My current work in progress:

1. Drachenfels, designed by Melanie Berg, knit from Madelintosh Pashmina in the Black Walnut, Seasalt, and Mineral colorways on a 4 mm (U.S. size 6) needle.
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Holidaze?

In cruising around the knit-blog-iverse, I note a lot of people in full holiday panic mode. And rightly so, I guess — it’s just a few days until Christmas, right?

You may have noticed that I’ve made no mention of holiday preparations. There’s a reason for that. I . . . um . . . haven’t made any holiday preparations.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I did slop a few holiday cards in envelopes last week and sent them out. But holiday baking? Zilch, apart from the stuff I made to take to work for the office party. Decorating? Zip, apart from ordering a prelit fake tree is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow and that I may or may not actually assemble before Christmas.

Lucy is primping for Santa on the off chance that I get my act together.

lucy122004 Holidaze?

Gift knitting? I am, believe it or not, ahead of the game here. I finished my gift knitting months ago. Though I do have one bit of holiday stealth knitting to do, but it’ll be done in the next couple of days.

So, you say, surely she’s wrapped all her gifts? You would be wrong. Nothing is wrapped. Gifts are stuffed here and there, hither and yon, all over my home. I’ll be doing well to find where I put them all. I do have some holiday giftwrap, however.

I’ll be wrapping gifts Christmas Eve, no doubt. With Lucy “helping” me, I’m sure. While I’m at it, it wouldn’t kill me to vacuum. Not only is there cat hair all over, but little bits of fiber from my spinning pursuits.

Doesn’t all this really make you wanna come over to my place for Christmas?

COLD

Holy crap it was cold today! It was 11 degrees F. this morning with winds of 20-30 mph which made for a very nippy commute. I still have a cough and I’m sure being out in that weather didn’t help much.

When I was leaving for work this morning Lucy was huddled on my bed, all fluffed up, so I turned up the master bedroom thermostat a bit for her before I left. And thought about her snug and warm all day, as I sat in my chilly office that has a breeze coming in around the window. Brrrrrrrrr!

Good thing I have plenty of knitted items at the office to wrap up in.

(Some of you who live in colder climes may think “Huh! that’s nothing!” but believe me, when you’re not used to it, it’s something!)

I Do Still Knit

Proof:

lisa122004 Holidaze?

The Koigu Kersti sweater, nearly completed. Just gotta put it together, ya know?

Ply Me to the Moon

Thank you for all your kind comments about my spinning. I attribute any success I’ve had to beginner’s luck and easy-to-spin fiber.

Here’s some woool/alpaca blend:

yarn122004 Holidaze?

Deb asked:
I’m curious, though–now that you have the wheel, are you still using your drop spindles?

Um, er . . . no I haven’t. And it’s quite possible that I . . . uh . . . ordered a second wheel.

Mia asked:
Can I ask how you ply? It almost looks like navajo plying … very rounded yarn.. usually two ply comes out looking a little flat.. just wondering!

It’s two ply — plied with a z-twist on my wheel. Mebbe it looks more rounded because I photographed it after the skein was washed and hung to set the twist.

Kim asked:
What type of drafting method are you using? I’m still using a short draw, which is okay, but feels a bit slow to me. I’m thinking of attempting a long draw, but I’m really nervous.

Kim, I think what I’m doing is sort of a hybrid between short and long draw. It depends on the fiber — the easier it is to spin, the longer the draw!

Y’all know that I’m just faking this spinning stuff, right? I’m just making it up figuring it out as I go along.

Comments

  1. Well thats how its done! (learning to spin that is). You’re doing great.

    (-8 degrees in Vermont in the middle of the day today for the record. That does not include the windchill)

    Glad you’re feeling a little better

  2. Um…er.. another one????

  3. I’m right there with ya. I was just thinking how detached I’m feeling from Christmas hubbub this year. So what if presents aren’t wrapped! So what if you don’t send out cards! Are you nice to these people the other 364 days? That’s what counts. Priorities, I say!

