Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Stashbusting and ferrets


The ferrets are pissed since that they haven't made an appearance in the blog lately. They've been jerkier than their normal jerk selves, but there's no living with them until they are featured yet again doing what they do best- irritate me.

I want to stash bust. I plan a blanket, 2 shawls and a bag that hopefully will lessen my load. I read on Ravelry some chick saying that her stash consisted of 3 skeins of yarn. And she will not buy yarn until she uses those three skeins. I know what you are thinking, WHORE. Me too! However, I thought, what I great thing to aspire to. I figure if I get to 3 give/take 100 skeins, I'm golden.

I started to pull yarn for one of these projects and I got some unasked for help.
ferrets in stash

I get bogged down in the details of picking yarn, so as of yet, I haven't made the final decisions. I wanted to do a shawl in all reds and then one that has a bunch of colors, but without looking like a 4 year old picked out them out.

WHN has never complained about my stash. I think he is finally cashing in this ticket because he is getting his own stash. He recently went out into the desert and brought back some rocks that he is convinced has gemstones in them as soon as he figures out how to crack them open, I might get jewelry (not holding my breath.) He also brought back dirty rocks that show life a zillion years back. Fossils great in museum, books, everywhere but where I can stub my toe on them.
Fern. I'm not sure when this desert last had ferns.

Thankfully, he hasn't figured out how to bring this bad boy back, but he and his buddy are convinced that this is a dinosaur footprint. I so don't want more big ugly rocks in the house. I'm sure the ferrets are working out levers to move the rocks so they can create a ferret civilization somewhere for me to trip over. They will then tie me up and sacrifice me as part of their fledgling religion.

AND finally...Thank you Claudia for the compliment! Since I am the last person in the blogger world to get the YOU MAKE MY DAY award, there is no one left for me to distinguish. I am always the last on these things. But suffice it to say, Claudia is now my favorite blog reader. The rest of you need to work harder.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Does this fur make her look fat?

So maybe her harness is tighter and we are down to the last hole. And yes, she is winded when she runs up the stairs. And we have been getting a lot of YOUR DOG IS FAT when we've taken her out (so when did saying that become acceptable, by the way) but we weren't prepared for the number on the scale at the vets. Toonsters weighs 49 lbs and she needs to weigh closer to 42 (OK so really 40 but I am trying to make her not seem so gargantuan).

Her big problem is-- I don't want to name names--but someone in the household other than myself, the ferrets, or the cat is giving her people food such as blueberry muffins.

While her turn on's include people food, her turn-off's include going for walks, grass, other dogs. We live right across the street from a dog park, but unfortunately, unless they install carpeting, a couch and get rid of the dogs, she is not interested.

If you are wondering, no she won't walk onto the grass to get that ball. She will stand and stare, then stand and bark, then maybe walk the perimeter, but she will not pick up a ball on the grass. And yes, it is embarrassing when she does this.

In fairness to her, who does like to play in their toilet. And it's not that she doesn't like other dogs, she is just ambivalent to them, or more like she doesn't see herself as one of them, OK so my dog is a snob. I didn't raise her to be one, but c'est l'vie, she's from Venus, they're from Mars.

She isn't completely an inactive bon-bon eating couch potato, her favorite past time is her tennis ball, which we are trying to get her more back into fetching versus throwing the ball in the air and letting her catch it without actually having to move.

Though only the 3rd day, she seems to be adjusting well to her new diet.
P dieting

And WHN assures me he will do his part by walking her more.

Wish her luck and when she is down to her svelt 40 lbs, I will post a picture for you to ooo and ahh over (even if you don't notice a difference, still ooo and ahh.. it will make her feel better.)

As for the cat whose presence is keeping me from new furniture, that fat toothless moany jerk can eat until he explodes.

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Saturday, February 09, 2008

blending colors

Saturday was my monthly spinning group at Nancy's Quilt Shop. This is more than a spin-along as Barb conducts a workshop with always interesting spinning techniques. This time we had a carding class for use in color blending. Drum carders, blending boards, and hackles were all present and available to use. First we had lessons on basic color chart use. With this knowledge in hand I grabbed colors and went to the carder, a Pat Green for Deb Menz carder. I was in a raspberry mood, and I am ALWAYS in a green mood so those were going to be my initial 2 colors. The green was too dark, so I tried mixing it with yellow.
mixing colors
Later white was added to the green mixture to lighten even more. Each pass through the carder made the individual colors less distinctive.

I blended the roving 2 different ways- as stripes (blue was added in because I needed a third color and since it was late, I wanted one that I wouldn't have to mess around with) and also on top of each other.

Laying the roving along side each other yielded:
side by side carding

Layering the roving:
blending colors

Here's a closer look
blending comparison
I was fascinated by the different looks once spun. I was going to be the blogging superstar by plying them, but I can't decide if I want to ply them together or separately on themselves or with other roving. I do need to get them off those bobbins.

Hackles are used to make pencil roving. The roving is put on, and the pulled through a diz.
making pencil roving

Blending boards make a bat. Basically the roving is combed onto the board and then pulled off.
blending board results

Some more random pictures from the day.
striping vs layer

Llama fiber mixed with wool
llama mixture

Making sparkly yarn
lavender sparklies

This day really opened up my eyes to what a drum carder can do. I could have blended for hours. I want a drum carder (I know what a shock!) I don't know if I want one that is heavy duty ie can take a manky ol' sheep and turn it into combed fiber, or a more delicate one that is more into blending colors and already combed fibers.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year

Bellagio rat

My rats are being their normal jerk selves by stealing my yarn to keep with their collection of WHNs dirty socks. I haven't shown one of their stock piles lately, so please enjoy. This is Tiffany's. Babette's is under the couch and contains pens, cutlery, razors, and bathtub stoppers.

Tiffany doesn't even have the decency to be covert about it.
Tif sari silk

Recently I made Christine's Baby Booties for a friend. I can't say that I enjoyed the pattern, yet I feel compelled to make them again. Don't know what's wrong with me there.
Really they are the same size.

I put them next to former Communist Revolutionary Vladimir Lenin's shoe for size comparison (and yes, he is holding a scarf that I recently knit that needs to be felted)

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accommodation in Barcelona