Friday, March 30, 2007

dawn of a new day

I am a new woman. PeeWee slept for 7 hours last night. I just might conquer the world today. I'm also back on the computer because I scavenged a keyboard to take the place of the Cordless Wonder keyboard. What happened to the Cordless Wonder? A few days ago, PeeWee threw it to the ground and then jumped on it. Do you think she was trying to send me a message? Hmmm. It worked. I had to go cold turkey and haven't read any knitting blogs since Tuesday! It was very good for me.

About a month ago I asserted that I had developed some self-control and was limiting myself to 15 minutes of reading blogs per day. Hahahahaha. That lasted for about a week. I gradually slipped off the wagon until I was lying on the side of the trail. Thanks to PeeWee's intervention, I sprinted to the front of the wagon train and caught up with the laundry. I CAUGHT UP WITH THE MOUNTAIN OF LAUNDRY! I even had time to knit--and spin! I lived my own life. How about that. I won't bore you with my self-analysis of why I'm avoiding my responsibilities and letting myself spend so much time in other people's "lives" as represented by their blogs. I will just say this: I think that sleep deprivation is at the core of the issue. Is it really that simple? Yes. Why? Because I decided it is.

Now that I've confessed all, I can talk about my sock. My first real sock! I started out with the 2x2 rib sock that's in Cat Bordhi's Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles. I don't like knitting ribbing in the round very much, so after 1-1/2 inches, I changed to stockinette in the back and a leafy rib in the front. After knitting the heel, I switched to 2x2 rib on the instep and stockinette on the sole. It's a little slouchy around the ankle--I should have kept the 2x2 rib on the back of the leg. And I wish I'd continued the leafy rib on the instep. I love it anyway. I'm going to knit the second one the same way, much as it pains me to not make the needed improvement on the ankle. I took a gazillion pictures of it with my foot angled every which way. I discovered that there is no flattering way to capture an image of my, um, shapely ankle. I broke it on a skateboard when I was 12. Yeah, it has nothing to do with any subcutaneous adipose tissue. The invisible-high-heel look was my favorite, although it accentuates the baggy ankle.

I finally plied the Elfin Snow Forest merino roving from Nettie and Tuddie. It's just a regular two-ply. (I had thought about doing chained singles--Navajo plying-- but I decided I couldn't wait until I had someone to properly show me how to do it. This little video clip on the Joy of Handspinning website is helpful, but I want to see someone do it in person.) I LURVE IT! If it hadn't been wet last night (to set the twist), I'd have slept with it.

It has some strange, nubbly areas and you can see that my spinning is still quite uneven, though getting finer. I'm thinking of knitting an Argosy scarf out of it, though it might be a little bulky for that.

Or, I could hang the yarn in PeeWee's room by the two Max Hammond paintings at the top of the post. PeeWee likes to hug the yarn, stroke it, and say, "Pitty-arn!" Where does she learn these things?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

safety first

It's been a while since I posted. I just haven't the heart (or apparently the brains to save back up copies and thus alleviate frustration) to retype lost posts after the computer decides that something untoward is occurring and all Internet access must be immediately terminated! (save draft)

You see, I have a teenage daughter. I have a pre-teen-who-thinks-he's-just-as-mature-and-capable-as-his-teenage-sister son. They have been repeatedly warned of the dangers of chat rooms. They chose to disregard the warnings and were apprehended in the course of chatting! Something about being irritated and trying to sound authoritative makes me go all formal and multi-syllabic. (save draft)

A very vigilant and jumpy net-nanny program has been installed on the computer. It's killing me. It shuts me down mid-post about every 3 minutes. I've been avoiding confrontation and just not trying to blog in the past week, but I'm suffering withdrawal. I've simply got to expose my dirty laundry to the world and maybe some knitting, too. (save draft) You know, I could compose this in another program and then copy and paste! A-ha!

All right. I've typed up the rest of my say, and now--careful there--I'm gingerly pasting it in... Yes.

