Monday, January 31, 2011

A lovely weekend

While the menfolk were all outdoors working and playing the day away, I took care of getting that yarn off the curtain rod, reskeined, photographed and such. The older boys were hauling loads of muddy water out of the 4 foot deep hole in our front yard and then mixing concrete to set up for the basketball goal that Santa brought. The younger boys were snowman building, snow fort building and generally causing mayhem with much glee. (About half an hour later, the snowman's head with hat, nose, buttons, etc was found across the yard after it'd been used to launch in a snow war.

My contributions from the weekend....

I tell you, that Jaycee from Insubordiknit is awesome. She set a spark in me two years ago the first time I took a class from her and her latest class just made it worse. I love me some art yarn. I love spinning it, I love knitting with it, I love looking at it. I just love it.

I do love my own little regular bulky two ply handspun yarn too... This one's called "Be my Valentine".

I need to get another project ready for those boys so that I can have another day of spinning!

PS, the girl child apparently was having her own special day. Just found out via FACEBOOK that she's now got a boyfriend, hanging at the mall with her friends. cripes almighty. I know people have survived having daughters. I've seen it. I'm just not sure I'm strong enough. Good thing there's plenty of fiber and plenty of beer. I'm gonna need them both.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Amazing, indeed!

Have you heard about it? Seen it? SQUOOSHED it? Amazing Yarn by Lion Brand. 53% wool, 47% acrylic. Looks an awful lot like Noro Kureyon, but is SOFT and so far, no little knots with strange non-related colorways stuck in the middle. 147 yards/skein, beautiful colors, soft & fluffy and would be amazing next to the skin. I'm not a big fan of craft store yarns for knitted projects. I know it. BUT I happen to now have 6 skeins of this stuff in the cedar chest with my favorite yarns. Crazy.

I see so much potential in this yarn. And I think I'd better start printing off those 40% off coupons I get by email too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Seriously. Smokers saved my ass this weekend. I spent the weekend in Harveyville, KS, the home of Yarn School! for an art yarn spinning workshop put on by the amazing Insubordiknit Jaycee! I took her first workshop, Sit and Spin a couple years back and loved it. LOVE LOVE LOVED it. The workshop for 2011 is Softcore & Hardcore. I'm a fan of both. It always amazes me that I not only learned techniques for creating art yarns, but little tips that improve my "regular spinning" skills as well. It was a blast. AND it was at Harveyville. With Nikol's cooking, atmosphere and amazing creative people. I love that place.

Through the whole weekend I took ONE photo. That's it. I was too busy spinning, petting fibers, laughing, EATING, sleeping, relaxing, locked out in the snow in the morning when I was half nekkid. Yup. It was before 8am Sat morning. I had to run out to the van to find a charger & extension cord. No biggie. I put a robe on over my nightgown, slipped on some slippers, grabbed the keys and stuck my phone in the pocket of the robe and ran outside. Got the cords, went back to the door. damn. Locked. 8am. In a robe. NO SOCKS. SLIPPERS. In the snow. cripes almighty.

I wasn't concerned. I banged on the door. A lot. Loudly. Of course this is the FAR door. Everyone's either downstairs eating breakfast or already spinning. More door banging. Still not worried. I was smart enough to have my phone with me. I called Teri & I called Chelle (the fiber girls I drove out with). Nope. No answer. No phone coverage in the basement. Getting a bit cold now. Slightly concerned. Went slipping through the snow to the van. Foot slipped out of the slipper INTO the snow. cripes. Sat in the van, cursing the fact that I don't have internet access on my stupid phone and can't look up the phone number for Yarn School. Slippered my way back to the door and more banging. Starting to FREAK OUT by now. Figured Nikol would have to feed the sheep at some point in the day, so went through the snow in my cold, wet slippers around the school towards the sheep pen. Made it to the front door and saw a little steam rising from the ash can outside the front door. WOO HOO for the smokers! They had the front door unlocked from someone getting that nicotine hit to start the day. YAY!

