Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year and happy end of the winter holidays to you.

I did take a little tiny bit of time off this year.  (And trust me, it wasn't long enough.  ;)

I spent my half day off deciding (in my infinite wisdom) that I should get out the fiber stash and sort it out so that I can get rid of some of it, list some of it for sale/swaps, and set some aside to be made into batts for swapping later.

I figured this would only take maybe an hour or two, really!  The stash couldn't POSSIBLY be that big...

Could it?

Um, yeah, yeah it could.

That right there is a little over half of the stash.  The pile of tubs on the far left?  That's part of my stash tub stash.  The poor wheel in the background being eaten by the stash?  Not actually a small wheel.  The stash covered over half of my living room.

I couldn't reach the bins to put things away.  I couldn't get to the phone or the front door.  I ended up having to email a friend (because I could reach the computer, barely) and ask her to come over and help me.  The only reason I could ask her to help was because she still had a house key to my house.  Thank goodness.

Nearly 5 hours after starting, everything was sorted.  I haven't yet put away the fleeces that just came back from the mill.  I'm going to be putting them away soon.  Everything else was first sorted by do I want to keep it or not.  The NOT stuff went into a pile in back of where this picture was taken from.  The KEEP stuff was kept in front of me.  There were a couple of maybes, but most of those ended up being NOT stuff and a couple of things went to my friend T who came over to help me deal with the stash, you know, as a bribe payment.  :)

Once we had KEEP/NOT piles sorted, the KEEP pile was divided.  First we sorted out fleeces, or fiber that had not yet been processed beyond being washed.  So there are a few fleeces (2 Jacob fleeces, a teeswater lamb from a lamb named Fauna, a karakul lamb, and a rose-grey cria alpaca fleece from an alpaca named Fonzie.)  Also into this group went some "bits".  Like some Southdown fleece, and some Freisian fleece.  They aren't whole fleeces, it's maybe 8-16 ounces.  There are some other bits and bobs in there as well.  I could do a large sampler of fiber if I so desired because there are a LOT of samples.

After the washed, but unprocessed stuff was sorted and binned, we pulled out 3 bins and separated the rest of the pile into undyed braids/roving; dyed braids/roving; carded batts; and add-ins for blending with other fibers.  This ended up taking 5 bins, but it was all done.  Then we grabbed the last couple of empty bins and a large (huge) shopping bag for all the things that will be going away.

Finally I could see the floor again.  Regardless of what the doctor says, it may not be cardio, but it IS exercise.  There was a LOT of weight lifting during this project.  The bins may not be as heavy as some things, but they are large, and they do have weight. 

However, I'm thrilled to have so much stuff sorted out and getting ready to go away.  I won't have any time this weekend to really work on getting it marked as to what it is and how much it weighs, but I will be working on that next week.  As soon as things are weighed and marked, then they will start being photo'ed and listed for sale on Ravelry.  Or set aside specifically for swapping. 

My big christmas present from my grandmother finally arrived today.  She bought me a beautiful new drum carder.  (Okay, technically she sent me a check and I used that to buy the drum carder, but it comes down to the same thing.)  I fully intend to dig through the "GO AWAY" stuff and see if I can find some things that I want to blend together for spinning batts.  Somehow, I don't think it will be hard.

In other parts of the house, I have cleared a bit more space from the bedroom.  Next weekend I hope to be able to rotate the bed and see if I can do that without having to take it all apart again.  I think I am giving up on using my old bread machine for making bread dough.  Ever since buying the new bucket and paddle, the bread dough (for this specific bread) continues to not be kneaded enough.  Which causes problems when I proof the dough and bake it in the oven.  I am going to try a few of my mainstay bread machine breads to see if they work out properly.  If they do, then I will still keep the bread machine for them.  But if they don't, then I am not going to deal with it anymore.  I don't know which outcome I want to have happen.  I am quite capable of making bread without a bread machine.  I've been doing it for years.  But the bread machine is just so convenient.

However, having bread that actually rises properly would be a very nice change.  The bread made with the machine tastes good, but the dough is still at the shaggy stage where the gluten has not been developed enough for a smooth rise. 

I currently am working on moving around a few things so that I can get rid of my dining room table and chairs.  They will go up either on Craigslist or something.  They are in good shape, but I don't use them as a table.  I use them as a big desk.  And if I am going to do that, I'd prefer to buy a real desk.  The desk I am looking at either getting, or mimicking is one that has a bookcase on one side with essentially a table attached.  It's from Ikea and I just need to make sure it can support the weight of my printer and stuff.  The bookcase is made up of lots of square cubbies.  This would be great for a lot of my jewelry supplies and probably even some of my fiber stash.  Which would be lovely to have out of the way!

I also intend to buy a rolling kitchen cart to put the new drum carder on so that it can be rolled out of the way and rolled to where ever I need it.

I really want to have this stuff worked out by the end of spring.  Especially since summer is one of my main times for working on jewelry and new jewelry techniques.  I would really like to have a better place to work.

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