WIPWed #81 : Bits & Bobs

Not much has changed in my knitting situation since Monday’s sock-filled post, but I have made progress on the second leg of my Tropical Travelers and put a bit more time into the Fiasco’s neglected pair.

WIPWed #81: Bits & Bobs | Woolen Diversions

BMFA Socks That Rock Heavyweight, colorway Tea & Alchemy

I’m now up to the heel flap and will get to it when I have time to focus/remember what I did the first time (siiiiiiigh). I also spent a happy evening last night plying up most of the rest of the 17 oz of Ashland Bay Falkland wool that I’ve been spinning on my Lendrum.

WIPWed #81: Bits & Bobs | Woolen Diversions

I love my skein winder from The Woolery.

After 1.5 hours of plying I was just too sleepy to finish, so hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in some time to finish the last bobbin’s worth tonight. I’m be excited to get something with some color on the wheel!

Image from the @hotdudesreading Instagram account.

Can I just say how amused I am that the @hotdudesreading Instagram account is a thing? Go check it out… I’ll wait. It’s fairly new, but already has 93,000 followers (and counting). Speaking of books, I’ve had to take a break from reading the Outlander series. After powering through the fourth book (Drums of Autumn) at breakneck speed, I realized that I was perhaps a wee bit addicted. I spent every spare moment over the weekend with my nose buried in my Kindle and it just began to feel a little unhealthy (not to mention emotionally draining, those books are roller coaster thrill rides, lemme tell you). So I switched my focus to what is likely not any healthier but at least a change of pace: The Drunken Botanist by Amy Stewart.
WIPWed #81: Bits & Bobs | Woolen Diversions

Current reading.

I’m not a big drinker at all, but I’ve recently discovered the allure of the fancy cocktail. When I visited my friends in NYC over Christmas, we went to a French restaurant and an upscale bar where I had, by far, the most delicious drinks of my entire life. The one at the French restaurant involved rosemary and rose wine (as far as I can remember) and something I drank at the bar contained egg whites, which made for a delightfully frothy drink. As with everything that catches my attention, I wanted to know MORE. I didn’t want to just drink what was put in front of me, I wanted to know the why’s and the how’s and the history behind it all. Since my dear friend Katy knows me so well, she gifted me the book above for my birthday (along with Shake, a super hipster but super awesome cocktail recipe book) and now I can’t stop reading. It proceeds alphabetically through all of the plants, spices, seeds, fruits, nuts, and various other plant parts that have been ingredients in pretty much any kind of alcohol, ever. She provides a little botanical information about the species as well as the history of its use by humans and its effect in various drinks. (In that way, it reminds me quite a bit of Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, which details the mutually beneficial relationship between humans and four domesticated plants: potatoes, apples, tulips, and cannabis.) For an information sponge like me, it’s pretty awesome, and I’m fiercely looking forward to hosting a cocktail party during which I not only mix you a delicious drink to cure whatever’s ailing you, but also spout Fun Plant Facts at the same time. BWAHAHAHAHAHA. I’m so fun to party with, guys, for reals. #Katycreatedamonster

yarnalong_gsheller_aquaI’m linking up to this week’s Yarn Along at Small Things as well as Stitch Along Wednesday at the Life and Yarn or Yarn and Life blog. Have a lovely week, all!

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Fly-By Friday

This week flew by, along with all the time I thought I’d have to take/post photos and write blog posts. So today you get a little mish-mash of things that I’ve meant to tell you. And I’m borrowing photos from my Instagram account, so my apologies for any repeats!

Woolen Diversions

Wee armholes!

My Overdyed Cypress #NaKniSweMo project is coming along nicely, pictured are the wee little armhole increases. They seem hilariously itty bitty at only 5 stitches wide, although I’m sure that’s appropriate for a vest and it will all make more sense with the ribbing added.

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Rockin’ it — even in a bathroom mirror selfie.

I’m totally in love with the Sweet Codex Shawl that I recently finished. I’ve been wearing it nonstop. It’s the perfect mix of casual and elegant and I think everybody needs a nice, neutral accessory. Check out more lovely shawls on Instagram with the #fallshawlstyle tag.

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Food for thought (see what I did there?!)

As you might notice by looking at older posts or projects, I’ve lost some weight over the past year. I began an Ideal Protein diet and weaned off of it a month before my wedding. Since I’ve been off that diet, I’ve been struggling just to maintain my weight loss (let alone lose the rest I need to reach my goal). I think the Paleo diet and Whole30 concepts are super intriguing, though, and are quite similar to the way I ate on the Ideal Protein diet (mostly veggies, lots of protein, no dairy, no grains, no beans, no added sugar) and aligns with the rules that Michael Pollan smartly suggests, while relying on actual food instead of replacing some meals with protein ‘packets’ (yeah, Ideal Protein was a fun several months). So far, I adore the books shown above and think there’s a really great intro to the whole idea (and lots of resources) on The Clothes Make The Girl blog.

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Singles of frustration.

Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that I might be outgrowing my spinning wheel. It spins longwools beautifully and is great for plying, but I’ve recently revisited a long-abandoned project using very soft, very fine Merino wool — and it’s been a gigantic pain in the ass. The Babe uses Irish (bobbin-lead) tension so it has very strong take-up which means that it’s essentially ripping the yarn out of my hands before the single gets enough twist. So I’m left with an unevenly drafted, underspun, and fragile single that is driving me bonkers. I’ve spent lots of time researching wheels this week and will chat about them soon, but for now, what wheel do you use, and why do you love it?

Over 100 completed orders, wahoo!

In exciting news, we’ve surpassed our 100th order over at Sweet Sheep Body Shoppe! Thank you for all your support, and remember that the free lotion bar sample deal is still going strong this month!

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Rust-to-gold gradient!

Finally, this last photo is just to remind you that color gradients are everywhere, and fall is fabulous. Have a happy Friday, and check out Libby’s #shareallthethings post! There’s a great knitting pattern deal in there.