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cough cough, achoo

Oh, excuse me. All the dust on this blog got me all sneezy. Wow, it’s been so long since I’ve even logged onto WordPress. I don’t even know whats what anymore. The dashboard, or whatever, looks foreign to me. So yeah, I’m alive. Maybe this week I’ll get myself together enough to write an actual real post. I’ve been feeling really lonely lately, and no one to talk to. So maybe I need to utilize this space for my incessant ramblings.

HHHH Questionnaire

Hush-Hush Handspun Hootenanny

1. How long have you been spinning? What skill level do you consider yourself?
I learned to spin in May ’07- I’d probably say I’m intermediate level

2. What kinds of yarn do you create (singles/2-ply/3-ply/art yarn)?
I’ve only done 2-ply so far. I over twist too much for singles, don’t have the patience for 3-ply and don’t really care for art yarn.

3. What do you spin with (spindle/wheel/both)?
Lendrum Dt

4. What are your favorite fibers to spin with? Anything you don’t like?
I really like Superwash merino and merino/tencel. I don’t know that I dislike any one fiber, but I don’t really like anything “tough”. And as hard as I try, I just can’t enjoy BFl. Blasphemy I know. Maybe the BFL I’ve used isn’t the “good stuff”, seeing as though it was all from one designer.

5. Who are your favorite crack dealers fiber sources (etsy or otherwise)?
Well there are loads but my top two favorites are Funky Carolina and Pigeonroof Studios. I have a huge rubber maid tote filled with rovings from just these two :) Allspunup is another good one. Ummm…There’s more but I can’t think of them at the moment.

6. What kind of fiber do you want to try?
There’s this roving from Creatively Dyed or something like that and it has seacell in it. I am dieing to try it.

7. Is there any techniques you would like to learn?
Navajo ply maybe. I sort of know how to do it, I just haven’t sat down and actually tried.

8. Do you dye fiber? If not, would you like to learn?
I haven’t done any dyeing but I have a drawer full of Easter egg dyes and kool aid packets with no use. I bought them with the intention to try it but I have no idea where to start.

9. Do you have fiber prep tools (and like to use them) or would you prefer ready to spin fiber?
I’m a ready to spin gal :)

10. What do you do with your handspun? What projects have you completed?
Ummm…Am I supposed to use it? I made a sweater with my handspun and I’m working on a scarf now. Hopefully, socks soon (I have some spun for this already. I’m just scared to use it.)

11. Are you in need of any spinning gadgets (WPI Gauge, threading hook, etc)?
I am a gadget freak so I have a lot already. I am trying to find a small bag to hang on the knob to put my oil pen, spinner’s control card, etc. in.

12. What colors “fall into your shopping basket”? Any colors you just can’t stand?
Almost anything works :) With spinning, the roving never looks the same when spun up, so I try to let myself go when picking colors. That said, I’m not much on neon or super dark.

13. What is on your wheel/spindle right now?
A superwash merino/nylon/cashmere blend from Zeroknits. It’s a “mixed tape bag”, scrappies in various colors.

14. What other crafts/hobbies do you have?
Oh geez— Knitting, Crocheting, Sewing, Paper Cutting, Origami. And believe it or not, I actually have my own coloring book/crayon/marker stash :)

15. Other than crafts, what are you passionate about?
Honestly, crafting is my passion. And my Kids

16. Do you have an online wishlist?
Sort of- nothing to share right now though

17. Is there anything that you collect?
Sheep and Lip gloss/lip balm

18. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What magazine subscriptions do you have?
I don’t have any subscriptions although I keep saying I’m going to subscribe to Spin Off. I want all yarn ;)

19. When is your birthday?
May 3

20. What book or movie character do you most resemble in personality?
Umm….that’s really hard. Name a character that’s slightly neurotic, unhappy stay at home married Mom who’s gained weight, with no friends. That’s me.

21. What is the climate like where you live around this time (need to know for careful shipments of anything meltable)? Hot. Hot. Hot. Oh…and humid.

22. Tell us one weird fact about yourself!
Just one? I’m obsessed with keeping numbers even. If I eat Twizzlers, I have to eat and even number. The volume on t.v. has to be set at an even number. And so on…

Favorites
favorite painting/picture(link):

Candy: ahem–just in case I get someone in Germany, hint hint, I *love* German candy. I lived there for 10 yrs as a kid, and I miss the goodies. Most importantly, Kinder Chocolate :) Other than that, Chocolate. I have a majoy sweet tooth. I have three different spots where I keep my candy stash, there’s that much.

