Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Day Tour de Fleece and Beyond.....

Sunday I spent the greater portion of the day spinning trying to get Karma Chameleon done. Here is what I ended up with by the end of the day:

Submissions close on Friday for Challenge Day and currently we are doing pretty good vote wise. I hope this next week of voting just continues to help improve our odds on winning. Is that awful of me that I'd like to win something?

Along the way movies were watched along with episodes of Stargate SG-1 season 1. Just a couple more of those left and then it's on to season 2.

I couldn't resist finishing up the Basket Rib Hand Towel:

I also couldn't resist trying out Deep Blue Sea and seeing how it knits up, the background doesn't help the colors:
WIP-DeepBlueSeaSinuate-1 This is one chart of the Sinuate pattern by Marnie Maclean. I've added another repeat and blocked it to see how it is. I think I'll keep going.

We had little visitors to the pond that I don't recognize. I'm wondering if one of their relatives was an escaped parakeet:NameTheBirds-1 Do you have a name for them?

Drop spindling is time intensive. It wasn't until Wednesday afternoon that I finished up all the roving into singles:
I then started plying them and even took them to the Wednesday night Sip n' Stitch at Hagen's and continued plying there. I was able to also show Judy and Mac what it looked like.

It's now Thursday and I plan on taking it with me to Insomnia for the Thursday group to hopefully finally get it finished up. I made one of my shoe boxes into a Lazy Kate and it seems to be working much better than the last plying session. I have Brandon tasked with making a drop spindle lazy Kate. He's working on it. The ladies at school are eager to see the finished yarn and what kind of project it can be made in to, so no pressure or anything. Summer school is done this next Thursday so I'll have to find a project for it also and at least start it so I can show why handspinning can be fun.

The rain and clouds were nice earlier in the week. Now we're back into sunny weather and warm, hopefully not too warm again!

School wise things were much better this week. My student likes the computer time-walk schedule that we have going and was even really happy and holding my arm several times today. Hopefully we can end the summer on a positive note.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stage 19 & 20 and Challenge Day Prize

Stage 19 - Friday - I did an hour of spinning in the morning with Karma and then Will and I ran his errands. After dinner was made, homemade chili and cornbread, and eaten, and while watching Juno I spun for another two hours.

Stage 20 - Saturday - Time Trial - I got up and started spinning after doing the dishes. Spun for a couple of hours, got caught up on reading and also posting Deep Blue Sea in the Challenge Day Prize Contest in the Tour de Fleece 2008. The link is good if you're a Ravelry member. The contest ends on August 1st so I'll have a long wait to find out if we are good enough to win. Heck it was just cool to be able to enter, you had to have a completed yarn done.

I've spent another three hours spinning on Karma Chameleon while watching TV. I've only gotten two more blocks blocked today. Lots of cloud coverage and just a little bit of a breeze. The second one took hours longer than the first that had more sun. I'll wait to put out block 19 until tomorrow with hopes of more sunshine. Since this is a Time Trial day, I'm going to try for a few more hours tonight spinning. The left thumb is still feeling sore but I'm learning to hold it in a different position.

Another break to get dinner started, homemade chicken enchiladas, and starting some mustard. Yup, you read correctly, mustard. I made homemade mustards for Christmas last year, and they turned out well. I have some mustard seeds left and so I started two batches.

One is a German based one - dark beer is part of it. I did have a dark beer in the refrigerator, but it's Belgian and Raspberry flavored. I think it will still work. ;^) The other is kind of French, since it has sherry. Again, I didn't have sherry on hand, but I did have some Spanish sherry, Marsala. The seeds have to soak in the liquids for 48 hours and soften up as well as soak up the liquids goodness. Then they are blended with some additional seasonings and called good. You can use them immediately, but like other things, often taste better if allowed to age for a week or more.

I still have 27 Dresses and Atonement DVDs to watch, not sure though that the boys will be willing to join in though. The boys are currently playing D&D out in the garage. Something about more space, but there is a distinct lack of air conditioning.

Sometime tomorrow I need to get out into the garage. Brandon on Friday put legs on to my desktop. I now need to stain the legs and then put the sealant on. I'm going to add more to the desktop because I'm not happy with how it's not keeping the dust repelled. This I think will put us closer to rearranging the rooms where the computers are and my sewing/craft stuff.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Stage 17 finished plying, Stage 18 back to Karma

So Wednesday was a good day in many ways. I had a good day with my autistic student as school - yea! I also finished plying up the BFL and then with Brandon's help getting it off the spindle and on to the swift so that it could be wrapped for a wash set of the twist.

