Monday, April 30, 2007

Weekends are for relaxing... or so I am told.

First - the knitting progress:
The first Regia sock is done and fits fine. I folded the top over so it would fit on the scanner :) It is not nearly as tall when it is on my foot / leg. I think my homework for this week is to make a pair of sock blockers for photo purposes. Sock 1 was finished at an impromptu knitting night on Friday. It was nice, we sat outside, I had a good coffee drink (that was free because they made it wrong the first time)(and they threw out the first one before I could stop them wasting it), and I finished one sock and began its mate. The fabric is really soft and snug. The ribbing is 3x3, which I don't usually use, but I think my legs have gotten thinner, and I haven't gotten around to measuring them lately, so I said "all ribbing, all the time" so that they will stick to my legs instead of puddle around my ankles in stockinette. The next socks (as yet unplanned, sock yarn as yet unspun) will be some sort of solid or mostly solid with a lace pattern. Or maybe I will finally tackle the mystery of fair isle. Do not speak to me of the peppermint socks. They are not abandoned. They are aging. Like 12 year old whisky.
That was really it for major knitting. Saturday I went to yoga in the morning, work in the afternoon, and then the rest of the day was just shot. I watched some tv, I tried to knit, I thought about spinning. I watched Mission Impossible: III and Waking Ned Devine this weekend. MI:III was alright, and WND was funny and sweet as always.
Sunday I missed yoga due to a laundry emergency. When will I figure out all the different parts of an outfit that have to be worn each day, and put them ALL in the dryer at the same time? Then I went to M's, dangled my feet in the pool, knitted sock 2, found out that bamboo needles float, made soap - lots of soap - and dyed some yarn. It needs to be rinsed today. I am quite pleased with it. Came home in the afternoon, did some more laundry, tidied in the kitchen, tidied in the backyard (in the vain hope that the neighbors would be gone for one stinking day in the last 5 years so I could sit out there peacefully), tidied in the front yard, and made some dinner. whew! It was a lot of tidying, but it felt good to make some more progress. Took Dozer for a walk in the evening and got myself a root beer float as a reward. Did a little more spinning while waiting for the laundry, watched some Monty Python, and made it to bed at a reasonable hour.
I made it to yoga by .... 6 a m this morning. Oh my gosh. So early. There was no one there, so I knitted a while, left about 6:30 to get some gas, drove to work, cleaned Fishy IV's tank, and will have to get to work in about one second. I figured there was no point in going back to sleep for an hour. Today I have to take this proposal to UCLA and swing by Santa Monica, and then it is yoga and massage night. I am a happy girl.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Knitting Mojo, and a New Addition.

My friend Rose has been knitting and knitting and knitting, and now Thermal is done. Check it out! I love it so much that now I want one. I will have to get spinning. Why do I yearn for sweaters in the spring and summer?

We (The Soap Plantation) had a great time at the Citrus Station show last weekend. The weather was nice, the people were nice, the food was nice, and I spun and spun and spun until my butt said "Stop!". I started the plying at home that night and hope to have dyed sockweight yarn for display next week.

So many folks tried to buy my personal pair of fingerless mitts, that I am going to start making them all the time. These, however, are the sister pair to the ones I made for my grandma and have great sentimental value!

Speaking of sentimental value, I am sad to report that a family friend passed away last week. He was really hurting and wanted to go, but that doesn't mean we don't miss him. He was kind enough to leave me his mother's spinning wheel, and I picked it up last week. It is really gorgeous, all there, with distaff and everything. Pictures soon, I hope. The flyer will have to go off to the repairman, but otherwise it works fine. Every time I look at it and use it, I will be reminded of Jim's gentleness, humor, and sweet spirit. Thanks, Jim.

Not much in other (publishable) news... we have been making soap like madwomen and updating the soap blog and the website as fast as our little fingers will go. I will fiddle later and see if I can post our show schedule on my sidebar.

On the movie front, I was sorely disappointed in Alexander. I rented it for Johnathan Rhys-Meyers, and while he was fine, he did not have nearly enough screen time. Wah. At home now is Nausicaa ofthe Valley of the Winds.

That is all for today, friends. Happy knitting!

Friday, April 20, 2007

For your consideration... Hand painted rovings, 4oz batches, in silky smooth Merino-Tencel and happy fluffy Blue Faced Leicester. ***Edit*** There is plenty left! I have added prices and weights.

