Friday, February 26, 2010

It's been a while....a CYG sighting!

"What the hell is THAT and what the hell are you DOING with it?"

Now that's the start to a CYG (Crazy Yarn Girl) kind of a day at the good old business park. That whole WORKING a 40+ hour job sure gets in the way of knitting, spinning, raveling, blogging, and PHOTOGRAPHING. A Crazy Yarn Girl's gotta take advantage of good natural light & grab a few moments when & where ever she can, right? Hopped out of the truck this morning, realized that the patch of snow next to the parking lot is just screaming to be the perfect background to a quick photo of my WIPs, so of course I unloaded the bag, dug out yarn, projects, various implements of destruction, camera, and went to it. Now, anyone that's actually TAKEN shots of yarn and knitted objects knows that you just can't stand casually by and take a picture from above. Well, ok. You can. And I did for many years. If you want to take a GOOD shot, you should be perpendicular to the sunlight, you should also get DOWN next to your yarn/subject of the photo. Down on to "eye level", which is a trip when you've got a couple bags full of crap and are in your work's parking lot, which happens to be full of a muddy/snowy mix.

After scanning the lot, thought the coast was clear for a quick shot and went to work. Well, I about jumped out of my skin when I heard the "What the hell...." remark. Usually the business folk just glance at me, look away quickly and start sidling to the other side of the sidewalk/hallway/elevator. Not this guy. Ah well. I packed up my stuff, said "I'm a knitter" and calmly walked into the building next to him. He thought about it a while, then as he stepped out of the elevator he said, "You know, I've seen knitters. They sit. They knit. I've never seen one crawling about in the snow before. I guess they do that too, huh?" I said "guess so" and went on up to my floor.

Got to the office and two of the guys I work with asked if I was building a campfire out there or what. I said "knitting photo shoot" and they said, "oooohhhhh. yeah. forgot about that." Somehow I always forget that the building I work with is made ENTIRELY of windows (floor to ceiling). :) Ah well. You gotta grab the shots when you get a chance.

That's me. Furthering the image of knitters from "people that sit and knit" to "people that sit and knit and sometimes crawl about." Kind of makes you wish you'd voted on a better representative of the art, huh? I figure the Yarn Harlot can only make so many appearances. The rest of us have to make up the slack.

WELL, I figured out what was wrong with my lack of knitting mojo. (thanks for the good vibes via comments people! It's good to know that I'm not the only one that occasionally freaks out about it.) My WIPS were pitiful. I usually have at least 12 items on the needles, ready to pick up and knit for whatever mood I happened to be in. I had no WIPS to fall back on. No good tv-watching knit project, no sitting & talking but basically paying attention project. No DON'T TALK TO ME I'M KNITTING LACE project. No garter stitch love project. I had one cable sweater in timeout and a couple of socks on the needles. That's it. No wonder I didn't feel like knitting anything.

I went digging, DEEP diving into the nether regions of the stash. First, because I'd actually LOST a skein of sockyarn that I'd sold on ravelry. Well, after I found it IN the SOCKYARN part of the stash I realized that I have no freaking idea what I've got in there anymore. Seriously? You can lose your yarn IN the rest of your yarn? Blows the mind. After digging a while longer, I unearthed the euroflax linen skirt (in eggplant colorway) I'd started last spring (shown above) and the most recent sock cast on in some lovely Scarlet Fleece Grassy Wool, a gift from CheryKnits. I also have decided I'm going to cast on 12 more items until I'm back to a normal crazy level of wips. Ok, now I'm so excited about knitting again! YAY! The cast on.....the anticipation...the KNITTING!

Oh, and the olympic knitting project? Frogged in an olympic manner. I feel ever so much better now.

May all your knitting go well and your mojo be strong! I'm planning on knitting this weekend....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Man, I LOVE the smell of vinegar in the morning!

