Nope, you can’t have him…

(…though I suppose if you’d like some shelving built, and you’re willing to pay very well, I could be convinced to loan him out. Briefly.)

I must be doing something right to deserve such a great room. Really, I’m not trying to make anyone jealous; I’m quite in awe of it myself.

For the first time in my life, I have more storage than things-to-store. It’s strangely… tidy?

I’d better design some patterns, sell some yarn, or do something similarly impressive.

Then there is this.

I have this little beauty on loan (long term loan?) from my mother-in-law, and I must say I haven’t the slightest idea where to start. Warping is a mystery of the utmost level to me. I’m very willing to learn though!


Mostly finished

It’s taken awhile, but things are finally coming together here, finding a place. There is plenty of room to spin,

and to knit.

The Wall o’ Roving has been re-installed, and I also have a sewing spot.

My favorite part of all, the part that makes me run in to look first thing in the morning, is my yarn closet.

And, as you can see, I’m not the only one who is enjoying the new room.

Waiting Time

Thanks for all the well wishes. As a note to those who felt I was handling the early arrival of the movers with amazing calm, keep in mind that I was writing at the end of the day. That was pure exhaustion you were picking up on. Prior to that there was an abundance of running around aimlessly, waving my arms and screaming. I believe my words to Andy were something like, “You know how the other day I was lamenting the lack of adrenaline rushes in my life? Yeah, this is not what I meant…” But everything ended up fine, all our things are packed and presumably on the way to the east coast. Now we are in a different phase.

This is The Waiting Time. The empty house, the long days (of course the weather is being almost rotten most of the time, so my plans of spending hours at the park have been shot down…), the re-packing and house-inspection cleaning that I don’t want to do… I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to spend some time with my friends here in town, and that has been getting me through. I don’t want to leave yet, but I’ll be durned if I can spend much more time in this big empty house!!!
Anyway, I finished the Marrakech knee socks. They’re my own design, a “knit-3, purl-1” rib, toe-up using hints from various sources, and knit “as it goes” for the calf increases. They worked out well, and fit nicely; I wore them out last night and there was minimal falling down (Of the socks. I didn’t fall down at all.) Here are some photos for you (note the room empty of all but my knitting bags…)
Ah yes, here is how I managed to get such a photo…

Oh, and I took a couple photos of my last-minute dyeing session last Monday. I really like the results; they’re destined for the Etsy-shop-to-be, either as roving or handspun, so you’ll be seeing them again…

And here is what I’ve been working on this week. It’s my first summer sock, in Panda Cotton, which is a blend of cotton, bamboo, and nylon elastic. So far I really like the yarn. It’s a bit splitty, but knits up with nice definition and stretch (I’m using 2.0 or US size 0 needles) and is very cool and smooth feeling.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Things are sure to get more interesting as we get on the road. I hope to post along the way, particularly since we have some interesting stops along our route (Deadwood, South Dakota, for one!)

Stay tuned for the Travelling Wool Room…


We didn’t expect them until tomorrow. . .

. . . but they’re doing a great job so far.

I’ll post after the dust settles. (Look forward to finished knee socks and perhaps some more!)

Happy birdie; bad kitty.

Well, the good news is that the little pine siskin is fine. The kind bird-rescue lady, Charlotte, came by Monday afternoon to pick him up. After a quick examination she guessed, as I had, that there were no fractures in the wing, perhaps just some soft tissue damage, and that a week or so of “cage rest” (I like my term, “nest rest,”) should fix ‘im up.
He was a very friendly little bird, and I enjoyed having him around the house for a couple days. He was lively and friendly, quick to hop into my hand; probably enjoyed the warmth.

