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November 2006 Archives

November 1, 2006


These first three photos are my fiber in its natural habitat - except of course the pile that's on my desk in a pretty box that I forgot all about... You see up there my dining room hutch-y thing that I may now designate as THE spot, the top of a chest in the office, and all over the bookcase in the living room. My spindles and in-progress things end up there, especially now that we have a kitten in the house!

Group shots - this is almost all of it (except the stuff on the desk) and you can see that Indigo is supervising. She was quickly bored and quite irritated that I was using her sunny spot for my photo shoot.

That's merino/tencel above on the left- so silky and shiny, and a pound of BFL on the right, waiting for my wheel to arrive (when oh when will it come?).

That's LLLLLama on the left and Bombyx Silk/Merino on the right - 4oz of each to play with.

On the left is a half pound of Corriedale - I spun up the other 1/2lb into a nice two-ply on my drop spindles, and will probably do the same with the rest so I can maybe make a vest... And two pounds of chocolately, soft Corriedale cross - definitely waiting for the wheel, and I'll either make a bazillion socks or a vest for DH.

Random little bits of stuff on the left - some have their own closeups, and the white stuff on the top right of that photo is Tussah/Merino/Alpaca - so light and sooooo soft there are no words. On the right are those crazy wool batts I got at the VA Fiber Fest. I just love looking at them!

4oz of silk hankies I dyed with koolaid - I love this stuff and I'm definitely saving it for the wheel. I have another 2oz undyed to play with too.

I didn't get around to a group shot on the handspun and I'm going to edit this one more time later so I can add the missing fiber from the desk - it's all the pretty hand-dyed stuff!

How long do you think it will take to spin all this stuff once I get my wheel? We're going to family for turkey day and I couldn't sleep last night wondering if I should be ordering tons of fiber to take with me on the plane. Of course the wheel is going - silly question!

November 3, 2006


I have absolutely nothing exciting to say as I wait in this wheel-less limboland. I know The Woolery will send me my Lendrum the minute it arrives, but as they told me when I made the order three weeks ago, the Lendrum man is reliably backlogged. I'm knitting away on a Tubey and some samples for a designer, but my mind is whirling with thoughts of spinning. Not the kind of spinning that my drop spindles can satisfy. Not that I have any clue, as I've spent approximately four whole minutes (total) at a spinning wheel in two different sessions, and both times (in public places, mind you) freaked out, got performance anxiety, jumped up and ran away to hide.

So, instead of pretty yarn pictures, or a wheel in action, I leave you on this Friday evening with the incredibly photogenic, thinks she's so clever, just discovered she can get into the bathroom sink, truly irresistable beast that is the Bluefish. PS - How horrible is the light in my bathroom? No wonder I look so awful in the mornings!

new spot

November 7, 2006

Okay, now what?

Just kidding (sort of) - it's here! (she's here? he's here? I'm not sure yet) The UPS man, who has been on my street 5 out of the last 6 times I was home for lunch, was nowhere to be seen at lunch today. But, here's what I saw when I hit my porch after work:

lendrum dt

And after assembly, ta-da:

I managed to tie on some old sock yarn to play with, and I think I've figured out that the brake has to be set just so to get the yarn to take up. The Woolery sent 8oz of white Wensleydale to play with, so that's what I'll experiment with tonight.

I guess I assumed there'd be a manual included, but no. I'm a teeny bit intimidated by this - but why? It's MINE, I can do anything I want with it, and I'll most likely produce some craptastic yarn tonight (if any at all), and I'm home alone. Right? On to it!

November 8, 2006

Life Lessons....

In spinning - amazing. I have a spinning wheel! Putting it together and then attempting to work it sans experience AND any sort of manual or good reference book caused me to work up a sweat real quick. So I summoned all my grownup skills through the evening and: took a break after assembling the wheel to eat something so I wasn't trembling with both excitement and hunger, tried just treadle-ing for a while, then played with some sock yarn to get the feel of it, and then the Wensleydale top that came with the wheel for a bit. In my most adult move of the evening, I stepped away from the wheel before I hurt it or myself, remembered the same feeling when learning to drop spindle, and spent the rest of the evening gazing at its beauty and marvelling (reveling?) at just the mere fact that a spinning wheel is now living with me!

