Thursday, June 21, 2007

Less Chemicals, More Stuff

So, here is an updated on the Chemical Exodus:

- I have finished both Method hand-pumps in the kitchen and bathroom, and have put in a 1:1 solution of Dr. Bronner's Almond soap and water. They are working great, although you have to watch it and make sure you don't squirt yourself in the shirt or face with soap when all you want to do is wash your hands!

- I did something (god-knows-what), and irritated one armpit, so I am back to chemical deodorant for the time being. It's almost better, and I used Powdry the other day (from Lush), but I am hoping the red bumps go away.

- I will buy Soap Nuts after this new box of Trader Joe's laundry soap (powder) is done. I like it because it's biodegradable, and you can recycle the entire box when it's done. Plus, it's like $5 for 40 loads' worth of soap.

Drum Carder

Wow, I keep getting inspired to get a drum carder. The universe must be calling it to me. Every web site I go to has the most beautiful and creative mixes of fibers all rolled into perfect little batts. I want to be a Batt DemiGod, too! I saw some great batts on earlier today, and saw one that integrated sari silk, glitz, wool, and possibly alpaca as well - it looked like a rainbow on a cloud! There was also one called Mermaid that was especially enchanting. I am taken with all things that look like sparkly versions of nature...Besides, I am getting tired of having to hold glitz in my hand and draft it in along with the wool as I am spinning. That is annoying and probably uses more glitz than I would if I just preblended everything together.

I just got a chance to read Pluckyfluff's blog, and she had a photo of her studio... all I can say is: I'm jealous! She has two wheels and a wonderful white work-room in which to retreat. I have...a 466 sqft condo. Which is great, I'm not complaining, but it is hard to have to put away everything when you're done. Which is why I think I want some miniature-type drum carder, and I am somewhat frustrated that I haven't been able to try any out recently. I keep going to the LYS (mentioned below), but they only have this ginormous Louet one...seriously...the thing is huge. I think it has a 10" or 12" wide roller?!

Speaking of LYS'es...I just went to the LYS (The Weaving Works, over on 45th St. in the University District), and picked up a bunch of yarns and needles for some new projects to keep me busy on tomorrow's 6 hour (or so) plane ride to Atlanta. I've got a couple of patterns, one is a short sock with a lace pattern up-top (which I believe the yarn I picked for it is...cotton/wool? I hope so..I love wool's springiness to countact cotton's lollabout tendencies), and one is a cabled headband (which I am making in an alpaca-silk combo yarn). I am also taking Cat Bordhi's "Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles" book, and am going to attempt to make her Simple Sock out of there with some really pretty rainbow-colored self-striping sock yarn! (I have to say, I bought a sock yarn that was supposedly self-patterning back when I was in college, and I FINALLY got around to knitting with it, is lame. It gives you little pointilist dots of color everywhere, but I don't really like the overall effect... At the time, I didn't realize the color repeats were way too short for anything that I would consider self-striping. Who knew 4 balls of yarn and three new needles (well, one dp set of #5's and two 24" circular #3's) would set me back $75?

I am practicing making socks now for X-mas, and for the Boy. (My coworker got a kick out of the fact that I call him "The Boy" to those who don't know him). I think I blogged about this, but a few months ago, I dragged the Boy to Whidby Island with me to go ogle some alpaca fiber on sale, and I ended up getting a pack of very pretty light gray alpaca (it tends to match the Seattle sky much of the year (heh)), and so I figured I'd make him some socks or fingerless gloves out of it. I've noticed that even in the dead of winter here, he is not a hat-guy, so I figure at least he can wear the socks. And the alpaca is uber-soft, so I figure if I blend it with some Bluefaced Leicester to give it some "pep", it'll be A-OK to spin. Or I could spin it pure alpaca, since I know he'll throw them in the washing machine, and I want it to felt as little as possible!