30 June 2008

Monday's Musing

This one's for me, Queen of Procrastination!

"Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task."
- William James

"Every duty which is bidden to wait returns with seven fresh duties at its back."
- Charles Kingsley

"There are a million ways to lose a work day, but not even a single way to get one back."
- Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister

Have a great week, everyone!


29 June 2008

New! A pin for Muir

Well, I finally did it! Several of you have been asking me for a pin for Muir, and here it is! It is available at Designs by Romi in copper! I really am in love with the elegant simplicity of this one.

Here it is modeled on a bit of lace.

This picture shows how you turn the stick to put the pin through your hand knit.

And here we have it turned to lock into place.

I hope you all like it as much as I do! You can purchase it here.

You know what's coming next, right? A coupon to celebrate the release! Enter codename MUIR at checkout for $5 off your order of $15 or more. Good through July 7th. Enjoy! :)

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25 June 2008

Enabling the next generation

This is my older son's first handspun yarn.

Heeeeeee. :)

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24 June 2008


It's a sunny day...I think.

This is the view across the main road here. There are actually three more ridge lines that are not visible through the smoke from the 842 fires burning in Northern California. There are so many fires that many are just burning unchecked. People's homes are the top priority. Can you all spare some good juju for our firefighters and those who have come from other states to help us? They are really up against it.


23 June 2008

Monday's Musing

In honor of a dear friend's birthday today....

"A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out."
- Grace Pulpit

And friends make all the difference. Happy birthday, Sam!

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22 June 2008


My favorite color. :) I just happened to have some green roving lying about. And I couldn't resist it.

But wait, what about my disaster yarn! I always like to get the bad news out of the way first. And here's the lesson for the day: don't try Navajo plying until you have been spinning for awhile and have the treadle motion down. Yikes! I thought it would be a breeze because it was so easy on the drop spindle! I finally did get the hang of it by about halfway through, but it was a humbling experience and not at all zenlike. I now have some "interesting" yarn. Which my older son loves, bless his heart. So it will be a hat for him. Here it is; it is looking better in this picture than it has any right to. Steam and good camera angles do wonders!

After the disaster yarn, I had to spin my green to get back in a good mood. (It's a good excuse anyway!) And I think it came out pretty well.

I had some of one ply left over (no more Navajo plying thankyewverymuch!) and I plied it with some olive green. I think it looks kinda cool.

Here they are side by side. They're sort of between a sport and dk weight.

And another shot because I love the colors.

Much better. The plying was a treat, particularly after that Navajo plying fiasco. Whew.

Off to do a bit of work. I'm trying not to inhale very deeply. It is very very smoky here from the Napa/Solano County fire. I'm sending good thoughts out to all the California firefighters out there, as well as those who are helping them. It's a tough tough time.


20 June 2008

Spinning in the vortex

Well, thanks to the local fiber pusher Ba, I repaired the wheel last night! Curses on Thank you Ba!!! Ba suggested using a piece of leather, and that's what I did.

It works perfectly (or at least as far as I know it does!), and somehow satisfies my notions of the right material to use on a spinning wheel (rather than nylon, I mean). Plus, I already had leather scraps.

Then I tried to spin. Heh. After a few fruitless attempts, I watched a couple of videos of people spinning on youtube and realized I had the wheel set up wrong. Oops. So I tried again. Success! The Toymaker said he was glad that I had gotten the hang of it before 2:00 am. Okay, so I might be a little obsessive. But in a good way. ;) And I did go to bed happy. :)

So to all of you spinners out there, is the tension set up correctly here? ETA: Thank you all so much for the calls, emails and comments! I've got it set up now without the Scotch tension doohicky (highly technical term) and it is spinning like buttah!

Is there a way to change bobbins without unscrewing the end of whatever that piece (at the top of the next picture) is called on the whorl assembly and taking everything apart? ETA: I've been assured it gets easier as you get more used to it!

And how do I keep the wheel from walking away from me? Put it against a sandbag? Or is it operator error and it shouldn't be walking? ETA: Thanks to you all, the wheel is oiled, the tension is corrected, the screws are tightened and it is on carpet. It's not walking any longer!

I'm having a tough time keeping my hands off, dang it!
And I have work to do!

I keep just doing ten more minutes. This has been going on for an hour now. :whimper:


19 June 2008

Ruh roh...

Yes, that is what it looks like. A spinning wheel! My letter carrier, who sees all of the yarny things coming my way, asked me if I wanted to borrow it from her. She hasn't used it in five years. So of course I said yes!! And she brought it over, complete with a bobbin of yarn she had been spinning!

She also brought hand carders, a niddy noddy, a couple of fleeces, a lazy Kate and magazines. Dude. I am so excited! The only thing keeping me from dropping completely and irrevocably into the spinning vortex is the fact that I have to replace the little nylon rod that attaches the treadle to the drive arm. Do I have my terminology right here? I hate calling things the wrong name. :)

Now I want a loom. I have been wanting to learn to weave for a long time. Ruh roh.....


16 June 2008

A Day on the Farm

Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day, and the perfect day for Spinners' Day on the Farm. It was the first time I have been to this little event, put on each year by a local Sonoma County woman I met at Stitches West a couple of years ago. Pam and I had a good laugh about the fact that we live very close to each other but had to drive miles and miles to meet! The event is at the back of her vineyards under a nice little stand of trees. When my friend Carol and I walked in, it felt like a small Renaissance Faire. Lovely. It smelled like lanolin and silk. Heaven, in other words.

This is the sight that greeted me upon coming into the little grove.

One woman was spinning on a Bosworth Journey Wheel. What a cool contraption!

