Friday, September 29, 2006

Have you been pinned?

Hey Flan,
I finally talked to The Sister. I was talking to her about my dress and she said something very diplomatic like, "well, you have to be a bridesmaid too ya know." Sort of the reassuring "put up and shut up- it's not supposed to be good".
Yes, Borealis is great. And they have the special coffee arch. Got to love the proximity, especially in inclement weather.
We got paid today! That means camera! Photos of the throw (which has been pinned & spritzed- by the end I threw out the ruler & just had to stop caring) will be available tomorrow! It looks particularly good on our brown rug, so if it only stays on the rug forever everything will be great...
YOU CAN DO PATTERN DESIGN! If I can do it you can. You've been knitting for far longer than I. I believe in you (sniff). Take the artyarn by the needles- or some other reasonable facsimile of "life by the horns".

I want a secret project. Geez. I am just going to have to designate one of them secret. Of course, most of the stash hasn't revealed to me what it wants to be, so right now it's a secret to everyone, including the knitter.

The biggest breakthrough that has come as a result of finishing The Throw: I want to finish other stuff. This is probably also related to valiant attempts at trying to get my caseload caught up. I want to finish up loose ends (and weave them in) and move on. Deep breaths and lots of DVDs for the weekend. I think there will be ripping involved.



You're done! And before the wedding even! I can't wait for pictures (and your very own pattern, as I recall).

For the record, I felt pretty in the bridesmaid's dress at your wedding, though I do know your sister hated it.

I have no new pictures for you today because although I took them, I neglected to transfer them to the computer this they're sitting on the camera, which I have with me, but I forgot to bring the connecter bit!

Yesterday I stopped by Borealis to pick up yarn for a new instant gratification secret project....I'll show you if it works out! Hint: It is going to inspire more comments about 50s housewives and/or Martha Stewart. The ladies at Borealis (both staff and customers sitting around knitting) gave me great color advice, and I'm reminded of how much I like going there, it's such a welcoming comfortable space. I got a bit of knitting on the secret project done during Grey's Anatomy last night, a particularly soap opera episode.

More knitting is projected to take place tonight, since we have tickets to a Twins game. Last nights game was amazing, and they're now tied for first, so I'm hoping for a fun and exciting evening with lots of knitting. I think baseball is particularly well suited for knitting, personally. I saw that your football team won last week, I'm so proud of the blue and orange!

This weekend plans include making applesauce, spinning, and maybe swatching for a vest out of the Artyarns you bought me. I can't find a pattern I like, so I'm going to take measurements from a vest that fits, swatch, and attempt pattern design. Yikes!


Thursday, September 28, 2006

Feelin' Good Thursday

Hey Flan,
I'm feeling better now than when I emailed you an hour ago. I talked to one of the uber bosses about how great Washington is and he told me that I did a good job the past couple of days, so things are looking up for the moment. Also, the lady two bosses up managed to save a shortcut link to file and not the file itself, so I can't work at typing it up at the moment. Woohoo!

As for the throw of never ending torture.... I spent 3 1/2 hours stringing yesterday and am not quite done. It wouldn't have been so bad if I had just strung around the outside, but I have strung an outline of each square. The lace needs pulling whereas the garter does not, so I wanted a string on each side of the lace so that everything ends up as it should. Fingers crossed that I will get done w/ the last string and can finally pin and spritz today. The first rough estimate stitch count is: 67,500 stitches. I was hoping for 100,000 because it sounds impressive.
Off to prep for the meeting o' the day. Delightfully, I think it will work out to meet The Hubby for lunch, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

done done done done DONE!

The throw is DONE! What is it? Done you say? Why yes, it is done, thank you for asking. After a crushing discovery at knit night that I had neglected to bring an extra ball of yarn & ran out w/ two rows & the cast off to go, I went home and remidied the situation. (I've been listening to Miss Marple mysteries on tape and I think all the British is rubbing off) I spread it out and it looks pretty damn good. I am going to re-do half the bind off that looks like crap, but everything else looks pretty good. The sheer size of it is sort of astonishing and I hope I never again feel the need to knit anything so big.

Second thing: if you felt in any way unattractive in the dress I had you wear in my wedding I am so sorry. I got the regulation dress back for the wedding. Firstly, it is not the alteration lady's fault. There was nothing that could save this dress. I should wear structured garments. I like them and I think I look ok in them. The garments I should not wear: unstructured and/or filmy. This dress has both. I look like I'm wearing a circus tent from the morgue. It's black and big. I look like my hips could comfortably carry quintuplets to full term with no problem. I really hope that the other girls look good- I will take this one for the team. I know The Sister didn't like the dress I made y'all wear at my wedding, but I still thought she looked nice in it. We're hoping that they just hide me amongst the groomsmen and take no photos straight on.

