Programming Part 1

So the question was asked, what language do I program in...so here is my programming story (possibly more than you wanted to know about my history, and maybe too technical to be entertaining):

I started college as a physics major. I had a good amount of physics in high school and loved it. I even went so far as to purchase quite a bit of extracurricular reading material on some more advanced and interesting topics of quantum theory etc. Yeah yeah, I'm a big nerd.

My first semester was Physics 1, Calculus 2, Chemistry 1, and other liberal arts mumbo-jumbo. It was OK...because I was taking so many strenuous courses, the one that I struggled with was Calculus 2. I had to take it again...So next semester I took Physics 2, Calculus 2, Chemistry 2...not a great semester either. Chemistry was kicking my ass. So after this semester I decided that maybe Physics was not the subject for me.

Considering my options, I had many friends involved in the Computer Science major. I had one course in computer science during high school, and figured I would give it a go. It ended up being ridiculously easy. So, I stuck with it.

I had good teachers, and even enjoyed the subject matter. We studied C++, Java, Lisp, C and other languages. I got pretty good at it...I even was accepted into the PhD program for graduate school. During my last year at uni, I had an internship at an insurance company doing J2EE and .NET programming. I learned allot but, meh, it was just a job.

By the time I reached grad school, I was programmed out. I really started to feel that I did not enjoy it much. Along with health issues, I was having a hard time of it. So, I quit, halfway into the first semester. I moved back to Lancaster, and looked for a job.

I ended up back at my place of employment with the insurance company...but at a very different type of post. I was a "Product Automation Specialist". I worked on automating the certificating system, learned too much about insurance, and got very frustrated. The company, and perhaps all insurance companies, was incredibly shady. No sense of responsibility for their lack of integrity. The certificates were sloppy, and honestly, not legal. I quit.

After this experience, I decided that maybe technology was not the environment for me. I needed something mindless, something enjoyable, but not heavy on the thinking. I went into banking. I was a teller training to be a head teller, then I was training to be at the desk. I enjoyed learning about banking, I enjoyed taking the classes, but I hated working with stupid people all day, customers and peers. So, I quit.

I got a job programming J2EE in Mechanicsburg. This was a young company, very small, but with allot of good, hard working, young people. It was OK at first. I enjoyed the people. The company's main task was contracting for the Navy. We worked on huge programs pertaining to the procurement of supplies from everything from nuts and bolts to submarine hulls and guns.

I started getting more and more responsibilities, but there was no where to go. People were leaving left and right, and management told me that they don't expect to keep people very long because of the low salary. I became increasingly distressed about management. They were arrogant and ignorant. They had no care for their employees. Most of us were just out of college, and they figured we were expendable. There are plenty of recent grads willing to work for a year or two for bread crumbs. So...I quit.

I sought my current position at a grocery distribution company much closer to home. With my varied experience they were excited to sign me on. They assured me that the new project they were working on was very similar, if not the same technology as I had been working with before. At my Mechanicsburg job, we worked in J2EE (Java) with Struts in Eclipse with an Oracle database and OC4J server. This new job is using ADF and BC in JDeveloper with an Oracle database and OC4J server. Sounds similar doesn't it? I was told that ADF is like Struts, and JDeveloper is just like Eclipse. All the above technologies are Oracle products.

ADF is NOTHING like struts. Maybe they pursue the same goal, web applications, but they are very different technologies. ADF is Oracle's version of Java Server Faces. It is a rather young product intended to phase out the old Oracle Forms. In its defense it appears that it is trying to be more like .NET than Struts. Which is a good goal, .NET is great!

The version of ADF that we are using is is on its last legs and getting phased out by version 11. Because the technology is young it is very immature in its implementation. Oracle has kindly donated allot of the framework to an open source project called Trinidad. The open source community has done allot to improve it and to fix allot of the existing problems. However, the real ADF and Trinidad are not used together, nor will we change to using Trinidad.

Even the simplest tasks in ADF become intricate problems that need to be hacked around. It is very frustrating to have to pull your hair out just trying to set focus to a particular field on the screen! The Oracle forum for this product is buzzing with interesting questions...resentment bulging behind every question...why is this product so stupid?!?

