Monday, April 24, 2017

A Mad Dash

It's going to be a sprint to the finish line this week.  


Lillian Lavender and Piglet in production.

Labels, kits, samples . . . it's all coming together in a flurry of activity for Connecticut Sheep, Wool and Fiber on Saturday.   Unlike most fiber festivals, Connecticut is only one day so don't miss out.  Follow the link for all the details.



I'll have a well-stocked booth including Lillian Sprinkles, Lillian Luxe, gradient bundles, kits and more.

Don't forget you can check in with Instagram and Twitter for live updates.

Friday, April 21, 2017

First Things First

I've learned that some things shouldn't be done late in the day.  For me one of those things is making color decisions.  Either I'm tired or the lighting is bad or I have to make dinner or the dog needs a walk.  It's a challenging time of day all around.

Yesterday I had planned to arrange some colors but before I knew it, the day had slipped away.  The dog needed a walk, and I hadn't even thought of dinner yet.  I put the colors on the back burner.

First thing this morning, after I started brewing my coffee, I pulled out the colors and got busy.


It took a few minutes for me to settle on this lineup.


And then it took only a few more minutes to make this happen.

A new day with fresh coffee makes all the difference.  Easy peasy decisions.

Little pockets of color are sprouting up outside.  This week's color inspiration . . .


A cluster of white.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Out of the Fog

Wednesday?  How did that happen.  I came down with a mega migraine and seem to have misplaced a day or two.  I'm on the mend now but first a wee bit of knitting to help me ease back into things.


This is Sea Grass.  I'm just starting the lace section . . . a little mental exercise to get me out of the fog and back to work.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Towanda

Since I've been lining up new projects with reckless abandon, it's good I finished one that was already under construction.


Towanda




This design reminded me of a sampler.  Lace, texture, stripes . . . each section was different.



A little variety keeps a project moving along.

The yarn is Lillian Luxe, colorways Deep Sea and March Sky.


There's nothing like a silk blend for a bit of shimmer and drape.

Today we're in holiday mode with Marathon Monday and Patriots' Day. For occasions such as this I have a hybrid combination of work and play.  Relaxed productivity . . . not a bad way to start the week.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spring Has Sprung

Spring is officially here.  This week I've been motivated to do some deep cleaning.  I've moved furniture and rearranged cupboards.  Watch out, dusty corners and random piles.  I'm coming to get you.

When it comes to colors, this is what I'm contemplating today.


A couple spring options.

This week's color inspiration . . . 


Dusty green and blue.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Reset

Yesterday was a true test of my patience, perseverance and stamina.  I made two runs to the airport - the first one at 5:00 a.m.  I inadvertently "volunteered" to deal with a flat tire on one of the family vehicles.  Note to self:  from now on I'm only dealing with a flat tire that's on the vehicle I actually drive.  

Somehow I managed to navigate all of this before noon, at which point I was so tired my brain was mush.  That's when I succumbed to this.


And then this.


A new project plus a little knitting time . . . that's all it took to reset my day.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Same but Different

I'm starting off the week with more of the same . . . but slightly different. I've been working away on my Towanda and thought I would be closer to the finish line by now.  And I would have been except for a slight miscalculation.  I had made up my mind that there were 9 sections in this shawl.  When I was working on section 7, I was prepared for 2 more sections and was anticipating the homestretch.  Then I looked at the pattern a little more closely and discovered there are really 11 sections.  Oops.


Most of the sections are different.  It helps when the entertainment value is high.  The finish line may have moved, but I'm closing in on it.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Comfort Knitting

In a concerted effort to get rid of a stubborn cold, I tried to lay low this week.  I made the tax handoff with the accountant early in the week and my work schedule hasn't ramped up to the frantic level yet, so some extra rest was definitely manageable.

My definition of rest does not mean flat out in bed.  I was still up and about, puttering around with odds and ends.  And I might have lost the better part of an afternoon to Ravelry.  The natural outcome of all this "rest" was a new project.


