Monday, July 30, 2007

Over the River and Through the Woods

To grandmother's house we go!

I'll be away and almost entirely without internet access till August 8th. I will miss blogging and Ravelry especially!

I'm on the heel of the first Bellatrix sock, on the heel of the second Monkey 2, finishing the Lantern Festival singles to ply while I'm gone and planning to spindle Spunky Club's new Shetland. Of course, due to terrible knitter's paranoia, I'm also bringing Scoop Du Jour and another two skeins of cotton blend sock yarn, just in case. As if I won't buy any yarn. Rumor has it there's a new yarn store in Deal...

Anyway, have a lovely week and I'll check in as soon as I can!



P.S. Wish me luck at the in-laws. I love them dearly but they listen to Limbaugh (and believe him) and watch O'Lielly. It's hard to find a moment for KO and Air America is nowhere to be found. But they did put in a new pool!

Friday, July 27, 2007


Knit a Kauni (pdf) sweater this winter, I will surely lose my mind. Perfect. But I am determined to spin the yarn myself. Here's the plan:

20 oz. Blue-faced Leicester top from Copper Moose. Split into 2- 10 ounce lengths, dyed in 6 colors, about 18" per color, repeating 4 times along the length of the top.

Spin each 10 oz. length from the fold into singles, Navajo ply.

End up with 2 - 10 oz. skeins of fingering weight 3-ply with long color changes.

Does anyone (especially if you happen to own some of this yarn) think this sounds like it will work like the real Effektgarn?

This will be my first dyeing project in the new school year. Expect photos around 8/29 (school starts 8/27).

Meanwhile, the Lantern Festival singles are coming along (I've now done about 2 oz.):

So fun! I am determined to finish all 5 oz. before I go on vacation so I can knit it up while I'm gone.

This should not be difficult as this Corriedale is practically spinning itself. I am really enjoying this Hello Yarn Fiber Club offering immensely.

I will be taking the new Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club roving with me on vacation for spindling, Shetland in some lovely colors. I haven't tried Shetland before, so it will be a new experience.

And because so many people seem to do this on Fridays, some cat blogging:

Our younger cat (a bit over a year) totally looked dead the other day sleeping on the windowsill. This cat hates me with the fire of a thousand suns but loves the DD, which was why we chose her at the shelter. She's quite a lovely cat to look at, smoke tabby.

It's been quite a week politically. With Gonzo clearly lying about things many other people know about, claiming executive privilege in regards to the coverup of what happened to Pat Tillman, Rove being subpoenaed. Now my fondest wish is that they cancel the August Congressional recess entirely in order to pursue these issues. Maybe send everyone home in shifts. Momentum lost is so hard to regain. Hey, they're calling Rove and Jennings next week. Maybe they'll be contemptuous (ya think?)!

We will be away for a while, but I will be blogging while I'm gone, mostly to satsify my friends at home. I may not have pictures, but I will try! And I will return with the new (to me) laptop from my dear stepdad, yay!! I think it even has a...wait for it...wireless internet connection. Now to get the router fixed!

Have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

We're off on the road to Pomona!

Sorry for the ear worm. But it's better than a Harry Potter spoiler (none here)!

Fair yarns have been delivered and tagged, thank goodness! Last year I just handed them off to an elderly lady not knowing how they would keep the right 3x5 card with the right yarn. This year it's all pinned together quite safely. Of course, I didn't pay to have it mailed back, so I'll be doing the drive at least three more times!

fair yarns 2007 labeled

And without irritating writing on top:

As frustrating as the laceweight was, I enjoyed the process this year. Rather than just pulling nice yarns spun since last September, I spun it all recently with the Fair in mind. And I've never entered more than three yarns before. They used to limit us to one per class.

Of course I "wasted" a lot of the Cricket from Hello Yarn trying to get that laceweight to work and don't have a whole lot left to actually knit with, but all of the tries are okay for knitting, just not for competition, I think. I really must conquer the laceweight, however. It will be a goal for this coming year. A year in which I will have lots more time to practice, as DS goes to first grade!!!

