Thursday, January 29, 2009

Je Fuh Fuh Dun HAM (dot com)

We had fuh fuhn tonight!

I gave Dan tickets to Jeff Dunham for Christmas. We went with our good friends, Rhonda and Al. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Jeff Dunham, you can check out some of his silliness on You Tube. He's a ventriloquist/comedian and I defy you to not laugh when he gets on a roll! In fact, I laughed so hard this evening that I got my asthma worked up. But it was worth it.

Guitar Guy did the warm-up act. Unlike on the DVDs, Guitar Guy gets to talk in the stage shows. He's a great musician and comedian on his own but most people think he is Jeff Dunham's brother. He's not. He's also not gay or a druggie (inside jokes). After a short intermission, Jeff did a comedy monologue and then brought out the real stars of the show.

I took my camera and got some pretty good photos. Here's Walter. Walter did a lot of material about Regina, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, and Winnipeg. It was naughty (make up your own Regina jokes here as I'm not going to give away any punchlines).

My favorite - Achmed (that's Achhhhh med, spoken with phlegm) the dead terrorist. Silence! I keel you!

Achmed and Jeff get carried away and start improvising to make Guitar Guy crack up.

The irrepressible Peanut.

Peanut and Jose Jalapeno (on a steek).

For the encore, Bubba J made an appearance. Bubba J wasn't really supposed to be part of the act on this tour so Jeff had to have crib notes to remember Bubba J's jokes. Things got a little out of hand when the audience yelled out Bubba J's dialogue before Bubba J and Jeff cracked up! Let's just say that Regina loves Jeff Dunham and the crowd had seen the You Tubes and DVDs enough to have the punchlines memorized.

At the end of the show, Jeff got out some air shooters and sent t-shirts flying through the air into the audience. The crowd had people from about 10 years and up and everyone left laughing! It was great!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Little Gem

The Majacraft Little Gem came today from Shuttleworks. Great price and fast shipping as usual! Cal is so helpful.

I researched and debated for some time before deciding to buy it. I wanted a travel wheel and I love my Majacraft Rose but some people seem to hate treadling the Little Gem. After spinning on it today I can say that I'm very glad I decided to go for it! I didn't have any trouble treadling it; in fact, I thought it was very easy and smooth. It comes apart and the wheel folds over the treadles to pack it up in its padded travel bag. Some people on Ravelry don't like the bag either because of the color but I think it's fine. It has handles and a shoulder strap and has roomy pockets for fiber, etc. The Little Gem feels sturdy to me but is light to carry. I'm happy!

When I unpacked the box that it came in, I looked at the newspaper that was used for protecting the wheel. I knew it was from New Zealand and it's always fun to see newspapers from other places. I saw this page about carding the colorful roving to knit these fun hats.

Then I turned it over and saw this:
It's an Ashford (also in New Zealand) flyer! I'm not the only one that finds this hilarious, am I?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Good Grief!

I found the link to this story on Ravelry. Unbelievable! Watch out for those knitting needles.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I've fallen but I can get up

Both of my resolutions fell by the wayside last week.

When I was lifting the boxed Joy wheel to take it to the post office I pulled a muscle in my right arm. It's not too painful if I keep it close to my body and not ask it to lift anything. That's hard to do. I am very right hand dominant so the injury is pretty much cutting out most things that I can do. (I can still knit socks - yay!) I keep hoping that I'll wake up and it will be all better but it's not happening. Dan thinks it might take a few weeks (ack!). I haven't been to the doctor because I don't think anything is torn; I think it's just a sprain. Anyway, the exercise resolution has been blown because I'm afraid of making the injury worse. I guess I should go downstairs and get the on the recumbent bike. I could do that.

I definitely can not groom my dogs. Thankfully I did everyone's nails and feet last weekend and brushed everyone but Robbie before the injury. I really wish I had done Robbie because his coat is a lot of work! Now it's just going to get worse and be harder to get through by the time I can wield a brush. If this arm thing keeps up I may have to start phoning groomers to do the job.

I made the mistake of going to my LYS, Golden Willow. I was going that way anyway so it seemed like a good idea. I adore Golden Willow and the people that work there! Apparently I am totally incapable of just window shopping and visiting while I'm there so another resolution took a hit. I know that I would be more than welcome to pop in and not buy anything but I can't. There are just too many beautiful things!

A beautiful glass orifice hook made by Amy Spiers. I've ordered a Majacraft Little Gem wheel from Cal at Shuttleworks. That doesn't count against my resolutions because I sold the Ashford Joy to free up the funds for the new wheel. I also ordered a fine flyer with a round orifice. The Majacraft wheels come with a standard delta orifice that I like for some spinning. But for the really fine yarns, I like the round orifice. So I needed a new orifice hook.

Doesn't the orifice hook match the Indiecita Malabrigo sock yarn perfectly? The yarn was purchased before New Year so it doesn't count as a strike against my resolutions. I did, however, buy some Trekking XXL sock yarn at Golden Willow and that does count. As the kids would say, my bad.

