Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back to School!

The storm dumped a bunch of snow, but it hasn't shut everything down the way the last ice storm did (thank goodness).

The kids *are* going back to school tomorrow, which is great! The only bad thing is that I've managed to come down with a horrible head cold, so I'll be canceling on going to the library to process holds like I normally do on Mondays. Can you imagine how I could spread this virus, handling a few hundred books? [Not to mention that I'm not very with it at the moment.]

I took some pictures of the weather, although they're not all that much different than the ones from the last post, you can see the snow is a lot deeper. Looking at the patio set in the back, I'd say we got around 6" at least.

I'd gotten some paperwhites right after Christmas, and I was so excited about them -- until they bloomed.

It took me about a day to figure out where the really nasty week-old newborn diaper smell was coming from.

I took this picture after putting them outside because I couldn't stand the smell any more. Unfortunately they've now drooped and I've probably killed them.

Pretty though, aren't they?

Speaking of pretty, the ice on all of the trees is pretty spectacular, especially with the sun shining through the ice.

I finished Gillian's new mittens a little while ago, and she took them out for a test:

The thumbs are blue because I ran out of purple yarn. LOL! She doesn't seem to mind, thankfully.

This next picture gives a pretty good idea of just how much ice we got.

On Thursday afternoon while it was snowing I managed to spin up one of the braids that my Mom and Karen helped me dye:

I still need to ply it, but I'm going to wait another day or so until the singles aren't so energized so I don't have as many tangles to deal with. As usual, I've wound it into a center-pull ball and I'll ply from both ends of the ball. Once that's done and the twist is set, it's on to the next braid. I have five braids total, and I can't wait to get it all done so I can start knitting it up into a Bono Kimono (Ravelry link). I'm shooting for a heavy worsted-weight yarn but we'll see. According to my spinner's control card the singles is 22wpi, which might *just* be worsted once the twist is set. I could be surprised though! This is really the first project where I'm trying very hard to go for a specific weight.

Speaking of knitting and spinning, thank you Fillyjonk, Marianne, ShortOldLady, Denise, and Calista for your comments on the last two posts. :-)

I'm going back to bed now and try to sleep off this cold.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Ice Storm

We're getting walloped by the weather around here.

It started raining yesterday, which froze as soon as it hit the ground. Right now it's snowing.
So far we still have power, and hopefully we'll continue to have power. We keep having flashbacks to the ice storm of 2007, also known as The Ice Storm of Doom. LOL!

This time around we've got a propane indoor-safe heater, so things won't get quite as bad as 2007 as long as the power doesn't go out for too long.

I haven't actually ventured outside yet, but I did take some pictures from inside.

This is how the hoses looked this morning around 9:00:

Two hours later, after the snow started, they looked like this:

It's continuing to snow so they're quite a bit more buried now.

Here's the patio set:

The next-door neighbor's weeds (yes, they're so big they're growing above the fence--this one is about 12' tall):

The back fence (with the other neighbor's sagging patio cover) and lots of icicles:

It's really, really nasty out there. The problem isn't the snow, it's the 3/4" of ice all over everything. Greg actually stayed home from work today, which makes me worry a LOT less. He said he went to get on the turnpike (about a mile south of us) and the ice pellets started hitting his windshield. He said that getting there probably wouldn't be a problem, but getting home again after snow all day could be a *big* problem.

I was supposed to go scrapbooking tonight but I'm going to call and cancel. It's just not worth it to go anywhere, especially since we're normally there until around midnight.

I hope all of you are staying warm, and that all of my local friends don't lose power!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Extra Bad Blogger - Trachtentuch A shawl

Not only have I not posted for a while, I realized that I never actually posted the finished Trachtentuch A pictures. D'OH!!

It's been a long time, so I'll do a little picture recap. (Warning: gratuitous spinning, knitting, and lace pictures ahead. LOL) I started this project in July and finished it in early September.

First, a collage of the spun yarn. I did this during the Tour de Fleece last year, and luckily my Mom bought eight ounces instead of just four because I ended up using about six ounces.

Here's the start of the shawl:

Shawl in mid-way stage (color is accurate in the first picture, and not in this one):

Shawl pre-blocking:

Blocking, detail:

Blocking, full:

It might not seem that huge, but each of those tiles is 24".

Bad pic of me in shawl:

And this is how I end up "storing" many of my shawls:

I'm thinking about using black wool for Trachtentuch B, but we'll see. :-)


There's a huge storm rolling in at the moment and they're predicting that the power will go out in the next day or two. I just heard that school has now officially been canceled for tomorrow. I'm supposed to go scrapbooking tomorrow during the day and then for most of Friday night. I obviously won't be going during the day, and hopefully the roads will still be passable enough to go in the evening. Who knows!

