Thursday, July 30, 2009

knitter to Knitter

The Yarn Harlot describes a point in a knitters life where they become a Knitter with a capital "K". I can't remember what exactly she has to say about it, and I'm too lazy to go look it up right now... but I believe it has something to do with accumulating a lot of yarn, trying a really hard project, or realizing that knitting has possibly taken over your whole life.

I am a Knitter... I was sure of it today. I started to think when I started to dye my own yarn that it was getting a bit crazy. Then I started SPINNING my own yarn. Then I decided to go to a KNITTING CONFERENCE. Sure, all of these seem like things that someone who is really involved in a hobby might do.

Then today I got a phone call....

and I will now be teaching knitting at The Quilt Tree.

I am a Knitter.

Fall for Anything

I have been thinking lately about life (as W is trying to come up with a 5 year plan for our lives...) and what I stand for. I don't really involve myself in many public issues... turning the TV off has really helped with that. So as I was thinking, I realized that I came up with a few things that I do believe in...

* I believe that what is right for one person is not right for everyone. I try my best not to judge the decisions that others make. I am not in their position. I can think about what I would do, but I don't know, I wasn't there.

* I believe in living a simple life. By that, I mean that I try my best to support local and small business, eat healthy, and reduce waste. (I am a bit of a recycler...) I don't want a big house, I don't want tons of useless stuff... I just want to come home and knit (or quilt or spin) and be happy.

I think those are the two things that I really, strongly believe in. I have some opinions, and I occasionally share those... but mostly, I keep to myself. I am a pretty solitary person.

On to other, not so heavy, stuff. I have finished the project bags for the people going to Sock Summit with me. I love making those bags. They are quick, easy, and super cute. I think the recipients will be pleased with them. I have to make myself a new cute one so I will not be left out.

I am having a hard time deciding what to pack and what to pack it in for my trip. I know that it will be much warmer than I am used to, so I have some capris to wear. But I also know that the places where I will be spending a majority of my time will be air conditioned, which means I will probably be cold. So pack a sweater. I know that I will be spending a lot of money on yarn... so do I pack an extra bag, or do I ship it home??!? Hmm... I don't know why I am stressing over this so much. It has been a long time since I have been on vacation. This is the first time that I picked the place and actually planned my own vacation, so I am pretty excited about that.

Off to go think about packing...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not-So-Wordless Wednesday

So I know it is supposed to be my life in pictures today, but gosh darn it... it is RAINING and I can't take good pictures of the rain or in the rain, so here is a post instead.

I finally took my Corgi Hill Farms singles off of the bobbins last night. I had taken one bobbin off the other day and it was INCREDIBLY frustrating. The yarn kept breaking because I had underspun it (in an attempt to not over spin it as I knew I was leaving it as a single) and I wound up with 4 smaller skeins... UGH. But last night went a lot better and I only wound up with two skeins. One huge one, and one small one. I have yet to calculate yardage yet, but the yarn is pretty amazing. I would take pictures, but I really need good light to show it off, and with the rain....

Also, I have decided that at this point in my spinning career, I really enjoy spinning from roving braids much better than batts. I don't know what it is... I had a lot of trouble spinning with the batts, and they were the same fibers I have in roving... SO, for now I think I will stick to roving purchases. Of course, there are a few batts from eXtreme Spinning that I haven't spun yet, so there will be a chance for batts to redeem themselves. And I'm sure that I will buy again from Corgi Hill Farms because her batts are amazingly beautiful. Seriously. LOVE. Maybe I just need more practice.

And speaking of practice, I ordered my spinning wheel yesterday!! Whoo hoo!!! My very own. I can not wait. I have no idea how long it will take to get here, but I figure if it takes a while, I will be on vacation (at SOCK SUMMIT!) for part of it, so I won't notice too much. I finished knitting my shirt/dress thing (pictures later) and I'm not in love with it. I am giving it a second chance today, but I'm not sure it will ever make a public appearance. Which is too bad, as now I will be going to a knitting conference with no knitting. People will just have to trust me that, yes, I do knit. Oh well.

I pick up my third Full Circle Farm box today. It has a good mix of fruit and veggies this time. I'm pretty proud of the fact that we have been eating almost everything in our boxes. I can tell that my body likes me eating better... as soon as I eat something that isn't as good for me, it lets me know!

