Sunday, July 31, 2011

S√łndager er Spinne

Or Sundays are for spinning!

On Wednesday I talked about how there was a super secret plan afoot and today you get to learn what that is.

Well I got a lovely Little Peggy Spinning wheel made in 1974 by Rappard. About 20,000 wheels were made before the company brand was sold to Ashford, who produced 1 batch of them before basing their Traveller off of it. Its a castle spinning wheel, so when your reading about sleeping beauty or Rumpelstiltskin, this is the type of wheel they would have been working on.

A Duncan Drumcarder, which needed a new drive band and when I called to order one I got the make's wife, who was very sweet and they've already mailed the band:

Jay was kind enough to give me all this and a book on spinning! I have to replace all the drive bands and the wheel needs a flyer, but Gunilla bought enough yarn that I can justify getting a flyer. I find its common when I see used spinning wheels, that have not been used in a while, for the fly to be missing. While one can search high and low for an original flyer, or get one custom made, I've decided to go a route less traveled and ordered a standard Ashford double drive flyer. Its the same flyer that was used in the Traveller, which was based off the Little Peggy, and after calling for some details, it sounds like it'll fit just fine. If its very close I plan on making new maidens to hold the flyer in the place it needs to be.

So please welcome my new tools to Radioactive Rabbit, and I'm going to spend the day dyeing roving to blend for the shop and for my own spinning!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Little Late

Sorry the Friday post is a little late. I was planning on writing it up last night but instead I stayed up till 4am reskeining yarn from my large winder to the smaller one because of my appointment at Gunilla's Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn, who is now the first store to carry my yarn!

Here is Gunilla holding the basket of my yarn that she had just bought:

What you can't see in this picture is that she bought almost all my Baby Star sock kits, which a few will be going up in the store tomorrow with a bunch of new yarn!

Also, on Wednesday night I went to see George RR Martin at the Fox Theater in Redwood City. I had him sign a hardback set of Song of Ice and Fire for me, and Tad Williams was hosting him so I have both their signatures in Game of Thrones!

I was actually introduced to George RR Martin's books by
The Dragonbone Chair
There has been much fun and excitement this week, but little sleep. So good night and there will be more tomorrow... Yawn

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In the Works

Last night knit night was all about plans!

Plans for businesses, Lydia's wedding plans, Meghan and Caren's Sock Summit plans, plans for people moving, and plans for yarn.

Penny and I had a great conversation on the yarn selling plan since I have an appointment on Saturday at Gunilla's Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn (previously known as the Golden Fleece). I scoped out the place and she has some great art yarns and some roving, but I don't think any of it is local and most of the roving is single color.

Meghan and Caren are going to Sock Summit. They decided at the last minute to go, all the classes are full, they are currently learning the flash dance, and they have no plans other then to get there, go shopping and to take up the feel of it.

Caren has also promised to wear the Bird's Nest Smoke Ring Cowl she knit with one of my yarns and she might be dancing with a skein I'm dropping off to her tonight!

Yes it is that pink and she's that pretty

Penny is also going to get to pick some of the yarn before it hits the stores because I had some fun by myself and there are a lot of pastels and yarns that I was trying to dye to match pictures I've taken. The idea of matching yarn to pictures is part of a huge business plan that I've been loosely following (see, another plan).

(ignore the dye rag please)
I wonder what all those little
skeins on the far left are for....

Shhhh... Penny's yarn is the
middle green and pink one!
The far right on is my favorite!

Also, there are super secret plans in the works that will be unveiled next week!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Back to Part Time

Well I have a week of work left. Yep, 1 week.

As some of you may know I currently work at West Marine in the Visual Merchandising department as a temp. I've been working there since the end of March and I've applied to another department for a position, but they have yet to begin interviewing. I don't want to jinx it so I will not say more about this position but any good mojo you can send would be appreciated.

Luckily a friend has an opening at a paint store about 30 minutes away and he thinks he can get me in but it looks like that would not start for two weeks and is only part time.

This means I'll most likely have 6 days of no work then only part time after that.

I'm not sure whether to be happy for nearly a week off or scared.

On one hand I'll at least still have work and time to focus on the fiber, on the other I'll be strained financially till I can find a second job or a better one.