The only hard part is being patient enough to let it cool all dang day long before I go digging in there! Kettle dying is such fun, you never quite know what you're gonna pull out of that pot. Some of my most spectacular creations have come out of a kettle pot. (spectacular good and spectacular horrid). I'm crossing fingers for spectacular good on these. We'll see.... laceweight in both pots. Some for plying with art yarns and some for sale at my KITH vendor booth (Knitting in the Heartland, click HERE for info on classes & vendor market!)

Now I should mention that my yarn & fiber don't smell like vinegar AFTER they're rinsed, soaked in gentle fiber wash and re-rinsed. They're quite lovely when I'm through with them. I just have found that I love the smell of wet wool and vinegar combined. I think it's due to my first project ever knitted, a garter stitch scarf out of Schaefer Elaine. Now, that's a yarn you still get a whiff of vinegary wooliness when you pull a project out of a ziplock bag! I think I can STILL get just a hint of vinegar smell even after all these years. I love that stuff.

I've decided I quite honestly HATE my olympic knitting project. Hate it real good. I not only now hate the project, I've come to hate the yarn as well. The sad part? I'm still knitting it. Not because I'm a woman that follows through with what I start (hello startitis?) but because I couldn't figure out anything else I wanted to knit. And sitting & watching the olympics or sitting at a doctor's office or sitting at a stoplight for that matter, would make me INfreakingSANE without the knitting.

Have you ever done that? Been in a mood where you just had to knit, but were too discombobulated to decide WHAT to knit? It's a freaky thing. Running about my house FULL of yarn, needles, patterns, computer (ravelry) and NO freaking idea of what to knit. Yes, I have at least 3 pair of socks on the needles, but the thought of picking one of them up makes my eyeballs itch. I was having a true episode last night. Finally gave up and decided to predraft some fiber for spinning. I sat there pulling fiber to bits for a couple of hours until my hands were all crippled up. It was pitiful. I think I'll just put the project into timeout and pretend it doesn't exist. I can surely find at least 400 skeins of yarn to hide it under, so we should be good. Maybe it'll look better to me on another day.

Come to think of it, I think I've still got a skein of Schaefer Elaine in the stash....I could maybe break that out. Maybe my Migraine Blanket could use another band of color......This blanket is the result of knitting up all the bits left over after my first year's knitting everyone I knew a schaefer scarf. It's called the Migraine Scarf because if you whirl it around in a circle, that's exactly what it looks like at the start of one of my little episodes.

Monday, February 22, 2010

More snow and slush....oh, my bad. Sorry about that!

Yeah. This last winter's blast over KC is probably my fault. You see, the last time we had that pretty snow with just about 4 inches on the ground I was thinking it would be PERFECT for photographing some of my handspun yarn. Nature's own lightbox. The only problem was, well, I occasionally procrastinate. Each day I'd get home from work and think, OH, I should go do my photo shoot. Each day I had a few more skeins of yarn ready to shoot. Each day I'd say "Oh, I'll wait for tomorrow....." Then when we got that drizzling rain which melted almost all the snow away I thought, "Man, if I could only have one more pretty little snow for my photoshoot, I wish...." and the rest is history.

I apologize. See, I'm still used to the universe using my life as its personal toilet, never expecting to actually GET something I wanted! Apparently I've sacrificed enough (truck, eyeball, back, sanity) that we've evened back out to a NORMAL life with a NORMAL level of strange things occurring around me, or at least as normal as my life gets. I did decide I'd better get my arse outside and start shooting yarn pics so jacking with the weather patterns wasn't all in vain.

Another sign that the universe is happier with me & my family? We went to the farm yesterday in the snow/freezing rain/MUD mix and took the whole batch of young-in's for some serious wood chucking at the farm. We put the 4 wheel drive to the ultimate test, through what USED to be a field and had become a nice little raging river, mudpit, etc to the monster hedge tree pile. This pile was from at least 25 big, monster trees that were uprooted years back. We've been chain-sawing & log splitting off this pile for over 3 years now and we pretty much heat the house each winter 90% on wood heat. We climbed, we chainsawed, we log split with an old crochety machine that belched black smoke, we threw chunks of wood onto the industrial sized trailer, and the 4 kids spent most of the day way off in the wilderness jumping over the creek/river in the freezing temperatures where I couldn't see or hear them. They had adventures that makes me glad that I wasn't able to see or hear them.

