Sunday, May 31, 2015

Yarn!


I made yarn!

I finished spinning my second bobbin this morning, then I put my lazy kate together.


Plying went a whole lot faster than spinning, even though the bobbins seemed to be unrolling really fast, causing my plies to kink up a bit.  I had to stop and untangle them from time to time, but I persevered and made yarn!  


 Once I got it all plied up and washed, it didn't look too bad, for the first time. 


 I'm not going to use this yarn.  I'm going to label it and put it aside with my first spindled yarn.  I wish I'd labeled my first spindled yarn with the date, but I didn't.  I glanced back through the blog, but I'd started spinning before I started blogging, so that was no help. 

I did find out that I'd named this colorway Fuzzy Lettuce.  Since the spinning bug was still biting, I finished the second spindle of this roving. 


I'm debating on plying it on the wheel or just doing it on a spindle.  The important thing is, two of my three spindling WIPs are done -- except for the plying, that is.  But that's the easy part.

The hard part is done. 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Trying Again

My replacement connector for my wheel arrived today, along with the other things I'd ordered.


Because I know you can't see what's in all those little baggies, I'll tell you what's in 'em.  The big thing is a Lazy Kate.  It's used for plying singles.  I also ordered some oil, an extra brake band, an extra drive band, and an extra tension spring.  If you're a spinner, you'll know what all that is.  If you aren't, then it won't make sense to you anyway.

 Once I got my new connector connected, I tried spinning again.  I'm still having trouble with the wheel stopping and sometimes even going backwards, but I'm making some progress. I let the tension off a bit, and that helped, but I'm still having issues.  No matter how tightly I hold my yarn, the twist keeps running back into my fiber, making it difficult to draft.

I know, I know, practice, practice, practice, repetition, repetition, repetition.

Hey, it worked in karate. 

I put an empty bobbin onto my flyer and got this much done before I decided I needed to take a break. 


I will work on it some more tomorrow.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Eye Candy Friday

I got an unexpected day off of work today.  Seems that three of our air compressors had burned out.  Since most of our equipment runs on pneumatic pressure, we couldn't run any of it without air pressure.  We cleaned, and we cleaned, and we cleaned, and we cleaned so much I felt like I was back in the Navy.

Finally they decided that they weren't going to get them fixed any time soon, so they let us all go.  Except me, because Group Leader Fernando came running up to me at the last minute saying, "Can you braze this order up before you leave?"

This is the second day in a row he's done that to me.  I do declare...


So, Cody and I ran and did our shopping, and now I'm comfortably settled in watching Netflix and Spindolyning.


While at the store, I bought four new plants for my flower bed.  I got another zinnia and another marigold.  They look just like these, so I didn't take another picture of them.



Oops, I didn't take a picture of the zinnias, but as it's pouring rain at the moment, you'll just have to wait.  I did get a few pictures of some of my other flowers.  I took these yesterday:


Cosmos


More Cosmos


Not sure what this is.


I think this is another variety of cosmos.  I'll know for sure when the blooms open. 

I can't wait!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lesson For The Day

Throwback Thursday edition

If you are a school teacher trying to teach your students about photosynthesis and how plants need sunlight to survive by comparing a plant left on a sunny windowsill with a plant kept in a cupboard, don't use closet plants.  It won't work and your students will all laugh.

No, I wasn't the teacher. I was one of the students.  But it really did happen.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Shoes!!

My new work boots are finally here!  You know, the ones I was waiting on when I got my new spinning wheel. 

We must have had a substitute mail carrier today, because our regular one knows to leave packages next door if they don't fit into my box.  I found the little slip in my box, and had to run into the post office to pick them up.

Yay.  The post office.  My favorite place.

When I got there, there was a line nearly out the door and only one clerk.  I thought for a moment I'd wandered into Wal-Mart by mistake.  Not only that, it seems like every single person in line wanted a million things done.  One lady had 8 boxes to mail.  Another one wanted 70 cent stamps with pictures of a heart on them.  One needed a passport.  Oh, boy...

A few deep breaths and a "Thank you, God, for a lesson in patience" later, I finally got to the front of the line.   I took my package, thanked the clerk -- it wasn't her fault after all--, decided I really did have enough milk to last another day, and went home. 


