Monday, December 15, 2008

6-6 Degrees of Separation

Tien started it! Here is what a quick peek through my photo albums came up with. Not thrilling, not death-defying, but just adorable. This is Sunny, one of my two dogs. She is going on 13 nowadays. It just doesn't seem like I have had her for 11 years. I got her from the pound when I moved into my current house in order to be a companion for the dog I already had. I have never figured out what breed she might be... my best guess is a chihuahua / cocker spaniel cross. Then when Sophie was smushed by a car, Sunny and I had to strike up a relationship of our own. She is a sweet dog, too shy, who tries not to upset anyone and usually ends up directly in the middle of everything in the most annoying way. We share that quality. She also enjoys being the dog park police, barking at any dog who is having any fun at all.

Under the Covers

And happy to stay there for quite a bit longer. The other option is going to the local dive bar and getting smashed. And there I won't get any knitting done. Not that I got any knitting done at home anyway.


There are days when the pets are just not the right kind of company. Especially days like today when they were soaking wet. Ugh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Sitting Pretty

A cat and his balls...Well, it is the dog's ball, really. But Galen seems pretty possessive of it right now. Another beautiful fall day here in River City. Warm, sunny, breezy and dry as all-get-out. I could get used to this...

Washcloth knitting continues. Law & Order watching continues. I have been throwing in some dishwashing and laundry to liven things up, and am generally pretty content at home. Especially since I went to the grocery store. Woman can live on cheerios alone, it seems.
Tonight will bring a trip by the knitting shop, a trip to yoga, and perhaps some soap making and fiber dyeing. Soap makes me happy.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Would You Like... smell some soap? This weekend I was at a craft show in Murrieta. You can see that I had a nice spot and plenty of soap for the masses. On Saturday I even set up the computer and played "White Christmas" for everyone's entertainment. Coupled with kettle corn and good company, it made for a fine day.I recommended that everyone "otter" buy some soap ...And I made sure there were lots of washcloths available to wipe up afterward. This is what I have been doing with my knitting time for the last few weeks. I am knitting like the wind. I can hardly wait for January when I will be all caught up and can go back to work on something complicated and lacy.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


So I was cleaning cages the other day and what did I find? Steve McQueen has been working on a tunnel. Geez. Actually it is a rusted-out area of the bottom of the pen, but it was the first thing I thought of when I saw it. It has since been blocked and his escape thwarted.

As for me, I spent most of the long weekend (still can't get used to not having a regular job) hiding in my room, watching tv and not knitting. There was eating, too. Lots of that. But more or less I was hiding, depressed and grouchy for 4 days. There was a little ray of light that was Saturday's soap show, but it was short lived. Sunday afternoon I decided I was tired of lousing about and did some general tidying. It perked me right up!

Things are better this week. I have been out of the house - knitting even! Today was a soap show in the late morning and yoga work in the afternoon. I am hoping to make soap this evening, or go to quilting, or maybe stay home and knit. I have a backlog of holiday orders to get finished. There are two new Netflix at home, so I will have something to keep me occupied while I knit. I am getting a bit weary of tv (!) and it may be time to cancel the Netflix subscription in the interest of cutting back expenses. I am also thinking about a major craft destash.

So all in all things have been quiet. Sorry for the lack of pictures. The knitting doesn't seem all that exciting in the big picture - just washcloth after washcloth. I did finish the first sleeve of the gray sweater and am churning through the second... but then I ran out of yarn of the correct grist (size). Sigh. More spinning in my future. Luckily I enjoy spinning.

Hope all is well with y'all!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Reading, Not Writing

This weekend was the boutique at Knit N Stitch. Soap sales occurred (thanks!), washcloths were knit, sunburn was avoided, and no nick nacks were acquired. Sunday I had a lazy day at home playing with my new toy (the tv converter box I finally installed) and cooking. Things went great until the headache, nasuea and intestinal distress all hit at the same time (during the pilot of "24" of all things) and I spent the night curled up on the bathroom floor. I felt better (except for the nightmare headache) this morning, but my tum is a little tender. I managed to go to CVS first thing to buy a lot of Tylenol. But enough about me.

I have become enchanted with opinionated blogs. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don't, but I am impressed by some people's ability to gish out invective. And dish it out too. I just don't have that many strong opinions, don't want to hurt people's feelings and don't want them to stop liking me, so softspoken and boring I will remain.

Washcloth knitting is continuing - they are popular with soap patrons so I must stay in the sweatshop. I picked up the grey sweater this morning and worked on it a bit.

And Blogger ate the last half hour of this post. Dammit.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Knit knit knit KNIT knit knit

I am still in washcloth heaven. It is a comforting place to be. That said, I managed to put in half a row on the gray sweater (!) and spun 2 oz of yak/silk yesterday. Having no electrics at the house was a real motivator to spend the day at Knit N Stitch. Speaking of which, don't forget to swing by on Friday and Saturday for their Handmade Gifts Boutique and Open House. There will be vendors (soap!) and snacks. They have a new yarn line or two which are quite nice.

The house is real pretty by candlelight. I found all the oil / hurricane lamps and refilled the tealights. I had plenty of light to read and knit by and loved the rustic-ness of carrying around my light source. Except for when I stepped on the dog, who got up after I shifted my weight forward onto him and I fell on my buns. Dogs are slippery. I was in bed with lights out (see what I did there?) by 9:30 which was a pleasant change from 1:30.

This morning I took a cold shower before I realized there was nothing wrong with the water heater. Duh. I saved a lot of water though. Yes, I paid the bill yesterday. Yes, everything will be back on today. Really all I must have electric for is the fridge and the fishtank. Living without a fridge really sucks. I've done it.