We returned home with all fingers, toes and teeth accounted for. It was a good day!

Is anyone else tired of their ravelympics project and totally wants to cast on for another project entirely? Or is that just me?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cha cha cha changes....

Man, this blog has turned into a whining here's what-the-universe-crapped-up-on-me-today kind of blog, hasn't it? Well, it's time to get back to what this blog's always been about. Knitting, Fiber Addiction and Critters. :)

First, though, I figured I'd better let you know that I was NOT involved in any of the multiple car pile-up wrecks all over KC this past weekend. MAN they were horrid. I can't believe no one was killed in that big 40 car wreck on I-70. Amazing.

Momma DID get herself a new truck. A big arse truck. A sweet truck with amazing leather innerds. Can't you see some sweet stoplight/parking lot knitting in there? I'm thinking NO GO on the whole I-70/highway knitting in this bad boy. Sticking to parked knitting only. Heated seats, remote start, 4 wheel drive and FREAKING HUGE. The only issue is parking it in our little bitty normal sized garage. After hitting the button to make the mirrors pull in, I've got EXACTLY SIX INCHES CLEARANCE on the sides. That's SIX INCHES TOTAL, 3 freaking inches on each side. I pull forward until I'm 2 inches from the back wall and the door closes with about 2 inches there as well. I sweat like a pig every time I park the damn thing, but I do love it. (Those aren't actual pictures of MY truck, but it's the same model. Notice there's palm trees in the background instead of COLD WHITE SNOW?)

SO, more cha cha cha changes... I'm working on a major revamp of my etsy shop. There's just a bajillion really amazing yarn & fiber dyers out there that I can't compete with. I do good stuff. I love my stuff and everyone that's bought from me has been pleased (or at least that's what they said). I love it too. BUT I'm not making money at it. I'm actually quite honestly LOSING money. And the time.......sweet mother! I knew I was starting out too broad by offering hand dyed fiber, hand dyed yarn, AND handspun yarn, but I had to in order to find out A) what I was good at; B) what I enjoyed; and C) where the profit was. I'm thinking my niche is going to be changing from EVERYTHING FIBER RELATED to handspun yarn with a focus on kits/patterns/designs that feature my own little Art Yarn for the Mild at Heart theory of life. I'll still throw in the batch of hand dyed sockyarn and laceweight now & then, but am going to focus on spinning my arse off and seeing if I can create some of the images floating in my brain into actual yarny content. There's so much fabulous art yarn out there, I think there's a real need for more good patterns to be able to KNIT and WEAR that yarn too! Almost ready to go is a small arsenal of patterns & kits including....COMING SOON to an etsy shop near you.....and a Knitting in the Heartland Vendor table near you...... TreasureGoddess handspun art yarn Kits and Patterns! I just need a few more hours and a few less demands/disasters each day. No worries, right?

Critter update...still have a partially dried/tanned raccoon skin drying in the garage. Now have a pretty little pink casket (made from a tissue box) with a dead mouse in it waiting on the ground to unfreeze for burial in the garage also. Chuckette Norris is dead. (no sighing or awwwwwing allowed. You may now join me in a big WOO HOO! WOO HOO!!!) Yes, I realize a "good mother" would be a little more tactful. I'm not doing my happy dance in front of the children or anything. I was appropriately sad and dignified when told the critter was no longer with us. Or actually, she's STILL WITH US RIGHT NOW but she's no longer pooping on various parts of my house (since Jeff & the kids always took the little poop machine out to play). Now I'm trying to convince the man and the children that we really REALLY don't want to replace this final mouse (at once point we had FOUR) with a big ugly black rat. *shudder*

Happy Olympic Knitting everyone! My project is the Whisper Cardigan from Interweave Knits Spring 2009, a laceweight cardigan. I'm using the yarn I frogged from my Elizabeth Zimmermann's pie shawl disaster...remember the appendage? Hoping this project turns out a bit more wearable!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Now we've pissed off the Tooth Fairy???

