Saturday, December 30, 2006

Xmas Money Well Spent

Look, I made another Calorimetry!
calorimetry version 2 Side
calorimetry version 2 Back
This time I used some Bernat Camo yarn and smaller needles. It's still fatter than the one in the pictures on Knitty, but I like more coverage. If you make one you should just stop with the short rows and go back the other way when it's about half as wide as you want it to be. (I look's hard to take a picture of the side of your own head. haha)

This is what I spent the bulk of my Xmas money on:
Namaste Jetsetter Bag closed
It's a Namaste Jetsetter bag. I bought it from Scout.
I loooove this bag! It holds a ton of stuff and it looks nice too.
This is the inside:
Namaste Jetsetter Bag open
That's a half-knit sweater with a full ball of Paton's Classic Wool attached, the Calorimetry in progress with the Bernat Camo attached on 14" needles, and a sock in progress stuffed in there along with my wallet, phone, and some notions. The Elph camera fits in there too.
With the rest of my money I bought this gift for the kitties:
Kitty Tent
It's a kitty tent! They totally love it. Check out the inside:
Inside The Kitty Tent
One of them tries to lounge around inside and the other sneaks up to pounce through a hole when the lounge cat least expects it. Hours of fun for everyone, I tell ya.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays!

We're having a nice, quiet xmas eve over here. I just stuck the button on Calorimetry. It took me just a bit over two hours total. I cast on Thursday night at Stitch N Bitch and finished up last night except for the button. I used Manos. The ball band was lost a while back so I have no idea what color other than red.
Calorimetry Front/Side
Here it is from the side & now from the back:
Calorimetry Back
Please excuse the craptastic bathroom lighting. haha I think I might make another one in a different color.
I hope everyone reading this has a nice holiday and gets lots of knitting and/or spinning time :) Thanks for reading my blog.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Photographing Yarn

Lately I have been a little frustrated trying to get accurate pictures showing the true colors in my yarn. On days when it is cloudy or I can't take pictures till after dark the results are especially horrible. I think I've solved that problem.
Yarn & Hat Mosaic
The pictures above were all taken with the same point and shoot camera and the same lighting with different backgrounds in my new Light Box.
The one I got is similar to this one, but I got it on sale for $35. (You can also build your own by making a pvc pipe frame, draping a sheet over it, and aiming two halogen desk lamps at it with color neutral bulbs.)
I think the blue is best for the yarn and the gray is best for the hat. I'm going to have fun playing with this thing.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Project 365

Since I got the new cameras I've been looking at lots of photo sites.
Last week I came across Project 365. Basicly you take and post a picture a day for a year. Some people are doing self-portraits, but most people just take a picture each day to represent that day. It can be anything you want it to be.
I created a flickr set for my photos, and I'll probably post a few here. I also plan to make a button for this to link to my flickr set. I'm starting on January 1, 2007. You can join in on it if you want. There is no signing up or anything, but if you do decide to participate please mark me as a contact on flickr so I can look at your pictures :) I'll let you steal my button if you do.

Monday, December 18, 2006

It's Official

No work for me from Dec. 23 till Jan 7th. YAY!
This is the list of what I plan to do with all my time off:
- Xmas - Since no relatives are visiting this year we will open our
stuff xmas eve and then sleep half the day on xmas day.
- Take Ian to Dallas to visit his Dad, Stepmom, and Sister on the
26th. Unless something fun to do crops up I'll just be there about an
hour dropping the boy off before I head back home. 6-8 hours of
driving. whoo.
- Sit at the hospital while Steve has outpatient surgery on the 27th.
Not fun, but I bet I get some knitting done.
- Take the truck in to have some recall thingie done to the brake
lights on the 28th. Another knitting opportunity I'm sure since having
no other transportation and nowhere I really have to be means I'll be
sitting there till it's done.
- Go pick Ian up in Dallas on the 1st since he has to be back at
school on the 2nd.
- Finish organizing the yarn room. It's a total disaster area once
again and me buying more equipment (the loom, the new wheel, a
skienwinder, a knitting machine in a big old case, etc.) and that
giant sack of mill ends fiber in the middle of the floor isn't helping
matters any.
- Organize my bedroom so that there is more space than just a little
path to the bed and bathroom. Part of this is Steve's fault. He hauls
things out and then just leaves them on top of some boxes we've had
stacked up in there since his parents moved to the nursing home. I
need to get all his clothes back in his dresser and then unpack/sort
those boxes and dispose of them. Maybe I'll actually have enough room
to fold down the treadmill again.
- Sew up that damn Klaralund Sweater! I've had the pieces knit and
ready to sew up for like a year. I think sweaters in pieces are not my
bag. haha Seamless is the way to go if I ever want to wear the thing.
- Take the knitting machine apart again and hopefully fix it. Then,
get it put back together without giving myself any more scars.

