Friday, February 27, 2009

In a Weird Place

I finished a pair of socks this week. They are a wool/nylon/bamboo blend dyed by me. The colorway is called Royal Smile. I was trying hard to dye up something that would NOT POOL. I hate pooling. I know some people feel that there are examples of "good pooling". I don't.

Anyway, I do think I achieved the "no pool" thing. They are plain toe-up, fleegle heel, socks with a 2x2 rib for the cuff. I used a turkish cast on too. I always forget that.


yay right? Also, I have my Central Park Hoodie to the point where I must block the fronts and back and sew the shoulders before I can knit the hood. Some of you may know that I block my sweaters before I sew, but I HATE it and tend to procrastinate. Needless to say, CPH has been at a standstill for a few days. It is currently soaking and will be headed down into the basement for blocking TODAY. I figured I might just as well block the sleeves as well since I'm going to be screwing around anyway. Now this time, I'm going to time how long it takes. Maybe it will only take me 3 minutes and in the future, I can console myself when I have to go down and block by reminding me that I can "bite the bullet" for 30 minutes and stop being such a baby!

I really don't know why I hate to block so much. It's weird. I'll take some photos when she's pinned out and show ya later.

Anywho, when I was nearly finished with those socks above, I realized I had nothing else on the needles to go to when they were done (since I couldn't do anything with the CPH). I started to sort through my queue. I have a good sized queue on Ravelry and I had at least three yarns I was interested in using, but I just wasn't having much luck.

Finally, I stumbled on the Bella Mitten pattern. I'm currently listening to this audiobook (Twilight) and frankly I am not impressed. I don't see any difference between teen romances and this book, aside from the fact that the hero just happens to be undead. Otherwise he is typical romance hero. She is typical romance heroine and I am bored, but I almost always finish an audiobook I've started, so there you are. But, I digress. I did decide that I like the Bella Mittens and that they would be suitable for some handspun alpaca I have been working on.


The photos are only a wee bit overexposed so the cables don't show as well as they do in real life, but I still like these mittens quite a bit. One is done now, so I expect FO photos soon.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Bits and Bobs

You know, it's another way to say odds and ends right? I have just that to show. First, I finally made it to a Late Night Yarn Party at City Knitting in Grand Rapids. It was a zoo with lots of ladies and gentlemen hanging out, eating, knitting maybe a spinner or two.

Here's BethanyG talking to Coggietm and Debra (who's Rav name escapes me at the moment).
If you'll notice, some poor woman in the background looks quite horrified to see me taking a photo and seems to think she's the subject. Sorry!

There's another photo I took with flash, but oddly it is not as good lightwise. Hey, Ansel Adams, I am NOT!

Next, I tried to take some daylight photos of my blocked Estes Park. I haven't woven the ends in yet, but maybe today, then I will fold it and put it in the hatbox I use to store my knit shawls.
I tried to get a good photo of the beads, but if you look very VERY closely, you can see a few. The bead color was aqua, so they blend in mostly with just a sparkly wink here and there.

Sorry for the blur, it's an extreme closeup!

Hey and a culinary victory. I've had in my head that I wanted to try this for awhile. It's sort of a breakfast muffin/quiche/souffle? Hey it's the BMQS Version 1. The Chief got up a bit late so I didn't have time to do his, but number 5 got this for breakfast.


Success! A bit of tweaking and I think we'll have a winner here! He was quite in love with them and hoping to get them for breakfast many times in the future.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Something I hate to do . . . . Check.

I hate blocking. Now I totally know it's a necessity for me. If I don't block, my sweaters don't look as nice, my lace - well we know what lace looks like when unblocked.

I finally blocked Estes Park aka Secret of the Stole III. yesterday! The photos aren't that great, but I will probably never be much better so I'm not even going to apologize.



The pictures really don't do it justice at all. I used a thin laceweight yarn, and I'm thinking that I'll make another with some nice white laceweight that has a halo and silver beads, or maybe light blue sparkly ones, but anyway, it is still much prettier than the photos show.

I'm going to the Late Night Yarn Party tonight at City Knitting in Grand Rapids. I'll try to remember my camera!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Say What!!??

Hey this has never happened to me before! I got an award! I got it from Ria . Originally, Ria and I both belonged to a knitting/crocheting group on MSN, which I left a bit after joining Ravelry. She writes about her knitting, her favorite Racecar driver, her family and lots of stuff!

Thank you, Ria! I have to award this to seven more bloggers, so I'll let post soon when I figure out where these are going.

Also, I said I would write a post about the Chief's Birthday. So I got him a brewing session at a nearby microbrewery. They have this really cool setup inside the tavern part where you can brew 11 gallons right there. Little did Chief J know, but I had invited a bunch of friends and family to meet us for his brewing session. When we got there, he got a surprise! It was fun.

