Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Better pics from the better camera, an eBay thing, and a couple of observations. 

I like this whole unemployed dealie-bob, although it feels as if I'm giving my blog a workout.

Anyway, here are better pics of the skeins, all dried and twisted back up:

The lighter bloom skein, meant to represent the dried bloom and its faded colours.
South African Fine Wool, approx. 330 yards and 4 oz.

The brightest bloom colourway, meant to represent the colours of the bloom on the tree, Blue-faced Leicester, approx. 207 yards and 3 oz.

I just like this pic of it because there's something kind of sexy about it to me:

The darker bloom, in its wet decomp stage, South African Fine Wool, approx 295 yards, 3.5 oz.

And the silk/merino all dried and coiled, ready to fluff and spin:

I must say, I do love playing with the new camera. I hope you guys don't mind the pics.

And this is why you don't buy wool on eBay

This is the picture in the listing:

This is the text of the listing:
This is a white raw wool fleece recently shorn from a finn/dorset ewe. This is a years growth. The wool is very thick. The fleece has been seperated into 1 lb pieces. There is a small amount of hay/grass stems in wool. The staple length is about 2 1/2". [bolding mine for emphasis, here's the listing link for the incorrigibly curious]

And this is what arrived, postmarked two days (one business day) after the seller's stated shipping date:

Here's one of the cleanest bits, I'm assuming the sticky orangey bits are lanolin (one neat thing, I handle this and it is like cotton candy in a humid land, very damp and sticky-slidy and my hands are all shiny and sheepy-reeky) but should I be worried that it is so orange? There is even a kind of orangey smell amidst all the sheepy smell.

I honestly don't know what the seller took a pic of for this listing--it seems to be the custom that if you are selling raw fleece but displaying a pic of washed and cleaned fleece and what you're seeing is not what you will be getting, then this is disclosed within the listing. I have to admit that I took the "small amount of hay/grass stems" bit at face value and assumed that what I was seeing was what I was getting: an extremely clean piece of fleece, perhaps from a coated sheep. Idiot, me.

I will be washing it according to this tutorial, please comment if you have any additional advice or caveats, as I've never washed a poopy raw fleece before. All the fleece has a poopy side and a skin side--is this normal?

But here's a question: what feedback should I leave? I paid immediately after I won the auction, and in the Paypal notes I asked about purchasing another pound piece. The next day (the 16th) I received an e-mail saying that I could buy another pound at the same price plus two dollars for additional shipping and she would be shipping it on the 18th. I immediately Paypal-paid the amount, and today, the package showed up, packed in a plastic grocery bag inside a Pur water filter system box.

So, what should I do? This is one reason I feel frustrated by the eBay system: I hesitate to neg her because I don't want to be negged back (of course she hasn't left me any feedback, despite my rapid payments, despite the fact that I, at least, completed my part as the buyer as best as could be) but at the same time, I don't want to lie and leave any other kind of feedback, because it isn't fair to other eBay buyers. We depend on the rating system to identify trustworthy sellers and if you don't leave truthful feedback it renders the system meaningless. So it's like a feedback hostage situation, I guess. What do you think?

Blah! Boring! The internet is filled with similar complaints--maybe I should just learn my lesson and leave eBay the f-ck alone.

On the lighter side,

check out what I noticed on my new sandals today:

What's with the "waterproof" tag? They're sandals, and definitely not waterproof. I can only imagine that the label is telling me that the nylon struts themselves are impregnable to water...good to know. I guess. I love these sandals because they are hideously ugly yet comfy, and protect me from the ravaging claws of Crivens. Seriously, I love that bitch, but she just loves to rake her claws across the tops of your feet in her greeting frenzy. It hurts, and these thwart that. Hooray!

Also in the vein of hooray, Denny and Doog finally took off for Alaska today. Goodbye, we love you guys, and we'll miss you!

