Thursday, June 28, 2007

What I've learned so far....

Thanks to all of you and your generous referrals, I've been able to get in touch with a number of people and learn a lot more about the assorted spinning wheels. Given that Marianne, Julie, Michelle and perhaps others are also entertaining the idea of a wheel purchase sometime in the future, I thought I'd share what I've learned thus far.

Lara was kind enough to send me to She purchased her spinning wheel, a Kromski Sonata, there and was very happy with the entire experience, as well as the wheel.

Gretch sent me to Cabin Cove where her friend, Dave Daniels, now owns a magnificent portable wheel, a Journey, which looks a lot like the Indian charkas (the boxed style). It's a gorgeous piece of work; no doubt about it. Gretch also mentioned that Dave spins on a Kromski too.

Robin, Catie & Nikki said, "CyberFyber!" Dave Simpson is owner/operator of and his site is wonderful. He gives wheel "test drives" and is located outside of Newport, VA (Blacksburg).

Here's the tally thus far:

Lara - - Kromski Sonata

Robin - - Kromski Sonata

Catie - - Kromski Minstrel

Linda - - Beautiful wheel made by her husband, Jim. Hmmm...what are your thoughts on polygamy, Linda? Jim? ;)

Nikki - - Ashford Traditional

I want sit and spin* before I commit to any type, but realistically speaking, I'm thinking Ashford or Kromski. They're just beautiful imho.

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P.S. Have the words "sit and spin" changed for you over the years like they have for me? As I child, I adored the toy and would spend hours turning the handle and going around in circles. In daughter reads the blog on occasion and suffice it to say, I sat and spun in a different manner. Here and now, it's a wheel and some fiber. ;)

The irony of it just struck me as funny.
I'm weird that way.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I. Am. Frustrated.

I want a spinning wheel.
I want a spinning wheel badly.
I do not know what type of spinning wheel to purchase.
Herein lies my problem.

How the heck are you supposed to choose?!? Shopping for a wheel is not like buying a sofa. There's no "Spinning Wheel Super Saver Outlet" (would that there was one) where you go into the giant showroom and park your bum on the benches of twenty different spinning wheels and decide which one fits you best.

For example....let's try out this "Ikea" wheel made of PVC and a wheelchair wheel.

(It's actually a "Babe Fiber Starter Single Treadle."

Or do you say "Damn the mortgage!" and shop "Ethan Allen" for this little work of art, the Kromski Polonaise.

I suppose I could go "Pier One" and buy a Nepalese charkha like this one.

(Did I mention my boss is going to Nepal on vacation this coming October? Believe it or not, this charkha only weighs around 8 lbs. Our conversation (me begging) will go like this, "Pick one of my children to keep - - either one - - just bring me back one of these." In all honesty, she'd probably buy the wheel for me and insist I keep the kids a la The Ransom of Red Chief).

In all seriousness, how you know which one to select? Louet? Ashford? Bayley? Kromski? Schacht? and many other notable names. This is making me nutty and I'm starting to look like this....

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Babies and Christmas

Those have been the focus of my knitting lately. I'm finished with Mason Dixon for a while (unless more pregnancies pop up) and once the bowls are done, I'll get back into my swallowtail shawl, a new chicken and some other things.

I've also done a couple more bowls. I used a mix of Emu Finlandia, Cascade 220 Tweed, Manos del Uruguay, Lamb's Pride and Tahki Donegal tweed. Once they're felted, I'll post a photo. In the meantime, keep cool and happy knitting.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lighter Fare

I found these online and decided that you might enjoy a giggle....

Friday, June 08, 2007

"What the F**K?!?!" Wednesday

From the Roanoke Times newspaper... and including my pithy editorial comments

Firearm allegedly found on bus

A school resource officer, who was driving the bus of sixth-graders, was put on paid leave.
By Courtney Cutright 981-3345