Rose Garden 2 (Merino-Tencel) 4oz $24
Parrotfish (Merin0-Tencel) 4oz $24
Lavender (Merino-Tencel) 4oz $24
Aster (Merino-Tencel) 4oz $24
Rose Garden 2 (Blue Faced Leicester) 4oz $20

Lavender (Blue Faced Leicester) 4oz $20

Aster (Blue Faced Leicester) 4oz $20

Anything left by Monday will be for sale. Woo! Please email me at sleepingfox16ATyahooDOTcom if you are interested. Thanks for looking!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Whole Chicken is a Scary Thing.

I had a nice little Wednesday, actually. Made it through work (the less said, the better), raced home and to the library to return books, had a spinning student at spinning class, and had a lovely time at yoga. My back popped back into place at long last! This is good news for me, and better news for my friends, who are sick of hearing about it. I am moving cautiously today.

But back to the bird. I have been jonesing for chicken & dumplings for a while now. I went to the store, I acquired the ingredients, I spruced up the stock pot, and last night was the night. With "The Joy of Cooking" at my side, I did the appropriate whole-chicken-cleaning dance. There are things that need removing, none of which are labelled "for my convenience", there is the theme to "Sledgehammer" running through my head, the 2 dogs suddenly turn into 20 dogs, all wanting to "help". I need the chicken for people who took drafting instead of home ec. Somehow I managed and wrassled it into the pot, browned the bird, chopped veggies, discovered all my garlic has sprouted, and simmered late into the night.

While that was happening in the kitchen, I watched "Lost" and did a little knitting on my new sock. "Lost" has really perked up over the last two episodes. I far prefer the adventuring to the relationship crap. I really, really hope it makes it to season 4. The sock does too (although it is taking a nap right now. We were watching the movie until after 1am, and I already woke it up to knit at lunchtime today)

I checked on my chicken, returned to my sock, and started a new movie about 11pm... The choices were "Alexander" (2 hr 47 min), or "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" (102min). I chose the short one. Now, you and I know I have been looking forward to this movie for many, many days now. I have discussed the dishyness of the two leads, I have declared that I would not be accessible by phone, email, or act of god when I was watching it, and I fed the dogs in their kennel to keep them quiet(er). My sock and I settled in... and were unimpressed. Poor Johnathyn Rhys-Meyers (while dishy) dies in the first 15 minutes or so, disturbingly. The entire rest of the movie is his brother's (Clive Owen) quest to avenge his death, which means you are not allowed to forget the cause, although both the sock and I were shocked and saddened. Watching Clive Owen for the next 92 minutes should make up for this, yes? NO. Poor Mr. C looked like the Wild Man of Borneo - all long scraggy hair and uber-beard. I thought it was Desmond from Lost and dropped my knitting when he spoke and Mr C's voice came out. There is a long stretch in the middle where nothing happens in a very dark and wet England (will the sun ever shine again? Could they only afford streetlights?), and then the last 10 minutes or so makes up for the rest of the film. Far too short a time to truly enjoy the return to dishyness and extremely nice suit. All in all, Billy the Budgie was my favorite character.
You want more knitting content? I think I love the new sock. I am not sure. It is more white and sparkly in person. The yarn is nice and soft, not very splitty, and the fabric feels good. I worry that it (the fabric) is a little loose, but I am getting 8st/in on # 1 needles, which is just about right. Going down to #0 would be overkill. That, and my only set of #0 are already in the peppermint socks, planning the overthrow of the new project that pushed them back down the queue. It is Regia Bamboo, color 1064.

Monday, April 16, 2007

The best laid plans... I have recovered from the weekend and have some "Did"s and some "Did Not"s to share. I DID get some fiber dyed in some new colorways and in some replacement colorways. It will be ready in time for the show at the Citrus Station. Anything that is left will go on the ebay store - I'll post a link.

I did NOT watch either of my Clive Owen movies (although I had a dream about Johnathan Rhys-Meyers) as I was busy busy busy this weekend. Last night I did find time for 2 episodes of Nature, however. I learned all about African Black Eagles and Rhinos. Quiz me, I dare ya.

I DID go to the Huntington with another RiverSpinner and we had a nice time. We saw about a half a zillion lizards, the roses were blooming, we got sucked in by plant sale ("The Gauntlet"), and even got some spinning and knitting done. Imagine that! I came home with a sunburned nose, an alpine strawberry plant and a variegated lemon thyme plant. I would call the day a success. We even saw sheep! We were lost at the time, but they were certainly sheep. I melted into a bubble bath when I got home and called the rest of the day "Naptime". I did NOT make it to the Kirtan at Inland yoga, but I was really done for the day.

