Saturday, December 13, 2008

OMG










"Chunks of blubber, and gallons of blood have exploded from the sperm whale."

This actually happened four years ago in Taiwan, but DH and I are watching a special about it on National Geographic Channel.  

Witness: "Its just like a horror movie."

DH is laughing so hard he's scaring the dog.  Max is trying to lick his face to make him feel better.  

How did I miss this in the news?

Witness: "What is this a terrorist bomb? ... A weapon of whale mass-destruction"  (that one made me laugh)

Then they used bobcats to pick up the remains scattered around the streets.  The scientist that was going to do the biopsy used a chain saw.  

...

Yeah I should get back to studying... 2.5 days to go!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

And more law

Pretty much my life right now. Today has definitely a low point though. After struggling through the Commerce Clause, Substantive Due Process and what exactly the Supreme Court feels is a fundamental right, (and its not always clear) I came home utterly exhausted.

But a nice dinner, a few hours of knitting and one episode of the Office courtesy Netflix's new Mac plugin made me feel a little better.

Knitting has been moving along apace however, since every evening I am sure to stop studying or reading and pick up some knitting, watch some tv and just veg out.

I have also been reading quite a bit, at least an hour or so each night.  Last night I started Mirror Mirror by Gregory Maguire.  Last night I finished Flash for Freedom by George MacDonald Frasier.

My Xmas knitting is coming along nicely having finished something for my FIL tonight.  I'm finishing up knitting for friends next, then on to a few more relatives.  Looks like I'll get it all done!  I didn't choose anything big, but made quite a few of these: Birthday Cowls. (rav link)


Finished Projects: Diamond Lace Scarf in Simply Soft





















Some sort of feather and fan scarf out of Simply Soft.























Macuwita Sni Shawl: This is for a charity that has a yahoo group here.  The group collects hand knit items for the children of the Cheyenne River Sioux in South Dakota.  This is knit with 100% wool that I picked up at Wal-mart. Apparently they're only carrying cotton and 100% acrylic at the local Wal-marts so this was half off. I knew there'd be a good reason to buy it!  I used the Simple but Effective Shawl by Laura Chau of CosmicPlutoKnits.




















Last but not least, these were driving me a little crazy! They are the Hedera pattern by Cookie A, although this is a free pattern from Knitty.  Its not quite as elaborate as some of her patterns, but in Crystal Palace Maizy, they turned out quite beautiful.  Viki gave me the yarn for my birthday, and I was skeptical of the colorway, but they really are lovely.  Also I like the stretch in the yarn and how it wears.  







Sunday, November 30, 2008

Oh, you know, just law

My best friend called today to ask how my holiday was.  Holiday?  I forgot we had one.  You mean that day that I didn't study and instead ate food, played Wii and fixed my computer so I could take an exam on it?  Oh yeah, I forgot about that.  Since then its been a never-ending blur of outlining, writing a paper, eating and having nightmares about outlining.  And that doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.

I am not nearly done outlining.  Gasp.  Not really.  I'm not terribly worried.  My schedule for studying involves 3 full days per course, and since I only have 4 exam courses, that works out so I don't have to "start" until Monday.  That is a misnomer of course, since I have to complete the outlines preferably before I "start," which will not be done.  

Where I'm at:

Natural Resources: done-need to review it
Criminal Procedure: done
Con Law: 1/2 done
Trusts and Estates: 1/4 done

I am over halfway done with all of them, but they aren't really all equal.  For example, Natural Resources is only 20 pages total, while Constitutional Law is 32 pages at 1/2 complete.  Clearly I did the easier ones first.

Today I slept in a little and started working on a paper for my non-exam class, the one I did my externship through.  That got really boring so I dozed off and laid in bed for a nap.  I had a nightmare about waking up from my nap and realizing it was 7:30 pm so I panicked and woke up.  I had been asleep for 45 minutes and it wasn't quite noon. 

DH says, "You know maybe law school wasn't the best choice for you.  It seems to stress you out too much."
My response, "Too late to change horses midstream."

Because that's where we are at.  As soon as I take these pesky finals, I am midway through law school.  Honestly, I never thought it would happen.  But lookit, we're very very close to being halfway done, its kind of crazy.