I tell ya, it was worth the wait.  I love these boots.  They are Skecher's Memory Foam work boots.  I tried them on, and once I get them broken in,  they'll be my new favorite boots ever.

On the house hunting front, my phone has been leaving me a pop up asking for my voice mail password, yet telling me I didn't have any voice mails.  The other conundrum was that I didn't remember ever setting up a password, so I didn't know what to enter there.  I tried a few thing, and nothing worked.  This evening, I finally got annoyed enough to google how to fix it.  Woo hoo!  Dafault password entered, and sure enough, there was a voice mail from the realtor, left 6 days ago.   I guess I'll call after work tomorrow and discuss things with her. 

It's a start. 

Finally, there has been knitting going on, though it's taken a back seat to spinning this last week. 


Still, it's coming along.  Slowly but surely. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spinning

Mondays are always hard.  The Monday after a three day weekend especially so.  I stayed up late last night to watch Texas Rising, so I was working on little sleep to begin with.  Then something had my allergies all stirred up -- judging by my inability to take a deep breath, I would guess someone was mowing -- and I had a splitting headache.   Needless to say, I did not want to get out of bed this morning. 

I thought I was going to get a lot of spinning done, what with the 3 day weekend and all, but alas, it was not to be.  The little plastic connector thingy that connects my treadle (foot pedal) to the wheel broke.  I'd planned on ordering a Lazy Kate anyway, so I added a new connector and some other stuff to my basket.  It'll be a few days before it gets here, but I didn't want to wait.  I spun anyway, using what I call the park and draft method.

That is, I'd draft some fibers, then spin the wheel with my hand to twist them.  Draft some more, spin by hand, then spin again and let the bobbin take up my singles.


It's slow and inconsistent, but I can get good drafting practice without having to worry about  coordinating my hands and feet.  I'm pretty good at treadling, and getting better at drafting.  The trick will be to do them both at the same time. 

When I got tired of that -- as it is a bit tedious -- I finished weaving my scarf. 


In retrospect, I wish I'd used a solid black or gray for the warp.  Obviously, I need to do a better job of figuring out how long of a scarf my yarn will make.  I've got lots of fringe left over.  I could have gone with a slightly shorter warp, and had enough yarn to make the scarf a bit longer. 


Eh, I figure charities need kid sized scarves, too.

Still, the spinning bug had bitten me, so I dragged out my drop spindles and got back to work.  I finished this one:  


I think I dyed this with onion skins.  It's been so long, I don't really remember.  It'll be plied with this one, as soon as I find an empty spindle.  


I was all up in my closet, looking for the aforementioned empty spindle, when I found this.  


A lot of fiber, dyed with cherry Kool-Aid.  It's a lot of fiber.  I'm thinking I might wait until I get the hang of the wheel to spin the rest of it.  On the other hand, that is my best drop spindle it's on...

And this:


Dyed with Paas Easter Egg dye.  I'm spinning that on a Spindolyn, which is a supported spindle.  I've got one spindle already filled, but I didn't use the base with it.  I tried and tried, but couldn't get the hang of it, so just used it like a regular drop spindle.  I'm going to try again with the second one and see if I can get it this time.

And look, more fiber.  The two smaller ones were dyed with Easter Egg dye.  I think the big blob was, too.  I checked back through the blog and discovered that I'd dyed the big glob back in 2008.


I thought it looked like cow intestines, so I named the colorway Disemboweled Cow.  The two smaller balls, I was going to put with these three and make something for my sister. 


They are already spun and plied, even the green yarn that is still on the spindle.  I guess I ought to take it off, huh?

Then I'm thinking a striped scarf or something.  We shall see. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

It's become a faddish thing of late to thank veterans for their service, especially on holidays like today.

But this is not Veteran's Day.  My fellow vets and I will be the first to tell you, don't thank us today.  We have a day.  It's November 11.

Today is the day we remember and honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  This is the day we remember those who never made it home. 


So, don't thank me today.  Save that for my day.  This one is theirs. 



And as General Patton once said, let us thank God that such men lived. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Eye Candy Friday

Or not so much.

Our temperatures this morning:


 Keep in mind, this is Mississippi, and this is the last week of May.  So, where is that global warming Al Gore keeps squawking about?   As the guys keep saying, I'll believe it's a crisis when those who are claiming it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis. 

