Saturday, December 31, 2011

The End of the Game, Part II

Okay, this is where I'm supposed to catch you up on everything.  I'll try, but I make no promises. Stitches East at  the end of October was amazing again. I took The Sweater Map and Aspiring Designer Bootcamp  with Shannon Okey and Stashology 201 with Christine Bylsma.  I took the Aspiring Designer Bootcamp class to see if I wanted to make independent knitting pattern designing and possibly submitting to knitting magazines a priority in 2012.  I found the class really interesting and I learned a lot about resources and services available for independents, but I'm not ready to put that level of dedication into my designing yet.  But it was fascinating and it was worth every penny.  I also found the Sweater Map class really interesting.

 The Stashology Class was fairly simple, but I liked the idea of it. You took 10-12 different stash yarns, and used them to make about 14 inch strips which you selected at random to knit a swatch. It was interesting as to what you got. She also showed us a method to make your own fun fur. I might not use it for an actual project, because I'm not a big fun fur person. But it might make a nice algae or sea anemone for the knitted aquarium diorama I'm planning.

I'm not sure I'd make a sweater out of it, but I think it'd make some fabulous throw pillows out of my odds and ends.  It was fun class after all the hard thinking classes I took.

Yarn I won, Malabrigo, woo hoo!
 This year we also went to the student fashion show.  There were some really fabulous things, and some that were not so fabulous.  The dinner was not great allergy wise, I could only eat the appetizer, prosciutto wrapped melon and the piece of prime rib.  But it was fascinating and I won a prize, and it was yarn.
Socks that Rock

Steampunkery Sock kit
Bashful Sparkle Lace
Madeline Tosh
It seemed like there were less vendors at the market this year, but given my stash reduction plan, that was probably better.  I bought little yarn, which was good, but the stuff I got was good yarn, and I got a sock kit for the Steampunkery Socks in pale purple instead of white. I got some Madeline Tosh in a single ply which is luscious in person.  The Socks that Rock I got to make another scarf.  The colors are muted for me, but I can get away with them at work.  The Bashful Sparkle Lace has a bit of bling in it that you can't really see, but I like it.
I also got a beaded purse kit with a really cool hardware for the handle.

At Webs I also purchased some of their new interchangeables.  I got a set of their Cubix tips and the new nickle plated starter kit.  I know they are produced by the same people as Knitpicks, but I just like the cables better for some reason.  I think I'm going to get the tips to make 16" cables when I'm not broke. I didn't like knitting with the square Cubix tips, which is just as well because I stepped on one during the Halloween power outage and snapped it in half. 

Since I was restrained in buying yarn, I picked up some books.  I stopped by to see Allison Sarnoff and pick up the next Knit Princess comic book.  She cracks me up.  I also got the Knitwear Design Workshop book.  Even just paging through it, it appears to be very complete and a great resource.  If you want to design, this is a very good book to have.

I also got the Custom Fit Knit Jackets by Jean Frost.  Heather took her lining class and I think I'll find it really useful.  There's a couple of jackets in the book that I could actually wear to work.

I also got a new little tool that's to help you fix dropped stitches in garter more easily.  It's cute.  Probably not necessary but certainly faster than flipping the fabric a million times.

We went to Feng's again this year for dinner and it was fabulous.  I had a really great time with Roberta and Heather, and I'm looking forward to next year too.

 After I got back from Stitches, it was a crazy race to get a group blanket project done, which is part of the reason why I didn't post in November. The Concord Knitting Group and the Manchvegas knitters decided that we needed to do a group project for our friend Mary T who is having a bit a health battle right now. I had ordered the yarn, but it didn't show up until the night before I left for Stitches, so I couldn't get it divided and out to people. Upon my return, I divided it and got it out to everyone who was participating. Here's my square. We managed to get it together in record time, and I finished it the Saturday before I left for the cruise.  You will note that I choose another overly complicated edging.  Mary really appreciated the blanket and I want to thank everyone again, even though I've emailed you all :)

 Thanks to the Halloween power outage (4 freaking days...lost 90% of my fridge and chest freezer again...why can't we trim the freaking trees around power lines??), and having to replace some of contents of my fridge and freezer, I wasn't able to spend the money to go to the Manchvegas Retreat, especially with the cruise in December.  I'm still ticked off about that, and it was almost two months ago. 

