Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Harlot's Request

The Harlot sez: (in this post)

PS. While I was in Jacksonville I met a knitter named Renee doing her thesis on knitting. (I bet some of you who were there remember her.) She needs volunteers to fill in her survey so that she can validate her theories. If you have a minute, can I ask you to help her out here? It's interesting work, and good for all of us.
The reason I had to copy part of her post, rather than just paste in a link, is because I've already taken the poll and - apparently - you can't go back to the link and get to the first page of the poll in order to copy the link! Weird, but whatever... Anyway - the poll was fun and I urge everyone to help out a fellow knitter and go take it!

In the meantime, I've been working away on my carder, still fluffing up the 50/50 silk/merino laps I got from Leah at Yarn Or A Tale. I've also been adding a bit of glitz and glam, and more silk noils. So far, it looks great, even if it is blue (and I don't even like blue usually), and I've named the whole shebang "Winter's Day". I wish the top layer showed up better - it looks kind of 'nothing' in the photo, but it's a very pale, pale blue. The next 2 layers are grey, and the bottom 2 are medium blue and bright blue. I still have to card up a plain white batt - wish I could find a brilliant true-white for this particular color mix. I'm afraid that a 'natural' white will just end up looking yellowed next to these clear, cool blues and greys. Any suggestions? Anybody? And don't say bombyx - I can't afford that (don't I just wish!). I also wish the opal, silver and blue Angelina fibers had shown up, but those are very hard to photograph. Oh, well. I tried. You guys know what a rotten photog I am.

Funny, isn't it, how one's color likes and dislikes can change drastically after you start working with fiber? I still can't wear blue, grey, purple or black (they make me look like I should've been buried yesterday), but I kind of like working with them. It's nice to not 'hate' certain colors - I was never easy with 'hating' colors as color has been such a huge part of my World Perception ever since early childhood. Color really can affect my mood (big time!), so it has been so freeing to quit 'hating' colors merely because I don't look very good in them.

I don't know yet whether I'll be keeping it to make up or just sell the batts on Etsy. It's a great honkin' wad, whatever I do with it. I soooo want to spin it up, but... there's something else I want even more. It's this and I need to save up (a lot!) to get it.

I've also been playing a bit, finishing up some left-over stuff from the bobbins. I made my FIRST cabled yarn - and it's gorgeous! I made it from the tiny leftover ball of Z-spun singles I used to ply up for my Morning Surf Scarf (Finn top). It was so totally blah, I just about threw it away. Instead, a lightbulb came on and I thought: I've never made a cabled yarn - let's see what one looks like! I knew the original 2-ply was supposed to be really tight (and this was waaaay too loose), so I ran it back through (again, S-plying) onto another bobbin. Then, putting that tightly-plied 2-ply into a center-pull ball, I then re-plied it onto itself (Z-twist). Et voila! A gorgeous 4-strand cable yarn! I had NO idea it would look so lovely! The colors, rather than barber-poling (which usually doesn't look so wonderful), it becomes beautifully speckled and streaked - almost 'tweedy'. I never really liked cabled yarns before. I think I've found a new love ☺
Wanna see 'my first yarn'? It's in the photo, next to the cabled beauty. Actually the plain white strand was my first single I ever spun, and I later plied it with my 2nd-ever single, made from a colorful batt provided by my first spinning teacher, Dawn Jones of Custer Cottage! Dawn is a dear-heart and so very, very generous and kind.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

As if one ache wasn't enough...

I decided to add to 'em. Friday, a pile of us went on the Central Kansas yarn crawl (okay - HOP, but I think 'crawl' sounds more fun). Twelve hours later (a la Sponge Bob) we dragged our exhausted selves home after having had WAY too much fun, coffee and yarn! I hurt everywhere. My hair hurts. Even my Achilles tendons hurt - and I hardly walked anywhere! So typical of me.

We only managed to hit 6 of the 8 shops. Seems the yarn shops don't stay open 'til 8 or 9 p.m. like the quilt shops do during a 'shop hop'. Oh, well. Next year, we'll do better! I might even manage to get photos of each place we stop.

I was SO organized that I even remembered to charge up my camera batteries the night before. Loaded up camera with said new, freshly-charged batteries. Placed camera in knitting bag. Put bag in sister's van. Forgot to take photos of ANY place we stopped. ::sigh:: I guess I was too eager to inhale wool fumes. Didn't get much knitting done, either, I was so busy flapping my gums...

