Sunday, December 27, 2009

Post Christmas Catch Up

Has it really been nearly two weeks since my last visit? What a terrible month! A nasty cold that led to a sinus infection knocked me out about a week before Christmas and I'm just becoming a human again. Other stresses contributed to the lousy ennui, and for the first time ever, my knitting and spinning mojo took a serious hit.

I am soo glad to see 2009 head out the door. For so many reasons. 2010 is going to see lots of change. For the better. I have a few big blog posts queued up in my head, about Procrastination, Planning, Changes, and the like. Over time they will tumble out and into the Internets.

Christmas was quiet here. We so desperately needed some quiet time; a chance to rest and refuel. I tackled my cold once and for all and PhotoMan got some much needed rest after a grueling six weeks preparing for a show mounted at Kaffe 1668 in Tribeca. If you are in that neighborhood, stop in for a coffee and see the show - two floors of images mostly taken back in the 1980's and 1990's along the West Side Highway.

My big news is a new camera, which I guess I needed worse than I thought. I've just uploaded a bunch of pics to Flickr and am pleased with some of the results. One of the changes I want to bring about is better photography so this camera comes as a blessing. I might find my old photo mojo after all. It was something I did with serious intent about 15 years ago, but it lapsed. I hate to make statements here and then not follow through, so I hesitate in mentioning anything about rekindling long lost let's see what happens.

Lacy Baktus Modeled2

The one thing I managed to finish was a simple Lacy Baktus using some handspun yarn I'd made up back in the Spring, wasn't it? When I'd finished that yarn I was tremendously proud of it, as it represented a sort of milestone at the time, seeming to be more evenly spun. Truth is, it was pretty inconsistent, but the plying was pretty decent. Fortunately this pattern hides a multitude of sins and omissions.

Baktus Progression

It turned out nicely so I won't go into the gory details on how I still cannot count to eight, thus making this into a mutant mess on my first attempt and having to start over after I reached the 3/4 mark. Or how I carefully weighed the yarn at the outset and carefully weighed it as I knit along, in theory so I could make the 1/2 way point on the project match the 1/2 way point on the project yet I still ended up with almost 20 grams left over. No, I won't delve into that, because it's boring and what's the point?

Lacy Baktus4

At the end of the day, I have a lovely neckwarmer and it's seriously cozy and soft. And now I have the added benefit of leftover yarn for another small project.

Lacy Baktus15

Lacy Baktus13

I think I am going to enjoy this camera very much.

Before I sign off, I want to thank you all, dear readers. I love when you come and visit; I love when you leave comments and words of encouragement. You guys make this journey so much fun!

Here's to a Healthy and Happy New Year for us all!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crafty YO

Great news! The laptop is back up and it only cost the out of warranty service fee to get HP Support Tech in India tell me what's wrong. Now I have one more trick in my toolbag in case it happens again.

Lots of knitting, planning and studying going on around here. Not much photography to show, I hope to remedy that over the weekend. In the meantime, I thought you all would enjoy this, thanks to Colleen for turning me on to it.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Terrible timing, my computer is in GLITCH mode again. Not the battery, as originally presumed. Troubleshooting with Tech Support commences tonight. Crossing fingers this isn't costly. Be back soon!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Break Away

Yesterday, despite the crap weather, Cathy and Dawn and I headed up to Garnerville to Steph's monthly Spin In. It was my first visit. Wow, Steph has one seriously awesome set up! She's tucked away in a wonderful collection of buildings that once housed a textile mill. Her space, nearly 3,000 sq ft of workshop is amazing! Workbenches, storage space, and a huge carding machine she bought from Belfast Mills. And best of all, mountains and mountains of colorful fibers!! Color and variety galore.

Carding machine

One lady decided she wanted a custom batt and set the various fibers on the conveyor belt. It's fun seeing the fibers run through this machine and come out the other end as clouds of fluff! Too bad my camera battery died before I could capture more! Oh well, a good excuse to go back again, to capture more of the magic that happens in this place. I'll bring some of my roving and we will play with Steph's fibers to create a custom cloud of my very own.

Loading up the carding machine

Dawn was wearing her newest accomplishment, and what an accomplishment it was!

Dawn's Aeolian Shawl

She led a KAL through Spin City over the summer to spin up yarn and make an Aeolian Shawl. All of the projects have been mind boggling in their beauty and execution. Like so many others who participated in this KAL (I sat this one out...), she went from fleece to shawl - preparing the fiber, spinning it to yarn, dyeing it and then knitting it with beads. I stand in awe.

Dawn's Aeolian Shawl

Yesterday was fun all around. I did some of my own spinning, got some good advice on how to spin up my Coopworth roving, and got away from home to clear my head of the recent sh*t storm that arrived at my door in the last week or so.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Red Scarf Project

We interrupt our regularly scheduled knitting to whip up a charity knit project for the Orphan Foundation of America. The Red Scarf Project aims to provide scarves to foster kids as they prepare to go off to college.


Last week an urgent plea went out to all knitters across the great Internets. The project goals for 2009 were woefully short and knitters were asked to step up fast! The December 15 deadline loomed with over 1500 more scarves to knit.


I marched upstairs, raided my stash for some red (more maroon but it counts) yarn, and in less than 24 hours later this scarf came off the needles and got blocked. The pattern is a simple Mistake Rib, using 1.5 skeins of Cascade 220. (rav deets)

(please to ignore offensive NYC graffiti...sigh!)

C'mon, knitters - you can do it, too! Check the links for the specs and whip out a quick scarf. It will make you feel good. You know you can do it!