Friday, February 27, 2009

Full Disclosure--No new pictures (edited)

Still spinning gray yarn. See previous posts.

But I am less than a week from finishing the spinning!!!!

Here is the plan:

Friday: Finish bobbin 3 of second to last skein. Wish I had done this yesterday but there turned out to be zero time to sit, let alone spin anything. Wish I felt like I could ply them without setting overnight, but I don't want to screw anything up at this stage.

Saturday: Ply skein, maybe start last bobbin 1.

Sunday: Last bobbin 1 done.

Monday: Last bobbin 2.

Tuesday: Last bobbin 3. Knit swatch on 9's. I liked the fabric on 8's but it wasn't quite down to 4 spi. I've decided I'm allowed to swatch when all the singles are done, but not before. I can't believe a swatch is a REWARD.

Wednesday: Ply last skein!!!!!! OMG!!!!!! Wash. Wind up cakes and take photos (except for wet skein) If I have time to knit after that, I will cast on the back!!!!!

If I have more time on the weekend, I will get ahead of this schedule, but I have to work a lot on a freelance typing job and we're going swimming on Saturday afternoon. Who am I kidding?

All of my application materials for the SOAR Scholarship are in. It's going to be a nervous wait, as this would pretty much be the be all and end all of happiness, a week of spinning, learning about spinning, hanging around with spinners, etc. I know there are a lot of applicants this year, as the economy affects everyone. So I will close with best of luck to all who applied!!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fridays are supposed to be relaxing. Fix this.

Yesterday was one of those days with too much adrenaline. I ended up feeling wrung out. I should have gotten more done in the end, but no.

News at work, very disconcerting.

Pulled over by a police officer; no ticket, but you know how that feels.

4th Grade play was a great success! Very fun and now it's over, whew! The kids felt the same. Apparently when DD's teacher told me "six vests" my face was priceless. This might have been because she said "all of them" and I thought she meant 30! We ended up making 8 (thanks, J!) and they were very cute, if simple.

Now for the important news that I'm allowed to talk about: I hit the 1000 yard point in my sweater spinning!!!!!

Here's a picture of a previous skein (they all look the same):
skein 3 arty

I have a pound and maybe 3 ounces left to spin and should end up right about at the pattern's 1600 yards. Most people seem to be using more like 1400, so there should also be enough for pockets, which I would really like.

Now today we have Thinking Day with the Girl Scout troop and I REALLY want to bring the wheel and get some more done, since we don't have to run around with the girls any more, they're old enough to run around on their own. But I wouldn't be able to let anyone try it and have you ever tried to say "No, you can't right now" to 200 5-12 year olds? It can be done, but it is VERY tedious. So I think I'll bring a spindle and--are you ready?--the second sleeve to the Must Have Cardigan. Here's the first one: must have 2
The second one will be just like that.

Really, I should work on Bettna but I have to carry so many things around and change yarns so often. It's easier to carry a chart!

I finished DD's blue socks but I don't want to cast on any more yet because Sock Madness 3 is right around the corner. I would either have to finish a pair in the next 3 weeks or just abandon one, and neither appeals.

It would be very nice to have the Must Have done for Camp this year (May 3) and hopefully this week Scoop du Jour will get blocked and buttonbanded. It's been too wet here to expect anything to dry in a reasonable time and next week is a normal week schedule wise (so far--see title). But that sweater is most definitely NOT for camp. The week after, the kids come home early all week for Parent/Teacher conference days.

And finally, yesterday I emailed in my application materials for a scholarship to the Spin-Off Autumn Retreat. Getting this would be a huge deal so wish me luck. I wish the same to all the applicants! And I'll post my essay here later on. DS clamoring for breakfast and I'd better get started.

Have a lovely!


Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's an Honor just to be Nominated

And it is!

Cindy at Knitonepurltoo has nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger Award!

Yes, I'm all blushy!

Thanks, Cindy!

So here are some nominations from me, bloggers that I read that deserve more traffic:

Honey and Ollie


trek casts on

Sleepy Eyes Knitting

All of the above, and in fact all the blogs I read, get way more traffic than I do, so I feel weird about nominating them, since I'm such small fry. But great thanks, Cindy!

