Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am on a diet. Not a food diet, ick, I don't like those. And I don't care that the Wii Fit says I am overweight, next time I am going to tell it my clothes weigh 10 pounds - then I won't be overweight!

No, I am on a yarn diet. I am absolutely not buying anymore yarn! I have too much. I went through it this past week and said, OMG why haven't I used that? Some beautiful skeins of yarn. Forgotten beautiful yarn, just waiting to be knit up. Some not so beautiful - which mostly ended up in a box for ARC which is where they came from in the first place. If the end of the world as we know it happened tomorrow - my yarn and I would end up in high demand when no one could buy socks from China at Walmart anymore. People would be trading me whole cows for some awesome wool socks.

I would actually say how many different types of yarn I have and how many yards...but my mom reads this and she might have a heart attack, so we'll just keep it between at a lot. She will think that "a lot" means three or four skeins and those of you who stash yarn will know that "a lot" means three or four bins.

So how long will I keep up my "no yarn buying" diet? I thought about setting a time limit. Like until June, when the wool festivals start up. But I am not sure that even then will be enough of a reduction. And then what? Buy more yarn to replace the yarn I finally used? No, that won't work. I have become quite discerning in my yarn purchases over the last year - only the good stuff, which is why some original stuff from the thrift store is going back. Yep, I have become a yarn snob. I like the pretty colors, the softness, the ease of knitting with the good stuff.

So my goal is to not buy any yarn until the end of the year. So far, so good, I have not bought any yarn. The last yarn I bought was for Christmas and I had K give it to me. I can do it. I can go all the way to Christmas. Just the other day, I was in the parking lot at the yarn store (for another reason) but did I go just look? NO. Did I go fondle yarn? NO. Did I buy just some sock yarn cause it is 20% off and gorgeous? NO. I didn't even go in. Pretty good, huh?

But, I do have a gift certificate to a yarn store that I won. Are we sure it counts as "buying" when it is a gift certificate? But I may not even buy yarn, maybe I'll buy needles or stitch markers or something else. But not yarn. Definitely not yarn. I might walk in there mumbling "not yarn, diet, not yarn" and keeping my eyes down so they think I am crazy, but no buying yarn!

Let's not talk about the spinning fiber!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Family Friday - Grandma Ruth

Today for Family Friday we are starring a wonderful woman, Grandma Ruth, who caught 2 armed robbers. Amazing! This is just one story about this remarkable woman. L came across the news article recently and thought it would be a good one to share.

From the Rocky Mountain News, the headline on page 5 reads "Keen Eye and Courage Nab 2 Who Admit Act" - and they are talking about Grandma Ruth. Grandma Ruth was in her dress shop on the phone when 2 robbers walked in, and one pulled a pistol on her. She screamed and they ran out. At the time, she told the police she would never forget the man who pulled a gun on her.

About a week later she boarded the trolley and sat down across the aisle from - yep, you guessed it - two very unlucky and dangerous criminals. John Arnold and Harold Williams were the men who tried to rob Grandma's dress shop, Adrian Fem Shoppe. The men got off the trolley, Grandma then asked the driver to stop. She started to follow the men, thought better of it, and went to the police station. Patrolman Frank Parisi went looking for these criminals and finally saw them about 15 minutes later. Not only had they attempted to rob the dress shop, they had stolen $32.80 robbing another woman, burglarized several rooms where they were staying, including one where they got the gun. Not to mention they were both about 4 months out of prison.

I met Grandma Ruth and she was incredible. Captain Flor described her as a "truly remarkable woman. I've seen men shake like a leaf but she was just as cool as possible in pointing them out, and telling Arnold: 'You're the man'!" After that, the confessions apparently started flowing.

Grandma Ruth - great woman, who caught (and scared off) 2 dangerous criminals in 1952!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Distaff Day

I had the best time at Distaff Day on Saturday, put on by the Front Range Fiber Artists. For those who don't know, Distaff Day is when women went back to the work of knitting and spinning and carding and combing after Christmas. Men, naturally, did not start back to work until the following day...what can I say? Of course, survival meant that they were all still "working", they just weren't doing certain things.

