I'm Laura. I am a gamer, a bookworm, a knitter, a spinner, a tatter, a seamstress, pierced, tattooed, musical, vehemently geeky and occasionally ineptly artistic. She/her.
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Posted at 16 Feb 2013 02:57:54 PM
Hello, blog. We're back.
I'm grateful for the previously mentioned bit of time off from this blog and other crafty pursuits. It truly was necessary due to personal issues in September and October, and shortly thereafter we discovered that a new family member will be arriving in mid-2013. I didn't quite realize what exhaustion felt like before enduring the last few months -- and other moms tell me that what I think I know about exhaustion now
is laughable compared to what life is like with a newborn. I, er ... think I'm excited? Heh.
Regardless, as long as energy allows, I'll be getting back in the craft saddle shortly. A new section of spindles should be available soon in my Etsy shop soon, and lo - Stringtopia 2013 approaches! I'm not missing that come hell, high water or sleep deprivation.
And speaking of Stringtopia, Abby
has been kind enough to link to this site in this year's Stringtopia post. Given that, let's talk about knitting.
I've started a long-anticipated project: Windsbraut - Sommerwind
. Over two years ago -- seriously -- I spun the yarn for this project. It was before I had ever taken a Longwools class with Beth Smith
, before a Stringtopia, before any real videos from Interweave or any sort of formal training. I think I may have read some forum posts on Wensleydale.
My Ravelry notes on the original 2011 stash entry aren't encouraging, but as I wound the yarn this morning I can't find fault with it. Maybe it's due to the passage of time, and that two years later I'm less intimately connected with the yarn than I was immediately after I'd spun it. My honest opinion is that I could have plied it harder but it's Good Yarn. It handled being wound and rewound like a champ. As I've started knitting with it on US5's my only impression is that I really ought to go up a needle size. Wensleydale is, after all, hairy and as one would do with Mohair, one should do with Wensleydale.
Click to embiggen
The goal is to finish it for Stringtopia this year.
For completed FOs, there isn't been much of interest. I started a Tweezle
for a friend's baby, but discovered (again!) that I am completely incapable of weaving in ends competently with acrylic yarn. The problem is compounded when the pattern in question involves stripes -- even more ends. Ultimately I started at the finished pieces for a couple of weeks and then decided the stress wasn't worth it; I threw them in the bin and went shopping from her registry.
Remind me of this episode next time I contemplate knitting for a non-knitter, please. Acrylic is a lovely thing these days and I have nothing against it - but top-down unstriped raglans only.
I did finish this tatted doily, but appear to have sent it off to live with its new owner before taking a proper photo of it:
Whoops. It's finished, really!
It took A Long Time, but I was pleased with the final doily. All shuttle tatted using my favorite shuttle: a Victorian gersilver one piece shuttle which has a spot on it for the owner's name to be engraved, but was left blank. It may have been surplus stock which was never sold, or perhaps the engraving was an extra cost which the original owner couldn't afford. I like it that way because I don't feel as though I'm using someone else's toys without permission.
I knitted a sweater for Rhinebeck - by which I mean I finished it in mid-October, flew to New York, and wore it while driving past Rhinebeck en route to the King Arthur Flour Baking Center in Vermont. The pattern is Paper Dolls by Kate Davies
, and it is above reproach.
My mom and I spent the weekend nearby and took several classes, learned quite a lot, explored the surrounding area, ate in hole-in-the-wall restaurants, and as expected had a fabulous time. Dan has commented on the improvement in my sandwich white bread, and I hope to try for bread bowls soon.
Stay tuned - shawl progress coming soon! Keep me honest, readers.
Posted at 16 Oct 2012 01:13:32 PM
Life has risen up to bite us lately here in Casa Cybermenology, and there hasn't been much knitting, spinning or crafting. Even the tatting project which I showed you last is only a few inches larger. Any brainpower which still remains with me at the end of the work day is being put toward recovering and maintaining our emotional health. And laundry. Laundry never ends.
I keep up with all of your blogs, of course, and please be assured that even if my output is low, I am still inspired by all of your lovely projects!
In August I did a Habitat for Humanity with my team through my job. It was a really great experience, and I'm looking forward to doing another one next year. And hey, I know how to hang drywall now! It was approximately 105* F that day, and rather than working everyone until we dropped, the supervisor told us after lunch that we were done for the day. We went and had a couple of beers in a (cold! air-conditioned!) bar on Main Street in St Charles -- and that left me conveniently down the street from Knit and Caboodle.
They had a packet of dyed magenta mohair locks from Pagewood Farm. Sometime back I bought an ounce or so of dyed purple mohair locks from Mandy of The Cloistered Lamb
. It seemed like a sign!
I combed the two together and pulled the result into top and spun it tight and worsted. I plied it with bleached tussah and the result, I think, is pretty. The magenta gives the purple some depth without being variegated. I could have plied it harder, but if that's my only complaint..
370 yards, mohair/silk laceweight.
During the last weekend of September I threw off my apathy long enough to pick up a squooshy braid of Frabjous Fibers - Merino Sparkle top (also procured, if memory serves, from that same trip to Knit & Caboodle). Merino isn't my favorite fiber to spin, but when combined with silk and some firestar it can make my heart sing :) This was a little bit compacted (very unusual for Frabjous, believe me) but that added to my overall goal. I couldn't
spin it thin, and didn't want
to be spinning it for long, so I stripped it lengthwise and spun 250 yards of a worsted to bulky 2ply.
