Friday, December 21, 2007


The secret Christmas knitting is coming along nicely, and I'm cruising through the to-do list before we take off to see our families. Well, I guess that makes it sound a bit more like smooth sailing than it has actually felt. In the last week Mr. M and I have both succumbed to a nasty sinus attacking cold. I'd rather pass on the exhaustion and sniffling, but having limited energy has helped me accept (perhaps more quickly than usual) that I had some unrealistic expectations standing between me and this lovely Christmas season. With those out of the way, I can enjoy the few treasured decorations that have made it out, the warm glow of the one garland of Christmas lights, and the big plate of Christmas cookies from the neighbor (um, who I haven't given anything to). With my new laissez faire attitude, would you be surprised to hear that I have also started reading Middlemarch? I think there will be a post musing on the themes of love, marriage and faithfulness but perhaps today I better cut to the crafting content....

vintage skirt, thrifted

So, how about that shawl? I worked my way through some samples, and the Shetland and the batt were a real dream to spin. Once I got it knitted up though.... meh. The fabric just wasn't as visually interesting as I had hoped. Then the dangerous little voice in my head then suggested that it might look nice woven... maybe as a plaid. Where does stuff like this come from? I don't even know how to weave!

Vintage skirt, from Mom

So anyway. Now I have plaid on the brain and I'll probably have to take up Cheri on her offer to teach me to weave on one of the guild's loaners.

Anyone know of some good articles on planning a plaid pattern?

Friday, December 7, 2007

Batty (in a good way)

Before we sold the house, I found some batts that were so amazing that I was afraid to link to them. I mean, what would I do if y'all bought these up before I could lay hands on the tweedy, woolly, goodness? Fortunately, I managed to destash some yarn that wouldn't knit up to gauge (take that!) and lay my hands on two of the lovely, fluffy things.

When they came what fun it was to open the package. That little bundle of fiber on top is a freebie. Love that. You rock artclub.

And inside:

Words fail me when it comes to these. So let me just say I packed them away for the perfect project. Now I'm suddenly struck with the urge to knit a feather and fan comfort shawl.

R-L: Black Shetland, Rambouillet, Romney, and mystery wool.
I'm thinking that if I alternate these somehow I can come up with enough yardage for the shawl. Right now I'm trying to envision it. Should I try to go from light to dark or dark to light? Both of those are very dramatic. I like how they draw the eye over the shawl. The problem is that I may not have enough of the multicolor batt to make it the the center of attention by sticking a big, thick, splash of it in the middle.
I could go for distinct stripes. Of the examples on Ravelry, I generally like the 2-4 row color stripes, although there is at least one example of broad stripes (varied in size) that is quite attractive.

I also think one of the darker wools is probably unnecessary. Right now I'm leaning toward saving the Rambouillet for another project. I think the deeper color and greater gloss of the Shetland will give the shawl some sparkle. Somehow the Shetland is the only wool in this group that is not "matte" and I don't want the whole thing to just fade away. I'm also wondering if the red will overpower everything else... but it is winter and I'm feeling the need for color.
I asked Mr. M what he though of the various color combos and he pointed out that fiber always looks different when spun (!). So I guess the next step will be some sampling :)

Heck or High Water

Gratuitous cat photo

So what has been going on hereabouts? There was a birthday which brought me to a nice balanced feeling age. The actual day was a bit hectic as it was a Friday AND I was called to substitute teach for the first time in this school district. Not to fear though – the math teacher left me a photo seating chart and an entertaining math movie. Mr. M made the evening special with a pizza dinner and chocolate sheet cake both of which he prepared from scratch. Delicious.

I then headed off to visit my family during their Thanksgiving break. Mr. M couldn't get away until school got out, but I was able to get a few extra days with everyone. Lots of talking and long walks and good home cooked (and baked!) food. Being one to draw out the festivities, I managed to get a second birthday celebration - spanakopita, Greek salad and Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte for dessert. For my family, a great deal of life revolves around cooking and eating. The food might be fancy or simple, traditional or exotic, healthy or indulgent, but it is always wholesome and made with love. I look forward to getting to pick the menu for my birthday meal. Contemplating all the possibilities is part of the fun!

Of course, some birthday cash was spent on bundles of fibery goodness (Shetland, Gotland, Wensleydale, BFL, Rambouillet) that I am certain will make individual appearances on the blog later on. Perhaps after my dye kit comes?