But anyway. I am happily at the coffee shop working and blogging. It is a beautiful day, I am clean and dressed, I watered the garden. The bell pepper plant is covered in blossoms - what is up with that? I should start looking for a sale on swiss chard, spinach and broccoli plants for the winter garden. The tomato is still bearing, although the fruits are pretty small. I have fallen wayyyy behind on grooming in that department. They say these 90 degree days will be at an end soon. I like the heat, but geez it is November!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Is it safe to come out yet?

I did nothing Friday and not a whole lot else earlier in the week. It was a sad, annoyed, restive week. Blah. I did eat a vast quantity of off-brand cheerios and spend an embarassingly long time reading the archives of my new favorite blog, Well Done Fillet. I have a burning desire to visit Belfast now.

Today I made soap until the battery in the scale ran out. That is a lot of soap! Plus, I learned that 2 minutes is not the same as 20 seconds and that burnt soap smells revolting. I was glued to the channel 11 coverage of the inferno here in SoCal... I hope the 91 is open again by the time I need to drive on it (tomorrow morning). It totally sucks that so. many. people. have lost their homes (500 in one mobile home park alone), but dudes... if you are going to build them that close together, in the middle of nowhere... And why have people not yet stocked up on that cool gel stuff that you spray on your house? And the last observation: arson isn't funny.

I think I will stay perky for a little while. I hope so, anyway. And don't let me forget to buy dog food before I go home. I forgot cat food earlier in the week and that wasn't pretty.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

That Elusive Thing

Some of us don't even get to feel it, share it at all. Why limit the few who find it? 'Nuff said.


I managed to get the sun, the camera, the battery, the cord and the computer all together this week and now present the new woolies... all looking for new homes. Drop me a line for quantity and prices.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Well, I have taken a running leap and jumped on the washcloth bandwagon. I hope they don't ask to see my ticket. After years (years!) of pooh-poohing washcloths and their knitters, I finally made one up, pretty much on a dare. I was nonplussed. Then I used it. I wanted to spend the rest of my life washing my face. So soft! So gently scrubby! So adorable! So little lint! And the Soap Plantation Honey soap did not hurt :) I am now a washcloth knitting machine... at knit night, at craft day, at the shrink, at traffic lights.

I have been selling my soap and fiber heart out the last two weekends, and plan to continue the same for the rest of the year. The new fiber colorways came out *gorgeous* and I have a few left (pictures soon). All the best scents of soap are back in stock and as lovely as always. We offered a new blend - Almond Joy - which is already sold out. However, the new Organic Soap is still in stock. It would make a lovely gift if presented with an organic cotton washcloth (hint hint). Upcoming shows are in the sidebar (as always) and I will work on booking more events as soon as this post is posted.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Mish Mash

I should have known that as soon as I started wool socks and wool mitts that it would get hot again. I took pictures this morning but have to charge the camera battery before I upload them. It is always something!

Martha from knitting brought back a fox tea cosy and a sheep (black of course) wine cosy from Scotland. The website for the artist is here and her work is just spectacular. I don't read Finnish, but I sent an email in English asking about US distributors. Maybe we will get lucky.

Francesca finished her cashmere sweater and it is gorgeous. If I rememer right, she held 3 strands of laceweight together. It gives me hope that I can make something similar someday.

I am still working on the Halloween socks - number one is most of the way through the leg. It is a nice quick stockinette "plain vanilla" sock. I started a pair of mitts last night (I don't know if they will be gloves, mittens, or fingerless mitts) in some leftover sock yarn. It is loud but wears like iron, being a wool/mohair/nylon blend (Schaeffer "Anne"). I am trying out some new needles - DPNs in Ebony from Blue Ridge. They are brand new and Knit N Stitch and I love them beyond reason. They are very pointy, slightly flexible (unlike birch) but not too flexible (all my bamboo ones make smiley faces now) and super smooth (also unlike bamboo, which splinters), but not as slippery as metal ones. The 5 1/2 inch length is perfect - 6 rubs on my palms and 5 is just too short for me. At the moment the only drawback is that I am knitting with black yarn on black needles, but that is user error!

I made it to yoga this morning and am about to go into a workshop on using Iyengar wall ropes. It might be beyond my ken, but the instructor says I should give it a whirl.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Back in the World

Presenting the Tea Towels! They are all woven with a handspun weft, using 100% cotton. These are the final 4 and each one is unique. They are all preshrunk and measure around 8" x 30". $25 each or two for $45. Please email for availability to sleepingfox16 at yahoo dot com. Teapot not included :) White with Blue Twill Border
Pink Twill
Green Stripe
Blue Stripe.
Today I joined "The Ladies" at quiliting and we got Christie's quilt up and running. I need to learn how to do the actual quilting before I can help, but I did finish pinning my little "Elements" quilt together along the stitching lines so I can machine quilt it. I also found sashing and backing fabric for the two 9 patch quilts that are in progress.
I have been knitting along on the Halloween socks and am well into the leg of sock 1. All other knitting is still languishing, but I look at it affectionately. The Halloween socks have the advantage of being plain stockinette, which makes them good travel / therapist appointment knitting.
Spinning continues on the gray cormo. I have been using it to practice my long draw / semi woolen technique. Since the Millie has a delta orifice, I have to use one hand as the "point" of the spindle and the other does the drafting. It makes more sense when you see it. It is time to pluck Olive (the angora bunny) again. He finally looks like a properly fuzzy bun - no big mats or areas which are half grown next to areas which are plucked bare. I had better get on it before it gets any colder, so his winter coat can grow in.
Steve McQueen is still the chubbiest mouse in town. He knows that if he puts all 4 feet on my hand he gets taken out, and then we have a nice little snuggle. One day he got to run around in the bathtub.
That's all the news that is fit to print! I updated the schedule and the blogroll over in the sidebar. Be sure to check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

House Arrest

I got up yesterday at 7 to the sounds of a sledgehammer on concrete. The neighbor is having her walkway replaced. This is fine. The concrete truck blocking me in my driveway until 2 was not so fine. While I waited to leave the house I pieced a whole slew of 9 patches for my quilt (and discovered I need to buy more fabric for the sashing) and listened to many people rant on NPR. I really like piecing squares and sewing straight lines. It goes so much faster than spinning and weaving! In the afternoon, the other neighbor took her turn blocking my car in, so I had to walk to the yoga studio to run an errand. The dogs made the trip with me and enjoyed it thoroughly.

