Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's just another day, really.

Yep. Just another day. An anniversary of sorts. The big 40! I'm totally psyched because I feel like this will be a much better decade than the last. I spent the first four years of my thirties dealing with very small children and a lackluster spouse. After gathering up my courage to separate it took another six years to actually get divorced! In many ways I bare so little resemblance to that woman I was I am happier, healthier, and my self-esteem truly comes from me and is fine.

Exhaustion has set in for me today. No knitting tonight. No dyeing or spinning. Reading and sleep. It's supposed to get down in the 20's F tonight so I'm hunkering down in my flannel sheets under my duvet and enjoying my toasty, sleepy space.

Monday, February 25, 2008

More dyeing

I was working on dyeing some on Friday night and part of Saturday and I did some gradated jonquil, fuschia, and greens.




I really love gradated colors when I'm spinning. I keep coming across new color combinations that I think, "Oh, I'd like a pair of socks in THAT!" Right now I've got a pot on the stove, some 64 count merino soaking, and am just waiting for that magical moment of temperature to start some blue roving. I've ordered some more that is on the way, so I'll have lots to do for a while.

I finished the first sock of the second "smitten" yarn. It looks great! I try and upload it to Flikr and it stalls out - not sure why - I've tried resizing the picture and fiddling with options and there's no difference. Maybe the sock doesn't want to be seen by itself. The second is only about 10% done; it may be a while until the photoshoot.

I'm reading Haven Kimmel's new novel "The Used World." I like it, but then I like her writing a lot. I find her fiction and non-fiction equally funny, heart-breaking, and riveting. I'm so glad she moved to Durham, the mere thought that I could run into her on the street or in a store makes me happy.

Off to check the roving!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bye, bye Uniqlock

I had to get rid of it. It was too loud and busy and despite the lure of a free cashmere sweater or scarf I reflected that I have never won anything in my life. Well, I once won a cheap "as seen on TV" mandolin in a raffle at a Halloween party when I was 11 or 12. I don't think anyone would call me lucky.

In the World of Fibery Goodness there are more rovings in the dye pot, yarn drying in the shower, and socks still on the needles. The rovings are similar to the previous batch (because I love the colors, that's why) and I'm still pushing the plying together idea. I swear to the Goddess of all Wooly Creatures it is the best thing since a scone! The first I'm calling "redbud" because the fuchsia in it reminds me of my favorite indicator of spring here in North Carolina, the lovely Redbud.



And the other is different shades of browns, I'm calling it Trunks. Naming fibers is not my forte.


Tomorrow cleaning, feeding the snake, dyeing and teaching a friend how to knit socks are all on my To Do list. I'm planning on doing some of it early since I am awake at the crack of dawn (before, actually) every day so that at 9:30 I can sit down and knit or spin while watching my favorite cooking show and Brit Jamie Oliver. He made a Guinness, steak, and cheese pie a couple weeks ago that looked brilliant. I may have to order the UK version of his new cookbook, Jamie at Home, because I can't keep waiting for the US version. I have a scale that does grams anyway, so I'd be set! It's the little things...

Speaking of little things, I'm torn about my favorite Brit comment. I adore Neil Gaiman, Eddie Izzard, and not to mention one of the coolest women I know, Amanda. Hmmm. Maybe they're all my favorite? Here's a little Eddie 'cuz I had the crappiest day and he always makes me laugh.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

"Where is my mind?"

to quote The Pixies. Multi-tasking seems to result in lots of back-tracking because I tend to forget which task I was off to and start on another. Twice this week I've started the laundry but didn't put the lid down because I was going to make one final pass through the kid's rooms to make sure I had whatever I needed, got sidetracked by some other task only to find laundry that had been well-soaked and drained, but never actually washed. UGH!

The thing I'm having fun with right now is some columbia/dorset blend roving. The first is bright gold, red, purple, and plum. And the second is greens and browns. The idea would be to spin separately and ply together. I've been "studying" my random socks for color combos I adore.



possible ply

My second pair of random socks are almost half done! I've been neglecting all my other projects for socks and I've been feeling guilty about it. They are just as beautiful as the first pair. I've scored some more fiber scraps from funky carolina! Psych! More fun for me! A co-worker wants me to make her some random spun mittens. So far, I've just kind of laughed to avoid having to take any kind of stand one way or another. Honestly, I don't think I'd even make them for my children (their feet grow too fast)! That sounds incredibly selfish, but since I'm not about almost everything else, I think I get to be about this.

There's some more roving cooking in the pot and I need to do a little more work on the last skein of yarn I did (looks too much like an Easter Egg for my taste), and then it is knit and read after the kids are in bed.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More yarn...

I dyed some more yarn last night - it's hanging up to dry and I've got eight ounces of roving finished and drying too. I'm dying the roving thinking of plying now. The first roving moves from green to brown and the second roving starts orange and moves to a deep plum - all because of random spinning! Once they're dry I'll "ply" the rovings as a sample. When I look at roving I don't think of spinning any hunk all by itself anymore... isn't it funny? Maybe I will do that again one day, but I don't think it'll be anytime soon.

When I used to dye, I did it outside on a giant picnic table and would cold pour the dyes on the roving and then steam them in a bamboo steamer on a gas grill. There's no way I'm brave enough to do that in my house right now. I still harbor a slight aversion to fairly solid dyeing, but we'll see how it goes. It may be just the ticket, and since I'm going to ply with a different color it should keep me amused.

