Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New blog

I've relocated this blog. Access here -->> Catskill Mountain Fibers

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Almost time to say goodbye

. . . to 2008!

New blog set up - seriously dislike the template and will be looking for alternative. I definitely want 3 columns.

Spun up the 60's batt last night. I have a 236 yard single and will be prepping to do a core spin. I want to wind off about 100 yards of core yarn and put it on a bottom whorl spindle to try and prevent kinking during the spin.

Damn ... I'm hungry! Tuna salad?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Working . . .

. . . on it. WP installed on server. Templates being worked on. Motivation . . . YES! :)

Also installed Coppermine for photos. I have Zen Cart installed but I'm not sure that I want to move off of Etsy & ArtFire. I may just use Zen for our higher end items - electric spinners, etc..

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Moving

I'm going to move this blog to my server and use an alternate blogging system so that I can customize this thing the way I'd like it to be. Hopefully I'll get to it sooner than later.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Final Batt


The final batt for November from my Loop! club membership. The theme was fashion through the decades and I chose the 60's, of course. ;-)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

365

. . . till the next one. I'm definitely going to start shopping super early - like right after the new year. Many businesses are going under and while I feel quite badly for them all I have to take advantage of their sales and clearances.

What I would like to do is start a hope chest for my daughter. I have my mother's Lane cedar chest that was given to her on her wedding day by my father, way back in 1957. It had a blond finish, but my hubby has sanded that away and we'll refinish it with a darker stain and protective coating of urethane, or something. I'm going to try (AGAIN!) to get my mother and father's china from the asshole that my mother married in 1986. . . my mother passed away in 2005 and I've had no luck in getting the beautiful china that was promised to me. I would love to add this to Andrea's hope chest.

Anyway - I figure I'll shop for towels and sheets, kitchen items, spices (maybe wait on those, not sure yet), candles, and basic stuff that she probably wouldn't think of herself. Since I have the chest here in the living room, now full of yarn, I'll empty it out and as I purchase stuff I'll stash it right in the chest. She'll never know it's there and it'll be a great surprise when she gets her own place. That may not be for several more years yet but I'll continue to add to it until the day arrives. :-)

As for Christmas 2008 - Drea got her new computer and totally didn't expect it. I had thought otherwise. She was so surprised and so very happy; especially considering that it's a monster! 2.2 gig processor, 4 gigs of RAM. We didn't get her a monitor, but will be doing so when tax money comes in. I found a 22" re-furb Dell flat screen that will be perfect with the rest of the system. We also got her the TV thing for her Zune and the Zune auto audio kit for the cars. She had been saying she wanted one of those silly Tamigachi (sp?) things that she had as a much younger child and I found one. The things that thrill an 18 year old! LOL Amazing. We got a few small items for her boyfriend and she said that he appreciated them very much. Just hats and a nice pair of gloves (store bought), and it seems he's a lot like DH - loses gloves often, so these came in handy. If she's still with him next Xmas he'll do much better from us. The last BF was a disaster and we're glad that we didn't go 'all out' for gifts for him last Xmas.

My new electrical cable/cord came in for my laptop on the 24th. Whew!! It's good to be able to use the computer when I want to and not have to do things super quick to be sure the battery wouldn't run out on me.

Went to MIL's today and right after dinner was over and we were all sitting there chatting a headache hit me like I had been stoned. It felt like a hot vibrating wire had pierced my brain. Andrea brought me down the mountain to our home and I changed and immediately went to bed, nice dark, cool room and took my two girls (Luna & Roo) with me. Slept from 3:30 or thereabouts until 9:45 tonight. I've been up since, headache is gone, thank goodness. DH has to get up at 3:30 AM to go to work and help to get the plant back up and running until they shut down again on Tuesday for New Years Eve & Day. I'll get coffee ready for him before he's up so he can get out of here relatively quickly. He has to be in by 5 AM.

Working on the mitts mentioned in an earlier post. I'm almost up to the bind off for the thumb on the first one. Nice to do some mindless knitting and watch some older TV with the dogs snoozing on the sofa with me. Poor Jackie -our one eyed, damaged Boston, is plastered right up against my leg, snoring very softly. This dog sometimes breaks my heart with all of his scars, missing eye and neurosis. We love him so very much and feel fortunate that we were selected and able to take him in when no one else wanted him.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

1 Day

Christmas tomorrow - seemed to get here extra fast this year.

DH and I are heading out in a bit to do some last minute shopping. Just a few things for Drea, a gift card for MIL, and some goodies for the dogs. I want to film the dogs opening their packages tomorrow. I know that Caesar will have a blast!!

Waiting on hubby to get back from MIL's for a report on road conditions. Got up to ice this morning. Air temperature is rising, though, so hopefully driving will be no problem.

Have to head to MIL's this afternoon to get Christmas dinner preparations finalized, then we'll call China King in Narrowsburg and get some good stuff for dinner. Hard to believe that we managed to find such an excellent source for Chinese food way up here in the boonies. General Tao's shrimp? Yep! Chicken w/curry sauce, lo-mein, rangoons, dim sum, teriaki beef and who knows what else. Might have to make this food a Christmas eve ritual since we all love it so much.

OK - I'm going to get up and get my ass in motion so I can get stuff done.

PS::: Also expecting two deliveries today - there will be one still out there that just won't make it in time for Xmas. Nothing major - just DD's requested perfume, Red Door Revealed.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Felt Magazine (Interweave) Suri Spot Mitts


Finished the blending of South African fine with raw bamboo, spun it up to a lace weight and started the knitting this evening. Love the feel of this yarn; it's so soft and silky. This project is special to me in that I've worked it from scratch with the exception of using raw fleece and having to go through the washing/scouring process.

I'll be ill for xmas. . .

Head ache, joint aches, fatigue -- pain in my ass, too! Heading into another toxic cloud with this liver issue. Need to drink lots of fluids and concentrate on foods that are easily digested . . . might be time to do a detox but I'm not sure it's advisable with the medications I'm forced to take to get through each and every day. F*ck it! I'll get through this just as I have many times before. I just hate feeling shitty.

So - I want to spin. Again. More! I've got so much darn wool in so many colors all around me that its difficult to even know where to begin. My arms are sore from hand carding so blending is out. I do have a ton of roving and some recently purchased and swapped batts to play with so maybe, just maybe, I'll pull out Steph's 70's style batt or Jazzy's Mom's Fruit Tarts batt and spin those up. Only thing with those - they SCREAM to be spun as art yarn.

DH due home soon and he's off until Friday. Have to have him run across the road when he gets in to take a package to the guys at #18 that was mistakenly delivered here. Delivery guys just couldn't see OUR name or the number 19 on our mailbox, I guess. Odd - it was a Budget Rental van that made the delivery.

Hot tea and sinus meds in order. Catch the local news cast and I should then be ready to use my wheel with the new flyer set-up I put together yesterday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Boo freakin' hoo!

Limited use of my laptop is necessary right now since the electrical cord went bad on me. DH took it apart and one of the wires was so bent that it had broken apart. I'm running on 1/4 of a charged battery right now. The new cord was shipped from Indianapolis today via priority mail. Hoping to see it here tomorrow but that's truly doubtful. Maybe by Xmas Eve? Hopefully!

Using the hand cards to work tons of wool that I've had laying around forever - dyed crimpies & locks, all kinds of colors. Romney, coopworth, polworth, border leicester and moree. I love using the hand cards - amazing!

Holiday knitting done.

My poor MIL tried to help out on Saturday by going outside (after being told NOT to do so by BIL & DH) to clean the snow off of her back steps. She fell - how she managed to get up and back into the house is a mystery and must have caused her so much pain - and shattered her humerus. No surgery because of her age (almost 83) and they put a huge cast on her ... she's so tiny to begin with (under 5') and I feel so awful for her. We always have Xmas dinner at her house and her cooking abilities are severely limited now so DH, DD, and I will head up the hill to her house on Wednesday to do her portion of the cooking. Sweet potatoes, corn & pepper casserole, cucumber & tomato salad, and I'll be baking the 'drunken cake' (saturated rum cake) here at home. I hope that I can get it to come out as good as hers always do. This is the only time of year and method of delivery that I have alcohol! LOL

Friday, December 19, 2008

Oooo! Snow!!

It's 10:36am and the snow is just starting to fall here on the NY PA border. Seems chilly in the house so I think I'll turn up the blower on the pellet stove. Once the snow starts to fall really heavy as predicted I'll probably get into the mood to bake something. Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies? Banana bread? Hmmm . . .