Anyway - dd and I had to go to the last 2 shops on the list (The Beadery and Heritage Hut). Yes, The Beadery has yarn! It's half lovely yarn shop and half bewitching bead shop! We had a great time making our own shawl pins at the Beadery, and snatched up a few BOGO yarn balls. SCORE! It was VERY difficult to get Meem's out of that shop (read: I dragged her out by the hair) and we had to go.

We toddled back to home turf (just b-a-r-e-l-y in time) and had a wonderful visit with Mary. We had a lot to catch up on as it's been ages since I've seen her. She's even got a new Irish Wolfhound pup! Her name is Maggie and we'll be going back to meet her - hopefully this week. Mary says Maggie works the Tuesday-Saturday schedule (lol), but she's still a silly pup who thinks every yarn ball is a toy. ha! I'll bet! Heck, our 2 Britt fosters think the same thing! Mary has to keep her behind a baby gate (that she could probably step over if she just thought about it), but one day she'll be trusted to 'work the floor' like a regular employee :-).

Well, it's way past my bedtime, and what-the-heck-am-I-still-doing-up??? G'night all - 'see' you soon. Will post photos of newest spinning stuff when I get a chance to breathe!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ohhhh...my aching everything

This is what happens when you get 'old': everything hurts when you use it even slightly too much. I ache all over. Even my poor head is pounding this morning - an unusual thing for me: I rarely (used to be never) have headaches. Strenuous activity is something I rarely (read: simply never) indulge in - for several simple reasons: I'm 'getting too old for this', I'm inherently lazy and I'm totally uninterested in exerting myself unless it has to do with spinning or knitting. I'm freaking tired, for Pete's sake.

This Family Unit's teenage Son decided to remove the paneling from his bedroom yesterday. With mom's help, of course. Yes, we should've done it years ago - but I sinply HATE decorating or re-doing anything, so of course it never got done. Son got tired of it - decided he wanted a room not decorated in the 60's (literally) like the rest of our house (no, I'm not kidding - it's hideous). So his Lucky Mommy is privileged to help. ::sigh::

Do you know what was UNDER that ugly paneling?? Freakin' PINK 60's living room/dining room wallpaper! The former owners of this house were too freakin' lazy to strip it (even *I* would have done that before I sold!), so they just threw up a very bad paneling job (you wouldn't believe how amateurish it was) to cover it up.

Thousands of pulled nails later...I ache. Every muscle, every joint, every square inch of skin hurts. I could hardly get to sleep last night because my legs ached so badly and the muscles kept twitching uncontrollably. UGH!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Okay...this is scary (semi)

All I did was innocently take this for-fun test while minding my own business. I'm not sure how pleased I am at being pegged so accurately. harrumph

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...,

Concientious, Fulfilled, and Spiritual

9 Renaissance, 4 Islamic, 2 Ukiyo-e, -22 Cubist, -18 Abstract and 5 Impressionist!

The Renaissance was a cultural movement that profoundly affected European intellectual life. Beginning in Italy, and spreading to the rest of Europe by the 16th century, its influence affected literature, philosopy, religion, art, politics, science, and all other aspects of intellectual enquiry. Renaissance artists looked at the human aspect of life in their art. They did not reject religion but tended to look at it in it's purest form to create visions they thought depicted the ideals of religion. Painters of this time had their own style and created works based on morality, religion, and human nature. Many of the paintings depicted what they believed to be the corrupt nature of man.

People that like Renaissance paintings like things that are more challenging. ['more challenging' than what, for Pete's sake???]

They tend to have a high emotional stability. [Ha! They haven't seen me in the morning before I have my coffee, have they?]

They also tend to be more concientious then average. They have a basic understanding of human nature and therefore are not easily surprised by anything that people may do. [well, DUH. NOTHING surprises me anymore, except the exceedingly rare not-so-Random Acts of Kindness]

They enjoy life and enjoy living. [Well, who doesn't? Life is GOOD! even when it's awful, it's good!]

They are very aware of their own mortality but do not dwell on the end but what they are doing in the present. [Yeah, well. I ain't stupid enough to ignore it, either.]