In mid November, a long awaited event occurred.  I got to go a book signing of my friend Sally Hirsh-Dickinson's book, Dirty Whites and Dark Secrets.  Sally has been working on this book in some capacity, either as part of her thesis or getting it ready in this form for as long as I've known her. Which is really a long time now that I think about it, that I've known her, I mean. :)  She gave a really fabulous talk, and the book is really interesting.

Mary Kate and I have been working on an allergy free cookbook.  One of the things we've been working on is a dairy free fried mozzarella replacement.  I still have dreams about fried mozzarella sticks almost two and half years after been dairy free.  They're pretty good.  And I learned to fry without a deep fryer, so that's cool.

For Thanksgiving in Maine this year, I had to bring my own food due to the whole allergy thing.  One thing I made was vegan whoopie pies from My Sweet Vegan.  They were much, much better than Cafe Indigo's but they still need work.  I'm going to experiment with them a bit to see if I can get them a little closer to the real deal.  My cousin Andrew and his wife Katie were in Maine this year, and I got to meet their son, Nolan.  Nolan is really interested in my sister Debra in this picture.

In December we went on a cruise with my mom, and one of my BFF's, Laura V.  We went to Cozumel, Belize, Isla Roatan and Grand Cayman.  We had a great time.  In Cozumel, we took a ferry to the mainland, I drove a jeep in a convoy of other jeeps to a cenote, and we went cave snorkeling and then to the beach.  In Belize we did a tour of the city, and then went to the Altun Ha Mayan ruins.  In Isla Roatan, we went to Gumbalimba Park, went clear kayaking, snorkeling, and got a tour of the park including holding a macaw and Shawn got to hold a monkey. In Grand Cayman, we did a Sea Trek walk/thing under the ocean.  There are just too many pictures.  I can't cope.  So here are some public links to my facebook albums.  The first is here and the second is here.

Christmas was at the LaRoches this year and they were very kind to us as always.  I got a purple personal blender from Corey and Cole and we got a electric wine opener.  I will be testing that later today.  We also got a Le Creuset dutch oven which was very appreciated and unexpected.  I just wanted a cheapo one from Walmart, but I love the Le Creuset. It'll last forever. I also got the neatest wine stopper. It has a rock on top of it, and it's just my kind of thing.  I brought a lot of my own food again because of the allergy thing, and I made vegan sticky buns, from the Lusty Vegan's blog,  which were awesome, and vegan pecan pralines from Sweet Utopia, which were also pretty good.

 In knitting news, I finished the cowl I was making for Mary T and she seems happy with it. It's Jade Sapphire cashmere and silk and it's very, very soft.

On the cruise, I brought some Berroco Mini Mochi and did a little shawlette with that.  If you see the green safety pin, it's a place where I dropped a stitch and didn't notice it until I was blocking it.  I'll have to go back and fasten it down and duplicate stitch over it to hide it.

I'm now working on a secret baby project for Kate S, using some coned cotton softball from Webs from a hundred years ago.  It's a little girl and she requested fuchsia so this should do it.

And I think that's it.  I'll try to be more regular in blog posting in 2012.  Stay tuned for further updates as they are broadcast.

The End of the Game

Well, it's that time of year people.  Time to look back on the various plans in effect for 2011, and implement the new ones for 2012.  But just to back up, and get this out of the way first, sorry for the radio silence since October.  It's been a crazy-busy couple of months.  But I'll try to catch up today, in subsequent blog posts.

