Feb 28, 2007

Relative Romney

When it rains it pours. Isn't that what they say? As if my issues with m new laptop were not enough, today I got a new computer at work. All freaking day long I dealt with problems with stuff that wasn't loaded correctly and stuff that was missing. At the end of the day I'd worked most of it out but I'm still missing one MAJOR thing - my AIM. I cannot tell you how badly work sux without instant messaging. The worst part is that the person who can fix it for me is out of the office right now so I can't get it fixed till next week. Oh woe is me!

By the end of the day I was literally banging my head against things - the desk, the wall, whatever. I really needed to vent so on my way home I listened to a little '80s metal (Def Leppard) really loud. I sang with it (lucky you couldn't hear me) at the top of my voice and banged on the steering wheel as I crawled along with the traffic. I feel better now.

Grapefruit RomneyThis is the Romney I was working on the other day. The color is really soft and muted now and it reminds me of grapefruits. The feel of the roving was not soft at all - almost coarse or stiff or something. It was not pleasant to spin but the longer staple made it easier in a way and I think that it's more even than other stuff I've spun. Not even - but more even. Everything is relative.

Dyed Silk HankiesWhen I was complaining about it last week, a friend suggested that I try plying it with some silk. Silk? OMG, I can barely spin wool! She was so helpful and sent me all kinds of information on spinning silk and suddenly it didn't seem so scary so I pulled out a few hankies and dyed them to match the Romney. Look at how much deeper the colors are on the silk.

Tonight I dove in and spun up the silk but I'm not gonna show it to you yet. It was totally fun spinning the silk. It started out really even but super thin (like laceweight) and I didn't think it would show up against the Romney so I started to draft it less (is that right) and spin it thicker and a little irregular - on purpose. I can't wait to see how it looks all plied together!

Feb 27, 2007

Mo Hairy Than Necessary

Handsome progressAlthough preparation for Sock Madness is threatening to take over every minute of my day, I've still managed to find a little time for other stuff. Tonight I started my Bloomin Socks twice and I'm still not happy with them so I'll start them again tomorrow night a few times. I want to do something with interest in the back - maybe a funky cable. I don't know though, I could change my mind a million times before these socks get in the mail.

Another thing that I've been working on is this shawl. It's moving right along and it looks nice but I'm 40 plus rows in and I still feel like I'm waiting to get to the good part. Know what I mean? I want action and magic. At the very least I'd like to get to a point where I can read the lace and consult the pattern less often. I'm in no danger of casting this shawl aside but the inability to get in the groove really does frustrate me.

The other issue with this shawl is that I think ( and I could be wrong) that I'm inhaling more fiber than I'm knitting. This yarn has mohair in it which is a fiber I've never used before. Actually, I've avoided mohair in the past because I'm not into the fuzziness. This is Brooks Farm yarn though and it's so amazingly soft and beautiful that I couldn't resist. Maybe I'll get a mask to wear while knitting.

Feb 26, 2007

Fast Forward

Some day (soon I hope) I will be happy that I chose to get Vista and the newest versions of all of of the Office programs on my new laptop but right now... not so much. Don't get me wrong, I love my new toy. Now I can blog on my couch and play Hearts and Chuzzle till my fingers cramp. I'm just having trouble getting used to all the changes. I'm also frustrated because I can't share the documents on my computer with any other computer. I have the 2007 version of Word, Excel, Outlook etc and older versions can't recognize them at all. Not one little bit! Ugh!

None of the features that I'm used to using are in the places that I expect to find them. The annoying help dude - the paper clip, wizard or other figure that pops up and asks if you need help with whatever it is your doing - is not here. I never thought I'd miss it since I usually shut it down. Where is the help button anyway? For that matter, where is the "save as"? That would solve a lot of my problems. (ETA - I did a little surfing last night and I finally found the mystery button that hides all the stuff I was looking for. I am so relieved.)

When the technology starts getting to be too much it's time to go play with fiber. Since Charlotte arrived I've been craving fiber. On the one hand, I really want to feel all of the different fiber before I buy it. On the other, there are so many gorgeous fibers out there and I want them all now. There are some really gifted dyers out there!

