Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back in Stock!

The`'Mermaid' Scarf is back for your knitting pleasure!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Do What You Know

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


song chart memes
see more Funny Graphs

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


OOF I overdid it in the social arena today. It has been a great day, though! My new knitting student is stellar, my Wallaby is walking along, I am restocking the Mermaid Scarf pattern over at Knit N Stitch and itching to work up something new.

Time for some dinner, some catsitting and then begging off weaving class in favor of an extra early bedtime.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Knitting continues on the Wallaby. I managed to write the directions down wrong and had to rip out all of the pocket and re-do the decreases, but have re-knit it correctly and am well into new yarn now. I am really happy with it so far but almost wish it was some bright shiny color instead of natural brown. The next one, maybe. It was so much fun to sit and knit with Linda and the ladies at the store this afternoon. We talked about Movie Night, about having a holiday party / open house and about having a Winter Knitting Olympics.

Tomorrow I have a new knitting student. I am very excited to steer someone down this path. Now I just need to find my handbasket...

I had another interview today and hope to hear back next week. This position is exactly what I love to do and excel at. It is close to home and a relaxed environment. Fingers and knitting needles crossed.

Mama cat has finally decided (after 7 months) that pettings are good and that I distribute them. Now she follows me everywhere for snuggling and stroking. Luckily she is soft and floofy.

Still Awake

I am falling down tired, but waiting for the laundry to go into the dryer (smart laundry), and too excited for tomorrow to go to sleep. This is a recipe for waking up late and missing my appointment, but yet....

Managed some tidying today and moved some stuff into the garage. Yay space! My dream of emptying the closets, adding shelves and reorganizing is still a dream, but I am one step closer. Visited the catsitting cats and gave them all scritches. They are ready for their 'parents' to be home, and may finally be warming up to me in desperation :)

The Wallaby knitting is moving along - I am decreasing the pocket and will soon join it to the body and keep on going.

Not a thrilling post but better than a stick in the eye.

The full moon is so pretty tonight - amazingly bright and clear. My yard is all lit up like when the cops had the DUI checkpoint floodlights on. The kind of night that is best appreciated out in the country, not here in town with the streetlights vying for my attention, washing out the moonshine.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

High Fiber Diet

Well, we carpooled to the SoCal Handweavers' show and sale today and had a great time. It seems like I saw every friend I have - I suppose that happens when you surround yourself with spinners. There were some new vendors with some very yummy roving and yarn, but I managed (barely) to contain myself to only spending my gift certificate. Picked up a back issue of Spin Off and some Finn roving (which is nigh on impossible to find) in white, of course. As usual, almost all the fiber and yarn that I loved beyond reason was natural colored (white / brown /gray). Gee, I have plenty of that! Anyway, the place was jam packed and the vendors were selling as fast as they could.

It was fun to talk knitting / spinning in the car on the way there; I didn't even think about working on my sweater during the ride. We talked about novelty yarns and then ran into John Pitblado who teaches a novelty yarn class - what luck! We will have to have him come out and teach a Riverspinners class. I think having a rigid heddle weaving class is also on the table. And a party. I am going through cream puff withdrawl.

Saturday will be the Lace Day - I will have to see about carpooling and maybe volunteering. I have been lace free since February (boy it seems like a hundred years ago) and it will be nice to dip my toes back in the pool.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Time to check in for a bit. It has been dry, windy and alternately warm and cool here, leading to a general feeling of ' am I sick or are these dust sniffles? '. All the lotion and hair conditioner has come out from storage, as well as the flannel jammies.

I am still working in weaving class, warping up for an overshot practice piece. One mistake in the warp became 2 and then 3... what a mess. I muddled thru and learned a lot about just doing things correctly in the first place! Threading has commenced and I should be ready to throw a shuttle in a couple more weeks. Home weaving has been on hold, although I have repaired the warping board and have a long list of things that need to be made up, and soon.

Mama and the kittens all got sterilized last week and are recovering nicely. The boys look a little... deflated. The girls got more of a Brazilian wax. Want one?

Knitting has recommenced after a long wool-free summer. The burgundy Icarus shawl has been dusted off and is looking good. I have also been threatening to have a Wallaby KAL for a couple years now and finally started one so that I will be able to help the class. The brown romney I was spinning last winter is just the thing and progress is swift.

Driving has been cut to a minimum until I can save up the $400 I need for the rest of the repairs it needs (my oil change ended up being $300 in repairs and that was just the things that would have killed me on the way home), but I think I can carpool to the Handweavers' show this weekend, so fun is still in my future!

