Friday, December 4, 2009

The Homestretch

Life has been a little bit crazy here at Purdue. I'm down to one more week of classes (woot!) 2 finals, 2 lab reports, and 2 final papers (not so woot!). And I have been sick as a dog and down for the count. It turns out I had a mono-like virus but not real mono, so I basically had a condensed version of mono that was really bad for a week and just won't leave me alone. I had a sneaking suspicion it wasn't mono (despite the three tests I had) because while I felt absolutely miserable, had raging fevers and the nastiest tonsils I've ever seen, I wasn't exhausted. I would get really tired suddenly and need a nap NOW (and am still doing this) but I wasn't overly lethargic (until I tried to write a paper or go to French class).
So that's what I've been up to. Class, homework, papers, and lots of naps. Notice how knitting wasn't in there.
But that being said, I'd like to give a big shout out to Paisley Penguin for being the blog contest winner! Yay! Your super sexy set of potholders will be arriving shortly after I finish them. And lets be honest- that might be a while.

But now, as promised, a Christmas Craft!
Okay- now go dig through your stash and find all those odds and ends of green and red (or the colors of your choice) novelty yarns. Or just plain yarn. But this is a stashbusting activity, and I absolutely forbid the use of new skeins for this project.

Got your yarns? Great! Go to Joann Fabrics, Michaels, or Hobby Lobby and get yourself a wreath frame. They're about $3, so it's not a big deal. You're also going to need a bunch of Styrofoam balls that fit this wreath frame, and enough of them to go all the way around. You will also need some good old tacky glue, about 15-20 yards of Christmas ribbons and some fairly thick wire. You might also need a third hand at this point. If you have an Adam handy, they work really well. If not, then anyone will do.

Here we go (I really wish I had pictures of all of the steps but my hands were covered in tacky glue and I really didn't want to touch my camera. Extra hand was nowhere to be found at this point in the project). Take one of your spools of holiday ribbon and wrap it around your wreath frame. It doesn't have to be perfect, it just hides the fugly wires that might peek out from behind the balls. Got your frame all wrapped in ribbon? Score. Now take a Styrofoam ball and cover it with tacky glue. Realise that you have just covered yourself in tacky glue and the ball is starting to drip. (I suggest putting down a newspaper beforehand). Call your third hand to wipe one of your hands off so that you can start to wrap your scrap yarns around this yarn ball. Keep winding until you've got what looks like a perfectly normal yarn ball with no Styrofoam showing. Cut the yarn and secure end with a dab of glue. Set to the side (very carefully!) to dry. Repeat until you've got enough balls to go all the way around the wreath. Go knit for a couple hours while they are drying out.

Take your wire (and wire cutters and pliers) and stab the ball, going all the way through a small section. Fasten the ball to the frame using the wire, hiding the wire in the ribbon that you've wrapped around the frame. Repeat until your frame is full of yarn balls. Make sure they're nice and tied down and not going anywhere as soon as you pick up the wreath. Then with the remaining holiday ribbon, loosely wrap the spaces between the yarn balls (entirely optional) to hide the rest of the pokey-out wires. Other ideas for decorations are mini-stockings, mini-sweaters, mini-whatevers with little toothpick knitting needles glued on to one of the yarn balls, or a giant bow made of all or several of the yarns used in the wreath.

Apologies for the bad picture- it was late and very dark outside.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cloudy with a chance of potholders (blog contest!)

Hello there from Purdue!

I *think* that the credit transfer thing has sorted itself out. Or the head of Study Abroad needs to give that box of chocolates back. I have faith in Nancy, and I'm sure things will work out. They have to, right?

I'm about to enter into my final month as a student! Yay! Which is great, because it means I'm down to 4 Hort labs, 12 French classes, 11 Hort Classes, 11 Black Lit classes and 8 Contemporary British Fiction and Rhetoric classes. But who's counting?

Unfortunately this does mean that I've got 2 really scary Black Lit papers, 2 much scarier BritFic papers, 2 French exams, a Hort exam, and 7 lab reports due. 4 of them on the same day- next Thursday. So I probably won't be writing very much for a little while. That, and I haven't been overly creative. I'm still stuck on potholders. One could even say it's raining potholders in here. Seriously. And every time I make a pair and check it off my Christmas list, someone else demands a set of potholders. And since they are so flippin' awesome, I've decided to give a set away! Yay! It's my 200th blog post today and everyone reading has a chance to win a set!