I just got that all done when it was time to head out for a busy evening. First stop was LaHaie's to pick up Will's lettermen's jacket. He'd gotten at the end of the year the wrestling patches and then also adding in his track patch. So the jacket is complete for his athletic career. From there it was a quick stop at the library to drop off movies and pick up books and then on to Judy's to drop off Brandon. I then headed over to the Jo-Ann Superstore so that I could pick up supplies to send off to my Dishcloth Swap Giftee. A quick swing through KFC for a few snackers and cole slaw and I headed over to Hagen's to meet up with the Sip n' Stitch ladies. I worked more on my Basket Rib Hand Towel as a nice easy not to mess up while talking and listening project.

I also finally have photos of what I received in the Dishcloth Swap Exchange:

Thursday I picked up my Karma Chameleon spindle along with some KC roving and took it to school to show one of the ladies there. She works in the Transitions Program through the district and from what I described to her thought it might be something that some of the kids might be able to do. So I gave her a demonstration, then ended up giving another demonstration again later to a few more co-workers. One lady was amazed when I told her that I had knitted the socks that I was wearing that day.

I came home at lunch and then finally got the BFL in a wash, swish out moisture then set it up to hang dry outside. There was just a faint tinge of blue to the water. I also set another block of the CLR out to dry/block. Down to just four left to do and the blocking will be caught up. I just need to finish the last couple of blocks this weekend. I spent a bit of time spinning more Karma too.

I snipped some fresh lavender for the Insomnia ladies and then headed over. We had a nice chatty session of knitting, beverages and discussions. Tammy had brought The Eclectic Sole and Little Box of Socks. Must have both of them! The 'box of socks' is cool. It really is a box that has the socks on card stock and one for each sock design. There are twenty designs so at just under $20 a really good deal, a great deal if you order through Amazon at the lower rate too.

I came home and rotated the BFL for drying in the sun to get all of it dry. Brought in the one block and setup another to start drying. I found out this morning that I forgot about it and left it outside over night. Thankfully no bird poop was found on it this morning. I did bring the BFL in and since it was still damp, popped it back on my swift to finish drying overnight.

It's all done and I introduce to you, Deep Blue Sea:

I scored last night at the library and picked up four movies: Sweeney Todd (boys liked it, me not so much, thankfully I could spin through a greater portion of the movie), Atonement, 27 Dresses and Juno. I've now spent the morning on sleeping in, photos, catching up on the blog. Still need to do banking, shopping, mailing my exchange package (after I photograph it all), drop off stuff at the library and I think a trip out to the financial aid office at PCC. We'll also most likely watch Juno tonight. I'm also going to try to get the rest of the CLR's blocked today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Stage 16 plying

Okay, I finally figured out that my days weren't coming out correctly. I was seeing Star start out with days, then somewhere switched to stages and I got mixed up on the count. Today really is day 18 but stage 16. I think because of those 2 rest days?

I finished spinning up the BFL earlier. Took a little break then got them both off of their spindles, after of course taking pictures of them. I have them on little cardboard tubes but couldn't find planter pots to help out with the plying.

I think I have about half of it plied. I can definitely tell the different spindles. My first one has more thick and thins than the second one does. I was much more consistent with keeping the spin thin. I hope to get it all plied up tomorrow. Not as fast as I had hoped.

The new spindle has awesome spin! Lot less work than the other two donuts. I'm definitely going to use it for Hydrangea. If I weren't thinking of plying it on itself, I'd also use it for Karma.

No knitting and no blocking. We've had overcast skies today and I got so caught up in the plying setup and then the actual plying that is all I've done today. Which also means that while I took some pictures, I haven't taken them off of the camera.

Tomorrow night, Wednesday I'll take Brandon over to his mom's for socializing and I'll head over to Hagen's for my knit socializing.

Finished up Small Favor late last night. That last 50 pages where the author sucks you in wrapping things up and you can't put the book down syndrome. I'd hoped to get to the library this afternoon to pick up books waiting there, but as mentioned above plying happened. ;^)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day 15 & Rest Day

Sunday I spent a lot of time spinning. I also spent a lot of time blocking blocks. Made use of the sun and any wind and had them dry a little faster I think. In between there was of course dishwashing, finishing up laundry.

Before it got too dark last night and while it was cooler, I popped Nessa up on the table on the patio and trimmed her now. She's looking good in her Schnauzer cut. Still need to do Norbert, but he'll probably have to wait until later in the week.

The last part of school this morning was interesting. I ended up being a punching bag for one of my students. He has behavior issues and had been a little bit more agitated today, but just lost it when it was time to go home. Sure knows how to pinch and luckily was keeping the hits to flat hand rather than punching. Probably won't know for sure about any bruising until tomorrow. I'm going to try not to hold it against him, but I'll have to come up with a new plan for how we do things.