In other news, I have been knitting.  (It keeps me sane and makes sure I don't have those pesky nightmares every time I close my eyes)

Ok, this one I technically made last week.  The Birthday Cowl made with beautiful silk handspun from my friend Susannah at Harvest Moon Garden.





















This one is a sideways Tudora from Knitty.  This is made with some Alpaca and Silk by Blue Sky Alpaca that was given to me by Courtney who said she didn't need it anymore and had too much yarn.  Wow, I never have too much alpaca and silk, just too much acrylic.


























Well, there is more, including my first ever sockweight handspun, but its been dreary outside and rainy so no pictures yet!  I'll put those up soon.  If I ever finish this outlining!



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Criminal Procedure and stress



This has been my life this weekend:
















I guess I shouldn't complain too much.  I am in law school.  But I spent so much time on my computer at my desk today that my wrists hurt.  Sitting in the lounge chair, however, my wrists aren't pressing on the uncomfortable (but trendy looking) edge of my macbook.

Yeah, so I never thought I'd want one of those mushy wrist things.  But I totally do.  Luckily my mother thinks she needs to buy me one, so I might have one soon!  

But whenever I am really busy with law school, I have to knit.  Knitting is my stress relief.  Lord knows I've been under stress lately.  So what have I done?  Spun 4 oz of superwash merino from Knit Fit Knitting.

I'm not sure they sell roving on the site, but I picked this up at SAFF in a cute little plastic take-out style box.  By the time I really stopped at her booth I was low on funds, so I wasn't able to pick up one of her cute bags, but I really want one!

No picture right now b/c Blogger is doing something crazy to my photos.  But later!

I've also been spending some time at Chore Wars (Knit Wars).  This is a website along the lines of a role-playing game.  Lime and Violet started a team and I think it now includes 2,000 people.  For each knitting or spinning related thing you do you get experience points, you can go on adventures and various other fun things.  Yeah, so that's been a drain on my spare time :)  That's ok, its really fun!

Also, I spun up 2 oz of an alpaca batt I picked up at SAFF.  I don't know if its the alpaca or the fact its a batt, but I couldn't quite get my tension right.  Its overspun in parts, underspun in others and overall quite bumpy.  I've got another 2 oz so I'll try again.  But its still really, really soft!

















This hat is the One-Skein Noro hat.  Its really simple but is really cute.  I have one problem though.  DH gave me this yarn a few years ago when he gave me a book called Holiday Knits (I think) and I was supposed to make ornaments.  Well, I didn't, and I'm making up Christmas presents so I figured I'd use this skein of Noro Silk Garden lite.  The problem is that I'm not entirely sure that I found all of the unfinished ornaments.  So hopefully I'll make it to the end!

If not, I suppose I can frog it and try again.


































Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ups and Downs















Tuesday was great and I'm thrilled for Barack Obama.  I think he will take this country in the right direction and really be a good president.  But enough politics-this is a knitting blog!

Sunday DH and I went to donate the money we raised at the ALPO bake sale to the shelter.  I also took the money I made from SAFF that I had pledged to donate to them.  There was this beautiful little dog running around inside the lobby area.  She was some sort of mutt, maybe some beagle, maybe some rat terrier, and was just about Max's size.  She was younger though, having been adopted a few months ago from the shelter as a puppy.  Apparently they adopted her and when they were moving, brought her back.

That makes me so angry!  A dog or cat or bird is a lifetime commitment.  Not for your life, but for theirs!  I understand if the owner passes away, or is suddenly incapacitated, but because you are moving?  Unless you are moving into prison, you can take your animal with you.

But I would not want the option to not be available.  I love to do the offsite adoptions, and I'm hoping to do one today, but I don't want to force animals on people.  I don't want them to be spur of the moment decisions (unless you are a responsible pet owner no matter what).  I suppose it is better that Tiny comes back to MOAS than get left outside on her own when the moving truck leaves.  

I wish I could bring her home.  I wish I could bring them all home.  But I know that our home is as full of fur as it can be.  There's a delicate balance right now between Max and the cats, and the bird of course, and our budget is strained as it is with food, litter and vet visits for the animals we do have.  I would not want to bring another animal into our home and have our current animals suffer for it.  Also, I think another dog would antagonize the cats too much and make them miserable.  Max deserves to be an only dog for a while at least (until we have a bigger house and fenced in yard and lose a couple cats).  