Lately allot of questions have been answered the very inadequate response of: we have fixed that in version 11, or that feature is not available, but will be implemented in version 11. Because the real version 11 is not out yet, and will not be available until probably the end of the year...and because our deadline for completion is well before that time, we are unable to simply switch and start using the next iteration of this inadequate product. So we hack it.

I will not go into the short comings of the technology...just know that our entire project is hack after hack...things that we have figured out in the most round about ways...are shoved into places they are not meant to be used, and forced to do tasks well beyond the scope of the technology.

ADF is not like Struts. Struts is a well developed, widely used, proven technology. ADF is just getting started, and in my opinion, should not have been chosen for as large a project as we are working on. I think it has the potential for being great...allot of promise...but at this time, and with the version we are using, it is not ready. Perhaps the next version will be mature enough to handle what we are trying to accomplish. But for now we are stuck banging our heads against the wall to achieve even minimal requirements.

Our project could have been completed had we used a better technology such as Struts. It would have been completed even if we were not using a framework at all! However, because of all the roadblocks introduced by this frustratingly immature technology, we are well beyond our deadline, and still not comfortable with how it all works.


What am I working on now?


"I like to dream yes, yes, right between my sound machine
On a cloud of sound I drift in the night
Any place it goes is right
Goes far, flies near, to the stars away from here"


Yay I have been featured on the Daily Chum today!


Sales are up!

The shop is doing very well. I am pleased. I posted my update on Monday, and three of the five new things sold. Coming up soon, I am supposed to be featured in the Daily Chum! I was hoping it would be before my new things sold out, but oh well, people will still look at what I've sold right?

Work sucks. I hate programming. This could be a serious problem, since I am a programmer and all...


Pink Granite

PinkGranite2, originally uploaded by digital nabi.


Knittin' Pretty Update Coming...

...tonight at 7pm!


Bonus Picture


Promised Pictures Part 2







Promised Pictures Part 1






Post Stitches

My goodies:
Pink alpaca/silk laceweight for Aunt gift
Blue alpaca/silk laceweight for mother-in-law gift
4 skeins of Karaoke for gift scarf - maybe one of my sisters or sister-in-law
4 skeins of socks that rock (one for a co-worker here that couldn't go)
2 cones of silk/stainless steel from Habu - I think I am going to make some necklaces for the shop with this
2 4oz hanks of fiber from Lisa Souza for the shop
6 oz of multi colored merino for the shop
1 goknit pouch

I think that is all. I was very good about not buying any more bags of yarn for sweaters - and not toooo much sock yarn. Actually If you look at what goes as gifts, and what was for the shop...I only bought some socks that rock...I was very good!!

Then of course I came home and ordered a couple of pairs of the new harmony needles from knit picks...as well as some more bobbins for my wheel...

I was somewhat disappointed in the amount of fiber available...it definately was more a yarn expedition, which is ok. I probably would have spent even more if there would have been lots of yummy fibers around! Too bad about not going next week for Rhinebeck...Ohhhhh I so want to go!!!

I think I am going to be really good now, and not buy anymore yarn until at least the first of the year. Think I can do it?


Pre Stitches

Tomorrow is our annual trip to Stitches East. I want to have a plan, a list. Something to follow so that I don't end up spending tons of money. I figure, if I can make a list, and commit to only buying those things...I will end up doing well.

So far I have only two things on my list: Lace weight for aunt, and Lace weight for Mother-in-law. I can't really think of anything else. Probably some fiber for the shop...but other than that...dunno yet...



So I got my new wheel all set up! She is a beauty. I will have pictures to post later.

When it first arrived, I was so excited. You would think it was Christmas and I was 8:

I open the box and start pulling out pieces. Wheel, check, pedals, check...miscellaneous handle part, check.
I start putting the pieces together, because damn, I want to use it right away! I had just sold my Joy, so I was absent a wheel to spin on. The directions are pretty good, and I am doing OK with the assembly. That handle part, must be connected sometime...but there aren't any holes in it for screws...oh well.

So I continue, everything fits together like a dream. I get her almost completed, look ahead in the directions...and notice, no handle attaching. I look at the handle again, wtf!! I think it is broken. In fact, looking closely, I can tell it is broken. It should be part of the main shaft, as one piece.


