Sunday, April 27, 2008

Can you say sale?

Another store closes. Yarn store keep closing all around us, so sad. This wasn't just a yarn store really, it was a fiber arts store, spinning, weaving, dyeing and knitting. A sad good by Stick And Stone, Now the closest spinning store is in Solvang. I love a sale and this was the last day they were going to be open. It was supposed to be last Sunday but she still had some inventory to unload and held out for one- more-this-is-the-last-Sunday-ever one day sale.

The major reason I went was the Optim Roving for $1.00 per ounce. If you have looked at Optim roving lately, it's going for $4.30 to $5.00 an ounce. Simple arithmetic makes this $16.00/lb instead of $80.00 so I gathered the nickels and dimes and off we went.

We came home with 16 balls because the scale would only go so high. Approximately 8.7 pounds of this wonderful fiber to play with. That's what we were charged for but I will weigh the balls and double check but I think it's closer to 10 pounds. $139.20 for $696.00 worth of fiber yeehaa!! I was talking to Janel yesterday and she said it spins like a dream if it's pre-drafted. At the full retail price, I would probably never be able to spin enough to make something of substance but I was happy to have the chance.

Another fine thing happened too, my parfait arrived. Parfait you say? Qui... Our Tuesday night spinning group is staring a special fiber study next month. We all agreed on this luxury fiber parfait from Chameleon Colorworks to use for our scope of project. Angora, Camel, Tussah Silk, Baby Camel/Tussah Silk, 80's Merino/Cultivated Silk/Angora, Alpaca,Optim, and Yak.

Looks like something Bill Cosby would be hocking from the refrigerated case if you're old enough to remember the Jello pudding commercials. We as a group will spin each of these fibers one a month as we share the techniques and skills needed to successfully create yarn from each fiber type or at least that's the plan. It's always better to share, hopefully one of us will have the right formula and we can all share it together. We have contacted a few highly skilled spinners who have offered some limited support if needed and it looks like it should be quite fun.

Blending Bliss

Today was another wonderful spinning guild meeting. Janel, the programs director, continues to give the guild fun and educational activities. This was the kitchen sink drum carder project. She requested that if you had a drum carder to please bring it and all member were asked to bring any excess fiber or ends to put into the communal pile. I realized that I should have taken a picture of the huge pile-o-fiber but it's amazing what some people donated to the cause. This one lady brought a whole box of sari silk that had to be cut up into little bits so it would go through the carder. Someone else had pounds of Optim merino that was part of a previous dye experiment. Should have taken a few pictures of the overall room so you can see how incredible this looked. We had 15 plus drum carders and at least 50 pounds of fiber to pick through to make our kitchen sink batts.

We were asked to partner up so we wouldn't just be standing around waiting. Melissa, a friends from a couple other groups had brought her carder and would rather have someone she knew to partner with.

Her turn at the crank while I prep the fiber.

She had bought this carder almost two years ago but she learned so much from the few ladies who put on the program.

Here was my first try.
I have the unshaven Saturday look going. But this was so much fun and I felt so creative looking for colors that would compliment each other.

Here is a little video of me at the carder short but fun. Watch your fingers please!

Here are the batts I came home with.

#1 Side one ... Notice the bright pink shiny fiber. This was at the suggestion of Mrs twisted and one of the ladies there who was assisting us. It did turn out nice.

#1 Side two

#2 side one. Looks a little like #1 well almost.

Until you turn it over.

#2 side 2

The next batt is the softest by choice. I scoured the fiber table and looked for the softest fibers and found some dyed Optim slyver and other soft merino to blend.

#3 side 1
Not my favorite choice of colors but it feels like a dream. It looks amazing in person, peach, camel and pink all blended.

#3 side 2

Mrs Twisted had a turn at one of the empty carders and she just glowed with happiness. "This is so much fun" she said as she looked up, grinning.

This was her try.

These were the three mini batts that we made while we learned the basics of the blending technique.

