Friday, October 31, 2008

Mental note to self #564

G'day all!

I thought the day was improving a little, not so sure now! I give you a transcript of my recent experience after eating lunch:

me: stunningly horrible discovery.
me: Rice chips are horrid when yoy brush your teeth after them.
dh: ok
dh: I'll avoid that then
me: the rice and the mint combine to create a smell that is very very reminiscent of mouse pee in wood shavings...
dh: rotfl
me: (I'm guessing the taste would be similar too but I haven't tried mouse pee on wood shavings...)
me: (this may or may not surprise you)
dh: it doesn't, actually

So I must remember not to combine the two cos really? FOUL!

(Thanks, Anne, for the tip on the downpipe. Alas I cannot reach it unless I climb out the window into the fenced off access way. The bottom of the window is at least 6 feet off the ground - I may never be seen again if I go out there.)

Here's a little eye candy for you. Hope you like flowers!

Or maybe you like your plants all trussed up, in which case you will love the Lone Cypress:
It has more wires holding it up than an elderly sopranos corset!


I hate car alarms

especially car alarms that keep on going for FIVE MINUTES in the middle of the night. Between that, the baby upstairs, the RAIN!!! and the downspout outside our bedroom trickling water (am sensitive to trickling water sounds, usually means Bad Things), I may be a little grouchy today....

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Contents revealed!

G'day all!

There have been Events Afoot today! I went and fixed something up but we are keeping mum on it for the time being. Soon all will be revealed!

Plus it rained! This is only the second time it has rained since June. We got rain on Oct 4 - I have Proof!

(as long as you can deal with the video being sideways, and I don't know if this will work - time will tell.)

Some people might think that rain is dull and boring but when it doesn't rain very often, rain is Exciting! Before the rain came a lot of wind - I guess a cold front swung through. With the wind came a LOT of spruce pollen - cars were covered with it! They were all a funny lime yellow. The ground was/is coated with it. Then came the rain showers. So Exciting!

But you aren't here to hear me enthuse about rain. (How I've missed it!) You want to know what was lurking in (and apparently trying to escape from) the box!


This was in the box!


Maybe if I take it out, we can see it better.

Yes, it's a cube of fleece! Yes, this fleece went cubular (I just made that word up) and stayed so even after being taken out of the box.

Meet Ms Tunis. She is a yearling Tunis ewe.

I love the way her fleece broke into waves, and can I just say a fleece that sits like this, rather than being scrappy and bitty, is ideal for the way I wash fleece.

Her fleece was quite clearly not coated but I figured 4.5lb of fleece for just over $20 has to have some entertainment value in it. Tunis fleece is not a fine fleece but the crimp made me curious and it felt ok. Actually, when I bought it, all I noticed was the price. I had not translated the heiroglyphics on the card.


So Ms Tunis came home with me! Well via a number of UPS vans and trucks one suspects.

What else was in the box?


Ms Missy! Look at her. Isn't she gorgeous?


Missy is a yearling ewe from Black Pines Sheep, mostly black with some lighter bits, again due to her CVM heritage. She has a lovely fleece and I can't wait to get into it.

You are getting lots of wide shots cos I can't persuade the camera to take a closeup of the black and today we don't have sun! No sun at all! I've had to have the lights on all day! (That is the down side of rain - no sun! I am solar powered. I fear that living in some parts of the east of the US would drive me bonkers! I need a good dose of sun to get going.)

Look how coal black her fleece is! Some of it really is that black, some is flecked with white and some is almost white!

So that is all the fleece. I hope! Oh, except I think I've forgotten someone. Dang. Have I posted six fleeces yet? I don't think I have cos I couldn't get good pics of the other lamb fleece. It is another gray CVM if I have not posted two gray CVM fleeces.

In other news, I have to knit like a madwoman for the next week to make up some bits and bobs for the table I am getting at the local craft faire! Yay me! I hope I sell something cos so far I've not sold a jot! I'll take along some recycled yarn and some handspun and some hand-dyed and some hand knitted and/or felted items.

Like this:
(Excuse the contrast - the rich colours I often dye yarn do not come up well either on the camera or on screen. It is sock yarn dyed in black, deep crimson and purple, and should self-stripe)

Or this nuno-felted scarf:

Or a handwarmer:
(you reckon I should make them in pairs? Most people have two hands after all)

Or some luscious laceweight!

Does this hat make my nose look enormous or what?
(Would you buy a used hat off this woman?)

OK, now that you are exhausted, I shall let you go. I need to find a nice snacky-doodle before I go off to a meetup!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

More fleece pr0n

G'day all!

