Monday, May 28, 2007

Its Done! First handpainted fiber spun up!

Well this is it,, the last day of vacation. Everything went well all week til Saturday. It was my niece's first birthday party,, family and I were all set to run into Brooklyn for it. We ran to the the Starbucks drive thru for some iced coffee's for the ride in (boy was it hot that day!). As we pulled into the order area,, hubby shut the car off so the Starbucks person could hear the order, rather than over our diesel car running. Place order, hubby goes to start the car. Nothing. Nada. Not even a click. Starter troubles. Hubby was not amused. We got the car over to a parking space, son picked up our iced coffees from the window, hubby proceeded to walk home to get our other car to push/start up mine. For people that dont know,, even with a dead starter,, in a stick shift car,,,, give it a nice push start while its in gear and it starts up.

Thats what hubby did but not before son and I were cooking in/out of the car in the Starbucks parking lot. At least I got some color. Just very sorry I missed my niece's party,, :( Happy Birthday Bryn!

So hubby did what all handy hubby's do,, he worked on the car Saturday,, he worked on the car Sunday,,,, and discovered it was a wire that came off on the starter,,,, he did a quick fix for now. I hope it holds.

Other than that, went to our friends next door yesterday for a BBQ and sort of repaid the favor,, by bringing a ton of food today back over to their house, and we BBQ'ed again. Just dont want to go back to work tomorrow! 10 days is not enough to be off! I want to just be able to enjoy this weather on my front or back porch,,,knitting and spinning and listening to all the birds around me. Retirement wont be here soon enough, sigh.

Talking about spinning,,,, I FINISHED! The Bobbin was done Saturday nite, guess it pays to be aggravated over car troubles,,, I just lost myself in my spinning to not think about it. And once that was done,,, I started navajo plying it yesterday,, till 4 am this morning, lol. Once I was up for good this morning, I worked on it off and on in about 3 sessions till it was done.

Here's my pics!

I tried so hard to get it all on the bobbin. I had to stop when it overflowed, and a strand started to get stuck in the gear of my Woolee Winder. This was all that was left on the orginal bobbin of singles on the right. So so close, lol.

Lesson learned tho,,,Must use Lendrum Plying head rather than Woolee Winder.

On the niddy noddy. This is on my large niddy now, 72" one wrap around (I am very tired right about now), so 235 wraps,, I have 470 yds of yarn? Like I said I am tired,, but happy if my math (which always sucked) is correct.

I had a few breaks here and there (talk about having a heart attack!)which I spit joined,,,I am very happy with the results tho.

Of course due to the flash it comes off much brighter. Must take a pic of it in the sunlight once it is all washed up!

I also have to do the WPI to see what it comes out to. I basically spun this nice and even this time,, but I do have some slightly thicker areas in it, not much tho.

I think most of it comes close to fingering weight. Slowly but surely,, slowly but surely.

Now the really hard part. What the hell do I make with it? Suggestions please!

Ciao for now!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Number 1,,, this is gonna be picture heavy,,, but not annoying as in those photobucket slide shows I had up prior.

I AM ON VACATION!!! No 4 words have ever sounded better than that right now. Only problem is I have to wait 4 1/2 more months to the last of this years vacation time,, but thats for 2 weeks and Rhinebeck falls in the middle!

So, lets see. I started off with having hubbys friend come in from Florida last week Thursday. He came up because he filed,,, as we did,(hubby and I)for the MTA Bridge and Tunnel Officer test, that was given on Sat, 5/19. I had taken the test a few years ago,, passed with flying colors,, (was 260 on a list of over 7 thousand test takers), But, sigh, when it came to the physical,, I didnt make it. It seems that at the time when I was called (2nd group to get called off of that test list), they had decided to change the physical. In a nutshell, they turned my physical into a real physical. But knowing what they want now,, I'm giving it a 2nd shot. If appt. and hired it'll mean the difference of working at least 17 yrs till I can retire (current bus job) or working 5 years on the Bridge and tunnel job and retiring. A no brainer really. I dont mind actually driving the bus itself, but if I can do this and get the hell out and retire?


Anyway, the way it worked out,, Hubby had to take the test in Bklyn, same location as me. Only one thing,, he had the 10am test,, I was taking the 3:30 test. Friend had to take it also at 3:30,, but his testing site was in the Bronx,,,oh well.

