. It's breezy, sunny, I'm surrounded by flowers and the ground is level for my wheel to sit on.
8. Hiking. This summer we went on several hikes. Found some new trails and explored a new area. I'd like to go back someday. There is just something about the smell and silence of a pine woods in summer....
9. Gardening. This summer we had an excellent crop of zucchini,  butternut squash, corn, and peppers.  The tomatoes perished, after yielding a bumper crop of greenness and a few god red ones. They sort of just wilted and rotted away. It was disaapointing. But I was happy for all the zucchini. Eggs with zucchini,  peppers, mushroom, onions, and tomatoes was my lunch most of the summer. So delicious. I wish I could grow a zuke plant indoors all winter. 
10. Celebrating! Watching fireworks from out on the dunes. 
11. Berrying. An abandoned blueberry patch. Picking was free and oh, was it pretty there.
12. Hollyhocks by an orchard. Single-blossom hollyhocks rank in my top 10 favorite flowers. They're so pretty, & elegantly old-fashioned.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Catching Up On Projects Past: The Sweetgum Wrap

When I was getting ready for my trip across the country to help my friend, I decided that it would be nice to make a cozy wrap to wear while on the airplane as I am always chilly on airplanes. So I picked out a couple of my colorways, with 'Cozy Plaid' being the main one, and started spun it uo on my various drop spindles. It ended up being a bulky-weight yarn and the pattern I picked to knit with it was the 'Sweetgum Wrap' on Ravelry.
This pattern was a fun knit, very quick and easy to remember. If you have 300 yards of bulky yarn in your stash that you can't seem to find the right project for, this may be it. the pattern was designed with handspun but any bulky yarn would work I'm sure. If you've knit the Sweetgum before I'd love to hear what you thought about the pattern.

Summer has flown by

The summer has flown by in a whirl of busyness and already the first days of Autumn are upon us. Surprisingly our weather has been very mild so it hasn't really felt like fall until just this week.

I have abandoned my poor blog and all my lovely followers this summer. Between the birth of my niece and the wedding of my little brother, life has been extremely crazy. With running around, planning showers of all kinds, attending more showers, and helping my new sister-in-law with wedding plans and moving plans, and trying to keep my shop afloat amid the insanity, well......I sort of let the blog slide. I do apologize for that.
However here I am, back and blogging and I hope to keep up with things now that the pace of life has slowed down somewhat.
I'll be posting snapshots of the summer happenings for you all in short order.
Take care my friends!