I am a total fleece bore at the moment. I have been having a lovely time going through my SIX new fleeces and washing some up just to see how it comes up.

So meet Ms Cormo. Here she is all cocooned up,

and released! Blessed release!

Ms Cormo lacks a name - she seems to just be Another Sheep. Just Another Sheep. Maybe I should call her Jas.

Her locks are not impressively long - much of the fleece seems only to be a couple of inches long. I found some that are a little longer.

I was not so impressed with taking out nearly a pound of fleece cos it had a fair amount of embedded muck/VM/poo in it.
(Not that you can see much of the mucky bit in this shot)

This was a fleece that had a blue dot from the judging (which you can see in the released shot above), which means it is a very good spinning fleece, well skirted and clean. I'm not so sure the judge looked at the whole fleece. But I am very happy with what I've washed up so far. Very white, very soft! Roll around in it nekkid type soft!

Let's move on and meet Jasmine, my dark grey CVM fleece (With brown tips). Isn't she happy to be released from that nasty cocoon! Just look how she exploded out!



Look at those luscious butt tips! And the spots! Hence the (Californian) Variegated Mutant. Yep, love me some mutie!

She also came from Black Pines Sheep.

Look at the length of that light grey lock! She has some lighter patches on her and this is from one of them. Not all her fleece is this long - alas the "shearer from hell" shore the sheep last year and he is Mr Second Cuts. I guess he is used to shearing sheep to get the fleece off them, not so that it can be spun. (I've noticed that there are a lot of people here who keep sheep to act as lawn mowers.)

Are you sick of fleece yet? Are you still waiting to see what was in the box? Did I mention that I only brought four fleece home with me and had to mail two? Can you now guess what was in the box?


Monday, October 27, 2008


G'day again all!

I've gotta get rid of some links. None of them are fibre links, so totally OT

If this doesn't worry you, nothing will. Just hold still whilst we get some x-rays of your hands as you rip the tape off the roll.... Wonder if sales of sticky tape will drop now?

Two stories on photo - voltaics. Remember how plastic is non-conductive? Well that second story makes one think again.

The most bizarre (and teensy) walking house.

Could helmet hair drive climate change? Would helmet hair stop you from cycling?

I've washed a whole bunch o fleece now and is it luscious! I would roll around in it if it was dry. I feel like I've Made Progress on it, except I have a whole bunch more to go, like at least another 10 lb.. Now only if the UPS man would show up with my box... Speak of the devil, he just did! Is it sexist to say UPS man given that I've never seen a female UPS delivery person?) Now I can find out what is in the box! LOL


Rhinebeck Fleece Pr0n

G'day all!

Busy days here. I can't imagine what it would be like if I was working. The place is a shambles maybe because I am home and somewhat unfocussed.

I have lots of pics to share of all sorts of things but I'll try to keep it in order.

I was thinking maybe I'll start doing Eye Candy Monday (instead of the hordes that do Eye Candy Friday) as many of us need a little pick me up on Mondays. Then I realised that I have Eye Candy, or at least fleece pr0n.

So without further ado, I give you

A cocoon! Feet included in pic to give idea of size.

Let me introduce Laura, now that she is released from her cocoon. All 4.75lb of her.


Laura is a CVM/Romeldale ewe from Black Pines Sheep in Colorado. She has lovely variegated grey fleece. Some of her fleece is sparkling white (well once washed it will be)

and some is a light grey, and a whole lot is sorta speckled.

Like all CVM, she has more than one colour fleece, and more than one colour within each lock. Don't you just want to dive right into those locks?

Some of Laura is being washed right now. I hope she is as much fun to play with as the other CVM fleece I've had.

(Am I the only person who finds Flickr is horribly flakey? I try to add tags and make sets and half the time it fails miserably. I can't work out if it is my end or theirs but it seems to be a database problem)

I have lots of news, pics, knitting, fleece and ramblings to mumble about but really? I gotta clean the kitchen and have a shower (I don't shower until after I finished playing with dirty fleece cos if I shower before, I'll need another one) and go for a wander just to escape the squalling. Upstairs' baby is very upset today - he is 5 months old and seems to get awful colic. He does a lot of very angry crying too. I would've pegged him as being maybe 4 months old if he is lucky but I guess that I knew too many babies that were in the 95th percentile and upwards. At least he isn't as scrawny as the baby of one of Nathan's friends - I pegged it at about 6 weeks but it was nearly four months! Babies should be chubby little things in my mind, not skinny little critters.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Post-Rhinebeck hangover

G'day all!