I knew what kind of day today was going to be when I was taking Rylea out for her morning tinkle.   There was no moon, and in the darkness of the 4:30 hour, I tripped over something in the yard and hit the gravel drive pretty hard.


Thanks to the aforementioned global warming, I'd put my flannel lounge pants on, so I did have a small measure of protection.  I hate to think what my knee would look like if I'd been wearing shorts.   Unfortunately, shorts aren't allowed at work, so I spent an entire 9 1/2 hour day with my jeans chafing it.  I couldn't wait to get him and get them off! 

After what seemed like an interminably long work day -- funny how the last day before a long weekend always seems to drag on, and on, and on, and on -- Cody and I went to the store, where I bought plants. 


Two marigolds, a zinnia, and a six pack of vincas.  I wanted to get them into the ground, so I went ahead and dug up the daffodil bulbs and laid them out to dry.  Then I put these in the part of the bed where the daffs used to be.  They only took up a small corner of the bed, but I don't really want to put in a lot if I'm going to be moving soon. 

Speaking of house hunting, apparently if you use the Zillow app, you have to be pre-approved for a mortgage before the realtor will even respond to your request to see a house.  Also, if you use the Zillow app, you have to get your mortgage through a bank that sponsors the Zillow app.  I want to get a VA loan through the Navy Federal Credit Union, so basically, we're back to square one.  That means I'll have to do it the old fashioned way -- pick up the phone and call someone.  Ugh...

And finally, 'Merica!!



Thursday, May 21, 2015

Throwback Thursday

I was watching my son work yesterday, over there on his work station. 

"What's the matter, Becky?" my co-worker asked.

"I was just looking at my son over there.  He looks so grown up, I hardly recognize him."

He's a man now, but I still see this little guy. 


  



And I guess I always will.  

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Speaking Of Weaving

In all the excitement over the new wheel, I almost forgot to show you that I finally warped the loom again. 


I'm using some sock yarn that I've had for many years.  I had knit a pair of socks out of some of this yarn (in a different color), but they wore out within just a few weeks.  I decided a scarf would hold up better. 


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Wonderful Surprise

I was sitting in my chair, watching Emergency reruns on Netflix, when I heard the heavy rumble of the Brown Truck Of Happiness pull into my driveway. 

"Wow," I thought.  "The work boots I ordered are here already!" 

I stepped outside to wait for my box, only the box he pulled out of the truck was way too big to be work boots.   It was enormous. 

"What the heck is that?" I asked.

"This is you, isn't it?" the driver said, reading my address. 

"Yes, it's me.  But I didn't order anything that big.  Somebody sent me a present." 

I wrestled the gigantic box into the house, and read the shipping label to try to see from where it had come.


The return address was a UPS store, so that didn't help.  Well, there was nothing else to do but to open it.


It was full of bubble wrap and packing peanuts, but the first thing I spied were these two wooden spindles.  


Then I pulled out this funny looking thing here.  


Delving deeper, I found the note:


Here's a close up, so you can see what it says.


 After much digging through styrofoam and cutting tape around bubble wrapped parcels, I got all the parts laid out on my couch. 


 Somewhere in the deep recesses of the box, I found the instruction manual.  Somehow, Santa's elves knew the exact model of wheel I've been wanting. 


In no time at all, I had it put together and was treadling away -- still watching Emergency.  


And look, there is even a little bundle of fiber for me to spin!  


Now, I just have to figure out how to spin on it.  I'll let you know how that goes.

Right now, I'm finding myself a bit at a loss for words.  This is an amazing gift, and I can't think of any reason why I should deserve such generosity.  OK, I know that this wheel had a loving home before it came to me, but that doesn't diminish the gift in any way.  This is an expensive item, and someone out there thought enough of me that when the wheel was ready for a new home, she passed it along to me.  That's the important part.  

I have wanted one of these for so long, and thanks to someone's generosity, now I have it. 

I have some incredibly generous friends!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Neville

Saturday, before we left for the day, Group Leader Fernando told me to come in at 5 AM this morning.  Over time, junk starts to accumulate on the line.  Extra headers and adapter tubes, extra boxes, trash that should have been thrown out, and the like.  He and I (and one of the forklift drivers) were going to come in early and get it all cleaned up and stuff. 

