Monday, October 30, 2006

Why does life have to be so hard?

Wow.. that title is a bit more than I think this post deserves.. but since I'm sitting here freezing my *ss off in Panera at the moment, I'm going to let it slide.

I'm in PA for this week, watching a friend's house. Actually, I'm apartment hunting, but staying at his place was so much more convient than running back and forth from NJ. Plus.. it's probably the ONLY way I'd ever get him to give up the remote control! :) (Not that he's reading this while on vacation.. but yes G, I changed all your TiVo settings )

So why am I having so much trouble finding a place? I don't think I'm being too picky when I say I'd rather stay south of rte 78. Problem is, most of the towns seem to be north of 78 and almost all the apartments I've found are north of the highway. Why you ask do I want to be south? Well, 78 is not a fun highway even when they aren't working on it (which they presently are), and there seem to be a LOT more backroads south of 78 that don't run you through the center of town. As an added bonus, if I ever get off my butt and go to school, I'll probably be in Philly and living south of 78 will cut the commute time.

I think I'm really looking. I've been checking craiglist for the past three weeks (even though I didn't know for sure about the job). I bought two separate Sunday papers yesterday, and went through all the ads. Problem is, no one puts down where the apartments are.. or if they'll take pets. Today, I went out and did some semi-zen driving to get to know the area a bit better. (I've been hanging out in this area for years, but G never lets me drive so I wasn't totally comfortable with it). Now.. I'm sitting in Panera freezing just so I can check the online sites... seems my friend is still in the stone age and uses AOL for his dial up connection.

Well, I think I'll give up for the day... I'm starting to shiver, and I don't think I'll get much more done. I'll be heading back to Jersey on Wednesday for the fingerprinting fiasco (funny thing.. I'll also be printed on Tuesday for my new job.. sigh). From what I understand there are two packages waiting for me. One I know is from my CASP, and the other I'm assuming is from my Spooky SP since I don't recognize the addy, haven't ordered anything lately and I'm not on the RAK list..

ETA: the name my wheel contest will now go till Wednesday, since I'm pretty sure I won't have internet access on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Friday - STR

Allow me to interrupt your YPF to announce: I GOT A JOB!!! and I'll be moving out to PA.
(insert me dancing around like a mad woman here)
Okay.. now back to your regularly scheduled pr0n

A few more pics of the STR skeins I got at Rhinebeck...

Don't forget to scroll down a post and enter the Name my Wheel contest! Hopefully next week the yarn pr0n will be my handspun.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I won! Okay... I was a runner up in The Knit Mongrel's "what does BLOWS" stand for contest.

See my lovely prizes? A skein of LL Shepard Worsted (which I've been wanting to try forever but just never bought) and a skein of GGH mohair (which I have NO idea what to do with... maybe a branching out?)

So... Between this, and my unnamed wheel just sitting around, I figured why not have my own contest.

Announcing: The Name My Wheel Contest..

Okay, not the most original, but still.

So.. from now until Halloween (10/31 for those of you who don't do Halloween) it's time to rack your brain and give my wheel a name. Bonus points if you also come up with a colour scheme for it. Entries may be submitted here via comment or to tzporah at yahoo dot com.

Winner will get something out of my stash, and for those of you who know.. that's a lot of yarn. I'll let the winner pick between two choices depending on their preferences for yarn weight and composition.

Pics of my wheel are in my Heaven and Hell post if you need the inspiration.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Yarny goodness..

well, instead of editing the post from hell that I wrote this morning.. I figured I'd just add the yarn up here..

So.. without further ado..

The deal of the day. 8 oz of handpainted 100% alpaca for $32!!!!
I love me some alpaca!!

Here's the STR haul.. my Fire on the Mountain skein just doesn't want to stay twisted up.. so I've let it fly around a bit. The second from the left is the skein mom picked out for herself. I have yet to knit with STR, so here's hoping I like it.

