Like The Queen
Whatever happens to strike my fancy, but surely some sort of fiber content.


I rather enjoy Springing Forward - it's the Falling Back that gets me -- "WHAT? I have to stay up an hour LATER? How will I ever????"

My plan is to completely go through my stash once again before Maryland as well, and I like the plan of putting all UFOs right up front. Really the purchases I have planned are tools - I will get a swift, finally, and maybe a warping board for dying.... Fiber wise I have very little that I want, other than wool/nylon blend for socks, and I think I'll be able to behave myself if I get my tools first, and buy fiber the second day, so that I'm not tempted by "too much" money in my pockets.

By Blogger Amie, at 11:32 AM  

yes!! Beth, we're planning to see you there, Thanks! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 5:50 PM  

we would LOVE to have you join our TNK, just let us know when and you'll be the guest of honor! Jane

By Blogger jane, at 6:20 PM  

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Monday, April 04, 2005  

I hate daylight savings time! What a waste of a perfectly good week in April - having to adjust my poor body to some ungodly time change, ruining my sleep cycle, missing out on all the deliciousness of the morning because when it’s 6 a.m. some mechanical device says it’s actually 7 and I have only an hour of playtime before I have to dress and be out the door. Rats!

Thus speaks the eternal lark, the morning person, struggling to accommodate the needs of those strange beings who creep by night and at best, only grunt, when the sun comes up to spread it’s cheery glow across the land.

WARNING - Inordinately long and only possibly interesting fiber stuff

It has been a long time since I’ve waxed eloquent about the world of fiber on this fiber blog. Little snatches here and there, progress reports about the garments I’m making, one single photo of a tam, for goodness sake. It’s a wonder I haven’t been frozen out of all the fiber blog rings. I believe you’re supposed to post weekly about your craft to remain in the circle. ahh well. Of course, much of my fiber life was sucked into TheWeddingDressVortex and though I have dabbled since, even devoted solid chunks of time to other fiber efforts, to date I have completed only said tam and one baby bootie. Other aspects of my personality are influencing my productivity at the moment.

Like ...

The absurd belief that I must design all the garments I knit. This is second cousin to the sure truth that it’s not a real gift if I didn’t make it. It is part of a whole body of facts like “if company is coming we must cook recipes we’ve never even tasted before” - after all, guests deserve special treatment, right?

Hey! (look - a bird! ENFP insider joke)

I’m still not posting about fiber and heck - that’s what I really wanted to do. At least, I wanted to brag a little and ponder an issue I shall soon have to face. The bragging is about the huge clean-up job I did in the den, where my stash is - I can not call it storage - crammed is more the word. I have an armoire, an old pie safe, a large blanket chest and two corners where everything that isn’t somewhere else in the house gets crammed. I haven’t bought any yarn since Montpelier, except a small - 12” x 10” x 3” - box of KnitPicks yarns, 2 skeins of which I have already knit up. That’s 6 months of good behavior for your typical yarn horder. The trouble with this sort of storage, though, is that you forget what you have. I suspect that such oblivion is an issue for any sort of storage short of open cubby shelving, so of course the studio in my dreams has walls of nothing else. I mean, who can remember what’s in those plastic tubs from Target either?

But things had been getting worse than crammed in the den. Bags and boxes were edging out into the center of the room, things were tumbling off of tall surfaces, and the 7 baskets on top of the armoire had become so jumbled I didn’t know what was in any of them. I couldn’t find all my bobbins. I had no idea how many crochet hooks, tapestry needles or 16” size 7 circular needles I had stuck in unfinished projects. Looming up ahead is Maryland Sheep and Wool, that opportunity to pour all your disposable income for the next year into more multi-colored mohair blends and some of that soy silk, and oh look at those darling angora bunnies! Who doesn’t need some of their soft fur? And lookee lookee lookit! Handpainted blue faced leicester in 4 oz bumps! And there! Over there in the corner. The fleece table. Be still my heart.

You can see what I am up against. In my daylight savings time sleep-deprived state, I might just drop another few hundred dollars again - like last year, when I bought two car loads of fibers, since I’d moved all that Falkland Island Polworth out of the house and off to the processors. That gave me a corner for a whole summer, empty and begging to be filled with fiber.

Well, the weather gods and the time goddess got together over the weekend and blessed me with both rain and empty hours. Sometime late on Saturday morning I began to CleanUpThatMess. I popped a PatsyZ video in the player, just to have a fiber buddy to keep me company, and began shifting the boxes in front of the pie safe. The goal for Saturday was to have no boxes on the floor, to know what was in all the baskets, to find all my bobbins and spindles, and to create a place for my bead stash. That small collection creativity strokers takes up only about 1 cubic foot of space at the moment. Surely it could go in one corner of the pie safe.

