I like my new toy....

  Hello all! My birthday was last week, and my mom, sister and brother-in-law came up. It was so awesome! They hadn't seen our home, ever, so it was a quick, nice visit. I got lots of nice things (the robin's egg blue dishes are excellent!), but I have to admit, my most favorite thing was something Shelley bought for me:

I may have squee'd a bit...
 I have a ball winder!!!! I. Love. It. I sat for 3 days, making cakes of yarn, because... reasons... Ok, because I am slightly insane, and my new toy is the bomb.

This is honestly just a small sample of the winding madness that was the last couple of days here. It's very zen to sit and wind. The children wanted to get in on the cranking action, so I held the yarn tension while they wound the crank. Laceweight up to bulky weight were all handled very well.

  Yesterday, I also went through most of my hook and needle inventory. I needed to update my little log book, and it turns out I have more needles than I originally thought. I have inherited yarns and hooks/needles over time from so many. My dpns (double pointed needles) were a complete mess! I keep my knitting needles in 3 mason jars: one for dpns and spare crochet hooks, one for 10" single point needles, and one for 14" single point needles. Well, dpns tend to be smaller (6"-9" long) and you get 4-5 needles per set. I have needles that go from 000 to 10 1/2 in size, and they were all scattered around the jar. A pain in the keister to find the size you need, especially since they don't have the sizes written on them (except for the large bamboo ones). So, I found my old Creative Memories stash (scrapbooking is cool, but I bored of it quickly), and took out some cute pre-cut strips of paper, and made little tubes to hold each size.
Please excuse my poor desk
  It isn't perfect, but it certainly does make finding what size I want ever so much easier. I could make a roll up cloth holder for them, like Shelley made me ever so long ago, but I like to keep my needles where I can easily see them. The very sweet thing about dpns is that they are usually small enough to fit in my notions pouch, so they're easy to carry in there. The downside: the metal ones tend to poke out of project bags, and can get easily lost in transit if you don't take care.
  I have been working on so many things. I'm almost done with the gift we're sending to our lucky winner (sorry it's taken so long!!!). I also tested out some new scrubby yarn by Red Heart, called Scrubby. So far, I love how it works up! I love our version of the scrubby, but I HATE working with the netting. It sucks so bad, and is hard to get to stay tucked up and tied together. This 100% polyester yarn, on the other hand, feels weird at first, but works up easily and neatly. I am testing one now, and will let you all know how it handles the washer and dryer.
So far, only found 4 colors, so picked one I liked

Sample top: the washing side
Sample bottom: the scrubby side

 My dad and step-mom, Betty, sent me a skein of 100% alpaca, and some money for my birthday. The yarn is soooo soft, and wound up sweet. Now I need to find a pattern to use for it. The money I am going to use to get some Expression Fiber Arts yarn. Holy carp, it is so beautiful, but I can't decide on a weight or color!! I will figure it out... today and tomorrow there is a sale too! (check it all out at http://www.expressionfiberarts.com/)
40 feels pretty darn good folks!
  Well, that's all for this week! I have to prep for babysitting this Friday through Saturday morning, the first Craft Club meeting at church, and then more babysitting Saturday night. Yowza!

  Alyssa, aka 2 Dainty Crafters!


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