While at my mother’s house I communed with the cats. This blog is sadly deficient when it comes to kitty snapshots, but I couldn't ask Mr. M to forgo breathing when I married him… so the little allergen bombs can’t live with us. Aren't they cute though?

This one is aloof...

After our return home there was more substitute teaching, followed in short order by a natural disaster. We were without power two days but our little neighborhood escaped relatively unscathed. Our friends with a fireplace and a propane stove took us in and we spent several delightful evenings with them holed up chatting and reading. When we did venture inland a bit we saw this…

Can you make out the mudslide and downed tree?

With all that it really is amazing how quickly they have been able to restore power and clear the roads.

Still there? Well, here is one of my current projects…

These are the gloves I promised my brother last Christmas. Shameful really, but I have an awful time once I know it’s not a surprise. I hope they fit.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

FO: Surprise!

Just got the word yesterday that this had made it to its ultra-cute recipient:

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket, EZ


Cream color: Domestic wool from Spunky Eclectic, two ply, bulky weight, handspun by yours truly

Light brown: Romney, two ply, dk weight, handspun by yours truly (held double)

Dark brown: Romney/Shetland/Merino, two ply, worsted, handspun by Mary Jane

Needles: US 7

Size: 1 year / 21 in chest (ish)

I hope this keeps the little one toasty warm this winter :)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

FO: Nessie

I think the pictures tell it all...

Pattern: basic, top-down triangular shawl, 24 in. deep, 49 in. across when blocked.
Yarn: 1.8 oz/270 yards of my handspun singles from a "Sea Monster" batt by artclub.
Needles: US 10, Needlemaster circulars

Friday, November 9, 2007

Red Sky In Morning

... sailors take warning.

I snapped this shot some weeks ago when we had an eerie, red sunrise. The light was so strange, almost purple. Why does this picture come to mind? Perhaps because red mornings supposedly predict an impending storm. Our forecast here is for three days of poor weather. Sounds like it will be an inside weekend. Perhaps it is also because I feel the need to listen to another warning. Yesterday I had a lovely, crafty day. Spend two hours knitting, went to the weekly spin-in (1.5 hours) and then spent the evening prepping some very dirty alpaca fiber. By bedtime, my hands and wrists were hurting. Today I am holding off on all the spinning and knitting (Christmas presents!) I would love to be doing to try to give my hands a break. I probably shouldn't even be typing this. I really don't want to have carpal tunnel problems. Spinners have any suggestions for me? Maybe I will try to not bend the wrist of my back hand so sharply when drafting... knitting has never given me this tingly, persistent pain.

In honor of Friday I give you a picture of a luscious scarf kit my MIL brought back from New Zealand for me. I seem to be in one of my green moods again. Be patient little scarf, your time will come.

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement on the seafoam project. I think the concept is something that I will revisit, this time around the edging just didn't work. Sorry that your comments did not appear immediately, I was playing with the settings on the blog because I wanted to delete a comment (no worries, nothing bad, just something out of place). From now on your words should go right to print.

Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Exponential Growth

Where have I been? I've been sitting on the couch, learning the mysteries of the ruffle. My walks on the beach have made me wonder if I could make a scarf evoking the lacy patterns of sea foam on the shore.

Started with some handspun:

I thought I would do a triangular scarflett (size of bandanna or so) and edge it with a ruffle, and do just the last two rows with white.

Attempt number 1:
Row 1: *K1, yo* K1
Row 2: purl
Row 3: *K1, yo* K1
Row 4: purl
Row 5: *K1, yo* K1
Row 6: purl
Row 7: knit
Row 8: BO

That sort of increasing produces QUITE a ruffle. Like 1058 stitches worth.

The swatch looked good, but when I tried it on halfway through the bind-off row, it looked like I was being devoured by a giant sea slug. The stiffness of the fabric plus the way I wanted to wear the garment made the ruffle stand up enough that most of what was visible was the "wrong side" of the ruffle.

Look at that swatch picture again, see how the ruffle looks good "down"? Trust me, it does not look so good from other angles.

Attempt number 2:
Row 1: *K4, yo* K1
Row 2: purl
Row 3: knit
Row 4: purl
Row 5: knit
Row 6: purl
Row 7: knit
Row 8: BO

Theory: less fabric created initially, plus more plain rows to tame down the ruffle.
Result: no ruffle.