I cry myself to sleep sometimes thinking about them.  I wish every dog and cat at the shelter had a chance at a happy home.  I know the shelter does a great job, but it is no substitute for the love and affection that a family can give an animal.  Thinking about the animals gets me thinking about children in foster homes and wow, I really can't go that route right now.

I suppose my best bet is to continue to try and raise money for them.  I tell myself that every dollar I raise gives each animal a few more days to stay at the shelter, and a few more days equals a better chance to be adopted.  The shelter there is really great anyway.  They aren't a "no-kill" shelter, but if the animal is adoptable (i.e. not wild or feral) they really will keep them until they are adopted.  I suppose there are probably exceptions, but I've seen animals stay for months while waiting to be adopted.  I've seen animals fill up their quarantine areas because the rest of the shelter is full.

Ah, but it makes me sad to think about it.  If you read this, and are touched like I am, go to MOAS's website and donate.  You can select an animal that has not been fixed yet and for $35 they will fix it, which makes it that much more adoptable. Of course you could always just donate to the shelter and they will use it as they see fit.  If you live in the Athens area, or near an animal shelter, do what I do.  I found out that they really use a lot of canned dog and cat food when an animal is post-op or won't eat for some reason.  So when I'm at the grocery store I pick up a can or two (about$1 or $2 worth) and cut out coupons to use on them as well.  Max and the cats don't eat it, so I give it to them.  Every couple of months I bag up the bottom of the pantry (where I keep it) and drop it off.  I end up giving a lot while not spoiling my budget.

And remember, 10% of the purchase price at BlueMutt Designs goes to MOAS.  I've posted about 20 new sets of stitch markers and can't wait to bring more money to them!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Saff continued



















The Loot
















625 yards of laceweight















4 oz of Blue Faced Liecester















2 oz of llama

















Superwash merino and 30% alpaca-total of 6 oz!
















4 oz of Wensleydale roving

















4 oz each of superwash merino
















Small trash bag full of unwashed alpaca-natural colored

















3.5 oz of alpaca batt


I did very well, budgeting myself to get a lot of fiber for my dollar.  

We had a great time!  Friday was rainy, but we got there so late we only spent about an hour in the sales arena with Susannah and looking around.  Mom picked up a new drop spindle and some alpaca and spent the evening spinning.  I worked on my handspun scarf I am making for my MIL.  It's purty.  Pictures later.

Saturday we woke up really early and rushed over.  We waited patiently for Target to open so we could get some Starbucks.  Then we rushed over and realized we were early.  I thought the other vendors might not be happy with us wandering around before they got there, so we waited in the car until 8:40.  Then we saw most of them were getting ready so we headed over to Susannah's booth.  We started unpacking for her and then helped her get set up when she arrived.

Then it was on.  It was mostly a blur, but somewhere in there I acquired all the fiber pictured above and my new spinning wheel!  Its an Ashford Kiwi, and I love it!  We got an amazing deal (b/c we bought two) and I love the style.  I've been wanting an upright wheel and this one has a little more contemporary look that I love from Louet and Lendrums without the price.  I'm so happy!  I've been spinning on it the last two days. 

Sunday I spun up 3 oz of the superwash merino/alpaca in brown and last night 1 oz of llama.

On another note, I've been reading Three Cups of Tea.  It is the amazing true story of a man who is trying to help educate the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan in an attempt to stomp out hatred.  We all know that there are few options for people in those countries, and ignorance leads to hatred of other groups.  (just look at the Germans post WWI)  He builds schools (55 now) in those two countries in the most remote regions, the ones that have historically been the most susceptible to influence by fundamentalist Saudi muslims who promote hatred of America.  There he has educated thousands of children and have given them a chance at a productive life without attending the madrassas that the Saudi fundamentalist Muslims build.

Its an amazing story; full of his real life adventures (and misadventures) but overall, a great read.  Everyone should check it out!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crisp Fall Air

Last night, for the first time this fall, I was cold when we walked Max.  There had been a few times when we were chilled when we left the house, but walking warmed us up.  Last night, even with my fleece jacket, I was still cold.  I'm so excited.  I love fall.  I wish we had a longer fall season.   I know that winters aren't very cold here, but it seems like the leaves change while its still hot out, so that when it finally is cold, its gray and drab outside.  We don't get much time to enjoy the cool air and beautiful colors.