I can't remember what my other observation was. Maybe it had something to do with this:

I finally got around to carding the siberian husky fluff and spinning it. They only want 5 yard lengths so I spun and plied for a natural coloured two-ply, then took two of the two-plys and dyed them and plied them from opposite ends of the dyeing pattern so the middle (green) coincided. The siberian husky fluff takes dye spectacularly well, but the end product of my spinning was pretty rough-feeling, like rug yarn. I threw the rest of the spun yarn away because I couldn't think what to do with it. If I get around to picking out all the guard hair, maybe I'll see about spinning the rest. It was a fun thing to do, and something I've meant to try for a long time now.

Umm, pictures of the hoody will be up tomorrow.

Woo-hoo! I don't have to got to work!

I'm gonna:


(Oh, and Heidi asked what I was planning to do with the yarns...I'm going to slap a label on 'em and see if anyone wants to buy 'em. I'm not sure about pricing though, so please chime in if you have any advice about that, or the eBay thing, or the wool washing, or...anything really. I may be crap about responding to comments but I love hearing what people think)


Monday, June 27, 2005

Yesterday I dyed, today I dried 

Here's some of a dyed 3.5 oz cowpat of merino/tussah silk:

I haven't a clue what weight I'll spin it at or if I'll ply it, but it dried to a nice Caribean sheen and colour, soft and fluid.

I also did two skeins of South African wool and a skein of Blue-faced Leicester in Mystery Flower colourway:

I did three different skeins in varying values to represent the different life stages of the blossom, but I did it from memory, and reviewing the pics I see I should have had more purple in the mix. I want to get some more white South African Fine to recreate the greens of the tree's leaves in this pic of the Mystery Flower:

I used to love BFL, but I really think I love South African Fine wool even more because it spins up so soft, yet strong and with a luster like Lincoln. Lots o' lanolin too. BFL just seems a bit spongier and less silky when I'm done with it. I could definitely tell the difference between the skeins. You can't really argue with Louet's prep either, I have yet to find a nep in their fibers.

Pictures of dried skeins and fiber to come, and perhaps an FO...though I wouldn't count on it.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

Ha-ha! I am unemployed! 

I'd call myself a Household Engineer or whatever the new coy way of saying "housewife" is (ugh, "housewife does sound awful) but the house is currently a shitpit and I prefer to disassociate myself with that. So I'm a bum.

Yeah, a bum sounds good, because, hey, you don't associate bums with houses...and it's got the whole bottom association thing going for it.

Anyway, two pics I'd like to share from my last day.

First, though, a brief intro. This is Slains:

He is a very intelligent "fuzzy." Fuzzy=lurcher-type, perhaps wolfhound bred with greyhound, who knows. He sits, he knows how to "wait" and we were working on "shake."

He can be very sweet and affectionate, but he can also be a perverse dick.

Like peeing or pooping in his crate immediately after coming back in from his exercise time. There are even towels set up on either side of his crate because he likes to try to pee out and into other dog's crates.

A conservative estimate of the laundry I have washed and hung out on the line personally soiled by this dog is perhaps 150 pounds...so this was my revenge:

There he is, depressed by his faboolussness, his badly painted nails.(I now know I will not getting a job as a dog groomer/manicurist pedicurist). He was a very patient boy and held still while I did each nail and blew on it to dry it.

And here, so exciting, is a picture of the fruits of fifteen or so minutes with a butter knife and a pair of scissors trying to unclog the tubing of the vacuum because someone had put the bag in backwards.

And someone else left a note that said, "The vacuum isn't working very well."
Maybe it would be nice if you'd checked the bag before sucking several shih tzus worth of hair into a tight clog in the vacuum's tubing.

Yes, such a thrilling post so far, eh?


We have a new foster dog. Meet Cambria:

A better pic will be posted soon, but today's her first day with us and she's being the perfect guest, so I'll wait until tomorrow to start shoving the camera in her face.

We said goodbye to Soho around six this morning as she shipped out to Santa Ynez and her new home with two male whippets. Such a good girl. She and Nick bonded pretty strongly in a very short time.


Oh, in actual knitting news, Lakeside Knits did have just two more skeins, so I do have enough for a front pocket.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I love that shop.

