Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2/3rds there....

Well, I've slept on it...no $30+ shawl for me, no siree! Instead I had some quality time with my spinning - churned off 4.5 ounces / 608 yards of fine fingering/baby weight yarn...and it's been mumbling about being turned into a Wing o the Moth shawl - I need 300-400 more yards, so it's back to the spinning wheel I go - this time, I'll be spinning off a batt, rather than a bowl of hand blended (no tools used) fibers. If you look really carefully, you might see the sparkle in the yarn - I added sparkly angelina fibers to the yarn as I was spinning it. I'm really eager to get started, but I've decided to use this yarn for the outer portions of the shawl as I suspect it is more variegated in appearance than what I'll be spinning from the batt. I better get to it, if I want to get this thing cast on anytime soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

OPK, pehaps something to queue?

Bladmönstrad sjal
Originally uploaded by Queen Mudd
This gorgeous shawl, knit by Queen Mudd has had me intrigued since I set eyes on it. It's just stunning. It's designed by a swedish designer, and the pattern can be purchased (not downloadable) either from the designer directly or from Helylle an online yarnshop in Sweden...the hangup? I hate to admit it, but it's the price. approximately $33. Just for the pattern. I may very well cave, but I'm definitely sleeping on it - my knitting queue is somewhat ridiculous and while I adore knitting lace, I still rarely wear it!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A few loose ends


Just in time for the summer monsoon ;)

I've finally finished all of the knitting on Avast - it's all finishing tasks I have left to do - basically I need to sew down the hems for the sleeve, and turn in the bands and sew those down. Once that is done, I'll need to wash and block the sweater so I can take a measurement for the zipper - then go zipper hunting and decide if I dare install it myself or if I'll hire out for that (again).

Preliminary fittings indicate that it will fit perfectly :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I'm Listening...

...indeed. It was a race of library holds to see which would come available first - I certainly didn't expect it to be the Book on CD! I'm still holding relatively steady at position 9 for the actual book - which, by the way, I still plan on reading cover to cover.

Anyhow, I'm trying to give myself a chance of having both the books and listening experience at the same time by limiting my listening to working out - never have I felt so disappointed when the timer ran out on my treadmill run and no other machine was available to prolong the listening experience! How's that for new motivation for working out? :D

As for the running, I'm officially on W7D2 of the C25k program, still following a low heart training plan. I tried upping the speed by 0.1 mph today as I've been easily staying within my target heart rate zone on the last several runs. Amazing what a measly tenth of a mile per hour will do to one's heart rate fluctuation!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Death by Dustbunny

After 10 long years of faithful service, the old Hoover started making a lot more noise and was developing a definite shimmy. My DH did all he could to try to revive it, however this time, it seems the dust bunnies had pulled one over on the old machine and there appeared to be no coaxing it back into trouble free performance.

One would think purchasing a new vacuum would be relatively straight forward, though it turned not to be. Obviously, since the last one lasted 10 years, I'd like to see at least that same kind of performance from the new one. Add allergies and a pair of cats to the mix, and the job becomes a bit more complex. Vacuums, it seems, run anywhere from less than $100 to well over $400. I had learned via researching dust control measures for my carder that baghouses (bagged vacuum systems) work more efficiently than cyclone systems - further research on the matter confirmed that for ease of use and efficiency, I should stick with bagged systems. With this small bit of knowledge in hand, it was just a question of researching available models.

Turns out I've abandoned Hoover - so much for brand loyalty. The shop that I had planned on purchasing the vacuum from did not carry any bagged hoovers - the only option was this rather boldly colored vacuum, made by Eureka. I had recalled that a Eureka had done quite well in the recent Consumer Reports reviews - but I wasn't certain that it was this one - it turns out after some additional research, this one did indeed do quite well with Consumer Reports, being rated a best buy.

Of course, once purchased, it had to be assembled and taken for a "test run" - it's much quieter and appears to be more powerful than the old vacuum (managed to pick up a fair bit of dirt out of the carpet even though old faithful had just been used that morning (prior to being declared terminally ill)). So far so good - I guess only time will tell.

As for Old Faithful Hoover, he's sitting in the front foyer waiting to be ushered out. I'm trying to decide if he's "fixable" or not - after all, the motor still runs, if a bit louder and with more vibration than I would like. I suppose I can either freecycle it or see if anyone else cares to adopt it.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Going into Hiding...

...well, kind of anyway. While everyone else will likely be finished and through with the Deathly Hallows by the end of this weekend, I will be patiently awaiting my turn with one of the local library's 20 copies (I'm number 30-something in the queue) - that is...unless I cave in and wind up picking up a copy at a local bookstore sometime this weekend while running other errands. I fear the only way to keep the book spoiler free is to go into some sort of virtual hibernation....we'll see how much knitting and spinning gets done while I await my turn :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Have Tube....

