shades of green

I can’t believe it’s Sunday already, but time seems to be moving faster and faster these days. Yesterday, I went with Opus on a little outing to Cartlon. To visit Woodland Woolworks. I’m slowly progressing on my Seraphim shawl, and desperately need blocking wires. Luckily, they had them in stock (no, I didn’t call ahead), so I can block the shawl when the time comes.

Which will hopefully be before Miriam Felton arrives for her upcoming lace workshops, since we’re hoping to set up a display of lace garments to show off her designs.

And, because I’m teaching a class on handspinning in November (the same time as Miriam’s visit, actually), I’ve been stocking up on handspun yarn for both display and teaching purposes:

chartreuse handspun

Above is 4oz of Blue-faced Leicester, dyed by Abstract Fiber in the color “Chartreuse”. I think it’s a sport weight (haven’t checked the yardage yet), and should be destined for something lovely… eventually.

I have so many designs in my head, it’s getting a little distracting.

Anyway.  Just looked at the clock – 10:30 pm!  Have to go to bed now, gotta go to work early tomorrow.  Before I climb into bed, here’s a photo of Laurelhurst Park I took this afternoon:

Laurelhurst tree


Completely pointless yarn p0rn

If you read the other blog I sometimes write for, you can just skip this post. I couldn’t help it. The yarn is soooo pretty. Which I take absolutely NO credit for. The exquisiteness of this yarn is entirely do to the dyers at Fleece Artist:

Fleece Artist BFL handspun

I mean (sigh), really. The moment I saw the roving on display I knew I had to have it. I spun 100 g in one night and knit with it over the course of the next two evenings.

And now I want more. Heaven help me. But, good news, my make-it-up-as-I-go pattern actually worked :)

Pictures tomorrow, I promise. The FO is blocking at the moment and shouldn’t be disturbed during such a stressful point in its development.

Fruit salad

After spending yesterday catching up on the laundry and cleaning (I even ironed my work shirts!), I decided to be lazy on my last day off for a while.  So what did I do all day? I indulged myself and sat on my tuckis in front of my wheel for 2 – 3 hours and produced this:

fruit salad

100 g of Merino yarn that I love muchly. I have absolutely no specs for you, sorry. I’m fairly certain it’s a DK weight since it looked like it. But since the skein is blocking, I don’t have WPI or yardage. I think I’ll make a hat with it, to entice the warm weather back (it’s like bringing an umbrella to prevent rain).

On the subject of handspun, I still have these beauties, which I finally wound this afternoon. I want to make something with them. Two somethings, really. Suggestions would be great, since I’m completely hopeless. The green is getting 4 SPI on US 9 and the purple-pink will probably get 5 SPI on US 7.

And that is everything.  So sleepy.  The Robitussin is making me fuzzy.

another learning experience

Despite my late night, somehow I was roused out of bed bright and early this morning to carpool to the Oregon Flock & Fiber Festival. Leslie, Teresa and I jetted over to pick up Opus, who I had nagged into coming with us (she needs to get out more often). Of course, my motives may not have been entirely altruistic, maybe, since Opus is a champion loom-threader and I’m, well, not. Bless her heart. She actually stayed with me (once we got to Canby) while Leslie and Teresa found food for us and threaded the loom whilst I carded the wool for our weft:


I managed to thoroughly confuse her, apparently, because the way I was taught to thread a loom is “backwards and upside-down”, or something. Right.

Luckily, St M and Jodie showed up to distract us (and actually spin the weft I was carding). Here’s St M with Lennie, working on the blue half of the weft:


And here’s Jodie, spinning away, the brave woman who volunteered to spin the wool I carded:


Very quickly, we had enough yarn to weave with (and Opus finished warping in that time). They were too quick for me, I didn’t get to finish carding the green weft. Tricky people. In a rush this morning, I had picked the lime green locks and the turquoise roving. I had thought they would work well with the yarn Opus’ Mum gave us for the warp, but wouldn’t be too overpowering together:


They did look great and we got many compliments, but I didn’t take into account (as I was frantically grabbing handfuls of wool) that weaving with two shuttles would severely slow me down. And St M down, who was my relief weaver. By the end of the show, at around 5 pm, the shawl was only 2/3 – 3/4 finished. Oops.

