The New Roomie: Day 6

This morning, I woke up and my beloved Bosworth mini—completely laden with the beautiful angora/bombyx top from Corgi Hill Farm I’ve been spinning on it—was out of my knitting basket, out of it’s cotton drawstring bag, out of the plastic ziplock bag that was inside the cotton bag and lying in the middle of the living room floor.

Yesterday, I came home from work, only to find that a certain someone had managed to scale the bookshelf, steal all the handspun yarn I unwittingly though would be safe up there, chew through the ziplock freezer bag I thought was protective and slobber all over the aforementioned yak/merino handspun.

The scene of the crime: Sari silk, merino/tussah, cashmere/bombyx and the yak/merino…all handspuns…still hasn’t touched the cotton…little snob…

All of said handspun is now in a latched cabinet. If Tilly grows opposable thumbs, I’m really screwed.

Yesterday morning, I woke up to find she had peed on the couch. I blame myself for deciding her litterbox needed to be relocated. Clearly, an unwise decision.

Other than that, we’re doing smashingly well.

This afternoon is Tilly’s first vet appointment, where we’ll find out if she’s really pregnant or if I’m just completely crazy. I’m dreading the thought of this appointment and its potential aftermath. She’s going to get shots. And blood draws. And maybe a microchip. And stuffed in a plastic carrier.

I’m not expecting her to be very happy with me tonight.

PS: In order to keep me posting on a more regular basis, I was thinking about doing a weekly wrap up of my favorite blogs on Fridays…but that sounds like way, way, way too much work. So, instead I’ve decided to start doing the ever-popular Eye Candy Friday. I’m pretty sure it’s just supposed to be a post about that photo, but this is Week 1, and I’m a rebel without a cause, so here’s my highly unoriginal 1st Eye Candy pic:

Gratitutious shot of my best girl…begging for cat food…

ECF will actually pose a bit of a challenge, mostly because I live here, and it’s really not as picturesque as Wikipedia makes it sounds. (We don’t call our city “Hard Hittin’ ” for nothing!) Don’t expect too many macro shots of gorgeous flowers; some of my Eye Candy might be a bit more interpretative, a bit grittier. But it should prove interesting.

Cheers!

The New Roomie: Day 4

So far—aside from waking me up at 4:30 a.m. by antoganizing the poor snake, pushing the fan off the dresser and knocking over the ceramic pot of chives—we’ve had very few incidents.

Madori’s given up her I-want-cat-food-so-bad-I-will-not-eat-my-dog-food hunger strike, scratching things and kitty toys have been strategically stationed around the apartment and all potential Tilly bait has been secured.

Or so I thought. I came home today to my first kitty casualty.

Thanks, Til…

Yup. There it is. The ball of handspun merino/yak leftover from my Selbu Modern, now a chewed, knotted mess…dug out of the one bag that wasn’t tied securely shut.

Well, it is now.

I should be able to save most of it, but not all. In her younger days, I would have called Madori a suspect in this crime as well. But, the whole mess was left in a very conspicuous spot, right on top of a certain feline’s new favorite thing in the whole wide world: her cardboard scratcher.

Don’t believe a word of it…I’m innocent, I tell ya

In other, happier, fiber news, I finished Navajo plying my first singles off Evelyn’s one bobbin onto Little Joe last night.

The first of many

I got 157 yards of light worsted weight out of this Ashland Bay merino/tussah. It still needs a good washing, and it’s heavier than I typically spin, but for our first partnership, I’m calling it a success.

A very squishy yarn!

Ok, ok, I’ll admit it: I cut probably 20 yards off the skein. It was thick-and-thin, from the start of the bobbin, and it really made me cringe. Had the whole skein looked that way, it wouldn’t have been a big deal. But I couldn’t stand just a few yards being so sloppy while the rest was so nice.

This’ll be something nice, after a good washing that is

With Evelyn’s bobbin cleared off, what I *should* have done was pack up the bobbin and the flyer and give the whole thing to Mark, so he could make me a couple more bobbins. Then I’d really be in business.

But, of course, what I *should* have done isn’t what I *actually* did.

Impulse control??? Yeah, right…

Instead, I decided to see what I could do with the smaller setting on the whorl. Turns out, I can get way finer than I thought.

Awwwww, yeah…that’s the stuff right there…

This is superwash merino/bamboo from Dyeing for Colour, and I’ve been saving it for a special occasion, because I bought it to spin and enter in the blended skein class at Rhinebeck this year.