Its perfect sweater/mittens/scarf/hat weather, which is ideal for a knitter.  Today I wore a knit sweater to work, although I didn't make it.  Its my Eddie Bauer cabled cowl (?) neck sweater.  Its in a nice tan and even though its a cotton and synthetic blend, I still  love it!

I'm not totally a yarn snob.  I use acrylic for my donations, especially baby knits, and even for baby gifts.  I just can't see a baby in a cashmere blend sweater.  I don't even have a baby and I know that's impractical.  I am so excited because Wal-Mart (I know I know) is selling Simply Soft Eco.  Simply Soft is the best acrylic, in my opinion, because it is very soft and has great colors.  But Simply Soft Eco is made from recycled plastic bottles!  This is awesome.  The package says 100% from recycled plastic bottles.  I am excited because if you've read The World Without Us you know that plastic is the bane of the earth and is going to overwhelm us one day with all of our trash.  Recycling it is great, but there aren't a ton of uses for recycled plastic.  Now us knitters / crocheters have away to give back!

Speaking of babies.... they're everywhere.  Two weekends ago we went to a baby's baptism reception where the guest of honor was adorable in a long christening gown.  Her mother asked me to change her into her real clothes (ok, I volunteered), and I learned why baby clothes area always snap or button up.  This poor baby was swaddled in two layers of cotton with only a neck hole and a small slit with a couple of buttons.  It took DH and I at least five minutes to get it off.  She kept squirming and I was afraid I'd rip an arm off if I pulled too hard.  Luckily, no limbs were rended and I deposited her in her mother's arms with her cute little jean outfit in about five minutes.

This morning, while walking the Blue Mutt, I came upon another baby.  He wasn't alone though, his mother was holding him and their new puppy Seargent, a Welsh Corgi.  Seargent really wanted to play with the Blue Mutt, and they are about the same size, so we let them scrabble for a few minutes.  But they kept getting tangled and I had to go to work, so I said goodbye.  But she seemed very nice, and I liked her baby and dog too.

This past weekend, DH and I spent running around.  Saturday, the animal rights group I am co-president of had a bake sale.  I had come up with the idea so I was sort of the mastermind.  I also baked (with much help) 6 batches of cookies (18 dozen cookies).  We didn't have too many cookies left and made a few hundred bucks.  I'm so excited to give this money to the charities we chose, which are the Athens Area Humane Society and the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter.

Knitting wise, I've mostly been doing some Preemie hats for charity.  I usually send them to Stitches from the Heart in California, but next month, Main Street Yarns and Fibers is collecting them for a local charity.  They're doing a night where you can come and knit them and get food and possibly win something, I think.  But I figured I could just drop by all the ones I've done and save on postage (with my budget being what it is).  

Stitches from the Heart does send them across the country, but I like the idea of helping out local charities as well.

My stitch markers are coming along!  I think I'm going to have close to 100 for SAFF this weekend.  Sunday DH and I came up with something to hold them, using all of our carpentry skills.  I think it's perfect and will allow them to be seen well and accessed easily, without being a mess of little baggies.  All that's left is to finish the last few I can make with the supplies I have, make the tags and put them on the stand.

I'm so excited about SAFF that I can hardly stand to get through this week.  But I do love my schedule this semester with only four days of classwork!

I don't think I ever put pictures of my dying experiments on here, so here are some:

The first is Osage Orange from my friend Susannah's yard.  This is bark shavings, I believe.  With an alum mordant, it gives a beautiful buttery yellow, much less garish than the Marigolds. 

The second is black walnuts.  I let them steep, in the green/black hulls for a few days, and then dunked the pre-soaked fiber in with no mordant.  I've done it twice now, and both times I get this light taupe color.  Its an ok color I guess, but I was hoping for a darker brown.














Monday, October 6, 2008

Never Underestimate a Cat

I'm giggling as I write this.  Shadow, the boy cat, has Max, the dog, trapped in the office.  How does a cat have a dog trapped in an office, you ask?  By sitting in the way.

This is the third time tonight this has happened.  I didn't realize what was going on until I heard a weird growl/yip in the office.  I poked my head in, and apparently that gave Max the courage to jump over him.  The cats don't even have front claws (Ouchie, I know, they were like that when we got them!) and he's terrified of them.  Terrified, yet loves to taunt them, like an avid horror movie fan.  

