Sunday, March 29, 2009

You spin me

You spin me right round, baby
right round like a record, baby
Right round round round!

HA!! Now you can have song stuck in your head with me! Why? Cuz I've been spinning and I have pictures to prove it! I've just started spinning but I can see how it can become addictive very quickly. I think I'm getting better, but I still have a long way to go. But anyways, let me show you my progress!
So, I decided to start with my sunset meadow wool that I dyed last weekend. I'm going to describe the process here for non-fiber addicted friends. You can see the dyed wool on the top of this picture:
In the middle is a piece of that wool peeled off (think of string you pull off chunks of it) and then drafted. Drafting is when you take the wool and gently pull it to make a longer but thinner piece. You can tell by how it's all curled up that it's much longer after it's drafted. You have to be careful when drafting that you don't just pull it apart. The thinner you draft it, the thinner your yarn will be when you spin. This is where I still need work. My yarn tends to vary quite a bit in size with a few really skinny spots where I overdrafted. Once I spin it and realize
'Darn, that's too thin' I don't know that you can really fix it, so I just keep going and figure I'll just use this yarn for something where gauge is not too critical. In the bottom of the picture is some of the spun wool on my spindle, but you can see more of that below:

I've spun a bit more since this picture and I was doing better with being consistent with size there than the 2nd night I worked on it. I think part of it is that I get into a different day = different groove. I maybe would do better if I sat and spun it all at one time.
That's all for now!!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

And I thought dying Easter eggs was fun!!!

Dying wool!!! Along with my fabulous spindle order that came in Friday, I got an extra goodie, dye tablets and 2 samples of undyed wool as a Thank You for being patient while my spindle was make (it took longer than usual because of a bad batch of paint). Oh my gosh, this was SO MUCH FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is my sopping wet 'artistic' shot:

Here is my finished products:
Like every good 'fiber artist' I'm naming my colorways here. On the left is Cottoncandy Dreams, a combo of blue, purple and various shades of pink!! On the right is Meadow Sunset, for obvious reasons, bright greens, yellw and orange.

This was loads of fun! I can't wait to spin them up and see what my yarn looks like!!!!!!!

St. Pat's Cookies!

I finally posting the cookies I made last weekend to celebrate St. Patrick's day!! I used my Pampered Chef cookie press to make shamrock shaped butter spritz cookies (yes, they ARE as evil as the sound!) and covered them with green sprinkles!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Oh, the yarny goodness....

I am supposed to pack for the upcoming move this weekend, clean, pay bills, work on setting up the utility transfers, grocery shop, work on the charity blanket I really need to finish, make the last hat for my coworkers order, etc etc etc. Anyone want to take dibs on what in that list is NOT getting done because of this:

My very own custom-ordered drop spindle:

SOLI sock yarn (this pic is not my actual yarn, but mine looks the same but with a few hints of purple blended in):

SOLI Sock is a luxurious merino/silk blend sock yarn, dyed in unique water-inspired colourways. One skein is 440 yards (402 metres)....more than enough for a pair of socks (even for those of us with "well endowed" feet).50% of the proceeds of SOLI sock sales go to Streams of Life International (SOLI), a non-profit which brings hope to communities in Africa by partnering with community leaders to build wells and sanitation facilities, refurbish local hospitals and provide essential medical equipment, supplies and health education. For more information on SOLI, visit
I got all this fabulousness from The Cupcake Factory (one of the fabulous Phat Fiber vendors!).
Also, taking mercy on my new spinner-ness and in appreciation of my patience while she made my spindle, she also sent me some undyed wool samples and dye tablets to play with. YAY!!!!!!! I know what I'm doing tomorrow! Or, maybe tonight, hmmmm...gotta run!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book 14: Kushiel's Chosen

AAAaaaaaaaahhhhhh, the saga continues!! If it's possible, I may love this one even more than the first book of this series! Phedre's adventures continue and her nerve and intellect are put to the test once more. Being the sappy romantic who LOVES troubled boys (not for real, but fun in fictional setting) I was happy with the traumatic progress of the Phedre-Joscelin relationship. (That sounds pretty sick, but the people who have read this book KNOW what I mean and I don't want to post details that will ruin it for anyone who wants to read it!) I really love the few times that Phedre says, "really with some things he is an idiot." Ah, the "Perfect Companion" so innocent...but not really :) There were shocking moments in this one and I'll admit....I flipped through later pages in the book to see if the names popped up again so I would have a clue as to the resolution. I know, I'm terrible, but I hate waiting!
I've already started the last book of this trilogy, so you can expect to hear about that one in the next week or so.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Sending hugs & prayers to TN!

