Tuesday, January 29, 2008

first hand spun yarn on Lorelai

I know I haven’t been bloging much lately, been getting to know Lorelai. Here is a sample of last weeks spinning. The fiber has been in my possession for over a year and it's mystery wool roving but I didn't know much about roving then. I know I have a long way to go but I have to tell you all how much fun it is to spin yarn that will someday be a finished object. (maybe not this yarn)
Sunday I had a spinning lesson for Lori Lawson, yes I had a spinning lesson on Superbowl Sunday but we made it home before half time. I feel pretty confident about my singles now and she offered a few tips to improve my technique. The main reason for the lesson was to get a hands on lesson about plying. If you know me personally then you know I ask so many questions when I'm learning. Always looking to fill in the blanks between the my personal experience, topical reading and internet research. Lori was so warm and friendly during the lesson.

Here is the first plied hank. A little too much thick and thin but it's the first one and I know there is lots of room for improvement.
Time went by in a flash but she took us upstairs and shared her hand spun yarn to inspire me to improve. She shared some of her future projects. If you are going to Stitches West, look for her yarn in a few booths and say hi for us. Sorry but we forgot the camera today and it was a Kodak moment. I know we always have the camera but not this time.

I have been bad this last week; bags of roving from multiple sources and from various species are in route to Casa De Twisted. I'm so excited to spin the fun new fibers. Yes there is some luxury stuff too.

The Malabrigo mock cable scarf is finished and officially gifted.

This was my birthday gift to Mrs Twisted besides the dinner at Morton’s. She really loved the color and what's not to love about the softness of Malabrigo yarn plus it will keep her warm in the future.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Lorelai arrives at Casa De Twisted

Look what arrived right on schedule.

My Fricke S160DT

After a half hours worth of assembly she was complete.

She spins like a dream. Smooth and effortless to treadle. Five different spinning ratios make it easy to spin any fiber.

Amy from Spunky Eclectic sent this hand painted Romney as a thank you for the order.

I purchased this Falklands fiber to try it out. Colorway Chocolate Cherries.

So very excited but right now I'm going to go spin some more practice yarn on Lorelai. oh Yes, My wheel is named Lorelai Victoria. I'll have fiber pics soon

Life Is Good

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I have a greater respect for "womans work" for the last 20,000 years

We had a little rain Friday night so we had a treat in the morning.

Los Angeles is surrounded by foot hills and mountains. When it's cold and it rains here the surrounding mountains get snow. Today was a pretty day for snow viewing. Warm sunny morning and snow on the mountains to make the scenery nice. For those of you who live in the snow country, this is as close as I like to get.

Today was my first meeting with the GLASG Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild. What a warm friendly group. Many of the members introduced themselves and made me feel very welcome. This is a very active guild that has events for each each meeting over the next six months. Today they had a lecture and slide show by Dr. Elizabeth Barber. I wasn't familiar with her works but that didn't stop me from enjoying the lecture.

Find it Here

Woman's Work The First 20,000 Years. She talked about spinning and weaving as far back as 30,000 years BC. Yes that far back. Drop spindles and weaving looms in prehistoric days. She shared a wealth of research and her life's love. Passion for the history of fiber arts when it was a way of life not just for relaxation.

You know I love the picture with the authors. Dr Barber gladly autographed her books for us and spoke to us one on one answering all of our fiber questions.

The size of the guild was quite impressive but it draws people from all over Southern California.

They use a meeting hall in a Lutheran Church that easily handles the crowd. Two large semi-circles with multiple rows of chairs across the back.

All ages and so many different wheel types everywhere you look.

Lot's of socializing before and after the meeting. About 40 people were here today.

I'm using a wheel that is just a temperary situation but I will disclose more when my wheel arrives Monday *crossing fingers*

No news on the Wheel and the scarf is less than a foot from completion.

I also picked up a new book today. Sensual knits.

