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.

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