Enough rambling. Off to Ravelry and then to do some sewing. I got a lot of sewing done yesterday (pictures later...) and I'm hoping to do the same today.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Phat Fiber Sample Peek

Just realized I posted the pic on Ravelry, but not here on my blog as promised. So here is a sneak peak of my samples for August. Obviously, it is hard to see them all rolled up, but that is part of the fun! The colorways include "Taffy Pull", "Fair Lights", "Holy Holstein!", and "Candy Apple".

Downtown Adventure

Last week, Josh came home. I was pretty excited because he had been gone for 6 weeks. We decided to head to the Downtown Title Wave to pick up a book he wanted and I found some pretty exciting items. As many of you know, I LOVE Alaska. I am pretty sure that I can not live anywhere else. I also love funny things from Alaska. For example, I bought a Sarah Palin comic book. Really?!? I thought it was pretty amazing. I have only read half of it, as I really do have better things to do.... but it seems to be just an biography in comic book form. I also bought my dad a set of "Alaskan Outlaws" playing cards. They have pictures of "outlaws" from AK (Sarah Palin, Exxon Valdez Driver, Binky the Bear, etc) and their story. I think I might have to go back to get some more fun items... these are just the fun things I found at the checkout desk. I had never been to the Downtown Titlewave but I think I will be making more trips for presents.

Also, some other exciting news. I just ordered my first SPINNING WHEEL!! Ahhh.... I am so very excited. I finished my shirt/dress knit last night, and I'm not too pleased with it. I think it looks weird on me. I should have known, as the last chunky knit I finished I didn't like either. But I took a risk... we will see. I'm going to try it with something different underneath and see what happens.

It has been rainy here. Which is good, as we did need it. I wouldn't mind seeing the sun again though. My garden is doing well. I actually have BROCCOLI growing! I am pretty excited about that. I have never been very successful growing things, but this year I was really able to take care of all of my plants.

On the baking front, I made some brownies from scratch the other day. I wish I had read the recipe before I started it, because they were made in the microwave... they were ok. Luckily, it only took me 20 mins from start to finish, so I didn't feel like I lost too much. I am going to try another brownie recipe tomorrow which is baked in the oven, so hopefully it will turn out better.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Phat Fiber July Box!

(You can click on the pictures for a closer look!)

The July theme for Phat Fiber was "no wool" I decided to order a "Just Fluff" box so I could try my hand at spinning all of these new fibers. And they are gorgeous. Let me get to naming the samples and giving you some fun links to drool over.

The sample with FOUR samples on it came from Natural Obsessions. The colors are right up my alley and included a sample of silk, milk, tencel, and bamboo. A *gorgeous* grey sample of soy silk from Enchanted Yarn. I think that all of the natural colors will look really cool with the bright dyed fibers spun in... I'm pretty excited about it. Another natural colored sample from The Critter Ranch. It is called "Midnight Frost" and is soo soft...and because it is alpaca, I think it will be a bit easier to spin. I really like the tag because it has pictures of the alpacas on it. Some overdyed mohair locks in gorgeous midnight jewel tones from Farmgirl Chic. I have not spun with mohair and I think it will be interesting to try. A pale pink sample of milk fiber from Giffordables called "Chantilly Lace". I really like milk fiber, but I have not been able to master spinning it yet... hopefully these samples will give me enough practice to get better. A sample of spinnable acrylic fiber... it is very soft! I was really surprised. The sample came from Holiday Yarns. A naturally dyed bamboo sample from Tactile fiber arts. I think these fibers are simply amazing. The colors that she is able to achieve using natural dye is stunning. A sample of rainbow mohair locks from Fiber Fancy. I was VERY excited to get this, as this was the one sample I was coveting from the video. Fiber Fancy has GREAT prices, and I am currently spinning some of her fiber for Tour de Fleece. I LOVE it. Another mohair sample from RuLe OuT: FiBer AdDicTiOn, NOS with an awesome name, "Sheep Go To Heaven" (I wonder if it is a nod to the Cake song...) and great packaging. A very big, very gorgeous bamboo sample from Sweet Pea Fibers. I really like the colors... the blues and purples... yum. If I get better at spinning bamboo, I will definitely be running to her shop to order more. A very cute little milk and bamboo braid from Moonwood Farm. I have heard wonderful things about her fibers, and I love that she raises her own animals. Another natural colored alpaca sample from Ambrosia and Bliss. It is a gorgeous brown color carded with some firestar for a little *bling*. Another wonderful bamboo sample from Beesybee Fibers. I think this will go great with the Sweet Pea Fibers sample... I really have to get to spinning... almost done. A green, black, and white sample batt from WoolyHands. The fibers include alpaca, camel down (yum!), mohair, and bamboo. The last fiber sample is from Boho Knitter Chic. It is a sample of eco spun (which is made from recycled soda bottles!) and bombyx silk noil. I am very excited about the eco spun fiber... I am hoping if I like it that I am able to get my hands on some more... I also scored a very pretty hand stamped card from WineMakers Sister. (She designed the moose in socks for my shop!) Also a cowl pattern from Kira K Designs. I love her stuff.

