13 December 2012

Unfuck My Habitat Challenge

I have to admit... I live in a total mess. I need to clean up my living space. It's causing mental distress and it's just damn wrong. I deserve better. So, starting today, I am accepting the challenge to unfuck my habitat. There's a lovely tumblr group out there and even an iPhone app.

My goals are simple: get something done every day. Three things in my bedroom that need to be done before work each and every day. Whether it's changing my sheets or reorganizing my books or cleaning off my bedside table. My goal is to have my bedroom looking like a person lives here by January 1st. On my days off, I will be doing either additional things or more difficult and time consuming ones.

The whole idea behind unfuck your habitat is to do 20 minutes of work at a time and then rest. This helps avoid burn out and you get more done doing a little a few times every day than you do in a cleaning frenzy. So, wish me luck!

Today's unfucking included putting my clean work uniforms away in the closet, put my new sheets set on the bed, and wash one load of clothes. I'll be staying up long enough to pop my things in the dryer and then go to bed. I feel rather awful and I'm afraid I'm getting sick or something.

19 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Days 16 - 20

The past few days have been quite eventful for me as far as spinning goes! First, I started plying my rambouillet yarn. It looks great!

So far, it's come out to 580 yards of fingering weight 2 ply yarn. It's smooshy and soft and I'm very much looking forward to dyeing it. I'm going to save that mini skein, which is about 25 yards, and knit a square of my sock yarn blanket before and after adding dye. That's the plan, at least.

I have been spindling up a storm, as well! I have a few pictures here and there, but I haven't been posting them. Woops!

This is the 1 oz amount I spun up on the spindle and have now wound off and started the last ounce of the braid. Woo!

It's kind of awesome, because Dax helped and held the spindle while I wound the yarn off of it. It was very sweet and and helpful of him.

Anyway, it looks like my TdF progress is going very, very well and I'm interested in seeing how this targhee turns out once it's plied. It's not as uniform and even as my wheelspun yarn, but I really haven't had too much practice with the spindle. As it is, I'm just thrilled to be on the show. :)

15 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 15


I have finished working with half the fiber for both of my major projects and wound everything up into balls to be used for plying once the other half is finished! Yay!

The targhee looks good. The two amounts I spun up on the spindle are not equal, but I'm hoping I'll be able to join them up during plying since yardage is not going to be the same between the two of them, anyway. I wish I had bothered to get a picture of the cop on the spindle before taking it off to wind, but I was so excited I didn't think of it.

The rambouillet is my pride and joy. During the winding process, I realized exactly how consistent it was and was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it has nepps and it's a bit bumpy, but the overall consistency is pretty even, so yay! Also it looks like it'll ply up into a lace weight yarn... considering this is 4 oz already, I am actually rather upset about this because this is only the first half of the fiber. I have 4 oz left. No one in their right mind needs 8 oz of laceweight yarn. Anyway, I may end up plying this on itself and leaving it at that. I'm also excited about the prospect of dyeing this because it's my first time really spinning an undyed white yarn.

The little bit at the top is what I worked on with the tahkli. It got full pretty fast, but I think I was just not winding the cop on evenly enough. I will continue to mess with it here and there and report the results, but it's not a priority right now.

14 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 14

Today was a decent day for spinning for me. I spent some quality time with my wheel and some Battlestar Galactica. I think the yarn is turning out great so far and I'm looking forward to finishing up the first four ounces. That was the goal for today, but alas I was distracted by the humidity. I had more than one moment of desperately wanting to lay down spread eagle on the floor under the ceiling fan. It rained this evening and the humidity in the air is just awful and it makes everything feel sticky, so working with wool was not a terribly attractive idea. I did get quite a bit spun, though, so it wasn't a total loss.

13 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 13

Wow, I can't believe it's been thirteen days already! I have gotten quite a bit of spinning done today, I think. My main task was to get my fiber all portioned out and really get a good look at how much I've done as the tour is now more than halfway over. I'm about where I expected to be, halfway or so. I'm hoping to hit the halfway mark in my fiber for both of my main projects tomorrow.

I spent the entire day with my two good friends and their daughter and I had the opportunity to spindle a teensy bit while we were at an indoor playground. It was a fun place and I'm looking forward to going again sometime.

Anyway, a picture!