Attempt 3:
Row 1: *K1, yo* K1
Row 2: purl
Row 3: knit
Row 4: purl
Row 5: BO

Result: a nice row of eyelets in the increase row. Rest of the work rolls up and obscures everything.

Further thoughts: I think that my bind-off is contributing to the rolling. Will blocking fix it? Not sure. The white single I am using for trim also adds a lot of body to the edge, causing it to roll. Looks like rolling is the natural tendency. Should I just... roll with it?

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Just a quick note to say that my friend Paula has opened a very classy etsy shop, where she sells her art and illustrations. You must check out the Alphabirdybet. My favorite letter is "C" :)

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Good News!

Today we got some good news about the sale of our house. We're not finished yet, but it looks like we are going to be sometime soon! This is such an answer to prayer in so many ways (I think I've probably got a few new readers - so I'll say here that I am a Christian). God is so faithful!

Other happy thoughts:

I just made myself some of my mom's chocolate pudding. This is a great chocolate fix, and a hearty snack when one is facing a few hours of spinning :)

Here's the "secret" family recipe:
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch
  • 1/3 c. sugar
  • 2 c. milk plus 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 c. chocolate chips
In a medium saucepan mix cornstarch and sugar (this will help prevent cornstarch lumps when you add the liquid). Using whisk blend in 2 c. milk. Heat over medium heat. In a separate Pyrex bowl, beat together 1/3 c. milk and egg until thoroughly blended. When the cornstarch mixture is warm (but not boiling) pour some of the cornstarch mixture into the milk/egg mixture, beating constantly with a whisk. Once blended add the milk/egg mixture into the cornstarch mixture and mix together thoroughly. All this blending and heating is the process of "tempering" an egg. This basically lets you mix in the egg and boil it without getting scrambled egg chunks in your pudding. Bring mixture to a boil, mixing regularly. Let boil one minute. It should be nice and thick now. Remove from heat, mix in vanilla, butter and chocolate chips. Enjoy warm, or pour into bowls and chill, your choice. Of course you can leave out the chocolate chips and have a vanilla pudding.

"Fish or Cut Bait" from a fiber sample included with my last Art Club purchase. I named it for the blobs of blue and neon green that reminded me of fishing lures. The chunks made for a cool effect, but the little Ashford orifice had trouble with the additional bulk. Hmmm... a jumbo kit will be a must for my future wheel.

This was my first yarn plied with thread. I was aiming for a crinkle cut look. When plying, I found that it looked more crinkly for me to hold the yarn to the side and let it ply around the thread, rather than the other way around. My concern is that the thick and thin single will slide around on the thread. I need to knit it to see, but I want to pick out a little project first (Ipod cozy?), because otherwise I'll just end up with another swatch. This yarn also made me realize that I need to figure out the difference between woolen and worsted spinning and make sure I can do both, since this technique is supposed to work best with a woolen spun single.
Speaking of handpun, I also made my peace with this:

by turning it into my first top down hat.

First handpun project completed. Score! And I even like the stripes. The hat has chosen Mr. M though. Well, maybe I can borrow it from time to time.
Next up on the wheel: this batt (Sorry for the link, but I can't get a good picture. The most vibrant one on the seller's page is accurate.)
Off to the wheel I go...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

This & That

First off: Sweater Amnesty
Have you been following the coned yarn saga over at Yarn Harlot? At first I didn't think much of it, I'd heard that coned yarn often had something yucky in it that had to be washed out. But then I thought about my lovely Irish yarn... the yarn that is strangely slick on the needles and yet scratchy to work with... the yarn the swatches to one tension and then *presto* comes out another size when washed. Duh.

The kindly seller even explains in her note with the yarn that the mill she buys it from in Ireland now only sells it wholesale by the cone. She skeins it up herself for shipping. So right now the last two skeins are soaking in my sink. The results have not been as dramatic as the harlot's, but thus far the washing has resulted in a fluffy, fresh, gloriously green tweed. It has also transformed two gallon Ziploc bags worth of yarn into a HUGE pile of yarn. Looks like it might be easier to knit the sweater than to try to jam all that back into the cedar chest. Anyway, I've decided that when I come back after my weekend away (still moving the last of the stuff out of the house) I'm going to treat this yarn as if it just arrived. I'm going to swatch with anticipation. I'm going to leave the pattern on the nightstand. In other words, I'm giving this sweater amnesty for past crimes and hoping that we can fall in love all over again.

