Day Off

Average Temperature: 36°

Precipitation: None 

Yarn Colors: Blue 

Had another decent day off today, yay two weeks in a row! Haven’t been able to sleep in much past 8:30 lately so that’s a bummer except that it’s been good on my off day productivity. I was able to get the dishes taken care of, 2nd clean up of my kitchen & a general house vacuum in before Cheri came over.

Craft Day

Cheri & I decided a week or two ago that we were going to try to do a weekly craft day. We won’t be doing the same crafts, just more of a hangout while we’re doing our own crafts. Today I did my Sunday row for my temperature blanket & got a few rows of mum’s owl blanket it. The owl blanket is probably going to take me longer than predicted as thick yarn in general has a tendency to hurt my fingers when I crochet so I never work as fast the 2nd or 3rd day. I also made lunch for both of us.

Cheri’s working on her wedding dress; it’s going to be hand sewn & I’m thoroughly convinced she’s going to look like a faery princess in it. I can’t wait to see it finished & on her.

We also caught up on general life things; it’s nice to hang out & talk about politics, movies & social issues face-to-face with someone. Though I fear sounding emo, I’m glad I found such an awesome friend up here, especially since it’s so hard to meet people & make friends at our age. She’s definitely a life & sanity saver. I think next week we’re going to meet up at her place as I feel bad she always has to drive up here.


Crochet Updates

Average Temperature: 36°

Precipitation: None 

Yarn Colors: Blue

Was 4 days behind on the temperature blanket this week. I didn’t really have much to talk about so I wasn’t posting; figured there was no point in just rambling. It definitely made the catch up on the temperature rows a lot harder by not having the blog posts as reference so…I guess I’ll go back to posting everyday.

Look, it rained yesterday so I got to do a pretty yarn row!!!

Maybaby Blanket

IT’S FINISHED!!!

I was originally going to use Bernat Li’l Tots yarn for the border but then I remembered I had an odd ball of a glossy green yarn so I decided to just keep crocheting the body of the blanket until I ran out of Li’l Tots. Then I switched to the green…

I ADORE how this came out, & I’m so happy I decided to do the green border. It gave the blanket such a nice accent (& it was so lucky the green was such a good match!).

I’m not sure what the brand on the green yarn was, I’ve had it in my stash for about 4 years now. Glad I finally got to use it. I ended up doing 2 rows on the border instead of the 1 row in the pattern, but the pattern assumes you’re using the same yarn for the full project. The double row just evens the blanket out better.

I hope the family likes it as much as I do!

Owl Blanket

And now that the Maybaby Blanket is complete I can finally start on my mum’s blanket. We’ll see how it goes!


Sick & Tri

Average Temperature: 42°

Precipitation: None 

Yarn Colors: Hunter

Everyone at work has been sick for the past week, with varying severity levels of the cold & the flu. Seems like I’ve finally got some variation of the cold; my left side of my nose has been clogged for a few days & was bad enough f9r me to finally take a Sudafed this morning to get through work.

Along that line, I probably should’ve slept in today while I had the chance…

Lazy Man Tri Status 

…but I really wanted to try to finish my biking for the tri. Thankfully, I did finish so my stats as of today are:

Swimmimg: 2.4 miles out of 2.4 miles completed

Transition 1: Completed

Biking: 112 miles out  of 112 miles completed

Transition 2: Completed

Running: 9 miles out of 26.2 miles completed

Plan is to run tomorrow, Friday, twice Saturday & next Tuesday, which is 15 miles. Just need to squeeze in another 2.2 miles before the 28th somewhere then I’ll be done!!!

Also need to find someplace to read my book now that the biking is over…


A Shark Eats Gurney

Average Temperature: 26°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Colors: Royal

I’m starting to feel like the average temperature is a bit misleading. I guess the high today was in the 40s but the low was 12° so that significantly knocked the average down (because yay math). I’m starting to wonder if I should’ve done the high temperature instead of the average temperature for the row color designation. If nothing else, I would be able to do the row for the day a lot earlier (as I take the average for the actual temperatures not the predicted temperatures)…but I know this technically more accurate to do the average instead of either the high or the low.

Jaws

I saw a shark cat bed online a few weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to get a hammock for our spoiled brats for a while but I fell in love with the shark. Thankfully one of my lessons gave me a gift card to Amazon for Valentine’s Day so we ordered the shark bed…& hammock.

The thing with kitties is…you never know what they’re going to like or use, & what they’re going to ignore completely. Add to that the fact that we have two large cats. Talia is a healthy 12 pounds; not a sarcastic healthy, vet said she should be 11-12 pounds to be at weight. Gurney…Gurney will be one year old in March. He’s 12 pounds now…& has not filled out yet. He’s just long & lanky…& still growing.

Anywho, it’s hard to judge things online to see if our kitties will fit. We had a gorgeous cat condo that we replaced with an “upgraded” one. It ended up being way to small for them & we had already gotten rid of our original cat condo. In a similar instance, even though we measured Gurney prior to purchase, the cat hammock was too small & apparently the ropes stretch too much.

