More food! Also, dyeing and hiking

Man, I’ve got to do something about these jungle animals in the blog’s banner. I like tigers and turtles and fish as much as anyone, but every time I click on the blog I think I’m at the zoo.

Anyway, my dad just left. Yesterday was pretty fun, we went to the Farmer’s Market at the square in Mount Vernon. It’s such a cute little Farmer’s Market, and the selection of food they had available for so early in the season was pretty impressive. It’s also nice that they have a couple of different people selling organic, grass fed meats there, too. I’m trying to cut back on eating meat, and when I do have it, I’d much prefer that we get it from somewhere local or Whole Foods, just so we kind of have an idea of what we’re getting.

Travis and Dad dyed some yarn later on in the morning. I told Dad if he dyed yarn, I would knit him socks out of it. Dad’s came out completely different than what we had expected. He poured on yellow in the middle, and then a really nice leafy green, and then a reddish color. But after he blended it, it came out orange. A really beautiful rusty, autumny orange, with hints of green here and there. But more about the yarn later.

We went over to the Kenyon College Environmental Center in the afternoon and wound up taking a spontaneous hike. It was one of those things where we had no fluids with us, the temp was about 85 degrees, and none of us were wearing appropriate footwear. Good times! The trail went up a big hill and then through a little pine forest at the top. We’re not sure where the trail went after that, so we just came back down a different way. Here’s a picture of Dad trying to take a picture of me pointing to the map (we were at trail point #5 on the self-guided hike, I believe).


This was at the scenic overlook near the top of the hill.

When we got back to the bottom, we wandered around the gardens they have for a while. A lot of really pretty flowers are starting to bloom.


Here’s a butterfly!


When we got back to the house, I spent a little time blinging out the drop spindle I got from the Yarn Shop yesterday.


Now it kind of looks like a scepter. Weirdly, when the spindle spins, you can’t even see the dark blue bling at all. I had to add the light blue bling so that I could tell something was there. I may go ahead and order some lime green and silver bling to add to it. I have both of those colors, but in a slightly different bling form, and they’re a lot more difficult to apply. So far, adding the bling hasn’t affected the weight or balance of the spindle yet, so that’s a good thing.

I washed out the bamboo/merino Yarn Love handspun and also washed the hand-dyed yarn that Dad did. The YL handspun doesn’t seem to have fluffed up at all with blocking, which is fine. I’m still thinking maybe I’ll knit a shrug with it, but I think I just need to look at it some more before I decide what I’m going to do.

Here’s Dad’s yarn, and the beginning of his sock. It came out really gorgeous:


And here’s Travis’ yarn after he overdyed it. It’s stunning, too:


Last night for dinner we had a meal without meat, which was refreshing after hiking up the hill. I think everything came from the Farmer’s Market except for the red bell pepper and the fresh mozzarella, both of which came from Whole Foods. The Farmer’s Market had kohlrabi! I love kohlrabi!


Oh, I also finished up Travis’ socks from his first hand dyed yarn last night, too.


So I don’t want to hear any more shit about how Travis doesn’t ever get socks that match. 🙂

Dad left a little bit ago to go back home, but not before he had to publicly humiliate Bela a little bit.


Poor Wee Bay. Anyway, we’re hoping Dad manages to find his way back home and not get lost in all the construction. My big plan for today is to spin and knit a little bit, and try to figure out my work schedule for next week. Violet and maybe Lizzie are going to come up on Saturday for a Fiber! Fun! Fiesta! so I’m really looking forward to that.


My dad’s in town!

Yay! Dad arrived here yesterday afternoon, and it’s been Food Quest ever since. We’re such a food family. We’re always taking pictures of food we make and sending them to each other.

Anyway, I had wanted to eat dinner at the Middle Ground Cafe in Gambier (Kenyon College), but unfortunately it’s open different hours in the summer. Which really sucks because it’s a neat place – a lot of the food is locally grown or raised and is organic as well. We wound up eating at some strange bar and grill place in Gambier that was just kind of meh, but on the plus side, the grocery store there had a bunch of flavors of Ben and Jerry’s that we can’t get in Mount Vernon. We got these three:


I had been looking for the Stephen Colbert one for the past 4 months or so, but I had no idea the other two even existed. Stupid Mount Vernon Kroger’s.

Today we went on the food tour of Columbus. We hit Costco first, and bought, amongst other things, a gigantor double pack of Worchestershire sauce. We did this because I inadvertently bought enough Chex cereal the other day to make Chex Mix, without realizing that I already had a stockpile of Chex at the house to make a big batch. So I’m an idiot. Anyway, now we have all the necessary ingredients.

Then we went to North Market (you know, Travis is probably blogging this same exact thing right now. We’re so queer). We got some fancy popcorn to make in our high falutin’ popcorn microwavable popcorn bowl later on.

