Sunday, February 24, 2008

Can't Touch This

All in all it has been a fun and BUSY weekend thus far.

It started with getting this in the mail from Copperpot Woolies on Etsy.

I know, I know - I didn't want to take it all out of the packages though. This stuff is really beautiful and I just love the colors.

Friday night we went to hang out with Sandy and her husband. OMG - we had SO MUCH FUN and they are two of the nicest, funniest people we have ever met. We ended up getting home at 2AM, which for anyone who knows us, is completely ridiculous. We are usually in bed before 10PM. They only live about 10 minutes from us so that means we actually stayed there until 2AM just talking and having dinner and playing pool and being entertained by Hocky Husbands unbelievable reperoire of card tricks. Fun!

Yesterday we had to get up fairly early and we drove up to Kennesaw to buy this:

Take a good look because this will probably be the cleanest you ever see my car. This has been a much needed purchase. We already have 2 black Explorers and we love them so we just kept with our tradition of having "matching vehicles". I know we are cheezy - but we love it so get over it! My car is over 15 years old and is finally dead for good this time. That's ok - she has been a great vehicle and given us a good run!

After that, we took the new vehicle for a test drive up to Blue Ridge, GA and had dinner and a "planning session" with Deb and Michael who own Georgia Mountain Fiber. We are launching a new business venture with them (many more details on that to come as we iron them out) so we had a really good time starting to talk about that process. These are some really great folks so again - if you have any alpaca or llama fiber processing needs - send it to them! They run a top-notch operation up there.

They gave me this:

100% alpaca for spinning baby! It is SO SOFT and beautiful!

Anyone think I better get busy on some spinning????

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Calling all Philadelphians

If anyone lives in the Philadelphia area be sure to check out the Philly 'Burbs Stitch & Bitch event that they are having at the hockey game! I donated a yarn bowl to be raffled off and luckily they contacted me in time so that I could personalize it for them. It's shipping out this morning. What do you think?? It does have 2 yarn holes but they just aren't shown very well in this amateur photo op.

I would go but it's just too freakin' cold up there.

Also, the rest of the spindle bowls are up on the site. Man, some of them are SO PRETTY! I'm going to have to find a use for at least one of them even though I don't spindle spin! Mr. Man does good work ya'll.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Spindle Bowls

We have had some requests for spindle bowls to use with Russian, Tibetan and other support spindles. Well we got a few out of the kiln this morning and there will be more coming out tonight and loaded on the website tomorrow so if you don't see one you like today be sure and check back tomorrow! There are a couple of new yarn bowls on there as well.

Also upcoming on the Knit Witch front we have ceramic buttons that should be on the site in the next week or so AND bowls to use for linen spinning. The bowls for linen spinning will be used to hold the water next to your wheel that is needed when spinning linen. We will also be having large yarn bowls that can accomodate 4-6 balls of yarn. I'll keep you posted as to when all the new stuff will be available.

Here's a few pictures of some of the new stuff on the site. Keep those requests coming! We love hearing about new helpful things to make!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Back in the saddle again

YAY! I'm back at the are swatches 1, 2 and 3 in the master's level 1. I must say, the yarn makes a huge difference and I'm glad I changed. I think these swatches look much better than the first set and I'm SURE they will block better so YAY!!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Let's see, where should I put the new yarn?

How about the basket by the couch?

Nope, that won't work.

How about the other basket by the couch?

Uh, nope. That one looks pretty full.

How about the OTHER basket by the couch?

Nope, ok obviously couch baskets are out.

Let's see what's in here in the living room. Hmmmmm.........

I'm going to check even though the top on it won't close.
Uh, nope. Don't think that is going to work.

Dining room table?

Nope. No room there.

How about the back of the couch?

Seems full already with Alpaca Surprise waiting to be tagged.

In front of the tv??

Can't do that. There is already Alpaca there from my dad's alpacas.

AND the Alpaca roving.

What's on the couch?

Looks like that is just for current or about to be WIPs.
My desk???

Well that is where the handspun skeins are residing right now so that I can look at them and pet them and draw courage.

Let's go upstairs.

This basket is full. Keep goin'.

I wonder what is in here?

Hmmmm....that stuff is acrylic. I don't want my new yummy yarn touching acrylic.

How about in the plastic bins.

Nope, no room at the inn.

Let's see what's going on in the weight room.

Hmmmm......looks like this is more alpaca roving storage.
What's in the basket we are using for dirty clothes?

Let's see...................

What?!?! Dirty clothes!!!!! OK - I see how we can fix this situation............