Two Etsy orders to ship. I hope we can get down the hill to the post office!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Creeping along

Potholders complete. Getting ready to cast on the BF's hat. Just need to finish upper third of Porthos, seam and put in the neck stuff. Then . . . 3 pair of gloves and I'm done! Since I have 7 days ... maybe I'll get the wheel spinning this afternoon! ;-)

7 days!?!

Seven days till Xmas. . . tree finally up (very nice), last gifts ordered from Amazon, 2 pot holders done, halfway up the back of the Abby sweater (last half to do, seam & finish). Goal today - start DD's BF's hat & gloves and try to get 'em done. Tip to self - - use worsted yarn! It'll go faster.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

OK - where did it go?

The time, the time!!!! Where did it go? How did I lose track????

Must set priorities TODAY! I want to spin, I mean . . . really want to spin, but I seriously have to get some knitting done in time for Xmas. Abby's Porthos - back, sleeves - done. Front cast on, 2" complete. MIL's pot holders - 1 done, 1 cast on, still another to make a set of three. Those are priority #1 (potholders). Must make a cap & fingerless gloves for DD's boyfriend. Abby's sister's top - cast on, 8 rows worked in the round. Need to work BIL&SIL's gloves - not even started yet.
I guess, overall, that's not a whole lot of knitting -

All of the above means that no spinning or carding for me until the knitting is finished. See, this makes the knitting seem like a major chore and I need to get out of that frame of mind and just get it done!

Progress report later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Etsy

More listings up on Etsy today. I'll probably post yarn tomorrow, and then back to roving & batts. I'd like to try and post three to four items daily from here on.
SmileyCentral.com
Still waiting on the snow to start that has been predicted. It is snowing in NYC - Andrea would like snow here since she put the Christmas tree up today. I was beginning to wonder if we'd bother with a tree this year since she didn't seem to have any interest in putting it up until today. Fa la la la la ... la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Does it breed?

I have been trying to organize my fiber stash (this does not include yarn) and I am quite shocked at how much I actually have! This stuff must multiply at night or when I'm not looking. I may have to consider just bagging some and putting it up for sale or swap. Now, about yarn - I have just as much of it as I do fiber! PLUS I have two 55 gallon trash bags jammed full of yarn stored up at my MIL's house! Maybe I just need to get the needles smokin' and get stuff made up and gift it away!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spun yarn

Working on getting yardage and weights on all of the yarn I've spun that I'd like to list on Etsy. Time consuming!!!

Some of the stuff is going to be quite difficult to part with. Oh well... we need the cash, so WTH! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Indigo

I got hold of seeds from Sand Mountain herbs that are Indigofera tinctoria. I want to get them in pots for germination soon so I can try using the plants for natural dyeing. I've just rejoined one Ravelry group that I used to be part of and also have joined several others that are dedicated to dyeing fiber - chemically and naturally. I hope to learn all that I can about harvesting and processing indigo before my plants are ready for use. :) I'm going to do research on other plants that I can use and go back to the Sand Mountain site for more seed. Super quick service & shipping - precise germination instructions and basic growing info right on the seed packet. I also have some other seeds from a friend that I need to get started. This type of seed I've grown before with great success; I can hardly wait to get those going. Don't ask. ;-)

Got the new hackle and some wool listed on Etsy last night. It just seems to take so much time to get from photo to finish. Today I need to get dinner prep done and then I would really like to list all of the homespun yarn I have available. I need to measure the skeins and calculate yardage, determine WPI, take and edit photos and list. Long afternoon! Sitting here surely isn't getting any of that done; is it? Still infusing myself with caffeine - that's my excuse for not starting as of yet.

There are squirrels running back and forth on our back deck and they sound like small horses! Geezus! Big ole fat swirls! Dogs just caught sight of them out of the window next to where I'm sitting and they're all going ape shit - they'd love to get hold of one of them swirls and have some fun. Imagine that! Good thing the dogs yard is totally fenced in and restricts them from chasing all of the various forest creatures that come around to visit.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A bit of peace now?

Got a wireless pci card for DD's computer and the damn thing is finally online. So I now have my computer back - though it is running funky and quite slow. Bet she downloaded crap and I now have some kind of junk or viral stuff hidden in it. I'm going to have to run a spy-ware scan on it as soon as I finish up with this post.

She also killed the battery in the digital camera. I have it charging now. I had wanted to get photos of the new hackle and list it on Etsy by now. At least I'll have it done shortly.

Having Abby & Don over for dinner tomorrow. We were going to go dutch for Chinese food but none of us really have the cash to spare right now so I'm cooking pot roast w/potatoes & carrots and making a big batch of kasha w/bow ties, mushrooms & onions. Abby says she loves this stuff. I'm also going to make cream puffs for dessert and I think that I may do the puff part tonight. Then I'll be able to put them back in the oven tomorrow to dry them out before adding the cream.

I've been using the wonderful hand cards - wasn't sure I'd enjoy them but I find that carding various types of fiber is quite pleasant and relaxing! I had some bamboo fiber that I had dyed and it was a mess ... all tangled and whatnot. I put it on the cards and it just worked out beautifully. Now I have some colors that I've never seen offered for sale. Can't wait to blend some up with some Romney that I have to card.

I have a wonderful Chai tea from Dunkin' Donuts sitting here waiting for me so I'm going to enjoy it and then begin a HUGE Etsy shop update. :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

. . . what day is it?

Watched a couple of YouTube vids last evening on how to properly use the hand cards and bravely started on some Cormo I had washed up. By George, I think I got it! LOL

Have 10 rolags done up - I've been picking any VM as I card and noils, too. Very little of either, thank goodness. I'm not sure if I'm going to post this stuff for sale or keep it for me. We need $$ pretty badly right now - so it'll most likely hit Etsy later today.

Slept with my left eye partially open again and this time it's extremely painful. I put some of the Celuvisc drops in and OMG the pain that caused! Awful!! I have my eye taped shut right now hoping that the dry spot rehydrates quickly so I can do something fiber related today. I really MUST start using the night-time drops regularly to avoid having this happen. Last time I went to the eye doc he said that the damage, although slight, to my cornea was visible. *sigh*

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Cards

The hand cards arrived today! Time to play-yay!

Kitchen table is piled high with batts and hand spun to be photographed and then listed on Etsy. I'm hoping to get to them tomorrow once the sun is up.

23

I got the drum carder out the other day and have been carding and carding and carding. Lots of beautiful batts - one not so beautiful!

Still waiting on the hand cards to arrive from Stephanie in Utah. Not the first time I've had to wait a long time for the postal service to get stuff to me, won't be the last I suppose. She sent them 2 weeks ago Monday . . . hurry up and wait!

Also waiting on my final (November) batt from Loop!. I expect that to arrive today.

Yesterday I received my indigo seeds. I'm really looking forward to growing these and concocting my own dye from the plants!!!!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

26

Sleep schedule (or lack thereof) is all screwed up again. I think the seasonal light changes are messing with me as well. Up til super late, slept until 2:55 PM today. Day shot all to hell. Also slept with my left eye partially open (damned thyroid disease!) so I have discomfort and pain due to the dry area.

Finishing up another brimmed hat then I'm going to spin some new batts up for the next one.

Friday, December 5, 2008

27

Two bobbins full of superwash spun thin. I have Eve set up with a bobbin in preparation for plying but I'm thinking that it just might be better if I use the electric instead.

Cast on for another hat with a brim last evening. DD really loves the last one I made for her and I'd like to make some up to sell in our shop. Still need to work on Abby's Porthos - I have the back done and both sleeves on the needles. The front will go pretty quickly. I'll try to work on that this afternoon.

Going to try to get DD up early and HOPE that she doesn't have an attitude today. This self proclaimed adult really needs to get off of her butt and find a job. Sleeping until 2pm every day isn't going to get one. She pissed DH off last evening with her constant comments and complaints about the dogs and whatnot. I heard him mutter that he couldn't wait to get back to work. Only took 2 weeks for her to settle back in and begin irritating us again. I have to remind myself that I'm glad she's home again so I know that she's safe, warm, and eating decent food. Our grocery budget last week was all blown to hell. We sent her shopping for us - she offered to go - and we ended up $275 over budget with all of the goodies and special food items she got for herself.

sigh

Thursday, December 4, 2008

28

Missed 29! ;-)

Spinning superwash from Creatively Dyed. Nice easy spinning on Eve, my treadle wheel. I'll be using Aella (electric) to ply I think. Need need need to get photos taken and stuff listed for sale. Thinking of a shop promotion to boost sales. . . buy two rovings or batts and take $2 off of the price of each, buy three take $3 off of the price of each - up to 4 items. That would be a total of $16 off an order. Orders over $50 (after discounts) would ship FREE via priority mail. This is what I'll do but not before I get the stuff listed. I need ... help - motivation - something!!