Spinning update:
I've been going to the weekly spinning get together put on by the guild here and the ladies have been so supportive! A few weeks ago someone brought a bag of little bits of different fibers for me and I got to try cotton, silk, and several different kinds of wool, including some washed locks. It made me feel like a bit of a klutz, but it was really interesting. It has also been fun to observe everyone: different wheels, different fibers, different fiber preparations, different drafting styles... one lady has been working with a lovely wool/tencel blend. I love the sheen. The best part though is certainly the conversation. I don't say much, I mostly just sit and listen, but it is good to get out of the house and be with people for a few hours.

My mini-skein of "exotic" fibers wasn't much to look at, so I have a picture of my latest round of sampling from the fiber stash instead. Left to right:
  • Romney singles, fingering weight. I wanted to make a shawl from this, but I'm going to have to work my way down to lace weight or I won't have enough of this roving. Stuck at 18 wpi.
  • Next two are mystery wools (seller knew, I forgot). I was able to drop by a sheep to shawl event when we were out of town a few weekends ago. I mentioned to a lady who was spinning that I was a beginning spinner and she exclaimed "Have I got a deal for you!" She had sent a bunch of wool to the processor a few years back and was up to her neck in it. Selling for $8 a lb. I got 37oz. A bit rough and lots of lanolin, but I'm sure I can find *something* to do with it :) The grey in particular is begging for cables.
  • Finally, at the end is some Alpaca. It hasn't been washed or anything so it is a bit gritty to work with, but spins up SO soft. There is lots of junk in it that I hate to see going into such a soft yarn, but I'm not sure how to get it out. Thoughts?
Hoarding Problem Shopping Update
This shop is driving my batty. No really. Um and this one too. Can it be my birthday yet? Please?

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

FO: Shetland Triangle Shawl

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes
By the deep sea, and the music in its roar.
-Lord Byron

Pattern: Shetland Triangle, from WrapStyle
I love wearing wrap/shawl/scarf/poncho things, so this book was well worth the money for me. There are at least 3 or 4 other patterns that I may make or use for inspiration. Shetland Triangle itself is a lovely pattern, and a great introduction to making a lace triangle. I had the aha! moment when I realized how the increases were integrating into the pattern.
I was a bit intimidated to hear this called roving. Would it be very fragile? As I knit though it became clear that it is really more of a low twist single. Lovely, fluffy and soft. Yum. I have a desire to hoard some more... just in case I need to make an afghan from it later or something.
Needles: Needlemaster circular, size 6
Mods: 12 pattern repeats, rather than 8, before doing the edging. This gave me my perfect shawl size - the edging just brushes my waist when the shawl is around my shoulders and there's also enough length to wear it wrap style too. Quantified, that comes to 52" wide, by 23" deep (after blocking of course). It looks a little smaller in the picture because it got a bit bunched up. We're not quite knitwear photoshoot experts around here yet ;)

Verdict: I can't quite put a finger on it, but there is something very comforting about this shawl. It is the first thing I have knit that I missed knitting once it was done... my hands just wanted to keep going. I want to be careful with it, because the white will show dirt, but it is going to get worn!
Finally: Thank you Grandmother for the yarn - and thank you Mr. M for the help with the seaside photograph. My first shawl! Squee!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Adventures In Plying

Disclaimer: any unflattering commentary about some of the colors in the yarn you are about to view are solely the opinion of a picky knitter and novice spinner and should not reflect poorly on the dye job originally done on the roving.

As I was working with the Blue-Faced Leicester yesterday, it occurred to me that I had managed to make a yarn that I never would have purchased had I seen it in the store. Part of it was denial, I was attracted to the orange and green in the roving and somehow managed to block out the large sections of purple/grey. Part of that was inexperience, at the start I had very little idea how my preparation of the roving would influence the colors. In retrospect I probably should have torn the roving lengthwise into very thin strips to preserve the integrity of the colors. Part of the reason I didn't do that was that it would have made for very short color repeats. At any rate, I have a better idea of what to look for in a roving next time.

Now it's time to decide what to do with what I've got spun. I probably have enough for a hat, or some wrist warmers, and since the yarn is so soft I'm leaning toward something next to skin. But first, to ply or not to ply?

Single ply yarn

Single ply swatch (size 6 needles).

