Two Left Needles

Knitting, spinning and dyeing
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I'm still super-motivated to knit the Skater's Undertop. The yarn is Debbie Bliss wool/cotton that I bought at Webs two years ago. Only slightly marinated (I have things much older in the stash). It feels very cotton-y, but at 50% wool, it's the most wool I've been knitting with lately, so it feels like r-e-l-i-e-f to my hands.

I'm to the armpits on the body:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

and have started sleeve one:

Skater's Undertop - in progress

I love the simple cable detail, and how it carries up over the shoulder to the neck. I also appreciate the in-the-round construction. I like the shape/fit and know this is something that will become part of my wardrobe, even with the wool content (I just won't wear it at home). And the mostly-stockinette knitting is perfect for my current state-of-mind. Ah yes, and the anticipation of the first sweater post-pregnancy. All these keep me going at a good clip.

I know I won't be comfortable with a belly-baring top or 3/4 sleeves so I'm adding length to the body and the sleeves. I've been trying it on as I go, too. I really want this to fit well.

I must be desperate for contact with wool because I picked up Trellis this weekend and doubled my progress:

Trellis - in progress

Sorry for the crappy photo.

I'm getting used to the 7-into-5 stitches, which require knitting the same 7 stitches together 3 times. Addi Lace needles come in handy for these manoevers. But I'm not digging the short rows (I took out a repeat because of my limited yardage. Who buys only 1 ounce of laceweight? Who??). It's hard to get into a rhythm before the row ends and then I have to figure out how to start the next one. Somehow I can't memorize the first few stitches of each row, but I'm golden after that. I feel like this is a project I'm finishing to finish, because I want to use the yarn. Which is fine. It will be beautiful. I just wish I could enjoy the process more.

I've made some progress on Scott's Cobblestone. This is an older picture:

Cobblestone - in progress

I'm almost to the armpits now. The cotton/silk is hard on my hands so I work on it in spurts. Wanting to get this done for Scott keeps me going. Also, occasionally, guilt.

I started Honeymoon Cami in April 2006, lost steam, then got pregnant and wasn't sure I'd be able to wear it afterwards, so it sat. After I got a question on it on Ravelry, I pulled it out to check gauge. I realized I didn't have that much more to go, and that it seemed like it not only would still fit, but would also be flattering. And the colors are great. But perhaps most importantly, I'd be able to quickly reduce my WIP count to squeeze in another project. So I finished it. More non-wool: SWTC Bamboo. Everything is sewn up, just needs a quick block.

Honeymoon Cami - in progress

That Cute Flirty Skirt is knit, washed and blocked. Before:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

After:

That Cute Flirty Skirt

Look how much darker it got!

Just kidding. I almost wore this at Rhinebeck. In the hotel room, with Scott's help, I cable-plied some yarn to make the waist-tie. I even remembered to bring a slip. The only problem was... shoes. Picture the above with slip-on cloggy mocs and handknit ankle socks. Dor-kay.

I finished it to have something handknit to wear to Rhinebeck, and to show Anne. But after I realized I couldn't wear it, I forgot to even mention it to her.  :(

And Cheeky never got a "started" or "in progress" post before all the pieces were knitted up:

Cheeky - in progress

My first time working with Mission Falls 1824 cotton and I find it quite nice. For cotton. This is the 12 month size so I hope Lily will be able to wear it for more than a month or two. Motivation: something cute for her to wear. Lack of motivation (for sewing it up): knowing it's too big for her anyway.

Different projects, different motivations. What motivates you?

Oh my, it's been almost a month, how did that happen? No, wait, you don't need me to tell you. It must be because of She Who Thinks Bedtime Is 5 am. Or, as I like to call her between 1 and 5 am, Miss Fussypants. Sadly, the sleep thing is still an issue. It's not always 5 am, but it ain't good. We're working on it. Meanwhile, she's learning to sit on her own, which I hear will be a nice little break for me for minutes at a time!

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gorilla stance

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She's getting bigger, still 90+ percentile for weight and height. Which continues to confuse me, seeing as Scott and I are not exactly 90+ percentile people ourselves. When I'm at the doctor's office, and I see other little babies that are probably close to Lily's age, or older, I think in my head, "my baby could take your baby." Hehe. Not that I encourage that sort of thing. But it cracks me up. 