My arm is telling me that I must get off the computer. Now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Wow, that was quick! The Joy is already winging her way to a new home with Jane in Illinois. I hope that Jane enjoys her as much as I have!

Speaking of Illinois, what a wonderful celebration in Washington D.C. yesterday! I think that the world is suddenly filled with an optimism that didn't exist before the inauguration. Barack Obama is a talented orator and it's apparent that he has a very good head on his shoulders. But what strikes me the most is that he seems to be a genuinely good man, a man that will lead with intelligence and compassion in difficult times. And it is truly humbling to think that we are only a generation away from segregation. While Canada is, in many ways, a culturally diverse and accepting nation, I would only hope that we can learn from the U.S. and grow forward in acceptance of the equality of all Canadians. We have a long way to go with respect to First Nations and Metis people especially. I'm not naive and I realize that the States still has huge racial problems but yesterday Americans seemed to take a giant step forward in this respect.

I recently finished reading "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd. The setting is the American South in 1964 and racial relations are an integral part of the plot. I really love this book and highly recommend it! It is beautifully written and I couldn't put it down. I haven't seen the movie yet. I'm a little scared to, in case it doesn't live up to the book. I always like to read a book before seeing the movie. I like to get the chance to let my imagination experience it the way the author intended before I watch actors and a director interpret the story for me.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

selling my Ashford Joy

Since getting the Majacraft Rose, I'm finding I can spin on it longer and more comfortably than on my beloved Ashford Joy. Don't get me wrong - the Joy is a very easy wheel to spin on. There's just something about the angle that I sit at it that triggers my TMJ/fibromyalgia problems. I think it's the angle of the treadles. For me, the tiniest shift in body alignment can make a huge difference while other people wouldn't even notice or be affected by it. So the Joy has been languishing while I spin on the Rose and it really needs a new home.

Here's a pic of the complete package: the Joy double treadle with the padded carrying bag, WooLee Winder with six bobbins, the regular flyer with seven bobbins, and the paperwork for the Joy and the WooLee Winder. Everything is in like-new condition; it has been loved and maintained extremely well.

This pic shows it with the Ashford flyer.

All of the flyers and bobbins.

The wheel folds up...

and tucks neatly and compactly into the bag.
The bag has one large pocket inside the flap and two on the outside so there's lots of room to tuck in fiber and accessories.

I'd like $600 US for the wheel, bag, regular flyer and bobbins, and $300 US for the WooLee Winder and bobbins. If you take all of it, I'll take off an additional $50. Shipping extra. (I just scanned through the Blogger policies and I couldn't find anything against advertising on the blog. I hope I didn't miss something.)

pretty, pretty, pretty

I washed and dried the Lisa Souza blend of Spanish Moss BFL and Shave Ice Merino/Silk. It's just lovely! I got 2 skeins, each about 4 oz. (100 g) and 340 yds. I'm not sure what will be knit with it yet. I was stash diving with Darcie* the other day when she brought her wheel over and found more of each of these fibers in my stash. I had no idea that I had more of them so I guess it's a good thing to stash dive once in a while.

Well, our deep freeze weather finally let up and we are enjoying the mild weather immensely! I guess when you are forced to deal with weeks of bitter cold it makes you appreciate the normal temps that you might take for granted otherwise. Kind of like that old adage about hitting your thumb with a hammer to take away the pain of a headache.

Speaking of headaches, I've got one today. I think it was my own fault. I porked out on BBQ chips last night before going to bed and then I couldn't sleep for hours. I don't handle MSG well so that could have been it. Or I might have had really high blood sugar from the pig out. Or both. Anyway, the headache is my penance for gluttony, I think. That'll teach me.

* Follow the link to Darcie's blog and see her first handspun yarn knit up into a hat. My first yarn wasn't nearly as nice.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

honkin' big socks - another Epilogue

Remember these?
They're Dan's Honkin' Big Socks which were completed less than a year ago. Dan only wore them in the house, mostly while watching TV, and only when it was cold outside.

This is what they look like now.
(Note to self: Don't knit socks for Dan unless the yarn has nylon in it.)

They are past the point of no return. I will use Yarn Harlot's method of darning socks and say "Darn!" loudly while dropping them into the trash.

Now I will continue to be a good girl and not go looking on the internet for sturdy sock yarn to make new socks for Dan. I will stash-dive for something suitable, likely a couple of skeins of Opal or Regia that can be doubled in nice co-ordinating shades. I'm not crazy enough to commit to knitting socks for those honkin' big feet with one strand of fingering weight yarn. Double-stranded will be enough work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wii (not so) Fit

So I've been a very, very good girl. I haven't bought anything yarny since the New Year - although I still got stuff in the mail from what I ordered before then, so it hasn't exactly been dry in that respect - and I have been trying to get to the Wii Fit as much as possible. Turns out that I'm pretty flexible and can hold poses quite well so I'm doing okay at yoga but, in every other Wii Fit venue, I Suck. Yes, with a capital Suck! I've never been an athletic person so this is not exactly the most exciting news around. But, turns out the Wii has a mean streak. If you suck, it tells you so. In fact, it asked me if I fall down a lot. Mean, I tell you. However, the meanness stays within the walls of my house so it's not too embarrassing and, frankly, it's pretty funny as long as I take it with a grain of salt. The last time something that derogatory was mentioned about my personal fitness, I was in high school gym class. Gym class in the '70s was not all about personal fitness for life the way it's supposed to be now. It was about the teachers focusing all their attention on the jocks and pretty much having to put up with the rest of us. Me, I faked injuries and skipped out of a few classes and don't feel in the least bit sorry that I did even though I never would have skipped classes in any other subject. I was straight-laced even in my teens.