So I went prepared. comfy shoes,, spindle and knitting. 2 knitting projects as a matter of fact. I took my sock that I am STILL working on, and I brought my sea silk,,,and the newest Interweave Knits! I wanted to make the Montego Bay Scarf by Amy Singer. I had the yarn,, the right size needles,,,and now the pattern so I was off!

And heres what I had once I was home. Again I'm a slow knitter, and bamboo needles are a bitch with sea silk!

Love the shimmer tho of the yarn!

So I spent about 4 hours in my car, parked by a pump, waiting for hubby to finish taking his test. Spindled, knit on the scarf,,, spindled some more, read the magazine,,, read my Yarn Harlot book,,, knit of the socks,,, spindled again,,, and so on and so on. Once hubby was out we went for a bit since I had time to kill prior to my test. We were on the Brooklyn/Queens border at Jamaica Ave,,, and found a McD's not to far from the HS were we took the test. Then I realized it,, and saw it.

Ok I cheated here,,, thats a pic that hubby sent via cell when he was doing OT one day, even tho it did rain lightly when I was there. I wanted to take a pic and totally forgot!

I said to myself I would look. I said to myself, no yarn,, maybe some notions instead. Again, yeah right,,, never happens. But I did not buy any wool. So it was ok, right?

Here's what I bought

This is Lily Cotton Elite,,, I've visions of making a Tomato, from "No Sheep for You"
At $1.99 a skein why not. I bought a bunch in these colors,, bright yes,,, worst case scenario,, lots of dishclothes!

Then I bought

Bernat Sox yarn! Ok, ok, its acrylic. I had never seen this before and at 99 cents a skein,, why not? Of course 2 needed for socks,, soooo,,,,,,lol.

After shopping, back to the school to take my test. Hot and tiring. I had a seat in a classroom next to a blackboard with chalk powder all over. Did I mention that my allergies were killing me? Claritin and all? Anyway, the actual test started at 4:30, 85 question. I can say only 2-3 question total threw me off, and because it was at the end of the question sheet and I was tired! But I got out of there 90 minutes later. I'm always fast at taking multiple choice tests. I feel it went very well, but we'll see once I get my card back on scoring. That'll take awhile.

Afterwards,,, we were going to meet hubby's friend in Chinatown in the city at Wo Hops. Wo Hops has been around forever and seems like its been that long since I was there. As we worked our way towards either the Manhattan or Williamsburg Bridge, I asked hubby "Can we take the Williamsburg"? Why? Errr,,, the Yarn Tree is down a block away, and I thought if we can stop, can I run in for a minute. As hubby moaned and groaned about my ever growing fiber stash supply,, he drove towards the Williamsburg Bridge. Alas,, I guess possibly due to the rain,,, the gates were down. Drats!

We made our way over to Chinatown,,,, had to wait about 90 minutes more till his friend worked his way down to us,,,,and then we proceeded to stuff our faces. Let me tell you,, for any of you that might read this,,, if and when in NYC, and you decided to go to Chinatown, do Wo 17 Mott Street. The downstairs Wo Hops, not the upstairs one. The upstairs one,,,lol, is strictly for tourists. We real NY'ers always go to the downstairs one!

So after gorging ourselves, we worked our way home back to Long Island. This covered my Saturday.


Friend has to leave to return to Florida. Oh did I mention that he arrived/left thru LaGuardia? When Islip/McArthur Airport is so much closer. Dumbass. But it worked out to my advantage in the long run.

We brought him,, dropped him off at his terminal. Hubby decided since once again we were soooo close to NYC, that he felt like going for a late lunch at Katz's. On the way over once again,, I hinted at Yarn Tree, hee hee. He took me there and gates were up!

Only problem was, we had to wait. We got there at 2:50, and Linda was walking the dog till 3:15. Hubby was being really really good about all this.

Linda came, opened up,, and I looked. I wanted some undyed fiber to possibly play with, along with some Kool-aid. So I got these.

Thats 8 oz of Shetland on the left,, and 1 lb of Targhee on the right. Wheeee!!!!

This I couldnt resist. so I bought 2- 2 oz(I think) bags.

Wensleydale locks! All Linda had was this color and a grey,,,I cant believe how long the locks are! Gonna have fun with my Flick brush! Nicest surprise was, when I was about to pay,,, hubby came over and took it from there. Tells Linda "When we retire, she'll (me) have enough fiber that she'll keep busy and leave me alone". Hey whatever works!

