Hair O\’the Lamb

Ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions…
11 March, 2008, 1:13 pm
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p1010006.jpgAll I can think of is that I must have been hungry when I was dyeing this last batch of roving…well, if you use red onions on your hotdog that is.

Its an improvement for sure (this is shown pre bath)…it came off the swift balanced and straight with no twist one way or the other.  Even though there are (GRRRR) thick and thin parts to the yarn (I really want to get better at spinning smoothly) it turned out better than the pink/purple mix and overall it is a finer gauge.  Also-note to self-rinse the yarn more thoroughly next time!  My fingers and the palm of my right hand are tinted bright pink,as is the thumb and index finger on my left.  LOL  I have a meeting at work tomarrow and I hope it wears off before then. 


Pink overload
7 March, 2008, 10:33 am
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Spinning is fun.  Figuring out how to use my *new* (read: used, but new to me) camera is a bit less fun since I’d rather be spinning.   I guess I’ll have to break down and read the instructions-lol.

I’m nearly done with the pink/purple  mix and hopefully should be hanging up some new yarn to dry very soon.  The yellow green mix is going to be really pretty I think and I can’t wait to see how it spins up.  I have been watching the pink stuff spin up forever it seems and I confess I don’t think I see the color anymore.  The cheeriness of the yellow should wake me up!

One problem I have identified is that my wheel needs a good tune up.  Its a Mazurka and has splayed legs that look a bit like an old fashioned milking stool.  Over time the 2 legs that support the treadle have loosened and the whole thing has a faint *wobble* that is troublesome.  I am a complete newbie in these matters but I know that can’t be a good thing.  My plan is to glue the loose leg in and somehow brace it in position so that it is supported…but I’m not sure of the best way to do that just yet.  Elastic band  maybe?  No matter, I’m going to finish this color first (wobble and all) and then fix it.  Non cellcam pictures soon!

UPDATE!!!!  The pink/purple mix yarn is done and, aside from a few lumpsdesign features, ahem…it looks okay for my first attempt.  It has had its soak and is drying  rather unceremoniously by hanging off the shower head in the bathroom.  For sure pictures later!!  I am excited-this is my first “regular” try at yarn and it doesnt totally suck!

You spin me right round baby…part deux
6 March, 2008, 3:56 pm
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Spinning is a strange activity for me.  For years, (please read my first post if you never have) decades actually-I have wanted to learn to spin and always it would elude me.  I tried to learn on my own (failed) took a spinning class (umm…failed again), got excited anyway and bought a wheel to mess with (failed…yes…again) anyway you see the pattern here.  My hands and brain could not get in sync to do this activity. No. Matter. How. Hard. I. Tried.  Hence the name of the blog…kind of riffing on the old “hair of the dog that bit you”-Sort of like…my own idea of getting right back in there and trying and also referring to the kind of addiction (obsession? compulsion?) I have with fiber fun in general.

Then, last year when I started this blog, I had a revelation.  I borrowed a video from the library and watched it over and over again and finally my hands and brain sort of had a clue about how to do this.  I started with spindle spinning and moved on to establishing a new relationship with my wheel.  My first attempt at spinning can be seen in my header (thats PRE video watching lol) and lets just say I’ve improved a teeny bit since then.  Like I said, spinning for me is a strange thing…the other day I just got the motivation to try it again.  I had a 16 oz bag of lovely blue faced leister roving that was languishing in my stash closet so I dug it out and warmed up the wheel.  It went ok, but I was bored with making vanilla colored yarn.  Solution?  I dyed up a few batches and let them dry while I was at work (this also had the effect of giving me something to look forward to and get me through my work day..”woohoo I have wool at home! Yay!  Uh huh I’m just that lame).  Today I woke up and my sole activity was spinning with the ultimate goal of making some usable sock yarn.

Funny thing is, I think I am getting the hang of this and actually have make a decent (mostly), consistant, fairly evenly spun fine single that I am going to ply up as soon as I get the rest done.  I made 3 colorways: a yellow/green/white/touch of blue one, a red/orange/yellow/green one and a mostly solid pink/lavendar/pale purple one.   I was inspired by a pretty flower arrangement we had on our desk at work that had some yellow roses, white tulips, deep green leaves and a few hyacinths. It just looked so perfectly springy I couldnt get it out of my head.  I can’t say that my colors achieved my vision but I am happy with them for now.  Keep in mind my dyeing is in no way scientific at all…I used food colors and white vinegar in the microwave.  Super simple and very free form.   It isnt perfect but, hey, I’m a beginner and you’ve got to start somewhere, right?


