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