In other news, DD had a great time at Girl Scout Twilight Camp last week and was the recipient
of the Spirit Flag at the end of the week, for Friendship:
I'm SO proud of her for being a great Girl Scout!!
In political news, it's hard not to comment on Alberto Gonzalez's abyssmal performance in the Senate hearing this morning. If anyone in the world deserved Impeachment it's this guy. There are at least ten documentable crimes that could be prosecuted, for goodness sake! And opening an Impeachment Inquiry means that Executive Privilege goes out the window. Plus days and days of good TV! Let the Inquiry begin!!

Monday, July 23, 2007

And the Sorting Hat says...

Want to Get Sorted?
I'm a Gryffindor!

Finished Deathly Hallows. No spoilers here (although DD is trying to worm the ending out of me, no way!).

Have a lovely day!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Yarn five singles spun

Here are the two bobbins:

I shall be plying today as my DH has volunteered to be afternoon parent, yay!

Yesterday I predrafted some new Crown Mountain superwash in You Baby:
Very pretty stuff. And I have a full bobbin of Magic Carpet Ride to either ply on itself or spin another bobbin.
Knitting wise, I'm working on the second sock of the second pair of Monkeys and fantasizing about the next pair of socks. Don't know what they will be or whether I will stick with more summery yarns or not. I'm leaning toward Pomotamus but a pair of Friday Harbour for myself would be nice, too (and quick on 2's). I would like to be knitting some socks with handspun and when I get the Magic Carpet done I will have enough for a pair there. And my yellow/orange/khaki Koigu is calling my name, too. Oh, the choices! And I should really finish the Scoop du Jour on vacation or it will get lost in the shuffle. September/October is for DS's hoodie, November/December is for Mom's. All I got is August!
Now I must be political for a moment. The Ruling Regime has declared that it will never "allow" the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to prosecute anyone for contempt of Congress. There are no further options but to use Inherent Contempt to bring them to heel. Of course, being a newly minted conspiracy theorist, this will lead to the Regime declaring martial law. I'm serious. We could easily at this point have the U.S. Military pointing guns at the Sergeant-at-Arms of the House. And the Decider has already signed an Executive Order that garners ALL power unto himself if anything interferes with the orderly process of government, and that means...are you ready? NO ELECTIONS.
I do not like being a conspiracy theorist. But the path we are on leads inexorably to a real power grab. They already have no honor or shame. They already have proven themselves disdainful of the Constitution. They already have padded every government agency and authority with "loyal Bushies" who are members of the cult of personality surrounding the Decider. I do not see any way out without violence or...and here's my favorite part...PROTEST. When the moment arrives, we must be ready to go to the streets. We must be ready to take our country back. We must be ready to stand up for what we believe in. Protest may itself lead to violence, against the citizens of our country by the Regime. It may lead to political imprisonment. It may lead to a level of chaos that our country has never seen. But it will be worth it. The people must rise up, it is our only hope.
Remember the Friday night after 9/11 when we stood on our street corners with signs and flags and candles, with everyone honking as they drove by? Remember our national unity? Remember the love we felt for our neighbors, whether or not we shared political affiliation, ethnic background, economic class? That is where we must be. We must stand together in love of country, in love of each other, in love of each other's children and stop the madness. We are all in danger from the Regime. All of us. In perpetuity.
I am not in any way calling for violence to occur. I am not in any way advocating violence. Rather I am advocating that we use our voices, our time, our honor to stand up for our country. We've done it before and we can do it again. We must.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rest day

Well, it was from the Tour anyway.

What is the deal with all this running about? My DD is in "Twilight Camp" all week from 1-7 so I have one kid at home and he wants to go over to the park program to ride his scooter with the other kids. And I have not had one minute of down time. Not one!

Of course, yesterday I was going to come home and have a break, but my girlfriends forced me to go out to lunch (delicious omelette!) and stop by the yarn store near the camp...

