One Crazy Fiber Lady

The ramblings of a fiber-affected single mother of twins who makes a living as a code monkey

One Crazy Fiber Lady

Entries from October 2005

What a feeling

October 31st, 2005 · 7 Comments

The 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Livingston College Honors Program on Friday night was just fabulous.  I’m so glad I went.  It was nice to dress up, not cut food into bite sized bits, and take a trip down memory lane.  I saw people I hadn’t seen in years, including one woman who put a smile on my face when she reminded me that I had given her the tour of campus before her Freshman year.  I had copious flashbacks to my beloved college years.  At the entrance to the function, there was a table with old yearbooks and thesis papers that had been written.  I’d heard from my tablemates that they’d lost a number of them due to a flood.  Call me surprised when I took a look at the table and found my Senior Thesis sitting front and center!  It really was a lovely evening and I’m very very glad I went.  The Honors Program was the reason I went to Livingston.  Well that and the small school atmosphere within the huge university.  It did make for a very long day though and I dropped when I got home at 11:30.

Since my parents had the kids Friday night, I got to sleep in on Saturday.  What a luxury that was!  Something to look forward to as the monkeys get older. I did some shopping and bought the boy fall clothes as he had a severely stunted wardrobe.  It was very hard not to buy anything for Sweet Pea.  Girls clothes are just so much cuter than those for boys.  However, she doesn’t need, she has a huge rubbermaid bin of just about new hand-me-downs from another girl at school.  I’ve been lucky that for the last year, we’ve been getting these big bins from this mother.  Unfortunately the 2T Fall/Winter is the last we’ll get.  She’d been saving for a second child until this stage.  That second child happened, but it was a boy so she’d started getting rid as the clothes were outgrown.  That brings me to what to do with all the darn clothes that are amassing in my increasingly cluttered home.  I did gift almost everything in the 0-6mos sizes to a charity, but that’s left an amazing amount of clothes still to deal with.  At some point my baby sister will have babies of her own, I just don’t have the space to save for that eventuality.  I should put together a package and send to my cousin, the NOLA refugee.  She had my nephew a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta. 

Speaking of clothes, we had a "random act of silence" again this weekend.  I really should know better by know, but obviously I’m a very slow learner.  I was deluding myself that the silence that followed the chattering and giggling after I put them down for an afternoon nap was actually the monsters going to sleep.  It was an easy delusions.  The time change was creating an odd day that started at 6AM, led to an early nap that ended by noon and was going to make for a LOOOOONNNNGGGG afternoon.  They weren’t asleep.  They were busy.  Emptying Kat’s dresser drawers.  I went in there when I heard Kat crying.  I found her with one leg in the middle drawer on the left and the rest of her body stuck between the bins.  Alex?  He was standing on the dresser. 

Clothes1


On the plus side, I really did need to get those clothes out of her drawers as they were still the spring/summer things.  I didn’t need this kind of help though.  Really.  While I was busy picking up this mess, the evil duo couldn’t stay out of trouble either.  First they were digging around in the basket of knitting goodies next to the couch.  I removed it and put it high up in the kitchen.  Next trip to the living room found the pair having a grand old time with my purse.  Kat was amusing herself with the change purse and Alex had my checkbook, a flair pen and a credit card.  He managed to doodle on his left hand nicely with the flair.  Let’s just say the motherly love well was visited to avoid killing them.  Fortunately the rest of the evening went smoothly.  I kept them up to their normal time in the hopes that they’d get back on schedule today. 

I’m having a hard time getting going today though.  I fell asleep on the couch last night around 9ish and woke at 9:30.  I went straight to bed.  I left my partially pieced together Twist lying right there on the couch.  I finished knitting the second sleeve yesterday morning and steam blocked all the pieces during the twins’ morning nap.  I did manage to attach one sleeve and complete the side seems on that side last night.  Sorry, no pictures of it yet.  I was intending to take one last night, but that unscheduled nap precluded many things.  It is not such a commuter friendly project anymore and will be relegated to the house.  I worked on the Shetland Scarf this morning on the bus (told you I was running slow).  While I can knit more advanced things on the bus these days, reading is still out.  I got seriously bus-sick after half a page of Stephanie’s new bookbookbook that I picked up last week, along with a couple on ganseys. 

