Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Meet ....

Okay, I'm not much for naming my stuff.

What a beautiful day it was today. Of course, the last two days of the marking period kids come out of the woodwork wondering "Do you have my grade?" Um, I post it every, single class and it's available online, but sure, here it is. Once we figured out why it was so low - oh, that's right you haven't turned in anything for the last 8.5 weeks and you were absent (gasp! what a coincidence) on the days we took the two tests - I headed home, stopping to pick up some tung oil.

How gorgeous is this? The wood itself was pretty, as you can see on the base, but the oil on the wheel just makes it so much richer. I used a rag to apply the first coat, but tomorrow I'm going to pick up a tiny little brush to help get into the narrow grooves.

Life is sweet!

If anyone knows what the two cup hooks (you can see them at the bottom left of the picture above) on the mother-of-all are for, please tell me!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Although I was hoping that my new wheel would arrive on Friday, it's probably a good thing it didn't. I was able to finish two projects for my class and outline a new course I'm teaching next year.

I wasn't let down on Monday though!

After a few tense moments - from missing lines in the instructions to not knowing what some things were - it came together beautifully. Today I went over it with some superfine steel wool. All it needs is a little tung oil and I'm ready to spin!

Whitby update: I'm ready to divide for the sleeves. I'm loving this pattern.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Where Does It Go?

I always believed Mick when he said it was on my side, but looking at him now makes me realize that we're both getting a little long in the tooth. I've been working like crazy trying to get into the next salary class and I think it's about time for a little reward. Okay - not so little, eh? Mine will be cherry. Sweet!

It looks a whole lot better than it does in this picture. There is black plastic needlepoint canvas inside to stablize the base. I needlefelted a little design around the opening. It was actually very easy to do, but since my sister was driving here while I was stabbing, the simple design had to do. I snipped off a piece of my butterfly bush to serve as a perch. Nancy was thrilled with it, despite the many smart-assed remarks about it being a new hat. (Many adult children with various friends and partners were mooching dinner again!)

Along with forgetting to take her picture with it, I also deleted a picture of Laura's fantastic Everything Bagels. So all you get is the link. The recipe made four HUGE bagels. Next time around she'll make 6. She added all the ingredients right at the start and used the bread machine at the dough setting.

Whitby is progressing slowly, but surely. I've got about 6 more inches before beginning yoke patterning.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fulled Birdhouse

My sister, Nancy, collects birdhouses, so as soon as I saw this Fibertrends pattern I knew I needed to make it for her.

It was a quick knit, done in Lambs Pride Bulky, charcoal for the roof and teal for the base.

I didn't realize the roof was not fulled enough until I put in on the base and it almost came to the bottom. So I popped the roof into the washer again.

I also made a big aluminum foil ball to help round out the top. I have to get some black plastic needlepoint canvas to stabilize the base. Then I'll cut the hole for the entrance and the perch and maybe do a little needlefelting around the opening.

I'm loving this Whitby Gansey, although the Channel Island cast on did give me fits. With some help from Claudia's website and Beth Brown-Reinsel's Knitting Ganseys, I finally got it.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Marie and Charleen's Excellent Adventure

I had to bow out of a loom shopping trip the weekend before last so I was really didn't want to have any problems with this trip. The picture in the last post, in case you couldn't figure it out, was my laptop connecting to the internet through my Bluetooth phone. I took me hours to get the settings right but I knew I would be able to check into my course and keep up with postings and emails.

Friday afternoon I headed up to Marie's Funny Farm for the first leg of my journey. Marie had one hell of a week. She started out Monday with plans of painting a warp. Between drop in visitors and playing midwife for the birth of two sets of triplets and two sets of twins, along with a power outage, she finally had the warps painted by Thursday. I always learn something new at the Funny Farm and this time I found out that mothers can reject their young. What?? I'm so not made for life on a farm.

This poor little girl, and I'm sorry to say I can't remember her whole name but it has Fawn in it, is all of 24 hours old. Marie diapered her up and brought her into the house. The bright gold is not from the dye pot you see in the background in the picture below, but from iodine that was painted on the umbilical cord. (I probably have this all wrong, but you can correct me, Marie.)

The problem with diapers and goats is that when they get a little damp, she walks right out of them!

Saturday morning we wake up to Marie's husband's dire warnings of 6-12" of snow expected in New England. "No problem", I say, "I have a Subaru." Three and a half hours later we arrive at Mecca, um, I mean WEBS. (I think Bob was just teasing us - but there was a little snow.)

The next leg of the journey found us on our way to Claudia's Countrywool. I learned something new. When stopped for speeding in a small country town, you're not supposed to just open the door so you can retrieve your license from the back seat. Hmmm. I guess I should start watching COPS! I don't know who was more surpised - me, or the not-old-enough-to-shave policeman! I'm not sure if it was the surprise of finding two women packed into an Outback chock full of cones of yarn or what, but I was left with only a warning AND a reminder "for your safety and mine, ma'am, always ask before opening the door of your vehicle"!

Okay, that little snafu out of the way, we headed to Hudson and had a little slumber party in a yarn shop, snacking on peanut M&M's and some lovely Jacob's Creek Cabernet Merlot while checking blogs and podcasts.

After a wonderful breakfast by Claudia's live-in chef, otherwise known as the husband, Marie and I headed back to the Poconos. I dropped Marie off and got home about 48 hours (and 700 miles) after leaving. A few things followed me home from Countrywool:

Some really cool, heathery purple Cascade 220 for Claudia's Whitby Gansey.

Some wine Peace Fleece for her Northcott Rib cardigan.

That's a little oiling pen for the spinning wheel with a secure lid to keep from leaking. On the right are two skeins of Fixation cotton, with a little lycra, for a pair of socks. I saw a great little raglan made out of three skeins of Fixation that is going to be my new baby present. Quick to make, no buttons or buttonholes to bother with, and the lycra makes the neck stretch to fit easily over baby's head.

Tired? You betcha! But I'm ready to go again.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What a Nice Surprise

Last Tuesday (as in the 21st) I came home early from school with the beginnings of a sinus headache and look at what was there to cheer me up!

The lovely LadyV scored some Classic Elite Sand that she's going to use for the "No Sweat Towels for the Gym" (Design Collection 18) and she was nice enough to send some my way. Along with the Sand she sent some hand dyed tussah - so pretty - and some gorgeous Wensleydale roving. But, that's not all folks, she also sent along the cutest little book of tea bread recipes. I tried the Oatmeal Raisin bread. As soon as I get my hands on some cranberries I'm trying the White Chocolate Cranberry bread. Thanks, Vee!

Stay tuned for the next post where you'll find out how this little setup allowed me to go on a roadtrip (Marie and I hit WEBS and Countrywool) and still connect to my class.