Brandon does think he broke a bone on the top of his foot. Of course if we took him in for confirmation, they would tell him to stay off it as much as possible, possibly give him a walking cast or just do what we have done - ace bandage it. He has done better over the weekend about staying off it and icing.

Today was also the last Rest Day for Tour de France/Fleece. I though did not rest. I started the day with three bundles of sliver to work and managed to get two of them done before my hand started tingling. Tough as it was to do, I set it aside and rested.

I did do one more color row on the CLR, and started the next to the last color for that block. Just two colors left and block 19 will be done. Then one block left. I also got three blocks blocked today for a total of eleven of them blocked. I need to set a timer to go check them.

Tomorrow I should be able to finish the last of the BFL. Then it will be winding them off the drop spindles and getting setup to ply them together. I'm going to try using pots and pulling out of the center holes in the bottom to hold the balls of yarn while I ply. Then winding off the drop spindle again and setting the ply. I really want to know how much yardage I'll get.

Pictures of lots of things coming up tomorrow!

ETA: I keep forgetting to add, since it's summer, and there's a total lack of TV. I've taken advantage of the SCI-FI channel and have been loading up on Stargate SG-1. I think it's because, Brandon told me this, that they came out on like Showtime, that I never got started on it when it first came out years ago. It's interesting getting them in a hodge-podge sort of order. I've seen episodes here and there and then pieced what happened. We're trying to watch them now chronologically.

Tonight though the movie watching was Nick Cage's "Next", not bad really. First though we had watched "The Painted Veil", Ed Norton and Naomi Watts. I wonder if that's where Naomi and Liev hooked up? Interesting movie too.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Domestic Goddess & Day 14

Today has been busy and productive, all without leaving the house. ;^) A blog post in progress throughout the day:

Get up, wash dishes, see that the potatoes really need to be used up before they go bad. Only three left so add those and eggs to a pot of water to boil away for potato salad. Decide that I'm on a roll so make pancakes for breakfast. More dish washing.

Have towels that need to be washed so check the drier, those clothes aren't ready yet, so start another wash load. Since sink is now clean and empty grab one of the Cascade Lizard Ridge blocks and get it wet so it can be blocked. Pull out the fabric pad that I got for quilting and using the mini-iron that has handy grid lines on it to block the block. Set outside to sun/air dry. Please don't tell me this is bad for the yarn!


Grab camera and take pictures of some of the backyard, the dried first block, and the finished BFL from last night. Come back in and make up the potato salad and a pastrami sandwich. Get second block blocking.


Brandon had dropped a piece of wood on his foot Thursday. Doesn't think anything is broken. That night has a lovely bruise from where it hit that he does ice a bit. Spends Friday outside doing stuff around the yard and more time upright on the foot than he should have. Today, instead of gaming with Luke and Will, he's got his foot finally elevated and icing (RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). He'd been using his shoe for the compression, but totally skipping all the rest until I strongly suggested that he do that. Foot looks worse with the bruising around it that probably came from being on it yesterday. Men!

Since he's not gaming I'll watch some shows with him and spin. The boys are on the xbox gaming until their 4:10pm showing of Wall-e. Off to eat that sandwich....

A few hours later....I've done more dishes, the second block is done drying and I have a third one drying. I've divided up the BFL into eight little bundles and have spun up two and started a third. Good progress there.

CLR-BlockPurplesETA: sorry, the photo that was here was deleted to make space on Flickr, I refuse to pay for the Pro service when I'm already paying for a web site....

Put on my landscaping hat, really clippers, and finished up the bushes in the front yard and moved into the backyard. Trimming up berry bushes: blueberry, honeyberry and gooseberry, as well as the grape vines that were running rampant. Speaking of rampant vines the hardy kiwi was also running amok so trimmed it back as best I could. When Will mows the lawn tomorrow he'll mulch all that into the grass.

The CLR blocks are blocking out at 10"x15" so a little longer and narrower than gauge. Well the three so far, and since they lay like the others, I imagine they all will block this way.

I've heated up the leftover Papa Murphy Chicago Stuffed Pizza for dinner, off to eat that and continue spending time with Brandon and spinning the BFL. The boys are back from the movie and in painting their figurines.

Not a bad day.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sore fingers - Day 13 Tour de Fleece

I spent a couple of hours working on the last of the BFL from the first sliver. It's all done and looking pretty good. Unfortunately I finished just as it was starting to get dark, so no good pictures. I'll take those tomorrow and post the update view. I have a second drop spindle planned to work with the second one that way I can use my high tech shoe box lazy kate to get them both off and plied.

