Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Today as I was driving in to work I got behind a guy on a motorcycle
with what I thought was really long white hair blowing out behind him.
(Not at all an unusual sight on my morning commute) When I got up
closer, I saw that it was really long FAKE white hair attached in a
mohawk to a rubber skull mask he was wearing. hahahahahahaha! Awesome.
I drove to work behind Ghost Rider.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I just won this Ebay auction for a Knitking 4500 1950's era knitting machine. It comes with ten lesson books and a suitcase thing to keep it in. I'm hoping I'll have better luck with this than I had with the stupid Ultimate Sweater Machine, which mostly just frustrated the crap outta me and made me invent new curse words to describe how disgusted I was with it's habit of dropping stitches and the carriage not sliding freely EVER.
The Knitking doesn't clamp to the table so I won't have to search for a special square-edged table to use it at, and it doesn't have one of those goofy hem thingies either. I plan to mostly use it to knit the boring, stockinette portions of stuff and to make some afghans and baby blankets and junk like that which take forever plus ten days to do by hand.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Some Pictures of Yarn & Stuff

Yarn For Ahna
That is the new yarn I finally finished for Ahna. She's moving away to Tulsa to live three blocks from a yarn store. (Damn her! haha) It's the kool aid dyed wool singles I posted here a while back and some really hateful black mystery wool.

Here is my new baby:
Drum Carder
It's a Strauch Petite drum carder. That isn't the correct drive band. Somehow I didn't get one with the carder and had to improvise while I waited for it to arrive. Even without the correct band it is super awesome!
Here are some batts of leftover kool-aid dyed stuff I carded up while playing with it.

That's all I have going on right now so I'm going to do the cliche knitblogger thing and supplement with cat pictures.

Miss Kitty
Miss Kitty says, "It's rainy outside??? Where the hell is my window sunshine????!!!"

Bungee is just waiting for me to look away so that he can pounce off the shelf and onto those batts while I'm trying to take pics of them draped over the back of the couch. Bungee loves nothing like he loves chewing on some wool.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Quick Heads Up

If you ever wanted an Offhand Designs knitting bag or handbag, now is the time to get yourself one. Offhand Designs is having a fundraiser to raise money for a new wheelchair for the niece of the owner. If you donate $125 you can get a Zelda Tote. Lower donations all the way down to $35 get different bags. Go there now to help a cute little girl with muscular dystrophy get a new wheelchair and pick up something spiffy for yourself in the process.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Okiefiber Slumber Party 2006

I spent my weekend in El Reno, Oklahoma. Okiefiber is a yahoo group that I belong to. Once a year we get together to hang out, eat a bunch of junk food, and spin/knit/dye/weave/whatever. This year was all kinds of fun. I took classes on making a felted soap thing, silk spinning and dyeing, and one called More Than One Way to Spin A Batt where I learned to spin one-handed.
I left home around 8:30AM Friday and drove to my friend Jessica's house in Henyretta, OK to help her get her wares to the retreat. She sells Kromski and Majacraft wheels plus lots of nice fibers and fleeces from her cute sheep. We got loaded up and made it to El Reno (just west of OKC) at around noonish.
Jessica was teaching a dye class at 1:30, so once we got the booth unloaded she got ready for that. Here is a pic of the building early in the day. I love how they have the glass brick in the wall to let in some natural light.
Here are some of Jessica's students and their work. This is Susan. She's really cool and funny. She has more pics of the event up on her blog if you want to go over there to take a look.

This is Marlene. You can't see it, but her apron says "Screw The Golden Years" in glittery gold paint. haha

Here are some of the results of the dye class. I loved the idea of using the chip and dip trays to dye in. They worked great.

I don't have any photos from the felted soap class because I was up to my elbows in soapy water. :) I did take a few pics of some of the other classes and cool things people brought like an antique sock knitting machine and a fold up rocking chair that I MUST HAVE. They're over here if you'd like to see them.
Now, I want to show you what followed me home:
That's a crappy pic colorwise because it is raining like crazy today so I had to use the flash. From top left in case you can't read the lables that is a bag of dyed mohair locks which I plan on using to learn to make tailspun yarn, a little bag of more lincoln/mohair/sparkle stuff from Kate so that I can make more yarn for the sparkle shawl (Thanks Kate!), my dyed silk hankies from the silk class, some washed teeswater x fleece I bought to use with the new drum carder I'm expecting any day now, a sack of glitz to card into stuff, leftovers from the spin a batt class, a pound of super soft pencil roving (I think it's corriedale, but I can't really remember), and my pretty reward for helping Jessica haul stuff.
I think I made out pretty good :)
I left El Reno on Saturday around 5-ish. When I got to Jessica's house to drop off her stuff she was already there and out feeding the animals. (She drives fast!) I didn't think to get out the camera till I was already out there at the fence watching them eat, so no pics this time, but I plan on going back over there for a dye day in her garage studio one day soon. I'll get some pics of her sheep and the Llama and the goats and the bunnies then.
My Strauch Petite drum carder has finally shipped. I got a call from Otto on Friday morning telling me he was emailing my tracking number. It's due to arrive on Wednesday. I have a copy of Spinning Designer Yarns waiting for me at the post office, and I have a WooLee Winder for the Kromski wheel on it's way sometime this week as well. No more spending allowed for a while. I'm outta cash.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Spinning & Weaving Week Wrap-Up