...will knit?

I got this cool mailing tube from a (currently) bloggless friend (hi J-Dub!) and it is the perfect size for storing a spindle and a whole whack of fiber - of course, a cardboard mailing tube is not so fun to look at, so I've been thinking of knitting a cover, felting it to size, adding a strap or two and (in theory anyway) voila! A tubular purse or a convenient non-crushable case for a spindle!

Of course, this is just some grand idea that I've been bouncing around in my mind - I've been thinking of doing perhaps some mosaic knitting or fair isle, or perhaps even grabbing some random bits of handspun to knit this bag up - but I'm having difficulty figuring out how to start - I was thinking of knitting a round base (course I haven't quite figured out how to do that other than to perhaps try to copy the start of the kitty pi bed) and then just knitting up the sides until it's taller than I need so it can be felted good and proper...oh the possibilities :D

Monday, July 16, 2007


Petroglyphs and pictographs are interesting things. Whenever I visit sites that have these neat archaeological features, I am always mystified and I wonder sometimes what they are meant to mean. I've seen spiral petroglyphs before - but they are typically never connected to anything else - this glyph reminds me (for some reason) of some line art creature from some childhood book. Of course, I have no idea what creature it is, nor do I recall what book it was from, or if it was perhaps not even from a book, but perhaps a movie - or maybe it was some fanciful figment of my own derivation - memories are funny that way. Regardless, I'm sure that's not what the originator wanted to convey :)

If I'm remembering correctly, this was another one of the glyphs found while hunting for the elusive duck in the desert.

Speaking of spirals, they do make me think of spinning - I've finally broken into my bowl of fiber for my spun stitches project - the spinning is going slowly as I'm trying to spin finer than normal, - the fiber has been mumbling about being turned into a Wing o the Moth shawl - we'll see how it comes out in terms of yardage - I still don't think I'm spinning finely enough to ply it into a lace (heck, I'd settle for a fingering weight) yarn - at this moment I'm entertaining trying to knit the shawl out of singles - but I'm not so sure that's such a fantastic idea - though I can't imagine the lace would bias strangely - especially with a proper blocking....I'll get a photo once the bobbin is more full - there is a piteously small amount of yarn spun thus far.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Sola, the new SOAK scent by Amy Butler is now in stock at the shop! The scent is quite nice, and is supposed to evoke the fragrance of an evening garden. I'm not typically one for florals - this one is more spicy than sweet, and I'm quite liking it :)

Other things I'm liking - it seems that the continued training has finally resulted in my heartrate settling down properly. I finally completed W6D3 (25 minutes continuous jogging) - still at a very slow speed of 3.5mph, but I'm well within my target heart rate zone. If things continue, I'll go ahead and up the speed a little bit! So far, I've had no signs of the shin splints returning (knock on wood), though I have occasional bouts with numbness in my feet - I'm trying to figure out if my feet are still adjusting to the new orthotic devices, and have also been trying to make sure I don't crank down on the laces when I get ready to run. Hopefully by the end of the summer, I'll have my pace picked up a little, and my mileage moving in the right direction - I have 2 races on the books for this winter season, one of which is an (eep) half marathon!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Milestone Reached!

One Year ago today, Spritely Goods moved to its own domain. I've learned a ton in the last year, and have had a fantastic time growing the site. I'm looking forward to continuing this adventure, with my eyes set boldly on growing it large enough so I don't have to play at being an engineer for too much more of my career :)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My, what big feet you have!

Certain places in the desert southwest are perfect for hunting out evidence of previous inhabitants and cultures. While hunting for a particular Duck earlier this year, I came across these panels of these Big Footed and Handed guys (and the little deer - I love the little deer!) Can you imagine if you had to actually knit socks or mitts for these folk?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Flamin' Hot!

We're well into the summer and the weatherfolk are figuring that it will not be a surprise to see temps in excess of 120 F at some point this summer. Yeesh. And what do I do? I play with wool, of course! It almost looks like the carder is on fire, doesn't it? Well, don't worry - it isn't :) That's a new colorway called Daffodil - now in the shop, along with some other July updates :D

Speaking of wool, I'm on the front bands of Avast! I've essentially got the front bands and the bottom hem to go, then some tidying up of random dangling yarns and then off to pick out a zipper. A brief (really brief - remember, soaring temps and wool sweaters don't mix ;) ) try-on indicates that the sleeves and body are indeed long enough and it looks like it will be a good fit :D hooray!