I am also re-sleying the loom for a dimity pattern (in white). I finished another tea towel and realized I was totally ready to see what was on the cloth beam. 9 towels were edged, washed, dried and readied for sale on Thursday. Two are already off to a new home (Scott, I held yours back, not to worry). As there is still warp on the loom and I received my new Handwoven the other day, I am rethreading /resleying for something new - a pattern with texture in the warp pattern. It is a pain in the ass (PIA) but I suppose it is good practice for something.

Las Vegas Faire was fun, but I always forget how much damn work it is to work for 30 hours in 3 days, plus the 10 hour drive. The parrow show guy has motivated me to play with the birds more, I didn't pick up anything or anybody contagious, and I earned about half my rent money for next month. Wheee!

Knitting is lacadaisical: the halloween socks are my waiting-for-the-train knitting; the stripey socks (which have gone through about 20 name changes) are for knitting in the shop; the Preppy scarf is ambling along; MS4 is still on clue 4 (although I did work on it last night); Mirepoix is still on hold due to the sleeve issue. I haven't started many new things, but am not finishing anything very fast.

All in all, things are quiet here at the homestead and I am not feeling sad or lonely.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Smothering in Wool

Today I was moseying around the house and said - There is a box. I bet it has wool in it. I wonder what it is. My pretties, it was an entire sheep that I forgot about. A finewool fleece ("Jamocha") I had processed by Morro Fleece Works and split into light and dark sections. I don't even remember how long ago that was. It is a lovely fleece and I am glad it has floated to the top of the pile. But I think I may have plenty of wool now. I think I will be spinning tonight at Knit Night instead of knitting.

Things have improved since yesterday, which was just a down day. Today is happy and perky and lovely; almost-crisp and cool. Back at my alma mater (Smith) it was Mountain Day - a free day in the fall where we could enjoy one of the last perfect fall days. One year I went with Etta and her geology class and climbed Mt. Monadanoc in Vermont. That is the fun thing about going to school back east - it is easy to visit other states on a lark. I went back once to visit a friend in MA and ended up driving to New Hampshire before I found a drugstore / grocery.

There is no new knitting progress to report. Everything is in limbo. I did print clue 5 for the Mystery Stole, but I have not even started clue 4 yet. It will happen eventually. There are only 6 clues, so maybe I am extending the lace love subconciously. *snrk* I will make an effort to photograph the fleece picking process before I pack up the box to Wooly Knob, and to take some painfully boring spinning progress photos.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Let's Just Pile it All On, Shall We?

Well. It is one of those days. Mercury is Retrograde (will Oct 15th ever get here?), the Moon is void-of-course for the rest of today and most of tomorrow. Everything I have touched this week has picked today to fall to pieces. Sigh. I am really ready to hide under the covers, but on Tuesday I pretty much used up my allotment of laziness for the week. I was on a rocky road ice cream drip this morning, which did help a little.

Knitting on MS4 is suspended until I cease to be an idiot or until I make an offering to the YO fairy. Every time I end a lace row, I realize that I have lost at least one yarnover... somewhere. It should not take an hour to knit 116 stitches. I have been doodling along on the "Preppy" scarf. That is the one that is burgundy, navy and hunter was nameless the last time I posted about it. It makes good mindless knitting.

I kind of feel like I should be storing acorns for the winter. I have a credit at Wooly Knob and some fleeces that need processing, so I will send them off and get them back in the spring (or maybe next week), and getting wool in the mail is just as delightful to me as finding a long lost acorn is to Mr. Squirrel.

OH! The alpaca scarf made it to the mystery destination and the recipient is pleased. Whew.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Freezing Summer Days

It might be time to go back home - I can tell because the a/c in buildings is making my fingers umbjh. Numb. It has been hot and humid this week, but in general I think it might be time to go in the closet and fluff up my down duvet for the winter. Not quite yet, though. The bunnies still need frozen water bottles in the afternoon and the mouse has taken to sleeping outside his hut. It must be too well insulated in there.

Not a lot of knitting progress to report - about 4 rows on MS4 (and I am still not on clue 4). I doodled around with some leftover sock yarn in an effort to use it up, but was not pleased with the 2 or 3 things I tried. Ho Hum.

I have been feeling fine, but you all forgot to remind me that I am not allowed to watch "Sex and the City" yet... I was in tears by the middle of the episode last night. I can't stand to listen to them talk about relationship woes (and joys). Seperately (but related) I realized last week that what I want, what I have been waiting for - without even realizing it - is an apology from Mr. Fixit. I know I am not going to get it but I feel a bit better for identifying the thorn.

No big achievements this weekend and no big plans next week... but next weekend is the first of the yoga teacher training program. Wheee!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Day After

Well, I think the interview went fine. It was with a placement agency (temp company), so who knows what will be in my future. I think I conviced my "account executive" to come to yoga though

The baristina at the coffeeshop is wearing a Megatokyo tee shirt today and was floored that I recognized it. That's me, spreading the love.

Delivery of the Southwest Sweater was successfully accomplished last night! I was rewarded by getting to play with 4 6-week old siamese kittens. They were adorable. None of my cats came to me that young, so it was interesting. Although now that I think of it I fostered 3 kittens about that age for a while about 8 years ago. I have Freddy Mercury all picked out and to take home, but I need Mandy approval. And I should probably not mess with the pet equilibrium that I have right now.