She's just so damn nice, doesn't charge above the suggested retail, actually has wonderful yarn in her sale bins (and always has a good sale bin) orders anything you want (at least, my experience so far) and has a quality selection of cross-stitch stuff too (not my thing but I've been told the stuff she stocks is the shizzle).

I also snagged four balls of the Luxury Mohair for quick-knitting gifts at 60% off $6.89, which means the most expensive things about them as presents will be my time...which we know doesn't cost much at the moment.

I could have seamed up the sweatshirt by now, but I haven't. I've got a bit left to knit of the hood, then the pocket, then seaming...and then I'll be done.

I must be the slowest knitter on the planet. I tell myself it's because of all the days I don't get a chance to knit a stitch, and the days I get just one row in, but really, I'm a damn slow knitter. I love the yarn though and can't wait to wear it.


Thursday, June 23, 2005

I love my Mom. 

But I'm only linking to my brother's dog's blog because I hafta.
And 'cuz she's so cute.

In knitting news, I've either misplaced a ball or two of the Lavold Angora yarn, or I've knit up more than I expected. Either one is equally likely.

Cross your fingers that I'll be able to get more at Lakeside Knits tomorrow or my sweatshirt will be sin bolsillo, which would be totally el sucko.


Monday, June 20, 2005

Monday Mish-Mash 

This is for the person who reached my blog by searching for PERRO FRESH POO. Bon apetit, but I prefer to call this piece "Summer in Lakeside."

Sadly, I had that pic on my hard-drive before I found that someone had reached the site with that search phrase. I am socially doomed.

I just thought that maybe I'd document some of my workday, since I'll soon be somewhat unemployed.

And honestly, I'm not too squeamish about canine fecal matter because, well, it happens.

It happens a lot in my line of work, and in fact that day I took the pic was the day after we'd had two earthquakes and everybody was blahditty-blahging about them and the only reason I cared was it meant that two dogs freaked out enough to poop their crates and spread it all over.

Explosive diarrhea has its own aftershocks after all.

Anyway, this poopy diversion of blog-posting was sponsored in part by La's"National Poop Day" story, as I have no patience for creatures who pretend the need/desire to poop only to spend a ton of time wheedling poop-process stories from another, yet producing no product. That is just a Freudian theory waiting to happen, my friends! If a dog hollers that they have to go, then they spend five minutes doing nothing, back inside they go. Performing poop processes promptly is priority numero uno (not number two!) in my world.

Reason #347 why I should never attempt to birth or parent a human being.

Here's a sign I see every day on my way to work that, unsurprisingly, makes me think of Inky:

Here's another sign I see that makes me giggle:

It's in front of an RV shop, and while somehow I never associated Onanism with RVs, it does make sense...it's a lonely life out on the open road. Ha! And the first page returned by Google searching "Onan RV" brings up a page titled "FunRoads RV by Onan and Cummins" snicker, snicker.

I guess I am twelve years old and all my jokes are gross and dirty. It just seems like a really misguided brand name.

But here's something beautiful to balance the other stuff out, Tahoe lining up to catch the frisbee:

We bought a new camera right before our trip because...because...well, we wanted to. The DSC-P31 has served us well and been very durable, but the photos are more snapshot quality and the speed hasn't been great. Our new camera has a sports mode which is very fast, although the autofocus can be slipshod (to be expected with the pups on the beach, really) and you can blow a shot up and not lose too much detail:

Belu mid-shake, I just like the facial expressions

In fact, I wish I'd had our new camera when I'd taken the "summer in Lakeside" pic, because then you could have enjoyed detail like this:

Lucky miss, yeah?


I am still plugging away at my hooded sweatshirt. I'm on the second sleeve, with the back and front also done, but still need to do the hood and a front kangaroo pocket which isn't in the pattern but a hooded sweatshirt without a pocket is a strange idea to me.

Then, meh of mehs, the finishing begins. Just in time for summer!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Here and now, then and there 

I think in blogger netiquette I'm supposed to 'pologise for being a crappy blogger right about now. But if you're reading this right now, and you're not my mom (Hi Mom!) and therefore also read a lot of other blogs, you already know I'm a crappy blogger.

