Friday, January 27, 2006

Finding Time To Spin

I am trying to find time to spin but have to post so sister wont get ranty again...I am still walking a couple of days a week and I went in and had the blood work and mammogram done. I was walking in and I said "I am sooo looking forward to this" and the nurse said "it isn't as bad as you've heard unless you have small breasts" I started laughing and said "THAT is not something I have to worry about" So for once in my life I guess I am glad to be BIG breasted but now that it is over with I will go back to that "the grass is greener on the otherside of the fence" and wish for small ones.

The eagle's have returned. I saw 22 on the way into "town" and 23 on the way home. But along with the eagle's comes the eagle watchers, who like to stop on a blind turn with no hazards on and watch the bird sit there. When you get upset and beep the horn for them to move forward on the road or pull off they flip you off! #1 Son likes to harass them by not going around and forcing them to move on. He is so bad but so good at the same time.

And speaking of birds and sons, my little fledgling is moving out on Saturday and his girlfriend should arrive on Sun. We are helping them out a little getting all the immediate need things to get them on track and then the rest if up to them. I made up a whole bunch of soups and stocked them up with mac & cheese, oodles of noodles, frozen burrito's, cereal and cans of spaghetti sauce as neither of them are very good in the kitchen. I am making them a cookbook as my son didn't know that the neck and giblets were inside the chickens when you buy them! They also lucked out and got a nice futon, recliner and TV wall unit from friends.

Finally got a date....#1 daughter is leaving Irag on February 11th!!!! We are counting down the days. I got a letter from the FRG that said their tour should be over and them on home ground by June 26. That sounds so good. Their website has updated the newsletters and picture area for those of you who have the links. Mary talked me into going to a support group tonight. She has been on me since I lost it, I gave her a ton of excuses but she is picking me up at 7!

Little guy turns 10 early next week so we are just having a family party on Sunday so this will be a busy weekend. It won't leave me much time to spin and YES I got my wheel and I am loving it except I am not use to treadling with both feet and my left leg is not up to the rights standards. I did two bobbins of shetland and plied them. Of the two skeins I kool aid dyed one green and the other what is suppose to be purple but looks more like black cherry. Then I spun up some more camel to finish the shawl on the 6 foot loom. I was thinking of putting fringe on it so I left it on the loom but I then I got curious as to how it would be without it as far as length and popped it off. I like this size loom the best so far, which will make Curt happy!

Sorting thru the seed catalogs and hopefully will have an order ready by tonight.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Healthy habits

I went walking today, the start of a good habit I am hoping. Carol and I froze our butts off at first, only the two of us would wait till the coldest day to start. I really did enjoy the walk and do feel better for it. Only thing is next time I have got to bring the camera. I could have had some really good pics of the ice laden branches by the river and a hawk that was on the look out for his breakfast.
Last night while watching the start of a new year of 24 I decided to put something on the 6 foot loom that Curt made me. During a braindead moment I started using 320 foot of camel that I spun thinking it would cover a loom that needed 282 yards. So away I am weaving and then when I am reaching about 1/2 way and watching the show....there's the end of the yarn. At first I am still braindead and think that I must have broken the yarn until the fog rises and I understand the enormity of my error. So on the agenda is to spin up more camel so I can finish this shawl. I hope I can replicate it since I spun this kind of slubby because my wheel was giving me problems.
#1 son has decided to spread his wings and is getting his own apartment. He's meeting the landlord tonight to exchange money/keys. I guess they will start the lease on February 1. I have misgivngs about this as I don't want him to get in over his head but then again he has got to learn budgeting which is not his strong point when with his friends. He says to save money he will drive home here for dinner every night.....his place is is 20 miles one way from here! Did I mention math was not his forte.
#1 daughter is coming home in February if all things work out like planned. Can't wait to see her but dread taking her back to the airport to send her back there for a couple of more months. The younger ones have plans for her already though to visit their classrooms/girl scouts/boy scouts. They will keep her busy if she can't find anything to do after being away for almost a year, 6 months of which was in a desert!
Now I am off to make appointments for blood work and mammo to complete the trend toward better health now that I admitted to myself I am getting old!

Friday, January 13, 2006

What makes the man/spinner?

They say the suit makes the man...following this analogy that would mean that buying a new/better spinning wheel would make me a better spinner?! I was wondering because I just purchased a new wheel. Well actually Curt just told me to purchase a new wheel for myself with his money. I love that man!!!!

