Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

U is for Ubiquitous

Pronunciation: \yü-ˈbi-kwə-təs\
Function: adjective
Date: 1830

: existing or being everywhere at the same time : constantly encountered :widespread fashion

It's the February Lady sweater. There are 7,196 on Ravelry. I saw so many of them last year at Rhinebeck and a lot of them this year at Stitches East. Short sleeve, long sleeves, three quarter sleeves. Solid colors, multicolors. And they look good on everyone.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Stitches East

My first Stitches. I went by myself on Friday morning and after checking in I just wandered around until my first class. I had Morphing Cables with Fiona Ellis and it was really fun. I learned so much about how cables move around.

On Saturday I had Lily Chin's all day class on Reversible Cables which was totally amazing. If you ever have a chance, take one of her classes!

I did spend a little time in the Marketplace. This is Stardust from Dream in Color Experimentals in Russet. I bought enough to make a sweater. It has little sparkles in it. (From Discontinued Yarns)

And this is from Lisa Souza whose yarn is more beautiful in person than it is online. It's a very generous 500 yards. I had a nice chat with Lisa who is hoping for a grandchild.

This is a beautiful merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn from String Theory. I met the ladies from there at the hotel and their hand-dyed yarn is gorgeous.

And I dove into the big playpen of yarn from Woolstock Knit Shop and came up with a great sale on 8 skeins of Silky Wool.

I finally knit on the big sock and got a button to prove it.

It was a little odd going by myself but I was never really alone. I talked to lots of knitters in the classes, in the marketplace, at the hotel and on the buses. The hotel lobby was full of knitters all Saturday evening, such a nice thing. And some lovely ladies from The Knitter's Edge in Bethlehem, PA. invited me to dinner. (Thanks Amanda, Eileen and Joan!) Little Sister is in Bethlehem and I'll be checking out their store very soon. It was such a fun time and I'll be going back to Hartford again next year. Oh and Mr. Truck even admitted that he missed me.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rhinebeck, It's all about the fiber

Before going to Rhinebeck I made a list. I wanted fiber and a spindle. And a shawl pin. Never found the pin but I scored on the fiber. I was trying to pick wool that I hadn't spun yet. Which is pretty easy because I haven't spun much. This is Cormo from Briar Rose. Their yarn is to die for so I think this will be good.

The next two are Coopworth and Romney and N.C. Coopworth and Cotswold Lamb from Maple Row Stock Farm in Michigan.

This is a Finn-Dorset Cross from Fingerlakes Woolen Mill. I've spun Finn and it's really nice, soft like merino but a longer fiber.

And this a one pound bump of something that I really wanted at the time and now I can't find the receipt and I have no clue what it is but it's really soft. BFL maybe? I was really trying to be organized and rational. Anyone have any ideas?

Oh and a turkish delight spindle which I still can't work very well. Funny that the wheel is so much easier.

No time for more, I wanted to show you my sweater but I have to pack. I'm going to Stitches East on Friday and Saturday. I'm taking a class with Lily Chin and I'm shopping for yarn. If anyone's going to be there, look for me!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I was all ready for rain and snow. They'd been forecasting it for a couple of days. I had my galoshes ready although Mr. Truck said he wouldn't walk next to me if I wore them. We had two umbrellas in the car because it was pouring at home, but it never rained at Rhinebeck.

We got there just in time for the Ravelry meet up. We saw Bob and Jess and lots of others. (We really think it was Ysolda under the knitted dog head, we heard Jess call her name.)

And we met up with the ladies I knit with on Saturday mornings. I wore my sweater but it was hidden by my coat. In fact, most people's sweaters were hidden by their coats. I saw lots of Ishbels, though and some really nice hats and two owls. I really want to knit one of those.

These people were knitting on the world's largest sock. The waiting line was too long so I skipped it but I wonder who's going to turn that heel.

We saw spindles and fiber

and all sorts of spinning wheels, even an electric one.

And of course we saw sheep

and goats

and alpacas.