Food: Chinese food and Cheesecake

Drink: Pepsi or Sangria

Movie(s): Stardust, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Jewels by Danielle Steele, Sweet Home Alabama- The Bourne Series, The Ref

TV Show(s): Alias, Grey’s Anatomy

Book(s): Twilight Book Series. I rarely read a book twice, and these are the only books I’ve read more than once- Anything by Dean Koontz (his newer stuff sucks, but the older ones are classic)

Guilty Pleasure(s): Shopping. I’m a proud member of Shopaholics Anonymous:)

Shocking!

Could it be a new post? It’s been so long that I just realized I don’t remember how to put pictures up. hehe This should be fun.

So 5 months. I’m guessing nobody is around reading this by now, especially with Ravelry out there now :) 5 months is a long time. A lot of stuff can happen. But in my case, not much happened. I guess it started in April, my IBS got 1000% worse. I used to joke I was housebound when really I wasn’t. But now, now I’m practically housebound. I missed half of my son’s baseball games, I have my Dad take my mail to the post office for me, and I’ve pushed off the grocery shopping on the husband. It’s gotten so bad…….are you ready for this? I started seeing a therapist last week. It’s something I used to always say I would do, but I never actually went through with it until last week. I’m tired of my life the way it is. I hate disappointing the kids because “Mommy is sick.” I hate not being able to go for a bike ride around the neighborhood because I might not make it home to the bathroom. IBS is so not fun. And I’m fighting back dammit.

SO…with that out of the way *I mean, after my last post, I couldn’t really leave you hanging with my life happenings.* How about some fiber fun? I lost my knitting mojo for quite awhile but I have it back now. And I’ve been spinning quite a bit. I still wish I could find someone to sit and spin with me and help me with my technique. I mean, I like the yarn I’m making, but I just feel like I’m doing it wrong. Maybe not wrong, but a better way to do it? Remember, I only had that one afternoon of learning to spin last May (2007). Oh yeah…before I get to the pictures. That 100 things list I posted about in January. Forget you ever saw it. I haven’t even looked at my list since February, and can’t remember too much what’s on it. And I don’t want to. So yeah.

I think today I’ll share pictures of the yarns I’ve spun up. Knitting pictures another time.

Crown Mountain Farms superwash roving- this is one of the old sock hop colors, I’ve got you Babe, 8 0z. There’s about 730 yards, fingering to sport weight with a few heavy spots here and there.

Spun from a Terra Bella spins batt. 2 ply, 140 yards, DK to worsted weight.

This is a merino/tencel that was dyed by someone on Ravelry. 2 ply- fingering to heavy lace- 256 yards

Funky Carolina Bamboo, 4 oz.- Worsted weight, approx. 160 yards

Pigeonroof Studios Superwash merino. 341 yards, 16-18 WPI

Zen String “Granola Funk”, 4 oz.- South African fine wool 14 WPI 276 yards

And finally…remember this? 2 lbs of superwash merino from Funky Carolina.

This is what it turned into. 617 yards, bulky weight. Now, when I first set out to spin this up, I was not trying for bulky weight whatsoever, but that’s what I ended up with. I had only been spinning for just under 5 months when I did this though so I guess it’s all good. Just wait until you see what I made with it :)

Mission Possible 2008

First off….I am totally, and utterly the crankiest, pissed off woman in the world right now. I originally sat down to write and let out some of this anger. But when I get to it, it’s just too much to write down. Where would I start? The drinking? Or perhaps the anger management? Or maybe the 20 missing Xanax pills (my prescription) that somehow got up and walked away? Suffice it to say, I’m at my wits end with the Husband. Yeah, I’ve said it before but this time it’s different. I really feel my heart breaking. I can’t get him to get any help, so I’ve decided to find a therapist for myself. I’m hoping that in time, I’ll be able to grow and heal, and have the strength to do what’s best for me and the kids. And in the mean time….I’ll just keep spending his money and yarn and fiber. *Sorry, I had to throw that in to make it sound slightly less depressing.* I need a girls day out.

