Monday, August 25, 2008

OMG! I have a blog?

I completely forgot about this thing! I even missed my own blogiversary! (August 12th). I'm off work this week, so I hope to get caught up on a few thing around here, including reading everyone else's blogs!

Let's see..... what have I been doing?

I haven't knit another stitch on Cobblestone since I last blogged. I am off this week, so I hope to get some knitting done on that. Of course, now I'm just itching to knit the latest sweater I saw on Jared's blog; the Spiral Yoke Pullover. (too many projects started - not enough finished!) It would be SO comfy knit in Shepherd's Wool!

I've been working on the entrelac sweater I designed, and I just can't seem to put it down. I find entrelac so fun and easy and satisfying to knit. If you haven't heard, I'm teaching an entrelac class at Knitch in September. My first teaching gig, so I'm a little nervous, but it should be lots of fun. I think there are still some spaces open, so what are you waiting for?!

I finished a beautiful scarf for the Men Who Knit scarf exchange. I used one strand of Shepherd's Wool, (Stonehenge Fiber Mill's super soft 100% merino available at Knitch) and one strand of Knit Picks Andean Silk (alpaca, silk, merino). It's a nice, soft, comfy, heavy scarf for my exchange pal that lives MUCH further north than I do. It has a wonderfully textured pattern. I sure hope he will enjoy it. I've got to get it in the mail this week.

Chuck has mostly been sitting idle in the corner, as I have not been spinning as much as I would like. I know I need to get in more practice if I want to be as good as Doug! I need to make the time for it, as I find it very peaceful and relaxing to spin. I still have another Mach 1 available, if you know anyone who's interested........ (more shameless self-promotion)

I'm leaving on Thursday for my annual family reunion in Parkersburg, WV, so I'll see you in September!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Measure twice, knit once

As I sit here re-knitting the yoke of my Cobblestone sweater, it finally dawned on me what I did wrong. In the pattern, the sleeve measurement didn't seem long enough. This is usually a common thing for me because I have long arms, and when buying long sleeved shirts or sweaters, I usually have to go to a big & tall men's store. After measuring 3 long sleeved shirts, I came to the conclusion that the sleeves needed to be 3 inches longer. I know! That's quite a bit, but hey, I measured! So of course I knitted the extra long sleeves, attached them to the body, and started knitting the yoke. I was a little more than 3/4 of the way finished with the yoke when I decided to try it on. The sleeves are way too long! How can this be?! Rip, rip, rip the yoke, rip the sleeves back 2 1/2 inches, reattach to body, begin knitting yoke again. Which brings me to today.

And then it dawns on me......

When I measured my pre existing sweaters, I laid them out flat and measured them from the underarm to the cuff. As I was knitting my sleeves, I measured across the top of the sleeve for length. Now anyone who's ever knit a sleeve knows that you decrease along the underarm toward the cuff, or increase if you're knitting from the cuff up. When you lay the finished sleeve out flat you've created somewhat of a triangle. (it would be a triangle if you continued decreasing the cuff til you had only one stitch, but it would be kind of hard to get your hand through...... anyway, you know what I mean)

Now my mind wanders back to my 10th grade geometry class when I say "Why do I have to learn this crap?! I'm never going to use it again!"


The underarm side of the sleeve would be the hypotenuse side of the triangle, and we all know that side is longer. I think there was some sort of formula to figure it out, but I'm sure I'll never have to use that again. (hey, that's what the internet is for, right?)

So I'm sitting here re-knitting the yoke of Cobblestone, and the only thing I can think about is the fact that It probably won't even fit me come winter, because I'm losing so much weight with Weight Watcher's . (16.2 lbs. in 5 weeks) I'm going to have to start something new and thinner, or I'll have nothing to wear to SAFF! (maybe it won't take me as long, since it will be a few sizes smaller)

Mach 1 update
According to UPS tracking numbers, the wheels will arrive next Tuesday. Can I tell you how excited I am? I will have my wheel for spinning guild next Saturday! Hey, do you spinners name your wheels? I was sure I heard some of you calling them by name. I have a couple picked out.

How about Ernst?

You know! After Ernst Mach, Austrian philosopher and physicist who came up with the concept of faster than sound travel.
I don't know. Even though he looks like there might have been a spinning wheel in the house, not such a pleasant or easy name to pronounce.
(Ernst, Ernst, Ernst.......)

My other choice, and so far my favorite is Chuck.

After Chuck Yeager, the first man to travel at Mach 1, and a fellow West Virginian, I might add. Of course I could also go with Glamorous Glennis, the name of the Bell X-1 plane that actually broke Mach 1. Chuck named the plane after his wife. Maybe I'll just go with Chuck. I kind of like it.

Before I forget. I was gifted by my wonderful friend Shirley Robb with a HUGE bag of the most beautiful dark chocolate brown ALPACA fleece I have ever seen! This stuff is right of the animal, so I'm going to have to figure out how to process it, and comb or card it, but I am up for the task. (I've actually been looking at drum carders too!) Thank you SO much Shirley!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I've been tagged for a meme

I always thought it was pronounced ME ME, (you know, like Mimi Rogers), because hey, it's all about ME! Found out today it actually rhymes with seam. Anyway, I thought this would be a fun diversion while patiently waiting for my new spinning wheel to arrive. The Great and Powerful Chickengoddess has tagged me, (thanks Alma) so here goes!

