Fiber Arts & Furry Critters

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

This blog has moved to

Clicking on the above link will take you there.

Please remember to update your links. If there are any links that I've missed, please let me know!

For now, my alpaca blog ( will remain on Blogspot.

Don't forget to check out the FiberCast podcast at

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

As some people know, I've been considering switching over from Blogger to Typepad. I'm sure at this point that I'll be doing that, but I'll duplicate posts here for a while, so you can switch your links over.

In the meantime, I'm so excited!! I just published my first podcast! This will be called The FiberCast, and it's being published from the Typepad site. There's now a link to it at the other blog, or you can get the mp3 file here:

The FiberCast

Friday, November 18, 2005

Last week the kids had some time off school (Professional Development Days, whatever that means) and we went to visit a bead shop in Hudson, NH - Castleander Beads. DD wanted to pick up some beads to try her hand at making some jewelry. The ladies at this shop were absolutely lovely, very helpful and welcoming! The class prices are reasonable as well, and they had a great selection! I highly recommend this store. They had some fabulous class samples displayed as well!

Here are DD and DS at the store, pretending that they like each other only because they want me to buy them stuff:

This was DD's favorite class sample. It's called the Cinderella Choker.

This was my favorite, a chain-mail type bracelet called the Byzantine Bracelet.

In other news, DH has convinced me to wait on the acquisition of the Video iPod. One of the reasons I was interested in it (besides the fact that I've found some really cool video podcasts that I wanted to put on it!) was for the bigger hard drive - 60 GB instead of my current (and only six months old) 20 GB iPod. I have been pondering starting up a podcast of my own; rather than acquiring another digital device for recording, there are iPod add-ons (like the Griffin iTalk) that allow you to record using your iPod (when you can't be attached to a laptop for recording). The problem is that the iTalk device does not work with the current generation of Video iPods - not yet, anyway. So instead of getting the Video iPod, I'm sticking with my current one, and instead sprung for an iTalk and a microphone/headset combo.

When we got back from shopping, I found a package from Calista, a friend from the Christian Artisans list. In return for something I mailed to her, she sent this:

Is this not an adorable needle felted sheep ornament? It's actually much cuter in person; the picture doesn't do it justice! This is a skill I definitely do not have, which makes me appreciate the ornament that much more. Thank you, Calista!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I have a little QuitTime meter that sits in the toolbar on my computer and keeps me apprised at a glance of how long it's been since I quit smoking. My meter, as of today, reads:

11m 2w 3d 13:15 smoke-free, 10,542 cigs not smoked, $1,317.75 saved, 1m 6d 14:30 life saved

DH has promised me a gift when I hit one year. Technically it will be one year at 9:30 pm on November 30, but I'm looking forward to it nevertheless. There have been many, many times that I thought I'd never make it another day, never mind a whole year! DH did not say, however, whether he'd get me a big gift or a little gift. I sent him to this website as a suggestion:

Click here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No new pictures today, but I have finished the first full pattern repeat on the Fish and Anchors sweater, and started the second repeat. I need multiple repeats - more than a dozen, I think. The pattern is pretty easy to follow, at least.

DH worked from home today, and we took a trip to Barnes & Noble in the middle of the day. It's amazing how many books you can browse through when you're not trying to keep track of children! I came home with Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's new book, Yarn Harlot : The Secret Life of a Knitter, as well as a couple of technical books on Podcasting and Movable Type. I got the book on Podcasting because it's a topic that I'm currently fascinated (obsessed?) with; I got the Movable Type book because I'm currently experimenting with a blog on Typepad. The experimental blog is here. Let me know what you think.

