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.

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