The Rules: Rules are posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player tags 5 people and posts their names. Then the player goes to each of the “named” people’s blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. If you’ve been tagged, you do the same, letting the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer. Your answer, of course, is the answer to the following questions. Here we go!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
1998? Working at the same place I am working now. I had not discovered knitting yet, so I guess I wasn't doing anything important.

2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
1. Find that ball of Kauni yarn I couldn't find last night and stayed up 'til 11:00 looking for.
2. Order orchid plants for work next week.
3. Post this meme on my blog.
4. Fertilize my Plumerias.
5. Fix my breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

3. Snacks I enjoy: Anything with chocolate. Anything with caramel. Anything with nuts, especially pecans
. (why do I find I am now craving turtle brownies? Thanks Alma!)

4. Places I’ve lived: Parkersburg, WV (born and raised), Morgantown, WV (college), then, the Washington, DC metropolitan area including, but not limited to; Springfield, Annandale, Fairfax, Burke, and Falls Church, VA also College Park, MD. Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks, CA, Chattanooga, TN, and now Atlanta for the last 14 years, (actually Lawrenceville, but I usually just say Atlanta), pretty much in that order.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Quit my job. Buy a Tesla. Build a beautiful, stone, earth-friendly, solar powered, wind powered, home in the mountains of North Carolina with lots of cabins around for all my friends to come and stay as long as they like for free. Build another one in Dingle, Ireland just because I like to say "Dingle" and I love Ireland, and raise Shetland sheep and dingleberries there, (hire a shepherd), donate to The John C. Campbell Folk School, build a fiber arts center in Atlanta so the weaving guild, spinning guild, and knitting guild would all have a permanent home under one roof, hire a personal trainer, eat macadamia nuts whenever I feel like it, (don't tell my personal trainer) Take care of my parents, immediate family, and close friends.

The rules say I have to tag 5 people now. How about Doug, Brett, Stuart, Claudia, and Jane? And if you're feeling left out because I didn't tag you, feel free to swipe the meme and post answers on your blog, then let me know in the comments.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Got fiber?

I received a nice big box today from our UPS man. NO, it was NOT my wheel! (I can not wait for it to get here!) I received my first shipment of fiber! I got three nice big one pound bags of Bluefaced Leicester, (I think most spinners just call it BFL). One is a creamy white color, one is sort of an oatmeal color, and one is a nice medium brown. I also got a one pound bag of brown Shetland roving, just for a comparison. They're all undyed, natural colors, and SO soft! Look how pretty!

I can't wait to spin some of this, but alas, no wheel yet. I guess that is the downside of buying a wheel from someone who assembles each one by hand, and does not have a whole warehouse of them sitting around just waiting to be shipped. I spoke with a spinner from Des Moines, Iowa on Sunday, and she has actually spun on a Mach 1. She went to Yarn School in Harveyville, Kansas, and got to try one out. LOVED IT! Also, doesn't that yarn school sound like a
fun time? I might have to check it out next spring. I also think I may be going to John C. Campbell this fall for a spinning class. (anyone want to come with me?) I've heard that Martha Owen is a great teacher. I am dying to spin! I'm also dying to dye, and she teaches that in this class too. I've ordered some custom dyed BFL roving from a hand dyer on Etsy. I'm hoping it's going to look something like this;

Or this;

I'm basically ready to go, just need my wheel. I think I may give the folks at SpinOlution a call and see what the ETA is.
(UPDATE, Wednesday, June 18th..... the wheels have been shipped!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My new wheel, and MORE!

Well, I've just sent off for my very first spinning wheel. For those of you who haven't seen this, check it out. It's a SpinOlution Mach 1! (looks like a real guy's wheel, doesn't it?) I am so impressed by this wheel, and I haven't even sat down behind one yet. SO impressed that I have signed on to be their sales rep for the state of Georgia! Yep, that's right. I now have my own little, home-based business. I'm going to open an Etsy shop when my first wheels arrive, and sell them through there too. I'm very excited about this, and have already sold 3 wheels, not counting my own! I do, however, have very realistic expectations, and do not plan on quitting my day job anytime soon, (DAMN!) I'm just hoping it will give me a little extra spending money to support my new addiction habit hobby. I have already purchased some very inexpensive natural colored Blue Faced Leicester and Shetland roving from a great place called Paradise Fibers, and ordered this book from Amazon. Even though I know I will learn much more by spinning instead of reading, I'm sure this book will be full of great helpful hints. Oh yeah, check out Ravelry, they already have a SpinOlution group, with some nice photos, and some great things to say about this wheel.

I'll let you know when it gets here, and you can come over and take it for a spin!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Stash reduction SALE!

OK, here we go. It's time for the big stash reduction/wheel acquisition sale! I spent a long tearful evening with my stash last night. I told them that some of them just had to go. They took it better than I thought they would. They were like, "Dude, we're yarn. Our only purpose in life is to be knitted, and you're using us as closet insulation. Frankly, we're getting a little tired of waiting! We're outta here!" Like I said, they took it better than I thought they would.

