Monday, January 30, 2006

Racing for a real post... 

I don't think I've mentioned here that Nancy has goaded some of us into signing up for a half marathon. Apparently she noticed our knitting and spinning hobbies are, uh, kind of sedentary.

Now she's poking at us to do a mud run, a fun little five kilometer run through an obstacle course of muck. If it's like the hugely popular (so popular they have two days of it now) Camp Pendleton mud run, we'll need to use a half a roll of duct tape to keep our shoes on.

Actually, that does sound fun.

After the Revlon 5k, I pretty much stopped running. Stopped going to the gym, didn't do much but the occasional lazy stagger around dog beach after the dogs, so I'm really glad Nancy has provided this impetus, especially since it meshes so well with Nick and my goal to enjoy our surroundings more, take advantage of the weather and so on and suchforth since we don't actually know when we might be moving. And I guess I've found that my motivation to exercise also needs to involve

I mean, look at all these local running events. I guess this is what happens when you have disgustingly nice weather most of the time.

I like these events:

  • An April Fool's Day 20k, very hilly...probably won't be in shape enough for that but it might be something to shoot for: 41st Annual EL Cajon 20k flier (pdf)

  • The aforementioned 5k mudrun, practically in our neighborhood, April 8th.

  • Easy, fast, for a good cause: Race for Autism, a 5k March 25th in Balboa Park.

  • May 13, Running Through the Vineyards 10k sounds fun. And the weekend before that is a good practice 8k, the U-T's Race for Literacy where you get to run down the 163.

  • May 21st, the 12k party which is Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, which Nick and I hope to run with Kirsten. Check out her new cute header. Aaaaaaw.

  • How about a practice Half Marathon, running 8k of it on the Great Wall of China? We could dress as Mongolians, it'd be fun!

  • September 17th, the event which started it, the Disneyland Half Marathon.

    and then, so I don't immediately stop and get tubby again like last time:

  • In October, running across the Coronado Bridge?

    Well, dang, it looks like I'd better get a job to pay for all these race fees!

    Look, knitting!:

    Fingerless gloves from that Baby Alpaca Grande. Soft & superfast knitting. I have enough left over for maybe a baby hat. Bulky knitting on the wrists isn't the most flattering, but I like them anyway. They look slightly better on:

    I also feel better about having lost the packet of cable needles as soon as I got home from last Saturday--it turned out they had been stolen. I found them in the corner bed lair:

    Fortunately, the needles were fine, the package was only ever so slightly gnawed.

    And Ande sent me a very cool package with lots of stuff I love, including dried dead bugs!

    And indigo!

    Fun stinky times to come man, yeah.

  • |

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    Tuesday toodlings posted on Wednesday. Random Notes on Dyeing. 

    Saturday we went up to the Oceanside Library to spin (well Nancy and I spun, and Cristina spun, and Jessica wowed a roomful of fifty knitters by knitting her Rogue sleeves two at a time) and we had a good time hanging out and watching the miracle of three or so people teaching fifty how to knit. And a woman who thought the perfect place to change her baby was Right In Front Of Some Grossed Out Young Craftsters.

    Yeah, right, they're all just parts, and we all got 'em, and we all sh!t our pants once upon a time and may do so again in the future but really. Ew.

    I'm hoping it's not a trend, but once again, I unearthed my wallet in the after events.

    A little bit at Black Sheep: Brittany cable needles which I love, but I've already lost them, and the bag they came in, and the bag the shop put them in, almost the instant I came home. A new level in my levels of dumbassédness. So they are not pictured in this Obligatory Post Shopping Pic.

    A little bit at Noble Knits (the owner is the one who made the knitting event at Oceanside possible, with fifty gift bags of starter kits from Plymouth. Major props for that.) I had to buy the tape measure with the car and the stoplight because...um. Never mind.