At Distaff Day, they had several demonstrations on weaving and spinning and dyeing - it was so inspirational! I just wanted to come home and start throwing dye on everything and spin up some more wool and knit up a storm. Note: I am resisting weaving, really I am, even though I have an inkle loom and weaving looks really cool, and some of the stuff they make is amazing, but resisting. I saw Navajo plying in person, and definitely want to try that again. The last time I tried Navajo plying, I ended up with a horrid knotted mess. I met a woman whose husband built her an electric spinning wheel. I saw every different type of wheel you can imagine, from well, electric spinning wheels to antique sleeping beauty wheels to fancy, expensive wheels.

And they had tables set up with different products for sale - mostly fiber. All different kinds of fiber at good prices, so I bought about four ounces of alpaca from a local breeder, a pound of undyed cormo (that is a sheep type), a pound of undyed mixed wool (golly, that was such a good price, such a good price! Really, such a good price I am using the word golly), a 4 oz. braid of superwash merino wool dyed beautifully for the cheapest price I have ever paid for a 4 oz braid, and another 4 ozs of mixed wool in natural colors which I may or may not dye,

I was very careful in my purchases, seeking out the best price and think I did very well. There were actual fleeces there that you could comb and card and make your own batts if you purchased them - that is truly the best price, but I don't have the equipment nor do I have the time. Someone even had adorable angora bunnies for sale - yes, angora bunny fur is spun, it is wonderfully soft and warm. No, I did not purchase an angora bunny. Yes, I did go temporarily insane and consider it, fortunately I realized I did not really want to brush and pluck bunny fur. I have enough trouble keeping up with the cat brushing. Seriously, look at that coat on her! And of course her face is in a bowl - she really can't have enough food and this was her morning drink of milk.

They had demonstrations on combing and carding. Ooooh, so cool. Several different types of carders and combs - even a nice electric carder was brought in for people to try out. It is so great that people want to share their tools and experiences. Next year, I'll take my camera so I can share the day with you.

Can you tell I found Distaff Day exciting?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Right After This

That seems to be my mantra lately, "I'll get to knitting/spinning right after ... moving the laundry, doing the dishes, letting the dog out, work with L, help K, make the bed, do the checkbook, let the dog in, feed the cat/dog/guinea pig/bird/or any of the other zoo pets we have. It just seems crazy. All day, in just a few minutes I will get to it, and instead, all of the sudden the whole day is gone, the Husband will be home soon, it is time for dinner and ... bam, bedtime and I never got to sit down and knit undisturbed and uninterrupted.

Last time I sat to knit, K and L must have called to me, "needed" me, wanted me, spilled something, and wanted to eat and drink, every single 3 minutes. I didn't even get a row done, before they were calling out again.

And worse, we moved furniture around so I could have a more spacious corner for spinning and a cozy corner for knitting - ha, barely used yet!

Well, I am still here. And L is working on some interesting genealogy things, so Friday should have a fascinating post. And maybe today I'll get a few minutes of uninterrupted time, maybe even finish a whole row!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Finally Family Friday Again

Wow, the holidays and events of winter have really taken my time away lately. I feel like I am always behind - probably because I am. We had such a peaceful vacation over Christmas, I feel very refreshed now and ready to tackle the new year with a positive energy. Plus my horoscope promises me a good year and as you know those are real accurate.

I am excited that my son L has decided to join me in my love of genealogy. He got a Family Album for Christmas and has been excitedly filling that out. It is neat to share with someone so enthusiastic. And what was more exciting and fulfilling was hearing him tell his friend about Great Uncle Paul - one of the family's many World War II heroes. Wow, someone who listens and remembers, that is good. And I think that is why people do genealogy, so those family members won't be forgotten. Hopefully.

I have been spinning again too. For Christmas, except before Christmas, I got a jumbo bobbin so I could ply a larger skein of yarn. Look at how huge it is, compared to the normal bobbin.

Pretty amazing, huh?

And I finished a scarf which my oldest child, C, wanted for Christmas. It is not the one I had started, instead C had a new coat and wanted a different type of scarf. So he got this scarf known (not very originally) as cable with a twist.

And that is what I am up to. L is looking forward to contributing to Family Friday next week. And the weather is about to get all wonky, and I am happiest inside with the kids and the knitting. So everything is good.