A mistake made with the best intentions and I’ve definitely learned from it. So now I’ll have to finish the shawl at home (I don’t have to give Opus the loom back until Thursday), and then mail it to the winner of the raffle. The shawl was raffled off to benefit the OF&FF’s Youth Spinners program.

So, yeah, more homework. I got myself some bribes during the day, to keep myself trucking on the ShiBuiKnits patterns, other knitting patterns, knitted gifts, etc. Here’s a teaser for tomorrow:


The wall o’ sock yarn at one of the booths. This booth was dangerous. Goodness gracious. It also didn’t help that they had fabulous hand-dyed sock yarn for $16 a skein. Oy. Yes, I got sock yarn. Only 2 skeins, though. And, um, a hank of superwash wool to spin into yarn for socks…

Right. I’m not obsessed or anything. Anyway, I’ll post yarn p0rn pix tomorrow. Until, look at TheBon’s pretty-pretty OFF&F 2007 slideshow. She took much better pix than I did.

soooo tired

Spent most of the morning and afternoon moving and unpacking, yes you guessed it, yet more boxes! I’m beginning to think they reproduce in the night. Or move themselves about. By 3:30 pm, I had cleared out the center of the garage, redeposited 3x my weight in boxes on the top shelves of two closets, and managed to finally strong-arm the shed in the back yarn open. Emm got to clean the house. Dad’s down in Eugene prepping the old house for sale. And Mum was in bed, recovering from her spinal tap.

Oooh… fun.

By 4, Emm and I were dirty, sweaty, and dusty. He collapsed in front of his computer. Me, with of my spinning on the couch. I managed to fill my first quill this afternoon:

And then started on a second one…

This little plot just may work. It would be nice to manage not to break the thread when plying every couple yards or so. I just hope I’m winding the quill right. Strange as it may sound, there is a science to this – shuttle bobbins for weaving have to be wound just so, as do cones of yarn for weaving or knitting. It’d be just my luck to wind it in exactly the wrong way.

After spinning for a bit, I got back to work on my cami. As it languishes in my knitting basket right now, it looks something like this:

(only not so dark and blurry)

The side seams, armscyes, and most of the ends are woven in. All that’s left to knit is the neckline and to weave in the ends from the finishing. I had such a throbbing headache by 8 pm, I threw in the towel for the night. The family was so exhausted we actually ordered pizza for dinner.


We have to go down to Eugene tomorrow to finish packing up Mum’s artwork. Someone please kidnap rescue me in the night. I’ll pay you in yarn…

on the low down

One of the great resentments of my life is my clinical depression. Before it’s onset in my early 20’s, I had much more energy than I do now. I just did more. Now there are good days and bad days. Today wasn’t the worst, but I felt completely useless for most of the day. I’ve taken two separate 1 hour naps to take the edge off. But, the few times I tried to get things done, they were disastrous. I broke one of my favourite earrings and my earring stand – forcing me to back away from finishing unpacking my room for the upteenth time.

Instead – between naps – I tried to help Mum unpack the kitchen, helped Dad with the finances (mostly by keeping him from throwing them across the room), and took Charlie for a long walk (with Mum) at Laurelhurst Park:

The park is quite impressive for it’s size and location – in fact, it made me think of some of the choicer parts of Central Park. There’s a large pond with ducks, geese, and a great blue heron that likes to fly around the lake and be admired. The park also has some off-leash areas, Charlie was pleased to discover.

I took a couple more shots of the flora and landscaping – the entire park is located in a bowl, almost a miniature valley, which is probably why it seems so intimate.

Otherwise? Not much else to report. No news from Journey Wheel, no news from the Peace Corps. No new FO’s.

