One Crazy Fiber Lady

Thursday, October 28, 2004

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Bad at math

First: WAY TO GO RED SOX! Okay, I know I live in the New York area, but I can't help rooting for the Red Sox. Partly it's because I live in the NY Area and not NY itself that I have this love/hate relationship with NY. Short story, I root for the Boston teams whenever possible, even if it means rooting against someone local. Sort of like Randi adopted the Philly teams, well Mike helped there, I picked up Bos. Makes hockey season, when there is one, very interesting. Randi/Mike = Flyers, Rikki = Rangers, Mom= Devils, Me = Bruins. Baseball is slightly better as mom will root for any NY team and doesn't really pick between the Yankees and the Mets. I don't think she likes the Sox though and nearly threw me out last week when I made it obvious I had picked the Sox over the Yanks. Oh well.

Well the good news is I decided on which project I wanted to start after Alex's hat. The Hogwart's Scarf won the contest. Partly because I didn't have to wind any balls of yarn from skeins. The Lamb's Pride makes it really easy to use. I'll give them that!

Okay, what is it with casting on? CO 70 st. Sounds simple enough. I are a college graduate and should reasonably be able to count to 70, especially if I have a running count as I proceed. Sigh. I finished what the running count said was 70 and counted again. 71sts? Okay, so I took one off and counted again. This time it was 69. Oy. I cast on another stitch. 70! I counted again to make sure. And again.

I managed to knit the first stripe of burgundy and half of the yellow before the game ended and it was time for bed. On the train this morning, I knit more so by the time I got to the office, I had two rows to go on the second stripe. With a total of 19 stripes, not such bad progress.

Now the downside. For a math/science programmer type, math isn't always my friend. I have a bit of trouble with the grams to ounce conversions. I blame it on my age. Not that I'm old, I'm just of that generation where they did a half-assed, if any assed, job of teaching us the metric system after they had drilled the imperial system into my head. So while the pattern said that two 100gm/200yd skeins of EACH color were sufficient, I struggled with the grams to ounces, blah blah blah and only picked up one of each. I kind of missed the fact that the gram weight was in parens on the ball band. Blah.

This isn't such a terrible thing as I was finding the knitup stuff a bit scritchy from around my neck area. I have no problems with it on the inside of my wrists, but on my neck, yowsa. I'm pretty sure it is the mohair content in this yarn that is giving me problems. I think I'm going to use the two colors to make a coordinating hat for the scarf. I have the gauge and can start it up on the train tonight. Doh. I ordered some Brown Sheep Nature Spun in bordeaux and sunburst gold. Hmm.. Maybe I should hold off on the hat until I see how the colors blend when the yarn arrives. I guess I'm making Kat's hat tonight... or Koigu socks....

I think I found the pattern for the angora/silk yarn that I want to use. It is Wendy Knits Japanese Lantern Scarf. It should be quick and easy to knit and yet yield a beautiful scarfy thing.

No crafty pictures to post, so I wanted to put up one of my favorite pictures of my father with Alexander.

A boy and his Pop-pop

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

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Another FO...

Last night during the Red Sox game, I ripped out the hat I had started for Alexander out of the angora/silk yarn. I opted for a more kid friendly yarn and found acrylic yarn in a wedgewood blue, Caron's Simply Soft, that for acrylic yarn isn't bad. It's a worsted weight so the hat would take far less time. I found in last year's knitting bag a hat I had started for him out of the same yarn and got my stitch count from that :) Off to Ann Budd's book again with the 5st/in count. I cast on and had the 1x1 rib done by the time the game ended. I started the straight stitching this morning on the train in. It was then that I decided that I needed a field trip to School Products for new dpns. The 8's that I was using were super slick aluminum. Erickka came with me and we went at lunch. I got some very nice bamboo Crystal Palace double pointers. I switched the hat over to them (btw I can knit under my desk ) and had 60% of the knitting done before I got home tonight. I just finished the remainder of it while watching the beginning of the game. Since the boy is already asleep, I couldn't get him to model it. The cabbage patch kid wouldn't cooperate either. Maybe tomorrow.

