Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Good Ventillation Is Always a Must

I've been dying lately, dying and prepping. I have lots of free time on my hands now that I'm all alone. It gets quiet in the house, but if I stay busy and keep the TV on for background noise I'm okay.

When I said I had lots of free time I was lying, I now have to do what two people used to, all be it for one less person but damned if I know how to do laundry. Rob was the clean one and I was the crafter. Moving on from my pity party, and into the creative process...
My Little Gem arrived last week, the Monday after Rhinebeck to be precise which was perfect because I have all these things to spin now. It takes a little getting used to when switching from Irish tension (the babe and Louie) to Scotch tension. I have yet to name the wheel so for now she will be called Majacraft, she is most definitely a female where as Louie is so masculine. In addition to my new wheel I bought Indigo Hound Double Pitch Combs at rhinebeck and though I have poked little holes in my finger tips I find the learning curve on these things isn't so bad at all. Youtube and the internets can teach a lot especially when you find this woman. She is a little loud and very energetic, but stick around and watch her fiber prepping tutorials, she should have a show on DIY network or something.

I scoured my first wool fleece in a sink this weekend and I think I have a technique that can't be beat, (don't we all say that) I'll do another batch this week and post photos. It really is a good technique because it saves you from scrubbing the tub. And last night I spend a few hours combing and spinning the wool that was dry. Spinning from combed wool is a dream, super easy and the final results are lovely. I was using a long wool so the final product won't be soft on the skin but I'm sure I can make something lovely out of it. I was truly amazed at how the fleece turned from a dingy yellow, stinky, greasy mess to a lovely white cloud that smelled only slightly like wool and more clean then any yarn I had knit with lately.

I also spent the weekend dying with the new colors I picked up at rhinebeck. I did some hankies, which I don't have a pic of yet, they are super lovely, vibrant and warm. I'll take pics tonight and post as soon as I can.

I also did sock yarn, here's the first

Abominable Snowman




this yarn is based on this guy (the big dude in the back)

And then I did some roving based on the sunset I watched from my balcony



Both are available at my etsy shop.

I am thinking I will do a post on my dying technique as well. I do both and and cold pour methods, but I also do a pasta jar method that makes color blending a snap, its best for small batch dye jobs, but those are the only ones I do anyway. All yarns and fibers are one of a kind and difficult to replicate, though I can come close.

Monday, October 29, 2007

My Credit Card Got a Workout Part II

So I hope you are all caught up on the events leading up to the besetest day of my year so far. Sunday was the main event and Mollie and I were well prepared. We woke at 8:30AM and got dressed, packed and ready as fast as we could. We had decided the day before to have IHOP for breakfast because neither of us eats there with regularity and there is something magical about silver dollar pancakes with 5 different syrups to dip them in. And after realizing we would have to wait for a table, and then pondering if it was worth waiting for a table (yes it was pancakes and different syrups are always worth the wait.) We decided to stick around and stuff ourselves with carby goodness.

Full of starch and fat we headed north to the fairgrounds for some serious fiber shopping. We got there early enough to get parking that was kind of close and paid our 10 buck entrance fee. I was overwhelmed by what I saw, this was my first fiber fair ever and OH MY GOD it was just sensory over load, best told in a picture post.

First stop was the fleece sale and even though most of the good fleeces had been sold I bought myself a lovely Romney (long wool, good crimp, white)
The lady in charge was marking down the cormo's that were left and I so wanted one, but even at sale prices it was just too rich for my blood.

We walked up and down the barns picking and buying what interested us. Mollie was far more reserved the I was and well, its good to have a person who will whisper in your ear, "do you really need two whole fleeces?"

We saw lots of animals and I had to keep stopping myself from buying one of these adorable angora bunnies. They shed a bit too much and I don't know how princess puppy Dessie would deal with another animal fighting for my love.
I saw lots of sheep and alpacas
This guy kissed me while I was trying to take his picture. His tongue was slimy and his breath was deadly
This gal had just received a haircut and I'm sure she wasn't too happy that I took a nudie shot of her.
This one was getting a haircut and complaining to the stylist the entire time
This sheep was in blackface, I asked Mollie if she was offended and she said I "should stop being cute"
Rams doing what all men do on Sunday, lay around the pen
After all this shopping and animal petting I was famished, I saw the Artichoke French stand and squealed with delight. Mollie was no way no how going to stand in line with me so she perused the food building, bought wine, got lunch and came back for me before I was even served
But they are so worth the weight/wait (haha)
In our hasty planning we totally missed Building A which housed all the bestest stuff. Live and learn as they say.
We packed up the car and headed home, tired, sun-kissed and broke