Knitting. It has been slow going with one stitch forward and 3 stitches back. I’ve been doing some of the frogging myself, and I’ve had some help from tiny friends. Look.
Can you read that baby body language? The picture is a little dark, so I’ll translate for you. Sis, in front, is saying, “Oh no. I think she’s mad at me. Maybe if I don’t look at her…Hmmm. Is that a goldfish cracker over there?” PeeWee, in back, is saying, “Ooooo, you are in trouble! Don’t you know you’re only supposed to pat the yarn?” Two disastrously paired events occurred to bring about this unfortunate mess: 1) I was foolish enough to leave the in-progress Sweet Pea sweater and two balls of beautiful Sublime yarn artfully arranged in a bowl on my coffee table (I don’t have cats and PeeWee has been trained since infancy to respect the knitting); 2) I had the audacity to make a solo visit to the potty. Five minutes of negligence lead to 2 hours of untangling. No, I could not pitch it—it’s SUBLIME, darn it!

Spinning. I bought some kinda garishly dyed roving a week ago, a little rough but with a nice long staple length, for some serious practice on my wheel spinning. I’m amazed at how the colors change as the fiber is spun. I started out thinking that this roving was a little ugly, and know I really like it! I’m excited to see what the plied yarn looks like—maybe I’ll try doing chained singles (aka Navajo plying) with it and then use it for a Fake Isle hat. That would be cool. The beautiful Elfin Snow Forest roving is buried underneath the purple/teal/lime-green on the bobbin, patiently waiting to by plied. I’m avoiding plying it because I’m afraid that I didn’t put enough twist in the singles and they’re going to come apart when plied. I’ve got to suck it in and just do it. I don’t think the honeymoon with spinning is going to end any time soon. I love it more and more every time I sit at the wheel. I’m so anxious to get my own lovely Schacht. Come soon to me, my darling matchless one!

P.S. I have a Secret Pal!!! (Hi spinaddict!)

Monday, March 12, 2007


Okay, calm down. It's not actually BIG NEWS about me. I'm just thrilling over the news that one of my favorite knitbloggers has just been named the new editor of Interweave Knits!!! Yes, Eunny Jang, that designer-knitter-writer extraordinaire, with her marvelous and brilliant knitting aesthetic will be directing my favorite magazine. I'm pleased, can you tell?

That last post, the one with the glamour shot of a cheese wedge, got the most comments ever! Seven! Is it the cheese? Is it the fact that Kristen commented twice? Is it my incomprehensible obsession with spinning? Speaking of spinning...If you start with this:
Elfin Snow Forest merino roving (3.39 oz) from NettieandTuddy.

Then you kinda pull it apart into strips, roll it up and get this:

Next you take one of these:
Wait--Wait!!! Was that spinning wheel? Why yes, it was. One of the ladies at spinning night on Friday took pity on me and brought me one of her 7 (seven!) spinning wheels to tide me over until mine arrives. How nice is that? Very nice.

Okay, then you take the wheel, give it a spin, stretch out that roving, let it twist, and then you get this:

See? I get to make my own yarn! Next, I get to knit it!! But first, I think there's a load of darks getting musty in the washer...

Friday, March 09, 2007

of course, cheese is always a safe topic

The camera. It went missing again. It has been found, again. This time there was an incriminating 3-second video clip that proved it had traveled covertly to the middle school. The offending camera gremlin has been reprimanded and sentenced to a month of solo dish-duty. She's pretty pissy about the whole affair. Sorry. I used a vulgar word there. I just can't think of a better way to describe a 13-year-old's mixture of outrage and embarrassment. Mom taught me better than that, didn't she Beans? I should be able to come up with something pithy. Pissy. Pithy. Heeheehee. I make myself giggle sometimes, usually late at night when I should be in bed. Oh, like right now! But I can't sleep, you see because I'm thinking about...The Spinning Wheel o' My Dreams!