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Tags: Adult · Family

Mine

October 27th, 2005 · 5 Comments

Adopting my kids favorite word, the serger is mine.  Singer14sh654 Surprised?  No.  Good.  What might come as a surprise is that I didn’t buy the one I linked to yesterday.  Nope.  Missed those auctions.  For a change, I debated too long.  This morning though was another story.  I checked out the other machines available, did some more consumer research and finally ordered one.  I ordered a Singer instead.  The price was good, the features seem to be a good starter list for me, and I trust the Singer name. I do think I’m now done adding toys to the collection.  What else could I possibly get?  No.  Don’t answer that!

Twist1dI have done some knitting too, even with all this sewing machine shopping.  I finished the first sleeve for Twist.  I cast on for the second one last night.  I’ve had some extra knitting time the last couple of nights while watching the third "I Love the 80’s" on VH1.  Love the series!  Its always such a giggle.  I’ve actually been sitting and watching and not just listening to it as I normally ‘watch’ tv.  The sleeve has been perfect knitting for that.  Shame I didn’t have the Brother KX350 earlier or I probably would have machine knit the sleeves.  Big old boring knitting like that is perfect for knitting machines.

Scarf1aI’ve also been working on the teacher gifts as well.  This is that yummy Rowan Cashsoft that I bought at Purl a couple of weeks ago.  I hadn’t really touched it in a while, but dug it out of the bottom of the bag yesterday when I ran out of yarn for Twist’s sleeve on the train.  It is an easy pattern and is moving along rather quickly. 

Not much else to relate.  I do have to go through my closet tonight and find something to wear.  I was invited to a 25th Anniversary celebration of the Livingston College Honors Program.  While I’d been on the fence as to whether I wanted to go to this or not, I got a call yesterday from one of the professors I had during the program.  She used to, and still does, intimidate the heck out of me.  I decided to go.  This shindig is tomorrow night and it is semi-formal.  Oy.  My folks are going to watch the kids so I can go.  Damn nice aren’t they?! 

Anyway…

Craft on!

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Tags: Adult

Crazy is as crazy does

October 26th, 2005 · 10 Comments

The twins had their 2 year checkup yesterday.  Both are 50th percentile for both height and weight.  Kat is shorter and lighter than her brother.  Yay.  Both were declared healthy and cute little monsters and got kudos for their excellent sleeping.  Yay.  I can’t believe we don’t have to go back until the 3 year checkup.  Woo.

Would it come as a surprise to anyone that I’m now evaluating sergers?  No?  Good.  There seems to be an agreement between the well-meaning and evil comments regarding my flannel piecing adventures that I’d best be served by a serger.  Evil.  Evil.  Naturally I now want one.  The choice boils down to getting a cheaper basic machine like this one.  I checked reviews of it at my usual places and I think it would do the job without breaking the bank. The price looks good and it would probably be a good supplement to the new sewing machine.  Hell, with the way I decide things, I’ll more than likely have bought this before bloglines picks up this post.. but in case, the auctions have 4 more hours .. so feedback fast please! {vbg}

Since I’ve gotten a couple of questions in comments and in email about the knitting machines, and being the lazy chick I am, I figured a little public info wouldn’t be a bad thing.  As the KnittersReview article quickly outlined, there are several guages of knitting machines available ranging from the fine to the bulky.  Most handknitters tend to stick with one of three, the standard (finer than dk), mid (fingering – worsted) and bulky (worsted +).  I have machines in each category. 