We're getting a camera Friday and I will send you photos of both of the above. I think they're both "impressive" but in totally different ways.

I met a spinner yesterday. Not having seen any of her stuff I'm convinced yours is better. Have a good Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Two Down...

... Only three more days of meetings to go. Today was better than yesterday, which is saying something as yesterday I was driven (by The Best Man) to drink. Sadly, the drink was not as good as what I was hoping, but it was strong enough to be effective. Note for tomorrow: don't wear the girdle! Find bigger pants because 7 hours of constricted sitting is no good, regardless of the fact that my derrier looked pretty good (I hope- writing on the chart w/ your back to a room full of people gives ample opportunity to survey a person's back half).

The throw MIGHT get done tonight! I have high hopes, AND because it's only garter, there is a lower probability that I'm going to screw up in a way noticable enough to require ripping. After surveying the various possibilities of blocking I am thinking string method with spritzing. Do you use cotton thread or thin cotton yarn or something like kitchen twine? No one says.

I would like to say a big ol' DAYUM in regards to all of your spinning! Geez.

Also, you crack me up every year w/ all of your canning. Sometimes we are such 50s housewives. And proud of it!
Here's the sum total of what I've spun so far:

The gray is the four skeins (245 yards) of Corriadale I showed you pictures of before. The purple is 2 skeins (170 yds) of dusky purple superwash wool (harder to spin, but lovely to feel), that I did on Sunday.

So my weekend of spinning resulted in a total of 415 yds of three ply yarns. It doesn't seem like that much until I remember that for every yard of 3-ply, I've spun three yards and then plied. All of that has been washed in woolwash and hung to dry, and though some is overplied and some underplied, I'm pretty proud of it.

However, I now understand why it took Stephanie so long to spin the yarn for Joe's gansey!

I didn't quite manage to evenly fill the bobbins on this last round of the purple superwash, so I'm going to ply the stuff I have left on two of the bobbins into 2-ply, and see how I like it compared to the 3-ply.

Bonus closeup of the purple so you can see the texture, though totally washed out. The first picture was much more true to color.

Yesterday was the first day since I received my wheel that I didn't spin. I hung out at Mike's (he got back from Kansas late Sunday), and we watched the new Aaron Sorkin show, which we're enjoying. It's no West Wing, but we're enjoying it. In fact, not only did I not spin, I didn't knit! I just lay on the couch and relaxed.

More spinning tonight though!


Monday, September 25, 2006

Market Haul

So I went to the Farmer's Market yesterday innocently intending to buy only apples and some fresh herbs for the roast I'm making today. I swore after last weekend that I was done preserving stuff, no more jam or jelly or pickles (this is after 8 batches of jam, 1 of jelly, and 3 of pickles this summer).

This is what I came home with:

That would be (clockwise, starting from top left): A bag of honeycrisp seconds for applesauce, dill, sage, rosemary, and chives, a flat of concord grapes, canning jars (not from the market), a small bag of prairie spy apples, which are amazing, plum tomatoes for tomato sauce, and apackage of brats.

Oops. So yesterday I made another batch of grape jelly, and some tomato sauce. This morning I put a orast with most of the herbs in to slow cook all day. Applesauce tonight or tomorrow.

Despite all that, I still spun more...I just don't have pictures because the light was crappy by the time I was done. So pictures of that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Bonus picture: on my way home yesterday, I saw this guy in my rear view mirror. Can you see? He has a mohawk attached to his motorcycle helmet! (Bad pictures courtesy of taking them in my side mirror while sitting at a red light!)


99 rows left to knit...

99 rows to knit.... knit one row, whoops another to go, 98 rows left to knit...

So my career as a lyricist doesn't look promising. After hours and hours of knitting and episode after epsiode of The West Wing, The Wedding Throw still isn't done. I am finally to the last garter section. I think I'm at row 6 and need to get to row 22 before I can cast off. Logically, the next question would be what type of cast off to use, but at this point I just want it off the needles. When it happens I am going to throw myself a party w/ an umbrella drink. Of course, I'm neglecting the whole having to block it aspect for the moment.

My brain feels mushy. Probably not a great feeling for a Monday in which I have to go to an intense training all day today. I think they're going to ask for "audience participation" as well. Everything would be fine except that the world didn't give me a pass for everything else there is to do and the first of the month is Saturday, so work stuff and little things like student loans and rent are all due by Friday.

The Sister comes back to the country today! I'm probably more excited about it than she is. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRANDMA! It's Grandma's Birthday today! She stopped counting at 80, but we think it's the big 8-7 today. One of the Santa Fe Aunties flew up to celebrate.

