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Stuff and things. March 30, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in Crafty, dyeing, food, knitting, spinning.
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I’ve made a couple more baby blanket squares. The directive was No Pink, so I’ve had to make do with derivatives of blues and greens.

Blanket squares

1. Intarsia heart – my first complete intarsia project. It wasn’t all that difficult once I got the hang of it, but all those separate bits of yarn – eugh, so not worth it. I still haven’t run the ends in yet and I am not looking forward to it. It’s cute, anyway.

2. Just another patterned square. Still loving the hell out of that Dream in Color Classy. Yarn love.

While we’re on the topic of crafty things, look what I got the other day…

Fiber

Whatever could be in this big box? I didn’t order any medical supplies.

Fiber

Fiber! This is 22# of roving, tightly banded together. I’m afraid of cutting that band to let it free. Joy is egging me to do it. I’m skeered!

Proof I’m not completely hopeless:

Proof I'm not a total screw-up.

I baked yeast bread! I probably should have kneaded it more, but it still tasted good.

Some actual progress. February 23, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, Crafty, knitting.
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It’s been a LONG TIME since I wrote about anything crafty, namely because the past month or so has been a big steaming pile of suck when it comes to free time. With the dog being sick and dying, the kids being sick (though thankfully not dying), me being sick…I’ve had to do so much catch-up with work that there has literally been no time to do much of anything. Housework has fallen by the wayside and now that everyone is better we’re still trying to get caught up.

Anyway I have managed to do a little here and there – no spinning, sadly, and only a wee but of dyeing of things I owed to people – mostly knitting. First I wanted to make something for myself, so I knitted a cowl out of the handspun I fell in love with and bought from Joy. I was trying to think of something useful yet simple to show off the colors in the yarn. I really like it.

I like how the colors are different depending on which side you’re looking at.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I plan to take the remaining 15 yards or so and rig some sort of cord so I can cinch it into a slouchy hat.
Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

Cowl for me from Fabulosity handspun

I look like pan-fried ass in these pics because this was the day before I relented and went to the doc for strep.

Second I told myself I must finish at least one thing that I had sitting in my WIP pile so I did that, I finished knitting the Entrelac Scarf I started back when kidlet was a baby. I need to run in the ends and block it so photos will be forthcoming.

Thirdly I had all this Dream in Color Classy I bought the middle of last year so I could make a Tulips Cardigan for Mim, only once I had it in my hot little hands I got all intimidated and put it away.

DiC Classy: to be Tulips Sweater

I found it while cleaning up and said to myself, “Self, you really need to get over this and knit the damned thing before she’s too big to wear it.” The pattern goes up to 6 years old, but I wouldn’t put it past me. So I bit the bullet, caked all the yarn and jumped in with both feet.

Front
Tulips Sweater for Mim

Back
Tulips Sweater for Mim

Surprisingly and to my joy this is a very easy and quick knit! I don’t know why I was so cowed by the idea of making it but so far I am really loving it. I’m nearly done with the body and I doubt the arms will take all that long to finish, the only thing I’ve never done before is the applied i-cord that goes around the neckline. I love this yarn and plan to make a matching hat. And just imagine, I may actually have it done so that Mim can wear it this Spring! What a concept.

Happy Birthday Mim! February 17, 2009

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, food.
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Today is Mim’s first birthday! We already had a really casual party on Sunday at the local Chinese place, I mean she doesn’t know what’s going on so it’s not like I had to plan anything elaborate this year. Also the folks at the Chinese place love my kids, seriously love them.

Mim’s pretty party shoes! Which stayed on all of 1.5 seconds before she kicked them off.

Mim turns one!

I made banana cake with buttercream frosting – I freakin’ LOVE buttercream frosting, the kind made with real butter and vanilla. I used to detest making it before I got a mixer, now it’s so easy. Mmm frosting. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I was originally going to use a banana bread recipe and just make them into cake shapes but of course I didn’t start baking until mid-morning on Sunday (we were meeting at noon) so the 55-60 minute baking time gave me pause…until I found a banana cake recipe with the same ingredients, just more flour and milk, that only took 25-30 minutes. Sold! I ended up using Pyrex storage bowls for baking pans, two medium round ones for most of the batter and one small one-cup sized for Mim’s personal cake. They were yummy.

