loose ends

As in weaving loose ends, tying up loose ends, fiddling with loose ends…

Tomorrow is the beginning of Pennsic and that will take me away until August 15. We’ve been ready to go for some time, especially considering the trailer, which was ready to go a month ago. Our food is bagged, clothes on hangers, bedding washed and folded, miscellaneous items stuffed into any small space it can fit. Everything is just sitting patiently, waiting for us to load it into the car, hop in and drive away! I’m so excited about Pennsic this year. Thanks to unemployment, I get to go for the full two weeks. And being so busy this summer, I’ve made no plans and have no expectations. However, I do have a tunic to finish sewing. I started a white linen undertunic for Rich and have been hand-sewing the edging (hem, cuff, neckline). It made me realize just how much I enjoy hand-stitching. That’s about the only thing I have to do for the entire time! haha!

While I’m away, the Etsy shop will be closed, but I plan to have a big extraordinary sale upon my return. I would like clear out some of my old stock and start fresh this fall. I have a lot of spinning, dyeing, and knitting to do in order to get back into the groove and be ready for the winter rush.

Speaking of knitting and winter, I have finished two pairs of mittens recently. The orange and brown pair, which I blogged about, has been completed for some time. I like the way the waffle check came out across the whole mitt. The blue and brown pair was made using another stitch pattern I picked out from the Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe. It is simply “bricks”. The brown from that pair is the same alpaca from the orange pair. And the blue is handdyed/handspun BFL. It’ll probably show up again since I have quite a bit of it left. They are being washed right now!

finished mitts!

Be back in two weeks! Until then.

“multi-purpose room”

For now the wool room will be known as the multi-purpose room, as it has been used for many things in just 1.5 months. First we stuffed all the furniture into it, then boxes on top; later we cleared out some boxes to release the furniture, but the boxes returned. Last week I, with assistance, pulled out all the boxes, rearranged the furniture that was to stay, and began organizing my fiber arts equipment and stash. This week one corner of the room has become a gathering area for Pennsic-going items. I have a feeling this room will continue to have an ever-changing identity as we make ourselves at home here.

wool room
An attempt to organize the wool room. Tools, books, fiber.
To Pennsic!
Our Pennsic gear waiting to be sorted and packed.

still a knitter…

sometimes.

What is it about summer that just sucks away all my fiber enthusiasm? Busy schedule? Heat and humidity? Whatever it is, this summer, like last year, has been utterly devoid of any fiber-related activities. I guess last summer I was planning a wedding and this time Rich and I just moved into a house… are those reasonable excuses? Regardless, it doesn’t mean my customers wouldn’t like new stock. I do have some dyed Falkland top to list, but I haven’t taken pictures of them yet. This house has lots of windows, so I’m hoping I’ll have more options for places to take pictures.

All I’ve really worked on this summer is finishing my short-sleeved sweater and a few pairs of fingerless mitts. I just completed one lingering pair the other night and then decided it was time to start another pair. That’s when I got out a new book in my library, The Essential Guide to Color Knitting Techniques by Margaret Radcliffe. It was one of those Christmas gifts where you and husband are at the book store and you find it when you are supposed to be looking for a gift for someone else and then you say to him, “Hey! This would be really great if you need something to get for me”. And he says, “Well, I don’t really need to get anything else for you, but I will.” And then you say, “I love you.” I thought it wouldn’t hurt to introduce something besides stripes into my colorwork.

I started with the Waffle Check pattern, which is basically the first thing in the book. The yarns are a handspun alpaca and a handdyed recycled wool blend. The red-orange yarn is a little heavier than the alpaca, so I think it ends up standing out more. This stitch pattern is just knit/purl and slip-stitches. It’s manageable and easy to remember. I’m pleased with the way the mitten is coming along.

waffle check

waffle check

in need of routine

I think we’re finally getting back into some sort of routine.  It’s funny how important routines are for humans.  Without them, many of us tend to be forgetful and unproductive.  At least that is the case for me.  Several things have made finding that needed routine difficult.  Something as simple as not having an outlet to plug my alarm clock into has made waking up in the morning a concern.  I’ve set my cellphone alarm, but before I realized I needed to select the Mon-Fri setting, I created a new alarm every day.  One morning the alarm didn’t go off because I hadn’t changed it from PM to AM.  Luckily I woke up in time to get Rich to work without him being too late.  Another quirk of the house is the location of the shower, which is in the basement.  We’re still trying to figure out where to leave things, like towels and clothes, so they can be easily accessed when we need them.  Neither bathroom has any really storage cabinets or counter space, so right now I’m storing toothbrushes at the kitchen sink and basically every other bathroom item is in a box.  That includes my deodorant which I haven’t used for over a week.  Plus there’s the unemployment aspect of this situation.  I know that I should be unpacking boxes, but that back room is just so full and really, I don’t know where most of that is going.  I finally found a reasonable place for my vitamins, so at least we’re back to taking those in the morning.

I do love the way the sunshine comes into my bedroom windows in the morning.  For 10 years my room was located in the basement, and I missed the natural light.  Now I have plenty! Each morning I just spring out of bed, which is odd because now I don’t HAVE to get up to be somewhere.  Why is it that once it’s my decision when to get up, I get up early, but if I have to be someplace, I want to stay in bed?

Anyway, I just posted 24 new HOUSE photos to my Flickr account.  If you are interested in the progress that we’ve made, which is significant, please head over to my “1925 House” collection and take a look. Here is a selection:

reno 6.20.10
Bright yellow kitchen with new refrigerator and stove
reno 6.25.10
Pocket doors between living room and dining room - very dirty
reno 6.24.10
Back bedroom painted blue (also living room color)
reno 6.19.10
Hall/stairs patched and painted

exhausted sigh

Well, I have more – a LOT more – new pictures of our house on my camera, but I can’t seem to locate it right now.  I did find the cable needed to retrieve the pictures from the camera, but the camera itself has disappeared.  There are probably 100 photos on there, so once it turns up, I have a lot to share.

6.12.10
From June 12, in the dining room

In the meantime, I can say with certainty that the last few weeks have been very busy, tiring, difficult, stressful, and pretty miserable.  Somehow we managed to get all of our cleaning, prepping and painting done in 4 weeks, but we moved (without really packing anything) in about 4 days.  Thanks to several friends and family members who had a van/truck/jeep, we were able to empty the apartment just in the nick of time.  I spent Wednesday cleaning there, every nook and cranny.  But now the house is packed to the ceiling with our stuff and it’ll probably take us a while to really sort through it.  The worst looking spaces are the kitchen and wool room.  The best is probably the dining room.  It’s really just been an endless, nonstop roller coaster ride from the moment we got the keys.

On top of everything contained within the sphere of  “moving”, I was informed last week by my employer that I was no longer needed.  But of course everyone kept saying, “you’ll be fine! you have a new house to play with.”  And it turned out to be a good thing this week, as the excitement continued.  Monday and Tuesday we had new carpet installed; Wednesday I cleaned at the apartment; yesterday I waited around for the satellite installers.  This morning I realized that a trip to the grocery story was very necessary.  The yogurt and bread has gone bad and I have no cereal or granola bars in the house.  So nothing for breakfast and almost nothing for lunch.  I’m really not a very good multi-tasker and that’s what this whole thing is about.  And now I can’t even manage to put food back in the refrigerator when I’m done with it.

Good grief.

And no spinning or knitting to speak of.  None.