If I get even half that stuff done I'll be happy.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Picture Time!

These pictures have been in the camera for a few days because I'm lazy. haha
Here is the first yarn spun and plied on the Victoria. I doubt I'll be using this wheel for plying in the future because I like really big fat skiens like I get with the S51. This went from two full 4oz bobbins of singles to three bobbins full after plying. Each skien is about 100 yards and roughly worsted weight. The turquoise is some Brown Sheep mill ends wool/mohair, and the rest is merino.
1st Victoria Yarn

Now some singles:
Odds & Ends Singles
That's the odds & ends batt/roving all spun into singles. I already plied it with some green thread, but I don't have a picture of that just yet.
This is some hand dyed Targhee. I need to finish up the second bobbin of this stuff soon. I is awesomely sproingy even as singles.
Pretty Singles

OK, now I have to show you guys what I got on Friday morning at WalMart. They have this awesome multicolor sewing thread. It is meant to be used in machine quilting, but it makes great thread to ply with. There are about 300 yards per spool.
Thread & Booze
The mini-booze is something that Steve won at the company xmas party. Mango looks pretty, but I'm not drinking that.
The other cool things I found at Wally World are these iron-on patches.
Tattoo Flash Iron-On Patches
Click to see more detail if you want. I don't have anything planned to put these on, but I just couldn't pass them up. Wouldn't the birds be super cute sewn onto a baby sweater or some little jeans? I think the Lucky is gonna end up on my purse.

Monday, December 11, 2006


That's about all I did this weekend besides help my mom take her dog to the vet. (He has heartworms. He's there getting shots and being monitored today. They think he has a really good chance for a complete recovery.)
On Saturday after the trip to the vet I drove over to my friend Kate's house and had a really nice time meeting people and spinning and
eating and meeting her sheep etc. She doesn't have a website yet, but her daughter is making a really nice one that she gave us a preview of. I'll let you know when it goes live so you can go see her cute sheep and buy yourself some wool.
I spun about 4 more ounces on the new Victoria while I was there. That's 8oz. total (The bobbins hold exactly 4 ounces or maybe a teeeeensy bit more) and now I'm ready to see how it handles plying. I'll probably do that tonight so maybe there will be pictures tomorrow.
People have been asking just how quiet the Victoria is. Well, it isn't like mute on the tv, but is it way more quiet than other wheels I've heard and for sure more quiet than my other two, but they have WooLee Winders on them so that makes them a little more noisy. I'd say Vicki is more of a light Shhhhhhhhhh sound than a Clackity Sshhh Clackity or a Click Click Click like the others.
If you're having some bobbin clacking or clicking you can go to the sporting goods department of just about any big box store and buy a silicone gun cleaning cloth. Get the one that says "Safe for plastic" on the package since the bobbin bearings are plastic. Wipe it inside the bobbin bearings on both ends and wipe the flyer part that goes through the bobbin with it. I do this every time I switch bobbins on all my wheels and I never have to put oil there. I originally bought the gun cleaning cloth on the advice of some machine knitter ladies to use on the plates of an Ultimate Sweater Machine instead of the wax the manual tells you to use. It worked on that too.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Louet S95 Victoria Is Here!

Look what I found on my porch!
(Well, it was in a box when I found it.)
Miss Kitty & S95 Case
Miss Kitty is investigating. She's a nosey kitty.
S95 Case Pocket
The case has a really nice, roomy side pocket. That is a 1 gallon ziplock bag with about 4 oz of roving in it. There is also room for two extra bobbins, my wallet, my phone, and some scissors with room to spare.
S95 Backpack Straps
The backpack straps are hidden in a compartment on the back of the bag. The padded part of the straps go in the top zippered area, and the clips slide out of little slits there in the bottom corners. You could also put some stuff in there (a folded towel maybe?) if you wanted to pad your back while you carry it.
OK, let's open the bag.
S95 Folded
This picture is poorly exposed so that you can see down inside the black bag. Everything has a place. There is a strap that fits across the wheel part to hold it in better. That has been unhooked here.
I read on someone's blog or somewhere that this bag wasn't padded. Mostly it isn't, but there is some spongy padding on either side of the wheel.
S95 Bag Padding
S95 Bag Padding 2
To unpack the wheel you pull the little knob on the base near that bobbin and fold the top up until it clicks. There is another strap there at the base of the wheel going across the footman and base to hold it in. You unsnap that, and lift the wheel out of the case.
S95 In The Bag
Now it's time to attach the footman to the wheel.
Connecting The Footman on S95
This is the same connection used on other Louet wheels. You just hold it at an angle and it snaps right on. Secure it by sliding that ring down snug. If it gives you a hard time at first, lay the wheel flat on your lap so you can get a better grip on it. After you've put it on and taken it off a few times it'll loosen up.
Louet S95 Flyer Area
This is the flyer area without the flyer attached. There is a little clip and a magnet down that hole. To attach the flyer, you just slide it in and turn it till it clicks. Easy Peasy.
Louet S95 Flyer Without Bobbin
Here is what the flyer looks like attached without the bobbin. To remove it you just pull it straight out to release the magnet. I think it's cool how it just hangs out there in space like that with no front maiden to support it or anything.
Wheel Size Comparison
I've seen a lot of people asking how the size compares to other wheels. Here it is hanging out behind the love seat with my other two wheels.
Wheel Size Comparison From The Side
Left to right we have the Kromski Minstrel, Louet S51, and Vicki. When I sit in a regular desk chair with my feet on the treadles the orifice is just a couple inches above my kneecap. I'm 5ft 3in tall.