Whew! Alright, now off to get some work done before I have to go to work! Don't forget, I will be contributing to the Phat Fiber box in August. I dyed most of my samples yesterday, and plan on finishing them up today. I will post a sneak peak of them here when they are ready to go.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

And in the red corner....

Anyone who has ever talked to me about my Roomba knows that I love it. LOVE. Even when it locked me out of my house, I didn't blame it. I still wanted it to clean my house for me. But after watching so many movies about robots taking over, I get nervous. Maybe the Roomba locking me out wasn't an accident...

Things that make me nervous about the Roomba: It knows where I live. It can, and has, lock me out of my house. It is very smart. It knows if it is going to fall off of something, and will stop and turn around. We tested this theory on the bed since we don't have stairs, and it definitely did not fall to its doom. That is crazy smart.

Things that remind me I'm smarter than the Roomba: I can turn it off (so far... if it hooks up to some master system, that may become impossible, but for now, I'm good). Sometimes it gets stuck on my area rug and won't get off because it is afraid it will fall... I hid a key to the house outside so now when I am locked out by the Roomba (or the screen door, which has no intelligence what so ever, but I can somehow get it to lock by slamming it...) I can get back into my house for free.

So, I'm still a big fan of the Roomba. I recommend it to anyone who will listen. And now that I know it can't fall down stairs, it is perfect for any household! But I am watching it. I will not let the Roomba win...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday Musings

Today I had the day off and I got a bit of work done. I cleaned up my sewing room and was able to organize my fiber (turns out I have WAAY too much and need to get to spinning). I also was able to get two project bags sewn, which turned out pretty amazing. I am getting a lot quicker at sewing them together, which is awesome.

Last night I was knitting on my shirt/dress and decided that the last place I had to switch yarn balls was ugly. I don't know what happened, but the place was very noticeable. I then decided to try and un-weave and re-weave the ends. That turned into a mess... something went wrong and stitches may have been dropped. So I wound up having to rip back to that spot. What a pain. And I was almost ready to switch balls of yarn again. UGH. Very annoying. I was ALMOST done with this darn project and now it is back to where I was a week ago. So I really need to get to knitting because as soon as I get it done I get to order my very own spinning wheel!!

I am hoping to do some updates in the shop later this week. I started winding my cashmere/wool/nylon blend yarns today. I also have a soybean/alpaca blend. Both are pretty amazing. If I can get them knitted tomorrow and dyed Wednesday, they should be in the shop on Thursday or Friday. I will post here and on Twitter when I do the shop update.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Quick List

A quick list of things I accomplished today... because I am pretty proud of myself. :)

* Finished a quilt top (sure, it only needed borders, but it needed TWO borders. And borders are my nemesis.)
* Made chocolate chip cookies from scratch (and ate too much of the dough)
* Vacuumed up dirty dog paws and dirt in the sliding glass door track
* Made a set of coasters and some fun tea towels for a swap partner
* Cleaned out my knitting basket (and in the process, found WAAAY too many needles...not sure where they all came from.)
* Blogged (twice, if you count this...)
* Helped W with the awning (and didn't get too mad when he made me sit outside and watch him "just in case"...)
* Spun up some more of my Corgi Hill Farms batts
* Cleaned the kitchen (no disasters today)
* Knit about 4 rows on my shirt/dress

Ok, I think that is about it. Now as a bulleted list, it doesn't look like that much, but trust me, I was busy today. :)

Tour de Fleece Day ?

I have been spinning every day. Yesterday was a rest day, which was good because it gave me a chance to work and hang out with my friends.

Since I plied my AlaskanSass yarn (and have since ordered a roving sample pack of non-wool fibers to play with. I love her stuff.) I have been spinning the batt from Corgi Hill Farms. I'm still loving it.

The awning is going well. W bought the roofing material today and I think he will work on that tonight. It will probably be done by the end of the week. Except for the floor. His plan is to go along the highway and dig up flat rocks to put as the floor. I think it will be amazing.