You know what else is perplexing? I'm decidedly Asian looking. Right? Dark straight hair, brown eyes, etc. Lily is decidedly not Asian looking. At least, not to me. (Unless you look at her upside down. But that could be said for a lot of people.) I mean, she's got fair, curly hair, with hints of honey. Curly hair, people! She's got long lashes that also curl, not short, stubby and straight ones like mine (lucky girl). She's got funky-colored eyes, which are still deciding whether they're blue, green or hazel. Her skin tone is lighter. I thought dark hair and dark eyes were dominant, so I always assumed my babies would have them. It is still strange to me to see her curly hair and fair skin. (And man, I so do not know what to do with curly hair.) I'm sure I'll get used to it.

IMG_4885

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She was 15 lb 11 oz at 4 months. And 26" long. She's wearing 6 month clothes, and she no longer fits into "6-12 month" socks anymore. Hahaha. So not the shrimp I expected.

I probably won't have the time I'd like to write up posts about the odds and ends I'm working on, so let's try a fly-by update.

I frogged and restarted That Cute Flirty Skirt (aka Anne's Sangria; and holy cow, if you follow the first link and scroll way down, my hair is So Long!). It was too tight, and I was embarassed when I realized that my gauge swatch was way off. I begin to wonder if I even measured it, or if I was on crack when I did. A few weeks ago it looked like this:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

and now it's closer to this:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I'm on the last stitch pattern and then I'm home free! I made a few simple mods which I can talk about later.

I also started a sweater for Scott. Second one I've started for him, hopefully first one that is completed (and worn/wearable):

Cobblestone - in progress

That is the beginnings of Cobblestone in Rowan Summer Tweed. Color more accurate here, against the black of That Cute Flirty Skirt:

Projects in progress

Between the Classic Silk of That Cute Flirty Skirt, and the Summer Tweed (both cotton/silk blends), my hands have been getting a workout (and I've been totally craving the wool). Which would be fine, but my right wrist has been giving me problems the last month or so. My doctor suspects tendonitis. I can't even sign my name or write without pain. Typing is easier, but no good at the supermarket. Hopefully it heals soon.

Let's see, what else? I started Trellis using Judy's Ball and Skein silk/merino laceweight. #4 Addi lace needles (I like) and one less repeat because I only bought the one skein. I don't like the 5 into 7 stitch, or 7 into 5, whatever. I don't like it, so progress is slow. But, of course, the colors are gorgeous.

Trellis (scarf) - in progress

Embossed Leaves Socks are done! That will be it's own post. Overall, I like. Not crazy about the toe.

I got my Ravelry invite! I admit that I was one of those people that has been checking the "antsy" page every couple of days and adding my status into an excel spreadsheet so I could project when I might get my invite. (Does that surprise you?) Because of their server move, it came 1.5 weeks early! Not that I have time to do anything with it. Not that that's going to stop me.

There has been some spinning and plying and washing of things spun and plied (and what a difference washing makes). "Tomorrow"!

PS  Thanks for the lovely comments about Lily and the socks! I'm sorry that I can't respond to comments these days. :(  Also, I'm trying to make peace with the fact that I just can't post as often as I used to. When I started the blog, I was between jobs and posted every day. I was doing fibery things every day. When I started working, that went down; and when I was pregnant, more so. Now, with Lily, I'm lucky if I can keep up the every-three-weeks thing. At heart I'm a more-frequently-than-twice-a-month poster. More like twice-or-three-times-a-week poster. It's hard to accept, but I'm working on it. Thanks for your support.

PPS  I gave her Tylenol before her 4 month shots and that seemed to help, as she only cried for maybe 10-20 seconds, and my blood did not curdle. Thanks for the suggestion!

PPPS  I've been working on the BASD website. Check out the meeting dates! First meeting is October 3, second is October 17. We're looking at a couple of cool workshops, so think about joining us!

Oh. my. god. You have to see the BSG Mini Series! I mean, if you haven't already. It's SO GOOD!

We bought the DVD's in preparation for Season 3. I needed to get hubby addicted so we could watch it together. He figured he'd probably like the show, just hadn't been watching enough to know what was going on. The Mini Series comes with the set we bought. It presents continuously with mini fade-to-blacks where commercials would be, but running continuously for 3 hours. 3 hours! I sat and knit for 3 hours wondering why there were no episode beginnings or endings, no credits, no theme song. Only figured it out after the fact when I talked to Scott. Hehe.

