Friday, September 29, 2006

Pretty Woolen Yarns

I finally finished my yarns. I set the twist with a method I found online. After soaking in hot water until it went warm, I refilled the sink with water as hot as possible out of the tap. Then I filled a dishpan with water as cold as possible out of the tap. I plunged the skeins into the hot water for a full minute. Then I lifted them (with gloves to withstand the heat), squeezed as much hot water as possible out in a couple squeezes, the plunged into the cold water. Worked great! I think the resulting yarn is much softer in texture than previous ones I've done.

Here's my yarn after drying overnight on a hanger:


Here's a bit closer view:


And here it all is in nice, neat, center-pull balls:


For my first project, I'm working on a little pair of socks for Michael made from the undyed yarn. If they come out good, I might dye them with the Jaquard Acid dyes I have. Just need to get some white vinegar. I also started socks for me out of the "Carribbean Cool" blue yarn, but switched to Michael's first because I'm impatient to see results faster! LOL!

Monday, September 25, 2006

You Spin Me Right Round Baby

I have no idea why songs seem to pop into my head everytime I title an entry. Oh well.

Right now I have 3 drop spindles. The first one I ever got, I bought on eBay as a kit, with some simple instructions and a bit of wool to start with. It's a fairly unique bottom whorl spindle. The whorl is actually a knot from a tree that was in a forest fire (i.e. eco-friendly harvest of wood). It has a simple geometric design woodburned into the top and a little heard on the bottom. It is not my favorite, preferring a top whorl, but I had no idea when I bought it. The craftsmanship is nice though and I do use it. Here's a pic:


And the top:


Next is a fairly nice top whorl spindle. Its a little more refined in craftsmanship than the previous or next one, but I'm not fond of either the finish or the weight. The pretty stain that was applied to it has left it with a permanent sticky feel. Nothing that transfers to the yarn, but I just don't like how it feels in my hand. It also feels a little too light weight to me. The hook on the top is a cup hood, and just a day ago, the little metal shield part finally came loose and I removed it. Here's a pic:


And finally, here is my favorite. This is the spindle that I made myself. Now, its not my favorite just because I made it. Honest! I like it because it has a bit more heft to it than the others and it is smoother than the "sticky" one. I do have plans to finish it, but I'm going to us a polystain blend, to do both steps in one. I'm also toying with the idea of tapering the bottom to a dull point so it can spin like a top on the floor or in a bowl. If I am satisfied with the final outcome and performance, I'm going to make a few more and try selling them on eBay. I don't expect to get rich, but with 7 kids every little bit helps. Here is my handiwork:


So, there you have it. I have a few yarns waiting to have the twist set right now and kids eating breakfast, so its time to run. Thanks again for joining me today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Getting to Know Me

Getting to know all about me........ okay, okay... no more singing...

I figure that before I delve into the whole crafting thing, I'd tell you a little bit more about myself and family. I'm not saying that I imagine that you (whoever "you" may be....) are waiting breathlessly to find out anything about me, but humor me.

I am a mother of 7 (my screen name didn't clue you in, did it?) children. My wonderful husband is Bob. From oldest to youngest I have: Christopher (18yrs. - not at home), Patrick (15 yrs.), Justin (13 yrs. on 10/01), Melissa (11 yrs.), Sarah (10 yrs.), Molly (6.5 yrs. turns 7 on 10/22) and Michael (18 months). To answer a couple of the most frequently asked questions: Yes, its possible I'm crazy. No, I'm not done yet. Yes, I know what causes them. Moving on.....

Patrick is a 10th grader in public high school. Justin, Melissa, Sarah and Molly are all homeschooled. We are using Alpha Omega products. A Life Pac for Molly, in Kindergarten and Switched on Schoolhouse for the others. We go year round and will change grades in February or March. We only started homeschooling in January of 2005.

Currently we live on Cape Cod in Way-Too-Liveral-For-Us Massachusetts. My husband is currently seeking employment in Wisconsin for more money. If you are so inclined to do so, please spare a prayer for that end as his application is being turned in tomorrow via a friend who works for the same company to which he is applying. This would mean a huge but welcomed move and a wonderful blessing on us.

We are now Baptists. Before January of this year, when I came to Jesus after years of denial, we were nothing. I was raising well mannered, moral children who were totally bereft of any information regarding Him. I wouldn't even allow any religious children's books in the house. I believed that I was leaving them the freedom to decide on their own later. Ha! They had nothing on which to base such a decision. But all is well now. :) They jumped right in and like the little sponges they are, they are soaking up everything. I was baptized in August. Patrick will be baptized on October 1. Bob is considering it!! Yay!! Patrick and Justin are in Sr. and Jr. High Youth Group. Melissa and Sarah are T and T Girls in Awana and Molly in now a Sparkie. She is amazing! She started the year late last season (in late January) as a Cubbie. She caught up, finished early thru the whole handbook!!

Hmmm..... what else is there to tell? Probably a lot, but that's all I can come up with for now. Thanks for reading this far!!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

First Entry

Wow! What an exciting title, huh? LOL! Okay, so I have no real idea yet of how I want to utilize this space. Although I do have visions of sharing my crafting projects. I've got blogs coming out of my ears and never really get around to doing what I envisioned when I started them. But I really want this one to work. So, I'm off to look for templates that appeal to me before I do anything else.