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

Off the loom

January 4th, 2020 · Comments Off on Off the loom

My latest project is almost complete. I just finished the weaving portion of the 8/2 tencel scarf on the Baby Wolf. The warp is charcoal while all the weft was reclaimed from a project that seriously pissed me off and was called done early. Way back a few months ago I measured out a long enough warp in three colors the do three scarves.

Tencel for scarves

What was supposed to happen was that I’d weave each of the these with one of the colors. Unfortunately while weaving the silver warp threads kept drifting apart and I kept having to repair a number of them through the entire width over and over again. I pushed through and finished the first one with the white weft.

White weft

Several inches into the silver weft version and I was repairing warp threads every 1-3″ of weaving. I’d had enough. Weaving was supposed to be therapeutic and it was doing the opposite. I called it and cut it off. And in a fit of anger just pulled the remaining yards of warp off and made a mess of it. The knitter in me just couldn’t throw it away though. I had this mess on my desk that I’d fiddle with during daily meetings as I work from home.

Well one evening after work I was tired and didn’t feel like doing any of the other craft projects so I sat and untied this ball of spaghetti, winding it on a cardboard storage bobbin. There might have been a few shots of alcohol to temper me 😉

See! A lot of yarn left. I couldn’t just toss it. Original warp was something like 7 yards long. I decided to weave a new scarf using all this as weft taking random lengths as I wove. No way that silver tencel was to be warp again but I had enough charcoal left to measure out a three yard warp. I had to hand wind the bobbins one length at a time and really tried to randomize the colors. And yes those are 1″ strips cut from a Cheerios box that I used as a warp spreader and spacer. (I’m going to post another time about how I tie on and have a need for a spacer)

I hit the other end today and after hem stitching I cut it off the loom.

Just off the loom

As a preview to my post of another day, I’ve seriously minimized the amount of loom waste which makes the knitter/spinner in me happy. We don’t like wasting yarn! I could have woven more and still gotten a clean shed but I was tired of winding bobbins and the scarf is over 70″ already not counting the fringe.

Of course it isn’t done yet. It needs to be washed, ironed and have its fringes trimmed. Not to mention that there are a million ends from each color change that need to be cut off. Each of the reclaimed warp ends worked out to be approx .5″ of weaving.

Craft on.

Comments Off on Off the loomTags: Weaving

Reflections

January 1st, 2020 · Comments Off on Reflections

This is a hard post for me to write. I’ve struggled for several hours now to write this. Partly because the longer the gap since the last post, the more that has happened that needs/should be included. But mostly because this year was one of loss and significant change. I lost my best friend in July, which had rocked the foundation of my world on many fronts. Ten days later I lost job as a management change was implemented. IMG_0483

If I where to be truly honest there have been gains in my loss. Not commuting to Maryland any longer has allowed me to be home and spend more time with my family. I’ve reconnected with my children in a beautiful way. I’ve found that Kathryn is a beautiful person inside and out.

She’s been a monumental support for me and makes me extremely proud as a mother of the person she is. Thank you Kat. I love you more than I can say.

Another gain had been discovering all the other wonderful people who have supported and consoled me. I found I have a much larger community around me than I thought I did. Thank you all.

I’ve also reconnected with my love of the fiber arts and they’ve been greatly therapeutic. I finally started using the Schacht Baby Wolf that I bought in 2010 and rediscovered the beauty that is weaving.

So much so that I decided that I needed a bigger loom and added an 8H Mighty Wolf.

I’ve pushed past my comfort zone of simple tabby and twill scarves that I made in the first phases (years) of weaving. Currently both looms are dressed and have ongoing projects.

The baby has a tencel scarf underway. While the mighty has a tea towel and napkin project that marks my longest and wisest project ever.

Spinning has also played a part, though I haven’t done it much since spending so much time with the wolf pack. It began with finishing yarn I had started on the wheel I kept in Rockville and had earmarked to knit Art a pair of socks.

It hurts that I can’t finish them for him so I’m making myself a very special pair.

And because I don’t have enough projects going I started something I’ve always wanted to do, knit an Orenburg style item. I bought the yarn at Rhinebeck and have been waiting for the new issue of spin off to come out with the pattern. It’s out now and I cast on for it yesterday.

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All told I’d rather be in Philadelphia as the saying goes. I’m trying to be grateful and positive as I say a good riddance to the awful year that was 2019 and head into 2020. I want to believe that it will be a better year, but it can be a struggle.

Taking it moment by moment.

Happy New Year.

Comments Off on ReflectionsTags: Family · Knitting · Lace · Spinning · Weaving

One Year Later

July 29th, 2018 · Comments Off on One Year Later

So much for my attempt to make it more than once yearly seeing as my last post was one year ago today. Oh well.
 
