Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Have you ever wondered....

How much space 11+ pounds of yarn occupies?

Well, wonder no fully occupies a medium sized armchair.

You know what this means - the shop has been updated - and if you've a sharp eye, you can tell that there are a whole bunch of new colorways there. If you're a Project Spectrum participant, there are several colorways perfect for the February/March triad of colors. I also did one up especially for the April/May triad as well.

If you're interested in receiving notifications about Spritely Goods updates when I don't post about them here, please head over and subscribe to the newsletter - even when I do post about updates here, the newsletter peeps get first dibs, as I typically send the newsletter anywhere from several hours to a full day in advance of blogging about it!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

I heart Wool

Wool is Wonderful.
But we knitters knew that already. A while back, I was reading Janet's Blog and she was mulling over the wonders of wool, while also celebrating her third year knitting. Indeed, wool is a wonderful fiber - and there are many reasons - go read Janet's summary :D

Just for reading (and participating) I lucked out and I recently received a wee knitted gift celebrating wool from Janet.

See? Isn't it great? It's a bright and cheery felted potholder - I love the contrasting edging, and how well it matched the tissue she wrapped it in :) Janet has the most wonderful vintage photos that she posts periodically on her site - and this one she made into a card - it's so sweet! Included with my wonderfully woolly potholder (works perfectly - I used it to fetch the pans of cookies out of the oven over the weekend) and the sweet card, Janet also sent along a matching retractable chicken tape measure - the tape pull is an egg!

Thanks Janet, I love handmade surprises!

Monday, February 26, 2007


The weekend was full of chocolate and flour...

I had some bananas I had to take care of (any banana that gets past green-tip stage gets earmarked for banana bread)...

And since the oven was on, I had to try my hand at these decadent Quad Chocolate Cookies...
In my case, I used what remained of a Green & Black's Dark Chocolate Espresso bar, plus some of a Scharffenberger Bittersweet bar, plus semi sweet and white chocolate chips :)

Delicious. And very very rich - fantastic with milk or coffee :D Thanks for enabling once again, Raquel!

Friday, February 23, 2007

To Dye...or not to Dye...

that is the question.

Since I haven't been able to knit of late (I well and truly have Tendinitis :( and have been told to cease and desist on anything that causes more problems for my forearms and hand) I've found that spinning doesn't aggravate it, so I've been spinning instead :) Unfortunately for my poor husband, his sweater will likely not be finished this season.

Anyhow, this brings me to my current question - the yarn above is currently on my bobbin...and I'm undecided as to whether I want to overdye it or not. I adore some of the colors, and am kind of "meh" on others. It is a blend of soysilk and wool, and it is quite lovely to spin. So...what do you guys think? Overdye or no?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

And all I got...

...was this tee-shirt.

Well, if you're wondering why my number looks so spiffy and flat, it's because it's unused. That's right - In order to prevent myself from doing any further damage to myself, I decided to stay far far away from the starting line of the race - but I went to go get my goodie bag and shirt anyway, seeing as I wasn't going to be getting my registration money back.

Inside the goodie bag were fliers for a bunch of other events - including the Arizona Distance Classic, which celebrates runners of all levels...though I'm quite certain I won't be healed in time to be able to participate in that event...another race that caught my eye is the Rangar Relay Del Sol...perfect for groups of crazies that like to run - course I don't think I'll be rounding up a team for that event any time soon...

Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions for my poor handbag - my wonderful husband took pity on it as the straps took a turn for the worst this weekend and he replaced them with the mil-spec webbing - from afar, you can't tell that the straps don't match the strappage that goes around the bag...and it's essentially as good as new - I suspect the body of the bag will wear out before these new straps do....

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Here Piggy Piggy!

Happy New Year!

No, I'm not wishing you a belated 2007, I'm wishing you Gong Xi Fa Cai ! Happy Chinese New Year! This next year is the year of the Boar - which, according to the Malaysia Star, is going to be a good year for good will and business! I sure hope so on both fronts - especially as Spritely Goods supports charities by donating a portion of annual proceeds at the end of the year - and I certainly hope that the donation grows each year!

Anyhow, I wish you all good health and good fortune this year!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Help my Handbag!