This yarn is rather autumnal, more brown than red and gold, I can't wait to see how it knits up. There are two more skeins ready to go on etsy.


I forgot to show you what my man gave me for Valentine's Day. Grow Your Own Prince. It started out as a frog (which dissolves) and then the prince is supposed to grow over the next 72 hours.

my prince

If you look closely you can still see the outline of the frog. Unfortunately, the prince has not grown. Leave it to me to get a dud prince. Heh. My man is a prince, so I'm good.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Setting up shop

A full five months after I thought I might, I've started setting up the etsy shop. I had a great dyeing set-up (outdoors) with Angela at her house, and I was more than a little afraid to do it in my rental house. I finally said, "WTF?" and just tried it. So far, so good. I seem to have a system that isn't too messy. Only four skeins so far (two are drying), but I had a good time on Sunday. I forgot how much of a nice groove it is. One dry skein is called Spring.

spring with label

And the other is called Winter Sky. This is the label-less version. I love dark, dark colors so I kept adding more and, of course, after a certain point, it didn't get any darker. The dark sections are really dark, though. Yea!

winter sky

We had some fun at the Eno today. The kids were in the very cold river, barefooted. People walking by looked shocked, but none of us cared. They were having a great time.

other side of eno

The children were not thrilled that I made them carry their own jackets, shoes, and socks on the way back.

hobos on bridge

The good news: they survived, they're tired. We're starting a new book and then they are off to bed! And I get to dye some more!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

More random spinning!

My new random spun is called "happiness" because it is and I am! Heh. Next time, I'm not using the bright green, I like it mixed in, but no so much with the red. I love it with the blue and blue greens so I think I'll save it for that. In the end, both skeins total 370 yards and are 15 WPI. MORE SOCKS!

skeins of happiness

Here's a look at the first skein in "cake"form.

happiness skein 1 (top)

And the second.

happiness skein 2 (top)

I am overly tired today, but the parts came for the dryer yesterday and I got home early enough today to have a go at some home appliance repair. I replaced the heating element first and when I hooked it up cold air was still blowing. I decided not to get frustrated (and pissed) unless the new thermostat wasn't the solution either. It was the solution! There is hot air blowing in my dryer! YEA! I haven't been so happy about doing laundry in a long time.

Off to finish making dinner and do more laundry.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I heart mac

I have been a mac owner ever since I bought my first computer (all but my first were used). LONGING, is the word I would use to describe my feelings about this beautiful beastie. I have hoping for the past year my financial plan would allow the purchase - it did! I am typing on it this very minute! The things this computer can do!

I did manage to get some spinning done. Experiment number two in "random" spinning. The skein is still drying so I haven't measured yet. The weight is almost 4 ounces.

new random spun

I'm in the middle of the second bobbin. I found some color pairings I really liked, so I'm thinking a little less random for the next venture. The rest of the evening will be devoted to more spinning, more iMac exploration (digging .mac and photobooth!), and drinking a Guinness or two. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Select a candidate

We had lots of outdoor fun this afternoon in the unseasonably warm weather. Duke Gardens (which used to be free, then was $1/hr for parking and is now $2/hr), and the park. There were eight children and two adults at the gardens. I took lots of pictures of the ducks, but I haven't had a chance to look at them yet.

I have deliberately avoided listening to the primary returns today. This whole Super Tuesday thing kind of pisses me off, we here in North Carolina don't have our primary until May. Yea, not much choosing left by then I'd guess. I'm trying to remain optimistic and hopeful about the future of our country. I figure if the Dumbass in office now can screw things up so badly in eight years, maybe the next person can do a little damage control in four.

I have a lovely widget to share, but the link isn't fitting so well on the page so I'm going to try leaving some space so it will work better. Scroll with me, please. It'll be fun...I promise.

Keep going.

A little more, please.



Because we have to, that's why. I like this method, there's so much spin (by the media and the politicians themselves) and this way it's just your opinion and the issues. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

You're letting the boys do what?

In a moment of motherly weakness, I allowed the boys to stay over at their friend's house on Superbowl Sunday. Why? Well, I don't give a shit about football but the boys do, and their friend's whole family loves football. Where do you think they'd rather be? The family also lives very close to their school so they could sleep in a little later after watching the WHOLE game. I think I wouldn't mind football so much - if it weren't for all the commercials. Players probably hate stopping every five minutes; no time to get their groove on.

The smitten socks are finished and blocking as I type!

smitten toe

smitten finished

I'm over half done with a pair of Saartje's booties for a co-worker's soon-to-be-born baby boy. The pattern is so cute, quick, and satisfying. I have plenty of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran left over to make several pair. Tomorrow, there's a trip to the LYS for wee buttons. I'm going to try a crocheted button loop for them. I wish there were a wee foot in this house to try it on! (Note: picture not to scale. Heh.)

william's bootie

The other unfinished chore is repairing the dryer. I'm fairly certain the heating element is shot, so after getting it out of the dryer I went to the parts store which is closed on Sunday (I kind of had the feeling this would be the case), so the old part is just hanging out in the back hatch of the car. The piece was a bitch to get out, and it seems like putting the new one in is only going to be worse. The weather is nice and the laundry is piling up quickly. I do have a clothes line in my back yard, but in Hillsborough people burn their leaves (I know how wrong/terrible it is - not to mention we're in a drought and have a ban on burning) so when I hang out our laundry it smells like burnt leaves. Yuck. I hope the Repair Goddess is with me tomorrow.