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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.

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I can has inter-dimensional bridge? September 21, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, knitting, spinning.
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I used my hand cards for the first time, carded up some curls of something or another, it spun up pretty even though it was a PITA and I didn’t like the way it felt. I plied it and that looked nice, too, though toward the end it got all kinked up and I just said the hell with it and tossed a whole knotted portion of it out. Not a fun spin. I feel a lot more confident carding rolags, though. I want to make a ton of them and keep them in a big basket.

I also made my first batt on Joy’s drum carder – wow, what fun! Super easy, too. I made one fugly batt out of random stuff (though she assures me it’ll look a lot better after being pulled into roving and then spun up) and another out of some red and orange roving I got from Joy’s wool supplier. I’m pretty proud of that one, it looks awesome and I plan to make a few more to bring home if I don’t spin them this week. Now I want a drum carder. Not likely I’ll get one any time soon unless I chance upon a used one at an antique store or something. No big deal, I can use the hand cards even though they’re slower. Or, I just remembered, Melodi at the fiber gallery did say I could drop in and use one of their drum carders any time – I should plan one day to go and bring as much fiber with me as I can.

Joy has two huge bags stuffed to overflowing with raw Jacob fleece that she’s been too overwhelmed to deal with – I know the feeling, I have a bag of raw fleece of my own sitting at home. It’s really soft stuff and the colors are amazing, so I’ve suggested that she and I take an evening or two to sit out on her deck and pick a couple of pounds of it just to get some momentum. We’ll prep most of it to go to the processor though I also thought we should try our hand at washing a bit, too, since I’ve never tried that. Doing it with someone else makes it feel a lot more doable, if that makes sense. Alone I’d never tackle such a thing but since I’m here with Joy I feel motivated to try.

We also got some cute string lights and paper lanterns to decorate Joy’s fiber studio, and later this week I want to sew her some cutie curtains for the window. I bought some rayon thread on which I plan to string seed beads and ply with something. I’m working on a couple of knitting projects. I plan to card a whole lot more roving. And spin. And make things with paper. I feel very inspired being here and it’s only Day 3.

I can has inter-dimensional bridge between Maine and Montana?

Gonna catch me a buffalo by the tail! September 17, 2008

Posted by jeninmaine in bebeh, dyeing, knitting, spinning.
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Whoa.

It’s so hard to believe that in less than 30 hours Margaret and I will be on an airplane on our way to Montana. In 36 hours we will actually BE in Montana! Then we’re gonna stay there for TEN DAYS!

I’m going to get to meet Jeff! I’m going to get to meet Jacob! I’m going to meet the infamous outlaws (and yes I will be bringing my camera)! I’m going to get to meet Joy’s mommy and daddy and grandpa!

Eeeeeeeeeeeee!

In six hours I’ll be able to check in online and print my boarding pass. I want to check in RIGHT! NOW!

It’s 72 degrees in MT right now. It’s 47 degrees here. I won’t go overboard on packing sweaters though next week is supposed to be rainy and then cooler there.

Jenn is loaning me her big-girl suitcase and carry-on bag…with teh bebeh I can’t be schlepping around the country with just a rainbow knapsack any more. I’m kind of at a loss for what to bring. I’ve already decided to only pack 2-3 days’ worth of clothes and then wash them at Joy’s place over and over again. I’ll be bringing just enough diapers and wipes for the trip and will buy more when I get there, the same goes for anything else I don’t want to pay to schlep across the country.

I stopped myself at stuffing a few Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and shipping them to Joy’s house to arrive when I do as it would be cheaper than checking luggage ($15 for your first checked bag, $25 for the second). I still may consider it though I’m not sure what I’d bring.

Sadly the Ladybug is not making this trip. It’s too large to remove the flyer and treadles so it doesn’t fit in an approved suitcase and I’m not comfortable taking it completely apart and risking it getting damaged or not working as well after I reassemble it. So it’s staying home, boo hoo. Joy is borrowing her coworker’s Louet so she and I will be able to spin together (especially after she shows me how to use her New Secret Weapon!). I’m bringing my hand cards for fun and can’t wait to try her drum carder.

I asked Joy what else I should bring and she suggested a couple of my hibernating knitting projects, what a great idea – I’m resuscitating them for this trip and will try to get them done or at least get a bigger dent made in them.