Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Long time no blog

   It would be Politically Correct for me to say that I have been swept up by the Holiday Spirit, and too busy to blog.  Well, that could not be further from the truth.  I have no Holiday Spirit, other than the one that  seems to be giving me subliminal messages to carry something along the lines of an AK 47 every time I need to enter a store during this oh-so-festive season.  I am not fond of Holiday music.  I don't have a favorite Holiday movie, though I did watch Love Actually the other night, a movie I actually do love, but it didn't do much for my  bah- humbugedness.  My Holiday shopping involved 6 gift cards from Barnes and Nobel, a bunch of Grafton Cheese and some Lake Champlain Chocolates.  I also bought my husband something totally awesome  that I just knew he would absolutely love.  But he found it.

  On a happier note, I have continued some happy spinning projects.  But on a pretty sad wheel.  My Majacraft Rose has spun miles of yarn with me, and some of her more delicate parts have worn out in recent weeks.  In the course of replacing them, a couple of other bits and pieces fell apart, from fatigue or perhaps mis-handling. She is now all put back together and is happily plying some smokey, rosy BFL from Moonlight and Laughter.   This fiber was not particularly easy to spin, but it was a challenge I needed and really embraced.  Recently I have spun a bunch of merino/silk, some bamboo, and some bombyx silk. Those fibers are all slick  and therefore relatively easy to spin.  They were all two ply, spun and plied with a wollee winder.    Mindless spinning bliss.  BFL, for several reasons is my favorite fiber to spin, but it is not always simple.  This particular fiber was a bit tuggy, therefore had to be separated into fairly slim sections and pre-drafted vigorously in order to keep the color bands intact.  Some of the color bands were shorter than the staple length of the fiber so I had to be particularly vigilant to keep those colors from fanning out unevenly as I drafted.  Honestly, had I not paid attention the whole thing could have turned to muddy brown.  Instead, I spent a bit of time separating and pre-drafting and ended up with a spectacularly vibrant, but subtle yarn.  I love it.  This is not a time consuming process at all, and as a result the spinning goes much faster than it would if I had not pre-drafted.  I would hazard a guess that it all comes out close to the same time-wise , and the final results are well worth the time spent on fiber prep.

  Knitting is coming along nicely,  I even have some left over gift type stuff that could possibly be emergency presents, if only I could think of anyone to give them to. I am not saying that my projects are all completed, just that there is a light and 10 days at the end of the tunnel.  My husband, who has even less Holiday Spirit  than yours truly was moved to make 13 pepper mills.  Last year he made rolling pins.  He works in a gifty, friendly office.  More power to him. 
   I actually went to Webs last week and bought yarn for a sweater.  Now, I need yarn for a sweater far like I need another hole in my head, but every January I knit a sweater, I have enjoyed them all, wear them, and I just wanted to keep up the tradition.  I am making the Tea Leaves Cardigan by Melissa LaBarre.  I am using Madelinetosh Worsted in  Norway Spruce color (variagated deep blue-green).
  It is 2 pm and I am going to take a nap.  My youngest child gave me about 20,00 new grey hairs yesterday.  He returned home from college in Ohio for his 6 weeks winter break.  Before he left Ohio he bought 2 new snow tires to replace two of his 4 bald-ish tires.  I noticed this morning that they put the tires on the back of the car.  He has a front weel drive car.  Oh, well, he made it here.  He left Columbus at noon ( instead of his planned 7 am start, naturally) and drove to Vermont, straight through, arriving  in the middle of the night.  He is blissfully still asleep.  How do kids do that?

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holey socks, batman

R.I.P. Favorite Socks
    I have been  knitting socks for a long time.  I may have knit socks when I was a kid, don't remember, but my mother certainly knit socks, and I still have one whole and one partial sock that she left in a drawer when she died.  I meant to finish it for my sister and I didn't.   Now my sister is gone, as well, and I am sorry that I am the WORLD's worst procrastinator.  Anyway,  Wednesday I wore my all time very favorite pair of socks.  They are made with yarn that I bought at the Dublin Country Store in Dublin, New Hampshire.  I love the colors, the yarn, the pattern , but most of all I love wearing the socks.  Don't ask why, I don't know.  They are just my favorite socks.  And now they have a gigundo hole in the heal.  Not darnable.  Worn out and good only to keep as a memory.  I used the rest of the skein to make a baby hat, which I still have, but my daughter has dibs on it, just in case she ever has a baby.  At least I have the memories.
  So where have I been?  Someplace exotic; someplace I needed my passport to visit; someplace they do not speak English.  Don't get excited.  We went to Montreal for our first ever child free Thanksgiving.  We were married on Thanksgiving, may, many moons ago, just so that we would have the day off.  But for the past 20 odd years we have just celebrated Thanksgiving.  This year we celebrated putting up with each other for all these years by going off on a Romantic Getaway.  And it wasn't half bad.  Montreal is a lovely city, with a fine metro system, and lots of cool galleries and fine restaurants.  We did not go to a hockey game, though I wanted to give it a go, but we did go to the Biodome, Insectarium and Botanical Gardens.  It was fun.  I was glad to get home.
  Stealth and not so stealth knitting.  The Herbivore went back on the needles, and is off again.  I made it 2" bigger all around, made more mistakes and blocked the heck out of it using blocking wires, thereby accentuating all the mistakes.  I like it better.  I got buttons for the basketweave scarf, and actually sewed them on!!  Miracles cease...  I finished half of each stealth project, even took them to Montreal.  Forgot the charted pattern for one and ran out of yarn on the other.
  And spinning.  I have spun up a storm.  Just now finished some lovely roving that I got at Brattleboro Fiber Festival a couple of weekends ago.  Really yummy and necessary as I need to make a baby sweater for Riva's teacher.  Probably before she figures out that Riva, though 8 years old, has never been to school before.  Maybe I can blame it on the fact that she comes from Texas. ( Riva is a corgi, in case you are worried.  She started school last week.)