I had a great evening with my two friends last night. They are both getting ready to move into their new homes which is exciting. W and I have lived in our house for a little over a year (we moved in 4th of July weekend last year) and I couldn't be happier about it. It is pretty awesome living in your own home. Except when things go wrong. Like yesterday...

I was trying to unload the dishwasher before W came home and look what happened:

Can you believe it? This darn dishwasher. Luckily, only 3 glasses and one pyrex container broke. Not too bad.

Also, Sock Summit is getting closer. Of course, I have no socks knitted... but I'm almost done with a shirt/dress thing that I am knitting. W said that once I finish that project he will buy me a spinning wheel of my very own. So I have been very motivated to get it done.... in fact I'm going to go work on it now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

A few random things

I watched the news last night (hoping to hear the weather will cool down...) and there was a story about the road construction they are doing on a major road here in town. They had people complaining about the noise because they do a lot of work at night. The construction crew said, "Well, our only other option is to work during the day." Insightful! If you don't work at night, the only other time to work is during the day. I know if they worked during the day, the same people would complain about how hard it is to get around so.....

Also, the neighbors have two dogs now. One is a pretty nice dog. He doesn't listen very well, but other than that he is a nice dog. The other dog, however, is trouble. He is scary. I don't like him. He barks very meanly at the fence and one day he barked and walked quickly towards me while I was in my front yard. CRAZY. Anyway, I found out the other day that both of their dogs are named Badger. No wonder they don't listen. They never know who is being told what to do.

I have been spinning every day for Tour de Fleece. I finished my first yarn today, a two ply from Alaskan Sass. It is wonderful. Almost 200 yards. I am very pleased with how if turned out. I am now spinning some batts from Corgi Hill Farms. They are so pretty, I am thinking I am going to leave them as singles. I'm worried plying might actually take away some of the beauty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


So I promised pictures of my packages that I received in the mail yesterday. So here they are:

This is the batt I ordered from eXtreme Spinning. I will spin it (or try to) on challenge day of the Tour de Fleece.

Some roving, also from eXtreme Spinning. It is bamboo (undyed) and milk fiber. I will need to work up to this, as I know from my sample spinning, both are HARD for me to spin.

My Loopy Ewe sock club package. Always a treat.

This package came today. It was from my $10 Swap partner. All the way from Australia! It was a very neat package and I can't wait to spin up the Australian wool.

And just for good measure, the best picture of Snickers probably ever taken. It was on the 4th of July on our road trip to Miller's Landing for ice cream. He is cute.

Now off to spin, so I don't fall behind!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day Three

Whew! I am finally through half of my Alaskan Sass fiber. I fall in love with it more and more each time I spin it. The colors are so unique. I have never seen a green this color and the pink is just my favorite. I really hope that after I ply it I have enough for a pair of mittens or some other useful winter wear.

Not only did I get my wonderful swap package today (anyone I talk to today is forced to listen to how awesome it was!) but I also received a few batts from eXtreme spinning, which I will be spinning on my "challenge day" of the tour. The last package was my third installment of The Loopy Ewe sock club. Never mind I haven't knitted ANY of my socks... I have plans to. Big plans. :) Anyway, the color this month was red and the pattern is from Wendy of Wendy Knits. Beautiful. And we also got a cool sheep stitch marker and a namaste case!! I will hopefully post pictures tomorrow. I am in love with this little case though. In LOVE. The red is just perfect and matches all of my red shoes... I wonder if I could use it as a very small clutch? Hmm... Ok, I am going to eat some junk food and go to bed. It is WAY too hot. I live in AK because I enjoy cold weather, and this 75-80* business is killing me.

Flat Rate Box Swap!

I joined a bunch of different swaps on Ravelry lately, and my first swap package arrived today. It was like Christmas unpacking all of the goodies. Here are some pictures and a list of the different goodies. The theme for the swap was "local interests" and my swap partner was from Ventura, CA. You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

A reusable grocery bag (which is beautiful!), treats for my dogs (they have been eyeing them on the table…), sand from a local beach, a container for my rotary cutter, a picture frame, some beautiful roving (just in time for Tour de Fleece!), some cool tags to label my handspun yarn (which is perfect, because I just have a list going right now and that is bound to get lost!), a hand knit bunny (VERY cute!) and the pattern, two balls of Wool-ease in a beautiful rose color, an audio book (will be listening to this later while knitting), a mini clip light, a pen, some pins for sewing, a notepad, a fun paper punch in the shape of a dog paw, some handmade lace stitch markers, Love of Knitting magazine (with a special section on how to learn to knit lace, which I have been wanting to do), a Lakers t-shirt (they won the championship this year!), a pin from the local fair, a retractable tape measure, some fun travel soap sheets, magnets, and TONS of fun information about where she lives! WHEW! I think that is it… it was like Christmas unpacking my package as a lot of the items were wrapped up. SO fun.

