Mondays & Milestones

Gotta love Mondays.

Ugh.  So much for my wishing for summer sun to return to our area, right? LOL! It’s Sandy folks and she’s headed our way.  I just learned this morning that our area was told to evacuate…so we’re here waiting her out.  So far so good though.  Apparently, we are above the train tracks where the creek is here, at the highest point in New Castle.  So, we shall see…

I’m actually much more worried about what’s going on at the mill right now.  Natural disasters have been the bain of its existence for years now.  And the mill has been depending on volunteers and the generosity of visitors and members to get by.  With the waters levels rising so high around the area, I wonder how it’s doing.

Still, I thought it might be a good time to let you in on a little secret! As the newest, freshly-minted board member at the mill (you like how I slipped that in, right? ;) ), I have been playing around with the idea of changing the look of the mill’s website and having it hosted on WordPress.  I’m tossing that out to the other members as a, you know,  “What if?”

Here’s a look at a banner I’m using at the moment.

At some point, I’d love to change that into one of those slide show plug-ins.  It’s on my wish list.

The idea to begin a new one stemmed from the fact that the current site, in my opinion, didn’t reflect the fun that I have when I visit the mill and I wanted to see a site that did that without losing the content.  Although there is a lot of history being portrayed there, the mill is a much fresher place to me.  It also needed to show that there are things that are going on at the mill all the time (which definitely can’t be seen by driving by the mill from the road).  More than that, it’s a way for us to have better access to the information that goes out and get things updated a little more timely amongst us. Of course, it would need to have its own domain name and be moved to WordPress.org and self-hosted at some point (something I’ve never tried, but am willing to learn).  It also needs more bells and whistles.  That all requires time and money.  So, this is just a work in progress-a beta version, if you will.  But, I’d love it if you all could be part of this and head over, click around, compare the new project to the current site and give us some feedback there? This is a project that is close to my heart, so thanks in advance to all of you who check it out!

In the meantime, here in New Castle, I’m wishing I had went to get those Hiya Hiya dpns from Stitches With Style when I had the chance for my lace bag. I’m pretty bold when I need to be.  But I ain’t goin’ out in that!

That’s not good English, but you get my meaning, lol. Course, hubby says to go take a pic later on tonight! This is supposed to be the calm before the storm y’all.  Yuck.

At any rate, the stitches started coming off the sides of the needles as I was knitting.  Argh!! I do have some metal dpns.  They just usually  bother my wrists.  Meh.  Either I’ll work through the wrist issues or I’ll find something else to knit on in the meantime.  Since I have not worked on any Christmas knitting-at all-now would be a good time to start, I guess.  I did start a simple, lime green scarf…but I kinda like that for me, lol.  It’s lime green! What do you expect? :)

Yesterday, I did get to spin a little though.  I have been noticing in the bowl where I leave my newest handspun skeins that there is beginning to be some variety and I like that! So, I tried something that I have wanted to try since I started spinning.  A low-twist single!

Low-twist singles, like a lot of things come easier to some and not so easily to others.  They’ve always intimidated me simply because when I first started spinning, I had to err on the side of over-twisting to get a length to stay together.  As you keep spinning, and your handspun gets more stable, you learn how to adjust that to get the yarn to relax a little more.  You learn to hold back that extra twist until you need it (like for making sock yarns or cabled yarns).  But yesterday I actually sat down to read the ebook Spin Control by Amy King of Spunky Eclectic (a place I have yet to order fluff from!) and there was this beautiful skein of laceweight singles just sitting there on the screen.  Of course, you know, I just had to try it!

And, all of a sudden, I was thrust back into the land of “Just get it to hold together!” LOL!

The trick with low-twist singles is you have to find some kind of sweet spot where it’s not too much twist and not too little either.  Yeah.  Where the heck is that?!

Your guess is as good as mine.  But, I do like that Spin Control doesn’t give you exacts on how to achieve it.  It gives you more of a goal to aim toward.  For low-twist singles, the suggestion was around 2-3 twists per inch.  That suggestion worked out for me.  However I get that 2-3 twists per inch is however I get it.  So, I still get to spin based on the feeling of it rather than strict rules (rather than set your ratio to this and treadle like this…blah, blah, blah).  Nice!

And I like how this came out!

Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have tried this on colored fiber. That’s my good stuff! So, I suppose grays are good for something. ;)

Well, I can hear Sandy beating on the windows…

So I’ll save this before she gets mad at all the fun I’m having in the dark.

