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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Adventures in fiberland

Paulette and I have spent quite a few weekends at county fairgrounds. That might seem strange for a couple of city girls, but, that is where antique auctions are often held. You can count on fair food being available and sold by eager Boy Scout troops. But, this time, we were heading to the fairgrounds for a Market Day, sponsored by the Black Swamp Spinner's Guild of Bowling Green, Ohio. I'm relieved to tell you we didn't encounter any black swamp. However, we didn't see any fiber animals either. No sheep, alpaca, angora goats, rabbits were there as this was purely a market to purchase fleece, roving and yarn. YARN! Just what we need!
We brought our wheels, safely fastened in seat belts in the back of the car, and we were eager to settle in among  spinners in order to learn more about the craft.  Sigh. There was no spinning going on. Just shopping. SHOPPING! Okay, then. We took our wheels back to the car and got into shopping mode, something we know a thing or two about. We found wheels for sale and even discovered vendors that knew all about our wheels. So, back to the car we went to fetch our wheels for tuneups. Paulette got a new drive wheel band for hers and learned how to pack and unpack the wheel, stop the weird clicking sound on her brand new Kromski Sonata, and how to oil the wheel. I learned how to adjust a few parts on my Majacraft Susie Pro and was told not to worry about the groove with paint coming off on the back side of my wheel. I'm still not too sure about that, tho.
We looked at quite a few raw fleeces and loved the barn smell and the lanolin feel.
After making the full circuit of vendors, we each purchased roving that was dyed and ready to spin. It took some time to figure out how much roving would produce a scarf or two, but the vendors were very willing to share information with two eager newbies. We also discovered that cash or checks were welcome, but not plastic. Oh oh.  
We hope we made good selections, it was pretty hard to figure it out without Bonnie with us. In fact, we didn't think it was fair of her to move to Michigan just when she was in the process of teaching us all about the spinning world.
We have no idea what these are for, but liked the wine corks on the ends. Maybe these are weaving tools? In the far left corner of the photo you can see the niddy noddys. Paulette bought a maple one and the carver was there to explain how to wind yarn on it.
 Since we know all about how to buy processed yarn, we did purchase yet more sock yarn. I loved the sign and yes, yarn does make us happy!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spinning with Kate

 Kate enjoys her first outdoor spinning day with anticipation of some new yarn to tangle. I don't think she understands that it takes awhile for the fiber to turn into yarn! BFF, Paulette, joined me in the outdoor  adventure in my backyard. While it is only mid March, we are enjoying weather in the 80's this week! The white fiber is being spun to use as needlework yarn for the sheep painting visible on the patio table. I'm not sure I can spin fine enough yet to ply and still fit the yarn through the canvas, but, I'm pressing ahead as if it will work out perfectly.
 Featured below is my growing wheel collection. The MajaCraft Susie Pro is on the left. Ashford Traveler (my first wheel) is in the center and the wheel on the right is the Ashford Joy.Soon the Pocket Wheel will be added. Most people name their wheels, but, I have never been really comfortable with naming objects such as cars, houses, etc. Another collection that you can see part of is sewing tables, flanking the wheels on each side. This is only two of many.Now, mind you, I don't sew, but, I can't resist purchasing old sewing boxes, especially if they still have sewing notions inside.
 Back to the spinning. Featured below is part of my yarn stash. Oh, and another sewing table! I can say that I do not need to generate any yarn via spinning as I have enough yarn for ever. S.A.B.L.E. which, as many of you know, stands for (Yarn)stash acquired beyond life expectancy. Sometimes I'm not sure if I collect the yarn in order to justify buying a lovely cabinet, or if I buy the cabinet because of the lovely yarn. In any case, I like to think of it as ART.

