Friday, November 21, 2008


Looks like about once a month is all I can manage to post. Want to do a quick-ish recap though, about events lately (and there have been a lot!):

1. Homeowners, yup, new to the clan. Home Depot here we come.
2. Went to Edinburgh for work, and had way more fun than should be allowed. Kyle went with, and at some point I'll get around to posting pics on my Flickr, but until then, some key phrases: cold & windy, wonderful friendly people, whisky (yumm!), chips with curry sauce (double yumm!). Totally love the curry sauce on fries, now ranks up there with green chile cheese fries :)
3. Painting..a lovely blue to distract me from the cleaning needed in the house
4. Need glasses now. Hubby assures me I look adorable, but they still feel really odd. Never wearing glasses means I have to continuously resist the urge to swat them off my face like hair. Also, frames in the vision feel weird!
5. Been spinning a lot more lately, but not knitting too much. Made some fun navajo-plied superwash merino, about dk weight. Pretty lofty, which is nice
6. Taking Maggie Casey's Spinning 1 class at Shuttles, which is so awesome, as I am learning a ton! At some point I hope to do a brief summary of what I've learned, but so far I've gotten to try different wheels and types, worked with gorgeous fleece, and made my best spinning ever.

Been crazy busy lately, or maybe it just feels like it. Lots of changes/events in the last month, all of which have really gotten the creative side of me out. Hopefully I'll get my butt in gear and upload some pics of Barley running around in some of the snow we've been having around here, not to mention updating for December too :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Home & Spinning

So you might be asking, did I mean homespinning? Nope, I mean home (we're buying a house!!!) and spinning (Spinning week Oct 4-10th all over, but spinning month for us Coloradians). Been doing more regarding buying a house than on the spinning side, but have gotten a bit of spinning love in.

First, the house: we are now under contract for a lovely 3bd, 3 bath house in the westminster/broomfield area. If all goes well (fingers crossed!) we will be homeowners by Nov 13th, which is very cool and scary all at once. Especially due to the bellyflops going on with everyone's finances now. Really, who can say their job is 100% secure, no matter who they are. And as Kyle works for a company tied to the financial sector, it does makes things potentially a bit more interesting. All part and parcel of why we went for the pricing range and house size that we did. We easily could have gotten a loan for more $$$, for a bigger house, buy why? So far, it's just the two of us (well, for now at least), and we both wanted to ensure that if for some horrid, unknown reason one of us lost our job, we could still make the mortgage payment and other bills. Granted, it'd be tight with no extra for fun stuff (like beer and yarn), but totally doable. Sometimes I think it pays to be very practical, even though I am often teased for it at work. Okay, okay, but besides financial reasons, we both do love the house we picked, plus the lovely deck and backyard. Barley will certainly have fun there. :)

Now as to the spinning, I've been working hard at not overtwisting some of my yarns when I spin, so I get a lofty endproduct. On my other wheelspuns, the yarns turn out a bit too tightly spun, and even with a generous plytwist and thwacking during finishing, they don't really relax to give a nice knitting hand. True, I spin worsted, so that decreases the loft factor, but these are way beyond that. So lately I've taken to spinning on the lowest ratio for my wheel, even for fairly fine (approx 24-30 wpi) singles. Seems to give me the lofty yarn I'm looking for, but makes me wonder if I don't have something set-up wrong? Well, hoping the Spinning class with Maggie at Shuttles will help me figure this out more.

**From top left, cwise 1) handspun, handdyed cumulonimbus 2)Autumn Sunset handdyed BFL top 3) Pansies handdyed 2ply fingering wt wool 4) Forest handdyed lcwt 2ply wool

Otherwise been working on knitting a few things (all gifts, shh!), but the lovely Kristi brought me back some lovely alpaca roving from the Taos Wool festival, so hopefully once done with current project, I can try my hand at it. So soft! Otherwise, also got a bit of dyeing done, also looking forward to knitting/spinning. Way too many projects and not enough time!

Friday, September 19, 2008


Ahoy, it be Talk like a Pirate day! In th' spirit, I bring you past posts in Arrrrr-speak. just type my url where there be a space, and hit the shiny button! can amuse this scallywag all th' day!

Scallywags' Blog

You are The Cap'n!

Some men and women are born great, some achieve greatness and some slit the throats of any scalawag who stands between them and unlimited power. You never met a man - or woman - you couldn't eviscerate. You are the definitive Man of Action, the CEO of the Seven Seas, Lee Iacocca in a blousy shirt and drawstring-fly pants. You're mission-oriented, and if anyone gets in the way, that's his problem, now isn't? Your buckle was swashed long ago and you have never been so sure of anything as your ability to bend everyone to your will. You will call anyone out and cut off his head if he shows any sign of taking you on or backing down. If one of your lieutenants shows an overly developed sense of ambition he may find more suitable accommodations in Davy Jones' locker. That is, of course, IF you notice him. You tend to be self absorbed - a weakness that may keep you from seeing enemies where they are and imagining them where they are not.