Alex's new hat

I couldn't just come back with a set of needles now, could I? Nope. I was good the last time I made the trip there with Priya and got NOTHING. I couldn't believe it. I had to make up for that trip, which is just so easy considering how much really nice yarn they have there. What did my little fiber feeling fingers find there for the first time? KOIGU! I've never seen Koigu up close and personal. Being the avid sock knitter that I am, I've wanted to try it for oh so long. Now I have my chance. I picked up two skeins, which with my little feet should be more than enough. I could probably make a pair for Kat out of the remainder. I also decided that I wanted to knit myself a Hogwarts Scarf, so I got myself Lamb's Pride yarn in Gryffindor colors. I also grabbed a size 8 16" circ from Crystal Palace as well to knit the scarf.

School Products yarn purchase

Now the tough decision that I always hate, what do I knit next? The koigu socks? The scarf? A hat for Kat? Decisions, decisions, decisions. I find finishing a knitting project much like finishing a book. I excitedly finish it and then I flounder a bit looking for the next project. This is where I usually get into serious trouble and start far more than one. I'll fiddle with one thing, pick up the next, until either I force myself to finish one or it just grabs my attention. I find that it happens more so when I have the yarn, pattern and inspiration for more than one project and they are all equally calling for me. That's the case right now. I'll figure it out. I'd also like to add a scarf/shawl in a lace out of the angora/silk yarn to the list. I also have to consider something that would be super easy to knit under my desk ;)

Even harder decisions

While I made my decision regarding Yeti, and a new home is being search for, I find myself waffling on the decision to get rid of him. After the twins went to bed last night, I left the baby gate up in the kitchen and took him out to play. Instead of torturing him with a clip (yes I know it is time for one), I figured we'd be best off just playing a bit. Letting him romp around somewhere larger than his cage. He played for an hour, while I restored order to the domicile. Now of course, I'm thinking, 'hell I can do this every night'. 'He's not that much work', and 'geez, clipping him isn't all that terrible'. While his new home is more than a week away, I'm very tempted to see if I can restore his former enjoyable life in that week without exhausting myself. At the very least, I would like to give him his grooming. I just don't know what to do anymore...

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

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Hard decisions


It is with a heavy heart that I've come to a decision. I can no longer keep my very sweet abominable snow bunny, Yeti. It isn't fair to him. Before the twins, well before I was confined to the hospital for extended bedrest, Yeti could be seen romping around the living room or kitchen at least 3 times a week, if not every night. He was a happy bunny that would do binkies and turn figure eights around my legs. He would pop up on the couch, do his binkies and then come over to me for a scritchin'. While his cage wasn't always as clean as it should have been, he was fed regularly and a great variety of fresh veggies and some fruits. Unfortunately, with the complications of my pregnancy and now with twins in the house, he's borderline neglected. He does have food and water, the scritch on the nose when I fill his bowl, but his romping days have ended. His feedings aren't scheduled like they used to be and I can be heard asking him, "Have I fed you yet?" Sadly he comes out of the cage solely to be groomed and I'm ashamed to admit that his current grooming is way overdue. While I'm loathe to admit that I am not superwoman and can't do it all, I really am not and this stubbornness only serves to hurt Yeti. He's suffering and its just not fair to him to put him through this. I see him cringe in the corner of his cage almost nightly as one the kids cries for a bottle or has a tantrum because they can't play with something. He had a better life and through no fault of his own, he lost the good times. I just can't continue to subject him to this. He does deserve better and I want that for him. Tears brim my eyes even as I type this.

Monday, October 25, 2004

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Beginning hats

While I started Alexander's knit hat late last week, think it was Thursday night with a top down pattern, I wasn't happy with it. I ripped it out Friday night, after determining my 7.5 st/in gauge. I pulled out the Ann Budd book, Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns.