Beautiful patterns in real woman sizes too. Lots of luxury yarns used in this book. They even have socks made from Posh Lucia yarn.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Happy Friday

Wheel update. Wednesday night it left the UPS clearing house in Hodgkins IL at 8:30 PM. Looks like a suburb of Chicago. It says it will arrive Monday to our home and then I get to assemble it and give it a test run. :)

I found this on Inky's blog and was shocked when the score came up. So the rhetoric about sleep learning was correct because I was not a very good student in High School. Lots of late nights watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Tomorrow show with Tom Snyder and sleeping in the back of class. I've always loved late night television and still love the wee hours of the morning.

You paid attention during 100% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

The Malabrigo scarf is over 50" long now and coming into the home stretch, about 17" left to get the correct length. I figure as soon as I finish it it will warm up and she won't need it.

the OC Pubknitters group has swelled to a dozen attending the meetings. Our friend Stacey joined us Wednesday night for the fun and diverse crowd. The one part of the night that was amusing to me was when I noticed one of the ladies had out her TI 86 graphing calculator to do some arithmetic for her project. A couple of the ladies either have a PhD or are working on one in microbiology so it's natural that they have powerful calculators but it's not normal to see someone whip it out at the knitting table. Mine sits in my desk drawer at work collecting dust while I carry a free solar low end model with large keys to do any simple calculations. Funny how you learn all the math and need the calculator until you graduate and then it's just a trophy that you don't need it anymore. Knowing the area under the curve isn't required to knit thank goodness. Poor Megann has a bad cold, We all Miss you! Get well soon.

I'm missing the monthly men's knit night because tonight we plan to go over to A Mano Yarn Center for the monthly Bad Girls Knit Night. Guys are allowed to come too. :) One of our friends is moving away and this is sort of a send off party for her. I know it seems like we have a knitting group for every day of the week, not really it just feels like it when they all meet on the same day. Saturday morning I going to the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild meeting for my first time there. Really looking forward to meeting these people. I know my wheel won't be here until Monday but I have a wheel to use until then. More on that at a later date.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bob Hope and Pope ate there.

Happy Birthday to my lovely wife Mrs. Twisted . A gentleman would never reveal the age of his bride, all I know is that she will always going to be younger than me. She has been hinting at going out for a really nice steak dinner so I inquired around with others who I know attend a lot of business dinners. I weighed all the options and settled on Morton's of Chicago The Steak House as the place to have that wonderful birthday dinner for her. We live in southern California and we have so many amazing and sometimes exclusive places to have a meal. The last time we were in Chicago, we had dinner at the Chop House and thankfully it was covered as a business expense but that was the best tasting steak dinner either of us had had. With that baseline or reference point Mortons had some work to do to eclipse that great meal. I made reservations online for an early dinner to reduce the crowd issues. I dislike eating in a crowded restaurant and dealing with rude people. Started with soup, lobster bisque for me and sweet onion soup for the Mrs. We both selected fillet mignon and baked potato. The jury was divided as if it was the best but it would be like apples and kumquats. She had Prime rib in Chicago and I had a New York cut. But this was the best fillet she ever had and I thought they were on par as far as food was concerned. Mortons had the ambiance and wonderful music softly playing. Dean Martin, Bobby Darin & Frank Sinatra giving you to feeling that it was 1961.

It reminded me of the places in Hollywood. Look over Mrs. Twisted right shoulder(lower picture). Yes That is the Pope. Look over my right shoulder, that's Bob Hope. Lots of movie stars and sports legends have their pictures on the walls. If you would like to eat where both The Pope and Mr Hope once ate, this is the place. Seriously, the dinner was wonderful and I highly recommend it to anyone in who is looking for a delicious steak dinner. t Be prepared to sell off the first born male though. Not for the feint of wallet but once in a while it's nice to splurge on the one you love.

Always nice to dress up and enjoy a wonderful evening together with my bride, especially on her birthday. Happy Birthday my sweet bride.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Twisted Knitster is going to be a spinner very soon

Friday morning my belated birthday present was ordered. Yes my birthday was in October but I was still unsure of what wheel I wanted then. The wheel pictured below is a Fricke S160DT. One just like it is coming my way next week. specs include five different ratios from 5.7 to 1 up to 19.4 to 1. It also comes with four bobbins and a Lazy Kate included in the price of $323.00. Hard to complain. Yes it's not as pretty as the others but I plan to spin yarn not just look at it. Don't get me wrong, it's a well made and a high quality wheel but it's only half what I expected to pay for a comparable wheel with the same features.

