Saturday, July 17, 2010

Last day of

my two weeks leave. Today I have plans to spin, and spin and relax ... already there has been buckwheat pancakes for breakfast, and the evening meal has been sorted and preparation started, and it is still not even midday yet. All this busy-ness is in order to have a relaxed afternoon and evening .. for tomorrow I start back at work, and the cubs start back at school.
At work it is the start of the final semester, the one in which our final year students undertake their biggest and most complex project, they design a collection of between 5 and 8 outfits and present them ... for them its a roller coaster of emotion and work, there are highs and lows and tears .. just as I image like any final year of study for most students groups. I have negotiated to reduce my hours - a difficult decision for me given that project looms but I think a good one, Bear will go back to full time work in August and I will be the one who picks up the cubs after school. There is a complicated work related meeting Tuesday which worries me a little, and I know I will relax more after then. I have really enjoyed this last two weeks, I have planned the evening meals, I've followed the sun around the house and had the chance to open windows on sunny days, having fresh air and light in ones day makes such a difference I think. I've even been able to get washing air dried and folded and away during the week not in a rush in the weekend! Oh the luxury of staying at home.

... and of course I have been spinning and knitting. Spinning has continued on my next Tour de Fleece fibre, 160g of yellow perendale combed top. Some I dyed myself, and knitting has continued on the Rouge Roses, and now one is done and the other started, and the baby-gift vest grows - but something slows me down on that one (I'll explain).

Look - I'm wearing Nightingale ..there are more photos on my Ravelry Nightingale Project page (I've shared it so those who don't have a Ravelry account can view it). I love these, I still think I need a new dress or skirt to go-with, and some new blue shoes .. but for now this will have to do.

Spinning, I'm still spinning away on my big Grace wheel, being home for two weeks has given me time to play with that wheel more than I have in the past. It is a big wheel, a powerful wheel and I have decided that I need only run it on the lower ratios for now. My hands just don't draft fast enough to work the higher ratios. I am going to have to make time to spin more on that wheel, usually use the little Majacraft Gem as it is portable and I can easily take it out Monday nights to spinning .. but really I see I need two spinning projects on the go at any one time, one on an 'at-home-wheel', and one more portable. I suspect I've thickened up the single a little .. so will attempt to refine it back to a thinner one as I work. I've spun 18g so far of the 160g ... the price of fine singles is very slow going.

And my Rogue roses socks ... I've started on the second sock. Well actually I've started on it 3 or 4 times, and ripped each time, the cuff worked well but for some reason I seemed unable to work the reverse of the chart easily. I kept defaulting to the original chart .. a simple thing, I tell my self the YO goes before not after ..... but that was enough to trip me up. Now on the 4th or 5th attempt and with focus and concentration I seem to have it sorted. I do like this pattern, and the way she writes it, quite conversational with explanations and suggestions rather than instructions, she being the Yarn Harolot, who suggests that one can work both socks the same, but it will be better to work them as mirrored pairs, and in her opinion they will look nicer that way, but then finishes with the choice is up to the knitter. I wonder if she had the same issues with initially mucking up the reverse chart as I did?

Look one all done, and isn't it pretty? Sprial socks almost never sit flat off the foot - as you can see from the previous image. but look just fine when worn.

Lastly the baby vest, a gift is needed in the next few months, and this will be it. I am nearly up to the armhole at which point the front is worked flat, and then the back worked flat before being joined at the shoulders. No problem there but again just like the Rogue roses socks the lace chart stays the same and yet changes .. as it is worked flat there are rows that must be worked in pattern and purled ... which was enough to throw me when I worked the last one. I'm sort of dragging my needles a bit on this one knowing that the 'knit-flat' section is nearly upon me. Of course I think the row that one starts the knit-flat lace is all important, and when I knit the last one I may have made a fatal error on that point that had me p3tod and s1, p2 psso, and p, Y0, P, k2. Or to put it more simply working all the tricky bits on the wrong side of the work. Lets see if I can learn from my mistakes and get it right this time?

take care, keep knitting and spinning and smiling ... (or humming - see two weeks leave is enough to leave me humming)
na Stella


Vintage Purls said...

I heartily approve of more time at home - a wonderful thing if you can manage it. :)

Walden said...

The nightingale's are lovely!!

The yellow spinning is beautiful, love the brightness of the color.

The rogue socks are unusual colors together and look lovely.

Love the color and stitch pattern for the baby vest!

Annie of Blue Gables said...

I am so impressed, Stella.

Rainbow Child said...

beautiful knitting!!!!!!!!!

KathyR said...

Love the finished Nightingale socks! They look great - warm and cosy, too. I do agree with Morag as well, reduced hours are wonderful if you can manage it.

Nilda said...

They are sock poetry, also remind me of tapestries. Absolutely beautiful, and will definitely be a conversation piece where ever you wear them.

Knitting Linguist said...

Hooray for two weeks' leave! It sounds like you've really come away from that leave having gotten some time to relax -- what a wonderful feeling :) I adore those nightingale socks, love love love them. They look like something from a museum, they are so wonderfully lovely. I can see why you're wearing them so much! I think they'd look lovely with a long denim skirt and clogs (my uniform of choice) :)