Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Just in time!

Kepler was finished last night, and will be a very welcome addition to my wardrobe, especially since the very limited sweater season is upon us down here in the Desert Southwest! I plan to wear it to a holiday party this weekend for its official debut :)

I'm especially pleased as I managed to finish it within the one month I allotted myself!

Full details, as always, are up for your perusal at my Finished Objects Blog.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just two days...

until the end of the month. I've got me two days to finish Kepler, and I'm fairly certain it can be done. And not a moment too soon, what with cold temps finally arriving in Arizona and a business trip planned for the northeast!

I've got two sleeves, knit in the round...and a body, knit in the round, split at the armscye and rejoined at the shoulder (thank goodness for three needle bind off). Tonight's project is endless fussing with pins and a crochet hook - I'm going to attempt a crochet seam to join the sleeves to the body - I don't have a less bulky matching yarn (at least I don't think I do), so hopefully the seam won't be too bulky. It'll be an adventure, that's for certain - this is only my second garment, and this one with set in sleeves....and with an initial impression (to me anyhow) that the sleeve caps are a bit smaller than the armscye. Oy. Wish me luck, I'm going to need it.

In other news, thank goodness I found some yarn and snatched it up - I ran out of my last ball of original yarn as I was finishing the body - and what luck, the yarn I bout was the same dyelot! Who woulda thunk it!

While I'm fishing for tips, I may as well fish for more pins on my Frappr Map - if you're not from the US (and I know there are a few of you out there), don't forget to click the "Not in the US" link (under the area to enter ZipCode) and you should be able to add yourself. Not feeling like shouting out? You can probably fool the system by entering a couple spaces or even just a "." mark. I'd love to see where people are hailing from. Maybe one of these days I'll launch a contest, that's sure to get y'all goin ;)

Monday, November 28, 2005

I love mail!

Somehow I lucked out - over the course of Thanksgiving week, various and sundry packages arrived (granted, some of them were purchases I had made, but still, the fun is to be had in the opening!)

Amongst the pile of mail was the November Sampler!

Some of the favorite findings inside included:

  • 1" round buttons from a small herd of Sampler Contributors
  • Shrinky Dinks are in - several shrinky dinks that will be converted into stitch markers from various Sampler Contributors
  • an Embellishment Sampler from Speckled Egg (hooray for vintage ribbon!)
  • a festive sparkler candle and decorated match box from Blossom
  • minty lip balm from Botanical Earth - mmm organic!
  • and adorable cards and stationary from Fern House Studio, Young and With It Industries, and Demarco Designs

Not only did I get my Sampler, I got my first Holiday Card of the season - which has just made me realize how far behind I am. eeek!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Happy Belated Turkey Day!

I have lots and lots of things that I spent the last week celebrating :)

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving.

I should be back to regular posting soon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Apparently, according to this, courtesy of Raquel, I am mostly misplaced.

The top 24 places I should take up residence are as follows:
1) Medford, Oregon
2) Albuquerque, New Mexico
3) Reno, Nevada
4) Santa Fe, New Mexico
5) Salem, Oregon
6) St. George, Utah
7) Corvallis, Oregon
8) Las Vegas, Nevada (what?!)
9) Eugene, Oregon
10) Bellingham, Washington
11) Provo-Orem, Utah
12) Fort Collins, Colorado
13) Portland, Oregon
14) Boise, Idaho
15) Colorado Springs, Colorado
16) Carson City, Nevada
17) Bend, Oregon
18) Anchorage, Alaska (interesting)
19) Ogden, Utah
20) Missoula Montana
21) Las Cruces, New Mexico
22) Great Falls, Montana
23) Flagstaff, Arizona
24) Boulder, Colorado

I think I was most surprised that Oregon kept making an appearance in my list...perhaps I should have never left!

On that note, y'all should go stick your pins on the map - really. It's fun. And it's neat to see where people are hailing from. I know y'all are out there...some from as far away as Australia and Japan!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Everybody's Doin' It!