Monday, November 14, 2005

I'm not entirely sure yet that I'm satisfied with the blog template at this point. I had one person leave a comment that she couldn't see one of my pictures; I did have this happen at one point, and had to refresh the screen to see everything. I'm thinking it's because all that info has to be transferred over to the new template, and everything is not yet "meshed"; I could be wrong (it's been known to happen once in a while), but I'm hoping that's the case. If it's not I'll be changing the template once again.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some other fun stuff I've been playing with (when I'm not being attacked by the kitten). I've been discovering the wonderful world of podcasts! For those who don't know, podcasts are kind of like radio programs that you can listen to when you're ready, instead of on a radio station's schedule. I download mine through iTunes. iTunes, by the way, is a free program, and you don't have to have an iPod to use it. You can also go somewhere like Podcast Alley and download individual shows there. iTunes is just capable of automating it for you, and keeping all your downloaded podcasts in one nice, neat place. Many of the podcasts have their own website to start with, as well.

Some of the interesting podcasts I've discovered:

Annie's Quilting Stash

KnitCast - I first read about this one on Claudia's Blog. Thanks so much, Claudia!

There's another podcast about knitting called Cast-on, but I haven't had a chance to listen to that one yet. They only have a couple of episodes up so far.

I've also found a couple of podcasts about dogs. The only one I've listened to so far is the K9Cast. So far I really like this one. I found another one that has recently begun - DogCast Radio - but again, I haven't listened to any episodes from that one yet.

So far I'm enjoying listening to podcasts. It's easier than trying to keep track of a TV show while knitting, weaving, etc., and more fun! During the day most of what I watch, if I'm watching at all, is Trek re-runs anyway.

In other news, the kitten's name is officially "Stitch". I've been working on the Fair Isle sweater some (and will be again tonight), but this weekend I managed to get DS's quilt sandwiched, basted, and I'm about half done with the machine quilting. This is a use-and-abuse quilt, made necessary because he's outgrown his old quilt, and needs warm bedcoverings. What's really cool is the backing fabric, which looks like the lunar surface:

Cool backing for a quilt, eh?

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I've spent half the afternoon fiddling with my Blogger template because my archives were not all showing up in the drop-down menu. It should be working fine now. It's difficult to get everything moved over to a new template, though! Thank goodness I've learned enough to know that I need to save the text of the old template before installing a new one! I love the colors on this one, too!

Yesterday I managed to get a little work done on my lace piece. I'm working this piece as my entry for the Heartland Lace Guild's 3 Yards Club Challenge. This will be a Novice level piece. I don't think I've touched it since early October, when I spent an entire afternoon straightening out the mistakes I made while demonstrating at the Deerfield Fair. If you click on the big picture, you'll get a close-up picture of the lace that opens up in its own window (at least, that's how it should work!)

Below is a picture of what I've accomplished so far today. Again, this is from the Deerfield Fair. This is the gray romney I was using to demonstrate handcarding and spinning. I finally got around to plying it up - or starting to, anyway! This skein is 4.74 oz, and approximately 339 yards - or somewhere around 1100 ypp (yards per pound). This is about a third of what I need to ply up, and that's only about half of this fleece. I still need to card and spin the other half. It does have the most fabulous gray color, though - absolutely no brown tips! I do love a seriously gray fleece! Again, if you click on the big picture, you'll get a close-up of part of the skein.

Oh, yesterday I also took apart the innards of the dishwasher, cleaned a good handful of calcium/lime build-up out of the inside, and re-assembled it. It's working much better now, and I'm sure I saved us a bundle in repair costs.

And here are some new pictures of the kitty. I had to work very hard to get these. Most of what I took came out blurry, as he was quite active at the time. We still haven't come up with a new name for him. I was leaning toward something Trek - perhaps Spock or Sarek. DH likes "Flash", because his coloring looks washed-out, as if a camera flash was aimed at his middle. The kids have a few other ideas, some quite strange. Yesterday I came up with "Stitch", after "Experiment 626" in "Lilo & Stitch". We also came up with "Bra'tac", after the Stargate character. I really like that one! Hopefully we'll reach a decision some day soon, even though I'll rarely call him anything besides "here, kitty, kitty, kitty!"