It was difficult to resist these braids at the Royale Hare booth. Karen has exquisite wares! And will soon have a website. :)

More of Karen's beautiful yarns and rovings. Her booth, which you can visit almost every Saturday at the Santa Rosa Farmer's Market, was brimming with drool-worthy items.


My friend Carol was almost drunk with joy.

Gorgeous spindles at Carolina Homespun. I finally got to meet Morgaine! It is always too busy at Stitches West to talk, but we had a great and relaxed chat, and she's taking some of my pins up to Black Sheep Gathering. Woohooo!

Here's Brooke from Tactile spinning the most gorgeous roving. Yummy! If you have not seen her naturally dyed yarns and rovings, you are truly missing out! They are amazing.

The entertainment....

A black fleece - it was amazingly springy.

Amy teaching spinning...

...to her friend, using Ba's method. I learned this way from Ba, as well. She has two people pair up. One holds the roving and the other twists a pen slowly (with roving attached) so that the first person gets used to feeling the roving. It is a great method.

And with what, you ask, did I come away? Well! I had to have some of Karen's goodies. :) Four small hanks of dk weight silk and merino in mocha. The picture really doesn't do the color justice. It is gorgeous!

A ball of roving in olive tones. Mmmmmmm.

Some green laceweight alpaca.

And some laceweight alpaca in a lovely slate blue.

It's already been fondled, bagged and added to my stash bins. Well, I might have rolled around in it a little bit. :)


15 June 2008

Monday's Musing

Being the kinda gal who likes to try everything all at once, this is one I remind myself of often!

"Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there." - Josh Billings

Have a great week, everyone!


11 June 2008


I'm not on a jury. :whew:

So...can anyone who knows about these things tell me why it is expressly forbidden to bring knitting needles and crochet hooks to jury duty? Really. What the heck?

But enough of that. It's celebration time! I've finally gotten it together and have my penannular pins available in copper!

The heart:

and the C-shaped pin.

And you know how I usually celebrate, right? With a discount coupon! This one is $5 off. Enter code "copper" (without the quotation marks) at checkout. Good through June 17!

And let's hope this week gets better now. I mean, really, you just wouldn't believe it. Is anyone else having a bizarre week?

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10 June 2008

Two Words

Jury. Duty.

ETA: No, they don't allow knitting needles. :sob:

ETA #2: Or crochet hooks.


09 June 2008


Today was not a very good day.

"Finest German stainless steel pliers." :sigh: More like "planned obsolescence."


08 June 2008

Monday's Musing

Considering that I am still off caffeine (can you believe it?!?) I thought this appropriate. It gave me a good laugh.

"Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation."
~Author Unknown

Have a great week everyone! :)


04 June 2008

Mmmmmmm, silk

How do you teach a class on Ice Queen during summer? You invent a silky Ice Queen scarf, of course! I'll be teaching a class on Ice Queen/lace at Nine Rubies in San Mateo and Knitterly in Petaluma (yep - we put off the Knitterly class until later when I could offer a non-Mohair alternative!) this summer. And since I need to design an Ice Queen scarf, I was thinking that it would be a great way to show an abbreviated version of my design process along with tutorials.

First, the yarn.

It is Hana by Artfibers in color #7 and some kind and generous soul or other gave a ball and a half to me to try. It has been marinating in stash and is now ready to use. The first thing I did was to wind it off and check for knots. There was one in the full ball, and I undid it. So I now have two small balls and one larger ball.

Hana is pure silk, 244 yards/50 grams, and since I don't see it on the Artfibers website, I think it may be no more. Pity. It's a beautiful yarn and the color variations remind me of Hydrangeas. Since Jocelyn at Nine Rubies will be knitting up a sample in some dk weight silk that they carry, this is a fairly good match, I think, to work out any bugs. Knitterly will get a slightly different version tbd.

And now for the tools.

The Ice Queen garter version chart - I have elected to do garter stitch because it lays flat and is reversible - yarn, beads, pencil, needle gauge, needles.... And I'm ready. Tune in next time for the picot cast on!

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03 June 2008

Tutorials, anyone?

You all were so fabulous when I asked about what you would like to see in a lace class, and continue to be! Thank you!!!

You got me thinking (always dangerous), particularly Leisa who asked some basic lace questions.... I love doing tutorials; people seem to like seeing them, so! Ask me a question and I will do a tutorial on it! My particular specialties are lace and knit/crocheted jewelry (wire, fiber,etc), but I'll take a stab at anything, even if I don't know how to do it at the moment! I love learning new things and working out problems. So far on the schedule I have grafting lace, attaching new balls of yarn in lace and weaving in ends in lace. In my Ravelry group, I've been asked about making the picots on Muir and blocking lace with wires. What else would you like to see? Knitting with wire perhaps? It's easier than you think!

Let me know and I'll do it!


01 June 2008

Monday's Musing

I am a terrible worrier. Really. Terrible! So this is one I remind myself of often.

"Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy."
- Leo Buscaglia

and remember:

"Don't worry, be happy!"
- Bobby McFerrin

Have a great week! :)


It Worked!

The Knitting Force was with me, thanks to all the good juju and knitting mojo sent! My stealth project is all finished and blocking. I can't show you yet, but I'm really happy with it! Thanks so much for all the positive vibes!

Not only that, but there was more good juju to spare. A friend of mine (who hates to have her picture taken, no less!) modeled one of my designs for me after the person who had agreed to do it changed her mind. I called her in desperation and two hours later: pictures taken, downloaded and opened in Photoshop. And she was so nice about it! Thank you N! You rock and then some.

Whew. What a day.

Off to fill my pin orders now. :)

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Good Knitting Juju Needed!

Please take a moment to send me some good knitting juju! Think about speed. I need speed. I am speed. I am so behind! Eek! Thanks in advance! :)