Its all true, the boogie girl is real, and you've found her. She knits, sews, spins, does pottery and writes it all down in this blog.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Gus is a blonde dutchman standing about 3 feet tall.
He's made of the finest Birch plywood and is fully lacquered (not liquered, don't get the two confused)
He likes long treadles and fine fibers.
Turn ons include BFL, Alpaca, and Corriedale.
Turn offs include any commercially made yarn and five year old girls that think they know it all.
Yes, folks, Gus is a true spinner's dream.
And he's MINE.
The heartbreak of Barbie being so injured was quickly replaced with the love of Gus. I'm sure there will be rumors and whispers behind the hands about just how quickly I replaced the plastic girl. But I don't care. Neither does Gus.
Sticks and stones may mar his finish but names... he can't hear them because he has no ears. HA!
Gus and I haven't been apart much since he arrived on Friday. It was love at first treadle. For me and for Bettie:
She hasn't left Gus's side. I think Bettie might be "sweet" on Gus. Do you think this might be my chance for a few little wheelettes?
As soon as the yarn is dry I'll have many skeins of fun yarns to show off. Gus is a definite producer. In lieu of yarn I have my final BPSP package from the fabulous Nicole of Big Sister.
Um, there may have been a package of lovely Merino that was in there that has already made it's way to Gus... Thank you Nicole!
Monday, February 27, 2006
Knitting Olympics Medal
It's all about the process. Sometime Friday the joking subsided and I finally admitted to myself there was no chance for a medal unless I cast the "process" aside and worked for the product.
I just couldn't do that. I wanted to enjoy this knit and so I accepted the lack of a gold medal and settled for the buffalo chip.
It's a little stinky when you hang it around your neck but hey, it's unique. And have you felt the fleece of a buffalo? Oooh, it's soft and lovely. It's like buttah. Sadly I just got the chip and no fleece. Maybe next time.
So here's where Baltic is getting left. Because, yes, I'm abandoning her because of other knits that need to be done....
And now a recap on the inexpensive wheels with all the wheels I forgot added in.
Wheels under $300
The Babe line of wheels.
The Louet S17 kit from Hello Yarn
The Kromski Prelude unfinished from the Woolery
The HitchHiker from The Merlin tree
The Ashford Kiwi from the Woolery
The Fricke wheels from Carolina Homespun
I'm going to take my chip medal and go spin before I have to start work.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Good Spinning Wheels that don't break the bank
I had a few questions about my Babe plastic wheel, so I thought I'd answer them in a post so everyone that lurks and doesn't speak up will have the info too. Crazy - 2 posts in one day!
Let's start with the cheapest of all the wheels.
Babe PVC Wheels
This is just like my Barbie from the earlier post. The wheels are really sturdy and made well for a plastic wheel. They are light which may be their biggest drawback. If you are using a wheel like a normal person and not some speed demon production maniac like me, the Babe is really a good choice. In fact it's still a pretty good choice for someone like me, I just should have taken care of it better. Just one hint - If you get the skein winder, do not spin the wheel with the skein winder attached to it. I believe this was Barbie's downfall.
The next most in-expensize would be the S17 from Louet.
Miss Adrian at Hello Yarn has them at a really good price. I just became a Louet dealer but I'm not all set up - go to Hello Yarn. She has a great store, easy to use and she's a fabulous business woman with great srvice. She's even got one that she rents out. I have not used them yet so I don't know a lot about the wheel. Seriously, if you want an inexpensive wooden wheel, Adrian is your gal with the S17's from Louet.
After that is the KIWI from Ashford
I've heard that The Woolery has great prices and fab service. I've never dealt with them myself but if the raves are true then this is a really good place to purchase a spinning wheel.
After that the wheels are all over $300 and I'm sure you can find one no problem. In the $300+ range there are a ton of wheels.
