Friday, September 29, 2006

Something New!

The shop has been updated again, I've some new colorways, some recently spun handspun, some extra delicious and decadent fibers and a new line of products :)

I've added Spritely Soaps to the mix, to add some wooly goodness to those whose lives may not already be enriched with wool. I've got soaps for both people and fibers - they all smell fantastic - and make for great gifts! Go check em out :D

Want to see what a small herd of handfelted soaps looks like? Check the Finished Objects Blog!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cleanroom Enginerding

Well, if you may recall, I had put my carding on temporary hold while I attempted to find a solution for "dust" or rather "fiber" collection...the ideal solution would be to move it outside, but until I can make the break from the corporate world or find a job with flexibility in a more temperate location where land and housing is cheaper, that Grand Plan will have to wait. I would so love to have an outdoor "shed" where I could card and dye! (psst - anyone know someone looking for a project manager or a quality engineer?)

I priced out any number of options from professional fume hoods (way too expensive, not to mention not feasible in my house) to high end dust collectors and finally decided to see if I could engineer myself a solution.

I'm pleased to present my personal engineering design:

I took a page from my cleanroom engineering days and designed and built a small negative pressure environment for my carder...I even tested the airflow with pieces of paper :P

It's got a smallish opening for me to be able to feed wool in...

And the fan is there to provide the negative pressure to the trap the miniscule dust bits, I'm using a high end furnace filter...

Who would think I would use my engineering degree more for my fiber business vs my "real" job?! I certainly didn't! Oh, and it seems to work great too - I spent a portion of last weekend replenishing some batts :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I've been spinning more than knitting of late - the leftover socks have lain forsaken in favor of my wheel. One of my favorites off the bobbin just recently is this art-yarn - it's called Harvest Berries.

Click over to the Finished Objects blog for more yarn photos.

In other twisted happenings, I've discovered that my body has begun to crave running. I, however, am still not enjoying the actual running portion - I'm always happy when I'm done, but the doing is not always so wonderful - I hear this is normal.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Fancy Photos

mmm..fiber...(some of which can be purchased at the shop! yes, I've restocked a couple handpainted rovings!)

As you can likely tell, this photo has been highly manipulated - but since I haven't posted much in the way of fibercraft, I thought I might post this photo while also telling you about a cool bit of software!

If you struggle as I do with high contrast photos sometimes, this software is a godsend - and it can make for some hyper-realistic photos. I'm not affiliated, I'm just a happy individual who has lost a fair bit of time looking at tone mapped photos and playing with different exposures - my cats aren't amused.

Training update? Sure! I ran my first 20 minute non-stop run over the weekend, and didn't keel over :) that's certainly progress! Granted, I still need to graduate to outdoors running and continue to improve my conditioning, but things are coming along nicely I think. As for the fundraising, only $90 separates me from having to wear a tiara while running in addition to all the pinkness. Care to donate?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who Would Think...

...that it would be so difficult to locate coordinated pink runningwear? Of course, the fact that fall is here may have something to do with it...

Indeed, I've reached the $500 mark thanks to some serious donations and find myself on the hunt for pink as not to spoil the fun for the rest of you who may still like to donate, I've set a new target of $750 - if the new goal is reached, I'll add a Princess Tiara to the wardrobe. I'll either knit the "Tiara" or I'll take advantage of the fact that it's Halloween season and will go find one.

In knitting news, I'm done a fair bit of knitting on my Verbena yarn - and it's looking wonderful...unfortunately, since there is a small chance that the intended recipient reads this blog, I'm going to have to hold the photos hostage.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Not getting your daily dose of Fiber?

Well, fall must be in the air because I'm spending more and more time with the Wool, even though it's still breaking 90's F out down here...

Most recently, I've been spending lots more time with my spinning - and just handblending fibers as I go.

This is a pair of skeins in mixed wools - in a colorway I call Pine Forest.

A closer-up photo is available here

In other news, the training is officially re-started, and it appears people are at least somewhat interested in seeing me run my Virgin Race 1) in pink and 2) in a skirt.

I'm at 20% of the fundraising target - care to contribute? Go here. Proceeds benefit the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


No chips here ;)

Today be International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

My pirate name is:

Captain Ethel Kidd

Even though there's no legal rank on a pirate ship, everyone recognizes you're the one in charge. Even though you're not always the traditional swaggering gallant, your steadiness and planning make you a fine, reliable pirate. Arr!
Get your own pirate name from
part of the network

Monday, September 18, 2006

Support My Madness!

If you all remember, a while back I started running again...then life happened and I promptly stopped training and have been having false starts on and off again ever since. During one of my "on again" fits, I stumbled across the IronGirl site and joined up, thinking, oh good - motivational material...and then I fumbled and the training jerked to a halt again. Thinking about what motivates me, I realized that I'm a goal oriented person. I fixate on goals and I force myself to perform.

So, in a fit of madness and some minor urgings from Raquel I registered for the Tempe Irongirl race in December. It's just a 5k, but seeing as I'm pretty much starting over from scratch and I've never run outdoors (well, other than under duress), I think it's a fair goal.

I figure if I'm going to register for the race, I may as well go all out and see if I can't raise some money for IronGirl's partner organization, the Ulman Cancer Fund. Just for kicks and giggles, I've set the target at $500 as that level of donations will trick me out in Iron Girl Apparel - which, I suspect, is Pink. Why is this significant? Well. I generally don't *do* pink - however, if by some miracle, I raise $500, I will run (or walk if I have to) the race in pink. And if the apparel isn't pink, I'll find some pink. As a matter of fact, I'll go get myself a pink skirt to wear - and I'll publish photos of the miraculous event.