I'm wavering on my Warm Woolies commitment.  Before I started this blog, I said I was going to complete 25 projects for them, and submit them for the Lion's Brand competition.  (25 items by November 30th gets $75 worth of Lions Brand products donated by Lion's Brand)

I initially said I was, then I said I wasn't, and I think I'm going to after all.  I think I have about 12 done.  Wow, now that I wrote that, I'm not sure I can do it!  But then I did knit a vest in the last two days, plus did several repeats on my Monkey sock.

This was my sister-in-law's birthday gift, My So-Called Scarf.

















Yesterday I followed the recipe on Smitten Kitchen for Challah Bread.

I don't know how to pronounce the word but the bread is amazing!  I can't wait to try more of her recipes.














Thursday, October 2, 2008

Reality TV

I used to think that I hated reality tv.  And I do hate some of it.  I hate when they over-dramatize a situation, like on Survivor.  But I really do like the trashy reality tv.  Like I Love New York or Charm School on Vh1.   Those shows are like watching a train wreck.  You can't tear your eyes away but they're more and more trashy in every episode.

That being said, DH and I are thoroughly enjoying our cable and especially TruTV (formerly CourtTV).  I don't remember Court TV being this good though.  They show COPS, Speeders and Bait Car.  There's also some show about really horrible things, like train wrecks and car crashes, that are caught on film.  I don't like that one as much, but DH enjoys it.

Right now Bait Car is on in the background.  Its an interesting idea: police plant a car in a crime plagued area and the police monitor it to see how many times it gets stolen.  There is a hidden camera in it to record their faces and what they say.  I'm no expert in Criminal Law, but this seems a bit like entrapment to me.  I guess its probably a close call, or it wouldn't be on television.  The best part though is when they shut the car down while the thief is driving so they can't get away.

Rant about Reality TV aside, another reality television show is on tonight, the VicePresidential Debate.  I did watch the Presidential debate last week at a friend's house (Lotus Yarns).  But tonight I'm not in the mood to watch the ... discourse.  Palin's accent is too funny and I have trouble concentrating on what she says after seeing Tina Fey's portrayal on SNL.

I did however see something I LOVE on the Yarn Harlot's blog.   She knit Hey Teach and I think I'm going to have to do that next. Its in cotton, which is good, both because we live in Georgia where it never really gets that cold, and because I know some reasonably priced sources for nice cotton.

Knitting wise... 

The dog chewed the ends off of the needles I was using for my sister-in-law's scarf for her birthday.  Luckily I have more and he didn't get too much yarn.  One more skein and I'll be done!
















This is clearly from earlier in the week, since its only about a foot and a half long!

I acquired some yarn from Lotus Yarns directly from the source.  I laughed when I realized that what I thought were spices in her kitchen were actually her dyes!   This is Speakeasy.  Its so soft and I can't wait to knit a pair of socks! 

















I'm completing a pair of Monkey Socks with Trekking.  I love the subtle variegations of the colorway, dark purples and mauves.  Is mauve a term people use anymore?  It seems to me like a very '80's color, like in the way that people would wear big mauve and grey blocks of color on an oversized sweater.  The '80s were all a blur of vibrant colors, oversized clothes and big hair.  I don't really remember much about fashion except that my mom wore a lot of oversized sweatshirts with puffy paint designs on them.  She was so skinny that she was probably really in style, but looking back.... I just hope we don't look back at today's fashion like that.
















For a friend's new beautiful baby Genevieve, I made these beautiful bibs from Mason-Dixon Knitting with some Lion's Brand Organic Cotton yarn.  They have such an amazing effect but are literally just squares done in garter stitch. 

















And finally, I sent off my dear friend V's birthday present today.  Her birthday is actually Sunday, but I think she'll get it on Saturday.  She sent me some awesome gifts that I'll be using to make some more socks!  I'm a little sock crazy!  These are Fetching in some blue color of Malabrigo.  I love them!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

OMG

I meant that in an ironic way.

But seriously folks... OMG Super-Stress time!

I signed up to participate in the Mock Trial competition.  For those of you not fully fluent in legalese, its what it says it is.  We pretend to have a trial and play the lawyer for one side.  Or in our case, we play the team of lawyers for one side.

