Friday, January 29, 2010

1.29 Next up...

Next we have some more Chasing Rainbows, this time 100% Bombyx silk.*


This purple pile turned into this:


Again, I haven't measured the grist, but I love the way it slides all smooth and cool through my hands. The Orange One thinks it should be just right for a cat toy so I'm having to keep it put up well out of sight.

* I meant to put a footnote on yesterday's post, but seem to have forgotten to do so after I got interrupted midpost. That's ok - it applies here as well.

When the heck did people start calling Bombyx silk mulberry silk instead? I went to figure out exactly what "mulberry silk" was and found that it is the silk produced by the Bombyx moth(s). Ok... isn't that what Bombyx silk is? The Bombyx moth eats mulberry leaves and produces Bombyx silk. We still call Tussah silk Tussah and not what the Tussah moth eats. I can't find that there is a practical difference between "Bombyx silk" and "mulberry silk" - any suggestions?

That would explain why the mulberry silk in yesterday's post felt exactly like bleached Bombyx.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

1.28 Second up...

This is actually the oldest of the recently spun fluff. I haven't measured it yet and currently have no idea what I'm planning to do with this. One strand mulberry silk* and one strand white DHF. The silk gives a shine and a firmness to the yarn; the DHF gives a soft and poofy airiness. I wasn't entirely successful with the DHF - I wasn't as even with my single as I would have liked, but it will do for a warm shawl or perhaps a vest.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1.27 Catching up...

I've been getting a bunch of spinning done; what I have not been getting done is taking pictures or keeping track of what I've been spinning.

So: herewith the first in a series on What I Did on My (Spinning) Vacation.

Once upon a very long time ago (by internet standards), when Spindlicity first opened, they ran a contest. They wanted items made from spindle spun yarn and I obliged by sending myRebozo. It didn't win the grand prize for whatever they were offering, but I did wind up with a consolation prize, which has now become this:


Approximately 320 yards out of 2 oz of Chasing Rainbows merino/silk (approximately 2500 ypp, so light fingering weight or heavy laceweight, however you want to view it). Dunno what it will become yet, aside from a little paperweight.

Friday, January 22, 2010

1.22 Brightness spun


There are a lot of fibers I like to spin, but if I had to pick just one and stick with it, this would be it. When I sit down to spin, there is no other fiber/prep that says "ooo, yeah! why do I spin anything else?"

Dunnose Head Farm, MerinoxPolwarth crosses. My bumps have been breeding - every time I think I surely must be out of it, I keep finding more. This was dyed with Cushings Scarlet and it's taken me a while to get round to spinning it. I kept looking at it and thinking "wow that's bright". I did start spinning it and K looked at it in disbelief and said "what are you doing with that?" I said "I don't know, do you want it?" She looked at me in horror, and then said gently, "ummm... NO!"

I think on the whole it should make nice scarves for the Red Scarf project.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

1.20 Approaching blobhood

The curse of the lace knitter: after the first 40 or 50 rows, lace items look like blobs. We wave them around and say things like "see, this bottom edge will actually be straight across when I'm done, and the pattern looks like 'this'" as we stretch a 10 cm square out over the palm of the hand. People nod and back away carefully.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

1.16 Cookie's Birthday

And some of us are helping her celebrate.
Stop by and say Hi.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

1.10 Silk

When the world is white outside, it's time for some color in the spinning. I'm turning this (Chasing Rainbows Bombyx)


Into this:


2 ounces done, 2 to go.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

1.9 Sunny day!

After having new snow at least a little bit every day since 31 December and finishing up with 12 inches of snow in the past day, we finally had a sunny day this afternoon! The spruce tree seems a little shorter than the last time I showed you.


The piles of snow beside the driveway are a little bit higher (they're taller than I am!)


And Snowball enjoyed the sunshine outside for 30 seconds before demanding to be let back in.


Friday, January 08, 2010

1.8a Doin' the happy dance...

3.5 hours of detangling later, I have a nice ball of yarn again.

Can I get a whoo-hoo!

1.8 Echoes of memory

I've been in a bunch of different conversations lately, and each one has sent shivering echoes through my emotions, echoes of memory, reminders of times past. The conversations have been about other people (as they should be), conversations about their health issues, their current emotional voyages, and yet each one reminds me of times past. Each conversation that begins "my health... my child... my parent..." brings up "oh yes, my health... my child... my siblings... my parent..." soaring up out of memory, emotionally charged items out of my past. I want to say "oh, yes, I've been there, I remember..." and yet, these conversations are not about me, my past, but other people's presents.

