Who knew?

Like many families I know grand vacations are a little off the radar but I concocted a scheme that we needed to get an RV and go on a tour of Philly and DC in the summer. I thought it would be relatively easy, a little Craig’s list action and voila! vacation ready to roll…

Yeeahhh, well it turns out to be more difficult than that.

The first obstacle is that RVs are expensive, even used ones. You are looking at an average of $6000 for a  newer used unit , so that put the kaibosh on that.

Then I thought we could get something much older, it would be wayyyyy cheaper and we are good at fixing things up. This seems to be, so far, the most sensible approach although it seems there are lots of people in the same boat (or RV) as us and they too are looking for the holy grail of cheap/ready to run/could do with some paint/structurally sound units. These older RVs sell fast, really ,really fast. I have been astounded by the turn over and we’ve missed out on a couple we wanted but in an odd way it makes me kinda happy. How cool that these crappy old RVs are getting a second life because the economy still sucks? These little old tin cans (from the early 60s through the mid 80s) are taking over and bringing joy back into the clinical world of swanky big buck RVing.

We haven’t found one yet,  but it’ll happen. Sure it may be a tight fit for the family to get into one of these smaller ‘ oldie but goodies’  but it’ll be done with so much more style. Coffee anyone?

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Have you seen the Pinterest boards devoted to old campers? I  started one too.

I have my dream make over elements.. wanna see? Ill update you on the hunt as we go along. Happy dreaming, Happy camping.

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Oh and the next pic is for my DH….a Landrover and Airstream, perfection!

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Im a Spinster of sorts : Part II

I’ve recently discovered the joy of Russian Spindles and Support Spindles and  having never  been a particularly successful drop spindler ( there may still be one stuck under my fridge…and the sofa…and a bush in the yard)  I was intrigued by the concept of a more controlled spin.

I had never seen anyone use a supported spindle either so when my new spindle arrived in the mail I went to Youtube for support. ‘Fleegle Spins on Russian Spindles’  is the most informative video I found and by carefully watching her technique, and even though I had never previously attempted a long draw, I figured it out. Be sure to watch Fleegles  video all the way through or you will miss some interesting points. Gripping Yarns Lisa Chen also has a great explanation of the support spindle on her blog which is well worth the read.

Traditionally Support spindles  are used to spin very fine, short fibers, but y’know ‘rules’ are meant to be broken and I have spun almost everything on mine.  Spinning on a supported spindle requires the use of a long draw technique. Long Draw is something that I hadn’t used before but somehow it comes very naturally when using a support spindle. For those who don’t know Long Draw basically means one hand spins the spindle and the other hand lightly grips the fiber (to quote my friend Iris ‘like you are holding a baby bird’) and gradually draws back from the spindle thus creating a thread.

 There are much fewer support spindles than drop spindles out in the webasphere for sale but you can find them. Etsy is a good starting point , but also check out people like The Spanish Peacock, Jim Leslie or Malcolm Fielding (you have no idea how much I would like one of his Tasmanian Devils)  but be warned support spindles seem to sell as fast as they are posted, so if you see one you like don’t hesitate.

With the addition of a spindle bowl,

(I started with a sake cup but then purchased this beauty from Heidis Pottery )

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and a non slip cover or pad,

(Mine is from  Yorksett)  

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you have the perfect combination of tools and I carry all of this around in one of those wine bottle gift boxes, which happens to be exactly the right size.

Totally portable!

I love everything about the support spindle, the light clunk as you start the spin in the bowl, the flick flick flick of the fiber off the end of the point and of course the gorgeous and delicate yarn you produce. You should try it….but be warned, it is as addictive as it is fun!

I’m a spinster (of sorts) part one

Definition of spinster in English
spinster
Syllabification: (spin·ster)
Pronunciation: /ˈspinstər/
noun
derogatory
an unmarried woman, typically an older woman beyond the usual age for marriage.

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Oh, I don’t know, she’s pretty hot. Very cute dress and look at those pins!

All kidding aside, I  still prefer the adjective for Spinster.

adjective
Origin:
late Middle English (in the sense ‘woman who spins’): from the verb spin + -ster; in early use the term was appended to names of women to denote their occupation. The current sense dates from the early 18th century

I truly love to spin… on a wheel…on a spindle….just not on a bike ( that makes my bum hurt)

I love my wheels , I have four , a small collection by many standards. At this stage  I doubt there will be a need for more, although I’m always open to rescuing or rehabbing a stray, stranger things have happened.