What's Yer Inner Pirate?

brought to you by The Official Talk Like A Pirate Web Site. Arrrrr!

Be back a'later for more a'blogging!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Been up to quite a lot lately, so finally here’s an overall update. Besides the craziness that has been work, I’ve been getting a lot done in the knitting/spinning/dyeing arena. On my shiny new wheel, I spun the below as a worsted, with the brown a NZ merino wool and the blue a self-dyed brown sheep wool top, both singles overspun then plied to give approx 14 wpi and approx 180 yards. My spinning seems to be pretty dense still on the wheel, as I only got 180 yards of a heavy fingering to dk weight out of 2oz of each fiber, which doesn’t seem like a lot. Seems like I can get a lot more yardage out of my drop spindles for now, but mostly because I’m still learning the ins and out of my wheel. Any way, for the first wheel spun, whee, pretty yarn from my wheel!

Also for dyeing, I’ve tried my hand at both food coloring dyes and acid dyes from Cushings, both with good results. Also, I’ve been using the KnitPicks Bare yarns, which I love! Made some very pretty sock yarn this weekend, all blues and purples, with the Cushings dyes. Then with essentially the rinse, squeezing of the dye, and a few select drops of green food coloring, dyed this wool (ensconced in pantyhose leg, to prevent any felting) to give a much softer effect.

I can’t wait to play with both! Also, I’ve been wanting to start some judicious naming of my dyeing and spinning projects, any suggestions? Was thinking “Starry Night” for the sock yarn, and something else for the roving? Maybe try theme names, like paintings or weather terms or something? Who knows maybe I just like naming stuff too. Is that a hobby as well? ;)

Regardless, I’m looking forward to making some socks for people (both in fingering and in heavier weights), as well as some gifts for fall/winter/Christmas times as well. If people are really good (and also tell me what style/color/size/how heavy) they may want it, they may find stockings in their stocking! (okay, so lots of caveats there, but people! It’s not just a scarf, which will fit any ol’ person either, but an honest-to-goodness garment to fit your individual foot!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Vacation for the Nation

Since Kyle's work gave him the 3rd of July off, as well as the 4th, I decided to take it off as well. Being my mom's birthday and a long weekend, we took the opportunity to drive up and hang out with my parents at Carter Lake. Of course, since we were near (sort of?) Fort Collins, I finally got my spinning wheel from Lambspun! I loves it so much! Then we headed to the lake and hung out with my Aunt Connie and cousin Laura and their families. It was a lot of fun, as my Dad busted out the jet skies and Barley got to romp around in the water some. Turns out he only really likes to splash around in it and not actually swim, unless we're in the water, then he'll swim to Kyle and I just to hang out.

Also started and finished a golf club cover for Kyle with a skull design
with a crooked mouth. Mostly designed for fun and also to sort of go with the mythic brewery name we have of Crooked Mouth Brewing, from the name Campbell. It was my first Fair isle, and it was pretty fun, as long as I had my chart to go from. Also, finished Gracie's top by trying steeking for the first time. Not as scary as I though, but I need to work on picking up the stitches after steeking to give a more delicate edge. Hmm, what else? Also tried navajo plying on my drop spindle for the first time, and I love how it turned out! Turned out to be a very fibery weekend, as I started spinning some chocolate brown merino, and decided I should ply it with another color. Had some undyed wool roving around and so I decided to dye it a slightly varigated sky blue for later spinning and plying. And while I was dyeing, I dyed up some KnitPicks sock yarn with a range of plummy colors, for knitting into Kristi's wonderful Froot Loops socks. Overall, it was a very, very relaxing weekend, with lots of fun time with family, sun, water, pup antics, and of course, beer.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Sprains, Pains, and Rot

So lots has been happening lately. Our big plan for last weekend was to travel up to the Colorado BrewFest on St in Ft. Collins, stopping to get me a spinning wheel (yay!) on the way. Instead, due to an unfortunate meeting in the dog park, our Barley managed to hurt his leg, which prompted a very stressful night and morning in the vet's office on Sat morning. Turns out it's just a bad sprain, no bones broken, and the vet wrapped him up and sent him home. he's been doing really well and actually got the wrap off this morning, so he should be back to his active self in no time. Of course, after we were leaving the vet, I noticed a large bolt/nail in the tread surface of my car's passenger tire. We thought "oh, crap, but at least it can be patched!" Nope, instead we needed all 4 tires replaced. Why you ask? Well, turns out that tires can rot! Did you know this, cause I had no idea. Guess after a few years, especially in dry climes or coastal climes (hmm, like San Diego or Colorado, ...yeah) the tires can rot and be unstable. So while we dropped a cool grand before noon on Sat on nothing fun, at least we're assured that my tires won't explode (I hope!) on my commute and that our pup is happy and healthy. Needless to say, I didn't get a spinning wheel that weekend though.