They enjoy learning, but may tend to be a bit more closed minded to new ideas as they feel that the viewpoint they have has been well researched and considered. ["Close-minded", my ass! If we reject some dumb-ass idea, that makes us "close-minded"?!? Just on their say-so, eh? HA! Well, maybe it makes us smarter than the hoo-haw idiots who fall for any new idea that comes within their small-minded purview? This willingness to be "close-minded" is more accurately called having/developing Critical Thinking Skills; which skill does widen - and inform - the mind of the following: Truth vs. Dumbshit Ideas, And The Difference Thereof. Something an appalling number of people have never learned.]

These people are more old fashioned and not quite as progressive. [You mean, not quite as stupidly self-destructive, perhaps? You mean, perhaps, that 'these people' stick to things/ideas that actually work and have the virtue of making sense? 'magine that! helluva concept, what?]

They enjoy the finer things in life like comfort, a good meal, and homelife. They tend to be more spiritual or religious by nature. [It's called BEING GRATEFUL for everything we have - another wildly novel concept for ever-so-many people nowadays.]

Yeah, yeah, I know. I grumble a lot - mostly to hear myself talk, but truly...I am, perhaps [and-when-all-is-said-and-done], the happiest woman there is. Even when I'm not happy...there's that part of me that is always, always happy. I am sooo grateful for that, too!

They are open to new aesthetic experiences.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at

The bumpies and noils of it all

What a wonderful two days I've had, to be sure. I haven't had two nice days in a row in...um. I'm not sure when. There's even going to be BIRTHDAY CAKE later today - lol. I'm sure the Birthday Boy will share with his wife and kiddos.

Anyway, about the yarn. I'd gotten some buttery-soft 50%-50% Merino and silk laps/clouds - in greens, turquoise, white and purple - from Leah of Yarn Or A Tale and ran it through my carder last week. I put each batt through twice on the carder; in retrospect, one time through would have probably been better, as the colors got a bit too homogenized for my liking. It's still beautiful, though, with plenty of color separation. I love this yarn (heartbreakingly soft!) and wish it would tell me what it wanted to be. I've only got *180+ yards of it, though, so it can't get any fancy-pants ideas of being a sweater. I know - too bad - it would be a glorious sweater!

* I re-measured and missed a few yards, so it's actually 190 yds. Still...it isn't much to work with.

I've got more of the same laps in a white, silvery-greys and blues mix named (appropriately enough) 'Cloud Cover'. It's just lovely, but THIS time, I'm only going to put it through the carder once. I've also now got some lovely Angelina fibers in to put with it. I think I'll the use silver and opal - it should be gorgeous!

It's too bad my idiotic camera thinks that greens are always blues, but I tried really hard to MAKE it see green as being green. I don't know if you have to do something to adjust the camera, or what? Anyway, I didn't succeed, even though I took over 40 pics. I took them in every type of light imaginable, with and without flash. Either the skein showed blue or was totally washed out and looked nearly white. ::sigh:: Oh, well! Just imagine my new yarn as being true GREEN (a medium-bright, silvery green!) with silky noils and texture-y bumps of blue, purple, green and white. It's really very pretty, if I say so myself.

Since I wasn't happy with ANY of the companion singles I spun up (mostly white), I decided to just self-ply it and I'm glad I did - it looks very, very nice. I still don't get why Blogger keeps turning some of my photos to 'portrait', rather than keeping them the way I took them: sideways! Do you see how turquoise-y blue the singles look on the bobbins? That doesn't even begin to look like the real color. In fact, there's not that much turquoise IN the yarn and all the purple is just washed-out. However, at least you can see the noils and bumpies, which is why I kept the stupid picture.

Dye Day...in which I score another...

Babe wheel! Yessiree, I truly lucked out yesterday, and I'll tell you all about it in a minute. But first! Our local Guild was holding a Dye Day (thank you, Marnie, for hosting us!), where we used mostly natural dyes. I'd never used them before so that was a great learning opportunity for me. My 2nd spinning teacher, Nancy Squire, told me a lot about indigo dyeing and supervised that dye pot. Good thing, because goodness knows what we'd have ended up with if she hadn't!

You have to be picky about how the brew (broth?) looks before you start dyeing with it, and it's got to have the 'mother' floating on the top, plus the brew itself needs to be pea-green. That 'mother' thing is a kind of molten coppery-looking stuff that floats on top. It's actually rather pretty, but I guess that's one of the ways the dyer can tell that the brew is ready.

