A place for me to share photos, trips and projects with my friends, mostly about knitting,kayaking, and quilting.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Failure to Blog

I'm whupped! New York was great and with the guidance of Mardi and Liz, I had a wonderful time. Then I stopped to eat on my way home from the airport yesterday. Something didn't agree with me, so I spent most of the night emptying the entire contents of my digestive system. I just can't get it together today.

I AM ready to head off to the Folk School first thing in the morning. I'll be gone just over a week. More on New York when I get back, plus I'll have the Folk School workshop to tell you about, too.

But just for fun, here are some of my photos from New York. Comments and more when I return.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pesky Fiber Stuff!

Fiber stuff is soooo sneaky! It sits quietly in the store. It looks inviting. If given half a chance it will follow you home. And THEN, once there, it keeps drawing attention to itself, making noise and not leaving you alone. The Ashford Traveller spinning wheel has been like that. And now this, this.... Louet drum carder!

And it's not just equipment. Fleece is the same way. This New Zealand Romney from The Yarn Circle, for example. It knows it hooked me and that I'd have to have more!

And of course, once you're reading all about spinning, and you run across something that says "Perendale is an excellent fleece for beginners," you must run to the internet and find some. Perendale lamb, lovely, not very greasy, and just begging me to wash and spin it.

Noise, that's all I've had from this pesky spinning equipment and fiber, ever since that spinning bug bit me. Sigh.... soon I will give in to the pests.

But right now I'm knitting my hat for the Yarn Harlot's Represent book launch in New York. I leave in the morning and I'll be back late on Friday. Just in time to turn things around at home and head out for another fun filled week at the John C. Campbell Folk School.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Gourmet for One

Food and wine. Chicken recipe from my friend Karol, but this is really leftovers. I prepared this dish when our friends stayed with us Sunday evening.

Yarn. I received this brightly colored sample of superwash merino and decided to try it as a quick break between plying and spinning my medium brown Corriedale roving. Whoaaa! I can tell I'm not ready for this yet! Also, I was spinning it pretty fine, and the wheel just about yanked it away from me. I can see where the lace kit would be handy of one were going to do much fine spinning! I didn't do this long, but the bright colors were fun. Today it was back to my natural brown roving.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mystery Revealed

You were all on the right track. Here's the deal. It's copper tubing in a solution that's 1 part ammonia, 2 parts water. The ammonia reacts with the copper to create the blue color, and the copper acts as both the mordant and the coloring agent for the wool. The wool is supposed to end up some shade of mint or seafoam green, like copper patina. The rolags in the photo are kind of sage green and came from Martha's copper jar in our class. My wool ended up a light beige with a slight greenish cast. There was a warning on the instructions that the first attempt with a new jar and new copper might give me a brown instead of green. Yup! So now the solution is a cloudy green, and I will wait a while before trying it again. I might try to overdye this skein, shown next to original undyed for comparison), or I might learn it's not good for the wool and I'll just use this as is.

In other dyeing fun, I mordanted a few skeins yesterday in preparation for later dyeing.

I used alum and cream of tartar - yummm, the fragrance of cooking wool!

The resulting skeins, drying and waiting for dye at a later time.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Terry and BC are friends again. BC is still uncomfortable with her feet, and sort of creeps around. But she's getting better and I can tell she feels better, too. Of course, having Nancy Guthrie's lap and lots of petting last night helped. The girls had an exciting evening because we had paddler friends spend the night.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

What's Happening?

Does anyone detect changes in the mystery jar?

Meanwhile, in the upstairs bathroom:

After a couple of days of teasing me, the amaryllis is finally fully opened. Well, two fo the four blooms are. Now to enjoy for the duration, as it's my only one, and it's only once a year.

