Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Etsy Up and Broken Ankle


First things first - wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
I spent some time last night listing my hand painted and kettle dyed yarns...
My Hand spun needs to be re-skeined before I can take pictures, but I have a ton of those to list too - which will happen this weekend.  We've got a lot of other things to list as well.

Buy Handmade

Pretty cool eh?  They were a lot of fun to do.  Tessa thinks the sock yarn is "Spaghetti Yarn"


I went to the walk in clinic.  Seems I've reinjured my foot, in the form of stressing a broken bone in my ankle that I didn't know I'd broken.

Go Me!  I turned down the Air Cast, and have an ace bandage on the ankle. I'm supposed to stay off it, keep icing it until late tomorrow and keep popping Advil.   That advice I could have given (and did) my self.  The broken bone and likely torn scar tissue however - that was news.




Last time I was aware I damaged my ankle - I was pregnant with Garret. Nothing like a 10 lead apron xray to make you remember when you hurt yourself last.


Also - 7 weeks on the job and I've already had to call the help desk.  I think I may be getting a new laptop...



Who won the pool?


I am horribly hard on laptops, I went through 12 of them in less than 3 years at CLG.


I'm right on schedule I guess.


*For those interested - Mom's about 100 miles east of Flagstaff.  She's trying to get in to Vegas during Daylight today, so she can get the rig put up the way it needs to be - done right the first time.


I'm so very proud of her.  Seriously - she's done this on her own, and has completely taken charge of her life, and her preparation for the retirement she desires and deserves.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Spinning, Garret and Boo

I twisted my ankle mightily tonight. It's icy and gross outside tonight, and coming in from grocery shopping I wiped out. Called Gaelon on my cell phone and he helped me up and into the house. I have had far worse sprains, and it's a beautiful technicolor mess but due to spinning it's stronger than I've ever had an ankle when sprained, and it will probably recover quicker too.

So The Kid shared some of her photo's with me. Here they are in their glory. Remember what I said - ABC Carriers are not nice to the boobs. Garret was happy though.

All those balls from the ball winder were recently twist set and measured to be as accurate in the yardage as I could get... hence being in balls. I don't know which will be better for selling on Etsy - hanks or images of balls already wound. We'll find out, and if I need to I can wind some balls onto the niddy noddy (my PVC one is there in the pic) and see if it helps the yarn sales from there. I do hope they sell as I need to pay for my roving I ordered. Or Repay myself for it? It's good therapy, but is nice that it's therapy that can pay for itself.

Yes - for those of you in the know - it is a smaller bobbin on the jumbo flyer head. I was cheating, it worked out nice though.

Garret was delighted to be in the ABC when I was spinning, but loved even more the attention that Boo and The Kid were showering on him

His face is changing again, and in this one you can really see how much he looks like his big sister.

I think he was channeling his Daddy and trying to charm the older ladies... Boo certainly loved playing with him.

He really is a charmer...

Seriously - aren't they adorable, Boo is just awesome with Garret, and really is so good with the fact he's a baby. She couldn't wait to hold and play with him and even shared her little bell which he shook with much gusto.

Like I wrote above, she was awesome with him and he just adored her. I felt bad that Tessa wasn't able to get some time with her, but there's always a next time, and one of these days I think that we'll likely meet her mom and Boo for lunch and the four of us will go out for Sushi and leave the boys at home.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Economic Depression does not sell yarn

OMG What the heck???

So - The craft show - very talented vendors, beautiful artisanship on a lot of things there... and the buildings next door were boarded off and a bit frightening looking.

It was held in the gym of a Catholic school, but the neighborhood is so scary that it would take a miracle to convince me it was safe enough to send kids into that area.

So - I have a lot of yarn for the Etsy shop. And that's ok really. I am fine with this, and have no problem listing things there.

I did make some sales, and did some Bartering for this awesome little hat that I'm hoping SOMEONE got a picture she can share of it on Garret's little head... hint hint.

The Kid came with Boo and spent time while I spun, and Boo and Garret got along famously.

She has pics to share... I just have to say that ABC Slings do not lift and separate, but instead make your boobs look like they are saggy and spread far apart. I'm not skinny but the pics make me look HUMONGEOUS.... and all I can do is laugh. They are a recording of today. I can be bummed because I look like crud or I can rejoice in the memory of what actually was a rather fun day

So here's a funny for ya'll when you consider the context of who it happened to (me) and what my religion is... (Wiccan/Pagan.)

I was nursing Garret and the only comfortable seating to do it on was near the entrance, so while I nursed I got to watch traffic go by (what little there was.) Well in walks the Parish Priest. I smile as he's immediately noted I have a baby in my arms (Garret seems to draw attention even when he's not nursing...) so I by reflex say "Hello Father, I hope you are well." Why I said just that I have no idea - remember brought up Pagan here, and my family outside of my mom are all Baptists.

He walks over while Garret is still latched and says "Let me bless you" and blesses Garret, tracing whatever it is that they trace (the cross? again functionally illiterate when it comes to Catholicism here) onto Garret's forehead while saying his blessing.

Garret looks at the priest like a new toy and someone else that he can charm to bits...

I smile and say "Thank you Father"

and am befuddled for hours.


I then texted Gaelon and my best friend Donna (Who is a reporter for the Catholic TV Station)

Gaelon's response - "I guess that's Tacit support for Nursing in Public by the Catholic Church then"

Donna's response - "What - you didn't get struck by lightning?"

A little bit later the power went completely out for about a half an hour. No heater, and it was below freezing all day. If if didn't kick in soon ambient heat would dissipate and I'd have to pack it in because I wasn't going to have a popsicle for a baby boy... Just as I was getting ready to pack it in? Lights and heat came back.

I blame Donna for putting the idea into the universe.

So - time to get pictures taken for the Etsy store.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Snowy Day and Yarn Pr0n

As soon as I sat up in bed this morning I was accosted by a kitten who was realllllllly hungry as she didn’t get her mini can last night. (she gets canned food 2x a day right now)

Then I had to explain to Tessa that even if it was snowy out, I didn’t bring my work computer home last night so I didn’t get to work from home today. That went over like a lead balloon.

Running late I took the dog out, to have her look at me like I was on crack. She HATE’s the snow with a purple passion. She was going back to Dog Daycare today after being out sick last week but I decided I didn’t want to be trying to keep the dog from climbing up onto my lap while driving down an ice laden hill. Back to the crate with a rawhide bone and a bowl of food after a good slurp at the waterer… hopefully Gaelon will get to let her out at lunch time otherwise she’s gonna be really whiney when I come home.

Finished the last of the first batch of yarn to be dyed last night, it's still sitting in the crock pot waiting to be spun out and set on the drying rack. I came home to my sock yarn order being in so those will get skeined and dyed this weekend. Everything that’s hanging to be twist set is going to have to come inside as there’s no way it will dry out on the porch. I think I’ll wait to do the rest that’s waiting to be set until Friday when I can hang it out at my MIL’s next to her new furnace. That basement is dry - so the yarn should set up nicely.

There are several other Coopworth skeins that need to be twist set and when I get home tonight I’ll set them aside to go to my MIL's on Friday too. I bought a Coconut Conditioning Baby Shampoo to set the twist with, as I want to put a little moisture back into some of the yarn that Tessa completely stripped with her Dawn bath. She so loves to help so I don’t make a big deal, but man that could have been a disaster. Plus the shampoo leaves the yarn smelling better than good old blue bottle Dawn…

I was asked over on OpenDiary for a sneak peak. So here's 13 skeins on my porch last night... There's a ton more on my drying rack and hanging in my bathroom, and in baskets... I'm no way going to have the stock for the show that Cinderella had for hers in Wyoming last weekend, but I think that I will have a decent amount when all is said and done.

The biggest skein is all the way to the right. That is about 500 or more yards of plied Coopworth/hand Painted Merino in a Grey and Lilac shade and it's really pretty. I'll have closeups later if I remember to and if it doesn't sell at the craft show.

I have two more skeins of plied Coopworth/Merino and they just turned out beautiful.

I'm going through my carded wool and batts before I get into any of the undyed stash yet. I find I really like working with the roving being dyed first instead of spin first then dye. It just gives a more consistant color.

Pricing is going to be interesting - I am likely taking a loss when you consider all the equipment I bought this year, but for Tax purposes that's fine. It does me well to be in the red on the yarn business for now. Besides - it's Therapy right?

