July 10, 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 3:14 am by Jenn

Today was a fiber filled day on many levels.  My sister and I headed down to Crazy For Ewe to take advantage of the sales and shop for our Secret Pal 14 spoilees.  We met Ellen the shop owner, chatted a bit and made off with lots and lots of yarn fibery goodness.  I won’t post pictures of the items I purchased for my spoilee because that might spoil the fun for her (in case she’s super sleuthy and has me figured out).  But here is a picture of what I purchased for myself.

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On the left are 3 skeins of Noro Taiyo – a cotton, silk, nylon blend that I plan to use to make Yarnplay’s Poppy sweater.  I will use black for the body with the sleeves, top and vertical stripes in the colorway shown above.  The single skein on the right was a super lucky find and almost brought me to tears!  A couple of weeks ago Heather, Zac and I went downtown to the Folklife Festival and I lost my knitting bag.  The bag contained the second skein of yarn in this colorway, the skein I had just started to knit my SECOND sock with!  I was heartbroken.  Not only was I actually going to finish the sock, but the knitting bag was a gift from my cousin Carol (sorry Carol).  I put a lost ad out on Craigslist and filled out a lost form with the Smithsonian, but no luck – no one turned in my bag.  I also had two sets of needles in that bag one not so loved, but my favorite sock needles – my Blue Sky Alpaca – $28.00 a set needles were gone.  I’m sure someone found the bag looked inside, found no money and tossed the bag in the trash.  Somewhere out there is a homeless person with a half knit sock, expensive needles and Carol’s bag.  I hope they know how to knit!

So overall it was a great afternoon.  Ellen’s shop is fabulous.  She is wonderful and knowledgeable.  The customers were warm and friendly and stopping by to knit for a while.  We’ll definitely be joining them one of these days very soon.   I actually have signed up for a class at the LaPlata store to make the Undulating Waves Scarf -  I’m making the Heather version.  I think the class will be great.  I love knitting scarves and have been wanting to try knitting with beads so this is perfect!

Just when I thought the day wouldn’t get any better, there was a knock on the door around 6pm…UPS.

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At last it was here…remember back to my post from Maryland Sheep and Wool?  The fleece we purchased and sent off to Zeilinger’s had arrived.  Heather couldn’t wait to get the box opened and if you look really close you can see the look of a fiber crazed woman in her eyes!  Seriously.

So what was in the box that weighed 11 pounds?

Right on top was what I’ve been waiting for – the combed top that we had processed from the merino fleece that we purchased at the festival.  I can’t believe we didn’t take pictures of the “before”, but here is the “after”.

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Repeat after me….Ooooo…….Ahhhhh…..ssssoffft.  It’s the most beautiful milk chocolate brown color, approximately 3 POUNDS of it.  The fleece we turned in was 8 pounds!  I’m amazed at how much grease merino contains.  The noil weighed about a pound so that’s almost 50%.  The bag there in the center is the noil, which we really aren’t quite sure what to do with…kind of reminds me of dryer lint.

Now I really need to get to work so that I can buy that wheel!

At the bottom of the bag was almost 5 pounds of newly washed fleece that Heather obtained from her friend Gregory who owns a farm and invited the Baltimore Spinner’s group up for the day in the spring to participate in sheep shearing.

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That’s one heck of a lot of wool.  Stay tuned for some yarn pictures.  Heather is participating in Tour de Fleece so I’m sure she’ll be spinning up some of both of these TONIGHT!

So there it is, a fun fiber filled day!  I’m off to knit and hit the sack early.  It’s a DaVita day for me tomorrow!

May 11, 2009

Celebrity?

Posted in Journal tagged , , at 7:10 pm by Jenn

I don’t know how I’m going to be able to stand it.  My sister has become a blog celebrity…

When we visited the Creatively Dyed booth at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Heather (my sister) remarked to Dianne (Creatively Dyed owner) that the sweater she was wearing was knit with Creatively Dyed.  Dianne looked amazed and surprised that her yarn knit up in to something so beautiful.  She asked if she could take a picture and sure enough – there’s Heather right on Dianne’s Blog.  I found it when I was surfing today.  Here’s a link to the post (Heather is in the brown Whisper Cardigan).