I'm tempted to break things up tomorrow and spend more time working with Karma. I'll try to be dedicated though and continue working with the BFL. Really should come up with a name for it too.

While waiting in line last night by the light of a parking lot light I cast on the Basket Rib Hand Towel using the Coral Cotlin out of my Summer Sampler from Knit Picks (it's the center top one). It was a nice light color and a simple pattern. Yes, the Cascade Lizard Ridge is an easy pattern but takes too much counting to work easily while standing in the dark.

Dark Knight really is a must see movie if you like the fantasy genre at all. Heath Ledger really did an awesome job as the Joker. It really was an amazing movie for holding your attention through the whole two plus hours. Go see it! Well if you can, they're saying that if you don't already have tickets you won't be able to see if for several weeks because tickets are pre-sold out. Wow!

I did add a few rows in the car this afternoon while driving with Will on his errands. It's a nice easy pattern and the Cotlin feels nice to work with.

Since we went to PCC Rock Creek Campus and were by The Knitting Bee I popped in to try to pick up some Cascade 220 for the border and the seaming. Stephanie thought the blocks looked nice and is looking forward to seeing the finished project but suggested that I wait until I have it all seamed together and bring it in to pick out the border color then. Something about it being easier to tell what would look well against the whole from her experience with quilting. She's a different quilter than I am. I usually planned ahead and bought my border and backing at the same time as I picked up my block material. Obviously different styles but thought she might have something so left without buying yarn. Yes, you read that correctly. No new yarn came home with me. ;^)

A trip to Home Depot and lots of effort looking in various locations of the store finally yielded a black plastic grommet for one of my last to be put together drop spindles. No that's not true, there's a green donut that didn't sit correctly and needs to be re-glued to the dowel. I need Brandon to pre-drill a hole in the dowel for me and I need to polyurethane the dowel and it will be ready for use. I think I'll save it for the Hydrangea. I'll have a picture of it completed soon, but may wait to post until I have some yarn on it so I can safely put in my 'stash' at Ravelry. I'm walking the line with my stitch markers in there. ;^)

Going to bed early to catch up on sleep but also to get some good reading time in on Small Favors. I really enjoy The Dresden Files world. It was one of the series I was just recommending to my mom as well as Kim Harrison's Rachel Morgan series, oh and Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan series. I had already gotten her started on Kay Hooper's Bishop series and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.

Hopefully fun things tomorrow, so we'll have to wait and find out about those - Good night!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Day 12 Tour de Fleece, KiP, Dark Knight

Wednesday was a busy day!

Work in the morning, come home and eat lunch. Spin a bit on the BFL and then change clothes. Go outside with Brandon and trim up the dogwood shrubs, fig, my black currant, roses, thyme, and the privets. It was just a bit warm too. I still have a couple of bushes near the front window that need to be trimmed/shaped up. Those are for Friday or Sunday depending on schedules.

Took a quick shower and read a few pages more of Small Favor, before taking Brandon to his mom's house for dinner and grandfather socialization. I headed over to Hagen's for dinner and knitting with the PDXKnitBlogger ladies. The chicken terriyaki was just a little salty, so only nibbled at dinner.

I had already planned with Sharon (Stitchjones) to buy another merino roving from her, that Hydrangea I pointed to a couple weeks ago. I got to see the 'Never Not Knitting' go around, but never actually get to hold it. As well as the The Eclectic Sole book. Bobbie did flash a few of the socks shown in it, enough that I'll see if I can talk the library into getting a copy. I worked on block 19 of the CLR.

Dreading that blocking and seaming that is rapidly approaching....

Thursday I put in another hour or so on the BFL. I just have four little bundles left to work on and that one will be finished. I think I can get it all on this one spindle. I have another spindle I can do the second BFL with and then work to ply them together. I'm getting into the flow of the thin spin, so might end up with a lace or fingering weight yarn out of this if things go well.

I was distracted by a prolonged phone call with my mother. My grandmother had gone in to get a pacemaker yesterday and mom had an argument with her this morning about me. Grandma just turned 84 on Sunday and has lung cancer that was diagnosed last fall. Throw in that she was also diagnosed with Alzheimer's not too long after that. (Little background for what happens next). So mom called me this morning, but I'd left my phone at home while I was at work. Turns out that grandma was pretty adamant that she had seen and talked with me this morning, in Reno, in the hospital. So I gave grandma a call and said that while I would have loved to have been down there more than in my thoughts, I was at home in Hillsboro. I had to go through this a few more times that I hadn't been down there, but that it was good to hear that I was looking good. ;^)

So I didn't get the spinning in that I wanted but I did have an entertaining afternoon.