Here we have the Brooks Farm Yarn haul. The fat skein on the left is their Four Play 50/50 wool silk blend. The other two are Acero (not yet on their web site) 60/20/20 Superwash Wool/Silk/Viscose. I just had to have some.. I'm thinking socks..

Another yarn I've been wanting to try for quite a while but could never find... Mountain Colors Bearfoot.. Not really a deal, but I got to play with it and look closely at the colors before I bought it.

Now.. for the yarn pr0n shot.. since I made you wait all the way till Monday. This is a close up of the Acero from Brook's Farm. Isn't it shiny????

Funny how I bought almost nothing but sock yarn and I've been off my sock kick lately..

Heaven, Hell and back again..

This whole weekend was a mixture of heaven and hell... so here's the tale.. (WARNING: long and pic heavy post)

Let's start with Friday..

Heaven: Friday afternoon packing for Rhinebeck, tossing all the gear in the car and making lists of which booths I had to hit first (ie... STR booth). We're spending the weekend at Mills-Norre state park in a cabin with electric and water. Granted, you still have to walk to the bathroom, but with a nice portable electric space heater it should be wonderfully warm and cozy.

Hell: 287 N... five mile backup.. for what I'm assuming was an accident, because there was nothing there by the time we starting moving again.

Heaven: Not having to go over the Tapanzee Bridge!

Hell: 5 miles/hour on the NY thruway because of some unknown traffic causing thingy.. not to mention going past the turn off for the campsite because it isn't MARKED!!! The sign for the state park was on the side road.

Heaven: We hit the campsite, Mills-Norre is a beautiful state park and it wasn't raining! (this was a short trip to Heaven)

Hell: Well... where to begin... Okay.. It's after dark, and there are no lights in the camp... I couldn't figure out why the bathroom had no lights till we found a ranger and were told that a wind storm had knocked down the power lines. Well, I had my headlamp and that was about it, we didn't come prepared for roughing it. So we turned around, went back to the nearest store we had passed and had to buy candles, matches, and a flashlight for mom. Okay.. so no power means the space heater I brought is usless, but mom and I both had good sleeping bags. Or so we thought... It was in the thirties Friday night with a fierce wind that must have dropped the temp to the teens with the wind chill. To put it mildly, WE FROZE!! I had my sleeping bag hood pulled in so tight you couldn't even see my nose and every time I shifted or a cold spot appeared I woke up.

This would have been a wonderful cabin with electric, it had a full kitchen (you can't see the stove and fridge against the other wall), the rooms were cozy (though the mattresses weren't comfy) and the main room was a good size.. Oh well..


Heaven: It's Saturday morning and we're up at 7am (okay, we were freezing still). We get up, eat breakfast and get ready to go. Hit the fair grounds at 9:45am, park and head straight for the STR booth. OMG.. what a mad rush. The vendors weren't supposed to open till 10am, but by then almost 1/4 of the STR was GONE! I scored three skeins of the midweight and mom picked out one. All before 10am and we still had to stand in a HUGE line. When we went past again around 2pm or so, the booth was EMPTY! We spent the day walking around, looking at yarn, fibers, spinning wheels, and animals. I spent the first part of the day hunting down yarn that called out to me, then decided to start looking at wheels. I tried out the Hitchhiker which is so tiny and very cute, but I had trouble with the single tredle. (mom has the pics.. so if I ever figure out how to download her camera I'll post them). I was very happy with the yarn I got. My deal of the day was 8oz of handpainted alpaca for $4/oz.

(Insert haul pics here when the sun cooperates)

One of the buildings had people demonstrating different fiber skills..

Now.. how cool is this??

This is an antique sock machine! Now.. I want me one of these.. can you imagine making a pair of socks in an HOUR!!!! Of course, the first thing I asked was.. what about the heel and the toe.. well, aparently the machine does very nice little short rows with NO holes. You do short rows for the toes as well and then graft it together.

I seem to have forgotten to take pics of most of the festival... guess sensory overload can do that to you..

