Friday, January 16, 2009

Safety Announcement

It's winter. Unfortunately, that means my friend with the Red Cross is also very busy.

There have been several house fires in our area lately. Sadly, there have also been fatalities in at least two fires.

Propane and space heaters have been the cause in at least two fires.

But the one that has got me going is the fire caused by lint in the dryer vent.

Well, I'm not strong enough to get the dryer pulled out from the wall so I could pull of the vent and clean it out. I've asked my husband on several occasions over the past two years to do this. He always said, "the dryer is working, the vent isn't plugged."

Well, I noticed this morning that there was a bird's nest poking out of the outside flap of the vent and pointed this out to Ken. I mentioned the fire caused by a static electricity spark that took off in the dryer lint trapped in the vent.

This time, he took action and pulled the dryer out and disconnected the hose.

It was FULL! And the bird's nest at the end was large and had a very nice collection of dried grasses in it. All in all, there was enough lint in the tube to fill a two gallon bucket.

Please, check your dryer vents.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fiber Inventory

I did a fast and dirty inventory of my spinning fiber today.

I was just curious to know what I really had on hand. I was trying to justify the purchase of more fiber if truth be known. Surely, I didn't have that much that a 4 or 8 ounce purchase of something new and lovely could not be okay.

But then I decided to really look. Big mistake.

I have OVER 20 pounds of fiber! And that does not include the silk or the odd bits I keep handy for felting and sharing with new spinners.

I have two pounds of cotton in various forms for goodness sake. How did that happen? And what shall it become. Every time I pick it up to spin it comes out like thread. Doilies perhaps?

And the alpaca. Well, let's just say it has all wandered in here and parked without so much as a "how do you do and what will you do with me?" I'm thinking blending for all of it save that 1.2 pounds of white cria that MUST become a lace shawl someday. Perhaps it is destined to be a wedding gift or baby gift. Too nice, too nice too do something mundane -- this is special stuff.

The lovely merino roving all in white. Well I have about 4 pounds of it all total. But it will be dyed, or blended, or blended and dyed. It certainly won't stay white. I'm allergic to white. White stains. White makes me look like an albino elephant. No, none of it shall stay white. Two pounds will be blended with the rose colored merino/silk blend (it will just be more merino than silk) and become a VERY pale pink. That's going to be spun worsted weight and if I ever get it done, my mom is going to knit me a sweater from it. But I have to get it done!

Then there is all the odd 4 ounces and 8 ounces of various wools like Bluefaced Leicester and Cormo and Columbia and Jacob. These are all "samples" I picked up here and there to try out the various kinds of wool. I guess these will become hats and scarves and mitts/mittens.

I've got bits of angora in various colors, dabs of cashmere, silks in various forms and colors. Mohair and soysilks and even some spinner's nylon for reinforcing sock yarns.

I'm flicking and spinning and knitting my way through that very short but wonderful grey merino fleece I purchased last Spring. And I'm slowly working my way through the white Lincoln fiber from Curley. But it's tough stuff and I think it will be destined for woven pillow cushion covers or pocket books or something. The oatmeal colored fleece I purchased at the Fall Fiber Festival and split with Bonnie is combing up very nicely but does have lots of vm so will probably be a pretty slow spin... but I think it will spin fine and turn out to be some really nice lace weight stuff.

Then there is the grey lincoln lamb named Larry that I've been blending with grey alpaca and the carbon bamboo; this is the most lovely stuff. But I won't get enough for a sweater. I does want to spin up worsted weight. I'm still thinking it should become a wool vest for my husband even though he says he won't wear it. Perhaps as he ages and gets colder... but who knows.

There are two bags of Louet pencil rovings. One is in the colorway called Marmalade and matches perfectly to three balls of some wonderful soft brown yarn I purchased. With the two together. Well there should be enough for something of substance.

The other 8 oz bag of Louet pencil roving is in a colorway called "violets" and goes very nicely with a 3/4 pound bag of blue roving of dubious heritage. I'm really not sure where it came from but the bag is made of 2 ounces of this and three or four of that. Several different blues and a variety of wools.

So, all in all, I have about four years worth of spinning sitting here waiting for me to get on with it. I guess I should keep my debit card in my wallet for a while.