Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I've Moved

I was feeling restless. I wanted to try something new. I've moved to WordPress and I have my own domain now.

Come visit me at

Kinda cool really.

I have Great Plans.

I always have Great Plans.

But this time I'm kicking ass and taking names.


I promise. Just you wait.


Monday, July 9, 2012

TdF Day 9

One of the forums I belong to on Ravelry made Sunday a challenge day. We had a Fairy Tale, Folklore, and Fable theme. I spun close to 4 ounces in one day, that was challenge enough. I named my yarn Horse of a Different Color, because all good Tall Tales use this phrase.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

TdF Day 8

Didn't get much done today. I just finished the last few grams of my sweater singles for skein 1 of 8 and wound the plying ball.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

TdF Day 7

Remember that color blending experiment I did in March? I finally finished spinning the singles. I plied them and now I have 275 yards of purple progression lace weight yarn. I'm so impressed with myself. After the TdF is over I will do some more color blending!

Friday, July 6, 2012

TdF Day 6

Switched to some support spindling with Apprentice on Southdown from Southern Cross Fibre.  I'm rockin' the long draw!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

TdF Day 5

Got tired of Sea Glass, and also needed something portable as I was out all day. This is 1/2oz of Tossed Salad. I have a total of three braids of this. I spun the first one up a few months ago.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

TdF Day 2

I didn't have much time to spin since I was working all day, but I did make some progress:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tour deFleece Day 1

Tour deFleece? Yes, Fleece not France. Who needs France when you have wool? No, really! It's an invention of some Ravelry folks who thought it would be fun to spin during the race. After all, what bikers do is spin.

Funny:  Larry saw a Groupon promotion for spinning classes and got all excited for me. Until he opened the link. Apparently stationary bike riders are called spinners.

Anyway, the TdF started, yesterday, June 30 and finishes on July 22. The purpose of this parallel spinning 'race' is to challenge yourself. So here are my challenges for this year:

1. Spindle spin a sweater lot of yarn-if I spin 1oz a day I will have 23 ounces, theoretically that is enough for a sweater for me.
2. Improve my longdraw-I will do this while improving my support spindle skills.
3. Improve my support spindle skills-spin supported for 15 minutes a day.

I will be (hopefully) posting pictures of my daily progress here. Since I will be spinning mostly in the evenings I will take and post my pictures the next day. So here is yesterday's spin:

About 1oz towards my sweater:

A half an ounce on a support spindle, still a new skill for me:

Friday, June 29, 2012

Top 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Grocery Shopping

I hate shopping, especially grocery shopping. I try to get it done as fast as possible. Lately, I've been able to tear my list into quarters and give each child a section. The last one to complete their portion gets to unload the cart, wait in line and bag the groceries. Of course the kids have found that they can sneak items that I would never buy into the cart. We can usually be in and out of the store in under half an hour and about 20% over budget.

Budget: N. An estimate of costs, revenues, and resources over a specified period; Money for a particular purpose. V. To plan allotment of funds, time.

Having spent most of the past year sick and unemployed our budget has been shot to hell. I have become a maven at penny pinching and cost effective meals. This is a good thing, but it has cost me time, not that I didn't have any being unemployed, but still.

My goal over the next few months is to find ways to continue to save money in the kitchen while getting me out of there quicker. The first step to reaching my goal is to lay down some rules. Shopping rules. Let's face it, the shopping is not going to go away, but there are three things I can do to make it less painful to my wallet and my time.

1.  Never shop without a plan. A plan, a menu plan. And write it down. It doesn't have to be super detailed, it can be as simple as Monday-chicken, Tuesday-pasta, Wednesday-fish.... Just saying I need 5 dinners for 5 people isn't going to cut it. Write down the days of the week and plug in meal ideas. You don't have to stick to the exact plan while cooking, things happen. Wednesday your sister could show up and she doesn't like fish. So swap out Thursday's dinner. Easy as pie. Mmmmm pie...... Besides, if you don't have a plan you can't make a shopping list. Which leads me to the second mistake.

2. Never forget your list. You need a list. A written list. Trust me, you can't remember it all, there are too many things vying for your attention at the store to keep it all in your head. Inevitably you will forget something causing you to have to make another run to the store. This not only eats up precious time but it leaves you open to putting more things in your cart that are NOT ON YOUR LIST. Having a list allows you to shop deliberately, consciously. It's harder to get distracted when you have your list in your grubby little paws. Speaking of distractions, let's look at mistake number three.

3. Never shop while hungry. Hello! Obvious right? Yet I still go to the store when I'm peckish. It's embarrassing to get to the checkout with half a bottle of iced tea and an open package of cookies. Not only that but when I shop while hungry I put things in the cart that ARE NOT ON MY LIST and therefore NOT ON MY BUDGET.

