Sweater circle

I have been working with fleece

The fleece made it ashore

from Pam and Gary since August. We carted it to the island off Salem, MA by boston whaler and dinghy. I didn’t have hot water or a bath tub so I washed it in batches with Joy in a spackle bucket


after I trimmed off the dingleberries. It remained in our car while we cruised on the boat for two months. It moved with us into our house in the Adirondacks.

Once we settled in, I started playing with it in January. I hand carded it and spun it P1310090.JPGin a few different weights. Then I designed sweaters for Pam and Gary’s grandkids. I based an Aran sweater P3250073.JPGon one that Tim’s mom had made for Jeremy and Andre 20 years ago.

For the girls, I got colorful. I dyed the yarn with Kool Aid P2230071.JPGand then made two seamless yoke sweaters, one with stripes Kool aid kardiganand the other with a hawaiian flower. Hawaiian sweater I wasn’t sure if I would have enough yarn to finish so the last of the 4 sweaters I knit from cuff to cuff and incorporated all the colors. I think I like the aran and this funky sweater the best. Now all the ends have been trimmed and I am getting ready to send them off. Now what will I do?Cuff to cuff handspun

Could this be cabin fever?

I’ve engaged in several indoor projects over the past week or so that make me wonder if I have cabin fever.  My outdoor activity has been shoveling and snowblowing and I got tennis elbow in the winter from shoveling heavy, wet snow.  I’m such a wimp.  So my mind turns indoors.

Yesterday, I made yogurt.


This is in preparation for our lighthouse gig next winter in Tasmania, where we have to arrive with our three months worth of food.  There will be no trips to the grocery store and we enjoy yogurt, which I found is very easy to make. I followed a recipe in Mother Earth News.  The only ingredients were milk and a little yogurt starter.  The art is in maintaining the right temperature.  I tried to keep it warm in a water bath in the crock pot and may have overheated it in the end.  It tasted good in a smoothie this am though. Next I’m going to try it with powdered goat’s milk and keep it warm in a cooler.

I’ve been writing medical articles for livestrong.com about women’s health and a couple have been published.  They are not for the feint of heart.

And I’ve been knitting and spinning.  I’m still working on the good old fleece.  I’m in the home stretch with only about half a garbage bag left.  I’m almost done with an aran cardigan, just waiting for new needles to arrive to finish the neck, and have begun my kool aid series of girls’ sweaters.  What fun.  I spin and knit while watching the Olympics.  Luckily, when I do make it out of the house, the local food store carries all flavors of kool aid.

Handspun aran sweater
Kool aid sweater body

Spring Projects

I completed the Duxbury sweater from Simply Shetland and sent it off to Chelsea, after I tried it on.  I wanted to wear it for a day or two but the weather wasn’t going to allow her to wear it for too much longer this season.Duxbury complete

I love the way it came out.  I enjoyed the Celtic knot in the front and back and had fun attaching the shoulder straps.  Perhaps the armholes are a bit big but…

Duxbury front Now I am on a felted clog binge.  I had wanted to make these for a long time and the local Michael’s had a sale on Paton’s Classic Merino.  First I made a pair for myself and then DH and my son wanted a pair.   I will surprise Chelsea with another knitted item.  The Paton’s Classic Merino felted easily – I have to finish all the felting projects quickly because we move onto the boat May 1 and will no longer have access to a top loader washer.  I erred in the cuff of my pair and decreased much more than suggested but I have a narrow foot and they fit great. I felted DH’s and am finishing my son’s.

felted clogs finished clog

Too bad I am finishing these super warm clogs just as the weather begins to improve.  Hopefully the moths won’t get to them before I need them again.

Now I have just selected my knitting project for our backpacking trip to the Grand Canyon – of course I am not finished packing yet but have decided on a laceweight Pi shawl  Light to carry, compact and should take forever.  I am going to use a pattern from A Gathering of Lace, called the Shetland Tea Shawl.  It’s basically a variation of EZ’s Pi shawl but all the math has been done.

I have plied my Kood aid fingering weight and am happy with the results.  I think it will become a scarf or shawl.  I am experimenting with black overdyeing to get a deeper tone (?) for some of my other Kool Aid yarn.

Kool aid skein

I will be sad to leave Fire Island in a month.  The winter flew by and I even made some knitting friends here, through Ravelry and the Spinning Study Group of Long Island.  At least the internet will keep us in touch and I’ll be sailing through this way again.  The SSGLI meets monthly and also runs a fiber study group, where I have learned a lot about breeds of sheep and spinning techniques.  Last weekend there was a workshop and I had a spinning immersion.  I’ve concluded that my Kromski spinning wheel will join me and the cats on the boat at least for the first leg of our journey.

Baby it’s cold outside

The weather outside is frightful…pc190035well not exactly but it’s pretty cold so I have taken to indoor projects.  I knitted up a baby set based upon Elizabeth Zimmerman and just love it.  I enjoy that her projects get me to think like a knitter and not just follow a pattern completely.ez-sweater-set

Next i knit up a cowl from fleece I had washed and spun as part of my fiber study. It’s bond fleece and is so light and fluffy, handspun-cowlI’ll have to invest in more and think of future projects but will probably stick to one color.

p1100009Yesterday, I was on my own so tried my hand at kool aid dyeing of some p1110001corriedale cream roving  and loved it.  it was easy, not too messy and non-toxic.  My local grocery store didn’t have any blue kool aid so I may have to move on to food coloring.  I followed very helpful instructions from purecrafty’s blog.  So far I have spun up a single and will figure out how I want to mix and ply the colors.These are not my usual earth tones so it may be challenging figuring out the right project.