Tonight we're taking the boys to a midnight showing, courtesy of the Rick Emerson Show, in Tigard. I'm going to go take a nap so that I'm not yawning through the show. I have a hand towel using my Knit Picks peach colored Cotlin planned as my entertainment since Brandon wants to be there by 10:30. We have the tickets from Fandango, so I think its all about seating.

ETA: All of this has changed once we found out they had doubled the price of tickets to $20 per person.

Not happening - Saturday we plan on heading over to Gresham for the Portland Highland Games for our third year in a row. Nick & Jesse apparently are low on funds, live in Gresham and so want Brandon, Will and Luke to come over to game over there. Me? Not so much. I'm in search of a place to hang out for a few hours knitting or spinning that won't cost me a lot to hang. I may need to check with the Aunt who also lives there and see if I can freeload off of her.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Day 11 Tour de Fleece

Yawn, I'm tired. I think all that concentrating has worn my brain out. I came home this afternoon with intention of working some more on my BFL. Then I saw my purple glass spindle that has just been waiting for me to put a hook on it. So I thought 'why not?' and found a paper clip, end cap, and some glue. I tried wood glue first, so allowed it an hour or so to dry. Came back to check and it seemed like it was in place so I thought I'd try out that Karma Chameleon that I picked up from Sharon yesterday.

Oh my that's a long piece of roving! I haven't put them side by side lengthwise but probably double if not triple the length of the BFL. So the 'little bit' that I disconnected from the whole as a lengthwise strip, yeah that kept me busy for two hours! It was a fun two hours though. My fingers on both hands as well as arms, back and legs are a little sore. I have been sitting on the edge of the couch so that I can park the spindle between my feet between drafting. Yea, I'm still parking and drafting. It works and until I can get a wheel I'll probably still do it. It's allowing me the control to get some nice thin singles I think.

I'm liking the merino so much that I'm going to take advantage of Sharon's sale on roving ($10 on all her roving stock) and pick up Hydrangea, tomorrow night at Hagen's. Another reason to make it to the knit night there. ;^)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Day 10 Tour de Fleece 2008

Last night I started the Fleece Artist BFL and put in two hours. Today I've put in another two hours. I have this much done so far:

I'm pretty happy with it. The big decision will be either keeping it as a single or how well the second one comes out and plying it. Not something I have to worry about right now though.

As promised here's pics of the skeins:
HabuCorriedale-Skeined-1 Habu Green Tea Corriedale from Knit/Purl

HabuCorriedale-RomneyHandspuns-Skeined-1 Habu Natural Romney from Knit/Purl and Natural Corriedale and unknown source of pencil roving from an April drop spindle class at The Knitting Bee.

I'm going to try to get more spinning done later tonight. I also did stop and get a roving from Sharon this afternoon. The Karma Chameleon - lime green, yellow, red/orange. It's wild. It's a merino and so another new spinning experience to look forward to. It's for in case I do get the BFL done before the end of the race.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Day 9 of Tour de Fleece 2008

Today found me measuring out the Habu Green Tea Corriedale. I have 14 yards from my 1/2 ounce and 11 wraps per inch giving me a nice DK weight yarn. What to do with it? I have no idea currently. ;^)

The Natural Corriedale-Romney-Mystery Colored Pencil Roving gave me 31.4 yards and 8 or 9 wraps per inch - in the smaller areas so an Aran weight to Bulky weight yarn that I also have no idea what to do with.

I still need to take pictures of them in their skein bundles, most likely tomorrow.

For actual spinning I did break out the Blue Face and started working with it. I spun for about two hours while watching TV. I was taking it slow so I could get a nice thin spin. Aiming for a possible single at lace weight or a double ply at most likely a DK again. I'll see once I get done with it all what I want to do with it. I had originally thought I might like to try to make socks, but since there is an absence of nylon, probably not a good idea.

I also sent a message to StitchJones, aka Sharon, whom I worked with briefly at Lingo Systems, about a roving she has on sale. It's a color combination I normally wouldn't go for, but it's a great price that I could really use to practice the spinning with. So it would be a 'fun' yarn creation. We'll see if I can pick it up tomorrow. I know the idea is to only use from stash, but since I had a very small stash that I'll most likely run out of before the end of the race, it's worth getting.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Forgotten things....

Thursday afternoon was spent knitting and talking at Insomnia. Alyssa, Jeanette, and Michael were able to make it there. Jeanette is making progress with mastering dishcloths and Alyssa and Michael were busy at work on their socks. Me? I finished up block 16 on the Cascade Lizard Ridge and started block 17 - yea! Only three more blocks to go!