Hope your day goes well and your brain isn't mushy.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Blue Sky (alpaca)

Hey Flan-
The blue sky looks nice. It's blue sky here at the moment but we had an amazing thunderstorm this morning - big fun schlepping Wal-Mart groceries to the car in pouring rain- so now everything's wet.
I am so close to being done I could cry. I am a little over halfway done w/ a solid square. There's only one lace section and then the FINAL garter section. I am so tired of looking at oatmealy sand colored yarn I could cry. Sadly, the house is not clean and there is actual work to be done so I should probably put down the alpaca for a moment, but if I put it down that will mean that it will be even longer before it's done. I think I'm going to lock myself in the spare bedroom and continue watching TWW dvds until it's done. Will probably have to tell The Hubby I'm ironing. If only it would knit itself...

Blue Sky

After a week of gray and cloudy and rain, the sun is finally out, and I'm off to the Farmer's Market! The view out my window this morning:

Off to enjoy the weather!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Yarn! A photo essay of sorts.


Lots of pictures ahead, not much text.

Remember this sneak peek?

From there, it was on to staining. See that very light wood? clearly that wouldn't do. Here are many of the pieces hanging from the ceiling... and immediately after being taken down.

and the finished result....

Last night after it was all assembled, of course I had to spin for Josh's benefit...and I managed to fill three bobbins.

This afternoon I plied together to form a bobbin of 3-ply yarn, At which point I remembered I needed a niddy noddy to wind off on. This inspired an emergency trip to Depth of Field yarns (I was really good! I only bought spinning stuff, and no more fiber!)

That yarn, plus the three bobbins I spun today created four (very uneven) skeins of 3-ply yarn...

Which after washing and hanging to set the twist made my bathroom look like this:

We'll see how it looks in the morning. The below picture is a bonus: how I know it is fall here...


Friday, September 22, 2006

Of Blood and Wheels...

No pictures today because I forgot to bring the camera to transfer pictures in my rush out of the house this morning. I had an early morning appointment to get blood drawn that required fasting for 12 hours (ugh!). Despite my objections, the tech insisted on trying my right arm first. No one can ever get a line into my right arm. Finally after several minutes of prodding, she tried my left arm. Miraculously, she got a good stick the first time. From now on, I'm going to absolutely refuse to have blood drawn from my right arm. I feel like I was visiting the vampires this morning!
In more exciting news, last night after work I rushed home, picked up my wheel and my staining supplies, and headed over to Josh's to stain the wheel. He created this really elaborate system with wire that hung every piece of the wheel (and there are lots!) with wire from the pipes in his well ventilated basement, and then staining commenced. Pictures to follow of the process.
When all was stained, we went upstairs to watch Grey's Anatomy and wait while it dried. After Grey's, the flyer part was dry enough to assemble, so we did that, stained the piece I missed in the box (oops!), and left the rest to do today.
So after work tonight I'll be rushing home to change so that I can go over and finish assembling the wheel and start spinning! Since we're still missing the connection bit between camera and computer, I'll probably even take the camera card over to ProEx to download the photos (ah, my commitment to blogging!)


Hi Flan,
Whilst reading Stephanie's blog I clicked on one of the bazillion blogs she reads and found this. This person was having a haiku competition with rules of words that had to be included (sock, and a choice of three of the following: january, one, rock(s), jet, fall, sheep, wool, foot/ feet, knit, yarn, pirate, fest, dude, fantastic, worm (a contribution from a young nephew). Deadline is tomorrow if you're interested. Being confident in my ability to get loads of work done later I posted the following:

Charity Sock Knits

Second Sock Syndrome Befalls-

Worms Have But One Foot!

Yarn related poetry is way more fun than a lot of other stuff. Sadly, you have to put down the needles to write down the words. Oh for dictaphones.

Anyway, I finally have my car back! I didn't even know it could run this well. It actually reminds me of driving The Mommy's car- something that I never thought possible. Wow it's good. I made them a lemon buttermilk pound cake in gratefulness. Then I almost ate it. I'm going to try and resist the temptation for another few hours.

The pix of the spinning wheel have me at the edge of my seat. Just enough to make me wonder.

P.S. You MUST go here. Oh my- bleeping- goodness. This is wow. Yup, my entire vocabulary reduced to "wow". Serious wow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Fantastic Mail Day!

Yesterday is what one would call a fantastic mail day! My wheel was scheduled for delivery today, and I'm still not sure how UPS managed it, but yesterday afternoon they showed up at my office with my wheel (right box and everything)! You can imagine how hard it was to work for the rest of the day!