    A bunch of smelly stuff at a the Magic Hands Workshop booth at the little weekend market they have in Encinitas. Yummy smelling stuff, but I could do without some of the schtick. That's what's nice about ordering from Nancy. No schtick, all... never mind.

    An IK back issue I bought for the "Aran Muff" (no, not really, I just like saying it) and Teva Durham's sexy renaissance tunic, the gansey layette and some other patterns with potential at Common Threads. They have reorganised and it looks awesome (it's still by color though mostly, bummer) and their Manos is priced below retail.

    And a skein of Plymouth's Baby Alpaca Grande because every time I see it, I pick it up and marvel at how soft it is. And while I know I could spin a soft bulky weight alpaca two-ply...I have one fingerless cabled mitt nearly done with almost no knitting time. Almost instant gratification. Knitting On the Beach is a nice little shop--she has a cabled cashmere yarn in three colors, which speaks of real commitment to me. ;)

    And then I fell off the wagon again yesterday and bought more damn buttons (naturally dyed and carved from the dropped nuts of rare indonesian trees--which ones, I can't remember), Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks which I bought for the different toes really, and another skein of Silky Wool. I can't seem to stop. Oddballs galore. Lakeside Knits is having a sale on books, 20% off, but only until the end of the month.

    Amidst the shopping madness, I have been doing somewhat constructive things. School has started, and I think I'll be crashing some classes to try and get the last stray I want on my schedule.

    I wetted out some stuff for dyeing. Annoyed by my dinky little aluminum stockpot from Target which has served me faithfully for two years, I went to twenty thrift shops looking for a huge stockpot at a good price. Since when did an enamel 20 qt stockpot become worth $70 used? In frustration, I went to Costco, for other household crap we "need" and snagged my new best friend:

    Last one at La Mesa, $29.99. I can fit two and a half pounds of fiber in there and it beats the hell out of a $70 stockpot or the throwaway aluminum roasting pans bought at a 99¢ store. Although those are a handy low investment easy cleanup dyeing vessel too, just remember to recycle.

    Although you can see in that pic that there probably is room for one more one pound dyeing hank if I planned my dye distribution right. You need enough water to keep the hanks floating, or at least not compressed on each other, swollen with liquid. You want to set the dye, but not cook the wool, it can be a fine line if you overload it.

    These are sort of just random notes for three different tutorials I'll be putting on LdL sometime next month. Kettle, crockpot, and oven roasting. 3 different styles, 3 different results, although your technique within these also changes the outcomes greatly, o' course.

    Materials used for all of them though is here:

    I buy my dyeing supplies from Dharma Trading Co.. They even sell syringes for injecting dye inside these mondo dye skeins--very handy, since more handling can equal muddling of colors. I also use the syringes to help be more exact with the dye solution amounts for consistency.

    A candy thermometer is handy for avoiding a boiling and keeping track of where the heat is at.

    Ph papers are probably my favorite time/worry saver. Testing to make sure I'm at the right acidity (4) makes sure I'm not wasting time trying to get dye to set into something that's too alkaline, or that it's not so acid that the dye hits only on the surface and doesn't even penetrate. Just a glug or so of vinegar in a bucket, fill it up with lukewarm water, test the ph, then lay the protein fiber or yarn on the surface and gently press down. I use those industrial laundry buckets (well rinsed of course) because you can wet out about four or five pounds of stuff in one. I get the buckets from Greyhound Adoption Center (animal rescue groups go through laundry like crazy, big surprise), but you can buy them or ask your own local to save them for you and trade them a bunch of ratty towels. They almost always need towels.

    Look! A bucket!

    And a skein of Le Bouffon waiting to be pushed down into a stockpot for wetting out as well. I think it's purely pretty.

    I usually let stuff wet out for twenty four hours. It depends on the fiber. Silk takes frickin' forever and when you are dyeing you really need to spread it out and open to let the dyes penetrate and use a strong concentration. At least, in my experience.