Hell: Back to the cabin with no heat, so we built a campfire and had some smores not realizing that poor Carol was hiding in her cabin huddled in her sleeping bag... we finally find Maria, Jocelyn and Carol but it's too damn cold to do much, the fire was out and we still have no electric! Had to wait up for Jena to get there, especially because she was bringing blankets for Maria who left her's at home and had only her clothing to sleep in on Friday night. Maria did give me some spinning time on her wheel and something finally clicked for me. So even though I didn't get a wheel on Saturday, I resolved to look closer at them on Sunday.


Heaven: Mom, Jena and I go out for breakfast and then head to the fair. I'll let Jena post her own haul, but I have to say she was rather well behaved. I tried out a few more spinning wheels, then lucked into a Fricke wheel. I spun on it for a while and fell in love. It had to be mine, and guess what..

Allow me to introduce my new toy! The folding Fricke wheel! Okay, that's a lousy name... hrm.. my first instinct would be to name it either George or Seymour (that's what we name everything in our family) but maybe a contest to name my new toy??? Let me think about that one. The only part I'm not too thrilled with is the finish on the MDF... I may have to paint it..

So, of course.. after finding my new pet.. I had to find food for it. Lots and lots of food for it.. I tried to stick to nice basic food, since I'm new at feeding it. The purple is a Corriedale/Merino mix from Grafton Fibers, the river is Corriedale and the blue.. well, I have no clue but it was a mix of about four different wools. My new pet also came with 8oz of Romney, which I found very easy to feed it.

Ran into MBT on Sunday afternoon.. and boy was I jealous.. she got herself a BUNNY!!! I fell in love with one earlier in the day, but truthfully do not have the room for one. Mom got some pics of me with the bunny and said "you looked at that rabbit like people look at their first born" Maybe one day I'll have my own fiber bunny..

Wow.. that is a long post. At least the day ended in Heaven. The trip home wasn't too bad, though I was either sunburnt or VERY tired and was DRAGGING by the end of the day. Will I go back next year? YOU BET... Hopefully by next year the fleece sale will make some sense to me and I'll be there more for fiber than for yarn. Will I stay at the park again... well... we'll see. It was so much fun to get together with the other knittyheads and gab, but it was rather difficult without power.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Yarn Pr0n Monday???

I know it's Friday and you've come to look for pretty pictures.. but the weather is horrible, and I'd rather hold off till Monday than post a yucky indoor picture... Plus.. Monday will be a post-Rhinebeck post. So.. allow me to leave you with pre-yarn Pr0n... this guy is Blue, and he lives at the Palmer, AK Musk Ox Farm.

Don't you just wish you had one of these in your back yard?????

Monday, October 16, 2006

Handpaint update..

Well, I started knitting up my handpaint yarn. Made it into most of a mitten/glove.. put it on and RIPPED it off... It was SOOOO itchy!!!! UGH... the yarn didn't feel that itchy while I was working with it... Oh well. I'll make some more tomorrow and we'll see what happens.. meanwhile, the pretty stuff from last week will become either a hat or something felted.

I just finished sewing in ends on about six different projects... pics when I can get some sunlight.

Still no word on the job.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Handpainted pr0n..

Welcome to yarn pr0n Friday.. a bit early. Chances are, my brain will be fuzzy tomorrow and I'll forget, so I figured I'd do it now.

May I present.. my own handpaint! I've posted the handpaint experience and some full skein pictures in the two entries below but saved the best for Friday. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I decided to let the yarn speak for itself. This is the final result of my first attempt at hand painting my own yarn. A sneak peak of how it may knit up below. I think this yarn will become a pair of gloves for me.

On the job front... I called this afternoon to check the status of the application. Was told all the references had been checked and that I was now waiting for either a phone call or email from human resources.. bleh.. I'm tired of waiting!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

New addiction

I spent today with whichendisup (J). Oh man.. the two of us together can be very, very, bad but boy do we have fun!

Today was the first time that either of us attempted to dye our own yarn. We spent a lot of time reading everything we could find, and finally realized that it didn't matter what we did. It was all a learning experience. So... here's our day in pics.

