Friday, June 27, 2008

It's Here!!! Yay For my New Wheel!!!

I was snoozing, thinking of getting up, when my husband came in the bedroom to wake me up by announcing my new wheel was here. This is my anniversary gift from him. It's a Kromski Sonata!! The finish is Walnut like my other wheel, the Minstrel. I love both of these wheels. The Sonata will work great as a traveling wheel. The traveling case, and three bobbins are standard when you get this wheel. There were also two extra bobbins and two pounds of Corridale fiber included. Of course, I do have to be careful not to show favoritism and make the Minstrel jealous. I don't need her to throw a hissy fit and not spin properly for me. lol

Tomorrow is the monthly sit and spin at Sue's shop, RI Handspun, in Burriville and I plan to bring the Sonata to her "play date" with the other wheels. I think she will behave very nicely and not fight with me or others. lol

I need to name her, but, haven't really decided. Esmeralda keeps coming to mind as does Suzie. Esmeralda because she spin so magically and Suzie because she is so cute. Maybe she will get a hyphenated name. lol The Minstrel is Millicent, and Millie for short.

Back to spinning for a bit.....

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Mail Delivery....

I had ordered some custom dyed yarn from Skein Queen over in Great Britain. She also had an update yesterday at her shop which I missed due to my need to go to Weight Watchers. As a result, I was sad to have missed the two colors I really liked and had decided to buy. I can get them later as another custom order, so it's really no big deal.... Today, Pat came home and handed me a bright purple bag. Yep. It's from Great Britain and contains my three skeins of yarn. "Rose Red", "Sunset Tango", and "Plum Betty" are now happily residing in my stash. I'll add pictures later when I dig out the camera again. I now have something to "show" at Panera tonight. :)
Thunderstorms, Shivering Dogs, Sick Cats, Presents, Fleece, and Doctors

The last few days' weather has been very diverse. It's been sunny and then downpours with thunder and lightning that shook the ground when it hit. I love thunderstorms, day or night, so this doesn't bother me. I do try to leave electronics off during them and won't talk on the phone. My poor dog, Hanna, is having issues with them. She never had a problem until a couple of years ago. Her mama, Babs, had issues until I think she stopped sensing them. Then Hanna took over. I had a stressed out 12 year old dog climbing up my leg to get on my lap during them this time. Luckily, she only weighs around 15 pounds and sits quietly, pants, and shivers once she is held. Pooh was stressing because I was holding her. He had to be held too. He's about 20 pounds. I had them both on my lap together. lol

After the storms passed she was exhausted and slept for a few hours at my feet, never leaving my side. The cats are starting to make a good to fair recovery. Megan did come down with it too, but, was put on the amoxi right away. She doesn't seem as sick as some of the others. Thank goodness it's almost over.

Now, for the present......... My fourth wedding anniversary is this Sunday. My dear, sweet, wonderful husband, Patrick, ordered me my Sonata wheel!!! Yippee!!! It should be here on Friday. After I practice on it for a bit, I already have the first fiber I want to spin on it picked out. It's going to be the one I dyed recently. "Evelyn's Roses". It's a special roving and will be a special memory for me. :)

Right now, I'm washing a CVM hogget fleece a bit at a time. This one seems to have a bit more lanolin than the Romney and Border Leicester fleeces I've washed previously. It dried and still has that greasy feeling. I'm going to give it another cycle of wash/rinse/dry and see if it makes a difference. I have one Romeldale which I may send to the mill for processing. I'll think about that for a bit. I also have a Santa Cruz to process. That one has a very short staple and will be interesting to see the result. I know it will take a lot of twist to hold together when I get ready to spin it.

My other news is..... I got my Merino Lamb fleece back from the mill. It's gorgeous!! So soft, white, and fluffy. I had it pin drafted and this will make spinning easier. The plan is to dye some of it. Liz bagged it up into 4 bags, so handling it is easy.

I need to make my final selections and fill out my paperwork for the Gathering in November. The paperwork and check has to be mailed on July 1st. bright and early in the morning. I can't mail it before that or it will be rejected. It's going to be a fun weekend with friends, and learning new things.

Tonight is Panera in Cranston. I hope to see everyone again. We had such a good time last week. I always bring stuff for "show and tell", but this week I don't really have anything to bring to "show". I can "tell" them about my Sonata, though.

I'm still knitting away on the same projects, making little bits of progress. I recently discovered Plurk which is an online chat, similar to something called Twitter. It's a great way to have several conversations with several people at the same time. I'm in a knitting/spinning group of course. Search for me there, and be added to my friend list.