It comes with free shipping like all Fricke Spinning wheels. I ordered it through Spunky Eclectic just to support Amy in her business and also because she has given so much to all the beginning spinners on Ravelry without self promotion.

I'm expecting a 5 to 6 day ship time for my wheel, yes I know I could have had it sooner if I ordered from another source but what's a few more days.

If it was on this truck it may get here sooner.

Monday I hope to get a tracking number and I will follow it's trek across the USA. Amy's shop is in Lisbon Maine and I live in Southern California.

Each night I will check with UPS and move the truck til I come home to find it on my doorstep.

I also ordered 4 oz of Faulkland roving in chocolate covered cherries to play with after I feel sort of comfortable on my new wheel.
The Scarf is still going strong. I've taken knitting in public to a higher level for me at least. Being two weeks over due for a hair cut I couldn't put it off any longer. I brought my little red silk Lantern Moon project bag with me that has my scarf and one mitered rug square if I run into problems. Well I knit the whole time my hair was being cut and after we went shopping and instead of leaving it in the car like I always do, I brought it in because I knew she would be in the dressing room so why not knit. The shopping trip was very successful and I did a few more rows than if it was just laying in the car. Yes there were a few stares but it would never deter me from continuing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not just another knit night.

Last night was the Knit out at Whole Foods in Tustin. Thanks to Rachel and Amanda for all the behind the scenes work to set this up. For those of you who enjoy the healthy foods and organic cooking you probably have shopped at Whole Foods Market if you have one near you. They have a place up front like a dinning area where you can eat the prepared foods that are ready to eat there or take home.

Approximately 40 people were there during the night from four sources. Their was cross coordination & communication between the three knit groups; All Things Strings, Orange County Pub Knitters and UCIS&B and then it was posted in the OC group on Ravelry too.

It was very nice to meet Lisa AKA pickyknitter75 from Riverside, Denise AKA neesespieces from Placentia, Knitterotica from the OC and Karen AKA Loopykd from Tustin. My pictures are not the best but here are a few.

The place even supplied coffee for us. What a wonderful evening. Can't wait to see you all again.

Forgive my spelling of the names but this was our little group , Juliette in the teal, Lisa (go Steelers) , Stacey, Mrs. Twisted, my empty chair and Melissa. We all chit chatted and knit and did a lot of catching up. Most of us grew out of the ATS group or had attended one of the other groups at one time or another or met at the annual Summer beach party where we all join again. Most of us migrated around the room to see everyone or hung around after and talked in the parking lot.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is it summer? Why am I knitting a sweater?

Is it Summer? Sunday we had 80 degree weather and today it was 78. So warm and just a little breeze. I know this is one of the reasons I still live here. The traffic, high cost of living and crowds are trying at times but enjoying the Summer sun in dead of winter is wonderful.

On the knitting front. I'm actively looking for a"man" sweater pattern. Looking for some cables as a trim or accent not the whole sweater. I like the Vee-neck pull over style or Shawl collar if it's a button down cardi. I was looking at patterns but am at a loss right now. Anyone have a good idea for for a nice sweater that would work for a tall, 6'5" thin man? I can use a pattern for a lady and remove the shaping or short rows. I'm looking for a style. Any pictures would help. Our summer weather will leave and yes I would wear it on knit nights because we meet in beach communities.

I have 1600 yards of worsted weight superwash in a deep wine color.

This is on the coffee table as inspiration. Quite a neat little yarn holder.
Any and all suggestions will be welcomed.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

WIP pics

I thought I should post a WIP photo after a comment from Jadielady. Thanks for the comment by the way.

The coloring has created an interesting pattern in the scarf. Almost a zig zag.

Today we drove down to Alamitos Bay Yarn Company. I received a gift certificate in the Christmas gift swap and wanted to find something special. I didn't find any yarn really that I loved. Their was a hank of Colinette sock yarn that I may go back and get. Or maybe a set of Susanne's ebony needles in a size that we don't have.