I know- you're so excited you could pee your pants. It happens. The rules are easy. Leave a comment below. Be sure to include a way I can get a hold of you (if I know you personally, it's not a big deal, but if you're new or don't normally comment, make sure I have an email address or Ravelry username). In your comment, say something. Say something nice. Say something funny. Say something sad that happened to you at work. Say something knitting related. Say something about your dog. Actually don't say something about your dog, it's a touchy subject right now. But say something. I will randomly select a comment and you will win this super-duper set of potholders (that I haven't finished yet). I will take any comments received before noon on Thanksgiving, or November 26th for all the Brit Knitters reading. So write something and get your super-sexy set of potholders.

These could be yours. Seriously. Dreams come true. Sometimes.
**if you are deeply offended by potholders or deeply offended by my color selection and win anyway, I understand. I will find another prize to give you.Amber, my R.A., lover of plants, small children, and rainbow potholders.

But anyhoo....some potholder pictures for you. And a sneak peak at my next project in super-delicious Alpaca With A Twist Temptation. It is one sexy yarn. Seriously.And stay tuned here at knitpurldrop! The next post will be a Christmas Craft for knitters/crocheters/muggles of all skill levels, and will use up your red and green yarn scraps! Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knitting for Peace

Or really just knitting so I don't kill somebody.
I've you've been reading for a while now, you'll know there's been a little drama about Study Abroad/Credit transfer, which I thought was over with in July when I got a letter from Purdue Study Abroad saying that my credits had been transferred successfully and I am now a candidate for December graduation. Done, right?

Of course not. Apparently just because Study Abroad approved and brought everything in doesn't mean Liberal Arts did their job (in this case, sign a single piece of paper Dr. Gupta!) and it turns out that while Study Abroad has me down as done and over with, Liberal Arts never actually accepted my credits which for me diploma in December. Apparently my transcript has been sitting on someones desk since July, needing only a signature. I contacted Liberal Arts after the Office of the Registrar notified me that I was no longer a candidate for December graduation and they said I needed to make an appointment with Dr. Gupta to have her sign the papers (do I really need to be there for that? Plus I've already gotten a letter saying that all this shit is DONE WITH!) and of course the next open appointment is....December 16. I graduate on the 19th- maybe.

So instead of breaking down and crying (which I might have done a little bit) or going postal on the Liberal Arts building (frankly I'm surprised someone else hasn't beaten me to it), I'm knitting. I'm finishing things and I'm casting things on, and it's wonderful. I finished a hat but it makes me look like a chemo patient so I'm not going to show it off, I finished a scarf for my friend Lauren's birthday (and Adam volunteered to model it- isn't he faaaabulous!) and last night at 4 am after tossing and turning and swearing at Liberal Arts, I grabbed a pair of circular needles and some Patons Classic Merino that I bought this weekend with Janet (it was on sale so it doesn't count!) and I casted on. And knitted. And purled. And knitted. And purled. And threw in some increases. And life is a little bit better today.Thank you, new red sweater. You might just be the project I've been needing for a long time now.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Look! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a blog post!

Hi everyone! Life has been a little bit crazy here at let me give you a few key updates and a few answers you might have questions about.

The last post: There is a tradition here at Purdue that is called "Breakfast Club" like the Molly Ringwald and guy in plaid shirt movie from the 80's. Pretty baller movie, so someone decided that to honor it Purdue students should dress up in costume and hit the bars at outrageously early hours (Adam and I started at 8, but most people hit the bars at 6. There's just something not right about drinking at such an hour, even if there's orange juice in your booze). Anyhoo, it was my first Breakfast Club, and it was a pretty big deal for me. It's something I always said I'd do, but didn't think I'd actually get around to it. Luckily there was a Boondock Saint there to drag me out of bed and put my Fairy Godmother crown on for me and drag me out to the bars. Glad I went- I think I might do it again in a couple weeks.

