Monday, January 7, 2008

November 2007

November 30
Son of a Nutcracker!
Well yesterday I gave myself a heart attack. Oh yeah I did it to myself.

See I have craploads of presents to knit as of right now and I set my GCarriage up to knit some ribbing yesterday for socks and it was NOT WORKING! That's what i said people: My GCarriage DID NOT OPERATE.

Well I could tell a long story, but after sweating and just about freaking out, changing the needles, tension, weight, and doing it all repeatedly. I mean i was FREAKIN OUT! I got my GCarriage off ebay used and it doesn't Cast off. Well I shouldn't say that. I realized that maybe it does if I do a knit row first. Does anybody know if that's what I'm supposed to do? Knit a row first before I Cast off?

I digress.

So I had switched it to the Cast off setting. After I changed it back to the correct setting (oh yeah I'm a dumbass) it worked like a charm.

The offender.

November 27
Whoops (yet again)
I mentioned last week that John and I had collaborated on an orifice hook. They will be for sale on Etsy starting tomorrow (still setting up the store). I made the polymer clay bead and John did the rest.

Oh so much going on. I have figured out how much of the stoles have to be accomplished on a manageable schedule to make sure they're all done for Christmas gifts. I can do it! It's sort of been nagging at me that it's impossible, but now that I have a schedule figured out, all I have to do is follow it (HA). Yeah I can hear you chuckling. Just shut it.

Now I have mentioned before that I have loved Gone With the Wind since I was a little kid. I get teased by the kiddos and the Chief about my collection of Scarlet O'Hara and Rhett Butler Christmas Tree ornaments. Here is one next to a snowflake I crocheted back in 1996 when I was getting married the first time. We got married in February and I ambitiously decided to crochet 200 snowflakes to hang over the dancefloor and give away to guests as a unique wedding favor. I am told there is still a friend of my ex-MIL who covers her tree in these. Oh yes, she stole them off tables when other guests were otherwise occupied dancing on other tables etc. (Yes, I do have a photo of bridesmaids and groomsmen dancing on tables at my wedding)

Now that's just one Scarlet. I do believe I own the whole collection. I see the envy in your eyes. Eat your hearts out!

Also, I am clearly getting either hormonal or my normal holiday verklempt feelings are early. Yesterday I sat sobbing in my car while that horrid song The Christmas Shoes played on the radio. I couldn't even go into the library as planned as I was stuffed up and ridiculously red-eyed. I get easily choked up this time of year because I'm just all thankful for everything. It's so gross.

Oh and a new (to me) spinning wheel is on it's way to me AS YOU READ. It shipped yesterday. The Chief is still building me one, but I really didn't know if I could stand waiting so this is a temporary one until he gets mine done. I'm sure I can get my money out of it reselling because I got a remarkable deal.

Well gotta get to work today. I have a knitting to accomplish to make sure my sisters both get nice presents this year.

Come back and see spinning soon. I will be allowed to spin as long as I have accomplished my knitting goals for each day so I'm really having to bribe/punish myself to stay on task. Sometimes it's nice to be such a simple girl.

November 24
Spinning news and Proof that the Chief and I are crazy.
This is above our fireplace.

We used to have a lovely painting that my mom did there, but it's moved in favor of a mirror that lets us sit by the fire and watch TV at the same time. The Chief is just hanging it now. You see it's chilly here and his wife wanted a fire and a movie, so he obliged as usual.

Also, yesterday we went down to a lovely little market we have here around the holidays called the Kerstmarket. They had NOT ONE BUT TWO booths with roving. One was alpaca and one was wool. I got 8 ounces of gray alpaca and 8 ounces each of Suffolk and some other kind of wool from local places. Also there is yarn to knit number 5 a pair of socks. Heaven!

Next, the Chief and I collaborated on a new orifice hook for me.

You guys I've met my monthly limit on photos but I have like four more for you so I'm going to have to start resizing so that I have more room. BAD BAMMERS. You can visit the new fingerless gloves for Number Five here. It's handspun I got from Etsy. Comment if you want a link, but I absolutely LOVE this stuff.

I've also got a pair of Christmas socks going. They are worsted weight Artyarns supermerino. I know worsted ends up thick but I thought they would make nice house socks.

I hope all you Americans had a wonderful Thanksgiving and everyone else had a wonderful weekend.

Also I got a message regarding the Alpaca Machine Knit socks from a few days ago. For some reason, I can't reply soo:

Dear Lynne,

I don't know if you have a ribber, but that's what I use to do all but the ribbing. Makes sense right? If you are interested in the pattern, message me again and leave me your email address and I'll send you Machine knit Socks ala Bammers. Thanks for stopping and sending me a message about them. My pattern is more of a recipe where you put in the gauge and the size of your feet and then follow the directions accordingly. Clear as mud? Super.