Plus for the show we're going to have the lavendar pillows of multiple types - oh and the mini learn to spin kits... those will likely either succeed or sit drawing dust. Either way, Beaky is coming to the show as asked by the organizers.

I finished a pound bump of Llama / Corriedale last night. It's this lovely Fawn color and is really warm. I have to skein it up but I'm in a quandry as to whether to leave it as singles or to ply it. I'll probably leave it as singles. Tonight I'll take it off the jumbo flyer and move it to a series of smaller bobbins, which will allow me to check the level of twist in it, plus break it down easier into 4 ounce incriments.

My Jumbo Flyer is on the wheel now, but I’m going to switch back to the smaller flyer. Then finish the Merino that I started on the HitchHiker, and skein that up too. It’s going to need to be plied as there are much thinner patches than I really like.

All told however I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve learned, and won’t feel uncomfortable selling my work at the show…

I also need to start on some of the roving that I'd dyed previously - I have this delicious red that needs spinning, and then I want to get into this mohair batt that I call "Vinyard" It's this lucious, lustrous light green with purples in it, and I can see it becoming a sweater or throw for someone who's got dark hair and fair skin. There are also a couple of singles on the bobbins of my HitchHiker... One Merino and one BFL...

While I'm doing that I also need to dye up some more roving soon. I have a lot of wool in my sunroom waiting to be spun up, so I don't think I'll be buying any more for a while. I still haven't gotten some of the raw stuff to the mill yet, and won't this weekend either, but I can at least get to the stuff I have ready to spin. It will make it to the mill some time mid December at this rate, and I'm ok with that I think.

With the weather being so gross I may just stay home and not go to Knit Night tonight, I have a bump of Alpaca, and a bump of Bison that I'm dieing to spin up, but haven't yet. Maybe that's what I'll do tonight when I'm not dying fiber. I've gotten so I can do a large amount in a very small amount of time, I've finally gotten over my obsession with how much I can stuff onto a bobbin, and have really started turning out some pretty yarn.

ok - off to find some hot tea. The problem with a cold is it kicks my arse when it comes to asthma. I'm going to have to turn to my inhaler(s) and I'm not happy with that. I at least have my bosses sympathy and support, as well as strange suggested home remedys for how to stop coughing at night when you sleep.

Even better news is that I have clearance to leave early, which I'll probably head out and work from home this afternoon to avoid the idiots on the road during rush hour.

Oooooo - I have new boots at my MIL's, I'll grab those on my way home so tomrrow I can wear my new boots to work. mmmmmmmmmm shearling and warm. and with getting to go home early? I can get some more spinning done! YAY!

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Cold GO AWAY, and Yarn a hoy!

I have several skeins sitting in a basket - all waiting to be twist set. My Front Porch will be Yarnapalooza today...

I then have 7 more skeins to dye, rinse and set to dry on the dryer. 2 skeins to re-skein, some Corriedale/Llama on the bobbin right now, a promised skein of pink to dye and then spin, although I may cheat and blend some red dyed merino roving with some undyed on the drum carder - which I had to explain yesterday to Tessa that it was not a big kitten brush...

for Mt. Washmore I may just go to the laundromat and use up 6 or 7 machines at once - 3 hours out doing that will get me completely caught up and the majority of my time will likely be spent folding.

Garret and I are the only ones awake not counting the cat and the dog. The cat is curled up in a home made flannel prefold and looks too darn cute for words and Garret's trying to pull the threads from the frayed edges of it...
So not a little baby thing to do, but something his grandfather would have done as a child - my dad was notorious for disassembling things as a child to figure out how they worked. I had a moment yesterday where a sob just randomly escaped as I realized that he and my grandmother are not there this holiday season as I'd briefly wondered if he'd deep fry a turkey again... maybe he is doing that somewhere anyhow.

This cold is still kicking my arse. Seriously - I am getting better and not the snot factory I was, but I'm still having lung issues, and am going to have to go on my Asthma meds. I put it off long enough I guess.

Well - I should post and then tackle the day.

So - I tackled laundry, got about 15 or so skeins dyed, and am going to cry uncle soon as I need another shower and maybe a nap.

My head is killing me and I justwant to curl up and sleep

21 total skeins dyed this weekend. My house smells like a koolaid factory and a vineger distellery...

more to do this week, as well as baking a couple of pies for Thursday's dinner.

oh and I leave you with a pic of what is sitting beside me in bed right now.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Creativity in the wee hours

By 1am this morning I managed to get:
  • 6 skeins of sock wool dyed in the past 4 hours... tomorrow and Sunday I'll have 16 more to dye.
  • 3 wool diaper covers lanolinized and set on the drying rack
  • Daisy taken out for a midnight potty break.
  • Both kids sleeping soundly in bed snuggling each other before 12AM (and would you believe
  • Tessa went down first? Garret was asleep but the phone rang at 9:30 and that was that - he was up until almost 11:30 snurfling and chattering at me.)
  • A happy kitten with a fresh box, fresh water and a midnight snack
  • On top of that I sat through a DVD of Mr Rogers Neighborhood on repeat since 10PM as well...
I have more spinning to do but as I'm feeling like I've been hit by a Mac truck and now starting to feel feverish. I think my cold medicine is wearing off.

this sucks and isn't funny - I have so much to do in the next week. It's 1:15am and Gaelon's still out with his friends Gaming. I was nice and even though I feel like death warmed over told him to still go.

Ok - off to rescue the kitten who thinks she's been abandoned down stairs and to call the hubby to have him bring me some Nyquil home once he finally does come home.

5:30 PM

Coughing and sneezing and dying and skeining and spinning and oye... 12 skeins dyed since 9PM last night. I think we're calling chinese in for dinner as I want wonton soup...

in the mean time the kids are still down with this - and I have to say I am really pissed at the pharmaceutical industry for taking infants cold meds off the shelves because people were stupid and didn't read the labels.

I have meds for Tessa but Garret's braving out this cold being a snot factory and getting tons of steam baths and NaSal irrigations... poor kiddo.

Tess is bouncing back better than Garret, down to roughhousing but still feels bad enough that I'll keep her from Grandma's house for a few days so she doesn't undermine her recovery.

Mommy's little helper

I had 2 skeins of yarn in the soak, to go into the dyepot tonight. I walked into the kitchen as it had gotten very quiet in there... and as any Mommy knows - quiet is bad.

Tess had emptied 3/4 a bottle of Dawn dish soap into the soak pot.

Yeah. This was not a happy mommy - but what can I do, she was "helping"?

It rinsed out eventually and is now in the crock pot to turn a lovely shade of pink.

I'm still twitching.

She however is delighted with her self as she's told her daddy she's Painting Wool! I can't be mad - she's too damn adorable.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It's official - I make pretty Yarn Tanglers.


Let me tell you all about Christmas presents Garret!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spinning on Iced Coffee...

Knitting group last night, Thanks to being fueled by an Iced Caramel Macchiato there at Starbucks, Beaky was in high gear and I got two spools on my jumbo flyer filled. We’re talking about an estimated 600-800 yards of yarn spun. I now have all three of my jumbo bobbins filled and will be skeining them up tonight so I can do a bulk twist set this weekend.

I finally really clicked with someone from the knitting group last night. I’m glad of that as it’s taken fricking forever and I was starting to wonder if I’d just be better off taking an evening a week and spinning at Starbucks without the S&B group. I am glad I’ve finally connected with someone from there, and I like her a lot.

So I’m thinking my long arsed public post yesterday was a bit much for peoples. Plbbbbbt. I liked it anyhow.

On the job front - I had my weekly one on one with my boss. It looks like I’m getting additional work on my shoulders and I am happy about it as he believes I’m capable of handling it. As he plans on retiring in a year and a half and wants me to take his job, well I need to start taking on more projects for him. He’s still pleased as peach with me now that the newness is starting to wear off and he’s sat back in meetings and listened to me push for my departments needs and been very proud. My goal is to make him feel comfortable giving his formal notice to retire and then to make him proud when he’s sitting back and coasting in the last few months and I’m doing the majority of the managing…

The kids are at Grandma’s today. Today is Christmas picture day and their outfits are just too darn adorable. Poor Tessa had to sit still for a hair brushing, last night and this morning, something that for everyone else in the world isn’t that traumatic, but for her is a nightmare. I usually put her hair up in a French braid, and then tuck the braid up on its self into a nub and elastic that up to avoid tangles but somehow yesterday she managed between early morning and late evening to get her hair snarled something fiercely.