OK, so how is it? AWESOME!!! The treadling is smooooooth. The takeup isn't jerky at all, and it makes no noise. What more could you want? Oh, and you don't even need an orifice hook. Like other Louet wheels, the orifice has a hole in only one side so that you just poke your yarn down in there and it pops out the front. The bobbin capacity is a little small for super bulky or novelty type yarns, and I don't think the orifice is big enough to handle stuff like coils or tailspun mohair as well as other Louet wheels can, but it'll do a great job on everything else. It could easily fit under a bed or up on a closet shelf so that makes this a good wheel not just for traveling, but for anyone with limited space as well. I looooove it.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Odds & Ends Roving

Tonight I made this roving out of odds and ends of different dyed wool and I think maybe some silk and some sparkles I had laying around in the yarn room. I had about 2oz of that dark brown/black base color and just little bits of everything else. First I made two batts of the base color, then tore them in four strips and started layering them with the others. I made sure I separated the rest of the stuff into 4 piles too so that each batt would have a little of everything in it. I ended up with 4 single ounce batts that I pulled out into 4 big long roving strips. I think it's pretty nifty looking if I do say so myself.
This is the first little challenge I've thrown at the Strauch Petite. It gobbled up everything I threw in there with no problems at all. I'm really happy with it.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Early X-Mas

The UPS man is bringing me a new Louet Victoria wheel on Thursday! No more wrestling the S51 into the car then banging it against my knee toting it when I want to go spin somewhere else! Whoo! I hope it shows up before 5 so I can take it with me to the Stitchin and the Bitchin...Not that I have anything to bitch about. haha

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I've been taking some pictures today. Here is the practice weaving dishcloth thing after I washed it. I love how cool the fringe looks.
Dishcloth After Washing
Most of the day has been spent cleaning up the first batch of Majic The Sheep's fleece. This stuff is AWESOME so far. Not too stinky, not too greasy, and not full of extraneous crapola either. I think I've picked out maybe 10 bits of grass from this whole poundish bunch I've cleaned today. Take a look at the raw fleece.
Raw Fleece
More Fleece
Crimpy Goodness
I love how there are three or four different colors to it. There is black, rich chocolate brown, lighter brown, and a really awesome silver. I think it'll make a nice, heathery yarn once I card it all together.
Wet Fleece
The wet fleece is drying on sweater racks over the tub. Don't worry, that's the guest tub. haha It is only needed when we have overnight visitors or when I dye my hair. I don't know where I'd dry yarn and stuff without a guest bath. Oh, speaking of yarn:
I finished spinning and plying the yarn from the roving I bought this summer in Colorado. Vacation yarn turned out super nice and even. I got 296 yards out of 4 ounces of roving. The finished yarn is about 12-14 wpi. I thought I'd make a scarf, but now I think maybe something lacy?

Friday, December 01, 2006

What the HELL???

I'm not usually one to openly ridicule other people's knitting designs, BUT THIS, I just....WHY???? It's a PILLOW you stick your FEET into. Is this for people who are just too damn lazy to get up and need an excuse? "Honey, can you fetch me a beverage? I can't get up right now. My feet are INSIDE THIS STUPID PILLOW."

There are just so many much much better things you could use that lovely alpaca yarn for. The mind boggles.


