Swan song

September 26, 2010

Another post that is gong to start with “I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last post”.   And if you’ve been reading blogs for a while, you know that blogs that start posting further and further apart are heading in a direction that generally isn’t positive.  I’ve been reading blogs for a while now, and sometimes you just know when people stop posting regularly that it means they will be stopping altogether.   Sometimes they tell you, and sometimes they just fade away.

I’ve been thinking about the blog lately – not posting, but just thinking about it.  My first post was on March 11, 2006, and I’ve had 497 posts, and, so far, 6,860 comments.  I was more active on posting for the first three years, but this year I’ve been dwindling a bit.  I’ve met so many amazing people through my blog – and when I started thinking about stopping, I kept on thinking about all the people that I’ve come in contact through it, and how I get so inspired from reading their blogs or comments.  And so I’d post one more post, and keep this going for a little bit more.

But now, about 3.5 years after I started, I think it’s time to say good-bye.  Life is different now than when I started this, and I seem to have lost the voice and urge that I had to blog.  I also haven’t been knitting as much, and I have lost the obsessed crazy need to knit and buy yarn and all that.  I still knit – but its become a quiet, stay at home, personal kind of thing.  I can’t explain it – I still love it – but the obsession is gone.    I definitely have lost the obsession to hoard yarn, and have been destashing a bit – I’d like to get it down to a reasonable level – and actually use it!  As I go through it, I’m just struck with how much nice yarn I have that I totally forgot I had.  We are converting Cieara’s room to a guest room and I’m going to put in a bookcase with cubbies to store my yarn so I can actually see it – and I’m looking forward to using it!  But less knitting, less yarn-ing, less obsession makes for a pretty boring blog – and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

It is hard, in a lot of ways, to let go of blogging.  I’ve been doing this for so long, and it’s recorded some major events in not only my knitting life, but my family life.  As I have been looking through the posts over the last few years, I realized that this has become a family snapshot of a very transitional period – kids graduating, moving out, hitting milestones.    I don’t want to lose all that and I’m looking into archiving it into a book (using Blurb or something like that).  But it is hard to think that this journaling of our lives will stop – so who knows  – maybe I’ll be back at another time, on another blog!  I also look at the statistics for my blog – 497 posts – 3 more and I’d hit 500 – maybe I should keep it going!  But then I’d start looking at the other statistics – maybe I should stay until 7000 comments, or 550 posts – and then I realize – it doesn’t matter.  Blogging to me was never about numbers – it was about putting myself out there and seeing if anyone would get it.  And I’ve done that, but I can’t do it any longer.

So I wanted to post to say good-bye, and thank all of your for reading my blog over the years.  I really have enjoyed getting to know you through your comments, links, and blog posts.  You’ve always been so nice and supportive – and such bad enablers!  I wish you all the best in your knitting (and non knitting!) lives…

You can always find me on Ravelry as JeanneL or on Facebook as Jeanne Landes – and I’ll probably still read the blogs I ready because I do like seeing what people do…but for now….

Adieu, adios, bye-bye, cheerio, ciao,  so long, toodle-oo…good bye!


Traveling Woman – Handspun Version

September 5, 2010

I know I’ve been away from blogging for a bit, and I have a lot to catch up on, but I thought I’d go out of order and show you what I finished and then next post I’ll show you where I’ve been.

So my last post was on August 15, and I show you pictures of the handspun I did – remember?


I think I mentioned in the post how happy I was with the yarn, and that I really couldn’t wait to use it – and so I made a shawl!


I finished this last week, and finally blocked it yesterday and got out bright and early this morning to take some pictures.

Pattern:  Traveling Woman Shawl
Yarn:   Gale’s Art BFL Handspun
Started:  August 16, 2010
Finished:  September 1, 2010

I really like the shawl, and of course, using hand-spun was great.  I don’t normally use highly variegated yarns for shawls, but I think this pattern worked with it – the pattern doesn’t get lost in the stripes.   It really looks sort of Noro-ish doesn’t it?    It isn’t super soft, but it’s wearable – I tried it this morning, and didn’t have an issue with it around my neck (I really cropped the picture because I hadn’t showered!).