I started spinning about 2 1/2 years ago on a Babe Pinkie. At the time the Curt said buy a better wheel and I said why pay the bigger $ not knowing if I would even enjoy doing it. He said why not buy a good wheel and if you like it you won't have to go out later and buy a better one.....Well I did/do enjoy it and thought about getting another wheel last year but then I heard Tom from Manning’s at the PA Farm Show say that he was never able to pick up a skein and tell you what type of wheel it was spun on, upper or lower end. So I stuck with the Pinkie thinking I don't need another wheel.

Fast forward a couple of months and I was at Graces and I got to sit and spin on one of the antique wheels that her and her husband restore....what a different animal!! It was such a joy and I was in love with the ease of it not to mention the history behind it. I would love to have one of her wheels but alas I have extremely clumsy children, cute and loveable but extremely clumsy. But I knew right then I needed to buy another wheel. I ate humble pie and admitted to Curt that he was right and I was wrong, choking the whole time. Thank God THAT doesn't happen often!

So I signed into ebay and bought a Ashford Traveller DT from and got an email back that I should have it by the 20th. At this time I have to say I loved (yes past tense) the Pinkie. It did what I needed it to do, went anywhere, cost little, was like a Timex (took a lickin' and kept on tickin') during my early learning to spin period but like my clothes I guess I out grew it. So dd has decided that it is hers. But, (there is always a but) since I like the affordability of the Babe I also got a Babe's HH Deluxe Electric Spinning Wheel off of ebay from When it rains it pours!!!

So will this make me a better spinner…only time will tell. Both of these wheels are so different from what I have that there is bound to big a big adjustment period. I know I now have no excuse not to spin up the Border Leicester fleece from MD S&W or the Shetland I got from Rhinebeck which I haven't done anything with yet after all MD S&W is only 18 weeks away.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

PA Farm Show Sheep to Shawl

Every January PA holds it's Farm Show, this year is it's 90th year. For the past 23 years they have had a sheep to shawl contest. Ever since I started spinning I have watched the Sheep to Shawl and admired the teams work. I really wanted to go see this in person this year but it just wasn't in the cards. This year there were eight teams of six, last year there were only five.

For those who don't know- in 2 1/2 hours they have to shear the sheep, card the wool, spin the wool and weave a shawl measuring a minimum of 22" x 78" without the fringe. The fringe has to also measure a minimum of 5 inches on each end. The looms are prewarped in whatever the teams have decided. Awards are given for shearer, fleece, team choice, weaver, spinners and shawl. They are judged on their attire, display, attitude etc etc. Speed helps but the fastest is not always the winner.

It was suppose to start at 3 pm, judging at 6 pm and auction at 6:30 pm. Well PCN (Pa Cable Network) said it would air it all. So I got home in enough time to program the DVD recorder and settle in with my tissues and coffee. Tissues are for the head cold I have not for cryiing over the fact that my team didn't win or anything like that.

Well 3 pm came and the shearers started shearing- border leicester, shetland, romney and finn. I have spun the border leicester and shetland and loved them. Have to talk to Grace about some finn this year. As soon as the carders started carding and the spinners started spinning I had to go get my wheel. I started spinning some wool/angora mix that was in a kit Cyndy gave me for Christmas. The kit is from Countrywool and will make a pair of mittens just for me. I was going to wait until I got my other wheel (yes Curt said I could have the Traveler) to do this but didn't have anything else handy. So I spun and watched what I could as it kept blinking in and out.
Then they turned it over to the pony pull and they were to go back to the sheep to shawl at 6pm.

I watched pony pulling until 8:50 all of which came in almost blink free. So 8:50 pm they went to the awards and it started blinking in and out. Then they showed the first shawl being auctioned and then THE END. My jaw hit the judging, handful of awards and only one auction?! PCN was on my list. I came into the computer to find out the results and see what the other shawls went for and found nothing. I googled this morning to fnd results and nothing. This is a major event at the farm show and doesn't even get a blip on the 12th page?!?

I even went to PCN and PA Ag page to see pictures and nothing. No results no pics .....I am disgusted. But I found out they are rerunning the show at 9:45 and will try to watch it then to see more.

