Thursday, March 30, 2006

Hope Springs Eternal

Well, the Beaverslide fleece arrived today, and I have to admit I'm underwhelmed. While the picture showed fibers of about five inches length, the description quotes four inches, and my handy-dandy ruler says it's more like three. This is dissapointing. I'm currently washing up a few locks to see if there's an extra inch hidden somewhere I didn't know about. More on this tonight, after PSA.

Oh man! So, I had test-washed a few locks in a little cup in my sink, and goddamn! The little scrap of smelly, more dirty than I expected, are you sure this is gonna work wool became a soft, fluffy cloud! It's like a magic trick, with a prize at the end! This was SO worth it! It hasn't gotten any longer, but I'm okay with that. Just the supreme and utter transformation is enough for me at this point.

Holy crap. I tried to wash some of this in the tub? Soaking, with dish detergent, no agitation, rinse cycles, the whole lot - and this is the ugliest mass of fibers I have seen in my life. How the everliving fuck did people DO all this when that was what you needed so you could have clothes? FUCK!

I am in serious need of some help and some tips and some people who know what they're doing. If you are a person in the BCS area who knows what the fuck they're doing, please leave a comment!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


Man, I am so excited about spinning these days! I love it in a way usually reserved for infants or small pets. I've spun wool, wool/mohair, silk/mohair, and I'm ordering some Tussah silk and linen fibers to try out :) The silk/mohair I've been spinning laceweight (yay laceweight!) as singles, and my friend Hastur the cross-stitcher says there might be a demand for that as a luxury thread in stitcher circles. Who knew? Either way, I've got 5oz of silk and a full pound of linen coming my way, and the fleece should be here any day now.

Speaking of silk and linen, I asked my vegan friend if Tussah silk "counts" as Vegan. As I understand it, the cocoons aren't from cultivated worms, but wild worms living in the jungle, that folks go and gather after the moths have flown away. He said it's a little iffy, because it does come from worms, but it should be okay, and he personally has no problem with it :) I may knit him a little something out of it - maybe a butterfly? Maybe a moth? Either way, it should be fun.

Monday, March 20, 2006


So, I ordered a 5 lb merino fleece from Beaverslide yesterday. I don't really know how to properly prepare a fleece for spinning, so I'm looking things up and posting some links to check out as I go.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Updates and Spring Break

Well, the search for Surahs goes well, I'll be spending the weekend with my dad and some of the rest of the family. My Uncle's father I know has been teaching my cousin Farsi and Urdu and all about Islam, so he should be a good source of quaranic info against Tom Short's claim. I predict that all will be not only well, but awesome.

In other news, I've been spinning up a storm! So far I've spun about three pounds of various wools, all of the yellow colonial and the white Merino have been spun (becoming scarves and sock yarns, respectively), both of the lovely Romney colorways from All Things Heather, and about half of the white South African. I'm really loving that South African, by the way - I think it's my favorite so far. It's every bit as soft and wonderful as the Merino, but about $5 less per pound, and you can't beat that with a stick!

Speaking of beating things with sticks, though, my Brown Sheep mill-ends have arrived! I ordered a pound of greys, a pound of browns, and a pound of grab-bag goodness (which to my delight, included what seems to be 4oz of a silk/mohair blend! I haven't actually weighed it yet, but HOT DAMN I can't wait to spin it!). They greys are nice and heathered, not as soft as the merino or s. african but much less scratchy than the romney - they're about the softness of the colonial, but as they're mill ends, all I know for sure is that they're wool with the possibility of mohair. The browns are a little dissapointing - I had asked, if they had it, for some nice dark chocolate brown, with as little white as they could get, and while there isn't much white, and it is nice and dark, it looks dark to the point of blackness for the most part. Ah well, live and learn, eh? Next time I'll ask for a warmer brown :) Because oh yes, there WILL be more ordering from this company (I really should put the link in the sidebar when I get home). At less than $8 a pound for roving, as low as $5/lb for the grab bags? You bet your ass I'm going to be ordering from them! After all, I've got a respectable size stash of yarns put away now, and it's only fair to devote an equal amount of space to spinning, now isn't it?

