A blog about my life, knitting, and other stuff.

April 28, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

You know the Burning Hot Lave Game? Some shouts "The floor is burning hot lava!" And then you all scramble to get up on the furniture so you don't burn up in the lava. Well, sometimes someone doesn't make it.

"Your skirt is burning hot lava!"

April 27, 2011

Stand in the Place Where You Work

Late last night I read Cari's post about two articles that appeared in the New York Times. Wes and I had read them about a week ago and they have been weighing on our minds. I definitely eat far, far too much sugar. Even if you think sugar is harmless in moderation I'm probably off the chart. The second article about how much time we spend sitting and how dangerous that is for us also got us thinking. Wes has started running again. I have tried to just move more generally but let's face it. I'm a knitter. I sit and I knit. A lot. I also am addicted to the internet. I sit at my computer and surf and knit. A lot. So late last night after reading Cari's post I made a move. I cleared off the hutch in our dining room (kind of a big feat) and moved my computer to it. It's just the right height for me. After about ten minutes though I realized that my feet (we don't wear shoes in the house) were going to get really sore from standing on the hardwood floors. I grabbed a few of my foam squares I use for blocking and now, here I am, standing and typing. It's not super comfortable which I hope will encourage me to use the computer less. The best thing is that now that my computer and all my stuff (DVDs, knitting, stitch markers, cables, papers) are off the dining room table we can--gasp!--use the dining room table for eating. Craziness, I know.

April 26, 2011

Fiber Gallery 7th Anniversary Sale

The Fiber Gallery is celebrating its 7th anniversary with an enormous sale. We will have clearance yarns from Cascade, Mirasol, Debbie Bliss, Noro, Rowan and Frog Tree, to name a few brands, at 40% off. All non-clearance yarns will be 20% off.

Join us Friday, April 29, 11-6, Saturday, April 30, 10-6 and Sunday, May 1, 12-5 for this great sale.

Please note we will be closing at 5 pm on Thursday, April 28 to prepare for the sale.

April 25, 2011

The Benefits of Monogamy

I'm finishing the final edge of my tenth and final mitered cross. There is still a lot of joining, half-squares and edging to do so I'm not close to the finish line yet but I've got the bulk of the project done.

I also spent six hours spinning the filthy alpaca (it's all processed now). I have a few more hours of spinning to go then plying then figuring out if I can ever really get it clean. But having a single focus is really paying off.

April 21, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

Sorry this post is late. My family let me sleep in for my birthday.

If I could have a birthday wish it would be that no man ever sport this combo of knitwear and facial hair ever again.

April 17, 2011

Obsessed I Tell You

I can't leave that filthy alpaca alone. I've been spending hours combing it by hand into little cloud-like coils.

In fact yesterday I went to an all-day spin-in. I spent six hours spinning it. Even after washing (multiple times), carding and combing, this is what it did to my hands.

Say it with me, "Ewwwwww."

It's gross, right? But I keep going back to it. Yesterday I carded the rest on my drum carder and still only got about half of it combed.

You may be wondering why I'm carding and combing this beast. The locks are really clumped up with dirt. When I just comb it it takes a huge amount of time and energy and I end up throwing away a lot of fiber. Carding it first kind of breaks it up and makes the combing much easier and more productive. I can't just card it either because of the amount of veg in it. If I just carded it all the hay and grass would just get mushed up and mixed in with the fiber. I want to get as much out as possible.

I'm going to try to take a little break from it tonight. But it keeps pulling me back in!

April 14, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I'll admit it. I don't get the whole baby cocoon/pod thing that is so popular these days. It makes me feel old to say but when my kids were babies (only 10-13 years ago) it made sense to us to put babies in clothing and use blankets to keep them warm. This, it seems, is old school now. Nowadays, apparently, you need to knit a massively bulky tube and stuff your naked child into it.

But when you combine this already confusing-to-me new trend with a nursing blanket then I'm completely comfuzzled.

Now it looks like you wearing a capelet while either a) have an incredibly deformed left arm, b) have an absurdly saggy left breast or c) you are suckling a python that is digesting a goat.

