Thursday, July 27, 2006

Look! A pair of Stephanies!

My husband simply didn't understand when I told him I was spending the evening going to listen to a famous blogger. I can tell you that Stephanie is as funny in person as she is in writing, and wonderfully charming as well. It was a real treat to listen to her speak and get my books autographed. *sigh* I'm a knitting groupie. Tell me, how odd is that?

For those of you visiting from chez Harlot, and are wondering what on earth Bursage is, it's a fairly common sonoran desert plant with sagey gray-green leaves. As Stephanie rightly points out, we certainly do lack the typical jewel green hues here, but there are actually quite a few earthy & muted shades of green. It's these colors, along with others in the desert that tend to inspire my work.

Witness the Bursage batt inspired by the forenamed plant:

And this is what it looks like spun up... lovely green squashy merino in desert hues :D

If you'd like to bring some inspired-by-the desert wool (in wool or yarn form!) into your home, please do visit my shop :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


At long last, the monsoon storms appear to have arrived! Sadly when they decide to just blow, it stirs up lots and lots and lots of dust. Which brings me to a question for those of you who have woodworking shops - or know someone who has a woodworking shop. I'm now in the market for a dust collection device - I appear to be becoming more and more sensitive to small particulates. Not just from the random haboob (yes, haboob is a real word, and it's fun to say too!), but also from the carding. Moving the carding activities outdoors is not really possible.

Right now I'm ogling a beast of a dust collector hoping it will do the trick - either that, or I'll have to limit the batt making to the cooler months. No good getting into the fiber business only to have to leave again if it causes me to have health problems! I'm thinking since most of the particles being generated are very small and aren't abrasive, I don't need a multi-stage system. Though because the thing has to live with my carder, it can't be huge, and it can't be really noisy. Suggestions?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Name that Bug

Well, thanks to everyone who played along with me on this post - I truly appreciate all the suggestions for Deet and Permetherin alternatives for bug repellent - I've made a list and will set to field testing soon ;)

As for the bugs in the photo, they are indeed Cochineal bugs. I first became fascinated with them when I realized my own prickly pear had an infestation. Those particular bugs in the photo are not from my prickly pear as they currently are infestation free (I suspect, due to the long drought in the area). I have big plans for these bugs - along with several other natural dyes. I just need it to cool down a bit so I can stand to make the dye liquors and put the dye pots on for simmering!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

16 pounds.

I'd *like* to say that I have managed to loose sixteen pounds courtesy of C25k and better eating, but sadly, it's not the case (though I have lost some weight). The heat and humidity are dooming me right now. Energy is low, and all I want to eat these days are cold sorbet. And smoothies. And ice cream. And running? On the dreadmill? Even with the little fans that are on the machines, I'm positively drenched in sweat within the first 5 minutes - and it seems to take my body somewhere between a half hour and 45 minutes before it calms back down and cools off.

Anyhow. Sixteen pounds. Ever wonder what sixteen pounds of yarn and fiber looks like?

Well...wonder no longer :) Sixteen pounds is all the yarn plus the fiber that isn't locked up inside rubbermaid containers.

Glorious close up shot? Why certainly :D the above are some new colorways and a shot of new yarn I've added to the collection. It's called Fey, another two ply fine-fingering weight to complement Sylph (fine fingering) and Sprite (Sport/DK). Incidentally, I have a list of yarns I'd like to add...and I've been going through different faerie and elven names to try to name them all. Big plans for the future I have ;)

By the way, yes, the shop is updated.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Log Cabin Madness

Here is the next Project to be cast on...

Well, the yarn for it anyhow :) It will be a log cabin blankie when it's done. It's going to be a random one...the idea is courtesy of Cara. I realized a friend is expecting and I'll be visiting her in a few weeks. Granted, it's early in the pregnancy, but I thought it would be nice to arrive with gift in hand.

The problem is I only have 5 colors - and I really ought to have 6 so I can do the border in a different color so that no colors "touch" at least that's the ideal. I'm using random numbers from 1-18 because...well, 18 is a magic number, says Cara, and 18 is also the age at which the child will become an adult.

I've dug into my stash of Cotton Ease for this project, because I want easy care, but not too hot (the family lives someplace warm).

Suggestions on resolving my dilemma?

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Bug Juice

Bugs love me. I don't know wy. I like to think it's because I'm sweet (ha ha).

Anyhow, does anyone have any non-Deet non Permetherin recommendations for bug repellent? Yes, I'm familiar with Citronella, and Lemon Grass, but neither seem to deter the little biters for long....

Speaking of bugs...These guys are my newest venture. They don't look much like bugs, do they? They look more like little rocks. Well, I consider that a good thing, seeing as what they are destined for. I am plenty well in touch with where my food comes from, and I've eaten my fair share of food that closely resembles the animal from which it came. Anyway, anyone care to hazard a guess as to what the little creatures are and what they've got in store for them?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Holiday Knitting?!

I'm all for an early start...and since I've been so terribly neglectful with my knitting and at least one planned project requires spinning *and* knitting, I've started up a list. Tempe Yarn and Fiber is providing extra incentive to us by offering up prizes if we go knit on Saturday evenings as we finish off items on our lists! (and they don't even need to be gift knits - they can be UFOs that you just need extra motivation to finally complete! They can be knits for yourself!)

Ps. Does anyone know a good way to knit a circle from the inside out (or perhaps the outside in) so that I can get the middle completely closed tightly?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Supersize Me!

Serious skeins are in need of serious winders...I don't like cutting yarn if I don't have to - especially since it means more ends to weave in at the end of a project. I have enough of a hard time with finishing without making more work for myself :)

The newest addition to my equipment is this whirling dervish of fun. Small winder shown for scale. The big guy supposedly holds a full pound of yarn :) It'll be especially useful for winding double length skeins of handdyed yarn.

Speaking of yarn, I finally picked up the needles again, it seems like it's been ages. I've missed it. I've only got a couple of WIPs, and no idea of what to cast on next for...but I'm thinking felting projects. Fast and quick gratification! Then again, there are a couple o folks with babies on the gift knitting/crafting is also in order.

In running news, I have gotten to the point where I can actually run the equivalent of 2+ laps. I can't remember the last time I could do that (if ever). Sadly, I'm stuck running on a dreadmill...and I get bored...and the time seems to drag on by. Anyone have any tips to distract me?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Biggest FO to Date!

Seriously. Bigger than Mariposa Lace Shawl, the Double Wide Branching Out, and even the last minute re-designed Olympic Leaf Lace Sweater. All without touching a set of needles.

But fiber - and lots of it was involved!

Curious? Read on here...

Sunday, July 09, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I had been wondering about this film, and no matter what your political leanings are, I think the movie is well worth a look. Once past the Apple Computer product placement, the data presented is startling and powerful.

Are you a person of faith? This site is offering up free tickets to go see the movie.

Thursday, July 06, 2006


Imagine, here I was, minding my own business, reading the new Knitty only to discover that Cara was so kind to include nice words about me and Spritely Goods in her article about Spinout 2006! Complete with that delicious photo of my mini batts! I nearly fell out of my chair.

That was, the new issue of For the Love of Yarn is up! And guess who has a pattern inside? :) go check it out!

Pam also has a pattern in there - so the Arizona contingent is well represented :D