Thursday, July 20, 2006

Musings on Fiber Folk and WIPs

I just discovered, accidentally, the blog Farm Witch. Just a few lines of reading, and I knew I'd found a friend. She sounds like quite an amazing woman.

I started to wonder about the intersection between the pagan community and fiber community. A lot of the fiber lists I read seem to have many pagan/wiccan/whatever members. I say seem to, because their paganism isn't touted, usually, but their screen name, or things they say seem to hint at it. And I wonder if their pagan beliefs and respect for earthen things leads them to spinning, weaving, etc, or vice versa, that the respect they have for fiber animals and handmade things leads them to Mother Earth type spirituality. Not sure it's an important question, just something I was musing today.

Life is settling down after Barbara's visit. Murphy's getting hyper with nothing to do, so Daddy plans a beach trip today. I haven't done too much on the Mystery Stole, as I couldn't concentrate while Barbara was here (wanted to focus on HER while I had her!) and now I'm too tired. I have been instructed that the cardinal rule of lace knitting is DO NOT ATTEMPT WHILE TIRED. Sounds reasonable to me.

So current projects:
1. Need to assemble the Berroco cabled bag. (Procrastinating cause I HATE joining!)
2. Making new gauntlets that fit for Murphy. Did one template, now need to find the perfect yarn.
3. One Skein Pal project is about a quarter finished. Can't tell what it is, as I don't know if she reads the blog, but will put up finished pic. Someday. Deadline; August.
4. Mystery Stole. 7 rows done of clue one, side one. Clue two released already; clue three due tomorrow. I'm a tad behind. But that's okay; I'm not going to rush it. The pattern is gorgeous, and I want MINE to be gorgeous. So I'll be happy if it's ready by oh, say Christmas. Or Yule.
5. I bought a new project bag. I bought it in natural canvas, so I could dye/paint it myself. So, I need to find a design and get it started before the bag gets yucky being used every day.
6. Currently spinning that cool blue stuff I got from I'm trying for lace weight again, and not making it, again, but this stuff has been a major deal; I'm not used to unprepared fiber, so cleaning and carding etc has left it less than ideal. LOTS of neps. I'm fairly happy with it so far. We'll see when it's plyed.
7. Speaking of plying... I have several bobbins full of fiber (a luscious black merino, and luscious white merino, some silk) that need plying, and even though I've had some success, I'm still not entirely over my fear of plying. Someday.
8. Organization. I need to inventory all my fiber and store it properly, and finish the notebook I'm starting for current projects. Slowly getting there.
9. Oh yes, the silk on my Bossie. I have several cops full, nearly ready for (yikes!) plying......

Sigh. I think that's it. For the important stuff, anyway. And this week is the deadline for entering things in the County Fair... do I have the courage?

Monday, July 17, 2006


My very asbestos* friend in the whole world, Barbara, arrived from Boston on Tuesday. She's the most fun, relaxing, non stress person Ever. We've been trying to spoil her with yummy food and play time and some "I'm going to do absolutely nothing at all" time. She did however, have to make pancakes for Murphy on Saturday. She was a good sport.

After pancakes, we went to the beach. Barbara got some solitary rock time.

Murphy got buried in the sand.

Eric hung out and watched the girls in bikinis.

Daddy and Murphy got to play in the surf.

And me? I walked the beach with Barbara and had a blast watching the people I love have fun.

Barbara and I have shopped and knitted and shopped and knitted and talked and giggled and had munchies and generally turned the clock back about 20 years. She leaves tomorrow, which I'm trying not to think about.

* Asbestos friend came from "bestest" friend, a mild corruption, but an apt one. She insulates me from things that would harm me. She's true and real and the person I most want with me in a firefight. And is just has hard to remove! Of course, she's minus that lung disease causing element...

Monday, July 10, 2006

New Yarn

I finished spinning the lime green yarn sent to me by my Dyeing for Spring Exchange partner. I was aiming for lace weight, but didn't quite make it, plied. It's about 21 WPI which puts it at the thinnest category of fingering weight. Still, I'm pleased; it's fairly consistent, and was GREAT to spin.

While I was carding, Murphy decided to try on a new look.

In family news, Murphy is learning to tie his shoes. He's doing pretty well, getting lessons from Daddy. He's practicing on the Spiderman skates Aunt Merridee got him for his birthday.

Eric is learning too.

Now we're preparing anxiously for the arrival of my asbestos friend Barbara, from Boston. She's arriving Wednesday, and we're all holding our breath. Can't wait to see her!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Yarn Harlot

Ok, finally, finally, I got around to posting the link to The Yarn Harlot's blog. Not only is she a wonderful knitter and teacher, she's laugh out loud spew the milk out your nose funny. I frequently forget to check her blog, and am always rewarded when I finally do remember. I'm hoping the link on my own darn blog will help me remember to check in more often!

Many thanks to Sharon, who graciously brought the Guild's drum carder to Nibbles N Knits last night (where it seems nearly everyone is spinning or crocheting, rather than knitting!) I spent last night and tonight learning how to use it, and carding the fibers that Murphy and I dyed last weekend. I now need to figure out how to retain the color definition when I want to. Oh, there's so much to learn, and so much equipment to invest in, who knew?

Tonight I start the provisional cast on for the Mystery Stole along. It's exciting and a tad scary all at the same time. So I'm off to check for the tutorial. Darn! Another link to get up!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Busy Weekend!

We here have had a busy weekend. Amongst all the normal chores and games and other weekend things, The GRADUATE (thanks to Mom and Dad, who managed to get him smiling without looking dorky) Eric got a JOB!!!! Whoo hoo, go Eric! He's the newest bag boy/general slave at the grocery down the block. Very excellent position, so close, decent pay, nice people. And it's my favorite grocery in town. We're very proud of him.

Then, Daddy got to play at Los Corporales, a Mexican restaurant in town. He plays blues with his friends, and this time even got to see someone he really admires at another place across the street. He had a blast. Someday, I'm going to be able to get away to see him play again.

Meanwhile, Murphy and Mom made homemade butterscotch/chocolate/cinnamon chip cookies. Mom hasn't been baking much over the last few years, so this was quite a treat. We had a lot of fun and Murph even managed to scarf a few cookies before bedtime.

Today, we had a REAL adventure. Murphy helped me dye some fiber! We used Kool-Aid in Murphy's chosen colors; red, blue and brown. Brown was a bit of a challenge for me, not having much experience with blending Kool-aid. I used 2 Tamarind flavor, 1 orange flavor, and 1 ice blue lemonade, which resulted in a color I didn't like at all. It came out a muddy olive color. So I added a couple of packets of fruit punch, which came out a lovely reddish brown. Here are some pictures; hope the colors show true! This is Murphy's design. He went with a spattered, tie-dye kind of motif. He seems to like it, and would like me to spin it, and make him a giraffe toy out of it. I have NO idea why a giraffe. Not what I expected at ALL!

This is mom's fiber. Wasn't too wild about the brown between the two bright colors, but it should be interesting to spin!

This last batch I just used to exhaust the leftover dye. I was amazed at how bright the red came out. I added the orange dye the white in the middle and was amazed at how much it spread! Again, it should be interested to spin!

I have to work tomorrow, but am already looking forward to Tuesday!