Knitting: Still not doing so hot. After cutting off all my hair, I decided that it was time for a hat (because I'm really flippin' cold now!) so I headed down to River Knits, the Lafayette knitting store and quickly fell in love with a deep red yarn from Mountain Colors, and immediately cast on for a Bucket hat. It didn't work. Then I tried making a top-down cloche/bucket hat thing that I was calling "Clucket", but that also didn't work. Since it was top-down, I was able to save some of it and am being all wild and crazy and knitting...a beanie. I know. The most boring of the hats, but I'm cold and tired of frogging. I might go nuts and put a flower or two on it. Maybe.
(sorry for the crap picture. Apparently Purdue doesn't think that dorm rooms need light. Someone should talk to them about that before someone goes blind. Or has to start wearing reading glasses their Freshman year. Too late!)

Boys: Still going strong with Adam! Yay! He's even mentioned getting me my own motorcycle helmet, which I think is a big step for biker boys. I said the only way I'd wear one is if it had Hello Kitty on it and I don't actually have to be on the bike to wear it. I'm a little terrified of motorcycles.
And...Adam met the parents! And Aunt and Uncle. And cousins. And Grandparents. And he didn't run away! He's awesome!

School/Graduation/The Hunt for Employment

School is going as well as can be expected. This semester, as you may or may not know, is my last semester here at Purdue, and I am forced to take all the classes I have put off since my freshman year here. So that means I'm taking French 4, a lab science, Literature of Black America (in which I am called a racist before I even sit down- not cool) and Contemporary British Lit and Rhetoric (actually not that bad). So I'm really over the whole student thing. And now I'm even over the whole job-hunting thing. Really! I had an interview on Monday and got a call on Friday afternoon saying I got the job! Since I plan on keeping work out of the blog, I'll just tell you that I will still be located in Indianapolis and I will be doing something knitting-related.

The Twitter Account: has been shut down. I was never really all that great about posting, and I tired of trying to think of TwitterWit, so I just gave up. I'm better about updating my facebook status, so if you're on there, feel free to add me so you can keep up with me when I'm not blogging.

It's just so weird when things start falling in to place. Three months ago I was really panicking about the whole perpetually-single thing, graduation (and the subsequent adventure into adulthood) and jobhunting. It's a great feeling when things start sorting themselves out. All that's left for me to do is finish my papers, hang out with Adam, work on my knitting mojo, and figure out how to style the back of my hair on the left side- it's tricky.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Friday, September 25, 2009

Help! There are alligators in my knitting!

Hey everyone! It's a miserably wet Friday afternoon here at Purdue, and I've spent it reading, beading and even knitting a little bit!

Adam had a test today so he came over after that go out and we worked on a couple rosaries for tomorrow night's Superhero party. He and his friend are going as the Boondock Saints, and so between Adam and myself, we came up with a couple rather awesome (and very cheap) rosaries for the party. I'll be sure to get a couple pictures of them tomorrow in full ammo, tattoos and Irish Catholic pride. I'll be going as Catwoman. Purr...

But anyhoo, then Adam left for work for the day and I decided that I wasn't quite done playing with beads, so I went down to Vons in search of a fun necklace for Catwoman to wear tomorrow night, and somehow ended up with alligators in my knitting. Six alligators in my knitting to be exact.
They're little glass alligators! Aren't they so cute! I saw them and just knew they had a future in stitch marking, so now they're mine! Love them! I also got some nubby blue beads which may end up as a future blog prize (that 200th post is rapidly approaching!)
That's about it for now- I've got to get a little Black Lit done before I go over to Adam's house to work on his costume for tomorrow (how do knitters with significant others get any knitting done? Seriously! I had to go to Starbucks for an hour yesterday and work on the orange sweater so that it would stop blogging!)

I'll post catwoman and Boondock Saints pictures after the party! Have an awesome weekend!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Have you seen Paige?

Hi everyone!

Unfinished Sweater #7 here, wondering if you've seen Paige? You see, all of us in knitting bag #2 haven't seen her in about 3 weeks, since this thing called "Adam" started. If you see her out being social, going to parties, or God forbid knitting something we don't know about, please tell her that I could really use a yoke. And sleeves. And everything else. And the ruffle scarf is making fun of me and if it could be moved to a different knitting bag, that would be great.