Cpl. David Mays, a school resource officer at Staunton River Middle School, was placed on a paid administrative leave Thursday after allegedly leaving his loaded gun unattended on a charter bus, Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown said. No, the gun was definitely there and photographs exist to prove it.
Mays, who has been employed by the county sheriff's department since 1999, also moonlights as a bus driver for Linkous Christian Tours of Bedford.
According to Brown, the incident occurred Wednesday evening at a rest stop outside Charlottesville on Interstate 64 when Mays was driving a group of sixth-graders back to Bedford from Paramount's Kings Dominion in Richmond.
"Cpl. Mays took his weapon off to go to the bathroom," Brown said. Do you really believe this? My theory is he took it off for the three hour road trip and simply forgot it. However, if I were the sheriff, I'd never say, "My officer forgot his gun with a busload of children milling around."
A chaperone and a student photographed the weapon in an unsecured compartment near the driver's seat, Brown said. The images were turned over to the sheriff's department Thursday.
The incident, which Brown called "totally unacceptable," is under investigation by the sheriff's department.
"The weapon should be secured on the officer or in an appropriate locked container," Brown said.
He also said carrying the service weapon was not in conflict with the department's policy until it left Mays' possession.
It is unknown whether the tour bus company has a policy regarding employees' use of firearms. No one from Linkous Christian Tours could be reached for comment Thursday.
"We regret what has transpired in the last 24 hours," said the school system's public information officer Ryan "Please don't sue us" Edwards. " I can also vouch for the fact that Cpl. Mays has a genuine love for children." Brown added that Mays is distraught over the incident, which was brought to the school system's attention Thursday morning.
Edwards said complaints were also presented to the school system regarding Mays' behavior on the bus. He was unsure if the complaints over the officer's behavior were brought by the same individuals who reported the unattended firearm. I think that's pretty much a given folks.
Edwards said Principal Linwood Roberts spoke to all parents who chaperoned the trip and "a majority were supportive" of the officer.
Approximately 50 sixth-graders and 10 chaperones were on the trip, in which students were being rewarded for behavior and good grades.
Mays requested the day off from the sheriff's department to take the students on the field trip, Brown said.
It was not the first occasion Mays made such a request, Brown said, and there have been no previous complaints against the deputy. [End Article]


After 36 hours of "stewing," I finally calmed down and gained a bit of perspective. Here are my thoughts on my daughter's bus ride to Kings Dominion:

1. Mays forgot his gun. Regrettable, but accidental. No responsible adult and certainly no off-duty Bedford County police officer (we've got a great police force here) would ever deliberately leave his loaded weapon on a bus filled with children.

2. No harm, no foul. I have made my peace with the gun situation. The chaperones saved the day and I literally thank God for each and every one of them.

Remember that line about, "behavior on the bus....?" That situation, separate and apart from the forgotten pistol, still makes me simmer. How did Mr. Mays, the bus driver, behave on the bus? Here's part of an the e-mail I sent to the school board, amongst others, on that subject:

  • ...Mays told the children that they were not permitted to use the bus restroom....(Note: Mays had told the children that they were not permitted to use the restroom at all during the three hour trip because he would have to clean the bathroom that night).
  • ...Mays shouted at two male students, calling them "girls" because they had to use the restroom....
  • ...Mays spent a significant amount time talking on his cell phone while driving the bus....
  • A chaperone parent on the bus told Officer Mays to keep his eyes on the road and to stop talking on his cell phone while driving.

So folks, how the hell was your Wednesday?!?!?!

Credit: The brilliant mind of Noolie created today's title, "WTFW?" She does "WTFW?" on her blog and it's great fun to read. Check her out (and please do forgive me for pirating your title this one time, Noolie).

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sock Sisterhood

In a lovely card, Dianne and Linda wrote, "By the power vested me by NSK (Notorious Sock Knitters): You have been nominated and unanimously voted into The Local Sock Sisters Association."

And accompanying the card was this work of art. It's Blue Moon Fiber/Socks That Rock heavyweight yarn in the "Rolling Stone" colorway. I was blown away by all of it. The card was wonderful, the adoption was great and the fiber....oh the's magnificent. :)

Thank you sooooooo much Dianne & Linda!

Now having this incredible yarn, I had to find patterns "good enough" for it. That said, I found the following two sock patterns from Fiber Trends.

On the left is "Leaf Lace" and on the right, "Hellen's Favorites." Below is what I started this weekend.

I had already begun a new pair of socks before receving the STR. Needless to say, I finished them off as quickly as I could and here's the end result. I used the Cascase Tweed and a "Bed Sock" pattern that came from my Stitch 'n Bitch Page-A-Day calendar.

Linda and Dianne - - Thank you again! I'm thoroughly loving my new sock addiction, as well as being in the sisterhood! XOXOX