Today, I swear, at 1:30 (keeping in mind that we are running around like crazy people from 10:30 till then) I am coming home and becoming horizontal.

Meanwhile, I finished Yarn #5 for the Fair:

Blend of wool and mohair purchased from Paradise Fibers a couple of years ago. I was having trouble finding another blend that I thought would come out nice and smooth. This yarn is lovely! Although I'm going to try navajo plying next time as I really want the orange to pop. Too much barberpoling for me for this colorway.

I have spun up probably 1/3 of the remaining BFL singles laceweight. Will work on that today. If that yarn is good enough, it will go to the Fair. But if it doesn't, I do have a couple of alternates in the wool category so nothing terrible will happen.
I have some Magic Carpet Ride singles waiting for another bobbin, but I could ply it on itself and send it in, about 3 oz of fingering/sport, I think.

And there is the food coloring dyed yarn that isn't really perfect but it could go in.
The colors are wild!
Have a great day! Make them filibuster everything! Impeach Cheney first!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Five down, one to go!

The first five fair yarns are washed and drying:

From the left, Textured Tussah silk, Merino/Tencel, Superwash wool, baby Alpaca, Wool/Mohair.

You can't see the colors in the dark yarns in this photo, but I will reshoot when they are dry.

I'm especially pleased with the superwash (center). The spinning and plying are very even and smooth. This is also navajo plied which I can't wait to knit into socks!

Meanwhile, I finally finished the lace Fixation socks:
I must show them in the Skechers that they are intended for. I wanted some short cotton socks to wear with my Mary Jane type sneaks and these came out perfect (after a lot of tweaking). Pattern: Lace Wings Fixation Socks. Mods: Cast on 49 instead of 56; short row heels; knit 8 repeats before the heel; knit short row heel on 28 instead of 24 as it was WAY too shallow on 24. More, please!
I am absolutely thrilled to see that Harry Ried has listened to...well, I don't care who he listened to because he's doing the right thing and making the Republicans filibuster for real. Now all we need is the MSM to cover this properly. Remember, the last thing they had to talk all night to defeat was...are you ready? Drum roll please! The CIVIL RIGHTS ACT. Yeah. Did them a lot of good then, too, huh?!?!?
I will be watching CSPAN if no one covers it, but if they don't cover it, they are accessories to the crimes of the ruling regime. Yes, regime.

Monday, July 16, 2007

And we're back!

Our wonderful friend Don, our computer guru who unfortunately moved to Texas, has saved the day once again! Thanks, Don! Turns out we have a problem with the router, not the DSL so now the router is out of the loop. And we don't need it right now as the Houseguest has still not returned, huzzah!

Meanwhile, spinning has continued. First skein of Merino/tencel is finished:

See the lovely shininess, I can't stand it. Must have more! Must order some for dyeing!

This fiber spins up very smooth, but very thin. It has NO loft at all. Although I must admit I haven't washed it yet. The merino may very well fluff up.

Then I started the wool/mohair:

I have spun up the other half and will be plying today sometime. The first bobbin was split into four strips, the second bobbin into six. Had I been thinking more clearly, I would have tried to make it eight, but the idea is the same.

These are rather sample sized skeins. I have just let the time get too short to do more. The Fair requires 60 yards minimum and they will all be at least that much. Here's hoping the judges do not penalize me for being closer to the minimum than other competitors! Of course, the laceweight will be more like 300 yards.

Tonight, I ply. Tomorrow back to BFL laceweight, second bobbin. The first was split into many small strips, the second is half the width of the top predrafted without further splitting.

Knitting wise, after four attempts, I am finally past the heel on the Fixation socks. I cannot believe how long a pair of anklets on size 3's (!!!) has taken, especially after Sock Madness speeds. I will be glad to get these on my feet and back to the Monkeys.Can you tell I'm glad to be off dial-up?
Have a lovely day!
And make them really filibuster everything. We should see nothing on the tube but Republicans talking out of their *sses about bills that they won't pass to support the troops, give children healthcare. And here's to an Impeachment Inquiry with all the trimmings and Inherent Contempt!