Unfinished Sweater #7

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I'm going to be frank: the Swine flu scares me. There's a lot of cases at Purdue, and a few cases on my floor in my dorm. So after a week of fighting a fever, aches, chills, stomach-ache, fatigue and finally a cough and a newly-runny nose, I hauled my butt out of bed and to the doctor. And for once, I'm absolutely thrilled to have a sinus infection and tonsillitis. I got tested for strep (which at first said it was positive but then they called and said the second test was negative), H1N1 (which is a scraping of the sinus cavity which hurts like a #$#)(@ since I'm still hurting from the nose surgery in June) and mono (which I won't find out about until next Wednesday, but we thought we'd check for it since I was there.) So they're calling it a sinus infection and tonsillitis and that works for me. I'm already feeling a little better than yesterday. But I'm still totally exhausted and coughing a lot. So that's what's up with me.

Oh- and I might have to have another (but smaller) nose surgery over Christmas. There is a rather large hump in my nose that developed after the surgery to fix the original hump. The PA said either the plate they put over the broken bones to keep them still has shifted or the bones have grown back. So that's going to suck, so I'm not going to think about it for 3 months.

Adam is...still around. He's really awesome and I like him more every day. I forgot how awesome it was to have a boyfriend, it's been nearly 3 years. He's even going to help me make macho mix tomorrow, and I will be sure to get some pictures. There's nothing sexier than a man cooking in my opinion.

And I am...still not knitting. I worked on the orange cabled hoodie for a while in the doctor's office but ended up falling asleep waiting for the test results, so I only got a couple inches done on the hood. So I'm going to talk to you about my plants.
My Wandering Jew "Sparkleplant" is still alive! Yay! Not only have I succeeded in keeping it alive, it's also grown nearly 5 inches since I got it 3 weeks ago. Gotta love that Miracle Grow.
I gave my pepper plants some Miracle Grow too, and now they think it's time to start actually making some peppers! I still think the plant is entirely too small to start devoting all its energy into growing veggies, so I'm going to pinch the flowers off today to help the plant get a little bushier before it starts growing foods. It's such an itty-bitty plant! (3-inch heel included for scale) That's about it. I've got to crank out a few more pairs of potholders and hopefully finish a ruffle scarf fairly soon...too many October birthdays!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hamlet & Neon Paints 4-evah!

So when my knitting mojo dissapears, my other artsy mojoes surface and demand a little attention. And right now my pottery-painting mojo and I are having disagreements on how much studio time is too much studio time. Especially since it's not one of my fortes. And it's a lot cheaper to just knit. So yesterday the pottery place called and said Ben and my stuff was ready to be picked up, so today he and I had an adventure to Starbucks to talk about stuff (his student teaching, my new boytoy- oh, it's facebook-legit now btw and ftw!, the pregnant girl at Harry's last week and silly thinks like that) Then we hit up the pottery place to pick up our masterpieces. I didn't have my camera with me so I didn't get a picture of his mug, but it turned out really cool. He did a geometric pattern in earthy colours, which I love. I finished a plate (pictured below) and did a bowl (not feature below because they chipped it when they brought it out of the kiln and I need to go back and fix it and re-fire it). But here is one of the first things that has pretty much turned out like I wanted it to.
The picture isn't great- because let's face it, if something is really shiny, it probably doesn't photograph well. It's a speckled royal blue plate with my favourite Hamlet quote, "and this above all- to thine own self be true" and then all the empty space filled in with paisleys in all my favourite colours. Love it! I even did a little paisley on the bottom (it was my tester-paisley).

My bowl that got chipped was pink with polka-dots and another favourite Shakespeare quote, "Love is a madness" which Rosalind said in As You Like It. But that bowl needs help before it can make it on to the blog.

And in efforts to get myself doing stringy things again, I will be doing a 200th post giveaway fairly soon (this one is 192 I think). I'll probably do a set of potholders, but who knows! I could do something crazy like a knitting uterus or a small triangular shawl at the last minute! Want to get it on that? Comment. Say something funny. Say something dorky. Say something about your dog or your pets or your boyfriend. You can even say something about the blog- I don't really care! But heads up- there will be a giveaway soon to celebrate my 200th postiversary. I'll let you know when you need to start dropping comments in order to win yourself a super sexy set of potholders. Oh yeah...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Potholder tutorial

Hey there readers! I've got two pieces of big news: 1- I am finally going to do the much requested potholder tutorial, and 2- I met someone.

