Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Problem

I love spinning yarn! It is my favorite past-time right now. It isn't as mobile as knitting socks, but it is something that, when I just need a break, I can drag out my little HitchHiker Spinning wheel, and pump away, turning out yards and yards of beautiful yarn while watching my evening television shows. With each bobbin I've gotten better at spinning a thin single ply. With each skein, I'm able to produce a more consistent thickness of yarn.

Victorian Garden

I'm currently spinning with lovely "grab-bag-wool" I dyed. It is beautiful shades of reds from pinks to russets and reminds me of Victorian roses. I don't know if I'll end up making it into art yarn by plying green seed beads onto it, or keep it as yarn. It would make a beautiful shawl with sparkling seed beads, maybe I could find some cute little olive green leaf beads! If you think you want the above Victorian Garden yarn, convo me via Etsy and it can be yours. I'd finish it to your liking, with or without beads!

Mother's Pink Mohair Shawl

My mother is here from Alaska and decided to try out her new KnitPicks Christmas present (Options Interchaneable Nickel Plated Circular Knitting Needle Set) by knitting. I let her go "shopping" in my stash closet and she chose a soft pink mohair blend that I plied soft pastel seed beads into it. She is knitting a simple triangle that we hope will be large enough to become a shawl. The yarn was spun out of mohair I received in a swap package that was carded with some wool (again from a grab bag of wool).
The flash washed out the color, but does show the seed beads.

So, what's "The Problem?" you ask. I'm enjoying spinning more than knitting right now. Spinning more and more yarn, without using it is causing my poor stash closet to burst at the seems. I've been pulling yarns out and have been listing them in my Etsy Shop so that someone else may enjoy knitting them as much as I've enjoyed spinning them.

I HATE pricing the items I sell. Set the price too low and people don't buy as they think "you get what you pay for" and see the items as junk, not worth the price of the listing. Too high and they don't go. I just want them to go to good homes, am looking to clean out my stash-closet, and want to recoup some of the costs of the products used!

So, if you're in the market for some home spun yarn, aren't too concerned about consistent weight, check out my shop. They aren't perfect, but they are all great for knitting projects that don't need a consistent gauge. Most will felt lovely (if all the felting I've found in the Victorian Garden wool I'm spinning into yarn tells me anything), those that I know contain super-wash state so.
Knit-on......or is that now Spin-on?


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Check out the store

Mom's only been here one week and it feels like she's been here much longer.

Not in a bad way, it's just that we've been so busy and have gotten a lot of things complete!

Her bedroom (aka: guest room) is almost set up. I love Craigslist! I wanted the room to have a "bed & breakfast" look. Older furniture, quilted comforter, cozy like a hug, a place someone who is visiting can go and be alone. We need to tweak the valance and curtains and then it will be done!

In addition, I've been adding items to my etsy store - check it out. Everything is 25% off or more. Sale ends June 30, so if you see something and like the price, get it before someone else does, or the price goes up.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Store Re-Opening

June will be a busy month -- My mom is visiting me from Alaska; I need to get our guest bedroom (mom's room) set up; my craft room will also be moved and set up; AND I reopened my Etsy store along with a Grand-ReOpening sale of at least 25% discount on all items listed.

I am planning to add items daily, so check out the store!


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Catching up

Although I have ignored my Blogs, I have not ignored my fiber-lust! My stash grows and grows with all my own spun yarns!

I purchased a HitchHiker which has replaced my Heavenly Handspinning wheel. I love my little HitchHiker and would recommend it to anyone wanting a spinning wheel!

I have 15 "skeins" of yarn that have the twist set and I've counted the yardage.
Another 7 skeins are set, but I didn't count yardage; 6 are for the February Lady Sweater, and one is on the sticks becoming a pair of socks.
Eleven more "skeins" are awaiting one or both of having the twist set and yardage counted. That is 32 "skeins" of yarn. All of varying weights and lengths from under 100 to over 400 yards. My husband asked what I was doing with all the yarn; my reply was to add it to my stash!
I'm really not sure what to do with it all, I was just having so much fun learning to spin that I kept spinning and spinning! Maybe I should list some in my store as destash at cut rate prices just to clear out my closet!