Let's talk meal planning next week.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

More Lists

Back in March I wrote a ramble about lists. It was partly serious and partly tongue-in-cheek, and I've been thinking a lot about it. My shopping and errand lists have a better chance of completion than my task and chore lists. It's pretty obvious why, after all, who wants to clean?

Recently I've been ill. I'm better now but I had a week long stay at the hospital the last week in May. The biggest runoff problem from this, aside from feeling crappy, is that I've been unable to work. Without my 20 hours a week we are a financial train wreck. Social Services has pulled through and we've got food stamps but food stamps doesn't pay the rent or feed the dogs and cats.

So what does this have to do with lists? It has a lot to do with lists. Lists help prioritize. Lists help you see the whole picture. Lists can remind you of what's really important in the long run, the people you love and who love you.

I've added a donate button to my blog for you generous souls who can and want to give. All donations will be kept private and will only be used for rent, utilities, necessities and the animals.


Friday, March 16, 2012


List-N. a number of connected items written or printed consecutively, an area for jousting tournaments or other contests V. (of a ship) to lean to one side

There were a whole bunch more really interesting definitions for the word list. For instance, did you know that in Old English list is related to lystan which means 'to be pleasing to'. A list is also selvage on cloth or thin strips of wood used as an edging.

I digress.

I make lists. I love lists. I make grocery lists; I make To Do lists; I make goal lists; I make chore lists; I make storage lists; I make wish lists; I make task lists; I make lists for other people;  I make lists for myself. The list just goes on.

I've heard all my life how wonderful and satisfying it is to cross something off your list. I've tried it. It does feel pretty good. But I think I have some sort of Oppositional List Disorder, OLD. Once I've crossed a few things off my list I get distracted, maybe distracted is the wrong word, more like deliberately distracted, or refocused, or perhaps defiant and oppositional. My list just sits there unloved and unused. A blatant reminder of how I continue to fail to cross things off of it.

My lists pile up too. I just cleaned out the car for Pesach and found a pile of lists shoved in the door pocket like unwanted step children. In the bottom of my knitting bag were several task lists and errand lists crumpled and despondent. I walked past the bookshelf in the dining room and was ambushed by another pile of lists that leaped off the shelf hoping to fulfill their ultimate purpose and find favor in my eyes.

Yet it's not all lists towards which I manifest OLD. My grocery lists are a piece of art. They are ordered by store, and aisle; there are ranks for budget considerations and meal planning; holiday meals have their own section. Oh beautious shopping lists! It's my To Do lists, task lists, chore lists and other action oriented lists that languish, pile up and remind me of my constant failure.

And it's not like I can't follow directions. I can follow a knitting or sewing pattern from step one to the finish, without a single mistake. I can put together an Ikea bookshelf like nobody's business. Recipes, piece of cake!  Everyone of these things is nothing more than a detailed list of instructions.

So where is the breakdown? When does a list become my antithesis? At what point does my OLD kick in? Am I the only Human Being for which lists do not work?

I reviewed a few of my lists just to get a feel for where the breakdown was. I had the cleaning supplies for the cleaning lists, no problem there, I just dislike cleaning and would rather be knitting. There were a few task lists that required something else be completed before the list could be accomplished, like acquiring boxes or moving furniture. That only made the list longer so I can see where the glitch was, I would rather be knitting. My errand lists were usually pretty well completed, except for the things that came after the craft or yarn store.

I'm starting to see a pattern here.

I'm going to go peruse Ravelry while I think about this.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Some Finished Stuff

I am enjoying knitting with my hand spun so much! I haven't felt the urge, no, compelling need to purchase yarn for over a year. Don't get me wrong, there are tons of lovely yarns out there calling my name, I just haven't felt the all consuming desire to own them.

This shawl was knit with a combination of hand spun and mill spun yarn. The colors in the hand spun moved so beautifully through the stripes that each row was a delight to knit. I knit this in record time, less than three weeks. Then it sat for three months, still on the needles, because I ran out of hand spun yarn. And all it took was about 20 minutes of spinning and another 20 minutes of knitting to get the damn thing bound off. Go figure.  It's done now and too lovely for words. I've listed it for sale in our Etsy store so go take a peek. There are more pictures there too.

In a fit of whimsy, I crafted a jellyfish with some scraps of hand spun I had leftover from other projects. I fulled it in the washing machine and it turned out totally adorable, if jellyfish can be called adorable. It's also listed for sale on Etsy.