Let's start with #2, because that's more exciting for me. (I think we're far enough in that me talking about it isn't going to jinx it) His name is Adam, he's pretty much my age (so he's not the ogre-man from Granite City or the Cougar-bait from Swing Dance). Met him at Swing Dance and have hung out with him every night since Tuesday. It was so weird, just this instant connection and boom! It's great. Now I'm OCD checking my phone for texts (and they're actually there!) and last night I met some of his friends at his place, which wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be. I did break the ice with my killer-mojitos, but that's beside the point. Good guy, nice friends, and he's actually really cute. And sweet. And most importantly: he likes me back.
So: potholder tutorial. I appologize for the bad pictures, I just didn't really feel like taking my potholder of various stages of progress on a photo-shoot around campus. So you get my big fluffy blanket as a backdrop.

1. Get yourself some yarn. A 2 oz ball of dishcloth cotton will get you one big potholder, a 3 oz ball of dishcloth cotton will get you 2 smaller but totally functional set of 2. Which means they match. And I hear thats important for some people. You'll also need a crochet hook. When working with a rougher yarn like dishcloth cotton, I prefer working with metal hooks, the plastic ones break too easily. The hook I'm using is an I/9, 5.5 mm hook, but you might want to go smaller if you crochet loosely.
2. Chain 33-35, or desired length. Keep in mind that the chain will be across the diagonal and you potholder will not be enormous. I promise.
3. Single crochet into the second loop from the last chain. Single crochet your way across the top of the chain row, putting 3 single crochet stitches in to the last chain of the row. This will give you a nice round turn and set you up to crochet across the bottom of the chain row. These potholders are worked in the round.
4. Single crochet back across the bottom, doing 3 sc stitches in the last chain and then very tightly doing another single crochet or a slip stich to join up in to the round.
5. Single crochet in the round (don't do anything fancy, it's seriously just sc). Eventually you'll get a floppy pouch that looks something like this:
6. Fold your potholder so that it sort of looks like a wonton. When your sides touch, it's time to single crochet to what will soon be the new corner, and then add a couple more inches of very tight chain stitch for your loop.
7. After you've made your loop, it's time to do the tricky part: take the single crochet stitches on both sides of the loop and slip stitch them together very tightly. Keep single crocheting the opposite stitches together. It should look like this after a little while:
8. When you're all out of opposite stitches to slip stitch together, pull your yarn through and tie a nice little knot. Then cut your yarn a few inches out and then hide on the inside of the potholder with your crochet hook.9. Rinse and repeat. We've got a drawer full of these at home and my relatives routinely steal them when they come over. So for everyones X-mas presents, they're all getting potholders. So stop stealing mine!If you have any questions about the process of the potholders, let me know via the comments below the blog or emailing me at, and I'll do my best to help you out. I'd also love to see your finished pictures! That sort of thing always makes my day!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Most of you have probably been able to tell that I've just not been up to par with my usual creative self. I have been in a most terrible creative slump of epic proportions, which has started taking over other aspects of my life, like my creative writing, baking, beading, and sometimes even getting out of bed. So I am diagnosing my slump as a general panic slump. I believe that this so called panic slump has been brought on by a variety of crazy things all happening at once. Things I am holding responsible for the slump:

Leaving England
Nose/Sinus surgery
December Graduation Anxiety
Yarn Shop Failure
Inability to find work for after graduation
Too many knitting projects
Horticulture failures
Being called "snotty" by one of the knitters in my group (she's totally mean and it really shouldn't bother me, but it is bothering me- and way more than it should)
Back to School for the last time
Seeing all my friends getting married/have awesome relationships
Loneliness and doglessness

I've been moping around for months, knitting a bit, ripping it back, painting a bit, throwing it away, beading a bit, never putting the clasps on, and sleeping a lot. So now that I have decided just what you are, slump, I am kicking you out. I am taking my life and creativity back, one project at a time. It's so much easier to fight an enemy that you know than an enemy that brings you down namelessly.

Here's my first happy project in months, the color-me-happy socks.
They are plain, they are boring, but darn it, they're working. Yarn is Regia, Kaffe Fasset colourway. 68 stitches around on size 1 needles. Since this picture I've knitted the heel flap, turned the heel and finished the gusset.

And here's some nummy handspun that I made while thinking things through. It is Verona on Ravelry, about 120 yards/4 oz of BFL/Mohair/copper glitz. I kinda love it. This picture is seriously my wallpaper on my computer right now, and that makes me happy. Everyone needs a little orange handspun in their life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

There's a Wandering Jew in my room!

