Wednesday

[misc] Heat Seeker

This is Penny:

Penny

She's very vocal. Mostly I think she just says, "I'm cold. I'm cold. I'm COLD!" She's the number one heat-seeker/seat-stealer in the house. If you get up from the couch, when you come back- she's in your seat. If you sit up in bed, when you try to lay back down- she's curled up where your back was.

Since we let the kitties into the garage after we get home from work, Penny's started doing this:

Penny on my car

She lays on the nice, warm vent. 

What I think she's really trying to tell me is that she wants a sweater. One that isn't too big for her, like Murderface's sweater that I put on her a couple weeks ago. 

She will get a sweater, oh yes she will.

###

Went to the Comcast Center last night in Mansfield, MA to see Iron Maiden/Alice Cooper. Good show- Alice Cooper is a great performer and singer. 14,000 people were there to see Iron Maiden. It was crazy. No, wait, that's not crazy. What's crazy were the prices of merchandise and concessions:

Concert T-Shirts: $40 - $50
One cup of beer: $12
Fried dough: $8

I heard one drunk dude next to me say to his friends "I got twenny dollars left... an' I'm savin' it fer chili cheese fries!" Yeah. You're probably going to need the whole twenty.

It was a good venue, good crowd, but it would take a pretty amazing band for me to go back to see another show there. It took way, way, way, way waywaywayway too long to get out of the parking lot. We didn't get back home until 4am.


Friday

[spinning] Moose Manor Hand Paints Polworth

The last batch of yarn that I spun was from this braid of Polworth:

Moose Manor Hand Paints


I bought this fiber last summer (fall?) at the Franklin County Fiber Twist in MA. The small fiber event was held right next to the Yankee Candle flagship store- in the employee's gym. It was nice to do the fiber-y thing and then head into the store to do the candle-y thing.

Anyway, I've never spun Polworth before. The fiber was a little compacted but I split it many times into easily draftable pieces. The finished yarn:

Moose Manor Hand Paints

A 2-ply, about DK-weight. And LOFTY. This skein is 4 oz and it's nearly twice of the size of the 6 oz 3-ply of alpaca that I posted yesterday.

Moose Manor Hand Paints

The colorway is very pretty (but the dye wasn't set completely- some would come off on my fingers while I spun; a lot come out when I washed the yarn) and I'm happy that I have another braid to spin in blues. I highly recommend this type of fiber to spin.

Thursday

[spinning] Alpaca Obsession

I had three 2oz bundles of alpaca and sparkle by Alpaca Obsession:


Alpaca Obsession

I spun each onto it's own bobbin and plied them together for a true 3-ply:


Alpaca Obsession

I love three-plies. The yarn is awesome- soft, round, drape-y. Begging to be turned into cabled.


Alpaca Obsession

###

In unrelated news, the US Olympic Committee sent a letter to Ravelry. If you're on Ravelry, you can read about it in the For the Love of Ravelry board or the Ravelympics group. If you're not on Rav, you can read about it here.

"We believe using the name "Ravelympics" for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country's finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."

You don't EVEN know what you're talking about. The Ravelympics is (was?) a way for people to (a) have fun, (b) challenge ourselves and one another, (c) watch the Olympics and root for our country, (d) bring people together. Way to take a nasty dump all over that. 

I understand that the gist of the letter is: you can still do it, but you can't call it anything that looks like the word "olympics" and you can't have patterns with the 5 interlocking rings on it. Which is their legal right but I ask: USOC... why be a petty little bitch like that? Seriously. It's a knitting event that happens every 4 years. We're not taking anything away from you and you're acting like a gigantic douche-canoe. 



Wednesday

[spinning] Fiber Stash Batt

A batt of fiber that I picked up at the Wild and Wooly weekend in Proctorsville, VT this spring:

Fiber Stash

The fiber is by Fiber Stash. It was a lot of fun to spin. I wasn't sure how to prep it, but I divided it in half lengthwise. Then I gradually drafted each half into a continuous snake of fiber. I should have taken a picture of this. Opening up batts (especially fun, pretty, sparkly ones like this) is akin to opening up a Christmas present.

All spun up, it looks like:

Fiber Stash

Fiber Stash

I love how it all blended together into a preeeeeeetty oceanic colorway. Next time I see this vendor somewhere, I'm buying 4 more batts. 

Tuesday

[misc] Little Dinosaurs

Last Thursday I saw a massive snapping turtle crossing my dirt road as I was leaving to pick up a pizza for supper. It was nearly halfway across the road. I pulled up next to it, said, "Hey, Buddy... You better get out of the road... See you later." I only spent about 10 seconds with it because I didn't want to scare it. 

I told Dollar about it when I got home. "It was huge. With a spiky tail- like a dinosaur." I was kind of regretting not spending more time checking it out- I was sure I was never going to see one again.

Saturday evening, Dollar saw something dark moving through the front lawn. He said, "I think that turtle came up here to find you."

LOOK! LOOKIT!


Snapping Turtle

The shell is about 12 inches long. The tail is about 10 inches long. I pet it's shell a couple times (because I couldn't resist). We weren't sure where it was coming from or where it's going.

Snapping Turtle

But, I assured Dollar (and myself) that if sea turtles can find their way across the ocean to a specific beach in Costa Rica on a specific day each year, I'm sure this turtle will make it to... wherever it's going.

Snapping Turtle

Here's a short video of it going down the driveway. Seems to be making okay time.


And THEN. Last night- we saw ANOTHER one in the driveway. We think it was a different one- perhaps a little smaller. Also... it's shell and foot were kind of messed up. We wonder if it was run over by a car or something :( But it was trucking across our driveway, so maybe it will be okay.