November 21
Socks and Cookies. . . If heaven ain't better than this . . .
I finished two pairs of alpaca Lustre socks. The right pair was knitted on my Brother 860 with the ribbing knitted with a garter carriage (I sort of half wrote/half adapted the pattern from an amalgam of others), while the right are hand knit on Size 1 US needles. The pattern is Hedera and it seems to be one of my faves lately.

Is the whole fundraiser cookie dough thing something we do in the Midwest only? My son had to sell cookie dough in tubs for a school fundraiser. Last night I broke into it and baked two sheets full of cookies. As soon as the Chief came home he smelled them and said "Oh if I'd have known this I would have gotten some vanilla ice cream on the way home."

Well of course I said "Go, HURRY!"

He made cookie ice cream sammiches

Apparently they were yummy. I saved mine for a day when chocolate is needed.

Number five opted to enjoy immediately. Enjoy your holiday and family if you're in the U.S.! I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

November 19
Where I wave the white flag and surrender to Christmas. . .
I've been bitching about the early Christmas music and everything, but this was the last weekend until December that I'd have numbers 3, 4, and 5 all together in the house with us. We decorated our tree.

YES, I know it's annoying, but I like my family together when we decorate and the schedules are so busy for the rest of this month.

I've been working on Mystic Waters. Clue 4 is very nearly finished which means I can go back to Chrysopolis for Clue 4.

Gaze on MW and Santa (that I painted myself in younger days. Go ahead and laugh)

I'm over being embarrassed bout crappy crafts I've done in the past. Laugh it up! There's way more where that came from (jerks)

I'm grumpy today but its Knit Nite tonight so I get to go out and have some fun. Fun is in short supply around here although I had fun in the car with number 4 on Saturday and then Number 5 on Sunday. I guess I'll have to work a bit harder to find it in the little things because it's all I got!

November 16
When the weather outside is frightful
Bammers is veryyyyyy productive. Yeah I know it kinda makes a crap lyric to a song. I was in Sam's club the other day and heard Christmas music. Can you believe that?

I've finished spinning and plying the roving I had and just tried some Blue Faced Leicester of my mom's. It's a dream to spin. I'm going to Ebay right after this to buy some for myself. (errrr I mean look at some)

Ok I've knitted The Chief a hat out of the handspun burgundy/gray tweed. It's His Hat and my very first item knitted out of my handspun yarn (yay). It looks pretty hot on him but he's sleeping right now. I tried to figure out how I could sneak it onto his head while he was asleep, but I settled for the crystal rose bowl.

Here is a photo of the plied yarn drying. It looks a bit duller in color from being wet, but hey at least I'm spinning!

I know its not really easy to see the colors and stuff, but I'm quite excited.

I also finished a pair of socks for number five. Gray. Oh yeah exciting stuff. He's just not the most adventurous dresser there ever was.

I have lots more going on, so come back soon! In fact I'm starting to annoy people with how much I have going on (and thinking of stealing that BFL roving from my own mother. How wrong!!)

November 14
Lord, what fools these mortals be
Sorry, I was watching a Midsummer Night's Dream this morning while I was spinning. Oh yes, spinning! I had been planning to wait until after the holidays to buy more roving and continue practicing the spinning thing. Well, the Chief offered to take me over to a semi-local store that sells rovings in order to keep me going. I got some gorgeous variegated Lorna's Laces roving and have already spun up three bobbins.

As always, a sucker for pink. It's really spinning up beautifully. The colors aren't represented quite as wel as i would like, but I oughta have yarn to show you by the weekend. I'm about half done with Clue 3 of Mystic Waters. Just one more project I'm behind on. Clue 4 came out today, but John is going hunting tomorrow so I'll have lots and lots of time to get some projects caught up.

While he's gone I have plans to make him His Hat out of the burgundy/gray homespun. Come on back and see it in a day or two, ok?

November 12
Get ready; I'm feelin' Chatty
I blogged about my first spinning a few days ago and received this comment (truncated a bit)

Hehe... isn't it the most wonderful thing to be able to take some disjointed short little bits of fibres, and turn them into a long continuous chohesive thread!!?! Almost like spinning straw into gold! It's magic.I once had over 2 pounds of a bright red wool... and I spun it all on a spindle! Yes, it took me some time, but I enjoyed the whole process. I made many skeins of it, and am planning to knit socks with it one day (if I ever find them again!). Friends still ask me about that red yarn... that's all I worked on for years!