 

For those of you who are also weathering Sandy, be safe, okay?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. You had me at that first picture of the yarn in front of a rain spattered window. There’s nothing better than settling in with something you love doing on a rainy day. Your blog has a clean,fresh look that is so inviting! http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

  2. KittasaurusRex says:

    I said yesterday that your singles came out a lot nicer than mine, but I dunno. I can’t pet yours. I CAN pet mine, and it’s silvery blue 75/25 merino/silk. Hard to make that un-pettable. :D That said, your skein there looks a lot more like what I had in my head while I was spinning mine, which has lumps of silk and little nepps because I haven’t done any carding before this…and my hand cards are as big as my head.
    Were you spinning right from that grey top (jeez, I love grey), or did you pre-draft first and then do no drafting at all while spinning? Someone told me to try that, and if I’d listened, it was probably good advice.

    That new site is really lovely; the light colors and delicate serifs evoke a softer, cleaner, sheepier feel than the green background and heavy script font on the old site.

    • Lol! Mine is only merino so I’m betting yours is much more pettable. :)

      I think some people start off really good at carding and the rest of us have to pick it up as we go along. I’m right there with you. But, it gets easier the more you practice. I did spin right from the top on this though. No carding this time!

      For this, I drafted while spinning. I think drafting while spinning creates a fluffier yarn versus pre-drafting and then spinning it without any drafting at all during the spinning. The in-between-pre-drafting some before spinning and then drafting while you are spinning is probably a happier medium depending on the prep. I was working with top, so, there was easy drafting and no need for pre-drafting or fluffing or anything. But, as always, it depends on what you want in the end. For a denser yarn, pre-draft and then let the wheel put your twist in. I would probably try to feed that singles into the orifice as quickly as possible to keep it from ending up like rope though. I have come to find that for low-twist singles, you have to feed your singles in at a pretty quick rate. But, remember, it takes less twist to get thicker singles to hold together. So, you would be wanting to feed that stuff in at like 1 twist per inch. ESPECIALLY if you pre-draft and do no drafting while spinning.

      Thanks for the compliments on the site!! The mill has sheep and baking and herbs and everything! Hopefully, it can start showing all that in the future.

  3. I was wondering if they’d evacuate ya’ll, especially as they’ve begun showing the damage to Rehoboth and Ocean City on our news here. Glad to hear you’re holding up okay. Boy does that new yarn suit the weather nicely!

    • They tried, lol. But, I just saw the notice today. Hubs showed it to me and asked why I hadn’t left. Big joker! But, we’re fine, so far.

      It’s gray enough, that’s for sure!!

  4. indiedyer says:

    Love, love, love your singles!! I want to dive right into it. Will keep my fingers crossed that Sandy skirts around the mill, and you, and everyone…

  5. carpelibrum says:

    It is pouring here too. Stay safe where you are!
    Those greys are gorgeous! Greys don’t tend to be exciting, but they can have such a classy, subtle vibe!

  6. I just love your new grey singles! I want to cuddle up in a sweaters worth of it. I really like the new site you are working on, the slide show pictures under the ‘blog’ are perfect as is all the wonderful photography. The Mill looks like a great place to visit. Hope your doing well through the storm, we still have power up in NWest CT. Though I found out last year knitting by candle light is just as much fun.

    • Thanks! This stuff is really soft! But, I am using that to practice other spinning techniques…and a fellow blogger/knitter friend mentioned wanting some gray and red yarn, so, I’m trying to save some for that as a Christmas gift or something.

      The mill is wonderful and I just want it to stay that way…or at least be able to repair itself after something of this magnitude. Thanks for looking at the site! I hope you will visit it again some time. :)

      Knitting and candles sounds so warm and cozy! I’d join you in that practice if it weren’t for my clumsiness, lol!

  7. grayseasaylor says:

    Stacey, my two sons are enduring Sandy with you. My oldest son and his wife and two little boys are in Bayside, NY, and my youngest son is in NJ. Both sons have texted they have done what they could to be safe and Bayside son texted that the pine trees in his back yard are really bending. Your new gray yarn is lovely. Your plans for the website are exciting. I will try to go check out to see what you have been up to :) Blessing on you and yours. xx from Gracie

    • Hey Gracie! I really hope your sons stay safe! So far, it has just been a lot of rain and wind for us. No flooding yet though.

      Thanks for checking it out! Please do leave some feedback there I you get the chance.

      Thanks for the compliment on the yarn too. I love this skein!
      XX

  8. I really like the new site, it feels crisper and less dated than the old one. Also the photography…gorgeous, but I read your blog partly out of color/spinning envy. You always manage to capture the yarn and fluff so beautifully.