I show up at 5, and guess who isn't there.  Yep.  Sigh...I start cleaning up and getting ready for the day.  Along about 6, Fernando drags his sorry behind into work.  He's very apologetic, explaining that he didn't have electricity at his house.  "Do you know how scary it is to take a shower in the dark?" he asks.

I just stood there, mouth open, dumbfounded for a moment, then I blurted out, "How did you make it in the Army for 20 years if you're afraid of the dark???" 

He just laughed and shook his head.  But he brought me juice


and doughnuts


"As an appeasement," he said. 

So, I called him Neville Chamberlain for the rest of the day. 

For those of you who went to public school, Neville Chamberlain was the prime minister of England during the 1930s whose policies of appeasement allowed Hitler to run roughshod over most of Europe. 

It's actually kind of nice to have someone around who gets my historical references.  An insult kind of loses its punch when you have to explain who "der fuhrer" is. But that's a different story for a different day. 

A few weeks ago, Group Leader Fernando decided he was going to try to trip me up. 

"You're kind of studious of history," he said.  "Let's see if you get this.  I'm Adolph Hitler." 

He indicated an area about a foot square inside my work area (which I have semi-jokingly dubbed a "Fernando Free Zone"), and said, "All I want is this little area here.  That's it.  Just this little area." 

I walked to the edge of my work station, stood toe to toe with him, looked him dead in the eye, and I said,

NO

"No?  I can't have this little bitty area here?" 

I crossed my arms and said again, "No.  If just one person had stood up to Hitler, he never would have been able to amass such power.  He would have never been able to conquer most of Europe." 

(As my awesome hunk of pure awesomeness that is my imaginary boyfriend Bill Whittle says, if a high school marching band had stood in the road blocking his way, Hitler would have turned around and gone home.  Bill also says that 15 Texans with rifles could take over California without firing a shot.) 

Group Leader Fernando nodded and walked away.  Later, as I added my name to the quality board, I wrote "NOT Neville Chamberlain."  Fernando just laughed and shook his finger at me. 

In other news, Cody is no longer in the floater pool.  Supervisor Ronnie is back from vacation, and has given him a permanent position.  Well, for the rest of the summer that is.  He is going to be working on Former Group Leader Rod's line building coils.  I asked Cody about it, and he said, "That's got to be the easiest job in the entire plant." 

So, yeah, things are working out for him. 

I told Supervisor Ronnie that Cody is a good worker, and Ronnie said, "Like his mama." 

Oh, that makes me so proud. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Flowers!!!


I have flowers!  Well, a flower.


But soon, I'll have two.


I didn't notice the spider on the bud when I took the picture. 

I may be sitting here calmly typing, but inside I'm doing a happy dance.

Cody has been working on my line the last couple of days.  This afternoon, Group Leader Fernando motioned me over and asked, "Is your son looking for a full time job?"  

"Nope," I said.  "He's going back to school in the fall, then on to grad school." 

Too bad.  Supervisor Rick, who has been filling in for Supervisor Ronnie this week, has been very impressed with Cody and his work ethic.  He was hoping he was looking to get hired on full time. 

Oh, that makes this old mama proud.  Maybe I raised him right after all. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Proud Mama

Cody is making quite the impression at work.  He's been in the floater pool, which means he goes wherever they're short handed and fills in.  Today they put him on one of the air handler lines assembling cabinets.  The group leader over there told him she was going to request to have him put there permanently.  That makes me one proud mama.

My friend Vanessa said, "I'm as proud of Cody as if he were my own son." 

I always knew he would be OK.  When he was 11, he started asking me for a cell phone.  I told him no, because I wanted to give him one for his 13th birthday.  Rite of passage.  Growing up kind of thing.  Well, that little stinker saved up his own money, did extra chores, and just after he turned 12, he brought me $150.  "This ought to be enough for a phone and some minutes," he said.  After that, how could I tell him no? 

Lots of things are going on in my bed.  My flower bed, that is. 


Nothing at all is going on in my other bed.  Even sleep is coming difficult. 


Stress, maybe.   I do have a lot going on right now. 


I can't wait for these guys to start blooming. 


Nothing relieves stress like being surrounded by nature's beauty.



 And the knowledge that nature's God has me in his hands, and nothing can snatch me out of them. 

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