Budd Book

There's a nice hat pattern with multiple gauges and sizes. I'm doing a pretty simple one for the boy, with a 1x1 rib for 1.5" and then will straight knit to the reduction for the crown. It's so nice and soft in the angora/silk blend yarn. Hopefully the kid will actually wear it. I should have it done pretty soon as it is pretty simple, but at 7.5 st/in, it will take me longer than I initially expected.

Still no spinning time this weekend, but that's all right. I'll get some shortly. Not like this stage of life will continue forever. Nothing ever does. When I can get back to it, I'll have plenty to keep me busy. I'm hoping that when the woolee winder flyer for the electric spinner arrives that I can switch to using that on the end table and get some spinning done without injuring curious little fingers. That's the primary reason I haven't spun recently. Alex is far too curious as it is with the wheels sitting in various corners of the living room. He's been known to go over and turn the drive wheel and watch the flyer go round. He got especially curious about the Lendrum Upright this weekend when the flyer didn't turn (the driveband had slipped and was tucked behind the wheel). He found the orifice and stuck his little soggy finger in it. He has a thing for orifice hooks as well. I had to pry the one from the Saxony out of his hands last night. I'm going to have to remember where I stashed the things when I need them. Right now, none of the wheels have their hooks with them. I guess that's why I've been using the Journey Wheel recently :)

I was hoping to get a little craft time last night after I cleaned the kitchen and recovered the living room from the little monkey tornados that spent the day there. No such luck. All of a sudden my super sleeping baby girl is not such the super sleeping tot. She goes to bed pretty well, but has been waking up screaming and won't go back to sleep without a little cuddling from mama. Early Sunday morning she woke at @12:30 a.m. I took her to bed with me and she slept until 7:30. Last night, they went down at 8 and she was up screaming at 8:40. She went back to sleep while cuddling with me and then was up almost as soon as she hit the crib mattress. The two of us fell asleep on the couch watching the end of the baseball game. Go Soxs! As an aside, I'm seriously moved by the performance of Schilling. Those bloody socks are an inspiration as to what a real pro-athletes will do for the team. His is above and beyond the call of duty that is much appreciated by the fans and really awe inspiring. Side track over, I'm not sure what to do about Kat's sleep issue. I'm temporarily writing it off to her separation anxiety (she cried and reached out for me as I put her in Miss Donna's hands this morning at daycare) and teething (I feel a nifty lump in her gums as this first year molars are working their way in) issues. I really hope the problem resolves soon. I'm tired and the living room is a mess ;)

I did get to port all my junk into the messenger bag last night and managed to make it so heavy that I really didn't enjoy carrying it this morning. I found it heavy and bulky. When I get the Budd book out of it tonight, I'm hoping it will be better. Instead of wearing across my body, I found it more comfortable on one shoulder with the strap shortened a bit. I'll give it a week.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

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What Kind of Yarn...

Here's another quiz I found...

You are Shetland Wool.
You are Shetland Wool.
You are a traditional sort who can sometimes be a
little on the harsh side. Though you look
delicate you are tough as nails and prone to
intricacies. Despite your acerbic ways you are
widely respected and even revered.

What kind of yarn are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I never realized that quizzes could be so accurate :)

I bought a messenger bag at Target today. I haven't had a chance to transfer everything to it yet. This afternoon has been sooo busy. The twins stayed at their grandparents' house last night so I could get a good nights sleep. My folks are downright nifty. I had 8 uninterrupted, glorious hours of sleep! Earl Grey woke me this morning nibbling on my fingers at 7am. Had to get up anyway ;) I was at Target at 8:30, at the mall at 10, supermarket at 12 and then getting my hair cut at 1. Whew. 3:30 we (mom, dad, kat & I) took Alex to Dad's barber for his first big boy haircut! He was such a good little man, sat very nicely in my lap and now he looks like less of a baby. Sigh. They grow up so quickly. Got home and made some Tuna Noodle Casserole. It was pretty yummy and there's plenty left for lunches next week. I just straightened up the house and am ready for a nap myself.

