Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I think it took the slow boat...

...except that there shouldn't have been a boat involved--oh wait! I live on an island, maybe there was.

Simply Socks is doing a short yarn club for yarns with unusual fibers, and I decided to jump in with both feet, since there were only going to be three shipments over six months. Seemed like fun.

So, when Alison, the wonderful proprietor of Simply Socks sent the notice that the first shipment was sent, I was eagerly anticipating its arrival. And I waited...and waited...and.... You get the idea.

It was sent on February 8th and arrived on March 14th. That's a personal record for anything that's been sent, from the US or otherwise. I'm beginning to wonder if Canadian customs harbors suspicions about yarn.... Except that the second shipment (and my Rockin' Sock Club shipments) got here fine and with no noticeable delay.

I will say that Alison was great through all this. She responded promptly and was quite willing to send an extra skein when it looked like the first was lost to the vagaries of the US and/or Canadian postal systems.

Now I have to decide what to make with the delicious yarn...and it is delicious.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Just because I'm here

I'm thinking about it, so I'm going to post. I don't have too much to report that's different from last time.

I did finish spinning and plying a skein of cottolin. Looks a lot like the last skein that I posted a picture of, but a little darker in color. I have about 2 ounces each of four colors and I figured I would spin them all and then design and knit a bag (maybe to carry sock knitting). I'm thinking fair isle for the bag, but still undecided.

I have lots of ideas of things that I want to knit, weave, and design, but not enough time to do any of them. It doesn't help when I spend an hour playing computer games at night...

I will try very hard to upload all the pictures on the camera and post some stuff this weekend. I have some pictures of a couple of projects that are mostly finished. Maybe I'll even get some weaving content on here.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sorry it's been a while

But sometimes life gets you like that.

I had an unexpected trip back east, and that threw a monkey wrench into any plans I had for posting. I've been back for a week and a half and I still feel like I'm recovering.

I have made a lot of progress on the knitting and spinning front. I finished one pair of socks, though I don't have a picture of the finished objects...they were for my father and I finished them while I was with my parents, so I left them. Here's the picture that I had of them farthest along (which isn't nearly as far as I thought, I think there may still be a picture on the camera...):

I've also done some spinning. I went to a spin-in last weekend and I managed to get most of the second strand done for the cotton that I'm spinning. I just have a bit more to go and I'll have a second skein of cotton. Just two more skeins to go and then it'll be time to figure out what I'm going to make.

I'm almost done with a vest from Interweave Knits that I started a while ago. I really just need to sit down and spend some quality time with it and I can knock it off. I'm working on two pairs of socks ( is really slippers), and I'm definitely feeling like I need another project. But I'm trying really hard not to start anything until I finish the vest. I'll let you know how that goes.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Weird weather and wacky drivers

We had the most bizarre precipitation that I've ever seen today. I think it was technically hail, but when I actually walked outside to look at it, it looked conspicuously like know, that white stuff that they put in potted plants. It did change over to actual snow after a while, but it was very bizarre.

And, of course, this was a very wet snow--the kind that turn
s to ice as soon as you compress it. The sort-of main street that is just outside my house has a nice little hill on it (very little, hardly enough to notice). This hill rapidly became a sheet of ice. This did not deter a large number of drivers from trying to take the hill in both directions. Very few people were making it up the hill (mostly 4-wheel drive vehicles). Amazingly, during the time we were out shoveling the drive no one actually had an accident. Considering how slick it was, that's something of a miracle.

Apparently it got even worse. I had someone knock on the door and ask to use the bathroom, because it wasn't moving at all. And a bunch of people had taken the road as an alternate to the highway that's less than a mile away (but backs up pretty regularly because of holiday weekends or bad weather).

And, just to prove that there really was snow, a couple of pictures:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Too much knitting, again

I managed to do too much knitting over the weekend again. I know that I have to watch it because I tend to obsess a bit and I will get my shoulder into a state where it needs rest. I've taken the last 48 hours off from knitting, helped by the power outage that was caused by a windstorm on Sunday night. Luckily the power was only out for about an hour, so we didn't have to twiddle our thumbs very long.

I will have pictures of some FOs and whatever is still on the needles this weekend (assuming that it isn't raining the whole weekend). We actually have a prediction of some sunny weather for the next several days, though it's then supposed to go back to typical winter weather here.

My computer that has all my pictures is currently out of commission. It's looking like it has a wonky power supply and I'll have to decide if I want to replace both that and the memory that's gone wonky, or if I want to muddle along like I have been. The most important thing is to get the things that I really care about onto different storage so that I won't have to cobble something together to get things off the hard drive if I decide not to do anything. I hate dealing with computer problems. I'm coming more and more to like the mac that we got for Christmas last year.... It doesn't help that there are a bunch of mac lovers at work singing the praises.

