Of Rats and Jen (Inactive)

Tales of a Perpetual
Work In Progress

Wednesday Weekend Review

Filed under: Daily Life,Knitting,Shopping Adventures,Spinning,Yarn Recycling — folkcat at 4:48 pm on Wednesday, September 6, 2006

I’ve alluded recently to the notion that we had to make a point of getting me out of the house all day Saturday. This led to a nice little fiber crawl with my friend Bea. As promised, here’s my post about the goodies I bought that day.

Stringy Start

First stop was Colonial Needleworks in Bedford, the best local source for fine supplies for cross-stitch, needlepoint, and related needle arts. This was our first visit to the shop, and I had a goal – a better selection of colors of Size 8 Perle Cotton, to use for bead knitting.

I met that objective.

Perle Cotton and Metallic Floss
Perle Cotton and Metallic Floss

The metallic floss is also a DMC product, and it’s intended use is for a special style of beaded crochet chain necklaces that another friend, Judith, has designed. It’s featured in the current issue of Bead Patterns Magazine, an online subscription-based beadwork publication.

Misplaced Memories and Missed Exits

Next stop was the Elegant Ewe in Concord, where I hoped to buy a McMorran Yarn Balance. But apparently, I was misremembering that it could be found there. So instead, I had to settle for two skeins of Noro Kureyon in Color #40 for my entre-lac knitting bag that I’m working on.

Noro Kureyon #40
Noro Kureyon, Color #40

Poor me.

After lunch in downtown Concord, we moved on to the Fiber Studio in Henniker. At least, we tried to. Eventually, when I started seeing signs that said Sunapee, I realized that we couldn’t possibly be in the right place.

So I pulled off of Rte. 89 at exit 9, and checked the maps. Sure enough, we should have taken exit 5, a ways back, to switch over from 89 to 202. Oops.

Bea and I suspect that the problem was that a little before we would have come to exit 5, we saw a huge accident on the other side of the divided highway, and that distracted us at just the moment we should have seen the signs that would cue us to change roads.

The maps didn’t show any easy direct route from where we were to where we wanted to be, so backtrack it was – all four exits.

Achieving Balance

Upon arrival at the Fiber Studio (at last!), I found the Yarn Balance I’d thought would be at Elegant Ewe.

McMorran Yarn Balance
McMorran Yarn Balance

Yay! It’s a little hard to see in the picture, but there is in fact a clear acrylic box sitting there with a balancing arm at the top. It’s a devilishly clever little gadget. Basically, you hang a length of the yarn that you want to know the yardage of on the v-shaped notch on the arm. Snip or add bits of yarn until the arm balances level. Then, measure the length in inches. Multiply that number by 100, and you have the number of yards per pound!

Magic. That’s what it is. (Okay, I know it’s science. But it really seems like magic the way the balance was designed to make the process so simple any idjit can make it work!)

Between this and my Wraps-Per-Inch tool (acquired on a previous shopping trip), I now know that the pink lambswool thrift store sweater that I’m recycling is a fingering weight yarn (22 WPI), and that I have 1815 yards of it. Give or take a yard or two. Plenty for a shawl! I’ll have to cruise the patterns and see what I like.

These two tools together will give me a much better sense for what I have in my yard sale and thrift store finds – and what I spin for myself! It all starts to feel a little less random now…

It Followed Me Home, Can I Keep It?

Of course, I had to study the wonderful roving offerings at the Fiber Studio, too. I’ve previously mentioned that I lusted after a purple merino/tussah silk blend that I chose to leave behind.

This time, I couldn’t resist. Surprisingly, though, it wasn’t the purple that followed me home – it was this lovely green blend.

Merino/Tussah Silk Roving, Green
Green Merino/Tussah Silk Roving

That’s 4 ounces of merino/silk, just waiting for me to work my way through some of my other spinning. And it’s soft…so s-o-o-o-f-t….my precious-s-s-s…

Health Update

Had a doctor’s appointment today. My weight is up, as is my sugar, but so is my good cholesterol.

The good news is that my doctor completely understood about the reasons why the weight and sugar numbers are up (and the sugar number wasn’t up into alarm regions, just up compared to my normal). She agreed that the problem with the mold allergy probably began in the spring, escalating as the grout cracks in the tile and the mold behind them grew. And that the difficulty with breathing that resulted is responsible for my inability to exercise this summer, and the slippage in my diet as I tried to eat what I could, when I could, and to just feel better for the moment.

