Sunday, July 11, 2004

Shitty Memory

Anyone that knows me, knows it's memory sucks.

Forgotten Items
In addition to forgetting to include the link to the "apology" site, I also forgot to mention that I ran into the "Fiber Goddess" last weekend.

May, one of the woman who lives relatively close by, has been extremely generous with her knowledge on spinning. She spins, weaves and knits (and probably a lot more I'm not aware of).

It couldn't have been more than a day after she posted some helpful hints about spinning with ramie, that I ran into her in our local Menonite market. I looked over, and saw this kind looking woman looking at me, and when she asked, "Joe?", I was somewhat surprised. Then it became pleasantly surprised when she introduced herself.

May has long been a wonderful contributor on knitting lists, and she has offered numerous times to help me navigate through the new spinner's world. It was a pleasure to meet her.

Speaking of Spinning
If May is the "Fiber Goddess", Antonio is the "Spinning Spawn of Satan".

I mentioned a week or so ago, that he had very generously sent me a tool to measure wraps per inch. Along with the package came the key to hell, about a pound of ramie.

What the fuck is ramie?

Here are some formal definitions:

A bast fiber, similar to flax, taken from the stalk of a plant grown in China.

A bast fibre similar to flax, the fibre used for making linen textiles.

A strong lustrous woody plant fiber from an Asiatic nettle

Strong staple fiber of cellulose yielded by the inner bark of the ramie plant. Often used as a less expensive substitute for linen or cotton.

All I can say is that I wouldn't necessarily recommend that a beginning spinner (even a taltented one), try spinning with ramie.

The staple seems somewhat short. It requires quite a bit of twist to give it some tensile strength, but it can't be twisted too tightly, or it breaks like a piece of Antonio's hair after his third Jeri curl perm of the month.

But the evil bitch that he is, Antonio knew that I wouldn't be beaten by a "bast fiber" (whatever the hell THAT is). He knew I'd keep working until I perservered.

I used about half of what Antonio sent me, so I think I'll pass the rest onto a "friend".

Finished "Project"
I finally decided to finish working on the Dancing Feet socks.

As expected, they came out great, and I love wearing them. It's nice to be able to cross this one off my list of works-in-progress.

Readers' Comments/Questions
Mary asks what is "jumper weight" yarn.

Jumper weight, fingering and baby weight are about the same thickness of yarn. Based on Kim Salazar's amazing database at, it's usually knit on US3 needles at about 7 st/inch.

Marilyn asks how much I usually charge for the frou-frou scarves.

Since I only sell them at a friend's craft show, I usually sell them for cheap, at between US$28 and US$52 (of which, the craft show organizer gets 25%), and the prices vary based on the cost of the yarn, and how much time it takes me to make them. Most yarn costs me about US$10 for one scarf, and about an hour and a half of my time to make. I usually charge US$34, pay the host $8.50, which ends up netting me about $10 an hour.