Saturday, July 28, 2007

Tech Support

Mom can erase this and fill in the info.
What fun would erasing your contribution be? I'll just work around it, shall I? After all, we're in this together and heaven knows, I couldn't do without you. Besides, I still love you because you're my daughter and not just because you happen to be really, really good at being my techie.

Mamaw and her scarf.
It isn't a scarf, dear Techie, it's actually a shawl but she wouldn't hold it wide so I could show this.

Josie's socks. Yes, Tech Support Kelly is correct. I definitely need to improve my photo taking skills. Even she, with all her expertise and fancy software, couldn't unblur (de-blur?) this pic. But you get the general idea....I can't quite remember the yarn due to throwing the ball band away after I knit the first pair of socks out of the skein, those being for my feet, but do think they had something like "Raggi" in the title. I do like the yarn though and hope I can recognize it if I ever come across it again.

Yellow yarn. But not just any yellow yarn. This is 100% Masham, handdyed from Black Bunny Fibers and my favorite I've spun so far. I spindle-spun half of it and wheel-spun the other half and then plied them together. The spindle-spun yarn was a tad bit more energized than it should ideally have been but I washed the yarn and then dried it with the weight on it method. I think it will bias well in knitting it up and it's intended to be wrist-warmers for this winter.

Sweater: The Merry Sweater for Bridget. An Elsebeth Lavold design, done in Hempathy. I love the colors, the feel of the yarn. The photo frankly doesn't do much for it. Let's just say it's still "under construction" and forgive it's general lack of looking as good here as it will when it's finished.

Mom's (That's me, the mom of Tech Support and slave to the Brown Dog) flowers:
Pink ice. I didn't think it would bloom this year but then I found it in full color, 3 weeks later than it was supposed to have bloomed.

Storm's A Comin'
This has been just about an every afternoon sight. Not quite as pretty as this one was, with the trailers of light streaming through the storm clouds but definitely have been being hit with daily thunderstorms and some nasty lightning. One of the reasons the blogging has been behind. Not too smart to try to do anything on the computer when the lightning is dancing about the house that you chose to build on a hilltop.

Pedro prefers the Vintage Look

Well, Pedro says he'll think about whether or not he prefers this vintage look to the original "modern" photo. He's willing to see if it gets any positive comments once we ever manage to get comments at all.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Soggy, soggy, and more sogginess

This has been the view from the front porch the past few days. The view, that is, when it isn't either pouring rain, flashing lightning, or doing both at the same time. I'd love to post the pretty pictures of the bright yellow Masham yarn I spun to offset this gloom but my photo editor and all-around tech support person (aka Kelly) hasn't gotten around to editing my newest photos due to having 2 babies to deal with and attempting to read Harry Potter in between the baby-dealing. I'm not fussing about this since I have Mamaw on me because I can't seem to get the photos my brother took on his digital camera (which used to be mine) to get off the camera card and onto my computer. I have practically stood on my head trying every option I can to get this to happen and all of them have failed. Now this camera never acted like this with me. And I know there are pictures on the darned thing-I can see them on the digital camera screen. They just prefer to stay where they are. So this photo of a storm brewing on the horizon is doubly appropriate since it is positioned over Mamaw's house and is probably being partially generated by her irritation at my failure to comply with her instructions.
I did go to weaving last night. I most definitely missed my friend, Martha, greatly because it allowed Evelyn, our teacher, to focus her full attention on me. Before this, I've been able to quietly slip my mistakes by and fix them without being caught since she was helping Martha. (Yes, Martha, I DO appreciate the distractions you create in class!) However, I was well and truly taught last night. I did manage to finish winding all of my warp, which seem to be an endless chore, and start warping. I only got 10 ends on before class ended and I was totally paranoid all the way home that the rest of the warp would fall off and I'd lose my cross and well, that would be a total tangled disaster. I did successfully get home without having to jam on the brakes or make any other sudden manuvers that might have juggled the loom.

I finished up the baby socks last night but again, the photos are with Kel. Please do not expect wonderful photos. She has informed me that my photography skills are sadly lacking and most of what I sent her was out of focus. Yet another blow to my ego.