First things first, the 2011 Yarn and Fiber Stash Reduction Plan review. To refresh your memory, I'll list out the original plan provisions and put the results after each item:

1. No yarn purchases during 2011 with two exceptions (there have to be some exceptions or I'd go off my head):
  • The Webs May Tent Sale - However, all yarn purchased must be at least 60% off retail.
  • Stitches East - However, only yarn that is not available locally or cannot be easily purchased on the web may be purchased.
Okay, well, I did pretty well. Only two minor failings.  First, the Webs Tent Sale in May did not have any yarn that was at least 60% off retail, so I kept it as close of a margin as I could. I did buy some yarn at N.H. Sheep and Wool, but only two skeins.  At Stitches East, I followed the rules for the most part, which the notable exception of some Madeline Tosh from Webs.  However, I would like to note how much not buying yarn that was for me.  To purchase yarn at only three events over a whole year?  That's a freaking victory for me.  So, as far as I'm concerned, yeah, technical fail, but I'm cool with that.  Progress is progress.

2. Books, patterns, and needles may be purchased, but with the purpose of using yarn already contained in the stash.

Okay, so this is a gimme. Yep, I complied with this. Kinda hard not to, when you're not allowed to use any yarn but stash yarn anyway.

3. All projects shall be knit with stash yarn with the exception of any group baby blanket projects (said hoping that no one in my knitting group reproduces in the coming year).
Yep, I did complied with this too, except for some of the complicated justifications surrounding the Kyoto jacket and trades that occurred, but we decided those didn't count, remember?
4. Projects shall be chosen with the aim of reducing overall space amounts (i.e. 600 yards of worsted takes up more space than 600 yards of fine laceweight).
Well, I didn't quite do so well at this.  I did have quite a few projects on small yarn this year.  Oh well, something to work on for next year.

5. At least one project shall utilize my handspun yarn, which had already been spun as of 12/31/2010.

Done!  Shawn's hat, here.

6. At least one project shall utilize a kit which had been purchased prior to 12/31/2010.

Done, the Vintage Sock kit, here. This would be one of the projects that was on small yarn, and also took boatloads of time, which may have contributed to other goals not being reached, not that I'm trying to make excuses or anything.

7. At least two projects shall be self-designed and the pattern shall be suitable for posting to Ravelry for sale. At least one of these projects shall be a design for a women's sweater with a wide range of plus sizes.

Yeah, well, this is again an area that I didn't do so well.  I designed three projects, Mary T's afghan square, my Evening bag for the cruise, and a hat for Kate S's kiddo that I've not posted up on Ravelry yet, but I didn't write any of them up for sale.  If I were to be so insane as to write up the Evening bag pattern which is very complicated with linings, hardware, reverse i-cord cording, and the beaded strap, I'd have to knit a whole new one because I pretty much made it up as I went along and didn't keep directions.  I also meant to do a plus size sweater before the end of the year and even started designing it at Stitches due to Shannon Okey's Sweater Map class, but Mary T's group afghan project came up and I ran out of time.  Next year.

8. At least one project shall be for Shawn.

I cheated and combined provisions 5 and 8 with one project.  Ha.  Shawn's hat, here.
9. With respect to the roving, top, and fleece in the stash, at least 4 ounces of fiber shall be spun each month. (Although this adds to the yarn, yarn takes up less space than roving, top and fleece.)

I didn't make it.  4 ounces a month is 48 over the course of the year and I only managed 36.62.  But you know what?  That's 36.62 ounces I might not have spun without the plan in effect.  And I've noticed a sizable difference in what's in my closet.  So again, as far as I'm concerned, that's another freaking victory, even though it's a technical failure. 

Overall, I'm pretty happy with the progress that was made.  The plan was implemented because I had 337 different kinds of yarn in Ravelry.  Despite purchases at Webs, NH Sheep and Wool, and Stitches East, and the amount of spinning that I did (which also added yarns to Ravelry), the total yarns in Ravelry only went up to 347.  That's pretty damn good.  I also knit 3.82 miles this year. I'm happy enough that another version of this plan will be implemented.  But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I also had a 2011 Novel Completion Plan.  This was the plan:

1. At least once a month, I will participate in a Challenge Writing Weekend, whether anyone participates with me or not, in which the goal is to write 5,000 words over the course of a weekend. (Linda D and I occasionally do these challenges.)