    Having the bucket in the corner means I pick stuff out, load the crockpot, kettle, & roasting pan and can do the dyeing little by little as it is convenient.

    You don't want to leave stuff too long because it can get funky, but if it's cool like it has been, I think I strung the dyeing out over three or four days in little bursts of messiness.

    In the pans, spread out the yarn or fiber and paint it as you prefer. I squeeze out most of the water and let the dye solution (a super concentrated dye solution measured out into a measured amount of water) swell up the fiber. Repeat the pattern, layer by layer. Eventually, you end up with this:

    Put the lid on the roaster and turn it on to 225, 235°F or so. Experiment as they may vary, I'm not sure how much quality control you get for $29.99. You do not want bubbles, you do want a healthy amount of smelly steam when you lift the lid.

    Same with the roasting pan, although since you won't be covering this, you need to check it often to make sure there is still enough water. Remember you want it well saturated, no scorching, so keep it filled almost up the first lip. I set my oven to 275°F but again, ymmv, as I think my oven may be a little cool. We're always amazed at its ability to produce scorching hot control knobs and pies still cool in the middle. Add warm water as needed to keep the level up.

    With the stockpot on the stovetop, there are a lot of ways you can play it and create different effects. Filling the pot with dye solution and water, immersing the skein and then turning on the heat will produce a more even coloration.

    Placing the skein in the pot and painting it in the water and then turning on the heat will produce more variegated effects and muddling colors (not neccesarily a bad thing) and placing it in the water, turning on the heat waiting for setting temp (it varies fiber by fiber, generally around 210°F for wool, lower for silk. Hot enough to really steam, cool enough to not produce bubbles. The pot will creak and be on the edge of a boil, but no bubbles) and then painting it can produce some dramatic color effects. If you want to do this, make sure you have retied the skeins very loosely so you can open it up to paint inside it very gently. On my stove, I could call the right temperature setting around a three or four on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the roiling boil full flame, and 0 being off, of course.

    As for how long these should go, I let it go until all dye is exhausted, waste not want not, don'tcha know.

    You can check for exhaustion by gently pressing down on the fiber. Clear, or nearly clear water? There you go, it's exhausted and should all be set in the fiber. Turn off the crockpot/oven/stockpot and let it cool completely before handling. For large quantities this can be overnight, as it may feel cool on top but still be setting (and hot) in the middle. Agitating hot fibers can produce felting. Don't forget AHA--heat, agitation, alkalinity. Any two of these factors can produce felting. The stuff in the oven will cool off first.

    My first wash is usually in lukewarm water, or a water temp that matches the dyebath.

    I add a generous splash of vinegar to the water and gently place the fiber/yarn into the sink.

    Gently swish it around and open it up. Only do so much at a time as can float without pressing down on the bottom. Let soak for five minutes, swish around gently again, gently pull it toward you away from the tap and the drain, let the water out.

    Refill the sink with the water flowing in gently at the opposite side. You are minimising agitation here. If you let the dye exhaust, you won't need much rinsing.

    On the next repeat, measure in a little bit of your favorite soap, distribute it gently, let soak for ten or so minutes, drain and refill for a rinse. Squeeze, don't wring, out excess water gently. You can use the washing machine's spin cycle or a salad spinner to separate out more water, or just gently roll and squeeze in a towel, just like with a sweater. Lay out to air dry, usually flat, but with yarns and longer stapled fibers in roving form you can get away with hanging them out to dry.

    Another fast and easy way to dye is by painting the skein or fiber with dye solution and then wrapping it up like a sausage or burrito (wrapping styles vary ;)) in plastic wrap (they sell extra wide plastic wrap now too) and steam setting the colors if you have a stockpot with a steam tray. Here you can let the water boil, of course. It's harder to gauge when colors have exhausted, but this by far the quickest way to dye. Remember to let it cool down sufficiently before washing, as these things can be little hot pockets. This method is neat because as the air expands inside the plastic it is like a coccoon, which deflates when you let the steamy heat whoosh out as you check it.