My first wheel, a Kiwi conversion , made by Ashford and converted to a folding treadle by Dave at the Merlin Tree is a sweet wheel , kind to the beginning spinner and sturdy enough to take the knocks of dragging it to various demos, festivals and classes.

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Next came the Ashford Joy, a travel wheel that really is my work horse. The Joy goes to every spinning event with me , traveling in its handy bag, and with the addition of a freedom flyer I can spin great bobbins of fiber in one shot.

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Then comes the Louet S10,  by no means is this my favorite wheel to spin on but it is most certainly my favorite to look at. It is a lovely wheel and I use it to spin bulky single ply yarns and for plying. In my honest opinion the S10 is the most perfect wheel to customize, with a great expanse of wood just begging for a make over. When I saw one for sale on craigslist for $35 I couldn’t turn it down. I brought it home and pulled it apart and completely rehabbed it, refinished and custom painted , she became the Tardis wheel and I just love her. (I am always on the look out for S10s to paint, I have yet to see another within a sensible price range but it will happen, I feel it in my spindle) .

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Last and by no means least is my newest baby. I received a Great wheel from Santa. She is gorgeous, and so pretty I’ve named her Gert ( there’s an odd explanation of the name, it involves a chicken. I should probably stop there.) and she is the Grand Dame of wheels. I don’t know a great deal about this wheel other than it being made sometime around 1840 and it coming from New England, how much of that is fact I’ll probably never know , but I am attempting to get in touch with the previous to last owner to see what she knows.

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I’ve had a wonderfull year all in all, Thanks everyone for your friendship love and support. A very Happy and Healthy New Year to you all xx

Lurgys and the Question of knitted gifts

Whats going on? Oh …… the usual for this time of year.

Various illnesses have perpetrated the house.

 I knew this would happen y’know. How? you ask. Well, I say,  because of this conversation I had last Saturday:

Friend : How are you?

Me: Great, and you?

Friend : Good, hows the family? Everyone healthy?

Me: Yes, everyone is doing great

And there it is , I had to say it  ‘E v e r y o n e  i s  d o i n g  g r e a t’.

(::sigh::) What was I thinking.?

Sunday I came down with some mysterious ‘Lurgy’ (as we say in my bit of  England) and now both girls are home with strep and DH is sick too.

Sorry everyone, it is entirely my fault. Mom of the year strikes again.

Knitting

On the upside ( or down side depending on how it works out) I have a December calendar printed off and filled out so I can get my christmas knitting finished. I don’t do a lot but I still have stuff I need to get done.

  1. Jakes Über plain slouchy teenage boy hat : the spinning is done and I started knitting.
  2. Fingerless Mitts for the (not so) wee beans: wont take long surely?
  3. Ornament for the RISG ornament swap at the holiday party on the 14th: I have a cunning plan!
  4. Ornaments for all 3 kids: I also have another cunning plan
  5. and a couple of other small things I cant talk about. (if I don’t admit to them, they never existed and so if I don’t complete them I have not failed. Right?)

Now this may not seem like much, but add in a 40 hr work week, kids,  sports, decorating for Christmas , being social and attempting to be cordial to my family , I have to strategically plan on where this knitting is going to take place. Hence printing off a December calendar which I may be tearing up into little bits and flushing  down the loo in an attempt to pretend like it never existed.

Ill keep you updated.

(if I don’t, don’t ask)

In the meantime Here is a photo of  some Advent  calendars that are sitting on our piano. Cue happy Christmas jingles.

 

photo-3(No one in my house plays the piano, it is just for advent calendar holding : )

The first part of the journey.

He turned 14 this past weekend. He who changed our reality, our focus, our sense of self. He has always had that big smile and cheeky laugh. He who loves the fun in life. He with his strong opinions and stubbornness. I am proud of his stance and hope it carries him bravely though life. We argue and banter and laugh and joke and life is so much richer for it.

He is sweet and caring and tries not to show it. He fails. : )
Our Boy, becoming a man.

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