Monday, October 31

Halloween Wrap-up

A short guide to Awesome halloween decorations in under 3 hours.

White sheets and pillows make haunting ghosts.

Excess spider webbing all over your bushes.

An Imp-designed Jack O’Lantern.

Paper Lanterns (these were fun and the tea lights lasted ALL night long.)

It was rather marvelous! I had a great time. I ran into some friends who graduated high school at the same time I did. They were totally trick-or-treating! It made me kind of jealous.

Best costume of the night? The little girl as Darth Vader. I was a little unsure at first whether she was a boy with long hair, or a girl as Darth Vader, in this culture just because a person has long hair doesn’t automatically make them a girl, but her Dad called her by her very feminine name. I said “She picked out that costume all by herself.” He smiled and said yes.

All of the babies in animal outfits made me squeal, their parents got extra candy because I loved the babies so much.

Last Night of Dragon and Arachne

Mei-Mei went to a friend’s neighborhood to trick-or-treat. Imp as a Chinese Lady got quite a haul in our neighborhood with Dad dressed as the ‘man in black’. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of the Chinese Lady Imp, but it was very good. I elaborated on Mei-Mei’s makeup and it turned out pretty well if I say so myself.

I’m going to miss Halloween. Now I need to get some sleep to make up for all the nights I stayed up helping and decorating.

 Good Night and Happy All Saint's Day!

Tune in Tomorrow for the Beginning of Hat Hell.

Thursday, October 27

Organizational woes

It’s time for another round of “WHAT WAS I THINKING! Oh, that’s right. I WASN”T!”

It’s a pretty fun game; you get to castigate yourself for all of the unthinking purchases you made over the last forever of your life.  This time, it is not my bitter friend and foe, squeaky acrylic, but cotton.

I got 5 colors of cotton in England.  I thought they were pretty and silky and I had plans to somehow make them fun socks.  (Don’t ask me how; I was without a brain at the time.)  I still think they are pretty and silky and since I paid for them with pounds, I am even more unwilling to let them vanish from my stash.  This is a huge problem because they become tangled messes with a mere touch.

Yes, I like tangles, but even I reach a point where my right hand knows not what my left hand does.  In this case... sinister Lefty (ha ha... all you who’ve taken Latin should laugh and then feel shame) wants to creep toward the scissors sitting so prettily in a blown glass vase.  Lefty hasn’t won yet, but it’s been a close battle.  Very close.

Out of the 10 skeins purchased,  the 5 colors all came with 2 skeins, I have duh-duh-da!  2 wound, unknotted balls.  This hard work was achieved while watching Legally Blonde by myself... and then with Momar and Mei-Mei because they missed it.

In all, this cotton reminds me of the silk I encountered at “The Needle Lady”.  A skein was purchased and then wound into a ball, but the attendant hid the center pull because this silk became nasty and knotty when pulled from the center.  This cotton is nasty whichever way, but in balls... it doesn’t get to tangle with itself.  Hopefully, it will be beautiful when it is knit or crocheted into something.  Right now, I am just left with inventive invectives against the puffy white plants that made this yarn happen.

 image courtesy of
 How I curse you! I curse and curse you!

Tuesday, October 25

A Brag post?

Do you know what?

I’d hate to be like other blogs that brag all the time about their wonderful husbands.. but really, I can’t help it. Alpha is just too awesome for words. He stayed up all night and then in the morning proceeded to make baklava bites for my book group tonight. (Yeah, I hang out with awesome older women and talk about books. That’s just how I roll.) He was worried that they were too salty and put strawberries on top. I would have taken a picture, but they were too delicious and I inhaled them with the help of Momar, Guru, and another lady. The picture below might give you a hint of what we indulged in, but it doesn't do it justice. Firstly, you can't recreate taste and secondly, there were strawberries on ours.

Image courtesy of The Food Network

We read The Curse of Chalion for this month. I love that book. I reach a point when I just can’t put it down and then I end up screwing up my fragile sleep schedule again.

I wish this post related somehow to spinning or knitting... but it doesn’t. It’s just a brag post about the awesome treats that Alpha makes for me all the time.

Sunday, October 23

Weekend Plans- recap

Well... we went to the renaissance festival.

It was fun, but I suspect that I have reached the stage where a sheep shearing would have been more awesome. Alpha had a good time though, that’s what counts. We checked out some of the shops, overall they weren’t as enthralling as when I was younger. I kept walking around going “I can do that. Or I could learn to do it really easily.”

Also, the cigarette smoke really killed me. Only the smell of cinnamon sugar nuts abated it at all. There was a reason why I hung around those stands and was tempted to buy more than I ought.

Here is a picture of Alpha wearing a glutton sign. He’s not a glutton, really... he’s been working on losing weight and has lost a fair amount since the summer. We also saw a Gandalf playing games, a Sir Bedevere from The Holy Grail and I took a couple pictures with my phone here and there. I am trying to get better at taking pictures.