The roads were not very bad this morning. School wasn't closed, so
here I am at work instead of at home. At least I got my free flu shot.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Brrrrrrrr! It's COLD

The weatherman was right. It's totally freezy freezy.
Keep your fingers crossed that tomorrow the schools are closed. If they are, I'm not going to work. I'm staying home and I'll have some pictures of the fleece I just got in the mail to show you. This isn't the free one I talked about before, it's a different one. This one is a balck border leicester fleece I got from a lady who lives in Oregon. It's super awesomely pretty, but I can't get a decent pic of it under the craptastic lights in my kitchen.
For now I think I'm gonna go watch tv and knit. Stay warm :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Wednesday Is For Bitching

Ok, so Raccoons didn't eat my nose. I had a migraine yesterday and didn't have anything good to say to anyone. I still don't really have anything good to say because so far today has gone like this:

6:45AM - Alarm goes off, I get up, wake Ian, and watch the local weater report which says even though it is 75 degrees today, tonight we will be getting freezing rain, sleet, and snow. This will continue all day tomorrow with highs in the low 30's for the next few days. By the way, we should watch out for "isolated tornadoes" this afternoon.o_O

7:15AM - I have gotten dressed and notice Ian still sitting on the couch much as I left him when I went to take a shower. I ask has he walked the dog and tell him what time it is. He jumps up and runs from
the room. This after me telling him fifteen minutes ago, "Get up as soon as you get your shoes on and walk that dog...don't fall back asleep" which was met with one of those awesome eye rolling "Duh!" things only a 14 year old boy can do. I got to say "I told you so" at least.

7:30AM - We leave the house. The car makes the low fuel noise. I pass up stopping at the nearest gas station because they usually have higher prices than the one down by Ian's school. When we get to the usually cheap station their price is 2 cents higher than the other place. bleh. (I know, it was only 2 cents, but it bugged me)

8AM - I get to work and find out my new boss starts Friday. It's a woman. She looks pretty smart judging by her credentials, but I have about 5 years more experience. We'll see how it goes. I can't pronounce her first name. I think I'll just avoid calling her anything.

9AM - Cell phone rings. I can't understand a thing the woman is saying other than the name of my credit card company. I tell her please call back and leave me a voicemail then I hang up on her. It sounded like she was calling from a fishtank.

9:15AM - I get the voicemail and call back. After waiting around on hold forever, they tell me someone has used my card to charge $240 of "educational materials" and $1 to "yahoo wallet". I used it yesterday on the internet to pay for a magazine subscription and I don't use yahoo wallet. ugh. New card is on it's way, but I guess I need to get a better spyware detector for the stupid computer at home.

Now I feel like I'm getting a sore throat. They're giving out free flu shots on Friday. Hopefully I can still get one and won't be sick or snowed in or hauled off to Oz in a tornado by then. I'm still knitting on the same old boring stuff. Mostly the handspun smooshy scarf which has been ripped out three or four times for various reasons, the black v-neck sweater, and once in a while the baby surprise jacket. I stopped trying to hurry up and finish that last one once I realized unless Teresa's baby comes out really fat there is no way it's gonna fit any time soon. Oh well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Monday, November 27, 2006

Grumble Grumble Back To Work

I so did not want to get out of bed this morning. 5 days of sleeping till noon will do that to a person. I just have to hold on now till X-Mas brings me the possibility of another week off. It looks like last night's post was eaten by Blogger. In case it never shows up, yesterday was all about the lazy stuff. I had done all the dishes and laundry and sweeping and dusting and everything was ready for back to work/school, so I basicly sat around doing a whole lot of
nothing too productive all day. I messed around on the computer for a while, watched a couple movies while knitting on the black raglan sweater that will never be big enough, and then got out the spinning. I made it through another ounce or so of the yellow/blue/orange/sparkley stuff I bought on vacation this summer but I had to stop to watch Amazing Race. (I get to spinning too fast...that show makes me tense. haha) When that was over, I tried to start spinning again during Desperate Housewives, but the wheel kept making that damn noise again so I put it away. It was the Kromski Minstrel, and I've had this problem off and on since I got it. Something down there by the treadles makes a vibratey noise that I can feel in my foot. I need to take it apart and rub that metal rod that goes through the foot pedal parts with a silicone gun cleaning cloth thing. I think that will do the trick. Oil doesn't help for long. The weird thing is that if I put it away for a few days the next time I start spinning everything is peachy till about an hour or so into it when the vibration/noise starts up. Maybe it gets tired? I switched back to knitting on the sweater for the rest of the evening. I think it is time to try it on again. Last time I thought it was ready I needed at least another two inches in the chest and another inch or two on the arms before it looked like it'd be safe to split off the body. This is the Glampyre V-Neck by the's one of those off and on projects that I just work on once in a while. I'm thinking I might actually finish it this winter if I don't get bored again and stuff it in a sack.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Weaving Stuff

