Friday, February 26, 2010


Yep, that is what I am.  Disqualified from the KNITTING OLYMPICS.  I knew when I cast on my sweater at Karen's house during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics that the sweater I chose would be a challenge for me to complete in two weeks.  This is why I chose it, the Knitting Olympics are meant to be a challenge for a knitter but my life presented even more challenges and unfortunately I failed before I began.  Several things impacted my decision to disqualify myself. 
1. Our friend Alan died.
2. My cold is now in my chest and I can't breathe deep without coughing.
3. I am sleeping at night, instead of staying up until the wee hours like normal, which is seriously cutting into my knitting time.
So, thus, I need to bow out, quit, fail, disqualify myself from the Knitting Olympics this year.  I will NOT finish a sweater in two days and frankly, I am not going to even try.  Knitting is meant to be fun, exciting and adventurous, not stressful, which is what I would be if I tried to knit like mad to meet the deadline.  I would indeed make a mistake, end up tearing it out and feeling frustrated all the while.
The sweater is cast on, I will finish it in the near future but before I do I have a whole other sweater that is going to be cast on Monday at the start of my Icelandic Sweater class.  I am so excited about this sweater as it will be my first STEEKING project (in which I cut my knitting, YIKES, to make a cardigan).  Stay tuned for updates on this project including photo's from my classes each week.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If you never change your mind, why have one?

So some time back I announced that this year I would spin the fiber for a sweater.  I also linked you to a beautiful sweater that I had every intention of using said spun fiber to knit.  After spinning said fiber into a three ply yarn, I decided that three ply would not work.  Then I decided to spin enough two ply yarn to do a swatch and see how that looked and felt, I liked my swatch.  I like the pattern.  I showed the swatch and pattern to several friends who did indeed like the swatch and also liked the sweater BUT and this is the most important part, did not like the swatch FOR the sweater.  This is really important because you do not want to go to great lengths spinning up yarn for a pattern that ultimately will not work right.  The pattern I originally chose needs a more drapy fiber.  BFL is wonderful next to the skin but it holds a bit more structure.  So after several more weeks pondering what I was going to knit with two pounds of fiber it was down to two choices.  I think tonight I have decided (with a little hlep from my friends - did I sound like a Beatles song?) which sweater I will ultimately knit with my two pounds of fiber.  What do you think?

I think the organic nature of the fiber will lend itself nicely to the cardigan.  Here is my first gauge swatch, which HURRAY, is right on!
Now all I have to do is spin up 1500 yards...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My sweet love is turning 40!

This post has absolutely NOTHING to do with fiber, spinning or knitting.  This weekend was plum full but not of fiber crafts.  Instead I was preparing the house for my sweeties surprise birthday bash.  I started planning this about 5 weeks ago sending out an invite with this photo collage.  
You see Clint and I used to have wonderful parties.  Every year we would invite our co-workers and family and friends over to share wonderful margaritas and laughter.  Once we had our third baby we kind of slowed down.  Life changed and the parties didn't happen for some time.  I decided that we would bring back the famous "Farley Margarita Party" for Clint's birthday celebration.  Here are some highlights of the night.
Take good margarita's and one surprised man and you get...
a pimped out man sporting a cane inspired from the movie UP (wonderful gift) with a bottle of gin taped to it, a ridiculous outfit his wife pulled together (nice hat and kiss me I'm 40 flashing button).  The ice cream cake was literally melting but not from the candles, BUT because I am a moron and stored it in the fridge not the freezer, but hey, he blew out all those candles in one breath!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Talk of lazy kates and socks...

So my friend Alissa left a comment about my sock yarn yesterday and that she couldn't three ply yet because she doesn't have a lazy kate aside from the one she has built into her wheel and I remembered seeing this trick in a book I picked up called "Start Spinning".  So instead of typing it all out, here is a photo of how you can construct your own lazy kate.  Imagine a third bobbin in here and whalla, you can do some three ply!!!  If you don't have an extra bobbin, try winding the yarn onto the toilet paper roll core. 
Photo taken from book Start Spinning by Maggie Casey
Socks or rather, sock...
Here is my finished Uptown Boot Sock, so squishy, so lovely.  Now I need to finish it's mate.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cool Madras...