I originally started with that Bond/Incredible Sweater Machine that I bought off the infomercial years and years ago.  It worked.  It wasn’t great.  It has its issues but yes, I was able to whip out some knitted garments in no time.  It falls into the mid category, as does the Brother KX350 that I just got and the LK100 that Singer/Studio has.  The models other than the Bond use a tension dial that would approximate changing needle sizes if you were handknitting.  The Bond uses these goofy keyplates which allow for fewer adjustments.  The others can be far more granular.  They also have tension masts for feeding the yarn to the carriage where the Bond does not.  These hobby machines do not generally have an available ribber so if you want ribbing on an item, you need to manually work those stitches.  Is it as slow as sitting with the two needles knitting?  No.  But its not the speed of zip/zip/zip of moving the carriage back and forth.  When using a knitting machine, the fabric is created with the purl side facing you.  To make a 1×1 rib, you’d need to work the number of rows desired and then one by one, drop a stitch, run it down, and then latch back up row by row using a tool that resembles a small latchhook.  Many things can be accomplished with simple stitch manipulation.  With the hobby machines, everything is manual. They’re also far cheaper.

The std and bulky machines, while handling different ranges of yarn, generally have ribbers available.  This is a second bed that attaches at a 90 degree angle to the main bed and allow you to either knit in a tube or create a rib.  Stitches need to be transfered from the ribber bed back to the main bed when you’re finished with your ribbing.  This can either be by hand, stitch by stitch, or with a transfer carriage.  Sadly, I don’t have a transfer carriage so I use this needle with an eye at both ends to move stitches from one bed to the other.  Tedious, but less tedious than latching 🙂  As you move up the price spectrum in these machines, and more so with the std than the bulky (you just don’t want to do too much texture with bulky), the more automatic the patterning becomes.  From the simple punchcard to the computer controlled baby.  I have two different punchcards.  The Brother actually uses a card with holes in it (ergo a punchcard) and the Singer is an electronic (punchcard) but takes a mylar "card" with black dots in place of the holes.  These cards can be used for fair isle (singer has a 60st repeat), texture and lace depending on the machine and the setting chosen on the carriage.  The same card in one setting would be fair isle and a basketweave in another.  They’re pretty neat.  But the yarn feeding is voracious, especially with the std and it uses a pretty fine yarn.  You use mostly coned yarns as knots are a serious enemy.

The learning curve can be pretty steep depending on how fancy a machine you’ve gotten and how good the documentation is and your mood.  I had problems initially with one, got another one and now can go between all of them without issue.  There are any number of good video tapes out there for help and there’s a fabulous mailing list.  If you start out with reasonable expectations most anyone should be able to use a knitting machine.  Taking this to a different arena, a beginner spinner wouldn’t expect to create cobweb from that first spinning session, I wouldn’t expect a fancy shmancy fair isle with cables and ribs the first time out with a KM. 

The machine that I’d be willing to part with is the Singer 580 with SKP60N Ribber.  I have all the documentation, mylar sheets (I think some blank ones too), the tools, doodads, etc that I got when I bought it.  I haven’t played with it in a number of years so I don’t quite remember its full range of capabilities. There are some odd bits hanging about here and there so I need to check what’s what.  As for what machine to get, you need to seriously think more about what you want to knit, what yarns you want to have and the yarn capabilities in each category.  If you want to produce fine gauge knits and have absolutely no intention of knitting a sweater in a yarn equivalent to Zephyr, then a std is a must.  If you want to speed up them worsted weight items, either a mid or bulky would probably do the trick.

Craft on.

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Tags: Misc

Make it so

October 25th, 2005 · 6 Comments

Haven’t posted a quiz in a while and found this one here.  Naturally my inner Trekker wanted to see who I would be:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?Jean-Luc Picard

An accomplished diplomat who can virtually do no wrong, you sometimes know it is best to rely on the council of others while holding the reins.

There are some words which I have known since I was a schoolboy. "With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censored, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably." These words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie — as a wisdom, and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