Forgot to mention, regarding Thanksgiving dinner, the only thing that sucked were the mashed potatoes, and WE brought those. Gawd awwwwful!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

30

Donna came and got the silly hamster yesterday, she also brought us 3 bars of her homemade soap! Two are almond and oatmeal, the other is rosemary. They all smell so so good! I used one of the bars of almond in the shower yesterday - aroma therapy while showering! Heaven. :) I sent DD out with a skein of yarn I had spun for Donna to try. Not my best spinning work, but it was a sample.

I received two 8 oz. rovings from Creatively Dyed yesterday. Lightening fast shipping, great roving! Not colors I would normally buy, but by the time I got to her sale most of the stuff was gone. Since I had never purchased from her before I wanted to try something - anything. As it turns out, DD loves the colors, and it is superwash, so it'll make great socks for her. I started spinning some last evening. Spins up easily!

My Elann order also arrived. More great patterns - a Tahki/Stacey Charles pattern collection, the first two issues of R2 magazine, a Rowan magazine and a bag pattern from Just One More Row; six skeins of sport weight Peruvian wool to make fingerless gloves for DD - dark grey, neutral, and black.

Still waiting on the hand cards. I'm hoping they arrive today. I have lots and lots of different types of wool washed up - - - waiting.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The final 31 . . .

. . . days of the year. Damn, where did it go?!?

I'm having limited access to my computer right now since DD has moved back in. If you remember in a summertime post - she took her new laptop to a party and it was stolen, along with my digital camera, which she had borrowed. DH has looked into getting her an old system from a guy he works with so that she won't monopolize mine.

Had to turn the pellet stove off when I got up; just too warm in here. After yesterday's nasty winter storm it is over 50 degrees outside today. Strange weather, as we're becoming used to.

Hamster goes to his new home today. I just can't have a rodent sitting on the kitchen table all of the time. DD hasn't taken him into her room since coming home - I guess she has no place to put him. I can't say I'm sorry to see him go. My dogs are more than enough as far as pets are concerned.

Watched PE Obama's conference this morning. Go, Hillary! I'm very glad that he offered the position in his national security cabinet to her. This man is amazing! He's preparing his entire cabinet prior to officially taking office and they'll all hit the ground running on the day he takes over from our current, pathetically inept "leader".

Fiber related: Working on a hat for DD. I'm using oatmeal ECO Wool. Carded up some stuff. Spun a bit. Washed the remaining Romney up and have some mohair soaking in preparation for washing in a few days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The day after

. . . turkey day! Dinner was very, very good at SIL's home yesterday; her turkey was cooked and sliced to perfection. Only problem was that DH and I, for some reason, could barely keep our eyes open before and after dinner. We got home last evening about 6:20pm - I drove both ways - and the dogs were so darn happy to see us, as you can imagine! We got settled in for the evening and watched a bit of TV. I blended some of the Shetland that I got from Michelle with some ultra fine pale gray alpaca and purple angelina with the small hand cards. A bit neppy, but I'm picking them out as I spin. It's spinning up to a fine lace weight and I will definitely be plying it; with what? I dunno yet. The resulting yarn will be used for a pair of fingerless gloves for DD - a pattern in "Luxury One Skein Wonders" that uses a finer weight yarn.

Today we're just hanging out; Led Zeppelin's "The Song Remains the Same" is on VH1 Classic so that's on along with the stereo, turned way up. Floors & walls vibrating - DH working on hackles, me spinning, DD getting ready to head out shopping on this Black Friday. I have MY shopping list set up on Amazon.com and won't be leaving the house to shop for a damn thing! Just the way I like it!!

I participated in Amazon's race thingy and selected the Kitchen Aid mixer for $69 and it was the winning item in that race - I'm hoping to be selected for that particular race on Dec. 3rd and will be stalking the computer that morning. If I can grab that for under $100 I'll be beside myself. My old Oster stand mixer has seen many better days and it is time for replacement. I've always wanted a KA and could never justify spending big money on one. This could be my chance to have one, FINALLY, but, knowing my miserable luck it just won't happen. And speaking of replacements - yesterday DD put her facial wax in the microwave to melt and HOLY SHIT - it made awful noises and the orange flashing from inside scared us half to death. Microwave bit the dust! We're going to look into replacing it with something in a space-saver model that can be mounted under a cabinet. Then I'll be able to bring my glass canister set back out from storage since moving the MW will free up kitchen space for it.

Package arrived from Constance Rose today - more fiber to play with. :) Still waiting on the hand cards, yarn from OTRY and a batt from Jazzturtle (Esther). Probably more stuff coming but I can't recall what. See, I do suffer from CRS and CRAFT, so that's my excuse.

ETA: CRS = can't remember shit; CRAFT = can't remember a fuckin' thing! ;-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cold & wet

Nasty, wet day! Schools were on a 2 hour delay . . . must take MIL shopping to get a few things for Thanksgiving around noon time.

Bobbins arrived yesterday; more stuff expected today. My final Loop! batt should be here soon, but it seems that I always get the current months batt sometime during the first or second week of the following month. Not an issue, really. Steph is most definitely talented in making these batts up.

Cash is scarce around here right now. No sales as of late in the Etsy shop. DH will be working on and finishing up hackles today. The new version will probably go up for sale at $40. We'll still have the old model and that price will rise to $25 and stay there indefinitely. I don't care for the clamps with the original. Plus, they were really becoming a PITA to find. The next 'cheapest' clamp was $5 - I suppose we could offer a hackle without clamps, but it's nice to receive something and have it ready to use.

I have a bunch of hand spun to list but I have someone locally interested in buying it so I'll offer it up to her first. Finished plying the Desperado color-way this morning. I'll skein it later and get yardage. The jumbo bobbin is beyond full!

Monday, November 24, 2008

New stuff

A favorite Etsy seller, Constance Rose Textile Design is having a sale and I just had to order a few things from her. I grabbed some dyed bamboo top, carded silk noil, tencel top, and angelina. Great prices - better yet with the discount she's offering!





















I'm also expecting postal delivery of yarn from Over the Rainbow Yarns (Ebay seller), 10lbs of raw mohair, and probably other things that I just can't recall right now. ;-)

ETA: Also expecting 3 jumbo Ashford bobbins and a set of Strauch hand cards!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Speed knitting

I finally got around to watching the video with the "World's Fastest Knitter". I need to gain some speed so that I can get projects finished up in time for the holidays and I'm going to try the technique shown in the video today. Wish me luck!

I'm swapping my October Loop! batt with another SSB member. Actually, she (Esther) makes her own gorgeous blended batts and she's going to card one up for me for this swap. I'll put the platinum colored Wedding Rings batt in the mail to her tomorrow. I'm anxious to see what she comes up with and sends along to me! :)

I posted on the Used Tools & Equipment board on Ravelry looking for a set of full sized hand cards - offered to trade fiber. A very nice woman in Utah responded and we worked out a deal! I hope to have the cards sometime this week and will post pix when they arrive.

Started Abby's sweater yesterday and have more than half of the back done. Made an error last night - it was late - so I put it down and will make corrections this morning and hopefully finish it up later today and get the front on the needles. I have more yarn coming from Over the Rainbow Yarns for her sister's sweater and that should arrive early this week. Also expecting 10lbs of mohair locks. Yay!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Spinning mojo


Got my mojo back and have been spinning my arse off. I've robbed some roving from my shop, the Desperado color-way, stripped it in varying sizes, drafted the strips and spun the entire thing up in no time at all. After looking at it on the bobbin (knowing that I want to ply it) I know that plying it back on itself will result in something 'muddy' looking, so my obvious choice was a solid color. White? Nah! I think that black would make it POP, so I grabbed 4oz of black roving and have been spinning that up - almost done! I'll most likely get to the plying tomorrow.

I received my order from VedaBliss today - I had ordered 8oz of scrappies. She sent far more than 8oz - great assortment of colors. I'm going to have a blast with these. ;)

DD is all moved in. A relief for me, really - I was so concerned while she was living away from home. I always dreaded the phone ringing, thinking that something horrible had happened. . . Anyway - she's sick. Of course she had to bring a cold or the flu home with her and I'm afraid that it's hitting me now. I can feel the pressure in my head and my shoulders and neck are feeling somewhat achy, too. SHIT!