Now that the sweater is done, I have the urge to knit (finish) one (or two) for myself. The button salesman came to Knit N Stitch and now I want to find a cardigan pattern to make. I was wandering around Ravelry and I am sure I will find one somewhere :) I will have to get spinning for the yarn.

I printed Clue 4 for the Mystery Stole 4 project, but am still only halfway through Clue 3. The beads are off the charts for the moment, but lace part of the pattern just got very detailed and it requires my full attention. Last night I only knit one row because I spent an hour chasing down one missing stitch (I dropped a YO, but I found it eventually). I still don't know what it is, but I adore the color, the yarn and the pattern so far.

It is a sunny day, I had some breakfast, I checked in the yoga class - my favorite part of my work there - and said Good Morning to everyone, and got a coffee at the Depot. This afternoon I have lace class and tonight I am taking myself out on a date to the Bluegrass Night at the (big) Coffee Depot downtown.

I have been putting a little effort and energy into my spritual practice again this week and it has made me pretty happy and confident. It could be the placebo effect, but I will take it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ironing Day

I have an interview this afternoon. It is with a temp company, so I am not sure how it will all turn out. My friend put things in perspective - worst case, I get interviewing practice; best case I find a happy job at a good price.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Holding Steady

Today was a lovely day. I got up early, cooked and went to the knitting store on time. My student was a fantastically quick study and she was spinning away within an hour. Then I did some puttering, some working, some WOW playing, some more knitting, some yogaing and now some coffeeshopping with a raspberry scone and some white flower tea. This is the life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hot Feet! Hot Feet!

Just for you I trekked outside to the car and retrieved the camera, although I suppose it is really for me so that you don't stop loving me :) It managed to migrate out of the laptop bag and into the knitting bag.

Here is the Alpaca scarf in all its squishy glory:

And here is how much yarn was left over after I worked in the ends:I think that might be a knitting record. I know it is a personal best. The scarf is short, but very, very warm and very, very squishy. I just loved to pat it. It is now in a box winging its way to a mystery location. *bwahahah*

Here is the new scarf. It is actually longer than this now, and coming along nicely. I made it a little narrower than the alpaca one, so I should get more length (I also had 77 more yards in this skein). I spun the colors in little "puffs" in order by color, so it is making stripes that are more or less orderly. The colors are burgundy, hunter green and navy blue which were all the rage a few years ago when I was in college. I feel like there is a good name for this scarf right on the tip of my tongue, but it just won't come out. Yuppie? Trendy? Smithie? New Englandy? Help is appreciated.

That is all the knitting news that is fit to print. My only big adventures today were returning my overdue library books and paying the overdue light and gas bills.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This weekend (well, yesterday) I knit a scarf out of that fluffy alpaca yarn I made a few weeks ago. There were 200 yards and I worked it up in a "mistake rib" pattern. It came out very handsomely, and I will have absolutely no yarn left over after I weave in the 2" yarn ends at the start and finish points. It is a little bit short, and I should not have widened it after all, but it is warm and soft and will make a nice neck warmer. I put the finished scarf in the car. I put the camera in the car. I put the laptop in the car. And yet, at no point have I taken a picture of the scarf to upload.

That is about the extent of my knitting progress this weekend. Actually, that is the extent of all my activities on Sunday. Just me, the scarf and "The Two Towers". The scarf came out so well that I think I will make another out of the blue / green / burgundy wool I spun up about the same time as the gray. Now I know why people "gift knit"; to get rid of the yarn that they don't want for themselves, but will find a good home elsewhere.

I am still on a "finishing" kick -- I need to block Mandy's sweater, make a decision on the sleeves for the "Mirepoix Bodice", finish spinning the gray wool for the "Aud" sweater (betcha thought I forgot about that one!) and I will be pretty well caught up on the sweaters-in-progress. Maybe I will delve back into stole-land afterward.

About yesterday's mini post: I figured out how to log into the blog from my cell phone. I can make a title and give it tags, but there is nowhere at all to write the body of the post. Sigh. I was able to approve comments, so keep 'em coming!

Sunday, September 21, 2008


Saturday, September 20, 2008


Mandy's sweater is done, done, done. 'Nuff said.Here is the finished yarn from the Red Fish roving I was working on last week. It is chain (Navajo) plied to keep the colors in some semblance of order. It is a 50 / 50 Merino and silk blend, and I got 277 yards from 4oz. (There is a better link to Redfish / the Weaver's Cottage here.)
Coming up soon on the parade of roving is this merino / soysilk blend from Louet (which I purchased from The Dizzy Ewe). It comes out as a rainbow if I chain ply it... I just have to decide how long I want the repeats to be. I have 8 oz... maybe enough for a tank top?When I was at Knit N Stitch yesterday (for 20 minutes, to seam the sweater), a man called about his sheep's fleece. Today I wandered by and met these fine fellows (fellines?) They are mystery sheep (I suspect the dark one is a suffolk and she is 9 months old), but very cute. The little lamb is just a couple weeks old and is a ram. The white mystery sheep is his mother and the one who was shorn. It is actually a darn nice finewool fleece. They were very friendly (well, not the lamb) and quite soft (well, not the lamb).

I have been making progress on the MS4 project. Here it is completed through the end of clue 2. I am about halfway through clue 3 and I am beginning to think the lacy things in the center are seahorses. On the other hand, I still don't even know which way is up. One of the Mystery Stoles (#2) was a geometric pattern, so this may end up being "nothing" at all. I still love it with a burning passion.
I am also working on the Mirepoix bodice. I am nearly done with the sleeves (working 2 on one circ) but am having a size issue... the sleeve cap is already at the recommended length and I have 10 rows to go to get the right number of stitches to cast off. Sigh.
Things perked up around Friday afternoon and I have been more or less chipper since. I have heard from several people that last week was just full of molasses. And Mercury doesn't even go retrograde until next Wednesday. SIGH.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bring Chocolate

It never feels like I have been away long, and then I look at the date of the last post. Yikes! I have been keeping somewhat busy in the meantime...