There! Much better.

Does anyone else ever have this conversation with themselves and find this completely and totally ridiculous??????? I mean seriously, do I need a separate insurance policy or something?

Friday, February 15, 2008

I blame ESC

OK - I'm not totally addicted to the Completely Pointless and Arbitrary group on Ravelry. THANKS A LOT ESC!!!

I have found the "swearing thread" particularly amusing today.

But I did actually manage to do some spinning.

There are a lot of overspun areas because I was trying to make it consistently thin but I think overall it's pretty good for a newbie. I find that with each new roving it takes me a while to "get into the grove" of that roving. Oh, and the damn bobbin falling off the wheel while I was spinning didn't help me at all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


I know, I know. Valentine's Day is WAY overcommercialized. People spend way too much money on overpriced flowers and cards and jewlery and candies and dinners and .............. well, just all kinds of stuff. I actually threatened my husband that he better NOT get me any of that crazy stuff since I don't want it anyway (unless we are talking about some nice merino or Knit Picks gift certificate or something useful like that). I don't like chocolate, I don't wear jewlery other than a wedding set and I don't see the point in spending a bunch of $$ on something that is just going to die in a few days. Dang, I'm a crabby Knit Witch aren't I?????

So, this morning when I woke up I had two cards from my wonderful husband, one from my wonderful cat and one from my OCD daschund and some FIG NEWTONS!! Haha!! Yay hubby! I love you SO MUCH baby so I just had to do a public blog shout out for you since some many of the nice folks that read my blog know you (or at least know about you.........pretty much ALL of you). SMOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!!!!!!!!

May the quest continue.................

Now.................about that Master's program..........

So yes, I now have the yarn I need to do the swatches for the master's program so I'll be starting over again with the swatches directly. Stay tuned to your local Knit Witch channel for EXCITING updates.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008 Skein

Well Jane and I bought the same roving at Knitch recently. You can see hers on her blog (which looks ever so more even than mine!). I think she has decided to leave hers as single ply but I had just the opposite thought. I thought it would look great plied together! Well, that and I'm nowhere near actually being able to produce a balanced single so I gotta ply it to make it at least APPEAR balanced - from a distance.

This is Schoppel Wolle finger roving - 100% Merino - 50g in color "Earth"

Here it is on the bobbins:

Here it is plied on the bobbins:

And here's Skein:

This is my first "real" spinning (as in not just using practice stuff) and I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out! I learned a lot. First of all, I had that "a-ha" moment on the second bobbin where I finally figured out that you pull BACKWARDS on the roving to draft it - not forwards. So I learned to let the roving slip a little when I feed it onto the bobbin and then draft back before allowing the twist in. After I learned that little trick my yarn was ending up MUCH smoother!

When I started plying I did start going in the wrong direction because I forgot! Luckily I caught it at the very beginning so I was able to fix it.

So.....questions for you spinning gurus out there:

1) Do you ever just tie the ends of the two bobbins so you just have one skein? I wouldn't do that if I was selling it but for me, it's just easier to have a knot rather than two skeins.

2) Are some bobbins just harder to work with than others? It seems like the bobbin that actually came with the wheel is a lot harder to treadle with than the other 3 I have. Weird.

3) Is there a "special way" to keep the ends from unraveling when you finish a bobbin?

4) Do you ply more tightly or more loosely than you work the singles?

OK - that's it!!! :)

Just a Quickie.......

New yarn bowls are up! I think this batch turned out really nice and there are some really good sized ones this time too! I especially like this one:

I'm too sexy for my yarn, too sexy for my yarn, too sexy..........

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Famous Miss Annabelle

HERE is Annabelle's picture (finally!) on the Scalini's webpage. She is our neighbor's baby who came after the consumption of the infamous eggplant parmigiana!

More info on spinning/knitting later. Right now I gotta go to that "real job" thing!

Monday, February 11, 2008

First Skein

OK - here it is - my first skein of yarn! I learned how to use the nitty noddy last night and then it took about 15 tries to get the skein tied up right but it's all done!

I just realized though.........I forgot to wash it!!!! Darn. I knew that seemed too easy.

Other than that we are glazing more yarn bowls and firing up the kiln in just a little while. It's always like Christmas everytime we open the kiln - I love it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

For your viewing pleasure

Here is my first plying attempt with two strands that actually resembled a single ply:

Here is the one I plied several weeks ago with stuff that did NOT resemble single ply. This was my very first practice attempt at plying:

The latest attempt is much better, eh?? It really is amazing how much work goes into creating handspun yarn.