Poor kid. If you felt wool at all, it’s like her hair tries to do that itself. Alberto V05 seems to be the only thing I can use to get it back to the curls it should be.

When brushed out and stretched out, her curls reach her waist now. I came home last night to her in a pair of jeans, long sleeved shirt and socks… she likes to run around nakie so to see her dressed kinda surprised me. She was this miniature person, not a baby and I stood there looking at her savoring the bitter-sweetness of it all. My kids aren’t staying at one stage but are growing into fine young people all of their own. *sigh*

Nope. No Bonsai’ed babies here…

I am looking forward to seeing their photos though.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Scottish Castle Dreams and Fibergasms

I picked up passport applications for the family today. One more step to getting to Scotland in August. Hrm – I can see it now “But honey I wanna go check out the farm and see what fleeces I can have sent home to the Mill…” Yeah, Gaelon would probably look at me like I’d grown a third ear or something.

Seriously though – I should be able to find some nice fleeces there. The wedding is now slated to be held in Argyll at Duntrune Castle, and the Duntrune estate IS a working sheep farm.

Oh the fibergasms... never mind my daughter will be darling as the flower girl, and that my best friend is getting married in a castle that's not built by a mouse... nor walked down the aisle by a stranger in a Mickey Costume (man that's a heck of a job eh??) No, I'm sitting here being an utter fiber addict and fleecegasming.

Hi My name is Annie and I'm a dork.

So I now have to start looking up the area and getting the logistics of our journey ironed out. First up - getting a duplicate of Gaelon's birth certificate as we need that for him to get his passport.

Then little 2*2 photos of the 5 of us. Yes - 5 of us. My baby sister in law is coming to help wrangle kids... and at age 21 with long platinum blonde hair and crystal blue eyes, I actually expect people to ask if Garret's hers, although usually they think she's mine from a first marriage. No, my ex wasn't happy when I got the birth control implant... even more unhappy when I left him a week later. Although he was a blond, and what I don't tell people is that she does resemble what I think a child betweek he and I would look like. Anyhow Theresa about had a heart attack when I mentioned that we'd like her to go and that we might be getting a cottage in Scotland for the week or so we would be there.

She then wanted to know how far it was to Paris, so we looked it up on Google Maps and she asked if she could go while we were there... I looked at her and said "You are an adult, but I'm not sure how much time we'll have to go to Europe"

That and you need to rent a car to get about in the area we're going. It's not going to be easy for her to do a day trip to Paris like she'd like to. We'll have to work on the logistics of that too...

Today the MIL and elder SIL are shopping for the kids Christmas portrait outfits... forutnately I already have the shoes for both kids, and had a dress for Tessa but what they found for Garret didn't match with the outfit I'd bought for Tessa.

Oh well - she loves dress up and it never hurts to have a party dress or two in the closet if you are a Diva...

Knitting group tonight, Beaky already has some pindrafted coopworth started, and I have around a dozen skeins worth right now waiting for twist setting, measuring and reskeining. Have I mentioned I love my swift?

Tomorrow the first of some of the other supplies I’ve ordered comes in. I love having a friend in a spinning supply store as I’m going to be pointing most of my orders to her in the future.

My Pokeberries came in. I need to get them drying as they are sitting in a FedEx box right now.
Tessa cracked her head almost the same way I did on my drum carder. I think it’s resentful that I’m going to be sending some fiber out for commercial milling.



I shouldn’t anthropomorphize my fiber equipment?

You’ve never been whacked, concussed nor bit by the Drumcarder from Hell then have you.

I’m already making plans for next spring… in Early Spring there is a Sheep and Wool festival around my birthday time in Vernon CT, and then I’m making plans with TheKid to go check out the FiberFrolic in Maine in early June. I’m going to keep buying my fleeces raw, but as I’ve found a mill I really like I’m going to let them do the bulk of my processing. Scouring and all.

This weekend is a massive dying weekend. Again thank god for the Swift, and I’ll be going to my MIL’s with it to get a bunch of yarn skeined and tied down so hand painting won’t be such a PITA…

BTW – Did you know that 15# of lavender is a hell of a lot of Lavender? But, it smelllllllllls sooooooooooooooo goooooooooooooooood!!!

Now to find Eucalyptus in bulk like that.

I found a use for the short staple fleece that I’ve had such a hard time spinning. I’m pretty jazzed about it and will have pictures of the table at the show once we’re ready to go.

So yesterday worked out well for both kids – Tessa loved having the Daddy time un interrupted and Garret, he was delighted to be the center of attention at Grandma’s house for once. Tessa tends to think she’s queen of the world when she’s there and it often goes to her head. We also have big wars then about her not staying there too long – my MIL needs a break too and Tessa needs to learn she doesn’t always get her way, even if she is at Grandma’s.

And we really shouldn't waste time wondering why she is a Diva....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

St. Ann's Craft Show prep!

Today being Sunday is Soap making day, and of course more spinning. My drying rack will be filled with soap until I have more dyed yarn to do a quick dry with. Next weekend - Dye weekend as the supplies I've ordered will be here and by the first weekend in December I'll be ready for that Fair.

I have no idea what will sell - I've never seen yarn at a craft show, but in September when I was asked to participate in this craft fair I certainly had a lot of interest - and requests for sock yarn. Which I should have a fair selection to choose from - Insha'Allah

I've been a spinning/dying fool. What frustrates me most? Several skeins I spun up and put in storage are AWOL.


I'll just keep spinning - and dying - as what doesn't sell at the show can and will sell in the store.

I've got several other things to get ready for the show as well. IF this works out well I'll be considering several other shows in the future, but I don't want to speak too much of the future... one small step at a time.

Gaelon got me that swift to make up for the fact that I couldn't get one at Rhinebeck - it was a case of time, arms and ability to wrangle a preschooler, an infant and my inlaws who were just awestruck by the enormity of it all. I've also been told to expect a ball winder early this week. Wii buyers guilt maybe? At this rate however - what the heck am I gonna get for Christmas? I actually do need the swift and already have put it to use, so not like I didn't really want it now anyhow.

The Knitting group I have been going to seems to be made up of a lot of older women who are not really net savvy... it's an adjustment for me...

I've been bringing my wheel though and have been asked to teach. Initially I was completely opposed to this bu t the more I think of it the more I'm warming up to the idea.

I really should be spending all my free time getting ready for the craft show, but hey I am going to have to wait for the dye supplies and fiber to get here. Once all this is over I'm going to make that drive to the fiber mill in the Southeastern Corner of the state with all my raw fleece picked up this fall. If I bring the kids with me then maybe I'll see if a certain 20something wants to arrange a play date with the kids - maybe another visit to the Aquarium since we have the membership that allows us to bring guests...

I also have to take patterns and some fabric over to my MIL's... oh and my snap setter as I barely use it but with some of the things we're going to have in the Etsy shop we'll need to use it. I'm not expecting that I'll be there long tomorrow, but it would be nice to discuss what all we'll be stocking for the Dec craft faire and what we're putting in the Etsy shop.

Oh - the coolest thing came in the mail on yesterday. My Ravelry T-shirt!!! Would it be too snobby to wear it to Knitting on Tuesday or would it go over their heads?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

What a beautiful Saturday

I picked up Delilah (our new kitten) this morning, and Tessa is in love. Delilah loves her back most of the time but as Tess is 3 years old and Delilah is 7 weeks old it does get overwhelming for the kitten at times. Best form of Time Out for Tessa today? Delilah got nap time while Tess got 3 minutes on the couch for trying to pick up the kitten by her leg. That won't be happening again.

Right now they are playing with a ball of yarn and are having fun, although I am fairly certain Delilah is going to need a nap again very very soon.

I've gotten a fair amount of spinning done this weekend, and have decided I'm sending some of the fleeces I have off for processing. I have a nice stash but it will take me forever if I am doing all the washing and carding. I'll still keep some unprocessed but as I found a quasi local mill I think it's going to be the most expedient for me to do it this way. This will help with some of the extremely short staple fibers I have as well - and will keep me from giving my self another concussion with my drum carder. Don't ask... really. it's embarassing.

Anyhow - our Nintendo Wii came in - the family Christmas present that wasn't. Another grit my teeth and smile as my hubby and 3 year old are having fun playing. Oh well it's better than sitting on their rears and playing the ps2 I guess... thank god tomorrow is park day.