Mandy's sweater needs only the second half of the second sleeve seamed in. I tried it on the other day and my head fit through the proper opening, so that is a huge relief. Everybody pray for a cold spell so she can wear it! There is one skein of the yarn left over, so I might be talked into making a matching hat, but no one should hold their breath. It might go on the "for sale" area of Ravelry.

I took pictures yesterday of the finished Red Fish yarn and the MS4 project, but managed to leave the camera in my knitting bag, so no pictures on today's post. Tomorrow for sure. I am done through clue 2. Clue 3 will be released in the morning. Today I actually picked up and worked on the Mirepoix bodice project that has been in a holding pattern. Since I am so close to done with the purple sweater, I am rewarding myself with work on a sweater for me. OOOH, that link is to a knit-a-long. I will have to join!

While I was looking for some stash wool to spin on the wheel (now that the Red Fish roving is done), I found some dyed BFL that was gifted to me but is not a colorway that I would have picked out. I decided to spin it anyway (maybe I could re-gift the yarn) when I realized this would be a good yarn with which to practice my long-draw technique. So I watched "Born Into Brothels" and argued with the roving. By the end, we were reaching a truce. I think if I keep practicing, I will keep getting better. Funny how that happens.

Lucky the Mouse is still doing well. I feed him by hand to keep him tame - it works for the guinea pigs and the rabbit. In fact, they go a little nuts if I walk past or open the fridge without giving them something. I have to watch my fingers when I give them banana. They go, well, bananas. They drew the line at mushrooms, though.

Even though I am putting together a happy post, I have been feeling rather low these last few days. My cooking-cleaning-laundry-gardening phase seems to have ebbed away and I am left with restlessness mixed with lack of motivation. The only useful things are that I am still making it to all my appointments / committments (the ones that don't slip my mind, at least) and working on projects in progress, not starting new ones (except for spinning through the stash, but that is ongoing and keeps me from buying new yarn). I have been getting up late and getting started with my workday late (such as it is) and feeling like I am slogging through mud at the same time. I have also been sad about lost relationsips and such... but am not willing to go looking for another one. When we were in resting pose at yoga last night I imagined meeting someone new and immediately felt anxious. Heart pounding, can't breathe, freaking out and running away anxious. So I backed off that little exercise.

I am sure that I will be on an upswing soon, but it would be nice to know when. It was about this same time last year that things started to fall apart mentally, emotionally, and ultimately relationship-ly with Mr. Fixit, so I don't know if the season change is what makes me sad, or what. I love fall, so it was (is) particulary odd that I have felt so unbalanced at this time for the last 2 years.

I will keep knitting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Where the Antelope Roam (Really)

Yesterday was a fun day at the Knit N Stitch open house. There were knitters, movies, snacks, spinning and the wall o' sheep. We are going to have private spinning lessons at Knit N Stitch, so I was trying to do a little interest-raising with the demo. Darling Cheryl and I made up the RiverSpinners contingent. I made some progress on the Red Fish roving - it is about half done now. I finally decided to spin it all up and then chain (Navajo) ply it. The colors naturally blend due to the way it was dyed, and I think 3 separate singles will dull it too much. Chain plying will allow the colors to sort of stay together. There is no plan yet for a finished object... I tend to get 200 - 700 yards out of 4oz of roving, which is not enough for the shawls I have patterns for, nor a sweater, but too much for a pair of socks.

Progress is good on the MS4 stole. I am about halfway done with clue #2 and the beading is going faster. I just bought more beads and I think I will need more before I see the end. Guesses on the theme (on the Yahoo group and on Ravelry) are all over the board - aliens? genies? roses? geisha? cards? My personal guess right now is sperm, but I don't think it will hold up. I am still working just one side a time, both to keep on schedule and to maximize stole length before I have to restock yarn and beads.

Someone *finally* was murdered in "The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers", but I am giving up on it anyway. Sorry, Lillian. I have moved on to "The City of Fallen Angels" which is set in Venice, but hopes are not high at this time.

I actually attended yoga this week (slow deep stretch), which was nice. However, I was still a nervous wreck afterward. Apparently I am wound more tightly than I knew! I will head off to another class this afternoon. The teacher training program starts in October and I hope to be in it. We will have pilates at the yoga studio soon - I may have to give that a whirl. I really need to be more active - knitting is fun but not full of cardio.

Weaving has been taking a back seat this last couple of weeks, which means I am not finishing things that will bring income to my little house. I have some tension and guilt about that. I suppose it would be alleviated if I sat. and. wove. After yoga, I think. The problem is that I would always rather be knitting! I have a blanket commission waiting in the wings and the silk for the scarves is sitting around looking longingly at me.

I had a little bit of a sad / frustrated morning. I hate it when my opionin / input is solicited and then mocked. Sigh. And then something made me think of Mr. Fixit which always brings a little twinge - although the rate of twinging has been reduced to once a month or so. I realized a few weeks ago that I no longer think about what I would do if he wanted to come back.... not that I don't miss being in a relationship but I suppose I have fully accepted that he won't be coming back so I don't have to imagine dealing with the scenario. It just takes me a long time to get over things. I am still not ready to deal with looking for / dating / getting to know / starting to trust anyone new, but I kinda miss having someone to go out and do things with.

It might be time for another week in Wyoming.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Spin Span Spun

Last night was very productive in the spinning department - finished the last 1.3 oz of "Ophelia" and made a nice 3 ply yarn from it. I was alarmed when finally went to bed and it was... 3 am. Geez. Anyway, it was transformed from this:To this:Project specs are: 4 oz Optim in the "Ophelia" colorway from Chameleon Colorworks. Transformed into 277 yards of a sport (?) weight 3 ply. I wish the deep green made more of a statement in the finished yarn, but overall I am pretty happy with it. It was a pleasant spin.

