Sunday, September 28, 2008


Holy crap, has it really been two weeks since I blogged?!
I have swatched twice for the Ingenue - I am between that and the Drops jacket - whichever one has the best swatch first may win. I hate swatching, not because it is hard, but I find it tedious - show me the knitting! I was that kid that never checked my test answers twice, bought the first house I really looked at and bought a spinning wheel without trying one - and hey, those things worked out (well, except for that one cat...) - gosh, why swatch. Wait, my February Ladies Sweater could be a better fit - should have swatched more apparently - hee hee. So here I am. Swatching. Blech.

I have been doing a pinch more spinning - I think am getting the hang of it enough to say "I get the zen", it's pretty relaxing. Though my joins really leave soemthing to be desired, I feel like I am making some progress.


I did get in Wollmeise's sock club which made me feel like I won a minor lottery. I feel a little guilty because I have truly been blessed with Wollmeise - but the sock club - wow, a nice gig if you can get it.


The pattern is by Kris of Bockstark Knits - breathtaking - the best sock club pattern ever maybe. The yarn is Buxkranzl (box wreath) and Hollerstaud'n - I love purple and green, perfection. I am not sure what either skein will be when they grow up but that green is a lovely holiday color, until I figure out their futures I may just sleep with them under my pillow. Also included were some amazing Holtz and Stein needles - sheesh, so nice. I had looked into getting some but oy, they are so much better when they are "included". (they kind of feel free but then common sense tells you, they're not.) Also there was a piece of candy, which I ate before I could even get the goods outside for a quick photoshoot.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I'm dizzy...

from all of this spinning...


Wow, I had a passionate tryst with my spinning wheel yesterday and spun two different Pigeonroof Studio rovings. (OMG I am so far down the rabbit hole.) Then I washed and blocked two other skeins of handspun - I'm seriously thinking I could actually cast on and make...something? I'm thinking my three year old could use a funky hat! Suggestions welcome.

I cannot wait to wash the PR (see the wonkiness of the one on the right?) - it made all of the difference to soak it, the yarn blooms and the drape is delightful. I love having yarn hanging in my shower - Good Morning! (Thank you Kris for warning me not to weight it!:)

**If you are considering spinning, as a complete greenhorn I have found Krista at Pigeonroof Studios to be an absolute pleasure to work with - she doesn't take custom orders but she will honor a "wish list" - for the record, several of my "wishes" have been granted. Her roving is so soft and squishy plus she is so kind. I almost hesitate to mention my PR love because I hate to give up my source - hee hee!**

And because I mostly knit, I swatched some Madtosh for the Ingenue (did you see Plucky's?) and the gauge is waaay off, the Madtosh seems to be a very light worsted in my opinion, so maybe another February Ladies Sweater for now? Such decisions. The last FLS might have given me a case of carpal tunnel - hmmm, is God telling me I should be a sock knitter? Meanwhile, Morticia - I swear my Shetland Triangle is growing!

pigeonroof studios persimmon sw corriedale

Thursday, September 11, 2008


more wheels

I took a beginning spinning class with Deb Jones of the Fiber Garden at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival last Saturday - me and my lendrum hung with other spinner wannabes and many pretty wheels. It felt a little bit like puppy kindergarten the way we got to "socialize" with all of the wheels. I did learn that thankfully, I love my lendum - but the Kromski Minstrel and Sonata were also lovely. Actually, each wheel had it's own gift - but I am quite satisfied with my impatient "blind pick".

We spent the morning just practicing, lots of drafting, learning about the drafting triangle, spinning. It got more and more zen as the morning slipped into afternoon. We then learned how to ply - I have tried limited plying as I have felt like a bicyclist trying to pedal up hill - fighting with the wheel. I am glad I held off on any more experimenting til class as the instructor was able to eye my wheel and see my bobbin "stick" a bit - so I was able to help the bobbin along a bit here and there - and voila - handspun! We made fugly little skeins in class with practice roving - so I promptly went home and started spinning some Spunky Eclectic Flutterby - I spun on and off all week - and plied tonight.

Spunky Eclectic
Spunky Eclectic Superwash Corriedale - Flutterby

I still need to wash it and weight it but I am thrilled silly with my finished bits - it's practically my first "skein" and people, I think it's usable! I am envisioning a yummy cotton candy hat for one of my girls or cozy cowl. Well, actually I am envisioning piles of handspun but one day at a time. I think I get why people are willing to share their knitting time with their wheels, it has proved worth it to me to take another step back in the creative process and "make" the yarn. Now, I am sure, like all of my hobbies. I'll flit from thing to thing, but I am so glad I finally gave into the song of this siren. Now to pick my next roving...

Monday, September 08, 2008

the end of the long road...

I had a great weekend chock full of things - I took a beginning spin class which I need to tell you all about but even more husband is an Ironman. It has been a year of some ridiculous training, with deliverance coming yesterday - Ironman Wisconsin. I am only sad I did not have a cowbell - we needed "more cowbell"...