May 4, 2009

Wooly Wooly

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , at 12:26 am by Jenn

Yesterday my sister and I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  It was like a little slice of heaven.  It was actually very overwhelming and thankfully I told myself before I went that I would only spend the cash in my wallet and I would not use my my card for ANYTHING.

For my friends living overseas, WOW.  You all would cry (and be broke) if you saw the selection of yarn, fiber, notions, spinning wheels, needles, etc. that were available here.

The festival was held at the Howard County Fairgrounds which is a little over an hour from my parent’s house.  We arrived around 11am and headed straight for the fleece sale.  We had decided that we would buy a brown fleece and split it.  The selection was unbelievable….there were so many types of fleece to choose from – Merino, Border Leicester, Corridale, Cormo, Karakula, just to name a few (and those are the only ones I can remember right now).  Heather found one that she really liked – a grayish brown Merino weighing 7.75 pounds.  I saw one that I liked – a tri color, black, gray, brown Cormo weighing 6 pounds, and we were both intrigued by a small bag of Karakula – the hair was long with a slight curl at the ends and it was a tan/gray color.  We decided on the Merino because, well because you just can’t go wrong with Merino.

We took our new possession to the Zellinger tent, dropped it off to be processed into combed top for spinning and off we went to explore the vendors.

I’ll admit that I was totally overwhelmed just walking through the Main Exhibition tent and that wasn’t anywhere near all that there was to see – or to buy.

Of course my eyes were bigger than my wallet and my money went WAY faster than I anticipated.  I did manage to come home with $2 left in my wallet though…I won’t say how much I started with though : )

I need to take pictures of my purchases so I’ll post those in the next couple of days.  I just wanted to get this post up so that you all didn’t think I was MIA here in the US.

For all you fiber lovers out there stay tuned for that post because there will be some links to some fabulous yarns that I discovered during this festival!

March 12, 2009

Fiber Restriction

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , , , at 4:14 pm by Jenn

I’ve been a bad bad girl, and because of that I am putting myself on a fiber restriction.  What could I have done that could be so bad?  Well, today I got the bright idea to update my Ravelry profile to show all of my current yarn stash.  It’s easier to have it all entered in the computer because then when I go to enter a project I don’t have to worry about entering all the data, I can just import it…anyway, I digress.

I had NO IDEA I had that much yarn.  How did that happen?  Where did it come from?  When did it happen?  LOL.

Seriously, I can’t justify spending another dime on fiber of any type for the rest of the year.  Of course I’m going to have to figure a way out of that statement because I plan on attending the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May and I know there will be all kinds of tempation there.  Ok, that being said, the only place that I will spend money of fiber of any kind is at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  I’d also like to add this clause – I may also purchase any type of fiber in any NEW country that I may visit! : )  There, that should cover it!  : )

SO for those of you that are wondering just how bad it is…

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According to Ravelry, that’s 77+ (I still haven’t entered the stuff on top of the totes or the fleece) stashed items.  I know for a fact that there are more skeins than that because some yarns I have more than one skein.  That’s just 77 different yarns…LOL.   Again, how, where, when, why?

Now, I realize that I don’t have a leg up on some of you “stashers” out there.  And I certainly haven’t gone to this extreme.  It all fits nice and neatly into one of the closets in my bedroom.  Except for those two rubbermaid containers.  Those sit out, tacky I know but they fit nicely in the space right by the door to the room.  Besides, I’m moving soon and they be packed up anyway!

Now, I’ve got to get all that yarn put back in to the closet before Scott gets home.  He’d really have a cow if he knew just exactly how much yarn I have!  : )

How much yarn is in your stash?

February 22, 2009

Making Progress

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , , at 12:31 am by Jenn

As promised yesterday I have several pictures to post today.  First, I finished my February Challenge for the Ravelry Spindlers group.  The theme was Mardi Gras.

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This picture was my inspiration, this was my fiber, 

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this is what it looked like spun up on the spindle

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and at last, the finished yarn, all 27 yards of it in one little skein.

