October 29, 2009
I’ve been on a mission: how much weight, how many yards can be possibly spun on my Kuchulu.
I’m nearing the final yards and must stop soon else the little legs will disappear. Yesterday Kuchulu 1 (I don’t normally name my spindles but this one seems to want its on identity) and I headed for the weekly spinning group at my LYS. It’d been a long time since I’d gone to one but when the store owner told me that a number of women are coming regularly on Wednesday afternoons it seemed time to check it out. Arriving late there were only three women left sitting at their wheels. A woman I didn’t know asked if I wanted to learn to spin. I grinned and dug into my purse. It was good to sit and listen to their chatter while adding a couple more grams to the spindle. It’s now weighing 19 grams. Subtracting 8 grams of the Kuchulu weight gives me 11 grams, I had hoped to get 14grams =1/2 an ounce on this spindle. I’m getting excited about winding this onto a niddynoddy and finding out how many yards there are. I recently joined a 800 yard challenge at the Limegreenjelly Forum on Ravelry, this just might be the start of it.
Often it seems that a friendship comes about with various customers. I wish I had the time, energy, brain for remembering to foster these fun and often fascinating encounters with people around the world. Often I read emails or talk on the phone with someone and wish I could travel the world meeting all these dear people. One such person teaches in Qatar. She’s called on the phone a couple of times and we had the best chats! Last summer she came back to visit her mother in Canada. While home she sent us a package that left me speechless.
These two throw pillow cases are covered with hand embroidery! My hands stroke across the intricate detailed beauty of these pieces and I’m amazed at the skill and hours they must have taken. Berta has traveled extensively in her life and she recently visited a friend in India where she got these. Also in the box was tea.Real Indian tea with Cardamon. Would you like to share a pot with me? Tasty!
October 23, 2009
Posted by Wanda J under Spinning
| Tags: Kuchulus
|  Comments
Coffee in the morning, tea mid-day and a daily doze of afternoon Coke helped keep my brain functioning during this past week. Still fighting email problems and going in circles with the domain host providers on how to resolve it. Meanwhile, after a two-week interlude when sales slowed, they’ve ratcheted back up to a frenzied pace.
Distracting us are the Kuchulus! Ed’s first batch has been released! They’re posted on Flickr. It was easier to post this first batch there last night than wrangle any longer with FrontPage which didn’t transfer to the new computer. Another group of Kuchulus is almost ready to dance.
Isn’t that a fun word to say? Kuchulu – cute and tiny. Say it several times. Does it remind you of anything, perhaps from your childhood? Do you recall people saying Coo-chee-choo to tiny babies? It doesn’t seem so common now.
These little babies are dancing in delight around a 50 gram ball of cherry tree hill yarn, destined to be knit into a sweater for my first great nephew born Oct 6th – Joshua Zion.
If only I could settle on the pattern: BSJ with red and yellow stripes, or Baby Yours .
October 21, 2009
Fiberjoy’s Blueberry Scones
Preheat oven to 400 F
These scones are really easy to make, and if handled lightly they are tender, moist and scrumptious. Best eaten within a few hours.
4 Cups Flour
4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Sugar
Stir together in a large bowl, then cut in until well mixed:
1/2 Cup Butter
Stir into the dry mixture:
1 Cup frozen Blueberries – Do not thaw! (Can use Fresh in season)
Combine in a separate bowl:
1 1/2 Cups Milk (if you’re feeling decadent or having guests use Half & Half)
1 Egg Separate some of the white into a small dish
Quickly stir the milk mixture into the dry mix until barely moistened, turn out onto floured pastry cloth. Gently scoop and knead tenderly. Work quickly and do not handle the dough any more than necessary to gather into a loose ball. Using your hands, divide into two portions and pat each into a flat circle about 8″ across and an inch high.
With a fork, whip the egg white with 1 Tablespoon Milk until frothy. Brush over the two rounds of dough. Sprinkle 1 Tablespoon sugar over each. Cut into six to eight wedges with a sharp knife and put on ungreased oven stone or cookie pan. Leave space between each scone to bake evenly.
Cook in preheated oven about 18 minutes. (Should be done when golden brown)
These scones can be a bit temperamental with humidity or dryness. Sometimes not all the flour will be absorbed – in this case do not try to work it all in. Other times the dough may be quite wet. If so, be sure your pastry cloth is well dusted with flour but don’t work in more flour than needed to pat the rounds into a circle without having a gooey mess.
Awhile back we came across the opportunity to purchase a new computer, the last one of its type in the store at a close-out price. Our old computer, which has been in use since 2001, had been working under increasing duress; often throwing fits, stalling, and shutting down unexpectedly.
Being the tail end of a long day we snapped that computer up with scarcely any contemplation. As the store guy was freeing the computer from its securings I asked that the hard drive be wiped clean and restored to the original condition since it had been the display model. He said they’d take care of it before boxing it up so Ed and I gathered the supplies on my shopping list. It wasn’t long before the box with the computer was taken up to the checkout. By then my brain had checked out and though I thought it seemed like it was too quick for the hd to be cleaned I didn’t think to ask. Once home we rearranged stuff in the office making a space on the floor for the box to sit on it’s side.