When talking with people who know my own personal history, a simple statement, of "oh yes, you remember when..." allows me to indicate that I do really know what we're talking about from the inside, and still return the conversation to the other person, not taking it over and making it all about me. When I'm talking to people who don't have that shared history with me, stopping to explain all the details of why that's the case would seem to snatch the conversation away, so I don't, or at least I try not to.

It's worse at this particular moment as I seem to be in a little eddy of coincidence where everyone I meet IRL and online is having direct parallels with my own experiences, where everything is sending these little emotional shockwaves bouncing around, and the sheer numbers of them start to make me wonder "how many possible awful things have I lived through?" My mother, my sister, my brother, my father, myself, my husband, my daughter, my son, my friends... I think, on the whole, it's just the accumulation of time and living that makes me feel this way. Things happen to everyone at various points in time, but not to everyone all at once. It's only when one has the perspective of time that one can look back and see the slow accretion of emotional shocks, layering in one's mind, in the past and dormant until other people's experiences remind us.

I certainly haven't had all possible experiences. There are many many types of things I'll never encounter, and when other people do, I can be sympathetic without having that involuntary spasm of empathy. But my particular litany of items is long enough at this point that it's coming back to haunt me with every current conversation.

Oh, yes, I've been there, I remember...

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

1.6 Knotty business

Approximately 150 yards of yarn were in a snarl. I'm down to just the last 5 yards or so. I've put it aside because, after two hours of careful untangling, I'm about ready to take a scissors to it. Grrr.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

1.5 Snow pictures, as requested

It's been snowing for 3 days now - not usually very hard, just consistently. We've had probably 10 inches of fluffy delicate stuff which has compacted down into about six inches of snow on the ground.

Looking down our street...


and out into the backyard at the dark-eyed juncos.


Spruce in the snow...


and Snowball in the snow...


Snowball on the heat vent about 30 seconds later.


Monday, January 04, 2010

1.4 Mixed emotions

Today S turned 15. Coincidentally, he had a physical today, and he's in wonderful shape.

I arrived home after delivering him to school and found that a cat (I will name no names, but I suspect the White One!) had wrapped itself around my green ball-of-yarn and kicked it for a while.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

1.2 First shawl

Leaf Lace Shawl is the first one I'm starting.


This yarn was one of the ones that we dyed at the Natural Dye Days. I started with white Jaggerspun Zephyr. After a mordant bath of zinc, it went into the dyebath of goldenrod and come out shaded from yellow to dark gold (apparently the zinc strikes on unevenly unless extreme care is taken. We didn't take care.) After going into the indigo dyebath, the yellow bits came out blue-green, and the dark gold came out yellow green.


I think the variations of green are going to look very nice in the leaf lace pattern.

Friday, January 01, 2010

1.1 Not really resolutions...

Just intentions. Things I want to do.
1. Start typing out the blog entries I've been writing in my head.
2. Keeping track of how much I've been knitting and spinning. Just because.
3. Keeping track of what I've been reading. Ditto.

10 in 10

After a bit of armtwisting from someone in the spinning guild, I've signed up for the 10 in 2010 group in Ravelry. The idea is that one works on knitting ten "shawls" in the year 2010. Yhis is mildly attractive as I have a long list of shawls I want to work on, I have a largish stash of laceweight to fingering yarns I have spun and/or dyed that I would like to get turned into shawls, and I have zero interest in worrying about whether I actually finish 10 or not, i.e. no stress. I am pretty sure I'm going to have to dump the group though, as it's only January 1 and already I can't stand the nitwits who have poured out of the woodwork. There's already been arguing over "the rulez" and what "counts" or doesn't count as a shawl. There is a large sprinkling of people who only want to knit free patterns (but will undoubtedly scream blue murder if a mistake is found). There is another large sprinkling of people who can't keep track of who asked what. I've twice been given kindly advice answering a question I answered, not asked. I don't mind gabby people, but I do demand a bit of intelligence in the conversation and the useful nuggets are getting swamped by the blather. I think I'll confine my conversation to the subgroup in my guild who are knitting along.

It has given me the impetus to gather my wants together - shawls to be knit, yarn to be used, compare the one against the other, and actually organize what I think I'm doing. Pictures to follow.