2. In addition to the Challenge Written Weekends, I will average a 1,000 a week during the non-Challenge Writing Weekend weeks during the each month.

3. This schedule shall continue until the novel is complete.

What this really boiled down to was that I had to write 8,000 words a month for the year or until the damn novel was finished.  Well, that means I had to write a total of 96,000 words or finish.  I'm not finished.  While I didn't make 96,000 words because November and December were near total losses with everything going on, I managed to write 80,174 words this past year.  I know that people think I'm a nut cake with the plans and the calendars and yada-yada, but you know what?  I'm pretty damn sure that I wouldn't have written even close to what I did, if I didn't have some crazy goals written down. I think the crazy goal makes me work harder than I would have without it, and even if I don't make the crazy goal, I'm okay with that, because I got a hell of a lot further than I thought I would. So I think this one is a win too.

So this is the point that I want to get across in all this.  I don't make a crazy goal, and then feel bad that I didn't get everything done.  I'm not a perfectionist martyr.  That is not the point of the crazy goal.  The point of the crazy goal is that you know at the outset you are never going to get all of it done.  But by trying for that crazy goal, you're going to get a whole lot more done than you ever thought, and isn't that the point?  So even though I didn't make my crazy goals, so freaking what?  Look what I did manage to do!  Yay!!

And on that note, let's discuss the 2012 crazy goals and the 2012 Purple Calendar of Doom. 

The 2012 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan Rules, which I have modified somewhat from last year's plan:
1. No yarn purchases during 2012 with two exceptions: (a) The Webs May Tent Sale - however, I may not spend more than $100.00 on yarn; and (b) Stitches East - however, I may only purchase yarn that is not available locally or cannot be easily purchased on the web.

2. Books, patterns, and needles may be purchased, but with the purpose of using yarn already contained in the stash.

3. All projects shall be knit with stash yarn with the exception of any group blanket projects (hoping that none are needed for any reason in the coming year).

4. Projects shall be chosen with the aim of reducing overall space amounts (i.e. 600 yards of worsted takes up more space than 600 yards of fine laceweight).

5. At least one project shall utilize my handspun yarn, which had already been spun as of 12/31/2011.

6. At least one project shall utilize a kit which had been purchased prior to 12/31/2011.

7. At least one project shall be my own design for a women's sweater with a wide range of plus sizes, and shall be suitable for posting to Ravelry for sale. 
8. At least one project shall be my own design for a decorative item (either my fish tank diorama idea or my dragon head taxidermy idea).

9. With respect to the roving, top, and fleece in the stash, at least 4 ounces of fiber shall be spun each month. (Although this adds to the yarn, yarn takes up less space than roving, top and fleece.)

And now for the 2012 Writing Plan.  I'm calling it a writing plan because I think I'll complete the novel this year, I'll need to plan revisions when I rewrite the novel, and I'm working on a new project with Mary Kate.

1. Write 8,000 words a month until the Yet Untitled Novel is done.

2. Find a title for the novel.

3. When the novel is complete, divide into chapters.  Revise one chapter a week until the first major revision is complete. Aim to complete revisions in three months after novel is finished.

4. Once revisions are complete, recruit three new people to read it and critique.

5. Research and develop a submission plan.

6.  On the cookbook project, spend at least one hour a week researching recipes for list, and cook one thing per week, posting research and results to Google Docs.
7. Work out a schedule with Mary Kate for testing recipes on unsuspecting individuals.

Ambitious, isn't it?  Remember, it's supposed to be a crazy goal. :)

And now for that whole healthy thing.  Well, in the past year, I've determined the whole (said hoping no more develop) list of food allergies that I have.  I've cut these things out of my diet.  I also joined a gym in August.  I did pretty well for the first 4 months, meaning that I went enough times for my health insurance to pay for it, but December was a bust with the cruise and Christmas, and the million other things I had going on.  So this year, the 2012 Health Plan is really simple. 