I am trying to pace myself because this is exactly the type of impulse that resulted in last year's stash explosion. A friend was at our house recently and noticed my new wheel (which he thought was a loom - duh). When I told him that I was learning to spin he took a quick look around and commented that I really don't need any more yarn because, in his words, I have more yarn than some small countries. This is definitely an exaggeration but the size of the stash really does require me to stay on my yarn diet.

Roses 4 U - TargheeEven so, I did exempt fiber from my KFYS 2007 rules so I've done a lot of online fiber shopping lately. Mostly Ive resisted purchasing but the other day on Ebay my finger slipped and a few days later a box arrived at my door. This is Roses For You Targhee from Susan's Spinning Bunny. If I needed to justify this purchase any further I could point out that Targhee is something I didn't have in my stash yet. But I really don't need to rationalize this at all. I just like it.

This past weekend I was spinning the Romney and a little Corriedale and, going from one to the other turned a little light on in my head because there is a huge difference between the 2. I now have Coopworth, Corriedale, Targhee, Merino, Finn and Blue Faced Leicester in my small fiber stash. I need to dedicate a little bit of quality spinning time to each one before MDS&W. In order to spend wisely at MDS&W I need to know what I like. Writing this down it seems so obvious. Anyway, I'm going to try not to buy any more fiber until I've tried each of the fibers I already have. I cannot promise that my fingers won't slip again but I'm trying.

Feb 25, 2007

A Scarf Too Late

IMG_0612[1]It snowed again today. The storm last week brought mostly sleet and ice that caused a thick shell to cover everything for days on end. This time big, fluffy, wet flakes fell all day long and it was quite beautiful. The kids went out and played in it, building forts and throwing snowballs.

I was pretty happy about the snow for many reasons. The snow did more than just provide an excuse to stay home and play with fiber - it left no other options. I often think that my weekend will involve lots of staying at home and knitting or spinning but it rarely winds up that way. Some urgent errand always pops up. Today the only reason to leave my fiber was the laundry. I call that a very successful day.

IMG_0610[1]I was also prepared because my new boots arrived on Friday. I love them. The came from one of my favorite stores and there are skulls on them. They're not really snow boots but the weather provided a really good excuse to take them out for a little spin.

I did quite a bit of spinning but I'll share that later in the week. Charlotte and I made peace with the Romney and I'm working on something to ply it with to make it more pleasant.

IMG_0614[1]I did finish a project this weekend. I was working on the Drama Queen's scarf off and on. It took much longer to complete it than I expected but I like the result. As you can see from the picture, DQ likes it too. She insisted on wearing the hat I made for here a while ago to model it - to give a sense of te ensemble. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the yarn is KP Andean Silk with a little novelty stuff added - Filatura Di Crosa Saint Tropez and Knit one Purl Two Baton Rouge. It's really soft and the Andean Silk has a nice sheen.

IMG_0615[1]I added fringe to this scarf which I've never used on project before. I think that it makes the scarf look more finished. If there is a lesson to be learned from this scarf, it's that even materials and features that you don't care for have their place. My photo mojo wasn't working for me today but, in person, the novelty stuff works really well with the scarf.

Maybe if I'd have finished the scarf earlier in the day DQ might have been persuaded to step away from the computer and enjoy the snow a little bit. I doubt it though.

Feb 22, 2007

ECF - Icy Mop Edition

Outside, the weather here in Northern Virginia has warmed up considerably and that makes it a lot easier to appreciate a picture like this.

Icy Mop

Abused BookI recently wrote about the stuff I was reading and I was really excited at the response. There were so many great suggestions so I went to the library recently with the list I compiled and picked a few things up. I opened up the first book, Iron Lake by William Kent Krueger, and I was really enjoying it when I started to come across a lot of pages that look just like this one. It makes me so mad to see a book treated like this. The words that they attacked aren't even the really bad ones - you know the ones I mean - the 4 letter ones that make my grandma blush. The words that this person found troublesome were things like "shit" and "damn" and yet they were so offensive as to require total obliteration.

I mentioned it to a colleague asking "What kind of a person would do something like that?" He just looked at me funny because we both know exactly the type of person who would do a thing like that. Let's remember that I live in Virginia and, while most of my friends are left leaning like me, there are an awful lot of conservatives in the Old Dominion where there is a church on every corner. I'm mostly ok with that even if I don't agree with them but I am decidedly not ok with them inflicting their values on me. If the book is so offensive then don't read it. You have the right to put it back on the shelf. Exercise it!