No, I haven't finished my Towanda yet - it's coming right along.  I just couldn't resist another cowl.  It takes one skein and will knit up in a flash.  It looks warm and cozy . . . comfort knitting.  

I might have put together a couple colors for another project, but that's a story for another day.  It's time for me to get busy.  All this rest has created more work.

The weather this week felt more like winter than spring, but this color inspiration is a reminder of the season.


Sunny and bright.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Of Knitting and Chatter . . .

Last night I gave in to my lingering cough and stayed home from knit night.  I don't usually miss my Tuesday knitting group.  In addition to hanging out with friends, it's also an opportunity for concentrated production knitting time.  At least I always thought it was production knitting time.  After last night, I'm not so sure.

I settled in with my knitting at home.


At the end of the evening I had worked through 2 sections of Towanda. I really want to knock out this sample, so I was pleased with the progress.  But I started to think . . . would I have finished 2 sections if had been knitting with the group?  Probably not.  All that chatter has a way of interrupting the endless flow of stitches.  

Maybe knit night isn't the best situation for production knitting, but I'm not going to make a habit of skipping.  I'd miss all that chatter.  

A quick schedule update.  This Saturday I'll be at The Yarn Sellar Fiber Marketplace with a fun group of vendors.  Follow the link for details.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Just a Hint

On Saturday I was shoveling snow.  In spite of that, it looks like the weather is shifting.


Even if the weather doesn't cooperate, there are hints of spring coming out of the dye pots.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Thumbs and Ends

My cold has gone from bad to worse this week, and my expectations for work today are pretty low.  This gray yarn matches the weather and the impending nor'easter.  If I can wrap up these mitts, I'll be thrilled.


Two wee thumbs and a bunch of ends.  I know, the bar is pretty low. My cold pills haven't brought much relief, and I'm trying to be realistic. On the upside if I finish these mitts, I can start pondering a new project. Spending time on Ravelry is a legitimate activity when I'm sick.

I'm all over anything grapefruit related, and this week's color inspiration features grapefruit marmalade.  Who knew such a thing existed.


A sweet splash of color.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Take a Number

Recently someone asked about my dashboard shots on Instagram. "Where are you going?  What are you doing?"  The simple answer, I'm waiting.  There are so many situations where I have to wait.  From appointments to meetings to picking up kids, there's plenty of waiting time to go around.  That's why I never leave the house without my knitting in tow.

Sometimes I don't even have to leave the house for waiting time. Yesterday the kids beat me to the washing machine, and I found myself at the end of a long queue.  After I assessed the level of activity in the laundry room, I realized I had to take a number.


It was too late in the day to be productive with any household tasks, but it was just enough waiting time to knock out a section of Towanda!, my current obsession.  Take a number?  Sure.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Ahchoo

It's a rainy Monday after an action-packed weekend, and it's hard to resist the notion to hunker down with my knitting.  UNWIND was all kinds of fun.


I got to see the Romney Ridge trailer.


Yarn on wheels.

I had a weekend filled with constructive conversations and connections.  


I always come away from these events with so many fresh ideas.




Thanks to everyone who came out.  It was a weekend full of inspiration.


And I wrapped it all up with a birthday celebration and family time.

It seems that all the fun and games caught up with me overnight because I woke up with a terrible cold.  My son went out and retrieved some multi-symptom, non-drowsy magic.  Leftover cake might help too. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

Taking Time

Knitting time has been in short supply this week, and I don't see the situation improving over the next few days.  This weekend features ongoing tax work, a show and a family birthday celebration.  Why did I agree to the birthday this weekend?  My daughter's actual birthday was three weeks ago, and I think the guilt was wearing on me.  So we will party.

The last few days I've planned to reward myself with knitting time at the end of the day - only to be too tired to hold up my needles.  This morning when I woke up I decided to take charge of the situation and mix things up a bit.  I started the day with knitting time.