It really helps explain the storyline, little bits that I didn't quite get but didn't question. And it's so freakin' gripping and well done and so awesome to watch without commercials or fast forwarding. Or interruptions.

'Cuz Scott was at school. He's taking a coupla classes and pretty excited about it. And he's the one that said we should watch at our own paces and not wait for each other, 'cuz he usually watches 'em faster than I do. We agreed. Ahead of time. Hehe. So now he's behind.

So freakin' excited. I was hooked for all of Season 2, and, though TiVo-less, was a devoted Sci Fi Friday fan, so I'm pretty good for those. Not so sure about Season 1. Muahahahaha, all "new" episodes to enjoy before the season starts.

No, this is not "all BSG all the time" here at 2LN.

The skirt is in time out. Words were exchanged, there will be a cooling down period. Not to worry. I've knit through the end once and passed all pattern notes to Anne, and she's released Sangria for your hot little hands. Go have a Sangria, you know you wanna.

Meanwhile I'm taking a break by casting on for the shawl version of Sand River with the wool/alpaca I bought from Seacoast Handpainted Yarns. The yarn was doing some crazy vertical pooling, so I frogged back and am alternating between 2 balls of yarn, something I've never really done for variegated yarn. I've always just gone with the flow, with pretty good success. I would do that now, but I know that when I attach the second skein, and the third, the pooling won't be the same. There's still a surprising bit of pooling, but it looks like it'll start un-pooling soon. I'm not sure about the colors, definitely not my colors. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts tomorrow when I have pics.

On the spinning front, I washed and beat the primarily green primaries dyepot yarn. 12 oz, a little over 900 yards, about a sport or DK weight:

Primarily Greens BFL

The colors look a little different depending on the lighting -- lighter, darker, bright, somber. Soft BFL. And if you remember from this post, each 4 oz batch was a little different, one had a little more greens and light green, one more reds, and the third more blue. Can you see the difference?

And a close up for fun:

Primarily Greens BFL

From seeing people's TiVo lists, I'd say TiVo lists are like fingerprints or snowflakes, no two alike. Also, you'd never guess what some people watch! Interesting stuff. I did forget a couple of shows. Pre-TiVo I watched Nip/Tuck, so I'll be adding that back into the line-up. And Windyridge Farm will be happy to know that Rescue Me is on our TiVo list because Scott LOVES the show. I think it's his current favorite. I have to admit, Denis Leary really shines in that role (remember, I'm speaking from an actor's perspective, I couldn't really use those words for the character he plays), and the show as a whole is pretty darned good. My list is long enough so it can stay on Scott's TiVo list for now.

Kate's finished her version of Sand River! You can see in progress pics here, and the finished scarf here. She loved it so much she's started another in red Bamboo! Can't wait to see how that turns out. As soon as the skirt is done I'll be casting on for a shawl version, and then making the pattern available.

Speaking of the skirt, yup, I finished it! And promptly starting frogging after realizing it's too short. Okay, to be honest, there was that panicked phone call to Anne first. (She's even nice on the phone.) I'll be adding another repeat of the second lace section, and then redoing the final lace section.

Kathy corrected me on the Fabric Place Knitters Breakfast date, it's actually 9/30. There is an event on 9/24, though -- the Boston Knit-Out and Crochet Too 2006. Again, if you're in the area, think about going! I plan to be there.

Geez, and here I was thinking that's all I had.

Saturday I went to a spin-in at Parker River Alpaca Farm and had a fabulous time! I got to see some folks I had met before, as well as make new friends. And I met Blogless Sharon, whose name I've seen floating around a lot. Hehe.

We were on the lawn:

happy spin-in at Parker River Alpaca Farm

and at some points, the alpacas wandered by.

At other times, they ran off to the more secluded fenced off area. Were we too loud? Were they worried we'd spin the fleece off their backs? Hmm, could be another reason they were there:

long line

It's hard to say.

There were a bunch of fleeces in the top of the barn, but I've still got the alpaca fleece that came with the wheel (and I'm saving $ for Rhinebeck) so I was a good girl.

alpacas eating

As Carole said, there's something about those alpacas. Looking at them, I couldn't help but giggle "heeheehee" they tickled me so. Can you blame me?

why hello there

I finished up the BFL in the Sunfires colorway I had dyed up several months back. The colors are so bright and cheery. I'll navajo ply to make striping sock yarn.