    A proper dye tutorial would have lots of pics of finished products at the end produced by the different methods.



    Tuesday, January 24, 2006


    I have a really long post.

    In essence though, it says:

    I shopped, I knit, I bought, I love, I dyed, I spun, and I made a knitalong blog for the Bicolor Cables Cardigan.

    I also joined the Yarn Harlot's Knit Olympics. 'Cuz I'm a joiner.

    Real post to follow.


    Friday, January 20, 2006

    Friday Flash 

    Nancy wants us to flash our stash, so I am. Here on flickr, 'cuz there's a limit to even my willingness to torture other people with crappily lit photos overexposed in the photoeditor. One big pic is missing of my worsted weight stuff, I took the pic but can't find it, but it's just more of the same: oddballs mostly which speak of lots of hats or samplers, with the exception of ten skeins of Noro Cash Iroha I kettle-dyed quite badly when we lived in Oakland. I have a project in mind but I can't find my size 8 Denise needle-tips. Plus, as you'll see, I have a lot of UFOs on the line already.

    I'm going to order the Opal later today--it looks like it's going to be fern & teal, talk about kickin' @ss and takin' names!

    fern & teal: 18
    sage & fern: 9.5
    fern & caribeann blue: 5
    shamrock & c. blue: 3
    write-in candidate sage & teal: 2
    and last, with only one vote: sage & c. blue

    Thanks for the help guys! With all those combinations, I could have been flipping coins for hours (Heidi has witnessed my very rational decision-making process).

    Have a good weekend!


    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    Opinions desired most greatly please! 

    I want to make this:

    and do the very rare thing (for me) of actually knitting it with the yarn (Gems Opal) it's designed for. But I can't decide what color combo to go with.

    sage and fern?

    shamrock and caribeann blue? (c. blue is not so aquatastic on the sample card as this pic indicates, but still, this combo is pretty bright!)

    sage and c. blue?

    fern and teal?

    fern and c. blue?

    I've also decided to go ahead and order a 100gr 5 skein bag of Euroflax Originals in shamrock (it's a more subdued color in linen) for this baby

    the "Wear Everywhere Pullover," which I've been wanting to knit since I first saw it. Allhemp6 and Euroflax Originals are both 16 wpi, so there's not much risk involved there. And I can't really tell you why I find it so appealing. I may just have a thing for the model.

    I know I'm not supposed to buy more yarn, but this is for store samples. Yeah, that's it, store samples. Suuuuure.


    Tuesday, January 17, 2006

    Stashtastic ball-bustin' 

    I went through my personal yarn stash and found that I actually only have enough yarn to do two sweaters. Unless you count a pound of cherry red mohair or a pound of fingering weight wool yarn, which I prefer not to. I'm going to set up a flickr album to keep track of it, like Jess of fig and plum.

    Well, three sweaters worth if you count the one I'm working on now, making it up as I go along (which means bouts of happy knitting interspersed with bouts of ripping. sometimes what looks good in your head doesn't look good from your hands).

    The rest is a bunch of oddballs, sock yarn or odd bits involved in slooooooow projects (I really should prioritise those). Anyway, stash talk without pictures is boring.

    Okay, the stash would have been four sweaters worth, but the Cabaret Raglan wasn't such a disaster out of Reynold's Gypsy yarn after all. It didn't eat up much yarn either, as I think I started with sixteen balls and I ended up pushing the leftovers onto Cristina and Heidi's cat and still found a hank sneaking around in the drawers.

    This is what happens when I ask Nick to take a picture of the detail--

    Uh, the neckline and the rest of it's up here, you handsome son-of-a-diddly.

    Obviously I need to be more conscious of my yarnover technique, as there's a marked difference between yarnovers before a purl stitch and yarnovers before a knit stitch, but I'll just keep wearing it without a bra and on cold days so no one will notice the unevenness (of the yarnovers. I think the "twins" are fairly twinnish; at least more on the identical side of the spectrum than fraternal. ahem).