If you have your heart set on a more expensive wheel and you want it now, but don't have te funds... give the Spinner's and Weaver's Housecleaning Pages a try. They have Wheels, looms, carders, fleeces and more. I constantly haunt these pages. That is how I was able to find my Bulky Salish Spinner.
Quick call for back up!
Barbie has a crack.
And I'm sure you think I've cracked as well.
Just as I was finishing up an order for K.Pixie I noticed that the wheel just wasn't behaving at all. Actually it was being a little finicky for a while and I just paid no heed to it. (bad spinner) So as I was spinning away the wheel swung towards me. Yes, the whole top wheel unit.
Yipes! That doesn't seem good.
I swung it back and treadled while looking intently to see what might be the problem. Again it swung wildly towards me. I still didn't see the problem but I didn't want to get attacked again. Finally I spotted the giant crack in her base.
I just wasn't paying attention these past couple of weeks and I never treated Barbie as good as I treat the Ashford and the Bulky Spinner. There was prejudice involved. I am ashamed of my attitude. I treated the poor plastic wheel as if she was a second class wheel.
I had to finish the order so what do I do. I go for the Handy woman's fixall. Having none in the house, I went for the next best thing...packing tape. Yeah, it's sad. The poor gal is down and out and now caked with packing tape. Eventually I'll get some real fixin' tape or grab my tool belt, put on my butch and go to the store for replacement piping.
As a consolation there may be a new wheel (or 4) coming here soon (today). Until then I'll be anxiously working on the Ashford and blue face leicester.
Mmmmmm Blue faced Leicester.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
The shop has been updated.
Thank you for all your well wishes and comments lately. February has never been a good month. Maybe next year we can just skip it. Hey, in the least it would be a whole month closer to spring.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
It's the "I have" game
I have a ton of emails to write.
I have orders that need to be done.
I have to update the website (and am thinking of a complete overhaul).
I have show applications to file.
I have tax forms to prepare.
I have gifts to finish.
I have gifts to start.
I have to take a nap just thinking about it all.
In the midst I'm trying to eke out a few minutes here and there for knitting. Really, that's about all I'm getting....
Pitiful little progress. I'm lucky to get half a repeat before I feel like passing out at night. After all the emotions and work from the past couple of weeks, I need a vacation from myself. It might be the only chance I'll be able to get a medal. Although I highly doubt it will be a gold... Do they have an aluminum or tin medals? Maybe brass? Hell, a buffalo chip on a rope might be appropriate.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Where am I?
Who am I?
I've been so busy I'm not sure what's up and what's down. Thankfully there is such a thing as gravity or I'd be walking upside, sideways or some other such postition. Ok, so I wouldn't be walking at all. I'd be sprinting.
SPA was fabulous. I saw people I knew, met new people, and never left my booth in the corner. My head is still reeling, it all happened so fast that it seems like a distant dream now.
I didn't spend any money on myself. I feel like a bad stasher. But seriously there are things that I've got to save up for and yarn has to take a back seat. The shock of actually typing that was almost too much for me. I can only imagine the shock it must have given you to read it.
I had decided that Kayla dog needs a memorial something or other. Then I decided that something or other is a tattoo. I've chatted with an artist, scheduled a day, and I've been quoted a price. This isn't going to be a little thing, Kayla deserves an all out, no holds barred tattoo. My all day tattooing will take place in May so definitely no yarn/fiber until then. There may not even be yarn beyond that for a while. I think I forgot how much they really cost, my last tattoo was 6 years ago and it was a puny little armband.
Good thing I have that little stash to tide me over. Not to mention there will be big goings on in my little internet shop...
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Fiber up the yin yang
Wouldn't that be kind of painful if that were true. Really where would my yin yang be and could it even get fiber up in it. I'm not sure what made me think of that phrase. I'm not sure why I had to type it just because it popped into my head and why I have to continue to droll on about it either.
I'm sorry that I can't show you the sweater I just finished. I really like it and may make one for myself so you'd be able to see a version of it then. Thank you for all the great comments on Baltic as well. You all chose the color. The fair Isle was the easy part. I've slowed down considerably over the body section of knits and purls. I think I have the pattern memorized now though so it might just move a little faster.
