Saturday, June 30, 2007

Sin-Off Survey

Just reading the SOAR blog and they are asking spinners to fill out a survey to see how we like their mag, etc. Here's a link to the survey: Spin-Off Mag Survey ...Now, back to hauling boxes....
Oh, yeah...I got some new knitting and weaving books today...I will probably start doing some "no BS" reviews in the coming weeks. As soon a things settle down here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Fiber for Shawl

Here are the batts that I carded up for the shawl. I'm going to lay each the three colors on top of each other and pull into roving. I hope to maintain some seperation of the colors. We'll see how it turns out. Wish me luck!

Black and silver/brown alpaca
Tussah silk and grey Coopworth

Brown Cotswold and red Kid-Mohair

Drum Cards and Maintenance

It's been my experience to beware of any product that claims "maintenance free". There is no such thing. It's kind of like a self-cleaning oven...There's always something that you need to clean by yourself. The problem with my Louet Drum card is that it's one of those maintenance free jobs. As I was carding my fibers for my shawl, I noticed some "drag" as I cranked it. It was weird because I tried it with no fiber on it and it still got kind of hung up at a certain point....Well, I decided it needed a closer inspection.
The problem with maintenance free stuff is that it's not meant to be maintained and therefore not really meant to be taken apart. This one came apart pretty easy. What I found was a ton of fiber and fiber dust and grit embedded in the lubricating grease on the gears and it had dried rock-solid. I was kind of surprised at the amount of dirt as I always use clean fibers and keep the card in a box when not in use. Then again, it is 12 years old. All the parts are plastic and wood except for the metal crank and pin. I was afraid to use any solvents to break up the grease, so I tried using a tooth brush and tooth picks. I finally resorted to soaking the 2 small gears in some Dawn dish soap. That loosened up the gunk enough to remove it. Then I re-lubed the thing and put it back together.

So, a word to the wise...If it says it needs cleaning, then it is built to be taken apart and cleaned. If still needs to be done and it's a pain in the butt.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Busy Week

What a week. I've had no chance to work on any spinning stuff, and only about 45 minutes to knit on my wimple.

Spent my birthday on Wednesday running errands for my ailing step-dad while he was in Alaska visiting my brother. Checked his house again and there was a horrible stench! I checked out his fridge and tossed some green stuff, washed his extremely moldy coffee maker and it still stunk in there. I just couldn't figure where it was coming from. Then I decided to check the oven. I found what was left of a 3 pound pork roast that had never been cooked putrefying. It had been in there at least 2 weeks. Gag!

The GOOD thing that day was when I got home, my son, who is a mushroom fanatic, gave me The Rainbow Beneath My Feet
I can't wait to go "shrooming" and trying this out.

Today, I'm going to try and comb the brown Cotswold fleece for my shawl before the grand-girl gets here. 5-pitch English combs and 2-year olds don't mix. Have a great day.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A little Humor from my friend


Thank goodness there's a name for this disorder.Somehow I feel better even though I have it!!

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.

This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway,I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table,and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study,so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks,but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Coke is getting warm,and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke,a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk,but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter,fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid, there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter, the flowers don't have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day, and I'm really tired.

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....

Do me a favor.
Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Shawl Inspiration

I took a picture of thisPromethia Moth last week and I just loved the colors. While I was wondering what to do for the Spun Stitches KAL it kind of hit me. Why not take the dominate colors of the moth and make a blend to spin for a shawl?

So I looked through my stash and I found some.

(Clockwise from top)Deep Brown Cotswold. Tussa Silk, Grey/Brown Alpaca, Black Alpaca, Red Kid Mohair, and a Light Grey Hogget Coopworth.

I think it will work. Then I had to figure out what shawl to knit. Well, there could be only one... Wing-of-the-Moth . Now I just have to find the time. It's been hard to locate.


I started this wimple last fall for my mother from Knitting in America as a take along project. I fell in love with it when I saw it in the book. I spent most of my time knitting on it while she was in the hospital. I didn't tell her it was for her as I wanted to give it to her for Christmas. All though the weeks as I sat knitting it in her hospital room, she kept telling me, in no uncertain terms, that it was a stupid thing to waste my time on. Well, I decided that I liked it well enough to keep knitting on it for myself. She died at the end of September. It got to be a real pain in the butt to knit on after that. I knit a bunch of other things, but couldn't seem to too exciting about working on the wimple. Well, I've been knitting on it again at doctor's offices and car shops. I'm about 1/3 the way around the bottom lace edging. It's getting there. I think I've finally figured out why I hated working on it. It's not that it made me sad because it reminded me of my mother. It's because all I could think of is "It was a stupid thing to waste my time on." Somehow, I got it in my head that it was stupid and senseless, not really practical, too. Well, you know something? I love this wimple. I still think it's beautiful. It's OKAY to make something just because I like it and it's pretty.

That being said, I am just waiting to hear back from a shawl Spin/Knit-Along that I want to join. I've never participated in any kind of KAL so this should be doubley fun to spin and knit. Probably a waste of time and certainly not practical, but by will be FUN!

Wool Blend

I'm quick blended white corriedale and some grey unkown breed of wool together. What do you think of the 2 colors together for a fair Isle? There are a lot of nepps(SP?) so I'm going to give a comb on my five-pitch and see if that helps.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Plying Done!

Ya know? I love spinning, but sometimes it feels really good to have all my bobbins empty and nothing really important pending.

Here is the finished product. 15 ounces of domestic wool top thaT I dyed with PRO Wash-Fast Acid Dyes. I ended up with 1281 yards/1171 meters in a nice DK weight. Perfect for the EZ Fair Isle Yoked sweater that I want to make. Now I just need to spin the "main" color. Not sure what I want to do for that. I think I do some carding and see what I come up with.

Now I need a better camera so I can get the colors right on these photos. These are close but not perfect. Well, have a good one, you all...I'm off to the hot-tub to relax. Hope this horrible weather that's been going through here is done for the night...It could prove embarassing if the pole barn blew down with me in the tub.

Friday, June 1, 2007


I have changed the settings a little on the blog so only one day's worth of entries shows up. A special thank you to readers with dial-up connections since I get kind of picture happy.

I spent yesterday getting a relative onto an airplane in Minneapolis. I haven't flown since 1995 and has it changed! The aiport is HUGE. We took a shuttle bus from parking at one airport to the main airport and a train to get to the terminal. Walked forever to get to the right counter. We couldn't do the e-check-in because I needed to help this person to the gate, so I needed a pass. Then it was security which was pretty tough to do with this person. Then, we got into the middle of the airport and I was STUNNED. There are more shops and reasturants than most malls. 39 restaurants and eateries, 16 news shops, 44 stores: Body Shop, Naturally Cashmere, Author's Bookstore, etc. and tons of traveler services like massage, shoe shine, internet connections, etc. The big problem was walking through all that area and getting to the right concorse and gate. Thank goodness for moving sidewalks. Well, got him through the gate, looked at a map, found a shortcut, took the bus, got my car, and drove into traffic at 5:30 rush hour. Of course I was south of Minneapolis and needed to drive through the city and head north for 120 miles. Anyway, I made it home by 8 o'clock. Not bad, really, just more hectic than I like.

I'm still plying. I haven't had any time and today looks dismal for it, too. I'm going to try, though.

I brought the Wimple I'm knitting to the airport and it went through security with no problem. It's on one metal-ended circular. Too bad I didn't have a chance to work on it.

Well, off to the salt mines. Man! When I'm gone for one day, things really fall behind.