I'll update the sock progress at another time, but right now, I'm sticking to my spinning, so I can show you my first project with my spun yarn (I am not going to count the pink and brown scarf as scraves don't count as "projects"!)

These socks are being knit from a bamboo/wool blend of roving I purchased and dyed before spinning. The colors didn't turn out quite like I wanted, but I think they will become fine socks to wear with jeans this fall, or even this summer if we keep having rather cool days like today!

happy spin/knitting


Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What knitting?

I have not picked up my sticks since I returned from Alaska!

I have been spinning on my wheel a lot since I came home; have learned a lot from it and am ready to start shopping for a more expensive wheel. I might go about seeing if I can sell it and take that money and apply it to my new wheel -- I'll be plunged back into spindle spinning, that I enjoy that too -- it is just that it can be incredibly slow!

It continues to be to darn cold for much of anything! Between the three weeks in Alaska with lows in the -35's and high rarely getting above 0, and returning home to find my home town in it's own deep freeze, I'm tired of cold weather.

I have laryngitis and will see my doctor today as it just is not getting better! My students love it as I can only talk so much and then I have to shut-up! I'm in the middle of giving some "norm referenced" tests and there are instructions that are to be read; I've been having another person come in my class and read them for me!

I will see if the doctor will document my migraines and the disability they cause. If she will, then I'll move on with training to make Abby my Service Dog. I'm wiating to talk to my doctor before I order her any "Medical Alert Dog in Training" bandanas or the like.

It's been so cold, you'd think I'd be knitting! Guess I've been too busy researching Service Dogs, and working with Abby!

until next time,

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This might actually work

What started out as a joke, may become a life saver to me.

On a flight to Alaska I had the good fortune to sit next to a gentleman with a Service Dog (SD). We discussed how he had trained his SD on his own because the waiting list for an SD was so long and the dogs were so expensive. He joked with me that if I had a disability I could train my own dog to be my SD and fly with her at my feet too!

Things that he mentioned peeked my interest and, when I returned home, I did some research on SD and found the information the man had given me was right on. To have an SD, one needs to have a disability, and then train the dog to do one thing to assist the person, no special trainers or certification required. The only disability I have is Dyslexia and there was nothing I could do to train a dog to help me with that.

I continued with my research on SD’s and stumbled across these three words: Migraine Alert Dog. Okay, I was diagnosed with Migraines 30+ years ago, they are a pain, but a disability!? How could Migraines be a disability?!

This lead me to do some research on Migraines which I had never done (if you knew me, you would be surprised I hadn’t researched Migraines before). They are part of who I am, part of my life, they are my “normal.”

Under the guild lines of a migraine raiting scale I saw over and over, my Migraines put me at the level to have a “moderate disability.” Okay, so now I have a disability; now what.?

How in the world does one train a dog to Alert?

More research – turns out some dogs just do it, but more than that, it is owner dependent, owners that are in tune with their dogs notice the slight behavior changes. Some dogs are more obvious, some are very subtle.

This morning was like any other morning, up around 5:30, eat breakfast, feed dogs, let them out, make my lunch, and get ready for work. As I turned to leave the bathroom, I got “that feeling.” The slight subtle feeling that is so easy to ignore, so easy to not even notice, the sensation that tells me I was getting close to a migraine and I’d better take something now before it advances into a full-blown, stay at home migraine. I often miss this signal until it is too late for OTC meds forcing me to take the big drugs!

Oddly, six hours before this, Abby (our 8 month old puppy) woke me. She was being a pest and very needy. She was licking me, licking my pillow, and just could not squeeze herself close enough to me (yes, we are those bad people who let their dogs sleep in bed with them). I thought she may need to go potty, but that wasn’t it. Decided she was just being a pest and we went back to sleep. Was she alerting me? Did she sense that I was coming down with a migraine? If so, this is not only amazing, but a life-saver.

If she can alert me to pay better attention to my body, I can hear my body tell me “you’d better do something to cut this off at the pass.” Two Extra-Strength-Excedrin some time for my body to process it and I was back to my normal self!

It will be interesting when I have my next Migraine to see if she does something odd again.

I may just have my alert dog.

Obedience class starts tonight!

Follow our journey on Abby's blog