I've been watching my stats and have noticed I have readers from all over the place, but I'm a graphical type, and prefer to see things rather than just having them presented in Text...

I've created a Frappr Map! Go and add yourself! It's cool, it's fun, you can share a photo :) And you can leave a message or even a link to your blog, provided you precede your URL with http:// it will be smart enough to make it clickable!

On Kepler, I'm on track to finish by the end of this month - both sleeves are done, and since I knit em in the round, there's no seaming :D I'm done with body shaping, and am knitting like mad so I can start with the armhole shaping soon!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fruits of Fall

Back where I grew up, fall was the time of year when magnificent colors would fill the trees, there would be a certain brisk bite and scent in the air, and it would be a fine time in general for being outside.

Fall also brings to mind apple harvests. While I love all kinds of fruits, I yearn for apples of old, not those strangely perfect Washington Red Delicious - which beneath their fine appearance, these days anyway, are bland and often times mealy. A few years back, I discovered Braeburn apples, and they served me well as both eating and cooking apples (mmmm apple crisp!).

A few years back, I traveled back to my home state and stumbled across a magnificent apple - the Honeycrisp, a hybrid cross between a Macoun and a Honeygold - and originates from the University of Minnesota (go Gophers!) For a time, it seemed HoneyCrisps were available only in Minnesota for a brief period post harvest - every now and again, desperate for good apple eating, I'd mail order in a box of Honeycrisps. Accustomed to having to settle for boring and common apple varieties at my local grocery store, imagine my surprise when I found a whole display of Honeycrisps the other day! I've stocked up and both I and my refrigerator are happy indeed. Incidentally, the limited availability of these applies likely has something to do with the fact that they are patented.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Every Sock Knitter Needs a Pair!

Have you *seen* such cool footwear?!
available Here! (no affiliation, photo from offering store)

Here I thought I was going to have to only wear my hand knit socks around the house if I wanted to be able to admire them properly....

I've still got plans to knit some of the more ornate socks from Anna Zilboorg's Socks for Sandals & Clogs - and having shoes like these would make it even more fun to knit em, as they could be displayed in all their glory!

Anyone try em? The soles do look a little thin for much walking - granted, this can be fixed by adding an insert, assuming the footbed isn't pre-molded.

Note to self: Add to Covet List :D

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Business Growth!

I'm in the process of expanding my business. Prices have not yet been set, I'm currently "benchmarking" since there is no MSRP that I am aware of.

I'm pleased to say I'll be offering a selection of fine fibers from Ashland Bay - I'll likely carry a varied selection of multicolored Merino, Merino/Tencel, and Merino/Silk. I might get into some alpaca and angora blends, but I'm as yet undecided. I'll likely also offer some undyed merino, merino/mohair and Blue Faced Leicester Tops. Once I get the dyeworks going (*sigh* if only I didn't have this pesky day job!) I will likely have some hand dyed rovings, as well as some hand painted yarns. Of course, this is a work in progress, and I'm going to need to decide on an inventory before anything happens.

In any case, if you have preferred colors (either for fiber or for handpaint adventures, I'd love to hear em!

Monday, November 07, 2005

Cables in Triplicate

I've been cabling to the exclusion of all other activities lately, and I'm enjoying watching the braided bands churning off the needles (yes, those are three cable bands, and yes, they are all being knit at the same time. I'm impatient that way). I had cast on for Kepler, then realized that seaming the cable bands were going to be a smallish nightmare. They were all frogged back and were re-cast on using a looping provisional cast on (not recommended, the loops are rather floppy and untidy - I think a crochet cast on would come off much more uniform.) After four cable repeats, I kitchnered two of the bands together for the sleeves, and have carried on with the hip band....that one was Kitchnered by headlamp last night at about 1am.

