Saturday, December 31, 2005

Still out of town

Sorry no posts, but I'm still away on the East Coast, not spinning much, but have finished knitting the pieces of the Devon sweater from Knitty. It's cute, but I'm not sure I'll ever knit a sweater at 8.5 spi again. I feel like it's the same number of stitches as a sweater for my DH, which would be fine, but it's for a newborn.

And speaking of giant sweaters, before we got in the car to go to my folks', my FIL said he would like a Wonderful Wallaby (sans hood) so here goes. He jumps to the top of the queue as he is 82 and who knows how long he will have to wear the thing. So the hunt for the pattern and yarn begins.

I seem to have dropped off the Spinning Wheel ring, so I will attempt to rejoin. Otherwise the only person reading this EVER will be me!

Have a safe and Happy New Year, all!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

All right, all right, back to fiber content

Still disgusted, but waiting for the people who can to do something.

Anyway, today we are leaving on our Christmas vacation to both sets of grandparents, yay! I say yay because it means the end of the running around trying to finish everything and get everything wrapped and mailed and baked and washed and seen and videotaped and sung and cleaned a week before Der Tag. It's hard! And I'm not finished, but now the deadline looms, so I will only get so much more done. Gotta pack the suitcases!

I wove in the ends on the nephews' hats last night, finally. And tried to block the edges of the ear flap hat, but it's cute even if the edges roll a bit, so no big deal. DD's teacher didn't open her hat before the end of school on Friday so I don't know what her reaction was. Maybe that's a good thing... I did finish the hat to go to Ethiopia at 7:30 Friday night (it had to be delivered by 8:00) and although it was on gauge, as far as I can tell, it was rather large. Hopefully someone who likes pink also has a lot of hair! I had to give up (temporarily) on doing the modular triangle crown, though. I kept having to take it out. I need more practice so that I can read it better. Every time I put the thing down, I couldn't tell where I was or which stitches were "left unknitted." Wish I could afford the Iris Schreier class at my LYS, but no dice there.

Now off to vacation and crazy baby knitting. I'm bored with this project, but if I can work hard during all the driving time (lots) while we're away, I can get a significant amount of it finished. If I can get all the pieces knit up, I can relax and do the hat and socks when I get home and then at least I have one lovely baby gift and more to come later when the baby's a bit bigger. (Due in March)

I may not post until after the first of the year so I wish anyone who arrives here the Happiest of Holidays, Merriest Christmas, Most Joyous New Year and our wonderful country a time of Peace!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Evil, Evil People

Well, that's it then. The President of the United States has no respect for the Constitution whatsoever. His claim to want to move our country back to what the original writers of the document meant is a complete sham, as is everything else he has ever claimed to care about.

This is the end of an empire. I wonder if the Romans, the Ottomans, the Egyptians, even the British truly recognized when their empires were at an end. But I see this one. It has already happened. Like global warming, we have already passed the point of no return.

The President's signing of an order allowing the unwarranted and unconstitutional spying upon of U.S. Citizens makes him not only an imbecile, an intellectual Lilliputian, a self-aggrandizing fascist, oh, no, not only that. Now he is a criminal. A traitor to the United States and to us all. I fear for what might happen to me because of posting this blog entry. But not enough not to express my utter disgust with people who call themselves Christian, who call themselves compassionate, who call themselves Americans.

A true American respects the rule of law. A true American respects the Constitution. A true American cares more for the common good than for his own. A true American cannot watch other Americans die and do nothing. A true American cannot send other Americans to die for a passel of lies.

I hope we can stand up as a nation and renounce these people. I hope that we have the passion and the strength that that will take. I think we do. Or we used to. Let us recharge ourselves with outrage and make America, if not into what it once was, into what it should be.

God Bless America.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Not as much progress as I would like

First of all, sorry there are no pictures today. We've been going to movies all day. First, a screening of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," which is WONDERFUL!! I'm a big fan of the books from childhood and they really hit the right notes all through. Then we went to see "March of the Penguins" at our public library, which was also really nice. A bit much of the "circle of life" for the kids on occasion, but a penguin's life is not easy.

I want to post a picture which shows all of my bobbins for my Lendrum folding wheel at their partially full points. However, I want to wait until I finish the last nest of BFL dyed in the basic food coloring colors (to show me what they were) so all of the bobbins are off the wheel. I really need to get some of this plied so I can start alpaca...or mohair...or fleece from the fair...or silk...or Samoyed...