We stopped by the sheep herding dogs before we left. They are Mr. Truck's favorite part although they really make our dogs look not too bright.

And it didn't rain until we got home.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Spinning a Baktus

I bought this beautiful superwash merino rove called Mocha Java from Fiber Optic on etsy.

And I managed to spin it into this yarn. Which wasn't too bad, a bit thick and thin and more barber poled than I wanted. But it's yarn and I can knit with it. But there wasn't enough to make anything really big. So I searched and searched Ravelry and I found the perfect pattern.

Baktus. It uses any amount of yarn. You just increase until you've used half your yarn and then you decrease. Perfect for handspun of an undetermined amount.

There's a lacy version, too. You should go look at Mary's.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

T is for Tree B Gone

This is our tree, the American Sweetgum, Liquidambar styraciflua (I like the Latin name). It's the tallest tree on our block and it is at least sixty years old. You can see it above all the other trees. Our estimate is over 100 feet. We've taken care of it and had it pruned every year and it keeps growing.

But it's too close to our house. A couple of years ago we saw a show on maybe the Home and Garden channel about a house whose foundation was really damaged by their tree and ever since then we've been watching that tree.

Mr. Truck never liked it anyway. All year round, winter, spring, summer, fall, these seeds drop off the tree. He spends hours and hours picking them up. They hurt if you step on them and they don't even compost very well.

But this year the fence was bulging. And that never happened before. Digging around it, Mr. Truck found this root. From the tree. Heading towards our foundation. And no it's not a branch, we dug it out of the ground.

So we called The Tree Service and Mr. Truck declared August 26 Tree B Gone Day. It's really sad but the Tree Service told us the horror story of other people's foundations with $30,000.00 worth of damage.

So the nice men from The Tree Service came and brought all sorts of equipment and went so high in the tree that I couldn't even watch.

When the branches and especially the trunk hit the ground, the house shook.

And they chipped it all up and carted it all away.

Then they got out the really big equipment and ground down the trunk, 3 feet into the ground. Now I was under the impression that they would take all that with them, too. But when they left this was still here. We just looked at each other. Where were we going to put that much mulch? I spread it everywhere I could and it didn't even make a dent in the pile. What to do? So Mr. Truck made a sign that said "Free Mulch." He stuck it in the pile and we waited. It was there Thursday, it was there Friday, it was still there Saturday. On Saturday I spread more around the shrubs. Sunday morning we woke up and it was gone. We don't know who or how, we never heard anything and the dogs didn't even bark. So now the tree is really gone.

We're planning on planting a small tree this spring. I'm leaning towards a Kousa Dogwood.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Look What I Found!

So we're in Delaware for the weekend and Mr. Truck gets the local paper. He always reads the paper and then he tells me the important stuff I should know about. And he says, "There's a spinning wheel for sale. It says antique and it's pretty cheap." I jump up, get my phone and call the number. Does it spin? Probably. Is it old? We've had it 30 years and we were told it was 100 years old then. Where are you? Really close. And we go look. It treadles and the wheel spins, the mother-of -all tightens and loosens. The footman is missing, replaced by a leather string and part of the distaff is missing but it's coming home with me.

On the way home we stop to buy some string and a bit of copper wire. After much googling and laughing and a little frustration we hook up the double drive, learn how to tie a reef knot and Mr. Truck makes an orifice hook thingy out of the copper wire, gives it a good oiling and it spins.

Mr. Truck says it's old because of the way it was made and the nails. We think it might have been refinished at some time. But there are no markings.

This chunk is missing but it doesn't seem to matter.

Here's the crazy leather piece instead of the footman. I think Mr. Truck has plans for some woodworking there.

And here's the crazy yarn I made. Look at the flyer hooks. Those alone make me think it's really old.

I've put up a post on Ravlery in the Antique Spinning Wheel Group but if anyone knows what it is, let me know. It's lived in Delaware for at least the last 30 years and when I get it all fixed up, it will be going back. We'll leave it at the condo so I can spin when I'm there. I really don't need two wheels here.