I love the red of this fiber. Andrea at Natural Obsessions does such a great job! I also spun a bit on the wheel, but not enough to take a picture of, really. It doesn't look too terribly different. Anyway, I'm going to have some free time tomorrow so I'm looking forward to getting quite a bit done. It's the second bit of the tour, now, I have to get a move on and push toward my goals!

12 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Days 10 & 12

Well, I bet the first question is about Day 11. Yesterday was a day of rest and I didn't spin a damn thing. It was well-deserved and it felt nice to just sit back and take a break and knit for a bit.

Day 10 was Monday. I had a really strangely busy day and didn't get around to spinning at all until about 6:30 while I was at game night. You see a recurring theme? Anyway, I had a lot of fun drop spindling and I'm getting pretty good at walking around while spinning, which is indeed necessary when you've been sitting debating rules and strategy for a bit and you just need to get up off your butt and move around.

Day 12 was today, Wednesday. I wasn't too horribly busy and, honestly, it was quite a rainy day and I wanted to do nothing more than sit and spin while watching random episodes of anime or Battlestar Galactica, which I did until about 5:30 and then went to dinner with a friend and then bought comic books and hung out a bit. Anyway, when I got home I was greeted by a package!

A few days ago, someone on ravelry messaged me after seeing a post I had made about wanting to try my hand with the tahkli. Turns out, she had an extra and asked me if I was interested in her sending it to me. I thanked her profusely and gave her my address and it shipped miraculously fast with some surprise unknown fiber inside, which I shamelessly began spinning before I even took a picture of the spindle. Since that's how I roll.

Anyway, a tahkli spindle is a very small spindle that can be spun sort of like a top and goes at really high speeds, so it's ideal for working with short staple fibers like cotton and, apparently, cat fur?

Anyway, this video shows some of the basics of using a tahkli and even making the puni, which is another way to prepare cotton fiber rather than just roving. It's a good video to just see the mechanics, at any rate.

Anyway, the generous, amazing, wonderful, amazeballs person of amazingness who sent me this beautiful gift has an etsy shop called Unwind Yarn Company and she has some gorgeous fiber and yarn and just... yeah. So, in return for her amazing act of kindness I am giving her a piece of my soul and a shameless shout out to my tee nincey audience that may or may not actually exist. Huzzah!

 Anyway, I made some great progress today and I am looking forward to filling up my bobbin on my spinning wheel, probably tomorrow! Hopefully this is a sign of things to come and I may actually finish all 8 oz of my rambouillet roving I have!

09 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 9

I had a very busy day, today. Aside from work, which was good, I had a few errands to run. I went to the pet shop and bought food for the rats, cats, and my dad's parrot because he was out. Cat food and rat food are pretty reasonably priced, in my opinion, but when I got to the parrot food I was completely shocked. $22 for 4.5 lbs. Really? I was not aware that my dad's pretentious bird had a strict dietary requirement of unicorn farts and fairy eyelashes. Sheesh! I, of course, bought it and he is probably looking in my direction with murderous intent. Ingrate.

Anyway, after all of that excitement, I went and played Pathfinder at a friend's house and spun like the wind!

I wound a ball of singles and started spinning a new cop! Woo! It was fun and I really wasn't too distracted for game, to be honest. It was a lot of fun and I have game tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to bringing my spinning up to Denny's. Oh, joy.

08 July 2012

Tour de Fleece: Day 8

Well, today has been fun and eventful. I continued working on the targhee that I have been spindling. The last I measured, I have spun approximately 0.6 oz. Oh, joy! The current plan is to get about an ounce per time I fill up the spindle, then ply to make two little skeins of whatever it will be. It's going great!

When I got home from work, I found a package waiting for me and... woo! Fiber! I got some gorgeous pima cotton from NO and, basically, raced over to my friend's house to use her charkha to spin a little of it and see how it went. The charkha experience was interesting, to say the very least. Once we figured out how to get the thing set up properly, everything went all right. I did start to pick it up, but honestly I'd prefer to use a support spindle like a takli rather than the charkha, I think, because the charkha just involves some really funny ways of moving. We will see. I'm hoping to have some time during TdF to play with the takli a little, so hopefully more on that later.

Please excuse the blurriness of that picture! 

... and my end product looked somewhat like a joint. Ha! It was a fun little experiment, though, and I think the charkha is something I could get used to, but I'm looking forward to trying various methods to see what I like best for spinning cotton roving.