I haven't had any time to knit or spin today, though I did order more fleece :) I saw an email this morning advertising some seriously fine Saxon Merino fleece from New Zealand. I'm getting a 2.82 # fleece. According to the post, their fleeces tend to run 13-15 microns. Now that is superfine! Think of the laceweight I can get out of that! I'm going to have to get the Lendrum Saxony ready for that.

Well, need to clean the litterbox and then off to watch the Sox ..

Friday, October 22, 2004

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I have to re-examine my use of that recently acquired knitting bag as my current commuter tote bag. While it has done a stupendous job of holding the junk I want/need to carry to the office, as well as my current knitting project, supplies and a book for when knitting isn't convenient. The shoulder straps are too short for fall/winter coat commuting. I'm having a hard time getting it on my shoulder over my 3 season coat. Phooey. I'll have to take a look at some messenger bags this weekend to see if I can get something that will do the job.

Call me the queen of the commuter bag. I have quite the collection. I need something that isn't too big, but not too small at the same time. I want to be able to carry my knitting (decent sized project, doesn't have to carry an afghan), the pattern, accessories, lunch, a book, palm pilot, iPod, cell phone, id's, and a wallet. The current wallet has space for the checkbook, a lipstick, keys and has a nice long should strap. As long as I've been commuting, I've been on the quest for the perfect commuter bag. While reading some other blogs, I discovered that I'm not the only one with this problem. Warms my heart to know I'm not alone. I've got to hit the stores this weekend anyway. Xander needs a new pair of shoes, we're running low on diapers and there's just enough food to get through a pb&j sandwich for lunch.

Expanding Boundaries

I've been reading Autobiography of a One-Year-Old by Rohan Candappa. Quite the amusing book it is. I read this paragraph on the train home last night:

The first steps in any endeavor are always the most important. For without the first steps, no journey can ever be made. I take my first steps in joy, in trepidation and in hope. And I will try to make my journey an exploration of the possible, an exhortation of delight and an example for those yet to come. Success or failure in my endeavors are outcomes that lie far over the misty horizon that is the road ahead. For now I am just grateful that in the journey that is my life, I have taken my first steps.
While this text was placed in the chapter about a child's first beginning to walk, it made me think about all the different first steps in our lives. My mind wandered to some recent comments made by fellow knitters/spinners regarding some of the things I've accomplished. Most often I hear from other knitters that while they admire my lace work, they doubt their skills would ever enable them to knit a lace shawl. I say go for it. If you have mastered the knit and purl stitches, and have a basic understanding of how to read a pattern, there is no reason why you cannot knit lace. Yes I've been knitting for a long time, far longer than I care to ponder. But I wasn't born knitting lace. I had to venture out and try it. My first items weren't spectacular, but they were indeed first steps on a journey. A journey that I took in fear and hope, but has led me to lace. You don't know what you can't do until you've tried it. Sure all those blocks in the charted design can be intimidating, but isn't mastery over the intimidating so fulfilling? 'Nuff said. Go try lace :)

Knitting time

While I did start knitting up a hat for one of the kids last night in the train station, I didn't get much further than that. I'm doing a simple hat, from the top down. Probably for Xander. I was too interested in the book, or too tired, can't remember why I didn't knit on the train. Maybe I did, I'm just too tired to remember. Last night wasn't the restful night that I was planning on. I had to clean the rabbit's cage (eeew stinky bunny) and the twins just wouldn't stay asleep. Xander really didn't want to sleep so he cried for a while. I spent some time rocking him to sleep. Though he would keep waking up crying. Must be the shots from the day before... or teething (always a handy dandy blame-it-all). At one point he woke Kat so I had them both crying. She usually sleeps right through his noise, but go figure, not last night. I got him finally to sleep at 10:15. I then was faced with an unhappy and very awake Kat. I gave her the rest of her bedtime bottle, rocked her and she finally went to bed at 11pm. So much for going to sleep early. Maybe tonight.