There is the nasty bit of the need to block them and then start seaming them into strips and then seaming the strips together before it is a complete blanket, but I have that firmly blocked out of my mind for now. ;^)

I took advantage of two things: it's not currently in use, or need to be in use, and I had my bottle of Eucalan out so Brandon's Basketweave Scarf:
received a soak in it. Not only does it make it clean, not that it was really dirty, but it is also supposed to have some 'softening' ability to scratchy wool items. It was made from Lamb's Pride Worsted so a 70% wool/30% mohair blend that felt soft to the touch. Apparently worn wrapped around the neck it also becomes slightly scratchy. This will hopefully fix that.

Currently, it's hanging across the garden bench to dry. I think it's windy enough and late enough in the day that the blue birds shouldn't leave any presents. Must remember to bring it in once its dark. I know we have squirrels in the neighborhood, but I'm not sure if they are like the 'wool stealing' ones that live in the Toronto area.

Now must remember where the mist bottle is hiding or procure one tomorrow so that I can 'mist' rather than 'soak' the blocks to be blocked.

I'd really like to buy at least two flats of raspberries for jam making, but they are going for an outrageous $30 a flat. Well raspberries aren't the only berry going for that rate, but still! I passed a lady today coming from the Hillsboro Farmers Market and asked her how much she paid for her flat (she also had two) and she said $30, so I went home and called Hoffman Farms and Smith Berry Barn to find out that was pretty much the going rate. I'll have to think about getting my raspberries now, or go for the September crop....

I also need some jam jars I think. There's also the apricot-habenero pepper jam (think jams like these, but why should I pay for them when I can make my own?) that I make, plus the peach-pepper jam, salsa that will also need jars. I've been giving them out as gifts but haven't seen the empty jars come back like I have in years past. They must not understand that they get more if they return the jars. ;^)

Last picture of the cotton dishcloths knitted this month. I had forgotten how sore they can make your arms while knitting them though....

Days 5, 6, 7 & 8 and a Bead Faire

So days 5 and 6 found me with a migraine after working in the morning. They were muscle triggered. I had a muscle group in my right shoulder that were triggering pain up my neck into my head. So not your typical migraine but they weren't going away with massage or the use of a vicodin. So there wasn't even knitting going on those days.

Days 7 and 8 I got the last of the Habu Romney and Corriedale all spun up. They are currently drying in skeins. Yup! I even have them plied. The Green Tea Corriedale doesn't have much, but then since I was only working with 1/2 an ounce, I'm happy with what I got. I still need to measure to see how much yardage/wpi I have.

I took this:

and the two on the right of this:

along with all of this, all plied (but forgot to take a picture of that!):

and then found that some of it wasn't plied together correctly because I re-plied it all together to get this:

They are all washed to set the twist and drying on my swift as what will be one skein of yarn. Okay, it will be a most interesting skein what with the color in the middle along with the white twist, but should make an good hat, if there's enough yardage. Will need to see how much combining the bits and pieces all together gets me.

Brandon and I went to the Bead show in May when it was at the Washington County Fairgrounds. We had paid $5 each to get in and they gave us coupons to get in free to the next show. The next show is this weekend at the Portland Convention Center. We hoped on MAX yesterday afternoon and went to check things out. I had a few things in mind, but nothing set in stone. I used my time on MAX to start another Chinese Wave Dishcloth. I worked on it there and back and had 90% of it done to show for my time on the ride. Here it is:

I picked up some magnet clasps so I can use for two projects (anklet and something else). I also found a pretty curve carved rose quartz massage wand for only $6. Previous tables had just plain rose quartz wands for $15, so an awesome deal! No pics of it, sorry, enough of those already. ;^)

Day 9 will see me breaking out my Fleece Artist Blue Face Leicester sliver to start spinning that. After all it is all that is left in my stash! I have hopes for a really fine spin and ply for these two bundles. I'm going to go slow and put in a lot of effort to get that, so there may not be lots of progress unless things go well.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Days 3 & 4 and more

Day three of Tour de Fleece I tried out another one of the new drop spindles. Not a lot put onto the spindle though. I just couldn't seem to get into a flow. I did finish all dishcloths though. Photos are up in Flickr and updated at Ravelry.

I also put in a couple rows on block 15 of the Cascade Lizard Ridge afghan. It's one of the blocks that I've actually 'tried' to do a color scheme with. I started out with my greens and flowed into blues and will end with the yellows. I'll probably do something similar with the purples.

Day four of Tour de Fleece I thought to try something other than the corriedale. I remembered I had some romney left of the little sample I picked up at Knit/Purl. I used that all up. So tomorrow it will be back to finishing up the corriedale.

