Archive for June, 2007

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

Health Group- Year 4, week 1

We missed Health Group- Year 3, week 52 while I was at Black sheep. That’s a shame, but here we are, beginning year 4. Wow.

I’m up a few pounds, but I think it’s mostly water. I’ve lost 2 pounds since yesterday, just in behaving myself and drinking more water to flush out the accumulation of junk over the last week. Like far too many Lay’s potato chips.

The last two weeks of school were really hectic and I literally couldn’t exercise, and didn’t take the time to eat as well as I could have.

We planned food for Black Sheep and did great, in fact, April didn’t think I met my calorie minimum on Friday. But then we came back, and it’s been awful ever since. Just the chaos of school being out, ignoring responsibility to play with fabric, fiber, wheels and yarn, and not having much in the house that supported good eating.

So, today my goal is to plan out food to eat, go to the store, make bread, exercise, etc. to get myself back on track.

I seriously miss it. I’m so tired of snack foods and eating on the go. After just a week of it, it sucks. I want to feel better, have more energy, and start shrinking again.

How are you doing?

Friday, June 29th, 2007

A crappy picture of a sock

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I’m too tired to try to get a better one. (I was out ’til 2 last night, and Clark is still sick). But this sock is done. The difference in stitch count between the leg and foot in this pattern is 6 stitches. So at 64 stitches, we got swirly striping in one direction, pooled through the gusset, and in the 58 stitch foot, swirly stripes the opposite direction at a steeper angle.

Weird.

I could rip it and make it a 64 stitch foot, resuming the same striping as on the leg, but I really don’t care. It’s fine as-is, and I like the snugger foot. I have just the toe left on sock #2, and can cross this project out of my WIP’s.

Which is cool.

I really thought I’d be dying to start Josephine by now, but the LYS still hasn’t got my yarn in. Which is convenient at the moment, but it will suddenly become very inconvenient as the summer weeks pass and I run out of time to wear it before the weather changes.

However, my diet has been on hold for a few weeks now, so it’s not like I’m going to fit into it anytime soon anyway. We ate very responsibly at Black Sheep, but since I got home, I haven’t jumped back into the routine. I need to go grocery shopping, make bread, and plan out some meals. I’ve been eating-on-the-go all week, and that just doesn’t work.

Check this out

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Is that not just the coolest ever? We’re looking at making a tablecloth with two long strips- 1/3 polka dots, and 2/3 a nice, yellowish tan color that is in the dryer right now. I think I’m going to serger them together and have a groovy way to protect my table.

And it looks neato in the dining room.

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Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Thank you for knitting for Mary.

From the bottom of my heart.

I really don’t get that phrase.

So, Veronica and I did the drawing today. While I’m aware that some bloggers are uber-technical and can do random generated things on their computer, we’re into good old fashioned paper around here.

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And the results are as follows-

1. Carol

2. Stephanie

3. Jen

4. Danielle

Congratulations! You may choose your prize in order of how you were drawn.

The options are-

-2 skeins of Koigu from my stash.

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I can provide color descriptions and additional pictures if necessary.

- a beautiful collection of handmade soaps from Stephanie.

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They are lavender, patchouli, a citrus patchouli, lemon (it’s fantastic), and the fifth has something in it making it an excellent wool wash. Plus, it smells really good. But I don’t remember what it is.

-a 4 oz skein of hand-dyed Blue Faced Leicester (pronounced Lester) yarn from Nada.

-a free pattern of your choice from Pamela.

Carol, you’re first.

Yesterday was busy. They wanted to do it all, and I wasn’t organized enough to protest, plus we were forced to stay indoors and anti-social because of poor Clark’s many illnesses.

So, Abby read a story.

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Liv started to learn to spin

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Veronica sewed placemats (I really need to blog about those. They’ve been ongoing for a few weeks, and are so cool!).

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and Abby knit

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And Abby tried spinning. And Liv knit, too. And I think they all sewed some placemats. And Clark was sick and grumpy. And the kitchen was a mess.

So I was running back and forth like a mad woman, trying to be everywhere and do everything and help everyone.

I’m not going to do that again. At least not all at the same time.

So Hayden came over last night and then I sat and knit on the Uptown Boot Socks for awhile. (Oh, and Hayden, I won). They’re nearly done, and I like them mucho. I think I’m going to pick out another suitable yarn and knit them again.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

And there’s spinning, too!

What exactly did I spend all weekend doing at Black Sheep?

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It’s lovely. I think I have about 600 yards of it. It should be self striping because I followed the method described in Janel’s article in the most recent Spin Off for self striping socks, and my friend that used the same roving in a different colorway, that spun it the same way I did, but thicker, is getting fantastic striping as she’s knitting her purse.

I am, however, somewhat disappointed. I wanted something a little more dramatic, more intense. As I opened up the roving, there ended up being a lot of white between the color changes and sometimes within the color itself. My friend’s roving didn’t have any white that I recall, but mine had tons, which diluted the colors.

Yesterday I spun up a crazy-wild batt into yarn for Liv, and I have another one to spin up for Abby.

