Sunday, July 29, 2007

Gett'in While the Gett'ins Good!

We woke up early yesterday morning and said, "hey want to go somewhere?" The hubby has been long over due his pilgrimage to Charlottesville, (we normally try to go every six months or so) we hadn't been in ages. He was having used and rare book withdrawals. So we played with the dogs, fed them and got ready to go. If you don't leave here by 8am on a Saturday you aren't going to get very far the interstate clogs up and no one moves for miles and miles. But we made it and we got to were hopping out of the truck in the parking garage in Charlottesville at 10:30! Whhhoohooo!
We have one bookstore we usually buys lots of books at, so this time we were smart and started there first and the truck was parked closest to that one so we wouldn't have so far to go to carry all the book stash! The store is called Daedalus and it is amazing! It is three levels of over 94,000 books crammed into every possible nook and cranny! But that doesn't mean they won't be outdone but the priced stores with their places to relax and enjoy the books...
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Actually I took this picture for different reasons, I just liked the look of the lone chair in this little room that is more a closet than I room I think, there are books hiding everywhere, we love this store the owners are such nice and knowledgeable people too!

But surprisingly I didn't buy as much there as I normally do, I have a love of Medieval History and only bought three books in that area, I looked for books on spinning, knitting and yarn in general but they only had embroidery and cross stitch books, so alas I paid for Larry's finds and we moved on...

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One lonely bag of books.

Larry made a few other small purchases at a couple of other local stores. Read It Again, Sam, which is a classy place and the Blue Whale, who always generously validate parking!

But what is a weekend without some knitting?
I got some valuable knitting time in the car on the way up, thank you hubby!
And then I thought I'd drop into the Needle Lady and see if Margaret was working.
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Sadly, she wasn't there, she was off, but I explored the store and bought some lovely merino sock yarn by Jitterbug. The colorway is Blue Parrot, very lovely blue, with reds, browns and greens! One skein will do a pair of socks! Yippee!

I also found a wonderful Dog and Horses store, pets welcome! Everything you need for the dog or horse lover! So I bought a hat and euro sticker for the truck.

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Also on the knitting front I think I forgot to post a pick of the finished wheel, I haven't been using it as much as I'd like though, but it turned it out lovely.
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We eventually had to leave and head for home, we stopped in Richmond for a bite to eat on last bookstore, where I picked up some current issues of knitting mags and came home. Tired but we had loads of fun!

Also, Amanda is having a contest over on her site, she has designed a cute little bag! Go check it out! And wish good thoughts for her son, who had some oral surgery!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dogs on Thursday

So there is this great blog www.dogsonthursday.blogspot.com and you are invited to be a member and then you post a blog about your dog(s) on Thursdays, cool uh?
So here is some juicy tidbits of my girls.
It has been a little cooler here and by cooler I mean 80s instead of 90s and so Rosie is breathing a little better this week.
Molly and Lily both need to go to the vet on Saturday for check ups and shots.
Lately, Lily has been waking up at 3am"ish" ready to play, chew loudly on a toy bone or while until I let her out, thinking she needs to go potty. But what she really wants to do is lounge on the back steps. But the dogs are not allowed outside if I cannot keep an eye on them and at 3am I'm really not in the mood to sit up and watch her sleep on the step. Ug.
Here's a dose of puppy cuteness!
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Wednesday

Really, can it true that it is only Wednesday? I am so looking forward to the weekend. I don't normally talk about work because I like to keep this a stress free zone, but I just have to say, that work this week has been the worst. People who are normally the sweetest people and you thought to be your "work friends" are having Jeckel and Hyde moments. I am so ticked off. I don't normally befriend people I work with for this reason it always seems to complicate things, well I don't know why I thought this place was different than any other I worked at?! But, I did and I got burned, lesson learned again.

I did get my Harry Potter book on yesterday, but to give you an idea of just how bad my day was yesterday when I got home I didn't even feel like reading it! I just sat mulling over the day and trying to figure out how people can be so mean.

Today is better because the majority of the people in the office are at a conference the rest of the week.
I did manage to read six chapters in bed last night and plan to do a little at lunch time today, although I have an errand to run first.