Along with the Wii something for me arrived - my Swift - I am in love. I'm thinking I may not have a lot at the craft fair, but I should have a decent amount of things ready.

Ok - have to get back to skeining yarn so I can have a free bobbin.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween leads to Nov 1.

My daughter was frightened by Halloween last year - she refused to trick or treat even though she was excited to be dressed up. She was "The Dread Pirate Sally" the name she'd be using when she would take off with something and hide with it.

This year - Oh Tessa was delighted so delighted to be Cinderella. The camera lost battery at the last moment - so we have the following images as taken by Daddy's cell phone camera.

Princess Tessarella arrives to the great hunt for Tricks or Treats.

A giddy Princess in her (faux) Fur coat plays to the camera

Princess Tessarella mentally prepares for the rigors of Trick or Treating

Princess Tessarella with Lady (bug) Elyse

She started off tentative about trick or treating and I didn't think it would happen. Really didn't.

Then in costume she went with me to go pick up Daisy. They gave Daisy a Trick or Treat pumpkin shaped pressed rawhide. This was what it took for her - if Daisy could get goodies in Tessa's Candy Bucket, then Tessa decided she could do so herself.

So - we came home, gave Daisy her treat (after showing Tessa that we examine all Halloween treats even if we know where they come from) and then headed down the hill with Garret while Daddy got ready to come with us.

The new neighbors down stairs are a couple with a baby on the way. They got candy hoping Tessa would Trick or Treat - fully expecting that we wouldn't have trick or treaters at our house. Living on a sharp curve on a hill without sidewalks we don't see a lot of foot traffic.

She stunned me - she was tentative but could not resist the pull of the Candy Dish. I expected screaming fits of "NO NO NO NO" but there she was, being a novice with potential at the Trick or Treating business.

5 mini Chocolate bars later she was ready to go. We loaded up into the car and went to my mother in law's neighborhood.
She walked the block. Knocked on doors, and had a blast.

And when we came home? She came up to me and said "Trick or Treat was really fun Mommy!"

Pics of Garret later - I promise.

So - I woke up this morning feeling pretty decent although Coast to Coast AM had "Ghost to Ghost" on and Ghosthunters had their Halloween special on too. I was up Way too late. As were Gaelon and Tessa.

I got up, got the crock pot going (I'd come home last night and aside from getting some spinning time I soaked a 13 bean soup mix) with a bean soup combo.

I promised I'd share recipes so here's todays

13 Bean Soup

  • 1 bag Red Mill 13 bean soup beans. Soak beans overnight first.

  • 15 ounce can of diced tomato's

  • 2 envelopes of Lipton Onion Soup mix

  • 3/4 pound of Pork Cutlets (can be tossed in straight from freezer if thinly sliced enough.)

  • 2.5 Qts of water

Combine all ingredients in crock pot at about 7am. Turn on low and walk away. kick yourself for not putting bread in breadmaker for timed start so at 6PM there is fresh bread to go with dinner.

Come home and enjoy dinner at about 6ish. Watch your family be wow'ed over the meal and your 3 year old actually ask for more.

Add on's -

  • Canned Biscuits that are tossed in at 5 and the crock pot turned up to high.

Small side salad - a bagged salad picked up at the grocery store on the way home works and will make everyone happy.

Getting out the door was pretty easy this morning. I discovered Daisy has an alternate to "Sit" which is "Plant your Butt" one of the gals at Camp Canine said this to her yesterday and she sat instantly. Considering the success of this, I tried it myself this morning. It worked, Daisy sat pretty fast and was pretty well behaved.

This is her first day in actual Daycare. She's actually been in boarding for the past 2.5 weeks by day as she wasn't fixed yet. She now gets to go play with the other dogs and hopefully she'll come home exhausted.

I got into the office and discovered that I had a meeting painfully early. The good news is that the project I'm test lead on is starting to make sense to me. My boss laughed and told me I was 'grokking' it much earlier than he'd expected and far earlier than others do and have done. I told hime I wasn't near an expert yet but I had my "Rosetta stone moment" and that hopefully the rest would start to translate for me now.

I like it here. I worry that I won't succeed, that I'll be percieved as a slacker or a poser, but the truth is I've paid my dues and I know what I'm doing. And I'm good at it. I just need to remember that.

Hard to believe it's the first of November. Hard to believe it's NoJoMo already - and it's hard to believe that I'm functioning without a cuppa coffee, so on that note I'll close off this edit and go get me some JavaJuice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Knitnight and Spinning

T'was the eve of All Hallows Eve and What the heck did I just agree to?

A meeting at 8:30am tomorrow.

A status meeting at 8:30am.

My Status will be: "I have begun putting together my project team and have begun printing essential documents."

But I'll really want to say "I stayed in bed too long as Garret wanted one more sippy, and how could you refuse such a darling little boy.

I should know better but there ya have it. I'm a pushover for one cute little blondiebear.

Anyhow - Tonight is KnitNight. I'm planning on bringing both my wheels and need to bring some extra bobbins for both so people can play without damaging anything on the bobbin currently. I have Navajo Plying to do, and several other projects to get going. I have a bunch of wool I've dyed already over summer, and the plan is to get the most yarn I can spun and ready for twist setting and then re-skeining. Now to see if the woman I'm supposed to teach remembers to bring her own wheel.

Thank goodness for the Crock Pot, as I can't see getting everything ready, getting the kids fed and getting the kids ready for bed by 7 if I get out of work at 5. I'm probably going to head out early today anyhow and be in early tomorrow in order to be function in time for the meeting.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hitchhiker love

I took my Hitchhiker with me to the inlaws last night. It took a little while to get it figured out, but I think I'm liking my new little wheel. Single treadling produces a pretty decent single, and I'm getting there.

What I'm not sure of is if the noises I'm hearing from the wheel are noises it should be making. There's a definative sound made each revolution and it was loud enough to wake my brother- in -law from a late nap.

I think what I'll do there is have my husband take a video of me spinning on that wheel and we'll send it in to the maker and see what he thinks.

I bring Daisy home this afternoon - hopefully a much more sedate puppy. She's wild at times and it's just normal Brittany excitement.


Ok - so how was spinning on my HitchHiker?
Well I've not used a single treadle wheel before and my grandmother's single treadle sewing machine is still on the farm and likely another aunt or cousin will end up with it (and that's fine - I think I talked to my grandmother about it years ago but I have enough fiber arts stuff here to choke a horse. I might even see if my MIL and SIL are interested in some of my fiber stash for their contribution to the Etsy shop... we're getting closer to it happening.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Are we at the weekend yet? I wanna spin

Daisy (My over active Brittany Spaniel) is off at the Vet adjacent to the Humane Society today.

It's Spay the Puppy day and she knew something was up when we passed the Dog Daycare without stopping. Next week she will get to play with all the other dogs, but for the next few days it's limited time outside and crate otherwise. I'm looking forward to her being able to finally interact with the other dogs and coming home pooped out. She needs it. I need it.

What I'm surprised about however is that I made it out without bringing home a cat. We lost ours to old age last winter and I'm feeling the missing the kitty love...

So that knitting I mentioned I had to finish - I'm almost there and it's not one of my better jobs. I have outgrown my KK loooms and will be looking to pass them on soon I think... I've asked for an adjustable loom from DALooms.com for christmas from the hubby.

Here's the current project keeping me from spinning however. If they don't fit Garret they will be lanolinized and sent to SoCal as there are moms there with little ones who have lost their entire stash of cloth and covers in the fires.

The Quarter is on it for reference for size.

I still don't have admin access to my own computer here at work. Talk about frustrating. The new boss seems pleased with me though, so that's a goodness.

I'm definately looking forward to tomorrow. If it's sunny I'll take the wheel outside and sit on my porch this weekend and spin, and let Garret hang out with me in the excersaucer while Tessa plays outside too. I'm also going to go berry picking for natural dye stuffs before the kids wake up on Sat AM

We also are giving the kitchen a complete shakedown this weekend. I'm getting rid of all our old pots and pans and putting away the new stuff. (Freecycle here we come again.) Once that's done I can put in a Peapod order as I'm finding I don't have time to go grocery shopping with everything else I have going on.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Show and Sell

I'm committed to my first craft show and will be doing it with my elder SIL and MIL, with soaps, hand made wooden toys (dyed with food grade colors vs lead paint), baby supplies, soaps, and hand spun / hand dyed yarn - I'll be bringing Beaky (my larger spinning wheel) and doing a demo as well. Table cost wasn't much and if I generate enough interest then I'll do more of these.