Saturday, July 14, 2007


I'm on dial-up this weekend, excruciating. I will try to get pictures up later on but just cannot deal right now.

However, I did finish 88 yards of the Merino/Tencel last night. The colors lined up very nicely till the last 17 yards or so. I'm going to try another ounce in the "fractal" method in this month's Spin-Off and see if I like the look of the skein better. I'm not concerned about how it will knit up; the yarn is so soft, so shiny, so bright, I will love it however it works. Just the judges...

Next up is another blend. Shall I do wool/mohair? Shall I do merino/silk again? I don't want to finish the orangey laceweight as I just don't want to do another laceweight at the same time as the BFL that needs to be finished. So probably the wool/mohair for socks. I could take the time to card a blend myself, but everything has to be driven to Pomona a week from Tuesday. I could try...why do I think these thoughts!?! I don't want to go into a frenzy, really!

Speaking of frenzies, I used to be an actress and sing a lot of opera in New York. Small time stuff but very fun an innovative (mostly early music however). Since moving West and having children my performance opportunities have dwindled to pretty much just church (I am the soprano soloist). The church theater group is doing a musical this fall, DS will be in first grade, there are kids in the show, they have babysitting at rehearsals, I've been asked to audition. But I don't want to do it.

I have been looking forward to both children in school for it seems like forever. I love them, I love spending time with them and helping them, believe you me. But I am also a person who needs some time ALONE. There isn't any. And Pippi's silent *ss alarm goes off every thirty five seconds over here. What I don't want is to spend my first school year with some mommy time working like a fiend during the day so I can go to rehearsal every night from the day I get back from vacation to the middle of November. Just do not want to.

Guess I've changed from my super ambitious younger self into someone more able to look at the plan and know what will make me happiest. That's a good thing, right? Why am I so ambivalent?

Oh, well, back to the spinning wheel. And maybe they'll eventually do the wonderful Christmas opera we're thinking that would make me give up my free time!


Thursday, July 12, 2007

Moving right along

Silk plied,
Alpaca plied,
Next up, Merino/tencel:
No time for further blogging, must spin!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tour de Fleece Progress

Yes, I have managed to spin every day so far, although one day it had to be at 6:00 a.m.

Taking a break from my Bluefaced Leicester laceweight:
Decided to tackle the textured tussah silk from Spinderella next. Here are the singles. I have plied it, but haven't yet taken more pictures. It is extremely textured, but I like how the plying came out, rather tight, but shiny. I'll photograph it before and after wet finishing (and thwacking!).
Last night I got a very small start on the alpaca singles and finished them this afternoon while the kids were at the park:
These are now resting till tomorrow's plying session, starting very early in the a.m. as I have to have a rehearsal at lunchtime for my solo at church this weekend. Our lovely and highly intellectual pastor is doing a series about Elijah so I thought I'd end my solo season with "Hear ye, Israel." Rather a tour de force which requires actual practice time. With the organist.
By Thursday, I must decide what I will be able to finish by the 24th that will be good enough for the Fair and send in my forms and fees. So I think the next thing up will be...drum roll, please...Merino/Tencel in Fruit Salad. Yummy!

Monday, July 09, 2007

New Meme


They have for years used the argument that if we, the American people, have nothing to hide, we have nothing to fear from warrantless wiretaps, opening our mail, monitoring our internet searches. Okay, then, WTF are they hiding that they cannot produce one single aide, one ex-aide, one piece of paper, one email?



Saturday, July 07, 2007

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Knitting

Wow. I hadn't done any politics for quite a while, but this week was a doozy. Hey, 54% of people support IMPEACHING THE VICE PRESIDENT!! If we can get him out of the way, getting Bush out is a whole helluva lot less scary!

