Sunday, December 24, 2006

My Royal Title

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Imperial Majesty Sandeleh the Verdant of London by the Bow
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Now that's something to ponder. Actually, I suppose my title should include the word "buxom" or "voluptuous" rather than "verdant," since I'm more fat than green... Peculiar, indeed.

I found this bit of humor over on Barbara's blog, looking for her email address. This blogging comment stuff is good and all, but I wish folks would leave their email addresses so I can respond. Maybe I just don't get it yet. Yeah, that's probably it.

Two thrums plyed

HA! Does that title lead you to expect some Native American content? No, just more Fresno spinning content. :) As you read a few entries ago, I'm not very excited over the bland blue thrums I spun up. (If you have not been reading long, "thrums" is the name of a roving with bits of this and that produced by Spinderella) Remembering some dark purple thrums I puchased 2nd hand a few years ago from Tan Summers, I went on a treasure hunt Friday night. Found it and proceeded to spin a few yards yesterday.

Looks pretty, huh? Well, it had been stored wound into bumps stuffed into a plastic bag, then wedged into a Sterlite storage bin in the wool room for a couple of years. The roving was compacted, lumpy (I suspect the lumpiness was not caused by storage) and pretty dry. Much to my dismay, the pretty spots of color were from what looked a lot like dyed NEPS! Indeed, I don't recall seeing such neppy roving before. I'm afraid most of my color in this yarn will fall off, as neps are wont to do. :( I plyed it with some of the bland blue and this afternoon the yarn was dry and ready to photograph.

I think I like this two-color yarn a lot better than the bland blues, so I'm gonna spin up more of both batches of thrums. The dark thrums are now unbound on the bathroom floor, enjoying a steam sauna. I'm hoping that a bit of rehydration will make them more pleasurable to spin. While the dark thrums are steaming, I guess I'll spin up another bobbin of the bland blues.

Not much going on today - I have to cook for the dog this weekend, so I have rice steaming. I've read 3 books by one of my favorite authors this weekend - Phillip R. Craig. He writes lovely mysteries set in Martha's Vineyard. I think these 3 are the very first 3 in the series, and I've already gotten all the rest from the library, so I will have to find a new author to stock up on when I return these next week. Interested? Start with "A Beautiful Place to Die," then "The Woman Who Walked into the Sea." Just go on from there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

spindlitis ornament exchange

This will be a real quickie - I got my side of the Spindlitis ornament exchange a couple of days ago. Check out the cute little mittens and socks. Funny, that's what I sent - mittens and socks! I don't know who knit these tiny charmers. If you recognize your work, please let me know.

Back Again, finished yarn in hand

Hi, everyone. Gee, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post. Whew - I've been busy at work for a change and been going to bed early on top of that. Sleeping instead of being on the computer has made me better at work, and non-productive here. Oh well.

As promised in the title, I have spun the 2nd bobbin of that Spinderella thrums and plyed it up. I finished that and the very last bit of my Border Leicester (for my Pi Are Square shawl) this past weekend and I sure do wish I had more of the BL to spin. It was wonderful. :) I've gloated about it on the photo pages (my old stuff is
here if you haven't seen it) way back when I started spinning it, and maybe again when I was working a bit on it at the fair last October, but I gotta say it again - great fiber, wonderful roving and not bad spinning, if I do say so myself. heh.

Anyway, I'm sure you're sick of reading and want some eye candy. With no further ado...

The blue yarn on top is the plyed thrums from Spinderella. I took it to work and showed it off. It looked really great held up against Phil's jeans, but I'm just not thrilled with the color. I think it has too much black and not enough of the bright royal bits. It doesn't take much black to really drab a color this stuff is plenty drab. I'm going to try plying it with some dynomite royal blue romney I have here. I was going to post a photo of that yarn, but apparently I didn't take it's picture (or I lost it, entirely possible). I know where the yarn is, tho, so photos will be coming. I think I have about 8 or so oz of the roving left - plenty to ply with the remaining 12oz of the thrums.