Renaissance food is expensive. Luckily, it’s pretty much all that Alpha and I spent. We like food experiences. I’ve grown to like them more than object-experiences since we are living in a tiny space.  The only thing that we bought was a 1lb. glass of pepper honey.  (Still counts as food though.) The things that really sparked my interest were things with sheep on them, a candle, a mug. The two things I would have bought were a pin with “wibbly, wobbly, timey, wimey” written on it and a knitting bowl. The knitting bowl is an awesome idea and I am tempted to make Alpha make one for me. (Of course, I could make one for myself out of polymer clays, but the glazes are so pretty.)

All in all, a pretty good time, but I certainly feel like I’ve outgrown the scene. Shearing Celebrations happen twice a year, so there’s always the spring.

Here are some other highlights: In order, Gandalf playing mind games, Sir Bedevere, 'Ye Olde Gamery', Alpha at the entrance, the towers are the entrance. It was fun.

Friday, October 21


I am making hats as part of a service project for church. In this area, it gets pretty cold (not Maine cold or anything... but there has been blizzards in the area)  and there are kids who don’t have winter hats and scarves. It’s a good service and I get to demonstrate and teach a talent that I have worked on for years.

It’s also a way to get rid of yarn stash.
This particular yarn was donated and it is obviously a Red Heart brand yarn. I can feel it in every stitch I make. It’s... squeeky. Still, the colors are fun... but mixed together it turns into something fun and ugly... fungly.

Alpha hastens to point out that “fungly”, if it were a word,  is a portmanteau. A combination of two words to make a new word. It’s sometimes fun to have an English major Alpha. He makes criticisms and books interesting to think about. (And that’s not even getting into the discussions and criticisms that we get into after plays and movies. I am so glad that I got married to him because who else would talk about subtle themes, inconsistencies and Hollywood propaganda with me?)

Fungly hats... awesome.

Thursday, October 20

What should my weekend plans be!

Renaissance Festival or Fall Shearing Celebration? Oh, oh, OH! I am so torn. What do I do? The decision is coming up and I still don’t know what to do this weekend.

Juniper Moon Farms Sheep Shearing Celebration- where I could network, bond with sheep and possibly stop in Charlottesville at my favorite yarn store “The Needle Lady” and eat gelato. (downside, spending money)


Renaissance Festival 2011, where people wear costumes I love, scouting the scene for a future booth, sharing the experience with Alpha who has never been to one. (It costs money, but it’s closer and the exorbitant rates of the shops will keep us from buying the beautiful things we love.)

It’s a hard decision. I wish I had more Saturdays in October. Or that the fun things didn't all happen on the same day.

Gorgon's Knot

Inspired by Spindles and Spices... and a facebook friend getting into knitting, I have decided to [re]organize my yarn stash/ needles/ hooks. I have things is separate places right now because the stash is large, I am living in a small space and I am too lazy to put the yarn back into the stash hole after I do one project. That and my riffling around cause some serious damage to my neatness. I am like a gerbil trying to make my pine bedding comfortable, except I am a rat and the bedding is a pile of yarn. (I am tempted to photograph this as it seems like something I would do anyway.)

So, given my love affair with losing things, I tend to riffle through my yarn a lot and that causes some problems since yarn balls and skeins don’t hold up well to rampant riffling. A nice yarn ball will end up going from this... to this.
It's like looking into the mouth of hell.
I think the tail end in the tangled mass is just there to mock you. It makes you think that it’s one strand of yarn, that there is an end, when it fact it’s the infinite loop like unto the gorgon’s knot. Alexander the Great could only solve that puzzle buy cheating. In one version he cuts the knot in half, in the other the puzzle was simply to separate the horse from the cart by undoing the knot and he just unhooks the horse without dealing with the knot at all.

I am not Alexander the Great. First, I am a woman and Alpha would be distressed if I were Alexander, second I have patience for knots. I don’t have patience for anything else, but I can while away hours undoing knots that have formed in my yarn. I suppose that I sabotage myself by allowing my yarn to get tangled, so I can untangle it again. Some people spend hours playing video games, I spend hours playing with tangled yarn.

So while I am not taking a picture of the before state, that pleasure is mine and Alpha’s alone, I will happily share the aftermath, after hours and hours... you’ll see it sometime.

Wednesday, October 19

Halloween- 13 days away!