Hello everyone! I am back with a fiber blog. I have been working on some spinning the last few evenings. It gives me a chance to get out of my head and sometimes you just have to do that. Here is my latest spin. The beautiful blue, green, yellow and white fiber is from Fat Cat Knits. It is Blue Faced Leicester in the color called Cool Madras. I spun up three very thin singles and did a normal three ply yarn. I over spun the ply intending this yarn to be used for socks. I did a little bit to much though... The yarn even after soaking was not cooperating so I wound it back on the knitty notty damp to get some of the kinks out BUT I might have over done that. I am not winning here. I was hoping for a 14 wraps per inch weight but I have a 16 wraps per inch weight which is light fingering. I might do a second soak to see if I can beef the fiber up just a little bit but overall the consistency is nice and the yarn will work well for socks on a smaller needle. Farrah just pointed out a wonderful pattern that the meager yardage (236) will work with. They are socks made just for clogs. I am so excited to make a pair for spring. I can wear them with my clogs and capris and not look like a middle aged man on vacation! For my knitting friends, the pattern Turkish Bed Socks or here on Ravelry, are going to be just perfect!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Tanner turns 17...

17 years ago I had my first baby.  17 years ago, I was not much older than he is now.  17 years ago I became a mother.  I took out my son's baby album and re-read some of the "posts" or journal entries as we used to call them... here are a few moments...
5.12.93  Tanner, you are such a beautiful baby and you are my pride and joy!  You are my lover and I can't believe the things you do.
6.23.93  Today has been rough.  You are cranky because well I believe you are getting a tooth.  You have had a fever for a day and when I gave you Tylenol it seemed to help.  Tonight you are a little better.  You laughed at me when I sucked the snot out of your nose.  Really laughed.  It made mommy laugh too.  Mommy calls you love and lover all the time.  It may stick.  I love you.  Daddy gets to love and meet you for the first time in 14 days.
10.23.93  Another month and it is time to write again.  You have grown so much.  You keep Daddy and I very busy.  You haven't been very happy lately though.  Sick and ear aches.  You will be better soon.  Daddy and I are learning to experience struggles as we deal with new things.  Be patient with us.  Daddy and I love you very much but do make some mistakes.  Be patient with us.  We love you.
4.19.94  Boy the days are going quickly.  You have grown so much.  You really are turning into a little boy.  Crawling on furniture and running around on sea legs.  Your daddy and I sure do love you very much.  I love you.
My handsome son...

a sad night...

Dalon, my dear friend lost her husband today in a snow machine accident, avalanche.  He is still missing.  Please pray for her and her two beautiful boys and their family. My heart breaks for her.

“God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ready, set, cast on...

Tonight was the start of the Olympics and the start of the Knitting Olympics.  I was going to stay home tonight and relax from feeling burnt out but I just could not resist showing up at Friday Night knitting.  We had a little Valentines Day party and it was really, really nice to see all of my knitting friends.  Tonight, during the Opening Ceremony, I cast on for Hanna.  I can see already that this sweater will be a challenge but mainly because it starts off with A LOT of stockinette knitting - CAN YOU SAY BORING?  I will move forward and keep going.  It is looking beautiful. 
On another note. I showed my sample of BFL around tonight, the fiber I am spinning for my sweater!  I was given the feedback I thought that I would be given, that the yarn is a little to "stiff" for the sweater I had planned.  I think I am going to have to rethink which sweater I plan on making.  The fiber is beautiful knit up, it just doesn't move enough for the sweater I was hoping to make with it. 
An update on my Thursday commitment to work on my WIP projects.  I was dedicated yesterday and for that matter, all week to my OFFF KAL Shawl Project.  I now have over 40 cables so that means around 40 inches.  I have broken into the third skein of alpaca and am getting very close to needing my third skein of silk and mohair.  Nannette gave Zaynab this card a few weeks ago and it was funny how Z told me that I was the progress knitter and she was the one playing with the yarn.  In this instance it is reverse as she is done with her shawl and is patiently waiting for Cathy and me to finish.  Cathy is going to be done in no time at all.  I will get there - eventually...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Knitting Olympics

I finally decided tonight that indeed I would participate in the Knitting Olympics hosted by The Yarn Harlot. I have never participated in this version of the Knitting Olympics before but joined the huge list of competitors tonight. My challenge is to cast on and finish (including weaving in ends and blocking) my next sweater, Hanna. The biggest challenge is that this sweater is knit entirely out of lace weight yarn (I have difficulties with lace weight yarn). I will cast on when the Olympics start. I will honor my Thursday WIP day.  Wish me luck.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Devising a plan...