But as Barley was feeling better, we did decide to make the trek up to Fort Collins with a few (somewhat new) friends Andy and Kristi. Even though quite toasty out, it was fun to go somewhere and chat about beer and stuff with new people. Of course, Kristi isn't quite new to me, as I met her as part of the wonderful knitting group I joined in winter, and then she got be started on drop spindling too. And of course, she let me try out her lovely Lendrum DT, prompting my growing need for a wheel of my very own. But it was nice for Kyle to finally meet some of my new friends, especially when it involves beer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

WoW and knitting

Finally finished drop spindling the lovely blue merino roving I bought from Shuttles, which I turned into a 2-ply. My beginning efforts were the standard thick and various thins of a first-time handspinning try, but by the end I was making a lovely, even sockweight, once plied (about laceweight before ply). Since I had already started this shrug with the thicker yarn, I decided to finish with my thinner yarn doubled up, and it’s turning out nicer than expected.

I also (finally!) finished Kyle’s WoW (World of Warcraft) guild socks. As a WoW widow, I am quite used to some of the terms, one being that he belongs to a Guild called “Death From Above” who have a tabard design that each person in the guild can wear, so I did a bit of my own sketch designing for a duplicate stitch version of the tabard for his socks. They turned out pretty well, and I think Kyle is pretty happy with them. Granted, now that it’s hot out, he has no cause to wear these comfy around the house socks, but in fall he will soon enough.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Estes Park Wool Market

On Sat June 14th I went with Kristi and Alyson (who I had just met but is really cool!) to the Estes Park Wool Market. It was a great day, even though it was pretty hot, but I picked up all sorts of fun new types of fibers to try my hand at spinning. I got llama, alpaca, bamboo, merino/silk, and superwash merino, all fun things I've never tried before.

Right now I still have my blue merino on my drop spindle, and once that's done, I can start playing with new fibers. I have severe wheel lust for the Lendrum DT thanks to Kristi's bad influence, and after checking with Shuttles, they said it will take 2-3 months to get a new one in! I'm so impatient, I don't wanna wait 3 months! Anyway, the wool market was awesome, filled with so many fibers and yarns and animals. I used my spending allotment almost immediately. Saw some cute llamas and alpacas though, and adorable baby sheep. Afterwards we all went to Estes Park proper and did a little winetasting.

On Father's day my hubby and I went my my dad, mom, and brother to lunch and to see the movie "The Happening", which is a horrible, pointless movie without any real suspense. Was going to see Indiana Jones, but they had shut off half of the theater building due to a fire alarm joke, so we need to go back next weekend and actually see Indy Jones.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Long time, no see

Yeah, yeah, I'm a horrible blogger with 18 months between posts. But instead of the long version, here's a quick recap: working as chemist at Catalent Pharma (formerly Cardinal Health); visiting families over 2007; went to see Keith and Abigail in Seattle and went to the yummy Cheese festival and had lots of beer there; some cooking but not as much as Kyle would like; Comic-Con again but sadly this time no pics of me with my personal heroes; many friends had babies (so cute!); big fires hit San Diego in the fall and lots of people were evacuated and the city pretty much shut down for a week; got back into crocheting and then learned to knit; knitting quickly became a large passion (just look at the pics in my Flickr if you don't believe me); visited Jimmy and Mirka for Thanksgiving and had a blast; Kyle defended and got his doctorate in Physics, yay!; he accepted a job in Colorado, and we moved in the winter; I'm working as QA Manager in Denver at company called Eurofins; I joined an awesome knitting group and made lots of great friends (see blog lists); we met some awesome beer people from Great Divide and are enjoying lots of yummy local beer; my brother has also started homebrewing, and Kyle's started back up again and got a fancy new brewpot, and he's updating his blog; spending lots of time with my family, and also Kyle's by visits; started using a drop spindle and am now spinning my own yarn!; considering purchasing a lovely Lendrum double-treadle spinning wheel; looking at buying a house in the fall/winter; adopted a wonderful 1 year Corgi mix dog from the Boulder Humane Society and named him Barley......

And of course, with the addition of a new dog, life is a little more crazy but way, way more fun. Hmm, don't think I forgot anything major, but feel free to remind me :)