Here's my total haul
If you click this link you can see the flickr page which has notes on everything

It was a good weekend with plenty of purchases and good company.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

For Sale Babe Pinkie Spinning Wheel

I now interrupt my normal blogging to post an ad:
Hello everyone, I am parting with my babe pinkie wheel. I used this wheel mostly as a travel wheel supplementing my louet but now that I have a Little Gem I have to make some room. A wheel like this usually sells for 194.00, but I am willing to part with it for 120.00 which includes shipping. It comes with two regular bobbins and a jumbo/plying bobbin. I will throw in a few batts for fun if you like at no extra cost. This wheel is a good for children, or as a secondary wheel, I can also see it being useful for plying. The pictures below show the wheel as is but I will most certainly clean it up before I send it out. P1010012
Yes I do spin barefoot, but those will come out with Mr. Clean Magic Erasure, and I will remove them before I send out.

For more information on the babe pinkie wheel check out this site .

If you are interested please email me at thrifty.girl@gmail.com


Back to your normal blogging posts Monday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

My Credit Card Got a Workout Part 1

So here's my full Rhinebeck recap. I don't even know where to begin. I'm sorely lacking in photos because my arms were full of fiber and fried artichokes for most of the day. I'll start at the beginning and finish at the end, but I have so much to tell it will be two posts long.

Friday night I loaded up the car with Dessie and a weekend bag full of clean clothes and some knitting projects and headed into Manhattan to pick up my best friend in the whole wide world, Mollie. Mollie is a newbie knitter and not yet prone to fiber induced insanity but I hoped this trip would make her a full blown addict. Mollie is a severe overpacker and this worried me because if there are too many bags of clothes then there will not be enough room for bags of fibery goodness.

We drove up to my fathers house in CT to drop off the dog for the weekend and to crash a bit closer to our final destination. We went to bed early knowing full well that we would be leaving as soon as possible to get where we needed to be. We had no plans to go to the festival on Saturday, too crowded and I get evil when I'm pushed around, so we figured we'd make a day trip of it.

First stop was the back of the community my father's house is in to get pictures of the fall foliage.
I walked to the waters edge and saw this
It reminded me of the Kauni sweater I have been ignoring, I figured it was a sign and vowed this would not be a project I left in the pile.

We then headed out on the road stopping only to eat friendly's fried food and ice cream sundays.

Around 4PM we arrived at the hotel and checked into our room. Mollie had to do her hair, a process I soon found out that takes an hour plus, before we went out. I quickly grew bored so I broke out a spindle I had made and a batt that I purchased on etsy and spun to quiet my anticipation


We headed out and decided we would try to hit up the Headless Horseman before the Ravelry party. It was a very elaborate haunted house, 3 haunted houses actually and one hay ride that was ripe with clowns (I hate clowns) which caused me a panic attack. At one point I could have sworn that I was being hit on by a few demons, but brushed it off as silly fun, until one demon actually pulled me out of my group to "scare" (get my name) and if Mollie hadn't come back to get me I'm sure I would still be there right now.

After we were thoroughly frightened we loaded back into the car and headed to Riccardi's Hideaway for the Ravelry party. And when I say headed I mean we drove in the right direction, though it was the wrong direction, back tracked, figure out we were right the first time, turned around, stopped at a gas station or 3 for directions and got lost at least 4 more times. We got to the bar 10 minutes before the raffle in just enough time to grab a gin and tonic, and cold cheese burger and a winning ticket!!
That's me snuggling my new superwash merino roving from Spunky Eclectic in the Ravelry colorway.
There were lots of people at the party
That's Casey and Jess in the background. I met Amy from Spunky Eclectic, and promptly couldn't think of a thing to say, so a babbled for a moment and literally stopped talking! It was so awkward, I'm not good at meeting people.

I also met Necia, who I could talk to but mostly because she did the talking for the both of us. She is so outgoing it was hard to be shy. I saw the Yarn Harlot rocking her Kauni, but the New Yorker in me refused to let me introduce myself to a "celebrity" (us New Yorkers like to pretend with think celebrities are like regular people but we point to them when we are not looking and are probably as in awe as anyone else in the country, but as New Yorkers we must appear cool in all situations.)

Around 11:30 things calmed down a bit and Mollie and I headed back to our hotel to open the Riesling I had bought and drink and knit. We would go to bed early because Sunday would be the big day. We went to bed tipsy and dreamed of yarn and sheep, tomorrow we would go for broke. ....