I have been asked to teach Spinning at my local S&B next week. There are several women who have wheels but don't spin as they have never learned.

It's kinda unfathomable, but there ya have it. I was asked how I felt about teaching people and wasn't I concerned about competition. It's a dying art, and if I can help another spinner along then that's awesome. I'm not a master but willing to share what I know and if others decide to sell their stuff as well - hey it helps the economy. I'm all about seeing the little guy succeed.

Making Yarn is an ancient art, but no two spinners will have the same exact product, and what I have to sell might not be what someone I've taught later has to sell.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rhinebeck tools, and being taunted...

So - I went to Rhinebeck yesterday. Oh dear god I really should have taken 2 days. I'll know better for next year.

I did get my second wheel - I went ahead and got the HitchHiker and am now going to learn how to use it. I understand where the persnickity part comes from as you have to use your whole foot like a sewing machine treadle to spin with it.

Along with stocking up on some of the fibers I don't normally have close access to, I also got my first Golding Drop Spindle. It's sitting in the corner of my cube here at work, just taunting me.

and yes - that's an ounce of Bison Down beside it... now to get through the things I have to in order to be able to play.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Post Rhinebeck Blues.

I woke up painfully early this morning - at 5:30am due to a wrong number that wouldn't quit calling me, but it was so worth it. I got a long hot shower, got dressed, spent time with my dog and got ready for the day.

We went to the NY Sheep and Wool festival, and I was in heaven. For the second day in a row I heard "OH MY GOD - YOU CLONED YOURSELF" (with regards to Tessa.) Saturday's was at the CT Faire, where my Daughter has fallen in love with belly dancing. Today's was from Rhiannon - firebow's other half.

I picked up my first Golding Drop Spindle, after drooling over them in Spin Off Magazine all year, and got my HitchHiker Mini...

Tom Golding got a good chuckle as my first fiber to be spun on it will be Bison, so soft, so expensive, and so going to be a holiday present in finished knit form I thinkI called Gaelon after getting the drop spindle and he asked me if we still had money in our bank account - as he'd thought I'd bought a Golding Wheel.

Urm - pretty but I'm not sure that is the kind of money I'll have floating loose for a while.The builder of my HitchHiker gave it a quick once over (I bought it used from someone else) and pronounced it fit, although he suggested I give it another coat of oil some time soon, and an impromptu lesson on how to use that wheel...

I can see how people would think it's "persnickity" and if you don't have experience with a treadle sewing machine, it can be a bear to ge the hang of.I will be spinning through holidays at the inlaws now and for that I am quite happy.There are some things I still need to pick up, but I didn't go crazy and stayed rather under budget. I did pick up some more exotic fibers - stuff I don't normally have access to, including Llama and Yak.

I'll have to tell ya'll how the Yak spins up.Mean while - I'm hoping the Bison spins nicely. In it's planned finished state I'll be doing something pretty special with it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Um Wow?

So, at the suggestion of local Alpaca farm owner, I found a S&B group close to home. 5 blocks away from home actually.

They meet on Tuesdays from 7-9PM at Starbucks.

I showed up and most everyone was there - and they were delighted to see a Spinner.

Newsflash to me. I'm better than I thought; and was even asked if I'd teach.

To quote Tim Allen.... "Arooo?"

I graciously said I'd not be teaching at this time, but thanked people for the kind compliments.

I'm going to see if I can build up enough stock to participate in a little craft fair in December.

This group does a lot of charity knitting. I'm only so so as a knitter, but I'm more than willing to donate some hand spun to be made into scarves and hats for this years Christmas collection.

I don't plan on giving up the other group I go to, but I don't get there often and that's where I actually do knit at. I'll probably go this group and spin.

now to get that little Hitchhiker after all LOL.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Tessa's Halloween Bag

I have found what I'm going to work on over the next few days.

A Candy Corn Bag.
As seen over at Purlingsprite.com.

Things I'll need for it

Orange wool
White wool
Yellow Wool

I have some predrafted, and some I need to blend into a batt, but I have the wool ready and on standby to be turned into a lovely lovely bag for Tess. Now to just see if she can even handle the concept of Trick or Treating this year.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I like it - can I have one Dear Hubby?

As a fan of Alton Brown I can say that unitaskers are no good.

So - having said that - I have discovered what I want for my next spinner.

Yep. Dremel powered electric spinning wheel. Come to Mama Baby!

Inbetween jobs and loving it

This has been a quiet week. We went to Salem Mass last weekend, and the kids loved it. Hubby wants to go back next week - I'm all for it but HE drives as I want time to catch up on my knitting.

Monday we went to the Mystic Aquarium... what a lovely lovely day with some great new friends - gals I knew online but hadn't met in person yet.

The rest of this week has been spent at home. I've been prepping wool - washing some Jacob and Suffolk fleeces (OMG*DIE the Suffolk was uber gross and will need much carding due to way more veggie matter in it than I was initially told was in it), carding some merino/mohair blends, and spinning some Coopworth on both the drop spindle and plying some on the wheel with some hand dyed lavender Merino. I'm a little unhappy with the Jacob - it's a really short staple, and I may just buy processed Jacob roving in the future...

The Merino and Mohair are both carding up beautifully, and I'm expecting that I'll have a couple of bats put up soon for spinning. I may card up some Merino Batts from the scoured Merino I have and hand paint the batts like canvases...

Yes - I'm spending some of this down time on fiber and fiber prep.

I need a swift, badly. Hopefully on Saturday when I go to the Guild's first meeting of the season I will be able to get one. In the mean time - I will be skeining up some yarn I plied earlier this week (the Coopworth/Merino ply) and setting the twist on that. I don't think it's going to need much at all as the spin on that is a pretty consistent spin.

I've not stocked my online store yet as I've not been fully satisfied with the quality of my spinning. I'm sure those of you who are crafters out there can understand that.

I'm going to be posting some of my yarns up on the shopping cart software that comes with Irissphere - and listing them at tester prices, with shipping being a flat rate. I need to get some of this stuff moving in order to justify actually doing an online shop. My earlier stuff has a tighter spin and is not as loose as my newer stuff - but that's the way it goes when you are learning. I figure using this vs doing the etsy shop will give me an outlet to see if my stuff is good enough or not for sale. If it is - then I'll list in Etsy... if not - well I've got a hobby that's building up a large byproduct collection LOL.

My next big project is to get the kitchen into shape... I have a bread maker that is currently neglected, and a refrigerator in need of cleaning. Once I get that done I can determine what I'm doing about getting a deep freezer and buying out Aldi's (as in stocking up for winter with stuff I can toss in a crock pot.)

My Ravelry invite came over the weekend, I've been familiarizing my self with the site, it's pretty neat! Hopefully I'll be able to get my personal stash listed in there soon too.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Life's been good to me so far (pics)

I've got some cool things to share I'll try to keep it short vs writing a novel ;-)

We got a small stack of letters in from the IRS Saturday afternoon in the mail... Good news - they accepted my amended returns, and I need to contact them to get the new figure as Gaelon opened the mail (his name on them too and he got everything out of order and I'm kinda OCD about stuff like that) but the gist of it is we DON'T OWE 26K ANYMORE and we likely have paid what we do off already. If we haven't - it is going to be covered easily by the check in 2 weeks that will have 17 days of vacation time included in it.

*Wild Grins*

Spinning has been faboo, and I need to adjust the drums on my drum carder, and wash some wool up so I can card and then spin it (OMG what a deal on some lovely lovely lovely Jacob Wool that I have raw) I'm finally starting to get consistent with my spins I think and have gotten the knack of Navajo Plying. I've not been to Knitting in a dogs age, but I may be going bearing a skein or two for a certain friend and getting her opinion on my work (and then leaving it in her care to become something lovely - she's been knitting purses lately and I bet some of this stuff would felt all pretty like... hee hee.)

From the news of the weird... I wonder what this kind of fleece is like to work with... and shearing has got to be a real pain in the arse, and OMG the fleece is likely soooooooooooooooo icky.... it's the pig that thinks it's a sheep. For real...

