Knatly Knits & Spins & . . .

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Places I've Been

Saw this (and the one below) online, figured it looked like a bit of fun.

visited 36 states (72%)
Create your own visited map of The United States or Like this? try: CIA Grep in Python

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Monday, April 30, 2012

visited 16 states (7.11%)
Create your own visited map of The World or website vertaling duits?

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Friday, February 24, 2012

It's 5 o'clock somewhere! we have had the adventure of our lives touring New Zealand for three glorious weeks, two of those by motorcycle. Wow. Just, wow.

Thanks to Colleen Griffin, our touring companion and new friend, for this and several more great photos!

The roofers came yesterday to replace the aging shingles on our house. OK. But the weather was absolutely gorgeous. Sunshine, temps in 70s.

So? What's the big deal?? Go riding, everyone says! Hmmmm. It's about the dumpster that's blocking the garage door. No way to get the bikes out. Bummer. All the pounding and thumping was bad enough, but now I can't ride to get away, either. Thought I'd go for a good long walk for some fresh air and sunshine, but got about 200 yards down the road and my good ol' knee started chirping. Visions of myself writhing in pain in a ditch somewhere alongside the road . . . Back home. Putzed around the house a bit and took John's pickup (the only vehicle not blocked in) to go to Stitch'n'Bitch to knit with friends. Meanwhile the roofers were finished and quiet prevailed.

When I got up this morning I fully expected to hear the rumble of the truck coming to remove the dumpster, but such was not to be. There it sat.
We continued our morning routine and headed out to the Y for aqua aerobics, hoping that IT would be gone when we got back. NOT.
After a friendly phone call, the truck arrived, and at last we were FREE!!!

Now it's 1 o'clock in the afternoon. Sun is shining for all its worth, temp is 82F. My cycle is in the driveway and I am geared up, helmet in hand.

John's. Bike. Won't. Start.

Battery is totally dead, to the point it won't even jump start off the car.

There is an unwritten rule with us that we don't ride (for pleasure) alone. I could have gone on by myself for a ride, and I wanted to go so badly that it hurt. For a moment.

So I am sitting on our deck, seriously savoring the sunshine, which is quickly deteriorating into what is promised to be some (severe) storms. the wind is picking up and I can see clouds, so I assume that (for once) the weatherman is right.

A couple of brandy manhattans later, I'm signing off.

F%#k the sun. F€¥k the yardarm. It's 5 o'clock somewhere.


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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Times Have Changed

This was me just over two years ago.

This is the new me, or should I say, half of me???!!
Two years ago as of yesterday I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, a weight loss procedure that has changed my life.
Not going to rant or pontificate, just FYI.
Meanwhile life goes on. I still knit and spin, and will get some pix up one of these days.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

So Much to Tell . . .

As you can see, my wheel got finished (3 coats of tung oil) and reassembled in time for the spinning demo. Also finished was my 1860 era attire, including apron. Hair was a cinch, as I
only needed to twist it into a bun and secure with a few hairpins. Glasses & shoes? Don't look.

The day was a good bit of fun, and I'm glad I participated. We were under a big canopy tent about 30 feet square, and people could come by to watch and ask questions. The weather was beautiful. We seem to have had quite a good turnout. (My first time, so I'm guessing)

The day was over before I knew it. I didn't get a chance to see the sheep whose fleece we were spinning, but there's always next time.

I also bought some combs from a fellow guild member. They're Indigo Hound 5-pitch, and come with a station that can be clamped to a work surface. Awesome! I will be putting them to good use.

The same guild member also gave me a generous bag of angora from one of her own bunnies! It will be the devil to process -- so fine, soft, and fly-away! I think I'll blend it with some soft merino to spin a weft yarn for a scarf on my RH loom.