  4. Merry Christmas Wendy… from Canada. Sure is cold here. I have been watching and reading your blog for a few weeks now. As a new knitter, I’m fascinated with your spinning and the number of comments you receive from others who are spinning. I didn’t even know it was an art that is still done. Will you soon be buying a farm and raising your own sheep. Sounds like a good idea to me.
    Seriously….Your knitting (and spinning) is very impressive. I congratulate you on such well done projects. Have you noticed that all knitters love cats? I do as well.
    Ev

  5. It sure sounds cold to me. It was close to 80 degrees here today. Trade ya! Take loads of airborne and get/stay healthy.

    I think Lucy needs a few toys. In that picture it would appear that she has nothing to play with.

  6. Loving as always the photo of Lucy. And I’ve definitely been admiring your spinning efforts — particularly that luscious looking cormo (love the colour).

    Question (and forgive me if it’s a dumb one): Have you knit with your own handspun yet? If so, how was the experience? What would you do with 4 ounces of Cormo? Or any of the other lovely yarn you’ve been producing?

    Merry Christmas,
    AA

  7. That’s colder than we usually get! It is stuck in the 30′s with fog so I’d take your 11 degrees and sun anyday.
    We all wish we could fake spinning so well. I know I’ll do it someday. You inspire me…sorta if you can do it then I should be able to;-)

  8. Your abode must be all the cozier with the special Lucy fur hither and thither. I vote for not vacuuming it up. Besides, I think you still have some recuperating to do. =)

  9. Every year my mom inevitably “loses” a bag of gifts by hiding it somewhere and not finding it when it comes time to wrap them. We’ll be sitting around after unwrapping things and she’ll be scratching her head talking about how things are missing.

    Also, a little aside in response to Ev’s comment above. I am a knitter, and although I enjoy the occasional petting of a cat, or the lovely photos of Lucy, I’m not a cat lover. I am looking forward to visiting with my sister’s cat on Wednesday night though. He’s more like a dog in attitude.

  10. Well, at least we have Friday off work. I’m planning a marathon wrapping session that afternoon. Just in time to bring everything to the neighbors before dashing off to dinner at the home of an old friend.
    A second wheel, huh? Is it for you, or have you taught Lucy how to spin behind our backs?

  11. Dear Wendy

    Call me dumb, but I only noticed yesterday that your ‘hairy’ portrait photo has gone! Have you succumbed to the lure of short, manageable hair or are you planning to grow it long and try spinning it? (Is that why you’ve not vacuumed Lucy’s ‘carpet collection’ yet – more fibre to spin?)
    As always, you are an inspiration.
    Thank you.

    Love and Kisses
    Vicki

    P.S. I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas.

  12. Well, good to know there’s someone else not in a holiday panic. I hope I at least remember to mail the cards today.

    You’re on your second wheel and I haven’t even mastered my spindle yet? Gotta get cracking….

  13. the suspense is KILLING me, what’s the second wheel?

  14. The secret to a great Christmas is BAGS! just put everything in gift bags..Love your spinning…I am so impressed with the progress you’ve made.

    I love crocheting and am getting into knitting, but am not really a cat person. I appreciate their personality, but give me a slobbery dog any old day! Lola the terminator is getting real good at playing chase the yarn and pull the tissue paper out of the gift bags!
    Hugs to all from chilly NY!

  15. i’m still thawing out from yesterday. brrrr! and you wool/alpaca looks fabulous, wendy. i’m always mesmerized by the spinning of the wheel. it’s so calming that i usually can’t imagine doing it myself. it’s dreamy. hmm would that result in falling asleep at the wheel for me. hmmm, i may have to find out. i am truly intrigued.

  16. OK, do tell! What’s your second wheel?
    And feel free to continue on. I own THREE. Of course, wheels are like cats – the more, the merrier! >^..^<
    Denise

  17. I haven’t played with my drop spindle yet because I know everything else will get neglected as soon as I do…Reading your spinning posts have let me live vicariously through you!

    I sat snug and smug in my toasty house last night as I watched the temperature plummet to 8 degrees until I realized I had no gift tags and not nearly enough wrapping paper and would need to go OUTSIDE to buy some. Grr…

    Happy Holidays!

