Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fancy Dancer

I have plenty to talk about but can't seem to find the focus to put it into a manageable or understandable format so here's something semi-entertaining instead.

My sister made this video for me by stealing my head from a photo on my blog. I think it's quite hilarious.

Plus my stomach is somewhat flat and check out that hip action wouldja!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


It's my very lucky day! I have been struggling the last few days with what I should write on this here bloggy. I have a few things percolating but am undecided about which direction I should go.


then Abby tagged me with this “8 Very Random Things” thing so I'm doin' it and then 8 of you will be assigned to take my place.

Here’s the deal: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

So here goes.

1. I always wanted to be a Genetic Engineer. I was sure I would find the cure for cancer. For several years I worked in a laboratory doing experiments to optimize the growth of human cells which produced antibodies for certain drugs used for autoimmune disorders

2. I'm very claustrophobic. Hate my head under the covers, never could figure out how people read under there. Can't snorkel because it's little inside that mask with my breathing cut off - I know this from my honeymoon.

3. I've driven across the US 2 times from Pennsylvania to California and back. Once when I moved there the July after I graduated high school and back when I left my first husband. First time I was just 18 and the next time I was 23 and had 2 kids under 3. It was more fun the first time.

4. I love Disney World. O.K. this is not news to people who live near me but I don't talk about it much on the bloggy. If Lou would do it - and we had the money - I would go there every year.Only 68 days, 7 Hours, 37 minutes and 45, 44, 43, 42....seconds until I get to go back!

5. I'm worried that I'm going to make a huge mess out of this little shop that I love.

6. I'm worried that I may get successful at running this little shop that I love.

7. I home school my Maggie (Ryan is only 3) and the best thing about it is watching her read and do math problems and know that I helped her learn that.

8. I have owned 7 cars since I started driving at age 16. Four of these cars have had to have their engines replaced or they were junked because I either didn't change/add oil or the coolant level was left to evaporate to nothing. No Coolant, low oil means cracked head. You'd think I'd catch on. (On a side note: I now take my car on a regular basis to the dealer for service.)

Now for the tags....Kate, Erika, Brittney, Shannah, Carla, Jessie, Tammy, and Jillian. I've chosen these people because I can't wait to hear what they have to tell...I think Jillian will say something about moisture:-)

O.K. girls you're it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Conversations with Maggie - and a review

Listen in on a conversation from last night with Maggie.

Maggie: So, how was your trip?

Me: Very fun.

Maggie: What did you do?

Me: Well, I did a lot of spinning and met a lot of people.

Maggie: What did you do on the first day?

Me: On the first day we drove a long way and then I met Phreadde.

Maggie: Who's Fred?

Me: She's a really good spinner who was using a spindle she made herself.

Maggie: Fred is a girl?

Me: Yes.

Maggie: That's a boy's name.

Me: Well, she spells it different.

Maggie: That's funny.

Me: She spells it P-H-R-E-A-D-D-E I think.

Maggie: No, you spell it F-R-E-D

Me: Well, she doesn't.

It went on a little longer than that. So you can see I never made it to talking about even day 2 because even Maggie only wants to talk about Phreadde:-+

Today I wanted to include my little review of the Schacht Ladybug which will begin to be shipped to shops by the end of this month.

It is pretty small - hits me around knee height. It weighs 12 pounds and has 3 different handles. I was prepared to not be in love with this wheel because the actual wheel part is plastic - of course Schacht doesn't call it plastic, they say composite. I just have never thought that spinning wheels should be plastic. Then again I don't own very much Tupperware due to my dislike of plastic anything.

It does fit the Schacht Matchless flyer and bobbins as well as most of the whorls so if you already have a matchless and are looking for a more portable wheel this is a positive thing for you. Those bobbins can be pretty expensive - about $30 each. I also call it a more portable wheel because this is not a folding wheel.

I got to spin on it several times over three days and it is quite smooth and lovely. You can make a wide range of yarns on it. There is a nice little tensioning device for the stretchy drive band for when you change whorls. They were showing it in Scotch tension but after some heart to heart talks with Cindy from Schacht, who did a large part of the designing, I found out that double drive is definitely and option as well as running it with a cotton drive band. As far as the double treadle is concerned, the movement is smooth and lovely and can also be used with only one foot.

Currently the on board lazy kate is not included which I don't love. Those parts have to be purchased separately but if you have a kate that fits the Schacht bobbins already then it's a non-issue. Also, plying always seems to go better for me if the bobbins are behind.

Over all I am very positive about this wheel. I think it has the capability to take a beginner a very long way before they would look for another wheel. It can be easily taken to guild meetings and the footprint is pretty small so it will take up very little space in your home. The interchangeable parts are a huge plus if the owner has or decides to stay with a Schacht product.
Cost wise it is very competitive at $525. An Ashford Traveller is $495, Joy with bag is around $650, Kromski Sonata with bag is $520 (if I'm remembering correctly), Majacraft Little Gem with the bag is around $600. So they are right in there in the right neighborhood to make Schacht a more viable option for people who want the quality of a Schacht product but couldn't spend $899 on a wheel.