There is bad news to report on the bird-front, however, and I am ashamed and sad. The deck was teeming with birds all day Monday, and Hannah was curious beyond belief. She had never done more than watch the birds flying high above, but on Monday they were landing on the deck floor, and she couldn’t resist. Unfortunately, she is very quick, and caught and killed one (I found the little body inside) then I saw her catch another and made her release it. It flew off, I hope it lived.
Our house has no screens, but it can get very warm (80+ degrees F) inside if you don’t open the windows; I blocked the windows and sliding-door as best I could with baby-gates and cardboard, but underestimated the acrobatics a cat will go through to chase birds. She managed to escape and kill two or three more birds by the evening. I know cats are hunters by their nature, but I’ve owned many cats since I was small, and Hannah seems vicious beyond the norm: killing and tearing the birds in such quick succession, but not even trying to eat them or anything. I was horrified.
She spent much of the afternoon yesterday shut in the girls’ room so I could air out the house. I am having trouble viewing her kindly today; a friend had expressed interest in adopting her a few weeks ago, when we were debating how to take her across the country, and I may take my friend up on the offer. I’m finding I’m much more of a bird-person than a cat-person. If we were going to be living on a farm where she could help get rid of rodent pests, I’m sure her talents would be much more appreciated.
So now I feel terrible, both for the death of the birds and for my reaction to my cat’s natural actions; please don’t judge me too harshly, but let me know your thoughts if you like.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a more positive note, I have some knitting to show. I had some sock yarn from Fearless Fibers (in Marrakesh,), and as the skein is huge (550 yards!) I wanted to try making some simple kneesocks from it. I decided to do them toe-up (I’m usually a cuff-down girl,) to use every last bit of yarn.

Here is the first one. I started out using the “On Your Toes” pattern in the summer 2007 Interweave Knits (but with a K3, P1 rib, rather than the K2, P2 in the pattern, just ’cause.) But my aversion to short-row heels is what has kept me from knitting toe-up socks, so I borrowed the bottom-up heel-flap-and-gusset from my new Boudica sock kit pattern. I love the result.

It fits me like a dream, and left me free to do the increases up the back of the leg as I went along, rather than guessing and doing math. So far, so good. The only problem I might have is making the second one match (since I failed to write down the order of increasing…)

Tala just tagged me for a Random Facts meme, so I’ll get to that tonight or tomorrow morning. (And don’t apologize for tagging me, T; I’m happy to do memes!)

All for now.

Things that go bump

We have a visitor, unexpected, but welcome nonetheless.

Can you see him in there?

Yesterday, around suppertime, there was a *thud-crash-thump* as this little fellow came to an abrupt halt headfirst against the big picture window. I found him lying on his back, flapping one wing, looking extremely dazed. We deposited him in a bowl on some paper towels, but as the impact-shock wore off, it became apparent that his wing is injured. Some quick research suggests he (or she; I don’t know how to tell!) is a Pine Siskin, a very common bird in these parts, and a member of the finch family. I fixed him up a little bird apartment in a cardboard box, complete with two low perches (a pencil and a chopstick,) caps full of bird seed and water, and also a rock to help get up onto the perch.

He spent the night, and is very alert and chirpy this morning, but still unable to fly. I’ve put in a call to the local “wild-bird rescue lady,” and am hoping she will call back soon. Otherwise I’m going to get attached to the little guy! He has a sweet voice, and has been serenading me for the past hour or so.

(This is how I ended up with the nickname “Loribird,” by the way. As a kid I made a habit of dragging home all the fallen-fledglings and victims of housecat-hunts, and trying to nurse them back to health…)

Winged weekend

I can hardly believe it’s Sunday afternoon already. The weekend has flown by, and nary a right-hand mitten to be seen. Ah well, there has been other progress made.

The Squirrel Girls needed something to do. It’s sunny, but far too cold to spend much time outdoors; no matter how much you bundle up, if you weigh less than 50 pounds you’re going to be chilly at 6 degrees F.
After we went to knitting together Saturday morning (they colored pictures for everyone in attendence,) they asked if I could help them learn to “sew.” We decided that embroidery (printed cross stitch) might be the best way to learn to handle a needle, so I scrounged the craft section of the local store and came up with two pillowcase kits with flower and bow decorations. They were approved by the soon-to-be crafters, who caught on very quickly and (with a good amount of guidance) kept at it most of the afternoon.

