Saturday, January 22, 2011

Phoning it in?

My Ravatar has taken on a nerdy new look in honor of Nerd Wars.
My next New Year's Resolution is to get into shape.  It's something I've been doing since last July but have intensified lately.  Thanks to a Ravelry group, I found out about SparkPeople, a free online diet and exercise program that has helped tons of people.  It has amazing nutrition and fitness trackers, along with solid diet and exercise advice, so if you are wanting a healthy lifestyle, go to and  check it out.

Exercising and cooking healthy meals has taken a significant bite into my crafting time.  I am still knitting the same sweater, and still spinning the same purple skein--I hope to be plying that by the end of the month though because I joined Ravelry's Nerd Wars.  Those who know me from that online knitting/spinning etc. community may have noticed the sleeves of my sweater have taken on something of a Star Fleet look since I joined Team Enterprise.  I do my cardio to old episodes on DVD so it works.  I'm hoping the challenges to Nerd Wars will ignite me to use up some stash.  Warning:  I will be talking about spinning "tribble" fur.  That's Nerdspeak for angora rabbit fluff.

Swearing is on the uptick as I started a Jillian Michael's exercise CD.  She's the one on The Biggest Loser who yells at people to keep going.  Her 30 Day Shred is not for the faint of heart.  The first time, I couldn't do more than 3 minutes and a lot of swearing. Despite this, I went back for more and did an (expletive deleted) official Day 1, I (expletive deleted) gasped through it.  I survived Day 2, but it felt like my bellybutton actually glued itself to my spine.  Jillian doesn't let you "phone it in" as she likes to call going through the motions of a workout.  "Bead of sweat" has taken on a whole new meaning for me. Yes, sweat does pour down in beads.  If I survive the 30 days, I will highly recommend this CD.  We shall see...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

And the winner is...

Wow, this is difficult!  I'm reading all these clever posts and trying to decide who I should pick.  Then I realized I couldn't decide!  Argh.  There's a a lot of talent out there. I have to say I love the poems and songs, and can feel for the person whose early cotton spinning efforts looks like cat turds--been there.

So, I did what any indecisive spinner would do--I wrote names on pieces of paper and put them in a handspun, handknit hat.  My DH was given the honors of drawing a name. 

So the winner is (drum roll please)  Lisa G. the woman taking spinning lessons and raising Pygora goats.  I know it is meant to be because I love Pygora and once did a study on it with my guild. I'd like to get one and tell the city it's a dog--though I suppose Baxter (my personal assistant shown in profile picture) might not approve. So Lisa, please contact me at so I can get your address and mail the fiber off.

Next:  In a few weeks, I'll be finding a new reader for a travelling book on urban farming. 

And I'll have more stash that needs new homes.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Win Organic Top

This organic cotton will go to whoever will give it a good home.
I'm looking for a new home for about eight ounces of red-brown, naturally colored, organic combed cotton top. Just leave a note on this blog saying why and I'll pick a new home for this fiber from the respondents. (Hint: lighthearted is best!) I'll mail it to the winner.  I'm slowly going threw my stash and finding thing that would be better off in other people's hands.  I purchased this cotton about two or three years ago from the Little Barn booth at the Midwest Fiber Festival.  I brought it home, spun a few yards worth of single and remembered why I don't really like spinning cotton.  But I know there are plenty of you out there who do, so please post a comment and let me know!

Giving away some of my excess stash is resolution #4.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Putting the pieces together

My big loom is being reassembled in it's new sunny location.
Early this Saturday morning, I was staring at the treadle gizmo on my loom trying to remember how to do the tie up.  Just a year ago, it was so straightforward, easy-peasy. Now, I might as well have been holding a rubric cube or trying to translate an alien language.

Fortunately, my thinking muscle relaxed enough for me to deconstruct what was there and backtrack into figuring out what to do.  A cup of coffee helped.  As you know, I'm selling one of my looms (the smaller one).  I moved my work tables and carding equipment downstairs to the spare bedroom I'm calling the workshop.  Now my big loom has a place all its own, the studio.

I really like the feel of the loom here. The light in that room is fantastic with the south facing window and the white painted walls.  It is really a nice place to create.  As I sit on the bench in the filtered sunlight, I dream of all the things I can make, imagining my warp taught and perfect stretching out, the weft filling in with bright colors.  I want to make some really amazing things.

I'm really happy with the towels I made. Despite the warping disaster, they are very functional and absorbent.  I've been using a couple of them and just today finished tying off the fringe of the last one.  As they come out of the washer, they are a little small, but still usable.  Next time, I won't make these mistakes and they'll make great gifts.

Another thing delaying the rebuilding of my loom is all the cooking I've been doing.  I love to cook, and now I'm making a conscious decision to do more of my own cooking and less processed-prepackaged food.  I'm even making warm lunches to take to work.  This also takes a lot of time, but like weaving, spinning and knitting, it is enjoyable, creative and meditativetime .  So that is my resolution #3, to change my diet to "slow food."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Resolution #2: Stop buying fleece (mostly)

Using a sense of feeling crowded as my guide, I've come to the conclusion that I should stop buying fleece.  Since I need to wear a helmet to protect me from falling objects every time I open the door to one of my stash closets,  I can classify that as crowded.  I also have the odds and ends of bags and buckets of yarn and fleece under my work table, so I have to admit: enough!

I can probably exist for a decade on what I have.  Add to this the realities of life--working for a living, and other interests like cooking from scratch and gardening, I can easily extend the life of my stash by another five years.  I think saying that I won't buy until spring is a bit of a cop out because, as we all know, fleece buying season really starts in spring.  But considering I had thought of buying some  bamboo processed like flax, I think stopping myself until April would be a smart thing to do.  And with that resolution, I will buy only three (in case of roving, which I don't buy much of (relatively), it will be enough for one large project or two pairs of socks).  So that is it.  Can I hold myself too this knowing my capricious fleece buying capability?  We will see..

What is everyone else cooking up for resolutions?  Feel free to share in the comments section!