Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Help! My son's been eaten by a snake!

And my daughter is just so sweet ...They did some decorating this year ...
and then some sorting and trading of the haul.

Me? I'm a little dizzy and my calves will be sore in the morning.

The dizzy part comes from our Urban Trick-or-Treating where you start on the top floor of a building and work your way down, floor by floor. Since our complex provides "trick-or-treat" posters to put on your door if you want to play, we quickly make our way down the stairs, pausing briefly to see if any doors have the signs up. This leads to us going in an almost constant, tight, spiral as we work our way downstairs.

The aching calves? Hey, we just walked down 42 flights of stairs!

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Long Days and Never Ending Nights

So last night I hustled home to cook and sew for my children. (Don't laugh! I really did cook. Sort of. If Macaroni and Tuna counts as cooking ...)

And tonight? After working from 7:30 AM until 8:15 PM I come home to what? Dying my husband's hair? Wrapping my daughter in cellophane? Painting my nails orange?

Or ... All of the Above!

Now to kick the last family member still standing into bed and do a bit of unwinding of my own.

Happy (almost) Halloween!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ssssss ....

Ssssss .... I'm Sssssewing ...

Sssssee you after Halloween!

(And after Parent Teacher Conferencessssss ...)

Have a Ssssspectacular ... Ssssspooky ... and Sssssilly Sssssaturday!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Product ...

To prevent Cookie from turning blue, I am providing some pictures ...

Keep in mind that the finished product pictured here was not produced recently. Just recently skeined and washed after sitting on the bobbins since my last plying sessions. The socks, by the way, are the property of Little Squid. The green ones are new (finished during the car ride to a recent biking excursion) and the striped ones are last year's issue.

Sweater roving in a partially predrafted form, awaiting my next spinning session.

The current product on the Kromski (singles) ...
and on the Journey Wheel (3-ply).

Today I did knit a fingerless mitt while table sitting at the Manhattan High School Fair. I'll work on the second one for a bit tomorrow but for now ... I have Halloween sewing to do.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Still Spinning ...

Yup, I've managed to spin almost every night this week. Still haven't finished the yarn for Mike's sweater and I really don't expect to until at least Christmas break. I've already plyed two Journey Wheel bobbins worth of three-ply and have a third started with at least a fourth coming off of my totally full Kromski-Woolie Winder bobbins. Dang that winder can pack a lot onto a bobbin!

In the past, 3 Kromski bobbins worth of singles translated into three Journey Wheel bobbins worth of 3-ply. I'll let you know the final count when I'm done with the first batch of plying.

Don't hold your breath waiting for it, though. I'm working the Manhattan High School fair tomorrow and part of Sunday and doing "Mitzvah Sunday" for the rest of Sunday. And somehow writing a weeks worth of lesson plans in my spare time. And shopping for, and possibly sewing Little Squid's Halloween costume ...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mike!

I have now known Mike for more than half of my life (and his).

That's a pretty long time to know someone.

To care for someone.

To Love someone.


To a wonderful father ...

... husband ...
and friend ...


Sunday, October 18, 2009

Still Alive and Spinning ...

Earlier today I bumped into Penny who was happy to see that I was still alive and interested in fibery pursuits. I appoligize to her much as I am now about to appologize to you, gentle reader.

When I started this blog, it was a nice outlet for my literary creativeness. These days, however, that outlet is being found, nightly, as I attempt to craft lesson plans that will capture the imagination (and attention) of my students. By the time I'm done, my urge to write any more is gone for the night. So, too, is my urge to knit or do much more than play Zuma's Revenge.

I did, however, find the urge, still within me, to drive 2+ hours to Rhinebeck, NY to play in the wooly goodness that is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival.

Want to see my goodies? (Get your mind out of the gutter! This is a family friendly blog!)

The pink log is 70% Suri Alpaca, 30% Silk from Flaggy Meadow Fiber Works. The big bump is 100% Coopsworth from Maple Row Stock Farm (no website). The Alpaca was my first purchase of the day and I was so attracted to it that when I went through the barn again at the end of the day, I almost bought it again! Fortunately I came to my senses just as I started to approach the inside of the booth and realized that I had already impulse purchased it. The blue just kind of jumped out at me and clearly stated that it needed to be a nice warm shawl.

