Tuesday, September 05, 2006

it's a rambler...

Oooooooh this post is way. too. long. (what else is new)
So here's an index: Photo Gallery, More Crikey Feelings, Fiber Goodies, the Drop Spindle Class, my weekend Swatch-O-Rama, Swag in My Mailbox, and Googleness.
Take whatcha want...leave the rest.

Photo Gallery: Frozen Beer Sculpture

Neato, but....Ooops.

Crikey (part 2)

I couldn't say much more than that yesterday. I was too shocked and full of grief.

M-H, reader from Australia, commented about Steve Irwin being a primary representation of her country...and I do understand your point, M-H. I've known a few Australians in my time, and you are correct--none of them were like Irwin, and none of them told me they were going to throw a couple of shrimp on the barb-ee, either (although one did call me a Shiela). My point though, is that I never found myself watching The Crocodile Hunter and then proclaiming all Aussies to be wired-up daredevils (Australian Rules Football had already done that for me...hahaha).

Seriously, though...to tell you the truth, in the beginning, I couldn't even stand watching The Crocodile Hunter. I found him annoyingly hyper and his antics totally insane. But MyFK was really into his show (a reptile freak lives here en Mi Casa), the show was educational and engaging, and at least Irwin wasn't advocating that kids go "try this at home." So I watched along with my kid. And I watched episode after episode of him rescuing animals out of barbed wire fences and such....and episodes where I learned something about conservation efforts and endangered species...episodes about the passing of his own doggie that he'd had for so many years...episodes about the birth of his kids...

...and I ended up becoming really quite fond of the guy.

I'm just very sad about the news, and I'm really feeling it for his wife and kids. When Kurt Cobain knocked himself off, I was angry for a week. When Fred Astaire died, I cried for four days. Steve Irwin? I'm just flat out heartsick about it. And I think it might last awhile.
Such a loss.

And There Is No Good Segue

Fiber Gift

Ms. Erin, my bud and organizer of our Local SnB brought along some presents for me last week.... some washed fleece, a bit of camel/alpaca blend to play with, and some Blue Face Leicester top that she dyed a gorgeous purple.

Thank you!! It will go to good use mama, because yesterday I went to...

The Spinning Class

So I went to that "Intro to Spinning" class yesterday. It was only an hour long, and I still haven't quite decided if I had a good time or not yet. I think I did. Mostly.
What I can tell you for sure, is:

a) The owner/instructor was very skilled at teaching the beginning steps. She was relaxed, knowledgeable, understandable and entertaining.

b) I left having enough informtion to be able to spin a single (or at least be able to practice that at home for awhile).

(lookeee Rebecca, that's your wool!!)

c) I did not get a good sense of what to do next with the singles. There was brief mention that somehow the yarn must come off the spindle and that something must be done to set the yarn. I asked about plying and was told that not everything could be taught in 1 hour (fair enough) and that these and other topics were discussed in on-going classes (also fair enough). Except the on-going classes seem to be (I might be wrong) geared more towards spinning with a wheel and I refuse to be sucked in. Yet.

d) I felt very uncomfortable with the owner's method of up-selling at the end of the class. Not the presence of the upselling itself...I was fully prepared for that, and I'm not insulted by that. She is a business woman. No sweat. She had a suggested shopping list of the class spindle ($16), a book ($10), and (at least $10 worth) of fiber (and hey, feel free to buy more). But the suggestion came along with a sales pitch that was something pretty close to,"....and it's a really good spindle. It's only $16. Every once in awhile I have someone come in here for the class, and they say they can't even afford to buy the spindle right away. I mean really *tsk tsk*, I just don't get it. What are they DOING here then?"

Hmmmm. Wellllll....taking the class they just paid for maybe??
Maybe they decided that after the little taste they got, that the spindle really isn't for them? Maybe they already have the supplies at home (like I do--all of them)? Or maybe, just maybe, they really CAN'T afford it right now? I know I don't always have $16 to spend on my hobbies (sad, but true). But no need to make me feel like shit about it (think a button of mine got pushed? sheesh).

Anyhow, I had budgeted in $20 of fun-money for myself when I registered for the class a few weeks ago, so that I could buy something if I wanted to...and about mid-class (before the pitch) I decided I wanted to buy the spindle that I was working with. I could tell that the class spindle was much easier for me to work with than the spindle I had at home.

Except by the end of the class I felt like an insulted pauper, and I didn't really want to spend my money there.