This was a great project to take on vacation – the pattern is very easy, and I was able to put it down and pick it up quickly depending on what we were doing without any trouble.  We had a very long ride down to Virginia, and this kept me entertained for a long time.  Even the boring bits of the pattern weren’t too bad because I was enjoying the color changes in the yarn (as well as the feel of it!).


I think I’m going to keep this  rather than giving it away as I planned when I started it – I think it will add a  little something to a plain white shirt in the fall and be a nice warm scarf to wear in the winter.  I will also like it because it made it start to finish (well, almost start to finish since someone else dyed the roving!), and it was so nice to use handspun that I think  it will motivate me to finish whatever I’m currently spinning.

I’ve been really busy since my last post, and I’ll post some pictures next time from my vacation.  I didn’t get to one yarn store on vacation – I think that’s a first but we didn’t have the time for anything like that.  I did start a new project, and hopefully I’ll have pictures of that soon.

We are working on going through the house and getting rid of things we don’t use.  We are planning on a yard sale in early October, and today we did the basement.  I really can’t believe how much stuff we had down there.  Boxes that we hadn’t opened since we moved in 7 years ago, toys, games, empty cans of paint.  We had a huge pile of things to sell – and an equally huge pile of things to throw out.  But it felt good to get through it all.  Except for the HUGE spiders we kept on encountering (I am not a fan).   Next weekend we are tackling the attic and I think I’m also going to go through my project and yarn stash too.  I have a couple of projects that I haven’t worked on in a while that I need to either frog or finish (I’m leaning towards frogging).   And I want to go through the stash and make sure I only have yarn that I know I’ll use – no point in keeping things that I don’t like.   All of this organizing and decluttering really feels good!  And it makes me never want to buy anything again!

OK, I’m off to play with the dogs – it’s a beautiful day here and I want to get out for a bit.  Have a good weekend!

Crayon Box

August 15, 2010

Do you remember this?


Now it’s this


I took advantage of a rainy Sunday afternoon to spin a little, and I not only finished the singles for this, but I plied it all up.  I’m very happy with it, and I am really looking forward to using it.

Roving:  4 oz. Gale’s Art, 100% blue faced leicester, colorway Crayon Box
Weight:  Fingering
Yardage:  362 yards


I have to say I’m pretty pleased with how even the yarn is – I only had a few small sections where it wasn’t consistently the same and a bit blurpy – and usually that happened when I first sat down to spin each session while I was getting back into, but overall it’s pretty consistent and I’m happy that I’m doing better.  Now I need to spin some 2 ply  laceweight!

I initially thought of using this for socks – I love  socks made from handspun  – there is something so comforting to me about them.  But this isn’t superwash, and I’ve learned that non-superwash socks and me just don’t go together  – I just  threw out a bunch of socks that had felted or shrunk from either going in the wash by mistake or not being hand washed  correctly.  I don’t want to waste this yarn then by making socks that I know will end up getting messed up.  So I decided on a shawl.   I did spend a little time on Ravelry this afternoon looking at patterns, and I think I may do another Traveling Woman shawl with it.  I think it will be beautiful and very cheery colors for the winter.   It’s the perfect yardage and I think the pattern will be able to handle the variegated yarn.  Any other ideas?


I still have to soak the yarn and dry it – its mostly balanced; just a little off so I think a little weight on it while drying will fix that.  I am going to do it in a little bit  – but it’s so rainy and humid here I think it will take a while to dry.  I’m hoping that it will be dry and ready by tomorrow night though; I’m leaving for a business trip on Tuesday to Tampa, and I thought I’d take it along with me.  I  have other things to work on but I just can’t resist the lure of this yarn!  I don’t know if I’ll have a lot of knitting time, but I know I’ll at least have flying/airport/hotel time, so it will be a good distraction.    And I did finish one old project this week, so I think it’s ok to start a new.

