Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Llama (I like to say yamma)

So my spinning instructor gave everybody samples of different types of fiber last week, and last night she let us take some extra of what was left over. I took some extra llama fiber, complete with guard hairs in tact... lots of guard hairs, actually.
So I spent a large portion of my evening (into late night) attempting to separate out the guard hairs from the soft and downy undercoat.

The left bag is a bunch of guard hairs. The bag on the right is fluffy undercoat (with still quite a few guard hairs as they are more of a pain to get rid of than I had anticipated).

Here's the carding of the fiber. I took about half the carded llama, recarded it to blend in some merino, and spun the stuff without the merino.

It's not as soft as it would be if I could get all the guard hairs out. Hmmmm... I wonder what i can do with it.

Hmmm... I guess I didn't actually have anything interesting to say. Oh yeah...

At least this turned out ok.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The thing about public bathrooms

Here's the thing about public bathrooms. People in general, but maybe more specifically prissy girls, think that public bathrooms are disgusting. I tend to agree, but to a reasonable level.

What I really hate are those prissy girls that say, "Ewww... public bathrooms are gross." And then proceed to hover-pee so their precious bottom doesn't get soiled by the germ encrusted toilet, and end up peeing all over the seat... and then they don't bother to, at the very least, wipe it up with toilet paper. You see, they have now turned the otherwise not-any-dirtier-than-you-might-expect-in-a-20-year-old's-apartment bathroom into the disgusting filth ridden cesspool that they claimed to be against in the first place.

My latest experience with this was in Chicago, in a nice Irish type pub in Wicker Park (one of the trendier neighborhoods from what I've been told). I walked into the bathroom that was clean enough, good lighting by the mirror, filled soap dispenser, plenty of paper towels, really all you could really need in a bathroom at a pub. But I went into the stall, and one of those prissy girls clearly had been there. This time it wasn't pee all over the seat. This time instead of the hover-pee, the prissy girl had covered the seat with toilet paper in an attempt to provide a barrier between her precious tushy from the icky sticky ucky yucky germs on the toilet seat. What she didn't do was remove the toilet paper from the seat when she was finished.
Now really, did she really think that noone would notice? Did she think it just disappeared when she walked away? This must be someone who doesn't understand cause and effect. If you put the toilet paper on the seat, it stays there if you don't remove it.

I mean, come on! I understand why one might feel the need to cover the seat, but how hard is it to just slide that tp into the bowl and flush it down?
I know the answer... It's not hard at all!

Also, I think that people should keep track of their pubes. I hate seeing one of those on the seat. Not as bad as someone peeing all over the seat and not cleaning it up, but probably more than the leaving the tp on the seat. But definitely... EWWWWWW.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There's something to be said for customer service

So, as much as I love online shopping, in person shopping is so much better.
Pretty much ever since I got my wheel at the thrift store I've been planning my next wheel. I've searched online, looked at pictures, and checked ravelry to find out what other people love about their wheels. I had it narrowed down to a Kromski Sonata. It's a full size wheel that's portable, has double treadle, and it comes in a gorgeous walnut finish. But the wheel is $540. I found it on ebay for $590, which includes not one, but two extra flyers that would make the wheel make more different kinds of yarn than I would know what to do with. I've finally decided that I will get no new wheel. Yes, the tax return money would mean I can afford it, but no... I still don't have a job.... it's just not the right time.
So I decided that what I really want is a new flyer for my current wheel until a new wheel is a more realistic option. I searched online and narrowed it down to an Ashford sliding hook flyer that would fit my wheel. I made my appointment at Detta's Spindle (a small, in house shop that's by appointment only) and asked if she had it available. So I went in yesterday, she got the flyer, and let me put it on the wheel and try it out just to see if it's really what I want. She also gave my wheel a professional once-over. She put a new brake band on, prettied up the spring thingy, gave me a new drive band, greased it up so it goes smooth. Oh... and she also helped me figure out that my wheel is probably from the early 70's. My wheel is older than me!