 Life has been extremely busy. I still love my job though it keeps me hopping through long days, long commutes and not enough time to get everything I need to get it all done. The kids are seriously getting older. They are now both taller than me, though that wasn’t much of a high bar. Kat has me by 2″ while Alex is now 8+ taller. I swear he grows each week while I’m in Maryland.
 
 In June I traded the Harley in on a new motorcycle. Meet Angus:
 
 

 I love Angus. He is a 2018 Indian Scout Sixty. This bike is a little heavier than the Harley, but with a lower center of gravity which makes it so much easier to ride. Angus has gotten a few extra chrome add ons over the last month.
 
 Highway bars or as I call them rollbars that keep me from getting crushed when I inevitably drop the thing:
 

 Luggage rack as I haven’t decided whether I want saddle bags or not:
 

 I do still craft and missed posting this in November. I picked up a brand new Norm Hall Mariah in Flame Cherry after Norm reached out and asked if I wanted one as I had hit the top of his wait list. Ha ha. Silly Question!
 

 Awesome wheel! Can’t wait to see how that cherry deepens with age!
 
 Periodic knitting still happens though mostly socks. Think I managed to finish all of two pair last year. I did start a shawl a few weeks ago though I don’t remember the pattern name offhand nor what the yarn is 🙂
 
 

 And because I had nothing else to do I got the quilting bug over the last week and dug out this much stalled project. So old that I can’t remember when I even started it!
 
 

 And now I have a partner in quilting! Kat is making her first.
 

 Now that I have coffee on board and before too many more folk wake up and hit the streets, I’m going to go for a ride on Angus. Maybe more sooner than normal as the kids and I are off to Italy for a week on Thursday! Venice has always been on my bucket list and I’ll be there in a week!
 
 
 – Craft on!

Comments Off on One Year LaterTags: Family · Kids · Knitting · Other

Still alive

July 29th, 2017 · 2 Comments

I know it has been ages. Can’t even remember the last time I even posted. Anyone care? Oh well. I’ve always thought of my blog as a bit of an online diary. I don’t exactly share the deepest of secrets but it’s been handy to track various milestones. Facebook has filled that role recently but I’ve never been a big fan of it and even deleted my account at one point. But I miss blogging so here goes. Maybe I can keep it up for more than a once yearly posting.
 
 Been an interesting year or so. My position at Credible is going very well. I love my job and my coworkers. The recent offsite in Cambridge MD was great. The hotel was beautiful and we had enough personal time outside the meetings to relax a bit. Best yet I had good quality time hanging out with my bestie/boss outside the office. Okay so the 9 or so hours in the car to and from MD is plenty of time but that’s different. I enjoy his company.
 
 Still knitting socks. Started this pair in early April iirc. The yarn is Shalimar Aerie Jubilee. I picked it up in a new to me yarn store one day after work in Rockville. Blend is a 70/20/10 super wash merino/kid mohair/silk. I have the first sock done only finishing it two weeks ago.
 
 

 Home for the weekend and relaxing. I have some work to do this weekend. I need to review my direct reports weekly self evaluations and send my feedback. I also need to find out where my team is on the current project and how much longer it will take to finish. The project is one that the company has tried three times in the past and just hasn’t gotten the feature right. Figures. The last one I had was something they hadn’t gotten right is 12 years. My team delivered it on time and on budget. Hoping I can make it two in a row. Can’t believe that I have 18 direct reports now! I do miss writing code though. I get to dabble in it but it’s hard to be a manager and developer at the same time. Oh well, working my way up 🙂
 
 Kathryn got her braces this week.
 
 

 Alex gets his in September. Aren’t I lucky? They’ve always done everything together, why not braces. Thank goodness for orthodontics coverage and a FSA.
 
 That’s all for now.
 
 – Craft on!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Family · Knitting · Socks

Weekends

July 31st, 2016 · Comments Off on Weekends

Weekends are freakin exhausting.  This has been a great weekend but oh my am I tired and ready to go back to work tomorrow.

Yesterday was a day with friends and motorcycles. Rikki’s kids spent the last week with us. It was really nice to see the girls. Can’t  remember the last time I saw my nieces. From my exposure after work, all the kids got along well during the week. Friday nights Rikki came after work. Saturday more, she and I headed to my buddy Art’s house. She drove my bike, happily I might add, while I drove my car. Once there I put on my motorcycle gear and climbed on the back of Art’s bike. We drove to Starbucks for a drink and then up to 7 Lakes Drive in Harriman State Park, which is a lovely ride.


