Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New picker!

I did it! I ordered a picker from Fancy Kitty. (The name makes no sense to me at all, but whatever.) Hilariously I will now own a 'cradle picker'. Sounds like geriatrics dating co-eds, but in actuality it is a swinging gizmo with teeth that pulls apart the fleece so that it can be dyed and carded.

The guy who makes them very helpfully warned me that those type of pickers can be hard on fine fibers, but I think I'll adjust it so that the teeth dont' overlap too much and just not be too aggressive in the swinging, and it should be fine.

I checked a few videos online about the process and noticed something weird. There's all this hype and hysteria about the picker being terribly dangerous. Obviously, to me anyways, a gizmo that swings nails back and forth is definitely a tool to be watchful of. (Well, duh!) But not anything to get hysterical about. Seems like any other tool to me. I never see guys demonstrating table saws or chainsaws and getting very fearful and emphatic about NO KIDS AROUND THE TABLE SAW!!!!!!!!!!! Again. Duh! Do women think other women are dumb and have to be warned. As women are we all hyper about how dangerous tools are? Does no one teach their kids to not touch anything that isn't theirs/is dangerous? It is perfectly possible to sew your finger with a sewing machine, but no one gets crazy about that. Just seems really weird to me.

Carry on!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sheep to Shawl and possibly a KAL

The fleece is a Columbia, and it has been washed, sortof picked and dried. I say "sort-of" picked as I am now finding that I did not do that great a job. there's lots of cheat grass seeds in it.

I am considering buying a picker (400+ teeth, cradle type), but $400 + shipping seems a bit steep. There was a used one on Ravelry, but fewer teeth, a bit of rust (hence used) and still $400 +shipping. That just seems silly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Day 1 of Sheep to Shawl/Sweater

Today is Day 1 of Sheep to Sweater. My newly shorn wool is waiting at Pico Accuardi Dyeworks and we are washing it tonight. Another day, we will by dyeing it, and then off to the races for spinning. At some point I'll need to choose a sweater pattern. I'm excited.

Today is also Towel Day.

I just finished the most fabulous book. Bucolic Plague by Josh Purcell. What a great read. Entertaining, insightful. For me, thought provoking. One thought that was provoked: how can I identify so closely to a gay, former drag queen, ad agency Manhattanite??? And yet we have a lot of the same outlooks, hopes, dreams and things that make us happy. Now I'll read it again. :)

I need to do more creative stuff. How to make more time for that?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

From where I park, it's 3/4 mile walk to work. ($3 lot vs $13 in my building). It is a nice walk across the bridge. Good for my calf to get out and move I think. Walking anyway. This morning I found what I think is a hawk feather. I suspect this, not because I recognize random feathers, but because I've seen a hawk or falcon floating around the airways over the river and bridge occasionally. I don't identify birds well either, but I can at least differentiate between pigeons, seagulls, canada geese and birds of prey.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Resolutions other New Year's thoughts.

Every year I make a scad of new years resolutions. I ran across a list in a notebook from last year and it included the year before. I made a big list in 2008 and checked a few things off then, and also in 2009. Looks like I was ambitious enough for three years as there's plenty still on the list.

One of the main things is decluttering. I am a huge clutterbug. I might need it 'later', you know. One really good thing has been the purchase of three shelves for my desk corner. I have a LOT of books and now have somewhere to put some of them. The rest need to be gotten rid of.

Cleaning/organizing my sewing room always pops up on this list. I have a LOT of UFOs. 'Finish more than I start' has been on the list for a couple of years. I am not good at this. Yet. Thus, 'Focus' will be my word for 2010. No online shopping, no browsing and seeing something cool at Fabric Depot. And no Puyallup this year. As Brian says, 'Shop your studio first.'

As Grandma used to tell me, "A place for everything, and everything in it's place."FlyLady

This year I'd like to start up my shop on Etsy. I love making things - often just for the fun of making them, not because I want them when I'm done. It would be great to support my craft habit that way.

I'm hoping to overcome this fear of water thing and finish a couple of triathlons. A spring and an Oly distance. I've signed up for a pool swim short tri in May. I am on the waiting list. It would be a good start. I'd like to be respectful of open water. I'd rather not panic when thinking of swimming in it.

I won the Cycling program at my trainer's gym. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but I'm guessing I'll be faster this year than either last year or 2008. That will be very cool. I want to actually race this year.

That's probably enough for now. Next I need a plan for these to happen.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The psychology of hitting

Kickboxing was a blast last night. I was the only one who showed up so I got an hour of private lessons and a harder workout than usual. Woot! SO MUCH FUN! Now it is getting more difficult. We're doing more complex sequences so more to remember. It's still very mechanical with occasional glimmers of "flow".

I find it interesting that it's quite difficult to overcome the "Don't hit people" idea, even for a non-girly girl like me. Even in a situation where we are practicing exactly that and are supposed to be doing it. I have no problem on the bag, and no problem sparring with the mitts that you hit into as targets. That's fine. Last night we practiced blocking and a switch attack sequence. The block is one where you flat hand 'pop' the other person's wrist away, bare hands, then do a block and a (fake) strike to the face. No pushing on the block, it is a fairly hard 'pop' to get the blocking hand quickly back and ready to strike. I was actually having trouble doing the 'pop'. It doesn't hurt either one of us, but it is definitely harder/sharper than just a play smack. He finally said, 'I KNOW you can hit harder than that. Do it." Right then I knew I was softening the block every time. Weird. Guess all that childhood ingraining of 'no hitting' really 'took'.

The guy that teaches the class is about 5'10" or so (a bit taller than me) and outweighs me by 100 pounds easy. He's a bit overweight, but is one of those guys that is built like a freakin' tank. He does hand to hand combat training for the military. It's not like I'll damage him. lol

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

De-cluttering.... again.

I'm on a cleaning/reorganizing/de-cluttering tear.

I have managed to clear off my big computer desk and we're getting rid of it and downsizing to a small antique one I've had since I was a kid. Harder to clutter up a small one, even for the Queen of Clutter. It has drawers which the big one doesn't, so that will be nice. I also got two chairs sent to the upholstery shop. One is a channel back armchair, and one is an armless 'side chair' from the 40's. They will be a teal colored velour when I get them back in a couple days. Can't wait. I got the best deal EVER on the fabric. I've also (finally) got bookshelves on order. We'll have to paint them when they get here. Trim color (cream) with the back being the dark green of the closet door. I'm thinking of painting the low stair wall that dark green too. We'll see. That little corner by my desk will look really good.

In order to have enough room on my shelves, I need to sort books and get rid of some things. Good thing I'm on a de-cluttering tear.

The mice lost. We got 9 and haven't had the traps snap in over a week. Maybe we won!

Oh, and the windows are all installed. They look nice enough. I wish that they were still wood. I just don't like vinyl. But I also didn't want to pay as much as the wood cost. It was close to $6000 just for our little house. Wood would have been $20K. Sigh. Still, they open and close and the house is much quieter. Hopefully the heat bill will go down as well.