Saturday, January 31, 2009

2009 and lots of goals

Tee hee, so much for blogging the next day . . . hope all is well in AZ. We're doing well here. My niece L just had her 1st baby, a little boy (Dad's 3rd great-grand), so I'm thinking I need to whip out some kind of gift. I've been meaning to write about several things, so we'll see how my memory is right before lunch.

Do you make New Year's resolutions? I like the opportunity to reflect and set goals. So here are mine for the New Year (not in any special order):

1. Stick with my exer-stash goals as I make them in the Ravelry group Exer-stashers. Basically, have a program of regular exercise! In my case, also lose 10 pounds and get some cholesterol-busting eating habits.

2. Learn more about weaving. I am really liking the low-tech weaving I'm exploring with my rigid heddle loom and a homemade warp-weighted loom (more on that in a future entry). Remember the Big Rectangle? It was nothing but fun to work on but had the bad luck of being started right before I learned about my congregation's Shawl Ministry and got the bug to spin a fleece and also do more weaving . . . so long story short, the Big Rectangle is now a weaving project, loosely based on its knitted ancestor. Go ahead, say I told you so. :D

3. Continue my exploration of baking but not just with yeast breads that my family can't embrace. ahem.

4. Start saving for some of those big vacations we dream about here so that we don't have to rely on imaginary money.

5. Explore some of the Asian and Indian recipes in our cookbook collection ;) Also, in the fall, try to find a use for everything in the winter storage share, maybe even the turnips this time (gulp).

6. Make some mittens for homeless people in keeping with my desire to do something to be part of the "new age of responsibility."

That should give me plenty to work on besides all the other stuff of life. I'd better paint the bathroom pronto. love, Cindy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Before the kids wake up . . .

I thought I'd toss a few pictures up and try to catch up on blogging! First, two pictures of he lovely Estonian lace socks DH bought for me from a charity fundraiser at his work: they really are from Estonia, cool, eh? I wear them in bed on chilly nights (like last night! It's about 15 below now, 6:30 am, and schools are closed cuz of wind chill danger).

Next is a HP-inspired hat I made for DS top-down so that it is the size I intended. Yay!

Also here is the lovely Faroe Island roving I got at the Sow's Ear as my first "exer-stashers" reward. I joined an exercise support group on Ravelry to support my New Year's resolution of very regular exercise and healthier eating, partly so that I can lose those last 5-10 pounds I've been wanting to get rid of but mostly because I need to lower my cholesterol some.

We took the kids to Cave of the Mounds a few days after Christmas, and we all loved it! It was the first visit there for the kids.

More soon (perhaps tomorrow cuz the wind chill warning lasts through midday Friday), C

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Birthday Scarf

Hi Cindy!

Last Saturday was my mom's birthday. I didn't get anything knit for her beforehand so I decided to try a wet felted scarf. I chose approximately an each ounce of cranberry and charcoal merino plus a mix of coopworth and the mystery wool I carded when I took my first spinning class. Probably about 4 ounces total.

I laid a vinyl tablecloth down and used bamboo place mats and old nylon curtains to lay the fiber on. The bottom layer I placed horizontally with the red and grey distinctly separated by white.

The middle layer was only the white, running vertically.

The top layer I mingled the red and grey more with the white between the layers. I then went down the entire mass and started working it over. I had a massage roller with with tiny plastic nibs all over to first work the fibers together. I then folded the nylon curtains over and rolled the mass in the bamboo place mats. I then rolled them back and forth several time, checking frequently.

After felting the layers together, fulling the full piece with hot water and rinsing, I soaked it in vinegar water to get the final bits of soap out before tossing in the dryer for about 15 minutes. This gave it the final bit of fulling before I hung it to dry. I worked on the piece for about 3 hours total and then it took another 2 days for it to finish drying.

I showed my friends at work and they were all impressed by it. It started about 6 feet long and probably 15 inches wided and ended up about 5 feet long and 12 inches wide. I wrapped it up yesterday and sent it off so it should only be about a week late. I used a Knit Picks catalog for the wrapping and for a bow, with a little bit of a Patternworks catalog.

I cut several knitting catalogs into strips last week and made a paper chain for my friend CG's cubicle. Her birthday was on Sunday. She took a picture of them before she took them down so I'll eithe post it here, along with the crown I knit her, or post it on my finished Ravelry projects. It was pretty fun.

Hope you are staying warm! More soon, A