The following weekend brought the long-awaited spinning workshop with Anne Field. It was three days of spinning bliss. I'm basically a self-taught spinner. A friend showed me how to use the drop spindle and the basics of drafting, but the wheel was on my own. I know my wheel mechanically well enough. Technically is a different story! Anne Field is a charming and delightful lady, from her spunky Kiwi accent to her positive, can-do attitude. And she's one dynamite teacher. She whipped us through spinning basics so fast it mad my head spin (almost literally!). We learned about spinning to match the crimp, how to figure out the best way to spin different types of wools, and how to spin to end up with the yarn we want. We spun little skeins of different breeds of wool, learned about worsted and woolen, semi-worsted, semi-woolen and talked about how to prepare the fiber. I spun a remarkably lovely bulky weight Romney that drew much admiration and many compliments. Don't worry -- it was soon offset by one of the ugliest yarns I've ever done when I attempted to spin a fine yarn with some lovely soft merino. Even after washing it was still hard and just gnarly. Optomistic Anne said, "It would make a good warp yarn." Bless her heart!

The weekend was too soon over. I am well armed with notes and samples, and I feel much better about being able to spin the type of yarn I want. I have the required knowledge; now I need practice.

This brings things to the end of April. There is much to come. Stay tuned . . . .

Sunday, March 15, 2009


My spinning wheel is in pieces!!!
But it will be better soon. I hope. Have a guild meeting Saturday -- will need it by then.

This project has been cooking in my head for awhile. My wheel, an Ashford Traditional, was purchased unfinished and unassembled. I gave it a thorough waxing before putting it together. That was over three years ago, and I'm here to tell you that the Minwax looked nice back then, but was getting in sad need of a facelift. I've been pondering what to do--stain, varnish, paint,re-wax, ignore--and finally decided on tung oil. It's fairly user-friendly. No need for gloves & respirator, just a couple of pieces of an old T-shirt and some fine steel wool for buffing between coats (might use gloves for that; I dislike the stuff.). So the poor thing is in pieces all over our dining room table. She's had the first coat and sucked it up greedily. Tomorrow is a buffing and then the second coat. We'll see how things look then, but I wouldn't be surprised at a third coat for good measure.

And here's my Gulf Coast Native wool project, spun, dyed, and knitted. A hat pattern I found on Ravelry, "Tweedy Cabled Cap" by Zhenya Lavy. You can find it at
I washed and blocked the hat today and it's looking nicer now than the pre-blocked picture above. I found the GCN wool pleasant to work with, though extremely full of VM. But these sheep are not coated, since their primary purpose is not as fiber animals, nor would they have been coated in the 1860s. I spun the yarn fairly thick (8-10 wpi), with a hat in mind, and used size 9 needles.
And now, since I must go to work tomorrow, buff and oil my wheel, and bake Irish soda bread for St. Patrick's day, I think it might be prudent to hit the sack. . . .

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Leaf Lace . . .

It is finally finished.

Based on a traditional Shetland lace pattern, this shawl comes from Evelyn A. Clark's "Knitting Lace Triangles." You may recognize the yarn -- from a much earlier post -- as my handspun fingering weight. Nearly a year ago, I think.

I chose the leaf pattern because I thought it would compliment the yarn by showing off the colors while not losing pattern definition in the "stripeyness" of the yarn.

The shawl used about 650 yards knitted on size 6 needles. It measured 56 inches across and blocked to 72 inches across and 36 inches deep. Once again I am amazed at the magical transformation that blocking provides.

Overall I am pleased and a bit proud. I learned a great deal while working on this project, both spinning- and knitting-wise. The yarn is a pretty consistent fingering weight. A trifle underspun and underplied, I think, though it proved sturdy enough for lace and did not split while knitting. I did not wash the yarn after I spun it to set the twist; I wonder if it would have made a difference? As for the knitting itself, mistakes are there, though the pattern seems to swallow them up. I'm sure an experienced lace knitter would see them easily, but I'm able to live with them. On the other hand, I learned more about "reading" my knitting and not just blindly following a chart. I became more adept at seeing and correcting errors. I found rhythm in the pattern, and near the end was able to rely on my brain rather than the chart.

Thanks to Evelyn A. Clark for her wonderful little book, which left me wanting to come back to it in the future.