I love Halloween. It’s my favorite holiday... though Thanksgiving and Christmas come in close. Candy and costumes kind of trumps food and gifts. (I love the meaning of the other holidays more, but for pure fun, you can’t beat Halloween.) I have a Halloween box of decorations that I have bought over time (and for sale after the event). My family was kind of surprised at my box, though Mei-Mei thought it was the coolest thing ever. Mei-Mei even conscripted me to make her an awesome-cool costume, to which I readily agreed. (We are set on Dragon right now... it will be cool.)
I love to dress up too. This year I tried to figure out what I wanted to do. I’ve been a cat, a Medieval Lady, a pirate... I took a make-up course and was even a man. Recently I was in the middle of rehearsals in college and couldn’t devote a great deal of time for a costume. Also, there weren’t any little trick-or-treaters to sweeten the deal of answering the door in costume. Although, it was great to costume up for no good reason. I reviewed the things that I like to do, and spinning hit the top of the list for cool factor. I could knit, but did I really want to be a Granny? Old-age make-up is cool... but why be a grandma for Halloween when I could be a Fate, or an Agent of Death or a NINJA! So I decided to be Arachne. Instead of weaving, (I am so sorry weavers, but I am not one of you just yet) I will spin. Spiders spin, Arachne can spin too. (Costumes plans and details will be posted soon.)

Tuesday, October 18

Maryland Renaissance Festival 2011

I need to do some research. This is the same need as needing to eat ice cream after wisdom tooth extraction, maybe not necessary, but oh, so necessary.

I have looked on the website and found a lot of woodworking, leather working and art. I did not find a single spinning booth. No spinning! I know I am a little out-there, deranged and weird, but wouldn’t it be AWESOME to have a Handspun store in the Renaissance festival? Regardless of my opinion, it would be totally awesome. I need to find out what they offer and if there is a market for that kind of thing. You know, just in case I don’t get an adult-person job and must pan-handle a living.  You could also sell spindles and wool for kids to learn. And offer lessons. It would be interesting and potentially useful, unlike some of the other things that are marketed to kids. (Please don't hurt me...)

If any spinners take this idea over, I respectfully demand a job.

Monday, October 17

URL explanation

Have you ever played those picture games? The ones where where it illustrates a common word or phrase, i.e. the word “thinking” printed outside of a box? “Thinking outside the box.” Here’s a new one for you.

So my url is kind of awesome. I tried to get but someone else already had it. It’s okay. I decided that geekoversheep was a better description anyway as sheep geek might imply a sheep who is also a geek, or a herd of geeks. Geeking out over sheep is the idea I am going for, though imagining Doctor Who pole-vaulting over a sheep sends me into fits of giggles.

(I think the third Doctor fits in with sheep. He’s got a wooly head himself. And then there’s that scarf, too.)

I do geek over sheep. I have a squeal of “SHEEP!” every time I see one, which is rather interesting for those in enclosed in small spaces with me. I don’t burst their eardrums, but I am cautioned that repetitions may cause loss of hearing further down the line. I speak with sheep; I caress them and hope someday I may chase after a herd of my own, like a dog.

So, is mine indeed.

Let the games begin!

Once upon a time, there was a girl who wanted to do all the cool things that her mom did.  She wanted to knit and crochet and sew and do physics... well, not really physics, but then who could blame her?  Anyway, she asked her mom to teach her to do these things... but no matter what they did, the little girl could not learn how to crochet or knit.  It was a frustrating time for all.

Then one day, the little girl found a book that explained how to crochet.  She finally learned!  Then she decided to learn to knit from a book and she learned that too.  She was very happy.  She made large afghans and small scarves.  The little girl grew up, found a wonderful alpha male and then learned the purl stitch before she got married.

The girl and her Alpha went on a trip to England, where the little girl found a yarn store in Canterbury and bought sock yarn and double pointed needles . A new page was turned.  She started making socks all the time.

Then the little girl became interested in something that she never thought she’d be interested in.  Physics.  Of course, it wasn’t the same physics her mom did, but it was kind of close.  You see, the little girl learned to spin.

So I now embark on a new obsession and quest (not for the Holy Grail) to learn to spin and teach others the talents and skills necessary to denude a sheep and clothe yourself.  On this journey, you may encounter references to family and friends, but for the purpose of not being stalked I will disguise them all!  The people you see in pictures may look like people you know, but you are being fooled by advanced picture technology!

  • Alpha- my husband.  A sweet, wonderful man who agreed to marry me.  Little did he know... He would probably still agree to marry me... but his acceptance would be peppered with caveats and compromises.
  • Momar- a pet name for my Mom, the physicist.
  • Dad- doesn’t have a nickname... though I could call him the Gamer.  Dad is better though.
  • Imp-  is my sister and she is one.
  • Mei-mei- my youngest sister.  She is sweetly indulgent to my madcap adventures, often aiding and abetting them.  We may not rob a bank together (both of us value the law) but we will raid the library and engage in tickle wars. 
There you have it! You may encounter other encoded names, I am not a social hermit, despite my inclinations. Have fun unraveling the names, but not too much fun unraveling projects.