At least today is Knit Club at work. Woo hoo. I love getting together with the girls in Conference Room F (F for fibery fun) for an hour's worth of stitchin' & bitchin'. Deb, my designer commuting bud, suggested I mix the pink and white pearl buttons on Kat's sweater so I'm going to sew those on today. If there's still time, I'll go back to working the hat.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

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Series over, Sweater Knitting Done

Well the Yankees/Red Socks series is done, as is the knitting on Kat's Cardigan. I finished knitting the collar in the Secaucus Transfer Station yesterday while waiting for my train. Watching the game I worked in all the ends and kitchenered the armpits. I've never successfully used the kitchener stitch before but I finally got it! Jacqueline Fee does an excellent job of explaining it as does this website (which also has super pictures).

I went digging through the button collection and sadly don't have enough of either pink pearl buttons or white ones. I have 3 of each and 5 button holes. I'm debating alternating them on the cardigan front or just giving in and buying more this weekend.

Here's a picture of the buttonless, but now 99% complete cardigan:

Just about done

I balled up the silk/angora yarn I bought from Chris and have it in my bag now. During lunch I'm going to swatch it. I'm probably going to make a simple hat, working from the crown down, or maybe another one like last year's for Kat. I had knitted what reminded me of a elf hat with about an inch of i-cord at the top of it. Looked awfully cute on her. Xander had a more simple hat. I need to work with this yarn before I really am sure what to do with it.

Baby Update

Well yesterday was the monkeys one year check up! Dr. Rona pronounced them fine. They are developmentally on-track and healthy. Xander took the checkup like a pro. Didn't flinch when they poked his finger for the hemoglobin test. Kat wasn't quite the trooper she normally is. Hated having her finger held to get the blood into the little doohickey. Didn't want to get her ears checked. Seriously hated the shot. My little miss sunshine cried through most of her checkup. She was tired and dealing with a poop-burn diaper rash. Poor thing. With a bit of the new cream Dr. Rona prescribed and the Triple Paste on her bum, she's much much better today. Xander and Kat both measure in the 75th percentile for both height and weight.

Xander is a child easily distracted by shiny pebbles on his way. This morning I had him crawl from their bedroom to the kitchen for breakfast, while I carried his sister. Unfortunately the litter box is across the hall from the door to his room. That's as far as he made it. I should have known better. While the box is a covered box, it still has a door. Silly I know. Well, for the first time instead of just beating on the top of it and playing with the handle, the boy ventured into that door. Not all of him, just that disobedient hand that just wants to get him into trouble. We use that scoopable clumping litter, does anyone not use this stuff these days? I really don't have to go much further, do I? Icky story short, I wiped his mouth out with a bunch of napkins and asked Mom to see if she could brush his teeth. Eeewwwww.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

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Pictureless progress...

No pictures today. I stayed up way too late last night watching the Yankees and Red Socks go at it once again. While I'm excited that there's going to be another game, I'm still tired. At least I know tomorrow night I can get some sleep.

I sat on the couch, all tingly with excitement over the game, knitting my little heart out on Kat's Cardigan. I got through all the raglan shoulder shaping and even past the collar. I'm now in the middle of the 1" neckband. After that, I just have to work in the ends, kitchener the armpits, put some buttons on it and block it. I have to check the button stash, but I'm pretty sure I have those little pearl buttons. Yarn usage has been 4 skeins of the Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby. I got a super buy on it via eBay. IIRC, it cost me $44 for ten skeins, including shipping. I couldn't pass that up. I'm going to use my new noste tonight and wind the angora/silk yarn into a ball so I can swatch it for their hats.

Single Project v. Multiples

I'm surprised to find recently that I've become pretty much a single knitting project person recently. I've always had more projects on the needles than you could shake a stick at. Now, just Kat's sweater. I think it's because my craft time has been so greatly reduced to just about the commute time (couch knitting is a recent re-addition) that I've kept the task list small. I did have two projects going for a bit, but this year, if I do have more than one, it's generally two very different kinds of projects. One is usually a big one that gets consigned to couch knitting. The other is usually something small/easy that I can do on the train or standing on the subway platform.

