Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rocket Yarn

So i've been working on getting my shop stocked up because I have ads going live on Ravelry this coming weekend. For some reason, I ended up selling $140 worth of stuff last night. Yippeee! :) Sold all but one of my pencil rovings. Yikes! Time to get dyeing!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Handmade Movement

I came across this today and wanted to share. I spent a good while searching through the Etsy shops listed in the chart of past sneak attacks at the bottom of the page. I found quite a few things that I marked as favorites with Christmas gifts in mind. Don't know who I would give any of these to but Pinkfink has some really cute little things.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grandma Hearne

My grandma is having open-heart surgery this morning for either a triple or quadruple bypass. I am so scared for her. That has got to be a very difficult thing to recover from for someone in their 80's. At the time I am posting this she should be in surgery. It was scheduled for 7 am central time. Everyone please send good vibes and prayers towards Munster, Indiana this morning.

Love you Grandma!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Look What I Made!

Remember this?

I've only plied about half of it but I love it too much not to show it off yet. Excuse the crappy photos. My camera has gone on the fritz and only partially works and only when it wants to. Aggravating ... it's the last Sony digital camera I buy. That's two in a row that have lasted less than two years. I ordered a Canon A590 that was only $112 but gets very good reviews and supposedly takes better pictures than the Sony's I've had in the past. Watch this thing last me twice as long for less than half the price of the others. I looked into getting the Sony fixed but it was going to cost me $100 to get it fixed unless they got in there and found more wrong in which case it would cost me even more. No thanks! I'll take the brand new Canon for $112 and free shipping. I just hope it gets here soon because I have some sock knitting bags to ad to my Etsy shop. And speaking of Etsy, I have a graphic artist who is going to design some ads for me to place on Ravelry and she is working for yarn. Sweet!

In other news, The Yarn Harlot finally blogged about her trip to Jacksonville. Go check it out here. Look closely at the very first picture in the post to see yours truly. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Yarn Harlot

Last Thursday a friend and I went to see Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot speak in Jacksonville. We met up with several other knitter friends from Gainesville and Hanks. It was awesome! I honestly have not laughed that much in years. She is so freakin' funny and smart. I wish I could relay some of the things she said but I am nowhere near the story teller she is so I will not even attempt it. There was some very interesting research she shared with us about knitting and brain regeneration and stress relief. There was aslo a really funny story involving coffee and another one involving a skunk. I guess you just had to be there. When I got up to the table to get my book signed I asked her if I could take a picture of her holding my sock. She went to grab it and realized it was a monkey sock and made me say "will you touch my monkey" before she would touch it. Cracked me up! :)

The shop that hosted the event, KnitWitz, gave away a ton of goodies before Stephanie started her talk. I never win anything but this time I did! I won a gorgeous skein of Mohair in colors that I totally love. Now I just have to figure out what to knit with it.

It was a great night with some much-needed friend time filled with humor and knitting ... two of my favorite things. :)

Lorena and Sharon aka "The Hanks Ladies" ... this picture was just too darn cute not to steal from Lorena to post here. :)

Me and Glimm ... one of us trying not to smile at the camera but I can totally see it sneaking through. :)

(ETA Links)
Here are a couple more links regarding the Yarn Harlot's trip to Jax:
Article in the Florida Times-Union

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A New Way to Dye

I think I found the perfect way to dye this pencil roving. It's a little difficult to explain in words. I may write up a tutorial sometime in the future and post it here. I love the results of this new method I've come up with and can't wait to try it on some yarn. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Back to Basics ...

... of my yarn/roving dyeing philosophy that is. More on this later.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pencil Roving

Here's a sneak peek at the new fiber I've been playing with this week. This stuff is absolutely wonderful. So soft and smooshy and is really fun to dye. It's 80% merino and 20% nylon pencil roving. A supplier i've been using had a mill in Canada make this up for me. I have a ton of it too so I hope it sells well. But then again if it doesn't it just means there is more for me to play with! Win-win if you ask me. :)

Here's some more still on the drying rack. The bottom one is something new i'm trying out. You basically randomly splatter a bunch of dye on the roving. I used to think this was ugly but I've been reading a book about dyeing that has some pictures of roving dyed like this, the yarn spun from it and a sock knit with the yarn. It is freaking gorgeous! So this one is going to be my test dye-spin-knit. I'm still debating whether or not I want to add some more dye to it before I spin it.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Monkey Socks

Anyone remember those toe-up monkeys I started way back in March? Probably not the best idea to start a new project using a new method (toe-up) where I have to constantly refer to the instructions (lace pattern) while hubby and I are also starting our engineering firm. They were destined for the UFO pile from the start. Well I'm happy to say I've finally picked them back up and am cruising right along. I've turned the heel on both and now all I have to knit is the leg and cuff. I am just delighted to no end at the heel/gusset on these socks. No gusset stitches to pick up! Yippeee! I just might have to make all of my socks this way from now on as the gusset is what I usually end up having to do over several times and seriously stretches out the time it takes me to make socks.

