Friday, December 20, 2013

Fluff of a different kind.

This little monster helped me update my fiber stash today.

He was so helpful in fact, that he's worn himself out and demanded I stop what I'm doing and let him take a nap.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A craft post - finally

Well, sort of a craft post. I haven't been doing much in the way of crafts lately. Mainly because of this little hellion, Razzie.

I can't spin because he's a fluff stealer/attacker/wheel demolisher. I also can't do much with finished yarns because, well, he's a cat and cats love to attack yarn. He carries off balls of yarn three times his size and kills them in dark corners. About the only thing I've been working on lately is my "I love scraps" afghan.

A non craft moment

If you've read this blog for any length of time then you know that we are huge Tolkien geeks in this house. With the theatrical release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug coming out this month, of course it was a time to celebrate.

When I asked my daughter to take pictures of the room, I didn't realize that she couldn't find her camera and used my crappy phone camera instead.

This is the food table.

I'll walk you through it since you can't really tell from the picture. The table cloth is burlap, there are baskets of nuts and apples. Cheese, crackers, bread, and raw veggies are laid out on slabs of wood. Ranch and French dressing as well as hummus are in little wooden bowls with tiny wooden spoons. Shredded cheese and onions are in little crocks. There's a crock of chili with clay bowls, and a wooden planter used for silverware and napkins. Scattered on the table are acorns, pine cones, and orange flowers made from wood. Bottles of root beer with cork stoppers, Sauron Cider, and Brandybuck punch along with pint sized jars with handles. Also on the table, in a basket, were the gift bags. This party was also to celebrate my daughters birthday (Oct) and mine (5 days prior)and since Hobbits give gifts instead of receiving them on their birthdays, we created gift bags for our guests. My daughter made necklaces with charms in which she placed Fairy Berries. She printed out maps and placed those along with polished stones and wizard dice into burlap bags. Along side this where tiny little flower pots planted with a seed. Something from the races of Elves, men, Dwarves, wizards, and Hobbits of middle earth.

In one corner of the room was Smaug on his horde. Smaug is a dragon nut cracker from Russia (thank you ebay) and he's sitting on a pile of gold coins (chocolate coins) and some of my jewelry.

On the mantle were set groupings of pillar candles as well as on the steamer trunk we use as a coffee table. On the walls were my daughters posters. One of the hobbit map, one of Thorin and Company, and another of the elves of Mirkwood. On the tv was a youtube video of a fire burning in a fire place.

We had planned on playing a Hobbit board game before dinner, eating dinner, and then watching the first movie while eating desert but our guests had to work the party into their work schedules so we ate while watching The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (extended edition), said good bye to our guests, and went to the theater for the midnight premier of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

By the end we had had a great, if not exhausting, day.

Since I'm slow to get things put away I snapped some more crappy but better lite pictures.
Smaug. Thieves have been here and took his gold coins.

I'm keeping the mantle like this. I just need to find someplace to put my baskets now.

Over the couch

Over the food table

Elves in the corner. Look at the lower corner. The kitten tried to kill them.

Wooden flowers scattered around the table.

Kitty aftermath

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How soon we forget.

I forgot what it was like, having a new kitten in the house.

You see this little, scrawny, crying kitten outside and you can't help but want to care for it so you coax it over to where you are already feeding the neighborhood strays.

He immediately takes to you and your daughter.

But because he's lived life in the streets, he's not so fond of other cats. Three months of having to fight for survival has earned him the name Razzi.

He kicks Nimue out of her house and takes over.

Because you are married to a person who is not 'one with the animals' Razzi has to live outside. You and your daughter spend enormous amounts of time just sitting and loving up little Razzi until he gets plump and round and looks healthy again.

Then, one day, you go out to feed him and he's limping badly, not eating or drinking, and has a bloody nose.

Help me!

So you bring him inside to make him comfortable, and too keep him safe, until the vet office opens on Monday. You were already selling things on ebay in order to pay to get him fixed/inoculated and for food for all the strays this winter. What's one more vet bill? You block off the living room to keep the other cats out (4 house cats), and make him comfortable. You search online and find out the bloody nose could be an upper respiratory infection and by Monday he has stopped limping and the swelling is almost gone. You decide to keep him in the house until his vet visit, just to be safe. In the mean time, the one who is not 'one with the animals' hears about the amount this will cost and is baffled that anyone would spend so much money on an animal that is not 'theirs'. He gets talked into allowing Razzi to stay inside as part of the family and given to his daughter who is about to turn seventeen.

And that's the story of how Razzi came to live with us.

Chapter two of Razzi's life includes threatening to beat up the local household residents until they have to take cover,

Enjoying excellent music,

Learning how to climb and uproot houseplants

And ticking this one off so much that she felt the need to climb up onto your desk while you are writing this post, and pee all over your stack of papers.

It almost makes me feel not guilty for his third vet visit next month. The one which will ensure that he won't create anymore unwanted kittens, like he himself was.