I've gotten to a comfort zone with my spinning to start the research on where I want to go next with fiber arts... We eventually want to have some land and we keep coming back to the idea of doing a barn conversion... it's so damn appealing, and depending on where it's set at would affect what we did. It's still a couple of years away but I'm feeling reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllly good about us not just settling and putting out into the universe what I need and going from there.

Life treats us kindly when we ask for what we want and then take steps to assure that we can handle what comes to us. I am hoping that where ever we end up that I can have a room for crafts with lots of southern exposure, something where I can set up my wheel(s) and other spinning/dying supplies/equipment as well as eventually getting a loom. Yep - Weaving will be on the plate next, although I plan on starting with much smaller looms than a big old floor loom. I'd rather walk before running. The idea of weaving my own tapestries, baby wraps, etc from yarn I've dyed and spun my self - it's heady. I won't be able to get the big loom for a while, but I'll be growing a dyers garden next year and have a small loom on my list for Christmas this year.

Thursday night I took Tessa out and left the boys home. Garret got some much needed one on one time with Daddy and Tessa got a girls night, as did Daisy... while Daisy was getting a bath, Tessa and I went to Friendly's for ice cream. Yummy. She likes Cherrys... and kept asking the waitress for more, and then when we left she took my credit card to the register and said "I pay for my Ice cream and balloon now please." Cuteness - not just a natural defense for kids these days.

Garret's been a doll. Teething like mad though. Doesn't matter to him what he chews on as long as his mouth gets some relief.

Last night we hung out with Tessa's godfather. His wife got to meet Garret for the first time... and she seemed pretty upset that Tessa cried when Tara tried to say hello to Tessa. There's a whole history there that's ugly and lets just say when you go poof from a child's life they remember. Tessa was very much the unhappy girl when she had to say goodnight to Uncle Brian, although she was very happy to go home, as she was tired and it was later than I'd expected to be out with the kids. (Gaelon went to the movies with a different group of friends and I didn't want to try to find a sitter so I made alternate plans.)

Saturday - I took Garret with me, and went to lunch with my friend Donna and another friend Dan, he's best man in her wedding, and while her sister is technically maid of honor, I'm basically it without the title... suits me fine. Lunch was awesome, poor Dan was a bit flustered that I nursed at the table, but whatcha gonna do - Garret needed to eat too and I've never been one to hide out in the bathroom or a corner to nurse... and since I'm not out for Mardi Gras beads ( my days of being a thin sexy young thing went by when I stopped being a young thing ;-) ) I really don't care to be all flashy. So he saw a whole lot of Baby sling and back of a platinum blonde head, but no boobage LOL.

I think this is the first real pic of my shorter hair I have out on display. Needless to say - I actually like it this length, and it's all back to it's natural color - including gray hairs. I needed to actually look as close to my age as possible when interviewing for jobs this time, or there was a risk of not being taken seriously. I don't get taken serious in the professional world as often as I'd like because I look younger than my 38 years.

Sat Night - Dinner with Lonnie, who I've not seen for maybe 4 months. She's always a treat and I enjoy her company. I wish Tessa hadn't been so overstimulated, and I'm sure Gaelon kinda came across as overbearing, but she'd really given him a time of it, and we probably should have stayed in but we had some errands to run before dinner and then getting the chance to see Lonnie was presented and we went for it. She and Garret hit it off well, when Garret wasn't chowing down himself. My poor single friends - the whole exposure to nursing in public has to be culture shock for them... if nothing else though, hopefully I am helping normalize it for them so it's not so shocking when our other friends or they themselves have kids.

Life has been good lately. I thank the powers that be profusely each day when the day is good. On the bad days - I'm trying to figure out what lesson the universe has in store for me that day. There's got to be something.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Weekend Recap - Now with photos!

Warning - this is a weekend recap. And believe it or not I left out details...

Friday night Gaelon and I decided that we needed to do a couple of things when it comes to our dog. First – she really needs to get up to date on her shots. No more waiting. She also needs to get into training, and I’m trying to see if I can get some training and boarding done simultaneously… or consecutively… I now need to find a new vet as I met with a trainer this morning and Daisy will be going to Doggy Daycare to help her blow some steam and be a reasonably well behaved family pet. (found, scheduled and we're on our way)

Saturday we went to Applebee’s for lunch, while people were participating in nurse in’s (Nurse in = Protest) across the country we had our own little Nurse Out (Nurse Out = Normalizing breastfeeding by nursing in public) from 12-2, as we had lunch and then Garret decided he wanted lunch.

In our neck of the woods there were no protests scheduled, and to be honest – we’ve never had problems at our local Applebee’s with nursing in public, but the staff has known us forever and CT has decent laws regarding protecting an infant’s right to get it’s food from the source.

A quick run into AC Moore to pick up some odds and ends, and then Walgreen’s to get some Alavert as allergies are kicking my arse (seriously – my skin feels like someone’s attacked me with a feather duster and IT WILL NOT STOP without meds,) and then back home. We ran out after dinner and went to check out Dogloo’s too as while Daisy is going to Dog Daycare when I go back to work we also want to have her to have a shelter when she is outside. Second trip out we stopped at Walgreens again as they currently have 10.00 dog beds and Daisy needs a new one. We came home to see this little fellow in the tree behind our house... Tessa was delighted and I think the Opossum was terrified.

I was browsing through EBay on Sat Night and found plans for a wool picker. Looks easy to make, and the cost wasn’t bad. Some of the wool I got in on Friday that finally arrived, and it’s not going to be easy to card out, so a picker is definitely needed before that stuff can be turned into lovely lovely pretty purple yarn. I think the wool was dyed before it was washed, and the tips seem to be darn near fused… the vegetable matter in this sucks too. It’s only about one pound out of 10+ but still… so the seller of the plans and I were emailing back and forth (lovely woman with a farm in NH) and we were talking about my stash of fiber that I need to wash and card… and did she have a carder for sale too or could she recommend me one?

She had one alright. So we made plans to go up to NH to pick it up on the next day (which was Sunday – I’m not sure when I’ll get to post this.) As were in the mid 80’s when we left with just oppressive humidity, I figured that a tank top and leggings for Tessa and a little jumper onesie for Garret would be fine. We regularly go for a long drive on Sunday, and the directions seemed to not be too much longer than we normally do. Urm. Well that’s what it appeared.

The closer we got to the Vermont border, the colder it got. Then the bright sunny day turned into downpour city. I kid you not, the rain just fell like a curtain that I could barely see to drive through for what felt like an eternity. From Northhampton Mass until the Vermont border itself – we were rained on and the temperature was now nearly 20 degrees cooler than at home.

We pulled into the Visitor center, to let Tessa run off some steam, and so I could nurse. There was a corner of the center that had big glass windows overlooking a meadow and a mountain behind it, with two large rocking chairs, anda big old fireplace. T

The fireplace wasn’t lit, but the chairs were nice to nurse in, and I rocked while nursing Garret, while Tessa played decorator with the pictures on the window sill. She brought one to me saying “Uncle Riss, Uncle Riss” and yes it was a soldier, a picture of one of Vermont’s boys claimed by this horrible mess we’ve gotten ourselves into in Iraq. I told her that it was a special picture and to put it back with the other special pictures as it would be lonely without it’s friends, and that we’d call Uncle Riss soon.

I’m pro support of our soldiers, they work their arses off, but I just wish that they had a better Commander in Chief who gave them and the country they serve the respect due.

Ok – my political babblings aside, it was a sweet but bitter experience, nursing my son in such a lovely location with the faces of dead sons lost in Iraq staring back at me. I held my baby boy even tighter when looking at those pics.

Moving on and driving through the country side we watched the clouds and steam rolling off the mountains, and marveled at the fact that the trees seem about 3 weeks ahead of schedule for turning. This inspired conversation about what we could do to make our home easier to handle in the winter cold this year, and what were we going to do about the sun porch which has only screen windows, not real windows.

Crossing into NH from Vermont was an experience. First – we had to cross under a set of railroad tracks and through this tiny underpass that really should only be traversed by one vehicle at a time. Other cars tried simultaneously going through, but I waited traffic out. Crossing the Connecticut river we then went from Rural to darn near Pastoral… and so beautiful.