OK, so - back to spinning. I want all of the black roving spun up before bed. Night all!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Appointment . . .

. . . to have my new crown put on at the dentist today. Taking mother-in-law with me so that she can do some shopping. I have to get a few things that I missed yesterday.

Darling daughter has moved back home with us. The job market is deteriorating and she just wasn't able to find anything down in Middletown. I knew that she was getting a bit 'home-sick' last week when she called, and she came up to supposedly visit the other day. . . I told her that we'd be quite happy to have her here at home with us and she seemed quite relieved. Geez - like we'd ever tell her that she couldn't come back here! Silly kid!! She was supposed to start moving today but was so anxious to get back that she and her boyfriend packed all her stuff up into his and her cars last night and ended up moving back in at 1am this morning. :)

DH goes back on shift tonight so I think that DD and I will do some baking. I picked up a whole bunch of stuff yesterday for cookies, brownies, breads, etc., so she'll have her choice as to what we make. I have a feeling it'll be oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Anyway - looking forward to getting this trip out of the house over with quickly so I can settle in at home and finish up some spinning I started yesterday. Lots and lots of yardage to work with. I haven't decided if I'm going to ply it with black or white yet. Plying this color blend back on itself would make the end result yarn seem muddy, and I am leaning towards the black ply . . . I think it'll make all of the colors pop!

Off to the shower -

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

. . .

I received an order I had placed and forgotten about - it's some beautiful pale gray baby alpaca. I had to start spinning it immediately. It's so soft and very, very fine. I believe I'm going to spend some time spinning again so I can get some handspun listed for sale on Etsy. I have a bunch of batts and yarns that have been done for quite some time and have to get those up ASAP. DH just ran out for a few minutes and when he comes back he's going to finally help me assemble the light-box so I can take decent photos. :)

The "I Want Candy" handspun sold over the weekend. I hope that the buyer is happy with it! It was one of my favorites.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election

I have renewed faith and great hope for our country on this historic day!

As if . . .

. . . all the other crap I have to put up with isn't enough, I now have bursitis, which started in the right shoulder this time and is now creeping over to the left. Causing muscle tension as per usual and a stiff neck is following right along with it. I've never had to deal with both shoulders hurting to such extremes at the same time. The only relief is to dose myself with an extra half vicodin, ibuprofen ('bout 800mg) and a Skelaxin; then the only activity I'm capable of is to sit on the sofa. I wanted to card stuff for the shop - no can do. Can't spin - sucks. I can, however, do a bit of knitting being careful on how I hold the needles and using smaller pillows to support my right shoulder area. Top all that off with hot flashes! Auntie Flo has gone away again so I get the joys she leaves behind, too. Actually, that crap I can deal with - as long as the bitch stays away for good this time. ;)

Big day for fiber arrivals - gorgeous batt from Loop!, all white and sparkly - bits of gray and shiny stuff all together - like platinum. I received the beautiful Shetland wool that I won from Michelle's farm; the silk & rayon blend from Maryann came in (this is for Abby's Porthos), and the purple and green variegated sock yarns arrived as well. I also received a notice from the Spinners Guild that publishes Cast On magazine with my membership information. The magazine was a gift from my friend, Robyn, for making a hat for her beautiful daughter.

I hit AC Moore in the Newton/Sparta area yesterday and grabbed a couple of skeins of Paton's SWS. I had been curious about this stuff since seeing it on Ravelry. Nice yarn - I worked a cap up at MIL's request (first time she's ever asked me to make something for her) using a pattern from Knitty.com. Quant is knit using entrelac and this was my first attempt at it. If I hadn't taught myself to knit backwards I don't think that I would have enjoyed the pattern at all, but, since I can - it went really fast and I loved the result. I'd have liked to get photos but DH got in early from work and took the cap up to her. . . might have to make another just so I have the photos! I also got a needle felting book, felting needles & tool, and can hardly wait to get started on something. Will do so once my damn shoulders are better. I picked up the Holiday issue from Interweave Knits. Great socks in there for hubby - he has asked for more socks since I made him that one, lonely pair last year.

Too much on the needles right now, but I have been motivated to work on all. Mary's Garden socks - clue #1 all done. Next clue due for release on Wednesday. I'm working them both on 2 circs. Great way to assure that a complete pair of socks leave the needles. Started an Estonian lace shawl this evening with a fine alpaca wool blend in a grape heathered color. Must finish Helene's gloves - start Mark's gloves, seam Drea's Currer, work the wrap around yet to be designated shawl, and cast on Abby's Porthos. Until my shoulders are better I'll probably get a whole lot of knitting done!

Tomorrow is election day. I have a feeling I'll be up late tomorrow night. I've asked Abby, who is coming for lunch tomorrow, if she'd take me up to the town hall so I can vote. DH has to work and I wasn't sure that I'd get to the polls at all. I just feel the need to get there this year and it looks like I will! Spoke with MIL earlier and she'd like to go as well. I'll have to ask A if she'd mind taking her with us. . .

I believe its time for me to go to bed. Must get up early tomorrow and try to get a babka done before my friend gets here. :0)

Friday, October 31, 2008

That candidate!

Sitting here with CNN on listening to the senior candidate spout the same old crap, over and over. Injecting falsehoods into every line he speaks. Yadda yadda yadda. Having worked w/geriatrics, and taking care of a grandmother for over 13 years I know how fast the mind warps. We do NOT need this man governing our country. We need the 'youth' and change offered by the other candidate. This country has been living with colonial values for far too long. We need to step into the 21st century and bring things into a new direction.

That's the only political statement I'll be posting to this blog. If the old regime is elected next Tuesday we're going to be in for many more years of misery. If the new regime gets in, things will still be difficult until the country gets back on a different track, but the time and wait will be well worth it in the end.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Socks

Since DD loves crazy socks, I'm going to make her several pair for Christmas. She found the Garden Gate socks on Knitty and really likes those. She asked for purple & green as the colors for them and rather than use solids I found variegated sock yarn on Etsy and will try those. If they don't work for that particular pattern I'm sure I'll find others that will.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ahhh . . . go away snow.

. . . and come back NEVER! Honestly, I can do without snow. Usually I enjoy the first *BIG* storm. Makes everything so beautiful and here in the woods you can hear the flakes as they fall and meet their destination. . . along with the not too distant sounds of the river and occasional bird or animal expressing their opinions, it's heaven!

Then, the plows rumble through churning up the fresh blanket of white and mixing it up with old leaves, dirt and other debris; a few days pass and as shovels, blowers and autos do their thing a grayish tinge appears - the once pure white blanket starts to turn gray and dirty and the joy of the first cleansing snow disappears. I then wish winter to be banished and begin to long the fresh greens of spring. *sigh*

ANYWAY! ! ! I think that getting through this winter will be easier since I now have so much to keep me occupied. I have lots and lots of wool in many forms to spin, felt, and knit with. I could probably keep myself busy through 2010!

I've been lazy in getting photos taken and really need to get myself moving and get it done. Spotty sunshine today - but still bright enough for photos, I think. I'd also like to give the needle felting a try to see what I might be able to accomplish.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Once every 15 years . . .

The weather professionals say that a snowstorm of this nature hits the northeast in October once every 15 years. What was supposed to be two inches of snow has turned into over 14 inches in some areas here in western Sullivan county. Interstate was closed this morning due to multiple accidents, people were totally unprepared.

DH had to swap cars with DD after work this evening to assure that he'd be able to make it home. A snow plow got stuck on our hill, just below our driveway this morning and had to back itself down the road. For the remainder of the day it seemed that all plows came down the road instead.

We're at 700 feet here - MIL, up the road, is at 1200+ feet. Our snow was heavy & wet and has melted away rather quickly - hers accumulated and she had to have her rear porch shoveled off twice today and will probably have to have it done again tomorrow since even more snow is forecast!

I found out today that I won a contest that I had entered and totally forgot about. Easy to forget since I absolutely NEVER win anything. :) I correctly guessed (within a few ounces) the weight of a batch of wool that had been sent to a processor and as the winner I'll be receiving 8oz of Shetland wool! How cool is that? Having never spun Shetland before, I'm looking forward to receiving it.

My needle felting kit arrived today. I'm going to have to see about getting books from the library to get myself started with this new (to me) craft. I'm hoping to be able to felt something into the gloves that I'm designing for Helene. Probably just something simple to start. I do have the Folk Knitting book and I know there are needle felted items in that. I'll have to get it out and see.