Monday, October 22, 2007


I went to Rhinebeck this weekend. Full post to follow, I still have to upload my photos and sort through my new stash.

I'm updating the blog look. I didn't like the brown anymore it was crowded. Let me know if this is better.

I added a few new things to the shop last week
Dracula Batts 4.4oz Merino, corriedale, mohair and gold glitz

Lily Merino Roving 1.9oz

I finished clue 1 for the Secret of the stole


And I have been slowly chugging through the second clue, I am behind, this is not good. I must finished up to at least half of clue 3 before the week is done.

On the moving front, all is well. My new couch was delivered last week and its perfect, cushy and comforting it blends well with the carpet and my decor. I love my new apartment its perfect for me and the pup. Rob and I have hit a rough patch and he is not living with me at this point. I hope things will work out, but being in a new cheery place makes the difficult transition all the easier. I keep myself happy with lots of sunlight and even more fiber.

Did you go to Rhinebeck? What did you buy? Let me know which vendors I absolutely can not miss for next year. I think I may get an Angora bunny, they are too fluffy if you have one please let me know how it works for you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Things to do instead of unpacking

I left Rob this weekend to handle the house mess. He's really gone above and beyond what I thought he would be doing. He and his parents moved the entire apartment with the help of a U-Haul and a floor dolly. I couldn't believe the stack of boxes when I returned to the apartment.

Its nice being up high again, seeing the sun and knowing I can walk the dog at night without issue. I loved my old place, it had a tiny backyard and it was cheap cheap cheap! But one can only live with one window for so long. The damage to the building was becoming unbearable and it was time to step it up a level (or 15!) Now I reside in a studio apartment, it is bigger then my old 1 bedroom, but still one room can take its toll, with a large terrace, doorman and parking. Things are moving along but I procrastinate to craft as any good creative person tends to do.

I drove up to Connecticut to spend the weekend with my folks and brought Dessie along for the ride. As boredom set in my itchy fingers whipped up some drop spindles for the Etsy shop. Here they are in all their glory
Top whorls; 1.2oz 1.5" whorl, 12" shaft
Bottom whorls: .9oz, 1.5" whorl, 12" shaft
I love how the beads catch the light when spinning and create a visual effect that is quite pretty. This was my first successful attempt at wire wrapping.

I cast on the Secret of the Stole on Friday night and though I though the double point would be a pain, it was easier then I expected. So easy that I just signed myself up for another mystery lace project the "Mystic Waters" KAL I don't want to buy another bunch of yarn so I think I'll frog the Print O The Waves stole for this project. I didn't really want to pick up all those border stitches anyway.

I order a bunch of Henry's attic yarns yesterday so this weekend my Terrace is going to be yarn dying central. I'll be adding sock yarn to the etsy shop soon. I may have a "name this colorway" contest.

I also bought a used Majacraft Littlejem 2 from another user on ravelry. Don't get me wrong I love Louie, but I want to spin thin and I want to be able to carry my wheel with me if I need to. I'm going to sell the Babe pinkie wheel. I was using it mostly for plying anyway. If anyone wants a slightly used pinkie wheel I'm selling the Double Treadle for 125.00 I've spun less then 30 hours on it, and I will throw in some fiber to play with as well. I'll post pics soon. Its a great wheel for children, plying and travel it just doesn't suit my needs anymore.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Le Sigh

I guess I am important enough to be spammed. I don't know whether to be flattered or furious. I don't want to turn on comment filters but I guess I have to.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

FO! And pics from my trip

I finished the "Shug This" from One Skein Wonders its a quick pattern that uses very little yarn and even less time. I knit this in the suggested yarn "Rowan Kid Classic."
I made one modification to the length. Instead of 6 rows after the sleeves are joined before the ribbing I knit 12 rows and then the ribbing. This used up almost all the yarn and I think made the top look a little less absurd
I also blocked the crap outta the sucker to make it more airy and less tiny. I like it and I recieved many compliements when I wore it to work yesterday. I went very well with a black tank and patterned pencil skirt and was the perfect warm up on a not quite fall day.

Here's some pics from the road trip to Toronto. These were all taken at Niagara falls on the Canadian side, which for some reason reminded me of Atlantic City. There was all this bustling tourist action on the main drag but behind it was an area of poverty and ugliness. I didn't shoot the ugly side so you'll have to make the trip and judge for yourself.
This is me in a rare photo of myself
Maid of the Mist, we rode this thing into the falls it was exhillerateing
The Horseshoe Fall
Suited up in our blue ponchos for the boat ride
On our way into the water
The wall of water