Getting to the farm we pulled in and as Garret was asleep Gaelon stayed in the car with him. Tessa and I went into the house to get the carder, and also to see the horses, which were on the other side of the house (the house was a converted barn and I’m drooling over her stone sinks and the architecture of the house.) Elizabeth (the gal who sold me the picker plans and the drum carder) had a basket of hay and a whistle ready to call the horses for Tessa, who promptly fell in love with them… my god these were HUGE – and were a draft horse/Arabian mixes… black with a little white star each, they towered over my small girl who was drunk on love for the majestic beasts. The adoration seemed close to mutual, but it could have been love of the food set out in front of them too.

So that Drum Carder? It’s a MAMOTH of a carder, a triple carder made by Anderson. It’s beautiful, but HUGE. Did I mention it’s HUGE?

I also got 3# of unwashed Jacob wool fleece from her. Oh the fluff love… what I can spin and what I will be spinning this winter, it will be very, very nice, as the wool is very soft as is right now.

We headed home and played tourist, taking the pictures you see in this post. All so very lovely, and even Tess got in on the picture taking. I’m thinking for her upcoming third birthday we’re going to have to get her a camera… she’s got a lovely eye too.

Dinner was at Cracker Barrel, and Garret sat at the table with us in a high chair, and was not happy that we were eating and he was given toys to play with. He’s still on mommy milk exclusively thanks to his tempestuous tummy. Needless to say – he bitched a fair bit and tried to grab cutlery. Pics courtesy of Tess, Mommy and Daddy here at Cracker Barrel.

After dinner for the rest of us it was time to go back to boob for Garret, who would gladly just be strapped to my chest for 75% of the day. I sat on the porch of Cracker Barrel while they had their porch (sidewalk) sale in a rocker, and nursed him until he was full. One of the staff members looked at me nursing, rubbed his head and said “Soups on little guy, enjoy, as it never gets healthier” I thought that was a pretty cool thing coming off of the fact that the Nurse In’s had happened all over the place on the same weekend. So while he ate, I reflected on the true good fortune I’ve had – yes I’m losing my job at CLG, and I’ll miss it there terribly, but the time spent has been good to me. The last year at home with my babies? Priceless. Just priceless. When I go into a new working situation, I’ll know that my kids are in the best hands ever, and my future is secure.

So tomorrow I get Daisy in for her shots, get her basic training started and on Friday she goes in for her spay. She’ll come home to her new pillow which I’ll have in her crate with some blankets we’ve laid both kids in with the new pillow for family friendly smells, and as she becomes more family oriented, we’ll get her more integrated into our family like she should have been from the beginning. Never again will I bring a pet home when in all reality I KNOW I can’t give it what it needs at that point of time in my life.

In my defense – she was slated to go to my dad for training, but that didn’t work out as my dad’s off in the great beyond playing with Daisy the first and quayle hunting or something…

Ok – I’ll add pictures to this post later on, and if you got all the way through this – YAY You! It’s 3 pages before images in MS Word.

Friday, September 7, 2007


I used to not want to live here in New England. Anywhere BUT here in New England, Connecticut especially. I'd dream of being back to the desert, of relocating to the Midwest, and as recently as this spring had thought of trying telecommuting in to work from Michigan.

Now in a position to relocate anywhere I so choose, with time and a little bit of money to do it on, I have found that while I've always been fond of the north east in Fall, (it's so damn beautiful and I live close to the area Norman Rockwell used for his inspiration for his paintings) that I find I just don't want to be anywhere but here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

You know without a doubt you are a mom when...

you'll spend 30.00+ on a pair of shoes for your child, and won't batt an eye at spending on an entire fall and winter wardrobe for your kids, but for yourself, you balk at that 89.00 blazer you really like and need for working in an office environment, but still can't justify buying it even though you aren't spending frivelously on it.

Monday, August 27, 2007

I have two links for you.


Update at the Fiber Addict.

Waiting for Rhinebeck is driving me batty... and other Mommy things

First spinning stuff, and then if you go on - kidstuff I promise.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Caught Unexpected

When I was told by my Aunt last week to expect a letter in the mail last week that would make me smile, I figured it was baby pictures of my later Father - as my infant son looks so much like him at that age that my heart aches.  Yes - I'm a Daddy's girl and I miss him a lot...

What I didn't expect was a check from my late Grandmother's estate.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Bobbin Overfloweth and my Niddynoddy is AWOL

So I spun up "Grandma's Lilacs" and need to skein it up. The yardage is unknown as of this moment, but as I need the bobbin space to start another colorway I have to get it off the bobbin and get the twist set. So how the heck was I supposed to do that in neat and organized manner?

Home Depot to the rescue. 2 T connectors, 4 end caps and 10 feet of 1/2" PVC... While I didn't need 10' to make it - they didn't sell it in smaller amounts.

My hubby cut down the PVC and assembled it and in short order I'm going to have some nice long skeins of this pretty shades of purple hand spun baby weight yarn.

If I can get the monkey off my back (Literally - my daughter is the afore mentioned monkey) I'll be making some soaps up tonight. I think maybe a cucumber mellon and then some hemp with eucalyptus.

My Bobbin Overfloweth and my Niddynoddy is AWOL

So I spun up "Grandma's Lilacs" and need to skein it up. The yardage is unknown as of this moment, but as I need the bobbin space to start another colorway I have to get it off the bobbin and get the twist set. So how the heck was I supposed to do that in neat and organized manner?

Home Depot to the rescue. 2 T connectors, 4 end caps and 10 feet of 1/2" PVC... While I didn't need 10' to make it - they didn't sell it in smaller amounts.

My hubby cut down the PVC and assembled it and in short order I'm going to have some nice long skeins of this pretty shades of purple hand spun baby weight yarn.

If I can get the monkey off my back (Literally - my daughter is the afore mentioned monkey) I'll be making some soaps up tonight. I think maybe a cucumber mellon and then some hemp with eucalyptus.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

So - what's up with me lately

I'm leaving my company in Late September... it's a case of the office closing and I'm not relocating to my other office as I'm technically considered an employee of the closing office. So - I have resumes out on the technical websites. I'm in IT and do QA testing for Software Development - I'm a professional bug hunter, with years of experience.

So - what's up with me lately

I'm leaving my company in Late September... it's a case of the office closing and I'm not relocating to my other office as I'm technically considered an employee of the closing office. So - I have resumes out on the technical websites. I'm in IT and do QA testing for Software Development - I'm a professional bug hunter, with years of experience.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Spirited Toddler and some new Yarn!

I've been a bit busy lately ;-)

BTW - Before I get to the pictures of the roving and yarn I've dyed and spun up, I wanted to make suggestion to those mom's with spirited pre-schoolers.

Watch the Curious George movie.

I kid you not. We're only on the 5th time of it being on around here as Tess loves it, but it's been a big help for us. George's personality is completely Tessa right now... curious, wanting to get into everything, no malice, no clue of when to stop, and it makes us stop and say "Hey, she's just being a little one who's out to explore her world." There are times she acts far older than she is, and when she then gets wired it drives us batty - but in all reality she's just being a 2 3/4 year old...

I bet you want to see the yarn now though don't you.

Spirited Toddler and some new Yarn!

I've been a bit busy lately ;-)

BTW - Before I get to the pictures of the roving and yarn I've dyed and spun up, I wanted to make suggestion to those mom's with spirited pre-schoolers.

Watch the Curious George movie.

I kid you not. We're only on the 5th time of it being on around here as Tess loves it, but it's been a big help for us. George's personality is completely Tessa right now... curious, wanting to get into everything, no malice, no clue of when to stop, and it makes us stop and say "Hey, she's just being a little one who's out to explore her world." There are times she acts far older than she is, and when she then gets wired it drives us batty - but in all reality she's just being a 2 3/4 year old...

I bet you want to see the yarn now though don't you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

First results of dying and wheel update.

What do you get when you cross the following.

4 oz roving
6 packs Koolaid
1 Crock Pot
1 2 and 3/4 year old child
Rubber Gloves

First results of dying and wheel update.

What do you get when you cross the following.

4 oz roving
6 packs Koolaid
1 Crock Pot
1 2 and 3/4 year old child
Rubber Gloves

Monday, July 16, 2007

Looming on the horizon... spinning my wheels...

So - The Kid has helped me find my first wheel. I had found this metal monstrosity that was devoid of any personality and looked like it might come with a boot scraper/lazy kate for winter that I actually kinda liked, when she asks me about a HitchHiker... no it's not a guide to the galaxy, but a key to my sanity as spinning has become very therapeutic. Best thing? It's not gonna cost a mint to buy it. I may sell off some of my Merino roving I just bought to help finance it...