I am enjoying the book anyway. Good call Kristi! I really love books that give you a sense of the place as this one does. I remeber reading the JP Beaumont series of books long ago and feeling like I really knew Seattle. (although clearly I don't) At the time that I was immersed in them I mentioned a particular setting to a colleague who'd lived in Seattle and she said it was exactly as the book said.

GOP SUXFinally, here a little present for a friend. I saw this the other day and I just had to take a picture of it. Ya gotta love anyone with the audacity to drive around with that on their tail anywhere but especially in this reddish state. I just want to know who let this plate thru at the DMV. Not that I'm complaining or anything.

Feb 21, 2007

Oh Paulina!

Early last fall, we found ourselves watching one of Stinkerbelle's friends on a few occasions. One of those nights happened to coincide with the start of the 3rd season of Dancing With the Stars. This little girl is a huge fan and reminded us over and over that it was on that night.

Did you know DWTS is on tonight?
DWTS is my favorite show.
I just love DWTS.
Do you watch DWTS?
Did you know that DWTS is on tonight?

OMG! I was never so happy to see her parents come and pick her up. We're not huge fans of the show.

I just checked the website of a certain tabloid and saw that the list for the 4th season is up. There are a lot of names I know in this round - Vincent Pastore , Apolo Anton Ohno (so cute), Ian Ziering (hello 90210), Billy Ray Cyrus (the girls knw him as Hannah Montana's dad -LOL) - but for me one name stood out - Paulina Porizkova is going to be in it! I am so psyched! Back in high school and college I was big on Vogue and Elle. I don't know why but I pored over the pages and saved some of my favorites. (Yeah, I had a few issues) The highlights for me were always the photos of Paulina. She was just so cool and exotic and gorgeous. This season I will watch DWTS and root for Paulina!

Ripped CalorimetryI've been really busy with Sock Madness prep lately but I have still been knitting. I have to in order to stay sane. It's all a little overwhelming.

A while ago I started Calorimetry out of leftover Brooks Farm Four Play that I love. I stopped about midway through though because I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough yarn to complete it. I picked it up tonight to try to finish it and confirmed that I don't have enough. It's ok though - I think that If I just rip it back a little beyond the center and use less short rows then I ought to be able to knit the whole thing our of what I have. It won't be quite as wide but it'll work anyway.

Handsome Shawl StartsThe other thing (other than socks) that I'm currently working on is this - The Handsome Triangle from Victorian Lace Today. I'm using Brooks Farm yarn for this too and so far it's all good. In the background you can see a little of the ginormous ball that I'm working with right now. It's one of 2 so I've got a long way to go. I think it's gonna be great when it's done. I see myself wearing it thrown casually over my shoulders with a black wrap dress I have. I'll be wearing that dress to a wedding in 2 weeks but I'm pretty sure the shawl won't be ready in time for that. Too bad.

Feb 20, 2007

Tea and Cream Puffs

I'm feeling a little under the weather today. I was boxing up a ton of books yesterday and I attributed the scratchiness in my throat to the dust but today it continued. Despite the copious amount of tea I drank, by the end of the day my voice was gone and I felt lousy. Naturally, being sick sucks, but the Drama Queen has been so helpful. Not only did she keep me supplied with hot tea to drink, she was very busy shushing me all night. She didn't want me to strain my voice.
Yarn for Bloomin' FeetAnyway, I was feeling slug-like even before I got sick because I'm really behind on my Bloomin' Feet. The problem is nothing new - just terminal indecisiveness on my part. My collection of sock yarn in the colors that my pal likes is pretty deep and I had a hard time choosing one. Now I have, Socks That Rock in Lapis. Next I need to choose a pattern but I think I have a good idea about that already. If I can just free up a set of size 2's (my favorite needles) then I can start knitting these up.

Cream PuffsOn another random note, I did a little baking last weekend. Stinkerbelle and I were at one of our favorite stores recently and they were giving out samples of frozen cream puffs and we bought some. As we drove home, I suggested to Stink that we could try making some ourselves. She was totally up for it. I love cooking with my girls.

Then, last week, I saw Carole's post about Cream Puff Day and it inspired me to fire up the oven last weekend. These are the results. They don't look that bad and they taste really good. We all enjoyed them except for Stink - she decided that it was more fun to make them than eat them. Do you see a little trend here?