My purse (a red canvas tote with pleather handles) is in need of assistance - I love the thing, it's the perfect size to carry everything I need, including my wallet, my quart of water, a notebook for scribbling ideas in as well as a small cosmetics bag (not for holding cosmetics, but to keep a bunch of other stuff like medication, an extra scrunchie (for when I grow my hair out again) and other personal stuff). Anyhow, the poor pleather handles are rapidly degrading - the body of the bag is in fine condition, and other than some cosmetic issues, is essentially as good as new. Any suggestions on what to do to replace the handles? They are attached to little square-shaped brass connectors - my DH was figuring we could just cutting the straps off and replace them with black climbspec webbing - course, it's not going to match (because there are matching pleather bands that wrap down and around the bottom of the bag's body and those are not readily removed and replaced) but the webbing will hold up a heck of a lot better than the pleather handles ever did.

Or am I doomed to have to go hunting for a new bag? Maybe this is a clue that I should hurry up and knit & felt myself a sophie bag - course, with the weight of the stuff I currently schlep about may be way too heavy to stick in a sophie - after all the quart of water alone weighs 2.2 lbs.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


bald eagle soaring above the desert - colors of Project Spectrum photo by Sara DeSalme

The word brings to mind all kinds of wonderful things :) The freedom expressed by a bird in flight, the Searchable Online Archive of Recipes and of course, with me being addicted to fiber, there is also SOAR, which I wish I could attend someday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Heart Day :)

I'm so excited :) I got a present in line with Project Spectrum for Valentines :)

Tickets! to the Blue Man Group's How to be a Megastar 2.0 concert! I had heard good things about the Blue Men, and then I saw a Blue Man Group special on PBS of all places. I missed out on the first leg of the tour (venue was sold out) - but it turns out they are bringing the show back around again :)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Stash Flash

Well then, in honor of Project Spectrum, I'm offering up a stash flash of my blue yarns - the sick thing is this isn't all of it - I have lots of multiples, and I have piles of white/ecru yarn and I'm currently working my way through a grey cone as I knit up Avast. Keep in mind, all that there yarn is personal yarn - and does not include the shop inventory! As you can imagine, I'm working on a self imposed yarn diet. I think I might even have yarns that fit the bill for each of the Project Spectrum triads!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Constant knitting and typing have taken their toll, and I find I'm having to take an unwanted break from Avast (tendinitis, I'm afraid). I'm stuck on sleeve island and have only completed 8 inches on the sleeves! that's 12 inches more to go...while DH's chest measurement isn't anything to cause me to cringe while thinking of knitting him a sweater, he's built lean and has long limbs - like a climber or what I imagine a proper running physique to be. It's nigh impossible to purchase clothing off the rack to fit his inseam length or his arm length - if the inseam or arm length is correct, the poor guy is usually swimming in the clothes - thus the reason for the sleeves that will go on and on :P

Sadly, knitting isn't the only thing I'm being forced to take a break from. I'd been happily training for a Half Marathon, and was halted mid stride by the odious pains called Shin Splints at the tail end of last month - I had hoped with active rest (cross-training), ice and NSAIDs I'd be well enough to compete as scheduled - I am now coming to the slow realization that this may not be the case. My type-A personality is wanting to try anyway, but my mind (and numerous other athletic friends including the DH) are telling me it's just plain foolish and I'd be asking to damage myself worse. This sound advice has been confirmed by my physician as well as the Physical Therapy place that I've been told to schedule an appointment at. *sniff* My very first Half Marathon shall have a DNS.

Anyhow, I've continued hunting for information to improve the quality of my training as it would seem that I've been going about distance training all wrong - and as I have been told before, I may have rushed into this whole Half Marathon business without the appropriate base mileage. This has been confirmed in my latest read: Marathoning for Mortals. I wound up learning several things from this book, some of which I'll include for those of you who may just be starting a running program, so hopefully you don't have to get damaged or derailed.