After that we went to the Yarn Shop, since someone accidentally broke one of my knitting needles when they rocked over it with the Boomchair. So I got some new needles (mostly those plastic Bryspun DPNs that I like so well) and also a new drop spindle. I already have one I like really well, but I wanted to get an emergency back-up one and bling it out like my spinning wheel.

We went to that cute little Japanese bakery by the Yarn Shop and my dad bought this:


It’s a “Red Bean Chunk” doughnut. Travis and I are afraid.

We didn’t go to the Indian bakery on Henderson this time, but we did eat the lunch buffet at the Sher-E Punjab restaurant (also by the Yarn Shop) which was really good. I’d like to go back there for dinner sometime, but we don’t often find ourselves in Columbus for dinner. They were playing the Indian version of CNN while we were there. Foreign TV is always fun.

We hit the trifecta of Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. I bought some Hawaiian granola stuff at Fresh Market that’s pretty yummy. We bought a lot more than that, including the dry aged steaks from Whole Foods that Travis is grilling right now. But I think he’s going to meat-blog here in a little bit, so I don’t need to go into that.

For once, we actually managed to be at Whole Foods while Violet was working, so that was pretty nifty. There’s talk of a spinning-weaving day happening here next weekend, which would be fun. I’ll have to try and get the drop spindle all blinged out before then.

More later, because food is going to happen pretty soon. I did some kettle dyeing yesterday, but that’s going to be a different post altogether. But Stephen Colbert ice cream!!! Woot!!

Testosterone! Grr!

Yeah, so last night I had my weekly testosterone fix. Nothing like sitting around, knitting a mansock and watching Deadliest Catch. I got the first one of Travis’ mansocks done:


Again, check out how awesome the colors are:


My dad’s coming into town tomorrow! We’re planning on doing the food tour of Columbus on Friday. I want to take him to that Japanese bakery by the Yarn Shop that makes the square bread. We’ll probably hit North Market and the holy triumverate of Fresh Market, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. Maybe we’ll see Violet at Whole Foods, which would be fun.

Not much going on here today besides cleaning. Our house is in a state of misery and despair from all of the neglect leading up to the KC show. I think I’ve gotten it to a presentable state. Of course presentable for me is someone else’s mess, but that’s okay. I put all of the business stuff in our back bedroom, since it had been in the living room for the past 2 months. Believe it or not, it gets kind of old looking at bins of yarn. If I want to look at bins of yarn (and fiber) I want to be able to look at my own personal stash for a while.

Travis is working on his blog. He’s apparently sharecropping off a slice of my server space. He’s having angst right now because he found a great WordPress theme and made up the best blog banner ever, but the theme is screwing up the ability to post comments. I’m sure he’ll get it figured out, though – or at least be able to copy the banner image onto a different theme. I still have work to do around this blog. I need to replace the animal pictures with yarn pictures. Or zombie pictures. Or both. I’ll see what I can do.

I am loving Flickr. I get all MySpace-y when someone adds me as a contact. It’s like I’m suddenly 13 years old. I even joined the Spin or Knit group. Oh, and speaking of joining, I signed up for the Tour de Fleece. I really suck at doing any type of swap, but I think a spin-a-long sounds like a good idea. Besides, it’ll get me back into spinning mode, since I’ve been so out of it lately. I have a million pounds of fiber around the house that I need to play with. I actually want to try doing some kettle dyeing, since I’ve only ever done it once. I have leftover dyes from the dye class, and some nice black and white Sheep Shed mill end roving strips. Now, if only I could find my stainless steel dyepot…

I couldn’t even wait 2 hours

Okay, I got a Flickr account, but I can’t figure out how to post pictures from it to the blog. Travis is going to have to do talk me down when he gets home, since I obviously have no clue what I’m doing.

Anyway, I spun the entire chunk o’ Yarn Love roving yesterday. I split it in half (I think the roving weighed 110 grams before spinning) and spun up two separate plies. The end result after plying weighs 104 grams, so that’s not bad. I can live with 6 grams left on the bobbin. Here’s a close up of the sexiness:

handspun, baby!

This was the merino/bamboo blend, and it was one of the nicest rovings I have ever spun. It drafted like a dream (sigh…). The bamboo gives it this amazing sheen. I’m pretty happy with it, in case you can’t tell. I haven’t blocked it yet, but pre-blocking the skein measured 104 grams. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. A shrug, maybe? I could probably do socks, but I think the yarn turned out too pretty and shiny to be relegated to footware.

Also have been plugging away at Travis’ man-sock. I don’t think enough can be said about how this is the first skein of sock yarn that he dyed and the colors are not pooling or striping at all. It’s like when he sat down at the spinning wheel last summer and could just magically spin, even though he had never done it before. Bastard. Anyway, the sock is awesome. The yarn is a little odd – the base yarn is ‘Judy’ by Kraemer yarns, and it’s similar in weight to Glacier, but not quite as soft and a whole heck of a lot stretchier. The skeins are supposed to have 270 yards on them, but I know skeins are measured when they’re stretched out, so I’m sure there’s some yardage loss somewhere. That’s why I decided to knit the socks on size 5 needles. I cast on 44 stitches, which is what I normally cast on for me on size 4 needles with Glacier. I think they’ll be big enough, but I left an extra 2 stitches in (for a total of 46) after I knit the gusset.

