Dolly come home!!

That’s Dolly. She’s our 6.5 year old Brittany Spaniel and she’s missing. My son let her out while he put his boots on yesterday afternoon (4:00 pm) and when he went out to walk her, less than 10 minutes later, she was gone. The kids looked and looked and even my mother-in-law drove Little Big Man around looking.

I’ve put an add up on Craig’s list as well as a lost dog post at our county’s humane society. I’ll be calling the humane society in the next county over to see if they have her. I’ve printed 200 fliers that we’ll post around our house and the kids will be canvassing the neighbors today. I can’t think of anything else to do.


We live in a very rural area – she could be anywhere. There’s also a possibility that someone picked her up. We were never able to instill stranger danger in this dog. Once one of Little Big Man’s friends was coming over for a LAN party and his dad helped him carry in all of his equipment. The dad left and we were calling and calling for Dolly. A few minutes later the dad drove back up the driveway. Dolly had climbed into his car and didn’t come out until he was down the road. If someone was nice to her, she’d get in their car without a problem.


What absolutely shreds me is thinking that maybe she got hit by a car and is lying somewhere hurt and can’t get home. That wee little head thinking “Where are my people?”

Edited to add:
She’s home! The kids went out this morning, spoke to several neighbors, and handed out pictures. About 12:30 a woman called and said, “My dad has your dog” and gave me his address. Little Big Man went over and picked her up.


Apparently, the man walked out of his house to do some errands this morning and she was sitting on his lawn. When he came back at noon, she was still there…waiting. He called his daughter about “this little dog” and she called me. Happy, happy day!

2012: A Roadmap

I’ve been a follower of David Allen off and on for the last 3 years (or so). I don’t always follow GTD (Getting Things Done) to the letter and frequently do exactly what Allen says not to do, which is pick and choose what I want to do and leave the rest for “later” – of course “later” rarely comes.

Every January, Allen sends off an e-mail talking about what he does to review the past year and his plans for the new year. I have tried to do this and answer the questions, but it gets too hard and I quit. I’m going to take a little different tack this year and not try to review 2011, but I’m going to plan what to do in 2012. 

Is this more avoidance? Maybe. My problem in the past has been that I get bogged down trying to figure out what I did and never get to the planning for the future part. I need to start where I am and go from there. 

So, to that end, these are David Allen’s questions for the upcoming year:
Creating the new year

  • What would you like to be your biggest triumph in 2012?
    • work: get a grant funded
    • cjkoho: have gross sales of $5,000
    • personal: ride 500 miles on my bike
    • personal: pay down enough debt to be able to buy a car

  • What advice would you like to give yourself in 2012?
    • keep the agreements I make with myself
    • plan big projects and ship them


  • What is the major effort you are planning to improve your financial results in 2012?
    • personal: pack lunch instead of buying at the work cafeteria
    • personal: think about every cent I spend
      • is it necessary?
      • is there a less expensive alternative? 
      • need v. want
    • cjkoho: keep the Etsy shop fully stocked and ready for orders
    • cjkoho: work the shows I’m at – no sitting and waiting for people to ask questions – anticipate what they’re going to ask – sell, sell, sell (without being obnoxious)


  • What would you be most happy about completing in 2012?
    • work: getting the grant I’ve been chasing for 3 years
    • cjkoho: a successful show season (see gross sales comment above)
    • personal: riding my bike, feeling healthier


  • What major indulgence are you willing to experience in 2012?

 

  • What would you most like to change about yourself in 2012?
    • curtail procrastination (I would say eliminate, but let’s be realistic here)
    • avoidance of the things I want/need to do because they’re “hard”


  • What are you looking forward to learning in 2012?
    • work: SoCRA certification (for clinical research professionals)
    • personal: seeing how far I can go on my bike
    • cjkoho: pushing my dyeing/spinning to new heights


  • What do you think your biggest risk will be in 2012?
    •  the art piece I’ve committed to exhibiting in February

 

  • What about your work, are you most committed to changing and improving in 2012?
    • stop thinking about it and do it
    • work through the hard bits because they’re never as hard as I think they’re going to be
    • become the employee I would want to hire


  • What is one as yet undeveloped talent you are willing to explore in 2012?
    •  they’re all undeveloped talents, aren’t they? or maybe just under-developed
      • blog writing
      • dyeing
      • spinning
      • strength training

 

  • What brings you the most joy and how are you going to do or have more of that in 2012?
    • riding my bike
      • make the commitment and go
      • work through the fear of heading out the door
    • spinning
      • commit to a small amount of time every single day

  • Who or what, other than yourself, are you most committed to loving and serving in 2012?
    • my children
    • my spouse
    • my fiber friends


  • What one word would you like to have as your theme in 2012?
    •  momentum

First Yarn of 2012

Again, in the quest to spin up the stash I dove in for another couple of chunks that would spin well together. 

