29 July, 2011

It's Time to Re-assess

It is amazing what effect a small change can have on my crafting. For example, I recently moved my spinning wheel from one side of the sofa to the other:

Not pictured: spinning wheel.
Now it lives between my computer desk and the sofa, and I use it much more often! The sticking point was that my sofa is too low to comfortably spin from it, so I have to use my desk chair. When the wheel is within a 3-foot scooting radius, it gets more use. Geometry at work! 

Before I went to Disneyland I managed to finish the first half of the Bright Fig roving:
The yarn will be so pretty!
And since then I'm about 1/3 through with the second bobbin. I'm trying to spin it evenly so that the 2 plies will match up through most of the yarn, but we'll see. 

Since I've been on a Shetland Shawls kick it feels like my 11-Mile Quest has slowed down considerably. Lace knitting takes longer than sock knitting (but apparently not as long as sweater knitting ::coughSalinacough::), so I'm trying to find projects that are half-finished - like the Great Bebeh Project (a KP Shine Moderne Baby Blanket) - that are somewhat mindless. I'm also thinking about overdyeing a bunch of my sock remnants to make a log cabin blanket of some sort, but I haven't come to any conclusions on that yet. I am nearly finished spinning the third bobbin of singles for the Be-Bop-a-Lula that I was working on in Coal City last summer, so once the Bright Fig is finished I'll be pulling that out and finishing it up. 

My tentative goal is to be at 7 miles by the beginning of October. That's roughly 4 miles worth of knitting/spinning, which is *ahem* more than I've accomplished in the last eight months, so it'll be a challenge indeed! 

28 July, 2011

What a Trip

(Formerly) Crazy Sarah and I went to Disneyland in mid-July, where we rode rides

Watched the end of the parade:

It's a jolly holiday with Mary
Had (very strong) cocktails at Ariel's Grotto:

The Bloody Mary's were surprisingly and pleasantly spicy.  
Did the obligatory posing next to statues:
No one carries a watch anymore.
And of course, rode rides:

Do the Disney Muppet!
We also took a day trip down to San Diego where we visited the incredibly talented Jackie Dunn Smith at Flying Panther Tattoo. I've been wanting to turn this image into a tattoo since I saw it at the Wild West Showdown in March, and Jackie took it and created this, which is even better than I had imagined:

This was taken a few minutes after the tattoo was finished, so all of the dark looks black. Now that it's more healed, the book itself is a beautiful blue. I effing LOVE it, and I've been wearing low-backed shirts since I got it. 

The trip was a lot of fun; I haven't done a Grown Up Disney trip in awhile and I had forgotten how much I like it. Here are the rest of the pictures; the crop of Crying Disney Kids was very low for some reason, but there are still a few for your enjoyment. I know I enjoyed it! 

12 July, 2011

I DO Believe in Fairies!!

This is pretty much how I've felt all day about the book I just bought:

In this scenario, I am Ziegler and the book is Satine. 
I definitely clutched it to my chest, although it's more difficult to overtly grope a book than for Ziegler to grope his Little Strawberry, it would seem. But I tried. Do you blame me? The cover of this book is sexy, y'all.

Now with more Jaime Lannister? Mrowr.
Tomorrow morning I'm leaving my house early and heading down to (Formerly) Crazy Sarah's, where we will get into her car - blessedly air-conditioned as my car is not - and drive to Disneyland! I'm stoked and will get sunburnt and do very little reading or knitting, but I will take both with me in case of downtime. At the moment I'm about 90% packed and already in pajamas so I can make some popcorn and crack open this delicious book. I may raise a toast to it beforehand; 5 years is a long time to wait! 

09 July, 2011

Chipping Away

Despite not participating in the annual Tour de Fleece this year, I have been reading many blog and forum posts about the progress of other people's Tour de Fleece goals, and it's been causing me to give my poor neglected Matchless the side eye.

Those of you with long memories for my personal spinning goals will remember my leap onto Spindlicity's Stashdown 2011 bandwagon. (For those of you who don't, here is a link. I won't judge you if you click it.) I must have done something wrong since it took me less than a month to tumble off of that particular vehicle, and the Matchless has sat in a corner of my living room with 1/2 of January's project on it for 7 months. I admit that every time I considered the Tour de Fleece I made myself look at that bobbin full of singles and cringed a little inside.

But on Wednesday I decided to (literally) dust off my wheel, give it a coat of lemon oil, and do some spinning. Halfway through the second bobbin of singles I remembered that my derby friend Bite Size had a birthday this weekend, and I decided to give the finished yarn to her. This is not as random as it seems; she is an avid crocheter. Yesterday I plied and this morning after derby practice I skeined, soaked, and set the final project out to dry:

Copperpot Woolies "Chantilly Lace," 220 yards.
It came out squishy and soft and more the purple-ish of the first picture. She was THRILLED and couldn't believe that I'd made it myself, which I found a little hilarious considering that she's an artist! But I'm pleased as punch that this yarn went to someone who will make something out of it relatively soon; I tend to hoard my handspun much like I hoard my yarn and fiber, despite knowing in my head that even if I ruin it, there is always more wool in the world.

But don't cheer too loudly for my stashdown progress yet; back in April I fell down and ordered some Polwarth from Fat Cat Knits, but I made a deal with myself that I couldn't open the package until the current project was off of my bobbins. Well, that day is today, so I opened it! (See? Sometimes I have self-control. Just don't get used to it.)

It was worth the wait.
"Curry," 4 oz.
"Magnolia," 6 oz.
I fell in love with the Magnolia colorway after perusing thing4string's truly amazing Flickr stream. That woman is not only an excellent spinner, but she's also prolific! I wonder if those two things go hand-in-hand? Hmmm.....
Although I'm certain that I've missed the Stashdown 2011 bandwagon entirely by this time, I did go and pull out another brown paper bag with a mystery fiber in it. Inside was a pleasant, cheerful surprise:
Girl on the Rocks "Bright Fig" merino,  4.3 oz
I bought this at Color: A Fiber Festival back in 2008(!!!). I wonder how long it'll take me to spin it up? Maybe I should go start now. After all, between the Chantilly Lace (5.5 oz) and this, I'd be very close to net zero fiber input for 2011, which I'm fairly certain hasn't happened since I discovered spinning back in 2007.

That's what I call Progress.