Yes, a single-treadle Schacht Matchless spinning wheel. (Why single-treadle? I like being able to treadle with one foot at a time, if I wish. Have I already said that?) Only 5 more weeks to go until it's here in my very own home. Tomorrow is spinning night at the Lovely Little Local Fiber Shop--Oh all right! It's Rumpelstiltskin, okay? Now I've named names, I might as well say the the owner is named Monica and she's a lovely woman and a great spinning teacher and all that hooey I said last time that made me sound irritatingly noble about "buying locally" is just so that I can keep going to spinning night without feeling horrible for showing up with a wheel that I could have gotten from her, but didn't. Marly, I am not a better woman than you, I'm just way too worried about what other people think of me. I think we need a change of subject. How about some cheese?

Aged Cardona from Carr Valley Cheese in Wisconsin. This is a fantastic cheese. It's an aged goat cheese, firm but not crumbly, nutty and sweet and just right. It's pleasantly sharp and has those great crystals that I've noticed in other favorite aged cheeses (most notably Parmigiano Reggiano) yet it feels nice and smooth on the tongue.

I did manage to get a teeny bit of knitting in while PeeWee was sick. She's all better now, which is wonderful. I appreciate her good health much more than I did/do with my other kids. I hate it when she's sick because I tend to run through all the worst case scenarios in my head when she starts looking poorly. Anyway--Knitting! I should post a picture of the sweater I'm knitting for PeeWee, but I'm thinking of submitting it to Knitty and they require designers to keep mum about designs until publication. So since I'm SUCH an optimist, I'm just going to talk about it, but not show it. Boring. I know. Well, I'm done with the back of Sweet Pea. I've cast on for the right front and it's going FAST. I love little pieces--they make me feel like I'm getting a lot done. Monica (who's Monica? see above) mentioned in passing that she only gets about 2 hours of knitting is each day. ONLY! Harumph. I get 20 minutes. Yep. I've been keeping track for the past couple of weeks and I average 20 minutes of knitting per day. On a good day, I can get in a half-hour. It's a good thing that I can see the positive side of things and can mumble "times and seasons" to myself, or else I might be tempted to box lovely Monica about the ears with her favorite mahogany nostepinde.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


First off, I found a picure of one of my first knitted baby sweaters. That's Lovey, proudly holding a sweet little design from Debbie Bliss' Quick Baby Knits. The yarn was a cashmere-merino blend that I'm sure got felted years ago by my sweet sister-in-law.

Yike. It's been over a week since I posted. In the beginning of this blog, I was determined to keep a separate journal for those things (you know, those things) that I wouldn't want on the wordly wibe web, but needed to get in print and out of my system. I have a couple of entries in that journal. The rest of those things have just faded away, and it's just as well because I'm trying to focus on the positive. Here are some examples of how darn optimistic I can be. Are you ready?

1) PeeWee has ear infections and slept fitfully last night--and I slept not at all. Right now she is dozing on the couch because I parked her in front of a Barney video so that I could go take a shower. Barney. Tsk. I know. Positive: I just had a shower! Wahooo!

2)I have often stated that I feel strongly about supporting the little independent local stored in my valley. I had to put my money where my mouth was (is?) when it came time to order my spinning wheel. (Yes! I'm getting a spinning wheel. Wheeee!) You see, websites like The Woolery and another spinning shop in Colorado called Bountiful Spinning and Weaving had the same wheel that I wanted for a GREAT below-retail price, plus bonus fiber just for ordering, plus free shipping with no sales tax, plus the wheel is IN STOCK. My lovely little favorite local fiber shop will get the wheel in 6 weeks for the regular retail price, plus shipping, plus sales tax, plus no bonus fiber. Sigh. The thing is, I just couldn't bear the thought of showing up for spinners' night (hosted by the fiber shop owner) with a wheel that I bought ON THE INTERNET. So. Positive: I'm getting a spinning wheel! I've done my part to ensure the continuing presence of a lovely little local fiber shop! I didn't even brag about what a saint I am for buying my wheel locally. Um--until now. That's okay--you three won't tell, right? ***ETA: Monica, if you ever read this, just don't mention it to me, okay?***

3)I can't seem to get myself to focus on one knitted item long enough to finish it before starting 3 other items. Positive:I have so many fun projects to choose from! I probably have a years' supply of yarn. Yes! I might need more unspun fiber, though. Maybe a sheep or two in the back yard...