Which I suppose will mean, since I live in an apartment, getting rid of other, lesser craft supplies. I've always had the fiber bug much moreso than I've had, for example, the painting bug, or the construction bug, and all that jazz. I guess it's just that I feel I put in the same amount of energy no matter what craft I'm doing, and at the end, you know, it's nice to have something that you can actually touch instead of just look at, that has a purpose aside from sitting around and looking pretty. Maybe that's why I always gave away my drawings and such - the process has always been what keeps me interested, and unless the finished product is usefull, I see no real reason to keep it. That's probably why, though I know damn well I'm good at tatting - maybe more than good, maybe great at tatting, and that's not boasting so much as 12 years of experience in the craft speaking - I really don't pick up my shuttles unless I'm really kinda bored and just want to keep my hands busy. I never tat for tatting's sake. I never go, gee, I sure could use another pair of socks, time to get tatting! Because what's tatting best at? Making sturdy, practical garments, or pretty do-nothing doilies? And I can always use the clothes.

Speaking of socks, I spun two pairs of sockweight yarn out of the merino. That's right, two pairs. The first I hanked off, meaning to end up with one yard pink and one yard brown all the way through, but when I asked Sweetie to hold this for a second and don't let it dip in more than it already is, he accidentally let more of the hank into the brown, so I've got about 70% brown t 30% pink. I spun up some more of the solid pink for heels and toes and ribbing, and I'm doing a simple pair of cuff-down plain socks (on gague this time, so they DO fit), and oy vey. The brown is totally pooling. There's lovely simple stripes, with a big brown spiral wending its way down the cuff (which is all I've got done). I love my Sweetie, I do, but I took him aside and showed him the pooling, and explained it. I'm still going to wear the socks, mind you, and not change the gague hoping to fix the problem - I like the way they feel as is, and damned if I'm not going to be happy with the first socks that I've spun, dyed, and knit myself.

The second pair's worth I dyed purple-magenta and green... there's a little brown in the green, I don't know how it got there, and it's really causing me to, well, hate on it pretty good. I think I'm going to overdye the lot of it with blue, and see how it turns out.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Wabbit Season

It's that time again, folks - time for Tom Short to come to the A&M campus and spread his particular view on how we're all bad people and we're all going to hell in our respective handbaskets. Some of his gems from previous semesters have been "the only reason we shouldn't kill homosexuals as the bible demands is that there's so many of them," "Evolution is the tool of satan," and "date rape isn't really rape" (my personal favorite).

Anyway, so this semester he decides to start things off by badmouthing Islam - and you may not know this, blogland, but my family? Yeah, predominantly muslim. So I get prickly when he starts saying things like "all good Muslims support terrorism and 9/11" despite the fatwahs against it and all the Quaranic evidence. Of course, I haven't studied much of the quaran - or the bible for that matter, I'm really areligious personally - so I'm not really equipped with the exact surahs and such that prove him wrong. Ergo, for the rest of this week I'm going to be talking to muslim friends and family, and probably taking a trip down to the local Mosque. Because with Tom Short, I always know he's wrong - it's just a matter of finding out where.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

At Least I Can Give Her My Time

So, the squid, he's currently got 4 of his 10 tentacles knit, and he's going on hold. The angora/wool socks are almost finished, I need to decide if I'm going up to the LYS to pick up another ball of the purple Kathmandu (likely so) or finish these up with the green. All in all, post-olympian times is good times.

In other news, K.'s wedding is in about three months, and I'm excited for her. We all know I'm the perpetually broke sort, so my choices for "approproate wedding gift to the woman who introduced me to knitting" are limited, but we've worked something out. She picked up 5 balls of Karabella 4 (DK weight) in a lovely light lavender color, and I'm knitting her a stole in Ostrich Plumes, 24" x 60", to wear at her reception. On size 4 needles.

So, think I can get 10 square feet of knitting on size 4s done in three months? Looks like we're going to find out!