Well. Unwanted until now that is.

"Thank you for saving me", he says.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Procrastinators unite

This has nothing to do with anything I'm supposed to be working on, but it's so pretty I can't keep my fingers off it.

This is Brown Sheep yarn mill ends - black tone from, The Sheep Shed.

I love this stuff. It spins up to a really pretty heathery grey. I'm thinking of spinning a 3 ply yarn and making a hat/mittens/scarf set. I have some beautiful green mill ends too that I'll use with this.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Is there a wool intervention?

Last April I learned how to knit Intarsia. I instantly came up with ideas for knitting, not one but FOUR, afghans as Christmas presents. THIS Christmas.

Then a day spent surfing the web and I've rekindled my passion for learning how to hook rugs. BAM, I have a sudden brain storm for my mothers' Christmas present. THIS Christmas. Mind you the only hooked rugging I've done was latch hooking as a child. This step runner has to be classy and look realistic as the recipient does not appreciate anything remotely folk artsy.

These ideas and plans can not wait for Christmas's down the line, oh no! They HAVE to be designed and created by me in time to give this year.

Christmas 2013 now looks like:

One Intarsia Rainbow Dash afghan

One Intarsia Pinky Pie afghan

One Intarsia Apple Jack & Big Mac afghan

One Intarsia honkin' huge block afghan

One hand dyed, hand spun, hand hooked step runner (learn how to hook rugs first)

Four hand dyed, hand spun, hand knit Christmas Advent Wreaths (learn how to knit on dpns first)

Two or three hand spun skeins to gift to someone who doesn't think handspun should be sold for a lot of money.

I've said before that I need a wool intervention. Then it was to keep me from buying more fleeces. Now I need one to keep me from having all these "wonderful" ideas.

Monday, July 22, 2013

tdf13 - last post......probably

1 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 100 yards, N-plied, fingering weight.

2 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 298 yards, N-plied, fingering weight.

3 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 568 yards, N-plied, lace weight.

4 – Merino/Bamboo/Silk: dyed by WoolGatherings. 314 yards, 2 ply, fingering weight.

5 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 262 yards, N-plied, fingering.

6 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: drum carded. 286 N-pied, fingering.

7 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 124 yards, N-pied, fingering.

8 – Merino/Bamboo/Silk: dyed by Fiber Fancy. Hand carded into rolags by me. 168 yards N-plied, sport weight.

9 & 10 – Falkland: dyed by Fiber Fancy. 540 yards total, 2 ply, fingering.

11 - Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 452 yards, N-plied, fingering.

12 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 262 yards, N-plied, fingering.

13 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 268 yards, N-plied, fingering.

14 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 248 yards, N-plied, fingering.

15 – Finn/Dorset/Traghee fleece: hand washed & dyed by me, drum carded. 146 yards, N-plied, bulky.

16 – Super fine BFL, Colonial top, & baby Suri alpaca: hand dyed by me, drum carded. 248 yards, N-plied, fingering.

17 – The left over single from #4, N-plied. 23 yards.

18 – #’s 8 and 15 plied together. I had planned on making this yarn but didn’t like the way they looked together. 15 yards, 2 ply, worsted weight.

19 – Not number but is the yarn all on its own. Australian Merino & Faux Cashmere. Dyed by Pickin and Spinnin. 212 yards N-plied lace weight.

Singles – 12,733 yards (7.23 miles)
Total plied yards – 4,534 (2.57 miles)

To get my initial fiber spun for Christmas knitting. ACCOMPLISHED and more.
To learn to spin longdraw. FAILED miserably. Yikes, it looks so easy when someone else is doing it. I will try again with a long fiber and when I have more time to sit and think about it.

All in all I had a very good tour. My daughter helped out with the cooking, did all of the photography for me, and generally made it easier for me to find time to sit at my wheel. Now I need to change gears and get out of spinning mode and into knitting mode. I have planned way too much knitting for Christmas.....again.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

tdf13 23rd and final day

I started off this tour wanting to get all the spinning done for the advent Christmas presents I'm hoping to make. By the time the tour was ready to start, I had 2.55 pounds of fiber died and drum carded, ready to spin.

I was kind of worried that I wouldn't be able to get it all spun in time. I've never really timed myself to see how long it took me to spin a skein of yarn, but by day 18 I'd spun it all

(Minus the dark blue teal which I spun pre- tour)

So I had to go stash diving. A terrible problem, I know. By noon today I had finished my last skein. Cara took pictures of all the fiber I'd spun up for Tour de Fleece 2013.

And then I sat there, twiddling my thumbs, until I said "Screw it" and threw this on the wheel.

An Australian Merino/Faux Cashmere batt ( a little under 2 ounces) from Picking and Spinning. And silly me, I decided to spin it lace weight and challenged myself to get it finished in time for posting tonight.

I was done and Cara was taking a picture of it at 8:30.

