Saturday, January 31, 2009

I'm in trouble, and I need your help

I started knitting gloves with a nice big ball of mystery stash yarn. My best guess is Lopi Light. It turns out that I need more yarn. I want to finish these but I don't want to reset my days without buying yarn counter for one ball of Lopi Light. So do you have some that you want to destash? I'm not picky about the color. I can trade handmade soap.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


With my going through everything in the kitchen I realized that if I'm going to rationalize keeping my yogurt maker I need to use it. At least once. Here are photos of my second batch. The third will be made this weekend. Whole milk, half & half, plain organic yogurt, and a thermometer. This is not Lite yogurt.24 hours later

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Down Sizing

Like I do every 4 day weekend I picked up the clutter in my home and then I look around for things to get rid of so maybe next time I won't have clutter. Moving to a smaller place had me down sizing every day, then every month, and finally every season. The goal is 28 things have to go. Saturday I look around and I found 3. Hmmm, I need to do something new since I still am lacking in space and not everything has a place. Not yet.
So I look at what I can change. My spinning stash takes up so much room as nice fluffy fibers rather than compact yarn. Also, I haven't bought spinning fibers in a very long time and it's getting sort of stale. It's lost that sparkly feeling that I get from new projects. It's time to spin it up into sparkly new yarn.
So I pick out a nice wool I had dyed myself and give myself the job of spinning it up over the weekend to make more room and get me new nice yarn. I sit down to watch my Saturday night TV and 4 hours later have this much spun from the basket.
Sunday I start early and spin while listening to my morning radio. I also have the goal of getting rid of 28 things from each room. I need to dig deep and just do it. I set the timer for 30 minutes of going through a room touching everything I own and seeing if it was something that could go. Then 30 minutes of spinning before moving on to the next room.

Some rooms went well. I like finding 23 things in the bathroom. The kitchen I only found 3 things I can let go and one of them by eating the last handful of dried fruit so I can throw the bag away.

Once the last room is finished I sit and spin to Sunday night TV. 8 full spinning hours and I go to bed with this much done.
And this much left to go. I'm supposed to be finished by now. Ok, I still have Monday.
Monday I wake up crazy early and spin while watching the sun rise.
9am It's looking good. Time to stop for coffee.
Joey is fed up with my spinning. So boring. She won't play.
Early afternoon I break into the last bag and Sumi-e has to help. He pushes it down so the fluff is compact and contained. Nice kitty.
But it didn't help. 3 hours later and it looks like more not less.
Finally, as the sun starts to set the basket empties.
Did she even walk me today? I don't think so.
Look at that. All spun in the last light of day. I puff up with accomplishment.
And look at how small this is. My idea is so totaly working. Now to start plying it.
I celebrate by cooking Indian food and opening a bottle of wine. I eat it at the spinning wheel.
Sumi-e has joined Joey with thinking this is truly a boring day.
I push until midnight and I have this much done. At this point I'm not feeling so great and my muscles hurt. So does my back.
In the morning light. No fairies visited me in the night. So I turn on the TV to mute and listen to the inauguration on the radio. I think the speech is very good.
By the time the parade starts, and thankfully it's running late, I finish. Domestic Wool spun aran weight on the left. Merino spun light worsted on the right. Enough of it for a sweater maybe even a small sweater each.

Now is the basket looking sort of full to you? It's looking sort of full to me. Well, it should still work. It will at least get a new home, moved from the spinning stash book case to the yarn stash dresser. I am brilliant with making everything fit into my home. I am in control of my stash.

My yarn stash dresser may not have the room I thought.
Umm, yea, this isn't working out so well.
And the basket doesn't look any emptier.
But I did my part until spring or the next 4 day weekend.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Last year I said I was going to the gym and I did. I said I wanted strong arms. I never got them. Instead I picked up some abs as cute as kittens and I can now run 3 miles in 35 minutes.
I also knitted. I decided I would knit 12 pairs of socks just for me. In the past I knit about 6 pairs a year and gifted 4 of them. In 7 years of knitting I only had 14 pairs of socks. In 2008 I knit 19 pairs of socks, 14 of them for me.
This year I am too tired to make any new resolutions. I signed up again with the school gym but I worry about finding the time to go. It's going to be a hard semester.
The people that graduated last spring talk of it in hushed tones. The teachers, as they hand out the syllabuses, laugh maniacally and tell us to quit our jobs and to wave sleep good bye.
These four classes are the ones I wanted to take 2 years ago when I signed up. The last 2 years were all just to get to where I am now. It has the possibility of being fun. All my classes sound like fun when I talk about them but in reality they move so fast and with so much pressure fun is not even close to the right word. Still I have finally made it to were I want to be so I will try to take full advantage of it. Or at least to not fall down.
As for knitting in 2009? It will be socks. Last semester with 3 classes I was too beat to handle sweaters. This spring with 4 I am not even going to try.

Monday, January 12, 2009


It's been years since I have received so many Christmas and new years gifts. I have been truly blessed.

Yarn. Yummy yummy sock yarn.

I cast on the Imagination sock yarn right away. It's the Pixie Dust colorway so I chose a pattern that looks like Pixie Wings. The yarn isn't the most tightly spun so I am knitting it at a dense gauge of 8spi because I want them to last for years. I believe a dense gauge helps with that. I enjoy that even at 25% this yarn has that feel of alpaca. In my mind alpaca feels soapy. That's the way I think of it at least. That's ok. I make soap, soapy is a good thing.

Opal is my favorite sock yarn ever and in I received two in stunning solid colors so I can knit lace and cables socks. I am going to enjoy knitting them. But first I will have to hoard them for a good long time so I can enjoy the yarn just being in my stash. I love that part.

I have always wanted to try Essential and now I can. I have a pattern all picked out.Christopher Elbow Chocolates. Look at how photogenic they are! Even when only 2 are left.

Wine came with the chocolates.

Just as special, homemade caramels. My favorite candy ever.

I love books and this one is so sweet.
Homemade dried apples from their tree. I didn't know dried fruit could taste so good.

Jam, also homemade and homegrown. 2008 was a good harvest. I looking forward to opening them. Sweet bottled summer in a jar.Suri Alpaca for spinning from her own animals. Very nice. I haven't met a Suri Alpaca yet. Maybe I should set up a visit.

From some of the Kiddos in my life:

Chocolate covered sunflower seeds from one picked out with the help of his parents.
And from another, a bear picked out from his toys with no help at all.
Joey takes over all stuffed toys. I can't stop him. He loves them so much I don't try very hard.

A sweater drying rack that fits in the bathtub and in front of the window. Sumi-e has told me I am never to take it down. It deeply upsets him when I cover it with wet wool too.

Some gifts that don't photo well. I was taken out to eat for a nice curry and given money to pay the gas to make the trip to visit. Both where deeply appreciated.
And finally,
To myself. Two of the best knitting books out there right now.
I would show what I gave, but sadly many of them are still on the needles.