I'm really trying to focus on the fact that I'll a few days to clean the house, reorganized some stuff in storage, maybe get some sewing done, finish designing some patterns and knit. But I tend to go a little off the deep end when I'm not working enough. There was this one episode a few years ago when I went on a huge cleaning spree while testing out my new blender by making margaritas. It ended when I finished repainting a hallway because I could not get the walls clean.

Does someone see how horribly wrong this can go? Me working at a paint shop and having extra time on my hands... yeah...


Tomorrow looks like the day I'll be getting a spinning wheel and drum carder. The guy in the department, who is hiring for unsaid position, has been storing some spinning tools for over a year. He knows I knit and had them from his mother, but no idea what they were for or how to use them. Yes, he knew what a spinning wheel was and what it was suppose to do, but not how to use it. He called the drum carder "a box with prickly wheels in it" and was amazed when I explained to him what it does. I think I might knit him some mittens.

If all goes well I might have lots to do the 6 days I'm off!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Sneak Peak

On Sunday I will be dyeing over a dozen new skeins to go into the shop, some roving that has special potential, and a bunch of these little mini skeins:

It is one of the final steps in creating the "Baby Stars" sock kits! I'm super excited about these kits because it allows you to play with a variety of colors, they are baby sock which are quick and easy to make, and its the first pattern I designed. I have been working on the pattern for 2 weeks trying to get it just right and knit a total of 4 socks. That is 4 individual socks, never a pair, because I'd finish one, look at my notes and cast on the next one in a different yarn. Now I get to go back and knit the mate to all the socks. Lets not even try to guess how long that might take me to do.

I will be introducing a new blog schedule (actually "the" blog schedule since there has not been one).

Sunday will be for spinning
Wednesdays will be a recap of knit night and projects shared
Fridays will be what I'm doing over the weekend because I'm usually dyeing or working on a single project

I will also add one more some weeks if something super exciting has happened!

Like how I've joined Phat Fibers as a contributor! I'll be sending out fiber with September's Sampler Box and the theme is Enchanted Forest. Hopefully I'll have my drum carder in the next week and be able to start playing with it to make mixed color bats!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday are for...


Last night was super fun as I taught Caren to spin, looked at Cookie A's book, Knit.Sock.Love, and tried to finish knitting the final baby sock for the kits that comes out next week!

Caren, Meghan and I have agreed to do a KAL of the German Stockings. I think I might do them in light blue or pastel green. Let me know what you think!

Claire also brought some stuff for show and tell. The first below is her Entrelac mitten and hat set. She admits the mittens are large, but she'd actually knit them twice because the first time they were even bigger then this.

Caren having fun posing
 Next are her amazing fair isle mittens.

They got passed around a lot
I love the flowers and little details

Can you see the thumb?

And here are picture's of the hat I made for Cody (Kristin's Hubby)
Its hiding my tea cup

A little snug
This is the hat that Ben liked so much he has requested I make him one in his size. I have just enough yarn to pull it off I think!

What is everyone else starting?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

One Bottle Please

You know those days when you just want to call it quits and eat chocolate and drink a bottle of wine for dinner?

Well this was one of those days and I realized that losing my phone was caused by a domino effect of things.

It all started Thursday when I got off work early and had planned on taking a nap before driving up to Redwood City to see Harry Potter with my dad. I skipped the nap because I was too excited to sleep and drank lots of coffee to stay up.

I ended up in bed at 4am on Friday and did not sleep well because I was worried about sleeping through my alarm clock and being late to work.

I went to work and when I got home I packed up everything I thought I would need for camping. I forgot my hat and a few other things that would have been nice to have (but I had more then enough knitting, let me tell ya). We stopped at a gas station to gas up the van and to get drinks.

Well we got to the campsite up at William's Hill and unpacked in record time. I casted on the traditional hat to knit while camping and Ben and I went to bed early.

The next day Ben turned on his phone and there was a voice mail from my dad. Seems that when we had stopped at the gas station I had dropped my phone. Being that I was basically the walking dead from lack of sleep on Friday I was not too surprised this happened. I was not thrilled either when I called it and it went straight to voice mail. I texted my phone from Ben's instructing the person that had it to call Ben's phone.