It amazes me how much yarn I actually got spun in the tour this year. The only other time I was part of the tour was when I was spinning with drop spindles. This time, with my Ashford Traditional wheel, I spun a grand total of:

3.9 pounds and 4,534 yards (mostly N-plied) That's over two and a half MILES of yarn!

I think it's safe to say that I've had a good tour. Also, looking at other peoples spinning, there are a lot of beautiful yarns and yummy fibers out there. Way to go us!

eta: I forgot that I can't post pictures on Ravelry unless I steal them from here. So:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

tdf13 day 22

I spent most of the day reskeining all the yarn I've spun this tour. I really make a mess of my yarn when I wash it after spinning, so I always have to wind it up into a ball and niddy noddy it again.

I did get some spinning done though. As always, I've spun more than it looks like because I stop and get a picture before the sun goes down. This picture was taken around 7pm and I didn't stop spinning until 11. By then I had two half bobbins spun up. I'll ply them tomorrow.

Friday, July 19, 2013

tdf13 day 21

Two braids spun into two 2-ply skeins.

As usual, it's too late at night to take a picture of the finished yarn by the time I'm done plying it.
It's been so humid that the yarn I've washed doesn't want to dry. I need to get them dry so I can re-skein them and pretty them up for their class photo on Sunday. I have no idea how many yards I've spun. It will be interesting to count it all out and weigh them up.

Only two days left!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

tdf13 day 20

I'm not sure how to write the post for this one.
When I was saving this collage, I titled it "day 20 woopsies". That might give you an idea of what today has been like.

I started today with spinning the last blue batt. Then I started plying the rainbows and blue together and wasn't exactly liking the yarn I was creating. I called my daughter over to see if she like it, it is for her scarf after all, and she didn't like it either. We decided that I should leave the blue out all togther (All that work!) and N-ply the rainbows. I'll spin up the last braid of that color way and just knit her scarf in that colorway.

I went ahead and N-plyed the blue as well. It looks much better by itself. It's also soft and squishy and yummy. I don't know what I'll do with it though.

And of course I decide to wash up all the yarn I've spun so far this tour and forgot to get pictures of the rainbows and blue yarns. The slightly fuzzy yarn hanging on the right is the rainbows dripping out on the porch. I'll get a picture of the blue tomorrow.

I really wasn't up for spinning the same yarn again so I pulled these two out of my stash. If I remember correctly, it's Falkland.

Now I'm sitting here looking at a check I just had to write. $800 for a new catalytic converter. I'm afraid to call the repairman about the washing machine. That broke down a couple weeks ago and I've had to shlep all our clothes to the laundromat.

I'm getting too old for this.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

tdf13 day 19

We're into the home stretch now.

Today I spun the rolags for Cara's scarf.
It's so hot and miserable. We're not eating and I'm having a very hard time not being cranky with the family. I was not made to live in hot areas. I'm a winter girl.

Enough griping.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

tdf13 day 18 a.k.a. Bad blogger

I have been terrible with keeping up with my progress. Yeah I know, nothing new there.
Yesterday was a rest day so I didn't spin, but I did do this.

I turned Fiber Fancy's 'Cozy Couch' into rolags for long draw. I'll ply those with this

Which is the fiber from this post plus some bright blue bamboo.

Hopefully I can spin a nice thick fluffy yarn for Cara's scarf. But, in the mean time....

I've spun the entire 2.55 pounds of fiber I had planned to spin during tdf13!


Now what do I do? I was planning on saving the fiber for my daughter's scarf for starting on challenge day but I may just have to start that early.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

tdf13 day 16

Quick post here so I can get this photo on Ravelry. I'll post more about it later.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

tdf13 day 15

Wow. I seem to have missed that two week mark. I'll have to take a week's worth accomplishment photo tomorrow.
I'll also have to get a picture of what got spun today. For now you'll just have to look at this. Two ounces spun and N-plied.

And, when I've not been spinning (or procrastinating anything else), I've been crocheting yet another afghan.

The color is pretty screwed up in this picture. The colors are much deeper and darker. It's going to be pretty. I'm using cotton yarn that I bought to make a project bag but I frogged it because I wasn't happy with the way it was turning out. This little lapghan (lap sized afghan) will be yummy soft.

Friday, July 12, 2013

tdf13 day 14

I always wait until I'm too tired to think straight before I try to post these.
Anyway, I finally finished the pine. Yesterday I didn't spin at all but started another afghan project. Yeah I know, I'm insane. I'll have to wait for another day to post a picture of it since the lightening has all but gone. Just look at today's photo to see what I mean.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

tdf13 day 12

Another day, another couple ounces of Pine spun.

Even more fun than spinning, are kitties!

Yesterday you got to meet Nimue.

Today, meet her brother, Gawain.

(we're pretty sure they are brother and sister anyway)

Gawain is not camera shy at all.

And makes a very good model.

Little sister Nimue isn't impressed.