After all the warnings about knitting with energized singles (a single ply of yarn that wants to twist back on itself) and how that will produce a biased fabric, I was happy to find that I was able to make a low twist single that I could knit with (I think...) The fabric is light enough that it should work for some wrist-warmers that start under my sleeves and come down around my hands. Of course, the striping effect seen in the swatch would not be so strong if I was working with more stitches.

Two ply yarn, Andean plied.

Two ply swatch (size 7 needles)

Although it may not be as clear in the picture as it is in real life, the striping is somewhat less strong here. The barber-pole effect in some of the yarn translates to a more mottled look. I would favor this, except that it occasionally produces icky color combinations. Down at the bottom of the swatch you can see the result when murky orange, purplish and corpse bride blue/green get together. Not me.

Three ply yarn, Navajo plied.

Three ply swatch (size 8 needles)

Here I am rewarded for those long color runs. The colors are muted, but fairly distinct. As a bonus, the lumps that Navajo plying produces (ahem -when done with a thick and thin single) disappear once the yarn is knit. And three ply... so soft and fluffy! This would be great for a hat.
So, what do YOU think? Hat? Wrist-warmers? Or should I just pack it up and mail it to the first person who declares that they find it beautiful?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007


Foggy morning window

Chinese Lantern (Physalis alkekengi) plant pods, from the farmers' market
It's starting to look like fall around here, inside and out. Yesterday we had three different kinds of squash with dinner. I forget how much I like squash when it is in season. Really worth remembering to stick into the oven two hours before dinner. Now I just have to find a way to get some fresh caramel apples and apple cider. As if to encourage the building desire to hibernate, it rained and rained today. Most of the time sheets of wind and water were coming down, but it occasionally lightened to moments of mist. It makes for a long day at home.

I've started to play around with plying. The lady who loaned me the wheel gave me a bobbin full of pink and purple singles, saying "just take that off and throw it away." It was too good an opportunity to pass by. Above is a two ply, done from two center pull balls.

Here is the remnant of the longer ball, Navajo plied (thanks to this tutorial). I like the grist of the three ply better, although it is very overplied. Somehow I just couldn't treadle slowly enough. In the future I will probably have to make sure that I put some extra twist into any singles I plan on Navajo plying. Stay tuned, lots more fibery adventure in the works!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Give Me Gauge (or give me death...)

Desired gauge: 4.25 st per inch, 6 rows per inch

I started swatching for the Central Park Hoodie during spring break of this year. As we drove around the Oregon coast I dutifully cranked out four swatches... one to try out combination ribbing technique/cable chart reading, one on size 8's (too big), one on size 9's (oops, brain malfunction), and one on size 7's. Although I washed and dried the last one, I never got around to taking its final official measurements.

So now autumn rolls around and I am back in the mood for a sweater. I measure my size 7 swatch and discover that I have stitch gauge, and am not too far from having row gauge. Good.

Since I didn't take notes (doh!) I decide to redo my ribbing swatch, just to be safe. The technique works, but the ribbing looks looser. Hmmm... then I remember that during that trip I experienced some hand pain (just from swatching, mind you), because way back 6 months ago I was using my patented "pinkie death grip" to tension my yarn. Since then I have switched to looping the working yarn around the third finger of my right hand.

So yesterday I reswatched on size 7's and waited 24 hours for the swatch to dry. I was getting 4.5 st per inch and 6.25 rows per inch before washing. After washing, 4 st per inch and 6.5 rows per inch.

I'm sure I could solve this using *shudder* math. Or I could finish that size 6 swatch and hope for the best...
Let's think about something happier shall we?

How about this yummy hand-dyed, BFL roving from Flawful Fibers: (Sorry for the poor color here. The top is bright orange, bright green, yellow, and purple/grey-ish)

It's turning out something like this:

This just goes to show that I have no idea what a top will do when I spin it. I would not have guessed that it would get almost pastel in places, or that the grey would look so lavender. Maybe I'll call it "Underwater Sunset." Besides keeping me at the wheel with its ever shifting colors, it also captivates me with its softness. It keeps telling that it wants to be knit into something right away :) I'm not sure what I'm going to do about plying. With these colors I will be treading that fine line between "spunky" and "clown barf."