As soon as work was over, I ran home to drop stuff off before going to dinner at Mike's. At my apartment door at home was another package, this one from you! Hooray!

Blogger isn't cooperating with the pictures, so I'll add the pictures in later today...

After dinner I rushed home, ripped open the packages, and was filled with fibery goodness! Artyarns! (So soft and squishy, so much potential!) West Wing Season Six! Cascade Fixation! I was overwhelmed!

Sorry about all the glare in this one, I didn't want to take it out of the plastic yet!

I sat on my floor, and carefully took out each and every piece of my wheel, to make sure it was all there. Amazingly, it was in perfect shape, and really didn't need sanding. So after conversations with Detta and my dad, I've decided to stain it with Watco Danish Oil in the cherry color. IF it isn't raining after work tonight (and that's a big if right now), I'm going to take it over to Josh's house (he has a protected back yard) to do the staining. If it rains, I'm going to have to wait for tomorrow night. Then I have to wait 24 hours before I can assemble it. Can you stand the suspense? Me either.....

Here's a cheating shot of the inside of the box.

On my way to work this morning I was crossing the bridge by my house, and a giant bald eagle swooped down right over me, literally just 6 feet from my car. Once I got over the fright, it was really cool! I had to call Mike and tell him about it, so we chatted as we both drove. He's on his way to Kansas for the weekend, so I'll have plenty of time to spin and watch WW Season 6. I can't wait.

Good luck with the rest of your day, I'm off to prepare for meetings. More pictures tomorrow, hopefully of staining going on!

Yarn and Torches

Hi Flan,
So when I talked to the car guy yesterday he gave me the score of My Car= 17, Their Techs=4. I always knew my little Jetta was an overachiever, but in this case I really wish that it would just give up the fight and let them do what they need to without having to resort to THE TORCHES. They are seriously contemplating TORCHING my car. I think it's because they have torches, don't get to use them much & don't want to risk it on a nice Audi or Porsche. The mere thought makes me nervous.
On a happier note, the yarn for The Wedding Throw came in! I rushed down to The LYS and brought it home. Same dye lot and everything. I estimate there's somewhere between 1/3 & 1/4 left to knit before The Blocking (which I'm getting nervous about). Thankfully, we have to drive to Pensacola this weekend (some random long lost cousin is visiting The Grandmother who is not doing so well. At least she didn't sound great on the phone and even if she's faking it's ok because she's 84. Also, it was The FIL's birthday yesterday and it was making her sad) but at least the drive will mean knitting time.
I have a crazy headache today. One of those sucky ones that I've had since I got up. Thankfully the phone hasn't rung yet. Fingers crossed it stays that way all day.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ahoy Matey

'Tis that fine day once again. Aye, 'tis Talk like a pirate day. (Somehow all the pirates in my head sound Irish). As always, you can read a fine account of the yarn related pirate-ness here. Now, to make the scurvy paperwork walk the plank (which is especially threatening for paperwork as water is bad for paper).

Monday, September 18, 2006

Eye Candy

Look at what Eunny has spun up! I love the purple, and also the Juniper Berry colorway.

Hmm..resisting buying fiber till the wheel at least arrives!


What a Weekend!

The great tragedy of the weekend: on Friday, to much excitement, UPS delivered a box to my office with a spinning wheel picture on it. The tragedy is that it wasn't the right wheel. When it first arrived I thought "Yay!" and didn't look too closely. When it got less busy, I took a closer look and had a sinking feeling.

The picture of the wheel on the box wasn't a picture of my wheel. The name also didn't match. I e-mailed Detta to check if they ever send the wheel in a different box. The answer was no. They sent me the wrong wheel! Detta sprang into action and talked to the distributor, and it seems it was human error. She billed me for a Traveller, they billed her for a Traveller, and whoever was pulling boxes pulled a Traditional instead! No big deal in the grand scheme of things, but frustrating as I was so excited about getting the wheel this weekend. So they shipped a replacement wheel on Friday, and it should arrive I'm back to stalking my wheel by its UPS tracking number! Mike is out of town starting Thursday morning, so I'll be trying to put it together on my own on Thursday night. I may have to call someone to help me hold pieces together.

I'm glad you've made the momentous choice to support the blue and orange again. :)

As for your health care frustration, I totally understand. Unfortunately, I can only offer you help within the Minnesota political arena. Lori Swanson who just won the DFL nomination for Attorney General, has spent her career fighting the health care conglomerates, and her work eventually makes a difference nationwide. There's my help.

More later on actual knitting progress and such...


