Friday, June 26, 2009

A funny thing happened a couple of weekends ago

Did you go to World Wide Knit in Public Day either on Saturday the 13th or the 20th? I helped to coordinate one for our county on the 13th. A group of us met at the county courthouse gazebo for talk, knitting, spinning and eating. It was so much fun to catch up with friends and meet new ones. I ended up spinning most of the time because I'm on a major spinning jag.

The rest of the weekend seemed charmed beyond all belief. On Saturday, before going to the courthouse, I stopped by the local farmer's market at the WWKiP event going on there. While there, I happened to see a great wheel at a tag sale. I didn't really look at it, just noticed that it was there.

PA Great WheelThe next morning, I drove by again and the wheel was still there. One of the ladies in my spinning guild collects antique wheels so I stopped and took picture of it and found out the price for her. When I called Kim, she said that she already had one great wheel so was going to pass on this one. I posted the pictures on an antique spinning wheel group on Ravelry and asked the members if they thought the wheel was missing any pieces, if the two breaks in the wheel itself could be easily fixed, and if it was worth it for the price. They said, yes, the wheel could be repaired and, no, it didn't seem to be missing any pieces.

I was still considering during the day and decided to drive by again before I went riding in the evening. When I went by, I saw that the people were starting to pack everything up. I only had $50 on me and offered it to the lady. Even though that wasn't was she was asking for it, she sold it in a heartbeat. I think they really didn't want to pack it up again. I continued to the barn, got the horses in, fed them, borrowed a truck out there, grabbed winter blankets and leg wraps for padding, and headed back into town. In 10 minutes, I had a brand new (you know what I mean) spinning wheel. According to the people on the Ravelry group, this wheel is a Pennsylvania Great Wheel. Right now, it is in the basement waiting to be moved to the living room.

The other exciting thing that happened that weekend was that I was offered a horse. Michelle, a fellow spinner, moved out to Colorado in January and their house finally sold a couple of weeks ago. She had reduced her herd of horses down to one horse that just wasn't selling. Ivy is a 3 year old Appendix (part Quarter Horse and part Thoroughbred) bay filly who hasn't been trained for riding yet. A couple of friends and I went to see Ivy on Monday. On Wednesday evening, we drove the trailer down to pick her up. (Our barn is just down the road from Michelle's.) She didn't want to load since we were a whole bunch of strangers. We borrowed another horse from the barn, loaded that one, loaded Ivy and drove off with both. Once we were at our barn, Ivy came off and Curtis drove the other horse back to her barn.

We let Ivy out with everyone else that night. It is always better to introduce everyone quickly rather than letting them injure themselves by fighting over fences. We let Ivy out first to let her have a chance to look at her surroundings before introducing everyone. Next, we let Java out to meet the new girl. He sniffed her and then went to get a drink out of the waterer. The next horse, Jazz, was in heat so badly that she didn't have eyes for any other horse than my gelding. (The girls have convinced him that he is a stallion.) Next, Bo was let go and he really wanted to be Ivy's friend. The last horse locked in was the head mare, Cali. She was slamming the door with her hoof, pinning her ears, and almost snarling at Ivy. Everyone got to a safe place and we let Cali out. She tore out of the stall and immediately put herself between Ivy and the other horses.

the herdIvy is to the left. The white horse in the middle is Cali.

They all ran around for a while. Cali was only able to herd Java because Bo kept escaping to see Ivy and Jazz had finally noticed the new horse.

ivy runningBy the next morning, Jazz and Ivy were joined at the hip. Both of them seemed perfectly contentent to come in the stall together to get fed and didn't understand when the silly humans wouldn't allow that.

java and ivyJava and Ivy

After a little more than a week, Cali has given up on keeping Java away from Ivy. She has decided eating is much more exciting than herding her gelding around.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Save Ohio Libraries

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


6/20/09 Governor’s Budget Proposal cuts the PLF 50%. Act Now!

Many of the Ohio’s 251 public libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor’s latest proposal to balance the state’s 2010-2011 biennium budget.