PS. Congratulations to the winner and thanks to all of you that voted for Godzilla’s Sweater for “Teeny Project Runway”! 

“OH No, There Goes Tokyo….
26 February, 2008, 9:40 am
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Please hop over and visit those sweet gals at Mason-Dixon Knitting and check out all the awesome entries for “Teeny Project Runway”…and in the immortal words of Blue Oyster Cult….”Go-Go GODZILLA!” ( I bet you saw that one coming, dintcha?)  

Godzilla is huge in our house, A just loves the movies and hums the theme around the house all the time (he taught his brother and now Z does it too).  He received the “Godzilla Teddy” as he calls it for Christmas and I couldn’t think of a better creature to dress for the contest.   I had the Kureyon laying around and frankly even though I have pretty very insensitive skin when it comes to wool and itching-it itched enough so that I never knew what to make with it.  Since he is very traditional, I knew that the Noro would be perfect for Godzilla (that, and I think you may need skin like Godzilla to wear it)- it was like destiny.   All in all I had a great weekend knitting it and no matter what happens, it made my son very happy and made his teddy a sharp dresser… Nobody can rock a turtleneck like Godzilla!!     

       I did get the rest of the back and part of the ribbing on the sleeves done on  the CPH.  Originally I was going to knit the sleeves at simultaneously, but that required too much concentration from me at the time so I split them up and am doing them separately.  I will still do the second one right away after the first one, otherwise the poor thing will be laying around without a second sleeve for who knows how long…many times I even start with the sleeves since they make good swatches (I am not the best, nor the most disciplined swatcher in the world) but this time I got all conventional and did the back first.   Its looking good so far and I like it.  What is not to like about this simple cozy sweater after all? 


I know its a bad pic, but its all I could muster at the time. Yes, for you more observant people, I know there is an error in it…more like a flaw really but you have to look close to see it.  No, all my cables cross correctly..its a bit more subtle. 

And if you were reading yesterday, I mentioned how fortunate and grateful  I was for not being sick….well it caught up with me and I had a nasty stomach bug hit me.  Ick. 

Have you ever felt like a character in a book?
25 February, 2008, 9:03 am
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Lately, Stephen King’s “The Stand” has been coming to mind….the flu that is going around here is rampant, the small hospital I work in has been practically overflowing, people are talking about it in the grocery store, and it seems everyone knows someone who has had/has it/is coming down with it.  My whole family has had it…the 5 year old got it first, then M.  It was kind of scary to see the toughest guy I know (Think Monty Python’s “its just a flesh wound” kind of guy) on the couch with a cold washcloth on his head, moaning from the fever, the headache and the cough that made his head feel like it was going to explode.  Then our 6 year old started running a fever (which was a singular event-fortunately)and I hope it doesn’t progress to anything….but throughout this two week period of the *plague* and even with Z sleeping on me and literally coughing in my face at times-I feel fine and have not gotten sick.  I’m crossing my fingers here but…it feels kind of strange to not be sick when I am immersed in it everyday at work and then again at home…Funny thing is, I didn’t get a flu shot either.  It is near medical blasphemy to say this but, I don’t totally believe that they work anyway.  This whole thing doesn’t prove anything I guess,  except I have an active immune system (and an active imagination!).  I’m very grateful to NOT be sick for many many reasons but it feels odd.

Ok, lets get to the knitting…

I knit up an entry for the “Teeny Project Runway” contest over at the always fun to read Mason-Dixon Knitting…with everyone being sick and work and all, I only had this weekend to get it done. I had a blast making it and I think I will knit an article of clothing for this particular plushie again soon!  Its kind of addictive in a way…since most *non-bear* plush items have decidedly unusual anatomic features, you end up having to solve some unique design problems on a small scale that may actually help later on with actual human sized projects and it stretches your mind in fun ways.  That, and “Turtleneck” always screams “fashion!” to me.  /wink