On the other hand, the MPD has been picked up significantly by the spinning projects. With 6 wheels and probably a ton, well maybe not quite that much, of fiber, I have a hard time keeping the spinning projects to a handful. Each wheel has a bobbin of something different on it. Some wheels, like the lendrum upright, where I have 9 bobbins, have several different fibers on bobbins (1 cormo, 1 cheingora, 1 romney). That's not even getting into the spindles. I must have 6 different spinning projects going there as well! I'm trying hard to fight the MPD and actually clean out some of the fiber stash. I get soooo close to finishing a roving and then something new shows up and I get distracted. I have one more bobbin's worth of the llamney. Think I've finished it? Nope. Haven't even started spinning it. The rest has been plied and is sitting on the large bobbin waiting. Not that it really matters, I have baskets of yarn that I just can't keep up with. I don't have enough knitting time to use it all, nor do I want to use some of it. I find I spin for the shear joy of spinning. Most often there isn't a project in mind when I sit with a fiber. Sometimes there is, but it usually is an amorphous one, oh this roving wants to be a sweater, or heck, that would make a nice hat. Generally it's socks, but who the heck needs that many socks from a 1lb roving spun sockweight? Not me. I guess I could start giving gifts ;) But then there's the limited knitting time. Hell right now, I'm enjoying my time with the twins. There will be plenty of time ahead for knitting and spinning. The babies are what are really important.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

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What kind of knitter...

While I generally don't like taking quizzes, I had to take this one and share it!

Knitting Guru

You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin. What Kind of Knitter Are You? brought to you by Quizilla
I think that pretty much sums me up nicely. I actually got some serious knitting time last night. I parked myself on the couch at 8:30 after the twins went to bed, turned on the Yankees/Red Sox game and watched/knitted until the end. I made it well into the raglan reduction area and actually enjoyed watching baseball. How I thought baseball was boring before is beyond me. I can't wait to enjoy the game tonight :)

Yesterday on the train home I was mentally complaining about having to turn the cardigan around as I hit the end of each row. It was then that I remember that I had learned to knit with my other hand and starting knitting back rather than purling. Sweet. I love options. I struggled through this so I could actually follow the complete pattern for that icelandic shawl rather than having to mentally reverse everything. While it isn't quite as fast as my "regular" knitting, it is serviceable and gets the job done.

icelandic shawl

While knitting away on this cardigan, I'm trying to decide what the next project is going to be. While I should, in fairness, start a cardigan for Alexander, I think the needs for hats for the twins is more pressing. I'll have to start swatching the yarn from Chris. Wednesday they are getting their one-year check ups so the Doctor's office will be giving me head measurements. Convenient!


I love the festivals. This past festival was no different. Having seen weather reports that predicted a 30% chance of rain, I was very pleased to wake up to a clear blue skies. For a change I didn't need the 45min snooze factor on the alarm clock and bounded out of bed. I was showered and dressed before 6:30! I woke the twins, dressed them around their socks, and we had breakfast. We were on the road by 8am. We picked up Kathy in Paramus at about 8:20 and were heading up north. I had such a nice time chatting with Kathy that I pretty much got into that driving zone and nearly missed the exit. My mind had it that we hadn't been on the road long enough! I was being directed to a parking space at the festival grounds at 9:30am. And I swear, I wasn't driving all that fast! It was a beautiful drive, the sky was clear, the road was pretty empty and the fall foliage was gorgeous.

