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.