They worked on it again this morning, and this is the result so far:

They’re choosing their own colors, and demonstrating extraordinary patience for 5 and 7 year olds. I’m such a proud mama!

I’ve gotten a little fiber work done myself. Here is the second bobbin of singles from the Orion merino/tencel roving I dyed. Almost ready for plying!

There was also some knitting time, of course. The Leaf Lace shawl is only six rows and a bind off from completion. Sounds easy, but each row is taking up to ten minutes, even without interruptions. Hopefully I can block tonight…

What, you may ask, has afforded the opportunity for the Wool Room to become a den of female craftiness?

I don’t know that I’ve mentioned, but Andy is in the Coast Guard. His job keeps him busy and he and the boat he is on are often out of port for several days or several weeks at a time. He does get to go all sorts of interesting places, and often while underway the crew finds time to induge their fishing and hunting passions, so don’t feel too bad for the fella.
For some reason though, I’m missing him more this time than usual.


All for now.

Quite a quiet day

Today has been very quiet.
The kids are at school, there were few errands to run, and the house is reasonably clean. The sun is brilliant, making it look warm outside, though temperatures topped out at 15 F this afternoon.
It was a good day to stay on the couch in a patch of sunlight and knit on the handspun Leaf Lace shawl.

The colors have shifted to pale greens and purples, perhaps too abruptly, but I’m going with it anyway. I think the leaf pattern is strong enough to carry the striped effect. I have only the border left to do after purling across this row, so I’m likely to finish it before starting the second mitten.

This was the scene on the coffee table after I came back from the post office today. I loved the strong shadows cast by the winter sun, so I took the photo op.

I received in the mail an order from Zero Markers, some beautiful freshwater pearl stitch markers made by the multi-talented Aija. They obliged me by posing cupped in a cohog shell.

I bought a set for my Spin to Knit swap pal as well, to send along with the next yarn. Which reminds me, I have to take a picture of it soon – it’s the Orion roving I dyed a couple weeks ago, nearly ready for plying.

While I had the camera in hand, I took a couple other pictures; corners of my home, if you will.

All for now. Hope you can also find a quiet patch of sunlight to enjoy.

More like Christmas…

It’s beginning to look a lot more like Christmas (or Christmasolstikwanzakuh, if you like) here at the Wool Room Nest.

Lacking a mantle, the stockings are hung and waiting on the banister. (Yes, the cat and dog have their own stockings. No, the cat will not be receiving her own yarn.)

The ingredients for easy turtles are waiting on the table as an after dinner project.

The tree is displaying its full regalia, and the pile of presents underneath is growing steadily.

Oh, yes, and Mama scored a bag of pomegranetes for $0.99 at the store the other day, which can only mean that one thing is in the making…

Pomegranete cordial! It won’t be ready until 4 to 6 weeks have passed, but I expect it to be quite delicious! I got the idea from Liz over at the Pocket Farm, which is a very cool blog if you have time to check it out.

You want to know about the knitting? What knitting? There’s been precious little, I have some spinning to appease the Yarn Ghouls.

These are both sock weight yarns, spun two-ply from some superwash merino I dyed some weeks back. Each skein has about 220 yards in it.

The first colorway is nameless so far, but will be nice and stripey knit up.

The second is called Mermaid, and I think it is my favorite of the two.

The weather has been the same, cold, windy, and snowy. I’m not complaining at all 🙂

A picture may be worth 1000 words

but I only had two:


Yes, those are two different balls of yarn. Both strung all across the house, the green one both upstairs and down. She’s been busy.

WRWR: Still rainy, still just above freezing… but there is an end in sight! The online weather forcast has pictures of snowflakes with giant question marks superimposed over them – I hope that means possibility of snow!