Rest after much Activity

Yesterday was a jam packed day. I wonder where that expression comes from? I don’t recall jam being packed – but perhaps it is a different kind of jam. One of the highlights of yesterday was getting a video in the mail – SPINNING WOOL – BASICS & BEYOND Wheels, Fiber Preparation and Spinning Techniques with Patsy Zawistoski.

Before I had a chance to check out the video it was time for DH’s birthday celebration. We went out for a very nice dinner at Carousel Restaurant. It is on top of the Radisson in downtown St. Paul. It has a fantastic view and if you are seated in the inner, raised section (like we were) the floor rotates so that you can see the view all the way around. Cool.

When we got home he listened to his new CD with headphones and I watched my video. There sure is a lot of info in it, and I am glad I got it. It also helped make me sleepy. I kept waking up – focusing, then fell back to sleep several times. I don’t think it was because the video was boring, but Patsy does have a very soft and soothing voice. She would make a great hypnotherapist!

Today I felt the urge to spin as soon as I got up. Hmmmm, I wonder why? I slowed my spinning down to try some of the techniques I picked up (either in my waking state or my sleep state). The fiber I am spinning is a mohair blend – very fuzzy, and of course I was sitting there in my black nightie. Now it is a black and fuzzy white/turquoise nightie.

I brought one of my more recent book purchases to the computer so I would be sure tell you about it. It is: Lace from the Attic, A Victorian Notebook of Knitted Lace Patterns, by Nancie Wiseman

A Victorian Notebook of Knitted Lace Patterns

It is a fabulous book, especially for shawl makers who are looking for good knitted edgings. Good, clear photos and with both written out and charted designs. I am subscribed to a couple of email and web based shawl and lace groups, one of which doesn’t seem to let me post. I am probably on probation/monitored until I can prove I am not a spammer. Isn’t that sad?

K and I are getting together for spinning/knitting tonight. Tomorrow I am teaching all day so probably not much knitting or spinning time, and I am really hoping to be able to go to the Minnesota Renaissance Festival on Sunday. My favorite themes are the Highland Fling/Scottish and the Mid-East Mirage, but those are already past. This weekend it is the Irish Heritage Festival which is cool too. Keep your fingers crossed for me – for cool, sunny weather.

Spinning Dreams

I received 2 full years of Spin-Off back issues in the mail the other day, the result of an eBay conquest. I have been reading and dreaming, dreaming and planning. Hoping and wishing. But no spinning and no knitting.

I also did a lot of eBay work for my brother, and website work for an Astrology group too. Also lots of emails back and forth with prospective students and such.

I should be getting ready for my Wednesday coffee and beads/knitting (whatever) get-together but I may blow that off. I may not. It depends on whether I can find something to wear. Isn’t that sad? It is really sad because I do have to get dressed eventually because I have a client at 2:00 pm.

Hey, want to do some public knitting? Judy, another AKer in MN was talking about a gathering. Here is the info:
Sunday, October 3, 1-5 pm, at Ridgedale Shopping Center in Minnetonka.

If I remember correctly this may be connected to doing charitable knitting. I will find out more and let people know here.

Have you done any charitable knitting? It is very satisfying. One of my favorites was the bunch of hats that I knit up for homeless people. I had a great time picking out yarn.

Winter in MN is very cold. The idea of being homeless in a MN winter… I also did up some angel earrings for the ladies too.

On the subject of winter in MN – I really should be starting up Yule gifts for my family and friends. I need to start making a list of projects. I should at least make something for my Mom and Dad.

And now, because I know blogs without pictures are boring, I give you my cat Guinevere.

Pssst! Want to see my skein?

It is kind of a grey day outside and the lighting in my home makes colors go weird so I decided to scan my first skein of yarn that I spun on my own wheel and another spool.

My first yarn that I made! It is like magic, except I know how hard it was for me to do. I am proud of them, even though I know 100% that they are not perfect – the yarn is NOT soft, squishy or stretchy. I am hoping that it will soften up when I set the twist.

I know as I gain experience my yarn will become squishier and softer and more even (or more crazy ala designer yarn).