1.  Go to the gym 8 times a month or more so that I don't have to pay for it.

2.  Be careful and don't eat anything I'm allergic to.  Try to avoid any accidental exposures.

And that's it for the plans.  I think that's quite enough, don't you?

I'll be posting further updates on all kinds of stuff that went on during the last months of the year, since I completely failed at updating the blog during November and December.   Have a Happy New Year everyone!  Hope you all have a crazy goal in the coming year that you mostly complete :)


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Come Together

Today was the Manchester New Hampshire Making Strides Breast Cancer Walk.  Good news, I raise $390 dollars!  Good news, our team raised about $3,400 or so! Bad or indifferent news, I only walked about three miles. But I did it in a little under an hour, and my back is not completely messed up.  I'm having some minor aches on my sciatica side, which is why I decided to skip the five miles.  However, I think if I'd tried to do it four months ago without the gym visits, I'm not sure I'd have made it three miles without my back being completely wrecked.  So that's good news too I guess! But I still hate the gym.

So, onto our regularly scheduled news segments.  So far, I have six visits into the gym this month even though I hate it and I missed five potential workout days due to a cold.  I'm trying to get a lot of time in because I will be also missing four potential workout days since I'm going to Stitches East.  And I'm not working out during Stitches.  It will be all knitting all the time.

In knitting news, I have one more class to get ready for before I leave for Stitches East on Thursday night.  I've been working on it this weekend and I should finish up tonight.  I've also done the research necessary with my food allergies, so now I just have to get breakfast stuff, and emergency safe food if the student banquet doesn't have anything I can eat.  I've been working on the  Absinthe from and I've gained a little.  I've just started the cable bits so you can't see anything yet.

I've also started a Bird's Nest Smoke Ring in Jade Sapphire Cashmere/Silk 2 ply.  Seriously, this yarn is just luscious to work with.  I want to roll in it. It's just crazy soft.  It's a cable lace pattern which is interesting to work, so I've gained quite a bit in a short time.  It's funnel shaped, but it's done using progressive needle changes so that there's no increasing or math.  Cool.

In spinning news, I started spinning some camel fiber that I bought as a sample a hundred years ago.  I appear to be allergic to it but it's only about an ounce.  I'm spinning it at a ridiculous ratio of about 40:1 on my lendrum very, very fast flyer, so it's going to take a bit.  I'm considering finding my dust masks so I can just finish it up and give it away.

In writing news, because of Stitches and the homework for Stitches, I've been hell bent on finishing the writing quota left over from September (660 words) and October's goal (8,000 words).  On Friday night, I finished, with a 174 word credit towards November.  My writing group will be happy to hear that I don't intend to touch the thing again for at least a week and half.

So that's the news.  Stay tuned for further updates from the woman obsessed with her Purple Calendar of Doom.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Taking Care of Business

I meant to blog the end of the month wrap up last weekend, but my mom was here, and it just didn't happen, and then this week was insane. 

So, on to the end of the month wrap up.  I didn't quite make my goal to completely catch up with September by the end of the month. My New Year's plan for writing was to write 8,000 words a month until the novel was finished.  I sort off mostly blew off July and August, and then decided in September that I would try to write 21,043 words to catch up with July and August, and make September's goal.  I managed to write 20,383 words which is 660 short of my crazy goal.  Which honestly, I'm disappointed I didn't make it, but I probably have that to blame for my current massive head cold too.  I've been pushing myself a wee bit hard. So for October I need to make up the 660 for September and write another 8,000 words, if I don't finish the book before that. (Please let me finish the thing!!!)  As of this morning, I have 539 words towards October, for a new grand total of 128,766 words and 425 pages.

As I said in my last post, I did manage to make my spinning goal for the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan.  I need to spin 3.38 oz of something in the stash for October to comply with the Purple Calendar of Doom.  My goal for the year is to spin 4 oz per month, but I have a carry over from last month.  It's really quite amazing how much this has reduced what I had in the closet. 

