Saturday, July 30, 2005

New & Improved! She rambles on the creative side.

Amy learned to spin today. I loaned her my first wheel, a Reeves castle. She's hooked.
Carla has started quilting and wants to learn to cook.
My advice to her, as the cooking/food freak in her life ?
Buy this book:
Bittman is a god. Our house copy actually has pages falling out from use. Interesting AND straight forward, two things you rarely see in a cookbook.
My other advice is to obsess on one cooking show.

My advice is always to obsess it makes you see possibilities in yourself.

Possibilities in me are my new theme. I realized this weekend, after trying to dodge an offer that I really can't refuse (Hi Shannon!) that somehow I've tied off/tamped down that part of me that always has ideas, the creative part. I've always had more spinning around in my brain than I could ever accomplish. I've always stuffed my brain full of anything that interests me, even slightly, to marinate and circulate with everything else in there and pop out as a creative something - a sweater, a game for my kids, an interesting meal, or an answer for a friend. I’ve always loved having all of that going on, always dreaming on something – back burner, indeed – I’ve got a resturant-issue 8 burner stove simmering away.

But now? Shannon calls to say:"Whatcha got? Whatcha think?" I open the door, ready to pick and choose, to wade into idea-land, to swat away an abundance of ideas like so many annoying mosquitoes.

Nothing. Nada.

"Hello?" I call, "Hello, ideas, someone?" 'Hello... hello... hello...' echoes back from the emptiness.
I go for the more concrete idea receptacle - my notebook(s), sketchbooks, idea books, whatever you'd like to call them, they have words, pictures, drawings, stuff that's stepped out of the stew of brain marinade and asked to become more. I usually have 2 going at once.
I can't find my notebooks. Anywhere.
I go back to the door, determined to drag something out kicking and screaming. There's got to be something there hiding in corner, sucking its thumb.
I fling open the door, and stand with my hands on my hips, because I mean business (yeah, my kids don't fall for it either).

Still empty. There are empty beer bottles and yarn ball bands scattered around. This time I notice the note:

You didn't come to play; we took our ball and went home.


To be continued……..

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Swatching for color

I love to swatch.
Right now I'm swatching for interesting color/texture, by combining two yarns. I've been inspired to do this by the words (yes I read the articles) in Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson owner of Purl in NY.

The first one is one strand of Aurora 8 and one of Kid Seta. The colors are f-ed up. The Kid Seta is chocolate brown & the A-8 is a sorta of dried blood browny-red. The effect shows well though - a mottled effect that I really like.

The one is also A-8 (peacock) & Kid Seta (indigo). The colors are more true here.

The same mottled effect. What you can't see is the slightest of halo the Kid Seta creates & it feels beyond sexy. This is going to be a sweater for Knitty when it grows up.

This swatch is also a great reminder about 'you and your personal gauge'. The bottom part of this swatch was knit by Carla on 10.5 - 5sts to 1 inch. The top half by this here loosey goosey on 9s - 4 sts to 1 inch. Your swatch is your friend.

This is two yarns from Habu that I bought at Purl.
Both are naturally dyed. The yarn on the left is silk & the color is pretty true. Thee yarn on the right is a little more orange in reality & is mohair/silk.

This combo is to become some sort of lace goodie before the Fall is through. I'm trying to be realistic, really.

Did I mention that after nearly 3 years of searching I've finally found a knitting group I love? Hooray. As a bonus, it's got a cool spin-off spinning group too.

I think I fixed my comments so that anyone can leave one. Not just BLogger freaks. Thanks Kerri, for pointing it out. I'm so glad you are non-finishing Gemini too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Yarn & more yarn

Made this yesterday. It's Lorna's Laces roving, in the Watercolor colorway. I need to learn to Navajo ply - I don't like the barberpole/marling effect, when I ply. I also can't ply very well yet.
I spun this to use in a project blooming in my head.

I'll use it with Kid Seta & I won't hold them together. Don't know if it will work. But I love this part.