Monumental Decision

Happy Monday Flan,
I don't know if I've told you or not, but religion is big in The South. Ok, you're smart enough to have figured that out on your own by now. The thing is, that religious ferver is not limited to religion, but, in fact, includes two football teams as well. There are, apparently, only two teams. One is Alabama, the other Auburn. There are no atheists in football. You must choose a side. I am happy to say that I have chosen. The answer is: Auburn.
The reasons I didn't vote for Alabama.
1. Alabama's mascot is an elephant. I feel me arse resembles an elephant. I don't want my team's mascot to remind me I really ought to stop eating the peppermint chip bars I made last night and get to the treadmill.
2. Alabama's colors are crimson & gray. The (evil) cougar's (WSU) colors are crimson & gray. My DNA would mutiny if I rooted for anything crimson & gray.
3. Alabama has a rally cry of "Crimson Tide". Every time I hear it or see it I am reminded of the line in the movie Clueless about everyone catching the "Crimson Wave". The two phrases are just closely related enough that I want to reach for the Midol every time I encounter it.
A big reason I voted for Auburn:
1. The colors are the same as Mac's. Were I ever to have anything blue & orange I would have the school spirity bagpipes playing in my head- however, here no one knows that Mac exists, so at least their assumptions of my loyalty will be in favor of a good school.
2. Auburn's ranked number 3. Mac's football team is a euphamism at best and a money sucking pit of doom if looked at in the light of reality. It's nice to be able to wear blue & orange and root for a team that might actually win.
3. Auburn just beat LSU. That seems good.

This doesn't seem like much in the big picture, but here it seems mandatory. I am now off to buy some blueberry & orange jelly bellys in celebration of our win.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Here Yet?

Is it (t)here yet? Pull yourself away from the instructions, take a photo and show me the thing! Pins and knitting needles over here!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Professional Mission

Hey Flan-
I have a mission for you. You probably aren't interested and it's totally not the focus of your job, but if you could find a candidate that fits all the other criteria you have and wants health care reform I will send them money. Not a lot, because that's the current problem, but at least a little something.
Ok, if you work for a non-profit then you should have a special pass. I realize this is part of the catch-22 of actually working in a non-profit (the whole lack of profit part of things) but the cost of health care is insane. If I just wanted care for me it's not that bad. I will say that. Not really that bad. But the cost for my one dependent is 3 times what it costs for me. I have just the one husband and am not insuring 18 children, just one. That's all, one. I don't understand why one dependent costs so freaking much. "Save money on health care by having more dependents"- good slogan, eh? When we got benefits from The Hubby's benevolent mega-glomerate it cost less than ONE THIRD the amount it does at my non-proft, and he made more, so the impact was not as large.
I am so beaten and frustrated right now. This is wrong. Something needs to be done and I feel utterly ineffectual. I don't know anyone who can change it - and all the people who have connections are the head honchos of the companies that ARE the problem (and I don't think they shop at the discount stores and drive used economy cars). Somehow from all the years of listening to candidates talk about Health Care Reform never sunk it until now. This is wrong and it should change.
So, you're the only one I know. We have a mission. In the mean time, pray for a light cold/ flu season.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Change is Good

Hey Flan-
Look at us w/ the multiple postings. I'm impressed. Nice photo of the falls. How is it that I lived in MN for 6 years and have never been there?
Change is good. I've been reading about dyeing and am thinking about getting up my courage. I do think I might try a test run w/ some similar colored yarn and see how it goes before I sacrifice the alpaca to a steaming vat.
Changing the template works for me. I'll just trust you on the whole "it's fall" thing. I guess we have had a degree of change as far as the humidity goes. It's nice and not too muggy, although the person on the radio sounded sad that it was going to be "only" 86* today. Can we have an "on the needles" part? That sounds like fun...
We might be getting a camera this weekend! (Can you tell it's payday?) Or we might decide that it would be better to get a couch this weekend and a camera in two weeks. I kind of want the camera more, and we don't have cable, so having a couch to sit on to watch tv is kind of pointless if the tv doesn't do anything.
Ok, now I'm really going to get some work done. I have a new office chair and it goes up and everything. It's about as exciting as it sounds, but my world is sometimes very small.

Showing the sock a good time

In the grand tradition of Stephanie, I decided to take my knitting along for our stroll at Minnehaha Falls last night.

So here I am knitting in front of the falls. (Yes, my hands are blurry...I am actually knitting.) You can see in the background the very beginnings of fall here, leaves on the ground. We're in the midst of what my grandparents would call Indian Summer. It's very cool at night, but warm during the day, and evenings are lovely and crisp. We went to Minnehaha right at dusk (I had to lighten the picture because it was a bit dark), and walked around, finding a whole area I didn't know existed down by the creek. On our way back to the car we stopped and bought ice cream at Sea Salt, which is currently my favorite Twin Cities restaurant, and ate ice cream by the falls. All along, I was knitting (and drawing weird looks from everyone, including the park policeman!)

