Saturday, July 30, 2005

Hero crush over?

I haven’t been doing so much knitting or spinning in the last week. I did try dyeing with Kool-Aid in the microwave I used a dog comb on my fleece, tied bunches of it, and proceeded to dye. I felted the ends of one of the bunches (I swished when I shouldn’t have – I have a natural inclination to swish). The colors will probably be cool once they are spun, but my one spindle is full of mohair/Romney and I’m only about halfway through seven ounces.

The spinning from the lock on the wheel is very nice. I’ve been using washed fleece and after it’s spun I’m going to try dyeing it. My inspiration is all those cool sock yarns. The spot dying method is calling to me.

I finished Steve Earle’s biography Hardcore Troubadour tonight. I read somewhere (from a fan) that is isn’t flattering. It is not. I still think he’s fucking brilliant, and better off drugs than on, but Good Lord what life! I cannot even begin to imagine being a family member, lover, wife, band mate, or friend of his while he was in the grip of an intense drug habit. He blew through money and wives like water through a sieve. Maybe his fifties will be a period of relative calm, and hopefully prolific songwriting.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Books, the fleece, and the yarn

I went at Steve Earle for a couple of days, but the lure of Harry Potter (and the fear that someone would spoil the plot for me) made me read my ass off for the past couple of days. I'm done with book six. I liked it. There, that's all you get for now in case you haven't read it yourself. I'm going back to Steve tonight, I've felt rather odd dissing him for a sixteen-year-old fictional character.

The fleece is begging to be dyed, and carded. I'm going to try Kool-aid first, because it's cheap and dye it first and blend some colors while I card. I hope to go to my favorite LYS and get carders this weeked - yea! The next couple of days are busy for me, so maybe Thursday will be Fun with Dye Night.

I have made no progress on any of my knitting this weekend (the first one since mid- January) and it is really weird. I'm on the home stretch of the sock and the scarf, so I need to get back at it. My hands have had a good rest, so they'd better not complain when the knitting starts up again.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

The parts I left out about the fleece...

It was my first time washing a fleece. I would just like to say Eowyn was incredibly excited about the box and followed the sheepy-smelling bag of wool all over (and licked her lips, which makes me think getting a couple of sheep might be a bad idea with my dog). Also, washing the fleece in the large galvanized bucket was difficult. I wanted to find something bigger than a regular bucket to haul water out with, so I dumped one of the boys' toy buckets and used that. I used three of those and one huge pot of boiling water off the stove. While the fleece was soaking I'd read the new Harry Potter. When I needed to change buckets I hoisted the fleece in a mesh laundry bag and let it hang on one of the branches of my ornamental cherry tree (it worked well, but got a few looks from passersby). After all that I spun the fleece out in the washer and spread it out on Bowen's bed on towels. I also shut the bedroom door so the dog wouldn't get all cozy on it, or try and ingest it - it's kind of hard to tell with her sometimes. It looks quite lovely this morning. I didn't sort it out like I've read I should. I'm thinking of posting a Stupid Question to my spindlers group: Can't I just cut the gross, matted parts off and then spin them? I am sure there is a good reason for not doing this, I just don't know what it is.

New dilemma: The Steve Earle biography, Hardcore Troubadour arrived in the mail today. Do I finish The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell (which is good, but it's not Steve Earle), read some more Harry Potter (also good, but not Steve Earle), or settle in with Steve. Yep, my thoughts exactly - Steve it is. Dig the hell out of him. I'll leave you with a quote of him as well: I have a low tolerance for mediocrity in music and life. I'm into pain and joy, and the in-between doesn't interest me.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Baa, baa, Mabel, have you any wool?

Yesterday I was BORED - no children and I forgot the sock at work. I watched Alice's Restaurant (not boring) while coming close to the end of the Midwest Moonlight scarf. Today I arrive home and Harry Potter and my five pounds of Romney (from Mabel at Homestead Wool & Gift Farm in Monroe, WI) are waiting for me! I've been washing fleece - some in a large galvanized bucket in the yard (what the hell, the neighbors already think I'm crazy) and some in the washing machine. I've got to say I think the washing machine is easier. I have a bottom of the line washer, though, so it doesn't try and do a whole bunch of stuff I don't want it to do. It doesn't start agitating before I remember to set the cycle to spin after the tub has filled and it doesn't spit water into the spin cycle.

I haven't decided if I'm going to dye it before I card it or after...we'll just have to see.

Here's a picture of the Homespun Armor Sock. I used purple and orange because I was worried I wouldn't have enough of the purple for two socks if I didn't. I had originally thought it wouldn't matter since that part would be inside a shoe. However, since it is too thick to fit in a shoe and it is now a slipper I am officially Not Caring About It. And if you really believe that, well you mustn't know me that well. Oh, and I am making a matching Armor Sock - it's on the sticks, so to speak.


And a picture of BOTH Railroad Rib socks, to prove I do not suffer from SSS.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Mostly socks

Behold! In three days she made a sock; and saw it was good. On the third, fourth, and fifth days she made another. And her feet were well pleased.


There is, I’m happy to say, another one but I couldn’t be too anal about pattern matching because I made a hat before I decided to make socks with the Opal. I know, what was I thinking? Well, I frogged the hat so I could finish the socks. The pattern actually matches…about two inches from the heel and on up to the toe. Weird, eh? I used the Railroad Rib pattern from Fiber Trends. I had done two or three projects staight knitting in the round and needed a change of pace. You can't see the pattern the yarn makes as well, but it was fun.

My new rule is that I cannot knit socks at my house (well, unless I've completed one full round of pattern from the eternal Cozy shawl or Midwest Moonlight scarf). The latest sock should've gone to the library today. We had a "lost" book we found and desperately needed to be returned. The children had wanted to go, but then changed their fickle minds. They all looked at me and said, "Fine. We'll go to the library, but we're not checking out any books." Well, I had my two books within the first ten minutes and I sat and waited for them for another twenty to make their selections. I did point out that for people who were not going to check out any books, they now had twenty-one to read in the next three weeks.

Bowen has picked up his knitting again and is working on a scarf. He didn’t touch it for weeks and still remembered how to do it. For an eight-year-old first-time knitter, I’m amazed at the even tension in his stitches. He gets easily frustrated and sometimes cries if he doesn’t pull a stitch all the way off and notices on the next row. I feel like Tom Hanks in A League of their Own, “There’s no crying in knitting!” But...there is crying in knitting. I know this because I’ve done it myself. I’ve tried to explain that when you feel that frustrated with your knitting (and about anything really) it’s time to put it down for a while. This idea smacks of defeat to him.


My first sock of my own homespun is finished. It is so thick it’s more armor-like than sock-like. I told my daughter she could run across the gravel in those socks and be just fine. I’ll put up a picture with the next post.