Ironman Wisconsin

The day started at 4am, with us arriving at the Mononoa Terrace at 5:30 so that Bill could get marked up with numbers. He was cautiously excited. This was the big show. The 2.4 mile swim started at about 7am, with him coming out of the water approximately 1:45 minutes later. He was looking good, my own anxiety subtly assuaged. Prior to the race we had overheard a child ask his mother "what if Daddy dies? What if he drowns?" We giggled at the time, the innocent truth from a child, but I can tell you now that I had already thought of that, and it was not funny. Somehow Bill's assurances that his life insurance premiums were up to date did not offer much consolation. em.

So onto the bike - again looking good. The guy works at Trek - he has the best bike ever and this was going to be his strongest event - he was laughing in the face of the 112 mile ride. Til his frame cracked and other crazy technical things went haywire - he could not stop pedaling during coasting - which was a crap "set-up" for the upcoming marathon. At one point the officials considered taking him off of the course because his bike wasn't safe - hell no - he went forth. I think my brother-in-law would have carried a new bike on his back to him if he could have, THE LOVE! His bike snafu probably blew his time by 1.5 hours, but he rolled in for the transition to run at about 4:30.

Then the run. He did not focus his training efforts on running, so again, I was nervous. Thankfuly he had a GPS unit on which afforded me constant updates on his locale. Between that and his brother, my sister-in-law, my sister and her husband and some other family friends, I was constantly in touch with how he was doing - I've never texted so much in my life. I was on child duty through the middle of the day so I needed to rely on others, and they were awesome!

I met my "crew" at the Great Dane for a drink and to wait for the finish line shuffle at about 9:30 - after I loaded up his bike and gear. (I dumped the entire contents of his bike bottle in my cargo bag - orange gatorade - comic relief after a tense day!)

We were at the finish line in plenty of time to see many competitors finish - that last ounce of energy. It truly brought tears to my eyes to see the determination and pride in these elite (a.k.a. insane) athletes. I cried several times. And then there he was - 16:24 his final time. He came in strong. He was his chatty self - I was so elated. He got finish pictures, his medal, a bottle of water...we said our goodbyes to our personal support team - and then he got squirrely.

My Ironman was going to eat and then decided at he last minute, hmm, not so much. He wandered out of the food tent towards me and I could tell, some thing was up. He said he was dizzy, I ran for a chair - he directed me the wrong way to a medical tent, we ended up two blocks from the medical people - please note he was cognizant enough to hand me his medal and finisher hat with an adamant "I don't want to puke on this..." And then he staggered to the lawn of the City County Building, laid out like you know who on the mind was racing now - I called my sister-in-law - who is a doctor, then ran in the direction of the medical tent - eventually some medical guy ran with me - we managed to get him vertical and to the tent (and they would not let me come in, can you believe that??! Okay, so I took pictures...) Anyways, a sub sandwich, the "best grapes ever" and some water later he was better. He was probably so light on "fuel" he went kind of vertigo.

Aside from our dramatic end, the day was a total success. I admit I have complained about his ridiculous training schedule all year - we have little kids, I was tired of holding the bag maybe - but yesterday I promised God I would not complain again if He would just bring him safely to the finish. Thankfully, my Ironman is in no hurry for a second event...but it was pure joy yesterday to be part of something so incredible. The Ironman, and so many of the events I have spectated (which my crew and I have decided is really quite hard work, em) brings such a sense of community. The volunteers are fabulous, strangers ask for your partner's number and share their own stories and my family and Bill's family really showed how much they love us with all of their help and kindness (like brunch at the Come Back In thank-you-very-much.) Pretty amazing, indeed. For at least two seconds on event day I think "I want to do this". And then I come to my senses.

ETA: you can read about this Ironman's firsthand experience here.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Back to school!! Yay! I mean, aw...


The little one is just dreaming of school, but still. The girls are full steam ahead in routine, I love that. I love that I can stop this 4 ten hour workday boloney and get home a few days early to greet the bus instead. I love that my 3rd grader is pretty stoked about school. I love that everyone is tired at 9pm.

I took the day off, I do that every year to *celebrate* ,if you will, the end of summer. Today my husband and I went out on our bikes - my new fancy road bike has finally had it's maiden voyage. My arms hurt, what's that about? We also went out for pancakes and I got a massage. We take this *celebration* seriously.

I even have an FO today...The Stacked Eyelet Cowl by Ami Madison of SourCherries.
Mama Blue Knitting Goods Troika Sport in die.

I also got my Seasons installment from Sundara - Midnight Meadows - a spoiler here.

Lastly, I have been chugging away at the Shetland Triangle - I am hoping to wear it for my sister-in-law's beach wedding this October. It is a quick knit. I am 7 repeats into the body, I think I will squeak out 3 more repeats and then the edging section - I can't wait to block and share a final product! For now, here's a peek at the little blob of lace...

Dream in Color Smooshy in Beach Fog

"Morticcia" of two knits of ivory and I are doing a shawl-a-long of sorts since she was starting this project at the same time. A cyber-knit-friend to keep me motivated to have more progress to share.