Public libraries in Ohio are funded primarily through the Public Library Fund (PLF), which receives 2.2% of the state’s tax revenue. Since 2001, public library funding has been on the decline. As a result of the current downturn in the economy and decreasing state tax revenues, public libraries are currently experiencing a drop in funding from the Public Library Fund (PLF) estimated at 20% or more as compared to 2008. At a news conference on Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed an additional cut in the PLF of $112.5 million in fiscal year 2010 and $114.8 million in 2011 as part of his “framework” to fill the $3.2 billion gap in the budget that must be balanced by Ohio General Assembly’s Conference Committee by June 30. This will mean a more than 50% cut in funding for many of Ohio ’s public libraries.

With some 70% of the state’s 251 public libraries relying solely on the PLF to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close completely, close branches, or drastically cut hours and services.

The Governor’s proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio’s public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet to access information on employment opportunities, children and teens are beginning summer reading programs, and people of all ages are turning to the library for information and entertainment.

Ohio ’s public libraries offer CRITICAL services to those looking for jobs and operating small businesses. Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state’s economic recovery. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio ’s public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with these proposed cuts.

About 30% of Ohio’s public libraries have local property tax levies that supplement the state’s funding. However, with the Governor’s proposed drastic cuts in the PLF, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing.

During the next nine days, the Ohio General Assembly will decide whether or not to accept the Governor’s proposal. We cannot allow that to happen; we cannot wait. ALL public libraries throughout the state should immediately notify their patrons, by e-mail if possible, of the Governor’s proposed library funding cuts and the devastating effects that will result. Patrons should be urged to contact their state legislators and the Governor’s office by phone or e-mail to voice their strong opposition. We have no time for letters. Library boards of trustees should meet as soon as possible to evaluate the impact of the proposed funding reduction and formulate plans to reduce services or shut down their libraries. Make sure your patrons know immediately the actions you might have to take. This is a drastic measure proposed by the Governor and it will require a dramatic and immediate response from the libraries and our patrons.
The General Assembly Conference Committee will likely make their decision about this proposal this week. Here are the things that you should do IMMEDIATELY:
E-mail your patrons and ask them to e-mail or call your state representatives and the Governor (614-466-3555) Immediately!

Make signs and handouts for all of your buildings. In some cases, it is appropriate to say “This Branch May Close If The Governor’s 50% Cut Is Approved - Call the Governor at 614-466-3555 and State Representative(fill in yours) and State Senator (fill in yours).

Contact your editorial boards on Monday and ask for a meeting as soon as possible.
Hold an emergency meeting of your board to discuss this cut and make sure to invite your local press.

Put a message on your Web site and include links to your state legislators e-mail address and the Governor.

Do a press release on the impact this will have on your library. Remember this cut begins July 1!

Work together with other libraries in your area.

This must be accomplished THIS WEEK.

The OLC is working with the Ohio General Assembly to make sure they don’t accept this proposal. We are developing a press release for Monday morning (we will send that to all directors). We are working with Jon Iten on a memo that will review the legal steps necessary to close or merge libraries should that become necessary. We will keep you apprised of the situation.

For more information, contact:

Ohio Library Council - (614) 410-8092
Doug Evans, Executive Director - (614) 216-0678 (cell)
Lynda Murray, Director of Government and Legal Services - (614) 746-0895 (cell)
Mackenzie Betts, Director of Communications - (614) 203-2656

To find your Ohio Senator:

To find your Ohio Representative:

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Hi, my name is Anne and I'm addicted to sheep fuzz. All things fiber are appealing to me with the exception of finishing my various projects!