More work tonight on blocks, finish 15 and start 16.

Yesterday afternoon I also found out that the job I interviewed for went to someone else. It was a 'Media Assistant' position for a new elementary school in Cornelius. It would have used my degree, but wasn't meant to be. The principal had suggested at the beginning of the interview that she had another full-time position that she thought I might be good for. I'm not sure if that was a subtle code for, I have someone else that I'll probably have to hire because they are already in district, but would like to hire you. We'll have to see when that other position comes up.

Day two of the new summer position working with developmentally delayed kids in the morning. I think one of the boys came to school with a slight cold because I came home yesterday with a sore throat, fell asleep on the couch and went to read in bed and fell asleep there too. Day seemed to go by quicker today too. Day is three and a half hours before noon Monday through Thursday, so short days.

I've started Damien, book four by Jacquelyn Frank and for some reason just having a hard time getting into the story. Thankfully, it is a library book. Brandon is finally reading the Jim Butcher book, Small Favors. It's one I'm looking forward to reading also. I may just bounce over to Kelly Armstrong's Personal Demon, since it too has been collecting dust as it gets bounced in the queue for library books.

Need to go do some dishes, cook dinner and get back to the knitting...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Day 2

Day 2 of Tour de Fleece and I finally have some spinning done!

My migraine is better today. I worked on the drop spindles - little steel wool on the finish then a quick wipe with the stain again. Let them dry. Brandon drilled little holes for the paper clip hooks that I made for them. Also added end caps to make them look nice. I still need to take pictures.

I had gotten some corriedale from Knit/Purl that I originally planned to send off to my Gemini swap person. Since the Habu really wasn't local, I opted instead to send some nice handmade chocolates that were made by Moonstruck. Still need to post pics of what I got and what was sent....

I pre-drafted the corriedale and have some of it spun. The drop spindle I was using seemed to work well. Very light! It seemed to have good spin. It's a little warm in here and the wool was making me warmer so before I started to felt things, I put it aside. I'll take photos tomorrow.

I finished two dishcloths for my swap, started another one too. I also hope to get over to the ceramics shop by The Knitting Bee this week to see how much a coffee mug would cost and how long it would take to get done. Stitch markers will of course be the easy part for me. She said no chocolate because of the melt factor.

I'll also need to get back to work on the Cascade Lizard Ridge. Hopefully these little projects will have been enough of a break to help me over this hump towards the end. When I check out the ceramics shop, I also hope to pick up the two skeins to do the binding for the blanket.

Did I share a link to the blue face? Mine looks like the blue-green up front. I have two of them. Still leaning towards getting this from Sharon too.

Notice I have the projects progress bars going? Got that working the other night working around the migraine. Took longer because of that to see that the code had an extra bracket that shouldn't have been there. You do have to be a Ravelry member to click the links and get more details, but you can click the button and sign up.

Talked to mom yesterday about starting her own business making liners for felted bags. Apparently this is a huge thing over the Bags, Bags, Bags forum. Someone paid a tailor $50 to have one made. Towards the end of the week when the budget can handle it, I'll ship her my tote that needs a liner to give her an example of what people are making and want linings for. Also suggested she become a Ravelry member so she can get connected. She hadn't signed up earlier but hopefully soon. Drawback will be her seeing my project page if I work on a project for her. So won't be able to use names sometimes. I know I'm not the only one with this as a problem. ;^)

Friday, July 4, 2008

worst day for a migraine

Today has got to be one of the worst ones for having a migraine. Neighbors letting off noisy ear drum piercing fireworks, okay they've been pretty good and with dusk starting it's starting to get noisy.

I think though with full dark and the neighborhood display that I will go back to the bedroom and continue reading Kim Harrison's Outlaw Demon Wails. The flash of fireworks would not set well and since I have also been strangely nauseous today with the migraine, not something I want to unbalance further.

Migraine does not equal knitting. Too difficult to concentrate well on stitches. Sigh. I also haven't done any of the planned work on my drop spindles so I can start trying them out for Tour de Fleece.

Speaking of Tour de Fleece, yesterday I must have had the precursor for my migraine because I totally missed that it goes through the month of July. I was thinking it was only three days. Oh well, this does allow me to improve. I have my two slivers and I've checked - Stitch Jones has at least one or two rovings that I like the colors of and she's local. I can arrange to drive over and pick one or two up. I could also get a hold of Carrissa Marie for one of hers too. Her punk pink and purple/black looks cool.

Dogs and I are off to the back bedroom....

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Tour de Fleece!