Ruthlessly I threw away all old receipts, business cards from fiber producers, and flyers about GettingStartedWithCashmereGoats or HappyHoovesFarmsFallFestival2001. I also decided to throw away any tangled things. All UFO’s were to go into either a spinning basket or a knitting basket - except the teensy new baby heart hat, half knit up, in cashmere. That’s to easy to tangle, and has pride of place on the top shelf of the pie safe. Sharing space with the cashmere baby hat are the file boxes of index cards with sample yarns on them. Not that they are worth keeping, for they were done when I’d had my wheel about 2 months, and from 2 oz samples from various sources. But I can empty the sample boxes another time. My first skeins are on that shelf too, those ugly babies I like to show new spinners so they won’t be discouraged. I also placed the special novelty threads, intended for spinning boucles and other fancy art yarns on this shelf. They’re small and easily lost. I want to be able to see them fast. Alas, there is, still in the corner of the top shelf, a light box and some embossing tools, along with a small box of greeting cards. I’m not quite ready to toss those, though I wonder, now, if GD might enjoy playing with them. She’s quite into fine papers - hmmm.

The second shelf has a good sized bag of dyed fiber, bought for needle felting, along with the Styrofoam block of felting needles and the little book on making fanciful little elfin figures. Next to that is a bag of handpainted rovings and another of the samples of yarn and small swatches knit up from those and other dyeing experiments. I’ve also put other novelty yarn fibers on this shelf. These are bags of fibers, like firestar and silk waste, not tidy little spools of threads. They’re in the front, though, and so, ought to be easy to see. On the far right of that shelf is the grocery bag of worsted wool I use to make up kits for my beginning knitting class. That bag is labeled and dated. Let us hope I am not stupid enough to buy more yarn the next time I teach a class.

The bottom shelf has dyes and fiber tools. There are the three hat blocks that BD made me for blocking tams, 9,10, and 11” round. The hand cards, the 2 wide toothed combs and the little flick card for preparing fiber for spinning come next. There are cherry tomato bags I use as yarn bras and the color chart I made from paint chips pilfered from Walmart. The rest of the shelf is devoted to beads. This will do for a while, though I can see that they could easily grow to demand a bigger slice of the storage pie.

In the little drawer beneath the shelves I crammed all the reels of 1/8 and 1/4 inch ribbons, used mostly to weave lavender wands, but also to tie baby bonnets and booties, as well as all my colored pens, pencils and markers.

The 7 baskets atop the armoire were dumped, one by one, on the floor, and their contents either tossed, or tidily bagged, labeled and returned, to baskets with specific holding duties. Three baskets have spinning projects I hope to finish up soon. One has painted silk roving and angora bunny fur in it. One has all the bobbins and spindles in it and one is stuffed full of half balls of wool yarn. The tiny pine tag basket LD brought me from Charleston has only the bag of painted Blue Faced Leicester roving, the sock yarn already spun and my little Bosworth spindle in it. It sits to the front of everything to remind me that I would really like to finish that first. There is also a box of acrylic yarns I used when I teach children, along with sample projects they make. There was room to put my swift, lazy kate, niddy noddy and ball winder up there, though I am sure I’ll pile stuff on top of them soon - I always manage to do so, and then have to do a major excavation project the next time I want to wind or unwind some yarn.

When I was done there were no more bags or boxes on the floor, the trash can was full of cluttery paper and snips of yarn, I’d found 4 pair of circular needles, 2 of them size 3 Addi Turbos!!, and all the videos were neatly arranged atop the pie safe. I remembered the Anny Blatt angora sweater that only needs to have the neck area knit and the underarms woven to be a FinishedObject. I sadly looked at BriccaTheAran, untouched since Montpelier. I promised them both they would get my only slightly divided attention - soon. Well, BtA won’t be looked at till fall. I don’t want her sitting on my lap this summer. But the Anny Blatt sweater can and will be finished before hot weather.

I was half way through bulldozing the den, and already I was begining to have grave doubts about any new fiber purchases for the next melinnium. What would I feel like when I’d gone through the blanket chest and all those bags stuffed into the empty corner behind it? What am I going to do about Maryland Sheep and Wool - a scant 5 weeks away?

Ahh well. It’s nigh on to 8:30. You shall have to stay tuned for our next episode, when we ask the question:

How many pounds of chocolate brown wool does Bess really have?

posted by Bess | 7:42 AM