The yarn below the light blue thrums is that I spun from the BL roving. Gosh, that was wonderful wool. I emailed Rose and asked her to send me 2lbs of silvery fleece. I washed the fleece and sent it off to Stonehedge for processing. Deb and Chuck did their usual spectacular job and I was thrilled with the roving. It was SO easy to spin that I had to lock it up at night so it wouldn't spin itself. :) The photo directly above was taken before I started my PiAreSquare shawl, so it's pretty old. The shawl was the very first big thing I ever knit with my own handspun and I was amazed at how different handspun feels from mill spun. Kind of alive, ya know? I'm hoping to bore you silly, so I'm gonna post another shot of this marvelous fiber - this is the singles on the bobbin - check out that shine!!

Hmmm... Will this entry be complete without a shot of the in-progress shawl? What the heck! I stopped knitting on this shawl the beginning of last winter - I knitted up all of the yarn I had spun and needed to get the rest of the roving spun up. I was thinking I might do the edging and collar in a different yarn, but now I'm thinking I'll do the edging in the same yarn and try to spin up some really soft grey stuff I have for the "shawl" collar. This Border Leicester, while very fine for BL, is just a teensy bit too harsh for the back of my neck.

pr2 front view Nov 22, 2005 sandeleh

Wow, that was different. One of the reasons I'm blogging instead of putting up more photos at Webshots is that the photos are no longer mine. I can't download any of my own photos as jpg images - only as Webshots proprietary format that only their software can display. And I'm paying for that "service!" So, since I don't have a photo of my shawl on my own computer, I have to link to the one on Webshots and to see the pix you gotta click on it, get taken away to Webshots and I can only hope you will return here. (sigh)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

spinning again

Yes indeed. After a longish hiatus I drug the wheel back out and started on some new thrums from Spinderella. This is called Blue Bayou and has a little bit of everything in it fiber-wise, but is pretty bland colorwise. I'm wondering if I should spin something else to ply with it. My only other experience with Spinderella's thrums was about 5 yrs ago and it was a purple base with lots and lots of colorful slubs in it. As a matter of fact, I'm wearing the hat I knit from that yarn. :) I dyed some white BL top with grape koolaid and spun another singles to ply with that first thrums. Guess I need to take a quick pix so you can see what I'm talking about.

If you look closely you can see all the bits of green, yellow, pink and blue imbedded in the purple base. I did a very simple hat - cast on 100 or so sts with a provisional cast on, then after about 6" of 2x2 rib, I turned up a hem and knit cast on sts with hat sts. After another few inches, I decreased every other st around (leaving a 1x1 rib) and knit another 2 inches before a round of K2tog. A plain round, another K2tog and then I drew up all the remaining sts with the tail of the yarn and pulled it up tight. The cap is not long enough to fold up, but the double thickness over my ears keeps me from getting ear aches in the winter.
I've got a pretty extensive stash, and I'm sure I have more thrums in there somewhere. Maybe a navy color, eh? And I have at least another 1/2 lb of the purple base in the hat. I'm out of the BL roving I dyed to work with it, tho, so I'll have to use something else. Columbia? Dorset? Finn? Clun Forest? No worries - I'm sure I can find something.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Whine but no cheese...

Some of you may have heard I had a root canal back in Nov and enjoyed the nitrous oxide and valium while having 1/2 the civilized world climbing into my mouth. heh. It was almost fun - I got to get high **legally**! Well, Tues I went to my long time dentist (really - 20 yrs) for the first crown fitting. Now, this man KNOWS that I have panic attacks and that I need nitrous and valium and headphones and a bit more time than most so the various drugs actually start to work.

I took 20mg of valium before the visit so I was doing OK when I got there. Got into the chair and the dentist was in a hell of a hurry. He popped the hose over my nose for the nitrous and wanted to start right in grinding off that tooth. I tried to tell him I was not having any reaction yet to the nitrous and that I needed more time, but he started grinding away.

In short, I had a panic attack. Bit his hand, scrambled out of the chair trailing hoses and drills, scuttled across floor on hands and knees trying to escape. Sande had left the building and only the 300 lb gorilla was home. Then I had an asthma attack brought on by the panic attack and it was touch and go for a while. Oh, did I mention that I wet myself? Yeah, that too.

