Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fun Weekend

Last week I didn't do much on the crafty side and certainly didn't finish anything. I have been working on combing, spinning and knitting but all of it is in progress stuff. Basically I am saying no pics today (sorry Alexis).
On Thursday with Andrew's help we got the house clean, laundry folded and van cleaned and vacuumed. Got clothes packed and when Brian got home we headed to the hospital to meet our new neice Ryan. She was born on Thursday shortly after 4pm, 8lbs 10oz. She has two big sisters who are very excited to meet her. Jacob was pretty excited too. After leaving the hospital we hit the highway for Portland, OR to visit Andrew's family. We got in fairly late like 12 or so.
The next morning after having yummy crepes for breakfast the grownups all went paintballing at an outdoor course. It was a ton of fun and while I have a couple of lovely purple/green/pink/yellow bruises today I would still do it again. I was in more pain the next day from carrying the gun than from getting hit.
We all hung out and enjoyed the day, Jacob got to feed the cows and later we all played cards and got our drink on.
Another late night but it was fun. Saturday we puttered around and eventually headed for Amy's house (Andrew's sister). On the way we picked up some barley and hops and lunch too. They boys finally got to brew a batch of beer together and Andrew will go back down this weekend and bottle it. It was fun to hang out with Amy and get to see her new house. I taught her Mother in law and her nephews a few basics on spindle spinning and I think her MIL genuinely would like to continue with it. Amy is very much an animal person and they have a puppy, a fish tank (I can't even keep my common gold fish alive), a parrot, a parakeet? and a rat. Jake loved getting to see all of the animals.
We left there around midnight and after swinging through Taco Bell and a stop to trade drivers/get gas we made it home around 2am.
Sunday we stayed at home. I washed wool all day and made a couple of meals but other than that I did nothing.
Yesterday I did not get caught up on my housework since Jacob woke up and asked for his usual snack (grahm cracker and juice). He drank the juice but hadn't touched the grahm cracker when he wanted to sit in my lap. I thought he was just tired but then he started puking over my shoulder. Poor kid. I don't think he knew what was happening. Got him (and me) cleaned up and then we ditched the juice and just tried water. That came up too about 15 min later. Poor kid was hungry but I had to make him wait. Later we tried some saltines and water. Also came up. He was just so hungry I let him go ahead and eat some scrambled egss but alas those came up too (he made it to the bathroom though). Then a grahm cracker came up. The last thing I let him eat before heading to the store for some pedialite and chicken broth was saltines and water. At one point he heaved, but nothing came up and he did fine for the rest of the day. We ran to the store got some pedialite, chicken broth soup and a few other things. I made him soup and he wolfed it down and kept it down. I don't know what it was that he had - only him, no one else but today he is just fine. I had a full load of clothes to wash after that morning but everything seems to be back to normal.
Today I have been combing wool, doing laundry and now I am off to do dishes (the bane of my existance).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yarny Things

Lots of Yarn play this week. I finished spinning 'Captain Planet' from the PhatFiber box...here is the roving:and the yarn:Then I spun up the 'Pool of Tears' Bamboo also from the Phat box. Again the roving:On the spindle:and the yarn:I finished knitting the handspun alpaca lace scarf:Now I just need to block it...can't wait for it to be all done (so I can fold it up and put it away until I need it...scarf weather is pretty much over).
Also I have been playing on the loom some more. After some fiddling on graph paper I had my desing pretty much figured out. I decided I wanted to try warping the loom 'directly' by using the single post method. I started by setting up a post:That post aligned with the loom so I could go from the warping bar/dowel to the heddle to the post and back.The yarn on a makeshift TinkerToy 'lazy kate' of sorts so that it would unwind easier while pulling it from the cone to the loom:After the warping was all done I started weaving - here is my very first plaid, designed by me! The pattern is quite simple and easily memorized. I did warp the edges with yellow when, if following the pattern, it should have been grey but I wanted a nice defined edge so hopefully it's the right call.
Next in line for the loom: Placemats!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm totally Phat!