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Tags: Misc

Coming Clean

October 25th, 2005 · 5 Comments

At first I wasn’t going to blog this, my first sewing project with the new machine, a failure.  But I fessed up in couple of emails so I figured it was out anyway, might as well come clean entirely.  I started Kat’s blanket Sunday night after washing and pressing the fabric.  The flannel was just so cozy and the sheep so cute.  I was planning on 12" blocks, 3 across and 4 down for a 36 x 48 or so finished quilt.  Simple.  Quick.  Would get the job done.  Same thing for Alexander, just different fabrics.  I cut the sheep and the yellow companion fabric.  I started assembling and after putting together two rows, I learned that flannel shreds.  Terribly.  With just a little tug, certainly less force than it would face in a quick match between the twins, the sheep fabric shredded and the panels came apart.  Great.  I’ve decided to go for whole cloth quicky blankets and bought some bias tape for the edges while buying more sheep fabric.  I’ll add stitching for loft and call them done.  In the meantime, I bought fabric to make a totebag or two (picked up a pattern when I bought the machine).  I might start on Alex’s blanket and get the stitching done and just have to add the bias tape when it gets here.  Kat has the old crib comforter so she can wait.  I figure i’ll make nice quilts for them for either the spring or when they move to real twin beds, whichever comes first.  I have to say, I like Maryellen’s suggestion of the Hidden Wells quilt pattern.  I’ll start checking my stash for appropriate fabrics.  I used to subscribe to the Fat Quarter of the Month club and don’t remember using 99% of them.  There, I feel better having gotten that off my chest. 

Slw1bWhile I don’t have any fabric pictures to show yet, I do have a progress picture of my fingerless lace handwarmers for the contest over at EZasPi.  I did some major work on them last night, finally hitting the thumb and working past it.  I experimented with a couple of patterns for the top border, but wasn’t happy with them and tinked back.  I’ve instead gone for a few rounds of garter stitch to keep the top happy.  I bound off this morning on the train and am now working the thumb.  This has been a very satisfying project.  Because I thought I lost one of the DPN’s, I switched to the sleeve for Twist on the Path Train.  Fortunately, I found the needle lying on the floor of the car as I moved my bag to let someone sit down next to me.  Whew.  I have no more spare needles in Rosewood in this size.  I snapped one at Rhinebeck pulling the glove out to show someone and am already using the fifth for the set.

While I’m coming clean I might as well fess up to this purchase.  Kx350Lest someone think that I’m all about acquiring toys, I honestly am not.  It just looks that way recently.  I did pick this up, rather cheaply I might add, on eBay.  It’s a Brother KX-350 mid-gauge knitting machine.  I don’t think its in production anymore so you can only get them used.  I had one of these babies about 5 years ago and snapped the bed one day when it slipped.  I tossed it in a fit of rage.  I probably could have fixed it, but that’s neither here nor there.  I’ve been thinking about getting a new one since and after the Knitter’s Review article, I decided to do it.  I also have a standard gauge and a bulky machine, both with ribbers.  I think they’re both Brother/KnitKing punchcards and I have the garter carriage for the standard. Oh and yeah, there’s another machine hidding in the closet, a Singer standard gauge with ribber, but this one instead of punchcards reads mylar film.  I know, collecting is a problem.  I’m ready to part with the Singer, just would hate like hell to ship it.  Damn thing weighs a ton and hell to find a box for.  Interested?  Let’s make a deal 🙂 The mid-gauges are perfect for the handknitters weights of yarns.  With the fast(ish) growing toddlers about my house, being able to whip out more for them is the primary reason I picked this up.  But I bet I could also whip out Clapotis finally. 😉

Craft on!

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Tags: Adult · Lace · Sewing

Stitch in Time

October 24th, 2005 · 7 Comments

My mother asked me a while ago what I’d like for my birthday.  I really didn’t know what I wanted.  Finally on Friday I decided and told her.  She ran it by my dad, who okayed it and then Saturday, the two of us (well 4 as the twins came along too) went shopping.  I got this:

Singer7468 The Singer 7468 Sewing Machine.  I have an entry level Brother machine that while it works, doesn’t do a lot of things. I couldn’t drop the feed dogs or adjust the presser foot.  I could sew a straight line though.  I’ve drooled over some of the sewing that my fellow bloggers have been doing recently.  Having started sewing long before HomeEc in junior high, I knew I had it in me as well.  I was sewing an off the shoulder blouse in HomeEc while my classmates made pillows 🙂  I figured a good machine was called for. I originally priced out the model below this one, the 7466, unsure of what the folks wanted to spend (but with a general idea based on previous year’s gift) and figured that the 7466 would be machine enough and I’d cover the difference if any.  The deal I found for it was fabulous, priced extremely well and probably $50 less than anyone else.  Even better, he’s located in NJ, not too far from home (drive was less than 30 min even in the rain) and told me on the phone that he’d match the online price for a phone order.  As a bonus, Elizabeth NJ is an economic recovery zone and the sales tax is cut there from 6% (statewide flat rate) to 3%.  Only thing, he didn’t have any more 7466’s in stock, would be getting them in soon and could ship one.  I guess I sounded eager to drive on down and pick up a machine that day as it was then he made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.  He offered me the $399 7468 for $299 and wished me a happy birthday.  I added the carrying case and called it a day. You need a new machine or service on an existing one, please check out Elizabeth Sewing, you’ll be glad you did.

Yesterday, after a 3 hour nap, we (mom, twins and I) headed off for Jo-Anns for some fabric.  I need to make the twins new blankets as they are now officially too big for the hand crocheted blankets mom made them.  I figured I’d make them some quick comforters out of a cozy flannel.  Kat helped me decide which fabric to get her.  While I had picked out some seriously girly pink with ballerina fabric, I said the word sheep and she repeated it over and over and over again, crying out for the sheepy fabric.  That’s my girl.  The boy was too busy droping his toys out the stroller to pay attention to fabric.  (JoAnn.com is down otherwise I’d show the fabric selections – yeah, didn’t take pictures of it myself 🙂  Expect action sewing shots in the near future. 

I did some spinning this weekend.  I futzed with a variety of different rovings and the eagle eyed will notice that the "On the Wheels" list got much smaller.  I decided that one full Lendrum bobbin of the blue/pink Romney Roving was more than enough for a pair of socks.  Not much else that I wanted from that colorway and after weighing it, listed it on eBay.   I pulled out the cormo roving and while it spins beautiful, the resulting yarn is springier than what I had in mind for a gansey so I tucked it back in the closet fighting the urge to break it down and sell it.  I then pulled out the CVM roving and after futzing with it for a while, it too met the same fate.  Actually that one was sold quickly and is boxed up and ready to go.  I did finally sit and spin without selling the remainder.  Deb, when she came to test my wheels a while ago, brought a lovely hostess gift of a gorgeous white pindrafted shetland roving.  It will be perfect for the center section of my Shetland Anniversary Pi shawl.  I’m spinning it pretty darn fine and plied, should be a good laceweight.  While I haven’t started either the merino for the Clapotis, or played with one of the fleeces designated for a sweater, I’m being tempted by a Wensleydale/BFL Pin-drafted roving on eBay.  How wonderful would that be for a gansey??  The price of the roving is good, but her shipping is a tad high, I do have a question is as to whether she’d combine shipping. 

I’d like to thank everyone for their assistance with the whole gansey v. aran question I posted.  I pulled out my Starmore Fishermen’s Sweaters to consult it as well.  The interpretation I’m walking away with is a gansey/guernsey/aran are all fishermen’s sweaters.  The difference is the weight of the yarn and the construction method.  While it will mean more spinning, I’m aiming for a gansey. 

That should do it for now,

Craft on!

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Tags: Sewing · Spinning

Spin Span Spun

October 21st, 2005 · 7 Comments

Suzie1 Sorry for the no post yesterday.  I wound up staying home with a pretty bad headache.  Suzie did arrive and I put her together Wednesday night.  I was able to get to know her and have already bonded.  One problem though, the knob that holds the flyer head in place was missing from the box.  I’ve jury-rigged something that will work so I can use it.  I did call the Woolery yesterday morning and they are contacting Majacraft to get the replacement sent directly to me as soon as possible.  I can still use her regardless, but that’s why the flyer is tipped to one side.  In about an hour of spinning with her on Wed.  I was reminded of how very smooth a Majacraft wheel is.  I love the effortless treadling.  the wheels spins so nicely.  I do have to admit, I’m tickled with the green accents on this one.  I’m glad I went for the "Pro" instead of the redesigned base model.  I spun up about 1.25oz of some pink superwash stuff that has been hanging about for a while. Those singles are currently aging on a bobbin in preparation for winding into a ball and plying with itself.  Shouldn’t amass to a lot of yardage, but might be enough for a hat for Kat…. or maybe me, we’ll see.