Sunfires BFL

The superwash pinks I spun after refuses to photograph accurately. Punk.

The weather was sunny and gorgeous, the mood happy, the company smashing. Thanks so much to Kathy & Tick and Olivia & Dave for hosting!

I've been tired lately and not sleeping well to boot so some nights putting together a post has felt like more than I can handle. Good fibery stuff going on, though. So here's a quick fly-by:

Flirty Skirty is almost done! Just a couple more rows to go. I tried it on a few inches from the end and the fit was still good. It's on short circular needles now so I can't get a feel for the final shape. I'll do a proper post soon with feedback on the pattern and knitting experience and all that good stuff, but let me just tell you, Anne's patterns are very thorough, with both charts and written instructions in all the right places, so you'll be in good hands. Plus, she uses several types of increases and I like how they're incorporated and how they contribute to the skirt's flirty shape.

I've squeezed in a good bit of spinning time, though I have few photos to show for it. The primarily green primaries dyepot is all spun up! 12 oz at about DK weight sure took a long time. It's soaking now so after I abuse it and let it dry, I'll be taking photos. I also spun up the other 4 oz of merino-silk from Cloverleaf Farms. The first 4 oz were in the autumn colorway and spun up in June. Good thing I kept a sample card I could refer to. This batch is brighter and I'm not sure how they'll blend. The idea is to ply them together. You can see the fibers side by side here. I thought the common golden harvest tone would tie both together, with the pinks brightening and the browns warming. Fingers crossed.

Cloverleaf Farms merino/silk - 4 oz x 2
newly spun on left, previously spun on right

What else... Oh yeah, wanna see what 10 lbs of fiber looks like?

10 lbs of fiber

Here are my feet for scale:

10 lbs of fiber with feet for scale

That's 5 lbs of merino superwash and 5 lbs of 80's merino from Henry's Attic. Guess I have a lot of dyeing to do... I also bought a mess of undyed yarns, particularly silks and some silk/merino. 'Cuz I'm a suckah (for silk). The 80's merino is verrry soft.

Oh yeah, I won a blog contest! Me, who never wins anything! Earlier this year I won some lovely alpaca yarn from Claudia's MS Ride. Now, courtesy of Arianie (thanks, Arianie!), I've won a pound of washed, uncarded Alaskan Malamute fiber, aka Chiengora, aka dog hair:

Alaskan Malamute fiber

I've read it is quite warm and Arianie says it's great for mixing with other fibers. It's soft and since it's washed, there isn't any doggy smell. Still, call me old fashioned, but the idea of spinning with dog hair spins my head around!

Alaskan Malamute fiber - closeup

I searched around and couldn't find much info on spinning with Chiengora, besides one or two people that offer spinning services to (mostly) pet owners. There are guard hairs that will need to be removed, but the undercoat seems quite fine and soft. Have you spun with Chiengora? What was your experience?

Now that I've won 2 contests this year, I feel my chances for winning something at the upcoming Fabric Place Knitters Breakfast (9/30) are definitely warming. I've been shut out at the last two. They say the third time's the charm! If you're in the Boston area, think about signing up. The food is good, you get a coupon and some patterns, and a lot of chances to win something. (Edited to correct date to 9/30. Thanks, Kathy!)

Carole asked what I was watching these days during my TiVo knitting, so here's what's on the list. It's a shockingly long list. With TiVo I watch more shows, but without commercials, it goes faster, and now I waste almost no time surfing or watching rubbish. (Except when Scott's in the mood to watch rubbish. Like Who Wants To Be A Supehero. Apparently, it had "train wreck" appeal.) I love fast-forwarding through commercials so an hour show takes 40 minutes; it's not so great for spinning, however, as I hate to stop spinning just to fastforward. (And yes, I'm getting to the point where I can spin and watch some TV, instead of just listening. It doesn't work for all shows, but it means more spinning (!) and a shorter To Watch list.)

The Closer
Battlestar Galactica (BSG) -- Is anyone else excited about the new season???
The 4400
Dead Like Me
Medium
Dead Zone
CSI (the original only)
Crossing Jordan
Saved

I'm also still watching Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, though the former is not the same without Jack, and the latter is not as gripping as the former.

I notice a trend: a little space Sci-Fi; a lot of crime drama; a good dose of the supernatural.