Not positive on all of this but this is what I could see/hear between blinks
1st Red Rose Treadling Toes from Lancaster Cty------- This is a new team, they were the first off the loom and first done. They all wore red bandana's and roses were everywhere. Shawl looked to be purple and red and they plied the weft which the others didn't. Sold for $350 at auction-- last years first place sold for $1200 so that was disappointing.

2nd Carl and the not so lazy kates from Montour Cty---------A returning team. Their inspiration was a piece of fused glass. Shawl was yellow. blues and green.

3rd Yorktown Spinners----- Another returning team. Their warp was part mohair and the weft was border leicester. The felted vests they wore were fall colors with fall decorations of leaves,gourds, pumpkins. The shawl was golds, burgandies orange (fall colors). They were the third group off the loom. If I remember correctly they have the record for highest price paid for one of their shawls.

4th Butler Cty Pedalers-----Another returning team. Their inspiraton was a picture of the Grand Canyon. The shawl was blue, red and sandstone.

5th Fast and Fiberous (4-H group from York Cty) Their shawl was all natural colored with no dyes. It was gray, black, white. They were the second off the loom and second done.

6th Warp 6 is from Mifflin Cty------A new team, they used a Finn sheep and dyed their warp with pokeberry which was gorgeous. The shawl looked reddish with white honeycomb.

7th 2 rams, 2 lambs ewe and me----A returning team. Didn't see much coverage on theirs.

8th Loose Threads-----A new team which had a shawl that was gary and white with a (excuse me I don't weave) up and down zigzag (think heart machine)

Cheers to all the teams. I know I couldn't do it with the pressure and the camera's literally in your face. I will sit at home and spin with them though!
So I am off to do house work before the show goes on at 9:45 and hopefully it won't blink in and out and I will get more info.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I am ALIVE!!!!!

I went to the doctor today and actually survived the experience! With some prompting from friends and family I decided I had better do this as I haven't been to a doctor since the last kid was born....10 years ago. I thought my blood pressure was going to be sky high from the stress of having to be there (hate offense to any) and it was excellent! Have a bunch of tests they want done so I guess I will be seeing more of them.

Now when I came home my bp did go sky high when I had to deal with no dsl on the new computer. After a lengthy conversation with individuals that can just barely speak English I now have internet but no firewall. Will have to call tomorrow and see if I can get one I understand and also try to take paid subscription from old computer and move to new one.
I lost internet before Christmas, got a new modem from my IP on 12/27 which worked for 4 hours. Sat on the phone with customer service they were of no help said it was a server problem/my computer...Bought new computer still no dsl...called customer service went thru 3 different techs still no dsl. Made an appt for line maintenance which they said must be the problem this was later cancelled by the IP as I bought a 50 ft phone cord and plugged it from their box directly into the modem. The $5.96 was much easier to deal with than $55/hour when I knew it wasn't my lines. They came yesterday with a laptop, gave me another new modem, hooked up the new dsl, hooked up old computer and it had dsl. Tech told me the new computer was a used one because it had spam and viruses and he had never seen a computer with Rhapsody and AOL Latino on it...NEWS ALERT all computers sold in the last three weeks have it. Also I did a virus/spam/adware scan and it was clean. So he is an arrogant ass and I had 790 emails since 12/28 all of which I deleted because I couldn't handle them me again and I promise I won't earase it as long as my dsl comtinues to work!

But with the lack of internet came the extra time.....I knit the Garter Stitch Gloves,

a mobius scarf in seed stitch, and a pair of slipper socks. I also took the Branching Out Scarf which I had started ages ago and said there is no way I am going to finish this as a scarf so I knit one more repeat and the end and turned it into a headband/earwarmer whatever you want to call is another FO. And I am presently knitting a pair of socks in fingerling weight wool and I am about to the toe decrease area on the first one.

Now moving on to the kitten....He has grown so much he can now wrestle alligators...He even does the death roll with them. Impressive isn't it?! It is his favorite toy along with a little mouse that squeaks when he moves it...the more he moves it the more it squeaks. Since the alligator is quieter it is my favorite toy for him! Still reminds me of Jess because he is sooooo ballsy! He walks right in front of the dogs with this swagger like "I dare you"

Speaking of Jess she will be home next month. Her friends that she was bunking with got transferred so for the time being she has her shack all to herself! She called saying that her time might be extended until October but I did read the email from the MG which stated that this was only a rumor and they would all be home in June as priorly stated. All I can say is Hoorah!!!!!