I went to the Diabetes doctor on Monday. It was a very depressing visit. I'm now on another med on top of all the others I already take. At least it wasn't the Byetta shots yet. I have to go back in 3 months.

Off to finish the laundry and make lunch....

Friday, June 20, 2008

Update on My Kitty....Fiber Mill Visit....and Forgotten to Mention Items...

I took Katy, the diabetic kitty, to the vet today for her glucose testing follow up appointment. Her numbers were good and she had gained about half a pound at 8.10. That's the heaviest she has ever been. She's a little tiny cat who never weighed more than 5 or 6 pounds before the diabetes. She is very sick with the upper respiratory problem and we think she's allergic to amoxi. The vet gave me a different antibiotic for her. Katy also got her rabies shot, which she wasn't too happy about. Right now, she's resting on the living room window sill away from the dog, Pooh.

I forgot to mention I had gone to knit night at Panera on this Wednesday. It was so nice to see Audrey, Pam, Paula, and Allison again. Marva was there too. We all knit, spun, laughed, ate, and had a great time together. My friend from work, Mary, stopped by to say hi to me and was invited to join us any time she would like.

I'm going tomorrow to pick up my Merino Lamb fleece from Fibers 4 Ewe Mill .
I got the call today that it's ready!! Yippee!!!!! I did the happy dance after getting off the phone. I can't wait to see it. I knew I would lose a lot (possibly half) because of the lanolin (grease). Originally it was a 6.25 pound fleece. I'm getting back 3.8 pounds. I think that's a good return for this breed. I wonder how the CVM will fair when it's time for that one to process......

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Sneaky Viruses....Computers and Cats....and KALs...Change of Destinations...

Recently, there was another crop of computer viruses making the rounds. I have my anti-virus set to scan and update once daily. Several knitting friends of Ravelry have been discussing this situation over on the Lime N Violet Group. When I heard about the influx, I started scanning in the morning and evening, plus the preset scanning time. My coverage caught one attempt and nothing has made it into my computer yet. Thank goodness.

I've not been so lucky with my cats. Buddy started sneezing on Tuesday. Wednesday morning, Tiger was coughing and by the afternoon, Katy had started to sneeze. I called and switched out Katy's appointment to get Buddy in since he was the start of it and seemed the worse. Tipper had a couple of sneezes in the late afternoon. Then Isabella started sneezing late last night. Five cats all with an upper respiratory problem ~ wonderful.

I took Buddy to the vet today and had it confirmed. Eye ointment for him because he has the runny eyes. Anyone else who starts with the eyes gets ointment too. All five of them are on amoxicillin for seven days. Thankfully, it's only one pill a day I have to battle down their throats. They all look so miserable. :(

I finished both Traveling Scarves square and plan to send one off tomorrow and the other off a few days later so they don't arrive together. I meant to send one yesterday and then again today, but didn't get to the post office in time to ship it out.

Right now, I am trying to start my Flutterby KAL socks for the DkKnits group on Ravelry, and my Swallowtail Shawl for the Fashionably Late KAL Blog.

As you all know, I recently got a bunch of fleeces which I shared with some friends. After this a decision was made. Instead of going to Rhinebeck, I'm going to the North East Handspinners Association "Gathering". Because the two events were only a few weeks apart, I didn't really want to be away from home that soon after Rhinebeck. I joined this association a few months ago. The Gathering is a bi-annual event and is hosted by a different state each time. There are classes where you can learn so much, and vendors to do more damage.....ummmm....I mean shop. There's also a spin-in every evening and I have been told the whole thing is a lot of fun. Hopefully, I will have my Sonata soon and can take it with me instead of the Minstrel.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Special Farms and Fleece and Guild Happenings

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted, so I thought today would be a good time to catch up a bit.

I went to the Open House at SVF Farm in Newport and watched the shearing demos on June 7th. It's the only day of the year the farm is open to the public. This was truly a beautiful place to spend some quiet time just drinking in the attraction of nature. My three friends and I watched the sheep shearing, and I met a couple of other friends there as well.