Here is the new Kromski Harp loom all warped up and ready to go.
I just did a 96 inch long warp to start with, so it was pretty easy even though it was time consuming. I think I started at around 9PM and finished at 1AM. Of course, I also did a few other things during that time, but there are some steps where you just can't walk away from it so there were times I was hunched over that thing for about an hour straight. The good news is that no matter how long the warp I make, it'll take about the same amount of effort for the same width piece. That is somewhat comforting. (Ignore the mountain of magazines and catalogs in the background. Those are Steve's. He insists that is the smallest he can weed that pile down to.)
That's a closeup of the warp. It actually tells you in the instructions to tie those bows. Cute. The plastic sacks and the pink yarn are in there as spacers to make the warp even out before I start with the actual weaving. I didn't take any pictures with the piece on the loom cause I'm a goober. Here it is all cut off and with the fringe tied though.
Practice Weaving
I tied off the fringe while watching Layer Cake, which I tivoed in the middle of the night. Yes, Daniel Craig's eyes are THAT blue. sigh.....oh, where was I? Yeah. That's just a plain kitchen cotton dish towel dealie I made. Ignore the crappy edges. I couldn't figure out the trick to getting them even till about halfway through Zorro.
Note to self: Weaving even edges and watching hot guys leap around fighting with swords do not mix.

Click Here to see Scount's Indie Swag Club's November Swag. I'm making you click in case anyone reading this is a member who hasn't received his or her swag bag yet. So far I'm loving the Indie Swag Club :)


There will be a decent post with pictures here tomorrow.
I finished warping the loom at 1AM this morning. GEEEEZ it takes a long-ass time to do that. Thank goodness the weaving goes MUCH faster. I did the whole sample first project dishcloth thingie while watching Zorro. (Do we buy Sir Anthony Hopkins as an aging Zorro? Not so much, but damn is Antonio Bandaras ever cute.) I'll cut it off the loom tomorrow and wash it.
I got my November Swag from Scout's Indie Swag club. I just realized I failed to blog the October Swag. Oops. November's stuff is totally fab. More about that tomorrow too. Nighty night!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

I bring you the traditional song of Turkey Day

gobble gobble!
I'm off to try to warp that loom.

It's Still Wednesday

I haven't been to sleep yet so it is still Wednesday here.
I got the loom and the stand for it put together, but warping is gonna have to wait till tomorrow. I'm tired and I have a turkey to thaw.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The new loom came today. I haven't had time to put it together yet, but that is for sure on the agenda for tomorrow. YAY!

Monday, November 20, 2006

I'm A Slacker

I completely forgot to do Sunday's post because we ended up going to see the new James Bond movie. They had some sort of technical difficulty and after sitting there for 15 minutes waiting for it to start I finally whipped out the sock in progress. I knit one stitch, the lights went down, and the previews started. See? Knitting IS magic!
The movie was pretty ok. It was MUCH better than the last one, and Daniel Craig is totally kick ass in the role. I don't care if he has blue eyes and blonde-ish hair. He was nice to look at shirtless and the action/chase sequences were super fun. The only complaint I have is that the girl playing the female lead was so freaking skinny. Oh, and that they didn't give us M's name even though he found out what it was.
After the movie we went out to eat and then I had a mountain of laundry to catch up on so I never did get around to taking that knitting machine apart. I have a 5 day weekend this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday so maybe I'll take care of that then.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday Stuff

Today my friend Mary and I tried to go to a meeting of the Wool & Wheel Handspinners Guild at Ozark Folkways Heritige Craft Center in Winslow. The website says they meet every 3rd Saturday of the month there, but we picked the one month they had a dye workshop going on at someone's house instead of the regular meeting so pthhh!
We spent about an hour there at the Folkways building talking to the lady who runs the shop and looking at all the cool stuff they had for sale. Next month I'll take my camera because you guys have so got to see the super cute little gnome woodcarvings. If they hadn't been $57 each I would have snatched them up.(I think Steve would make fun of me forever if I spent $57 on a 2 inch tall gnome.) They also had awesome pottery, baskets, rugs, and even jams/jellies and pickles.
I didn't walk out empty handed. I got this super awesome silver ring.

