Another New Hobby!!

This is what I got Nick for his birthday - a MasterCraft Mini Lathe.

He's always wanted one, and I was super curious.  I found a used one on Craigslist for a decent deal, and the guy was going to give us tools and a free turning lesson!

Today we went out and bought some purpleheart to play with on his new lathe and here are the results!

Purple Heart is so hard to photograph - the color is so rich in person and the flash just washes it all out.  Fresh cut purpleheart is actually a coffee brown - takes a few minutes of oxygen to turn it that vibrant purple color!  Pretty cool!

They're destined to be orifice hook handles for my vintage spinning wheels - the top more traditional one is done by Nick, the bottom bigger one is done by me.  Not bad for my first try on a lathe, ey?!  I wanted to try out all the tools and techniques in my piece.  It's so much more fun than I expected - and way addicting!! I've warned Nick that I may end up being out in the garage turning more than he will be - but hey, now I'll never have to buy a spinning tool ever again!


i love apples.

they are probably my favorite fruit. really. so versatile, so delicious, so easy.

we went apple picking this past sunday, it was our first time and we don't even know if we went to a good orchard or not but it didn't matter - the weather was fantastic and we had a wonderful time!

their season had been extended this year due to high yield.  being so late into the season, we weren't sure if we would get a lot of good ones, but  it was 16 acres of gorgeous trees, filled with fresh apples still!

it was a blast, fresh picked apples are so amazing.  we tasted every type, quickly discovered which we liked and which we didn't, and had so much fun in the gorgeous weather, just eating and stuff apples in a bag.

nick had brought a little swiss army knife with him, which came in handy because some of the apples were so tough to get through their skin.

i, of course, am a giant fat kid and didn't need a stupid knife to get to my apples.  i think i ate double what nick ate just in the orchard alone.  especially when i found the fuji apple tree...

then there were these goats... 

this one had a beard.  or we thought it was a beard. turned out, it was just a lot of burrs stuck under his chin.  he didn't seem to care though.

here's what we came home with.  10 lbs of fresh picked apples, and a cat who was not impressed.  he likes doritos, fries, cake frosting and spam - but not apples.

and check this out!  nick saw this and just had to bring it home.  it's a blue hubbard squash, weighs about the same as a large turkey and looks like one too!  lady at the orchard said it was completely edible and gave us a recipe.  we can't wait to try it out!  it's so huge, she told us we would have to smash it on the concrete to break it into manageable pieces!

so for now until winter, it sits on my front steps along with the 3 little green pumpkins we accidently grew in our old apartment garden!


lots of catching up...

been kind of blah since we moved.  it was really stressful and in conjunction with this craptacularly dreary weather we've been having, half my brain shut down.

but, things are starting to settle back to normal - the house is feeling more like home, the animals are finally recognizing the new routine and actually know where the door is!  there's still lots to be done, but something broke down inside me and finally allowed me to tell myself that it will get done.  it just doesn't need to be done right at this moment.  

not much knitting or spinning accomplished since the move.  i've been knitting a few rows here and there of my dad's christmas socks but only because they are straight stockinette.  i need very much for knitting to be completely brainless at the moment, so the sleeves of my mom's Serrano Cardigan will just have to wait a little while more.

however, i did take a nicer picture with my actual camera of my yarn cabinet to show off.  my stash, of course, was one of the first things to be unpacked and organized!  it's one of a pair of antique chinese curio cabinets brought over from china by my dad's father over 20 years ago.  anyone that knows me knows that i'm quite fond of antique pieces and i've been fortunate enough to receive several items from my grandparents for the new house.  i'm so proud to call them mine.

still waiting to be CO and completed before christmas:

1. grandma's Petra Cardigan
2. judy's socks (haven't picked a pattern yet!)
4. soul's Endpaper Mitts
5. chuck's Sackboy
6. marianne's Sideways Bobble Hat
7. jo's Floopy Hat
and a couple misc. generic guy's beanies for random guy friends.

better get that knittin' mojo back right quick...


looks like we're in business!

We sold the Lego spindle.  Nick was just curious if anyone would be interested.  I posted it on Ravelry in the middle of the night (because that's when I get the most done!) and by 11 am the next day - it was sold to fiberfreek in California!

We were super nervous about it - not knowing how well it would hold up in shipping, how well it would hold up to other people's spinning habits and expectations, just nervous!  Well what a waste of energy!

Here's the feedback I just received:

re: leggo spindle
Sent at 3:58 PM Today
I am so hooked! Love this spindle!!!!! Would you be able to do a wholesale price? If so, what would your minimum order be???
When I do order, is it possible to get a slightly larger hook?????
BTW the yarn is made up of several co-workers who wouldn’t ordinarily give a hoot about spinning etc.!! The spindle was too much!! They had to have a spin!!!! It spins so smooth, long and with VERY little back spin! perfect for teaching I think!!!!