Well, Tallguy. I'll make a deal with ya. Send me that yarn and I'll knit you something my own self just for you. Hat and gloves, mittens or glittens, a sweater even. Or hey I'll knit you socks with my own two little greasy hands.

I have stuff to show ya'll too.

My very first two skeins of homespun. One is Ohio State colors (ala the Chief) It is dark wine Corriedale top plied with a heather gray Corriedale top and it's really quite nice. The other hank is all the rest of the dark wine Corriedale just plied together with itself. I believe that's going to be a hat, but I haven't made any decisions yet. It was drying from me "setting the twist"

These are really really pretty on, though they look kinda funky and shrunken in the photo huh? They're Hederas knitted out of pink Alpaca Lustre from YarnTreeHouse. Darnit they are for mom for Christmas.

Last, this is the Unoriginal Hat by the Yarn Harlot, and yeah I used a Crystal Rose bowl for a head. I like to think I'm resourceful, not a weirdo huh?

I'm keepin it. So there.

November 07
Um What the??!! and Major Gratitude
I have to laugh at myself. I haven't knit on the machines much lately as I have been too busy learning to spin and working on sixty gabillion KnitAlongs and a pair of socks for a Christmas gift. Over the weekend I decided Number 5 really needed another pair of socks. He has enjoyed the first pair i made him and its getting cooler. I had some super soft and squishy Heirloom sock yarn in a nice light blue so away I went. I made the mistake of not writing down the tensions I used and number of rows I used on the last pair (because I just don't learn none too quick ya'll), but I thought I could figure it out close enough.

Um apparently no.

The first sock I made was WAY too short, but as I had already grafted the toe, I figured I would just toss it rather than unravel it. My stash is insane and in the scheme of things, one socks worth of yarn tossed in the trash is not a horrible nightmare or anything. Well that was ok so I cast on a new sock and set my garter carriage to go ahead and knit the ribbing for one that would be right this time.

Can we all say "overcorrection?" Dude, not good.

I guess you need to use the knitting machine skills or lose em huh?

Also, I am just feeling huge gratitude for my home and family right now. We live in a relatively humble home in a fancy neighborhood, but this is the view from my family room (where I do most of my business and knitting related activities).

How beautiful is that right now? The weather was yucky - cold and kind of sleety, and my darling hubby built me a fire last night before he took off to Boy Scouts with number 3. I got to sit in front of the fire, finish the heel decreases on the pink alpaca hedera I'm working on, and even make some progress on Clue 3 of The Secret of Chrysopolis. Oh yeah baby!

November 05
You Should Totally Blog This, Mommy
Lemon custard for dessert last night. I think technically it was a chiffon because I had to fold whipped cream into the custard at the last minute. Does anybody know if that's the definition?

John has talked about a lemon crunch pie he got from a nearby fancy bakery since the day I met him. I did make an effort once before that turned out just terrible. (oh well) Tried again last night and finally


Ok so it could be prettier, BUT both the Chief and Number 5 took pieces in their lunches today because they loved it. Number five (in between licks off his fork) said, "This is so awesome, you should totally blog about this, Mommy."

I took a recipe off and modified it to be more like what John described.

Spinning: I'm also on my third bobbin of the dark red fiber. It's turning out quite nice now that I am starting to get the hang of spinning (don't assume I'm doing it really well yet, but I can tell it is getting better with practice) and I have worked on the Pink Alpaca Hedera (just started the heel flap) and also am almost finished with Clue 2 of Mystic Waters.

Oh yeah and I also made the funniest pair of socks on the machine. I'll post a photo and explain tomorrow. They are so awful!

Feel free to buy a book from me off Amazon (link provided). If sales don't come up soon, I shall have to put some sort of limit on my yarn purchasing and I have been knitting at a furious pace so that would be quite a shame in my book!

November 01
A Spinning Addict is Born
So Tuesday Night I went to visit with a Spinning Group at my LYS because my mom is interested in spinning. Well watching that just made me want to try it SO BAD. I bought some dark red roving just to practice with and guess what?


I made like 8 inches. you can see it on the bobbin. Not the white stuff, the red.

Aren't you so excited for me? Aren't you impressed? You know I'm the first person in history to do this. What's that you say? I don't care if people have been doing this for hundreds of years. Maybe I'm not the first person ever but DUDE, I MADE YARN!!!

This is an antique wheel and that hole up in the upper left corner above the tension knob is where the distaff attaches but we dun't use it.

Right now the Chief is monkeying with all the belts and pulleys or whatever (good lord I married an engineer so I wouldn't NEED to learn this stuff) and he is very particular so I know it will work perfectly.

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