I had a lovely time at yoga on Sunday - even managed to zing Scott (in a kind, friendly way, of course), but of course I can't remember it now. I also managed to wrap in a pose I never wrapped in before (one of the forward bends in half lotus - with a very long name) which made me happy. Then it was off to Fran's house for a bobbin lace afternoon. I made good progress on my moon -- 4 entire arches. That doubles the number of arches I had finished and brings me to 1/3 done with that section. I am very pleased. I would like to provide a picture, but you would not believe how hard it is to flip one's bobbin lace pillow upside down and slap it on the scanner :)

I did NOT get any knitting done. Not one stitch. I did a little bit of planning more projects and I think one of them will be Miriam Felton (MimKnits)'s Icarus shawl. I just need to find some yarn for it now. I spindled a little bit of baby camel down, but there is only 1/2 oz of that, not nearly enough (for me) to make the 900 yards I will need.

The peppermint socks did not see the light of day this weekend. They will however see the flickering lights of my math classroom tomorrow when school is back in session (wah). I am knitting the leg using the Entrelac technique, which is made up of interlocking boxes of knit stitches. One can find basic flat entrelac patterns all over the world (I like "How to Knit" by Debbie Bliss), but I found guidance for in-the-round entrelac knitting in the newest Interweave Knits, where Eunny Jang's entrelac socks are featured. I am using a relatively fine yarn on size 0 needles, which makes for a lot of squinting. Pictures when I have some progress.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Back just in time for the weekend. Such a busy week at work, no time to blog. I should hang out at the library more! I have some upcoming events to announce:
  • The Riverspinners are going to The Huntington Musuem and Gardens for our April meeting. I am hoping to have some activities for us to enjoy; we'll see how today goes. I am excited to see the new Chinese Garden, which I understand is at least partially open now. I also like to visit the koi and turtles and check out the herb garden. I am going to bring a drop spindle and generally soak up the day. We are meeting at the studio at 8:45 - 9am on Saturday if you are interested.

  • The Soap Plantation will be at The Citrus Heritage Celebration on April 21st, with soap and wool to spare. We will have soap kits, ready made soap, lotion, body wash, handdyed roving and yarn, a spinning demo (that's me) and drop spindle kits if I get a move on and make up some spindles.
OK, I guess it was just two announcements. But good ones! I saw this today and got a little dizzy. Or maybe it was loopy? I am so happy for Sheri's success. Anybody out there in the Loopy Sock Club? I can hardly wait for people to start getting their packages for the first installment (early May, I understand)

Knitting Content: The brown ProNaura socks just need to be cast off and then they will be done. Perhaps I will wear them to the Huntington. I have been chipping away at the peppermint socks....

And progress is slow but steady on sock #1. Each block takes about 5 minutes, and I can stand to do 3-5 blocks at a sitting. At this rate, they will be done in time for Christmas / Yule.

I am itching to start a new sweater, but need to finish the gray one first. The cat has been playing with it the last 2 nights - I think this is a warning to knit or get off the pot.

I have finished a good bit of spinning lately, the McKenzie yarn (destined to be hats for Scotland)(they will have to share), and a lot of just white Merino / Tencel blend which is destined for the dyepot. It is amzing how much those Majacraft bobbins hold!

I finally finished "Howl's Moving Castle" last night - after 4 tries. I have decided that 9:30 at night might be too late to start a 2 hour movie, as I conk out half way through. The movie list for this weekend? "Second Sight" (the PBS Mystery! series) with Clive Owen and "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" with Clive Owen and Johnathan Rhys-Meyers. I am turning off the phone until further notice :)

I have also been chipping away at the housework - it is starting to look better and I love having more space. Last night I put out the last of the recycling on the curb for pickup. I bring home all the recycling from work for pickup at home, and sometimes it gets pretty stacked up. The dog has been sleeping in her kennel, and the winter blankets have been relegated to the very very top shelf of the linen cabinet, instead of a heap on the chair. Life is good.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Weekend Looms... but I will not be working on my loom. Instead I plan to do many other fun things. We have a show, I have some movies coming from Netflix, and I have 5 pounds of Merino /Tencel roving to spin into sock yarn. The movies are Girl With a Pearl Earring and Howl's Moving Castle. I am trying to watch some things that have been on the queue for a year, before the DVDs of Law and Order: Season 6 come in from Netflix.

Charity Knitting. I never do, but now I will. I saw this post today from Sheri at the Loopy Ewe, and am all over knitting fingerless mitts for cold Russians. Do you think customs will let me tuck chocolate into the centers?

We are having Eileen Hallman from New World Textiles come give us a cotton spinning workshop in Riverside on 6/9/07. There are still spaces left, but they have been filling up quickly. This makes me happy. She will be teaching a full day of Charkha 101.

My stupid back is still out of joint, and no amount of massage, yoga, rest, or wriggling is popping it back into place. I am going to have to call a chiropractor after tax time. Any recommendations?