Monday, September 25, 2006

Happy Blog iversary

It has been one year today I have been blogging. In that year I have found that there are many blogs of many types and what I set out for this one to be has evolved into something else. It’s not as fancy or as funny as some blogs, not as educational or as personal as others. But it is at one time or another all of that.

I signed up for a hit counter and know that there are only a few people who read my blog, and I find that I’m actually ok with this. I have one consistent commenter (thanks Minnie) and a few friends and relatives now and then. I accept that I live in a small world. It does give me more time for crafts so I don’t complain.

I read a lot of other blogs. Local and not so local. Foreign and domestic. I’ve laughed and I’ve cried, and
I’ve learned from them all. I hope my readers have had at least one good laugh and learned something.
I can’t say my writing has gotten better, but I have become more conscience of it. I guess this means I’ve gotten something from it too. What a good idea it was.

And now the beat goes on. Drums Please!

This last two weeks have been a little busy; you all know I’m an accountant for the government so we’re “closing our books “for the year this month. So let me catch you up.

Thursday 14th at my LYS we had an incident. I won’t go into detail but the LYS acted in bad form. Most of my friends are holding another meeting somewhere else because of it. I am upset but undecided about moving with them. This past Thursday went with out incident..

I went Friday to buy a real cage for Miss Riley, and wound up coming home with dog food, a cage, and a male Jersey wooly. (Don’t ask, I’m really not sure. Some thing about free, and then came a box, and before I knew it there were two.) J looked at me and said “I told you when you got that first one that there would be more. Now Miss Riley will be 6 months old next month and she is already chomping at the bit to get to that buck. Unfortunately he’s not good breeding material so he won’t be doing anything with her. Well here is a photo of our newest member…Scotch (butter, hop, or fifth -of I haven’t decided yet)

On the spinning wheel my latest skein of yarn is a 3 ply yarn. 2 of Border Leicester and one of grey Angora. I have not yet replaced my ball winder and thoroughly suck at winding skeins. The B/L was spun on my drop spindle so it is fine and a little tight on the spin. The Angora was spun on my Schacht wheel and is actually blended with wool as well, but only maybe 25%. Together the yarn is still firm, but when knitted up the halo will bloom and give it a softer feel.

I’m now working on some raspberry tussah silk from TARA and a better version of my rocky road ice cream yarn. I also have some of the red (?) Ashland bay top going. I may ply it with the silk to see what I get.

Lastly I have an itty bitty drop spindle I use just for Miss Riley’s combings and now that she’s ready to be plucked, I’m gonna be spinning great quantities of that. I have some un-dyed tussah to ply with that when there is enough.

Now on the knitting front- I finished the shawl by not adding the green border, and knit up a pair of blue wool mittens for my 8 yr old. They need thumbs and a promise not to grow out of them before she gets them. My dad’s grey alpaca scarf is next, IF I don’t start the buckskin shawl first. (yes that’s for me too. I am getting greedy!) Business has been booming, I have another knit job, and this one is a little more complex. I’ve had jobs on seaming, weaving in ends, and blocking. This one will be a re-knit…..on mohair.

Wish me luck, I think I’ve got a job for the deep freeze.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Today is my one year blog anniversary, and I wrote a post for you at work and sent it home but it didn't get here in time so I'll put it in tomorrow.
Tune in next week for the exciting continuing adventures of Snarled Yarns!
Holy twisted fiber Blogman

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

All in a days knit

I finally finished the main body of the shawl. I wove in all the ends and now need to do some sewing on one spot and figure out what kind of border I want to add. I even fixed the mistake at the beginning. Before I bound off this monster I counted the stitches, there were 330 stitches and to think I started off with 12. I did a little research on bindoffs because my standard one is always too tight. I know about the bind off with a larger needle thing but I didn't want to do that. This shawl needed something different. So I performed what's called a Russian bind off.
Please ignore the junk in the background.
In this method, you knit(or purl) 2 together. Then you take the resulting stitch, put it back on your other needle, and perform another knit two together with it and the next stitch. It goes fast, and uses a lot of yarn so if you do your math you won't run out. I have to say I was mightily pleased with the results. You can't feel the bound off edge and you can't see it either. It stretches just as much as the rest of the fabric. I'll probably never use the standard bind off again.

Now I have a few things left to do and some questions to answer... Block it first or last? Knit the border separate and sew on? Pick up stitches and knit it on? What kind of border? Any suggestions here will be great, I'm just so darn happy I'm done with this stage.