Here are an early and a late purchase. The dark blue attacked Little Squid and insisted that he needed his mother to spin socks for him. The lighter blue was missed in the initial attack and was spied jumping into my hands a few hours later just because I really love Grafton Fibers batts.
The brown top on the left is Chocolate Alpaca and Tussah and the lighter brown/grey top is Finn Wool and Yak, both from Shadeyside Fibers. Both were a "I'll remember where they are and come back for them later" purchase which had me miss-remembering what barn they were in and recombing almost all of the numbered barns in search of them . I really wanted some yak and, some more alpaca -- having conveniently forgotten that I'd already purchased some earlier in the day.

The big red bump is 9 ounces of Coopworth dyed with madder and iron from Handspun By Stefania. It was mainly purchased because my Rhinebeck experience would not be complete without buying something from Stefania. I love her naturally died wools and they spin up so quickly!

The kids got some stuff, too.

Squidette got this kit:She is going to dive into Little Squid's domain and attempt some needle felting. Little Squid got some puff balls to do some felting on his own. No pictures of his haul -- he already put it away.

All in all, a lovely day. The crowds were ... well, not crowds. The weather was damp and mildly rainy but we stayed relatively dry. Lunch consisted of lamb ravioli for the kids and lamb and barley soup for me, followed by apple cider donuts, hot chocolate and finally soft pretzels as a snack for the trip home.

The drive was ... well I really don't like highway driving. I just do not know what to do with my foot when it isn't hitting the brake every two seconds. Give me Manhattan traffic any day!

Now, off to do some spinning on Mike's sweater. Have to finish that spinning before I can start in on the new stuff!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Healthy or Unhealthy?

I've been dwelling on this one for a while.

Am I doing myself more harm than good by riding my bike to work.

The ride is relaxing. (good)

Until I slam on the brakes to avoid being doored. (bad)

I get a decent aerobic work our climbing Ceder Hill in Central Park (good),

And then suck bus exhaust on Fifth Avenue. (bad)

I build muscle schlepping 20 or more pounds of stuff every day, (good)

But stress out over inconsiderate folks who park in the bike lane (including those "wonderful" police drills that seem to take up two blocks worth of bike lane across from Madison Square Garden every other week).

So ... what do you think?

Oh, and I almost got blown down by some serious gusts of wind as I made my way home tonight. But the temperature was ideal for riding ...


I've been overwhelmed, and underwhelmed ... but never whelmed. Until I read Beowulf. And maybe not even then.

I have now seen, for the first time in my life, the use of the word "whelm."

According to the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary, Whelm means:

1: to turn (as a dish or vessel) upside down usually to cover something: cover or engulf completely with usually disastrous effect

2: to overcome in thought or feeling, to pass or go over something so as to bury or submerge it


Probably should have looked it up while I was still reading Beowulf.

I'm done now. Don't really understand the fuss about it ...

Beowulf goes to help out the Danes.

Wounds Grendel. Big Celebration is held.

Grendel's mom comes and seeks revenge for the wounding and kills some Danes.

Beowulf goes and finds Grendal's lair under the sea and finishes off Grendel.

Big Celebration.

Beowulf goes home and mostly lives out his life.

Some foolish person plunders the local dragon's lair.

Dragon gets angry and goes on a rampage.

Beowulf kills dragon and is mortally wounded in the process.

Beowulf dies.

Beowulf is cremated.

End of story.

Did I miss anything?

I think that from now on I'll leave the works written in Middle English to scholars of Middle English.

I was, shall I say, underwhelmed. But I finished it.

Next on the classics list: The Time Machine.

(I've been alternating reading modern junk fiction with classics on my BeBook. Now I'm reading some Barbara Michaels to clear my head of Beowulf. Then back to H.G. Wells who I've really enjoyed so far.)