OK, here's the deal.

All prices include shipping to anywhere in the continental USA. (basically, I'm just too lazy to figure them out, so I'm including it in.) If you're local, and I know you, I can deliver it myself. If you live in, let's say, Canada, or perhaps
Patagonia, and you just have to have something in this sale, email me, and we'll talk about shipping charges, but I would prefer to ship within the continental USA only. Yarn will be shipped immediately after payment is received.

I prefer Paypal. That's how I plan on paying for my wheel, so if the money is
already in my Paypal account, all the better. Once again, if you're local, and I know you, I will accept cash, or possibly a check, but I REALLY prefer Paypal. If you see something you want to purchase, let me know in the comments section at the end of this blog post. I will strike it out, put your name there, and then you can Paypal me. In the comment section of Paypal, maybe put what the yarn is, and your blog name, whatever. I just want to make sure the right yarn goes to the right person.

My Paypal account is
It's a long story. I'll tell you about it someday.

The yarn has been stored in a smoke-free home. We do have two cats, but they are never allowed in the guest room, let alone the walk in closet in the guest room where my yarn is stashed. Most of the yarns are still in the sealed plastic bags I received them in. If you're freaky about a possible stray cat hair, I'd say don't buy this yarn, but the chances of finding one are zero to none.

and now......

Rowan Polar: This yarn has been discontinued, so this may be your last chance to get some of this soft beautiful stuff. Here's what they had to say about it on Knitter's Review. It is 60% wool, 30% alpaca, and 10% acrylic. It knits up at 3 stitches per inch on US 11 needles. It has 109 yards in each 100g ball, and retailed for $11.95 per ball, or $119.50 per bag of 10. I'm selling it for $60 per bag. (full bags only, unless otherwise noted) All colors are the same dyelot. Here are the colors and quantities I have;

Color #645, Winter White (the name says it all)
One partial bag (8 balls) $50

Color #649 Jaffa (a spicy reddish orange)
One full bag $60
Two full bags $110

#653 Dark Truffle (a yummy dark chocolate brown)
One full bag $60
Two full bags $110

Color # 654 Blast (a dark flame red)
One full bag $60
Two full bags $110

Color # 655 Combat (a military greenish gray)
One full bag $60
One partial bag (9 balls) $55
Both bags $105

Color #647 Stormy (a beautiful charcoal gray)
One full bag $60

OK That's about all I can handle tonight. If I don't make enough for my wheel, there may be another sale, so get it while you can. I have also listed all of the above yarns for sale on Ravely, and at these prices, I don't expect it to last long!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Adventures in handspinning, Part 2

So I went to my first handspinners guild meeting yesterday. What a wonderful group of folks. It was a very large and informal meeting. Everyone was sitting around in this great big circle with their wheels. There were a few announcements, and a raffle, but other than that, it was just sit and spin and mingle. There was also beautiful hand dyed roving, and natural colored alpaca to purchase. (I did resist. You would have been proud.)

I did get to try a few wheels. First I tried Katey's new Schacht Ladybug. If you can get past the cutesy name, it's a really nice wheel. It doesn't fold, but it has three handles, located at different points, to pick it up. It was very lightweight, and the treadling was SO smooth. The treadles were well spaced, so it was fairly comfortable to use. The wheel is actually a child's bicycle wheel. (really, it even has the hole where the air valve would come through!) I liked all the extra added attachments you can buy for it too.

Then I tried Jane's Ashford Joy. I found it not as easy to treadle, but I'm thinking it may have been the fact that it was a single treadle, and I had just been spinning on a double. I clumped up a couple of yards of beautiful pencil roving that she had been spinning beautifully, and passed the wheel back.

There was a single treadle Lendrum that a couple of the first time spinners were using, but I did not get a chance to try it. I noticed a double treadle Lendrum across the room, and Katey "suggested" I go over and ask the owner if I could try it. She was very nice, and let me sit and treadle it for a few minutes. What a great wheel! I was very impressed. I did not think I would like the way it was angled, but I think it's tall enough that it shouldn't matter.

All in all, it was a great time, and I will be joining next month. I left the meeting thinking LENDRUM. It's a really nice wheel. It folds. It's solid MAPLE for cryin' out loud. It has some weight to it, which is a plus in my book. It has lots of accessories INCLUDED. I think the price is VERY reasonable for what you get.
So I'm thinking, "Lendrum, yes, Lendrum, that's it."

But THIS keeps popping into my head.

It won't leave me alone.

Call me crazy, but I really want this wheel, and I haven't even seen one in person yet. I haven't touched it, treadled it, or SPUN on it, and yet I must have it! To me it looks like a real "guy's wheel". Nothing ornate or frilly here, just 22 lbs of solid, spinnin', madness!