Regardless, pretty!

Poo socks!

First post!

Hi! Welcome to my new shiny blog. It has that new car smell – breathe deep. Ahhh!

So, this past weekend was Knitter’s Connection, and the very bestest thing about was being able to hang out with other people that knit. I swear, Travis and I don’t know anyone. We are the most anti-social people in the world, and it’s very easy for us to huddle up together in the yarn cave and not talk to anyone. So it was a hoot (a hoot and a half even!) to be able to hang out with Gerry, Yarn Love, Dianne, LimenViolet (the little bit I did get to hang with them), KnittingLizzie and Violet, Yarmando, and of course, my girl Karida and her entourage. Yay for being social! And Matty, you missed out by not being there. Yeah, yeah, we know, you had to have some parental boat time. Whatever. (insert smiley here – for some reason they come out really funky using this WordPress theme)

So, it was a lot of fun. And Travis and I both came home thinking, “Wow, we ought to get out more.” So now Travis is thinking about going on The Great Beer Adventure out to Portland in July with D’Amico. I’m toying with the idea of trekking out to the LimeNViolet slumber party whenever that is going to happen (hopefully sometime this summer). Road trip! Woot!

I accumulated a fair amount of yarn over the past few days, and when I get my shit together sometime in the next few days I’m actually going to start a Flickr account so I don’t have to be the uncool kid anymore. I’m peer pressuring myself to start Flickring. But until then, here are some photos of the stash enhancement I did during the show. And the pictures are kind of making the text go weird, but I’ll try to get that fixed soon.

Here’s some goodies from Yarn Love. The yarn is Joan of Arc in their Sincerity colorway. It’s a 50/50 Merino/Tencel blend and feels wonderful. It’s really soft and shiny. The roving is a 60/40 Merino/Bamboo blend in the Spring Morning colorway. I’m really looking forward to spinning it, so much so that I may even start tonight.

Yarn Love!

I really like Yarn Love’s style. They’re got this whole romantic, almost kind of medieval (in a good, Robin Hood way, not in a “I’m going to go all medieval on your ass” kind of way) feel to their colorways. They all looked like they would play well with each other. Their colorways also play well with others, as evidenced here:

Yarn Love loves Creatively Dyed!!

The blue, brown, and tan yarn is a 75% wool/25% nylon blend dyed by Dianne at Creatively Dyed. Gerry had got this same colorway in a different base of yarn, and it was so funny, because the colors in the skein matched exactly what he was wearing. You can kind of see it in this picture (notice, Travis has a Flickr account because he’s cool, so I have to be lame and link to him). Anyway, I’ve been liking the blue and brown together for a while lately, and Katie from Yarn Love just happened to be carrying around the skein of their mohair (colorway: Lovely), and the two skeins looked really good together to me. So I wound up getting one of each. I may do a Chevron scarf or something with them, alternating the mohair and the sock yarn every two rows. That might be fun.

Dianne's crazy sock yarn!

This is a skein of Dianne’s 50/50 wool/tencel sock yarn. I liked the colors because they were obnoxious, much like myself.

Yarns for weaving!!

Here is a yarncake Karida brought me. I am in love with her awesome brown and rust and orange colors. I want to make out with that color. She had some awesome yarn in the same style, but in an amazing olive at TNNA, but traded it for a bag, which made me sad. Please hook me up with the olive, Karida. I will be your bitch. The yarncake is hanging out with two skeins of yarn I got from Bjorn at HBC Weaving. I know the link goes to Hand Painted Knitting Yarns, but I guess they’re the same company. Bjorn was trying to explain it to me at the show, but it just didn’t sink in. Anyway, Bjorn’s yarns rock, and he’s a really great guy. I thought they would go pretty well with Karida’s yarncake, and I think I’m going to weave something with them, possibly adding in the two skeins of mystery and wonder that Travis and I dyed in prep for the dyeing class.

Yarns for weaving!!

I want to weave something that’s big and messy and soft. So that’s another project on my list. What I’m currently working on (along with about a million other things) is a pair o’ socks for Travis out of the yarn he dyed (his is on the right, the cake on the left was the one I dyed using Kool-Aid):


I started last night, and have done about 30-some rounds. Top down, because I haven’t yet studied Yarmando’s Toe-up sock handout yet. It’s on the list. I’m knitting these socks on size 5 DPNs that are obnoxiously long, but I don’t have any shorter ones since I never expected to be doing socks on size 5 needles. Who would have guessed? Anyway, I really love the way the yarn is knitting – it looks really random, so way to go, Travis!

sock.  interrupted.