Knitting is slow I am getting about 45 minutes in the morning on the way to work. So I'm making a little progress on multiple projects at the same time.

On the house hunting front, I feel like I am in some sort of parallel deminsion, we went and looked at a house I thought for sure the hubby would put an offer on, and he still might want to but now he is telling me to go see the house that I liked so much in the beginning again because he might think that is the better deal. UG! I mean I'm happy at the prospect of possibly being able to get my "fav" house but geeze if he had just listened to me in the beginning it would have saved so much time!

Well lunch time,

Happy knitting

Monday, July 23, 2007

No Harry Potter!

Can you believe this, I pre-ordered I received several emails from the bookstore telling me how they were shipping books out at a certain so that I will receive my book on Saturday. Today is Monday, my book is in the western part of the state! Not even due to arrive in my area for delivery until tomorrow! I would have gone to the store and stood in line if I had known they weren't really going to get my book to me, I mean what was the point of the pre-order?
I realize I'm ranting and I apologize, it does leave me more time for knitting and much needed carding, but some how that does not dampen my temper at the moment.
I did send off a scathing email asking the company what they plan to do to fix this problem and to keep from losing a costumer, no response, perhaps I will hear from them on the 24th as well! UG!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Friday!

Well, I'm starting to feel a little better, but still so tired. I have only been knitting on the way to work in the mornings this week and a couple of times at lunch. Nothing in the evenings after dinner, which is normally prime knitting time. Still don't think I am getting enough sleep. Just too much going on, this week at work was hella busy. Today I was there by myself and Fridays are always the busiest days and today was also a deadline day for submittals so it was extra busy. I came home and tried to take a nap but the phone rang and so that didn't work.
Tomorrow morning I need to be up early for a club breakfast in Williamsburg (HAM radio club, my other hobby) And then we might head out of town for the day.
I am going to take knitting with me though. I am working on a summer sweater for msyelf so you would think I would be more motivated than I am.
The house hunting is still on going I went and looked at another house this week. It was really cute but it is going to be so hard to downsize, I'm being to doubt my ability to do this.
Super good news, found out today the Yarn Harlot is coming to Va in September! I totally can't wait! And Wayne Newton is coming in January! My life could be nearly perfect! I know you say Wayne Newton, but I can't help it, I love him, the same way others are curiously drawn to Air Supply, Kenny G or Barry Manilow. He is the one mellow guy I like. Because the next mellow music I like is Right, Blue and Righteous by ZZ Top and that is as mellow as I get.

In other news, the spinning wheel is finished! I have even carded a little roving and ready to try it out this weekend. I just haven't had the energy to do a lot of carding recently. But, hopefully I'll get more done. My neighbors who have never seen a spinning wheel before are asking for a demonstration soon. That should be interesting. On the bright side, them not having seen one before even my novice skills will look like I know what I am doing. LOL!
I'll keep you posted.
My neighbors think my hubby and I are nuts anyway because we have what they considering interesting hobbies, like the motorcycles. But they are older so it is kind of understandable.

Well, Harry Potter book is on the way so you probably won't hear from me for a couple of days again. Sorry :-(

Happy Knitting

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Walking on the Surface of the Sun....

...that's what it feels like here today, its 101F, oh but the humidityis low. I bet it's low on the sun too! Dang it is hot, but there is an advantage I don't seem to cough as much when I'm outside.

I am starting to feel like I am returning to the land of the living. Thank you everyone for their well wishes, I can't believe I miss a whole week of work! I spoke with people at work last week a few times, no one seemed to be upset that I wasn't there, which is good because I could barely get out of my own way last week, much less be useful at work.
A side effect for me of antibiotics is that give me insomnia. I actually got up Wednesday around 12 noon and didn't go back to bed until Friday around 8am. So lesson learned that the drugs in the morning you'll have energy all day! And in fact I did, because I finished a tie for a friend and in one sitting knitted a whole new one for the hubby. I also started a cute summer sweater for myself.

Tie for hubby:

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it is a neat stitch pattern, purled on the ends and knit stitch in the middle.

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The wheel has been sitting all week waiting for me to come and talk to it and give a clear coat. Well I was finally able to do that today. It is outside in the driveway in the shade soaking in its first clear coat.

here are pictures from when I first started to apply the stain...
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That same day I started scouring the wool. Here is a picture of my production line in that effort...