Next up on the spinning queue (on my Majacraft Millie) is this fiber from Red Fish Dyeworks. It is 4 oz of a silk / superfine merino blend. I love the boldness of the colors, but am in a dither about whether to make it a 2 ply, 3 ply, chained 3 ply, or ???? I don't want the colors to muddy. It is beautifully dyed, but not in clear sections that will spin up one after the other like "ophelia" was.Lucky the Mouseling is still happy. Here he is, later on in the day he was the cats' plaything(they have no interest in him now that he is in jail).And this afternoon, attempting a prison break. Maybe I should rename him Steve (McQueen) McMouse. He eats everything in sight and used my hand as a jungle gym for a while. No wild mouse, this. Latest on the Netflix front - I finally got to see "Death in Holy Orders" all the way through. It is a PBS / BBC adaptation of a P.D. James book. I had seen the first 2/3 twice over the 5 years it has been out, but never the end. Interestingly, Jesse Spencer (Chase on "House") is one of the central characters. Small acting world. This show is sometimes mentioned (somewhat obliquely) in spinning discussions, as one of the murder-ees was staged to have died of a heart attack while knitting, but another woman realized that she was not wearing the right glasses and it proved the key to that mystery.

Tomorrow is the open house over at Knit N Stitch. I have to spiff up my Ashford Traditional and find something (!) to spin as a demo. Oh, the challenges I face....

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Mousy Me

I am a softie. A sucker. A pushover. I get called a hardass but it is all a lie.

Yesterday the cats managed to corner a mouse behind the desk. "Don't let it die back there, you guys" I adominished. How it was going to brave its way out I did not want to contemplate. I left, steeped in denial, to run my Wednesday errands. When I came home, they were playing with it (in the dogs' food dish, interestingly) and it was looking a bit woozy. Rhiannon grabbed it and started to run off, but I got her to drop it, scooped it up, and set up house in an old cage I was just about to get rid of. Shavings, water, food... and a wish for the best. Off I galivanted again, with no idea what I would come home to.

Imagine my surprise when I returned and said little guy was... fine. Just fine. Bouncy bouncy, bright eyed and bushy tailed (as it were). All his appendages were intact and fur unruffled. I think he was even nibbling on a mouse munchie. He has been christened "Lucky" and is the newest resident of Chez Jackson. (Insert picture here - the picture is on the phone and I left it in the car). The oddest thing is - he is a white mouse and perfectly friendly. He comes to me when I put my hand in the cage instead of running away. He loves his little mouse house but does not cower in it. Where on earth did my cats scare up a pet mouse? Did they walk to the pet store? Is some 6 year old on my block very sad? Should I put up "found mouse" posters? If it had been a wild mouse, I would have released it over in the cemetery or something. Kindness does have limits. And what does it say about my felines that 4 of them together could not kill and eat one little mouse after a whole day?

In other news, I have finished Clue 1 of the MS4 project. Just in time too, as Clue 2 will be released in the morning. I will need to knit another one for the other end of the stole, but will put it off for a while. I need to order a second skein of yarn but am having a cash flow issue, so want to get as far as I can with skein one.

Good progress has also been made on That Scottish Shawl. I am about 2/3 of the way through the first repeat of the right hand side (I will need 3 total - on each side). This project bigamy really does let me see progress!

The new audiobook of the week is "The Cat Who Had 60 Whiskers" by Lillian Jackson Braun. So far the only mystery is "when is there going to be a mystery?". But it is a good listen and easy to spin / knit to, so I will muddle through.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Lady Luck

I had to halt progress on the MS4 project this morning when I just could not find the last little tiny box of beads I picked up last week. Twice through the knitting bag, four times through the car, and yet nothing. I stopped by Knit n Stitch to see if I left them there last night... and found the box of beads (slightly smashed) in the parking lot right where my car was yesterday. Yesterday! None are broken, the box is intact - none escaped. I am pleased and amazed. And then when I was in saying Hi, the other store called back to say that the beads they had on order (and which I had reserved at 10:05 this morning) arrived later that morning and I can come get them any time. It is a grand day!

I made some progress, meanwhile, on That Scottish Shawl. It keeps me on my toes.

But the best best best news of today? I went to the grocery store. I am now up to my ears in bananas, strawberries, ceral and pb&j makings. Life is good again.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Knitting the Night Away

Thank you for the kind words about little Bindi-bunny. I tried to do right by him, and he is missed. Here is a picture of him the day he came home. Toothpaste included for scale. He had gro-o-o-o-o-wn since then. Bindi is the Hindu word for the dot some people wear on their third eye (between the eyebrows), and he had a teeny one in exactly the right place (and a white smudge on his nose). Fran helped me finish my first piece of Hungarian tape lace (a kind of bobbin lace). It took about 16 hours from start to finish. We watched a lot of "Law and Order". The design is by Louise Colgan and I used #50 DMC Cordonnet in Ecru. There are 3 more pieces in the series and we will start #2 next week when she returns from the bobbin lace cruise.

Here is an in-progress shot of That Scottish Shawl . It shows the last bit of the center section and the first bit of the right hand side. I added another 4 rows tonight at the knitting store... every little bit counts. The yarn is a beautiful dusty green, which did not photograph very well.Firsa tried to help with the photo shoot by subduing the rampaging knitting needle. Silly girl.I am making progress on the MS4 Stole. I am off to the bead store tomorrow for a refill. The yarn is the same type as the one above. The beads are 6/0 mill hill, and either a shiny gray or actual hematite (the jury is out). They sort of blend in and they sort of stand out. I am about midway through clue one (which we will knit twice). And closer...I also made it to the library today for more audiobooks. I already knew the first rule of lace knitting - don't watch a movie in Chinese with the subtitles on. This weekend I learned the corollary - don't watch a silent movie. I had to watch intently to get the few words and could not depend on chatter to guide me. Geez.

