Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Happy Hooves and Unsound Minds.....

I've been foolishly holding off on posting thinking that I might have my new favorite yarn (cough - handspun vardo batts - cough) to show you. Silly me - I have a show next weekend and one two weeks after that and the planting to do. My singles sit on the bobbin pouting and I am reminded that I was supposed to come here a while ago and show off the May Happy Hooves batts - queen mermaid, doncha know.

queen mermaid 004I knew right away that I wouldn't be spinning a sock yarn from this month's batts. Firstly, I have been doing queen mermaid for as long as I've been dyeing so there is not a shortage of handspun in that colorway in my sock yarn trunk. Secondly, see above mentioned schedule of doom and you pretty much know that spinning a sock yarn would mean occupying the wheel for longer than I am able to do at this moment. So, being ever rational and also maybe on the verge of a manic episode to rival all others, I set the bar - higher. Yes, you read me right. Whilst most sane peoples would look at the map of impossibilities before them and think, 'simplify' as a tactic - I look at it and think, 'heck, if I'm gonna go down it may as well be in a blaze of glory - one that properly defines my fervent addiction to all things wool. I maybe could have stopped at this lace wgt. yarn but it seemed as if some divine source was goading me on - pushing me to that brink that would certainly either leave me thoroughly exhausted and hating myself, or thrilled to no end that all that hard work (and the extra work I'd made for myself in avoiding my job) had been worth it. So, I tried some beading to spice up the already cajun style brew in the fiber cooking pot. It's a twisted logic but it did work for me. When I finally crashed into bed, arms throbbing, eyes permanently crossed or so it seemed, shoulders aching, and the clock mocking me with a three before all the other numbers - I was as close to being thoroughly exhausted and thrilled to no end as I'd like to be at the same time for the next little bit. I will happily return to sock yarn spinning next month...promise.

So, because I am a lunatic, and because I didn't want to have all this fun by myself, I set up each hooves shipment with the same amount of beads and a strand of superfine yarn in case everyone else wanted to jump in on the insanity fun. I know there are many ways to bead a yarn and then there is the option that I usually follow which is to just add the beads when knitting. That is the sounder option. The more certain option. When adding the beads whilst knitting, you can be absolutely sure of the placement of the bead and of the color variation if you are using many different colors of beads. It all makes so much sense. However, making sense is not always the best medicine. Sometimes, you just have to let go and stretch your wings a bit. A fun, beaded, shiny novelty yarn is the thing for such times.

hooker 002You can try stringing your beads onto the strand and then pulling them back as you ply but you will likely find that even the slightest buildup of yarn fuzz or even a stray bit of fiber can bind up and cause the strand to break, spilling your beads across the floor and practically forcing you to swear unceasingly for at least a coffee break's worth of time. If it breaks at the beginning, ruining all your hard stringing efforts, you might even hiss and spit as well as the swearing. The method I like best is to cut a 5-6 inch strand of super fine yarn or thread, tie the bead into the middle of that strand, and then, when you have the umpteen of them you need pre-strung, ply them into your yarn. hooker 004 I like this because you're not tangling a long string of beads of doom while you ply, because you still have some control over color variation and selection, and because the tying of the bead in the middle allows you to ply it in a little loose so that the bead can be flipped if you find it is in a disadvantageous position while knitting it. No one wants to go to the trouble of beading and knitting the yarn to have the beads on the inside of your precious knitted thingamajiggie, non?

After all of this, if you need to have some ice cream and try to find Ozzy Osbourne's 'Crazy Train' on you tube so you can turn it up really loud and mystify your teenagers with your wild dorkiness, do so - it is worth it. I'm thinking of a sort of hair taming fall season thingabobble from this adventure into the masochistic mind of yours truly. hmm?

In other news, the lame blogging cannot be blamed entirely on shows or gardens. We've been having a heck of a time with procuring transport over the past couple of weeks since our old blue truck up and bit the dust on us. So, after many failed attempts to shop for our own vehicle and, thus, find one we could afford as car payments are not really a reasonable facet of our lifestyle at the moment - I am again on wheels and plan to pack my strings and run away for a few days to Mass Sheep and Wool - if you're there next weekend, do stop in - cuz, you know, I love to talk!

As we suspected, word got around town and the dogs of terror have been identified. Just like I thought, people are working harder to pay more to drive back and forth to work these days and these pubescent pups have been left alone long enough to figure out how to trick their owners and be dashing adventurists all day long. Sadly, I was the one that got them in trouble and now they have those collars on that make squeaky dog ear torture noises when they pass their boundaries. I freely admit that my children and my dogs are good on their own accord as I thoroughly suck at disciplining anyone (still working on myself, actually) so I'm not judging or anything. It's more that I fear one day I might walk up to their yard and they'll look at me with scorn, 'there she is, the one who got us in trouble!'. I'll be known to the dog world as the informant. And Mr. Potato head shakes his hands in grief, 'oh great, now I have guilt!'