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It seems to be going rather well I think The wool is coming clean and is so pretty and soft. I haven't done any carding yet, because the carders are on the table getting some stain too.
I have a nice pile of wool to start carding with and I have barely put a dent in the first bag of wool yet to be cleaned. It's very hard work, never let anyone tell you otherwise. And from all the things I have read, I do not feel that people stress the importance of combing or flicking part of the process prior to the scouring.
They all say to do it, they don't give a lot of detail, at least in the sources I have used.
Let me tell you this is the most important part, because scouring does not remove the vegtable matter. Oh sure it help to loosen it because the grease isn't there for it to cling too, but it doesn't just "fall out" For this I have found that a rake used for a dogs under coat works very nicely. I'm sure there are more specialized tools for this but, it's what was handy at the time for me.

Place a towel or something in your lap and lay the wool on it. Then start gently combing it with the rake. Do this for a few minutes and then shake the wool off to the side, vegtable matter will be loosened and will start to fall out. You may have to pick out some pieces by hand if they are really caught up in the wool. This is time consuming, but very peaceful. You can sit and enjoy the clouds and relax. This will also help in the scouring process later.

The weirdest thing I have found embedded in the wool? A smashed, dead baby grasshopper. It was kinda weird to see him staring up at me from inside a clump of wool.

I'm hoping by this time next weekend I will be spinning up a storm!

Oh, I also received my No Wool for You, yarn from my yarn pal! Becautiful cotton yarn, in a tangerine orange (2 balls) and a coco brown also 2 balls of that! It looks yummy, I will have to take pictures, now....that to make..hmm..

It's good to be back, happy knitting!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Under the Weather

My apologies to all for lack of posting. I am very under the weather with a sinus infection for sure and possible virus. Hopefully I will be back on track for posting by this weekend. I promise lots of pictures.

Happy Knitting.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Back to work

Back to work today. But, hey I only have to work today and tomorrow and off again, so that can't be bad right? I mean we should make 5 day weekends and 2 day work weeks the norm don't you agree?
Well I don't have the wheel together yet, but I am making progress. It is taking longer to stain than I thought but that is okay I want it to be perfect and it is taking some time. I plan to put the polyurethane on it tonight let it dry and check it tomorrow. Ideally, I will have it together this weekend and can begin spinning.

While staining Tuesday, I also scoured wool. This is also a lengthy process and I don't think the literature out there gives enough info on removing vegatation this is a challenge. I am keep notes to share as I go along in this process. Most books give it a sentence or two and frankly I think a chapter could be written on this process alone. This does not include the "degreasing" part, which is quiet fun actually especially the wuzzing. That is where you stuff the wool into a leg of a panty hose and swing it around your head until all the water is out of it. I can tell you this brings curious looks from neighbors and passersby, especially when you live on the corner! LOL. The dogs just think I'm nuts!

So far the process goes like this:
I bought two 30 gallon tubs with lids (so they can be dual purpose)Put on in the sun so that it can be warmed but not too hot add soap. Soap is a vague term. Apparently, laundry detergent is not appropriate. I tried Borax that seemed to work and have read recommendations of degreasing dish detergent, which I may try. I started with the white fleece because I have more of that and if I mess up a little bit of it, it wouldn't be as big a loss as if I messed up the yummy dark wool.
I used a rake comb (I borrowed it from the dogs) to help separate the fibers and get the vegatation loose and then I would shake it out. That helps and it also helps for it to come out in the scouring process too. This can be quite a chore depending on the amount of stuff in there! I found whole kernels of corn in there. LOL. But, there is something relaxing about sitting outside in the shade flicking the wool and scouring it. Timeless sort of, it could be the 21st century or the 18th. I thought of all the women who have sat and done this before me. It was very interesting.

The first small batch is dry and ready for carding. Of course my carders are on the table drying from the stain I put on them. LOL.

I have pictures of this process. I will pull them off the camera tonight and post them I promise. I will take more this weekend as well.