And the name?
Is it a Ladybug?
A Babe?
A Little Gem?
A Julia, Victoria, Millie, Suzie, or Rose?
It's a freakin' MACH 1 !
I mean hell, it may as well be a car, or a jet! It costs a little more than the Lendrum, but not much. It doesn't have a WooLee Winder that fits it. (yet) It's 22 lbs, but I'm a big guy. I can lift 22 lbs. The Dyson vacuum cleaner at Knitch weighs 18! (yes, I weighed it today)
I'm not ordering it tonight, and probably not tomorrow. I'm still doing my homework, and I'd like to talk to a few folks that actually have one, and see what they think. I'd also like to come up with the bucks before I buy it, rather than tacking it onto my already overused credit card. Keep an eye on my blog. In the next few days I'm planning a stash reduction/wheel acquisition sale. I promise there's going to be some really good deals.

It's gonna be hard to let some of it go, but I'm gonna need lots of room for all that roving I'll have to buy.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures in handspinning

I couldn't wait 'til the clock hit 4:00 today so I could zoom over to Knitch. Melissa brought her Kromski Sonata for me to to play with. This wheel is very easy to set up, and I was spinning in no time at all. (not well, but spinning none the less) I can see that this is going to be much like knitting in the fact that the more you practice, the better you get, and if I'm going to practice, I need a wheel. I think I'm going to have to have someone hold my credit cards for me because I'm pretty much sold on the Sonata. It's taking every ounce of self-control I have, (which ain't much), not to just go ahead and order one tonight. The only thing keeping me from it is the anticipation of going to my first handspinners guild meeting tomorrow! (I'm so excited! I hope I'm not too big a pest! I'll try to behave.)

In the mean time, to satisfy my lust for handspun yarn, I ordered two skeins from baba black sheep yarns on Etsy. Here's a photo of it next to the yarn I spun tonight. See if you can guess which is which.

(I know it's hard to tell, but the ones on the left are mine.)

I want to spin yarn like the skeins on the right!!!!!

It is so soft and luscious and plump and EVEN and (did I say soft?), and beautiful! I am determined that some day, in the not too distant future, I too will be spinning yarn like baba black sheep!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Which wheel?

I had no idea there would be so many choices in spinning wheels! I've been doing a lot of reading, and I've pretty much decided I want a folding wheel. It would be fun to be able to take it with me when I want spin, and the compact size would be convenient for storage. I found a great side by side comparison on four different models at The Woolery. I've seen the Ashford Joy, and Melissa's Kromski Sonata in action, and I think I've narrowed it down to these two. They both weigh about the same, despite the taller height of the Kromski. (which I find attractive, since I'm a tall guy) Aesthetically, I like the look of the Kromski. I noticed the Kromski has bigger bobbins. I'm assuming this means you can spin more yarn before you have to change bobbins? (in this case, does size matter?) I also like the fact that it is made of real wood, and not plywood and laminated MDF.

Sounds like I've made up my mind, doesn't it? OK, here's the one thing I think I don't like. I really think I want a single treadle wheel. I took a day long spinning class once a couple of years ago, and I couldn't tell you now if the wheel I used was a single or double treadle. At the risk of sounding vulgar, I can't imagine myself sitting for any length of time with my legs that close together. (oh dear, have I said too much..... again) I'm sorry, but I just don't sit that way. (at least not comfortably for any length of time)

I guess it all boils down to a test drive. I'm sure Melissa would let me take her wheel out for a spin, and we have a single treadle Joy at Knitch that I can try. Also, if I do buy the Joy, I can buy it at Knitch. If I buy a Sonata, I'll have to send away for it. Decisions, decisions. At this point I would welcome any feedback at all.

Despite all the spinning wheel shopping, I have been doing some knitting. I finally frogged back the sleeves of my Cobblestone sweater, (I made them too long), and reattached them to the body. see......

So it's back to knitting garter stitch in the round. And what's more fun than holding two pounds of wool in your lap when the temperature is 80-something outside. Now I understand why y'all knit socks!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

To spin or not to spin?

Yes, I have gone completely mad, but y'all drove me to it. How can I sit idly by and watch you spin such incredible colors and fibers, and then ply them together into something altogether different. I saw the beautiful yarns that Jared spun and must admit I lusted after them. I watch the spinners the second Sunday of each month at Knitch and think, "I wish I could do that." I've started putting color combinations together in my head, and thinking about different ways of blending fibers to create the exact yarns I want. I actually registered at Etsy just so I could buy a couple of skeins of handspun.

OK, here's the really crazy part;

Do I know how to spin?

Do I have a wheel?

Do I have time to spin?


Am I gonna do it anyway?
(yeah, I think so)

I figure I can learn how to spin. I've managed to learn everything I know how to do now. I know plenty of spinners who could offer helpful hints. I'm SURE I can find someplace to buy a wheel. I don't really have time to knit either, but you make time to do the things you love. And I figure Andrew will be turning 18 next year and moving out, so what am I gonna do with all that extra space?

P.S. Y'all did pretty good on the movie quote meme. The only one I was able to stump you on was #8. It's Billy Crystal as Mitch in City Slickers. Not exactly my most favorite movie, but a damn funny line.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Movie quote meme hints

OK, there are four movie quotes that no one seems to know, so I'll give you a hint. I'll tell you the name of the actor or actress that said them. You still have to guess the movie.