I met old friends and new friends. I saw copious amounts of fibers, yarn and equipment of all kinds. I tried spinning on a three flyer Golding spinning wheel and fell in love! The treadling was effortless. It was so smooth. There were no bumps, no jerks, nothing. Wonderful wheel. Just needs some serious $$$ to add it to the collection. Vicki suggested that I quickly trade the Goldings one of the twins for the wheel. Hmm, not a bad idea. Since Alex was up at 3:30 this morning, I think I'll trade him :) We won't go into the wonderful $2k+ chair that I sat on to test the wheel. Heaven.

I also tried spinning on a Quebec Canadian Production Wheel by the Merlin Tree. A very very nice wheel. I initially had issues getting the single treadle going but that was a result of the wheel sitting directly on the concrete floor. I changed positions a bit and finally got it going nicely. Now I just need $$$ and space and I can add more wheels to the fold.

I think having the stroller had a positive effect on the checkbook. There were quite a number of places I couldn't take it and contented myself to peek into booths from the main aisle. I met up with friends from various mailing lists that I'm on, as well as from the spinning guild. It was a nice time and I'm sad to see it end. I think I'll bring the twins to Maryland in May!

Monday, October 18, 2004

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Woo Hoo! Saturday the twins and I went to NY Sheep and Wool Festival!!! Love the festival!!! I'd been going through some SERIOUS fiber fair withdrawal. Thanks to the pregnancy and due date, the last fair I went to was Maryland in 2003. Okay, whine over :) For not having gone in a while, I'll have to say that I was pretty darn well behaved and kept my purchases to a minimum = hehehe.

While I went with a moratorium on new fleeces (I do this for every festival - NY2002 came home with 5 ;), I bought a beautiful fleece. Only one. This is 7 lbs of cormo/corriedale cross in beautiful shades of gray. It is so soft and the colors are so beautiful. They called to me and I had to make the fleece mine. I think either a sweater and/or a shawl is called for.

cormo corriedale fleece

I got a wonderful spindle from some of my favorite people, the Bosworths. It is a featherweight in Red Cedar, weighing in at a super scary lightweight 9 grams. I was spinning a frog hair out of a lock of Laurie's shetland and as the picture shows, there is still more from this ONE lock.

Bosworth featherweight

I got three pounds of roving from Little Barn. Love their pre-order system! Instead of waiting forever in line for them, I browsed from the comfort of my desk, sent an email, paid with paypal and walked to the table, picked up my bag. Easy as pie. I got a lb each of Rambo, CVM and Polwarth. I just love those fine wools.

Little Barn Rovings

While I've started an Orenburg shawl using an Australian merino fleece and my Lendrum Saxony wheel, I was intrigued by the spindles the ladies use. I've been toying with the idea of buying one or two when faced with a website that sold them. Well, there was a booth at the festival that sold the shawls, laceweight yarn and a spindle kit. In the box is: one spindle, one plying spindle, a support bowl, 3 circles of cardboard for use as bobbins, a book, a hank of silk, baggies of fine fiber (cormo, merino, cashmere, etc). I'm really looking forward to trying my hand with this spindle.

Russian lace spindle set

Just so you don't think that the knitting hobby was overlooked (we won't mention that most of this yarn gets knitted after being spun up :) I bought some knitting stuff as well. 2 skeins of supremely yummy angora/silk yarn from Chris! (Hi Chris :) Evil being she is. She was wandering around the fair with a scarf around her neck that she knitted up from this yarn (in a different color). I had to fondle it. I also had to get some for myself when she mentioned that she had skeins of it in colors perfect for baby stuff :) Thanks Chris! :) I also got a nice knitting carryall/totebag which I'm now using. It's really nice and so far so good works well for commuting. Sneaking into this picture is the noste that I got from Janet Lynn of The Wheel Thing. Last but not least is an 8oz skein of sportweight 100% alpaca yarn from A Touch of Twist. It is soooo soft. I think it wants to be a vest for me, but we'll see.

knitting stuff

I even managed to get some work done on Kat's sweater this weekend. I finished the second sleeve to the armpit and am working up to the decrease area for the raglan. Another row or two and I'll be there. I have to start thinking about buttons for it.