Feb 19, 2007

Ships and Scarves

DQ and the Taney

This is where the Drama Queen spent last night. There was an overnight event for her sleep away camp and the associated youth organization - kind of a camp reunion. They were supposed to have stayed on a submarine but it turned out to be smelly and cold so they switched accomodations. This is the US Coast Guard Cutter Taney which is the last surviving warship from Pearl Harbor. They got to tour the boat and the sub and learn about their histories. They also did a lot of giggling and telling jokes all night. She had a blast!

DQ Scarf in Progress

While she was playing , I was working on a little something for her. This is a scarf that's about half finished. The main yarn is KP Andean Silk and I added a bit of novelty stuff. I like the way the novelty yarns add a little fun when used very sparingly. The scarf is being knit lengthwise in garter stitch and I really don't know how wide it'll wind up. I also don't know how many stitches I cast on. I know it's over 200 but it really didn't matter so I just kept adding stitches (using the i-cord cast on). Can you say tedious? It's worth it though.

DQ saw me working on the scarf the other night and asked about the fingerless gloves that I "owe" her. I told her that they're gonna take a little bit because I want to do a design that's in my head and I need to work it out. She told me that she appreciates that I want to do something special but maybe I should use a pattern because she knows i may take a while. What can I say? My kid knows me pretty well.

Feb 18, 2007

Another New Toy

First things first. Signups for Sock Madness lasted all through the weekend but they're finally over and our roster is complete. I am excited and relieved more than words can express.

New ToyBecause of the ongoing Sock Madness signups, I was pretty much glued to my computer all weekend. Thankfully, my newest toy arrived on Friday. It's a Dell Inspiron 1505 and so far I'm loving it. At the very least it's enabling me to blog on the couch and that's a very good thing. It may need a name though. I'll have to think on it.

I did tear myself away from the computer a little bit this weekend and most of my distractions were fiber-related. Charlotte and I spent a little quality time. Every time I sit down with Charlotte, it makes me so happy. The spinning gets better and makes a little more sense. This weekend we spun up the rest of the purple & white coopworth and plied it too. I'm not 100% sure how I feel about it. I'll know better after it dries and I start knitting it up. There's about 133 yards in the skein so I think I'll try to make a hat with it. That should work.

Romney DyeingI did a little dyeing this weekend. Some of it is secret stuff that I'll share at a later date. This isn't a secret though - it's Romney that I dyed with more of my Cushings acid dyes. I'm not usually into yellow but it was really calling me. I'm also really excited to try all the different fiber I can so I dyed the romney rather than more coopworth. After it dryed I really didn't like the feel of it and the colors had mellowed out a lot.

Pink Grapefruit RomneyI'm ok with the way the color looks now but the feel is kind of rough and unpleasant. Is romney always like that? We'll see how it spins up.

Feb 15, 2007

ECF - Happy Edition


Today is Eye Candy Friday and so much more. First, the eye candy. I took this picture at the local stupidmarket on a Sunday morning. I just loved the way the peppers looked. There were people actively stocking the produce while I was there and one of them came over and commented that she'd never seen anyone take a picture of their displays before. I didn't bother to explain the blog thing (Um, I have a knitting blog and we like to take pictures of random stuff to post on Fridays ...). I think she was pleased to have it appreciated though.

Speaking of appreciation. I really appreciate whoever it was that submitted my post about how to receive a handknit to Yarnival. How cool is it to be in Yarnival? I was totally excited when I got the email about it.

On another note, sign-ups for Sock Madness started yesterday. I was pleased to see a steady stream of people sign up. Thankfully there was no avalanche of emails and there is still room for more players so we'll leave it open for a while longer. If you know anyone who may not have heard about it send them over to the Sock Madness blog for details. It would be great if the roster of 128 players was already full but I'd rather have to wait a little longer for it to fill up than have to turn away a bunch of people.

Cooking for kids

Stinkerbelle has a thing for Giada DiLaurentis lately. I have no idea where it came from but suddenly, if Giada is on, she's glued to the tv. This is amusing to me for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that she's a notoriously picky eater and probably wouldn't eat half of what Giada makes. Never-the-less I borrowed one of her cook books from the library the other day for Stink. The logic went something like this - if it comes from Giada's book then Stink may at least try it. It sounded perfectly reasonable at the time.