I was going to try and make it to Knitch today for spinning day but I just don't see it happening. I have way too much going on here today and I have several jobs I need to get finished up. So, unfortunately, I gotta get some stuff done around here. We have a load of stuff just coming out of the kiln that needs to be glazed and then refired, I have buttons to finish up before the next firing, I have a database job thingy that needs to be finished before it drives me (and the recipient) nuts and we are working on the spindle bowls today also. PLUS Mr. Man has some graphic design to work on for a new upcoming yarn company out of North Georgia. When I am able to release more details about it you guys are going to love it!

Thanks everyone for your sympathy on poor little peanut's ear. Aimee, he might have gotten jealous of "stitchy" but we are trying NOT to go there! I'm leaving the bandage on until tomorrow when the vet is open so at least if we do have to go get it stitched we don't have to pay emergency vet prices to get it done. It is something I could very easily stitch (will probably only require 1 maybe 2 sutures) but if it does need to be stitched it is going to be a bloody mess. So, might as well take him in to have it done any save myself the mess from debriding and stitching. HOPEFULLY, we will take the bandage off tomorrow and it will be healed enough to not be bleeding anymore though - we'll see.

Oh and Melissa is coming over tomorrow all the way from Peachtree City to help me make some stitch markers and play with making buttons. It should be a fun afternoon but I gotta get this place in order a little bit so we have some room to work!!!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wanna see something sad?

Yep, that's our daschund with a very fancy ear bandage on. Remember how excited I was about going out for Mexican food last night? Well, we went to our friends house to meet them and all leave together. We brought Leo because our friends have Leo's mom and his nephew so they like to all hang out and play. It's like daschund mania when they are all together. So, we get back from dinner and there is blood all over their kitchen floor and all over their white carpet. We go through checking all the dogs to see who is bleeding and where they are bleeding from. Of course, it's our dog that is bleeding. His whole head was covered in blood so I had to get some towels and wipe the blood off to see where it was coming from. In my mind I'm thinking "I do NOT want to go to the darn emergency clinic tonight!!" We orginally thought the blood was coming from his neck but thank goodness it was his ear.

Now granted, the fact that it was his ear bleeding and not his neck was definitely a good thing. However, ears bleed like the dickens so there was no way to stop the bleeding because if we got it stopped it would start up again as soon as he moved or shook his head. We had to put him in the bathtub before taking him home. I'm telling ya, the whole house looked like a crime scene. So, I held pressure on Leo's ear all the way home and then gave him this very fancy bandage when we got here.

I have some suture material so I could throw a stitch or two in it but I'm just going to leave the bandage on for a couple of days and see if we can't just get away with that. We'll see - I may be sewing the little guy up yet.

Now the ironic part of this story is that the darn dog lives with a pit bull for a year and a half and doesen't get a scratch on him. Turn him loose with an 8 pound daschund nephew though - and he's injured enough to loose all his blood. I told Mr. Man we had to get the bleeding stopped because he was bleeding SO MUCH and the little guy probably only has a pint of blood in him!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Not much knitting going on........

I have been pathetic in the area of knitting. I have been working on the same sock for weeks now! I'm about halfway done with the ribbing now though so it shouldn't be too long before I can cast on for #2.

I have been spinning, though. I'm not even using much foul language now so I think it is going better (and YES Jane I am predrafting like a good girl). This is bobbin number 2. I'm going to finish this one then ply my two bobbins together and THEN I'm going to start on that fun roving I got from Knitch! I can't wait!

And I have been working on this:

More alpaca surprise yarn! One skein of it has already sold! I have a few of the skeins up on the Etsy site but haven't quite gotten it up on the knitwitch site yet. We just need to build a page for it but poor Mr. Man has been working his butt off on yarn bowls lately. And, we had a suggestion/request for spindle bowls as well so we will be getting some of those into the next kiln load also. I love this yarn though. It is so soft and so fun and unpredictable.

I made balls from 2 of the alpaca skeins (yeah only like 300 more to go!) - these are Onyx and Sterling. Mr. Man complained the whole time he held the skeins for me to wind saying that he would be so embarrased if his "army buddies" saw him doing this. Whatever.......I told him to just get over it and hold the skein.

Oh, and I bought new yarn from WEBS for the master's program. I actually didn't have any 100% wool in my stash that was inexpensive enough for me to use for swatches. So, sale yarn at WEBS - then I can re-start my swatches.......geeez........
Mexican food date with Mr. Man tonight - yippee!!!!!