That microphone on Ebay? Oh yeah, what it sells for will go to the wheel fund. Textbook too, aAs will other items I'll be selling in my de-cluttering.

This isn't going to mean much to most of my faves, but a couple of you will completely get it...
Constructed of Baltic Birch ply, ash and cherry. other trim woods optional
unfinished or single coat of teak oil. painted drive wheel optional.
friction drive
single treadle - left or right
orifice hook
3 bobbins and on-board lazy kate
14" wheel
floor to orifice - 17-1/8"
orifice diameter - 3/8"
4-1/2" bobbin
3/4" bobbin core
4-1/4" flyer width
6 stationary thread guides per arm
no drive band - rubber whorl drives directly off side of solid wheel
standard ratios of 7:1, 9:1 and 13:1.

Oh the lovely lovely yarns I can make on this....
It will fit in a book bag, and is compact enough to use to spin while in the car. ooooooo the possibilities.

What I was looking at before?

What the Lazy Kate for it looks like See? It looks like a bootscraper.

And then I came across this trailer - which had me laughing so loud I woke the baby...

Friday, July 13, 2007

On becoming more fiber addicted

So – having made my first drop spindle, and then buying an Ashford Top Whorl drop spindle, then having spun up three skeins of yarn (some commercial pencil roving from Lyon Brand that taught me the basics, some black finn that my mother gave me and some Corriedale that I picked up at the local fiber arts store) I’ve decided that this hobby is one that gives me some peace, and I want to get into further.

So – we’ve begun wheel hunt 07. I’ve discovered that spinning is the cheapest form of therapy for me, as when I get wired and want to kill something/someone/wring marketing’s neck (long standing frustration point at work) I just pull out the spindle and some roving and let the hypnotic pattern of snapping the whorl, watching it spin and drawing out the roving settle me in.

I will likely be saving my self a mint in hand spun yarns as well – although I still have to say fabulosity.etsy.com rocks and you really really want to check her out if you’re looking for a source for hand dyed and spun yarns. She has some pretty hand dyed rovings too.

I have been fortunate – the yarns I’ve spun so far are absolutely beautiful, and my next step is to learn to ply. I’m going to ply the Corriedale with some Merino that is known to pill in hopes that the next wool soaker I make from it isn’t so bad on the fuzzing factor. I have grand designs for a lot of my crafts, and hope to be able to get my own etsy store stocked with some of my own spinning relatively soon. I’ll also be putting up some of my wool longies once I’m satisfied with my design. I’ve got a gap in employment coming up so getting a cushion set aside would be a good thing.

I also plan on doing some weaving, and making diaper covers from the weaving... will they be of interest to anyone but me - who knows, but I'm going to give it a try.

Finding free time at this point in my life is a bit harried and hectic, so I may sell off one of my sewing machines, clearing space for and potentially financing my first spinning wheel… I already have a barely used professional grade microphone listed on ebay

Yeah – I know – where do I find time. I honestly don’t know, as the kids come first and I either have to do things with them or when they are asleep – or failing that at grandma’s.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Name that sheep?

So I've been busy on eBay lately - I've found some auctions for wool in the grease that I'm going to have to lanolinize (Suffolk - 9 pounds of it unprocessed,) and also a large amount of what appears to be processed Merino roving from the description of it... we'll see when it gets here next week and I take the picture of the sheep and a sample of the wool to my knitting night (which I'm missing tonight as I have an assignment due for my writing class tonight.)

Anyhow - to those of you who made it to B&N tonight - I hope it was a great evening! I hopefully will be there next week.

So - can anyone name that sheep breed?

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Wool Shorties

So the nice thing about wool for a diaper cover is that it breathes, and allows for a far better level of vapor exchange than any PUL cover or disposable diaper ever could.

And then there's the satisfaction of knowing you made it yourself...

Became this:

These were made from a beautiful hand dyed hand spun skein of Merino Worsted wool in the colorway "Slipstream" trimmed with a commercial Merino worsted super wash yarn in "Canary Yellow" although I'm considering removing the present trim and replacing it with a different yellow from the same maker. (see next paragraph)

"Slipstream" came from a lovely fiber artist over at Etsy - http://fabulosity.etsy.com and this was made on a long green Knifty Knitter loom. I am not 100% satisfied as I am not overly thrilled with the crotch join, but other than that it's an awesome pair of shorties made in little time. I'll be starting on another pair the next size up in a colorway called "Dandelion" (merino and mohair ooooooo) and I will be making a sweater to go with it and trimming that with the remaining yarn from the skein I made these from..

Whether you knit with a loom or on needles, I highly recommend the handspun yarns from Fabulosity - I've not been disappointed yet.

So - how did I make this?
It came together on the long loom really easy - the long green is 24 pegs long on each side with one on each end, so I knit the legs first - 17 pegs on each side with 6 empty pegs on the ends for 12 rows, then I did the body - all the way around. I'm not happy with the inseam between the legs, I tried to double knit those, and I should have just crocheted them together later... I then knit about 30 rows on an e-wrap and did the next 12 rows in ribbing with flat stitching. It came out nice and while its a bit loose for my tastes, it's actually perfect for this weather. I cuffed in the legs by rolling them in and whip stitching them in place. I really like how they turned out.

To make it tighter instead of e-Wrapping the body 1 over 1 you can eWrap 1 over 2 or even use 2 strands and do 1 over 1. I have a soaker that I did with two strands and it was crazy warm and a nice tight knit that way. I'll be making the next soaker from a bulkier yarn, but once I'm back to using the weight that this one was I'll be doubling up for a tighter knit.

I'll be making the "Dandelion" colorway on the Blue loom shortly - as my son is already showing that the shorties are already getting tight in the waist. Yay for growing sprees.

So - I'd say that the green loom will make a small pair of longies with a nice tight flat knit for the weight range of 10-15 pounds.

This design is my own and I have no problem with others using it - have fun, and enjoy the benefits of wool on your little one. You'll really appreciate it.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Whatta Wednesday

I returned to work this week after seven weeks away on Maternity leave. I came back to a hornets nest of data and application restores, and have dove into those head first to make sure that the applications my department needs to function are actually available and operating the way they are supposed to.

The day flew by and before I knew it, it was the end of the day and my husband so lovingly reminded me that it was Wednesday and knitting night in Canton. Who was I to argue when he said he'd stay home with our daughter and I should go. As I'm nursing our 7 week old exclusively, he got to come along with me to Barnes and Nobles, for our S&B night out. I don't have pics of the project I'm working on right now but will try to get them posted soon. It's a pair of shorties for Tessa. I've done several projects for Garret, so it's time she gets something. Gotta try at least to be a fair mommy.

The pic on the left is the first soaker I made for Garret... Where it is I am not sure, as Tessa has probably taken off with it. That one will be listed soon on the mommy boards I think... it's perfect for a newborn and he didn't even get to wear it. He's still in the moss green and grey soaker but that too may only fit for so long.

Last week at S&B we were besieged by an army of maroon on a mission to take the inventory... and the beeps surrounded us and was enough to drive a person with a migrane over the edge... you ask did I have first hand experience on that - why yes I did. This week we had music too loud that was rather evil as it was close to putting us to sleep. I'm wondering if Barnes and Nobles secretly has it in for us.

I'm always envious as I watch the women with double pointed needles create such pretty socks, as I was surrounded with them this week - but presently I don't have the time, skill or attention to detail to learn how to do that. Instead my head is cluttered with server addresses, application settings, and defect severity levels. You can bet that some day I'll learn the real complicated stuff with sticks, but for now I'm very happy with my pegs. Speaking of that - I've put this (click the link to find out) on my birthday list and am hoping my hubby gets it for me. It should be small enough gauge and not leave huge gaps in my knitting like the knifty knitters do. I get around that by doubling up yarn or switching my stitches, but it would be nice to have something geared to a tighter knit.

I played with a feature on my cell phone that I've not used at all til this point - and am delighted with it, so without any further ado I share the youngest person hanging out at S&B in Canton this week...

My evening sadly ended with news I've been expecting but was hoping would wait a couple more months to come. My grandmother passed away... my thanks to the gals who hung out a little longer and made sure I got out to the car ok and that in my tears I didn't miss anything that needed to come home with Garret and I.

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