I also got a soap dish, but I didn't take a picture of it. Oh, here is that red-orange yarn I dyed last weekend that blogger refused to let me post:

I really like how it turned out dark in some places and lighter in others. This is because I left it to sit in the crockpot until all the dye was absorbed without turning it over and without the water covering the entire skien. The lighter parts are where it was sticking up out of the water.
Finally, here is the gray sheepy tape measure that Kristen put in the prize poodle at SNB last week. I won it. This sheepy will join the black one and the white one in my sheepy tape measure flock. haha

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I don't know why I'm suddenly all about learning the weaving. I guess wishing I knew how to do more than just boring tabby weave and basic twill on the triloom got me started. I did realize that getting that big crazy 4-harness floor loom from ebay would have been like learning to swim by jumping off the high dive so I'm not even tempted with that anymore. That needs to wait about 4 or 5 more years till the boy goes off to college and I have space for it anyway. I do have space in the yarn room for what I ordered last night though:
KRO-3302 Kromski Harp, 32"
KRO-3232D8 Kromski Harp Heddle, 32", 8-dent
KRO-ST32 Kromski Harp Floor Stand, 32"
I figured I should learn on something more basic and build from there. We'll see how much of my hair falls out from frustration when that thing gets here.
I already have the video about how to put it together and warp it and weave a first project. The video that Kromski sends out with their wheels has assembly instructions for every wheel they make plus the harp loom so I've had it since I got the newest wheel. It doesn't look super hard, but I can tell if people talk to me while I'm warping for the first time or if I have to walk away and come back to it I could be in trouble.
Speaking of trouble, the place on my finger that got cut in the last attempt at fixing that 1950's knitting machine is just about healed up. I may be ready for another go at it this weekend. I really want to get that thing working because the sections that aren't all messed up work great.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Man, I still want that floor loom. There is no good, logical reason
for me to get it. I have no idea even how to warp the thing and I have
no space to set it up in my house. I am a crazy woman. I should just
stay away from ebay for a while.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

It's A Sickness Here

I just spent the evening talking myself down.
I was innocently (ok, maybe not so innocently) looking at ebay. I was minding my own business looking at general crap, when what did I find? I found someone within easy driving distance of me selling a used 4-harness floor loom in working condition for the buy it now price of $600. This particular loom retails for about $3500 new.
After I peeled myself off the ceiling, I started rationalizing that even if I couldn't use it right away this is just too good a deal, right? Where can I stash it? damn. The patio room and the garage are totally full of Steve's parents' stuff. Could I stash it over at the rent house? Eventually I realized I just can't get it. Plus, for all I know maybe it is busted. The person listing it isn't a weaver, and it doesn't come with any accessories...not even shuttles. The pictures don't show any good detail, so maybe it is a lemon. I would have no way of knowing since what I know about jack looms could fill the head of a pin.
Oh well...maybe some other time.

Twined Rag Rugs?

There was no post yesterday because Blogger wouldn't function. I tried sending an email post and tried several times to make a regular post without success. Hopefullly it'll work for me today. OK, so last night what I was wanting to post about was twined rag rugs. For some reason, I've had this crazy urge to learn to make them. According to my Mom, the same Great-Grandmother (she died before I was born) who used to spin also used to make quilts and rag rugs. Maybe it's some creepy genetic disposition to craftiness? I don't know anyone who does these, and the only semi-local classes available on rag rug weaving, braiding, and twining are not offered till March. I can't attend because they are at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View and last an entire week. Some day I will be able to
go take some classes there, but with work and no vacation till after June, that just isn't possible right now. I did the next best thing and ordered some books. I can't find any decent instructions online, but as soon as I learn how to do this you can bet I'll post some. I firmly believe there should be decent beginner instructions for every crafty thing in the world online. I'd also like to learn to weave on a floor loom, but I'm trying to supress that urge for at least 5 more years so that I can turn the boy's room into my knitting/spinning/weaving palace once he goes off to college.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Today was pretty darn slow. We watched lots of Star Wars. I colored my's darker for the winter. I also picked all the dead leaves out of the houseplants and did some laundry. I have some pictures of some yarn I dyed in the crockpot yesterday, but blogger is on crack and keeps doing freaky stuff like not posting till 12 hours later etc. so I think I'll wait till it straightens itself out.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Best Toy EVER & A Scarf

We went to Books A Million tonight and I had to buy this little guy:
Grumpy Sheep
I love the grumpy face. What is this thing? It's a Baa Humbug Jellybean Pooping SHEEP!!
Grumpy Jelly Bean Pooping Sheep
We already have a jellybean pooping holiday deer so now he has a friend. :)

OK, enough with the silly. Here is the pic I promised you earlier of the handspun smooshy scarf.
Handspun Scarf
I have to go watch Dr. Who now.

Customer Service

I made an email post yesterday and Blogger totally ate it. I guess you'll get two today to make up for it.
I'm kinda stuffed up and achey headed today. I ran out of the fabulous miracle allergy pills then forgot to go buy more last night after stitchin and bitchin. I can't get more till at least 5PM today so pray the snot doesn't kill me before then.