In knitting news, I finished Shawn's hat out of handspun. It's an Ashland Bay Merino roving that I purchased a million years ago and spun a million years ago.  I'm happy with how it came out, but it does need to be washed and blocked still.  It's one of those hats that covers your neck and your face sticks out.  It's for Shawn to use at work.  I used a freebie pattern from Lion Brand I found on Ravelry.

Last Sunday at the Concord Knitting Meetup, I finally started the sock I had kitted (is that a word?) up with a pattern as emergency knitting for the Cape (where we went on vacation in July), because I didn't have anything else on the needles. I'm using Absinthe from as the Pattern and Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock in Iris for the pattern.  It's a toe up, which I have done before, but this time I used Judy's Magic Cast On which is much easier that the figure 8 cast on, once I figured out how to do it from the pictures. 

On Wednesday at the monthly evening meeting of the Concord Knitting Meetup, I finally started getting myself together for Stitches East. I'm taking a couple of classes and I need to get my homework together. For one of my classes, The Sweater Map, I have to knit a a 4" by 4" swatch.  So that's done. (I know, you're all fainting in shock.  I'm planning on knitting and designing a sweater for myself that is not purple).  I'm also taking Aspiring Designer Bootcamp mostly to see if I want to make taking designing to the next level as part of my goals for 2012.  For that class I have to get together printouts of my website (which I don't have) my blog, and any other online presence I have (Ravelry, I'm assuming) and at least one pattern I've published.  Should be interesting.  I'm also taking a class called Stashology 201 where I'm supposed to bring partial skeins of at least 10-12 different stash yarns for swatching and maybe sharing, and various needle sizes.  I haven't put the stuff for the design class or the stash class together yet, but I'm hoping to do so this weekend.  I also need to find time to research restaurants I can go to in Hartford that will accommodate my food allergies, at least for dairy and egg, and I can work around everything else. We're planning on going to the student banquet, as well and hopefully there will be food I can eat.

In going to the gym even though I hate it news, I went 14 times in September.  This month will be harder, as I'll be away for Stitches, but I'm going to try to stay mostly on track.  Although I've already blown off two planned visits this month, one due to my cold, and one due to needing to reorganize and clean the closet area after I bought plastic shelving at Lowe's last weekend.  I also bought new lighting.  Fibery people - did you know they have Ott light bulbs for regular lamps now at Lowe's?  And that the regular Ott lights at Lowe's are really cheap compared to the Jo-Ann Fabrics?  I needed a new bulb for my little folding table top Ott light.  It was $35.00 at Jo-Ann's and $9.00 at Lowe's.  That's crazy.

Because of my massive head cold, I'm missing the New Hampshire Wool Tour with my friend Katie K this weekend. I'd go anyway, but I don't want to spread my cold to Katie. I'm really annoyed.  Also taking place in New Hampshire this weekend is SOAR, which I would love to hit the market today too.  If you guys can go, you should.

Anyway, I was up because I went to bed an ungodly early hour because of the cold, but I might see if I can go back to sleep.  I feel fuzzy again.  

Stay tuned for further updates as I manage to do them :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Every Day I Write the Book

Sorry for the radio silence, but I'm in the midst of being my little type A self.  I've been working on the Purple Calendar of Doom and really trying to deal with some of the goals I have in my various plans.

This month I managed to catch up on my spinning for July, August and September for my 4 oz a month quota under the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan. I finished spinning the cormo, alpaca and silk fiber from Foxfire Fiber & Designs. The yarn as a single is toward your left and the yarn after I plyed it is to your right. I also ended up with a .62 oz credit towards October, which is good because I have a lot of stuff going on in October.
In knitting news I finished my Google+ KAL Shawl.  It's really more a shawlette, which is actually good because I think I can wear it to work. To the left, is the unblocked shawl. To the right is the shall after blocking.  See why blocking lace is a good idea? :)

In furtherance of the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction plan, I have several goals that need to be met.  Paragraph 5 requires me to knit something with handspun that had been spun prior to December 31, 2010.  Paragraph 8 requires me to knit something for Shawn.  As it's getting to be the end of the year, I decided to cheat and combine them.  So I'm knitting a hat for Shawn from my handspun.  Once this is done, I'll have to take a break from the plan to do my Stitches homework for the classes I'm taking, as that is fast approaching.