So, I don't have much on the knitting/crafting front to update on at the moment. But, I did want to post a shoutout to one of the sweetest ladies I have ever met online, my good friend Dolli:
That is Dolli and her gorgeus hubby Ken on their wedding day, just over a year ago. They have always been to me a true picture of happiness in all facets of life, optimistic, soulful, just beautiful to witness, even in the face of adversity. You would never know by that picture that Ken was fighting a life-threatening disease the last few years. It saddens me say, that all signs indicate that Ken lost his battle with colon cancer yesterday. Our close group of online friends are still waiting patiently for more information. I'm sure Dolli knows that our prayers are with her and their families, but please take a moment to send some happy thoughts up to the Big Guy for this fabulous lady. I know she could use them.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

My crafty update, finally!!

OK, I got off my lazy bum and downloaded these pictures!! These are the things I've worked on the last week or so!!

First up is this little bonnet that I made to match the LSU-colored zigzag baby blankie. When I started the blanket we didn't know if the baby would be a boy or a girl, but now we know it will be a girl. While the blankie is pretty ambiguous, I wanted something girlie! So I took a bit of the leftover yarn and set out to make the bonnet. I added a shell edge and flower to make it extra girlie. VOILA!!!!!

Next I got started on some roving I bought from Giffordables online. I discovered this group from the Phat Fiber Ravelry group. I've toyed with the idea of spinning but was like, Who has the time?! That excuse got old really fast when I saw all the pretty fibers and that little nagging voice in my head started chanting, WANT! WANT! WANT! WANT! I'm weak. So I ordered this floofy fabulousness:

I even got extra floofy fabulousness in the form of 2 sampler mini-batts, that I spun up right away!! I made a homemade top-whorl drop spindle (not pretty, hence, no picture) but I'm holding out on spinning the mega-batt up there until my custom made spindle come in from Cupcake Factory. Anyway, here is my first attempt:
The yarn is quite schlubby (technical term). It's fat in some places, skinny in others, but I love it. I crocheted the little birdie there from the brooch pattern in the Happy Hooker book. The mauvey feather parts are Patons Soy Wool Stripes scraps from another project; eye is an old-as-dirt pearl button. It is SO CUTE!! I have since felted it a bit because it was a little floppy. I think I have enough yarn left to make another one, YIPPEE!!
And last, but certainly not least, I have been practicing my sewing! Below is what I made last weekend with some purple twill fabric I had left over from another project and a patterned 'fat quarter' I bought a while back for no reason other than it looked cool. (Like I said before, weak). I am SO EXCITED that these came out good! I think I can almost say now that I can sew!!
OK, here they are. On the left is a Kleenex tissue holder (I'm sick of the stupid plastic wrapper things that come on the purse packs getting torn up in my purse). On the right is what was supposed to be a passport wallet. I actually made the seam like 1 or 2 mm bigger than it was supposed to be and the passport didn't quite fit. So I got creative with it (explained below)!! At the moment the buttons are purely visual, I don't have a loop sewed on yet for the closure. I have to buy some pretty ribbon or something for that, don't have any on hand.
Opened: So the would-be passport wallet is now a teabag and sugar packet wallet! I love it!! I have 4 teabags on one side (2 per pocket), 4 artificial sweetner packet on the other side (1 pocket) and a Shout wipe in the last pocket (for those 'graceful' moments).

So that's it, you're all caught up now. On the reading front I've moved on to Kushiel's Chosen (Book 2 of that trilogy). It's another long one so it will probably take a couple of weeks to read. I'm expecting the knitting/crafting and reading to slow down a bit due to the upcoming move into the new house, Woo-Hoo!! We move the first week of April, so the countdown is on!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Books 12 & 13: The Hollow & The Pagan Stone

So, I blazed through these books and I'm posting about them together. I love Nora Robert's trilogies and this one was good. It was a little different than most of hers I've read in that one book led straight into another time-wise, so it really could have all been one book to me. It was quite a bit predictable plotwise, but the details were fun to read and I was just as engrossed as usual. I got through these extra fast due to my Jeep acting wacky yesterday, making me late for work after 2 hours at the mechanic's shop.
Boring auto shop waiting room + 7:15am +coffee (to make the brain work)=quality reading
In other news, I have been crafty. No really, I haven't just read this week. I even have pictures. But, they're on my camera. I have to get out my laptop to download the pics, so I just haven't yet. Lazy, I know. But tomorrow is Sunday, so there should be ample time for a nice big update. I would have done it today, but I had a great day out and about with my hubby in celebration of the temps reaching 60, OH YEA! We went to the bank, to the craft store so I could get yarn for an upcoming project, to the book store where we went a little nuts, and then we took an afternoon scenic drive and ate out for lunch. Great way to spend an afternoon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Book #11: Blood Brothers

Wow, what a quick read! I have yet to read a bad Nora Roberts, so she's kinda my 'go to' author. I got the Sign of Seven trilogy a couple of weeks ago from Paperbackswap. I devoured this book in 2 days on the train. YIPPEE! Now I can move on to book #2 of the series. I'm holding out on Kushiel's Chosen until the weekend when I can get to the bookstore. At this rate, I think I can finish this trilogy by then. basic formula continues: gooey romance + supernatural 'stuff' = good for me. Do you think I'm stuck in a rut? I just can't stand the thought of reading something 'serious.'