CinnamonI was feeling a bit better yesterday afternoon and finished off the four ounces of "Cinnamon Sugar" roving that I started last week on my Journey Wheel.  It was heaven to spin and I zipped through the remaining two ounces while the twins napped.  I plied it last night during Cinn1d the evening’s television watching.  While there were no great lighting conditions, I managed to get 426 yards from the 4oz and took this lovely picture to show scale.  I took advantage of the HUGE bobbins on Suzie and used her to do the plying.  This way I was able to create one honking skein rather than two on the JW.  Yes, one bobbin has way more on it than the other.  I plied them until the first one ran out.  Then I wound the second into a center pull ball on the ball winder and plied from both ends.  Its all skeined up and stashed away for proper aging.. or bubbling to the top of the knitting queue.  Depends on when I get the real itch to do the Victorian Shoulderette.

Between finishing the spinning and starting the plying, I finished up the second front piece for Twist and cast on for the first sleeve. Looks like I’m back in the spinning mode.  Having not touched a wheel in weeks, I’m back to spinning rather regularly.  Now that Suzie and I have gotten to know each other, I’m ready to do a little greasy fleecy spinning.  I do have that beautiful Border Leicester fleece that I bought in Maryland to make myself a cabled sweater (okay whats the difference between a Gansy and an Aran??? or are they technically the same thing, sweaters knit with all over cables and the name depends on whereabouts they originated?).  I also have a couple of other fleeces, including a beautiful Shetland from Laurie that I’d love to work with… and then there’s all the roving projects that I’ve already started (cormo, romney, cvm, blah blah) and haven’t finished… not to mention the shetland that I’m going to need for the Anniversary Pi shawl KAL in January.  And you thought I was bad with knitting projects!

Craft on 🙂

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Tags: Spinning

Happy Days…

October 19th, 2005 · 9 Comments

…the sun is shining, the sky is blue, I got 10 hours of sleep last night and new stuff to blog about.  Having only had 3 hours of sleep Monday night, it should come as no surprise that I was dog tired yesterday. I would have gone to sleep right after putting the monkeys down at 8 had I not gotten something exciting that I had to check it out.  I’m glad I did.  A couple of weeks ago, Margene had a contest where entrants left a comment as to why they either liked or disliked stockinette.  While I might currently be entranced by cables, I am a stockinette avenger.  At the close, she was going to randomly draw a name and I WON!  Woo.  The very generous prizes arrived in yesterday’s mail:

Prize1_1Prize1b


A gorgeous skein of Mountains Colors Bearfoot in the Raspberry colorway (perfect colors!), a very cute sheep tape measure (been wanting one of those) and the coup de grace, Nancy Bush’s new sock book! Autographed! Margene had it personalized for me. What a super cool prize package. Thank you again Margene!  After a mandatory perusal of the book, along with mental notes that further added to my must knit list, I called it an early night. 

Good thing too… tonight I have something else to play with..

Suzie_1

Suzie is out for delivery!  I love online tracking. I forget what we used to do before this.  I made sure to tack a note to my door authorizing Mr. UPSman to leave the package.  This way I avoid that whole yellow sticky note on door disappointment.  I’ll do the wheel assembly after the twins are in bed and then give her a test run.  Yay. 

Craft on!

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Tags: Stash Enhancement

Bleary Eyed Typing

October 18th, 2005 · 4 Comments

I knew I should have drafted this thing earlier in the day.  I had a lousy night’s sleep last night and have been up since about 2AM.  I gave up trying to go back to sleep at 2:30.  While my brain ticked away at some of the things I could be doing with this now bonus awake time; spin, knit, and read, I grabbed my handy-dandy laptop that has been living on my night table.  I caught up with my blog reading.  I even commented as I had the time to do so for a change. 