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pay It Forward

Flowers from Mr. M

I was lucky enough to get in on loribird's post, and now I'm going to pass it on, just as I promised. If you are interested in participating in the Pay It Forward ring of expanding light and crafty goodness read on :)

The whole thing is "...based on the concept of the movie Pay it Forward where acts or deeds of kindness are done without expecting something in return... just passing it on, with hope that the recipients of the acts of kindness continue to pass it along as well. Here’s how it works: I will make and send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment to this post on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I do not know what that gift will be yet, and it won’t be sent this month, probably not next month, but it will be sent (within 6 months) and that’s a promise! What YOU have to do in return, then, is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

If you want to participate please leave a comment here AND email me at englishmajor AT hotmail DOT com with your information (mailing address, blog address, ravelry/flickr ID) so I can send you something great!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Weekend In Review

I started off the weekend by going to lunch at the local Thai place with my neighbor. When she and I were talking last, we had discovered that we were both interested in trying the food there - and that our husbands were both NOT interested - so a plot was hatched. We were delighted to find that the menu was quite extensive and the food was incredible. I had chicken in a sweet red pepper sauce, garnished with cilantro, cucumber and pineapple. Yummy! And made all the more fun by the opportunity to just sit and chat with my neighbor.

After lunch, we went to the U-pick organic blueberry farm. It was so picturesque I was sad that I forgot my camera. They have a rustic little stand equipped with a scale and old coffee cans with twine. I hung the can around my neck and was tickled (in a silly, but absolutely down to my toes way) to find the first few berries going ker-plunk, just like in Blueberries For Sal. Hey, I've never been blueberry picking before.

I also kept my promise about the wheel. I finished spinning this on Saturday afternoon and was able to contain myself until Sunday night... when I gave in a plied it. (I don't know how long singles are supposed to "settle" but I think it is probably a bit longer).

The technical rundown on this one:

I have changed the way I hold my hands at the wheel and I am seeing improvement in the consistency of the yarn. When I first started, I imitated someone I had seen who held her hands very close (3-4 in) to the orifice and very close to each other (3-4 in). I don't know why (fiber qualities, personal preference, different wheel?) but for me it works to draft out 8-10 inches of yarn (treadling v-e-r-y slowly) and then work the fiber from there. I have been alternating between actively drafting with my back hand and then feeding the yarn in... and sort of pinching with my left thumb (front hand) and holding the fibers a bit with my back hand (hands maybe 4-5 inches apart) and letting the tug of the wheel do the work. This is possible, in part, because the fiber I am working with is very clean and even, and I'm predrafting it using harlot's method, except I put my hands closer together and "snap" the fiber the first time (can't remember where I read about that one or I would link...)

One thing I am enjoying about the wheel is that it is much easier to avoid over twisting than it was with the top whorl spindle. When I swatched the last yarn I got a much more squishy, soft fabric. So I've decided to jump in and spin up the last of this natural wool blend for a secret project (shhh). Maybe after that this blog will stop being the all cream/grey/brown channel :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Easy As Pie

Huckleberry & blackberry - my signature pie... wait, is that pretentious?

I've always wondered about the saying "as easy as pie." Did the coiner of the phrase remember what it was like to learn to make pie? Simple - yes. Easy? No. I remember when I was first learning to make pie solo (ie without Mom). The crust in the helpful Better Homes and Gardens book looked as supple and smooth as Angelina Jolie's skin. My crust reminded me of Frankenstein's monster. It was impossible to transfer the thing to the dish in one piece.
I tried a floured towel. I tried a different kind of rolling pin. I tried a different a different recipe.

Like many things in life though, learning to make pie wasn't about finding a certain trick. It was about practising and learning how the process works.

A kind woman in the local spinning guild has loaned me her Ashford Traditional

Until now I've been putting the perfectionist on hold when it comes to spinning, but all of a sudden I want 200 yards of fluffy, worsted weight yarn. Now. The desire to turn my beloved fiber stash into only really amazing things has also been holding me back... So I hereby resolve to just play with the wheel this weekend and quite worrying.

Remember how I couldn't get going on a lace shawl earlier this year? This new WIP is proving that I can knit from a chart!

So maybe this spinning thing isn't too pie in the sky (forgive me).

Edited: fixed blogger timestamp (which seems to malfunction most of the time)
Edited (again): it ate half my post!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Ends of the Earth

First, the new place.

The living room/dining room/office as seen from near the front door.

A better look at the kitchen...

which is currently fully functional.

The best thing about the new place? 5 minute walk = beach.
Coming soon - house decor, new adventures in spinning, and a previously unblogged wip.