Friday, November 06, 2009

Winding Down into Winter

Such Nice Friends
Such Nice Friends...

What? You mean you think it's too soon to be thinking about winter? Let's not kid ourselves, people. Time is flying by so fast...and I kinda like it! October is over and we had a fair season, allowing for the bad weather on the weekends, and I'm turning my thoughts toward knitting, crocheting and especially spinning. Wintertime thoughts!

Road trip alert! I had to go down to West Jefferson on Wednesday to deliver the hat yarn I finished to Jane, so she can knit the hats up before our deadline. It was a lovely day for a drive, even with getting lost a few times...don't ever place all your trust in Google maps. It was Wednesday knitting group at Spin A Yarn, Weave a Web, the local yarn shop, so of course that's where we met! It's always wonderful to get together with great friends, and what could be better than throwing yarn in as well?

The shop is even nicer than it was the first time I visited, with a more focused look and lots of great books and yarn. They still have their great locally produced honey, meat, eggs, cheese, flour and so forth, which is an awesome addition to the yarn and fiber offerings. There were also some lovely baskets around and hanging from the ceiling. I really liked some nice handmade and commercial project bags they carry. One of them said something about "Old hippies"; I was really tempted but it didn't have a price on it and I forgot to ask about it!

Spin a Yarn
Spin a Yarn, Weave a Web

It was great to see Nancy and Christy again...they are Facebook buddies but it's better to talk in person. The knitting group was fun; I knew some of the women already through Jane. We had a fabulous lunch brought in from a pizza place nearby. I can't remember the name but if you're down in West Jefferson there are several nice places to eat, apparently!

More Yarn and a Book

And of course I couldn't leave without yarn! And a book of crocheted wraps and shawls. I'll probably be reviewing it soon. The white yarn is a pima cotton from Peru and feels very nice. I haven't worked with cotton for awhile so I'm looking forward to it. I'll be making a shawl out of the book with it. The brown big skein is an 8 ounce, 300 yard millspun merino/rambouillet/alpaca blend from Nancy's Fox Holler Farm. I haven't decided what to do with that but whatever I make will be beautiful!

The trip back up through the mountains around West Jefferson was lovely, even though I got us lost again. There's nothing nice than driving along a narrow country road that winds along a beautiful river, even if you're not sure where you might wind up!

Completed Seine Scarf
Completed Seine Scarf

Did I mention how much I'm loving listening to podcasts? In the mornings I've been settling in with a cup of tea, my knitting, and my favorite podcast playing while I work. My current favorite, which I may have mentioned, is Brass Needles. As a science fiction fan and knitter I've really enjoyed her commentary on movies and more. I've listened to them all, though, so this morning I downloaded a few more, mostly recommended by Miss Kalender, and look forward to listening to them. And I discovered that iTunes has books, too! I started listening to BarknKnit yesterday because I found her on Facebook somehow. Her podcast is fun, and would probably appeal more to those among us that aren't into science fiction. (Are there really people out there who don't LOVE Dr. Who?)

I started two more projects this week, both from recent Interweave magazines. I really need to get back to brandishing my crochet hook so I decided to make the Moss Fern Wrap from Interweave Crochet Fall 2009. I'm making it with a skein of Unplanned Peacock's laceweight merino and silk in her Quail colorway. It's making a slow start setting up the first row of shells but I think it's going to be a beautiful shawl. I love the softness of Natasha's colors and yarn.

I also started the Wine and Roses Mitts from the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2009 issue. This is a pattern that also appeared in Interweave Knits, Winter 2006. I guess I just wasn't ready for lacy back then. I'm knitting them in a yarn that was almost a pair of socks, but I lost the love just after I finished the cuff of the second sock. They've been laying around for over a year so I decided it was time to jump in the frog pond! I've put up photos and descriptions of these two projects on my Ravelry page.

Cheeky Batt
Cheeky Batt

I finished spinning the Teeswater/Cotswold Cross roving very quickly and it plied into a nice variegated yarn in shades of brown and white. Next up for spinning on the Reeves wheel was this interested striped batt from Fire Ant Ranch in Georgetown, Texas. I picked it up at the Estes Park Wool Market when we were there in June, mainly because I had never seen anything like it. The white is Gulf Coast and the black is Black Welsh. The textures of the two wools are very different and it's a lot of fun to spin. I keep thinking that Lily has crawled into my spinning basket, though!

Yesterday I had had more enjoyable crocheting time, visiting with Tammy and Lynn, who came to meet each other at long last. Bloggers often become great friends over distances, and Greenberry House served as a good location. Each blogger brought a friend and relative, so we had a nice visit getting to know each other better. Then the Thursday night knitting group got together, and I had more fun while crocheting the new shawl. so it has been another week with wonderful fiber friends.

Labrador in the morning
Early Morning TJ

I woke up early this morning, got TJ his walk in and then settled down to knit on the first mitt cuff. Lily curled up at my feet and Barnabas, the black cat, decided that the chair arm was the perfect place to settle with his head against my elbow. I rearranged the living room a bit when we had to turn the heat on and now the big chair has the lamp beside it. Lily doesn't like that much because on the couch she could curl up right against me. Barnabas finds it an improvement. TJ sort of resents it as well, since Lily has possession of the dog bed at my feet. He generally settles down on his couch by the window though. The toy that Chris gave him has survived. So far.

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