    I was in an homage to Rebecca kind of mood anyway. Here's a generally bad pic, but a better FO pic, while I was trying to jam my feet into my boots before we went outside and trying to psyche myself up for the always awkward finished knit photo phase and imagining a giddy-nipple photoshoot of Rebecca magazine.

    I'm sure our phone will be ringing off the hook with modeling job offers, as somebody's got to pose for the "before" photos in those cruddy ads.

    Another project knit from stash is this:

    It's knit using (well, dang. I cannot find her blog. Which is weird, because I was just there recently. I thought it was just called The Dyepot, but that doesn't seem to bring it up in google. Odd. Nope, wait, Amy has it right in the comments, here's her site. The pattern is in the blog sidebar.) up until the decreases for the crown, there I just did a standard decrease pattern for a watchcap style hat, as I don't like the sack on head look, but I do like the super easy stitch pattern.

    It looks a bit odd there since I didn't have the brim folded back evenly. It's a bit small for me, but that's all right as it isn't for me, it's for a nephew. It's handspun and hand dyed yarn from Deep Color which I bought way back when we lived in Oakland. Shiny blend, but I don't know of what, bulky weight single, very fun to knit with. Part of my lazy stashbusting this year is to get rid of project leftovers by either foisting them upon unwitting knitters, unsuspecting animals and/or Goodwill, but it's not happening with these leftovers. They'll get used in something.

    I better get back to the knitting--the stash must die!


    Wednesday, January 11, 2006


    Instructions: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot.


    making (neé stitch marker)

    step into my thimble

    absinthe knits


    Select 5 people to tag (suckers!): No really, I know these things are akin to chain letters and they take some time, but there's nothing like direct questions to learn more about folks.

    Lori (maybe after you get back from HI, if you feel like it?), Kirsten, May (congratulations on the good show!), Cristina and Ande, I tag you, but please don't hate me, I only do it 'cuz I like ya, and you don't have to do it if you don't want to.

    What were you doing 10 years ago?

    Senior year in high school--lots of surfing. Not a lot of studying. I was too smart for that (rolling eyes).

    What were you doing 1 year ago?

    Working at Greyhound Adoption Center, begging our landlord to let us have a foster dog thus bending La Mesa's two dog per household limit laws, starting to entertain the idea of selling my handspun/making a business of this passion, and trying to retain the conversational level of Spanish I had (I really should have kept that up, it's almost all gone, or at least, not easily accessible in the old bean). Coincidentally, January of last year is when Jasper first came into our lives, and he spent the night last night, a trial run for him staying with us for about ten days in February while his mom goes to Hawaii.

    What were you doing 1 hour ago?

    I was with Nick in Target getting a 16 qt crockpot for his new hobby.

    List five creative things you want to achieve this year:

    Design my own cabled sweater, learn to weave, spin and knit a sweater for Nick from the merino possum blend Mom brought back for us from NZ, start writing again, learn to use local natural dyes, although I'd also like an indigo vat in the garage. Mmmmm...love that rat widdle scent.

    List five snacks you enjoy:

    Peanut butter toast, cottage cheese, satsumas, figs, booty.

    List five things you would do if money were no object:

  • I would really like to have a huge patch of land with facilities for animal hospitals and shelters, onsite living facilities for staff and volunteers. If money was no object, this is what I dream of: a thousand or so acres with organic fields and groves, solar power, water power, wind power, facilities to house rescued animals (wild and domestic), and housing for all the support staff. A place where battered or misplaced people could come and learn a skill, be it handicrafts made from the fiber of rescued animals, farming, cottage industry business, solar/wind technology, eco-building, cooking, maintenance, vet tech, behavior modification through positve reinforcement rehabilitation of abused/neglected animals (and people), organic sustainable agriculture--any of the many things which would be part of the daily running of such a big operation, their children could receive both classroom and practical educations, and since money is no object we could pay to have the best vets, teachers, trainers, sustainable agriculture, technology, therapists, and security. It could be a self-sustaining organisation, growing all its food, powering itself, selling the extra goods and since money is no object, I dream of an endowment which would generate enough interest to take care of the payroll and maintenance money bit, any gaps between the dream and reality of self-sustainability. Think Best Friends really hippified out to rehab people and animals, be self-sustaining, and having a UCDavis extension school of veterinary medicine. ;P

    I think I probably used up my five things on that dream, but here's the ugly flipside, just in case people start thinking I'm all warm and fuzzy.

  • I would also like to have my own SEAL-type teams which would locate puppy mill owners and operators and execute them with extreme prejudice. Quickly, painlessly, but still, dead and sending a message. People who have also bred "unpapered" litters or bred any animal they weren't prepared to love and care for the rest of its life should no suitable owner up to that same challenge present themselves, would also have to watch their backs. People who participate in dog fighting and racing...well, you get the picture. I would also pay for a lot of lobbyists and politicians to make dog racing illegal and penalties for animal cruelty much harsher and spread the money around to get the laws enforced. Lots of education in the schools about spaying, neutering, the responsibilities of pet ownership. Lots of money to vet schools, lots of money to shelters--every shelter should be able to have a facility like our own San Diego Humane Society or the aforementioned Best Friends and be able to focus on their mission, not "development."

  • Um, on a slightly smaller scale, Nick and I would get our pilot's licenses and multi-engine ratings and buy a Caravan and travel the world with the dogs.

  • I'd buy a warehouse type space and have an actual cafe/tapas bar in one section (maybe upstairs) and washing machines for felting, twenty different types of wheels for demonstrations, fiber galore, yarn and needles, a dye studio, a bangin' book section, and lots of comfy places to just hang out and have a good time.
    And a firehouse pole, I've always wanted one of those.

  • Cancer research, diabetes, autism, inner city education, afterschool and job programs, programs like heifer.org, try to fix Africa, try to save the people in Pakistan from freezing to death; if money is no object, there are lots of good ways to spend it.

    List five bad habits:

    I leave really rambling voice mail messages. I spend way too much time on the computer. I am an untidy housekeeper, even though I love it when I keep it clean, same with going to the gym and being fit, I do things sometimes which seem perversely self-destructive.

    List five things you like doing:

    Snuggling with the dogs and Nick, breathing in their warm sleeping smell. Reading. Spinning. Dyeing with no real plan in mind. Running (when I am in shape).

    List five favorite gadgets:

    Spinning wheel, my TDI, the ipod, this infernal machine, my Swingline.

    Name one thing you like about yourself:

    That even though Libelula is pure evil, I can still find it in my heart to love her.

  • |

    Monday, January 09, 2006

    Happy Sunday (way too many pics, sorry dialup dollies, but I did do tags for the pics, not the same but a stab at it really) 

    Nancy, Cristina, Mary-Kay, Heidi, Hilari and I met up at The Linkery for pre-Critter Crawl lunch and it was quite good.

    Nancy is quite frankly a pervert, as her plate proves:

    Nancy's long sweet sausage in a bun.

    After enjoying the foodie show, we piled into Mary-Kay's mommobile and meandered out to Crest, home of A Simpler Time, an alpaca farm and fiber processing mill.

    We met a little Nubian goatgirl who was such a little sweetie, I may have to amend my poultry resolution to include livestock in general.

    cute little Nubian goatgirl

    One reason I liked her so much I think, is that she was a near dead ringer for Molly, one of the Nubians I had for 4-H.

    Heidi and Molly

    I learned that it is pretty much impossible to take a good pic of a black cria nursing its black mother from a distance.

    bad photo of a cria nursing

    They were quite outgoing when the feeding scoop appeared and ate from hands without eating fingers.