I really had no idea how much work it would be.  I guess I should have realized I had no idea how to conduct a trial, but I didn't.  So this weekend was the start of my sleep bruxism (tooth-grinding).

DH woke me up on Saturday night to tell me I was grinding my teeth and it sounded awful (and I should stop).  Sunday I woke up, not very well rested, and my jaw ached.  My entire head ached, as well.  Monday I happened to have a dentist appointment and he confirmed that I was grinding my teeth, although I had not yet done any damage.

I've tried the little night-guard things you can buy at the drug-store with minimal success.  Apparently the way to go for those are to get one custom made, but that will run about $400, and this semester's loan money is already dwindling.  Funny thing is that last night I apparently took the night guard out of my mouth and into its case, while asleep.  I woke up thinking it had fallen out-nope-on the nightstand in its case.

I'm trying to reduce my stress.  Today has been a super-busy day, but I made time to go to lunch with my knitting group and I even brought my knitting to school.  I got in a few rows on a birthday gift after I ate.  Even now, when I should be working on my closing argument, its tempting me.  

So I'll keep trying not to be stressed-which stresses me out more-and hope that one day soon I can wake up without my jaw hurting.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Night of the Ninja Cats

And by Ninja I mean Insane

This morning I staggered out into my living room before the sun had risen to see some vaguely familiar dark objects on the floor. Knowing that DH is not fully trained in the art of taking the dog out before bed time, I switched on the light, fully expecting to be breaking out the carpet cleaner. To my complete surprise I found that my new Money magazine was shredded. Walking around the coffee table, I nearly had a heart attack when I saw my Monkey sock lying on the floor. Pieces of paper and fabric were scattered around the table, and when I picked up the knitting I discovered (thankfully) the knitting had been left alone. But then I noticed half of my Addi Turbo knitting needle was missing. Half of the stitches were flying free. My sock project bag had bottom chewed out of it. The remotes were scattered around. But oddly, the plastic bag with chocolate chip cookies were untouched.

I am still not sure exactly what happened last night. DH immediately blamed the dog, but I doubt it was him. For one, he would have eaten the cookies, despite the bag, and he has a bad habit of chewing on yarn balls. The yarn and cookies were untouched. I'm pretty sure it was the cats... but not sure why.

They had food, their litter was clean,and they had water. The cat nip toy was on the television and hadn't been on the floor in a few days, so catnip doesn't seem to have been a factor. This is the second crazy event in their life with us, the first being their "accidents" on the bed after we got the dog.

I picked up the pieces of paper and fabric, tore the first fifteen pages off of the magazine and put the knitting on the top of my shelf. I'll have to buy another needle (I was magic-looping the socks) before I can finish them. Unfortunately, I am not 100% sure of the size (1 or 2) and so I don't think I'll pop over to Main Street after class. I'd hate to buy the wrong size and have two of one size and none of the other.
















In other news, this weekend was my birthday and my darling brother and sister gave me a yarn ball winder. I know that I can wind my own center-pull ball, but they look so pretty when you do it with the winder. I spend most of Saturday and Sunday winding all of my wool into balls. DH and I also finally figured out how to get a substantial shelf up on our extremely crappy duplex walls (studs every 24 inches). I think it was probably the most expensive shelf, for what it is made out of, that I'll ever own. Next time I'm just buying another bookshelf. But now I have a lovely shelf with yarn, just yarn, on it. My plan is to organize the shelf more, but I haven't gotten there yet.
















Olive at the Party:













Max at the Party:













Flowers at the party:















Sunday I went to the Augusta Spinner's Guild with my friend from Harvest Moon Garden. It was quite the drive, but I did have a really good time. I learned how to comb wool and managed to comb some and spin it up. I need to get some wool combs, but they're quite expensive. They also are really slow, so I might just wash up the wool I have and get Susannah to use her carding machine for me. I'd willingly pay her to do that. I was given some beautiful eggs from someone who keeps several different breeds of chickens. I don't know how they taste, but they made good chocolate chip cookies. They're also really pretty...























I purchased some Peace Fleece from a fellow raveler, and I'm quite pleased with it. Its a little rough, but its really pretty. For those of you who don't know about Peace Fleece, its a really great idea. There is a village comprised of Palestinians and Israelis somewhere in the Middle East where they are trying a social experiment to see if peace works. The yarn comes from fleece from their sheep. Sorry for the short description, but there's a better one on their website for more details.