I know some of you are already asking yourself and the answer is yes We are buying a drum carder now. :)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Cormo has landed

Today when I arrived home from work I had a box waiting for me. Yes Yes Yes the 1st box of Cormo was here.
I really didn't have any idea of what to expect but this is better than I could have ever expected. It's so soft and airy. Like clouds in heaven.

This is only 2.77 pounds of the 9 or 10 pounds coming my way. I can't describe how soft this fiber is.

I don't want to keep going on but can you tell I'm excited?

Looks like soft serve ice cream from Dairy Queen doesn't it?

Over the weekend I eclipsed 15,000 hits on the blog. it's hard to imagine that many visits to read my silly ramblings. Thank you to all who visit, I really appreciate the comments.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wet lands, wild life, and a truck full of blues.

My earth day post? Well, not really. We just decided to stop somewhere that we have passed for 30 plus years.

For those of you here in So Ca you may recognize it, Bolsa Chica Wetlands. For years, land developers wanted to develop this prime property right across Pacific Coast Highway. but it stands open and untouched compared to everything around it.

1700 acres of ocean view property in Orange county.

Free parking and open walking with wild nature everywhere you looked. The bridge is easily 200 yds long stretching over an ocean linked lagoon. looking in the water you can see schools of fish, we even saw a sting ray.

Great Blue Heron
Some species of Hawk. Just magnificent to see it fly and use the wind patterns to guide it with the least effort.

My eyes caught this slowly moving as we walked back in the shallow water near the shore.

can you tell what it is?

It's a sea slug. The grounds are protected and the wildlife is close enough to see but far enough to where humans don't really interact with them. The nesting area is fenced off and we see hoards of people with huge cameras documenting every aspect of the marsh/wetlands Whenever we drive down this section of PCH.

We drove north into the Belmont Shores area of Long Beach and like normal, the clubs were spilling into the street. This was a first though. How much room does a band take up? This place thought if I put the band outside I can have more customers inside.

Yes that's a late 1960's Chevy truck that lived outside of Southern Ca for some time in it's life based on the rust below the door. In the back is an electric base player beside a full size piano and they are playing the blues like it was Chicago at 2:30 in the morning. Fully amplified with the sound system drowning out any road noise of the busy street serving as their club that day. If you know the numbering system on a Chevy truck, you know that a "20" under the bow tie emblem stands for a 1 ton capacity. Not sure how much a piano weighs but the truck looks capable. Don't you just love the array of "I never thought I would see that." Not on par with the Man Thong but one of those was enough for a lifetime.

We attended our Huntington Beach knit group tonight (tues). Once again I spun to try and finish the roving to make the sock yarn. Bobbin # 3 is almost full. The group is very comfortable and the ladies are such a joy to be around.

You can click on the pictures and see larger views if you like. I always post with 6.3 mega pixel photos.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just something that made me go hmmmmm

I saw this list on someone else's blog and just wondered how many I have done. 85 of 150

Someone else's Life’s To Do List

(bold what you’ve done)

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris, just the airport (half credit)
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 10 provinces
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children.
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair
147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone’s life

Maybe I shared a little too much info? Please forgive any unwanted mental imagery that may have occurred.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Hi all

For my friends at the PRGE

PRGE Contest #2 (Part 2)

From my Spoiler

DawnsRays: “Should I Stay or Should I Go” The Clash

Twisted knitster: "Oliver's Army" Elvis Costello


Twisted knitster:

To my spoilee...

Twisted knitster: "Wolves in Wolves Clothing" NOFX

Knitting Knut:

Twisted knitster:

Knitting Knut:

Hi everyone. I've been a little busy but I'm back on the horse now. Since we last talked I attended a new-to-me spinning group in Riverside. Warm and friendly and very welcoming to me and I am looking forward to attending next month.

I did buy some merino at this meeting from the Dizzy Ewe. This is her home spinning group.

The yellow is for Debbie and the mint is just because I liked the color.

I'm finished with two bobbins worth of BFL and am going to spin a third bobbin in Falklands before I ply the three into some sock yarn. It should be enough for at least 2 pairs of socks mabey 3 if I'm lucky. My spinning is getting more and more consistent and I'm very happy with the progress so far.