Katz's is a Deli,,,, as in the deli where Meg Ryan did her famous "Orgasm" scene in "When Harry met Sally". Delish pastrami sandwiches there. BUT we were not there for the pastrami. We were there for the Knubblewurst (sp). Think sort of like a Knockwurst, nice and fat, with the taste of a really crispy grilled kosher hot dog. Starts out as a big ring sausage, and they cut it up in chunks to grill. Nothing like it. And one of the cheapest hearty eats you can get in the Lower East Side! You get a steckel of knubblewurst on 2 slices of rye bread, with or without sauerkraut for $4.85! Just cant be beat. Wash that down with a Dr. Brown Diet Cherry soda (as I did, lol) and your set. Of course we had to get some crispy fries and a knish too!

Pics compliments of Cell phone once again

It was so good we brought some more knubblewurst sandwiches home for dinner that night! And also bought some whole knubblewurst to bring home to cook for Memorial day. YUM!


It was a lazy day. Son was in school,, so no aggravation for a few hours, lol. We took to a ride in the car,, it was soooo beautiful and sunny out. Panera's again for a late breakfast of bagels and cafe mocha's. We went to Sayville to windowshop. It worked for awhile (us just windowshop?). We went to one gourmet shop and hubby splurged on some pieces of Godiva chocolates for me and him (Key Lime chocolates are to die for!). Thankfully,, Rumplestiltskin is closed on Mondays. Checking out the stores on Main Street, I found the one kitchen item that I've been looking for. My salad spinner. My double duty little toy for when I want my salad greens all crispy but dry,, AND my toy to dry out amounts of fiber!

I needed it for this!

The fleece that Kelly (Licraftgal) and I picked up and split from Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival. It was only about 2.5 lbs that we ended up with each,,, but it gives me the time to see if I like to process my own fiber. I'm not 100% sure,, but I think it was sheared from a Lincoln lamb.

Here's the fiber taking its nice hot bath! (blobby looking, isnt it?)

In this!

Then I let it rest to dry after it was spun to death in the salad spinner.

I then attempted to card it up, using my handcarders.

Now they look like rolags,, and the fiber is nice and sproingy springy. But for a cheap fleece and not really looking where I grabbed a chunk of it from, I think there were alot of short cuts, and maybe 2nd cuts in it. I havent attempted to spin it up yet. Lets say that short of the actual waiting time on the soaking,,,at least its doable in small amounts.


My new bedroom set is here, my new bedroom set is here!

I got the call from the furniture store on Monday too that they'd be delivering nice and early. We were going to be the first delivery (now thats a first for me!)and to expect delivery between 7:30-9:30 am. The delivery guys arrived at 7:15! Good thing I was already dressed! And I was finally able to use my bedset that I've been holding off on!

Here it is.

My bedroom started off last like this.

Now it looks like a real bedroom!

View of bed

Closeup from the front,,, I love the way the wood looks!

My dresser

Our two nightstands (of course!)

Hubby's dresser

And the one thing I always wanted,,, my armoire! Finally a place to hide my TV,,PLUS MORE FIBER AND YARN!! YIPPEE!!!!!!!!!! You notice how I already have a knitting basket/carrier in the lower left corner of it, right?

And closed up of course!

So now I am at the half way mark of my vacation. Short of my house really being ripped up now, due to the above,, and attempting to straighten it all out, its been quiet today thankfully.

Quiet enough that I could just about finish up that bobbin on Elvis. I've 2 more strips of the handyed left. Debating on attempting to fit that on too, or just use another bobbin to finish it totally. Either way it looks like I'm getting ready to Navajo on Thursday! I want this skein done up now!

So there you have it so far. At least I've gotten knitting, spinning, fiber processing and shopping in here this week. At least for once, its all been for me and what I've wanted to do. Now thats a vacation!

Now to take care of this writers cramp, lol.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2007

About Mother's Day (A Day Late, Naturally!)

A real fast entry today. Mother's Day was a nice quiet day, for once! Woke up, showered. Hubby said we were going to go out for a bite, where did I want to go. For once I didnt want anything fancy,, so I decided we'd go to Panera's. It was empty in there, peoplewise and food, actually breadwise. Wanted a bagel,, there were none to be found. So I guess I made it brunch for myself. Got a grilled salmon salad,, that has the most delicious Meyer Lemon vinigrette dressing on it with a cafe mocah (in one of their huge oversized mugs). Son had given me 2 cute cards and a pave heart on a silver chain. Very pretty! I still have to take a pic of the necklace. Hubby told me he was making dinner (him make dinner???) and that he got desert. Below is the desert. Man! Can I say this is one of the most chocolatiest cakes I have ever had? A buttercream/whipped cream combo filling inside,, dark chocolate flakes on top with cocoa powder. Rich, Rich, Rich!