In writing news, I have been completely insane.  My plan for the year has been to write 8,000 words a month until the novel was finished.  Well, I mostly blew off July and August, so I had 13,043 words to write to catch up for July and August at the beginning of this month and another 8,000 for September, which adds up to 21,043 words.  21,043 words if I was going to try to make it all up and write September, if I didn't manage to finish the novel in that word count.  So I started the month thinking that if I could just write the 13,043 to catch up, I would only be one month behind, and I could make that up over two months.  Two days ago, I hit the 13,043.  So I decided to keep going so that there would be less to make up over the next two months.  As of last night, I hit 16,242 words for the month, which leaves me with 4,801 words left for the month to write.  If I can write 1,600 words a night for the next three nights (I can't use Friday, as my mother will be in town), I can make up all of September.  I can't quite believe that this might be possible. 

In gym news, I'm still going.  Last night was my 12th visit of the month.  I still don't like it, but I'm still going.

That's all I have time for, as I'm squeezing this post in before work.  Stay tuned for further updates :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

We Work the Black Seam

Well, after whining in my last post about how much time I was wasting at the gym and not getting other things done, I revamped the Purple Calendar of Doom and tried to take it seriously.  So since my last post, I do have numbers to report. 

In fiber news, I made up my spinning goals for July and August, and now I'm working on the quota for September.   First I spun up some dual color roving from Ingrid Byrd that I bought at a NH Sheep & Wool or NH Wool Tour a hundred years ago.  I ended up with 4.94 ounces of yarn and it's about a worsted weight.

Then I spun some Ingeo which is corn silk.  I had bought a sampler pack of plant fibers, again a hundred years ago and had never spun this.  It's somewhat like silk but harder on your hands than silk.  It ended up being about a DK or sport weight.  The resulting yarn reminds me of linen more than silk.  I didn't enjoy spinning it and I'm not sure I'll do it again.  I ended up with 2.29 ounces.

This brought me up to date and half an ounce into September.  I've started spinning a Cormo/Silk/Alpaca blend Roving from Foxfire Fiber & Designs.  I love her stuff.  I just adore it.  If I could only buy fiber from one processor/vendor, it would be from here.  I need to have finished spinning 3.51 ounces by the end of September to comply with the 2011 Yarn & Fiber Stash Reduction Plan.  I have about 4 ounces of the stuff, but I'm spinning this very finely, so it's taking time.

In knitting news, I finished Chart C and have started working on Chart D of the G+ knit along shawl.  I'm hoping to put some more time on that as well. 

In writing news, I've gained 4,587 words so far this month, which nearly catches me up my goals for July.  Sigh.  But that gets me to 112,431 words and 370 pages.  The damn thing will not end. I know where it's going, I just have to get it down.  And I don't want to think about the revisions. This past weekend was the monthly meeting of the Misplaced Modifiers except we skipped August because we were busy.  It was a wonderful day at Mary Kate R's and I made a dairy and egg free gingerbread cake, which was good and cake-y, but not ginger-y enough.

In gardening news, my habaneros are starting to ripen and I've gotten two cucumbers.  Next year I'm going to take a pass on the tomatoes and cukes, and just do peppers.  They are doing well, as well as the herbs, and everything else is struggling. 

I'm still going to the gym.  Tonight was my 5th visit this month of the eight I have to attend to get my insurance to pay for it. 

In other news, I'm doing the 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk on October 16th.  Please consider donating, as I walk in memory of my aunt Liz (on the left for those of you who didn't know her), who died in 2004, in support of those of my friends who are still fighting and those who survived. My page is to donate is here

And that's pretty much the news that's fit to print.