Oceanside

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It is good to know people with family beach cabins!

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My crafting group has come to the Oregon coast for a long weekend.  Between the four of us we have spinning wheels, sewing machines, a Cricut machine, felted wool, and near limitless yarn.  A fifth, non crafting friend has come along and taken over the role of pastry supplier.  There is homemade chai spice infused vodka and blueberries straight from the garden.  There is a carved salmon wrapped in Christmas lights.  We lack nothing.

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I had the perfect sewing spot to make flannel pajama pants.  Llama pants!  It makes me happy just to say that.  We also now each have tracing of cropped pants pattern pieces in our various sizes and I’ve gotten my hands on a coveted sun hat pattern.

There was a felted vessel viewing, along with what I’m told will be a suspended abstract storm cloud, and felted fabric.  Rolled wool strips are becoming a trivet.  Sweaters are coming off needles in various stages of finish.

A trip to Goodwill resulted in a backpack made from a table cloth, a curtain, and an IKEA seat cover.

A pair of socks is off my needles and ready to wear (with thanks to Paige who likes both Kitchener stitch and weaving in ends.  I don’t understand it, but I appreciate it.)

In between all the fiber work, we’ve been on beach walks, cooked a lot of tasty meals, and danced to 80s music.  (OK, that last one might just have been me.)  And made marvelous cocktails.  The clear winner of the popular vote is that chai spice vodka.  Mixed with fresh squeezed orange juice, San Pellegrino lemonade, and frozen mango as ice cubes, it may explain the 80s dancing.88CB5851-4D4B-4358-8F94-8450F47DD60F

 

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I’ve got nothing

I wish I had some fiber progress to show.  But there has been almost no creative work done around here lately.  Due to some unexpected family and work trauma all coming on at the same time, all my down time has been spent on immersion escapism reading and binge watching shows like Project Runway.  Watching other people sew probably doesn’t count, right?

I’ve also spent a lot of time brushing the cat.  While reading.  Very easy on the disturbed brain.

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And it makes the cat pretty happy too.

But it means this is all I have to show for accomplishments:

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And I’ve only just noticed that I’ve matched my yarn and my cat.

Warm feet

I think I forgot to post my finished slippers from a while back.  You can read about their making here.

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I’ve been throwing them in the wash whenever we did laundry.  It took more loads than I thought it would to shrink them down.  On the last load I took them out of the dryer a little early so they were still damp.  That way I can wear them around and they conform to my feet a little better and any pressed in wrinkles smooth out more easily.

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They are comfy and warm.  I might make them a little less wide around next time, but they will do the job as is.

The pattern is Fuzzy Feet, free on Ravelry, and the yarn is Lamb’s Pride, worsted weight.

Spring break in Surprise

We’ve just finished up spring break in Surprise, Arizona, where my mom has a winter place.

I took my usual plethora of cactus photos.

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We were very lazy this trip, spending much of the time hanging by the community pool during the day and playing games and working on puzzles in the evenings when we could pry the boys off their electronics.

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They finished a lot of puzzles, mainly because they kept buying easier and easier ones.  They wanted the sense of accomplishment rather than a challenge.

I walked a lot around the trails and neighborhoods with my sister, trying to build my endurance back up after a horrid chest cold that had taken down all my family members throughout March.

We did go overnight to Sedona and took one of the pink Jeep tours through the red rock area.  Rough roads but gorgeous scenery.

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On our way back we stopped at Montezuma’s Castle National Park to see the remains of the cliff dwellings.  We needed to sneak at least a little education into the vacation.

EE913583-DA59-490B-B431-65F9D633B256I got just a bit of knitting done – I brought my sock to the pool every time, but the water called me away from the yarn.

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This may be our last year here, as Mom isn’t sure she is going to come back.  Having two places is getting to be a bit much for her.  If it was our last trip, it was a very relaxing one.

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Sweater and slipper progress

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I’ve finished the body of the Woolford sweater.  The last skein was rather a mess – multiple knots in the yarn mean I’ll be sewing in many ends.

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After a few trials and redos, I settled on a sewn bind off.  It flares a little now, but the lower half is supposed to widen, caused by a gradual increase in needle size rather than stitch increases.  So I think it will settle in during the blocking.

It is a comfy, slouchy sweater due to the rather loose gauge I ended up with because of my yarn and needle choice, but I’m still feeling good about it and the fit.

I also suddenly remembered the slippers I was making and pulled them out of their knitting bag.  I only had one toe left to graft, so I got that done in a couple minutes.  I’ve been throwing them into various loads of laundry and they are just about there.  The yarn is Lamb’s Pride Bulky, and it felts really well.  I’ve made many pairs of slippers from it.

Before – knit on size 10 1/2 needles:

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After the first washing and drying:

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Definitely felting happening (fulling, really, if I’m going to get the terms correct):

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A couple more loads of laundry should do it.  Luckily (?) my children generate a lot of laundry.

It’s getting close to the time where I need to look around for what the next knitting projects are going to be.  I’ll need a work lunch time project and a home project soon.

WIP status report

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Progress is being made, with minor setbacks.

My at-work knitting, a ribbed cowl made from wool and silk handspun is a visual joy to knit, though I ripped it back three times until I got a width and stitch pattern I liked.  The yarn gleams and there is so much variation in the green.  I’m loving every row, and it makes the meetings go faster.

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My Woolford sweater is proceeding as well.  I’m really looking forward to wearing it sometime soon.

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My row gauge doesn’t match well with the called for gauge so I’ve made some changes in the rate of increases and decreases and I eliminated most of the lower back short rows that would have dipped the back hem as I prefer it straighter.

I’ve reached the wide lower border, which means a lot of ~300 stitch rows that I can crank out during TV or book time.  The needles are getting progressively larger as well.  I’m speeding through the yarn, which is a little worrisome as I have only eight skeins in the same dye lot.  I’m hoping the difference won’t be as noticeable if I use the different dye lot just for the sleeves.  So the first has to hold out through the lower part of the sweater.

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On the quilting front , I finally faced facts and threw in the towel on the Growing Up Odd quilting.  I paid my very broke son $5 to take out all the pins (he wanted a milkshake and I wanted to save my fingers!) and called up a local long arm quilting service.

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I made the backing larger, ironed everything, and dropped it off yesterday with a nice man named Charlie who is going to cover it with blue thread meandering squares and get it back to me in a couple weeks.  He is far better equipped to deal with a nearly king sized quilt.

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It is a very impressive machine.  My plan for my non-existent lottery winnings has a new addition.