As a relatively new runner, I apparently should have allowed myself a minimum of a yr and a half of base training to prevent injury. I also probably should have started in with the cross training earlier in the program rather than getting myself forced into it - all that pavement running apparently took its toll and I find I am regularly now visiting with misters Dreadmill 1 (the treadmill) and Dreadmill 2 (the stepmill) along with Mr. Bike and Mr. Ostrich Machine (elliptical trainer) in an attempt to maintain my cardiovascular fitness. Lastly, I have discovered that I apparently didn't read No Need for Speed: A Beginner's Guide to the Joy of Running very well - or perhaps I just didn't take it to heart as I have been doing all my races at what is referred to in running-speak as tempo pace - needless to say, long slow runs - the ones that were really supposed to form the meat of my training needed to be just that - with an emphasis on the Slow part. Ah well, live and learn :) and here's to being even more prepared for the next race, whichever it may be.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Sheepish Soaps

You may or may not be aware, but one of the things I make for Spritely Goods are handfelted soaps. If you're not familiar, with the concept of handfelted soaps, they are soaps that have had wool applied and felted onto them. The soap is used with the wool in place, by simply getting it wet and lathering it up. The wool acts as a washcloth and as a gentle exfoliant. The wool makes the bar last longer, and ensures that the entire bar is consumed - no more tossing those random soap slivers! For those who would prefer to not use the soap, they can be used as a scented "sachet" and can be placed in your dresser or bureau to lightly scent your clothing!

Anyhow, I'm extremely excited to announce Spritely Goods' press debut in Crochet Today! I had to smile when I received my copy for viewing, as the cover falls neatly in line with this month's Project Spectrum, though I'm quite confident that that wasn't planned :P

The magazine features a slew of patterns and a nice article on finishing techniques. As I'm a self-taught "hooker" I was especially interested in what the finishing technique article had to offer.

Of course, I was even more interested to find out just what they had written about my soaps, and I have to complement them on the photograph - it makes my soaps look so "happy" if soaps could be happy that is LOL - I've scanned it in so you can see for yourself :D

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I live in the desert where Sweater Season, no matter how thin my blood is, is rather limited.

I have always had a sick fascination with steeks. I don't know why - somehow the idea of taking a pair of scissors to ones knitting (ideally) with no detrimental effects just boggles my mind. I had an opportunity to see Stephanie's Hardangervidda in person when she was here last July, it it was gorgeous. A couple of weeks ago, when I was in Minnesota, I happened across a pile of Dale of Norway sweaters on sale! Of course, being a knitter, I resisted - thinking "I can knit one of those."

Of course, since then we've had snow make an appearance in the desert, and I find myself hauling out my knitwear - and I keep ogling Dale of Norway kits. Ironically, the largest collection of such kits appear to be available at Allegro Yarns, which apparently is located in Minneapolis. I should have saved myself some trouble and just gone and bought one while I was back there ;)

Of course, Hardangervidda calls to me, though not in the colors available. I also like Gjende. The Olympic Sweaters are also lovely - I especially like the US 2002, Vail, and Park City sweaters. Non-traditional Bjerk, especially in green, is just beautiful. I haven't succumbed yet, but I'm weak - and oh so tempted. Thank goodness I'm still working on Avast!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Spritely Goods Celebrates Project Spectrum!

With my personal favorite color being blue, it should not come as any surprise that Spritely Goods over-floweth with yarns perfect for this month's Project Spectrum :)
If you click on over to the flickr version of the above composite, I've added notes to indicate what each of the colorways are :)

Mmm mmm yarn!

Monday, February 05, 2007


It wasn't that long ago when the low desert looked like the photo above (photo, conveniently with colors of this month's project spectrum, from my friend Aaron) - yet today, the weather folk are predicting highs near 80 F! Truly, if you haven't seen An Inconvenient Truth yet, it is worth a watch.

In more happy news, the bottom portion of Avast is complete! I have cast on for the sleeves, simultaneously, of course! Of course, with the temps in the high 70s, I'm wondering if I've missed Sweater Season already...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Project Spectrum!

I'm really wishing I had a portable camera. There's nothing quite like the desert when clouds are about. It's magical, simply magical. And we've had plenty of magical clouds around for the last few days!

This morning, I had the pleasure of watching GodRays beaming down over the mountains on my drive into work.

What exactly are GodRays? GodRays are those neat rays of sunlight that are observed when the sun is hidden behind a thick fluffy cloud. The example to the left is not my own - it's from a fellow named Tom Dietrich.

Anyhow, get ready for plenty of Blue, Grey and White ;) for they are the colors of February and March Project Spectrum!