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It’s neat. The label tells you the name of the sheep, the breed, and then the other fibers it’s blended with. In this case, we’ve got Blanca and Valentine, both Romneys, and Snow, a Corriedale cross, plus Bombyx silk, viscose, cut Bombyx silk and silk noil.

Needless to say, it’s very tweedy.

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We were at the doctor first thing this morning. I haven’t been talking about it because there’s been so much going on, but Liv’s been coughing her brains out for over a week, and poor Clark’s been constipated, then had diarrhea that burned his poor little bum, then back to constipation and now both of his eyes are covered in green goop and are swollen significantly. Abby came running to me last night saying that “Clark doesn’t look like Clark!”.

He’s been fussy and right now is screaming at my feet. I tried to hold him, but he just thrashed around and kept screaming. And now he’s thrown up.

This sucks.

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

So check this out

I bought a book.

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I got it signed by one of the totally cute old ladies that wrote it.

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I haunted her booth.

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I fondled things.

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My mother-in-law loves braided rugs. They’re a little too “traditional country” for my house, but I still really wanted to make them. Then, in flipping through the book, and now checking out this page on the website, my creativity is in overdrive, and I could totally make one funky enough for our decor.

I’m having trouble sleeping.

They had a rug in progress in their booth

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and a braid in progress so you could really see how it’s done

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and I need to do it.

And I apologize for not doing the drawing for Mary’s Mitts yet. Things have been so crazy. But we’ll do it this week for sure.

Monday, June 25th, 2007

My, you’re all anxious

I’m getting emails from people that want to know! And here I am, selfishly immersed in a book I bought at Black Sheep (you know it’s gotta be good, because I HATE reading), and weeding through over 80 emails.

Ok, first of all, Mary was overcome by her mitts Thursday night.

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She spent at least 10 minutes saying nothing but, “oh my gosh, you guys! Oh my gosh! You guys! You guys, oh my gosh!”

It was cute.

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She loved them.

As for the Black Sheep Gathering…. where to begin?

We packed a bunch of yummy
food and our camping stuff, parked the car in the camping field
Friday morning, and didn’t leave ’til Sunday morning. It was fantastic.

I went down with my wheel and nothing to spin, so I had the happy time of wandering the massive trade show booths, looking for the perfect fiber. It turned out to be three, 2 oz roving braids dyed by Lynn Vogel of the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook.

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And she’s very sweet.

Then we spun. And spun. And spun. And spun and spun and spun, the whole weekend. We met really fun, interesting people. We answered a zillion questions about spinning, wheels, and fiber by onlookers and passersby.

This was the spinning circle in the trade show on Friday.

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It was 2 to 3 times that size on Saturday.

My favorite find over the weekend is too completely cool to have share a post with anything else, so I’ll show you tomorrow.

I’d already typed up a quick recap of the weekend in an email, so I cut and pasted it here.

“Spinning in a random group assembled in the trade show buildings ’til
it closed, then moving out to to spin under the food tent in front
with another random group of ladies ’til we were too hungry to ingore

Eating dinner at our camping site, lending another group of lady
campers our lighter because they forgot theirs, walking by other
large assemblies of campers spinning under their tent covered coolers
and portable picnic tables on the way to the bathrooms…

Wandering around the livestock barns at night, talking to shepherds

Arguing amongst ourselves about which breed is the best/cutest/most
intelligent looking

Laying in the tent at night listening to the Baaaaaa’s never got old.
We giggled about it frequently.

Knitting or reading in the sleeping bag until our eyes were rolling
back in our heads before falling asleep.

Waking up with the sun, eating breakfast, sitting and talking ’til we
decide to haul the wheels back out to the food tents in the front of
the tradeshow buildings to spin with yet another randomly assembled
group of women ’til it opened.

Getting so caught up in our spinning that we don’t in fact get out of
our chairs for hours. Moving indoors to the spinning circle in the
trade show ’til we’re too starving for lunch to focus.

Eat lunch. Come back and shop. Spin ’til the trade show closes. Move
back out to the food tent and spin, waiting for the dinner potluck to
begin, listening to a fiddle, guitar, and banjo group.

Etc. etc. etc. until we wake up Sunday morning more emotionally and
physically relaxed than I thought humanly possible…

So. Freaking. Awesome.”

And now I need to stop ignoring my children, who are officially on summer break now, get dressed, and think of something fun to do with them. I feel a bit backlogged on the blog. I have about 5 posts I can think to write, to show all that’s been going on with the knitting, sewing, spinning… and then there’s this new thing I saw at Black Sheep. I can hardly contain myself.

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

Yesterday was fun

First of all, I’ve emailed Mary to set up a family playdate next week. I’ll let you know what happens!

Now about yesterday, let’s see… The serger lesson was so cool! I learned how to thread it, a 40 step process, and we did a 4 thread seam thing, a 3 thread overcasting thing, and a 3 thread rolled hem.

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There she is, old and sweeeeet. And here are some practice swatches I did when I came home. (Hmmm. I’m obviously a knitter. What do you call a practice scrap in sewing)?

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Look at all that serger-y goodness!

