Thursday, February 24, 2011

Snow Day!

Last night it started snowing again here in the great Northwest which is unusual for this time of year, but we received a nice little dumping of snow late Wednesday that continued into early Thursday morning. It seems this our year for the snow - this is our second or is it our third big snow. We got somewhere between two and six inches! (doesn't sound like much does it?)  Here is a picture from my patio around noon time today - it doesn't look like much now but there was a whole lot more at six o'clock this morning - this is what happens when the sun comes out and melts it all! That is one of the major difference between living in the Northwest and the Northeast - the snow isn't so easily melted in the Northeast as it is here. But in anticipation of the large snow accumulation almost all the schools in the local area are closed today.

This is nothing compared to
the first big snow storm this year!
I grew up in the Northeast and this little bit of snow is nothing compared to what areas on the eastcoast get each year (this year being no exception), but here it is considered a lot and everything tends to shut down because they aren't prepared equipment-wise for the removal of it.

First big snow of the winter
But I think after the last big snowstorm DOT and most of the cities were a little more prepared this time and were able to clear most of the major roadways so there weren't as many accidents or abandoned cars. But there were some areas of Washington that weren't so lucky and got some major accumulation as you can see from the photos below.

Kent - big and heavy snow

North Bend

Bellevue - before many of the roads were cleared
Since, my area wasn't plowed and the roads pretty much looked like the picture above, I stayed home today as well.  If I knew that the snow would have been melted by lunch time, I would have braved the roads and gone into work, but who could anticipate the snow to mostly be gone by lunch time?

So what does a knitter do on a snow day?  Well this knitter decided to inventory her stash and log it on Ravelry.  I logged over 50 in my stash inventory so far and still have so much more to go.  I knew I had a lot of yarn, but I just didn't know how much until now.  But this is good, because now I have a more accurate account of what is stuffed in the cubby holes of my yarn shelf.  It is so frustrating when I buy hanks of yarn and then find out later that I had it in my stash all along, but just didn't know it.  The other benefit of stashing on Ravelry is that you are connected to an inventory of others who have used the yarn for projects and you have access to those projects.  So you can get ideas for your leftover stashed yarn.  I love Ravelry!

What else have I been up to on my snow day?  Well I've discovered a new skill I would like to try.  After attending the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat last weekend and seeing all the hand-dyed roving, all the different types of fiber, spinning wheels, drop spindles and beautiful yarns that were created from hand-spinning, I've been scouring the web for an inexpensive spinning wheel for beginners.  At the Madrona Marketplace, I got to watch a really cool drop spindle demonstration and as I roamed around and watched a few spinners creating some beautiful yarn from the hand-dyed roving they had for sale, I was excited! I wanted to do this, it looked like so much fun and the end product was so beautiful.

I know, I know, I don't need another hobby, but who can resist the beautiful designs that can be created from so many different fibers mixed together and dyed with such vibrant colors? Just walking around and seeing it all had me wanting to take up spinning.  Of course I may have to start with drop spinning first just to see if I'll like it, and because its a inexpensive way to get started.  After checking many websites that sell spinning wheels I realized I'm gonna have to cut down on the yarn shopping so I can save up money for a spinning wheel. 

I found a pretty inexpensive one for beginners on Paradise Fibers called Babe's Fiber Garden which comes in single and double treadle (ah yes, new jargon to learn).  This model received some pretty good reviews so I think I'm gonna save up my money so that maybe as a Christmas gift to myself this year I will get me a spinning wheel. Christmas came early and I got myself a wheel, a Lendrum and it's beautiful.

My new Lendrum
 Well I'd like to hear from the spinners out there, give me some advice on what wheels are the best, how I should get started and where I should look for basic instructions on spinning.  Looking forward to hearing from all of you and happy spinning!

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