20 minutes later I was wearing warm socks, CLOTHING and back down amongst the spinners. I have to say I was freaking out a bit, thinking how insane it would be to be stuck OUTSIDE while my spinning class was going on INSIDE without me! I *heart* the smokers. :)

What is it about Yarn School that turns me into a total idiot? Is it just an overload of fiber to the brain? I do have to say, I packed PLENTY of underwear. We don't want a repeat of the Yarn School, Commando Style. I was prepared. I was just an idiot. It's like being around that much creativity just short circuits my brain. I may have been drooling occasionally as well, but I'm calling that the effects of the recent dental surgery.

A photo from my dining room this morning. Lots of goodies from the weekend drying. Curtains are for people with more money than me the unimaginative.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thank God for 4 wheel drive, GPS's and mohair!

KC had another snowstorm hit yesterday afternoon. No biggie, right? It was a beautiful snow, falling straight down with the sun still slightly shining. I headed out for my drive home, which usually takes me 5 minutes with traffic. I sat in a long line of cars waiting to get out of the business park. I sat there. Patiently. Sat. Sat for about 20 minutes, then decided that since the highways were at a full stop and 90% of those ahead of me were surely trying to get onto those very highways I'd do the smart thing. I'd turn around and try the other way out of the compound. I edged forward, went over a small curb and headed the other way. A few trucks followed. No biggie.

Made it out of the office park and turned onto a main road that had a titch of a hill on it. Let's just say it took me another 40 minutes to make it half-way up that hill and ALMOST to the first turn-off into this strange little neighborhood full of hills & windy roads and almost no outlest. ALMOST. As in 3 lanes were blocked with various wrecks, stalled cars and cars spun out and stuck. There was ONE LANE left. The far right lane. That I was in. I just needed ONE MORE CAR to move forward a bit so I could turn off and wind my way past the crazies and make forward motion. Did I say that 30 of those 40 minutes were sitting at a dead SIT while the car ahead of me had 3 carlengths open ahead of her? BLOCKING my way off that road and out of the craziness? And that I was a bit low on gas? And that there was NO EMERGENCY KNITTING in the vehicle with me?

I very nicely got out of my truck, walked up to the car and tapped on her window. I asked her, nicely, if she'd mind moving up just a bit so I could get around her, PLEASE? She said no and rolled up her window. I stood there a minute. I knocked again and she sat there holding her steering wheel and not looking at me. I knocked louder. I began knocking and not stopping. Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock Knocking. and smiling. I'm a nice person, damnit. Finally she cracked the window and stated that she NEEDED that room to be able to get a running start at the rest of the hill. Of course by this time the REST OF THE WORLD was getting around us and blocking her running area from getting around the other wrecked & spun out cars, but I was blocked from that line by a van sitting sideways spinning its wheels.

I looked down to pull off my shoe (to beat it on her window in pure frustration and a titch of road rage) but alas. I was wearing my comfy wooly slipper shoes and a fluffy mohair sweater. The sweater's pattern name is SERENITY for cripes sake. Sweet mother mohair! I patted the mohair. It actually calmed me instantly. I realized I am a Knitter. I am a Spinner. I CREATE things. I wrangle mere fiber into string and that string into garments. I am all powerful. I am WEARING MOHAIR. I may or may not have roared.

I calmly walked back to my truck. I pushed the button to pull in my side mirrors. I revved up the engine. I went up over the curb, between the fire hydrant and the rather large wooden fence. I drove along the snow buried sidewalk and waved with ALL FIVE FINGERS (see how nice I am?) at the woman who was making me insane. I smiled. I drove up that hill on the sidewalk with maybe 4 inches of clearance between the truck and the fence. That sidewalk area was mounded with snow cleared from the last snowstorm we had, so my truck had some serious 4WD work getting up and around without flattening the fence. I turned onto the road, used my GPS and made it through the strange little neighborhood with ONE OUTLET and was on my happy way home. At least 4 other trucks followed suit. Although I'm pretty sure the one behind me only used one finger when waving at our friend.

The world is a safer place because I knit. I truly believe there would be less road rage if more people wore mohair. Happy goats, happy drivers.

PS, the destash is still going on. A bunch of yarn is on its way to new homes, but there's still a bit left. Click TreasureGoddess Destash to see if there's anything left that wants to come live in your stash!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Do you a Stash Will Document?