The shark house though…

Oh noes! Gurney’s getting eaten!!!

Noms.

Gurney loves the shark. Talia would probably love the shark too except Ryan put it on her favorite rug. The last time something was on her rug, Talia was distressed for over an hour before I figured out why she kept meowing at me.

Gurney had stolen my giant squid off our bed & put it on Talia’s rug. I’m not sure if it was a peace offering or a power play.

Either way, she wasn’t amused.

As it is, I’m just excited Gurney likes the shark because it’s friggin’ adorable.


Spinning!

Average Temperature: 34°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Colors: Blue

Even though I technically have every Monday off & this is the 5th Monday since we got back from the honeymoon, I feel like this is really the first day I’ve had off since we’ve gotten back. I guess this probably has something to do with the fact that the last four Mondays were something like this:

  • Monday 1: Got back at 2 am from our flight from Florida. Ryan stayed home from work, I spent the day getting the house back together after being gone for 2 weeks
  • Monday 2: Name Change with social Security Office. Cleaning. Errands around town
  • Monday 3: DMV for license name change, Walgreens for new passport photos, bank for name change on accounts, town hall for car registration renewal, post office to mail Passport Renewal documents, 4 hours of cleaning.
  • Monday 4: Ryan stayed home; cleaning & binge watching Sword Art Online

I did the rest of the cleaning already, laundry is good to go so I finally FINALLY after months of not having the time or energy, got to spin today for about an hour.

No, Not That Kind of Spinning

When we moved up here, almost 2 years ago, I was stunned at the amount of independent/designer yarn shops they had up here. I had to drive crazy distances to find non-synthetic yarn in Florida, & while we had one independent store that stocked actual wool yarn about 20 minutes from my house, they didn’t last very long. Anything that isn’t a chain doesn’t last long in the area I lived in Florida.

Anyways, each of the yarn shops up here had something I had never seen or considered before: spinning wheels. How cool would it be to spin my own yarn? My curiosity turned into enchantment when Ryan took me to the annual Sheep & Wool festival in May 2015. EVERYONE spun their own wool there. There were vendors from all over New England & 9 out of 10 vendors had spinning wheels set up in their stalls, where they were selling their hand spun & hand dyed yarn, raw fiber in every blend imaginable & would spin in between customers. I had never wanted to learn anything so bad in my life.

Learning Curve

In the Fall of 2015, Ryan bought me a drop spindle. We had talked about it &, at the time, it seemed logical for me to learn to use a drop spindle before moving on to the spinning wheel…& I couldn’t get it. I watched YouTube video after YouTube video, & nothing. After a few weeks of trying on my own, I decided to go into my favorite yarn shop, The Fiber Studio, & ask them. Janet who works there sat down with me for over an hour. I sort of got the hang of it (she was extremely patient) & I practiced for a few weeks but still couldn’t get a hang of it. It never got easier.

Best Advice & Lessons

One of the things Janet said to me while she was teaching me how to use the drop spindle gave me hope for months: most spinners use the wheel & can’t stand the drop spindle -if they use the drop spindle at all. Just because I couldn’t get the hang of the drop spindle didn’t mean I wouldn’t be able to learn on the wheel.

Fast forward to March 2016. My dad wants to know what I want for my birthday & apparently wind chimes aren’t an acceptable birthday request. So I asked him for spinning lessons, as there was an elderly woman who is supposed to be the best teacher for spinning. He agrees & off I went to the Wool Room to learn how to spin from Anne.

Anne has been teaching people to spin yarn since her early 20s (she’s in her 80s now) & for $100 she offers 3 private spinning lessons in her yarn shop at her house. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn from Anne. She went through the history of spinning, has examples of most of the basic types of Spinning wheels & spindles through history as well as across cultures.
Anne walks you through every step of the spinning process, not just the wheel. From Yue shearing, to cleaning & carding the wool, spinning, plying & setting the yarn. She also gets you on the wheel the first day of class & sends you home with the wheel for practice over the week until the next class.

It was a 100% immersion class. Anne told me on the first class that at least 15 minutes a day would get me into spinning…& by the end of the third week I had my first skein of spun yarn. I was hooked.

My Wheel

The wheel Anne taught me on was an Louet Single Treadle (1 paddle). It was a nice little wheel, but I have knee/hip problems & only using one foot for spinning while the other remained firmly planted on the floor really agitated my knee/hip issues. Ryan & I did some research & we decided it might be worth it for me to have a double treadle wheel (2 paddles).

I did a lot of research before I bought my wheel in April 2016. Spinning wheels are by no stretch of the imagination cheap, especially a double treadle, so I started looking for a used spinning wheel. This is when I learned that once people buy a spinning wheel, they hold on to them, even if they buy a new one or never use them.

