Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vintage Volkswagen

My little car has been at the garage since April 29. As far as restorations go, that's not too long a time. Still...

Last week, the body mechanic asked us to come up, check out the progress, and give him more money*. So, we reserved the PhillyCarShare car and headed up to BucksCo--even though I was terribly itchy, tired, sick, and just altogether miserable-feeling. Anyway, for about the last two weeks, I've been searching for pictures of Ghias in restoration (this is one of my favorite Ghia blogs, though it's no longer active). I wanted to prepare myself for the shock or awe, or both. I knew that what Carl was doing to my car was pretty involved--and most of that will be UNSEEN...

On to the photos... most of these have notes, so click them for even more Ghia goodies.

KG interior front flash
Against all garage and insurance regulations, I climbed the ladder to see inside the car while it was on the lift. I mean, it's my car! I have to see what they've done... Here, you see they've removed the carpeting from the interior, revealing loads of original color (blue!). The orange-y rust color here is glue residue.

KG interior towards passenger side
The seats were among the first things to be removed. You can see the passenger side door opening has a couple of 2x4s keeping the peace--this is to prevent the car from folding onto itself like a crunchy, rusty taco.

KGpass side repaired
The passenger side is practically done: the floorpan is in, the rocker panels and quarter panels welded, heater channel in.

KG under drivers side
In this shot, I walked under my car. Do you understand how excited I was to be under my car? I mean, considering and all... Anyway, you can really see the difference in the original size shot (all up there once you clickr to Flickr). The passenger side is done, the driver's side is scary. I think the note on this shot mentions something about a homemade patch...

KG under drivers side 2
The larger hole in this shot (towards the top of the picture) is under the pedals on the driver's side. I'm pretty sure I was about a winter and a half away from developing Fred Flintstone brakes. The smaller hole in the shot is under the seat. That is daylight (or, worklamp light) shining through. Nice.

KG rear view
Finally, the rear shot of the car on the lift.

I did learn some good things last week--the tires are newer and have very little wear. When the garage monkeys moved the car from the lot into the bay, she started without any fuss--even though she'd been sitting from quite some time. Quite a few BcuksCo people have asked to buy the car while it's been sitting at the garage. And, one last good thing, but it's huge and makes me a little nervous, too--she should be ready within two weeks. So that means soon, you all will have the chance to catch of a glimpse of this as I caravan about:

ghia in NJ

*Lesson learned these last few months: we definitely can save a shit-ton of money if we put our minds to it. Holy corncakes....

Friday, July 20, 2007

My cheating heart

Dear Boogie, I'm sorry. Love, Sqrl.


I went to Woolbearer's in late June and came home with 13 oz of mohair/border Leicester blend in delicious Azure and Cerulean blues. And you thought it was just turquoise...

blue fluff variation

This shot really shows off the color changes. Those color changes made for some fun spinning, too.

not a knot

Singles on the bobbin--the colors are much more apparent.

blue fluff on the radio

Plied... As of this morning, I was up to about 350+ yards, plied. It's mostly worsted with occasional freak-outs into semi-bulky.

I say freak-outs because this fiber behaves a little like a three-year-old. The batts haven't been thoroughly somethinged--whether that's carded, processed, washed, whatever... There've been a few snags that even diligent pre-drafting can't undo without damaging the staple. There's also a lot of non-fiber shedding--little pieces of the farm and some brittle black flecks seem to collect on my treadles. The yarn so far has not been dunked, so I do expect it to soften up some post-dunk and -thwack. If it doesn't chill out, though, it will make for great felting!

I bought a bunch of other fiber-y things at Woolbearers, including an ounce of rayon (to try), and some pencil roving (burgundy heathers!). I forget what I'd had in my arms before spying this sack of blue delight--I only remember quickly dropping what I had and laying claim to the bag. I'm spinning it in hopes of making something for dear old mom. She gets to see the yarn so far next weekend (you know, before we head out to Wicked).

Bonus: my second attempt at Navajo plying!

strawberryfields navajo

Yes, I match my pajama pants to my yarn du jour. Who doesn't?

strawberryfields navajo closer 2

A close-up of the plies. This fiber came last month... wait, that would be the month before last... as part of the FOTM Club. 4 oz of corriedale, Strawberry Fields. Not perfectly done, but much-improved over my first attempt at Navajo plying!

Spin me right round

Some time ago (before June 30th, at least), I finished spinning and plying the Tussah I bought back in late April (the observant among you will remember this is also when I got my wheel. COINCIDENCE? Unlikely.).