Gillian stayed home sick from school (again) today, and she's much better than she was yesterday. While she watched a movie (Meet the Robinsons) I made a half-batch of laundry soap, so now I'm feeling fairly well prepared for the moment. That's about it for excitement around here. LOL!

Stay warm and safe!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Rock Day!

Yesterday was the Tulsa Handspinners' Guild annual Rock Day celebration.
Rock Day was traditionally the last hurrah before the spinners went back to work (a day ahead of the weavers) after the Christmas celebration.

For our Rock Day celebration we played lots of games and had good food.
Here's what I came home with (as far as stuff done in contests):

The pink and purple fiber that's on the crown is the stuff I won a Kromski niddy noddy for -- I got the longest length of fiber spun using a paper clip. Not a wheel, not a drop spindle, but a partially-unbent paper clip.

Moving clockwise, the bunch of easter grass and tinsel was horrible to spin, but at least now I can say I've done it. I ended up with about 10" of "yarn" and now I never have to do it again. LOL!

The black yarn at the bottom is made from a man's tie! I cut strips about 3/4" wide in a spiral going from the outside in. It actually makes a kind of neat yarn.

The next one, the cream with pink, teal, and violet bits, was the second contest I won. We were given a baggie of thrums, which are the parts cut off a loom after the weaving is finished. I chopped them up a bit and caught them in between two plies of wool to make an eyelash-type yarn. It really should be cabled to make it more secure as the thrums just pull out if you're not really really gentle, but it was fun to make!

In the center, the cream yarn is stuff we were given 30 minutes to spin. It wasn't prepped other than washed, and so I just kind of fluffed and shredded it with my fingers, then spun from a hand full.

The white stuff is a used dyer sheet. It was not terribly pleasant to spin, but between this and the tie I'm now convinced that I can spin just about anything. I was joking around that if the apocalypse comes, at least my family will be clothed. LOL!

I got this as a door prize:

It's 7.25 ounces of Ashland Bay Merino roving in the colorway English Garden. (The color isn't quite right in the picture.)

There were a bunch of vendors there, too, and I picked up a few things:

That's some merino in Sandalwood, from Ashland Bay. I got 8 ounces.

Up next is more Ashland Bay stuff, this time 80% Merino 20% Tussah silk:

I got these locks from Kate at Lowder Colours Farm, one of my good friends:

I can't remember exactly how much I got, but I'll weigh it again at some point.

Now onto the grab bags of fiber. Everyone got one of these for participating in the various contests.

This one is wool (of some kind), and has been washed and carded:

This is the first bag of three that I think is mohair, and it's quite...odoriferous. It's also full of VM and possibly dandruff.

Bag #2:

Bag #3:

I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, other than wash it a few times.

I got two bags of this wool:

I'm quite pleased with these two little bags of mohair locks, which seem clean and nice:

I managed to finish the shawl that I made for the Rock Day Challenge in time, which took about two weeks from starting to spin the fiber to blocking the shawl (although it would've been easier had I started a week or two earlier!!!). I got first place in the contest, which absolutely thrilled me. Here's the shawl:

And a gratuitous artsy shot:

I had a great time at Rock Day, although it kind of wore me out. LOL! I'm already looking forward to next year.

Tomorrow is Martin Luther King, Jr day, so the kids are out of school. It's a good thing since Gillian was up until midnight at the Girl Scout sleepover at the Oklahoma Aquarium last night.

I hope all of you have had a great weekend!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Birthdays and Cookies

I've been a bad blogger and not updated for a while, and this is going to be a quick post.

Tomorrow we're having Ryan's birthday party. It's a few days early (his birthday is Thursday) but this was the best available time for everything. He's so excited he's about to pop! I'll probably have some pics to post tomorrow evening, assuming I'm not comatose by then.

Cookies sales (Girl Scout cookies, that is!) start on Saturday the 16th. I can't take orders before then, but if you want any cookies let me know! Boxes are $4 each this year. Apparently some of the surrounding states are selling them for $3.50 per box, but we have 25 Girl Scout camps to support for our area, vs. the six or so that many of the other councils around us in western Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas support. (At least that's what I was told by our troop leader).

Last week I got my bowling balls redrilled to fingertip layouts, and had grips put in. They're *quite* different, but my average is definitely going up! On Wednesday (first day with the new drill pattern) I got 108, 132, and 123 at league. Since my average has dropped to 123 down from 130 at the start, I'm feeling much better about my bowling. Greg and I went bowling on Thursday and I got a 143 and a 187, which is by far my best score ever! I only left one open frame on the last game. We'll see if I can keep it up. LOL!