There it sat over four months, glowering at me as Old PC muttered, gasped and blacked out. Before Sock Summit Ed didn’t expect me to spend time setting it up. August passed and hints about getting it running came more frequently. Ed isn’t one to nag and there reached a point when he didn’t say anymore. Danger zone. When he stops talking is when action needs to happen. Sad, huh. Ed does not procrastinate. He only knows the meaning of the word because I do.
I would walk into the office, see the disorganization and clutter and get completely side-swiped not know how to start. occasionally a bit of organizing would happen but not the main thing. Going away for five days and returning to work in an inefficient office space lit the fire to get it done. And the desire to start a weaving project knowing I dare not with The Computer Project waiting.
When Ed went to visit a friend Saturday afternoon, the moment came. Calling a young computer whiz to give me a hand, I set to moving some stuff out of the office, setting up two new short filing cabinets, vacuuming up dusties and unplugging all the electrical stuff trying to keep the thousand wires orderly, and moving Old PC to a workable surface. David showed up and we quickly commenced setting up New PC. Until. Password? Password? Arghhh They had not cleaned up the computer. David called the store. Of course they wouldn’t give him their password. Bring it in, they said.
Dashing across the 25 miles to the store I made it before closing time. The tech guy set it up an account for us. Problem is, there’s still old stuff on there. It’s been taking the lion’s share of the last four days to get files transferred, programs installed, bugs worked out, email issues resolved – still working on that one. By yesterday afternoon I dispared at all the time being syphoned away by the set up knowing there are pictures of Kuchulu spindles to post, interested buyers to contact, sending one to our winner -Josiane. Nevermind all the orders that are piling up waiting to be processed and sent. The postage software problem was finally solved late yesterday and there’s hope that the final email issue will be resolved tomorrow.
Maybe one of you can answer why it is that in Thunderbird, the email program we use, the password for two accounts is not accepted yet when I type the same passwords into Old PC they’re recognized by the mail server and I can download the email. I’ve verified the passwords several different times in my cpanel but still can’t get through on New PC. The response from our domain host is to do just what I’ve done. Going in circles. Meanwhile, I have both computers set up so I can access everything I need to do my work. I’m hoping that tomorrow will be the final day of the dualing computers.
Be on the look out for a small flock of Kuchulus!
October 15, 2009
Posted by Wanda J under Spinning  Comments
Hope and Grace came to breakfast this morning. The blueberry scones were steaming hot fresh from the oven, coffee poured into mugs, a jar of peaches opened and put in a bowl alongside a bowl with Lychee’s, a favorite fruit of Ed’s.
After eating and chatting two identical lists of suggested spindle names were placed in front of Grace and Hope. At first they talked and discussed the various merits of each proposed name until it appeared that method wasn’t working. Pens in hands, with little talking, each commenced to go up and down her list marking through the names that didn’t quite catch her fancy. Ed was working in his shop and I tried to stay silent as to which were the names that appealed to me since we didn’t want to unduely influence their choices. When they’d finally compared lists we were surprised to find only two names left on each list, and most surprising was that they matched. (Crazy! We’d assumed there’d be at least five or six matching names that would go in the hat for the final draw.) I wrote the two names on separate pieces of paper, folded each several times then put them into the hat.
Hope stirred and mixed the slips.
Grace reached into the hat
And lifted high one slip.
There were so many super suggestions that Ed and I were completely bowled over by the list. As mentioned in the previous post, we realized that there were some names we could not use, and it seemed prudent to use a name that met several criteria: fit the spindle; be set apart, different; and good for product name recognition. But I’d originally declared that all names would go in a hat (misunderstanding Ed’s intent) making it an uneasy dilemma for us.
Thirty-seven names were on the lists for Grace and Hope to narrow down to the final drawing.
The suspense… we really liked both names that were tossed into the hat………
Another perspective on the size of this wonderful new spindle beside the ball of yarn spun with it.
Oh, you want the name!
This very small spindle has been named.
Kuchulu – Persian term of endearment for something tiny and cute. Perfect!
Submitted by Josiane. Thank you! I will be contacting you by email tomorrow morning. Meanwhile it’s way past my bedtime!
We really appreciate everyone’s ideas and comments, a huge thank you to everyone.
October 14, 2009
Could it already have been two years since our last proper vacation where we actually left home and shop and drove someplace away from work, the phone and computer for more than 3 nights? Keeping a blog is helpful in checking the facts of the whens and wheres of events. Breezing through older posts looking for our last vacation I was stunned to find that no, it wasn’t two years ago when we slipped away to the coast for three days. I knew it’d been a long time but this? It was October 5th, 2006! What a coincidence to take our next vacation exactly three years later.
We packed the car and headed north than eastward early Tuesday morning intent on getting beyond Portland before traffic snarled the roads. The roads were practically clear of traffic and we arrived in Troutdale, where we stopped for coffee, as dawnlight lit the sky behind Mt Hood.
