Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spend Much?

First, the cat update:
Everyone is fine so far *KNOCK WOOD*. But being in the cat food aisle at the grocery store today gave me pause. Very few brands of canned food remain. Large signs in the empty spaces proclaim in all caps "PRODUCT RECALLED". What remains has been picked over thoroughly. I did what I'm sure everyone else has been doing—reading the labels looking for the dreaded words "wheat gluten" then putting the can back on the shelf—and managed to find a few flavors hidden in the very back of the foods that had no WG in them.

After completing my trip around the store, I was about to head to checkout when my cart veered wildly and, as if being pulled by a magnet, it dragged me first down the baby food aisle, then over to canned human-grade meats. Baby food is TOO DARNED EXPENSIVE!!! How do you mothers manage to stomach paying a dollar for the smallest jar of food (like two tablespoons) I've ever seen? It's a racket, I tell ya, a racket.

The human-grade meats section had more than just tuna. Being a non-seafood eater, I had no idea there were so many offerings in cans. Yes, I know human food has too much salt. However; when faced with the choice of feeding commercial cat food that has God-Knows-What in it and might be potentially poisonous, versus feeding them from a can whose ingredients are: "salmon, water, salt.", I think I'll risk a little extra salt in the diet.

So the kitties will be dining on premium chunk chicken breast (in a can), salmon (in a can), and albacore tuna (in a can) until this all blows over and it's safe to come out of the people food section. I'd go for the mackerel and sardines but I can't stomach the smell. (I put the cat food back on the shelves.)

Stash Update:
Well, today was the Spinner's Guild Market Day at the Fairgrounds. My plan was to have 9 scarves woven, washed, blocked, fringe knotted and trimmed, priced and of course sold.

My reality was that I had a major issue with my first warp that I didn't post about. I learned the hard way why we put butcher paper, cardboard, wallpaper, or corrugated around the warp on the back beam as we roll it on. It keeps the warp threads separated; this is especially important when using a sticky warp like wool. Let's just say I found this out 20 inches into the first scarf when the warp tension went all wonky as I advanced the warp. Oops.

With limited warp, no extra yarn, and limited weft yarn, I couldn't just cut it off and start over. Nope. I had to unweave—FROG—the entire 20 inches and untie from the front beam. Then I had to unwind the warp and find the problem.

Welp, a few of the threads (yarn) decided to hang, which meant they were shorter than the others by the time I got ready to tie the front. I thought I'd wound the warp wrong and cut everything even (slap me now).

So to fix my grievous error, I had to rewind the warp, being very careful about tension, and about how much paper was between it. Then I re-tied up front. I lost a good two feet of half the warp. *sigh* That meant I had to forego one of the three scarves.

After I did all that, I began weaving. Finished one scarf. Finished the next. Wove a small purse. Pulled it off the loom. Came out pretty good—slightly wonky in a few spots but nothing I couldn't massage into place and tweak gently. Now, I thought I was measuring my progress every foot very carefully. So why did I wind up with one 6-foot long scarf and one 8-foot long?


Washed in the Eucalan, blocked, dried. Took them to the Market Day. I still have them. But I arrived midway through the day. Apparently the fiber vultures (not my term!) arrive first thing in the morning. Ah, well. Learning experience. I didn't make any money.

But I sure did SPEND some.

Yeah, I'm avoiding adding to the yarn stash. But other stashes are fighting for equal time now. I came home with:
  • four books
  • two 4-0z lavender llama rovings
  • one 30-oz multicolor romney roving
  • a bar of lavendar (YUUMMMM) handmade soap
  • a second Harrisville shuttle, small, like the one that came with my loom
Granted, I won book #4 in the door prize drawing, but I sure did spend. I don't spin. Yet. Guess I'll have to learn now. I really need to post photos, don't I?

The books are:
I have an 8-shaft loom and I might as well learn what it can do, eh?

The book that I won is Lessons in Bobbin Lacemaking by Doris Southard. Now, I have never been interested in lacemaking. But I won the book for a reason. So I'll let you know how it goes. Any of you do Bobbin Lace?

ANyway, yup. I killed a few trees today writing checks. But I met a lot of nice people, pet some wonderful fibers, inhaled the luscious aroma of fresh wool—pelts, raw fleece, et al—and got my first taste of being on the selling end of the arts & crafts circuit.

All in all, a good day, and a nice end to the month.

Must do my project for class Tuesday. Have a great rest of the weekend!

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At 11:09 PM, April 02, 2007, Anonymous tiennie said...

Lucky kitties!

You must have a huge stash of fiber!

At 2:10 AM, April 05, 2007, Blogger Jeanne said...

I have a huge stash, period. People have joked that I should open a yarn store, a fabric store, a boutique... it's disgusting. I have spenditis. I like to plan projects, go on a hunt for the supplies, buy all the pretty things... but I sometimes have trouble starting. Knitting is easy to start—sewing? Not so much. Until I get the sewing area set up. Once it's ready, we'll see. I absolutely have to win the lottery so I can afford all this fiber in my diet!


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