I took just enough time to get this project situated.  Now I can see where it's headed.  Maybe I'll have more knitting time on the other end of the day, but if not, at least I got this under construction.

My color inspiration brightens this gray, wintery day.


Fresh.  Local.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Summer Camp

I'm often knitting samples on a deadline, and this past weekend was no exception.  I wanted to have my Summer Camp ready for the show, so Friday evening I settled in at my hotel with the final edging.  The last stripe is worked and attached to live stitches all at the same time, so it's very efficient.  But I know from past experience that this kind of finish can be slow and tedious - and takes a lot more time than I think it will.

I was focused, and in no time at all I was weaving in the last few ends.


I gave the shawl a quick bath.


And a good blocking.  I was afraid the shawl would still be damp in the morning, but the hotel air was so dry I didn't have to resort to my blow dryer plan.


This pattern was relatively quick . . . garter stitch with color changes to keep things interesting.

The yarn is Lillian Piglet combined with a skein of Lillian Sprinkles. 
This is another pattern that lends itself to all kinds of color options.


Today we have a cold winter wind, but this shawl looks like spring and summer.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Snapshots from Vermont

I'm catching my breath after a delightful weekend in Vermont.  I had a lovely time connecting with old friends and new.  Apparently I was distracted because I didn't take many pictures.


I got to hang out at the charming, quirky Hotel Coolidge.


There were buttons.


These were excavated from a dump site in France.  I might have brought a few buttons home with me.


Samples and yarn, good food and coffee, lively discussions . . . an entertaining weekend all around.

I have a quick turnaround this week.  I'm already looking ahead to next weekend and UNWIND.


But first, a little work on this thumb gusset.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Final Decision

The last couple days I've been busy getting ready for my trip to Vermont.  I labelled yarn, assembled kits, loaded the truck . . . all the while pondering color choices for my next project.  

When I woke up this morning I still hadn't settled on two colors, so I decided to be adventurous.  I asked my daughter to weigh in.  I told myself if I was having such a hard time choosing, I would let her make the final decision.

This is it.


She looked at the options and, without any back and forth, made this selection.  I love this combination but originally had a hard time committing to it.  Now that someone else has made the decision, I'm ready to roll with it. 

I scooped up the yarn and tucked it into a bag with the pattern and needles.  I didn't even take time to wind it, but I can do that later with the help of chair . . . old-school winding.  Now that my new project is settled, I'm ready to hit the road.

This week's color inspiration is another one inspired by the 
bakery . . . red, blue and creamy yellow.


Just one bite.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

In Black and White

We survived yesterday's storm.  As an added bonus, we didn't lose power.  Today the cleanup continues, and I need to do more shoveling. While I wait for the sun to soften things up a bit, I decided to play around with colors.

I'm heading into the final stripes on my current project, so that gives me license to plan the next one.  I need two colors, and I started considering options.  I had a couple ideas in mind.  That's always a good starting point, but I'm always open to going in a completely different direction.

I looked at the pattern some more and decided that I wanted high contrast between the two colors.  For the sake of comparison, I conducted a little test.


This Bee Hive color has been calling my name, and I paired it with a blue.

Then I added a black and white filter to the same picture.


I like the color combination, but it probably doesn't have enough contrast for this project.

I kept the Bee Hive and made another combination.



It has more contrast than the first combination but maybe not enough for this project.

I left the Bee Hive behind for this combination.




I knew this one would have the highest contrast.  I might not use these exact colors, but this is the contrast I'm looking for.  

This little bit of camera play is a fun, easy way to assess colors.  I do it all the time, and every once in a while I'm surprised with the results. Try it out.  Maybe you'll be surprised too.

The sun has worked its magic, and I hear my octogenarian neighbor chipping away at the ice.  It's time to pick up the shovel and get busy.