On Monday I was given about 30 fleeces for free. I ended up calling up the troops. Marva and Beth met me in Hope Valley and we headed over to Sandi's farm in North Stonington where we spent about 3 hours sorting and re-bagging all these fleeces. They were in black plastic trash bags which you need to take them out of as soon as possible. With the excessive heat and humidity they could mold rather quickly if left in them. We put them all into individual lawn/leaf bags and labeled them. It was an exhausting, grueling, dirty job and we were all soaked with sweat and very dirty when finished. If Sandi had not offered her barn and skirting table, along with Marva and Beth to help, it would have been a lot worse to do. I thank Sandi, Marva, and Beth so much for helping me with this. My plan was to donate some to the spinners guild this past Saturday at the monthly meeting. I gave Sandi hers, and Marva and Beth took their choices home, so I had less to deal with. I took mine and as many of the ones I could fit in my car to be donated home with me. Some of the bags had gotten wet on the bottom from a rain storm the day before I picked them up which had gotten the floor they had been sitting on wet. These had to be laid out to dry a few days. We went and picked these up on Wednesday evening. Beth was nice enough to keep these for me until Saturday's meeting.

Marva posted to our group that there would be a surprise at the meeting. After she made the announcement, some of us carried all the bags in and let the feeding frenzy begin. I was worried they would not want them. I wish I had more to share since they went fast. There was just enough to go around. I'm already promised more fleeces next year, so hopefully, I can get the same amount or a few more than this year and share them too.

The other thing that happened at the meeting was we had a tapestry weaving lesson. I have absolutely no plans to learn to weave. I just don't have the time or space to start another hobby, but the use of different colors and technique was interesting. I can use some of the ideas in my stained glass too.

I also was elected to be the new treasurer of the guild, since Renay decided it was time for her to hand it off to someone else. She has been doing it for 5 years and I was told she did an excellent job. It seems like something I can do and I can ask Renay any questions I have if necessary.

This past Thursday night was my monthly Knitting and Crochet Guild meeting. We had a stash swap raffle. Items were brought, tickets handed out, then you put them in the cups in front of the items you wanted to win. Tickets were picked and prizes awarded to everyone. The grand prizes were 4 gift certificates to local yarn shops. I was surprised and lucky enough to win one of these along with a book, and some yarns. It was a fun night for everyone.

As far as my own spinning ~ I have a full bobbin of the merino to ply with the alpaca finished. I'm not plying right now because I wanted to participate in the Spinner Central monthly SAL. I'm spinning some fiber from Allspunup in pretty shades of blue, white and a hint of greenish brown. The theme of the June spin along is to spin superwash, tweed, beach vacation. This fiber is superwash Merino and reminds me of the beach with the blues for sea and sky and the other colors being the edge of the water where it can be cloudy and greenish. You can choose to do all three things, just one or two. It's actually a personal challenge.

As far as knitting ~ today is the beginning of the DkKnits Flutterby KAL on Ravelry. I'm in her sock club and this month's shipment was the yarn to use in the KAL. The sock is a Fair Isle pattern, and this is definitely going to be a challenge for me because I've never knit Fair Isle before. I'm also busy knitting squares on two scarves from the Traveling Scarves group on Ravelry. I don't have any other plans this week that I can think of so I am hoping to get these two squares finished and mailed in a few days. I am suppose to have them back in the mail 10 days after receiving them. That means I have 5 days to get them there. I've also been knitting on a second sock that has been sitting around for a few months waiting to be finished.

The animals are adjusting to not having the matriarch of the family around. Hanna still is a bit depressed and comes over and sits or lays at my feet. Sometimes she stands up and puts her little head on my leg for petting and lovings. As time goes on, she's adjusting, but I think it will take her quite a while. She was with her mommy her whole life, almost 12 years. Pooh is his usual bossy, fresh self. lol The cats are letting him know, just because he is running around now we can leave the gate open, doesn't mean he can take over their turf, (the living room). I had to open the door to the craft room so the air conditioning could cool it down. Rosebud was a bit nervous at first, but I've put my big square folding table across the door and wedged it so no one can get over or around it. She feels safe now and stands in the middle of the floor and "talks" to me when I stand at the door. She's such a sweet cat.

Pat is getting ready to build another shed in the back yard, then the fence and deck will go up. I've found a patio set I want to buy and put out there, so I hope he builds it soon.

Yesterday was spent playing in a dye pot with some BFL and silk. I chose a few shades of yellow and a green to make "Evelyn's Roses" in memory of my mom. She loved yellow and roses. It's drying now and is looking so pretty and fluffy. I'm going to spin the BFL and silk separately then ply them together.

Here's the dried fiber and silk:

My Fiber Evelyn's Roses and matching silk My Fiber Evelyn's Roses  BFL and matching silk My Fiber Evelyn's Roses braid standing up My Fiber Evelyn's Roses Braid laying down