Monday, March 24, 2008

Angora Love

We were brushing our Angora rabbit the other night, and he was just giving wool like crazy. My husband brushed and brushed, and I watched in awe. Then I grabbed my spindle. I mean, how can you worry about screwing up Angora wool when the little guy keeps making it like that??? I had also read a great excerpt from this book about how to handle Angora yarn, and I thought I'd take pictures as I went along. Firstly, of course, the spinning. The book recommended that I spin tightly, at a worsted weight, but the wool clumped up on me when I wasn't spinning skinny, like I'm used to, so I went with the skinny, but spun it really tight.

Secondly, I had already on a spindle some thinly spun merino, treated so it was superwash. These two were going to ply together great, since apparently you put Angora yarn in screaming hot water and agitate it, completely at odds with what you would expect to do with wool, and since the merino was superwash, neither should felt. Well, the book said the Angora wouldn't felt. I wasn't at all sure, but I wasn't listening to myself. I was listening to this lady who wrote this book. heheh. I had to keep reminding myself that the little guy was just downstairs growing more wool, and it would be okay if I screwed it up.

So I spun it up.

Then I put it in hot water in the sink and agitated it, then shocked it in ice cold water. Honestly, that's what the book said, and I was just going on faith. Amazingly, it didn't felt, even with all of that mean treatment. But that wasn't the end of it, because the next part is the most fun. I got to thwack it hard against the counter, each side. It makes the Angora "bloom" and become all softy. It also loosens it all up, which is why it needed to be spun so tightly in the first place.

And then I had pretty yarn!!!!

So I made something with it.

The only thing for this bunny that didn't come from an animal was the beaded eyes. I even stuffed him with Angora. Now he's off as a gift, and my kids are bugging me for more. When I started to explain to my second child that he sort of took awhile, my first daughter whispered, "She just started it today." I've been outed. These little bunnies aren't hard, and I got the directions from this magazine. Since he was actually pretty fun to make, I'm going to make a couple more. I have another friend or two that could use a little Angora love.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hurry hurry...

I had a very entertaining post two weeks ago, which was to give everyone a snapshot of what life was about to be like. I think you'd have liked it. Then my silly network connection went down again, my computer couldn't find the Internet, and was so distressed by this fact that it locked up completely, ashamed of its failure. So I lost my witty entry, and I was so disgusted that I just continued on and decided to blog when I came out of the tunnel of frenzy.

Now imagine, if you will, two weeks ago, Friday. My daughter has graciously put off her birthday slumber party by two weeks, due to mother family commitments, and today is the day! She's excited, balloons are up, and we are about to have eight girls camped out on our living room floor. Whee! Just looking back on it makes me smile. We decided to make it an "Everyone's Birthday Party," since I hate when kids don't get gifts. (Oh, and I had overbought Webkinz at the holidays, and was looking to declutter the house I mean, share the wealth) Then I let everyone decorate the cake. All I did was fill frosting tubes and take pictures. See?

Now, doesn't that just look like fun? Okay, gross to eat, but fun to make. And the Webkinz were well-received, and the kids asleep by 11:30 p.m. I know, cuz I slept in the hallway, to protect them from all the extra dogs in the house crawling into bed with them. You may remember that we were watching five dogs at the time, due to different and varying circumstances in two different parts of our extended family. (They weren't no little dogs, neither. A Great Dane actually looks down on you when she asks you for a nibble from your plate)

Flash to the next day, kids delivered home after a waffle breakfast and mom's corny joke, "How many waffles can you eat? A waffle lot!" Told you it was bad. I cringe at the memory. Let's just put it down to lack of sleep, shall we? (A shepherd woke me up every half hour pretending to have to go to the bathroom all night) But later that day, we had a birthday dinner for my mother-in-law, who turned 60. That went off very well, due to preparation and handing most of the cooking over to my husband. A big though belated thank you needs to be acknowledged here to that fellow.

The next day we had organized a church youth event to a waterpark, of which I have hardly a picture, since I spent most of the time walking around getting Burger King orders to call into the restaurant, so we wouldn't have 60 people clamoring for food all at the same time. This event, too, was fun. It was a good weekend, though busy.

Then on Monday, my aunt passed away, and that was sad, but she had struggled with breast cancer for 20 years! I was impressed, thoroughly. That's amazing. But two dogs went home to my mom, who was caring for my aunt at the end. Thursday my brother took his shepherd/husky home. She's only one year old, and a bundle of energy, but we were still sorry to see her go. She's quite a sweet little muffin.

Whew! On to this weekend, which was our church youth's Easter Extravaganza. Since the waterpark, I had five days to organize crafts, activities, lunch and an egg hunt for 30 kids and their accompanying adults. Whee! (Well, "whee" is what you say when you're on a rollercoaster, and so I say "whee" a lot) I probably should have taken more than five days, but it was a bit of a surprise when the organizer said, "I'm not doing it. Too busy." So I'll forgive myself what looks like a lack of preparation and plan on being more on top of my game next year. Anyway, the event was crazy and busy and crafty, and hopefully everyone went home happy. My husband says any event that feels crazy with 30 kids was probably fun for the kids! =)

And now, finally, I can find my knitting. I can appreciate other people's knits. I can spin a little. And I can enjoy blogging again, both reading and writing. Well, until we get to the part where I start bending your ear about the drama club production in April...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Ack, and ack again. My internet has been down for more than a week, and so great silence has reigned from blogland. You're all talking, I just couldn't hear you. =/ And for some reason we can't ascertain, when you turn off the network hub computer, the internet comes through just fine. It took a bit to figure that out, and more than a couple of bad words, which I think I can be forgiven for, considering my addiction. And huzzah! I'm back, babee!

I was putting on my freshly washed socks this morning, and thinking, as I always do, "This is my favorite pair of socks." I love the fit, they're so comfy and snug and just right. They're STR, simple pattern, but they feel so good that they're the reason I make socks. Do you have a favorite pair like that, the pair that's doomed to get holes first, cuz you wear them so much? Well, these are mine, and because I blog, I took a picture:

I decided I couldn't possibly find a piece of carpeting without dog hair, since we're watching three other dogs, along with our own today, so I just gave up and put a dog in the picture. He looked very concerned to find feet next to him, didn't he? So I had to show him that socks next to ya can be good things:

He liked the lovin but, sad for him, once I snapped the picture, I got up and got on with my morning. Still, he's had a taste of handknit socks, and I'll probably have to watch him and my socks very closely now. Much like my first boyfriend, he's cute, but you can't trust him. Since I've started writing this, he's pulled down a pair of my daughter's pants from the clean clothes pile (of course) and made a bed with them.

See that nasty floor? I'll post pics of it on the internet, but if you came over, I'd keep you locked out til I got it vacuumed up. My standards are low, but apparently still there.

Oh, about socks... that's right. I got distracted. I found this sweet little pattern on Knitty, and I bought some beads the other day for socks, so it seems like a natural thing, along with this yarn. Pretty, no?

I was getting really excited about casting on, until I remembered these:

I better deal with Second Sock Syndrome first, I guess...