I showed my yarn around and I got one of those helpful people telling me things that I should be doing. She didn’t even say it with a smile either. What is up with that? I did not ask for advice, I was just showing my stuff around. If I was a student of that person, that would be different (maybe) but I wasn’t asking for advice.

A lot of people are "out there" that think criticism = helpful. No it isn’t. If someone shows you something and you can see that they are proud and they tell you this is my first…. Don’t give them "helpful" tips. Don’t. Tell them that it is pretty, or colorful or wonderful, or say, "good for you", or something equally nice.

Maybe after a while you can say things like… would you like some xyz tips? Or, I am a xyzer too and I have found…

Minnesota (Twin Cities) Ample Knitters

I went to yesterday’s gathering at the Borders on Hamline in St. Paul, MN. It was a small gathering this month. I guess we are going to try to keep it going every 3rd Saturday of the month.

This time I remembered to bring my camera, so here are some pics:
Alex
Alex
Alex, Kerry, Barbara, Renee
Alex, Kerry, Barbara and Renee’s back
Kerry, Barbara and Traudi
Kerry, Barbara and Traudi
Renee and Alex
Renee and Alex
Kerry, Barbara, Traudi
Kerry, Barbara and Traudi
Renee and Alex
Renee and Alex
Judy
Judy

Kerry kept wanting to get a real group photo, and I guess I should have let her make me. I just wasn’t in a group photo mood.

If you are interested in joining the Ample Knitters group, go to the Ample Knitters website and join the e-mail list.

Kerry and I took off from the meeting for a quick drive to Hudson, WI in search of a store called Carolyn’s Needle Arts. We didn’t have the address, so I was going on my memory. Couldn’t find the place. Finally, after we were sure that even if we found the place, it would be closed we stopped over to another shop. That store owner/clerk showed me through her back door where Carolyn’s was. She pointed to the place we had been to. Weird.

After I got home I finished plying all of my fiber tribble and tried to start on some Merino and other wool roving. No go. I think I was too tired. I had figured out how to ply easier though. I guess my drive band was just way too tight.

Thursday

No knitting today. I just took some time tucking in the ends of my finished square for Carol’s afghan. It felt good to send it out. But now in reading Renee’s blog I see her beautiful square and it reminds me that I did not take a picture or scan it before sending it out.

I tried to ply 2 full spools of my first tribble of fiber. Plying isn’t one of my skills – yet. I ended up having to cut off before the new spool (for the plyed yarn) was totally full. I just couldn’t keep the wheel spinning. Sigh.

I don’t know what if anything I am doing wrong. Does anybody else have a hard time plying on their Ashford Traditional wheel? Mine is a double drive, but I am using it as a single drive with Scotch tension.

What I bought at Detta’s

Warning: reading this may either quiet some of your fiber addiction tendencies or get them ramped up.

I went to Detta’s Spindle in Maple Plain, MN yesterday. It took me about 45 minutes to get there – not too bad. I got a chance to look at her room of spinning wheels. We talked about the different wheels but I didn’t take any for a trial spin. I figured I needed the time to shop for fiber and books. Maybe after I get back from the Wisconsin Fiber Spin-In.

Anyway she took me to her "extra room" where she keeps some of the smaller tools and the big box of fiber seconds. I guess these were from Brown Sheep and just what I was looking for. Because I am a beginning spinner I don’t want to waste really spendy fiber while I am trying to get my technique down. There was some 100% wool blend – feltable stuff and also some super wash fiber. I bought 61 ounces all together. Also a niddy-noddy… one that can be used as a one or a two-yard.

Then it was time to go to the basement where she has all of her books, yarn and magazines. I had come prepared with a list of the back issues of Spin Off and Knitters I wanted. Those kind of increased the $ amount at 6.99 each, but made me very happy. I also bought a book that had knitting edges… one of those old timey ones from Interweave Press.

I decided to get a bit of dog hair to try, and because of that she gave me some extra dog hair (Samoyed) for free.

I will post pictures just as soon as I get my camera back.