April 13, 2011

You Filthy Beast

A few weeks ago I was dyeing this skein of yarn. I realized I had a lot of extra dye in the pot and ran to my fiber stash to find something else to throw in there. I found a bag of what appeared to be relatively clean, soft alpaca. I didn't remember where it came from but I put it in a lingerie bag and started soaking it before dyeing. People, the unspeakable quantity of filth that came off this fiber and the amazing amounts of hay, grass and God knows what else...it was amazing. I washed it several times. I dyed it. I washed it several more times. The rinse water was still brown. Disgusting. And the vegetation was all still there. I decided to comb some of it to try to get out the veg. (Carding just mixes it in.)I combed a bit. Huge quantities of dirt and veg came out. I spun a bit. It turned my fingers black.

At this point a normal person would think, "Hey, this is just a small bag of free alpaca someone gave to me. I can just compost it and call it a day." But I can't stop. I spent all last night combing bits of it and spinning it. The fiber ended up a soft blue-green.

It's spinning up into a sage-y gray. I can't stop. Last night I also dyed the rest of it but a much more vivid yellow-blue-green. In the end I might get 4 oz of yarn from this. But I can't stop myself. Last night I would spin a little, wash my hands and call it done. Then drift back over to the pile of fiber and start sorting it again, picking out the yuck, spinning more. There was a lot of hand washing. This sucker is still disgusting.

My other obsession is still continuing too.

April 10, 2011

New Obsession

Kay's Mitered Crosses. I'm using Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran for the borders and trying to use only handspun for the crosses. I don't think I have enough handspun so I might have to stop at some point and spin more yarn. Worse things could happen.

April 9, 2011


Pattern: Taygete from 7 Small Shawls to Knit by Rosemary Hill
Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight in Puck's Mischief and a Rare Gems colorway
Needle: US4 Addi Turbo
Notes: I knit this exactly as written. The main section is easy, easy knitting and the lace portion is very small and goes by quickly. The bind off, on the other hand, took two days to complete. This is a great stashbuster project for sock yarn.

April 7, 2011

Thursdays are for What the Hell is This?

I don't know what offends me more, the idea of someone actually wearing this or the fact that they paid $5 for the "pattern."

*Warning: This would be completely NSFW if a person were wearing it. It's shown on a mannequin, but still...*

April 4, 2011

First Purlygirl Retreat

People, I am exhausted. I just spent three days laughing my ass off and knitting and spinning. We had our first-ever Purlygirl retreat at Fort Worden. When I came back from my annual Fort Worden retreat this past November a number of Purlygirls expressed interest in our own retreat. I was able to reserve a 6-bedroom house. With a few last minutes cancellations and substitutions there were 11 of us on the retreat with a few day visitors on Saturday.

We started out Friday morning and took the ferry to Kingston and headed straight to the Artful Ewe in Port Gamble. Heidi's shop is always such a warm, welcoming place, full of color, texture and inspiration. I left with some merino/cashmere top dyed an intensely deep blue. Grace, the shop dog, was snuggled in her bed of wool in front of the wood stove with her little paws warming on the hearth.

I think I would like to be Grace in my next life.

Then we headed to Port Townsend, ate lunch and visited the local yarn shops. I was very excited to find a portable, folding wooden foot stool on clearance at The Twisted Ewe. No one in my group could understand what was so exciting about it until we got to the house and they all got to try it out. It just takes all the pressure off your lower back and makes sitting in a not so comfortable chair so much more pleasant.

Once we got settled in we just sat around knitting, spinning and chatting. Some people made forays into town, others strolled the beach and all of us relaxed and had a great time.

I took the chance to finish spinning a luxury blend I had carded myself. It is all the samples of luxury fibers I've collected in classes for the past several years. There's many types of cashmere, bison, yak, alpaca, llama (some blended with silk) all mixed in together. It feels heavenly.

It ended up a variegated, mottled brown. Pretty but not too exciting. When I got home I threw it in the dyepot and now it's a variegated teal.

For knitting I kept things simple. I worked on the ribbed middle section of the Fast Forward scarf in Shelter.

On our way home we stopped on Bainbridge Island and had a final lunch at the Harbour Public house (I love their fish and chips) then went to Churchmouse. We all took the ferry together back home then went off our separate ways.

It was a great time. I already have a house reserved for next year.

April 1, 2011

What Was That?

Younger Son: (looking guilty) That was an armpit fart.
Me: That came out of your butt?
YS: Damn.