So last night, instead of going out for a romantic dinner with hubbo, I set about to create a chicken dish from the book. It started out with 2 trips to the stupidmarket by hubbo for necessary ingredients. Then, as I slaved over the hot stove I realized that one of the ingredients that I already had in my freezer was no longer good. Since the roads were getting really icy by then we decided to do with out this ingredient and pressed on.

It took about half an hour longer than expected to make the dinner and hubbo got a really bad burn along the way (oven mitts would've helped). Hubbo and I enjoyed the dinner but Stinkerbelle didn't eat and the Drama Queen didn't like it. So much for that.

Start with Brooks FarmAfter resisting for quite a while I gave in to startitis yesterday and started 2 new projects yesterday. I think that I can blame both projects on my attempts to straighten up the stash. It's really quite impossible to handle all that yarn and not feel the pull of the needles.

One of the new projects is the shawl you see here. It's from Victorian Lace Today and the yarn is more Brooks Farm. Care to guess which one it is?

The other new project was a scarf for DQ which is really not far enough along to look like anything in a picture. It going to be another scarf knit lengthwise out of KP Andean Silk and a bit of novelty yarn. I started with and I-cord cast on like with Stinkerbelle's scarf because I love the stability and finished look that it adds. Unfortunately, casting on so many stitches that way takes forever.

Feb 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

Icy BerriesAnother Wednesday, another snow day but this time it's justified. Last night, on the drive home, people were moving at a snails pace. There was a nasty mix of stuff falling from the sky and it would turn to ice on contact.

A few years ago, on a day like today, we were awakened to find that a car had crashed into our mailbox and launched it into the front yard. This year, we have a brand new mailbox that I spent lots of time planning and customizing. We hope that it stays up. Last night there was a close call as yet another car took the curvy incline too quickly for the icy conditions and skidded towards our house. Thankfully, the neighbors car, which usually annoys me greatly because it's perpetually parked at my curb, took the hit and protected our mailbox. The neighbor's car is a crumpled mess and the car that hit it was taken away on a flatbed but the mailbox still stands. Hooray!

Valentine LootIt's nice to be home with the family on Valentines Day. We all slept in and then opened our gifts to each other in a leisurely manner rather than the hurried frenzy that usually takes place. I got outfits for each of the girls and there were books, cd's and candy for all. Hubbo got me a shirt with one of Franklin's designs on it and some other mystery item that's apparently suffering a snow delay. The shirt has Dolores on it - she just cracks me up.

I've been trying not to go on and on about Sock Madness here. I figure that it has it's own place and if you wanted to know about that you'd go to the SM blog but today it's really on my mind because sign up is tomorrow and it's making me a little nervous. Blogland is great but you're never really sure of exactly what's out there. There could be tons of people out there waiting to push send or there could be three. You just never know.

Feb 13, 2007


A few weeks ago Kristi had a great post about the letter C. I enjoyed reading it so much that I asked her for a letter. She gave me an R and I've been working on this post ever since. R started out as a really tough letter for me so I asked my family to suggest some R words. They were happy to help and I learned that my daughters have great vocabularies and that they watch way too much HGTV (they suggested refurbish, redesign, reconstruction). Even so, many of their ideas made it onto the list. I may be the very last person to do this meme but if you would like your own letter just let me know in the comments!

Presenting, the letter R...

Red HairRed – One of my best friends in New York, who introduced me to hubbo, loved bold statements in color and design. I preferred things a little more subdued. Her favorite color was red which she called a “power color.” I now see that she was absolutely correct. Red is powerful indeed! Over the years I have come to appreciate it more and more – red cars, red jackets, red sweaters. Of course the arrival of my favorite red-head had a little something to do with that.

Read – I cannot imagine my life without books. As a child I was well known at my local library I would go there and borrow piles and piles of books. Between the two of us, my sister and I would do fabulous things for the library’s circulation and would stay up reading long past bedtime. In school my teachers would occasionally confiscate my library books because I just couldn't stand to put a good book down. Today I’ve turned my love of reading into a profession and become a librarian. I love it. This is the perfect career for me.

Relax – I really wish that I could relax but it seems like there is always something that needs doing. Do you know what I mean? If ever I did find the time though, I know just what I’d do. I’d grab a good book, a tall glass of iced tea, some tunes, my knitting and rest on a chaise by a pool, river, lake or ocean. Any body of water will do.