I'm slowing coming to a horrifying realization that I might not have enough yarn for this sweater. The yardage on the yarn I am using is slightly different (though the gauge is the same) than the recommended yarn. I had 10 balls to start, and I've already used 5 (though it is fair to say I'm part way up the sleeves, and I've started on the body of the sweater). I had hoped to use this knit as a stash buster, and if I liked it, I have enough yarn in a different color to make another (incidentally I have more balls of yarn in the other color, but something possessed me to knit it up in this color first.) Though even knowing this, I'm determined to carry a slow motion knitting train wreck (the yarn in question is discontinued...did I forget to mention that?). While the cable bands look very defined up close, I think the tweediness of the yarn slightly interferes with them. Incidentally, I may have lucked out and found a source for some spare balls of yarn (though certainly they won't be of the same dye lot) - I'll have to call tomorrow to inquire after their inventory (they are closed Mondays).

Thursday, November 03, 2005

What Counts as Selling Out?

**warning, no knitting or spinning content in this post**

Those of you who actually know me know I'm in the throes of trying to plan my way out of a corporate career and have been for quite some time. Unsuccessfully so far. I dream of the day that I can make a living doing things I actually enjoy - and it doesn't even have to be a big living - I live simply. I don't thinkI ask for too much. While I am fond of food, I don't gravitate towards expensive delicacies.

I've got ideas brewing. Some of my hand crafts are already up for sale (*sniff* sadly, with no takers). I try to price according to material cost and labor, but there's one of the kickers. I don't have wholesale sources for things like fiber for my spinning, or for those magnets either. I've got thoughts on shirts, notecards, calendars and the like - but I'm fussy when it comes to quality...which is one of the reasons that part is moving so slowly...And as far as labor goes, anyone who sells crafts should be valuing their time higher than minimum wage. It's skilled labor after all! But talk about minimum wage is something that will get me going on a completely different tangent so I'll stop while I'm ahead.

I'm all for earning an honest buck, and earning the buck by passive means is even better - which brings me to the crux of this post. This blog does not see nearly the visitation of one of my domains. The domain in question does not earn any money, and is a labor of love. Yeah, we plan on doing something with the content eventually, publishing in various formats come to mind (but that also is a completely different discussion). So far, the domain has remained ad free. But recently, because of its high traffic, we've been approached by companies looking for adspace...not to mention the possibility of putting up other ads - adsense is the first that comes to mind. While the money brought in by advertising will help defray costs, and may actually bring in a very very tiny income, the internal struggle remains, and results in turmoil. I don't like being bombarded by ads. I think the United States culture is ridiculously wasteful and consumptive...but at the same time it could put me a few cents closer to my tempting, yet repugnant at the same time. See the dilemma?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Flappin' in the wind

mmm. Please ogle the detailed shot of Cozy's stitches as she lays in repose on my hopbush in the back yard.

Full details and what not on Cozy can be found here.

Rejoice! The ban on new knitting projects has been lifted! At long last, I have finished my longest UFO! In celebration, I've cast on for Kepler. It's lovely. It's cabley. And best of all, I've taught myself to cable without a cable needle...that's right, stitches, flapping in the breeze, flirtin with disaster! I could have it no other way. I was going to put an eye out messin with that cable needle nonsense...Stay tuned, you might get a preview of the cable bands soon - impatient me, I'm doin em all at once - Cable overload for me, and much fun for the cats, what with me juggling three yarn balls!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Respun and ready to go!

A while back, you may recall I was unspinning some singles that came with some roving I bought. Well, after a weekend at home with my spindles, I had a small pile of merino-angora "eggs" (that's what they looked like after I pulled em off the spindle shaft)...I took a few eggs, paired em up and respun them into some rather luxurious yarn :)

It was definitely labor intensive, because even with the unspinning, the merino/angora retained a little bit of twist, and with several strips paired together for drafting, it was a mite hard on the fingers (having to try to make sure that each strand was untwisted and drafting smoothly). I'm glad I paired the two colors together - it made for a nice tweedy look and the ultra soft ecru made up for the not as soft silver.