Wednesday, April 29, 2009


My new basket supposedly made in Ghana to decrease the poverty levels and create financial independence amonth the women there..LOVE this basket, seriously.

It's been a 'rains and pours' kind of day, kind of couple days really. Knitting guild last night and I think the swap went pretty well, everyone seemed happy with their gifts. Nancy made me 3 cloths in chocolate and lime that were just lovely! They seemed so thick as to be double knitted and I immediately rolled them up into a basket in my guest bath, see? I hope my swap person liked her stuff - of course I forgot to take pictures before I sent it along, stupid me! I made her a Grrlfriend Bag and tried to make her a blue row counter bracelet with limited success. It was pretty though!

Jack has been working hard at designing me a skein winder in her garage and nearly has it figured out. She made me this small prototype and finished it yesterday and I'm pretty proud of her for it. I wound a little alpaca I'd tried to spin into a mini skein on it tonight and it turned out really well also. See how small it is in relation to the tennis ball? From this experiment we have decided we'd rather have a full size winder that was not a windmill style, rather a table style. She is putting a long bolt on the end so I can wind from my spinning wheel bobbins if I want.

I've been knitting a Wooly Wormhead hat in cotton to celebrate my upcoming dred-dom, Meret. This was interrupted by some yard work I tried to do today. I had the big green city can rolling it around the backyard for bits of tree I'd trimmed all over the yard. Took a step forward with my right foot and stepped onto the giant lid..lid slid forward, wheels turned, can began to tilt and I'm trapped on this wild escaping trash can thats sliding all over the place. Lovely. Ended up on my left shoulder (and my face) in the yard with some serious contusions and swelling. Double effing lovely. I get my dreds on the 12th and it will take around 3 hours to do. I'm excited because I've wanted them FOREVER!

On Friday I am going to Collierville with my friend Mary for a school's Pioneer Day. We're going to demonstrate spinning and I think knitting and it should be alot of fun! I like spending time with Mary, she's very smart and funny and her studio just makes my mouth hang open.

Last but not least here's my funny girl. She follows me everywhere and barks incessantly like someone just blew helium into her gut. Times like that I don't mind that they had her de-barked so much.....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Meerkat in Memphis!

What a Handsome Fellow!

Our friends from Chicago were visiting last week and it was a great chance to see some of the things Memphis has to offer that of course we've been too busy to just stop and visit ourselves!
We went (of course) to the Zoo and it was a BEAUTIFUL facility! Almost all the exhibits contained running water and overall it was clean and friendly and didn't cost an arm and a leg and some quivit for entry. This guy stole my heart along with the other meerkats there..between they and the lemurs I am smitten!

Yesterday I mowed for the first time this season..saw something wriggling, wriggling like mad and swooped on it. Baby bullfrog I nearly chopped into soup! Yikes! I gathered him up and of course in his distress he 'peeped' at me repeatedly while I carried him through the house insisting to Jack that we put him into an aquarium. Jack convinced me to release him next to the pool however. We were also in the pool for the first time yesterday - water temp was 77 and It Is Not Even May. Woo Hoo, take THAT Chicago!

Our Spinning guild met last Sunday and did the 2nd half of our program on silk that Mary was teaching. We soaked cocoons, pulled out baby silkworms and their 'ahem' leavings, stretched them over frames we'd built, reeled silk onto cardboard and dyed a layer of silk hankies all in one afternoon! Some of my new friends were there and it was fun to sit and chat with them also! I don't feel as if I learned much other than how to remove the worms from the cocoon honestly..there were alot of participants and it was difficult at times to hear but I had great fun and brought home a little sample pack of all the offerings for my spinning notebook!

I've been deadline knitting for 2 weeks and most of it is swap/secret pal stuff that I can't post pics of until after our Knitting guild on Tuesday. I have 2 projects going for that plus the sweater from French Girl Knits that I don't have any decent pictures of yet.

May 9th is All About Women and I'm excited about being there in a spinning/knitting capacity in the 'life' section of the convention, where women learn about ways to enjoy life and just have some down time. On May 1st I'm scheduled to help my friend Mary with Pioneer Days at a school in Collierville with a spinning demo as well. Fun!

Ok, enough for now. May 1st is NOT that far off and I also have 35 of Jack's Department Heads and Managers coming to our house that day for a quarterly meeting which means 'get busy'!

One more pic - Buddah helps us keep it in perspective (to his belly, that is!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pearl after a bath

I went over my wheel Pearl with some fine sandpaper and a bottle of wood feed/cleaner today because she's going to be travelling just a little and needs to look good and I think she does! Her wood is really coming into it's own after some care and removal of old paint and decorations.

This was a good spinny week for me - Mary's package arrived from the Butterflygirldesigns Spindle and Fiber Club and it's a beauty. No pics yet but it's a flower shaped spindle of gold flecked glass and 3 oz. of Tuscany fiber which is exactly what it brings to mind..golds, rusts, deep reds and wood tones. It's 1.3 oz and very fast from the little twirl I gave her!

Our friends Nancy and Chris arrived last night from Chicago and it's SO good to see them! They are our first houseguests and the closest thing we have to family as a couple. They also brought Artemis, who is recovering from bone cancer and chemo with an expermental drug treatment. Artemis is 120 lbs of very loving Rottie and it is great to see her looking so good although our little dogs aren't sure how to act!

I am knitting a secret swap gift and knitting like mad to meet next week's deadline. I had started a pattern and it was looking very strange and scary so I opted to start something else less experimental for my swap partner. Once I finish I'll post a link to the pattern cuz I thought it was just the coolest concept EVER and it's very fun to knit!

I also need to post pics of the guest bedroom now that it's looks awesome even if I did do it myself! Jack has been busy with her new tools and made stretching frames for my spinning class on silk for myself and a new spinner that's joining me today. They are nifty and I'll take lots of pictures today.

It's a monsoon out there..I love the storms but jeez..I'd like to unload my wheel without trying to protect it.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


A friend recently gifted me with a couple plastic grocery bags of raw Alpaca seconds (from these trash bags full she was gifted with!) Since my experience with less-than-processed fiber is minimal, I decided to try and flick a bit to see how it looked after I messed it up, I mean worked with it. I'd been told it was still quite full of vm so I put down an old pillowcase to catch the fallout and got started. I didn't know Alpaca had no lanolin until my friend told me! She also said I could spin directly from the wool but I wanted to see what it looked like before and after flicking. (I also didn't feel particularly like spinning right that second!)

Lump O Alpaca- I think the crimp is lovely (especially for free fiber!

One little lock

Nice shot of crimpola, gad I love it

pile of fiber with nice 5 inch staple

Thirds (I guess..this is the stuff out of the brush after flicking) I am always a little horrified at the 'waste' but I guess I'll learn.

Finished little basket of fiber