When actually dyeing, you have to be verrrrry careful to let NO oxygen get down into the brew. That means NO splashing, no dunking stuff - or hands - right into the middle of the pot, no yanking out of fiber (or hands) - nothing like that is allowed! You have to s-l-i-d-e your fiber/yarn - and hands - into the brew against the side of the pot. Then, you carefully push your stuff to the bottom of the pot (even with gloves, it was hot!), and pull it out against the side, being careful not to let the excess dye simple drip back into the pot. Even the drips had to s-l-i-d-e down the sides to minimize the amount of oxygen being introduced into the brew.

I was so fascinated by how indigo works; it's cool watching one's yarns and fibers go from a really pretty green to a beautiful blue, all through the 'magic' of oxidation. Yeah - you read that right: the color rusted: from green to blue! One thinks of metals as being the only things that oxidize, but not so.

Do you know how many dips it takes to get dark indigo??? GOBS! I was able to dip some of my fiber up to 4 times, and it is NO WHERE near as dark as I'd have liked. You have to wait at least 20 minutes between dippings for wool, and 30 for cotton, so it just about took forever. But that's okay - the color is still gorgeous and I'll be pleased to use it just as it is. I now have a great respect for those patient, dedicated indigo dyers.

We also got to use madder (supposed to be red) and cochineal (turned out screaming fuschia). I got to grind up the little dried red bugs to make the cochineal. It wasn't gross, though. They didn't really even look like bugs. At least I couldn't tell they were bugs. Anyway, I dyed some pretty, light grey Shetland in all 3 colors. The cochineal hardly 'took' at all (I guess we needed more bugs!), the madder turned an incredible, bright solid PURPLE! and the indigo looks really, really nice. The 4th dipping made all the difference, as it's now a fairly darkish blue. My Lincoln locks are a glorious mid-blue - just beautiful! The Cormo roving is a disappointingly pale blue, but I only got to dip it 3 times. Oh, well. They sent me home with a jug of indigo so I could do more dyeing with it - if I dare! We'll see :-)

Et maintenant... le piece de resistance: a brand-new Babe Fiber Starter with double treadle! For only $75! I have been really, really wanting another wheel, both for the kids to learn on and so I could do more than one type of project at a time, if need be. Prayers have been answered!

On a very sadder note, though, I received my new wheel only because of the passing of another spinner - and that makes me feel bad. I will do my best to do right by her wheel. Her kids were stuck (as most kids are) with dealing with their mother's personal belongings. A son apparently knew one of our spinners and sent all his mom's spinning and weaving things with April, to see if she could sell them for the sibs.

This Babe wheel had been opened, but apparently never used - at least, it was still in its' opened box, receipt and all, in pieces. It works very well, too! I also purchased two of her sets of hand carders: one wool, one cotton/fur, for an excellent price.

THEN, I got to follow April home so I could Get More Fiber (like I actually 'needed' more?). Specifically, I needed silk noils and some kid mohair. I guess I'm kind of silly for thinking I know what I'm doing, but still...I have some ideas floating around in my head for some batts I want to create. In my mind, they are lovely. We'll see what the reality turns out to be :-) So, all-in-all, my day overflowed with simple joy and much pleasure!

To top it all off...today is hubby's birthday (Happy Birthday, honey!) Love you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Morning Surf Scarf

Okay, so I finally located the camera. It was buried under a bunch of junk on the dining table :-/ No, I haven't seen the surface in awhile. The camera was about half-way down through the rubble layer...

I sure wish I knew how to take really good pictures. Because I don't, you can't see the really pretty color gradations in the yarn. There's a heart-breakingly beautiful Montana blue in there, shading from light to dark. I usually don't like blue, but I love this blue. I kept wishing there was a lot of more of it, but mostly I have greens and purples - and they're pretty, too.

Anyway, this scarf was fun to make - and oh, so easy! I used a triple-twist cast-on, which gives a picot-like edge that is very stretchy. Perhaps too stretchy, but that's okay. I haven't blocked it yet, so I'll do that to straighten out the edges.

What's that cast-on, you ask? Oh - well, all you do is make a regular slip knot, leaving a small tail. Then, holding your needle in your left hand, twist the ball yarn 2 or 3 times around your index finger and mount the loop of yarn (over your finger) onto the needle! For a double twist, it's no problem to pull the yarn evenly and tightly. Unfortunately, this Finn really stuck to itself. As I was using a 3-twist loop cast-on, I had to pull very carefully to keep the twists from 'jumping over' each other and making a mess instead of a cute 'picot' bump. But, the extra bit of effort was worth it.