My partner was AWESOME! So thank you Ginny! If you are interested in swapping, log onto Ravelry and search for them. There is a swap for almost every interest and budget. It is very fun to put together packages for other people. Now I am off to spin for Tour de Fleece. Updates later tonight on my progress.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day Two

Today was a tough day for spinning. W, some friends, and I went to the Forest Fair in Girdwood. It was a lot of fun. It was gorgeous outside (I'm talking sunny, probably 74*, awesome) and it was so fun to wonder around and look at all the crafts, listen to the music, and eat the food. YUM! So that took up most of the day.

Then we decided since it was so nice out to have some people over for a BBQ. We got home from Girdwood at 4:30 and people were coming over at 6. I took a nap until people came over. Then I realized in a panic that I had not spun at all today. So I broke out the wheel. Sure there were jeers of, "Oh, are we going back in time?!?" and, "When did you guys become Amish??" but I spun. And people were fascinated. By the end of the night, I'm pretty sure I had convinced someone to learn to knit. SO THERE! :)

I didn't take any pictures, because I didn't get TOO much done, and I was spinning the same fiber from yesterday. I am almost through half of it, which means that I can start the second bobbin. And then PLY it! I think it will look amazing.

Hopefully I will get more spinning done tomorrow. W is planning on going on a hike with Frito, which means Snickers and I will have the house to ourselves. Since he is so much like me, he will probably sleep all day, leaving me to spin!! :)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Tour de Fleece Day One

Today is Independence Day and the first day of Tour de Fleece! I am spinning for Team Phat Fiber and in preparation, I practiced a lot and even learned to ply yarn!

The plied yarn is a combination of samples from Wooly Hands and Platform Nine Designs. The single is the left over from the Wooly Hands sample. My plying isn't perfect... some of it is under plied, but it was fun! I am going to make a baby hat with a cute crocheted edging with the single. It is going to be super cute.

This is the corridale that I bought from Platform Nine Designs. It was a joy to spin. It is a nice soft color and it will probably become a baby hat as well.

After all of this practice, I was ready for today... the first day of Tour de Fleece. I started spinning a fleece I bought from AlaskanSass called "Poppies will make them Sleep". I love the pink color in this roving. It is very bright and I think when it gets plied with the green it will be wonderful.

Oh, and if you don't know what Tour de Fleece is... it is a spinning challenge. We spin every day that they ride in the Tour de France. It is quite the big deal on Ravelry. Lots of prizes and fun! Hopefully I will be posting updates every day here on my blog.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I'm a Dork

This morning was the first day of our four day weekend. I am pretty excited about hanging out with W for so long, as I had to work all last weekend so I feel like I haven't been able to get some quality married time in for a while. Anyway, he was mowing the lawn this morning and I was getting ready to shower. Then I hear the garbage truck coming down the road. In a mad dash, I run outside in my pj's (which consist of a pair of shorts, a sweatshirt, and now sandals for outside wear) to take the trash out.

Only the trash was already at the curb. Somehow W remembered to take out the trash and now I'm standing in the driveway in my pj's looking crazy. Then the roofers working next door say hi.

I'm a dork.....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Full Circle Farms Box

So I know it is "Wordless Wednesday" (which I forgot about last week... ooops!) but I was SO excited about my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Full Circle Farms that I had to blog.

What my box looked like when I opened it. YUM! And it has some recipies in it to help me figure out how to use the items.

And once I unpacked it all...

Here is what is inside:
1.5 lbs of Yukon Gold Potatoes
4 ears of corn
1 bunch of yellow carrots (never seen these before, have to google them to see what to do with them...)
1 cucumber
2 red bell peppers
.5 lb green beans
4 nectarines
5 plutos
.5 lb bing cherries
1 bunch baby bok choy
1 bunch green chard
1 green leaf lettuce
1 bag jalapeno peppers (I added this as a special item to make salsa)

So this is the second kick start to our "eating healthy" kick. I will keep you posted on what I make with it. If W wasn't at the movies tonight with his dad I would be making the green beans now. Since he is gone, I have resorted to left overs in the fridge.

Wordless Wednesday