I'm definitely going through a spinning jag right now. The spindles I got in Seattle aren't helping any. Or this fantastic video for a new drop spindle technique. It's like navajo plying but not. I've been using this technique for the 4 ounces of Falkland I got at the same time as the spindle and am loving it. It takes a little while to get the technique down but is great. I've already spun up 2 of the 4 ounces of roving.
spindle and falkland

In other spinning news, I broke down and rearranged my yarn and fiber stashes. Now they are very much out in sight and all of it is harder to ignore. Well, not ignore, but forget about how much is really there. Thanks to rearranging, I've made it a goal to start spinning up some of it. When I bought my Kromski wheel, the lady who was selling it was also getting rid of her fiber so I bought that, too. So on top of the fiber I had already had, I put much more in. Some of the new fiber definitely wouldn't have been the colors I would have picked so this is definitely expanding my horizons. I've made it a goal this month to spin up between 16 and 24 ounces of the already prepared top (i.e. not any of my raw fleeces) from the stash.

So far I've spun up 4 ounces of 100% BFL (I think I love that fiber) into a 3-ply fingering yarn in a colorway called Watermelon. Now I don't think I would have bought this color in roving form but I really enjoy the finished yarn. The wool is very sproingy and the colors are just fun together. It is a really red red, a strong green, and brown for those watermelon seeds. The socks aren't going to match perfectly but will be fraternal twins whenever I get around to knitting them.

Right now I'm working on a 4 ounce wool/bamboo blend (the percentages weren't written down on the label) in a color called Flirty. The color mix is really growing on me. It has white, light gray, dark gray/black, pink and blue in it. My wheel's previous owner had bought 4 braids of this colorway (16 ounces total). I have a strong suspicion that 3 of the braids were dyed at one time and 1 after. The colors aren't that different but they just appear in slightly different places. What I mean is, 3 of the braids have the dark sections at the ends of the braid but one of them has those dark spots in the middle. Right now I'm spinning up that odd ball braid. The plan is to also spin this into a 3-ply fingering weight for more socks. I may be knitting down my sock yarn stash but I seem to be spinning more up.

In addition to all of this already prepared roving, I've been working on my fleeces. I've been spinning and plying up a laceweight yarn from the tan shetland fleece.

plying shetland
The first skein of this yarn ended up being almost 700 yards. I've already wound it up and cast on for a shawl from Knitted Lace of Estonia.

skein of tan shetland
The plan is to try to get this finished for the state fair. Our local fair doesn't have a category for handspinning but the state does. (No, instead the local fair has a category for FROG FIGURINE COLLECTING. Yeah, that's right. FROG FIGURINES. That just doesn't seem like it should be a part of the arts and craft entries.) I'm also trying to get some other projects finished for both of the fairs.

I am also making a shawl for a friend out of some yarn I got last year in St. Michael's, MD. I don't think I ever entered it into my ravelry stash. It was from a nearby dyer and definitely was out of my normal range of yarns. It is a purple with slight variations in hue and a thread of gold metallic running through it. In addition, the yarn is 100% rayon. It feels soft and has a great drape but the yarn fumes must have gotten to me. I've been imagining a shawl with this yarn since I bought it but couldn't find a good pattern. Last week, I realized Michele is going to be leaving soon (duh, I knew that for a year!) and I needed to get a move on with her project. So I decided to do a Swallowtail shawl and immediately cast on. This will be the second Swallowtail I've made and I've come to the conclusion that I love it for a fast pattern. I've been working on the shawl since Thursday (with a lot of spinning time thrown in there) and I'm already to the nupps section. I think another reason for my love of the pattern is that I get to do more nupps. I think I have an addiction.

Oh, would you like to see a rather bad picture of the cotton spindle I bought in Seattle? Here you go. I haven't worked with it yet so I can't tell you what I think about it yet.
cotton and spindle

Mom and I went to a fiber festival up in Wooster at the end of May. I liked wandering around and seeing everything and everybody. We had some fantastic lamb sandwiches. The vendor also had lamb hotdog (lamb dogs?) but we didn't try that. We did get one for dad but I don't remember what he said about it. I ended up buying a small 1 yard niddy noddy and a skein of sock yarn. Doesn't it look so different wound up?
sock yarn
wound sock yarn
I already cast on for a sock with it. The spinning, though, has interrupted the sock progress.