Today I'm going to Long Beach to meet the spinning group that I have something or other to do with the existence of, thanks to Diane who came to my house to learn to spindle. They probably all know more than I do! But, hey, an afternoon of grownups spinning together is not to be scoffed at at all. It's been a couple of weeks since I've had a moment to take a breath (see previous posts for proof). [Edited to add: We had a great time this afternoon! Thanks, again, Diane!]

Of course last night the Yarn Harlot started a total carding revolution by revealing that Judith McKenzie-McCuin cards her fiber SIDEWAYS and I had to try that out so the drum carder is on the kitchen table still. Had to do it!

I've been pretty frustrated by my attempts to prep and spin my gray fleece and I'm beginning to blame the fleece (or the shearer). It's full of, well, cr*p. But it might also be an element of using the same ziploc bag of washed fleece to try. I'm going to get the whole thing out and find a better section to mess with next week. Or just get out the nicer fleece and try that! I did end up with a somewhat nicer little batt, but most of the wool stuck to the big drum, what's the deal with that?

gray fleece roving'

Then I did some mohair locks that turned out to have quite a bit of VM which distributed itself throughout the batt. But the batt itself is lovely and fluffy. Will try again with the clean dyed locks I have somewhere...

mohair batt

Last batt was merino/silk from a LONG time ago that isn't really blended and that one is to die for! Wish I had more of it now.

merino silk batt

Last week I managed to jump ahead and did our second Cardalong exercise: Make a color cooler by blending it with an analogous color cooler than your original.

Here are my elements: exercise 2 elements

And here is the result:

exercise 2 batt

I started spinning it this afternoon but it's not finished yet. We had to clean up and go home.

So it turned out to be a very fibery couple of days. Thanks again, Cindy! And Diane! And everyone.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Cunning Plan

I really only have 2 major things coming up and they both have to be finished this weekend. Which leaves me a little brain for looking forward to doing my own thing next week, finally.

Valentine's Day. Taking care of that this afternoon. Unless I have to stay at school till 3. We will hope not...

6 black vests for 4th Grade Musical. Finished the aprons yesterday. It was actually fun to be out in the garage all afternoon with the sewing machine and my long dormant but apparently unforgettable skills. They turned out too big, so I modified. They are going to school today with the DD.


Day off work on Monday, but get paid for the holiday, woo-hoo!

I want to do a big push on:

Block pieces of Scoop du Jour, knit on the button bands and finish.
Finish 2nd DD sock. This will be helped by field trip this week (bus knitting). The toe of #2 is done.
I would say work on Tempest, but I just haven't had the brain power to work out all this top down changing of pattern. But I don't want to give up, I think it's working. If I can get the sleeve caps in, then it will be easy peasy the rest of the way. Maybe I will, maybe I won't this week.
Since the spinning for October Frost is taking longer than I wanted, I'm now aiming for the Fair and wearing it in the fall, which is okay with me. BUT opens up the possibility of knitting my Must Have Cardigan for the spring camping trip. Mmm...

So my creative juices, as you can see, are flowing. They just seem to stop right around 8:30 pm when I sit down and almost immediately fall asleep. Hopefully I will have some daylight time this week/weekend to get some stuff done in that realm.

Now for your viewing pleasure (?), a short video of me and some other friends singing and playing at a fundraiser last weekend. It was a lovely event and everyone had a great time!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Slow and Steady

Not much time, although something got cancelled on Saturday so maybe I'll have a bit. Of course, I have to go to a birthday party instead, so maybe not...

Knit on DD's sock last night, just have to ask her how tall she wants it. She usually likes rather short socks, so you never know.

I would like to get back to Tempest, but it's still at the carry-two-books-around and have a lot of brain cells stage, so it hasn't gotten much attention.

And I did start another bobbin of October Frost, but that's boring to look at again.

On Sunday I cheated and carded the next carding exercise but haven't taken pictures yet. And the house is a wreck. I need to get it together. Of course, also this weekend I need to make a Danish cake for Saturday morning and make 2 frilly aprons for the 4th grade musical. And order a deli platter for Tuesday.