Striking out there, I started doing more extensive research online. After countless hours, it looked like my best choice was an Ashford Kiwi. It was small, double treadle, fairly affordable (for a spinning wheel) & seemed like it got the best reviews for a beginner’s wheel across the board. I was afraid I was going to have to order it online & pray it worked for me but it ended up The Fiber Studio had an Ashford Kiwi 2 in stock.

One of the biggest, most important things any spinner will tell a beginner is TEST THE WHEELS BEFORE YOU BUY. This is huge. Just because the price is right doesn’t mean this wheel will work for you. At the Fiber Studio, I tried all of their double treadle wheels to make sure I got the best fit for me. It ended up that it was the Kiwi 2, so it worked out all around.

Fun fact about the Kiwi 2 is that most of them are sold unfinished:

Which means…you get to paint it anyway you want!!! It took us all weekend to disassemble my wheel, paint & stain it, then reassemble, but it was so worth it & we had so much fun:

My Spinning

For the first few months, I was spinning almost daily & loving it. I definitely think the variegated fibers are the most fun to spin with but there’s something to be said for single color fiber.

Double-ply, finished yarn.

Just enough for a beanie! Gave this to my boss for Christmas.

Unfortunately, as the wedding got closer & I went back to working full time, I had less free time for everything, let alone spinning. I’ve found that spinning is really a morning activity for me. If I start, even in the early, afternoon I get frustrated easier & my hands don’t cooperate at much. The zen from the spinning gets wasted if I do an afternoon spin.

Gurney loves fiber

Pre-ply 

Finished yarn

Today

So amidst everything this weekend (including the as-of-yet-unfinished baby blanket) I had time to spin for an hour this morning. I have to have a loose piece of yarn attached to a bobbin whole spinning so Gurney doesn’t try to attack the wheel…

…but that doesn’t stop him from getting bored & stealing my fiber.

Still…managed to get a good amount done.

Off to fold laundry & try to get that Maybaby blanket finished before I go in to work to sub for a class.


TV & Chores

Average Temperature: 44°

Precipitation: None

Yarn Colors: Hunter

Didn’t really do anything on the list I made last night. Crocheted for about an hour but that baby blanket really isn’t holding my attention. I’m about 4 rows away from it being an even square & on my last skein so I might just leave it at that. Probably get it done tomorrow while Ry’s at work…

We binge watched Rick & Morty, both seasons, this weekend. Took some getting used to but it was entertaining in a mind-numbingly addictive sort of way. Probably for the better that it’s only 2 seasons right now but that cliffhanger was a killer.

We did most of the chores & cleaning I do on Monday today instead. I’m hoping this will free me up for some me time tomorrow before I have to be in to cover some lessons in the later afternoon. Probably will knock out my biking for the Lazy Man Triathlon prior to the lessons but..I really just want to sleep in. I have a few more small loads of towels & have to clean the bathroom on my chores list so…sleeping in should be fine?

Oh, we also found out Talia likes reduced fat Cheez-its today.

She ate 1.5 Cheez-its so we’ll add that to the list of strange thing she eats. She also looked so pretty last night:


Temperature Blanket: Week 4

Friday Average Temperature: 27°

Today Average Temperature: 36°

Friday’s & Today’s Precipitation: None

Yarn Colors: Royal. Blue.

Think it’s safe to say that I won’t be updating on Fridays. It’s Day 4 of my work days which range from 8.5-10 hours & by Friday I just don’t have any energy. 

Temperature Blanket

Guess it was a kind of boring week…4 out of the 7 days were Royal so it didn’t make for much of a color variation. I was hoping we’d get into the greens today because we hit a high of 48° today, but the average temperature just wasn’t quite there. Finally caught up through today though!

Other Stuff

Going to be a short & sweet post. I did some freelance editing for my dad’s new academic article this afternoon, which took a good chunk out of my free time after I got home from work & I still have dishes/laundry to do. Hoping to make quick work of the household chores so I can switch to other projects.

Top priority is finish the Maybaby Blanket. I’d really like to get this done tonight or tomorrow; I didn’t have any time to work on it during the week & it’s just repetitive rows so it’s not holding my attention very well. The advantage is I can watch TV while working on the blanket; disadvantage is that it’s boring.

Second priority, immediately after finishing the Maybaby blanket, is to start on my mum’s Hooded Owl Blanket. I’m feeling a bit guilty because I signed up my dad for our half marathon this week & then edited that article but I haven’t started/done anything for my mum. This is a combination of the yarn not arriving until last Monday, the 13th & because I didn’t want to start a 4th blanket until after I finished at least one.

In addition to the owl blanket, I think I’d like to make her a pillow to match so that’s a bit more work.

Other goals for my weekend include reading a bit & maybe doing some actual short story writing; I feel like I’m getting to a good place to start that up again. I’d like to spin for a bit this weekend as well, since I haven’t touched my spinning wheel in over 3 months & I’m worried that I’m getting rusty. I have to cover a bit someone’s shift on Monday, which is my 2nd day off so that cuts into my free time allotment.

We’ll see how it goes.