Mim turns one!

Her little cake had a smiley face in it!

Mim turns one!

Mim’s Signature Look.

Mim turns one!

Time for cake!

Mim turns one!

First up – testing the buttercream frosting.

Mim turns one!

Nom.

Mim turns one!

Processing…

Mim turns one!

Yeah, that’s good, let’s have some more of that.

Mim turns one!

Once all the frosting was licked off, the cake itself wasn’t too shabby

Mim turns one!

Here, have a Happy Birthday smack.

Mim turns one!

Tons of crafty and kid photos. November 19, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, Etsy, kidlet, Ravelry, spinning.
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I finally have a good bunch of photos of what I’ve managed to work on lately.

First, let’s start with a cheesecake shot of the yarn I had laid out on the table.

Cheesecake shot

Ahh, yarn. It looks kind of neat like that, and even neater knowing I made all of it.

Here’s all the yarn packed up and ready to be shipped out. The white box is half a dozen whoopie pies from Labadie’s – because I’m sorry but a whoopie pie just isn’t authentic unless it’s from Labadie’s. I find it funny that on their website they sell them for $24.95 a dozen (plus shipping) but if you buy them from the retail bakery they’re $0.50 apiece for six or $5.00 a dozen. Nom.

Packed up

Here’s the box! All told it was about nine pounds, so if you take out six whoopie pies that’s still a lot of yarn.

Boxed up

Joy received the box just fine today, whew! Here’s some excerpts that made me laugh. D is her coworker:

Joy: OMG YARN!
YARN IS HERE!

Joy: D is rolling around on the floor in my office.

Joy: WHOOPIE PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joy: Woot!

Joy: OMFG YOUR HANDSPUN.
O.k. I’ll stop yelling now.

Joy: D is freaking out.

Joy: O.k. so D is kind of totally fucking freaking out. (this one made me guffaw for reals)

Joy: Hehe, so the mail guy is standing there and he puts the box down and I grab it and make a run for it and he hollers “Wait! Wait wait wait! I have to scan that!”

I lurve her. :D :D :D

Moving on – some of you may remember the big fluffy pink and orange batt I cranked on Joy’s drum carder.

Fiber from my MT trip

Last night I wanted to do some spinning and that batt was speaking to me. It said, “Spin me slubby!” Now I’ve never spun a slubby yarn on purpose, I tend to be somewhat anal retentive and as a result can’t relax and spin anything that isn’t as close to perfectly uniform as I can get it. Which frankly pisses me off about myself. So I tried really hard and managed to spin the slubbiest single I’ve ever spun. I think it came out really pretty – I’m not sure if I should ply it or just leave it the way it is.

Handspun

I think I like it – it was definitely a LOT faster just going to town on it and I enjoyed the process. I’ll have to do this more often and get better at it.

I also buckled down and finished the teensy bit of that purple merino I’ve had sitting around forever, it was literally about half an ounce left sitting in the basket.

On the bobbin

I plan to ply this with another single of the same thing. I’m not sure if I’ll spin another 4 ounce bump or just ply this one on itself, in any case I’ve set it aside to work on later so I don’t get burned out.

I ALSO also practiced Navajo plying. I had a couple hundred yards of single on a bobbin with no home so I cleared that off and tried to get the hang of a new skill. It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t post detailed closeups, so here you go:

Navajo ply practice

Navajo ply practice

Okay, that last one looked good but here’s the reality – I had a few trainwrecks. You can see I even got my own HAIR in it. Nice.

Navajo ply practice

Overall though I think I’m starting to get it. I need to slow down as the resulting yarn is extremely kinky. Maybe I’ll ply something else around it and make aht yahn.