And yet, I bought the spindle from her anyhow. *sigh*
Why? Well, because in the 1 hour I was there, I did learn at least one thing for sure:
Spinning is like crack.
And I had. to. have. that. spindle.
Every time I tried to walk out without it, I started twitching.
I got it home and found myself spinning way past midnight,like a frickin' addict doing the, "Oh....just one more!" thing.

Gah. I've been bitten.
Enough to even let go of my scruples. Enough to lose my backbone. I am weak. Spinning is evil.


I didn't do a whole lot of actual project knitting this weekend. I swatched.

Yes, I actually DO swatch. And I usually wash the swatch, too. No, I'm not some retentive nutjob. I usually hate prepwork of any kind. My home is lacking a fresh coat of paint because I can't stand the drudgery of prepping the walls.

I swatch because nothing pisses me off more than a finished item that gets stuffed in a drawer because I was a slacker and didn't take the time to simply check guage first. Yes, it is the process part of knitting that brings me the most joy...and yes, I could rip out the ill-fitting garment and re-knit it (wheee! more knitting time!!!). But, ummmm...no. Thank you. I also happen to be part product oreiented knitter. Achieving a poor fit at the end of my "process" pisses me off enough to spoil the peace I gained during the knitting. Yes, buddhist monks make gorgeous sand mandalas and at the end, blow them away...it's a lesson in impermanence. But I assure you, I would not be feeling very spiritual if I were to go to the sweater shelf and have unworn handknits sneering back at me.

So. I swatch.

First I worked up the Albequeque Sky yarn gifted to me from Carole, aka StrangeLittleMama. I've swatched many many times and still don't quite have what I want. I'm wanting to showcase the self-stripy-ness she dyed into this skein, so I've been playing with different types of chevron patterns. I did three swatches, and thought I settled on the "Ridged Fan" (pulled from Sensational Knitted Socks). I cast-on, and it looks really pretty...

...but it's not what I wan't. It's a wee bit too girly for the statement I want to make with this yarn. This yarn is feeling too punk rock for frou-frou. I'm going to try again with a chevron that is more zig-zaggy and angular.

Next, I swatched my first skein of Trekking XXL, destined to be BoySocks for TheMIG (he's been asking for something office suitable). It took 3 different needle sizes to get the fabric that I wanted. They will be plain ol' stockinette socks, except I want to try a tubular cast on for these...and I'm still figuring out how to do that. I'm going to test it out on some remnant yarn this evening.

And last but not least, I swatched for my project in the Black Bunny Hop.

Yup, I've joined a KAL (Knit ALong). I'm not normally the type, but for Carol's yarn, I just couldn't resist. You use a BlackBunnyFiber's yarn, and make whatever you want, on your own clock. That's my kind of KAL. And Carol was quick to point out the irony that your very own AmpuT here will be "hopping" along...teehee!!

I had just finished the lace socks in BBF when the Hop started, so got out the Purple Pansies I had waiting in my stash to make some sort of pajama shorts/stump cozy sort of thing. I took my measurements, did the math, and cast-on last night, so more about that soon.

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess I DID get a project onto the needles over the weekend....a second Branching Out scarf in Silky Wool. I don't often knit something twice, but after I finished the blue one, I realized that a black one would be a really nice thing to have. I often wear black bottoms with solid colored tops, and a small black scarf will be a great addition. It will also look cute with any one of my kazillion black t-shirts.

Speaking of T-Shirts

Today's mail call....something new for my collection from T-Shirt Hell.

Check out the receipt:


Google Hit of The Week:

peformance artist torturing themselves during peformances

(hahahaha--I'm not sure why I think that is so damn funny, but I do.)


Mouse said...

That beer bottle is really wild- I've done something similar with plastic soda bottles, but never glass.
I agree with what you said about Steve Irwin - I started watching him because I couldn't believe the stuff he was doing.. and ended up learning so much that I kept turning the show on again.
My LYS does the same thing with classes- its a "free" class but you have to buy everything (including the NEEDLES!!) from them before you can attend the class. I wanted to take a class on making a hat, and it would have ended up costing me $65.00!! You had to buy TWO sets of circular needles, and the only sort they sell are Addi Turbos.

Rebecca said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Spinning ownz j00!!!!1 I'm so glad you liked learning to spin, although the lady teaching the class sounds like LYS lady. Sure, Come to the $50 fair isle class, then you need $100 worth of yarn and needles purchased at the shop for the class. Bah.

Can't wait to see how the wool turns out. :)

Kerry said...

How about a pair of Jaywalkers? :-)