SpinningYarnsOnline.com’s Blog

June 27, 2008

Example of Superb Mothering

Filed under: Life — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 6:39 am

Most of the time I truly believe that I am a pretty good mom.  Maybe even a pretty great mom.  I have two wonderful kids who are nice and polite and smart and a pleasure to be around.  As a matter of fact, the waiter at the diner, just the other day,  told me and my girls that they were the most polite kids he has served in the diner ever!  That’s quite a compliment considering that he must deal with about a thousand kids a day.  He pointed out the “pleases” and “thank yous” that he gets from my kids and how that is a total rareity in today’s world.  I was proud as punch.  I was also saddened by the fact that he deals with families with children whose parents have not taught their kids basic manners.  Manners are important. 

Anyway, today it was proven to me that there are certain “Mommy-ing” things that I just don’t do well.  It is painful for me to admit but… in order to improve we must admit our shortcomings so here goes:  I am not a good Tooth Fairy! There,  I did it.  I’ll say it again:  I am not a good Tooth Fairy.  It’s hard for me to come to this conclusion but based upon my daughter’s dealing with me and her big, yucky molar that she put under her pillow last night and the fact that all she found under her pillow was the same big, yucky molar (wrapped in a paper towel) and nothing else:  I am not a good Tooth Fairy.

Olivia spent the better part of last evening working to get this molar out of her mouth.  She was brave and patient.  I was busy dealing with another small crisis going on at the same time (my older daughter’s camp bus broke down somewhere near Trenton and I was trying to find out when the camp would get her home and where she would be dropped off) so I ignored the fact that Olivia was sitting at the kitchen table with the lap top computer doing some Star Doll thing and had a pile of bloody (sorry, totally gross!) tissues sitting on the table next to her.  She quietly sat there for a better part of an hour and eventually came into the den and gave me the football touchdown signal showing me that she had accomplished her mission.  She handed me the fruits of her labor wrapped carefully in a clean paper towel and turned to me and said, “I hope the Tooth Fairy doesn’t forget this time!”  She’s 10, she knows damn well that the Tooth Fairy is me.  She was basically telling me not to be an idiot and to remember to throw some cash her way under her pillow.  Why, you might ask, would my 10 year old daughter think that I would need such a reminder???  Well,  because Memorial Day weekend she got another yucky molar out and handed it to me at our friend’s pool party.  I wrapped it in a tissue and put it in my pocket.  Not an hour later I found this tissue in my pocket, forgot what it was and threw it away.   Incompetence!  I had to admit to my daughter that I forgot her tooth was in my pocket (for good keeping and to be safe…) and I threw it away.  She then laughed at me as if she were not at all surprised.  There was nothing left to do but go in my wallet and get her some dollar bills and hand them to her in shame.

Last night she put the tooth under her pillow (apparently an exercise in futility).  I laughed and told her I wouldn’t forget her this time.  I was checking my email this morning and in walks my very polite 10 year old daughter and hands me her tooth, still wrapped in a paper towel.  She shook her head laughing and walked away.  Damn it!!!  I forgot again!  I went downstairs to my wallet and found a $5 dollar bill and handed it to her.   We don’t usually give 5 bucks for a tooth but sometimes you’ve got to compensate them for your own lack of brains…  She then said to me, “A five, cool, you can forget my next tooth too!”  She is a great kid!

First Day of Camp

Here are my girls on the first day of camp.  Olivia, the molar-less one is on the left.

June 26, 2008

Middle School Kids are Awesome!

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 11:51 am

Now that summer is here and I have a few moments…I’d like to tell you about a project that I worked on with some kids from my older daughter’s school. Due to some very severe budget cuts and other issues, the administration had to cut an elective out of the kids’ day. In order to keep the school day schedule intact, the powers that be instituted a “zero period” at the beginning of the school day. From 7:45 am to 8:27 am the kids in the middle school (and high school) were held in either a gym or the cafeteria depending on grade. As a parent, I was less than thrilled (I’m being polite…) with this plan. But, what were they supposed to do? Our state government made some harsh cuts that forced our administrators to make some harsh and very unpopular decisions. I’m not going to go into the politics or even my opinion about this. It’s not worth getting my blood pressure up again… Anyway, after listening to my daughter tell me what she was doing during “zero period”, I called the school principal and basically said, “Don’t you have any parents who have a skill that can volunteer some time to get these kids something to do?!!!” And then I continued with what I meant to be a bit of a joke, I said “I knit, you could have a knitting group” I expected him to say “Ha Ha, that’s so stupid. Knitting, there’s nothing academic about that.” Much to my surprise (and to be honest, at the time, my horror) the principal said, “I would love that. We had to eliminate our Home Ec. department so this would give the kids the opportunity to learn a craft that they can use”….etc., etc. Then, because sometimes my brain forgets to tell my mouth to shut up, I started telling the principal about how I could teach the kids to knit and they could each make a blanket square and then we could sew them together and then they would send it to Project Linus and on and on and on. And then I basically got the “when can you start”.

