Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Newest Acquisition

This is Cerridwen. She's my newest wheel, a Baynes castle style. As you can see, she's in pieces. I bought her unfinished, and Peru and I spent Saturday staining her a lovely cherry. This shows her in the bathtub drying.

Sunday, we put her together. One of the most amazing things about our marriage and relationship is that we always work together without bickering. I can't count the number of pieces of furniture that we've assembled, and despite Japanese directions, or pieces missing, or pages of instructions missing, we still manage to have fun doing it. This, of course, mostly consists of me reading the directions, finding tools, holding pieces, etc, while Peru does the real work. So here is Cerridwen, fully assembled.

And here is the side view. It's very different to spin on than my Gem. The ratios are different, the action is different. It took a bit of practice to get Cerridwen spinning well, but it's coming pretty quickly. There is a mysterious clacking noise from the treadle that I'm working on eliminating. I think she'll be a wonderful plying wheel; she spins much faster than the gem with far less treadling. I was worried about being able to control the spin forwards and back, but really had very little trouble at all. I'm pleased as can be with my new baby. I plan to do some serious decorating on her, stenciling some Celtic knotwork and such at some point. My biggest problem now is finding enough time to spin everything I want!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Last week, Eric and Murphy both started school. Eric is attending Ventura College, which is a community college in the area. He's studying film arts; acting, film history. He auditioned for and got a part in a one act play already. The logistics of getting him to class are interesting; he's got one class every day at noonish, and one class every night at 7. Good planning, eh? But he seems to like it, and has already made some friends. I'm so proud of him. It's so strange to think of him being so grown up, managing things on his own.

Murphy is back at school as well, and is thrilled to have his favorite teacher again; Sharon. He's in kindergarten and is a math wiz! He can read five digit numbers, add and subtract and multiply. He loves to count the minutes till The Simpsons are on. He loves school and has lots of friends there. One really nice thing is that one kid who was kind of a bully to him last year seems to have grown up over the summer, and Peru arrives at school finding them sitting together and sharing lunch. Wonderful! He really is lucky to be attending such a great school. Thanks, Mammama!

Off to work... more pictures later.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Fiber Festival

Last weekend I didn't post, because I attended the 2006 Fiber and Bead Fest in Santa Monica. It was fun, but much smaller than I expected. Mostly was booths of beads and jewelry, with not nearly as much fiber content as I had hoped. The highlight was the Carolina Homespun booth, where I managed to spend a pretty penny, as they say.

The first purchase was something I'd been wanting for a while; Wool combs. These deadly items are invaluable for getting raw fiber under control. They are four pitch English combs, where one is clamped to the table and the other is swung (carefully!) perpendicularly to align the fiber. I'm waiting to have a quiet child free moment to try them out.

Next purchase was a pound of Ramboulliet top. I bought 4 four oz balls. One I gave to Murphy, and we spent the weekend dyeing it. One I gave to Eric, and he preferred to spin his first, then dye. He gave it a valiant try on the wheel; started off really well, but when the roving broke, had some trouble getting it started again. I unfortunately had to work, and left him in the lurch. We'll have to try later.

One thing I bought was really inexpensive, but I can't believe the difference it makes in my finished product! I bought a Niddy-Noddy. This is a simple little device for winding a skein of yarn or roving. It makes the skein neat and uniform and makes my homespun yarn look so professional! The yarn on it is from Murphy's last dyepot; I'm very proud of it because it's so uniform in size. The colors are really cool too!

The last thing I bought (and wasn't I being restrained?) was this lovely Merino/Tussah Silk blend. Ohhhh it's so yummy, I can't wait to spin it, but I have SOOO many projects going! It's going to have to wait some time, I'm afraid. Which is good; because I'll have gotten lots of practice by then!

There's many more things to tell and pictures to show, but they'll have to wait another day, as it's time for a game of Uno with Murph, and a sleepy bedtime.

Monday, August 14, 2006


Well, we have had an interesting weekend. On Saturday the wonderful gentlemen that normally do a lovely job taking care of our yard accidently cut the main water pipe into the house. Just a little nick. Unfortunately, it required turning the water off until it can be repaired. Ever look at those splashy ads in the Yellow Pages, where plumbers advertise in big bold red letters "24 hour Emergency Service!!!!" I have news for you... THEY LIE. Out of six that we called, only one returned our call. And he informed us that it would be $150 per hour for him to come out on Saturday. How many hours do you think it would take to repair this little pipe at that rate? I bet a few. My enterprising beloved gave repairing it the old college try, but with out the proper equipment didn't have much luck. So we're praying for an early visit from the plumber this morning, and fearing a motel stay tonight if it can't be fixed... I REALLY need a shower! And we won't go into the machinations necessary for say, a trip to the restroom. YIKES!

On the other hand, I got quite a bit of yarning done. I finished one bobbin of the lace weight blue and plied it; haven't set the twist yet as we have NO WATER!!!!! but did manage to ply and wash some of the heavier weight blue and Murphy's yarn Friday, before we went dry. The blue is so silky feeling; I have to look again and see what variety of wool it is. It's not a blend, that much I know; this is the first wool I took from raw wool to yarn!

This is yarn from the Merino roving that Murphy handpainted. It's gone through some interesting changes, and I have learned a lot from doing it. It's very soft and the color changes are kinda wild, but the overall effect is muted, and thank goodness, not girly pink. I'm not quite sure what to make from it though!

I started several projects this weekend. Some I will post pictures; others are for gifts and will have to wait till the recipient has seen them for posting. Some I'm really excited about. And some are waiting for WATER for blocking...

More later...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ventura County Fair Part 2

On to the fun stuff at the fair! First thing through the gate, Murphy and Eric hit the big slide.

Then we did some browsing and shopping, and then stopped into Uncle Leo's Barn, which Beardsley & Son sponsors every year. The only thing Murphy was really interested in there were the chickens, for some reason. He was very excited to see a real live chicken, which he did. Which promptly pooped just inches from Murphy's nose, making him gag. A farmer, my child isn't.

Then the Dragon Wagon - the first "all by myself" ride. What a grin on his face; he had a blast!

It was corn dogs and steak sandwiches for lunch, then back to the rides! Here we find Daddy, Eric and Murphy in line for the Tilt-a-Wheel. For the SECOND ride. Sigh. Murphy takes WAY after Daddy. LOVED the Tilt-a-Wheel.

A hang gliding ride; he liked this one after a while but was "a liddle scared" that he'd fall out. Daddy rode beside him and made him feel safe.

It was a wonderful fun and exciting day and we're already anticipating next year.

Ventura County Fair Part 1

Mommy played hooky from work today, and we all four packed up and went to the Fair! We had a total BLAST!!!! First stop was the Home Arts Pavillion, where I had entered five items. Wonder of wonders... I WON!!!!! I won two first place awards.

One for a crocheted scarf,

and another for a crocheted, felted bag.

I also won a second place for a homespun crocheted bag.

as well as an Honorable Mention for a skein of homespun yarn.

I also entered this knitted bag, which didn't win anything.

I am extremely pleased, as I entered on a lark and really didn't expect to win anything. Four out of five ain't bad! Watch out, because I'm already planning for next year!