So do me proud people, click on over to turn me girly donate. I've got til the end of November to raise that money!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Do you ever wonder...

...what some of my yarns look like knitted up?

Well, Good to Be Girl Amy has been knittin up a sock in the Spring is Here colorway...

It's lookin mightly lovely. Go check it out!

If any of you readers have been doing work with Spritely Goods Stuff, be it yarn or making up softies or pillows from my patterns, I'd love to see them!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Felt Floppy.

Alright, alright, I realize that is probably really really terrible grammatically, but oh well.

My excuse is I'm an engineer ;)

Anyhow, I was going to show you what the cat beds look like now that they've been felted, but it's just plain depressing.

They don't look much changed from this:

And why is this wrong you ask? Well, it's wrong because that is a photo of the catbeds *before* felting. They've been thru a hot wash/cold rinse twice already - and they have shrunk some, and definitely felted some, but they are still floppy as can be, and there is still a fair bit of stitch definition. Thankfully, the cats do seem to like them still - floppy as they are. I've actually stuffed the larger cat bed with a fabric one I made for them a while back - so it actually looks like a big plushy bowl, and I caught Troy sleeping in there once - but he ran off before I could capture the evidence. So I guess I can call these "done" though I suspect I'll keep trying to felt them when I have appropriate laundry to throw them in with for further hot water action.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I'm on Fire!

Remember that?

Well, it's done. It took all of 2 days and a bit - not 48+ hours, but whatever time I spent working on it over the course of 2 days and a morning of travel. Way faster than anticipated, but that's big needle lacework for you :)

Care to see what it actually looks like and find out more?

Head over here for the details!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Stitch n Pitched

Well, all in all it was quite a good event. I have to say thanks to the folks from Southwest Trading Co for helping to make it possible and also to Fred and Terry at Tempe Yarn and Fiber (and the Diamondbacks too, of course) for a great event. I hear over 1000 Stitch n Pitch tickets were sold, and there were people learning to knit before the game courtesy of Purl in Tucson - Fiber Factory was there in force, and I got to meet and chat with Lisa T who does lovely handspinning work and can be seen at the Phoenix Market on the weekends. I had a good time showing off my wares and pointing people to Tempe Yarn and Fiber.

Ever wonder what my inventory looks like packed up for a "show"?

Well, wonder no longer. The CD spindle is for scale - but in the monstrous black bag was something like 16 batts and my entire inventory of handpainted yarn. It felt like I was lugging around an entire sheep :P The basket is full of skeins of handspun yarn. It was definitely an experience, and I've learned a thing or two about packing for a "show". Clearly I'm going to need to solicit assistance if I ever intend to participate at a fiber show...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Due to a stroke of pure luck and the super generosity of Fred and Terry at Tempe Yarn & Fiber, I'm doing some crazy mad re-arranging of my weekend plans to make it out to the Stitch and Pitch event this weekend for the Diamondbacks. I'll be packing up my knitting and spinning and a goodly chunk of my inventory for cash sales at the event - if you're going to be there, stop by, say hello and squeeze my yarn in person ;)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Printer Woes

Well, I thought I'd save myself some cash and bought non OEM printer cartridges.
Never again.
All I can say is it seems to have gooked up my printer head and required (ink wasting) deep clean after deep clean. I've gone out and hunted around for suggestions on cleaning the print head hoping I hadn't done irreversable damage.

I love DP reviews - I found a very useful thread there.

I've now got a freshly cleaned print head loaded with OEM cartridges and it appears to be happy once again. Rejoice! :D

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tink Tink Tink!

Well, I've taken a slight diversion from the socks - I was lured away by lace. This is my first time knitting lace using Mohair - this isn't KSH, it's actually a fair bit fatter, so I've sized up the needles accordingly. I forgot I had this yarn in my stash, and I don't even remember when I picked it up (or where I picked it up from!) but when I was helping to stuff bags for the Phoenix Stitch N Pitch (it's this Saturday, folks!) I saw the yarn (Fuego from Skacel) and thought to myself - boy, that looks awfully familiar....turns out I had several balls in the stash.

Anyhow, it's rare that I have yarn yelling at me to knit it - but this stuff was screaming to be turned into lace. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the shawl once it's done, I derive such pleasure from knitting lace, but I don't usually wear it - though I did have a fine time hiding out under one of Kiki's shawls when she was kind enough to loan it to me when I got a bit cold knitting away one evening. Anyhow, this thing is positively flying off the needles!

In other news, while I have had to tink back as much as a row (not fun, that tinking of mohair business), I haven't had to clear space in the freezer for full on ripping!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Does something look a little odd to you in this picture?

(and no, that's not weird dirt on my feet, those tiger stripes are legitimate tan lines...)

The oddness you may notice is that there appear to be two strands of yarn coming off of each sock - this is indeed the case...

The 2nd bit of strangeness you may notice is that neither of the strands appears to be the same as the bulk of the sock. This is indeed the case - I ran out of I've decided to do the remainder of the socks using other leftover yarn - I've switched now from Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock yarn to Dale of Norway Baby Ull yarn (at least I think that's what it is)....since I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn in one color to finish off the socks, I decided to attach both colors and stripe away...I'm sure the socks will look "unique" - but in the right shoes, no one will know the difference :P