Friday, May 08, 2009

Carding Central

I've set myself a long term spinning/knitting project. It started a while back with my quest for a dark brown next to the skin soft fiber. I finally achieved it by carding together some Corriedale (which I thought would never get used since it was over processed), some black/brown domestic wool and some black and brown alpaca.

All these fibers were given to me in vastly different shapes and styles. The Corriedale was a raw fleece, the alpaca was in a very thin roving form and the domestic wool, from the sheep shed studio, was in a compacted top form.

I new that I wanted these fibers to be equally distributed throughout the batts that I was going to make, so I ran each of them separately through my carder. This is the stage that I'm at now:

There is approximately 2.4 pounds of fiber here, should be plenty for a sweater for me. Basically what I'm planning on doing is taking sections off of each of the different kinds of batts and blending them together to form new batts. This is the only way that I could come up with that was clean and uniform. I'll figure out the percentages of the mix of fibers later.

I'm going to be going for a DK weight yarn with this. I'd like this to be a three ply yarn and I know that I will need approximately 1400 yards for the sweater that I'm planning to make with this. We'll see what happens.

In other news, I have finnished approximately 8.5 repeats of the Clever Little Shawl. Only 5.5 repeats to go!

I'm off to clean the house so that I can mess it up again with kitchen renovation this weekend! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Chalk One Up For Me

It's difficult with a strong willed child to find the right threat to use in public that will be effective in controlling the child's behavior and that won't get you turned over to the police for child abuse. I think that I might have lucked onto one. It works too, at least for now.

A friend has always threatened to call the police on her kids. All she has to do is pick up the phone and pretend to dial and they straighten right up. I haven't been quite as lucky with child number 2 in this respect. Nothing much phases him. Until now, that is.

We took a trip to the local Sherwin Williams store today and even though he was told "The Rules" before we got out of the car, upon walking through the front door he immediately began acting like a wild heathen. There's a reason I don't take him out in public very often.

Now I can threaten to spank his little behind, but I don't want to use it as a threat on every occasion. Sometimes it's nice to have a backup threat. So here he was being the heathen and I simply leaned down to him and said, "If you don't behave I'm taking you to the zoo to live with the monkeys." The results were very satisfactory, I must say. His eyes got big, he stood very still and said, "But I don't want to live with the monkeys" to which I responded, "then you better behave, huh?". Not only did he quit being wild, but no one called the cops on me either. Chalk one up for the Mommy.

By the way, does anyone else's cat use their spinning wheel treadle for a pillow?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Today, just for fun, the kids and I decided to make some root beer. Now, firmenting drinks is not my forte. As a matter of fact, there was that one time in college that I tried it, but I don't think I'll share the full results of what happened with you. Just suffice it to say that there were lots of dark stains on my walls.

So. We used this recipe and some Zatarin's Rootbeer extract and a gallon jug. I have since moved it to the ugliest room in the house. That way if it explodes, I won't care. It'll just be another excuse to redo that room. BTW, I was careful to make sure that I had the liters to gallons ratios correct before mixing it all up.

The Youngest has been bawling since then. He was under the impression that, like Kool-aid, as soon as you mix it, you can drink it. He was so disappointed! Now for the next four days or so, I get to try and explain to him why he can't drink it yet. Oh boy.

In the knitting world, I completed two more repeats of the shawl. I now have half of it completed. This is taking a while for me to finish. I have several things going on at once. Spinning - I had to finish making the yarn. Kitchen Renovation - Forever Ongoing since I'm mostly doing this myself. Knitting - when I can. Family - Trying to squeeze them in after all of the above (A knitter's gotta have her priorities after all.) :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Whirlwind of Inactivity

This weekend was a whirlwind of inactivity.

I did spin up another 250 yds of yarn for my Clever Little Shawl project though. I now have 640 yds of yarn which should be plenty to finish the shawl. Here's how the shawl looks at this point:

I could have done more on it, but I just got lazy this weekend. I just didn't want to do much of anything. My house is now showing it too.

The kids and I also finished emptying out the Easter dye boxes - all fifty of them. I now have 75 boxes worth of dye tablets to use. Yeah! We put all of the other stuff in the boxes into ziploc bags and I'm offering them up on Craigslist to any preschool teacher that can use them. There are the metal dipping sticks, cardboard memorty game, stickers, etc. Too much to just throw away. Some clever teacher can use up every bit of this stuff with their kids next year.

Here's some of my help:

Also wanted to show you something else. My Azeleas, they asploded:

They were more than half as tall as the peach tree next to them before the storms this weekend. Now they look pitiful and sickly. They were just beaten to a pulp by the hard rains that we had. But boy were they beautiful on this day!