Ah, short row heels. I do love them. The current socks I'm doing with heel flap heels, but I'm going back to short rows for my next pair. I realized recently that like so many of the bloggers we read, I have a constant sock in progress. I can knit it while sitting at a traffic light, while out with friends, or apparently at the park. Then I have my bigger projects to knit on at home.

As to dyeing the yarn, I did quite a bit when I took that weaving class senior year. We'd need to test it out to see if the color would come out as expected, but my experience was that dyeing over an existing color only made the new color richer and more interesting. A project for when I visit for sure!

I'm on pins and needles, as the spinning wheel arrives tomorrow! Tomorrow night is all about assembling it, in the hopes that I can spin by the weekend. The weekend after this I'll be alone all weekend, as Mike is going to Kansas to visit high school friends, so I'm planning a spinning extravaganza!

I put a link to Gracie over in the sidebar, by the way. I’m thinking of changing the template again once we hit fall….a seasonal change seems appropriate. What do you think?


We have a Convert

Hi Flan,
IT happened yesterday. After hearing of the elusive "short row heel" for months and months I decided to attempt one myself. I will admit that the description in the Sockbible (Sensational knitted socks) brought me to my knees. I was flummoxed and bewildered, then I remembered that The Best Man has internet and is oddly close to The MIL's (who has the washing machine). Two huge loads of laundry, a couple of hours on the internet (there are tons of really crappy descriptions out there and, naturally, I have no idea whose it was that didn't completely suck), and a new Project Runway later we have VICTORY!
The appeal of socks actually clicked! It happened! Finally. I thought I was some sort of extra special knitting anomaly. But the truth is that I just didn't understand. All the stupid top down heel flapping dpn/ 2 circular sirens distracted me from the true and essential beauty and simplicity of the toe up (magic method) short row heel, one long circular wonderfulness. Now that I've discovered it I am happy and might actually knit the sock yarn that I have been squirreling away.
Dyeing the alpaca... Interesting... I'll do it if you come down and show me how. There was a thing in knitty spin about dyeing but they started with cream colored and I'd be starting with sand colored. Will that make a difference? With dark hair you have to bleach it first and then dye from there but bleach will make alpaca disintegrate (and the thought terrifies me). Could we safely go from sand to dark purple?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Dyeing Yarn?

Hooray for Gracie! Y'all are crazy with the Master Knitting. I think I'll be busy enough with my new least for a while.

What do you think about dyeing your overabundance of alpaca a different color once you finish The Wedding Throw?

I'm honestly stalking my spinning wheel through its UPS tracking number. It's supposed to arrive at my office (UPS won't deliver to my apartment) on Friday, so we'll see how good my concentration is for the rest of Friday!

Also, the crazy sock knitting method freaks me out. I think I'll stick with my dpn for socks...I knit fast on them and they don't bother me, so I see no reason to change for now, though I see the appeal of avoiding second sock syndrome.

Almost no knitting to report this week...too many events and busyness, though I did sort through my stash to prep for the arrival of both my spinning wheel and the Artyarns, and I have a bit too much yarn. No more yarn buying until I get some stuff done! I'm also not going to buy more fiber for spinning until I spin up at least 1 of my 3 lbs of fiber!

We'll see how long this fiber diet lasts....I have high hopes. I'm also considering dyeing some of the fiber I currently have. I'm debating between dyeing it as roving and dyeing it as yarn, and I think I'm leaning towards dyeing it as yarn since I'm not trying to get variegated. We'll see how inspired I get.

We're off to take a walk in the Minnehaha Falls Park and enjoy the reasonable weather... naturally I'm bringing my knitting!


Hey Flan,
I would like you to meet Gracie. Gracie is one of the Knit Night girls, was checking out our blog and was admiring your new spinning wheel. She thinks you should not only come down to visit, and bring the wheel while you're at it. I think it's a great idea (at least the visiting part). She mentioned something mysterious about spindles. Gracie's just nuts-o enough that she is thinking about doing the Master's Program as well. We'll be Master's Knitty Buddies. (Aww)
I broke down and ordered an entire bag of Blue Sky Alpaca to finish The Wedding Throw. My (shaky) calculations say I will need 4.167 balls to finish the damn thing. Short of calling every single store listed on the blue sky website, I called The Yarn Cafe (yarn + coffe/ wine= so good). They didn't have any and I didn't have any patience to call the mean MN store. So now I'm getting 10 balls and only need 4. At least I like alpaca. Too bad it's an oatmealy sand color. The color's great for the throw, it's just not my total cup of tea. Want some yarn?
Hope post-event recovery is going well.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Crazy Lady