But I was knitting, furiously (and furiously). Finished this:
Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style in Cascade Pastaza. It is very nice and very, very warm. Too warm for SoCal at this stage of the year, but after (or on!) Halloween, it will come in very handy.
A very straightforward pattern requiring 4 different sizes of needles.
Now. I have an announcement to make. I have indeed signed up for Mystery Stole 3. Do I expect to finish it in a reasonable time? No. Have I bought the yarn?
Yes. Have I bought Addi Turbo Lace needles?
Yes. Is this project really allowed to be in the queue?
But I succombed. It was the Yarn Harlot that did it. I just couldn't stand it any more and it was the evening of the last day to sign up. I tried Mystery Stole 1, but failed rather miserably due to hating the whole process on the needles I was using and that thing still lives on, partly knitted, an eternal UFO most likely. I have ordered Zephyr Wool Silk in Pewter. My name is Wendy and I'm a Startaholic. Or maybe a joinaholic today.
In other and more frantic news, the Tour de Fleece starts today and I haven't gotten any spinning in yet so I must stop blogging, feed the children, type for an hour and a half and get myself in gear, so to speak. More laceweight BFL. I finished one lace bobbin on my Lendrum yesterday. I split the first half of the roving into very thin strips. The second half is being spun at the full width, hoping for some nice subtle striping in the yarn. Truth be told, I don't care how the colors come out, they are so lovely, sky blue, grass green, a bit of brown for the earth, just gorgeous. My goal is to have some laceweight for the fair by Thursday.
But here is my week of spinning:
Saturday and Sunday: laceweight BFL
Monday: Textured Tussah Silk from Spinderella, going for a DK 2 ply.
Tuesday: Merino Tencel sock yarn, fingering 2 ply.
Wednesday: Baby Alpaca bulky weight 2 ply (as for Fetching gloves, like the yarn I made for my Spin to Knit pal.
If I can manage all that and wash and dry it, I will have those plus the Navajo plied Dandylion and a skein of crazy sock yarn I made when trying out my new food colorings, which I reskeined yesterday. 6 yarns. 3 wools, 2 blends, 1 exotic.
I shouldn't have waited till the last minute. But the fact is I really didn't. I've been spinning all year and making yarns that I absolutely love. To knit with. For me. But since they changed the judging rules, I feel like I have to be as close to perfect as possible, not just better than the competition (which is talented but small). Also, as my spinning improves, my expectations go up. A yarn that's good enough to knit with may not be good enough for competition. Fun, though!
So I have a busy week ahead. And a trip to Pomona if I don't get it all finished, but that's okay, too. Pray the children don't mind playing at the park! And if you have a spare prayer handy, some friends of the Yarnpirate could really use them right now. And talk to your kids about not drinking and driving.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Ooh, I got banned again!

It seems to be comment day for me, but I just got banned from Americablog once again for bringing up the owner's past use of the word "girl" as the same as "coward." I'm so proud! He's done a whole blog post about how the word "homosexual" is offensive even in a pro-gay article. I love getting banned! I only go over there every few months now (used to read it every day) because of this behavior.


(Link to my original post about this issue here

Let them.

I had to post this quote from Thomas Paine. Yes, that Thomas Paine. The Founding Father? You remember them, right? The guys who thought this all up?

"Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I
should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by
swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid,
stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving
mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and
mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and
the slain of America."

Prophetic, sadly. Let them call me rebel and welcome.

(h/t The Rude Pundit)

A Happy Day (despite it all)

I wore my black armband all day. No one asked me why. Ho hum.

I put a pathetic "Impeach" sign in my front yard. DH put a FAR more wonderful sign up while I was out. Yay!

We went to see "Ratatouille," which was pretty good, although I never quite got over the grossness of rats all over a kitchen. Maybe it's because we had a terrible rat infestation when I was a kid. But the story is good and the animation is, of course, great from Pixar. A bit slow at a couple of places but they can't all be "Toy Story."

Then we moved on to the community pool where we all had to get wet even before eating our lunches, as it was just too hot to be alive. Much fun was had, much jumping and Marco Polo was played. And DS, who is coming into his own, went off the diving board for the first time!!! Keep in mind that he's 5, he's been a slow starter in the swimming department (until this summer) and his cousin Cal is, well, reckless (in a nice way), I think DS is growing into his family heritage.