My first thought was, damn, I already put it all together and I want to use it! So I finish. Then I go and email Klaus from Crown Mountain Farms (where I purchased it from). Please please advise I write to him.

He checks into it and Majacraft sends out a new handle. It was a very bad thing for me to have put it together though...as soon as I saw the damage (ie. when I was removing it from the box) I should have stopped then and taken it to the post office for inspection. Majacraft could have claimed insurance on the wheel because it broke in transit. But stupid me, I went and put the thing together, so no insurance. They still send the piece though.

Last night I finally get the replacement part...and a dowel rod...
On the rod it says: "conduit removal tool" -- what?!?

So I start taking the wheel apart, and I see it. In the middle section where the base shaft connects with the handle a pvc pipe is inserted to keep the two pieces together and to allow for a bolt to go through there. I push the dowel rod into this hole...no luck. This thing is in there good -- hopefully not permanently.

I find my hammer and check out the hole. This is not going to be fun...I really don't want my replacing this part to result in me breaking the thing with overzealous hammering. So I start...
The dowel is not very sturdy...it starts chipping from my off center hammer strikes. It also starts to splinter around the end next to the pvc pipe. In fact, it starts to shape its self to go INTO the pvc pipe! And the pipe has moved, maybe 1 mm.

At this point Hubby is concerned...he thinks for sure I am going to do more damage than not. He is not very happy with Majacraft.

Eventually, the pvc pipe is out enough that I can grab it and yank it out. Success!!! Slowly I begin reassembling the wheel. Everything is going very well. I get the wheel attached, the pedals, the flyer head...

There is another bolt hole at the top of the handle shaft (the new piece). This is the last part I have to do. This sets the tension for the flyer head part, keeps it in place and allows it to be loosened and re-situated. I go to put the bolt through...and realize that it doesn't push all the way in. Looking, I note that the bolt has a square part next to the head...this keeps it from turning and allows tightening of the bolt. I look at the hole, I look at the bolt again...the hole is round, the bolt is square...

I am trying my hardest to get a square peg into a round hole...sigh...

The wood is hard, I cannot simply push this bolt into the hole. I get out my trusty hammer again. By this time Hubby is freaking out, he is positive that I will break it if I try hammering this thing in. He is also very disappointed as I point out that the original part had the square already cut out of the hole, and inserting the bolt was easy peasy. -- Why didn't they do this to the new piece they sent me?!?

Anyway, I managed to get the bolt in enough for me to tighten it on the other end. There is a small gap, but its not bad. I might at some point try again to get it in all the way. So at this point she's up, functioning and looking beautiful, handle and all.



Friday, I went to see Bruce Springsteen. And it was AWESOME!!

Hubby, my sister and her hubby all went together. We had gotten General Admission tickets. So apparently at all Springsteen concerts there is a system for the GA.

The System:
Between 2pm and 5pm GA ticket holders show up, and receive a bracelet with a number on it.
At 5pm, everyone with these tickets is supposed to line up in number order.
At 5:15pm, a number is drawn from a large bucket.
Starting with that number and going up, the first 400 people get to be in the pit.
After that, everyone goes to the regular floor area.

OK, back to the story.

We depart around 2ish for Philly. Should we get food before hand? Well, we decide that we will wait until we are closer. The drive is wonderful. Spend the time listening to Deirdre Flint and old Springsteen songs. I knit, the guys bond, and sis and I catch up with life stuff. Apparently not paying attention, we miss the exit! So, we get off at the next one, and continue on our way - way out of the way...

Finally we arrive at the venue, 4pm...having not stopped for food. We decide to get our bracelets and then look for food. So we stand in line for about 30 minutes...not bad, we get numbers 417, 418, 421, 422...no clue how we got separated but who cares, its not bad.

We go back to the car and try to look for food. Actually, sis and I send the boys off to go hunt for food...after all, women are gatherers! Sis and I try to find out more about the system, as it is very not clear to us at this point.

No food! By this time we are starved. Now that we have the low down on the bracelets though, we feel pretty confident that we probably won't get picked for the pit. Should we go eat and then come back forgoing the chance to be close? No-way!! So we wait...