I love how it’s streaked with color.

Well, I’d call Evelyn’s first laceweight a pretty special occasion. But, I’ve still got quite a bit of this four ounce bump left to spin.

And speaking of bumps, I managed to get this not-great-but-effective pic while Miss Tilly was doing her leg-molesting thing.

Skinny little cat with a bulging little belly

Those sure look like baby bumps to me! I keep feeling for kitten movement in there, but no such luck as of yet. She’s pretty sensitive about her belly, though, and won’t let me keep my hands on it for too long.

She’s also eating me out of house and home. Though she’s in really good shape for a stray, she’s clearly not been getting all the nutrition a preggo kitty needs. Well, I’m an admitted pet food snob, and since we’re a Wellness household, she’s sure making up for it now!

I also think she might have some Bengal or some other weird bloodline in her (Kanaani, maybe? Her tufted ears throw me…they’re really unusual)…

What, oh what, will my kittens look like???

…cuz she sure is a pretty little girl.

Evie and Tilly

Warning: This post is long. But, I’ve been a bad, bad blogger, so there’s catching up to be done.

From Allison’s big move, and the preceeding going-away dinner and baking, to Knit in Public Day to after-work meetings to family time, life’s been crazy busy for the past week or so. Did I remember to take pics at any of this stuff? Of course not.

Because I’m a bad blogger.

Contributing to the craziness around this part are two new additions to La Casa de Weasel: Evelyn and Matilda. First, meet Evie.

Say hello to the pretty lady

Impulse control? What’s that??

In my defense, Evie was a steal of the highest order. When I happened upon her, she looked like this:

In desperate need of some TLC…

I’m a sucker for pretty woodturnings, and I love a dark finish. While she turned pretty true and didn’t throw a drive band or anything, she was bone dry and creaky, and her drive wheel wouldn’t fit all the way in. I don’t think she’d been oiled in a couple decades.

Evelyn’s flyer assembly…on backwards…clearly, she was not owned by an actual spinner…

Jenni came with me to check her out, and I was able to talk her owner down a little bit on the price. She was mine!!

We stopped at Home Depot on the way back to my place with Evie in tow, and picked up some tung oil, some Feed-and-Wax and some wipes to apply the oil. After a quick, 10 minutes of rubbing oil on her, Evie’s true colors started to show, and we realized what a find she really was. (If the lady who sold her to me only knew! Evie’s worth way more than I paid! SCORE!)

Why, Miss Evelyn, you’re looking quite fine today!

 After just that first quick oiling, the drive wheel slipped right into place. The canister said tung oil was good for “thirsty wood,” and it wasn’t lying! Evelyn has since drunk up two good coatings of it. 

I also used mineral oil on all her joins and her original (!) leather bearings. I’ll need something better as we go forward, I think, but the mineral oil got her moving real nice right off the bat.

Evie’s only missing piece is the peg that holds the drive wheel in. For now, a screwdriver head is serving as a replacement, till I can fashion a new peg.

The only downside is that Evie only has one bobbin. Evie’s a Country Craftsman, which makes replacement parts a little problematic, since they’re not made anymore. Luckily, I know a guy with a lathe…who offered to make me some bobbins…and was a horrid dirty enabler when it came to this wheel…I guess I need to thank him, because I’m totally in love with her!

I also need a lazy kate, but I’ve heard the Kromski tensioned kate works for Country Craftsman bobbins. So, I might have to make another little investment at some point.

Both Evie and her matching stool are signed. I absolutely love that every single part of her was made by hand by a single man.

I’ve never been good on a wheel. I’ve had very little practice, and I’d mostly been trying out double-treadles with Scotch tension. Evie’s a double-drive single treadle, and I’ve heard that double-drive, while better for spinning consistently fine (which is what I like to spin), can be trouble for beginners. I was a little nervous about how I would do with her.

After about an hour playing with an oiled-up Evie and some merino/tussah…

Still some lumps and bumps, followed by some thin spots, but not too shabby for our first try! Not too shabby at all!!

…we started making some progress.

Turns out I just needed to find the right wheel!

And even though I thought I’d never use it, I’m even finding her distaff really, really helpful.

So, Evie is now home sweet home! And the day after Evie came home, someone else decided to join our little nuthouse as well.

