Archive for April, 2009

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

What is the pregnant lady eating lately?

Jello Jigglers. I can’t get enough of ‘em. Jello and ham. Yum. Tell your friends.

Still feeling a little better, but really tired. I was in bed most of yesterday simply because being out of bed was too tiring. It feels so pathetic. This morning, after taking the girls to school, I’m going to dash to Costco to get some basic food and supplies before the fatigue hits in ernest.

Then maybe I’ll pick through the rest of my dyed silk so I can get these purple batts finished. I think everyone is tired of the wool and drum carder taking up the breakfast bar and one of the islands. It’s really in the way.

I started spinning the silk,

then cut into the tip of my drafting thumb while making dinner two nights ago, so that’s on pause for a bit. I think it’s going to be really pretty. There’s variation in the color that I wasn’t expecting. I didn’t feel like switching over to the accelerated head, because it involves a wrench, so I’m struggling to get enough twist into the single on the fastest whorl and am kind of kicking myself.

Oh, and Jean, the cookies were great with tea, thanks! I had them with some unsweetened Celestial Seasonings Sleepytime that night. Hit the spot.

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Not much to write about

But I’ll start in and see where it goes.

I’m feeling a little better. Still not great, but definitely better. I think I’m sensitive to dairy. When I eat it, I feel a lot worse. So naturally, I want milk all the time. No, that’s not right, I want things that you eat with milk. Cereal. Cookies. That kind of thing. I made some oatmeal raisin cookies last night, looking online for a recipe that uses shortening instead of butter. They’re really good, but cookies and water just aren’t as satisfying. Nor are cookies and soymilk.

Wah, wah. I know. I should just be glad I’m feeling somewhat better.

I haven’t done much with knitting or spinning in the last few days. And I haven’t finished carding the batts. I think I need to pick more of the roughage out of the noil first. My friend Katie spun a couple batts and thought there was too much in it. I tried (knowing ahead of time the nightmare it would be) to card a batt of noil, to open it up and ease the picking, but it was way more hassle than help. Maybe I’ll try handcards and see what that does. It’s much nicer to pick sharp bits out of noil that’s been carded, but getting it off of the drum carder and then cleaning the drum carder afterwards is awful.

Boring post, boring post.

Liv is home sick today. I swear she went out and found the first virus she could after her antibiotic treatment last week. I’d say I’m anxious for summer, but we’ve been sick during summer before, too.

I’m hoping in the next day or so to start spinning two ounces of Bombyx silk for a friend of mine. I’ve never spun pure silk in any quantity, and it sounds fun.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

One and a half sheep

I’ve washed most of the two fleece I was worried about having forgot. It’s washing just fine.

I have half of the gray left to wash, but it’s already sorted and organized into lingerie bags so I’m really close.

Now I’m really, really, really anxious to get more alpaca so I can dye again!

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

Fine twined linen

You may need to be family or know me personally to appreciate this post, but I’ll try to explain well enough that you’ll at least understand.

I bought some flax to try spinning awhile ago. Spun flax is linen. In Exodus, and throughout the Book of Mormon, they mention “fine twined linen” and when I told the girls that I was spinning flax into linen, they picked up on it. Abby got an amused look on her face and, somewhat mocking, asked if I was spinning “fine twined linen?” Ha ha, we all had a laugh. But not as much as a week or so later when Veronica came into my room and picked up the knit linen swatch on my bedside table and in reverent awe asked if it was the fine twined linen? So very funny. It’s good to know they’re paying attention. I just said I was spinning linen, they made the scriptural connection on their own.

Of course in the Book of Mormon, “fine twined linen” primarily comes up when the Nephite civilization has become worldly, prideful, and are headed for some serious chastisement and humbling. Hence Abby’s sarcasm my direction. But whatever.

Monday, April 20th, 2009

making batts

I have a couple of quiet hours this morning, and I’m making batts.

This is all of it.

This is one batt’s worth of fiber.

I have enough to make about 48 batts. 6 batts per 4 ounces/2 pounds total.

I’m a little worried about the silk. This dyelot was still a test, just on a larger scale. I didn’t weight out the colors of silk, just dyed by handfuls. As it is, I do have enough of the silk, but the distribution of colors isn’t exactly right. I have too much of the light blue, and since I’m using much less light blue than the other two colors in each batt, I’m going to run out of the other two too soon. So I guess I’ll have some batts that don’t match the rest.

I’m anxious to try out some other colorways, but my alpaca supplier hasn’t had any alpaca since early December. I’m going to need to find another source.

