Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire

Registration is open for the Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange. You have until June 6th, don't miss out on this one! This is hands down my favorite swap!! I've met so many wonderful ladies through this swap, everyone come on & join in on the fun! :)

1. Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long? Both. Crochet for 13 or 14 years, Knit for about 4.

2. Do you enjoy using metal, wooden, or some other kind of needle\hook? Metal is my favorite, in Needles & Hooks. My favorite crochet hooks are Boye, and my favorite knitting needles are the Knitpicks Options.

3. What are your favorite types of yarn? Any you just can't stand? I like just about all of it as long as it's soft. I'm not crazy about fur, been there, done that! And I don't like coarse cotton, or coarse wool. I'm all about super soft & cuddly blends! Don't get me wrong, I like 100% cotton & 100% wool, but there's plenty out there that are soft....

4. When it comes to cotton, are there any brands you'd love to try and haven't? I'd love to try some of the Knitpicks Comfy yarn.

5. When you make Dishcloths, do you use them yourself, or tend to give them as gifts? Both

6. Do you have a favorite color? Any that you dislike? I'm not too picky. My favorite colors are Purple, Light Pink, Light Blue & Light Green. But I also like naturals & earth tones.

7. What color(s) (if any!) are your kitchen and bath decorated in? My kitchen is black & white. I love dishcloths with black & white & any color mixed with these. But like I said, I'm not picky, I'll use anything. :) One bath is bright aqua & beachy colors & the other is a plum or eggplant purple & sage green.

8. What are your favorite scents around the house? Honeysuckle, grapefruit, fruity scents, fresh scents. I'm not crazy about flowery or that cotton/fresh linen scent.

9. What is your very favorite thing about summer? Air conditioning! LOL No, probably the flowers, at least until August, then it just gets too hot here & everything burns up.

10. What is your least favorite thing about summer? The heat! August & September are just too hot & muggy here!

11. Do you use soap or body wash in the shower? Both

12. What scents do you enjoy in the bath? I like fruity scents like grapefruit, cucumber melon, Mandarin orange, etc. I also like that Aveno oatmeal body wash & bath oil, the regular ones, not the scented ones they have come out with.

13. What is your favorite dishcloth pattern? I don't have a favorite. I like the simple ones & the more complicated ones. They are both attractive in their own ways.

14. What sort of treats do you enjoy? Sweet or Salty? Don't do salty at all unless we are talking french fries. I like gummy bears, Twizzlers, Cream Savers, milk chocolate, MM's - peanut & plain, & Rolos. Sorry guys but I don't like dark chocolate at all. :)

15. Imagine today is one of the hottest days of the year - what do you do to keep cool? Or are you one of those folks who loves the hot weather? HATE hot weather! I stay inside in the air conditioning, if I had a swimming pool that's where I'd be!

16. What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy besides knitting or crocheting? Spinning! Reading & gardening.

17. Do you collect anything (besides yarn!) Spinning fiber! Now that I've learned to spin & have my own little Flossie wheel now. I also collect colored glass candy dishes. There are other things that I've accumulated but I don't consider it "collecting"... like shoes, handbags, T-shirts, etc...

18. Are you on Ravelry? If so, share your ID! Yarndemon

19. Do you have any allergies? Just your typical dust, pollen, mold & other seasonal allergies, no fiber allergies. Why do they call them "Seasonal" allergies when they last all year long anyway???

20. Do you have any pets? Yes, a special kitty, Jasmine. And a really, really old but sweet mutt dog, Maggie.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Updated Photos

Nothing on the knitting front just yet, I will soon though!

I do have some updated photos though. I have a few new ones of Flossie (my Spinning Wheel), I put some maple colored stain & some wax on her. She is ready to go again! I also have a photo of 2 of the bobbins, one finished & one not finished. And a shot of some of the Hearts on Fire superwash fiber that I've started spinning. I am pre-drafting all of this fiber, I didn't want to make a mess of it. I think I need to get me some more practice fiber to learn the drafting while spinning part. This bright fiber was just too nice to waste on a bunch of bulky thick & thin yarn. :)
I also have a couple more photos of my peach rose bush. Thing has a ton of buds still left to bloom! It has just bloomed it's heart out this year, sooooo pretty.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mad Cat!