SO

Every January a slew of a-longs and destashes and no yarn buying groups pop up. I’ve tried one or two of the less ‘intense’ groups but I never lasted too long. A few days ago, I found a group on Ravelry. “Mission Possible, 2008″ The general idea is to find 12 things: balls of yarn, WIPS, UFOS, roving braids, etc… and use it, finish it, toss it, donate it, whatever, by December 31st. If you do not complete your goals, you have to donate what’s left. Sounds like motivation to me. I’m thinking 12 projects shouldn’t be too hard. Never mind the fact that I have 8 or 9 projects ahead of my 12 things. hehe

My list in no particular order:

1. Knit a pair of socks for the son.
2. Knit World of Warcraft hat for the hubby. It will be a black hat with the Horde logo in red intarsia. (hmmm… I might have to replace this project.)
3. Feather and Fan Handspun Shawl- I need to spin up 8 rovings into bulky weight yarn, and then knit this.
4. Icelandic Lace Shawl– need to start it, and finish it.
5. Rogue Pullover– cast on, and finish
6. Spin and ply one of the 4 bundles of Sock Hop roving from CMF. (8 oz. each)
7. Knit a sweater with brown cascade 220. It was knit into a cardigan well over three years ago (my first sweater) and was entirely too big. I frogged it, and the still kinky yarn still waits to be re-used.
8. Knit marilinda socks- I got the pattern and yarn as my only month of Scout’s Swag. Why haven’t I made these yet?
9. Orangina– this really needs to be made before the Fall so I can actually wear it this year as well.
10. Knit a pair of socks for my daughter.
11. Finish the Hug me tight shrug– just needs seaming and light blocking. I’ve been meaning to do it for 5 months or so.
12. Finish knitting Montego bay scarf– I’m knitting it with my handspun, but I’m bored with it.

I have everything I need for this list. Weeellll…a few more rovings to chose from for the shawl would be nice. But all the yarn is in house. That certainly¬† makes things a little easier.

Looking through my bloglines today, the common theme was clearly welcome 2008, Happy New Year. So I figured I might as well join the club.

Happiness and Health. That’s what I want. Both are hard to come by for me, can’t imagine why. *insert sarcasm here* I’m feeling quite ornery today. Is this the after the holiday blues? Or maybe it’s just time for the darn kids to go back to school! Yeah, I’m going with that one. And while I’m at it…can I send my husband to another planet for a few weeks? Didn’t you know, even after 10 years, we still get to hate our husbands. Especially when they consistently give us reason.

I have been knitting. Or rather, I’ve been starting. Right now, I have maybe 8 or so inches of the Montego Bay scarf knitted up. On the needles, I also have a pair of fair isle fingerless gloves and a pair of fair isle mittens, both stalled at the cuffs. And then today I started a patchwork scarf with a yarn magic ball. (I’ll share more on that later.) And here I am…bored. I don’t want to knit any of these things. I want to start my Rogue pullover in Dream in Color Classy, but I won’t. See, I splurged on this project. I wanted a super soft yarn I know I would actually wear. *I am not going to tell you how many of the sweaters I have knitted that have yet to be worn, any.* I figured since I splurged, and I love the Rogue so much, I should really do it right this time, which means swatching. I don’t like swatching. I recently discovered that when knitting, my gauge is different from in the round to flat. It didn’t used to always be like that, but I also used to get gauge with the suggested needle size and now I always have to go up 2 or 3 sizes. So of course, now I have to do two swatches. And the idea of having to knit the sweater, potentially with two different size needles…well, let’s just say I’m not jumping up and down with enthusiasm right now.

I’m sort of stalled on the spinning too. I spun up 2 oz. of bfl the other day, but I can’t bring myself to spin up the other half. It’s so drab, and sad. I can’t figure out what to do with it to make it more “happy”, so it just sits there. And because I am really trying to spin one fiber at a time (yeah, that’s going to last long!), that means spinning nothing else until I figure this out.

And because I hate seeing pictureless posts, I’ll share with you a knitting FO and a spinning FO.

First up, the Amanda Hat. This is my first project with Malabrigo and I am in love with this yarn! It’s unbelievably soft for wool yarn. Take for instance Cascade 220. It’s nowhere near itchy, but when I wear it close to my skin, it does itch just a little. Not enough to not use it, but enough that Malabrigo really makes me happy. (So happy I just ordered two sweater’s worth of it, hehe.) Anyhow…where was I? This hat pattern was quick, easy, and fun to knit up. I made it while watching the movie “Superbad”, which by the way, was super bad. Really. I usually don’t knit hats because they never fit right. I have a lot of hair, it’s long and a lot thicker than it looks in the picture. So hats never cover me ears, or if they do, the hat constantly shifts up, and my ears freeze. This hat….is beyond perfect fit. See:

But even better…with my hair up:

I love this hat so much, I plan on making another one in a different color. Malabrigo of course. I also used the leftover yarn to make the same hat for my Mom. Otherwise, she would have stolen mine. I have never made anything for mom. She doesn’t even ask for my handknits. Mostly because if I’m a wee bit sensitive to wool, she is uber sensitive it it. But the Malabrigo, Mom loved it and didn’t want to take it off. (Did I mention the day I finished it, the weather was in the 60′s and I kept the hat on all day anyways because it was SO comfy?)