For now, Happy Knitting

Monday, July 2, 2007

Photographic Evidence of a Vacation

If you can really call it a vacation when you don't leave the city you live in....
I did go to Williamsburg today, plan to the be local tourist, but I'm not sure that counts because I work up there. Anyway, my foot was hurting too much to do any sort of serious walking to I bought my pass for the year and went to the office.

Yes, I said it the office...why on earth would anyone go to the office on their day off?
To get this....
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A couple of boxes? Whoa! Thats exciting!But seriously,

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Carders and a niddy noddy....okay,now your talking yoy say....

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tada! My kiwi wheel has arrive, it is a little disturbing to see it laying there like that actually. But not two worry because tomorrow it will become a lovely golden pecan color and assembled and a thing of beauty. More on that tomorrow.

Just so you don't think I didn't enjoy anything today here are some other lovelies.

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The trumpet vine is blooming. First time. It didn't bloom last year and the other two haven't bloomed yet. But I'm hopeful.

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From the files of "it seemed like a good idea at the time" this is the view of the pin oak at the end of my patio from the bottom up.

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And here is a lovely watermelon and tomato salad that was really delicious with the steak and roasted green pepper and onion we had for dinner. Fresh strawberry short cake for dessert.

My hubby loves it when I am off and have time to cook proper meals!

He is currently engrossed in installing Linux Mint on to the laptop, hi hon! Hope it's going well! LOL.

...til tomorrow, Happy Knitting!

Monday and no work

Got up this morning and didn't have to go to work, it felt strange. But I am off, off, off! My spinning wheel is out for delivery which is very good.
I got to sleep in, even better and Amanda is having a groovy contest over at her site, check it out at Vacation Blog Contest

My big plans for today are to run and get the wheel when it comes in. Had it delivered to the office before I knew I was going to be off today. And have lunch out with a co-worker.

Maybe do the local tourist thing for a bit and come on home.

Happy Knitting!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Where does the time go?

Well, I have been intending to post something all week but for some reason everytime I tried something else got in the way. So here I am finally on a quiet Sunday morning getting a weeks worth of news posted.

First, today is only day two of five days off! woot! Yesterday we tried to go out of town for a little day trip but started later than we planned and the traffic was just too terrible. We didn't get any further than we do on a daily basis and that was to Williamsburg. But, we found a new place to have lunch. A great little family place, Sammy and Nicks, since 1905. Had a lovely time there. Rode around for a while looking at neighbors for house hunting and headed home. That is when the rain started. It was heavy and much needed. Sadly it didn't last long but we had a couple of showers off and on so hopefully my plants enjoyed it.
My foot is feeling better so I ventured a bike ride with the hubby. It wasn't bad as long as I peddled with my right heel. And it sprinkled a little more rain on us so that was refreshing. And much needed, the rain and the bike ride. Last week at work especially from Wednesday on was a beast! I kept telling myself I just have to make it through Friday!Ug.
In knitting news: I finished the tie for hubby. It is
Lorna's hand painted and the colorway is Forest. Its is a varigated yarn of dark, green, blue and black. I used the seed stitch the pattern called for. I am happy with the way it turned out.

Here it is in full length, but the picture is really dark for some reason.
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This shows a little bit truer sense of the color:
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Although it really does't do it justice.

I enjoyed it so much, it knits up really fast, I started another for hubby. This one is a cotton/aryclic blend and I am using garter stitch this time. It is TLC cotton plus in Thistle. I have never used this yarn before and found that it is quite forgiving. How do I know? I've frogged it four times, experimenting with different stitches and stitch patterns. It has kept its shape and not frayed at all!

It is pale green, blue and purple with a white background to it. Again the pictures do not do it justice as far as the colorway goes.

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I'm using number 5 needles for this tie and I also used them for the first one.

I am also getting better about carrying my camra around with me. And snapped a shot of the moon the other night before it rained. It was very bright that evening. Not the best nighttime photo and I need to work on that skill.

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And Amanda sent me a wonderful postcard of the Assateague Lighthouse! Thank you Amanda! Go check out her blog she has some great pics of her trip! Looks like she was having a great time!

My spinning wheel is due to be delivered tomorrow! Yes! Along with the carders and niddy noddy, that is how I plan to spend the rest of my time off!

Happy Knitting for now!