The CPH slogs on, after being laid aside for the TPR item this weekend and I hope to make some progress on that today.  I also have “Childhood” on the needles for the daughter of someone at work,  I am itching to get started on the “Cambridge Jacket” and then of course…my all time personal Mt. Everest of sweaters, the sweater I have LUSTED, DROOLED, and PANTED after since the pattern came out….”Rogue”.   It has taken years for me to get to the point where I think I can do it (I’m using the CPH as a sort of warm up though the cables don’t even come close), and everytime I glance over at the neatly stacked skeins of yarn that I have slated for it I get kind of woozy with the thought of finally actually beginning it.  I am using the “CJ” as an incentive, like, if I get that one started and finished then I will have a free space to start “Rogue”… hehe   We’ll see how long I can hold out…maybe I’ll just start swatching…I want to make the cardiganized version, maybe with pockets too….but we’ll see.   If I know anything, I know myself and that means I’ll be starting “Rogue” this time next year!  LOL

Pictures tomarrow I hope!

Ok, I guess 4 months is long enough…
21 February, 2008, 1:48 pm
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Hmm…yes, I have been away (again, but at least I didn’t GO anywhere this time) but now I’m back.  Blame Ravelry (how we do love thee…), the holidays,  family stuff, and last of all-work.

I have been knitting like a maniac in the interim though, and will soon have a few more FO’s to add to the lineup.  Being a knitting evangelist, I have taught a couple of people that I work with how to knit, and am responsible for re-fanning the fiber flames of a few more knitters that had lapsed.  I may not be satisfied until I have taught the entire staff of the ICU (thats my day job-literally) to knit….then we can start on charity projects! 

Seriously though, I resolve to be a better blogger.   Partly my absence has been that I haven’t had any new things to say…and the vagarities of my private life are not exciting enough to fill in for juicy knitting details, and since actually KNITTING stuff doesn’t leave me much time to talk about it I have been rather silent lo, these past few months. If you DO want to hear about my World of Warcraft adventures, my lifelong interest in the paranormal, UFO’s (not the knitted kind), my quest to get a dog, or anything else…just let me know. 

Here in Northern California everyone is buzzing about Stitches West….*sigh*…it would be great to go-it is practically in my backyard after all-but I am still poor and know I wouldn’t be able to resist temptation. “Knit from the stash”, I tell myself, “you have enough yarn”, but of course I don’t believe that one.  Its not about having simply enough yarn…its about having the yarn I want at 3 am when I want to start a new something.  Knitting from the stash is a noble thing, and a great goal to have but I haven’t taken a vow of fiber poverty (yet!). I did just buy some Cascade 220 from Webs for a few projects that are next in line on my list so I really can’t spend any more money right now on fun yarn so its really best to not even set foot in the place.  *sigh* I have a dream though-I am aiming for next year when I hope I can drag my knitting cohorts from work and take them with me and show them how big the wide world of knitting goodness really is. I do hope everyone has a wonderful time and I can’t wait to see all the postings and pictures…I will be there next year for sure. 

31 October, 2007, 6:58 am
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Last evening, I came home from work (about an hour early…I jumped at the chance to go, not something I would normally do.  Its a long story but I can sum it up in 2 words-Emergency Room…ick) put the groceries away, took a shower, made dinner and sat down to read my email.  A funny thing happened just then…my monitor began to shake….then my desk began to shake…then I felt my whole apartment shaking.  I jumped up and took two steps across the room to the doorway of my bedroom and it stopped.  The hair was standing up on the back of my neck and I felt a little queasy…and I realized then I had felt my first real Californian earthquake. (2 weeks ago my monitor quivered for a few seconds but nothing was reported anywhere so I didnt really take it very seriously).   I immediately called my XH to find out how the boys were and he answered the phone..”yep, thats what it was!” (he knew I was going to ask, since I had just asked him the same thing 2 weeks ago)…he said he herded the boys (they are 4 1/2 and 6) to the doorway and told them what it was.  My ex-husband is a native of California and has lived here (and in Seattle) all his life and is very familiar with earthquakes.  I was really puzzled though, because in this area of the San Joaquin valley, there are no known close fault lines…we both checked the USGS site and found that it was centered near San Jose-about 100 miles from here.  Wow…its hard for my mind to wrap itself around the fact that here (we live not far from Modesto) we felt the vibrations of the earth that occurred 5 miles down and 100 miles away!  Sobering thought indeed…