I was really headed to bed.... not feeling well again, that darn sinus infection is back. But poor Jasmine looked so pitiful I knew it was time.... Jazzy has super sensitive skin, as well as her sensitive tummy. In the summer she gets really itchy, and she can't seem to stop scratching, and scratching. She ends up pulling out her pretty fur, in the process digesting a lot of it and therefore she can't keep her food down cause her little tummy is full of fur. What a mess! Last year we finally found some awesome shampoo, Micro-Tek Pet Shampoo, that keeps her from itching and scratching. (I highly recommend this shampoo to anyone who has pets! Good for Dogs, Cats & Puppies.) She gets a bath about once a month in the summer, and I cut back to about every two months in the winter. She has been scratching a lot the past week or so, then started throwing up her food yesterday. So tonight when I was headed to bed she gave me such a pitiful look I couldn't go to sleep knowing she was itchy and miserable... Bath time! She does ok with the water, but not so good when she gets soaped up. :)Not an easy thing to take a photo while trying to keep a slippery cat from jumping out of the sink! LOL

Now she is thoroughly mad at me, just look at that face! Poor thing. But she will feel so much better tomorrow, and forget why she was mad at me to begin with. :) Thank goodness for that unconditional love! What would we do without it? I love you Jazzy, I only do it to make you feel better sweetie.

Now I'm going to bed....

Monday, May 12, 2008

It's Here!

My Adamo spinning wheel was here waiting on me when I got home from work today!! Needless to say nothing, and I mean nothing else got done this evening! :) The boys had to fend for themselves this evening. LOL

See the wheel & flyer lying on the floor? That's it, that is all I had to put together! Everything else was ready to go.... let me just say one more time how wonderful Jan from Heavenly Handspinning is, super awesome customer service!! It came with 3 combo bobbins, she included some practice fiber (which I promptly mangled, but had soooo much fun doing it!), and a little tube of Tri-flow lubricant for the moving parts. I need to ask her where she got this little 1/4 oz. tube, it's the perfect size. And it smells good, not stinky like my sewing machine oil. :)
And here she is all put together! Isn't that just the cutest spinning wheel ever?! I know, I'm a little partial... but I just LOVE it! Of course it didn't get stained or finished tonight. Like I was going to wait on stain to dry before giving it a spin! HA!

And here is my first wheel spun single! Looks pretty good here on the bobbin, trust me, it's a mess! LOL I covered up the mess with the last little bit. It took a little while to figure out my tension and get it going onto the bobbin. I have some really overtwisted fiber here, which is a shame cause she sent some really pretty wool. Oh well, gotta start somewhere! And I have a couple more ounces to practice on before I start my pretty bright superwash. Going to be tough making myself go to bed at a decent hour tonight!

Hope everyone had a good Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to all of you Mom's out there, Mom's of human kids & furry four-legged kids!! :)

Ok, I'm off to mangle some more fiber! Woohoo!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Bad Day / Good Day....

A day that was fast going downhill got better when I got home..... after finding out that my passenger mirror got knocked off my Blazer today in the parking lot at work, UGH! Breaking the recliner footrest on our almost new couch.... And a few personal problems... I went out to the mailbox to find some goodies in there!

My prizes from Nichole's contest.... A big thanks to Nic & all who donated prizes!
And this really bright & really pretty superwash wool fiber from Crazy Monkey Creations. The colorway is called Hearts On Fire. I just love this fiber! Its so bright & colorful, just the thing to cheer me up this evening! :) I just hope I will be able to make some nice yarn out of it. I ordered 8 oz. in the hopes that I will have enough yarn to make a nice project out of.

