Fiberlicious

And yarn diet justifications.

So, I am on a yarn diet. But I got a new wheel. And I am running out of fiber to spin. Someone told me that fiber doesn’t count as yarn. But that really defeats the purpose of a yarn diet. Plus, now that I am spinning, all my yarn wants have turned into fibery desires.

But we did establish, did we not, that I can spend money on fiber if it is not MY money. That being said, someone very close to me gave me a bit of cash to spend at Miss Violet’s stash sale. This way I am getting the best bang for my buck and yarn I am spinning when I am still a newbie. Also, once it is gone, it is gone, causing me to have no choice but to finish up current projects and/or knit with it, rather than just spinning more and more yarn and increasing my stash exponentially while not doing a thing with it.

Oh, and I can’t WAIT to show you my current spinning, it is the orange BFL I got when I got the wheel. It is going so much better! There isn’t a lot of it, I think it will be enough for socks and gloves for the Bug or something to that effect. Maybe gloves for me! Yes, I probably need gloves at some point.

Anyhow, on to the fibery infusion. My thought process in picking out fiber was thus:

Pick fibers which I have not yet worked with, therefore gaining experience.

Pick fibers in gently changing colorways, as I often get irritated with harsh color changes.

Pick fiber that got the most bang for my buck.

I did ok. I’ll post one a day to prolong the lovelies. Interspersed with spun fiber and knitting, this could get good!

First up, because I completely and utterly love the shininess factor to this one, is a 50% merino 50% tencel blend. I have heard that this might be hard to spin, the merino is a short fiber and the tencel is slippery. It will probably be the last one out of the batch spun up. The colors might be a bit more daring than I am accustomed to, but that is all part of the learning, and the fiber content was something I wanted to try.
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Crazy Making

So, we established that the swift arrived yesterday around lunchtime. I, of course, had to take it out and put it together for favorite coworker to see. We both admired it greatly. I then took it apart with the intention of taking it to knit night for show and tell.

I got to knit night, and showed and told. Everyone was duly impressed and one of the gals there wondered if Nick could rework her current swift. I picked up some fiber (more on that later) and came on home to receive the Bug and set up the swift so she and I could play with it. Get everything in the house, clear off the table and go to set up the swift. No hardware. I dump out everything in my bag. No hardware. I begin to panic, go through my fiber, my knitting, my purse, my pockets. No hardware. Now we know I had it at the Knit Night. And I could have sworn I put it in my bag. But I am doubting everything because I am tired and haven’t eaten yet and everything feels discombobulated. I post for the Knit Night gals to look for it if they get the chance. And then the Bug comes home. So we chat and play and she talks about the big “X” on the table.

Once the Bug goes to bed I once again start the search for the hardware. I am well aware that Nick is gonna give me a hard time about losing the hardware the first day. After all, this is why he gave me 2 sets! It quickly becomes apparent that the hardware is not going to be found and any more looking is crazy making. I own up to the fact that I will have to tell Nick that I have already lost the hardware, before I have even begun. Amidst all this, my cell phone dies. The keypad won’t work and the screen and keypad won’t light up. I can receive calls but I cannot answer them because the buttons don’t work. I swear they are programmed to break easily!

I email Nick and go to bed. Get a call from Nick on the home phone and we discuss a plan of attack for getting new hardware. He is going to specifically tell me what I need and I was told to go to the nearest Ace and bat my eyelashes at an employee. It seems like a decent plan. I think it will work. It appeases me enough to let me sleep. (In which I have anxiety dreams about snakes, but that is another story entirely!).

I got up this morning early. I thought I would have a go at looking for the hardware. I pick my knitting for the umpteenth time, shake it out, and imagine my surprise when the hardware falls out. GGRrrr. But of course I put my swift together right away! And took pictures. And a video which I will post tonight.

So here is the swift together and the yarn which I intend to ball laying on the swift.
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I then put the pegs in, stretching the hank well so that it doesn’t tangle as it unwinds.
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I then hook it up to the ball winder:
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and I am good to go! (erm, that is, AFTER I take the holding thread out of the yarn?!?! I guess it was too early and prior to coffee for me to think that one through!)

It is smooth as glass. Works perfectly, and quickly. Just wait till you see the video! It is truly a fantastic tool as well as being a work of art. All my crazy making was worth it for this moment!

Oh, Bug can’t wait to get home tonight to play with it! I brought her downstairs this morning and asked if she wanted to, but she decided that trains take precedence. Currently she is working on a track that runs all the way into my bedroom. But on the way to school I asked her if she wanted to have a PJ pizza party tonight. She said “YES! AND AND, I want to wind the yarn!”

The great arrival!

The swift arrived today!  I cannot tell you how beautiful it is!  I have received a work of art in return for a knit scarf.  Amazing.

