New Wheels

Two sets of new wheels from the dump.



The bike works great!  Gears shift and everything.  A  nice feature in a bicycle.  The tires need a bit more air, but that’s no biggie.

Hey, how’s the Tour de Fleece coming, anyway?  Glad you asked.  Since the whole Tour de France is over, so should the spinning be.  Well, let’s just say I am continuing my Tour de Fleece spinning into the Olympics.  I got a bit stalled with the whole working with wool while it was 90′ and horribly humid.  So we will segue right into the Olympics and keep on spinning.  Is that allowed?  Oh well.  Also, I seem to have an issue with doing something because I have to get it done.  (Mum, I can hear you laughing.  Stoppit.)   I can do other things if they need to be done, but I found that during the Tour de Fleece, I stubbornly did not want to spin simply because I had too get it done.  It turned my nice, quiet, relaxing hobby into one more thing that I was trying to get through.  I didn’t like that.  Because once I told myself I had to get through it, I dug my heels in and decided I didn’t want to.  Spinning should not be about have to.  So we will see what we will see and not try to force anything to get done.


Basket Case

Today’s project was to find straps for my new pack basket.  The basket came to me via the “transfer station” aka dump–like so many of the things that I own.  It came with red webbing straps, but some part of the strapping was missing.  And I am not that crazy about red nylon webbing anyway.  So I cut it off.  The solution?  Belts from the thrift store.  I brought a piece of the webbing with me today so that I would get the size right.  The bottom has slots in it that the belts would have to go through.  It was the third thrift that we looked in that I found them.  The first two wanted $2 or more per belt.  Seriously?  At the thrift store?  No.  The third had them for 50 cents each.  In my mind, that is much more like it.  If the third did not have them for cheap, I would have waited for them to turn up at the dump.  So this whole project was a $2 investment–4 belts.

The basket itself is not huge, the base of it measures 9″ by 7″, and it is 13″ tall.  It is about the size of a regular school-type back pack.



It might not look like those straps are going to hold anything in the pack, but they are wedged in there pretty tightly.  It is the buckles that are holding the belts in through the slots in the bottom.  This big belt around the top is so pretty, I think it makes the whole thing.  It is also on their pretty tightly, so helps to hold all of the other belts in place.


I’m not sure what I was thinking at the thrift store.  I guess I thought these were all brown belts.  Turns out the one on the front is black.  Must have been the heat getting to me today!  I will look out for another one (brown) to replace it with.  Since none of these belts are permanently attached to the basket, the whole arrangement can be changed if I find something I like better.


I’m pretty pleased with this project.  It went together better than I thought it would.  I thought there would be some  difficulty about connecting the belts to the basket, Like some awkward sewing needed or something, but it seems that the basket took care of that due solely to its own basket-y nature.

If your local transfer station does not have a recycle room, or shed for stuff that is still good but not ready for the trash, I would urge you to ask about setting one up.  Just a small out building is all that is needed to keep stuff dry and out of the weather.  So much stuff goes through the one in Carrabassett, and to a lesser degree through the one in Kingfield. So much good, useful stuff that is just not wanted by the previous owner, but that is just the thing that the next person needs.  Why not use all of this stuff that we create and buy at least one more time before it goes into a land fill or gets burned up into the atmosphere?


Garlic Scapes and Sunday













I finally cut the scapes from my garlic.  There are two types of garlic out there.  Red Russian and German Extra Hardy.  They are both doing great!  One of them had smallish not very mature scapes (below) but the other had these garlic head shaped scapes (above).  But right now I can’t remember which was which.  I’m going to try using the ones above in cooking.  They are so full of pea sized garlic cloves.  Really interesting to look at.


Happy Sunday.


New (old) Boots





Great Spirit of the Dump gave me new boots this week.  They fit me perfectly.



They might look a bit battered to you, but to me they look perfectly comfortable and broken in.  I picked them up to make something else with them, but them realized that they looked about right for my big feet.  With the new ribbon ($1 at the Dollar Store) they are now girly boots.  This makes me very happy.  Thank you Great Spirit.  

Tour de Fleece Update

Just a quick update this morning on the Tour de Fleece projects.  This is what I started with for projects to get through.  The white fleece on the left is not meant to be spun for this goal, just washed, so that’s not so daunting as it looks.