I am giddy/happy/excited that my Phat Fiber box arrived yesterday! I have been wanting one for 6 months and they sell out in minutes. This month they sold out in less than 60 seconds from what I gather.
For those who don't know Phat Fiber is a sampler box of either fiber and yarn, just fiber or just yarn. I got me a 'fluff' box (just fiber). It is packed full of yummy fiber!
The theme this month was 'The Elements' so earth, air, fire, water and aether (not tangible/transcendant/philisophical - like that moment when you see heaven through that ray of sushine in the sky or think you see a fairy fly past).
Here is my box:
And by element we have
Starting in the top left is a braid of corriedale cross in Koi colorway from Color Bug Yarns There is also an adorable turtle bead on the card that I am totally in love with. To the right of that is the long braid of superwash merino in From the Depths colorway from it's a colorful life. Under the Koi on the far left is a bat from The Critter Ranch of firestar, alpaca and llama in Sand and Sea colorwy. To the right of that in the center is a light blue braid of bamboo called Pool of Tears from Polyartgirl Designs. To the right and under that is a batt of romney/alpaca in Water colorway from Lucky Loungers. I also included the card from The Twice Sheared Sheep here because they included an 'Oil Slick' stitch marker - love it! looks like it wll not snag!
The pattern on the right is from Katherine Vaughan Designs it is for a hair scrunchie and is totally adorable. It would also look great if I made it out of the merino next to it there on the left from Smoky Mountain Fibers in "Fire' colorway.
Top roving is kettle dyed romney in "winter storm warning" colorway from (RuLeOuT):fIBer AdDicTiOn, NOS I am not sure if a storm warning belongs with air or aether but I guess it could be both. Below to the left is 'Fog' wich is rambouilette carded fiber from Sandy's Palette . I guess fog could go in water or air but I decided it belonged in the air since it is much less tangible than water. Also not sure if this beautiful 'sunset' farm batt blend from Fleecemakers Fibers is air or aether but this is where my first instinct put it.
On the left is 'Edge of Night' BL cross roving from Desired Haven Farm and it is a VERY generous sample in some of my favorie colors. On the right is recycled carded sari silk from WC Mercantile. I should have pulled it out of the bag for the photo but I assure you it is 10x as beautiful in person.
Ok starting in the top left corner is one of my favorites in the whole box. It is a generous Foxyie Batt from The Fox Hop and it is a beautiful blend of wool, angelina, seacell, and rayon bamboo. It is super soft and the angelina fiber is coppery and so it looks almost as if it has embers or sparks in it when you move it. Directly below that is a bag of Gaia Green Tea from Goddess Tea. I will be drinking it today. To the right is a wool, milk, alpaca blend in "terra" colorway from The Fuzzy Bunny this is another one of my favorites because the color is so rich. On the top, far right is another from Sandy's Palette in 'Good Green Earth' colorway of gray corriedale that has been overdyed. The bottom row from left is: 'Captain Planet' blended batt from Crafty Puppy Lover - this one totally took me on a trip down memory lane. Center bottom is 'Moon Rock' Tumbleweeds Carded Batt from Desert Garden also one of my top favorites. I choose to put this in earth because it was 'rock' though it could go in aether as well since the moon makes me think of fairies. Last but not least on the bottom right is "Spring Fields" BFL from Hippie Penguin Fibers. Both the bright color and the shape of the sample remind me of a Troll (If you don't remember Trolls you probably were not a child of the 80's).
Oh and this pattern belonged with the water category but I forgot to put it in the pile, so it get's its own picture...written by Michelle over at Fickle Knitter:I was chatting with Brian and Andrew last night and just could not let that fiber just sit there. So I reached over and grabbed my spindle and plunged my hand into the box. It came up with this:That would be the Captain Planet batt. I am enjoying the color change but have been having the theme song run through my head ever since.

