No White Christmas for Us

When I planned our trip to Wisconsin, my primary goal was to spend some time with my family and celebrate Christmas with them. My secondary goal was to let Max go out and play in the snow and learn to appreciate hot cocoa as something other than what he drinks every morning as a matter of course. My sister and her husband offered to take us snowmobiling, and my husband and mom had a plan to make Max shovel the driveway. It was going to be perfect.

It’s still perfect, just without the snow. In fact, my dad said that instead of shoveling, maybe he’d take Max and Alex out and show them his new lawnmower.

Seriously, there is no snow. None. There were flurries on Saturday, but only enough to make one asymmetrical little ice ball for Max. No snowmen will be constructed this year…

We’re still having fun.

Jojo and Sami are enjoying some down time, and this afternoon we’re going to go shopping. Yesterday Max and Alex went to the Railroad Museum in Green Bay, and today they went to Great-Grandma’s with my dad and Penny to help put up the Christmas tree.

My mom collected black walnut hulls throughout the fall, and this morning we’re dying wool.

And I’m still trying to finish my Christmas knitting.

I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll be able to finish, but I might just buy some back-up gifts in case I don’t.

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That’s a lot of string

Yesterday my goal was to clean out “my” corner of the bedroom. In this corner was a TV stand that was the current home for our printer and a bunch of books; a large gray plastic container that was responsible for holding blankets that we’re currently not using, and which was stacked high with stuff that I’d moved out of other rooms and never quite put all the way away; and a laundry basket filled with yarn, wool, and half (or not quite half, or even nearly) finished knitting projects. My vision is for this to be so completely cleared out that I could put a chair and lamp here and use it as a space to sit and knit or read comfortably.

My first task was to address the basket of knitting/spinning. This is what I ended up with (and what inspired the title of this post):

Featured here are several bags of wool for spinning, my wandering vines scarf, my FLS and all of the leftover yarn associated with it, the Rockin’ Socks club socks from May, bits left over from the two baby sweaters I knit earlier in the year, and the last two skeins of yarn that are destined to become part of the Irish Hiking Scarf. The Irish Hiking Scarf was absent from this photo shoot because it was hanging out in the kitchen from the photo shoot yesterday.

After looking at all of this, I calmly put the all of this stuff back into the basket and closed the bedroom door.

Maybe I’ll get my dream corner later in the week. It’s just not in the cards for today.

I’ve been a bit preoccupied

Since my manic posting on Thursday, I’ve been a bit preoccupied. I just couldn’t stop spinning!

Here is my first skein of yarn, spun Thursday afternoon after about 2 hours of practice and reacquaintance:

It’s a little uneven, but overall I’m pretty pleased with my initial efforts. This is a mixture of the batt that I purchased from Grafton Fibers (Corriedale, color 411 Blended) and the wool that came with my wheel from Louet. Here is skein number two:

This is just the wool from Louet, and I got 33 yards of two ply before the constant gray bored me to tears. This wool is significantly coarser than the stuff I purchased from Grafton Fibers and overall I’m not very impressed with it. Here, then, is my third skein:

This is my favorite. I managed to spin 56 yards of two ply yarn, although I couldn’t tell you what the weight or wraps per inch are. This is only from the batt that I purchased from GF, and it was really quite lovely to work with.

With the loveliness of that wool in mind, I just can’t wait to start in on this:

But first, guess what’s back in my active queue…

Yup, the orange shawl of doom! Even though I showed my poor math skills the other day with the sleeve of my February Lady Sweater, I am going to tell you that, according to my calculations I have 30 rows left to go on this shawl. You may want to check back on Wednesday, though, to see if I have fewer or more rows at that point. My bet would be more.

Here are some final notes:

Bea, I hope you’re feeling better. We missed you at knit night!

I did finish Sami’s costume on time, and I’ll let you know tomorrow how it went at ComiCon. It fit her (which was a major accomplishment) and she looked very cute (which was the easy part).

Finally!

No, I’m not done with the orange monster. But I did manage to knit to the point where I don’t have enough yarn left to finish the next row! Observe, and marvel at the great pile of orange string that I’ve arranged!!

Finally, a reprieve!

You know what this means, don’t you? This means that I get to work on something else. I cast on the Meandering Vines Shawl last night . However, I’m making into more of a scarf. I have some Manos del Uruguay that has been languishing in my stash since last December. I was having problems with it. Nothing I knit came out right. But last night, I tried it one last time. I cast on 40 stitches with my lovely green yarn on size 17 needles.

It’s working! Look (I promise, not a speck of orange in this picture):

Ahhh, a change of color

In other news, I thought my spinning wheel would be shipping out to me today. Alas, it is not to be. Apparently the boat from Belgium was delayed, and they don’t anticipate shipping it out to me until the end of next week. This is especially painful because the roving I ordered from Grafton Fibers arrived today.

Isn’t it beautiful!!??

Wait…it gets even better (if you can believe it).

If only I had a wheel.