Seriously? Mother Nature used to be trying to maim me (tick attacks, big spiders, tornados, floods, etc). THEN the universe had its fun (laptop hot tea incident, truck engine blowing, replacing engine and paying $7101, totaling said truck THE VERY NEXT DAY, eye issues, back issues, etc.) NOW the TOOTH FAIRY'S PISSED OFF TOO! WTF?

OK, Thanks to Chelle I have an appointment with a dentist tomorrow to take care of my broken molar and the pain coming from the side of my jaw. The first word I saw on their website was "PAINLESS" so I'm in. YAY Chelle!

Just got off the phone about 1/2 hour ago that the youngest Weasley child had "an incident" on the playground. Apparently he and another kid had a collision while running about. Half of Joey's front (PERMANENT) tooth broke off INTO THE OTHER KID'S HEAD! They couldn't find the tooth half, it's somewhere lost in the snow and muck on the playground. Both boys are ok, Joey's mouth's a bit sore, but no pain from the tooth (Thank Goodness!) but the other boy had to go to the hospital to get stitches. Poor kid! Husband went to check on Joey and to crawl around the playground looking for the other half. Not there. He said Joey's actually feeling ok and is quite the celebrity going around showing everyone his tooth. Sweet. This isn't our first Weasley-Tooth incident....True Hillbilly Holiday in the Ozarks.

Cripes Almighty. I already recycle to appease Mother Nature. I try to be extra kind and patient (I said TRY, quit laughing) to appease the Universe. I pray. I live by the 10 commandments. What the HECK do I do to get the Tooth Fairy off my back now? It's bad enough when the world is trying to fuxx with me, I can handle that. I complain and curse and carry on, but I handle it. NOW it's fuxxing with my kids. LEAVE THE WEASLEYS ALONE! I'm not sure how to go all Molly Weasley on the Universe, but I'll find a way, then WATCH OUT!

Now, on to more stress-free yarny subjects....
Knitting in the Heartland is an event held by the Sunflower Knitters Guild every two years. IT ROCKS! March 27-28 at the Ramada Inn on Shawnee Mission Pkwy in Overland Park, KS. Our featured class instructor/designer is Melissa Leapman. Click HERE or the sheep above for a link with more info, class schedules or to register. We're accepting paypal this year as well! There's a big vendor market (WOO HOO!) with tons of yarn, fiber, fibery related things, jewelry, etc.

I'll have a vendor table with (hopefully) a ton of art yarn, handspun yarn and art yarn kits. I'm also teaching a class on Knitting With Art Yarn. If you love the look of all that art yarn and handspun yarn but are not sure what the heck to actually DO with it, I'm your woman. :) Come for the classes, or just come to shop or hang out with all those fiber loving people!

You know, I love that quote from Elizabeth Zimmermann, "Knit on, with confidence and hope, through all crises." I've been putting that quote to the test these past few months. Knitting has helped me retain my sanity through these little fuxx-ups crises. I'm thinking EZ was talking about those major tragedies of life, not "Knit on, when your kid knocks his tooth into another kid's head and you're waiting in the dentist's office" or "Knit on, when your freaky life is making you bat shxt crazy." Somehow, I'm sure Elizabeth would think it still applies.

Closing with a few pics of goodies I'm working on for my Knitting with Art Yarn class and vendor table...