We enjoyed our view:

And read a lot:

I decided to enjoy my day and just read and knit. The point of us being there was to have fun and relax. I had no computer, no work, and now no phone to distract me. I finished two of the Sookie Stackhouse novels and read through most of Dead in the Family while knitting Jared Flood's Turn a Square. Simple knit with jogless stripes and Ben likes it so much he's put in an order for one in the same colors and everything. I think he would have stolen it right then and there if it was big enough for him.

Next day I tried calling the phone a couple times in the morning and it would ring through but no one picked up, so I decided to stay calm, I could live without my phone for another afternoon. Ben and I packed up, I finished the hat before we left camp and we agreed on stopping at the gas station hoping the person who found it left it with the clerk.

Well no phone at the gas station and when we got home I called it again. This time someone did pick up. After they said hello I introduced myself and then they promptly hung up. I tried calling back several times and when they would not answer I checked my phone records. Seems the asshole had been texting, making calls, and downloading shit to their hearts content. I suspended my phone service at once and began filing a claim. Luckily I have things like unlimited texting, downloading, and they had only used about 30 minutes.

I really just don't understand this person's logic. Why call my dad to let them know they have my phone? Why would they have gone through that trouble when they were just going to keep it? Why couldn't they have just given it to the clerk at the gas station? Would they have done the same thing with someone's keys or wallet? Why be polite enough to make a call to my dad and then do this?

I just don't understand this person, but I do understand I will be going to Tmobile tomorrow and getting a new phone, and that they have a useless phone now unless they get a plan and a SIM card.

I'm now going to go play with the 4 drop spindles I have because I'm teaching Caren to spin on Tuesday and I want to make sure one of them is good enough for her.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yarn Check Up and Dye Day Coming!

Tuesday night knit night was a blast. Everyone had projects to show with my yarn!

Claire has casted on two socks and loves the pink one but is on the fence about how the colors are turning out in the multi one
I think it looks cute with its little toe up cap

Penny had to rib out much of her's due to picking it up and knitting the wrong way, but I still think the colors are going to pool so they spiral down the foot.

And Caren is nearly done with a Bird's Nest Smoke Ring. Its funny because I did this same pattern last year and I had such a hard time with it. I'm so happy she's doing well with it. Maybe my seeing it done with my yarn will make me forgive it.

Warning: items maybe closer then they appear
I'm doing the Sweetly Worn Shawl for my grandma P in Giants colors and I'm hoping to finish it while in line for Harry Potter from 8pm-midnight tonight.

Also, you might have noticed that there is a pattern called baby stars peaking out from behind it. I've been test knitting it for a week now and I think I might have it done to my liking. Hopefully it'll be released sometime next week and kits will be up in the shop!

On a dyeing note I have made an order for alpaca roving and more yarn. I'll be doing a dye day on the 23rd, to ship on the 25th, so get your custom orders in by the 22nd!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Symptoms of Startitis

I currently have Leeleetea's lovely Reunion cowl on the needles, a sock that needs only a toe and after thought heel, my grandma Sue's Girasole that has 1 more repeat to its chart then the edging, I have a half finished Lace Scroll Sock in the closet that I'm at the heel of, and Ben's Tartan socks have not seen the light of day for months.

Really you would think that this would keep my interests from wondering, but I'm looking at starting so many projects.

I want to knit Leeleetea's Sweelty Worn Set for my grandma P or cast on the hat for Kristin's hubby. But then I have more yarn coming for my second Reunion Cowl,  2 Carnaby skirts by Nikol Lohrmy, I dyed yarn for Kristin's Sweetly Worn mits and hat, and my  Giant's Ravelry group is doing a KAL that I have yarn I just dyed for myself I could use!

Should I just rotate to another nearly done project? Will a second Reunion Cowl in a different color do it for me? Should I start on the Christmas knitting that needs to get done anyhow? What about my skirts? I've been working hard on losing weight and maybe the skirts will keep me on task? Even though Kristin's and my trade will not be completed till Sept, should I start knitting one of the things on her list to get a jump on it and maybe send it early?