#4 Tim Robbins
#8 Billy Crystal
#9 Ruth Gordon
#10 Steve Martin

Sorry, no knitting content today. Working crazy hours for the upcoming Mother's Day holiday. I need to change the title of my blog to "Famous Steve wishes he had time to knit!" I am knitting the scarf from the cover of Knitting New Scarves, by Lynne Barr. (the book ia a lovely birthday gift from my friend Nell) I'm using the Manos Silk Blend. What a wonderful yarn to work with! Come to Knitch and get you some! The scarf will be a shop sample, so come by and see it when I'm done. I have SO MANY things I want to knit! Especially some new sweaters for moi, but next Wednesday, I will be attending my first, (in many, many years), Weight Watcher's meeting! And, of all the places this meeting could be taking place, it will be in one of my favorite places of all! Knitch! So I really dont want to start knitting XXL sweaters, since I plan on being more of an XL next winter. Of course, I do have many other things to work on.... finish the lace shawl for Nancy, start the lace shawl for Beth, start that second pair of socks, start some baby stuff for Shirley to take to Berea, knit some scarves for John to sell in his shop this winter, not to mention the pile of stuff that has fallen into the dreaded pit of UFOs, that I have almost completely forgotten about! (almost....)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Movie quote meme

OK, all my blogging friends are doing the movie quote meme, and it looked like fun. I don't know how difficult mine are, but here goes.........

The rules:

1. Pick 10 of your favorite movies.

2. Go to IMDb and find a quote from each movie.

3. Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.

4. Strike it out when someone guesses correctly, and put who guessed it and the movie. (someone is going to have to show me how to strike it out) Thanks Doug!

5. Looking them up is cheating, please don’t.


1. "My job consists of basically masking my contempt for the assholes in charge, and, at least once a day, retiring to the men's room so I can jerk off while I fantasize about a life that doesn't so closely resemble Hell." Identified by katey on April 20th, 11:26 am as American Beauty

2."I like to watch." Identified by Mydadknits on April 22, 6:14 pm as Being There

3."I think you are just an evil, bitter OLD, alcoholic sex FIEND who needs therapy yourself!"Identified by knits4bears on April 20, 8:29 pm as Sordid Lives

4. "Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies." Identified by katey on May 7, 8:37 pm as The Shawshank Redemption

5. "What do you mean he don't eat no meat? Oh, that's okay. I make lamb."Identified by oliviaknits on April 19th, 11:51 pm as My Big Fat Greek Wedding

6."Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries."Identified by oliviaknits on April 19th, 11:52 pm as Mony Python and The Holy Grail

7. "The perfect blossom is a rare thing. You could spend your life looking for one, and it would not be a wasted life." Identified by the chickengoddess on April 24, 8:13 am as The Last Samurai

8. "Women need a reason for having sex, men just need a place."

9. "Vice, Virtue. It's best not to be too moral. You cheat yourself out of too much life. Aim above morality. If you apply that to life, then you're bound to live life fully." Identified by jane on May 7, 10:24 pm as Harold and Maude

10. "My plan was to kiss her with every lip on my face." Identified by Stuart on May 14, 12:52 pm as Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Good luck!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

In like a lion brand, out like a lamb's wool.

Oh look, it's March, and I haven't blogged in nearly a month!

So what has been going on you ask? (yeah, I heard you)

Well, let's see.....

I've started and nearly finished Cobblestone from the Fall 2007 Interweave Knits. (pretty much the ONLY thing I've been knitting) I promise I'll post a pic as soon as it's finished. I'm just being lazy today.

I had some BEAUTIFUL sock yarn named after me in a colorway I inspired! You can read all about it, and buy it here on Etsy. It's called FAMOUS Chocolate Fondue. OMG!!! Ain't it purdy!!!

I wanted something that was the color of chocolate covered cherries, but this line of yarn is called "Saucy", so we had to come up with something that could be considered a sauce. I think fondue works quite well, and you can dip cherries in it, or strawberries, or chunks of bananas, or chunks of pound cake, or....... (I wonder what we have in the kitchen?)

I sold some of my yarn stash, (and bought even more)


  • One bag of orange Rowan Cork to a nice lady in Ireland. She discovered my stash on Ravelry.

  • One 1 lb skein of cotton that was dyed by the lovely folks at Prism, because I was going to use it for a sweater, but decided it had too much pink in it for me.


  • Three 1 lb skeins of cotton that was dyed by the lovely folks at Prism. (yeah, I still have 2 lbs left. probably will become a baby blanket.)

  • 3 bags of natural cream colored, worsted weight Alpaca from a new find of mine. They have insanely cheap yarn here, and SO wonderful. I may try my hand at dyeing this stuff.

  • 2 bags of a 100% Tweedy Silk from You know how I am about tweed, and I think I've found a great pattern in the new Guy Knits book. Won't this be nice?

I got to meet Janet Szabo at the March guild meeting, and she signed my Aran Sweater Design book. What a super interesting person. I wish I had not been working so I could have taken some of her classes.

Well, that's all for now, but since Easter is just a few days away, I wondered, what's your favorite and least favorite Easter candy?

