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.


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.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Blending day...

The carder will be ready for use when I crawl out of bed tomorrow. It's 1:19am now, we're going to have to get up somewhat early and get the air conditioners uncovered, filters cleaned, and get them going. It's going to be HOT! This is the latest that we've waited to turn on the air in many years! Pats on the backs for us!! Usually we have them going in April.

So, I have lots of stuff ready for carding tomorrow but have no idea of how I want to begin. It'll come to me at some point. I have a whole lot of great bamboo that's already been dyed to blend, firestar dyed different colors (here at home), and 3 different Angelina colors. I have a large amount of black & grey roving dyed up and I may begin with that. We do have to 'fine tune' the carder a bit, but that's the easy part.

So, I'm going through this stupid PMS/extremely cramp-y/no show period thing again. Last time this happened the blasted monthlies stopped for 7 months! They've been back for 3 - maybe this time old Auntie Flo will go away and never show her ugly self again. One can only hope. So, I'll deal with feeling totally awful for a week or so if it means no Flo. ;)

Tis now 1:26am. Time for bed.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Uhhh... holy shit!

Dogs got me up early, barking - no reason, just barking. As I staggered out of the bedroom into the living room and opened the door to let them out the only thing on my mind was COFFEE! Bleary eyed into the kitchen, ground beans, rinsed the pot, put water in the Cuisinart, grabbed a banana (split 5 ways with the dogs), and stumbled back to the living room to wait for the coffee to beep. FINALLY, I get my coffee all fixed up and make my way back to the sofa; by now I'm awake enough to be more observant... OMG, my living room! WTF has happened? Boxes everywhere! When did things get this out of control? Well, duh - you ass! Deliveries almost daily, large or small boxes, doesn't matter, they do pile up you jerk! Five pounds of fleece arrived yesterday - 2 pounds of dyed bamboo the day before. Batts still on the way from Loop! in addition to 2 pounds of black alpaca fleece, over a pound of natural colored bamboo and other blending fibers from California, and other stuff that I've simply forgotten about, I'm sure!

It's official. I'm F'n done! No more buying until after the carder is complete and I clear out at least half of this stuff! I have to get these fleeces washed and dyed. I have a shit-load of roving to dye, too much stuff to spin. Done done done done done! I simply cannot believe what I've accumulated over the past month.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Carding cloth ordered and shipped. I WILL have this thing up and running by Saturday... well, DH will! I simply cannot wait!

One of the shawl test knitters posted pix of her finished shawl a short while ago and has just blown me away. It's absolutely stunning - she did magnificent work! I'm getting closer and closer to working the final edge of mine. Hurry up and KNIT, Laurel! Damn! :)

Since I've spun up a whole bunch of white merino for blending with white alpaca and the carder isn't ready, I started hand carding the alpaca today. This stuff spins up really beautifully. I don't know what the person used to wash & condition it, but my hands are feeling really good & soft! I'm spinning and leaving the tinier neps in. I think that'll give the gloves that this blend is intended for some 'character'. Not sure of the color that I'll dye it yet. Something in a natural line, I think. Helene isn't one for bright, girly colors.

Listed a bunch of roving on Etsy last evening. Might have to pull some of it to take to the yarn shop in Narrowsburg this weekend. They're going to carry my handspun in the shop on a consignment basis. The owner isn't familiar with spinning fibers, but there may be folks out there looking for supplies like the roving and batts I'll be producing, so ... ya never know!

Andrea due home soon. Probably send her to Peck's to get something easy for dinner. Outta here for now.