After my head stopped spinning it dawned on me that I had just volunteered myself to facilitate a knitting club at our town’s middle school. Yikes!!! Sometimes I get myself into things and I don’t even know how it happened. So before I knew it I was meeting with the principal to put together a program that would work for his school and my schedule. I was then taken through the process of getting fingerprinted and backround checked in order to be able to be a “regular volunteer”. I found this part of the process very amusing because my husband and I have been known to watch the TV show “Cops” and are always dumbfounded and amused when the arresting police officer asks the person he is about to handcuff if he/she has any warrants. I would always turn to my husband and say, “I don’t have any warrants.” I know that doesn’t sound funny at all but at the time it was because I don’t think I have ever met anyone in my life who has had or who has a warrant for his/her arrest. I am pleased to report that my backround report proved my lack of warrants and any felonies or anything of the like. I was approved to volunteer to run this knitting group.

A permission slip was sent home to any kid who wanted to participate. During that time I was busy soliciting donations from knitting friends. I needed needles and yarn for these kids to use. My wonderful friend Joan went through all of her needles and kept herself a set and gave me the rest. It was a huge bag of about 25 lbs. of knitting needles. My daughters and I had a great time sorting through them and separating them by size. I went through my embarrasingly large yarn stash and made a (huge) pile of yarn that I was willing to part with. My friend Pam did the same. Her pile was even huger (not a word, but it works…) than mine. The lovely ladies at my LYS put together another huge bag of yarn they didn’t need or want. It was a nice community effort outfitting the middle school knitting club with needles and yarn.

So, off I went at 7:30 in the morning to meet my room of middle school knitters. I had been told there would be around ten girls. My daughter would be in the room and it was important to me not to embarrass her or become the “dorkmom” that I am trying so hard not to be. As they walked me down to my designated classroom I had this horrible moment of clarity wherein I realized that I would be in a room, alone, with approximately ten 11 to 13 year old girls. That’s a lot of girls. That’s a lot of middle school girls. I’m not sure if you know this, but the pre-teen and teenage years can be kind of difficult for girls. A lot happens during these years. And I was going to be in a classroom, by myself, with 10 of them. As I walked down to the classroom, it was as if I was in a Hitchcock movie where the scary music is blaring and the hallway was getting longer and more narrow. I was so nervous I had sweaty palms. I kept thinking, “Who was the absolute idiot who thought it would be a good idea to have me run a knitting club for middle school age girls???” Oh yeah, right, that was me…

Well, the girls came into the room and I showed them the needles, yarn and books of patterns that I brought. I split them up by skill level. I took the total newbies and off we went. I have to tell you that they were the most wonderful group of young ladies. Their enthusiasm was contagious. They loved to learn and they loved to learn knitting. Mostly, they loved to sit and chat and be with each other and enjoy each other’s company for 42 minutes. They were wonderful. As the weeks went by we even picked up a few more girls who wanted to join the fun. By the end of the year we had at least 16 knitters! The Schools Superintendent popped his head in one day when he had a meeting in the building and was so complimentary to the girls on what they were doing. It was really nice.

We had all different skill levels going on in the room. I made it clear that I could not teach everyone at the same time so the more experienced knitters were happy and willing to pitch in and teach a newer knitter to purl or cast on or bind off. They worked so well together. I was so happy to see a bunch of wonderful girls helping each other and working together to make a great project. They each contributed in their own way, be it a square or two for the blanket, or the dreaded weaving in of about a gabillion ends. They all pitched in with happy faces and tons of enthusiasm! They were a joy. Here are some shots of the blanket during its construction:

Preparing to weave in the ends.

This is the blanket being blocked.