My favorite would have to be Cadbury Caramel Eggs.
And my least.... Marshmallow Peeps. They're fun to put in the microwave though.

And now ...... some interesting facts about Easter. The earliest possible date that Easter can fall on is March 22nd. The last time Easter fell on this date was in 1818, and it won't happen again until 2285. The latest possible date Easter can be is my birthday! (April 25th) The last time it fell on this date was in 1943 (I wasn't born yet) and will next fall on this date in 2038. (I will be 77 years old!)
The cycle of Easter dates repeats after exactly 5,700,000 years, with April 19th being the most common date, happening 220,400 times, or 3.9% compared to a mean for all dates of 162,857 times, or 2.9%. (what did we do before Wikipedia?)

Now then, wasn't that interesting?

Friday, February 22, 2008

AND THE WINNER IS.............

I spent several hours rearranging and reorganizing the yarn closet yesterday. I pulled everything out, and put it all back with the exception of the Rowan and RYC yarns. This is what I was left with;

(does anyone think there may be a problem here?)

I counted and photographed it all, added the photos to Flickr, and entered it into the Ravelry data base this morning. I have to admit, I made a guess before counting, and I ended up with TWICE as much as I thought I had.

So without further adieu, and much fanfare, the grand total in yards is 57,041, which converts to 52,158.29 meters, making the winner;

Diana T, with her guess of 46,000 meters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will give Diana her choice of Rowan Summer Tweed in either Morning Glory or Gold.

I just want to thank everyone who played. I had no idea that SO many people read my blog. Sort of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Now I need to knit some sweaters so I'll be warm and fuzzy on the outside too!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Enjoying my vacation.

Well, I'm back from the AKG retreat at The Mountain. We had mostly wonderful weather this year. The drive up on Friday was clear. Saturday I arose to a beautiful sunrise. It was so sunny and nice we were able to knit outside on the large deck for a while in the afternoon. Sunday we awoke to fog, which gradually turned to drizzle, and then fairly heavy rain by evening. There was even a bit of thunder and lightning. It was a great day to be by the fire in the logde and knit. I got quite a bit done that day. Before midnight, the clouds cleared and the moon and stars were back out. Monday again we had a beautiful sunrise, and perfect weather for the drive home. The week-end passed by much too quickly, and I'm already counting the days 'til next years retreat.
Me and a few of the guys did make it into Franklin on Saturday to visit a LYS called Silver Threads & Golden Needles. It was a great little shop, and probably the first time there were ever FIVE male knitters in there at one time. The main room housed all the yarn, and there was quite a bit of luxury yarn to be had. (quiviut, bison, cashmere, angora, silk, etc...) There was a second, smaller room for weaving, and yet another room for needlepoint. The owner was very nice, and seemed genuinely happy to see all of us. It's definitely worth the stop if you find yourself in or near Franklin, NC. I did find one little treasure while I was there that I had never seen before. It is from Zitron, a German yarn company, and it's called Unikat. It is not twisted, or spun, but lightly felted instead. I recognized the colorway (#6, Earth), because we carry the pencil roving at Knitch from the same company. It's a bulky yarn and knits up at 12 stitches per 4 inches on size 10 1/2 - 11 needles. You get 175 yds. in 100 grams, and it runs right around $25 per skein. (Coming soon to Knitch!) I fell in love with the colors! I think it's probably going to become a hat.

I did get quite a bit of knitting done. I only brought two projects with me this year, and only worked on one of them. I cast on for Jared Flood's Cobblestone pullover. I'm using Debbie Bliss aran tweed in a beautiful blue with purple and rust flecks.

I knitted up five balls worth of yarn while I was there, and polished off a sixth one last night. It's a very easy knit, and hopefully it will look good on me. Apparently this style of sweater looks good on a wide range of body types. I'm sure I won't looks as good as Jared, or the model in Interweave Knits. I guess I need to send away for some of that magic yarn from Mrs. Weasley!

Not sure what I'm going to do with the rest of my week off. I need a haircut. It's starting to go a bit shaggy on me. I haven't had it cut since last fall. I like the new longer length, but it needs a trim. There are a couple of movies I want to check out this week, and I have a free two week pass to a gym that is right across the street from where I work. I REALLY need to get back into that habit! and.......... Oh yeah! I do need to take a yarn inventory this week don't I? Of course, being the procrastinator that I am, I'm sure I will wait 'til Thursday to do it. I once tried to start a Yahoo group for procrastinators like myself, but no one ever got around to joining it. Oh well.........

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I've gone to Carolina in my mind.

OMG! Who are all you people! I had no idea that this many people read my blog! I guess it just took a little free yarn to bring y'all out of the woodwork. Welcome!