It is Sunday night (oh crud, I did it again), it is Monday morning...  I am sitting here watching re-runs (Bones, CSI, why can I watch these over and over) and looking online at my favorite web sites and blogs.  I spend way to much time on Ravelry - WAY to much time and tonight I was curious.  Is there a group out there for WIP (work in progress) knitting projects?  Of course there is right, I mean, I can't be the only person with this problem - I KNOW I am not the only person with this problem.  So hey, I found several groups/forums that talk about plans and define WIP's and basically are there for you to justify not finishing something.  I understand why this happens.  We see a project, the pattern is beautiful, the yarn is delicious and we excitedly get started and before you know it you have this beautiful project (most of the time) and then you get ummmm, bored.  The project may be endless rows of stockinette stitch or just not moving along fast enough.  You may just not like the way it is looking or don't see it will be useful after all.  I for one have WIP's that meet each of those definitions.  One thing I learned by reading the different forum posts this evening is 
•If the WIP is ugly, or you just plain don't want to finish it - IT IS OK TO FROG IT (rip it, rip it, rip it out), or as one person wrote, THROW IT AWAY (which I cannot fathom but this is because the yarn I use is just to expensive).  Maybe you chose the wrong yarn for the design or you just hate the pattern once you get into it.  Don't torture yourself, undo it.  Move on!!!
I have also decided to do something else that I learned from reading the forums.  
•Pick one night a week and dedicate that evening to working on a WIP.  One of the suggestions was to declare the night per week you are dedicating and announce it.  That way you will hold yourself a bit more accountable and this effort might actually be achieved.  I am declaring that Thursday evening will be my evening to work on WIP's.  This seems to be a good long night of knitting because it is the one night I plant myself in front of the TV from 7-???  Thursday evenings have always been my BIG TV night with you know, Bones, Greys Anatomy and Private Practice on the TV I should get a ton of work done on my WIP's.
Here is my number #1 priority.  Cathy, Zaynab and I purchased this project on our trip to OFFF (Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival) last year.  We all eagerly began the project.  Zaynab finished hers first, Cathy is danger close and I am running in the rear on this one.  I want to get it done so that we can enjoy our wraps on an evening out as we all promised to do.  Blocking may become a group event and I want to be part of that.  Wish me luck on this monotonous pattern (my main reason it is a WIP).

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ishbel Beret

Last night I finished a cute little beret for Elliot's best buddy, Cameron's, Mom Kirsten.  Wow, that was a long sentence.  I hope she likes it.  This little beret pattern was written by Ysolda and can be found here. 

Pattern:  Ishbel by Ysolda
Yarn:  Fleece Artist Sea Wool in Ebony
Needles:  Size 2 for Brim and Size 6 for Beret Body

The pattern gave me a few problems and I ripped back, knit up, ripped back, knit up but I would not let it defeat me!  In the end Jeanie won!  If I do this beret again, I would put stitch markers between the lace repeats, which may end up being a pain since your round beginning changes twice.  I would also make it just a bit more slouchy or just do the next size up!  This one is size small.
I think it will fit Kirsten well, she is a little tiny thing.  It is not a very warm hat but I hope she enjoys it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Has spring sprung... I am organizing...