This is some of the girls with the finished product. They were so pleased and proud of their work. They were invited to go to the Board of Ed. meeting and be recognized for their efforts and to show off their great blanket that will be sent to Project Linus to make a kid, who is going through a tough time, feel special. These kids are great!!!

June 22, 2008

Clearance

Filed under: Store Updates — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 6:54 pm

We are clearing out a few colorways in order to make room for new ones.  Gecko, Violet Rubies, Holly Berry and Spring Flower will all be clearance priced at $16.95 (that’s $5.00 off!) until current stock runs out.  I’ll let you know when they are gone.  We are doing this to get ready for the new fall colorways that are currently in development.  Some sneak peaks will be posted very soon.  In the meantime, stock up on these while the getting is good ’cause once they’re gone, they’re gone!

June 19, 2008

Quick Store Update

Filed under: Store Updates — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 10:28 am

Just a quickie to say that the store has been updated and all colorways are back in stock.  I’m so glad that the Confetti colorway is a hit.  I will be adding more intricate color patterns next week.  We will also be having a closeout sale on certain colorways that will be discontinued.  I expect to get that together some time next week.  My kids are finishing up with school today and start camp next week.  I should have everything that will be sold as a closeout up on the site by the end of next week.

Thanks and Happy Knitting.

 

June 15, 2008

WWKIP Day

Filed under: Life — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 7:04 am

Yesterday was World Wide Knit in Public Day.  The second Saturday in June has been designated as a day that knitters go out and knit in a public place proving to the world that we are not a bunch of “grannies”.  I joined the group that was hosted by my LYS, Knit-A-Bit.  We met in a park and sat by a lovely gazebo on our “soccer mom” chairs and knit and chatted and ate.  All the things that knitters love to do.  I could only be there for a little while because I had a scheduling conflict.  (Could there be anything more important than a day dedicated to knitting in public??? Yes, my daughter had her last soccer game of the season.)

So we met in a park in Westfield and were immediatly joined by some non-knitters.

These geese were very curious about what we were doing.  They came right up to us and honked at our knitting.  I think they were trying to figure out which project they liked the best.  (Really they were looking for food.  They are food finding, geese pooping machines!)  Eventually Harriet had her husband bring Sam, her dog that is not exactly her dog (I didn’t quite understand the explanation but he is a beautiful, mellow Yellow Lab who was happy to sit amonst the knitters.  He didn’t even have to chase the geese. The mere fact that he walked on four legs made them scurry away to find a new group to hang out with.)

Here is a shot of the group while I was there (which was not very long due to overlapping soccer game).

Notice the chair with the canopy.  That’s mine.  My husband calls it my Queen of Sheba chair.  My younger daughter plays fall and spring soccer.  At the beginning of the fall season and the end of the spring season it is HOT!!!  And SUNNY!!!  I do not like to be hot and I turn into a lobster very quickly due to the sun, thus the Queen of Sheba chair.

Here we have Susan, Pam and Harriet.  Susan and Harriet own Knit-a-Bit.  Pam is pretty much responsible for just about all my knitting skills.  She is my knitting guru, question answerer, pattern decipherer and all around great person.

 Then I had to leave… Bummer.  When I got to my car, this is what the dashboard temperature guage said:

 

 That was in the shade!!  It was way too hot for me and I was just sitting on my Queen of Sheba chair.  I felt really bad for the girls who were playing.  They did the best they could in the heat.  I think everyone was glad when the game was over.

June 13, 2008

Meet Little Meggie

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 10:38 am

I got a new toy.  It’s a spinning toy called a Little Meggie.  I bought it from Heavenly Handspinning .  I really like drop spindle-ing but I really don’t like the “drop” part of it.  Whenever I use a drop spindle I always have a feeling of lack of control because you have this weighted spinning wood stick that has to be controlled along with your pre-drafted fiber.  My spindle usually flies all over the place until it gets into its spin.  I was trying to think of a way to eliminate that out of control feeling when I stumbled upon this:

Meet Little Meggie.  Her creator is a genius.  She basically is made of a big, heavy block of wood, a wooden dowl, a ball bearing inserted into a hole, a heavy wood scalloped bottom, a whirl and a hook.  You kick the heavy wood bottom thingy and the spindle stays stationary.  Brilliant! You can watch a YouTube video showing how to use this little piece of genius here:  Little Meggy videoHeavenly Handspinning  also has some really cool handmade spinning wheels.  I have my eye on the double treadle one.  You all need to buy some more yarn from SpinningYarnsOnline so I can afford a new wheel!! ; – ) 

