Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Show & Tell

This is way too adorable. Knit-themed cupcakes. Not your standard knit cupcake, lemme tell ya. While you're at it, go here to Juniper Moon Farm's blog, where I ran across the knit-themed cupcakes. This post has a Hey Jude flow chart that is wonderful.

Meet Tasha, the backseat driver. Believe it or not, she is just small enough to sit behind me in my ergonomic work chair. She loves that I telecommute, but this situation prevents the chair from achieving it's full purpose in life. And yet it hasn't complained. Yes, she does actually prop her head on the arm of the chair. Yes that is her right paw dangling lazily off the seat. She's a goofy gal. We're a good team.

So, DH bought me a Lendrum spinning wheel for my birthday. Meet Betty, the wheel. Tasha, whom we met above (again, for some) felt she needed to art direct the photo shoot. Not sure how the name "Betty" happened but it did. Too much Mad Men? By the way, Don Draper is Maureen's boyfriend. If you aren't Maureen you won't get that joke. Or, maybe you will...Next to Tasha is the lazy kate I also got. If you look closely, you'll notice a piece of driftwood perched behind the front maiden. In English, that's "top-front of the contraption behind where that vertical post thingy is." That is my makeshift "hold the fiber while I'm off doing other life things" tool. The wheel doesn't have the attached orifice hook so I can't wrap my in progress work 'round it. However, this brings us to...(next slide, please)

The Orifice Hook. This happens to be the humongous plying head with the humongous orifice which makes everyone else look like 90-lb weaklings. So let's put this into a little more perspective.
Better. This hook is about 4 1/2" long, and the spiral head is just shy of 7/8" diameter. If you operate in metric (which I do when I'm working in metal), that's 11.5 cm long, with a spiral diameter of lets say 22 mm. I had a makeshift one I made from a paperclip but the head was so small that I was having difficulty controlling it. 14 gauge copper, Chainose pliers, a hammer, and a little flex-shaft-driven polishing and we have my little copper beauty. I can tuck the in-progress fiber into the spiral and, if I don't want the thing just dangling around, I can hook it on the drive band. I also had to repair the cable that attaches the footman to the treadle. While the part was on order I managed to concoct another 14-gauge copper thingy to operate in its place. Thank goodness that was fast, though, because it was a little rough. But it worked!

I'm so MacGyver.

One last picture...my yummy purple Mountain Colours "Heather" targhee. 2 3/8 ounces, 265 yards. I think that would be about 1700 yards per pound, rounded down. DK weight. This is only my second 2-ply EVER, so it doesn't suck too badly and it'll only get better. Oh, come on, let's be real about this. The first skeins are horrible. It's really uneven but it is balanced, and it's hanging up drying. I see fingerless gloves in my future...

*can we just all think of something other than "orifice"? Really? Orifice? Wouldn't "aperature" be nicer? It's not that I'm a prude, but...orifice? Most of the parts of a spinning wheel are strangely named...mother-of-all, maidens, orifice, orifice hook...well, the other parts aren't so bad, like treadle and drive band and table and wheel and footman...orifice? Really? Can I start a revolution?

No. pun. intended.

One more thing...Mom came to visit and The Nor'easter That Ate Virginia swept through and the power was out for a few days and it didn't completely suck, especially when DH tromped through the rising tide in the basement with garbage cans on his feet. Nope, no galoshes or boots or waders, and we didn't get to go to silversmithing class or Yarn For Breakfast. The former was cancelled, and the latter was in conflict with showers at the gym. See Mom's post for the gory and not-so-gory details, soon to come when she arrives back home. She's at my brother's in Wisconsin at the moment. Mom: did you find the tartar sauce recipe in your email? When I say minced, I mean really minced. There's a special mouth feel (gawd, foodie talk) when it's minced. Just crunchy enough. Not too crunchy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Lame Post

I stalled after Williamsburg Consort (aka Band Camp). I'm tired, frustrated, angry, disappointed...and it keeps me from having fun with my bloggy self. None of the tired-frustrated-angry-disappointedness has anything to do with Consort, as we call it. Consort was a blast. It challenged me as a musician and it was a pleasure to play under such a professional conductor. An absolutely joy. It's the difference between an 18 micron Merino and grocery store twine. There's simply no way to connect the two. So that was terrific. I learned some great things from Janet, the flute section leader. I'm already seeing improvements from the advice I got from her. It inspires me to keep playing.

The tired-frustrated-angry-disappointedness (oh hell, let's just call it what it is: TFAD), the TFAD doesn't mean there aren't events to look forward to in life. My mother is coming to visit next week and I'm excited-anxious. We're titivating like crazy. Actually, I think we're beyond titivating and have moved into full on spring (fall) cleaning. I sweep the back decks at least once a day. That's something.

No, this is mostly about the triplets. They turned three months old last week and we haven't seen them since July 28th. They broke up and she didn't waste any time requesting child support, and also didn't waste any time telling him he couldn't see the babies, for any number of reasons which all equal no visits.

My best friend moved to South Carolina. I love her, I question her judgement on this, and I support her 100% because that's what friends do. Exciting for her, not so exciting for me. Now I'm just whining.

The Hateful Project is in someone else's hands now, more or less, while I finish my not-quite-as-hateful-project. Remember...Erin doesn't like managing projects. Strangely enough, The Hateful Project has gotten alot of recognition because on paper it returns a ton of productivity hours back to the teams involved, and this is big bucks. So, yay. Ironic. It doesn't make it any less hateful, though.

The uncomfortable part about wrapping up projects is that there isn't anything waiting in the wings. What happens when my six sigma project is done? What happens when The Hateful Project is done? I like having something to look forward to (remember that phrase...I'll come back to it...maybe not today, but sometime, and it troubles me...the phrase, I mean).

DH (Dear Husband) started rehearsals for Brave New World last week. I think he gets to "get nekkid" but we aren't sure yet. He really likes working with this group partly because of all the suzuki theater method they use in rehearsal. I couldn't explain it to you. It's a little weird. Sort of like competitive yoga, but not.

So, this post is about me saying: I'm here, the last few months have been a little crappy and I've mostly been trying to just deal.