The actual dinner I didnt even have time to snap. Seems he brought home ready to eat stuff from a store in Brooklyn,, but god it was good. He got chicken kiev,,,, and some lamb stuffed dolmas,,, and for another nights dinner, chicken rolls stuffed with spinach. We picked up some rice from chinese takeout, so as not to do any cooking at all! All he had to do was too nuke it,, I was leary about that, but did it come out wonderful! Cutting into it, all that lovely butter inside just oozed out onto the rice! Chicken was so moist and tasty! In the words of Rachael Ray, YUM-O!!

Besides my Mother's Day dinner,, he bought me these lovely tulips. Color is more peach,, but hey thats flash photography for ya!

A closeup of the flowers!

During the day, once we were home and before dinner,,, I spent time with my E.L. (Evil Lendrum or the E.L. for short). My friend Margie next door, came over after Soprano's,,,,to rave to me about some of the cake that I sent over,, and we hung out watching TV and talking, while I was spinning till about 1:30am! I'll say I got my spinning time in yesterday to make up for the whole week!

This is the handpainted roving that I picked up at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival,,, I couldnt wait to start working on it. I think I'm close to half a bobbin already. What do you think?

A better close up!

I cant wait till its done so I can Navaho it and see what I end up with!

I think I can say it was a pretty productive day/night!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Maryland Sheep and Wool (or Search, Shop and Destroy)

They say picture is worth a thousand words. Well here is my story. Kelly (Licraftgal) and I had a fabulous time! It all started out with leaving her house once I got home from work and grabbed my stuff to go to hers, at 2:30 am! Much of the nite going was quiet, no traffic, and incident free! We arrived at the fairgrounds around 7-7:30am, and were able to walk right in. Once in, we proceeded to The Fold, where we were shocked to find out we were the 2nd and 3rd persons there! But not for long, Artsygal, Turtlegirl and Trillian from Knitty showed up moments later. If it werent for Turtlegirl's turtle backpack,,,,lol.

So we walked, we looked, we bought, and then bought some more.

And bought some more,, and nibbled here and there!

This isnt even counting the extra bobbin I got for my Woolee Winder, or the bag of undyed Coopworth roving that I forgot to put a pic of up. And my copy of Teach yourself visually Handspinning. Plus my MDSW Fest souvenirs too! Or the enormous gigantic Chocolate Eclairs that Kelly and I dragged home from the fair for our families. Or the fleece we bought for a total of $8.00 that we split in half just to have something "Raw" to play with. Hmmm,, that one line doesnt sound very good, does it?

Coming home was interesting. We followed the mapquest directions exactly and I guess it was the long way,, we ended up going home thru Philadelphia! I guess we took the scenic route!

Now these next items I got from Thursday till now. Reciving my books and Skeinwinder (which I still have to put together) made my day. That day I didnt make it to work. My car started doing things cars shouldnt do while on the highway,,such as losing brakes. Not a good thing, and I was simply not in a good mood after waiting 3 hours for a flatbed to bring me back home (Thank you AAA premium service!). Once home, Mr. UPS man showed up about 20 minutes later bringing me my goodies. Made the day more bearable for me, thats for sure! That mesh drying rack,, what a find! Double duty here,,,, a rack for drying sweaters and such AND think of all the fiber I can dye, fleece I can wash,, and yarn I can dye and easily dry on this gizmo! Thank you Wal-Mart!!!

PS this last photo set,,, I just realized you can play with the controls at the bottom or just shut the sound off if you'd like!

Finally 2 things, lol. I actually put some length on my Jitterbug sock!

Last week, at the Festival,, I had this much done.
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Now I have this much done! Slowly but surely, I just might finish a sock yet!
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The second thing,, my verticals got installed today,,, in under 30 minutes too! My livingroom is starting to look like a livingroom. Now to just clean it up and put all the fiber related items in my spare room and to start working on that!

My double sliders at rear of living room.
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And my double window at the front of it.
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So this is it for the moment. One more work week to go and I'm off for one more week. It cant come fast enough!

Lastly,, to all the Mommies out there in the world and Blogland, Happy Mother's Day.

Mom, I love you and miss you, especially on Mother's Day for the past 24 years. I will not forget a single thing you've taught or shown me. As I knit or crochet, you are as much alive as when you first taught me!

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