All righty - off to do some more knitting!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Good News, Bad News

Welcome Lime & Violet visitors! Thanks for taking the time to click over. I try to remember to post about knitting in between life rants :)

Speaking of which, the MS4 is coming along swimmingly. I think I am on row 15 of 29 of clue 1 or something. I will also be out of beads by the end of the first clue, so I will have to hit the bricks and find some more. It is a really pretty pattern, I like the yarn and I like the beads. I swore I would take a picture, but life got in the way.

The new "blank" combed top is in and ready for a big dye session this week. There will be merino/tencel, blue faced leicester and yak/silk to choose from.

I had an unexpected trip to the vet today and had to put one of the bunnies to sleep. He had a major injury that needed surgery which I could not afford and which he might not survive. I feel pretty bad. Really bad.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Under the Covers

Why do people leave mean comments?

Need infusion of ice cream.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Should Have Known...

...that it was in the blood. Remember the picture of the shack from a few days ago? Check out this comment from my aunt: Did you know that the chicken coop was also a goat shed? Or also held sheep, since Great-grandpa also had sheep. The stanchions are still in place. I am SOOOOOO moving there and running sheep. I only need 3 or so. Let's see... a Finn for wool, milk and lambs, a romney for wool and a cormo for wool. And maybe a shetland (moorit of course) to keep everyone else on their feet. And the best part? Now I have an excuse to get an Anatolian Shepherd dog. Bwah ha ha.

The first MS4 clue comes out tomorrow. I am excited. I also have no yarn and no beads. Timely I am not. Oh, I have some stash laceweight, but it is all earmarked for other projects or there is not enough yardage. DUH! *smacks forehead* I have an entire cone of 8/2 silk... nope. That belongs to the business and is set aside for weaving. Forget I said anything. I keep eyeing that Cormo roving though...

I finished listening to "Memoirs of a Geisha" this morning and enjoyed it thoroughly. The ending was very happy and tidy (almost too much so). I will swing by the library tomorrow to see what other gems they have. I also have a couple of netflix to watch, although it is difficult to read subtitles and knit lace at the same time. It is OK for spinning, though. I watch so many movies in Chinese that I sometimes think I don't have to read the subtitles, but it is never really true. I hate overdubbing in English (with the solitary exception of "Steamboy" which is about a japanese boy in London).

I also finished the center section of That Scottish Shawl this morning and embarked on the right hand side. It now requires my full attention (good luck), but is a satisfying knit. I love the yarn and the color (Alpaca With a Twist "fino" and Sea Glass). It has been a week of project monogamy, which is quite nice. Who woulda thunk?

Well, I am literally the only customer left at the coffeeshop at 9pm on a Thursday. How wierd is that? I should flit from table to table.

Thought for today: They always look like angels when they are sleeping.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


It's not like I don't have 3 shawls in the works right now and one more that needs to be test-knit immediately.

It's not like I have 3 sweaters in progress, one of which is maybe an hour from being done and then delivered to the recipient.

It's not like I have 4 pairs of socks in various stages of disarray spread around in yarn totes all over the house.

I don't even have any idea what the MS4 will look like (duh). But I. Must. Start. It. on Friday when the first portion is released. I have no yarn, no beads, no plan. But knitting must occur. Luckily (Cheryl are you paying attention?) I can download the portions of the pattern and then knit them at my "leisure", whatever that is. There is no award that I know of for finishing on time, except that I would have a new shawl in time for autumn.

Well, I guess I have a little bit of a plan - I can finish spinning the "Ophelia" roving I got at the bead show, ply it off the bobbin and then start spinning some lacewieght yarn out of all that Cormo I bought last November at Torrance and then this July at Lambtown. I have an idea of the colorway I want (I did not buy it from The Loopy Ewe. Yet). Where beads will come from is another question entirely. Maybe I will make the foray into Tustin to check out the selection at ... the place next to Kragen, or maybe I will swing by Redlands to see if The Enchanted Unicorn has any (yes. I will call ahead).

I have been knitting like the wind on "That Scottish Shawl" while listening to "Memoirs of a Geisha" on cd. It is, like, totally engrossing. Audiobooks make a far better accompaniment to knitting than TV does. I also feel like my brain is working more by imagining the scenes. I am now only a couple hours away from starting the next section. I mean to take pictures, but the shawl lives in the bedroom while the camera hangs out with the laptop in the trunk of the car. (Don't rob me).

Maybe I will get all of those projects done by Friday.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Mystery Stole 4

Go. Go Now.

Monday, September 01, 2008


*edit to remove whining*

Otherwise, I have have attempted to have a nice calm weekend. I don't know that it is working out as planned. Saturday I worked and then watched movies and knit on That Scottish Shawl. I am getting close to done with the center panel and look forward to the next chart. I am also enjoying the project monagamy. The movies were "Hollywoodland" (about the guy who played Superman), and "The Pianist" (who knew it was a real story? must read the book), which both starred Adrien Brody. What a coincidence! The third movie was "Perfume: the story of a murderer" which was a lot wierd but pretty good overall. It is also from a book. It tells the story of a guy who wants to learn how to preserve scent, and hijinks ensue. Starring Professor Snape, Dustin Hoffman, and Ben Whishaw.

Sunday I didn't work but spent so much time discussing whether or not we should work that I just should have ponied up. Then I went to Fran's house and made lace. Her grandkids were visiting and, while they are cute, polite and fun, was a BIG change for me from having cats and dogs around. Eleventy-seven pets are WAY less work than even one kid, I suspect. The lace went swimmingly and I made great progress (one entire repeat out of the 6 required).

Today has been work and then maybe some lace (but it is getting kind of late). I also want to make a stab at going to bellydance tonight.