I also played on JDate for a bit, seeing if I had any updates, checking out the "matches" they made for me.  Seems (S) has fallen off the planet.  It really is all right.  While he was cute and we had a good time, there were a few things that might have caused problems.  He keeps Kosher, um I love a good BLT too much for that.  He doesn’t eat meat, um strike two, I do so love a good steak.  I couldn’t even begin to imagine how we’d go about regular meals.  I refuse to be a short order cook.  Nancy provided a great link this morning in an email to TrueDater.com where you can review the people you meet on the various online dating services.  I’ve already "outed" (B) for not having a photo that was a reasonable facsimile of his current appearance and for being a tad of a pest.  I don’t think my reviews will pop up until I’m deemed an honest person myself.  If anyone is willing to testify as a friend as to the veracity of my own profile on JDate, please drop me a note. 

ButterscotchMoving right along, I noted last week that I finished spinning that butterscotch Lincoln cross batt that I bought from Barneswallow Farms at Cummington.  While I missed their booth at Rhinebeck, in the only barn that I didn’t go into!, I have pictures of the finished fibers after I wound that second skein.  It amounted to a lovely 400 yards and took a while to skein up and not to mention count rotations.  Full details are in the completed project album.  Cinn1a I did start spinning something else last week, also acquired at Cummington from the same vendor.  I have 4 oz of a very yummy "Cinnamon Blend" (or something close to that name) that is a 50/30/20 blend of Wool/Alpaca/Tussah Silk.  Also note that I’m using a different wheel for this bit of fun.  I dug out my Journey Wheel which normally sits very quietly between the end table and the convertible chair in my living room.  So quietly that I generally forget that its there…at least since I bought the protecting carry bag for it last year.  Good thing too as the twins have repeatedly dumped liquids off the table and onto said bag with NO damage to the wheel.  KNOCK WOOD.  I’m about halfway through the 4 oz, also being spun pretty darn fine and its just yummy.  This roving needed no predrafting at all and I’m just happily spinning it from the bag.  One more session or two and it will be fully spun and ready to ply.  Good thing, I’m trying to use up stash.  Snicker.

Knitting proceeds apace on Twist.  Sorry no pictures.  I’m now up to the armhole shaping for the second front piece.  I do so love those interlocking cables.  I’m also pretty well into my SLW Entry.  I did mention last week that I changed my project, yes?  Fingerless gloves are the ticket now.  I’m about ready to deal with the thumb on the first one working cuff up and not fingers down.  I really like how it is coming out.  I’ve got the lace pattern well memorized and barely have to give it any thought.  From what I understand, that’s the gist of Shetland lace.

Good Yarn I finally finished the book I’d been reading.  It was definitely no Ayn Rand, but it was a decent read.  It was a little predictable, a little repetitive, well alot repetitive, and with some pretty shallowly drawn characters.  The plus to it?  It includes an honest to goodness Nancy Bush sock knitting pattern.  Sounds like I didn’t like this book very much and well, I technically didn’t as I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the reading of it.  It wasn’t horrible though as I refuse to fight my way through one of those.  There’s so much good to read that I don’t force myself to read the bad.  I did like the strong friendships formed through knitting that is at the base of it.  This is more touching after this past weekend.  It made for decent light bedtime reading.

Craft on.

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Tags: Adult · Lace · Misc · Spinning

Weekend Extravaganza

October 17th, 2005 · 10 Comments

Sometimes you have good weekends, sometimes bad. Everyone now and again you get a fabulous one. This past weekend was one of those rare fabulous ones.  It actually started early though, even if I did have to work then.  As many know, I had a house guest this weekend.  While Nancy and I have gotten along very well via email over the last year or so, we hadn’t met face to face.  Living on opposite coasts played a not-so-small part in that.  We’d cultivated a deeper friendship than simply commenting on each other’s knitting and yarn purchases and I’d call her friend.  Anyway, I invited her to come stay with me for Rhinebeck.  The weekend essentially started with a sushi lunch on Friday and ended with Thai lunch today.  I saw her off a few hours ago.  I have to say, I miss her already.  I had a great time talking, laughing, getting parenting advice, comparing knitting and just enjoying her company.

