Thursday, March 29, 2007

Well, this is the big weekend. The final practice was tonight, the grandparentses are all four here, the tickets are bought and the play is eagerly awaited. Tomorrow they will play selected scenes for groups of elementary school kids and then for their own school. Tomorrow night is Opening Night. Then comes the Saturday Matinee, followed by Closing Night, then the Cast Party Sunday morning is Tear Down. 10 weeks of practice, costuming, learning to apply make-up, set building, practicing with mikes, stage crew learning how to be stage crew, lighting crew ditto... All boils down three days, zillions of cheering relatives, 79 cow- and farmgirls and 20-something cow- and farmboys singing Oklahoma in tune on cue...

Needless to say there has been much housecleaning and the requisite homework happening here and not much else. Certainly no spinning. See you next week.

Friday, March 23, 2007

This... is a closeup (with flash) of this...
which is the beginnings of a beadlizard cabled rib scarf. I don't often knit two of the same thing, but it's a fun knit and the last time I did was a couple of years ago.

This is...

several things, actually. On the left is ... not an abandoned project, but shall we say - in hiatus. Silk and beautiful, but in hiatus. On the right we have the third pale beast bobbin. In the middle is the soon-to-be-dark beast bobbin, and supporting it all is a Ewesful Kate. Pine, I think, and just finished with wax. I use the Wood Beams on it every now and then. It's tensioned with fishing line and an Ashford spinning wheel spring, which I need a new one of since I sprung this one. It still works, it just looks funky.
Side view shows the sheep cut out - there's one on either side.
And here we have the fourth pale beast bobbin, in progress.

There has been no cooking of note at this house for some time (otherwise I promise I would have noted it). I'm about ready to make mushroom parmesan soup again. Other than that...

I seem to be full of ellipses today. Sorry about that. At least I promise not to sprinkle them through my writing like parmesan cheese over pizza.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It's a beautiful day - sunny, 42 degrees F, light dusting of snow on the ground, which will undoubtedly be gone by tomorrow with the rain and 60 degrees F we're expecting. The end of last week was rainy and 50 degrees F, yesterday was cloudy and 22 degrees F. Good weather for catching colds and we're passing one around.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Grace asked some questions about my spinning:
1. How do I like my moosie? Very much. I particularly like it for spinning merino/silk. The moosie is smallish, but dense for its size. The silk content in the fiber makes the singles able to support quite a bit of weight for the cross section. The denseness of the whorl lends itself to spinning fast and for a long time. I've 2 oz of the merino silk my sister gave me for Christmas. I will be spinning it for a very long time.

2. Do I use a tensioned kate? Yes, I have a Ewesful Kate that I got some years ago from Jude Pilote. I have not been able to determine if she's still making them.

3. The blending I'm using? This is Beast. My understanding is that Beast was the odds and ends leftovers of roving from Brown Sheep. This would fit in with what I know about Brown Sheep yarn content. I had understood that Beast wasn't being made any more, but more of it seems to be showing up, so now I don't know. The various greys seem to be of a type - sort of Romney-ish - open crimp, doesn't felt too much. The dark black strikes me as being mohair - shiny, not much crimp, strong, and the longest fiber. The all white bits are shorter, easily felted (somewhat felted in places), and crimpy - I don't think merino, not exactly like the Targhee I've spun before, but something along those lines. This makes for a varied spinning experience. The grey stuff does a lovely long-draw. The black bits are ok on a long-draw. The white tends to be clumpy - sometimes it drafts long draw, sometimes it doesn't, and almost always ties a little knot here and there. I'm going with the "neps are character" theme here and not stressing too much except where the little knot winds up seriously impacting the cross section of the singles. I'd rather it didn't snap on me.
4. Am I going to overdye this? I think so. I'm not in the market for another grey shawl at the moment, so if it's going to be a shawl, I'll dye it. If it isn't - if I make a vest or something, I might leave it grey. I definitely love the depth of shade possible when overdyeing the greys like these.
This picture is of the three-ply yarn I just finished:
And this picture is the horseshoe lace trim on the Wool Peddlar's Shawl I'm finishing up. This was a previous batch of white/grey/black wool (not Beast, a mixed shade Corriedale fleece), overdyed with cherry.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Some spinning has taken place this week - dark and pale bobbins are done - to be closely followed by number 3.
The moosie has made progress with the merino/silk (mostly while waiting at music lessons)
But by far the greatest amount of time has been taken up by the costume for K. Oklahoma is the play this year, and she needed a calico dress. (never mind the cat, who was only doing her best to help, obviously). The dress is done, the blouse (not pictured) is done, and I can go back to spinning. And knitting. And whatevering, before class starts on Monday.
Housework, perhaps? Nah. We still have 3 weeks before the hordes arrive to observe their darling grandchild.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

It's funny how you can jog along in a little rut and then suddenly pick your head up and go "hey - when did that happen". I find that this happens to me particularly with books. Being the bibliophile that I am, I have enough books that I can get in a rut of just re-reading the things I have with occasional jaunts to the library for supplementary material. Increasing those jaunts was the purpose of tackling the 50 book challenge - I'm not allowed to count the books I've read before. Consequently, the only books I expose to public view are the new ones. This accounts for the long period of time between additions to that list, NOT I assure you any lack of reading going on chez nous.

However, being in that rut means that I get hit with that jolt referred to above. A couple of days ago, I was at the bookstore and suddenly realized that on of my favorite SF authors, Spider Robinson, has escaped from my radar long enough that not only has he written a bunch of Callahan books I haven't read, it was long ago that they aren't on the current shelves and I'm going to have to order them. abebooks is my friend.

That was one jolt. The next was stumbling across the books by Michelle Sagara, Cast in Shadow and Cast in Courtlight. Very good reading - the first was a little difficult to get into, but worth pursuing. Blurb on the cover mentions her 14 or 15 prior books. Hmmm... never run across her before. In double checking her name at Amazon before I updated the Books Read list, I find that not only does Michelle Sagara pop up, but Michelle Sagara West does as well. Why does that ring bells? A search on Michelle West gives me the answer. Hunter's Oath, Hunter's Death - favorites on my shelves. The Sun Sword series - I started reading those and then got annoyed because it was going to be a multi book series with divagations in all directions. I bought and read the first two, set the third aside to wait for the whole series, and lost track of them. It turns out there are six altogether now, and probably well worth waiting for. I suppose that acquiring 3 more hefty books just before starting a new class is not the best idea in the world.

Monday, March 05, 2007


What is there about owning a white car that makes one want to drive in a whiteout with no headlights on? Of the 22 cars I passed on my way home from work, 7 had no headlights on. Six were white. Of the 15 cars I passed that had their headlights on - one was white.

Come on, people - unlike that polar bear, you don't even have a little black nose to show in the swirl of white!

Saturday, March 03, 2007

What does one do with a bump of dark beast? Add two bumps of pale beast...

Spin some more...

And yet some more to go - then three ply and see how much you get.

Thanks for the kind words about the blue-to-red with pink and purple thrown in. I don't know exactly what I'm doing with it yet. I'm thinking rectangular shawl, possibly in a waffle pattern. I want to preserve the color run from one end to the other.