Thursday, May 31, 2007


Yesterday morning, Mike and I took the carshare car and drove up to Bucks County to visit my Ghia. She's been at the garage getting the once, twice, thrice-over in preparation for some upcoming body work. Mike drove the Ghia up the night I went to Maine and I'll admit I was nervous for the both of them... My car! My husband! My loves! But, he reported that she drove like a champ, especially after filling the tank with fuel (*sigh* one year and we've filled the tank only once... ). The first few times I went into the garage after the car was gone, it was a little odd. I mean, I no longer had to slither like a snake to get my bike off the wall. And, if our neighbors borrowed the extension ladder, I didn't have to back my car out. Or, if we wanted to use the shovel or the rake or any of those tools, I didn't have to hold my breath as I squeezed past the driver's side mirror. And, I haven't had to peek into the garage every time I walk by to make sure the makeshift shelf of paint cans hasn't fallen on the hood of my Ghia...

A week or so passed and I started to miss the car. Yeah, she's not exactly a daily driver right now, but still. Every morning I rode my bike, I would caress the tail-end of the car or trail my fingers over the script on the rear deck. It was part of my routine to see that cherry red 'vert twice a day, after all. But, I got used to the newly spacious garage. Mike got used to it even faster--no sooner had the car been dropped off at the garage and he pulled his motorcycle in. By the day of his graduation, just a few short weeks after taking the car out, our garage was full of old flower pots and window boxes, a tub of rock and busted cement, and half a dozen other things that, huh, suddenly had to be in the garage. It's as if the garage has the reproduction tendencies of rabbits.

So, I stopped missing the car and started kinda stressing about the amount of stuff in the garage. Until yesterday.

As we came upon the garage (having spent 10 or so miles lost in BucksCo), my heart did a little flip-flop when I saw this beauty sitting near the street:
kg buckso1
(click on the picture to read the notes)

And while the work needed to get the Ghia road-worthy (and inspection-passable) is extensive and expensive, autumn drives under canopies of orange, red, and yellow leaves are a *real* possibility this year.

How extensive is the work? How about some exploded diagrams!

The coupe, exploded. You can see the floor pans and rocker panels--these parts are around the numbers 10, 11, and 12.

VWheritageSideexploded copy
A 'vert in profile showing the lower body pieces that are integral to the car's structure.

VWheritageFloorexploded copy
Finally, an exploded view of the floorpans.

I've been torn these last few days--we got the estimate and it's high. As in HIGH. But, it's not as high as the first estimate. And, my friends and husband have done a nice job of convincing me that fixing this car is the right thing to do. My neighbor, a week or so ago, was pondering the fate of the Ghia with me (this was before we had the figures) and after I complained about the extent of repairs necessary, he said, "But if you'd gotten a complete Ghia, you'd have nothing more to dream of." My friend Monica said, in reply to my whining about the amount of money sunk so far into this endeavor said, "...there is no new car that exists that has the character, fun, and charisma that a Ghia has," and she should know--she has one herself!

So. Once the work gets started (sometime in the next couple of weeks), it'll take 4-6 weeks to finish. Then. THEN. Then anyone who wants can ride shotgun while I drive all over, smiling so wide my face aches.

Here she is, Miss Wheel-merica!

I went to La Boog with the intention of leaving with a Louet. So, what the FRICKE happened?

It was love at first twist...

Delta orifice. Sounds like an erotica title. PORN!

viva la spinning
If you know me at all, you are not surprised that my wheel has been personalized with a squirrel wearing a helmet and holding a grenade (or a nut...).

I like the Fricke. It has 5 gear ratios to Louet's 3 (which, dumbly enough, I didn't even realize until I was playing with Mr. Fricke and one of the fiber-lushes showed me how to change the speed. Color me retarded.). I tried the single treadle, but I do like the control a double treadle offers. The price was perfect--well within my budget (I had plenty of money left for fiber purchases). I didn't want to go above $500 on my first wheel for several reasons, though the two biggest ones were: I don't identify primarily as a spinner and I didn't want to invest in a wheel that may end up not getting used.

Of course, I can count on one hand the number of days I haven't spun since bringing the wheel home, so the second consideration was for naught... Still, the budgeted amount was a good guide, and I'm really happy with the Fricke.

There are, of course, some things that bug me a little bit. Some of them I can work with or learn to use to my advantage. Others may end up being advantages once I gain more spinning experience. One of the things that will improve with wheel adjustments: the band slips from ratio to ratio. This is nothing a stiff drink and some time spent on the deck with the wheel can't fix. For now, though, it makes me say, "FUCK" when the little bugger slips to a faster speed. I don't know if I'm explaining this thoroughly enough, but it's clear as mud in my head. Something that might improve with experience--holding the bobbin in one position when stopped. With the Louet I learned on, I got down the technique of freezing my feet on the pedals and keeping things from spinning while I drafted the next section. This kept the lead from twisting up on itself or around the bobbin.

I've been ploughing through my available fiber--check out the Spinning Set on Flickr!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

More pictures of the last month or so...

Totally out of order, but here're some recent shots.

I've finally learned how to make French knots. I now want to French knot everything. Even though I spent years trying to learn this stitch with no success, I still can't believe how easy it is. All this time, I've fought the knot. You must love the knot. Then, the knot will love you.

I bought a bunch of fiber while at the Booger Abode. I'm officially addicted to spinning. I dream of spinning. I spin while dreaming. It's a mess.

leafpeep swap
I spun this up for my Magic Ball swap partner. It's South African Fine in the Leaf Peep colorway. Gorgeous stuff. Sad to see it go, but I know it's in the hands of an appreciative knitter.

Lady Boog was kind enough to custom dye 4 ounces of Tussah silk for me. I don't know what to call this other than perfect: aubergines, chocolates, and petal pinks. I've got 2 ounces spun and 2 ounces to go before plying! Love. It.

Lovely little shop we passed while walking around Boston. Don't you just want one of each?

thai lunch
Yum, yum, yum. Mom and sis eating Thai food, drinking Thai iced tea, and preparing to shop out at Lush...

Still to come: pictures of the wheel, more knitting, and some Ghia news.

Graduation picture


Temple University can kiss his ass!

Friday, May 18, 2007

On the phone

Me: I remember where the silk is!
Mike: Oh? Good...
Me: Yeah, it's in the food scale.
Mike: What?
Me: The food scale... because I was measuring out two ounces of it.
Mike: Oh....
Me: Yeah, I remembered because here I am on the bus thinking I need to split the corriedale I'm spinning into two equal portions so when it comes time to ply, I've got some control over that, so I was thinking when I got home tonight I'd try to estimate based on total ounces what would be half and then I'd need to pull down the food scale and HEY, THAT'S WHERE I LEFT THE TUSSAH SILK SINCE I'D PROMISED MYSELF I WOULDN'T FORGET THAT LOCATION.

Last night, after everyone left and we had the place to ourselves, I was ready to spin the rest of my silk. Except, I couldn't find it. So, every commercial, every bathroom break, every drink refill, every unoccupied second was spent trying to find the fiber. I was certain I'd lost my mind. And while I may still be crazy, I at least now know where my silk is.