I love this way of trading among ravelers. I suppose I might get burned eventually, but it seems like a great way to get some yarn at a discounted price since people are just trying to get rid of orphan skeins or stuff they are never going to use.

The socks that the cats attacked are a lovely pair of Monkey Socks by Cookie A, made with Trekking yarn. I had never seen this yarn knit up, but had heard about it on Live and Violet, so I purchased a skein when I was in Michigan. this summer. But when I went to the knit club that my law school friend invited me to, someone had knit up a similar skein. It was just beautiful! Its like self-striping but not so stripey. And the variations are so subtle that while its not just plain solid, its also easy to see the stitch pattern. I was thoroughly enjoying knitting these, but it looks like I'll have to take a break for a few days.

Second in a pair of Warm Woolies Socks:


Monday, September 8, 2008

Flying

Wow, I have to say that this month is already flying by.  Unfortunately I think it usually tends to do that.  Today is the 8th and my birthday is coming up.  In fact, the way my weeks are going, by the time the dust from the week settles, it will be my birthday.  And at this point, I don't think I'm supposed to be excited about birthdays.  I'm supposed to start being sad, since I'm getting older.

But I have set myself a goal for this week.  (I am nothing if not a multi-tasker).  Organize my office.  Somehow the stuff that was in the living room in the old apartment exploded when we moved in here and is now taking over the entire room.  It doesn't help that there are two additional musical instruments and a bow, arrows and a target.  I started to list the other things that are taking up my office, but I realized that the room is full of random, weird things.

That's it. I'm taking a cue from Grumperina and organizing this week. I'll post pics when I'm done.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

September!

September is my favorite month.  It has my birthday in it, it is approximately the start of school (and I do love school... and school supplies) and it is supposed to be the beginning of fall.  The places I have lived have never gotten the memo about fall starting in September, however, but it is a little cooler.  The sun goes down earlier, so at least the scorching sun-heat is less than it was a month ago.

The long weekend was nice, but of course, very busy.  I felt like I didn't get a big break, since DH, the Max and I were racing across the state to visit family.  We had a nice time with everyone, though, so it was worth it.  

I did manage to make it over to the famer's market, however, and was given some beautiful Blue Faced Leister (spelling?) that I quickly spun up.  It was not as clean as commercial roving, but was a million times nicer than the stuff I've been making with my pathetic hand cards.  Don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are people out there who turn out beautiful, clean and easy to spin roving with hand cards (or would they be called rolags), but I am not one of them.  Mine look like oddly shaped cotton balls and are full of vegetable matter, lanolin and small cuts of hair that make bumps in my singles.  This had some lanolin and only one or two twigs (and a dead ladybug) but was still really nice to work with.  And the person who gave it to me was so gracious!  I loved it.  I've already spun and plied it, but I forgot to take a photo, so you'll have to look at the unfinished roving:


















I also purchased some handspun silk with beads.  Its so beautiful and soft!  I think this is the first time I've ever bought silk, and I'm excited to figure out something lovely to make from it!  It has also inspired me to try and add some beads to some of my handspun.  I'm thinking Fetching?
















This is some more of that Lorna's Laces roving that I've been spinning up.  Its so pretty!



 













And I'm about to post a big update on my Etsy shop: BlueMuttDesigns.

These are a few of what I've been creating:
(I think they look nice in my thrift store china!)


  





















Now that my externship has begun, I'm a bit busier during the week.  But I'm still going to find time for knitting :)  Always.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disappointing Fay

I think we were all a little disappointed this weekend in the poor show that Hurricane Fay put on in the North Georgia area.  She seemed to pummel Florida with the first hurricane they've seen in a few years, and made landfall more than enough times, but we ended up with an overcast weekend with slight sprinkles.  Mostly it was super-humid.  A bad hair weekend.