His LYS is interested in carrying a truly unique spindle, and ours may be chosen!  I'm not holding my breath, but I am staying optimistic!  All things come in threes - so we've got the house, the spindle business... and??
(a bunny! please let it be a bunny!)



"without the empty of the doorway, there cannot be a house."

This adorable house?

It's ours!

We finally closed this afternoon, after several nerve wracking days of walkthroughs, scrambling to discuss issues we found last minute, and general first time home buying nerves and stress.

We didn't know what to expect this morning, having gotten no clear answers from either attorneys the day before, and only knowing that our final walkthrough would be right before our afternoon closing.  We woke up early and found that our agent was up even earlier and was already staked out in front of our soon to be home, waiting for the contractor and seller to arrive.  We met her over there and were so incredibly relieved to find all the issues we brought up had been fixed (or would be shortly).  We left with a huge weight lifted off our shoulders and a sense of ease heading to closing.  This meant I wouldn't have to do any work at closing!

Closing was actually kind of fun, we finally met our attorney in person - she was exactly how I imagined her to be, but I actually hated her much less in person than over email or phone!  She was a beader and jewelry maker and we bonded a little as we talked crafts and etsy.  She was quick and efficient going over all the documents Nick needed to sign, and much of the waiting around afterwards was due to the title company slugging around and dragging their feet.  Our lender, while a bore with business, is quite fun when taken out of work context and we adore our realtor.  We had laughs and jokes and cookies and iphone bowling and the seller's attorney was a dreamboat.  Nick even said as we left, "you totally have a crush on their attorney, don't you."  le sigh...

and now to finish packing (yeah I suck like that...) and big move this weekend!


More Merging of the Hobbies

"the mind contains all possibilities"

So we still haven't closed because underwriters are dillheads.  So to take my mind off the no-end-in-sight-disappointment, I took to my spinning.  As Nick watched me spin as he usually does, a light bulb went off and without a moment to waste he was down in the Lego Lair (aka the basement).  Not five minutes later, he emerges with his new contraption and my new toy in hand.

A 100% Lego Drop Spindle.

1.3 oz
3" whorl
9" shaft

Rim weighted, hook that centers yarn really well, and the tire treads create notches anywhere I please.  I'm so proud!  He really had been paying attention!

So how well does it spin?  Absolutely Amazing.  I busted into my stash and found some sample cotswald rolags someone had sent me and started right away.  It spins as long, if not longer, than my Golding spindle, there's barely any wobble at all because the yarn is so centered and the purple tubing he added to the shaft makes the cop impossible to slip off (but may present a problem for slipping off later - we'll have to see).

So you're not amused by my new unconventional fiber tool?
You probably wouldn't like the automatic Lego Yarn Winder and Lego Swift he made either.



getting the ball rolling

"As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are.
      Otherwise you will miss most of your life."

After a fantastic weekend at Stitches Saturday, spending time amongst wonderful friends and yarny fumes, Nick and I drove out to Muscatine, Iowa on Sunday.  Our mission?  To pick up an antique late 1800's Canadian Production Spinning Wheel I found on Craigslist.  We decided to make a nice day trip of it and we were so pleasantly surprised to have had such a wonderful time!

We left at 8 AM, I drove the quick 3.5 hours there while Nick caught up on sleep.  I had never been in that direction and while most of it was cornfield after cornfield, I did enjoy the quiet peaceful drive.

By 11:30 we arrived at our first destination, The Button Factory Woodfire Grille, for a fantastic brunch package.  For $25 a person (tax included!) we enjoyed a very delicious brunch buffet, a 15 minute horse drawn carriage ride, and a 2 hour paddle boat cruise on the Mississippi River aboard the The Pearl Button Paddle Wheel.

Here's Nick enjoying yummy Brunch - the most amazing potatoes I've ever had, country biscuits and gravy, fresh made to order omelets, bacon, sausage, and so much more!

Here I am knitting in front of the restaurant while we waited for the horse drawn carriage to arrive.


Everyone was incredibly friendly there.  We didn't feel stared down, didn't feel judged, and everyone just wanted to smile and say Hi and find out how your day was.  It was one of the most relaxing days we've spent in a long time and I can completely understand the lure of small town life.  We picked seats at the very front of the boat, listened to the breeze, felt the sun and watched the Mississippi sparkle.

After a delightful afternoon, we headed over to Jerry and Marilyn's to pick up my lovely wheel.  I wish I had taken a picture of Jerry and Marilyn, but we were too busy chatting!  We stayed and visited with them for over an hour, sharing stories and comparing lifestyles.  It never ceases to amaze me how we come about meeting such wonderful strangers.  As different as we seemed to be, we hit it off so well.  They even invited us back to spend a weekend with them!

And finally.  The reason for the whole trip.  My new old wheel.  (Pictured at Jerry and Marilyn's).  She features the typical metal treadle, metal footman, large 29.5" drive wheel and a tilt tension mechanism.   She's in fantastic shape, has a few chips and cracks here and there but are mostly easily fixable.  I think I'll name her Adele.