19 February 2009

Take My Locks... Please!

Note to self: rave about the wonders of hand-stitched eyelets on garb all you like... you still hate actually sewing the bloody things, especially on an arming pourpoint, where there are something like three dozen of the little buggers.

And now, on with our not-so-regularly-scheduled blog post.

I've been knitting a little. Very little. I've also been spinning a little. Very little. Erik's green scarf is probably 2/3 finished, the first Trekking sock is into the ankle ribbing (toe-up, so almost finished), the second delft mitten has gone dormant a few rows into the hand, and there's been a little bit of both wheel (charcoal alpaca-silk) and spindle (green finn-cross) spinning here and there.

My focus for the last week has been on not being depressed (not going so well), trying to figure out the unemployment system (I'm getting benefits from Connecticut even though I was laid off in New Hampshire), and making as much space as possible in my itty bitty room so I can empty everything out of the storage unit that's costing me $40 a month that I really can't spare anymore.

In the course of my cleaning I came across a bag of dyed locks that I will probably never use, and I've decided to give it away. It was part of the estate stash that included Brigid, and there's a fair amount of VM in it, but there's plenty of good fiber in there. It's six or seven pounds (yes, pounds) of maroon, purple, blue, and green mohair locks that I'm sure will make someone out there very happy.

click to embiggen

If you'd like it, in whole or in part, drop me an email (lilithparker at gmail dot com) and/or meet me at Webs between 1 and 3 this Saturday, the 21st. If you'd only like a little, bring your own bag.

I'm off to write cover letters, which are my least favorite part of the job-hunting experience. Grumblefish.

Edit: The locks have gone to good homes, so are no longer available. Thank you for the interest!

12 February 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

I got some bad news today. Things have been really (really) slow at work lately, so much so that they put all of the production staff (including us welders) on a four-day week late last month. Today my boss took the next step in cost-cutting and laid someone off. Unfortunately, that someone was me.

I think it's time to kick a dormant self-employment plan into action while I look for another welding job. Wish me luck.

01 February 2009

Market Day at Birka

The lack of blogging in the last few weeks has been due in part to being busy preparing for Birka, my first SCA event ever. Erik is a merchant at such events, selling his armor and leather goods, and he invited me along to be his assistant. So Saturday morning we got up even earlier than usual and drove off to New Hampshire to see if we could make some money.

The good news is that our cash box was heavier than we expected by the time we packed up. The bad news (for my personal wallet, anyway), was that I found a few things at other tables that I just had to bring home. Beautiful things. Fibery things. Things that I think y'all might want to see.

First, I found a fellow who, though he lacks a website, makes up for it by having the delightfully unwieldy SCA name of Thelonius Hieronymous Erasmus Eostrebunni, and by selling some really neat turned wood items, including hand spindles. Feast your eyes upon the pretty:



It's walnut, one piece, and he has no idea how he managed to do the pretty swirly thing around the center of the whorl. It's surprisingly lightweight for its size, and spins very, very nicely.

Now, I'd brought one of my other spindles and some silk to work on during the day, but ran out of fiber mid-afternoon. Take a quick peek at that before I tell you what else I bought.


The color is a little more blue than the last batch of silk I worked with, but I think it might coordinate well if I work the two in stripes. Anywho, back to Birka. I'd run out of silk, and didn't feel like plying it (I had major stickiness issues with the last batch when I tried to wind it around my hand for plying, so I need to find a better way to deal with it), but I had this brand new spindle... I just needed fiber. Enter Kris Krafts with her Finn-cross roving:


I'm usually more of a merino fan because I'm sensitive to scratchy wool, but the Finn-cross is just soft enough that it tempted me more than the merino and the soysilk she had on the table. It helped that this wool was from her own sheep... I love supporting small farms. As you can see, I started spinning right away, and came home with a small cop of laceweight single.

As I was on my way back from buying the roving, I stopped by The Merry Little Lamb, where two hanks of their natural-dyed handspun called out to me.


They're begging to be made into a pair of striped socks, I think. The purple is a little richer than my camera wants to show, but I think this picture comes close:


While I was talking to the wood-turner, he told me about an event next month in Millbrook, NY: Hrim Schola. It's specifically for fiber people, and by the look of last year's classes, I'd really enjoy it. The only problem is that it's a three-hour drive from here, and I have no idea if it's going to be big enough to be worth the trip. If any of you are SCAdians or know SCAdians who are familiar with this event, please let me know what the turnout and merchants are like.

I'm going to go back to relaxing now... yesterday was really long, and my brain needs a wee vacation before I go back to work tomorrow.