Another shawl is on the needles. Bulky/thick/thin yarn for this one. Simple stitches, Faroese style. Seems to be working up as a quick knit as well. It'll be easy to chart and I hope to have a pattern available soon. I still need to get shawl #1 published. I just need photos to add to the documents.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ass dragging . . .

I've had a very slow week. Weather is changing and I feel it more so this year than ever before. It's really hard getting old!

I started spinning for the online Guild's project #1. I chose some roving that I had purchased from the Sheep Shed Studio that is a wool/mohair blend. I kettle dyed it - it was actually roving that came at the very end of a long dye session and I used a bunch of dyes up that were in such small amounts they weren't worth saving. Well, the dyes took very well and I have a very nice blend of autumn like colors. My idea for this spin took shape as I started drafting some of the wool. I spun about half of it thick & thin and I'll be plying it up with metallic thread. Spinning the remainder as a thin single which I'll either do up as a 2 ply or a Navajo ply. I then plan to work it all up into a hat. No pattern, just an image in my mind. ;-)

I love spinning! And since our Etsy sales have been so, so slow I've been grabbing roving that I had listed and spinning it. I love the yarns that have come off of my wheels and it's hard to consider parting with any of them but I will take photos and eventually list them for sale. DH worked on my home made drum carder - I had been having difficulty with the drum turning really hard at times. Well, it was my fault! Wool had gotten twisted up on the ends and he got it all off. Turns really well now and I'd like to card some stuff.

The BL wool mentioned in an earlier post is done. What a difference! WOW! It wasn't looking too pretty before hitting the washer - it's 5lbs of beautifully white, soft & glossy fiber. Haven't spun any yet since I enjoy just looking at it! I'll get pix soon. Still have that small batch of Cormo soaking and really need to get to it. I'll be washing that by hand since its so delicate. I won't card it - it'll be hand flicked and spun from the locks. I'll probably dye a small batch as well. Since I have over 7lbs still needing processing it will definitely be around for a while.

I also have an old project that I really need to get going on. Its from the Novelty and Art Yarn Spinners group, project/swap #2. The inspirational photo seems to be subtle and smooth and I'd like the resulting yarn to reflect that.

*Just tried to add a photo to the post but I've been having problems with FireFox crashing A LOT! Seems that anything I try to save or post w/java does the deed. Have to see if I can rip it all out and do a clean install to get this fixed. I definitely prefer the FF browser over IE.

ETA: I disabled all add-ons in FireFox and this seemed to solve the crashing issue. . .
That's it for now.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

More bamboo



Since I'd like to get this scarf worked up ASAP, I found some tropical colored top and have started spinning it with a gold metallic thread.

C-c-c-c-cold!

Damn, it's cold this morning! I told DH (he started his shift rotation today) to leave the pellet stove on the LOWEST settings when he left for work and he did. Needless to say, I crawled out of bed at 9am and it was chilly in here. Brrrr!! I pushed the stove settings up by 1 and its getting nice in here now. I also have 2 stock pots on the stove warming because I"ll need additional hot water for the washer today when I give the BL its second washing. That's helping to bring the temp. up too.

Got in touch w/my fav test knitter and asked if she'd like to give the RB scarf a run. Hopefully she's not too busy and will be able to give me her thoughts on it. I may offer this one for sale since I do like the way the pattern is working.

Spun a bunch of white bamboo up last night. I also found some great dyed bamboo from The Fiber Lady that I had purchased many months ago. Gonna spin that, too. Greens, gold, blue - pretty stuff! A plus is that it's bamboo top, makes drafting easier and will be a quick spin as compared to the white, raw bamboo.

Dogs are hungry - must give Miz Loonie her pill. Also need to get lots of yarn & fiber photos taken today to list w/Etsy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Still soaking

Still have the Cormo and BL soaking away. I'll probably start working the BL again tomorrow. It'll need a second wash, so I'll do that and then check to see if I should go ahead and rinse then dry. I have lots of netting to put it in and will most likely put it on the clothes line.

I wanted to work a scarf for a friend in a warm climate and started with bombyx silk that I had dyed and spun. . . I have to say, I don't like it for a scarf. I think it will work better as trim on something knitted, so I frogged the thing. DH suggested that I use bamboo fiber for the scarf since it's headed for Florida. Good idea since bamboo is anti-bacterial and has many other attractive benefits. I thought about all of the dyed bamboo that I have and then remembered that I have almost a pound of raw bamboo, pure white. I'm going to spin it up and then hand paint it -- not sure if I'll hand paint the yarn, or wait and paint the scarf once it's complete. As for the scarf pattern, this is my own design and I'll be asking permission from the recipient to use her name on it. :)

Photo of raw bamboo fiber:

Friday, October 17, 2008

.

We're up extra early to take MIL to her eye specialist down in Middletown. Even though we have to travel, we'll accomplish quite a bit. Since Anda lives there, we have to pick up the receipt for her address change from motor vehicle and take it to our auto insurer - we're expecting a substantial drop in our premium - I'm hoping for at least a $1500 cut. I'll also hit the bakery (my favorite bakery on earth, DeFillippi's) for their fabulous seeded Italian bread & more. DH needs new work boots, so we'll get them on the way back, and I need to get stuff to make cream puffs for lunch with BIL & SIL tomorrow.

Decided to start processing the Border Leicester last evening. A blogger had posted how she did hers up in the washer; since I have 5lbs of it I figured I'd give it a try. So - its in the washer, still. Been through one scalding hot wash and is now soaking for a few days to loosen dirty tips up.


We also took some of the Cormo and put it in a clear plastic storage container w/room temp water and it'll soak for at least a week before I use soap to wash it up. Spin Off magazine had a great article on washing fleece and this long soak was one of the methods outlined. Though not specific to Cormo it seemed like the most gentle way to process this delicate fleece.



Went for eye exams yesterday. Sumbich! - $690 for 2 pair -one for each of us. Frames & lenses for me, $270, JUST lenses for DH, $420!!! He needs bifocals and they talked him into progressive lenses, something that I just couldn't get used to. I hope that he can adapt to them better than I did! (I returned mine, got regular bifocals. Ain't it a bitch to get old?!?) Last time I got glasses I went to freakin' W-Mrt. Lousy frame fit - no help in choosing anything, and I've really never been able to comfortably wear the damn things. Plus, the right lens kept popping out. This time, frame stylist, woman in her late 50's, chose a selection of frames for me and had me try them all on. One pair was deep purple with faux gem stones and I actually liked them! I did settle for a burnished metal with fancy sides that sat well and were so lightweight. I can hardly wait to get the damn things - it'll be nice to be able to see well again!!!

Thinking about what I plan to work on today once we get back home. I'd like to do some carding but my right arm is kind of achy so maybe not... I have "Porthos" almost finished. Just have to do that insert on the front and then seam it. Of course I STILL have to seam "Currer" - that one has been off of the needles for quite some time now! I guess that's what I'll do today then. Work on finishing both of those pieces off.

. . . later!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

.

Andrea came up yesterday and helped me out by going to the market and post office. She spent the night and left this morning around 11am. It was so good to have her home, even though it was such a short visit.

Feeling a bit tired so I think its time for a nap -- even though I slept 13 hours last night. *sigh*

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

.

Awakened with a little snoring Luna curled up against me . . . and tachycardia. It was 7:45am. Still having the very rapid heartbeat - I hope it stops soon otherwise this will be a wasted day.

Got a whole lot of "Porthos" done yesterday. I do expect to finish it up this afternoon. Hope so! Andrea called last evening to say that she was coming up to visit, either today or Thursday. Kind of hoping for Thursday when DH is off from work, then we can have dinner together. Anda didn't say if she'd be staying overnight or not. I'll assume not. . . I'd love to have the top ready for her. Also need to get "Currer" steam pressed and assembled.

Robyn sent her address so I have the hat packed up and ready to go with today's mail. I hope that her daughter likes it.

Started designing a pair of gloves yesterday with a twisted rib cuff. I'm using a forest green color and these gloves will be for Helene since that is her favorite hue.

News showing the same old same old. Damn politics! I'll be so glad when this election is over and I hope to never have to see McCain's face again. As for Sarah Palin - I feel that McCain's campaign has a hand up her back and are feeding her all of the stuff she's been spewing. Damn shame; she may have made it big as a shady republican in the future. At this point I truly believe that the Dems will take over in 2009. Of course there IS the ELECTORAL COLLEGE. That, in my opinion, should be abolished and popular vote should be the determining factor in ALL elections. Whoever came up with that system was a blithering idiot -- and probably a freakin' republican.