So if you are one of the people that keep up with me on facebook, you already know that I'm back at Purdue, moved in and on day two of classes. So far I have a scary Black Lit. teacher, an English Lit teacher who thinks he's Ryan Seacrest, a French teacher from Ghana who has already assigned a TON of homework, and a really awesome horticulture teacher. And a new plant that I have to take care of this semester. The plant is called a "Wandering Jew" but in order to be more politically correct (as if it's ever bothered me before) I'm going to rename it to Sparkleplant, because it's green and purple and kind of sparkly. The sparkles didn't show up very well in the pictures, but its a very pretty plant, and I've already promised clippings to a few people when it grows up and I won't get points taken off for snippets. (Ipod included for scale. Plus the plant is a rock star)

So that's about it. I've started a new hoodie in hopes of getting the mojo back (so far so good!) and a green hat for Ben friend whose birthday is on the 28th. That's all on the knitting front. I need to go to Wallyworld for plant foods now- back later!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Is it hot in here?

There's alot of Darling family traditions, like sabotaging the yards of those on vacation, going along with G-pa's unhealthy sheep obsession, overeating at every single family event, and finally- Macho Mix.

Macho Mix started with my G-pa Darling, who is an amazing gardener. But after the first frost hits and kills all your plants, there's not alot to do but pick everything, ready or not. So he started Macho Mix, which takes the hottest peppers you can find (like these Haberinos and Jalapenos) and throwing just about everything else leftover in the garden (brocolli, cauliflower, radishes, green tomatoes, mild peppers, and then some stuff from the kitchen like boiled eggs and Smoky Links sausages) throwing them all in a giant jar with these smokin' hot peppers, adding tons of herbs and spices, and pickling the whole lot.
After a few days, that innocent little carrot is nasty enough to burn your eyebrows off.
***the only rule when it comes to eating Macho Mix is that you need to wash your hands before and after using the bathroom.

I totally spaced taking a picture of the finished Macho Mix, so tomorrow night at a party (where the Macho Mix is going) I will try to get not only a picture of the masterpiece that is Macho Mix, but of the sorry faces of those stupid enough to eat it.

Oh- and I spun some yarn too. (Pink Shetland seen on Fiber Safari and White Thrummed Wool from Corydon Fiber Festival, 2006- gifted to Tammany)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fiber Safari

Just another normal day here at Paige's house. I fed the catfish (Jethrow and his friends) leftover Angelfood cake, threw rocks at the snakes trying to eat the Angelfood cake, found the cat finishing off the Angelfood cake, and then fished a grasshopper out of my bathtub. I have no idea how that grasshopper got in the second-floor bathtub, but I hope I never see him again. At least I hope I never see him again in the bathtub.

I also went on an exotic fiber safari! Which of course means I took pictures of the roving I got at the State Fair, round 2, and the potholder I finished during the Clydesdale judging. Since I took this picture of the potholder in the wild, I finished the matching potholder which means...I have officially started my Christmas Crafting (not just Christmas knitting since these beasts are crocheted).

So here we are, the Fiber Safari (I'm sure I could market that. Take the doors off my Jeep, throw in some harnesses and drive people around to look at feral hanks and skeins. I know...I have lost the touch.)

(In a Steve Irwin accent)
Right mates, coming up on your left, we've got a rare species indeed. This is one of the most rare plants in the American Midwest, and it's called the "dishcloth cotton potholder bush". It grows perfectly formed potholders, but they're hidden behind poisonous purple flowers that bite and have huge fangs! Large price to pay for a potholder, mate.
Glad we got out of Potholder territory. Unfortunately, we've moved on to the Wild Roving Hills. There are some truly fierce beasts out this way, including the Sticky Orange Border Leicester Bushes and the Shetland trees. Let's be real quiet and hopefully we can sneak up on one...
Crikey! That was gorgeous! Have you ever seen such a brilliant orange? Don't let that soft look fool yah! She's absolutely lethal! That venom will have you dead in ten minutes!

All right, now I'm going to remind everyone to keep your hands, feet, and small children inside the vehicle, stay quiet and not to make any sudden movements. We're coming up on the Shetland River now, and there's more than just poisonous snakes here. Now if you look very carefully -ah- I said no sudden movements!- on the right, you'll see a perfect specimen of a raspberry Shetland roving.