Have you noticed the new link on the right hand side? Yep, it goes to the yarn store of mine. Still haven't got all the stuff set up but aren't the photo's wonderful? I better hurry up cause those are going in the guild show and I will be tagging them as soon as they arrive in the mail. I may be investing in a label maker this year. J is already like "duh!" Then I can make proper ball bands. I also need to run into town and get a new winder.
Well gotta run and do some net surfing. I may wind up selling this shawl after all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

W.T. F.! Its all for sale

Now I don't usually curse on the blog, but truly WTF? I am having such a problem finding a good mill. One that is more predictable than the 3 I've dealt with so far. The latest mill, charged me 2.50 per lb for washing , then charged me another 6.00 per lb for picking/carding. Then I got hit with an 8.00 shipping fee for priority shipping. Standard shipping would have been fine, cost me less, and took a little longer, but I had no choice.
So for 4.5 lbs of wool I had a bill of 45.85.
Now for a Merchant all that cost goes into the selling price plus the purchase price of the fleece.(which I can't find right now but lets say it was 2.00 per lb) so now I have 10.00 in purchase price and 45.85 in processing(yes you HAVE to include shipping)making 55.85 for 4.5 lbs of wool. That averages out to ~ 12.41 per lb which is .77 cents an oz. Selling it at 1.00 per oz would net me .23 per oz profit and 3.68 per lb. W.T.H.?
Now If I spin it and charge 5.00 for an 1.5 oz ball of yarn(like many yarn stores do) when it only takes me an hour to spin 1.5 oz How much money would I be making?
NONE! And I'll tell you why..
You can't put a price on your time, and no one would pay 5.00 for 1.5 oz of plain handspun wool, when they could buy it cheaper somewhere else.
But for all you who would disagree with me I'll tell you what I do: I add 1.00 per oz/hour spin time for wool and 1.50 for harder fibers that have no wool in them. I add 75 cents if I dyed it. That plus the cost of the raw materials is the cost of my yarns.
Really my aim is to move it, not make a fortune off of it.
So if you see anything on the blog you want to buy, e mail me.
I'm gonna go give that new fiber a whirl,

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The bunny is running my life

First a little song...
This is the shawl that never ends, it just goes on and on my friend, This lady started knitting it not knowing what it was and she'll continue knitting it forever just because..(continue ad nauseum)
Thank you Lambchop!

Ok on to the bunny. Riley, my 7 month old Jersey woolly doe, has decided that she runs my life. Have you ever got the attitude look from a rabbit? Well I tell you what, it looks much the same as on a human. She stands up on her hind paws and cocks her head at me in a way that says, " I know you didn't just walk away from me without feeding me!" Then when I did feed her she snatched it out of my hand! Another time when I was late with her supper she decided that it wasn't enough. I had to pick her up and give her cuddles before she would eat. Her very first temper tantrum was at 1 am when she kicked her (empty) water bottle off the cage and across the floor. There's a wake up I tell you. So I go to J and tell him the bunny is running my life. He says "that's what happens when you let a female in!" I laughed then, now it's got me thinking....

So there is a little blurb for you. That and I found that ball of merino cashmere at mangelsons for 4.99...Yeah still doing the happy happy joy joy dance on that one. I also managed to spin up that ball I was short for my August inventory. A 1 oz ball of corridale and pygora. Now what will I do for Sept? I tryed out some black longwool/pink mohair mix That I bought at the Iowa sheep and wool and was disapointed. Not enough pink mohair. I've got some grey angora I bought a while ago on the Schacht bobbin and some of the Ashland Bay top as well. I have the last of the white Border Liecester on my drop spindle but no yarn winder to ball it off for plying. ( I did learn how to use a Nostepinn this morning.) I have 2 empty drop spindles and my suffolk cross fleece on the way back from the mill. Incidently that is where the Corridale/Pygora came from. I still have the alpaca wool I could spin up(fat and chunky!)

Yesterday was my birthday by the way, my kids got me a card and J and his sister got me 2 Terry Pratchett books. They treated me out to lunch and I was glad all day. 32 is not the end of the world. (just keep saying that) I have a resolution for my new year..I am going to stop talking about the men in my life. I'm just tired of it. Really!
Now that I'm in the Guard I'm gonna have a lot more on my mind.

Friday, September 01, 2006

More fun than a barrel seat foot massage

Hu-rah! I joined the Army national Guard this week, and am feeling VERY motivated. Just wait, first training is next weekend and I'm gonna be crying!
Tomorrow is my birthday I will be....NONE of anyone's business! just a year older and closer to perfection.
Thursday night was a great knit meet at the LYS. I am still not done with the shawl, cause that ball of yarn just won't quit! What's up with that? I have so many stitches now they're falling off the needles.
Deawn is so my new muse. Minnie is so cool, and the LYS pulled out sock yarn from Trekking (I think that's spelled right)
Today I was off from work and went to Mangelsons. I found a ball of White merino cashmere blend yarn. 87 yds 50 grams (recommended size 8 needle) for 4.99. I had to have it. I have so little cashmere in my stash. All I need now is buffalo and some of the new "man made" fibers like soy silk, seacil, Tensel...You get the jist.
After I failed at napping this afternoon, I took my 13 yr old to the state fair. We had a blast for 2 people who didn't do much. rode 1 ride, played 1 game, went to the petting zoo, rode a camel, fed the animals, ate ice cream and hot dogs. Once again it was a blast. I will ask, is it NORMAL to stick stuff on a stick and sell it? I'm talking alligator, shrimp beef ,pork, chicken, peaches, twinkies, and snickers! Where does it end?

And to top the week all off, Our Vice president, Dick Cheney came to my building this week to promote his man Fortenberry. We were so so thrilled we stayed at our desk and continued to work. He He.
Can you tell where My allegiance lies?

Oh and My teen/dogs broke my brand new ball winder so now I have to buy a new one. On top of registering the car and paying some back boarding fees.
Overtime here I come.