In fibery news, I plied the Lisa Souza BFL in the Spanish Moss colorway with the Shave Ice silk/merino. It's so pretty!
I have two full bobbins of it - about 8 oz.
I gave the Rose a real workout plying these bobbins without a break. It's such a delightful wheel! I think I could spin anything on it with ease. My sister Darcie got her first wheel last week. I recommended the Majacraft Pioneer and it's a wonderful little wheel! It feels very much like treadling the Rose and all of the Majacraft flyers, bobbins, and accessories fit on it. She has a picture of it on her blog. She reports that she is spinning like mad and getting pretty good at it!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

eau de canine?

Lynn left a new comment on the post "'Pet the Puppy' hooded scarf":

Very nice!!! But i have to ask, does it smell like dog?

This topic keeps popping up in Ravelry too. The answer: no.

I store the sheltie undercoat in a Rubbermaid bin with a bar of Irish Spring soap. Even though my dogs are very clean and live in the house, there is a bit of a doggy aroma in the undercoat by the time I get to spinning it. When I set the twist in the yarn, I skein it off of the wheel's bobbin, then drop it into a laundry tub of hot water (as hot as my water heater provides) and Eucalan, NO agitation. When the water cools off, I spin out the excess water in a salad spinner and hang the skein to dry. I've asked dogless friends to sniff the yarn and knitted garments, just in case I'm desensitized to the smell, and no one can smell dog.

I've been wearing the hooded scarf in this cold weather. Sometimes, when it's really cold, I wear the hood of my coat and wrap the doggy scarf over my face. The scarf gets wet from my breath and I still don't smell dog.

Maybe if you're spinning dog hair from outside dogs or really dirty dogs it might be an issue but I don't have a problem at all.

Monday, January 05, 2009


So it's the New Year, 2009. Is it just me or do other people feel like all the brouhaha surrounding New Year 2000 couldn't possibly have happened nine years ago? That's almost a decade ago, for heaven's sake! I'm not exactly sure where the last few days went, never mind nine years.

We didn't seem to do much during the two weeks of holidays but the days flew by. Dan's back to school today so life will settle into the January blahs now. It's been freakishy cold here and we're all getting very tired of it. It's not unusual for it to be cold here in the winter but we don't usually get such a long spell of really, really cold weather. The temperature got up to -15 C (5 F) and it felt so much warmer than it's been; it's all relative I guess.

I'm not a big maker of New Year's Resolutions but I'm going to make a couple this year. You will be my witnesses and keep me accountable, I hope.

First, I will get more exercise. I'm not an active person by nature so it's really easy for me to entertain myself while being physically passive (knitting, spinning, reading, etc.). A new Wii Fit made its way to our house over the holidays and I'm going to use it.

Second, I'm going to drastically reduce my on-line shopping. I have a lovely big stash, 3 wheels, many spindles, full sets of knitting needles, lots of fibery books, and a knitting machine. There is no good reason to keep buying more of them; it's gotten totally out of hand. I'm not foolish enough to say that I will not buy anything more but I'm going to reduce my spending considerably. There, I said it.

So, here are pics of things that are new to me. I will enjoy them but will not let them spawn more of the same. These pictures will be the last to share for quite a while if I can stick to my resolution.

This is lovely merino silk from Zebisis Designs. It's such a pretty color!
I ordered this spindle from Zebisis too. It came with this wisp of silk. Both are very pretty.

This merino roving is from Sheepish Creations. Again, beautiful colors!
It came with these two samples: the left one is Romney and the right one is merino.

I bought this as a destash on Ravelry. It is Abby's Batt Club First Frost. I have never seen such beautiful batts before! It's merino, baby alpaca, and silk with a touch of firestar. Gorgeous!

I haven't accomplished much in spinning or knitting over the holidays but here are some update photos.

I'm almost done spinning the Lisa Souza merino/silk.

This sock has been my carry-along project in my purse for a while. It's almost done.

I'm dithering about the best use of the Buffalo Gold sock yarn. As you can see, I'm finishing up the gusset decreases on the sock on the left. Then I thought that I might rather have a pair of gloves. I have some problems with a Raynaud's Syndrome sort of hand issue and was thinking that really warm gloves might help. So I dug out the Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns by Ann Budd. I don't have enough yarn to do both socks and gloves so will have to decided which one to finish at some point. I'm not sure why I'm having so many second thoughts about how best to use the yarn.

Please send positive vibes our way for warmer weather soon!