07 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Days 6 & 7

Well, I have some progress from the past two days! I didn't work too much with the rambouillet I've been working on yesterday, but today I decided to take a break and spin some of the Natural Obsessions fiber I have. So, I went up to Yarnivore and bought a new drop spindle. The particular one I bought was a Schacht Hi-Low. I like it because I really don't like top whorl spindles and it's hard to find bottom whorl sometimes. Anyway, I like it. It's a good spindle.

I spun up some sample fiber I bought at the shop and... it turned out okay, I guess.

I'm really surprised it turned out so well since I really haven't been spindling recently. Anyway,  I ran home and grabbed my targhee fiber from NO and brought it back. I'm pretty pleased with the result!

I can see the benefit of spindling. It's much simpler to transport and I really find it to be very soothing. It's not that I don't love my wheel and that's not relaxing, but spindling is just different. Anyway, I think I've managed to actually overspin a bit so I'm looking forward to plying this single to see how it turns out!

05 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 5

Well, due to my plans for Independence Day today, I did not get much time to spin. I also spent quite a bit of time napping between work and my plans, so there goes an hour and a half or so down the drain. Lovely. I spun a bit after I got home, though, and there is progress. I'm feeling reasonably encouraged that I can finish up this bobbin tomorrow and start on the second half of this fiber.

It's not a huge improvement, but there is more there. I am having a lot of trouble with nepps in this fiber, but I have chosen to leave them in because spending the time to remove them would take forever and the sheer amount would probably be more than I'm interested in. I'm also a bit afraid this is more overspun than I usually do, but if I recall correctly it seems I worry about that every time and my yarn always comes out pretty balanced with minimal wash and thwack necessary. We will see.

I'm considering doing a 3-ply with this just to get some good practice with Navajo ply, but I haven't quite decided. The funny thing is I just came off spinning ridiculously fine and this is a much thicker single. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a 2-ply sportweight. I'll have to check the NPI when I am finished spinning. It isn't horribly even, but that's mostly due to nepps. Blah. I still like Rambouillet, though. It drafts like butter.

04 July 2012

Tour de Fleece - Days 3 and 4

Well, I have been spinning like a madwoman of late! I have pictures of my progress from yesterday, July 2nd:

It's not too terribly much, as I did not have too terribly much time to spin with everything going on. Today, I had a lot more time. I spent quite some time spinning at our weekly knitting meetup at Panera. The managers are really nice and there's a back corner that's perfect for setting up the wheel and getting to work. I also went ahead and turned up the tension on the wheel, which has helped so, so much. I am now spinning much faster and I'm pleased with the drastic amount of progress, as a result.

It's really not too bad, considering I spent much of the night indulging in some excellent wine!

I... drank the entire bottle. Well, I'm actually in progress with the last glass. Anyway, it's good wine and it's the last I'll be having for quite a while as I was prescribed a medication this morning that does not do well with alcohol, so boo!

I'm looking forward to finishing up that bobbin hopefully tomorrow, though there will be some crazy festivities with the 4th of July. Perhaps there will be action shots involving BBQ!

02 July 2012

D-Man Birthday Socks Completed!

Well, I finished the socks for Dax's ninth birthday. As I have said before, his birthday is in September, but with the Ravellenics coming up and Tour de Fleece right now and the smattering of baby stuff that's about to happen, I wanted to get a head start.

They are seriously fraternal twins and I'm really glad I had an awesome model for them!

Anyway, I'm glad the heat here is so bad that he didn't want to keep them on. It makes it a lot easier to sneak them into the present bag in my closet to wrap up in two months for his birthday. Here's to hoping his feet don't grow to enormous sizes before then!

(Also, good news, BSGFPB extended the deadline so this project actually qualified for points! Yay!)

01 July 2012

Tour de Fleece Day 2

I have sadly not had too terribly much time to spin, today. I had work and came straight home to spin for a bit before having to go in for another shift. Oh, joy. I only got about an hour and change to spin at all, but that proved to be about enough to get something done.

This fiber has a ridiculous amount of nepps in it. I don't exactly dislike it enough to sit around trying to remove them as I go, but I've noticed that I'm not spinning as fine as I have been recently. It's still not too awful and I like it, so there is that. :)

Also! Surprise, my cousin came by. He's in town visiting with his son. He's a Marine so I don't see him except maybe once a year or so, so it was nice that he popped by today. Yay!