After a little look in the shop we walked along the boat harbor and found an empty bench and just relaxed in the sun. Well of course we knit, always bringing our knitting along with us.

On the way home we saw this; Just another odd person driving around on the Southern California freeways. How did this get through the filtering system at the DMV.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mini Update

Hi all.

Little knitting update. The scarf is 32% complete. I won't bore you all with WIP pictures.

This is the mega week for of knitting groups. Wednesday was our weekly pub knit night, Thursday was the UCI group night and Friday is the monthly men's knit night.

Making plans to meet new people next week at the whole foods knit in public night.

Stash update... I finished the sock yarn inventory and the stash will show 60 + more hanks of sock weight than last summer. I have a pile of yarn ready to be photographed and then stacked away. I will try to load some of it on Ravelry this weekend. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. We're expecting low 70 deg weather. :)

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

travlin' Man spinning his wheels or drop spindle for right now.

I saw this on Lynn's Blog and wanted to play along.

Four states left to see.
How many have you seen? http://www.epgsoft.com/VisitedStatesMap/

The Scarf is growing so fast. It's wonderful when you knit everyday, your projects actually grow. it's 17.9% complete as of the end of my lunch time. I knit each day during my lunch time as opposed to eating just because the clock says it's feeding time. I'm at the honeymoon phase of this project. I've memorized the pattern to create the mock cable but I'm not sick of the color or the project in general. You know that feeling when it feels like you have been working on it forever and it still seems to look like you have a mile to go. I'm still looking to pick it up and not thinking about patterns for the next project or browsing our stash for something to inspire my next project. I'll load WIP pics on Ravelry tonight.

I was supposed to inventory another yarn stash shelf last night, update the Excel sheet and check for photos. After the George Forman BBQ Chicken dinner last night I just wanted to curl up on the couch with the fire on. Maybe tonight?

I joined the two local spinning guilds over the last few weeks. OC Nightspinners and the Greater Los Angeles Spinning Guild. We have those two plus the local spinning group that is reforming since the New Year. I'm still on the drop spindle but the saving for the Fricke S160DT-F wheel is almost complete. With the Christmas holiday season over let the spinning begin. I know I was looking at the Majacraft Rose but it's hard to justify twice the money for my first wheel. Yes it's pretty but it's a tool to create fiber not to impress the other members of the guilds I haven't even been to yet. I spun each wheel last month and this feels very smooth, has all the bells and whistles at half the price. All the high praise in the open forum reviews was well deserved as well as a few people I have spoken to off the boards. I know that if I love spinning as much as I expect it, I will buy a production Saxony wheel for home and the Fricke to use as my travel wheel. Then I can get the drum carder and all the other cool tools too :)

Last night I saw a post on the GLASG yahoo board where I was mentioned. Someone who has read my blog at one point, saw when I joined last month and was hoping to see me at the guild meeting that was a couple Saturdays ago. Another Orange County spinner joined the same guild and she recommended our Pubknitters to this new spinner member as a regular knit night group. Thanks Kim! Maybe someday you can join us in Laguna for a drink of your choice and some wonderful conversation between stitches. I'll be at the next guild meeting though.

That's all for now.
Life Is Good

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sock and scarf

How about something different here? We did some knitting last weekend while waiting for the water to rise.

Lookie Lookie 1/2 FO and one WIP

The Mrs, completed her first sock of 2008.
Pomatomus by Cookie A

Araucania Ranco Multi 310 - Purple-Blue-Berry

I'm doing my first Malabrigo project. A Mock Cable Scarf Colorway Polygala

So soft and so very pretty.

Five years of sock yarn, and flip flops in the rain.

We had a little over an inch of rain since Friday night. Not worth building the ark for but it's a nice storm to clean the pavement. The weather guessers here are counting on the 3rd storm to bring the payoff since the last two waves failed to achieve the goal of total flooding.

On to better news or maybe not. This week is the update the stash inventory week to get inspired Two shelves complete. I will do my best to update the Ravelry stash as well. That may take more time but a little at a time. Today we are at 20% updated

The first picture is the Malabrigo. All but the project I cast on Thursday night and the project yarn for the Mrs' sunset top.