As far as I know, the groundhog saw his shadow!  That means for most of the world we have 6 more weeks of winter, however, we Alaskan's know we have at least 3 more months of winter ahead of us!  None the less I went home last night determined to do a bit of "fiber" organization.  I have been really inspired by blogs lately and have my list that I look at daily.  One of the blogs I recently visited had a wonderful post about her knitting plan this year and how she organized it.  Check out the Yarn Harlot's blog.  All of her posts are GREAT but this one inspired me ...
My organization pertained to my stash as a whole and not just my sock yarn.  The gratifying part of this process was that I only have a very small amount of stash yarn that does not have a purpose.  It was nice to see that I really do have a reason for buying that beautiful fiber that I love to knit with!
 This was my theory on the organization process...  look at your yarn, did you buy it with a pattern in mind, find the pattern, buy the pattern, make a copy of the pattern and put it in a zippy with the yarn and needles if you can spare them.  Bada bing.  You want a new project, grab a bag.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New fiber - on the way to me NOW...

I have made a new "blog" friend this last month.  This happens when you frequent Ravelry (which I do often) and start to participate in forums (which I had stayed away from but since spinning have started to do a little of).  Pat is a fantastic spinner, knitter and quilter and she shared a project recently (the one you will see if you click her name)  that had me researching a fiber source, Fat Cat Knits.  I love her colors, her ability to put two very different colors together for a shared reason, plying, fair isle, etc.  She is a very sweet lady to work with and overall I feel because of Pat, my new "blog" friend, I have a new fiber friend, Ginny, too.  Here is what is on it's way to me as we speak.  

Aren't they yummy?

Have you ever had one of those days?

Well I have, today was one of those days!  When you are a Mom, you have the pleasure of going to the doctors with or without your kids (today was without) to discuss all the stuff that is going on with them (today was ADHD).  Doing this usually bites into your work schedule which just makes the day all wonky.  Then phone calls and emails and, and, and... without getting into it, I just had one of those days.  This is a video that my friend Dalon posted on her blog.  Hopefully it will make you feel better when you are having "one of those days".  I know it worked for me...
On to some good stuff.  Monday night Zaynab and I went over to Flo's house for spinning.  Flo or as we call her "Purple Flo" is the woman that taught me to knit 5 years ago!  I had gone into Knitting Grounds with my sister and fell in love, so I went back to get a knitting lesson but Zaynab was busy, she had a troop of Girl Scouts in for a lesson so she asked Purple Flo if she could give me a lesson.  I have been knitting ever since.  Those first few stitches were crooked and I missed a few that caused holes (and I ripped out my scarf over and over because I am, well me).  It was really nice to see Flo again, remind her of our time together and get down to why we went to her house, SPINNING.  I worked on spinning up my Blue Faced Leicester Fiber that is to become a sweater at some point this year.  The weight is getting close but it is not perfect.  I think I am going to have to quit trying to be a perfectionist.  I am very happy with my first skein and I just hope it will get better and better.
Tonight I came home did a few chores and had a wonderful dinner cooked by my favorite Chef, Clint.  I climbed into my bed, turned my TV onto channel 13 (ABC) and watched LOST as I knit to many gauge swatches.  I hate gauge swatches - WITH A PASSION!  I knit up three swatches and never got to my goal of 15 stitches in 4 inches.  I will do one last swatch before I start the project but for tonight I am done.  I moved on to working on my Hawthorn Shawlette.  I am on chart number 4 row 5.  The purl rows are getting longer and longer. 
One last note, Clint took some photo's of Andy modeling his hat but I am clearly going to have to teach Clint what I mean in regards to modeling.  I do not have one photo of Andy's face in his hat!  I would have loved to see a goofy smile or eyes, or something but this is what I got!!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

It is Monday morning and I still haven't been to bed...

Andy's Birthday Chullo, originally uploaded by jeaniefarley1973.
maybe that is because I spent all day Sunday lounging in my bed, watching movies and nursing my head. All week I have seemed to be plagued by my aching head and I decided to forgo my pain medication today and let it ride itself out. It finally did at about 8pm and I decided to get up, go to the couch instead of the bed and finish Andy's hat. I had his hat finished on Saturday but my iCord bind off turned out extremely tight and was making the ear flaps curl up really, really bad. I tore it out before the hat dried and left it for the night to mull on how I was going to finish this thing off. It took me all day on Sunday to return to the project, I know, hard to believe that I didn't touch my knitting all day long... Well the hat is done and it is ready to be given to it's recipient. Modeled photo's will appear as soon as my husband makes Andy model for them!!! A new requirement from people I gift knitted items to.