30 October, 2008 at 2:15 am (spinning)

I finally managed to break open my merino/tussah from Rhinebeck (the fiber which, incidentally, tsocky also bought some of—we have promised to compare notes after we both spin it up) and get a good sized sample of it.

How good sized? Oh, about ten grams or so. But out of that ten grams I managed to squeeze 128 yards. That is not a typo. 128 yards out of ten grams of fiber. 128 yards out of the same weight as a nickel and two pennies. Not only that, but it’s two-ply as well.

My tiny yarnz, let me show you them:

When I set out to spin this I did actually mean to go as thin as I could get it, because I knew that if I thinned down the colours and blurred them all together I’d get a gorgeous yarn. I just didn’t realize that I could spin, well, quite this thin. And if I keep spinning this thin? I’ll get 2500+ yards out of the remainder of the 8oz I bought. That’s enough for two generously sized shawls. Although admittedly I have no idea when I’d find the time to knit said shawls, but that’s okay, because the finished yarn is so sinfully soft that I could just wrap the skeins around my shoulders and be done with it.

Did I mention that this stuff is soft? Yes? Let me mention it again. The buttery smoothness of silk combined with the bounce and spring of the wool makes this so, so deliciously soft that I wish you all could feel it. I was worried when spinning the singles that they would be overspun to the point of crunchitude, but plying released just enough of that extra twist so that it all settled down nicely.


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Caturday on… Monday?

27 October, 2008 at 6:21 pm (caturday, knitting)

Today’s ultra super mega late Caturday brought to you by yes of course Jesh is recovered from Rhinebeck, no really, she’s totally managed to unpack all most some of her stuff at this point and has sorted through all most some of her email and does not have a couple a handful twenty packages to mail tomorrow. Really. She’s all caught up on all of that stuff.


My dear precious finger-licking Oolong went off on Saturday (along with her brother) to go out and be adopted. I miss them terribly.

And, for the record, I totally manged to knit a couple of rows at some point during the past week. The fall freeze socks are just past the heel turn now.

At some point when I’m not running around like a madwoman trying to get things done, I will expound upon the magic of toe-up heel flaps. Sheer brilliance, I tell you.

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Things I bought

23 October, 2008 at 5:24 pm (knitting, life, spinning, travel)

Purchasing was light this year, due to both money restraints and time restraints—every time I would turn around someone else wanted to say hello or chat or show me this or go to this gathering and it wasn’t until I woke up on Sunday morning that I realised I’d only bought two things on Saturday. Of course, the two that I bought were particularly fantastic things: A Kitri kit and a Vintage leaf kit! I’m too lazy to get pictures—imagine your normal every day average sock and leaf kits but ten times more amazingly awesome. Then you have these.

Funny story about the procuring of both these kits, though. I knew going in that I wanted me some leaves, and found out when I got there that the colours inside each kit were random—two green, two brown/orange/yellow. So I went rummaging through the kits trying to find one with the perfect four colours for me, and finally I gave up and said to Tsocky, I’m breaking open these kits to pick my own damn colours. To which she responded, yeah sure whatever.

Then, as I was just deciding that I wanted a Kitri kit as well, I heard Jen say that they were gone. Sold out. What!? But they can’t be gone, because I wanted one and didn’t get one and I really really wanted one… sob! But then, lo and behold, hidden behind some something or other, someone found four more kits. Jen was nice enough to set one aside for me. So it is mine! All mine! *cackle*

Ahem. Moving on.

So Sunday was comparatively my big purchasing day, although I still picked a few quality things rather than going overboard with quantity. First I scored some signed books and pretended I was cool by chattering with famous people.

Then, the dear and darling Dan basically said “Hey! Look at this pretty stuff I just bought! Don’t you want some?” to which I replied “Hell yes,” and we journeyed to the Sheep Shed/Mountain View Farm booth, where I snagged a large amount of kickass and inexpensive roving. We’ve got merino/tussah…

Some straight up solid coloured merino…

And some gorgeous heathered corriedale

which I already sampled as a 3-ply sportweight

(The colour is much closer in the other picture. I don’t know why my camera sucks so much at capturing greens.)

There was also a small gift from my dear Pixisis of some alpaca/silk…
in what is definitely not a usual colour for me, but I’ve managed to fall in love with it anyway. Pink? Really? Really.

And that’s all I got! It was a fantastic time and I don’t think my vocal cords will ever be the same, after talking and laughing and generally enjoying myself so much. Counting down the days ’til we can do it again next year!

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Things that happened

21 October, 2008 at 9:57 pm (travel)

This post features lots of pictures. Including pictures not belonging to me (but taken with permission). You’ve been warned.

So what did I do at Rhinebeck? I saw lots of friends, new and old (but only managed to get pictures of a few of them)
maryheather cydandnancy
kateandgretchen keandkf

(I stole a bunch of these pictures. The owners know who they are.)