5pm. 800 or so people attempt to line up in order...

Remember in grade school those exercises where the class is to line up alphabetically by last name? And remember how it always takes 30 minutes or more for 30 children to do this? Yeah, lining up 800 adults by number...about the same result...There is no line, there is only confusion and mayhem. The event staff try their very hardest to organize the mob, but without any voice amplifying devices, you simply cannot expect to get the attention of 800 excited fans.

Of course then there is a jerk that decided to make up a lotto number and call it out...saying that that was the number picked! Right-- the number had not been picked at all! So this just made the mass of people even more frantic and even more unmanageable.

Before even half of the people were semi-arranged, the number is drawn. Everyone that had been in line rushed to the front in order to hear...now there is no line at all...

The number was: 405!!!

Halle - freakin - lujah! We are only 10 or so people from the front!!!! Hot damn!

So we wait in yet another line...a line that is very very close to the door. We wait, and wait, and wait. During our wait we notice these two chicabiddies talking to every guard and staff member in the area. Apparently their number is not in the 400 chosen to enter the pit. The one, tall, skinny, and blond, is half naked...she is definitely trying to use her feminine wiles to weasel her way into the line.

She talked to EVERYONE, people in the line, people outside the line, guards, staff, lonely looking men...This sort of woman just drives me nuts. Why would you do that?!? Doesn't that undo years of feminine efforts to be looked upon seriously - treated as equals? Apparently she is not a feminist. Everyone around us is determined not to let her get to us, not to let her anywhere near that stage. She is so freakin' obvious, I am sure that every guard has seen her and hopefully will not let her get there either.

We wait some more. This waiting sucks because now that we are guaranteed a spot in the pit, we know we will be standing all night...my feet start to hurt...

6:30 pm - the doors open. We receive our other two bracelets and enter. It is a mad rush to the bottom of the stadium and to the front of the stage. Frankly, I think this is absurd. Shouldn't the people with the closest numbers be guaranteed a close spot? Regardless of physical prowess? No this is not the case.

Anyway, we score a spot about 1 person from the front of the stage.

The concert starts and OMG how awesome is it to be 10 feet away from Bruce for the entire concert?!?! The whole show is fabulous! The set is wonderfully varied, some new songs, some oldies but goodies, it is AMAZING. Sis wasn't a big fan before, she just wanted to tag along and hang out with us...but by the end of the night, she was a huge fan! Now she is determined to listen to all his old songs and learn them.

What happened to the biddies? They ended up in the pit...right behind us. Some retarded man decided that she was pretty enough that she should be given a spot that she didn't deserve. Everyone around us noticed, how could the guards not notice?!? We made a wall...determined not to let them get any closer. And we succeeded! Even at the end, those two chickies never made it any closer. If it hadn't been for them, it would have been a perfect night.

Magical indeed.


Polyclay Fun

What have I been up to?!?







Here is my last posting - translated into pirate (in honor of talk like a pirate day!).

Ye know whats comin'...th' obligatory apology fer nay bloggin' in ages.
Aye! but this time...nay wait...aye, I dasn't be havin' anythin' but excuses.

Maybe 'tis on accoun' o' I be completely stressed at work an' on accoun' o' I sit at th' computer all tide at work...

Or maybe on accoun' o' Ravelry be a swirlin' vortex o' time suckin' yarn an' pattern goodness...

O' course 't could be on accoun' o' I be so busy wi' knittin' an' spinnin' an' makin' beads an' stitch markers...but t'ain't that th' sort o' thin' I ortin' ta be bloggin' about?

Aye ARRR, I be havin' jus' been t' damn lazy. Thar, I spake 't!



You know whats coming...the obligatory apology for not blogging in ages.
Yes! but this time...no wait...yeah, I don't have anything but excuses.

Maybe it is because I am completely stressed at work and because I sit at the computer all day at work...

Or maybe because Ravelry is a swirling vortex of time sucking yarn and pattern goodness...

Of course it could be because I am so busy with knitting and spinning and making beads and stitch markers...but isn't that the sort of thing I should be blogging about?

Yeah OK, I have just been to damn lazy. There, I said it!