Screw 'em all! I'm going to retreat to my fiber arts and become oblivious; at least for today. ;-)

Monday, October 13, 2008

.

Achy, sore morning. . . just researched Crestor and I'm not sure that I'm having symptoms related to the drug - I think it's just the cooler weather setting in as per usual. Took an extra half of a vicodin and two ibuprofen to get me going. Cool in the house this morning but I'm not going to turn the pellet stove on. Sun will probably be out later and once it starts to hit the house it does warm up quickly in here.

Working on another Norah Gaughan top for Drea - this one is called "Porthos" and I have the back complete, just starting decreases on the front. I'm using a rayon type of yarn in an interesting color blend. Photos soon.

. . . more later

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday

Happy Sunday! Another day home alone -- well, except for my little kidz, Caesar, Roo, Jack & Luna. Sitting here enjoying coffee and watching CNN report on oil/gas, the economy and the horrible state of the presidential campaigns. I don't understand that other party. They're all so narrow minded.... only think along one track, refuse to see facts that are put right in front of their faces. THESE are the people that have run this country into the ground over the past eight years - why can't the people of this country see that? Selective brainwashing? I think something is going on - maybe they spike the water in the red parts of the country, I dunno. Voting BLUE here!

Nuff bout that stuff... I have Aella, the taller of the two electric spinners, out and in use. I'm spinning up some brown roving, dyed by CarolLee, that I've blended with fire-star (nylon) in multiple colors that I dyed here at home. Spinning it thin and will ply it when I have all of it finished up. Will it be 2 or 3 ply? Yet to be determined! I'm betting on 2 ply since I have a sock pattern that uses a sock weight yarn and may just work this sparkly stuff up into toe socks for Drea.

Doesn't look like our electric spinners are going to sell any time soon so I figured I may as well put them to use. I was looking through the latest issue of Spin-Off last evening and came across a photo of a flyer with the Delta Orifice. I had heard those mentioned before but didn't know what they might look like. Pretty simple set up. I'm going to show them to hubby to see if he might be able to design something similar. All kinds and thicknesses of wool & fibers could be fed through one of them. Gotta have one!;)

He's also looking into motorizing my drum carder since the interferon will cause issues due to hep C treatment. I probably wouldn't be able to use it as it is - it can be difficult to turn with the handle - so motorizing it would be excellent! I'd get tons of fiber processed.
I finished - well almost - the devil cap for a friend's daughter. I need to put a bit of stuffing into the horns to keep them upright and run loose ends and it'll be complete. I hope to get it in the mail tomorrow if the postal site is working. It was down last week and I couldn't print paid postage. They (USPS) still owe me over $23 for failed prints. I hope they refund soon. Of course, I can put the package in the mailbox with a pre-printed label and send cash to the post office... I guess I'll do that if necessary. Rural area - we have a pretty good relationship with the postal workers since we send so much stuff out week to week, so I know I can trust them if I do have to send cash.

OK - time to have a bit more coffee. . . promised hubby banana bread so I do need to get that made at some point today.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fleece purchase

I received the fleece from Ohio and it's quite nice! I was a bit concerned because of the low price - I'll definitely look into buying from this seller again. I'll be working on it as time allows to flick the ends open prior to washing. Nice, long staple, too! I can't wait to dye some of the locks up and then try tail spinning with them.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wool/cotton baby slub - OTRY

One of my favorite yarns ::

Saturday, September 13, 2008

CM Shawl!

Almost forgot! I finally finished the Catskill Mountain Shawl # 1! ... behind all of my test knitters. Shame on me! I'm going to put it to soak today and dye it tomorrow. Once it's blocked & photos are taken I can finally publish the pattern for sale. I'm thinking of offering a discount, if there is any interest, on the price of the pattern if a knit-a-long might be formed. I hope that people might have interest in this worsted weight shawl that is circular with a split to the middle - totally wrap around.

I have the next CMS on needles and have started patterning. This one will be a half circle... the next one may be triangular.

Update update update... STUFF!

I did purchase the fleece mentioned in the post below. Just waiting on it to arrive. If it's half as clean as the Cormo I started working on I'll consider myself extremely fortunate.

I spread a sheet on the kitchen table and FINALLY opened up the Cormo fleece. Other than the tips, this stuff is so darn clean and gorgeous. I took some and flicked out the ends and put it in a mesh bag. Took another couple of handfuls and left it 'as is' and put that in a second bag and washed & rinsed both bags. Of course the flicked stuff is perfect and so white! The other is pretty darn nice, too, but I will be flicking all of the ends open prior to washing. I'm going to grab the flicked/washed wool and spin it today to see how much grease might be left in it since I only did one wash. I didn't want to totally get rid of all of the lanolin - I think I pretty much succeeded. Blace would like me to flick some and then dye it prior to washing to see dye results with grease. Sounds like a plan so I'll probably do so this week.

RE: Jelly Yarn. I heard from the Jelly Yarn people regarding my post about using it as drive belts for our spinners. Wonderfully nice email!! Of course this boosted my interest in their product more so and I went exploring their site. I believe that I'm going to purchase their finer weight jelly yarn to make something for Andrea (daughter). Andrea likes really funky, cool stuff and with her new job at her very favorite clothing store I know she'll want to wear unusual items as per her typical style. I'm thinking vest, or something along that line. Maybe with some glass beads -- or better yet -- pony beads! Andrea is nuts about neon colored plastic pony beads, and the glow in the dark versions. I bet the jelly yarn would work up well with those, too!

Hard to believe our baby is going to be 18 years old on the 22nd. It's difficult not having her here at home, too. Blace & I both miss her, sometimes to the point of distraction. Granted, there were times when she made us crazy but I miss her rantings about the government, gas prices, food prices, and the dogs. I also miss watching her fav TV shows with her - Top Model, Project Runway, Tabitha whatserface Salon Makeover, Jeopardy... Damn! We haven't seen her in almost 2 weeks now since she's living with a friends family to make her jobs more accessible. Lately I've been somewhat sorry about moving so far up into the boonies/mountains. We didn't think that far in advance 8 years ago when we bought this house. We did realize a couple of years ago that when Andrea got out of high school we'd have issues with her working & college... we bought the Suzuki last year so she'd have something to drive but didn't anticipate gas being so obscenely expensive that she'd not want to commute and would ultimately find a place to stay. *sigh* I miss my baby! Can ya tell? :)

Spent the past few days carding batts with leftover bits of wool from my last dyeing adventure. I have some pretty stuff here! I also received a recent order of glizty stuff and was able to do my test knitter, Patricia's batt up this morning. I loaded that batt with EVERYTHING! Merino, Romney, mohair, angelina fiber, bamboo, tencel, and crystalina. Patricia seems to like the same types of stuff that I do for spinning so I hope she'll be happy to receive it. I'll ship it out to her on Monday.

Ahhh... spinning! I have a bit of roving from Rowen left to finish up into a single today and then I really need to finish the Novelty & Art Yarn challenge from August with the stuff I received from Melanie in Australia. I'm way overdue on posting finished photos, must get on the ball and get things caught up! I then have to take photos of the September challenge ingredients that I received from Fabienne in Germany this past week. I still have no idea how I'm going to approach that challenge but I'm sure something will come to me.

Also have to test the yarn yardage counter set-up that Blace rigged for me by running the July Earth batt yarn through it. I also need to photograph that finished yarn and post photos prior to using it -- I already have a project chosen for it and have it queued #1 with Ravelry. Have to press and seam the Norah Gaughan "Curren" that I finished two weeks ago. The millifiore buttons arrived a few days ago for it and that should provide incentive to complete the sweater.

Didn't plan on this to get so long ... ramble on! Time to get moving.

Over all -- I have too much to do and am not sure where to begin.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Fleece

I contacted someone advertising Border Leicester fleece for sale - 5lbs for $20. Seems like a good deal, the sheep was blanketed, some grease in the tips. The seller contacted me and as soon as shipping charges are figured out I'll complete the purchase. It'll be coming from Ohio.

I've read up on this wool and it seems to be suitable for outerwear garments. I wonder if after I get it picked through if I'll have enough to spin up for a short coat?!? I'm already visualizing colorways and spinning ideas for it!