Oh, hi! I don’t sit still long enough to take a not-blurry pic, sorry!

Now, say hello to Matilda.

Yup, after a few weeks of prowling in the yard, Tilly decided that our house should be her house. I knew when she ran down the hallway—trying to get inside—that she had chosen us.

And when her first act was to try to eat a ball of Malabrigo Twist that was on my bookshelf, followed by her attempt to eat a bag of Lorna’s Laces fiber, followed by her attempt to steal a hank of alpaca/tencel blend out of my stash…all while she ignored a hank of cheap cotton blend…well, I knew this little fiber snob was meant to be with us.

Upside down on a catnip mouse…settling in already…

I’d been contemplating another dog for a while, but I don’t think Madori would appreciate the competition. Tilly is friendly, but she’s not a lap-kitty quite yet. Madori seems more interested in the cat food than the cat right now, so that bodes well for inter-species harmony in the house.

Tilly kneads, Madori watches

Tilly’s taken to sleeping under the bed, in the air conditioning, on top of the stash, which has since been secured from her little claws. I’m not convinced she isn’t pregnant…but we’ll burn that bridge when and if we get there.

You bother me, I scratch you. For reals.

Did I mention I’m not really a cat person? I really like this little kitty, though. Welcome home, Matilda!

Giveaway Winner! Plus Some Two Tails News

Thanks again to everyone who entered the blog giveaway! I think I need to try some Targhee, since so many of you had such good things to say about it.

Without further ado, the winner of my 100th Post Giveaway—chosen by random.org—is The Painted Sheep! Her favorite fiber to spin is BFL, and her favorite to knit is merino/silk blend.

Congratulations!

So, this giveaway was such a success, that I’m totally planning another. My Official Third Blog-o-Versary is in September…plenty of time to think up something equally fabulous…stay tuned for that!

Finally, I gave test spins to four new Two Tails spindles this morning. The lovely divas will get their photo shoots this weekend…and then make their way into the Etsy shop! Yup, Mark’s almost ready for his shop opening! That’ll be happening some time next week, so keep your eyes open for updates on the Two Tails Rav Board.

And so this isn’t a completely photo-less post, here’s the custom spindle Mark and I designed, which made its way into Allison‘s hands last weekend as her going-away present:

Three-inch cocobolo/Macassar ebony laminate, on a matching ebony shaft

Yup, Mark’s playing with his own home-made laminates now, and I think it’s safe to say he’s having some success. So far, this is one-of-a-kind, but there’s plans for more laminates—including more cocobolo—in the future.

Sweet Little Kitty Says, “Don’t Forget to Enter the Giveaway!”

I should preface this whole thing by saying that I am not a cat person.

Uh, oh….

We always had dogs when I was growing up, but I desperately wanted a cat. My mom came home from work one day with an 8-week-old kitten they’d pulled out of a dumpster at her work. He was scrawny and covered in grease, and I loved him instantly. He grew into the nastiest jerk of a cat and used to crap in my room, behind my stereo, and I’d always find it at 11:00 at night when I was completely exhaused after school all day followed by a 7-hour shift

Jerk.

I love Allison’s cat, Salem, but he’s not really much of a cat. More like a dog who someone dropped on its head as a puppy. So, imagine my surprise at the ridiculously strong desire to bring a cat into my crazy little life. Not just any cat, though. This sweet little green-eyed one.

Who, me?

There’s a lot of strays in my yard. I’ve had to break up a couple catfights, and most of them run away when I come near. But not this little one. She came right up to me, purring away.

And, more importantly, she came right up to Madori.

She really has a thing for Madori.

Little kitty shows up every few days. I’m really hoping she lives somewhere in the neighborhood—her friendliness is really unusual—but she’s clearly not spayed and she doesn’t have a collar. I also live on a very busy street; the idea of her roaming around with all the traffic makes me really nervous for her. The temptation to snatch her up is stupid strong.

I don’t need a cat, I don’t need a cat, I don’t need a cat, I don’t need a cat…

Anywho, we’ll see how this all works out. In the meantime, sweet little kitty would like to remind you…

Obey da kitteh! Enter the giveaway!

…that comments for the big giveaway close tonight!! I’m completely overwhelmed by the response, and so excited to draw the winner!!

I’m also thinking that more giveaways will have to be in my future. It’s just been way too fun to read all the comments…and I do have my third blog-o-versary coming up in a few more months!