Spinner Study June 2012: Rambouillet -- Tour de Fleece Day 1

One of the beasts for the Spinner Study this month was Rambouillet. I know I'm kind of sneaking in under the line, but I wanted to work on this fiber first and foremost because it's something I am very excited to be working with. I purchased 8 oz of roving from Frisky Lam Farms. It is absolutely gorgeous and just drafts like butter. I've already gotten the spinning sort of down, though I haven't spun a whole bunch today. Sorry, I had to go get my car battery replaced. The heat really zapped the old one and it died! Anyway, I didn't spin oodles and gobs but I think it looks great so far!

Well, today was the beginning of the Tour de Fleece. So, this is my Day 1. I ended it pretty late and am actually going to head to bed here, soon. I doubt I will have more than 15 minutes to spin tomorrow, too, but I will keep you updated.

30 June 2012

Spinner Study June 2012: Manx Loaghtan

So, this month I had some fiber I wanted to spin up as a part of the Spinner Study group on Rav. This is Manx Loaghtan from Gnomespun Yarns. I love the color and the fiber was so warm and fuzzy and amazing to play with while in braid format.

I had a lot of trouble working with this fiber, I have to be honest. It had a lot of nepps and stuff and was not particularly easy to get the trick of drafting. I had to massively mess with the tension on my spinning wheel and everything to get it somewhat consistent. It also took me absolutely forever. I can't even begin the rant on that. Spinning fine takes forever. Let's just leave it at that.

The resulting yarn was a light fingering, almost laceweight, at about 330 yards. Out of four ounces, it looks like well over an ounce was burned in the process with the nepps and a bit of loss of the single in the plying process. It was awful. It doesn't look too horrible, though.

I would not call it next-to-skin quality yarn and the skimpy yardage kind of makes it difficult for me to imagine a project. I'll think of something, though.

22 June 2012

Comic Nerdiness

Well, I have fallen down the rabbit hole... yet again. I have periods of time where I just get really into certain things and, right now, it's comics. I went to Dragon's Lair on Wednesday and picked up a few things:

I'm pretty sure that most of the people who would find this particular post interesting are aware of the fact that they are coming out with prequel comics to follow the storyline of the various characters of The Watchmen. I went ahead and picked up the original, as well, because it's been quite some time since I've read it and I do not own it. I have not read the prequels yet, because I've been distracted, but I am going through and rereading the original. More on that later, I hope.

Also pictured is the new Star Trek/ Doctor Who crossover comic. I have not actually read it yet, but from what I saw so far it does seem like it will be interesting.

Behind everything else is Y: The Last Man. This is an older comic, but it was suggested by someone and I have been meaning to pick it up and read it recently. I finally got the opportunity and I wish I had the cash to go and drop on buying the entire series because... yeah. It's really good. I don't know what it is, but I tend to love comics that really strive to deal with the definition of humanity and how we would do in a post-apocalyptic setting, like The Walking Dead. 

While I was there, I also saw a Dresden Files comic that looked really great but they only had issue 6 and, being me, I have to start at the beginning. I was bummed out, yeah, but  it's an interesting project to look in on here and there and see what I can find.

So, fast forward to today and I am discussing this with a friend of mine and he tells me that there is a comic book shop  called Dungeon Comix near his house and they apparently have a great selection. So, we go over there... and I end up walking out with a few things here and there but I also signed up for a membership because, well, I am crazy and the employees were very nice and immediately offered to order everything I was looking for. Plus, members get 10% off. Pretty good deal. I'm looking forward to stopping in there here and there.

I do still have a lot of customer loyalty to Dragon's Lair... but the way I see it they have more gaming supplies, dice, board games, etc... and Dungeon Comix is more of a strictly comic shop. They have tables for gaming and such, but I don't see how this would conflict with my business in either place. We will see.

17 June 2012

Father's Day Favorite

Well, I decided to go back into our family favorites and recreate one of these dishes for Father's Day. I chose to take the favorite classic of baked drumsticks in tomato sauce over some sort of carb and a vegetable side.

First, the chicken! We have always done straight up tomato sauce with this dish, which is good... but I prefer a chunkier sauce rather than a viscous fluid. So, I chopped up a yellow onion and several cloves of garlic to put in with it. This wasn't enough, so I went ahead and added in some canned diced tomatoes instead of some of the sauce. There was still some canned tomato sauce, but not nearly as much.

It looked great going into the oven!