Well, enough for now. I'm off to a spinning and weaving guild gathering to see what I can see.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


I pulled out my trusty Majacraft Suzie on Sunday to continue spinning some of the cottolin that I've been working on lately, and, much to my dismay, I found that the wood piece on the front of the flyer was cracked in half. And as soon as I touched it the little thingy (that on an Ashford I would call the orifice, but isn't really an orifice on a Majacraft) fell right out.

I decided to check with Majacraft to see if the thing might still be under warranty by any faint chance. As I was composing the email to them, I realized that I've had the wheel for more than 5 years. I'm not actually sure anymore exactly when I bought it, but I know it had to be more than 5 years ago. My how time flies when you're having fun. Needless to say, they don't extend their warranty for that long on the flyers.

Never fear! I was able to find a somewhat local dealer that can order me one and have it within a few weeks. I really like the fact that I can find out easily from Majacraft's website where their dealers are and that there is one relatively close.

Back to knitting and weaving...or maybe spinning more on my drop spindle. I kinda quit doing that for a while, so maybe it's time to pick it back up...

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Knitting and weaving and spinning, oh my!

As I alluded to in my last post, I managed to accomplish a lot in the last six weeks or so. I've managed a number of knitting FOs:

In no particular order, these include a hat that I knit to include in a Christmas giveaway that my company did, a pair of socks knit using the Naive Socks pattern, a moebius cat bed from A Second Treasury of Magical Knits by Cat Bordhi, a pair of coriolis socks based on the coriolis architecture from New Pathways for Sock Knitters, and a moebius scarf that was from a half skein left over from a shawl and a skein that I got as part of the swag from the Floating Knitting Retreat (and I can't remember what it was...).

I particularly like the color blending in the moebius scarf, and it suddenly became my winter scarf. I'm not known for wearing scarves in the winter, but this one just grabbed me and shook me, so I adopted it.

Technically, the cat bed isn't finished, since it still needs to be felted, but I'm counting it since the knitting's done.

I still have several things in progress, including a pair of socks for my father:

These are out of Tofutsies, and I'm using one of the other sock architectures from New Pathways for Sock Knitters.

I also have a bag that's destined to be felted still on the needles (but only have pictures of it when it was barely cast on) and a vest (that also is, sadly, only pictured as a wee cast-on item). At some point I'll get pictures of them farther along.

I've managed to also do a bit of spinning. I've been spinning some cottolin that I picked up one year at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival (probably 2-3 years ago). I've spun and plied one skein:

I've spun the first single of the second skein, and will begin on the second single this weekend. This is a pretty basic two ply...and I can't find the skein or the card where I have the details recorded, so I can't tell you much more about it at this point...

And I finally finished threading, tying on, etc. and started weaving the placemats that I started a looooong time ago:
There's not much to say about these. It's a summer and winter design, but I'm not completely happy with it. These were destined from the beginning to go into a charity auction anyway, so as long as they look ok, I will be happy with them. It was an interesting exercise in designing summer and winter, and since then I've read more about designing summer and winter, so I will definitely take that learning into account when I do the next design attempt.

And now, onto my reward for all this industry. I'm going to play a game for a bit!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Recipe box contest

I thought I'd start the year with a post responding to the recipe box contest over at Mason-Dixon Knitting.

Here's a picture of my (oh so boring) recipe box:

And a recipe from it that's from one of my great grandmothers. I got this from a cousin of my mother's quite a while ago. I always lose track of that part of the family, because both great grandparents were widowed at least once and had children from more than one marriage (if I remember right), so there are all these half siblings to try to keep straight. This is exacerbated by the fact that there was a large age difference between my great grandmother and great grandfather (I think it was at least 40 years).

Marilla's Thanksgiving Cake
Cream 1 cup shortening and 1 cup sugar together. Add 1 cup raisins, 1/2 cup shredded coconut, 1cup blackberry jam, 1 cup nuts. Combine 4 cups flour, 1 teaspoon allspice and add this alternately with 1 cup milk into which 1 teaspoon soda has been stirred briskly until it foams to the creamed fat and sugar. Bake in a greased pan until it tests done in a "moderate" oven. Frost with Boiled Frosting (1 cup butter, 1-1/2 cups milk, 2 cups sugar boiled to soft ball stage stirring constantly, beat while cooling to spread consistency).

I will post a disclaimer that I have not tried this recipe, which should be evident by the fact that I haven't put an actual value on the oven temperature. My knowledge of baking makes me think that "moderate" from the early part of the 20th century should be about 325-350 F, but feel free to do your own research to confirm this.

I have much progress to report on knitting, spinning and weaving, but I'm going to save that for another post. I've had the last week off, so it has given me a bunch of time to get some things done and make good progress on others.