What are your must see shows?

I'll be honest, I didn't really know what I was getting myself into. And I wasn't all that concerned. I figured, well, it'll be an experience. It was.

Scott's buddy, Dave, was going to the Family Values Tour and asked if we wanted to come along. Scott didn't think it was my kind of thing, but asked anyway. I said, "sure". Why not? We'd been meaning to visit for a while, and this was as good an excuse as any.

I knew it was some kind of metal, hard rock, something like that. Music I don't really listen to. At work, someone asked, "so, what, is it AC/DC, Def Leppard? The Who?" Those bands didn't really seem to go together, but all I could think in my head was, "uh, maybe, like, Korn." I didn't say it 'cuz it was probably way off. It wasn't.

In fact, Korn was headlining!

My first clue that this event was not my bag should have been when Dave was shocked and maybe appalled when I said I was bringing my knitting. Yeah.

The concert started at 2 pm. We arrived in the parking lot about 1:30. Looking around, it was Sesame Street's "one of these things is not like the others". That would be me.

Headbangers. Punked out, black wearing, dyed hair, mohawked, tattooed and pierced lovers of loud loud music. I looked around, remembering high school, months when most of my wardrobe was black: small potatoes. And now, definitely yuppy! Eek! My raincoat had a Burberry-esque lining. I turned it to the inside.

There was a warning before we entered:

FVT: warning

It was pretty empty:

FVT: empty

We were on the lawn, slightly huddled against the surprising chill. Also, cuddled:

FVT: hanging out
Dave and Lindsay: awww, so cute

Clouds loomed overhead:

FVT: impending rain

It was gonna rain, just a question of when. Music started around 2: short half hour sets followed by a quick setup and another band. Some of the music I would never listen to, some was alright:

FVT: stage

This guy walked around promoting the side show tent:

FVT: promoting the side show

It was a cool effect, with the costume and the way he walked. But... side show tent??

In the food areas offsides, some guy with a bullhorn harassed passersby obnoxiously, dared them to throw a ball at him. The goal: hit him in the nuts, win a prize.

FVT: offsides area

Gradually, more people showed up:

FVT: growing crowd

And I got the courage to pull out my knitting:

FVT: Knitting

You can't tell, but I was moving my head to the beat. Rock on.

Scott was happy to wear his new shades, which were too bright and reflective for my tastes:

FVT: reflections

He had no idea what I was photographing. :) Check out the ominous clouds in the reflection!

And then we found out Korn wouldn't play until at least 6 pm. It was now 3:30, we were a bit chilly, and felt the first rain drops. So we bailed. And as I left, I saw the beginnings of the forewarned mosh pit forming:

FVT: mosh pit forming

Driving around, we heard on the radio at 8 pm that Korn still hadn't come out. Good thing we left.

The rest of the weekend was nothing but rain. And ridiculous attempts to find something to do. I'll spare you most of it, but as an example, we showed up at the ice skating rink at 3:30 only to find that free skate was from 1-4, and 7-10. Yeah. Like that.

We saw some of the locations shown in Clerks 2, which will be cool to see in the movie. We were hoping to take photos, but, well, rain. We saw an awful, awful movie, Talladega Nights. Sorry, folks, hated it. It was painful. When I lived in Alabama, we were about 20 minutes from Talladega, and my dad actually worked in Talladega for a while. Didn't recognize anything in the movie, though.

We did have fun thrown in here and there. And Dave made a comment about learning to knit (in jest?) and I was at the ready to teach him just in case. And if it hadn't rained so hard all day Saturday, we had plans to hang out in Red Bank, the cute downtown nearby. Shops, a marina or some such, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash (their comic book store). Ah, well. Maybe next time.

Dave and Lindsay persevered along with us. I think the weekend was just not meant to be. We hope they haven't given up and that some time in the future, we'll go for attempt number 2. We'll be sure to check the weather forecast beforehand.

And for actual knitting, here's what 3 balls of Classic Silk will get you:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

It's starting to look like a skirt!

The weekend was kinda weird. A weekend of rain + plans that relied on sunshine + people you don't know well = well, I don't know. But it's a recipe for something.