So let's dispense with the formalities.

Let's start with the here and now:

I gave notice at my job.

I still love GAC, but I can't help who I am and where I'm at in my life (i.e. I need a challenge to keep engaged) and want to work at the San Diego Humane Society.

Although I daydream about a dogwalking/training handspun yarn business on the side. I just don't think I'm brave enough or know enough about running a small business to make it a reality.

To prove I still love GAC, here's a pic or two of our current foster dog, Soho:

Even though the angle is odd, she does actually have a bit of a disproportionately large noggin.

I'm sure it isn't to house extra brain because...well, she's a greyhound.

She's very playful.

Today, she barked and barked at Nick to get up at 6.50am (I was at work) and he kept telling her, "Get up. Get in bed. Go to sleep."

So she put her front legs and chest up on the bed, laid her head down, fell asleep, then slid off the bed because her heavy ass dragged her off. I'm sure she gave Nick a mortally offended look for the distress he caused.

Here she is in a happier moment, demonstrating the "Playful Cockroach" pose:

And to bring the past and present together, I'm going to spin a bit of Siberian Husky hair I have for the next Spin-off challenge from when I worked at the BEBHS from a boy named "Bear" (his family moved to Japan) with whom I absolutely fell head over heels in love.

If we ever have a house and an acre, I will have my way. As D-g as my witness!!!

Okay, here's a pic from our North Rim portion of our vacation:

That's the Grand Canyon in the background...if I hadn't put off the whole "spinning in front of the canyon posed picture thang" off 'til the last minute, there was a spectacular rock formation with natural chairage within a mile of our cabin on the Transept Trail, but this pic was taken ten feet from our cabin stoop and it started to rain as soon as I put the Lendrum together there. I was fine spinning in the drizzle but Nick was worried about the new camera. Typical, but it was still kind of a thrill to wind on and look up and see the Canyon.

Hey, just in case someone reaches this page by Googling "North Rim Grand Canyon" or Lodge or whatever because they are planning a trip: The nearest ATM is Jacob Lake (41 miles away) so bring lots of cash. Unless you are a total dick who doesn't tip the housekeeping or mule guides. Then you should just walk off the Rim, really, be my guest.

Anyway, if you thought that last pic made my thighs look big, check out my ass, it's so big, it's four states wide:

We also gave the Dineh money to walk up to an observation deck and take this pic:

We could have taken the Monument Valley 17 mile scenic ruttted road, but we felt more in the mood to snag some fry bread from a stand down the road and make some more Taos-bound mileage.

They actually had a great exhibit on the original code-talkers there too. I admit, I cried while Nick was using the restroom. War exhibits make me cry, I can't help it, I'm such a stupid dove, plus, it really gets me when it's something like the Tuskegee Airmen or the Navajo Code Talkers because they are people who have even less of a reason to fight and die for the American Gov't, yet they do anyway. Stupid bleeding heart hippy.

Here's an indigo rainbow on the way to Taos that really didn't come out at all well...but 'cuz Michelle said she liked the sky pics I'm gonna post 'em anyway...

And looking back the way we came:


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Some Highlights of the Taos Area 

The road to Taos...

I want to live in the Fechin House.

Every piece of furniture is beautiful, and so intricate. The adobe walls are thick and the wood accents are so warm.

And have you ever heard of Millicent Rogers? More on her and the Museum later...

Down by Santa Fe, we had the treat of visiting some friends...


And this doesn't have anything to do with our vacation, but I found out why I've had so much trouble with my spacebar:

Note the real source of the trouble--I think--a safety pin which flicked out onto the keyboard after I popped the long key off. How the heck did a safety pin get under my spacebar? I'm just going to pretend that all that dog hair had nothing to do with anything, and maybe doesn't even exist...dog hair? What dog hair?


Saturday, June 04, 2005


We're in Taos, New Mexico! And it's purty!

(Cows on roads, deer on roads, snow on hillsides)


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