I'm not showing you the drawers of my dressers and my closet that is stuffed with yarn. It would just be too much for you. You can see the partial collection of sheep paintings and stuffed sheep in the photo above. I have lots more. I'm not sure if I could be classified as a hoarder. I wouldn't even say this is clutter, would you? I will say I am uncomfortable owning just one of anything, tho. What is that all about? I'm married to a collector of WWII air memorabilia. Books, pins, art, movies, watches, medals, models, and so on. It's a really good thing that we live in big house in order to contain our collections. Together, we collect any and all dog related items, art, books, figurines, trophies, collars, etc. Would you say 3 dogs is a collection or a pack?  What do you collect and do you need to justify your collections to yourself or someone else or what?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kate's first birthday

Kate sports her birthday hat especially made by Allison and Marilyn

Kate joined us late in June, 2011, after  Dana, our toy poodle of 18 years passed away. I called the number in the ad and was delighted to learn that one female remained of a litter in Greenwich, Ohio. Ron and I set off with our gps to find both Greenwich and Kate's home in a trailer park- Lot 26, to be exact. Unable to navigate the maze within the park, I suggested that we just roll down the windows of the car and head toward excessive barking, a sure indication of where  Miniature Schnauzer's live. Yep, that was all it took to find her.  We know about that special characteristic from living with our beloved, Alex, a Miniature Schnauzer for 12 years. As Alex would bark at any and everything, driving us to distraction, Ron would say, "Alex, you are the last of the Mohicans!" In fact, of the 156 AKC breeds, Miniature Schnauzers top the list for most barking. Kate's breeders, husband and wife, were both deaf, so they were completely unfazed by the din. Enough said. Kate was thrust into my arms, and we conversed via a whiteboard about her diet, age, inoculations and so forth. She never touched the ground, we just headed out the door and back to Sandusky to introduce her to the boys, Jack and Louie.

As hoped, Kate holds her own with the standard poodles, barks not too much, is smart and loveable-except when asked to don a birthday hat.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Baa Baa

This is Moose, the rather large (hence the name) sheep who's fleece I bought to spin last summer. It was her first shearing, and 7 pounds of fleece for $40.00 is what I purchased at the Wooster Wool Festival. Moose is a Bluefaced Leicester (pronounced like the man's name, Lester)sheep,(BFL) which is part of the English Longwool Family. I selected it mainly because I was amused to find a sheep named Moose!

The photo above is of my friend and Wise Woman, Bonnie, helping to spread out the fleece to prepare it for washing. This was, mind you, on one of the hottest days of the summer. In fact, we soaked the fleece in the hottest water possible for one day, then again for a second day, then rinsed for a third day (a drop of Dawn Liquid Dishwashing) and then dried the fleece in Bonnie's attic.

Next came the carding, making rolags of it and then finally spinning it into  yarn. Moose's fleece is becoming a cabled purse from Vogue Knitting Holiday Issue 2008. I'd show it to you, but Kate shredded the cover of the magazine recently. Directions are intact, however, and the knitting is underway.

Business in Philly

For the past 28 years, I've been going to the Public Library Association's biannual meetings. Just being surrounded by 8,000 of my kind of people feels great. The conference is always in a great city, and this year's location, Philadelphia, was no different. This is a very cool city! Lots of great architecture, interesting neighborhoods located within walking distance of the convention center, fantastic restaurants, friendly people, etc. Being in a vibrant location is just one of the things that makes the conference successful. Another thing that can make or break a conference is the people you hang with all day long and much of the late, late nights! And, of course, it helps to have good speakers and relevant topics for 4 sessions per day.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Picture perfect

Kate's best friend is Louie. She loves to get him revved up to the point where I yell at Louie to calm down. This is the classic drama that all siblings recognize. The older one gets blamed for everything. A few days ago I actually saw Kate curled up with Louie, but, I couldn't get to the camera fast enough to record it for posterity. Today was a great spring day of 68 degrees. Perfect for dog walking, but, alas, instead, I went shopping for a few things needed before leaving for a library conference this week. Not needed, exactly, but, it's nice to have a few new things to toss into a suitcase.

I've always read that dogs can't tell how long you've been gone. Doesn't that seem like something people would make up in order to feel less guilty about leaving? I'm sure Ron will take good care of the pups while I'm away, but, I already am thinking about missing them. Maybe a long walk for each of them tomorrow will help me feel better about it.