I added a little bit of water to the mix to help the sauce stuff move around and actually cover more of the chicken. After seeing how it came out, I disagree with this and will not do it next time... or only add a teensy.

Now, the vegetable side. We usually had canned green beans with this, but I wasn't in the mood to cook up the green beans and Dad wanted squash. I usually boil squash, but in the spirit of reinvention and doing things a teensy bit differently, I went ahead and sauteed them in some olive oil. They turned out great and I will probably do it this way again.

Last, but not least, we used to typically have this served over plain white rice. Rather than bust out the clunky rice cooker, I just went ahead and fixed some tricolor rotini noodles. Not the best, but honestly it's empty carbs either way and it may as well be interesting.

I also insisted we have a salad with this meal, as I had picked up two rather large packages of different salad mixes when I couldn't make up my mind at the store. It was good and I added in some carrots and mushrooms so it was not particularly boring, but obviously not worth taking a picture.

Tomato Baked Chicken Recipe:

12 - 16 drumsticks (please decrease this if you need, we just have a gigantic family)
3  8 oz cans of tomato sauce, no salt added
2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes (in this case I got flavored: Italian and Garlic + Olive Oil)
1 yellow onion, chopped
5 - 6 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 F
2. Arrange drumsticks in suitable pan for roasting with some space between.
3. Pour tomato sauce, diced tomato, onions, garlic over drumsticks
4. Add a small amount of water to mix the sauce a bit
5. Sprinkle black pepper over chicken
6. Bake in oven for 40 minutes
7. Remove from oven and turn drumsticks over, then place back in for another 40 minutes
8. Serve over rice or noodles with sauce ladeled over and enjoy!

15 June 2012

A Breakfast of...

Well, one of the great things about being me is learning all sorts of strange things.

For example, I really, really do not like unsweetened Greek yogurt.

In an effort to help my diet, I went ahead and mixed up a cup of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt with half of an apple and a teaspoon of honey. I really have no idea what I was thinking, because there is no way in the Universe I am ever, ever eating an entire cup of yogurt, even if it's loaded with sugar. So, I think I will take the 3/4 I could not manage to eat, put it in the fridge, add a bit more honey tomorrow morning and not be surprised when I can't more than 1/4 of it then, either.

It looked pretty, though.

14 June 2012

Humongous Pot Roast

So, yesterday I got the wonderful idea to make a really good pot roast. Unfortunately, this light bulb went off after dinner and I was without the necessary ingredients so I decided to wait until today.

I woke up and went to the grocery store to get all kinds of groceries. I am going to be on a pretty serious cooking kick here soon because I have found out that I gained back all but 10 lbs that I lost while on Weight Watchers... which I completely just stopped doing for no apparent reason. So, I'm giving MyFitnessPal a try and am looking forward to seeing how it goes. I feel I am going to be successful. If you are on there, please feel free to add me. The username is rabidtriangle. I am horrendously predictable, aren't I?

Anyway, I ended up getting probably the hugest pot roast I have ever seen in my life. 4.8 lbs before cooking. There was this little part of my brain thinking that that was probably too much, but the other part was saying something about having a large family, so I bought it. It pretty much filled up half of my Dutch oven!

Behold! My gloriously large meat!

So... yep. The meat is actually very lean and I am not too worried about the fat content at all. I also tried my very, very best to fill it up with as much vegetable matter as possible before pouring in a bit of salt free beef broth and seasonings. Sadly, I didn't get as much on the veggie front as I usually manage but it ended up being okay. No one felt it necessary to go into a rage because they were mushroom deprived. I also overcooked it somewhat, too, because I turned up the heat a bit about halfway through. Shouldn't have. I was just worried because it's more to have to cook through. Ah, well. At least I know for next time.

I think it turned out very well. I don't know if anyone else does this, but we tend to eat all beef pot roast with a slice of pumpernickel rye bread and a bit of butter. The taste just goes perfectly. As you can see, I shamelessly nommed a bit of the bread before it even made it to the bowl. Sorry, wasn't thinking.

12 June 2012

D-Man Birthday Socks

I really apologize for the long wait on an update. I have had so much stuff going on and I do have a spinning project in the works, but I will have to talk about that later as I am not pleased with how it's going at the moment.

Well, on June 1st I began knitting up some socks for my brother's birthday. Yes, his birthday is in September but I have quite a bit of holiday knitting ahead of me, as well as baby blankets for kids due in the Fall, so I figured I should get a head start on it already.