    I will cross my fingers for the mill and you and your family. We’re inland Maryland (just north of DC) and moved everyone downstairs for the night. During the derecho we had a large tree limb come down right on top of our bedroom (really disorienting and scary since we have skylights in all the bedrooms). We’ve got 70mph gusts right now and they are something to watch. Trees are amazingly resilient creatures.

    • Thanks for your thoughts! I think the folks there knew it was time to update. How, is the question at the moment, lol.

      Thanks for the compliments on the spinning! I just have developed a love for it that I’m having trouble shaking…I always hope the photos do it justice though imam not a photographer.

      We have windows in our sun room too. Across both sides! And one tree out front right next to the house. Yikes! Kinda scary. Be safe!!

  9. Love the grays.

  10. The gray is so rich looking! Haven’t tried spinning yet, though keep admiring it and thinking about it. For some reason, I am a bit intimidated by the idea, though some day I’ll just break down and at least try a bit on a spindle (it’s an excuse to shop online, too). Please stay safe and know that we are praying for everyone to stay out of harm’s way!

    • Thanks! It’s probably the best gray I’ve spun yet, lol. Course, it’s only my second gray…

      I think spinning does seem intimidating! When I first wanted to learn, it seemed like a secret society of special and elite people knew how and I’d never be able to learn. I tried and threw the spindle and fluff in a bag and left it. For years. But, it’s really not that difficult once you seriously want to learn it. Just takes a little patience. With yourself. :) I hope you try it someday.

      Thanks so much! I think they actually downgraded the storm so I’m happy about that. You stay safe as well!

      • I think that grey fiber looks delicious. I have a singles project myself that’s been hibernating for over a year (one skein done, several to go for a Shipwrecked shawl), I think I’ll try the soft spun variety.

        Funny, but I’ve recently set up a WP site to play with on one of my domains to see how it works for websites rather than blogs. I think you’re off to a great start, it’s a bit difficult to find the right themes I find, some look great but have no tweaking abilities, others have a different format than I’d like. I just love it when synchronicities like these happen. Are you using pages for the, well, pages?

      • Thanks! Were you going to use energized singles? I remember seeing a project using energized singles in The Twisted Sister’s Sock Workbook ages ago. It was gorgeous! They weren’t low-twist singles. I suppose all singles have their uses.

        That’s really serendipitous, isn’t it? Are you using WP.com or WP.org? Currently, fot that site, I have it on WP.com with a CSS upgrade so I could take all the theme decorations off and change a couple of things as I wanted. But, I would love to move it to WP.org with a guided transfer. There is a lot of content I just don’t want to risk losing. I am using pages for all of the pages (20+ and counting, lol) pages. The theme has a guestbook style page in it so that it sucks up the whole page and looks more website-ish for those pages. Sets it apart from the blog a bit. The theme actually doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles as is. But I am hoping with a switch to WP.org down the road, there will be plug-ins to work around that for the additional media we need where we need it. Sometimes it’s best to take something barebones and make all the changes you like on top of that.

  11. Yuck I got a visit from Sandy too. Hope the mill is ok

    • Thanks so much for the well wishes, Cleo. I hope you weren’t hit with much besides gloomy weather. That’s what we got, though I haven’t been out to know if there is flooding anywhere else. And goodness, it had to be on Assassin’s Creed III day. The teenager in the house is not happy, lol.

  12. First of all, I hope that all is well with you and that you did not suffer to much from the aftermath of Sandy! What a gorgeous fiber and I’m quite envious of your spinning! I’ve been getting better in consistency but sometimes find I have too much “twist”. Seems to happen when I’m tired and trying to spin. Lovely post and I so appreciate you sharing :)

    • Everything is great, Tina, thanks!

      No need to be envious. I’m still learning myself. But, the best thing is that I can say that a year and three months (?) after first learning, it’s still so much fun!! I wasn’t sure that that would be the case. But, I really enjoy it! And knitting with it is the icing on the cake for me.

      When I am tired, my hand usually hits the flyer at some point. Ouch!

  13. What a fantastic grey! Hope Sandy didn’t hit you too hard.

    • Thanks! I actually liked this a lot! I made another skein just to be sure I could do it again, lol.

      My family actually suffered no power outages or loss of any kind, thank God. Just a bunch of leaves on the lawn. I wasn’t very fearful, but when you listen to the forecasts, it can get kind of scary. It did for some. But it was really just a storm for us.

  14. I’m all smiles at this beautifully created shades of gray yarn. Oh, my!

    • You like gray?! I would have never guessed that! You have such a great sense of color. And with that, I’m wondering when I started discriminating against neutrals…Neutrals are a color set…I need to be more inclusive, lol.

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