Picture number two is the wool shelf. Mostly Manos and some Lorna's Laces, Rio De Laplata and various other wool. The Mano's for the rug project is not in the picture and that would add some volume to the shelf.

This is the thinnest shelf stash wise.

Picture three is for my newest group on Ravelry. Knit socks from your stash 2008. Flash your sock stash. We made 12 pairs of socks last year and the count as of right now is yarn for 70 pairs including the one that is on the needles right now. At this build rate we have 5 years of sock stash.

Last but not least we went to the grocery store last night ( Saturday) and Mrs. Twisted is officially a Southern Californian. We had a little drizzle and it was in the 50's so she had on a cape, her newly made alpaca/silk mitts and yes some flip-flops. I know we love to wear shorts and flip flops and heavy coats. Any questions just go to any other piers around here around sunset and you will see heavy down filled coats that will keep you warm to -10F and they have on shorts or flip-flops. Rarely the gloves or hat with it unless it's a style thing. Freedom from clothes is hard to give up just because of a little cool or wet weather.

Friday, January 04, 2008

chicken little lives on in So Cal

What has happened to the news in southern Ca? It used to be that you could turn on the news and find out what was happening locally and around the world. I think the writers strike has effected the news too or it's just that bad? Storm Watch 2008... do they realize that we're all laughing at them because it's not newsworthy to them unless they can make it sound like the end of the world is at hand and rapture if you believe in such things is emanate. Do you know what was the breaking news last night? No, not the rain they were breaking in all night to show the blond model types standing out in the night warning you to stay inside because the rain is coming. Well it's still dry and it looks like we may get the edge of a little rain. This was supposed to be the biggest storm in 5 years. oh sorry the breaking news was that earlier in the day Britney Spears was two hours late to a deposition to regain custody of her kids and some how had a problem returning them after her supervised visitation and the police and fire trucks were called to her home and the last report was that she had to be taken away in an ambulance. You know what would happen if it was any other father who violated his visitation or refused to surrender the kids? He would be thrown in jail. K-Fed is a better parent. I wonder if you could have gotten odds on that in Vegas when they anounced their babies birth? It's confusing sometimes not that the Caucus was any measure of where the election is heading when they have it set up so not everyone is even allowed to vote due to the time constraints, but the news outlets think that we care more about a displaced trailer park resident who hit the lottery and the requirement for us all to have an Ark to survive the next 4 days than the election of our future commander in chief. If they can't sensationalize the news then it just isn't reported anymore. When did the National Enquirer take over the local news in LA? When Mrs. Twisted moved here from the northeast she was shocked at the format and content of our news. or lack of content I should say. We used to call it the Sex news here on channel 13. No it was not about sex but they had this lady in the tightest low cut sweater with big hair and sultry make-up reading the news like it was a bed time story for perverts. They have since toned down the over the top format but I think it was because she just had a baby. Jerry Dunphy and Hal Fishman must me rolling in their graves. TV News used to have some credibility when they reporting of facts and what happened that day and the opinions were given in the commentary part of the news when they had the word COMMENTARY across the bottom of the screen.

It's 3:30 PM and the sky is not falling and the animals aren't lining up two by two so chicken little can go home and wait for the next big storm watch 2008 warning. Seriously, I hope it doesn't rain so hard that the burn zones turn into mud slides but I grew up here and it's been doing the same thing my whole life. Summertime we get fires and winter we get a few mudslides where the ground cover used to be. Problem is that people live in the hills and they wonder why the mud slided under, over, and through their homes? Don't build homes where the mud slides and the hills burn. Problem solved. The earth will take back everything in time. Except some of our trash that has the half life of nuclear waste. Anyway, things are safe at Casa De Twisted, We're safe & dry here no mater what CNN or whoever reporting that we are sliding into the ocean in a river of mud or about to at any minute. Oh and I think Brittany had a better day today. Bless the poor girl.. At least the police havent been called yet. I'm waiting for Brittany Watch 2008, that would make me through my TV out the window. Call me snarky today ....