So, I did the lesson, then came home and went straight off to school where I assembled the last of the Wednesday packets this year, and got to see the entire school’s 50 yard dash for field day. No camera, unfortunately. But Liv came in first of the second grade girls in the heat she was in. Yay Liv!

While this was going on, Nate was at a fundraising lunch for Mitt Romney. Be warned, that link will take you to a site with sound.

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Nate’s been very interested in this upcoming, yet far off presidential election. He’s been reading books, following the candidates on the internet, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.

After school, we hauled off to JoAnn’s to take advantage of a fabric sale

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You’re looking at a future skirt for Liv, tablecloth, and a quilted cover type thingy for Suzie’s mother of all. Plus a skirt for Abby if I can squeeze one out of the yardage.

Finally, we made it back just in time to meet up with Hayden to make our appointment at a beauty school in Woodinville.

As mentioned yesterday, Hayden got subtle highlights.

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Julian cut my hair and bleached the ends before adding purple.

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While we were waiting for the color to set, some of the girls got to work on Julian

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All the while, Clark was in the foyer, flirting madly with the rest of the staff, but they were out of camera range. And here I am!

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I noticed my few silver hairs on the top of my head this morning and regret that we didn’t dye those, too.

When I’m an old woman, I shall have purple hair.

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Today I’m running around like a mad woman getting myself and the homestead ready for me to leave for a few days. I’m camping out at the the Black Sheep Gathering again, like I did two years ago, and I’m sooooooo excited!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Same old story…. things are crazy

It’s getting old, but I’m just running like mad. The girls are out of school in two more days, and then things will be sane again.

We were at a gorgeous place called Kayak Point for a 3-6 grade BBQ all day yesterday. It was soooo nice.

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Hours and hours of sand digging, crab catch and releasing, sunbathing, etc. I brought the Uptown Boot Socks and picked up both gussets. Now I’m cruising down towards the toe. Since the stitch count changes so dramatically in the gusset, the swirly stripes are all cattywumpus. That’s fine, but the pattern has me decrease for the foot to 58 stitches, when the leg was knit in 64. So the stripes are continuing to mutate. I don’t know if it’s good, bad, or otherwise. What do you think?

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Those are both sides of the same sock.

And I’m off again. I’m squeezing in a serger lesson (I’ve had the thing for over a year and have no idea how to use it) before helping out at the school. Then I want to dash to JoAnn’s for a fabric sale before coming home to get the tips of my hair punk dyed with Hayden. Mine are getting punk dyed, and even though it was her idea, she’s just getting highlights.

Chicken.

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Pretty mitts

So, I was talking on the phone with my sister this afternoon, spinning some thick, bright teal merino singles onto my Suzie….

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(I have to use this stuff up! I’m buried in it and I don’t like it. So I’m trying to do a Manos del Uruguay type of thing with the thick, uneven single and then I’ll overdye it to see if I can end up with something cool. The Majacraft bobbins are plastic, and they say you can dye and/or set twist right on the bobbin. I’m not going to dye it that way, but setting the twist on a single without having to take it off the bobbin sounds like a great idea to me. And incidentally, I have to keep reminding myself to be uneven. It’s so easy to zone out in the rhythm of the draft and petal and make an even yarn. So mine’s going to be inconsistently inconsistent. And it’s kinda cracking me up).

Alright, so I was spinning on the Suzie, talking on the phone when Nate…

(that’s another thing! I can spin on the Suzie in my comfy chair! I don’t know if it’s because of the double treadle or what, but when spinning on the Clemes, I had to be on one of our dining chairs to be comfortable. With the Suzie, I can snuggle back into my regular chair

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and comfortably spin. Endlessly I’d imagine.

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Ok, right, so, I was spinning on Suzie (do you think I should give her a different name?), talking to my sister, when Nate came in with the mail and dropped these on the couch next to me.

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How exciting! Lots of mitts!

As it turns out, the box was from Cookie Lee, but the rest are mitts! Wonderful, beautiful mitts!

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They’re to die for.

So, um, yeah. I have this weird medical condition, and, like, I have to wear gloves all the time to, you know, keep my fingers from freezing and falling off. So, uh, do you think you might, maybe, like, wanna knit me some mitts?

:-) .

Thanks guys, you’re totally awesome. I’m so happy we’re doing this for her. I think I’m waiting on one more pair, I need to check with my internet-shy-friend who’s keeping track, but then we’ll be done and we’ll dish out prizes, and we’ll all get a fantastic dose of Karma.

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

Health Group- Year 3, week 51

As usual for this week, I have no time, so real quick….

I had a great week. I’m down a little bit in my hips. I weight 218.4!!! That means I’ve finally hit the 10 pound mark for the year.

I love CalorieKing.

I haven’t exercised this week, and I’m not giving up. I have until Monday to get 150 minutes in. Which is an hour and fifteen minutes today and tomorrow. Not going to happen, but I’ll try to get something in tomorrow at least.

While frantically cleaning through a big pile of papers today, I came across some measurements and weights from last summer, and I’m smaller than I was then! That’s a happy feeling.

How was your week?