Tell my what to do and how you prioritize knitting before I come down with full blown Startitis!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yarn Everywhere

On the 5th I took the yarn to my knit night and it was a huge success!

The colors had come out vibrant and people could not stop touching them.

Penny got the skein she declared was her's at the dye day and found another that was just so very her

Claire swore that she was only going to get two and use cash, but in the end she ended up with three and some roving

Meghan found a few she liked (did not help that Caren was putting yarn down in front of her), but she settled on two

And Caren can be seen in the following pictures looking at every skein and nearly stealing one of Penny's

She ended up being very happy with her selections and I'll be teaching her how to spin next week!

She's excused from getting so much because she knows friends that have babies on the way and I owed her for some prints of her artwork. She's a really gifted painter and she was really helpful when dyeing because of her great eye for color.

Sadly though all of this dyeing and post to the shop has caused me to lag on my knitting. To make up for it after the girls left on Sunday I went to the movies and saw Bad Teacher and the Green Hornet. I knit on my Reunion cowl through both movies and gained a little over an inch! That's lace weight over 430 stitches! I was so proud that I had done half a week's knitting and now I'm halfway through the cowl just in time for my new shipment of yarn to come in and it includes enough lace weight for another cowl! I'm in love....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

These are the dyes of our lives...

Its all over. All of the wool that was going to be dyed has been dyed. Yes there is more wool on the cone, but that can wait till another day! 48 skeins in total with 10 things of roving!

I found that I can watch wool float in water like a child watches fish. It is amazing how you can watch the yarn soak up the water and begin to bloom

I use my washer to soak and rinse the yarn because the spin cycle takes out most of the water. I just let it fill, turn off the agitator, toss the yarn in, and come back 30 mins later to put it on the spin cycle. Presto, 10 mins later I have damp skeins that are ready to dye or be dried.

Ben snapped this photo of my mixing dyes before Caren and Meghan came over. I used really hot water to mix the dye in as the directions say, but then the bottles are really hot so I started using warm tap water instead. I admit that there is a bit of a learning curve and I think its going to come down to my preparing the dyes the day before with hot water so that all of the dye dissolves. I also learned that I can use less dye (directions lied about that one).

Caren and Meghan had a blast on Saturday. We had homemade pizza, and I just let them at it. Their color choices are amazing (just like them)

The next day I had Clair and Penny over. Penny brought the best basil limeade and lemon bars ever (I ended having a lemon bar frozen for breakfast on the 4th). We had pizza and dyed the roving and rest of the skeins. Penny was a wealth of information on the mixing dyes, watering them down, how I should market, and just everything. She actually owns a few small businesses and has been most helpful at getting me to speak up a bit more then I have.

Check out the shop as I'm putting up the skeins as I can. I'm nearly through the first batch and I still have to get photos of the second batch.

Next time on Radioactive Rabbit I'll be sharing photos of knit night and what people bought!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Moving Forward Full Steam

This week has been very productive!

Ben finished this:

It is a skein winder that winds 2 cones at a time (the right two in this case, the third is waiting his turn). The entire thing but the center metal pin and the handle are made from PVC. He used a part from his van's air conditioner (yes, from one of our cars, he claims it does not need it), and a car window handle. 

Second is that the yarn, dye, and roving came (if you did not already realize that from the picture above).

Third is very obvious, if you've been following along and seen me play with the blog look, you will have noticed that I have a new banner. Yep, that's the official one and if you look at my profile picture you'll see my logo. Lynne (MizShoes on Ravelry) and her husband have been wonderful at helping me get the logo designed. I've named the him Jack.

Fourth is that I found the pictures of the knit group I took a couple weeks ago (I was sure the computer had eaten them):
Penny and Lorelai

Lydia and Clair
Meghan and Caren
Clair (who's really excited about something)
and Penny who is nodding along.

Each of these ladies are great. Clair has a great knowledge of knitting, Penny will always offer advise, Lydia knits items to donate, Lorelai claims she's new at knitting but she's catching it all really quickly, Caren is just so cheerful you can't stop smiling around her and Meghan can always make you laugh.

These ladies can turn around my mood in just a few hours and are a huge part of my support system in this new business adventure and this first dye batch is dedicated to them.