Here are some shots of the finished yarn:


I blogged about this back in May, as well. This shot is probably about halfway through the 8 ounces.

silk purple mountains majesty

And here it is, all done! Click the picture and you can find a much larger shot. Total yardage: just over 300. Weight: worsted or less. Intended project: a lacy scarf of my own design, probably on 8s or 9s.


Just a reminder of what we started with.

Thoughts on spinning with silk: I LOVE it. You can go really, really thin. Hindsight--I'd've waited to spin this up until I had a few more weeks or even months of practice on the new wheel. I've really gotten much better at spinning fine yarns--at least, inconsistently. But, more on that in an upcoming post. I like the toughness of silk--I could really manhandle the draw and not risk breakage. The colors are perfect for me--I only wish I had MORE MORE MORE of this to spin.

We're off to see the Wizard!

Motivation is a fickle bitch, coming when you least expect her. She visited me shortly after I lamented that I'd lost all motivation to finish Wicked. That was.... two weeks ago, maybe?

extreme close-up seaming party
I had a seaming party...

wicked blocking
And a block(ing) party.

And then I had a fashion party... Now, before we get to those shots, let me explain why these are all of sweaters and skirts on hangers: I've got poison ivy. Ladies, it's been so bad (two weeks) that I've not been able to shave my legs! People, I've been wearing long-sleeve shirts and pants during the let's-pretend-PHL-isn't-really-hotandhumid-but-it-is days we've had here. I've tried remedies a-plenty--Benadryl spray, Benadryl lotion, Calamine lotion, Caladryl clear, rubbing alcohol (the immediate burn was somewhat soothing), sea salt scrub (again, the BURN felt good), Tecnu scrub, clear nail polish, and everything EXCEPT Zantel. You know, the $40 remedy? Even though it came highly recommended and even though I was thoroughly cautioned about its prohibitive price, when I was standing in Rite Aid and faced with the choice, I opted for Benadryl spray and some Haagen Daaz. WHO ELSE AGREES WITH THAT LOGIC???

bachelor number 1
This skirt was the reason for the yarn purchase. You've all seen it up here before, you've all probably thought the two were made for each other. I once thought the same.... Then, saw this:

bachelor number 2
...and I thought, oh, what a night! Er, uh... Actually, I thought it was a better match, a dark horse, an unlikely champion. Just enough green of the same shade without overpowering the naked eye with 500 shades of green. Yeah. I'm asking your opinion on the two so far, but you know I've already made my decision.

bachelor number 3
Which leaves me with #3. My favorite black pants (more details when you click the photo). If the steroids don't work their magic (yes, I'm on 'roids. I went to the doctor yesterday after developing joint pain, headaches, and a sore throat on top of my persistent poison ivy), I'm opting for this combination--the only thing worse than unshaven legs is spotty, oozy, flaking, itchy legs.

For the full Wicked set, click here.

Monday, July 16, 2007

To begin or to finish...

A few years ago, I started a cabled sweater. I plowed through the back, and psyched myself up for the front just in time to hit a knitting rut. I've stash-inized (that's organized the stash) a few times since stopping on this sweater, each time carefully unfolding and then re-folding the back piece.

I was ready to pick it up and finish it about a year ago, but quickly realized that the size I'd been knitting was no longer the size I needed. My friend Anj had some suggestions for saving the work I'd done on the back (rather than, you know, frog the whole thing...).

  • Dunk and block the finished piece to see what happens. Do the stitches shrink a bit? Does the wool bloom? Does the weight of the fabric distort the section to a point beyond return?
  • Knit the front piece a few stitches smaller (or, even, a whole size smaller), then piece the smaller front with the slightly larger back).
  • Steek it!

All I know is I'm itching for a finished sweater! I know, it's the triple H's here in the PHL. Why oh why might I want to knit myself a sweater? Well.... Because I finished a sweater. Wicked is DONE. Blocked. Almost perfect! I really, really, really will have pictures (tomorrow night? Maybe?), though for now, there's Ravelry.com (regular readers will note that the only new information on Wicked is that it's done and there were mods...).

That's the finish option. The other sweater I've got rolling around in my head is one that uses up the 10 or so skeins I have of Cascade Pastaza... I've had the Pastaza in the stash for about a year now--I went a little crazy when Craig at Loop stopped carrying it and put his stock on sale. I bought one of each available color: blues, greens, reds, pinks... Just enough that altogether, it would make a lovely sweater. The color combination, however, made it difficult to envision. Difficult, that is, until last week, when I dreamt (yes, I dream of yarn and knitting. Don't you?) of a chevron cardigan.