Beyond knitting I've been busting my butt to get stock for the fiber event SPA that starts Friday at the Doubletree in Portland.
I have 3 large bins filled with wool blend, merino, and BFL. Along with a bunch of mohair and sample rovings.
Handpainted lace yarns:
and a few sock yarns:
I can't believe how many yarns I was able to get painted. I have bins of lace, sock, worsted, and bulky yarns. I have so many yarns they won't all fit into the bins. I have even taken out some of the worsted yarns and set them up in kits for thrummed mittens.
New bag style:
I have a new bag style that I've been working on. It has a similar inner pocket configuration to the collegiate although the bag is a little smaller than the collegiate. It does have a nice front pocket too. I should have about 15 of these done. Along with 8 Portland, a couple of Metros and about 36 Collegiate bags. I'll also have needle rolls, crochet cases and accessory bags that are lined with polar fleece for cushioning:
I have the Cascade spindles. The only ones I still don't have in stock form them are the Pilchuks and the Niddy Noste's. I will also have spindles from Kokovoko and hopefully my order from Greensleeves will arrive in time.
Then I have all the pottery....
Writing all this down, I'm beginning to wonder if I'll have enough space for it all. A little squeezing never hurt anything right?
I'll be off blog until Monday. I need time to get things packed and all set to travel to Portland with me. If you're in town, come say hi on Saturday 9 am to 6 pm. If you're not in town, haul your butt up here.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Olympic Knitter checking in late...
I'm skating extra laps here to try and catch up to all of you.
I'll admit that I haven't been reading many blogs lately. It's the one thing I dropped in order to get knitting and work done. I'm afraid what bloglines has in the que but I know there are a ton of you out there are knitting fabulous things and are well on your way to that Gold Medal.
I knit my little fingers off again and I have my little bit of knitting. That is if you call 4 inches of fair isle done over 216 stitches, little.
I hope Miss Starmore doesn't mind the little change to her beautiful design of Baltic. I do plan to make the rest of it as it's written.
Some have asked how I've managed knitting like this with all that's going on. Simple. I knit fairly fast and I've had a touch of insomnia lately. I keep waking up to check on an ailing dog that isn't there. A couple of times I've just not bothered to try sleeping again and opted for doing something slightly more productive. That means I either knit or work. Not to mention, knitting is a great way to keep the mind and hands busy. Aching hands and a healing heart.
Monday, February 13, 2006
When I was asked, I said I would but I didn't think it was possible.
Yeah, I lied. My mind was being realistic for a change. Of course my mouth could never voice that. The mouth is always a little insane.
I thought 16 days for a sweater was nuts. I know some of you out there can do a sweater in 9 days with no problems. Even with work and kids I know there are those of you that can do this. I just didn't think that I could do this.
Ok, so I'm obsessing a bit here, but to me this is an amazing accomplishment. A worsted weight sweater in 9 days. From the afternoon on Friday the 3rd until last night. 9 days to knit a sweater, seam it and have ALL the ends woven in. I will meet my deadline, assuming it dries in time. I didn't lie afterall.
So what if my hands feel like they're rusting. I swear they actually squeek when moved. You should be able to hear them from where you are. It's a loud creaky noise like the sound of an old haunted house door in a horror flick. A couple of hot wax treatments and after work today I'll be ready to go again.
I'm 3 days late for the Olympic knitting.
Better late than never....
Where's that coffee?
I have a show to get ready for and a Baltic to knit.
SPA in 4 days!
Friday, February 10, 2006
I've chosen my team for the Knitting Olympics. Which happens to start today. I've not lost all track of time. Of course now that every day seems like a week the Olympics will feel like they're lasting for several months and not just 16 days. Could that be a plus when you're trying to knit like mad?
Still, until I saw this team I thought I might need to drop out of the running. I know that with the hyped up, bleary eyed support of team caffeine, I can do the most of Baltic.