I used the Elizabeth Bennett's Perl Sock Program, which used to be available online but it does not look like it's working currently. I wonder if my sock was the last pattern it churned out? Hm. Anyway, it's a sock generator program and I'm sure there are others out there like it. I know that the pattern I ended up with was sort of wonky and had some incorrectly placed numbers here and there, but I got the trick of it soon enough and I have knit enough socks to identify where the mistakes were.

So, I have finished the first one:

By the look, it seems to fit him very well, which is good. I think what I will do when I weave the ends in is to actually take a different yarn and make a kind of lifeline so that, as he grows, if the width of the sock is still okay I can just go ahead and snip the end of the toe and re-knit it in a similar color so that he can wear them for a much longer period of time.

One thing I will note... please do not ever knit Patons Kroy sock yarn on a size 0 US needle. Your hands will really, really thank you for the consideration. I tend to prefer a very dense fabric for socks, especially for Dax, because he is pretty rough on his feet. Anyway, Patons Kroy is a very thick sock yarn and I would not want to knit it on zeros again after this next one is done. I am knitting fraternal twin socks, so the other one will look slightly different.

01 June 2012

Louise's Road To Recovery: The END

Woo! So, Louise had an appointment with Dr. Powers yesterday. It was originally on Thursday, but my work schedule changed so we had to move it around a bit.

Anyway, Dr. Powers took a look and said she looks awesome! She was running around the exam table, getting into things, and generally being a credit to her species as far as mischief goes. It's an excellent sign!

As you can see, she still has head tilt. It's quite likely that that's permanent, as it got better and is staying at this level and has been for the past week or so. The doctor did not seem worried and is very pleased with her recovery. The only thing is she wants me to give her her ear drops for another week or so because she still has a teensy bit of inflammation. Will do!

I would like to thank everyone for all of their support through this. It has really meant a lot to me. In a world where, sadly, many people would think that an animal's life and happiness is not awfully important it's been wonderful to have the support and positive thoughts for Louise. She may be a teeny, tiny animal that I purchased for $12, but in that purchase I took her life, health, and happiness as my responsibility and I take that very seriously. Her recovery has been worth every penny I have spent on it and I know that she thinks so, too!

Such A Quitter...

So, one of the things I have neglected to really discuss on this blog is the fact that I recently quit smoking. I had my last cigarette on the morning of April 26th, vowing to let that be the only nicotine fix of my 23rd year of life. So far, it has been a success. It hasn't been easy, obviously, but one of the things that really got me through the whole ordeal was spinning.

I am very proud to say that May 26th, while on vacation, I picked up 4 oz of roving and began to spin in celebration, though I wasn't aware of it because I had totally forgotten at the time. It's a good sign when you forget to count how long it's been since you quit, right? Right!

I bought the roving from Lazy Pi Farm. I have spun her fiber before and it is absolutely great and my experience with this Corriedale was no different. It is not as soft as the merino I had been spinning, but that's the nature of the wool. The color is fantastic (hello purple!) and I loved every minute of it.

I went ahead and wound it into a ball and plied from the outside and center, though I think I will try the Andean bracelet or "handy" form of plying next time because I was very frustrated when the two singles would twist around each other as I unwound them from the ball. I think part of that was overspinning, though.  I'm not sure. It's worth a shot, though. The only problem I see with it is you have to finish plying before you can really go anywhere, as you are sort of tied to the spinning wheel at that point.

Anyway, it plied up into 330 yards of 2-ply in a fingering weight yarn, finally! I mostly use sock yarn so finally getting sockweight yarn was just... awesome. I'm so happy! Some of it was actually finer, I'd call it a laceweight, but it plumped up a bit with thwacking so it's all good. I'll probably knit up a tiny shawl with it! Squee! I'm very well aware that I have simply swapped one addiction for another. Don't judge me!

Into The Dyepot

Well, on Tuesday my little brother and I went ahead and dyed up some yarn! I had a partial skein of Lion Brand Fishermen Wool and thought it would be perfect for the kool aid experiment.

So, I went off this tutorial and got one kool aid packet per ounce. In this case, there were 4.75 oz of yarn, so we went for five packets. Dax chose two lemon-lime and three ice blue raspberry. The kid loves green, I'm not sure why I was surprised. Anyway, we rinsed the yarn off in the sink and dissolved the packets in some water in our huge stock pot on the stove. The huge benefit to kool aid dye is that it's food safe (duh) and you don't have to get another set of pots like you do for acid dyes.