But, I have been spinning on my brand-new Spindlewood Co. mini-drop spindle and I loves it muchly. It spins forever and so evenly. St M mentioned to me that some spinners she knew had suggested placing straws on the shafts of her spindles – to make removing/ unwinding/ plying the yarn easier.

We’d both had problems with this concept. She couldn’t find the right sized straw, so I decided to go the paper-quill route (Emmos generously donated a piece from her stationary on Saturday for me to make said quill). Unfortunately, the quill kept coming off:


So, this afternoon, I had a brainwave – a rubberband below the quill would hold it on as needed and could be removed easily (unlike double-sided tape, my other idea):

Which meant I got to go back to spinning without worrying about the yarn and quill sliding off of the spindle shaft at any moment. In case you’re wondering – the spindle is made from Red Heart wood and a maple burl. The fiber (1 oz) is a Romeldale lamb/ tussah/ silk noil blend from Crosspatch fibers, called “Lily in the Starlight”. It spins beautifully and makes for a very soft and lofty lace weight.

At the moment I am dreadfully far behind on my Bloglines subscripts – over 149 posts to catch up on, but I’m down from the 400+ count of three days ago. Going without internet for a couple of days = badness. Hopefully I’ll catch up with them within the next couple of days. Of course, all y’all could make this easier on me and not update so frequently ;P

… Just a thought.

playing catch-up, pt 1

Real internet! Yaaaaaaay. So, here’s that picture of Portland from the top of Mt Tabor I’ve been promising:

And the ducky and yarny goodies Penny sent me:

The past two days I’ve been moving around a lot: Portland to Eugene to St Paul to Portland. In Eugene, we got ready for the Black Sheep Gathering and the Sheep-to-Shawl competition:

The Sinister Spinsters

We placed 4th, in case you’re wondering. We all went for yarn-therapy because of the trauma of the competition (our loom kept breaking down). I’ll post pix of my haul laters. I promise.

My ‘sea-anemone’ hair (courtesy of Emmos):

(I dyed my hair for TheBon’s wedding the night after the competition)

St M, Emmos and I slaved away for the 12 hours after S-t-S trying to get a wraplan done for the baby of a friend (the shower was this afternoon)…

And every once in a while, Niki (Emmos’ cat), would check our progress:

A different version of the wraplan than the prototype…

Possibly not the final version, though.

Anyway. Literally as Emmos ran out the door to deliver the wraplan, St M and I started getting ready for TheBon’s wedding. I hate make-up and I hate panty-hose, it must be said. But I wore ’em both. Emmos got back from her errands and dashed into her closet. Literally 5 minutes later, we ran out the door and hit the road. We managed to just make it to The Oak Grove before the service. I took tons of pictures:

TheBon’s wedding

The service was sweet and short (my favourite descriptives). Bonnie’s dress was gorgeous, as was her lace shawl (a true wedding ring shawl). Everything was great. But now I’m home and tired, and I’m going to bed. St M and Emmos and Opus and I are going on a Portland yarn crawl tomorrow – I’m gonna need all the rest I can get.

that is IT

I was so doozy last night that I didn’t manage to post the other half of my evening. I am such a ditz. Yesterday, St M came over and had our “alternative” Seder with us, I received my Knit Picks Cotlin (snarl), and the geometry is kicking my ass (hence the title of last night’s post).

How is the geometry kicking my ass?? Do you remember back to the days when A*2 + B*2 = C*2? I do. Trying to apply such logic to knitting (specifically the instep decreases on a sock) is futile, idiotic, and insane all at once. I was near tears by the time I decided that I was not going to look at the damn Spox pattern for another 24 hours.

Then, this morning, hahaha. I had the crazy I idea to try something different. No, I am not going to explain it. It would take too long, and it brings back painful memories.

Anyway, that’s the condensed second half of last night’s post.

Onto tonight’s post. Here’s tonight’s quote:

“Experience is the name every one gives to their mistakes.”
Oscar Wilde

The story of my life.