Well I reckon I've got the hangover good and proper now. It's always the way - you look forward to something for ages, it hits like a runaway train and then is gone, and afterwards you keep thinking, dang, wish I'd bought that or blast, why didn't I talk to so and so, or crikey someone I've wanted to meet for AGES was there and I didn't see them! It would be nice if I was the sort of person people want to meet but whatever. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Alternatively, I'd be a very rich person. But even if I was rich, I still only have two hands with which to spin or knit or dye. Much as I want to, I can only do whatever my two hands can do, and having LOTS of EVERYTHING is fairly pointless. Anyway, I'd prefer to have the good regard of my fellow humans (bloggers) than have lots of money. I'd like to be the sort of person that people want to meet or even just someone who can reply to comments and who gets a lot of comments on their blog. Funny, eh? I don't want to be famous though, just someone who blogs well enough to be inspiring.

So here is my yarn haul from Rhinebeck:

LOL - actually, maybe a ROFLMAO is in order here. Two skeins from Green Mountain Spinnery, one of their wool/?tencel sock blend and the other umm of a 50:50 wool tencel blend in a DK weight, Sylvan Spirit. The sock yarn has already gone to a new home - yellow is so not me but others appreciate it :-) The Blue Opal? Hmm, well I am sure to think of something.

I am not sure if the locals here will believe that I came home with so little yarn, but I can buy yarn here. Getting fibre is a very different kettle of fish...

(Fibre haul)

From the Sheep Shed at Mountainview Farm:
mmm, falkland and merino/tencel

A lovely lovely batt of merino/angora from Delly's Delights Farm:
(bought just after I bought an almost identical colourway in a blended batt of romney)

From Cloverleaf Farms:

And that my friends is it! Stay tuned for more fibre frolics when I bore you witless with fleece p0rn!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Rhinebeck Ramblings

G'day all!

Well well well. Rhinebeck. What do I say about Rhinebeck?


First of all, it didn't seem as big as I expected it to. This doesn't mean it wasn't big, it just means that it wasn't as vast as I had thought it was. It still was *plenty* big though - there were purveyors of marvellous fibre and yarns that I never managed to get back to again, much to my regret but the relief of my chequebook (how quaint! A chequebook, and vendors who are all too happy to take cheques - safer than cash and no merchant fees).

I got to see vendors of spinning wheels and spindles that I had heard all about for years, I got to see the cutest little teensy travelling wheel you ever did see (a wee Robin)



(seen here first with Etherknitter and then Risa, both headless as I have a very special knack of getting the very worst pics of people)

I saw Bloggers In Person that I have "known" or known of via blog for years (eg Risa, Etherknitter, Margene/Zeneedle, CaroleKnits, Enchanting Juno...)(do you really need me to link them?), I got to see superstars of the knitting world - the YarnHarlot (I am such a dreadful suck cos I gave her some hand-dyed Patonyle sock yarn, beloved by Australian knitters), the Mason-Dixon crew, oh gosh, all sorts of people! I met Kate Gilbert (whom I didn't recognise) wearing her Wisteria (which I did recognise) and saw Jillian Moreno (whom I did recognise). Sorry to those whose names I forget - there were so many of you! And to all those I missed - I keep finding more and more New Englnd bloggers that I didn't see! I hung out mostly with Risa and JessaLu. Jess knows the importance of 42 - that's instant cool points in my book!

(This fellow had the most magnificent horns)

I admit I was rather in a daze. The first day I was shellshocked by a long trip and three hours sleep, plus being woken up around three am my time (6am NYC time). Between that and having all these famous knit bloggers around me... and ALL THAT FIBRE! Did I take a single picture deliberately of any of the people I met? Umm, that would be a no. Ahem.

I ran around like a maniac, trying to find fleece. Everytime I saw a person carrying a bag of fleece, I wailed "They are carrying my fleece!" I raced through all of the sheds, not finding fleece. All I wanted was fleece. Oh woe was me!

(this ram has laydeez on his mind)

I found the sheep pens of my friend Myrtle from Black Pines Sheep in Co. I left her a message with my mobile number on it.

Then I found the fleece sale room. Alas, many of the fleeces were already gone. Except the romney (featured breed) fleeces. Alas I am not into the coarser wools - my dainty little self (ha!) can't deal with anything coarser than Romeldale-CVM or Corriedale. I eyeballed a very nice silvery-beige third place winning fleece but nearly had a heart attack when I discovered it was $35 per POUND! I thought $35 a kilogram (2.2lb) was a lot to pay! $77 a kilo is in my mind outrageous! I'm guessing they really wanted to keep that fleece.