We met up with another Harley rider. What a friendly group they are!  After a break we got back on the bikes and headed to a parking lot where I drove my bike for a little bit. I was tired and not feeling it so I quit quickly before dropping the bike and hurting myself again. Hey a first for me.  Back to the house for cosmos and snacks!!  I left my bike at his house and head home in the car. We had a traditional Jewish dinner favorite of takeout Chinese in the dining room!


I fell asleep while watching tv at 8:15. What an exciting life 😉

Today I was up early and did my normal Starbucks run (in the car) at 6:30.  Bike got delivered at 8:30 and I  drove Art home, where I picked up an extra office chair and my Frye boots.

Rikki and I then hit up Lowes where I got a closet organizer and have spent the rest of the day redoing my awful closet. My room looked like an explosion happened!


I was ruthless in sorting the shoes and clothes to see what should remain and what could be donated.


Some three dozen shoes didn’t make the cut along with a lot of clothes.


I have lots of empty hangers now.  There where more but I tossed them or broke them in a fit getting them out of the closet :). Seven hours later and I am finally done.

I still need to clean the litter box, pay bills and do a load of laundry, but other than a shower and the litter box I am DONE for today. Time for a nice cranberry and vodka 🙂

Oh yeah I finished the Boss Socks which he wore yesterday :). Always nice to see the hand knits get used!


Craft on!

Comments Off on WeekendsTags: Family · Socks

Early morning 

July 17th, 2016 · 1 Comment

We are at sea!  Left yesterday from the port of Baltimore on the Grandeur of the Seas for a 5 night cruise to Bermuda. Cabin is the standard balcony that I’ve shown many a times before. The twins and I met out table mates last night at dinner. They are a really nice couple with a 15 year old son. Turns out they are also motorcycle riders with a comfy Harley cruiser that she sleeps on the back of, with mid-life tattoos too!  My new peeps 🙂

Sunset last night from our balcony was beautiful. 


My ribs are very sore after really pushing too hard the last couple of days with packing and all that. Today is going to be a quiet and relaxing day at sea. I’m up early, as usual and went up on deck with my coffee, kindle and knitting while the kids sleep in.  This is better than the porch 😉

Craft on!

→ 1 CommentTags: Family · Travel

Progress

July 15th, 2016 · Comments Off on Progress

Sock progress is slow but that’s because I haven’t been knitting all that much. Sure I spend about 3 hours every day as a passenger in a car but for some reason I don’t really knit.  Don’t get me wrong I get twitchy when I don’t bring it with me. But it sits on the floor with my bag most days. I actually have been working on one of the other two sock projects and turned the heel on the .1 sock yesterday morning while waiting for my ride.


Tonight at dinner with the family I finished the cuff on the boss socks.

One more sleep and we are off on the cruise!  I have so much to do as I haven’t started packing yet and I need to be on the road by 9am tomorrow. Ugh.

Craft on!

Comments Off on ProgressTags: Socks

Wednesday Words

July 13th, 2016 · Comments Off on Wednesday Words

Look posting again less than three months!  That’s because I have actual knitting progress to show. 

I finished the first of the Mr. Pitt’s Socks on Sunday night. 


I even cast on for the second one and am halfway through the cuff ribbing. 

While I wait to be picked up in the morning, I’ve recently been sitting on the porch doing a bit of knitting.  Contrary to past practices I’ve currently got three different sock projects in the works. This pair is dubbed 2016.1 Socks. I started using that nomenclature so that I could immediately tell how many socks I do each year. 


This is the second in the pair and I think I might finally concentrate and finish this pair. They’ve been hanging around for a while judging from the .1 in the name ;). 

I’ll be getting some extra time to knit soon as the twins and I are going on a cruise Saturday for my birthday. Will be a short 5 night cruise out of Baltimore with an overnight in Bermuda. I’m looking forward. Nope, haven’t started packing yet 😉

Finally here’s a gratuitous kitten shot because they are so cute.


Miss Cocoa is sleeping on my headboard between my iPad and lamp. Marshmallow is rather fond of the same spot and sleeps there at night. 

Rides almost here so it is time to wrap this up. 

Craft on!

Comments Off on Wednesday WordsTags: Socks

Still here

July 10th, 2016 · 2 Comments

Been meaning to post for quite a while now but as in the past the longer it is between posts, the harder it is to do so. There’s so much that has happened that it is hard to know what to actually write about. Well that and Facebook has made itself the place where the quick blog posts used to be. So for my Facebook friends, posting would be duplicating the info.  Now you know why I haven’t posted in forever. I’ll eventually figure out a balance not that anyone other than me reads this anyway.  I’m good with that. The blog has been more of a journal for me than anything else and I do search it somewhat often.  Going to do a quick review and maybe return to quick posts rather then FB snips.