My Cormo is doing well in Morro Bay. I decided to have it Pin Drafted after a little prompting from my friends on Ravelry and multiple spinning groups. It should arrive sometime during the first week in May. I'm glad I bought my fleece before the latest Spin-Off came out. The article will make it that much harder to get fiber.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You never know who you will meet

Tonight was my monthly spinning group, well one of them. This is the traveling group of spinners who meet in members homes once a month. Last month I was talking to a really nice lady and she mentioned she was hosting the group in April and we talked about the neighborhood she lives in. I just happened to grow up a few streets away and graduated from the same schools her son's did. So tonight I arrived a little early and walked in with another member and after we settled into the huge family room/loft I was looking at the walls and noticed posters and records like what you would expect to see at a record company. Upon closer investigation I discovered that they were thank you gifts to the lady who was hosting the group. I waited a little while and asked her what relationship she had to the band and she told me she was the bass players Mom. What band you ask? Not so quick. We talked about school and how the boys used to hang out in the same room as the the group of ladies and myself were now spinning in. I thought it was a little strange that she was knitting while everyone else was spinning and she told me that she didn't have a wheel but she was hosting a spinning group just because she enjoyed the great group of people. She was very inquisitive and said she was thinking about buying a wheel and wanted to learn and I stood up and said well sit down and you can learn right now. "Really?"So I was helping a "never spun in my life" new spinner make her first yarn. Who is this lady? Who is the band? Greg K, the bassist from The Offspring, his Mom was spinning on my spinning wheel tonight. I was teaching her how to spin. How cool is that? What a wonderful lady! She brought out some magazine covers and talked about the new album and how proud she was of her son and the others in the band. They graduated from the same HS that I did just a few mmm years later. That was my excitement for the evening.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

May Cormo bring good Karma to the twisted spinning.

Sometimes we do so much we forget the simple things. I forgot to pick up the mail yesterday and to my happy surprise when I looked this evening, I had an envelope in there from my Cormo dealer of choice.

Hard to get a clear picture of the crimp but it's heavily crimped and bright white in spite of these images. Click on the pictures to see what I mean.

This may seem funny but I was all giddy when I opened the package and saw these. The anticipation of spinning this fiber is like my Christmas present in April. I asked for some samples because I never saw raw Cormo fleece. Thanks Barb for the little peek into what's coming in a few weeks. I'll give an honest review when the fiber arrives in a month but if this is any indication, I can't wait.

Pic- A-Knit

A posting came over one of the group boards I'm on inviting us to a Pic-A-Knit. It was supposed to be a picnic/knit get together organized and hosted by the Long Beach S&B. I suspected to see Renata because she sent out the invite, but this was a group we haven't visited yet so there was a some excitement about who we might know from our travels.

Monique worked so hard to organize and set this up. Pot-luck lunch and even games were part of the agenda. Yes, games like fiber related pictionary and "what's in your bag". I was spinning so I abstained from the pictionary partly because I can't draw very well.

They even had an easel to draw on. Everyone brought a fiber gift for the games so it was a way to destash for us.

Thats me on the far left a foot taller than anyone else or so it seems.

Why are most of the people wearing jackets? It was a little chilly and in the shade the breeze was a little too much for some. Cold is relative I guess, it was in the mid to high 60's today. The gust was making it a little hard to spin with the fiber blowing in the breeze.

It was nice to meet so many new people and share the day.

UPDATE: Monique posted these pictures of the event on her Flickr page.

Hope you all have a great rest of the weekend

Life is Good

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The box arrives

My first PRGE package came from Dawn of Dawnrays. WOW!

The Vogue Ultimate Sock Book was on the list to be purchased, chock full of great patterns.
Elan Fine alpaca fingering weight, DK Blue Sky Alpaca were the fiber in this box. A beautiful wooden wind chime, a S&B calender some bath toys and a nice print bandanna .

Thank you Dawn!