Tivo'd Bourdain last night, and watched half this morning. Love food, love to eat, love to cook & love a man who can get a parental advisory for a food show!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Oh, Goody!

Anthony Bourdain has a new series that starts tomorrow.

Carla, will this help with your Lance hangover?

Friday, July 22, 2005

I'm Scared

My fiber room has become a fiber pit. I can barely walk into it. Many, many months of dropping & running. Yesterday, it was so overwhelming, I did what any fiber addict would do......

I went through my well marinated stash of spinning fiber. I found many amazing things: ashland bay merino/silk, sweetgrass targee, llama/silk, a variety of "wool", alpaca/silk, alpaca/angora(!), gorgeous lambspun merino/silk, and a bunch of little bags of this and that. Some of it is 10 years old, from the first time I lived in Ann Arbor.
I don't have to buy fiber for a long time....but I just bought some BFL/Alpaca top from ebay.

Any great yarn organization tips (I have lots skeins that are 1s and 2s of color/dyelot) would be appreciated!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

But do you still knit?

um, not a lot right now. My horoscope for the week said I should keep my focus in life on always learning new things - I'll go with that.

I did do a bunch of knitting not too long ago. I have designs in three books that are coming out this Fall:

Knitgrrl by Shanon Okey, a.k.a Bitter-Girl, a.k.a woman who is grabbing the fiber world by the nuts - much more coming from her soooooooon. Coming in September.

New Knits on the Block, by Vickie Howell, star of Knitty Gritty and queen of all knititng media. Coming in October.

Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick, goddess of the sublime. Coming in October.

So, I'm a little burned out on knitting. I've got some stuff going for Knitty. Lots brewing in my brain. I need to find a knitter who can deal with the interpretive dance -style of knitting & pattern writing that I do. I'm learning new things every day, whether I want to or not

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Single Bobbin Syndrome

Anyone else have this?
I want to make lovely 2-ply yarn, I really do. But once I fill one bobbin I don't want to keep spinning the same old fiber, I want something new. Bad, bad spinner. Yes, I do the same with knitting.
Thanks to my extroidinary , world-traveling, penguin-loving, partner in fiber crime, Carla, I'm taking a class with Lynne Vogel next month. Spinning AND Dyeing.
It will be so over my head and fabulous.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Mail Call - No HP Spoilers here!

Back from an outing on Saturday to find two boxes on the doorstep:

and, drumroll please:
an order from Grafton Fibers.
One canarywood spindle, my first spindle.
1 Romney batt, natural
4 Corridalex batts, luminosly dyed


Sunday, July 17, 2005

A**holeis Toddlerii

How quickly you forget about toddlers.
And this one is a boy, 100% boy.

In a single day he:
  • managed to get a steak knife from the back of a drawer & run screaming through the house with it.
  • climed into a horse pasture containing 6 not too friendly horses
  • tried to throw a full wine bottle down the basement stairs

This summer I have also found him
  • sitting in the kitchen sink with dirty dishes
  • swinging from the top railing of his sister's loft bed
  • climbing for some unknown treasure balanced on a stool on one toe

He also likes to stop my wheel when I'm spinning by either leaping onto it from a chair he has pushed into the room just for this purpose, or by standing beside it, lifting his shirt & pressing his tummy against the wheel until it stops turning.

You wonder why I drink?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Back in the Saddle

I couldn't stay away.
Just what the hell have I've been doing?
wrote a book with Amy
knit a little
bought yarn

started to spin again after 7 years & this time I like it.

The book, the book, is fab. It's called Big Girl Knits coming in Spring of 2006. Oh yes, my curvacious cuties, I did say Big Girls the smallest size in the book is for 42" boobs. It's got all kinds of patterns from Knitty-licious designers. More about the book later. We're at the finishing the manuscript hair-pulling stage - our own, not each others.

My current obsession now (remember, I do like
to obsess) is spinning. I dusted off my wheel one day & grabbed some succulent fiber from my laungishing fiber stash ( that I have moved 3 different times - some I bought when I first lived in Ann Arbor 10 years ago) & this happened:

Cue Hallelujah choir