Hi Flan,
Why is it that all the fun energy you had Monday is completely gone by 3am Tuesday? Monday I was doing so well, up at 5, off to the gym, rush home, ready for work, went to work, stopped at grocery store and pharmacy on the way home, made meatloaf & limas for dinner with a homemade apple pie for dessert, whisked off to The MIL's with the laundry, chatted w/ The Mommy, off to the library, back to pick up the laundry, home to do dishes and off to bed. Felt great all day. This morning at 3 am I randomly woke up and was exhausted. Not that I'm not usually tired at 3 am, but this was different. I reset the alarm for 6 (5 was not happening) and figured that going to the gym every other day was sufficient for now. Damn I'm tired. Maybe no more late nite pie eating... Sad.
I looked at the picture of your spinning wheel. Damn that thing is impressive! It's all big and official and what not. I hope you have lots of fun w/ it.
Thanks for letting me know about the new knitty. This lady is completely insane. I was with her when she did the demo of the two different colored sockies. Then she threw in the great little photo of two socks of the same yarn at the same time. This woman needs medication. No, really. I'm trained to spot it. Why would you do this? Why? I don't understand. She must either be a yogi and ascended to a level we mortals will barely know even exists, or a complete and total freak-o. One of the two. What world tumult created the technique in the first place? My socks stay separate on my feet, why should they be created together? I need to have a lie down- the head is hurting.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Master Knitting and a Wheel!

I've looked at the Master Knitter thing before. I think you're right, the main benefit would be to learn new techniques that we haven't come across otherwise.

My hell week is over, thank goodness, and the primary is Tuesday. In preparation for surviving the week and primary, I made a trip out to Detta's yesterday. I spun and spun and spun on the two wheels I was considering, and then I bought a wheel! An Ashford Traveller! It won't arrive until Friday or so, but I cannot wait!!!

Detta was so helpful, and there were two beginning spinners there just learning, which was fun to see. Detta has a deal where when you buy an Ashford, you get 1 lb of mill end wool to spin. So I have a pound of a very deep dusky purple superwash to spin into sock yarn. Then I just had to buy the Blue Faced Leicester in white to try out (I've heard such good things), and the Corriedale that I'd been practicing with at Detta's. Both are beautiful, and I adore them, and can't wait for the wheel to arrive. I honestly bounced for hours afterwards.

We went to see the Saints play last night. It turns out they're in the playoffs, so it was a fun game. It was full of their completely ridiculous stunts every half inning. They lost, but it was a good time.

The weather here transitioned quite impressively into fall this week, though I'm assured it will get warm again in the coming week.

So hooray! I should have a spinning wheel by next weekend, and lots to spin. I've been on a cleaning kick all day, so I'm off to finish up.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Swap Questions and Answers


Two posts today! This one is the answers to the questions for my pal in the Spinning Roving Swap that I signed up for. So here they are. Another post later today!

1)How long have you been spinning?

Only since July, but I'm totally addicted.

2)Are you a beginner, novice, or experienced spinner?

I'm a beginner, though I create consistent thin singles. I don't have experience with tons of different kinds of fiber.

3) Do you spin on a drop spindle or wheel, or both?

Only a wheel.

4)What types and weights of drop spindles (or what type of spinning wheel(s) ) do you currently own?

I just this morning bought an Ashford Traveller wheel, and I am totally in love. It should arrive Friday.

5)What type of fibers have you spun with before?

A variety of small amounts from my spinning teacher (different kinds of wool, tencel, cotton, camel)

6)What fibers do you prefer to spin with?

I still prefer longer staple wools, though I'd like to experiment with silk blended with wool!

7)What fibers do you dislike?

I'm allergic to Mohair, and I'm not interested in spinning cotton at this point.

8)Do you prefer natural colored fibers, or handpainted/dyed fiber?

I like both, but I think I'd like colors for this swap!

9)Would you prefer all one type of roving or smaller amounts of different types to sample?

Several types would be great, though I would love it if you could tell me what they are and where you got them from so that I could track down more if I fall in love with one!

10) What are you favorite colors?

Blues, purples and greens.

11) What colors do you dislike?

Oranges and yellows.

12) What would you like to do with your handspun yarn, or what do you plan to do with it? (pattern clarification here)

I'm excited about making a hat or perhaps mittens.

13) What spinning projects are you currently working on?