But boy, there is nothing like a pile of spinning to get through to make you want to knit.  The Squirrel Socks are getting their acorns now.  I am afraid that the socks might be a bit too big.  I can see the appeal now of working from the toe up so that you can easily try them on as you go.  The acorns are fun though.  I’m thinking about a hat to follow with the squirrels and acorns following each other in a band around the hat.  But not until the spinning is done.  I still have the blue in the middle and the mohair in the lower right corner to spin.

I did finish the Roasted Chestnut yarn, and those are labeled.  This is really a first attempt too at labeling a yarn as soon as it is done.  I always think I will remember fiber content later on, don’t label anything, then can’t remember what it is.

It is soooooo hot here again today.  The internet was up and down yesterday.  People are saying solar flares are the cause of it?  Is that true?  Odd.  So we are off to find something cool to do today.  Happy Sunday Everyone.

How do you organize your projects?

I have been trying to  be a bit more organized about my whole fiber thing lately.  The patterns, notes, charted stuff, seems to get scattered all around the house as I am working on something.  I am trying really hard to overcome this tendency.  I have bits of junk everywhere, and I would so seriously like to be one of those people who is well organized, knows where stuff is, one of those people whose house you walk into and see order and tidyness.  This really is not me, but I am trying.  And really, if it weren’t for the knitting and spinning and all the books, my house would be fairly empty.  Well, except for the laundry.  But that is never ending.  Anyway…

For the knitting projects, I have made two three-ring binders.  One is marked WIP (works in progress) and the other is FO (finished objects).  The idea being that the WIP is the stuff  I am actually working on, patterns, charts, notes, etc, and once I am done with a project, all of those notes get moved into the FO binder.  So many of the things we make as knitters are given away, that it would be nice to have some sort of record of what was actually completed.  So the WIP binder should only have 2-3 projects in it at any one time, while the FO binder should (theoretically) be filling up with accomplishments.

I thought I would just share with you my notes for the Squirrel Socks.

The original pattern, as printed from my library in ravelry.  We can at least pretend that we are going to follow the instructions as written, can’t we?

A couple of photos from the projects in ravelry as a reference to pattern and stripe placement.  And a copy of just the squirrel charts for easier reading.

The yellow squirrels is another copy of the chart, but the one I actually used and marked up as I completed each row.  I had a hard time concentrating when I was doing the squirrels, and really did need to mark off row by row as I finished them.  On the right are the instructions for doing the heel that my Mum so cleverly wrote out and e-mailed to me.  Thanks Mum!  This pattern is for working toe up.  I didn’t do that, I did cuff down, so I needed to be able to work the heel top down.  Isn’t she smart?  If you get stuck, e mail her, and she will help you out.  She’s a whiz at this stuff.  If that were a 267 stitch sock, I bet she could figure that out too.

And this is the charted acorns that I worked out.  On the left if the copy on stiff paper that I will keep as a future reference, should I ever desperately need charted acorns as calculated for a 64 stitch design again, and on the right is the flimsy one that I will mark up like the one above of the squirrels.

So this is what I have come up with to keep things organized.  Today when I left the house I was able to grab the project bag and the notebook and throw them in my bag, knowing that I had everything I needed to keep going on the socks.  As it happens, I am only just starting the acorns, but in case I had extra time, it would have been ready to go.  Or should some one have stopped me and asked for my advice on their own squirrel socks, I would have had all of my notes handy.  And a yellow colored pencil too.

Even as I write this I realize just how geeky I am.  First of all, I have a big supply of three-ring binders.  (I find them at the dump in big bunches–really nice hardly used, maybe new binders)  I love all things notebook-y and paper-ish.  Always have.  Since I was little.  And second of all, why do I need to keep the marked up notes and highlighted scraps?  I don’t think history will really care about my squirrel chart.  But it makes such sense in my nerdly mind to keep it all together.

So my question to you all today is, How do you organize the patterns and notes and charts that go along with a knitting project?

It’s Friday, so you know what that means:

Creative Friday Button         Photobucket

The buttons to the right will actually connect you Natural Suburbia (Creative Friday)  and  Wisdom Begins In Wonder (Fiber Arts Friday).  Check out what everyone else has been up to this week.