The concert was, if I had thought about it, pretty much what I expected. But seeing as I didn't, it took me by surprise. Photos tomorrow will make it clearer. In the meantime, here's progress on That Cute Flirty Skirt:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I'm into the next patterned section now, and while I'm glad to leave the first pattern behind (my own fault for screwing up and having to frog before), this next stretch has k3togtbl and p3togtbl. "tbl" means "through the back loop" and when purling or knitting 3 stitches together this way, requires a bit of needle gymnastics. And I'm lazy. Out of shape, shall we say. Another row or so and I'll be back into some kind of rhythm. Meanwhile, picture someone who has trouble walking across carpet, doing gymnastics. Or jazzercise in a cluttered living room.

The rambouillet/silk shawl is still nameless and still progressing:

handspun shawl - in progress

I'm almost a foot and a half in. Because of the easy pattern and being able to simply knit across every other row, it's perfect TiVo knitting.

Get acid. Check. Get a precision scale. Check. Wonder what kind of google hits I'll get. Check.

I was pretty happy with the scale I already had (measured to the nearest gram). Until it came to weighing small amounts of dye or yarn. Then, not so happy. In weighing 10g of dye:

  • I'd put a small amount on the scale and nothing would register.
  • I'd put a larger amount. It'd jump to 7, 8, 9 grams.
  • I'd add small amounts, trying to ease up to 10 grams. Nothing would register. Nothing would register. Nothing would register. Then BAM, 11 grams.
  • I'd remove some dye. 9 grams.

In general, it's not SO important. I mean, if I'm making a 1% dye solution and measuring 10g of dye to 990g of water, if the dye is really 9g or 11g, that would make it a .9% or 1.1% dye solution. Not the end of the world. But for someone going to the trouble of measuring mL of dye, who doesn't want to use an existing twist protractor because the lines aren't exact, who wants to dye triads on very small amounts of  yarn and dye, it matters. I'm anal like that.

(Oh, the google hits. The horror.)

So I did some research and found Scale Magazine, which seemed to be a good source for scale information. Once I narrowed down to the type of scale I might want (size: small; accuracy: .1g), I checked the recommended vendors to find what scales were available that fit. Then read up on them at Scale Magazine. And narrowed to: the Palmscale 6.0. Pocket sized and accurate to .1g. Of the three vendors I checked, SaveOnScales.com had the best prices. Still too high for me.

So I searched around some more, and found the same company on eBay, and the same Palmscale 6.0 for a bunch of bucks less (albeit only in silver). I read their ratings/reviews and saw a lot of happy customers. 99.8% positive feedback. Always a good sign. And I did a google search of the website name to see if there were complaints floating on the Web. Didn't find anything. So I bought it. And it arrived:

new Palmscale scale

Ooooh, carrying pouch and 100g recalibration weight.

Palmscale 6.0

Ain't she cute? Sleek, compact, light. Two small trays. Nifty.

Of course, as I'm writing this, I panicked and wondered if Scale Magazine was a dummy site set up to promote certain scales or vendors. So I searched around again, for "Scale Magazine" and "ScaleMagazine", for links to the domain name, etc. I didn't see any negatives, and rereading through the pages, I don't get "scammy" feelings.

<begin soapbox>

All this caution is not only because caution with new online vendors is a good thing, but also because we nearly got hoaxed BIG TIME when we bought our first digital camera. We encountered companies that claimed to have the lowest price, but when you called, they would only talk to you if you were willing to upsell to the package "deal". Or they'd claim to have the item in stock, but after ordering, you'd find out you were waitlisted. For weeks. And so on. And when we did a search on the company name, we found links to all sorts of complaints, about their upsell techniques and poor service, inability to get in touch with anyone when there were problems, etc. Long story short: when dealing with a new vendor, it pays to do some research. Google the company's name, their website URL, and find links to their website (use Google's advanced search).

<end soapbox>

Okay, glad we got that out of the way.

I charged up the scale last night (yep, rechargeable) and weighed small things like chapstick, a quarter, some screws. (Again with the google hits...) It was nice to see the decimal place accuracy.

The scale does not sit quite flush on the floor, though. There are foam pads on the bottom which may be adjustable, so I'll give that a try.

The scale arrived quickly and safely. It's cool looking and full-featured. I'm looking forward to measuring out yarn and dye for my triads!

I'm a geek.

Skirting the issue

For gray la gran and anyone else waiting to knit Sangria, here's what 2 skeins of Classic Silk will get you:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I think it's purty. I cranked last night and knit a whole ball's worth. (Beavis: "Cranked. Hehe. She said cranked"...)