Dr. M prescribed an albuterol inhaler for me that should help me breathe more easily and get back to exercise. (I used to have one a decade ago, but the asthma had pretty much gone away until this summer.) The way the budget falls, we can’t pick it up until tomorrow. But I feel a lot of relief over the allergy issues because A), we know the source now, and B) relief is on the way.

The bad news is, once again I have a doctor who’s leaving the practice on me. Since being in New Hampshire, I haven’t had the same doctor for more than a year at a time – if even that long. I keep trying to establish an ongoing relationship with one, but then they get pregnant and quit the practice, or move elsewhere, or something.

This time, Dr. M. will be moving to California because of her husband’s new job. He’s an engineer who was laid off here, and that’s where he could find work. She’s not happy with it – she says she’s moved ten times in the past eight years for similar reasons. I have to give her a lot of credit – where most doctors would just send out a form letter to their patients informing them of the change, she said she felt the only right way to do it was tell each one personally as she sees them. And at the end of the visit, she spontaneously gave me a hug!

I had my issues with Dr. M at first, but over the months we have come to understand each other and work together well. Judging from the empty spaces for doctors’ names on the plaque in the waiting area, I suspect they’ve had a lot of turnover on the staff recently. Dr. M. has specified a PA in the office for us to see next time, and we’ll have to wait and see how the local staff settles out to see who there is to sign up with next.

Thank you, Dr. M. You’ll be missed. And I think I’ll be dropping a gift bag off sometime in the next month for you before you go – something tells me the candy-apple red of Wearable Hug #14 would look good on you, and would be perfect for those cool California nights…



Comment by Carrie K

September 6, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

That McMorran yarn balance sounds fabulous. Nice haul! I was wracking my brain as to where the Elegant Ewe could be in Concord until I realized you meant New Hampshire and I’m thinking California.

Sorry to hear about your doctor relocating. It’s so annoying to establish a good relationship and then have it sundered, over and over again. HOpe you feel better!


Comment by Arondelle

September 6, 2006 @ 5:20 pm

Dr. M? Leaving? AAAAAARRRGH!

I hate having to start all over again. :-/


Comment by Jess

September 6, 2006 @ 5:30 pm

I’ve been stealing hits off of RR’s inhaler all week ;o) My doctor has prescribed me one in the past so I know I can use it but I was just let go from my regular income job so I can’t afford to go get one of my own. (so I understand about the budget) I’m feeling a million times better since he started airing out the basement, though, so I haven’t used the inhaler in a couple of days.

Looks like you got a good haul on your yarn crawl – those yarn balances are the coolest!


Comment by Angela Lee

August 1, 2009 @ 5:50 am


I have always wanted an entralac purse. I have instructions on the stitch now I just have to get done with my other projects to start it.

I am working on four right now. A lacy sweater, sewing a pair of jeans for my daughter and a top too, and weaving the parts to my homewoven purse. Then I have to sew the pursee together. Then I will be ready for my next four projects.

you are so crafty, I wish I lived around you. It would be so interesting. Most the people I know don’t even cook. I get so bored meeting people that aren’t crafty. I have moved so much in the last four yerars I have a hard time making friends. Got to go where the work is though.

Angela Lee


Comment by Angela Lee

August 9, 2009 @ 8:06 am


Is sewing jeans just not interesting to you, or do you just not sew clothing? I don’t do it often but I can make any type of clothing by sewing. I have in the past. Plus, I have repaired them. But not everyone is into regular sewing. Not a problem for me. If you ever want to sew I would gladly give you any tips. I think you have lots of useful information in your crafty mind. 🙂 I hope to obtain lots of useful info from you if you are willing to send it along to me?


Comment by Angela Lee

August 18, 2009 @ 5:54 pm


I don’t like some of the tediousness about sewing either. But I like the end product so I tolerate it to get that. I like weaving best it is relaxing. Crochet is fun for me too. I don’t mind knitting but it depends on the pattern. So of it gets tedious. But I will do them from time to time.

Don’t worry I don’t expect a pen pal. I don’t write all the time to people so that would not ever work. But I am sure I will find things on your blog to ask about from time to time. I will be watching it for more info and if I am curious about something I will ask. I don’t always even write anything to answer so there will be no need to reply anything most times. I was just excited to find someone who is into crafts as much as I am. But I understand people have only so much time. So no worries.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.