So he (and all the fellas that were in attendance) went back and first mixed up the grains and mashed them in some machine, then they went into a sort of ginormous teaball and into a big tankful of water to sort of steep for awhile. Um after that the steps get a little bit fuzzy, but anyway he had a great time and learned a lot. He made scotch ale.

So the tanks are over on the right of the photo, The Chief is waiting with his "brewmaster" and yes, that is my sock bag on the left. You never know.


So here he is looking at the unfermented, mixture or concoction or whatever you call it. We tasted it. It tasted like water that had grain boiled in it. Go figure.

And here they are . . Well actually I have no idea what they're doing. After a few beers I stop listening closely, but I'm sure it was really important to the process.

Last of all, The Chief ended up with 11 gallons of his very own ale, in a fermenting barrel.


I think he liked it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Late as Ever

I have a photo here of the batts from the Jacob Fleece I bought last year at the West Michigan Fibre Festival.

It will be very soft and fluffy yarn. I've been working on loft in my spinning so it'll be perfect for that practice. There are some noils in it, but I'll just pick them out as I spin if I don't like how they are. Sometimes I like the tweedy look they add, so we'll see how it goes when there's spinning going on.


Plus a blast from the past. I haven't waxed poetic in a blue moon so I leave you with this photo of the 2009 daffodil nubbins and a link to my classic poem to their ancestral nubbins of 2008.


For the poem, just click here.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cough Cough

Oh man, I've been sick! Last friday afternoon I started to feel a tightness in my chest and the desire to cough constantly, and it all went downhill from there.

Now i am starting to get back on my feet, I've done all I can think of to loosen the chest congestion and the fever seems to be gone so yay, me!

I did manage to do a few things before, I got sick and washed some fiber while I was sick too.
I spun half a batch of dyed Suffolk from last summer or fall. Just to show you the yarn/roving, I took a photo of both. I'm not the best photographer there ever was, so I am having trouble with the color, but at least you get the idea.

I love it, but it's thicker than sock weight. I don't know yet what I'll do with it. Time to spin up the rest so I can put that batch to rest right?

I also seem to have gotten the hand of washing fleece in my washing machine.

I've washed some Suffolk and some Jacob

The jacob is all carded and blended. I'll show you the batts tomorrow. They turned out lovely.

I also washed a white alpaca fleece.
It's turned out to be much softer than the fawn colored one that I'm still working on. I do think it's much cleaner after a wash in the machine instead of the sink. I can't wait to spin it!

Last, I washed the Shetland Fleece I got from Windswept Farms. It is FABULOUS. I also carded up a wee bit to spin, and I combed a bit so I could see which prep I prefer. I decided to store the little skein with it. Later when i come back and look into the bag, I'll have that skein to give me an idea of what's waiting in that wonderful bag for me!


It is very soft and squishy.

Oh and last week I taught myself to comb fiber into top. Here's some little puffs of BFL that I used for this practice. They're very nice, but I need practice.

Oh well, I'll have time for practice while I convalesce right?

Hope you're all feeling healthy!

Friday, February 6, 2009

A rant and a story or two

Why is it that so many women (I mean maybe it's men too, but I've noticed it more with women) just don't even have the self-esteem it takes to be a good friend? I mean WTF! Why can't they just BE HAPPY if something good happens to someone they call a friend? Instead they feel the need to "top" it. Or find fault with it?

That kind of person really isn't your friend. I'm so sick to death of it. If you're reading and thinking, oh no, is it me? It probably is on some level. If you can even ask yourself if you are just jealous of every good thing that hapens to your "friends" and have to either argue, nitpick, find fault with, or top everything, then it's you. That's right. It's not me, IT'S YOU.

And let me tell you something else. If the person who is supposed to be closer to you than anybody else tells you that you're selfish and rude a lot, then you probably are. I'm so sick of women (maybe it's men too, I dunno) trying to find some excuse for the person that tells them the truth. If they say it over and over, there is probably some truth to it. Stop excusing yourself. Get some self-esteem before you lose another friend. Just sayin!

Ok rant over. I finished a cute hat for the boy. He loses them. What can I say, he's 10.
I know, he looks a little drunk. Don't worry I just caught him at a bad second, I don't send my fifth grader to school toasted.

Also, I was working on my CPH and realized I had twisted a cable the wrong way - oh round about 32 rows down. SHIT!

I don't know if you can see well in the picture.
Well I'm not going to frog back that far, but I just couldn't leave that thing that way. So I laddered it down.

Looks like a hot mess huh? Come back and see it fixed. I haven't taken a photo yet, but I will here fairly soon.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Tomorrow I will have a real honest to goodness post (maybe), but for today:

Heidi left me a comment asking what "spinning from the cloud" is. Basically, after you wash some locks, you tease them apart either with a picker or with your hands and then spin directly from that fluffy bit of fiber you just pulled apart. I will try and make a video of it next week with some alpaca that I have washed. I hope that's a good explanation. It makes a fluffy, lofty, fuzzyish yarn. I'll be doing that more often. I really enjoyed it.