I’m not looking forward to this week – in addition to traveling, I need to get a million things done because I’ll be off work the following week.  I love taking vacations but sometimes it’s hard because of all the work before – and the stuff that I know I’ll be coming back to.  But I am looking forward to being off for a bit – and getting away from everything.  We have scheduled most of our time in Williamsburg (I’m most  happy when I have a schedule) and I’m looking forward to everything we are going to do.  Just have to get through this week!  I think I will have a post later this week to show you the project I finished – it took so long that I’m embarrassed to list the stats.

OK, I’m going to go –  a little knitting time, and maybe looking through the roving stash for the next project.  Have a great week!

Ten on Tuesday

August 3, 2010

I signed up for Ten on Tuesday a month ago, but always seem to miss doing this on a Tuesday – but I had to do this week’s topic, Ten Things to Bring on Vacation, because I’m really ready for a vacation!

  1. Knitting.  No matter where we go on vacation, I bring my knitting.  Usually a couple of projects or three or four.  Like socks, shawls, sweaters – just in case I get a burst of knitting energy and finish 3 projects.    This year I think I’ll just bring one…well, maybe two.
  2. Golf clubs. Since I started golfing a couple of years ago, we always bring our clubs and try to get one or two games in.   This year we already have tee times booked, and I’m looking forward to it!
  3. Books.  I always bring one book with me because I don’t read as much as I’d like to normally, and vacation gives me a little more time for it.
  4. Clothes.  As in too many.  I always overpack.  I hate the thought of not having enough clothes, and enough options so I typically have way more than I need.
  5. Shoes.  See #4.  Same thing.  Always have to have options.
  6. Money.  We like to eat out and shop on vacation, so I always bring a little extra.
  7. Names and addresses of local yarn stores.  I know, but I can’t help it.  I always find out what is around and plan a small side trip.  See #6.
  8. Snacks.  I also like to bring snacks from home for at night, the drive or just whenever.  Not too much – and generally something that isn’t heatlhy.
  9. Alcohol.  Speaking of unhealthy – we usually bring a little wine or martini fixin’s.  This year we will bring both!
  10. iPhone.  This probably doesn’t count because I always have it with me, but I can’t imagine going on vacation without it.  I keep in touch, look up things and keep in touch with the kids.

When I was thinking about what I bring on vacation, I also thought about what I’m not bringing on vacation this year…the kids!  Larry and I are going on vacation alone this year – I wasn’t sure initially, but it just worked out that way.  It is the first time haven’t  had a family vacation, but although I’ll miss them, I’m ok with it.  We are going to Williamsburg, Virginia, and I’m looking forward to having some down time with Larry.  We are golfing and I can’t wait to go to Colonial Williamsburg – I’ve always wanted to go.  We are going in three weeks, and I am counting the days already.

I’ve been knitting a bit this week – I went back to a pair of socks that I had started months ago.  I had finished the first one, and had started the second but just stopped knitting them.  Its been so long since I made socks that I forgot about the heel – so I just kept on knitting and knitting – and now they are too long  and I think I’m going to have to frog them back a bit so that they match the first one.  Sigh. I’m already unmotivated about them because I don’t like the pooling that is happening, and now this – I feel like ditching them and starting something new.  We’ll see – I hate to not finish a pair and they are for my sister but….

I got a package in the mail today that I thought I’d share…


Isn’t that pretty?   Wandering Cats Slinky Cat which is a merino/silk blend.  The colorway is Peacock and I just couldn’t resist.  This is 870 yards of fingering weight, and it will be perfect for a shawl.  I’m not sure what pattern yet – but I can’t wait to start it!

OK, I guess I’ll go frog my socks – have a great week!

Spinning again

July 27, 2010

OK, this is a little rough, but it has been a long time since I’ve made yarn


but I like it!  It felt so good to get this off the bobbins  – I had started this over a year ago – and bought the roving two years ago!


