Friday, February 20, 2015

I married a crazy man, part -- what was it, again?

I'm a slob. I mean, I know I'm a slob, I'm not arguing that, but. Having lived with that for a while, wouldn't someone begin to realize that, hey, stuff on the floor doesn't mean, well, much of anything?

Last autumn, a fleece blanket (NOT HAND KNIT) I was rather fond of was thrown on the floor. It disappeared, and I figured the husbeast had taken it downstairs to the man cave, where it usually lives on the back of the couch. Eventually I asked where it was, and he said, oh, he'd put it in his truck.

That made sense. We're sitting here now under a severe cold advisory, and it's -2 F outside. So even though his commute is six minutes long, I could see keeping a blanket in the truck for the winter. I keep a towel in my Jeep. (All love to Douglas Adams aside, I got in the habit when I was in school the last time, when I never knew when a "study group" would wind up on a beach somewhere.)

Tonight, with the cancellation of school tomorrow, the Goober started the construction of an epic blanket cave. Over dinner, I asked if the blanket was still in the husbeast's truck. He said it was. I said, if we brought it inside now, it might be thawed for the kiddo to build with tomorrow.

Well, no, he'd used the blanket to pack the rusting-out wheel well. It would need washed.

Washed. It's been picking up road muck for three months of winter and it "needs washed".

If I'm out tomorrow I'll just swing through Target and buy another blanket.

I... just... what?

ETA: He brought the blanket in and was very nice and didn't act like I'd flipped out at all. It's a bit dirty, but nothing like I had expected.

Now I'm left with his stories yesterday of how he and his buddies would clean out mops while underway by tying a rope around them and throwing them overboard to splash through the ship's wake. I'm told it worked great.

Maybe I should just declare being boggled my natural state.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thursday, February 12, 2015


"Cast on 300 and join without twisting" can kiss my ass.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

So yeah. Spinning. Finally.

Spent the last week trying to upload photos and I still don't know WTF. It was supposed to be pictures of spinning.

Oh, fine, NOW it works.

Well, right there above us is a sample I made for my students (!). Chain/navajo ply on the right, true three ply on the left. Everyone always wants to know the difference and it's usually pretty obvious when you put them both together; these were spun from two halves of a single braid, so the colors themselves were exactly the same.

Yep, that's right, students! The big news (in fiber, at my house, anyway) for the last year is, I'm now a spinning instructor at Natural Stitches in Pittsburgh. It's been fun, and my students are learning, so we're all happy with each other.

However, being a teacher? I feel like something of a fraud, because for instance, that true three ply up there in that picture? Only one I've ever done. I know how a lot of this stuff works, mechanically, but have never done it. So lately, I've been trying to fix that.

Here's a cable ply.
Looks all complicated, but really it's just a four ply that you create by making a two ply, then plying it back on itself.
I finally spun some shorter fibers. This is camel, I think. Maybe yak. With silk, and enough wool to make you not scream when working with it.
I'm enjoying my new magnifier thingie on my new iThing, I'm getting some great close up pictures of all kinds of stuff, including yarn and fiber.

This is some swap yarn I need to get off my ass and mail. Not my preferred colors, but it turned out okay.

This was another sample for my students: It's dual drafting, in this case using regular wool and some glittery angelina what the hell held together and spun at the same time.

I don't know if I blogged last winter's insane-athon. I'd wanted as much yardage as possible, so I'd spun it as fine as possible, which apparently is pretty damn fine. It was half silk, which also makes the frog's hair stuff easier to do. It took three damn months.
I got 750 yards of three ply yarn out of four ounces of fiber. I'm pretty sure that's a new record.
I'm never doing it again, at least not without a tensioned lazy kate. That was ridiculous.

I even know what I want to do with this yarn. It's just a matter of finishing sixty other things first. As usual.

Right, finally got the spinning photos to show up. Maybe tomorrow I can mess around with something new.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Secret Recipe

This was supposed to be pictures of my spinning for the last year-ish, but, yeah.That would involve stash-diving in the Fiber Closet (of DOOM), and I'm trying to get more organized, not less. Maybe tomorrow if the kid goes to school. (It's snowing right now, we're due for freezing rain [OF DOOM] later tonight.)

Instead, one of those family (and by family, I mean just me and the husbeast, the way it started) jokes that get really out of hand and before you know it, you're hearing it from a friend of a friend and going "wait, what?"

Okay. This is a food joke, and there has to be background on this one. I'm one of the freakazoids the geneticists (or whoever names this stuff) have been calling "super tasters", which I personally think is a shit name that makes an annoying genetic glitch sound like a super power. Long story short, any complex flavor, and my brain goes "Derp, dunno how to sort that out, BITTER!" (More info on this, HERE.) As a kid, I had a reputation as a picky eater, for obvious reasons. Of course instead of taking this as a legit issue, or even POSSIBLY a legit issue, the whole extended family thought it was some kind of prima-donna attitude case behavior. (I don't like dark chocolate. CHOCOLATE. What kid turns their nose up at good chocolate? That's not attitude, that's weird.)

So, me, picky eater and attitude case as thought of by the family.

I spent summers with my cousins in Indiana until I was about fifteen. And, of course, my mother and my aunt somehow made a huge deal about my diet, as usual. (I was more than happy to not eat, and didn't whine much, if at all, but somehow no one noticed this while having hour-long discussions about what to feed me.) This was the status quo. You know how you get this fixed image of someone in your head, however they were, the last time you saw a lot of them? This is the image that got stuck in everyone's head.

Oh, and also? I couldn't cook.

Right. Well, as we all (hopefully) do, I grew up, moved away, got a life, and decided to learn too cook so I didn't starve or go broke on takeout. Cooking for myself made it possible to tailor the food to my tastes, so, shocker, I started eating more diverse things. And if I couldn't eat EXACTLY what I made everyone else, I could do a mini version for myself. (I still do this. Big pot of spaghetti sauce, then I pull out some for me before I throw herbs in the rest that make it taste funky to me. I can be as picky as I want, when I'm the cook.)

My aunt and uncle, of the Early Years, visited Hawaii on vacation while I was living out there. So I invited them over for dinner. AS ONE DOES WHEN ONE IS AN ADULT. I was about thirty at the time. Late twenties, for sure. You know, just possibly changed from the skinny thirteen year old they remembered. Just a tiny bit.

I made, oh, I don't remember, but a decent meal. Chicken, veggies, rolls, the usual. From scratch, though I bought the bread. My aunt and uncle, who apparently were expecting me to call out for (plain) pizza or something, were flabbergasted. They went on and on and on about how good it all was. My aunt had wanted to know what I did to the corn to make it so good. Was it a secret recipe?


General rule? The fewer ingredients you have in a dish, the better the quality needs to be, of all the ingredients because you'll notice them more. I'd gotten the best quality corn I could find, warmed it up, and put butter, salt, and pepper on it.

Obviously, "Secret Recipe" in this house means "Warm it up and put butter on it." We have secret recipe bread, and secret recipe veggies of all kinds, and occasionally secret recipe steak without the butter. Long, long LONG running joke. "How'd you cook this?" "Secret recipe." "Oh, cool."

Fast-forward ANOTHER fifteen-odd years, to Thanksgiving at my in-laws' this year. Some friends of the family had gotten stuck in town due to weather, and so my MIL had invited them over. Her friend had brought asparagus, and we're chatting in the kitchen, and the friend says "Oh, I thought I'd just use the secret recipe." I stared, and she immediately added "You know, warm it up and put butter on it."

Right. Secret Recipe. Sounds good. Pass it over.