Are snapping turtles laying eggs now? Why so many around?

Monday

[vermont] Vermont History Expo

Saturday my sister and I went to the Vermont History Expo at the Tunbridge Fairgrounds. Lots of living history demonstrations and 19th Century things to see. This year's theme was Vermont in the Civil War. Here are a few pictures:


VT History Expo


VT History Expo


VT History Expo


VT History Expo

I also short a short video:


I didn't ask what instrument that is, but after searching online, I think it's a hurdy gurdy. It was really cool- and I love the sound. It kind of sounds like bagpipes to me.

And, of course, I don't think you can have any event at the fairgrounds without showing SOME kind of livestock.


VT History Expo

That's... a lot of piglets. 

Friday

[spinning] Rainbow Romney

At the 2012 Wild and Wooly Weekend down in Proctorsville, I picked up a bag of Romney:

French Hill Farm

I was like, "All right! It's all pre-drafted for me! This will be so easy to spin!"

Well, when I went to spin it, some of the balls were different sizes/thicknesses. And the balls were a little... annoying to unwind. It was just different from how I prep fiber. Lesson learned. 

On the wheel:

Spinning a rainbow

The finished yarn is a 2-ply, roughly DK-weight.

Rainbow Romney

I wouldn't call Romney wool next-to-the-skin soft. I might crochet a little doily or something with this.

Wednesday

[misc] Watchcat

Penny calls me to the window:


Penny talking

I see this:


Mother and pup woodchuck

No Pen, you can't go outside and play with them. Sorry.

Tuesday

[knitting] Wingspan

Here's the yarn I'm using to knit a Wingspan scarf:

Wingspan yarn

The yarn is Mary Maxim Step It Up sock yarn. I wound it into a ball to check for knots. I hate knots, especially in yarns with long lengths of color because you know there's going to be a knot that ties together two drastically different colors. Well this yarn blows, I found three knots. 

Come on. Seriously. I've always thought and will always think that any yarn with any knot(s) in it should be a "second" and sold at a reduced price. That's one of the reasons that I live spinning my own yarn- NO KNOTS!


Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday



Murderface


Had an awesome weekend. The weather was amazing. I spun a pound of yarn as I watched nearly all 11 hours of Ken Burns' documentary The Civil War. We went to see the movie Prometheus (loved it!). 

Friday

[knitting] Bandana Cowl

Knit up a quick cowl for Dollar:

Bandana Cowl

This is from yarn that I spun back in 2010:

Bitsy Knits

It's superwash merino and after a warm wash in Eucalan before blocking, the yarn is so soft.


Front:

Bandana Cowl

Back:

Bandana Cowl

Boring pictures, I know, but this is a great, no-nonsense, unisex cowl. 

Thursday

[misc] Penny

My cat is wearing a sweater.


Penny

Your argument is invalid.


Wednesday

[crochet] Pretty Petals Potholders

Taking a crochet-break from the filet crochet curtain of doom, I made some Pretty Petals Potholders:

Pretty Petals Potholders


Yarn: Plymouth Earth Oceanside Organic, 3 colors- off white, sage, taupe. Not sure if this yarn is discontinued or not- I bought it at White River Yarns a few years ago. I used 2 balls of each color.

Hook: E (3.5 mm)

Pretty Petals Potholder

This is an addictive pattern that really gobbles up yarn- great for stash busting.

My mods: I crocheted a little spiral to sew into the front. I wanted to cover up the big hole. I went around in a circle, increasing evenly, crocheting into the backs of the loops, to leave a spiral texture. Then I just crocheted the small circle into the center.

I made backs, to make the potholders extra thick:

Pretty Petals Potholders

I crocheted over some bone rights to make hangers:

Pretty Petals Potholders

These are great. Nice and thick:

Pretty Petals Potholders

The colors match my kitchen backsplash perfectly. I need to find a good place in the kitchen to hang these up and display them.

Now... back to the curtain...

Tuesday

[misc] How much wood would a woodchuck chuck...



woodchuck

We have a huge woodchuck living around the house. We've been calling him Fat Bastard. We usually only seem him hustling across the yard to the rock pile once we start to come up the driveway. Turns out Fat Bastard is actually female and she had two pups. They live in the rock wall around the house. The other morning I was late to work because I couldn't stop watching Fat Bastard (yes, I'm still going to call her that) sunning herself on a rock while the two Baby Bastards (you bet I'm going to call them that) played around with one another, all rolly-polly wrestling, up on their hind legs boxing one another, pushing, biting each other's tails. It was srsly omg cute.



woodchuck

I'm not going to shoot them. "Do you have a .22?" is the most common response from people when I tell them that I have woodchucks (a whole family of them now). I don't have a garden and they don't seem to be eating the shrubbery that I've planted. They are just too cute. If and when I have a garden and if they start grazing there, I probably would get a Have-a-heart trap and simply move them somewhere else. 

The wildlife at the house is crazy. An Eastern Phoebe has made a nest under the deck. Sean was mowing the lawn a couple of weekends ago and I saw a fox bounding up the hill in the back yarn. A young deer was eating something (???) from our driveway. Last night a procession of the biggest turkeys ever went across the back yard. We need to keep a running list of all the animals we see/hear.

And moths. Last year at about this time I saw a Luna Moth on the front door. I've been looking for another but saw this one instead:



Harnessed Tiger Moth

Pretty! It's a Harnessed Tiger Moth. After looking up what kind it is online, I wish it had opened up it's wings- there's orange under there.