So, the question is: do I stay the course and work on a somewhat-existing sweater, or do I explore uncharted sweat-itory (that's sweater territory)? The answer is obvious--BOTH! So, it sounds like I've got some blocking, swatching, and calculating to do this week...

Monday, July 09, 2007

Much madness!

The Phillyfiberists group is having a dye-your-own day in a couple of weeks and not wanting to be left out, I just bought some undyed yarn. I got two hanks of the merino wool lace weight--at 880 yards each, that's a lotta yarn--from Knitpicks.com. Not sure what I want to do with these color-wise: do I do each the same? Do I try to stripe one, kettle-dye the other? Do I really need 1760 yards of lace weight? Probably not.... I'm already imagining one of the finished hanks as a gift to someone. Maybe.

I also got a hank of the superwash merino/nylon/donegal and merino/nylon in fingering weight. LIKE I NEED MORE SOCK YARN. Still, this is less about the yarn and more about the dye. Then, once the dye has dried--then it will be about the sock yarn. I'm really interested to see how the donegal dyes up--I'll definitely do that hank a semi-solid color.

To round out my Knitpicks order, I threw in some circs (two sets of 16" 2s, one set of 32" 2s--to try out the Magic Loop), and Interweave's Favorite Socks--since I don't have most of the patterns already, it'll nicely round out my pattern stash.

I've been spinning (though not the angora *pets*), but I've also been plowing through another sock... BIG SURPRISE. I'm working on RPM from Knitty, for Mike. I'm using well-marinated stash yarn: Lana Grossa Meilenweit Cotton Fantasy #807, purchased way back in January '05. I bought it in a fit of check-out angst, feeling somewhat sheepish (HA!) with my paltry purchase of Brittany dpns (though, really, not paltry--Brittany dpns remain my favorite). I clearly remember turning to Mike and asking, "Would you like socks out of this?" I think I'd managed to knit *a* pair of socks the month before... Anyway. RPM. Short-row heels. My first successful attempt. Well--partially successful. I'll post about that later--I need to take some photos of the issues first.

Please, dear knitters, tell me how to get re-motivated to finish my Wicked sweater. I've only got a couple more weeks....

Sunday, July 08, 2007


I can't sleep. So, I've been surfing various spinning sites. Man... if I wasn't content to stay up here on the 2nd floor, I'd go downstairs and spin about 1,000 different things. Perhaps I'd start with the angora I picked up today--at the Kutztown Festival! The lovely ONE OUNCE (which I spent the last half of the Fest petting at random and then forcing my husband and mother to pet on the way home) is courtesy of Winston, a creamy, fluffy bunny. I think I might take the fluff to Dye Your Own Fiber day in two weeks...

So, mom came up this morning and she commented on the amount of handspun yarn I have. Honestly, people, I don't know where all this handspun yarn came from! Apparently I've developed an addiction to spinning. It's such that I don't remember when I've spun or what I've spun. It's so bad that the wheel I borrowed from Miss Purlewe--the one that is still sitting in my house and was just collecting dust--got some action this week because all of my Fricke bobbins were full.

Anyway, here are some completely randoms:

For the I-don't-know-how-many-times time, I've stopped biting my nails. I think it took about 6 weeks worth of chewing on them to the quick before I smacked myself upside the head.

The cat has literally humped the stuffing out of his humpie sock. Is it wrong that I knit him this sock? Is it even more wrong that I'm considering either a) darning the current one, or b) knitting a new one?

I practiced piano yesterday for the first time in, like, months. I was even able to sight-read some music.

I've been biking in a higher gear and I've shaved some minutes off my commute. This is both good and insane. Good for obvious reasons, insane because I shouldn't be passing traffic unless traffic is stopped or slowed...

I had a birthday!

I bought two new-to-me antique cameras today, bringing the total antique camera count to 5 (I think). If we include digital, polaroid, and film... I think we'd have a total of 12 or more cameras.

Somehow, I've managed to grow a Lush stash. Don't ask me--I just live here.

Friday, July 06, 2007


I have LOADS to update, but today's not the day....

So, soon, you'll get to read all about:
Azure border leicester/mohair blend
pencil roving
graduation party
and more.

I've been super busy with work and usually dozing off with Law and Order playing on the television. When I'm not working or sleeping, I've been knitting, spinning, and designing. Oh, and reading--I'm up to 27 books this year, with 28 started earlier this afternoon.

I'm officially putting in a request for more hours per day.