Saturday, February 23, 2008

What I did on my winter vacation.

Many schools in this area have had a winter break this last week. That means that I got a week off and other than the not-paid part, yippee!

Lest you think I was a complete slacker, I did spend quite a bit of time with my spinning wheel, a bit of organizing and other stuff.

Let's start with my little Hitchhiker. Other than deciding what do to with the knobs for the orifice hook and tensioner, he is done. OK, I actually finished up last week, but no pictures til now. As far as the knobs, there are many options...leave them as finished wood, paint them, cover them with beads or, my personal favorite (at the moment) is to find someone who likes to mess with glass and have 2 knobs made.

The living room got dusted (or more accurately, undusted). There was a really good coat on everything. My excuse(s): my DH, the furniture maker, has his shop in the basement, we heat with wood and, lastly, I am an easily distracted housekeeper.

Along the way, I consolidated the angora stash. I keep most of it in 3-lb coffee cans. Yep, I'm pretty sure that I have enough angora to last me a lifetime. I also found temporary homes for the bins that I previously filled with stash overflow. Who am I kidding? Those bins will be in their temporary homes for quite some time.

I finished up the CVM (at least what I think is CVM) and dyed it a nice cranberry red. The small skein is the original color. It's slated to become a lace vest.

The small, bluish skein is Cotswold that I got at our spinning guild's Christmas fiber exchange this last year. It's very easy to spin quite fine and, hopefully, I got it fine enough. The intent is to knit up one of the "Ice Queens" from Knitty.

Also on their way to becoming something else are various fleece samples. One of our guild members has organized a fleece study for us. For minimal expense, we get approx. 2 oz. bags of various sheep breeds to wash, process & spin. This particular batch includes Ramboullet, Romey, Corriedale, Karakul, Polworth, and Leicester Longwool.

In my stash, there has been this nifty net storage unit from Ikea. I originally picked it up for my daughter to use, but she said she didn't have room for it. I'm glad she didn't have room, as it makes a dandy drying space for fleece and would likely make wonderful yarn storage, too. Yet another reason for a road trip as the nearest Ikea is in Missasauga, Ont.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Snow Day!

More accurately, really, really cold and windy day. But who cares, same gets a surprise day off.

Of course, first I went back to bed. After getting up at a reasonable hour, I read the paper, had a chunk of homemade coffee cake and then contemplated what else to occupy myself with.

I continued to work on my Hitchhiker wheel. I decided that it was about time that I got some finish on it. The parts that have been stained look really good. The parts that are to be painted are also looking pretty good, but I think I want them a darker shade. I'll go out tomorrow and get some darker colored paint.

I spun a bit. Yes, I have more than one spinning wheel. Funny thing, when I started spinning, I could not imagine why you would want more than one wheel. There are now 5 spinning wheels and a few drop spindles around here. Hmmm, future blog material.

I knit a bit on the forever socks. There is an entire blog likely to be written on just how many ways I managed to screw them up before finding my way.

Are there any pictures of the above. Not yet.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Well, we've had some crummy weather lately. Last week brought snow, ice, sleet, rain, back to ice, then snow again (yes, that was all in one day). That's supposed to happen again tonight. Wonderful.

In the interest of being somewhat creative, I tried taking some pictures at night, outside. Interesting, as the LCD on the camera back just shows black, so you really are in point & shoot blindly land. If you don't press the shutter all the way, the flash will go off to show you what you might get.

Gypsy likes snow. She especially likes it when you throw snowballs at her to catch. It is surprisingly difficult to take a picture of that, in the dark, when you're also the one throwing snowballs.

Gypsy's nose is very large and just fine. Mine, not so good. At least the meds have finally kicked in to evict the darn bugs that took up residence for the last few weeks.

I've gotten a bit of spinning done...I found this in my stash and I have a really good vest pattern to try with it. I'm also planning on dying it as I've already got a couple of vests in this color range. Pretty neat the way it was put up. I think it might be CVM; a friend is going to check her much better organized stash to see if she's got the same stuff, maybe even with a label.

Now for some late-breaking fun news. Last night, while DH was surfing, he saw a local ad for a loom. I sent off an email saying that I was interested and what did he want to trade for it or how much. He didn't know how much and I know so little about looms that I really shouldn't consider buying a used one. Well, $50 later, I now own this: a Nilus LeClerc, 4-harness table loom, including floor stand. Other than a pin missing on the front, everything seems to be there and in quite good condition.

I always regarded weaving as a retirement project and that the right loom would show up for me eventually. Since I'm not ready to retire, I guess I have to move weaving up the project list.