With the warm cup of black coffee by my side, I can do it.
With the jittery hands that say one more sip, one more stitch, I can do it.
With a heart that beats like the wings of a hummingbird, I'll sip once more and I can do it.
With browning teeth and a need to pee constantly, I can do it.
I'll be missing a few days in the beginning of these Olympics due to the sweater I mentioned yesterday. But with trusty caffeine by my side, I will persevere. I'll keep going even if I look like this:
Ok, so I already sort of look like that, only with shorter reddish hair.
Roast them beans.
Brew me a giant cup.
I don't know if I've finally flipped my lid but I believe I will get the body of Baltic done before the flame is out. Yeah, I'm not the most stable person right now. So don't argue with me. The body of Baltic will keep my mind and body busy while my evenings are spent eyes glued to the Olympics on TV. Go USA and all you Olympic Knitters in all countries.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
A month later
Ok, I know it hasn't been that long. Time just really does seem to be dragging along here. I knew it would be hard without my big baby but I had no idea just HOW hard.
The blog community astounds me in it's caring. I've been working at responding to all the wonderful comments and emails I've received. Unfortunately Haloscan still doesn't care to send me an email for every comment left. I'm trying to go and figure out which comments weren't sent and still send emails. If you get a duplicate note from me then you know I'm slipping. If you don't ever get an email from me, I'm sorry and I've really slipped.
On my time off from Spunky work I find myself not wanting to knit. It might possibly be, because knitting right now is work.
It's not hard work but I have to have this thing done in less than a week. Forget that I didn't get any yarn until last Friday.
While waiting for that yarn I did manage to finish a thrummed mitten, write the pattern and get a few kits put up for the SPA.
The work day, and a screaming baby, becons.
Monday, February 06, 2006
Bye Sweet Kayla
She was the best dog a girl (and then a family) could ever have.
I got the better part of the deal when I let my x take a truck and leave me Miss Kayla.
Always up for modeling or clowning. Forever the gentle soul.
She loved kids
she especially loved babies
She was so special that even our other dog, who vowed time and again never to care about other dogs, fell in love with her.
She's been in my life since she was 5 weeks old. I've been lucky to have her by my side for the past 9+ years. I'll miss her more than words can say.
Thank you for all your wonderful comments on the last post. They mean alot to me even though I haven't responded to them indivivually.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I've been slow in responding to emails.
I've not been commenting much.
I've not been returning comments like I try to.
I wasn't going to mention anything but I figured a blog wide appology was in order to those of you waiting to hear from me.
Kayla is not doing well. The poor baby is in the last stages of bone cancer. She has been for a while. She did well right after the operation in the fall so we were hopeful. It's pretty evident now that she's just a tough dog who wanted to be well so she put on a good face. Still does.
There are good days and bad days... although what we are now considering "good" days would have been bad days just a couple of weeks ago. I've been doing the bare minimum in reponding but still keeping the business going and shipping product. After that, all my spare time I've been sitting with my baby on the floor.
I know I can drag my laptop to the floor with me and sometimes I do that. I mean to catch up on emails but my mind goes blank. I'm usually able to respond to one or two before my brain gives up.
So I want to say a few blogwide things and I promise to try and catch up on emails today.
Thank you all for a fantabulous sale at Chez Spunky Eclectic. I'd like to try and have one sale a month but it really does take a lot of fore thought and planning to get it set up. I was dying fibers all month in preperation for this past sale. So I'm going to set up one sale per season.
I hope you all really enjoy your Spunky fibers and have a great time spinning.
Thank you for the comments about the snowy pictures. It really could snow everyday in the winter and I'd be happy. Part of why I moved back to Maine from California (everyone thought I was nuts) was that I needed the change in weather. We've had lots of warm weather this winter so the snow is welcomed.
Now here's something to make you laugh. Yes, this will be offensive to some and to others you may pee your pants.
Funniest Who's Line Ever