Black lace, who doesn't love black lace? It's feminine and sexy and just a bit naughty. The yarn is from Dream in Color. If anyone wants to gift yarn to me, these are the folks to get it from. There is not a single base of yarn or a single color of theirs that I do not love. This is also for sale.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

Today I celebrate my second spinnaversary! Today marks two years since I learned to spin!

Here's a picture of my very first skein. It's all uneven, under spun in some places, over spun in others, and the plying is all wonky. I was so proud of it!

Look how far I've come!

And just a few months ago I started playing with blending colors by using my hand carders. I made my own color wheel.

And I made my own progression using color values by adding black wool or white wool to the purple.

I can't wait to spin these up!

Have a happy Pi day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Two months ago I wrote Less is More. I intended to follow-up regularly. Regularly as in at least weekly, I'm over a month late on that goal, but I got lots done! If not according to plan. So here's a follow-up:

My household goals involved the Master Bedroom. While I didn't go according to plan, I did accomplish a lot. The dresser tops are still cluttered but less so-win. The room has been dusted and vacuumed several times, about once a week since January-win. Most of the clutter has been removed from the room and either put away, thrown away or given away-win. Most mornings the bed gets made-win.

Still left to do:

1. Finish decluttering dresser tops
2. Remove desk

One thing that did get done but wasn't on the list was the Den. It's so nice and clean! There are a few things that have to be sorted through but it's all set up as Larry's office with a futon for guests! Win!!

My crafting goals did not survive the first battle. The socks and the mittens got worked on the first week and then I never picked them up again-loss. I did not get my tools organized but I did get them all in one place-win. My February Lady Sweater fits wonderfully well and just needs sleeves! Win!  And Goldberry at Dusk is turning out really pretty. I only have two of six skeins left-win.

It will look much prettier once I get it blocked and take the 'Glam' shots. Blocking does amazing things.

As for finished projects, January and February didn't bring me a lot of them. I won't count these months as a total loss though, I did finish several projects and spun up three skeins of yarn.


As for my personal goals, meh.  As I said above, the bed is getting made most of the time. Walking however, it's just not happening. Since my surgery I have started walking the dogs in the morning again, started that near the beginning of February. The weather is turning nicer so I'm hoping to spend more time walking Watson. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Monday

Glances around shiftily.

It's been a while. It's not like I haven't wanted to write. It's been on my list of things to do. We'll talk about my lists later though.

Pesach seems to bring out the blogger in me. So do most of the other holidays that require massive amounts of preparations. My Yetzer HaRah has me by the throat. But I'm going to trick him. I'm going to do what he wants for now, but when he least expects it, I'm going to go do something productive! Like yesterday for instance. Purim was Thursday. The day after Purim is when most households typically get into gear with Pesach cleaning. I know a lot of families that start thinking about Pesach right after Channukah. For me, it's always been right after Purim. In theory anyway, good intentions and all that. What usually happens is that I get all geared up to start cleaning right after Purim but end up not really starting until Rosh Chodesh Nisan, which leaves me 14 days to get the whole house cleaned up and the kitchen turned over, which always takes longer than you think it should, which means that I don't get it done in time to get all my baking done in a reasonable time, so I end up rushing and not doing as good a job as I could have, and I end up exhausted and not able to really enjoy the holiday. Holy run-on sentences Batman. So yesterday, that's what I was talking about right? Yesterday we cleaned out the car. We emptied the trunk, we washed the windows, we vacuumed and we scrubbed. Take that Yetzer HaRah!

Speaking of scrubbing, look what I made:

I plan to make a bunch more and put them up for sale on Etsy.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Less is More

Less is more, I've been hearing that a lot lately. I haven't totally figured out what it means yet, but I'll get there. Meanwhile I've made some plans for January. I plan to work in 15 minute segments, very Flylady-esque, but it's a system that has worked for me in the past. A 15 minute segment keeps me from getting overwhelmed and crashing. It also fits in with my energy level right now.

Household goals:  Master bedroom
1. Declutter closet, dressers, dresser tops, banish piles o stuff
2. Move computer desk to the den to create sitting area
3. General cleaning-dust, dog and cat hair

Crafting goals: Knitting
1. 3 WiPs:  Gansey Socks, Knee-high Mandelbroit, and Mittens de
2. Organize my tools: Needles, hooks, darning needles, stitch markers, cable needles, notebooks, calculators...
3. 2 long term projects-FLS and Goldberry at Dusk

Personal goals
1. Make my bed every day
2. Walk for 30 minutes every day

And my priority for this week is to solve the missing camera battery issues because Pictures or it didn't happen is the rule!

It's a start.

What's on your plate this month?