Last but not least, what is to come! I got some amazing, AMAZING rovings from The Loopy Ewe that were made by Creatively Dyed – what a fantastic customer service experience and what incredible rovings!

Ugh, they’re so pretty I can hardly stand it. 70% superwash merino, 30% seacell fiber. These are 8 ounce rovings, too, which means they’re HUGE.

Be Mine:

Creatively Dyed roving

So In Love:

Creatively Dyed roving

I have a second bundle of So In Love since I adored this colorway so much – last night I slivered it up to get it ready to spin. I discovered that it twists and kinks very easily due to being so soft and floaty, it was tough to split it the entire length but I managed all right. I can’t wait to see how it spins up!

Creatively Dyed roving

So, that’s it. I hope that was enough photos for you fiber enthusiasts. I do have one last photo – I had placed my wheel in front of the window to take photos, then moved it over when I was done. I looked down and thought it looked kind of artsy and the light was better so I took a few shots of it next to my table. The plaids of my cheapo Goodwill tablecloth and my tattered fug chairs clash a bit but overall I like it.

On the bobbin

Erm, ignore that Cheerio.


Last but certainly not least, I was browsing some of my other Flickr photos and came across two of my kids that I thought bore comparison. My finest works in progress:

mrh

Bebeh!

fin.

Thursday September 25, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, spinning.
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Wow, Thursday already? How the time does fly!

Joy has been an awesome host in that she lets me sleep in as long as I want. I feel a little bad about it but then again I’m getting quite a workout wrangling teh bebeh for the past week. Honestly it hasn’t been terrible at all as Jeff and Joy are more than willing to grab her so I can use the bathroom or entertain her for a few minutes when I need both my hands but now that she’s so very mobile she’s making it very very hard to keep her contained. She is attempting to get into everything.

Yesterday she very happily sat on the floor next to Joy’s big wooden desk while she spun and I used the drum carder, playing with a little karaoke machine of Jacob’s. she played for at least half an hour, maybe longer. Last night, however, there was nothing doing with that and she wanted to be everywhere else – behind the television nomming on wires, pulling herself up on everything and making me afraid she would topple over and hit her head (again, sigh), and lastly playing with Smitty’s ping pong ball toy, which pissed him off and made him come over and lay on it while halfheartedly playing with it to prove that, yes, this WAS his toy and not hers. Ha. We tried putting up a baby enclosure just to keep her from jamming her body into spaces it shouldn’t go and oh my god she got so OFFENDED! She immediately looked up at me and went “WAH!” and would have nothing to do with the whole works. Picky bebeh. Don’t fence her in.

Joy unearthed a stand-up exersaucer-type toy but bebeh has tired of that, too. She doesn’t want to be kept in one place, she wants to be cramming her torso between the back of the chair and a spinning wheel while pursuing a plastic ziplock bag full of yarn that was put back there deliberately so she wouldn’t find it.

The drum carder, by the way, is made of awesome. I really love cranking the heck out of that thing and have made a shitton of batts, most of which Joy has already spun. Joy is a spinning machine, no joke. I’m still in the middle of dinking around with some roving I started the other day and she’s spun circles around me, something like ten skeins in three days, and that’s definitely not full-time. Impressive and a bit intimidating. I think I fart around trying to come up with “the perfect idea” too much and not just creating, and therefore defeat myself. I have managed to finish knitting a hat out of the Misti Alpaca Chunky I bought myself for my birthday but have yet to run the ends in and sew on a button. Sigh. So batts are fun – you pick stuff, you card it, you pull it off in a big fluffy lump.

We went to a simply amazing quilting shop yesterday, it had the most awesome fabric selection I think I’ve ever seen. It also had tons of notions and kits and Joy found a full range of Jacquard dyes which was fantastic as she doesn’t have to order and wait for them to be shipped any more. Coolness! I loved that place. I hope we go back tomorrow just so I can drool on some more stuff. I bought some wool felt with the Grand Idea of making some cute thingies out of it, I hope I can follow through before I get distracted by the next shiny thing.