And now for the BIG surprise! I have a spinning wheel on the way to my house! WooHoo! Now, it's not a conventional wheel, but I'm so excited to be getting a wheel!!! I think it's just about the coolest wheel I've seen! It's "sporty" isn't it? :) I shopped around & with finances the way they are I was looking for affordable & functional. And those of you who own wheels know that they can be anything but affordable! Anyway.... during my search I found Jan at Heavenly Handspinning. As she says on her website, when she was looking for her own spinning wheel at a good price she was finding it a hard task. So her & her family decided to design their own wheels, and the Fidelis, Gratia, & Adamo were born..... I have my own Adamo making it's way to my house right now! :) My Adamo will come to me unfinished... I chose this one so I could finish it with the stain & finish of my choosing. Then I just screw in 3 screws, attach the wheel & I'll be in business! Of course I'll share photos of my progress from start to finish with it! :)

Here are some features of the Adamo Wheel: Frame is made entirely of Red Oak wood, Single Drive - Irish tensioning, comes with 2 bobbins that will hold a min. of 6 oz, weighs less than 8 lbs., Height is 28 inches x 16 and 1/2 inches wide x 14 inches deep. This photo is from Heavenly Handspinning's website... if you want to check out their wheels, spindles & a new & improved version of the Mother Marion Kick wheel, just click on the link. Jan is super nice, great about answering questions, and always replies quickly. All of the reviews that I've read on Ravelry about Heavenly Handspinning's wheels are great, everyone who has bought one seems extremely pleased with their purchase. And Jan also has some wonderful "Ho To" videos on youtube, you can find the links on her website. Thanks so much Jan, I'm so excited I can hardly stand myself! ha ha!

And you were wondering what I was going to do with all that new fiber... LOL!!

I almost forgot! I also ordered two of Jan's drop spindles & received them last week. This is Little Joe & Trixie, these two beauties are great spinners! In fact, I can't keep up with them they spin so fast! :) I'm getting better with my drop spindles, I still need to learn to draft faster. I'm just too slow at it & end up backing the spindle up by letting the spin build up too much. I've read a lot on Ravelry lately about many newbies like me having the same problem. I've also read that after spinning on a wheel a lot of them have tried the spindle a few months later & it went much easier & somehow they just "got it" after that. So there is hope for me after all!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Flowers & a little Math?

Well, no knitting content.... but I thought I'd share some photos of the pretty faces I have been seeing around here, even though I've been neglecting them of late. These peach roses are hiding around the bottom of my rose bush. Now take a look at a photo of the whole bush, isn't she a beauty?! I'll get a few shots of her in full glory in a week or so. To get some perspective of how big this thing is... I'm 5'2" tall and the bird feeder pole is about a foot taller than me, so somewhere around 6 feet or so... a couple of those branches are taller than the pole! Now, I'm not sure what kind of rose this is. When I bought it the label said that it was a peachy/orange hybrid tea rose, I've never seen a hybrid tea rose bush get this big. I'm thinking that the hybrid bush died and this beauty came from the root stock. The blooms don't last very long but they smell heavenly, and just wait & see when she is in full bloom, its just amazing! I have a few other rose bushes in my yard but this one is my favorite!

Here is a shot of my Amaryllis....

And a few Peony blooms.... One of these was supposed to be a peach color but all I've ever gotten is a creamy white bloom... still pretty though. I think I have a bright pink one around somewhere too, hasn't bloomed yet.

Now for a little Math.... this is the kind of Math I like! LOL

I started with this.... pretty plum roving from Chan. :)

Pretty Plum Roving + Purple Mix Batts

= Plum Heathered Tweed handspun yarn!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

My first Homespun Yarn...

Not much going on here lately to share, just been getting orders ready to go out.... however I did get a little bit of spinning done & plied my first homespun yarn. I ended up with only 40 or so yards of chunky/bulky yarn, but I'm so proud of it! It's incredibly soft. At first I thought I'd make a little felted project out of it but once I gave it a bath & wound it up, I don't think I have the heart to felt it, it's so pretty as it is. I'll have to find some small project to do where I can leave it unfelted....