And what did my dentist have to say? "Come on, only a bit left to go." I told him I *had* to have a few mins to let the nitrous work, that the adrenaline from the panic had burned off all the valium and I was still on the edge of panic. I was allowed 60 seconds and then he pried open my mouth to start grinding some more. Yeah, more panic. This time I didn't bite him, but whatever he had in my mouth cut into my gums and the roof of my mouth. The arms of the chair bruised me up a lot, too. I was not at the top of my game yesterday, to say the least. I still feel pretty drained and fuzzy from the aftermath of the adrenaline. I'm supposed to go back in 3 weeks for the real crown. I don't know if I can..

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Recent Socks

OK, this time I added the photos first, hoping to get them inside the text. That didn't happen, so I better do some reading up on blogging so I can make posts that look as nicely laid out as everyone else's. This sock is from a new-to-me sock yarn and it's been so long since I wound the yarn I can't even find the ball bands. Bad Sande. Anyway, the cuffs are Horseshoe Lace

done on US3 (3.25mm) needles. My shoes have a high heel, so I've learned to leave a few rows of plain knitting between bottom of lace and beginning of heel flap. I've come to find that a plain garter stitch heel flap wears better and looks better longer on my socks than any of the slipped stitch heels. I like that Dutch square heel, so that's what I use on all of my socks (for a long time now). Since this is "regular" fingering wt sock yarn, I did change needles - size 0 for the heel flap and then up to size 1s for the foot. I used my brand new KnitPicks Classic circulars for these and the glare from the needles almost blinded me. :) That was the only thing I didn't like; I loved the points and the cables.
And here is the other pair of socks I finished in October - I call these slouch socks and, believe it or not, I made up the "pattern" myself. Just tonight I was cruising thru back issues of MagKnit online and found a very similar sock (well, the cuffs were similar) in the April 2006 issue. Honest, I didn't copy that pattern. :) Just a serendipitous accident. This yarn is KnitPicks Parade in the Gumball colorway. All I did to make the "slouch" cuff was to knit the color stripes and purl the spotted stripes, then turned the whole sock inside out on the needles to do heel and foot. These socks were knit on 3.25mm needles except for the heel flap. I did them on a smaller needle.

I tried something new on this sock, too. When I knit across for the first row of the heel flap, I did a wrap and turn with the next st (on the instep needle) on both ends of the flap. Then, after the flap was finished and I picked up the gusset sts, I knit that wrap with the first (and last) instep stitch. This is yet another "invisible" gusset corner and much, much easier than my previous method of picking up a st in the row below on first (and last) instep st. Try it, you may like it, too. :)
There doesn't seem to be any way to rearrange the photos once they are in the text/compose box. I'd sure appreciate one of you experienced bloggers letting me in on the secret of wrapping the text around the photos. And how to add buttons to the side bar of the blog. I'm sure there are other things I need to know, too, so all advice greatly appreciated.

spindlitis ornament exchange

Hi, again. Last year (or perhaps the year before) some of us on spindlitis (a yahoo group) decided to use Easter Egg dye on our handspun and make something of it. Well, I got as far as the dyeing and spinning, but never made anything from that lovely yarn until this year, when the spindlitis group had an ornament exchange from our handspun. Teri Pittman, list owner, graciously allowed me to participate, even tho I'm a wheel spinner and only demo briefly on spindles when out in public. These tiny mittens and socks are from the Interweave Press book Christmas

Stockings, way in the back. Actually, they
are just "regular" mittens and socks done on 24 sts around. This last photo is to show the difference in size between the mini-sock and one to fit my foot. It's just a trick of the camera that the colors look the same - they are really quite different.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

First time out

Well, here I go with my very first post on my brand new blog. I like reading other people's blogs; here's hoping my blog will be interesting enough that others will like it. I'm still reading the help as I go, so this post won't have any fun stuff in it.

I'm going to try to make this blog comfortable to read. I know I get very frustrated at "artsy" blogs with tiny fonts and low contrast between background and text. If I can't read it, I'm gonna harbor evil feelings towards the person who made it like that... grin Gonna have to learn some tags, I guess, so I can insert smileys and really annoy folks.

That pretty girl above is my darling Cherry Cherry. She was barely 2 in that photo; pushing 13 now. I'm doing this first post from the laptop, so not many photos here. That will change on later posts. Heh.

If you're a blogger and have suggestions, please do let me know. sandeleh AT sbcglobal DOT net is the email address. (and is it really necessary to spell out email addresses?)