Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Wow, it's my birthday, how about that. I should make myself a cake. :)

I've been lame about posting - but I did finally get the blue/black Zephyr/bamboo scarf off of my little loom, and I've got half the fringe twisted. I'm hopeful that I'll have it completely twisted, washed and dried very soon! In the meantime, I'm warping the silk/rayon chenille yarn that I wound into balls before Mr. Conall was born.

Managed to get to playgroup this morning, Bella had a lot of fun, as usual. The teacher ("Miss Colleen") is fantastic, and really likes Ms. B, which helps (Bella can be kind of shy).

Meant to post a pic of Bella sitting on a snow chair that Papi (Carlos) made for her...

Cute, huh?

Friday, January 19, 2007

Knitting Hats

Hey, it actually snowed a little last night and this morning! Fun! Bella and Carlos are out playing in it, Conall is actually napping a bit, and I'm fighting with Adobe to download some photos. Don't know why I'm having trouble today, harumph.

Anyway, I've had my hands pretty full since Mr. Conall put in his appearance, and when I have had a minute to myself I've been knitting. I tend to go on little knitting jags - I'll get really involved in a new project for a few days and then my attention span expires and the project sits unfinished for months or even forever. Do all knitters have this problem?

A great solution to it, though, is hats - especially hats for babies/toddlers! Easy to knit (I'm hardly an expert) and I generally manage to finish them (I'm a pretty slow knitter, too) before losing interest. So, here are two hats I just finished...

Theoretically, the cloche on the left (knitted from some hand-dyed yarn I picked up at the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool Festival last fall) is for Conall. It's still kind of big for him.

And the cupcake hat (with the kind of lame pom-pom) on the right is for Ms. Bella - but it's kind of small for her, though it does go on. Cute pattern, huh? I found it on-line....

I altered the colors a little (pink does not get along with red-haired Bella) but it came out pretty good, I think - and I managed to knit it pretty quickly, too, on some pesky double pointed needles, which always feel pretty awkward using.

Oop! Frozen Toddler Bella and Papi have come inside for some hot cocoa - and my Mum just arrived too, have to scoot!

Monday, January 15, 2007


Go Pats!

Just had to say that. I'm generally more of a Red Sox kind of gal, but, man, that was a heck of a game by Tom Brady and the Pats yesterday. A real nail-biter, I almost couldn't watch! We'll see how they do against the Colts next weekend (gulp)...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Skiing Part of Skiingweaver

Hey, you may have noticed that the url for this blog/my etsy store are actually skiingweaver.blogspot/ And I haven't even talked at all about skiing!

Mostly because we haven't gone yet this year - me being hugely pregnant being the major obstacle there, lol. But also because we've been having a freakishly warm winter so far in New England. It's been crazy! Warmest December on record, EVER. Nice for the heating bills (and for people concerned about going into labor during a snowstorm...), terrible for skiers. Happily, places in Northern New England, like our favorite, Stowe, have stayed cold enough to make snow and get some snow, but the more Southern resorts are struggling from what I hear. And man-made snow is horrible in comparison to the real stuff.

We are hoping Bella (soon-to-be-3 year old daughter) will be able to really learn this year. We had her stomping around the yard on little mini-cross-country skis last year (too cute) and she really enjoyed that. And I've hiked up a bunny hill and skied down holding her, much to her delight, but that's about the extent of it at this point. But three is about when kids are strong/coordinated enough to start to learn to ski (older for snowboarding), and she's a very coordinated kid, with a good sense of balance, I think she'll pick it up pretty quickly. And be skiing circles around us by the time she's 10...

We downhill ski, obviously, snowboard, and cross-country - we both converted to telemark skis a couple years back, actually, for downhill. I get out my little slalom skis for early season rock skiing and on really icy days, or when I feel the need for speed, but I really love telemarking. It's really difficult! (Your heel is free for telemarking, and you do sort of a lunge for each turn, unlike on regular downhill bindings, where your heels are fixed to the ski.) Nice for a change - we've both skied long enough at this point (neither Carlos nor I learned to ski until after college, it's an expensive sport) that we can pretty much ski anything you throw at us if we're on normal downhill skis. About the only challenge on the East Coast at this point is Goat. (That's a Stowe reference. in case you're curious.)

We were lucky enough to ski all over the West before Bella came along and slowed us down a bit - and absolutely fell in love with Alta, in Utah. Amazing. Gorgeous. Incredible, incredible powder. You see it, you can ski it. Devil's Castle. Kathrine's Area. Unbelievably fun. No snowboarding, but Snowbird is right next door (literally) and you can snowboard there... We actually learned to snowboard at another Utah resort - Brighton - in about a foot of fresh snow. Makes all that falling down a lot more fun! We skied a lot in Colorado, too, and went to Taos quite a few times (another skiing only resort, but that was before we learned to board) but Alta is really my favorite. Although, the HGTV Dream House this year is at Winter Park, CO! (We've skied there, it was fun! Yup, we're entering the contest every day, I'd give you the url but I don't want you to enter, lol!)