Seeing as my last post was about having to say goodbye to Earl, the first update should be about the two new kitties that we’ve added.


First to join us was Viscount Marshmallow (the fluffy dude on the right). He’s a purrdoll- half Persian, and half Ragdoll. He was born December 1,2015. I drove go Pennsylvania in February to pick him up from a breeder I found. He is quite the character and tormented Serendipity so much that I got him a kitten.

Early May we added the one on the left: Countess Chocula, born February 24th iirc. She is a full Ragdoll and is a chocolate Lynx mink color point.  This one is a spitfire and reminds me a lot of Duchess. After a rough introductory weekend, the two became best friends. Where one is you can usually find the other. Boy are they wrecking havoc and seriously entertaining the family. Missed having kittens in the house as it was 10 years since Serendipity joined us.

Moving along, I overcame some serious fear and dislike of two wheeled vehicles. My boss and good friend has a Harley.  When I took advantage of a discount and bought a leather motorcycle jacket he decided that I shouldn’t be a poser and actually wear the thing on a bike. So he took me out for a quick spin to Starbucks…


I was initially terrified but relaxed enough to get an understanding of the appeal.  I got a second ride in early June up to 7 lakes drive in NY and really got it.


I then signed up for the basic motorcycle class and while waiting for the start of it put a deposit on a bike :). It was a beautiful thing but having a less than successful completion of the class (dropped the bike twice -the second time was bad enough that I didn’t complete the class having bruised the heck out of myself and dislocated a couple of ribs) I changed to a better starter bike.

July 1st I bought a 2016 Harley-Davidson Street 500. It had all of 1 mile on it as the first owner won it but wasn’t a rider and didn’t want to be.  So the dealer was selling it as used on consignment. I got a good deal on it. 


Because of the ribs I have only ridden it once, last Sunday. It is sitting in the driveway tormenting me now 😉

Oh yeah I do still knit!


This is the first in a pair for the aforementioned boss/friend. He’s supervising my learning to ride (something that is readily apparent that I need judging from the assorted bruises), not to mention driving me to and from work since sometime last fall. Yup, no more train for me.  I now knit in the passenger seat of a car!  Anyway the pattern is Mr. Pitt’s Socks, which I thought was appropriate considering who they are for!  The yarn is Patons Kroy with Cascade for the heels and toes. Could only get two skeins in this color so figured I would modify to use the short row heel instead of the flap and sub a coordinating color.    About an inch from the toe now.

I think that’s a pretty good recap for the 5 mile view since February. I’m going to try to post on a more regular rate.

Craft on!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Family · Socks

Saturday Morning

February 27th, 2016 · Comments Off on Saturday Morning

Not sure when it happened, but over the last couple of weeks/months/years, I’ve taken to getting up early in the morning on a Saturday.   During the week, the alarm clock rings at 5:45A.M., so it isn’t very surprising that I’m up at around that time on the weekends now.  Today was no exception.  I did have a little help from a friend.  At 5:52A.M., Serendipity decided it was snuggle time when she jumped on my bed, meowed at me, and snuggled in loudly purring.  I’ve since gotten out of bed and made a cup of coffee.  Time for some *me* time.

Speaking of Serendipity, she’s been remarkably needy recently.  It was not unexpected after losing Earl.  The two had been a pair until very recently (as an aside, Earl seemed to go downhill very fast after he was diagnosed.  It was like a switch was flipped and he went from what looked like an older cat who was losing weight but otherwise normal, to very not normal in the span of a few hours.  My heart of hearts tells me that he’d been hiding his true condition from me and after we knew, he could stop the brave cover-up job.) when it became clear that he wasn’t doing well.  Not very long after that (and not yet blogged) was the yearly family cruise.  I’d post pictures here, but I haven’t quite downloaded them all from the camera yet.  More on the cruise later but suffice it to say, we left on February 12th and returned on the 21st.  A neighbor came in once a day to feed Serendipity, but otherwise, she was alone, and Twizzler the snake doesn’t make for a great companion.

In the days we’ve been back, she’s been stuck to my side.  I don’t remember her ever waking me up in the middle of the night for attention.  She did that Sunday night, and every night since.   Poor thing.  Wonder if this is the new normal or has she finally mellowed?  Time might tell if I weren’t about to shake things up later today.   But there’s time before that event and I’m off to snuggle with my cat and get in a little quiet knitting before the rest of the house rises.

…updates to follow

Comments Off on Saturday MorningTags: Family