Spunky Eclectic 80% Corriedale/20% Alpaca blend in the Cowgirl Blues colorway. I’m pretty sure someone gave this to me, because I would never have picked the colors myself. I ganked a photo that someone posted on Ravelry and this is exactly what my braid looked like. It’s essentially red, white, and blue on an amazing base. However, not my colors at all. The braid weighed 4 oz.  

Ashford Merino/Silk Sliver – Mulberry

The other bundle was a plastic bag filled with Ashford Merino/Silk Sliver (80/20) in the mulberry colorway. The label says it weighed 100 grams (3.5 oz) and I paid $11.75 for it. While I will spin 50/50 merino/silk all day long, I’m not quite sure what possessed me to buy this bag of fiber. It may have been a pick me up present at some point, but when I saw the blue mixed in with the rest, I thought, “Why??” You can see from the picture that it’s mostly a shade of purple, but has blue, red, white, and peach shot through. Both fibers were quite soft and I figured they would go well together.

2-ply

This blend spun up super fast. While I’m not partial to a lot of her colors, Spunky takes amazing care when she dyes and her braids are never compacted or over processed. Both of these were a dream to split and spin. In fact, I think I spun this (roughly) 8 oz in record time for me – about 2 days from start to finish.


The resulting yarn is lovely. Because I spun it so quickly, I didn’t have time to vary my spinning and it’s remarkably even. When I showed it to Jillian and said, why are all my blends with this technique turnout out purple. She looked at me with an incredulous look and said, “because you ALWAYS buy stuff that has purple in it!” Maybe it’s time to spin something other than this color.


fiber: 40% Corriedale/40% Merino/20% Alpaca/20% silk
weight: 6.7 oz
length: 283 yards
weight: worsted

Last Yarn of 2011

I’ve been working on a technique my friends Erica and Jillian have been encouraging me to try. Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but you take 2 different rovings/tops with at least one color in common, strip them down to about the width of your thumb and then hold them together while spinning. This creates a barber pole effect in the single that becomes dots of color when plied. 


It is amazing to me that when I search my stash I find some stuff that makes me think, “Why on earth did I buy this?!!??” Either my color sense has changed, or the fiber feels like something I don’t want to spin anymore, or someone gave it to me and I didn’t have the heart to rid myself of it.

Karaoke & Milk/Seacell/Wool fibers

Either way, I found these 2 fibers in my staff at the end of last year. 


On the left we have Karaoke in the Mermaid colorway. Karaoke comes to us from Louet and uses the leftovers from tofu production – yes, one more product made from soy. I had 4 oz and it cost me $11 for the bundle.


I don’t know if you can tell in the photo, but the fiber takes dye beautifully. It is lustrous and rich. However, the Karaoke, it clumps like nobody’s business. Stripping it will help with the clumpiness, but destroys the brilliant color by breaking it up. Since I was going to strip the fiber anyway, it was a great candidate for this technique.


The fiber on the right was dyed by Creatively Dyed Yarns (CD). This is made from 20% milk protein/20% seacell/60% wool. I found this amazingly soft, but the colors no longer spoke to me (too much white). I had 4 oz and it cost me $24. I figured the softness of this would counteract the clumpiness of the Karaoke and all the white would brighten it up. The common color is a deep purple that is a large section in the Karaoke and just random 1.5 inch bits in the CD.

First single



I split the fiber in half and set one half aside. Proceeded to strip the other half, making sure there were an equal number of nests. Then I started. Here we have the first single. Again, apologies for my camera, the left side of the photo seems to capture the colors the best. The deep green from the Karaoke really comes through in the single, although overall, I think it looks very, very purple.


I took up the half of the fiber that I had set aside, stripped it and spun it as another single. There’s no need to show you another picture the second bobbin looks remarkably like the first. Although there was a lot more white in the second half of the bundle, so it was lighter than this first single.

2-ply yarn

The resulting yarn looks like this. Excuse the blurriness, but this shows the layout of the colors the best of all the pictures I took. It is quite soft and while overall the deep colors have muted to lavender there are several pops of deeper color peeking through. It’s a serviceable yarn and I haven’t decided what to do with it yet, it my be cast into the basket with other purple yarns to become something for my Sassy, the lover of all things purple.




fiber: 50% soysilk/30% wool/20% milk protein/20% seacell
weight: 7.6 oz
length: 336 yards
weight: worsted

Couch Surfing

Jemima Rooper as Amanda Price

I spent most of the day spinning with my buddy Jillian. We frequently take a hooky day and watch movies (or television series) one after the other. Today we watched Lost in Austen and part of the new Tempest with Helen Mirren in the starring role.


I sat next to J’s daughter and we made fun of the costumes and decided which actors we liked best (Mr. Darcy) and who was the most awful character (creepy Mr. Collins and his brothers). 


It made me wish one more time, that I lived next door and didn’t have to plan so much for a lunch and movie afternoon. It was a wonderful day. I came home refreshed and ready to go back to work on Wednesday. (Okay, not so much ready as resigned.)