Thursday, March 25, 2010

Happiness is in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. (Franklin Roosevelt)

This week I finally finished plying the Falkland. It came out to be a very thin 2-ply. I think it's probably going to be about 20 wpi, maybe 22 wpi, after I soak and whack it. (Yarn usually blooms a little bit.) I don't know how many yards I have, but it took forever to ply so there has to be a lot. I like the color even better now that it's been plied. The picture is horrible, but the shades are just wonderful together.

I also managed to spin up another 4 ounces of the white wool. (Two ounces were done sitting at Barnes & Noble the other night with a friend and a talkative stranger.) I've been keeping the singles around 32 wpi, so I'm hoping that plied it will be a nice worsted weight. This wool is so soft and squishy; it's going to be very hard to give it away.

Lately I've been in such a mood to buy fiber. I've gotten hooked into stalking the "Pimp yo'self" thread in Ravelry's Spinner Central forum. There is some really gorgeous stuff out there. I want it all.

To save myself, I decided to check and see just how much fiber I actually have stashed away.

I have a lot. There's over 100 ounces of roving in my stash. If I can meet my goal of spinning two skeins worth a month, I can keep spinning until July 2011 without buying anything new. (As if either of those assumptions will happen.)

Then, since my mind immediately leaped to "I can still look at sock yarn to buy," I counted up the sock yarn in my stash. I have 44 pairs of socks. At one pair a month (another one of my current knitting goals), that's 3 1/2 years of knitting socks.

Hi, my name is Sandi and I am a Fiber Addict.

At least I can still look forward to getting pretty minis in the mail. I've joined a couple of Blankiemania swaps. These are a great way to get new scraps for my Sock Blanket. I received one of the swaps yesterday. This is what came from the Stashbuster Swap:

Of course I had to go sign up immediately for another swap...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

There are two kinds of people, those who finish what they start and so on. (Robert Byrne)

Last week I finished the Traveling Vines socks, and they've been mailed up to my daughter. I also finished a pair of gym socks for my mom, using the leftover yarn from these traveling vines. (I forgot to take a picture, which is a shame. But they looked really good and she put them on to wear right away.)

This past week I've been working on a thank you gift. I decided to knit a pair of socks, using my favorite toe-up pattern and self-striping yarn (Heart and Sole by Red Heart). I'm hoping that I'll have them finished within the next day or two.

I also managed to knit up seven squares for my sock blanket.

The big knitting news, though, is that the Gold Coast Fiberarts Guild is now official. We had our first meeting Sunday, and I think this is going to be a really great group. It turns out that I'm not the only one excited about the idea of a guild.

We managed to come up with a name, and agreed to meet once a month (on the third Saturday). For now we'll be at the Greenwise Publix off of PGA Boulevard. We're modeling ourselves after the Manasota Guild, in the fact that spinners will meet first for a brief program or free spin, then we'll do a bag lunch meeting, after which knitter and crocheters will stay for program or socializing. We have a lot of great ideas for sharing our skills. Hopefully we'll attract even more people. In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done.

Today's picture is brought to you by the color RED and the number "37"

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Age is no guarantee of maturity. (Lawana Blackwell)

I've learned that working with my spinning wheel in public attracts lots of attention. Most of the time I don't mind. I enjoy when children stare, because it gives me a chance to teach them a little bit about history and clothing and how things are made. And I've made good friends with a few women because of the attraction of the wheel. The people who are most attracted by a spinning wheel, however, are men.

Now don't misunderstand. I think it's wonderful that spinning in public gives me a chance to meet men. Goodness knows I'm not getting to meet them any other way. But tonight, well that was a lamb of a different color.

I had planned on spending a pleasant evening with a friend and her brand-new wheel. And it was a nice time, helping her to produce her very first singles on her Kiwi. She had her daughter with her, so there was the added bonus of spoiling a sweet toddler. (I want a grandchild, I just don't want any of my children have a baby yet.)

But somehow, I got involved in a long discussion with Marc. He's 33 years old, and heartbroken over the breakup with his 24 year old girlfriend. I think. Because he was also worried that the 22 year old he's dating now isn't serious about him. Somehow, the fact that I was an older (okay, he said "old" but I prefer "older"), settled woman who spins ("just like a Michael Landon show") made me the perfect confident for his issues.

