Sunday, July 29, 2007

Closer Look

One of the first things I did this morning was to grab some of the fiber and just feel it again.

Then I figured it was too much goodness to keep to myself. Without further ado,

this is the baby alpaca. While some of this is due to operator limitations, pictures just don't do it justice. It's very very soft. I think I'm going to spin it right from the lock, over the fold, to try to preserve some of the loft and not make a hot tight yarn. It's very clean and a little test spin went beautifully.

This is the Corriedale. It, also, spins beautifully. Just a good basic wool.

Aaaaaaah. I think I'd call this baby camel/silk colorway "Thing 2's hair," although it's even finer. But the streaks remind me of a summer blonde. Maybe that would be a better name.

This silk colorway is "Lake Berryessa." The real lake doesn't look so much like this, but maybe I'm not that familiar with it.

So that's it. Sunday morning pretties. Now I get to catch up with the work I didn't do yesterday.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Back from Lambtown

But first, some of the spinning I've been doing.

I finally got to the Guatemalan indigo. It's plyed now, and I think I've probably earned my Merit Badge in "overplyed." Should wear like iron. I'm getting roughly 100 yards (hee -- I typed yarnds - a new measurement unit!) per ounce, ounce and a quarter.

That cochineal yarn is there to demonstrate how far my spinning has come, in just a little bit. The yellow isn't as even, and it's older. One of the things I'm most struck by is how harmonious the natural dyes are with one another. I'm looking forward to trying some more when the dyeing wool shows up from Susan's Fiber Shop shows up.

Little bits of yarn spun up are feeling frustrating for me. I'm just not a sock knitter. Know anyone who would love to knit socks from handspun in exchange for homemade bread or more handspun? That might give me sock spinning incentive. I do, however, have largish feet -- pushing a US size 10.

Lambtown -- well, it was fun. I found it a hair overwhelming, and since it was a smallish do, I bet that would really be something. Today was all about the soft. There were so many soft things to touch. And I may be in a color rut, as everything I dallied over was caramel, brown, green, tan. . . You get the picture! I saw local blogger and fiberista Kristine today, along with Michele from dyeing class. It was nice to see friendly faces.

I also tried wheels (with help) at the Carolina Homespun booth.

I liked the Lendrum a lot. So did Thing 4, but she didn't get what you'd call a real trial on it.

Oh, also a pattern for a beautiful leaf shawl leapt at me, in a triumph of fondness over experience. Thing 1 said, "Hey, look at this pretty shawl. I like it."
Maybe when she graduates from something adult, it will be done. She said her dyeing class was "okay."

Hot and grumpy by the end she was. My silk class wasn't what I expected. I kept gazing over at the drum carding class, thinking that what they were doing looked pretty fun. . .

One Suri baby fleece kept calling me back for more touching, as did a wickedly soft bag of baby camel and silk. Guess what came home with me?

Back to front: the alpaca (his name is "Espresso Dawn." Hee), a bag of silk cocoons for kid/me experiments, the camel/silk to the left of that, then some green silk hankies, some white silk hankies, some Bombyx top, and two balls of Corriedale. I still don't know if I'm going to ply the Corriedale with the alpaca for a sweater, or spin the alpaca straight from the locks and make a drapey. . . something. Suggestions?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

No pictures, except the ones in my head

I've been knitting. Really.

But when I get stuck mentally on a project, I tend to do a lot of walking around and thinking. I'm all-but-back done with the Pearl Buck Swing jacket, and since I've added an inch to each front (for my freakishly long torso), I've had to figure out how to do the same to the back. I think I know how -- but I have to get confident enough to actually try it.

There's so no way I'm doing a dozen this year. Sigh.

And I cast on for a quickie baby sweater for the still very new baby down the street -- and my family is unanimous that it is too small. Instead of ripping and redoing, I'm contemplating giving them a stuffed animal for the baby, wearing a little sweater. Maybe I'll block it like mad.

There has, however, been lots of entertainment in the arena of my dreams. This morning, I realized that the princes of England had to be "stacked" before they could assume the crown and rule the country. By the rules, Harry had to be the bottom half even though he was taller than William. I think he may have said, "It's not fair," just like my bunch does. And they weren't going to do the stacking piggy-back, oh no. They were going to be somehow smooshed into the same person. Just two people's worth. Somehow.

Then, in the same dream, my spouse presented me with a new laptop. I opened it to find a tiny compartment along the side with a slim silver fork and spoon set. Above the (miniscule) keyboard was an eating plate area. It was a "food-friendly" laptop! I didn't know if he'd bought it on purpose because he wanted me not to eat around the big computer, or just in case I spilled something on the laptop. I thought it was a pretty great idea.

I enjoyed the seventh Harry Potter book quite a bit. Thing 1 got it at 3pm on Saturday from the UPS driver (she declined to pose for a picture with him), and at 9:55pm she handed it to me. She came in a few minutes later and said, "Why aren't you reading it?" I was working at the time. I didn't take that opportunity to whine, "It's not fair I have to work first". . . but instead showed her how just a little motivation made the work go smoothly and still left me time to read. Ha. I actually did my work and then stayed up way too long. Good book in any case.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Those Eight Random Things

Well, because Kate asked, and because I'm still not done with all six pieces of the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket (although I have recovered some knitting momentum), here's that meme.

Eight Random Things About Me

1. I've grown increasingly particular about the state of my morning newspaper. If I get to it first, I sort it in sections of "must-read" down to "maybe," aligning all edges and folds. If someone else gets to it first, I prefer that they leave it looking as though they hadn't.

2. When confronted with a new problem or project, from rearing four incredibly active children to knocking walls out of a house and repositioning them, my first response is almost always, "How hard can it be?" Upon finding out that it can be, in fact, very hard indeed, I am again, almost always surprised.

3. Each of my children was born at home in planned homebirths. (See item #2, and in these cases, it wasn't all that hard.)

4. I desperately miss writing letters to people who also wrote back. Email is great, but it destroyed letter-writing; and I have two friends to whom I write -- and one wrote back last month! Have I returned the favor? I have not (yet).

5. The longest I've ever lived without a pet was six months.

6. I have an environmentally indefensible longing for a VW Eurovan Weekender.

7. To my astonishment, I was a cheerleader for one year at my (Southern Baptist in Southern California) high school.

8. I have vivid, weirdly plotted, detailed, often very amusing dreams in color almost every night. And I remember them fairly well. I wonder why my sleep is not more restorative.

Oh, apparently there are rules:

1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.

2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.

3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.

4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

I'm probably not going to do that, as I think everyone has already done this. Please don't tell the Meme Police.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Two Whole Years

I loved that all of the kids got to be there to greet our Little Missy two years ago, and she's been a treat pretty much ever since. Now she's talking like an adult, nearly done with diapers, and just a funny little person.

How time, unlike my knitting, flies.