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Pretty purple batt

I washed one fleece yesterday and it looks like it washed up nice. I’m waiting for it to dry so my drying racks will be free for the second.

Last night, I spun my sample purple batt into 3 ply. Today, I knit it into a long cuff, just to see how it would look and feel.

The photo is a smidge bleached out, and the towel on the floor in the background is making me crazy, but the color is pretty accurate. Just imagine it a little richer and with more luster. It’s really, really nice. I love how the tweed handles in a 3 ply. Definitely the way to go. It was knit on size 6 needles and I spun it worsted. Not my favorite method of spinning by any means, but I really liked the resulting yarn.

I think I have enough fiber already dyed to make about 2 pounds of these purple batts. Gotta start carding. I’m meeting with a friend on Monday who is going to help me figure out packaging. I need to come up with a weight and price point for packages of batts, and then I’ll be ready to move forward. Not exactly sure HOW I’m going to sell them yet. If I can get Tweedybatts.com up in some simple format, or if I should go with Etsy, or what.

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

8 months!

I realized yesterday that it’s been 8 months since I bought my latest Romney fleece. I’ve only washed 3 of them. I have 2 left. Crap! I’m hoping it isn’t too late. I checked them out last night and the gray seemed fine still, but the white one felt a little stiff. I think I’m going to try to wash some today. I shouldn’t. I need to rest and yesterday was NOT restful.

Tuesday, I had a little energy and used it to get some housework done. I really needed to catch up on rest yesterday, but the girls forgot to take something necessary to school and I had to deliver it. Since I was going out of the house anyway, and Clark was dying to get “out” after being cooped up a week, we made a trip to JoAnn’s to buy some beads. We got home, ate, and were about to take naps when the phone rang. Olivia was sick and needed to be picked up. So we loaded up and headed out to the school again. Came back, got settled, and were resting about 45 minutes when I heard Olivia crying from her room that her ears hurt.

I called the doctor right away to see if we could get in so she could get medicine started, because I know from experience that ear infections are utterly miserable and extremely painful and take awhile to get better. So I woke up Clark from his nap and loaded up in the car and rushed to the doctor. We made it just in time. Then to the pharmacy. Then medicating, feeding, taking care of, etc., plus the girls were home from school when we got back and there was homework and such. Clark was grumpy from an interrupted nap, Nate had to work late and didn’t get home ’til almost 11pm. I was half out of my mind with fatigue.

So today, I REALLY need to rest. But that fleece is stressing me out. So I’m going to take it slow and see how I feel.

Last night, after the kids were in bed and I was waiting for Nate to get home, I started on another little neck scarf with my alpaca laceweight and new beads. I couldn’t get a decent picture of it this morning. This was the best of them.

I’m really annoyed that the color change is happening right at the pattern break.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Progress

I think I’m feeling a little better despite the cold having moved into my chest. I didn’t feel better at 6:30 this morning, when I was trying to haul out of bed to get the older two to band and orchestra, but now that I’ve been awake a couple hours, I have a bit more energy than I did yesterday, if only a little. And that’s something.

The shawl is bigger, and I’m getting a little faster at the two handed method of fair isle that is used in Philosopher’s Wool patterns.

And indeed, the colors are making me happy and lifting my spirits.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The Kilim Shawl

I’ve finally started knitting with my Philosopher’s Wool. I’m making the Kilim Shawl.

It’s knit circular fair isle in a cone, then cut open and fringed. The colors are magnificent.

I’m still quite sick. It seems to be picking up intensity so it looks like I’ll be in bed much of this week as well as last week. But much of last week was just pregnancy fatigue. Now it’s that plus a sinus infection and accompanying yuck.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Catch up

It looks like I’m coming down with whatever the girls had this week. I hope it flushes through fast so I can enjoy Easter with the family.

We’ve had a couple birthdays recently. Clark turned 3

and Abby turned 11

It was all a very low budget, low energy affair but still nice. They didn’t seem to miss anything and I wasn’t up for more.

I finally got pictures of the finished Rosy Scarf.

It’s very nice. I wore it to the store this morning which is cheating, since it isn’t for me. I still need beads for the alpaca scarf, which might end up being for me, and I need to spin the camel yarn still, at which point we’ll be able to determine if it needs different beads from the ones I have set aside. Spun yarn can look quite different from it’s dyed fiber top.

I’m going to polish off this 20 oz bottle of Gatorade and then I’m going to bed.