I have had some drop spindles just waiting for a hook to finish them. I even have sliver waiting to be used. What a nice alternative to starting a big project, something that I can do for bursts at a time and have fun doing.

There's a couple of days before it starts, July 5th. Anyone want to join in on the fun? Click on the image in the right bar and you can view the website and join up with Katherine.

It follows the Tour de France time line of July 5th - 27th.

ETA: oh yea, this is all The Yarn Harlot's fault. ;^) I'm doing this even though I donated to Claudia's MS Bike Ride from reading her blog and didn't win any of the fabulous prizes. I do have the satisfaction of knowing I helped contribute to a great cause. (My 'uncle' died from MS.) Wonder if this will be like the yarn/pattern runs she causes? ;^)

Lizard Ridge Progress

Sigh. I've just completed block 14. That means I only have 6 more to make and then I can start the task of piecing it all together. After it's all pieced together and I learn how to do the mattress stitch, it will still need to have it's border. I'm leaning toward the mitered border that some people have done. I think I'll need to get one skein for the border, two if I do a multicolor. Leaning towards one though.

I've enjoyed this as a project, but I'm ready for it to all be done too. I want to do something new. Resisting casting on a new project is difficult. I'm going to do that tomorrow though. I need to get a few dishcloths done for the dishcloth swap I signed up for. Plus I told Jeanette I'd show her some patterns at knit group tomorrow. So I have a legitimate excuse for starting a new project. ;^)

There are a few dishcloths in my 'Nifty Knit Dishcloth' booklet that haven't been done yet in Ravelry. I feel as volunteer editor for it that I have a responsibility to resolve those gaps. Giggle, yea, right. I just want to try them out. I've done the left twist but haven't done the right twist yet.

Did something today, but don't want to talk about it because it has seemed like every time I have in the past it acts like a jinx and doesn't come through.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Norbert and I were out of the house by 10:15 this morning. He had his last check-up for his ear to go through. He's finally clear of bacterial and viral bugs. Dr. Yung was happy because she could see down into his ear. That's the good news.

The bad news is that he doesn't currently have an ear drum, but she says it can grow back. Further bad news is that he has gunk in his middle ear that she would like to see flushed. They don't do that there so he would be referred out. I called to get a ballpark idea of what it would cost - $113 just for office visit to see status of ear and discuss further options. $300 - $1200 to do the flush (higher end I think includes the CT or CAT Scan the doctor may think needed).

The point of this would be to clean out the area that may be a rampant breeding ground for future infections. Norbert has a history of ear infections. I've narrowed it down to an allergy to things like - chicken, and turkey, or animals that have been fed a lot of corn. Yup! Corns on the list too as well as flax seed. I used to try to feed him a raw diet but ran into the issue of trying to find him something that wouldn't cause issues with his ears. So I found a nice high quality kibble that has no grains and has either beef or venison has the main protein source, he also likes the salmon. This can be surprisingly difficult to do because manufacturers slip in various forms of chicken (liver, vitamin E delivered via chicken fat are a couple) narrowing down my choices severely. Yes, I do a thorough reading of the entire contents list. We've settled on the Merrick beef and venison brands. It comes with dried apples, peas and carrots and I can add hot water to make a gravy and soft version to change things up.

If Norbert starts getting more than two or three ear infections in a year, Dr. Yung is going to suggest a TECA (they call it something that sounds like 'teekaboo') surgery. The surgeon was in today and she checked what the cost of that would be - ~$2500. After a little research, I'd check to see if a Lateral, would work for him. Though they don't consider it an option for cocker spaniels (his mother's side of his gene pool).

I received my dishcloth swap partner today. I have until the end of the month to come up with a gift package for someone in Texas, and a $15 suggested limit. Not including postage. Texas is going to be a heck of a lot cheaper to send to than Denmark! I'm looking forward to this, it should be fun. I have a few patterns in mind, need to search for one more and luckily has the same color tastes as I do.

I also found a source for the little devil rubber ducky and pencil toppers that I can make some dpn protectors with. Sure I could go the whole Home Depot route with the wire end cap version, but why not have some fun with the devil ducks? I did find that the Oriental Trading Company has these "Vinyl Neon Monkeys With Putty Eyes. Give ’em a squeeze to make their eyes bulge!" A dozen for only $5.99. Then I did a search on their site with just the word 'vinyl' and the first page has the same kind of thing except with hamburgers....or soccer cows, sailor pigs, bears - beanie wearing or rangers, carnival ducks or dentist ducks...clearly an untapped area of weirdness. I really do like the devil ducks, so will have to get a few of those.

Must get away from computer and get some knitting done. Well that and folding laundry, doing dishes, etc....