Of course, now I most definitely HAVE to get in there and clean up that yarn closet, just to get an accurate inventory. It's a good thing I have next week off! If you are second guessing yourself, I have no problem with you taking a second stab at it. Just say "final answer" by your last guess, and I'll go by that one instead of your first one. No more guesses after midnight EST on Thursday, February, 21st. I'll post the results on Friday the 22nd.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm in the wholesale floral industry, so with Valentine's Day just days away, you can probably guess what I've been doing. In the past few days, I've sent out over $25,000 worth of product, and I'm not done yet. This is my 13th VD, and it never seems to get any easier. I am SO looking forward to Friday afternoon when I load up the car, pick up a couple of my knitting buddies, and head for the mountains of North Carolina for our annual knitting guild retreat. There will be SIX men in attendance this year. (there were 4 of us last year, and 3 the year before - the first year guys ever attended) I am looking forward to staying up late, sleeping late, knitting, eating, (OK, maybe a little knitting water), and just hangin' out with one of the best groups of people you'ld ever want to meet. If I don't post again before then, I'll see y'all when I get back. Keep those guesses coming!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Contest time!

OK gang, in an attempt to get my butt into the "yarn supply closet" to reorganize, and actually post some of my stash on Ravelry, I have devised a little contest.

You must guess how many total meters of Rowan and RYC yarn I have in my posession. (I must admit, I'm more than just a little afraid to find out exactly how much I do have.)

Here are a few hints that may help you out a bit;
  • Rowan and RYC yarns are some of my favorites!
  • I usually buy my yarn by the bag.
  • I try to get enough of one color to make a 2XLT sweater.
  • If I like the yarn, (or the sale is really good), I'll buy more than one color.
  • Most of my Rowan / RYC yarn is aran - chunky weight.
  • In one of my earlier posts, there is a photo of my yarn closet. (not all of my yarn is visible in the photo )

At this very moment I have absolutely NO idea how many meters of yarn I have. I am off work the week of February 18 - 22, and will post results on Friday, February 22nd. Cut off for posting guesses will be midnight, Thursday, February 21st. Whoever comes closest, without going over, will win a full bag of Rowan yarn. If your guess is within 500 meters, I'll make it two full bags. (type and color to be determined while I am taking inventory.)

Have fun, and good luck!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Knitting in a winter wonderland

I went to see Cloverfield this morning, and when I walked outside the theater...... SNOW!!!!! (OK, not too big a surprise. we knew it was coming.)

It doesn't snow all that often here in the Atlanta area, and it's snowed twice in less than a week. I'm a transplanted Yankee, so I don't realize how much I miss it until it snows again. It also gave me a chance to take the new camera outside and play a little bit. Here's our house from the street.

Here are some very unhappy Daffodils. The variety is 'Rijnvelds Early Sensation'. I had them in bloom before Christmas last year, so I guess they were a little late this year.

Here's the Japanese Camellia bush on the side of the house. I'm not sure of the variety name, but it's an early bloomer, and I usually don't make it around to this side of the house to see it until it's done blooming.

OK, so I'm in for the rest of the day. I've got knitting to do. I talked to my Mom this morning and found out that my niece, although she is not yet in labor, is dilated to 3 cm. The baby blanket? I'm not quite halfway finished.

I have been knitting. I finished my hand warmers, inspired by the movie Sweeny Todd. I used 1 entire ball of Rowan Cocoon, and by that I mean I had about 18" of yarn to spare. I just made up the pattern, and after I figured out the thumb gusset, they weren't too difficult.

These should do the trick if I need to go back outside anytime today. As for now, I'm going to put my feet up, sit by the fire, and knit some mindless garter stitch. Gotta rest up. Valentine's Day is just a few weeks away.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Getting fleeced

If you've been reading my blog, (what few posts I have written), I'm sure you've heard about the Icelandic ewe I adopted for a year. Her name is Chloe. During the course of the year, you get these great little quarterly newsletters telling you what's going on with the your sheep and the flock, sheep's milk soap, (Icelandics are exceptionally good milkers), and the latest photos of your ewe. My last photo of Chloe showed her after shearing. The grand culmination of the year of adoption, what we've all been waiting for, is the arrival of Chloe's yarn. The yarn was originally supposed to be spun into yarn at the mill where the fleece was processed. In December I found out that the mill no longer spins yarn in lots of less than 10 lbs. I was offered either the processed roving that I would then have to find someone to spin for me, and a small refund for the difference, OR, the shepherdess offered to hand spin it into yarn herself. I thought, "What could be better than this!?" "She has sheep." "She has a wheel." "She must know what she is doing." I requested a worsted, loosely spun, single, similar to Lopi Lite. When I first opened the box on Saturday, I was immediately taken by the beauty and softness of the yarn. It's a beautiful light grey with darker grey heathering. It is SO much softer than the commercial lopi yarns I am used to. The only problem is the weight. It is VERY thick. Much too thick for the Aran V-neck pullover I was planning to use it for. It's more like a bulky or chunky. It's about the same thickness and loft of Rowan's Big Wool. Here's a picture. Those are US size 13 needles.

I've talked to some spinners, and found out that it can't be un-spun and re-spun in a thinner weight. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. I live in Hotlanta. There are about 3 days out of the year when I can wear something that heavy. I don't even like knitting with big thick yarn and needles. It's just a big let down, after waiting a year, and ending up with something you can't use. (and it wasn't cheap either) I almost wish I had gotten the roving and then paid someone locally to spin it for me. Oh well, too late now. Live and learn. I guess I can always move to Alaska!