Shop Talk

Wow. What a rush! Opening the Etsy store has been quite a wild ride. I would like to officially use that as the excuse for not posting lately. I have been mulling over this decision for a long time...but I didn't want to write anything about it in the case that it fell through.

I would like to thank my Hubby for coming up with the cute name! Over some delicious sushi we were discussing possible names, and he thought of this one all by himself. Perfect.

Now I get to worry about things like shipping products. I have been on the receiving end of purchases quite a bit, but have never actually sent things out. In fact I am really bad at sending mail. Usually birthdays and anniversaries come and go, and I forget to send cards. Now I will have to be more prudent about mailing.

Apparently the mail man will come to my door step to pick up packages for mailing. However, this worries me as I live in an apartment complex, and so our mail all goes out at those oh-so-handsome community lock boxes. While we do have our own porch, I am concerned that the mail man may never even venture up to the units, and therefore never see or pick up the packages.

I did a little happy dance when I found out that the usps actually gives free shipping envelopes and boxes. Who knew? This is very convenient given that I rarely, if ever, get to the actual post office. Since I work so far away, I usually have to take off work early to even get there before it closes. Another convenience, usps also allows me to print shipping labels. I just have to weight the package, and print! Very awesome.

Last night after receiving my first orders, I frantically began making stitch markers. I want to send some with each order as a sort of preview of what's going to be offered in the store soon. I made about 10 sets, and boy do my hands hurt! In order to make them, I use these really small tools, and each one sits awkwardly in my little hand. After doing about 8 sets, I could visibly detect a small blister forming. After ten, my hand started cramping, so I had to stop. Later I will post the pictures, and then even later than that I will add them to the store.

Today after work, I need to stop off at the office supply store and get some nice card stock to print labels and cards for the stitch markers. Probably my little logo and just some product information...but still my stomach is crawling.

I am very nervous! Really I shouldn't be. Things are selling well. People are "hearting" my store and my products. But I am still aching to know if patrons will actually like what they receive. Actually use the product, and like the outcome.



My new Etsy Shop!!!

Knittin' Pretty

I made two sales already! I can't believe it, I am dancing around in joy!



Yes, the blog has suffered...and will probably continue to suffer during the summer months. Anyway, some quick updates in pictures!

Finished my pomatomus pair - bonus view with the sock blockers! The color on this picture turned out terribly. Really the color is much more purple.

I finished one arm warmer:

and I started: Hedera -- for the Sock Knitter's Anonymous August sock.


Good things come in threes

On the way home I stopped by the grocery for a birthday card, and thought to check out the magazine rack. BINGO~ new Vogue Knitting - 25th Anniversary edition is now out!

Then I get to my mailbox only to find...Interweave Knits Fall 2007!!! SWEET!~

But thats not all -- On my doorstep, Rowan Magazine 42!

What a nice ending to the day. Now to settle in and look through all my new knitting materials.



I haven't been doing much knitting lately. Really, I have just been obsessed with spinning!






...and the Deathly Hallows

I finished!!


Stash Organization

Because of Ravelry I have been inspired to organize my stash a little better.


Here we can see some detail shots:


Compartment 1: Sock yarn! These are all the hanks of sock yarn that I have. Vesper, Lornas Laces, Socks that Rock.

Moving down.


Compartment 2: More sock yarn! This is all the non-hanked stuff. Regia, Opal, Trekking...also some caked Vesper and Socks that Rock. You can also see two socks waiting for their mates.



Compartment 3: This is my luxury box. Zephyr cones, Blue Sky Alpacas, cashmere and sweaters-in-progress-yarns Whiskey and Daletta.

Last one.


Compartment 4: This last compartment houses all my cotton. Behind the cones are many skeins of Sugar and Cream, and I picked up some Lion Brand Organic Cotton.


I am weak

Originally uploaded by digital nabi

Yes, I am weak...presenting...the D80!



I like to say that summer time is a bad time for blogging...a bad time for knitting...blah blah...maybe its just a lazy time in general. So why haven't I been blogging?!?

Last night I admitted to my knitting group that I really have only not been blogging because I have been lusting after a new camera. Every time I think about taking pictures for the blog or for Ravelry (which I finally got my invitation for), I become almost sad about not having this camera. So! -- No pictures!


And now...