These days we tend to go to little Waterville Valley, which is less than two hours up the road from us, in New Hampshire. It's a really nice little mountain, the lift tickets are reasonably priced (the season passes are a real steal), and it's just got a nice atmosphere. Last winter the snow was terrible (pure ice - and when I say ice, I mean ice, not like the little bit of crunchy stuff wimpy Western skiers complain about - I mean blue sheets of ice) but the winter before I finagled a baby-sitting arrangement with my Mum and would scoot up there to ski for a couple hours on Friday mornings. No lift lines, lovely views (it's in a National Forest), sweet. And we skied nearly every Sunday with Bella in tow, taking turns watching her in the lodge while the other person skied. It's not a very challenging mountain, but it is fun, and an easier drive for the munchkins at this point.

I really REALLY miss Stowe, though! We rented a house there for the season two years in a row and I got completely spoiled, skiing nearly every weekend all winter - and one of those years was an epic snow year, and we really got to know the mountain, venturing into the backcountry, etc. We would absolutely love to live near there someday - the only problem being how to pay for it! (Hard to find a job in hubby's line of work there, though there used to be some in Burlington...)

Anybody want a baby update? Conall is doing great, he's already regained his birthweight, and Bella is doing a great job as a big sister. Thank goodness Carlos is home from work this week and next, we'll see how it goes when he goes back and isn't around to keep Bella entertained! Yikes!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Perfect Son (formally known as Rotten Son)

Conall Rafael Munoz is here! He was born on Monday morning at 9:02 a.m., is 20" long and weighed 8 pounds, 12 1/4 oz. at birth. We just got home from the hospital this morning, and everyone seems to be doing really well, Bella (daughter) included.

You forget how tiny newborns are; Bella feels like a giant in comparison to him, when, in reality, she's still just little herself. Has all his fingers and toes, a ferocious little scowl, black hair and blond eyebrows, we'll see what happens there... (Bella had red eyebrows from the get-go, but her hair was red when she was born.)

Oh, and for the mystically inclined, he was born with a caul. (Very surprising since the midwife stripped my membranes...) (ah, birthing, so glamorous! lol)

(The "Legend" part is the interesting part.)

I just realized that everyone but me is napping. Hmmm. Think I'll go join them.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Nerd Test Part Two - Now I'm REALLY Laughing!!

Ooooh, boy, I got Carlos (hubby) to take the nerd test. Get a load of this score, folks:

I am nerdier than 95% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

And the comment he got was:

All hail the monstrous nerd. You are by far the SUPREME NERD GOD!!!

I knew he'd score higher than me, heehee. Now, in his defense, he is a Professional Nerd (he's an analog design engineer - an E.E.). And contrary to what you're thinking, he's not a pencil-necked geek, he's lovely. See?

Carlos, in Segovia (Spain), on our honeymoon, eons ago (Oct. 2000). He probably hates this pic, but I like it. :)

Still, though, too funny, that's an insanely high score for somebody who doesn't act all that nerdly in life. Then again, super-nerd that I am, my view of nerdly is probably *really* skewed.

Design thoughts...

So, given that I'm an Irish sort of girl, I've been trying to think of ways to get some fun Celtic knots/symbols/spirals/tree of life, etc., graphics into my weaving.

I've been aware of using devore for surface design of handwovens for quite a while, but the latest issue of handwoven magazine ( - a good basic resource, some months I love it, some months it could go directly into the trash) has an article about the process that finally got me thinking about how to apply it to my own work.

Since shadow-weave uses two colors, generally (or two shades, etc.), I could use an animal fiber such as wool, cashmere or silk yarn for one color and a cellulose fiber such as Tencel or my beloved Bamboo, for the other color. The devore process involves burning out/eating away the cellulose fibers in controlled areas, which leaves just the animal fiber behind in those areas... Might be really interesting with, say, a hand-dyed variegated cashmere or wool yarn (like the one I bought from Fearless Fibers...). Using shadow weave might also result in a little bit of float in the burned out areas, which I think would make it that much more interesting.

Hmmmm. Might be time to get out my graph paper and figure this out for real.

Anyway, after a piece is woven, I could burn out an area along the length of the scarf/shawl/whatever (wall hanging??) in this shape, e.g.:

(Image courtesy of:

The trick will be to pick a shadow weave design that won't be too busy/detract too much from the burn-out motif...

Can't wait until I can start dying my own yarn again (nasty chemicals not good while pregnant), I could also paint some lovely shaded warps that gradually change color from one end of the piece to the other that would show up in the devore sections.

Just my latest thoughts! I should go weave a little now before my back calls it quits for the day, especially since lovely hubby is around to watch/play with equally lovely daughter.

Oh - and I'm tickled pink that someone posted a comment about my absurdly high nerd score. LOL. Hey, somebody besides my mother read my blog!! Wow!!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

LMAO - Too Funny!!

OK, so I ran across this quiz and took it....

I am nerdier than 86% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Oy. OK, so I'm incredibly nerdly. Can I help it if I know what RPN stands for?? Just when I thought I had escaped...

And the really funny thing is, as part of the results, they make a wise-ass remark and say:

High-Level Nerd. You are definitely MIT material, apply now!!!.