Squishableness. It's good for the soul.
I tell myself that I'm not a fan of multicoloured yarns, but find my stash lacking in interesting things from which to knit hats or cowls. I think that I'm inconsistent. :-)
D and I took a trip to Taos, NM for the Taos Sheep and Wool Festival. I took a class with Galina Khmeleva
on Russian supported spindle spinning. I am still pretty bad at it! Amazed at how much of a new skill it was... once you think that you're pretty good at something, it's interesting to be thrown into the deep end again to learn something entirely new. It was nice to be around fiber people again.
You can't fault the scenery of Colorado and New Mexico. Everywhere you looked was breathaking -- literally, we were at 8,000 feet!
We flew into Denver but stayed in Red River. It was a beautiful area, and was less than an hour to Taos. We only had a few days there and I would love to have more time. Next year, I hope.
It was Octoberfest that weekend. Bonus!
Baldy Mountain and Touch-Me-Not
A few months back I picked up a Fleegle Beader
and have not yet put it to use. A big grand Shipwreck-sized project is beyond me right now. Nevertheless, I will persist.
Mandy had made me a lavender batt some time ago in exchange for a couple of spindles. I don't seem to have taken any pictures of it - and it was so pretty, with a matching ribbon! - but this weekend I decided that since it was small and colourful, it wouldn't demand much of me and I could probably spin it in a day or two.
I was right. It became 350 yards of slightly textured laceweight yarn, and in order to get some usable yardage (and also because spinning up something to ply with it required more forethought than I'd had), I left it as singles. They're overspun for "ideal" singles, but I'm not bothered. I think that it will make a lovely small shawl.
Welcome to my bathroom counter.
I have my eye on Graciella
(Ravelry link). To get the best out of my yardage and to use my shiny new Fleege Beader, I will use beads, instead of nupps.
This Thursday I will be taking a trip to New York, and from thence with my Mom to Vermont to the King Arthur Baking mothership. We will be taking classes on bread baking on Saturday and Sunday. I'm very out of practice with bread, but expect that I will get some good experience from the classes. And can you imagine a whole weekend in a place that smells like rising bread? YUM.
My snowflake sweater is coming along. Only a few inches of sleeve are left, and I'm hoping to have it finished by the time I leave for New York. I am on vacation from work this week so in theory, that's totally doable. In reality I am distracted by things like playoff baseball and finishing yarn.
Paper Snowflakes and Ouiser the Dog
This may be one of the last pictures with our dog, Ouiser. He is fine (I hope) but we have had to give him to a new home in order to get things more simple around here. He is still on a "three day trial" to make sure that he gets along with their existing dog. However, this was day two and I haven't had any warning phone calls, so probably this is how things will stay. I am very sad, but hope that he will be well loved in his new home.
Give us this day...
Posted at 30 May 2009 11:12:26 AM
The lighting could be better, but the bread smells damn good. It's still cooling; I'm going to freeze one loaf and use the other. The recipe is from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook; no fermenting, just straight-up kneaded white bread. I used the kitchenaid for most of it and only kneaded by hand for a couple of minutes before proofing. Hopefully it was enough... I don't have a good knack for the timing yet, but it felt
For now, I've got butter chicken simmering away on the stove (and somehow, I am out of brown rice. WTF is up with me?). Owing to some rather unprintable scheduling on the part of his boss Dan won't be home 'til late tonight and probably won't even be able to go to the baseball game with me tomorrow.
The next experiment: garlic knots
Posted at 28 Jul 2008 09:23:37 AM
I think this will be my next experiment: Buttery Garlic Knots
Photo (C) Kelly Wright @ Sass and Veracity
I can find no fault with that picture.
So.. who wants to come over for a spaghetti night sometime soon? :D
Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:58:21 AM
So I experimented with my new bread machine's recipe for cinnamon buns this weekend. It -says- that 2lbs of dough makes 24 rolls... I beg to differ ;) If they're bitesize, maybe you'd get 24 out of it. I got about 16 with my first attempt of 1.5lbs, and overbaked them by a good 5 minutes. I blame the recipe for that one.
So I stripped out the best 8 and brought them to bbqdaffid
This morning, I got up and made a second batch. 2 lbs of dough, didn't divide the dough into halves but just rolled it all out in one big piece, and rolled it up into one GIANT log. I got 13 buns counting the two end pieces, baked them for 20 minutes, and got some darned tasty cinnamon buns :D
Half were a housewarming present for , half are munchies for the coming days. A successful experiment, I think!
One of my tomato plants has its first blossom. With any luck (and I can't believe I'm hoping for this) some bees will wander through and do its job, and we will have tomatoes! I'm still not sure that I'm not carefully cultivating some weeds in the form of faux-pepper plants, but time will tell.
Flour + Water + Yeast + Salt = ??
Posted at 03 Mar 2008 06:02:46 PM
Well, hello there beautiful.
Now, where did I put that jam...
Sunday morning routine
Posted at 11 Dec 2008 10:55:59 AM
I just finished my second batch of bread! Technically, it's in its second rise, but the hard part is done.
I think this time I'll bake all 3 loaves today, and freeze two of them. Freezing all three and then baking them from scratch was tricky, timing-wise, and I'm not sure that I really like how the texture came out.
Regardless, I'm really liking this as a Sunday morning routine.