We decided to start with kool aid for a few reasons. 1. It's cheap 2. It's easy to get 3. Totally non-toxic, so we didn't need special equipment. Here are all the colours we managed to collect. Finding blues and greens was difficult and we ended up with only one pack of green that was gifted to me during a SP round.

Next we had to decide what yarn to use. I had quite a bit of Knit Picks Bare, some Patons and some Fisherman's Wool. J has a ton of dye your own, but most of it is Henry's Attic and costs quite a bit more than what I had. We decided to go with the Knit Picks Bare WOTA because it was already skeined and I forgot to bring my swift with me.. Here it is soaking away.

We couldn't quite decide what the colours would look like, or which ones we wanted to use, so we opened one of each except the lime green. Don't you just love J's table cloth? VERY practical when you are playing with dyes! The extra cup is a second package of grape. It was almost a grey colour when we mixed up the first one, and we thought it might be a bad package, so we did a second one to make sure.

Now.. I went first, but since I was playing, I couldn't be taking pictures... so the next few pics are of J's skein. (This was SOOO much fun!)

We decided on microwaving, again because it's simple. Maybe next time we'll try the dishwasher.... (this one is mine.. forgot to take a pic of J's in the microwave)

And when it was all said and done, we let them cool down on the table. (J's first, then mine.. and I swear that end that looks brown is purple!)

It's now drying over my bathroom door, so I'll post final pics tomorrow of how it came out...

Monday, October 09, 2006

I'm being lazy..

I have about three FOs to show off, but I'm being lazy about weaving in ends and blocking... so no showing off yet. The rest of what I'm working on will be surprises, so no pics of those either. Keep an eye out for lots of pictures later this week, as I'm meeting up with Jena tomorrow for a "dye day". Here's hoping the world stops spinning tonight so I can drive tomorrow.

Still no word on the job, if I don't hear tomorrow, I'll have to call and see if they got to talk to all my references.

Friday, October 06, 2006

My first yarn Pr0n Friday..

Well, I haven't bough any goodies this week and the post lady hasn't brought any new ones either.. so I thought I'd go back to something that's been in my stash forever and ever. I got about thirteen skeins off ebay a while back.. So, for today we have four skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky, it's a 50/50 wool/alpaca blend. Soft, warm and so difficult to weave ends in with (which is why most of it is still in a skein!)

Thankfully, I took the pictures on Wednesday when it was nice and sunny, because the last few days have been rather wet.

ETA: well, there was a package on the porch this morning... but since most of it is destined for gifts, it's a good thing I didn't wait for it.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

For those who are wondering..

how my interview today went... well.. I'd have to say it went well. I'm waiting on the reference checks, but was told at the end of the interview that if everything was okay I'd be offered a position. Looks like I'm staying on the east coast afterall.

I did a bit of shopping afterwards, and scored some really cool knitting related items.. but since most of them are destined for gifts... let this be a teaser!

And what do I find when I get home? My final spinning SP package! Turns out my SP was Mokolua, and what a wonderful SP she is! I love her idea of packing material! Inside was a beautiful spindle with some handspun she made while testing it out and 4 oz of black, yummy alpaca. mmm... Alpaca...

Don't you just love how the sunlight glimmers off the nice fluffy alpaca???

Monday, October 02, 2006

It's felted!

Pattern: Felted Rug from "Felted Knits"
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Burly Spun 3 skeins grey, one skein each blue and green (didn't use anywhere near a full skein)
Needles: US 17

Here we have my rug post felting, pinned out on my blocking board because it felted rather oddly. When I pulled it out of the washing machine, it was a complete hour glass, wide at the ends, narrow in the middle. I have no idea why it happened, but as you can see, I managed to pull it into shape. The pattern said it would be 24 x 36 post felting but I stretched this one to 28 x 41. Even soaking wet it's soft and springy. I can't wait till it's dry and I can toss it on the floor. Now all I need to figure out is how to back it so it doesn't go sliding all over with me on it.