So, without further ado, the promised first attempt - the craptastic* yarn:

I had the sock yarn soooo tightly twisted, and loads of trouble figuring out the take up part, but zowie - I got some twist into some fiber and I'm off! Here's hoping Amazon gets me my Spinner's Companion real fast!

*The vocabulary I've learned through the knittyboards is so darned useful!

November 9, 2006

And She's Off!

Much more bettah now! Who knew a rubber band could be so important. Once I got that back on, I was in business and managed to almost fill my first bobbin with Corriedale, spun at the lowest ratio, thick and thin, playing with long draw, inchworm - and mostly somwhere between the two.

While I clearly have a LOT to learn, it felt good and worked about as well as when I first started drop spindling. On the spindle I draft with my right hand, but it felt somehow more natural on the wheel to draft with my left, holding the fiber in my right. I switched back and forth - I haven't quite decided yet. I found myself speeding up with my feet when I got "in trouble," like joining new fiber, or trying to better regulate the twist. Do you hold your breath when you're concentrating? I do, and it's always a struggle to remind myself that breathing makes things so much easier!

Besides the wonderful act of spinning on my lovely new Lendrum, I'm still so darned tickled and surprised that it's living with me! I steal glances at it all the time, admire its craftmanship, daydream about pretty fiber - what more could a girl ask for? Great man, great house, great cats and now - a spinning wheel!!! Okay, a better job would make it all perfect, but one can't be too greedy, right? And I don't have to come to my job tomorrow - I'll be spinning!

Here's a random photo for you... I'm easily amused, and recently got the biggest pomegranates I've ever seen - so gorgeous I had to take a picture. That's Indigo and a small spice jar for reference. And I had chat with a little old lady at the grocery store who was also taken by their beauty and told me she used to buy them for a nickel. We discussed the poster the grocery store was displaying that suggested submerging the opened pomegranate in water to remove the little jewels, and how that seemed so silly because part of the fun of the whole deal is to pick all those little seeds out. We also compared styles - do you eat the seeds as you pick them out, or do you stockpile until you've cleaned the whole thing and then eat all at once? This applies to picking crabs too. If you stockpile, you have to be prepared for everyone within miles to want your gorgeous pile of stuff. I've never been a stockpiler, always an eat-as-you-go type, but this time I picked a whole pomegranate while making dinner. Nirvana - I could have BIG spoonfuls of the crunchy little yummies instead of one at a time. Little sistah - I'm now a convert!

November 13, 2006

Chelsea Morning

I woke up early this morning as usual, and decided to clear out TIVO while sipping my morning latte. My wonderful husband had secretly recorded a BBC Jewels show –it was Joni Mitchell from 1970. I love love love Joni, and put it right on and immediately burst into tears. I don’t know why, except that the songs are part of the soundtrack of my life. Or maybe it’s because I often weep at the sight of masters of anything – cooking, dog-training, music. It was certainly a fabulous way to start the day, and of course I had to call my aunti who’s mostly responsible for my love of Joni. Back in 1982-3ish, I bought tickets for me and two friends to see her in concert. Unfortunately, those two friends were my parents’ nightmare, and I was forbidden to go with them. Luckily, my aunti was available and surprised me – she and my mother were my dates for the show. And it was, of course, brilliant. Joni was even more fabulous because she’d just married her bass player – wonder if they’re still together. And I got to say recently, "can you believe we saw Joni 24 years ago?!" It's new that I can say things that start with 20 years ago - freaky, wonderful, and a bit scary all at once! Do you ever have mornings like me?

I promise to return to spinning and knitting content in the next post.