Friday, October 02, 2009

The Happiest Time of the Year

Today is a good day. A great day. A day second only to 'get the space heater out of storage' Day. Today is......First Handknit Socks of the Season Day. My feet are all toasty warm now (that brown rock is Dozer with a walk-on role).

In other news, I spent a good chunk of yesterday warping and sampling for Martha's blanket. The sample is coming out beautifully, but the pets were not as happy.
Dozer wonders if he measures up. Tuppy has decided to appoint himself Master of Scissors. Perhaps he is showing me he knows he goes in for the snip this month? He really is a sweet cat... anyone want him?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Parade of Finished Objects

First, the upholstery fabric. I think it came out quite well. It softened after wet-finishing, but the blue did not pucker noticeably and the boucle bits in the white stripes became more prominent. It has a good weight and a dense enough texture to be approved for upholstery by my weaving class, so I call it a success. Now to find cheap pillow forms and some foam to make a weaving bench pad.
A wide shot of the cottolin fabric. This is the twill side, and you can barely, barely see the herringbone pattern through the textured, striped yarn. This picture is after wet-finishing, a trip through the dryer and having the holy hell ironed out of it. Measured shrinkage was minimal, although the cotton portion did fluff up considerably. The fabric has become much softer and more pliable. The tabby side also came out well, but the picture is not very interesting. "Yup, looks like cloth, Martha". A super-close up of the twill portion. Hopefully you can click to enlarge but I can see about setting up a weaving folder on my flickr account for better viewing. I really enjoyed working with the linen, broken warp threads notwithstanding.

I have also discovered that I am sick of using a dummy warp. It is meant to give extra length to the warp so that you can use every inch of your fashion fabric, which is valuable for dear yarns or handspun. I find that I lose more weaving time, and gain more stress, than I had in the weaving process in that last 6 inches. I will stick to tying a back apron rod onto the warp beam.
Next on the weaving plate? Overshot sampling in weaving class and cotton tea-towels (full size) at home. I also need to warp up for the gray blanket.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I Made Waffles!

First, the world's darkest picture of waffle weave. One weft portion is handspun cotton singles, the remainder is the 8/2 2-ply I used for warp. I just need to cut the washcloths apart and hem them. I remembered to leave an inch for hemming this time! I hope you can see that the squares, after washing, became much smaller and deeper. The fabric is very squashy.My new project - cotton / linen 2 ply for both the warp and the weft. Sett is 24 epi, threading is herringbone (style?) on 8 shafts. This is just a little 1 yard sample. I can see the twill reverse direction in this picture (it makes little waves), but it is nearly impossible to see in person. I will try some tabby weave later for comparison.I am learning about a sticky shed, about an in flexible yarn, and about working with flax in single-digit humidity. I think it will soften after washing. I will take it to my dressmaker friend and see if it will work for its intended purpose - a skirt. It is so nice and light though, she may approve a blouse.

Well, weaving is all I want to do today, but it is off to demo spinning and weaving at the fair. I will remember to bring my charkha this time and hopefully figure out something to pack as a lunch.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Autumn Preparations

Autumn will be here any minute, so it is time to start nesting, finish summer projects and insulate the house for the coming of autumn and then winter. Er... or something. I even picked up a golden-red chrystanthemum at the home store this morning for a spot of color in the garden. It is the season where I long to know how to can things. I want to be able to say 'oh yes, I put up some nectarines and apple butter this weekend'. In the meantime....The 9-Patch and White quilt has been dusted off and the top is pieced! I love the white sashing. If I had any more squares (or a queen bed), I would make it wider now that I have a queen bedframe, but twin size is nice too. No two patches are the same, but they are arranged randomly. A bit of organized chaos. A close up: My corners are getting much more square. The backing will be navy with little white stars, and I think I will use ties for this quilt instead of hand-quilting it. I can't think of a quilting pattern that would complement it and please me, and I have dozens of colors of DMC cotton floss that I think will work for ties that coordinate with each of the color families. Maybe a vine pattern along the white sashing if I get the urge to hand quilt it after all ... although the thread would show on the reverse. Uh oh. Apparently I took too long of a break from weaving to sew the quilt this afternoon... I have squatters. Gussie is in the upstairs apartment and Tubby - errr Tuppy - is downstairs. Want one?

Good Tidings

The handspun cotton is working out great (we will check in again after wet-finishing) and I rigged a bobbin winder out of my power drill, a bic pen and a hair tie.