I’ll be spending some quality time with Little Meggie and will show you what I spin soon.  Here’s one last picture of her:

In other news, the Summer Knitty is up.  There are some great sock patterns that would be wonderful knit up in Spinning Yarns’ hand dyed yarn.  I particularly like the Spring Forward Socks

That’s all I got for now. I’ve got to go spin…

June 9, 2008

Too Hot!! And Some Sock Yarn

Filed under: Life — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 2:03 pm

OMG!!!  It is so HOT outside.  Almost makes a girl want to put down those needles.  Never!  Did I ever tell you that I love air conditioning?  Well I do.  Every year in April I go to the thermostat thingy on the wall and say a prayer.  I say a prayer to any spiritual entity that is willing to listen to me that when I flip the switch, the air conditioning fairy will wake up from her slumber and turn my old hulking system on.  So far, every year my prayers have worked.  It is 99 degrees outside and very oppressively humid.  In my house, however, it is a comfortable 72 degrees.  Perfect knitting weather. 

Enough about heat and heat remediation.  Has anyone seen what FluffyKnitterDeb did with her leftover sock yarn???  She made an absolutely stunning granny square (really rectangle) blanket.  Go take a look here: FluffyKnitterDeb .  I want to make one of those!!  That is an heirloom that can be cherished and handed down from one generation to the next.  If you scroll down you can see a picture of a ton of sock yarn posing on a bed.  It is one of the most beautiful yarn PRon sights I have ever seen.   I think I might consider starting an awesome granny square sock yarn blanket after the 99 degree weather breaks!

June 6, 2008

The Knitting Monster (…I mean Machine)

Filed under: Life,News — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 3:03 pm

My friend Deb gave me a knitting machine a while back.  I thought it was cool and knew that someday I would have time to learn how to use it.  She is a knitting machine whiz and was even on QVC last summer demonstrating this beast, I mean machine.  Anyway, I decided that there might be a use for this knitting machine for a future product for SpinningYarns so I asked Deb to show me how to use the thing.

Deb came to my house, set the monster/machine up and showed me what to do.  She kept politely reminding me to “watch the instructional tape, it will really help you.”  To which I replied, “I’ll be fine, you’re showing me what to do.  I’ll be fine.”  Well we had some fun banging out rows of knitting in seconds flat.  It really is weird to knit a row in 2 seconds.  We ran into a couple of glitches and problems, but they were good; they were learning experiences.  Then Deb left.  (She had to do something important like buying food for her family.  How could that be more important than teaching me how to master a knitting machine/monster???)

So, feeling quite confident and pleased with myself, I sat back down in front of my new knitting toy and moved the carriage and knit a row.  Amazing!!  Then I moved the carriage and knit another row.  Incredible!!  Then the bar weight, hem thingy fell off and hit the floor and my foot and all of the stitches that were on the machine were now off the machine and laying in a heap on the floor.  I said some bad words.  Some really, really bad words.  In fact, I think I may have even made up a few new bad words. 

I had been shown a few times how to set this knitting monster up to get started.  This was a great opportunity to practice setting up and getting started.  There were some more foul words, some sweating and finally I got the monster to knit a few more rows.  I consider this a good first outing with my knitting machine/monster.  I will need to practice if I ever want to use this monster for more than expanding my foul word vocabulary.  I’ll let you know how it goes… 

June 3, 2008

Bobbin-ful

Filed under: Life — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 11:18 am

I thought I would try again to get the picture of the bobbin-ful of merino uploaded (see above post).  Here goes:

Victory!!  Isn’t that pretty!  I have spun just about another bobbin-ful and plan to ply them together.  I will show the finished yarn (hopefully) when it’s done.   I hope to finish spinning the other bobbin today.  I hope to have time to ply it tomorrow.  Pictures will follow.

June 2, 2008

Bovine Beauties

Filed under: Life — by SpinningYarnsOnline @ 10:37 am

My brother has some new additions to his farm:

Cows!!  Aren’t they cute?!!!  They are two young ladies who according to Steven are “the beginning of the herd”.  Cool!  They arrived after our fun weekend at the farm so we will have to meet them the next time we go visit.

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