Category Archives: kromski sonata

Making Progress

There is something about the true advent of Spring that makes me productive. I’m not talking about spring on the calender, when we can still expect at least one good snow and more than a few frosts. I mean when the time is right to plant gardens, attend outdoor festivals, sit on back patios drinking your morning coffee and it being the perfect temperature. This is my second favorite time of the year.

This time of year always kicks my butt into high gear, and I love having a long weekend available to me to take advantage of this. This past week I finally got my snapdragons planted out front:

20140525_114404

 

Yay crummy cell phone photos! Anyway, there are three rows on either side of the steps: 4 in the first row, 3 in the second, and 2 in the third on each side. I’m hoping they fill out. This is the first year I’ve been able to plant my own flower bed, so I’m a little nervous that I somehow screwed something up and doomed these flowers to a wilting, sorrowful life.

 

My container vegetable garden looks to be doing well, although I am a bit worried now that I put too many tomato plants in one planter. I may have to find somewhere else to put one. I don’t know. We’ll see how they do.

20140525_10284220140525_10283820140525_102848

20140525_102817was worried they wouldn’t get enough sun back here, but the seem to get full/partial sun from sunrise to about 4pm back there, and doing well so far.

My pepper plants are doing well too- the first flowers have bloomed, so we should start seeing peppers developing here soon.

My squash/pumpkin/cucumber are also doing better than I expected. I need to buy a trellis to set up in the back of their planter, but I think I have a few weeks before it becomes an issue.

And finally my sugar peas have sprouted! These guys popped up way earlier than I expected, and every morning when I check on them it seems they have developed in leaps and bounds. I cannot wait to collect our first harvest from them, probably in early July.  I plan on then planting a second batch in August for fall peas.

And in the knitting front, I am cruising on the Monsoon Shawl. At this point I have finished 3/4 of the lace repeats, and just have one more to go plus the edging. I am hoping to have this finished next weekend. It’s a really quick knit, and super easy to follow once you get the hang of it. I love how it looks in this merino/bamboo blend (details here). I am thinking of making this again in an alpaca or alpaca blend. Eventually. After knitting baby stuff.

IMG_20140518_13541920140525_105947

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I mention last time that we found out what we are having? By October, we will have a little baby boy! J is so excited, and I am too, although he is very picky about what I can knit for said baby now. I’m glad I had already planned to go with a fall palate for most of the items I am making, regardless of sex.

Last but not least, we checked out an antique store today. It took a lot of willpower for me to not buy this antique wheel. It is fully functional, with a screw tension MOA. The wood was in great condition, considering how old it looked, and when I tested it (as much as I could) it moved so incredibly smoothly. It’s only $88 and it took all of my willpower to not buy it right then. If it’s still there in a month or two, I don’t think I will be able to resist. It’s not a CPW, but it is a nice little antique machine.

What have you been up to this holiday weekend?

20140525_141111

Posted in garden, knitting, shawl, spinning wheel, wool, yarn | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Tour De Fleece

The Tour De Fleece is over halfway done! with thousands of people participating in the group on Ravelry, I was a little intimated. However I have a wheel that is feeling a bit neglected, and some spindles that probably think I have completely abandoned them, so my goals this year were:

Spin every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

Finish my falkland that I purchased from FatCatKnits at the 2010 Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.

Learn how to use my new Russian Spindle.

Do some cool looking art yarn.

So far I am doing well. I have actually finished a few skeins of yarn! Here is some Ashland Bay merino I completed. I got about 230 yards of a 3 ply worsted from this. It is so nice and squishy. I want to just walk around holding it all day.

Tour De Fleece

The falkland has been taking me a long time. I’m shooting for a semi-woolen yarn from this. I have been spinning the top long draw from the fold. This technique does make a very lofty yarn with a lot of yardage. I was actually fairly surprised that the finished yarn ended up at 412 yards. Here are some in progress photos. I haven’t taken a picture of the finished yarn yet, and it may not be possible before my cat eats it. I walked in on her attacking it this morning. I guess she doesn’t like multi-colors.

Progress on the bobbin:

Tour De Fleece

I packed up Gertrude and took her to visit my grandparents at the lake this weekend. My littlest cousin enjoyed treadling while I plied the yarn. Here I am finishing up my plying in the kitchen. I had to move in there to avoid the dogs who had all gone swimming. They were locked on the back deck with me, and wet dog does not mix well with yarn.

Tour De Fleece day 15

I am now working on an ocean themed art yarn using beads from Jar-Jaf Miniatures. They have the cutest little wooden animal beads! I have a merino/mohair/alpaca/angelina blend that I am using to make this yarn. It looked bluish-green at first, but I am starting to wonder if it is too green for an ocean theme. I’ll post some pictures tomorrow and see what you all think.

Finally, I will leave you with this video my father took. I thought he was just taking my picture. No, no. He was attempting to embarrass me on the internet.
Dancing Spinner

Posted in kromski sonata, roving, spinning, Tour De Fleece, wool, yarn | Tagged | Leave a comment

I am in love

I finally did it. I bought a spinning wheel.

About 10 months ago, I visited my Aunt Marie while in Columbus. (She’s the one with the alpacas. I’ve mentioned her, right?) Anyway, while there, she sat me down with a spindle and some alpaca fiber, and right then and there, insisted I learn how to spin.

I was hooked. It was so much fun! within a few months, I bought a drop spindle of my own, and was spinning like crazy with fiber she gave me. As great as that was though, it’s hard to produce any sort of large quantity on a spindle quickly. so, I started looking into buying a wheel this summer.

I had a few that I was considering. I wanted something relatively compact, since I live in a one bedroom apartment. I also wanted something that looked classy though. I know the look doesn’t affect the spinning, but it does affect me. I stalked Craig’s List, Ravelry, anything I could find where people were selling their wheels (apparently, it’s easier for me to validate spending a ton of money on something second-hand, than paying $100 more for something brand-new. Don’t ask why).

about a month ago, someone posted about this Kromski Sonata. She was perfect: compact, walnut finish, beautiful woodwork, plus they were selling her with a woolie winder and extra bobbins. Score!

so, I’ve been playing with her a lot. Here is my first singles done on this wheel:

and, here are my second singles. This is a merino top, beautiful blue and purple. It’s so beautiful, I just couldn’t stop spinning it!

I have finished filling that bobbin now. Hopefully next week I will have some plied and set yarn to show off!!

Oh, right. I have still been knitting too. Still working on the Blackrose sock. Imagine the first sock, halfway done. Thats how far I am in the second sock.

I am also working on some mittens for my partner in the Lazy Spinners Swap. Halfway done one hand, so I am hoping to have those done by Thanksgiving. (wish me luck!)

And finally, the Marine Corps Ball is this weekend. So, genius me, at 5pm yesterday, decided I wanted to knit a swallowtail shawl to wear with my gown. 4 days is totally doable, right? Yeah. I can do it. I just need to stay dedicated. And give up sleep. Totally reasonable.

Posted in fiber, kromski sonata, spinning, swallowtail shawl, yarn | Leave a comment