    I love the way their hair poofs out like fantastic bangs. I really wish I could get my hair just like the one who's got her face jammed into the feeding scoop.

    alpaca with face jammed into feeding scoop

    They are very photogenic little buggers. And about as soft as they look.

    alpacas posing in a row

    And one (I've forgotten her name) was also quite a good kisser who took a shine to Mary-Kay.

    Mary-Kay gets a smooch.

    Nancy tried to sneak up on their champion stud for a snog, but being an alpaca of the world, he was a wary one:

    The Stud readies himself for flight should Nancy press her suit unseemingly

    The guard llamas were a little less, er, cute.

    Napoleon Dynamite lookalike llama watches the adorable feeding frenzy

    Although, maybe they fall into the so ugly they're cute category? I love the goofy lines of this guy. Lovely legs, eh? And the white splash on the chest reminds me of a very foofy ruffly shirt peeking out from a suit coat.

    Buck toothed and dressed for an evening at the opera.

    Sorry, I just love these teeth.

    Bugs Bunny's teeth installed upside down and supersized in the llama's mouth.

    One last llama pic, but pay attention to the cutie in the foreground. Her name is Peaches, and I bought 10.4 oz of her fiber at the little fiber festival in October of last year.

    The beautiful Peaches bathed in late afternoon light.

    I thought I'd bought 14 oz. but I looked up the Oct 16th entry and see I was mistaken; dangitall, these online diaries are handy for that sort of thing.

    I bought a pound of fiber from an animal named "Leloo" who has moved up to Washington, so we didn't get a chance to meet him, but I am hoping that the total of 27 oz. of alpaca will be enough to have something lovely out of it.

    The lighter is from Peaches, the darker fiber is from Leloo.

    I'm hoping for a worsted weight in the end I think, or maybe DK. Since there will be about six ounces of Leloo left over, I can ply it together for a contrast color with the two-colored two ply maybe, or spin the two at different weights to ply?

    Anyway, a top down raglan with a fairly simple stitch pattern is in their future. My mother rocked the house and gave me the fourth and third stitch treasuries from Barbara Walker which I've been wanting ever since I saw it in the Knitting Basket at Lemon Grove for Christmas, and Epstein's Knitting Over the Edge, so there's lots of fun possibilities floating about in my head as I sit at the wheel.

    I just hope I don't change my mind midspinning; that's always a bummer.

    I guess that's what sampling is for, but sampling is the spinning version of swatching: A Very Good Time and Effort Saving Idea but also a bit of a pain.

    Anyway, from there we went to Rebecca's coffee house and the Grove, where I further ignored my year goals by buying a skein of silky wool, some dpns, and reveling in the irony, a self-help book on managing money (it was on sale. ahem.). A bit of a goalbashing day, but I'm not pregnant and I don't have any live poultry about the place, so I'll call it a wash.

    It was a very good day, and thanks go out to the Davies of A Simpler Time for showing us around and letting us play with their camelids and show us their mill (a separate post in itself). They are also dealers for Schacht, and have a matchless to try on site, so that's handy too.

    And thanks to Mary-Kay for haulin' us around. I always have a really good time with you guys, I'll miss every one when we move. If it ever happens. Eureka seems to be out, Sacramento seems to be in.

    Until then, looking forward to the next shopping trip--wildfibers in Santa Monica and LUSH? Some Saturday next month?


    Friday, January 06, 2006

    Hey Locals! 

    On Sunday we'll be meeting up at The Linkery at noon, chow & chat, work out carpool, then head over to A Simpler Time to check out the Davies's alpaca ranch and fiber processing mill, hoping to be in Crest around 1ish.

    Please come along for the fun if you can, sorry about the short notice, I've been a bit of a spaaz about setting this up and nailing anything down. I blame the holidays, 'cuz they can't hit back.


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