I will admit that I enjoyed talking with Marc. He's sweet, very romantically minded, and has a sense of humor that totally matched mine. Too bad he made me feel like I was talking to one of my teenagers.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Only by seeking challenges can we hope to find the best in ourselves. (Robert Rodriguez)

Last year I joined Weight Watchers, and I did really well. I stuck with the plan, even through the holidays, and by counting up the points of everything I ate I managed to lose a little over 70 pounds. It was wonderful, and I felt great.

But little by little I've lost my motivation. And although I know that Weight Watchers works wonderfully, I don't have any desire to count points or plan special meals. Most days lately, it's all I can do to put together a meal that isn't from a drive-thru lane. My jeans have become extremely tight as a result, and not in a "looking-good" way.

So when I was offered a Ten-Day Challenge yesterday, I decided to go for it. It's a simple program, which is what I need right now. No counting calories, no planned meals; just three very easy to follow changes that fit in nicely with my current lifestyle.

Day 1:

This is my "Before" picture, taken this afternoon. I debated about sharing this, since I really don't like the way I look. But I want an honest way of seeing whether the Challenge has any real effect. For that reason, I've also taken my measurements. I won't share the actual numbers, but I will let you know if there is any change.

  • Weight
  • Waist
  • Hips
  • Thigh
The first step is the most obvious. Eat a balanced, sensible diet. For me, that means adding breakfast (and two chocolate frosteds from Dunkin Donuts doesn't count). It also means severely limiting the amount of chocolate I snack on throughout the day. Hershey Kisses should not be taking the place of lunch. I am not going to count points, or calories, or whatever. But I will stop and think my choices through, selecting the lower-fat, higher-nutrition option whenever possible.

I'll let you know how well I'm doing on Day 5.

Friday, March 05, 2010

One of my favorite things right now is The Moth Podcast. It's one of the few non-knitting podcasts that I listen to, and the only podcast that my daughter will listen to with me.

The Moth ( is a not-for-profit storytelling organization out of New York City. They hold regular events in New York (as well as a few on-the-road locations) that have featured people getting up and telling their story without the benefit of a script or even notes. The weekly podcast is a story taken from one of the live events.

Today it's actually a double-favorite thing. Because one of the recent episodes was The Italian Stallion. The storyteller is Janice Bartley, who tells the story of the first time she fell in love. Ms. Bartley, by the way, has cerebral palsy.

I loved the story. It had love, laughter, and a happy ending. And I thought it was a wonderful reminder that the people I work with every day are people with the same feelings and emotions as the "normal" population.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Jesus is coming. Look busy! (Anonymous)

Ravelympics ended last Sunday, and I didn't win the gold medal for my event. I didn't even come close. In my group (the squirts, with 31-stitch squares), the gold medalist was Stashmore with 144 completed squares. The silver went to Sherongb with 142, and the bronze medal belongs to SingingCats who finished 137 squares. With those numbers, I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I finished 45 squares. But I'm looking at the positive side; that's 45 squares more than I had before and almost 5% of the total blanket. So even if I didn't get a gold medal, I'm very happy with my Bobaward for the Giant Slalom-ghan.

With Ravelympics over, I'm back to doing other knitting. Tuesday I had the opportunity to complete my very first Random Act of Knitting. There was a training meeting downtown, and of course I took along my needles and yarn. I decided to cast on a baby hat, since that's a project I can do while still concentrating on the meeting. I cast on when I first got to the site, and was finished with the first baby hat about an hour and a half later (midway through the training). I wove in the ends, then turned and handed the hat to the lady sitting next to me. She had brought her newborn with her since he was only a week old. When I gave her the hat, she just stared at me, dumbfounded. (I wish I could say amazed, but her expression was closer to dumbfounded.) But she put the hat on the baby, and later I overheard her telling people, "She just made it, just now, for me. I don't know who she is, but isn't it beautiful?" After giving away the first hat, I cast on a second one. I managed to knit most of it before the meeting's end, and finished it off at home Tuesday night.

My "real" knitting for the week, though, is the traveling vines socks. I've managed to finish the legs, turn both heels, and get through the gussets. I'm really happy with how they're turning out. Even though I still haven't managed to memorize the 12 round lace pattern, it's starting to come to me quicker. I figure I can have these finished in the next couple of days.

Which means that pretty soon I have to decide on my next knitting project. I'm determined to stick to my queue, which still gives me a large number of possibilities. Help me out and leave a comment with what you think I should work on next, please. (You can find the queue under the "Fiber Notes" link above this post.