It was really really hard not to knit all week, but I made it. :) I also made a pretty good chunk of progress on my handspun/handwoven shawl. It isn't going as originally planned though. Let me explain:
Sparkle Shawl On The LoomWeaving Basket
After about 1/4 of the shawl weaving, this is all of the sparkle yarn (Lincoln/Mohair/Sparkleys plied with Merino) I had left in the weaving basket. EEEk! This will not do. Must spin more! So spin I did. One more skien of Sparkle Yarn was spun Friday night and plied on Saturday afternoon at Sweet Bay while hanging out with my friend Kristi on her break from Symphony rehearsals. Sadly, that was the end of the L/M/S, and I was still about 120 yards short of what I figure I'll need to complete the shawl.
New plan!
Sparkle Shawl Yarns
The yarn in the background is the final skien of Sparkle Yarn. In the foreground is the Merino plied with itself that I stayed up till 1AM last night to finish. There are about 140 yards of that here, and a little more left on the bobbins plus 6 more ounces waiting in the wings if needed. The plan now is to alternate the two yarns in 1/4 shawl chunks. I hope this works out. I'm still waiting for the Merino to dry so that I can weave some more. Meanwhile, I'm off to knit!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wednesday & Thursday

Hi to everyone coming over here from the pic of my knitting spot on Crazy Aunt Purl's blog. Sadly, I'm not as fun to read as Laurie is. Mostly what I do over here is plan to finish projects that never get finished or that I lose interest in and stuff in the closet for months before finally finishing once you've forgotten I was even working on it. I'm flakey like that. Scroll down and check out the WIP vs Frogging list if you don't believe me. I have the attention span of a fly.
I also spin and dye and weave on a triloom. Trilooms are pretty nifty things because you can build one yourself with a little research and a love of pounding in finishing nails. It takes less yarn to weave a shawl on the triloom than it does to knit one, but from what I've seen you have to either like solid colors or be pretty fond of plaids and checks unless you want to weave a white shawl and dye it later.** You can also make two giant triangles and then sew them together to make a big square for a blanket or something. I haven't done that yet though.(see previous mention of the length of my attention span.)
This week I've been trying not to knit. It sounded like a good idea back on Monday. This is National Spinning and Weaving Week. I thought I'd focus on just spinning and weaving for this shawl I want to make. I really needed to get this thing going, and what better excuse? Well, pttttth! I've been sticking to my plan, but oh, it hurts! I neeeeeeeeed the knitting. I'm in total knitting withdrawl over here.
You can scroll down to see how Monday and Tuesday went. Wednesday I had a migraine so I couldn't do much of anything all day. I took medicine and slept a lot then watched Lost and Project Runway and went back to bed. Thursday is my Stitch N Bitch night. I hauled the wheel down there to the coffee place and spun the whole time. I made it through the final ounce of the purple/lavendar/navy stuff. I'm now ready to start on the three ounces of gray lincoln/mohair with blue and purple sparkles. Then I'll ply them together and get to the weaving.
While I was there at the coffee place spinning, people kept noticing what I was doing and looking in through the window of the study room at me. Not very many actually came in and talked, but one little girl in particular kept slipping away from her mom to come stand at the window and watch the wheel. I waved and she'd run off. haha Eventually the owner of the coffee place came in to take a look. I've had the wheel in there several times, and one night we had four or five wheels in there, but I guess he wasn't around then. He thought it was "very cool" and actually said thanks for bringing it in. So I guess we have the owner's premission to invade his place with spinning wheels Muahahaha!
**Actually, I'm pretty sure that if you'd already learned weaving ninja tricks on some other loom you could apply that knowledge to the triloom and come up with something other than plaid or checks, but I haven't seen any pictures online where anyone has actually done anything like that.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday & Tuesday

Ok, so Monday I didn't do any spinning or weaving or anything. I came home and pretty much spent the evening sitting in front of the computer reading blogs and messing around with pictures on my flickr account. Here are some pics of the newly sort of organized yarn room that I took with my new fisheye lens:
Yarn Room 1Yarn Room 2
You can click on those to make them bigger and see more detail.

Tuesday I got out the wheel and spun about two ounces of singles for the weaving project:
Paris Night Singles
That was taken before I started so there is almost a full bobbin now. YAY!

Monday, October 02, 2006

OCT 2-8 National Spinning & Weaving Week

This week I plan to put down the knitting and only work on spinning
and weaving. Hopefully I'll get enough of the spinning done that I can
start the weaving. The plan is to make a shawl on the triloom. I have
about half the yarn already spun. One more good 220 yard skien should
do it, then I can start with the weaving. I'm going to update every
day this week as a way to sort of put pressure on myself to stick with
it. Let's see how far I get by Sunday night.