I then used a simple 2-stitch picot cast-off, which matched close enough, imo. I could have done a sewn bind-off - which I usually love doing - and just knotted the yarn around each stitch being cast-off, but I got lazy and eager to wear the thing! Oh, well. It's just a scarf, and it's not like I'm going to enter it into the County Fair or anything.

I really, really like this scarf! As I was finishing it, it occurred to me that I had never made anything for myself with my handspun yarns! I've hardly made anything with my own yarns, come to think of it. A hat for hubby, is all - I think. Most every yarn I've ever made, I sold or gave as gifts.

Jus' checkin' in

Do you realize Christmas is nearly here??? Augh! What with all this fabulously warm weather we've been having for endless weeks (I'm not complaining!), it never occurred to me that I only have a bare few weeks to get some spinning and knitting done! ~whimper~

SO. I've been knitting up that gloriously-soft BFL yarn I made from the New York colorway (Miss Babs) into socks for my teenaged son. His feet sure are bigger than they were last year! Good thing I'm using a 47" needle - I'm gonna need it for the heels!

AND...I finished my Morning Surf Scarf - it's GORGEOUS! No, I haven't got a photo yet. You'll just have to wait. I've been much too busy spinning and knitting to even think of locating my camera. Besides. I sort of don't know where it is. And the ends aren't sewn in. Yet.

Hoo boy. I sure hope I don't pull a Yarn Harlot this Christmas season. You know - the closer it gets to the 'finish line', the later I will have to stay up. Then, before you know it, I'll be knitting a gift at 5 a.m. on Christmas Day. ::groan:: I don't think I'd live through it. The older I gits, the behinder I gits...in everything!

Monday, October 13, 2008


Okay - I'm probably the last person on Earth to "discover" this Franklin Habit guy, but at least I did find him. He's a screech! Here's his blog, "The Panopticon". I'm, like, hooked...

Gotta see if Shel's carrying his "It Itches" book yet.

Where's the spinning or knitting content, you ask? Well, geewhiz!...we've been really busy this week! Okay, I'm nearly done with my Really Big Scarf (Morning Surf). I started with 392 +/- yards of my Hyacinth handspun, you know, but I made this thing a wee bit wide I suppose. SO...46 stitches may've been one design repeat (10 +6) too many. Should'a gone with 36 after all. But that's okay! It should still be long enough to tie around my throat and have decent tails left over. I hope. I'm not quite done and I am NOT going to take another pic of it 'til it's actually done.

As for the spinning, I've been messing around with some stuff I'd started ages ago and got bored with. After working with it last night for 10 minutes, I realized I was still bored with it :-( HOKAY. SO...I started on something else. A light pink bit of top - and THAT was deadly dull. I don't know what's wrong with me today. Maybe it's just not a Spinning Day for me. I don't know that that's ever happened before! Kinda scary...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

My deepest dream (a paeon to spinning)...

in my own little Fantasie Worlde is to be a...

Master Spinner.

(can you hear the harps and Angelic choir in the background?)

I can't believe how badly I want it. I want to learn everything there is to learn about spinning, about texture, about color, about...well, Everything Spinning! I would give SO much to be able to go to SOAR (Spin-Off Autumn Retreat) and take all those wonderful, awesome Workshops and Retreat Sessions, given by wonderful, awesome teachers! I'd be in 7th Heaven; I really would.

That would be by way of learning mostly Specialty Stuff in Spinning, with my "meat" being able to go to the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners (it's a Spinning Certificate Program) for the yearly almost-2-week Summer sessions. It can take 6 years to get through it all, with there being spinning assignments (O Heaven!) the rest of the year. A DREAM, to me!

What would I do with all that knowledge? LOVE IT! USE IT! TEACH IT! I would teach others to love the whole process of spinning yarns; to love the feel of all different sorts of fibers slipping through their fingers; to love yarns for their own sake; to love the end-use of their yarns, whether for knitting, weaving, crocheting, fiber art...whatever!