I also cannot begin to describe how it was packaged.  Let’s just say that Nick packaged it up as he does everything else.  Precisely and thoroughly.   You could ask him how he packaged it, but you’d probably get a full picture tutorial 😉

Thank you Nick, I have the best yarn swift ever crafted.

I will try to take pictures tonight and maybe some video’s over the weekend.

First yarn part 2

Below is my 2 bobbins full of the first spun fiber. The one on the right is the first bobbin, as evidenced in the thicker yarn with a lot of inconsistency. Toward the end I was starting to get a lot thinner but things really fell into place on the second bobbin.

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Then I plied. Now, by the nature of spinning 2 bobbins of yarn and then plying them together, when it is your first spun, you end up plying decent yarn with “crap.” Thick and thin slubby inconsistent yarn. This frustrates me I have to admit. On the other hand, WHO KNEW!?!?!?! that a little bit of fiber makes SO MUCH YARN!!! Those 2 little bobbins full? If you don’t spin, you have no idea how much yarn that is. Crazy. SO I may be able to get a hat or something out of the slubby gross yarn and a pair of socks or something out of the nicer yarn.

First Skein:

(I really could have used a niddy noddy or a yarn swift here, but I had neither so I used my arm.)

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Does it look like yarn? Maybe sorta. Does it look like it has potential? Heck Yeah!

(J told me last weekend that he thinks I might have a “midas touch” with fiber, whatever fiber I touch turns out to look pretty)

A Sad Day

I was going to post some general silliness, until I heard the news.

I have 2 coworkers here. I always refer to one as “favorite coworker” but really they are both my favorite. Other favorite coworker (M) lost her husband (R) this morning.

I just wanted to take a few minutes to reflect on him and them as a couple. Some memories of a man who was amazing, and though a smaller part of my life over all, a large part of it at this time.

M and R have been married many years. I don’t know the exact number but it has got to be at least 40 years. Probably more. They have a general camaraderie that really works for them and was always fun to watch on the outside looking in. They are both kind people willing to do anything for the people they love. R was always very curious about people in general. He loved to ask lots of questions and always remembered what was going on in your life. Things like that just make you feel special! When he would call in to work and not get M, he would always chat with us for a few seconds and crack some jokes. We are really mourning the fact that we will not get to hear his friendly voice on the phone, lightening our day and making us feel special.

M and R have a special sense of family. We would often sit and listen during work break about how R was tirelessly driving his grandchildren from one activity to the next. In a sense being their “soccer mom”. They tried not to miss anything their kids or grandkids were doing. R also had a lovely generosity with M as well as those around him. We would hear stories of how he would get almost irritated with M if she wouldn’t go pick up more clothing of a style she found that she liked. This was not a man who would deny his family anything.

In that same sense of family, they gathered others to them. M has been my “grandmother” as I am so far from home. Last Thanksgiving I spent with them, even though I am not part of their family. They opened their home to me during a time when I had nowhere else to go and made me feel welcome and even important in that day. When I was going through my nasty separation and divorce, M came to me so privately and quietly, letting me know that she and R had talked it over and wanted to make sure I was ok, and that if I needed anything, even financially, they wanted me to be able to ask them for it. This is someone I had known for only 2 months at that time! This is generosity.

I often think about the relationship that M and R had, that we got to see bits and pieces of here at work.  I will never forget R calling M multiple times a day asking various questions and checking in.  And she would pretend to be so irritated but we all knew it was a ruse and it just made us laugh.  Or how she would sometimes schedule her Dr. appointments after work and tell him she was working extra long, just so that he wouldn’t worry over her.  I enjoyed who they were as a couple very much, and I am hurting for M and her family, knowing that they now have to find their place here without him.

Postum

When I was a kid, I was allowed to have Postum.  I liked it.  I still do and enjoy it most in the winter.  I have perfected the way I make it and for me it is better than hot chocolate.

I make it with about a tablespoon of postum, fill the mug with milk and a minuscule amount of brown or organic sugar.   Then the mug goes into the microwave to heat up.  I stir half way through, which makes the postum mix in nicely and gives it a cappuccino style froth.

I took some to J’s house.  I asked if he would like to try some.  He told me that he doesn’t like the stuff and thinks it tastes like nothing.  Now you have to remember that when I tell him I don’t like something, he gets on my case, asking me to please reserve my judgment until I have tasted what he has made.   But I didn’t give him a hard time about that, I just went ahead and made it to my specifications.

I went to drink my postum and asked if he would like a taste as I had made it.  He agreed and then soon I hear “Maybe you would make me some possum!”  (no, that is not a misspelling, he thinks it is amusing to call it possum.)  Now, every time I visit I hear “Maybe you will make us some possum!”

I guess that reserve of judgment goes both ways!