Ok I am off to spin...and maybe eat something...either way fiber will be involved.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stuff I've been doing this week

So a while ago I made a hat for Jake and he really liked it but did not like wearing it. Originally it was way to big so I frogged it and cast back on with fewer stitches...making it too small. It's cute and it sorta fits but it's a stretch.
It does however fit Abby perfectly and she loves it to the point that she screamed and had a fit the last time I tried to put it on Jacob. So now it's Not Jake's Hat.I think the best part is that the ear ties are long enough they come to her knees with the tassels on them. It is really cute.

I finished up the yarn I was spinning on the Turkish and finally got started knitting the scarf I have been eyeing for a while. Here it is, almost done (keep in mind it is not blocked yet so it will look even better after that happens).While I was on Orcas with the kids I brought my spinning wheel and finallly started spinning the Faukland fiber I bought from Jeannie. It was a real challenge to spin worsted after having spun laceweight but I think I got fairly close. If anything it is a little chunkier than I planned but it will still make a fun sweater for Abby.The first fiber braid is all spun and plyed. One more to go. I think it's a total of 8oz.
I also finally got my ass in gear and ripped back the socks I made for Brandi for Christmas (they were too long). and got them sorted out. Hopefully they fit now. If not I am just starting from scratch.
Ok, so we all know I need a new hobby like I need a hole in the head but....
At the monthly spinning guild meeting one of the ladies was giving out free weaving yarn - the only catch was that she wanted to see something woven with it by I think June...Well I have had a loom in my craft closet for about 6 years now and have never taken it out of the box. I figured that if the yarn was free and the loom was free, I really didn't have anything to lose. So I checked out a book on Rigid Heddle Weaving from the guild library and brought it home. That was Tuesday night. By midmorning Wednesday I learned that I needed a way to wind my warp. Since I don't have a warping board I improvised:The only complaint I would have about the Tinker Toy method is that now they make the darned things out of plastic (great if you need to block your yarn...)and so the 'dowels' started to bend a little as I got close to the top (wouldn't have happened if I wasn't using as much tension) which caused the warp to be slightly shorter on one end - live and learn. Next time I am definitely using the single post warping method.
By Wednesday evening this is what I had after teaching myself to warp the loom and making myself some shuttles out of cardboard:

Last night I pulled this off of the loom:This morning I finished tying the warp threads. In about a week I have made a sampler. It is ugly as I am not hot on the color choice but it was free, what can I say. I tried out a few things and am glad to be over the initial learning curve. Here is a closeup of a couple of things I tried:
Now it's all about fine tuning. Next up will be a plaid scarf. We'll see how that goes.
I also learned about halfway through that the cardboard shuttles were simply not cutting it as they were snagging often enough to be so irritating I didn't want to weave. So I grabbed a balsa wood stick and got out the old Xacto knife and sandpaper and made myself some nice (smooth and lightweight) shuttles. I also remembered what a pain in the ass it was threading the heddle with a teensy tiny crochet hook that would only go into the heddle about 1 inch before it got too think not to mention the head being so small it would not work on anything thicker than laceweight yarn. So I made me a heddle hook to:
Ain't I crafty?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


I have not been blogging a lot lately not because I don't have stuff to blog about but more like I feel I need to be more 'together' about it. It is a public forum after all (even if I have no real audience). I guess I get caught up feeling like I need to be organized and have nice pic's like Alexis or witty like Stephanie or funny like Franklin.
I am not really any of those things (at least not consistantly) and I don't really want this to be random stream of consciousness crap either.
I realize I do this more for me than anyone else and that really should be enough for me to go ahead and just throw it in here as I will but another part of me wants to have followers and that I need to 'dress it up' for anyone that might happen along.
Soooo I dunno what I am gonna do about it. I guess I'll try to get my crap together more often but who knows...