I would wish for my students to find what I have found: a lovely, peaceful, soul-soothing and actively creative process - very important, that. Some like to describe spinning as the 'new zen', the 'new yoga' (naw), or as being 'better than Prozac' (that's my favorite - lol), BUT...it's ever so much more than either of those things. Sooo much more.

Spinning is certainly soothing. Peaceful. Quieting to the soul. Harmonious and centering, very balancing. At times, far better than a mere chemical anti-depressant.

But what removes it from the realm of the merely peaceful and soothing, (not that those should be denigrated)? After all, wine and a warm bath can achieve that, as well. So...'what' is it? Two words (okay, 3):


The Creative Process does ... something ... for people who indulge in it. For me, it feeds my soul, releases anxieties, gets me 'outside' myself and into something more interesting than my bummed self. It 'grows' me, somehow. Don't ask - I can't figger it out, either. It just does. I feel as if I can b-r-e-a-t-h-e, move and think more easily. And - if my powers of observation are anywhere near accurate, I've noticed that it seems to do the same for others. When people are creating - no matter what it is - they are...happier...easier. More comfortable in their own skins, maybe.

SO...if at any time, someone can use the creative process to off-set (or even prevent?) depression from getting a toe-hold, or becoming worse - they should immerse themselves! Heck, even if they aren't depressed, dive in anyway!

Well, that's all the time I have for musings. I need to go do some more Creative Processing Stuff. Like...finishing my Morning Surf Scarf! LOL I'm almost half-done, and I'm really loving the...er, 'creative process', so I want to get back to it for awhile before I pick up the Dear Daughter Family Unit from work.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Morning Surf Scarf

is about 1/4th done! I got the pattern from the Summer '08 Spin-Off magazine. The designer is Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer of Heart Strings Fiber Arts. I didn't realize it, but she offers the same pattern for free if you sign up for her HeartStrings Knitterly News email newsletter! She has GREAT patterns! One day...I will own them all. LOL Anyway, here's my progress so far, fuzzy shots and all:

I started it last night, using sz 7's, but decided I wanted a slightly tighter knit, so frogged and went down to a six. Went to bed late and was awakened at 2:50 a.m. by *someone* dinging the doorbell! Scared the dickens out of dd and I, while the MENFOLK snored their oblivious heads off. I made hubby get out of bed and "do something!" We figure it was probably some real jerk teenagers who live in the area. Little nerd-heads.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I was wrong. So what else...

is new about that? After I washed and dried the Finn hyacinth skein, it puffed out a LOT and now it's actually DK weight...or maybe a bit heavier! Woo-hoo! I am sooo pleased with myself!

Naturally, I didn't full the skein as I'd spun it true worsted, but apparently the Finn hadn't heard, so it puffed out almost as much as if I'd spun it woolen! Not *quite*, but still - OH, so soft and cushy!

Finn top c'est finis!

Remember the hand-dyed Finn top in the "Hyacinth" colorway from Laughing Rat Studios (Jenn)? I didn't ask her if I could use her photo of the unspun top, so the link only goes to what I'd done up on my own bobbin. That's what I get for not taking pics before spinning! Well, here it is, all 390+ yards spun up. I was trying to spin 2 thicker singles to get a light worsted weight. Unfortunately, it's more like heavy sock yarn, dang it. I want to make the Morning Surf Scarf from Spin-Off magazine. Sure hope there's enough yarn, b'c I haven't got a clue how much it calls for! I don't want some skinny, wimpy thing that only looks decorative. It's gotta at least be semi-warm!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A whole pound of frabjous fun!

Heh heh. Aren't you jealous? I'm getting a whole POUND of this glorious (do I really use that word too much?) fiber blend from Leah of Yarn or A Tale! She's letting me use her photo (hers are far better than mine) -- thank you so much, Leah!

As can be seen, it is a pale fawn (in case your monitor's color tracking has gone nuts) 80% Suri Alpaca/20% Merino blend. O Heaven! Total luxury! A WHOLE POUND of it is on its way...to ME! Oh, joyful day when It arrives!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My almost-done Noro socks

Wow. I can't believe it's been 4 days since I posted! Guess I've been busier than I thought. I haven't got much spinning done (when do I ever??), but at least I found time to nearly finish these Noro socks that've been on my needles since early this Summer. I'm knitting from both ends of the ball, so I'll have 'fraternal twin' socks, rather than the color-matched ones I don't much care for. After all, if I started with the same color for both socks, not all the colors would show and that would be sad! These socks will make me visible from at least a mile and a half away, don't you think?