...back to our regularly scheduled program!

Starting a new job is both exciting and terrifying at the same time. On one hand I feel really good about getting the job, about how much better it is than my last place of employment, and how fortunate I am to have been chosen. On the other hand, I am scared that once I get there, once I start doing my job, the company will realize that they made a mistake and that I am just not the right person for this position.

So I go, for two weeks now. Just showing up and trying my best to fit in; eating lunch with my teammates, socializing, and attempting to understand what my position is and how I will best be able to fill it. Soon things will start to click I am sure.

It is a much better job than my last. Not that I didn't learn a lot from my past employment, but I guess it was just time to move on. I still get that wonderful invention of modern employment called flextime and it is much closer to my home. Before, I was having to buy gas every other day...now work is approximately half the distance away...half the gas buying. My position is better. I came in at what they call Senior level...even though I still feel lost. And, the pay is much better, which is always a good thing when changing jobs.

Admittedly I have neglected this blog for quite a while. Just trying to settle into my new responsibilities I suppose. I have been doing a fare amount of knitting, but mostly I have been spinning. More on that later, for now, it's off to work!


Wild Thing!

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything
Come on, wild thing

Wild thing, I think you move me
But I gotta know for sure
Come on and hold me tight
Oh you move me

Here we see my latest spinning fiber. Wild Thing from Crown Mountain Farms. I LOVE it! The colors are so vibrant and beautiful.


Flickr & Sock Blockers

Yes! I finally broke down and signed up for a Flickr account. I only have a few pictures up, but hope to transfer nearly all of my images there. I signed up for Ravelry too, but have yet to hear about getting started there. Really, the reason I signed up for the Flickr account was because I heard that it interfaced with Ravelry so well.

Anyway! Yesterday in the mail was a nice surprise...beautiful hand crafted sock blockers from Chappy. Hubby likes them too and knew what they were the moment he saw them. Tomorrow I will post some pictures with them with socks on them.

For spinning news: I am almost finished with the third bobbin of the Lapis Sheep 2 Shoe kit. Hopefully my extra bobbins and lazy kate arrive soon so that I can get on with the plying! This will be my first three ply, so I am extra anxious to see how it turns out.

I had bought the kit from The Fold at Maryland Sheep and Wool, and I wanted more! So, I contacted Toni and she was just great. We chatted a bit about what I was looking for, and she mailed me an order! So, I got another Sheep 2 Shoe kit in Little Bunny Foo Foo, 10 ounces of Extra Fine Merino in the Carbon colorway, and 8.5 ounces of the same in the Highway 30 colorway. The Extra Fine Merino is WONDERFUL. I have to check but I am pretty sure the micron count was something like 19 -- almost as soft as cashmere! I am so very excited to spin this!



OK, I am making a resolution. Who cares if it is the middle of May! I am determined not to buy anymore yarn until Stitches East.


Beautiful Colors

I have come to the conclusion that all obsessions with yarn and spinning fibers originate in the lust for color. I LOVE color.



Well, I did not post over the weekend...mainly because I was busy -- Spinning!

Friday I took the beginning spinning class at The Mannings. Tom, the instructor was awesome. All the ladies in the class were great, we had a good time, we learned A LOT.

After the class was over...I went ahead and purchased a wheel. Tom had assigned me the Ashford Joy for class. He said because I am small it would be a good fit. Plus its very simple and easy for a beginner. I fell in love during the first few seconds of using it. So, that is the wheel that I purchased. The fact that it folds and is light to carry is a big selling point - especially now with my limit on space in the apartment.

I am glad that I had spent money at Maryland Sheep and Wool on some rovings. Immediately I began spinning the red colonial. This was my "practice" roving. And it went quite well. A little lumpy and bumpy, but not too bad. Overall, I think I have picked up spinning pretty easily. Something that I tend to be able to do: read about something for months, lust after it even, and then, because I have read so much about it...be able to just pick it up and do it.

Spinning is this way with me. I not only finished the 8oz. colonial red, but then did the 4oz. Merino/Tencel, and started the Sheep to Shoe kit!

For the first two I divided the fiber by weight into two equal parts. Then spun two bobbins and plied. Both times I had more on one bobbin, and so after skiening the two ply, I would try to split the left overs by spinning half onto a new bobbin, and then plying those two for a mini skien.