But I may have to ask for one for Christmas.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peer Pressure

Since the looms are apparently the best place to be, I thought I would get back to work. But I didn't want to disturb a sleeping Bingo, so I broke out the table loom and an audio book from the library (The Princes of Ireland by E. Rutherfurd) and got down to it.There was warp already on the loom, left over from the last batch of tea towels. I chose a basic waffle-weave as my next project and rethreaded the heddles and resleyed the reed. It only took about an hour for each - amazing how fast it goes when I sit and do it! I also thought and thought until I figured out a way to add more heddles to shafts that were already threaded. It worked out well, and the 2o minutes of thinking and the 20 minutes of fiddling were less than the hours it would have taken to put 12 string heddles on each of 4 shafts *shudder*. I am glad I ordered those extra heddles (way back when).I hope you can click to "embiggen" the pictures. Waffle weave makes little squares in the fabric just like, well, waffles. The treadling is a little more complicated than tabby or twill, but not terrible. I have to pay attention though, as I have threaded pattern repeats on shafts 1-4 and 5-8 so that I can use more ends.
I am also using the same yarn for warp and weft in this sample. I have quite a bit of handspun cotton set aside, so I may try sampling with some of that too. The handspun is thinner than the warp, however, and I wonder what it will do to the weave structure.
All right kitties, off the loom, it is time to get back to work!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Thank you for your kind words about my spinning! I also saw that Pat V, Diane, and Josephine won a passel of ribbons for their fine knitting - I will try to email the pictures to Linda at Knit N Stitch... or stop in and show you!
Sunday we were demonstrating spinning and weaving at the Millard Sheets Gallery at the LA County fair. I brought a bag of malamute brushings and went to town. The result was a couple of skeins of soft fluffy yarn with a nice halo. One skein went back to the dog-owner today for examination and the other is safely locked away from the cats. I am back on track in quilting class and did my homework this morning, then set the machine aside. Fritti lost no time in getting snuggled up in the corner. I have to iron the strips, attach them to the blocks, add the edging, find some stuffing, add the back and it will be done. 3 sessions, perhaps.

Tonight is weaving class - I should be able to cut off my fabric tonight or next week. I suppose I should start thinking about my next project. Maybe some scarves out of the angora I spun this spring? Or learning the 'overshot' technique and working on a blanket? I use my class time to experiment and learn new things, and my home weaving time to do things I already know how to do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

LA County Fair Results

After much impatience and fingernail-nibbling, we went to check out our entries at the LA County Fair Tapestry competition. I am pretty glad that Denise needled me, and that I made the deadline... by 4 minutes.
Best in Show: "Hyacinth" hand dyed silk from Chasing Rainbows, spun fine and chain plied. This was the remnant yarn from the black and rainbow shawl... and I remember a lovely afternoon plying up a passel of half filled bobbins. Me at the spinning wheel and Kip with a blowtorch and a transmission *sigh*. You can see Denise's lovely bamboo singles off to the right, with a ribbon of its own.

First: Hand dyed wool of my own, spun very fine. It is much, much more orange in person: The lighting in the hall and in the display cases was horrendous. Down with flourescence!First: 'MacKenzie' wool / silk blend from Ashland Bay. Spun and plied to a nice fluffy DK weight, I believe. It is a beautiful, vibrant navy blue, not the funny gray it appears. Second: Naturally green cotton singles, spun on a charkha. This is the yarn I use for weaving discloths. Hmmm, and I need to get moving on that order before Martha sets her last one on fire.

Third: Natural colored yak/ silk blend singes, also to be used for weaving.

It seems that the judges had an eye to color, now that I think about it. There were many lovely naturally colored wool skeins that were sadly ribbon-free. I will keep that in mind for next year. I knew I made good yarn, but I am grateful for the outside validation. Now if only there were prizes.... even $7 to cover my potato at lunch would be nice.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


Just when you think they are your friends *bam* it's high school again and time to play ignore the one with glasses until she goes away. Fine. I am going. It will save me money on my subscription anyway. I just wanted to be accepted... and I got it... but only for a little while. It is never long enough.

Maybe if I stopped abandoning people it wouldn't happen to me.

Monday, August 03, 2009

A Fair Day

I went to the OC Fair yesterday and helped wrangle goats. Here are Vegas and Reno, who won their show. They are Boer goats, which is a meat breed. These two are does, and they went off with another farm to get bred this week. I guess these events really are a 'meet market' *yuk yuk*. At least it wasn't me hooking up with someone short, furry and funny smelling.It is harder to think of them as dinner when they are sleeping. Not so difficult when you are trying to wrangle them to the show ring or when you are mucking out the stall after 14 hours at the fair. But this is the kind of goat I want:It is an Alpine, which is a dairy breed. How can you say no to this face? I love the coloring and those sweet upright ears.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


I miss my knitting mojo. I re-read posts from the last two summers - I hardly remember all those projects! Maybe tonight I will put on the a/c and pick up the needles... I have been working on things - just not knitting.

