Monday, March 17, 2008

Dogs, Hogeye, Spinning Yarns & Sushi!

As you can probably tell from the title of this post, last weekend was darn near perfect.

As weekends tend to do, it all commenced Friday evenin
g. Both of my dogs passed their beginning obedience class test at Tulsa Dog Training Club, so of course (of course!) there was a graduation ceremony. There were handmade mortar boards for the occasion, various demonstrations of dog obedience and cookies for dogs and humans. There were probably 100 dogs there--what a hoot!!

Since Alex is home on spring break I required him to attend to take pictures. Hubby had to go too to handle one of the dogs. Obedience graduatio
n or not, my attempts to handle 145 pounds of dog split between 2 leashes is alway a disaster. Alex reluctantly participated and entertained himself by taking only 150 photos, just half of which were mom-shots. (those are the horribly unflattering ones your kids take of you at the worst possible angle). Anyway, I told Alex that dog graduation was merely the initial phase of my week-long plan to subject him to maximum parental dorkiness. I figure that will encourage him to do well in school and become gainfully employed so as never to be tempted to live with us again. (I do like having him here, but . . . )
Anyway, here I am with graduate, Chai.

And the black guy is the very charming Bentley.

Saturday I blew off the usual house cleaning chores in favor of attending the Tulsa Handspinners Guild meeting. They are interesting folks with interesting information to share. !!Bad pun ALERT!! No point in re-inventing the wheel. ARGHHHHHH.

Saturday afternoon knit nite Emma her mother and knit nite Eric all came over to try out my spinning wheel. By the end of the day Emma had procured a used Kiwi (wheel, not fruit or bird). My contribution can hardly count as fiber enabling since Emma arrived at my house with that wild-eyed I'm-gonna-get-me-a-wheel look about her.

And, speaking of spinning I've plied this Colonial top.

AND, I'm making the so-called scarf from my handpun Corriedale in the mermaids tail colorway. I got 180 yards of 2 ply at 9-10 wraps per inch from 5 ounces (141.75 gm) of fiber. So, it's heavy worsted/aran weight. And my first knit from any handspun.

Sunday found us up at 4am to get loaded up for a (drum roll) bike race. Alex and 2 of his buddies decided to go to the Hell's Kitchen race in ('nother drum roll) Hogeye, Arkansas.
In keeping with the spring break onslaught of dorkiness, his Dad and I both insisted on going. Besides, one should never miss an opportunity to visit

Last year in this particular race Alex was super-fit and expected to finish in the top 3, if not win the race. BUT, he went waaay too hard, ate too little, blew up, bonked and finished dead last. Actually, not last--he was 19th, but it felt like last place because he expected to win. This year the field was bigger, he's not training as much and honestly expected to spend the day as pack filler (that's an unflattering term for guys who race, but have no hope of ever winning or placing). BUT, he felt good, rode a smart race and came in 5th. So much for expectations, the power of positive thinking and all that. I'm sure there's a lesson here, but I can't quite put my finger on what it's supposed to be.

This was pal Connor's first bike race (he's a runner who did a personal best 5K time of 16:11 on Saturday, beating his previous record by 31 seconds! Go Connor). This was pal Will's 4th race. They both finished in the top 15 of their category.

Alex, Will, and Connor.

AND NOW, the moment you've been waiting for
(I know it's supposed to be: "the moment for which you've been waiting" but that sounds stupid, even to me)


The volcano roll at Fuji

Don't remember what's in it, don't care--go get one.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Sheep (and goat) Shearing

On Sunday Kate of Lowder Farms in Kelleyville invited folks out to watch the sheep being sheared. I went.

It was cool to see the vast differences between the fibers from the various types of sheep. I took a whole roll of B&W film and a few digital shots (with my new camera). Here are some photos of an angora goat being sheared.

And here is sheared mama goat with baby.

My husband was sure I'd come home with a big bag of sheep poop and straw to try to spin. I only managed to get 12 oz of ramboulet (sp?) roving and a couple of skeins of local alpaca yarn. He was surprised, this is the first time in recent memory I've exercised any restraint at all.

Horse Trading 101

It all started when I sold some camera equipment to get a spinning wheel. . .

Then, I let my daughter take the little point-and-shoot digital I'd been using to college, 'cause she dropped her camera--again and really did ruin it this time. Then, I decided the old digital SLR camera I had was too clunky and slow for the action shots I like to take (of what? yarn? ) so, I put my old Canon on e-bay thinking I'd use the money to get a more compact zoom-lens digital. BUT, I read some camera reviews that convinced me I'd really hate to give up the control an SLR offers ('cause ya need a LOT of control to photograph yarn). AND, while I was prowling on e-bay, I just happened to find ANOTHER spinning wheel that might be cool to have to use for plying, 'cause it had really big bobbins. And the whole spinning wheel (mailed from the Netherlands) would cost just a little more than the jumbo flyer I'd like to have for plying. PLUS, changing flyers looks like a big pain in the butt, 'cause you have to unscrew stuff. (I don't mind screwing so much, but unscrewing--no thank you). Can you see where I'm headed here?

EXACTLY! When the fiber all settled somehow there is a new Ashford Traditional spinning wheel (and assorted fibers) in the family room, a Pentax K10D camera (and assorted memory cards and stuff) nearby, and a goofy-looking old spinning wheel (now named Ricky Warpington because he is rickety and a little warped) (and even more assorted fibers) in the craft room. Did selling stuff really pay for all the new stuff? Are you kidding? Can you put a price on fun?

Anyway, here's what I've spun so far:
It took a WHOLE pound of fiber to get this 150 feet of plied yarn, but I did it!

The blue-green stuff on Ricky's flyer is plied corriedale. I bought the dyed roving on Etsy, it's called mermaid tail--a lot more green than the picture appears.

Here is my Ashford with a bobbin almost full of colonial top in the spiced cider colorway (do you call dyed roving a colorway?), I got the roving from Meilke (sp?) an on-line store. The Ashford is named Gladys, after my grandmother who never wanted any of us to have her name because kids called her "happy-ass" when she was a kid--you get it glad/happy . . . . Since I was the first grandchild, I'm especially glad and happy that Grandma's name wasn't shared.

My Tattoo

My Tattoo
A bike chain tattoo, that is It's chain lube ya know