In other knitting news, I started a twice a month craft group here in Lake City and we had our first meeting this past Sunday. There were five of us there, all knitters, and it was great. Everyone was really nice and it was fabulous to actually be sitting in Lake City of all places knitting with a group of crafty ladies. :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Alpaca Fest Pics

Fall Festival Fun

We took the boys to the 7th annual Parents United Together fall festival on Saturday. Houston had a blast and as usual, wasn't scared of anything. Brett and I are both scared of heights (unless i'm in an airplane) so we're not sure how Houston turned out this way but that boy isn't scared of anything.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Books & People ... random thoughts happen when I stay up too late

There's something i've been meaning to blog about ever since we took Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University earlier this year. One of the best things I took away from that course was this quote:

“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.” - Charlie Tremendous Jones

For some reason, this one thing pops into my head more than anything else ... especially lately. I love to read, always have, but I don't read nearly as much as I used to. Kids, business, knitting, kids, spinning, kids .... makes it difficult to keep my nose in a book, ya know? Dave Ramsey really emphasizes the need to keep your brain alive and to continue to grow by reading. He also says the best way to get ahead in your career is to keep learning all you can about what you know. Sounds funny but makes sense. Instead of learning a little about a lot, make yourself an expert by learning everything about something. I find myself in an interesting position with the business Brett and I started back in February. I've learned a lot about civil engineering over the past few years but I still haven't found my niche. I know a little about a lot but there isn't one thing that I really know a whole lot about. I was fine with that for a while but now I'm feeling the need to really dig in to something. Something that fits my interests and abilities. I feel like I finally know what path I want to take which is giving me some new found motivation. It's a good compliment to what Brett is already really good at and I think it fits the future of the country/state/economy etc. We'll see where it leads. (more on this later)

Back to that "books you read and people you meet" thing ... We also learned in Financial Peace University that millionaires read an average of one non-fiction book a month. I'm challenging myself to read one non-fiction book a month for the next year. If I can keep it up for an entire year there is a good chance I will form a lifetime habit. For September I kicked it off by re-reading "Financial Peace Revisited". I think I'm going to get back in to "7 Habits" this month. I've tried reading it a couple of times but never stuck with it for some reason, even though I did find it interesting.

I've also decided to do something about meeting more people. I pretty much spend 98% of my time at home since I live here, work here and don't have many friends close by. Doesn't do much for the meeting new people thing. Pretty much all of my call up/hang out/stop by friends are in Gainesville. Kids and gas prices have made that quite a bit less convenient these days. While I have absolutely no intention of giving up my G'ville friends, I decided to start a craft group here in Lake City so that maybe, just maybe I may be able to find some other like-minded ladies close to home. (Maybe even find a fellow Lake City transplant who doesn't therefore already have fifty plus friends in the area.) We meet later today for the first time so i'm really hoping it goes well. I've met some really great people and learned a lot by going to a mom's group and a knitting group in Gainesville. Those kinds of things don't seem to exist here in Lake City and while I have my theories as to why this is, i'll save that for another day. I decided I might as well start it up myself and see how it goes. Only time will tell ...

Link: Dave's Recommended Reading

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Absentee Blogging

You'll have to excuse the lack of blog posts of substance lately. Truth be told, I've had so much on my mind that I haven't been able to let any of it out. I keep thinking "maybe tomorrow i'll feel different and will be able to write about one of these things". Then tomorrow comes and nothing changes. I've tried to post a few times and each time all that comes out is negative babble intelligible, most likely, only to me.

There are crappy people in the world ... quite a few of them apparently. From low-life crooks who smash in car windows to greedy ones who wear expensive suits and have managed to really screw things up for the rest of us in ways we still do not understand. So what do we do? As for me, I listen to Dave Ramsey every day because he has a way of calming me. I'm rereading his books to keep motivated to live by his principles and remember that as he says "what happens in your house is more important than what happens in the white house". I knit and spin whenever I get a spare second because it calms my mind. I hug and kiss my boys each day and try to teach them to live a good life, to respect the earth and be good to people. I make time to sit and play with them each day because these really are the things that matter in life.