I still have all of that (7lbs) Cormo to process! I've been hesitant to wash it because it's just so beautiful and I love the feel of the lanolin on my hands. Must be brave. I think that I'll grab some today and get it washed up to see how it goes - now that I type this I'm almost anxious to spin it. :)

I spun up one full batt of wool from Rowen of the "Fiber Swap Club" on Ravelry last night and love the way it came out. I rolled the batt length-wise, twisted it up a bit and drafted it out. I have the second batt drafted the same and ready to start.

As soon as this damn tachycardia that I've been experiencing since crawling out of bed stops I'll get started on one thing or the other. I've been sitting here since 11:30am, doing pretty much nothing, sweating and feeling light headed. The methods recommended for stopping the rapid heart rates just aren't doing the trick. When I experience this I can't do a thing because exhaustion sets in immediately and I become short of breath and shaky. Sucks! I'll give doc a call tomorrow and try to get an appointment ASAP. I think its time for cardiac meds in addition to all of the others that I take. *sigh*

Eve

Hubby finally shortened the treadle on Eve - he had built a new foot pedal for her and the old treadle was about an inch or two too long to work with the new pedal. It's been quite some time since I've worked with this wheel because I've been testing/using all of the new electric ones that he has been building.

I put a 'jelly yarn' drive belt on her tonight - had been using cotton and a poly belt combination with some issues - and the jelly belt works like a charm! Great stuff, this so called yarn. We're also using it on the electrics. Very strong, limited stretching, no thinning that we've seen as of yet. $10 a skein, 65 yards, I'm going to have to get more to keep on hand.

So, I got out some swap batts and started spinning. I didn't realize how much I missed using this wheel! I drafted the next batt and will start again in the morning. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Aitheria

Our electric spinner has made it's debut on Etsy. Yay!

Aitheria - Electric Spinner video on YouTube

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another dye day

Got all of the new pots scrubbed up and I'm going to dye the remainder of the wool bells that I purchased from Sheep Shed. I've formed my dye base formula and will follow it from here on so that I can replicate colors. Bout time! So far all roving and batts have been OOAK.

I need to establish colorways that will be always available. Wish I could replicate the "Spill the Wine" roving that I did a couple of months ago. Who knows - I may be able to do so in the future.

Today I'm going to mix mordants and soak the wool for a bit in those prior to dyeing. Yesterday I mixed the bases up, put them in bottles - about 6 oz. of each, and topped them off with water. Nice colors, but I want some that are more vibrant so we'll see how todays experiment works out.

I noticed lots of mohair in some of the stuff I dyed yesterday. I actually kind of like it! Also found that I'm missing a large bag of 'grab bag wool' and will have to find where I stashed it so I can get it all colored up. ;) I want to use all of it up before I order more. Of course I still have over 4lbs of Romney and over 6lbs of Cormo to wash and dye... I might wash up some of the Romney today. It maintains its locks so well and they dye up quite nicely, too.

OK - time to get at it!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Swaps, dyeing, spinning, etc...

I received my swapee's name today and I hope that some of the stuff that I've already chosen to send presents a challenge for her. This woman spins the most amazing yarns out of virtually everything and anything. I remember one of her spins in particular that just blew me away. Of course I don't recall the name of it but will try to find the photo on Ravelry today. Her last spin was awe inspiring. She actually used a broomstick as a spindle to do the spinning because the swap contents wouldn't fit through the orifice of her wheel.

Got all the wool soaking last night and will commence dyeing it today. I'm going to be true to the mountains and use colors found here in natural settings. I think that I'll be using six colors today. One being brown - but I don't like the actual result of this particular brown dye so I'm going to add red to one blend and ocher to another.

As for my spinning - still waiting for hubby to finish up whatever he was doing to #2 electric yesterday. I want to use that for plying... dammit! I have so much yardage on the jumbo bobbin it would take forever for me to ply on the regular wheel. Maybe it'll be good to go later on.

...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

New batts to be added to our Etsy shop

I have some pretty blends that I'll be adding to the Etsy shop --- probably tomorrow (Sunday, Aug 10). These may be some of the last offerings on Etsy. The web site is close to being published. Lots of configuring has been completed on the database, accounts set up with UPS, USPS, and PayPal linking in place.

The electric spinner will be photographed for preview. I'm going to use the latest concept tomorrow to ply a large amount of yarn. This will allow us to see how easy turning the motor will be. No more crossed belts/bands! The only issue we're still pushing along on is what to use as a belt. We have polyurethane stuff, cotton wicking, cotton yarns, hemp, and another product coming our way. So far -- seems it may need to be a combination of cotton and the poly stuff. I may end up braiding belts and then stitching the cotton ends together to get a smooth join.

OK - time for photos (below) and then I'm off to soak massive amounts of wool in preparation for dyeing tomorrow. We've made decisions on our signature colors and that's what I'll be working with.

OH! Almost forgot... we hit this flea market shop today - walked in and immediately thought, holy shit! Look at this freakin' mess! Wall to wall to ceiling to floor of every kind of throw away stuff imaginable. These people stock this shop with everything they can get their hands on! In the very last (very crowded, messy, isle) I found 4 - 18/10 stainless steel stock pots... a bit spotted and stained but nothing that a steel wool pad and some Dawn won't take care of. Only one of the pots had a lid. They wanted $12 per pot - I got all 4 for $25. Good deal! Now, for the photos::::



Friday, August 1, 2008

Stinky wool

Got the nasty stuff washed. Yuk! It did come out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. ;) Unfortunately, I only took a before photo, so that, and an after photo will be all I'll be posting. I spent some time arguing with our boxer, Caesar, because he kept trying to steal my rubber gloves. Damn dog is obsessed with yellow rubber!

I used Arm & Hammer washing soda in the first wash - 1/3 cup along with a mighty healthy dose of blue Dawn, about 3 - 4 gallons of water, checked the water temperature with a candy thermometer and it read 140F - that's exactly what our water heater is set at, and I topped it off with some boiling water from the kettle... water turned a nasty mud brownish yellow green ... ugh! Two more washes with Dawn. One rinse, then I sat and pulled it all apart before rinsing again. I now have it soaking with a conditioner and will probably transfer it to a mesh bag and hang it on the line to drain / drip dry before I go to bed. If the weather holds out it should be dry by tomorrow afternoon.

I only washed about a pound... tomorrow I'm going to tackle half of the black merino.

Fleece washing adventure - about to begin

I have some really dirty looking Romney (5lbs) and equally dirty black merino (3lbs) that has been sitting for about 6 weeks. After getting approximately 7lbs of GORGEOUS Cormo on Tuesday, I decided it's time to start washing all this stuff up and I'm going to start this evening with the Romney.

After reading so many posts regarding washing fleece I've come up with an idea of my own. I'm going to give it a try with about a pound of the Romney and see how it goes. I have the camera charged, too, to photo document the process.

Have to get a blueberry bread pudding in the oven first and then I'll begin the scouring!

A new challenge



I had joined a swap with the Novelty and Art Yarn group within Ravelry and was partnered with Mel from Australia. I finally got what she sent me and some of my own stash out yesterday so I can get started. I believe I have a 'plan of attack' worked out for this yarn.

This may take time as well. I have stuff that I need to get finished up in addition to spinning this. Priority #1 - get the shopping cart & website finalized and published online. The first electric spinner is just about ready for its debut - !

Art Yarn - part II

Meant to post these earlier:
Spun from the batt shown in the post below. Core spun - I wound the core yarn around a drop spindle to help prevent excessive twist. This yarn took quite a lot of time to spin up since I had to keep releasing the core from the spindle. Lots and lots of coils and I added tiny seed beads strung on invisible thread.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Art Yarn

I have just finished my first 'seriously spun' art yarn. Others that I have played with have been spun up quickly - one skein kinks up so horribly it's almost not worth doing anything with. The stuff I have just finished I took lots of care and time to do it correctly. Its a core-spun with coils, a few super coils, and seed beads placed randomly throughout. I took the core yarn and put it on a drop spindle so I could let it dangle and spin itself out/unply as I spun the artsy single onto it. The seed beads were threaded onto invisible nylon quilter's thread and carried along with the single. I had to stop each time I reached the drop spindle to release more core yarn - this is what took up most of the time it took to work the entire single onto the core.
This is the batt used for the single. A spontaneous spinning batt from Loop! on Etsy. It was created with inspiration from the purple passion butterfly and was my very first batt from Loop's SSB Club.
I'll add a photo of the FO as soon as I have one. I need to soak it to set the twist and let it dry.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Electric Spinner

This man has made me an electric spinner and what a great piece of equipment! I was able to ply two full bobbins of yarn together yesterday in just over an hour. Last evening I decided to try some 'art yarn' with it and with the variable rate foot pedal it went just perfectly! The single is done, I've strung massive amounts of seed beads, and will set up a spindle with a core thread today. Then I'm going to coil and beehive the single and try coiling little groups of seed beads throughout it. The single was made from a Spontaneous Spinning batt from Loop! on Etsy. It's quite dark as far as colors go, with bits of glitz, tencel and shiny bamboo fiber. I'm expecting the July batt from her soon and have purchased her "Kimono" blend which is a riot of reds. I expect it to show up in today's mail.