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I am finally making progress on my Welt and Rib Raglan, now that I’ve gotten the pattern problem sorted out.  The problem wasn’t with me, it was in fact with the pattern…the math…it just wasn’t making sense to my brain so I brainstormed with a friend and together we decided that the math was wrong.  For the two smaller sizes you either need to add or subtract six stitches from the cast on stitches to give you a number that is divisible by six….the number when divided by 2 must also be divisible by six.  For example.  I was making the 35 1/2 size.  The cast on stitches according to the pattern were 222 with the 1/2 way marker at 111.  Well 222 is divisible by 6, but 111 is not so when the 1/2 way marker was placed it was placed in the middle of a 5×1 rib which did not allow for a nice symmetrical pattern to develop down the side….in order for that to happen the marker at the 1/2 way point needs to be placed at the end of the 5 x1 rib, between a purl and knit stitch…adding or subtracting 6 stitches from the cast on allows for this.  I chose 204 stitches because the 222 just seemed to be way to big.  Anyway, if you are reading this and having problems understanding, post a comment and I’ll contact you.

Here’s my progress

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This picture shows the right side of the sweater…how it looks when you knit it.  This picture shows the wrong side of the sweater…how it looks when you wear it.  You are supposed to wear it inside out.  I think it’s going to look great.

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Scott’s back from Turkmenistan.  He spent the better part of the week there for work.  He came home with a great carpet.  Here’s a picture. 

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In other news, I FINALLY after 16 months got paid by Tricare for medical care that I had when I lived in Belarus.  I plan to use the money to buy that crude oil painting that I want.  I hope Scott feels like taking a field trip tomorrow.  I’d like to take him to the gallery and also to Samir’s carpet shop to look around and also take some pictures for Dr. Miranda.

I can’t remember if I mentioned this, but Scott and I submitted our choices for our next post so we should be hearing any time now where our next assignment will be.  We were really excited with the choices that were available and there may actually be potential employment opportunities for me with PPD.  I’m thrilled about that because PPD has a facility in Wilmington and working internationally for PPD would be a great foot in the door with the company (thinking ahead to moving stateside).

It’s getting late here so it’s off to bed for me now.  I may start Changeling tonight.  Last night I watched The Reader.  I thought it was a great story, but there was way to much unnecessary nudity, including full frontal male which I really didn’t care to see.  Anyway, it was a good story….Oscar winning ???  We’ll see tomorrow.

February 8, 2009

Another ballet and randomness

Posted in Journal tagged , , , , , , at 2:21 pm by Jenn

I have been a bad blogger lately, in part because I’ve really been trying to get this school work done (which I did today) and in part because I’ve been busy with nothing really…more randomness.

I intended to blog on Thursday evening when I got home from the ballet.  I saw Seven Beauties.  I was by far the best ballet I’ve seen here in Baku.  I’m sure I’ve been to other ballets in my lifetime, but I can’t remember any of them so I’m just going to put this out there and say that Seven Beauties is the best ballet I’ve ever seen.  I really think this is where a lot of the money from the Ballet and Opera theater goes…to this production.  The program is full color and bilingual (Azeri and English).  The costumes are magnificent, the music beautiful and the dancers are well rehearsed.  I’m hoping that I can find a video taped version of this ballet to share with my friends and family.  I know I’ll be able to find the music on CD no problem.

I wish I could find a great picture of the performance.  The pictures I took don’t do it justice.  Here’s a picture of the program cover

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this doesn’t do it justice either, but you get an idea of how colorful the costumes were. 

Friday I intended to post about my walk and the “loaded lada” that I finally took a picture of.  I got sidetracked and then we went out for the evening and so much for that.  Here’s a picture of the car, loaded down with apples.  This is a typical sighting all around Baku.  You see cars filled with various food stuffs parked in the alley, off to the side of the road, etc.  If you want what they are selling you buy it.  This guy has a regular little produce stand.  His good actually look pretty decent.  I may have to visit him for some fruits and veggies every now and then…especially since he didn’t charge me to take his picture.

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Yesterday I didn’t blog because I was playing Mousehunt and still trying to figure out this sweater snafoo!  I still don’t get it.  It seems that there is an error in the pattern in the number of stitches/placement of the second marker for the two smaller sizes.  I’ve posted to Ravelry, I’ve put a call out to my mom and sister, my friend here in Baku is helping me and still I am stumped.  I think I’m going to frog it and start over with the number of stitches that I think it should have and go from there….but before I do that I’ll be scouring cyberspace looking for any information I can on how the heck to do the 5×1 rib with increases on the Welt and Rib Raglan.  Certainly I’m not the only one who knits, blogs and is making the sweater in this size.

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