  18. If it makes you feel any better, I had to take yesterday off to buy all my Christmas gifts, buy wrapping paper, wrap them, and write about half of the cards I wanted to!

    It was 18 yesterday morning in Atlanta and it almost killed me!

    Your spinning is really looking divine – kudos!

  19. Well, your making it up as you go along seems to be working quite well for you! The yarns you’ve showed the past few days have been glorious.

    I did a veritable ton of holiday baking, but completely forgot about presents. It always seems that something doesn’t get done. But something else does, so I suppose it balances out.

    Looks like Lucy needs about another dozen more catnip mice!

  20. I remember when I moved from the DC area to Colorado. One fine gorgeous September morning I was out cleaning the kennels in a short sleeve shirt thinking what an absolutely BEAUTIFUL day it was. Come to find out it was 33 degrees.

    33 degress in DC would have meant heavy coat, hat and mittens – NOT short sleeves!

    It’s not the cold, its the humidity :)

  21. Thanks so much for sharing your spinning! I’m shopping for a second wheel now. They really ARE like potato chips. You can’t have just one.

  22. Wendy, come out here to the northern suburbs and feel cold. The highest temp yesterday in up here in Fredrick was 18 and that did not include the wind chill. But alpaca keeps you nice and warm. And you mean that you are supposed to put up a tree? Mine is still in the attic. But I know where all of the presents are; I just have to find the gift bags or else I have to hit the dollar store tomorrow for more bags!

  23. Haven’t commented for a while, but I’m still faithfully reading every day.

    Here’s my Christmas story: My mom is an OUTSTANDING knitter. But every year she gets to Christmas Eve and someone’s gift isn’t finished. Some years she stays up all night to finish; other years I would get one sleeve and balls of yarn in a box. This year my mom retired, and she finished her Christmas gifts WEEKS ago! So apparently the trick is not having a day job….

    I, however, am keeping up the family tradition. I decided to knit gifts for 12 people in my family this year. 4 days to go, and I’m still working on the last 2 presents. Any bets on whether everyone gets completed projects under the Christmas tree?

  24. 11 degrees? Shorts weather. The high on Christmas eve here is supposed to be 1 & the low is proejcted to be 12 to 15 below. They keep letting us that if we had more snow cover it would be 20-25 below! At least we get to wear all our sweaters, sometimes all at once LOL

    Have a merry Christmas.

    Kathy in Mpls

  25. ACK – I haven’t even had time for my ONE wheel – whatcha gonna do, bring one to work (not a bad idea, eh? MUAHAHAHAH!)???

    Feh – *wrapping*…that’s what those cute gift bags are for! Toss the gift it and top with a sheet of tissue paper – VOILA! INSTA-GIFTWRAP!

  26. Ooh, ooh, I know! Rumplestiltskin is gonna spin gold out of your hair! Now send me my prize!

  27. Is Christmas THIS weekend? I guess that means I need to get the tree I bought on Saturday out of the bucket in which it resides and plops it in the tree stand. What? You say we through out the tree stand last year because the screws were rusted in place and we could barely get last year’s tree in or out of it? Maybe the bucket doesn’t look so bad… And do the presents really have to be wrapped this year? Now if I were a spinner, I could decoratively drape some roving over the gifts as if it were angel hair. Instead I guess we’ll use the dog and cat hair that I have failed to vacuum this week as well!

    Why does work have to get extra busy when non-work is extra busy? Not enough time to snuggle with kitties in my lap!

    Love, love, LOVE the alpaca/wool blend! And the Cormo (?) on the 19th is absolutely beautiful! I didn’t have time for any blog-reading yesterday, so i missed out then. It looks so wonderfully even for such a short number of weeks at the wheel!

  28. I’m with you, sister. Christmas can kiss my butt this year. I’m in no mood and I have no time. I rather enjoy the sense of smug self-satisfaction I get from watching everyone else flip out while I haven’t even thought about what to cook for my parents on Christmas Eve. Some kind of roast something-or-other, I suppose. Whatever.

    There’s plenty of other stress in life, there’s no sense in compounding it. Smooch to Lucy!

    Debbie