The big news from last week is that I combined Mr Whiskers and Seamus McCavy into one pen and they did not kill each other. Of course they have the rabbit to referee (he even has a black and white "uniform"). Things are going well so far, especially when I bribe them with banana and blueberries. Here is a bad picture of the truce:
But right this minute I need some lunch. My oatmeal has worn off. And it was a pretty big bowl!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pattern Release & Lazy Saturday

It's here! It's here! The Mermaid Scarf pattern is finished and ready for purchase. It will be up on The Soap Plantation website shortly or it can be found at Knit N Stitch. It is a simple little scarf suitable for beginning lace knitters and will take about 300 yards of any laceweight yarn. This is the first little pattern I am sending out into the world and I hope you like it as much as I do. in other news, it has been hot and humid for the past two days. Blah. I have been watering the garden but it is getting to the end of the season and everything is looking a bit scraggly. I found some seeds for Coreopsis Tinctura or Dyer's Coreopsis when I was clearing out a cupboard and think I will put it in before "winter". I also need to suck it up and dig out all the sad sad rose stumps. I wonder when the right time is to put in new ones?

I have been weaving like a woman possessed by the need to make her hobby into a career and it is going well. I can actually weave and let my mind wander at the same time now. I can even weave and listen to NPR! And either my cotton spinning has improved or I found a better way to load it on the bobbin, because the thread has been breaking far less.
I am missing Wyoming and the fresh air (my skin never looked so good), the open spaces and the scenery. Here is the old chicken coop:

And I will leave you with a picture of some sunflowers. Who doesn't love sunflowers?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Haiku Thursday

"Tea Towels"
Spin and weave cotton,
Advance the warp - wind up cloth,
Too nice to dry dishes.

I hear Grandma:"Don't
put it down, put it away".
I find the house nicer.

It grows, but each week
The gardener whacks away
My little chive plant.

Fodder thin today,
No pictures no updates. Sigh.
Must play "Diner Dash".

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wide Open Spaces

I am back from Wyoming and in one piece (one anti-social piece, but that is a post for another day). The rosary / funeral / burial were sad, but the rest of the weekend was nice. There was visiting with family and lots of eating. Several of us had never met before. We talked, walked, played games and I knit like the wind. Seriously, Mandy's sweater needs about 5 rows on the collar and the sleeves sewn in. I ran out of yarn in the Denver airport or it would have been done by now.
Three generations: Do you see what I see? Over a barrel... Sometimes a post is just a post...
The homestead. Grandma designed it and Grandpa built it. It took 5 years.
Thistle poppy - the fried egg plant. I saw antelope, but they were far away and very fast.
The trip home was exciting - take a car to Ft Collins, change cars to Denver, wait for my plane (forever), bus to Union Station, train from LA to Riverside, then the bus to my neighborhood, then a mile walk home. Whew. I can hardly believe I made all those connections. It is good to be home but I miss the emptiness of WY. I am suffering from closed-in-itis right now. It is hard to imagine why I couldn't just stay there. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Life's Ups and Downs

First the bad news - my grandpa died Monday. I will be in Wyoming this weekend (for the services) and will try to post if there is access. He was my oldest grandparent (born in '18 I believe) and a rugged guy. He was a miner and then built the family home (which my grandma designed, as she was an architecture major) in the evenings after his shift. He spent the last two years in a home, with Alzheimer's. I am sad that I never managed to get out to visit. I think the last time I saw him was at the family reunion when I was in college ('95?). I am bad with the living but always manage to make it to funerals. How wierd is that? Anyway, my Aunt Margaret send the notice on Sunday morning that he had been failing for a few days and I got to spend all day Sunday and Monday thinking about / remembering him before I got the note that he passed. It was peaceful and full of morphine and there was family around him, which is really the best of all worlds.

I really didn't mean to be away this long. Somehow time just... gets away. I have been keeping busy! We had the knitting Olympics at Knit N Stitch last on the 9th and it was great fun. I registered Mandy's unfinished birthday sweater as my Olympic Challenge project (can I finish it by this Saturday, the end of the Games?). Last weekend was pretty quiet. Mostly I stayed home weaving and enjoying the weather. I finally broke the windows open where the painters painted them shut (or open, depending) *cough* 2 1/2 years ago *cough*. The cats enjoy laying on the windowsills and I enjoy squirting them with the water bottle. The weaving is progressing nicely and the cotton spinning is a nice change when I get tired of the weaving part. You can see the 5 or so tea towels that are already done filling up the cloth beam. Here Dozer is filling in as a footwarmer. I am still spinning on the wheel - I finished the "Yule" yarn and plied it up and found time to spin some bulky alpaca and some green/ navy /burgundy merino that has been marinating in the stash for a while (quarters included for scale). I guess both of those bits of roving were about 5 years old now. Geez. I also went through the box of finished yarns (stored in ziplocks) and have been washing / setting the twist on all of those this weekend. It is a great feeling to look and see skeins and skeins of possibilities instead of piles and piles of stash that is begging to be spun. Friday I went to the Pasadena Bead and Design show. Stash was enhanced! I went to pick up some cotton sliver, but there was none to be found. I did pick up some 60/2 laceweight (cobweb really) yarn from RedFish Dyeworks and some beautiful merino & silk roving too (it is a little washed out in the pictures). I grabbed that one straight off and did not let it go.

From Nancy at Chameleon Colorworks I acquired some Optim (stretched merino) in the "Ophelia" colorway. It is very soft and shiny and a real pleasure to spin. I am one bobbin into it already - the plan is to make a 3 ply (non chained). At Carolina Homespun I snapped up some yak & silk roving (words cannot describe the yum factor here) and some regular silk roving (not exciting enough for a blog picture).I even bought a bead for Emily's baby shower this weekend. It is all hush-hush though.

Well, I had better scamper off and start some laundry so I have something to pack. Does anyone think I can get a laptop, my knitting and 4 days worth of clothes into one carry-on bag?