Tonight, I was ready to start the next set of instructions, but my numbers didn't match. And then I realized I had misread the instructions. It's NOT "Repeat ... 8 times more". It's "Repeat rnds 1 through 8 five times more". So let's see. I did 3 extra repeats, of 8 rows each, or 24 rows. Extra.

"DOH!"

I hear that one echoing.

So here's where that leaves me:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - post frog

Oh! and here's what the frogged portion weighs, +/- .1g:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - frogged portion

That would be half of last night's progress.

On the plus side, I tried it on before frogging and it fits great. Up to where I screwed up. :)

Well, I did it again. Spent more time spiffying the blog than working on a post.

In trying to figure out how to post the handspun stuff, I kinda ran into some complications.

Flickr don't like it when you use their photos to sell something on your website. So I can't use Flickr.

Etsy is a bit expensive, so I'll hold off for now.

Creating a new blog requires putting the photos some place.

My blogging software has a photo gallery, but the skin has links to a bazillion things you just don't need to see. Plus, it doesn't look like my blog.

So I worked on the skin.

And now my blog doesn't look like my blog. Heh.

I changed things around to fit the new banner. It really changed things. Plus, I was feeling like the colors were getting kinda dark. Wanted to lighten things ups. It's definitely lighter. :) But I like.

So... Handspuns are temporarily housed at http://twoleftneedles.com/shop. (Who knows what temporary is?) I'll add a linky-dink to the sidebar at some point, too.

I'm still working out formatting issues; it's not quite there yet, but close enough!

I managed to spin some this weekend, but very little knitting was accomplished. Oh, and I had to chuck that pink-purples roving. Instead of rinsing it out I let it sit ... and it grew a bit o' mold. Yuck. Chucked. I think I've learned my lesson. (I hope I've learned my lesson.)

I did go to Fabric Place's 25% off sale Saturday, and bought a sweater's worth of Classic Silk for my guy. And a couple of skeins of non-wool for a possible Alien scarf. And nothing else. 'Cuz I have enough yarn. And it's nice to know that every now and then I realize it too.

I leave you with an in progress photo of Sangria, or That Cute Flirty Skirt. Here's what a skein of Classic Silk will get you:

That Cute Flirty Skirt - in progress

I've made excellent progress on That Cute Flirty Skirt. Not crazy progress like all the obsessed Moth ladies zooming towards the flame (go cheer them on!). But progress nonetheless. We've been ironing out some kinks in the first section of the pattern; the rest should be smooth sailings. I've also complicated matters a bit by adding extra stitches to the cast on for a slightly larger waist, and adjusting increases to catch up to the pattern. I'm all caught up now so I can just follow along and knit. Anne's instructions are very thorough and the skirt is coming along nicely. You'll be able to see a lot more detail in the next update (tomorrow?).

Thanks for all the nice comments on my new banner-to-be! I originally had it reversed, in dye-spin-knit order, but changed it at the last minute to match my "byline" - "adventures in knitting, spinning and dyeing". I like it the other way, too. I think I'd like to make a couple of similar banners with projects I've taken through all three stages. Although I can only think of one other... spin-dye-knit-a-scarf. And that one I'd want to put in the project order of spin-dye-knit. Does that make sense? I'll just have to try it and see.

Karen teased me with news of Classic Silk on sale at Herrschners. I rushed over in a tizzy but it was sold out. Apparently, some people were quicker on the draw than I was. As luck would have it, Fabric Place is having a 25% off sale starting Saturday! Classic Silk, you will be mine, oh yes, you will be mine. (Seriously, though, thanks, Karen!)

And the handspun yarn I was going to detail, well, I spent too long on the skirt and I'm not sure where I want to put it. Here? On it's own blog like June? On Etsy? Bah. I'm as indecisive as my brother.

Plus, I do feel weird posting them for sale after Tuesday's post. Honestly, do I expect people to pay full price plus shipping??? Hahahaha! In my defense, I've been preparing the yarns for a week. My mouth flaps and my timing's crap.

Blah blah blah blah blah. Sorry, I'll pull myself together in a minute. :)

Here's a group shot of the yarns, though:

handspun yarns

I'm even including Calico Cat, which is amazingly squishably soft with such interesting coloring. I dyed up some more fiber in the hopes of spinning more. Here's how the original Calico Cat looked:

Purples and Calico Cat
Calico Cat on the right

and here's the new batch:

Calico Cat on BFL

On initial glance, I think it looks pretty ugly, though not as ugly as the original, so I think it's a good first stab. On second glance, it looks more camouflage than the Rorschach of the original. Still could be used as a therapy tool...