I found a test knitter via the Rav boards to knit up the BT cap for me. I have her doing this to be sure that the yarn amounts will be correct for a kit I intend to make up for the cap to offer for sale. She's quick with knitting and has tried various needle sizes to get the correct gauge - of course I made a really stupid mistake and sent her bulky yarn. I'm going to send her new yarn out today - both acrylic and wool.

I have a ton of batts that I need to photograph today and get listed for sale. I have some art yarns, too, that I'd like to put up. Maybe even include this new stuff that might make it off of the wheel later today. ;-)

Boomers and heavy rain since late yesterday afternoon. We had a few leaks from the attic due to the wind driven rain that made it through the attic vents. Nothing serious, thank goodness. I'm hearing thunder outside again now -- we're under a flash flood warning considering the weather folks say we've had over 5 inches of rain since last evening.

Back to coffee and then back to work!

July 24 - 7:13am

So it's been awhile since I last posted. The past month has been rough - health wise. Food poisoning on the 27th of June lasting 4 solid days really kicked my ass. I still haven't fully recovered. I missed Andrea's high school graduation and that just about broke my heart. And Miss Thing has taken advantage of my continuing weakness and fatigue by slipping out of the house (leaving notes) while I'm sleeping so I can't object or ask where she's going and when she'll be home. Last week she took the car and spent two days at a friends house, went to a damn party at another home and had her laptop, my digital camera and some cash stolen from her at the party. Nice friends, huh? Of course that now means that she monopolizes my computer every chance she gets.

We set new rules for the car - no more overnight trips. Car is to be in the driveway by 9pm every night, no matter what. No bullshit - no excuses. Today she's going to spend a few days with friends and we have to chauffeur her 20+ miles down river so her friend can pick her up.

Six months since we've heard from "E". I'm still floored at the accusations he made against us. How he could even think we'd try to use his so called *credit* is beyond me. Stupid, stupid kid. He'll come skulking back around Xmas time when he thinks he'll be getting the usual cash gift from us. Guess what? Ain't gonna happen!

. . .

Sunday, June 29, 2008

He's at it again!

Hubby has another spinning wheel in the works. This one has a wooden wheel instead of the bike wheel as used for mine. He's also designed quite an amazing treadle for it. I won't go into detail because he's talking 'patent'. It's sitting on the kitchen table right now... he'll have to get the orifice parts worked up and plans to build/craft the flyer today. I guess he plans on selling this one. Hah! If I use it and love it I beg to differ. ;-)

Monday, June 16, 2008

He does it again!

He's done it again, that man of mine! We've discussed wool combs and possibly constructing them here at home. I need a pair to get this fleece ready for the carder. There's so much VM - I want to be able to sit outside and go at it.
Blace came in yesterday with his prototype of a wool comb. It's absolutely fabulous! He's really looking forward to making many more. (photo at left)

MIL took a nasty fall yesterday. She called to let us know just as a storm was rolling through, but didn't want to bother us and said we didn't have to come up. Well now - c'mon Miz Vivi! Like we could even bear the thought of letting her suffer!! So, up the mountain we went. Poor thing could hardly move - she complained of her lower spine really hurting. We didn't want to risk putting her in the car so I called 911 and the American Legion sent an ambulance over to transport her to Bon Secours. After x-rays and whatnot it was determined that nothing was broken, but the she'd experience a whole lotta pain over the next few days. Blace spent last night with her to be sure she'd be OK. Richa & Paul brought a walker up today for her to use. We're going to have to encourage her to get up and walk around as much as possible so that she'll heal quickly. I'm going to call the doc's office tomorrow to see if they might be able to help us get a visiting nurse in, at least for this week. Andrea is going to go up each day and check her mail, give her lunch and spend a bit of time with her. I'll go up later in the afternoon to make sure she eats something for dinner, and Blace will go up right after work in the evenings to get her into bed - he'll also be going up at 5am each morning to get her up and give her breakfast. Not easy, but someone has to do it - his parents were one of the reasons that we moved up here - she took care of her kids, now it's their (our) turn to help her out!

While the ambulance was transporting her another call came in for a river rescue. The second ambulance ended up at BS also - unfortunately the poor guy couldn't be revived. Such a shame - he was only 25 years old.

...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Just another day . . .

Thursday rolls in again. Andrea just called from school & finished her English final. She's going to hang out with a friend at the coffee shop down in Port.

Just checked USPS tracking and I believe that I have yet another package in at the post office. Yes, I know I said *no more orders* but I have a special request for a roving color-way and had to get more merino, so that's that! *G*

I started carding the black alpaca that came last week and holy chit was it dusty/dirty! I put it in a mesh bag and ran it through the washer - one wash, three rinses and then tossed it into the dryer on the air only setting for 2 hours. Well, lemme tell ya sumtin - putting it in the dryer was a GREAT idea! All of the short, coarse hairs were sucked into the lint trap (cleaned it twice during the drying time) and I now have a nice, fluffy bag of soft, gorgeous pure black alpaca! I'm going to card it with some red and gold bamboo... I think! I could change my mind on this at any time, so nothing definite yet.

I've been carding the washed, snowy white alpaca today. Some VM in it, but the carder is catching most and I'll have to vacuum it out of the carder box when done. The plans for this alpaca is set - I sat last evening and hand carded a bunch of gorgeous locks from HollyEQQ . . . lots of lanolin left in those and they were great to work with. Easy combing, all of the lovely wavy texture maintained. I think they'll look wonderful when blended (gently) with the white alpaca. Any future lock purchases will be from Holly. I've gotten them from several places and hers are the absolute best.

I have a table full of batts all ready for photographing and then listing on Etsy. I did some of the camel down that I had on hand and I DO NOT like this stuff at all. No more camel for me. Too damn short to work with and blending it with wool was a PITA.

~L

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sunday into Monday

Today was shot to hell. MIL's birthday is June 9th so we had a small gathering on Sunday the 8th. Just Richa, Paul, Stacey, Blace & I - and of course the guest of honor, Miz Vivi! Since we were such a small group as compared to the past several years I made rigatoni w/meat sauce & ricotta, Richa made a great salad with roasted peppers & mescaline greens, DeFillipi's Italian bread, and Richa also made the most evil deep, dark chocolate cake with a ganache that was absolutely delicious.

Drea stayed at home entertaining her BF & two other friends. They spent some time cleaning the pool which was opened up yesterday. It's still a bit green, but that should be totally taken care of this week. By next Saturday it'll be clear & sparkling.

OK - the drum carder is finished! I made my first batt on it this evening and it turned out quite pretty! Of course I had someone who will remain nameless there offering his opinions as to what I should add as I tried to card so it's not exactly what I had in mind for a first batt. He goes to work tomorrow night and will sleep tomorrow afternoon, so that will give me time to get some stuff REALLY going! So far this blog hasn't been too photo intensive, but that's going to change - big time! LOL

I also became an enabler this weekend - at least I hope that I have. Andrea had a new friend here on Saturday and this girl has rainbow hair! Her name is Vanessa and she's very artsy - Andrea had been to her art show on Friday evening. She knits and was quite interested in my yarns and I gave a few small novelty skeins to her. She came to talk with us a while later and asked me how I got started with all of the yarn, spinning and whatnot. I told her how learning to use a drop spindle had gotten me going on spinning and now carding and she seemed genuinely interested, so I asked her if she might like to learn to use the drop spindle. She said, yes, absolutely... I gave her a top-whorl spindle and a gallon zip-loc with a bunch of colorful dyed roving bits and told her to look online for tutorials and videos to get herself started. I hope to hear at some point that she's taken a real interest in it. I wish my daughter would!

We had a great Etsy weekend, too! All but one of my rovings sold, and the last two niddy noddies were sold as well. We need to restock! I have one order that has to go to Sweden and will need to hit the post office tomorrow morning for shipping options. Priority mail is just way too much. I hope there's a cheaper alternative or I may have to suspend global shipping, which I really do not want to do.

Thats it for now - time to sleep.