Moving on. Today I received my Handdyed Roving Swap parcel. Since I have too many photos, I’m going to direct you to the pictures on Flickr. After that (and battling the bloody Spox pattern) I went to Homework Club. Or so I thought. Apparently (although we hadn’t been told) it was cancelled. Emmos took me, instead, to see her workplace. We then went on to dinner and the EWES. A local spinner we (the “babies”, *snark*) all really like was this week’s hostess. Here’s Emmos, laughing, with her wheel:

(I spun the hand-dyed roving I received from girlbotgoods). I’d say C’s first EWES hostessing gig went well, as Emmos and I didn’t leave until after 10. We got there at 7. Twas lots of fun. Emmos offered to show me the “scenic” route home, and we proceeded to get lost. So, I got home at 11 pm after lots of star-gazing on some rural highway. I didn’t care, it was fun.

Mum wanted to watch Casino Royale again, so I cast on a new project. I made it through the first 30 mins before I saw this:

I am very annoyed. I usually really like Knit Picks. I’ve been pleased with their lace and sock yarns. This, though, is really unacceptable. It’s just awful, and I’m going to have to cut the entire mess out and weave in the ends. Joy.

It was as I stomped upstairs that I decided that, damn it, I needed to knit something for myself that required no shaping and yarn I knew wouldn’t give me a headache. Mum’s shawl is out of the question. The Queen of Cups nearly reduced me to tears. My silk pullover is beautiful but the yarn has slubs that I have to watch for (or else regret it eternally). The Spox, it turns out, are too big for me and are going to go to Mum.

So. I am casting on SOMETHING tomorrow with my Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace. I’ve wound it and know for CERTAIN that there are no knots, slubs, weird ends, or general ickyness.

This isn’t Startitis. It’s self-preservation.

completely pointless yarn porn

I bet you weren’t expecting more yarn on this blog, were you? I’m just full of surprises. Here’s the wool I bought at Creative Hands spun into singles on the bobbin:

And plied:

Yarn specs (so I’ll remember before trying to knit it):

  • Fiber: Corriedale wool from a local breeder
  • Amount: 2 oz
  • Yardage: 110 yards

Now it IS time to go to sleep. Also, suggestions for what I can make with 110 yards of yarn are always appreciated…

this might shock you…

but, oh my!, here’s another picture of handspun yarn still on the bobbin:

Wow, I am so original.

Yep. More handspun. I’m getting in an hour or two every night (amazing to me). The top I’m working on right now is handpainted superwash merino/ silk (70/ 30) for sock yarn. I got it from Carolina Homespun at Oregon Flock and Fiber (yes, it’s taken me 6 months to get started on it).

Other news: I packed up nearly all my Classical references/ primary sources today. I figured out the lace corner decrease for Mum’s shawl and’ll start on the border soon enough. I would have cast on for that, but St M called. So, we got the loom off to it’s new home with St M instead. Erm… oh!, I’m past the armholes on the back of the peacock pullover! I’m soooo close to finishing it. Only 4 more inches of plain knitting and then the shoulder decreases. I’m thinking of doing a the sleeves next, to get them out of the way.

Sooo… yeah. Not much else to report. Back to my spinning, I think.


I saw this on Crimson’s blog and just had to do it myself:

In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. +Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell) (alright, we read excerpts from it in school, but I’m not counting it)
5. +The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. +The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. +The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. *Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. *A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. +Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. +Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. *A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. +Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. +Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. *Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King) (I didn’t get past page 1)
19. +Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20.+ Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. +The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. +Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. *The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) (I keep meaning to read it…)
26. +The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. +Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) (Honestly, I don’t know why I still have this on my shelf)
28. +The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) (Trying to finish this one)

34.+ 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. *I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. *The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)

45. Bible (some, from class mostly)
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. +The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. +Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. *She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. *The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)

54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. *The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. +Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough) (uck)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger) (Working on it.)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)

64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. *Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)

68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72.* Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)

79. *The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. +Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. *Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. *Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. +Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. *The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. *Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. *Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. *In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding) (I read this on the bus in Turkey.)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd) (maybe)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98.* A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. *The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)