So, we put the yarn in and added some more water to cover it, put it on high heat until it was almost boiling and let it go for half an hour or so, stirring every 8 - 10 minutes to make sure the dye was soaking in pretty evenly. The only thing I didn't see mentioned was perhaps having something to weigh the yarn down so it's not all floating above the water and not getting any dye. I went ahead and took my collander and set it on top, balanced on the handles of the pot and it weighed it down without pushing it to the bottom. Success!

He seems quite pleased with it, though he was not happy with posing for the picture. I set it outside to dry on that chair for the rest of the afternoon and took it in to hang up and finish drying on the towel rack in the bathroom and voila! It dried and looks great.

It's sort of a minty green color and reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream! The big problem I have with it is that I tied the ties too tightly and the dye did not soak in very well in those places. A friend mentioned that he usually takes a bit of the dye bath out before putting the yarn in so that he has some to spread over those areas and touch up, using the microwave zapping method. Others mentioned moving the ties around, which seems like a great idea but honestly messing with the yarn in its wet spaghetti form is really not that fun. Add hot water to the mix and we are a sad panda, for sure.

Anyway, I'm hoping to knit him a hat with it for Christmas or something. He will be happy with that. :)

29 May 2012


Well, on Friday we left town to go to Rockport! We got there pretty late, so we didn't do much besides going to bed.


Saturday, we decided to go into Corpus to visit some of the local yarn stores. There are two stores, apparently. Knotty Girl Knits and The Studio. We were especially excited about going to The Studio, since they are closing their physical location as of the end of this month. However, it turns out that both of them were closed for the holiday weekend. Boo!

However, there is a silver lining! We had no idea where to go get a bite to eat and so we stopped at a chocolate shop across the street to, um... think. It ended up being a wonderful, fabulous place called Gourmet Chocolatier. The guy inside was very helpful and somehow lured us into the trap:

 I have this woman trap... here, let me show you it.

There was quite an excellent selection of dark chocolates, and I purchased some for my personal enjoyment! They also let us have a sample of their chocolate pudding. It was quite excellent and I would suggest it in a heartbeat. The wrapping on the chocolates was quite fancy!

...and so were the contents!

We ended up taking his advice and having lunch at Water Street Oyster Bar. The food was good and I enjoyed the atmosphere. Afterwards, we went walking around the shopping center behind the restaurant and I ended up buying some little nick nacks. I'm not that sort of person, but these were Items of Superior Adorableness. 

 SNAIL! Squee!

I also got a really cute pelican for my grandma because she collects them. I am so sorry, I seem to suck at taking pictures and managed to get my finger in the shot. Bah!

Then, we had some great dinner with my grandma and everyone around. It was a really awesome day!


Well, a few of us went to the beach in Rockport on Sunday. There was, sadly, a swarm of jellyfish. It was quite frightening, really. We tried to stick it out a while, but eventually were herded in to shore. We sat on the beach for a bit, then packed up and went to the Aquarium at Rockport Harbor. I have an entire album of photos, but there are a few that are my favorites.

Hi, I'm a fish and I don't really move. I am pretty cool, though.

Hi, I'm a crab and the hell mouth is not just found in Joss Whedon productions!

Hi! I'm another fish and this is the only clear picture you will get of me! Hah!

Anyway, that was the aquarium. It was a lot of fun and it's free, so if you're in the area it's a lot of fun to check out! 

  Afterward, we went to go eat at Los Comales restaurant. They have some good food, though I think they've gone down hill recently. It was rather amusing, because they have put questions on the tables with answers on the ads, so you have to read them. I think they really should have had someone edit the design, though.

it's =/= its

Afterward, we went to the Used Book WarehouseI didn't get anything, but there have been times when I find some really interesting stuff there! It's worth swinging by if you can. It's full of interesting things, at least.


We left on Monday. It was quite a long drive and quite a bit of fun. We made little stops here and there, but nothing too terribly noteworthy. We went to my grandma's and my friend helped fix her sewing machine. She makes some of the most interesting things and I have been trying to convince her to start up an etsy store! She made this bag and I think it would be a perfect project bag for small things like socks!

 So, if you think so too please let me know and I will bother her more often and shamelessly flaunt her awesome stuff here! :)