VAmapRelocate – This year is a big one for my family because in July it will be ten years since we relocated from New York to Virginia. It was a move that we never expected but it has been the best decision we ever made. Moving far from your family teaches you a lot about yourselves and life in general. It forces you to go out and create a new "family" for yourself. We have been extraordinarily lucky to have made some good choices that rewarded us with a tight group of friends that make our life rich and satisfying.

Renovate – Two years after arriving in Virginia we bought our first house. I can still remember describing it to hubbo as my “house with possibilities”. It still has possibilities but I remain paralyzed with fear so the renovations that we want so badly are still little more than a dream. Maybe this will be the year that they become reality.

Reptile – Ahhhh, our dear Frankie. As I’ve said before, I never would have imagined having a reptile for a pet. Turtles aren't warm or furry or cuddly but... they are so amusing. Anyone who's been at our house can tell you that Frankie is very much a part of things. It might even be said that she runs things to a certain degree. When you come home in the middle of the day she splashes around loudly to let you know that you're not welcome. When you awake in the middle of the night to the sound of banging, it's not a burglar, it's Frankie rearranging her tank.
Berries in bowl

Rugelach – Yum! This Jewish pastry is a huge favorite around our house. The dough is spread with chocolate, cinnamon, raisins, walnuts or some other sweet treat and rolled up into tasty cookies. I've never made it but I'd like to try.

Ripe - Is there anything that says summer more than a bowl of ripe berries? I love fruit - pineapples, cherrys, oranges, grapefruit, apples but the berries are my favorites - strawberrries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries. This year will be the second for the blueberry bushes I planted on the side of our house. It was something I'd always wanted and I can't wait for them to bear fruit. DQ, hubbo, and I will have blueberry smiles all summer long.

Feb 12, 2007


Kids are funny sometimes. Stinkerbelle rarely chooses her own clothes. She's really not a morning person and its usually all we can do to get her out of bed. Usually, as we roll, tickle, and cajole her she asks us to just go pick something for her and then proceeds to shoot down our choices. I've tried to get my girls to lay out ther clothes the night before but it rarely happens. Last night was an exception. Stink-o came into the living room and announced that she was all ready for school in the morning - and had even chosen her clothes. She proceeded to bring out her selections - a navy blue shirt, khaki pants, and a beaded bracelet "for pizazz." Hubbo and I cracked up. This morning as she was putting on the bracelet I commented on the pizazz and she just gave me a look. I guess the moment was over.

Charlotte!!!I've talked about my new wheel quite a bit but I didn't take any pictures because I figured that you'd probably seen enough double tredle Lendrums around elsewhere. Apparently I was wrong and a bunch of people asked to see her. Here is Charlotte. As much as I love to spin with Charlotte, I also love to look at her. The wood is so smooth and beautiful. Hubbo likes her too. He commented that she's a lot quieter than he expected. I should mention that I got her from Bountiful and they were really nice to work with. The best part was that since I bought her during December, she came with a free carry bag but it's not here yet.

Don't you just love the background decoration? That picture was actually taken early on Sunday. There were boxes of cookies piled throughout the house. By the time we went to sleep, most of those cookies were gone. Thank goodness! I've said it before, but this year I absolutely mean it - this is the last year I do this.

Purple & White SpunSince we're talking about Charlotte, here's what I've been spinning over the past week. It's a combination of white and purple roving. It was all from the same bunch that I bought at Springwater's Super Bowl sale. I decided to dye some of it purble but it came out super dark so, since I don't have carders of any sort yet, I figured I'd take a little of the white and see what would happen if I spun it with a little purple. What you see here is not plied. I'm not sure if I like it or not but it's a neat experiment. I suppose that when I knit it up it'll create a tweedy effect. That could be cool in a hat. I still have more to spin too so it may be plied together with more of the same or some solid purple or solid white. Anything is possible. It'll be fun to see what happens. Have you ever tried something like this?

After I finish playing with the purple and white I'll probably try out some samples I have before moving on to some other roving I dyed during the recent snow day. I used Cushings dye in Nile Green and Jade Green(?). The changes in color are not too drastic but I like that. I often find that I'm drawn to (and often buy) yarns with multiple vibrant colors but I tend to like the results of my knitting best when the color shifts are subtle. I think that this should produce some really nice yarn. I just hope that my spinning does it justice.