The Sheep to Shoe kit is a different story. Here I split the roving lengthwise into three sections. Sadly, I couldn't get the weight to work out evenly without messing up the color progression, so I just left it a bit uneven. I figure that I will work from heaviest to lightest, knowing that in the beginning I am going to have trouble keeping the ply light enough anyway. Hopefully by the end I will be very good at keeping a very thin single.

One problem with the Ashford Joy: its built in lazy kate. It is very nice and convenient to have it built in, however, it only holds two bobbins. Therefore, in order to do a three ply yarn, one needs to buy a separate lazy kate. I decided on the Ashford precision. It takes three bobbins. Technically I guess I could do up to a five ply now, three on the precision and two on the wheel itself.

I also had to purchase a few more bobbins as I only have three, which leaves no bobbin empty for plying. Another drawback of the Joy, only one flyer available. Now, as a beginner, I would expect that this standard flyer would be plenty for me for many years. However, after plying my first two spinning projects, I realized that having a bigger bobbin for plying, and therefore a bigger flyer to go around, would be very advantageous. Looking at the catalog, maybe I should have opted for the Traveler instead. That way I would not only have a built in three-bobbin lazy kate, but also the opportunity to have other flyer attachments, including the jumbo (perfect for plying).

But no worries! I am still VERY pleased with my purchase. I love my wheel, and I love spinning.


As Promised!!!

Here are some yummy pictures of my Maryland Sheep and Wool loot!

My knitting plan

OK, so last night I went home, and took all the pictures for my MS&W post. But then I got busy trying not to sneeze and cough, so needless to say...no pictures are posted yet. It is allergy season here in Lancaster, and yesterday was the first day that I have had trouble with them.

As I was taking pictures I realized just how much yarn I have...a lot -- too much! Much of it is for specific projects, or socks. I also have many many projects started, on the needles, ready to be worked on. (See the list on the right) So here is my plan:

1. mitered square blanket for Mom -- Due Date: June 10th
2. Second Pomatomus Sock
3. Rusted Root
4. Second Waving Lace Sock
5. Farmhouse Socks - this is a continuous project, a traveling sock
6. Whiskey Sweater
7. Second Tofutsies Sock
8. Hubby Blanket - this is a continuous project too
9. Sapporo
10. Scarves - I might rip out the spiral one
11. Something New!

It is a good mix of socks and other big projects. Hopefully I can keep on track and really decrease my ufo's before I am tempted to cast on for something new. We will see!



Yeah, so...I didn't put pictures up. Really I wanted to, but I got busy and so again I will promise to tonight. It is a shame really because I was only playing a video game...Guitar Hero II on the 360. Totally love that game!


Maryland Sheep & Wool

This year was my first visit to the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival. It truly was an unforgettable experience. There was so much going on, and so many people, I quickly became separated from my party. It was a beautiful day, we did not arrive until 10:30-11ish. As we approached the fairgrounds it became very clear that all the traffic was headed for the festival. I wished I had brought my camera so that I could have taken a picture of the sea of cars both parked and trying to park.

We started to wander around, and after the first couple of venders I couldnt find my friends anymore. I continued to walk around, making sure to get into every barn and every building. At The Fold's booth, I bought some lovely Socks that Rock Seduction in some almost solid colors. They were so pretty. I am glad I got to see them in person, on the web page it is hard to imagine how beautiful it is. I also picked up a Sheep 2 Shoe kit in Lapis.

After that, I continued to wander and ended up buying some good priced top and a top whorl spindle to practice spinning. At the same time, I found that Visually learn Handspinning book that many bloggers are talking about.

I was very good and self restrained -- I passed up awesome deals at the Tilli Thomas booth and the only Handmaiden Sea Silk that I had spotted that day. Also passed on where many many lovely, beautiful, deliciously dyed rovings and fleeces.

Toward the end, I met back up with my party to relax. They got in line to get some tee-shirts, and I decided to go back to The Fold...This was my downfall. I saw that they had put out some Sock Candy! So I grabbed up two each of two colorways (you need two for a pair, I bought 4 skiens). I also grabbed a skien of Twisted in the Fire on the Mountain color. This is destined to become a scarf, I will probably get another skien online of something almost solid to pair with it.