So I have no new pictures, not much to show for this week. Sometime I will upload pictures from this weekend's Father/Daughter dance and DD's trip to Solvang and DS's trip to the arboretum and, and, and. My list is crazy, huh?

Today: (Thursdays have no wiggle room any more. Sigh.)

School Volunteering
Choir practice


Make cake
Cut out aprons
BLOCK SCOOP DU JOUR!!! Unless it's raining.
Birthday gifts for 2 parties this weekend.
Get a handle on the house.
Practice for singing event on Sunday
Take DS to doctor (hopefully no big deal)


GS meeting
Birthday party


Musical Open House Fundraiser
Birthday Party

Monday: (no school)
Vests for 4th grade musical?
Pick up food for Valentine Party Tuesday

Sorry, lists make for a boring blog post, but it helps to clear my mind. I'm still having dreams about some mythical Valentine project that I haven't done yet that involves handing out some plethora of something made of wrought iron? Silly subconscious, SHUT UP!


Tuesday, February 03, 2009


Like, I could be blogging. I woke up at 5 a.m. Aren't I doing anything productive yet? Sheesh!

So I'm working three jobs. Now, admittedly, these jobs are not terribly stressful or difficult. But there are three of them. I still type, I still sing, now I'm working in the office at church, no biggie. But add on kids and classes and costumes for the 4th grade musical and a fundraiser for the music program and the flu and, well, I should add the laundry except that I haven't done it, at least not all the way into the drawers. Haven't cleaned the house since Obama Day.

So what did little miss smarty-pants do? I started a Cardalong on Ravelry. Because I'm not busy enough and the whole reason I haven't used my drumcarder in a year is because I don't care to. Right. Anyway.

I'm really enjoying it, though, so there you go. And I love the job at church. I think in my long years of working office jobs (and they are long) this is really the first time I've looked forward to going to work. Thanks, folks!

So on Sunday, in the five minutes between taking the kids swimming (thanks, J!), making dinner, typing and falling over in a heap, I did some carding, woo-hoo!

We're working our way through the Self-Study Exercises in "Color in Spinning" from the very beginning with color blending. No multicolored layered batts for us. Yet. Oh, no, we must begin with "Make a color warmer." We are newbies. We are starting slowly.

Here are my elements: Exercise 1 elements

I dyed the blue on Saturday because I did not own 2.5 ounces of any one color except white, black, or olive green. What can I say, I love handpaints and crazy colors! The blue/violet is from a dye experiment I did ages ago where I did the whole color wheel in two different combinations with my cool and warm dyes to see what my base colors were. Except I did the yellows backwards (I can't even remember, it's so long ago). Anyway, what I ended up with was 1/2 ounces of a lot of different colors. And also long ago I bought a giant lot of somebody's samples of merino in a ton of colors. So I can play with those, too, when it comes down to it. I should be okay in the colors to blend with my base color department. They are both Bluefaced Leicester. Want to see the result?

Exercise 1 The batt. I think I probably will do fewer passes through the carder next time, as the spinning blends the colors even more and this was a bit much. I reread the book afterwards (of course) and Deb Menz said not to do too many passes, but what's done is done.

Most exciting thing about the Cardalong? Go ahead, guess!

Deb Menz is doing it with us!!!! If you don't understand this, know that not only is she the author of the book we're using, she is (to me) the Goddess of Spinning Colorful Yarns. And Colorful Yarns are my obsession.

Abby Franquemont of Abby's Yarns gave Deb and me a heads-up and we connected and I could not be more thrilled! And frankly, having Abby there, too, is a great thing. She is totally an expert and I have learned a lot from her before now through her blog.

And so, the yarn: Exercise 1 skein I forgot how nice spinning batts is and spinning singles yarn is so relaxing. What I'll do with a million little 30 yard skeins I don't know, but it's never bothered me before. If I can come up with a decent color progression, I'll have some socks to show for it eventually.

Next up, "Make a color cooler." So blue and green it is!

And if you have any good thoughts to send, please send them to my step-dad who is having minor (but what is really minor?) surgery today. Love you, D! Mom, call me when it's over, K?

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