In case anyone wonders, I just "plugged-in" the lovely-but-simple "Crosshatch Lace" design from one of Barbara Walker's Stitch Dictionary Treasure books. Book 2...I think. No, I'm not going to go look for you. Sorry - feeling grumpy and out-of-sorts today. Must be the grungy, rainy, cloudy, icky weather. I really like this stitch design - it is so easily memorized. As it's only a 6-stitch/8-row repeat it can be used for nearly any number of stitches needed for nearly anything. Thing is...it's best used in-the-round only, because there are no 'plain' rows/rounds between each 'design' round. That is, unless you're willing to turn your knitting hand around almost backwards in a purl-two-together-through-the-backloop in order to achieve the left-leaning decrease on the front. YUCK - I absolutely hate doing that stupid stitch! I will leap through hoops and avoid gorgeous stitch patterns just to avoid making that horrible, unnatural and rather painful movement.

I've been meaning to fiddle with the stitch pattern to see what it would look like with plain rounds/rows between each design round. Bet a million other knitters have done the same :-). It would be extremely easy to re-design the pattern to make it wider and taller, for larger items, such as sweaters and scarves, too. Problem is, most of those aren't knitted in the round!

I'll knit a few more rounds, then use a sewn bind-off for 2x2 ribbing to keep the edge super-stretchy, without it looking all stretched-out. I love, love, love this bind-off and find all sorts of excuses to use it :-) This'll be a short post, however (and aren't you grateful!), as we've got so much to do today. I have a dog with possible tumors on his fuzzy tummy, and I'm pretty worried about that. So, we're going to see the vetty-girl this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I am now officially...STOOOPID

Just another grumble from someone who is sick-and-tired of Never Being Right! That Finn I'm spinning up? From Laughing Rat Studios? The stuff I said was really short and would have to be spun on my smallest whorl, with a tight twist?

Yeah. Well.

WHEN will I learn that...
  • one does NOT test the length of fibers by pulling them out of the END of the roving???
  • they are almost always shorter (often 1/2 the length they should be) than the real length?
This is not good. I've got this fairly long fiber (over 4"!) now so tightly freaking twisted that I'm going to have to untwist it by quickly spinning it "S" (as usual I'm spinning my singles "Z"). *sigh* I just can't do ANYTHING right!

I think I'll go eat worms again.

Now we know why...

I am not - nor ever could be - a corporate CEO. I would probably misplace the company and all its hapless employees :-(

Would you like to know what item I managed to mislay today? Oh, yes, indeedy! Connie-the-idiot-fairy strikes again! Connie couldn't find her own hind end with a flashlight and written instructions. Perhaps I didn't need to point that out, though...

Just today, I got in another roving from Jennifer of Laughing Rat Studios (Oh, yes, ratties really do laugh, especially when you tickle their fuzzy tummies. I've heard 'em on an ultrasonic recorder. In case you ever wanted to know.)

SO...Jenn didn't come up with Just Another Cute Name for her business - there is a Reason for that name! Besides...rats are hysterically funny and the best pets in the whole, wide world. I heard that. Quit making those comments about cats and snakes. Believe it or not, the rat nearly always wins, damaging both predatory species in the process. heh heh

YOU GO, FUZZ-BUTTS! (that was the name of my former Rattery. Not the "YOU GO", but the FUZZ-BUTTS part. Just thought you ought to know)

ANYWAY. I got that lovely new Falkland roving from Jenn - combed top, actually - in the colorway "Forest". About an hour ago. Inside 20 minutes of unpackaging it...I lost it. Of course. See, I wanted to take a pic for ya'll to drool over admire (pardon my lousy photo), and...it wasn't where it was "supposed" to be. Fortunately for my sanity - what little remains - I found it inside 4 minutes flat. I only had to race downstairs once and through the upstairs twice. I'm hardly even out of breath!

I also wanted to post my (rather slight) progress on the other roving of Jenn's that I finally found in the previous post. It is GORGEOUS!

Here's a pic of Jennifer's "lost" Falkland:

PLUS...I received a box of quite lovely, very soft Romney x Polypay fleece from Julia Redman at Sapphire Child. I "discovered" her on Dori Ann's Yahoo list, HandPreparedFibers. So, here's the pic of Jenn's Falkland and Julia's fleece.