None of my knitting projects made it into the LA Co fair but I did submit 5 handspun yarns. I am hoping for the best and will find out how they did when the fair opens in September. I know they are good, but worry that they will not place well. There are a lot of very talented spinners out here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Weaving Class Info

The main website for Tri-community adult school in Covina.

A list of the summer term offerings is here (although the term just ended). I don't see the fall schedule up yet. The weaving class will be $25 + $10 registration for each 3 hour session when classes start again 9/7. Registration is on a 'just show up' basis, so get there about 20 minutes early. Looms are provided and there is *plenty* of free yarn to get you started. There is also yarn for purchase or you can bring your own. They also have a spinner's corner with equipment and fiber if you would prefer to learn to spin.

We meet at location two. It takes about 45 minutes from Riverside, but at least we are driving the opposite way of all the traffic!

There is no 'required' reading but you may want to get Handwoven, Learning to Weave (Chandler), A Weaver's Companion, or Mastering Weave Structures (Alderman).

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Woolies and Weavings

The new weaving project in class: A close up:
The previous project. Woven half this size and unfolded. Pay no attention to the unfinished edges. Mr. Whiskers and Lola (she was a show pig):
Baby lionhead rabbits. Fuzz-licious!

Saturday, July 25, 2009


I think rabbits are soft on the topside to distract one from the pointy bits on the underside.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


If anyone has seen my camera, can you send it home? It was supposed to come in when the streetlights came on. Haven't seen it in weeks, even though The Great Decluttering of 2009 continues.

Redlands Bowl season is here, so there is more knitting time in my week now. The first of the blue socks is nearly done and they might be fair-worthy. Opening night was packed with both people and good entertainment.

The first project from my weaving class is off the loom and wet-finished (imagine picture here). I need to figure out a good edging treatment and decide if it is a mat, towel or blanket. This project was my fist of double-wide double-weave, which gives a finished item twice as wide as the working width of the project. I think my fold line was pretty iffy, but the class and the teachers assure me it was pretty darn good. Wet finishing changed the texture significantly, so my first order of business in our next class is trying to find out why it changed, followed by how to avoid those changes and/ or how to duplicate them in a future project.

Someone came by the spinning demo booth at the farmers' market Friday and suggested we wander by the Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum to see the weavers' barn. Denise was agreeable, so Saturday was filled with chili dogs, soft serve, tractors, weaving, looking for a water fountain, and contemplating the blacksmithing class. Then back at the ranch we admired the goats and sheeps and horses. A good day.

I am going to a wedding next weekend and am scrambling for a gift. Yarn, perhaps.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Being Lovely

Today is a good day because...
  • it might rain
  • yesterday was pizza night at the knitting store
  • it might not rain
  • I bought cat litter
  • there is a cantaloupe growing in the garden
  • I found a grown up bed that is so cheap it will fit even my budget
  • I worked on my sock last night at knitting
  • kittens are soft

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Time to Reap

Watermelons and Wool.... this is the sunset colored merino I have been working on for a few months now at varous demos, photograped on a bed of watermelon leaves. I think I will enter it in the LA co fair.
Can you 'ear' me now? I promise I did not force the corn to grow this way!
The haul from the garden today. The corn was very tasty with a side of hot dogs and potato salad. It could have grown some more, but was sweet and fit exactly in the pot! Those tomatoes are about 3" deep in that container. I took lots of garden pictures but will settle for posting just this one. The sunflowers in the front are doing quite well; the goldfinches already check on their progress. Down the other side of the house is swiss chard, basil, a tomato, a larkspur and some coreopsis tinctora. I have flax to plant too, but no idea where to find the space! Here are the completed Uncloudy Day socks. I am always bewildered when the stripes come out so differently. The stitch count is identical. These might also get entered in the fair... the worst that can happen is that I waste $1 on the entry fee!
The kittens love the loom. Mama cat (Carrie) is supervising and the gray kitten is hiding under the treadles.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Time to Sow

Well, the first kitten went to her new home today. She is missed, but the others are being so rambunctious I don't have time to fret. Another is on the 'maybe' list. They have another photo shoot tomorrow, the lucky ducks.

Had a hard day today... don't know if the lack of ambition caused the badness or if the badness drained my ambition. Either way it sucked. I did manage to thread about a third of the ends on the big loom this afternoon before my back cried uncle, and I think I can finish that tomorrow. Yes I took my meds, yes I remembered to eat, yes I took headache pills and yes I cuddled kittens. But yet - feeling off.