I realized yesterday that I have never knit anything out of my own handspun that stayed around the house. I used some super bulky koolaid dyed stuff for my section of an art project thing that then got mailed off to someone else, but that's all I've ever really knit up. So, last night I started a scarf with some of the first of what I'd call usable yarn I produced. It looks pretty decent and feels really smooshy. I'll try to get a pic of it later for today's second post.

Last night at SNB the topic of poor yarn store customer service came up. I seem to get a lot of that. I think it's because I look young, carry a big bag, and sometimes have weird hair colors not found in nature. Store owners in general usually keep an eye on me, and I don't mind as long as they're nice and don't give me attitude.
I'm not a demanding customer. In general, if you aren't busy with another customer say hi to me when I enter the shop, maybe ask if I'm looking for anything in particular, then if I say, "Nope, just looking." you leave me alone unless I ask you a question, don't hover or stare me down, and I'm a happy girl.
The store closest to me (about 50 miles away) has some people working there who are nice as pie, one of the owners is an old biddy, and they don't seem to believe in putting prices on anything. Old Biddy gives the impression that if you have to ask how much something costs then you probably can't afford it, and she doesn't want to speak to you at all if you aren't a regular customer. I rarely buy anything when Old Biddy is working unless it's something I came there specificly to get.
Once I went there to buy Touch Me for the Vintage Velvet scarf from Scarf Style. Old Biddy was working and hovered over the area staring at me but not offering to help or even saying hi the whole time I was trying to pick out a color. Finally she said, "You know that's $16.95 a ball, right?" without me even asking the price. ugh.
I bought 5 balls anyway, but I was mad the whole rest of the day and still haven't knit the scarf because I get annoyed all over again just picking up the yarn. I've heard similar stories from other local knitters.
The thing is, she knows they're the only game in town. The next yarn store is a two hour drive away. She doesn't have to give good customer service if she doesn't feel like it or if you aren't the kind of person she likes. You're an addict and she knows you'll be back anyway. I do go back once in a while, but more often than not anymore it's just to look at colors and feel things in person so I can run home and order it from the internet. pthhhh!!

Disclaimer: There are also tons of local people who swear this lady is super nice to them and they've never had a problem. I think it's mostly because these people are either regulars (in which case she knows how much they usually spend) or they just look to her like they probably have a fat wallet.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Pictures Of Fibery Things

That's my new Zelda Tote from Offhand Designs. I loooooooove it and want to have it's babies!
What's inside?

That's the in-progress Baby Surprise Jacket. I tried to take pictures of it all stretched out on the counter, but it just looked like a big square nothing so you'll have to wait till it's off the needles.
Meanwhile, my fingernail papercut thingie is better so I've been spinning some of that roving from Lambspun in Colorado.

Isn't that awesome? I have about 4 ounces. I hope it'll be enough for a decently long scarf. I'm shooting for light worsted weight, but I'm afraid it is coming out a little smaller in places.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


The big news today is that in March I'll be going to The Arkansas Ghost Hunters Conference at the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, AR. I'm way excited because we got registered early enough that we get to take part in the special access things. I've been to the Crescent before and gone on the ghost tour, but this will be way more fun. I should also get some knitting done during the guest speakers portion of the conference.
I'm not getting much knitting or spinning done today. The weird reason why is that this morning when I got to work I reached into my bag to get the key to the desk and jammed the corner of an envelope under my fingernail not just once, but TWICE. I got a huge paper cut UNDER my fingernail on my right hand. All day long it kept bleeding on my keyboard :( I'm typing all hunt and peckish, and forget knitting or spinning for today. I tried to spin some of the merino/silk roving I got in Colorado, but it hurt too much so I gave up.
Maybe it'll be better tomorrow.