Kat's sweater in progress

More about the festival tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

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Socks done

Well I finished the socks for the twins last night!

I like how the color patterns are random. One pair is closer in color layout than the other. This picture is a better represenation of the colors, but it is still a bit washed out. You get the general idea though. I spun the roving in random lengths, generally between repeats. I plied the single on itself so the yarn is a mix of solids (blue, green, lilac) and mixes of the three. I worked the ends in after I took the picture so the socks are completely done. The twins will be able to wear them Saturday to the festival.

Speaking of the festival, I asked their daycare teacher this morning if one of her daughters would like to come to the festival with me as a mother's helper. I really hope she can. I don't even want to think what it would be like without some help.

I went back to Kat's cardigan and finished the cuff on the second sleeve and started the "body" of it. The rest of the sleeve should take no time at all. I'm using the percentage sweater cardigan from Jacqueline Fee's Sweater Workshop. (I have an extra copy of this book if someone is looking for one :)

I actually had some work to do this morning! Wooooo. Done though. I just got something else, but its cruddy busy work and I'd rather do anything but cruddy busy work. I hope this situation changes for the better soon. Idle is a baaaad thing for me.

On another happy note, Kathryn Rachel took her very first step last night! I'm so proud of my little girl.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

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Socks progress

I've made some progress on the socks for the twins. I started the heel on the train home last night and finished it on the couch after they went to bed (and before my eyes started to close). I'm just south of the ribbing now. I should have it done tonight. After that, it is back to Kat's cardigan. I still need to make one for Alex, not to mention a couple of hats for them. If this morning is any indication, cold weather is indeed a comin'. I hate winter. I sorta hate fall too, if only that it is a precursor to winter.

I'll take another picture in better lighting when the socks are all done. The colors are completely lost here. They are soooo soft though. I'm hoping that there is enough yarn left over that I can get a pair out of the remainder. It's a yummy blue-faced leicester, one of my favorite breeds.

Major stash acquisition this weekend. I can't wait for Rhinebeck! I haven't been to a fiber festival since Maryland 2003. The twins were too small to take to Rhinebeck last year and it was just a logistical nightmare to bring them to Maryland. I've been in festival withdrawal. I haven't missed a NYSW festival since I started spinning in '99 was it? I've already pre-ordered a couple of things. I'm getting a featherweight spindle from the Bosworths and a couple of different rovings (Polwarth, Rambo and CVM) from Little Barn. Yeah yeah, like I need more stuff. I've actually been spinning recently. I've put a huge dent into the luscious cream llamney (70/30 llama/romney) that I got from Julie at Foxcross Farm. I've got one more bobbin's worth to spin on the journey wheel and then I'm off to ply on the Lendrum Saxony.

Wish today was over already. Bored at work and sleepy from lunch. Need some coffee. I think a trip to Starbucks is called for.

Monday, October 11, 2004

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Twins win

I haven't had a heck of alot of time for crafting recently as the fulltime job and the now 1-year old twins conspire against my having much time. I can't believe they are a year old already! Where in heck did time go. They had their birthday on Saturday and the family had the party yesterday. Kathryn lived up to her princess nickname and had to be fork fed her birthday cake. Alexander got more into the spirit of the event! Unbelievable where icing can get to :)

I was able to do a little on the final sock that I'm knitting out of this yummy BFL that I bought off ebay last year from Dyeing For Fiber in their Everglades colorway. I'm working in a toe-up, short row yarn over heel that I can't currently remember where I got the pattern from. Oh wait, it was the Twisted Sisters Sock Workshop. I have to get a picture of them as soon as I can remember to get my camera back from mom's. I left it in my camera bag when I left the video camera there at her request yesterday after the party.

Friday I finished the first sleeve to the armpit on the cardigan I'm knitting for Kat out of that yummy Debbie Bliss Cashmerino baby that I got from ebay. I started the second sleeve and hopefully that sweater will be done soon too.

Bored at work. Have nothing to do, I think I'm going to knit under my desk.