So, in an attempt to divert you from the fact that I haven't any spinning, weaving, or knitting to show you, here is the one flower I did manage to grow successfully this summer. My clematis. It was only a small twig with 2 blooms last year but had a ton of blossoms this year. Good thing, nothing else quite managed to recover from our late frost.

Now that I've prattled on about little of nothing, I think I'll go and do some actual knitting. I found out last night that yet another friend is joining the ranks of grandmother-hood and I will need to add to the list of baby items I want to knit. Please note the "want". If only there wasn't a need for sleep, I might actually finish up all the items I want to knit, to weave, and to spin before I run out of time to do such things.

Bridget would say, would you like a lollipop with that whine?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What A Way To Begin

Well, I want it to be known that I am in the process of overcoming some of my fears and inhibitions. I joined Mystery Stole 3 in order to have someone(s) hold my hand while I work my way through my first large-scale lace knitting project. Melanie, the kind and yet brilliant designer of this and other Mystery Stoles, as well as some other killer lace and sock designs, can be found at Pink Lemon Twist

I did my obligatory swatching. In fact, I did several swatches on several sizes of needles, trying to decide which looked best. I then aggravated the crap out of my friends (those with email access anyway) by emailing them numerous photos of said swatches and repeatedly asking which looked better?

Yes, not only did I not rotate them so they could look at them easier, I bugged them to death to about exactly why they thought what they did when they gave me an answer. Finally, Eileen send me an email mentioning something about feeling she was in the optometrist's office, being asked, A or B? click. Now, B or A? click. So I just went with the size 3 needles and quit the procrastinating which was really an attempt to camouflage my fear of beginning.

Progress so far:

Yes, it is very yellow and I never wear yellow. And it's kinda blurry. My daughter got all the photography skills in this family. Hey, Kel, I'll send you the next one to edit before I post it. I am still bemused by the yellow. It's kind of like this strange compulsion has come over me and demanded first of all that I buy the yellow lace weight from Black Bunny Fibers
And then it's making me knit it. Yet I look like someone with a horrible case of jaundice when I wear yellow. This should turn out interesting, eh?

I am now on Clue 2, around row 280, forgive my forgetting the exact row, Harry Potter arrived on Saturday and I took an HP break. After staying up and reading HP for 7 straight hours, I was rather fatigued when I discovered it was 4 am Sunday morning and needless to say, there hasn't been any further lace knitting while I wait for my brain to recover from Potter-induced fog. I have worked diligently on the Merry sweater for Bridget and kitchenered the shoulders together last night. Now I have to work out the best way to do the sleeves, which, of course, will involve ignoring the very competent, if somewhat skimpy, instructions of Elsebeth Lavold, the designer. I do want to throw in a plug for the Hempathy yarn I'm using for this. I love the stuff and think Bridget will, too. The child tends to run toward the warm side, even in the most freezing weather, and this will keep her from looking like the sweaty little girl she turns into when bundled up in regular winter wear.

The Brown Dog apologizes for having me stand in and do his first post for him. He had a trip to the vet yesterday for shots and stocking up on flea preventives and heartworm meds and is still rather shaken about the whole ordeal. Personally, I am still trying to get all the hair he shed off me. It's just really too bad he's so short-haired I can't spin the stuff. I'd never have to be roving again. He does say hi, however, and wanted a photo included, too, since he wanted to prove he's not always snarling or seeming to do so:

That's his pathetic look. He has this delusion that it'll get him chicken jerky.

On the roving/spinning side of things, I have progressed to my fourth roving being spun up now. Compare the first yarn, the white, in case you can't guess from all the lumpy bumpiness, to the purple, which was traded away for some very nice alpaca to practice on:

To follow this week, I have to finish the finishing details on my first weaving, a learning sampler. All I need to do is sew the top down over the dowel and trim the fringe but that involves sewing. I may do all these other fiber arts but I frankly hate sewing, even a button. But I have to have it done for Wednesday night's weaving. And somehow, we have to wrestle the Big Dog, Nuisance, and the 2 cats, Sylvester and Ollie, who thinks he's Evil Incarnate Walking the Earth (I am not arguing this point either) into carriers and take them to the vet for their shots. Let the vet worry about getting Ollie back into the carrier if they're foolish enough to take him completely out. We're still scarred from the last time we did this.