Monday, November 06, 2006

No Fiber Content - In More Ways Than One

Last Thursday when I stayed home with the migraine I watched Oprah.
One of the doctor guys who wrote the new book "You: On A Diet" (they
have a series of You: books) were the guests and they had some pretty
gross visual aids. I'm talking body parts from dead people: a fatty
liver, an enlarged heart, a tongue, fatty omentum, a giant, clogged
aorta. ewww! The show reminded me that I'm still about 30lbs
overweight and that last time they checked it my bad cholesterol level
was inching up into the not so good range. I should really do
something about that. So I went over to Amazon and ordered their book.
I'm going to try to eat more healthy stuff and less not so healthy
stuff like the partially hydrogenated, enriched, corn syrup filled
junk I eat now. The husbeast and I grew up in the 60's and 70's -
otherwise known as the era of tv dinners, kool aid with so much sugar
in it that it made your teeth ache, and Wonder Bread full of so many
preservatives that it would keep on the shelf for a month without ever
growing mold. I ate "Sugar Frosted Flakes" and "Super Sugar Crisp" all
the time! (YES kids, the makers of breakfast cereal used to actually
promote the sugar content right there in the name of the food!) Back
then you never heard of any kids getting hyper from eating too much
sugar either. Hell, there was no such thing as too much sugar as long
as you remembered to brush your teeth. Dinner wasn't complete without
some red meat or SPAM or something, and partially hydrogenated
vegetable oil spread was considered good for you. We hadn't heard of
cholesterol or trans fats or any of that stuff, and Mom put a big
spoon of bacon grease or margarine in the canned veggies to add some
flavor. Oddly, there weren't any really fat kids running around either
because I guess everyone was so hyped up on the sugar that we
literally DID run around a lot. We just ran around outside so the
adults didn't notice and label us hyperactive I guess. haha Kids today
spend most of their time indoors sitting in front of the tv or the
computer or the video games. Maybe that's why they get noticed when
they twitch.
So anyway, neither one of us grew up with much of a taste for healthy
goodness. I haven't really been making sure Ian develops any healthy
habits either. We get pizza once a week and I let him eat an entire
medium if he wants. (He's 14! Try to take a pizza away from a 14 year
old boy and you'll pull back a bloody stump cause he'll eat your
hand.) The rest of the week he pretty much lives on enriched white
flour bread, peanut butter with added sugar and partially hydrogenated
oil, cholesterol filled cheese, chocolate milk, and soda pop. He
sometimes eats oatmeal, but he puts about half a cup of sugar and a
tablespoon of butter in it. geez.
SO, starting right now no more regular sodas for me. I'm going to
start weeding out the really horrible foods (goodbye Doritos! I'll
miss you!) while I wait for the book to get here. I'm hoping the
recipes in the book aren't horrible and aren't full of fish cause eww
I totally am not down with eating any fish or fish products no matter
how good for me they are. Sadly, I also have to stop eating Campbell's
Tomato Soup for lunch every day because holy crap, the 4th ingredient
listed is high fructose corn syrup! Who knew? I'm also replacing Ian's
bread and pasta with whole wheat versions and no more pizza from the
delivery place. He's so gonna hate me.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Rainy Blah Day

Today it rained all freakin day. We stayed in bed till after noon, then got up and sat around watching tv. I watched The Haunted, which is a tv movie of the Smurl case. It involves Ed and Lorainne Warren, so it's total crap, but it was entertaining. I worked on the Baby Surprise Jacket while I watched the movie. I just got to the increases part so there won't be any fun pictures of that for a little while yet.
After the movie, I went to the grocery store and the post office in the rain. Bleh. Then I plied the last of the Sparkle Shawl yarn. I think I'm about ready to start weaving on it again now. I watched Desperate Housewives and Dexter while plying. (Housewives - Once I saw who all was in that grocery store it was pretty easy to figure out who was gonna get shot. It was too easy.)
I'm STILL waiting for that WooLee Winder for the Kromski wheel to get here. I ordered the damn thing on Sept. 22nd. Nathan Lee has told me twice that he'll send it out "this weekend" or "monday". I wish he'd just tell the truth - he doesn't have any idea when he'll be able to get it finished and sent out. He says he has been sick, and I understand that but dang! Don't tell people you'll do something on a certain day if you're not 100% sure you'll be able to do it. At least send a person an email when you realize you're not going to make it. geez.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Dirty Stuff (literally)

Here are some pictures of the 1950's KnitKing (Knitmaster) 4500 knitting machine. This thing was totally filthy when I unpacked it.

I haven't taken it apart again to try to get that spring connected yet because I cut my finger on it last night and I don't want the filth to make my finger rot off. I'll give it another try maybe later in the week or maybe next weekend. For now that thing is in time out in the yarn room. I need to figure out a good way to put it back together easier than I did it the last time cause that was a total pain in the ass.
In happier news, my new sink is all hooked up and ready to go!

There will be some wool washing in there tomorrow. :)
Also, last weekend my friend Elissa gave me some cuttings from her Night Blooming Cereus plant. You're supposed to let it sit for a week before you pot the cuttings up to root so today I put most of them in a pot.

I'm going to give the four or five leaves I have left over to my Mom. I'm keeping mine in the hall bathroom until it gets established, and then it'll probably get moved to the yarn room. These things get HUGE, so I hope by the time size becomes an issue we'll have most of Steve's parents' stuff cleared out of the patio room. It could stay there most of the year and out back in the Summer. I can't wait to see it bloom for the first time! These things just bloom once a year and the bloom only lasts one night. The flower is as big as a dinner plate sometimes.