Soon the Christmas vacation/baby gifts will be over and I can start obsessing about next year's county fair entries. That will be fun! I can't wait until my crafting time is for whatever I want. It only lasts a few months, after all. The end of year teacher gifts come up again awfully quickly. Although, since I knit for DD's teacher for Christmas, maybe she can have something else at the end of the year. And DS has three teachers!! What is that about!?!?! I don't think socks will happen this year.

Anyway, hope everyone is having a lovely Saturday and go see "Narnia"!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Update

Don't tell anyone, but my LYS (here's the link) is having a sale. Yes, a sale. Should I buy yarn? Do I have enough to drive my DH absolutely nuts? Do I spin more every chance I get? Did I buy some anyway?


Here is a picture of what I bought.

Now, I have always wanted these Mission Falls patterns and I do know that the yarn has been discontinued. But that cardigan on the front is perfect for small amounts of handspun, if you like lots of color. I mean, I don't have to repeat colors, right? As long as I like them all...

There were two balls of Fixation. Okay, just variegated blue, but DD would like socks in those colors or DD and a friend, who knows. Gotta get it, it's 50% off. When does that happen?

And then, on the third time around the sale bins, I found it. A skein of Anne. In cream and gray and beige. Not exciting colors, but colors I wear a lot. A scarf? Socks? Wimple? Don't know but I'm sure someday something perfect will occur to me. It's Anne. So soft. So 50% off...

Merry Christmas to me!

Now if I could only get motivated about my post-Christmas gift knitting and stop thinking of other things to do...

Next post, photos of my current spinning projects!

Saturday, December 03, 2005

My First Post

Now that I've been obsessively blog surfing for a few months, I think it's time to jump on in. I hope I can think of interesting things to talk about here.

You can see from my title that I have two subjects on my mind all the time. Knitting and spinning (that's one) and politics. The blogs I read are many and varied and liberal. And I always use too many exclamation points!! But you will find that out soon enough.

Here's a photo of my lovely little family at the L.A. County Fair this year. I should have color corrected, but I can't figure out how to remove the photo now that it's here. I sure hope I get better at this as I go along.

The real reason I started this today, though, is that I just won the essay contest at dudleyspinner entitled "Why I am a Yarn Snob". So exciting! And new dyed roving coming in the mail. But I thought I would post the essay here, as well, to have it on my own page. Here goes.

Why I Am a Yarn Snob

I didn’t used to be a yarn snob. I used to be a poor knitter. Well, low budget. And I knitted with Wool-Ease because I could afford it and it was nice enough. Then I blocked my first sweater. I blocked it wrong. I took the lovely waist ribbing, eight inches of it, and blocked it out to the full width of the sweater. And, because it was not wool, it was ruined. Wool can be restored to its original shape and blocked again; not so for acrylic.

Once on a vacation, I went sailing with some teenagers (I was a kid). We were on a catamaran and it was amazing. But eventually, of course, we overturned the boat and got soaked. In a lake. In Michigan. At dusk. However, since I had been told to wear a wool sweater, I was not cold. Wool is warm, even when it is wet.

When I was a child someone (I don’t remember who) knitted me some slippers out of acrylic yarn. They looked great! I loved them. Until I wore them. The purl bumps on the bottom of those slippers felt like they were making holes in my feet. And there was nothing to do to soften them up. They were what they were. Now I wear felted slippers. Not only can you not feel the purl bumps, you can’t even see them. Wool felts.

My new addiction is spinning. Spindle spinning, wheel spinning, reading about spinning, thinking about spinning. Even washing raw fleece for spinning. The yarns I make are not perfect but they are unique. And every time they are closer to what I was going for. Or at least as interesting as what I was going for. Handspun yarn really has life, like wool. Handspun wool seems alive in your hands. And if you are working with fiber you dyed or carded yourself and you really don’t know how it will knit up, it’s the most exciting knitting to do. Can’t spin acrylic. And why would you want to?

And that leads to my last reason. Wool takes dye just beautifully. If you want to knit something in just the right colorway to satisfy your impossible in-laws or match your couch or wake you up, dye it yourself. If you are a color junkie (I am) and just want to watch colors flow through your hands one after another and that makes you knit more and enjoy the process and the product, dye your own yarn. If you want to make something that will surprise you at every step, the dyeing, the spinning, the knitting, dye some wool. You’ll be glad you did!

So I am a yarn snob. Even with budget issues and the fact that I live in a warm climate, I prefer wool to acrylic. And thank goodness for Knitpicks!

Gotta go knit, it's Christmas, after all.
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