Heading on east we approached the Columbia Gorge where during our courting days we roamed its many trails and waterfalls . The wide Columbia River cuts a swath through the Cascade Mountain Range.
Some 40 miles later the gorge eases from the wet western portion of Oregon to the drier climate of Eastern Oregon.
A bit further along we were climbing into the higher desert country with massive wind turbines harnessing the prevalent winds that blow untethered across the hills.
Counting back the years to the last time we’d driven I-84 east beyond the gorge, I was stunned to realize it’d been thirteen years. Ed and I prefer the more leisurely pace of taking secondary roads on road trips. This time we not only wanted to make good time and arrive at our destination as early as reasonable, we also planned to make a huge loop coming home the “back” way, and I looked forward to seeing this part of Oregon once again. When the children were preschoolers Ed’s folks lived in Northern Idaho for several years. A couple times each year we loaded up food, presents and toys for the three+ hour drive (each way) through the gorge and past this area to meet them half way for a picnic.
Across the broad rolling flats we finally began the long long crawl up Cabbage Hill, properly known as Emigrant Hill where many pioneers crossed the Blue Mountains and had only the Cascades, or the Gorge, to push through before arriving in the Willamette Valley. Snow still lay in patches in the northern shaded spots along the road. Tall pines blanketed the broad, almost flat-topped range. Back down to the dry land with few trees and lots of sage brush and on across the Snake River into Treasure Valley where proof is abundant what will bloom and grow in a dry land when water is faithfully channeled and supplied. Farms dot the desert growing alfalfa, corn, vegetables and fruits of all types. Weary we finally pulled into a driveway and rang a doorbell.
Hi there, sweet Feather!
Hi, little Guy!
We’re almost overwhelmed by all who suggested a name for our newest Turkish spindle. Thank you, everyone who left a comment. So many clever, wonderful, excellent suggestions.( Sorry I wasn’t able to answer each personally as I’d intended. I took the laptop with us but the kids didn’t have a way for me to connect so other than a couple of quick checks on their computer I was pretty much computer free for most of the week. ) We realized almost immediately that we needed a better method than simply pulling a name out of the hat. While almost all the names have merit, some we can’t use because they’re in use and/or we could potentially have copyright problems down the road. I’ve written all the suggestions on a separate paper and tomorrow morning friends will come over for breakfast scones, peaches, coffee, and a naming party. They will get to decide which name fits this newest addition to our flock of spindles. Stay tuned to see who’s the winner!
October 3, 2009
Yesterday afternoon Crooked Finger Band had a small gig for a small office party at the director’s home. We were scheduled to play on the patio but just as we were setting up rain smattered causing us to scurry all our gear under the cover of the small porch. After the third time we were moved into the house which was a fabulous acoustic setting with wooden floors and a vaulted ceiling. In the smaller space we didn’t need the sound system and were soon making music. It’s funny how much a setting can affect a band. No longer did we feel like we were performing, instead we were totally relaxed having fun singing and playing to the gathering who clapped and cheered with gusto.
Arriving home Ed said, “you should see what’s in the office.” At first glance I saw nothing new so decided to check emails, and then I saw it. A new spindle creation!
Irresistable! I snatched it up and soon was spinning away with this little guy.
Isn’t it adorable? Initially I was calling it a Turkish Gem, but its slight weight of 9 grams! and watching the arms blur in a whirl of motion reminded me of the two hummingbirds that Ed and I had the immense priviledge of holding. We like Hummingbird but that seems too long for such a small guy. (Twice a hummingbird had gotten behind the glass window on our back porch and couldn’t figure out how to get back out. The one Ed caught had a a bit more scarlet on his throat than the one I caught a couple weeks later. (Ed’s thumbnail gets a regular sanding.)
Playing with the spindle again today words flit through my head such as Turkish Turbo, Enchanted…
We’ve been tossing different monikers around and like several. Ed had the idea that we should have a Name the New Spindle Contest. So here it is!
Write the name you think it should go public under in the comment section. (If done anonymously than the name will be omitted)
Names will go into a hat to be drawn by a neighbor or some random person.
If the name drawn was submitted by more than one person, every person who suggested that particular name will have their name put into the hat. The person’s name drawn will be the winner of Ed’s next mighty little spindle.
(ETA: We reserve the right to toss out names that we don’t feel are appropriate or can’t stand. As a Jenkins Woodworking product it needs to be something we will be proud to write and say. We need to steer clear of names already used by other established spindle makers such as Hummingbird which has been pointed out to me is already in use.)
Contest will be open until 6pm PDT Wednesday, Oct 14.
In other news: I made a video showing how I wind on to a Turkish Spindle. Frequently I’m asked how to wind onto the Turkish spindle and so decided it was time for a quick example.
There’s still much I planned to post such as the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival that Grace and I went to last weekend. Until next time!
Please leave your name suggestions in the comments! Thanks!