I ended the year by spending Dec 30, 2010 on an oral surgeon's chair for 9 hours. NINE HOURS. I was getting my hillbilly mouth all fixed up. Did EVERYTHING. All at once, rather than spread the pain throughout a series of appointments. I'd cracked quite a few teeth in the big wreck (in Jan 2010) and since we were doing so much structural work anyway, decided to go on and pretty up the rest of the smile while we were at it. It wasn't pleasant and I'm still living on soup, applesauce and hershey's chocolate syrup. (not at the same time). I did "conscious sedation" which I highly recommend for any dental phobic people like me!

Just like for any medical procedure where you are sedated, you have to sign off on paperwork saying you won't sue them if you die. (or I guess your family wouldn't sue them, since you'd be dead, huh?). Being the mildly dramatic person that I am, of course I centered in on that and decided that I had a 50% chance of dropping dead in the dental chair. I can't help it. It's who I am. It's what I do. I'm so freaking pollyanna happy sunshine 99% of my life and the other 1% is all death, darkness and decay.

I have a good setup for my financial will, plans established for my children, my soul's in pretty good shape, but then I realized. The stash. THE STASH! I had a little hand written note buried in the cedar chest at the foot of the bed with a note to Jeff to call my knitter friends for them to decide what to do with the stash (probably from the last time I was 50% sure I was going to die back when I had a non-cancerous breast lump removed a few years back.) A note's a fine start, but that's not gonna do it.

You've heard the horror stories, a Knitter dies, her family doesn't understand and somehow THOUSANDS of dollars worth of yarn are unceremonially shoved into trash bags and sold in a garage sale or estate sale for $5. Of course I never happen to FIND these deals, but I've HEARD of them. We have a local knitter in our guild that's in poor health. When she took a turn for the worse a few years ago, her husband BURNED her yarn. BURNED it. Then she GOT BETTER! Could you imagine? Literally gone up in smoke. (As we know, wool doesn't burn, it smolders. BUT if you have a big enough bonfire you can pretty much get rid of anything. I imagine he had some resentment issues against the yarn. Boggles the mind!)

I've invested WAY too much money on WAY too much yarn over the years to let it end up in a trash bag for $5. I'm working on a detailed list of contacts and instructions. Things like distributing the sockyarn to my local knitters to knit enough socks for my kids that they could wear them as they grow up, ending with pairs in adult sizes for each of them. Having a yarn sale with proceeds going to a fund for the kids' college fund. Which yarn gets donated to local retirement homes. Which yarn needs to be knit up into Picc Line Covers for CF kids. Which treasured yarn needs to be given to knitting friends locally and in blogland as rememberences of our friendship and yarny adventures we've had. What goodies to send to my cousin that now KNITS! The list goes on and on.

In creating this list, I also realized that there was no humanly way possible to distribute and organize this monster stash even if I DID drop dead on the dental chair and I DID have a nice organized Stash Will Document (SWD) saved in our fireproof safe. How would anyone know to look in the 42 different places for my yarn? How would any non-knitter know what was sockyarn and what was the treasured yarn and what was the crap yarn?

We moved into our new house in October and I've now got ROOM for STORAGE! My goal is to get the stash under control. Not only for when I drop dead, but for my own personal knitting pleasure! I'm not much of a resolution maker. Not only do I almost never follow through to complete them, I usually don't even get them MADE to later not complete. Ah well. Maybe this year will be different. In 2011 I'm going to GET THE STASH UNDER CONTROL.

* FIND the ENTIRE stash
* ORGANIZE the stash by type of yarn
* CULL the stash -- destash coming soon!
* Create & keep the SWD current and saved with the rest of our important documents
* Knit to my heart's content

What does this mean for you? A SUPER DESTASH IS COMING!!! WOO HOO!!! As I organize I need to realize that my tastes in knitting have truly changed from the beginning of my knitting days. I need to decide what I will actually knit and what won't and let that yarn go to someone else's stash to be knit instead of crammed into a ziplock bag.

A note to all of you that made not buying yarn a resolution. Were you aware that helping another knitter DESTASH DOESN'T COUNT? It's true. I promise. You ARE Knitting from the Stash. You're just knitting down another knitter's stash. See? Makes perfect sense. DESTASH DOESN'T COUNT!

Think of adding a SWD to your list of things to do in 2011.

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