*****Comments disclaimer****** My haloscan commenting software is now dead and has been replaced by Echo. Please continue to leave comments. I love them. It lets me know people are out there. :) The main issue with Echo is I have NO INFO on email addys or links to your blogs or ANYTHING IMPORTANT to help me contact you. I've tried to email back a little "thank you" or respond to comments via email, and for the short future I'll not be able to unless I happen to know your email already. I know, I know, KNIT ON!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


My son's been missing a lot of school lately due to a battle with a lung infection. He's got CF (cystic fibrosis), a lung & digestive disease and is usually healthy as a cow, but lately has been having a tough time. The youngest Weasley is finally on the mend and back at school. One afternoon he created me my very own KNIT ATTACK CARD. The kids are still into pokemon cards/video games, etc. My creature is called SOCK YARN and it has varied attacks, STITCHES--where it wrappes up its opposition in knots of yarn and my very favorite, the NEEDLE JAB, or as it's written, the "Neddle Jab", with 380 stars, very powerful dpns I'm guessing. How much does that rock? Quite a lot, thank you very much.

Still seeing doctors for both the eye & back. I did get to retire the neck support/cone of shame, but now I'm having adventures with the lower back. :) SO, in my pre-laptop splashing/truck engine blowing up/truck wreck/totaling days, I broke a tooth. Combining the fact that my life's been just a TITCH crazy lately with the fact that I have a deathly fear of dentists & unbelievably sensitive teeth, I've put off the appointment to get it fixed. Now, it's not happy. REALLY not happy. 3 ibuprofins-not-working-any-more not happy. I'm going to have to go dig through old emails to find the recommendations I asked for from Nov. when this happened originally. If anyone knows a very nice dentist that doesn't make people cry and is a fan of using laughing gas or any other mood enhancing/keeping me from climbing up the walls/medicine in the KC area, feel free to send me the name!

There has been knitting....
I love me some garter stitch. I think it's beautiful, it has character, it's SQUOOSHY, it rocks. The only thing I love more than garter stitch is garter stitch in thick & thin handspun yarn. This stuff is SOOOOOOO soft and SOOOOOOO Squooshy. My aunt in California, that retired to become "a knitress" taught my aunt here in KC to knit. She got her started, gave her some fabulous handspun, a set of needles, supervised a few rows of the scarf and sent her back to KC. That start's been sitting ever since patiently waiting. After deciding she's really not going to be a knitter, my aunt gave me the yarn. Instead of hoarding it for myself (which I totally would do) I completed the scarf and gave it back to Aunt Angie. :) It's been a LONG time since I've made a garter stitch scarf. My first year of knitting (after I got over the fun fur phase-of which we do not speak) I got addicted to Schafer Elaine bumpy yarn. MAN I love that stuff. I'm still a sucker for the colors, the texture, the vinegary smell..... If you don't have any handspun thick & thin yarn hanging about it's a nice option for an interesting garter stitch project!

You know, I've now got an aunt & cousin that have been taught to knit, but have resisted. Some would think that would bother me. HOW could they not want to knit obsessively every waking moment? I'm ok with it. I always know what to get them for presents (something knitted) and it means more yarn for me, right?

Last night as I was "chucking wood" aka filling our woodstove that heats the house, I had a revelation. Shotgun? check. Wood Stove? check. Old world health remedies (mustard packs, honey, vinegar, etc) used on the family? check. Fiber cooking in big pots on the stove? check. Dead varmit staked out in the shed? (garage)-check. Man, I'm a half-tooth away from being a one-eyed, crippled up version of Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies. Wonder if Granny knit?

Monday, February 08, 2010

Guess what he found by the side of the road this time...

Yes, my husband is dragging things he finds by the side of the road home again. This time I'm quite pleased. (It doesn't poop, smell or need to be gutted and stuck to a board in our garage!) It's an oak quilt rack he found with a "FREE" sign on it, sitting by the roadside in KC, MO. YAY! After minimal cleaning, it was soon put to work in its new job....fiber drying/display.