Speaking of once a year, someone reminded me that we switch to Daylight Savings Time in the wee hours tomorrow. I like DST, but I hate changing. I wish we could just pick one and stick with it.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Easily Amused

I've had an exciting evening! I watched Disney's "Almost Angels", listening to the Vienna Boys' Choir, while producing this ethereal white cloud:

It's white New Zealand Romney, and before I started, it looked like this (pardon the poor close-up; my camera just doesn't do them well):

Now, it was pretty darned nice to start with (before I washed it, it was a beautiful golden color - LOTS of lanolin), but I was worried about those tips. But just some light flicking with a flick carder, and poof - gone! And without further processing, I could start spinning the stuff in the box. Listening to angelic voices and watching the transforming of the fleece - my idea of a rockin' Friday night! (Martha at The Yarn Circle still has some of this gorgeous white Romney - see the side bar for a link to the store if you want some for yourself.)

And spinning the stuff! I can't wait. It'll be thrilling.

Noel Thurner (from the Viking Spinner workshop) says there must be some fiber DNA somewhere in the genetic makeup of people like us. I think she must be right.

BC and I have been suffering this week. The cold materialized and since I usually give one about a week, I have a couple more days to go. It's better, but still with me. And BC is still recovering from her surgery, poor baby. And to add insult to injury, Terry growled and hissed at her for the first two days she was home. That's over with, thank goodness, but BC still isn't her active self, and her feet are obviously causing her discomfort. It hurts me to see her walk, which she isn't doing much. I HATE, HATE, HATE that I had to do that to her. It'll be fine soon, but in the meantime, I'm suffering with her.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

Monday, Monday

David left for his Grand Canyon trip today. I have to stay busy so the time will go quickly. He'll be gone about 6 weeks.

BC went to the vet today. I must have her de-clawed and the surgery is tomorrow. I can't possibly manage NOT feeding and watering one cat in the house when there are three others who can eat and drink. So surgery days for kitties are preceded by an overnight at the vet. Sigh.... I hate having to do this. But she's developed the habit of ripping up the carpet pile and eating it. And climbing the walls. Otherwise she's a wonderful kitty. Terry has gotten along just fine post de-clawing and doesn't seem any the worse for the wear. Cali never seemed any different - she was de-clawed when I found her. So.... but still, it's tough knowing she's there and I'm here and I can't be any comfort to her until I bring her home.

I woke up feeling stuffy and as the day has progressed, I've decided I'm getting a cold.

On the busy side, I'm getting my tax documentation done. I took apart the old CD player that ate 3 of my CDs and wouldn't give them back. I got my CD's and it's going to the dump tomorrow. New one in the box downstairs waiting for me to finish with the tax stuff.

And I have yarn that I made myself!

The brown is Corriedale roving and the first yarn from my new wheel. The green is Columbia pencil roving from Chester Farms (purchased from Holly Spring Homespun), spun on my hand spindle. I wish I had a better camera, but maybe if you click on the picture, you'll get a closer look at the yarn texture or something.

And here's the current state of the myster jar. HollyMay was thinking crayons, but I believe that's because she had nothing with which to gain any perspective. So here's a picture with stuff next to it, for a better idea of size.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Mood Indigo

Well, the color is indigo. The mood is elated - because I've finished carding all the dyed wool!

The two top rows are from the individual dye pots. The bottom two rows are rolags (hand carded) and batts (drum carder) from the rainbow dye pots. There's a better look at the colors:

I also finished spinning a second bobbin of the brown Corriedale, so tomorrow, I'll ply! And then spin s'more.
Now I'm going to ... knit, yeah, that's it, knit!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Practice and a Mystery

Lookeee!! A full bobbin from the spinning wheel. I'm on my second one. Something "clicked" yesterday and the process of making yarn is going a lot more smoothly for me. Now something will smite me for saying that. As Alyssa observed, it often goes thusly: "Hey, I'm doin' good.... aw shit!" I'll keep my fingers crossed that I don't have a major gaff to report soon.

So, now the mystery. What could I possibly be up to here? Of course, if you were in the class, you know what's going on. I'll continue to post photos as the mystery progresses. Stay tuned.

And the weekend cuteness factor: Terry plays in anything, with anything. David is getting tired of keeping her out of his gear and stuff he has spread around getting ready for his imminent departure for another trip down the Colorado River.

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