Ahem. Yeah. Guess where I went for my undergrad degree?? (Yup, MIT.) And if I get an 86, I can only imagine what my hubby would get!!

On the other hand, I may just be too cool for school...

I am 7% loser. What about you? Click here to find out!

Weaving, Winding and Waiting

I've been working on another bamboo/zephyr scarf, this time in two shades of blue and black, and I think it's very yummy. Here it is, in progress, on my little four-shaft loom:

It's a little hard to see the pattern, but it's the rosepath shadow-weave again, but simpler, with just one wide stripe, and I'm really liking it quite a bit... I used the Fibonacci sequence to plan the stripes in the purple/black scarf (below) but stepped away from it a little bit for this scarf (3, 2, 6 - 6?, oh well, it looks good to my eye...). A little less busy than the previous version (3, 2, 5, 1) and I think a little cleaner because of that.

I'm trying to weave some each day, but it's getting a bit difficult, physically, to sit at my loom for any real length of time.

So, I've been winding yarn, too! :) A while ago I got four HUGE hanks of silk/rayon chenille yarn in rosewood and champagne and I've been avoiding dealing with getting the yarn into a more usable form. My kingdom for a yarn swift and ball winder! But, I've finally gotten around to starting to wind the skeins into balls.

Pretty, hunh? It's really soft to the touch even before weaving/wet finishing, it will be fun to see how it feels after I weave with it.

Apart from that, I'm just waiting. Waiting for Rotten Son to decide to greet the world. My official due date is tomorrow, but I've felt ready for quite a while now... I had my weekly checkup with my midwife this morning and if he doesn't decide to put in his appearance on his own, I'm going to be induced next Friday, probably. Joy. Not what I want, but he's getting really big and we don't want him to wind up hurt, after all (babies that are too big can wind up with a dislocated shoulder or even a broken collarbone - not good!).

It's a bit of a let-down, honestly, since I managed a completely natural childbirth with my daughter (25 hours of labor, a good deal of it back labor, sometimes I think I'm crazy to be doing that again - and whoever said you forget all about it LIED LIED LIED, lol). But the important thing is a healthy baby, after all. And I really want to meet this little guy! I want to see if he has his Papi's lovely dimples! Or his sister's red (!!) hair! (NOT likely, Carlos has even darker hair than me, the red was a shocker...) Well, with any luck he'll be born on his due date, just like his sister was (talk about setting a tough precedent...)

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

To Buy or Not To Buy...

Hmph. So, Webs is having their year-end sale ( and I'm mulling over buying some mill-end silk/wool yarn for a really fantastic price. Not sure why I'm even hesitating over it really, except maybe because I'm feeling shopped out after Christmas... Also thinking of buying some yummy alpaca/silk yarn from Webs, too, even though it's not on sale - it's exactly the type of fiber I love to work with.

I did manage to get over it and buy some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn at etsy from Fearless Fibers (, check it out:

Doesn't that look scrumptious?? It's cashmere - I've never worked with cashmere before, it's going to be fun. Yum yum. Might have to keep that for myself...

Oh, just go spend some money, Kristin, you're running out of the good stuff anyway, you've been a productive weaver lately!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Well, that made my day...

A very nice thing happened to me at etsy today. :)

When you really like someone's shop, or an item someone has made, you can select the item or the shop as one of your favorites, sort of like bookmarking it. But etsy also tracks how many people have marked you and your items as favorites, and you can see those stats from any store's front page.

At any rate, another handweaver, whose work I *really* respect, gave my shop a heart! How cool is that?? Check out his shop:

Our weaving styles are different, but he really does beautiful work - twisted fringes, precise, beautiful weaving (look at the selvedges on his pieces - the edges - no bumps or wavies, a sign of a very good weaver), gorgeous fibers, classic design and color schemes. (And he's got the picture taking thing down pat, argh, lol.)

And he gave me a heart (and some very nice compliments in a private conversation)! Heehee, I feel like I just got a gold star from the teacher or something (I'm such a nerd).

It is interesting, though, how many style possibilities there are once you really get into weaving. There are sooo many weave structures to choose from... I've dabbled in overshot, doubleweave, rep weave, twills, turned twills on multiple shafts, some tapestry work (talk about time consuming, whoah), lace weaves, supplemental warps, etc. And then there are all the fantastic fibers out there from very fine silks and linens to thicker wools (handspun, hand-dyed, you name it). Throw color into the mix and it can be overwhelming! There's so much to learn...

It's been a long process for me to try to pick a weave structure that is interesting enough to hold my attention for more than just a couple pieces - so far, shadow weave is doing it for me, and I've got lots of ideas for how to take the structure even further floating around in the back of my head... I really love doubleweave, also, just because of the amazing variety of designs you can produce with it and the complexity of the design process. Overshot appeals because it's such a traditional weave (think of those classic Colonial coverlets, though I definitely update the color aspect of things when I work in overshot - that's what I'm doing in the little pic of me at the top of this blog). All three of these structures appeal to me, overall, because they result in fabrics that you don't normally see being mass-produced by factories...

At any rate, it's been a wonderful journey so far, and getting compliments from people that have been at it for a much longer time than me just gives me the determination to continue. Thanks Fred!