And then I saw it.... the Kromski Sonata. She had it, and I wanted it. She let me try it out. I was hoping that I wouldn't like it as much as I imagined I would. And while I was trying it out, Detta put a stain on the flyer for me so I wouldn't have to when I got home. Well, it turns out that I love the Kromski Sonata even more than I had imagined. And the walnut finish in person... there was drooling involved.

I told Detta that I was interested in getting a lazy kate for plying... and she suggested that if I'm thinking about getting a new wheel (which I am.... eventually) that maybe I should wait to get the Kromski lazy kate.... and instead she showed me how to make my own lazy kate for zero dollars!

Oh... and Detta also had in her shop some fiber that is 50% yak and 50% merino wool.... I rubbed my face in it. Then I bought some. I'm planning to spin this into a thin yarn so I can make a cowl... or something that will be near my face... so I can rub my face in it... all the time. But, I should get back to my point... which is that in person shopping can be so much better than online. Here's my new sliding hook flyer after Detta stained it. And some yarn I made.
And back to the moral of the story. As nice as it is to sometimes be able to save a few dollars by buying online, there really isn't a way to get the personal customer service over the internets. And since I'm the kind of person that even if I really have my heart set on buying a certain item in a store, if I don't get decent customer service I will change my mind and walk out, I really like the idea of supporting small local businesses.

Well, I very likely will continue to buy books on amazon and shoes on endless.com. But for other things I think local business is the way to go.

On another note.... I got home from knitting group last night and there was an icicle hanging from the porch. It was hanging really low and I thought I should kick it.... and then I slipped and fell... and my wrist hurts.
I should stop doing such silly things.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Amazing discoveries

So it's snowy today. Spinning class has already been canceled. I don't have a whole lot going on right now. So I'd like to take this opportunity to share an amazing discovery... on the subject of underpants.

It was an accidental discovery made yesterday. I was in a hurry after doing some laundry and had to get dressed in a bit of a rush. So I pulled my underwear out of the dryer and put them on... straight from the dryer... warm and cozy...

And I think it's important for me to share this wonderful knowledge with as many people as possible.
I highly recommend getting dressed with clothes straight from the dryer (particularly underpants).

It just feels good.... but not in a weird way.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something to think about

A friend posted this on facebook:

Go to urbandictionary.com, type in your first name, copy and paste this as your status, and put the first entry for your name under comments.

So I did it. And this is what showed up for "Jenn."

As the world is so overpopulated with Jennifers, we need to be able to distinguish the cool from the evil. The only acceptable abbreviation for the cool Jennifers is Jenn. Jenny, Jen, Nifer and any other variations of Jennifer are hereby deemed stupid and will no longer be tolerated! Anyone still answering to any other variation will be recognised as evil and or a loser!
Linda: "Is that Jenny over there?"
Tim: *smacks Linda's face* "You mean Jenn right???"
Linda: *sobbing* "OMG I soooo meant to say Jenn!"
Tim: "It's okay, I won't tell Jenn what you called her! But only this once."

I think this is pretty funny.... and amazingly accurate. When I was little I everyone was forbidden to call me "Jennie... or Jenny." As an adult I discovered this was because my grandfather had a girlfriend on the side named Virginia, "Ginnie" for short.
When we moved away from Tennessee, it took me a couple of years before I realized that those rules didn't apply anymore. So when I was 12 I pretty much forced people to start calling me "Jennie. No, not Jenny... Jennie." Huge difference. All the other Jennifers were Jenny. I wanted to be different. I was Jennie.
I think I was about 20 when people started calling me "Jenn." It took me a while to get used to it... and then I started to like it. So now, my grown up name is Jenn. Yes, with two Ns. It just looks prettier. I'm still fun, but a little bit more mature (not much though, almost anyone will tell you). You can take a Jenn seriously, but know that she's not uptight. Jenn is definitely the coolest way to go.

There were also a variety of not-so-flattering entries about "Jenn" on urban dictionary, but the first one was the best.