And here’s a small spinning fo:

This is 309 yards heavy fingering weight superwash merino from Middle Kingdom Fiber. I had so much fun spinning this up, so festive. Of course, I finished it a few days before Christmas. Finished spinning it really, it still needs to be washed and set. It will make some great Christmas socks for Christmas ’08.

I have more to say and share…but this post has gotten long and I don’t want to shock my few readers by going on. ;)

What does it take?

Um, yeah. It’s been a while since I blogged. I really didn’t plan on being gone so long. I blame it on ravelry. I post all over the place on the forums there, and then there’s not much left to say on the blog. I have to keep reminding myself not everybody is on Ravelry yet.

I didn’t mean to slack off on the blog stalking either. I look at all the other blog stalkers, and my pictures just seem so blah and not very entertaining. Maybe I’ll make my New Year’s resolution to start blog stalking again. We’ll see..

So, what does it take to bring me out of hiding? December 2nd was our 10th wedding anniversary. I was going to write a nice long post with some old and new pictures of the husbeast and I, but you know, the day just snuck up on us and before I could blink it was done. We went out for a nice dinner, and he gave me a new emerald ring (it’s huge!). It was actually quite sweet because he gave me a card, and he is usually not a card giver, and tied on the inside was the ring. it was a total surprise, and oh so sweet. But still…that wasn’t enough to get me posting.

What about my new nephew, Damien Blaze? You think that would have brought me out of hiding, but nope. He was born November 19th weighing 9lbs 7 0z and 22 inches long. Yeah, he’s a big boy. At three weeks old now, he weighs nearly 11.5 lbs. Phew! A head full of dark hair, with blonde streaks. I’ve never seen a baby born with streaks in his hair, it’s just too cute. Awww. I’m absolutely in love with him. I’m finally an Auntie!

Know what else didn’t bring me out of hiding? A finished object, a sweater that I knitted with my own hand spun yarn. (Don’t worry, that’s my next post which I won’t wait so long to write), a second place ribbon I won at the Fall Fiber festival in the novice spinning category, and not even and the yarn and fiber I’ve been buying.

So what exactly is it that spurred me to come out and say Hi?

This…

Lendrum Double Treadle, Complete. I am in LOVE! This is my anniversary/Christmas present from the husbeast. See, we were going to go to Vegas for our anniversary but with the kids in school and work being butts about taking the time off, we decided to save that for another time. So instead, he bought me this wheel :)

I’ve read tons of reviews on this wheel, and I don’t think I’ve seen one bad thing said about it. And let me tell you, all those reviews, they were so right! I knew I wanted a wheel that I could fold up, since we’re a little tight on space. I had it narrowed down to the Lendrum and the Kromski Sonata. Yesterday, I drove down to the Woolery in N.C. and tried out both wheels. I liked them both, and really didn’t notice much difference when I was spinning. the 2 reason I went with the Lendrum though are because the pedals are a little closer together which was more comfortable for me, and also I like how it leans towards me when I’m spinning. I don’t really need the extras just yet. The fast flyer, jumbo flyer, etc. But I figured it would be easier to buy it all at once and then I’ll have it when I’m ready.

This wheel kicks ass and then some. I had it up and spinning in less than 10 minutes. 5 of that was me prying the box open. (Do they use industrial strength super glue? hehe) Here’s what I have on it so far…

This is Superwash Merino in the TIS THE SEASON colorway, from Middle Kingdom Fiber.
It is so pretty and Christmassy. I don’t think I’ll have it done in time for this year, but I’m thinking it will make some awesome Christmas socks for next year.

I really should have waited until after Christmas to get this wheel. I have loads of things I need to get done still, maybe we will have Christmas late this year. Or I can just give I.O.U.’s instead of actually gifts ;)

Open letter to our House Elf

Dear Little Elf who I have never seen,

It was cute when I noticed little things being moved from where they belong. I even enjoyed when you would hide the husband’s keys, wallet, and even his belt. I forgave you when you took my knitpicks needle sizer for several hours only to put it right in front of my face.

Little Elf…I’m about ready to kick you out. Please return the husband’s koigu socks immediately. I promised someone a picture of them, and now she probably thinks I’m a flake because of your little joke. Not to mention, you touched the koigu!

I am going to go watch Survivor and Grey’s Anatomy. When I’m done those socks better be back in the dresser. If they are not, you better start looking for a new family.

Bad Elf.

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