I will post up pictures of everything when I get home!


Opportunity Knocks

Good news! I have two phone interviews scheduled for next week!! (happy dance)
Having one interview is exciting enough, but two?!? This is turning out to be a great day.

The problem with phone interviews is that I will be at work when they occur. For the most part this is OK. But it still makes me feel a bit uneasy. Unfortunately my interviewers are not willing to call me early enough to catch me at home - therefore I need to take the calls during business hours.

Also exciting is: Maryland Sheep and Wool is this weekend!!!! I am VERY VERY excited about going this year. On the 11th I am scheduled to take my first spinning class, so I am hoping to spend the weekend learning about and trying out different spinning techniques and equipment. (more happy dancing)



Sorry for the lack of posting over the weekend. I have been trying to find some time when I don't feel down about work. I don't want this blog to be a place where I come and complain about all the things that bother me in life. I want it to be a happy place, with good thoughts, funny stories, and lots of fiber related discussion.

Positive thoughts... Hubby and I are building a house! We have all our agreements signed, now we are waiting to approve the blue prints from the builder. It is very very exciting, and once they start building I will have lots of pictures to post.

Well, I know its not much, but I think that's all I have to say today without getting into the thick of work related ranting.


Secret Happy Dance

It was a rainy day. Work was drab, morale was down, I was tired from being there since 6:30 am. Trying to make up some time, I was attempting to stay as long as I could.

Frequently through out the day, I check my web mail. Any morsel of non-work news is savored. Much of what comes in is just spam, but occasionally I catch a glimmer of the outside world.

3:30-ish: 'You have 1 new message.'
I check. This is the best sort of mail - someone has left a comment on my blog. Ahhh, yes the boob story. The commentee? Stephanie.

Ok, I know a Steph, she frequents the knit night at B&N. I go and check it out - like I said, ANY distraction is welcome at this time.

Waiting for the page to load...You know, I don't think the Steph I know has a blog, and she has never commented on mine...Maybe someone found me through one of the knitalongs I have joined.

I hover...the poster, the wonderful savior of a boring work day...http://www.yarnharlot.ca/blog/

My heart beat quickens, my eyes grow wide. Inside my brain it is all I can do to control my joy. No one at my work is as "into" knitting as me. Who could I share my excitement with? Sadly no one. So for the rest of the day, I was forced to celebrate in secret.

All afternoon I did a silent, secret happy dance. (Which is good, because once Hubby came home, I did the real full-out happy dance, and now he just thinks I'm a little more weird than I already was.)



It's a beautiful day. The sun is shining, its lovely weather, a nice breeze is blowing. This morning Heather is driving into town. She doesn't mind because it is so nice out. The little bit of traffic doesn't even bother her. It is so nice today that she has decided to wear a spring-like white shirt and white sandals.

Heather pulls into the medical center parking lot. She is there to drop off her Holter monitor from the previous day. Just a quick run in, deposit the hardware, and then on her way to work. It is a beautiful day!

Because this medical center is for a heart doctors, many of the patients are of the older generation. Heather sees several of said patients on her way into the center. She smiles and waves, and even says hi to a few. They all look at her...oddly. That is OK, Heather expects that perhaps these people are not in the good mood that she is in, and maybe they don't understand that she is a patient here too. In any case, she remains happy. Quick into the building and drop the monitor into the bin for monitors. Lots of people in the lobby, she smiles at them all. After all it is such a nice day outside!

Walking outside, Heather pauses to look both ways in the parking lot. She looks down to make sure her nice white sandals don't get caught on the curb. And sees...





My order from Knitterly Things arrived. I am in love with the intensity of the colors. I had a little mishap when ordering, which resulted in me not getting the first four colors I had picked out. However, I am not disappointed with the colors I did receive. These are stunning -- Just beautiful! I cannot wait to turn them into socks. If I didn't already have many socks in the pipeline, waiting to get their mates, I would instantly cast on with one of these beauties. However, self control is winning out...for now...

More miters!
#5 -- reminds me of my high school colors

#6 -- Hubby picked colors