The roving is 100% superwash merino from The Dyeing Arts and the colorway is Goth Chick Duo.  The roving was  2 oz’s of two different colorways – one with black tones, and one red/pink.   I spun the red/pink first, and the black was a bit of a chore – sort of boring which is why I think I stopped spinning it.  But once I started spinning again a couple of weeks ago, I was so happy to get back to it that it just flew, and I was so excited to get to plying that I finished it in one sitting.  Not the most even yarn – definitely thick and thin but it’s about 250 yards of sport weight, so I think I have enough to do something – maybe a cowl for the winter.  The colors are pretty, and its very soft and I’m looking forward to using it (there is something so satisfying about knitting with  handspun!)

Once I finished this yarn, I went back to another project that has been on the bobbins for a long long time.  This is a merino/tencel blend and I finally finished the single last week.


I haven’t plied this yet because I want to Navajo ply it to maintain the color stripes – and I have only done Navajo plying once and I think I need to gear up for it (for those of you that don’t spin, Navajo plying is when you take a single yarn and ply it to get a three ply/cable ply).   Kim sent me a great video so I think I’m going to sit down this weekend and give it a try.  I love the colors in this yarn and the sheen is amazing so I think it’s going to be a beautiful yarn when it’s done.

Since I’ve been back to spinning, I had to also get back to buying a little stash enhancement!

2511 2512

Pretty, eh? The one on the left is from Gale’s Art – it’s a combo of dyed light and dark BFL (blue faced leicester) and it’s just really amazing.  I’m spinning it now, and I’m really enjoying the colors  –  the dark BFL really adds a good depth and mix to it.     The roving on the right is Perchance to Knit and its 100% Polworth – I’ve never spun this type of sheep fiber, and it’s so soft and I’ve read good things about it –  I  think the colors are beautiful and I’m definitely looking forward to it.  It is so much fun to get new things to spin up – and so hard to resist starting it.

So there you go – now you know what I’ve been up to fiber-wise!  I haven’t knit in days – wow!  I just realized its been almost a week  – I can’t believe how long its been!  It has been very very busy at work, and I haven’t had a lot of downtime.  I’m really missing it though – I have so many things I want to get to!  I just found out today that a co-worker is having twins – it’s a high risk pregnancy so I’ve been hesitant to knit for her, but she had some tests recently and it looks like things are going better so I think I’ll start knitting her up some presents.  Definitely booties – maybe some blankets.  I was thinking about trying some of the new Loopy Ewe yarn because of the pretty colors.  Any other thoughts on nice baby yarn?

OK I think I’m going to go read some blogs and sneak some knitting in – just a couple of rows would make me so happy!  Have a great week!

My quilt!

July 18, 2010

I didn’t make this, it isn’t knitting, but I just had to show it off…


Isn’t that gorgeous?  It’s my new quilt, and my sister made it for me!  She started quilting a couple of years ago, and offered to make me one.  I picked out the materials in January – it was so hard!  I finally understood why people who don’t knit have such a hard time envisioning projects and yarn choices – she took me to her quilt store and I was completely overwhelmed by all the pattern and fabric choices.  But someone who worked there helped us, and I picked out all the material.   My sister started it a few months ago, and kept on telling me how nice it was – and today I saw it for myself when I picked it up.  Its beautiful – I can’t get a good picture of the whole thing – its huge!  But it looks beautiful on the bed, and is perfect for the room – we picked shades of green for the walls, and all of the colors in the quilt just stand out.


I can’t decide on what my favorite block is – but this one is in the top two – I love the black and pink combo.  In fact, I think all of the black in the quilt just add a little bit of something different.  It really is amazing – I’m not a quilter (I can’t sew period) so it’s just amazing to me that she took all of this fabric and created something like this.  She’s very creative and is so passionate about quilting that its fun to listen to her.  And of course, its great to get the end product!    Thanks, sis!