Then we came home for a rest and to figure out how to see some fireworks even though our town fireworks were cancelled due to fire danger (and rightly so). DH ended up driving to Studio City to get us a good spot where we met him at 8:15. It was (almost) flawless! Great fireworks, great friends, great seats! Wish J had been with us, but they decided to sit in the new convertible instead.

Tonight I have to go back to the library where I had that awful confrontation with DD's classmate's mother last week. Of course, I realized at 6:00 a.m. that my plan to be surrounded by friends might be more difficult, since J is going to Arizona today and Joy's daughter is at resident camp. I might make her come anyway. I need some moral support! But the extreme likelihood is that said mother will not speak to me at all and I can handle myself, so it's not really a problem, just a silly one in my head (as usual).

Hope you had a happy and safe Fourth. Now, on with the hearings!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Will you stand with me?

I'll be calling the White House today, along with millions of others, to protest the commutation of Scooter Libby's prison sentence. Yesterday, they had to close the comment lines due to too much traffic. Will you stand with me? Comments: 202-456-1111.

But I have also emailed my Congressional Representative, Adam Schiff, who is a member of the House Judiciary Committee, with this message:

As a constituent, I must tell you that the time has past for
oversight and investigation into the current administration's grievous criminal
acts. You have the power to take back our country from these evil and
corrupt people and turn it back into the America we knew and loved before they
took over. I support impeachment proceedings being brought against the
President and Vice President, at the very least, and would sincerely appreciate
your actions as a member of the Judiciary Committee to reflect my feelings as a
voter in your district.
Thank you.

Join me in contacting your representative to request co-sponsorship of H Res 333 to impeach Cheney. Kos has contact information for everyone on the House Judiciary Committee.


Monday, July 02, 2007

DD Update

Well, we seem to have nipped this in the bud, thank goodness.

I went over and spoke to DD's former first grade teacher who is a friend of our principal and set the wheels in motion to make sure they're not in the same class. She was SO kind and understanding, took my issues seriously and promised to help get it done quickly so we can stop worrying. Whew!

Thanks to all who offered such great advice including the commenters here, Heide, Joy, Jill, Tania and Chris! It was a tough few days, but worth living through if just to make sure the whole episode is over. Now I can go back to enjoying the summer!

I wish you peace.

Join me, if you wish

I will be wearing a black armband for the death of our nation on July 4, 2007.

I cannot bear it.

Bush Commutes Libby Sentence


I know I've been saying all along that they have no shame, no morals, no care for right and wrong, only for power. But this is shameful. If only they could feel shame.

I pray for my country. I grieve for her. We have become what we fought for freedom from. We are ruled by power hungry despots with no consideration but for their friends and the rich. This is not what America was meant to and we will TAKE HER BACK!


First and most importantly, thank you SO much for all of the support and advice on the situation with my DD and her classmate. I have emailed the principal (who, of course, was in the office last week but out this) and am headed over to talk to DD's old first grade teacher, who is also a good friend of the principal, for some advice (and to I hope lay some groundwork).

I cannot fully express how much your input is meaning to me. If you would still like get your 2 cents in, please read the previous post. Thanks again!!

But as a distraction, I'm choosing to be tagged by Zarzuela Knits:

Here are the rules: You go to Wikipedia and type in your birthday (only the month and day). Then you write down 3
events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and then you tag 5 friends.

June 4

3 Events:

1913 - Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of the king's horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby. She is trampled and dies a few days later, never having regained consciousness.

1917 - The very first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for a biography (for Julia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.

1919 - Women's rights: The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification.

2 Births:

1738 - King George III of Great Britain (d. 1820)

1966 - Cecilia Bartoli, Italian mezzo-soprano

1 Holiday:

Hong Kong - Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 memorial day

A good day for women, not so good for Chinese dissidents.

Off to school in a bit. Wish me luck! And consider yourself tagged if you like and don't if you don't!
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