Roving Dyed by Me

Feb 8, 2007

ECF - Snow Day Edition

I was outside taking pictures of the first yarn to come off my wheel the other morning and suddenly the sun caught the 2 little icicles on our birdhouse in just the right way so I quickly took a picture. Sadly, I couldn't catch the sun in the icicles but I still like the picture.

Birdhouse with Icicles

We bought this birdhouse at one of the many craft fairs that we attend a few years ago. It stands in our front yard atop a copper pipe (that matches it's copper roof) right outside our carport. In the warmer weather I often sit in the carport (it's very porch-like) and watch the kids play while I knit or read. It doesn't look like much but every year our little birdhouse has new residents.

Feb 7, 2007

My First Yarn

I was going to save this for Eye Candy Friday but I just can't wait to share it. This is the first yarn I made with the new wheel. I know that it's far from perfect but I love it more than I can say.

First Yarn

I finished it off on Tuesday night. I bought this roving from the Barefoot Spinner at Mud Fest last fall but I can't say much more than that because I truly have no clue. It was really a crazy impulse buy since I had no clue how to spin at the time. It was just pretty so I bought it.

First Yarn - Closeup

I still have a little bit on one bobbin and quite a bit that hasn't been spun yet so there will be more of this at a later date. For now, I measured this on the niddy noddy last night and I think it's about 230 yards. Not too bad! I know I could do something with it and I thought that I would knit it up but, now that it's done, all I want to do is pet it.

Today I took a little time to tredle with nothing on the wheel. I really wanted to get a better feel for it. After a while the fiber started calling my name again so I started something new. A little roving I dyed myself combined with some that I left undyed. It looks kind of interesting so far.

I think that my new wheel and I are going to be fast friends so I'm gonna have to name her soon. I was thinking Charlotte but Stink wants to call her Dory. I'm not sure. What do you think?

Snow Day!

Snow Day It snowed here last night. Not a lot - just and inch or two in most places but here that means they shut it all down. Yep! My kids have a snow day today. I'm sure this news will thrill them when they finally wake up.

I took a picture front the front door of my house this morning and it gives you a pretty good idea of why the schools are closed. Our street is totally clear but the street in front of us is not. This is representative of most of the county.

While I'm sure that my girls will enjoy the snow day, it comes at an interesting time with both positives and negatives. On the positive side, Stink-o has a big project due tomorrow with oral, visual and written componenents. We could really use the extra time to polish it up. On the negative side, today was supposed to be report card day. The Drama Queen was expecting some excellent grades but she'll have to wait an extra day to share them with us. I'm sure that Stink's report card will be good too but DQ was predicting mostly A's. She's very studius and competitive.

This school year has actually been pretty good to my girls so far. Stink-o is making excellent progress with her reading and found that she has strengths in other areas like math. She also joined the Chess Club which she loves. Her mind is sharp and she's good at the type of thinking required for the game.

The Drama Queen had many new musical electives available to her this year. One of them was the chorus at her school and they do 2 productions each year. The first is a Winter concert and it passed just a few weeks ago. The second has an element of drama to it and late last week they posted the speaking parts - DQ has one! She's got lines on multiple pages. Obviously she's thrilled.

I've been doing lot's of fibery stuff this week so the lack of fibery content in todays post is not due to having nothing to say - it's for my sister. Jessica told me yesterday that there's been too much knitting on my knitting blog lately so this content is just for her. It's nice to catch up on other stuff from time to time anyway.

Oh, and here's a little something for my blogless buddy Felicia, who is obsessed with Maryland Sheep & Wool:

I gotta go grab my socks in process fire up my laptop now since I'll be knitting working from home today. Hehehe!

Feb 6, 2007

Anything But Socks

Thanks for all the compliments on my new shawl and the photography.

I started a little something on Sunday night. I had a bit of Brooks Farm yarn left over from a pair of Fetching that I made at the end of last year and it seemed like it would be perfect for Calorimetry. It is - and it's not. Working with this yarn reminds me of how much I love it and how I really need more. The colors are so rich and deep and the variegation is nice and subtle - just the way I like it. The yarn also has an amazing sheen to it. Predictably, I'm having doubts that there is enough to finish this project. Damn!