I haven’t been knitting a lot this week – I’ve been having some medical issues that just made me really tired and just not up to it.  But when I could, I did work on the Aeslight shawl a little and I’m up to the lace border.   I’m really enjoying it, and I hope that the meds that I’m taking get me back to normal quickly – I really want to finish this section and get to the edging!

I also want to finish the shawl because I have the yarn for my next project….


Isn’t that pretty?  It’s from Wandering Cat and I just couldn’t resist the colorway!  I am not sure what I’m going to make with it – it’s 400 yards of fingering, but I am sure I’ll find something for it.  Definitely a shawl though – and I can’t wait to start using it!

I’ve been spinning a lot this weekend, and I’m just about done with the roving I’m spinning.  I’m trying to decide if I should Navajo ply it, or if I should just ply it like I always do.  I’ve only done Navajo plying once when I was learning – and my teacher was there.  I’ve watched some videos of it online, and it looks fairly easy – but then again, I can also see me really messing up the yarn, so I may take the easy way out and just two ply it.   I’m really loving the spinning though – it feels so good to get back into it!   I should have some new yarn to show next time – and some new roving that I just had to get.

OK, I’m off to get some knitting in – have a great week!


July 11, 2010

As I mentioned on my last post, I finished Artemis last weekend and blocked it on Monday.  And it turned out so well (if I do say so myself) that I wish you all could see it in person!


Isn’t that gorgeous?  I know – it sounds so conceited of me to talk about my knitting like that – but this yarn is so pretty that I just can’t help myself.  How about some project details…

Pattern:  Artemis
Yarn: Fluffy Cat, Blue Topaz colorway, by Wandering Cat Yarns
Started:  June 5, 2010
Finished:  July 4, 2010


Ignore the left side of the shawl – I didn’t realize that it was like that until after I uploaded the pictures (and the shawl isn’t here so I can’t take more) – in reality the left side of the shawl was as nice as the right side.    This was a very nice shawl pattern – the body of it was done in a ribbing type style – I really blocked it out and love how it came out.  The pattern was interesting, but a fast knit – my favorite kind!  I was afraid that I was going to run out of yarn;  I checked with Valerie (the designer) and she had enough when she made hers, but I was chicken and didn’t think I had enough yarn so I skipped the last chart – looking at the ball I had left I probably did have enough though – and should have just gone for it.  Next time!

I can’t say enough good things about this yarn – it’s an alpaca/silk/cashmere blend, and it is so nice to work with.  After blocking the shawl was so light and airy – and so silky and had wonderful drape.  The colorway is beautiful too – this just seemed like the best color to knit in the summer – it reminds me of our pool.  I really love this yarn, and I’m so glad that I have another skein in my stash (similar colorway but it has some green in it).


All in all, a very successful project.    Half way through it I decided to give this to my niece – she loves blue and I thought she’d like it.   I gave it to her last weekend – she did love it, but she’s moving to Ft. Lauderdale at the end of the summer, so I’m not sure how much use she’ll get out of it.    But it is such a cute shawl that I just may have to make another one for me!

I started another project last weekend – and I”ll show pictures next time.  It won’t be a surprise to hear that it’s a shawl – and one with a knitted on edging.  I’ve never done that before, and it took me a little bit to get my mind around how to do it.   I finally found pictures online that helped me figure it out – I really don’t know how I’d learn things without the internet – how did knitters do it in the old days?   Anyway, I’m not to that point, but I’m looking forward to getting to it.

I’ve also been spinning a bit this weekend – I don’t know why, but I think it’s all the blog posts of spinning for the Tour de Fleece finally got me back to my wheel – I hadn’t spun in over a year!   But this weekend, I’ve been sitting and spinning and listening to audio books – it is really relaxing, and I finished up some yarn that I had on the bobbins for the longest time.  It was a great feeling to wind it off – I should have pictures of it next time – I can’t say its the best yarn I’ve ever done, but its done.   Its enough for a cowl or hat, and I think I’ll start something with it soon.  I love knitting with hand-spun – there is something so satisfying about the whole end to end process!

OK, I think I’ll go spin a little more.  Have a great week!