Myrtle gave me a call and invited me up to the Travelling Trailer of Temptation. Oh golly! Surrounded by fleece, unravelled by want and tiredness, I succumbed to temptation. Four fleeces later...

(This sheep didn't like what was on offer in her pen - she kept trying to stick her neck out further and further to sample the straw bale that was greener, apparently, on the other side of the fence.)

I didn't do the Ravelry party - didn't even know where it was. I was pretty shattered already. Instead after dinner with Risa and JessaLu, I watched some of the Red Sox's play off against the Tampa Rays (baseball match) and then retired to bed.

Sunday I was much more combobulated and ready to deal with people. So many of the bloggers only get two chances per year to meet up that they hang around yakking and not shopping. Well much as it is nice to socialise, I wanted to shop! So I disappeared again. And I shopped with a vengeance! And I bought a pair of lovely sea blue gloves in a wool that is just a tad too coarse - did I mention that whilst it was brightly sunny, there was a viciously cold wind and I was half frozen, being used to 30C/85F and all? - and lost one glove within the hour. It was all the fondling of yarn and fibre. Gosh I was peeved with myself. The Michael Jackson look is so 20 years ago...

But I did find two more fleeces to buy - a white something that only cost $22 and a big white Cormo fleece that cost somewhat more than $22. And I found plenty of other bits and bobs and wish I had had time to get more.

(Red leaves - more to come on my travel blog)

May I say many thanks to Risa for putting up with me over the weekend and giving me a place to stay for two nights. Risa, if you are ever out this way, well you know who to call on!

So that is the bones of the Rhinebeck trip. Lots of people, lots of fibre, not enough time to look at it all! And boy, make sure that your bank account is healthy before you go cos it won't be afterwards!

So you wanna see what I got? You will have to wait! Heck, I have to wait for some of it - it is in a UPS truck rumbling its way across the country....



G'day all!

Just got a message from JetBlue. I had to report the damage to the suitcase at the airport or within four hours, or by about midnight on Monday night. I should've reported it at the airport. Given that there were no people who obviously worked for JetBlue there, just airport people, and I was VERY VERY VERY hungry, I just came straight home. The only things I found to eat in NYC and the airport were two munchie bars, a soyghurt and a drinkable soyghurt, and nothing at all in the SJ airport. I hate airports for that very reason - everything they offer is wheat based or cheese stuff, and the few fruit offering are likely to cause me embarrassing gastro-intestinal problems.

Now we are down a suitcase.


All cos they have rules that they set without telling people. I am not from this place, I don't know what the rules are but I am expected to know by osmosis or something.

I wonder if we can find a decent set of new wheels for the case, or if it would just be easier to chuck it in the dumpster and buy another one when we want to travel with suitcases again. I prefer to travel with soft bags but if I have my spinning wheel, I need something with a solid frame. I do have a large old one with a half-busted zipper and the smaller one that stacked into the newly busted one.... Anyway, I won't buy a four-wheeled suitcase again cos the wheels are just not up to snuff.

Can anyone tell me why I am hungry all the time? Is it because I hardly ate whilst at Rhinebeck and now I am home and unable to get to WF (cos someone locked my bike to his with his lock and I don't have a key) and have run out of things to eat that are munchable that I now need munchies all the time? Or did I just munch all the time before and now am noticing it cos I can't munch on the lack of munchies here? (Methinks the latter)

Ah well. I am getting my revenge on DH for using the wrong lock on the bikes. Yes, he now is going to have to have lentils for dinner. I have run out of meat, except for the bits of turkey in the stock I will use. I have almost run out of fresh vegies and cannot buy more from the farmer's market a mile and a bit away because of the very same problem. No transport and I won't pay $1.75 for a bus partway there and another $1.75 for the next bus to get me there, and another $3.50 to get home (obviously I would buy a $5 day pass, but really how silly is it to not have transfers or just a ticket that lasts two hours and lets you catch as many buses as you can?). Lentils it is, in turkey stock with old sad vegetables cos they will do well in a soupy type thing.

One day I will report my Rhinebeck goodies. Are you still waiting?

PS. Just bought a car. Whee!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

OMG - weird larvae in my suitcase!

G'day all!

I am guessing you want to see the stash enhancement from Rhinebeck, yes?

Well, it will have to wait a little longer.

But I can reveal that this bulging suitcase (minus a wheel, sadly not the busted wheel)


When opened

Revealed not just my STR Marble Arches socks seen in the foreground, but




(PS I have not got an email entitled "I missed the train" from DH this evening. I am glad of that! But I did get one entitled that yesterday. Ooops!)