I told you I was going to bury myself in fiber, right? Well I did. I spent most of the weekend up to my elbows in wet fiber and dye. MAN there's nothing better than the smell of wet wool in the morning. I'm so envious of those uber-dyers/spinners out there that can make this their living. Waking up, rinsing & hanging out freshly dyed spinning fiber & yarn is the perfect way to start your day. *sigh* Someday....

That last pic is 16 oz of kettle dyed silk roving. mmmmmmmm It rocks. Not sure what the heck I'm going to do with a pound of hand dyed silk, but I'm thinking it needs to stay mine. Also, any guesses which of the hand dyed roving hanging on the oak roadkill rack I'm keeping for my very own? I'll give you a hint. It starts with "O" and ends with "range". It also rocks very much. TWO POUNDS of this heavenly blend of merino/alpaca/silk in my very favoritest color of all. It will have to become a sweater someday, but no ideas of what or even if I'll 2 ply, 3 ply, or whatever.

I'm finally able to spin again! YAY! My back's been giving me troubles with it, but I finally had a few sessions where something was accomplished at the wheel! WOO HOO!

OK, enough photos for today. Knit/Spin/Dye/Crochet your arse off, ok?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Momma had a hard day....

and is burying herself in fiber. Much Much fiber. It's good to be a knitter. and a spinner. :)

Feeling better but not coming out until tomorrow. What do non-knitters do?

I'll be back soon with pretty pictures of wips and fo's and spun yarn. For now, just know it's sure nice to have "the innernets" as Jeff's Grandpa used to say. I also now say "CN&N" just like m&m for him too. You know, "yup, it has to be true. I saw it on the cn and n."

Spinning & knitting & going to bed early.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The C word again....

Have you seen Hello Yarn's fabulous giant granny square noro blanket? It's fabulous. Made from 10 skeins of noro big kureyon. Well, after seeing her blanket on Friday evening, I got to thinking that I happen to have 9 skeins of regular sized noro kureyon under my bed.... Man, sometimes I wish I had a video camera around as I was totally possessed by this idea. I WOULD crochet my noro RIGHT THEN. It didn't matter that it was WAY WAY WAY in the middle of the floor under our king sized bed. It didn't matter that I'm still wearing my "cone of shame" neck support thing and still move about like the tin man. It didn't matter that there was NO FREAKING ROOM between my dresser and the bed and that I couldn't reach that far when I was feeling normal. Gonna. Knit. Me. A. Noro. Granny Square. If. it. freaking. killed. me. (which it almost did).

Let's just say that half way through trying to get on the floor and in a position that would let me whang around the broom to schwack the space zipper bag of noro my way I lost my balance and fell in a heap with much cursing. Then I got determined. My stupid broom would only schwack it so far, then it got stuck on a support board in the middle of the damn bed. cripes. crawled/dragged myself to the other side and since I couldn't reach the jammed bag from that side either, started finding things to jam one after another under the bed until it could knock the bag loose. Seriously, I spent over 45 minutes getting this damn yarn out from under my freaking bed. There was a little more cursing. ok, there was A LOT more cursing, but I got my yarn out! Woo HOO! (Jeff went to the farm for firewood and the kids were in the "way down" basement, so it was just a battle between me and the yarn.)

After a peaceful Friday evening and Sat am/afternoon I had me some crippled up hands and a new blanket for the couch! Here it is in all its unblocked glory...

Doesn't that give you the heebie jeebies to look at how off kilter the center is? It actually makes me shiver a bit. Not enough to throw the thing into a bucket to soak, then lay out and block, mind you. Just a shiver. I just have it on the back of the couch with the center over the back and mischief mended. :) I'll block it as noro's not the softest yarn on the planet and I'm guessing it'd grow a bit as well. The thing is pretty small, a bit larger than lap sized after all.

Now for the action shot...

I happen to think it rocks.

We will return to regularly knit scheduled programming soon....more FO's needing photo shoots...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...