A few weeks ago, I started sleeping on the leather couch in our upstairs library. I thought I had a better chance of getting enough room there then trying to stake my claim of part of the bed that all three dogs were crowding. Guess what. This really hasn't worked out at all. Jack takes up half of the couch for the first part of the night, then he leaves and Louie gets on it with me. Kate is small enough to stay on the couch throughout the night. I don't really think I've gained any space at all, but, it somehow seems like I did. Sometimes we'll all traipse down the hall back to the bedroom in the middle of the night. Ron never knows where I'll end up on any given night. One time, when my parents were visiting, I met my dad in the upstairs hallway, apparently doing the same wandering/room switching thing as me. Made me feel better to know where I probably got this night time habit in the first place!

Daylight savings time change was last night, so, in spite of the hour, I'm really not sleepy yet. At least some of our clocks are now correct again-the ones that I never could figure out how to change in the fall. We have 2 cuckoo clocks, 3 mantle clocks and 1 small grandfather-like clock, all chiming, and one clock that makes loon sounds on the hour. Ron has them arranged for one to follow the other almost like an song.  We didn't have to change the tv clock, or computers, phones or alarm clocks. Those magically change. I won't even tell you how many watches Ron has, but, it is not just two or three. He has my dad's WWII pilot's watch, several pocket watches, several vintage watches and a few modern watches. I've changed the clock on the microwave and the one on the oven. I have no idea how to change the Wave radio clock and I'll have to reread the info to change the clocks in the cars. I haven't even mentioned the clocks in each bedroom and in the bathroom and the 2 clocks in my office. I wonder how many people ignore the whole thing and make mental adjustments instead of clock adjustments.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

M.I.A. Almost

This evening, I decided to pop in at the Library to get my desk calendar. No good reason,really to do that, but,there you are. We have our backyard double fenced to be sure to keep the pups safely within. Little did I know that while I was gone, Kate slipped out of gate one, butted open the door leading to our garage, and waited for me to return home. When I drove into the garage, Kate slipped out into the back alley just as I was in the process of closing the automatic garage door! Of course, I wasn't expecting to see her scamper toward the closing door and hooray to the fellow who invented doors that stop when the beam is crossed. A quick hello to Kate and she stopped in her tracks and came back to me. All is now well. This,however, bring to mind a narrow escape that her predecessor, Alex, had several years ago. Alex, master of our universe, was a 10 year old mini schnauzer, that by that time was both deaf and blind but otherwise in good health. Some time earlier that day, a repairman had left gate two open. Ron didn't notice that when he came home from work and let Alex out into the yard. Next thing Ron knew, Alex was G O N E. Ron ran everywhere in the neighborhood looking for him. Crushed, Ron didn't know what to do, and the phone rang and without any greeting,he said, Did you find him? yes,said two guardian angels. They found him in the middle of the road in the dark in front of a bar that they were about to enter. Whew.

Our first day

Well, off we go! Our first blog is pretty exciting, and, would you believe it, Kate is sound asleep beside me on the couch. That's a good thing, actually, because I can type without being nibbled. Kate's first birthday will be next week, altho, we didn't know her until she was 12 weeks old. She joins big brothers Jack and Louie-two standard poodles, ages 6 and 4. Kate is really my husband's dog, but, he's pretty well resigned that Kate and I are a duo of epic proportions. Maybe it's our joint love of fiber. I love to knit and spin and Kate loves to make lots of tangled messes of both. We both love to take naps, walks, go for rides and hang with BFF, Paulette.

Kate often accompanies me to work and creates mayhem all through the Library before taking a nap break. As with all little ones, the naps come on all at once after rousing play.

I've been a librarian for my entire career. Even before personal computers, fax machines and cell phones. Really. I learned how to type catalog cards (the spacing is crucial), look up answers in books,  and do book talks for interested readers. With a personal muse (Samantha, brand new librarian and social media guru), I've ventured into the world of twitter, facebook, YouTube, and, as you can see, blogs. Yep, this blog is dedicated to Samantha. As soon as I can figure out how to insert photos (well, let's be honest here, as soon as Sam shows me how to insert photos) I'll introduce you to the list of characters in our blog. So, until next time, bye and woof!