I also dyed some pink-purples, to "match" the pink-purples in the original Calico Cat fiber photo above:

pink-purples on BFL

I wanted more pinks and less purples. Also, I think I used black before, which really saddened the color, so much so that I didn't want to spin it. I ran out of pink, so it's pretty purple heavy. Hehe. I hope this batch comes out better.

Geez, instead of working on my post I got carried away creating this:

Two Left Needles

Whaddaya think? Hey, I'm no graphic designer, but I can hook up your page to a database and make it dynamic. ;)

I'd like to make it my banner. All suggestions welcome! (I do plan to shift that last photo so that "dye" is not right on top of the white.)

Also, I've decided to sell some of my handspun stuffs! Just a few skeins to start. I should have photos and details tomorrow.

Sand River is written up and on its way to Kate. As my first pattern it took disproportionately long (the scarf is a fairly simple knit) because I had no idea what I was doing. I compared a bunch of different patterns and amalgamated them into some semblance of ... something. I suppose once you've done it once you have an idea of what information to include and how to organize it. Otherwise, I don't know how some people can crank out a pattern in a day!

Speaking of Anne, the starts of Sangria:

Sangria - in progress

Not a lot to see, but it's a start. Still loving the Classic Silk. And if any of you find it on sale, you best let me know. I don't want to hear about some Classic Silk sale somewhere that I missed because my buds were too busy hoarding it all! Just sayin'.

And that nameless rambouillet/silk shawl:

rambouillet/silk shawl - in progress

Yep, there's some subtle striping going on. I like it.

And, I'm surprised the pattern is not getting to me. I'm still enjoying this knit.

1.

Seacoast Handpainted Yarns alpaca/wool in Ocean

This lovely Seacoast Handpainted Yarns dyed alpaca/wool yarn called out to me on eBay. There were mini bidding wars on most of her auctions (all in the last minutes, of course) and I lost several before I picked this one up. Right around the time I bought that CVM fleece. And some color cards. And some handdyed BFL. Hmm, eBay shopping spree...

When I opened the package, I reflexively whispered, "oooo, pretty". Always a good sign.

Just under 1000 yards, no plans yet. I resist urges to get more...

2.

BFL from eBay

The BFL was a new vendor. I was drawn to the autumn colors and figured I'd try 4 oz.

My problem is not so much with the fiber (though it's not quite as soft as other BFL) as with the vendor: No Email. I didn't get a thank you for ordering or paying; no confirmation of payment or shipment. After almost a week (and my CVM fleece had been won, purchased and received with time to spare), I emailed and found out the vendor doesn't send emails and usually ships "within 3 business days".

Is it just me?

It seems that, in the age of internet shopping, where good service is increasingly rare and all the more appreciated, where uncouth opportunists think nothing of stealing your money and goodwill -- it seems to me that a simple email acknowledgement goes a long way to both show appreciation as well as reassure you that your PayPal funds didn't "disappear into the ether".

If you went to a yarn shop, had someone ring you up and send you on your way without so much as a "hello", "thank you" or "enjoy!", would you go back? That's what I'm saying.

3.

Classic Elite Classic Silk

This yarn I bought without plans, to take advantage of a Fabric Place sale + coupon combo. It was the first time I gave in to such urges. I figured, no wool, neutral color, could become something for Scott, or maybe that black shawl my mom wanted.

Clearly, it was an inspired moment. Providence. My mom's shawl, of course, will be the ebony Zephyr. And the (Classic Elite) Classic Silk will become: Anne's Sangria! Yep, that cute flirty skirt is knit with, you guessed it, Classic Silk. And I get to test knit it!!

Anne's been raving about this yarn and I gotta tell you, she's right. It feels pretty good in the skein but it's pure delight while knitting. Delight! And did I mention it's got no wool? I would knit Scott a sweater with this yarn! I love it that much.

The swatch is done and I'm getting set to start the pattern, a slightly modified size small. Fun fun!

PS:  Don't worry, that's all the stash divulging I can handle at the moment. Back to normal (whatever that is) tomorrow.