My big planting plans are put off until the morning, but I have larkspur, catnip, jasmine and lavender to plant and feverfew and flax to sow. I also bought some dirt and received the first batch of composting worms, so the poor little plants might actually grow. I will have oregano transplants for giving away (and maybe basil too), but am looking for a comfrey plant if anyone knows where I can get one. It is a rabbit digestive. mmmm

I thought of a wonderful caption for the picture in the last post.... 'A Loom with a View' .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Knittin' and Kitten

Socks in progress... 'Skye Blues' ankle socks. Araucania yarn in colorway 6. 8st/inch on size 0 needles. My first time trying this yarn - it is 100% sugar cane fiber. Not very elastic, but super soft and shiny. It also has good drape and would be nice for a tank top.

The other socks (brown and pink) are done, picot hem sewn down and everything, but the camera is not cooperating. I might enter them in the next fair (LA county, I believe).

A very adventursome kitty. I looked over and he was very, very tall on the very top of the loom. They have also decided it is their job in life to un-thread the heddles. I will have to hurry and finish threading and tying on. Then they can just bounce on the fabric like a giant trampoline. I learned how to lace my warp to the front apron rod in class last week, so I think I will try that on the home project too.
The rabbit show was great fun, and a long day. I can hardly believe how many kinds of rabbits there are... little ones, big ones, skinny ones, fat ones. You know when the day is just about done when you look at the rabbits on the judging table and start thinking of rabbit pie. mmmmm pie.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sock Hop

The camera is still missing, but the first of the Butte / Uncloudy Day socks is done, picot hem and all. Number two is eagerly awaiting my attention, so gotta fly. Happy Holiday Monday everyone.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Happenings and happenstance

Tomorrow I will be joining my darling Denise at a rabbit show. Should be a good time. Then Sunday I have a demo and *hopefully* a kitten delivery. The garden is growing, the flowers are blooming and the kittens are 'wrassleing' as my grandpa would have said. Knitting is still intermittent, but we have been going to weaving class and progress is being made. I even took a workshop on tiny woven pouches that was great fun... and very saleable.

I love the nice comments and even the constructive ones. But for the mean ones, well, I am flattered that you take the time to follow my long absences. I will understand though, if you want to apply your energies elsewhere instead of wasting your time reading my boring blog, since it apparently annoys you no end. I suppose I should be flattered that you are not so busy in your own life that you can't take time to stop by here.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I was going to post but then I checked the comments.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Not Dead

.... just distracted.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Wednesday Weaving

I forgot to post the picture I took of our weaving classroom. Someone from a newsletter or paper came by to take pictures, so we uncovered every loom. I siezed the opportunity to get a shot for the blog! This is not even all of them. It was also a lovely opportunity to see more of the projects that students are working on... every one of those floor looms (and there are several out of shot) is assigned to someone.

We had our 3rd session this evening and I am still working on getting my dummy warp set up. The bad news is that my intended project is just not going to fit on the loom I was assigned, but the good news is that I can use the same tie-up for another project and use the loom at home for the original one. Now that the front room is much tidier I want to make a bunch of rugs and runners to brighten it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


The kittens are getting bigger and more interesting. Here is a picture I took of one at the "dogwash". Dozer just loves the kittens but he is much bigger than they are! They are always closely supervised. They will be 3 weeks on Thursday and are still in need of homes.
They had a professional photo shoot on Sunday and were just adorable*. I love the look on the gray tabby in the background in this one...... and the expression on the orange one here. You can only see the tail end of kitten #6 off to the left there. She is a mostly dark tortie and white and was very shy that day.
Things have been getting bigger in the garden too and I made up a little bouquet of geranium, oregano and alyssum. The picture didn't look upside down when I took it! The alyssum is a volunteer from 4 houses down that just sprang up a month or so ago. Now it is huge and I have little seedlings all over the garden; much like the oregano come to think of it. And the basil. And the tomato. I might have more volunteer plants than real ones!
My hand wasn't feeling well last week so there wasn't much spinning or knitting, but I did manage some work on these socks a couple of days ago. I believe the yarn in Seacoast Handpaints and the colorway is "Butte". It is a lovely soft 2 ply yarn and I am knitting on size 0 dpns. One sock is on waste yarn for the moment - I set it aside to make the other so that I can work on each to use up every bit of this lovely yarn.

*Studio pictures courtesy of Kelly Vela at Mountains and Meadows photography. These are available as prints (kitten free with purchase of course) and you can see them in person at the Riverside Arts Walk.