November 19, 2006

Random Sunday

For some unknown reason, I've been waking up at 3AM, forcing myself to stay in bed til 4AM, and then getting up and having what feels like a full day before I have to go to work. This has been going on since Wednesday - ugh. But I've gotten a lot done - some spinning, almost a whole moebius shawl, and the beginnings of another funky cable sample. Plus lots of housework too, in prep for our holiday trip to a sunny place where we get to see both my family and DH's in one fell swoop. Couldn't have planned that better - we save tons on airfare.

The moebius - what magic - incredible stuff here. I wish my brain worked like Cat Bordhi's - how did she ever figure this out? It's Blue Heron Petite Rayon Boucle in Water Hyacinth - only a few more very long rows to go. I'll finish this on the plane.

In spinning news, after trying the Welsh Top that came with my wheel (it wasn't Wensleydale as previously reported, but hey, it was at least a w sound), which is very coarse and hairy and more to Indigo's liking than mine, I went thin with some unidentified dyed roving. I think I'm so worried about putting too much twist in that I'm not putting enough. Don't the colors in that wool look remarkably similar to the moebius? I see a trend here, and it's unconscious so far.


I've also discovered that white wool is incredibly challenging to photograph well, even when the sun finally did come out this week. Daylight Savings Time sure makes it tricky to find times to take pictures - it's impeding my blogging. The good news is that it ends two weeks early for the first time this year - big yay!

I've spent a lot of today cat proofing - Bluefish the wrecking ball hesitates at nothing. She jumped on the counter and up onto a shelf from there, which she rode down from the wall as it crashed into the lazy susan full of seasonings and the crock with all of my utensils in it. Amazingly, and lucky for the Fish, nothing broke. Can't imagine what trouble she'll get into while we're away.

In the final exciting news of the weekend, we have mice in our 81 year old house - imagine that. Mice bold enough to, in broad daylight, come up on my counter to munch on the cinnamon sugar that lives by the toaster. I didn't witness this - DH did, but I now understand it's not crickets that Bluefush lays in wait for in the kitchen, it's the mice she can hear behind the dishwasher. Fun. This is the first time in my whole life I can't call the landlord to get rid of the mice. One of the many things that reminds me I'm a grownup now. Not gonna think about it til after turkey. And I'll come home with a tan, which always makes me feel better, so I'm sure the solution will come to me then.

November 22, 2006

Who turned off the heat?

But you wouldn't know it by the 9.5 pounds of tomatoes I picked off my three Juliet vines this first weekend of December.

The bad news is that I picked them because we're probably done with warm spells for the year. The good news is that we're three weeks from days getting longer. Yes, most of them are green, and I have grand plans and at least $15 in new McCormick spices to pickle these babies. Feel free to chime in if you have any great tips or tricks. I do very little vegetable gardening as I'm the only one who'll eat them in this house, but I'm obsessive about my tomatoes. Grandpa and I loved to talk tomatoes and grocery shopping - he was the tomato man - and I loved to call him to tell him when my little seedlings had just started to smell like tomatoes - we were both so tickled by that and excited for the tomatoes to come. He even went into his grave two years ago with one of my homegrown slicers - felt more appropriate than a rose. I lost my Brandywines to blight early this summer, and the sweet little Juliets didn't kick into high grear until those sickly plants had been removed. Though I've enjoyed the little ones tremendously, I didn't manage to produce a single slicer, which means I didn't have a single perfect tomato sandwich this summer. I'm a purist - it MUST be white bread, a thick shmear of mayo, salt & pepper - that's it. It goes without saying that the tomato must be perfect, which has become an extinct thing anywhere. I've hit natural produce stores, farmers markets, and farm stands from the Outer Banks to DC and they all sell the same bland, odorless, tasteless tomato. Yuck.

Wish me luck - if these pickled green cherry tomatoes work, I could be done with Christmas gifts for a bunch of folks. Especially since I don't do Christmas. But that's another story.

About November 2006

This page contains all entries posted to Dawn's Dream in November 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2006 is the previous archive.

December 2006 is the next archive.

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