That was a close one. One of me mates on the earlier tour said that there was a bright green Wild Shetland hiding out in the Kromski caves, just about a mile and a half from here. The bright green Wild Shetlands are by far the most dangerous of all of the Shetland breeds. Not only have they got a constrictor-grip that will suffocate you before you can reach for your drop spindle, but they've got a bacteria in their staples that will melt your fingers before you are even able to ply.Scary, huh?

Friday, August 14, 2009

yarn diet FAIL

I was doing so well with my yarn diet until Mandie Tweeted me from Sock Summit last week and asked if I wanted anything from Sock Summit. Der! Yes! So after an hour or so of panicky tweets and texts when twitter was down, I finally told her that I liked green. And purple. And NOT yellow. And the rest was up to her. She didn't let me down. She got me two Socks that Rock mill ends of special Sock Summit colorways, and they really do ROCK!And I finally got to the State Fair on Tuesday where I got to see my ribbons (got a blue ribbon-first place for Sheree's wedding shawl, and a pink ribbon-fourth place for my Lizard Ridge crazy blanket). While I was there I checked out the sheep barn and the wool room, and somehow a small bag of fiber found its way in to my bag. I didn't even have time to take a picture before I started spinning it, and one movie later, BOOM! Plied yarn. It went so fast, I just can't seem to remember why I only got 4 ounces. I really like the plied yarn (wasn't crazy about the singles) it's Tunis wool, mohair, and copper sparkly things. Whaddya think?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Flashin' my stash

So it's that time of the year again, the corn is taller than I am, the cat starts shedding more than normal, college kids start packing up to head back to school (for the last time, for me! hurrah!) and I start checking my stash to see what I need (and really don't need) before the Indiana State Fair.

For those of you who have never seen the hillbilly side of me, rest assured- I have one. I've been to the fairgrounds twice in the past few weeks dropping things off to be judged. This year I'm entering two photographs, Sheree's wedding shawl, the Lizard Ridge, and a skein of handspun, which is not on Ravelry as it is at the fairgrounds. It was certainly need a Shakespearian name when it gets back though, and I'm thinking Juliet because I love it so.

Back to the stash. Where they show the sheep (most creatively called "the sheep barn") they have a little store off to the side where you can buy all sorts of sheepy products, like soaps made from sheep's milk and hand knitted things and now, roving. I tend to go a little overboard with the roving every year and end up hauling a garbage bag full of wool around the fair on a 95-degree August day. So this year I brought out the stash of fiber and spread it all out just so I know what I don't need to buy.
Apparently, I don't need to buy anything. But stay tuned for what I buy anyway.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Handspun = Happy

I've been in a bit of a slump with all things crafty lately. Those of you who attended the McAllisters SnB on Thursday know that the slump was bad enough for me to throw my lace on Janet's potato. (I really didn't mean for it to land on your potato, I merely found the best way to show my aggrivation with it's bull$%*& chart was to throw it. The potato was merely an innocent bystander)

You see, I haven't had a single row of knitting go right in nearly 2 weeks, and it's got me all sorts of messed up. I'm losing motivation to do other things, like leave the house and dry my hair. It's bad.

So I'm spinning. I'm taking a brown laceweight llama break and decided to bust in to the light green wool/mohair/sparkles that's been flirting with me since I got home in June. And a couple days later, I've got my first few ounces of it spun, plied, and turned in to a beautiful yarncake. I was so happy with it, I decided to take its picture immediately. Since the sun was in the right place and the cat was nowhere to be found (and Mercury and Venus are alligned and the arrangement of cars in my driveway is ideal, etc.) I decided to go back up to my handspun stash (which I have been trying to pawn off on people- it's not working) and take pictures of some of my favorites and then give them Shakespearian names on Ravelry. Here's a few of my favorite pictures, the rest can be found in my stash on Ravelry.
Cymbeline: Wool, mohair & sparkles
top: Benvolio, cotton thread spun six strands at a time, then plied. bottom: Puck, merino plied with contrasting threads
top: Balthazar, merino from Lucy (Bearium on Ravelry) bottom: Queen Mab, merino from Crafty Monkeys
Prospero: angora blend, batt from Fuzzarelli Fibers