Warm Red Brooks Farms

I shouldn't even be knitting this now because I'm supposed to be knitting socks. More accuarately, I should be doing nothing but test-knitting sock patterns. Isn't it funny how I usually escape from big projects that are dragging by working on socks but now, when my focus ought to be on socks, I feel the urge to knit anything but socks. It's been a good turn of events for all the UFO's languishing about the house but not good for sock knitting.

While the sock knitting isn't going as quickly as it ought to, it is still moving along and I started another sock last night. It's still early but, so far, I like it. It involves a bit of colorwork and I'm using a green/blue variegated Cherry Tree Hill and white Louet Gems to work it.

Feb 4, 2007

Fiber Near and Far

It was so flippin' cold here this weekend! I'm not really complaining because I find that the cold, taken in small doses, can be really refreshing. I think I've had enough now and I'm ready for the spring. At least it was sunny. We were out and about this weeked in pursuit of fiber and the cold clear days were perfect for long drives.

Hunt Country YarnOn Satuday we, my buddy Felicia, Stinkerbelle and I , drove out to Middleburg to check out Hunt Country Yarns. It's about an hour away so I'd never been there before. It's not a bad drive but it's kind of long.

We found the store with no problem and inside it was full of fun yarns. There was a seemingly endless palette of Cascade 220 and other familiar yarns. There were also a bunch that I see less often like Crystal Palace, Diakeito yarns and Quiviut. I resisted them all. I did examine the fiber though and I brought home a little bit of white Coopworth and some Blue Faced Leicester. I want to try different fibers and se how they feel and spin.

Mello OutWe had lunch at a nice little italian restaurant and walked around town a bit after we left HCY. Middleburg is a tiny but very cute town. It's full of nice but very expensive shops. There are country stores and tack shops. We also followed the signs to a little tucked away spot called Mello Out. I wish I could tell you more about it but, we arrived at this tiny little shop just ahead of a huge birthday party. They were being led around town picking up goodies at many of the shops.

Once we recovered from having been overrun by the party we got hot chocolate and homemade marshmallows and left quickly. I should mention that the host of the party paid for our treats. I guess he felt it was the quickest way to clear the shop or letting us pay for our own treats would have taken too long. It was a little weird.

We left Middleburg and drove to Vienna, VA to check out Uniquities. I am amazed because this place is really nt far from home and it's got lots of fun yarn. I got a little Cherry Tree Hill and Louet Gems to test a Sock Madness pattern. If I were not on a yarn diet I could have gone a little crazy here. This is not good at all because it's not too far from home and very close to where a bunch of my friends live. How did I not know it was there? I thought that my yarn radar was pretty good.

This morning I contiued my fifber-full weekend with a trip to Springwater for their annual Superbowl sale. It was a really good sale and I got a bunch of fiber (Romney, Corriedale) pretty inexpensively but I had to get up at 6:30 to do so. I am not a morning person. I live to sleep in on weekends. There was a bonus involved in going to the sale. I was able to have the waterfront mostly to myself to take a few pictures of my new shawl. Here they are. Enjoy!



The pattern was Susan's Forest Canopy Shawl which I knit in Bombyx silk from Woven Gems dyed by me. Its pretty much as written except that I added a few repeats because I had the yarn to do so.

Feb 1, 2007

ECF - Wheel Edition

My package arrived today, just in time for Eye Candy Friday.

!st night with the Wheel

Nuff said!

ETA - Perhaps that wasn't quite enough said. My new spinning wheel arrived yesterday and I wrote this post late last night in a state of euphoria. I was really excited because I had not been able to spin since December when I took the fall that sprained my ankle and broke my toe. That occurred during my spinning class. At the time the whole spinning thing had just clicked but my results were still quite poor.
Last night the wheel arrived and it was beautiful. It's a Lendrum DT (nameless as yet) and I love it. I pulled out the basket of fiber that I've accumulated and started to spin without any real expectations. I just wanted to get acquainted. By the time I went to bed at about 11:30 I had nearly filled my first bobbin and, shockingly, it's pretty nice looking. There are parts that are still kind of ugly since the fiber had little bits in it here and there and I'm a novice BUT... this is the thinnest and most even result I've had so far.
This is my eye candy today because the wheel is beautiful, the color of the fiber is totally me and the spinning is much better than I ever imagined. Now I need to learn to ply because that's the class I missed.