I kinneared the Harlot while she was chatting with Lisa and Jen,

and also went over during the book signing to get a copy of her latest and chat for a bit. She is the most charming woman. I think being Canadian has something to do with it; I also met briefly with Amy Singer, who was equally as fantastic and charming. And when I introduced myself as a knittyboarder she said she knew me from my spindles!

(picture courtesy of Erica)
If you saw me walking around with or pulling out a can of coffee, and were wondering what the hell I was doing with it…

mary-heather and the peanut butter cookie
(picture courtesy of Kathe)
there were peanut butter cookies inside! I made about 75 cookies and all of them were gone by the end of the party on Saturday night. Next year I promise I will make more.

I got some Rav swag, and some Knitty swag, and some Twist Collective swag, and won a raffle prize at the Ravelry party (a year’s subscription to Crochet Today. I suppose that’s one way to improve my crochet skills!)

And then, tired and exhausted, I hauled all of my stuff home, minus 17 spindles and all of the peanut butter cookies, but plus several pounds of fiber and lots of happy memories. Next post will contain all the things I bought!

(PS I am restocking my spindle supplies as we speak, and the four leftover from the show will be going up on etsy as soon as I can find the words to describe them. “Drop spindle, iz pretty, makes yarn” is all my poor, fried brain can come up with at the moment.)

(PPS I know someone has pictures of the Holiday Yarns booth complete with my spindle setup, but that person is not me. Big, huge, giant hugs and thanks to both Jen and Lisa for hosting my spindles and putting up with me. You ladies are the best.)

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Rhinebeck Recovery

20 October, 2008 at 3:55 pm (life, travel)

Still not home—made a detour to a fellow Raveler’s house in CT for the day. Going home tonight to fall over and sleep for a week.

Lots to report on, including things bought, things sold (17 spindles were snatched up), people I gave cookies and hugs to, etc.

For now I leave you with this ridiculous picture that someone else took of me.

Yes, my hair looked that hilarious all weekend. Sigh.

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Knitting content!

15 October, 2008 at 5:03 pm (knitting)

Just because all of the spindles are packed up and ready to go does not mean that I’m done with all of my work, unfortunately. But I did take a moment to cast on a new sock for Rhinebeck knitting—

Cat Bordhi’s spring thaw socks, although I think in this colour they’re more like fall freeze socks. There’s a tree out in my front yard and this kind of plummy purple red is exactly the colour the leaves turn in autumn.

Not much else to report, other than that. Oh, except I did cut my hair again.

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Up for air

13 October, 2008 at 6:09 pm (life, spinning)

All I can smell at this point are glue fumes. I don’t think my hands will ever be unsticky. And I will probably never see a toroid shaped object again without wondering if I can turn it into a spindle.

But they’re (mostly) done. (I say mostly because I’m hoping to put one more together, and two need some minor tweaking.)

Now I get to go… tag and pack the lot of them.

(Knitting content will return on Wednesday. I swear.)

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To do

10 October, 2008 at 2:21 pm (life)

1. Finish making spindles (four more to make, three with whorls that are still not here yet, dammit.)

2. Print business cards, turn some of them into tags for spindles.

3. Pack up all of the spindles.

4. Make peanut butter cookies. (I will do this even if I have to sacrifice nearly everything else on this list.)

5. Wash and block various knitted items.

6. Charge various electronic items.

7. Pack up all the other stuff that might come in handy, like say, clothes for the weekend.

8. Figure out how to haul all of my stuff onto one NJT train, two PATH trains, and one subway train.

(I have how many days left?)

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Work, work, work

7 October, 2008 at 4:38 pm (knitting, life, spinning)

Spindle parts finally arrived, and it’s been non-stop work since then. I have nine spindles completely built, including these two:

(hand-painted carnelian, .8oz)

(hand-painted quartz, .7oz)

There are also five in various stages of completion, three waiting to be started, and three for which I am still missing some pieces. There’s something totally nervewracking, yet thrilling, about doing this kind of hurry up and finish your deadline is a week ago kind of work. The panic of hoping something will work and then thrill of it actually doing so is excellent.

Of course it doesn’t leave much time for my seekrit test knitting projects, like this one:

(well I said it was a secret, didn’t I?)

but fortunately the designers I’m working with are all quite understanding about the insanity that’s currently going on.

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4 October, 2008 at 10:45 am (caturday, life)

Two weeks left ’til Rhinebeck and rather than being hard at work I am… waiting on supplies. I do what I can as they come in but I’m still waiting on a large order of spindle shafts so I don’t have anything to show for my efforts except a bunch of nicely bent hooks and a few whorls.

I did throw a few business card prototypes together, though:

(They underwent a few changes after this picture. I’ll reveal the final version after I get ’em all printed up nicely.)

We also finally got around to naming the bitteh kittehs,

Souchong and Oolong, respectively. We also moved their cat condo out into the living room, which means the big cats are, well,


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