around n round she goes

A blog for my knitting, spinning, quilting, violin-playing, or whatever else floats my boat

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Location: Texas

Sunday, April 27, 2008

my new friends and some spinning and something really important

My husband took these pictures for me. He's really good at the macro photography.

Jerry - a small Purple Pincher land hermit crab
Lucy - a slightly larger (but still small) Purple Pincher crab
Habibi - a teenie PP crab that has since dug in. He wouldn't come out of his shell for a picture, so this is a shot of his little claws. I may not see him again for awhile.

Tom's another small crab, but I didn't get any good pictures of him. I've had Tom and Jerry for a couple of weeks, and got Lucy and Habibi yesterday. They're living in a 10 gallon tank in my office. Fascinating little critters, but require rather more set up and care than most people know.... humidity and temperature are critical.

I'm learning fast and think I've finally just about got their tank set up correctly. I need to add some netting for them to climb (I'm knitting it, of course). Most people seem to recommend nylon or hemp to prevent rotting or mold. I'm tempted to try wool. Wonder how well it will hold up to warm, humid conditions?

That shot last week was of their tank before I added all the extra stuff... there's a lot more bedding and things to climb on and under now. Lots of extra shells, too. They like to swap shells every now and then.

I haven't been doing a lot of knitting lately since I've been working so much. I have, however, been doing a fair amount of spinning on my little home-made bead spindle.

My singles ready to ply. I ply from both ends of the ball - nothing left over!

My Kundert spindle is great for plying. The singles can take hours, but the plying is 15-20 minutes.

The finished yarn - there's about 40 yards in that hank. I'll combine it with two others to make a ball.

I've got about 570 yards so far. I need 1200 - 1500 yards for the shawl I'd like to make. Got a ways to go!

And the really important bit -

This is our 12th wedding anniversary! I love you sweetheart!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I'll explain later...

Tom and Jerry

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

a quick-ish update - ok, so a long update

I haven't been posting much lately since the job that pays the bills has been getting in the way. I didn't even go to knitting guild last night and they were going to demonstrate knitting backwards. Really hated to miss that, but I'm pooped and I needed to work anyway.

We're going through a conversion of our financial and customer relationship software and having just the kind of fun that you might think. And guess who the manager of this whole process is? yeah... me.

We've also got the auditors in for the next two weeks. Since we went through an ownership change (otherwise known as the 'recap') right near the end of the year, that involves more than the usual fun. Guess who the manager of the audit is? yeah... me, again. (Oh yeah, I'm the accounting manager - that might explain it.)

Rebekah got my zebra socks! I figured she's always doing something for everyone else so someone needed to do something for her. I had a lot of fun making them and they made all those tedious eye doctor appointments go a lot easier.

You know what happens when you drop a ceramic acorn-shaped support spindle on a tile floor? You end up with lots of little ceramic acorn-shaped pieces. I'm using my home-made bead spindle now. It's about the same weight and feel of the acorn and is unlikely to break no matter where I drop it. The bead is stone and a heavy one, at that.

I've ordered another acorn, though. It's an Anne Grout and one of my favorites, so I didn't want to do without.

I've gone a bit spin crazy lately. The bead spindle doesn't hold much, but I'm doing about 25-35 yards of two ply from each cop. I've got about 375 yards so far. Need probably 1200-1500 yards for the shawl I'm planning. I'm spit-splicing three little skeins together at a time to make a more reasonable-sized ball. That way I won't have to splice as much during knitting.

To demonstrate how far the madness has spread, I've reserved a fleece from Nistock Farms. If you click on that link and scroll down to the colored medium fleeces, you'll see that Olive's fleece has my name against it. It will probably be June before I see it though. Robin indicated that lambing is getting ready to be in full swing and a lot of other folks are in line for fleeces before me.

Olive's fleece is a beautiful grey and I can't wait 'til I have it.

And since I can't wait I bought a merino wether lamb fleece through eBay. It's multi-colored black, brown and beige. I've heard merino is a real bear to clean and card so wish me luck. I haven't heard from the seller yet. I'm hoping my fleece will be in the mail shortly.

So what does one do with great gobs of raw fleece? One gets to do a lot of washing, of course! Spinning Spider Jenny has some great tutorials on scouring raw fleece, dyeing and spinning techniques. If I could sit at her feet for a few weeks I would.

Hey, I might even break out the Lendrum double treadle wheel!

Well, I was going to post pictures, but that'll have to happen later. Back to work!