School began this last week, and it was mostly satisfying.  I've realized how little I care to be at the law school.  I enjoy my classes, but much like undergrad, I like to get home, do my work in my own space and use my free time to knit and do fiber-things (and see DH, and play with the dog, and all sorts of other-non school related things).  Also, one of my best friends has relocated to the same town I live in, and I'm super-excited to have her around.  Its like undergrad again!  (Except much harder, more expensive and more time consuming)

Today I embarked on my second natural dying experiment.  The first was the eucalyptus wool, a later batch now for sale at my etsy shop BlueMuttDesigns.  The second is marigolds.  I mentioned to my mother a few months ago that I read that marigolds made good dyestuffs (and were readily identifiable in the list I read on Ravelry), so she bought a six pack or two and planted them.  Well, yesterday I saw them and realized they had gotten gigantic.  So I filled up a grocery bag with the heads and here is what happened next:

I pulled the petals off.  It might have actually been easier later on if I had left them on the green parts, since removing all of the marigold petals from the dye bath without a proper colander turned out to be impossible.


















Next, simmered on the stove until the water turned yellowish-red.  Next to it the wool was mordanting with approximately 1-2 tsp of alum, 1/2-ish tsp of cream of tartar.  I wasn't really careful with the amounts but used an approximate, since the amounts I had listed were for 1 lb of wool.  This was probably around 4 oz of wool, but were two different types and I have no real idea the weight.



















This is the result while still wet.  Initially the color was ridiculously garish.  But the yellow wouldn't rinse out.  Several minutes under a cold tap and two Brown Sheep Wash baths still dripped a urine-like color.  I think the problem was actually the remaining marigold petals.  Once I managed to get most out, the dripping water was almost totally clear.


















DH says the color is pretty.  I think its still a bit garish for my tastes.  We'll see.  What is actually there is two skeins of probably 150 yds worsted weight (2 ply) from some undyed I bought at Earth Guild.  The third skein is smaller and is a single.  I think its the undyed that DH got me from Main Street Yarns and Fibers.  Apparently for our anniversary he bought "all they had."  They were low, so it was only about 4 oz.  But it turned out nice anyway!  I think that the eucalyptus wool I have on etsy is from the same batch.  If that's right then its from a local sheep farm.  I can't remember the name of that farm for the life of me right now.

Oh, that reminds me.  Yesterday DH and I went to the local farmers market and I was so excited when we turned the corner and there was dyed handspun hanging from the tent!!!  DH says I "visibly perked up" when we saw it.  It was two lovely shades of purple, both from Cushings dye, she said, from her own sheep!  Next weekend she's going to bring some of her roving and I'm so excited!  I just love getting local stuff, from food to crafts and a source of inexpensive undyed roving would be awesome!


Speaking of Main Street, I picked this lovely Lorna's Laces roving up this week.  The route that this roving took to get to me was a bit circuitous but I love it!  Its about 10 oz total that I bought, and this was only one bobbin full.  I don't think it will go up on etsy since I had some issues with not putting enough twist in some of it so that it pulled apart when I Navajo plied it. 
I love it anyway!  (pottery is from a flea market benefiting the State Botanical Garden that I bought for $.10 because its handles broke off)






















Research on a few websites leads me to believe that this color is called Envy, but I think I'll call it Grasshopper.  Its not the vibrant green I would think of as "envy."

And ahhh, I love Mmmmalabrigo....   These are the mittens that I am making for my grandmother.  (The pattern is awesomely amazing and is by Katherine E. Fagan).  I can't say enough how much I love Malabrigo!  Its so soft and so great to knit with.  Even the Max couldn't keep his paws off of it!  (Shhh...Don't tell DH I just ordered another skein from a fellow Raveler-he doesn't understand the yarn obsession)


















Last but not least... I found this at my mother's LYS, Cast-On Cottage.  I used to hate this shop, but they changed owners and its really been reborn into a great little shop with really helpful employees and owner and an amazing selection. (They sell Malabrigo). 

I like to try new sock yarns.  I currently have a skein of Trekking XXL (color 147) from a shop in Michigan ready to go, but I felt that one skein of sock yarn wasn't quite enough (since Lime and Violet are my heroes!)  So I found Happy Feet by Plymouth Yarn.   The price was great-$6 a skein (2 needed)-and while I am very appreciative of hand-dyed, indie dyers, my law school budget does not appreciate it.  (And they say you shouldn't use loan money for anything you don't want to be paying for for 10 years-or so-but whether yarn is worth it is certainly debatable).    This yarn is 90% superwash and 10% nylon and unfortunately is called No. 11.  I agree with Lime and Violet that yarns are more exciting when they have cool names... but apparently Plymouth Yarns doesn't agree.  Oh well.  No idea what I'll do with it though... time will tell.