On a lighter note, I have finished my first project for the Ravely group Mission: Possible 2008! It is my LSU scarf, originally intended as a Christmas gift. (didn't quite make it, did I?) I'm sure it will be appreciated, even though they have already played their bowl game against Ohio State. (LSU won)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Knitting from stash

It is a brand new year, and I am faced with a stash larger than a couple of LYSs I know. (what can I say, I can't resist a bargain...) I have joined the new Ravelry group, Mission: Possible 2008, where I have to come up with 12 projects, knitted from stash, and finish them before year's end. These can be projects that have already been started, and only need minor finishing, to projects that are still in the planning stages. The idea here is to use up that stash! My problem is, I have come up with WAY more than 12 projects, and I need a little help paring the list down so it won't become Mission: Impossible! Here they are in no particular order:

  1. My first pair of socks. Started over two years ago, and one kitchenered toe away from being a complete pair. I'm pretty sure this one is in.
  2. Branching Out from Knitty. This pattern has nearly put me off ever trying lace again. I know it is not that difficult, it's just this thing I have with lace. (we hate each other) Still..... it is nearly finished, so I'm pretty sure this one is in.
  3. Sweater for Andrew. He picked out the pattern, and I bought the yarn over a year ago. (Knit Picks Swish in black) I've decided to modify the pattern, so I need to rip what little I have already started. He's tall and thin and will look awesome in this sweater, so it shouldn't take me too long to knit.
  4. Hand warmers. I loved the ones Johnny Depp wore in Sweeny Todd, so I am attempting to recreate them. I bought a ball of Rowan Cocoon last night, so I guess that has become "officially" a part of the stash. (I know, that's not the idea....)
  5. Lace shawl for Beth. (what... did he say lace!?) Yeah, I know, but this pattern looks do-able, even for me. The pattern was from a past issue of Knit Simple, and I picked up some Acero from Brooks Farm at SAFF last fall specifically for this project.
  6. Market Squares Bag. Started last year before The Mountain, and has finally been felted and blocked. Just need to sew on the handles.
  7. WVU Baby Blanket. Has already been started, and my niece's baby is due in February, so this one is in. Knitted in gold and navy Fantasy by Dark Horse Yarns.
  8. LSU Scarf. For a good friend of mine who is a loyal LSU fan. I hope to have complete before they play Ohio State on Monday. (look at me, I'm blogging, and I should be knitting!)
  9. Felted Sheep. Fiber Trends Pattern. Cute as can be! Knitted in Lamb's Pride Bulky. Need to finish the knitting, felt it, stuff it, and sew it up.
  10. Elizabeth Zimmerman's Pi Shawl. Habu undyed merino, fingering weight.
  11. Chloe Dress. A pattern by Beth Brown-Reinsel for my niece's first child, Gracie. I bought some soft lavender, Jaeger, sport weight, washable wool yarn from WEBS last year for this project.
  12. Round-yoked Icelandic Sweater. I'll be using one of the Lopi patterns from Reynolds, but I'm going to use either Rowan Polar, or Rowan Soft Tweed instead of Lopi.
  13. Entrelac sweater. My own, (very simple), design. I'll probably use Noro Silk Garden, or maybe Kureyon. Would like to have completed before SAFF this year.
  14. Shawl Collar Cardigan. Knitting Pure and Simple pattern, using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran.
  15. Cabled V-neck Pullover Vest. I have no pattern, so I may improvise one. I want to use my Icelandic handspun from my adopted sheep for this one.
  16. Christmas Stockings. I bought 3 Christmas stocking books on sale last year right after Christmas, but still no stockings! Not sure what yarn I will use, but I'm sure I can find something. Would like to knit one for me, Beth, and Andrew.
  17. Simple Top-down Raglan. I bought enough sport weight, tweed, alpaca to do a sweater big enough to fit me. Of course I got it at SAFF the year before last, and I think it's about time I used it!
  18. Top-down, Saddle-shoulder Aran Gansey. I've been wanting to do this ever since I took Beth Brown-Reinsel's class last year. I plan on using the Knit Picks undyed worsted wool. Of course this one is going to take a lot of planning and design work on my part, so I may not get to it this year.
  19. Felted Backpack. My own design. I plan on using some New Zealand wool I bought on eBay two years. It was cheap, and I bought several colors by the pound. (I'm not saying how many pounds.) It's not very soft, but felts like a dream.
  20. Felted Slippers. Fiber Trends pattern. I'll probably use some of the Cascade 220 I have stashed, or the above mentioned New Zealand wool.

OK, that's all I can think of right off the top of my head. I'm sure I would be reminded of more if I started looking through my books and patterns. Oh, did I mention this part of Mission: Possible 2008? If you don't finish a project, you have to GIVE THE YARN AWAY!!!!!! (kinda makes me wish I had some Red Heart in the stash) So I have to seriously sit down and come up with a list that I can do. I don't want to have to say good-bye to any of my yarn. I've had some of it so long it has become like family.

Oh, and I noticed in the rules that nowhere does it state that I can not continue to ADD to my stash. (yeah, yeah, I know.....)