Saturday morning, since we’d stayed up a bit late Friday night talking, we got a bit of a slow start.  We got to the fairgrounds at noon, just in time for a little shopping before the big blogger meetup at one.  Thank you Cara for arranging that!  While I took precious few photos (bad blogger me) and bought unbelievably little (though I did make up for that yesterday), the highlight of the festival was again being amongst the similarly afflicted.  It was nice to see familiar faces:  Cassie, Laurie, Vicki, Chris, Elaine, Judy, Laurie, Val, Marilyn, Deb, Katy, Cate, Helen, Lea, Fran, Pat and more that I’m sure I’m forgetting and I whole-heartedly apologize.  I also got a chance to finally put a face with a name/blog:  Cassie, Norma, Melanie (who’s joining the twin mom club), Teresa, and a host of others, also who I totally apologize for not including.  Please drop me a comment if I did not include you. 

Rb_acqI know I spent far more time socializing than shopping. I bought all of one pound of fiber.  That’s it.  Shocking.  I know.  I’ve hit SABLE.  Nancy made up for my lack of shopping with some excellent yarn additions.  Here’s a picture of our combined haul.  I have half a pound each of med. grey and charcoal shetland roving.  You’ll have to wait for Nancy to get home for her details..  I did however make a purchase yesterday that I really wanted to do at the festival.  I wanted to buy a Majacraft Suzie Pro.  I need another wheel like I need a new hole in my head, but hear me out.  I do like to spin in the grease, and I have a pretty darn sizable fleece stash, but I don’t like getting that gooky lanolin all over my wooden wheels and bobbins.  Enter the Majacraft wheels.  They have metal flyers and plastic bobbins.  They’re also decent wheels.  I had a Rose a while back and did like her.  Don’t remember why I got rid of her, except that Chris wanted a Rose and I wanted an electric (early in my pregnancy with bed rest expected).  I sold it to her and used the proceeds towards the Womack.  I got the email from UPS, the thing shipped today with an expected delivery of Oct. 19th.  Woot.  All right so it wasn’t the instant thing that picking it up at Rhinebeck would have been, but it is almost as darn fast AND I didn’t have to schlep it around the fairgrounds. 

There are quite a number of excellent photos from the festival, some really goods ones here and here of the crowd at the blogger get together.  My camera, while with me, shamefully stayed in my bag through that gathering.  I was dealing with cranky toddlers at that time in my weak defense.  Though I do have to say that Deb was a lifesaver in that area.  She brought my pair a birthday gift of bubbles, evening toting the gift bag around for what probably seemed like forever..

Bubbles1Here they are sitting on the ground at the fringe of the mass of bloggers, quietly playing together.  Credit for this photo also goes to Deb.  Thank you Deb!!  On both counts.  Excellent picture and very thoughtful and timely gift.  Oh and the leashes (okay kid harnesses) didn’t go over so well with the willfull little Miss Kat-Kat.  Nor did I expect it to if I’m being perfectly frank.  Thankfully when they do get the nerve to wander a bit (right Elaine, Judy, Nancy and Vicki???) they go in the same direction.  One leads and the other follows not so terribly far behind.  As long as I can move faster than they, I can get them.  I actually got Alex to freeze in his tracks by giving him the order I give him every morning at daycare while I get his sister out of the car:  "Don’t Move".  He doesn’t.  Still need to work on Miss Independent.

As always, it was a great festival.  We stayed until they threw us out.  The parade to get out of the "parking lot" took forever and we finally got home at 8.  I gave the kids something to eat and got them into bed by 9.  Nancy and I had a late salad dinner and then stayed up talking until 2AM.  It was so much fun.  She tells the best stories!  I was needless to say pretty darn exhausted yesterday. 

I think that’s enough for today.  I have photos of the now finished butterscotch lincoln cross and the new spinning project, but they’ll wait until tomorrow.

Craft on

**Edited to add two people who I shouldn’t have missed, but did.  They are both bloggers that I’ve met previous to this festival:  Cece and NancyMy apologies ladies, the oversight was in no means intentional, but a limitation of my rather faulty memory.

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