None till me wheel arrives, though I just bought a pound of Blue Faced Leicaster and a pound of corriodale, as well as a pound of purple superwash wool for socks.

14) Do you have a wishlist?

On Amazon? No. For fiber? I'd love some multicolored fleece, and I'd love to try Cormo....

15) What are your other favorite hobbies?

Knitting, Reading, politics (also my profession)

16) Do you have any allergies (pet, smoke, food, fiber,etc...)?

Cigarette smoke and mohair.

17) What is your preferred shipping method (USPS, UPS, FedEx)?

USPS please. UPS and Fedex can't get into my building!

Friday, September 08, 2006


Hey Flan-

Thank goodness all the PMS-y dwarfs have returned from whence they came. Damn little bastards (you'd know- they're men). Anyway, I'm feeling much better today.

So I happened along a past article in knitty about becoming a Master Knitter. I skipped over to the TKGA's website and found a second article. I am now officially intrigued. Would this be fun? Swatching isn't normally fun, but this is swatching with a goal (more than usual). I am pondering the possibilities. The knitter that taught me was a very "seat of the pants" kind of girl, so I don't really know all the different ways to do things, much less the right way to do them. Maybe this would be a good idea.

Also, I showed The LYS owner The Wedding Throw and commented that it was leaning funny and I hoped it would straighten out in the blocking. She was so skeptical I haven't worked on it since and the wedding is mere weeks away. Utter and total freak out going on (plus I'm out of yarn). Maybe if I knew the things that The Masters know this wouldn't be happening. (Ok, it probably would be happening and I'd be kicking myself about it- or I would have just given up and bought a Cuisinart already).

I am working on The Mommy's socks. It turns out pattern + varigation = ugly. The socks are being redone as plain socks. I would like to say that I am completely loving the one really long circular method of knitting and love the magic cast on thingy.

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Hi Flan,

I found it! The magic cast on toe thingy! It's amazing and remarkable in every single way. I opened The Mommy's Fixation and it's living up to it's name. I'm besotted and fixated. I'm trying the "two socks on one long circular" method and it seems to be going pretty well.

I'm going to do my best to focus on The Work. It's one of those days where you want to return to under the rock you feel like you just crawled out from under, with your jammies, a trashy book and a (hand knit) blankie.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

So Much Yarn

Hi Flan,

Your credit card was not the only one to slip into the swiper. There is such an influx of yarn I don't know what to do. I have 16 beautiful skeins of artyarn destined for MN, but why stop there. I got two skeins of artyarn for myself. Then The Mommy's credit card slipped, and it managed to ring up two balls of Fixation, one of Sockatta (she thinks the colors look like Crayolas), three of Debbie Bliss' Alpaca Silk (like knitting the clouds of heaven! Don't look at the price too hard, just go out and buy any and all. The siren song of the angels. Seriously.) Additionally, an Addi and the Holy Grail of Sock Books (Sensational Knitted Socks). Yesterday, being Knit Night, was another den of temptation for my credit card. It couldn't help itself (new Lorna's Laces- not even out of the box). The Dad's scarf needed a third ball of the Alpaca Silk (so much for calcuating yardage) and then I decided I could make socks for me. The happy sherbert wool had to come home.
Now that the dreaming about sock yarn has started I think we all need some time apart. Btw: wasn't there a thing in knitty about doing toe up socks? Someone came up with a new way to do it and I can't find it again. Maybe it wasn't knitty but someone else entirely.
Oh for it to be Friday.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I hate it when my credit card slips...

I was innocently browsing blogs this week when I came across this
at Knit and Tonic. I was actually skimming until I saw the words "Silky Tweed" and "cheap." So what did I do? I hustled over to Webs and bought a sweater's worth in color 16 (shade cards here.) Oops. No project in mind (which is the worst!) though I'm trying to decide whether it would work for Rogue, which is by the same designer as Eris. I love Eris, I've loved knitting it, once I finally finish it I think it will be my work sweater for the winter to deal with the sudden temperature changes in my office!

There is no further progress to report on Eris, though I did take an in progress picture to show you the fit:

This post is supposed to be about a different WIP though, the Highland Triangle Shawl from Folk Shawls for my mother. This is the yarn we bought from Joslyn's Fiber Farm at Yarnover. The heat broke this week, so I'm trying to get a few rows a night in.

This is where I was as of last weekend.

The tip of the shawl, stretched out so that you can see the pattern.

The giant ball of yarn with the shawl in progress, with a quarter between them for scale. The background is the futon that was previously yours, which I bought a new cover for.

This weekend we're going to the State Fair and enjoying the long weekend before my crazy week next week. I'm off to call you to discuss Artyarn purchases!

Say hi to the mommy!