Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Big post.

When I woke up on Thursday morning, the Secret Pal fairy had been to my house! I found this on my craft chair. Oh what could be inside?


A lovely card (a polar bear) with a nice note. And oh. My. God.



This is 8 oz of alpaca, in the mist grey color. It’s softer than I could hope for.

At first glance at the label, I was so excited that I thought that it was 1,300 yards. Now, of course, I realize that’s the yardage per pound. But it’s still, um… 6,50 yards of yummy, yummy grey alpaca! Thank you, oh Great and Wonderful Secret Pal!


Also in the box was a package of raspberry tea, which the Mate is enjoying very much (I’m not much for tea, but my Mate loves it), some Boston baked beans (those candy peanut things) and some “Rocks” that are actually chocolate. I am enjoying them very much.


(Note: I do not have mouse ears or whiskers. Ok, I have whiskers, but no ears. Ok, I have ears, but they're regular people ears. I looked so silly in this picture I couldn’t help ‘doctoring’ it even further.)

And what is that? Why, it’s the yarn I spun at the Ventura County Fair spinning competition. Red and I went because the LYS owner said it was a ‘demonstration,’ so we packed up our drop spindles and trotted along. Turns out it was the spin-off for the entire fair, and Red and I had our collective asses beat by the incredible spinners there. Red, however, took 5th place in the Beginners category. I placed somewhere in the teens, I think, of the intermediate. Made me want to sign up for Beginner level next year…

Task 1 (B, above): 20 minutes to card and spin a little baggy of white Lincoln locks into an ‘appropriate’ single. Judges were looking for “appropriate preparation of the fiber, and consistency of spin.” Did I mention that I didn’t know it was a competition? That meant no cards with me, no bobbin, no lazy cate (not that I own a real one), nothing but my spindle and me. I did ok anyway, but when I was winding off onto my arm, I lost control of the VERY energetic single and had a snarl. And my skein, as you can see, is ‘furry’. Never spun with Lincoln before…
Task 2 (A, above): 20 minutes to turn blue roving (… can’t remember what kind) into a 2 ply. Looking for a pretty skein, this time. I did a bit better, but it still wasn’t great. Next year I’ll do better.

While the judges were deciding, we were lead through funny spinning games. First one? All the wheel spinners had to remove their flyer, bobbin, and drive band, and put them back on blindfolded. The first one spinning won. Of course, Red and I had the advantage here: we can put the leaders on and spin while not looking because we do it while talking to the audience at the Ren Faire. But some of those poor women looked like they were going to pass out. On the other hand, some people had no problems at all, and were as efficient with their eyes closed as with them open. Those are the scary, professional spinners.

Then we spun with rubber gloves on. Ick. Red, however, actually spins better like that.

The upside? I had a lot of fun! Plus I ‘won’ a basket full of orange sized balls of different rovings (silk, wool, linen, soy silk? And a few that I don’t have a clue on) plus a note card and some other notion type stuff.

What a great way to spend an evening.


And what’s this? This is my beautiful Lorna’s Laces Shepard Sock, in the Rainbow, before I put it into a ball. (Ok, this is somebody elses. I lost the before picture.) Pretty, isn’t it? I got this through the GSRP, and fell in love with the colors. Then I saw how it knitted up. (Note that these are perfectly lovely socks... just not in my colors AT ALL.) I wound my beautiful skein into a ball, just to check.

Urk. Like… clown in the blender. Not so good.

But there’s that Pooling Colors pattern from the new IK. I’m going to try that. If I don’t like it I’m giving it to Kitten to make a hat out of. She thinks her super quick crochet pattern will make good use of the color repeats. She’s probably right.

Enough spam from me, eh? Going to SIGGRAPH (graphics conference) tomorrow. I have a post almost ready for Thursday, too.

Wow. Two posts in a week? What is the world coming to?

2 Comments:

At August 10, 2004 at 5:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi. Glad you liked the stuff. Next time I'll skip the tea. Do you like coffee? Loved the photo.
The fair sounded like fun. Next year you'll kick ass!
Have fun at the conference.
Your Secret Pal

 
At August 10, 2004 at 5:54 PM, Blogger mouse said...

Hello there, my great and wonderful secret pal!

Can't have coffee (though the mate likes that, too). I'm more of a chocolate person. Hint: I think the cadbury chocolate company probabaly created the universe. :)

I also love the wool wash and stitch markers. Of course, i forgot to put that in my post, but I'll tell you. And after the spinning thing, I picked up about a pound of black and gray fleece, so I get to try it out. yea!

Thank you so much for my presents. I feel special.

 

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