There are 2 main drawbacks that I noticed. If you are looking for a wheel to take on airplanes, this is not the wheel for you because it does not fold. And it doesn't come with the on board kate, which I'm not too sure is a terrible thing since it wasn't pretty. Of course once all of the bobbins are on the kate you would just see the bobbins so I guess I could go either way.

I'll have two of these coming soon so you can try it out for yourself. (Really, that was just a ploy to get you to come and visit me at the shop)

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm Back!

I had huge plans for blogging but this is how I felt all week. This is actually Carla and I love this picture. This post is just going to be pictures of people from the week. Some are old friends - like Carla, some are new and some I have a girl crush on due to fabulousness. Of course Carla is in that category too.
From Left to right. Jillian, Carla, Amy, and Amy. Hilarious is all I can say. There were beautiful movies turned into something just naughty and chocolate and ice cream and the "Box of Love" was quite amazing and fibery like.
Richard Ashford who I got to spend some time with and give my opinions to and I brought this Elizabeth wheel back to the shop. He signed it for me. I'm not sure I can sell it. I seem to have that problem a lot lately - though Shannah did sell my Traveller with the jumbo flyer while I was gone. I'm glad it happened while I was gone.
This is me and Margaret Stove. She's my new Best Friend but I haven't told her yet=)
Here's Jenny spinning her spider web thin yarn. You can't see it in this picture but she does it on her Ashford Joy. Seriously, I saw her scarf that is Navajo Plied and the yarn is the same diameter as sewing thread.
Here she is in this fab shawl that she designed and spun and knitted.
Joan Sheridan Hoover of Heritage Spinning and Weaving. She's darling. I am so glad I finally met her and hope to be in touch with her more during the next few years. She taught at SOAR and the amount of work put out by her class was incredible. This picture was taken on the 7th night and you can see I'm fading.
Maggie Casey teaching us the difference between American and English Long Draw. The English version is very fun but I need a little practice.
This fine lady had never spun or knitted before coming to SOAR. She used a borrowed wheel and learned to spin in Maggie Casey's Spinning 101 class. Then she took a knitting lesson from Denny and finished a scarf WITH her handspun before the end of the week.
This is Kandy with her room mate who's name I can't currently recall. I bumped into Kandy many times through the week and she is very darling. Luckily she only lives in Indiana so we can hopefully spin together.
This is Bonnie. She was my breakfast partner for most of the week. She is in charge of setting up the competition displays at Rhinebeck. She certainly remembered my Lily shawl and had to have pictures for bragging when she got home. I did let her borrow it for a minute or two-
Kat - with her yarn samples from our class.
And finally, my favorite person of the whole week, Abby. I was a lot intimidated when I saw her on the first day. I've been reading her blog for a long time and the spinning knowledge was very helpful but to watch the speed of the spindling... She's giving me a lesson in this picture and I refused to embarrass myself in front of her. There is a spindle in this picture but the speed of it was amazing. I did a bit of practicing today and I am catching on.

So here's my take on the whole SOAR thing. I learned some great things in my classes but the social part of the week can't be taken lightly. I met Fibergal and she was a wealth of information - just by watching her spin on her spindle. There was Jenni who I asked about how she gets her yarn so thin. "Oh", she said, "just change your brake band to cotton." It was like magic. Something I had been trying for for the last two years was so simple.

I was busy from 7AM to midnight most days and I felt like my head was going to explode by the end of Friday. You know, like when you are trying to put too much wool in a plastic bag and it just keeps popping out. Now it's back to the shop and school. It was a great week and I'm definitely going next year. I have some more pictures and can share some of my new spinning insights in my next post.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Here's the thing. I'm leaving for SOAR in only 3 days and I'm a crazy excited nervous wreck. I plan on doing a couple of remote blog posts from Shanty Creek which consist mostly of "Here I am with Margaret Stove!!!!!!!!" And "Here I am with Judith McKenzie McCuin!!!!" Mostly me gushing.

When I get back I will do some serious posts of "look at this new thing I learned" or "I never thought of doing this like this before."

Also, Knit Michigan is on Saturday, February 2nd in Bloomfield Hills. I'm thinking I'll be a vendor.

And in conclusion, Spinning Spider Jenny is coming to my shop to teach in mid November. I have some openings still and would love to have any of you who can make it. There will be a very informal sleepover at my house so, you know, it could be fun. I'm fun, really.

O.K. Gotta go make my list of the stuff I want to pack and then cross things off cause I can;t fit everything in the car.